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Monday, June 26, 2006

Lessons: An introduction

It struck me yesterday just HOW MUCH God, by His wonderful grace, has taught me over the time I've been ill. I reckon I'm functioning at around 90% now - hallelujah! The best bit of that is that I'm starting to be able to think a lot more clearly. Annie and I were chatting yesterday about how being ill physically just affects everything. It's weird, but it's so true. Anyway, I digress.

As I said, the best bit is that I'm getting better at processing thoughts and this 'fuzziness' I felt I had hanging over me has pretty much gone. So, I'm planning to spend time with God sifting through all the things He's taught me - some reminders, some new lessons where He's just gone 'boom' - and writing them down. Mainly for future reference! I guess to some extent I've already incorporated them into my blogs but I thought that I'd blog them one by one over time and hopefully they'll be a bit more coherent, and an encouragement. They'll appear as and when.

Friday, June 23, 2006

RUCU Ball 2006 (4)

RUCU Ball 2006 (3)

RUCU Ball 2006 (2)

RUCU Ball 2006 (1)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Couldn't put it better

Two things to share that have really challenged me today, and helped me, and reminded me of how Great God is.

1. Read me.

2. This, by JI Packer:

Western Christianity is "this-worldly in a way that can only be described as a radical distortion. For today, by and large, Christians no longer live for heaven and therefore no longer understand, let alone practice, detachment from the world. Nowadays, nonconformity to the world is limited to the means the world adopts to achieve its goals, and rarely touches the goals themselves. Does the world around us seek pleasure, profit and privilege? So do we. We have no readiness or strength to renounce these objectives, for we have recast Christianity into a mould that stresses happiness above holiness, blessings here above blessings hereafter, health and wealth as God's best gifts, and death, especially early death, not as thankworthy deliverance from the miseries of a sinful world, but as the supreme disaster...Is our Christianity out of shape? Yes, it is, and the basic reason is that we have lost the New Testament's two-world persepctive that views the next life as more important than this one and understands life here as essentially preparation and training for life hereafter."

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Finding God in the stars

"Many have found that the awesome sight of the starstudded heavens evoke a sense of wonder, an awareness of transcendence, that is charged with spiritual significance. Yet the distant shimmering of stars does not itself create this sense of longing; it merely exposes what is already there. They are catalysts for our spiritual insights, revealing our emptiness and compelling us to ask whether and how this void might be filled.

Might our true origins and destiny somehow lie beyond those stars? Might there not be a homeland, from which we are presently exiled and to which we secretly long to return? Might not our accumulation of discontentment and disillusionment with our present existence be a pointer to another land where our true destiny lies and which is able to make its presence felt now in this haunting way?

Suppose that this is not where we are meant to be but that a better land is at hand? We don't belong here. We have somehow lost our way. Would not this make our present existence both strange and splendid? Strange, because it is not where our true destiny lies; splendid, because it points ahead to where that real hope might be found. The beauty of the night skies or a glorious sunset are important pointers to the origins and the ultimate fulfillment of our heart's deepest desires. But if we mistake the signpost for what is signposted, we will attach our hopes and longings to lesser goals, which cannot finally quench our thirst for meaning."

Alistair McGrath - "Glimpsing the face of God"
(Quoted in "The Case for a Creator" - Lee Strobel)

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun
which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion
like a champion rejoicing to run his course."
Psalm 19:1-5

The view from the other side of the fence

It was so SO great to see Abi again. But also hard, and weird, to see her so unlike herself. To see how this illness, whatever it is, is affecting her, weakening her. To see how it's affecting her family.

And when she had to lie down and have a nap one afternoon, when all we'd done since getting up late was watch a video, it struck me how just a month and a bit ago, that would have been me.

It's amazing how far I've come physically in the past four months. Read some of my entries in March and April and you'll see how little I could do! Praise the Lord.

But praise Him also for how far I've come spiritually. Constant reminders that in Him is my peace, in Him is my rest, in Him is my life...constant reminders that nothing is about me! It's weird how being ill physically can affect your whole self - emotions, concentration, confidence...everything. It really shook me. But it's reminded me that God can never be shaken. It's reminded me that He never changes, and so as long as I find my security in Him, all is good.

Seeing Abi like this has shown me what my friends and family must have seen, to some extent, in me over the past few months. It was kinda surreal. Having been through this whole experience I felt like I should have some sound words of advice to offer her. But it was nice to at lesat understand how she feels. And I just pray that God works in her heart over this time as He has done in mine - all for His glory.


