It goes without saying, of course, that God keeps his promises…. hopefully, when it comes to other people, I do too. I’m not so sure that I keep my promises I make to – and about – myself! As the last 7 months of last year were pretty choc-a-bloc, especially with lots of ‘airport walking'(!) and preaching and praying for people, and in line with what others tell me that I’ve needed (for years) to build in more ‘rest and recovery’ time (physically AND spiritually), I promised myself that I would keep January clear, to do the R&R bit, and to catch up on stuff that doesn’t always get done in the gaps at home.
With all that happened in Colombia at the end of the last trip, I have so wanted to go back and help Wilmar and his folk with the ‘new’ churches/home-groups….part of that, to, is down to the fact that, living on ‘gift’ support, I’d always felt, for the last 27-28 years, that it was my ‘duty’ to do as much as I could, to justify people’s commitment to me, which I take very, very seriously indeed. So, I thought, just a week in Colombia wouldn’t be TOO much… my knees had been doing ok in the run up to Christmas, after getting back from France, and then the trip across the water to England.
I don’t know if I could prove this ‘theologically’, but since considering breaking my promise to myself, my knees have been flipping awful – and I’m just wondering if God, in the process of healing them, was delighted that I’d at last ‘seen sense’ and taken a longer break: and then when I considered scuppering that, just took his healing hand away from these jolly joints in the middle of my legs….
Truth is, most Pastors, and most people in full time ministry, take sabbaticals: some take more than others(!), but from my understanding, every seven years, Pastors get a few months off. Since leaving the NatWest Bank in 1979, I’ve never taken more than a couple of weeks at the most, so, for those of you who sacrificially support me, I hope you are ok with me having January, and the first week of February, clear….I struggle with feeling guilty at doing it, but with a surgeon’s appointment, concerning my knees, on 23 January, it seems like a ‘right’ time to have a breather. I do have one speaking engagement on February 2, at the church I consider my home church – West Church, Bangor – here, at their Cafe Church meeting.
Once February kicks in, it looks like being another helter-skelter few months, with Worcester (England), Mexico, Sweden, Australia, and Colombia all before the end of April….and that still leaves a few Colombia trips, possible trips yet to be organised to Senegal, Burkino Faso, and Malawi, Australia (again) and Colombia (maybe 3-4 more trips)…..boy, I’m knackered at the thought of it! Then it’ll be Christmas!!!
What I thought I’d do with the blog, in a ‘quiet’ ministry month, is use the opportunity to tell some astonishing testimonies from ‘the past’ – I know that the ‘Angel’ story a few weeks ago stirred up a lot of interest! And whilst I DO have a book written, and on my computer, that I’m still very unsure that I want published (personally, I can’t stand meetings where people wave their books and cds and dvds around trying to sell them: I’d rather just move straight into praying for people for people), I might just, every now and again, stick a chapter of the book of here. I’m very grateful for those of you who contacted me after the ‘Angel’ and said that I SHOULD write a book: maybe these few weeks will give me chance to give that more consideration!
So, I’m planning, now, to keep my promise to myself, and to God, and believe even more for his promises to me to be tangible, especially where the old knees are concerned!