Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Peace amidst the craziness

Today's been one of those days that has been productive, but not in the way I was hoping for -- ie. with my coursework. And thus I found myself a tad fustrated this evening, when I really wasn't getting anywhere with my Matlab coursework so I decided to call it a night and watch a film to unwind.

Sitting on the sofa though, it just struck me how I'd been judging the day's success purely on how much academic work I had done, rather than keeping my focus on God and remembering that he knew what this day would hold long before I found it out for myself!

As soon as this realisation hit me, God's peace just swept over me.

Praise God that in the midst of this day, he has remained faithful to my prayers, has shown himself to be sovreign over my every-day and longer-term details, and that he has guided me through everything.

May we learn that when our focus is kept steadfastly on God, nothing can phase us, and that everything he leads us into is possible by his strength and patience. Make the day his, and he gives you the day back to you with more blessings than you can shake a stick at. Peace can indeed rule amidst the chaos of our everyday lives :)



if computers are idiot-proof, why can't I make them work...


Just something quick before I get back to my candle-lit hot date with Matlab:

Q: I have 2 beans in my right hand and 3 beans in my left hand, what do I have altogether?

A: A very small cassarole!

Boom boom!! Aaah, anyhoo, I thought it was rather good! hehe... feel free to leave your own opinion below!



if computers are idiot-proof, why can't I make them work...

Monday, January 30, 2006

P.S - Teaching

carrying on from the previous post, teaching! Yeah, wow, where to start. OK, on Friday Ceryn and I did cell group prep and we let eachother know of stuff to be praying for -- mine chiefly being what God wanted me to be doing in the near future. And it's been on my mind a lot!

For the last 4 months it's been a question of PGCE (teaching) or writing software when I graduate, and to be fair I've seen plus points to both, but I know I'm made to be a primary teacher. So yeh, lots of thinking, lots of praying, and a whole load of uncertainty really!

Saturday morning tho, God used my quiet time to remind me that there are always 2 ways I can take, and in short, said 'PGCE!' (to paraphrase on a mega-scale), at which I was kinda relieved/surprised/encouraged/scared all in one. So yeh, the rest of the day came and went (see the previous day for the full exposition!) and it came to Sunday. Further to God's 'PGCE!' line of Saturday, the service was about being willing to 'step outside the camp', stepping outside our comfort zones and being willing to follow Jesus wherever he leads us.

This really struck me, as before I'd been heavily thinking towards doing something degree-related... but this sermon cut me right to the fact that I'd been wanting it to both stay within the comfort zone of my degree (and own ability), and want to prove to myself that I could program, rather than trusting God with his plan for me.

To top it all off, walking back from Reading station I realised I really hadn't given the day to God (not that that stopped him speaking through it!!!) and spent some time just thanking him for his faithfulness., and I had such a sense of peace walking home. It then struck me how it doesn't matter where God takes us, from our point of view. The important thing is that we remember that he is totally faithful, and to trust him to lead us wherever he wants us.

It's God that equips us for the task at hand, and if we're willing to follow - even though we may be scared out of our pants - then God'll be with us the entire way. How AWESOME is our God??!

SO yeah, the next step is to look into what's gonna happen after this summer - because I have a feeling it's too late to apply to a PGCE this year, but we'll have to see.

One this is sure tho; God'll make it clear - that much I'm sure of :)



if computers are idiot-proof, why can't I make them work...

What an awesome weekend!!

I've just had an absolutely fab weekend over in Surrey staying with my good friend Cat. It was Sooo much fun, it did however start with a minor set-back when Cat was delayed in getting to the station. It emerged that it was urgent business, because naturally the straightness of your hair is of paramount importance!

Hair aside, we went and spent a quality hour or so playing Einaudi's 'The Waves' and Enya's 'Watermark' on a grand piano (that was nicely tuned in the lower register -- such a nice change!!) and working on chord-work. Soo much fun having someone as receptive as Cat to teach and help out. Love it! You'll hear more on the teaching thing later ;)

Meeting up with Cat's housemate Lauren, we headed for home (her home, not my home, because that'd be quite frankly daft) and over the next couple of hours realised how amazingly crazy Cat's ENTIRE household is!! Maybe not Anna, but then I didn't really get to meet her.

