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Friday, September 16, 2005

Barcelona, here I come!!! (well, nearly!!)

so in approximately 42.5 hours i'll be on a plane to the wonderful city of barcelona. i'm writing my goodbye-till-october blog now coz i don't think i'm gonna have much spare time in the next 42.5 hours...
why is it that as human beans (BFG) we can be soooo lazy?! i sat down to watch the one o'clock news earlier while i was having my lunch and next thing i know it's nearly three pm! conked out completely! normally i can rely on my dog to wake me up coz she hates anyone falling asleep on the sofa - she comes and gives you a big disgusting lick to wake you up. but it seems even she was hit with the lazy bug this afternoon. must be summat in the air. change in pressure maybe...

so anyway, back to barcelona! it'll be great, it will, just right now i'm pretty tired and enthusiasm isn't at an all-time high! and coz i know i have so much to do between now and when my train for gatwick leaves i'm not sure it's humanly possible. but then, i work well under pressure. maybe that's why i always leave things till the very last minute, coz subconsciously i know i'll work harder. but not necessarily better. obviously a habit i have to break in my final year.

i find it slightly disturbing (in fact, i'm not sure how i find it, but almost feel like i SHOULD find it disturbing) that when i was sent my EHIC card (new version of E111) the other day - health insurance etc for travellers - they also sent me a form to register my organs for donation upon my death. what on earth do they think is gonna happen to me on this trip?!

i got a text today asking if i'd help carry some gospels over to spain. feel like a smuggler! aww, it's gonna be so great tho (i'm getting excited now). ive never done anything like this before. well, i've done missions obviously but not in a foreign country. well, i have, coz i've done 'em in England....ha ha ha ho ho ho.....but anyway it's a bit scary in that respect coz i really have no idea whatsoever of what i've let myself in for but the thought of going to tell people about Jesus is always exciting innit. woohoo! i'm being hosted by a spanish family!!!!!!!! they drew the short straw eh?! lol sed it myself before anyone else did....that's a bit scary too but cool at the same time. (i've never been very decisive...)

know what else is scary. my parents went out with dad's bro and his wife tonight for a meal and guess who they saw at the restaurant....well, you won't be able to guess so i'll tell you. two of my old teachers! (they're married). and what's even more scary is that they were talking about me today! well, it could be flattering that they still talk about me 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 years after i left school (wow! SIX YEARS!!!).....but then they were apparently talking about an incident on a school trip to france where i accidentally smashed a vase in a shop and a very irate french woman started shouting inches from my face and i crumpled into a very scared and upset little heap. i think my teacher had to pay for it. if you ever read this mr and mrs evans, you're both great, and when i'm rich and famous i'll pay you back. or at least rich, or at least no longer a student...! and you're great anyway - thankyou for all your hard work! what's possibly even scarier is that while they were out i was 'babysitting' my cousin Alex (she's 10, so hardly was i babysitting. more like enjoying the company of. she might have another way of putting it). anyway, the enjoyable part was beating both her and my nana at scrabble (a game i've never been able to play but i did really well tonight - even used all my letters!) and dominoes....the scary part was coming home and alex and i decided to put shark tale on but then looked at the bonus features and there's a bit -'oscar's club' - where they teach you some of the dance moves in the show. the shrimp dance - we had it down to a T, i tell ya! well, alex did....

ahhhhh the tiredness is setting in now which means i can either go to bed or ramble on here for a good deal longer. i know which you'd prefer and i love to keep my readers happy.... so ramble on it is! lol i'm only joking. bed time. although on my way i'm gonna make myself a NICE hot choc. prob shouldn't have one straight before bed but i'm wound up and excited now and need to calm down. and also i made one earlier and it was minging so gonna use a different choc powder this time. cadbury's shmadbury's. (i'm joking cadbury's, love you really!)

ah yes, bed! i'll update you on barcelona when i get back!

take care everybody

Monday, September 12, 2005

man's best friend

The monstrous beast lovingly makes you feel at home, cuddles you, plays with you, makes you feel like you're great and then as soon as your back is turned.....goes to strike you down!

