Wednesday, 24 March 2010


I feel so tired at the moment.  Its not really surprising seems I was up until 3.00am working on an essay.  I did intend stoping at 9.00pm but I seemed to get a second wind.  I'm not sure why I am such a night owl but I definately work better at night.  The downside is that I can't seem to get up much enthusiasm for working again today.  I have an essay deadline on Friday so I guess I will just have to knuckle down.  Perhaps more tea will help?  Or a little snooze?  Seems that I didn't get up untill 10.30am I think the tea will have to do.  I have already tried a sugar rush but the Jelly Babies seem to be sleeping as well. 

My journey to the cross is going well but I will be glad when I finally get there.  I have enjoyed studying for an MA but didn't realize how hard it would be when I started.  The work load shifts up a gear, expectations step up a gear... more is required of me.  And then we have the hunt to find the church that God is calling me to.  Life has been a juggling game since september.  A one handed juggling game at that having developed a repetative strain injury to my right hand. 

I have met some wonderful people in my search to find a church and have had a few laughs with John, my husband along the way.  Normally God makes it very clear where I am supose to be and what I am supose to be doing.  He has been less direct in my hunt for a church but his guidance has never the less been clear.  Although I can't help but think of a pinball machine where I am the ball that seems to be bouncing off the bumpers at a great rate of knots only to end up down the hole and have to start off all over again.  Sometimes I have actively sought the black hole as a place of safety, sometimes I have been spat out of the game and have no choice... but thats the game!  There have been a few bonus points gained and clearly I have learnt a lot about different churches and about myself in the whole process.  I think John's role in all this has been the plunger that you pull out to give the ball a flick in the right direction.  Sometimes I haven't really wanted to play the game and John has had to give me a kick in the right direction.  He is such a positive influence in my life - I really am truely blessed.

The curent game of pinball has been going on for a while and has been a very enjoyable game.  I am hoping not to fall down the black hole this time... 

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Road Map

This mornings UCB notes seemed apt again today.  They quote the evangelism Billy Graham
'The Bible is the road map for life, and while your pastor can highlight the best route to take, you learn to navigate life's twists and turns yourself.'

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Anoint the wounds of my spirit

Anoint the wounds
of my spirit
with the balm 
of forgiveness
pour the oil
of your calm
on the waters
of my heart

take the squeal
of frustration
from the wheels
of my passion
that the power
of your tenderness
may smooth
the way I love

that the tedium
of giving
in the risk
of surrender
and the reaching
out naked
to a world
that must wound

may be kindled
fresh daily
to a blaze 
of compassion
that the grain
may fall gladly
to burst in the ground
-and the harvest abound.
                                        Ralph Wright OSB

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

21st Century Church

What is 21st century church?  What does it look like?  How is it different?  Church is the gathered body of people who come to worship Christ.  It is not the building, although where the church meets does effect the way in which church happens.  If the building is set out formally with pews and pulpit then no matter how informal you try to make a service formality will still exist because of the suroundings.  The church in Stroud where I am a member is very formal in structure although the services have become less so over the years.  I guess a set of drums and a worship band brings an uptempo lift.  

As I complete my MA in missional studies I wonder what God requires of me as far as my next step in the journey is concerned.  Sometimes I feel frustrated that he only every tells me the very next step and not what the future holds.  Although that does not stop me dreaming.  I dream about a church where young and old meet together in harmony.  Each appreciating the gifts, energy, and wisdom that they all bring to the body of Christ.  I dream of a church that hungers after God.  That steps out in faith even when the path is unknown.  A church that loves one another, and forgives each other's faults and weaknesses.  But most of all, I dream of revival and an openness to the Spirit of God.  There is a fire that burns inside of me and longs to be let loose.  In God's time I pray that revival will come to this land again and I pray that we will all be ready for it.    

In the meantime, I wonder what I can do to engage people in the gospel message.  Jesus is very much alive for me but for many he is a figure of the past.  How can I be Jesus to those who have yet to find him?  How can I preach the gospel in a real way that brings Jesus back from the dead for those who don't realize that he has been ressurected and lives today.  I know that in my own small way I can do my bit but together we can make a real impact.

