Saturday, January 26

I'm moving

After four wonderful years I'm moving to Wordpress due to the extra capabilities and control I can have with my ipad/iphone. I'm hoping that due to the very nature of the fact that I often only use my laptop just to blog, I may feel that now I have more of a chance through the abilities of my other software.... Please now find me at: http://thoughtsfromyetjustanotherpasserby.wordpress.com

Yes, I've kept the name to make it easier.
See you over there

Bx

Tuesday, January 22

Questions

I mentioned in my previous group about one of my lovely youth groups. Its reasonably small and all the young people come from a church orientated background or have been going to church for a while. We  started back in January and as a leader theres that post Christmas panic when you realise you havent planned a session let alone the rest of the term. So I used a cop out, I used my first session back to help get the young people to plan the sessions - brilliant, right!

Over the last five months in post here in Conwy, theres been a real theme emerging from my work and my visits and my volunteering/volunteered(ness) at things like Faith and Order and 3Gen. This is the idea of questions and having a safe space to ask questions discuss them and not necessarily come out with a definitive answer, but having explored deeply the topic at hand. At Uni I hated the big questions discussed late at night, when one should have been writing assignments because then it felt like work. Now I really want to delve into the big questions and the little questions, not because I have the answers but because its a great way to start discussions (note not massive arguments  that rely on not just scratching the surface but that involve real meaning and a deep sense of authenticity... 

So, back to my youth group (bless them).... I gave them paper squares and a writing implement and asked them to write down any question they ever wanted to ask, there was no limiting wether it was a church based question (I'm very lucky the minister who hosts the group has a degree in Chemistry - plus theres always google) and gave them the evening to write down these questions. They were however not allowed to share these questions on the night. I collected them in, and was surprised by the amount of questions (I'm not sure why) but even more surprised at the range of questions. Tonight I want to share them with you: 


PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE write any comments, suggestions, ideas, knowledge on any of the questions (they are numbered). You as a reader here can add depth to my youth group discussions. Give me pointers or help. 

The Questions:


1.     Should we suffer as Christians?
2.     Why didn’t God just kill us off and start again? Or why didn’t he just get rid of the devil?
3.     How would you just casualty talk about God to an atheist?
4.     How do I show I’m a Christian in school?
5.     Can you be religious and scientific?
6.     How do we know we’re right? Are all other faiths wrong?
7.     Relationships?
8.     What are pastafarians?
9.     Does God hate people?
10. Why did people think the world was flat?
11. How fast can a cheetah run?
12. How many people are there in the UK and the world?
13. How big is the sun?
14. What is the speed of light?
15. Is the ark of the covenant in Ethiopia?
16. Why does God always appear as a cloud?
17. Is it good to have different denominations in Christianity?
18. Why did God kill Uzzah?
19. What is the strangest thing in the bible?
20. What is the longest chapter in the bible and what is it on?
21. What is the shortest chapter in the bible and what is it on?
22. Whose is the most important women in the bible? (excluding Mary)
23. How do fizzy drinks have bubbles?
24. What is fire?
25. What is the meaning of life?
26. What is gravity?
27. What happens when you die?
28. How does the brain learn about the brain?
29. How did language start?
30. What happens to the disciples after Jesus went to heaven?
31. Will there be a new bible one a day if Jesus returns?
32. Are there pagan religions left?
33. Why don’t some people believe in God? As in how do some singing sciency things, suddenly prove that God’s non-existent?
34. Do animals have a religion?
35. Why do so many religions originate from Israel and Asia?
36. How many wise men were there really?
37. Why did God choose Israel of all people to start a new religion?
38. When will Jesus return?
39. What is epiphany?
40. How much of the Da Vinci code is true?
41. What happens when we die?
42. If there are overly-extreme Muslims, are there overly extreme Christians too?
43. Why did the disciples becomes disciples? Why did Jesus choose those particular people?
44. Why didn’t God make one world for animals and one world for humans?
45. How old should we be when we marry?
46. Why did God make the world?
47. Should we remain virgins until we marry?
48. Am I worthy?



PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE write any comments, suggestions, ideas, knowledge on any of the questions (they are numbered). You as a reader here can add depth to my youth group discussions. Give me pointers or help. Is there a question you've ever wanted to ask? Let me know.

