Thursday, August 25, 2005

One Week On

So last week i posted about how i felt the Lord challenging me to get to know Him better. Actually, challenging is the wrong word. Calling maybe. I've loved this week. I've had the time to sit and reflect, to be in the word. Its been great. One vital resource that i've discovered this week which i thank God for is John Piper's website which has proved invaluable, particulaly the sermons on killing sin, and on blaspheming the Holy Spirit. I was really convincted of what a dangerous game i'd been playing recently, and i thank God for pulling me out of it.
So, i've learnt that you really can't live the Christian life relying on coporate activity. Yeh, its great, i love it and miss it, but God wants me on my own as well. Which is amazing. And great.

Monday, August 22, 2005

'If your enemy is hungry, feed him'

Great stuff from John Piper here.

Just what i needed to hear as i continue to respond to God's challenge to get to know Him better. Encouraging scenes.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Psalm 48:12-14

Walk about Zion, go around her,
number her towers
Consider well her ramparts,
go through her citadels
That you mey tell the next generation,
That this is God,
Our God forever and ever
He will guide us forever

This is how the Lord spoke to me a couple of days ago. I'd been in Reading on friday, had lunch with Danutia and went to the Cinema with Zoe, then met Phil Rout on saturday morning. I mentioned to Nu that i'd been feeling pretty restless ever since leaving Bulgaria, and that i missed the communial time we used to spend together as a team. She reminded me that God is a God of the individual, of the small, as well as of the coporate, and that i just need to chill out with God a bit more. God backed this up, as i've already mentioned using Psalm 48 that evening. To me these verses seem to be an appeal. Come to me, Jesus was saying (to me, not as He wrote the Psalm. Obviously!) get to know me again, love me more, and respond to that. I've already mentioned that i've got the house to myself for at least the next three days, and so this is what i intend to do. Just be quiet, just be, with God. Not to feel i have to fill every silence with the TV or music. But just to sit and reflect upon the Lord. I've got back into 'Desiring God' by John Piper, having read 'Don't Waste Your Life' by the aforemetioned author, it reads a little easier as i'm used to Piper's style. If you haven't read either of these books, can i urge you to look them up...
The second part of these verses seemed pretty apt as well. 'That you may tell the next generation'. As we come past A-level results and into clearing, i'd like to think that this has a twofold meaning for me personally. First of all, i have such a heart for the guys in my church going to Uni in September. Such a heart to tell them to persue Jesus for all He is, not to listen to the lies that the enemy surrounds us with when we go to a new, exciting environment. Also, i feel moved for the guys Jesus will send us at Reading. I pray that God would send us people who are passionate for His glory, of course, but i also hope that He would guide us towards those who struggle with their faith, who look forward to Uni as a time when they can break free from their parents faith, and live life their own way. We must get these people, we must look out for and after them. Guide us to them Lord...

Friday, August 19, 2005

We're wondering what you're thinking Arthur Nix

Peace and quiet! My mum and sister and mum's parents have gone on holiday, my dad's at a meeting, the dog's asleep. For much of the next 7 days, there'll just be me and the dog here. Lovely. Not that i'm anti social, or that i don't love my family, cos neither of things are true, but man, i do love the quiet!

My sister got her as results today, she got 5 A grades, which is pretty incredible for someone as out of touch reality as her! Also, given the consideration that she's been ill for most of the last 12 months with glandular fever, i have to doff my cap to her. I'm slightly worried that she managed to get 100% in english, i mean, how does one get 100% in an essay question subject? Honestly.

So the new Cursive album arrived today. I say new, its more an odds and sods collection from the last 10 years. The fact that these guys aren';t on the cover of Rock Sound every week is frankly a travesty. But then if they were on a label that pushed them like that they would never have been able to release an album like 'The Ugly Organ', mixing post hardcore with a cello and an organ. I mean, Sony/Columbia would never let a band do that, and musics all the poorer for it if you ask me. The one thing that worries me about this release is the fact that it may be the last from them. I mean, releasing a load of B-sides and unreleased stuff is often the portend for a split is it not. Still, Tim Kasher's side project 'The Good Life' should have another album i them at least. I ^heart^ Tim's voice. I mean, he can't sing exactly, which you would think would be a problem for the lead singer in a band, but this bunch, it kind of works... I'm probably going to see Million Dead play at the Oxford Zodiac in a few weeks, if i decide i can afford it/be bothered. I really should do. Listening to their new album and the Take Action Vol 3 CD from Sub City records has certainly helped me fall in love with the emo/hardcore scene again. I'm pleased. I'm also getting more into the whole american indie thing. Death Cab For Cutie anyone?

