Monday, December 31, 2007
Another year is over, another one begins! A new beginning, a clean slate... how will we live this year? What will we accomplish? What will we regret? What are your goals and dreams? Do you have any resolutions? Or is it just another ordinary day?
There's so many hopes and dreams I have for this year, but I know that it is the Lord who guides my footsteps, so I give Him this year, so that He may lead me in all that I do. I heard this song the other day and I liked it, so I'm sharing it with you and hope that you find Jesus this year, if you don't know already know Him.
My Jesus - by Todd Agnew
Which Jesus do you follow?
Which Jesus do you serve?
If Ephesians says to imitate Christ
Then why do you look so much like the world?
Cause my Jesus bled and died
He spent His time with thieves and liars
He loved the poor and accosted the arrogant
So which one do you want to be?
Blessed are the poor in spirit
Or do we pray to be blessed with the wealth of this land?
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness
Or do we ache for another taste of this world of shifting sand?
Cause my Jesus bled and died for my sins
He spent His time with thieves and sluts and liars
He loved the poor and accosted the rich
So which one do you want to be?
Who is this that you follow
This picture of the American dream
If Jesus was here would you walk right by on the other side
or fall down and worship at His holy feet?
Pretty blue eyes and curly brown hair and a clear complexion
Is how you see Him as He dies for Your sins
But the Word says He was battered and scarred
Or did you miss that part?
Sometimes I doubt we'd recognize Him
Cause my Jesus bled and died
He spent His time with thieves and the least of these
He loved the poor and accosted the comfortable
So which one do you want to be?
Cause my Jesus would never be accepted in my church
The blood and dirt on His feet might stain the carpet
But He reaches for the hurting and despises the proud
I think He'd prefer Beale St. to the stained glass crowd
And I know that He can hear me if I cry out loud
I want to be like my Jesus!
I want to be like my Jesus!
I want to be like my Jesus!
I want to be like my Jesus!
Not a posterchild for American prosperity, but like my Jesus
You see I'm tired of living for success and popularity
I want to be like my Jesus but I'm not sure what that means to be like You Jesus
Cause You said to live like You,
love like You but then You died for me
Can I be like You Jesus?
I want to be like my Jesus!
I want to be like my Jesus!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
In Isaiah 53, Isaiah was prophetically speaking about Jesus. When I think of what Jesus did on the cross for us, my first thought is always of how terrible the agony must've been for Jesus, to be seperated from the Father for 3 days, to be in utter darkness, carrying the weight of our sins, basically the sufferring of his soul. It's a thought we can never truly comprehend, a thought so terrible it makes me shudder! (And let us not forget too, how terrible that must`ve been for the Father too, to be separated from His Son whom He loves, and to willingly give up His Son for us).
But before that even takes place, verse 2 tells us that there was nothing 'lovely' about him and Isaiah goes on in verse 3 to say that: "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not."
So often the world thinks of Jesus as being so beautiful and lovely especially now as Christmas approaches and we sing about the 'little baby Jesus sleeping in a manger, laying down his sweet head'. Yet, the world forgets that this sweet little baby, is the same Jesus, that had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, and that he was despised and rejected by men, a man familiar with sufferings.
This baby Jesus came to our world on a mission. He came to identify with us in our humanity, to offer us a better life and to point the way to the Father, He shared in our sufferings, He took upon himself the weight of our sins, He didn't look like a Brad Pitt male model, there was nothing special about His appearance, He more likely looked like an ordinary man, that would walk past you in the street and you wouldn't even notice.
Yet Jesus was beautiful: in loving the unlovely; in sharing in our sufferings; in carrying our trangressions; in allowing the suffering of His soul so that our souls could find freedom that we didn't deserve; in being oppressed and afflicted in silence for our sakes; in being pierced and crushed for our iniquities; in taking our punishment so we can have His peace; He truly is beautiful! In choosing to not use His divinity to ease the pain, so that He could identify with our suffering, He truly is majestic!
So this Christmas season, remember that it is the coming of this Jesus, that is the true reason for the season. If you are suffering, if you are despised by men, if there is nothing in your appearance that others would desire, remember that Jesus loves you. Remember that you are the reason He came to earth, that He wanted to share in your sufferring, and give you hope and comfort in the power of his resurrection, in what He defeated on the cross for you. To give you a gift of eternal life, and as we receive what He gives us and reflect on His beauty, may we be changed and be made beautiful in His likeness.
And for those of you, who are not suffering, who are loved by others and are lovely in appearance, may you remember to give a little love this Christmas and remember to love the unlovely, and if you look hard enough, you may even find Jesus in those that the world despises.
