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.