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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I needed to hear these words

'Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith 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
time and time again
"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.

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of strength it takes
To stand before a giant
With just a sling and a stone.

Surrounded by the sound
of a thousand warriors
Shaking in their armour,
Wishing they'd have had
the strength to stand.

But the giant's calling out my name
and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed.
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again
"Boy you'll never win! You'll never win!"

But the stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground

And the waves they don't seem so high
From on top of them looking down.

I will soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
Singing over me.

I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.'
'Voice of Truth' -Casting Crowns

New blogger alert

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Caption competition! (#2)

When a revision break on a Saturday night = laundry, you just know crazy things are gonna happen.


Add your comments, you know you want to!

Monday, May 29, 2006

The News in Brief

Portsmouth was cool, despite some people's (Kath included! Shocking!) best attempts to scare me!

I have my first clinical exam in exactly a week. Not that I'm scared or antying.

I'm realising what I've been trying to ignore for a while - I'm not fully better. Pain's gone, tiredness remains. Slowly does it...

I've set up a new blog, courtesy of an idea by Becci. View amazing things here.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Where'd that Friday feeling go?

I'm going to Portsmouth today to look around, meet the CU, meet my housemates for next year...

The Friday feeling has been replaced with the Fresher feeling!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

An admission

Ok, I've been fighting it, but I admit it, I'm jealous of people like Ed.

I want my exams to be over!

Now that I'm well enough to do so;
I want to sit and read all those books on my shelf,
I want to chill out with people and have fun,
I want to sit and spend hours reading my Bible,
I want to read blogs and be challenged/encouraged,
I want to go for a nice, long walk,
I want to go to the beach,
I want to finish typing up my Grandpa's diary,
I want to write letters,
I want to go to town and just wander,
I want to watch films,
I want to write,
I want to take photos,
I want to DO STUFF that isn't work!

I want, I want I want...Ahh, it's all about me, me, me, after all...

(And it's for moments like these that Colossians 3:23-24. is pinned above my desk.)

I should be working...

I've recently started reading this.

And I love this.

So I wrote this:

Can you tell me He's not there?

When you look into the sky
When you feel a gentle breeze,
Do you ever wonder why
This world ever came to be?

When you climb a mountain high
Or watch fish in gentle stream,
When you hear a waterfall
Is there meaning there at all?

When you swim in glistening sea
Or build castles in the sand,
When you lie in meadows green
Do you start to understand?

When you think and talk and move
When you watch a bird in flight,
When you really feel alive
Are you still looking for proof?

When you stop just for a time
Just to wonder at the earth,
When you ponder all around
Can you tell me He's not there?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Happy cake!

With congratulations to Ed, Jess and everyone else who's finished their exams...

...and a happy birthday to Tim!

(Disclaimer: I do not have the talent to make a cake such as the above - or any cake, for that matter - and so this image is provided courtesy of Google images and is copyright to Jill, 2001! It was a choice between this and the only photo I have on my computer of a cake. It's a wedding cake mam made over Easter. Mam's cake is of course wonderful. But this one's funny.)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

On my knees

In church this morning James quoted from John Owen, who said:

“A minister may fill his pews...and the mouths of the public, but what that minister is on his knees in secret before God Almighty, that he is, and no more”.

That quote REALLY hit me coz it doesn't just apply to ministers, it applies to us all. It applies to me. I am nothing but what I am in Christ. Whatever God sees in my heart, that is what I am. I can try all I like to hide bits of me from others; God sees them. And I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't want to have to hide stuff. I want to be genuine. I want God to SO permeate my life with His Spirit - my actions, words, thoughts...everything! I know I'll never be perfect this side of Heaven - but I wanna be so much more serious about sin, so much more desperate to root it out of my life. I want to cling to Jesus my true vine and produce fantastic fruit. I want Him to prune me where I need to be pruned; clean me where I need to be cleaned.

And then the other thing is that I want everything I do to bring glory to God. When I'm with other people I want to be exactly what I am when I'm simply on my knees before God, when I'm standing myself next to the cross of Christ - nothing but what I am in God. NOTHING of me, and ALL of Him. I am nothing more than that. May it always be about God, and never about me.

That goes some way to explaining where I'm coming from in this poem...

