look at my shells

see how transparent they are... for more than shells

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Cause I'll just make the same mistake again

This evening I have been mostly wandering around my house, glass of wine in hand, thinking about Genesis 3 and sin. I am leading housegroup through it tonight and the more I think about it, the more my stomach is turned.

Obviously the effects are far reaching; running from God, nakedness, harshness of the land, pain in childbirth, meaninglessness of toil that man returns to earth he works, banished from the kingdom. Death.

The relationships of God with man, man with woman, human with earth are destroyed. It's heartbreaking. It's stomach turning, gut renching, heart breaking stuff....especially considering the perfection that went before.

At the end of Genesis 2, Adam has sung this wonderful song as finally after all the years it has taken to name the hundreds of animals and finding no helper suitable for him, he is given Eve. Finally, THIS is bone of his bones, flesh of his flesh. The ultimate love song, rapture and joy. And they become one flesh in complete union.

Fast forward a few verses and he's blaming her, no, blaming GOD for giving him her and for her sin. And this is repeated throughout history for ever more. Just a very small example of the complete chaotic disaster rebellion creates.
"Her desire shall be for her husband and he shall over her."

Tonight at housegroup I am going to play 'Mistake' by James Blunt
Saw the world turning in my sheets and once again I cannot sleep.
Walk out the door and up the street; look at the stars beneath my feet.
Remember rights that I did wrong, so here I go.
Hello, hello. There is no place I cannot go.
My mind is muddy but my heart is heavy. Does it show?
I lose the track that loses me, so here I go.
And so I sent some men to fight, and one came back at dead of night.
Said he'd seen my enemy. Said he looked just like me,
So I set out to cut myself and here I go.
I'm not calling for a second chance,
I'm screaming at the top of my voice.
Give me reason but don't give me choice.
'Cause I'll just make the same mistake again.
And maybe someday we will meet, and maybe talk and not just speak.
Don't buy the promises 'cause, there are no promises I keep.
And my reflection troubles me, so here I go.
I'm not calling for a second chance,
I'm screaming at the top of my voice.
Give me reason but don't give me choice.
'Cause I'll just make the same mistake,
I'm not calling for a second chance,
I'm screaming at the top of my voice.
Give me reason but don't give me choice.
'Cause I'll just make the same mistake again.
Saw the world turning in my sheets and once again I cannot sleep.
Walk out the door and up the street; look at the stars.
Look at the stars fall down.
And wonder where did I go wrong.

And yes, praise God that next week CAN happen...the moment we move on from the perished kingdom to the promised kingdom...

Saturday, 20 September 2008

The earth trembles when he looks at it.

After being bought up in a Christian family, the Bible can become so over familiar. Sometimes, when I hear a sermon that opens a pasage or an idea about God, his world, or his plan in a powerful way I am moved to tears. Sometimes when I grasp something for the first time in my own reading, or am reminded of something I am moved to tears. Rarely however am I moved to tears over the same passage again and again by just reading it. But, Psalm 104 does this to me.

It's just this unbelievable description of God's work in creation. His bigness, his majesty, his power his total and utter control of the whole entire thing. It's mind blowing.

It ends like this:
"May the glory of the LORD endure for ever; may the LORD rejoice in his works,
who looks on the earth and it trembles,
who touches the mountains and they smoke!

I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the LORD."

Phew...despite all the incredibleness of an incredible God's hand in creation, not only does he HEAR my meditation and my singing but it's quite possible for it to be PLEASING to him.

He who just LOOKS on the earth and it trembles hears my song, hears my thoughts and beause of Jesus, they are pleasing to him.

Friday, 19 September 2008


I never thought having a kitten could re-orient your life so much. I can imagine 5% of what it must be like to have a baby!

Kedi is 7 weeks old. She has beautiful green eyes and every day she gets more playful, can jump higher, run faster, eat quicker.