Isaiah 53:2-7 (New International Version)
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
I went to see the film Enchanted tonight. It was hilarious. I absolutely loved it! I had no idea what it was about, and I didn't even know that I was going to go see it, until just a couple of hours before. I wasn't going to go, because I had to go and do the last of my Christmas shopping tonight. Which meant that I would need to spend all the money that I had left (as it wasn't much in the first place). Anyway, so I knew I wasn't going to have any money left to go see the movie, and seeing as I hadn't seen the trailer, I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything. But fortunatley for me, I have some very fabulous and wonderful good friends, who decided to pay for me and take me with them to the movies. I'm so glad that they did.
I don't think that I've ever heard myself laugh out loud so much in my life. It was one of those films that appeal definitely to females more than males, but it wasn't your typical 'girlie' film. It was really funny, and it was one of those films that touch some place in your heart (even though you know in your head that it's a fairytale and not real - some part of you still wishes that somehow it would be wonderful if fairy tales like that could come true).
I'm so glad that I went, I loved it, but even more than that, I am so glad to have such wonderful friends that I can have so much fun with. Thank you God for giving me such wonderful friends with whom I can laugh out loud so much.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I apologise for having neglected this blog for so long. I am once again back in Nova Scotia, living in a new home, having made new friends, and working in a new job. I am having a great time. I love my job, my colleagues, my friends, my home, my life.
I hope that you are well too, and are enjoying your life.
Lots of love from Ash x
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Wembly Park Stadium - not that far from where I live in London.
Views of Chelmsford
Monday, June 25, 2007
Sorry, I haven't updated in a long time. I was in a car crash a couple of weeks ago, and I'm only just recovering. I was a front seat passenger. Praise God - I had no serious injuries (but I did get taken to hospital in an ambulence). The car was totally written off. The driver and backseat passenger were ok, shaken but not injured.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
The Solar System
The Solar System is made up from stars, the Sun, Moon, and the nine planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.The Solar System is also made up from minor planets, comets, meteoroids, and cosmic dust. It would take about 2000 years to get across the solar system, moving as fast as a 747 Passenger Jet. All objects in the solar system orbit the Sun.
The smallest planet; It is the coldest planet.
· Neptune has two thick and two thin rings surrounding it.
· It is approximately 2.8 billion miles away from the Sun.
· Uranus is almost identical to Neptune.
· Uranus is made of Methane ice.
· Saturn is the 2nd largest planet in the solar system.
· 755 Earths could fit inside Saturn.
· Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System.
· Jupiter is mostly made of a gas called hydrogen.
· Jupiter has a small rocky core at its centre and it is bigger than the Earth.
· Mars is often called the “Red Planet” because of its colour.
· It is about half the size of the Earth.
· In Mars, one day is 24½ hours long.
It is often called “The Water Planet” because it is the only planet in our Solar System which has liquid water on its surface (about 70% of the surface of Earth is covered by water).
· Venus is about the same size of the Earth.
· It is very hot all over the whole planet (465˚C).
Mercury · It is the closest planet to the Sun.
· It has no moons.
· It is the hottest planet in the day; At night, because Mercury spins so slowly, you could freeze to death.
The Sun · The Sun is a star.
· It is made of gases called hydrogen and helium.
· The outside temperature of the Sun is 11,000ºF.
· More than one billion planet Earths could fit inside the Sun because it is so big.
· The Moon is moving about one inch away from the Earth each year.
· It has a diameter of about 3,476 kilometers.
· There are roughly 100 billion stars in the galaxy.
· The Sun is the closest star to Earth.
· It would take about a hundred thousand years to get to the closest star using the fastest space ship on earth.
· A star is made out of a bunch of burning gas made of Helium and Hydrogen.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
I finally have some time to update my blog. Over the last few months, I've met some new people and made some new friends. One of those friends is a very lovely person called Sjanna who has four gorgeous kids and a lovely family. I was at her house last week and their cat had just given birth to 4 kittens a couple of days earlier, so I got to hold them for a few seconds. It was really cool. I'd never seen new born kittens before and I had no idea how tiny they would be. They are so small. They still had their eyes shut that day. I'll be going round to her house again tomorrow, so I don't know if they will have opened their eyes or not by then.
Sjanna and I
Another gorgeous Nova Scotian viewI will really miss the pretty scenery of Nova Scotia when I go back to England. I've booked my flight for early July. I will be going back to London, and at the moment, it looks like it will be for good, as I still don't have a valid work permit to allow me to stay and teach here. So that is kind of sad, but it will be nice to see my family and friends in England again.
Anja and Gina have a friend at school called Morgan, and Morgan has this cute Shitzou dog called Zoe. I'm not a fan of small yappy dogs, but I have to say that Zoe is just so cute! So I had to have a photo taken with her just to show you. (Elaine - I wish you could see her in real life - she really is sooo cute).
