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Tuesday, January 31, 2006


"If joy is a mark of spiritual maturity, how can we have more? Lack of joy is caused almost entirely through inner conflicts and wrong attitudes. When we get rid of these conflicts by putting our lives fully in the hands of Jesus, we will almost automatically burst into joy. We are made for joy, and when we are truly ourselves by being truly his then we are joyous - constitutionally. When the rebellious elements within us are surrendered to Jesus, then a deep joy is ours.
I read of an archaeologist who came across a document showing the location of a spring in a certain part of Rome. He obtained permission to dig beneath the foundations of an ancient building and, after months of removing dirt and rubble - there was the spring.
It burst upwards through the last remaining stones as if glad that it had been found. Joy is like that. When we get rid of the rubble that clutters up our lives then joy bursts upwards - automatically."

Selwyn Hughes

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Romans 15:13

Monday, January 30, 2006

This Man

There's another update coming soon, when I can figure out a way of uploading the photo I want without the USB lead for my camera - or until such time as mam sends it to me!

But for now...wrote this in church a while ago and never posted it.

This Man

This man
Enters, this world,
His home, for a time.

This man
Dwells, amongst us,
On earth, for a time.

This man
Dies, on a cross,
Buried, for a time.

This man
Lives, defeats death,
Reigns, for ALL time.


Friday, January 27, 2006

Being ill sucks...but Jesus rocks!

Well, it's true!

CU was amazing last night. God totally went BOOM with my heart and reminded me again of how much I need to be living for HIM. And again just now, studying 1 Corinthians 3 with Tim in preparation for cell on Tuesday. Nothing and nobody else is as important as God is.....All else is rubbish in the face of knowing Christ. I need to stop falling into the temptation of looking to other things for my security, of worrying about stuff that's in God's hands, of thinking I can handle things on my own....of thinking it's about ME.

It SO isn't.

And it was amazing last night because the new exec were voted in - a new group of people who have been called to take up these positions and lead RUCU forward by the grace of God. And that's my prayer for them, that they would continually stand in grace and look to God always for their direction, humbling themselves before the One who is SO worthy of our praise.

And it was sad, to see the old exec step down. As exciting as it is to see the new lot take over, it's always a bit sad...but as Ed said, this isn't the end of anything. I praise God for the 'old' exec - for their encouragement, challenge, their honesty and their cross-centredness throughout the past year - more than that, since I've had the privilege of knowing them.

Exciting times ahead for RUCU as a whole, and for us as individuals, as we look to God for refreshement, for energy, for grace (in abundance! hallelujah!), for COWS! (Courage, opportunity, wisdom and sensitivity!)....oh that He may continue to move in exciting ways; oh that we may continue to humble ourselves before Him and be excited by Him, thirsting after Him, hungry for His Word, hungry for more of Him in our lives, hungry for His power at work in us, that it may taste so wonderful and sweet, and that the wisdom of the world be as bitterness to us, that we would spit it out.

"Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. he chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things - and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are, so that no-one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: 'Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.'"
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
"So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future - all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God."
1 Corinthians 3:21-23

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Pray for Birmingham CU

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A Prayer...

"Oh God,
I have tasted your goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more...

Oh God,
I want to want you,
I long ot be filled with longing,
I thirst to be made more thirsty still...


Say to my soul, 'Rise up...and come away.'
Then give me grace to rise and follow you up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long...
I come trembling, but I do come.

Enter and dwell in my heart without a rival. Then my heart will have no need of the sun, for YOU will be the light of it.

My God is so vastly wonderful, so utterly and compltetly delightful, that He can, without anything other than Himself, meet and overflow the deepest demands of our total nature.

Lord, how excellent are your ways. Show us how to die that we may rise again, to newness of life.

Oh God,
Open my eyes that I may see
Give me acute spiritual perception,
Enable me to taste and know that you are good.


The world has been to much with me...
Lord, teach me to listen to you.

So let us begin with God, throwing ourselves at His feet, and meaning everything we say.

Oh God, be exalted above my
....even my very life.

Let me decrease that you may increase.

