Travel with San Lorenzo

spain_2016

The above map is our main drive that we took leaving the East Coast on August 25th and returning 6th September. We stopped off at some key places en route, and meandered a lot(!) covering in total some 4000 kms (2.5k miles). The last few days we stayed in Vigo, Galicia on the West Coast, stopping one night in Madrid before dropping off some paintings at a gallery in the centre of Madrid (don’t ask how we ended up doing this… but all a part of friendship…), then home. Always good to come home but the time away was just awesome. A little insight first (and an aside in reality) but we had the name of ‘Jose’ to drop the paintings to. Now how many Joses are there in Spain I hear you ask? So just beyond the Prada Museum in morning rush hour we find the approximate address – a back door on one of the main streets. We pull round into the street, security guards and police in evidence. Gayle has window down – ‘Jose?’ she shouts. Then we spot the real Jose 100 metres further up the street waving. ‘Lo siento…’ Gayle says, we drive on, now no option but to cross the bus lane, park in the bike lane and overlap the bus lane. Jump out. ‘Jose?’. ‘Si’… Seven paintings all wrapped up over the rail, into the black back door. Security guards now moving up the street. Jump back in and home!! Maybe an appropriate way to end our time – there is a huge back story behind why we did that, but enough that life is an adventure for now.

We had so many highlights. The north west – Asturias and Galicia – are Celtic lands. We carried with us a Celtic book of prayers and they seemed so powerful each day. Without the Gospel of course the Celtic lands of Europe resort to superstition, religion and the occult. We even encountered a small village called San Lourenzo complete with chapel one day on ‘a how many bends does this road have’ drive.

Perhaps though the two big highlights were getting to the most northerly and the most westerly points of mainland Spain on consecutive days. We have been praying for the past year that Spain will be stretched out so this was amazing places to pray. Spain has been contracting in the sense that everything is pulled to the centre (Madrid) and this is presenting a lock up scenario. When I finally get to recording the couple of videos on the generations and how life flows I will try and explain our journey a little more about the contraction of Spain.

On the West we went to A Coruña. A few years back I had a waking vision of a man lying back down across Spain. His head on Bibao (north and the language area of Euskadi), his right arm on A Coruña (west and language area of Gallego), his left arm on Barcelona (and language area of Catalan), his right ankle over Cádiz where we were living at the time, left ankle over Malaga, with the lower centre of his back over Madrid. We have now been to the north twice to pray for new thinking (the head), and feel we hit that in a big way last year. Barcelona we have been to, but the main place where we felt we needed to get to was A Coruña to free the right arm. This is the arm of blessing, and although it is all figurative, were very keen to get there. We found the city very dominating, imposing, not releasing a freedom. Anyway those are good places to have a bit of a battle. And so we did.

So what about travelling with San Lorenzo? We encountered the history of this saint (martyred 258AD, August 10) when in Madrid around 18 months ago. We felt a deep connection due to how we were led to the church named after him and the obvious connection of his death being on my birthday. Subsequent to that we went one year ago to Huesca where he was born. While there we had a real struggle to break through, but left the city with a vision to be more mobile and to go where the wind blows our ‘coracle’ to pray across Spain and indeed Europe, to connect with those who feel, and maybe are, in Exile. So we subsequently bought a small van (una furgoneta in Spanish)… It is our mobile accommodation, our coracle of the road. So as we travelled we had no plans, we came to the most northerly points and westerly by ‘accident’. We have affectionately named it ‘el furgo de San Lorenzo’ and will probably put it as a logo on the van – a good talking point?

Over the time we have lived in Oliva – way too quiet for us!! – we have gained new strength, there has been an impartation of youthfulness to us both. Although since 2011 we have been headed to Madrid, and will be there again from Friday this week, and wonder how much longer do we wait, we also realised while travelling that we went to Huesca, the birthplace of San Lorenzo, with the belief that it would open up Madrid to us, but left there knowing we had to be more mobile. So maybe, just maybe we have to occupy the mobile space more before we make our Madrid entry.

