Friday, 12 August 2011


Hello all
I have no idea who reads this blog if anybody, but if you do I thought I would give you an update on whats happening at the moment.

I realise that there's only a month until my final year at cliff which sounds really scary to me. The whole thing is going fast but at the same time I really feel that God is working in me fast, and this holiday has been a time for me to reflect on the changes God has been making in me and the person I have become and becoming.

just after my 20th birthday I cried for the first time in about five years properly with a friend who waited with me and let God do some stuff in me that needed to be done. since then I feel that I'm more open, more confident, and more in tune with God and his heart than ever. Even though I still have a long way to go (isn't that always the case) I feel i can explore a bit more of who God is and wants in this world. I thank God for this but can also feel quite fearful of what getting closer to God means

One thing that i have noticed over the past months is that the closer I get to God the harder my life becomes. I begin to see expectations of myself change and see that God has plans for me to, yes, prosper me and not to harm me, but also not to conform to the pattern of this world. This means not having everything that I expect or want, but having everything that God wants for me. Many may interpret this as the same thing but it isn't. This may mean not having the great job, not expecting things everyone else expects, not being, in essence...comfortable.

One thing that we have seen in the past week is that people are stealing things that they want, think they should have, feel entitled to in some convoluted way. The vast majority of us can see this is wrong, and the chapter in Bunyan's A Pilgrim's Progress about vanity fair also challenges me. so many of us can get caught up in the hysteria of that fair, everything you want on offer, whether it be youth, drink, sex, money, 'rock and roll', and then forget that the rest of the journey is still ahead of us. All this stuff often is merely a distraction to us pursuing our goal.

I'm so privileged to have people around me who keep me in that reality and I thank them for that. my aim is no longer to desire these things, but instead to desire justice to come to where there is no justice, righteousness to shine where there is no righteousness, for (in the old cheesy song) this little light of mine to shine.

so many people have found the call to holiness impossible, like no one can live up to it. I often agree. Yet Jesus doesn't call the perfect, instead he calls the sinner who genuinely wants to have a heart like his, one that loves like his, one with a passion like his.

I realised that I may have preached a little here without intending to. Yet I think this is something that needs to preached to me regularly.
Hope all are well

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Hi all
Hope everyone is doing well. I thought I would update everyone on how Cliff was going.

It has been totally different from the year before, but still enabled me to grow far beyond my expectations, I can see everyday how God is working in my life. a couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to Newham, London. Newham is the most culturally diverse place in Britain, Europe and some argue the world and is thought of by many of the locals as the world on one street. That was definitely the impression I got so it was great to have our urban mission lectures there. So many of my preconceptions were challenged there and I learned so much more about people, religion and culture than I thought possible to do in a week. I set foot in places where many would not deem appropriate as a Christian but met people there who have brought new perspectives to me.
One experience in particular that challenged me was going in to the bookies, which in itself is alien ground to me. we went in to understand more about places which so often we as Christians are ignorant about and expect others to agree with our perceptions of things. while in there I met a man and we asked him about betting, how to place a bet, what would be best to place a bet on, we obviously didn't have a clue and he could see that. He said something that will stay with me for a long time. "Don't place a bet, you've already won" he said. It struck me how much this 'hobby' can take people, how it can own people. I realise how throughout that experience, even though I had a pound in my hand I could not place that bet. It wasn't about the money, after all it was a pound, I lose pounds out of my pocket and think little of it. But to place that bet was inaccessible to me and I had no idea why.
I looked at my experience of gambling and remember my Grandad putting a couple of quid on the horses on a saturday and me sitting with him watching them on his TV. I saw that it was for him a passtime and very little harm ever came out of it (at least at this time). Yet I also remember my parents stance on gambling, never even taking part in raffles, they just gave the money to whichever cause it was in aid of.
For me gambling has often been a grey area, like alcohol too much of it can be bad yet if it is only done once in a while, then what is the harm in it. But what about that man who was in the bookies who thought we have already won by not starting. As more and more adverts for bingo and online poker etc are coming up on our screens, where should we stand on it, especially in view of 1 Corinthians 8, a dominant piece of scripture for us that week.
Its something that all people need to think about and especially how the Church should respond to this.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Hi all,
Hope you are all ok, just had deadline a couple of weeks ago and it was one of the most stressful times i've had, so i've taken a couple of weeks of doing a lot to recover a bit from it. Going to work a bit more from now on and get all my essays in quite a bit earlier than usual. I just had a facebook message from Sarah Malik. Sarah and Bobby have been working on a charity called living hope and a couple of us at cliff last year helped out with Tesco bag packing and coffee mornings. If anyone wants to know a bit more the website is below.

I think the Cliff blues have been settling in for a lot of people. The time we have here is so intense and the most adventerous times often turn out to be a trip to McDonalds or Tesco.

I want to see God move in Cliff, as do many of the other students. A lot of us came here to get much deeper in to our faith and to bring others to a faith also. It's very easy to get disheartened sometimes and feel as if not everything is going right, so I would like to ask those who read this blog to pray for the students at cliff, and also the staff as they have to put up with us :p.

I believe more and more that if we want to see things change then prayer is the way to do it. I believe that if it wasn't for faithful prayer then I would never have become a Christian. Next week Cliff College will be engaging in 24/7 prayer and I'm really excited for it. I'm sure God wants to do awesome things throughout next week and I know we want to see them happen.

I'll hopefully blog sometime soon, though I know I'm not the most punctual blogger.
Andrew Sterling

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Hi all
It's snowing at Cliff! Isn't it great when no one can get in or out, especially when you need to get to tesco, but still it looks fantastic outside. Time is getting busy again at cliff (not that it wasn't before) with all the assessments and essays coming up, got a Greek test that i need to revise for and a couple of book reviews that are due in next week and then the other 10,500 words which are due in for January. Fun times!

