The Bomb

When something drops into your life that seems to threaten your future, remember this: The first shock waves of the bomb are not sin. The real danger is yielding to them. Giving in. Putting up no spiritual fight. And the root of that surrender is unbelief — a failure to fight for faith in future grace. A failure to cherish all that God promises to be for us in Jesus.
Jesus shows us another way. Not painless, and not passive. Follow him. Find your trusted spiritual friends. Open your soul to them. Ask them to watch with you and pray. Pour out your soul to the Father. Rest in the sovereign wisdom of God. And fix your eyes on the joy set before you in the precious and magnificent promises of God.
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At the End of the Day

In his book Miracle on the River Kwai,Ernest Gordon tells the true story of a group of POWs working on the Burma Railway during World War II.

At the end of each day the tools were collected from the work party. On one occasion a Japanese guard shouted that a shovel was missing and demanded to know which man had taken it. He began to rant and rave, working himself up into a paranoid fury and ordered whoever was guilty to step forward. No one moved. “All die! All die!” he shrieked, cocking and aiming his rifle at the prisoners. At that moment one man stepped forward and the guard clubbed him to death with his rifle while he stood silently to attention. When they returned to the camp, the tools were counted again and no shovel was missing.

What can sustain the will to die for others, when you are innocent? Jesus was carried and sustained in his love for us by “the joy that was set before him.’

John Piper

Sweet and Bitter

Where are you flying today? It is well and truly winter here in the Southern Hemisphere. The days are getting shorter, the air cooler, the nights freezing. As my little one says,” Mummy I am making smoke with my mouth!” Well steam at least. In spite of the lovely markers of the changing seasons it is easy to feel blue and downcast. Heavy hearted that the weather has again transported you to the blues. Don’t fear blue bird. Allow yourself to fly……winter will soon become spring. A day will come when all pain and suffering and hardship and grief and tears will end. He holds the hope to a future of real joy!  

“Life is not a straight line leading from one blessing to the next and then finally to heaven. Life is a winding and troubled road. Switchback after switchback. And the point of biblical stories like Joseph and Job and Esther and Ruth is to help us feel in our bones (not just know in our heads) that God is for us in all these strange turns. God is not just showing up after the trouble and cleaning it up. He is plotting the course and managing the troubles with far-reaching purposes for our good and for the glory of Jesus Christ.” 

― John PiperA Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God

Honesty

I enjoy writing, journaling and describing my life, our world, my family, friends, inspirations and faith. And I do some of that here on this blog. But honestly I have days that I wonder why. Have you ever stared at your blank Facebook status update box and felt inept…nothing witty, engaging or thrilling was coming to mind. You write nothing – fail. You write something little- boring. You make it up – brilliant. But it is not you. It is not honest. I guess writing a blog can be a similar process. I have days when I wonder what to post, I rarely plan ahead. I wonder who reads it, after all there is little dialogue, comment and feedback. And yet I yearn to know you read it, that it matters, that you like it. For many writers the process is solitary, the criticism is public and the outcomes unknown.
So today when I heard someone had read my blog and learnt more about me I was excited. But not in the way you might think. I was excited because the reader was pointed to my faith. My faith in Jesus. I hope that in all of my reflections, excitement and discussions here I can glorify Him. God is a creator and he loves beauty, design, he delights in good family life, loving marriages, bountiful banquets, healing hands and communities that love and support each other. He loves us in the pain, the hardship and even in our failures, our sin.
 John Piper says:
God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.

We all make a god out of what we take the most pleasure in. Christian Hedonists want to make God their God by seeking after the greatest pleasure—pleasure in him.

 If you want to know what motivates me more read the whole article hereAnd I am hoping that the things that I take pleasure in and celebrate here will point to him. Honestly.


The Reason for Christmas

This should be obvious…..you would hope. But for many it is not. Christ is the reason for Christmas. We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. If you are not sure who He is and why you need to know you may find this list helpful. John Piper says there are 12 reasons for Christ ….for Christmas:

  1. “For this I was born and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37).
  2. “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8; cf. Hebrews 2:14–15).
  3. “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17).
  4. “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
  5. “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
  6. “God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:5).
  7. “For God so loved the world that whoever believes on him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16).
  8. “God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9).
  9. “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
  10. “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against . . . that the thoughts of many may be revealed” (Luke 2:34ff).
  11. “He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed” (Luke 4:18).
  12. “Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarches, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy” (Romans 15:7–8; cf. John 12:27ff).