What is going on?

typewriterHello!

I know I haven’t blogged for a long time, my apologies. I have spent the summer thinking up ways to use my blog better and I have decided to upgrade and move my blog to a hosting site. This means I get more control over what I can do with my blog and it moves the blog to a place of more focus and intentional writing.

What focus will that be? My hope is to concentrate more on how Christians can engage with culture through books, films, media and video games. Within that I want to focus and share my thoughts on theology and encourage my readers to seek a deeper understanding and love for Jesus.

Where is this new blog? It is currently being made by me and its very close to completion! When I have finished with it and its ready to go I will post on here and the various social media sites. It will be a new blog address, so keep posted 🙂

I love having you all as my blog readers and would love it if you could follow me over to the new site once its up!

In the meantime please do comment on what you would love to see on the new blog, what films/books/video games/theology  you would like me to talk about from a Christian perspective and generally your thoughts!

Thanks so much for all your support and I will be posting the new site on here soon!

Cat

A New Book Review Blog

booksquareI have some exciting news!

My friends (Ali, Emily and Kristi) and I have set up a new blog for book reviews called Book Square Blog. We thought that as we read lots of books it would be fun to review them and to have a resource for people to look through when considering which books to read.

We wont just be reviewing christian books, there will be biographies, novels and also resources on how to read or what particular books are good for certain topics! We are still in the early stages of this, but we would love your input through comments or recommendations of books for us to review!

Currently we have our first book review up. So why not check it out!

M.E. Awareness Week

I didn’t know if I should write this. It feels really sensitive and it is. But I want to write this so that those who read this will learn more about M.E. I want to write this because I want to learn more.

It is M.E. awareness week.

I remember when I was in school there was a girl in our class who had M.E. She would be off school a lot. I didn’t really understand what it was or what it meant. Everyone just knew that she was really tired all the time. I didn’t know it was something way more than that.

Not until I met and befriended a lovely lady called Tanya who has M.E.

The media isn’t very helpful when it comes to M.E. They seem to only portray it as a psychological problem. There are reports that suggest M.E is all in the mind. It’s like they are saying – You are making this up or You just need to think happy thoughts. You just need to get out of this rut.

It seems like the doctors don’t really know what to do and it doesn’t seem like there is any extensive research going into this.

I find this odd. I wonder if these people who write articles in the newspaper have ever had experience with M.E. Have they ever been friends with someone with M.E? I fear the answer is probably no and they see these people as statistics rather than friends, family or partners. Perhaps as you read this you are inclined to believe those papers without ever actually meeting someone with M.E.

The reason I write this is because when I read Tanya’s blog post about M.E. it reminded me that I have a lot to learn and that what the media says isn’t always reality.

Becoming better friends with Tanya has been great and we enjoy our chats in the afternoon with good coffee. Through this friendship one of things that she has helped me understand is the affects of M.E. And as you read this I wanted to tell you that her M.E. isn’t made up or all in her head. And neither are her friends making up their M.E.

When you get to know someone and you chat and you share worries and dreams and you pray together you begin to see their heart. You begin to see that M.E. is terrible and very real. This isn’t something you would make up – it’s not something you would want to make up or lie about. It is real and it is a thief that robs time and energy away from my friend.

I don’t want to make a case study of Tanya. But I want to show you that it is better to look into, to understand, to meet people and to research and ask questions before believing what the newspapers or the hype says about it.

The truth is I don’t always know what to say. I try to ask as many questions as I can to learn more. I want to learn and understand more. I want to pray and pray for healing too. I don’t know what its like to have M.E. But I want to say I believe you and not in a patronising way, but in a way that says I want to understand more and ask how can I help?

So then, if you feel the same and want to know more, here are some places you can go which may help and has helped me:

Tanya’s blog post on M.E awareness week

Tanya’s post on why you should care about M.E.

Action for M.E

Jenny’s blog

Talking with art students

I am no expert in art. I like some art, I like engaging with it and looking at it etc. As Christians I think we need to encourage our brothers and sisters who are artists or art students in our churches. So I want to bring to your attention a great blog written by two of my friends on staff who are reaching art students on their patch and they are engaging with art in an amazing way. Why not check them out here:

http://uccf-arts.blogspot.co.uk/

Here are some fab quotes from the blog to wet your appetite:

“We are passionate about seeing Christian art students live wholeheartedly for Jesus: both in the way that you create,  and also in the way that you do life at art college.  We pray that this blog will bless, encourage and resource you to get digging deeper into gospel truths, and delight all the more in the gifts God has given you.”

“Artists are societies’ visionaries or to quote Mark ‘society’s equivalent of specsavers’!  As artists we help people to see what they don’t naturally see.  We are more deliberate in feeling, seeing, hearing, tasting, and sensing the world around us because we study it in a more intense and deliberate way, and so we are making people see more of what’s around them.”

“Whether you are based in an art college, a university, or an office, they all have a culture of their own which has been produced by the people of that place over years.  Do you ask questions of the cultures you live in?  Are you contributing in a Godly way to your cultures, or are you just going with the flow?  Are you mindful of what you paint, sing, dance, design?  Cultural history is easily read through the art of the time so we really do have a great responsibility as the current generation of Christians making art.  Let us have dominion, make work and live lives that produce a cross shaped culture.”

Why move to WordPress?

So you have found your way to my new blog! And you are probably wondering why I have moved? Good question! Why not grab a coffee and have a read of a couple of reasons why I have moved…

1. A Fresh new start – I started blogging in 2004, that’s about 7 years ago. Thats also the year I become a Christian. 7 years is a long time on a blog (although a lot of earlier posts have been deleted due to a spring clean!) and so much has happened! Through the blog there has been a journey of my Christian life and thoughts that have gone through stages. for example – being a student at University, being involved in the Christian Union at Surrey Uni, theology, first trip to Peru, calvinism, International outreach, doing Relay for a year in Exeter CU, discovering l’abri, moving to Peru for a year doing student work, then moving to the UK and becoming a UCCF Staff Worker, then buying a house and getting married, then Reeves, Sibbes, Art, Sunshine of the Gospel, Trinity and now I am here still very unfinished and only 24 – so still arrogant and young enough to think I know everything… Its time for a fresh start in this new stage of life which is reflected not just personally (being a wife and staff worker) but also in terms of thinking about who God is and all things theology and baking and cooking and photography…

2. A pleasing platform – WordPress is quite nice to work with and less chunky as blogger. I like the cleanness of it – a clean canvas helps me think! I enjoy using the dashboard and writing on this writing thingy you put posts on.

3. A new canvas – as mentioned above, this feels like a fresh to new canvas. It’s like opening a book for the first time and enjoying the smell of unread pages. Its like brewing the first cup of coffee of the day and inhaling the aroma goodness… you get my drift.

4. More creativity and thinking – I never really have a theme in mind for my blog. I guess the theme for this is the Sunshine of the Gospel, meaning I want to warm people to Christ and see His great love for them. I think this should be not only in the form of writing thoughts and theology and what is seen in the bible, but it’s also the everyday mundane things and also the very creative artwork around us and cooking and lots of questions. I want to explore more of these things, engage with them and write about them and create a conversation…

Why not join the conversation and see what we come up with?