Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Liverpool Weekend

We'd promised the Lighthouse saints we'd visit again, and this time took Stephen.  We discovered that they don't do breakfast, lunch and tea on Saturdays, but brunch and tea.  However, when we arrived at 1.00pm, they busied to provide us with a meal.  The Snake Pass has been closed near Rivelyn, and the Woodhead Pass proved bright and sunny.

Ian took his two children back the front garden to finish building a little hut to attract various wildlife, and Stephen went to find the local Tescos.  Mary and I headed to Otterspool Promenade.  I'd discovered it last time on a brisk walk before the Sunday morning meeting.  The sun had turned to drizzle and the wind was blustery.  I suggested we stayed in the car so Mary had a doze and I'd catch up with some reading.  I rang Gav.  "We're sitting on the Mersey Estuary, watching the twinkling lights from the Ellesmere Port oil refineries.  Romantic." 

Back at the house we had an update on their building repair work.  The 'Gate' external wall had lost its plaster ready for waterproof treatment, and provoked interesting comments as visitors for the evening meeting gathered.  Mark spoke about finding fresh faith.  Joe, responding, asked for prayer, and Tommy and I led him into speaking in tongues.  Over supper Lill led the younger folks in a round of riddle-solving, while Blaze got busy in the kitchen.

As we left for the Sunday morning event, we saw Ian's finished hut.  A good number gathered at the Arche centre, and Joe was happy with last night's touch from the Holy Spirit.  I led the '40' meditation (by Chris Goan and Simon Smith), and we interacted well.  The folks chatted warmly before we returned for lunch at Lighthouse. 

 Mary and Stephen left mid-afternoon.  I was staying over for a mentoring session with Ian and the Monday evening.  I fell into conversation Rob and Pauline, and discovered (like me) he'd read Pope Francis's recent Exhortation.  We chatted about what 2014's changes may bring for us.  This included the paradox between us maintaining good stewardship of the application God has led us into, and our stamp of character by which we love to pioneer new things.  I fancy there's something around peace - the work of the Cross - that we can afford to amplify.

We had an early supper of pizza.  "It's Deno's birthday", Ian announced.  "Blaze has done him a cake.  Coming to see him for an hour?".  I was glad to, and we headed to Speke, where he looks after his 79-year-old mum.  Deno had lived with us for a year in Sheffield, then settled at Dayspring in Northampton.  But first his father's then his mother's failing health had called him back.

We heard the dog as we reached the door.  It yapped incessantly - from under the sofa, in front of the television, and in the hallway.  I struggled to identify the breed - some form of soft-haired terrier.  Deno make us a cup of tea, and divided Blaze's cake - complete with fresh cream - into five huge chunks.  Meanwhile the television entertained us with a Sunday evening omnibus on serial killers. 

Monday morning was cold, and Ian and I shared the office.  We stopped for a cuppa, and spent a couple of hours on Professional Development stuff.  The evening get-together was a new 'prophetic pioneers' group that represents the grassroots initiatives being promoted by the younger half of the church.  Viv and Harriet came over from Sheffield, so there was a good Northern mix.  It was great to hear how Lill and Blaze have vision for eleven younger girls, and are planning a camp for the summer.  Kerry wants to beg a piece of waste ground in Kensington (Liverpool) from the Council, and set up a community gardening project.  Harriet wants to start a 'Come dine with me' group.  I related how the Leicester saints had had a year of amazing initiatives, but somehow not reached a breakthrough.  It seems to point to a need for more prayer, so we prayed.

Viv slept in the back of the car as Harriet and I chatted our way back over the Pennines.  Many good things seem to be stirring.

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