I realise my last post was a little intense so I thought I would lighten up a bit here and talk about how good it is to be still. I have been making time to be with God for a decent period of on the mornings of this week, and though so far only have done two, I feel that I have met with God in a great way (Jeremiah 19: 12-13). The big silence got me thinking in a big way and showed how God wants to meet with all people and we can put up the barriers, not just people who don't know God but even those who are Christians. I think there are a lot of barriers that I can put up that need to be broken down. These barriers can be broken down by praying, by being saturated in the Holy Spirit, and reacting in a way that it is not a temporary experience, but reacting so that my heart is changed, and thus my lifestyle starts to change, and I continue to grow into the person I am meant to be.

I find this quite exciting, it makes me think about what is possible as I continue to grow and change. Matt Bellamy of the band Muse wrote this lyric in the song hoodoo 'and I've had recurring nightmares that I was loved for who I am, and missed the opportunity to be a better man'. I hope that won't happen, to anyone, although I would be ignorant to say that all people reach their full potential, and in many cases, even half of their potential.

Don't miss the opportunity, you might just like the person you become.

Have a great week everyone, and if you have snow, make some great snowmen!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

my next post... finally.

Hi all
I was reminded the other day that I haven't blogged in a long time and I thought it would be a good idea to get back on.
I hope everyone is ok, I'm well into cliff life now for the second year having a great time but struggling to balance work and organise my time correctly. Prayer would be nice because it's a new thing for me but I'm getting there.
I thought I'd share something that's on my heart which is about the influence the media has over us. I'm reminded of John Bunyan's portrayal of Christian walking through vanity fair. As he walked through the fair with his friend he was bombarded with advertisements and people trying to entice them to buy their products as they will help bring fulfillment to life and they had to resist this stuff. This is a truth for a culture today, we are constantly being bombarded with stuff that tells us we need this product to live life, whether it's money, sex, education, or general stuff. Although this has been around for as long as I can remember, it still doesn't make it any less scary, the fact that people of all ages are giving their lives to products of the world of which 99.9% of them are lies. It's stuff like people thinking going out drinking can solve problems and If you buy this make up you will look 100% better than you would with any other, (9 out of 10 people think so according to the adverts). Something has got to give. How long can we allow people to lie to us and also lie to ourselves that this stuff is the answer? I believe God is hurting over this, that he see's people being drawn in and falling into this stuff and more and more he is being put on the sideline. Im amazed at how many people care so little about God, this is mainly because I care so much, and I believe that he is the only way we can get out of this mess.
This whole rant has led me to think about what Christians need to do about this. do we need to be part of the media to solve the problem? I personally doubt it because I don't think Christianity should necessarily be commercial and become part of the problem. Or does there need to be a new culture, a culture that is ready to find the answers in Christ, in his teaching, in the way he lived his life. Wouldn't it be an interesting Church if it's members were more enticed by the words of the bible than the words of the world? I know I'm challenged by it because I think I'm more guilty than anyone in it.
BTW I hope I haven't offended anyone on my rant, If I have I'm really sorry.
Have a good week

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Come on Spring!

Hello everyone

It’s really nice to see the sun outside…finally. I’ve been able to sit on the terrace and start to write a sermon which has been really nice and relaxing, especially since my whole life seems to be getting busier and busier every week. What’s more is that it’s not going to get any quieter. But I guess that’s life, and I can at least say I’m not getting bored or lazy. There has been some really interesting things that have been coming up and new ideas and attitudes that I have been discovering that I thought might be good to share.

I have discovered a lot about my attitude to giving everything to God. I have seen that I can often do it, and that when I do the effects on my abilities go up considerably, because it is not in my own strength I do those things but in God’s. But I have found that it is too easy to then start to think I can do all those things that were done in God’s strength in my own. I have found that once I start to think like this, it is the beginning of the fall to not doing what God’s will for me is, but what I see best for myself, even if I think what I am doing is for God.

I have also found that in the last couple of weeks I have been challenged by the level of respect I should treat others with. I have always tried to be nice to people to their faces, and be willing to do anything for them, but if I am to love how God has intended for me to love, then I must also hold that attitude of love for them in everything I do. It’s so easy for me to think negatively of someone, maybe because of different attitudes or different personalities, but all of that can be unhelpful, leading to gossip and unfriendliness and starting to lose the fellowship that we are called to have with each other. Love for others has certainly been on my heart throughout my time at cliff, and it is something that I must work hard at allowing myself to be transformed by because of my experience of Christ’s, the ultimate example of love.

Just a few thoughts on the way I have been changing, and of course there are loads more things that I have been working through, but I would be hear till midnight writing about them.

I hope everyone is ok


Monday, 15 February 2010

Hi all
Been a long time since I was on here, did right one a while ago but the internet went dodgy and got lost somewhere and i couldn't be bothered to write it again. But I'm back with lots of new things that have happened!
While i'm typing i'm sitting opposite my new niece who is currently sleeping. She's so cute and is living the high life of sleep, feed, poop... Simpler times. She is doing really well ad getting bigger and bigger everyday.
Cliff is going well, I've now got all my results from the first set of essays and exams and I feel I've done really well in them, next stage is getting a first in one of them. It has been really encouraging finding that I've been doing well, and it just encourages me and helps me realise that I can strive to do better, which is a novelty :p.
My local preaching is coming on nicely, had my half way trial service which went well and also having my half way interview next tuesday, which I am a little scared about.
Missing everyone at home, I think i would like to see some old faces some time and go to a pub quiz. O how i miss failing at pub quizzes.

Hope everyone's doing well.