Shining Light: a word for christmas

Shining Light: a word for christmas

Everyone is familiar with the Christmas gospel. you know "In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were mad,e without him nothing was made which has been made. In him was life and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it."




This is one of the most famous passages in the Bible and we read it every Christmas without fail, It talks about Jesus being God and being with God at the very beginning and it refers to him as "the light" Light is such an exciting phenomenon and as a science student I've studied light for at least 5  years of my life and I still get amazed by how something can travel 8000000 metres in a second when I can barely travel one!

Light is mentioned 272 times in the Bible which shows just how important it is the first words spoken by God in the Bible are "Let there be light" Which makes it even more exciting when he sent the light down to redeem the Earth because he was returning it to its original glory. We get light wherever we go it's almost impossible to escape light, Even in the darkest depths of the ocean where it is pitch black the angler fish, you may remember it from Finding Nemo, provides its own light. In that 'light' this is what we should be doing as Christians, we are called to be the salt and the light of the Earth to reflect the light that Jesus shows.

We so often have the picture of light as something that lights our path and brings hope to dark situations but I was recently challenged by the fact that light also comes to disturb. A small beam of light sneaking through your curtains could be enough to stir you from your sleep. In the same way Jesus comes into our hearts, yes to bring us peace, but also to disturb. If the spirit isn't disturbing our hearts, alerting us if we do something we know we shouldn't and in disturbing us pointing us in the right direction,

My prayer this Christmas is that the Holy Spirit keeps disturbing me and keeps me going in the right direction in Gid's great plan for my life which all began at the birth of his Son, Jesus of Nazareth.

Called to LOVE.

Called to LOVE.

"Above all love each other deeply for love covers a multitude of sins" // 1 Peter 4:8

This is an open letter to the Christian church,

It is estimated that between 30 and 40% of LGBT youth have attempted suicide. Why? Because of the constant stream of abuse that they're receiving. As a body of Christ we are called to love yest it is often the very people who call themselves "Christians" that are making this number increase and now a man like Donald Trump is in charge of America, a man who claims to have Christian morals but who I assure you, does not.

If we are called to Love, Why are we the very people ruling the world with hatred and looking down on others. Too often as Christians we can get caught up in our pride, we assume, oh we're better than them because they did this unspeakable thing, but are we? In Romans 3:23 it says "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" their sin is not greater than our sin. 

So if you use your Christianity as an excuse to hate the LGBT+ community are you not aware that the bible teaches the opposite? Jesus wouldn't want us running around, shunning people, just because they're different, after all he was the one who dined with outcasts, who talked to prostitutes and everyone looked down on him for that, yet he is the one we should look to as an example for our lives. 

What saddens me the most is that if a person openly from the LGBT+ community came into our church many people would make them feel unwelcome, like they are unworthy to be in God's house, but after all, so are we. So you don't have to be in love with the way they live, just like they don't need to be in love with the way that we live but after all. Love is love and God loves us, he loves us unconditionally, and he also loves them unconditionally, because that's just who he is, He's the omnibenevolent God, He loves us all equally, no one is more precious than any other. So tell me again how oppression and hatred of the LGBT+ community is biblical because to my mind it most certainly is not.

We are not called to hate, We are called to Love.

Love. Never. Fails.

Love From, me, a young christian, ready for change.


Tarnished.

Tarnished.

