Tuesday, 25 January 2011

A Personal Note

There's never room for complacency in the Christian walk, is there? The Lord is taking me well outside my comfort zone with some of the things I have been invited to do recently! A busy and challenging diary now lies ahead of me and I shall require high levels of spiritual, mental and physical fitness to accomplish it all.

So I would value your prayers ...

On a personal note, I'm working hard at growing into significant lifestyle changes. This is a process I started 12 months ago but which I now desire to step up a gear.

These changes involve two major life areas - (1) sustaining a daily rhythm of contemplative silence and reflection, and (2) pro-actively working to improve my physical health through breathing exercises, improved diet, a higher level of physical exercise and a better 'life-balance'.

All this is hard work and requires considerable discipline, especially if I am to continue to write and lead retreats throughout this process. Please pray that I will have that discipline.

Because a strong support network is very helpful when trying to make big changes, I plan to make my fitness programme very visible by doing a sponsored event, from which I shall donate the proceeds to Birmingham Children's Hospital, who gave such amazing care to my grandson recently. I'll send out an email about this shortly.

So, please pray for me - that I might develop a more disciplined lifestyle and be successful in incorporating these changes, in order, ultimately, to be better equipped for ministry.

Thank you to you all.

Two small footnotes -

1) my grandson Jack has made an excellent recovery - thank you to all who have been praying for him

2) my bookings diary for this year is now closed


Saturday, 15 January 2011

Turning to Face the New Year

A new year begins ... Somehow the start of a new year is always a psychological turning point, isn't it; a time of hope and resolutions and new beginnings. And so it is for me this year. As my sabbatical time draws to a close, I look forward to returning to the world of retreat leading with new vigour and fresh perspectives.

It's been a great privilege to take time to rest and renew and to prayerfully explore new dimensions of faith and new directions of calling. I have learnt so much, and the year has changed me. Trying to sum it up simply is far from easy, but at its heart it was a year about healing ... learning about it, receiving it, discovering deeper truths, feeling even more deeply called to facilitate it. The Lord has deepened my heart to help those whom I meet find healing (in its widest sense). My time apart has also reinforced how important a simple, contemplative lifestyle is to all that I am and do.

So this year I hope to weave aspects of healing into all my retreats and speaking engagements, and, God willing, to complete the books that I began working on in New Zealand. I have accepted an invitation to be the lead speaker at the annual conference of the Order of Jacob's Well, an inter-denominational healing order.

I resume retreat leading in March with a Lent retreat at Ivy House. Before then I have much preparatory work to do for the year that lies ahead. Please pray for me - for creativity and insights - as I do these preparations.

I continue to be in negotiations about publishing two new books but the wheels of publishing houses grind very slowly. Please pray for a good outcome to these publishing talks. Whispers of Love continues to just sell and sell and I shall be re-printing this shortly. I have a wealth of ideas in my head for developing new resources (projects that inspire and excite me) but I need real discernment in deciding which to follow through and which to put on hold until later. Please pray that I will have good discernment. For now, requests to lead retreats and quiet days are pouring in thick and fast, so I’ll be doing my best to honour a good number of those. It’s always a challenge though to preserve sufficient personal space to grow my relationship with God and feed all that I offer.

Financially, things are hard for me at present, as they are for so many of us. I continue to trust that the Lord will provide all that is needed to enable this ministry. Several supporters have recently had to withdraw their help, which I fully understand. Please give thanks for those who have supported me thus far and pray that others who are able will step forward.

As I step into the challenges that lie ahead, please pray for me, as I will for you.

May 2011 hold many blessings and Godly surprises for us all.