Friday, 21 April 2006

food of the day: mango sorbet

Today I have had the pleasure of spending the whole day looking after Madeleine - Dj in the making by the looks of it! She had been rummaging through my bag and came across my minidisc player and seemed fascinated with my headphones. So I showed her how they worked and played her some music - definitely a new and fascinating experience for an 18 month old!

Last night I had cell group, which was quality, as always, especially as we had 3 new people this week. What was even more quality was that one of those new people was Ben Hulks' girlfriend!! What a small world. Very cool.

This evening I had my first kids cell discipleship group. We've never run anything like it before, so it's exciting to be a part of something new. Some of the kids have such an incredible knowledge of the Bible, which was so inspiring to see.

Thursday, 20 April 2006

forest and flies

Realizing that I am well ahead of schedule with my essays, I thought I could warrant taking a break to update my blog, as it's been nearly a week since my last musings.

I had a lovely bank holiday Monday, spent in the Forest of Dean with a few people from church. I love taking every opportunity available to get outside and enjoy what the world has to offer.

In the evening I went to the pub with some other friends from church - people who I haven' t spent a lot of time with socially, so that was really quality, getting to know them all a bit better. Only problem was, it took me and my friend Jo an hour longer to find it that in should have! I know I don't have the best sense of direction (along with very poor maths skills - thanks for pointing out my mistake about the eggs Ben!), but I had checked the map on the internet, and the road we were looking for was most definitely NOT where the map said it was. But hey, what does it matter anyway - we got there eventually!

On Tuesday, one of my lovely flatmates returned
- so lovely to have her smiling face filling the flat with life again.
Last night I went to the pub to watch the football, of all things! I don't have a particular dislike for football, but to be honest, I'm really not bothered. But I was persuaded by my friends to come along and partake in some light banter and soak up the atmosphere. The other option was staying at home and killing the flies that seem to be taking over our kitchen and bathroom...

Friday, 14 April 2006

In awe of my creator

I have been sitting here, wondering what to write for probably the last 20 minutes - I haven't just been staring at my computer screen for the whole of that time - I've been perusing my photos, wondering which one to post today. I like the whole use of photos in blogging - it seems to add a lot more life to a page. A life in pictures. That's something I'd love to have - not my life, just life in general. The thing is, there's only so much you can capture in one city in one part of the world. Sure, you get a diversity of cultures, but they don't completely reflect how that culture would appear within it's original home.

The immensity of the world is one of the many things I've been thinking about this week. My friend Jo was round the other day, and was telling me about a book she's been reading about the men who landed on the moon. There are only 9 men in this world who have seen the earth from that perspective.

This got me thinking about just how immensely incredible God's creation is.
The world is so incredibly vast. It totally blows my mind to think about what else is happening on different continents right at this minute. How amazing is it that God created a world where some countries are in darkness while we are in light - while we are sleeping there are people all over the world worshipping God, their creator, and while we are worshipping, others are sleeping. We find it so hard to see past our selves. We have such an incredibly narrow perspective of, well, everything really. Even geniuses lack vast knowledge in relation to God, which is a pretty obvious thing to say, but just think about it for a moment. We really look up to and admire people who have a sum of knowledge more vast than our own, so how much more should we be in awe of God who actually knows EVERYTHING there is to know about everything. And to think that he still cares about every tear that people cry, every single person is known and loved by God. It is just so awesome. David was totally spot on when he said,

"You hem me in-behind and before
you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
Too lofty for me to attain." (Psalm 139 v.5-6)

God took care of every single aspect of creation - design to absolute perfection. He paints the skies in ways and colours that are actually indescribable. Whilst language is an absolutely incredible thing and a wonderful communicator, our words can never sum up the magnificence of God. Wow. I am amazed. It's an incredibly humbling thing to realize these things with greater revelation. To be reminded of how small I am and how unimportant my thoughts are, yet they still matter immensely to God. The fact that we can know a God who is immensely huge yet incredibly personal is phenomenal....What an awesome priviledge which we so often take for granted.

