Tuesday, 29 December 2009

'Into the Fire'....

....Is a song from the musical The Scarlet Pimpernel. It is a really rousing, victory song when the Pimpernel is trying to rally his men together.
I've had it going around in a my head for a while now, and as I've been whistling the tune, God has been speaking to me through it. Ok, so I know that sounds strange, but that's how I work haha.

The lyrics are:
David walked into the valley
With a stone clutched in his hand
He was only a boy
But he knew someone must take a stand

There will always be a valley
Always mountains one must scale
There will always be perilous waters
Which someone must sail

Into valleys, into waters
Into jungles, into hell
Let us ride, let us ride home again with a story to tell
Into darkness, into danger
Into storms that rip the night
Don't give in, don't give up
But give thanks for the glorious fight

You can tremble, you can fear it
But keep your fighting spirit alive boys
Let the shiver of it sting you
Fling into battle, spring to your feet boys
Never hold back your step for a moment
Never doubt that your courage will grow
Hold your head even higher and into the fire we go

Are there mountains that surround us?
Are there walls that block the way?
Knock 'em down, strip 'em back boys
And forward and into the fray

Into terror, into valour
Charge ahead, no, never turn
Yes, it's into the fire we fly
And the devil will burn

Someone has to face the valley
Rush in, we have to rally and win boys
When the world is saying not to
By God, you know you've got to march on, boys
Never hold back your step for a moment
Never doubt that your courage will grow
Hold your head ever higher and into the fire we go

The first verse [David walked into the valley, With a stone clutched in his hand, He was only a boy, But he knew someone must take a stand] obviously talks of David as he walked out to meet Goliath with only a sling and five small stones in his hand. He knew that the giant had to be defeated, and knew that with God on his side he would have no problem. We need to acknowledge the giants in our life, and know that they can be defeated with God on our side. Once the giant has been defeated we need to recognise it when it starts to rear its ugly head again. Often with giants in our lives it takes a lot of prayer and a long time to truly defeat them, but as David showed everyone, it was very easy to slay the big ole' giant. He had God. When we are trying to defeat giants we need to remember that we can't do it alone, and that with God it will be so much easier and definitely less scary! What we need, is a little bit of faith. Matthew 17:20 says, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
A mustard seed is small, and a mountain huge. As was the stone David used and the giant he was up against. Once we have that little bit of faith, we can count on God to give us the courage and strength to conquer giants.

The second and third verse [There will always be a valley, Always mountains one must scale, There will always be perilous waters, Which someone must sail. Into valleys, into waters, Into jungles, into hell, Let us ride, let us ride home again with a story to tell, Into darkness, into danger, Into storms that rip the night, Don't give in, don't give up, but give thanks for the glorious fight], reminds me of Psalm 23.
"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
There will always be valleys we must walk through, storms we must, mountains we must scale, but God will always be there guiding us through it. Everything that is mentioned in Psalm 23 is what He will do for us. And remember that faith moves mountains, so it is important to have that faith in God that He will see us through.
The part that talks about perilous waters to sail and storms to face makes me think of the story where Jesus calms the storm, found in Mark 6.
...."A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern sleeping on the cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, 'Teacher, don't you care if we drown?'. He got up up and rebuked the wind and said to the waves, 'Quiet! Be still!'. Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, 'Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?'
The disciples began to question whether Jesus cared about them or not as he slept and left them to fear the storm and wonder why this was happening. The other day though God gave me the revelation that sometimes we need these storms in life. Without the storms we would forever be in a drought. It is the storms that bring new growth. And although it may feel like God has left us to take a nap, He is right there for us to call out to Him. And then He will come and rebuke the storm and bring us calm. Remember, God will never let us endure more than we can bear. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (The Message version) says, "No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; He'll never let you be pushed past your limit; He'll always be there to help you come through it."
Once He has calmed the storm Jesus questions His disciples about their faith. Remember, the mustard seed of faith.
Lastly, where it says "Don't give in, don't give up", I want to mention the verse found in Phillippians 4:13 which says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Verses 4,5, and 6 [You can tremble, you can fear it, But keep your fighting spirit alive boys, Let the shiver of it sting you, Fling into battle, spring to your feet boys, Never hold back your step for a moment, Never doubt that your courage will grow, Hold your head even higher and into the fire we go. Are there mountains that surround us? Are there walls that block the way? Knock 'em down, strip 'em back boys, And forward and into the fray, Into terror, into valour, Charge ahead, no, never turn, Yes, it's into the fire we fly, And the devil will burn], when I read this I immediately thought of Ezekiel 37 when it talks about an army of bones forming from the sand, and Joel 2 where it talks about the coming of the Lord and how His army is being summoned. To me it just speaks of how we are called to be an army for the Lord, and to fight for Him.
I was also reminded of a poem that someone sent me ages ago: "We (the children of the Lord) have been designed in such a way that when the people of the world are sitting, we will be standing. When the people of the world are standing, we will stand out. When the world stands out, we will be outstanding, and when the devil dares the world to be outstanding, we will be the standards that are used."
When we fight battles, move mountains, walk through valleys and face storms, we do it with God on our side, and we know that we already have certain victory (Joshua and the walls of Jericho). When our step falters or we don't know what to say, God will set us on the straight path and put the words into our mouths. We can always count on God, that as we try to live our lives for Him, He will always be the battle cry and the song of victory that urges us on until the end.