"We are, by astronomical standards, a pampered, cossetted, cherished group of creatures; our Darwinian claim to have done it all ourselves is as ridiculous and as charming as a baby's brave efforts to stand on its own feet and refuse his mother's hand. If the universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in."
John A O'Keefe, quoted by Lee Stobel in "The Case for a Creator"

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


So I'm back in Reading.

More thoughts to follow...I've done a lot of reading and thinking this past couple days. I'll try and remember my thoughts and, if I think they'll be helpful, post them.

But for now, bed.


Saturday, June 17, 2006

Off adventuring

Well, kinda.

I'm goin' up north to see my good friend Abi. Prayer would be appreciated as I'm still not 100% so dunno how I'm gonna manage a trek to London and then a five hour bus journey - and the return on Tuesday. But more than that please pray for Abi, who's had to come home from her time in Bolivia with Tearfund due to illness. Please pray the doctors find the cause quickly and treat it successfully.

Blogging will resume probably on Wednesday!

The morning after the day before and it's all still real - Ceryn Oakes BSc (Hons)


So yesterday I got my results. Praise God I was not as nervous as I thought I'd be. I really had to wrestle in prayer over it because whilst I knew that ultimately it didn't matter and was in God's hands anyway, I was really scared!

Walking onto campus I felt less nervous than I did when I went to get Abi and Ros' results last year! And I was praying so much that I wouldn't be disappointed if I got less than I wanted...but also that I wouldn't start secretly hoping God would surprise me with a good result! I prayed and prayed that when I saw the board I'd just be content. And then as I walked past HumSS it really hit me smack between the eyes that at the end of the day this is all meaningless. Yes, my degree is important, yes I have needed to work hard...but it will not last. And it hit me that whaetver my results...they wouldn't last either. And it hit me that everything else I've got out of uni - specifically, the way my relationship with God has developed so much over the past four years - that's the really important bit. Because He is my Rock, and He is forever.

And then I got that 'I feel silly but thankyou Lord SO much' feeling I always get when I finally grasp something I shoulda grasped ages ago. Felt doubly silly, coz that's all the stuff I told my housemates this time last year when they were waiting for their results. How quickly we forget.

So...finally results were posted. And I got a 2:1. I really really couldn't believe it. I checked the board about 6 between giving the others hugs!...then rang mam but as soon as it started to ring I hung up coz I had to go check again!

I cannot put into words how I felt at that moment. Completely undeserving. Completely blessed without really knowing why. Completely elated! But at the same time quite calm. Which felt weird. But then I did pray that I'd just be content when I saw the board!

Our department laid on strawberries and champagne for us. My personal tutor came up for a chat and told me how amazing my result was, bearing the last 4 months in mind. And I think I just looked at her for a bit in a daze. In the end I managed to spurt out "Well, I've just prayed a lot". She looked at me as if I had two heads. But I pray that sticks in her mind!

The rest of the day passed somewhat as a dream. In fact, I did have to come home and have a nap before going out in the evening so some of it was a dream!

And walking through town chatting to Rosie last night, God's goodness hit me again. It hit us both how thankful we are to God for this...and how rubbishly slow we were to thank Him. And I realised that I'd been walking onto campus preparing myself for the worst. And that's why I'd been praying that I'd remember it didn't matter. But then, when I got so much better than I thought I would...the elation of that seemed to take over.

The fact is, it still doesn't matter all that much. I'm very happy, but the glory all totally goes to God. There is no way I could have acheived that result on my own - especially after the last four months of being ill. There's just no way. But He has given me strength and discipline and energy to do work when I've needed to. He's aided my concentration and even though it's been such a slow, frustrating process, He's brought, and is still bringing me, through. And it's clearly the right result for His plan for me. None of this is in my hands. And that makes me feel very good!

I'm sorry for such a mixed up jumble of thoughts. At the end of the day, all I really wanna say, with tears in my eyes, is my friends; God is good. Praise Him. Praise Him for salvation - that's the main thing!

Friday, June 16, 2006

New bloggers!

Very glad to welcome Bethan...and I don't think I officially welcomed Ruth! So welcome!

