I Apologise in advance...
...but I'm going to get all theological and rambling...
Ant's post on Rob Bell stirred the old fires of debate and critical thinking up in me again.
Funny that, since Rob always seem to stir that in people. I like that. I like the fact that he says something, not to deliberately offend, but to get people thinking about their own views, and why they hold them.
I have to say that over the last three years I've done a heck of a lot of re-thinking on many issues, and it's almost felt like a re-birth in many ways, because I'm starting to question and query and meditate and chew things over in my mind that I saw as sacrosant a few years ago. Some people would define that as backsliding I'm sure, because I'm questioning things that traditionally the church has held as 'innerant'.
It's not that I'm questioning them for the sake of being difficult, it's just that I've held these "beliefs" for so long unquestioningly, that I need to look at why I hold them. It's absolutely pointless sticking to something just because you always have done, and I happen to think that having an open mind and having faith don't have to be incompatible.
What I'm struggling with at the moment, is what I have decided to call a "post-reformation hangover" in many of the preachers/speakers/evangelicals/ordinary christian bods I come across everyday. Let me explain.
We would happily agree as those coming from a protestant background, that we are saved by Grace and Justified by faith, they are the central tenents that most christians of a protestant bent would cling to. Howver, we seem to have forgotten the whole Grace idea in the last few hundred years, because all the books sermons I've heard lately somewhere along the line involve chastising us about "not praying enough" or "not reading your bible enough" or "not evangelising enough", as if God judges us purely on that basis, which, if you think about it enough, is a works based theology... again!!
One of our pastors was preaching today, and I found myself disagreeing with what he said, which was interesting. He's a great guy, and many times I've been blessed by God through his ministry, but this particular time I didn't agree with him. What he was talking about was the second part of Psalm 51, which is a brilliant Psalm and a brilliant subject.
He was talking about David's humility before God, and how we all need to be humble before God as Christians, which I agreed with. What I didn't agree with however, was the example/illustration he used, which was the Indianna Jones film, where Indy has to figure out some hebrew text to solve the puzzle, and it says something about the humble heart. Seconds before he's potentially decapitated, Indy realises that a person with a humble heart bopws in reverence, and he escapes the trap set for him! Then, my pastor said that that was an illustration of us before God... we are humble before God and avoid Destruction or Judgement.
See, this is where it gets complicated and I feel the new spiritual rebelliousness in me fighting against my old evangelical tendencies. Yes, Jesus paid the price for us, yes we are all sinners, yes it's through repentance and faith that we come into a new relationship with God and avoid the consequence of spiritual death, but is it really like that picture that my Pastor used?
I don't tend to think it is. The kind of God and Grace that is demonstrated in Jesus' willing sacrifice for us, is the not the kind of God who says to us "turn or burn" or any of those stupid slogans. I just can't see it. A God who is so loving, why would he be waiting to see whether we turned so that if we didn't he would decapitate us? nah I can't see that.
Now maybe part of the problem is the illustration, and I accept that. When you're talking about trying to define God, and explain his Character, you're never gonna find a water-tight illustration free from mis-interpretation, I accept that.
My problem is, if you do use that, what does it say to someone who hasn't met Jesus personally yet? That God is waiting for you to mess up, and when you do, he'll gibe you a chance to repent and if not He'll destroy you? It just doesn't tie-in, and for me, is bad theology.
This post-reformation hangover is the fact that we haven't really grasped the concept of grace still, and we're still trying to earn our relationship with God by the things we do and say. It just doesn't work like that. As C.S. Lewis once said, "God can't love you any more, and He can't love you any less". His love just doesn't change for us.
Yet we still strive to be "better" Christians, all out conferences and our literature and our courses and our outreach... all of it is based on this idea that we have to be at a certain level before God can accept us. We even do it with beliefs. You have to go to church for ex amount of months before going in a home group, then you have to have made a decision or signed a card, or put your hand up in a meeting, or had an experience. In my reading of the New Testament, the early disciples and followers of Jesus didn't see things as that black and white.
In Matthew, in the last verse, among the story being told about Jesus ascending, it has some very important verses that people sometimes miss in their reading.
MT 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. *
(* = my emphasis)
Jesus had conquered death, risen again, defeated the powers of darkness, come back in victory and was standing before his disciples on the mountaintop giving them authority from Heaven to make disciples....
and some still doubted!
Sorry to be irreverant here, but the Bible doesn't say here "and verily Jesus cast them away into the pits of Hell for their spirit of unbelief" or anything like that. It was ok to doubt. It was ok not to be sure, because following Jesus in the end as I've said before is not about knowing stuff, it's about doing stuff. Faith is not being able to recite every book in the Bible backwards, or being able to give a great homily on the Sermon On The Mount; it's about living Jesus' teaching out. It's about going and doing what He said. That's it.
Those disciples who doubted didn't have it all together I'm sure, and they had lot's of questions, but Jesus didn't ask them to "convert" anyone to their way of thinking, he didn't ask them to go and lecture people, he asked them to "do" his teaching, which was mainly practical. Those disciples who doubted weren't rejected by the others, it doesn't say they were thrown out of fellowship because they couldn't sign up to everything on a pre-determined list. In fact, Jesus didn't seemed to be bothered about that. What He did seem to want was people who were prepared to take Him at His word, and go and do and be, even those who weren't quite sure what was going on!!
