Mission Statement

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

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

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

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Time Tested Beauty Tips

A poem by by Sam Levenson
(A favourite peom of Audrey Hepburn.)

For attractive lips,
speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes,
seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure,
share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair,
let a child run his fingers through it once a day.

For poise,
walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone...

People, even more than things,
have to be restored, renewed, revived,
reclaimed and redeemed and redeemed ...

Never throw out anybody. Remember, if you ever need a
helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.

As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands.
One for helping yourself, the other for helping others".

Thursday, 27 May 2010

We Are the Church

I was at an event recently with a lot of people from church. And people were asked to move their plates to the kitchen. Few people did, and those that did just put them anywhere, not even scraping them, and the people in the kitchen were anxiously stacking the plates and atempting to wash them and do a million other things. Everyone was standing around, chatting. And I was cross.

We're the church of Christ, I thought. We're supposed to have a servant heart. And here we are, ignoring people who could use some help so that we can socialise.

And then I realise, I am the church of Christ. I'm supposed to have a servant heart. And here I am, ignoring people who could use some help so that I can socialise.

So I helped. I scraped plates from the other side of the kitchen, and stacked them neatly. Sure, it wasn't a big thing, it didn't change the world or anything, but it was something nice that I was able to do for others.

How often we are all like that! We blame "the church" in general, forgetting that we ARE the church. If we are complaining about something (whatever it is) then we need to roll up our sleeves and do something about it. What we do may or may not be much, but we are called to be obedient, not sucessful, and we will not truly know the results of all that we do this side of eternity.

So get to work. (Myself included!)

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Monday, 24 May 2010

The Right Attitude

I was talking with a friend last night, about how to be able to tell whether you should go ahead with going out with someone or not. I said how you needed to be able to glorify God in a specific way once you were married, and if you didn't think you were going to be able to do it, then don't go ahead, and if you do, then that's really the main thing. (For those of you who are wondering, the bride pictures the Church and the groom pictures Christ. If you aren't going to be a good picture, don't do it.)

She then said how I would make a awesome wife, because I'd do anything that my husband wanted (meaning crazy things like be a missionary to some unreached people group, etc) as long as we had kids along the way.

Now, in some ways, that is very true. I will back my husband, and go anywhere he wants to. For me, that isn't the issue. For me, it's about my attitude.

Sure I would go - but would I go cheerfully? I would cook and clean for him - but would I do it joyfully - even when he leaves his dirty socks on the floor AGAIN? I would do any of the crazy things he thought God wanted him to do (Scripture providing - I'm not talking robbing a bank), but I may complain about him to his face, to our children, and in my heart.

For me that is worse. I've seen that type of men, beaten down by nagging wives who would support them in anything they do but would whine the whole way. Heck, half the men in my family are them! Men need respect, otherwise they won't do even a small proportion of what they could - even if you are willing to do pretty much anything to support them

That's what I need to work on. To not only do the right thing, but to do the right thing with the right attitude.

Ephesians 5:22-23
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

Ephesians 5:33
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
(emphasis added)

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

James Reed

“It is wholly impossible to live according to Divine order, and to make a proper application of heavenly principles, as long as the necessary duties which each day brings seem only like a burden grievous to be borne. Not till we are ready to throw our very life’s love into the troublesome little things can we be really faithful in that which is least and faithful also in much. Every day that dawns brings something to do, which can never be done as well again. We should, therefore, try to do it ungrudgingly and cheerfully. It is the Lord’s own work, which He has given us as surely as He gives us daily bread. We should thank Him for it with all our hearts, as much as for any other gift. It was designed to be our life, our happiness. Instead of shirking it or hurrying over it, we should put our whole heart and soul into it.”
by James Reed
(HT - Generation Cedar)

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Sam Is Patient...

Have you heard of this? You take the passage of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and substitute your name for the word love. We are supposed to be being made more and more into the image of Christ, and one of the defining aspects of Christ is His love.

Is it true of you?

Sam is patient, Sam is kind. She does not envy, she does not boast, she is not proud. She is not rude, she is not self-seeking, she is not easily angered, she keeps no record of wrongs. Sam does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. She always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I think I need some work.

Monday, 17 May 2010

From the Intro of Crazy Love

"As Fracis so brilliantly illustrates, the life that Jesus calls us to is absolute craziness to the world. Sure, it's fine and politically correct to believe in God, but to really love Him is a whole different story. Yeah, it's nice and generous to give to the needy at Christmas or after some disaster, but to sacrifice your own comfort and welfare for another may look like madness to a safe and undisturbed world."
Crazy Love, by Francis Chan, pg 16.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Calvinism vs Armininism

I'm not particularly either, probably fall more on the Calvinist side. But I was reading a book (sorry, forget which one) recently which said that there was a main difference.

Pretty much all mainline Protestant denominations accept that not everyone will be saved. There are people ('nice' people) who are going to hell. Heck - for me, most of my nice friends and all of my not-so-nice family are going there. So in spite of several scriptures that state that God wants all to come to repentance and know Him, obviously if they don't something is stopping that.

Arminins have the idea that human self-determination blocks it. Calvinists believe that God has chosen some to receive and others not to in order to greater glorify His name.

