Living in a Field of Hats

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

Using our weaknesses September 20, 2011

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 9:41 pm
Tags: , , ,

The title of this post could be used to describe many different events that I’ve been involved with over my last year on staff but this evening was a perfect example. A CU event that wasn’t really organised, a last minute request to do a talk on the film and no real advertising. And yet God in His great mercy was totally in control. I’d text some friends asking them to pray for me and the event – what I wanted was for the event to become more organised, the CU to be less clueless and for a talk to magically ping itself into my head, or least my notes. Maybe that’s slightly overexagerating it, but it’s pretty much how I wanted the evening to end. And yet it didn’t end like that at all. As soon as the credits began to roll most of the people began to walk out the room and by the time the CU realised only 3 people were left! And at that 3 Muslim men! Inwardly I was thinking “they are never going to listen to me, they’re never going to believe that Jesus really is God”, and kinda wanted to disappear. Instead, I started a discussion about what they’d liked about the film, which although stilted got to Jesus and we talked about how he really can show us wisdom as well as the truth of the gospel. I was quick to end the conversation though with warnings of not “being too preachy as not to offend the Muslims” from earlier in the evening ringing in my ears, but others were less keen to let conversation cease. And so, came the ippurtunity for one of the Muslim men “H” to tell us about his first couple of weeks at Uni:

“I arrived from Iran and found in my room a book by my bed. I didn’t know what it was but started reading it and discovered that it was a bible. I read it and kept reading it because it was so easy to understand unlike the Qu’ran which is in Arabic and I don’t understand it.” (paraphrased by me but pretty much word for word!)

How amazing is that?! That a guy comes all the way from Iran, has never heard of Christianity or the bible really picks one up, starts reading it and is intrigued. And then a couple of weeks later stumbles upon a Christian event and hears people talking about Jesus. And then – even more excitingly(!)- agrees to meet with a British Christian to read the gospel of Luke together.

And, he’s not the only encouragement from this evening. “A” from Aghanistan has spent a couple of years working for a Christian charity in Afghanistan and come into contact with many American Christians, although he himself is a Muslim. He was just as interested in the gospel and he, H and the third guy are all attending church with CU members this sunday.

What a reminder at the start of this year that God does use the weak and that he is control at all times!

Advertisements
 

New technology fail March 30, 2011

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 2:01 pm
Tags: , ,

I was hoping that the arrival of my fancy new phone would mean that I would be blogging more but alas that appears not be so (mainly because I can’t use it!) Hopefully seeing the lovely Ellie at New Word Alive in a week or so will help me get better at it…!

Not much is new – crazy mission season is over and life seems fairly tame in comparison. It’s a real joy getting to know the new committees and dream big dreams and pray big prayers for their campuses over the next year. Seeing their excitement is great.

Even though life has been calmer recently, I found myself needing to remind myself of the gospel more than ever. In my daily reading plan (which I have managed to master on my new phone) I had the following the other day:

You, LORD, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,
who freely strut about
when what is vile is honored by the human race. Psalm 12:7-8

After three mission weeks in the space of a month I felt really needy. Hearing the gospel consistently and faithfully preached made me more and more aware of my own sin and failures and at times the gospel really did seem foolishness in my eyes. Compared with the world around us, the way people live and what they worship and value, the gospel seemed so frail.  And yet the amazing truth of the gospel is that the Lord will keep the needy safe, and the gospel is powerful. So powerful it recognises that humans will honour vile things over what is good. But God is still good, and still God.

 

Love… February 15, 2011

Filed under: Christian Life,Mission Trips — Sarah @ 10:22 pm
Tags: , , , ,

…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

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 11:17 am
Tags: ,

 

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

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 9:06 am
Tags: ,

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.

 

Dig Even Deeper February 5, 2011

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 7:52 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

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

Filed under: Christian Life — Sarah @ 10:42 pm
Tags: , , ,

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.