26 4 / 2013
We don’t really live in a world where it’s okay to rest. It seems like business is the ultimate state of productivity, and rest is equated to weakness.
Today I was listening to a talk, and this thought really stuck out to me.
‘We replace fruitfulness with business’
I’ve just experienced what I’m pretty sure has been my quietest week of Soul 61 so far. I’ve had a mere 1 day of placement and half a day of teaching! To be completely honest I did start to go a little bit mad… But then I started to think.
I thought about my tenancy towards business, and how much I feel useless when I’m not doing anything. I’m starting to realise that it really isn’t ideal.
This mind set has really effected the way that I’ve approached my placement this year, because our placement days are all over the place because it’s so new. I’m a fan of a routine, so this definitely bothered me at the beginning of the year, but I’m beginning to think that my approach to it all might have been a but wrong.
If I look back on the last few years of my life, they’ve been mostly exam orientated, and very very busy. When I was studying for the last year of my a-levels particularly, I really threw myself into it but this turned into working myself into the ground by the summer.
I was reading Psalm 23 recently, and suddenly it dawned on me that God has been blessing me in the very things I’ve been getting frustrated over.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.”
For me, the important word here is ‘Makes’.
‘He makes me lie down in green pastures’
This is a really apt picture of what God has to do sometimes. It’s certainly apt with me, because often God has to bring me to places where I can’t help but hear his telling me, in that fatherly way, that I really need to take a break.
“Christie. Stop busying yourself, and rest.”
A big part of this year has been the green pasture. I’m feeling so blessed to be in this environment, and it was by God’s grace that I’ve ended up here.
Going back to the fruitfulness/business thing for a second, from this I’ve also been learning the following. We can be busy, but that doesn’t make us fruitful. True fruitfulness comes from working in harmony with God, at his pace, and in his timing. Nothing we do outside of his plan will ever be as fruitful as it would be if we were in step with him.
And as a result of that, when he says “Rest”, that’s what needs to happen. We can try to carry on, with a “Look at how good I’m doing God, I’m pushing through anyway!!” kind of approach, when what he’s doing is beckoning us to a lay down in a green pasture for a while.
So on the days where I have nothing to do, I thank God now the same as I thank him when I can be proactive. Because I know that he uses everything for his purposes, and I’m going to make the most of however the rest of my time here turns out - Be that busy or not!
A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
14 4 / 2013
So it’s April, meaning that we’ve passed the half way point of Soul 61. 6 months down, and 4 to go. Unbelievable!
God has done so much already, and I’m excited to see how the rest of our time unfolds. In terms of placement, things are starting to pick up a bit which is nice. My general week now looks like this;
I spend Monday working as a TA in the primary school that St Paul’s is attached to with a year 5 class. On some Wednesdays we do Messy church or something like that, and shadowing happens on Friday. It’s definitely been an up hill struggle at times, but I personally really feel a part of the church now, and I’m grateful to be a part of such a loving congregation. Sometimes they’re still taken aback when we offer to be on the coffee rota, or want to come to the PCC, but slowly they’re getting used to the idea that our role there is to serve them, and that we actually want to do it!
I’ve really enjoyed the shadowing that I’ve done so far, as well shadowing my placement vicar Ysmena I’ve been shadowing some other ministers around the area and getting their thoughts about the ordination process.
I think styles of leadership is the things that I’ve learnt the most about since I’ve been here. It sounds a bit ridiculous to say this, since I am doing a ‘leadership course’, but I’m surprised by how much I’m learning without really noticing. The main thing I’ve found on this course is that I’m constantly seeing things that I’m mulling over in my brain, so when I shadow someone, it gets a whole process started around how this person leads, and whether I would do it this way or a different way, and why. I love how much wisdom these people have and I’m really enjoying being able to store that away and thing about how it is that I want to lead.
