Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The gift of the present

As much as I love my job, one of the benefits of being a primary school teacher is definitely the 7 week holiday period of the summer! Being the kind, ‘looking out for others’ type of person that my mothers is, she had offered to take some children from church to the movies, so I tagged along too. As well as being really funny and full of impressive martial arts, one of the lines in Kung Fu Panda stuck in my mind.

Without spoiling the movie, Po’s wise master encourages him with these words,

Yesterday is history...tomorrow is a mystery...today is a gift...so that’s why it’s called the present.
This got me thinking; firstly about yesterday. Yesterday has gone. Things have been said, things have been done, things have been thought. They are all in the past now. Have I taken time to think back and learn from the mistakes I’ve made? Have I confessed the sins of yesterday? Then I started thinking about tomorrow. Things might be said, things might be done, things might be thought. They are all in the future. Am I worrying instead of trusting? Am I going to make wise choices today that might influence tomorrow? Only God, the immortal, invisible one, knows what will happen tomorrow.

James wisely writes,

Why you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.' (James Ch 4v14-15)
So I started thinking about today. A gift? Is that really how I appreciate each precious present day? Or do I continually look back and dwell on past regrets? Do I continually look forward and long for what has not yet come? Or do I really thank God that today I have air in my lungs, today I have a job to go to, or in my case a holiday to rest and use wisely for Him? Ask yourself these questions and if you go and see Kung Fu Panda, listen out for those carefully placed words and thank God for the present...it is a gift!

titus2talk worldled

Since wordling things is the thing to do at the moment, here is what happened when I pasted in our very first post about what we're all about.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I promised I'd post, so here it is!

Nearly two weeks ago before Nicki went on holiday I said I would post something, and I'm only getting around to it now. Sorry Nicki! Rather than come up with something serious and weighty I'm just going to pass on a couple of random humerous moments from my kids, one which happened recently and another that it reminded me of.

Random moment #1:
Me: So, Erin, who is our bible story going to be about tonight?
Erin (age 2): Jesus.
Me: Yes, and which story about Jesus do you think we'll read?
Erin (thinks for a moment): Jesus and the socks.
Nope, I've no idea what she's thinking of either - the mind boggles. This reminded me of something that her older sister said when she was about the same age.

Random moment #2:

Daddy: So, what were the names of Issac's children?
Dutiful daughter: Jacob and...(pause followed by triumphant look) Eeyore!

Hmm, I could have sworn that the Hundred Acre Wood isn't in the bible.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mentoring & Ministry Wives

I've been meaning to link to Connie Dever's article, The Pastor's Wife: Position or Juxtaposition for a while now, but busyness has prevented me! My husband had the privilege of meeting Connie and Mark Dever a few months ago when he was out visiting their church. While on the hunt for some good books for himself he was also keen to get a hold of a few resources for me on being a pastor's wife (since, in my estimation there are too few good books on the subject). Connie Dever kindly gave Colin a copy of One With A Shepherd and also a copy of her study guide, Juxtaposition which is a more than useful resource to "help other pastors' wives and their husbands to glorify God by being more closely connected to him, to each other, to their families, and to the brothers and sisters in their churches". 9 Marks and Connie Dever have been gracious enough to share this material here. I pray that if you are a pastor's wife with the opportunity to mentor a new, or soon to be pastor's wife you might use this excellent resource as I plan to.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I Want to be Like That!

How Do I Do this Mom Thing? is a good article focusing on the importance of mentoring, particularly addressing this kind of relationship for young mothers who 'want to be like that older, experienced mother'. There are practical ideas for how to go about finding a mentor and the kinds of things that would be important in such a relationship. So if you're interested in finding a mentor, or have a vision for starting this kind of ministry in the church, this article is a good, easy place to start on how to establish mentorship among younger and older women.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Road Trip

We are preparing for a short break in London next week. We're driving from Edinburgh to London with three kids under 4 for 8 hours. So when I saw this it brought a smile to my face as we think about how our trip might be!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Knowing Sin & Wrath

After listening to one of Piper's sermons on Romans, he reminded me of something my husband said of a man who did not want to come to church week after week and listen to the doom and gloom of our recent Jeremiah series. Piper would encourage us to respond to such a person and remind us of the importance of such preaching of God's judgment, sin and wrath in three ways.

1. Superficial diagnoses lead to false remedies.

Superficial diagnoses lead to false remedies and no cures. If you want to find true remedies for a disease, and if you want to bring a lasting cure to the people who are diseased, then you need more than a superficial grasp of the disease itself. Those who care most about a cure for AIDS or cancer, spend almost all their time studying the disease.

2. Understanding sin and wrath will make you wiser.

Profound understanding of sin and wrath will make you a far wiser person about human nature - your own and others. And if you are wiser about the nature of the human soul, you will be able to fight your own sin more successfully, and you will be able to bless others more deeply with your insight and counsel. I have pled with women and men in this church in recent months that what we need to nurture and cultivate here at Bethlehem over the next decades is sages -men and women who ripen with years into deeply sagacious people: wise, discerning, penetrating, deep lovers of people and deep knowers of human nature and God's nature, who can see deeply into the tangle of sin and sacredness that perplexes the saints and threatens to undo us. If you run away from the study of sinful human nature - if you say, I don't like to think about sin - then you run away from yourself, and you run away from wisdom, and, worst of all, you run away from the deepest kinds of love.

3. Knowing the nature of sin and wrath will cause you to cherish the gospel.

Probably the most important thing I would say, and the most firmly rooted in Romans 1:18, is that knowing the true condition of your heart and the nature of sin and the magnitude and justice of the wrath of God will cause you to understand the mighty gospel, and love it, and cherish it, and feast on it, and share it as never before. And this is crucial because this is the way the gospel saves believers. If you don't understand the gospel, if you don't cherish it and look to it and feed on it day after day, it won't save you (see 1 Cor. 15:1-3; Col. 1:23). Knowing sin and wrath will help you do that.