A week in retrospective

A week in retrospective – w/c 29/06/09

As regular readers of this blog (if such people exist) will undoubtedly have noticed, posts have become somewhat scarce recently. I won’t try and recap the last few weeks as it would be painfully tedious for me to try and remember what happened and probably equally dull for everyone else to read about.

Sunday 28/6/09

This was my first Sunday back from university, so I had the joy of seeing the fellowship at Tinshill again for the first time in a few months. I had been delighted to read the papers from the church AGM a few weeks previously, and was really encouraged by the activity of the church and the growth of some of my friends there, so it was good to be back with my home church. The day was also my mum’s birthday and she seemed to enjoy it.

Monday 29/6/09

In what was already shaping up to be a week of firsts, this was my first day back at work. I work over the summer holidays in the office of United Beach Missions, a Christian group which (as the name suggests) runs missions on beaches to tell people about Jesus. Adele, my boss, was delighted to see me again because she no longer has to do all the donkey work like putting prayer letters in envelopes and emailing hundreds of people separately to confirm their applications. It was good to be back at work, and have a bit of discipline back in my life, but I’d forgotten how tiring a simple office job can sometimes be!

Tuesday 30/6/09

Tuesday was another day at work. My work is general administration work, and is rarely particularly exciting or noteworthy, but it’s a necessary job and I’m pleased that I can serve God (both by working generally, and also be being involved in an evangelistic organisation) and earn money at the same time. On the bus on my way into work I’ve been re-reading The Busy Christian’s Guide to Busyness (which I cannot recommend highly enough). highlighting lots of bits which I find particularly helpful, and obviously I’ve been trying to live the Biblical lessons from the book which are perhaps easier to apply at work than they usually are. In the evening I got round to watching the Confederation Cup final on iPlayer. At the start of the match I could understand how some people find football a really boring spectator sport, but once the USA scored their first goal the match got going and I loved it.

Wednesday 1/7/09

During the day on Wednesday I received an email from my project supervisor suggesting a book which might be helpful for me to look at, so I was radical and actually visited a library! It was the first time I’d been to a public library for years and of course the system has completely changed. Taking out a book was now self service, and I was particularly impressed that I could look online at work and find out not only which libraries had the book I wanted, but also what code it had on their shelves! I made the mistake of not asking how to return a book, but I assume it will use the same self service machine and probably be quite straight forward.

I popped into a shop on the way home and spent 99p. I gave the shopkeeper a tenner, and he gave me some hideously incorrect maths with my change. He gave me four pound coins and one penny, followed by a five pound note. Nothing wrong with the change, but his explanation of it was along the lines of  ‘four plus one is five, and another five makes your ten’. As a (wannabe) mathematician it was painful to hear 4 pounds added to one penny to make five pounds!

In the evening I headed out to Hullabaloo, the Leeds juggling club, which was taking advantage of the good juggling weather in the local park. I hadn’t been since the Easter holidays, of course, and I haven’t been going for long, so when I arrived a few of the regulars were taking bets on my name, which was amusing to say the least. None of them had forgotten it completely, they simply couldn’t decide between Tim and Tom, so my ego didn’t take too much of a battering. The evening was really good fun, including a lot of impromptu games such as juggling races. One juggler got a well-deserved round of applause from a group of girls sat nearby who were majorly impressed by how far he could run while juggling five balls. It was also a good chance to get to know them a bit better, which happened well as the aforementioned juggler is as friendly as he is talented and a few others were also more welcoming than they have previously been. I realise that makes me sound like a friendless loser, but hey.

Thursday 2/7/09

The way the UBM office routinely works has changed a bit this year, with much more being done by email, a change which is set to save about £500 per month on postage bills. We get a reference for every team member from their church minister, and while this has previously consisted of sending a letter and waiting days for a reply, this year it has been a joy to send the letters by email and receive replies mere hours later. What a shame CRB checks can’t be done so quickly!

