Beautiful Feet

Two weeks ago, the folks of took a big decision.

Having prayed about it for several weeks, we decided that God was telling us to stop “just praying” and go and act. Enough of us were thinking the same thing after the three weeks, and having spent time during the meeting in prayer before discussing it.

In this case, we’re acting by going and literally feeding the hungry. The title “beautiful feet” comes from Isaiah 52 (“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news…), although we nicknamed ourselves The Great Big Soup Pot Thing.

So last Tuesday, we met at Calvary Christian Centre, heated up soup, and buttered and filled rolls, had a fellowship meal, prayed, and hit the streets. We met four people.

We met Roger in Fountain Street, and a Polish man outside the City Hall. The third guy we met, Mike, isn’t homeless (and didn’t take any soup!) but we were still able to talk to him for a while before we moved on along Botanic Avenue. It was still a God appointment!

The last guy, Malcolm, was as surprised as we are that we didn’t see very many people. He gave us a quick tour from Howard Street where we met him round some of the City Centre areas to find homeless people, and told us where else to look.

Was it disappointing only to meet four people? Of course. However, we are certain this is what God wants us to be doing, so we will keep going, and we will continue to listen to God just to make sure we’re following his path.

If you’d like to join us, come to Calvary Christian Centre between 6pm and 8pm any Tuesday night, where we get ourselves set up and ready to go. 6pm is best (for the fellowship meal and to prepare food) but we don’t leave until after 8pm.

More info on the website!

Feedback on theweekend…

There has been criticism of the church weekend on this blog. I am going to take the opportunity briefly to respond…

The church weekend was no more and no less than a fellowship weekend – a chance to spend time with each other and with God.

As such, considerable time was given each morning to spending time with God. Saturday morning was spent initially in singing for about ten minutes before looking at James 1 through Lectio Divina.

The objective of Lectio Divina is of course to study God’s word in detail, to immerse yourself in it and hear what God is saying – full engagement, and humility as you come before God to hear what he is saying. Immersion without agenda.

It surely makes sense that studying God’s word in great depth may bring you to a place where you realise that God is speaking to you very specifically through a passage, perhaps in an unexpected way, but consonant with the rest of Scripture (always the litmus test!)

Sunday morning I have already discussed. Those who were there will tell you how much we learned about God’s amazing grace in Paddy’s life. Formal teaching it was not, but we learned so much about the outstanding God we serve. One thing’s for sure, we spent too much time focussing on God and what God has done to start thinking about man-made things.

I won’t be discussing this in the forums.

Story so far…

When I left my last post (could have sworn I’d blogged since, maybe it was on one of my other blogs), I did in fact mean to blog again before now. But here I am, better late than never.

I’m just back from a church weekend in Whitepark Bay (for any non-Irish readers, it’s a few miles east of the Giant’s Causeway). Having taken a trip through Ballintoy, Ballycastle and Bushmills in search of fish and chips for Graeme (my indulgent driver for the weekend), we arrived in plenty of time for supper and a table quiz with a few bonuses… like X Factor for which our team managed to pull off a chinese song. Our team also beat our minister in the Bible round…!

Until the last weekend (which I had to miss due to Autumn Soul 2005!) the weekend had been a lot more structured – worship morning and night, with structured activities on the Saturday afternoon (we still remember the first one nince years ago where we had to do a series of games for points. Once we had the points, we had to “buy” materials to protect an egg we had to throw off a short cliff so it wouldn’t break!), but the last two have been more gentle fellowship weekends, with worship in the mornings, craziness at night and a free Saturday afternoon to go kayaking (for the mad) or take a nice walk.

I was playing keyboards in the mornings, but pleasingly for myself I wasn’t leading, just playing backing for the guitarists. It’s good just to play second fiddle to someone else and just enjoy without too much pressure, and still be doing something I love.

One aspect of the weekend was that there was no solid teaching slot, but rather, after Saturday morning worship we were introduced to Lectio Divina, a style of studying, praying and meditating on Scripture. Sunday morning, Paddy shared his full testimony, which he had never done with us before – it was powerful in general, but I think I understood properly for the first time where our stories have similarities, and how we are both waiting.

My own story in the last month or so has been challenging. As I think has been fairly obvious to most of those who know me, I had a rotten 2006, which my last blog deliberately understated. Highlights like Summer Madness and the broadcast service, together with my friends, still left this emptiness within me.

On my birthday (9th January for next year, folks, I’ll be 35 – a very young 35 of course, but still 35!) I was at as usual for a Tuesday night. As a result of being prayed with that night, God’s managed to fix a lot of things in my heart, and I’m actually trying to listen to him properly and place things in his hands as I should have done in the first place. Externally, nothing has changed – I’m still miserable at work (the low point of the day, week, etc blahblahblah), I’m still single, still a bit frustrated at church, but it’s all ok at the moment. God’s given me a measure of contentment – only a measure, because he will move me on, but still it’s enough. Enough to keep focussed on God, enough to get back to living instead of moping.

God is good.