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Monday, December 31, 2007
Today marks the end of 2007. This year went very differently than I had "planned". Obviously, that was the Plan all along. Yesterday morning in church, we sang Psalm 90C. I think everyone was wrapped up in the powerful words of the Psalm, along with the added bonus of the amazing harmonies and the building acoustics. It holds particular meaning at the closing of a year, when we all think over what God has done and is doing and will do. I can't really say anything in comparison to those perfect words, so maybe I'll just write out part of the Psalm.
1 Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place
Through all the ages of our race.
2 Before the mountains had their birth,
Or ever Thou hadst formed the earth,
From years which no beginning had
To years unending, Thou art God.
10 For some life's years are seventy;
Perhaps the strong may eighty see;
Their best involved but toil and woe;
All quickly ends. How soon we go!
11 Who has Thine anger understood?
Who fears Thy fury as he should?
12 O teach Thou us to count our days
And set our hearts on wisdom's ways.
13 How long, O LORD? Return! Repent,
And toward Thy servants now relent.
14 Each morning fill us with Thy grace;
We'll sing for joy through all our days.
17 On us let there be shed abroad
The beauty of the LORD our God.
Our handiwork upon us be
Established evermore by Thee.
Yes, let our handiwork now be
Established evermore by Thee.
Amen and amen.
Tomorrow we're celebrating New Years at Sorrento beach with several other RPs, as we did last year. I'm looking forward to it, even in the predicted heat. We'll get our Christmas presents that our brothers sent with Abby Elder, so that is also exciting.
Happy New Year! May God bless you in 2008.
Charity | 11:33 amComments-[ comments.]
Saturday, December 22, 2007
I haven't really put anything about my recent life on here in a while. I haven't really felt the urge to update with random stories. Somehow, tonight I do. Well, I guess it's morning now -- 12:03.
Summer break officially started a few weeks ago. I haven't done anything exciting or outstanding so far. I've been reading a lot of good books, which has been very nice. I finally finished The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis that Matt Glover has been encouraging me to read for a few months. I've also finished Defeating Darwinism, Every Storm, Goodnight, Mister Tom, Rachel's Tears, Through the Gates of Splendour, some of Poems by C.S. Lewis,and am currently reading Amy Carmichael's Mimosa. I have a mental list of the books I want to read, but I must admit it has been terribly interrupted over and over again by most of the titles above. I am also currently reading a book aloud to Tamara. It's over 400 pages, so she didn't really want to take on the task herself. She's definitely very much into it now, but she is a little embarassed that I'm treating her as a blind person. "All I need is my cane and sunglasses!"
The Lord has been sending us rain!!! Since moving here, I have come to the point where I am no longer content to listen to and watch a thunder storm. I have to go out and be in it. I would put on some photographic evidence, but I don't want to scare away all of my many faithful readers.
Today Tamara and I made pizza whilst listening to Christmas music. I'm excited about our Christmas picnic plans with the Blakstons and some others -- or Christnic, as Micah Humphries pointed out we must be celebrating. I think next year we'll skip the whole shipping-presents-to-the-States thing. So enjoy them this year, those of you who will hopefully be receiving something special from us soon. I am sure postage people throughly enjoy ripping people off, especially around Christmastime!
I also watched this amazing movie tonight called "North & South". It is a Jane Austen-ish, 4-hour-long, BBC production. The Glovers let us borrow it, but I really didn't think I'd like it nearly as much as I did.
Speaking of the Glovers... I found out this week, whilst conversing with Matt over IM, that Justine is expecting their 4th child!!!!! Even just staring at the words on the computer screen made me scream and laugh out loud. We are so incredibly overjoyed, as I am sure they are. Praise the Lord for this good gift of new life!
Well, it's 12:17 now, and I think Tamara is wanting to do some more reading. What can I say? We're on holidays!
Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year! Have fun in the snow while we sweat in our Summer Wonderland!
p.s. Tamara has a much better post...
Charity | 12:20 amComments-[ comments.]
Monday, December 17, 2007
Charity | 10:22 pmComments-[ comments.]
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Josh McEwen: *pointing to reindeer chocolate* Eleni, what do you think those are?
Josh: *pointing to Santa chocolate* And who do you think that is?
Me: Eleni, are you excited about your mum having a baby?
Eleni: Oh, yes.
Me: Do you want a brother or a sister?
Eleni: A sister ... God decides that, actually.
What can I say? She's a McEwen!
Charity | 9:36 pmComments-[ comments.]
Thursday, December 13, 2007
We entered the Glover kids in the Psalmtube contest on www.crownandcovenant.com. We didn't really practice, and you can't exactly hear what they are singing, but the general cuteness makes up for it. Notice the extra bright smiles at the beginning, especially? "You're singing God's praises! Look happy!" I told them. Joshy was a little over-enthusiastic, and James was slightly under-enthusiastic. Beth kept everyone on tune. Well, at least she tried.
I'd have to say the kids here were a little better: http://youtube.com/watch?v=ACQtCAqR1mc
...but we had fun.
Charity | 11:45 pmComments-[ comments.]
Monday, December 03, 2007
--some thoughts inspired by Alastair McEwen's sermon "The Sixth Point of Calvinism", Bible study discussion of "Talking to God: The Theology of Prayer", and Elisabeth Elliot's "Through the Gates of Splendour"--
The Calvinistic beliefs can be generally summed up in the acronym TULIP:
Total depravity--people aren't as bad as they could be, but are each one fallen and dead in sin (Romans 1:9-18)
Unconditional election--God has chosen who will be saved, and it is through none of man's efforts that God brings salvation (Romans 9:11-18)
Limited atonement--Christ died to save the elect of God (John 6:37-39)
Irresistible grace--God will save those whom He has chosen to save through His ever-sufficient grace (Romans 3:23-24)
Preservation of the saints--once saved, always saved (John 10:27-29)
Alastair McEwen suggested that a sixth point be added:
Suffering of the saints--because we are saved, we must suffer for the sake of Christ (Matthew 5:11-12)
What if we aren't suffering as Christians? Is it because we aren't as public as we should be with our faith? Are we lacking the courage to take a stand against the ever-rising false religions around us?
So many of the religious freedoms we enjoy today were granted through great suffering of God's people. So many godly men and women have gladly sacrificed their earthly comforts and even forfeited their lives for the sake of the gospel.
God may not call every one of us to be missionaries to savage and hostile people. He may not place us in a position where our faith is tested and tried in every aspect of life. He may not ask us to lay down our lives for His name. But He does command us to be hot in our zeal for Him. He does call each of us to a personal mission lifestyle. He does require unconditional dedication to the sake of the gospel. And His grace is sufficient for us to do so.
"The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
"...in order to obtain our objective, we had to be willing to be expendable...Yet, when the Lord Jesus asks us to pay the price for world evangelisation, we often answer without a word. We cannot go. We say it costs too much..."
--Nate Saint, missionary to Ecuador, martyr for Christ ["Through the Gates of Splendour"]
Charity | 1:13 pmComments-[ comments.]