In the evening was the church Bible study and prayer meeting, and it was an especial delight to be able to pray with the fellowship I am a formal member of. Sadly I didn’t write down the prayer points (a mistake I must remember to rectify next week!) but it was still good to be up to date with the current prayer needs and answered prayers of the church.

Friday 3/7/09

Friday morning in the UBM office means one thing – prayer letters. Team leaders send their reports of the week Thursday night, and they get put into a prayer letter Friday morning for distribution in the lunchtime post. It is a much less intense and stressful time than it has been in the past as more people elect to receive it by email (hoorah!). Afterwards I spent a large part of my time cutting up A6 flyers and removing the white borders left by not printing to the edge of a page. It was a surprisingly fiddly job, but not very taxing mentally or physically and it afforded a good (and well-taken) opportunity for a general chat with Adele. Sadly the day ended less well, as I didn’t leave until 6pm (an hour after I was supposed to) because I finished off with the intensely frustrating task of stapling together some booklets which were far too thick to be stapled and really needed proper binding. My mood wasn’t improved by requests to do housework when I got back, but I hope I remained grateful for my lot in life regardless.

Saturday 4/7/09

The majority of the day was absorbed with the Yorkshire FIEC joint churches day, at which I was helping supervise primary school aged children. The day consisted of such activities as singing songs, playing a variety of energetic games outside (which finished off most of us helpers!) and obligatory playing on bouncy castles. IT was a good fun day and I trust the talks were useful for the adults able to listen to them. In the evening I caught up on blog reading, watched Total Wipeout (because it was recommended by someone, and it was actually more entertaining than I remembered from the one time I’d seen it before) and generally sorted out things which needed doing on my computer.

A week in retrospective – w/c 07/06/2009

Sunday 7/6/09

This was my 20th birthday, and God blessed me with a lovely day. Church was good; time spent with one of the church families was good (and their children were well behaved – it’s lovely to see them maturing each time I visit!); and when I got home I found Lee had left me a lovely birthday present! All in all a rather nice day methinks.

Monday 8/6/09

This week was RUCU’s prayer week. I was rather disappointed by the turnout to the engineering prayer slot – only Lee and I were there – but by Monday the timetable for the week hadn’t been sent out so people probably just forgot about it. We prayed about the Bridges hall event which was happening that afternoon for a while, then went over to Bridges for it. It was a success, but not a huge one. We had hoped to play games on the field outside Bridges and have a refreshments stand with goody bags (or Gody bags as one person named them) containing information about the small group and the CU, a testimony, a FREE gospel and of course some sweets. As it happened the day wasn’t as sunny as would have been ideal, but a few people came by personal invitation and had some interesting conversations. A number of passers by also took goody bags, and one stayed to chat about the gospel for a few minutes. There weren’t many people, and no-one committed to coming to anything in the future, or anything like that, but the gospel was heard by non-Christians so I pray and trust God will use the event.

Tuesday 9/6/09

It was on Tuesday I learnt a lesson which will undoubtedly stand me in good stead for future prayer weeks – spread the prayer out! I hadn’t deliberately tried to put all of it together, but it had worked out that from 9am until 4pm I was either meeting people on the RUCU committee or praying with various groups of people. In the evening I went to church for the Bible study and prayer meeting, and while it was wonderful to spend so large a proportion of the day in prayer it was very tiring, and more importantly it didn’t particularly help increase my desire to pray as I became less focused on God and more focused on meeting my commitments.

