Sunday, September 09, 2007

''Are you excited?''

''Are you excited?'' - A question I've been asked about 5 or 6 times this weekend by people referring to my year abroad (which commences 8 days from now :-O)! My answer... ''I think so''... To which I have had some strange looks, looks that seem to be asking me to elaborate...

...So I will! Basically, or prehaps not so basically, life is a funny old thing! (Can i get an amen?!) At the end of my second year of uni I was sooooo gutted about leaving people and people leaving me and just didn't hugely feel like I wanted to go home. I'd gotten used to living with 3 wonderful friends who are christians which undoubtedly kept us accountable and gave us support and excitement about living for God at uni. I had met lots of new friends in their first year and shared soooooo much fun and randomness with them and just had an awesome year. Dont get me wrong, I was looking forward to seeing friends and family, but I knew I would greatly miss all these things amongst others.

Y'know what though, I shouldn't have worried at all :) GOD IS ALWAYS FAITHFUL! He provided a really lovely summer and reminded me that there are great things at home that I would never want to miss out on. Firstly I had an awesome week at a christian youth camp that I lead on every year - I think it was possibly my favourite year so far ever! I had the most challenging tent group in the worrrrld, but at the end of the day it really stretched me, taught me patience and gave me extreme compassion. We also were able to be a part of a good number of teenagers becoming christians and growing in their faith! I felt like I never wanted to leave that legendary Devonshire field and all its views!

But I did. And I came home to more excitement, straight into our church holiday club for primary school aged children which I also led at! To be honest, at first I was like ''hmmm, well it'll be fun but surely those children wont take much in about God, there wont be any extreme conversations, but just more like a week-long party'' Oh how I should have had more faith!! The week was awesome and I was continually blown away by the 50 or 60ish kids, most non-churched, who just came out with all these awesome things they were learning about God and how great He is! Fab! Whats even greater is one of my nieces and my nephew came, and loved it - hurahhhh!

God also provided me with a job and although most nights I felt like I didn't wanna go and be faced with random holiday makers, being rude and asking stupid questions such as ''does the sweet and sour chicken have sweet and sour sauce with it..?'' I mean COME ON PEOPLE!!!! Despite that though, the job provided me with some awesome debt-busting pennies and the people I worked with were fab too ( I had great fun teaching chinese people english slang words such as lush, innit, wassup etc!)

I also just came back from Forum which is a national 5 day long conference for Christian Union leaders. I went last year when I was on the CU committee and loved it so much I decided to go back and volunteer in the kitchen - was great fun, met lots of new people and learnt more about God!

You may be reading this (tho I doubt anyone is!) thinking why is she blabbing on about this stuff? Well I guess its just to remind myself that when God takes you out of one situation into another, we quite often think that its not gonna be any good, that it wont compare with this or that. If I draw a comparison between leaving uni for home and leaving home for France, its quite clear that God will have great things for me this term :) Yes it will be scary, yes it will be odd and yes I will miss soooo many people - Including YOU! But I know God will be with me every step of the way. He will never change even though my situation will and this will just make me lean on him so much more and hopefully I may grow in faith, grace and confidence. Deserves a WOOP I feel!

So, to conclude this rather long, and perhaps for you, boring post - I believe I am excited, or at least I most certainly should be :) I will miss home, and I will miss Pompey peoples but its an adventure that I most definately do not want to waste by worrying about what I'm missing out on elsewhere! Please don't forget me - I wont forget you, stay in touch and keep me smiling :)
Major massive love, hugs and kisses to you all,
Sare xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx :D

Monday, June 11, 2007

End of year 2...nearly!

MAN - I can't quite believe it but it appears to be the end of my second year of uni...So how did that happen?? Exams/coursework/essays finished about two weeks ago now and since then Ive been bumming around, hanging out with people, avoiding doing anything hugely productive - its been fun!! Will be trekking back to THE DEVON in about a week and a half, which is always nice, but I will miss peoples lots :-( Lets hope they come and see me :-)

I guess the more I sit and think about this year, the more blessings I can see! Obviously not every single thing has been perfectly rosey but everything has happened in order for me to learn something or gain something positive or to teach someone else something and if I could sum it alllllll up in one sentence it would be ''God is always faithful!''