Hosanna in the highest!!

I trust you completely
I am altogether yours
I exalt you above all.

I ask you to cleanse the intent of my heart,
with the unspeakable gift of your grace,
that I may perfectly love you
and worthily praise you...


Excerpts adapted from 'The Pursuit of God' - A.W. Tozer

Head swimming

My head's swimming. Has been for a while now!

I'm tired, physically....but then going through random bursts of miraculous energy...

I'm overhwlemed - there are SO many people asking questions and randomly (ha! as if...) deciding to come to church or CU or cell or Christianity Explored...Praise the Lord...

Sherfield cell is going from strength to strength in terms of fellowship, of people growing in God, in thirst for Him and joy in Him...Praise the Lord...

I'm being encouraged and challenged so much by various people at the moment...Praise the Lord...

We have SUCH an amazing new crew of cell leaders...Praise the Lord...

We're soon to see the baton passed on and new exec take over - I chat to those guys and I'm blown away by their desire to serve and passion for Jesus...Praise the Lord...

I think back over the past year and how God has used the soon-to-be-old exec (sorry guys!), some of the people who were 'my' little freshers less than three years ago, and I'm bowled over by the privilege it's been to see them grow in Christ, to see the light of Jesus in their hearts shine so brightly, to see them take God's vision for the CU, grasp hold of it so tightly with both hands and run with it, in His strength and power...Praise the Lord...

I think of all my dear friends who graduated last year and what they're up to now, how God is using them in their new jobs/ encouraging it is to hear from them and how God is working in their lives and the lives of those around them...Praise the Lord...

I think of how many people were at Christianity Explored tonight and how much God was working in that room...Praise the Lord...

I do not have to look far right now to be reminded of God's grace (not that we ever have to look far, to be fair); to be reminded of His power; to be reminded of His love...Praise the Lord...

And yet, I'm still falling into the temptation of doubting Him, of worrying about my degree and other stuff, of pride, of frustration, of not trusting Him enough, of not putting Him foremost enough...

I'm thirsty for more of my God. It's in times like these my soul aches to be filled with the joy that only He can give. And praise Him He gives in abundance...Hallelujah, what a saviour...

Oh to just rest in Him...what a gift...Praise the Lord!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Well well well...

It's a been a while! sorry for lack of posts, can't believe I've stayed away from for so long! I've been busy! Mostly exciting stuff, more on that another time! But what I just read deserved a post...

So I'm entering the data for my dissertation into SPSS (No, I haven't entered it yet, yes, I'm way behind...hence the lack of posts!) and the book I borrowed from the library to help me with this process says...

"To use SPSS it is necessary to have access to it via a personal computer. A personal computer consists of a keyboard on which you type in your instructions, a mouse which provides an alternative way of moving about the screen and selecting instructions, and usually a video display unit (VDU) or television-like screen which displays information."

Oh dear. I wanted an idiot's guide, but come on! If I didn't know what all those things were why would I be using SPSS in the first place?!

That said, it has made the whole data-entering process slightly more amusing and the rest of the book looks promisingly helpful....

Back we go!

chuckle chuckle chuckle....

Friday, January 13, 2006

Speechies, prayer, and Psalm 27....

So on Tuesday we had our first speechie prayer meeting of term!

I love those times. I hope they continue this term in amongst the busy-ness. I love coming together with my Christian coursemates, from all the different year groups, and praying for our friends on our course, praying for our lecturers, praying for the people we're on placement with...praying that God would use us and speak through us into these people's lives.

This week we read through Psalm 27 - a Psalm that's been on my heart for nearly two weeks now, ever since Basil quoted just one verse of it in church on my first Sunday back.

This is something of what I shared with my fellow speechies, but it's not JUST for speechies!

It's a busy term. As far as course goes, 1st years are really getting stuck in now, 2nd years are gettin busier and preparing to go out on placement next term, 3rd years are just plain crazy hectic, 4th years and 2nd yr MSc's, graduation looms....1st yr MSc's are crazy hectic too....

