Sunday, November 30, 2008


A month and a bit ago J came and filmed me playing goalball and interviewed me about my faith and sight impairment. Here is the result. Just in case you've never heard me waffling about goalball - it's an AWESOME sport with 3 people on a team - all blindfolded facing another team the lenght of a gym apart. There's a ball with a bell in it - you have to roll the ball and try and get it past the other teams defence (they lie on the floor to stop it going over their line) it's lots of fun and quite painful! Go watch

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

By careful what you pray...

A week ago today we had 'family time' in our house - this happens about every 2 weeks - we eat dinner, study the Bible and pray together. Last week we had a pretty awesome prayer time - remembering that Jesus died for us. We sang 'Blessed be your name' and then I prayed a really stupid prayer. You see - awful things have happened to our landlords family that I won't go into here, and we had a suspician that he might want his house back at the end of our 6 month contract (in December). I prayed something along the lines of 'Lord - if in this awful situation it is your will to boot us out of this house, then let it be and help us to say 'you give and take away, blessed be your name'' Oooh praying prayers like that is dangerous. Coz God might just answer them. And he did. The next morning we had a phonecall from our landlord in tears - asking if he could have the house back - not in december - but asap. Now, we really want to be in the hollingbury area, and it had taken us 4 months to find this house (very few 4 beds in hollingbury) but straight away we were on to Rightmove - there was a beautiful looking 4 bed house available in a street 5 mins from where we were. We looked at it that day, took it, then decided to move out as soon as we could and go live with others while we watned for the paperwork to go through. So we piled all of our stuff into the front room of our old house on saturday (it looks like a work of art!) and were homelessly limped off to be taken in by lovely friends. We've now found our moving in date is next monday (my birthday!) so we'll be in our new house by the time our next 'family time' is due. God has a sense of humour as well as being an awesome provider. But I may hold back on the scary prayers this time... just for a week or so...!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lovin our street

We had a house warming bbq yesterday and invited our whole street (ok so we moved in like 3 months ago - but we've not all been here properly til now! + the weathers been poo!) It was sooo nice inviting out street, lots of people were out (so we popped notes through their doors) and the people who were in were all lovely and up for chatting for a bit - and didn't appear to think we were weird (well they didn't APPEAR that anyway - who knows what they are actaully thinking!) they all appreciated the gesture. The bbq was lots of fun - two lots of our neighbours came and we had a great time getting to know them - they are all lovely people. But what's really struck me is the number of people who've made an effort to pop by having got our note and say thanks for the invite and t hey would have come if they hadn't been busy. I even got home today to a handmade Welcome to your New Home card from the family at no 12 - how cute! When we out inviting people I know I was a bit worried that people would think we were uber-kean weirdos. But actaully people are really touched by the gesture. I suppose we all crave community - we all crave a sense of belonging. Why else to we love watching Friends, Neighbrours even Eastenders? I love knowing the people in my street - its been a while since I have, but having made the intial contact with a lot of them now I'm looking forward to more chats over fences, maybe even popping round for cuppas... maybe I jsut want to be in Neighbours.. :o) but I do love my street

Thursday, September 11, 2008

bus stops

Wow that is an exciting title for a blog post - but I have been musing the randomness of bus stops recently. I use buses a lot now - seeing as I've moved out to the sticks and I've had some interesting conversations at the bus stop opposite my house. But it has struck me how randomly British these conversations usually are. They often go something like this:

Lou walks up to bus stop - sits down on cold, red plastic bench next to person A who is starring intently to the right.
They sit in silence until Lou sums up the courage - then,
Lou: makes some inane comment about the weather or the buses (buses usually work better)
Person A: agrees with inane comment - then continues to tell Lou their entire life story.
Lou: makes sympathetic noises and wonders how to talk to them about Jesus (more exciting than buses)
While this is happening both Person A and Lou alternate between looking at each other and looking to the right. At least one of them must glance to the right every 10 seconds.
Bus arrives (from the right) - Lou and Person A get on - they sit nowhere near each other and don't speak again.

This has happened sooo many times.

This is what happens on the way home:

Lou walks up to an AMAZING talking bus stop in the centre of Brighton and turns on her magic key fob.
Bus stop: Churchill Square stop E and F
People around looked surprised / puzzled
Lou presses the righthand button on her key fob
Bus stop: (now impersonating Stephen Hawking) The 5B to Hollingbury is due in 13 minutes.
People around continue to looking surprised / puzzled
Lou waits a few minutes and then presses the button again
Bus stop: The 5B to Hollingbury is due in 4 minutes
(they are never actual minutes - they are just periods of time)
Some surrounding people now trying to work out how it works and what triggers is
Lou feels smug and powerful
Bus arrives
Lou sadly turns off her key fob of joy and gets onto the bus.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The joy of certain hope

