Living in a Field of Hats

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

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!

 

 

Cheats guide to a showstopper cake! May 8, 2012

Filed under: Foody Things — Sarah @ 10:07 am
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Over the last couple of years I have become a little bit obsessed with baking – shows like the Great British Bake Off have made it seem so simple to produce amazng cakes easily. Alas, I do not yet own a Kitchen Aid (which obviously will solve all of my kitchen problems), do not have a huge kitchen in a marquee and don’t have an entire day to dedicate to one cake. This hasn’t deterred me from baking, but has made me very selective over the reciepes that I choose to even to attempt. The Hummingbird bakery carrot cake is a fave as it always turns out looking great (even without the marzipan carrots which are very fiddly and annoying – but the only photo I can find is from the day I spent hours making tiny carrots!), but it’s pretty high on the faff scale – grating 300g of carrots takes a while!

So, for church-weekend-away-at-home-garden-party-indoors-because-of-the-rain, on Sunday I branched out and tried a new cake … and it is literally the easiest cake to make in the world! It’s called a Blueberry Soured Cream Cake, and I pretty much followed the receipe on the good food website, but used frozen blueberries to bake into the cake (so much cheaper). It takes minutes to mix, no hand mixer required, and yet looks and tastes like it took hours!

 

What makes a “good” talk/sermon/preach/insert your own preferred name…* January 18, 2011

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 9:34 am
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Have you ever sat in a talk thinking “man I wish (s)he’d hurry up and finish”? I don’t think it’s just me…but be free to tell me otherwise!

I remember going to a conference a few years back and afterwards everyone raving about how good the speaker was. And he was … I guess. But I did spend a good half of his talk wishing he’d hurry up and shut up. That’s not to say he was rubbish necessarily but I really did get bored. I’ve not had that on the same sort of scale since but there are still times when people at the end of church are like “wow that’s amazing” and I’m like “meh, was ok”.

And, I don’t think the problem lies with the preachers necessarily either. Now, that’s not to say that don’t have a responsibilty to make sure that they are engaging with their audience and being relevant, because they absolutely do. But I think we so often forget that those that are listening have a responsibilty too. So often when I get bored in a talk (which to be fair isn’t as regularly as this post is probably making out it is!) I think, ugh [name] is boring and this isn’t a good preach. Where as actually what that is reflecting is where my heart is. If I’m feeling really lethargic about my faith and not really interested in hearing from God, then it’s amazing how rubbish I then see sermons as! Also, surely we each see different talks as being good/brilliant/amazing depending on what we learn from it? Which is again is kinda down to us. The preacher has a responsibility to apply the bible well, sure, but if I’m not going to church or a conference wanting to hear from God, to have my soul refreshed, well again it’s showing where my heart is, isn’t it?

Too often we think that listening to the Bible being taught is a passive thing. We just sit back and listen and God does all the work in us and that’s it. It’s like a having a minor op every week. Sit down, stay focused and then it’s all over in half hour or less.

So what does make a good talk? One that is well prepared. And not just by the preacher. If we really want to sit under God’s word then surely we need to prepare ourselves for it? We need to be ready to hear God’s word and willing to take it however hard it may be and apply it? We need to be actively listening and not just thinking it’l be over soon and wondering what we’re going to spend our afternoon doing. I guess this then means the way in which  we approach sundays changes. Giving time and thought to the passage beforehand is one way of preparing and praying God would speak to us in his word. And then, even if the sermon is boring, unengaging and culturally irrelvant we still have read God’s word for ourselves and started to apply it to our own situations.

The irony of all this is that this chain of thinking was set off by really enjoying the sermons at church the last couple of weeks!

* i never know what to refer to the talk as. Is it a preach, a talk or a sermon?! Does it depend on your setting? Your denomination? Who’s doing it? So confusing!

 

Friends January 9, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah @ 8:32 pm
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So yesterday and today I’ve had the great joy of hanging out with two (seperate) lovely lovely friends and I really don’t think there is a topic that we didn’t discuss in someway shape or form.

