Thursday, January 22, 2009

People I am going to miss (Part 2)

This is an extremely frightening (on both parts) photo of me and my buddy Tim (aka Timbo, Timmy Magic, Madge, and the name Karen calls him)
Tim has been my friend now for about 18 months, and he is awesome and I am going to miss him.
Here are, to follow the trend, interesting facts about Tim...
1) Tim is a PCSO and cycles about 3000 miles a week or something similarly ridiculous. He doth like to solve crime.
2) Tim and I bonded early on in our friendship over a shared love of the chocolate bar which is supreme over all others, the double decker and Tim would always keep a wee stash when we lived together mainly for use when I was hormonal and needed chocolate.
3) Tim and I like to eat out together (It worries me in this post and the last how many of my friendships are built around food, but im going with it)...nandos, lamoon (oh yeeeeah), cheesy naans from the indian at Denmark Hill, Wagamamas, buddha Jazz and today, Joe's Kitchen joined our list of haunts. Tim is extremely generous and often pays for my dinner (more often than he should)
4) Tim is protective of me, sometimes too much, he once told my Boss he would break her face if she kept picking on me (No, he actually did!!!) He takes my side in most things even when Im wrong.
5) Tim has a stuffed cow called Moses that he takes everywhere with him and takes pictures of.
6) Tim has a habit of taking up random hobbies, eg judo and sailing!! He is odd
7) I like him, he is a good friend, i will miss him!!

Reading again

When I was younger, I had very few friends and was a huge geek.

Its ok, I dont need your sympathy, in fact Im sure some of you will say little has changed. But until my teenage years, my Saturday's were spent in the library getting as many books as I could carry and then the rest of the week, every spare minute would be spent consuming the books I'd got and disappearing into other worlds. I loved almost all kinds of fiction from "babysitters club" to "goosebumps" and "sweet valley high" (I already acknowledged I was a geek!)

This week, for the first time in years I found a book that gripped me to read like I used to. Since last Friday I've been unable to put this book down (one night I read til gone midnight...on a work night...this is almost unheard of for me)

Redeeming love tell the biblical story of Hosea through a novel set in America in the 1800's. "Angel" is sold into prostitution at the age of 8. She experiences unspeakable horrors and comes to believe that prostitution is all she is good for. Then God speaks to farmer Michael Hosea and tells him to marry Angel. Michael is a good upstanding man and can't understand why God would ask that of him. If he doesn't understand why he's marrying her, Angel certainly doesn't. She has put up so many barriers and learned not to trust men at all, so it is a difficult journey, but Michaels unwavering commitment to Angel begins to soften her. Scared of how she is feeling, she returns to prostitution, but once again Michael comes to rescue her. Eventually, Angel learns to love Michael. However, due to some of the awful things done to her as a child, Angel is unable to have children, and seeing how much Michael wants a family, she runs away again. This time, though, instead of returning to prostitution, she finds God, and opens a "safe house" for prostitutes who want to make their lives right and teaches them life skills to start again. Eventually, Angel learns that Michael is, 3 years on, still desperately unhappy without her, so Angel returns to him, knowing now that this is what God wanted all along.

Francine Rivers' writing is beautiful and really gripping. I literally couldn't put this book down. I dont usually like religious novels as I have often found them to be a little twee, but this certainly wasn't. I laughed at some bits and cried at others (on the tube, SO embarassing).

Of course, the story of Hosea in the bible is supposed to signify Gods love for Israel, despite the nations constant failure to live in a God honouring way. While reading a novel it is easy sometimes to forget that, but as I sat and read Hosea from the bible this morning, it was certainly brought to me in a new way as I related it to this story that I have so enjoyed to the love that God has for his people. Suddenly I was moved by it on a whole other level and God spoke to me about his love for me.

Highly recommended!!

So now I've bought her next book off Amazon for the plane :-)

Monday, January 19, 2009

This weekend has seen me on a whistle stop tour of the North to try to fit in seeing a whole load of people before I head off (8 days!!!)

Since Thursday morning last week, my trusty suitcase and I have been to...

Whitham, Leeds, Silsden, Ilkley, Huddersfield (long tongue scrog lane!!), Birstall (whoop), Morley and Scarborough...phew.

Highlights of the trip include

1) Roast Dinner and Balderdash at Sharon and Korn's.

2) Coffees and important chats in Starbucks

3)Getting my hair cut by my old (and favourite) hairdresser

4)Hula hooping and ski jumping on the wii fit at Jill and Chris' house

5) Cow and Calf rocks and Emma's amazing photography skills (!) and a drive from Huddersfield to Birstall...via Barnsley (only Emma could do it)

6) A wicked chat with Em and Jen about...well...everything

7) an inappropriate lunch invitation

8) Getting to Morley and being able to sit with Mrs Raine, one of my favourite all time people.