The last verse [Someone has to face the valley, Rush in, we have to rally and win boys, When the world is saying not to, By God, you know you've got to march on, boys, Never hold back your step for a moment, Never doubt that your courage will grow, Hold your head ever higher and into the fire we go] just says it all for me. I love the whole verse, as it just speaks to me of the certain victory we have in God and the thrill of living for Him.
The sentence When the world is saying not to, by God you know you've got to march on maybe using the term 'by God' as an emphasis that the characters of the Scarlet Pimpernel and his men were real English gentlemen, but for me it says that when the world is telling we can't do something, BY God, THROUGH God, FOR God, and WITH God, we will face up to it and march on because we know that we can do it. In John 17 it speaks of us as being in the world but not of it. Therefore, when the world says we have to do something or can't do it, we don't have to conform to it.

How great is it knowing that we do not have to do what the world says; we can move mountains; we can walk through valleys and brave storms; we are an army; we can fight battles; we can slay giants; and all because of the one we call Saviour, and the seed of faith that He has given us.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Photo shoot with Angela

These photos were taken by Angela the week of our DTS debrief, just a couple of days before we graduated. I said I wanted some pics from her, so she agreed and we went off to have a photo shoot. I know they were taken ages ago, but I thought I would just post them to my blog. Ang spent hours editing these pics, so thanks girl!

These three pics are great. The first one, in the background you can see some figures. They were a bunch of schoolboys who appeared to be fascinated with what we were doing and watched us as they walked down the street. The third one is my favourite. I just love the colours, and the way she has taken the pic. It is awesome :-)

This pic of me on the swing was a pretty fun pic to take. Angela and I were walking along some of the back roads in Maz near the base, and she saw this swing hanging from the tree (we'd often watched a little boy swing on it) and she was like 'that would make a great pic, quick go swing on it!' I was a bit more hesitant, but agreed to go swing on it. So while I was swinging and she was snapping away with her camera, we were both on the lookout for anyone who was going to yell at us. We both walked away cracking up with laughter.

These two pics I adore. I just love the colours, and how Angela took them. When we went up the stairs to this place to take the pics, we had this old lady come over and start questioning us, about what we were doing. Angela explained to her, and she carried on glaring suspiciously at us for a while, before eventually walking off and leaving us. Despite her, the pics turned out great :-)

To take this pic we went on a hilarious journey. We both decided that we wanted a picture of me jumping up with the city in the background, and Angela decided that we needed a roof for it. So off we went trying to find the perfect roof. Eventually we found this roof and climbed up to it (the house looked empty. We weren't just jumping on some person's roof). When we started taking the pics (well, Angela started taking the pics. I started jumping!), this man came over and started asking us questions. We found out that it wasn't his house (so not sure why exactly he was questioning us). If I remember rightly, I think he was a fisherman (???). He then started asking us loads of other questions and talking to us, and then he called his friends over, and they sat watching us!!! It was really creepy! As soon as we were done, Angela and I bolted in the other direction! Once we were safely far away we started to see the funny side, and it has provided us with a great memory, haha!

This pic was taken when Angela and I went to visit The Browns' house so we could see their beagle pups. Like the true photographer that she is, Angela immediately noticed the light coming from the land lady's window upstairs, and asked if we could take some pictures. One of the puppies insisted on being in the pic with me, as did Amelia Brown. That little girl holds a very special place in my heart, and I miss her tons. I love this pic.

This pic came about because Angela knows how much I love the old VW bugs that are crawling everywhere in the city. So she made me sit on this one so she could get a pic.

Friday, 25 December 2009


Today is christmas day, yet again! Where has this year gone?!

Woke up this morning (as you usually do in the mornings haha) and opened presents. Skye helped us by ripping up the paper and ripping the paper of presents. She loved it.

Then we went to church, and it was a pretty boring service and all the youth were sitting texting on their phones haha. The highlight of the service was when all the little kids got to go up on the stage and show off their presents, and one of the boys from youth (about 16) went up to the front for a joke, and he stood there the whole time (towering above the little kids!), and at the end he put his hand up and said that he got Michael Jackson socks!! hahahahaha!!!! All of the youth were all cracking up! It was hilarious!!

