Archive for the ‘cheerful’ Tag


Posted 1/6/07

I have held forth previously on that most elusive of God’s gifts; joy. However I, like everyone else, am often more aware of my hardships than my blessings, so I figured it was time to get some gratefulness on record. Here’s why… (by the way, if this gets too sickening, ask me for my list of reasons to be miserable – there are plenty!)

CCB is Great
CCB stands for Christ Church Balham. It is not perfect. It’s worship is a tad repressed in that middle class way unique to Anglicanism. It is also perhaps the whitest church in all South London. However, it is indeed great. As a kid, it is hard to figure there is such a thing as a bad church. That changes if you attend one. The places we had attempted to join since leaving uni may have been great for some, but for us they were bad. Bad because it was part of their policy statement that you weren’t doing it right if you didn’t speak in tongues, so you had to spend the whole time working out how to do that. Bad because they insisted on herding you in with the ‘young people’ – a group so cliquey they would move away from you if you sat next to them and thus attempted to separate them from their friends. Bad because every sermon was a different story about how God had blessed the pastor that week as a reward for his faith – the same pastor who would condemn congregational members by group e-mail if they dared disagree with him.
CCB, on the other hand, is not a bad church. It is the very opposite. The first place we were made to feel truly welcome. The first place where people were falling over themselves to invite us over for dinner. The first place that took real responsibility for our personal understanding of the Word and our relationships with God – on a Sunday, a Wednesday and pretty much any other time too. After a year plus in CCB I know God better, his Word better and I want to do a lot more to serve Him. The services are good. The small groups are good. I have people I pray with. I have people I play football with. I am helping lead a camp this summer. We are going to Revive in a few weeks. Hooray for CCB. I am grateful.

My Wife is great
Nina is not perfect either. Thank goodness for that. She certainly has a temper, and at times uses me as an emotional punchbag. However, she is indeed great. Of all God’s blessings to me she is the greatest. She is beautiful, funny, clever, successful, interesting, talented, stylish, sexy, caring, perceptive and faithful. She makes me feel special. She could have chosen 1000 guys taller, richer, better-looking or less irritating, but she has been devoted to me since we were 15 years old and I knew I was going to marry her soon after that. I trust her entirely and she has never given me any reason to change my mind. First thing in the morning I look at her and can’t quite believe she’s my wife. I still get excited when she gets home from work. She’s my perfect travel partner, my confidante, my fantasy and my best friend. She is thoughtful and quiet but then the life and soul of the party. She is awesome. Hooray for Nina. I am grateful.

My Job is great
Tough this one – I don’t acknowledge it too often. However, looking back, God made me to be a teacher and it’s nice to be made for something. He made me with a passion for academia, a speaking voice, enthusiasm, energy and a heart for the kids, annoying as they are. I get satisfaction from their learning, I get to do sport and music as part of my job, I get long holidays, I learn stuff ALL the time, and I get to meet a heck of a lot of people. Teaching makes a difference and is never ever dull. Hooray for working in a really odd school. I am grateful.
Our flat is great
Again – difficult. The walls got damp-proofed today. Almost a grand spent and the only perceptible difference is that we now need to redecorate 6 spoiled walls. The floor is springy as a trampoline and will be the next reason to spend a grand. The bathroom is awful and all in all it’s tiny. However (must. be. joyful!), it is an amazing thing to make it onto the property ladder in London. It is amazing to have our own place with our own cat and our own little garden (well glorified patio really). As long as I live I will always remember fondly this – the first place we could call a home of our very own – and I do feel happy every time I walk in the front door. I am grateful. But I already look forward to the next place! (the one with space for a drum kit)
Our cat is great
Sorry – no need to elaborate really. Turns out I really like our cat… (and no, he isn’t perfect. Nothing that routinely wakes you up at 5 in the morning is perfect)

God is great
God is perfect. Disrupts the continuity of this piece but I’d better acknowledge the fact. He has chosen me for salvation, He hasn’t let me drift away, despite my best efforts. He uses me, unworthy as I am. He controls His creation according to a perfect plan. He tells us all about it through the gift of his Bible (which is also great, but time we were getting on…). He created our aforementioned cat and my aforementioned wife, which He didn’t really have to do after all. Hooray for God. I am grateful.

There you go – now I’m off to put the house back together and hoover it for the third time this week after the rip-off workmen have taken it apart. Grumble grumble…