Saturday, January 19

The Covenant Prayer (pt.2)


I've sat down to write the second part of this blog many times, but it wasn't until a conversation I had yesterday that I realised where I was going with this. The previous blog I spoke about how the covenant prayer as an individual was really important to me. Two weeks later I still have my head reeling in the enormity of the promise made through the words. I was however slightly disappointed that none of the young people in my one of my Youth groups had been invited to join in that part of the service involving the covenant, nor did they know what a covenant was, (you will get to here a lot more about this particular youth group as we explore some big questions they've asked). So we looked at the prayer and with an honesty and a conviction said that it would be difficult for them to pray this prayer and truly mean all of it and rejoice in it. I admire their honesty as it is a difficult prayer. Even when I pray it, I strive to achieve the covenant I have made, knowing that I am truly relying on the Lords grace.

As a Church however are we committing to these words:


Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;

Each Church has a community in which they live. What does it mean to be Christ among that community. Not differentiating or discriminating on gender, age, income or background. Not only that but as a Church we can be a catalyst for change in our society for acceptance. We have a saviour who hung out with the unemployed and the rich, the prostitute and the hard working labourers.

put me to doing, put me to suffering;

I often wonder how as a church do we cope with suffering as well as we could do. Do we allow time for mourning in our worship, we praise and adore God but do we allow time for lament, praise and adoration through our suffering.

How do we hold in contention lamentation and praise. How do we work through Psalm of lament or disorientation, such as Psalm 137?

let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you,

How as a church do we cope with the idea that some churches (not with a capital C) have to die and be laid aside for the Kingdom of God. How do we let go for God, but also discern what is his will to keep going. All churches have seasons, and I truly believe that sometimes a church has to go through phases of smaller groups to give it a chance of regrowth.

exalted for you, or brought low for you;

What would this mean for the church? It could be suggested throughout the history of the world Church, there have been times when the church has been the key resource within civilisation, but there are also times when the church becomes the margins are part of the margins. In some places Christians are not persecuted but there are many places where being brought low can mean persecution, toture and death. Its often in these places that the church is growing. (I had a friend at Uni - bible college uni- who said if they ever became prime minister, their contribution to the Church in Great Britain would be to persecute it to help it grow.)

let me be full, let me be empty,

A little more on the on the seasons stuff (particularly thinking on the Ecclesiastes 3). I know very little about growing plants, but I am aware that for some plants it is essential that they have to be pruned to grow to their full potential. I think this is a very similar trait for the church. Its probably the same for many things, so let our churches be full and empty in relation to your will Lord. When we are empty Lord let us grow deeper, set down stronger roots.

let me have all things, let me have nothing:

Sometimes as a church its great to have amazing resources, to have a full PA system and the volunteers to run it. sometimes having no volunteers and being resourceful can be a tool to aid the kingdom. Sometimes having nothing means we're left to work with nothing but the people in which we can authentically connect with.


I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours.'


A covenant for the whole church. All we are, the coffee mornings, the mums and tots, the youth groups, arts and crafts group, book groups, bible study, sunday mornings, ladies circle, mens breakfast, football teams, boccia teams, friends who meet for cake, or fellowship with a movie, all of the churches activities are God's. Its not the Sunday morning, its the whole week 24/7. I had a small trip to A+E this week and it was the love of the church (with some help from my mum) that got me to A+E to make sue I was okay. Trying to convince a church that they have an outreach to over 30 families even if they dont appear on a sunday morning is hard. But it is all for the Glory of God. So le it be. Amen





On a further note, I think its possibly harder to hold on to God in the easier stuff, where as when life is harder, you have nothing left to hold on to but God.

Monday, January 14

No two days the same.

I was walking to my car this morning and I had this sudden thought 'next week everything will be back to normal.' I've had a reasonably hectic weekend travelling to be part of an amazing rep training weekend for the youth reps of the Methodist Church (I will be one of two youth reps on the Methodist Council) and this coming weekend, if the weather holds out, I'm heading home to my family and home church to be accredited as a local preacher. Them two events are enough to make life hectic, add in the exciting launch of the CYWeCare campaign (see what its about at the blog or follow it on twitter @CYWeCare) and boom another non normal monday. SNOW yes its also is snowing.... life at the moment is not normal.