The Breens came over for christmas lunch (we had turkey, gammon, and duck, and all the other things you have); and we all made a lot of noise and ate too much food and sat and watched movies. After lunch Uncle Rob, Sean, Shan, Dylan and I took Skye for a long walk in the fields. It was fun, but cold. The snow we had yesterday didn't stick around so we didn't really have our white christmas!! :-( But we have patches of snow and ice all of the place, so I guess we had a bit of white.
We then came back from the walk and sat and watched Fawlty Towers haha.
The pup lay stretched out in front of the fire, content. It's been an exciting day of opening presents, saying hi to people, and walking. She is definitely a happy pup.
I'm proud of her. Feel like a proud mama. She has been so well behaved today. Hasn't jumped up at people or made a nuisance of herself :-)

I think I'm gonna go now as we're gonna have desert. Eat more food. Get fatter. You know how it goes. :-)

The thing about trains....

....it doesn't matter where they're going, what matters is deciding to get on.....

Thursday, 17 December 2009

First snowfall!

[Skye and me] ->

Ok my wonderful Americans. Before you laugh at our pathetic snowfall, know that it is as good as it gets for us, and we love it!!
Also, I am excited for the snow as I missed our last snowfall because I was in Mexico.

So when it started snowing today I was really, really, excited. Almost like a little kid. Almost. But not quite.
It was snowing nicely, and
the snow was settling, so I dressed up warmly and took the dog for a walk.
She loves the snow! She thinks it
is great fun, and it's fun watching her race around and
catch snowballs! Unfortunately for my poor little Cocker Spaniel, feathery legs and hairy paws don't mix well with snow, so every now and then I had to stop to break away the ice balls that had formed under her pads and in her legs!
She has just recently been clipped, so has a coat to keep her warm and dry, which makes her look even cuter.

The fields were so beautiful. The weak winter sun had come out and was shining on the snow that covered the ploughed field. It was a like a picture that you get off a christmas card. No matter how many times it snows, I can't get over how beautiful the landscape looks. God truly is an artist!
Unfortunately though, because the sun came out, the snow won't stick around for much longer. We're hoping though that it snows again and that we have a white christmas! Fingers

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Frozen toes and fingers = 157 in the bag

Today we had 157 birds in the bag at shooting.
All thanks to us beaters I might add! Never mind the fact that the guns shot the birds, if it wasn't for our frozen fingers and toes and countless battles against bramble bushes, there would be no birds to shoot!
Today stayed grey and somewhat misty the entire day, and it was so, so cold! I don't remember having been that cold whilst beating in a very long time!
Week after week us beaters battle against brambles, the cold (and rain), and find ourselves saying 'What on earth are we doing here?! We could be at home in the warmth and dry!'
Yet week after week we still seem to turn up, moaning and laughing about the cold and our craziness, and never really showing any signs of quitting.
Yep, the beating bug is a hard bug to beat!

I tried to upload some pics of today, but my bluetooth didn't seem to want to work :-(
So I had to make do with some pics I found on google of beating.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Is wrong right, and right wrong?

You ever felt like you were doing something which you thought was the right thing to do, but then you weren't so sure? And you tried to convince yourself that it was the right thing, but it never felt like it?
I'm at school right now doing this spanish and business course, and I'm sure it's the right thing, the thing that God wants me to do. But then I'm not so sure.
My passion is theatre, and writing. Theatre and acting makes me come alive. And God has given me such a talent for it, that I want to use it!
But in Mexico I believed that He was asking me to give up acting, and give it to him for a while. Not sure if that while is over yet. And although I'm not hating school, and it doesn't feel like the wrong thing, it doesn't exactly feel like the right thing either. I go along with it, and then there are times when I wonder if I am doing the right thing. Cause I know that just because I'm doing the right thing doesn't mean that it will be easy, but at the same time, God wouldn't want us to do something that we don't enjoy. Right? And He gives us talents to be used for His glory, so He would want me to use my acting/writing talents? So then I am doing the wrong thing by doing this course? Is it what HE wants me to do? Or is it ok if I pursue my love of acting?
I grew up hearing God's voice so clearly, and I heard him closer than ever before when I was in Mexico, but now that I'm back home in England, I just don't seem to hear His voice. I just want direction to know if I am doing the right thing or not.
Everytime I see a theatre production (which is often cause of my mom being a voice coach and working at a theatre school) something inside me snaps and I just want to be acting, and then I think am I doing the right thing?!
Because what if I'm not? What if I'm doing the wrong thing yet I keep on doing it because I think it's the right thing? What if I become so consumed with doing the right thing that I miss it completely!
Or is it just a case of I am at point A, God wants to take me to point B, but before I get to point B, He is going to take me to point C,D,E,F and G, before I get to B?
I feel so desperate at times. I was sure God led me to this point, and then I don't know. What if I am wasting this time in my life just because I am following what I thought God said, or what I thought God wanted, when in actual fact what God wants is what I want.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The first frost of the winter.....

