Saturday, 26 November 2011

Doorstop comes before the Book.

I feel like I'm constantly apologising for not posting; and here I am, doing it again.
I've currently got the flu. Not great. Since Friday night I've felt rough, run down and poorly. I've got the chills, then I'm too hot, headaches, temperature, swollen glands, sore throat, lack of sleep, snuffles and super achey. Would really appreciate your prayers for this, I've had to take 2 days off! I don't want to miss to much.

Last week, in short, involved; a ’Grub Crawl’, epic rounds of signs, free entry and bustin’ some moves in Revs, buying a Christmas tree, running out of electricity, ice skating with my cell group and successfully staying on my feet, doing our first online shop, Back to the Future 1 and 2, having nothing to eat in the flat, soaking, actually waking up early to pray and learning how to prepare a talk.
This week, in short, involved; decorating Explore church for Christmas, the electricity running out again, finally finding my feet, getting the flu, watching Gordon house play sardines, having our first two Soul61 birthdays, getting treated like princesses by all the Soul61 boys, travelling into London and seeing as many sights as possible, calling in sick, twice! and growing in prophecy.

Before moving and whilst being here, I’ve known that God’s going to do a lot of breaking and remaking, I don’t expect to come home in 10 months time completely unchanged. I’m expecting struggles, strains, trials and tests! One of the things I’d love to do while I’m here, is give some prayer requests when I feel they are needed and ask if you could pray for me. Some things this week are;
- Intimacy with God; I'm struggling to actually spend time with God myself, on a one to one basis. It's proving difficult, however I do feel like when I end up sleeping in and not getting up early enough to pray and read my bible, that God's okay with it. He gave me a verse in Psalm 127, that says He gives rest to those He loves. Which I definitely need!
- Missing Libby. Of course I miss my family and friends, but I know they're not far, and only a phone call away. But I miss Libby a lot, not being able to talk to her and not see her is horrible.
- Not exactly for me, but prayer for Libby would be great. She's finding it real tough, she's homesick and wanting to come home.
- No distractions; I want to really delve into scripture, pray, write out my notes, write letters to Libby and my family, keep my journal/diary about what God is doing. Sharing a room, flat and house is pretty distracting when spending time by myself and with God.

I was really, really struggling with my placement at Explore, seeing God's will in it, why I'm here and what I'm gaining out of admin and kids work. Then, our flat and flat 3, the girls of Gordon spent an evening prophesying and praying for each other, to grow in our giftings. I had quite a few relevant pictures and words regarding Explore; it's a season of preparation, that, like a cocoon, the process is isolating, protecting and preparation, but something beautiful will come out of it at the end.
After it settling in my heart that God did want me there, I then wanted to know why. Hannah told me that Corrie Ten Boom said, "some knowledge is too heavy, your Father will carry it until you are able". I'm not ready to know yet, because it's too big! Which, in itself is encouraging! God's got big plans for me.
Today we had teaching with a man called Jeremy, the head of the prophesy team at Soul Survivor, on prophesy. It was pretty exciting, seeing that not one person got left out and got nothing. Somebody came up to me at the end with a picture, she saw a book that was being used as a doorstop. She said God needed me somewhere that I wasn't made to be, I was being a doorstop when I'm meant to be a book. Which is so perfect. I felt so sure I was in the wrong place, but God wanted me there, so now knowing that after my time of being a 'doorstop' at Explore, I'll be the 'book' God designed me to be!

Leah XXX

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Jesus came with Grace & truth; so must we

It's Thursday, and I'm in my flat on my own, so I thought it would be a good chance to blog without interruption! I'm currently listening to the new Soul Survivor album, which is incredible! I've had it since it came into the offices at church, so a little while longer than you. :P I've just completed a HUGE pile of washing up, hung up my wet clothes and tidied around bit. We seem to not find time to do this too much, we're all pretty busy! The dishes get done at most, every other day. Disgusting but cannot be helped.

The title of all my posts I'm going to make a quote or lesson I've learnt recently, and I'll explain it at the bottom, so if you want to read it or not, that's your choice. :)

Today we had our second day of teaching with Andy this week, our first being on Tuesdays. I tell you honestly, my mind is frazzled. Heavy stuff! But so inspiring and encouraging. I've never been academic, and as we all know, unmotivated to do any work at school... but teaching here is so different! I want to be here first things first, secondly I'm eager to learn more about the bible and Christianity. I suppose those two are quite imposing factors.
We've currently doing Apologetics and the themes throughout the Bible. I prefer Apologetics, it's all about the 'big' questions a lot of Christians find difficult to answer; "If God is all-loving and all-powerful, why is there suffering?", "How can you know the truth, when you haven't tried other alternatives? there can't be just one true religion", "Are all other religions completely wrong?" and "What about people who never hear of Jesus?". Tough stuff.
I love Apologetics because it's so relevant, I've been asked many times about suffering and how I know it's real and the likes, but answering is something on another level. Growing up in a Christian school, is much more difficult than it sounds; as a generalisation, a lot of people have already made their mind up about God, their views, gone through suffering and blamed God and asked why. Christians were a minority in a Christian school, so it's very difficult for people to understand why we believe what we believe, if we've experienced similar things. The difference is truth. So having teaching on this stuff, gives me a better answer, if not, a good lot of food for thought.
The themes in the bible are about the different threads running through the whole 66 books; the Covenant thread, Jesus in the Old Testament, the Kingdom thread and the Worship thread. Obviously, it's all important stuff, but it's so much heavier, I'd have to look over my notes two or three times to really get it.