I must admit to being a bit of a treckie at this point.  I do have a love of science fiction and particularly like the Star Trek Voyager and the Next Generation series.  I was relaxing yesterday watching an episode where the crew of Voyager where trying to sneek onto a borg ship.  The borg, for those of you who don't know, are a collective which means that they think as one body.   I wonder what the church would look like if we all thought the same and did the same thing.  Personally, I think life would be rather boring.  As they say variety is the spice of life!  Whilst we may fall out from time to time over issues such as, women in ministry or the place of homosexuals in the church, difference of opinion is healthy.  It is what we do with our differences of opinion that really matters.  We may choose to stand on our pedestal and say you are wrong and I am right or, we can come together and discuss our opinions and discern what Christ would do in our situation.  Jesus is the one who invites us to come into relationship with him, despite our faults.  He loves us for who we are, just as we are.
The borg cube travels through space looking for unsuspecting people whome the borg can assimilate and turn into creatures just like them.  On meeting a spaceship or planet the words, 'We are the borg, you will be assimilated.  Resistance is futile.' are heard.  Whilst the church's role is to make disciples of all men and women it's role is not to assimilate them and make them into drones as part of the collective (as the borg do). But, rather to disciple people and show them the ways of Christ by pointing them in the right direction.  Whilst we journey together our own walk with Christ is a personal one.  One where the journey is often lonely and frightening and not always easy.  However, as I have pointed out before, Christ journeys with us.  For me 21st century church is one which embraces the outcast and loves the individuals that comes through its doors as Christ loves them.  It is a church that reaches people in a relevant way.  If that means doing church differently - great - lets do it!  Church is for me about supporting one another, loving one another, worshiping together and journeying together.  We may not get it right all the time, that's OK - the point is that we keep on going until we get it right and have some fun along the way.
Hmm... nearly time for another episode of Star Trek, must go!!        

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Essay and spelling!

Spelin Speellling Spelling is neccesary neccessary necessary I tink!

Essays.... It seems that, after nearly four years, college have found me out!  My sin is that I can't spell.  Even with the wonders of spell check it seems that I make these fatal errors.  I must point out that I can't seem to spell check my blog so I can only apologise for any mistakes!  Whilst I appreciate spelling is important for an academic essay it is not the be all and end all to life.  God spoke to me recently through my daily notes...

'We decided to retell the story about a newly hired traveling salesman who sent his first sales report to the head office, because its truth is timeless.  When the report reached tehm they were stunned.  the new salesman wrote, "I seen this outfit which ain't never bot nuthin from us and I sole them a lotta goods.  No I'm going to Chicawgo."  Before the sales manager could fire him, along came a second report.  "I come to Chicawgo and sole them over a millyun."  Fearful if he fired the salesman and concerned if he didn't, the sales manager dumped the problem into the lap of the company president.  The following morning the sales department was amazed to see a memo from the president posted on the bulletin board beside the salesman's two letters.  It said, "We ben spending two much time tryin to spel and not enuf tryin to sel.  Let's watch those sails.  I want everybody should read these two letters from Gooch, who is on the rode doin a grate job for us, and you should go out and do like he dun."  Degrees and titles are fine things, but armed with intuition and initiative, plus Gos's help, you are qualified!'   

The Word For Today, UCB, Westport Road, Stoke-On-Trent, ST6 4JF  Free issues of this devotional are available by contacting UCB directly.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Severn Bore

Creation is a marvelous thing.  I cannot believe that this marvelous planet of ours just evolved.  For me there must be a creator God.  I took these photos today (2nd March 2010) of the Severn Bore - truely a magnificent sight!  Although I must admit to being disappointed it wasn't bigger.
Today's bore had a five star rating (the highest and therefore the biggest).  For those of you who don't know -  the bore is a 'natural phenomenon' that produces a wave up to 5 meters high that travels against the normal river flow and happens twice a day around the spring and autumn equinox.  


At the moment I am writing an essay on the Severn Barrage which has been proposed as a way of producing 'green' energy.  However, a 10 mile concrete barrage between Cardiff and Weston-Super-Mare would have an enormous impact on the environment.  Localized flooding would increase, mudflats would be lost thereby significantly reducing the feeding ground for about 69,000 birds, the passage of migrating fish would be blocked, etc, etc...  

Essays... now there's another story...