Still Here

June 30, 2007

So, where have I been all this time. More to the point, why have I been so quiet. I can’t imagine I could ever be this busy. One day, I had a late breakfast (at lunchtime) then at about 9 PM, it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn’t eaten since.And I hadn’t rested either.

Thank God, he didn’t stop speaking to me. I was thinking that I still remember the last four sermons I’ve heard in church. Wow! Four weeks ago, Ron and Andrew Eagle came as guest speakers. Ron (the father in the duo) spoke on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He said that we’re all familiar with the gift of speaking in tongues, but that’s not the only gift. What about knowledge? Wisdom? Etc. He quoted a writer (I don’t remember who) who said in reply to the question “what’s the most important gift”? That it is the gift that’s most needed at any given time.

The week after that, I was in London. When I’m there, I worship at the New Covenant Church in Detford. The preacher spoke on the transforming power of the Spirit of God. After reading from one of Paul’s letters, he took us back to Jacob, and how he was transformed by his encounter with God. You know, the one where he broke his hip in a wrestling contest with an angel. Before then, he was quite a character; he’d deceived his brother and father, run away, married two (or was it four) wives, and had to leave his father-in-law’s house under a bit of a cloud. After the all night contest, everything about him changed, even his name.

The week after that, Ian preached on Jesus’ words to Peter and Andrew, “come, and I will make you fishers of men”. He reminded us that it’s Jesus who makes us fishers of men, and all we have to do is come and be fashioned.

And last week, Chriss spoke on how to maximise our blessings. He read of how Moses was called in Exodus, and how he tried every excuse … and failed. And he read of Isaiah’s call. When God asked who will go to Israel, Isaiah, who had first realised that he and his people were unclean, said, “send me”!. And he said that the way to maximise our blessings is to be willing to go where God sends us, because that’s where the blessing is.

I was beginning to think there’s a link in everything. Even when I was away in London, when a guest speaker came to speak, … everything’s pointing somewhere!

In case you’re wondering when I’ll work myself to extinction, I had a wonderfully restful evening a few weeks back, when I went to MarketHarborough. I usually catch the last train to MarketHarborough, so I can spend all day working, and use my laptop on the train. This time, I had to be there for 2 PM, so I spent the morning on the trains. When I finished at 5, I went home with my host for the evening. After he’d fed me, I was about to go to the laptop when I remembered that there was no wireless connection. Well, it would be rude to be using the computer when someone had so kindly offered me a roof for the night, especially one that keeps talking at everyone in the house. Well, why not just sit down with him for the evening. So I did; He’s very quiet, and we both sat contentedly, just watching telly. You won’t believe that by 9.30, I was already sleepy. But I enjoyed that evening so much … and God spoke to me about taking time out to rest.

I wish the lesson had stuck though. I got back to Lancaster the next evening, raced for a function just outside Preston, got back home fter 11 and spent another 3 hours in front of the computer. I try not to forget what a quiet restful evening is like … especially this week! Sunday is the day of rest, and I intend to enjoy it fully.

Advertisements

African Night of Praise

June 30, 2007

This evening, all those who can make it are invited to an African night of praise at the Chaplaincy centre, Lancaster Uni. It’s going to be good. There are two great singers lined up, Seun and Ebun. Admittedly, you haven’t heard of them yet, but I promise, they’re good! They’ve both got great voices and real passion. Then Akan will read some of his poetry, for which he is now gathering some acclaim. He’s already won several prizes for his poetry, as well as being British Council’s international student of the year for 2006-07. His performance poetry is usually accompanied by Dele on congas and either Idrees or Ife on the keyboard. Today, it’s Ife. And there’ll be food … of course!

It’s free, but donations are welcome, towards the work of Medic Assist International, a missionary charity that does lots of work in Northern Nigeria and some other African countries. I wrote something about them this time last year. Dr David Carling will be here again to update us on the work of the charity.

Oh, did I forget to mention, 5.30 PM.


Green, White and Green

June 30, 2007

This week, a 12 year old asked me about the Nigerian flag. What did the colours ‘green, white and green’ stand for. I gave her the answer I’d learned from my civics lessons of long ago, the green stands for agriculture and the white for peace.

Then it hit me. The visionaries who ran Nigeria at independence dreamed of a country which could grow all its food, and of a land that was peaceful.

Hmmm! So what happened?