On My Knees

On my knees before You
The door is closed to all;
You see me now in secret
And to my heart You call.

You see me now in secret
One true thing I know;
On my knees before You -
I am nothing but Your own.

On my knees before You
My deepest depths unveiled;
You see me now in secret,
Nothing hidden remains.

You see me now in secret
You know how I must change;
On my knees before You
Oh Father, have Your way.

On my knees before You
I pray that I'd be cleaned;
You see me now in secret,
Have me glorify Your Name.

You see me now in secret
And this is all I am;
On my knees before You
My life is in Your hands.

On my knees before You
I pray that I'd bear fruit;
You see me now in secret,
Let others see this too.

John 15:1-8

From church this morning (James Muldoon)

John 15:1-8

Over past few years lots of “How to...” books have been written. Jesus teaches us here how to grow a fruitful church. He's speaking to his disciples on the night before the crucifixion. He gives them instructions about their relationship with Him, each other, and with outsiders. Verses 1-8 are about their relationship with Him. He teaches them how to grow a fruitful church, but in reality it's God who does everything.

1. Plant the best quality stock.
In this chapter Jesus deals very much with the disciples' relationship with Him. Compares Himself to a vine.

Important Old Testament background – Israel was often likened to a vine/vineyard – e.g. Isaiah 5:1-7 :- picture language is used in this passage to show how God has taken care of Israel. But – they've only produced bad fruit (or, literally, 'stinky' fruit). Fruit men and women produce = deeds/characteristics. In verse 3 God starts to speak. He will punish this people. In verse 7, Isaiah explains that Israel are the bad vine/vineyard – they are unfaithful and false.
Every time Israel is likened to a vine/vineyard in the OT it's a bad image and used to show how they've let God down. Each member of Israel was a sinner (just like you and me..)

Back to John 15...Jesus is the TRUE vine. Good fruit comes from this vine. The fruit desired by God. So the first step in growing a fruitful church is to link to the best quality vine.

No fruit is ever better than the tree it grows on.
If we're linked to Jesus, the true vine, we'll see the best fruit. This means that every Christian has tremendous potential. What a privilege and blessing!

2. Pick off the dead wood.
Arminians say that a Christian can lose their salvation. Is that what verses 2 and 6 say?
On the face of it, it seems so. But they don't. That would bring them into conflict with other passages. Remember, for example, John 10:28-30. Jesus was talking about Christians and gives a wonderful promise. That's not to say real believers won't backslide. That's tragic, but real. But it IS to say we won't be lost in the end.
These verses in chapter 15 are speaking about people like Judas. People who've been associated with Jesus and may fool everyone else into thinking they're real believers – but look at their lives. Counterfeit Christians.
We need to be concerned about the purity of the church but only God can pick off dead wood. These verses challenge us to make sure we ARE genuine Christians.

3. Prune fruitful branches.
We undergo a pruning process. The aim is to make us more fruitful. How? When we suffer, and look to the Lord, we grow stronger. That's one way. But it's not the primary meaning of verse 2. The word translated 'prunes' (verse 2) normally means 'cleaned'. In verse 3, the word 'clean' comes from the same root in the original Greek.
So, in the sight of God, the disciples are now clean. They're clean through the words of Christ (verse 3). But in terms of actions, they're not perfect. Sanctification is ongoing and leads to the bearing of more fruit.
So how are the disciples pruned? Through the words of Jesus Christ. They prune us, condemn sin in us, promote growth in us, inspire holiness in us...They produce fruit.
So – we have to take the Bible very seriously indeed! We will not be fruitful without it.
Read it.
Memorise it.
Listen carefully whenever it's preached.
Stick it on post-it notes around your house!
Write it in the steam on your bathroom mirror!
Whatever you do, take it seriously. Take it in.