It's still a little bit weird being at home. I'm looking forward to getting to Forum, and then back to Uni, being back in the groove of things. I'm off to Reading tomorrow actually to see people/pay rent, so that'll be nice. It is hard being at home. I'm no legalist. I hate that whole thing, but i do love the work i do for the LORD. I mean, i know it doesn't make me a better Christian or anything, but it does seem to make it easier i suppose. And i miss telling people about the Good News of Jesus. I've also made, what i think is a big step in my battle with the thing i struggle with most. I prayed over my PC a couple of days ago (i should really do it every time i go online) and for while after that things were dandy. Now considering i spend 3-4 hours a day online at the moment, i'm exposing myself to temptation a lot more than i really should be, but we're getting there. I've felt a really sea change in my attitude towards it now. Before i was hungry for it, it was like i needed to fill a hole or something. Now, i don't want to do it at all, but sometimes i find myself in the midst of it. I just have to talk myself out of it, which is not hard. I know this seems like a small, and maybe superficial step, but i don't think it is.

That'll do i think. Laters.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Google world take over?

Never mind the fact that i use their search engine nearly every day of my life, or that more and more people are using Gmail, now they know where we live! Time to be afraid...

(i know i haven't posted anything worthwhile for a while [ever?], but its august, and i'm lazy. I also need to get out more)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Beaconsfield SYCOB 0-5 Hemel Hempstead Town

As i mentioned i went to Holloway Park last night for the first time, to take in a Southern League Division 1 West game. I have now visited 20 current non-league grounds, and 2 out of use non-league grounds, along with 61 current football league grounds, and 4 out of use football league grounds.
I really like football at this level. Everything is on such a smaller scale. The crowd was 142, the away support (the self styled 'Hemel army') probably numbered about 20-30 odd, among them 4 people with three air horns and a snare drum between them. Sure, the standard isn't great, but thats not really the point. One of the things that makes football in this country so special is the existance of teams like this and people's willingness to go and watch them... It was lovely to watch the moon over the far end of the ground, the distant roar of the M40, and just have time to relax and enjoy a game, rather than be tearing my hair out for ninety minutes.
So tonight i'm off to Aylesbury to watch Thame play Ashford Town (Mdx) in the same league. You may wonder why i'm going to Aylesbury to watch Thame play. It's because Thame have had their own (rather lovely) ground taken off them by the creditors...perhaps the Southern League isn't so perfect after all!

268 Generation

Just found this. I pray that God would raise up a generation of world changers. I pray that i would be among them.

How Great is Our God

We sung this at church on sunday. It's definately one of my favourite worship songs at the moment (if thats not entirely the wrong attitude to take), and Dave, the guy leading the congregation asked us to put into words what we felt when we sung the chorus. There were some great responses from people, 'thunder and lightening', 'security' 'love' etc. But what one member of the worship team said really struck me. She said that she could not put into word's what she felt when she sung the chorus. That it just made her want to explode. It made her want to go outside and tell everyone about how great our God is.
I could not agree more.
Our God is a God who defies human definition. Of course He is. One can not define the the infinate with the finate. It can not be done. Of course, we know about His charecter, and that He can not act outside of His charecter, but all the words we use will never ever come close to 'defining' Him, or doing Him justice. And i love that. Oh the infinate wonders of our God. The beauties, and mercies and love that we will never comprehend.
I too want to explode. I want to be reflecting the Lord's light in dark places. I want to bring many people to salvation by pointing them to Jesus. I want to help, to encourage, to glorify God. I need the perseverance to keep persuing the Lord, to find what He's got for me, because what He's got for me is perfect...

Just as an aside, i want to record two things the Lord said to me this morning. I was blown away by His presence when i was praying, a feeling i do not have enough.
1. I need to keep my heart open. I will spend more time in Bulgaria, but in the Lord's time, not mine. Don't worry about it. Seek first the Kingdom.
2. Don't worry about Maria. God's got it all sorted.

