If we cannot see God there then he is not here…

A provocative chappy that Stephen fellow

Stephen’s famous speech in Acts 7 is a bit of a ‘well what do you think about this then?’. It comes to a conclusion with ‘God is not in your temple’ and cos you think so you really are a stubborn people, opposing what God is doing. (The presence of the Temple – the place made for God to dwell in was so richly symbolic; it signified to so many that Jerusalem would always be safe. This was how it was in the days of Jeremiah, and in the Roman War epoch. Imagine the rise of faith when the Romans had to go home and sort out home base in the middle of that period, the time of civil war over the future of Rome.)

So he ends with ‘God is not here’, something that was evident with the death of Jesus when the temple curtain was torn top to bottom. And he ends there because he has been emphasising ‘but God has always been there’. He starts with the patriarch Abraham:

The God of glory appeared to our ancestor Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia.

Joseph has the presence of God with him in Egypt:

The patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him.

Moses – born in Egypt:

At this time Moses was born, and he was beautiful before God.

Moses has a visitation in Midian:

When he heard this, Moses fled and became a resident alien in the land of Midian. There he became the father of two sons. Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning bush.

Miracles in Egypt, sea of reeds and the wilderness:

He led them out, having performed wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years.

A lot of activity outside the land of Israel… then they come into the land, bringing with them the tabernacle, and eventually to the building of the Temple. Rather than present this as the highpoint which would be the narrative of those within the land he uses it with a twist. The punchline is delivered:

Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made with human hands.

Blunt, blunt, blunt. Stephen the Subtle does not seem an appropriate description! Oh maybe there are other nuanced perspectives in the speech, such as,

David, who found favor with God and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the house of Jacob.

Nuanced but the end-product Stephen claims was not approved of – that of building the Temple. God does not dwell there, or in the case of the audience ‘God is not here’. Their history, as Stephen presented it, told them that God was to be found there, outside the safety of the land, outside the city that they knew God would defend; of course he would defend it, the magnificient buildings (occupying around 0% of the entire city) spoke loud and clear – or as they were to find out that not only was God not going to defend it, but there would be an unequivocal sign that it was Jesus, the son of man (human one) who had received the kingdom (Dan. 7:13, 14). In the light of that none of the stones that made up the supposed dwelling place for God could remain one on another. Such a sign revealed a different story to the one the audience narrated. The sign, and Stephen’s speech contradicted their belief that the glory of the Temple surely pointed to the glory of God, and the glory of God promised protection and survival.

Protection and survival? If we desire God here there is a new narrative that needs to be told. God is there.

Notes from recent open Zoom

We have been trying to explore what ‘Kingdom economics’ might look like. A big aim but it gives way to stimulating exchange of conversation. Last Tuesday Rosie Benjamin kicked us off with some input and has sent us her notes that she shared which I am posting below. [The next such evening I expect will be Tuesday April 4th. I will post here when the date and content is firmed up.] Rosie’s notes follow.

I am not an Economist. Until very very recently, I could say I have no interest in Economics. In truth, I have always found economics boring. Start talking about economics, I hear the words and they are excreted almost immediately without having been processed or engaged with. Try these terms, what comes to mind:

  • Non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH) – That’s us doing good things and not getting paid for it
  • Non-seasonally adjustedget some sun or take a Vitamin D supplement
  • Quantitative Easing – try a laxative

I’m being flippant. These terms mean something. And whether we understand them or not, are bored or amused by them, they impact our lives – sometimes dramatically. So why the disinterest and disdain of Economics? I realised this – we are sold the science of Economics. The statistics, systems, structures and institutions. The hard, cold, dry facts that are barely digestible at the best of times but, in times of crisis and chaos, just won’t go down.

I’m into story. Big stories, little stories; fantastical, freakish and fun stories; stories that tell the truth, upend our myths and remind us we are not alone. Stories. I realised what was missing for me in Economics was stories. For me to engage, I needed to hear and root out the stories. Where are the stories in economics? The big story of economics (macro) is important; but so are the little stories (micro). What’s my story, your story, a community’s story. After all, Economics is too important, too vital, to leave to that invisible and ruthless hand of the market that doesn’t give a fig about how we live and move and have our being.

