Whenever I see a rainbow, like this one I saw last Friday night at Beltrim Castle, I am reminded of the promises of God and of His faithfulness. Rainbows just do that for me.
There is also a certain escalating excitement about the promises of God and what is going to happen (by His grace). His promises just ‘draw you in’.
His promises to build His Church, and that ‘the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea’, are happening. It is amazing, and a privilege, watching God work, and working with Him. (What could be more fulfilling?).
Last Saturday (14th) was just plain exciting! As a family we got together with a young couple from a nearby town, who have been unable to find ‘interactive church and community’ locally, and were hungry for ‘something more’. For some time now they have shown an interest in starting a simple church and in using (Bible) story, with discussion, to learn and explore more of God and His Word together. I have been coaching them in this process.
Anyway … we had a blast! We met for a BBQ, and followed the format of Acts 2:42. We delved into a Bible story in great depth (“apostles’ teaching”), got to know one another more (“fellowship”), shared delicious food, remembering Jesus’ work for us (“breaking bread”) and prayed for one another (“prayer”).
A new simple church has been launched and more people want to join it. We’re thrilled!
Mum and I had the privilege of travelling down memory lane last night (13th May). We were guests of the Tyrone Knot of the Friendly Brothers of St. Patrick (a noble company of men, of which my father was a member, who decided to band together in the early 17th century to ‘promote friendship and benevolence amongst all men and … to put down the barbarous practice of duelling’) for a special ‘Ladies Night’ (to which we men were also welcome!).
The evening was delightful, and the dinner prepared was one of the most amazing I have had for a very long time. Mum was ‘purring’ all the way home!
It was memory lane for us on various levels …
- We met friends and gentry with whom we had much relation some 25 to 30 years ago (when living here before), so there was lots of catching up to do and many wonderful conversations.
- The venue was Beltrim Castle, where Mum was governess when the current ‘lord of the manor’ was a child.
- As a teen I had a summer job working for the same man and his father in the 70s. Not far from the delightful scene pictured above, I had the misfortune of destroying a wasp’s nest as I scythed through some undergrowth one afternoon. I remember that the resulting appearance of these tiny yellow and black beasts before my eyes (in a swarm) caused me a mild panic. Subsequently as I felt the creatures under my shirt and crawling up my legs, in quiet restraint I bolted up the lane and into the kitchen, where, with the help of the (female) housekeeper and some maids, I stripped off clothing and we started beating the insects indiscriminately until they lay lifeless all around me. It was then that I realised I was in my underpants! Hmm! Memories!
Woke up this morning with a headache. Also with a sense that I’ve been overdoing it a little.
I suppose that’s true, really. I didn’t take my ‘sabbath’ last weekend. Too many activities on. This weekend is scheduled to be fuller still.
Some of the squeeze we’ve been feeling these past few weeks have no doubt added to that sense of being drained.
Anyway I digress.
As I ‘came to’ this morning I had a distinct impression that I needed to take today ‘off the grid’. Switch off. Go walk (in the rain!). Listen to podcasts. Read my Bible extra slowly.
As I pondered taking time out alone with Jesus, a thought came to me that He is the only person that REFRESHES me when I’m with Him. Every time.
Social interactivity for most can be draining. And, for the few of us that find it refreshing to be with people (mostly!), I am talking ‘refresh’ on a deeper level here. It touches every part of who we are.
I need that today.
I pray your next ‘sabbath’ will be refreshing as you touch intimacy with the most incredible Person in the universe!
This post has a double meaning.
1) My blog needs to be tidied up a little and become more of a blog than a photo junkyard! So, after a brief tidy-up on the page itself, I am endeavouring to begin again with occasional posts about this and that – serious to funny to what grips me (and hopefully you!)
2) A few days ago I was gripped by a post by my friend Floyd
. He writes of the massive fire that swept through the Western Cape (South Africa) and destroyed 1,500 homes, making 5,000 people homeless. Homes like this one above that once covered the landscape are gone-gone-gone. Smouldering, charred metal and trash now litters the area. South Africa is entering its winter season soon, and that’s a lot of people without a roof over their heads! Floyd and friends are scrambling to do all they can to help out in this situation. Please read the news he wrote
to see how you might be able to help families begin again.