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.

Saturday, 31 December 2011

So What Did I Do in 2011?

I didn't achieve all that many of my goals for 2011. Part of that was that several of them were neublous goals that are part of an ungoing work that God is doing in my life. Part of it was me being just plain lazy. But part of it was me doing other things. So what DID I do in 2011?

- I rejoined our church's kid's ministry
- I made a CD and donated the proceeds to charity
- I started a mission blog for my local church
- Did a ton of reading (wait for an uncoming booklist for 2011)
- Listened to a ton of sermons (wait for an uncoming list of sermons listened to in 2011)
- Taught in the Youth Group once (on apologetics)
- Worked!
- Started writing a book (I haven't done much non-blogging writing since uni, back when I had lots of free time)
- Went gluten free (to add to my dairy free, vegetarian food requirements)
- Started wearing a headcovering

So while I may not have done everything that I would have liked to, I have managed to do a few things in 2011!

Friday, 30 December 2011

Reflection On 2011 Goals

1. Go on an overseas mission trip, preferably to Uganda
I did this! I'm so excited that I was able to begin serving God overseas! For those who are interested, I'm slowly posting my diary of my time in Uganda at the Hope Waverley Mission Blog.

2. Memorise 20 more psalms.
(I'm at 23 now, so I want to be at 43 by the end of next year!)
I'm nowhere near 43 psalms! I'm at 25 - which means only 2 psalms were memorised this year. And while I did some work on other passages, memorisation of the Bible just plain did not happen this year. It's something that I'm going to be working on next year.

3. Read Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Bible.
Still in Genesis

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!
I've made progress in this area. While there are seasons of greater initmacy and of lesser intimacy with God, on the whole this is improving. And yes, I got answers to prayer!

5. To speak words of encouragement and not mean words, impure words, or gossip.
6. To be joyful always, in all circumstances.

Both of these are ungoing works that God is doing in my heart. I'm still a grumpy cow far too often, but I'm so much better than what I used to be! To God alone goes the glory - believe me, I'm not working the change myself!

7. To instruct and admonish children using Scripture and not the philosophy of men.
I've improved with instructing using Biblical principles, but actual words of Scripture is not so much what is coming from my mouth.

8. To consistently practice both the harp and the piano.
Just plain didn't happen.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Why Missions, Even To "Reached" Countries, Are Vital

The other day I met with someone who will be working in a chaplain/ pastor role at theHopeSchoolnext year. We talked about supporting young people through challenges. I wanted to establish protocols for when child safety incidents arose and the referral process (to the social worker). I asked:’ What is a minor problem that could come up regularly here’. InBrisbanea minor problem would probably mean: ‘Having challenges with my friends at school’ or ‘My parents don’t understand me…’. When I asked this question here I got the response: ‘A student sharing that their parent is withholding food from them (e.g. refusing to feed them).’ I was a bit taken aback (that this was a ‘minor’ problem) and I asked what would be a major problem that you could come across here. I got this response: ‘A student told me that his parents wanted to sacrifice him to the demons of their village’. I am pretty sure I would leave these problems to the amazing local social worker. I am a little out of my depth…

From Britt & Andrew's blog, Into Lugala. Britt and Andrew are the two missionaries who were at COME Uganda with me, and who are still serving there.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

1 Corinthians 8

This knowledge puffs up, but love builds up (from verse 1)

Knowledge is important. It is vital that we know out Bibles in order that we will not be deceived by the enemy, and in order that we will know what God has planned for us. But knowledge of any type, separated from love, only serves to make us proud about our accomplishments. Nowadays, when it is not so fashionable to possess biblical knowledge, other types of knowledge (such as scientific, academic, sports or even pop-culture) are just as likely to puff someone up with pride.

The antidote for the puffed-up-ness that knowledge can bring is not a lack of knowledge, but an addition of love. Lack of knowledge can destroy you, and a lack of love and castroy our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Am I filled with love? It is a difficult question to answer honestly. After all, our hearts will deceive us. We will often think that we have love, when really we don’t, and think that we lack love when we often have it. The sign of love is clear from this verse: love builds up. Am I building up the people around me? Am I helping them grow up into Him? Or am I stumbling them? For me, I think it is a little of both. Thankfully, Christ is changing me, and I am becoming more and more filled with love day by day.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

More From Katie Davis

The first 2:55 minutes are the same as the previous video posted, but after that there is an interview with her, which is really interesting.

Catalyst Atlanta 2011 | Katie Davis from Catalyst on Vimeo.

Monday, 26 December 2011

1 Corinthians 7

And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit (from verse 34)

Singleness is a gift from God so that we can, whether temporarily or permanently, serve God as the only passion in our lives. Marrieds have to care for each other, and parents for their children, but singles are freer to do things, sometimes crazy-seeming things, for the Lord.

I know I have not always valued this gift. I would rather have a husband and children than almost anything else. But for now at least, that is not what God has called me to. He has called me to be single (for now at least) and to serve Him in that.

Valuing this gift of God means making the most of my time. It means going out of my way to bless others, especially those who otherwise would be ignored or despised, like the very poor and their children, those who are sick, those who are ugly or even deformed. It means sacrificing myself for the image of Christ in those who, humanly speaking, I do not care about. It means focussing on Jesus, and giving my all for Him, every single day, even when I would prefer not to. Then I will be using this gift of God to the level that Christ wants me to.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas

For a child will be born to us,
a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Eternal Father,
Prince of Peace.



Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it with justice
and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
(Isaiah 9:6-7)

Saturday, 24 December 2011

1 Corinthians 2

And my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God (verses 4 & 5).

It sometimes amazes me how content the church at large is to not see the power of God. We talk of miracles (but don’t see them). We speak of transformed lives (but live just like everyone else). We do not see the power of God; and if we cannot see it in our own lives, or the lives of those around us, how can we expect those who do not know God to see it?

This is something I am guilty of too. I do not live a self-sacrificing life. Many aspects of my life are exactly the same as a non-believer. I do not go the extra mile with others if it will inconvenience me. I mean, when Amaya was upset in the middle of the night it took 5 minutes to make myself get up with my torch and check on her – and she’s only two bedrooms away! Afterwards I was really struck by my complete lack of love for those around me when it is inconvenient for me.

(Amaya is the daughter of two missionaries, who were staying with me in the missionary house. She woke up a few times in the night and would be very scared due to the power having gone out and her night light being off. I was NOT as loving as I should have been.)

This is something that I and much of the church need to repent of. We rest in the wisdom of me, and so we miss the power of God. And I know that I don’t want to miss that.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Katie Davis

God was showing me His heart and His Word in new ways right there in the life I was living through the children I was serving. Armed with this new sense of who He is and who I was as His servant, I continued trying to give myself away in every circumstance. I wanted to do God’s work, let Him display Himself through my life, and change my world as much as possible every single day. Most days, that didn’t include anything other people would find impressive. It simply meant being faithful to the people and the responsibilities God had given me.

From her book, Kisses From Katie

Thursday, 22 December 2011

1 Corinthians 1

So that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord” (verse 31)

Paul’s aim is to boast solely in the work that Christ has done, not in his own accomplishments. And let’s face it, Paul has more to boast about than almost anyone. He was born both Jewish and a Roman citizen, educated by the best minds. He was the ultimate missionary apostle, who went virtually all over the known world, and suffered immensely for Christ along the way. He wrote many of the books of the New Testament! He had a lot he could boast about.

Boasting is something I do far too much of. Compared to most of the people around me, I do quite well at lots of things. I do my work better than all but a few people; I read faster than anyone I know; I have a very good memory for facts; and I’m rarely willing to leave things the way they are if they need changing – so I do things that many people know they should be doing, like write letters to politicians, going on the Baby March, giving of my money, and going on a mission trip to Uganda.

But none of these things are worth anything in the day of judgement. The only thing worthwhile is clinging to the Lord Jesus. And it is in Him that I need to do all of my boasting.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Mother Teresa

The life of a missionary is not strewn with roses, in fact more with thorns; but with it all, it is a life full of happiness and joy when she thinks that she is doing the same work which Jesus was doing when He was on earth, and that she is fulfilling Jesus’ commandment: “Go and teach all nations!”

From the book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light, edited by Brian Kolodiejchuk.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Romans 13

Besides this, you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. (verse 11)

The time has come to do the deeds of the light, wherever we go. To show to all those around us, especially those who are difficult and even in the human sense, unlovable.

The end of days is fast approaching. We are so much nearer the return of Christ than once we were. Yet when He returns, will He find faith on the earth? Will He find a living faith, characterized by action and not pretty words, in me?

I pray that He will do so! That He will look at me and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I pray that He will say that to many.

But I know that that is not what He will say to all. Many are asleep, as though it were still night, and they have more interest in the deeds of the night than in the deed of the day, love.