Lauren is, like the most competitive person at playstation ever!! I've never seen someone so animated while playing Tekken 2. And as for Cat and playstation, the standard tactic ended up being 'I can't find where Tim is, so I'll just lob a grenade in his general direction and run backwards!' Just ruuude if you ask me...

A quick trip to Tescos and 1 hour later we had stuffeed peppers and cous cous to tuck into. Yum! Tigz then arrived, and 1 hour of Disney Monopoly later, we just spent an hour and a half or so chilling with acoustic guitars and worship music. Awesome stuff, really relaxing, loved it :)

Midnight saw Lauren entering the era of the twenteens, so we sang a rendition of Happy Birthday in x-part harmony (where 'x' varied depending on how much Lauren was expressing her want for us to sing in multiple parts!) and we headed to bed sometime after that.

Cat and I thoroughly ballooned the living room and set out Lauren's prezzies, and she kinda went squeaky and jumped up and down and stuff before we let her unwrap them! hehe, really quite funny to watch! We had an awesome service at Cat's church, followed by a yum lunch at a friendly family's house, complete with aged dog and fat cat!

Parting was sweet sorrow, but apparently I'm welcome to come back! (little do they know what they're getting themselves in for... hehehe...) so the Disney night will still happen sometime soon, worry not!!

Oooh yeah, the teaching thing. well, this post's gone on for long enough so I'll do it justice on the next post! TTFN :)



if computers are idiot-proof, why can't I make them work...

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Open war in my front room

Little did I know that allowing my housemate, Si, to have a Warhammer miniatures battle in my room (as the space was needed!) would be such a looong thing! I left for floorball at 7.30, him finishing setting up, and returned at 9pm to find they hadn't even finished deploying their troops!

As you can see by the hands hovering in a kinda disembodied way over the board, this was a HUGE table! Something like 2.4m by 1.6m.

Anyhoo, what I expected to be a battle lasting maybe for 3 hours MAX, took until 12am today to complete turn one! That's 3 hours!! And the long and the short of it is that I finally got to sleep at about 3am. This meant I got out of bed at 10.15am! Totally unheard of for me!!!

Totally daft if you ask me. That's the last war I host in my bedroom :P



if computers are idiot-proof, why can't I make them work...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Desk to coffee table in 2 hours

As most of you who know me will be aware, I love having projects! In this case, if you look back 3 posts or so, Simon and I managed to rescue 3 pieces of desk from the scrap-heap, to the confused looks of my other housemates.

Anyhoo, after prayer brekky on Friday morning (which was AMAZING!! Being able to sit in God's presence and talk to him and lift things up to him... totally mind-blowing stuff!!) err.. where was I... aah yes, after prayer prekky (and breakfast, and teaching Ceryn 1 Corinthians 2 - AMAZING stuff also! Remembeing 1Cor2v16, that we have the mind of God! WOW!! Crazy to think that we can know God's thoughts and plans for us, if we only ask him!!)

right, I will move on now... I carried my piece of desk to the engineering building (much to the interest of a number of students and lectureres looking impressively alert for 9am lectures @ the end of the week) aaand, 4 legs and 2 hours later, I had a coffee table!

Bliemy, that took a long time, but I can't help it! When God gets in focus in your life, you can't help but talk about him!! You know what I mean??!!

Breakfast is in order now and then church, but oh my goodness, God is just unimaginably amazing, faithful, loving, caring.. I could go on, but my tummy's dragging me to the kitchen for cornflakes ;) ttfn!



if computers are idiot-proof, why can't I make them work...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Posh & Geordie

Just before starting work this evening, I was stunned to find that Victoria Beckham has taken Geordie LaForge (Startrek The Next Generation for all those sci-fi shunners out there!) as a role-model in the eye-piece stakes.

Could it be that our dear Posh spice has turned to the weird and wacky to set the new fashion trends? Or simply, that Startrek had it right all along with the tight-fitting one-size-apparently-fits-all uniforms with stylishly crafted gold brooches?

If you ask me, startrek always had it spot-on. All those accessories, like lasers, technology coming out of their ears (literally), and the ability to charge-up from the mains? The Borg had it sorted! Here's to a technologically-induced future.

