Just been over to England for a couple of days – very exciting, to see the dentist! – and how could I change dentists when mine’s so good, been my dentist for 29 years, and his name is Mr Bean! Took the opportunity of catching up with a few friends – some who are going away with me later in the year, so ‘business’ too – AND meeting Ralph Bennison Harding for the first time… my lovely friends Nick & Sarah Harding decided on that middle name, which, even now, nearly 12 weeks since his birth, blows me away. I met Nick in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2000, when I spoke at his YWAM school: and Sarah, in 2004, I think, when I spoke at her YWAM school in Christchurch, New Zealand. Then THEY met – and now they have Milo, who is absolutely gorgeous, just like the little fella Ralph, in the picture, and that’s Nick, too…. it’s really immensely humbling, and an incredible privilege, to have friends name a baby after you…. my friends Benny & Paty Osorio, from Mexico City, called their first son Pablo, which, of course, is Paul in English. I think their first baby might have objected by now if they’d used a bloke’s name, so she is Ceci!
It’s been a good few days since I last blogged: I think I mentioned that on the 10th May, I had the extreme pleasure of using a birthday gift to go and see Eric Clapton in concert ,, his 50th Anniversary tour of being ‘on the road’ – (maybe some of you have written me off already! that ‘heathen’ music!!) – actually, a lot of his songs are very ‘christian’ – My Father’s Eyes, Presence of the Lord…. whats’ more, he had another very spiritual bloke in his band, and one of my favourite singers, Paul Carrack: and, just because he was in Belfast, local ‘boy’ Van Morrison, so it was a great night! Since then, I’ve had a lot of prayer for these knees of mine, having had a ‘follow up’ visit to my doctor just a routine appointment really, as I’ve had so many tests done/diagnoses etc., spoken over me. I asked him about them: knees – well, humanly, surgical replacement of both over the next 18 months or so is what’s on offer. Asked him about the other stuff – heart (‘no problem really, just an ECG in 18 months to keep updated) and bowel – getting to the bottom of that! – and he explained what doctor friends Lee & Katie have already told me – the ‘positive’ test for ‘possible cancer’ could be anything from a cut in the mouth, to heavy-duty pain killers (for my knees) affecting the stomach lining and making it bleed, or, of course, those unmentionable things, hemorrhoids (no idea how spell that, so if it’s wrong blame the smell checker!!)…
That means, of course, 18 months or more out of circulation: and humanly impossible for someone who lives on his own! So, Alan & Barbara, my lovely, lovely friends here, have been round to pray for me: and a great guy, Craig Marsh (he’s a Kiwi, a friend of my Aussie/USA friends Ian & Bev) has just got off of the phone praying for my knees too.
Alan came again today: even he can feel how the swelling has gone down, and Craig got me to lay hands on myself (why is it that I’m absolutely hopeless at praying for myself??!! answers on a postage stamp, please!). Like with Alan & Barbara, my knees got extremely hot, and today, the lower half of my legs turned to jelly when Craig prayed, so something’s going on! Coming back through Heathrow airport the other night, I decided they really HAVE to get healed, so, Lord, when you’re ready, I am too….
Trying to spend some of these days at home not only preparing talks, sermons, whatever: I’m also aiming to change Bibles, which is a huge thing for me, and I think most people, especially preachers! It’s not that I don’t like my old one – it’s just so big, and when it’s in a case, in my luggage, with my notes, it weighs 3 kg!! That’s a pretty big percentage of your luggage allowance! And, of course, I get to rest my knees a bit….well, I AM 60 now….