Yea but God’s still good right?

Just a quick post but I just wanted to encourage you with something I’ve been challenged by recently as I have a lot going on at the moment which can be hard.
Whenever you have a negative thought about something, like a regret for example, or if someone in a conversation with you just talks about bad stuff that is happening for them at the moment, try to use the phrase “Yea but God’s still good right?”.

Because we have to remember that we ALWAYS have something to be thankful for. That He is ALWAYS good. That in EVERY circumstance we should PRAISE God.

Annabel x

A great big post of many thoughts

What is my dream? What do I want to do with my life?
Well firstly, lets not call it MY life, because really, in the big picture, how much control do I actually have over it? Pretty much none. I am a part of the body of Christ, made in the image of God just like Jesus was too and placed on the earth to do just what Jesus did. Feed the hungry, love the lonely, clothe the poor, touch the untouchable etc. I want my time on earth to be remembered not in a way of fame or anything like that, but I want the  people that I interact with to see that ‘this all surpassing power is from Christ and not from me’ – I want to reflect the King not me. After all it is His Kingdom! 
I have a dream, and that dream is to love people with a completely open heart. I don’t want to judge people on what they’re going through or what they’ve done or what they look like or where they live because I’ve been at the receiving end of that and that sucks; I just want to tell them how much Jesus loves them. Because love has the power to change the world as we know it.
I have this picture in my head of a house. Now this is no ordinary house. No, this is a house that is open to anyone that needs to know how loved they are. A house that always has the door open, that is a fun place to be and where people just embrace each other and all that we are created to be. I want people who are completely broken to come to this house and feel refreshed. To feel renewed and valued and really find who they are, and when they leave they aren’t leaving empty handed, they’re leaving with knowledge; knowledge that they are amazing, that they can change the world.
I see this vision of the house filled with children; children that have been be lost, abandoned, forgotten about and unloved. I want them to be able to grow up in the house in an environment where they are constantly reminded of how amazing they are, how intricately they were created, how important their hearts are and how we don’t need to feel hurt and broken.
I find that I am most effective through my creativity, that I communicate best what God is trying use me for or to get me to say through being creative. Creativity for me doesn’t just mean paint and mess it means freedom. It means joy. It means hope. It means love. In the house I see walls with inspiring scripture and quotes printed in cool fonts and crazy typography all over the walls. I see a giant chalk board wall where kids and anyone else that walks through those doors can feel like they can write down and share anything. I see the BIGGEST dinning room table with endless amounts of chairs to show that no one will ever be forgotten or left out and that anyone is welcome to join. This house isn’t a business or organisation with a team or staff. It’s a family. It’s a place to learn and grow together. My hearts desire is for my own family, my husband and kids (if I get married and have kids that is!) to all welcome people in with arms wide open, to hug them, to love them and to get stuck in together. To me that’s what family is. It’s not your standard 2 parents 2 kids situation (well yes technically it is) but it’s more like community I guess is how to describe it! In a community there is always places to learn, to grow, to explore, to discover; and what better way to do that than as one great family community.
I was really inspired by Mama Hill, an American lady who is in her late 80’s I believe and who says she has about 3,000 children; they just don’t all live with her at the same time! She is a retired school teacher in LA who showers people with love, respect and hugs. If you go to shake her hand when you greet her, you will hear the phrase “I take hugs” from Mama Hill. What she does is creates a safe haven for the kids in her community, where they can come into her home, they can eat, they can play, they can learn and they can be loved. What an incredible woman! Now that is my idea of a fulfilled life!
I don’t really know where to go with this vision because it all seems very big and overwhelming and I keep saying to my self that I need to sweep it under the carpet and get a degree and job etc. first, but hang on… who said you need a degree or six figure pay check to be able to love people!? The Bible tells us that the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, mind and soul and the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbour as yourself. So basically that’s what I’m aiming to do. I am seeking God daily, I am exploring His Word and taking time to just listen to Him, but I’m not doing that by keeping myself locked up inside, contained by church walls and restrained by order and tradition. I’m doing that by seeing what church without walls really looks like. By stepping out and living a little radically, by crying out my own songs of prayer and staying up until crazy hours in the morning writing really long posts about my dreams and visions and just generally being excited by the things God has for my life.
Oh and just another side note to that, I have watched a lot of Soulpancake videos today (if you haven’t seen them, check them out on YouTube, they are so inspiring). But yea anyway, they have been doing a whole series of videos about the lives of some great people who are unfortunately living with terminal illnesses. What inspires me by them is that they aren’t videos of despair and fear, but rather the opposite! They show hope, courage, dreams, faith, love etc. If you heard these peoples stories without being told that they were going to die soon then you would be saying that these people are completely at the opposite end of the scale to death, they are doing life how life was made to be lived!

My goodness it’s been a while!

Family; friends; other people of the internet,

I am SO sorry that I have not posted on my blog in such a long time and have already broken my promise of regular updates! However, I have been keeping rather busy so that is always a good excuse if an excuse is allowed!

I am seriously enjoying my time here in Highworth; who knew a small market town could bring such joy to an 18 year olds life! I’ve been getting involved in lots of areas of the church and community such as volunteering at the local drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre, TA’ing and assemblies, youth groups, home group, outreach, prayer walks, etcetera!

In terms of church stuff last month we had a prophetic team from Arun Community Church come and spend the weekend with us, doing some prophetic prayer walks, prophetic appointments and leading the church service. We had a fantastic time with them and the church has really taken on the Word that was given to us my the team that “We are not called to survive history, but to serve humanity.” The church has been building on this Word since then and really seeing it lived out rather than just written on a piece of paper.

