Mission Statement

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

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

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

Monday, 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


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.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Friday, 14 October 2011

The Sheep of His Pasture

A while ago I was at a church prayer meeting, and I had this vision. Now, in spite of attending a Pentecostal church, I don’t go around getting visions that often. But this particular occasion, I did.

I saw a flock of sheep grazing peacefully. A wolf sidled up to one of them, and was about to attack. So the sheep bared its teeth at the wolf like a dog. And the wolf nearly fell over laughing. Even I had to struggle to contain myself. I mean, it was FUNNY. This sheep thought it could protect itself just by baring its teeth. And it didn’t look threatening at all, just incongruous.

God pointed out to me that this is often the way that I behave. I think I can protect myself. And aside from maybe making the enemy laugh to death at my feeble attempts, I’m pretty useless. I need the good shepherd. I can’t defend myself.

We are the sheep of His pasture (see Ps 100). And as His sheep, He will protect us. We don’t need to be attempting some ridiculous attempt to save ourselves – it will just fail. At best, it will be sadly funny. But His protection is complete We can never be taken out of the palm of His hand.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Jonathan Edwards

The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows; but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams. But God is the ocean. Therefore it becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward heaven, as it becomes us to make the seeking of our highest end and proper good, the whole work of our lives; to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labour for, or set our hearts on, any thing else, but that which is our proper end, and true happiness?

From “The Dissertation Concerning the End for Which God Created the World.”

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

How Are You Dressed?

1 Timothy 2:9-10

...likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

You know, girls put a lot of effort into looking nice. Some put more in than others. It amazes me at times just how much time, effort, and money some of the girls in my church spend on their appearance. (To give you an idea, my small group’s jokes about girls all have to do with shopping, and their jokes about boys are all to do with eating.)

The thing is, our outward appearance is not that important. I’m not saying that we should all go around looking like slobs, but simply that there are much, much more important things out there. And there are far more important ways to be dressing than with clothes. God commands us to clothe ourselves in good works.

And that’s something that the church in general is lacking. I mean, sure, there are some people out there who give themselves completely to others, in a variety of capacities, but there are also those who think that giving a few coins to people asking for money to cure heart disease is plenty. That is not sufficient. It is not what God has commanded.

Whilst our righteousness in the sight of God is nothing but filthy rags, the people around us see our works and come to praise our Father in Heaven. They see how Christ has transformed us, and they praise God for it, even if they refuse to come to Him themselves. That should be our aim. To be so clothed with sweetness, goodness, and kindness that those around – especially those who do not know Christ, praise God because of us.

So, how are you dressed?

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

CS Lewis

If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, and Other Addresses

Monday, 10 October 2011


For those who haven't seen Ray Comfort's new doco yet...

Sunday, 9 October 2011

March For Babies

Yesterday was the 3rd March for Babies, to protest the change in abortion law in Victoria. I went, and took a friend (Stephen, from Frankston centre, my housemate’s boyfriend).

For those who aren’t aware, the current laws in Victoria not only allow what most people think of when they think of abortions (i.e. early term abortions) but have a great deal of more horrifying implications. Whilst ANY abortion is murder, the fact is, it is so much more obvious when the baby is older what you are doing.

The current laws (passed in 2008) include these particularly horrifying implications:
• Abortion is legal for any reason when the baby is up to 24 weeks (this is particularly horrifying to me – this is nearly 6 months along. I was born when my mother was 6 ½ months along, and that was 27 years ago, when the technology to keep premmie babies alive was much less)
• Abortion up to BIRTH is legal as long as two doctors (the abortionist and the abortionist in the next room) approve
• No pain relief is required for the unborn child
• No requirement to offer medical assistance to babies born ALIVE after “failed” abortions
• No counselling of health risks for mother prior to an abortion
• No ability for doctors, nurses or other health workers to not refer, assist, and perform abortions for reasons of conscience
• No reporting of minors to their parents should a minor request an abortion
• No mandatory reporting of minors who come in with a suspected abuser for an abortion

These are truly horrifying laws. I am completely opposed to all abortion, but this is something different. Not giving medical assistance to a live baby? How much more obvious can you get that abortion is murder?

