I think we are now a bit rested, though we have been on the go every since we left for the airport at noon on Thursday. Right now it is 5 PM here, though it is 9 AM back home in Oregon. A hour ago we video chatted with our kids, as they begun their day. Nana is taking great care of them! (Plus, we are so grateful for some really helpful technology!) One great piece of technology was inadvertently left at home — our new digital camera is waiting for us on the kitchen counter. (Oops!) So, as a result we likely will not have many photos to share.
The Single-Minded conference is going very well. A full group of singles from around England, representing I think a dozen churches. They are eager. Eager to listen to the Word, to learn, to grow, to encounter God. I dare say that they are rubbing off on me too — and not just because the voice in my head as I type this is narrating in a British accent! They’ve shown me what it means to be a people of the Book. They’re eager to hear God’s words, because they want to know God’s will, His ways, His worth. They want Him. We’ve spoken much about how Christianity is a Person, not a set of principles. You can apply yourself to all the principles in the world, but they will not in and of themselves change a person. We need the power of a new affection; we need Jesus. We need to rescue (save) us, and to change us. And so we are seeking to do what one friend on our missions team reminded me before we headed this way: “make Him famous.” He is worth being known, and we are seeking to make much of Him. May His name be great in this place!
I’ve really been struck by the community-minded nature of our fellows Brits. Someone said they would be stand-offish. Uh, nope. At least not these Brits. In our brief time with this group, we’ve notice how friendly they are, welcoming even. They are not into pretense and especially not overly into themselves. What a cup of cold water this is for this foreigner come across the pond to speak with them. They have welcomed us like old friends.
For the conference, our text has been Psalm 27. We’ve been all over Scripture but the main text in the first three sessions (see summaries by scrolling down under the “London” tag) have taken us through the first five verses of Psalm 27. In a couple hours we will pick up verses 6-9 in our fourth session — WORSHIP: the joyful sacrifice. I must especially applaud our hosts, Matt and Diana Kottman, who are as gracious as they are hardworking. They labor to shepherd this group well. Wow. They are brilliantly generous and full of courage.