Reflections from Redding 2 – Graham Coyle

(This follows on from the last blog.  If you have not read that it might be helpful to get the context.)

A second thing that I noticed in my time at Bethel, Redding is that there is an incredible generosity about the whole place.  It starts with the leadership and flows on into every aspect of church life.  I could talk about principles now but I think that it is better just to give practical examples because without these principles are just so much theory.

Reflections from Redding 1 – Graham Coyle

I have just returned from a two week trip to Bethel Church in Redding, California and I thought it would be a helpful exercise to try and identify some of what I have observed and learned during my time there.  Obviously it is a long way to go and not inexpensive and it would be untrue to say that I didn’t enjoy the trip for reasons other than visiting the church, of course I did, who wouldn’t.  But the warmth, scenery, (occasional) good food and other associated pleasantries of the trip were all a bonus really and so I intend to share about some of what I learned, which was my real reason for going. 

Adventures in hearing God’s voice – Graham Coyle

How does God speak to us?  I’ve had an example recently of one way that this happens that I am still learning from.  I’ve just been to a conference.  There were a lot of people there, about 2,000, it was a long way from home, Redding, California and it had some quite well known Christian leaders speaking at it, Bill Johnson, Brian Houston and Shaun Bolz.  So, for all those reasons and many more besides I had quite a sense of excitement at being there.

As I was preparing to be there in all of the usual ways, packing etc., I was also asking the Lord to prepare my heart and spirit.  I wanted to be certain that I had my focus right so as not to become distracted by all of the other factors. 

Did you watch any of the Olympics – Graham Coyle

olympicsDid you watch any of the Olympics?  I did.  Possibly more than was healthy but at least it is only once every four years.  I loved watching so many people all trying their hardest to achieve their dreams.  I empathised, cheered, sympathised and celebrated.  Though I watched mostly on my own it didn’t stop me from expressing my excitement at performances such as Andy Murray’s gold, Mo Farah’s double double or the Brownlee brother’s destruction of the rest of the triathlon field.  The main thing that surprised me, however, was that I wasn’t that surprised.  I admit that I did not expect the UK to come second overall in the medal table but I wasn’t surprised that we did well. 

The rat in the plane – Graham Coyle

Some years ago a test pilot was flying a new model of jet.   At one point in the flight he heard an unusual, non-mechanical sound.  He looked down at where the sound was coming from to see a rat gnawing through one of the cables.  He realised that this was not good.  He could not deal directly with the intruder himself as he was engaged in flying the plane.  If he aimed to return to his airstrip he was fairly certain that the rat would finish its task first, probably with catastrophic results.  His only option was to deprive the rat of what it most needed; oxygen.