Spider's web lined with frost

Saturday, 28 November 2009

The Germans come to town....

This evening I went with the fam to Solihull (our local town centre) to walk around the German market that was visiting.
Although very small (we walked around it in about 5 minutes!), it was just such a great feeling to - walking around in the cold, dressed up warmly; christmas smells, sights and sounds!
It is just little under a month now until christmas, and I am really starting to feel in the mood!

It was great evening out with the fam, having fun together and then warming up with coffee and hot chocolate :-)

Gingerbread hearts

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Little black cat

Just recently we've had a little black stray who has taken to sleeping in our conservatory at night. Our cats aren't bothered by it (frankly it's too cold for them right now and they're too big a wuss to go outside!), so we're quite happy to let it be.
Every night we've been putting out a little bit of food for it, and every night it turns up to sleep on a blanket in the conservatory.
I really don't know the cat, but am becoming quite fond of seeing it turn up every night.
I just hope the little thing makes it through the winter ok.

I don't have a picture of it yet,
but this is the closest I could find

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Feeling christmasy?

Today mom and I went for a coffee at Starbucks and then went to John Lewis to look at winter coats.

Starbucks is looking christmasy with its red paper cups and christmas 'flavoured' drinks. All we need now is the christmas tunes, and it will be perfect to have a coffee after a night of christmas shopping.

John Lewis, like all big department stores, really pull out all the stops during the christmas season, with christmas decorations and smells, and all the winter clothing and colours that automatically make you think 'christmas'.

Am definitely starting to feel christmasy.

It is sad though that there are so many things nowadays that make you think of christmas, and very few of the things are anything to do with Jesus and the nativity story.
I don't believe that there is anything wrong with how christmas is celebrated, it's a party celebrating Jesus' birthday.
However, during this festive season, lets not forget to invite the birthday boy himself!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Grey skies + rain

Grey skies and rain. WhatI would call the perfect day for curling up with a good book or in front of a movie. Or, going for coffee with a friend in a cosy coffee shop.
Instead, I'm stuck doing essays and research.... :S

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Harvest moon - colder days and shorter hours

This was the moon a couple of nights ago. The full moon, or the harvest moon.
With it came signs that winter was definitely on its way. Colder days with less hours in them.

As I dragged my brother outside in the dark and the cold to take pictures, I became very aware of this. The cold went straight through clothes and bit at my skin. It was oh so cold!

It is incredible to see the harvest moon, as it seems bigger and brighter, and 'warmer' than at any other time of the year.
It glows so brightly, and can always be spotted through trees and clouds (kinda makes me think of werewolves lol).

The rest of the pics are just a few pics I took around home. The lighting was cool - it was starting to get dark and it was that dusky look - and it was just one of those things where I wanted to take pictures.
Even if it meant braving the cold! haha.
I really love those winter days. The cold ones with blue skies, and when it gets dark and you draw the curtains, and turn on the lights, every looks cosy!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

182. What a great day!!

Hanging dead pheasants Photo: Mike Dabell/ iStockphoto

Today's shooting saw a fine day with blue skies and sunshine. Due to this good weather everyone - beaters, guns and dogs - were in high spirits.

After having had a bit of a slow start to the season with the birds disappearing, or not flying very well (due to windy conditions, etc), or just not being around in the first place!, we certainly made up for it today as the birds seemed to come out in their hundreds and graced us with their presence.

At the end of the day the birds were taken back to the keeper's house where we all warmed our hands with cups of tea and counted 'what was in the bag'.
The total tally was brought to 182 birds!

A good day of shooting.

5 of the 182 birds.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Lessons from a Spaniel : : Walking Skye

I've decided that every now and again I am going to post stories called 'Lessons from a Spaniel'
So here's the first one.

Today when I walked Skye in the morning before uni, it was raining. Oh well. Got on the jacket and the hat and the wellies and set off for the fields.
And on the way to the fields, it starts raining harder! Murphy's law!!
And I am thinking 'well this isn't very funny right now!', and you know what? Skye is agreeing with me!!

