Monthly Archives: June 2006

I love my personal tutor

I have a personal tutor at uni, he basically deals with any general problems I have, and is the one I have to see to get my results and suchlike things.

He is also something of an oddball, and the following is a fairly typical e-mail for me to receive from him:

YES

DR MJ PHILLIPS

—– Original Message —–
From: “Williams, P.J.”
To:
Sent: Wednesday, June 28, 2006 2:03 PM
Subject: Exam Results

I would like to come and see you to find out my exam results. Will you be
available on friday at about midday?

Regards
Peter Williams

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150

So Dan Hames wrote this post in his blog. And thus I shall follow suit, like the sheep I am!

150 things for which I am thankful to God (in no particular order):

  1. Life
  2. Sunrise/Sunset
  3. Rain
  4. Flowers
  5. Our sense of smell
  6. Spicy food
  7. Adrenaline rushes
  8. Friends
  9. Beautiful people
  10. Church
  11. Salvation
  12. Jonti and Gemma
  13. My family
  14. Health
  15. Clear skies
  16. Human innovation
  17. Mathematics
  18. Music
  19. Comedy
  20. Communication (in all it’s many forms)
  21. Diversity (of everything!)
  22. Early morning walks in the park
  23. The sound of laughter
  24. The Bible
  25. Silly hats (and other clothing)
  26. The expanse of the universe
  27. Science fiction
  28. Instruments
  29. Light
  30. The smell of cooked breakfast when you wake up in the morning
  31. Working a full day
  32. Getting home and relaxing after working a full day
  33. Dan Hames
  34. My housemates
  35. The CU in general
  36. My Church home group
  37. Toffee, Teaser and Sadie (my cats)
  38. The sound of running water
  39. Sports
  40. Writing
  41. Films
  42. Television
  43. Computer games
  44. Board games
  45. Singing
  46. Coffee
  47. Tea
  48. Fast food (I don’t care how bad it is for me!)
  49. Quiet old man pubs
  50. Late night conversations with friends
  51. Having a place to live
  52. Having guests over
  53. Traveling
  54. Walking
  55. The countryside
  56. Water
  57. Opposable thumbs!
  58. Social events
  59. My extended family (cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents)
  60. All the places I haven’t been yet
  61. Freedom (from sin)
  62. Freedom (within my country)
  63. My mind
  64. Dave Irvine
  65. Jennifer Rigby
  66. Richard and Rosie
  67. Prayer
  68. Lemon Curd
  69. My music collection (with a song for every occasion)
  70. Ross Beavis (soon to be married)
  71. Marriage
  72. God’s many promises
  73. People in general
  74. Staying up all night for no reason
  75. Sleeping for 14 hours because I stayed up all night
  76. My bed
  77. Having the time to do nothing at all
  78. Silence
  79. CS Lewis
  80. John Stott
  81. Preaching
  82. The ability to share the gospel with others
  83. The great commission (our purpose!)
  84. Having a tidy room (occasionally)
  85. Having a full diary
  86. The telephone
  87. Chilling out with friends
  88. Playing games in the street
  89. Receiving letters
  90. Cooking
  91. The smell of fresh bread in the morning
  92. Smiles
  93. People who share my taste in music
  94. Gadgets
  95. Rob Mold
  96. Joe Gilford
  97. The many plans me and Joe have for the house next year
  98. Secret handshakes (maybe not so secret actually…)
  99. Electricity
  100. Really old buildings
  101. Jonathan Creek (and other murder mystery programs)
  102. Programming
  103. My education
  104. Poi (and other circus type things)
  105. Glass
  106. Posh restaurants
  107. homestar runner
  108. A day at Alton Towers
  109. Moldova
  110. Reading
  111. Classical music
  112. Camping
  113. Flying kites
  114. Trees
  115. Making lists (hehe)
  116. The Cross
  117. Phonetics
  118. Wales/Welsh
  119. Having my own website
  120. Being geeky
  121. Accents (and whole dialects too)
  122. Art
  123. Communities
  124. The depth of our scientific knowledge
  125. The fact that we have so much more to discover
  126. Creepy crawlies
  127. Photographs
  128. My cluttered desk
  129. Sofas
  130. Fixing things
  131. My Mum’s cooking
  132. Memories
  133. Debating
  134. Shopping
  135. Birthdays (and other celebrations)
  136. West Bridgford Baptist Church
  137. Austin Foote
  138. Tag team preaching
  139. Mugs
  140. IVP (who give students really cheap books!)
  141. Cards
  142. Charles Spurgeon
  143. Terry Virgo
  144. Wayne Grudem
  145. Strong’s concordance (and other Bible reference books)
  146. Summer barbeques
  147. Wooden floorboards
  148. The ability to conquer my fears
  149. Olly Goldenberg
  150. Having 149 other things to put on this list! (and having the free time to write it)

