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.

Friday, 24 December 2010

What Are You Teaching?

Parents today wonder why their kids are so ungrateful. Could it be that all they know is indulging themselves? How many parents have taken their kids on a real missions trip? How many parents are indulging themselves and their kids are watching it all? How many parents are griping about their pretty cushy lives and ignoring the vast needs all around, all the while the kids are taking note?
From "We Didn't Get The Memo" at A Place Called Simplicity.

My parents complain a lot about the ungratefulness of my siblings. And truly, they are really not very grateful for anything that they have. But the thing is, the examples they have - from their friends, their teachers, even from my parents - do not teach them anything different.

Sucess is having lots of STUFF. The more STUFF the better. And lots of money. That is what matters. GET STUFF. GET STUFF. And if you don't have stuff it's because you've been hard done by.

Don't fall into this trap! Count your blessings, and count them aloud, in front of your family, so that they may hear them Be grateful yourself. Show gratitude, and others will too.

We have so much to be grateful for! Especially in the West, we have so much material prosperity, we have running water, electricity, medical care, food, the Word of God, and above all, if you are a Christian, you have eternal life and the Spirit of God!

How blessed we are!

Make sure you are teaching this, by your every word and action!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Goals for 2011

1. Go on an overseas mission trip, preferably to Uganda

2. Memorise 20 more psalms.

(I'm at 23 now, so I want to be at 43 by the end of next year!)

3. Read Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Bible.

4. Develop my prayer life

Specifically, I want to see LOTS of answers to prayers, and to become closer and closer to God. Praying continually would be great too!

5. To speak words of encouragement and not mean words, impure words, or gossip.

6. To be joyful always, in all circumstances.

7. To instruct and admonish children using Scripture and not the philosophy of men.

8. To consistently practice both the harp and the piano.

That's it!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Lessons From 2010

1. Patience
I've had to deal with two horrible housemates, incompetant team-leaders and bossy co-educaters who make things more difficult than they need to be. Even the children have stretched my patience. And all I got to say is, my husband better be thankful to God that he's getting me after this year and not at the beginning of it.

2. I don't have to do everything
I always thought that I did. Seriously. That I needed to work and go to church and read all the classics and keep up to date with the news and spend time socialising and... and... and. I don't. If I'm not benefiting spiritually from a book, if I'm really not enjoying it, then I DON'T HAVE TO FINISH IT. I don't have to spend heaps of time socialising if I'm not feeling well. I don't even have to work unpaid overtime to make my room extra beautiful just because it would be nice. And I definitely don't have to do all these things all at once!

3. Everything is from God's hand
Even things I really, really don't like. Like horrible housemates and... the point is, especially in not-great times, God is teaching me something. And I need to learn and not complain.

4. My money belongs to God
And He wants me to spend it on people other than myself - especially the poor and the orphan. Sure, it'd be nice if I had more money for "me-things", but I haven't missed the $ that much. The only bit I really miss is not seeing my Adoption Fund grow.

5. All life is valuable
Before I would have said that it was, but I didn't really believe it. I mean, we have limited resources, so the sensible thing to do would be to adopt the non-special needs orphans. You know, the ones who will be useful in God's kingdom. This is a LIE. Two orphans especially changed my heart on this - Julia and Selah. Julia is going to live a short life, but she will be doing so with a family. Selah lived only for 55 days, and it cost a fair bit to adopt her, which wasn't "necessary" because her family could have just fostered her. Her life and death has seen many lives changed, including that of her birth mother (who accepted Christ) and countless medical students. Not bad for a "useless" person. No one is useless in God's kingdom!

6. Be always ready to give an answer
So many people have questions, and they want answers. If you aren't prepared then they won't get their answers.

7. It's all about God
It's not about me. The world does not revolve around me. It just doesn't.

8. My job is to glorify God, and I don't get to choose how I will do it
Sure, I would like to be having babies right now, but that isn't what God has chosen for me. His ways are better than mine.

9. Trust
His ways ARE better than mine, even when I don't understand them. In fact, I often won't until later. His ways are still to best though.

10. Pray specifically
When I pray specifically, I see answers! God delights to answer prayer, especially when it is in a way that means that I and others around me know that it is all Him. To God alone be the glory!

Wow! What a year!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Memorial Box Monday

This is my first time paticipating in this!

Anyway, God has really been laying it on my heart this year to sponsor children. God's heart is for the poor, the widow, and the orphan, and often these catagories overlap.

I was sponsoring two children through a centre in Uganda. One of the children (Joash) I sponsored had three siblings. While Joash's parents were both still alive, they are pastors in a broke community, and so they are broke.

I thought about it, and decided that I would sponsor an additional child. I was going to ask for one of Joash's siblings. But God told me not to ask, but to trust Him to work out all the details.

So I did. And I was told I had a girl by the name of Ingrid, with a surname different to Joash's.

I was a bit disappointed, but this child obviously needed sponsoring too. But God had said He would work out all the details.

About 10 minutes after I had got told that my sponsor child was Ingrid, I got a follow up email.

Ingrid was the older sister of Joash! I forgot that African children don't have the same surnames if they are different genders (I think the girls get the Mum's surname and boys get the Dad's.)

God does indeed answer prayers, even when we think He won't or that He has forgotten. He is a faithful God!

Monday, 20 December 2010

Is Your Bible Sufficient?

Most Protestants would say that they believe the Bible. And while some of them will deny different aspects (the Genesis account, or the miracles of the Exodus, or even the miracles of Jesus), the majority of Protestants do in fact believe that the Bible is inerrant, or correct in every aspect.

But this isn't enough.

Because unless you believe that the Bible is SUFFICIENT, you won't build your life on it.

And most people don't believe that the Bible is sufficient. Not really.

How many times have you heard phrases like "God wants us to use our common sense" in regard to the number of children we have. Or in regards to giving to the poor. Or in regards to the education of children. Or in any of a host of other different issues.

We declare that the Bible doesn't speak on a certain issue, and that therefore God wants us to use our common sense in this area. When all along, the Bible speaks about the issue, either directly or principally, and we just don't want to do what it says.

That's the thing. If we don't believe - REALLY BELIEVE - that the Bible is sufficient then whenever we are faced with an issue of any kind we will want to use our human reason and not base our actions on the Word of God. And our human reason is FALLEN.

We use our common sense and limit the number of children we have to two or three. When God's Word says "Children are a heritage from the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is His reward."

We use our common sense and give only what we can "afford" to those who have nothing. When God's Word says "Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?""

We use our common sense and send our children to the free public schools, or to a private school if the public schools in our area are especially bad. When God's Word says "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

If you simply believe that the Word is inerrant, then you will use your "common sense", and frequently go against the commands and principles of Scripture. Because God doesn't use common sense. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. He has chosen the foolish things to put to shame the wise. He wants us to cast down every thought and imagination that exalts itself against Christ Jesus.

Believe in the sufficiency of the Bible. And search it, DAILY, to see what it says; for it speaks to EVERY area of life.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Whose Words Are You Speaking?

As a Christian, I believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and that it alone brings true change to individuals, communities and nations. Scripture is LIVING WORDS, unlike the words of the world.

So the question is, what kind of words do you speak? Whose words are you speaking?
Are you using the words of the world? Words that demonstrate that God is not sufficient, or words that are crass?

Perhaps you are using words that are basically your own. Slightly sanctified words that don’t mean much, that don’t say much, and that do not carry life in them.

One of my goals for the new year is to speak the Scriptures regularly, even (especially) when talking to the children at work. I don’t want to be just changing their behaviour (though for some it would be a good start) I want to be changing their SOULS.

What’s more, this will stand me in good stead for when I have my own children. There are no souls that I would rather have renewed into the image of God than those that are my (as yet unconceived) children. And these Words will no doubt minister to my own spirit too.

So, whose words are you speaking? In 2011, make sure that they are God’s.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Blessings, But

Whenever I bring up birth control, I witness a strange phenomenon. I call it “Blessings, But.” This is how Christians attempt to reconcile what the Bible seems to say about children with something else, something their hearts are telling them, something born of suffering and struggle, something they’ve seen in others, or experienced themselves, something that tells them that children are one blessing they’d actually rather not have, or at least not in the abundance that the “Quiverfull” camp would celebrate. It goes like this, first you agree with the important sentiment that children are indeed blessings, and then you add your “but,” your reason for not wanting to be blessed at this time, or blessed very much, or for having anyone talk too much about the blessing. “Children are blessings, but they aren’t a requirement.” “Children are blessings, but we don’t want any more. We love the two we’ve got, of course, but we’re done.” “Children are blessings, but I think God wants us to use common sense.” “Children are blessings, but we need time to establish our marriage first.” “Children are blessings, but my friend, Jane, had an emergency hysterectomy and can’t have any more. Are you implying that she’s somehow less godly than women with ten children?”

