Living in a Field of Hats

some ramblings and reflections on working with students in Herts and Beds.

Reading the Bible together January 31, 2011

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 10:19 pm
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I remember when I was a second year student and the church apprentice asked me whether or not I’d like to read the bible with her. I thought it was the most random thing in the world to ask! Now a few years on I am so grateful that she did. Through that relationship with her and the things we read together in the bible and applied to our lives, and other one to one bible studies I’ve since had, God has taught me so much. It really is great to read the bible with someone that bit older with a bit more life experience.

I was talking about this today with a lady from church who I currently meet with and saying that these relationships don’t happen as often as they could. We figured it’s because people are scared of meeting up and opening the bible to study it together. As someone who’s been discipled through these relationships and really benefitted, I say – just do it! And the prep doesn’t need to be awful and scary. We’re currently using these books which are great because they take very little prep (great for me and for a new mum!) and are a great spring board into talking about real issues and life.

So if you get the chance then take it – and not just for the benefit of the other person. One thing I love about my job is the chance I get to do one to one bible studies with students and really see them grow and mature as Christians. And I learn so much from them too – it’s not all one way!

 

Thank you Glee! January 30, 2011

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 10:21 pm
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If you haven’t seen this episode of glee then you can read about it here.

From the moment Puck said “true spirituality is about enjoying the life you’ve been given” this was a great episode and I was intrigued to see where it was going.

There are more in depth commentaries on this on web but the reason I am so thankful to glee for this episode is that is shows that people are asking questions about life and truth and God. So often Christian students despair thinking that their friends are not asking these questions and just don’t care. Glee has shown that they are asking just maybe not upfront.

Pretty much every question you could think of was covered. From Sue Sylvester coming out with this on prayer: ”so I prayed harder, and after I while I realised that it wasn’t that I wasn’t praying hard enough, it’s that no-one is listening. Asking someone to believe in a fantasy, however comforting, isn’t a moral thing to do. It’s cruel” to Kurt on being gay: “I think God’s like Santa Claus for adults. Otherwise God’s kinda a jerk isn’t he? I mean, he makes me gay then has his followers going round telling me it’s something I chose, as if someone would choose to be mocked everyday of their lives”.

I think there’s loads to learn from this episode – both in seeing what popular culture assumes about God and Christianity and seeing where they are right! For example, Sue said it’s cruel to ask someone the believe in a fantasy even if it is comforting. That is true – if Christianity is a lie then asking anyone to believe in it is completly cruel. The good news is that we know it isn’t a lie and faith in Jesus does way more than comfort – it gives us an eternal, totally undeserved realtionship with the creator of the universe! Kurt also says early on that he doesn’t go to church because the church don’t think much of gay people. This is awful – but sadly true. So often the media represent the intolerant church who hate gay people. It’s not true. All people are welcome in God’s church. I’m not going to go into argument on homosexuality here as it’s not the place, but the fact that the church is now seen as being so judgemental and not loving those it deems wrong is not what the Bride of Christ should be like. The church should be welcome to all regardless of race, gender, sexuality, criminal convictions, repuatation (note this is not an excuse for sin in anyway but modelling ‘love one another’ and ‘do not judge’). In my experience as a Christian the majority of churches which I have come across are ones that are loving, accepting and welcoming – but seeking to help all people know Jesus and live a life that reflects that. That’s the church we want represented on tv! (also note, this is not to say that church is perfect – I am all well too aware that the church is far from perfect).

But, thank you Glee for bringing this issues up. For being able to have conversations with people about God and spirituality just by asking “did you see Glee last week?”, for encouraging many students that people do care about these issues and for giving me so many talk illustrations (and for making watching glee so much more acceptable with those that normall avoid “trash” tv!)

 

Exclusive January 28, 2011

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 3:06 pm
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In a couple of weeks I’m heading to Edinburgh to help out with the CU mission week at Queen Margaret’s and I’ll be doing a lunchtime talk on “How can a God of love be so exclusive”. It’s got me thinking about exclusivity and whether that’s a good or a bad thing? How do I react to things which are exclusive?

Sadly I think we all want to be in the “in crowd” to some degree and that means shutting people out. Too often I try to make the call of whether or not people are good enough to benefit from the “exclusive” gospel that has saved me. Yet, I’m not worthy of the gospel – no one is. I just try to think that I am.

 

“…everyone’s chains came loose …” January 27, 2011

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 11:29 pm
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At Hatfield CU this evening we were looking at Acts 16:22-31 in answer to the question “Why should we worship Jesus”. And one thing struck me (well was pointed out!).

“…everyone’s chains came loose …” (Acts 16:26)

I’ve read this account so many times and never really thought about it in too much detail. I’ve seen the way in which God rescues Paul and Silas here and the way in which he freed them – and the way that the jailer goes on to become a Christian – and his whole household! But never before have I noticed too much that everyone’s chains came loose. God didn’t just get his top evangelists out of there, he freed all the people in there. Those who were murderers, rapists, thieves…and all other things that had landed them in jail. He freed them. What an amazing reminder that God frees all people regardless of their background. We don’t come to God as sorted people but come as people who are broken and full of sin and God deals with it on the cross. He has set us loose of chains.

 

Seeing the encouragements January 26, 2011

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 7:03 pm
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For various reasons I’ve needed to remind myself of all the encouragements of my job over the past few days. Here’s todays encouragement. Seeing these girls (and the others that are normally there!) grow and learn more about Jesus over the last term has been great (and they are really fun to hang around with too!)

My view for most of the afternoon . . .

Until the point in which the giggles took over!

ps there was no post yesterday due to lack of internet at home yesterday evening!

 

Oversleeping January 24, 2011

Filed under: Random — Sarah @ 8:51 pm
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Of all the mornings to oversleep this morning wasn’t the best choice. My car was due for an MOT at 8.30 which meant leaving the house at 8. Not too impossible. Slightly more impossible at 8.28 when you wake up to find your house in a power cut (or run out of electric credit because it was your turn to get electric and you forgot – again!). Cue trying to remember how to add emergency credit, find some clothes, pack some work to take and get dressed. Amazingly out of the house by 8.34 (that’s my personal best!) and get to garage at 8.47. Wait for five minutes then find out they can’t do the test until 10:45! Bring on 4 and a half hours of Morrisons cafe doing work. All that, for the car to fail it’s MOT. Gutting. Oversleeping is not good!

 

Organisational Bliss January 23, 2011

Filed under: Foody Things — Sarah @ 3:04 pm
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I’m normally not that organised when it comes to keeping things in jars or cupboards tidy, but after being covered in icing sugar one time too many this week (which is really hard to get out especially when you’re running late!) due dire cupbaord organisation I took a trip to Dunelm Mill yesterday afternoon and now all my (cupboard) problems are sorted. Ahh!