Sunday, 23 October 2016

It's Time to Start Again

Okay, let's try this blog thing again. I have a lot going on in my head, but there are some complications when it comes to blogging:

1. I don't want to share everything with the world (or the bit of the world that still reads this).

2. When I'm thinking about things that I could blog, it isn't always a convenient time to write.

3. I'm trying to stay off the computer in the evenings, there's not a lot of time to write in the mornings, and I'm usually at work during the day.

On the other hand, I like writing, and I do have thoughts that I can share. So here's the plan: I'm going to try updating the blog at least once a week. We'll see how that works for now.

And for those of you who have hung in there, waiting for words, I have 2 stories for you:

From work:

One of my students was trying to show off how smart he is, so I pointed out that I still know more math than he does. His response:
"That's because I'm only in grade 6, and you're in!"

From Junior Church:

We were talking about Moses (who, despite what one small sweetheart thought, was never thrown into a pit by his brothers). We were talking about how God knew that Pharaoh would say No to Moses, and how God knows everything. We don't know everything: not us, or our parents, or the pastors, or anyone. Then this conversation happened:

Small girl, very thoughtfully: But I think Pastor James and Pastor Mike know a LOT about God and the Bible.

Me: Well, yes, or they'd have to or they wouldn't be very good pastors.

Smaller girl, with all the intensity of a Very Serious 4-year old: Pastor James and Pastor Mike are VERY good pastors because they teach us about God and Jesus.

There was general agreement, and I assured them that yes, I know that they are very good pastors. I was also trying not to laugh at how quickly they came to the pastors' (unnecessary) defense.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Why I Don't Despair

Sometimes things are tough, and sometimes I know that I'm not the Christian I should be. Sometimes (often), I fail, and fall down, and sin. That's when I take comfort in the knowledge that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, and that I belong to Him forever. The good news of the Gospel is not just for the moment of salvation, but for the whole life of the Christian and all of sanctification.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

About Following Christ

The song says, "I have decided to follow Jesus". "Decided": past tense. Like it was one decision and that's taken care of and now I'm happily following Jesus all the time.

It's not like that. Following Jesus is a series of decisions that we make every day, sometimes the same decisions over and over. Will I watch this television show, or will I read (or even watch, or listen to) something edifying? Will I waste time (sometimes just because I'm feeling lazy), or will I use my time wisely? Will I keep putting myself first, or will I reach out to others who may need me? There are so many decisions every day, and all too often I know I make the wrong choice. I choose to follow the world or my own desires, and not to follow Christ.

Today my heart is heavy. I have a friend in the hospital because of an intentional overdose. I don't know her very well because I didn't take the time to get to know her. She lives close to me, and she suggested a couple times that we get together for coffee. I was always too busy with too many things and too many other people, and always agreed that we need to do that "when things slowed down". You know how it is: things never slow down. I never made the right decision.

Today I am thankful that my friend is on the mend, and that she's waking up, and responding to people. I am praying for her recovery and healing, and I am praying for myself. I am seeking God's forgiveness for the choices I made concerning her (and rejoicing in God's faithfulness and His promises of forgiveness), and praying for the chance to make the right choice and be in her life.

Every day we need to make the choice to follow Christ. Today I remembered that my choice to follow or not follow affect not only my own life, but also the lives of those around me. It's a great responsibility, and only through the power of the Holy Spirit can I keep choosing to follow Jesus. No turning back, no turning back.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

New Year, New Attempts

I don't make New Year's resolutions. I still think the "new year" starts in September, when school goes back, and January 1st is just a nice holiday! Which is probably why this year, I started making some changes to my schedule and stuff in November and December, rather than waiting until January.

Once again, I'm trying to spend less time on the computer and more time on useful pursuits. To that end, I've set up a reading schedule with a book for each evening and I haven't been turning on the computer after work on weekdays. I read at least one chapter, and maybe more. I was doing a chapter a week for a couple books to slow down my reading (so I'm reading to learn rather than to finish the book). I'm not going to continue that slowly, but I am trying to read more nonfiction this year and to learn more. I've also started studying Greek again. I'm still near the beginning, but I'm slowly reviewing and learning again.

I also spent time cleaning things out. I've cleaned out the bedroom closet and the laundry room. Things aren't perfectly organized, and I'm not naturally tidy, so I can't say how long it will last, but at least it feels under control again. I still want to go through the kitchen cupboards and such, as well as the bathroom cabinet. I like feeling organized and tidy, even though I'm not that good at staying that way!

We'll see how things go this year.

Friday, 8 January 2016

60 Years Ago

On Sunday, January 8, 1956, Ed McCulley, Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Pete Fleming, and Roger Youderian landed their small plane on a beach in the jungles of Ecuador. They were waiting to make contact with some of the Auca people. They had flown over the villages several times, lowering gifts and calling out friendly phrases. Now they had found a spot to set up camp and were waiting for the coming Aucas. 

Back at the base, their families were waiting by the radio to hear from them. The call never came. The next day, someone flew over the camp and spotted the plane, stripped of fabric; two days later, they spotted the first body. Eventually, it was confirmed: all the missionaries were dead. 

This sounds like it should have meant the end of the mission labours. On the contrary, it only intensified things. More people applied to take the place of the pilot and hundreds volunteered for missionary service. Within three years, two of the women who had waited (Rachel Saint and Elisabeth Elliot) had moved to live with the tribe and taught them the gospel. Some of the murderers believed in Christ. 

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." -Jim Elliot