Day 6 –
I woke up this morning mostly rested, with enough time to shave & shower today (hooray!) Headed out with Eddy & Laura to the youth hostel where the conference is being held. Fortunately, we arrived in time for breakfast – which for me means copious amounts of German coffee, & mueslix (kind of a home made granola,) with cherry quark (kinda like yogurt, except creamier, with no fake sugar aftertaste.) Unbelievable.
We all gathered together for worship & teaching – Volker Heitz talked from Matthew 14 (from the story about the feeding of the multitude with the 2 fish & 5 loaves of bread,) as well as from John 2 (Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding.)
What stood out to me from Matthew 14:
- Don’t focus on what you DON’T have, but rather on what you DO have: God will use it & will multiply it
- Faith is trusting that what God has provided will be enough for you to do what God asks of you
- Be thankful for what you have – complaining poisons your heart & makes your eyes bad… & even what you have will be lost
John 2 –
- A shortage or lack is an opportunity for a miracle (Mary saw this)
- The only way a miracle ‘fails’ is if the workers don’t obey (no faith)
- Thankfulness & faith gives Jesus room to work
We weren’t going home during the afternoon break, so Steve & I decided to take a walk through the streets of old Bad Homburg. I got a chance to know Steve better & hear his story. He’s ‘bent’ toward the area of evangelism & worship – & has an incredible sense of humor that keeps everyone around him laughing. He’s truly a joy to be around.
I ate lunch with a couple of pastors that are from an independent church that is in the process of exploring whether or not they will become a Foursquare Church. In Germany, that process takes a couple of years & has several defined phases. At any time during any of the phases, its possible for either one or both parties (the church & the Foursquare Deutschland leadership) to stop the process completely or to put it on hold. The Foursquare leadership really wants to make sure that any non-denominational church thinking of joining the movement really understands what it is they’re doing – what the ‘DNA’ of Foursquare is, & what it means to be in relationship & accountability with the other churches & leadership.
The couple I was talking to asked a lot of questions about Foursquare history in the US; they were especially interested in knowing about Aimee Semple McPherson & the stance of the Foursquare Church towards Germany during World War 2. Fortunately, I have collected a few publications over the years that were produced by Foursquare in the ‘war years’ & was able to communicate that Foursquare was staunchly anti-Nazi, but for the German people. And since I’ve been around the Foursquare world a while, I was able to pass on some interesting stories that helped clarify some thought processes they’re working through. They also loved that Joni’s paternal grandparents were married by Sister Aimee, a fact that earned me some ‘Oooohs’ & ‘Ahhhhhs’.
This evening is the traditional celebration banquet, though instead of eating at the hostel as we usually do (& have done over the past few years worth of conferences,) we’re being shuttled to a nice restaurant in one of the nearby castle. (I must be tired because I’m cracking up at the idea of there being a plethora of castles nearby. Castles. We don’t really have those at home.)
I had the opportunity (& the invitations) to set up a few meetings over the weekend & Monday – I’m thankful for the increased favor that I continue to experience, & the opportunity to give input to & encourage pastors in their work & in their families. Its especially cool when something I’ve lived through can be used to help others.
Dinner was great & the fellowship was priceless. Life is beautiful.