Grateful for All the Years of Blessing

A few weeks ago, I was in Los Angeles, attending the 50th anniversary of the Westside Vineyard Church in Los Angeles.  Back In 1975, when I was 17 years old, I was invited to vist that church by my new friend, Bill Bower.  The realms of heaven began to open in those first worship times at the Vineyard.  The young crowd of worshipers were immersed in a sea of glory as we sang simple love songs to the Lord. 

God’s kingdom of love was breaking into earth’s realm and into our hearts, minds and emotions.  In those early years I grew and struggled and was showered with epiphanies of God’s love and greatness.  I was entering into adulthood and trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life.

This was the same year I began my university studies.  That was a great experience that expanded my life but by far the biggest transformation in my university years was a spiritual one. 

I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies but when I graduated I knew it wouldn’t be right for me to pursue that line of work.  I went straight into Christian ministry, first as a pastoral intern, then as a staff member in the Langley Vineyard in Canada in 1985.

Where I live in Vancouver, B.C., in the sky there is often a beautiful mix of white and black and grey clouds.  Late in the day, the black and white clouds,  back-lit by the sun, against a blue sky background can be stunning.

For me, that’s a picture of great struggle and great blessing.  Life in this world is full of dark against light, good against evil, victories and defeats.  In the end, it will all take a turn for the good.  A quote from Julian of Norwich comes to mind:  “All things are well, all things shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”

I am so grateful to be enjoying the beginning of another summer, grateful for the nearly 5 decades of life with a loving God.


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