I came back from New Zealand a couple of days ago, and it was such an amazing experience to share with 36 other 61s. We started off serving at Easter Camp, which is a annual camp for young people where they spend 4 days meeting with God and generally having fun. There was about 4000 young people there this year, and I served on the kids team with 3 other girls. It was really good to see how they do things over there, and even though it was different to what we’re used to there was a lot that we took from being there. We were hosted by a really hospitable youth group who we had a lot of fun with, and it was so encouraging to see them meeting with God over the weekend.
When we left Easter Camp we spent some time travelling around the North Island, and we saw some amazing places. We went to Huka Falls at Roturua, Lake Taupo, Fielding, and the Coromandel Peninsula among other places. It was such a beautiful country! We spent the rest of the time in a small group in Aukland with our Pastor, and we had the opportunity to go with him to St Paul’s church Aukland. He taught at all 3 services on the Sunday, and we were able to pray for people during ministry time and fellowship with the people in the congregation over lunch, which was very cool.
Overall, it was an incredible trip and I feel so so blessed that I was able to go.
So I think I could sum up the first half of this course as really challenging and stretching, but such an absolute blessing at the same time.
I’ll leave you with some pictures of very attractive New Zealand!
21 2 / 2013
Updates this year have been sparse! My bad.
So, I guess that the important news is that I now have my place at Bible College, and some kind of plan is beginning to come together for next year! Yes God!
It feels about wrong to be talking about the end of Soul 61 already, because I am genuinely having such a good time! I am so grateful that God has let me in on his plans for the my future, because I think he’s well aware if how much I would panic if I didn’t known where I was headed… But this has got me thinking that, if anything, what I’d like to take away from this year is more of the ability to trust God when I’m not really sure what’s happening.
Even though I have my Bible College place, I’m still clueless as to where I’m going to live/work, but I’m strangely okay with that. He’s already shown that he is by far capable of taking care of me, and I feel like in the future I want to be able to teach about his provision having really experienced it.
So that’s just a thought I’ve been having!
I’m home at the moment, and I’m excited about getting back to Watford because I’m going to start looking into discernment (where people decide whether it’s right for you to be a vicar…) And then I’ll have a better idea of what the future is going to look like for me. I think that getting to grips with CofE stuff has been the main thing that’s gone on this term. Mostly because there’s so much ‘stuff’ to get to grips with, and I’m not even close yet!
Bear in mind that I went into this knowing absolutely nothing about the Church of England, beyond the fact that it’s been around a while and their minister’s have collars. All I really had was a belly feeling that I was supposed to be doing ministry in this church, and not a lot else…
This last couple of months has been a challenge, because there have been times when I’ve felt like a sense if calling (even one strong enough to make me rearrange my life and change all my future plans) wasn’t enough. Initially, I thought that getting ‘in’ to the CofE basically requires jumping through many hoops, and agreeing to wear the right coloured scarf during the right part of the church season.
2 months on, I’m starting to realise that I got it totally wrong.
Recently I’ve learnt that if the 7 categories that assess you in during discernment, a ‘strong sense of call’ (so basically a good strong belly feeling) is the only one you can’t fail. One of my initial questions was ‘Well, if I know I’m called, why do I need to spend years of discernment explaining that to other people!?’, and I’m starting to see now that it’s not the church trying to trip me up and make me doubt what I feel like God’s calling me to.
The reality is that they want the best for everyone that gets through discernment, because they don’t want to end up with a minister in the wrong place any more then I want to be miserable serving in totally the wrong church. They are rigorous in seeking God, as well as making sure that the candidates are doing the same.
And the more I learn about the CofE, the more thing I find that I really love. This is one of them: So, when you work in a church, you’re part of a Parish with a couple of other Vicars, and there’s no area in England that isn’t part of a Parish. The Vicar has responsibility for that Parish, and they can never choose to not go and do out reach in an area because it’s too difficult, or too expensive. It’s their job to ,move every square inch of that a parish.
