Posts tagged ‘UK’

August 25, 2013

Feeling God’s Pleasure

ukHere are three early impressions of life in the UK…

Firstly, it’s the same as Australia.  I think that I had asked so many people about the differences between the two countries that I was expecting it to be radically different. Since being in England what I have noticed is that so much is the same.  People are more or less the same, life is more or less the same.  I was thinking so much about what the differences would be I really forgot to consider what the similarities would be.  The differences between England and Australia are more at the margins than I thought they would be.

Secondly, I love living in a town the size of Halifax.  Halifax has 100,000 odd people living here.  For my Aussie readers that puts it in the same league as Ballarat, Bendigo or Albury / Wodonga.  I remember going to Ballarat for work once, and walking around the place thinking how much I would love to live in a town of this size but I wrote Ballarat off because (of all things) it is so cold there!  God is showing his sense of humour in sending me to the north of England.  Here there are plenty of people who would give their right arm for a winter as mild as what the people of Ballarat enjoy.  But being free of the congestion and intensity of life in a city of 4 million is something that I am loving.  Some of you could think of nothing worse than doing that.  Some of you might be pining to leave Melbourne, Sydney, or wherever and go to New York or some mega city.  But for me the move to a town that has all the services but not the congestion has gone down a treat.  Now I’m sure that Ballarat, Bendigo etc have their charms, but Halifax – wow. It has green, hills, history, beauty and character on a scale that Australian country towns could never hope to have.  I’m so lucky to have been called to this place.

Thirdly, and most importantly, God has gone ahead of us.  I feel that God is delighted that we have come here because of his call.  My sense is that God can’t quite believe that we’ve done it – that he would put such a big challenge in front of us and that we would embrace it.  It says in 2 Chr 16:9 that, “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”  Right now I have the sense that God sees Catherine and I and says, “Wow – I’ve got a couple here!!”  I feel that he and his angels are going before us and opening doors so that we will build a church that will love God and be used by Him.  I hope that this doesn’t come across as arrogant or proud.  I simply have a sense that that is what God is thinking.  It’s a bit like the Christian track runner Eric Liddell who said, “…when I run I feel His pleasure.”  Right now I feel God’s pleasure.  God made Eric Liddell to run fast.  God made me to plant this church.  That’s what he has called me to do and I feel his pleasure as I get ready to do it.

John

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