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.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Proverbs 13:20, 1 Corinthians 15:33

"Studies show that the average American teen watches twenty-three hours of television every week and spends hours more online. What does that have to do with Proverbs and 1 Corinthians? Our companions are not limited to our family and friends. Our companions are the movies, TV shows, and online videos we watch. Our companions are the video games we play, the websites we surf, the music we listen to, and even the clothes we wear."

"You will not change culture by serving culture. As you make decisions about what to allow into your mind and heart, ask yourself, Does this draw me closer to God or take me further away?"
- Alex and Brett Harris, in their new book, Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are.

This has been something on my mind recently - and something that I've been really blessed as I've been obedient to God in this area. For me, I don't have that much trouble with TV. I have a TV - it just doesn't pick up any TV channels. That means I'm limited to DVDs and videos, and as I have to make some kind of effort for them I tend to evaluate my choices far more carefully than I would if I had access to TV whenever I wanted. I also watch far less TV - certainly less than 5 hours a week, and a good deal of that would be Christian lectures, sermons, or documentaries.

But BOOKS. I mean, I've been reading books since I was 3 and a half. I have more books than anyone I know - and more than some public libraries! I remember reading when I was 17 that the number of books in the home was predictive of a child's IQ - and that if there was more than 500 books the chances of them being a genius went up to more than 50% I decided to count my books, but gave up when I realised I had more than 500 Picture Story Books.

Books are companions, just and Alex and Brett say. And it is all too easy to spend far too much time with companions that hinder your walk with God.

For me I don't have too many "brainless" books. After all, I studied Literature and Classics at uni. I can debate the merits of Austen compared with the Brontes. But just because the books are hard doesn't make them good - especially not for me.

So many books - even "classics" - can promote things we do not want in our lives. George Eliott makes me feel like a rebellious female, when I personally need a whole lot more work on submission. H.E. Bates stirs feelings of lust. Hardy makes me depressed and less thankful to God. Several other books stir similar feelings.

So what I've done is go through my bookshelves - especially to "to be read" shelf. Authors I know are likely to lead me astray get put straight for the op-shop. Books that are questionable get googled - and if the book is on Wikipedia, then there is usually enough info to tell me whether or not I should be reading it.

And the blessing? Aside from clearer bookshelves (hoping to get down to 7 large shelves before I move again, whenever that is), I've been able to read a lot more inspiring books. Start Here is one. The Beauty of Modesty is another. These books are far better for my relationship with God (and other people) than the books I took to the op-shop.

And while I need to constantly re-evaluate how the books I have are helping/hindering me, every step in the right direction is progress.

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