A Small Story…

It’s 3 days after formal Lockdown has been declared in the early days of Spring 2020. I knew we were in trouble when I saw an SUV speeding down the road, packed to the roof with toilet rolls. Oh dear, I thought, we are going to have to change our toileting habits. Our derrières are not going to be happy. So what happened:

There was a spiralling into fear causing selfish reactions – hoarding. Supplies ran out in hours.

There was restriction and compliance. You can only have one packet of toilet rolls. Doesn’t matter how big or small your household is. Doesn’t matter that you might have diarrhoea, dysentery or your Dulux pup and wee kid have decided to run with the rolls and you’re running out. Everybody had something, but not everybody got what they needed.

There was trust and consideration. Our local Co-operative supermarket – East of England – decided to dispense with the restrictions. They put a note up to say we trust you to take what you need – some need more, some need less. The store never again ran out of toilet rolls. We always had enough.

Big deal! What difference does that make to anything? The difference is EGGS! 2022 saw a serious outbreak of Avian flu. We had wild birds literally dropping out of the sky and others acting very strangely indeed. It seems that the birds of Europe are indifferent to the ramifications of Brexit, are no respecters of borders and sovereignty, and have freely shared their contagion with us. East Anglia has borne the brunt of the poultry cull that has devastated farms and caused serious shortages. Yet our local Co-op always had good quality eggs at an unwavering price. Why? Two things:

The Co-operative principle of always paying a fair price regardless of economic seasons or storms meant that producers always prioritised supply to the local Co-op and, we had been trained by the pandemic principle don’t give into fear, trust that there will be enough and take only what you need.

As I write on Thursday 23rd February, the big supermarkets are rationing the sale of certain vegetables. I went into my local Co-op, we have enough.

Small scale, human-sized economies work. Economies that you can taste and touch and see, work. They are considerate, compassionate, neighbourly. They have a story. There is enough for what you need not always for what you want. True freedom, healthy sustainable choice, will always have its restraints. What’s your story of economies? How do you engage with them? These little stories may help us to see and critique the convoluted impersonal big story of economics. If nothing else they may help us to tease out some ethics and values.

But we do need to get a handle on the meta-narrative of Economics, the overarching story that encompasses, or binds, us all. Maybe this is where the prophetic can help us. Maybe it can give us a little bit of vision, a little bit of sight that can lead to understanding and action.

We will have seen on the news the huge earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria. We can scarcely compute the destruction and desolation those quakes have brought. Two tectonic plates crashing up against each other releasing vast amounts of energy, causing chaos and untold devastation. Life for many will never be the same again.

What if time does that too? What if an epoch passing and an epoch beginning are temporal plates instead of geological? Two vast expanses of time smacking up against each other, releasing energy for change but also causing disintegration and collapse. All earthquakes have an epicentre, a focal point that can be seen and measured in time and space. What if time, this age, had a quake? Where would its epicentre be and what would truly shake the foundations of this age?

A dream or two about the big story…

June 2001. We’re in Mexico on a mission. I’m partnered with a friend and off we go gaily into areas unknown. Night falls, we’re confronted by some armed guards and locked up in a cell for the night. Turns out it was for our own safety, but we didn’t find that out til the following morning. What do when you’re dazed, confused and locked up? Pray. Sing. And sleep soundly. And, because you’re a captive audience, get a vision. A vision of The City of London as a pitch black forest with gnarly ancient trees. The trees had no leaves and bore no fruit. They could not photosynthesise, to sustain themselves they used their roots to suck the life out of life. It was no longer a place of life. The City is a geographical entity existing in time and space; but it is emblematic of so much more. It is sign and symbol, target and tangent. Global in reach; a centre in time.

