Friday, 31 July 2009


C H Spurgeon's "Evening" meditation last night, from his "Morning and Evening" readings (this is the edition I'm using) seemed so good and so encouraging in its exposition of Jesus' awesome promise from John 6.37 that I simply had to share it. Before your eyes glaze over or you stop reading because it isn't "your thing" all I can say is give Jesus a chance - find out what he really said, who he really was, before dismissing him out of hand on a few scraps of hearsay and misconceptions. Lecture over!

"Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6.35-40 (NIV)

Spurgeon, Evening 30th July:

“Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” KJV

John 6.37

No limit is set to the duration of this promise. It does not merely say, “I will not cast out a sinner at his first coming,” but, “I will in no wise cast out.” The original reads, “I will not, not cast out,” or “I will never, never cast out.” The text means, that Christ will not at first reject a believer; and that as he will not do it at first, so he will not to the last.

But suppose the believer sins after coming? “If any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” But suppose that believers backslide? “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.” But believers may fall under temptation! “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” But the believer may fall into sin as David did! Yes, but he will “Purge them with hyssop, and they shall be clean; he will wash them and they shall be whiter than snow;” “From all their iniquities will I cleanse them.”

“Once in Christ, in Christ forever,

Nothing from his love can sever.”

“I give unto my sheep,” saith he, “eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” What sayest thou to this, O trembling feeble mind? Is not this a precious mercy, that coming to Christ, thou dost not come to One who will treat thee well for a little while, and then send thee about thy business, but he will receive thee and make thee his bride, and thou shalt be his forever? Receive no longer the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the spirit of adoption whereby thou shalt cry, Abba, Father! Oh! the grace of these words: “I will in no wise cast out.”

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Tonight we shall start with a little rant or moan, call it what you will. I am sick of healthy, able bodied, independent, if not overly wealthy, people moaning that they are bored, have nothing to do and can't think of what to do. If I were healthy and able bodied, even if I had no money, and I had an empty day, I would have so, so many things I would do. Go to the park, visit the library and learn something new, bake a cake, try out a new recipe and cook a lovely dinner, learn a new skill, go running, go for a long walk to see where I find on the way, call up a friend, write a letter or email to someone I haven't been in touch with lately, write, draw, create... so many ideas. But the difference for me is that I can't physically do it. Right now if I do pretty much any more than resting all day I'm so completely wiped and feel so appallingly awful. This isn't supposed to be a pity party. But I think having a zillion and one things you want to be doing, but can't physically do gives you a new perspective on boredom.

In the meantime I will do my best to cultivate patience with my fellow man, let's just say I'm a slow learner. Although according to an advert for a mobile phone I saw this evening, "impatience is a virtue". This slogan, along with the hedonistic lifestyle the advert advocated, made me think about the lies and false values that predominate in our society. In the Bible patience is highly commended - look at figures such as Joseph, Abraham and Job all men of faith and great patience, prepared to trust God against all the odds. Patience is also described as one of the "fruits of the Spirit" (Galations 5.22-3). I pray that as Christians we can stand out against this society and show that there is another way, show hedonism for the empty destruction that it is. I pray that we can show an attractive, positive alternative to our empty society, show Jesus' love. All too often I'm aware of how well adapted I am to this world, not to stand out, my instinct is always not to ruffle feathers or cause waves, sometimes this is a good thing - there is no point being outwardly and deliberately provocative and offensive in a negative manner. But I do want my life and my values to be very deliberately different and distinctive. I want to bring that aroma of Christ (see 2 Corinthians c. chapter 5) to those around me, to shine with His light, love like He does. Then maybe little by little you and I and Christ can change the world?

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Some amazing music

Help me to want you - very much a prayer song

By your side - Tenth Avenue North - about how God is always there for us, despite us not always noticing

Wait and See - Brandon Heath - God does have a plan for our lives, despite how messed up it all seems from our perspective

Always - Building 429 Has the most amazing refrain:
"'Cuz I believe always always
Our Savior never fails
Even when all hope is gone
God knows our pain and His promise remains
He will be with you always"


Thursday, 9 July 2009

Why should having a great evening make me feel down? How does that work? There's certainly no logic that I can recognise in it. I love being among people, in a warm, living, laughing, talking group of people. You can see why Jesus loved to sit down and eat with people, sharing, talking, conviviality, belonging, however briefly. It's very redolent of both his humanity and his divinity.

For me it's a rare occurrence. Aside from going to knitting group I've not seen anyone outside my family in a while, partly my own fault, I've not initiated any contact, partly circumstances - by the time I've finished dealing with my parents on a daily basis I don't have much "social" energy left; I simply want to be by myself and away from the world. I have a strong inner-hermit. Also lovely though it is to be invited to events such as bbqs I don't have the energy and that's that really. Not a lot you can do about it.

All this is on my mind because on Saturday two dear friends are getting married and although invited I'm not able to be there. This cuts me up inside. I know if I went I'd just be a nuisance (who wants a sick person who can't keep up and is tired all the time at their wedding?!), feel like the spectre at the feast and be so so sick both then and afterwards from overdoing it. I simply can't go and that's life, but it still hurts. My plan for dealing with this day had been to ask Amy if she wanted to do something, to be occupied instead of moping. But that can't happen for obvious reasons. It was her birthday last Sunday, made me very sad.

