31 December 2013

The Twelfth Doctor

Peter Capaldi made a brief cameo appearance in 'Doctor Who' as a part of the show's fiftieth anniversary special 'The Day of the Doctor'. His regeneration scene took place at the end of 'The Time of the Doctor' (Christmas Day, 2013). His first full series as the Twelfth Doctor is scheduled for the Autumn of 2014.

Happy New Year, folks!

30 December 2013

Setting Targets

"I know what I have got to do. However, how am I supposed to go about doing it?"

I've been wondering about this sort of thing whilst compiling my 2014 'to-do' list during the last few days. This is because some of the targets that I need to set for the New Year are quite daunting, to put it frankly.

I am aware of all the right things to say in such a situation. 'Aim high'. 'Be bold'. 'Step out of your comfort zone'.

I must admit to a lack of confidence in some areas; I have trouble convincing myself that these bold plans will ever succeed.  I don't possess the brash, arrogant confidence of youth (did I ever have it?). I lack cheek, nerve, bottle. I can't just breeze through life. I seem to struggle every step of the way. (Yes, I know struggling is character-building. How much more character do I need?)

I guess that with maturity I am even more acutely aware of when I am overstepping my own boundaries. The ground is shifting; I often feel well out of my comfort zone. My inner voice screams at me, “You don’t belong here!” Stress goes through the roof.

I try to 'talk myself positive'. Try to 'walk the walk'.  'Act as if'. Sometimes it works. Sometimes things go awry because this fragile semblance of confidence is undone with a thoughtless word; an embarrassing situation. Picking the pieces up can take a few days...

Why aren't I feeling it and believing it? I am led back round in a circle to one important question? Who am I supposed to be? Am I trying to be someone that I am not? If so, that's why I fail.

During 2013 members of my church were involved in the 'Purpose Driven Life' course, which did trigger a number of ideas in my mind. OK, 2014 needs to be the year that I need to embrace my purpose -  shake a few things up - reprofile my life. Let's only set targets in those areas where I know that I have a particular calling. And then, once set, I need to walk every step of the way with Him. Only then can I be sure of the ground that I walk on.

I need to believe in God's purpose for my life.
I need to fully embrace the truth.
I need to set targets to enable me to do this.

1 Peter 4:10 (NLT)
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

29 December 2013

Comfortably Numb

Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me
Is there anyone home?

I've been reading up lately about feeling emotionally numb. Have you ever felt this way?

It's kind of like you can't feel things the same way you used to. Things that used to make you feel happy or content now fail to produce the same sort of positive feelings. Likewise, things that used to provoke feelings of anger or even tears now result in an apathetic response.

Life is just a series of shades of grey...

It's funny. It's not that you can't cope - life just seems to carry on, however things simply don't feel the same anymore. Not sad but not happy. Simply there.

Does that make any sense? Can you relate to this?

There is no pain you are receding.
A distant ship's smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying.
When I was a child I had a fever.
My hands felt just like two balloons.
Now I've got that feeling once again.
I can't explain, you would not understand.
This is not how I am.
I have become comfortably numb.
(lyrics from Pink Floyd - "Comfortably Numb")

28 December 2013


Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

I have been taking time out this week to take stock of the past year, and to make some plans for 2014. I've been reminded (pretty much by everybody) that one person can only do so much. No matter how hard any of us try, we cannot do everything.

The reading from Ephesians reminds us that we have been lovingly made by God to do good works. However, it also reminds us that He never planned for us to do that work alone. 

This is a tough lesson to learn. I know to my cost what it can feel like when you get so tired that you feel exhausted and burned out. That's not how it's supposed to me. God never meant for it to be that way.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV)
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.

You may think that one person can't make much of a difference. However, a group of like-minded individuals can change the world. We can make a big difference if we work together, each if each of us is only doing our small part.

(thanks to Rick Warren for inspiration for this post)

15 December 2013

Advent Photo-A-Day: 15th December

(wordsearch taken from http://www.netplaces.com/christmas-word-search/chapter-3-christmas-music/o-come-o-come-emmanuel.htm)