Monday, October 25, 2004

Midnight Reflections

The problem with early nights is I often wake up round midnight. Weird.

Sunday night was one of those nights: I blew it from a preaching point of view; yet God shows up in a remarkable way. Its sobering at a number of levels. Objectively, my good material couldn't save me from bad delivery and an overlong message. I was struggling with 2 things: I full texted for a change - this was a mistake as I have become so used to notes now. I persevered in bad lighting when I would have been better to stop and have that sorted. But here's the amazing thing: God chose to touch a struggling, embittered woman specifically through this bumbling offering. She had come with her brother and her 2 daughters. Her brother is new with us these past months and determined to help his sister break free from a life of difficult circumstances. Her kids loved Kids Encounter. So afterwards they come for prayer, specifically for the daughter who has been suffering bad dreams and headaches. The four of us hold hands in a circle and pray together. Very special moment. Mum is balling by this time and starts to share on how she is not religious but the message really touched her. I reassure her that I'm not religious either. I end up praying for her as well. What a significant step for this woman who swore she would never set foot in a church after her brother gave his life to Christ! I reflect afterwards that I don't want to put myself in the position where God bails me out on bad preparation and then I realise the arrogance that lies beneath that thought: what, I don't need God to show up if I prepare well? As I said, a sobering experience. The brother rings me today to tell me his niece had a great night's sleep...

Today, I picked up Scott Parker from the airport. Scott is from First Wesleyan in Battle Creek and is here to check out the scenery in NZ over Conference. I like Scott - a quieter type with a warm smile and gentle manner. He spent the day touring Auckland.

We had family over for lunch - its Labour Day weekend. I also met with a young guy struggling with depression and the deep questions of faith - and I mean deep! This guy has been reading like you wouldn't believe. It took everything I had just to stay with him. From Kumar to the Koran this guy is seeking in a deep way.

Anyway, sleepiness is returning. I'd better start the rest thing again.


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