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, 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.