Thursday, February 28, 2008

sometimes I don't know what to think of the weather...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

does anybody have a testimony of grace?

Last week was this term's mission week. (Each term we have a week to get out of Guildford and do something "missional.") I was part of a group that went to a place in England called The Cotswold's. We stopped to pray as we were entering the valley we were visiting, asking the Lord for direction because we really didn't have any plans other than see what he wanted to do. Frances felt like we should get off the motorway and take the back roads and I had a word about seeking out old paths.

So Frances took the map and started navigating us away from the main roads. As we were looking for the right road we passed one called "Old Road" so we turned around and went down it. We decided to stop at this little old church to explore and pray a bit. While we were there a lady came in to do a lunch time prayer for Lent. We asked if we could join her and told her a bit of what we were doing.

She ended up asking us back to her house for tea and cake. While we were there she shared some of her story. She and her husband and a couple other families in the area had felt the Lord leading them to worship where they lived instead of traveling to bigger churches with more things happening in the spirit. So, for the last several years they had been attending this little Anglican church with ever dwindling numbers, praying for God to do something in their village.

She was so encouraged just to have us there, she said she had been praying for the Lord to do something just to show her that he was hearing their prayers. We prayed with her for a while before we left. It was really cool!

When we got back home I had a package waiting from my mom with all the stuff to do my taxes. (And some other fun stuff!) Over the summer I had used my credit cards to pay for Transit, trusting the Lord to provide the money to pay them off before I left. The money didn't come and I had whipped through my savings by January making payments on them. My parents aren't in a position to help me out and so I was planning to cash in some stock that was given to me when I quit my job to be able to make payments until the end of Transit. I was hoping my tax return would be enough to have a bit of spending money for the rest of the time, I was hoping for $500. When I did my taxes online my return came to almost $1400!!! Which should be enough to pay my credit cards through the end of Transit and have a bit of spending money too!

It's funny how difficult I make things sometimes. I worked really hard to stay in a place of peace and of trusting the Lord to provide, really, really hard. And then he did. And I felt a bit silly for all the effort I had to put into it! The lesson isn't quite over yet as I still don't know what is happening when Transit finishes (July 4th is our last day) and while the Lord provided enough to make payments for a while, I still have all that debt to pay off completely. Hopefully the trusting will be a bit easier this time!

PS, Pictures were taken but not by me, I'll post some when friends have put them on Facebook and I can steal them!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

prince caspian

"The worst of sleeping out of doors is that you wake up so dreadfully early. And when you wake you have to get up because the ground is so uncomfortable. And it makes matters worse if there is nothing but apples for breakfast and you had nothing but apples for supper the night before. When Lucy had said - truly enough - that it was a glorious morning, there did not seem anything else nice to be said."

"They feel safer if no one in Narnia dares to go down to the coast and look out to sea - towards Aslan's land and the morning and the eastern end of the world."

"'Now, once and for all, Nikabrik,' said Trumpkin. 'Will you contain yourself, or must Trufflehunter and I sit on your head?'"

"Caspian did not really want honey, without bread, at that time in the morning, but he thought it polite to accept. It took him a long time afterwards to get unsticky."

"Instead of getting drowsier she was getting more awake - with an odd, night-time, dreamish kind of wakefulness."

"This cheered the boys more than anything. You can't help feeling stronger when you look at a place where you won a glorious victory not to mention a kingdom, hundreds of years ago."

"And so at last they got on the move. Lucy went first, biting her lip and trying not to say all the things she thought of saying to Susan. But she forgot them when she fixed her eyes on Aslan."

"'May it please your High Majesty,' said the second Mouse, whose name was Peepiceek, 'we are all waiting to cut off our own tails if our Chief must go without his. We will not bear the shame of wearing an honour which is denied to the High Mouse.' 'Ah!' roared Aslan. 'You have conquered me. You have great hearts.'"

"But for the tree people different fare was provided. They began with a rich brown loam that looked almost exactly like chocolate; so like chocolate, in fact, that Edmund tried a piece of it, but he did not find it at all nice. When the rich loam had taken the edge off their hunger, the trees turned to an earth of the kind you see in Somerset, which is almost pink. They said it was lighter and sweeter. At the cheese stage they had a chalky soil, and then went on to delicate confections of the finest gravels powdered with choice silver sand. They drank very little wine, and it made the Hollies very talkative; for the most part they quenched their thirst with deep draughts of mingled dew and rain, flavoured with forest flowers and the airy taste of the thinnest clouds."

Sunday, February 17, 2008

nothing gold can stay

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day,
Nothing gold can stay.

