Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Home, home on the range

After a lovely weekend spent in Guildford with Miss Hare, and having braved the journey home on my motorbike, I'm now back in my cosy old room for the next 3 weeks. It's true to say this will not be a holiday in the 'put your feet up' sense of the word, but I'm looking forward to some hard work during the day, scrabble and fun antics in the evenings with my mum, dad and sister Emma, and the staying of a certain someone over new years eve.

Hurrah for time spent with special people :)



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Who lives there?

I heard this cracking quote of Martin Luther's in church today:

"If anyone knocks at the door of my heart and says 'Who lives there?' my answer is 'Jesus Christ lives here, not Martin Luther' "

I found myself wondering: would I state straight away that it is Jesus that is Lord of my heart - hes the one that lives there; or would I instead reply that 'it's me, Tim, the same guy that's always lived here! Who were you expecting?'

I find it's good to ask, 'Is Jesus in my thoughts, is his sacrifice written on my heart, do I bear his scars with pride or resentment?

Do I hold him up proudly, and call him Lord?

Does he live there, and will I let him rule in my heart?



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Ceilidh goodness, and a landmark evening

Ok, first, a Ceilidh is not a barn-dance!  I don't know how many people I've had to tell that to, but now that that's out the way I'll move on :)

The title refers to my mum and dad's 25th wedding anniversary!  Last weekend seems longer than a week ago already, (though I'll put that down to PGCE!) but it was such a wonderful and special time.  65 friends and family from 20+ years ago managed to make it.  A splendid buffet was put on by my mum, with Cat and I serving the drinks.  Oooh yes, that's a point, Cat had the rather scary first meeting of my parents, family and friends in one foul swoop on Saturday.  She did fantastically though, and raised smiles all over :)

The ceilidh itself was amazingly fun, and energetic as per standard, so my dad and I had marvelous fun wheeling around in our kilts while the tired people at the sides laughed their sides off at our antics on the dance floor ;)

Concluding the evening was a very special time of my parents both giving dedications and thanks to each other for the past 25 years, while we watched on from the sides.

Definitely a weekend that none of us will forget.

Now I need to repay the favour for Cat by hopefully meeting her parents after the new year.  Excited, and a tad nervous would sum me up nicely!

Some pics from the evening:

Cat and I manning the bar

Ceilidh dancing, the 'basket', where the ladies are lifted off the ground.  I found this rather hard to support as most of the other men were a tad taller than me ;)

Enough of my prattlings, I must be back to my penultimate assignment which needs some more work done to it.  EAL in Maths, and I'm actually finding it rather interesting :)

TTFN, until soon,



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sometimes, just being there is enough

It's a funny thing, in a way, when you think of it. Sometimes we get so caught up on saying and doing the right thing, that we miss the obvious. Just being there for someone.

Why is it, I wonder, that we (guys especially) always want to 'fix' situations! We want to be able to provide that word in season (2 Tim 4v2), to be able to do something that will somehow immediately sort the situation. I often find that I try and find this one thing, that can be said or done, that will solve the problem!

But then I'm reminded of times when friends are facing really tough times; job issues, personal problems like depression and anorexia, relationship and family issues. And often there is nothing that can be done right there, nothing that can be said to help or ease the situation - apart from showing that person that you are there for them; that you will sit with them, let them cry on your shoulder, and support them through whatever it is they're going through.

A hug can say more than a thousand words, a comforting hand on a shoulder can speak louder than a shout to the world - it says you're there for them.

Often I find it hard in some ways to accept this, but keep finding time and time again that sometimes, just being there is enough.



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Still alive, and working. Oooh yes...

Alive, yes. Full of free time, no!

I think that sums up my life nicely atm. I've just completed my 3 week block placement at Geoffrey Field Junior School in Whitley (Reading) which has been somewhat of a baptism by fire in terms of behaviour management and classroom control, but the time has sped by and I find myself missing my year 6's already!

I took the weekend off from academic work (on advice of my tutor!) and enjoyed a lovely weekend in Guildford, gatecrashing the Surrey CU's houseparty, and spending lots of time with the lovely Miss Hare - by far my favourtie part of the weekend =D

Now the week has kicked back in, I find myself in 6th gear and knee-deep in work, but that's fine, really. Why? Because I keep getting reminded that God gives you the strength you need, when you rely on him fully and set your heart on honouring him; work, friends, personal life, troubles, the whole shabang. Colossians 3v23 reminds us to work at whatever we've been given, 'as working for the Lord', reminding us that 'It is the Lord Christ you are serving.'