With 'Stand Up 2 Cancer' being on last night, I feel like now is an appropriate time to write about this. We see people everywhere we look but you never really think about how much it will effect you until it strikes. Cancer is always describes as something that hollows you out, you feel empty even though the tumour is consuming you but it's never just the sufferer who's affected. In December of last year my Grannie was diagnosed with cancer in her liver. Naturally this meant constant trips to the hospital for radiotherapy and chemotherapy as we witnessed the woman that we love deteriorating with every passing day. She always complained a lot anyway, she was one of those stereotypical old people who talks to everybody and complains about everything but she'd started to stop, she was just accepting things for the way they were and using phrases like "it could have been worse" she'd never done that before so when we saw her start to get back to her usual ways we started to pick up. Then after her 3 months of treatment that led her yo being in hospital on my 18th birthday, she was finally pronounced clear of cancer around early May. This meant that she got to enjoy her 80th birthday without worrying about her physical wellbeing.  Things were going great for a couple of months but then in August she started getting sick again and that was when we got the news that the cancer was back and there was nothing that they could do and was pronounced with a few months left to live. Obviously being told that you're going to die is not what anybody wants to be told but her deteriorating physical state it started to lead to her entering a mental downward spiral. She suffers from panic attacks multiple times a week, when she wakes up in the middle of the night she doesn't know what's going on, my mum had to visit her at least 2 times a day because she can't stand the loneliness and God forbid she goes into a care home. My uncle would has just started a job in Manchester had to fly over every other month to lighten the load that's been placed on my Mum.
The main struggle that I'm facing is with being away from home during the week I never know exactly what's going on at home. When I returned from university this weekend I was met by my mother telling me that Grannie's health was deteriorating greatly and that she'd just been admitted into hospital. I went to volunteer with the youth at my church knowing g that my mum was at the hospital alone with mr Grannie getting the latest results from her scan. The results had shown that the cancer was rapidly spreading through her liver and it was only going to spread more. The thing that brings someone the most happiness when they return shouldn't be to know that their grandmother isn't dead yet but knowing that she's not got much longer and then leaving again and not knowing what you'll return to. I'm unsure as to what is bringing me the most heartache, whether it'll be losing my Grannie forever or how my mum is going to react when it happens having lost her dad 7 years ago because I know that this whole situation has eaten her up the most. I'm scared to leave her each Sunday knowing that I may not ever see her again being away means I spend far less time with her than usual and I just want to be there to support my family throughout everything. So if I ever seem a bit down just know that the internal battle of emotions and head and heart is ongoing daily and sometimes the front I put up has to be let down. We have an army praying for her but it's a struggle.

prosperity.

prosperity.

Picture this, you're in a new place, you don't speak the language and you're lost, really lost, what would you do in that situation? I think for many of us the answer would be, wander around and try and retrace our steps or else pull out google and ask it for directions because god forbid we ask for directions even though we have absolutely no idea where we are!


So often we let our need of needing to resource ourselves, do things ourselves, that we disregard our serious need for help in certain situations, How often do we do this with God? Our Prosperity, which has been provided for us by God, to allow us to do his work at our full potential, being fully equipped, being in the top percentage of the richest people in the world, is the very thing that is holding us back from doing everything that God has planned for us. "I don't need God, I have google". So often we can put our God into a box and limit what we feel he's capable of, despite it saying in Ephesians that "he can do far more abundantly than all that we ask or even imagine" Our God is limitless and we put limits on him based on our own perceptions. We allow our want of self salvation get in the way of true salvation, salvation from the king of kings.

Music That Never Dies

Music That Never Dies

The music that we hear everyday on the radio or in the charts is always changing, one week we could think we've heard the best song ever only to then have it replaced the very next week with something completely different. As young people this is exactly what we're expected to do, to float around, following after all the latest trends, the older generations always expect us to know what's new and cool at this very moment and the thing is, we usually do. People have the power to change the face of music in the drop of a hat but they also have the power to bring it back to its roots and that's exactly what Italian trio Il Volo have done with their latest album, NOTTE MAGICA- A TRIBUTE TO THE THREE TENORS.


The three young men, Piero Barone (23), Ignazio Boschetto (21 at time of recording) and Gianluca Ginoble (21) take us back to the times of The Three Tenors, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo (who features) and Jose Carreras who first made opera music accessible to the masses. Performing some of the arias from famous operas that shaped them as performers, the three accompanied by Domingo, seek to continue what the Three Tenors started and bring opera music, the music that never dies, to the younger generation and as a young person myself I can vouch for the fact that they've definitely done that. The stand out tracks for me were Nessun Dorma, Sole Mio and Cielito Lindo along with the solo performances of E Lucevan Le Stelle by Barone, Una Furtiva Lagrima by Boschetto and En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor by Ginoble, It also included a beautiful rendition of Non Ti Scordar Di Me in which they were joined by Placido Domingo.


The Tracklist of The album is Listed Below.



Overall I wasn't actually expecting to love this album as much as I do so I feel that is testament to itself as to how good this album is and how hard the boys worked on it, and I'm excited for it's official UK release so that even more people will be able to listen, enjoy and understand the wonder that is Il Volo.

Dare to be a Daniel

Dare to be a Daniel

Everything around me lately has been screaming Daniel, and not only because that;s our current sermon series, but more because I am at the same stage of life as Daniel and things are beginning to change around me. I head off to university in a matter of days and it's important to remember that although I will be entering into a different culture and everywhere I look things are yelling "change", that I don't need to change who I am in order to fit in. In Daniel, when he is faced with things around him needing to be done in a certain way, he stands up for what he believes in and ultimately ends up in the best place, and when he is put in difficult situations, you know just casually being thrown into a den of hungry lions and all that, no harm comes to him. If you trust in God and allow him to use you to shape those around you, you will notice a bigger and better change in yourself than if you allow those around you to shape you.