Yesterday hanging out in London we wandered, drunk coffee, ate some really good food in a lovely wine bar (and obviously drank good wine too!) and generally hung out in Leicester Square and Covent Garden. Living in Hatfield really is awesome for being able to get into central London in under 30 minutes. Especially as for the first 22 years of my life London was that kinda magical far away place that people go to for a weekend break – not just to pop into for the afternoon!

And today Liv came from London (oh the joy of living close enough for people to come for the day!) and we went to church – which was really encouraging today – looking at Exodus 1 and thinking about how that applies to us and why we need to be reading scripture more. Catching up with Liv was really encouraging – hearing about and seeing how God is working in her and using her with students in London was really great.

I have had a great weekend – that has felt really restful and almost like a mini break! Now back to work “properly” tomorrow (as Staff Conference was proper work just not normal work!)

 

Church is boring June 19, 2009

Filed under: Christian Life,Church — Sarah @ 11:39 am
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Just came across this video on youtube . . . . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StEDAjhuiTo

Really excting to hear that Sunday Monring BBC broadcasts have really challenged Chris Moyles view of church – it isn’t boring!

 

A long awaited update! May 22, 2009

Filed under: Update — Sarah @ 10:02 pm
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So, it’s been nearly a month since I actually posted anything on here . . . . that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been doing anything! There’s been a few things I’ve thought I should blog about but it’s never happened!! but here’s a few . . .

1) the Church cafe in Cluny Square has finally been opened which has been brilliant and has very much changed what my “average” day looks like! Carolyne has been doing most of the work but I’ve been able to help a bit over busy periods (time at McDonald’s really has equipped me for something!! woop!) but actually it’s been really easy to just chat to people and get to know them a bit, especially the regulars, some of who are being really open and friendly o talk to someone which is great – – feeling like I’m actually becoming part of the community!

2) Schools . . . . I had the “I don’t want to go to school” Monday Morning feeling this week! I started as a performance coach (encouraging year 10 students to stay on at school and acheive what they can) at a local high school to a 14 year old. Walking in the school gates was terrifing! I had forgotten what it was like!! Walking into a room of 14 year olds is not high on my list of fun things to do – secondary teachers  . . . . i don’t know how you do it! I’ve also been helping out the Mumfords and picked Daniel and Hannah up a couple of times the last few weeks . . .  playground mums is nearly as bad as 14 yeasr olds! Think I’m just going to stay as far a way from schools as possible!

3) Old friends . . . I got the chance to spend a weekend with some friends from uni who were a couple of years older than me that I’ve not seen inPICT3517ages. Was brilliant to catch up, and encouraging to see how some of them are clearly following Jesus more and more each day 🙂 Although really interesting to see all the different places that God has brought us over the last few years since uni. Have also had the chance to see some Relay friends which has been ace as well a fried who’s been off travelling who I really missed! I am very much loving the invention of the train network at the mo (as well as Young Person Railcard!) As much as I feel a million miles away from people, actually there are people who know me really well who are not that far away really.

4) Moldova . . . the moldova fundraising went into overdrive this last month and I’m nearing my total now – woo! See here for more 190details of why I am going. I’m really excited, especially when I consider that a year ago I’d barely heard of this little country in the middle of Eastern Europe, and yet today I have such love for the people and the country. It’s great to see God changing my heart in this way! Facebook has been brilliant to keep in touch with Moldovan friends as well and hear how things are for them in Moldova.I’m also going to be a bridesmaid for a Moldovan friend in September which is very exiting!  Though, being involved in the organisation this year has shown me just how much goes into it! But, so worth it to share the gospel with people who  have never heard it before and see God work in them! That makes all the ‘hardships’ not seem to matter. I love it (although not airline booking lines!)!

5) Scaffolding . . . . I have it over the front of my house because they are apparently going to fix my roof . . only problem is the things I thought were wrong with it are at the back . .  watch this space!

This bank holiday my mum and stepdad are coming to visit which will be lovely although a little weird for them to be in ‘my area’! Looking forward to shoiwing them around though, as well as seeing the ‘Festival of the Air‘ which looks like it’ll be good . . . as well has the fact its set to 23 degrees over the weekend! woop!!! And the fact that we have an evangelical Georgian Archbishop at church . .  should be fun!