Monday, August 15, 2005

A funny sort of day

Evenly divided between arguing on the internet (Rob Lee's selection Vs Steph Oakes's on the GasRoom and more importantly, 'Should CU's have woman speakers?' on Dave's Blog) reading 'Mere Christianity' in the garden (an excellent book) and watching the Third Ashes Test on TV.

Off to see Beaconsfield SYCOB play Hemel Hempstead Town tonight in the Southern League Division One West. My first visit to Holloway Park. Top scenes.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Joy Of Church

Really good to be back at my home church this morning (i call it my home church, although i've only been there a handful of times since easter 2004!). For me, I suppose it will always be like visiting 2002/03 for me, and i mean that in no bad way at all. But those were my first years as a Christian, and in a lot of ways the church hasn't chnaged much since then. The same people singing the same songs, with the same guitar/claranet arrangement, i close my eyes during the worship and i'm back two, three years ago. Its great in a lot of ways. Also really encouraged by the number of people at church that i didn't recognise, and that very few people (allowing for summer holidays) seemed to be missing.

Alan Price was preaching on Ephesians 2:10, which was cool because it's a verse God has been talking to me a lot about recently. I just want to try and share some of what he bought.

We are God's workmanship: We are God's poem. Psalm 19 asks us to consider the wonder of creation, the complexities of nature and of our being. The masterpiece of God is someone who has been made alive in Christ.

Created in Christ Jesus: We are his creation now. Its a radical metamorphosis. Our very inward being has been changed, we are not turning over a new leaf when we turn to Christ, but living a new life...

To do good works: Matthew 5:16 says 'Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven.

Which God prepared in advance for us to do: We don't need to worry about what we should do for God, He's already got it sorted. The works we are to perform are the works He has created in us the ability to do. Jesus said what He heard the father say, did what He saw His father doing. Seek first the Kingdom and everything will follow!

For us to do: God wants us to be available. We need to be thankful to Him for what He hads done already (1 Timothy 1:12). We must be faithful, not just givign up when the going gets tough, but relying on God to complete His work through us.

Sober Judgement: Do not think too highly or lowly of yourself. God will give you work to do in accordance of your faith and gifiting. He will never ask you to do something that you can not do. The faith you have today will grow as you wrok. There is no point in waiting for a perfect day to come along, start with the abilities you've got. The simple of skills of life are so much more poweful when used by God.

The Joy of Prayer

Man, Nantwich was hard. By the time it had got to thursday, and definately friday, i was finished, nothing left to give, a wreck! You get the picture. It was great though. Really good fun to be working with some younger guys for a while. The group i was in ranged in age between 11-14, and some were very mature in their faith. I can only hope that i was some use in pointing them towards Jesus for the rest of their lives. It did also confirm to me that my calling is to work with students. Much as i love children and enjoyed our time together, i just find helping out a slightly older age group, more natural i suppose.

So as i said, by the of the week i was getting very tired, and as a result of that, i suppose, the amount of quality time i spent with God each day fell down. Ironic and typical of my shambolic fallen nature that i should turn my back on the very thing that would cure my problems! And so to tonight. I've never been a big fan of prayer models, things like A.C.T.S (i can't even remember what it all stands for now) and the like. I've always found that prayer, and in turn worship is more powerful when it is spontaneous, it sure was tonight. Tonight was like having a chat with my father. It was as it should be. I don't mean to sound irreverential, if thats even a word, but it was so nice after a few dry days to be with Jesus again, to lay it all before Him, to seek Him and be honest, just to chill with God and have Him speak into my heart. I was again given the picture of being tied up somehow with Bulgaria, that He might have a future for me there. I know i said recently that i didn't think i was called to a particular country or area, but i'm now reassesing that claim, although trying to take into account my feelings for Bulgaria may be mixed up with my feelings for the people i know there...anyway.

So i suppose this wasn't really about the joy of prayer. Prayer is a joy tho', it is the best thing we can ever do. We were created for worship, lets go worship. Ipray that i will dedicate more of my day to the Lord, and seek Him more wholeheartedly.

There really is a fullness of joy in His presence...

Sunday, August 07, 2005

MORE Photos

Dancing Dave's got the whole set up. Some fairly dodgy ones of myself, but some decent ones as well. Some really good ones of the countryside, i miss it so much out there. I am going back! Pray for me, anf for Dave P, Jo and Cheryl in Nantwich this week. I'm hoping we'll change lives and inspire people in the Lord Jesus. What better thing is there?

