Wednesday, 2 November 2011

You are what you EAT!

Some days do you ever feel like you just cannot find the motivation to do anything?! It takes all your will power to drag yourself out of bed in the morning then you spend the whole day half-heartedly attempting tasks, avoiding the ones that you’ve been putting off for weeks already and generally just shuffling paper around until you can justify another coffee break. You leave at the end of the day with a to-do list that is twice as long as when you started and you’re already dreading tomorrow. Perhaps this only happens to me, although I am pretty certain it doesn’t, but it just leaves you feeling even more unmotivated and weary.

I have often heard that feeling drained, tired, unmotivated and lethargic can so often be connected to how good your diet is. Not that I profess to be a nutritionist or anything but there is definitely something in that. I found myself feeling like this recently and so I looked back over the last few weeks at what I’d eaten and got up to. I do have times when I go through major junk food phases (not wanting to sound like I having eating problems or anything) and I’ll easily snack on crisps, biscuits, sweets, chocolate bars and a number of glasses of lemonade – basically anything that is easy and instant. Being a student could be my excuse – I don’t always have the time, energy or money to cook proper meals every day – but in reality I know it’s often down to laziness. But I feel the effects of it; I have less energy, I am tired more easily, more receptive to colds, my skin looks duller and often I’m hungry most of the time.

It got me thinking on how if eating unhealthy and not looking after my physical body has these effects then the same can be said spiritually. I know this isn’t anything new, but perhaps I am just realising it again, but what we put in is what comes out. I begin to think about different situations in life; why I reacted the way I did, why I said what I said, the way I responded to things – and find myself thinking ‘where is all this coming?!’ but how can I expect anything good to come from within when I’ve been snacking so unhealthily.

I realised that although I pray, sometimes, and read my bible, occasionally, and worship, usually just on Sundays – I just wanted instant, quick hunger satisfaction. My spirit was hungry for more and I was trying to survive on snacks – instead of healthy nutrition filled meals. I could make excuses like my life is so busy, it’s hard to find the right time, but in reality I know ‘it’s often just down to laziness’.

Unlike my body when I have not been eating well, I can see how it is affected and I feel the effects – it’s easier for an unhealthy spirit to go unnoticed. As much as my body needs it’s ‘five a day’ and has to have a good balanced diet to work at its best – so does my spirit need wholesome and nourishing food to work at its best. Just as quick as I am about changing my eating habits, I need to be about changing my spiritual ones.

So ask yourself; how healthy is your diet? And what do you really need to be feasting on?

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

That Women (John 8:3-11)

This is actually something i wrote quite some time ago, years in fact, and on re-finding my old books of poems, prose and stories thought i would begin to type them up and put them on here. Funny how all my drafts are done using good old fashioned pen and paper but nothing is final until its typed up, spell checked, font changed etc etc. I doubt Charles Wesley had such amenities available in his day.... However in our Sunday morning meeting this week the leader touched on the story of the adulterous women in John 8:3-11 which inspired me even more to get this typed up and posted, it seemed to fit quite well.

The noise around me seemed distant, muffled almost;
screams and shouts blended with faces and bodies, indistinguishable, just noise; babbling hatred, screaming judgement, still so far off I could almost pretend it was not real but the impact of their shouts as words of hatred rained upon reminded me it was

Then, silence…
no the screaming had not just faded into non-existence,
no the shouts had not just risen beyond hearing,
there really was silence.

Painful, deep, silence.
I dared not raise my head and look out through my hair which hung down across my face,
stifled silence, choked and screaming with unsaid words.

And then a clear voice spoke out, sharp, it was behind me, in front of me, beside me,
like my hearing had been fine tuned, too clear to the head.

Then silence once more, but the sharpness still carried out across the wind.

Only then did I manage to open one swollen bruised eye and look out through the vale of hair that covered my face.
That man.
His voice held everyone single person in the crowd.

That man.
He was stood so far away that his features were blurred,
but his voice was pounding in my chest.