And that's a great reminder - whether our work is uni-based, or out in the world in one of those 'paid jobs' that I hear so much about :P - because, in keeping our hearts fully set on God in our work, then we find it hard to grumble and complain, we find it hard to lose sight on the true goal of our salvation ('you know you will receive an inheritance' - Col 3v23), and find that strength we so often need in our work to keep ploughing on in the face of tiredness, ridicule for holding the faith we do, and whatever the enemy throws at us to try to trip us up.

If a heart's fully set on glorifying God, then even the greatest snare snaps like rotten string before God's Grace & steadfast hand.

Let's keep that heart of ours fully set on glorifying him. The next couple of weeks are going to be ridiculous for us peeps on PGCE, but I know that God continues to strengthen me and hold me fast. May that be enough for us :)



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Know me that you may trust me

It’s so easy to say 'trust in the Lord', or 'trust God on this one', but do we really understand what we’re saying when we encourage & challenge ourselves and each other with these words?

Take a step back from trusting God though, and ask yourself why do you trust a person you know, say, a friend, your boy/girl-friend, spouse or a family member? What is it about them that you trust? Is it their kindness, their reliability, their wisdom or maybe other character traits? Is it the things they do, or have done for you or others? Now imagine you’re introducing this friend of yours to someone else, and wanting for them to be able to trust your friend as much as you do. The truth is that no matter how much you tell them, they can’t trust them as much as you do on the outset; the simple reason being that they don’t know your friend like you do. They don’t know their habits, their great character traits, their care or their reliability, their wisdom or their humility – they only know what you’ve told them. Word of mouth, is not the same as knowing someone.

Can we, therefore, expect ourselves to just trust in the Lord? Simply, we can’t; not if we don’t know the person of God, his ways and promises; not if we don’t know past examples from his word & our own lives that remind us of his goodness & faithfulness. To equip us for trusting God, we must truly know him – not in the sense of being able to recite bible verses, sermon notes and good ideas, but in the real sense of walking each day with God, and reading and meditating on his word each and every day.

If you really want to trust God’s will with your whole heart, and know what it is to have his peace in you each day, then that has to involve total surrender to him in that heart of yours – and you will only do that, if you know who you’re entrusting your heart’s desires to. To trust him, you must know him. And to know him, we must immerse ourselves in him – know his word (to teach you who he his), remember his grace (to remind you each day, what he’s done for you in Jesus), and walk with his spirit (to know what he’s wanting to work out in you each and every day).

If we are in the business of truly wanting to trust God fully – or maybe it’s just a situation that you’re having difficulty submitting to God – then remember who he is; that he is the God of love, the God of compassion, the God of power and strength, the God of the broken-hearted, the God of justice, and he faithful God, who hears our cries and always answers.

Remember who he is, and trust him.



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

I'll praise you as I ought

'Weak is the effort of my heart,
and cold my warmest thought;
but when I see you as you are,
I'll praise you as I ought.'

-John Newton, 'How sweet the name of Jesus sounds'-

I sang these words in church today and they struck me afresh. Here we are, trying to give praise to God that rightly glorifies his name, and we then realise that no collection of words could ever fully describe his glory, his majesty, his love, compassion and beauty. The Almighty God is just too far beyond our imagining to put into mere words! When you remember this, the spirit's work in praise becomes clear, 'interceding for us with groans that words can't express' (Romans 8v26).

That verse by John Newton doesn't just acknowledge our meagre, yet heart-felt praise falls short of fully glorifying God, but gives a wonderful reminder that there will be a time when we will be able to praise him as he created us to, and that time is coming! Hallelujah! Come to think of it, how can we describe anyone fully if we've never seen them face to face, let alone expect to praise God in such a way that fully describes his gloriousness and beauty?

Praise God that that time is coming, when we will stand before him and praise him as we ought! Praise his name, that he accepts our heart-felt praises just as they are, and is pleased by them. Praise our glorious heavenly father, that he gave up Jesus for us; whatever our circumstances, that alone is worthy of our heart-felt praise for our whole lives!



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dealing with hatred

It's a bit of a strong title, but hatred is something we should be very wary of as Christians, as it can divide us from our friends, our brothers and sisters in Christ, and most importantly it distances us from God. This is why we must be wary!

In my bible meditation, I am working through Acts a verse or 2 at a time, and today's verses were Acts 23v14-15:

'They (the group of 40+ Jews) went to the chief priests and elders and said, "We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul. Now then, you and the Sanhedrin petition the commander to bring him before you on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here."'
(emphasis added)

This God-following group of 40 Jews had sworn themselves under a curse to kill Paul because of his professed belief in Jesus. As the passage says, they went and tried to get the chief priests and elders in on this plot born out of unrighteous anger.

We have to be wary not just of hatred in ourselves, but of hatred in others as well, and how quickly it can spread - from us to others, and others to us if we are not guarding our hearts. But I was immensely encouraged again at God's provision against hatred, anger & a host of other sins - and that is his love as the guard in our hearts.

