Living in a Field of Hats

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

Sometimes a picture just sums it all up September 18, 2012

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 8:44 pm
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Just saw this picture, and although my to do list has slightly different things on it, it really sums up how I was feeling at the start of term … then I was pointed to Psalm 131.

1 My heart is not proud, Lord,
my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.

2 But I have calmed and quieted myself,
I am like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child I am content.

3 Israel, put your hope in the Lord
both now and forevermore.

A great reminder that there is nothing that I can make happen even if I spend the whole term feeling stressed out. Instead I need to rest in the arms of the One who can and will sustain all things. What freedom!

 

A New Name July 20, 2012

It’s not often that I’d ever recommend a book that I’ve not read myself, but I’m about to make an exception. Today marks the publication of ‘A New Name’ by Emma  –  and all I want to say is go buy it! I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of my copy. Through reading Emma’s blog over the last year, and getting to know her just a little bit, I can truly say that her honesty about her struggles with anorexia, and the way in which she points to Jesus in them, is truly amazing and a real testimony to God’s grace. Eating disorders and mental illness are so oftern taboos in the UK church, so even if it’s not something you struggle with, then do go have a read. This review gives a brilliant overview of the book. So have a watch of the promo video then hop over here and buy!

 

 

Singing what you feel July 18, 2012

Filed under: Christian Life,Mission Trips — Sarah @ 6:34 pm
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This time last week I was leading a team on an English and Bible camp in lovely hot and sunny weather (total shock to the system to be back!). Before I went, I’d anticipated so many problems and issues that may arise (none of them did, though others did come up!) But the biggest thing that I faced, and hadn’t expected (stupidly) was to face my own sin.

About a week and half ago, I was laid on bench halfway through a really tough day. Despite the laughter I could hear from inside the house, I felt awful. I’d just had a couple of really hard conversations and all I could do was cry. I’d wanted to be a great leader – to love the team and the students we were working with. I’d prayed that would be the case. And yet it wasn’t. I’d tried everything that I could think of to do. I couldn’t even put what I was thinking into words.

A friend introduced me to some hymns by Indelible Grace and the one below, ‘I asked the Lord’ (written by John Newton) really sums up where I was. I was in verse 4 – feeling the hidden evils of my heart. I’ve listened to the song over and over for the last 24 hours and it’s made such a difference. Worship songs are great, but sometimes we don’t feel the emotions that many of them focus upon and singing them can feel hypocritical, or like I’m a failure for not feeling those things. Sometimes they can focus us back on Jesus, but sometimes as has been the case for me this week, singing my experience and real thoughts and feelings has fixed my gaze so much more firmly on Jesus. (If you fancy downloading some of the songs for free and legally then have a click here!)

Have a listen to it here:

And here are the words:

1. I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith and love and every grace
Might more of His salvation know
And seek more earnestly His face

2. Twas He who taught me thus to pray
And He I trust has answered prayer
But it has been in such a way
As almost drove me to despair

3. I hoped that in some favored hour
At once He’d answer my request
And by His love’s constraining power
Subdue my sins and give me rest

4. Instead of this He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart
And let the angry powers of Hell
Assault my soul in every part

5. Yea more with His own hand
He seemed Intent to aggravate my woe
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Cast out my feelings, laid me low

6. Lord why is this, I trembling cried
Wilt Thou pursue thy worm to death?
“Tis in this way” The Lord replied
“I answer prayer for grace and faith”

7. “These inward trials I employ
From self and pride to set thee free
And break thy schemes of earthly joy
That thou mayest seek thy all in me,
That thou mayest seek thy all in me.”

 

Summarising June 21, 2012

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 8:42 am
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I may be late to the game, but I’ve just discovered Wordle. It summarises a piece of text with putting words that are mentioned most in a larger font. Below is my blog’s wordle. There are some real suprises there. ‘Forms’ is a strange one (though maybe not with our visa applications last week!), as is ‘photo’. But the one that really stood out, was ‘lonely’. I blogged on Tuesday about this, and I think it is true that ‘lonely’ really does sum up the last few weeks. But the real encouragement is that there are other words large as well…’God’ and ‘praying’. No matter how I feel, the fact that I can pray to my heavenly Father never changes. Amen!

Wordle: Untitled

 

Lonely Road June 19, 2012

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 9:26 am
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One thing I’ve learnt over the last few months, is that grief really is lonely. There’s been so many moments where I’ve felt more alone than I ever have done before in my life. I’ve bee spending a lot of time listening to a song by Yvonne Lyon, called “Lonely Road”. The chorus sums up, where I am at the moment …

“You and I are taking this lonely road,
You and I are finding our way back home”

Yvonne is a Christian, but I’m not totally sure what she was thinking of when she wrote this song. This real encouragement to me with this song, has been the reminder that this life can be incredibly lonely. And it will be, there’ll be lonely roads for us all at different points. But yet, the truth of the gospel means that we can live an oxymoron, we can be lonely and yet full assured that God will never forsake us. He’ll walk every step of the way with us. If it’s true that we are in Christ, then how can he not? He’s never going to go back on what he’s done for us and promised. Amazing.

Here’s a very short, low quality clip of the song. Enjoy!

 

Job Satisfaction June 8, 2012

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 6:40 pm
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Today’s been a hectic day from visa applications, to booking flights and then a pile of other admin for good measure … but finishing work with this view in front of me gives me great pleasure!

 

If I didn’t know Jesus then … June 7, 2012

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 10:37 pm
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Maybe it’s just me but sometimes I find myself daydreaming and wondering what my life would be like if I didn’t know Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t not want to know Jesus – far from it. But there are times when I wonder what life would be like.

One of my friends, and I have a list on the go which lists all of the things that we both really like. Earlier this week we reached number 5 – and yet we’ve been running this list for over a year! There is so much that we disagree on: music, food, how to spend our free time, books… the list could go on and on! And yet, we really love spending time together. Every time I see her I’m guaranteed to laugh several times, talk about some aspect of theology (hearing a point of view I’d never had thought of before!) and be able to honestly answer the question “how are you doing?”.

This isn’t to say that our friendship is perfect – far from it! We’re both still sinners who are inherently selfish. And yet, the two of us who have nothing to draw us together especially as the list tends to stagnate after Jesus, Michael Palin and tea! There is no way, that if it wasn’t for Jesus heading up that list that we would possibly be friends. And yet, because Jesus is heading up that list, we are friends and though we sometimes don’t get each other because our minds work so differently, Jesus overrides it all. I’ve learnt so much from her, and about myself because of our differences.

This is just such a small taste of what the gospel does – bringing together those who otherwise would have nothing in common. What a powerful thing that is!