Titus 2:3-5

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The call back home

With our decorating almost over I thought I could spare some time to write again. Decorating has been a long project for us. When I moved here in September last year our whole house needed to be painted. Rob moved in just after construction was completed, and so all the internal walls were covered in plain white plaster. Nearly seven months later we have just a few coats of paint in our bedroom to go. We did choose a lovely dark crimson so our room would be nice a cosy. As a result we are having to do several coats of paint. So far we are at two coats, with probably two more to go. I'll get another one done today and then we'll do the fourth tomorrow. That should have us ready to move the furniture back in on Monday. I will be so glad to finally have the house back together and my routine back on track.

Recently I started meeting with a friend once a fortnight for bible study. It started as a response to a crisis, but after the first few she came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Already it has been encouraging to see the change in her life. We have committed to continue to meet and study God's Word together. We are currently looking at Ephesians 4 and Paul's instructions for living a godly life. I think Ephesians is a great book, as they were surrounded by gross ungodliness and affluence, just as we are today. They faced the same challenges in everyday living that we do. Last night we were discussing why Paul told them to not be like their pagan neighbours. We too are called to be different from the world around us.

With my friend it is easy to see how the Lord is working in her heart and transforming her from the image of the world into His own likeness. Even though she is but a baby spiritually and has everything to learn, the Lord has moved her heart in the direction He would have it go. I can remember just weeks ago, before she was saved, how she would explain her lack of desire for her home. Her husband did a lot of the chores at home. They both worked full-time and with teenage daughter involved with school sports for a large part of the year she had neither the time nor the interest to be involved with a domestic life. Praise God, that's the first thing He changed in her heart. Since salvation she has developed a burning desire to be home and focused on being a wife and a mother. She didn't even know that was biblical until she had already decided to find a way to get back home. She has shared with me how during quiet spells at work she is thinking about what she could be doing at home instead. She is excited to be home cleaning and organising and caring for her family. I have already told her how encouraged I am at the complete change in her, whilst also trying to prepare her for other people's reactions.

It is a sad truth that in the Church we both attend there are very few women who stay home, or even desire to be home. Some of the older women smile when they find out I am a stay at home wife and have no desire to be in the workplace, but even most of them don't do likewise. Most of the women I know have become so used to silencing that inner voice that calls them home, they don't even hear it anymore. The dividing line between us and the world has been somehow erased. Corporately, in our desire to be relevant and reach the lost, we have forgotten we are called out of the world by our Lord and Saviour. The gospel is not a relevant message, it is a radical one. The first century Church turned the known world upside down. In our generation instead of transforming we have become experts at conforming.

I have never been very good at conforming. Maybe it is because I come from a non-conformist background. Even as a teenager I knew the God I read in the Word and the God I experienced was a radical transformer. I knew even at the age of fourteen, when I first got saved, that I was called to be different. All of us who know Christ, and Him crucified, are called to be different. Along with being non-conformist, I have also never been a good compromiser. For me the two go hand in hand. I am a sold out, give it everything I've got kind of person. I was that way even as a child, and I am still that way today. It is how I understand God to be. He doesn't want a part of me, or you, He wants it all.

So what happens now. We take that radical message of complete transformation and we let it get infectious. We share it honestly and completely and watch it grow. Only six weeks ago I was a lone voice in my Sunday School class, and Church. Now there are two of us, with three teenage girls to influence. We pray for two more, then four more, then eight, and we keep going until our entire Church is transformed. Then we keep going until our entire community is transformed. Then we keep going until it is no longer a few lone voices who only meet like minded women through the internet.

I am excited about the prospect of being involved in such a radical transforming power, as the gospel of Jesus Christ trully is. It is the power to completely change lives, take take shattered pieces and make them whole. May the call back home become a mighty shout no woman of God can ignore.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The busyness of life

The last few weeks have been busy around here. With the approach of daylight savings time, the start of spring and the increase in temperatures my beloved has been in overdrive for us to get finished with all our house decorating. When I arrived last September our entire house needed to be painted. Although Rob had been living in the house for over a year he was waiting for my arrival to begin painting. Before I ever saw the house I thought it would be a few weeks to complete. When I saw how big the house was I knew it would take much longer, just not this long. We are on the home stretch now, with just our own bedroom to paint. Even the garage got painted before our bedroom. After all the delays we looked forward to completion. Then last week a friend asked me to help look after her toddler for a few days, as he couldn't go to daycare. I happily obliged as I enjoyed a change of pace. Needless to say I didn't make any progress in the decorating in those few days. Rather I got to enjoy seeing my home through the eyes of a young boy, and marvel at what a wonderful playground our home is. Carpeted stairs seemed to be the favourite toy, as both days saw hours spent climbing and playing on the stairs. As I remembered back to my own childhood I believe my brother and I also would spend a lot of time playing on the stairs in our home. No need for expensive toys when there is a house to play in.

Then we also had some terrible news last Friday. My husband and I help in our Church bus ministry. We run one of the bus routes for Sunday mornings. My husband is also the AWANA Commander. That is our Wednesday evening children's ministry. I help in by being director of the younger children (Sparkies.) On Friday night we got a call to let us know that one of the children had suddenly died. He was only 12. He had died in his sleep on Thursday/Friday. This boy was on our Sunday morning route and also one of our AWANA boys. He lived with his father, as his mother had left when he was very young. He had only just got saved three weeks ago, and now he is home with the Lord. The funeral is tonight, at the same time as our AWANA group. His family has very little by this world's standards, and do not know the Lord. Our entire Church are wrapping around this family during this difficult time. The family don't even have any money to pay for the funeral. This boy was not one of the popular children. He could be very difficult to love, but he was still important to God. He is in glory now, but there is a shattered family still here to be ministered to. I cannot even begin to imagine what it must feel like to loose a child, never mind to go through it without the comfort of my faith. Yet we will continue to reach out to this family after the funeral is over and the other visitors have gone. The grief will take a long time to process, but we have a hope to offer this family and so it is our duty to continue reaching out to them in the coming months and years.

This week also sees my first Ladies Fellowship at our Church. I am eager to get started in this ministry, but also a little nervous. I have no idea what the ladies are expecting from me, or what previous fellowships have been like. I am launching this ministry with an afternoon tea, so the next few days are going to be busy with lots of baking. Regardless of the trims and expectations though, the important thing for me is to bring a refocus to our ladies. It is time to stop looking for entertainment and start looking for opportunities to serve. I am going to challenge the ladies with the verses from Titus 2 about the older teaching the younger, and being keepers at home. It is a message that is definitely needed here in Florida, where everyone lives such fragmented and isolated lives. Lord willing the message will begin to impact the women in our Church to make a real difference in each others lives as well as reaching outside ourselves to serve too.

Well it's time to close and get a paint brush back in my hands again.

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Baby Mordecai

Our blessed first baby, Mordecai, gone to heaven on July 23, 2009 at 13 weeks gestation.

You will never be forgotten by us.