Today, I went to the Yarmouth Museum with Anja and Gina on their school trip. I really did enjoy the tour and it did make me feel like, 'I wish I could get a job and stay here', so I'm still hoping that a miracle will happen before September and I'll be able to come back here.
Speaking of Anja and Gina and school activities, they had a Medieval theme and they made these lanterns at school, and I think they are so cool ... k
Also, they had a project where they had to make a musical instrument, so I enlisted the help of my good friends John and Wendy one weekend. Wendy helped Gina make this glass wind chime. Gina had to cut and grind pieces of coloured glass and Wendy helped her to hang them with thin fishing wire. It looks really cool, and makes a lovely sound, although the wires can get tangled quite easily.
Anja was very adventerous and decided she wanted to make a harp. So John helped her to cut some wood and nail it together to make it look vaguely like a harp. I tied the strings (again we used thin fishing wire). Anja sanded it down and painted it. It looks really cool, and it does makes a faint sound. I'm really proud of them both and really thankful to have such good friends as John and Wendy, who were willing so kindly, to help us out with this project.
So, as you can see, I've been busy with the girls and with making new friends. I also started attending a Bible Study group for Young Adults that is run by Hebron Baptist Church (which is where I met Sjanna - as in I met her at the church, not at the group). The Bible Study Group is quite informal and we meet fortnightly, and I am really enjoying it. And their church is going to be organising a Kid's club for one week in June, and I have signed up to help out with that, so I am really really excited about that and looking forward to it.
This Friday, Rachel and I are taking the girls to a church in Mahone Bay (which is like a 2 hour drive from here) and we're really excited and looking forward to that too.
In other news, my sister has signed me up for a 5K run in Regents Park (in London) on the 22nd of July, so I'm going to have to start training soon and do some running. It's to raise money for 'Cancer Research'.
I did a 5K run with her a couple of years ago in Hyde Park (that time I ran to raise money for a charity called 'Action Aid' that works to Make Poverty History). I enjoyed it, but I hadn't trained until 3 weeks before the run, and it took me 45 minutes to run it. Hopefully, this time, I'll get a lot more training in before the run.
That was us before the run - it was a very hot day!
Well I guess that is enough news for one post. For those of you, who have been waiting for my newsletter. I was going to write one and e-mail it to you over the Easter holiday, but then I got ill for a couple of weeks, then I got better but as usual have been quite busy. (Oh yeah, I've also been stacking some more wood recently - all good stuff for building up my non-existent arm muscles. I've also really enjoyed the gorgeous weather we've been having this week too). Hopefully, I'll manage to write a newsletter and e-mail it to you soon and give you a more personal update.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
|You Are a Prophet Soul|
You are a gentle soul, with good intentions toward everyone.
Selfless and kind, you have great faith in people.
Sometimes this faith can lead to disappoinment in the long run.
No matter what, you deal with everything in a calm and balanced way.
You are a good interpreter, very sensitive, intuitive, caring, and gentle.
Concerned about the world, you are good at predicting people's feelings.
A seeker of wisdom, you are a life long learner looking for purpose and meaning.
You are a great thinker and communicator, but not necessarily a doer.
Souls you are most compatible with: Bright Star Soul and Dreaming Soul
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
1. I am a born-again Christian.
2. I love Jesus with all my heart.
3. I believe that Jesus is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE (John 14v6).
4. I believe that God is a God of LOVE.
5. I also believe that God is jealous for our love.
6. I fear God (fear as in the highest form of respect rather than being terrified).
7. I believe the Bible is the true word of God.
8. I love the Holy Spirit and my heavenly Father as much as I love Jesus.
9. I love Iraq and the diversity of the cultures within.
10. I love that I was born in Baghdad.
11. I was named after the Queen of Babylon and the goddess of love, fertility/life and war.
12. I have very smart parents.
13. I have two younger sisters: a lawyer (it's her birthday today - Happy Birthday gorgeous!) and an actress (I'm so proud of you for not giving up on your dreams).
14. I love all my family members.
15. I can speak, read and write Arabic and English fluently.
16. I know a little bit of German.
17. I have cousins who are half German.
18. I have more cousins than I can keep count of.
19. I was kidnapped and held at gun-point when I was a baby about 7 months old.
20. God saved my life.
21. I went on a plane for the first time when I was 11 months old, and have been travelling the world ever since.
22. I contemplated ending my life when I was 18.
23. Then I met Jesus, and He saved my life again.
24. I nearly got run over by a car countless times in my life.
25. God saved me each time.
26. I can't swim.
27. I fell in the river in Cambridge when I was 19 and nearly drowned.
28. God saved me again (my friend jumped in and got me out).
29. I've renounced my death wish ever since then, and have had no more 'near death' experiences.
30. I love the plans that God has for my life.
31. I have no idea what's next in the plan.
32. I love being in the presence of God.
33. I love to worship God and to tell others about him.
34. I love to pray for the sick and see God healing them.
35. I love it when God intervenes in someone's life and makes it better.
36. I can't live without God.
37. I love people who are honest, genuine, and down to earth.
38. I LOVE people who make me LAUGH. (They say that food is the way to a man's heart, well making me laugh is definitely the way to my heart!)