May I always seek to live according to the day, according to the light He has given me. May I seek to love those around me, to do them good, even when it is very, very difficult on a human level.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Katie Davis

The truth is that the 143 million orphaned children and the 11 million who starve to death or die from preventable diseases and the 8.5 million who work as child slaves, prostitutes, or under other horrific conditions and the 2.3 million who live with HIV add up to 164.8 million needy children. And though at first glance that looks like a big number, 2.1 BILLION people on this earth proclaim to be Christians.
The truth is that if only 8 percent of the Christians would care for one more child, there would not be any statistics left.


From her book, Kisses From Katie

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Romans 12 (written 06.11.11 – on the plane to Uganda)

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual act of worship. (verse 1)

We have been bought with a price. Yet how rarely we want to deliver the goods to our God – how much more we prefer to stay in our own little comfort zones, keeping ‘our’ things, and about all ‘our’ selves for our own use. We are not ready to sacrifice even a little for the One who gave it all for us.

O LORD, please do not let me be in that number! Rather have me be one of those who joyfully gives my all for Your sake, and considers it to be not merely a good exchange, but a delight, an honour beyond compare!

I sit on the plane, ready to go to the place God has called me to my first ever trip to Uganda. I do not know much about what waits for me there. What I do know is that it is God’s will for my life, and that it will involve both sacrifice and joy, joy in the sacrifice, joy leading to sacrifice, until Christ calls me to His side. Wherever I go, that is what God has prepared for me. For the most part, I would not have it any other way.

LORD, make me be a willing, joyful sacrifice for Your everlasting glory. Help me to never attempt, never even dream, or crawling off the altar. May my life be a sacrifice, holy and acceptable to You, an act of worship to Your name, and the name of Your Son, Christ Jesus.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Mother Teresa

Why must we give ourselves fully to God? Because God has given Himself to us. If God who owes nothing to us is ready to impart to us no less than Himself, shall we answer with just a fraction of ourselves? To give ourselves fully to God is a means of receiving God Himself. I for God and God for me. I live for God and give up my own self, and in this way induce God to live for me. Therefore to possess God we must allow Him to possess our soul.

From the book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light, edited by Brian Kolodiejchuk.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Romans 11

For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counsellor (verse 34).

It amazes me how often we think that God has the same opinions as we do. We are so focused on our own happiness, on what we think we want, and on our ‘rights’. We think we have the liberty to be free. To choose what to do with ‘our’ bodies. To spend ‘our’ money as we wish. This is bad enough, but when you consider how many people assume that their point of view on a subject is therefore God’s point of view, that is a massive problem.

There is only one way we can truly know the mind of God, which is by studying the Scriptures and crying out for the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to help you understand them. Then we will know the mind of God, in a limited way, but a true way.

I know I do not even begin to study the Scriptures enough to have a full-orbed view. But I am beginning. And God has so blessed each small step that I have taken in understanding His Word. His Holy Spirit has shown me treasures I never would have imagined in the Bible, and has transformed my Christianity from a part of my life to being something that informs everything I do.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Slave to Something

If God is not the center of your life, if he does not hold your ultimate allegiance, then you have been enslaved by something or someone less satisfying and loving than God. Every slave master except God will fail you. Slave masters never work to satisfy their slave. And when you fail, that master can offer no forgiveness, only misery and shame.

But not so with God! He alone can satisfy. He alone has paid the ultimate price in his Son in order to forgive you of all your failings. The dominion of God is the dominion of rest, grace, mercy, and joy. Jesus says, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. For I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matt. 11:28).

Paul uses the lowest of all people in the eyes of this world---the slave---to show that you are more free as a slave to Christ than when you are enslaved to the idea of human autonomy.

From the article Everyone Enslaved by John Starke

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Romans 10

As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the Good News.” (from verse 15)

The ancient church had beautiful feet. They went all over the world preaching the gospel. Those who were not literally able to go sacrificed much in order that those who were going could be most effective.

The modern church is not so. The amount spent by the modern church on missions of any type is small, on foreign missions smaller still, and the amount spent on reaching the unreached is appallingly tiny. We are not willing to give that others might go.

But we are also not too willing to go ourselves. I’ve been told how brave I am to go on a 3 week trip to Africa. That is not particularly brave. It is three weeks. It is nothing to compare to those who gave their lives to open up huge areas to the gospel, whether by living and serving til old age, or in dying the death of a martyr.

I need to beautiful me feet by being willing, ever more willing, to go into all the world and preach the gospel. I need to sacrifice self in order to go and to send others.

LORD, give me beautiful feet. Make me more and more willing to speak forth Words of life into those I meet, at home and abroad, that they might love You!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Christina Rosetti

How beautiful are the arms which have embraced Christ, the hands which have touched Christ, the eyes which have gazed upon Christ, the lips which have spoken with Christ, the feet which have followed Christ. How beautiful are the hands which have worked the works of Christ, the feet which treading in His footsteps have gone about doing good, the lips which have spread abroad His name, the lives which have been counted loss for Him.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Are You Craving?

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation (1 Pet 2:2)

We are to be like newborn infants, craving the pure spiritual milk. Have you been around a hungry baby? Believe me, they let you know that they want to be fed. They’ll scream if they need to, all to get the milk they need to grow.

Yet how little we are like them. It amazes me when I learn how little some Christians do. I always see how far short I personally am falling, and sometimes I seem like I am boasting, when really I am doing the opposite, telling people how far short I am falling – and all because they are falling even further short. Like recently when I discovered that all but 4 people in my small group at church (and I was one of the four) were praying for less than 10 minutes a day at the end of the day, often falling asleep. The two leaders’ quiet times were usually about half an hour long in total. Only my housemate and myself went above half an hour a day. And I look at myself and I can hardly believe the small amount of time I spend in prayer, in the Word.

Babies get hungry every few hours. They feed for quite a while. They even wake throughout the night because they want more milk. They don’t eat for 5 or 10 minutes before bed. They spend most of their waking time consuming what will make them grow, and then, as they get bigger, they spend the rest of their waking time using their growing muscles, building their strength and agility.

We need to be craving the pure spiritual milk of the Word multiple times throughout the day, not just for a few minutes. We need to be praying often. We need to be more like babies.

Our lack of spiritual nourishment is the cause of our lack of spiritual strength.

We cannot give out when we have taken nothing in. And so few of us take nothing, or next to nothing, in.

Make a plan to read the Bible. You can read the whole Bible in a year by reading only 3 chapters a day! I read the Bible in 40 days once, and it was one of the best things I ever did. You don’t have to do that, but you can read a little more, and read throughout the day. Memorise one verse a day – even one verse a week will mean that you will have over 50 verses memorised by the end of a year! Several chapters of the Bible are far shorter than that! Memorise just 50 verses, and you could have 10 psalms memorised, verses, and you could have 10 psalms memorised, yours forever, even if you don’t have access to a Bible.

CRAVE the Word. Long for it. And consume it, day in, day out, that we might grow to be mighty warriors of the faith.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Katie Davis

Adoption is a redemptive response to tragedy that happens in this broken world. And every single day, it is worth it, because adoption is God’s Heart. His Word says, “In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will” (Ephesians 1:5). He sets the lonely in families (see Psalm 68:6). The first world that appears when I look up adoption in the dictionary is “acceptance”. God accepts me, adores me even, just as I am. And He wants me to accept those without families into my own. Adoption is the reason I can come before God’s throne and beg Him for mercy, because He predestined me to be adopted as His child through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will – to the praise of His glorious grace.

From her book, Kisses From Katie

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Pursue Righteousness

But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:11)

Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22)


One of the things that strikes me about modern Christianity, is how known we are as avoiders. Christians are known as those who don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t do drugs, don’t have pre-marital sex, don’t swear, etc. And while statistically, “Christians” are no different from the world in many of these areas, that is what we are known for. As people who “don’t” do things.

We are ready to flee impurity (or at least be known for fleeing impurity). But we are so rarely ready to pursue, to chase after, righteousness, or faith, or love. We’d rather just avoid the bad stuff.

What a terrible witness this is! We become known as those who “don’t” do things – those who don’t have fun. When that should be the opposite. We are the ones who “do” things – those who seek to follow after God with our whole hearts, our whole souls, our whole strength!

Are you pursuing righteousness? Are you truly chasing after it, seeking after it, doing all that is in your power for it? Are you truly looking at submitting your whole being to the Lordship of Christ? Are you? Am I?

Friday, 9 December 2011

Katie Davis

Everywhere I looked in the Bible, from the beginning of the Old Testament to the end of Revelation, people who believe in God are supposed to share with the poor. Helping the poor is not something God asks His people to do; it is something that, throughout all generations, He instructs us to do.

From her book, Kisses From Katie

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Support Bushikori Over Christmas

If you are looking for Christmas cards that support the spread of the gospel and helping those in difficult circumstances (especially widows and orphans) then look no further! Bushikori Christian Centre in Uganda are selling Christmas cards.


