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