Do you know what is implicit in all this? It’s the idea that children actually aren’t such blessings after all. If we really thought they were blessings, most of these “buts” would sound kind of hollow. To illustrate what I mean, imagine applying these same arguments to another blessing, good health.

Read the rest here.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Top Books of 2010

Best Fiction
- Uncle Tom's Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe)
- The Ranger's Apprentice 10: The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (John Flanagan)
- Young Pioneers (Rose WIlder Lane)
- The Bronze Bow (Elizabeth George Speare)

Best Non-Fiction
- The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success (Rodney Stark)
- The Great Christian Revolution (Scott & Rushdoony)
- Talent is Overrated: What Really Seperates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else (Geoff Colvin)
- Outliers: The Story of Success (Malcolm Gladwell)

Best Bio
- Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope For Northern Uganda's Children (Faith J. H. McDonnell and Grace Akallo)
- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (William Kamkwamba)
- Another Man's War (Sam Childers)

Best Christian
- Dear Sister: Letters of Hope And Encouragement (Gisela Yohannan)
- Living In the Light of Eternity (K.P. Yohannan)
- Jesus: The Only Way to God: Must You Hear the Gospel to be Saved? (John Piper)
- Does Your Tongue Need Healing (Derek Prince)
- The Hospitality Commands (Alexander Strauch)
- Counterfeit Gods (Timothy Keller)
- The Reason for God (Timothy Keller)
- If (Amy Carmichael)
- Sacred Singleness (Leslie Ludy)
- Forgotten God: Reversing our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit (Francis Chan)
- The Beauty of Modesty: Cultivating Virtue in the Face of a Vulgar Culture (David and Diane Vaughan)
- Crazy Love (Francis Chan)

An Incomplete List of Books Read This Year

- Uncle Tom's Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe)
- Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope For Northern Uganda's Children (Faith J. H. McDonnell and Grace Akallo)
- Reaching Muslims For Christ (William Saal)
- Dear Sister: Letters of Hope And Encouragement (Gisela Yohannan)
- Light In the Shadow of Jihad (Ravi Zacharius)
- The Poor Will Be Glad: Joining the Revolution to Lift the World Out Of Poverty (Peter Greer & Phil Smith)
- Isobel Kuhn: On the Roof of the World (Janet & Geoff Benge)
- Living In the Light of Eternity (K.P. Yohannan)
- The Worship Driven Life (A.W. Tozer)
- The New Answers Book 3 (Ken Ham)
- Jonathan Goforth: An Open Door In China (Janet & Geoff Benge)
- Jesus: The Only Way to God: Must You Hear the Gospel to be Saved? (John Piper)
- Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus Volume Four (Michael L Brown)
- The Ranger's Apprentice 10: The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (John Flanagan)
- Does Your Tongue Need Healing (Derek Prince)
- The Perilous Gard (Elizabeth Marie Pope)
- Already Gone (Ken Ham & Britt Beemer)
- George Muller: The Guardian of Bristol's Orphans (Janet & Geoff Benge)
- Escape From Reason (Francis Schaeffer)
- Gladys Aylward: THe Adventure of A Lifetime (Janet & Geoff Benge)
- The Islamic Anti-Christ: The Shocking Truth About the True Nature of the Beast (Joel Richardson)
- Authentic Beauty (Leslie Ludy)
- The Mark of the Christian (Francis Schaeffer)
- School Education (Charlotte Mason)
- Parents and Children (Charlotte Mason)
- Lifelike Drawing in Colored Pencil (Lee Hammond)
- Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream(David Platt)
- Strengthen Yourself In The Lord (Bill Johnson)
- The Black Arrow (Robert Louis Stevenson)
- Draw Real People (Lee Hammond)
- Basic Documents in Medieval History (Norton Downs)
- Where the Red Fern Grows (Wilson Rawls)
- Alfred the Great: Asser's Life of King Alfred and Other Contemporary Sources
- The Pastor's Wife (Sabina Wurmbrand)
- The Cat of Bubastes (G.A. Henty)
- Possessing the Gates of the Enemy (Cindy Jacobs)
- So Much More (Anna-Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin)
- The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success (Rodney Stark)
- A Simple Path (Mother Teresa)
- Color (Betty Edwards)
- The Lion Atlas of Bible History (Paul Lawrence)
- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Adoption (Chris Adamec)
- Tramp for the Lord (Corrie ten Boom)
- The Innocence of Father Brown (GK Chesterton)
- Extravagant Worship (Darlene Zschech)
- Unwrapping the Pharohs: How Egyptian Archaeology Confirms the Biblical Timeline (John Ashton & David Down)
- Family Religion (Matthew Henry)
- The Hospitality Commands (Alexander Strauch)
- Mary Tudor: The Spanish Tudor (HFM Prescott)
- The Everlasting Man (GK Chesterton)
- Counterfeit Gods (Timothy Keller)
- Miracles (CS Lewis)
- The Fundamentals volume 2 (of 4) (R.A. Torrey)
- The Fundamentals volume 1 (of 4) (edited R.A. Torrey)
- The Fairy's Return (Gail Carson Levine)
- The Confessions of St Augustine (St Augustine)
- Pierced by the Word: Thirty-One Meditations for Your Soul (John Piper)
- The Great Christian Revolution (Scott & Rushdoony)
- Young Pioneers (Rose WIlder Lane)
- Outcast (Rosemary Sutcliff)
- The Mortification of Sin (John Owen)
- Magic House of Numbers (Irving Adler)
- Jennie (Paul Gallico)
- Your God is Too Small (J.B. Phillips)
- A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael (Elisabeth Elliot)
- The Secret Providence of God (John Calvin)
- Biblical Economics (RC Sproul Jr)
- The Reason for God (Timothy Keller)
- The Philosophy of the Christian Curriculum (RJ Rushdoony)
- Into the Mud (Christine Jeske)
- The Life of God in the Soul of Man (Henry Scougal)
- The Christ-Centred Church (A.W. Tozer)
- The Radical Disciple (John Stott)
- Charles Darwin: His Life and Impact (Various)
- The Art of Manfishing (Thomas Boston)
- Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers: Prayer For Ordinary Radicals (Shane Claiborne & Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove)
- If (Amy Carmichael)
- Will My Children Go To Heaven (Edward N Gross)
- One Million Arrows (Julie Ferwerda)
- Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: Volume Three (Michael L Brown)
- Scripture By Heart: Devotional Practices for Memorizing God's Word (Joshua Choonmin Kang)
- Sacred Singleness (Leslie Ludy)
- In The Name Of God, Amen (Daniel J Ford)
- Refuting Evolution 2 (Jonathan Sarfati)
- Talent is Overrated: What Really Seperates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else (Geoff Colvin)
- Forgotten God: Reversing our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit (Francis Chan)
- Writing With Precision: How to Write So That You Cannot Possibly Be Misunderstood (Jefferson D Bates)
- The Musician's Way: A Guide to Practice, Performance, and Wellness (Gerald Klickstein)
- The Jungle Book 1 (Ruyard Kipling)
- Outliers: The Story of Success (Malcolm Gladwell)
- A Hunger For God: Desiring God Through Prayer and Fasting (John Piper)
- With the Master On Our Knees (Susan J Heck)
- Crazy Love (Francis Chan)
- Dug Down Deep (Joshua Harris)
- The Pleasures of God (John Piper)
- The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life (Hannah Whitall Smith)
- The Cross of Christ (John Stott)
- Overseas Adoption in Australia: Report on the Inquite into Adoption of Children From Overseas (41st Parliment of the Commonwealth of Australia, Nov 2005)
- Kilmeny of the Orchard (LM Montgomery)
- Lady Susan / The Watsons / Sandition (Jane Austen)
- The Bible Lessons of John Quincy Adams For His Son (Introduction by Doug Phillips)
- The Future of Justification (John Piper)
- God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? (John C Lennox)
- The Bronze Bow (Elizabeth George Speare)
- Who Made God? Searching for a Theory of Everything (Edgar Andrews)
- Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend (Ravi Zacharias)
- The Little Boy Down the Road (Douglas W Phillips)
- Mr Midshipman Hornblower (CS Forester)
- Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are (Alex & Brett Harris)
- Holy Discontent (Billy Hybels)
- The Beauty of Modesty: Cultivating Virtue in the Face of a Vulgar Culture (David and Diane Vaughan)
- The Brain that Changes Itself (Norman Doidge)
- Frightful's Mountain (Jean Craighead George)
- Marriage to a Difficult Man: The Uncommon Union of Jonathan & Sarah Edwards (Elisabeth D. Dodds)
- My Family and Other Animals (Gerald Durrell)
- God's Prayer Book: The Power and Pleasure of Praying the Psalms (Ben Patterson)
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith)
- Spirit Controlled Living (Clark Cothern)
- Christ and His People In the Book of Isaiah (David Peterson)
- Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: Volume Two (Michael L Brown)
- A Shepherd Looks at The Good Shepherd (Phillip Keller)
- The Power of Words and the Wonder of God (John Piper and Justin Taylor)
- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (William Kamkwamba)
- Adopted for Life (Russell D Moore)
- The Holiness of God (RC Sproul)
- God's Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save America (Hanna Rosin)
- With Christ in the School of Prayer (Andrew Murray)
- The Golden Goblet (Eloise Jarvis McGraw)
- What's the Difference: Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible (John Piper)
- Hell's Best-Kept Secret (Ray Comfort)
- Another Man's War (Sam Childers)
- The Essential Adoption Handbook. (Colleen Alexander-Roberts)
- My Friend Flicka (Mary O'Hara)

Monday, 6 December 2010

Animals Are Almost Human

Except they're not.