Then another though occurred to me, my life is never normal. After next weekend there will be no normal week. No two days are the same. Even when you think its just meetings or planning its still different conversations, different questions, different people, different opportunities.

No two days the same.

Would that excite you or terrify you? I love not knowing what life will throw me each day I love the unexpected. I can imagine many people would not feel the same.

Saturday, January 5

Covenant Prayer (pt1.)

Happy 2013.

(2013 is so hard to type I keep having to correct it from 2012)

I could make the usual promises to blog at least once a month or even once a week, but as these never last maybe not. However, my boyfriend keeps saying that I haven't written lately so I'm sure his prompting will help me blog more regularly. 

However this weekend is the first weekend in 2013, and that means that for many in the Methodist Church they will be juggling Epiphany and the Covenant service. 

Its wasn't until the year before Cliff that the Covenant service became such an important thing for me. It was there that the Covenant prayer became very real in conversation with a member of the Salvation Army. That night was a huge night in my life because of the life changing decisions, a story I've only ever told in person and never written here, its one of them days where God starts to join the dots, and even now as I think back I only just start to see how clearly that day was a life changing day. 

So the Covenant Prayer means even more to me now than it did then. Its been used it many situations and different places to add to its meaning, and each time I read it, or say it, or think upon it something new always comes out of it. 

So today I'm thinking on the lines: 
I am no longer my own but yours. 
Your will, not mine, be done in all things, 
wherever you may place me, 
in all that I do, 
and in all that I may endure;
Methodist Worship Book p.288

I love the reminder that I am no longer the most important thing in my life, that this life has been paid for by someone else life, it is something I often forget and with that fact I often forget that its not my decision it God. In everything in my life I need to be searching and preparing and carrying out God's will. Today I'm hosting an event that I feel that no one will turn up to, faithfully I have bought 14 Jacket Potatoes, I accept that God may mean me to eat a lot of Jacket Potatoes in the next week but faithfully I see this as his will, even if it looks like this event will fail. As for where God places me, I love where I'm living its truly beautiful, but when I had to leave home, or rather a second or third home which was very comfortable and very safe I wasn't so sure. I love Wales and I love my job and the people here, but it's lonely. I rejoice often about that fact that I don't have to share my flat (and consequently my mess my bizarre eating hours and even crazier showering times) with anyone else. That I can be alone after I've finished at work and relax in peace, but having lived in a community for three years, a sort of community over the summer and my family before that I'm discovering that I often miss the things that annoyed me when I lived with them. I miss being able to just chat to someone about the weather or take a walk with someone - conversation with myself is just not as thrilling. But God has called me here, I'm not alone, just lonely. I have my computer music on shuffle and the song You won't relent keeps playing and theres a line 'I don't want to talk about you like your not in the room.' The almighty is here I know that and I need to find joy in his presence not as part of a community but by myself this 2013. 

I have one sure thing in all this. I am (trying to anyway) following God's will, in which there is only one outcome, I will endure and all for his victory. 



Wednesday, December 5

The Pain of Christmas


When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”








So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”







When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 








Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
“A voice is heard in Ramah,

    weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
    and refusing to be comforted,
    because they are no more.”





Matthew 2: 13-18

The Heavenly Host



And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”




Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2 v 8-14

The Arrival

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

Luke 2:6-7

The journey

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

Luke 2:4-5

The Angel Appears to Mary



One month later God sent the angel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth in Galilee with a message for a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to Joseph from the family of King David. The angel greeted Mary and said, “You are truly blessed! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was confused by the angel’s words and wondered what they meant. Then the angel told Mary, “Don’t be afraid! God is pleased with you, and you will have a son. His name will be Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of God Most High. The Lord God will make him king, as his ancestor David was. He will rule the people of Israel forever, and his kingdom will never end.”

Luke 1 v 26:33



In the beginning



In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1v1-5




The Words of the Prophets


The people who walk in darkness
    will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
    a light will shine.
Isaiah 9v2



Monday, October 29

A Plan

So I went to my first concert/gig inside a building! (yeah I know that sounds crazy but so far I've only seem live acts either in a tent or in a field....)

