Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Something better

A fab quote from 'Passion and Purity' By Elizabeth Elliott

Taken from a dialogue between Elliott and God re: the feelings she had for a man she was growing to love, but couldn't marry at that time:
My heart was saying, "Lord, take away this longing, or give me that for which I long."

The Lord was answering, "I must teach you to long for something better." - Elizabeth Elliot



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Monday, October 20, 2008


Thank you to everyone's who's been praying about today's final assessment! The external moderator came in today and observed a lesson of mine (which went nigh on perfectly!) and set down to grill my files.

After the black smoke had cleared, she and my tutor gave me the thumbs up for Friday's piece of mandatory paperwork.

All I can say is praise God for the way he's kept me going with energy, patience, strength & determination over the past 7 weeks. It's been tough, but God's been tougher, there've literally been tears but God's always been there to comfort me, it's been a strain on my sleep (let's not start counting!) but yet he's always given me the strength I've needed for the day ahead.

Jude puts it very succinctly:

"To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen."
-- Jude 1v24-25 --

He can't help but praise God out of the sheer factual wonder that he will keep him safe in Christ until that truly amazing and awesome day when he returns. That has been the greatest challenge this term - keeping my focus on the prize; not of NQT (newly qualified teacher) status, but of my hope in Christ. And what joy it's brought! When teaching has been hard & the kids nightmarish, paperwork's built up and the clock's carrying on into tomorrow, getting my focus set on that hope of ours in Christ (that is, a future with God) has brought the joy back & renewed determination.

Now, with half term beckoning I've been told by friends that life'll calm down a bit, especially in the evenings. And part of me's looking forward to that. I'm challenged to remember that it's in my weakness this past half-term that I've known his strength most fully. How easy to cruise on when life seems easier! But I don't want this to be the case, I want this passion and reliance to continue day in, day out. He's sustained me perfectly according to my needs; that reliance I want to continue to walk in.

Rock on :)



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Friday, October 17, 2008

The theology of curves


Did you know that every line drawn on a graph has a formula which describes its path perfectly?

Chatting with a friend of mine at 1am this morning got me thinking about how sometimes we have no idea what God seems to be up to and your life seems to be a bit like an erratic curve on a graph. Let's face it, we like to know what's going to happen next in our lives - if we could choose to have a line to represent our lives then it would be a straight line (linear) graph. Always constant, the gradient never changes, and easy as pi (pardon the maths pun) to work out what it's going to look like 10, 50 or 10,000 steps down the line. In short - with a linear line, we can work it out very easily and predict what's going to happen.

But our lives aren't linear lines, they're curved and meandering, what's know as a differential curve. A-level maths teaches you that a differential curve which meanders around all in what looks to be a highly erratic way can be nigh on impossible to predict. Cue much flustering about not being able to predict this seemingly erratic path.

The great thing about curves however (well, as a maths bod) is that all curves have a formula which enables you to predict how the line will progress - perfectly. How encouraging to be reminded that God knows that formula - he just reveals a little bit of the line's path each day.

We may not be able to predict what's coming up next, or where our paths are going to pitch and soar (and sometimes seem to change direction), but we serve a God who knows that path back to front. He knows the formula that describes our path perfectly - from year to year, day to day, situation to situation. Our lives have some of the most complicated differential curves in all creation, so delicately interwoven into God's plan that it makes my head hurt.

And for each line that's carefully and lovingly woven into his marvelous plan, he knows the formula that describes where it's going. Perfectly. Let's learn to trust Him in the plotting of our paths.



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Monday, October 06, 2008

Trust in you alone

We sang The Lord's my Shepherd (Stuart Townend version) on Sunday morning and the line 'I will trust in you alone' struck me freshly. This poem came out of it:

I will trust in you alone

I will trust in you alone,
for my thoughts lead me astray.
I will trust in you alone,
for tomorrow and today.
I will trust in you alone,
for you lead my footsteps still,
and only when I trust in you
can I walk within your will.

I will trust in you alone
when the way's unclear to me.
I will cling to your firm rock
and learn to patient be.
I will trust in you alone;
give me that mustard seed,
to humbly seek your perfect will
and love what it may be.



weird is just your own personal brand of normal

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Where do you source your joy?

Paul's example in Romans just knocks me for six. He's gone through being beaten, rejected by fellows 'brothers', thrown out of towns, thrown into prison, shipwrecked, left hungry and seems rarely to be given any thanks for his efforts. Yet, he has what can only be called an abundant and seemingly depthless joy that he exudes in everything he writes about. What I love about this joy Paul has, it that it's drawn from the same source that we can drawn ours from - an eternal and unchangeable hope in Jesus Christ for our lives and after.

In light of how amazing the gospel of Jesus is, should we not be exuding joy in everything? Cat's post on Living for Christ with Joy has made me think; what makes me smile, what makes me rejoice in how amazing God is, what loving things do I enjoy doing that bring me a refraction of the joy Jesus wants in my life? Here's the short-list that came to mind:

1. Reading books
2. Cat :)
3. Playing the piano/guitar
4. Sunsets/sunrises
5. Playing console & PC games
6. Good coffee
7. Chatting with friends
8. Making or playing with gadgets
9. Listening to music
10. Helping a child learn something
11. Cooking
12. Snowboarding
13. Photography
14. Poetry
15. Random chats with friends!

How amazing it is to realise that God's made us to be joy seekers after his name, or Christian Hedonists (as John Piper puts it). I often find it far too easy to detach having joy in Christ from my life each day. But how can I do that, when this joy of his is ready to fill my life in every conversation, every decision and action as Paul discovered. I wonder how else joy manages to peek through in our lives (and in some cases, jump up and down). How does it in yours?



weird is just your own personal brand of normal