-Robert Frost

Friday, February 15, 2008

a little rant

Today I feel like Meg Ryan in "You've Got Mail" when she's sick and Tom Hanks comes to visit her and he says, "It wasn't personal." And she says, "What is that? I am so sick of that. All that means is that it wasn't personal to you. But it was personal to me. It's personal to a lot of people. What is so wrong with being personal anyway? I mean if nothing else something should begin by being personal!" (I've seen this movie a lot!)

And I just want to say (not only in regard to the red and pink holiday that just past but also about the red and green holiday and just things in general) that just because something has been over commercialized doesn't mean it can't be celebrated in a big way and enjoyed for what it really means. And it doesn't mean you're hip or cool or special because you moan about how much you aren't going to celebrate and how overrated all of these things are. (Really, everybody does that. It's like these groups of teenagers who think they're so different from everyone else when really they're all clones of one another.)

I think the really hip and cool and special thing to do is celebrate, celebrate BIG and not let commercialism or cynical party-poopers spoil something that has the potential to be something siginifcant and wonderful. I mean isn't that what Jesus wants us to do anyway? Live a celebratory life? Live life to the full? Live a life full of wonder and excitement? Enjoy one another? Remember things that are important?

At least don't spoil it for those of us who want to try!

Friday, February 8, 2008

i love lewis... c.s. lewis

"Soon she went further in and found that there was a second row of coats hanging up behind the first one. It was almost quite dark in there and she kept her arms stretched out in front of her so as not to bump her face into the back of the wardrobe. She took a step further in - then two or three steps - always expecting to feel woodwork afainst the tips of her fingers. But she could not feel it."

"He had eaten his share of the dinner, but hadn't really enjoyed it because he was thinking all the time about Turkish Delight - and there's nothing that spoils the taste of good ordinary food half so much as the memory of bad magic food."

"'I've come at last,' said he. 'She has kept me out for a long time, but I have got in at last. Aslan is on the move. The Witch's magic is weakening.' And Lucy felt running through her that deep shiver of gladness which you only get if you are being solemn and still."

"They were pretty tired by now of course; but not what I'd call bitterly tired - only slow and feeling very dreamy and quiet inside as one does when one is coming to the end of a long day in the open. Susan had a slight blister on one heel."

"Forward they went again and one of the girls walked on each side of the Lion. But how slowly he walked! And his great, royal head drooped so that his nose nearly touched the grass. Presently he stumbled and gave a low moan.
'Aslan! Dear Aslan!' said Lucy. 'What is wrong? Can't you tell us?'
'Are you ill, dear Aslan?' asked Susan.
'No,' said Aslan. 'I am sad and lonely. Lay your hands on my mane so that I can feel you are there and let us walk like that.'
And so the girls did what they would never have dared to do without his permission, but what they had longed to do ever since they first saw him - buried their cold hands in the beautiful sea of fur and stroked it and, so doing, walked with him."

"Laughing, though she didn't know why, Lucy scrambled over it to reach him. Aslan leaped again. A mad chase began. Round and round the hill-top he led them, now hopelessly out of their reach, now letting them almost catch his tail, now diving between them, now tossing them in the air with his huge and beautifully velveted paws and catching them again, and now stopping unexpectedly so that all three of them rolled over together in a happy heap of fur and arms and legs. It was such a romp as no one has ever had except in Narnia; and whether it was more like playing with a thunderstorm or playing with a kitten Lucy could never make up her mind. And the funny thing was that when all three finally lay together panting in the sun, the girls no longer felt in the least tired or hungry or thirsty.
'And now,' said Aslan presently, 'to business. I feel I am going to roar. You had better put your fingers in your ears.'"

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

some things you should know

1) The daisies are coming up in Guildford.
2) There is a stand at the Guildford monthly farmer's market that has amazing blueberry cookies.
3) I've officially started volunteering at the Oxfam bookshop on High Street.
4) We're having a pancake feast tonight at Dave and Liz Slinns.
5) I'm reading The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe for probably about the 57th time.
6) I have something invisible and bothersome in my eye.
7) In January I cut the annoying long bits off my hair and am now giving up funky hairstyles for the rest of my life.
8) You can fly from London to Belfast for 15 pounds in April.
9) Belfast is 44.4 square miles.
10) The sun is shining, hooray!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

i don't know if i've ever mentioned this, but...

I've been dreaming of Ireland since I was twelve years old. Living here in Guildford sometimes I feel like I've forgotten. On one hand that's a positive because I'm really living here, where I am now. On the other that's a negative because I always want to have my eyes on the goal. I've been remembering this week and just wanted to say that. Here is a picture from each of my three visits to Eire:

November, 2005

July, 2006

November, 2007

I'm hoping and praying I'll get to go back in April on my Easter Break...