Sometime in 2010 (a vision). The City is now a place of light. The trees have been uprooted and are now seasoned logs on the ground waiting to be used. The City is rubble but there is energy to rebuild. A removal van enters the scene ready to begin the work.

November 2022. Liverpool Street station, the eastern entrance into the City, sitting waiting for a train. A huge electronic bill board next to me repeatedly flashes up:

The City is for the taking.
The soul of the City is at stake.
Who will win the battle for London’s soul?

I’m not dreaming, the words are real, the challenge is clear.

I’ve sucked on those visions for a long time. I understood that the City and the System it enables was ending soon. But 22 years later it’s still here. We’re human, we live in time and space. When we hear the word ‘soon’ we look at our phones and calendars and ask how long? 10 minutes, 10 days, 10 hours, 10 months, a few years. We forget so readily that the Ancient of Days, the Potentate of Time may just have a different reckoning of time. Soon may be a decade, a generation, a lifetime, a few hundred years, in the coming.

That said, though we may have waited a very long time, there is always an hour, a day, a moment when the thing finally does happen. Have we not felt tremors over the last 22 years? Cost of living, war, pandemic, Trump, Brexit, Tsunamis, Arab Spring, Financial meltdown, more war, 9/11. Rumbles and more rumbles. All quakes have an epicentre. If this coming cosmic shake is financial in character and centred in the City: How do we prepare? How do we respond? How do we live?

Women Rising: an addendum

A few days ago I wrote a post on one aspect that seems to be noteworthy in our world at this time. I entitled it, ‘Women Rising…?’.

At the same time as noting what had taken place with Jacinda Ardern and then with Nicola Sturgeon something parallel has been taking place in the Tech world. The CEO of YouTube, a woman who had travelled with Google since the early days resigned. Her place to be taken by a man; her resignation has been one of many women who have resigned in the Tech industry and the majority of those who have replaced them have been men.

I then read an interview with the Scottish poet, Em Strang, who commented that

I utterly think that right now we’re living through a time of incredible misogyny.

She acknowledged that it has always been present, but at the current time of ‘collapse’ it has become yet more intense.

In these past days I have been writing on the nature of transition, both from a personal aspect, what is experienced and how we respond, and also at a corporate level. There is one aspect I have not written about and could only hazzard a few guesses at so will avoid it: it is that of global transitions.

Something global is shifting; the end of an era is here. It is parallel to the phase that takes place at a corporate level that I term ‘dusk or dawn’. Is it the end of a day and the dark night is coming, or is the end of the night and day is breaking? In reality when a major transition comes to the corporate setting it is both dusk and dawn, and I suspect that in the same way that is where things are at globally.

I wrote in the section on dusk and dawn the following yesterday:

Voices calling for a return to the old ways will continue. And there will be those who push for a re-inventing of what has been.

However, there is no going back. There has been too much movement for there to be a return to the former thing. For those who are courageous and willing to take a risk (or for those who cannot do anything else!) there is another stage to come. It will not, and must not, come quickly for there has to be an effective detoxification from the old ways.

In the collapse I suspect this is what is happening. It is my take (and my take is so important!!!) on a voice such as Jordan Peterson. Voices such as his are essentially calling for what they understand has been ‘lost’, that is threatened, and add to that ‘Christian faith’ and we have something that is very persuasive. (And in what I write I am not suggesting that what these people are saying that they do not have a contribution into the conversation… simply that (for me) the appeal is to the past and to a way of being in society that relates to what was.)

The vision of the NT seems to me to be one that seeks to pull the present up into the future, something that Martin Luther King did with his ‘dream speech’. He spoke of a new social order that would transform the present. There would be work involved but the power of the imagination would itself do something to pull the present up into the future. Time can be measured by the clock and the calendar, but the future cannot be measured in such a way. Time can pass but the past (in the sense of past realities) can simply be present in yet a greater way than before. Time moves forward, it is uni-directional; kairos (qualitative time) is bi-directional; we can regress.

Such is the time we live in.