As far as CU goes, it's crazy. We have exciting times ahead of new cell leaders and new exec taking over....exciting but a bit hectic. We have events week coming up. Exciting, but hectic.

We can EASILY feel swamped, deluged, drained.

Just plain old tired!

When we internalise that, we get stressed and feel like we're sinking.

When people don't respond to what we tell them about Jesus, we feel rubbish.

But listen to verse 1:- "The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?"

We live in a fallen world. We're strangers here. It's hard to relate sometimes. It's easy to feel under attack. But we need not be afraid. Verse 3 - "Though an army beseige me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident"

Its easy to say "I will hope in the Lord/I will be confident/I will trust Him". But unless we know the REASON for that confidence, for that trust, it's unfounded almost. We don't REALLY hold to it.

So WHY can we be confident? Verse 5 -he will keep me; verse 6 - he will receive me. And so much more.

God is faithful. He will keep His promises to us, just as he kept his promise to David, to Abraham, to Joseph, to the great 'heroes of faith', to the lesser known people who were stil obedient to Him, in Biblical times and since then.

What is our response to that this term? When we feel oppressed/worried/stressed/tired/unable to cope?

ONE THING. Verse 4. "One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life..."

We can be confident to trust our friends to the Lord. Verse 13-14:-

"I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD."

God WILL have His purpose. His kingdom WILL come.

We're the workers. Let's work, but in HIS strength, and for HIS glory.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Bible - what a book eh?!

I’ve been reminded, and shocked, this week at how much I take the Bible for granted. At how much I don’t treasure and take to heart what is written on its pages. It is the WORD OF GOD!!

I’m excited by the Bible. This is partly why.

And Psalm 119, all 2558 words (NIV) of it, is a celebration of the word of God. That’s nearly the word limit of the essay I handed in on Monday. And when I think of how MUCH that is….but here’s the difference. My essay, whilst I hope it was good (!) doesn’t matter one jot. I’ll never, I doubt, publish a paper. But all the papers in the world that have been published by the people considered the most intellectual, the most dynamic, the most revolutionary; that have added the most to their field, to human development, to research…(this includes Christians)….all that combined doesn’t matter a jot.

The Word of God throws every other word, sentence, paragraph, paper, book into a meaningless pile.

Because LIFE is contained in the pages of the Word of God. Our heavenly father has given us this precious gift, that we might know Him more.

And that’s why this word is celebrated in Psalm 119. That’s why SO much space is given over to a celebration of this word.

That’s why we need to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal its meaning to us and to impact our hearts with it. “Give me understanding and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart” (verse 34).

“Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight” (verse 35). YEAH!

“I have chosen the way of truth, I have set my heart on your laws.” (verse 30).

Let’s have more of a passion for God’s word. For not just reading it, but READING it….letting it REALLY sink into our hearts and changing us.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

FINISHED!! Hallelujah!


I've finished my work! Well, the stuff that's due in on Monday anyway!

At least I think I have, I'm sure I've forgotten to do summat.

Phew, what a marathon of a week. Kat's right (course she is, I told her!), I haven't been to bed before midnight since Saturday. Actually, its more like before 1! Average is prob 1:30am. And gettin up at 7/8. Working all day and evening.

Now I'm thinking bout it, I dunno how I've done it!

Yeah I do. God's grace. It totally is. And today, when I felt RUBBISH after nowhere near enough sleep, or good enough quality, when did I suddenly have a burst of energy that's enabled me to finish my work and just kick back, relax, and enjoy a day with Him tomorrow before the manic-ness of term starts?

When I prayed for it!

Hallelujah, God is good. And He gave us the gift of sleep! I can't see most of my room, it's covered in books and articles and clothes that I haven't put away... But I can see my bed, that's the most important thing right now!

Nos da.
(Good night!)

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Why do papercuts sting so much?!

I'm too tired to think of anything to write but I'm looking for distractions from work and trusty old is always there...

So, to some quotes!

