Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Hmm well I think it's good to mention that I'm slowly on the mend as far as life is concerned. Reading that book is helping as it's pointing out all sorts of things that are really relevant eg. Making time prayer, making time for solitude, making time for Joy! I spoke to my mate Carl who flew down from sunny Bradford on Monday. At the end of the day (we spent 3hours in Pizza hut and 2hrs in Starbucks!) I left feeling really invigorated. Just chatting about our Salvation Army heroes (namely Russell Rook and Adam B) really seemed to work wonders for me, and I felt something that I haven't in along time: PASSION

Just recollecting all the stuff that they've done, is starting to help me (Obviously God is getting all the glory! I'm not into hero worship) remember what it was like when I was totally fired up for God. I'm a long way off from wherever it is I'm hoping to be, but this is a great start. I sense God is 'fixing' me yet again.

It's all good :)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

e ssay you should have started it by now

Well I've finally started my essay! After wasting far too many days.. I decided to start it late afternoon today... I really need to work on my organisation as I can't really afford to do this again. Currently on 633 of a needed 2000 word essay. It should be finished by monday at the latest.

Went to some songster thing today at Croydon. Was ok, but very long. Twisted my ankle yesterday, and kept resting on it by accident..

Oh well! Here's to sunday morning services! Gone be talking a tiny bit more about youth church, and then I'll have to think some other interesting thing to say! I'm praying that I'll get some inspiration during the meeting

Peace

Thursday, October 20, 2005

boundary markers

I've been a bit naughty today. Today should have been the day that I start my assignment. Today was actually the day that I didn't do it. Thankfully Thursdays still exist, so I will be concentrating on it tomorrow.

Managed to read a bit more of the book 'Life you've always wanted'. There's a part that I can particularly resonate with, that talks about 'boundary markers'. These are basically ancient 'traditions' that we as a church seem to put up in order to make sure we are different to everyone else. This is not a positive thing. It's about us being 'in' and others being 'out' also eg... If a pastor was so full of pride and self-centredness inside, but was still preaching to increasingly growing numbers, then we probably wouldn't bat an eyelid too much. If though, he was seen smoking, then there would be an uproar. No one would say that it was more evil to smoke then to be full of pride, but it's been so ingrained into us that smoking is wrong for a christian to 'do' that we would probably rant about it more so than what is the more destructive sin.. (this is a hypothetical situation by the way).

I think about the Salvation Army and it's boundary markers. Our uniforms to distinguish us from the '2nd class' attendees to our corps and even to give us an 'identity' amongst other churches. The musical sections that won't let 'outsiders' in because it's 'always been this way'. The religious jargon that is used every sunday, that means total newcomers go away leaving perplexed. Why are we so obssessed with wanting to be so different from everyone else? This isn't being in the world but not of it, this is more like 'let's create our own little world in which we can be 'gods' of and no one else can join'.

That is not the Kingdom of God at work. This is a challenge that I, and the Church face. So what are we going to do about it?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

there must be a God

There must be a God! The amount of crap stuff that I have said to people lately, and the fact that they still want to know me is unreal! And these revelations aren't just everyday comments, but actual deep and personal disclosures of what I am really like as a person. I'm personally getting see that I've got true friends. They know much about who I really am, and still they want to hang out with me.... Just blows the mind!

What's even more amazing is that God knows EVERYTHING about who I really am. Every sordid little detail. Everything that other people might of missed or not known, He not only knows but was there to witness it happen... And He still loves me? Whoa! that's some love! that's Love with a captial L!

I'm wondering if very soon, I will be looking back on these posts and thinking "wow I was messed up back then". I'm getting the feeling that there is some reconstruction work already commencing. Tiny little pieces of my life might just be coming back together. God please don't stop. Heal me of these things. I've been as honest as I can with most of my personal stuff. Most of it has been shared with people. Please fill in those holes with your goodness and purity.

I now think it is time to acknowledge my praise to a song that has been a part of this process of me starting to get back on track. I'm sure it's a godly thing. It's called "The scientist" and it's by Coldplay. I think I've listened to it at least a few times a day everyday for around 2months solid. It's one of the most the most beautiful songs that I know of, and seems to have lyrics that have fitted me perfectly
Here they are:

Come up to meet you,
Tell you I’m sorry,
You don’t know how lovely you are

I had to find you,
Tell you I need you,
Tell you I set you apart

Tell me your secrets,
And ask me your questions,
Oh let’s go back to the start

Runnin’ in circles,
Comin’ up tails,
Heads on the silence apart

Nobody said it was easy
It’s such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard

Oh take me back to the start

I was just guessin’,
At numbers and figures,
Pullin’ the puzzles apart

Questions of science,
Science and progress,
Do not speak as loud as my heart

Tell me you love me,
Come back and haunt me,
Oh and I rush to the start

Runnin’ in circles,
Chasin’ our tails,
Comin’ back as we are

Nobody said it was easy
Oh It’s such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be so hard

I’m goin’ back to the start

Monday, October 17, 2005

get by with a little help from my friends

Friends are great aren't they? My biggest shock to the system, is the realisation that I do actually have friends my own age after such a long time. If God is community, and we are made in his image, then we can only be truly ourselves when we are also in a community.

