Donegal Abu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In August 2012, Donna, myself and baby Joel went out for a lunch date. I think we were just delighted to be out having a peaceful lunch, with the ever active but totally loveable Joel asleep. I can't really remember what we ordered to eat, probably the usual, but for very good reason: the content of our conversation was going to change the course of our lives.

the previous couple of months were very interesting. We both felt a real sense that we were in a significant time in our lives, and we interpreted that to mean it was time to set down roots. Donna was approaching the final year of her doctorate, I was living the dream and serving as executive pastor of Cornerstone, and our precious son Joel was growing up fast, as was our sense of responsibility for him and his future. We began by looking at houses, with the notion of buying. We found some lovely ones that we thought would be great, but never felt settled or at peace to take the plunge.

A couple of months later during our conversation, suddenly the topic of my hometown, Falcarragh, came up. My Parents have been pioneering a church there for the past few years, and previous to that had been holding weekly bible studies and monthly outreaches in the community. I grew up there, and while i loved it and love to visit, I always felt like i was a converted 'city-boy', i liked the conveniences of city life! Of course we felt that God had called and kept us in Derry, and we weren't going anywhere unless He spoke very clearly to us, which He began to do. We suddenly felt an agreement in our spirits, that this was the beginning of something new.

we felt a great need to pray and to seek God's heart, and we asked him for a sign. Not like a 'that cloud looks like the shape of Donegal, it must be a sign' type of sign, but a 'I'm sending you to Donegal, thus sayeth The Lord' type of sign.

in October I was due to speak at a leadership conference in Belfast, on the topic of Church in Ireland alongside the very Godly and great Pastor of Grace church Cork, Tom Burke. A few sessions before we were on, Andrew McCourt spoke on the favour of God, and I felt thoroughly encouraged that I had God's favour. He offered a space for all the leaders present to respond for prayer, but I felt that I was pretty well blessed and didn't need to hog up the response area! Suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder, it was Paul Reid, Pastor Emeritus of CFC Belfast. He began by saying, 'I don't normally do this... But I feel The Lord is saying to you that for a long time you've been a good steward of somebody else's things, but now he wants you to be a steward of your own'. I was stunned.

I spoke to Donna and we both knew. It was real.

she had been asking God for a clear sign too, and it came. However I think it'd be better for her to share that with you, rather than hear it second-hand from me! Of course, my parents had to have their own confirmation for God that this was his will, there's no room for romantic notions when we're in the eternity-altering business! And they got it. All we can really say is that God has been our ever present encourager, and that we've never before had the 'words in season' that he's currently sending our way. 

The 14th of July will be our last Sunday serving in Cornerstone, before we head out to the hills of Donegal! 

We believe that God is going to do something in the north west that will display his Glory. People will travel from around the world to see what God is doing. We will see lives transformed, we will see communities changed, all through the power and presence of God. All he needs from us is a simple 'yes'.

To steal the city of culture slogan, just say yes!

Matthew 5:14 'You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden'.

 

Comments   

 
+1 #1 eric moore 2013-04-25 13:24
So encouraged to hear of God's leading in your life - we will be remembering you in prayer
Psa 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.
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