I’m dreadfully sorry for not fulfilling my promise of updating you on my progress (almost) daily. Anything over five days is pushing the bracketed ‘almost’ rather further than it should be pushed.
I went to an acting audition last night. As I assume is the case with most Univerisities in the UK, there is a Theatre/Drama society which puts on a few plays a year. Here in Aberystwyth they’re called ‘The Nomadic Players’ and I’d resisted doing anything with them last year purely because it’s scary being a wee first year going into a group of big scary second and third years (even though there’s a big chance I could be older than many of them). I think as a Christian I shouldn’t be hiding myself away, trying my best not to mix with unbelievers etc. We’re always hearing it from preachers and Christian student societies, but it’s actually a bit of an effort to put yourself out there. One of my fears is that I’ll be told to do stuff on Sunday (a non-negotiable for me) and now Thursday nights are also a no-go area because I have a responsibility towards the Welsh CU. But we shall see.
They’re putting on ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and another play which I haven’t heard of. I’m sure I’ll find out pretty soon if they liked my acting and whether they want me to be in it.
I wanted to report to you the result of my first attempt at making roast potatoes. I’m not going to lie, they tasted phenomenal. Crispy flavoursome and gorgeous. I followed a Jamie Oliver recipe (like every other UK budding chef) and was not left disappointed. We also had a few sausages and some peas to add some colour to the plate. It was a highly enjoyable meal. I would have liked to make some better gravy, I ended up just making some bisto. It’s made me want to cook more, and reminded me that when I was about ten, I really wanted to be a chef. I’m really thankful God didn’t take me down that path, but it’s a good thing to dip into when one can.
I have my first lecture today, which I’m looking forward to. I think we’ll be hearing a lot about Theatre and Politics, and it’s cool because the play we’re studying is one I saw in London. It’s called ‘random’ and isn’t as lame as the title may suggest. The entire play is performed by one black female and has no set at all. Surprisingly it is extremely moving and entertaining. All about current issues like youth violence etc. The thing I like most is her ability to characterise and capture what a black-African family could well be like and even though many may not be able to associate with it, by giving us a window into that world, we find ourselves empathising and even recognising traits in the Mother, Father, Brother and Sister. Seeing a play trumps reading it so much. which makes sense really.
Sunday was good, a few more freshers again, which encouraged me more. What struck me most was a sermon on the subject of ‘blaspheming the Holy Spirit’ I began to get a little closer to understanding what God was like in his treatment of humans, his forgiveness and his nature.
We spent the day with friends and in the evening we had a bite to eat and I said a few words to welcome the students to the church. I’d prepared a talk, and God graciously helped me to find some sort of advice to give them on how to live as a student. Looking at issues of belief, relationships, evangelising, studying and living for God in a holy way. I felt I could have prepared better, but people seemed to be receptive.
After church we sat in the manse and discussed the merits of reading out loud, then we tried it out by all reading a paragraph each of an abridged and simplified book by John Owen called ‘Temptation’ (guess what it’s about). Apparently just reading aloud can be a very beneficial activity. They do it in prisons and with special needs kids etc.
Looking forward to prayer meeting tonight, I assume Taid will continue with his series of the “I am…” sayings of Jesus. Also look forward to sharing some chips with Nain and Taid afterwards, as the tradition often is!
Russell Brand on Newsnight talking about the cult of celebrity. Very interesting, definitely someone to pray for.
(Via my friend Jonathan)