That's why a person with learning disabilities can be as much of a follower of Jesus as I can, why someone with reduced mental capacity can be more of a graceful disciple of Jesus than me. That's part of what Jesus meant, I believe, when he said "My Kingdom is not of this world". I don't think he was particularly talking about angels on floaty clouds and other-worldly places, I think He meant His Kingdom runs on a different kind of juice!!
Our world judges things based on performance and knowledge, Jesus Kingdom doesn't. Our world says that you have to achieve to be noticed, Jesus Kingdom doesn't. Our world says the more knowledge and education you can get, the more advantages you will have. Jesus Kingdom is carried by the call of "Follow Me".
"Leave everything, leave it all behind, and do what I tell you", basically.
Yet we have our own spin, whatever it is, whether it's gifts of the spirit, or doctrine, or membership, or lifestyle, or the way we worship; something that we put in the way of genuine seekers of God. People have to reach a standard before we will accept them.
Jesus did no such thing.
Jesus calls everyone to Him, and when they know Him, they'll be so amazed by His love that they'll want to please Him with the way that they live, and the way they spend their money, the way they spend their time with others. Jesus asked for people to trust Him, and that doesn't involve carefully working out doctrines, or signing up to something, it involves a gritting of the teeth, even a "I don't know what I'm doing here but I'm gonna trust that you exist and You are who You say You are". That doesn't really match the decision card does it? It doesn't have the easily defined catergory to it does it?
That's because faith is never a clinically defined thing. Faith is Trust in a person. That's it.
That kind of faith is beautifully frustrating, because it won't allow itself to be pinned down into tiny, nice, easily fitting boxes for you to tick.
And neither does my God, my Jesus!!
Sunday, April 29, 2007
I Apologise in advance...
Thursday, April 26, 2007
The sun is shining, it's warm outside, I've finished work early today, I'm wearing my favourite t-shirt, I've just been paid, I've booked tickets to go London for the day on Bank Holiday Monday, and train tickets to get to Manchester for my X Factor audition, AND I'm going for a curry in approximately 1 and a half hours!!
It's a Good Day!!
Scribbled by Jm at 4:10 pm
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
- I sometimes very randomly get the thought to go and plant a kiss on the lips of a complete stranger, no matter what their age or sex or attractiveness!! (not in a sexual way)
- I flush the toilet in the mornings when I've had a shower... even if I haven't been!!
- I sometimes walk back to my house after leaving a few seconds ago out of the front door, to go up to my room to check if it's the same as I left it!!
- I check things are locked, at least three times!! If I'm with someone, I don't do it because I would look a bit of a freak, but then I think about the lock all day...
- If I've bitten my lip by accident and it bleeds, I like the copper taste in my mouth that it leaves...
- I sometimes am so overwhelemed with the choice of things that could occupy my time, that I sit down and just stare at the floor until my mind stops working...
- I think about the process of thinking...
- I sometimes wish I could have a really bad injury so that I'd be able to talk about it!!
- I sometimes am so lethargic that I just lie on my bed staring at the ceiling
- I think ALL the time...
Ok, now I've revealed what a total and complete utter lunatic I am... what about you?!
Scribbled by Jm at 4:11 pm
Monday, April 23, 2007
Sunday, April 22, 2007
I feel your breath on my neck, your arms about me,
the ticking of the clock, gently in the background.
The whole world has stopped, and here it is me and you,
enfolded in love, safe in the knowledge that here with each other we are secure.
No noise, no catastrophe could distract us from the simple joy of being in each other's embrace.
I smile and brush back a lock of your hair from your face while you're sleeping, your head rested on my shoulder.
This is what I was made for.
Scribbled by Jm at 3:31 pm
Saturday, April 21, 2007
That's right, an original title to this post I know!
Well, it's been a fairly full day so far, with my mate Ken taking me for a "belly buster" in a local greasy spoon cafe. It was called a belly buster because it lives up to it's name, although I thoroughly enjoyed it, I won't need anything to eat for the rest of the day!!
When I got back, I started using the vocal cd I'd got through the post this morning, and it was tough, tough work! I've blogged about that below, so I won't go into any more details here...
It's currently 4:53 pm and I find myself sitting at my computer waiting for the washing machine to finish one of my loads. The house is completely silent, and I can hear the birds singing outside, and I feel peaceful.
I've just written a poemy thing, which is a bit of a novelty for me, but having so many inspiring friends helps! :)
I have no plans for today, as per every day off, but am feeling more positive about the future than I have for years. My court case is in progress, and although there's an element of uncertainty I'm fairly certain I will get my money which will pay off my debts. I'm also excited at the prospect of X Factor, although there's also an element of uncertainty there too.
How will I be portrayed?!
Will I have a chance of getting through?!
What happens if I do get through?!
All these thoughts are going through my mind right now, and other cicumstances I find myself in emotionally at the moment, and the most annoying thing is that they're all about the future, that great hulking beast that seems determined to always run ahead and out of my grasp!
Ah well, it's a good thing I know Someone who knows!!
Scribbled by Jm at 4:53 pm
All dreams, all thoughts, all feelings,
All these collections of me.
Like yarn, wrapped round a needle,
Condemmned not to be free.
When they break, as at times they do,
I find myself glimpsing something new,
I wish I knew what was ahead,
Who it was that holds the thread
Pieces sewn together instead...
Of being thrown away.
At times the cut seems coarse and rough
I think "I'll never have enough!",
But then You come and finish up.
The work begun in me.