4. Pass on nourishment (verse 4-5).
Every branch that bears fruit has to be in contact with the vine. It passes on nourishment to the branches. So Christians have to be in contact with Christ. “Remain in me...” - inward, personal communion with Christ.
What's the result? Much spiritual fruit. Every good thing you do/word you speak/thought you think comes from Christ.
Fruitfulness is NOT the result of human achievement but of abiding in Christ.
Apart from Him, we can do NOTHING. And it's when we remain in Christ that our prayers are answered. Am I sticking close to Christ? Apart from Jesus I can do NOTHING.
John Owen once wrote (more or less – language updated!):

“A minister may fill his pews...and the mouths of the public, but what that minister is on his knees in secret before God Almighty, that he is, and no more”.
Those words have a wider application than just to ministers. In any sphere of life, we can only do anything of any significance when we're close to Christ. If we're close to Christ, we'll be fruitful.

5. Parade the gardener's skill.
The above four points have been things that God does, not us. This is for us – give God the glory!
What is the point of a vine? To produce grapes – and not much else!
What is the point of a Christian, of a church? To bring glory to God.
That's what verse 8 teaches us to do. And we can do that by bearing fruit. When people see a truly fruitful Christian, they get a glimpse of the invisible God through them. And that glorifies Him.
Are you a fruitful Christian? Negatively, if you're not, you're robbing Him of glory which should be His. Positively, if you are, you're fulfilling the greatest purpose of your life by bringing Him glory.
What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

'Nuff said

"The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

Psalm 23

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A lesson

Ok, so I posted earlier today the words of a hymn which remind of the fact that however much I change - especially how much my emotions/feelings change - God does not. I talked about how I need to trust Jesus, and not me; how I need to have joy in the Truth that is His Name and His Word. And as I was writing that I was thinking to myself that I need to practice that more. I need to run to God more, first and foremost.

Five minutes later I got an email with the dates for my practical clinical exams. It made it all official and what did I do? Having just posted on the trust we have in Jesus you'd think I'd pray and give it all over to Him, wouldn't you?!


I paced my room, I printed the email, I panicked, I paced my room again, paced my corridor, let Kat, Becky and Issy know exactly how scared I was, and then paced into town. (At least I'm better, eh - praise God for the ability to pace!)

What a shocking confirmation of how fickle I am!

And it was not until I was on my way into town I did what I hsould have done in the first place - I prayed! And then God reminded me - NOTHING can separate me from His love (Romans 8:38-39) - not even clinical exams!

What a glorious, wonderful confirmation of God's grace!

And so WHY am I scared? After berating myself a little for letting it get to me so much - especially just five minutes after talking about how much we can trust God in everything - I was again reminded of God's grace and spent the rest of the walk into town just praising His glorious, wonderful Name.

'My love is ofttimes low,
My joy still ebbs and flows;
But peace with Him remains the same—
No change Jehovah knows.

I change, He changes not,
The Christ can never die;
His love, not mine, the resting-place,
His truth, not mine, the tie.'

He changes not

'I hear the words of love,
I gaze upon the blood,
I see the mighty sacrifice,
And I have peace with God.

'Tis everlasting peace,
Sure as Jehovah's name;
'Tis stable as His steadfast throne,
Forevermore the same.

The clouds may come and go,
And storms may sweep my sky—
This blood-sealed friendship changes not:
The cross is ever nigh.

My love is ofttimes low,
My joy still ebbs and flows;
But peace with Him remains the same—
No change Jehovah knows.

I change, He changes not,
The Christ can never die;
His love, not mine, the resting-place,
His truth, not mine, the tie.'
Horatius Bonar

What amazingly powerful words. The Praise hymnbook has changed the words, the last verse to:
'I change, but He does not
His truth can never lie
His love, not mine upholds my faith
For Jesus shall not die.'

I like that simply because of the acknowledgement that it is God who upholds my faith. I love this hymn. I love the truth of the words that remind me that I'm so fickle! That I change so readily, that I so readily lesson, or even abandon, my trust in God...but that I certainly do not need to. Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Praise the Lord that my salvation depends not on me, but on Him. It depends not on what I do, but on what He HAS DONE. It depends not on whether I feel like praising Him or trusting Him or whether I feel happy or sad or anywhere in between at any given moment in time. It depends on the Truth of what is written in His Word. 'His truth, not mine, the tie'.
That Truth does not change, no matter how much I do. I need not trust myself, I need only trust Him. I need only thirst after Him, (Psalm 42:1-2); I need only learn to find joy in Him no matter the circumstance (Philippians 4:4). I need only KNOW I have joy in Him. Pure joy, unbounding joy. Joy that lasts, joy that is real, joy that is based on Truth.