What does this mean for us? It means we must be vigilent & discerning by the holy spirit, not just for our hearts, but for those around us; that they'd be protected from other people's hatred, and that they'd have God's love melting that hatred away whenever it threatens to flare up.

Most importantly for us, are we confessing this sin to God when it first occurs in us? We must confess it & ask for God's love to cover it, if we're to be that shining light of righteousness, grace & mercy that we're called to be. If we're discerning by his spirit, testing the things we hear & think, and rooted in his love, then we will stand firm. Hallelujah! Hatred has no place to stand in a heart that's full to the brim with love.

Let's strive & seek God earnestly for hearts like this!



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Sunday, October 07, 2007

4 weeks in

I'm still alive!

Much to the surprise of, well, no-one to tell the truth, though I feel that someone might possibly be surprised.


I've had a grrreat first 4 weeks thus far. I'm being fed ridiculous amounts of education type stuff, and I've had 1 day in school so far (year 6), and have found that they're to be my class for the term - meaning I have 2 days this coming week, and then 3 weeks with half-term in the middle coming up the follow 4 weeks. Woo! I am very excited about being in school in general, and am loving the fact that I know I'm where God wants me, so I can just give each day up to him and get on with it. Huzzah! :D

This weekend was a nice respite, with Cat coming a'visiting from Saturday til Sunday, enjoying a spot of cookie-baking, Hero-Quest (board game version of Dungeons and Dragons), and going to church and 'spoons on Sunday. All in all a fantastic weekend, much fun had by all - Dave & Marie included, and there are even some cookies left.

Yum :)

Above is Cat following my instruction to 'put all the ingredients in the pan'. I did rather ask for that though!

Pics for the weekend are viewable on facebook here: Cookies and Hero-Quest

Time to sign off as I need a good night's beauty sleep for school tomorrow. I'll be back soon, stay tuned for more :)



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Saturday, September 22, 2007

First week & friday evening

Well, I have survived the first week on PGCE. Hurrah! It's been intensive, lots to take in, and the reality of the amount of hard work that'll need to be put into this year to get the most out of it is becoming apparent.

But I'm loving it!

It's true to say that despite the ridiculous amount of work, background reading and lack of social life (woooooo!!) that's going to come with this year, I know that I'm where God wants me. And I'm gradually learning that that's enough for me :)

As a treat, I let myself out for the evening (what a racey and crazy person I am, I hear you say) to unleash the Disney channel premiere of 'High-school musical 2' upon my senses. Thank you Lizzie. If you haven't seen it yet, it truly is a kids version of Grease, thankfully cleaner, and so cheesy you could make a beast of a toasty with it if I'd brought my machine along.

In short, a lot of fun, especially in trying to predict what happened next (inevitably a group of people spontaneously breaking into song on a golf course).

Much fun had. I really ought to watch the first one sometime though...



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Friday, September 14, 2007

Back in the R D G

I've just got back to Reading, after 1 year away and it really does feel nice to be back! Granted, in a different area of town, with a different course, and in a different house, but I really do like Reading :)

So it's all go for me now, starting this Monday coming over at Bulmershe. Just a short post, just to let you all know I'm still around.

And for those wondering, the pond's part of the Bulmershe campus ;)



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Monday, September 03, 2007

Breakdancing from India

I've finally discovered youtube, so here's the video of the breakdancing routine from my time out in India, that was organised and choreographed for the Student Council event in the 1st half of term.

Before you all ask at once, I do take bookings, but only outside of term dates. See my agent if you'd like to hire the 'breakdance beagles'. You won't be dissapointed!



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Still alive & reading Dick King-Smith!

Helloo all, sorry I've been away from blogdom for a couple of weeks or so. PGCE preparation is hotting up, and I have a week and a half's school placement ahead of me over the next fortnight before moving back to Reading to live in Lower Earley in (for those of you who know him) Steve Lock-Weaton's house! :D

Dead exciting, but in the mean time I have packing to do, a new desk was sniped off ebay on Saturday for a mighty £19 (£1 off my max bid) and I am beginning to amass a small shelf of Dick King-Smith books to support my circle and reading times in this year to come. And beyond, come to think of it.

Hairy Hezekiah (featured to the left) is the book of the day, a lonely camel in the zoo. I'd best find out what happens, so I'll be back soon with an update of sorts. Oh, and I'm level 68 in WoW. Sad, I know, but there you go. I love my games!