This also means that no one is ever left out, every single person in England has a vicar whose job it is to get alongside them, any time they need it. I love how inclusive that is!
Don’t get me wrong, there’s stuff that I still don’t have worked out, like what am I going to do if one Sunday I wake up, and I don’t feel like wearing a Cassock? And why are there so many dresses any way? Is that in the Bible?? Who knows, but hopefully the wheels will start turning and I’ll get to work more of these things out soon.
In the next couple of weeks, I get to go to a healing service, evening prayer, a wedding rehearsal, and the Women’s World Day of Prayer as part of my shadowing, so I’m seeing loads of different aspects of CofE ministry.
Even though sometimes I still feel like a fish out of (baptismal) water, God is being so good and so kind and I am loving how he’s set this all up out of a situation that seemed like it was going no where!
Love what he’s doing at the moment :)
P.s. the issues I’ve encountered so far in my ethical clothing/charity shopping adventure include; needing new pyjamas, and swim wear! More on that to follow…
01 1 / 2013
With 6 very busy weeks of Soul 61 down, being home has given me an opportunity to process what I’ve actually been learning. One of the things that the leadership team seem to encourage us in is finding our own identity in leadership. We can try to be as good a communicator as someone else, or pray in the same way as them or mirror the way they lead people, but in reality God wants to use each of in our own. If God wanted someone different to do it, he would have called someone different to do it. Although there’s nothing wrong with looking up to other leaders and being eager to learn from them, we go wrong when we neglect the things that will make our leadership role our own.
Slight pre-amble there, but the reason for it is this; It’s made me think a lot about the kind of leader that I actually want to be.
Recently we had some teaching about global justice from some of the people who run Soul Action (The charity partnership between Soul Survivor and Tearfund), and it felt a lot like the last straw for me in terms of God really breaking my heart for the exploitation of other human beings so that we can carry on in our ruthless consumerist society in the west. I started to become really aware that as Christian we have a role to play in this a couple of years ago, when I went on a short course called ‘Fresh Leadership’. Some people from Tearfund came and gave us the facts about the state of exploitation in the fashion industry particularly, and encouraged us to read a book called ‘Lift the label’ by David Westlake and Esther Stansfield. When I was confronted by all this I felt completely overwhelmed by the desperateness of the situation, and honestly I didn’t know where to start, or if I could make a difference. For me this particular area is a challenge, because I really really like clothes…
I went away from this making small changes, but nothing particularly significant because I hadn’t really connected with the need that existed. Then I started coming across things in the words of Jesus that seriously bothered me. I was learning that, as a recent video on the Tearfund Rhythms village put it ‘Jesus was a revolutionary’.
There are more than 300 verses in the Bible that call us to care for the poor, and Jesus was’t kidding when he said that in his kingdom ‘The last will be first’.
Having said all this, I am well aware that what I’m planning to do is not that drastic. But it’s a start. Last night I woke up in the middle of the night with this verse on my mind; ‘Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ (Romans 12:2), and I really feel like this is the root why I’m doing this. We’re supposed to be different, and our choices are supposed to reflect this.
So here are the rules;
1) No buying brand new clothes (Including accessories) from high street shops
2) Clothes must be second hand. Charity shops are the first port of call, but flea markets, vintage shops, recycled clothing, ebay and Asos Market place are also okay.
3) If some kind of obscure case arises where I really really have to buy something new, it will be ethically sourced. Eg, from a fair trade cotton source (But I am honestly trying to avoid this).
4) I will also be looking into the ethics of anything electrical I buy, and going for the most ethical providers I can find.
My adventures will include; making shoes last a long time, and trying to find an ethical source from which to buy underwear…
People have told me off for this idea, telling me that children who are forced to work in awful conditions for a tiny amount of pay are better off than if they were on the streets. I suppose this point can be argued, but giving these children the opportunity to have an education and a better chance in life is infinitely better than either of those options. Obviously a balance has to be found here, that’s why I’m also committing to support charities like Compassion, Water Aid and Tearfund in what ever way I can.