Christ Church, Brighton has now had its first death in the family. Phyllis - who was 86 (I think) and incredibly lovely went home to be with the Lord last night. Christian old people are amazing. Her husband, Derek, rocked up to Christ Church a few months back (the Sunday after we'd been praying for old people together on the Wednesday). We're their closest church and although Phyllis has been housebound and never made a meeting its been such a joy having both of them in our midst - people who have been Christians for over 60 years - amazing. And seeing Derek cope with the death of his wife of over 50 years has also been inredbile. Instead of being mournful and bitter, he has been joyful and selfless. He knows where she is - she is with her Saviour in a far better place, a place of no more tears or mourning or crying or pain, and he's rejoicing in that. And Derek cares more about that than about his own state, left behind, missing her greatly - but joyful none the less. That is certain hope. And that is a real challenge - to live with the reality of eternity...
'Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown through Christ my own'

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The way of the cross

Ok so having not blogged since January quite a lot has happened in my life - I've moved house into Hollingbury where I want to 'live in community to impact the community' (ask if you wanna know more), I'm going to be properly employed by my church from September (I'll have to pay tax and everything!) and I've finished my 1st year of Porterbrook training. 2 weeks ago I was up in Sheffield helping wit the Crowded House's 'Summer in the City' week - what a week that was. It was a week where I was blown away by people in the Crowded Houses' commitment to the gospel - they obviously believed it was true and it showed in their lives. The had a nice little routine to it - in the morning we'd all meet together for prayer and Bible teaching, in the afternoon we'd go out into our separate communities (I was on the Manor team - we always gardened and we usually got soaked!) and then the evenings were spent doing some kind of relational thing (Jazz cafe, pub quiz type thing). The teaching was amazing. Tim Chester taught us on taking hte way of the cross. One day, we looked at 1 Peter as an example of how many times the theme of suffering followed by resurrection happens - look at it, its awesomely littered all the way through. The Christian life is about suffering - expect it - but glory will come. The Christian life involves 4 S's (though I can't remeber the last one) suffering, servanthood and self denail.

That is what taking the way of hte cross is. I think I often think of taking the way of the cross as being about the big decisions in life - and it is. People on the Manor team in Sheffield have all made the big life dicison of going to live on a rough estate when really they are all middle class and don't need to - most middle class peopel would run a mile from that place - but they haven't - they have taken the way of hte cross, as they love people and want them to know Jesus. But taking the way of the cross is far more than that. It is daily dying to self, it is daily putting others needs before my own. And that can be hard. That means that I will joyfully do the washing up again, even when I don't want, coz I'm valuing others over myself. That means I will help people, even when I'm tired, and spend time with people who I may find difficult, as they need to know Jesus' love too. And I'll do this not to earn God's love - I can never do that, but as a response to what Jesus has done for me. A reponse that shows that I'm not living for this world, but for eternity. I want my life not to make sense unless the gospel is true - and in the case I must take the way of the cross.

Ok, ok

I'll blog again... Aimz has spoken...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Lou is... loved but dispensable

Well 2008 hasn't been that fun for me so far - I've spent most of it in bed with a virus. Started chucking up at 1 am on New Years Day and haven't looked back since. Fun. But you know apartly God works all things for the good of those of love Him (so I've heard) so what has he been teaching me in the last 2 weeks of being ill?

1. He shown he loves me, by his people loving me 1 Jn 4:12-13 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us We see God when we love each other. I was with some friends from church when I first threw up. They kindly took me home, and instructed me to tell them how I wsa in the morning. In the morning it took a lot of effort to text them news of my not overly fun night. J phoned me back, told me he was coming to get me, and took me to another couple from church's house who looked after me for a few days. As J was driving me there, he was more concerned about whether I'd like the DVDs he'd selected for me to watch than if I was going to throw up in his car! Being ill is a time which is often incredbily lonely, and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't been lonely in the last two weeks, but having many encouraging texts, offers of food and company from my church family has definitely helped. I love seeing God's love so tangibly at work.
2. God's love for me is in no way dependant on me. In the last few weeks I haven't been able to do much for God - I haven't been able to read my Bible much, to pray much, to serve others much - yet I'm no further away from God than I would be if I'd been doing 2 hour bible study and prayer sessions each morning and constantly looking out for other peoples needs above my own. Because of Jesus I am as close to God as I can ever be. He lavishes his love on me anyway - no matter what I can and can't do. It isn't about earning God's love. Which I still find so hard to grasp. I went to our Friends and Family meeting this morning and found it so weird. I have no energy to do anything at the moment, so standing up for longer than 2 minutes was presenting a problem this morning, lifting and carrying was a definite no, no. Usually on Sunday mornings I would be running around, setting things up, tidying things away, welcoming new comers, looking out for the lonely. But today I couldn't - and that was weird. So often I do things either to earn God's love, or others approval - to not be able to do things has really helped me to look at where I get my approval from. Which leads me nicely to
3. Learning that I am dispensible. And that is not a bad thing. God graciously chooses to use me at Christ Church, Brighton - but he can also choose NOT to use me - he can choose to use other people, while I'm not around. I do love the fact that God is in control. I love the fact that as I lie in bed sick I don't have to worry about how things can get done without me - they will get done. God knew I was going to get this illness, blatantly things aren't going to fall apart beccause of it - the Creator of the Universe doesn't require Lou Waddington to be fit and active for his purposes to be carried out. Phew. So here I am blogging while Church in a Pub happens quite merriliy without me.
I'm not needed but I am loved - those are two great things to know