A time of unprecedented misogyny, with social media being a highly accessible means to launch the missiles of slander (think of Sanna Marin being criticised for dancing and drinking at a Christmas party… and how many males have done so and not been criticised?). Perhaps also it is not simply slander but in measure blasphemy – in the root sense of speaking with an authority that claims to represent truth (God being the ultimate reality; hence Paul righteous when viewed from the past looking forward, but a blasphemer when viewing the past from the future).

Collapse is present. How it will increasingly manifest might be unknown, but in this phase of the ‘in-between’ we have a choice to go slow and not fight chaos… if the chaotic space is controlled then in the collapse will come the call to restore former values. And with it comes slander.

[A footnote to consider: the language of the new testament is not primarily of a new ‘world’ but of a new ‘creation’. This is why the imagination must be ignited by the future.]

Asbury: reflections

A lot of excitement about what is taking place (and spreading) at Asbury. I have a friend who spent a few days there and came back with a thumbs up response. The centrality of Jesus, the absence of personalities at the centre, the interflow of male and female, ethnicities and of sexual orientation he said was notable.

This morning I read an interesting response to the Asbury revival. It is worth reading in full:

Noting that there was a previous move in 1970 in Asbury at a time when:

At the time, the Civil Rights movement and Sexual Revolution had created so much tension and pressure that white evangelicalism seemed poised to heed its own prophetic arm and embrace real change. What they did instead is have a revival.

Tim Suttle suggests that there are similar cultural background factors in our era, as illustrated in such movements as ‘Black lives Matter’, ‘Me Too’. The article is not cynical but provocative.

I have not been to Asbury, but I guess there is something deeply genuine taking place. There are lives that will be touched for ever, they will live through a dynamic they will never forget, and underneath, behind, above and in front of it all the voice of God will continue to speak calling for an alignment of heaven and earth.

Reminder – Zoom tonight

A kind of regular Zoom for those interested. Tonight hosted by Ro Lavender and we will have some input from Rosie Benjamin (and all of the rest of us too I hope)… probably a few throw aways that will provoke our thoughts in the days to come, but trying for a focus that will help us think about how we position ourselves in these challenging days and with some thoughts on ‘kingdom economics’.

Link below:

Time: Feb 21, 2023 19:30 London

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 572 803 9267
Passcode: 5GkMTA

Women rising…?

Full tanks for the journey

Last year saw the passing of a number of remarkable women, something that Gayle had alerted me to that would take place through the year. Of course it depends where one is positioned as to whether such a series of events were seen as notable: for us, both in terms of the wider circle of world events and the more personal aspect of those that we have journeyed with, it was very impacting. For some while I have been focused on a two-fold aspect of how those who carry a prophetic mantle can end up in the cross hairs and have to be alert so that they are not ‘needless casualties of war’. A double aspect is if those who carry that mantle are female, and perhaps a third aspect might be if they are also of a generation (or two) after those who have held the space but have now passed on, either through their death or have stepped aside to make space.

I woke this morning with a few things buzzing in my head. Nicola Sturgeon stepping aside after so many years might simply be that she has done her stint and time to leave space for others. But I was deeply troubled when I remember reading that Jacinda Ardern at age 42 was stepping down as PM of New Zealand and stated that she ‘no longer had enough in the tank’ to continue. Weariness.

Then for some reason I went to Moldova in my head and looked up who is president there: Maia Sandu. A couple of hours later I was on Zoom, Jenny Dahmann and myself had a prophetic session booked with someone. All we knew was her name; after we finished we followed the usual pattern of ‘so now tell us a bit about yourself’. Second sentence in: ‘I was a missionary in Moldova… and continue to work into Moldova’.

I have political leanings (of course) but I am not mentioning the above because of any political leanings. They are / were women of a new generation who have stepped up, and as far as I can tell sought to lead with a feminine touch.

Someone like Maia Sandu is in one of the most vulnerable places to be visible in the political arena, bordering the Ukraine and Romania; there are vulnerabilities, but I come back to the words that Jacinda Ardern had said. That is probably the sharp end of the work of the enemy against the feminine rising at this time: to wear them down so that there is nothing left in the tank.