Much Ado About Nothing

The title of the play I went to see performed by RUDS last night (which was excellent, by the way!) I must say I felt all sophisticated...and slightly 'English'...watching Shakespeare performed in the open air on a summer's evening with a picnic. Although I didn't have any tea or a parasol or anything so I'm still safe and not fully corrupted. Need a walk in the Welsh mountains, a stroll through a valley and a game of rugby to watch pronto. I've been here too long.

But at the same time, not long enough. Today has the potential to feel like a life-changing day and the potential to feel like the end - more so than my last exam. That felt like the beginning of the end, as it were.

Forgive me if I'm not making much sense.

Today I get my results. And so today has the potential to wind me up into a nervous ball of Welsh energy... or the potential to force me to rely on God more and more. I know which one I'd rather, but I know which one I'm more likely to do.

Jen told me t'other day of Pete Lowman's prayer at this time of year - that whatever students need to get to be where God wants them to be in 10 years time - that they would get, whether they like it right now or not! (Or words to that effect!) And that's right. But it's hard.

And yesterday Kat reminded me of it... and that I'm going to heaven no matter what.

And that's right. So why do I battle with my nerves today?

Well, because I'm rubbish and sinful; because these results and how they define me and how I feel my family and friends will define me on the basis of them is becoming my security isn't it. And when something other than God, my Rock, becomes what I place my security in I start to go all shaky and scared. Unfortunately, I know from experience.

But this time I'll use experience in my favour and I'll turn to my Rock.

Psalm 33 says "By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth....For he spoke and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm...But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations." (Verses 6, 9, 11)

THIS is the God in whom I put my trust! The God who simply spoke, and the world was created. The God whose Word and plans stand firm forever. The God whose purposes continue through all generations. The God who is stopped by nothing and nobody. THE God.

God loves me. He loves me with a love I don't deserve, and I cannot comprehend. And He loves me with a love I cannot earn - through my results or otherwise.

And ultimately, it's His love I want, and it's His plans I want to be walking in because I know they are Good for me (Jeremiah 29:11)...and will glorify His Name. And I know that my plans, contrary to His, will most certainly not stand forever.

And so, I want to be praying all morning that I'd have this thought in my mind when I collect my results, because I know how easily I forget. And not only this morning, but for the rest of my days. I want my life to glorify God always, I want to be walking in His plans for me always, I want to be knowing my security in Him always...

Making much of Him, and not much ado about nothing...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

All love can be

There aren't many films that make me cry. But 'A Beautiful Mind' is one of them. Possibly because it's a true story. And I haven't seen it in ages, which is probably why I cried.

Anyway, one of the songs on the soundtrack (which I'm gonna have to buy!) is called 'All Love Can Be'. I've learnt to play it on the piano because it's beautiful piece of music, but I've never listened to the lyrics. As the film came to an end just now though I let the credits roll and heard the words:

I will watch you in the darkness
Show you love will see you through
When the bad dreams wake you crying
I'll show you all love can do
All love can do

I will watch by the night
Hold you in my arms
Give you dreams where no one will be
I will watch through the dark
Till the morning comes

For the lights will take you
Through the night to see
All love, showing us all love can be

I will guard you with my bright wings
Stay till your heart learns to see
All love can be

One of the things that really impacts you in the film is the immense love between John (main character) and his wife. The way she demonstrates her love for him. It's powerful and it's moving. And so I guess, being the theme tune, this song is meant to be a reflection of that love between two humans.


When I read those lyrics I can't help but think of God's love. In fact, just thinking of love should make me think of God. Because love, and our ability to love, is an amazing gift from Him. He IS love (1 John 4:16). And we only love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

I don't know where I'm going with this post really!

I guess I'm just reminded of God's love for me (John 3:16) and how it's highlighted by His anger at sin.

I'm bowled over, in fact, by God's love for me!

I'm reminded that I need to remember it more, especially when the going gets tough.

I'm challenged by how I should be reflecting it in my life (Leviticus 19:18), because without love I am nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2).

I'm so thankful for the love I'm shown by family and friends.

I'm wanting people to know about God's love. I'm wondering; when people experience love from friends, family, boy/ they know that there's a greater Love? When people feel betrayed by those they love, do they know there's a Love that will never leave them nor forsake them?

I wonder, does the guy who wrote that song know that the love which inspired the words is only possible because of God? A God who loves him and sent his son to die for him?

