Archive for the ‘grace’ 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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Waking up in said house.  More grand piano.  Using their jumbo shower-headed shower – like showering in the rain, only hot.  Except then it went cold and then it was really just like showering in the rain.  Enjoyable experience nonetheless!

A leisurely morning spent with my housemate, talking about ridiculous things like car colours and perfume smells as if they were important.

I actually had to wipe away tears during Bible study with small group leaders today – not because of any particularly profound Biblical truth they unearthed… But because I was overwhelmed by a sense of gratitude and pride in how far they’d come, how dedicated they’ve been and how much they are embodying community as they learn and grow together.  Legends.

The jigsaw puzzle of new leaders.  I love seeing it come together…

All topped off with my first packet of Walkers’ Worchester Sauce crisps in DONKEYS!

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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!

The main speaker’s courtesy by not only helping me carry my stuff to my car, but also offered to change the strings on his 12 string guitar and lend it to me – a virtual stranger!  What an awesome man.  Not just because of the guitar, incidentally.  I wonder if all Welshmen are as courteous…!?

An honest conversation received with grace.  I deeply appreciate the freedom grace and forgiveness bring.  Must try and remember that more often when things are are much worse.  Ahaaa!  Possibly one of the goals of 365ing, huh?

The sound of the front door opening made me cry with relief tonight – I am so thankful not only for a great housemate, but also that she came in at just the right time.

Bed.  Praise God for sleep.

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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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I loved playing piano and singing with the praise ‘band’ this week – all the better for actually having a monitor and being able to hear if I’m playing the right notes!

Seeing how much one of my group members has grown in the past semester in terms of leading Bible Studies.  Cool to see the training so clearly working!

Attending the girls’ talk and hearing some helpful real-life stuff clearly and honestly addressed.

Karaoke!!  I never expected the standard to be so high!  The staff’s performance meant I had an excuse to don a pencil skirt and neckscarf (to clarify: and a top… this is Relay training after all.) and strut around in heels.  Awesome.  The Irish ‘pulled a weaker’ and did a grrrrreat job!  We definitely deserved a higher score, but I graciously allowed my fellowship group dole out our points to their regions.  One of whom later changed his mind to give another region his region’s points because they hadn’t received any points yet!  Awww… very lovely until that region got another two points, leaving IFES Ireland in last place.  Flippin’ gracious people…honestly.  We soooooo deserved more points…  Great night – I laughed and laughed and laughed!  My cheeks hurt by the end of the evening and I needed it!

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I sat in my jammies til close-to-obscene time today and revelled in the fact that I could do it!  Holidays rock.  I also enjoyed loading up music onto my brand-spanking new ipod.

I felt a measure of pressure in catching up my Christmas 365 days, because of the incredible stuff others have recorded – made me feel all fuzzy and warm inside!  The pure joy of friendship expressed by hearts full of gratitude.  It is thus that I add my highlight of today: an evening spent with my bestest friend in the whole wide world.  Banter, board games, honesty and acceptance without terms.  Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude….

Getting to sleep in a real bed after two nights on the sofa.  It was in the room where I spent the latter of my teenage years and as I turned out the lights, I was pleasantly surprised by the starlight of glow-in-the-dark stars I’d put there years before and forgotten about.

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