Breathing Stars

I can still hardly believe this… but I am in Northern Ireland… a little village on the east coast called Dundrum which is about 30 miles southeast of Belfast. I am staying at a mission house called Murlough House and it is located in the National Trust…

The idea to come here was born a little less than a year ago when one of the other pastors at Eastside – Travis Whalen – suggested I should go with him sometime to visit this amazing place. He had lived hear a few years ago with the intention of making this his permanent home and ministry – but love changed the direction for his life. (I am so glad it did too – as he is a close friend and an amazing part of what is happening at Eastside.)

When he suggested the trip, it felt like it was forever away. I actually didn’t believe it would be something I would do. But here we are nearly a year later and I am typing this blog entry from my small room in the mission house. I am so thankful to get to do this trip. I miss my family more than i can possibly explain – but I can tell this place will be good for my soul.

This may come as quite a shock – but sometimes ministry takes a toll. I have felt it quite a bit over the last weeks/months. I love it more than ever but you get tired quicker than you realize and it is hard to find time and space for recovery. I have only been here 2 days but have already met some amazing men and women and have been introduced to some amazing work being done here.

Today we spent the afternoon in a place called Tollymore Forest – a national park just west of Newcastle. We took an incredibly long walk with Travis and his wife Natalie taking turns pushing a stroller not designed for wooded paths containing their 2 year old son. I was privileged to carry Natalie’s 37 lb purse which still boggles my mind – both as to it’s weight and to the need of it in a forest… but nevertheless – it was a beautiful place. I love that God created such beauty… Do you ever consider how unnecessary beauty in nature is? I mean He could have created the earth in a very rigid, structured, linear fashion. While trees and plants and flowers provide us with necessary function – their form and beauty don’t serve purposeful function. But thankfully God didn’t create this place for robots. He created it with us in mind… and knew that our eyes would drink it all in… in wonder and amazement. The God of Psalms 33 (go ahead an read it!!) that breathes stars into being, gave us His eyes and His appreciation of what is beautiful. We just have to find the time to step back and appreciate it … time that is all too often absorbed with the mundane.

The trees and water and cool air today were a good reminder to me to rest and remember the star breathing God is in control. It is a good day. Now I just need some liniment for my shoulder after carrying that purse…

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