Friday, December 31

All dressed up

And I'm all dressed up this new years eve, not because I'm doing anything greatly special apart from the fact that I'm about to change the world.

Thats it the year 2011 and I'm going to change the world!

Thursday, December 30

New Years Resolution

Okay I'm really struggling with this whole New years Res thing. It's all people seem to go on about. I'm going to smile more, make more time, eat more, drink more, eat less and drink less. Well its all good and well but we know that most people cant stick with a NYR past the end of the week let alone month. So do I bother, knowing the my will power probably last just longer than week but definitely shorter than a month. However, maybe this will be the year I try less. I remember half way through the year I promised a very good friend of mine that I would do that this year at college and I feel I have positivity failed this most of this year.
SO there it is my NYR to not try so hard.

Wednesday, December 8


He chucked glitter on the floor and the world became muted for the first week of preparation. We were still busy, but I think we were more of a community, held under this new beauty laid down by God.

Yes the snow came. We tried o see f we could change one of our seminars to be 'God has made us as white as snow... Discuss?' Not sure this went down to well with the tutor!

We did however still gather as a community, albeit a smaller community for safety, to celebrate the Lord, and to share together in fellowship in sung worship, prayer and testimony. It was really great to gather and draw into to share.

And its crazy. I shared this with everyone:

I live in a community that when you start here I was often bowled away by its beauty but after a while and the closer you get to deadline you kind of forget and this week God has just brought me back to him and the knowledge of his power, his beauty. God completely reminded me of how much in control he could be and how much he could do and this was just to the land scape. I know that God loves me greatly so if he did this earth what is he doing in my life, how is he changing me into this new and beautiful creation. Whats more I already know I live in an amazing community, so i can't wait to see what he's changing them into.

And now as it freezes it turns into glitter.

I had housegroup christmas meal on tuesday night. It was great cause we were like a family, right to the weird uncle. This is what Gods community is. covered in glitter. Not down to us but down to God and he truly makes us beautiful white (and glittery.)

Isaiah 1:18

"Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.

Tuesday, November 9

Personal Value Excersise

Today in Mission Placement we did an exercise on Personal Value which was really interesting. I thought I would put them on here partially as a reminder in case I lost the paper, partially because somethimes its good to think about these things. So with my highest value first.

1) Hope
2) Friendship
3) Love
4) Courage
5) Creativity
6) Commitment
7) Trust
8) Honesty
9) Strength
10) Vulnerability

Thursday, October 28

It doesn't take long to read a Gospel!

At the beginning of our year at college as part of our quiet day we had read to us allowed a Gospel in 2 or so hours. It was an amazingly powerful things to do. Listen as a community to the Good Good News of Christ in the form of the Gospel on Mark.

When in a lecture the other day a tutor said to the class this:

"It doesn't take long to read a Gospel!" 

I thought thats fair out loud two hour with breaks but then I thought. It takes a lot longer to read a gospel, a lifetime to read a gospel. If we read the gospel in two hours what have we missed, if we glance at it how can we be transformed, renewed and covered in the Grace of God if we are read a gospel in an hour?

I'm going to make a brave and bold statement and try and live by it myself. You cannot read a Gospel in an hour, or Acts, or the Epistles, the Old Testament. Instead it takes a life time, and a chance to be transformed by God through it to read the Good Good News of Christ Jesus Our Saviour.

Tuesday, October 19

Will I

Hello you,
 How are you?
 Can you see me?
 I can see you!
 Will the sunshine tomorrow
And the rains keep at bay?
 Will you be here to see me
And love me all the same?
 Will the journey be so much easier
Or will be harder day-by-day?
Will each step be springy and light
Or held with drudgery and fear?
Will my voice be strong and true
Or a whisper faltering here?
Will I look on boldly forward
I truly know my way?
Or will I tentatively reach out slowly
Arms length away?
Could I wake up tomorrow and this is gone?
Could I walk away and forget?
Could I ever gain a love like this?
Could I ever run on forwards?
Will the questions get easier?
Then, I suppose, the answers get harder!
Will the disappointment be an honour?
Will my shame mean pride to you?
Will an answer mean new armour,
Or a brick wall between me and you?
When my hair goes grey and my walking is hobbled
When I grow to tired to sleep
Will I wake and wonder still my Lord
Or will you give me the rest I need?
I understand I know little
I understand, I’m not sure I wish to know more.
All I know
I am Yours
This is sure
My Lord.

Monday, October 18

Calling for a female.

Yes I would like a family. Yes I want to be a dutiful wife to a husband whom I love. Yes I wish to serve God. 

I wish to serve God and feel I have a calling to ministry. How does this engage with some of the biblical texts that get thrown at us. The struggle I feel is not with my college friends who feel that women should not be with a role of leadership within the church but rather how do you react to those who wish to put these biblical points out to you either as a hinderance or out of pure wishing to understand. 