Timing with God counts for so much. Patience is apparently being able to pray ‘and Lord take as long as you wish on this’. Immediately after being in Huesca we were sent two apartments right opposite San Lorenzo’s church. Not happened before nor since. We know things are ‘rattling’ but the timing?

Here then a few photos:

San Lorenzo Church, Madrid

Although not a fam of buildings, this one in the Lavapies area of Madrid is highly significant for us: dedicated to San Lorenzo.

Home for us… aka known as ‘El furgo de San Lorenzo’, or ‘Our coracle’. Not huge but who would want anything more:

Home, aka El Furgo

Follow the GPS, to the north!!

To the north!

At the north we prayed by this old tree, and deposited there an acorn we picked up a year ago from Guernica.

Old Tree

Beauty and no crowds. The north of Spain and off the beaten track. A place of refreshment:

North Beach

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Which train from here?

Gayle and I were not able to attend the recent Sparks conference at Ashburnham Place. In due course we will get some greater feedback but the little we have heard about it sounds great. We also watched this morning a video from the conference of a workshop that Brad Jersak hosted on ‘A more Christ-like God’. Worth watching…

In the presentation Brad used an illustration of being on a journey to cross (eg) London. His background, and many others of course, was that of the evangelical faith with a bias to seeing God as one who needs to be appeased. This ‘evangelical train’ can get one to the station but not across the city. There are then the options of getting out of the train but wandering in the station. Freedom at first but no onward journey. So the need is to find the next train, and one that maybe has the characteristics of ‘forgiveness’ could be an indicator of an appropriate train.

He described part of his own journey as moving from that evangelical train to seeing the value in a dispersed contemplative approach but then moved away from the dispersed aspect. Maybe similar to what Gayle and I read in Brian Zahnd’s book of Water to Wine.

I wonder if we have a bias that is hugely affected by our experience and personality (type)? I tentitively think our analogy might be more along the lines of, leave the station, take to walking, mix with crowd, learn the geography and amble across town. So we are not looking for the next train and do not think that this approach takes away the possibility of leaving the station.

All analogies are simply analogies and imperfect. Mine certainly leaves the question unanswered about intentionality of Christian community. Laying the analogy on one side we of course can defend ourselves (!!) by referring to the many meaningful and accountable connections we make with people who have been key to us over years – and we think mutually beneficial.

A deeper scenario in the current ‘train terminates here’ is probably over priorities. Does the intentional Christian community come first or is it embededness in the wider community? If we are interested in answering that I think that a whole host of things kick in. Our personality type (I can so make out how much I understand the Enneagram with statements like that!), the stage of faith we identify with, and also the context where we find ourselves. The latter should be fundamentally a gospel / mission question… And maybe God might help us find the context that fits our personality type, bring healing to us in the process and enables us to have some measure of effectiveness.

Even if none of the above is of interest (after all my comments and question is as a result of only a couple of lines in the video) the whole video carries a wonderful richness. Enjoy!!

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This site

About this site

I am the main contributor to this site, though there are guest writers from time to time. Hopefully, what is presented are perspectives not the final word!

The main area that I focus on and continues to interest me is how we should understand and live out the gospel. I am convinced (a perspective!) that we have to understand the implications of the gospel as being that of impacting the world. Although the kingdom of heaven can never be identified with any 'earthly' kingdom we are called to pray, live and act, so that we see greater measures of heaven manifest on earth.

I am very grateful that I have been deeply influenced by a charismatic theology, an anabaptist understanding of hermeneutics, a long-term involvement in the various intercessory / spiritual warfare, and the (more-recent) work associated with 'kenarchy'. backgrounds. They all influence me enormously and it will not take too much discernment to read those influences in these pages.

Why Spain

Why Spain

spain-mapGayle and I have lived in Spain since 2009 (Jan. 1 - start the year as one intends to carry on?) and although Spain was not a place that was on either of our radar, the continent of Europe certainly has been. In that sense we have a focus on Europe and live in Spain, however as we have dug into the history of Spain something has got under our skin.

