Living in a Field of Hats

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

God’s Good Gifts – 24th June June 24, 2012

Filed under: God's Good Gifts — Sarah @ 9:23 pm
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It’s late (for a school night anyway!) so I’ll keep this brief today…

1) Enjoying God and Life – another Yvonne Lyon song has inspired me greatly this weekend (I promise I’m NOT on commission..honestly!) This one is called ‘Enjoy not Endure’ and it’s like she can see inside my soul! I can’t find any link to her songs, but you can listen to a preview here. The line “recognise and mourn the days that never will return, for you were made for greater things than living with regret” really sums it up. Beautiful gospel truth wrapped up in beautiful music.

2) A travelling cake tin – I’ve been away again this weekend so being greeted by a friends husband bearing a cake tin full of brownies she’d sent for me was amazing. She originally made me cake in the tin, I returned it to her when her children were ill with rocky road and now it’s come back to me. I think this a tradition to keep on doing!

3) “It’s about faith not biology” – the reminder at church this evening from John 19, that our churches really are family

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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!

 

God’s Good Gifts – 17th June 2012 June 17, 2012

Filed under: God's Good Gifts — Sarah @ 8:23 pm
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We’re back with the list this week…

1) Seeing God at work – I’ve been away at the final Relay training conference this week, where all of the Relay workers do a 3 minute presentation summing up their year. It was such a privilege to hear snippets of people’s experiences of God’s goodness over the last ten months. So many of them were able to clearly testify to God’s goodness when things were tough, and of the ways in which God has been changing them into the likeness of His Son over the last year.

2) Church Family – this evening my church family spend a chunk of time specifically praying for me and the summer team I’m leading. I’m feeling so many stresses and worries about the trip, so to be surrounded with people who love me, praying for and with me, upholding me is a real joy and a real reminder that church really is family.

3) A Heavenly Father – I’m so thankful today especially, that I have a caring, loving Heavenly Father who loves me so much he sent Jesus to take my punishment so I could be in a relationship with him. That’s nothing like my experience of earthly fatherhood, but it is my experience of my Father God.

 

God’s Good Gifts – 10th June June 10, 2012

Filed under: Mission Trips — Sarah @ 2:36 pm
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Photo: I do love summer teams but love late night form filling for visas less! Thursday evening found me sat on my living room floor surrounded by forms, passports, photos and a million other things. Emily and I were finalising the application forms for our summer team’s visas. It didn’t take long (approx 3 seconds) for Emily’s head to drop onto the coffee table as we realised the task we had before us. And so we prayed. We prayed specifically that there would be no issues in submitting our forms, that we have wisdom as to what to write for certain sections, and above all we prayed for joy in doing it.

It was a long evening, with many repetitive tasks (there’s only so many times you can write in insurance details without going cross eyed) And yet there was real and genuine joy … even when we discovered that one application was missing a photo (mine!). It resulted in a late night trip to Tesco’s photo booth- but alas it’s switched off overnight! Luckily, even though Hatfield only has a population of around 18,000, we have two 24hour supermarkets, so the ASDA photo booth saved the day (well night)!

Friday morning saw us on an early train bound for London. We prayed again at the tube station – this time for there to be no issue with the invitation letters and that we’d have submitted the forms by 10.30am. Roll on to 10.31am – Emily’s happy dance (well out of the way of the embassy’s CCTV!) in celebration of having had submitted all of the forms with no bureaucratic issues. Amazing.

This is this week’s God’s Good Gifts – each and every thing we asked for was granted to us. And more besides. We were dealt with by the most lovely helpful embassy worker ever (in stark contrast to last year!), we got to spend sometime together rejoicing in what God had done, we had members of this summers team, and last summers team praying for us whilst we were in the office, desperate to know what had happened. Those twelve hours this week had their stresses, but they were the clearest demonstration of the gospel and unity. I’ve literally been left astounded by God’s great kindness!

We’re praying for the visas all to be granted this week – if you pray we’d love you to pray for us! If you want to find out more about our trip then leave your email in the comments and I’ll send you the updates!

 

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!