I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no way that we as Christians can ignore the state of the world and the inequalities that we see all around us. I don’t want to be the kind of leader who is ignorant of the things that are breaking God’s heart. If I’m going to be a leader at all, I want to lead people into a realization that we should and can do something. I want to be the kind of leader who shows God’s heart in all this, and even if I’m not going to change the world, that’s no reason not to try. The responsibility belongs to all of us.
So here I go, off into my adventure of attempting to live a little bit more ethically!
29 12 / 2012
I might as well rename this the Ephesians 3:20 blog, because here it comes again…
“Now to him, who is able to do abundantly more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory…”
Having arrived home after my first 6 weeks of Soul 61, I’ve been able to have some head space and actually think about what God has been saying over these last couple of weeks.
When we move into a new stage in life, it’s natural for us to have certain expectations, and to some extent anticipate how things are going to turn out. But I’ve been wondering how, as Christians, we are supposed to deal with the expectations that we have, and those that are forced on us by society.
When I started Soul 61, I had certain expectations. I expected that I would be able to throw myself into my placement straight away, I expected the church to be a certain way, and I expected certain things of my whole experience.
My experience was very different to my expectations, and there are times in life when we find that if we hadn’t had such specific expectations in the first place, we might not be so taken aback when things take a different direction.
I think that what I’m learning is that God doesn’t take too kindly to our expectations. The reality is that his plan for our lives is infinitely better than anything we could come up with ourselves, and when we come to him with a list of tick-box expectations we arn’t doing our selves any favors. When we create a strict list of expectations in our minds, it’s almost as if we are saying to God that his plans arn’t quite good enough for us and that we’re perfectly fine to take the wheel on this one.
What Ephesians 3:20 reminds us is that his ways are ‘higher than our ways’ (Isaiah 55:9), and even when we give ourselves brain ache by imagining our most wonderful and insane dreams, the fact is that God can still do ‘Abundantly more’.
So, expectations are limiting, and really not all that good for us. Expectancy, on the other hand is something very different!
Let me give you an example; while I was fundraising, I might have expected God to provide me with the money by making me win the lottery. Now, I might have spent all my time doing scratch cards, when I could have been writing letters and applying for grants and doing other things as the opportunities presented themselves. But I wouldn’t have done that if I had been too wrapped up in the way that I expected God to do something. I didn’t have specific expectations in terms of how it would happen, but because God is who he is, I was expectant that it would happen (Some how).
Obviously there are times when God makes us specific promises, and we can rightly expect him to fulfill them. When we commit our lives to a creative and loving God, there’s no reasonable way that we can’t expect him to do great things. For me, I want to live an Ephesians 3:20 life, being in a constantly expectant state. Rather than demanding sequences of events, we need to be looking to our Father God expectantly and asking ‘what’s next?’.
Our placement is certainly a challenge, because it’s so different to anything I’ve ever experienced before. It would be easy for us to become disheartened by the logistical issues that prevent the church doing certain things, but actually we have to hold on to the fact that God put us there for a reason. He has a plan and a purpose, and once you step inside his will, you can be confident in expecting great things to happen, even when we’re not entirely sure what that looks like….
I’m really going to try to keep this updated more regularly in the new year!
John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life, and have it in abundance.”
26 11 / 2012
Greetings from Watford!
The last couple of weeks have been a little bit crazy, so I’ve been a very bad blog keeper and only just made time for this!
So here’s a little bit about what’s going on;
There’s 52 of us on the course, and we’re basically like a little tribe. Being in a new church is hard, but having so many other people around in the same position is such a comfort. Getting to know the congregation is really important, so we’re all making an effort to meet people outside of Soul 61. I need to get some church old people in my life, I miss my life group and church grandparents! I’ve been very blessed to get lots of cards and emails from people at my home church, it’s been such an encouragement!