Some day I'll see You face to face
and in those moments, in that place,
I'll ask the question "why such grace?"
And you will answer me.
"You never saw what I had done,
cutting cloth where it had clung,
for far too long to it's own thread;
My Child, I made the best instead".
Scribbled by Jm at 4:17 pm
I have such a flippin' bad voice!!
Lol I received the first of my vocal training cd's in the post today, and I've gone through it twice, and I've realised how rubbish at singing I really am!!
Half of the excercises I reached the end of them and found:
- I don't breathe properly when I sing, I must breathe and sing from my lungs not my diaphram!! - I ran out of breath three quarters of the way through some of the excercises...
- I don't annunciate or pronounce sounds and vowels properly!! - Some of the excercises I was having trouble distinguishing nue from nee, and I was struggling with making a distinction between "me" "mommy" and "mammy" when sing Arpeggios...
- My timing is awful on coming in!! - On some of the excercises I was coming into too late because my singing rythmm was wrong, even though I'd been given a starting note! I found this especially hard when I was singing a full scale with a half scale and when I was singing an "endurance" piece which was notes 1231 up a scale...
Sheesh, this is going to be hard work!!
I'm only on the warm up cd at the moment, but I do the full half hour, so I guess if I do that twice a day for the next three weeks with some singing, and then move onto to the more advanced cd, I'll start getting somewhere... I hope so anyway. All this singing properly lark is hard work lol
I am encouraged that even though I struggled, I did manage to finish all the scales, even though some of them I was in falsetto for. The tutor on the cd says to try an sing them even if they're beyond your range, because singing them expands your range eventually. Apparently it will also give tone and power to your voice, because you're building up your vocal muscles.
I don't know whether I'm struggling because I'm not that good, or because I've not trained my voice before or had singing lessons. We'll have to wait and see, I guess!!
Simon Cowell, here I come!! :p
Scribbled by Jm at 3:05 pm
Friday, April 20, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I may not have mentioned before, but I am currently in the process of taking my bank to court over unfair bank charges.
I'm certainly not the first and I won't be the last either..
I wrote to the bank asking for my money back from the charges, which since 2002 has totalled more than £3000, and with interest is more like £3800. Needless to say they ignored my requests even though I sent them a printed list of the charges I had got from my account history online.
I've now taken them to court via moneyclaim online and they have just acknowledged receipt of my claim via a letter in the post from their Solicitors today. They now have two weeks to mount a defence, so hopefully by May 3rd, I should be at the position of claiming my money back. I'm prepared to take it further, as all the banks that have been taken to court for unfair charges have capitulated at the last moment before it got to the court date. I'm confident that they will pay me all the money back they have charged me over the years, and hopefully it will clear my debt and enable me to start saving for a holiday.
In other news, my date for my X Factor audition is May 18th, between 3-15 and 6pm, so I'm about to order a vocal warm-up cd to help me in my practicing an get my voice trained a bit. (I've never had singing lessons) I'm quite excited but don't really think I'll get anywhere, as I haven't really got an "image" as such, and people in the music industry seem to be big on that... Also, I'm gonna have to get back to the gym, as not having been for six weeks has produced a developed paunch that I need to get rid of before the audition!!
It should be a great experience, and that's the way I'm approaching it, as to build myself up over nothing would be a bit silly!!
In May, I'm going to Alton Towers for the annual Christianchat meetup, and on the Bank Holiday Monday, I'm also meeting up with a few other people in London, so hopefully the next few weeks should be quite exciting!!
Scribbled by Jm at 7:28 pm
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I've just come back from shopping!!
What and whom was I shopping for, you may ask in your delightfully childish curiosity?
Well, it was for my boss, whose birthday it is today, but who is back in tommorrow.
As a staff team, we have everyone's birthdays written in the shop diary so we all club together the day before and put some money in to buy a present, it usually works well. Except, I couldn't think of what to get my Boss, and neither could the others. He's one of these people who's hard to buy for, so in the end I've chosen:
- a bottle of scotch whiskey (he appreciates his alchohol)
- a packet of Werthers Originals (because he's old, and old people always love them hee hee! :p )
- a box of Ferrero Rocher
I think that's not bad personally, though I loathed every minute of wandering aimlessly round the shops, even if it was in work time!!
Scribbled by Jm at 5:11 pm
In case you hadn't guessed by now, by the amount of posts to my blog today, it's VERY quiet in the shop today, in fact it's deathly...
We've probably only had about 40 customers all day today so far, I would think due to the extremely sunny weather outside. I can see lot's of sunshine outside, and even though it's actually quite cold, I think Spring has finally sprung: people seem happier, the winter moodiness that matched the weather has gone, and lots of people are having babies!!
I'm currently enjoying a nice cup of tea, while people-watching out of our window. (the shop is nearly all glass frontage, so you can see a lot). That brings me to one of the subjects of this post:
Once drunk exclusively in India & China, strangely it has become an icon of British Society. When the chips are down for chaps and chapesses, the first thing we do is make a good old cup of tea. When someone's had a nasty shock, or is in shock, even the medical professionals themselves say to have a cup of hot sugary tea. It is THE drink of choice for the aspiring individual, encourages creative thought, and provides a sense of alertness not as stark as a caffeine-induced 'high' of coffee...
While surfing the net this afternoon, I've found several startling tidbits of research information, that have confirmed what I already knew... having a Curry, and drinking a cup of tea is good for you!! If you don't believe me, click here.
Right, now the final part...
