Friday, May 27, 2005

prayer and fasting

We spent the day yesterday, as a CU, praying and fasting. Calling on God for Goldsmiths and for each other and listening to what he might say through prayer, meditation and worship. It was emotionally, spiritually and physically exhausting but God spoke and challenged us to the core of our beings and also encouraged our souls with his goodness and grace.

James says 'you do not receive becuase you do not ask' and in Matthew Jesus tells his disciples that if they ask in faith they cna move mountains. Time will tell what yesterday's prayers did and what God birthed in us will show by whether the excitement and challenge stands the test of time. It just made me question, if as God's kids we took prayer more seriously and realised the power it could have would we not be praying and fasting so so much more?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


A good friend said some harsh words to me yesterday. But i needed to hear them. How easy it is to silently, quietly start walking in a wrong direction without even realising it. and then suddenly, bang, you find yourself in a place that you shouldn't be. But becuase it's so subtle it's more difficult to know what the right steps are back to where you need to be and it's always harder too. But that's sacrifice and that's more of what I was saying yesterday about being willing to give everything. I'm grateful for my friends who, with good intentions or not, bring me up short and make me confront myself. I think it takes guts for them to do that.

Monday, May 23, 2005

prayer ministry training week 2

Soicism of the english spirit. it's the one that supresses our emotions and makes it embarrasing to cry. and church is often somewhere where we're encouraged to be happy, to praise God and keep our tears inside.

Prayer minstry training yesterdya raised an interesting question yesterday. amongst our discussion of the benefits of ministry mints, appropriate attires, placing your hand on someone, listening for words from God; knowing when to pray them and when it's inappropraite to keep speaking etc, was this question of watching responses.

"When praying for someone it is helpful to keep your eyes open and watch their response" (paraphrase of HTB training material). being the good Christian girl with good Christian upbringing I know that it's better to close my eyes. concentration. it's the christian formula... training material goes on 'as you ask the Holy Spirit to come you will notice changes in the person: relaxtion/anxiety/flickering of eyelids/tears-these are most encouraging.' hmmm...

Simeon asks: 'why are tears most encouraging?' i have to say I was asking the same question. There was a number of good reaosns for this but one caught my attention and has made me think. Often, when people are prayed for they cry. I often have done. Sometimes I notice that little voice in me tellng me to stop being so emotional. afterall, this is God and I shouldn't be emotional. or 'why is that person always crying?' Helen, the vicar's wife continued with her explanation. often people cry when they are being prayed for, becuase as the spirit starts to work more powerfully in them there's a sort of emotional release that is occuring. we often feel that England isn't the place to cry. and church certainly isn't. People have alot of trapped sadness that they never let out and don't let heal. The Holy Spirit is in the business of healing and dealing with hurt, sadness, areas of our lives that are in contrats to the people God wants us to be. We cry as we're prayed for and seriously allow the spirit to work in us becuase it's an emotional release that he's bringing as part of his work.

Tears and emotions. get crying

health update health update health update

gosh im boring. i'm resorting to health updates. back in january i wrote about my gall stones. turns out i dont have gall stones. just an anonymous pain, that doesn't seem to want to identify itself.

on sunday over a BBQ....(hmmm...) i was chatting to simeon who ahd asked for a health update. in walks Umesh, 3rd year medical student: 'Sounds like you have gall stones, becci.'
me: 'Ah but I don't you see. Apparently, my ultrasounds said I was fine as were the rest of my organs.'
Umesh: 'are they giving you further tests on your stomach and bowel.'
Me: 'Yes, in August.'
Umesh: 'I hope it's nothing serious.'

hmmm yeah, thanks.

Later on Umesh is telling us about his 'empathy classes' he has, to improve bedside manner and also how to deal with diffiuclt situations, like telling someone they have cancer. We decide to role play.

(in role) I enter the doctor's surgery 'Morning doctor Umesh'
(in role)Umesh: 'we have your test results, I'm afraid they aren't good. You have Bowel cancer.'
(OUT of role) Umesh: OH, I'm sorry Becci, that's really bad, becuase you actually could have.'