At least, that's what my dog evidently thought was happening this afternoon. There's builders next door. When i let my dog out into our back garden they were quite happy to play with her (there's no fence separating our garden from our neighbour's atm). then as soon as i called her back into the house, and she followed, the builder innocently picked up his next scaffolding pole.

Big mistake! He really shoulda waited till she was in the house. She whirled round and was there to protect me in an instant. i'm just thankful she didn't bite him or we coulda been in trouble. thankfully she's learned that her bark can bring even the burliest of builders to the point of tears. If it wasn't such a serious situation and she hadn't been such a naughty doggy i might be tempted to smile...or even laugh...

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Forum 2005

I've just come home from Forum - an annual conference for CU leaders run by UCCF. My role was to help cook, but thankfully i had the chance to attend some of the meetings and seminars as well. all awesome.

I loved Forum when i went last year and really, really benefitted from the teaching and the fellowship with other CU leaders from all over the country - it was such a great time of challenge and encouragement and learning.
So - i really wanted to go again! But this time not for myself but to work behind the scenes and contribute to a conference that is so invaluable. I hope i did that! I really enjoyed the experience of being in the kitchen. Which is a great answer to prayer coz when i was cooking on camp just two weeks ago i found it hard to not be 'involved' in everything that was going on and God really had to develop my servant heart! But on Forum i had a great time, thankyou Lord!

I think the fact that i was working shifts helped that too - doing morning shift i was, and that meant i was able to attend any afternoon seminars (if i wasn't sleeping!) and the evening meetings. God really spoke to me through all that as well. His grace is amazing. He is so worthy of our praise.

Anyway, thought i'd just update things a little. I've got a frantic week ahead of me trying to work on dissertation and pack for uni and get other stuff sorted before i head off to barcelona next week, so there may not be another post on here until next weekend - unless i'm looking for a distraction! ;-)

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Trust....a little word with big implications

The anniversary of the Beslan school siege.
The devastation in New Orleans.
Poverty. Debt. Starvation. (In this, and other countries).
The funeral on Thursday of a dear old lady who was a friend of the family since I, and probably my dad, can remember.
The funeral tomorrow of a 16 year old girl from our village. She was the sister of a friend of my bro' seems someone teased her for being 'chubby'. She dieted. She became anorexic. The result...

It's at times like these (which seem to be occurring all too often these days), whether affecting people in some far off country or those on our doorstep, that we tell each other, especially as Christians, to 'keep the faith'. Keep trusting God, He'll pull you through.

That's all well and good, they're well meant words. But sometimes, perhaps we need to take a step back. Perhaps those words assume too much. 'But we trusted the teachers to keep our children safe in school/we trusted the government to send aid/we trusted the doctors...they let us down. Why trust God?'

Those words assume too much because it's especially at times like these that we all - Christian or not - need to be reminded of WHY we can trust Him. It's no good being told to do something without knowing why, because then your heart just isn't really in it.

I've just come back from an open air (for some, at least!) service in the grounds of Caerphilly Castle. The speaker - Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury. It was great, to be singing God's praises in the open air and in the midst of His beautiful creation.

And to hear the message, the reminder, of WHY we can trust God. (Faith and trust = same thing.) Why, R.W. asked, do we trust anyone? (What follows is a paraphrase of His message, which will far from do justice to what he said, and will perhaps contain some of my own thoughts that have got muddled up with what he actually said! If you read anything dodgy-which i hope you won't!- it's mine, don't attribute it to Rowan Williams, I can vouch that everything he said was sound, and my thanks to him for the message he brought this morning!)
1. They do what they say they'll do - they keep their word.
The Bible, a collection of many books written by many different people in different times, different circumstances, has a common thread in this - it describes a God who ALWAYS keeps His promises. Psalm 145:13 "The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving towards all he has made."

