Didn’t have access to internet opportunities in New York, and so getting to just finalise this here in Dublin, Ireland, where I just landed a short time ago.
I am so thankful everything has gone smoothly so far on my long journey home, switching planes successfully in New York’s JFK airport, amidst the buzz of ‘Superbowl Sunday.’ Despite leaving Redding the equivalent of 8PM GMT, and now almost 9am Monday morning, the journey has felt relatively painless and swift ’til now, having been able to sleep most of the air travel.
(That was amidst the pilot interrupting regularly on the way home to give updates on the eventual Seattle Seahawk’s victory over Denver Broncos in the Superbowl final, held nearby in New Jersey).
The California adventure is now over, I am back on Irish soil, and wet, cold, dark winter here, but I shall never forget this amazingly blessed, life-giving time in California, 2014.
It is hitting me now, only slowly, what a highly privileged time this was, peaking in these final few days, witnessing great things before my very own eyes of God’s healing power in these days, only the tip of the iceberg I believe of much much more to follow.
Prophetic words of encouragement which should be normal Christian experience back home, (but sadly aren’t, often), have built fresh hope, courage and comfort into my soul.
The sunshine has been a wonderful life-giving boost Vitamin D.
Bethel Church is no perfect place, and I remain unchanged in my appreciation and belief in so many more varieties and expressions of God and his nature, but I for one have been the benefactor of all that’s good about Bethel Church and God’s character and creativity there for this time around, this trip, in 2014.
If, anything, though, it has stirred my heart even more for my own nation and called me on into the new 21st century expressions of Christianity yet to be explored and entered into in the emerald isle.
Let’s not copy Bethel, back home people, let’s appreciate it and go BEYOND. After all, it was many people from these shores and others nearby such as Scotland, who if anything, lay the foundations for Christianity and its development in the early years of settlement in the USA. We have a call to rise up as the spiritual leaders we as a land are called and created to be. I can’t stand it when we simply want to emulate and repeat American expressions of Christianity. Let’s honour and appreciate it all, all the good parts, and seek to grow and develop this special little land of ours, with so much healing and change needed, and let’s seek to explore what it looks like to represent God well here, and live out these spiritual gifts in the context of our own culture – cups of tea and all. Afterall, community is still strong here in our land. American’s envy what Irish people, for example, do so strongly. It’s up to us, in our generation to stir the land once more and reach out for the mantles that are ours, with many of us from Ireland with great generational blessings available to us from within our own families. I could go on!
God is no respecter of persons and wants to encounter all of us, as his dear children, in personal ways we will each meet with him more fully through.
He is GOOD! He is faithful and He is kind. I have been so massively reminded of this during this trip.
(The preface to all of this should really have been, a reminder that 2012 and 2013 were really extremely difficult years for me, and I reached this trip on a relative low, needing some very real encouragement and restoration).
There is too much to go into in a small entry of this nature, but suffice it to say, God has revealed himself to me in a very mighty personal manner in and through this special and significant time in California, and I urge you to believe, if you’re reading this, that you’re not reading this by accident either, and that He has good things available and ready to be unleashed in YOUR life also, this year, if you will just press in, press on, and seek him diligently, for He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.
I am glad to be back in the emerald isle and excited to see what the rest of 2014 holds, with fresh hope and wind in my sails. (Maybe after a wee bit more sleep and some more clothes on to comfort from the cold!!!)
Maybe a few more photos to come, when I get a better internet connection…