Wednesday 10/6/09

Once again there was a disgustingly early committee meeting at 9 in the morning. Afterwards I filled the time until Idol Chatter (at 2pm) with the morning ablutions I’d skipped after getting up late and my main session of Bible reading and prayer for the day. Idol Chatter was very helpful and practical. It was great to go through some well thought out examples of how to identify idols in the lives of others and sensitively deal with them, but probably more helpful to me personally was the recognition it brought of needing to get to know people more deeply by sharing my own heart with them. There was a joint prayer meeting with Speak, the Christian social action group, which took place after Idol Chatter. Only three people (including myself) who don’t normally go to Speak were there, which was very disappointing, but it was good to pray for issues I rarely remember in prayer. Once home I ate dinner and then mucked about with my housemates for a while. I can’t remember the exact events of the evening, but I do remember accidentally dropping Lee’s slipper out of my bedroom window onto the roof below. Yes, I know it sounds ludicrous that it could be an accident, but I assure you it was. We eventually got it back by fishing for it with a leaf rake, after a few failed attempts to get onto the roof which were abandoned when our ladder (found left behind by previous tenants, and with a rung and several screws missing) gave an unceremonious cracking sound while I was standing on it. Added to that it wasn’t really tall enough, and I don’t have enough upper body strength to pull myself up the sort of distance I would have had to. Once the slipper was restored to Lee and relative sanity restored to the house, I caught up on reading blog posts and helped Andy reply to an email he received off the back of a goody bag from Monday, which was a great encouragemet to us both

Thursday 11/6/09

10am was the start of Thursday for me, as it was when I met Josh to pray. Meeting Josh in any context is always a fantastic encouragement, and it’s a joy to pray with anyone, so combining the two was a real privilege. Once home I took advantage of the fine weather and went into the garden for a quiet time which particularly struck me. In the afternoon I met Gareth, also always encouraging, and he was kind enough to shelve any plans he had for the meeting (though to be fair he may not have had any) and give me the benefit of his organisational ability which I hardly need to say is considerably greater than mine. After my meeting with him I went and prayed with the Bridges small group and then had the RUCU main meeting in the evening. The meeting went well with a talk from Jim Hillier which was both entertaining and, I would opine, very helpful. Certainly his openness and honesty seemed to help a lot of people connect with what he was saying.

Friday 12/6/09

Friday was one of those days during which I work hard, do loads of useful jobs, but then when I take stock at the end of the day nothing seems to have changed. I made good use of my time, which is sufficiently unusual for me to be an encouragement in and of itself, but the things I did all seemed to be small tasks. Still, they needed doing, so it was with a sense of a day well spent that I went to a meal at Dan’s house in the evening. I’m not a great socialiser, but it was a good time with some good friends, and Dan’s policy of putting me at the front of the queue when food was served successfully ensured I finished eating around the same time as everyone else. The skittles milkshake he made me was interesting – it would appear that his blender is somewhat defunct, and is incapable of blending skittles, so I essentially had a faintly flavoured milkshake with a huge lump of wet skittles at the bottom of it. It tasted good!

Saturday 13/6/09

Sadly Saturday was not as productive as the Friday which preceded it. It got off to a bad start when my getting up was foiled 3 times by housemates getting in the shower before me. I must admit I was somewhat shocked that so many of us were wanting showers at around 11am, but we’d obviously all wanted lie-ins. Once we were all successfully washed, we had the pleasure of the company of the girls who we knew particulary well in the Bridges small group last year. We had a full english breakfast as brunch, and by the time washing up was done a considerable portion of the day was used up. I finished Prince of Persia, which probably won’t help me persuade Gareth that I’m not addicted to it, and got some reading done which was wonderful as I seem sadly unable to read books when I’m in Reading. I suspect the cause is more likely to be my computer, but it seems more of an issue in Reading than Leeds. I’m part way through many books, as I’m one of these people who buys books at a faster rate than I read them, but the two I’m actively reading at the moment are Don’t Waste Your Life (link to pdf – large file) by John Piper, which I bought a long time ago (possibly at the RUCU houseparty 2007?) but recently restarted after giving up only two chapters into the book, and A Call to Spiritual Reformation by Don Carson which I purchased after the glowing review it received from Dan Bailyes at main meeting this week. I trust the Lord will bless me from both of them.

A fortnight in retrospective – w/c 24/05/2009 & 31/05/2009

This post is extremely late, for which I apologise. However, I am sure the length will concern most of you more than the timing.