After the isolation of Timothy last year, I am now in a class of at least 20 people who I see at least twice a week. These are peers who are going through similar things to me. These are people who can relate to me and me to them. I suddenly rememebered my prayer from months back when I asked God to send some people who be friends to me. And here we are. My biggest worry is that I've spent so much time byself, that I can't actually socialise with these people. I'm stuck on 'comedy Craig' defense mode at the moment. But I need to shut him down and be myself.

I can't over look the wonderful potential of friends that I could make over the next few months and years. I need people.

More importantly I need God. This week I need to make a huge effort and spend some time praying etc... Mark has just lent me a book by John Ortberg, which I will wade through. Maybe it will help. I hope so. I don't want to feel only half-alive at the moment. I want to feel free and loved by the creator God. I know I am, but I want it to seem real to me.

Coming back to friends though, they have been so amazingly supportive. I hope that I can be an encouragement to them as they have already been to me.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

abstaining and all that

Right - I am taking an abstinence from girls...

They shouldn't be such an impact in my life. I've forgotten my first-love and that's God..

YHWH please give me strength!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

published ! in your face Bill Gates!

Hmm.... well there 'should' have been a post yesterday, but just before i could push the 'publish' button, the internet conked out.... grrr...

Anyway, not much to say except that yet again the week has gone far too fast... I've now only got two weeks to prepare for Youth church and also my next assignment, so I've got my work cut out!! Need to be sorted with God and also need to stop the idolatry (there's plenty of 'gods' to choose from unfortunately). Anywayz am going to Hillsong on Saturday with some mates from Uni... I need some kind of spiritual shake-up maybe this will help..

Peace

Monday, October 10, 2005

Powder

I watched a film today that I haven't seen for 10 years. It's called 'Powder' and it's about an albino teenager called Jeremy Reed. It's a tragic tale, as all through the movie, he's rejected and made to feel lonely by the people around him. He even spends most of his life in the basement of his grandparents house.

We find out that he has read and memorized every book in his house and that his IQ actually makes him the most intelligent person ever to have lived. But things also become a bit stranger as he reveals he has a special affinity with electricity (he's like a living magnetic force or something) as he goes from performing simple 'spoon tricks' to disabling any electronic equipment around his being (He can't watch a TV without the picture distorting).

What is most moving though is his connection to living creatures, he can 'look' into people's true selves and read their thoughts and experience their emotions, by touching them he can communicate and show them parts of themselves that they never knew existed... He acts a bridge between a comatose woman and her husband and helps them speak to each other one last time.

But still he's not accepted into our society. Still he's bullied and feared and come the end he decides that there's only one place for him to go...

Not wanting to turn this page into a film critique, I nevertheless wanted to make a comment: Can we ever, as a human race, be as kind and compassionate, as thoughtful, as connected to life as this character? One man was, and that was the true image of God reflected in one man. The God-man. If we are all reflections of the image of God, can we possibly get close to knowing what it's like to be truly human? I know it's something I will always struggle with as I daily distort this image for one that I'd rather choose myself. The danger is that I start to reflect less of the divine image and become less human.. more inhumane... But I don't want to. I want to be truly free, truly human just like my saviour.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

get a (prayer) life

Week 2 is nearly over.... I've had yet another 2 good days of uni and a couple more opportunities to get some stuff arranged... I went to check out my potential community placement (not a jail sentence) which is called 'Streetwise' and is based in Anerley hill or thereabouts.

As I try to adjust to student life, I still ponder on the fact that I still don't have much time to acknowledge YHWH as Lord of my life... Wrong ain't it.....
No one can make me pray or read my bible or meditate etc... it's got to be something that I choose myself. Right now though, I don't seem to be bothered.
Would appreciate prayers for this.

Craig

Saturday, October 01, 2005

can't think of a title

It's been a pretty interesting week. First time at studying properly for 4 years. I've really enjoyed it. It's so much better then doing nothing! I just finishing off my first essay too, which needs to be sent for Wednesday. We have assignments every other week, so it means that I'm going to be very busy!
Had a slight worry as I've not yet properly organised what I'll exactly be doing at my UN, but hopefully things should be a lot clearer this week. Mark and Linda have really been awesome, and I couldn't ask for any better support.
Yesterday we went to Nikki's leaving party, which was really nice. Carl managed to make it, which I'm sure was a really great surprise for Nikki. They all did a great job of keeping it all secret! Tonight I'm going to a boat party on the Thames with the rest of LSE youth. Been twice before, and I must say it should be a pretty fab evening.

My main action point at the moment is really to start up my devotionals again. Praying and reading the bible would be good to do... I miss hanging out with God in that respect. I'm sorry I've been such a jerk. Hopefully, now I've got something to aim for, I'm going to be more motivated - Not that I should need an event like that to make me want to spend time with God though. In fact my spiritual life should be the foundation.