// happy birthday, and thanks

A little over a year ago, I started writing thoughts about God, or challenges that He was throwing at me at that particular time, on this site. It started during a revision period for my final exams at Oxford (where I was studying English literature) and it was partly designed to force me to think about something other than English during that period. But eventually it ended up outlasting the degree, and now I’m a year on, and I honestly never thought it would last this long.

That said, I’m glad it did. The discipline of trying to observe and articulate how God relates to us and speaks through this world has been so worthwhile, and has forced me to look at the world with new eyes. I’m almost invariably amazed at what I find, and life with that continual sense of meditation and wonder is a gift that I wouldn’t have believed that I deserved. Of course, I don’t deserve it – that’s why it all comes down to grace anyway.

But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m very glad for it – and I highly recommend it.

And the same goes for everyone who’s been reading over the past year, too. You guys are great. Thank you for your feedback and for your constructive criticism. Thank you for not mocking me for writing a blog (people always spit that word with such disdain), or, even if you mocked me, for reading it anyway. I’m consistently surprised that people do read, because much of the time I don’t know that my thoughts are that fascinating or articulate, but I’m thankful that you do…

Finally, a huge thank you to all the guest contributors to whom I gave access to this site recently – it has been a joy reading what God is doing in your lives, and a pleasure reading the way in which you have expressed that. I will undoubtedly appeal for contributions again, but if you want to post something before that then feel free – just please let me know, and ideally identify yourself as not me when you do.

This is not as articulate as it could be – I could try to be cleverer, I suppose, but basically I just wanted to say thanks, and to spin that out would take another few days. So, thanks.

Let’s keep talking. I would love to hear your stories too, and if you have something that you want to share, whether that’s thoughts, testimonies or creative ideas on faith, then send me an email at tjcarlisle87@gmail.com and I’ll see what I can do.


By the way, below are a few of my favourite posts from the past year – well, the ones I enjoyed writing, at least, or that people told me that they liked. If you missed them, here they are:

// law, grace and running

// this is what love looks like

// the reason we live and the reason we sing (5-part series, starting here)

// broken church

// madness and civilisation

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