Moving in was a mad rush of trying to fit the boxed up lives of 5 girls into one house, as well as Sophie’s blockbuster-rivaling dvd collection… I love our house! We have two bathrooms and, praise God, a dishwasher!!!
My first Sunday at church was honestly the weirdest/best experience of my life. I think being stood in the middle of the congregation and being amazed at actually being there will stick with me for life!
When we started sharing the ways that we all ended up on the course at teaching, the thing that got me is the amount of obstacles that God moved to get us all here! Obviously the finance thing was massive for everyone, and between all of us we’ve raised or been given over £223,000! How insane is that!? Aside from the financial stuff, people were coping with visa issues, and dropping out of uni places when they felt God calling them to the course.
Just before I left home, one of the most challenging things that someone said to me was this ‘You don’t get to decide the things that you’re willing to do to serve God’. This piece of advice was given to me by my house group leader in response to my complaining about the possibility of having to do kids work as part of my placement. At the time I was pretty challenged by this, but I put it to the back of my mind because of the madness of preparing to move out.
Once again, I am finding out how much my Father in heaven really enjoys a bit of irony! So I get here, and find that there is no placement for either myself or the other 9 people on my placement team… This has occurred for lots of reasons which arn’t the fault of our course leaders, but it is a little bit disappointing. So I’ve found myself at a little bit of a loose end, and because I’m a massive Hunter-Warrior (For more on that, Google ‘Myers Briggs personality test’) I’ve been going a little bit insane because all I really wanted to do was serve the church and be productive.
So, of course, the opportunity that presented itself was in kids work. You know, the thing that I was adamant I would never do because I would be terrible at it, and the kids would hate me, etc, etc excuses, etc…
Thus far, I havn’t made any children cry and I can officially state that I quite like little people!
So I guess the first thing I’ve learnt here is that serving God properly often comes in forms that we don’t expect, and might not be entirely comfortable with… But we still have to embrace all of this stuff, because often these will be the things that are most rewarding if we throw ourselves into them. Jesus likes to challenge us like this!
Matthew 20:16 16 `In the same way, people who are last will be first, and those who are first will be last.’
02 11 / 2012
I thought I’d write a little bit about what I’m going to be spending the next 10 months doing, because now I actually know!
Origionally I had thought that Explore Church was the right place for me, because over the summer I really felt that church plants are an area of ministry that God wants me to be involved with in the future. When I was at Soul Survivor I spent some time speaking to people who had done Soul 61, and the way they talked about Explore made me think that it was definitely the place for me. So I started praying about placements in general, and I always had Explore at the back of my mind.
A week ago today the placement list came through, and I was sat in my grandparents lounge when I got the email. Explore was the first placement on the list, and I was more than happy with the description of it. So I read it to my Gran telling her that this was the one I had planned on making my first choice. I carried on scrolling through the email, looking at the different things that I could choose, but it was the final one that really caught my eye. Which was this;
“If your heart is to see the church be rebuilt, turned around and flourishing then this placement is for you. This is about the heart of Soul61, “They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated.” (Isa 61:4). You can serve as a catalyst in turning a dying church around. In practice this is going to look like being involved as a team in two local parish churches. Churches that have been on the decline but still have a small congregation. You are going to effectively ‘plant’ a church into these two churches and help God and the new leader breath life back into them. You will need to be up for an adventure, persistent, enthusiastic, determined and sensitive. The ten months could be an amazing opportunity to leave behind a legacy of a flourishing church.”
My precise reaction, to my gran, was something along the lines of “Oh wow… Right… Well… Um…That is very interesting!”
I had a particular feeling in what I can only describe as my ‘Spiritual Gut’, which usually lets me know when something is right, or I need to pursue something. It was the same feeling that I got about applying to Soul 61 in the first place, and when I came across the Bible College that I’m going to apply to. I’m starting to recognize that feeling now as something of a confirmation from God!