TTFN for now, take care & God Bless :)



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Encouragement in Communion

I've just come back from my home church in Swindon's communion service this evening, and I have to say that I have come away SO encouraged by what I've been reminded of. My Pastor led on 'Don't forget', so here goes:

Don't forget:

1. ...Where you've come from, thinking of Psalm 40 where it talks of God lifting us from the 'Miry bog' as the ESV puts it. The original greek describing this pit referred to a large pit that farmers would dig and line with clay in mind of dry season, leaving only a small hole at the top for access and water to enter. If you fell in then there was literally nothing you could do to help yourself.

2. ...The rock from which you've been hewn, thinking not of Jesus, but looking back to Abraham, the promises that were fulfilled miraculously in his old age alone, let alone the fact that we can now love God through his covenant with him. He was an idolatrous pagan before God took hold of him and promised to use him to build his people. We are no different.

3. ...The darkness from which you've been brought.

4. ...The pollution from which you've been cleansed.

5. ...The wrath from which we've been delivered.
'Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.' --John 3v36--

6. ...The death from which we've passed.
'Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.' --John 5v24--

And following these challenges, we had a time of open prayer, with only about 80 max of us in the church, and it was such a blessed time of thanking and praising God for who he is & what he's done for us, prayers looking forward to when we'll be in his presence eternally, and throughout the time of prayer and communion afterwards I had a ridiculously big smile across my face. Why? Because I had been reminded of the greatest truth that exists in my life; I am a sinner, saved by grace, righteous by Jesus' righteousness and an heir to the throne of heaven, and one day I shall stand before the Father himself and hear the words, 'welcome, my good and faithful son'.

Is it any wonder that we are encouraged to never stop meeting together? He knows we need this constant, daily encouragement, to live a life as part of his church, to live as part of the body, rather than a limb on its own. He knew what we desperately needed then and now, yesterday, today and tomorrow, and gave it. And his all-encompassing, soul-cleansing grace is something we need bring our hearts and minds back to each day if we are to stand firm.

Amazing grace just doesn't cut it, Heaven's going to rock.



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

New Blog Style & movings on

Yup, it's been 2 years so I thought it was definately time for a change. And though I vowed never to have a blog with pink in it again, yet here is the outcome.

I can't help it, I love this template! Check the link at the bottom of the page if you'd like it!

Anyhoo, as the post title suggests, I'm back off to Reading soon to start my General Primary PGCE. Another exciting step in my life that might possibly be the end of my education (and the beginning of others, mwa ha ha haaa!!)

But either way, I'm just very excited to know that this is where God wants me for this next year. He made it clear through prayer, bible meditation and by making the way straight for my application on the course. I was reminded and encouraged last week on a prayer and bible week in Hemel Hempsted that God's peace is the hallmark if you're walking with him and obeying him.

What an encouragement to know that God's peace that really does transcend all understanding accompanies you no matter where you are or what's going on. And it really has been a peace I can't understand from a human perspective, because so often I just want control, and yet God effectively says 'trust me, I know what I'm doing'.

Proverbs 3v5-6 remains one of my all-time favourtie verses, because of its preciseness, challenge and reassurance:

'Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.'

And the whole making your paths straight isn't about making everything peachy and grand, it's about knowing you're walking in his will for you, walking in his blessing, and walking closely with him. That's what gives you that peace.

So praise God for simple and amazing revelations, each and every day. Bring on Reading, and any of people are the Reading area, drop me a line or email so you can come visit or get food or something!



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Monday, August 06, 2007

New bibles

I've just come back from a really challenging week of prayer and bible teaching that I love to go on each year, and really feel that I want to change translations from my trusty old NIV to something else more accurate to the original text.

Here's the short list:

  • ESV (English Standard Version)
  • NASV (New American Standard Version)
  • NKJV (New King James Version)
As far as I can gather from friends at the week away, and the people that were speaking, they've all got things going for them. So my question is whether anyone out there has any recommendations, bearing in mind I'll be doing pretty much everything form bible meditation to bible study with it :)

Thank you all & in the mean time, I think a trip to the local Christian Bookshop is in order...




weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Home, home on the plaaaaiiiinsss...

Well, maybe not the plaaaaiiiinnnsss, but definately in a dip after a hill to the right of our house. Yes, I'm back home at long last! Excited, excillerated (bad spelling, sorry) and exhausted, but in good spirits :)

Blog posts will hopefully happen more regularly as I try and split my India experience up into blog-sized chunks with pictures! For the time being now though, a muffin and a cup of English tea call me. Aaaah, creature comforts...



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

DIY Cryptexes

Whilst reading the Da Vinci code I came across a rather cool invention called a Cryptex - a letter version of a cyclindrical number lock with a hidden chamber inside which you can store stuff in. Me being my curious and creative self, I decided to draw and design one simply for the challenge of bringing an invention to life.