Finally we've been placed in our Cell groups, which was exciting, because for me, I've never been part of one at LVC, so getting a chance to know people in the church is really exciting. I've been put in Andy and Beth Croft's cell, which is even more exciting! Cells are on a Wednesday night at their house, for Soul Survivor, but tonight I have lifegroup at Dave and Janey's for Explore church. So I'm part of two cells!! Getting stuck in.

In lighter news, we got locked out of our flat last night! WOO for Ben ford and Flat 4. Ben is a second year who cycled from church to Gordon to let us back in (it's a good 20 minute cycle) and Flat 4 let us (as usual) chill at there's until we could get in. What lovely boys. :)

Rachael is coming to stay at the weekend, which I'm super excited for! I miss her lots, so it'll be lovely to see her and mum for a bit. I'll be taking her around Watford probably and the 7pm service on Sunday. Then saying farewell again until Christmas. :(


PS. They're currently experimenting with swapping warehouses/venues for the 5pm and 7pm on Sundays, so it's a bit cramped but more intimate at the 7pm and the 5pm has much more space! :)

'Jesus came with Grace & truth; so must we'
In John's gospel it's says Jesus came to earth in Grace AND Truth. For us to be like Christ, we have to as well.
Imagine you're in a pub with a non-Christian friend, and he tells you he thinks Christianity is exclusive. You have two extremes of answering; "No it's not, we believe what we believe because it's right, the bible says it's right and Jesus is the way the truth and the life, and not believing in Him will get you into hell." or "You're right mate, it is, everyone will end up in heaven anyway!". Both answers aren't said in Grace and Truth.
The first, is only truth, which, if said like that will anger people and push them further away. The second is only grace, and completely untrue, they won't be angry but they'll believe the wrong thing.
To come with Grace and Truth, you get the right answer and hopefully the right response. To have Grace, you must listen well, ask questions and be gentle.

Thursday, 10 November 2011


Hey guys,

I'd like to apologise, I have blogged twice since 'Go...' but it hasn't saved or sent, which is very annoying! I don't remember what i said either. So, sorry for any confusion or for feeling left in the dark.

So it's now my 12th day in, it has been a wonderful whirlwind! It's so full and crazy. My schedule isn't quite set in stone yet, so my week could change, but it's getting busier! I have mondays off, which is great, because lets face it, no one likes Mondays! Tuesday and Thursday are teaching days, where usually Andy will bombard us with information. Wednesday and Friday I spend at my placement, which is with Explore church, a church planted in Croxley Green by Soul Survivor. Saturday is another day off and Sunday I have to go to Explore for their morning service and either of the evening services at Soul Survivor. So already it is busy!

On top of that, we've got Prayer Triplets with other on the course, however my triplet is actually a quadruplet, where we pray together, talk together and support each other. We've yet to be put in our Cells, because Andy was training for Ordination last week, so we'll get our groups this week hopefully. Then we'll get chances to be in Accountability groups, Mentoring and get involved in everything to do with the church!

Last Friday (4th) Soul Survivor had an event called Live At The Barn, where they open their (barn) doors to anyone under 18 and had multiple bands and a DJ playing sets. It was all about having fun! I was put on the inside team, also known as 'Sex Watch Team' - self explanatory. My job was to break up things if they got too 'inappropriate', stop heavy moshing and dance... all night! It was SO much fun! I haven't danced so much in ages! We had to encourage dancing too, so we couldn't just bounce or act 'cool', we had to really go for it.

This week just gone, we were really given our duties in placement; mine include organising and sorting out the Explore Fridays, which are an after school club on a Friday, for primary aged kids. I have to come up with about 12 different activities for them, including an assortment of crafts and games, oversee the whole afternoon and improve each one. I'm also getting stuck in with a lot of the creative stuff that goes on at Explore, I'll be designing logos, heading up the Christmas decorations, which is wonderful! I get an outlet for my creativity. :)
Being at Explore church does involve a lot of kids work, which isn't particularly what I wanted to do, I felt a calling to Youth work, but I'm where God wants me and I'm not up for moaning about it. I feel that serving is the best way to lead. I'm not to be serve, but to serve. Andy says, 'The only way up, is down'. Even if I'm washing up for 2 hours straight (which happened on Friday), I'm happy.

On Thursday, all of the girls on Soul61 met at one of the houses for an encouraging evening with Beth and Andy croft, Jo Woodman and all the other ladies. It will become a twice termly thing for Soul Survivor to learn how to encourage us as Women in Leadership! We'll have Ali Martin and Rachel Hughes teaching us and sharing a bit of knowledge about how to be the best we can be.

On a lighter note, I'm finally learning the guitar! After putting it off for a good year and a half, I've picked it up and it's not been back in it's case for a week! It helps a huge amount that between 15 of us in Gordon, there are about 8 guitars and a huge amount of musicians always ready to help. :)
I also just wrote a shopping list! Which is crazy... I'm turning into my mum! Which is a good thing of course. We're aiming, as a flat to spend about £60 on food a week, which is £20 each. Keeping us fed and energised.

Speak to you soon!