Today Liz & I are in Melun for Bible School. We drove up last night – it gets dark so early at this time of year – but today we’re expecting a real treat … long-time friends are coming through and we’re hoping to cross paths with them.
More on that next week… let’s talk the week that was.
While in Belgium over the holidays, Europe was hit with severe weather. We only had one truly nice day… the first day, when we stopped in Paris on our way to Belgium. We only saw the extent of that weather upon arriving home however.
Over two weeks later and look at the state of the Vienne River, in Châtellerault. It’s covering the parking lot on one side and cobblestones on the other. Our consolation…. temperatures remain well above zero and you don’t have to shovel! Our thoughts to you in North America who are experiencing record cold weather and lots of snow.
Back to the Grind
This week marked our return to a more regular rhythm. The kids were back to school and I had my first classes in Angers.
On my way back from Angers (a 2h drive) I stopped in the little village of Brissac. It’s a lovely spot with the tallest castle in France (7-stories tall). I’ll post about my stroll there on Tuesday, but one of the neat moments from my 2hr stop was being alone in the Church of Saint-Vincent.
If you’ve never sang in one of these old churches, you’re missing out… acoustics are great!
I sat and sang a few worship choruses… just me and the Lord and I was again reminded…. where many would say that such churches are cold and impersonal, my experience is that having the Holy Ghost is like having a finely-tuned antenna… you can feel God’s presence wherever you are… the key is being “in tune”.
Thank you LORD for a personal worship service!
Signs of Fresh Growth
One of the things I love about winter in France – besides the lack of snow-shovelling – is that the fields start to green up nicely; you have what is a strange mix for us North Americans… the leaf-less trees associated with winter, but the lush green fields we’d associate with Summer.
Here are some grapevines just on the outskirts of Brissac. You can see that they are still wearing the brown branches that will be trimmed down before they come out of dormancy in a few weeks. Yet they are surrounded by a lovely green carpet of fresh grass.
Signs of the promise of Spring and the anticipated new growth.
Similarly, Liz and Dominic are entertaining little Florian whose mom & dad have been attending for about a year and a half now. Because of distance (they live over an hour away), they typically only come once per month but they are wanting to be even more regular in this, the new year. A sign of growth for which we’re thankful.
On Winter and Dormancy
Winter is a vital period in the life cycle of plants. While it doesn’t look like much is happening on the outside, winter allows plants & trees to store up strength and vitality for the coming growing season.
Sometimes we have felt like we’re surrounded by dormancy… and we look for signs of “Spring”. It’s not always easy, but those signs do appear from time to time… like yesterday.
Remember the cards we sent out to friends and neighbours… we’ve received several return-cards back, including this one that arrived yesterday which, in French, means… “Merci de penser à moi.” (Thank you for thinking of me.)
A sign of Spring …and I’m reminded of scripture:
“…let us not be weary in well doing:
for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Hey you! Don’t be weary…
It’s the start of a new year, but our expectations and outlook can work against us if we’re not careful. Whatever you’re doing for the Lord this week – at the start of this new year – don’t be weary. It will produce fruit… if you faint not!
Thanks for dropping by today.
God bless you and give you strength to faint not!
So glad to hear from you. Happy New Year!
This truly may be one of my favorites-and not just because I JUST GOT YOUR CARD!! Oh my-and with a dear gift. That made my day. It felt like Christmas again. Thank you so much-how very thoughtful. I have already enjoyed them-and feel so touched. It is a good feeling to know someone far away, is a friend and cares about you. It makes the world seem “cozy”. thank you and as always God bless your work-Michele
Glad it all arrived safely and has already gotten some mileage. 🙂 Cozy is a good word – I like cozy – and don’t we all need just a little extra dose of it. We’d accumulated a lot of ‘cozy’ during our years in Canada and a good deal of it is still there. Christmas is probably our ‘coziest’ time because we brought over most of our Christmas Tree ornaments… a mix-matched hodge-podge of trinkets from around the world… some vintage, some newer but all with memories attached. We rehearse those memories as we decorate the tree… where they came from, who gave them, in what circumstances, etc. (*guilty confession* …. our tree is still up 🙂 it’ll probably come down this weekend though… it’s holding up pretty well for a real one.
We do need cozy-and you are doing your part for this world. thank you for all you do and God bless you-and best wishes on that tree!
Thanks Michele! 👋🏻😀