I went to see Owl City with my Boyfriend and some mates. To be honest my weekend was going to be a bit hectic, it was supposed to snow, my hand hurt..... and as much as I wanted to spend time with amazing people I can honestly say (sorry Dan) that Friday morning I was having second thoughts about travelling across and then back into Conwy for the food feast.

But I loved. I always would. I can even forgive having to catch a train.

I can see you all now thinking "awww thats a nice/sickening/dull story where is she going with this...?"


Well I will tell you. In one of the Youth Groups I help with instead of going for choose a bible passage think of an activity, we go for pick an activity and Bx has to get the bible into it! Its kind of a fun game, luckily next week is empires which is a lot easier than ninjas and chocolate.

But isn't that what we sometimes do with our lives we pick our activities and work the bible into as an after thought.

Thats actually not where I'm going with this.

You may have noticed I have been neglecting the blogging lately again - sorry - and lately I've been missing the reflection on contemporary society and scripture mixed together.


Then it hit me - Owl City, or rather the amazing lyrics would probably make a beautiful series for a youth group or to tie in some biblical reflections....  yes you can see where I'm going.

At least once a month, if not more I hope to be blogging, and to get me back into the swing of it I shall be reflecting on the Lyrics of Owl City and and the Christ Faith.... I'm excited. I hope you're not to terrified.


Friday, October 19

Last Train Home

If there was ever a thing to lead you to writing on your blog after an absence anything involving a train journey is usually it.

Its that extra time to contemplate with very little distraction as your mind wonders away from the book/newspaper/work you could or should have been reading as the country side rolls past your window. Furthermore for those of us whose daily commute doesn't involve trains it means that there is a purpose behind the distraction of the train we are traversing on.

I am not a train traveller in slightest, the mere thoughts of catching one train no changes drives fear in to the very core of my being.... I sound like I'm being dramatic but often me catching one train no changes drives fear into the hearts of many people. I can count the number of train journeys (excluding returns and not taking into account number of trains mind as I have now discovered how to change trains) on my lovely two hands.

There was the first time I ever caught a train... which believe it or not is not the disaster story most people will think of if they know me. Apparently I have been on a steam engine in my early childhood. I actually dont remember. I do remember going to stare at the flying scotsmen as it came into a local station but thats it.

So the first journey I ever took on the train (by myself and that I remember) was to be a disaster from start to finish. In fact the epic failure of this journey is to long to repeat the story for those of you still reading.

Since that time my outlook on travelling by train has been grim. I had no car over the Christmas of my first term at Uni, therefore I had to take the train home - I was lucky this was the last train home before snow halted most service.

Then there was the incident with my declined Indian Visa in Manchester (because I came from Norfolk) meaning a train journey to Birmingham was required.

And the time I was on Crutches and couldnt drive so visit Norfolk (via the National Gun Show in Newark) on a train.

You can see why trains still hold this negative element.

However this last 30 days I have travelled on many trains. I went to Faith and Order Network Conference (on which my thought can be found on a previous posts entitled Faith and Order or Reflections on #fando.) I caught all the train succesfully (with much help from Paul Parker and a new local presbyter. I caught all the train successfully (with much help from Paul Parker and a new local presbyter. Then I travelled to Cliff by train for a brief visit to find a parachute and to chat with many people. 

My last train journey was probably the most epic I have ever taken with six trains over two days three of which had Manchester Piccadilly and Euston in the title! I went for a new workers introduction day with the methodist church. This was an exciting day that helped me to be on the only new one working. 

But whilst I was sat upon my last train home from London I was thinking about the Lost Prophets song Last Train Home with the lyrics:

"But there's still tomorrow
Forget the sorrow
And I can be on the last train home"

I can honestly say there are very few people or reasons that I would probably ever catch the last train home. But the first two lines are a different matter. Whilst starting in my new job and every other new thing there are always ups and downs from the beginning. Sometimes you get the really bad days and think maybe I should give up, but tomorrow is a new day and I am daily comforted by the anchor of Hope I find in Christ. By the time I had caught four of the five trains to London and home again the hope that I would get home was the very thing that kept me going. I make that my daily prayer that one day I will go home to Christ but not until the journey is done. I rejoice in the hope that I shall know Christ now and forever. I have Hope.