Card 4


Card 2

To see the full range, visit this page of the Bushikori website.

If you want to order some, either leave a comment, email Sam, or speak to her. Alternatively you can order directly from Bushikori (details on the website). For those who want more information on Bushikori, the work it does, or how to further support Bushikori, again, get in contact with Sam.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Jerry Bridges

I am dismayed at how little we Christians pray for the success of among the nations. If we honestly examine our prayers, we find that we give the greatest priority to our own earthly needs. We pray about health needs, financial needs, weather needs, and all other kinds of needs of this life. Perhaps we even pray about our own or our loved ones’ spiritual needs. But how many are praying about the spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth? How many are pleading the promises of God?

The Gospel for Real Life

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Memorial Box Monday



In June I went to Portarlington for the National Celtic festival. When I was there, my dad, who lives in the area, mentioned that there was a book “100 Ways of for Your Child to read” at the local op shop, which he had thought about getting me, but hadn’t because he wasn’t sure if I had it.

Now, I’m strictly a phonics girl. So a book about 100 ways to teach your child to read seems more to me like 100 ways to teach your child not to read.

“It’s by Unwin, or something,” my dad added helpfully.

Wheels turned in my brain. “Englemenn?” I said hopefully.

“No, I think it was Unwin.”

I prayed then that the book would be Englemann’s Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, which I’ve been wanting for years and have heard only good things about. As there are four op shops in Portarlington alone (let alone the surrounding area) I also prayed that the book would be in the op shop that supports Bushikori, which I support financially. (All of the money from my CD goes to Bushikori in Uganda!)

And…

Well, this IS a Memorial Box Monday! Of course God answered my prayers! I now have one of the most popular phonics reading books (for a very reasonable price), but the money is helping children (and adults too) in Uganda!

For more Memorial Box Monday posts, hop over to this post at Linny's blog, A Place Called Simplicity.

Romans 8

For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. (verse 6)

What we think on has eternal consequences. We like to think of our thoughts as being private, as being confidential, and as being consequence-free. What is in our mind stays in our mind, we like to think. But this is quite simply not true.

The mind set on the flesh is full of death. That is where each fleshly thought leads to. Death. We think it will go otherwise, that we will escape this fact somehow, but we won’t.

But the mind set on the Spirit not only HAS life and peace, but IS life and peace.

It takes us down the path of righteousness. It is mindful of God, and mindless of ourselves.

Where are my thoughts? On the flesh or on the Spirit? They are so much on the flesh? I think on the food I eat, the time I have, the ways I can spend my money, angry thoughts about those who annoy me. These thoughts lead to death.

Fortunately, as God cleanses me and sanctifies me, my thoughts become more and more set on the path of light, of life. I pray more, and for less selfish things. I think more on the ways of God, and on His great love, even for me. I have a long way to go, but God is good, and He will continue His good work in me.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Katie Davis

People often ask if I think my life is dangerous, if I am afraid. I am much more afraid of remaining comfortable. Matthew 10:28 tells us not to fear things that destroy the body. I interact almost daily with people who have deadly diseases, and many times I am the only person who can help them. I live in a country with one of the world’s longest-running wars taking place just a few hours away. Uncertainty is everywhere. But I am living in the midst of the uncertainty and risk, amid things that can and do bring physical destruction, because I am running from things that can destroy my soul: complacency, comfort, and ignorance. I am much more terrified of living a comfortable life in a self-serving society and failing to follow Jesus than I am of any illness or tragedy.

From her book, Kisses From Katie

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Book review: Kisses From Katie


You have had the opportunity to read a few quotes from this book. So far, it’s probably my favourite book for the year, and definitely my favourite missionary biography. When you consider that I read 15-20 books a month, you can be assured that this book is really, REALLY good.

Short breakdown: girl goes to Uganda to teach kindergarten for 1 year, planning to go back to her “normal” life in America after that year. Instead she ends up taking in 14 girls (she’s currently in the process of formally adopting 13 of them) , starting an international ministry that provides food, school fees and school supplies to over 200 needy children in her area (the current number is more than 300), and providing basic medical care for people around her.

One of the things that isreally great about this book is her reflections on God’s heart, and how that affects her ministry, and most of these reflections are relevant not only to her ministry, but everyday life anywhere.

The other thing that I really enjoyed was that she stressed how normal she was, how she lived the fairly normal teenage life back in America, how she doesn’t always have a great attitude, and things like that.

I found this book to be really interesting and encouraging, and as I said, one of the best, if not the best, books I’ve read this year.

You can purchase the book here at 147 Million Orphans, and 50% of the proceeds will go to Katie's ministry.

You can purchase the from Amazon book here.

You can visit Katie’s blog here.

You can visit Amazina Ministries (the website for Katie’s ministry) here.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Beth Clark

People who really want to make a difference in the world usually do it, in one way or another. And I’ve noticed something about people who make a difference in the world: They hold the unshakeable conviction that individuals are extremely important, that EVERY LIFE MATTERS. They get excited over one smile. They are willing to feed one stomach, educated one mind, and treat one wound. They aren’t determined to revolutionize the world all at once; they’re satisfied with small changes. Over time, though, the small changes add up. Sometimes they even transform cities and nations, and yes, the world.

From her foreword in Kisses From Katie.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Are You Prepared For Persecution?

This has been on my mind lately. How prepared are we in the Western church for persecution? Real, serious persecution?

Not very, really.

Think about it. Christians get upset when nativity scenes are not allowed in public places, calling it “the war against Christmas”. We write letters about the removal of the 10 commandments from court rooms. We complain about the removal of prayer from schools, from politics, from public life. And we call these things persecution.

Brothers and sisters, these things are NOT persecution. They aren’t great, but they are not persecution, and calling them such makes a mockery of those who are persecuted, and allows us to be unequipped to deal with real persecution when it comes.

Are we prepared to go to jail for Christ and His Kingdom? That’s real persecution.

Are we prepared to have family and friends refuse to have anything to do with us, kicking us out of our homes, our lives? That’s real persecution.

Are we prepared to be tortured for speaking to the lost? That’s real persecution.

Are we prepared to lose all our earthly possessions, counting their loss a gain so that we may more completely follow Christ? That’s real persecution.

We do not know the meaning of the term persecution. And we are not prepared for it. We do not have the deep seated relationship with God that is needed to get us through such times. We do not know any bits of the Bible well enough to encourage our hearts in times of persecution, when Bibles are not available. We cannot do without all the bells and whistles of a modern church service, complete with multi-media to get and keep our attention… when what we really need is all too often lacking… the Word of God. We cannot spend time in prayer for more than a few minutes without falling asleep.

We are NOT prepared for persecution!

You cannot prepare others. You can prepare yourself. Read the Word. Memorise it. Meditate on it. Pray. Build your relationship with God. These are what are truly necessary to get us through times of trial. God and His Word.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Katie Davis

Originally, my quitting was to be temporary, lasting just one year before I went to college and returned to normal, American teenager life. But after that year, which I spent in Uganda, returning to “normal” wasn’t possible. I had seen what life was about and I could not pretend I didn’t know. So I quit my life again, and for good this time. I quit college; I quit designer clothes and my little yellow convertible; I quit my boyfriend. I no longer have all the things the world says are important. I do not have a retirement fund; I do not even have electricity some days. But I have everything I know is important. I have a joy and a peace that are unimaginable and can come only from a place better than this earth. I cannot fathom being happier. Jesus wrecked my life, shattered it to pieces, and put it back together more beautifully.

From her book, Kisses From Katie (Review coming - but seriously, this is the best book I've read this year!)

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Romans 7

For I delight in the Law of God, in my inner being (verse 22)

Like all people, the Apostle Paul struggled with sin. He found himself doing things he didn’t want to, and ignoring the things he did want to do. His victory over sin was not complete until his death.

What made Paul so great was not, therefore, his victory over sin. It was not his relative perfection. It was his delight in the Law and the things of God.

How much do I delight in the Law of God, in my inner being? How much do I meditate upon Scripture, memorise Scripture, read Scripture? How much time do I spend in worship, in prayer?

It is not enough to compare myself to my failing peers, those who pray for five minutes before sleep. I need to be comparing myself to the great Saints of the past, to people like the Apostle Paul and Hudson Taylor and Amy Carmichael. I need to see where I need to improve.

The fact is, my delight is not sufficiently on God. I am still too easily distracted from Him and turn my own way. I follow after the ways of the world.