We carry one and when we get to the fields, she stops and looks at me with the biggest hang dog look I have ever seen! (she has big brown eyes and long droopy ears, so really uses that to add to the effect), and she says to me 'You have got to be to joking mother! Walking in this?!'
So I walk ahead of her and am calling her and saying 'lets go for a walk', and trying to make it seem that walking in the rain is the best thing ever!
But she still refuses to budge, and she says 'Mother. I am NOT walking in this weather! You are crazy!'
Eventually I give up and head for home, and she is overjoyed!! Now she moves!!!

Lesson for the day?
If the dog doesn't want to walk in the rain, then why make her?! Take her advice and go home where it is dry and warm!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Shopping + coffee + fam = good times

Had a really great evening tonight when I went out lat night shopping with my mom, brother and nana.
We went to the Bear Factory to buy a present for my cousin, and I decided that one of my ambitions in life is to get a bear from the Bear Factory!!

After that we went to Starbucks and had a coffee, and then looked around a christmas shop, which, even though it's not even halloween yet, was great fun!

It was really relaxed and chilled and quiet in the shopping mall. For some reason it all made me think of the christmas season.

Looking forward to christmas this year. :-)

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Things take time.....but a talk with a good friend can help

I have been home from Mexico for 3 months now. Such a short amount of time, yet it feels like an eternity. I hate it the way time does that.
The 3 months have home have not been easy, and it's not showing any signs of getting easier anytime soon. I have really hated being here in England, and am struggling to settle in. I miss people in Mexico so much, and sometimes I feel like I can't survive without some of them.

I have found it really hard to be the person here that I was in Mexico. It brought out the best in me, and it has been hard transferring it back home, and have felt at times like I have slipped back into being the person I was before I left for Mexico, and I have hated it.

This past week especially been pretty tough; but today I went for lunch with a dear friend of mine, who sympathised and understood where I was coming from. She listened and let me talk, and then administered me with some tough love. And what she was saying didn't actually hurt. Yes, some of it was uncomfortable to hear because the the truth always is, but other than I accepted what she said. Maybe because I was ready to hear it now?
I think it also helped knowing that she knew exactly where it was coming from.

What she said to me clicked. And it all seemed to finally get through to me and make sense. I went home having a lot to think and pray about, and God spoke to me and I'm finally starting to understand things.
Yes I miss Mexico, lots, and I think I will always miss it and miss the people, yes, I believe that it is ok if a part of me always misses Mexico and longs to be there. A piece of my heart will always belong to that place. But as long as I don't let the missing it hold me back from what my God has in store for me, then it's ok.

God has been confirming to me that not only Mexico, but missions in general is who I am and who He has called me to be; and right now I know that He has me at school in England for a reason, and that if I am meant to go back to Mexico, then I will have the same passion for it in 4 years time as I do now.
I miss it so much. And I've only been home 3 months. I need to give my self more time to settle in.

If I'm completely honest, right now I am hurting. I feel let down by important people in my life, and it hurts not knowing where I fit in or what's expected of me.
One thing I'm sure of is that the next year will be filled with ups and downs as I try to fully adjust; but for the first time in 3 months since being home, I am starting to feel better and happier than I have done since leaving Mexico.

Right now I'm hurting. I miss Mexico. I miss everyone. I'm struggling being here in England. But I know that I am here for a reason, and that God has something big in store for me.
And things are getting better. Slowly, but they are getting better.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Miserable weather; good company......

Today saw the fourth day of the season with grey skies and a constant drizzle of rain. Dressing up warmly, with wellies and a hat, I met up with the other beaters (we drive the birds towards the guns for them to shoot the birds) and dogs.
The day continued with grey skies and rain, and all of us getting wet.
The fields have now been ploughed, and with the arrival of rain, the soil has now started to turn to a sticky mud. This means that after walking through ploughed field after ploughed field, the mud sticks and builds up on your wellies, so that by the end, you are wearing weighted shoes. It is exhausting and by the end of the day, both humans and dogs are shattered.
We stopped for lunch in one of the farmer's barns, and sat together on hay bales, while the dogs sat around us. It was great to get into the dry for a bit.

Despite the rain and mud, it was a good day spent in good company.

On another note. The clocks are going back this weekend, meaning that days will be getting shorter and darker earlier, bringing with it definite signs of winter.
Time to bring out the jackets and scarves, and fires and smores!!!
Bring on the snow!

Saturday, 3 October 2009

A new season is here....

....A new shooting season is here; which can only mean one thing. The colder months and winter are coming upon us!

Today, the first shoot of the season, was a real blustery autumn day; which makes me think of a song from Winnie the Pooh about a blustery day -

"Hum dum dum ditty dum
Hum dum dum

Oh the wind is lashing lustily
And the trees are thrashing thrustily
And the leaves are rustling gustily
So it's rather safe to say
That it seems that it may turn out to be
It feels that it will undoubtedly
It looks like a rather blustery day, today
It sounds that it may turn out to be
Feels that it will undoubtedly
Looks like a rather blustery day today."

lol. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense (does Winnie the Pooh ever?), but it's fun.