Re-reading some of my diaries I realised how much Amy and I saw of one another, she's mentioned almost daily in the time leading up to last Christmas, either seeing one another, or speaking to one another or something that she was doing that day.

On top of this I'm finding my mother very stressful right now, even to be around. She hasn't been managing her health well and I find that very frustrating, particularly as she then moans about the situation she's created. She has a strong vein of melodrama running through her that spills out into every circumstance at all times of day. Even things that should be simple, like making some lunch, can become long, drawn out and stressful. I need a way to cope with her. And with the anger inside me, pent up frustration, fury...

Then there's all the confusion around my own health, bizarre blood test results, inflamed joints and doctors' appointments. I don't know if anything will come of any of it, in a way it's raising my hopes that we might find something that we can do something about and in another way leaving me plagued with fears and anxieties. No matter how hard one tries they still escape to haunt you occasionally, keeping the lid on the box is next to impossible.

I'm trying to trust Jesus. I know God knows what He has planned for me. I know that in the end it will be ok. I know that He will never leave me. But from here it all looks fairly bleak, empty, pointless even. What point is there to my life right now? What am I supposed to be doing?

Been listening to "Always" by Building 429, would recommend it
The chorus goes:

"But I believe always always
Our Savior never fails
Even when all hope is gone
God knows our pain and His promise remains
He will be with you always"

I know this, I want to trust Him, I want to walk with Him, take up my cross and follow Him, but I'm struggling.

Friday, 3 July 2009

A couple of poems I wrote a while ago

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players”
As You Like It, Shakespeare

Waiting in the wings of the world
Standing, watching, waiting for my turn to come:
Straining eagerly to hear my cue.
Yet it’s always the bridesmaid and never the bride
As I stand in the quiet and the dust,
Waiting in the wings of the world
For my time to come.

Once I too was out there on the stage of life,
Playing my part,
Taking for granted the bright, easy companionship in the limelight of being alive.
Now I stand alone in the shadows, a part-lit, part-life.

They are so near and yet my body cannot cross the gulf.
Life is close enough to touch and yet unreachable.
Yet my day must come, when I too will slip back onto the stage
And take my part once more?

For now I am waiting in the wings of the world
Surrounded by the ghosts of what once was
And what is to be.


And another from that same month:

Another minute another stitch
In another row of many other rows.

Another hour another row
While interminable indistinguishable tinned laughter
Accompanies indiscernible mediocre actors
On their futile adventures behind the dusty glass.

Another day and it’s the same
And so they silently slip past
Until another week sneaks away
Measurable only in inches of rows of stitches.

So I’ll sit and knit while the days drone by
And watch the repeat of a repeat
Of a programme first aired in 1972
But it’s better than silence.


Air on some familliar themes

First off, today has been a rather bad day for missing Amy. Had some bad dreams last night about her funeral, only not the one that actually happened, some other one, it was all very muddled and muddling. Some days I can't believe ever had a friend like Amy, a friendship that fantastic and I think "what did I ever have to moan about then, how lucky was I? To have a friend like Amy". Though to be fair to myself things were still hard, it's just she made hard times so much more bearable, enjoyable times so much more enjoyable.

Add to this ever increasing illness and debility, how many more diagnoses is it possible for one person to have??? Again to balance this out the heat this week has, for the first time ever, made me feel better, not worse. Moving is so much easier in the warm weather. Whereas any contact with cold (e.g. being near the chiller cabinets in the supermarket, my newly washed hair drying down my back etc.) causes pain. My previous plans for moving to the north of Scotland to avoid hot weather have been shelved and I'm currently mulling over plans to move somewhere hot, preferably with a non-humid heat. This is being weighed up against the fewer opportunities for knitting living in such a place would entail. Such questions, even when deeply hypothetical, are nonetheless important to consider.

Despite feeling a little better for the past few days I am still rather down about general circumstances and all the things that happen that rub my circumstances in still further. Like two of my dear friends who are getting married in a bit over a week. Predictably I'm not well enough to go (nor for that matter do I have the money but that's academic) and as the day approaches I'm feeling fairly down about it. There are loads of people I haven't seen since university who will be at the wedding so I'm not just missing my friends' big day, but a reunion with them too. That in turn reminds me how little I see of anybody and how isolated I feel and on it goes. And yes, before you ask, I am trying not to mope! I may not be succeeding too well, but I'm trying.

Story of my life that is, trying. Trying to cope, trying not to mope (rhyme unintentional), trying to trust Jesus, trying to keep in touch with people, trying to do as much as I can whilst not overdoing it etc. etc.

In other news our fish in the pond are doing well, growing nicely, eating their food with keen appetite. I've been working on a sunhat in gorgeous, gorgeous yarn - Nikkim by Vinni's Colours, bought from Purlescence It's a teals mix, just my perfect colours. Having had a good browse in Waterstones Croydon today I can vouch for the efficacy of their air conditioning, it was lovely. And I was good and didn't buy the dozen or so books I could easily have bought. I managed to wash my hair today, this counts as a major victory and achievement!

I'll finish with a verse from the Bible that I think is rather awesome:
"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
who daily bears our burdens" Psalm 68.19

Over and out.