And it makes me really sad to see so many people - including Christians - who are willing to ignore human suffering but will go all out to protect animals.

Now, I'm not advocating that we torture animals, or neglect them, or anything like that. Animals feel pain. Proverbs 12:10 talks about how a righteous man cares for his oxen.

But animals are not human, and they do not have eternal spirits. People do. And in many places, humans are treated far, far worse than animals.

I found it horrifying that the "Click to give" site used to have the "I like this" section to click. Not that they had it, but that so many more "liked" the animal shelters and the rainforest than liked giving children vitamins or the hungry food.

Do something. Make a small difference somehow. But more than that, begin in prayer and repentance that we have not loved our neighbour as ourselves.

Thursday, 2 December 2010


“...as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.” (From 2 Thessalonians 1:5)

Christ rarely calls us to an easy path. We rarely go through life without trials, without difficulties, or without persecutions for our faith. Yet it is these things that show us worthy for heaven.

Why? Because when we refuse to give up God in the midst of trial we show Him as our supreme desire. When we are patient and joyful in the midst of suffering we demonstrate that God is our comfort, and that He is more than sufficient.

I seem to bounce from one trial to another. I’m sick (again) with another potentially serious undiagnosed problem that’s clearly recurring. I’m having to fix problems other people have made at work. I still have family and friends who like making fun of me for my faith. And yet it is in these times that I have the biggest opportunity to show God as worthy.

LORD, help me to make the most of these opportunities, that Your name may be glorified in my life!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Psalm 130

A song of ascents.
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD;
2 Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.

3 If you, LORD, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

5 I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.

6 I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.

7 Israel, put your hope in the LORD,
for with the LORD is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.

Nowdays, there aren't that many watchmen. Not many of us wait for the morning with such eager anticipation. I remember doing so a bit when I was younger and sick all the time, because the morning meant that I could get up and read and so have something to distract me from being so sick. But the thing is, I haven't had to eagerly, desperately wait for the morning in a long time. Not the way that the watchmen of Biblical times had to.

So, why were they so anxious for the morning? Night meant danger. It was a time when you couldn't see any enemy that might come and attack you. Morning meant safety. You could see what was headed your way, and you could prepare and be ready.

There are people who watch for the mornings with that kind of intensity - lots of them. One of the most horrifing examples is the "night commuters" from Uganda who every night walk from the internally displaced person camps their families are housed in to a larger town, where they sleep pretty much anywhere they can get shelter. Then they head back to their camps, sometimes going to school during the day.

How desperately they must wait for the morning, especially during winter!

That's how desperately we need to be waiting on the LORD.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Getting My Boots Dirty

We recently had our half night of prayer. So some of us were setting up, and it was raining.

William immediately put the boys to work carrying the heavies in the rain. It had been raining for a while, and some of the ground was muddy.

It took about 2 minutes before several of us girls started to feel like slackers, so we went over to help.

So the boys started passing over some of the lighter stuff so that we didn't get our shoes too wrecked or slip in the mud. But some of the girls wouldn't get close enough for the boys to actually hand them anything.

I thought that was a bit ridiculous, so I stomped through the mud to get the different things that needed to be carried. The second I did so, several of the girls and a few of the boys were horrified: "You'll wreck your boots!"

"So?" I pointed out that they were cheap, and had lasted me for three years already, so it didn't really matter that much. I would rather help.

The next day I was wondering about why I was so annoyed about it - about people wanting to stop me because they wanted to keep my shoes nice. I mean sure, priorities people, but that didn't explain why I was so annoyed.

It's because their attitude was that you get to choose where you are going to help.

And that's an attitude I work really hard to get rid of in my own life and in the lives of the children I teach.

If you are helping, you are doing what is necessary. And sometimes, the thing that is necessary is something you really don't want to do. But you do it anyway, because it's what is needed.

Especially in our service to God we need to be really wary of this view. We do NOT get to choose what we are going to do. God commands, and we need to obey. Even small examples of us "choosing" when choosing really means disobeying make it more acceptable in our eyes to choose where we will be obedient. That's DISOBEDIENCE! And it's not acceptable in God's eyes.

Sure, this was such a tiny thing that it really didn't matter in the scheme of things, and the others were saying it to be nice etc, but even small cases of givign in to our flesh lead to bigger and bigger examples of weakness, disobedience, and sin.

(Oh, and incidentally, my boots were just fine.)

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Thought's From My Quiet Time

“...as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.” (From 2 Thessalonians 1:5)

Christ rarely calls us to an easy path. We rarely go through life without trials, without difficulties, or without persecutions for our faith. Yet it is these things that show us worthy for heaven.

Why? Because when we refuse to give up God in the midst of trial we show Him as our supreme desire. When we are patient and joyful in the midst of suffering we demonstrate that God is our comfort, and that He is more than sufficient.

I seem to bounce from one trial to another. I’m sick (again) with another potentially serious undiagnosed problem that’s clearly recurring. I’m having to fix problems other people have made at work. I still have family and friends who like making fun of me for my faith. And yet it is in these times that I have the biggest opportunity to show God as worthy.

LORD, help me to make the most of these opportunities, that Your name may be glorified in my life!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Shopping With A Purpose

Shop for Christmas!

Click here.

Feed The Hungry

Our Feed the Hungry Director from Germany, Jean-Pierre Rummens, was also present on the day and shared many stories of his adventures with FTH. Jean-Pierre shared a particularly moving story of little Joe. An orphaned baby, left for dead, little Joe was discovered by the team near the border of Ethiopia.

At three months old, he was very sick and malnourished; his skin, so dry it was like sandpaper. Everyone had given up on him, including his guardian and his doctor, but the team believed for a miracle and travelled several hours to the Ugandan border to buy medicine and baby milk formula. Within a week the baby was out of danger and was expected to live.

"The most amazing thing was that, all that effort - a trip to buy milk and medicine, travelling to the hospital, buying food for the guardian cost only $20! The baby almost didn't make it for just $20! I've never forgotten that story - and the lesson that so little can make such a big difference." remembers Jean-Pierre Rummens.

Feed the Hungry.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Already Gone

However, to try to restore relevancy to Scripture, what do we usually do these days? We add guitars and drums to the service. We think that the Church needs to follow the culture in order to be relevant. But cultural forms do not make you relevant, they just make you cool. Truth makes you relevant.

Pg 110 of Already Gone by Ken Han & Britt Beemer

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The Mark of the Christian

The Christian really has a double task. He has to practice both God’s holiness and God’s love... Not his holiness without his love: that is only harshness. Not his love without his holiness: that is only compromise. Anything that an individual Christian or Christian group does that fails to show the simultaneous balance of the holiness of God and the love of God presents to a watching world not a demonstration of the God who exists but a caricature of the God who exists.

The Mark of the Christian by Francis A Schaeffer, pg 36.

Spiritual Gifts

Have you ever done one of those dorky spiritual gift quizzes? I remember doing one. The main thing I remember was that I insisted on marking some of the questions as negative and as a result got negative 2270 for the spiritual gift of celibacy.
All dorkiness aside, the fact of the matter is that “spiritual gifts quizzes” and the like encourage us to be LAZY CHRISTIANS.

My friend Stephen, after reading a few posts here, decided that I have the spiritual gift of evangelism. I’m personally going to guess no. I am not especially gifted in that area. I find talking about God difficult at times (as in, a lot of the time!). I’m not gifted. But I strive to be obedient.

And that’s the thing. We use our lack of “spiritual gifting” in an area to claim that we are not meant to do anything for it. If I got a dollar for every time I heard a Christian say “I’m just not called to do that” or “That’s not my gifting” I’d be able to contribute the entire costs of an international adoption to a few families. Which is extremely worrying.

We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to do God’s work, and that includes a whole lot of things that we are not gifted to do, naturally or spiritually. But God gives us the grace as the time comes. Not before, but during. And the result is that He is glorified.