The design work went fine, the mechanism making sense on paper etc, but sadly my machining skills are rather rusty, not to mention my choice of materials - soft wood, not a good idea!

Suffice to say that my efforts in using an old piece of soft wood in making the various parts did not quite work out how I had planned, with a third of the discs shearing off or snapping. I hope to try and make one out of slightly more sturdy materials when I get back though. Any thoughts on it are much appreciated as it is literally a work in progress!

Sadly it probably won't look quite as spiffy as this, but then again that doesn't matter. I'd just settle on it working! ;)



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Grad and tieing-up of loose ends

It's kinda sad to think that the IGs and I are now only 4 days from the end of term, but at the same time it's amazingly exciting to think of what lies ahead.

It's been nearly 5 months since I left England from Heathrow airport, arrived in India 1 hours later and was bowled over with the differences in cultures and countries - the poverty and slums in Mumbai (Bombay), the street sellers and their wares of anything imaginable, the amazing sunset over the towers of the city on our first night here. An internal flight and a bumpy bus journey up the 2000ft of hill later and my short-term home of Hebron was there.

Over the past 5 months, my time out here in Hebron has been amazing, chocca with unforgettable experiences like the walk up to the Droog (an old British hill fort, up a further 9 mailes and 500ft of hills!), Sock-wrestling with the boys on a Saturday night, helping out with the 6.14ers' bible club every fortnight, being able to help out in various church services with drama, readings and music, teaching a year 7 maths class on my own (not forgetting piano, clarinet, saxophone and oboe as well!), to name some of my favourite times with the kids, enjoying cups of hot chocolate and blue granitas in Cafe Coffee Day, haggling over material and food in Ooty market, dancing in the rain at Kovalum beach in a thunder storm, and getting to know my year 8 boys better and better as the term's gone on.

I've been able to get to know some fab christians out here as well, ones I've learnt much from in humility in service, people who really do give themselves wholly in their work for God out here. These are people I will not forget quickly, and some will hopefully remain friends for a good while longer after I leave.

Being an IG has most of all challenged me greatly about the verses God reminded me of before I came out here, Colossians 3 v 23-24:

'Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.'

The people out here have been a true example to me of these verses, working hard, and for God's glory - not their own. The big question is whether these things I have learned out here, and been reminded of each day, will apply to my life when I get back to England. Will I truly work my hardest to glorify God in my PGCE, at Carey Baptist church in Reading, give myself in service to him with my whole heart? I really hope that I do; and as God reminded me several days ago in my quiet time, if I truly want it in my heart, he'll work it out in my life.

In closing, a photo that probably shows us IGs at our best, smart, yet smiling.

Posts shall follow sporadically for the next month or so, I'll be somewhere in India! Stay posted for my itinerary.



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Time for a change

I've decided out with the old and in with the new, regarding my blog's layout and visual style, but I have realised I have no idea of colour schemes etc. (I blame that on being a guy, naturally) so if anyone has any ideas, do mention them! Ideas for a new logo would be nice too :)


*Edit - 07/06*

While trying out new templates, I've managed to delete the following:
- Fellow Bloggers list. If anyone can remember being on this list, please comment your blog's web addy!
- Quotes. Again, if anyone can remember some of these, much appreciated.

In the immortal words of John Raines, a fellow IG here at Hebron, 'Oh good'.



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Monday, May 28, 2007

In the silence

A new song's up on my scribblings blog, 'In the silence'. Written out of reflection on how it is so vital that we make time to just be still before God, and let him minister to our spirit - healing, challenging, reminding, knowing him better.

I hope you're challenged by it.



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

In the silence

The lyrics for this song came to me a couple of evenings ago, after I'd had a good chat witha friend about making time just to be still before God. So often we try and give time to to God without giving him a word in edgeways, so afraid of the silence and just being still before our loving heavenly father, out God. This song is born out of that need to be still, the challenge that comes from it, and the importance of making time to stop and listen to God, be healed by him, and accept his grace afresh each and every day.

In the silence

When the day is shut out
______C/E_____ Fmaj7___Gsus4, G
and the tongue, it is silenced at last.
_____ Am ___________________
When I come on my knees and subdue
these legs always moving so fast,
and I wait as the stillness descends,
Fsus4____ F_______ G
wait for my shepherd to speak,
____Am_______Am/G_____C_Dm_ C/E_F
and I know that in waiting here, no-thing is__lost
___Am_______ Fmaj7___G
as I admit afresh, 'Lord I am weak'

And the silence it comes
as I'm laying my heart at your feet
your spirit flows over it
healing me, making me complete.
___ Dm
This peace is not temporary,
C/E_ F_C/G_F
there for a___while,
_____ Bb___________ G
but for-ever it rests in my soul,
making me whole

