How does God WOW you?

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

I think after Christ, my biggest passion is travelling and thankfully Ive been able to do plenty of that over the years. On Saturday night my friend and I were sitting looking up at the Eiffel Tower (as you do on a Saturday night) and surrounded my thousands of people from all over the world who had clearly travelled to see this sight. She turned to me and asked 'What do you think?'. The typical response would have been 'this is class' but yes even though I tought the Tower was big, it was well constructed, it looked amazing at night when it lit up and sparkled, I wasn't WOWed!

You can argue but I believe that being WOWed is when your heart skips a beat, when you think 'is this real?' and then realise it is, when all around is blaaahhh and all of a sudden out of no where God blesses you.

God WOW's me through His people and His world. I've realised as I've travelled that God chooses to speak to me through the folk I meet and the natural beauty I've seen in mountains and sunsets.I dont have to travel to the other side of the world for this to happen! I hear kids in my class talk about God and I sit back, smile and think 'wow, thank you God for letting me hear that today', I lived with a lady who was blind and going through chemo for the 4th time and never once did I hear her complain and I always thought 'wow, God you blessed me by putting me in her family', I stand in the middle of you guys at 2020 during worship and think 'wow, God these kids love you', and I get texts, notes and emails from you girls and again think 'wow, thats exactly what I needed to hear right now, thank you God.'

One of the most memorable times in my life when God WOWed me was the Winter Retreat. I was WOWed by your attitude, your maturity, your fun, your openness, your faith and your witness. You guys blow me away, and God has such BIG plans for every single one of you. God WOW's each one of us differently, in His own wee way!

How does God WOW you?

Posted by Kate Hanna at 15:06 2 comments  

Recent reading and thoughts...

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Ok folks, I've just made a similar post in my own blog but i felt it was appropriate enough to post here too! I have just finished reading 'Sex God' by Rob Bell wich according to the subtitle 'explores the endless connections between sexuality and spirituality'. It's an excellent read with Rob Bell's unique and creative style of writing, and ability to draw so much context and depth from Scripture.

One thing he writes about is singleness which resonated a lot with a conversation i had recently with a friend. Have you ever been chatting with someone who you maybe haven't seen in a while and they say to you 'well any girlfriends?' (or boyfriends, if that's your preference!). I have no problem with that question, and more often than not over the last 5 years my answer is 'No'! It's what sometimes happens next that i find frustrating. Their facial expression will change and their head will tilt a little to the side and they will say something like 'Ach well, sure it'll happen sometime!' Words of pity, as if my life is in some way incomplete or unfulfilled - it kinda makes me mad!

Rob Bell talks about this:

'It's possible for destructive messages to be sent to people who are single. That they are second class, less than, that they don't fit, that they should find someone, get married, and join the rest of us who are "normal."

If you are single, and you've been sent messages or it's been hinted at or even said to your face that you are somehow missing something, that you aren't good enough, that you don't fit in - that is not true. It's not just that you're fine single. The premise of the Scriptures is that you are able to connect with God and serve God in ways that those who are married can't. The tilt is for being single, not away from it.'
I meet people and their life revolves around finding a man/woman. They feel incomplete and believe their life will only really begin when they meet someone and get married. The sad thing is that God has a plan for their life NOW and they are completely missing out on it. I'm not saying relationships are wrong, on the contrary i think relationships are good, but being single is good too. I can't accept the view that one status is better than the other, they are just different. What do you think???

By the way, Rob Bell is speaking at Spires Conference Centre in Belfast on 12th June as part of his 'Calling all Peacemakers' tour. Click here for further info. Note that tickets can be purchased from Wesley Owen bookstore without having to pay the online £2 booking fee.

Posted by Neil Harrison at 13:00 3 comments  

Happy Birthday!

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Birthday greetings for today go out to:

Steven Curran

This is also a good opportunity to send greetings to:
Louise Harrison
whose Birthday is tomorrow!!!

Hope you both have great Birthdays!

Don't forget Fusion and 20:20 are as normal this week in the youth mobile. See ya there!

Posted by Neil Harrison at 13:20 0 comments  

Exam stress...

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

I know many of you are gearing up for exams in the next 2 months which can be a very stressful time for some. I completed my last exam in 2001 and i do not miss them in the slightest! As far as I'm concerned exams don't really test a person's knowledge/intelligence. In fact they are probably a more appropriate test of:

  • how fast you can write
  • how well you can cope under pressure
  • short term memory.
This is a personal frustration with exams and doesn't really help you as you face this season! As such i have copied from another site some 'Do's and Don'ts' to help you with exams.

DOs Try to work to a revision timetable - start planning well before exams begin - your teacher should be able to help you with this.

Make your books, notes and essays more user-friendly with summary notes, headings, sub-headings, highlighting and revision cards. Try using key words or spider charts. Get tips on other revision techniques from teachers and friends - do what works for you.

Everyone revises differently - find out what routine suits you best - alone or with a friend; morning or late at night; short, sharp bursts or longer revision sessions.

Take notes of important points when revising as an aid for future revision or if you need to clarify something with a teacher. Try explaining the answers to tricky questions to someone else, or look at past exam papers and try answering some of the questions.

Ask for help if there are things you don't understand. If you're feeling stressed out, talk to someone.

DON'Ts Don't leave revision to the last minute.

Don't avoid revising subjects you don't like or find difficult.

Don't forget that there is a life beyond revision and exams.

Don't cram ALL night before an exam.

Read more from the Child Line site >>

On top of this i want to encourage you to not lose perspective at this time. God made us all unique with different gifts and abilities. Some of us are more 'academic' than others and therefore will be more gifted in studying subjects and acquiring knowledge. Others are gifted in creating things, others in sports or music. Others have fantastic imaginations and others are gifted in social skills. There are so many different gifts and abilities that God has blessed us with and no set of gifts is better than another. Sadly we have an education system that still seems to promote 'academic' gifts above the rest that leaves many young people feeling less valuable or even stupid. This is simply not true - to believe that is to say that God made some of us better than others and that would not be a God of love.

So do not let this exam time stress you out to a point that is simply unhealthy. Listen and take heed of what Paul says in Philippians:

Philippians 4:6-7
6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

So with that in mind i (and the other leaders too) would like to be able to pray for you as you go through this exam period. In order to inform us better it would be great if you could leave a comment with your exam dates and we will pray for you on those dates. If you don't want to leave a comment then e-mail the dates to me at, although a comment here would be better as anyone who visits the site will be able to pray for you.

All the best folks and roll on the end of June!!!

Posted by Neil Harrison at 17:47 1 comments