Steve LW: (referring to a USB stick!) It can only go in one way
Tim: Yeah, that way, like that
Steve LW: But I put it in the other way

Steve LW: I came up with this title for a youth event by mistake - it was a typo!
Ceryn: Maybe it's divine inspiration
Steve LW: Quite often when I do something stupid in planning I'm trying to work out if it's me being stupid or God being stupid
(I'm sure he didn't mean it like it sounds!)

Tim: There are no side effects to being in heaven!

Sal: How many car parking spaces are there?
Tim: Catapulting spaces?!?!

Ceryn: I don't understand why I'm so tired, I didn't get outta bed till 10am
Kat: Yeah, but you didn't GO to bed till 3:30am and you haven't been to bed before midnight all week!
Ceryn: Oh yeah....

Well that was a nice interlude!
Back to work...!

I'm 71!!!

Ha, at this time of night (morning!) I feel it!

Actually, it's in reference to the fact that apparently this is my 71st post!

Not bad going! Well, I actually suppose it's to be expected considering how much I waffle!

Had to turn Jess's kind offer of pizza (and of course the pleasure of her company!) down tonight which was gutting! Love being 4th year but hate it at the same time! But then, good job I did coz.......

I've finished my data analysis write up! Woohoo!!! And finished case study on Tuesday so that's it! Done! "Dance, dance, everybody dance...!" ahem.

Well, kinda! Case study needs editing and polishing off - 500 words over the word limit (waffle!).

Analysis essay type thing - nearly 1000 words too many! (Told you I wouldn't stick to a 3000 word limit!)

It's ok, at least I've DONE it in terms of done the analysis, gathered together the references I wanted and included the info I wanted to...ha! Now I get to take half of it out! Well, no, I just get to remove my very long-winded way of putting things.

Kinda like this post. This entire blog really!

So a bit of editing tomorrow and then it's dissertation. Hang on, what's that?! I've nearly forgotten! Saw my dissertation supervisor coming down the corridor the other day and ran the other way! Not one of my proudest moments...! But proves how far behind I am, how much work it's gonna take, and how much that's gonna hurt!

But it's all good.

Know why?


HOW amazing is that?!
"You are holy in this place
You are worthy of my praise and we worship you
Jesus we worship You
You're the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords
You're the master of the universe
You're the ruler of all nations
And we sing to you
When you call my name I'll run to You
I'll do anything You ask me to
Falling on my knees I worship You, my Lord,
We give You GLORY."
'Glory' - Casting Crowns
On that note people, I'm off to bed....if I can find it amongst all the paper! Ahhh....

Friday, January 06, 2006


Read this today and it reminded me of part of why I wanna be a speech and language therapist. (Yep, sometimes I 'forget', especially when I'm bogged down with work!) Speech and language are immense gifts from God. I'm so excited that I get to spend my life working to help people who have impaired abilities in one, or both. Thanks God!

By Brian Patten, 1987.

I'm seven, and I'm dead bright,
But words give me a fright.
Words are bullies,
Sneaky things. They lie.
Sometimes trying to understand them
Makes me cry. Words hurt.
Words are all over the place.
They get shoved in my face.
I don't know why but
Words make me cry.

I wish words were things
You could hug
Or that they smelt nice.
I wish they came in bottles
Like fizzy-drinks, or melted
Like ice cream. But they don't.

Words are mean. They bully me,
Lock me away
From what I want to say.
I can't ask for help
And I'm only seven
(And a bit).
Words spread nasty gossip.
They must. Otherwise why
Would people think I'm thick.

They make me sick.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Rockets and Chickaroos

Conversational analysis takes soooooooooooooooo long!

Interesting, just SO time consuming! And I'm never gonna be able to stick to a 3000 word limit.

There was a rocket on campus today.

My nana's got a cordless phone and she's really excited! I was the first to phone her on it apparently. Chuffed!

All my Welsh cakes are gone.

God's grace and faithfulness astound me.

Imagine a cross between a chicken and a kangaroo. A chickaroo!! (now that's GOTTA make you smile!)

My uncle can be very random at times.

My cousin's 11 tomorrow. Scary. I feel old.

My arm hurts.