9) Hanging out with Ben and his housemates (check out and Ben's the drummer and the other band members are his housemates/housemates girlfriend. The video is a collaboration with some media students who made the video and performance students who play the two leads in the video)

10) Getting a free train ride (instead of a hideously long bus journey) home :-)

All in all a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

People I am going to miss while Im in Australia (probably part 1 of several)

This is Ben and Sarah

Ben and Sarah have been my friends for a LONG time (actually, ten years this year which is INSANE!!!) and they really are the best kind of friends you could have. Last night I had a HORRIBLE night, one of those that makes you feel like you can't breathe and you dont know what to I rang Sarah who's immediate response was "Of course you can come round, come right now, stay if you want you need food?" and who's less immediate but equally wonderful response was to buy me chocolate biscuits and Percy Pigs for when I was at their house. They're the kind of friends you can count on AND this year I get to be a bridesmaid at their wedding which is SOOOOO exciting and a huge priviledge.
Here are 10 interesting facts about my friendship with Ben and Sarah
1) When I first met them they were not together, which seems hard to believe now as it seems they have always been together and I know few couples more perfect for each other.
2)At this time when I met them, Ben was a boy racer with a little metro and used to work VERY hard at keeping my Dad happy by making sure I got home in time for curfew (on many occasions leaving Banstead with only minutes to spare and still getting me home)
3)Ben was also my YP band leader and endured much moaning from me...well...most of the time...I was going to say just during my orthodontic stage, but it wasn't at all, it was all the time.
4) Sarah and I have, together, been known to frequent the pizza hut buffet, and to this day the taste of bacon bits and blue cheese sauce makes me think of Sarah.
5) Ben and Sarah (and Carl) and I once had one of the funniest journeys of my life which started with a floor cleaner exploding in a service station and ended with us all talking with all our letters mixed up, I dont rember why, and singing weird versions of "Um bongo, Um bongo, they drink it in the congo..."
6) Sarah's birthday is just 3 days after mine, and so since I was 15 and she was 17 we have made some kind of joint birthday effort even if just phone calls and things. The first year we had a joint party which ended with a game of spin the bottle because I knew Ben liked Sarah and suspected Sarah liked Ben and I was determined to be involved in the conception of their relationship (I was not involved, they left it a few more weeks before getting together!! But I was still the first person Ben told...apart from Sarah...that they were together, yay!)
7) When I moved to Leeds, Ben and Sarah were some of the only people who properly kept in touch and came to stay in the scary Harehills house (haha I've just remembered the night they came to stay we were in the process of kicking out our druggy housemate and his grasshoppers and they were very patient (Ben and sarah not the grasshoppers)!!) That meant alot to me
8) We went to Blackpool together, and played crazy golf, and met strange northern people....that was fun!
9) On the hardest day of my whole life (seriously) Ben and Sarah invited me round to their house and we made truffles and was awesome
10)Since then, I have been to Ben and Sarah's house most weeks and had AWESOME food as Sarah is the best cook I know, seriously, GOOD food. AND Ben likes cheese nearly as much as I do, so we always have cheese.
Im sure I've forgotten some important stories, like ones of Ben running topless across Banstead High Street in games of dares, or...I dont know lots of stories, but I am REALLY going to miss Ben and Sarah (and now I know Ben reads this, he's got a mention, YAY!!!)


Check this out

Maff is now the director of homelessness services for The Salvation Army, and as such is one of my "team" at THQ.

Today I read an article about him and learned not only about the above transplant story but also that Maff himself was homeless for 9 months after his own business failed. That was what stirred him to go to work for crisis once he was back on his feet, and later to go on to work for the government before ending up with the army.

Prior to today he'd just been the guy who runs in and out of the office like a nutter and never stops for breath (although always a nice guy even when mocking my musical tastes or shoe advice) I am impressed (and amused by the video below)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Get Fair

During the time I've been working at THQ, I've done some research into the "Get Fair" campaign.

This week, the Salvation Army became a consortium member of the Get Fair campaign.

During the time I was looking at this stuff, I was really moved and challenged by the statistics about poverty, and specifically about child poverty. I have begun to ask some big questions about what I can do to make a difference. Im glad that the Salvation Army has signed up to this, but am challenged to do more as an individual. When 30% of children are living in Poverty, then as a christian, and a human being, I have to feel called to do something. During my time at Alove, I was constantly challenged about God's heart for the poor and what my response to that is, now more than ever, I feel that God is creating in me a heart for the poor, and Im continuing to follow his direction for how that will manifest itself in my choices, my future, my lifestyle.