Monday, May 15, 2006

Click click

Thanks to Tim
I finally have a new USB lead for my camera. Some of you may not be so thankful when you see some of the photos from Word Alive over on Welshie's Wanderings...

Saturday, May 13, 2006

It's the wheelbarrow!!!

Awww. Look at it. Isn't it beautiful?!

My uncle Clive and auntie Gill have quite a large garden and when we were little, my older cousins used to push my brother Nathan and I round the garden in this wheelbarrow. And while Nathan was clearing out my auntie Adelle's garage t'other day he found it!

He's kinda outgrown it now, as have I, but we're so gonna have to re-create old times when I'm next home!

2 down, 2 to go...

Well, this morning I sat my last ever university written exam! (Hopefully!)

And after two months of doing nothing then spending a week revising I slept all afternoon!

Praise God for getting me through those exams, especially considering just two weeks ago I thought I wasn't gonna be able to graduate in July.

God is good!

Just two practical ones to go and then I'm done. Wow, doesn't time fly.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

1 down, 3 to go!

One exam down! hooray!

And, God was faithful (surprise surprise!). Not entirely sure how it went or whether I answered the questions properly but I answered them so I don't need to think about it anymore!

It completely wiped me out sitting there for so long trying to concentrate. A LONG time since I've done that! My concentration was shot for the rest of the day. To the point where, in fact, I just stood and watched while Issy tried to load a trolley full of shopping into Becky's car in the hailstones, instead of helping! Sorry dude!

But God's got me through that exam, He's made sure I'm awake enough to revise today and as scared as I am about the next three exams, He's gonna take me through those as well. I don't know why and I know I don't deserve it, but that's His grace and that's one of the wonders of being His child. HOW amazing is that?!

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"
1 John 3:1

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Exam time!

Bring it on! Have to say I've been quite worried about these exams. My concentration levels are still extremely low and I just don't feel like I'm retaining anything at all.

But God is good.

And why am I here? I'm not just here to pass my exams. I'm here to give God glory. Pass or fail He is worthy to be praised. He DOES NOT CHANGE.

"But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
For he has been good to me."
Psalm 13:5-6

SO good! He has been so, SO good to me. And I am saved! If nothing else, I have that; and that means I need nothing else!

"Lost for words with all to say.
Lord, you take my breath away.
Still my soul, my soul cries out,
for You are Holy.
And as I look upon Your Name
Circumstances fade away.
And now Your glory steals my heart,
for You are Holy.
You are Holy. You are Holy, Lord.
Evermore my heart, my heart will say
Above all, I live for Your glory.
Even if my world falls I will say
Above all I live for Your glory."
(Hillsongs - 'Evermore')

Pass or fail, this exam isn't about me. Pass or fail, God is worthy to be praised. Pass or fail, ill or well, happy or sad...may He be glorfied in me ALWAYS.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Hot off the press

I was so tired tonight that I was in bed by 9.30 and asleep by 10! Impressive! Until I woke at 12.45! And my brain, as it has a habit of doing late and night when my body's trying to sleep, started whirring. Eventually (oh, when will I ever learn...'eventually' should be 'straight away'!) I started praying. And the words started forming a poem in my head. I had a bit of a conversation/argument with myself about whether I should get up and write them down or wait till the morning coz getting up would certainly not help me get back to sleep... After going over and over the words in my head and slightly re-writing it about 4 or 5 times I eventually (there's that word again) said "OK God, you win" and got up. Here's the result...

Restless Night

Tossing and turning,
Thoughts now returning;
Fear and shame
Guilt and lies
Grab me, hold me,
Taunt me
Haunt me;
Diverting my eyes
From the Truth
In Your Name.

I'm captive, I'm struggling,
Held now and sighing;
Lost and alone
Tears and pain
Twisting, turning,
You unlock my chains
And Your grace
Says 'Now come'.

I'm ransomed, I'm healed
This prisoner is free;
Search my heart
Try my thoughts
Bid me now rise,
Blind eyes
To lies;
With Your blood I'm bought
And Your cross
Leads me Home.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Right now...

...I'm having a break from revision room is an absolute state (and I couldn't care less!)

