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I just got back from what was my last ever Hallam Christian Union meeting.

They got me a cake and present to say goodbye, it was really touching.

I got home and sat down at my desk and then realised that that was the end. Like, the end end. And I just sat there and cried.

Not because I’m not going to get to go to another meeting or because I’m desperate to stay at Hallam, but because I’m so amazed and so thankful at how much God has used Hallam CU to change me. It’s been a massive part of my life for the last 5 years and being there both as a student and as a Relay worker has left a mark on me that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

I’ve learnt and done so much, made so many lasting friendships, been so challenged and tried my hardest to encourage others and to share the gospel. And at the end of it, all I can do is sit here and cry, in awe of God’s love and goodness.

I’ll never be the same, thanks to so many things and so many people. I am sincerely and eternally grateful to those people and to God. They, and ultimately he, has shown me grace, helped me to understand the astounding truth of the gospel and left me standing in the amazing certainty that I am forever to be loved and redeemed by God.

It’s the sweetest and the most shocking thing that my heart shall ever know.

And there’s such peace and joy from it that I don’t quite know what to do with myself!

My leaving words to Hallam are that of Philippians 1:3-11:

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.

I so pray that they would all truly know and experience God’s grace for themselves, and that they’d go on into the next year bold and courageous, confident that the gospel they have to share is truth and life to all who hear and accept it.

God, thank you SO much for all your mercies, patience, gentleness, love and care and most of all thank you for Jesus, without whom I would still be a lost sinner, outside of your loving forgiveness and grace. But because of his sacrifice on my behalf I can come before you, forgiven and clothed in his righteousness. I don’t have anything worthy of you, but in thanks and gratefulness for this grace, all I can do is offer my praise and give you my life. It’s yours for eternity.


I’ve got to the end of this post and have re-read it and I’m not crying anymore.

Instead there’s a little smile that’s crept onto my face.

It’s all just fond memories now 🙂

Rediscovery

Ok, so it’s not like I forgot I had it and therefore technically not ‘rediscovery’, but I hadn’t played my violin for ages… until today. Probably because I fell in love with my cello. But anyway, today, after geting tired of reading about millenialism, I got it out and had a go at a few jigs and reels.

I SO wish I’d played these years ago, then I would never have given up on playing. It’s much more fun than typical music for the violin, I love it. All the pieces are really repetitive so the best way of learning is by hearing the piece loads of times and repeating bits until you get the hang of it. I did have the music too, but I made a point of trying to play it from memory. Great fun.

Some of the best ones I did were Drowsy Maggie, Jackie Coleman’s Reel, Toss the Feathers and Lough Erin Shore. I knew the last from from hearing The Corrs’ Unplugged album and I really like them!

Here are the Corrs doing Toss the Feathers:

Here’s a bit of Jackie Coleman’s Reel for you:

Isaiah 1-6 Wordle

Back in January, at the Relay 2 conference, we studied Isaiah chapters 1-6. I was blown away by it.

And I just came across Wordle. A wordle is a ‘word cloud’ that gives greater prominence to the words that appear most frequently in a text. My friend Mark did one of the book of Proverbs and I wondered what it would be like for Isaiah 1-6. I smiled when I saw the result, although I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. Once again I was reminded of how much bigger the Lord is than us people.

To those who have asked this question:

“This is what faith is – it is personally knowing Christ; it is understanding who he is and what he has done for us in such a way that we put all our trust and reliance in him.”

It’s not blind hope,  wishful thinking or just a comfort blanket. It’s real and it comes through knowing Christ and through understanding. It’s not unattainable.

Try reading an account of Jesus’ life and see for yourself who he is.

Even if you’re already a Christian and just feel like you’re lacking faith: read a gospel and pray that God would help you to see the truth of who he is again.

Don’t hope for a mystical experience, just open your eyes and see Jesus.

If you like chocolate,  drinking tea out of pretty china cups, or anything from Cath Kidston, you will LOVE Cocoa.

I can’t believe it’s taken me all this time to discover it.

Cocoa is Sheffield’s very own fancy Chocolate Shop; a perfect location to spend an hour or two sipping tea with some of your lady friends. It even has a book club, and a knitting club too.

I’ve always thought Ecclesall Road was great, but now I’m certain that it is absolutely FABULOUS and I shall be sure to make a few more trips there very soon.

Take a look at Cocoa’s website, or even better, go there yourself!

Where to next?

This question seems to be hanging over nearly every aspect of my life at the moment, especially thinking about what life will bring after I finish Relay at the end of June. But for this post I’m wondering about my cello (surprise!).

I’m not trying to blow my own trumpet, but I did find picking up the basics pretty easy and was playing pieces that are grade 3 after just a couple of months of learning. But now I’m not really sure what to do next. I’ve played a lot of the pieces in my books, as well as quite a few I’ve got from the Internet, but in the slightly more ‘technical’ book that I have, the next stages are ones I’m not ready for (like learning tenor clef, harmonics etc) so I’m not really sure what to try. I don’t want to keep playing the same pieces from the same books all the time because I’ll end up getting bored, but I can’t afford lessons to have a teacher tell me how to improve either.

Hmm.

Rubbing It In

I wasn’t even trying to rub in the fact that I had hot cross buns and my sister doesn’t. I was actually trying to be nice and let her know I was thinking of her when she’s so far away while I stuffed my face with warm spicy goodness.

I sent her this message:

‘Just in case you feel like you’re missing out on English Easterness I’m eating a hot cross bun on your behalf. Mmmm. xx

And the almost immediate response all the way from Zambia was:

‘Just incase you feel you’re missing out on sunshine and heat I lay by the pool and went swimming, getting a tan all day on your behalf xx’

Typical sister response! I can’t win! haha