Mission Statement

In classical sacrifices, the people get the good bits, and the gods get the refuse, the bits that would get thrown out otherwise.

Not our God. Leviticus (particularly Leviticus 3) describes the sacrifices that our LORD demanded from His people of Israel. God gets the kidneys, the tail, and all the fat. He gets the prime steak, He gets the best.

Today we do not literally give sacrifices of animals. For us the ultimate sacrifice has been made through our Lord, Christ Jesus. But should always be our ambition to do the same thing - to offer God the best of what we have, to offer Him the fat, and not the smoke and bones.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Money and Missions

Did you know that the average Christian spends less than $1 in a thousand on foreign missions?

Now, I'm not denying that there are needs in the West, material and spiritual, and that there are no doubt people who would rather give money to help ease homelessness etc in Australia (or the US, or UK, or where-ever). There are those who literally need every dollar they can to survive. There are those who save in order to adopt the orphan literally into their own home - a process that is far from cheap.

But still - less than $1 in $1000! I honestly don't think that is more than what unbelievers give.

I would give just over 1.35%, not including one off donations. That's more than 10 times the general rate, and yet I look at that number and I am appalled. I have a LOT of stuff, I have plenty of food. I may save for a future adoption (I'm over 2/3 of the way there) but STILL.

If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? (James 2:16) What kind of percent do you give to missions (or for my non-Christian friends, to charity), and is that really enough?

Monday, 21 September 2009

Jules Verne vs Edgar Allan Poe

I recently read Master of the World by Jules Verne. The book was interesting, but most interesting was the introduction. This stated:

"And the irony is that Edgar Allan Poe, a materialist, is best know (sic) for his tales of the supernatural; while Jules Verne, a convinced Catholic, has no supernatural elements in his stories. Verne believes in God, but expresses his belief in divine Providence through reason and explorations of the wonders of a logical and orderly universe, where science is the key to greater understanding of reality and of human progress." (Introduction by Robert A W Lowndes).

I don't think that this is ironic. Edgar Allan Poe was determined to deny the reality of God. In order to deny that reality he was willing to admit the supernatural. In contrast, Jules Verne (who was far from perfect in his view of God) believed that God had ordained laws, and that just as we can depend on God we can depend on His laws for a consistant reality. Gravity consistently applies, because God is who He is.

There are few things as reality-denying as a hardened atheist.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Psalm 1

1 Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

I've been thinking about this recently. You know, for many Christians it is enough to do the first verse. To not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers. And these are important things. I'm not denying that - indeed, I wish more Christians would actually apply verse one of this Psalm.

But it isn't ENOUGH. We need to be meditating on the law of the LORD, day and night! Staying away from immorality is not enough, like Sodom did with Lot, it will draw us closer, bit by bit, until we are immersed in it, even if still repulsed by it.

No, we need to have God's word in our mind, contantly reminding us of His ways, so that we may not sin against God (I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you - psalm 119:11). That is what will keep us from being drawn into the counsel of the wicked.

The thing is, memorising Scripture is not easy. Especially if you want more than a verse here and there, but want passages, chapters, even whole books of the Bible to be in your heart.

It's something I'm working on. I don't have the level of passages memorised that I would like. Here are some ways that I use that help me.

1. Music
This is one of the easiest ways. Choose a passage and either find a song for it or make one up yourself. The main problem with this is that many Scripture songs are either very tacky or annoying (so you don't WANT to be meditating on them day and night) or they only have an isolated verse or two in them. Which if you want to be memorising passages is not great.
One group I like is Sons of Korah. They set entire psalms to music - pretty much word for word, usually NIV version - which is beautiful to listen to!

2. Write it out and Just Do It!
The other method I'm using sucessfully at the moment is to write out a passage on a piece of card and carry it around with me. Writing it out helps me to remember it a bit better. I then am able to look at it throughout the day. At the moment I spend two hours of my work day putting children to sleep - and this means I have time to bring out the card and read over it, slowly commiting it to memory. On one good day I memorised all of Psalm 1! Yay!

So, are you meditiating on the law of the LORD day and night? Do you even have enough Scripture memorised to be able to?

Monday, 14 September 2009

Just Finished!

This is a knitted plastic bag I've been working on. I finished it this morning. My fingers are just about blistered. Knitting with plastic is tricky.

Now I get to continue sewing my knitted cream and black lion! Pictures when I'm finished!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Single Women and the Picture of Christ and His Church

Like many (though far from all) conservative Christians, I believe that a Christian marriage should be a reflection of the relationship between Christ and His Church, and that this will mean that the wife will submit to the husband, and that the husband will lay down his life for his wife.

Except that at the moment, I'm not married, so it doesn't apply to me.

Or doesn't it?

The thing is, we're kinda without the Bridegroom at the moment. The church, that is. He's in Heaven, reigning there. And while we have Love Letters and His Spirit, the actualy physical presence isn't there.

And yet the church is called to be faithful to Him, to be His Spotless Bride, to remember her first love for Him, to follow Him even to the shedding of blood.

I'm not married - I'm not even courting anyone. But I can still be a picture of Christ and His Church. I can immerse myself in the cleansing power of the Word. I can keep myself spotless for my husband. I can work to prepare for the day when I will be married. I can model the patience the church has as we wait for our Bridegroom - and who is worth all the wait!

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Soap Balls - Christmas Gifts for Kids to Make

I'm one of those sickening people who likes to be ready for Christmas early. I used to do my Christmas shopping in the after Christmas sales. It was nice, because I could get the person to check that I was getting exactly what they wanted, and by Christmas time they would have forgotten.

Now that I am sick and working I'm much more disorganised. It's September, and I'm only beginning to get ready.

Here though is one of the easiest presents I know of. I made a type of these with the chickadees (my kinder students) and they LOVED it. Not only that, but it's SOAP. It's CLEAN! Wonderful!

All you need is some soap flakes, some oil, and some "additions". In the lot I just made I used lavender, along with some lavender oil and some olive oil. In the other version (made with the chickadees) we used cinnamon, poppy seeds and sesame seeds.

Mix the ingredients together. Add a small amount of water. Add less rather than more, because it's easy to add more as you go.

Squeeze the soap in your hands into small balls, and lay them out onto a tray or newspaper.

Beware! If they look nice someone will try to eat them! (One of my boys thought they looked like chocolate!)

Leave them to dry overnight. Then wrap them in little bags or cloth or tissue paper. And voila! Presents that almost everyone will love!