This needs to change, and God alone can (and will, and is) change(ing) me.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

John Piper

Christians who spend time in prayer do it because they see that God is a great Giver and that Christ is wise and merciful and powerful beyond measure. And therefore their prayer glorifies Christ and honors His Father. The chief end of man is to glorify God. Therefore, when we become what God created us to be we become people of prayer… Prayer is the very heart of Christian Hedonism. God gets the glory; we get the delight. He gets the glory precisely because He shows Himself full and strong to deliver us into joy. And we attain fullness of joy precisely because He is the all-glorious source and goal of life. Here is a great discovery. We do not glorify God by providing His needs, but by praying that He would provide ours – and trusting Him to answer.
From Desiring God.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Romans 6

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its natural end, eternal life (verse 22).

We are no longer slaves to sin, but have become slaves to God. Yet how little we seek to follow Him, to obey His every word. We spend valuable time chasing after our old master – maybe not in the same way as before, but we chase after sin nonetheless. How little we spend our time truly chasing after God and His kingdom! Think on how much time has been wasted on trivial pursuits this past week, and compare it to the time spent in His Word, or in prayer, or in service to the Saints or the needy of this world. I know that I am spending far too much time on matters that will have no eternal significance.

Yet the more I chase after the things of God the more fruit I see in my life. I want ot see the fruit of the Spirit in my life; to see a growing degree of piety, of love for God, of selflessness. In order to grow this fruit as well as possible, I need to be nourishing it with Godly things, and above all, by offering my life as a sacrifice to His glory.

I am no longer a slave to sin. I am a slave to righteousness, to my Lord Jesus Christ. I am to obey Him, and no other master.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

GIVEAWAY!

There is a massive giveaway happening over at Generation Cedar! She is giving away $600 of Vision Forum gift certificates. In case you don't realise, Vision Forum sells some pretty cool Christian books, DVDs, and audio books.

Hop on over to this post at Generation Cedar and find out how to enter!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Romans 5

But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (verse 8)

Christ died for us, and He died for us while we were still sinners. He did not wait for us to “clean up our act” enough for us to love Him – we could never clean up our act enough for that. Instead, He came and died for us while we were filthy, diseased, wretched sinners, rebels against His rule, and He rescued us, reconciling us to God the Father by His death.

It is so tempting to attempt to get to God by our own works – after all, that is what the religions of the world are based on: do enough good works, make enough sacrifices at the altar, and maybe, just maybe, God will accept us.

But Christianity is different. Christianity is not us reaching up to God, it is Him reaching down to us. It is us being saved to do good works for God’s glory, not being saved by our works for our glory. God is first and foremost in the world, and one of the ways that He shows this is by dying for us, showing that only His perfect death can turn away His wrath from us unrighteous sinners, and make us pure and blameless in His sight.

Oh LORD, thank You that You died on the cross for me, while I was a sinner, that You did not expect me to fix my life first, but that You came down and rescued me. I thank and praise You in Jesus’ name.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Nate Saint

And people who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives…and when the bubble has burst they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Review: Don't Waste Your Life

Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper is such a fundamental book that I think everyone should read it at least once. As the title states, it is about not wasting your life, but instead pouring it out for the glory of God.

Beginning with an analysis of what a wasted life is, and how so many people both inside and outside the church waste large proportions of their lives, this book is a wake up call to test us to see if we are truly using our lives for the advancement of God's kingdom.

Here is a quote from inside:
The path of God-exalting joy will cost you your life. Jesus said, “Whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” In other words, it is better to lose your life than to waste it. If you live gladly to make others glad in God, your life will be hard, your risks will be high, and your joy will be full… Some of you will die in the service of Christ. That will not be a tragedy. Treasuring life about Christ is a tragedy.

Missions is obviously one of the most important ways that we can lose our lives for Christ's sake. Reaching all the world is the last command that Christ gave before He ascended to heaven. How many hear the call to the mission field, either for the short term or the long term, but refuse to follow God's call in order to have more of the dross that the world has to offer?

This book is available for FREE at Desiring God.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Randy Alcorn

As thunder follows lightning, giving follows grace. We give because he first gave to us. If your life doesn’t resound with the thunder of giving, doesn’t that suggest that you’ve not been struck by the lightning of God’s grace.

From his chapter in For the Fame of God’s Name: Essays in Honor of John Piper

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Are We Commanded to Be Good Stewards?

I have been reading a lot of criticism of different expressions of Christianity, and it’s interesting how often one comment comes up about any type of Christianity that really seeks after God’s will in a counter-cultural way… they all get told how God really couldn’t have meant xyz, because He wants us to be “good stewards”.

It seems so right. It seems so reasonable. You shouldn’t have more children than you can afford. You shouldn’t have to tithe. You shouldn’t give to missions. You shouldn’t dedicate your life to staying home with your family, or helping others when you can have a well-paying job. You shouldn’t use your spare time in a way that helps others without making sure you receive adequate remuneration. Because those things are not being a “good steward” of the gifts that God has given to you.

The thing is, God actually doesn’t ask us to be good stewards. That command is nowhere in Scripture. The command to give up all we have and follow Him – that makes it in there… several times. We need to give all that we have in order to follow Christ more closely.

In many cases, this is going to look like “wasting” things to the world. It is going to look like the opposite of good stewardship. It’s going to be having more children than you can afford to give soccer and ballet classes to. It’s going to be giving more than you think you can afford to missions. It means turning down a job that pays better so that you have more time to invest in God’s kingdom. It means going yourself when it would be cheaper to get someone else to.

It means giving our all to God.

I don’t want to be a good steward. I want to live recklessly for Christ. He is my treasure, not anything in this world. And when that makes me look foolish in the eyes of the world, then I will remind myself that the wisdom of God is beyond that of man. And I will continue to follow Him with all I am.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Gladys Aylward

I wasn't God's first choice for what I've done for China…I don't know who it was…It must have been a man…a well-educated man. I don't know what happened. Perhaps he died. Perhaps he wasn't willing…and God looked down…and saw Gladys Aylward…And God said - "Well, she's willing."

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Book Review: Mama Jude


This (Mama Jude by Judy Steel) is probably the most secular missions book that will be reviewed – indeed, I didn’t even realise that it had a Christian perspective until I started reading it. It’s marketed as a general “person helps third world people” kind of book. I started it because it’s on the country that I’m about to go to… Uganda! Hence the review.

I actually really enjoyed this book. It is very honest about the different difficulties facing those who go into missions work (specifically in medical fields), both culturally, in terms of lack of finances, and the just plain obstacles that most people in these countries face, such as diseases, weather, etc.

It was especially interesting to me because she mentions the people I am going to stay with several times – Judy Steel even stayed with them twice. Which had me praying half-way through the book when she mentioned that they were temporarily living in pretty bad conditions with one of the most terrifying creatures known to man… rats. (Mice also rate). They have indeed moved (I did know this – but rats have been known to cause apprehension on my part).

One of the things I really liked about this book was that it made everything seem possible – Judy Steel is of retirement age (and was even the first time she went to Uganda), and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and continued to go back.

Another aspect that was really great was how she mentioned that her previous experiences on a farm in Australia came in useful when starting a mirco-loan scheme and helping the women involved start piggeries. It’s important as Christians to realise that God uses things in our background that we never thought would have a use.

The downside to this book is it is pretty secular. God is her reason for going to Uganda, and she mentions how He sustains her while there a few times, but He doesn’t appear much throughout.

Aside from this point, it was a great read (one of the best written missionary autobiographies I’ve read), and would be a wonderful book to interest seekers or baby Christians in missions, or to gather more information on what it can be like in the mission field.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

William Booth

"Not called!" did you say? "Not heard the call," I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father's house and bid their brothers and sisters, and servants and masters not to come there. And then look Christ in the face, whose mercy you have professed to obey, and tell him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish his mercy to the world.
William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army

Friday, 18 November 2011

What Does the Romance Novel Say About the Failure of Feminism?

Disclaimer: Please don’t take this as a statement that you should read romance novels. It’s not. They’re badly written, and can stir up desires that aren’t positive or godly. But it is interesting to see what the continued success of the romance novel says about the ultimate failure of feminism.

Apparently, in the early days of feminism, feminists claimed that the romance novel would die out, as women had their horizons broadened, and no longer had their lives “constrained” to that of finding a husband and raising children.

It hasn’t happened. Romance novels sell just as well as ever, making large sums of money for their writers. Yet to a large degree, the world the feminists wanted has come about, in the sense that no women (in the west at least) are forced into marriage as their only career option in life. We’re all told we can be lawyers, doctors, anything we want. Yet women keep buying and reading romance novels.

What does this say about women? I mean, men don’t read romance novels. So what do they say about being a woman that feminism just didn’t take into account? How does the romance novel demonstrate the failure of feminism?

1. Sex is better with someone you love. Feminists, especially in the 60’s, wanted women to be as “free” with their body as they perceived males had been in the past. To a large degree, this has worked. The number of sexual partners most people have had is larger than the past. Yet romance novels hold this notion up to the ridicule it deserves. Even in novels where the female has had previous partners, none of them compare to the one she is in love with. Sex is best (especially for females, but for males too) when within a committed relationship (such as marriage). This is one of the ideals the romance novel holds to.