My sister, (whom I'm meeting to have tea with after work) is very talented and I thought you should all know, so go and listen to her songs....
Ok that's it.
Scribbled by Jm at 5:00 pm
That's a yoda way of saying today's turning out to be better than yesterday was. :)
The shop's been fairly quiet today, we're up to date with all parcels, and tasks, and my sis has just rung me at the shop to say she's coming into town after we've closed to meet me so we can go for something to eat...
There's only a few other things that could happen that would make this day perfect, but they're not likely, as geographical distance does not permit ;)
hah! Rule No. 1 of Blogging Successfully: "have an intriguing title that draws them in out of curiosity"... ;)
Well, some things my addled brain, (a phrase I picked up from talking to margo lol) had forgotten to blog about in recent weeks...
- On easter Saturday I went to my brother's house (David, father of my nephew Jacob, both seen here , he is married to Sarah) to celebrate his 30th birthday, which was on March 14th. To celebrate, sarah and david hosted a Murder Mystery Party, complete with clues given to each person and a character they were to portray. Each person had been given costume ideas aswell to arrive in. Food was put out on the back table as a buffet, and we had to mingle asking questions to try and discover who the murderer was. The murder was set in a small town in the Wild West, so inevitable southern cowboy accents were tried by several of the guests, and we all had a great laugh!! There were 14 of us all together, and many laughs at dubious accents and funny clues were had!! My character was "Thomas Forge" the local blacksmith, so to prepare I worte old jeans and a black top, and used some of sarah's mascara on my face and arms to look as if I was covered in soot and ash, and had been working tirelessly as a hot smithy! The food was great and many stetsons were worn and accents put on, it was a really good night, with lots and lots of hysterical laughter, especially at the clothing...
- I have decided that I get my best ideas for blogging when i am nowhere near a computer or when it is not practical to blog, so I have decided to purchase a "blogging notebook", pocket sized that can fit in a small pocket with a tiny pen, so when inspiration comes I can scribble away.... yes, it is immensley sad, but I don't care!! When I have hundreds of blog posts a day that are witty, intelligent and well-edited and thought through, who'll be laughing then? eh? eh?
- Last week a customer with a dublin accent came in to the shop and asked for me by name, which was a bit worrying. Then, even more worryingly, he asked if we could have a private chat!! It turned out that he wasn't a representative from the IRA come to assasinate me, but that in actual fact, a friend of his (who I still haven't figured out the identity of!) suggested he come talk to me because my dad's a Pastor!! I was a bit taken aback, but we talked his issue through, and he left saying it had been helpful. It was only after he left that i suddenly realised I should have offered to pray for him briefly, but it just didn't enter my mind at the time. Anyhow, I still haven't found out who "reccomended" me, and am a bit worried that it'll happen again! I don't mind talking to and praying for people, I've done it quite a bit in the shop, over all sorts of things, but when people have problems they need specific professional help over, I'm at a bit of a loss. We'll have to wait and see whether it happens again this week...
- A VERY smelly lady has come into the shop just before who I know quite well, who normally needs encouragement and littel chats, the problem is, she smelt so bad today that I had to breathe through my mouth, which is very difficult when you're also talking!! I must have looked like a goldfish or someone with severe mental problems, but I knew if I got one more whiff of her odour, I would be sick there on the spot!! Lol I think it's funny that I pray for God to give us grace in the morning before we open up, and then he tests me on it a little while later!!
- I woke up happy this morning, due to a conversation I had last night. I've been waking up very happy a lot this week, and even if I have bad days, that's at least a good thing.
That's it for now, i have to go, lunch-time is finished!!
Scribbled by Jm at 12:59 pm
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
Ok, before you all lynch me as a heretic, (ok so you were gonna do that anyway just for fun) let me explain!!
My previous post bemoaned the fact that I hate Mondays.
Well it seems God wanted to cheer me up a bit, as the Student Loans Company sent me a letter to ring them, as I've finally paid off my Loan, and have actually overpaid them!!
So they've just refunded £42 to my account!!
*is happy now*
:) :) :) :)
Scribbled by Jm at 12:43 pm
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I've just had a big argument with my Dad, who can be very controlling at times and think that I owe him just because I can't afford to move out.
I am very tired today also.
*sighs* families are so wonderful sometimes aren't they...
I think I'm gonna have a sleep.
Scribbled by Jm at 2:28 pm
Saturday, April 14, 2007
As I said, when it's quiet we usually just natter!!
Here are some of the conversation topics we have covered so far today:
- The difference between a snog and a passionate kiss
- Our ilnesses
- People we like
- Whether to have cookies or Thorntons ice creams this afternoon (that was an animated one, I decided to pull rank and go for both as I was paying lol)
- Discussing a new CD that had come in
- Talk about relationships we're either in, want to be in, or have been in
- How boys just don't get hints from girls who like them
- What Jm should (or shouldn't!) wear for his X Factor Audition
- Singing Techniques
- Annoying Customers
- Personal Space and the need for it at all times!
- How annoying it is to push through hordes of people on Race Day to get the train to work
- Laura's Prom Dress she got at a bargain!
- How we've closed the door when gfs/bfs were in our room, just to annoy and make our parents worry... hehe
- How when said bf/gf's were there we've "watched films" but never seen a movie.... ;)
- How annoying parents can be when they come into your room, sit on your sofa and want annoyingly deep conversations at innapropriate moments!!