I was 25 minutes ahead of everyone this morning. Seriously. Funny story!

I've got lights on my bike! (Thanks Tim!)

I had company for lunch! (Thanks Sally!)

I've got a lot of work.

I'm gonna go do it!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Don't like them.

My arm hurts!

Creator's signature

So as I was sat in the health centre this morning waiting to be poked with a needle I picked up the latest issue of the New Scientist to peruse...

I came across an article called 'Looking for creator's signature in space'. I didn't get to read all of it, the needle summoned. But what I did read fascinated me. It fascinated me that people were talking about the fact that if the universe was made by a creator, or creators, that they could leave a signature somehow in space - kinda like an artist's signature on a painting I guess - and maybe in ten years we'll have the technology to discover it...I'm paraphrasing coz I can't remember what exactly was said and I'm not yet willing to pay the subscription to view the article online!

But isn't that fascinating.

Coz, in my mind, space, creation, the universe IS God's signature! We don't need technology to know that He exists, that there IS a creator. The universe is proof of that!

Sometimes it's just TOO simple for people isn't it? *sigh*

Psalm 19:1-6
Romans 1:20

The Voice of Truth

I got a Casting Crowns CD for Christmas, I've been after it ever since my bro Nathan got it and played it to me back in the summer. I love it and the words of every song speak to me so much.
I did have it playing tonight while struggling away with my work, but had to turn it off coz couldn't concentrate! So now before going to bed, I'm listening to one or two songs.
And the words of this song, The Voice of Truth, the truth in the words, really hit me again.

"Oh what I would do to have
The kind of fath it takes to climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves

To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He's holding out His hand

But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me 'Boy you'll never win!
You'll never win!'

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says, 'Do not be afraid!'
And the voice of truth says 'This is for my glory'
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth."

YEAH!! I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth!!!

I'm reminded right now of how often we, I, think 'that's impossible'. Do you ever hear God calling you to something and think - no way, I can't do that!

But that's the point isn't it?! The point IS that we CAN'T.

But God can. "My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9) I know Paul was repeating somthing God had said directly to him, but it applies to us too.

God's power is made perfect in our weaknesses, and when we are weak, then in fact we are strong. When we humble ourselves before the Lord, when we give our lives completely over to Him and allow His power to work through us instead of trying to do everything ourselves, THEN and ONLY THEN we see the glorious power of God in our lives and can leap for joy at what happens.

When we work, we work. When we pray, God works. (Bill Hybels, 'Too busy not to pray')

And it's because of God's power, and His grace, that we do not need to do anything on our own. And we do not need to get trapped in works. We do not need to get trapped in legalism. Go check out Ed's post to get fired up and excited again about the freedom we have in Christ, about grace, about our wonderful Lord and Saviour! (I know I keep pluggin Ed's blog at the moment, he's not paying me, honest! Although, Ed, that's an idea mate...!)

No to legalism, no to the lies of the enemy, no to fear...and a big, huge, resounding YES to grace, to Christ.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

On my knees...

So once more I've had a self-involved day.

I've been trying not to get stressed about work - or pretending that I'm not- but really deep down I have been, very stressed!

Mam rang me at lunch time to ask if I knew the Reading student who died in Thailand. I didn't, but it filled me with sadness as I heard mam explain to me what the news was saying.

I thought about it for a bit, I offered up a prayer, and to my shame went back to being self-involved in work. In me.

But there's a connection. Whether I knew this girl or not, she's a student at the same university as me. It's likely I've walked past her on campus, or seen her in my department, or even lectures. Just another face?

And it's likely I know people who knew her, who know her friend who was with her.

As the reality of that hits me, work isn't so important anymore.

What's important is being on my knees in prayer.

Psalm 46:10 - "Be still and know that I am God."


Suddenly, it seems,
The light has dimmed,
The fire no longer roars
In this heart full of sin.

Suddenly I notice
Gradually You’re fading
As I shut the door
And don’t let you in.

Suddenly I’m where
I do not want to be
I’m drowning, suffocating
My soul cannot breathe.

