August 12th (knowledge and experience)

I was feeling really impatient while doing Chi Kung this morning; at first I was really into it, then I wanted it to end. I started thinking of how the time spent doing it was extremely short in terms of the duration of my entire life, which helped. When I was walking to work, I suddenly had a massive appreciation of being alive. Spontaneous sprinting ensued, which also resulted in better punctuality.

After a day of constant verbal abuse in the kitchen, the Eastern theme continued with some wind-down Pilates. Then had an unexpectedly eventful worship session after tea.

I’m so used to the fact that Jesus is in everything, that I often forget there are times his presence is thick, in a way that defines a moment beyond the ordinary. Paul says in Philippians, “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.” Traditionally I have a more experience-based approach. But after an encounter comes the ordinary, out of which is born knowledge of his goodness, which tends to be even more profound.

August 8th (drifting)

I realised after watching a video on YouTube, that I’ve been doing one of the Chi Kung positions wrong. Now by the end, my body isn’t in total rebellion against my will. Excited for my chi networks to become more flowing.

I went down to church to have some random chats and print off some things, which should only have taken a few hours. But then the promise of free Nando’s chicken at lunch caused me huge delays, thus compounding the impossibility of me ever leaving that building on time. Then went to town to get some exciting purchases, including my next wave of female vocalists, and socks. Had a meeting with careers at uni, only to find out my understanding of geography hadn’t improved much since GCSE, and I was a mile away from the correct room, a minor problem overcome by the telephone.

Decided to have a coffee, as another questionable investment wouldn’t go amiss. Thinking about how I don’t want achieve success, such as earning loads of money, but self-realisation. Jesus asked me to read Psalm 37:

Commit everything you do to the LORD

Trust him, and he will help you.

Be still in the presence of the LORD,

and wait patiently for him to act

July 30th (the power of peppermint)

Got up really early to clean at church, before heading down to The Cabin. Even though it wasn’t the busiest I’ve known it, I found that shift the hardest I’ve ever done, because I was crossing so many different roles at once. I got to walk home in the rain though, in a sort cleansing and rebirth.

Pulled out a strong Pilates routine when I got back, before Callum called round to borrow our washing, being in dire shortage of certain, unspecified garments. I’ve never been really into peppermint tea, but I recently decided to diversify my tastes. Initially, £2.20 seemed a bit expensive when I prefer regular tea, but then I realised that’s about average for normal tea prices anyway. I’m conscious that with every sip I’m refining myself into a more purely spiritual being.

Enjoyed being with Holyspirit in the evening, sitting in my chair and listening to music. It was refreshing not to do any activity in pursuit of him.

July 28th (explicit worship)

Started off the day with my Chi Kung exercises as usual. The first position is much less strenuous than the second, but the time passes so slowly, and it’s more difficult to stay focused and still. Then went to work at The Cabin. I always like it when you e to reminisce and listen to music from your childhood with someone who shares similar tastes.

Afterwards, it was time to experience the fleeting appearance of Drapper in Sheffield. We ate tea while listening to the biggest worship album of 2015, Purpose by Justin Bieber. I like loads of music, and sometimes a single album seems to define a period of my life. I’ve not stopped listening to this since I bought it; it’s really full of searching songs. Some of them are explicit, XXX worship, as if he’s smacking you in the face with the book of Psalms, while others are more subtle.

July 18th (expectations vs reality)

I love the sun, but I fell victim to its strength sapping powers today. I cleaned a house in the morning, then bought some shopping on the way back. Under £25 for a week’s worth of food, some people call me Stu the Spendthrift. I was thinking of reading outside when I got home, but fell asleep for two hours instead. Then I actually had the energy to do Pilates. I normally take a sedate, relaxed approach, but today I was on a mission to finish as soon as possible.

Started listening to Relentless by Misty Edwards while having tea, instead of waiting until some theoretical and unobtainable moment of bliss. I was reading Psalm 24.

Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? 

Who may stand in his holy place?

The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol.

I remember walking up Ben Nevis a year ago thinking, “I’m going to encounter God so much at the top!” But when I got there, he said, “What are you doing, I’m everywhere.” I was thinking how humanity often aspires towards things based on what they expect of reality; for example, Superman is god in man’s image. But when Jesus appeared, he didn’t behave like a hero, and offended everything his nation and the Earth was expecting God to look and act like.

June 26th (just keep staring)

I always forget to go outside to do my Chi Kung in the morning, but remembered today. It makes more sense, and seems easier outdoors. Then Adam did us dirty by leaving for the states, never to return. As today seemed a good opportunity to abandon Sheffield, I too set off home, for the exciting task of culling my worldly possessions. Once again, Justin Bieber’s Purpose reigned supreme as my melodramatic soundtrack. I also started reading Love Wins by Rob Bell. Partway through the heaven and hell section, which is a topic I only think about once every two years. Quite interesting though.

After lunch, and spontaneous, passionate discussion about future careers, I walked to St Patrick’s Chapel to align myself with the spirit of Heysham. Took full advantage of the solitude to relieve myself in undisclosed locations. Hung around the ruins, then headed down to a rocky outcrop in front of the graveyard which I discovered a year ago. Stared at the sea, but gleaned no revelation. Was planning on reading the gospels, then fell asleep. Going to read some now though, as God told me a few days ago I wouldn’t progress without greater clarity on Jesus’ character.

Based on a true story – June 6th (depth)

Did worship on piano this morning at prayers. Started by reading Psalm 42; I love how David starts searching for God, expecting a stream, and finds waterfalls and seas. Also, his problems started because he stopped following him in worship.

Other random bible stuff happened today, but the inexhaustible necessity for card games yet again took prominence. Who knew Uno could become such a complex, contentious game? As self-elected games master, I was on the receiving end of mid-game rule changes from certain individuals, despite my resistance. Then there were complaints from the certain individuals when the new rules didn’t play out in their favour. 

Inflicted my presence on the Williams’ once again this teatime; I got so heavily ridiculed for my interest in Chinese exercise practices I may never return. Although the first two episodes of Naruto were watched, and received surprisingly well.