- VeggieTales Dance Mats!! - and how our churches shoul buy them as "resources" so that we can use them and not have to pay!! (they've just come in to stock)
- What colour Jm should dye his hair for his X Factor Audition!!
- How Laura washed her painting brush in her cup of Coke yesterday!!
- How some of the other staff who work during the week are extremely annoying!!
- A discussion about what conversations we've had today!!
It's been quite a full day today, this was all before 2pm!!!
Scribbled by Jm at 1:32 pm
I love working saturdays!!
I have so much fun with Emily and Laura, we just chat an laugh all day when it's quiet in the shop like it is today...
For those of you who are not faniliar with equine sporting, today is the Aintree Grand National. This is a wholse series of races all weekend, culminating in the big race today, and is a big event for racing fans, the country, and Liverpool.
Here's a link to some racing stories if you're interested.
Unfortunately, it's also about half a mile down the road from where I live, which means I will have to fight my way onto a train to get home from work tonight at the station. *sighs*
It is not an unusual site to see hundreds, nay thousands of very poshly dressed people walking past my road, and all our local pubs to be spilling out their customers onto the pavement like vomit from a night out drinking gone mad...
Think of a major world cup football match, and just dress them nicely, that's about the size of it.
The weekend starts for racing on Thursday, which is Ladies Day, the (slightly) sexist day for women to come in their best frocks and silly hats to the first race. I personally had to walk home from my local station to my house with my eyes on the floor all the way... It was that bad!!
Beautiful ladies everywhere, in their hundreds dressed up to the nines, and all or most probably slightly drunk, judging by the wobbly walks. (and some of those dresses you should DEFINITELY not wobble in, let me tell you!!)
Here's to fighting through hordes of people to get home!!
Scribbled by Jm at 1:20 pm
That I am impressed and delighted by my blogging friends, and very lucky to know them.
Helen has just started blogging, but already is thoughtful and hillarious, and makes me smile. She's the one person that has made me laugh out loud the most when I chat to her, and she loves to put spin on anything I say.... Oh, and usually.... she is right most of the time about anything, which is annoying! She has had struggles in life, but doesn't mention them much, as she has that quality we always want - integrity. She's also better looking than she knows herself.
Arty has been blogging for a long time, and is a bit of a professional at this... She's creative, and sassy at the same time, whilst sometimes moving me to tears with her writing.
She's the last of a dying race of people who are romantics at heart, and when she writes about Matt and her feelings for him, it gives me hope in a world where it's rare for two people to actually commit to love each other... In a word, she's frustratingly brash, vulnerable and honest all at the same time!! In otherwords... she's spanish ;) Oh, and shes good looking too!
Ant has also just started writing and is proving very funny and thoughtful, and I get the impression there's a lot more to come in terms of writing, that's under the surface at the moment... During our chats, he's revealed a depth of insight into people and God's dealings with them that's quite startling and very humbling... He's miles ahead in God's race than I am, although he would probably deny that, but I don't care, 'cos this is my blog!! lol
Benny puts himself down a lot, but is equally silly, hillarious and profound all at the same time, which is an amazing thing to master!! We're nearly the same age, and I see a lot of myself in him, which is quite spooky... He's been through some tough, dark times, and is stronger than I ever could be to get through them. He doesn't see how valued he is by everybody else, which is a shame, 'cos we all think he's better than sliced bread!! He is a good writer, no matter what he says on his blog!!
Margo is a really talented writer, already her talent has been recognized with several items of poetry being published. She's a tough cookie to crack, as I feel there's a lot more deep down in her that she hides for fear of failure or rejection, but she reveals her beauty in her quiet manner and her writing, as well as her appearance, though she would never, ever, dream of accepting a compliment like that about herself. (and yes, I know that sentence was too long!!) Her smile is DAZZLING, and when she giggles, I want to wrap her up and send for her via UPS lol. Everytime I see her I smile immediately, and she makes me want to be a better person. She's a very deep person, and still waters definitely do run deep in her... ;)
Ok, that's some of my friends, I'll post more about others later.
For now, congratulate me on how lucky I am!!
Scribbled by Jm at 12:04 pm
Friday, April 13, 2007
Today I recieved a letter in the post...
I've been given an audition to try for X Factor!!!
I really didn't think they'd even give me an audition lol
I'm so thrilled lol
:) :) :) :) :) :)
It's only the first stage of many auditions apparently, and you don't even get to meet the panel until the 12th or 13th audition I don't think...
but it's a start :)
*is sooooo excited*
Scribbled by Jm at 7:20 pm
Sorry, I just needed to release the tension!
It's been a MANIC day today at the shop, for some reason the whole world and his dog came out of the woodwork and decided to browse/buy/ask awkward questions!!
It's been one of those days where you're on the go all the time, going from customer to customer, query to query, and everybody in the world wants a piece of you because you know the information...
Sometimes I wish I wasn't so good at my job. Ok, I know that sounds big-headed, but I don't mean it that way. It's just when you've helped out a customer and found where to get that book from they desperately wanted, and you got it in record time, they tend to come back, again...
Which, I suppose is good for the shop, but not so great for my own personal sanity! It's not that I'm better than anyone, it's just that I seem to be more of a nerd when it comes to remembering isbn prefixes, and publishers and authors... maybe it's because I've worked here eight and a half years and know my job really well that's all!
Anyway, suffice it to say that I'm hoping tommorrow will be less stressful!