Victoria Beckham, we salute you!



if computers are idiot-proof, why can't I make them work...

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

New logo? you don't SAY!!!

Well, after more than a couple of (what I feel to be) unjust comments about the gender of my logo I have had up for the past week, I have used a portion of my evening to create a new logo!

As you can see, the cunningness of using a silhouette instead of a picture of sorts, is so that you can't all come up to me grinning to yourselves on Wednesday and say 'your blog has a picture of a girl on it!'

So yes, my rant is over and done with, much the best place for it! Enjoy the new logo -- I enjoyed making it :)



if computers are idiot-proof, why can't I make them work...

Monday, January 16, 2006

Engineering is fun!

Yes indeedy people, my lecturer proved that engineering is fun today! We reverse-engineered a paper helicopter. Naturally, this meant we first had to spend no less than half the lecture making them so we could come up with a winner or two to take to pieces (not literally, you understand...)

And what's even better, is that the only lecture I have tomorrow involves making the 'ideal' paper helicopter in teams. Woo!!

Below: Is this the world's first heavenly paper helicopter?

Answers on a postcard, or if you shun sticking the queen's head to an envelope (dashed indecent if you ask me...), use the comments section underneath :)



if computers are idiot-proof, why can't I make them work...

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Slice of desk, anyone?

Yes indeedy, Simon and I claimed 'student find of the week' today, as we walked away from outside the uni library with 3 pieces of desk! It had been dumped 3 days ago and had braved the elements such that the work-tops were ok but the limbs were past it.

Ha ha! Not so... Simon and I recognise a bargain when we see one, and bargainous stuff doesn't come much better than free!

It's solid stuff, and with some legs of sorts, it ought to be of use! Even if it just ends up as a coffee table in the lounge!

Post any bargains you've found recently in the cunningly-positioned 'x comments' bit at the bottom; where 'x' is a number directly proportional to the amount of love a hippo should show his wife.



if computers are idiot-proof, why can't I make them work...

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Focussing on the right thing

I read this verse in bible meditation this morning:

' "For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised in the holy spirit." '
-- Acts 1v5 --

In cell groups this term we're studying 1 Corinthians, and yesterday's training was on chapter 1, where Paul picks up on the church of Corinth being divided by them saying they follow people like Paul, Apollos as well as Christ.

It's so easy when you hear a good sermon at church, or a good talk at CU to simply look back and see it as 'a good talk', when in fact you were more taken in by the speaker than the message itself.

The verse in Acts1v5 reminds us of man's power (baptising merely with water, a symbol) vs. God's power (baptising in the holy spirit). The truth of the matter is, it doesn't matter who's speaking, what kind of speech they use or whether they use big words or not: we need to focus on the message they are preaching, and whether it is faithful or not.

We cannot allow ourselves to be focussed on the speaker, but on what God is saying through them. And to understand what God is saying, we need to ask him before they start talking, to open our ears to hear him speak.

You may have noticed I'm highlighting 'him' a lot, well, that's because it is just that, it's all about him, God!! When we go to hear a talk - it ought not to be for the person, but because we know that person faithfully preaches the gospel.

Let us not focus on the person, because our focus is then not Christ. Let our focus instead lie on God, from the beginning. He is who should be glorified, he is the one with the power, and it is with him that we will one day stand in eternity. Hallelujah!!

Oh yeah, and read 1 Corinthians 1, it's a fantastic read, and is good background reading on what I've just been talking about!!



if computers are idiot-proof, why can't I make them work...

Thursday, January 12, 2006


A great chat with Ceryn online put the idea for this poem in my head. Just seeing the work he's doing on a daily basis around us, and realising just WHAT we're missing out on by not following him more fully!! This poem's an outflowing of the deep desire in my heart to follow God more deeply, realising that it's HIM we need to seek to transform our hearts.


'This empty shell, what use is it,
how can my Lord command these bones?
To serve his I must be alive,
not limited by things I've done.

And yet,

I look once more, remember fresh
God's power at work upon the cross.
It's HIS touch that transforms this fleshy mesh
into humbleness from this proud dross.