She is very precious. She doesn't like being alone and will hang out wherever I am, greet me with a squeel and full paced run when I walk through the door.

She is mastering the litter tray and is getting used to sleeping by herself.

Catnip drives her wild with excitement.

And I like to think Kedi is very lucky to have me. The reality of course, is the other way round.

Monday, 15 September 2008

How sweet

It has been over a year since I typed out some thoughts here. I left off with a post at the end of my degree anxious about what decisions to make and where to go. I am so glad I learnt early on to not be anxious, or at least be aware of the barrier I had raised through my anxiety. If I had known what the year would hold then...well I am just glad I didn't!

Since then I have been to Milton Keynes working for Authentic Media for 6 months,gone freelance and moved to Nottingham.

I have spent almost a year feeling like a spiritual, emotional and physical gypsy. By April my heart was in Lonodon, my head in Milton Keynes and my body in Nottingham. I have lived in 3 different cities, done 3 different jobs, been part of 3 different churches and ended a 2.5 year relationship. I have watched my nan die, been to the funeral of my grandfather and a friend's suicide. I have spent a year with no friends around me and the ending of my best friendship of the last 3 years. And of course there's always the little bits of crap life throws regardless! And so in all it's not been an easy year. It has been fraught with decision making, fraught with heartache and loneliness. Most difficult has been the spiritual lonliness.

God has provided the most wonderful church family for me in Nottingham and this is why, amidst the 'move back to London' cries of my friends I have decided to work things out up here. Emmanuel love Jesus and want to love him more. They want to share Jesus and they want to share their lives with each other. After a year of working in the Christian media industry mixing with all different types of Christians, Emmanuel is refreshing and are fully united around the gospel. I can serve here. It is an absolute priviledge and joy to serve here.

Like a husband, God continues to woo me. To remind me I have no good apart from him. To teach me I have no rights and I desparetly need his grace. He has confronted me with myself as all my 'comforts' stripped away I discover I really don't love him much. With just how self destructive I am. But for the grace of God I am a ticking time bomb of spiritual disaster. But grace has called my name.

I have discovered that truly the name of Jesus is sweet in a believer's ear. It soothes my sorrows, heals my wounds and drives away my fears.

And I am so undeserving.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind." (James,1:5-8)

God knocked me for six at church this morning and brought me crashing to my knees in repentence for my self sufficeincy and my anxiety over the future rather than asking for wisdom from the One who's very essence is The Giver.

And being the Giver he gave words to the vicars wife as she prayed for me that were so spot on what I needed to hear. Not necessarily what I wanted to hear; ie what I'm suppsed to do, but beauitful words of encouragement to not fear making wrong choices, to not be anxious, to take steps of faith. That God will use me and my gifts in whatever I choose to do.

It's painful when the shutters rise and I realise how I've been putting barriers up to hearing God through the idol of anxiety. Repentence is hard, but God is so gracious and loves to give generously of his wisdom and of his peace.

Saturday, 5 May 2007

a bit of a journey

Well, It's over...My three years at Goldsmiths college have come to an end. whilst I am so pleased all the work is done, I am gutted. I have absolutely loved being at Goldsmiths, I have loved being a student. Even in the bleakest days I have never wanted it to be over or wanted to leave. I think that might be rare.

God has been so good, so faithful and so pateint these last 3 years. I can also say the same for Pod for this last term, though that might liken him to God and...er..yeah...anyway...

It seems like such a long time ago I moved into halls in New Cross, age 20. Even for that I am so grateful to God that I wasnt there at 18. In everything over the 3 years I can see God's hand leading and guiding, teaching and discipling, loving, caring, encouraging.

For the huge influence UCCF has had over the time here both through being part of CU, leading CU, loving CU - it being my family, and 121s with Esther Chilvers and Anna Mac, for Bib evang, Forum, Student Council, and just a big baptism in grace. Grace extended to me, grace taught to me, grace in it's application to all areas of life. Grace freeing me to enjoy all the good things God has given me. A freedom.