Is my calling and sense of calling belittled by the passages in Timothy and Corinthians?

Although, I will still go and with God's will do what I feel called to wether as a minister and maybe a minister to the armed forces. I think for now its going to be a long struggle to understand deeply the connections and the deep understanding and meaning in these passages. Look like its time for some prayer.

Sunday, September 12

How do you come to terms with some things?

How do you come to terms with some things?

I just finished a course and placement with the Royal Army Chaplaincy Department. I'm really saddened that my placement have come to an end. Some things shocked me though and I think mostly just through sheer ignorance and not enough understanding or connection with the Army.

The average age of the people I met in the training regiment where between the age of my brother (17) and myself (19) although some were younger, and some were inevitably older.

The infantry regiment I had the pleasure to spend some time with would be the rough age range of the younger end here at Cliff College. 18 to to 22, although again some were older. 

However, the average age of a Chaplain, I think was more late 30's mostly within the 40's though.

There are only 5 female chaplains within the RAChD, of about 150 Chaplains in total.

Out of the infantry group that went on a recent tour, if I remember correctly lost five men on their tour.

One of the Chaplains who came of tour just under a year ago whilst on operations lost two of the 18 year olds (which at the time was how I old was) one early on in the tour and one towards the end. We watched a short picture movie of his funeral. It happened with horrendous snow and his brothers in arms shovelled all the snow away from the paths they needed, which was a fair length in total.

I still don’t know where I stand on Just War and I’m not the greatest theologian that ever lived. But my heart was broken for these guys. They just needed someone to talk to outside of the chain of command. Someone who when in the middle of operations and they want to talk about life and death… they can. I was ready to stand around and drink tea and have a supply of sweets. I wanted to be there to be there. I wanted them to know someone did care that someone would remember.

How do I come to terms with the sadness and loss that I feel currently after only spending 10 days with them?

How do I work a way towards a future?

How do you come to terms with some things?

Tuesday, August 24


I wrote this poem whilst on camp, and one of the leaders and the boys turned into a song. I have the copy with the chords on kinda but as I don't understand chords....

Flames of the Spirit, burn my soul
Cleanse my heart, make me whole.
You've taken my burden
Carried me far
Come O Lord set me on fire
Fill me with your Holy Desire

Water of the Spirit, carry my soul
Clean my heart, make me whole.
Washing away my burden
Carrying me far
Come O  Lord Wash me a new
Give me more desire for you

Wind of the Spirit, blow on my soul
Bless my heart, make me whole
Blown away my burden
with me till a far
Come O Lord breathe on me
Make my desire you to seek

Loving Lord and Spirit, you have me soul
Yours is my heart making me whole
Gone are my burdens
You are with me
Come O lord, Come O Lord
I ask: be my desire forever more.

Sunday, August 22


Its not the end point the journey?
Its not the its the end point?
Its never the start!

We race towards the goal, but we walk along a narrow path. We all started somewhere.

Start fragment. End together. Journey... still being undertaken.

People please bare with me, we all started at different places all on different paths going to one goal. My map might not read the same as yours.

Friday, August 13

When they say all is lost
That all things are gone
When they say there is no hope
No way to go on

Don’t give in
Don’t give up
It may not be long till life looks up
Take a cheery smile
And a cuppa tea
Then ask the Lord
A way for you to see

Remember if ever in doubt
And you feel like water without trout
Turn around a short distance
Get in a spin
There I shall be
There once more we are dancing
To the rhythm
To the song

And there we are dancing
Dancing along

Wednesday, July 14

The Fellowship of the Believers

What a journey we are on. In the second chapter of Acts we encounter these verses: 

The Fellowship of the Believers
 42They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 
43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 
45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 
47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

When starting Cliff College this was one of the first bible passages we read as a community. For me their are two key points which link directly (kinda) to my life at Cliff College. Firstly "All the believers were together and had everything in common." What! In the community of Cliff, yes we all lived together, but "and had everything in common." Makes me laugh slightly. If there is one thing I can say some of us had nothing in common except through what we had in Christ Jesus. There it is... I am sure the original believers were the same, they most definitely came from different back grounds, had different skills, gifts and talents, they probably had different problems, different annoying habits, different goals and different dreams.Yet they united (which I suppose is an easier way of looking at it) through and because of their faith in Christ. Thats pretty amazing. I have seen many an argument, mainly as I have a brother, and tend to argue with him, there is not much to unite, except on occasions the annoyance parents and how boring church can be. I love that our God and Saviour conquers this. Sometimes we have to surrender all to him, this could include the stuff that is wrong us to create these arguments. We are united in Christ... made common in Christ. 

Now being home from Cliffland the words of this passage some up what I miss about the life and the community there.

Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.

