Painful!

A post for my praying friends...

My lockdown fitness programme was going really well until Wednesday last week when I managed to trap a nerve in my back which sent my left leg into a state of frozen agony.  The Dr suspects that one of the lower disks in my back has partially slipped which trapped the nerve which is causing the pain.

This is the worst pain I have ever experienced, it's worse than when I smashed my wrist a few years back and far worse than when I cut the sole of my foot and had to have several stitches in it.
Today in South Africa we celebrate Freedom Day one of our many public holidays.

Freedom Day specifically celebrates freedom and commemorates the first post-apartheid elections held on that day in 1994.

This year however it feels a little surreal celebrating something that we have all been stripped of for the foreseeable future.
Since writing this yesterday the President has addressed the nation. However my opinion remains unchanged and unless genuine tangible action is taken to help the vulnerable this will end very badly!

I have to confess to a growing sense of anger over our lockdown.

I know the lockdown is the right thing to do, we need to protect the most vulnerable and flatten the curve to make it safe for all, I truly get that, I do.

What I don't get and am struggling with is the apparent lack of foresight and planning that has gone in to the situation, leaving the most vulnerable in dire straits.

Food Hampers

This morning we had the privilege of delivering seventeen food hampers (in the form of grocery gift cards) to some of the neediest families in Firgrove.

We got fed up with waiting for govt to come through with their food parcels and decided to get the ball rolling ourselves.

We have been so incredibly blessed this morning!

Our Gathering was an awesome time together in God's presence and it was amazing to think that as a church we were scattered from Firgrove in to Macassar, Mitchell's Plain, Somerset West and the Eastern Cape, but we still Gathered in one accord and worshiped in spirit & truth.

The church cannot be stopped!

We were also blessed by one of our Gathering family members who sent us a photo of the food she had prepared for four of our Soup Kitchen regulars who live close to her.  You know that your church gets it when they are serving the neediest and most vulnerable out of their own limited resources.

Thank you LORD!

Here we are in day 21 of what was a 21 day lock down but which was extended into a 35 day lockdown, so we're well over halfway there (and living on a prayer), and I have a confession to make... I'm loving it!

I love being at home and not having to go out, I love having Paula around and I love having my boys at home.

How will it all end?

I can see two things happening and I can see them happening in tandem under certain conditions.

Firstly, I think we'll get to a position where governments are almost demanding people go back to work because the world's economies simply cannot take such a massive hit.

There have been protests over the Government's promised food parcels in Mthatha and a mini riot in Mitchell's Plain.  Hands up those who didn't see this coming.... anyone?..... no-one?  Of course not, such actions are inevitable (but wrong) when people are given hope and then let down.

New Beginnings

I spoke on Sunday about new beginnings, but how sometimes we have to go through storms before those new beginnings, and looked at Jeremiah 29:10-12, Matthew 14:22-33 and John 16:33 (If you want to know how I used those scriptures you can watch my message in yesterday's post). The great thing about these examples of storms is that they all contained promises of God and in each of them God is with his people. So now we're having to get through a storm but when the storm is over we will be in an amazing time and place of new beginnings.  We truly serve an awesome God!

This got me to thinking about how church is being conducted on Sundays around the world...

Something I have kicked against for a long time is the seemingly diminishing role of the congregation in Sunday meetings. We have been part of churches where contributions are either managed by an elder with a microphone or worse, they are just actively discouraged.  There's a set list for the worship, the whole meeting is planned out and there's little to no space for the congregation to contribute.

Easter Sunday

Just like every other church The Gathering had to be creative in how celebrated Easter together and how we celebrated communion on this most special of all days in the Christian calendar.

Once again we took to WhatsApp and once again it was such a joy to be able to Gather knowing we were united in God's presence, whether we were in Firgrove, Macassar, Somerset West or the Eastern Cape.