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 www.theweeprayerroomthing.org 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.