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Year 2 over

So the Christian Union ball was last night. It all went rather well, and thankfully I was able to relax and enjoy myself this year. It was really good to see everyone having fun and generally enjoying themselves, and I hope and pray that everyone leaves for home with that positive attitude.

It is a little sad that in a weeks time there will be about 5 students left in Leicester, and I’ll be one of them. I’m hoping to have some work by then however, so that will occupy most of my time. And beyond that, there are still going to be a few people around to hang out with, and me and Joe have lots of plans for the house. Once everyone else has moved out I’ll spend a week or two clearing the rooms one by one and cleaning them thoroughly. Then me and Joe will decorate our rooms, which will hopefully include replacing some of the nastier furniture and putting up some shelving (money and landlord willing).

It’s going to be very odd when everyone has left. Because I’m staying in Leicester for the whole summer it really doesn’t feel like the end of term yet. I haven’t had to think about packing and going home, I haven’t had to work out what I’m doing for the summer, because I’m basically doing nothing (aside from one weekend in august and regular trips up to Nottingham). Nevertheless I’m really looking forward to it. I can’t wait to be working properly, and I’m really hoping that I get work for most of the holiday, and I’m also looking forward to having the house to myself for a while.

In the mean time, we’re apparently having a boys night tonight, not entirely sure what thats going to involve, but I’m sure it will be fun. And tomorrow Jennifer and Chloe are coming over for food before CU. I have to make a decision about whether to go to CU or not tomorrow. I have been invited to James’ leaving party, and I can’t make both. This is a tough decision, as it’s likely the last time I’ll see James ever, and the last time I’ll see people at CU for the summer (some of them for a whole year).

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You are my sister!

I think that dealing with my singleness would be much easier if I didn’t know so many Godly girls. In Leicester uni CU there are loads of beautiful and Godly single girls, many of whom I spend a lot of time with and know quite well. It’s very difficult to maintain that level of “just friendship” with them, and very easy to let my mind wander into the realms of “what if?”.

On top of that through my Church I know a whole bunch of the girls at DMU CU who are also beautiful Godly and single. I think it’s often easier to let my mind wander with regards to girls who I don’t know so well and have less contact with. I guess that’s because I don’t know then quite so well and don’t consider them to be close friends, so it doesn’t seem like I’m “breaking the rules” in quite the same way.

My mantra recently seems to be “you are my sister, you are my sister!”. It certainly helps a lot to think of other Christian girls in this way, because then I am far less inclined to think about them in certain ways, and far more inclined to put their interests above mine in terms of how I treat them. In some ways it would be easy for me to try and “force” my way into a relationship by actively seeking one. But I don’t want to do that. As much as I look forward to being in a relationship, and desire that for myself, I also want it to be something that is based on God, and that he has layed before me.

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Football + BBQ + Church

My Church home group meets at Tim and Helen’s house every wednesday night, and since I started going to it I’ve been to two social do’s at their house. The first one was for Dan’s birthday about a month ago, and they hired sumo wrestling suits (complete with a plastic matt with a ring on it to fight in). Sumo wrestling in a suit thats twice the size of yourself is both brilliant fun and extremely difficult, that was an excellent day!

Today it was Tim’s birthday, and also the first England game of the world cup. It also happens to be the summer time, and the weather has been beautiful today. This combination resulted in watching the England game, playing some football, having a BBQ, watching another football game (Trinidad and Tabago vs. Sweden), playing some more football, and finally crashing out for a little while before walking home.

I love how friendly everyone is, it’s been so amazing to be welcoming wholeheartedly into the group and involving in everything thats been happening. Whether that be the home group meetings on wednesdays where we get to spend time together in worship and exploring God’s word, or at social events like today, or at Church catching up after the service.