...I'm cold

...I've shut my curtains coz it's not a nice day!

...I feel good! (physically!)

...I'm reminded of how amazing God is

...there's a box of chocolate cake mix staring at me telling me to avoid revision and bake cake's less than 48 hours till my exam

...I'm going back to revision!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

My mind is well and truly blown!

Well. WHAT a talk we had from Jonathan Stephen at church this morning. I think it's gonna take a good long while for it to sink in. But I want it to. I want to digest it slowly and thoughtfully and pray that it sinks in deep so that it lasts. My notes, such as they are, are below. I found some bits hard to understand and occasionally had difficulty concentrating so if anything doesn't make sense or sounds dodgy, it's entirely my bad notetaking and I apologise for that. But the point is, which I hope you do manage to get, that God is totally amazing and there are some things we'll just never figure out. But that's ok. It's more than ok. He's God - we're not. And we have peace, infinite, unfathomable peace. Hallelujah!

Over the last couple of chapters of John we've seen a growing sense of anxiety amongst the disciples. They're not happy, they're perplexed, they're worried; they're wading in concerns and objections.
The only one who isn't worried is Jesus - even though He's shortly gonna go to the cross!

We don't need to allow ourselves to get in the kind of state the disciples were in.

Judas (not Iscariot) - this is all we hear of him. And what do we hear? That he's completely perplexed. He assumed, rightly, from 14:3 that Jesus was speaking about the end of the age and about being visible to everyone. So why here is Jesus saying they'd see Him when He returned but the world wouldn't?

Verse 22 - the 'why' in NIV isn't great translation. More literally 'What has happened?' - Judas wants to know what's changed from verse 3.

The answer is nothing! Jesus isn't talking here about the same thing he was talking about in verse 3. He's not talking about His second coming, but about His resurrection. And after His resurrection He revealed Himself to His disciples, not to the whole world.
Of course, Judas was in no state to understand all this just then!
And Jesus' answer in verse 23 just adds to his perplexity. In verse 23 Jesus talks about something different again! Not the second coming of verse 3 or the resurrection of verse 18, but the coming of Jesus and the Father by the Spirit after Pentecost. HOW was Judas supposed to work all that out?!

The answer is that he simply wasn't! That's why we have verses 25-26. Jesus is telling him don't worry, it makes sense, but you won't understand it yet. You can't, until the Holy Spirit comes. And the Holy Spirit will teach you everything you need to know, help you to make sense of it, and lead you into a deeper understanding.

The Holy Spirit enabled the apostles to write the New Testament. That's why we believe the Bible is inspired. How did John remember all these words? How could he remember everything Jesus said? No other way than by the Holy Spirit bringing to his mind everything he needed to know.

Do verses 25-26 speak to us? We always need to ask, when studying the Bible, WHO the words are spoken to.
Here, it is the case that the words apply to us too, the promises made belong to all believers. In certain ways the words only apply to the apostles "will remind you of everything I've said to you" - but in a less exalted sense it applies to us too. The Holy Spirit delights to remind us of Scripture. Remind us. That implies we've read it and are acquainted with it. Gives us a duty to read it. The application to us is not exactly the same as to the apostles, but parallel and instructive.

There's a connection between love and obedience. Verse 15, verse 21, verse 24 are three different ways of saying the same thing. How do you show your love for God? By obeying the Scriptures.


Anybody who claims to love Jesus but neglects the Bible is quite deluded.

"I will show myself to him"
"we..." (Father and Son) "...will make our home with him"

These are staggering truths.
We cannot fully grasp what is being said here. What do these words mean? That the Father and the Son indwell us?

The Father and the Son between them sent the Holy Spirit to indwell us. Because He dwells in us, He does all sorts of things for us. Thank God for the Holy Spirit!!

But somehow - in a way no theologian can fully explain - the Father and the Son indwell us.

This is INCREDIBLY difficult to grasp.
Do they indwell us by the Spirit? Or is there some other way?

BUT - all Jesus wants us to understand is that the believer is somehow home to the triune God.


This applies not only individually but as a church. We always need to turn from the individual to the corporate understanding. This indwelling is a foretaste of the glorious future to come.

City/bride = picture of the church.
verse 3 - "Now the dwelling of God is with men" - as in the Garden of Eden. God will walk with His people.