I'm reminded that God's love is great (1 John 3:1), perfect (1 John 4:18), everlasting (Psalm 103:17, Jeremiah 31:3) and enduring (1 Chronicles 16:41), abounding (Exodus 34:6, Psalm 86:5), unfailing (Exodus 15:13, Psalm 52:8), and nothing will ever separate me from it (Romans 8:37-39).

It will watch me, it will hold me and it will guard me.
Because it is ALL love can be.

Attempting to measure the immeasurable

Maybe a little premature as there's still nearly
three weeks of official term-time left, but on my mind.

How do I measure four years?

By the age of the child I started my baby study on in my first year?
She's nearly four. That a child can be ready to start school in the space of time I'm at uni is weird.

By my own age?
I'd rather not...

By the places I've lived?
Obviously Wales. But in terms of uni...Bridges, Windermere Road, Carnarvon Road, Sherfield...

By the fact that the mid-teenage girls who go to Carey, who I met on a camp just before I came to uni, are now adults with jobs?

By the friends I've made?

By the ways they've impacted on my life?
Ditto above.

By the number of Bible books I've studied in cells?
Not in any particular order (and not including this term): Matthew, Luke, John (twice), 1 Corinthians (twice, I'm that old), Isaiah, 2 Timothy, Genesis, Amos, 1 Peter, Philippians, Jonah, Ruth...

By the money I've spent?
Definitely rather not.

By the places I've been?
From the not-quite-so-exotic: Walton-on-Thames, Southampton, Swindon, London, Oxford, Newbury, Mortimer, Slough, Guildford, Maidenhead, Chertsey, Thatcham, Skegness, Birmingham, Oswestry, Bournemouth...
to the slightly-more-exotic: France, Barcelona, Jersey, Ledbury (Dyke House!), Pwllheli and of course Godalming..

By the grades I've got?
Still haven't got my final mark.

By the things I've done?
Or failed to do...?

By the number of times Wales have won the 6 Nations?
Once. Which is good enough to keep me happy for the next 27 years. But next year would be nice...

By the parties I've been to?
80's, masked, fancy dress, worst jumper...and just general!

By the books I've got and/or read?
Too many of one and not enough of the other

By the number of new family members I have?
Three (soon to be five) cousins once removed or summat...and two 'cousins in law'.

By the number of CU hoodies/tshirts I have?
4 of each.

By the number of grey hairs I've found (or have been found for me)?

By the fact that my brothers are growing too quickly?
One is driving, working...the other doing his GCSE's

All these things could in some way define my life, and me,
over the past four years.
But how else can I measure that time?

By the way I've grown? (Spiritually, although I'd like to think in height as well...)
In many ways I'm a completely different person to the scared little fresher I was back in September 2002. A change for the better I hope...I know.
I've learnt so much about God, my relationship with Him...
I've learnt about how that impacts on my life - every single aspect of it - about how it impacts on my relationship with others...
I've begun on the road to understanding grace (I say begun because I don't think I'll ever fully understand it this side of heaven)...
I've learnt more about the Bible...
I've learnt more about God, and in so doing,
I've learnt more about me.

But there's one way I think is the best way to measure the past four years,
if I'm to measure them at all...

By God's love and grace.
I cannot measure them.
And so in my funny sleep deprived state of mind they're the perfect measurement of the last four years.
There is no limit to God's love for me...and there are countless ways He has shown me that love in the past four years.
There are also countless times, limitless times, when I have called out to God and received the grace which covers up my sin.
As much as the thought grieves me, I know there will be countless times more when I cry out...but I know those cries will be answered.
I know that the only way to measure the past four years - the only way to continue to measure my life - is by God's grace.
It is infinite, it is indescribable....
and mysteriously, wonderfully and amazingly,
it's what I live in.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Four down...NONE TO GO!!!!!

Well whaddya know,


How does it feel? Well obviously good. But a bit weird. Don't think it's sunk in yet, I feel like it's just another summer, just another lot of exams over.

Rest assured that there will be more posts to follow...

But for now I'm off to have some fun!

God is SO good, and his grace is amazing.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Carey, cranberry juice, clinical exam...

So, today could well have been my last Sunday in Carey. As a student, anyway. Weird.

But great sermon! Will type notes up when I'm less tired.

I was so tired last night that I was in bed by 7.50pm, semi-awake until 9pm and flat out asleep from then until 7.30am today. Nice.

I'm back on the red stuff. Which, I might add, is revolting.

And I have my last clinical exam tomorrow. Zippedee doo dah...