Sunday 24/5/09

The sermon (mp3) in the morning service was all about God’s promises to us. It focused on 2 Peter 1:4 but darted around many passages in the Bible looking at some of the many and varied promises that God gives to His people. During the day I was very grateful for concern shown by the man whose house I was staying at during the afternoon as he thought I was unusually quiet. It was lovely, as always, to know the church members do care for me and look out for my wellbeing, and it was nice to be able to open up about my worries about my 3rd year project. He was not unsympathetic. In the evening I took a wander to Carey to see Anna’s baptism, which was a joy to see. How exciting to see four people publicly professing that God has changed them and is continuing to change them! Once I was home I filled in the evening by watching Thunderball, which I’d not seen before. Having a housemate who owns all the James Bond films has its advantages.

Monday 25/5/09

Monday was a busy day, beginning with my quiet time and reading blogs before RUCUS at lunchtime. Afterwards I met Geraldine for one of our regular meetings before going to Isaac’s stag do. After watching some of the others playing mao at his house we went to Wagamama’s, which I’d never been to before. It was the first time in about 15 years that I’d used chopsticks, so although I was rather proficient in their use in reception I took even longer than usual to eat my meal! Most people didn’t think that was possible! We went on to watch the new Star Trek film which was well summed up by Adam when he asked me “Do you like sci-fi? Do you like action films? Well you’ll like this then”.

Tuesday 26/5/09

I got up a bit later than hoped, as I was back from the film quite late, but I managed to get going by about 10:30. It took a long time to go through my emails, so it was time for lunch by the time I finished. I watched panorama while eating my sandwiches, then planned the RUCU committee meeting and spent some time thinking through RUCU’s constitution. After dinner I was at a Bridges small group prayer meeting which was great, and we had a good planning time for our hall event too. Before going to bed I read a bit of John Piper (Don’t waste your life) which was nice, as whenever I’m in Reading I hardly do any reading. I blame the place name.

Wednesday 27/5/09

My day started at 9am with a committee meeting, after which I met Janice to plan the CU main meeting for that week. In the afternoon I went to a chaplaincy social barbecue held at Mark’s house. I’d never been there before, and it was a really nice house. The BBQ was pretty good too, though it should be given how many Mark seems to do every year! It was a good chance to chat to some of the Christians at the chaplaincy who I don’t know very well, though I fear I made quite poor use of it.  I did some revision in evening, but ended up being distracted by having a play fight with Lee (no idea how or why it started) then stayed up chatting to Andy until about 3:45. At this point it was getting light at the birds were singing outside, which appalled Andy when I told him to listen. Sadly it was not a unique experience for me.

Thursday 28/5/09

I got up far earlier than my body would have liked and used the morning to do last minute revision for my afternoon exam. I decided to revise in Cafe Mondial to avoid being distracted by my computer, and I had arranged to meet Cid there at lunchtime to ask him to consider being RUCU prayer secretary. By God’s providence I met him on the way and asked him then, which was more convenient for both of us. My exam was very good, and I had to answer two questions which were both easy. The topic included some things I had done enough before for it to be common sense, and the parts I hadn’t already known was quite straightforward. The CU main meeting was in the evening, and I, being a genius, forgot my printed plan of the evening. I was meant to meet Jonathan Wilmot, our speaker for the evening, in a card park I had given him directions to, and had to run to redo my printing and still meet him. The meeting was fine, being full but a little unorganised.

Friday 29/5/09

Friday had a slow start to day. I forget what mundanity filled the morning, but it was the RUCUS summer party at lunch which wasn’t very party-like, but was a good chance to chat as lots of people turned out. I think I spoke to all the people I know there, so I was quite pleased even though I found no opportunities to share the gospel, something I’m desperate to do with them! Afterwards I was at another social, this time for the RUCU committee. The idea was to get to know each other a bit better, and it was very enjoyable, but slightly spoiled by the fact two people couldn’t make it. In hindsight arraging it on a day when one of them had a placement was exceptionally poor planning on my part, but never mind. Gareth kindly ran a freshers seminar after it, which was helpful, but I have project work kicking off so I still don’t have a great deal of free time. To my shame a significant amount of the seminar hasn’t yet been used. I chose modules at the last minute, and looked a bit further into possible 3rd year projects. I was still a little undecided between computer science and cybernetics projects, so I wrote a shortlist which ended up consisting of 8 computer science projects and 4 cybernetics ones, so I chose computer science with a view to switching if it became problematic. Despite knowing I needed to get up in the morning the next day I watched My Weapon is a Dog and Reggie Perrin on iPlayer, which was stupid. Both programmes were disappointing anyway.

