I spent a very fun day today exploring London with Albina and Liv. One of the hightlights however was visiting St Margarets Church in the grounds of Westminister Abbey. We were refusing to pay the entrance fees at Westminister Abbey, but wanted to show Albina a traditional English church so popped into St Margaret’s church where we saw lots of plaques on the wall remembering many who had died. One particurlary caught my eye (and would have taken a picture of had I been allowed!). It was a woman who had died and it listed her life and then said she was “attending the joyful day of her resurrection”. What a great way to think of death. Amazing. Waiting for the certain and joyful day when we will be resurrected with our Lord.
Love… February 15, 2011
…is the theme of Queen Maragret CU’s events week which is where I am this week.
I’ve had a real mix of emotions about the week – huge apprehension, unworthiness, not being ready (I really should have listened to the talk I recommended last week again!), but today has been a mix of encouragements. It’s been great to hang out with other staff from UCCF this week and explore Edinburgh in some afternoon free time, but what’s really got me bizzing tonight is seeing the gospel work and that God chooses to use us. I’ve just been to a brilliant meal with a message with a first year student in halls and had the chance to spend two hours hanging out with his housemates chatting about the gospel and it being true for them. They were so open, yet so hopelessly blind. they could see that the human situation was dire (their own words) in relation to God, but couldn’t quite get that Jesus was the amazing answer. They saw that for Jesus to come back would mean their only chance of relationship with God was over but couldn’t see the need to do something tonight. So encouraging and frustrating in equal measure. I’m really praying that God would open their eyes this week to his amazing truth!
What an awesome God of love we have who gives us encouragements when we need them most and chooses to use us in evangelism!
And all of this after an amazing Cath Kidston-esque tea party this afternoon1 (i tried to upload a picture but the borrowed laptop was having none of it!)
Feeling Small February 11, 2011
Picture taken from ASBO Jesus.
What an amazing reminder of how good God is and how vast his creation is! And yet he knows me and has known me since the beginning.
The Bible February 10, 2011
Recently I’ve found it really hard to want to get out of bed in the morning to want to read the Bible. My bible that’s in my own language, that is the Word of God, that I can have a choice of translations if I wish, that’s freely avaliable. And still it’s hard. This video has been on lots of my friends facebook walls over the last couple of days – what a challenge to see the faith of these people when they had had so little of the Bible. Can you imagine only knowing small amounts of the bible and then being given an entire New Testament. The hunger they have to read it is something that is so often lacking in me and others. The way in which these people eagerly wanted to read the new testament is similar to the eagerness I had in reading the final Harry Potter book. What a challenge to make the most of what God has chosen to give me – His complete word in my language.
Why it’s ok to stay in bed in mission week February 9, 2011
We listened to this talk at Bedford CU’s meeting last night and I loved it. The title made me a little be sceptical . . . I mean it would be gutting if the whole CU stayed in bed for mission week. But after listening to it – if the reasons my CU’s stay in bed are the biblical ones that John lays out then that’s fine!
It was really good to be reminded that we don’t do mission to make a name for ourselves, to impress other people or to impress God. We do mission because God chooses to share His glory with us. What a privelege, and a timely reminder that in mission weeks I’m not trying to prove my worth or how good I am to anyone – especially not God as He has done everything for me.
Even if you’re not involved in student CU missions, it’s well worth a listen because in terms of evangelism it’s something that we all need reminding of!
So, the blogging every day for a month thing is over (well it was officailly over couple of days ago and realistically over a couple of days before that!). It’s been fun. I’m glad to be back in the blogosphere and I think I’ll stay!
So thanks Ellie and Cat for the encouragement and to the rest of you that read this (and have contributed to the 703 hits in January! Amazing!)
Dig Even Deeper February 5, 2011
One of the things I love about my job is getting a pile of new books at random intervals thanks to the lovely people over at IVP.