As I've been writing this I've been listening to music by a group called Mann Friday. My friend Dave introduced me to them - they are a band from Zimbabwe, and he knows one of the guys from when he lived there. They are currently in England, promoting themselves. If you follow the link, you can listen to their music. I really love it. It is so chilled. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have...

Wednesday, 12 April 2006

eggs and eyes

Today I have been doing lots of organizing and planning for my church easter egg hunt - we're expecting around 150 people, which is very exciting. One of the things the children have to do on the hunt is collect 5 egg shaped medals with the letters 'J-e-s-u-s' on them. I'm sure all of you can do the maths, but if we're catering for 90 children, that means we have 350 cardboard laminated eggs on our hands. Love it.

We're not so mean as to only have cardboard eggs though - every child gets a whole easter egg each, and has the fun of hunting for mini chocolate eggs in two different locations - I want to be doing the hunt, not instructing people!!!

For those of you who know and are still interested, I went to the eye hospital again yesterday, and saw another new person, who was an incredibly lovely, helpful and caring lady, which was an answer to prayer. She did the same tests on my eyes that have been done before, just to see if the problem is still the same, and much to her surprise, they weren't! She thinks that the problem might be resolving itself, and that I don't need bi-focals, which is nice to know. I also finally saw the surgeon yesterday, and he seemed to agree with her, which was cool. For the first time since I've been going to the eye hospital, I came away feeling really positive about it all. Amen.

Monday, 10 April 2006

A lovely weekend

This weekend I went to Stoke-on-Trent for a very good friends' 21st surprise party. It was an amazing weekend in many ways. On Sunday we went out for the poshest lunch I have ever had an amazing place called Goldstone Hall, which was in the middle of the countryside. While we waited to be taken to our table, we sat in big old comfy
armchairs around a fire. After we'd had an amazing 3 course meal, we retired to the comfy chairs for coffee and petit fours (sorry if that's spelt incorrectly).

Having spent a week largely in my own company, it was incredibly refreshing to be surrounded by normal people and have conversations about things other than what was going round my head. I think being on my own for a bit has really helped me appreciate just how precious and amazing it is to be in the company of good friends.

It was also an amazing weekend in that it was one where God answered a few of the things that have been on my mind lately and gave me peace about other things, truly reminding me what it means to find rest in Him. There is such freedom and release when we stop trying to hold things ourselves and really let God be in control.

This evening, I've been to Asda to buy 96 easter eggs for the church easter egg hunt on friday. I got chatting to a lovely old man who worked there, who told me all about his dog who he loves to pieces and is hoping to enter into Crufts next year. He gets up at 5am every morning to take his dog for a walk, then works three jobs before going home to his wife and walking his dog again. Quality man.

Thursday, 6 April 2006

my new friend

Living alone can do funny things to you. Today, I bought myself a new friend, this beautiful plant to the left. I will call her Gertrude. I realize the tragic nature that I have resorted to calling a plant my 'friend', but I felt my flat needed a bit more life in it - our sea monkeys are cool, but they live in the bathroom, so I don't see them as much as Gertrude.

I have spent today working and painting - a good balance of both. I've been getting a little stressed at the lack of work I've done so far this holiday, but then I realized that my deadlines are actually quite a long way off, and so I don't need to stress quite so much. Funnily enough, having realized that seems to have kick-started me into working mode.

I'm off in a minute to tutor a Somali girl in St. Paul's, which should be good. I don't feel I'm the most capable of teachers - it's actually pretty hard remembering what it was like learning to read, and understanding all the different grammatical rules. Trying to help this girl with her reading has made me realize just how much I take for granted just being able to read without having to put any active thought into the process of it.

Tuesday, 4 April 2006

time for a change

Having spent much time dissatisfied with my previous blog provider, I have finally got around to creating a new blog, so here it is.

Hopefully this one will be far more colourful and have lots more interesting photos to look at.

Today I have had the joy of looking after Madeleine, who is getting more amazing by the day. She is becoming so much more responsive to when I say 'no' - a little patience goes a long way.