One thing that NEEDS to be mentioned is the Casting Crowns concert last night!!!!!! Yay! Those of you who don't know, they are an amazing Christian rock-ish band with extreme talent and beautiful lyrics! We skipped on down to London (ok...technically we drove, got very lost for about 4 or 5 hours and burst into the concert about 4 songs into it...!) but we saw them for a good 45 mins so all was not lost!! They are incredible and soooo down to earth and amazing!! If you don't know them - then GET TO IT!! Young or old, you will love them!!

Yeh so, right now I am chilling out, embracing my time with Pompey people, trying not to be too sad at the thought of not seeing many of them for a long old time... These are just some of the photos that sum up Uni year 2!! I could easily add another hundred or so but that would take forever!!! Enjoy!!!

CU Houseparty! Word Alive!!

Nicks Birthday! CU trip to Playzone!

Steve&Andy's Scavenger hunt road trip! Outside the Circus!

Lorna's birthday BBQ @ the Country Park!

House of Francis Avenue!!!!! Pompey sunset!

Me and Ind doing what we do best - laughing! Bri spacehopping at Becs birthday!

Pink party!!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

That time of term

Howdy hodilly folks!

Well this is it - today I had my final lecture in Portsmouth for two years... scary! I remember the day my parents abandoned me at Langstone like it was yesterday...WHERE has the time gone? So yeh, next week is gonna be tough going but I know that God's in charge and in Him there is rest :) Have just made a nice little revision timetable for the next 7 days which looks fully evil so I wont post it up here... For those not in the know I have my two main French and Spanish exams and 4 essays due next week...Oh what fun!

Did my french oral exam yesterday - not so good but we wont go there!! Just couldn't handle the pressure! Its funny cos my Spanish oral went sooooo much better and I can barely understand the language! Funny old life hey?!

I'm in a bit of a complaining mood... so thats what Im gonna do - PORTSMOUTH UNIVERSITY LANGUAGE LECTURERS ARE THE MOST DISORGANISED EVERRRRRR!! Ok, so you know Im away next year in France and Spain, studying in 2 universities...thats about all you know right?... well SAME HERE!!!!!! We had a meeting about our Spanish placement today and the general gist was like ''yeh, so u fly out a couple weeks before term...go to a hostel...then find somewhere permenant to live...go along to the uni...attempt to find a course co-ordinator and get them to enrole you on what courses you wanna do'' - YEH HELPFUL... :-S I would like to be somewhat more organised than that to be honest... but its not possible...Kinda scary but then again God's got it sorted right...! I guess I just need to really realise that God is in control and he is watching over all and guiding me so there's nothing to fear :)

To end, my wonderful chum Ceryn sent me this verse the other day and I thought It'd be a good'un to share! - Lamentations 3 v 22-23, reads:

Because of the Lord's great love
we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is your faithfulness.

How cooooool is that!!! Reeeally think about what that means!! We are not weighed down/consumed/crushed by anything, allllll because of God's love! His compassions are new everrrrrrry morning (and boy don't we all need that!) Great is His faithfulness! Awesome!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Just feeling inspired to share some song lyrics :) They are by a band called Casting Crowns - sorry if you are someone who always hears me talk about them/hears them blasting from my room, but I just love them! This particular song that I am posting is just so powerful and I hope that it encourages all those who may stumble across this blog. So often we think we can only praise God if ''we feel like it'' - but thats just not true! And this song is a brilliant reminder of that! Whatever you are going through, God doesn't change, He's always looking after you and deserves our praise! Enjoy and God bless! :D xx

"Praise You In This Storm"

I was sure by now
That You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Do u still check me?!