We met everyday to pray. We broke bread together, we praised God and we were one, supporting and encouraging in our gifts, working together, enjoying God together. This doesn't mean that at points it wasn't suffocating at all. Our working as community was based upon the communities relationship with God. We sat down an prayed as a community about the milk stealers and those who have not returned books, we sat and rejoiced together about engagements and new families, we sat and mourned the loss of family members close to our friends and our community. We went and shared this with other communities to. Different experiences being lived out in this community made common in Christ. 

Working towards a community built upon the foundation of Christ as the cornerstone, I regret to inform those who wish to think that walking with God is this strange land is like floating upon clouds. It is not, people still get it wrong, I still get it wrong, I've been upset and I have upset people. Thank God that he is gracious and merciful, and that he is building a people like him. What a magnificent picture we make when together the light of God shines through.

Tuesday, July 13

You won't relent

I've spent most of my day listening to the words of this song

You won't relent
Until You have it all
My heart is Yours

I'll set You as a seal upon my heart
As a seal upon my arm
For there is love that is as strong as death
Jealousy demanding as the grave
And many waters cannot quench this love

Come be the fire inside of me
Come be the flame upon my heart
Come be the fire inside of me
Until You and I are one

It really does make a great prayer. 
It is my prayer today.

It is such a simple song with so much impact and meaning and truth in its words. It's reminder of what God requires and wish from me, what I wish to give to him, the command and the reasons of what power he holds on me, through the death of his Son. I lay my heart before the Lord and ask his Spirit to live within me, his flame, his passion, his love, until I return home.
I keep looking at these photos.
These moments and memories,
Caught, captured, still.
Lively and beautiful, 
Crazy and sad.
They tell a story,
One that no one else can know fully
Glimpses of individuals,
Journeys, paths, parties.
Celebrations of a moment.
I keep looking at these photos.

Sunday, July 11

Call to worship... what with?

Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous!

   Praise befits the upright.
Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! 
Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
For the word of the LORD is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.

He loves righteousness and justice;
   the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.

Psalm 33v1-5

I helped lead worship today at Knapton Methodist Church with a service and sermon based on the parable of the Good Samaritan. Yet in the planning of the service we had really not got a clue what to open the service with as a call to worship. When I started to lead worship in the realms of Derbyshire I stumbled across this amazing chapter in the good Book. God actually really loves us. Shocking really, and so often forgotten. God actually really loves. Then of course we should react to this. Yet we no longer live in a world of Lyres - as far as I am aware the lyre is practically medieval - but in a world of beat-boxing and guitars, and electrical bass'. How do we translate this... we can certainly still shout loudly and I have seen a harp played in worship in the last year but worshiping the lord to be thankful for His love... how in our 21st Century, 24/7, busy busy, social media, hyper-connected society?
I suppose their is no right or wrong way, as long as we keep worshiping, following the upright word of the Lord, being righteous and incurring Justice. 

Its about remembering that the earth if full of Gods love. The local preach today made a comment today that I cannot remember the full ins and outs of but it went something like this...

"God's love falls on the just, and it falls on the unjust, 
but more so on the just because the unjust has the just umbrella."

We worship because God loves us first and we live amongst a community of other believers. So, no lyres, no harps, no shouts, none of the many things.... Love.

One step, dare you.

One step, dare you.
Then just another,
Keep on walking,
Past the crowd.
Everyone may be watching,
Some may even take notice,
Some will walk against you,
Some will never see.
Dare you, keep moving,
Keep moving, taking ground,
Solid foundations,
No faking these relations.
Look around see them moving with you,
Listening, different paths,
One destination.
Dare you.
Keep Moving.
Dare you.

Saturday, July 10

I seemed to have just worked in the last few weeks, its just manic. Crazy manic. I love crazy manic.

And who goes to bed dressed as a Shepherd?

Well a shepherd does.

And light... what about it?

Sunday, June 27

Dr Who- the Pond guide to pray?

I'm not sure about you, but I am an avid Dr Who. I think the series are pure genius and have been completely enthralled by this new series. In the first episode of the new series, we are introduced to Amelia Pond who starts by praying (rather unorthodoxly) to Santa Clause. Despite it being to Santa Clause I love this section and I feel that in its form and response it is true genius and can be a great note on prayer.

To begin with she apologises for probably waking Santa up since it had been along time since Christmas. This happens doesn't it, sometimes we can go without prayer because until we are scared or in trouble it seems unimportant and irrelevant. This also links to the idea of confession.

She thanks, in this case Santa for her Christmas presence, one of the key aspect of prayer is thanks. We thank God that he give his son, that we are forgiven, that he has given us the holy spirit, that he guides us, is with us, loves and many other things besides.

She asks for someone to come and fix the crack in her wall. A basic desire which she realises is beyond the control of herself and of this world. With child like trust she puts her faith in the prayer she is praying, that an answer will happen.

Then the Doctor arrives. Its a bit abstract, and for the full full answer it takes 12-14 years to correct (sometimes we have to wait.) Sometimes its not easy and you give up but like in this case the Doctor comes back and solves/saves the day, God waits with us, is with us when it is hard, puts people to support us their, and keeps us driven and dreaming of his Glory.

