Fully clothed Vineyard life (STEPS #4)
Alison and I are back from a holiday in Lanzarote. To be honest we didn’t go with any great expectations but in desperate need of a rest. As it happens we were astonished at the austere beauty of the lava fields (it’s a volcano) and the kaleidoscopic colours of the shoreline.
Our time was largely uneventful, which was the point of course, except for the day we decided to go to some remote beaches only to look up from our books to apprehend that we were overdressed and had pitched camp amongst a bunch of nudists. It got me thinking, if it is not OK to lounge about on Briggate with nowt' on, why is it OK next to me on an open beach? We wouldn’t tolerate nudity outside Harvey Nicholls (would we?) so why do we at the seaside? We were very tolerant … but we didn’t go back there!
Anyway, back to fully clothed Vineyard life. Much has happened in the last few weeks: an inspiring series of talks and testimonies on the experience of knowing Jesus and experiencing what He does in our lives; Father’s Day; communion Sunday; Ben, Kate, Sam and Joseph making the big and final move to Edinburgh. Wow! Sadly, we also learnt of Rai & Zaneta & Nida’s tragic loss last week. Rytis’ funeral is next Wednesday at Cottingley Crematorium at 11:40am. Please pray for them at this time.
And whilst all this has been going on God has been doing a miracle work in the hearts and lives of the people of the Vineyard as we have sought to obey Him and respond to His invitation to “Step” out, take a risk and buy the building that will be known as Vineyard House. Amazingly, wonderfully, through your generosity and sacrifice £270,000 has been pledged to STEPS 2017 already! Isn’t that great and worthy of thankful prayer? I believe that there is more to come but this amount has encouraged us and given us the green light to proceed with confidence.
I think what moved me most was learning how the children in Vineyard Kids had raided their pocket money and given £183.34 to STEPS! It’s not the amount but the cost. And each individual gift, whether pence or pounds, becomes part of our whole offering to Him. So thankyou, thankyou, thankyou. Thankyou for being obedient, for making a sacrifice of your hard-earned money, for generously sowing into the Kingdom, for making it possible to bring this precious pearl, this impressive building, into Kingdom use. We look forward to seeing the Holy Spirit continue to move in hearts and wallets so that even more may be pledged and given!
If you’re heading off on your hols in the coming weeks – we pray for safe travel and good rest. We’ll be seeing many of you at Ashburnham which will be great.
Don’t forget Picnic In The Park this Sunday!