It was a real blustery day today with leaves blowing everywhere and the wind whipping up sand storms which resulted in us all walking backwards in an attempt to keep the sand out of our eyes.
Despite the fact that we didn't have a great number of birds in the bag due to the windy conditions affecting their flying; it was great seeing people and dogs again, and knowing that you get to spend yet another season with them out in the fresh air and having a laugh together.

I am looking forward to this season - spending days outside in the fresh (and sometimes cold!) air, doing something I enjoy.
Some of the best days are the days with the blue skies and sun, and early starts where the fields are covered in mist or fog.
It is such a beautiful picture (I will take pictures when I get a chance).
I love watching the dogs working as well. It's what they were bred for and they are so good at what they do. I love watching them retrieve the shot game. It is like poetry in motion, seriously.

On a side note, I was awarded an academic scholarship for university :-)
God knows what I need.

Friday, 2 October 2009

The heart of Worship

Worship is a lifestyle. At least that's what it should be. It's what I want it to be.
Very recently though I have found that worship at church and youth for me has become very automatic.
Tonight at youth I had to catch myself and tell myself to slow down and really concentrate on what the words really meant, as I found myself being swept along by it all.
All of a sudden the worship seemed very polished and dressed up. I am not criticising or saying that this is wrong, but just for me personally at this moment in time, it felt like too much of a show.

"Worship is that heart-to-heart meeting with our Father"

So as I tried to slow myself down and think about what I was saying, I had this small, inner voice that spoke to me about the heart of worship.
And then I had a sudden desire to take worship back to the heart. Just me and the guitar (or just me!) singing to God and worshiping Him. Raw and exposed worship. Just the heart crying out to God.
I don't quite know how to explain and say what I am trying to say. It was just this incredible desire to meet with God through worship, and go straight to His heart. I just want to have worship where it's me and God and nothing else.
Take worship, not necessarily to a more quiet place, but a more private place.
It's sometimes so easy to get wrapped up in busy lifestyles or routines that we forget to worship with such abandon and joy as King David did when "He danced before the Lord with all his might; and he was girded with a linen ephod." (2 Sam 6:14)

And his response to his wife when she criticised him was "It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the LORD's people Israel - I will celebrate before the LORD. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes." (2 Sam 6:21-22)

Isn't that great? Free and unhindered worship because your passion and love for the King of Kings is so uncontainable.
I just want worship that goes to the heart. Worship that goes back to the heart. I don't want to be just singing words because I know them and I automatically sing along. I want to be singing words because they're actually coming deep from within my heart as I try to express myself and connect with God.
Worship is a form of expression. Rather it be your own expression than someone else's.

I still don't think that I am saying exactly what I want to say, but I know in my heart what I want; and right now I can't think of a better way than to finish than with the lyrics of "Heart of Worship" by Matt Redman.

'When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that's of worth
That will bless Your heart

I'll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You're looking into my heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You,
It's all about You, Jesus
I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
When it's all about You,
It's all about You, Jesus"

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

God knew.....

God knew people would need a wagging tail to cheer them up no matter what their day has been like. That's why He gave us dogs.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Andreas update

I had got in touch with a lady at the YWAM base in Pachuka, Mexico (who I met during Carnaval), Meghan. She went with my outreach team to visit the street kids in Mexico City, and she still continues to visit them with other people from that base.

Anyway, I got in touch with her and asked her about Andreas and his family, and she said that he and his family are doing really well. They have formed a really good relationship with him and the other street kids. They have taught them a few children's songs, and got the kids to sing-a-long.
I so wish I could've been there to see it.

I can't sop thinking about him. He is so precious.

Andreas & one of the street girls


This is just an update of what I have been up to and a few thoughts.

So I have started university (college/school for my Americans and Canadians. I love you). Right now it is just Freshers Week, which if you ask me, is a bit pointless.
Not much to do from my point of view. Unless you count the partying and drinking, which really, I don't. It's not my scene and it's not a place I want to be.
Then there's the Freshers Fair where you walk around this room with a hundred other people, like sardines in a tin, and you grab and get given as many pointless freebies as you can manage - free membership to a bar; a blow-up snooker ball (which my dog attacked); a pink pig raising swine flu awareness (which my dog stole); countless pens; piles of paper (ended up in the paper waste); and various other objects.
Oh, and apparently the freebies last year were better. Great.
We have had stupid induction lectures which have included us being given a tour of the library ("this is the library where the books are, and this is the library catalogue". Yes thanks, I know how to use a library).
We've had hours of free time with not a lot to do (there is a limit to the number of times you can go around Freshers Fair you know; at the end of the day you don't want 50 pens and boxes of flyers and brochures!); and introduction talks to our lectures where we have been given half or quarter timetables and then we have had the joy of piecing it together and trying to work out what goes where. Mmm. Fun. Not really.