My trust I know is not in him
as much as I would seek,
yet remember anew his faithfulness
HIS glory I would speak!

All money, posessions I might think as key,
These things I wish I'd count as nil
my heart i wish, on fire to be,
Oh, that my passion were greater still!

To think that I would take my life
and live as if my praise to sing.
My LEGS I'd give, to greater live
this life for God my King.

This greater heart I deeply crave,
a heart of flesh, not stone
that God my king, my praises sing
his heart, be greater known.

And if strength might fail me, day by day
i'll care not of these things
for in his strength I'll walk his way
and soar on eagle's wing!

For who can stand before our God?
what power can sway his hand?
None, we know may stay his might,
above in heavens or under land.

This, the life I wish to live,
the way I wish to walk;
to deeper seek, my saviour's heart,
his sovreign plan, uncork.

Overwhelmed by my saviour's love,
I'll seek to walk this day for him.
I may fail much, but he still guides,
my heart is set on him.'

Stats, mice and a new logo

Aye up all, this'll just be a brief post (well, by my standards...) as i need to get back to my project-work soon.

Enough to say that term has got off to a flying start already, I really don't know where this first week has gone to... if any of you find out where it went, please let me know. thanks ;)

The term got off to a rocket-start when my wireless mouse decided to pop its clogs, give up its recharge circuit, and refuse to work anymore. So I've got a lovely old mouse now, which unfortunately has no scroll wheel!! *sighs* interesting how you take things for granted when you use them every day, until they're not there one day!

The fun of Thursdays has also been revealed to me now, ie 9-5 straight without time for lunch! But I've discovered that taking 15 mins either side of my 1-2pm lecture suffices nicely, without killing my concentration for my labs!

Ooh yeah, possibly the most exciting thing that's happened in the last 24 hours, is that I finished designing a logo for my blog (scroll up to see it). A bit of fun, and I'm aware the pic looks nothing like me, but there you go :) it's the closest I could get the 'doll-maker 2.0' website to make me look like!

Right, my watch insists it's 3.25pm so I really ought to take heed and get back to work!

TTFN all, I shall no doubt catch you soon :D



if computers are idiot-proof, why can't I make them work...

Monday, January 09, 2006

Beginning of term, God still rocks!

Ceryn's right, you know. God is indeed awesome. This term is going to be mental, I know, what with coursework coming out of my ears (very painful, I've been told) as well as handing over to my successor on the CU exec.

Even in the 4 days leading up to term, it has been totally nuts, what with playing catch-up (not the most exciting of games, as it doesn't involve fire or goats) with work. BUT, getting back to my main point, today was my first day back and suffice to say, this day started with dread.

However, it's just amazing how, once you give something over to God (ie my lectures and coursework), that I have come out uni today praising God in my heart, because he's not just helped me through the day, he's helped me get my work in perspective, set me up for work this evening AND have fun; all in the same day.

And yeah, getting things in perspective, getting God in perspective, things just seem a lot more ordered, y'know? Hard to remember sometimes, but impossible to forget: God has a plan, even for me and my electronic-engineering-digital-signal-processing'ness ;)

Ceryn's said it (many times), and I shall join with her in saying: God's Amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazin!



if computers are idiot-proof, why can't I make them work...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Tim: The movie

My dear housemate Si phoned me at 9am to let me kno about this film. They've written a film about the future (well, it says 24) meee!!

Very interesting to find out that I'll have 'older' women running after me, but good to know that I'll retain my one-stick-short-of-a-bundle'ness. Not sure about the whole handsome thing tho :P Narf!

Fancy having a name like Michael Pate; imagine being named after a meat pattie...



if computers are idiot-proof, why can't I make them work...

Monday, January 02, 2006

Shopping spree

Yes indeedy folks, I went on a shopping spree today for clothes! Before you all think I've gone and got in touch with my feminine side, that happened a looong time ago, but let's not delve into that...

£28 is a steep amount for me with clothes shopping, but when everything's a maximum of £3 in the Matalan clearance store, you get, like, half a wardrobe!! Amazing stuff, but if you want to check out what's really amazing, I've written a poem on God's grace on my other Blog:

Amazing Grace

I hope you both enjoy reading it, but are at the same time challenged and humbled by the awesome God that we serve. Grace truly is scandelous, outrageous, and amazing.



if computers are idiot-proof, why can't I make them work...