So - does anyone ever read this blog?? (Except Hannah!) I have been pretty busy these last few months and so this has just been somewhat forgotten about - but if you still check this (wow you must be patient!) then do drop a petit comment - then i'll decide if its worth spilling my life out over the interent once more! Hehe xxx

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Ahhh Sundays...!!

Ah yes, I knew there was something I loved about Portsmouth - Sundays! Especially Sundays that are like the Sundays in my first year which went something like this : Church, students being invited to someone's house after church for lunch or to some kind of pub, followed by some sort of afternoon activity like random games or a nice walk, followed by church again in the evening!

This type of Sunday was one of the things I loved most last year! At the time it was nice because it meant I could escape from Langstone for a whole day, spend time getting to know new friends and of course having a whole day away from work (which is what God gave us Sundays for in the first place!!) These Sundays kept me going last year, when I was missing home or stressed or lonely, they were days where I was able to be with my Christian brothers and sisters, and probably became my most looked forward to day of the week!

Now, this year I no longer need to escape from Langstone and those ''new friends'' have become people I love a whole lot and spend a good amount of time with but I realised today how much I still adore these Sundays just the same! The families at Eastney Church just amaze me with their kindness and generosity - especially as a lot more students come now than when I first started going! So I guess what Im trying to say with all this babbling is that I had a lovely day!

For this evenings service we had a guest speaker in who works for 'Open doors', which is an organisation that helps persecuted Christians all around the world. I have heard and read many things about Christian persecution but every time I hear more, something new will strike me. Today, the main things I took from the service is just how extraordinary the faith of a persecuted Christian is. We heard examples of Christians that have asked for people not to pray that their persecution would stop, but rather that they would never deny Jesus... Wow! How often do we have silly little problems that we go to God with and ask to be set free from? Not that thats wrong of course, I mean, God wants us to share our feelings and problems with Him, but it sort of puts things into perspective when people are daily being imprisoned, beaten or even killed for their faith in God.... and we worry about being laughed at for example....makes ya think hey?

Second thing I took from the service - how much we take the bible for granted. This point was hardly really touched upon but something (cant think of the exact sentence) that was said got me thinking. There are people going out and risking their lives, or certainly risking prison, to take Bibles to countries where they're not allowed and the people that recieve them treasure it with all they have. Most of them will read as much as they can, as often as they can, and here we are, in the Western world, most Christians owning more than one bible and how often do we read it? At church? Maybe a few times a week? Maybe when we ''feel like it''? Or maybe we do our 'once a day' like we feel we should. BUT my question is, how much do we really treasure God's word? And I mean really treasure it. Do we even completely realise what it is that we hold in our hands, or keep by our beds, or on our bookshelf? That book, contains every thing that we truely need to know about God and about being a Christian here on earth - EVERY THING!! Yes there are other things that we're not always clear about, or that we wish we knew, but right now, on earth, they're unimportant. God has given us all we need to know within the bible and I for one pray that I will treasure it and read it more and more whilst I have the freedom to. Who knows when that freedom wont exist anymore. And so how about you? Will you pray too that our so often complacent attitudes regarding the bible will be broken down and we'll treat it as the treasure that it is? And will you pray for persecuted Christians everywhere, and that the faith of the 'free' as it were, would be even a fraction of what theirs is? **Praise God** for our freedom but let's not take it for granted.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Love a bit of procrastination

Procrastinating. Yep thats what I'm doing right now!! What I really should be doing is my Career Management assignment thingy that is due on Friday but other things are just more.... fun!!

I am happy that it is Saturday! Yesterday was rubbish...bad.... Until evening. Evening was good! Went out for pizza and cinema with lots of lovely friends! I love friends ya know, they make me smile lots (as i have rambled on about many a time!)

D'ya know what... I have absolutely nothing of interest to write about right now... [it could be argued that I never do tho to be fair!! ;-) hehe] So... I should stop wasting language and be quiet!

Byeeeeeee xxx Sorry, Im a freakin' weirdo!!!!