'Hope anchors the soul' - Hebrews 6:19

Saturday, September 29

Thursday, September 20

Photo Prayer 54


 Lord. Feed us with manner from heaven, share with us your daily bread.
Amen

Reflection on #fando


My university degree assignments were largely theological reflections, and I largely hated writing them. But as I reflect I have or I have a responsibility as I get back on the train.

What do I have to do now. My response to these two and a  bit days. I have had a strong renewal in my passion for theology, and I don't want to keep this to myself. This has an impact with my ministry with families and young people. To help the, engage with theology, the communion of saints the richness in grappling with the big questions. Moving to not have a shallow ministry but a deep ministry allowing God to reach deeply in my life and of those around me. Being aware of the Wesleyan quadrilateral in the work I do not just as a a useful tool for graduating from a college with Methodist tendencies. There needs to be an investment in theology in the local church and I have a chance to facilitate this.

Theology is integral to our faith and walk as Christians, I think people do want to engage with theology but are scared by the thought of inaccessible language and the notion that they have nothing to give. We can all grapple with the big questions and converse with scripture and the communion of saints.

Theology is not exclusive. It is not just for the Professors and doctors but we can use they're wise words and study to guide our own reflections on the big questions. What are these big questions. Two I shall continue to grapple with is the issue of cohabitation and the word relationship.

Finally I leave my last thought for the two days that I leave with:

We need to inhabit our theology, we need to inhabit our faith.

Wednesday, September 19

Photo Prayer 53




Lord bring bring discernment in our business 
Help us to work up your will for theology, faith and life.
Help us to build an identiy based on your light 
And love others according to your grace to us
Amen

Faith and Order

I am currently in attendance at the Faith and Order Network conference of the Methodist Church. I was terrified on Monday, the day before, as I hadn't the confidence in my theological grounding, even after finishing my undergrad degree in theology three months ago. Even throughout my degree I put down my ability to be a theological thinker because I could never respond quickly enough with what I wanted to say, I also felt paralysed by the expectation to need to formulate or have a view and not be able to take time to think first.

But I am a theological thinker. 

My degree was worth it. 

Amongst what is described as theological conference I have some understanding of what is happen. 



We can all be theological thinkers. We all are theological thinkers.

Tuesday, September 18

Prayer photo 52





Inspire us God to think about you. To be sure of our identity in you. Secure in those who have carried your cross before us and challenged us to move for you. Help us to not contain you or limit you to our understanding, but to be free with in your mystery.
Help us by your Spirit to be inspired you.
Amen 



Monday, September 17

Photo Prayer 51

Lord give me a vision for this land
a story of yours to share 
a heart of compassion to live by 
and your commission to stand on

By your grace and your might only Lord
Help me serve

Amen 

Saturday, September 15

Friday, September 14

Non Dry Clothes

So today came another first.... I have never used a laundrette outside the Christian Bubble, and sadly I did not go in time to also dry my clothes. So now they are haphazardly hung around the flat. When you make minor mistakes like this your glad of a flat three flights up so that no one can see the trouser hung in the window. I can imagine some of you laughing at my misfortune... please do as I am laughing at myself to. The small mistake, mishap, mad moment, I'm know is not my first mistake here in the North of Wales, and I am aware that in my ministry wherever I am it is not likely to be my last, i doubt it will even be my funniest! I mean I'm catching a train on Tuesday and I am rubbish with trains. I wonder how when we are faced with failure and upset do we keep moving forward. Humanity keeps on going, no matter what the upset or the hardship or the mistake. It reminded me of a piece of wall - its not often you can say that.

Love will win!
This is a picture of the Peace Wall in Belfast.


Love will win.

Why am I working in Conwy, or in other jobs before this. Why did I finish every assignment at Uni how ever much I despise essays, why do I preach at every opportunity, or attempt travelling by train. Why go to coffee mornings... because in-spite of the mistakes I make at these events or in these moments love will win. God will win.

He is in control, my success and my failures are his. However much I hope that I will not fail, some things will and I have to understand that God is control. He is even in control of my non-dry clothes!



His Love WILL Win.