Saturday 30/5/09

The Pure day dominated, running as it did from 10am-4pm. It was much less awkward than I expected, and it was refreshing to talk so openly and honestly without the usual social restraints of casual conversation. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I found it to be less practical than I expected (I don’t know what could make it more practical though). Having said that, I think what I found most useful was the Biblical grounding for it all rather than the practical discussion bits anyway, so I was very happy with it. On the way home I bought ice cream, which was wonderful (I can’t remember the last time I had ice cream from an ice cream van before it) then I made dinner for the house. A few Bridgites came over in the evening to watch Stardust, which was better than it looked though not brilliant. Later I watched Have I got a bit more news for you before heading to bed.

Sunday 31/5/09

For the first time in far too long I was ready to go out to church on time. This was largely because Rachel was visiting, and I didn’t want to make her late for church. I didn’t need to worry though as she managed that herself. I must confess to a mixture of relief and amusement at the situation. The morning service contained what I considered to be a very good sermon, about the need to add to faith, not for salvation but for growth (mainly taken from 2 Peter 1:5-11). During the afternoon I spent time at Meg’s with Rachel, Andy and Daniel and had lots of good conversations. Discussing the morning sermon was particularly interesting. The evening sermon was about Jesus’ authority, and some parables about him. Once home I watched the MotoGP race from Mugello which was an excellent race, probably the best so far this season.

Monday 1/6/09

In the morning the university put on an introduction to computer science projects, which was just about useless as the lecturer leading it essentially read the information he had put online a few weeks previously. More helpfully, he also arranged a free lunch afterwards to chat about the projects with the staff who were proposing them. I talked to a few people who had proposed projects I was interested in, and based on that I chose to do a project focused on family tree software, and enabling it to do more than it currently can. I popped briefly into RUCUS before meeting with Geraldine for our weekly confab, and in the evening small group was held outside, this time rather more warmly than the previous occasion!

Tuesday 2/6/09

Having slept in rather tooo long, I confirmed how unfit I am by attempting to jog onto campuslate for my meeting with two people I know from CU. Afterwards I chatted to Mark Laynesmith for a while, then headed with him to the RUSU faith forum. The meeting was fairly dull, and didn’t affect RUCU on the whole, but there were a few bits that did. I didn’t contribute, but Peter did a fine job of representing the work of RUCU. In the evening I made my usual trip to the house of a family at church who kindly put up with the students before the Bible study and prayer meeting each week. Somehow I managed to leave my Bible study preparation for the next day’s committee meeting rather late, so it was abuot 4:30am before I got to bed! Definitely not a habit to be cultivated!

Wednesday 3/6/09

Naturally, given my late night, I managed to pitch up to the committee meeting somewhat later than would have been desirable. Once it was over I registered my selection of project choices (I had to choose three in case my first choice was too popular) then went to meet Andrew Waugh. After a very productive conversation with him, during which he was both gracious and instructive, I went to Idol Chatter, a seminar being run by Will Eley about identifying idols in our lives. During the evening I spent my time reading before watching The Apprentice and You’re Fired with Andy, and managed to get to bed at a reasonable hour of the day.

Thursday 4/4/09

Thursday was the most frustrating day I have had for quite a while. I needed to print the RUCU constitutional changes which the committee is proposing to hand them out at the CU main meeting in the evening, I needed to go shopping for food before cooking dinner, and I needed to vote in the European elections. I decided to combine the three in a round trip I expected to take a little over an hour, but by the time I returned home significantly more time had somehow elapsed. I don’t know where the day went, and I have no recollection of time wasting, but neither do I recall what else I did before the CU main meeting! The speaker there was Simon Pethick, and he gave a very good talk full of application about not judging others and avoiding cliques, both useful lessons in a CU.