So my only decision at this point was which way round to out Explore and Regeneration on my ranking, so I went down to church and waffled to my youth pastor for a while, who (as usual) gave me some very helpful advice. I decided that I obviously had this feeling for a reason, and I had the sense that if I didn’t put it first and got Explore instead, I would always be wondering what the Regeneration team were doing and what was going on with the churches. I felt like in a weird way, I’d connected with the need that existed in the churches and I just had this huge desire to get involved in meeting that need.
So I sent my ranking off, with Regeneration at the top and Explore second, on Saturday afternoon. I spent the 4 days between then and getting my answer day dreaming about all the things we could do with the churches, thinking about prayer meetings, and talking with the congregations about what their vision for the churches was. I was getting more and more excited about discerning God’s heart for these people, but then telling myself off for being a bit previous, since I wasn’t even on the placement yet…
But then came Wednesday, and I am on the placement! I swear my email was one of the last to come through, and I was hopping around my room, with Katie being excited on the phone and my mother shouting “IS IT HERE?? IS IT HERE??” from the kitchen. But out of the insanity came a very happy Christie. I am seriously chuffed to bits. I can’t wait for this opportunity and I’m really excited about the things I’m going to learn. I think one of the things that excited me about it in the first place is the fact that it’s going to prepare me in a really practical way for full time ministry. Being able to understand what an individual church needs, and God’s heart behind that is so important for anyone in ministry, so I’m excited to be taking the first steps.
Tomorrow weirdly feels like the beginning of everything. It may sound like a bit of an over statement, but it’s the first bit of everything that I’ve been thinking about over the last couple of years, so right now I’m very excited, and very grateful to have been brought this far by a very faithful God :)
“Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
34 “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
24 10 / 2012
How did this happen!?
This time 1 year ago, I was shuddering at the thought of saying the wrong thing in my interview, and ruining an opportunity I’d spent the last 2 years thinking about. And now, I’m (Partially) packed, and ready to go! As well as being really excited.
In all fairness, I’ve been excited since the day I got my acceptance email, and along with that came a whole load of impatience!
…which is not a fruit of the spirit. Why didn’t God choose easier fruits of the spirit? If they were impatience, grumpiness, petulance, sleepiness and worrying I would be the fruitiest person in the world!
But in all seriousness, my initial reaction to being confronted with a whole year between getting my place, and actually moving to Watford was to block out everything around me and will it to come faster. However, God wasn’t going to let me get away with that one…
It was when I finished my a-levels, that my impatience got particularly bad. I felt like I had no purpose and nothing to do remaining in Weymouth, and all I focused on was how far away I was from actually being a Soul 61.
Those of you who follow me on twitter will know that I’m a huge podcast junkie. I fill as much of my day as is available with listening to Brian Houston/Joyce Mayer/Erin Clifford/HTB , because I love learning about the Bible and hearing people ‘s teaching on it. It’s my favorite way to absorb bible knowledge. But, I digress. During on of those days I started my morning with a Christine Caine podcast, which was called ‘Honoring the season’…
(I’m sure you can see where this is going.)
Alongside this, I was confronted with the ‘A time for everything…’ section of Ecclesiastes repeatedly, and after a while I started to think that God was trying to tell me something. After praying/thinking/reading I started to re-evaluate my attitude towards what I saw as this massive void between me and Watford. I realised that, in reality, it didn’t have to be a void. It was only a void if I made it one! I realised that God has this time in mind with a purpose, and I was ignore all of the potential because I was being so impatient!
