Archive for the ‘gospel’ Category


A church that serves Toffipops has gotta be a great place…

I enjoyed the time and space a drive home from Dublin (and a pit stop in Belfast) afforded to think, soul-search and listen to a talk on Galatians: ‘Preach the gospel and stop nagging people to try harder…’

Actually, this past few days has also brought a sense of reconciliation with a friend from a few years back where there had been a weird feeling of ‘we’ve-had-a-fight-but-actually-we-never-did’ before.  Glad that, at least in this one situation, I feel a little more grown up.

 And now? 



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Being someone who often needs a sounding board when trying to think things out, I had the pleasure of being a sounding board this avo!  This particular verbal processor is great to hear from – she’s come a long way and is excited about going even further along the ‘journey’!  I’ve loved seeing her confidence and enjoyment of the gospel grow and look forward to seeing more!

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A satisfyingly productive morning when a talk came together despite me thinking I had NOTHING to say!

SLOBS looked to be a difficult one, but again I was overwhelmed by the real sense that the Small Group Leaders are growing so much.  I loved their engagement with Scripture, with each other and with me – what a blessing.  I am reminded that its often in the struggle that we grow stronger.

A wee jaunt over to Derry to do an address at a ‘Lent’ service in a church – a chance to see some of the students there again and chat a little.  One man’s comment about being glad to hear that ‘students aren’t all bad’ made the CU movement all the more fresh and exciting to me too.

I called a friend I haven’t spoken to in almost a year.  It was easy – I just picked up the phone and did it!  As the phone rang I was thinking that I feel like a different person since we last spoke.  That made me nervous, but I discovered she’s been on a similar journey and that our friendship is still strong, still fresh and still organic!  Praise God for friends like that.  Praise God for growth in difficult times.

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A breakfast with someone from church who I don’t currently know very well but hope to get to know.  Encouraged by her enthusiasm to chat and an unnoticed two hours passing.

I have been so productive in the last 24 hours that I’m incredibly proud of myself!  I’ve tidied my room, done three loads of washing, vacuumed and washed floors, done some shopping, seen my mum…  Actually probably for your average person that isn’t particularly surprising, but for me that is impressive.  Maybe I am a grown up (aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhh)!!!

I got an email this avo from a friend I met in the summer.  It reminded me about how much empathy can help and how amazing it is that God is gracious and accepts us not because we’re any good, but because Jesus is.  I guess it strikes me just now that that really isn’t just a self-abasing ‘good Christian’ comment, but that actually sometimes my motives are just plain CRAP and there’s no hiding it.  Its also just nice that we’ve kept in touch!

And on a similar note… an evening spent in front of the telly having a good ole slagging sesh… 😉

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Porridge made by someone else.

Ehh… the catering staff at the conference – just to clarify!

Having my mind blown by some incredibly insightful and informed teachers… responding in awe and worship to the God I often try to put in a tiny box.

A wee boogie un-interrupted by self-consciousness.

Not one, not two, but three very different but equally incredible conversations when I thought all I wanted was bed.


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(Eh, so the students were only 25 mins late – the rest of the blame was on traffic.  I stand corrected.)

Conversation, conversation, conversation.  Dreaming dreams, discussing realities; theorising, categorising, somethingelse-ising.  Great.

The indoors when outside is so manky.

Seeing awesome potential in an already so competent student leader… Looking forward to hearing how his life proceeds.  Listening to him speak of truth and hope: so convinced, so passionate… inspiring.

Having my butt (which apparently looks like its doing its job) saved by friends, neighbours and church family-members all from one house!

I am thankful for today.

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Steak, medium-rare and a power nap in Wetherspoons!

Pottering round the shops with no pressure to hurry or buy or even look.  Just hangin out with my buddy, Hops, and dreaming dreams about a holiday in June…!

Getting to the airport, I was actually knackered, feet killing, no energy… So, a chilled mango smoothie and feet up in Costa Coffee through security was bliss.

A completely unexpected conversation on the plane.  Flew with bmi who allocate seats – someone from the year above me in school was allocated the seat next to mine.  I didn’t want to have to be sociable at all, but God had obviously ordained it, because we had such a great chat about Jesus and how his lordship is good!  The guy on the aisle was ear-y-wigging which annoyed me at first, but then I didn’t care!

My own-own bed at home-home and the prospect of a relative lie-in!

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A HUUUUUGE sugh of relief on finding my brand new ‘lost’ ipod which I feared I’d left on a train.

A good first Bible Study with my fellowship group – we were much more relaxed than back in September and it was good to hear how they’d been doing in the interim.

Enjoying good chats with some English Staff and hearing how they do things differently and wondering if it’d work in my context.

We had some great teaching on what the gospel is.  So often we make it a very narrow thing based on us, rather than an all-encompassing message about God.  “Jesus is Lord” – how true and how liberating!  I’d rather serve a Lord who loves me than success, popularity and image: cruel masters at best.  A lot to think about but so practical and simple (to grasp, not apply!).

‘Heresy-hunting’ with my fellowship group! Lol…

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Back to work today.  I love that in my job I get to be eased back in with a few staff retreat days.

I loved our speaker – Hadden Wilson.  Absolute LEGEND.  What he said and how he said it was so… refreshing.  It began to warm an all-but-frozen heart because of the truths he brought from the Bible.

Great conversation over a staff team meal – much banter and great food.  Hadden had been using a metaphor about the Holy Spirit which included a bear at which point one of the people at the other end of the table pipes up “I saw a bear” completely and utterly unaware of the fact we were speaking metaphorically.  Hilariously funny.  I nearly wet my pants.  Poor guy might never live it down.

Maybe you had to be there…

Honey Roast Duck cooked to perfection, redeeming the bird as edible fodder.  Quack quack…

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A leisurely breakfast with a Bible and a journal; thinking and scribbling about the truths I’ve found therein.  Glad to hear that even the Apostle Paul cried out “What a wretched man I am!  Who will save me from this body of death?” (Romans 7).  Been there.  Done that.  Discovered the good news that someone has come to rescue!  Might sound cheesy, but I def needed to hear that this morning.

 The satisfaction of a present well-chosen.  Here I discover another 365ing difficulty – wanting to write about someone you know who stops by your blog once in a while.  But I’m doing it anyway.  That’s the point, right?  I called someone from work today to ask a question about work, but I loved the fact that it felt like a relaxed conversation between friends and not just functional dialogue between colleagues.

Tonight I went to a carol service and loved it because it wasn’t Ballyclare High School “(Grammar)”‘s choral perfection under extreme duress, but rather some down to earth kids doing their best to sing for the rentals – out of tune nervous 13 year olds and all.

Sitting wrapping presents and chatting to my housemate – both happy to be housemates to each other.

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