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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Back with a bumper

Ah, the insomnia returns...and so (un?)fortunately for you lot does the blogging.

I have to admit I've not had much motivation for blogging recently (shock horror). I think maybe I just got out of the swing of things, with two weeks at Quinta, followed by being far too tired to post anything of any interest or substance, followed by two weeks without net access...

But y'know what, it's not a bad thing. Blogs do have great points but they also have the potential to rule your life, which is a not-so-great thing.

Wasn't that profound.

I think I'd like to post something about Relay 1/Forum. Scrap that, I KNOW I'd like to post something about Relay 1/Forum. The thing is, there's just so much I could say (no change there). So just some off-the-top-of-my-head thoughts...

It was scary! It really was. I felt worse than a fresher, I felt like it was my first day at school. And there was immense feeling of 'wow, ok, we've been building up to this for a while but now it's actually's...actually...happening!' But even by the morning of the second day I felt almost at home. It was so great to meet the other Relay workers, and some of the staff. Precious days of fellowship that were much needed.

It was exciting! Once I got over the fear...It was very exciting to see the passion in the other Relay workers. The passion in the staff. To know that that passion came from a love for Jesus. To think about the term ahead and go 'yeah, ok, it's scary but wow this is exciting too'.

It was tiring! Relay 1 especially was very full on, which was fantastic. But I found it hard. Although I'm sure many of you will be pleased to know I was sensible! (ish)

It was fascinating! I loved the teaching, and I soaked it up.

It was hard.
Bearing all the above in mind, it was still tough because just before Relay 1 I'd had a MAMMOTH conversation with a very, very close friend who has been such a help to me in growing in my faith; and she told me she wasn't sure anymore that God existed and if He did then she was pretty sure Jesus wasn't the only way to Him. It rocked me somewhat but I don't think I realised how much it rocked me until halfway through the week of Relay 1 where I took a bit of a break coz I was tired and suddenly had time to really think. And then I thought too much. There's a danger, I find, with thinking too much! At least, there's a definite danger in dwelling on the bad stuff. Yes, I needed to process what my friend had said but it became almost like my faith depended on whether she was a believer or not.

I won't go into details, it's not necessary, but suffice to say it was hard. But you know what, to pinch Drew's wisdom-ful phrase "When you strip it all down, God's still there".

He IS. And because He IS, I'm alive. Because He IS, I'm where I am. Not because of my friend's faith. Not because my parents are Christians. Not because I went to CU throughout uni. Not because I go to church. Because of His grace. Purely and simply, His grace. His grace that says 'I'm Holy, I made you, you rebelled against me and still want your own way but I love you anyway - so much so that my Son Jesus lived a perfect sinless life as a human, died the death that you should have died, and rose again so that He defeated the power that this rebellion and death had over you, so that now you have freedom and can be united with me'.

It was only really last week that I started to completely let that sink in again. It's been a hard but good for me process. I've remembered again that there is no-one but God in whom I can find my identity. He is the only one that sustains me. His grace is the only possible satisfactory answer to the question of how we enter a relationship with Him.

Physically, I'm still not 100% and it's a struggle. I struggle to let God be God. And by doing that I turn my back on Him. By doing that I lose sight of Him. By losing sight of Him all I can see are my insecurities, my worries, my fears, and the devil's lies. And then that means that I doubt God. And then I focus on that.

But the cycle needs to be broken. Praise God that He breaks it! Praise Him that He loves ME. He really does! He loves me, a filthy rotten sinner! He loves me, even though I choose to go against Him or ignore Him far too many times each day. He loves me, in spite of my unloveliness. He loves me, because He loves me. That is it. He loves me, and He takes my focus away from my doubts (which, actually, means that my focus was on me) and turns it back to Him. And when I look up now I see Jesus. I see the radiance of God's glory (Hebrews 1:3).
(Read Hebrews 1!)

I read the Bible and I see how amazingly it fits together. I see that it doesn't just make intellectual sense, it makes sense FULL STOP. And it displays God's plan throughout all its pages. It shows God working throughout history. It shows God's awesome holiness. It shows His amazing grace. It shows His indescribable love.

It tells me that God is with me. It tells me that He sustains me. It tells me that He's creator. It tells me that He has a perfect plan for me.

I can do nothing but believe it because there is nothing of any value or substance or truth in this world but God. There is nothing in me that can substitute the joy and peace and love I have in Him. There is nothing anywhere that can do that. Because He IS.

He IS the one who, at 3am when I can't sleep and I'm frustrated and uncomfortable and wanting to cry, calls to me and says 'Come to me, I'll carry you'. He IS the one who knows how I feel when I can't explain it properly to anyone else. He IS the one who gives me peace in these times. He IS the one who is at work in my heart refining me. He IS the one who, by His grace, will welcome me into glory when my days on this earth are through. He IS the one who is at work here in Portsmouth, and back in Reading, and at home, and all over the world. He IS the one who I can trust to do all things well.

Him. Not me, not anyone else. Him, and only Him. There is nobody and nothing better than my God. There is nothing and nobody more worthy of my time and my energy and my trust and my love. There is nothing and nobody that I want to talk of more.

That wasn't really a post about Relay 1! Kinda tumbled out. But it was at Relay 1 that we were told "welcome to a year of weakness". It's true. For each of the people doing Relay, we will feel weak in different ways I'm sure. For me it's obviously quite literal in the physical sense! But I pray that we are all weak because we want Jesus to be the strong one, not ourselves. I pray that I welcome this weakness. I pray I let myself be humbled. I pray I point people only to Jesus, never to me. I pray that whatever I do, I do it for the glory of God.

Because He IS.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Stuff, parents, 'net, and new site...Ceryn returns to the blogging world!

I have stuff!

I probably shouldn't be so excited but it's nice to have my room look like my room! Almost. (Still lots of photos to put up on the walls!) It's starting to feel more like home here already.

My parents came down late Friday afo and stayed till Saturday which was nice. Got to explore a bit more of Portsmouth with them in tow. Took them to Gunwharf, which was a mistake, coz dad just wanted to go look at the ships and mam wanted to go shopping! But we managed a healthy compromise...we went for a meal! Dad also enjoyed dragging me round the historic dockyard on Saturday afternoon, after a long walk up and down the beach. Normally I'd enjoy it but by this point was ready for bed!

Now my stuff is pretty much all unpacked and my computer is up and running. Although I have to say, I really haven't missed it! I've missed music, and it's been a little bit frustrating knowing I had emails I needed to read but couldn't...but to be honest it was nice to have a break from the internet for a bit!

Right, I'm off to do some work. Oh but before I go, my brother Nathan has a new site. Maybe he'll update this one a bit more frequently...!


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Checking in

I'm here! I'm still alive!

Sorry, no internet access for over a week now. And still waiting for mam and dad to bring my computer (and the rest of my worldly possessions) down to sunny Portsmouth tomorrow...for now I'm borrowing Lucy's laptop. Which does everything except let me check my emails! Isn't technology funny.

Anyway, more to follow when I'm not so tired!

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Well, I'm back from Relay 1/Forum. Sigh.

I will post on various thoughts about those two weeks when I get chance and can order my thoughts.

Meanwhile, check out Ed and Bish's reflections, much more coherent than me I'm sure.

Oh and also a new addition to my blogging buddies - Dan Hames, who is in my Relay fellowship group.