Now coming to you live from the land of Dylan Thomas and nearly perpetual rain, Wales. I write from the Bible College library. Dave and Shannon have gone to the train station to somewhere, and they will be on a BBC radio program tonight, called "The Professionals" I think. They get to critique music. How cool. The Millers are some napping and some prepping for tonight's leadership class at the church.
I got to go to Lifelink Community Church Swansea today and I loved it. Mary asked me to sing; they're short of musicians since the college is not in session. It was cool. It was what worship is supposed to be, and not at all because of anything we did. Everyone participated; they were so eager. They all sang and spoke and read the Bible aloud and we had those wonderful moments of resting in the presence of the Lord and singing our own songs and waiting. There was such a unity in the congregation and a sincerity and reverence. It was a sweet time in the presence of God. They were completely comfortable to be open with each other in that setting and it felt relaxed, but not slow or sloppy. There was action. I imagine this is how the churches in the Global South are. They know who God is and they want to meet with him and worship him and they know his power. There was nothing in the service that was about us, and I feel like that's a trend in some of the Western churches. Things are focused on us. Today it wasn't about us at all, it was about him. There was no self-consciousness in the congregation and it was a beautiful thing, like we had stepped into a secret place.
Wales has been wonderful. It's great to be with the Millers and it's been a nice transition from living with 25 college students to living at home again and having tons to do to having nothing required of me. It's not going to be like that when I get home though. So I guess it's a nice vacation. That's the way I felt when I first got off the train here. "Vacation!" The first night we were here, Rick took us (me, Mary, Dave, and Shannon) to the beach, Langland I think, because it had stopped raining. The clouds were very intense when we got there and I got a couple of cool pictures, but then it started to rain. So we went inside and Rick got us all coffees and two cake/scone type things with clotted cream and jam and strawberries. Yum. The next day it was good weather, so we went to the Gower, by Worm's Head. It's kind of like Tintagel, cliffs, sea, rock formations. There were sheep, so that was a nice addition and more like the Lake District than Tintagel I guess. The sheep would just sit on top of the cliffs sticking out over the water. Just chilling. It was kind of funny. Lots of pictures of sheep for later ; ) It's called Worm's Head because it looks like the body of a dragon, I think. It's connected to the land by a tidal causeway, but we were there when the tide was coming in, so we couldn't go onto it. Jon has before though.
I finished reading Narnia, and I picked up this Francis Schaeffer book in the library here a few days ago called, The Great Evangelical Disaster. I've only finished the first two sections, but it's very good and I highly recommend it. I've been trying to find his books all over this country since we toured at Cambridge with the Christian Heritage organization. Schaeffer's son-in-law, Ranald Macaulay, is the head of the organization and gave us the tour and it was fascinating. I might have written a little bit about it, I don't remember. Macaulay wrote the preface for the book, so that was cool, and it's Schaeffer's final book. I took notes for part of it, and I will put them up here later, I don't have them with me. But it's very convicting and hard to read because he's right and our society is messed up and it makes me scared for future generations. He paints a very stark picture of the American situation in post modernism and it's kind of terrifying if you sit and think about it for a while. He wrote it in 1984, and what he's described has only become more true with time and I can see the things he's describing in the way that I think about the world. Scary stuff, but necessary.
That's all for now, going home tomorrow. School starts in a little over three weeks, and I'm not ready to be back there yet. I've gotta find a way to stay in this mode when I get to school, laid back, etc. Jon and I are going to Joe's for famous Swansea icecream. Next time, from the US.