For some amazing friendships formed along the way mostly in my first year and now. And the bits in between; faithfulness through lonliness, through self-imposed lonliness and simply London lonliness.

For great oportunities to share the gospel through CU, with my housemates (who continue to break my heart), with randoms, tutors and lecturers. For the exciting, direct answers to prayer and prophetic, to the mundane day-in-day out relentless words that appear to go nowhere.

For my wonderful church that has taught me about community, taught me about loving others well, for loving the unloveable. For teaching me more of the carasmatic and keeping me safe. For being patient with me and teaching me of grace through their actions, their honesty, their lives.

For my brilliant degree that has increased my mind, given me a love for the untold stories, for opening my eyes to ways of seeing and knowing things that are grey. For coming to an understanding that their is no truth in lived expereince and not having to give up beliveing there is truth passe. For over the 3 years being able to pick through theory, to critique, to enjoy and to come out more in love with Jesus, despite seemingly anti-God ideas. For tutors and lecturers who have been inspiring and have listened to me, encouraged me and given me confidence in my ability.

For Pod; his love, his care and thoughfulness. His genuine desire to help me grow in grace and become more like Christ. His deisre to love me better. For his growth, for his perserverance and committment to the relationship through hard times. For his speed to repentence, his desire to love Jesus more and grow in the gospel. For all being with him has taught me about my selfishness and my inability to love well without miracles. For the fun, the knocking off rough edges, the chats, the tears, the laughs, the growth.

For a love of the martial arts and the communities and friendships that bought, for being able to use my body in ways I'd never thought I could.

For all these things and more I am so grateful to God. For a three years of stretching my mind, body and soul, for growing in grace and in the gospel. For bringing me through, for teaching me, for being patient, for bringing some amazing people into my life to speak the hard words, the soft words, to love and to care.

Grace and faithfulness.

How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds
In a believer’s ear!
It soothes my sorrows, heals my wounds,
And drives away my fear.

Dear Name, the Rock on which I build,
My Shield and Hiding Place,
My never failing treasury, filled
With boundless stores of grace!

Monday, 23 April 2007

the air is so much clearer here

Six weeks ago I surveyed the thousands of words in front of me and had a mild panic. In desperate need of miracles I prayed. 5 weeks later I have almost finished my degree and am astounded at the amount of words I have written. Being daunted opens up some space for God to break through my self assurance and remind me hes actually pretty good at the equipping thing. and hes also pretty good at the miracle thing.

Two weeks ago I surveyed the uncertainty of the coming year and had a mild panic. Feeling a sense of pressure to move to Nottingham and being so unsure of the wisdom of this and a real deep unhappiness at the thought, whilst not being sure of the way through. In desperate need of miracles I prayed. 5 hours later I came off the phone having heard Pod say 'I really don't feel at peace about a move for us yet and it would actually put more pressure on us to do so." Being in a mental block, not seeing viable options but needing one opens up space for God to break through and reveal he is the God of big ideas. I may naturally be an ideas person but he always has been and always will be the author of the great ones.

On Saturday I was voted in as chair of student council. I survey the responsibility this is and have a little panic. I don't feel I possess the wisdom and quick thinking this role requires. I need a miracle and will pray as such. Being daunted and lacking in wisdom opens up space to reveal himself as the author of all wisdom.

I still remain daunted by the prospect of loving Pod. of being self-sacrifical, of being patient and giving, of laying aside my needs for his. Of loving and forgiving in the way the gospel asks me to. It is possible to panic and in need of miracles, I pray every day to have a heart that is not my own, that loves in a way that the gospel requires. To love with a supernatual love. God has and always will be the author of perfect love.

Being daunted, having mild panics and needing miracles reminds me of my weakness, it reminds me of my need for God in a country and a time when it's easy to be self-sufficient.

After all I cannot even breathe without God giving it to me. Air. fresh air. life giving air. His air.