There is a time to give way, to submit and simply walk away. There is a time to stand, to stand in the proverbial ‘field of lentils’ until sunset and to hold it, with a ‘God gave me this place and I am not moving’.

In the recent days because of circumstances I have had a bit of a battle against some powers and come to realise in the situation that the enemy seeks first to have eyes to see where to land and be positioned. I have spent some time on the issue of sight, but two days ago I realised that once there had been a landing that the next element desired by any demonic powers is to have a ‘mouth’ with which to speak. (That being a critical advancing stage in the book of Revelation when the ‘beast was given a voice’.) Speaking in such a way to weaken all resolve; speaking perhaps what might be termed ‘containing elements that are true’ but speaking them as if they are the truth. (Falsehoods – a NT measure – can contain elements that are true… as can wisdom, but if we press in will discover that the wisdom is from the earth and is false.)

In this post, I am simply flaggig up that we are in a year when (younger) women leading politicians will be attacked… and that women of a rising generation in all spheres need to know that there are those that have their backs.

Galatians comments as a pdf

A little while back I put a few posts together on Galatians, commenting on the confrontational writer (with huge respect, not critically I add!!). I have put those posts, with some fresh editing, together as a pdf & also in epub format (most non-kindle ereaders). It is part of a bigger project… I wrote four books in 2020 with the title ‘explorations in theology’. I am now planning to put together various small volumes that extend that series, with the extra phrase, theology ‘and practice’. Maybe 3 volumes per year, anyway this will be Volume 1.

Here is the pdf… read here or choose to download the file.

Thoughts that can hurt the head!!

The big subject of... money

Money and how we respond? Kingdom economics? I only have a few thoughts on this and have no way grasped where we need to go when we think about ‘transformation’. Inequalities are obvious and I am not a non-contributor to the inequality equation (double negative really means I am a contributor, but that has too much of an ‘ouch’ in it).

‘How much is too much?’ does not seem to be a question that the Scriptures directly answers; Jesus himself (the one who said ‘blessed are the poor’) accepted the beyond-extravagant outpouring (waste?) of perfume that cost a year’s income. Let’s start then with what is written for us:

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life (1 Timothy 6:17-19).

A few good practical reminders as to what is truly of value. Maybe if we were to simply quote texts we could add the warnings that are given to the wealthy, the deceit of riches, and the instruction to the rich young ruler to sell everything. It seems wealth is surrounded in signs indicating that there are unexploded mines in that territory so tread carefully.

Although the original sin is not as simple as a critique on what we term ‘consumerism’ the language of ‘I saw, I wanted, I consumed’ indicates that consumerism buys right into that original sin, and if we add the oft-repeated warning against trespassing boundaries in the OT, so that we take what is not ours and denies the opportunity for others to have what was theirs / their share, we can understand the critique of unjust trade, such as we read concerning the king of Tyre or throughout the book of Revelation. Not surprising that the mark of the beast concerns being allowed to buy and to sell.

[I consider that animals in creation speak of that which humanity was to name and symbolically represented organised humanity such as we read of with regard to nations. The beasts (wild animals) were those structures that were not tamed – those organised set-ups that were imperial in spirit, that simply wanted a name for their own glory, etc. Jesus, in the wilderness, brought them even to a subdued place – only possible as the three BIG temptations were resisted: the false economic, political and religious temptations.]

If consumerism in all its forms is what dehumanises, then the opposite seems to me to be contentment. On this there are numerous Scriptures suggesting that is the ‘bag’ that we need to carry all our ‘things’ in:

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:11-13).

And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15).

Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content (1 Timothy 6:6-8).

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

This is not a natural process, Paul says he had to learn to be content. I guess that is pretty much life-long.

We are within the world; we are shaped by what is around us; we cannot be ‘pure’… our feet get dirty… but internal attitudes must be the starting point and then from there make some personal decisions. The woman with her two coins might have done so without any knowledge of what would result, but we have the story. With the story we can act by faith… I like that word ‘faith’… not with knowledge… but having sought to hear God and to make a response – maybe not the right response, but a ‘faith’ response, even a tentative faith response.