GULP...??!! My, that made me feel good.

the numericals of life

acts 20.24

24 But I do not count my life of any value to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God’s grace.

See the thing is. if i get down on my knees before God and ask him to take my life and do with me whatever it takes to make me passionate then that can mean anything. we 'give our lives to God' in pretty easy and trite ways too often without thinking what it really means. Do i have courage and faith enough to truly say 'God do whatever you need to do, whatever it takes'. my health? my body? my mind? my family? my degree? my position in CU? whatever it takes? really? Joni Eareckson did and she landed on her head in the sea and is now paralyzed from the neck down but she's devoted to God in a new way and is just carrying out the ministry God has for her.

do i really not count my life of any value? well if i'm honest i don't. surrender is easy to fake and easy to believe that im in it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

some new ice cream tubs

hmmm... how best to express this?

Imagine for me that you're tucking into a tub of Ben and Jerry's chocolate ice cream (the flavour is not diegetic to the story). You're enjoying the chocolate and you know you're a long way from finishing it. In fact, it's a never ending pot of icecream. The more you eat, the bigger it gets and the more delicious.

whilst your saliva pours, and your waist line is ever expanding, someone comes and offers you a tub of strawberry icecream. There's no cost, you're free to eat and you're free to eat both. What do you do? well, naturally (and again this isn't about what flavour is best) you decide to eat some of the strawberry too. Now you're in heaven. you have two pots of never ending, delicious ice cream.

Ok, it's a very poor analogy but it's a little how I'm feeling. Like someone has offered me a new pot of icecream, one that I've never really investigated or dug into. Since moving to London I've been going to a church that gives active forum for the practice of spiritual gifts. And becoming more so. Similarly, the CU also is open to the such like. The last couple fo years I've been sitting staring at the strawberry pot of icecream, more or less (and I'm still working all the theology out in my mind today) believing that I wasn't seeing a mirage, that the strawberry icecream does exist but not having the opportunity or nerve to pull off the lid and discover how it might taste. Until more recently.

Seeing power in other people's lives and reading over and over again 'the same POWER that raised Chrit form the dead is at work WITHIN YOU,' (I paraphrase) got me thinking. And calling on God to reveal his power and his glory. Not that I might be prasied but that through me he might be. Especially in the CU context and wthin church. I guess being persident of the CU has given me a hunger to see great things and the burden of responisbility makes me beg God for him to work in power. And I've seen a few things happening.

But the question arises, why do we not see more of this? So Sunday was pentecost and so church focused on the Holy Spirit. The disciples were told to go to Jersualem and WAIT for the Holy Spirit. They waited, praying (fasting?) for 11 days. And then the Spirit came. Is the key in the waiting? I know I'm too busy rushing onto the next thing, I read my Bible (that's the chocolate tub of icecream) and pray but how often do I wait, just abiding, listening to what God has to say and asking for his spirit to fill me again. being open and not putting God in a box, allowing him to work in me in anyway. Accepting that there maybe a new tub of icecream to start chewing.

So I don't know, the analogy isn't very good and it falls apart with any serious application of theology but I feel that I'm just beginning to dig into the strawberry icecream and finding exciting new treasures and expereinces (uh oh, it's that word) and a power that's beginning to work in and through me in a way I haven't seen before. bring it on...

Sunday, May 15, 2005

a year on

365 days, 12 months, a year
Made strangers in time.

Flying above, city of broken dreams
Each building whispers your soul
But my heart can't remember
the blood you transfused, electricity

South Bank, Belgium's waffles promenade
Telling of those trapped dreams
Broken in not knowing
Tempted by love of, mediocre

365 days, 12 months, a year
Made strangers in time

Underground, poster conspiracy
'Gordon's' roof to floor
But your name will not
grace my lips, unnecessarily

Monarcy, Kings Grove to New Cross Gate
As far as Prince and Pauper
What's of you, what's of me
Ironic wishes; locality

365 days, 12 months, a year
Made strangers in time

Monday, May 09, 2005

getting there...

one exam down, two to go...

please pray for the CU...lots of exciting stuff but i don't have the time to committ to it like i should right now and i'm finding my energy is all drained dry. just when i need it most.