2 weekends ago a group of us had the pleasure of serving as a prophetic team down in Essex at Rochford Community Church. It was really exciting to see what God is doing in the hearts of the people there, and I’m talking even people in the community that aren’t Christians! God is stirring and awakening something amazing there and the church is so ready to welcome that in. Myself and another girl from here then had the privilege of staying down there for the rest of the week, and getting stuck into schools work with a fantastic charity called Route One which own a double decker bus that they have kitted out with exciting ways of communicating the gospel and then take that into schools and teach lessons on it! I took away from that, great new ways of communicating the gospel with people and to get them interacting with the information rather than just making them absorb it like a sponge.

We’ve now got a week of half term but we have many an exciting thing planned for when we get back, and things that it would be fabulous if you could pray for; a few of us are off to a 2 day Partners in Harvest conference in Birmingham, our prayer room weekend, our church weekend away (which we’re actually having at home!), our Lights On event (Christmas lights switch on) and the work alongside that that we’re doing in schools, and finally a group of us from here are off to Cambodia in December so please pray for our preparations for that as we are taking a very big step of faith with that!

Thanks for reading and supporting me,

much love,

Annabel

Summer 2013

  • Hello again wonderful people!

I’ve had a bit of a rushed summer this year full of different activities and I had written a whole blog post about one of the camps I went to at the beginning of the month however that got lost (grrrrr) and I really haven’t had the time/wanted to re-write it! So instead of writing loads of separate and really long posts about all the different things I’ve done this summer I thought I would just share this photo with you all as a summary of all the fun I’ve had.

summer

And as well as that, just say that hopefully the changes in me and the ideas that have been seeded into my head this summer will be reflected in everything that I’m going to do this coming year.

Oh and I’ve moved in to the new house that I’m staying in to do my discipleship year now!!

Aaaaaaannnddd I’m really sorry but I am not going to be able to stick to the previously stated commitment of daily blogs… that’s just far too much for me to be able to do so hopefully I’ll get them up weekly :)

Be blessed this week as you go back to work/school/uni etc

Annabel

God in the land of no signal

Evening wonderful people!

So at midnight Tuesday night (or is it morning?) I got back home from the land of no signal; also known as Devon. On Monday a few of us went down to visit Lee Abbey First Youth Camp. Lee Abbey is tucked away on the south west coast of England in Exmoor and runs for 2 weeks in the summer. We knew a bunch of people down there who have links with our church so we thought we would just go down for a day/night and see what it was like. This camp is a great place for people to search and learn more about God; there were people there who have been Christians for many years and are deep in their faith, but then there are also people who are curious about Christianity and want to know more about our heavenly Father; overall a great mix to help one another in a supportive community. There was such a great atmosphere of fellowship down on camp and it was awesome to see everyone just loving living together.

There was never a shortage of activities on camp, with the beach just a 2 minute walk away, a lounge tent, ping pong, Podex (a combination of cricket and rounders), a 10 mile walk along the coast and streams with a tea cottage break at the half way point, football, volleyball… need I go on!? It was just a hype of activity and even though I was only there for about 24 hours, I found some great new friends who I would love to stay in contact with!

At midday on Tuesday it was time to say goodbye to Lee Abbey and to make our way through even more of the stunningly beautiful countryside in Devon, including the Exmoor Forest (which has very little trees!?!), all the way down to another youth event/camp called Obsession. This again was in the middle of nowhere but this time on a farm/church/Christian centre with seminars and a main meeting being held in barns & other buildings. This was a smaller event as it’s still in the process of getting started and had roughly 50 youth there. I went to a girls seminar which I thought took a really great approach because instead of the typical ‘you are precious’ ‘you are loved’ messages that you get in girls seminars at events, they chose the title ‘man up princess’. It seemed as though a lot of the girls took something away from it which is awesome! The main meeting was marvellous, amazing, incredible, and every other word for awesome! The worship was lead by the Joshua Generation Band (from Bath City Church) who are absolutely astounding musicians who immediately bring you into the presence of God with their worship songs, a lot of which they have written themselves; check them out on iTunes here – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/wildfire-worship-untamed/id628671664
Lloyd Katz (youth pastor at Bath City Church) then preached and his message just gave me the reassurance of how much I am covered by the love of our heavenly Father.

Then it was a 2 hour drive home and time to write this blog! (I don’t know how to end this thing!)
Thanks for reading lovelies! Enjoy my photographs of the beautiful south coast 🙂

Stay wonderful 🙂

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Who am I and why am I writing a blog?

Okay, hello Internet. 

I’m Annabel, 18 and from the south west of England. Recently my 14 years of education came to an end and in exactly 18 days I will have my results from my A Level exams. Then it’s no more safety net of school for me, nope, I have to face the world. I am a Christian and my faith has always played a very big part in my life. I have decided that I want the rest of my life to be dedicated to that so, rather than going straight to university in September/October I have decided to take a year out, for a bit of a break from cramming my brain with information and instead to EXPLORE the world and career opportunities; LEARN more about the Bible, ministry and where God wants me; and to LOVE the people that I meet along the way. 

I’m hoping that the experiences I’m going to have throughout the next year are going to help to make my next steps clear and will be good preparation for going to university the following September to study Theology (that’s the plan at the moment!)

So what I want to do is to share my life with you all through this blog over the next year, so you can follow me as I explore, see what I’ve learnt and be inspired to love! I will blog daily (that’s not a promise but I will try) from day 1 (September 1st), but until then I may put up a few blogs just about my preparation for the year and to give you some more information about what it is that I will be doing over the year! 

Have a great day you wonderful people! 

Annabel Image