I'm currently planning my summer trip to the U.S, and it's proving an interesting experience, in terms of booking connections and different ways to travel!! I forgot how big America is, and how long it take to travel to places within the same country!!
Anyway, I'm still at work and need to go home now, so will blog more when I get there...
Scribbled by Jm at 5:45 pm
Scribbled by Jm at 7:23 am
Thursday, April 12, 2007
A hearty well done!!
I am pleased at your progrees in posting today!!
A gold star each goes to Arty and Margo for blogging of sufficient length to appease my insaitable appetite!!
I will post later today, have just spen all of my lunch time in work reading blogs lol
Scribbled by Jm at 12:57 pm
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Ok, I got up an hour ago, and all I've done for the past 60 mins is read blogs and leave comments and post blogs...
I smell, I'm unshaven, still sitting here in my pj's and dressing gown, and I don't care!!
I think that I should go get a shower...
All friends of mine with blogs, MUST post at least once a day, so I get some blog-whoring satisfaction for my voyeuristic tendencies...
I don't care how crap, or ill, or depressed, or happy, or sad you are... OR whether you have a bunion / headache / runny nose / malaria / aids / constipation... OR whether your car has broken down / vital organs have shredded/ mummy and daddy have disowned you from your inheritance... OR you've found out you're actually in fact an alien / related to mr blobby / gay / a christian / a circus performer / a bearded woman...
I WANT, nay NEED to know!!!
That IS the law.
That is all, my people...
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
I've just had a cusomer in asking me to look up books that contain the word "honey" in the title...
For "research" apparently.
In the end he took details of a book called "How to have the perfect HONEYmoon".
He is single, as far as I know never had a girlfriend in his life and is the strangest eccentric I have ever met.
I kid you not.
Scribbled by Jm at 3:06 pm
The train is the one I was on this morning to get to work.
The plain in my title, is the plain fact that you cannot serve the commuters of Liverpool on the ormskirk line at morning rush hour, with just a 3 carriage train. MiseryRail, er sorry I mean Merseyrail, (my train provider) have obviously not used their astounding brain power and worked this out yet.
We were unceremoniously packed in like sardines, every person for themselves in a mad dash for personal space, but ending up each with a personal space of about 1cm between you and the person next to you. Standing up, this is even more uncomfortable as, depending on the person next to you, various body parts can smother or poke you at various times as people struggle to get on or off the train.
Unfortunately this situation can be even more worsened if you happen to be 5 foot 2 and lacking in height, making you at precisely the right vantage point for the excruciatingly bizzarre and embarrassing "eye to boob" ratio. Okay, I know most lads couldn't dream of a better situation in their wildest wet dreams, but I am not most men!!
My personal space is my inalienable right as a British Citizen, and I don't care what body part is in my face or how attractive, just get it THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY!!!
Sorry. *calms down now and stops hyperventilating*
I love my personal space, and unless I am fond of the person I'm standing next to/talking with/sitting with/lounging on a couch with, then I adhere it to it religiously...
Even more than the Bible...
I mean it people.
So I was quite relieved to get to work today, a sentiment I don't usually share!!
The moral of this story?
If you find yourself tightly packed in a train on a cold day, and you are, let's say vertically challenged...
Wear eye protection, otherwise you might just lose an eye...
- feeding my 7 month old nephew with his bottle, and feeling him fall asleep in my arms
- knowing that even though I'm wearing white socks with black trousers for work today, (cardinal sin apparently) they are hidden from sight because I'm wearing my boots :p
- the realisation that I don't have to prove myself to anyone, 'cos God thinks I'm great already :)
- having a laugh and general silliness on my radio show tonight, something I can do and put together on my own, and feel pride in :)
- knowing it's my day off tommorrow!!
- finding friends of a similar worldview, that encourage you that you're not alone
- finding out some of my online friends are now joining the blogging world!!! yaaaaaaaaaay!!
- organic strawberry ice cream :p
- planning a holiday
- the excitement of knowing I have no idea how this day will turn out!!
Scribbled by Jm at 8:02 am
Monday, April 09, 2007
Ok, I know I wore my heart on my sleeve here, but I've decided it's time to move on.
After a lot of thought, I've decided that "the one" is someone you choose to love, not some magical thing that happens before you get to know someone, or an instantaneous thing.
I am a hopeless romantic at heart, but I believe your heart can be intelligent also, and choose who it wants to give itself to, that it's not a helpless animal, at the mercy of "the one", else we'd all be in a mess!!
So, apologies for the sentimentality, but I'm moving on. I will pray that she is happy and finds someone, but my opportunity was missed and yes it's sad, but it doesn't have to be end of the world. I am my own person, and if I'm not content with my own company, I'm not gonna be content with anyone else!!
Sermon over. (!)
Anyway, today is Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK, hence no work, (yay!) and I slept in until about 11:30 and have generally lazed about all day and done domestic things like washing, etc.
About an hour ago I decided to catch up on my friends blogs, some of whom I haven't read for literally months!! (I know, I know, I'm a bad person...) Well, that is taking me a long time, as I've obviously missed a heck of a lot!!
So I have to mention one thing...
Sarah mentioned in her blog a very important date. (I know I usually call you vj, and we havent spoken for months, but if you read this, I'm not being overly cheeky, it's just you said you preffered your "real" name...)
I have a plan, which I can't reveal at the moment, literally for legal reasons, (thought that would perk your interest lol) BUT if I can get the right price, and the right holiday dates... I may be meeting a few bloggers sometime over those few days...