We can look at what we have lost, maybe through our own stupidity, but I am not sure that a financial adviser would come to Jesus and use very complimentary words when he found out that the thief was the accountant who could act in a way that exploited the loop holes. (It might be worth pondering if those who govern nations but exploit all kinds of loop holes are the equivalent?) Can what we have lost be redeemed… not into our pockets but into true wealth?

How can we push back against the buying and selling with at least some measure of giving and receiving?

And sow where we want the world to go… Maybe we cannot do it completely, but simple questions such as do I want to put resources into some pension pot that invests into what is profitable (I guess in the current scenario, weapons and arms).

Maybe small partnerships that explore alternatives? Small never changes everything… but maybe starts a movement, and by movement I do not mean simply a practical alternative, after all Jesus did not say you cannot serve money and God, he pushed us to another level – mammon.

Signs? Of course they are

Reading too much into it?

Back home – Wednesday 8th February, having left Oliva January 8th… 4 weeks in England (oh yes with one lunch in Scotland – no haggis nor anything too indigenous as we had a pizza! – but I did get a haggis later so did not miss out totally). Our time was mostly tied to Gayle and her work but with a lot of connections outside of that too… but the journey there and back, now that was interesting.

On the way up as we drove through Rouen, the place where Joan of Arc was tried and burnt at the stake we were within centimetres and milli-seconds of being totally broadsided by a massive truck, the driver having drifted off. What made it more dangerous we were in road works and the lanes were narrowed with nowhere to go. Horns, brakes and a last minute adjustment so that we were not ‘broadsided’. We have learnt in these challenging times to pray before setting off and during any journey.

We drove to England in our 13 year old, not very low kilometre-ish van, otherwise known as San Lorenzo’s furgo. It has served us well, particularly in our drive around Spain when we followed the path of the expulsions of the Muslims from Spain… But now, a new journey awaits and so…

The last day of Gayle’s involvement in the Authentic Business ‘Ignite’ conference, I take it upon myself to drive out of Judith’s (daughter’s) drive. I have to give the full picture… left hand drive, the wall is very low to the right, all windscreens and mirrors are covered in frost. I lay that out in honest detail as nothing that follows of course is my fault.

I reverse and totally unprovoked the wall – with a little awkward pillar attached – clearly moves out with a vengeance and takes (literally) the whole front off the immaculate Nissan NV200. Definitely not my fault and I suspect that the bricks in the wall while they were clay had a difficult background (childhood?), hence the venom with which they attacked the van.

So, refusing to acknowledge that I had anything to do with it, I stopped the van to see that the whole front of the van was now on the drive way. Not a good sight! Two hours later and a purchase of some mighty sticky duck tape and it was as good as new, well provided one viewed it in the dark of night and from 40 metres away.

A couple of days later and we were off to Cumbria – hence a short drive for the lunch in Scotland en route via Hadrian’s wall. What a great time we had there with myself, Gayle, Andrew Cua, Lee Ann and Brian Thompson. Sight and even more sight. And they loved the dog!

Drove home to Judith’s – what a sweet running van I thought. Just before Oxford. What!! Red engine light that means – stop now… and I mean stop NOW, what part of NOW do you not understand light comes on. So intrusive! OK… on the hard shoulder and the engine shut down. But eventually via a few stops on the hard shoulder and we managed to limp home – 25 mph top speed on the slight inclines and 50mph (wow, scary) top speed on the motorway. But home we got.

Phoned the Nissan dealer. We can take it to diagnose the issue in 6 days time. Ah well, postpone our date to come home. One week later, fixed!!!! So off to Bath to spend time with Israel and Catharine. The van has not been running this well in years – what a good job they have done.

Good job? 100miles on the road and that red light shows up, loss of power. Eventually get there and back to Jude’s. The Nissan dealer… yes, we can take it in but will need it here for a week and instantly quote two likely possibilities – either of which to fix is more than the value of the van!! Not a good prognosis.