Friday, August 05, 2005

Back on the road

So Sunday morning i'm off again, up the M6 to Nantwich, to work alongside Fleet Baptist Church for a week. It will mean that i won't have been to church for, i think three weeks, by the time next sunday comes around, which for me is a very long time. In fact it may the longest gap i've had since getting saved in 2002...
The last couple of days at home have been funny. I feel close to the Lord, thankful to Him for all He has done in Bulgaria, and for getting me home safely. I've been praying into next week, that God would move in the lives of the children that i teach, and in the life of one of the team members, who it not a Christian, that the other four of us would have really positive impact on her life.
I used to love being at home. I used to think that my life would always be based around High Wycombe, now i know it won't be. I'm very excited about what my future holds in the Lord, i thank God that He's giving me another chance to grow so soon after Bulgaria. Nothing beats telling people the Gospel day in day out, i love it. I hope my life is always like this, never in one place for too long, constantly working for the Kingdom wherever it takes me. The harvest is plentiful, but the workers few. I pray i am always willing to be a worker.
I love the life that Jesus has given me. I recognise that fact that it is not mine, and i don't deserve it, but i love it all the same. Sure, its not always easy, but there's work to be done.

Its an honour to do it...

Cometh the hour

After one of the busiest close seasons in memory, Wycombe Wanderers finally kick off their 'League 2' campaign at home to Carlisle United tomorrow. Whilst i'm not to most optimistic of people when it comes to football, i'm going to pin my colours to the mast and say that anything other than promotion would be a dissapointment this season. We have got to get three points tomorrow...


Bulgaria Photos

The first batch of photos from Bulgaria are now on David Long's website. Cheers Dave, it was a pleasure serving alongside you...

To continue a theme...

In addition to Daves photos, here we all are in Bulgaria from the UCCF website.

Lovely job.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


Slightly funny being back at home after 13 days away in Bulgaria. I feel odd, like i'm wasting my time, like there's more to be done. I feel sure i'll return to Bulgaria, a feeling that only really hit me as we drove through Sofia to the airport yesterday. Its funny to be sitting here in Bucks, and think of all my friends in Sofia, Studenski and Burgas. It feels strange to think of their lives, to think of how close i feel to them despite our brief time together. I feel stangely melancholic this morning.

God did some amazing things while we were in Bulgaria, both in my life, and in the lives of the guests on the camp. To see my room mate Ananyi come to a deeper understanding of what his faith really meant was a real highlight for me, to be part of what might turn out to be one of the most important conversations of his life is such an honour. It also hit me over and over what good news the Gospel of Jesus Christ is. How i didn't feel weary of it by the end of the camp, how it always made me smile as a shared it. How studying the Bible every morning for an hour really deepened my love for the Lord, and how God will work through us despite us, not because of us. I felt thoroughly refreshed every morning by the Gospel, something i can only thank God for, all the time.

Bulgaria is a great place, full of very warm people. Only slightly smaller than Britian, and yet with a population of under 8 million. Mile after mile of breathtaking scenery. As soon as my photos are on my desktop i'll stick some of the best ones on here, but i'm sure Bish, Kath and certainly Dave will beat me to it!

So what am i left with after 13 days away? In a material sense, 100 photos, a present from Maria, and a Levski Sofia scarf, but spiritually, much more than that.
A hunger to travel and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ
A love for Bulgaria and its people
An understanding that all my life will be spent, as Jesus tells His followers in Matthew 8:20 without a permanent earthly home.
I've realised that the more i tell the Gospel, the closer to God i feel, the better it becomes, the more i understand, the more i love my God.
As i mentioned earlier at home, i feel restless. I don't know why but, i just want to be abroad sharing the Gospel. Here i am Lord, send me...
Some people i know feel called, long term to a particular country, and i've always thought that was pretty cool. But for me, i just feel called to where ever the Kingdom's work is to be done. In three days time i'm off again, to help out with Fleet Baptist Church's summer camp. I can't wait. I mean Nantwhich is hardly Tarnovo, but to be on the road again, to be proclaiming the Good News. I can not wait.

I'll leave you with Psalm 27