Amazing Grace

Inspired, Cat and I sat down to write a poem (which turned out to be 2!) on grace on Monday evening, and as she describes it, I 'had an overflow of words...all good'.

Cat's poem's Here , it offers 'a glimpse of grace' in her own words, and I agree!

This Poem tries to capture something of God's amazing grace; in particular, the amazing way in which it was bought -- by Jesus' blood. May we forever stand in awe of what he has done for us, because it should have been us.

Amazing Grace

‘Amazing grace, what does this mean,’
My heart demands of me,
‘that but one man could bring forth life
from pain and misery?’

How could one, in face of all
This world has ever done
Pay a debt, so great, for me
This Father’s only son.

Amazing grace, indeed it is.
For why should God afford us this?
What merit in life have we to give
That betters e’er the saviour’s kiss?

I tell the truth, and tell it straight,
I know not why he does,
But one thing true beyond all truths
Is my great Father’s love.

This love that passes human mind
And breaks the tyrant’s heart of stone
This love that never waivers, kind
Beyond the realms of human, known

This love, a father’s son once held
When to a cross he grimly hung,
And with one breath, declared for all,
‘Forgive them, it is done.’

Amazing grace, this I shall speak,
Of him who took from me
The wrath his Father held for us
And nailed it to that tree

In one life he showed to us
The life we’re born to live
Not one of futile suffering
But of the power to forgive

Just once, a single sacrifice,
Pure and blameless; he.
Love’s greatest claim, in rags once stood
At the foot of Calvary.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Return, repent, follow

My quiet times this past week have taken me through John 21v15-18 - Jesus asking Peter 3 times if he loved him. Today I was meditating on v.19b,

'Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!" '
--John 21v19 (NIV)--

Consider how you think you let down God in your daily life, but now think of Peter. To recap, Peter has denied Jesus three times & Jesus has just illustrated how Peter's death is going to glorify God. We often think God'll cut ties with us when we let him down. I state clearly now, that that is NOT the God we serve. Check out the text in bold, 'Then he said to him, "Follow me!"

Jesus could have removed Peter's discipleship, but instead he says "Follow me!" Our God is one of infinite forgiveness. By dying on the cross he showed this -- every sin was nailed there: past, present and future. And with that, anything we're going to do, and have done, is forgiven.

"Follow me!" 2 simple words, with profound impact on our lives. God never promises it'll be easy, but his plan stands for us always. Whether we're faithfully following him or wandering, he'll ALWAYS receive us back to him. Confess your sin, come back to Jesus, and it's you in Peter's shoes:

"Then he [Jesus] said to him, "Follow me!"

Nu yaaaaar!!

Happy new year all!!

Suffice to say, that mulled wine, party games, fireworks, fire poi and 22 people go together admirably ;)

I've posted on my other blog a thought for new years: New year, same God . I hope you enjoy it :)

God bless & Mulled wine forever... Huzzah!!



if computers are idiot-proof, why can't I make them work...

New year, same God

Hey all, the new year has come round once again, and I'd like to share what my dad opened the new year with:

'So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.'
--Isaiah 41v10--

Look at your life, and you quickly realise how much that we take for granted is so easily taken away from us - money and time to name but two. But despite these turbulent times we live in, and the crazy lives we live, we can be sure that the God we serve remains the same. The God who:
  • Cares for us and loves us deeply
  • Never leaves our side
  • Celebrates with us when we're on cloud nine
  • Carries us when we're broken-hearted and have reached rock-bottom
  • Guides us when we're lost
  • Shines his light in our dark times
  • receives us back, no matter what we do
  • is totally good, faithful in every way

Dear brothers and sisters, this is the God we serve - Wow!!! As this new year dawns us on, take this life you have been given by the reins, and hand those reigns over to God. He's got awesome plans for you and me, beyond our dreams; but we have to trust him first, before we can see them worked out.

Wouldn't it be awesome to look back in a year's time, and say, 'Lord, that year was yours. Thank you'

God's going to continue to be faithful, but how far are you willing to trust him?

Make it his :)