Another year older…. (and not in debt, despite what the song says!)…
It really doesn’t possible to me that it’s a year since my last birthday, nor does it seem possible that I’m 61 years young. That was the sort of number, 50 years ago, that made me think that my grandparents, and anyone above 40, were so ancient, and here I am…now a stride further forward into the decade considered by most to be ‘retirement’ territory. I think I prefer to think of it as I once heard someone say, ‘I’m just being re-tyred!’ – ready to go on for another 100,000 miles.
Looking back over the last twelve months, it has been, without doubt, a roller-coaster ride, but, thankfully, where the highs exceed the lows by a vast percentage. I’m thankful to God for all that he’s done this last year, ending it as only God can do with wonderful trips to Colombia and France. It’s great to reach this age, realising – for me – that the 17 years I’ve been going to Colombia, whilst mind-blowing and outstanding in just about every way, could merely be the ‘platform’ for what happens there next. It’s almost like those years have been preparing the foundations for the real thing.
My dear, dear friend, Pastor Wilmar Gomez, of the church Mision El Abrigo, Cali, wrote this to me today, as a birthday message (I’m sure he won’t mind me repeating it, as it blessed me out of my boots, and brought me to tears):
- Wilmar Gomez
- my dear friend, today I thank God for this day, create you and make you a man of blessing, for your legacy and example, you become that friend dreamed, are a gift of God for our nation and for me and my family. We pray that in this new year begins for you, the Lord protect you, health, direct and bless supernaturally … we love you and bless you on this day … Happy and Blessed Birthday …
Thank you, Wilmar, thank you. As I sit here at my computer, I think of Cali, especially as the wind is howling, the rain lashing against the windows(!), and, though the desktop weather widget says 11C, the wind has probably brought that down to very low single figures!
And France: what more can I say about the churches in France…? So blessed to have been, in 3 months, in two glorious churches, in Lisieux and Rouen, and, whilst it may not happen as talked about, to move into my next decade another step with the possibility of taking two teams from Rouen alone to Cali next year, is such a blessing. And, on the eve of my birthday, to receive invitations to Malawi, Senegal, and Burkino Faso, seems to suggest to me that, in God’s plan at least, it’s not time to slow down too much yet!!!
I’m over to England Tuesday, to visit my sister and brother in law, and then, once home, theoretically have a few weeks to re-charge, allow my knees a bit of a breather and time to recover, and prepare for EVERYTHING that God has got for me in 2014. I’m still working on ‘you will do what I have been doing’ (Jesus) and this year my goal is to star to see ‘and greater things you will do than I have done, because I’m going to my Father’ (also Jesus, of course!). I spent 18 years speaking in Youth with a Mission schools ll over the world on ‘Goals, Dreams, and Visions’ – encouraging young (and often in YWAM, the not so young!), encouraging them to dream big, and then to realise that even their wildest dreams aren’t half wild enough.
I’m in that league, too: dreams as yet unfulfilled, goals as yet unfulfilled, visions as yet not visible… so, God willing, I ain’t going nowhere different, certainly not to dig a hole and chill out until Jesus returns, or I slip slide away (though I’d prefer and Enoch or Elijah departure, just one of my dreams!!).