Prayer according to Pond... the Doctors assistant!

Thursday, June 10

The streets of Aylsham

In the last two days I have had my first example of door to door christianity. To be honest it is something that scares me and in some ways I am not fond of the idea just because it always seems so intrusive, however apart from two men the response in the last two days has been amazingly positive. For me in particular walking down this one road in the local are I was particularly struck by the number of people who had lost a partner in the last 5 years. Was anyone reaching out to them? I shall probably never know, and I do not feel that with my little experience of loss that I could ever be of great service in supporting them. However it was such a blessing to me to see these people, not the youngest deal with what life had thrown at them with such grace and dignity and almost thanks giving. I hope when I lose someone as I inevitably will that I can remember the people I have met today walking the streets of Aylsham, as they are people who have dealt with life.

Monday, June 7

When I started at Cliff, one of my first posts simply said this 'I arrived'...

Now what? I haven't left, but I'm not there and it won't be the same. Will next year have the same moment of I have arrived? The question also remains to be asked what had and have I arrived at?

Did I expect to be dubbed the most clumsiest person in college?
Did I expect that my ability to plug in a PA system would lead me to do the AV for Adrian Plass?
Did I expect that my ability to stand up and talk in public to be noticed, challenged and developed in away that I am now on Note as a Local Preacher?
Did I expect the opportunity to do some crazy things, such as paddle through a rocky stream and attempt to climb rocks with and with out a harness?
Did I expect to sing a solo in a Christmas concert?
Did I expect to dye my hair?
Did I expect to let go of so much?
Did I expect to learn how to play poole, darts and table tennis?
Did I expect to feel like did?
Did I expect to go to Tesco's at midnight?
Did I expect to visit an Anglican Church?
Did I expect to apply for a taster course in MOD chapliancy?
Did I ever think I would have the courage to come home for the summer and help with Chaplaincy work in Norfolk?
Or to sit in a service where Puppets Ruled?

Does it matter what I expected? I am who I am now, because God challneged me with the unexpected. HE also placed me in a great support network with great friends! My second post on the day I arrived at Cliff College on my first year sums up a lot.

"At the end of the day..."
"At the end of the day, I am..."
"At the end of the day, God is..."

At the end of the day,
This I want to be.
Created in Your image,
I know that You know me.
I may be scared and tired,
but You are mighty and strong.
When I'm fighting my reality,
And can't find out what's Real,
I pray for rest and peace,
for I know Your loves me seal.

Monday, May 10

Don't stop

It is strange, but not that strange, how just one person, often someone you don’t notice can make such a difference. For those who feel invisible never stop striving as you are probably making someone’s world what it is with out realising it.

Tuesday, April 27


Died for mockers and beaters,
Stripped for grace and authority,
Shamed for salvation and glory,
Tortured for love and forgiveness,
Tormented for fulness and life,
Crucified to rise,
For you
For me.

Sunday, April 25


it really is no surprise I've had a strange life. But apparently what everyone else is normal stuff to have done by my age, i.e. seen bambi or the lion king is probably not high up on my list, or even on my list. But jumping of the side of a swiss bridge (whilst attached to a safety harness of course) is almost like an average day. Then again I suppose that what makes me me, you can ask me about some of the stranger activities in my life and I probably have some elaborate story to go with, like the time i ended up in a field hospital, the third time round.

Wednesday, April 14

Last year I wrote this... I have returned once more to here:

It suddenly feels like spring agian. The sun is shining, the birds woke me up early with their chirrping, and the world seems greener. The saying goes, that the grass is always greener on the other side but it seems pretty green for me here at the moment. That doesnt mean that life is perfect, there are still leaves from autumn everywhere, the grass is wild and hedge's overgrown, but its a content state of out of control ness, if that makes sense in any way?

so how is the garden of your life? im enjoying the sring coming in the midst of the discombobulating chaos.

Sunday, March 28

Mission Day 10

I made it back from Mission in Newham after an amazing week: challenge, enthusiasm, difference, experience, team, grace, legacy, opportunity, humility and family... ten words for ten amazing days.

Challenge... I was scared and worried about what I would have to face, the things we would have to do, London, the team the people, it was all a challenege, but God is a God of Challenges.

Enthusiasm... This was when I found my enthusiasm, it was joyful chance. God is a God of Enthusiasm.

Difference... People can make a difference, its all to do about our dreams and visions. And we all live in different worlds with different people, with different dreams and visions. God is a God of Difference.

Experience... its all about seeing what is out their in this world and more than seeing it experiencing it. God is a God of Experience.

Team... We are all a team, we all support each other, work with and for each other, God is a God of our team.

Legacy... Where do we go from here? What now? What mark do we leave? What mark has been imprinted on our hearts? God is a God of Legacy.