2. Women want a husband and children. Even without the first or third point, this alone demonstrates the failure of feminism to truly capture the heart of women. Women, as a general rule, WANT to be married. They WANT children. I’ve never seen a boy cry because he wants a baby, and it “just isn’t the right time” – but I’ve seen lots of girls in that position. I’m not saying males don’t want children, but for women, children are an urge that God has placed within us, and it is an urge that feminism has not been able to truly squash out of us. The romance novel demonstrates this

3. Women want the man to be the provider. I’ve never read, seen adapted, or heard of a romance novel where the male had less money than the female. I suppose there would be a few “struggling artist” ones out there, but I rather expect by the end of the novel, he has become famous and is making the millions he always should have. We all know in real life that most men are not as “successful” as these men – there is a limit to the billionaire and millionaire class. But the dream – an articulated in most women – is to have a man who will provide for her, allowing her to be able to care for him and to raise their children as well as she can.

The romance novel demonstrates to me that even in the secular world, feminism hasn’t won. It may have the bodies of women going off to work every day, providing for themselves and living lives that are far from God’s ideal for them. But they know this. They know they have been cheated of something, and they turn to the place they think they can find it – the pages of a novel.

Thankfully we know where we can truly turn – to the arms of the living God. But pray for those who do not know Him; that they may see the darkness they are seeking in a small way to escape, and turn to Jesus in all His glorious light.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Sometime, by May Riley Smith

Sometime, when all life’s lessons have been learned,
And sun and stars forevermore have set,
The things which our weak judgements here have spurned,
The things so’er which we grieved with lashes wet,
Will flash before us out of life’s dark night,
As stars shine most in deeper tints of blue;
And we shall see how all God’s plans are right,
And how what seemed reproof was love most true.

And we shall see how, while we frown and sigh,
God’s plans go on as best for you and me;
How, when we called, He heeded not our cry,
Because His wisdom to the end could see.
And e’en as prudent parents disallow,
Too much of sweet to craving babyhood,
So God, perhaps, is keeping from us now
Life’s sweetest things, because it seemeth good.

And if, sometimes, commingled with life’s wine,
We find the wormwood, and rebel and shrink,
Be sure a wiser hand than yours or mine,
Pours out the potion for our lips to drink;
And if some friend you love is lying low,
Where human kisses cannot reach his face,
Oh, do not blame the loving Father so,
But wear your sorrow with obedient grace!

And you shall shortly know that lengthened breath
Is not the sweetest gift God sends His friends,
And that, sometimes, the sable pull of death
Conceals the fairest boon His love can send;
If we could push ajar the gates of life,
And stand within, and all God’s workings see,
We could interpret all this doubt and strife,
And for each mystery could find a key.

But not today. Then be content, poor heart;
God’s plans, like lilies pure and white, unfold;
We must not tear the close-shut leaves apart,—
Time will reveal the chalices of gold.
And if, through patient toil, we reach the land
Where tired feet, with sandals loosed, may rest,
When we shall clearly see and understand,
I think we will say, God knew the best.”

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Praying as the Church

It struck me recently just how little praying we do as the church. I’m not just talking about how the prayer meeting is small, with mostly the same people showing each week. I’m talking about praying AS the church, and not just FOR the church.

Prayer meetings, whether for small groups, for the local church, or even for more than one local church, tend to be self-focused. We pray for the person giving the sermon, for the people to have attentive ears, for the worship to touch our hearts. These are not bad things. But the prayer seems to stop there so often. When we pray for those outside the service/group it is usually for those who are sick within our church/group, or for the salvation of those who are attending but aren’t saved. Even prayer for the loved ones of those who are members of the church or small group is rare. One friend has referred to this as the church having “her eyes rolled back into her head”, always looking inwards.

We were not created for this! We were created to be able to change earth through our prayer! In order to do this we need to pray for those outside ourselves – for the success of missions to unreached people groups, for the strengthening of the persecuted church in countries like China and the Middle East, and for the ending of social ills such as abortion and slavery (which has more people in its grip than ever before in history).

We need to be praying AS the church, as salt and light, and not just for the church.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

John Piper

The critical question for our generation—and for every generation— is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?

From God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself

Monday, 14 November 2011

Romans 1

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world (verse 8).

The Roman Christians made great sacrifices for their faith. Many suffered persecution. They gave what they could (and often more than they could afford) to aid the spread of the gospel. They took such food care of those around them that the pagans commented. Their faith was proclaimed throughout all the world.

Is my faith? Do people who know Christians now days as those who are prepared to give their all to honour Christ? Do they even know me (those who know me) as someone prepared to give my all in order to follow Him? I can honestly say no to both, and while this concerns me greatly about the whole church, it concerns me more about myself. How little is the love I have for Christ if I am not willing to sacrifice all for His sake. Some say that He hasn’t directly said to them (or me) to, but we have His Word, wherein He has said that those who will not abandon all they have for His sake cannot be His disciples. And here I am, clinging to the rubbish I have collected along the way. Lord, forgive my terrible witness!

I want to be known by those around me as being someone who happily gives her all for Christ, who sacrifices joyfully to make Him known throughout the nations.

Lord, help me to be such a follower of You!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Mother Teresa

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Acts 28

…for with regard to this sect we know that everywhere it is spoken against. (From verse 22)

The Roman Jews did not know much about the Way, and all they had hear was bad. That was fine with them – the Jews, especially in places like Rome, were used to having their way of life, their families, and their God maligned. They knew a bad report could be the slandering of God’s true work, just as it had been in the times of the Prophets, and more recently, the Maccabees.

Today, that is still the case with true Christianity. People laugh at those who “waste” their Sunday mornings at church or their time in prayer. They mock those who attempt to do good (I never realised until recently how hated Mother Teresa is/was, and precisely for the reasons she is so known, not her dodgy theology or her long-time hidden doubts). Christians are made fun of in a way that just isn’t acceptable for in regards to any other religion.

Yet these things are not bad things in God’s plan. People are interested in the ‘weirdness’ of true Christianity, and for some of them, their interest will develop into faith. We must never be ashamed of the gospel, in spite of those who appear to be arrayed against us, for the gospel is the power of God to save the souls of those who are yet to believe.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Lest We Forget



They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The Church and Proverbs 31 (Part 8)

Her husband is known in the gates… (Proverbs 31:23)

This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:32)


How much of what we do really demonstrates that Christ is our supreme treasure? Even when we are being the kind of bride that Christ wants us to be, how often is that reflecting back to Christ?

Are we making our Heavenly Husband known throughout the land?

It is important to teach the next generation the ways of God. It is important to care for the needy. It is vital that we use every opportunity to bless others. But if we aren’t doing these things to extend God’s kingdom, then ultimately, they will come to nought.

As that old saying goes: Tis one life, that’ll soon be past, and only what’s done for Christ will last.

Are we making our Husband known?

I know I don’t as much as I should. It’s easier to talk about caring for the poor than to talk about how Jesus wants us to use our money. It’s easier to talk about bringing up our children to be “good kids” rather than to make it known – to them and the world – that we are nurturing them in the faith. It’s easier to pretend to trust in God for the salvation of our loved ones than it is to open up our mouths and actually talk to them about Him.

But if we are not doing everything in faith, doing everything to make Him known, then we are sinning. Even if we are doing all the right things, even with unselfish motives. If we are not giving the glory to God, and to God alone, then we are sinning.

Church, join me with making our Jesus known, at home, abroad, everywhere we go. Let us bring to our Husband a small portion of the acclaim He deserves, that He might be known throughout all the earth.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

From Erik Weir

• Fight slothfulness. Work as unto the Lord.
• Set your own deadlines, many people do not appreciate the significance of timeliness.
• Allow your sons to fail. Failure is necessary to succeed. It’s hard to watch, but failure definitely shapes a person, as long as failure is viewed as a lesson and not a destination.
• Get up early. Leaders should be the first out of bed and spend time with God, reading the Bible and in prayer before anyone else in the house is up. Early AM hours set the tempo for the day.
• Create a mandate for the day. Start each day thoughtfully attacking your biggest problems after spending time in prayer.
• At the end of each day, evaluate the day. Make corrections, and move ahead boldly. Dominion is not gained from a recliner. It’s gained from a broken and contrite spirit crying out to God for help and direction.
• Fall on your face as a broken man, and cry out to God, “I need you.” Fulfilling Deuteronomy 6 as a dad (in the flesh) is impossible. With God, He can take our mistakes and make them blessings.
• If you take the easy way out or listen to the radio to check out, you can create a multi-generational mess. There are no idle thoughts, words, or deeds.
• There is no effort without error.
• Hunger and thirst for righteousness.
• Everything counts. Choose not to settle.
• Define reality by God’s Word.
From this post Scott Brown Online. So many of these are relevant for me (even as a single female!)