Our only calling is to Him. Our only gift is Him. And to Him alone we must be obedient.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Thought's From My Quiet Time

"...while the remaining nine were to stay in their own towns..." (From Nehemiah 11:1)

Cities cannot provide for themselves. Even in Biblical times, and more recent times when everyone had animals and fruit trees, the fact of the matter is that food is shipped in from the country to feed those in the city.

We tend to see only the people up front, and not those supporting from behind the scenes. Yet they are 9 out of the 10.

Am I willing to be one of the faceless, nameless nine, who is willing to sacrifice for and support those up front, in th elimelight - even if no one else (aside from God) credits me for it?

I pray so.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

The Problem Is Not Numbers

There is enough food to feed everyone on the planet. But the food is not distributed well (due to lots of reasons). When these are sorted out, then people can start complaining about over-population to me.

Do something about it - sponsor a child or at least click to give.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Ministry and Marriage

I've heard a lot of people making comments aboiut how we should all delay marraige because marriage "gets in the way of ministry". I've always found those comments to be annoying and inaccurate. If your marriage is getting in the way of your ministry, then something is wrong (and in almost certainly isn't your marriage!)

But I was thinking a bit more about this recently, because it's an opinion that is effecting me at the moment. (Boy I like has expressed it - not to me, to a mutual friend.) And while the friend corrected him with many of the more common points (marriage is biblical, marriage won't necessarily get in the way of ministry, marriage can help ministry, etc) I've been thinking a bit about it.

You see, HE'S RIGHT.

Get married anyway. :P

Seriously though; marriage is a picture of the relationship between Christ and His church. And there are LOTS of times where Jesus could achieve far more WITHOUT the church. But He uses the church anyway, because she's His bride, and He loves her.

There will be times when even the most organised, well-balanced, Godly men need to choose between ministry and marriage. Circumstances are beyond their control. And Biblically speaking, they need to choose their marriage. And sometime, that means that their "ministry" will suffer.

But not their service to God.

Because to the world they will be representing the Lord Jesus, and His perfect, self-sacrificial love for His bride.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Lara's Servant Heart

So, I was at work and putting out all of the beds and getting ready for lunch. It's a tight schedule, one that easily can delay lunch, and then we have 20 hungry, tired, GRUMPY todlers on our hands.

We also had Hey-De-Ho (a visiting music program).

And Lara wanted to stay inside to "help".

The thing is, Lara loves Hey-De-Ho. She's a fanatic. She'll go around singing the songs all day. But she wouldn't go out onto the verranda to join in. Because she wanted to help.

Lara has the heart of a servant. It's amazing how many two-year-olds do. There's nothing they like ore than helping. And we like to send them away, and not let them, when really, these children are our spiritul betters in many ways, because they want to help.

"And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3)

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

A Servant's Heart

I've written before about how I find it quite difficult to develop the heart and attitude of a servant, to really look about me and do things that need doing even when I haven't been asked. Well, I am working on it.

For me, a really big thing has been to see some of my work collegues as instruments in God's hands, even when they are non-Christian. I try to see the most annoying, lazy, and incompetant people (and especially if they are all three) as especially sent by God to fashion my character. (Which, of course, they are. And Ale, if you're reading, this is definitely NOT YOU!)

So today, while some people were being lazy and not cleaning (and not really patting the children off to sleep either) I cleaned the bathroom. And as I did I thanked God for giving me this opportunity to develop a servant's heart. And thanking Him for this opportunity really made it so much better. He gave me joy as I thanked Him for it.

So thank God when you have a hard task ahead of you, and while the task may still be less than appealing, God, who is always faithful, will give you joy as you do it!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Muslims and Dominion (Part 2)

Here's some more thoughts on Muslims and dominion. It's interesting that Islam is the fastest growing religion worldwide. What is most interesting is that a significant part of this growth is not "conversion" but birth. Christianity grows because of conversion, and the fact is that many people classed as Muslim are either non-believers or secret believers of another religion, often Christianity.

The thing is, Muslims get dominion. They do. They want kids, they have kids, they by-and-large train them up in the faith.

Christians, not so much.

The average Christian family (especially in the West) has about the same amount of children as the average secular family. In the West, that's usually 2. But because we send our kids off to public schools (or really bad Christian schools, which is usually worse) about 3/4 of children of Christians "fall away" from the faith. Which is more than slightly scary. I mean, that's a lot of people "leaving" Christianity. And while I would argue that they never really got it to begin with, the fact that we are not communicating the glory of God to our children is a worry.

It's a bit rambly, but those are my thoughts. Let's all do that first bit of taking dominion - being fruitful and multiplying - and let's train up those God has given us in the way that they should go, so that when they are old they will not depart from it.

Let us not leave dominion to those who do not have the truth, but let us exercise it ourselves!

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Muslims and Dominion (Part 1)

We had a missions event at our church yesterday. I was kind of surprised that so few people went - our church is supposed to be a church-planting church. But I went, and Kal went, and Stephen, and a few other friends.

The speaker told us how one of the most effective methods of evangalism in the Middle East is "life-style evangalism", because a lot of Muslims have a very incorrect view of Christianity - they think everyone in Hollywood is Christian. I've written about this before when I was evangalising to Maryam. Here's an excert:

Because she thought that all Westerners were Christians, and most Westerns are basically self-centred and rather decedent, she thought that Christianity was a religion that encouraged that. When she moved to Australia from Iran she continued to think that most Westerners were Christian, but that because they never went to church or prayed it was a religion that even they didn’t believe in, and was one that gave them a licence to live generally immoral lives.

Recently Maryam told me how working with me has changed her view of that. She said how it was very good that I was a Christian, because my religion made me a good person. She realised that a Christian is someone who actually tries to live differently from the world, and when she saw this she was very impressed.

Afterwards I was talking to a recently married friend. She was saying how she wasn't sure she wanted children soon because it's the last days and it's going to be awful for pregnant women and nursing mothers in the last days. So I gave her an earful.

By choosing not to have children because she's scared she is essentially being disobedient to scripture (even if you don't believe the Bible forbids birth control). She is failing to trust God because she's scared. She is also eliminating the prescribed main method of evangalism set out in scripture. (Teaching your children and others in a household family context.) What's more, this method has been shown throughout history as being highly effective in the long run, and was being talked about in that very meeting as being the most effective way of reaching out to Muslims in the Middle East.

And she won't because she's scared.

Makes me cross, it really does. Because if God has commanded it, we need to do it. We shouldn't be running because it looks hard, or scarey, or impossible. We serve a God who delights to do the impossible because it shows Himself as mighty!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6.

Friday, 24 September 2010

A Servant's Heart

Kim C from Life In a Shoe wrote this in response to the question of what she wished she had worked harder at in her single years:
"There are many areas in which I fall short, but one in particular comes to mind: I think I was (and am) weak on the idea of service. My mom modeled a servant's heart - I don't want to impugn her example - but I was slow to pick up on the lesson, and I still have a hard time seeing the needs around me. I do my job - my own job, and expect the same of others.

If others help me, I am grateful but oh-so-slow to return the favor because I haven't learned yet to see the opportunities around me. It's not that I don't want to help, but I simply don't think to offer and can't think of what to offer."

Now, that's me. I'm usually willing to help - one year, for our church's holiday program I was roped into making crafts, editing scripts, acting with puppets, being the MC and being involved in the "after" event. And I was working and extremely sick at the time. So I'm willing to help... if I'm asked. But I don't go out of my way to find things that need doing.

It's something I need to work on - being ready to see a need and then move to meet it. The seeing has to come first, and that means taking my eyes off of myself and allowing them to see Jesus, and to see these little things as an opportunity to serve Him.

Please pray that I develope a servant's heart, and a servant's eyes!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Not Getting the Memo

"The inheritance of the Simeonites was taken from the share of Judah, because Judah's portion was more than they needed." (From Joshua 19:9)

The tribe of Judah had more than what they needed. As such, some of what their brothers would receive came from 'their' portion.

We need to take this as a model and be willing to pass on much of what we have to make the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ a little better, regardless of where they live. We need to be willing to give up many luxuries in order that others may have necessities such as food, clean water, medicine, and the Word of God. It is easy to claim that what we have is 'ours', that we 'earnt' it, so we can do what we like with it. But the truth is that it is all a gift from God anyway, and we need to do with all we have whatever He wants us to.

I have read several times this post at A Place Called Simplicity. It inspires me every time I read it. Here are a few passages...

Dw and I didn’t get the memo. You know what memo I mean?

The one that has been circulating for quite a few years now, throughout Christianity in the western world: that our lives are our own and our "reward" for accepting Christ is a life of pleasure. The one that says that we can pretty much do what we want as long as we “do” the Christian thing on Sundays and maybe attend a small group during the week. The one that says we can ignore the needs all around us. The one that says it really is all about making ourselves and the Christians around us very comfortable.


