Sunday, 8 July 2012

Back to doors...

After two weeks of sharing a fairly small room with two other girls, the space is eerily quiet and empty tonight now that they've both gone home.  It's not a great feeling, and it reminds me of how much I thrive on social contact, and how good this time away has been for me.

I came here hoping that I would get some concrete answers from God on what I saw as key questions for my life.  I guess they weren't as key as some other things He wanted to talk to me about, as I'm coming back with the same questions unanswered, but with plenty more other things to consider as well.  The only thing I do feel confident about is the need to pursue prophetic art - understanding it, using it, blessing others with it.  It's a place for me to begin from.

The thing I'm looking forward to most is seeing friends and family again - and hugs.  Lots of hugs.  Yup, hugs it is :)

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Running out of space and running back home!

Brain ache...... I have definitely reached the point of overflow when it comes to new information to process and the capacity to do it.  Every morning we have extended worship time and then a teaching session (total 2.5 hours), the afternoon has three sessions (total 3 hours) and then the evening has another two sessions - all together 7.5 hours of 'stuff' for my brain to wade through.  Five days a week.  For two weeks.  Enough now please!

I am pretty much ready to come home now.  This has been - and continues to be - a great experience, for so many reasons.  I have met such fabulous people, learnt incredible truths that I am still trying to digest, and been challenged to deal with some of the gnarly parts of my life that I really wish didn't exist.  But now my heart is beginning to yearn for home.  I want to be in Glasgow, in my gorgeous flat, with my amazing housemate and my stooopid cat, and at Hope Church on a Sunday morning - Bethel church is great, but I know where I feel most settled and it's with my church family.

Of course I'm going to feel differently when my host family are driving me to the airport on Monday and I have to say goodbye.  That's not going to be fun at all.  They are so, so precious to me, and have made me feel that I am precious to them.  They have cemented in my mind the sort of home I want to have - laughter, noise, acceptance, spontaneity, more laughter, people, crazy chats over the dinner table.  They have cultivated this in their home, and their kids' friends know that this is a safe place to be - it's evident from how they behave here, how they interact with everyone.

One full day of classes left and then Friday morning as usual - we finish early afternoon after a prayer tunnel with the leadership team at Bethel.... good times!  Then a last weekend with the family before my journey home begins on Monday.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Born to do more - and it's good!

I'm really enjoying the mini-revolution I'm going on during my time here.  Two things have really stood out as areas I want to explore further when I get back to Glasgow.

The easier one to talk about is art.  Whilst I would have previously discounted myself from being an 'artist', I do enjoy doing some forms of art and design.  I chose to do a couple of classes on prophetic art whilst I was here, and have since changed my options so I can do more.  I am loving how God can speak so clearly through it, and am definitely going to spend time with some prophetic artists I know when I get back, because I really want to learn more.  I have picked up a couple of books by Teresa Dedmon as well, that should help me get started.  Expect to see me with paper and pencils on some Sundays in future, because I want to practice listening to God and trying to express it in new ways.  I've seen the profound effect it has had on me and on others when they have done it - there is something in this prohetic art stuff, and I want more!  In a class by Trisha Wheeler today, she said that 'art ministers God's truth sensitively', that 'art is a tool to connect you to God and to the world', and that we can 'create to release the presence of God'.  Probably most of us have been moved at one time or another by a piece of artwork - it can be so much more powerful when you understand God's intention behind it.  So art, here I come!

The only one that feels a little less comfortable to talk about is dance!  I may not (currently) have the physique for it, but oh my, staying still in worship is NOT an option!  In fact, there are moments that it feels dis-honouring to God not to give Him absolutely everything that I have, include all my energy and determination, when I worship.  Don't hear what I'm not saying - I am still very clear on how much I need and want to have times of quiet.  But then there's the rest of the time.... when movement feels like an absolute essential, because I don't have enough air or strength in my lungs to do all the praising that's needed.  Admittedly, I'm a bit of am arm-waver and a swayer in my 'dancing' right now, and maybe it won't ever progress beyond that.  But I feel so much more free in worship.  I don't care what others think, I do care that I am giving Him the best of me.

I feel like I need to write about three blogs today - Christa Gifford (nee Black) did an awesome session on living from fullness (how can we ever be empty if the God of the Universe lives in us?), Ray Hughes shared more wisdom and passion on the atmosphere of worship and nearness to God that David cultivated, and Jenn Johnson shared all sorts of wisdom (that girl's got a fire for Jesus that I want to see in my own life, and more).  Oh, and then there was the impromptu meeting with a girl in the cafe at the church, the great chat with Lydie from France, the chill-out in the prayer chapel, the kindness, love and wisdom poured out over me by my host family..... I'll stop there.  That's only one day.  There's a whole host of these already gone, and another week to go before I return.  I'm running out of pages in my notebook.  This is a good thing :)