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The Church and Proverbs 31 (Part 7)

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her (Proverbs 31:28)

This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:32)


Part 6 was focused on the child’s voice. This part is focused on the husband’s voice.

There are few things that we as Christians want to hear more when we see God face to face than, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” We want to hear the praises of our heavenly husband. Yet how little we do is focused on actually going about and completing what He wants us to do. How little effort we dedicate to the Great Commission, or to the Dominion Mandate, or even to helping those around us. We are too busy entertaining ourselves, in some cases, literally to death, as we grow more and more obese, and get diseases that were virtually unknown even a short time ago.

If we want to have the praise, we need to be doing something for it. God doesn’t hold to the self-esteem movement, where He tells you how wonderful you are, even when there is nothing right about you or your behaviour. His praise when we see Him is not based on nothing; it’s based on the fruit we produced.

I shudder to think how much we will realise we missed the mark when we reach heaven. How much I missed the mark! My goodness, I fail so often to put God first, and to care for others as myself. But I long to hear that sought after phrase when I see Him face to face for the first time. I long to have Him praise me for the way I have lived my life. I long to have Him show me the difference I made on earth.

His praise is better than anything, better than life itself.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Clement of Rome

Lord, we beseech you to help and defend us. Deliver the oppressed, pity the poor, uplift those who have fallen, be the portion of those in need, return to your care those who have gone astray, feed the hungry, strengthen the weak, and break the chains of the prisoners. May all people come to know that you only are God, that Jesus Christ is your child, and that we are your people and the sheep of your pasture.
From Prayers of the Martyrs, collected by Duane W.H. Arnold

Sunday, 6 November 2011

The Church and Proverbs 31 (Part 6)

Her children rise up and call her blessed; (Proverbs 31:28)

This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:32)


How many children brought up in the church really give thanks for it? Not that many really. Not even those who remain in the church rarely do. Are we really doing all we can to help the next generation, especially the next generation of believers?

To put it bluntly, we aren’t. For those who have read Already Gone by Ken Ham, you will know that a staggering number of children leave the church. The statistics vary depending on what organisation asks the questions, but it’s around ¾. Three quarters of young people brought up in the church leave it, and most never return. Those who return are typically not “believers”, they are people who want good moral values taught to their own children.

There are a variety of responses to the problem of young people walking away from the faith. But we need to change this. If you are a parent, then you need to look at your own children and ask if they are going to continue. Will you see them in heaven? And what are you doing to make sure that they have every possible opportunity to see the light of the gospel?

Will your children rise up and call you blessed on the day of judgement? Will the children in your care, those in your church, or school, or community, rise up and call you blessed? Or will their response be somewhat other, on that last day?

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Gone!

I have GONE... to Uganda!

I am back on the 27th...

But because I have so many readers (the whole 3 of you) I have scheduled posts for this time.

Please pray for me at this time.



Psalm 67
For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm. A song.
1 May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face shine on us—[b]
2 so that your ways may be known on earth,
your salvation among all nations.

3 May the peoples praise you, God;
may all the peoples praise you.
4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you rule the peoples with equity
and guide the nations of the earth.
5 May the peoples praise you, God;
may all the peoples praise you.

6 The land yields its harvest;
God, our God, blesses us.
7 May God bless us still,
so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Genesius of Rome

There is but one king that I know; it is he that I love and worship. If I were to be killed a thousand times for my loyalty to him, I would still be his servant. Christ is on my lips, Christ is in my heart; no amount of suffering will take him from me.
From Prayers of the Martyrs, collected by Duane W.H. Arnold

Thursday, 3 November 2011

The Church and Proverbs 31 (Part 5)

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. (Proverbs 31:25)

This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:32)


This is one verse that is so far away from what the modern Western church is like. We are terrified of the time to come. We have little to no trust in what God can do for us, whether it be in having children, in missions, in praying for the lost (especially lost loved ones), or even in terms of the end of days. We do not laugh at the future. We are too busy worrying about it.

I’m going overseas on November 5th. It’s interesting to see how different people react to the idea. Some people think it’s exciting. Others think it’s terrifying. One person I know tells me every time we talk about it how terribly brave I am, and how he could never do it, on and on until I want to smack the poor fellow. He’s not the only one who feels that way – not even the only Christian who feels that way. The thing is, they can’t trust that no matter what, God will take care of me. Sure, it may not always be the way I want to be taken care of, but the care is there all the same.

Wealth has not been good for the church. We worry too much about losing it. I know I worry all the time about how little money I have in my bank account now that I’ve paid for my air fare. And when all this worry from every church member is combined it can become paralysing. We need to go back to not worrying about how things will turn out. We know the ending anyway. God wins. And because He wins, we can laugh at the future, as individuals, and as a church.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Michael Cavanaugh

God doesn’t look at the magnitude of the gift. He looks at the giver’s ability to give. He doesn’t look at the size of the offering but the amount left in a person’s pocket. He doesn’t look at how much ministry a person does, only how much is held back. God is not concerned with how much you do but that you do what you can with what you have.
From God’s Call to the Single Adult

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The Church and Proverbs 31 (Part 4)

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue (Proverbs 31:26)

This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:32)

The church is not known for its great teaching. Even the more “intellectual” churches are seen as being shallow in thought and out of touch with reality. Brothers and sisters, this should NOT be what the church is known for!

God’s Word is wisdom, it is light, it is life. That is what we need to be teaching. It is what we need to be preaching. We should not be teaching a shallow, watered-down version of the world’s teachings, the gospel mixed with plenty of rubbish to get the world involved. We need to be teaching the Word, God’s pure wisdom.

How much of what you speak is God’s Word? How much is even related to God’s Word? If you are anything like me, then the vast majority of what you say is nothing more than man’s thinking. Sure, I say the occasional thing that happens to gel with the Bible, but how much of my thinking is truly, truly based on that and on nothing else?

As for the law of kindness… let’s just say the church is not exactly known for its kindness. This was not always the case. Once everyone was welcome. Jesus dined with prostitutes, tax collectors, and other unsavoury types. Today we are barely civil to those who swear a little. We have become snobs, the elites that Jesus detested. We need God to guard our tongues, that we might speak more sweetly to those around us, that they might see the goodness of Jesus, in spite of the at times terrible way His bride behaves.

Monday, 31 October 2011

John Piper

The path of God-exalting joy will cost you your life. Jesus said, “Whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” In other words, it is better to lose your life than to waste it. If you live gladly to make others glad in God, your life will be hard, your risks will be high, and your joy will be full… Some of you will die in the service of Christ. That will not be a tragedy. Treasuring life about Christ is a tragedy.
From Don’t Waste Your Life

Sunday, 30 October 2011

The Church and Proverbs 31 (Part 3)

She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. (Proverbs 31:20)

This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:32)


One of the things that the godly wife does is care for those who cannot care for themselves. As Christ’s bride, we, the church, NEED to be doing this. Jesus cares immensely about the poor – it’s one of the big topics of the Bible. As such, we need to too.

Are you doing anything at all to help the poor? Most of the world lives on less than two American dollars a day – less than what having a cup of coffee at a cafĂ© costs. Are you willing to give up that cup of coffee in order to make the name of our Heavenly Husband known throughout all the earth? Are you willing to sacrifice the take-away food, the DVDs bought from the video store? Are you willing to go without in order to care for those that Jesus cares for… and is waiting for His bride to care for too?

It’s one thing to help the global poor. It’s easy to sponsor a child (and I recommend it!), but the cost is not that great. Even my most “expensive” sponsor children cost me only $43 a month. The money isn’t really something that I miss terribly – as long as I can buy my books and my dairy-free chocolate, I’m not fussed as to how much money I have left over.

But the local poor… they are a different story. Do you care for the poor at home? The beggar who comes up to you, asking for loose change? The homeless, shivering as winter goes on, and it gets colder, wetter, and still out, sleeping in parks? Do you reach out your hand to them?

I’ve told more than a few beggars that I don’t have any money for them. Even when I do. I’ve walked past the people who are crouched in doorways, their knees huddled to their chest, trying to keep warm. But going past them is not what Christ wants from His bride. He wants us to help, to open up our hands and do what we can to make a difference.

There is so much that you can do – volunteer at a soup kitchen, knit hats for the homeless, even just opening your wallet when someone asks you for loose change.

Let us glorify His name, by opening our hands and our hearts, for the love of Christ.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Audri Vernier Botkin

These young people use phrases such as “I love God and I have a great relationship with Him. I’m so in love with Christ.” They seem to believe that they can have a relationship with Him and go on with their life without becoming uncomfortable and conformant to the commands in His Word. They seem to fail to realise that Christ said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” And it’s not enough to say, “Oh, I’m so in love with Christ.” That’s not what Christ is asking [for]. He’s asking for a life defined by His Word.
From her interview in Homeschool Dropouts.