Verses 1-4 are a great statement of the ultimate state of the universe.
John 14 is an anticipation of all that. Until then, as a pledge of what will be, He chooses to dwell in the only part of the new creation which already exists - the church of Jesus Christ.
We are a new creation still living in the old creation.

Until the kingdoms of this world are made the kingdom of God, both Father and Son choose to make their home with the redeemed.

(my notes, Jonathan didn't say that!)

It's a mark of the redeemed. Who are redeemed? Those who love Him. Who loves Him? Those who obey His word. God looks on your heart. So even when you disobey His word...does He see an underlying desire to please the Lord Jesus? Does He see a longing to please Christ reflected in sadness and repentance when you sin? Does He see something real that says "I know Jesus is my Saviour and I long to please Him"?

The book of John ends with the 're-instatement' of Peter. Jesus doesn't ask him "Have you obeyed me?", but "Do you love me?"
This is the ultimate test of the Christian. Peter, full of self-loathing, begs Jesus to look at his heart. "You know all things. You know that I love you." - What a wonderful statement!

Sometimes that's all we can do. We'll never be able to obey the Lord perfectly. Hopefully we'll get more like Christ. But we'll never be perfect in this life. So when we stuff up and Satan tells us we can't love Jesus if we disobey Him like that...all we need to say is "Lord, you know all know that I love you."

Verse 27 - one of Jesus' most famous sayings. Same as 14:1. Closing a section. Repeated.

It shows His concern for His disciples, who cannot take in what is happening. It's a word of farewell. It tells them, and us, his legacy is peace. It comes as a result of His death. That peace treaty was signed in the blood of Christ. Romans 5:1.
This peace isn't just the objective reality of peace with God, but the experience of this peace in our lives. The peace the world gives doesn't last. The world is constantly looking to establish peace on earth. It doesn't work. Jesus' peace is inward and it lasts for eternity. He has established an everlasting covenant of peace. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.

What are you worried about at the moment? What has your mind drifted onto during this sermon?

The peace of God will protect you from all those terrible thoughts and fears that invade your heart and rob you of all the blessings of the Christian life.

If Satan cannot bring you back into his kingdom permanently he will seek to rob you of the blessings of being a Christian.

Don't let him!

Christ left His peace as a legacy. Enjoy it! Shalom.

Filled with assurances of salvation, rejoice in the promises of the Lord, knowing that whatever happens it is well with your soul.

THAT'S peace!

Not all Christians experience this peace as they should. We should seek to. God uses that. Seek to experience the peace of Christ.
In all the disciples' confusion, Jesus longed that they'd experience His peace.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Rejoice, rejoice and again I say rejoice!

So Richard Cunningham spoke to us on Thursday night about this:-

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation."
(Romans 5:1-11)

And this morning I read this:

"When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is, to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by the means of the blood of goats and calves but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on thise who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance - now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet and wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, 'This is the blood of the covernant which God has commanded you to keep.' In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himnself again and again the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him."
(Hebrews 9:11-28)

Christ has done it ALL! We are justified through FAITH! We have reconciliation with God! We have a sure, steadfast HOPE for the future - an eternal future!
Rejoice. REJOICE!

Friday, May 05, 2006


Well, Sally found the most amazing thing on the chappy computer today - a photo of me as a scared little fresher!

I was so scared, in fact, that I spent pretty much the whole of the first day of the freshers fayre in the CU tent!

Awww...see if you can find me! There's some others you may recognise as well!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Caption competition!

sorry mate...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Lord's lessons in literature...

About a week ago I finished reading David Copperfield. Another good thing about being ill was that I got to read that book! Been wanting to for AGES. Anyway, a little while ago I read the following excerpt. Lack of a computer just meant I couldn't post it. But here we go!

