Monday, 20 June 2011


After a lovely chilled weekend, involving Mexican and Margaritas on Saturday and a lot of guitar playing and signing on decking on Sunday, the arrival of a drizzly, dreary Monday was not welcomed.

Today also beckons the arrival of the last block of FP Training. A year on and we've made it. And after an email reminding us it was the last, I suddenly realised quite how much I'm going to miss the people, the teaching, and the fun that marks each time I go to Bristol.

This week is probably going to be a bit sad...probably more than a bit. I'm not a fan of change, I hate goodbyes, and the chance to look at the future is all rather terrifying. But hey, it's the real world from now on....

Ha, perhaps not, but probably less of the FP bubble which I love.

T. S. Eliot says this in Four Quartets, 

"What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from."

If this is an end, a beginning must be  hiding around the corner, waiting for us to walk straight into it. 
Let's pray it's a good one.


Saturday, 18 June 2011

Change of Heart

A few days ago I started writing a post in an attempt to condense my thoughts on the week I spent in Southampton. I abandoned my attempt, and hoped I would feel a little more 'together' in a couple of days time. I don't think it's happened.
So here goes....

Last week was the UK FP Mission Week. A nice fancy title, but it was just 40 mins down the road in Southampton so I was slightly hesitant about getting my hopes up for a big adventure. I think the word to describe that approach is nothing but IDIOTIC! ...I'll explain why as I go along.

We arrived on the Tuesday morning and spent the day having some teaching, meeting a bunch of the FPers from London, and then praying for the event known as Park Life, which we were there to help with.  

From Wednesday - Saturday we ran three meetings per day in a big marquee in the centre of town. Nothing fancy, nothing complicated but a powerful Gospel and a powerful God mean that it's not an over exaggeration to see that it was a life changing week. Before each meeting we went out in groups to talk to people on the streets and invite them into the marquee.

Because I'm a bit weird, I get a real kick out of doing stuff on the streets. Some people like roller coasters. I like evangelism. The adrenaline and possibility that what you do could affect eternity, is a pretty sure combination of fun to me. Saying that, I was rather hesitant about the week, I was feeling ill, and was rather scared of talking to strangers, as much as I was looking forward to it. 

The week was intense, but incredible. Conversations with all sorts of people, from Christians, Druids, Atheists, Agnostics, Muslims and everyone in between. I was surprised by how willing people were to talk, and there were lots of great conversations with big groups of teenagers. I really felt that there were some God appointed meetings and there were some fantastic opportunities to speak truth to people. Sometimes as Christians we invite people to events, we talk about coming along for food, and yet we are so shy about talking about Jesus. It's a load of rubbish, Jesus is a big deal and we should be happy to tell people that! It was a great week of really telling people about Jesus, and explaining the amazingness of the Gospel.

Over the week 47 people became Christians, 9 people were baptised on the Sunday afternoon in a paddling pool outside in the torrential rain, and God performed some incredible miracles. A leg grew. A broken wrist was healed. Asthma was got rid of. An eye that was practically blind had it's sight restored. 

People received freedom and ultimately, lives were changed. 

As a result of all that I saw, the worship times we had and the general explosion of joy at seeing God at work, I've felt a little bit as if there is so much in my head (and my heart) that I've been involuntarily giggling all week. Life, with all of it's complexities is a wonderful thing. 

Several years ago God changed my heart, but he did it again when I was least expecting it. The idiot who wasn't really looking forward to spending a week doing mission suddenly finds herself with a greater love of Jesus than ever before, a greater belief that He can and does use his people, and a greater desire to get out on the streets.

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26


Monday, 6 June 2011

Park Life

And no, I don't mean the song by Blur. This week I'm off to Southampton for a week of preaching the Gospel and praying for people on the streets with Life Church Southampton.

Unfortunately, my body has finally decided to fight me after all of the work and lack of sleep I put it through, and I awoke this morning feeling as if something sharp was lodged in my throat, grating at the sides. Obviously the cause of this was some sort of throat infectiony type thing. Still, with a bag of paracetemol and strepsils I headed into work to sort out some things and clean the office (thrilling I know!) before disappearing for a week.

I've returned home, watched Doctor Who and packed. Notorious as I am for bad packing, I fear the amount of clothes stuffed into the rather large suitcase I've removed from the loft could possibly break my arms off at the elbows as I attempt to transport it tomorrow morning. 

Oh well, I've resigned myself to the character trait of super prepared. Yes, I most definitely need a variety of shoes, and plasters in case they rub, and taking both an umbrella and suncream is very important. And then there's the confusion with how much time I'll be having to wear an event t.shirt and how much time I can run around the park in a dress. Okay, okay, these aren't big things, but my brain works in a weird way, and I'm going to accept that.

Anyway, with illness hanging over me, and a deep desire to be full of energy for the week ahead I'm going to head to bed with a book. If you're of the praying kind, I would definitely appreciate some prayer this week for some great opportunities, bucket loads of wisdom, and that I feel a lot better when the morning arrives.

I shall fill you in when I return. I don't doubt that there will be countless stories and testimonies!!

Catch you laters alligators 

Friday, 3 June 2011


Yesterday I had a rare day of holiday and along with the family headed up to London for a fun day out. Not, starting my day at five thirty in the morning probably isn't the best first ingredient for what I would call a fun day out, but with some time to sleep on the coach, and a coffee on arrival at Victoria St, I began to feel a little more alive.

Now I love London, but it is BIG. Knowing where things are in Bournemouth, no problem, it's like knowing the back of my hand. London, on the other hand (excuse the pun) is rather different. Maps were needed but it was all okay in the end, and we arrived at Westminster, spilling out onto the street in the shadow of the Houses of Parliament.

We found a boat and began to head down the Thames towards Greenwich, and after getting out river legs, began to enjoy the commentary from the boat's captain. Now, I can't remember much of what he said, but it was definitely interesting at the time. After passing about a billion ludicrously priced apartments overlooking the Thames, we finally arrived in Greenwich and began to head up to the observatory which is situated on a hill. I've got to admit this has got to be the greenest and cleanest I've ever seen London, so I've definitely logged that in my head for September. (It also helps that a friend of mine lives there so I can run away and escape the greyness of the city centre!)

We looked around the museum (?) bit, and watched a rather interesting video which went along the lines of "imagine nothing. Absolute nothing. No light or dark, no day or night. No planets or stars.... And then some billions of years ago time and energy exploded into all of the matter that then became the universe we see today..."

From Nothing, to Everything. For a subject that prides itself on logic that seemed remarkably illogical to me.

Anyway, we had a look at the Greenwich Meridian Line thingymajig, took some photos and pottered about looking at the house and museum and the huge ancient clocks. After enough discussion on geography and it's relation time, we got back on the boat and sailed back towards Westminster, arriving with a couple of hours to spare before our return home.

With some more map navigation I got us to Trafalgar Square, found a Caffe Nero and sat in the sunshine, surrounded by hundreds of tourists. I had a quick poke inside St Martin in the Fields as there were some Amnesty International banners outside, and after a failed attempt to get into the National Gallery we found that the National Portrait Gallery was open late. A quick peruse and then it was time to begin the trek home!

Time definitely flies when you're out and about. I look forward to having exciting London things on my doorstep in only a few months. However, I have that fear that I am one day going to get horrifically lost and end up kidapped by crazy Londoners who think I am an idiot.

Tomorrow I am having a hair cut...all of my hard work in growing my hair will be undone as I attempt to look less like a tramp with rats tails.

With that thought I shall say farewell. No lie in for me tomorrow. Instead I am up early to lose my tresses.
Bon weekend mon amis!