Opportunity... You have to take the chances, create the opportunities. Grasp them and run with them. God is a God of Opportunities.

Humility... How can we walk past the lowest on earth and expect to understand them, if we do not serve them? God is a God of Humility.

Family... I started using the word friends but then I realised it was more than that but rather I have more family, a wider family now. God is a God of family.

God is God (in the words of someone I know well) endo!

Mission Day 9

What is happening in this area. The Olympic Games of 2012. We went to look at the near completion of the stadium from the view tube... to get their I walked along the Green Way and saw a lot of Newham, different types of Newham. It was a strange back drop for the olympic games.

Thos evening however I have helped host a quiz night. It wasn't huge and it wasn't greatly significant but it was family. Family all together, enjoying, having fun.

I was with the people who have helped me grow, learn, experience and enjoy the last nine days. These are the people who although worried and scared of coming on mission have taught me not to fear as I have an amazing God and amazing friends.

Where next, well we will get past church tomorrow, have lunch and travel home and see what awaits me for my next steps

To the glory of your name
I bring to you my life in praise.

How can you accept us?
I’ve seen the work our hands have done
Crazy shameful moments
Time wasters, life suckers
Criminals, hypocrites
Murders, surfers.
Middle class mums
And high class dads
Working class aunts
And vagabond uncles.
Brothers and sisters lost and in pain
Wandering feet and wandering spirits
Life with incredible limits.
Boundaries and walls
I can’t imagine how they can fall
How can your inexhaustible love
infiltrate into this pollution
into a world where you can be moving
yet few see you
and fewer seek you
Such disunity and helplessness

But Lord I have seen your people
Connected, praying, loving
Not judging.
I have seen their passion for you
Their love for your people
Who have answered your call
And stayed true to your word and work
I have seen hearts break with love for these people
And I have seen hearts mended here
I have seen people walk in humility
Walking ever closer to you
They have their eyes on the goal
And are solid in their foundations
Based upon the one true Cornerstone

They are a living for you Lord
And you supply and bless

To the glory of your name
In response
I bring to you my life in praise.

Friday, March 26

Mission Day 8

Taking an opportunity can be great. I've spent my day in a Cafe.

Drinking tea

Chatting to people

Trying to be help

More standing in the way

It was a taken opportunity.

I have been blown away by people in this place, not just the people of Newham but the team I am a part of. They're still there encouraging me when deep inside I've fallen asleep and I'm ready really to give up.

Oh and today I did some knitting :)

Thursday, March 25

Mission Day 7

Today has been really good.

What is our legacy?
Our legacy on this place?
What has marked our legacy?
What will be this legacy?

Not just empty question but something for all to think of in any place I feel.

Wednesday, March 24

Mission Day 6

Once again we went to Stratford to join the Easter Experience crew, which has been amazing. The walk their this morning also gave us a great view of the place, what it is to really walk the streets of London.

Also the lent group this evening where amazing and so willing to ask questions.

Yet tonight I have started to reflect upon the willingness to do things. Are we willing to drop everything and go and do God's bidding at the shortest notices, least of all with little preparation or expectancy?

On this mission I think that is something I am being called to consider as a lot of what we do turn up and see, and do what is needed then and their, being prepared to get stuck in, and just being willing and open to being used. As well as agreeing to assemblies less than 24 hours before hand.

I really pray that God opens my heart and my head to being this willing and just going with his flow more than trying to confine and constrict his amazing power and plans.

Tuesday, March 23

Mission Day 5

Bx Belshaw is really inspired just by how much much people are willing to give, how far people are willing to go and how desperate they are to share the grace and love of God.

The place of Newham where I'm on mission, just keeps on giving and giving. Not just new experiences and food, but its generosity for life, its love for the people and the passion for God is really hard to comprehend. Let alone get you head around. I've seen God in some strange places, but Newham has really blessed me as God isn't just in strange places, he just is and that is so profoundly obvious.

We looked around a warehouse today with first fruits, and the guys who's behind just has given so much to this area, and he quickly introduced us to his manager for Aspire (a clothing recycle plant type collection thing) who told us about Aspire, and at the end he turned around and said I know some of you will probably looking for jobs soon and theirs just around the corner this opportunity. To me it just showed the willingness to help welcome and supply to all the needs of all they meet.

If I have been so blown away in the first five days of Mission to which I was terrified and apprehensive and kinda willing to do, then what has got planned for the rest of the week to make me more aware of him in this place as the tiredness sets in?

On this note I shared with the Lady who cooked tea for us this evening about how I really hadn't been sure about this Mission and how in some ways I really wanted to escape it and run away, and some time later she said very quietly to me "I'm glad you came," and so am I. It might not be easy but its all about being Christian everyday.