One I’ve loved in the previous lot is “Dig Even Deeper” by Andrew Sach and Richard Alldritt. It’s a book dedicated to showing how the Old Testament applies to us in the 21st Century through applying the tools from the book “Dig Deeper” to Exodus. We’ve been doing Exodus at church over the last couple of weeks so reading this alongside has been really helpful. The one thing that has struck me from Exodus is in chapter 2 seeing the way that God prepares Moses for his task. Moses was 80 years old when he finally went to free God’s people from their slavery. But it wasn’t that God had forgotten, or that he didn’t care about what his people were going through but that he was preparing Moses. God was making sure that his plan was fulfilled in his perfect timing. Amazing.
But there’s two things I absolutley love about this book (more than all of the other things I love)
1) The subtitle “Unearthing Old Testament treasure”: So often the Old testament is seen as being something that we can’t understand and has no relevance. But yet there is real treasure there that shows us so much about our God. This book is really easy way to see that practically worked out in one Old Testament book and gives the skills to see it in other books too.
2) It makes you read the Old Testament! One of the things I find a little too easy sometimes is to read a book about the bible rather than the bible itself. Some books help by having quotes in, but this one goes one step further by forcing you to stop after the introduction to go and read Exodus. Love it! Also, it makes you think . . . there’s questions that are asked that mean you need to dig into sections of the bible … and they deliberatly don’t give the answers afterwards so that you have to think and look for yourself.
So . . . in conclusion the Old testment is full of treasure and this is a great book for helping us to see how we can handle it for ourselves
So quick to forget February 3, 2011
If you asked me what God has taught me over the last year I think my first response would be that He’s been teaching me that He is good and He will always provide for me what I need. There are many occasions I could point to where God has provided miraculously.
And yet, when (very!) similar circumstances arose a couple of weeks ago my first response wasn’t to remember God’s goodness and all he has provided, but to panic! And I found myself driving home from CU this evening thinking all these things, but wondering would God answer my prayers fully, or would He just give me the bare minimum. What a stupid thing to wonder! Of course God will fulfil all of my needs, not only has he always done so, but He promised that he would!
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
What an amazing God – he provides all we need, not want, but need.
A Prayer Answering God February 2, 2011
posting twice on one day kinda makes up for not posting a couple times in the last few days right…!?
As previous posts on this blog will point out, I have a teensy weensy bit of love for the little known yet beautiful country of Moldova (shock for many of you I know 😉 ). A friend of mine from Moldova has been through the visa application process – a long one that includes much paperwork, and interview and a long wait. And very regularly (in my previous experience of trying to help people get visas) they get rejected for no obvious reason. To be honest I expected the same this time, but I prayed that God would do his will and that Albina could come somehow. But everything seemed to go against us. The official invite letter I posted before Christmas hadn’t turned up, the original letter had been lost on a bus in America (a whole seperate story!) so an emailed letter with no signature had to do instead. We hadn’t quite sorted the finances until the evening before Albina’s meeting so that was again a emailed letter with no signature. I was praying that the letters would turn up so that the embassy could see that Albina’s request was genuine – but they didn’t. So we were left to wait the five working days minimum to fourteen working days for an answer. And then three working days later the embassy rang to see Albina again . . . that didn’t bode well but we continued to pray to our God of miracles and … Albina’s visa was granted! Albina said: “[the lady] didn’t tell me anything, just asked me to sign a paper and gave me the passport, it was open at the visa page, but first i didn’t realize that, I thought it was my Romanian visa somehow, well, i was so scared…it was after I left the room that i started realizing it was my visa“. So so exciting. But for me the most exciting thing was what Albina told me later – that she was praying that the letters wouldn’t arrive . . . here’s why!
” last thursday when I applied and asked them if it’s possible to bring the letters if they come and the lady told me if I manage to bring them before they make the decision…well, I prayed that they might not come:) I knew God could make a miracle and it was not in vain that the letters didn’t come, almost 3 months passed and all people could do was done…so, I knew God had a plan. But i know myself, and knew i could later on think it might have been a coincidence or “luck”, whatever…so, i wanted a real miracle”
And a real miracle is what she got! And a challenge for me. So often I think that God can only work out situations in a certain way so I pray for that to happen. I so often don’t pray that God would turn the sitatuion round but that he would do it my way. But he’s God and always does things his way in his perfect timing and it always works!
So… in just a few weeks we’ll be reunited! Praise the Lord!