Hopefully, Megan and Arty will be on the schedule...
(I still find it immensly funny that most of the bloggers I know are women lol)
I will be meeting Benny at the usual annual christianchat meetup at Alton Towers on 5th May, along with others. (U.K.) Should be a fun day :)
I'll keep everyone posted....
*bubbles with excitement*
Anyhow, bye for now!!
Scribbled by Jm at 4:57 pm
Sunday, April 08, 2007
I can't get in.
The sight that is so familiar to me, my place of entrance, the access to my heart, my home, is now blocked.
Shut out, refused entry to the place of warmth and security, I know there is nothing else to do.
So I sit.
I feel the warm bricks against my back and I close my eyes. I know within my grasp is the security I have known and loved, but my way is blocked. I feel a thousand thoughts rush through my mind, things I could do, options open to me, ways to access that which I hold dear.
Instead I sit, and I wait.
"Be pateient". -
I hear Your whisper, and I know You're right. No expulsion of emotion, no tantrum will solve this problem, no idea or tool will help me. Instead, i obey Your instruction.
So I wait, and listen.
I feel the warm sun on my face, the gentle breeze on my cheek, and a thousand voices raised in the trees singing and calling praise to Your Name.
In this moment, in this time, in this space...
I am Yours and You are mine.
No words need be said, no touch need be given, for I feel You more real and more imminent than even myself, Your whisper of love for me is heard in the breeze.
I am content.
Here in this place, in this interruption, You break in and enfold me, and I am undone. No one loves me like You, no one understands me like You, and there no-one I want more than You.
This day, this celebration, is for You.
This mistake You changed, to opportunity, to know the depth of Your love for me.
This Day I rejoiced with others, in You, I rejoiced that you defeated Death, but I rejoice more that You have defeated my death. The death of all needs and longings, to be replaced by a desire for You. This warm contentment, I will know again someday, and on that Day I will see You face to face. No breeze will communicate Your touch, no sunshine will bring Your warmth, instead, Your hand will brush my face, Your embrace will flood me with warmth as it is now. On that Day, we will speak as lovers reunited, and I will feel Your kiss on my forehead, Your breath on my cheek, bringing me closer and closer to You.
This moment, this space with You is over now, but I know I will return to this place again.
You've given me access.
Scribbled by Jm at 2:15 pm
Friday, April 06, 2007
It's 1:44 pm on Friday afternoon, and I'm sitting here pondering my faith. Strangely enough, it's not my trust in God I'm doubting/struggling with, but my faith in other people's presentation of Him...
I sat in church this morning in our Good Friday service and listened to a sermon, all of which I essentially agreed with, but the way it was presented and taught I struggled with.
I've been brought up in a Baptist church all my life, and I would say that I'm a Christian with baptist tendencies, and am proud of that, but over the last two years I've become a bit uncomfortable with the "delivery" of the message by some people.
It's a subject I struggle with, because I'm not claiming to be any sort of a preacher or teacher, but I've found myself regularly sitting in church now thinking "what would someone of no/an alternative faith make of this message?" and the answer I got back in my ponderings has disturbed me. Whenever I hear people preach at the moment, there seems to be an almost "ranting" quality in their voice, as if they're trying to whip ur agreement to what they're saying, or as if being a Christian is about living certain principles out and assenting to a list of doctrines and making a distinction between "us" and "them".
I wonder regularly what Jesus in the flesh would make of my church's service if he turned up. A rough-looking man with a middle-eastern accent sitting at the back of the church. Hmmmm... That would raise a few eyebrows I'm sure.
Yet, I'm not slagging off my church, they're a lovely bunch of kind-hearted people and I'd not be the person I am today without the investment of their lives in mine. It's just that I don't think I would call myself a fundamentalist anymore, and I'm struggling with how to express that to others.
I don't think that preaching has to be about convincing others of an argument, I think it should be about trying to bring people to a place where they think about whether God is/can be/should be a part of their lives.
For me, being a Christian is now about knowing a Person, not agreeing to a set of principles, and for many people in my church that seems (?) to be antagonistic. It's not that they don't love Jesus, it's just that they're so caught up in talking about Him, that they've forgotten what it is to spend time with Him. (wow that sounds harsh!)
What I mean is that I spend time with jesus in every moment, I know that will sound wierd to some people, but I don't have to do something religious to be around Him. I can chat to Him when I'm having a meal on my own, (ok in my own thoughts, otherwise I'd look really wierd lol) and at times when I'm sitting on a beach on my own I talk to Him out loud. Yes it's true I don't spend as much time with Him as He deserves, but I don'y see that I "have" to spend a certain amount of time with Him each day, because when in real life do you do that with people?
I mean seriously, do you sit down with your best friend/parent/partner/sibling and say "right, at precisely eight o'clock this morning I'm going to spend 30 mins talking to you, and then I'll have to go, until I see you tonight for ten before I go to sleep". I mean come on, unless you're a control freak, or have a seriously busy life, you just don't live like that. So why do we feel the need to as Christians? After 23 years on this "Fundamentalist Christian" bus, I feel the need to get off.
My problem is, what do I do? I just don't see things the way some of my friends and family do, but theres no point in leaving my church, because the people there really do love Jesus, I'm not arrogant enough to say they don't... we just have differing opinions, and see Him differently.