I'm hoping that it will get better. I know that it is only early days, but it's not too good right now. I'm really struggling to connect with the people on my course. I kinda feel like I am a) invisible or b) a tag along.
Cliques are already starting to form, and I'm not apart of any of them. I just tend to flit between them.
I had such a longing for Mexico and the base and everyone today. I just seemed to fit in there.

Plus side. I get to come home at the end of each day and see my family and my dog. God knew what he was doing when He created dogs - He knew people would need a wagging tail to cheer them up.

Another plus side. I've met people from the Christian Union, and they are awesome! Seriously. It's a really active CU and they do a lot of things in the uni and the city. They have prayer times every week, and meet every week.
I am looking so forward to being apart of it, and to hang out them and God, and have that Christian fellowship.
They really are too cool.

I miss Mexico. A lot. I miss the people. I miss the place. I miss what I did out there. I just feel that I don't do anything now that I am back home. I don't feel like I am using the full potential that God has given me.
I am trying so hard to cling onto whatHe gave me out there. I don't want to slip back into old habits. It's hard. I hate the thought that I am not being all that God wants me to be.
He gave me an opportunity on the weekend to talk about Him with someone I have been praying for for a while, and try as I might I could not grasp the opportunity. Every time I tried to grab it, it slipped out of my hands. It broke my heart.

I know that He is the only one who knows what these next four years of school holds for me, and what will come after that; and I do take comfort from that, but at the same it is hard because fear and doubts creep up, and I wonder if I am still on His path

One thing I have realised - I tend to ramble and repeat things when I am tired and should be in bed. So I am going to sign out and put my head on my pillow, and I will write again when I know that I can make more sense.

God, be in charge of my sleep and my dreams, and speak to me. Let my heart listen for you even when I sleep.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Here's to Mexico.....

"Here in YWAM we never get good at saying goodbye, so we just don't say it. Instead, we know that God is big, and this world small, and that we will see each other again"

Ok so I am a little bit behind in writing this, but it has been 3 months since I graduated from my DTS and since goodbye to my fellow students (June 20th), and 2 months since I left a place called Mazatlan (20th July).
I can't believe it! To think that I have only been gone from Mexico for 2 months, and yet it feels like a lifetime!
There are times when those 7 months in Mexico seem like a dream and I wonder if they ever happened, and other times when it feels like just the other day that it all happened. It is so weird how time works like that.

I think back to the time when we got back from outreach and were reunited as a DTS, and we got straight to work building 50 bunk beds in the sweltering summer heat of Mazatlan, where you can drink 3 or 4 litres of water before lunch and hardly have to use the bathroom!
And all too soon we were having our DTS debrief and spending our last week together and then we had an emotional graduation. On the morning of graduation we woke up to the tail-end of a hurricane and the wind was blowing and it was pouring with rain, and it was so much fun!!
And then I decided to stay an extra month (much to the disappointment of everyone back home) and I had the most amazing month building with Homes of Hope and getting to know people better and establishing really strong friendships.
If I hadn't stayed the extra month I would never have gone to the mountains and stayed in a log cabin (one of my ambitions) with some of my closest friends.
I would say that it was during my last month there that I really became a part of the base and left a piece of my heart there; and I know that no matter where in the world I end up, and if I never go back there, that those people will always have a piece of my heart. It became my second home, and they became my second family, and for that I will always love them.

But all too soon that time came to an end and it was time for some of the hardest goodbyes I have ever said; and the tears came and the tears didn't stop coming.
I felt like I was in a dream as I boarded that plane headed for home. And I missed people, and I still do, and I always will.

Being home has been great but so hard. It has taken a while to adjust and settle in; and even now with certain things I am still trying to settle in, and I wonder if I ever will fully.
Because I have left a part of my heart in Mexico. And I know that one day I will have to go back to retrieve it.
You don't forget about something as awesome as what is over there. You just can't.