I watched with one eye open as my hands subconsciously withdrew from my head.

That man.
He spat in the dust,
rubbed the saliva spotted area with one foot, dust swirling upward with each movement.
Slowly he bent down; I had to lift my head to see as he ran his fingers across the ground.
Unexplainable signs, letters, words.

And still silence.

He stood again, and then I felt it,
that heart tearing pain, searing through my whole body.
Save me, save me my silenced mouth screamed.
I couldn’t bear that look any more,
my head curled down as I clasped my arms tight to my chest,
cowering, hiding in myself, trying to hide from those eyes that burned, that cut deeper than any stones or rocks they could throw.

Then, nothing – almost as if for me time had stopped, it no longer existed.
Was this death?
Had they struck that fatal blow that would release me
Forever this stillness, which seemed to go on and on and on…

I didn’t see the old man who, when he had found me, had pointed a long crooked finger at me and with a look of complete disgust spat in my face.
Adulterer, whore, harlot, they had shouted.
I didn’t see the old man unable to speak or utter one word slowly turn and walk away through the crowd.
I didn’t see the other priests one by one begin to follow him as the stunned crowd parted like water before them.

My world had stopped existing.
I felt a gentle hand upon my shoulder.
That man.
He tenderly drew my head up and looked into my face,
'look, they have all left' he spoke softly, unhurried.
He looked questioningly at me for a few minutes,
'do you find yourself condemned here today' his voice invited trust and faith.
I tried to swallow, I opened my mouth to speak but nothing came.
Still breathing heavily I tried again,
'n…no my…my Lord, I do not'.
It took all my strength to utter those words.
The warmth and love that came from his eyes as he looked at me overwhelmed me.
'Then return to your home but sin no more' was all he said.
I could only but obey his command and stumbled back towards the city gate,
tears running down my face,
mingling with the dried sweat, blood and dust.
I looked back once more at that man.

My life was never the same again.

Friday, 24 June 2011


I recently asked God to help me really know his grace in my life, to be able to experience it to a degree that I could accept it and in turn I could learn to have more grace for others. It wasn't even a proper prayer that I prayed (although what is a proper prayer…) it was what I refer to as a 'thought prayer'. I didn't spend hours meditating over it or seeking out deep wisdom. I didn’t endure sleepless nights or hours of pleading to God on my knees. I merely 'thought' to myself 'God I want to really know your grace for me and in my life'. That was it and I didn't think too much else of it. He was listening. I think when I imagined knowing more of God's grace I thought it would come in a lovely package all tied up with pretty ribbons and full of wonderful gifts; metaphorically speaking of course. I imagined I would experience his all encompassing love, feel so blessed and be overflowing with grace for others and praise for life around me, in short I think I imagined that knowing his grace would be something sweet and pleasant. It wasn't.

Shortly after my 'thought prayer' a situation arose in my life which has been very painful to deal with. I found myself in a place where I was hurting, lonely, angry, insecure and wondering how I could trust people again. At the time I did not fully realise what was happening but looking back now I can only see one thing that kept me, that held me, that got me through and got me outside the other side – grace. It was the grace of God that didn’t come in a pretty pink box with ribbons and balloons attached but came with hurt and pain, it came with tears and sleepless nights, and it was the grace of God that began slowly to take that all away and begin to heal. God took me on a painful, but character shaping, journey which taught me that my trust should be in him and him alone, and he won't EVER let me down. He showed me that, as so often we hear and read and say, it really is true that only through suffering comes strength, only through breaking down comes the rebuilding. 

He really did answer my prayer when I asked to know his grace in my life; I have known and felt and seen his grace to such a degree that I can only try and look upon others with that same grace. God often doesn't reveal to us things in the way we expect or sometimes ask him to but thankfully he knows best.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Life Receipt ?