Friday, 28 October 2011

The Church and Proverbs 31 (Part 2)

She… works with willing hands… she rises while it is yet night (Proverbs 31:13-15)

She… does not eat of the bread of idleness (Proverbs 31:27)

This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:32)


If you are part of the church, then you are a part of Christ’s bride. And as such, you should be seeking to do God good all the days of your life, a la a Proverbs 31 wife – even if you are single, even if you are a boy.

One aspect is that the Proverbs 31 wife is that we need to be working hard for our husband’s benefit, out of a love for His name. We need to work with willing hands, work early in the morning and late at night, using every moment to bring advantage to Him who loves us so tenderly.

I know I do not work anywhere near this amount. I am slothful beyond what most people think. Sure, I am efficient, and get a fair bit done, including for His sake, but I certainly do not use every moment for His glory. I mean – rising while it is still night? I can barely get up when my alarm goes in the morning. That’s right, I am secretly a slacker. I love to rest. I am so far from being a hard worker for Jesus. It’s something I’m striving for – but it’s hard.

But it is something that we need to be. We NEED to be working for God’s kingdom. It is part of our heavenly job description. We need to be working, using our hands, our hard physical labour, for the glory of our Heavenly Husband, our Lord, Christ Jesus.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Church and Proverbs 31 (Part 1)

The heart of her husband trusts in her… she does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. (Proverbs 31:11, 12)

This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:32)


I remember reading over proverbs 31:10-end while putting the children to sleep, and it occurred to me that the church is the bride of Christ, and as such, we need to be living that kind of self-sacrificial life that is one aspect of the marriage relationship. Yet how much we fail Christ, our heavenly husband! How little His heart can safely trust in His bride, the church! How little His heart can trust in me!

I think about all the days I have lived, and how few of them I have really gone and done good for Christ. How many days I have done Him harm! I did the kingdom of Christ harm before I became a part of His bride. And unfortunately, I have done Him harm since. I am so ready to live for myself, even over the one who died for me.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us seek to do Christ good and not harm all the days of our life, that His heart may safely trust in us.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Isaac Botkin

We’re not supposed to change ourselves to fit the world. We’re supposed to change ourselves – and the world – to fit God’s Word.
From Homeschool Dropouts.

Monday, 24 October 2011

1 Corinthians 15

One of the things that strikes me about the church is just how like the world we are. Let’s face it, the Biblical pattern for pretty much anything is weird in our modern culture (and often the church as well!) A wife submitting to her husband – weird. Children being educated in an environment that means they actually get to hear about God – weird. Dressing modestly (whether male or female) – weird. Not buying into the materialism so prevalent in our culture – weird. And these things are JUST AS WEIRD in most churches as they are in the modern culture.

Yet this is not what we should be like. We need to be living in a manner that seems crazy by the world’s terms. We need to be saying with our every action that we completely believe in Christ and in the power of His kingdom. Our every action needs to say that Christ is the centre of our lives, that our faith is completely in vain if Christ is not raised from the dead – that our entire LIVES are in vain if Christ is not risen.

I don’t see this for most people in the modern church. I see a bunch of people who are busy trying to look as exactly like the world as they possibly can. I know this to be the case in my own heart. I so want to be accepted by those around me, to be thought of as funny, as smart, as pretty.

But the world is fading away. In the end, Christ’s kingdom will be seen by all. Is that the kingdom we are living for here, now?

Or are we living as though our faith is in vain?

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Jonathan Edwards

God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in. When those that see it delight in it, God is more glorified than if they only see it. His glory is then received by the whole soul, both by the understanding and by the heart. God made the world that He might communicate, and the creature receive, His glory; and that it might [be] received both by the mind and heart. He that testifies his idea of God’s glory [doesn’t] glorify God so much as he that testifies also his approbation of it and his delight in it.

“Miscellanies,” no. 448, in The Works of Jonathan Edwards (WJE), vol. 13, The “Miscellanies,” ed. Thomas Schafer

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Giveaway!

Kim C from Life in a Shoe is having a giveaway of two DVDs. If you're like me, you would like to be able to watch more DVDs that... well... are actually faith building and not faith-destroying, like so much of modern "entertainment". These DVDs from Moore Family Films look interesting, and I'm hoping to win them. (PS, if you enter and win, can I borrow them? I promise I'll give them back)

The giveaway includes two DVDs, It Is Your Life: The Moss Family and Children are a Blessing.

Children are a Blessing Trailer from Moore Family Films on Vimeo.


So hop on over to this post at Life in a Shoe, and enter!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Jonathan Edwards

It is indeed a very wonderful thing, that so great a God should be so ready to hear our prayers, though we are so despicable and unworthy. That he should give free access at all times to everyone; should allow us to be importunate without esteeming it an indecent boldness; should be so rich in mercy to them that call upon him; that worms of the dust should have such power with God by prayer, that he should do such great things in answer to their prayers, and should show himself, as it were, overcome by them. This is very wonderful, when we consider the distance between God and us, and how we have provoked him by our sins, and how unworthy we are of the least gracious notice. It cannot be from any need that God stands in of us, for our goodness extends not to him. Neither can it be from anything in us to incline the heart of God to us. It cannot be from any worthiness in our prayers, which are in themselves polluted things. But it is because God delights in mercy and condescension. He is herein infinitely distinguished from all the other gods. He is the great foundation of all good, from whom goodness flows as light from the sun.
From The Most High a Prayer Hearing God.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Candles in Worship

It often amazes me when I read about the saints of the past – how willing they were to give their all for Christ and His kingdom. How Christians of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd centuries were willing to be tortured and put to death, often in a public and humiliating manner. How the Reformers were willing to be burnt at the stake for the sake of justification by faith. How missionaries were willing to go to places with then-fatal diseases, knowing that they were extremely unlikely to see their family and friends this side of heaven. And when I compare these saints to the modern church (including myself) it appals me. It makes me feel sick.

Seriously, the Reformers and those who followed them! They died, DIED, for the sake of not having candles in the worship service. Candles! I would never die for that. I would think, it’s such a little thing, it doesn’t really matter, and it isn’t as though God ever said that we can’t have candles in church. God knows my heart, He knows I want to serve Him. The details aren’t important.

Except they are important. People got lead astray by these candles. What’s more, God didn’t say that we are to have candles – and given that He’s fairly descriptive of what He wants during worship services, then it becomes harder and harder to justify them.

We lack the passion of the saints of the past. I lack the passion of the saints of the past. Oh Lord, give us just a small portion of that passion, that we might give up our all to serve You!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

John Calvin

Words fail to explain how necessary prayer is, and in how many ways the exercise of prayer is profitable. Surely, with good reason the Heavenly Father affirms that the only stronghold of safety is in calling upon His name (Joel 2:32). By so doing we invoke the presences of both His providence, thought which He sustains us, weak as we are and well-nigh overcome, and of His goodness, though which He receives us, miserably burdened with sins, unto grace; and, in short, it is by prayer that we call Him to reveal Himself as wholly present to us. Hence comes an extraordinary peace and repose to our consciences. For having disclosed to the Lord the necessity that was pressing upon us, we even rest fully in the thought that none of our ills is hid from Him who, we are convinced, has both the will and the power to take the best care of us.
The Institutes of the Christian Religion.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

No Doubt

My friend Kallie recently taught in the Youth Group on the topic doubt. The funny thing was that the person in charge of Youth Group wanted me to do a testimony on the topic. Kallie told him once that she didn’t think I would be suitable. So he talked to me about it. I said that I wouldn’t be suitable. So he talked to Kallie about it again. She told him I would be extremely unsuitable. “I don’t think Sam has doubts. At all. Ever.”

Which isn’t exactly true. I’ve had three periods of doubting God’s existence since becoming a Christian. The first two were in the first year I was a Christian, when I was completely alone as a Christian. The third was the year after, when I suddenly looked at everyone at church and thought, “What am I doing, surrounded by all these crazy people?” Then I immediately responded that I was one of them, and happy to be so. That’s right. Time of doubt number 3 lasted about as many seconds. Period 1 was the longest. That lasted almost a whole minute. I’m just not a doubter.

Part of that is my personality. I’m one of those incredibly annoying, know everything, gung-ho for what I believe in, kind of people. That’s part of why I have this blog – it’s a good outlet to allow those around me to have a short escape from dealing with me being all preachy to them 24/7.

But part of it is striving to be obedient. When you put God’s words into practise you become a stronger Christian. I am amazed at how much I have grown through doing what God has commanded. It’s about reading God’s word, and reading about His word, and meditating on what that means.

There’s a saying, that I’ve heard attributed to Smith Wiggles-worth. God says it, I believe it, that settles it. When I heard it, I was like “Yes!” But a few minutes later I realised that that was wrong. My believing it or not does not change its truth. If God said it, it is true, whether I believe it, or anyone else does, or no one else does.

