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Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Time

I have very nearly completed my first month of study at LST and I say with no hesitation that time has flown. Time is a funny concept, we spend half our time wishing for time to go quicker and the other half wanting it to slow down so we can savour the moment or avoid some impending doom.

I have, like many others, wished away far too much time in my life. It has become clear over this past week that 'it is time' to deal with things that have been spirited away in the rush of the mundane, exciting thing we call life.

I wonder how many times in a day you say/think 'I'll deal with it later', or 'that can wait'. Whilst I am not advocating abandoning the schedule and prioritisation that is doubtless needed, I have been challenged this past few days not to put of those things that are vital. And by vital I do not mean things that need to be 'done', rather time that needs to be spent, cultivated and used to make things right with the one who is not bound by time or space.
On a visit to Winchester Cathedral a few years ago I picked up a post card that had the following words embossed upon it:
"Time is too slow for those who wait
Too swift for those who fear
Too long for those who grieve
Too short for those who rejoice
But for those who love
Time is Eternity"

We have been promised an eternity with our Father in Heaven...but let us not waste the time on earth we have to 'get right' with him.

I challenge you to use your time wisely, do what needs to be done. It is Time.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

The Promise

Apologies for the belated entry this week, but the realities of being a university student have been hitting home well and truly!
Two essays set, countless books to read, lots of colour-coding notes and I am loving it! It's amazing to be studying for a degree and being able to learn more about God as I do so. I have been amazed, particularly considering the rather rocky first week how settled I now feel; yes I have the days when I want my own bed and a cuddle with my Mum, but I do feel at home at LST. I feel incredibly blessed with the story I have and the God I serve, the freedom I have to learn about the Bible, the Church and how to use what I am learning to carry out God's calling on my life.
I have been so challenged by the people and the teaching to live my life relying, not on the earthly things and people which can so easily fall away. We have been spending our Old Testament Survey lectures focussing on the story of Abraham, the promises God made him, but also the actions Abraham had to take. Called to leave his home, family and everything he was familiar with, I have felt a little affinity with him in the past few weeks - and I only moved a 40minute car journey away! God used Abraham in a mighty way, but I am sure there were times when Abraham wondered when, if ever, the spectacular promises God made him would appear. And yet Abraham held on, slipping a little on the way, but he was clinging to the covenant God made with him.
There are so many lessons to be learned from the way God used Abraham, and how Abraham leant on the promises and trusted God when everything was against him. As for me? I'm learning and I hope I will continue to learn to live more fully, love more deeply and trust more surely...
There seems to be a lot of exhaustion and sleeplessness at college, please pray for a restful weekend and an awakened zest for study and caring for each other.
Yours,

Fresher's Week

Ok, so my first week at LST is over and it has been a little harder than I thought it would be. I think I assumed I would adapt to 'leaving home' really easily, but this was not the case and I ended up going home mid week and for the weekend; however, God has really revealed his Father heart this past week, when I have been missing home and my Mum so desperately. I have met truly lovely people and, as difficult as it has been I have felt (in my saner moments at least) that I can be really happy here.
Sometimes we can put so much importance and pressure on our families and homes, they can feel as if they are the centre of our world and I know I am guilty of relying on my family at least as much, if not more than I rely on God. This week I have been challenged to keep looking up to the one who can never leave us and will never forsake us.
Usually when I am having a rough time, God can seem distant, but this past week I have felt pulled into his arms, and I have been able to lean on him, doing things in his almighty strength instead of my own. I challenge each of you to think about where God is in your priority list, he may be the one we run to when it is tough, and neglect when life is good, or he may the one we tell all our good news to, but shy away from him when we are having a hard time. If I have learnt this much during my first week here, I am excited to know how much more I will learn in the coming weeks and months, how much closer I will draw to my Lord in sunshine and showers.
Please remember me and my fellow students as we begin our studies this week, some after a long time away from study, in your prayers as we adapt to doing a degree. I thank God for the faithful friends I have who I know are praying, and be assured of my prayers for you.

Countdown

Yes, you did read it right, Bible Colleges do have "Freshers" and we also have a Freshers' Week. Ok, drunkenness will probably not rate highly on the agenda, but meeting people and finding your way around this 'being a student' thing probably will.
There are three days to go until I officially leave my home, my home church and my Mum to begin my new life at the London School of Theology. It's exciting, petrifying and it's also what I have wanted since I was 14 and first saw the LST website. I am armed with Bible, Textbooks, highlighters and lever arch files, ready to return to being a student. On that note, I will return to my packing and write more once I have arrived!