Bit of a catch up….

Hey kids! Sorry its been ages since I did some blogging – in fact a whole month; yikes! Suffice to say I have been meaning to sit down and do some but just haven’t had the time.

Anyways I have some free time now so I hope you are sitting comfortably. You are? Lovely! Then I will begin:

Things have been very good on the whole and God has been showing me a lot of His grace. I am still adjusting to having the lovely Poe in my life and trying to balance the to and fro to London to see her. We have had some fantastic times and even coped going to Greenbelt for a couple of days together! Despite not being a huge fan of festivals of any type and also not especially liking camping, I did enjoy it and I saw some friends of mine there I hadn’t seen for ages. Poe and I even managed to put up a tent without it degenerating into an argument. Which I think bodes well for our relationship!

Last weekend I went to a place called Malshanger which is a house owned by HTB Church. Set in the Berkshire countryside it was an ideal weekend to share Poe’s birthday with her. Oh, did I mention that we shared it with 25 other friends and her 2 brothers? A little scary for me, but it was very enjoyable and just what I needed after a busy and stressful week at work. I think Poe enjoyed it very much and especially when the limo we had hired for her turned up!! It was worth seeing the look on her face. I also learnt some valuable lessons from God about communication in the week leading prior to going away with Poe and friends and also while at Malshanger. Its been strange getting use to having someone in my life after being single for ages and sometimes God has to remind me that some of my aspects of thinking and decision making have to be shared and verbalized! This makes life much easier! Fortunately God has blessed me as Poe has a great deal of patience and lets be honest, she probably needs it with me!

Aside from God showing me loads of stuff about relationships, He has been showing me some stuff about me and getting back into leadership. I am going to be helping lead Ian and Sarah’s homegroup as they are about to take delivery of a small baby like package. So Rowland and I will be doing our best to make sure it doesn’t all fall apart at the seams! I am also going to be praying, supporting and assisting in any way, the youth team headed up by Andy Pegg. Although I don’t feel its right to get back into “hands on” youthwork, I want to be part of the support structure for those who are doing it – hence I have volunteered my services.

Because of the above, I am planning to be around church a bit more (while balancing time with Poe!). I love Bristol Vineyard and am struck by how much I see it as my family. I was buzzing after the leaders meeting the other night with Eric Sandras from Olympic Vineyard in Seattle. Some of the things he said really got me thinking, especially how “Jesus is in you for your sake, but He is upon you for their sake” with regard to outreach and how we are empowered to do that. It got me thinking about how much I rely on my own strength when reaching out when I should be letting Jesus be the instigator and facilitator of my love towards those who don’t yet know him!

Eric also said something that made perfect sense, was a reminder and an encouragement, but also a challenge:

“Healthy things grow
Growing things change
Change brings pressure
Pressure brings prayer
Prayer keeps you healthy

Simple as that yet also not as easy as that! But I came away from the meeting fired up about Vineyard, what God is doing there and in us all as individuals and that He is really going to use us in Bristol. Exciting times ahead kids! Keep the faith….

Amongst other things, work at the good ship Add Momentum goes well although a little busy and the house with Peter is always fun. He is becoming very domesticated…DIY here and there…repainting his bedroom, new curtains and blinds..I don’t think its all down to me but I do think that a certain young lady called Liz might have something to do with it?!

Aside from all of that…there are other important things such as the Ashes victory, Bristol‘s reasonable start in the rugby, and West Ham’s free-flowing football setting the boring Premiership alight – hurrah!!!!

So that’s Planet Barratt at the moment -God is shaping me, showing me and supplying me…..good days indeed!

Ciao for now