Photo Prayer 49



Father God 
Be with my brothers and sisters as they work for your glory 
Help us to share each others burdens in prayer
When distance separates us and we speak no words to each other 
Allow us still to remember fellowship shared with you and your saints.
Amen

Tuesday, September 11

New Job, New Home, Same old lesson

I remember writing a theological reflection for Uni on my travels to India and the dificultes of cross cultural ministries, and one of the quotes I remember directly - to the point I can see the page in front of me - was to do with Stress. They say that moving jobs, moving house, is stressful enough without moving countries. Therefore for a cross cultural missionary the first few months are often the worst thing ever. Now I am in no way going to claim that I am a cross cultural missionary I have only moved to Wales, but moving to a new area, moving out from my parents, starting a new job does seem quite an achievement, and there is a language barrier especially with place names! Its daunting and it has been at times lonely, especially after my family left to go back to there respective homes, work and study. The church that I have moved to are so friendly and aware that moving can be lonely and I love my Tuesday Coffee morning, not that many there come under my target work remit.

I will not lie, I have spent a night crying down the phone to amazingly patient people, because of the frustrations and the quietness that sometimes envelope me after being in the flat for so long. But God has truly shone through these last few weeks. I need only sit at my kitchen table to stare at his creation and his beauty, to gaze upon humanities intrigue and curiosity and know that I am in the right place.

He is teaching me once again to be still in his presences first before being busy in his mission. A hard lesson for someone who likes to be.... er busy as a bee.

I know that this is a time when many of my friends have also up-ed and moved house to knew jobs, and I'm sure the frustration and the stress are not the same, but I hope we all find the joy in Christ as we start to walk alongside different communities with different ways of life.


Photo Prayer 48

Dear Lord 
Hide me in the shadow of your wings. 
Allow me to rest upon you 
and live in the strength of your protection and grace
Amen 

Friday, September 7

Photo Prayer 46

Lord
thank you for the beauty of your creation 
and the splendour of your community as we await your kingdom
Amen

Wednesday, September 5

Photo Prayer 45

Lord you care for the birds in the sky and the flowers in the meadow. 
Thank you for your care of us and the care of the world.
Help us share this love with all we meet. 
Amen


Lord give me patients as I sleep
To ignore these seagulls as they cheep
Amen 

Monday, September 3

Photo Prayer 43

Lord fill this world with colour
colour it with your peace
your grace and your love 
Amen

Sunday, September 2

Photo Prayer 42


Lord fill this Land with your glory 
The people with your spirit 
And the streets with your love.
Send revival O Lord our God in the communities we live
Amen 



(This is a photo of my new home taken from the castle walls. My flat is in this picture)

A quick update

So I have apologised for the lack of internet. But I have moved to Wales. Conwy to be precise and I started my new job yesterday. I am the Families and Youth worker for St John's, Conwy. Watch this space on more about that and how the role takes shape etc. If any of you wish to know it started well and within my comfort zone with the Methodist Church Safeguard training Creating Safer Spaces.

The daily prayers should also return now and I have had some beautiful photos from the wonderful Welsh surroundings.


Friday, August 24

Photo prayer




Let me be disguised only by your light
Let me not hide away my love for you 
Amen

Thursday, August 23

Prayer Photo 40





Lord I thank you for the beauty in your brokenness. 
That your love has taken the darkness from our hearts, 
through burning coals made us clean
cleansed for you work
living for your duty 
growing by your spirit
being your servants 

help us Lord 

leave us not to stare blankly at the world going by 
hidden behind curtains
but an open window showing your light in this world

in your amazing name 


Amen  

The last day in England

Tis is my last day within England :O

Yes I'm going for drama but the journey to Wales is only just two hours shy of my international flight to India! Norfolk to Wales is a fair distance its a lot shorter to cross the ocean to Ireland than it is to drive back to Norfolk....

So in amongst my little dama of leaving England to venture into mission you might wonder with less than 24 hours till I leave how the packing is going.... well theres still a bit to go, I like to cut it fine.

I'm looking forward to it, in all the nerves of the long driving session with my baby brother, the lugging boxes up three flights of stairs, having to deal with my own bills, sort out my own problems no that at the end of the day its just me returning to my flat.... theres the excitement that in just over a weeks time I will be thrown into the excitement of a job in which I have been training for. You could compare it to all them athletes who competed in the olympics but I'm sure every one is fed up of olympic analogies!