Spain has only a recent history of democracy (1975-1977 being years of transition to democracy, post Franco), and has been subject to a two-party domination in politics, until the end of 2015 when that was broken. Although our hope is not placed in a political party we see incredible connections between the shift of the 'powers' and the time in history that has been unlocked through prayer.

Our own focus has been on the history of the land and we have had a strong focus on the Civil War (1936-39) and its aftermath.

We plan to be based in Spain long-term and increasingly look to connect with those who are embedded in the wider European context and are seeking to live out the implications of their faith in that setting.

WordPress design

WordPress design

wordpress_logo20I began developing sites for my personal use many years ago and settled on WordPress soon after it moving from being simply a blogging platform. I find it incredibly flexible and can empower virtually any style of site. My skills are in working with clients who wish something custom made for their use.

This site here is based on WP and uses a theme that I have developed. A site can be as simple as a set of posts and some pages, or any number of elements can be added such as this animated set of tabs that are activated when clicking the tabs above. All the sites are designed to be mobile-friendly, being responsive, they adjust to the device being used to view them.

If interested in a site feel free to make contact. I also have developed various courses on WP theme development. If interested in taking one of them online, or indeed you would wish to contact me about presenting a course to a small group.

This site
Why Spain
WordPress design

About this site

I am the main contributor to this site, though there are guest writers from time to time. Hopefully, what is presented are perspectives not the final word!

The main area that I focus on and continues to interest me is how we should understand and live out the gospel. I am convinced (a perspective!) that we have to understand the implications of the gospel as being that of impacting the world. Although the kingdom of heaven can never be identified with any 'earthly' kingdom we are called to pray, live and act, so that we see greater measures of heaven manifest on earth.

I am very grateful that I have been deeply influenced by a charismatic theology, an anabaptist understanding of hermeneutics, a long-term involvement in the various intercessory / spiritual warfare, and the (more-recent) work associated with 'kenarchy'. backgrounds. They all influence me enormously and it will not take too much discernment to read those influences in these pages.

Why Spain

spain-mapGayle and I have lived in Spain since 2009 (Jan. 1 - start the year as one intends to carry on?) and although Spain was not a place that was on either of our radar, the continent of Europe certainly has been. In that sense we have a focus on Europe and live in Spain, however as we have dug into the history of Spain something has got under our skin.

Spain has only a recent history of democracy (1975-1977 being years of transition to democracy, post Franco), and has been subject to a two-party domination in politics, until the end of 2015 when that was broken. Although our hope is not placed in a political party we see incredible connections between the shift of the 'powers' and the time in history that has been unlocked through prayer.

Our own focus has been on the history of the land and we have had a strong focus on the Civil War (1936-39) and its aftermath.

We plan to be based in Spain long-term and increasingly look to connect with those who are embedded in the wider European context and are seeking to live out the implications of their faith in that setting.

WordPress design

wordpress_logo20I began developing sites for my personal use many years ago and settled on WordPress soon after it moving from being simply a blogging platform. I find it incredibly flexible and can empower virtually any style of site. My skills are in working with clients who wish something custom made for their use.

This site here is based on WP and uses a theme that I have developed. A site can be as simple as a set of posts and some pages, or any number of elements can be added such as this animated set of tabs that are activated when clicking the tabs above. All the sites are designed to be mobile-friendly, being responsive, they adjust to the device being used to view them.

If interested in a site feel free to make contact. I also have developed various courses on WP theme development. If interested in taking one of them online, or indeed you would wish to contact me about presenting a course to a small group.

OffLine and OnRoad

Thursday – tomorrow – we are off… off line pretty much but… much more important off on the road. Not totally sure when we will be back – early September. Hoping to drive north through Zaragoza, on to the north coast, then into France, back across the north coast to the extreme West to Galicia […]

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