When my troubles are laid
at the foot of the cross where you died,
when I open my heart to you,
admitting what's really inside,
then your peace steals over me
at once and again
peace that reminds of my saviour's refrain
when once and for all my troubles he took
'it's done' was his cry, as it says in the book

When I physically stop
and gaze at the cross once again
and meditate on all that you did,
may my heart not know shame,
but the grace that you bought
this poor sinner's soul with,
and rose him to new life in you
remind me afresh of the price that you paid,
that my heart would be humbled by you

Has the peace that once filled your heart
all but expired?
Is the passion now smouldering
that used to burn hot as a fire?
The get on your knees,
let the silence pour down,
and the spirit envelop afresh
that depth of your soul
that so deeply desires to know him
and feel his caress

Then down on your knees
let your heart open up
put your pride to the side
let him heal you up
and the arms that flung stars
_____ C/E__F__Gm7__F/A
and the hands that held_ nails
hold you tight

Friday, May 25, 2007


Well, one actually, but it was 'really big!' according to Sue. Roger and I were happily playing games in the lounge when Sue screamed somewhat loudly and of course it was all hands on deck! There was indeed a rat hiding underneath the sideboard-top hob. So 5-10 minutes later, after accidentally chasing it through the kitchen and into the lounge, it bucketed! Mwa ha haa!!

Sterling work and jolly good fun too. Not sure if my suggestion of letting it go so we could catch it again went down well with Sue though ;)

Below: the BEASTIE!

A mean non-green furry machine. Or something like that. 3 foot across at least.



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Saturday, May 19, 2007


It is a rather random name for a blog post, but have a look at the pic below

Spot the hug! Isn't it funny how in the midst of a day that seems utterly random in itself, in the the middle of crazy events, how a hug can be hidden in there secretely - and how it can make all the difference?

Gotta love how the simple things are often the most profound and memorable, like how a hug can turn someone's day around 180 degrees.

Have you hugged someone today?



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Meet the IGs

Yes, I've finally got around to posting something about my fellow IGs! See the pic below for a collage of stuff we've done, what we look like, and a well-known phrase of ours.. enjoyez-vous!



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

More of Jesus, less of me

I started writing this during a Sunday morning church service a while ago, and meant to post it a while ago. So much for my memory, but I came across it this morning and finally got around to blogging it. This poem was written along the central question of do we want more of Jesus in us, putting more of our self to the side and letting him refine us and mould us in his time, love and discipline. Enough of my prattle though, the poem says it better than I do.

More of Jesus, less of me

More of Jesus, less of me,
is this what I want to see?
My whole life I must freely give
if Jesus' life I wish to live.

More of Jesus' love in me;
love that set this captive free,
love that heals this wounded soul,
love that only makes me whole.

More of Jesus' truth in me;
truth that shows me how to be,
truth that guides me in his light,
truth that leads me through the night.

Mopre of Jesus' truth in me;
trusat that held at Calvary,
trust that bears my burden's weight,
trust that keeps my footsteps straight.

More of Jesus' zeal in me;
zeal that makes me e'er decree
that Jesus Christ is all I need,
to righteous tree from humble seed.

More of Jesus' power in me;
power that stands me firm in thee,
power that speaks life in a breath,
power that broke the chains of death.

More of Jesus, less of me,
this is what I want to see.
Trust firm-placed and hope fulfilled,
Heart on fire, and all fear stilled.

Jesus, Saviour, lord and friend,
make me more like you, til when
we stand before the throne, renewed;
our hopes fulfilled, complete, in you.

It's an amazing thought to remember that one day we will have all our hopes fulfilled in God when we stand before him on that glorious day and hear him say 'welcome, my good and faithful servant'. The question stands again; do we want more of Jesus in the mean time, do we want to glorify him more with our lives? And that is a question of the heart - not mind.



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Reading you your rights

I've been doing a bit of thinking about the post I wrote a couple of days ago based on the poem by Annie Johnson Flint about God's promises, and how God doesn't promise us many things that we may assume should be ours by right. And that was the thing that's been striking me during some of my quiet times lately, what do we think are our rights? What do we assume is ours by right? So, what do we really have rights to?

In my quiet times, I've been meditating in Acts 16:16-40 - Paul and Silas' encounter with the fortune-telling slave girl (posessed by an evil spirit) and their subsequent flogging and being thrown into prison. Several questions came to my mind. Was this unexpected? What rights did they think they had when they were free, and in prison? Did they think their rights were being violated? So this got me thinking about what our true rights are as Christians, as inherited sons and daughters of the living God, called to live for him in a world that hates his light.