If you are praying people though, I would implore you if you have a second or two, pray for my family and friends, the church I'm moving to work with and myself as these three world spectacularly collide this week in the process of moving into one flat and also travel to Wales.  

Wednesday, August 22

photo prayer 39

Lord wash over me like a coming wave 
make me clean for your service. 

Amen

Tuesday, August 21

Photo prayer 38

Lord let me dwell among the disciples that boldly pick up your cross.
I thank you for their inspiration in my journey.
Amen

Monday, August 20

Photo Prayer 37

Lord lead me to new waters 

Amen

moving once agian

Have you ever noticed that sometimes life just sweeps you away. Thats been my summer, I've been swept away by many things and like when the tide sweeps something away at some point it will deposit it back maybe where it came from or in some new place. Well my summer has been mostly challenging working in the North its not a experience I would get rid of in a hurry. Today I find myself not near Durham but back in the flat grounds of Norfolk, I've come here for the last time. The tide has once again swept me up in to the all familiar task of packing up bags and boxes -the sound track of my summer having moved most weekends to a different host. Hopefully this will be the last time for sometime as I start my own home. My own flat close to my new job in a new country - yes I'm being dramatic as it is only Wales, but everyone loves a bit of Drama!

Personally I hate packing. If theres one thing to destroy me as a person its packing. Once again moving to a new place with all the difficulties and hurdles to overcome, the challenges and excitement, the opportunity... packing may symbolise that new start and hope mixed with the anxiety, but for me packing means we have to work out what memories we take with us, what parts of ourselves do we leave behind. How much of our own legacy do we allow to dictate its way into the new present. What do I have to leave behind.

It would be easier to not pack anything up and leave my family home with nothing however that will not help me. What about the many resources I have, the comfort in familiarity in a new place and the terrible impression I would leave on my family. More to the point I like the stuff that I have accumulated, received, collected and found. I just hate that it has to be packed up in a box. It always makes me wonder how much stuff do we store, in terms of negative thoughts, a self destroying image perhaps, the weight of bullies, broken hearts broken friendships, that we could give up and leave behind.

Having grown up in a family that moved a lot I'm not stranger to having unpacked boxes from the house move 3-5 years previously. I don't want that.

New creation, new beginning but I still want something of the old? It applies to the house as much as an individual. As a person going into a new place I could be anyone... how much will be new - as I have a new part to my identity under the job role and how much will stay?

What does this mean theologically as we are transformed into a new creation in Christ how do we tie that in with who we where and who we are to be in Christ? 

Friday, May 25

Camping

So I've put my beautiful frame tent, and my life will now be filled with 'intent'! The brave step to spend my last two weeks at uni under canvas has many positives, for starters my tolerance for pollen goes up therefore my hayfever lessens, its so much cooler to be in a tent in this weather, and camping is just cool fullstop! It also means that I get used to sleeping on the floor well before I take my role as site warden for the Festival here at Cliff College (www.cliffcollege.ac.uk/page/festival) which I am very excited about.

Further more I get to spend my 21st birthday doing something I love, camping.
And I get to do the last day of my 20th year doing ava (fixing cables, testing sound, moving equpiment, heat shrinking and soldering) which is greatly exciting as well.

So here is to the summer, to festival and the last day of my 20th year. 

Wednesday, May 16

Today's the day

So I know its been a while but I decided to take the time out to finish my degree, and as of today that is exactly what has happened. Today I finished my degree.

What next then, after your degree, the common question that haunts my mission trips, my preaching, in fact most things, well today I received the contract for the job which I will accept. As of September I will be a Children's and Families worker in the North of Wales. (Yes along way from home in Norfolk).

But as much as today is the day, today I am tired. Three years here at Cliff are not yet over not till I graduate but these last three weeks which I will live here I am going to try and remember to be aware of what God has placed before me and blessed me greatly with. So here is to the next two events that mark the end of my time here at Cliff. Festival and Graduation.

So I am back, but tonight I am tired and soon I will be sleeping.

Like all good students!