Back up… earlier we have a voice message left us from a friend in Bristol. A voice message for Gayle with all she is involved in… The latter part is – ‘look to generate direction, do not look to generate power’ – a message that is not with respect to the van but with respect to her work… but signs?

Vehicles have always been symbolic for both Gayle and I – symbolising the phase of our journey through life, work and purpose. We know that there are huge shifts for Gayle that have to come into focus in the next few months.

So we decide we cannot be another week in the UK… and perhaps more to the point decide that we cannot throw yet more money than the vehicle is worth into it. So Monday 6th Feb – exactly 4 weeks after arriving in the UK we drive to the channel tunnel, seeking to submit as we drive to the prophetic word – do not seek to generate power but set direction, acknowledging that the direction is pretty temporary, direction held together by sticky tape!

Day 1 – do not exceed 55mph (power) but set direction. End of Day 1 sleep in Rouen the place that was all but the end of us on the way to the UK. Day 2 – driving likewise and ended the day 20 minutes from the Spanish border in the very cute place that is both French and Basque – St Jean de Luz.

Day 3 – off we go, happy to be back in Spain, even carefully taking some high passes in with snow on the ground on the high places. 220 kms from home on comes the red light. It comes on, I slow, and it just keeps coming on again and again. Leaves us driving up inclines at 40km/h (25mph) with trucks bearing down on us at 60mph. Prayed – come help us earth (Rev. 12) and then realised there is a natural element to help us – we are at 3300ft above sea level (Arragon) – and the road will take us to the coast (Valencia) – we managed to free-wheel for some 20 kms as we dropped. We had not seen such speeds in 4 days!!! Who needs an engine? It saved our engine, and the red light stayed off for all that downhill. Down to sea level – yes added time to our journey, but we limped home, now absolute top speed of 35mph / 58km/h, and made it back to our street!!!!!

[Signs are two-fold in Scripture: they point to the reality that they signify and they are the means by which the reality is unfolded and manifests. Hence we drove in a way that sought to fulfil the sign. Signs by themselves are not enough… If we respond to them like that we are missing it – bit like a dog: point at something and if the dog is alert it looks at the finger (sign) not at the object that is being pointed to… a bit like ‘wars, rumours of wars’… the relevance is not in the sign but in the shift taking place in the heavens; when you see these things, lift your eyes’.]

Home. No question San Lorenzo has come to its end and we need a new vehicle. Practically yes, but it is a sign and a new vehicle is needed, particularly for Gayle. We have set temporary direction – the front is taped up – but we cannot yet generate power.

A sign… yes we figure so. We don’t think we are reading too much into this, and I think if you knew the behind the scenes story you would agree.

Our little adventure… but ready for a more serious adventure, that of finding direction and empowerment for the next phase of two little coins into the system.

Zoom evening – change of date

I have been organising an ‘open zoom’ where anyone is invited to, normally on the first Tuesday of the month. February there is a change of date.

It will now be on February 21st, 7:30pm UK time.

We have been broadly looking at ‘where are we?’, ‘what is going on?’, ‘what responses should we be thinking of?’. The normal format is that we have someone who holds the evening with an initial interaction with one person… This provokes discussion. There are no definitive answers, but the evenings are not simply interesting but also inspiring and provocative.

A few months back we had Rosie Benjamin with us and she has agreed to come back I think her perspectives will be very helpful as we navigate our way forward.

Here is the link:

Topic: Open Zoom
Time: Feb 21, 2023 19:30 London

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 572 803 9267
Passcode: 5GkMTA

Gayle and I are just about to finish 4 weeks (FOUR!!!) in the UK. Driven from Spain, and complete with vehicle breakdown on the M40… Vehicles have always been a sign for us of our ‘journey’, so we are responding to that. At least the garage who sorted us agreed that it was downhill to Spain so take handbrake off and should get there. Leaving probably on Monday with a weekend in Bath and the Reading.