'"How is Mr Omer after this long time?" said I, going in.
He fanned away the smoke of his pipe, that he might get a
better view of me, and soon recognized me with great delight.
"I should get up, sir, to acknowledge such an honour as this visit," said he,
"only my limbs are rather out of sorts, and I am wheeled about. With the
exception of my limbs and my breath, however, I am as
hearty as a man can be, I'm thankful to say."
I congratulated him on his contented looks and his good spirits,
and saw, now, that his easy chair went on wheels.
"It's an ingenious thing, ain't it?" he enquired, following the
direction of my glance, and polishing the elbow with his arm.
"It runs as light as a feather, and tracks as true as a mail coach.
Bless you, my little Minnie -my grand-daughter you know,
Minnie's child - puts her little strength against the back, gives it a shove,
and away we go, as clever and merry as you ever see anything!
And I tell you what - it's a most uncommon chair to smoke a pipe in."
I never saw such a good old fellow to make the best of a thing,
and find out the enjoyment of it, as Mr Omer. He was as radiant as if his chair,
his asthma, and the failure of his limbs, were the various branches of
a great invention for enhancing the luxury of a pipe.
"I see more of the world, I can assure you," said Mr Omer,
"in this chair than ever I see out of it. You'd be surprised at the number of
people that looks in of a day to have a chat. You really would!
There's twice as much in the newspaper, since I've taken to this chair,
as there used to be. As to general reading, dear me, what a lot of it I do get through!
That's what I feel so strong, you know!
If it had been my eyes, what should I have done? If it had been my ears,
what should I have done? Being my limbs, what does it signify?
Why, my limbs only make my breath shorter when I used 'em.
And now, if I want to go out into the street or down to the sands,
I've only got to call Dick, Joram's youngest 'prentice, and away I go
in my own carriage, like the lord Mayor of London."
He half suffocated himself with laughing here.
"Lord bless you!" said Mr Omer, resuming his pipe, "A man must take
the fat with the lean, that's what he must make his mind to, in this life.
Joram does a fine business, excellent business!"
"A am very glad to hear it," said I.
"I knew you would be," said Mr Omer. "And Joram and Minnie
are like valentines. What more can a man expect? What's his limbs to that!"
His supreme contempt for his own limbs, as he sat smoking,
was one of the pleasantest oddities I have ever encountered."

Oh, to be like Mr Omer! Seeing not the problems, the inconveniences, associated with this pain. But rejoicing in it! Rejoicing not in newfound time to read the paper (or smoke a pipe, for that matter), but in newfound time to read God's word. Rejoicing always that I'm saved, and that gives me cause for joy however I'm feeling - physically or otherwise. Seeing this time, feeling this pain, not as a hindrance but a blessing.

When, as we heard at Word Alive from Roger Carswell, Matthew Henry was robbed by a highwayman, he was still thankful. Why?!
1. He'd never been robbed before
2. The highwayman took all he had, but not his life
3. Although everything was taken, it wasn't much in the first place
4. He was robbed, not the one who did the robbing!

There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for!

I love my degree

"The published literature is consistent with the generalization that when the stimuli in both the sentence and the recall tasks are presented in an uninterrupted fashion - as when the digit load is presented prior to each sentence and must be recalled once the sentence has been understood - no interference is found, but when the presentation of the stimuli in one task is interrupted by the presentation of the stimulus relevant to the second - as when the sentence is interrupted by a series of words while it is being presented, or the presentation of the items to be recalled is staggered across the sentence task (as in sentence final word recall) - a digit load of sufficient size interferes with processing syntactically complex sentences more than with processing syntactically simple sentences."

Monday, May 01, 2006

WHAT a Saviour!

Read this...and remind yourself once more of just HOW GREAT our God is.


Post Script

My wonderful LITTLE (despite his height) bro Nathan has given my computer a lot of attention over the past couple weeks and he just paid it a visit as well (not to mention me!). My computer is so thrilled with this TLC that it is now all happy again and working quite well!

Hopefully I'll be in the working-quite-well category again soon....

Adventures in A&E...

Oh yep, yet again!

So Saturday night I slept very little because I was in so much pain. By rights I should phoned an ambulance at 2am but I was hoping it would pass. Shoulda phoned at 3am...but yep, still hoping it would pass!

It lessened on Sunday but by 10pm it was quite clear that over 24 hours of pretty much constant pain warranted a trip to good ol' RBH.

Oh what fun.

And no, they still don't know what it is!

But God does...and in Him I rest. :-)

"You have filled my heart with greater joy
than when their grain and new wine abound.
I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O LORD,
make me dwell in safety."
(Psalm 4:7-8)