He is God

And WHAT a God He is!

Reading Bish's post on Numbers and Ed's post on God's holiness this morning just reminded me of how GREAT God is. How much He is much HE is in control...and how much I'm not! And I don't want to be! Things go badly wrong when I try to take why do I keep trying?!

Good thought for every morning - reminding myself that this day is the Lord's, and everything in it.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Down to us

Just flicking through some documents and found this that dad sent me a couple weeks ago. Didn't read it properly at the time being in the middle of revision and had completely forgotten about it! (Sorry dad!)

Anyway, seeing as he never updates his blog I decided to post this here coz, well, I found it challenging and wanted to share it! Hope that's ok dad...

Down to us.

Some people don’t believe that Jesus lived at all;
or that he died and rose again, making his gospel call.
And some can’t understand the Truth which sets us free.
How much of that is down to us, because of what they see?

This world may well believe that there is a better way
if it didn’t make much more sense to live just for today.
But they don’t understand that, to live, you first must die.
How much of that is down to us, when we pass others by?

Some people still believe that Jesus Christ is Lord,
despite the real threat to life, from famine and from sword.
The rest don’t understand why faith can’t compromise.
How much of that is down to us and the way we live our lives?

If we believe the Word of God, and confess from lip and heart,
then Jesus Christ, our Saviour God, is Lord of every part.
So when we pray his kingdom come, on earth, as it is above,
how much of that is down to us, and the way we share his love?

© Graham Oakes, May 2006

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Look what the postman brought me from the lovely people at UCCF:

Quite scary flicking through the calendar and seeing the next year of my life planned out...but exciting too! And three lovely books. Can't wait for my exam on Monday to be over, and to finish the book I'm currently reading, so I can dive into those whilst sitting in the sun...which better still be here!

This I also know

SO aware of my sinfulness right now.

Have fallen, and still tempted to fall into guilt. And from guilt to brief stints of self pity and then back to guilt and shame. And all made worse by letting the devil remind me of things that are long past, things that God has forgotten. But the devil tells me I'm not free from them. And so I run away from God. And try to earn my way back because I'm not worthy.

But that's the point.
I'm not worthy. But He is.

And He has defeated death. And so the devil and his lies have no hold over me.

"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." (Romans 8:1-2)

So I know that I am sinful and I am in no way, shape or form worthy to enter God's presence. His holiness and purity and just wrath at my sin should condemn me to eternity in hell. But I also know that Jesus took it all. I stand in God's presence in robes of righteousness because of my Saviour Jesus. And not only that, I call Him Abba, Father. I call Him dad. He calls me daughter.

But at first I tiptoe back. I tentatively open my Bible and long to wholeheartedly (not partially) believe once again the truth of what is contained in its pages. I'm tempted to run - can this REALLY be true?

But I read the words of life and I'm amazed that I ever started to doubt my Lord. I thirst for more of Him. I cry out to God my Father and tell Him I'm sorry. I tell Him once more that I want His glory in my life. I tell Him once more that I want Him in control. And through my tears He leads me back to the cross.

And at the cross I rediscover my meaning. I rediscover my sinfulness, but I gloriously rediscover His grace.

So I know that I am sinful. But it doesn't stop at that. There's more. I also know that Christ is risen. I know what that means. And that is wonderful. Oh, the wonderful cross. The cross which means that it doesn't stop with my sinfulness. It's my sinfulness + the gospel which = God's glory and my salvation. Hallelujah.

This I also know.

That I am full of sin,
Heart and mind within -
This is what I know;

That I too often doubt,
Forget what life's about -
This is what I know;

That I try to run alone
Not knowing where to go -
This is what I know;

That I am helpless, lost
And cannot pay the cost -
This is what I know.

That all my light and truth
Are found only in You -
This I also know;

That You only know the way,
Have counted, planned my days -
This I also know;

That you died and rose again
And so I'm free from shame -
This I also know;

That You, my Saviour, Lord
Have told me I am Yours -
This I also know.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Think what Spirit dwells within thee...

Sang this in church on Sunday...

Jesus I my cross have taken

"Jesus, I my cross have taken,
All to leave and follow Thee.
Destitute, despised, forsaken,
Thou from hence my all shall be.
Perish every fond ambition,
All I’ve sought or hoped or known.
Yet how rich is my condition!
God and heaven are still my own.