Suddenly I realise
Sin is overtaking.
All I want to be and do,
THAT I am forsaking.

Suddenly it dawns,
I’m prevented by my shame
From bringing this to You,
At your feet my burdens laying.

Suddenly, glorious revelation
I need carry no shame.
For great is Your faithfulness
And so true is Your Name.

Suddenly that Name
Is more dear to me than ever
As I plead for your forgiveness
And stand in grace – hallelujah!


Crawling When I Want To Run

Great is your faithfulness
And mine is not
I trip, lose sight, stumble,
Ignore Your helping hand,
Fall, flat on my face.

I wonder why I can’t get up.

Crawling through the mist
And murkiness of life;
Of thoughts, and feelings,
I try to make it on my own.

I wonder why I can’t get up.

I’m straining for the clearing
Grasping for air to breathe-
Clean, fresh, pure air –
Longing for the mist to rise.

I wonder why I can’t get up.

Perhaps You could help
But perhaps that would hurt.
As low as I am, as I feel,
It’s more comfortable than facing
The blinding, bright purity
Of Your Holiness.

I wonder why I can’t get up.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Reflections on 2005

Maybe I should have written this last night. But I was still collecting my thoughts!

Things I've enjoyed...
>Handing over the reigns to a new exec at Reading Uni Christian Union (RUCU)- fantastic time of seeing the baton passed on.
>Wales winning the Grand Slam!!!!!!!!!
>Seeing friends graduate and move on to be used by God elsewhere.
>Ros and Dave getting married.
>EMW Camps - seeing young people grasp hold of the Word and want more - seeing them come to faith. Seeing them strengthened. Hallelujah!
>My little bro Gethin coming back to God on camp.
>Barcelona! I could go on for fact, I already have! Here, and here!
>Starting my 4th year with an immense passion for God, for proclaiming the gospel on campus, for RUCU!
>Having Helen back at Reading! Praise God for restoring her health!
>RUCU Houseparty 2005.
>Being a cell leader again!
>RUCU Carol Service 2005.
>Most of my placements!
>Spending Christmas at home.

Things I've not enjoyed...
>Getting so engrossed in my work and other stuff that I didn't enjoy passing on the baton as much as I should have done, wasn't the support I should have been, and lost my vision for the work God's doing on campus through RUCU.
>Being ill, niggly little things that wouldon't go away.
>Seeing people graduate and leave Reading.
>My auntie having another operation. But praise God for getting her through it!
>Mam being ill and finding work difficult.
>My little bro Gethin blocking me on MSN!!
>Being away from home in all of the above.
>Other things I won't go in to here...!

As the poem I wrote today says, it's entirely by God's grace I sit here writing this this evening. I wrote that in response to something else Jonathan said in church this morning - that yeah, as we look back over the year, there will have been hard times as well as good. There will have been rough, unsteady, uncertain times. But we're still here wanting to please God, wanting to live for Him, because He has brought us through -or is still bringing us through - those times. He is faithful and true. And it's entirely by His grace. Wow, that really blew me away!

Perhaps more so because over the Christmas hols my heart hasn't been right, hasn't been focused on God, hasn't been seeking after Him. And that was weird. I found it weird that, at home, I'd be like that. I thought if anything, being with my family, and reflecting on all the amazing things God's done this term, this year, I'd be stronger. But I haven't been, I've been the opposite.

I can conjecture reasons for that but ultimately it's rubbish. "Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to enquire of the Lord..." (2 Chronicles 20:3).

It should be instinctive to run to God with whatever I'm going through, especially hard times, instead of trying to do it on my own.

Ultimately, my eyes should always be fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith, whatever my situation- whether I'm happy and full of praise, whether I'm feeling battered and bruised by life, or whether I'm just mulling along.

"We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you" (2 Chronicles 20:12).

My prayer for the year ahead is partly that. That I'll always keep my eyes fixed on Jesus especially when I don't know what to do. And that if I do fall away from seeking after Him as I should, that I won't let the shame of that prevent me from coming back and throwing myself at His wonderful feet once more - I stand in grace. Wonderful, beautiful, amazing grace, that saved a wretch like me.