In fact here’s a little test: if you and/or your family are spending more money on pleasure than you are giving, then things are out of whack! Giving does not mean your tithe. Your tithe is a no-brainer - that’s 10%. Giving means ABOVE your tithe. And if each year your total of travel, manicures, pedicures, fashion, shoes, massages, facials, sporting events, purses, straightening hair, relaxing hair, perms, hair extensions, follicle implants, color treatments, fancy restaurants, hunting, fishing, golfing, boating, camping, skiing, rock climbing, fancy cars, is more than what you give above your 10%, then time to do some serious re-evaluation!

Today many of us live incredibly selfish lives. I shudder at how little some "good" Christians who earn a lot more than me give. I really do. And how they complain how they don't have any money... right before they go and play on their iphone.

We are supposed to be SET APART FROM THE WORLD. We are NOT supposed to look exactly like the world. And I'm really horrified at how so many Christians really seem to think that by doing a small thing they have covered their giving. That by sponsoring a child and giving to the Salvation Army they have become Saints. Ha! My anti-Christian Mum does that!

To whom much has been given, much is required. (Luke 12:48 - KJV) And if you're reading this, believe me, you have much. You have the internet, for goodness sake - and therefore electricity, and probably clean running water, plenty of food, shelter and clothing too. We have been given in ABUNDANCE. Don't cry poor when you spend more on chewing gum than most people earn!

There are so many ways we can make a difference. And yet we don't. Because we put ourselves first. We care about our own pleasures. We pray for ourselves (and maybe our family and friends) and wonder why our selfish prayers remain unanswered.

"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God." James 4:1-4.

Recently I've had a lot more prayers answered. And you know what. None of those prayers were for me. Most of them weren't even for people I know in real life. They were for different orphans who are in need of Forever Families, or who are in the process of being brought home by their Forever Families.

As I spend less (of my time and my money) on myself, I find that there is more there. More is done, more of a differnce is made. All because I made a few minor changes, like giving away a small portion of my income, or donating towards an international adoption, or praying for those I have never met.

Let us be lovers of God rather than lovers of pleasure. Let us be people who help our neighbour - even if we don't know them, or if they are "different" from us. Let us be those whose good deeds shine before the world so that they praise our Heavenly Father.

Let us be followers of Christ, and not of the World.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

On Dominion

"Clear it, and its furthest limits will be yours..." (from Joshua 17:18)

The Christian life is one where we need to take dominion. We need to set to work by the power of the Holy Spirit, and to gain great things for Christ.

yet just as the people of Joseph complained, we complain. We want to enjoy the fruits of dominion taken by others, but we don't want to make the sacrifices necessary to gain dominion for ourselves or our descendants.

The truth is, we can do it! We can make a difference; we can begin to transform the world for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ! We can take dominion of every sphere of life, and have it submit to the authority of Christ.

But we have to be willing to do the work. We have to be willing to spend time in prayuer, in meditation on the Word, in memorising. And most of all, we need to be willing to put things into practice - to actually go out there and take dominion of all that Christ has given us.

Friday, 17 September 2010

On Charity

I find it really surprising about the church in general and several Christians I've met in particular. Because, generally speaking, we don't want to give. And I've heard lots of excuses as to why.

I think the one I've heard most often, and makes me most angry, is the "we can't be sure that the money is really going to those who need it". I've even heard that statement from leaders in my church and the Christian community!

Firstly, many, MANY charities tell you exactly where they spend all their money. And the regulations to be "tax-deductable" in Australia are pretty stringent - you don't get away with much there.

So the excuse itself is pretty much defunct. But wait, there's more!

We are commanded to GIVE. While we certainly are supposed to be giving to those we know will use that money wisely, we are commanded to give regardless. At the end of the day, we are not responsible if the money is not spent wisely. We need to do what God has commanded us to do, and He will take care of the details.

When I've mentioned these two points (not as sweetly as I should) I tend to get the response of, "yeah, sure" followed by doing just about nothing, or the interesting comment of "I'd rather give to a big organisation because I'd be surer that they were using my moeny wisely." Said person then continued to not give to any organisation, big or small.

Now, I don't have anything against big organisations. They are able to coordinate some really awesome life-changing projects. But in all honesty, a scam artist is far more likely to choose a big agency over a small one. More money, people are less involved in your area, so longer to cover your tracks.

That's enough of me being on my soap-box for now. Get out there are use your money to change the world!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

On Joshua 17:1-13

The Israelites were not able to drive out the Canaanites from their midst. Later, they weere more able, but instead they subjected them to hard labour. Instead of killing their Canaanites, they allowed them to live, and in the long run, they paid the price, for the Canaanites were a trap and a snare to the Israelites.

How like us! When we have sinful behaviours (and we all do!) we are commanded to crucify them, to put them to death. But, usually, we don't. We allow them to live, putting them 'to work'. We make our pride serve to override our sloth. We use our anger to get out of feeling lust. We use one sin to do the work of suppressing another, usually a lesser one. The result is that the 'bigger' sin grows, while the 'lesser' sin remains alive and in hiding. And both end up being a trap and a snare to us, thorns in our eyes that stop us from growing spiritually or full serving God.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Joshua 15:63

Judah could not dislodge the Jebusites, who were living in Jerusalem; to this day the Jebusites live there with the people of Judah.
Joshua 15:63

The tribe of Judah was not yet able to remove the Jebusites from their midst. At times it must have been discouraging for the people of Judah to see all of these immoral Caananites in a strong, fortified position of power.

But the thing is, the Jebusites WERE conquered, and by the second most famous man from the tribe of Judah - King David! (Jesus is number 1!) This city would eventually become the Holy City of Jerusalem.

Often it feels like we are not having sucess, or that when we are the steps are so small that we will never get there. And the thing is, sometimes, we aren't meant to. Sometimes, what we leave is for our children to do, just as David left the building of the Temple to his son, Solomon.

This is not an excuse for us not to do our job! We must still work with all our might to do all that the LORD has commanded of us. But it does mean that we don't have to worry. For God's plans and promises always come about, and in His perfect timing.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

On Doing Things

There is always the danger that we may just do the work for the sake of the work. This is where the respect and the love and the devotion come in - that we do it to God, to Christ, and that's why we try to do it as beautifully as possible.
Mother Teresa

This is something I struggle with. I'm a get-things-done kinda gal. For example, once when I was home with gastro, I greeted Kallie (my housemate) at the end of the day with this statement: "I've read two books, watched three movies, and vomitted seven times!"


I like to get things done. I like it when something is achieved, when a goal is reached. I like to feel like progress is made.

And I have been known to put goals before relationships. I get more than slightly impatient with slow, annoying people who just can't get the things they are supposed to get done done. Don't they know I'm busy?

This is, of course the WRONG ATTITUDE. And while I do have (lots) of things to do, things that are important and that make a difference in the world and that other people are relying on me to do, the fact of the matter is that they are not the most important thing.

Jesus is.

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."
John 15:4-8.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Thoughts From My Quiet Time - Taking the Land

So on that day Moses swore to me, "The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly." (Joshua 14:9)

Caleb claimed the land that he had walked on, and it was given to him. But it was also given to his children and to those who would come after him.

When we take ground for Christ, it is not just us who have it. It goes to our descendants too, unless they are unwilling to fight to defend it.

For example, when we take ground in the area of adoption, these children often turn around and adopt themselves (or let their parents know that they have a sibling still waiting). Or they raise money for orphans in need. Their biological brothers and sisters are moved to make a difference in the adopted child's homeland or another land with many orphans. The land we claim will often be built on by our descendants.

LORD, help me to raise up many spiritual and physical descendants who will claim all the land that You will give them; that will fight for the crown rights of Jesus. In His mighty name, Amen!

Friday, 3 September 2010


For those of you who are interested (as in, you have access to girls who love dolls who need presents - and if you don't have any little girls who you could give these beautiful dolls blankets to, then you really should get out more. Make friends. Friends with little girls who should really have some beautiful dolls blankets), two of Karin's daughters are making dolls blankets and pillows to help fund heart surgery for baby Boy. The blanket sets are $11, but as each set is triple matched by husband Jeff's employer, each set MAKES $44. Which is pretty awesome. They are aiming to raise $5000.

There is also a competition, so you can even get one for FREE. Just by raising the word.

It's really encouraging to see what two small girls can do to help others! Hop on over and place an order!

Monday, 30 August 2010

Psalm 13

Most of us know that as Christians we need to have the Word of God in our heart. The thing is, memorising the Bible is HARD. Especially if you want to memorise more than a verse or two here or there. A chapter? Not easy.