Yeah, just wanted to record that for posterity.

Sunday, 9 May 2010


I got to thinking about secrecy recently. Especially in the area of romance. You see, a number of my friends are in or beginning romantic relationships. I'm at that age where we start wanting to settle down, get married, and have children. (Actually, I've been at that age since I was two or so). Our church practices a version of the courtship model. Except we run into a major problem.

Most of our parents are overseas.

So they thought of a solution. Everyone has a shepherd, a person more spiritually mature than you (of the same gender) responsible for your spiritual growth, who can offer you advice when you get interested in each other, and generally act the role of a parent in the whole thing.

Except this results in massive differences. My shepherd has said that she will give me advice, but never actually stop me from choosing who I want. My friend however, is "not-seeing" a boy whose shepherd has said that they can't go out. No real reason, even though both sets of parents are fine with it (and are actually very cross that it isn't going ahead). One of these parents is a pastor and a marriage counsellor. So they are allowed to spend time together, as long as they don't act like a couple in public.

It's a very bad idea, and neither of them like it. There are so many things wrong with this that I can't begin to say. And more of my friends are beginning to enter into relationships that they are also being told need to be kept under wraps. It's very, very dangerous.

Obviously, one of the biggest issues with this is that you aren't being accountable to anyone. You could be doing all sorts of things, and no one would know. The boy's shepherd literally doesn't want to know. He would rather it all go away. They've been "not-seeing" each other for more than A YEAR. It's not going to go away.

When one thing is a secret lots of things soon also become secret. If you are keeping the fact that you are seeing each other secret, soon you're keeping that you're kissing secret and that this is secret and that (and actually, the main couple I'm talking about are NOT KISSING - the girl is telling me things so that she remains reasonably accountable) and it is a very slippery slope.

The other big thing is availability. Because their relationship is being kept under wraps, other people don't know. (Duh.) But my friend has several boys who are a bit more chatty than she would like, and because they aren't being direct she can't tell them to go away, but at the same time, she can't drop the "my boyfriend" in the conversation. It's doubly bad for her, because not only does she feel bad about being secretive, but she feels like she's leading these boys on, even though she doesn't want to.

So yeah. Secrecy. It's a bad thing. Don't do it.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

On Criticism

Recently, a child was brought in by the manager of the centre as starting in the Toddler room. Reasonably nice child. Slightly big for her age, but sweet enough.

On her second orientation, Maryam asked her mother all the standard questions. And when it came out how old she was - she wasn't big for her age. She was old for the room. So Maryam went to check whether or not she was supposed to be in our room or in the next room. It was the next room. And the manager was cross that we hadn't picked it up earlier.

Well, as you could imagine, I was not happy. She HAD BROUGHT THE KID IN. It wasn't as though we were the only ones who hadn't noticed. And we HAD noticed, and brought it to her attention.

About 5 minutes later, when we're all complaining, my conscience was at work. Yes, it really wasn't our fault. But my first response was that it wasn't my fault. I was more concerned with being right than in fixing the problem.

Criticism, whether fair or not, helps us to improve. But only if we search our hearts and want to improve.

Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. (Proverbs 9:8)
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid. (Proverbs 12:1)

Monday, 3 May 2010

The Question of Meaning

So, Kal and I and a few others have been talking a lot. More or less what we normally do. In our discussions it has been mentioned by a few people (Kal, Joc, Jonathan, and I think one other person) that I am putting all my ideas of happiness into me being a wife and mother.

In some senses they have a point. But here's me trying to explain my point.

I don't actually expect to be HAPPY as a wife or mother. I'm not expecting to be miserable, but I don't want to be a wife/mum in order to be happy. Happiness is not the point. I am expecting that by and large I will be happier (I am one of those females who really is far happier with a guy and around children) but that isn't the POINT.

The point is meaning.

Being a wife and mother is for me the most MEANINGFUL thing I can do. There is nothing more significant than making someone you love smile. Than making a favourite dinner for no other reason than that you love them. Than reading the same awful story to your kid five times - a night. (I did that for over a year with my youngest brother.) There is nothing more fun than watching a little child grow, and the closer you are to that kid the more precious it is. There's nothing funnier than watching them make faces at each other when they are cross with each other, when you know that they are going to be best buddies in two minutes.

My job now, and all other jobs I've had, just don't have that level of meaning. And I love my job. If I was a career woman, I'd want to do my job forever. But I put in to 'my' kids, only to have them go home and have some of their parents undo all my work. When it comes to those whose parents actually support things like the kids being obedient, that usually gets undone within their first few years at school. People think that by putting into LOTS of children I'm compounding my influence. But I'm not, I'm spreading it around, I'm diluting it. And I'm building up relationships with people (mainly kids) who will disappear rather abruptly, with nothing to show for it. And then there are the regulations - not only no smacking, we even have no time-outs. (I still do them, I just call them calm down times - Mwa ha ha).

With my kids, whether I have my hoped for 20+ or merely 1 or 2, my influence, and that of my husband, will be real. What we put in will actually show fruit.

And THAT'S why I want more than anything to be a stay-at-home-wife and homeschooling-mother.

[Originally posted as Be Warned, I am Serious Here at my not-serious blog Sam-Is-Mad, on 12th of June, 2008]