Friday 5/6/09

Much to my disgust by the time I got home from prayer breakfast my watch was informing me it was 10:20. Considering this is an 8-9am prayer meeting I wasn’t pleased! I had expected to stay longer than 9, but it still mucked up my timings for the day. After I had my quiet time it was already time to meet Josh, a meeting which also took much longer than expected, lasting as it did abuot 2½ hours. There wasn’t much time for me to spend at home before I was on campus again, meeting Josh and a few people from the Bulmershe small group to discuss how we can integrate the Bulmershe campus into our mission more. The evening consisted of nothing more lively than washing up and reading, but I was encouraged by a lot of the blog posts I read. I also got round to writing a blerb about RUCU and my testimony for a leaflet being given out at the Bridges hall event on Monday.

Saturday 6/6/09

Shockingly, I was up at about 9:30am, primarily because there was a joint church fellowship outing planned for today. It was sadly cancelled due to the rain, but I made good use of the time anyway by finally clearing my inbox (including one email from April!) and reading all the blog posts I hadn’t read over the last few weeks but wanted to. As I have slept since then, I am now incapable of remembering what else happened that day, but I do seem to remember the evening was much less productive than I hoped and involved watching iPlayer, or a film, or something along those lines.

My congratulations to those of you dedicated enough to read this entire blog post. Now get back to something useful!

A week in retrospective – 17/05/2009

Sunday 17/5/09

Both the morning and evening sermons at church were very good (see my thoughts about the morning sermon). Between the services I stayed with Andy and Pearl, and had a good chat with the preacher who was also staying there for the day.

Monday 18/5/09

I actually bothered to get up and go to prayer breakfast for once! Later in the morning I played Prince of Persia for the first time in quite a while, and managed to get past the fight I was stuck on. Once past it I made good progress through the game. Most of the afternoon and evening was taken up by a mega-meeting with Geraldine followed by dinner and CU small group. Big kudos to Benny for the pavlova!

Tuesday 19/5/09

I started Tuesday with the commendable intention of working out an overall plan for RUCU activities in freshers’ week this year. It didn’t happen, partly because I got up late again and had wasted half the day before I got round to doing anything, and partly because the anything largely consisted of playing Prince of Persia again. I did listen to Motsy’s talk from the Think Fresh seminar, because I’m just too impatient for Gareth to do it properly. There were some good points, but it didn’t work nearly as well without the group discussion bits which obviously weren’t on the recording. The church Bible study in the evening continued our look through Ezekiel, which for some reason comes out as Exekiel most of the time I type it. I should learn to touch type, but it’s an investment of time which I can’t be bothered making, even though having started a blog and (almost) finished exams this is clearly the time to learn.

Wednesday 20/5/09

This was a day which, like Tuesday, began with good intentions. This time it was to sort out everything on my to-do list which was there as a result of being RUCU chairman. I got some of it done, including the things which needed doing before the committee meeting on Thursday (such as the Bible study at the start of the meeting), but several things I’d hoped to do remain sadly undone. I managed to resist the temptation to waste time watching the apprentice, but I must have wasted my time doing something else judging by the number of things still to do.

Thursday 21/5/09

Thursday was actually quite productive, which was a nice change. From 9 until 2 I was with CU committee members, either in committee meetings or discussing other CU business. I watched the apprentice over lunch, and in the afternoon I had a lovely time out in the sun in the back garden looking at the start of Joel, as I realised that the church Bible study is the only place I’m regularly looking at the Old Testament at the moment. Once I was back inside I read blogs and what I call my ‘web dailies’ – all the websites I look at on a daily basis (dilbert, facebook, gmail, etc.) before dinner. The continued refusal of youtube to load was a continued annoyance (presumably it’s disabled after the 4chan attack). RUCU main meeting in the evening was good, and I chatted to several people I’d hoped to speak to and was encouraged by them.