Let the world despise and leave me,
They have left my Saviour, too.
Human hearts and looks deceive me;
Thou art not, like them, untrue.
O while Thou dost smile upon me,
God of wisdom, love, and might,
Foes may hate and friends disown me,
Show Thy face and all is bright.

Man may trouble and distress me,
’Twill but drive me to Thy breast.
Life with trials hard may press me;
Heaven will bring me sweeter rest.
Oh, ’tis not in grief to harm me
While Thy love is left to me;
Oh, ’twere not in joy to charm me,
Were that joy unmixed with Thee.

Go, then, earthly fame and treasure,
Come disaster, scorn and pain
In Thy service, pain is pleasure,
With Thy favor, loss is gain
I have called Thee Abba Father,
I have stayed my heart on Thee
Storms may howl, and clouds may gather;
All must work for good to me.

Soul, then know thy full salvation
Rise o’er sin and fear and care
Joy to find in every station,
Something still to do or bear.
Think what Spirit dwells within thee,
Think what Father’s smiles are thine,
Think that Jesus died to win thee,
Child of heaven, canst thou repine.

Haste thee on from grace to glory,
Armed by faith, and winged by prayer.
Heaven’s eternal days before thee,
God’s own hand shall guide us there.
Soon shall close thy earthly mission,
Soon shall pass thy pilgrim days,
Hope shall change to glad fruition,
Faith to sight, and prayer to praise."
Henry Lyte

Telling it like it is

From church on Sunday morning:

Read the passage.

Read and/or listen tothe sermon.

Monday, June 05, 2006

3 down...ONE to go!!


I have just ONE of my final exams left! About time! I'd like to do it now, right now, and get it done, but I have to wait a week. Which is probably a good thing coz I'm not ready for it yet, physically or otherwise!

Today's - well it was OK I think! Hardly slept a wink last night but when I got up this morning I felt so calm and so at ease. I don't normally suffer from too many nerves about exams - and I NEVER lose sleep over them! But I have over these. I think because I'm not myself, because that worries me.

But it's just another reminder that my security is not in who I am and/or MY ability to do stuff. My security is in God, who NEVER changes. And he held me so close today. I was pretty nervous waiting to be called through. But from the moment the session started I was at peace, and for the rest of the day. I didn't care what the outcome was, I didn't care how mean they were to me in the viva, coz I knew God was in control (And as it turned out they weren't mean at all!)

I was crying out to Him last night - Lord, take these dreams away or teach me through me to sleep or speak to me while I'm awake but PLEASE just have YOUR way in this not mine.

What an amazing God we have. I can't believe I've finished that exam. Of course, still need to see if I've passed...! But that doesn't take away from how amazing my God is.

So now...?

Well I woulda thought the answer's obvious...


Saturday, June 03, 2006

I STILL need to tidy my room

Originally, I absent mindedly posted the previous post twice. Maybe when you read you'll discover why that's so funny!

I need to tidy my room

Walking back from the shop just now was just thinking that if I pass this exam on Monday it will be a miracle! Please join me in my thought process...

Without wanting to blow the trumpet of my (hopefully) soon-to-be-profession, SLT (Speech and Language Therapy, to the ill-educated amongst you) is not all that easy! Not least because it requires the ability to multitask! (Maybe that's why so many SLT's (Speech and Language Therapists) are women....)

Annnnyway. My point is this.

Whilst (certainly not wishing to blow my own trumpet) I'm normally rather good at multitasking, since I've been ill I've got what I call a 'fuzziness' hanging over me. Swtiching attention between one thing and another requires a great deal of concentration, and is now a very slow process indeed. I also seem to have lost my memory somewhere (if you find it, do let me know please!) and have inherited the need to write lists and reminders for absolutely EVERYTHING (although I've not yet got to the stage where I need to write a reminder to remember to read my lists...!)

This is quite a change, and it's hard. Although this 'fuzziness' as I call it (although perhaps best described as 'emptiness'!) seems to have its advantages - I wander round in blissful ignorance of pretty much everything at the moment!

So as I said, with day-to-day stuff presenting a challenge to me, this exam is going to be very hard. I have to prove to them I can in fact be a speech and language therapist. Right now I'm not sure I can.

But then - well, isn't everything a miracle?!

Those blades of grass right there....

The plane trails in the sky I've been focused on since I left the shop (see - even oblivious to the need to look where I'm going. Nearly walked off a station platform t'other day).