I just don't know what to do. I don't believe the point of being a Christian is converting people to an idea, or even a message, as one writer I read once said when he was talking about Jesus.. "I just make the introductions, the rest is up to Him". I honestly don't feel the need to force or cajole people into an opinion, or bring them to "a point", you don't do that when introducing the love of your life to your friends, so why do it with Jesus?
Maybe I'm just the heretic, though I don't feel like I am. I just want to live my life simply, and introduce people as and when, not forced into feeling guilty because I haven't "evangelised" anyone yet this week.
Another thing, why is so much of the language we use in our churches designed to separate "us" from "them"? I mean, we're all human beings arent we? You wouldn't be at a party with a group of friends and say "oh we can't talk to you, because you haven't met Nigel yet, you're different to us because you're Non-Nigels".
When you put it like that, it does sound kinda silly doesn't it? Or is that just me? Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying there's no difference between people who've met Jesus and people who haven't, but in a way I am. I just think that applying labels all the time isn't always helpful, because what it does do is make the people who "own" the label feel superior.
Yes, I have been brought up in the Christian faith, but I evntually chose jesus for myself, because I've met Him and He's the most unique wonderful person I know. That's it. No extra requirements, no fluffly doctrines, no religious jargon.
*sigh* I wish Christians would just be honest and open and transparent and not claim to have all the answers, but to just say what they know, that they've met Jesus and knowing Him is the greatest thing ever. Don't complicate it, don't "sex it up" or "spin" it, just say it, plain and simple.
I think too much, I've decided!
Scribbled by Jm at 1:43 pm
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Yes readers, I am cream-crackered, tired, goosed, wasted, worn-out, undone, and any other words to describe how you feel after only five hours sleep.
What brought on this bout of cruel insomnia I hear you ask?!
Well, womens issues and poo to be precise.
Before you click close on this browser window, I'd like to annotate the previous sentence by explaining that I was involved in a very humourous and very frank msn conversation last night with at the very least six other people, (it was a very large window in the end!!) and we were discussing how people read the Bible in a very scientific, and polite way, when the Bible is actually quite shocking and rude.
in particular I was delighted to point out that paul uses a commonly used swearword of his day in one passage, when he tries to describe his life before knowing Jesus, and also how isaiah uses sarcasm to point out the ridiculousness of bowing down to statues made of denser material (in both sense of the word!) than human beings....
Oh, yes, and there was the passage where Ezekiel describes a man's "bits" and compares them to a donkey's, and the passage where he describes all our efforts at trying to make God think we're great as "menstrual rags". Hmmmmm. niiiiice!!
I love people who express themselves and dont care about formality and politeness, and love even more the God who would rather die for us than live without us, and gives us this great Book.
*snorts more coffee*
Scribbled by Jm at 12:53 pm
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Monday, April 02, 2007
Today I discovered I am getting old. I went to the loo, and discovered that I had inadvertently put my underwear on inside out!! This was made quite clear since the label/band round the waist was inside out...
Less haste, more speed getting dressed in the morning methinks.
It's not as if I was in a hurry, I mean I got to work ridiculously early today. I had to try and ressurect the till because I had killed it on Saturday by accident just before I left. By killed it, I mean there was no brain activity at all. I messed about on the keys, and... nothing.
Not a single blip or beep or even an electronic sigh.
Luckily, my boss came in and managed to fix it by unscrewing the whole thing, and putting it back together again, apparently it died because of a humble roll of paper had jammed. I'm glad he did because I have the DIY/pracical sskills of an arthritic fish when it comes to all things technical. The best I can do is stand there looking serious and frowning a lot when there's a problem that needs fixing. As in, really fixing.
Today was Month End day, and I had my usual task of changing my personality temporarily and becoming an accountant to do the Month End accounts. (no offense if you're an accountant reading this, but you're not exactly known for your spontaneity are you?) Anyway, I spent the next five hours of my day trawling through endless columns and speadsheets until the task was done. It actually bores the pants off me, (well not literally, otherwise I wudnt have discovered my inside-out pants problem would I!!) but I have to do it, so I just grit my teeth, take lots of tea and biscuits, and get on with it.
Oh, and on the subject of biscuits...
On saturday, Laura (the new saturday staff member) was challenged by me to see how many of Millie's Cookies she could get for a tenner, and I was quite impressed with the result! She came back with a box of 19 freshly baked cookies still warm, and told us the guy at the Cookie Counter didn't believe her at first when she asked him for a tenner's worth lol!
I decided that Emily (our current "been-here-a-year" saturday staff member) needed a more difficult challenge, and so gave her £2 and told her to go to Iceland, (the shop not the place!!) and see how many packets of biscuits she could get with it!!
I thought this quite a hard task but was duitifully proved wrong as she came back with FIVE packets of biscuits with a grin on her face lol! Needless to say we gave some of the cookies out to customers as we couldn't finish them all, and we'd already had a toasted teacake each for breakfast!! *sigh* I'm such a generous boss!!
I always try to have fun on a saturday, and food is usually part of the equasion as well!!
Sunday, was my mum's birthday, and after I got home from church in the morning, we went to the Toby Carvery, to have a HUGE roast dinner!! My brother s came as well, though my sister wasn't ready in time, so that was a sore point!! My bro came with his wife and brought my nephew Jacob :) Highlights of the meal were me making silly noises to keep Jacob entertained while everyone in the carvery laughed at me!! Huh! They're all critics!!
Well, that was my weekend, I hope you're all enthralled...
Scribbled by Jm at 7:36 pm