39. I have chocolate brown eyes, but I wear blue contact lenses when I go out.
40. I'd rather have one true godly friend, than a thousand friends who aren't.
41. I love to dance, although I'm not the best of dancers.
42. My dad is the best dancer I know.
43. I love the Lebanese TV show 'Star Academy'.
44. I was so happy last week when Shada Hasoon (the first Iraqi girl contestant) won this year's Star Academy. She's also the first girl contestant to ever win the show and you can see the final episode here.
45. I am so privileged to be living with my Pastor's family.
46. They are my spiritual family and they are awesome.
47. I love them (each and every one) and they will always be a big part of my life.
48. I try to always treat others in the same way that I would like to be treated.
49. I love people who are hungry for more of God and who are not afraid to be out of the box.
50. I love making new friends and getting to know people from different cultures and countries.
51. I love the colours blue, pink, lilac and red in that order.
52. I love Hagen-Das vanilla ice-cream.
53. My favourite alcoholic drink is Baileys.
54. I have never been drunk and never want to be either.
55. I love the Irish accent and the Jordi (New Castle) accent.
56. I made a commitment to serve God full time.
57. I want God to enlarge my heart, and let His heart flow through me.
58. I struggle with loneliness and rejection at times.
59. But I do believe that I am very special and valuable to God and that He never leaves me alone.
60. I am short.
61. I was born a month early and weighed only 2kg.
62. I hate it when people are two-faced.
63. I hate hypocrisy.
64. I love truth.
65. I love leading people to Jesus.
66. As you can tell from this list, I love talking about God.
67. I hate the occult, but I love the prophetic.
68. I hate injustice.
69. I like to read books, especially ones that challenge me to go deeper in my walk with God. 70. I like to listen to music and to sing along when no one's around to hear me.
71. I like to encourage others in their walk with God.
72. I like to have encouragement from other Christians around me.
73. I miss my really good friends.
74. I can be very quiet in group situations.
75. I like to think before I speak.
76. I don't like to offend others.
77. I relate best on a 'one to one' level.
78. I can be a chatter box at times.
79. I can be extremely patient with some people.
80. Yet I can have a very short and feisty temper with my youngest sister. Sorry babe!
81. I find it hard not to argue back at times.
82. I choose to die to my self and my selfish desires daily and I choose to live for Christ.
83. I very often FAIL miserably at doing that, but at least I try.
84. 8 is my favourite number and 4 is my second favourite number, followed by the number 2. 85. I love drinking fruit smoothies.
86. I love eating Iraqi kebabs and shawurma.
87. I love eating olives.
88. I love strawberries with ice-cream and sugar on top.
89. I would love to have identical twin girls one day.
90. I'd love to travel the world many times over.
91. I believe that God has a sense of humour.
92. I'm not afraid to be different, or to go against the grain.
93. I love adventure.
94. I love the countryside and natural beauty.
95. I love to go for long walks with a friend, I especially love to walk in the woods.
96. I love the word of God.
97. I want my heart and my life to be flowing with God's compassion and grace for others.
98. I believe it is better to forgive than to have unforgiveness in my heart.
99. I hardly ever cry.
100. I know that God is softening my heart when I do cry.
101. I love all my friends.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods. They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said, "Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carving and everyone would see the beauty."
Then the second tree said, "Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take Kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull."
Finally the third tree said, "I want to grow to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the Hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time and people will always remember me."
After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree he said, "This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell the wood to a Carpenter, "and he began cutting it down. The tree was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest.
At the second tree the woodsman said, "This looks like a strong tree. I should be able to sell it to the shipyard." The second tree was happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.
When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come true. One of the Woodsmen said, "I don't need anything special from my tree, I'll take this one," and he cut it down.
When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was not at all what he had prayed for. The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end. The third tree was cut into large pieces, and left alone in the dark.
The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams. Then one day, a man and woman came to the barn. She gave birth and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time.
Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn't think it was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man, and He stood and said "Peace" and the Storm stopped. At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat.
Finally, someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets as the people mocked the man who was carrying it. When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and raised in the air to die at the top of a hill. When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.
The moral of this story is that when things don't seem to be going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place your trust in Him, God will give you great gifts. Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined. We don't always know what God's plans are for us. We just know that His ways are not our ways, but His ways are always best. May your day be blessed. And until we meet again, may God cradle you in the palm of His hand.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
Monday, February 19, 2007
My favourite photo of the day!