The march was both incredibly encouraging and discouraging at the same time. It was wonderful to see the thousands of people who turned out in support of unborn life. It was especially encouraging to see that the “opposition” (which included the Sex Party, an Australian political party) numbered a maximum of 40 people. The difference in behaviour between the two groups could not have been more extreme. One had families, older people, people dressed modestly, speakers who were polite. Seriously, the most far-out behaviour I saw from the pro-life side were some Catholics behind us chanting out the “Hail Mary” prayer and another Catholic carrying a statue of Mary for the whole march. We were calm and polite.

The opposition were… not exactly the same. All were around my age, mostly the usual protest types, and dressed… not exactly modestly. At the front of their group they had three or four young women wearing midriff-exposing tops and short shorts, shouting obscenities and holding signs such as “I choose abortion because I choose to have a life” and “MINE” written over their midriffs with lipstick.A bit of a contrast. These women, and many others, need our prayers.

The discouraging thing was that there weren’t that many people my age range there. Aside from me and Stephen, I didn’t see anyone from our church, and I only saw one other person I know (the person who came to our church earlier in the year to give two classes on how we should be responding to abortion). I know many people who are pro-life, but they were not really pro-life enough to give up a few hours on their Saturday to protest these truly hideous laws.

If you are Australian, reading this, then I encourage you to write to your politicians, to see these laws change. They can be changed, but they won’t be if we don’t do something about it!

Here is the link to find the email addresses of your members of parliament

Here is a link to find out how your current member votes on pro-life issues

Finally, be in much prayer – for the babies, their mothers, those who have had abortions, and those who have performed abortions. God can heal them; He alone can heal them with the blood of Christ.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

The Open Mind and Switzerland

It’s interesting to notice how many people think they are “neutral” when it comes to, well, pretty much everything, but especially spirituals matters. They think that they are going to decide, and until the forces are quite clear one way or the other, they’re going to sit on the sideline, watching the others, those committed ones, go at it. When there is a clear winner, that’s when they’ll join in. In the mean time, why should I give up my own rights, my own sovereignty, in order to really decide one way or the other?

Kind of like Switzerland in WW2. They weren’t for either side. They were neutral.

Except they kind of weren’t.

You see, there is no such thing as neutrality. Not truly. You have to give up bits in order to keep the opposition happy, just as Switzerland did a few dodgy things to keep Nazi Germany happy. A few little things, not so big in the grand scheme of things...

But not neutral.

You will always have to choose, at least a bit. You can’t sit on the fence, not unless you are willing to let at least one side pressure you into giving them concessions. In the area of Christianity, it’s so common to hear non-believers of all stripes asking for small concessions to their point of view. Not much. Just small ones. And agnostics and many Christians give it to them. Because we want to seem impartial. Tolerant. Neutral.

Let’s do away with this notion of neutrality. I am not neutral. I have thrown my lot in with Christ, and I am on His side, now and forever.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Lilias Trotter

Deeper and deeper must be the dying, for wider and fuller is the lifetide that it is to liberate--no longer limited by the narrow range of our own being, but with endless powers of multiplying in other souls. Death must reach the very springs of our nature to set it free: it is not this thing or that thing that must go now: it is blindly, helplessly, recklessly, our very selves. A dying must come upon all that would hinder God's working through us--all interests, all impulses, all energies that are "born of the flesh"--all that is merely human and apart from His Spirit. Only thus can the Life of Jesus, in its intensity of love for sinners, have its way in our souls.

Parables of the Cross

Monday, 3 October 2011

No Place Safer

Most people who know me know that I’m going to Uganda in November, to work in a school that has lots of HIV orphans. It’s funny at times to listen to the reactions of some people. I’ve had people go on for 10 minutes about how brave, noble, and self-sacrificing I am. (I responded with, “You’re joking right? I mean, this is me.”)

But I’ve also had some interesting reactions from two other people – Sonia (from work) and my Mum. It’s more or less the same response, just phrased differently. It’s the idea that Uganda is not safe. My Mum phrased her statement as: “You’re going to get raped, get AIDS, and die!” (My response: “All in 3 weeks?”)

But the thing is, to be doing God’s will is the safest thing you can be doing. I mean, sure, you can be tortured and die (not something I’d be thrilled about if it faced me), but spiritually speaking, doing God’s work is the safest thing we can possibly do.

In the end, there is no place safer than His hands.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)