One of the easiest ways to remember portions of scripture is to set them to music. There are lots of different versions of psalms available on the internet, on CDs, etc. Sometimes they're great, sometimes they're highly edited and abridged. Often it's hard to get a whole section all in the one song.

I was kind of annoyed at that, so I decided to just make up a song or two as I worked on memorising psalms. Here is Psalm 13. I did the music for this in December last year.

Psalm 13 For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

I Don't Like Waiting

It's kind of funny. Most people who want to adopt don't because they can't afford the adoption fees (sometimes referred to as the "ransome"), and most people aren't willing to get a loan of that size for a child. (A car yes, a house yes, but a child - no. Don't get me started on that one.)

Ironically, I'm not in that position. I'm in the reverse.

I have my own personal savings, which while they wouldn't cover a whole adoption, would certainly be enough to get the ball rolling, and by the time it was all done, I would almost certainly have paid it off.

The thing is, I'd never pass a home study. Not at the moment.

I'm single (which isn't actually impossible, but does make things harder), working part time as a child care worker (not with the big bucks), with no home of my own who shares a house (with the awesome Kallie, but still), and who moves every year or so. I have an extended family who don't like adoption. My health is not good, and I'm already excluded from a few countries because of past health histories.

It's hard waiting. It's harder waiting when it probably isn't going to change. I'm not going to work full time (because then my health would be shattered), I'm not planning on changing jobs, and I'm not likely to be moving out of the singles market any time soon.

Still, it is the position God has placed me in. And I've been able to do a lot of good where I am now. I've shared the gospel with a few people; I've been able to sponsor more children than the average husband would give the okay for. I've been able to donate small amounts to other people's adoptions, allowing them to bring home their children.

So while He has work for me here, I will do it, and one day I will know about all the children I helped have a family - even if none of those children are mine.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

From The Everlasting Man

Those who charged the Christians with burning down Rome with firebrands were slanderers; but they were at least far nearer to the nature of Christianity than those among the moderns who tell us that the Christians were a sort of ethical society, being martyred in a languid fashion for telling men that they had a duty to their neighbours, and only mildly disliked because they were meek and mild.
From pg 172 of The Everlasting Man by GK Chesterton

Friday, 13 August 2010

Thoughts From my Quiet Time

"He did this so that all the peoples of the eath might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful..." Joshua 4:24a. Passage Joshua 2:15-24.

The memorials we make influence not only those we bring up but everyone around us. When people see Scripture verses on our walls and feel love in our homes, they can put two and two together. They know that the difference is that of being connected to the vine, the Lord Jesus Christ. But if we do not have Scriptures on our walls (or other signs) they will not know what to be looking at, or for. If the atmosphere is not one of joy, love, and peace, then the memorials become little more than signs of hypocracy. And if we do not show hospitality to those around us then they will not get to see that we are different. All three need to come together to make a powerful statement about our God.

There is much that I need to change, both in my decor and in my heart.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Quote for the Day

A few weeks ago my wife came to me and said that she thought we should sponsor another child through Compassion International. You see we already sponsor one child- she thought we should add another. I looked up at her and told her that we should probably pray about it. Then I realized how stupid that statement was. "Pray about it? We should PRAY about it?!?!" Did I pray before I ran out and bought the new iPhone last week? Should I really have to pray about doing God's will? God WILL NOT be upset if we are following Him, and I do believe that sponsoring another child is giving glory to our Father in a tangible way. I didn't hesitate to run out the first chance I had and buy that iPhone. Why in the world did I hesitate to bring glory to God?
From this post. Read the whole post.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

I Think

Each one of us is the church. We need to look at where we personally are falling short, and we need to ask for God's forgiveness in this area and then resolve to do better with the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not other people's problems. It is our own.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Prisoner Alert

From Voice of the Martyrs' Prisioner Alert:

On March 9, a criminal court in Uzbekistan sentenced 27-year-old Tohar Haydarov to 10 years in prison for the “Illegal sale of narcotic or psychotropic substances in large quantities,” according to Forum 18 News Service. Members of the Baptist church in Uzbekistan insist that the charges are fabricated and that Haydarov’s sentence was punishment for his religious activity. It is unclear why Haydarov received a 10-year sentence. According to Forum 18 News, Baptists insist that police planted drugs on Haydarov, and church members insist that he is “a man with a pure conscience and an honest Christian.” Haydarov has appealed his sentence. Another Christian, Pastor Dmitry Shestakov, is serving a four-year sentence in an Uzbek prison for “illegal” religious activities.

Asia Bibi, a 37-year-old Pakistani woman from the village of Ittanwali, was arrested by police on Friday, June 19, and faces possible blasphemy charges. Asia is the wife of 50-year-old Ashiq Masih, and their family is one of only three Christian families in a village of more than 1,500 families.

Many of the local women work on the farm of Muslim landowner Muhammad Idrees, including Asia. During their work many of the Muslim women have pressured Asia to renounce Christianity and accept Islam. In June, the pressure became especially strong.

On Friday, June 19, there was an intense discussion among the women about their faith, with the Muslim women telling Asia about Islam. Asia responded by telling them about her faith in Christ. Asia told the Muslim women Christ had died on the cross for our sins, then asked them what Mohammed had done for them, according to VOM sources. She told them Jesus is alive, but Mohammed is dead. “Our Christ is the true prophet of God,” she reportedly told them, “and yours is not true.”

Upon hearing this response the Muslim women became angry and began to beat Asia Bibi. Then some men came and took her and locked her in a room. They announced from mosque loudspeakers that she would be punished by having her face blackened and being paraded through the village on a donkey. Local Christians informed the police, who took Asia into custody before the Muslims could carry out their plan. She is currently being held at the police station in Nankana city. Christians there urged the police not to file blasphemy charges, but police claimed that they must go forward due to pressure from local Muslim leaders.

On June 10, a Chinese court sentenced Christian bookstore owner, Shi Weihan,38, to three years in prison for “illegal business operations,” and imposed a US$21,975 fine, according to China Aid Association.
Shi Weihan operated a legal bookstore and only sold books with the government’s approval. His Holy Spirit Trading Company printed Bibles and Christian literature and distributed then freely to local house churches.
Weihan was arrested in November 2007 for printing and distributing Bibles and other Christian literature. He was released in January 2008 due to insufficient evidence, but was arrested again in March and held indefinitely. China Aid reported his sentence will run from November 2007 to November 2010. Believers hope that Weihan could appeal his sentence because of medical reasons. While in prison his diabetic condition worsened.

I encourage everyone reading these to write a letter either to the prisioners or to the government officials of the country, and to above all, pray for those persecuted.

Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Hebrews 13:3

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Knowledge and Relationship

It's bound to be an interesting discussion. Get a group of Protestants around a table and ask them, "Are Catholics saved?"

My opinion is, "Some of them."

Less than Protestants, but then, not all Protestants are saved. After all, Jesus said that there would be many who would call Him Lord, but would not know Him.

So why are some Catholics saved?

The thing is, we are justified by faith in Christ, and the assurance of that is a growing relationship with God through Christ.

And relationships thrive on accurate knowledge.

Now, no human knows everything about any other human. And there are degrees of knowledge. Take me and my friend Kallie. We are good friends, and I know a lot about her. But there are somethings I don't know about her, and undobtedly some things I "know" about her that are just plain wrong. But most of these things are things that don't effect our relationship, like the name of her primary school, etc.

Our relationship would, however, be effected if I didn't know her name, or if I consistently got her name wrong.

Catholics are like that. They have a lot of wrong kowledge - less so than in the past, for the Catholic position is not what it once was. And this can really hinder them from building a relationship with God. For the classic example, Catholics have an emphasis on works that is not in the Protestant theology. They believe, to varying degrees, that you can "earn" a little tiny bit of salvation for yourself. Not all of it. But a little, tiny bit. And that wrong theology keeps them from as effectively relating to God as a loving Father who wants to give them all things. It's quite important knowledge, especially when you're getting it wrong, but it is possible to build a relationship with that wrong attitude.

But what about other "groups". Take the Jehovah's Witnesses. They don't believe in the deity of Christ. And that is pretty hard to get past. It's like they consistently and insist on getting their friend's name wrong, and not only wrong, but giving them an insulting name into the bargin. It's pretty darn near impossible to build a relationship like that.

Knowledge about God is sometimes denigrated in Protestant Christian circles, especially those that are not "Reformed". I've been told that I have "too much head knowledge." That's silly. You can never have too much head knowledge about God. You can however, fail to translate that head knowledge into heart knowlede. But it isn't the head knowledge that is the problem. Indeed, it's hard to have any knid of heart knowledge without true and accurate head knowledge.

So let's build up our knowledge of Christ, of His Word and His love for us. Let's search the Scriptures for His voice, that we may love Him more each day.

