Saturday, 29 November 2008


So, I followed the link on Andy Shudall's blog to another blog which linked me to this 'blog analyser!' It uses what you've written on your blog to tell you what your myers-briggs personality type is. The result is scarily similar to what doing the actual myers-briggs test told me, and took much less time!
So, this is what my blog says this about me:

ISFP - The Artists

The gentle and compassionate type. They are especially attuned their inner values and what other people need. They are not friends of many words and tend to take the worries of the world on their shoulders. They tend to follow the path of least resistance and have to look out not to be taken advantage of.

They often prefer working quietly, behind the scene as a part of a team. They tend to value their friends and family above what they do for a living.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

So, House is my new favourite TV show.

For those unfamiliar with House, it is an American medical drama about a Dr (called House) who, through the means of controversial yet ingenious methods, complete with outrageous sarcasm and hilarious one-liners, figures out various mysterious illnesses that no-one else can work out. It has me laughing out loud frequently. But it also makes me think. House thinks differently to most people, and he’s not afraid to say things the way he sees them. Here is something that made me think:

Patient: I just wanna die with a little dignity

House: There’s no such thing! Our bodies break down, sometimes when we’re 90, sometimes before we’re even born, but it always happens and there’s never any dignity in it. I don’t care if you can walk, see, wipe your own ass, it’s always ugly, always.
We can live with dignity, we can’t die with it.

I think House is spot on here.

Death is always ugly.

It shocks us and it horrifies us, because it is just that: ugly and horrible. And it wasn’t meant to be here, it’s a trespasser. It steals from us, it robs us, it takes EVERYTHING we have. And whether we’re expecting it or not, there is nothing we can do to stop it. We have no control over it.

We like to think we can ‘dignify’ it because that makes it easier to manage. It makes us feel like we have some control over it. But the reality is that it is our greatest enemy and whether we think about it or not, we are decaying. This life that we love, that we pour everything into, that we cling to, that we try and figure out as we go along, that we believe is all there is….is temporary.

It is our biggest enemy, but there is a bigger reality. There is more than this life. And even better than that, there is victory. Death has been crushed. It came into the world because we invited it in at the beginning; and we chose these small, frail, pitiful lives that revolve around ourselves and each other instead of our Maker, and in doing so we forfeited the pure, satisfying life that never ends.

But that’s not the end. We weren’t left to just get on with it and get over it; ‘you’ve made your bed, now lie in it’. No, we’ve been given a second chance. This is where House would probably disagree with me.

The One who made us, entered the mess, took the brokenness, the sin, the punishment we justly deserve for our rebellion, and the great enemy of death on himself and then, in victory turned death on its head as He was brought back to life.

“since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” – 1 Corinthians 15:21-26

So death is always ugly, House is right. I agree 100%. But there is more that needs to be said. Even in death there can be life, even after death we can be made alive. But only through one man: Jesus Christ. The defeater of the enemy.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Encouraging words...

Tonight at the night market with a group of students:

Fern: Do you like shopping?

Alison: No.

Fern: I guessed.

Alison: How?

Fern: You look like a boy.

I love Thailand.

Monday, 3 November 2008


I want you to close your eyes for a moment and imagine the sound that you hear a thousand million times in a supermarket at the check-out when an item's bar-code is scanned. I think I can be almost 100% certain that we are imagining the same sound because it is the same everywhere in the world.

I have one question.


Sitting waiting for some friends earlier in a Thai supermarket I tried to imagine how it came to be that someone chose this particular sound effect. Was there a committee meeting at which it was discussed? Did they try out a few different sounds and then decide on this one? Did they test several different sounds in a large room to find out which one would carry most effectively so that it could be heard everywhere in the building? Did they do a survey of people on the streets to find out which sound was most appealing to them? And how did they even think this sound up in the first place!? Did someone raise their hand in the meeting and say
"when items are scanned at the till, it would be wonderful if we could get the scanner to make a sort of 'piip' do you think we could make that?"

The ideas I came up with for alternatives for the 'piip' sound are as follows:
- a light flashes, different colours for different sorts of items.
- the whole floor vibrates.
- a spotlight comes down from the ceiling onto the cashier and/or customer.
- the name of the item is spoken loudly by the scanner in a pre-recorded Russian accent - particularly funny for buying embarrassing items!
- the scanner is attached to a pair of electronic dancing shoes worn by the cashier, that must perform involuntary tap dance moves each time a barcode is scanned.
- Nothing.

It is frightening what bizarre things my mind can think of when it's late at night!

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Still beholding...

Skype conversation just now:
[22:38:16] Alison says:

I wanted to write something meaningful on my blog today as its my Christian birthday....
...but i need to iron...
...and sleep
[22:38:28] Jill says:
You could write that
...that Jesus is and should be in all our everyday life
...even ironing!
[22:38:46] Alison says:
i could...and may well!

And so I am.

5 years ago today my life changed very drastically. Jesus stepped in. Not that He wasn't always there, knowing me and loving me, but on that day He burst into my life and enabled me to start seeing Him for who He really is.

I didn't deserve it...quite the opposite! I was determined to live only for myself, to accept no help from a Saviour, to go my own way. And so left to myself I would have wallowed in that horrible pit of lonely darkness forever. Literally forever. And I would have deserved it.

But He didn't leave me there.

And so this beclouded soul didn't stop being beclouded...but it did begin to behold the Light. It stopped seeing only itself, it stopped delighting in fading realities and started to see and love and delight in something that will never end. Something wonderful no-less. It couldn't do that on its own...believe me it tried...and failed miserably...again and again. Sight and life and hope and light could come to me only because Jesus was willing to take on my horrible, ugly, dark, messed-up-ness on Himself as He was crushed and pierced and stricken in my place. My soul was able to behold light out of its darkness only because He came in and opened my eyes.

And 5 years on, it is still beholding…beholding the same wonderful Light…

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." "John 8:12

But as my soul is thrilled with this truth it is not paralysed. I do not mean you to think that the last 5 years have been spent entirely in private contemplation, thought and prayer, meditating on some kind of abstract ‘light’ that makes me feel better about things. Life with Jesus isn't that inward.

Jesus is a part of all of life - not just in feelings, not just in thoughts, not just for that first day when He rescued me, not just for bad days when I feel like I'm back in that dark pit again....but He is part of my life every day when I eat, when I sleep, when I am happy, when I am sad, when I go to the post-office, when I chat to students, when I am on facebook, when I am listening to music, when I am cleaning my teeth, when I am shopping, when I’m playing badminton, when I am washing dishes, when I’m playing the guitar......and when I am doing ironing.

All these things were meaningless before – just a means to an end. But now they are bursting with purpose! Because all of life is from and for Jesus!

So to the ironing I go. As one who has been rescued by Jesus, and is alive because He gives me each breath that I take.