Monday, March 22

Mission Day 4

Today has completely wiped me out. In guiding/camping terms its mid camp blues. Even so today was brilliant till after dinner which became challenging and made me wish to hide and think and have space to myself, and possibly even weep. My team however have been fantastic suport and really recognised that I just need that bit of space.
Tomorrow is a new day in Newham, and I might have slept.

Sunday, March 21

Mission Day 3

How do you process all this? This place is just a wonder. Today all I have done is been to church, sat with another family and been to a group who looked at some local stories on the succes of 'messy church' type events, but I have been blown away by the love these people have for the people here, not just to see them come to God but as building a community, and not just as a community but to see them come to God. Add into this the cultural mix which really does show the true diversity of this world, the welcome and caring nature of the greater Church of Christ and the peoples passion.

How can this be made into any form of understanding in my head?

How does this fit into the stereotypes that where put forward as suggestion to what we could be greeted by? How does this fit into the difficulty I thought I had but rather, my difficulty is not struggling with God in the sense of seeing him in the people here, but rather its overwhelming in a sense, yet even then these terms aren't the right way to describe this.

Knowing that I know not a lot, how do I move on to help serve this community in the next seven days?

Moreover, how do I take this experience and serve God with this in every situation I meet?

Saturday, March 20

Mission Day 2

Today we went on the Green Street Experience. We had to look for signs of religion, culture, history and boundaries amongst many things. Plus, we where set a challenge. In groups of three or four we had to buy a lunch that was food we had never had before, buy our tea to be cooked when we got back with only one item we vaguely recognised and two veg that we had to find the name, and how to cook it, buy three types of sweets and buy an item of clothing and learn how to wear it: All for Twenty pounds. My team managed it for £19.20.

It threw up some interesting questions. As part of the challenge we bought a head scarf and I wore it as part of the experience, and walking through the street I was stopped by what I believe was a Muslim women dressed with a head scarf who stopped and asked me for money and said 'sister pray for me'. I was unsure of how to respond to this situation. Some how I don't think they would have asked me if I wasn't wearing a head dress.

This evening was Newhams got talent. And they really have. It was great to see the energy supplied by young and old people.


God give us the gift of enthusiasm and patience. Within the world you have created so many unique things, and you love everyone in it. I pray for the continued enthusiasm for all the teams on Mission on Cliff, I also pray for their patience and for the patience for those at college doing work, may their enthusiasm be rich also.
Thank you God for being the God of the unexpected and the different.
We praise you holy and wonderful name.

Friday, March 19

Mission Day 1

We left, we arrived, and what a place.

Still living on the edge, but what a view currently. I hope everyone else is having an amazing time to.

Prayer points:

Well tomorrows a new day, and we are trying the Green street experience and Newhams Got Talent.
Just bonding with hosts and teams.

Thursday, March 18

Mission -1

Its been a real struggle the last fortnight. In college we have learnt so much about mission and always looming was the prospect of going on mission. Then it arrived. suddenly there where teams and planing and prep. There nerves and emotions and fear. For once I didn't keep this to myself which I am prone to do.

Two thing have come out of this:
  1. I have had great support of many brilliant people in varying ways, all of which I needed.
  2. My personal prayer life has increased greatly
Tomorrow I go 'on mission'. I am still terrified. I'm not going to hide that fact, I think that would be unhelpful. I'm possibly not as prepared as I could be, but we can't spend all our lives preparing. I'm possibly not a lot of things, but I assured and reassured that God will use that and what ever I am on top of that, and multiply that for he is a gracious God.

I return to the encouragement a friend in college gave me a week ago Tuesday during corridor prayers:

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1: 6-7

A prayer:

Lord would you walk with me today, use me in a different way
Open my eyes to the opportunities and chance which you give
For its for you in this life I live.

Friday, March 5

Today I shake my fist at God

In the last few weeks its been really hard to write... I am currently forcing myself to do so.

In recent weeks one of our lectures had an amazing focus on prayer. When talking to various people I have said that it rarely appears as if God is actually speaking to me. The one time I can really pin point this was on my decision to come to Cliff, then it was clear. God provided the answers when I asked in an instant, possibly sooner than I wanted. I'm human - never contented.

Last night I was at the pub, with two friends from college. We got to a stage where we were comfortable chatting and we were discussing our futures. Some advertising campaign would say the futures bright, the futures orange (although I'm more of the nature 'we are better connected') but our futures where different. One friend is thinking of politics, which she would be amazing at. Arguing and battling for Christ in the realms of words and social justice. The other wished to change the life of one council estate. A job which I would struggle to do. Such a noble process to change the world, in any way. I tell you this even though it has not much to do with my story due to the fact that we all had a plan, but in a way we were not overly sure. My plans have started to be formed in a way. Due to an advert around college I am trying to apply to do an Army Chaplaincy intro course over the summer. We where sharing how I suppose 'our hearts were warmed'. Yet I am still unsure of this notion.