"Dare to be a Daniel,Dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm!
Dare to make it known."

being all there

being all there

  September is often viewed as a time of change and transition for many people, it's the end of summer, the leaved start to change from green to brown and everyone starts back to the busyness of work and school. For me that statement has never been truer than it is at the moment.As I am starting university this year there are so many changes that are lined up ahead of me and it's a huge shift in the everyday norm that I'm used to. I had my university life all planned out, I was going to go to Queens to study Microbiology, I was going to live at home and get the bus in everyday it's only ten minutes up the road, everything will be fine...

  Everything would be fine except I really hadn't taken into account what I was faced with when I got my results a few weeks ago. I didn't meet the requirements to get into my course of choice so suddenly I found myself no longer attending university in my hometown but instead at one over an hour away by train. I'd worked out all of the logistics and had decided that I was still going to live at home and just get the train to uni everyday because it was so much cheaper than living in accommodation that I didn't like and I was 100% positive that that was what I was going to do and then I could easily move out in second year.


  This week I attended a preterm with the christian union at my new university and as I was hit with the fact that it wasn't the financial aspect of moving that was holding me back but it was the fact that I'm still absolutely terrified of everything that the future holds and I thought that staying at home would be a safer bet but having met the incredible people who I will be doing life with for the next 3-4 years I realised that living at home wasn't the safest bet anymore and that God had placed me at Coleraine for a reason and that reason wasn't just to study. I had been so sure of what I was going to do that I had completely shoved aside God's plan for my life and tried to do everything on my own terms but I finally realised that if God has placed me in Coleraine then I should be entirely at Coleraine and not half in Coleraine, half in Belfast and making compromises, This is the future that God has had planned for me my entire life so now I just have to learn to trust him and embrace everything that my new, totally out of my control future is going to hold for me.

"For I know the plans I have for you declares the LORD, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you  hope and a future"




are we human?

are we human?

In church our sermon series at the minute is on our values as a church and this week we were focusing on world mission. As part of the talk a girl shared about her experience in South Africa working at an after schools club. I have spent the last few years volunteering at an after schools club in my church in Belfast and I was really impacted by how many similarities there were between the two clubs. It really puts it into perspective that although it may seem like there could be no similarities between a child living in the centre of a first world city and one living in a village full of extreme poverty but this isn't the case. A child, is a child, is a child, is a child, they have the same personality, the both want to  learn, the both want to play, they both want to go on to do great things the only difference is, one of them can't.


"If you think we're human, take a look once again, If you think we're human where's the heart when we just look away?"


The same can be said for us and those younger and older than us, we can all learn from each other and each one of us is human. There is no such thing as a superior human we are all created in God's image and although we all have different gifts and talents when we put them together we create something beautiful. "we are all one body of many parts".

So think about the world around you, take in the differences in people and embrace them and when the situations arise in which you find yourself questioning the world, and why there is so much pain and suffering just remember that we are all human and we have the power to make a change. Look into charities that allow you to sponsor a child and it will allow you to make an impact on a child's life along with helping their whole family. I sponsor a child from Rwanda and being able to support her and converse with her is a really worthwhile experience which I highly recommend , I hope one day I will be able to visit her.

What I Wore in Ystad

What I Wore in Ystad

Hello, I'm just back from a family holiday in Denmark and Sweden and the weather has been surprisingly warm, around 22-28 degrees each day which has been amazing because being from Northern Ireland I'm really not used to the heat so that was hot enough to be pleasant. I've been meaning to do more of these posts but this is pretty much the only one I actually got decent photographs of so this just gives you a little insight into what I wore while I was there. so without further ado..

 
Hat // H&M (x)
Dungarees // New Look (x)
Shirt // Topshop (old)
Shoes (Unseen) // Keds (old red taylor swift 001 champions)


new beginnings

new beginnings

 On this day, The 18th of July 2016, I Alice Myles took a big step in my life. "What is it?" I hear you ask, well I changed my Instagram theme. For over a year I have had the same Instagram theme og 3:$ ratio photos with a white border using the filter A6 from vsco (and yes it was that rigid), for several months now I have been considering dropping the border because I found that it was hindering me from posting the content that I really wanted to post but I feared for how it would affect my aesthetic and my reputation and other things that I really shouldn't have cared about because they really weren't that important.The fateful post is below but can also be viewed here

 Hold on because this is where I try to make a strenuous link...



