My Profile | Reload Blog | My 365

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Subject to change

So last Sunday night saw the completion of many months planning that the CU and churches in Portsmouth have put in to an event aimed at reaching non-Christians with the gospel. The general format was a jazz band and a Christian comedian, who would also deliver the gospel. 'Sunday night live' it was called.

Just a week before the event problems occurred (as they always seem to do). Basically, this meant that the event could no longer be held in the union and had to be moved to the pier. A bit of a setback. Maybe.

Actually my first reaction when I was told the venue had changed was 'phew'! Why? Because don't you think it's all too easy to place your security, in circumstances such as this, in where an event is held, or how cool it's gonna be, or how many people come along.

Frankly, it wouldn't have mattered if we'd had to hold it on the common in the open air and pouring rain, and one person had come along; if the gospel had been proclaimed faithfully and that person had been saved.

As it was, the union might have been a cool, central venue - but this was yet another reminder to me that God is God, and HE KNOWS BEST. He will have His way and no matter how many plans WE make, and we need to be always open to change as the Spirit leads us. God had clearly shut the door on the union, so all we could do was get excited that the event was gonna be great, regardless of where it was held.

That's hard though isn't it? As much as I was glad the venue had changed because it forced us to focus on God alone, I couldn't help that niggling feeling that maybe it would flop. Especially when the rain came. And came. And came. Part of me didn't even want to be out in that weather, let alone, I thought, non-Christians.

Oh how little faith I have in our wonderful God! The venue was packed, to the point where extra tables/chairs had to be laid out; to the point where we ran out of food; to the point that, I must be honest, exceeded my expectations.

That is the power of the gospel. That is the power of God.

What a challenge. A challenge to trust God more. A challenge to pray each day "God, this day is yours..." and then sit back and enjoy the day, expecting to be excited by Him. A challenge to place my security and trust only in God; not in venues or speakers or cool events.

And that last challenge extends doesn't it, it extends past venues etc into the rest of my life. I need to trust God with everything. I need to place my security in Him always - because everything else is subject to change.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Joy is, I must admit, something I've struggled with recently. I've been struggling to remember that my joy isn't reliant on how I feel physically (although you'd think I'd have learnt that lesson by now).

A couple of weeks ago I read 'Finding Joy' by Marcus Honeysett. Read it! I don't know why I've left it so long to read that book.

And I'm grateful to the friends who have repeatedly, patiently, reminded me that my joy is not in something fleeting; it's not in a full diary; it's not dependant on my health or emotions or anything else about me. My joy is dependant on the Lord alone. And that means it is joy that results from a sure certain hope that I will one day be with Him in glory. Forever!

Reading Ed's post on joy just now reminded me of that again. Read it here.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I like these words

OK, so a bit old fashioned in the language and I must admit I glossed over them at first (probably primarily for that reason) - but having read them a couple times more I really like them. I think coz they form a prayer I really need to pray right now (if not always). Anyway, enough of my rambling.

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart
Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
Wean it from the earth, through all its pulses move;
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as thou art,
And make me love thee as I ought to love.

Hast thou not bid us love thee, God and King?
All, all thine own, souil, heart and strength and mind.
I see thy cross - there teach my heart to cling:
O let me seek thee, and O let me find.

Teach me to feel that thou art always nigh;
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear,
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh;
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.

Teach me to love thee as thine angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame;
The baptism of the heav'n descended Dove,
My heart an altar, and thy love the flame.
George Croly

Friday, October 06, 2006

Oh what to say

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

All that jazz

So, another freshers week! This time out of the confines of the safe haven I know as Reading's 360 and the wider areas of campus. Out of the routine I have become accustomed to. Away from the people I know and have shared a passion with for freshers for what seems like my entire life. In a place where I can barely find my way to the union. Well and truly, I must admit, out of my comfort zone. Speaking to freshers and handing out flyers seemed, somehow, so much easier in Reading.

And yet, reflecting on today, I'm reminded that I have the same God. The same God who is marevellous and amazing and unfathomable by my puny little brain.

Anyway. This God, this wonderful God, has surrounded me in Portsmouth with people who have simply welcomed me. With people who are passionate for His glory and not theirs. He has brought me to a place I don't know, to people I don't know, to a different setup; and yet He remains the same. The gospel remains the same. Grace remains the same. His strength and love and peace and guidance and the security I find in Him remains the same.

I was surrounded today by many clubs and societies that I'd never heard of! But I was accompanied by a God who knows them and understands them far better than I do. Who doesn't judge them, just loves them.

I was surrounded by people who need the gospel just as much as those in Reading do and in fact just as much as those across the world do. And I was moved to pray for them.

It was SO cool and such a blessing to be at the prayer meeting this morning. It was such a blessing to be at one of the halls on Monday; getting to know the hall leaders a little better and just chatting to freshers.

It's been great, only halfway through the week, to have come across people showing an interest in Christianity and to be burdened to pray for them.

In short, I think what I'm trying to say is that isn't it just amazing that however out of our comfort zones we are, we have the gospel and the grace of God to steady our shaky feet and nervous thoughts. And in fact, when we are out of our comfort zones it is then that we rely on God more, and in so doing bring Him glory. Isn't the gospel fantastic. Isn't it wonderful that as I gave out bags to people today I wasn't just giving them bags with sweets and flyers in- I was giving them bags containing Life, or at least the message of it. Real life. And as I did that, I knew I was part of a much bigger plan. And as I wandered around the freshers fayre giving out flyers, I knew that my friends in Reading were doing the same. And I could pray for them and know that God was in control. Because as we in Portsmouth were proclaiming the message, we joined with people not just in the south east of England, but all over the world who are living for Jesus and speaking for Jesus.

And why do we do that? Not because we're part of some big massive multinational club or society. Because we're children of the living God. Because we have the message of salvation. Because we know the Good News of eternal life, life in its FULLEST sense (John 10:10).

And when I got too tired and had to leave, I knew it was OK because though I am weak, God is strong. He is mighty to save and He will. He is the one in control of freshers fayre, not me. He is the one doing the work. He is the one who I can trust to do all things well. He is the one who is achieving His purposes in/for/through me (as opposed to me achieving my purposes for my life).

Isn't that cool.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


HOW exciting!!! :)