I left this experience feeling pretty humbled, and started to (Sheepishly) pray about what God wanted me to do with the time he’d given me. The answer came when I was at Soul Survivor in August, and I had the weird experience of very suddenly not feeling like a ‘young person’ any more. I mean this in terms of the church definition of ‘youth’ (I’m not implying that I feel middle aged…). I was only there for a couple of days as a leader, but I found myself really wanted to set an example to the youth and invest in them! We saw some of the kids take the first steps into a relationship with Jesus, and I found myself feeling that really deeply. I was so happy for them, and what I wanted above everything else was to see them flourish and really walk with God.
As a slight back story, I’ve always had a running joke with a friend from church that I could never do youth work. This is because I am basically an honorary old person at church. No joke here, rather than going to youth group/youth cell/youth teaching at church, I stayed in adult church every week since I started, went to a cell group where I was 30 years the junior of all the other members, and went to prayer meetings. And I absolutely loved every minute of it! But this led to me having quite a ‘Serious’ experience of church, hence my inability to do youth work.
But guess what God prompted me to start doing. Nice sense of humor there Lord!
So I have found myself over the last 3 months volunteering at 2 new youth groups, trying to build relationships with the kids and do an okay job. It has taken a great deal of prayer, and a great deal of patience, but now I’m so grateful that God gave me this challenge. Even though through this period I’ve been looking forward to Watford, I’ve really had to throw myself into what I’ve been doing and I feel like I’ve learnt so much.
The crux of the talk I listened to that prompted this whole experience was this; Just because you’re going into a new season, and you can see it coming, doesn’t mean you don’t need to continue to honor the season you’re in. You STILL have a job to do, and you don’t know how important that might be!
I don’t know whether I’ve made any considerable difference to the kids I’ve met in this short time, but a lot of the importance was in learning that I need to be available for God to use me whenever and wherever. So I just want to encourage anyone that might be struggling with where they’re at right now; God HAS a purpose for you! Sometimes it just takes some time, or even heinsight, to see it.
With 10 days to go, I’m actually a little bit sad to leave this season. I’ve learnt the value of throwing myself into things, and making the most of them. So I’m determined to make the most of every second of the coming year.
Exciting stuff :)
Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV
“There is a season for everything, and a time for every matter under heaven”
22 10 / 2012
iwanttobethemoon asked: Hi Christie! I got the date for my interview! It's on Wednesday 21st November at 4pm! I'm taking the day off so I can come early enough as well as getting a bit of a lie-in to keep me awake and calm :) Should be good! xx
Awesome! How exciting :D If I’m in church I’ll definitely try and come and say hello. You’ll be fine, honestly. They’re so lovely, and it’s actually really informal and relaxed. They just want to get to know you a bit, and they really pray about it so you can totally trust them to make the right decision! It’s good you have your interview so early on in the year, it gives you more time to prepare practically and spiritually :) But don’t worry about the money; Malachi 3:10 really encouraged me in that!
Good luck, I’m praying for you!! xx
16 10 / 2012
iwanttobethemoon asked: Hey! Me again haha :) I've submitted my application for next years soul61. However I was wondering what sponsors you got? As in who from? I have no idea even who to write to if I get past the interview stage :P xx
Hi Emma! Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. You submitted your application? Yay! That’s brilliant :)
For me, I spent a lot of time reseaching grants I could apply for in my local area, because these are a lot more accessible. So, I applied to my local diocese and got a grant from them, even though I’m Baptist not C of E. So I don’t think denomination matters too much :)
Then I also applied to a local educational grant making trust, and emphasised the theology side of S61. I got another one from a trust through the school I was at, and a lump sum through my church too. There’s a lot availible online, so if you search things like ‘Christian grant making trust’, you’ll find things your eligible for. Another really useful thing to do is write a cover letter for each application, and tailor it to who you’re writing to. Eg, if your writing to an educational non-christian trust, make the main point the fact that you’ll be studying theology 2 days a week, and so on.
I hope all this helps! I had no money at all when I applied which is crazy, but God totally provided for me!
But, good luck!! Let me know how it goes, and when your interview is! I would love to come and say hello :D xxx