This past weekend I was fortunate enough to have an amazing experience of Christian community at the Shalom music festival at Jacobs Well retreat in Murrayville, VIC. It was an amazing collection of creatives that just wanted to release the song of worship while connections were made, rest was had and joy was experienced.
My Shalom festival started just a few nights back when I felt God speak into my heart that Liana and I would be going to the weekend. Of course, in true Monaghan style, it would become a step of faith adventure. The word came to me at 3 am, but the practicality of how it was going to be fulfilled was still yet to be written.
The three requests
What was needed to make it happen was 3 things and all of them had to be done within 2 days as Shalom was the up and coming weekend.
The first was we needed some finance to even get there. The previous weeks had been pretty tight with everyone pulling in their purse strings due to the current economical state. Paying over $2 for a litre of petrol I found out has a direct correlation to window cleaning. who would have thought? Anyway, so we need some finance which had been seriously tapped this past month.
The second was that my car was needing a brake service and general maintenance and would probably not be safe to do the 3-hour drive to Murrayville and I needed to find a less expensive mechanic, oh yeah and had no finance for that either.
Third was the belief that follows the word from God. I had on that Monday used a very legitimate excuse for not being able to make the Festival and was all about wisdom and stewardship. Liana and I had in the past been so zealous to follow God that it had put us in a few financial predicaments, so over the past decade we have been trying to learn to balance our zeal with wisdom.
The three answers
God is always trying to teach us as a good father does, but at the same time, he is also trying to show us that he is a giver of good gifts and a father that loves seeing the joy in his children's hearts and lives.
From a pretty clear and well thought through decision Liana and I had decided that we would make this festival next time. We loved the concept of Shalom and it was very much our heart and future, but we needed to be wise.
So when the word “SHALOM” was spoken into my heart I knew what it was about. The previous day Liana was in a conversation with someone who just felt to transfer $500 into our account and said it was for fuel and food. Food and fuel to get to Shalom. We both knew it.
A bigger hurdle was my van. Needed a brake service as I was dealing with brake shudder for a week or two and knew there is no way that I could drive long distances. The problem was that my previous mechanic was unusually expensive and I had one day to sort out an option to get it fixed.
Through a network of Christian brothers, which included encouraging a brother in Christ the mechanic that would give me the winning contact the Lord provided the perfect solution. This was the morning of Wednesday before Shalom and at the end of a phone call with a great guy named Brandon my car was booked in for Thursday and the quote was $300 less than 2 other mechanics.
It got better because when I picked up my van my new mechanic told me it was even $300 dollars less than the quote. What can you do but just smile in those moments and give thanks! Answer 2 had come my way in the suddenlies of God.
The third answer was the belief needed to go. It's funny how you can have two amazing answers to prayer and yet we just need a push to follow through. To put behind you the failures and the disappointment of the past and embrace the future.
So when the Lord woke me up at 3 am again he reminded me that he was in this. He told me to pack my van ready for worship. So from 3 am with a head torch on and in seriously cold temperatures I packed my art gear into the car, liana’s music gear, bibles, journals and even my surfboard. Remember I am going to a landlocked location with no ocean so this might seem a bit strange. God replied into my heart this is all the ways you worship son.
Childlike faith in a good good father
It was clear that our weekend had an adventure written in this part of the author's book so we drove for 3 hours and watched the sunrise over our great southern land. We met friends, connected with new ones and worshipped all through the weekend. It included me picking up a brush again after 6 months, Liana making new amazing contacts with music and her journey as God’s psalmist and even creating a financial blessing of surf coaching through that surfboard I packed in the car.
Never underestimate the good father that God is and that he is just wanting to lead us his children into true Shalom.
Married to the amazing Liana Monaghan for 13 years, a fellow creative that is just trying to release a little bit of heaven this side of eternity. How do I do that? I draw, paint, love people and surf my way through the streets and beaches of South Australia.