In the light of us being called to serve God in this world, as Paul and Silas were, we have a right to endure whatever the world throws at us for the glory of God, to bear it as working for the Lord, not for men (Colossians 3:23-24,). It is an immense priviledge to serve God, wherever he puts us. Were Paul and Silas surprised that they got thrown into prison? I highly doubt it. They'd been on the road for God for quite a while, living out the the gospel reality that suffering and persecution (in their various forms) are things we should expect when we take the gospel to people. This should serve as a stark reminder that the world we're called to live and speak the gospel in hates the light that it offers.

Another question that came to my mind was that of justice. What did Paul and Silas think was going on with God when he let them be thrown into prison? Did they wonder where his justice was there and then? Do we have a right to justice? And the answer to that is a resounding yes! We have a right to a just ruling from God; one that will be carried out when he returns. In the mean time, do we have a right to justice here on earth when we're unfairly treated or downtrod by those around us? Being called to be a Christian is not a call to be a doormat to the world, it's being called to a supporting joist for the kingdom of God.

The greatest thing of importance to us in any situation should be of staying true to God, of standing up for the gospel, then for our friends and those around us, and then for ourselves - in the same way that we're called to think of God first in all things, then those around us, and then ourselves. Does this mean we neglect ourselves? Not at all, it means humbling ourselves, not worrying for our own needs, and trusting that God will provide for everything he knows we need. Make no mistake, when Paul and Silas went on the road for God they knew the risks of walking the line for him. But they chose to put the furthering of the gospel and the glory of God in front of their own comfort and rights that the world insists we should have - like security and physical safety.

I think about my life and how much more tempting it is to choose the easier option - avoid a conversation that would challenge me, choose not to confront a friend about something for the sake of your friendship (when in fact a true friend would challenge, rather than stand by), steer away from the conversation that would mean you stand up for your faith. And Paul and Silas had the same opportunity - walking away from the situation with the slave girl with the fortune-telling evil spirit, being broken in prison, taking the easy conversations with the Greeks and avoiding the zealous Jews. But they chose the that a) glorified God above themselves, putting them often in harm's way, and b) acknowledged God's sovreignty over their lives, trusting him with their futures - on a day to day basis. They took the rights the world said they should have and endured cultural and social shame, knowing that their real worth and glory would be found in God, when he reveals himself.

Are we so easily tempted to steer away from the decision that glorifies God at the expense of our own comfort? Or are we willing to claim the right God offers us; his justice in his time. Do we trust that he'll provide what we need, and lay our cares at his feet? Are we willing to put his glory first, and humble ourselves so we can serve him better? Big challenges, but one patient God who can help us make it happen



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Murder y'say? And exams too?!

Yep it's true, murder reared its ugly head yesterday evening! To be more precise, 11 of us tried to work out who murdered the famous and handsome Jed Manhattan at a party, dressed as our characters. The only downside really, was ending up being Ivy Fields, a chat show hostess - not my own choice I hasten to add! I blame the lack of male characters in the pack. But that aside, the evening was a resounding success, special mentions go to Ben as the mystic 'Zane', and Lizzie's Sterling performance as Jed's long-forgotten mother, 'Zena Zinopolis' - Greek to the core.

Pics will be posted once I get around to getting the pics off my camera!

In the mean time, the dreaded exam week is nearly on us all here at Hebron! Scary biscuits for my poor standard 7 maths pupils (no less because of me teaching them!) but also for many music students as they start working towards their exams for near term. Things to definitely keep in mind for prayer, both for my students and for my teaching as this really is the last week of revision before the week of exams.

Yet despite the busy times that are happening here, Lizzie and I are starting to finalise our travel plans for after the term ends in June. Dead exciting! North India, South India and Sri Lanka are all on the list of places we'll be going. We're also coming back 4 days earlier now, so if you happen to be in the neighbourhood (Swindon) or near Heathrow airport on the 9th, you might well bump into me! Though 7am is far too unholy a time to get back into the country at ;)

Righty, time is short (much like me) and I've got to be off to buy baby corn. Yes, I know it's a fairly random thing to suddenly feel like doing, but then again, this is me we're talking about :)

Until anon, a new newsletter will be written soon!



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Friday, April 27, 2007

God has promised

Hey all, I just managed to trick blogger into allowing me to log in (a bit of a long drawn-out tricksy process, but then again, this is a computer we're talking about!) so i can post something that was in our staff bulletin this week.

Good food for thought, reminds us of God's character, his real promises, and who he is to us.

God hath not promised
skies always blue
flower strewn pathways
all our lives through
God hath not promised
sun without rain
joy without sorrow
peace without pain

But God hath promised
Strength for the day,
Rest for labours
Light for the way
Grace for the trials
Help from above
Unfailing sympathy
Undying love

-- Annie Johnson Flint --

Just looking back over that list reminded me how we can so easily stand up and take up a beef with God about why he hasn't given us more sunshine in our lives, an easier path, kinder surroundings, and yet each day take for granted the things that he gives us; his grace, love, help, strength and peace (that transcends our understanding whenever we take the time to think about it).