Friday 22/5/09

The first real activity of the day, having gone through my various ablutions, was going to RUCUS at lunchtime. I had a good time swapping trick ideas, and chatting with friends, before going to have a chat with Gareth in the HUMSS JCR. Just short of two hours later we came out of HUMSS and there were still three jugglers hanging around, so I joined them for a few minutes but my arrival brought with it an awareness of the time so they all left fairly quickly. I went home and read various bits and bobs online before dinner, before the unheard of occurred – I actually tidied my bedroom! Not only that, but I vacuumed it and cleaned the vacuum cleaner (which meant I had to re-vacuum part of the room – oops!). Later in the evening I finally got round to watching The Narnia Code.

Saturday 23/5/09

Among the exciting tasks of Saturday were tidying my desk (I was pleased to discover it takes a surprisingly short amount of time) and washing my clothes. I also emailed home, which I’d neglected to do so far this term (sorry mum!) and read the list of possible third year projects I can do. I also read more blogs (it takes a long time to recover from a backlog over exams!) and looked over the many computer science proposals for a 3rd year project. I can do a project in either the computer science or cybernetics departments, but I’m currently inclined toward the computer science as I struggle more with the practical details of electronics than with programming and the like. To round off the day I watched the MotoGP race from last weekend and HIGABMNFY, which is not as catchy as HIGNFY but is also over 30% longer.

A week in retrospective – 10/05/2009

Sunday 10/5/09

There was a fellowship lunch at church, which was a lovely chance to chat with some people I don’t usually talk to very much, as well as some who I see most weeks. Andy and Pearl were good enough to invite me to their house for the remainder of the afternoon before the evening service (which contained a very good sermon about Jehu, who is someone I previously knew nothing about). It was also good to have a complete break from revision!

Monday 11/5/09

The morning was spent finishing off my revision for the digital circuit design exam I had in the afternoon. The exam actually went very well, and I hope for around 60-70% in it, which I will be very happy with if I get it as the marks for the module all come from the exam. Afterwards I had a meeting with Geraldine (the CU chairwoman), went to small group, and watched the third Pirates of the Caribbean film for some reason.

Tuesday 12/5/09

I had a horrendously bad lie in, and by the time I was ready to start work it was already into the afternoon! With less hours than I would have liked available before the church Bible study I finally got on with some stuff I needed to sort out for the CU. When I’d finished writing my to-do list I had 38 new tasks of varying sizes on it. It will take a long time to get through them all! I did a few things on the list in the afternoon before going to the Bible study, and I watched a few iPlayer programmes in the evening. It was a fairly dull day to be honest!

Wednesday 13/5/09

During the day I was mainly doing admin tasks, so it was fairly dull. I cooked and ate dinner, then got on with researching what the Bible teaches about fasting which was good to look at. I finally got onto revision for Thursday’s exam at around 9pm, just in time to miss the apprentice (which I watched after later in the evening!).

Thursday 14/5/09

There was a painfully early start for the CU committee meeting (which began at 9am, and which I was late for). I spent the rest of the morning highlighting parts of my notes in preparation for the afternoon’s open book exam. The exam actually went okay, and while the questions were on applications I knew nothing about, I was able to write about some of the principles behind them which was the main point of the exam. Once the exam was out of the way I relaxed for a bit before dinner and CU main meeting. The meeting was good, with Jamie Cater giving a good talk about how we as Christians should serve each other. It was taken from John 13:31-38 and was a very good exposition of verses 34 and 35 (in my opinion).

Friday 15/5/09

My first commitment wasn’t until 10am, but I still managed to pitch up almost 20 minutes late for it. I stayed on campus meeting people to chat about various CU-related things until about 4pm. I did get a nice break at one point in which I read Psalm 90 and was struck by a few things in the passage. Once I got back home I played Splinter Cell for the first time in a very long time, and steadfastly refused to do anything which could possibly be construed as work. Sadly this couldn’t continue after dinner as there was washing up to be done, and I needed to run the washing machine. I also rediscovered the joy of blast billiards, and obviously that put paid to the idea of doing anything productive.