Perhaps that’s why doubt is so bad. It undermines the position God has in our lives. Even the smaller types of doubt, like doubting that God who can watch over the whole world is also able to keep an eye on you (doubted that I think once, for about 2 seconds. Working with children is a great antidote for this doubt). It hinders us, makes us weak. It’s rottenness in our souls.

I don’t deserve any particular praise for being doubtless. It isn’t really to my credit. But if you have doubts, take them to God. He can deal with them. He can remove them from you. He can transform you so that you can serve Him fully, heart, soul, and mind.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Scott Brown

Jesus did not come to put a patch on us or to give us an outward makeover like a new patch on an old cloth. He came to change us completely. He brings new wine, a new wineskin, and new garments. “Therefore, If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” That is how good He is!

From this post at Scott Brown Online.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Email and Response

I occasionally read over at Freejinger - and recently posted there as a lurker. If you've come from over there - welcome! I'm sure I'll have lots to say that you'll disagree with. Feel free to comment, including disagreements, as long as you are civil.

Anyway, one reader at Freejinger emailed me, asking for my opinion in regard to her personal situation. She's given me permission to post her letter and my response to it:

I don't call myself a Christian or an Agnostic or anything else; I am just a seeker of the Lord. This is very dear to me, even though I don't fit into any particular religious label myself (I know some find that hard to believe, but, well, it's true. You can love the Lord with all your heart and still not be able to label yourself).

I have been looking over your blog "Not Smoke and Bones" and, well... since I'm a "seeker" and I try my very best to be respectful and open to all spiritual outlooks (and when I'm not being as respectful and open and I should, I pray to the Lord to open me up and He always does!)

So, I read a lot of blogs and have tried to engage in conversation with many women who describe themselves as "born-again" and "Quiverfull" and "Christian". Most of them turn me away the moment they realize I don't call myself a Christian (that's not to say I'm *not* a Christian in some sense -- it just depends on what exactly is meant by "Christian"). I think that's unfortunate, but I also understand to some degree because they probably also get a lot of disrespectful "honest questions" and such from the folks at FreeJinger, and maybe you won't have time to discuss with me if you're being flooded with comments since you've posted there. But reading your blog, I get the impression that you might be more open to discussion than some of the other women I've tried to speak with. So if you can, I'd really like some of your input.

As you said, you are Quiverfull because you "believe that children are a blessing from God - and why would you want to limit blessings?" I, too, believe that children are a blessing from God. It is only by the grace of God that I have my precious daughter, whom I prayed and prayed and prayed and cried for. I wouldn't have survived my infertility without God. So why would I want to limit my blessings? Well, for one, pregnancy makes me very, very ill. I have never in my life been so sick and all the prayer in the world didn't cure me completely, it only comforted me in my pain (and perhaps kept me out of the hospital!). To be more explicit, when I was pregnant I did not leave the house except for midwife appointments because I was vomiting too much. Sometimes I could hardly lift my head. This was among other problems I had, and it went on my entire pregnancy, throughout labor, and only ended once baby was outside of my body. If I became pregnant right now and this happened again, how would I care for my baby daughter? She needs me. She needs my milk. And I would not be capable of giving her what she needed if I was going through that again right now. Furthermore, I also think God open and closes the womb anyway in his own time, regardless of any human intervention. He is a heck of a lot more powerful than contraception! If He wants to bless you, he will! regardless of any human steps you may take to avoid that. Why I think somebody we know in the Bible was blessed with child, no man needed at all ;-) And if a child isn't in His plan for you, you won't get one no matter how hard you try by human means to do so. No physical cause was ever found for my infertility -- I just believe that God gave me a child when it actually best for me, regardless of my ideas of when it should happen. I have since even thanked God for that, the most awful experience and deepest despair of my life, because I now see how it was necessary to fulfill other plans that were so important for my family.

So I wonder how you take all of this. I assume you believe that everyone should be Christian (although, again, I have trouble understanding what the definition of "Christian" actually is -- I know that's hard to understand. I would also be interested on your opinion on that by the way, but it's another story as to why I avoid the label/people tell I'm not Christian), but do you believe all Christian families should be Quiverful? Or do you believe that it is a "calling" that the Lord has in store for some people, but not everyone? How would you handle my situation if it happened to you?

These are honest questions I really have with no ill intent, but I find it so hard to ever get any straight answers because everyone seems so suspicious on both sides. I am not coming into this thinking "Christianity is wrong" or "Quiverfull is wrong". I know those things are not true because the Lord has made it clear to me that they aren't. I just want honest answers and respectful dialog. If you can, I hope you will engage me and give me something to think about. :)


My response:

Regarding the Christianity - yes, I do think everyone should be a Christian! But I know that not everyone currently is, and that some will move into God's kingdom, and some won't. Many of my friends (including some who read notsmokeandbones) are non-Christian. So I don't have a massive problem per se with non-Christians, of any ilk, let alone those who are seaching for God. I just point out that we all face the consequences for our actions and beliefs, and these consequences are both here and in the eternal. The decisions are yours to make, not mine, and are between you and God.

I suppose the best way of answering your question about my quiverful beliefs is to tell you a little about me. I was seriously ill most of my childhood, and we could never work out why. At first it seemed to be a result of being born premature, but most prem babies catch up, and I never did. My sister was the same size as me from when she was two years old. I was 4. I entered school and was the smallest person in the class - even though I was the oldest. I was the smallest person in the school the next year. The year after I was the second smallest - my sister had over taken me in terms of both height and weight.

When I was 8 I became seriously ill, and in a lot of pain. I went to hospital several times, but they didn't know what was wrong. I spent two years very sick and in constant pain. Eventually my mum took me to a different hospital, the best children's hospital in Australia. They didn't know what was wrong, but they decided to operate on my in an attempt to find out what was wrong. Turned out I had cancer - ovarian - which had developed unusually, twisting one of my ovaries (hence the pain and sickness, which otherwise would not have shown at all) and making it gangrenous inside me. I had to have that ovary and about a third of my womb removed. I didn't have to have chemo, etc.

The result is that I run risks of extremely difficult pregnancies, of miscarrying and possibily dying. These are real risks, and unfortunately, there are no other test subjects. (Edited to state - I'm glad there aren't other people who have gone through what I have - but it does mean that I really don't have any ideas as to the exact extent of what could happen.)

So I understand illness, being so sick you'd want more than anything just not to be sick. When you even have something small wrong with you, it takes up all your energy, all your attention. You really don't have anything left to give when you are really sick. So I understand that you would not want to become pregnant again, especially when you feel that you would therefor not be able to give as much to your daughter.

Now, I agree absolutely when you say that God is more powerful than any form of contraception - my mother was on contraception for when I was conceived! But that kind of brings up the "narrative not normative" approach to life. It worked out ok for so-and-so (even so-and-so in the Bible), so it should be ok for me. And God can always override it if He wants. By that logic, it's ok to become a prostitute (because Rahab was one, and she's an ancestor of Jesus) or adultery (King David did that) or steal (Rachel stole her father's "gods", which at the time also amounted to property deeds), or any of a whole number of other things of varying degrees of severity. You should not be basing your life on what God can over-rule. You should be basing your life on the Bible. Especially if you (not you specifically, but the general you) are a Christian, that needs to be your rule of life. What has God commanded, and how can I do that to the best of my ability?

For me, that includes trusting God in regards to pregnancies. (I plan to adopt too, btw.) It means accepting that God's way is better than mine, even when I think it completely sucks right now. And that His way is better, not only for me, but for my (as yet not present) husband and children in the long run. Even if in the immediate future it's not the nicest for them. God doesn't work to my timetable - He works to his own. His views are longer than mine - what happens now can impact the future in ways that I never imagined, further in the future than I ever imagined. That works for me, for you, for your daughter. It's kind of similar to how you mentioned that your morning sickness was necessary to fulfill other plans that were so important for your family. It's the same kind of thing, only that God's plans are better than ours, and go much further into the future.

Regarding whether or not I believe that all Christian failies should be Quiverful... yes and no. I do, because that's how I see the Bible. But I think the most important thing for all Christians is that they inspect all of their practises in light of Scripture, and they seek to obey God, and not just their own wants. To give you an idea on how this pans out in my day-to-day, I attend a non-Quiverful church, where most of the married couples have 1 or 2 children. I occasionally bring it up, because everyone (including me) needs to be examining their beliefs in the light of Scripture. But if they don't see Scripture the same way I do, then that's up to them and God.

Personally, if I was in your shoes, I would not be using contraception. On a practical note, breastfeeding will limit the chances of becoming pregnant, at least for a time. But even if I knew I was extremely likely to become pregnant, face exactly the same thing again, I still would not be using contraception.