So here's to Mexico. To the great time I had, and to the great time I will have. To my "home" and my "family". I love you. I will be back.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

The Path

This morning I went for a walk. It was a pretty great morning as it was dry and the sun was starting to shine through the clouds! :-)
I was listening to Hillsong and spending a bit of time talking and listening to God, and as I was doing this, I was following a line on the path.
It was this tiny white line going for miles along the path, and it looked as if somone had been dragging a stick behind them as they had walked, leaving this scratch on the path. This line, for the most part, went straight, but at times veered off to the left or right towards the grass, and at times even disappeared for a while before coming back.
And as I was following this line, God spoke to me and said that His path is like that. Sometimes it's small and hard to see, and sometimes it seems like it is going in a different direction to where we want it to be going, and at times it seems like it has disappeared and we are walking blind, but it is always there.
And it just really encouraged me to keep going, because I know that God has got the future path already laid out and paved for me, and I don't need to worry about not seeing it or worry about it where goes.
Even though it may feel like I am walking blind or off the edge of a cliff sometimes, so what? As I long as I keep I my eyes fixed on Him I know that it will be ok. You know why? Because I know that God has my back, and it's gonna be one incredible adventure!!

What follows is one of my favourite poems - "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost:
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Friday, 18 September 2009


.....Was pretty awesome.
Tonight was our weekly youth group at church called Ignite.
It started off really well with great social (includes things like a cafe, football, basketball, skate ramps, etc), but the highlight for me was the actual service.
We got into groups according to guys and girl and their school year, and did a quiz. I'm a pastoral group leader, along with Kim and Kerry, for the year 7 girls. Basically, all we do is get to know this group of year 7 girls really well and are there for them if ever they need anything, to pray, to talk, etc. We also get into this group for discussions and whatnot.
Worship was incredible (I did quite a bit of crying lol as God gently reminded me of who He is and how great His love is). The best part of this for me was seeing some of the year 7 girls from my group lifting their hands high to praise God, and so totally involved in the worship and focusing on God. It brought a lump to my throat to see these young girls going for God.
They are an awesome bunch of girls - really lively and bubbly - and I am looking forward to getting to know them over this next year. I pray that they will really grow in their relationship with God and that this year of their life will give them such a firm founding in God. I also pray that God will give me the wisdom and the words, and will guide me in the best possible way so that I can guide these girls and give them advice and help when they need. I want to be a friend to them, not just a leader, and above all, I want to encourage and help them to grow with God. If all I manage to do in the year is point them towards God and see them grow in that, I will be happy.

On a more serious note, I am just happy that even though people disappoint, God does not. Not ever. And that brings me peace.


I had a haircut today. My hair looks different. Very different :-)

Taking it back to God.....

This morning I recieved a message from a close friend in Mexico saying that she wasn't staying in Mexico as long as she thought, and that she and her boyfriend were leaving in about a week and a half!
I was more than a little surprised, and although I know that it is the path that God wants her to take right now and am excited for her, I am also a bit disappointed as I thought I would be seeing her again soon as I was planning on visiting Mexico next summer. So yeah, a bit gutted as she and her boyfriend (he was on my DTS) are super awesome.

They were both planning on being staff at the YWAM base in Mazatlan, Mexico for about a year, but now things have changed. And it just got me thinking that of that verse in Proverbs 16:9 - "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."
We will often try to plan our course ourselves, but in the end, the Lord knows best. I have seen this when I returned home from 7 months in Mexico. I thought that I would be returning to Mexico beginning of next year, but God had me go on another path - a path that I would never have expected!
And while it has been hard at times, I know that it is right as I know that it is where God wants me.

It's like a ship. A ship has a rudder which enables it to go in different directions, but without someone at the helm, it is unable to use the rudder to turn. We have a rudder which enables us to go in different directions, but we need God at our helm to ensure that the rudder is working and that we are moving in the right direction.
We also need someone who knows what he is doing, and that someones is God. He knows our plans and paths even when we do not. I remember a story that my mom told me, about how when she was a teenager she went on her dad's ship (my grandpa was Captain of big ships like cargo ships, so it was big!) and one time she was allowed to steer the ship, but because she wasn't used to it and hadn't had a lot of practise, the ship wasn't staying on a straight course but was zigzagging.
If we try to steer our ships ourselves, we are going to end up zigzagging; but hand the ship over to God, and we will stay on a straight course.

It also made me realise today that although I know what I am doing for the next four years of my life (uni), I still need to be going back to God and taking my plans to Him and saying "I am still where you want me to be?"
And I need to continue doing this throughout my life so that I don't miss His direction.
Because, after all, I may plan my course, but the Lord determines my steps; and I don't know about you, but I certainly don't want to miss His ship!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009


I decided to start a blog. Ideally I would love it to be a blog for Mexico, but seeing as I'm not there anymore and won't be for a while, there didn't seem to be much point.
So I decided to blog about anything.
This is just gonna be me writing down memories and stories and what I'm up to. It will be interesting to see how long I keep this up for, and how much gets done when I've started at university! haha
For now this is just a short, random post so that I actually have something posted on my blog! I will post again when I have something worthwhile to post!