Thursday, 15 April 2010

Acts of God & clouds of smoke

I was almost prevented from getting to Torino in January because of unprecedented snowfall, now our trip to Roma looks to have been scuppered by everyones favourite Icelandic volcano. I'm already beginning to wonder what we'll have to fight through to get to Calabria in the summer - maybe fire & floods?

Last time we were in Calabria we faced a wild fire, spitting & leaping across tinder dry land & fuelled by an angry wind up the valley from the sea for 24 hours. We fled the house, grabbing what we could & watched as the wall of flames moved to within 20 feet away, consuming everything before it. Then,as we prayed, the wind changed direction & blew itself out up the mountain away from the buildings. Talk about Acts of God!

So to this weekend, & our TV screens are filled with incredible images of huge pillars of cloud. Volcanologists (not to be confused with pointy eared Star Trek fans) are brought out from under rocks to offer pasty faced expert opinion. It's their moment in the sun, they have dreamt of this day. They will die under the bright lights of the TV studio, but it's all been worth it!

In my old insurance company days we used to define an Act of God as a catastrophe which no one could predict or prevent. This rather old fashioned notion that some things are just out of our control & only really God knows the end from the beginning. I'm sure in this post modern age of Dawkins et al we'll have to start calling them acts of nature lest we upset the sceptics.

Anyhow, that is a rant for another day. I had been under the impression that our trip to be with the fledgling church in Rome this weekend was very much in the plan of God. It seems that He has another way of doing things after all. Perhaps instead you will take this opportunity to join me in praying for our friends that we can no longer visit.

Pray that God Himself would encourage them, strengthen them, cause them to flourish. Pray that this little flock would know what it is to be led by a cloud of smoke, by the Good Shepherd Himself, even in days when they are without the kind of leadership we take for granted.Pray for vibrant, healthy New Testament churches to be planted in Rome. Pray for the Riconcilliazione family of Churches across Italy, that they would continue to grow & see breakthrough.
Join with me in calling for an Act of God, an unprecedented, unpredictable, uncontainable growth & spread of His Kingdom that sweeps this nation out of it's complacent brand of secular catholocism & into the promise of God.


That should keep you going whilst I try to sort out the refund on my tickets!

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