I retold one of CLAN’s speaker’s Danielle Strickland’s stories today to a lady in Southend who was setting up a pamper and health clinic for prostitutes out of one of the Churches in the town, 57 West.
Danielle’s story that I heard was about determination and being willing to call time and time again at a Brothel with cup cakes with the hope of sharing Jesus with the women inside. Time and time again Danielle and her colleague where told to go away, but one day they were welcomed in to pray for a woman who had encountered Jesus and needed help.
The lady I told the story to today was impacted by it and to be honest I too was deeply impacted by Danielle’s ministry at CLAN 2016. This one was the very last New Wine Scotland annual festival, which used Lord Glasgow’s estate in Largs on the West Coast for campers and venue tents.
It wasn’t just the inspirational speakers that made it a special gathering and although Karl Martin preached his heart and taught us so eloquently from the book of Joshua, and the worship bands went wild, it was the sense of ‘God speaking’ that made this last CLAN immensely powerful to me and I want to share a few ways in this post of how I believe God spoke to me as I got to share in the last gathering.
Firstly, I felt God speek to me through the exhuberant worshipers. I couldn’t help but dance at the service at our local church the Sunday after CLAN even though no one else ever does! The exhuberant worship, dancing and flag waving spoke to me about how much do I give in my worship of the One who is worthy of it all?
Secondly, I believe that God spoke to me through the leaders. I’m not just writing this as Alan Macwilliam (chair of the festival) is a good friend of mine! And by speaking through the leaders I don’t just mean what they said, more so through how they conducted themselves and by the decisions that they had made to wrap up the festival from the last 20 plus years because they really believe God has asked them to do so. Like a grain of wheat that dies but then grows and produces a crop the feel was that CLAN would also multiply and grow, but first it must die.
Brave. How many of us hold on to things too firmly when we’ve been asked to let them go?
I keenly felt the leaders obedience and saw the potential of what will come out of CLAN and as an evangelist I am particularly pleased that much of the emphasis for what is to come is on outreach and putting into practice the things that we have all learnt over the years at the festival. Watch out Scotland!
Thirdly I felt God speak through his creation. At festivals as you may know the noise levels remain high and after a few days I get ‘peopled and noised’ out. So on the afternoon before I was due to speak at the main meeting I took to the hills for a few hours and engaged in some beautiful solitude, prayer and land art:
I experienced God as I balanced rocks and gathered moss to create a contrast of colours in the land.
On the very last night with the tent open and dancing and vibrant flag waving happening out in the open people started ‘looking up’ and saw beautiful rainbow shapes in the sky. It was a beautiful thing to see and while we all knew how the light was made trough the setting sun reflecting on ice crystals it felt like the upside down rainbows were like a beautiful sign from God. Many people were in tears as they admired the art work in the sky. I too couldn’t help shed a few tears. I know that God is always with us and is everywhere but somehow the signs in the sky made it especially true.
Fourthly I felt God speak through the arts and creativity that oooozed everywhere in CLAN. During the meetings as well as out and aboutthe people painted and encountered God through the things they painted, sewed, drew, danced and created poetry.
Melly Turner who also serves with me in The Light Project painted for people some ‘prayer paintings’ and met lots of people with whom we could encourage and pray for.
Melly is setting up Light Project Glasgow and working alongside Whitinch Church of Scotland with the dream to train some disciples. Follow this link for more information.
Lastly I felt God speak through His word and the challenge to be courageous and GO! On one of the evenings I spoke from Luke chapter 10.1-9. The challenge from the scripture I believe was to take up the invitation to be sent, to go out into the harvest. There are some advantages when we do this:
What happens if we choose to go?
1) We get appointed.
2) We get to see a harvest.
3) We get to meet people of peace.
4) We get to heal the sick and show that the Kingdom of God is near!
Thank you to all those that have helped me grow as a follower of Jesus through CLAN. Having had the opportunity to speak, lead teams out in towns putting into practice what we learn has helped me grow. I am so greatful!