I’m so glad that I’m at Church in the Community Leicester, and it’s been great to gradually get more involved in things. Once term is over at the end of June I’m going to start helping out with the youth work as well, something I’m really looking forward to. And I plan on having people round lots during the summer and generally trying to be a little more sociable with people (read: generous). It’s days like this that make me realise just how blessed I am with my Church life.

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The waiting

Joseph spent a number of years in prison, Moses led Israel through the desert for forty years, Elijah spent years in a brook alone during a drought. The list goes on.

I’m mentioning this because for quite a while now God has been talking to me about my own time of waiting, and this is what I have learnt:

First of all, whilst they are usually only a few verses in amongst chapters full of action, they are an essential part of our Christian lives. It’s very easy to gloss over phrases like “After two whole years” (Gen 41:1), or “And after a while” (1 Kings 17:8) and “in the third year” (1 Kings 18:1). It is difficult sometimes to get a sense of the timing involved in the Biblical stories, but in most of them the period of waiting is a long time where not much seems to happen.

Second, although it might seem like nothing is happening that simply isn’t true! It may well be that there are only two or three verses which mention the period of waiting, but if you went and spent well over a year in a brook during a drought, with no source of food or water except God, I suspect you would see some noticeable changes in yourself. These periods of waiting are essential because they are a time for focusing on God, for drawing near to him, and for learning all about reliance and dependance on the only person who is completely reliable and dependable. The waiting is not just an empty time where nothing happens, on the contrary, I am sure that as much happened to the Biblical character who we know so much about in their time of waiting as did in their time of action, perhaps even moreso. A time of waiting is a time of changing and preparation for a time when you won’t be able to sit back and relax so much, and it’s totally necessary if you’re going to be useful when the time of action comes.

Now, I know that I’m not out in the desert physically, but right now I definitely feel like I’m in a waiting period in my life. Last year I was on the CU committee, and before that I was keeping very busy within my Church, leading a small group and generally getting involved in the young peoples work. But now I’m taking more of a back seat, I’m on the prayer team which is something of a hidden role, and I’m not doing much else in CU. In Church I’m getting involved in things, but those things are the PA team and going along to a home group, certainly nothing as demanding as what I was doing at home before I left. And I haven’t been asked to speak anywhere for a long time either.

This is an exciting time for me, because I don’t really know what I’m supposed to be doing, or whats really going to happen next. It’s all gone quiet so to speak, and I have an amazing chance to spend time reflecting and building up my relationship with God and other people.

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Relax, it’s summertime!

I’m going home today, straight after church. I should be in nottingham by about 20 past 1, in time for sunday lunch. So I will have a chance to see my family, check out my room (which has been decorated) and generally enjoy some good food and relax. Then in the evening I’m going to my cousins confirmation service. This really excites me because I don’t really know much about my extended families faith. I’m pretty sure that everyone on my dad’s side is a Christian, and I know that noone on my mum’s side is. I even had a pleasant chat with my aunt and uncle about it at Christmas time, but I still don’t have a clue what my uncle believes (he’s very closed about it, seeing it as a personal choice). It’s always exciting when someone gets confirmed/baptised (yes, I know they’re not exactly the same, but I believe the principle of making a public declaration of your faith is), but even more so when it’s a member of my family!

Yesterday was also much fun. It was Celebrate 80, something to do with the diocese of Leicester. It wasn’t a birthday, but it was something important. Anyway, my friend Dan was playing with his band Daylight so we went down to the park to chill out, enjoy the gorgeous weather, and listen to Daylight rock out in front of 15,000 people.

Then in the evening we celebrated Jonny finishing his exams by going to the pub for a pint. We sat out in the beer garden of a place called the old horse and enjoyed the evening together. It was a great way to wind down from the exam period, and I think one of my favourite ways to socialise is over a pint in a quiet pub.

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Now that exams are over…

Here are the many things that will occupy my time over the coming months:

  • Organising the CU ball! (woohoo)
  • Chasing up temp agencies to give me work
  • Doing the work for said temp agencies
  • Spending time with anyone who happens to still be in Leicester
  • Popping home for the occasional weekend to see my family
  • Working on some of my “projects” (i.e. this and this)
  • Building my new computer (I have everything but the case at the moment)
  • Using said new computer to play games
  • Watching the remainder of Babylon 5 (and then some other TV series that I have lying around)

Hey, cool, I’ve used a different verb for every bullet point without even meaning to.

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