God has been speaking to me though. When I have expressed the interest to lectures here at college in the need for letters, and support, most have said 'no you would be really good at that', which in itself has been a real positive affirmation, but as I expressed to my friends last night it wasn't really enough. Yet this morning I was reading a new book I bought (which is actually a really old book) which was looking at prayer and war, I sat in my room going oh! why today? Things continued in a moment, ignore the usual morning rigmarole in the Ikea lounge, morning prayers soon ensued, and it was on war, they praying for men at war and those affected by war and those who work with people at war. One of my friends who I had been sat in the pub with last night, turned at the point they mentioned people going to work with those at war, and I was like GGGGGODDDDD! *shakes fists*

What do I do now?

Saturday, February 13

Lets try something different: The evening it started!

Last night I felt challenged to try something different, and whilst I sat in the Ikea lounge at college with four other friends, I persuaded them to the something different this reading week too.
That was the beginning last night alone we made music in stomp style as well as a girly makeover evening.
In the midst of trying something different it was nice to have those who where slightly familiar with hair and make up.
Below is the definition of different as taken from my mac dictionary.
different |ˈdif(ə)rənt|adjective1 not the same as another or each other; unlike in nature, form, or quality : you can play this game in different ways. | (different from/than) the car is different from anything else on the market.
informal novel and unusual : try something deliciously different.
So I say "Bring on the rest of this week...." :D

Friday, February 12

the end of a normal week

Time for reading week here at College, that means the place will empty apart from the hardy stalwarts. This will probably mean an amazing peace and emptiness will descend upon the college. I am slightly looking forward to this. I am helping some days next week with my placement church in the mornings to help run a children's club. Although most, look at me as if I am mad when I say I am going to do this, I am looking forward to something different.

Something different, maybe that should be my motto for next week....


Sunday, February 7

On to the chapel floor

Once again I can be found on the floor of the chapel. This is where I come to pray and think and just spend some time with God, sometimes alone, sometimes not. Upon the chapel floor my attention turned to this post on a brothers sight it really blessed me.

This week has had its challenges, preached my first sermon, which was exciting, and took part in a musical in a day as a dancer. However, the biggest challenge for me has been something else...

Its odd, the word cost has come up so much in the last few days. What is the cost of being here, doing this? What is the cost of being a Christian; of being a disciple; of being an apprentice? What is the cost of being a pioneer, of using practical theology, of really caring? What is the cost of my heart, of my emotions, of myself? What am I willing to give up? What will others give up? What did He give up?

The word cost in itself is often painful. Sometimes a cost can be joyful, but more often than not, it is a heart wrenching pain. I was about yesterday in the realms of Derbyshire.

Why has God brought me here? Usually even though I am still unsure I know its right, but today, not so in any case.

God why am I here?

So many people are questioning things, and asking why life is complicated. I can see so clearly the cost they have had in their lives.

One seems so much in pain from emotions that they seem to want to disappear. Why? Why can I see the cost of their feelings, causing them to hate what they think they need to do, the place where they need to be? ‘why is life so complicated?’

Another was confused by a proposal, a decision that was wanted, do I do this, do I do that? Do I stick with this place, or do I possibly fast track three, four maybe five years down the line to where I want to be. ‘why is God ruining my life, why is life so complicated?’

One more had lost what they saw as their future. They where questioning what to do now. Confused. ‘Why is life so complicated, why?’

... what is my cost in this life time, why am I here?

Once again I found myself brought to the floor of your chapel Lord. I'm face down in confusion, not just for me but for everyone, but I will continue to shout your praise because You are my God forever

Friday, February 5

It's early ish in the morning, most ordinary uni students would still be enjoying the fact that they could be sleeping off last nights hangover, even here in the world of Cliff the place is still calm and quiet. People ask why do you get up early, it's not always as easy as I make it seem, but it's partially about knowing that there is a moment of piece in the world. A chance of some time for me. I sometimes wonder if people see me busy running around and not always taking the chance to sit still and take some me time, well a lot of it is caught at glimpses in the morning. a chance to be quiet, reflect and pray. Of course their is the tea and coffee round, which is one of my favourite times of the day, as then I know I'm not alone in the solitude, and the rest of the world will wake up soon too.

Wednesday, January 27

Here we are Lord

You bring us here

You have given us purpose

A reason

You gave us a teacher

Who showed us how

But what can we do now

I see so much wrong in this world

I just cant understand

And on occasion Lord

I’m not just sad but I’m also mad

It becomes hard to see you

Harder to lean on you

Harder to serve you

It becomes tiring

So tiring Lord

I stumble weary along this road

My light growing dim

Sunday, January 17

I just want to be honest...

I just want to be honest...

Some times all it is, is a brave face, please remember that.