Monday, 2 August 2010


Coincidence? I Think Not

I just want to record this:

I recently decided to sponsor an additional child (And if you want to sponsor a child, ask me where this is! 100% of sponsor money is spent on the child! That's very rare in any organisation!) I thought about what type of child I wanted to sponsor. I thought about asking if I could sponsor one of Joash's (one of my sponsor children - the only boy!) siblings. After prayer, I thought that I should leave it up to the team at the orphanage.

The child I got is Ingrid... Joash's older sister!

Truly, our God is an awesome God!

The Not Entirely Bad Day

It wasn't a very good day.

All the staff were away except myself and Helen, and we both were starting late. All the children were unsettled. I was impatient with just about everyone. I felt like running about crying - "Don't be calm, this is not a calm day!" I was harsher than I needed to be. I focussed more on getting the day-to-day necessities done rather than on being there for the children, which really should always be my first priority.

And finally, I got to go home.

I was looking forwards to getting on that bus and sinking into the book I was reading. And then the bus driver wanted to talk. (All the bus drivers want to talk to me - I'm approachable looking, and I'm there on a regular basis.)

"You're always reading. What are you reading today?"

I showed him. From memory it was The Great Christian Revolution.

"Wow. You always read such interesting books." (He wasn't being sarcastic.) "I remember when you were reading this really interesting looking book, it was about the Jews and why they are not Christian..."

"Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus?" I asked.

"That'd be the one," he said.

He then started asking my opinions on reasons for Anti-Semitism, the reasons why Jews don't believe in Jesus, whether or not there will be a second coming of Christ, whether that coming has already happened, and we even got up to reasons why Mohammed is not the Messiah when it was my bus stop and I needed to get off.

No, he did not become a Christian because of my encounter with him. But a seed was laid.

And it taught me a few different things:

1. Even when I am a screw-up, God can still use me. Yes, I know that in theory, we're all screw-ups. But really, I'm pretty messed in the head. But even so, GOD CAN USE ME. As the saying goes, if He can use Balaam's donkey, He can use me.

2. Keep signs of the fact that you are a Christian about. It's amazing how often these provoke conversation. Bus drivers quiz me on my books on a semi-regular basis, and it's a great opportunity to witness to them - and they're even asking for it! The children I work with have always been more interested in my prayer slide and the cross I wear than a lot of other things - and it is an opportunity to share with them in an informal manner about God.

3. People remember. I read that book several MONTHS before. That bus driver is a regular reliever on my shift, so he's not there all the time. But he remembered, and God used it so that I could talk to him about the things of God.

So pray for me, and pray for yourself, and pray for all the bus drivers of Australia, that there would be lots of witnessing opportunities every day.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Storming the Gates

God will ultimately give us the victory. We just need to ride INTO the battle, not away from it!

God owns the whole earth. It is His, and everything on it belongs to Him. He can give it, and any portion of it, to anyone He wants. (Even me!)

Recently it has seemed to me that my vision is too small. Sure, I do more than 'most people'. But I should not be comparing myself to 'most people', I should be comparing myself to the standards in God's Word. And when I do that I see how much more there is to be done, in so, so many different areas.

International adoption is so rare in Australia. The foster care system is swamped. Children are being aborted every day. Aged people are being 'assisted' into the next life. Many have never even HEARD the gospel, let along accepted it. Millions go hungry every day...

And in all of these things I CAN DO MORE.

And when I do more, God will indeed give me the victory, for He has proclaimed that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (see Matthew 16:18)

And the thing is, whenever we think about this verse, we always picture an embattled church, holding on, just holding on, because one day, Jesus is coming back and He will make everything good and right and perfect. (Yes, Jesus is coming back. And when He does, He will make all things good and right and perfect. But THAT IS NOT WHAT THIS VERSE IS ABOUT.)

No, the church here is ATTACKING. We are ATTACKING the gates of hell, and we are BRINGING THEM DOWN. They canNOT stand against the power of the blood of Jesus. They are POWERLESS against Him.

It's time for me (and probably you too) to enlarge our vision. To pray more. To do more. To give more, and to love more. Because God will give us every place where we set our foot (Joshua 1:3). We will have the victory, if only we will fight for it!

Precious In His Sight

I recently saw a news article that really quite horrified me.

"Two families are taking legal action against hospitals for not detecting their unborn children had Down syndrome.

Both Victorian couples claim they would have aborted the babies had they been aware of their condition and are seeking compensation."

These two couples would have killed their own children because they didn't fit the perfect mould. They probably would have considered that they would be doing their children a favour.

Recently I got the Baby Conference CDs, and I'm busily listening to them as I sew scout badges for my brother and knit hats. Last night I listened to the fourth CD, where Kevin Swanson and RC Sproul Jr shared about their testimonies about being the pastor of / father of profoundly special needs children.

As Sproul pointed out, in many cases these children are our spiritual betters. And in all cases they are precious children created by God for His glory.

I pray that these children, who will grow up to find out that their own parents did not want them, will realise that there are people out there who do love them, who would adopt them if they were born overseas because they know how precious they are, and that most of all, Jesus loves them.

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Black and yellow, red and white
They are precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world

Friday, 30 July 2010

Pelagus In the Church

A while ago I went to Portarlington for the Celtic festival. My dad lives in PA, which is great, and as it's over the weekend I make sure I go to church on Sunday. There are two churches in PA, an Anglican, and a Uniting church.

The Uniting one always has a special Celtic service, which I can get my Dad to go to, so that's the one I go to. And every time I got to that church, I'm always mildly (or more) horrified.

You see, their services aren't about God. They're all about us. The hymns were about us, about how awesome we were, and how we were going to do great things for God (who was a bit with the hippy love).

The sermon then started talking about Celtic Christianity. Now, there are lots of good things about Celtic Christianity. I mean, those guys went on international mission trips before it was popular. But the thing that the preacher wanted to focus on was how they loved nature (borderline worship of nature, and he went on and on about how we should too) and humans were basically good, especially when they had become Christian (which barely got a mention, but at least it got one).

He then started talking about Pelagus, and how he was a model of Celtic Christianity. I was there thinking, "wait a second, wasn't he a heretic?" Same guy, and the preacher even mentioned this and held him up for praise for it.

Pelagus and Pelagism are DANGEROUS, because they don't hold to the fallen nature of Man. They believe that if we just try hard enough we can be perfect. AND WE CAN'T. Jesus is relegated to the supreme example, and not the saviour.

What's more, it's all about US. We are the all important ones, and God is just there to help us. We can do great things. Some of them may even be for God.

This is NOT true Christianity. Christianity is about glorifying God. It is about how we were so polluted with sin that we were completely seperated from Him, but that because He (and He alone) is good, He loved us, and died for us in order that we might be reconciled with Him.

That's true Christianity.

Thursday, 29 July 2010


Trusting in God is HARD. His ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts. We see only a small part - and we don't like it. Yet we cannot see its part in the big picture that God is painting.

We so often consider our way to be the right way, the best way, the way that will get us "there". And certainly, our way is often the easiest. And yet, who can tell what Paul would have been if it had not been for that thorn in his flesh that kept him humble. Maybe he would have been more efficient - but more insufferable. He may have started relying on his own strength rather than God's - only to find it giving out when he needed it most.

Life would be easier for me if I were married and not working, if my health were good, if I had more energy, if, if, if. And yet that is not what God has given me. It is not what God wants me to have, or I have all I need for perseverance in my relationship with God.

And that is really all that we need.

Thoughts From my Quiet Time

"Arise and attack a nation at ease, which lives in confidence," declares the LORD, "a nation that has neither gates nor bars; its people live alone.
Jeremiah 49:31

It is amazing how repetative history is - and how little humans learn fromt eh mistakes of the past. Nations go through times of expansion, consolidation, then ease and self-importance, and then downfall.

We often do as individuals as well. Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall, as the Proverb says. How common it is for us to grow confident, especially in our walk with God, only to be attacked (all too often sucessfully) when we least expect it.

Jesus said that we are to watch and pray so that we will not fall into temptation. (Matthew 26:41, Mark 14:38, Luke 31:36) This means being self-aware rather than self-confident, and preparing ourselves for the battles that lie ahead, calling one and relying on God's strength rather than our own.

LORD, help me not to live in confidence in my own strength, but to rely on You, that I may stand in times of trial. In Jesus, name, Amen.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Please Pray

Yesterday I was home sick. I had been sick on Sunday and Monday, and had taken Tuesday off as well, only to find that I felt all right, except for being a bit tired. I busied myself doing small bits and pieces (like some awesome artwork).

Then, about 3:30, there was a knock on the door. A tradie was there.

"Hi, I'm here to inspect the house for demolition. My paperwork says that there aren't any tenents, but I noticed soem of your things through the window."

"Yeah, um, we live here."

"Well, the landlord sent me over to inspect for demolition. Thought you should know."