Ed's post today was a wonderful reminder of grace and really encouraged and challenged me to strain onwards for God (as always - unless he's talking about footy!). Also, check out Tim's post.

Dance, dance, everybody dance! Let the joy of the knowledge of grace overflow in your hearts - and take that with you into the coming year....let's do it ALL for Him, for nothing and nobody else is worthy of our time.

New Year Resolution

By God' grace
I stand this new year's day.
And by that grace alone
I worship His beautiful Name.

And so my resolution
By His grace I will achieve;
To pray, to learn, to love Him more,
And more of Him, receive.

By God’s grace
I’ll know nothing
Except Christ crucified
In atonement for my sin.

By God’s grace
Another year I’ll see.
And by that grace alone
I’ll celebrate eternity.

Church this morning - New Year Resolutions

I miss my home church but it was good to be back at Carey this morning, if a little weird to be the only student there!

Jonathan spoke on the subject of new year resolutions - looking at resolutions made by people in the Bible. It seems the NIV speaks just four times of men resolving to do things. But wow, what resolutions they were! (And what men, for that matter!)

Jehoshaphat's Resolve - 2 Chronicles 20:3
This really struck me. Mainly coz I spose it spoke directly into my situation at the moment. But look at this. So Judah's in trouble and Jehoshaphat is alarmed. What does he do? He resolves to enquire of the Lord.
That's amazing! Is that always the first thing I do when I'm alarmed/scared/worried/busy/too much on my plate? No, but it jolly well SHOULD be!!
And the people followed Jehoshaphat's lead...As Jonathan said, if only we, if I, would turn as instinctively and surely to the Lord in our own troubles in the coming year - what divine assuranceand courage we'd receive!

David's Resolve - Psalm 17:3
Psalm 17.
Another godly king in trouble - being slandered and persecuted by his enemies.
Again, what I do when I feel got at, when people are being mean, when things aren't going my way, when my friends and coursemates are grumbling about the I seek God or do I grumble?
In the midst of everything David was going through he doesn't respond to his enemies by their standards. He resolves that his mouth will not sin.
James 3 - pretty much a WHOLE CHAPTER on the dangers of the tongue. Philippians 4:8 shows us what our conversation SHOULD be like. (See also Colossians 4:6, and Ephesians 4:29.) Oh please God, more like this let me be! And how? By His grace, and through prayer, as David prays in Psalm 141:3.

Daniel's Resolve - Daniel 1:8
Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food because he was in exile, his people were suffering, and he wouldn't indulge himself in those circumstance, it would have seemed like treason. Spiritually, as Christians, we're in the same condition in this fallen world - we are to live as aliens and strangers here and have a keener conscience, feeding less on what the world offers, and more on spiritual food.

Paul's Resolve - 1 Corinthians 2:2
This sums up all the others. Paul laid aside his worldly wisdom, thinking and reasoning (1 Corinthians 1:25). All he wanted, and what he resolved was for Christ to be his whole delight and the message of the gospel to be all he was known for. What a new year's resolution! That the whole direction of our lives this year might be that we shall "know nothing...except Jesus Christ and him crucified"!

Standing at the doorway...

Standing at the doorway
Of the opening year,
Words of comfort meet us,
Hushing every fear;
Spoken through the silence
By our Father's voice,
Tender, strong and faithful,
Making us rejoice.

Onward then and fear not,
Children of the day!
For His Word shall never,
Never pass away.

I the Lord am with you,
Do not be afraid,
I will help and strengthen,
Do not be dismayed!
Yes, I will uphold you
With my own right hand,
You are called and chosen
In my sight to stand.

For the year before us,
O what rich supplies!
For the poor and needy
Living streams shall rise;
For the sad and sinful
Shall His grace abound;
For the faint and feeble
Perfect strangth be found.

He will never fail us,
He will not forsake;
His eternal covenant
He will never break.
Resting on His promise,
What have we to fear?
God is all-sufficient
For the coming year.

Frances Ridley Havergal, 1836-79