I watched this new Samsung phone advert and was struck by the main catchphrases - 'a world of possibilities, being in the know, being in control, and LIVE LIFE ON YOUR TERMS'. Really on my own terms?! It lead me to thinking about what happens if something goes wrong with the phone - you need it fixing or want a replacement and so you return it to the phone store - so much for being in control; that is until something goes wrong! It's the same thing with most items which you might purchase; consumer rights now mean we can return items we buy even if 'the colour just didn't match my eyes' and you can get your money back. Of course if, like the advert, i was in the know, in control, and living life on my own terms surely this would mean i could choose how i wanted my life to plan out, i would of course choose that my phone didn't break and that i could be in control of that too! Everything is fine until i need help - i am not in the know to be able to fix the phone, i am not in control in whether or not something might go wrong, and life isn't on my terms because when it comes to the fixing or replacement i definitely wouldn't choose the extra costs that always get added on. But here is the point; everything is fine until i need help.

It is fairly impossible to get through life without needing help, perhaps it is just me, but i know i need it - all the time! However unlike a shop brought phone with life if something goes wrong or needs fixing there isn't an easy returns policy that gets you a refund as long as you have the receipt! Sometimes in life things don't work out the way you want them to, bad choices are made, decisions that take us down the wrong paths, and often things are just out of our control.

That's when i realise how useless it is trying to live life always in the know, in control, and living it on my terms - it won't work. But living it on God's terms does! You don't have to be in the know or in control because God is - what better then to let the Creator, the Man Upstairs, the Maker of Heave and Earth be in control. He is in the know; about yesterday, about today, and about what will happen tomorrow. Not only that but with him there is a Life Receipt - Jesus. You can take that messed up, broken, sinful, hurting, rejected, painful, regret-filled life back to God's store and in exchange for Jesus, your Life Receipt, you get a guilt-free, renewed, fresh, ETERNAL life again. Jesus - the only way to exchange your old life for a brand new one.

Monday, 4 October 2010

an Ode to Coffee

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee from edge to edge and from rim to base
My hands do reach, when eyes can not yet see
For the warmth so freely given
I love thee to the level of every early morning
Most needed, in those hours when a haze still covers.
I love thee freely, as    
I love thee completely,
I love thee with the heart like many an office worker
In my reawakening state, and with my digestive too.
I love thee with a love I find hard to break
I love thee with the breath of a cold morning, at the strike of 11am
When the afternoon sleep descends upon me
When I need thine strong hands to hold my head up for me
I love thee with every sip I take, like a magic touch you awaken me
I shall but love thee just as much tomorrow morning

Oh coffee how I love thee.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

My birthing

So here we go first blog and already i have a confession. I used to think people who blogged either had too much time on their hands or just liked talking too much - or both. How could anyone really think their life was so exciting that they needed to tell the whole world! But i am happy to say my opinions have changed since then and recently i have found myself reading other people's blogs (about their interesting exciting lives!) and finding myself wishing i could make public some of my musings and thoughts. So here i am catching up with the rest of the world and being birthed into the land of Bloggerdom.

My posts shall probably just be the random mumblings of myself, and some grumblings too i'm sure, mixed in with (hopefully) some inspiring life changing God stuff and perhaps poems or short stories i have written. So i embark on a new journey in life, well ok perhaps not quite so dramatic, but i do feel an odd sense of excitement about it all. Perhaps after i press the 'publish post' button i'll suddenly feel i have changed, i will have to run to look in the mirror to see if i look like i belong to the blogger world and other bloggers will be able to know i am one of them with one look! Or perhaps not...i will just have to wait and see!

I think one of the reasons i began to be drawn over to the 'dark side' was, when recently, i made a few changes in my life. I moved back into christian community (another post, another day) after having grown up in christian community until the age of 18 and then moving to live with 2 friends for two years (again another post, another day); and even though that was a few months ago i wish now i had documented the move, the change and all my thoughts. I would like to have been able to look back to everything i was going through at the start and see the difference now! So i am hoping this blog might in one way help towards that documenting down all the different changes in my life and so i can look back in months or years even and, i am sure, be amazed at all God has done through that time.

Until next time my blogging family!