Monday, February 28, 2011

when things don't go to 'plan', for the better.

It is interesting yet frustrating how sometmes the plans you made don't work out for whatever reason. It is even more interesting, and perhaps a bit more gratifying or satisfying when in hindsight you see and understand WHY those things didn't work out! Particularly when the delay between the two is small.
Spring is coming!

 I had one of those situations this weekend.  I had planned to go to newcastle to catch up with some friends up there, and as you may have guessed that didn't end up happening! I have a little bit of a reputation at times for not being completely prepared, or for being too laid back and not paying attention to departure times of flights/trains/buses.I was out with some work friends in Liverpool on Friday night, and when I got home I thought I should probably check what time the bus to Newcastle actually left (as I had already bought my ticket). Only to discover that when I had bought my ticket, I'd accidently bought a bus ticket up to newcastle leaving at 0745 on SUNDAY instead of Saturday! I didn't think it was worth the hassle of 5 hours on a bus up to Newcastle, a couple hours hanging out with friends to catch a 3hour train back...

Lady Lever art gallery in Bebington

The gardens at Lady Lever art gallery

Mersey ferries against liverpool

Muddy Mersey

Streets in Birkenhead

So I decided to stay in Liverpool for the weekend and was rewarded in many different ways. The sun came out!! On both days, though not for the entire day. Saturday I spent wandering around Birkenhead for a little bit where I walked to the ferry point and had a look around the Mersey river from that side. I now know where Birkenhead park is but I didn't end up there this time. Apparently Hyde Park in New York is based upon it. Then I went into Liverpool and wandered all around there as well.
Bombed out St Lukes church

I learnt quite alot of things that I didn't know previously. For example, I went to St Lukes church which was bombed during the war adn learnt about life during that period. The church is beautiful, but only the outside of the structure stands. The council bought the church and it is now used as a place of peace and serenety after the destruction of the war, with urban gardening inside. You can do as much or as little gardening as you want.

Down at Albert Dock there is the Maritime Museum, the Slavery Museum, the Tate Art Gallery and a fair few other things. I only managed to get through part of the Maritime museum, so will have to go back down there again to get through some more of them as they were all pretty fascinating. I learnt that three major ships that sunk within three years originally came from Liverpool - the Titanic, the Empress and something else that I forgot the name of. There was heaps of memorabilia from the different ships and tales of life during that period, particularly during the war.

The entrance to China town

However, the main reason that it was good in the end that I didn't go to Newcastle this weekend was that I found a church! First time lucky! :) I was googling 'liverpool, church, young adults' and came up with a few different options, two of which I decided to check out. One of them, the one I ended up at today had on their young adults page, the numbers of a few of the leaders of the various groups. So I sent a msg to one of them yesterday and got a few messages back from them, which was a promising start! It was raining a little bit when I left the hospital (where I'm living) this morning. I'm currently relying on public transport to get around, which is both good and bad. If you miss the bus on a Sunday though, you have to wait an hour for the next or catch a few buses to end up where you want. Luckily for me, when I ran to the bus, it was there waiting and I got straight on and managed to find the church straight away. Everyone was extremely friendly and welcoming and wanting to chat which was encouraging as well.

The message though, that was what really sealed the deal for me here though (as well as the friendliness!!). I found it to be really challenging, practical and beneficial as the stage of life that I am in. And I guess just following on from things I've been reading and learning this week as well. It all just seemed to fit.

It was on 1 Samuel 17, and about facing your 'goliaths' - the things that sap your hope, undermine your confidence, intimidate you. We have a tendency to only focus on the strength of Goliath and the weaknesses in our lives and then feel inadequate to overcome it. We need to take Davids' example, face our giant, raise up and conquer it, by replacing the giant focus with a God focus.

David's immediate focus is on God - he mentions God ten times and Goliath only twice, a factor of 5:1. We need to face up to the things that pull us down, keeping the focus on God. The armies of heaven are with us.

You are my King and my God.
You command victories for Israel.
Only by your power can we push back our enemies;
only in your name can we trample our foes.
I do not trust in my bow;
I do not count on my sword to save me.
You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies;
you disgrace those who hate us.
O God, we give glory to you all day long
and constantly praise your name. Psalm 44:4-8

Goliaths try to come and steal our happiness. We need to then need to magnify God, make him the biggest thing, the centre stage, doing whatever it is to get our hearts singing again and worshipping God. (Might I add that I am missing my guitar like CRAZY right now....)

It is incredible how a little bit of refocusing on what is actually important can completely change your mood. I am blessed.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post Gemma! Thanks very much, it's exactly what I needed to read.