So often in life we can hold onto the things of the past in an attempt to keep some sort of order in our lives. We think that in order for things to remain the way they are nothing is allowed to change. I often find myself in this trap and it's important to think of the things holding you back from achieving your full potential of being fully happy and trying to rectify it. We will constantly be changing as we learn new things and hanging tight onto the things that we have experienced in the past is a hindrance to us fully embracing everything that our futures have to offer us. Monday is the universally recognised start of a new week so maybe this new week you could start to let go of some of the things of the past that are holding you back.

Alice x

Making Old Things New

Making Old Things New

  I don't entirely know what niche I'm trying to fit into with this blog but for the moment let's call in "faith, fashion and other nonsense" so let's get stuck into the fashion part.

"She is clothed in strength and dignity, she can laugh without fear of the future"


Belfast always does this thing where it's never fully aware of what season it is so as I dress for a summer night it's pretty much dead similar to what I would wear on an autumn afternoon, this particular evening I wore:

Burgandy Top from T.K Maxx // I picked this up when I was in T.K Maxx a few months back and I love it as a wardrobe staple, It has cropped sleeves and is quite heavy and floaty which makes it a little more interesting than a generic plain top so serves the purpose of simple yet effective.

Aztec Cardigan from Urban Outfitters // I've had this cardigan for years and I always find myself coming back to it to complete an outfit because of the pattern on it I just feel like it helps to give a rather plain outfit a little more character.

A-Line Skirt from New Look // I managed to salvage this beauty from the sale for only £15, What a bargain right! It's perfect for wearing casually and can be worn in all weathers depending on what you choose to wear it with

Plimsolls from New Look // a nice pair of plimsolls is always a sure fire way to ensure that your outfit remains casual and it's especially great if they are as comfortable as this pair from New Look which only cost £15

Necklace from Charlene's Project // Charlene's Project is a really nice charity that raises money to build schools in countries where children can't go to school founded by a girl who had to be taken out of school because of her cystic fibrosis,

Leggings from Primark // Leggings are just a wardrobe staple and can literally be thrown on with anything as proven here


I'm a sucker for never throwing clothes out so a lot of outfits that I show on here will more likely contain a piece that I picked up approximately 5 years ago but just can't bear to part with, in this case it is my trusty Urban Outfitters cardigan. It is important to invest in your old items and to not completely forget about their existence. Sometimes the older clothes that we possess can be just what we need to fully complete an outfit, Although it's important to keep up with the shift in styles keeping a hold older items is still important. The same way as when young people begin to take on the roles of the older people it is equally as important to keep investing into the older people so as they don't begin to fade into the background. Yes I am linking a post about clothes to investing in the older generation, deal with it!


Alice x

Going Deeper

Going Deeper

Whilst I was at Summer Madness, which is a christian youth festival in Glenarm, I took some time away from the business of the festival and just had some alone time with God by the sea. So I decided to take a little bit of a walk along the beach while I prayed.



I was walking along the beach, wading through the water, I had wellies on so I was trying not to go too deep so as not to get my feet wet. I noticed that however much I tried to stay in the shallows of the water, every now and then a big wave would come and the water would come flooding into my boots and I'd have to move even shallower until eventually I was just walking on the sand as the tide came out. So often in life we can feel like everything in our lives is in order but we later come to realise that this is not always the case. When trials come we so often find ourselves turning away from God and blame God for all the things that are going wrong in our lives when sometimes it is equally as easy to go the other way and turn to God for help to get us through the difficult periods of our lives. If we have the courage to physically step deeper into the water you find that the waves are a lot less changeable and the sea maintains a more constant level. There will always still be a few ups and downs but they won't cause as dramatic an effect as we know that when we are rooted in Christ, God will always be there to help us through everything. Standing still in the water may seem like a safer option but with the constantly changing nature of the sea, standing still in one place is just going to end you up in trouble, By going deeper you may even find that your feet actually get less wet.

"Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger"

Alice x

My Il Volo Experience

My Il Volo Experience

One thing that you should know about me is that I absolutely adore the group Il Volo and I recently went to a concert of theirs in the London Palladium in June so I just thought I would share my experience.