Can we really ask for a life where our paths are strewn with flowers, when Jesus took a crown of thorns on his head? Where skies are always blue, when his sky clouded over when the father turned his face away? Where joy comes without pain, when the one who created us exactly to his design in our mothers' wombs was forced to turn his face from the one he had been in constant inseperable intimate communion with since eternity?

We can't call for these things, but if we think about what God has promised us; strength, rest, light for our path, grace for our trials, and help from his very hand. Do we really need to ask for a life like the one mentioned in the first verse? And if we do, why are we asking for it? Have we forgotten God's total provision for us? If we have, the loving arms of God await us, his depthless love is ready for our fresh dive, his guiding light ready to show us the path, his steady hand ready to help us takes the tumbles of life as they come.

God has promised, yes. God has promised us what we truly need; his help, strength and love in all we do.

Since I've been out here in India, God's been showing me each day how much I truly need to rely on his strength, wisdom, love (for the kids and staff alike). How I really can't teach Maths and music well if it's not for his patience with the kids and the preparation, how I can't be a real brother to my boys in the year 8 dorm if I don't have love for those others around me, how my thoughts being set on God turn a pants day into one that has a direction, guided by a hand that never fails to guide me in good ways.

The question is ever posed before us, who's promises are we relying on? Let's make his the one we rely on!



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Sunday, April 08, 2007

I'm here!

Well, actually, I've been here a while now, but there you go.

Yes indeedy, out here in South india in the region of Tamil Nadu, at Hebron School in a town called Ooty. And it's just fantastic. I'm loving being able to teach year 7 maths to a class of my own (quite scary at first), teach clarinet, piano and alto saxophone, and look after a year 8 dorm of 16(ish) boys - some aren't quite all there some of the time :P

Outside of that I'm enjoying playing clarinet in the concert band, singing in the choir, playing Need for Speed: Most wanted on the IT guy's conputer (what a legend!) and helping out with worship in church and 6:14ers bible club every other Sunday afternoon. In short, I'm doing a normal 'Tim Caird' and getting stuck in left, right and centre. But do you know what's really cool? Knowing that this is where God wants me here and now. Knowing that what I'm doing here is his will for me. And my quiet times just keep concreting that with God challenging me to give my whole heart to him in my academic, musical, bible club and dorm work. And I really want to be giving my whole heart! I mean, that's what I'm here for - that's what we're all here for! Suffice to say, God continues to rock my socks; daily.

Sadlt my time's up now, but I'll hopefully be online to blog again in the near future. If you'd like to keep up to date with my escapades, I'm writing a newsletter (sometimes with pictures!) every 3-4 weeks or so. Just contact me via my email address or if you're not sure what it is, leave a note on this post.

TTFN peeps, I'll be back in 3 months. MWAHAHAHAAA!!!!!!



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Sunday, January 07, 2007

One week to go! (and other stuff)

The realisation is finally starting to creep up on me now, that I'm going out to India in a week! The excitement has been playing hide-and-seek with my mind for the past 2 months, but chatting with Lizzie (one of the peeps I'm going out there with) last night about meeting up, getting Visas in London, and hotels in Mumbai has coaxed my excitement out of its hiding place.


My last day at work went by yesterday, and was sad to say goodbye to my bunch of ardent George'ers at Asda. 3 months is enough to knit you together with any team, but they've been fab and I'll be sad to see them go. But that doesn't stop me sending postcards ;)

On another sad note, Lucy (my motorbike) has been given an ultamatum; have a heart/brain transplant or be sold for parts :( she broke down last week and it turns out the previous owner didn't treat her well, because the entire front end of the engine needs rebuilding as it's dry and cracked and dead (and stuff). So if you see any nice little 125/100cc bikes around, do let me know in time for August!

Righty, the day calls, so I'll leave it at that and see to some breakfast before heading off to church. How AWEsome though, seriousely! Just think about the concept of church; God's worldwide family, uniting all colours, creeds, races and people groups under the banner of salvation in Jesus! That just blows my mind and makes me burst into a wide grin, KNOWING beyond a shadow of a doubt that one day I, Tim Caird, short person to the masses, will be standing in the presence of the Lord of eternity. What an awe-inspiring, humbling, and inspiring thought.

Why do we go to church? Because of love after God, because of the sweetness of fellowship, because of the crazy love of God for us and our desire to know him better and follow him more closely.

Bring it on :)



weird is just your own personal brand of normal