2. They take risks for us. If a friend, family member, whoever, has to take a risk or sacrifice something for us, we know we can trust them
God loves us, and to prove His love, and His utter trustworthiness, He sent Jesus. He could have sent bolts of lightning. He could have sent fire. Jesus could have been a man powerful beyond description. But God came as a man that the least of us could relate to, as a man who knew what it was to suffer, to sacrifice, to give His all for us. And He did. John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. "

3. They're always there for us.
And isn't God? Hallelujah, He is! He will never leave us or forsake us, the Bible says (Deuteronomy 31:6/Hebrews 13:5) and we've already established that He keeps His promises, so we know that's true! And we know from experience. In the deepest, darkest times, we can cry out to Him in the middle of the night, and He's there. (Matthew 11:28 "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.") In the happiest, best of times, we can rejoice with Him, He's there. And we need never be ashamed. He knows us so intimately that nothing we ever say will shock Him, and nothing we ever say, think, or do will be too much for Him, because of Jesus, because of the new life we have when we're reborn in Him. Romans 8:1-2 "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." Hallelujah!

4. People we trust, trust them.
How many times have you seen a Christian and thought "I wanna be like them"? (You may-although hopefully not- have thought the opposite, but just roll with the illustration!) Mother Teresa, the apostle Paul, the person in your church who is so caring and thoughtful and loving, a close friend who's a Christian, who you'd entrust your life to....We look at these people and we trust them. We trust them for all the reasons already mentionned. And we look at their lives and see something amazing. Why? It's not them, but it's Jesus. It's Jesus they trust and who gives such meaning to their lives. (John 10:10 "I have come that they may have life, and life to the full".) If people we trust and respect trust Jesus, why shouldn't we? Why should people trust Christians? Perhaps, quite simply, the answer is just because we're here. Because Christianity is here after 20 decades. It's here because trustworthy people have passed on the light to others, have set them on fire for the Lord, who exemplifies trustworthiness. Hebrews 11. It's here because Jesus says he is the way, the truth and the life...and God is to be trusted.

So that, with the help of Rowan Williams, is my (rather long!) thought for the day. Praise God that I know Him, that I'm His.

"No power of Hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns, or calls me home,
Here in the love of Christ I stand."

The anniversary of the Beslan school siege.
The devastation in New Orleans.
Poverty. Debt. Starvation. (In this, and other countries).
The funeral on Thursday of a dear old lady who was a friend of the family since I, and probably my dad, can remember.
The funeral tomorrow of a 16 year old girl from our village. She was the sister of a friend of my bro' seems someone teased her for being 'chubby'. She dieted. She became anorexic. The result...

I can trust in my wonderful God, in Jesus my Saviour. And I know exactly why. I hope and pray that you do too.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


i spent a really great afternoon with two good friends, ros and helen, today. as i started the drive back from Cardiff the sun was low in the sky - not low enough for it to be sunset, but low- at an angle where the sun's beams reflecting off of the mountains around me made them look even more, well, majestic, than usual. Do you know what i mean? there's something about driving - or walking/cycling/running for that matter - through mountains at that time of day, when the air starts to cool a little as the sun gets lower (yes, we do have glorious sun in Wales too, i'm not making this up!). It was an amazing view. i've seen the view itself many times before, and i've seen it in those specific weather conditions a few times before - and i hope i do again - but there's something so special about it each time. and each time i see that grandeur, i think of the creator. and then sings my soul....

This blog thing is great, innit?!!!


Ironing. Amazingly boring or surprisingly relaxing? Now there's a quesiton you could debate for hours...but let's not waste the time. That's the great thing about these blogs, you can throw anything out into the air, even the most random of thoughts, and discover other's thoughts onthe subject....brilliant! But then, I'msure this blog thing could be used for discussing much more useful topics than ironing.

Thing is, after spending almost two days (yep, don't ask!) ironing, i still don't have an answer to the question. If you iron for long enough you might discover what i mean.

Anyway, just thought i needed an excuse for a blog, really, so there it is!