The day started out like every other day, too much like every other day in fact because I started it in school for a physics revision class which wasn't really the most enthusiastic start to the day. At midday, my dad and I set of to the airport, my dad wasn't actually going to the concert he was merely accompanying me on my epic adventure to the scary place that is London. 

We travelled. There was a lot of travelling, so much that we didn't arrive at our hotel until 5pm and i wanted to be at the venue for 6! I hurriedly got myself ready, I wore a dress from New Look and Shoes from New Look along with an old jacket from Pull and Bear.


One of the highlights of the whole concert experience for me was finally getting to meet some of the incredible people that I had met online because it really added to the experience to be able to share it with friends. 


I was sitting in the front row because I had exchanged my tickets pretty last minute but I wouldn't have changed it for the world because the buzz you get from seeing your favourite group from the front row is incomparable. The concert itself was a truly magical experience the second that Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero stepped out to open the show with Per Te Ci Sarò you could sense that the concert was going to be completely unforgettable. I laughed multiple times and I cried multiple times it really is no lie that the guys put on a great show. The real stand out performance for me though was Caruso, it was a masterclass in how to hold your audience captive under your voice and as soon as they had sung the last note the whole stadium erupted into a standing ovation and the atmosphere in the room was truly submerged in awe. As someone who discovered Il Volo through the Eurovison Song Contest there truly was no feeling quite like hearing Grande Amore live. 


Other highlights of the concert included the boy's solo performances as well as their performance of Il Mondo which just so happens to be one of my favourite of their songs but at a show like this it is almost impossible to choose a favourite. I have included the complete set list below:
  1. Per Te Ci Sarò
  2. Volare
  3. Il Mondo
  4. L'Immensità
  5. Io Che Non Vivo
  6. Tonight (Ignazio Solo)
  7. En Aranjuez (Gianluca Solo)
  8. E Lucevan Le Stelle (Piero Solo)
  9. Piove
  10. Beautiful That Way
  11. My Way (Gianluca and Piero Duet)
  12. L'Amore Si Muove
  13. Unchained Melody (Ignazio and Gianluca Duet)
  14. Caruso
  15. O'Paese d' 'o Sole (Piero and Ignazio Duet)
  16. Delilah
  17. Memory (Ignazio Solo)
  18. Bridge Over Troubled Water (Gianluca Solo)
  19. No Puede Ser (Piero Solo)
  20. 'O Sole Mio
  21. Grande Amore


After the concert I hung out for a bit hoping to catch a glimpse of the boys but unfortunately it wasn't to be, the concert was still incredible and I will be sure to remember it well well well into the future if not forever. 

I have included a few of my photos that I took during the concert in this post but the remainder can be found here.

Alice x


Directions.

Directions.

Hello! Chances are that if you've stumbled upon this page you'll be wanting to know a little bit about the person behind it, right? So here's a little introduction post just to tell you a little about myself so you can get to know me a little better before I begin to share my heart with you.


First things first, My name is Alice and I am currently 18 years old and living in Belfast in Northern Ireland and I'm a Belfast girl born and bred. As I begin to enter a new chapter of my life I decided to start up this blog just to document the things I experience and share my experiences with others who may be interested in hearing my insights. I don't know what the future holds for me and lately I've been struggling to come to terms with the fact that God's plan for my life will not always be in line with mine and I have established that I needed to lay my future into God's hands because he has every day of my life written out from before I even had any idea of what I want to do and although it's hard to let go of your dreams and wholly trust in what God's plan for you is it brings an immense sense of peace and comfort from knowing that God's got you covered and that even if it may not seem like the best thing for you at the time, everything works together for good so you can rest assured that in the end everything will work out perfectly.


"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose" - Romans 8:28

 Whatever direction that God points your life in I hope that you can use the worst of your circumstances to form some of the most beautiful memories because more often than not they are born from the ashes of what seems like an irretrievable low point but it's really just a platform that you've been placed on to elevate you to greater things so just remember to always be thankful for the little things in life because as meaningless as they may seem they all create a bigger picture which proves that we have so much to be thankful for.


I'm going to leave you with my favourite song lyric which is also the motto of my life and causes me to appreciate every aspect of my life and enjoy each and every moment because each second that we breathe is a small part of our ridiculously exciting story and I can't wait to find out where mine goes next. "più bello della vita non c'è niente" which translates to English as "there is nothing more beautiful than life" so embrace the life that you've been given and revel in it's beauty.

Alice x