Check out and watch this space

Friday, January 09, 2009

One More...Becca is

...Saddened but thanking God for the life of Christine Ord and praying for Norman, James and Helen.
Times like this I love the Army term "Promoted to Glory"

Becca is...

  • A little annoyed at the lack of power at her house
  • glad to have found a shower at THQ and to be all clean
  • Excited about Melbourne
  • Fed up of the cold
  • Overbooking herself in an attempt to see everyone in the next 2 weeks
  • Chuffed to bits with the blue cheese
  • In the doghouse
  • Excited about "Bride wars" and quality Imogen time tonight
  • Tired and a little bruised (and likely to sue...)
  • Reading a new book
  • Sad not to be at Essential1 training this week, missing you guys
  • Thinking of her parents today and hoping it's all going well.
  • Applying for jobs
  • Excited to catch up on Africa stories with the returning traveller tomorrow
  • Amused at the "who ate all the sweets?!" conversation
  • shredding for Great Britain
  • Glad it's nearly the weekend
  • A newly converted fan of One Tree Hill (despite the remarkably predicatable "uplifting speech" in each episode)
  • Looking forward already to going northwards next weekend and already salivating at the thought of chips with gravy on Scarborough beach with Ben
  • Wanting to bake brownies...inspired by Claire yesterday
  • missing facebook statuses and just needed to get that off my chest


Thursday, January 08, 2009

They did it!!!

I am so sad to have missed this...

Joff and Kari 03/01/09

and winner "Miss Gorgeous Bridesmaid 2009" (Until 23rd May when that title is mine lol)... My Twin...Miss Hannah Williams-soon-to-be-Bailey

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

We are family (complete with v cheesy pics)

In the last few months, by circumstance rather than design I've been a little "spiritually homeless." I left my church in Bromley prior to moving to Southampton, and then once I came back to London and knew it would only be for a couple of months, I didnt feel that comfortable going back to a church I'd left, but there didnt seem to be time to join another one.

That all combined with having been away for a fair few of the weekends, I have ended up being a bit of a "mystery worshipper" (see I have, in the last few months visited 5 Salvation Army's, 2 "mega churches," one local baptist church and one new(ish) plant. Not all in London. And, without mentioning names of churches, I have discovered the following

1) I like knowing the songs used in worship. I suspect this is the trad SA side of me fighting it's way out, but I do like a little bit of familiarity. I visited one church where I knew none of the songs, and I found it hard to engage with the worship because I felt self conscious and worried about singing the wrong bit in the wrong place.

2) I am very conscious of who Im with when I go to church, and this affects my experience. I know it shouldn't, but it does. I visited these churches with different people, friends, family, christians, people who arent so sure what they think/believe, people who've been away from their church for a good few months and needed someone to go with them and hold their hand (and on occasion pass tissues, you know who you are ;-)) and I definitely respond differently to worship according to who I'm with.

3)I flinch when churches give a little talk before the offering and brace myself against prosperity teaching

4)When aforementioned prosperity teaching is present, I have quite the inclination to walk out...although I never have...yet

5)Compared to some places I've been, my parents do flippin awesome sermons. Something which I have perhaps taken for granted. One of my Salvation Army visits which falls just out of the mystery worshipper time bracket heard my Mum preach the best I've EVER heard her and I was so proud to discover that alot of the congregation agreed with me on that.

6)I maybe have a pride issue.

7)I like to "boogy" in church and this makes some people (TIM) look at me funny. It also doesnt go down at all well in some SA meetings...

8)I guess one of my most important discoveries is that God reaches different people in different ways. I know that seems obvious, but it was special for me to experience God in a mega church context and then in a small school hall with just a few people. Its one thing to know that stuff and another to experience it.

9)and finally and probably most importantly, I discovered that I dont do well with different churches every week. In fact, I need church family, and I miss it. The most special experience I had in all of this was going back to the church I grew up in. Being surrounded by people who know me, really know me, and who love me was so important and enabled me to come to God in a really honest and secure place. It was a really special day and so moving. The church I was at is one that I've certainly had my issues with over the years, but the people there are my spiritual family, without doubt, and they have seen and loved the Webbs through some tough times and some flippin awesome times. So I now know that I need to find that sense of "family" somewhere. Obviously the next few months will see more upheaval and change and possibly finding a regular church is a good few months away, but Im really aware now that I need it. This is a good thing.I am learning :-)