Long story short: we phone the Real Estate, who had no idea what was going on. She phoned the landlord, who said she had no idea what was going on. Except that I saw the paper the tradie had, and it said both our address and the landlord's name on it. So she knew.

We've had a few surveyers etc come out recently, which hasn't been a problem, because lots of places send surveyers. But demolishers? And telling them that there are no tenents is dodgy and I think illegal.

What we think is happening is that the landlord has not told us or the Real Estate agent because she wants us kept in the dark so she can kick us out with only 28 days notice. If we know, we might leave sooner, and that would equal less rent for her. Except that we now know, and we are now looking for a smaller place.

So we are moving, sometime soon. I'll have a few bits and pieces on offer for anyone who wants them (a massive TV for one) because we don't want to have to move some things, especially if our place is smaller.

So Praise God that I was home, and that we therefore found out! Normally I would be at work, and no one would be at home.

Please pray that I recover from my shock (I was very distressed about it, and that's why I was quieter than usual at Corporate Prayer) and that we find a perfect place SOON so we can move out and leave this stress behind us.

Thanks all.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Plundering the Baggage

It's interesting how many battles and wars have been lost through being negligent. I think some of the most interesting but tragic examples are those where one side wins, and then they get distracted by the loot of war. So distracted, they don't even notice the routed opposition re-grouping and attacking - until it is too late.

We can be very like that.

Christians can all get on board with an issue, major or minor, and then fight until that issue (or part of it) is resolved. The thing is, we win a small battle, and we get so intoxicated with the victory that we ignore the rest until suddenly we are facing an enemy that we thought was long gone. It isn't as though issues like abortion, purity, same-s*x marriage, etc, are new and have never been issues before. THEY HAVE, and often several times through history. But we think that the issue has been faced, the battle has been won, and we can pat ourselves on the back and rest on our laurels for a bit.


We have a responsibility to make disciples (not "converts") of all the nations. (Matthew 28:119-20) To do our own small part in filling the earth with the knowledge of the LORD. (Habakkuk 2:14) To look after widows and orphans in their distress. (James 1:27) To glorify the LORD in everything we do.

Until that is done, we should not consider the battle over.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Thoughts From My Quiet Time

From Jeremiah 41:1-18

Ishmael may have started with high motives - he was going to free his people and liberate the Promised Land from its foreign oppressors - but he ended up enslaving his own people (v 10) and brought the foreign army back.

When we do not seek God we can end up working against ourselves. Think of the disciples. When they were determined to be part of the revolution they ended up betraying and denying their master. But when they followed Him they were sucessful and caused the revolution that they so wanted.

Our weapons are not fleshly weapons; they are not the weapons of the world. However, our weapons have divine power to demolish strongholds (2 Cor 10:4-5)

What are our weapons? The sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God, is obviously one. Others include prayer, and acting in love. These weapons are such that can truly bring down empires.

LORD, help me to use Your weapons for Your cause!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Thoughts From my Quiet Time

The LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "I am about to bring punishment on Amon god of Thebes, on Pharaoh, on Egypt and her gods and her kings, and on those who rely on Pharaoh.
Jeremiah 46:25

God is punishing Egypt for its idolatry, its turning away to other gods. Like Israel, it saw many miracles, and know how powerful the LORD is. Yet they turned away all the same.

One of the 'gods' they turned to was a mere man, Pharaoh. They turned to the king to solve their problems, rather than to the King of kings. This has been an ongoing problem for those who have a godly heritage. Think of the Jews shouting that they would have no king but Caesar. But even more, think of how so many "Christian" nations want a saviour for president or prime minister. We are just as susceptible today.

The only Saviour is Jesus. The only Lord is Christ. At His name, every knee shall bow - not at any other name, whether Pharaoh or Caesar or Barak Obama or Julia Gillard. Only at the name of Jesus!


Saturday, 17 July 2010

Glorifying God

A few days ago I had a horrible night. I lay in bed, crying for hours, because I am such a wretched person. And yes, I did just admit that online.

I don't remember what it was that made me feel so attrocious; I expect it was that I was impatient with some of the children or something like that. There have been a few days like that recently. But whatever it was, I went to bed convinced that I was the worst person in the entire world, and that there never had been, and never would be, anyone more horrible than me.

So I'm lying there, crying, thinking that I'm such a bad person it's amazing that even God can love me, and that I'm completely worthless as a human being. And my thoughts just kept on going round in circles.

Finally, God broke it. He reminded me that my purpose in life is to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. Being an altogether sucky person means that one of the ways I've glorified God in the past is for His mercy in loving such a horrible person as me. And that even the smallest changes in my behaviour (and there have been a few, when I think about it rationally) are other ways that I glorify Him. And that the process of me growing is continuing, and I glorify Him in that.

Makes me more that slightly glad I've read the Shorter Catechism!

Q. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

There Is a Reason

I was recently reading through a lot of old blog posts at my not at all serious blog, Sam-Is-Mad. One of them really caught my attention. It was when I was working with the 4 year olds. Often I would get them to do things, and they would turn around and ask me, "Why?"

So I would look straight at them and say, "Because I am a meanie."

"You're not a meanie Sam," they would say. "You're the best!"

"Then I have a reason, which I'm not telling you right now. And I expect you to obey."

And they would.

Our relationship with God is a bit like that at times. We want to know why things aren't going the way we want them to, why we have to do xyz, why it's always us who is sick, broke, [insert problem here].

The thing is, God is good. And He has a reason. He just doesn't always share the reason with us, sometimes because we wouldn't understand it, or because we won't like it, or just because we need to work on obedience. But because God is good, there is always a reason. And the reason is always the right one.

And we need to go off an be obedient to Him, our heavenly Father, who knows all things and works them for our good.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Quote for the Day (and then some)

"The gates of hell will not prevail, but if we fight for truth, jail and imprisonment may await. Get some perspective and realize that most of the New Testament was written from jails."

From How to End Abortion in America. Whole article is interesting, but this phrase is applicable to so many other issues facing all Christians all over the world.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Random Encouragement

I've been a bit down lately. I'm pretty much the only person who's interested in what I'm interested in (quiverful, pro-life, international adoption, homeschooling, white girl who thinks asian boys don't look at all bad...) and while I'm kind of used to standing alone on issues, it is discouraging to be the only person in sight who has a heart for any of these things. One of the reasons why I watch quite a lot of Vision Forum DVDs is for that reason. It assures me that I'm not in fact crazy; there are other people who see the world (and read the Word of God) in the same way as I do.

But still, it can be discouraging.

And recently God has decided that the best way of encouraging me is to show me that there ARE other people like me, even in Australia!

There is a lady with an adopted daughter who lives on our street.

A few people from my church have mentioned recently that they "plan" on adopting. Some of them are actually likely to do it too.

I occasionally see Eurasian couples with THE GIRL BEING THE WHITE ONE.

And this is definitely the best one:

I went to the ballet and when I came in to meet my friend Steph she was talking to a family. My first thought was, "Since when has Steph been related to a homeschooling family?" Well, they weren't related, but they did homeschool. Steph started talking to them by asking them if they homeschooled.

Mum was white. Dad (who was getting a program with their youngest) was Chinese. They had 5 kids, the oldest of whom would have been 10, the youngest was four. One of her sons was studying at the Australian Ballet school. When she heard I wanted 20 she said that I should adopt, especially "special needs" children. We then talked about the need for adoptive parents and the blessing of special needs children.

Living the life I want.

It was really encouraging to see that there are people out there who see children as blessings, who actually want them, and want the ones they have around them. And one day, God willing, I'll be encouraging others who think they are the "only one" by my example.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

I Not Like Growing In Patience

One of the qualities of love is patience. And this is probably, above all, the one I lack. I prize efficency. I get things done, get them done reasonably well, and get them done FAST. I have little patience with the slow, the less bright than me, or above all, the just plain inefficient.

God however, is interested in my character. And if it's patience that Sam needs, well then, it is patience that Sam will have to develop. And there's nothing like developing patience to make me feel like chucking a temper tantrum.

This process has been going for a while, and I DON'T LIKE IT. Here are some of the details:

- Continuous struggles with health. I have very little energy, especially in winter.
- A horrible housemate who was also my shepherd
- A hippie housemate
- An incredibly bad teamleader

Even in the positive realm I have to deal more with patience. I spend a lot of time helping Maryam with her studies and writing, and even though I love helping her with things, it does still call for patience.

I apologised to Ale and Helen (two of the people currently in my room) about our team-leader, saying that it was my fault because God was trying to teach me patience. Ale and I are praying for each other to grow in patience and grace - she is MUCH more patient than I am, but our teamleader stretches even her.

One day I will be patient. Hopefully before I get married, so my poor husband won't suffer (so much, at least).