Actually, I Can

I was asked to give a full school assembly (secondary school) on the topic of being prepared! Here it is in full

Good morning!

Officially at the end of today, you will have nine and a half days of school left!

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Nine and a half days of waking up and getting ready to get to school in time

Nine and a half days until the summer holidays and endless time on your hands!!


I loved summer time, it meant handing out at the local open air pool with friends, dying our hair colours we weren’t allowed at school, going off with my youth groups to Soul Survivor or theatre camp…

and of course, it meant the annual family holiday!

Now, we never jetted off anywhere, our holiday was packing up the car, with a 6-man tent and 2 dogs, and heading up the motorway into the Great British countryside! It wasn’t until I was 17 that I experienced my first summer holiday abroad, with 10 of my friends celebrating the end of our first year of sixth form. It was only at 17 that I  first experienced the pre-airport panic:

Have I got my tickets, my passport, my money my phone…?

Over and over again the thoughts ran through our minds and often came out of our mouths.

Do you have your ticket, yes passport, yes, money yes…? hang on passport…

where is my passport?!

My first ever holiday, and I’m halfway to Bristol airport without my passport! I was not prepared!

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Thankfully a quick phone call to a very sleepy Dad and he came to meet me at the airport with my passport at the ready!

Have I got my tickets, my passport, my money my phone… these aren’t the only words that can run on a cycle through our mind. Daily, thoughts about ourselves enter our mind. Some are positive, but the ones that seem to stick like a broken record are the negative ones.

Psychologist Michael Seligman believes that the words that we run through our mind affect whether we are pessimist or optimist and goes further to say that we can learn optimism. Phrases that are PERSONAL PERMANENT and PERVASIVE cause PESSIMISM. Instead, when negative situations happen we learn optimism by choosing to look on failure “an unlucky situation” (not personal) “just a setback” (not permanent) “for this one, of many, goals” (not pervasive).



We can teach our minds to look on situations differently. What matters is what we fill our mind with, the thoughts we dwell on!

Finally, my brothers and sisters, always think about what is true. Think about what is noble, right and pure. Think about what is lovely and worthy of respect. If anything is excellent or worthy of praise, think about those kinds of things. Do what you have learned or received or heard from me. Follow my example. The God who gives peace will be with you.

peace… that what I want in my mind


We do not have to believe we will fail! Learn to dwell on different words!

Last week I was working on some motivational pictures with a young person and we found one, which this week I have been speaking into every situation where I feel wobbly…

Actually, I can! Actually, I can get up, actually I can get through this, actually I can finish this project, actually I can be liked, actually, I can rest and trust God has my future secure!


What battles are before you right now in your mind, battle in belief about yourself, life, God. What if the Bible was true, what if God has created you to become strong and overcome? Strength is found in perseverance, taking a step back into the ring, learning to fight!

Believing Actually, I Can, because He [Jesus] that in me is greater than that of the world!
Believing Actually, I Can, because even in weakness he is strong!

Believing Actually, I Can get through my desire to procrastinate, actually I can choose thankfulness over jealousy, actually, I can get over my anxiety, actually, I can resist temptation because actually, I can approach God because he is my good father, actually, I can be free*.

Actually, I Can persevere, I can love and be love, I can grow in my faith, I can serve, I can forgive and be forgiven**


What mind battle can you speak this back to today!


*this seems like a random list but it was going back through the topics of that term

**these are the school values

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