Anyway - those plane trails. Isn't it amazing that someone had the idea to create a plane. And not only did they have an idea - they did it! And it works!

And the trails- they're turning more and more pink as the sun gets lower. The clouds are getting pink and it all looks so lovely. You can explain that away with science, but I know better.

It's a miracle.

Those people sat there having a BBQ (I'm NOT jealous...) - do they realise that their existence is a miracle?

Back to the plane trails again. They're not straight. Now is that coz the planes themselves are turning or coz of the curve of the earth or summat. In any case - the earth. It's sustained, it keeps's here.

It's a miracle.

Those trees, that bee, nature, my own life. The fact that I'm here at all. It's a miracle.

It's all the miracle of creation and it's all down to my Father the Creator. And I love it. I love Him! And I'm remembering that He's in the business of miracles.

He's also in the business of Love, Faithfulness and Planning What Is Best For Me And His Glory.
So, I figure Monday will be just what He wants it to be. Which means it'll be fine. :-)

Lord, take me deeper

I don't often listen to music while I'm working. I'm one of those people that needs relative silence (I say 'relative' coz the library, for example, is often TOO quiet for me. I cna't handle the pressure of not being able to talk!).

Anyway, last night I was shattered and couldn't concentrate any more but still needed to do some work, so started typing some stuff up. Didn't take that much brain power so put a CD on in the background...Helen leant it to me - Songs for the Cross Centred Life. It's great!

And this song just made me stop in my tracks and praise God.

The Glories of Calvary - Steve and Vikki Cook

Lord, You're calling me to come
and behold the wondrous cross.
To explore the depths of grace
that came to me at such a cost.
Where Your boundless love
conquered my boundless sin,
and mercy's arms were opened wide.

My heart is filled with a thousand songs,
proclaiming the glories of Calvary.
With every breath, Lord how I long
to sing of Jesus who died for me.
Lord, take me deeper
into the glories of Calvary.

Sinners find eternal joy
in the triumph of Your wounds.
By our Saviour's crimson flow,
holy wrath has been removed.
And Your saints below
join with Your saints above,
rejoicing in the Risen Lamb.

Friday, June 02, 2006


Read these words and breathe them in. Let the reality, the truth of them, hit you. What a Saviour!

"Before the throne of God above,
I have a strong and perfect plea:
a great High Priest whose name is Love,
who ever lives and pleads for me.

My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in heaven He stands,
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair,
and tells me of the guilt within,
upward I look and see Him there,
who made an end of all my sin.

Because the sinless Saviour died
my sinful soul is counted free
For God, the Just, is satsified
to look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there, the risen Lamb!
My perfect, spotless righteousness.
The great unchangeable I AM
The King of Glory and of Grace.

One with Himself, I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood.
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Saviour and my God."

Charitie Lees Bancroft.

It's all official

This morning I got 'the email' I've been waiting for, giving me information about the kid I'm gonna be seeing for my exam on Monday. I had various dreams last night about what the information would be which thoroughly confused me when I woke up coz I thought I'd already had the info...anyway, enough of my rambling.

The point is, this exam really is happening! And I've been very scared! It's scary anyway but I'm still feeling somewhat fragile and not 100%, getting tired and not able to concentrate; so the thought of an exam that lasts in total about 4 hours was starting to worry me...

But this morning, despite my weird dreams last night and not sleeping very well at all, I felt an immense peace. Now where did that come from I wonder...?!

And then I read this:

"Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
O LORD, you preserve both man and beast.
How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men
find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast in the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light."
Psalm 36:5-9

HOW amazing is that?! And that last line reminded me of Psalm 27:1:-

"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?"

What a waste of time worrying is! I have to admit, even as I write this, I can feel the butterflies starting to rise in my stomach as I think about that exam. BUT - I will yet praise God, I will thank Him for Jesus, I will praise Him that I am saved not according to works but according to Grace (read Galatians!), that I am a child of God...that I am secure in that and only that.

And so I will take every thought captive, and turn it over to my dad. I'll take every fear and lay it at the foot of the cross. I'll sing of the joy that it is to know God.

And if that wasn't enough, not only do I know Him and am known by Him, but He will help me through this exam.

He loves me with a love that is totally indescribable, is totally undeserved, is totally priceless and is totally real. It is the definition of love. And it is for that reason that I do not need to fall into the temptation of worrying about this exam.