Saturday 16/5/09

Peter was daring/foolish enough to risk serious wrath from me in the morning when he brought me breakfast in bed at the unearthly hour of about 9:30. Restraining myself to not shout at him,  tried and failed to go back to sleep for about 4 hours before getting up. I used what little dayI had left to try and read all the emails and blog posts I’d been ignoring for the last few days (20+ emails, 70+ blog posts). By the time dinner was ready I’d got through all the emails, but most of the blog posts had to wait for another day. Going to Dan’s for the Eurovision Song Contest was good fun, though the contest was very disappointing. Last year was hilarious, but it seems everyone took it more seriously this year and it was rather dull.

A week in retrospective – 03/05/2009

To keep me blogging and to keep any readers I may one day have up to date with what is happening in my life, I intend to post a summary of my week every Saturday. As you can tell from the fact today is Monday I’m being quite flexible about that! Still, here goes for the week from the 3rd-9th of May.

Sunday 3/5/09

As is usual for me on a Sunday I was at church twice, and at someone’s house between the morning and evening services. The morning sermon (mp3) was a particularly good talk from Hebrews 12 (AV linked as that is the version used by the preacher). During the day I had several good conversations and was particularly encouraged by the lady whose house I and a few others were eating at. She asked about whhat the CU was doing, and was incredibly encouraged by hearing about the routine meetings and things which have long since ceased to excite me. It was a real lesson for me, a vital reminder of how amazing God’s work always is!

Monday 4/5/09

I led the CU prayer breakfast and picked Colossians 4:2-6 to look at before praying. As always, it was incredibly encouraging to hear people praying not only for themselves, despite the stress of exam season, but also for others and primarily for God’s work. I don’t remember how I filled the morning, but the afternoon and evening was filled with various jobs I needed to do within the CU, which added to my feeling of overwork.

Tuesday 5/5/09

I got up two hours later than I planned, so missed some valuable revision time, but made up for it with a fantastic study of Psalm 116 for the CU committee meeting which was later in the day. What a wonderful passage! My afternoon was again filled with CU work, but in the evening I was able to rediscover the joy of serving others by doing the washing up! God was then gracious enough to use a prayer time with one of my housemates to give me peace and motivation for my revision.

Wednesday 6/5/09

In the morning I spent my time revising, both for the space robotics exam I had in the afternoon and for the exam I had on Thursday morning. The space robotics seemed to go reasonably well, though some of my answers were a little too vague. The remainder of the afternoon and evening was spent revising for my exam the next day (why do I always leave it to the last minute?), except for the distraction of the apprentice which I watched in two parts. Funnily enough, I got quite a late night!

Thursday 7/5/09

My morning exam  was very much blessed by God, and of the five questions I had to answer I would hope to have full marks on two of them! The other three went reasonably well too. In the afternoon I had planned to give out some sweets outside the university library with some other people from the CU as a way of getting to chat to people and simply cheering them up during their revision. As the weather was rather gloomy and windy we decided to postpone for another day when people would be more likely to be willing to stop and chat, and we all went home. In the evening I led the CU main meeting, and was encouraged by hearing some lovely stories of how God had used people flyering to glorify Himself.

Friday 8/5/09

In the morning I had quite a long lie in and the first major event of my day was going to the circus skills society. In the afternoon I was revising finite state machines (FSMs) for my next exam (Monday afternoon), and in the evening watched two episodes of Jeeves and Wooster with some friends.

Saturday 9/5/09

Again I had a long lie in, and by the time I had read my emails and caught up on the blogs I read it was well into the afternoon. I finished revising FSMs and revised programmable logic, also examined on Monday. I had the joyous task of cooking dinner for the house, and had the unusual experience of another housemate complementing me on my cooking. I think it was because I didn’t think it tasted very good, so maybe their idea of good cooking is the opposite of mine! The evening consisted of more revision, a time of prayer and lots of relaxation (which may have involved Have I Got News For You) before a rather late night leaving me with not enough time to sleep before getting up for church.