These things combined to form a super awesome weekend trip to Germany. And really, it was super awesome. I went with a group of friends who have easily become one of my most cherished spiritual families here. I went to show support, but I also wanted to learn.
The father of this spiritual family was talking about the culture of honor, a term popularized in the Bethel Church in Redding, California. I cried so much that I was worried there was no water left in me. It's one of those experiences that you keep processing and seeing the effects of months later. I haven't figured anything out yet to write concrete examples of "what I learned".
What I did notice though is that this culture of honor is very family centered, particularly father centered. It is also focused on forgiving and encouraging/building up others. It's about loving people, really, and choosing to look at and bring out the gems of who people are, instead of the gunk that often surrounds those gems. You can really honor someone when you take the time to get to know that person, and don't do and see things according to what you would like. People are different. Then there's also the issue that if someone does not explicitly say they want to become a Christian, do we still love that person? Or is our love conditional and based on the conversion agenda?
Folks, Jesus died for us whether or not we choose Him. If that's the model, we've got some work to do!
Anyway, Germany was awesome. Very few people will appreciate the excitement of entering a real Lidl supermarket. I think a few more might appreciate sleeping in a castle, warm sunlit walks admiring lovely architecture and landscaping, and really really good food.
Our hosts were incredibly generous and sacrificial and just amazing people. Worship and Word was anointed and just...good. So so good.
I've made tons of new friends and I'm just too tired to continue this post. Should I find a more interesting way to update you guys I will.
A quick prayer for clarity for decisions and provision for what God has planned for me would be greatly appreciated!