I have just written the first draft of my “end of sabbatical” report. I based it around a prophetic word that Keith Hazel gave to me a month or so before it started. He didn’t know my plans and as I read it back I was amazed and encouraged at how accurate and illuminating it was.
He prophesied that it was “time to keep journals” and “it’s a database building time for you” which (with hindsight) fits well with blogging. Over the sabbatical this blog turned into a kind of public journal as the articles got longer and less punchy. I could never get my head around private journaling. I would start for a while but lacked the motivation or discipline to continue. Blogging is much easier and is essentially the same thing. Together with the line before, which said “You will look at passages you have looked at before and suddenly it’s like there is a whole mass of stuff coming out of that verse.” it seems so right I am also blogging through the bible (http://marcusbible.blogspot.com/). It’s certainly a “long term” project that will require a “lot of word in [me]” and may be of interest to those who are new to the bible or “biblically illiterate“.
Keith also said to me that there were “rabbit trails/warrens for you to go down, to follow, you’ve got a lot of word in you. It’s about long-term thinking, like a gathering storm.” At the time I had on my computer a number of files and folders of theological concepts that I wished to explore. In this blog I have explored the sovereignty of God and marriage while in my other bible blog I have covered some of the controversial issues in Genesis, including creation, the flood and the Land. I hope to go deeper into some of these things in the months ahead.
Although I did not spend as much time studying healing as I had planned, I did attend some excellent conferences with healing and the supernatural as the main focus. The first was the “Heaven touches Earth” conference in Bedford and the second was a Bill Johnson conference in Kent. I experienced some amazing prophetic ministry and saw lots of healings. There were some great worship times and I made lots of notes which I have written up in previous blogs.
I visited other churches that were our size and above. It was extremely helpful to experience their meetings and I felt I gained some insights that may be of benefit to us in the future.
Keith had prophesied “There are some fears and some areas of anxiety to do with your children and family. You’ve been saying to God am I balancing my ship properly or is it all over one side.” I wanted to make sure that I was inputting into my family in the same way I was inputting into the church. On sabbatical I really enjoyed doing that and things felt a lot more balanced.
I continued to lead, enjoy and take part in my small group which turned out to be a wonderful way to stay connected to the church and make sure I was in good fellowship during the two months of my sabbatical. It highlighted to me the importance of not withdrawing completely from the church family and was a source of great refreshment to me.
Keith spoke about changes that I would need to make and coming back off sabbatical I certainly feel I need to make some radical decisions if my ship is to remain “balanced“. The first two weeks back have been very full and things are just getting going! Keith said “the sprint is over and now there is a dedicated long-distance run which requires you to be prepared to run the distance”. Long distance running is a million miles away from sprinting (if you will pardon the pun!) and requires different preparation, pace and mindset. I will need to give some serious thought to this over the next few weeks.