Friday, January 15


It so odd returning to places. My home when I was there no longer felt like home and returning to cliff feels like I've never left, it's enough to drive a girl a little insane. Its definitely tough though, I thought this when packing, its one of my least favourite task that I ever have to do. Whats even more disconcerting is that I forever seem to be packing. This year alone I packed stuff to go to work, to go to a friends to return to cliff, shopping. Ou lives involve so much packing and unpacking we don't even realise it any more. It makes me sad. I do it so obliviously nowadays that it can't be good. How many worries, dreams, hopes, and disasters have I packed in these bags with them hoping that they won't re-appear. It's not so bad when you pack in a hurry, your thinking more oooh what if I forget this, but when you have the day or have to take what has been your home down with you, you remember all the things that have been packed away in bags for to long, old friends, memories of different camps or homes or places.

There is a lot in this packing and its just to tough.

I worry that one day I will literally and metaphorically pack everything away in a bag and leave. Leave what I know, what I love, what I dream, what I despise, what makes me cry. What if I pack up God? What happens then?

Tuesday, January 12

Who am I

339 days have gone buy, 126 thoughts have found it on to the page. Change of location, change of ideas, new friends, new list of music, new year, new traditions. New Person?

Who am I now. Well my name is Rebecca Elizabeth Belshaw, although I am commonly known as Bx.
I am no longer studying for A levels, but rather the first year of a degree at Cliff College.
I no longer permanently reside in Norfolk with my family, but have residence at Uni in the beautiful land of the Peak District.
I still have a job but have moved out of the kitchens and on form the hours of breakfast cooking and waitressing and into the late shift hours of bar work, which means I can pull a successful pint whilst working out the price and talking to the customer about the snow.
I, after many years of escaping it, know what it is like to sit in a real A&E (and not a field hospital) for myself having more than one visit for myself in 2009, and a further three visits for other people.
I became a worship leader for the Methodist Church, after three years.
I became very close to completing my adult leadership as a Brownie Leader, just one more section to go, I also abandoned all hope of doing my D of E.
More first for the 339 days:
  • first drive on a motorway
  • first summer camp as a leader
  • first drink in a pub
  • first game of poole
  • first crash
  • first battle of the bands
  • first amazon order with my own money
  • first car gone
  • first disaster on a motorway
  • consequently first sermon
I have learnt a lot of things this year, like pricing strategies are important, how to hold an interview, how to take part in an interview. I've learnt a bit (the progress is on going) about Audio Visual Aids, a bit about evangelism, a bit about subjects I didn't think I would ever understand like Amos and the Old Testament. I have discovered new ways of study, ways that people complain and worry about but it works for me. I've learnt about knowing when to keep quiet, and that laughing at people really does freak them out when your not actually laughing at them but the grapes.

I've let go of things to, control, friends, things that bug me, an ideal, I let go of my odd colour converse in pink and blue, but for them I did find a replacement.

Some things don't change though, I'm still clumsy, if not even more clumsy, I still like to sing around a camp fire and I still am willing to make a fool out of myself. I still like to write but no longer feel it is all that is keeping me sane. I have some good friends for that now, as like ever my time seems in short supply and I still struggle to say no, and then struggle through.

I still have amazing friends, some maybe new but I will tar them with the same brush for now, and I still know that God has a plan for me, I think I have stopped asking what now, even though I still have no clue. As tomorrow is a new day, and soon it will be over, and the next appeared, worrying about the one after that is hardly going to help today.

So who am I, I am the author of this blog, 18, a Christian and holding fast to light, I should also be revising Amos, this is Me!

Wednesday, January 6

Organic growth, I say pah to that

I have a particular sorrow going round my head today. It hasn't been a great day, I've been grouchy and annoyed, but in the midst of the work that was started very late on in the afternoon I can't help feel sad over an incident that happened before I left for Cliff. Before I had the knowledge of what I was trying to voice.
I was sat in a meetin which was open door to any church member and anyone else that wished to attend could have done. For a church meeting it was well attended their where a good 35 plus people. The meeting was about the worship life of my church. There where many points that I wasn't sure I agreed with.There where many points I did. There where many splits and divides in the group. Then there was this statement:

"our church will organically grow"

I remember it well, I started out confused - what did this mean, then I was more, it's hard to explain, I think I was annoyed as I knew this really wasn't going to work. As a church we needed to be in our community. People die staying in their house an never venturing out, they miss out on the food and the fellowship that make us grow. Moving in a community outside our church makes us grow. We grow when we face people who have different values to us and make us rethink our position, we grow stronger as a church, and a s a local community, withering and dying behind our walls because we have no sunlight, no mix to make us grow, because we decided to be 'organic' is never going to help. My church doesnt feel like a dying church on a sunday but sometimes I wonder it might, and I worry I can't stop that. They are lovely and I love my church, but a few seem to have lost the fight. That keeping to their pews on a Sunday will help, but as a church we don't need to be seen to be doing any formal outreach. I didn't know how to speak.

I'm not sure I know how to speak now; but more than ever I feel we as a church, not just my small church in town, but as a church of Christ, we should be doing something!