Adventures // for spontaneous drives to beautiful places with Tess; that we could spend an afternoon talking about God and how we are being challenged in our walks with Him, read our bibles and pray together in His beautiful creation.
College // for Old Testament, and being able to discuss how to reconcile the violence of the Israelite acquisition of the promised land with current world events; being challenged in how I perceive the nature of God through the lens of my own sinfulness.
Church // for being able to finally get to church this week (even if not my regular service) and hearing Dad preach on Ezekiel 1 and God’s glory; thankful for how God has revealed His glory in Creation, in His dealings with Israel and most importantly in Jesus.
Sisterhood // for the beautiful girls who I have met and continue to meet through social media, who have become such dear friends; thankful for being able to pray for, support and encourage one another.
Social media // for the privilege of being able to share Jesus with the world through instagram, tumblr and facebook; for a renewed heart for this ministry this past week. In awe of how God is working through these platforms for His glory!
Roadtrips // for being able to escape with Alice down to the beautiful Canberra; for spring flowers and sunburnt landscapes and watching the Bachelor and just enjoying time with this dear friend of mine.
‘Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you have planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.’ ~ Psalm 40:5
As someone who has a sibling who has Down Syndrome, I’ve been following the debate around this issue quite closely. I think the article I’ve linked below summarises the key issues quite well.
Most people who argue against the abortion of babies who have Down Syndrome argue that the rewards of raising a disabled child far outweigh the difficulties. The focus of this argument is on the parents and what they gain from the life of the child.
I would argue (as does John Knight in the attached article) that the focus of this debate should be on the life of the children themselves - do not they, just as all “normal” people, deserve to experience life? If suffering is the issue, don’t we all suffer?
I myself was born “normal”, and yet have suffered from a debilitating chronic illness for the past 6 years. If my parents knew that I would get Chronic Fatigue at 14, that it would affect my entire life and theirs as well, would Dawkins and those who argue for abortion tell them to abort me, that it wouldn’t be worth experiencing the pain and suffering that would be our lives for 6+ years?
My sister, Karlie, is beautiful. Growing up with her as a sister HAS been rewarding. She has taught me more about love than anyone in my life. But her worth isn’t found in what I gain from my relationship with her. Her worth is found in that she was made in the image of God (Gen 1:27), created for a purpose (Rom 8:28) and reflects God’s glory (Isa 43:7).
At church we’ve been learning about what God has to say about relationships through the book of Ephesians. I’ve decided to write down some of the things I’ve been learning so that it can not only hopefully be an encouragement to those around me but also something that I can look back at when I go…
“I realised then that if marriage will either double or halve my ministry, why would I want to get married unless I found someone who would ‘double my ministry’, walk alongside me, together loving people, telling people the gospel, showing the world JESUS.” (:
So encouraged by the words of this dear sister of mine.
Psalm Reflections: ‘The way of the Righteous and the Wicked’ // psalm 1, part. 1
'Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers...’
"It is a rich sign of inward grace when the outward walk is changed, and when ungodliness is put far from our actions." (C. Spurgeon)
The psalms present the stark contrast between ‘the way of the righteous’ and ‘the way of the wicked’. They are utter opposites, as darkness is the complete reverse of light and good is absolutely opposed to evil. When we come to know Christ as Lord and are in-dwelt by the Spirit, our entire being - the inclination of our actions, thoughts, words, motives - is transformed. We go from death to life (John 5:24; 1 John 3:14), casting off our sinfulness (Hebrew 12:1; 1 Peter 2:1-3) and are created anew (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Yet, though we have been redeemed from the sin that once enslaved us and have been truly forgiven through Christ, the temptation of sin is a battle we will face all our days on this earth. We must daily choose good over evil, obedience over sin (Romans 6:16). This is the purpose behind the psalmists repeated contrasting of the way of the righteous and the way of the wicked: to reveal the “multiplicity of the blessings which shall rest upon they whom God has justified.” (C. Spurgeon)
Verse 1 of this psalm shows that the path into sin is a progression of choice:
- walking in the counsel of the wicked: think - what is my focus? how do I spend my time?
- standing in the way of sinners: think - who do I dwell amongst?
- sitting in the seat of scoffers: think - what do my words/actions reflect? how does my behaviour teach others?
We are presented with two ways to live: “it is the psalmists desire to teach us the way of blessedness, and to warn us of the sure destruction of the wicked.” (C. Spurgeon)
What path will you choose?
"One way to be more aware of God’s glory is to contemplate His creation. Creation speaks to the enormity and intricacy and creativity of God. The tragedy is when people are captivated by the creation but have no time for the Creator." #thisweekatchurch
It’s been a long time since I have written a Thankful Thursday post! Life has been crazy lately and sitting down today to write this was a reminder of the importance of reflecting on all that I have to be grateful for.
Today I am thankful for:
God // who, though I so often doubt Him and question His purposes and choose the fleeting pleasures of life over Him, is faithful and good.
Family // who have been so supportive and selfless and understanding in times of sickness and pain and suffering.
Friends // who encourage me daily in my walk with Jesus and who just generally fill my life with so much joy and laughter and goodness.
Spring // the joy and hope of a new season; for flowers and longer hours of sunlight and warmer days.
College // for the welcoming words and arms of friends after so many weeks away; for community and learning and times of prayer.
Church // that I can listen to recordings of sermons when I am unable to attend church for weeks in a row; for the support and prayers of the church family.
Medicine // for high-strength pain killers that enable me to persevere through the pain of broken arms; for access to highly competent medical health care professionals.
Music // that I can listen to music to keep me sane when I can’t play.
Prayer // that though I cannot practically serve my persecuted brothers and sisters in the Middle East, I can be united with them in prayer.
Books // that I can read the words of authors and poets and be inspired to write words of my own.
'The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!'
There is a drowsy, heavy state, between sleeping and waking, when you dream more in five minutes with your eyes half open, and yourself conscious of everything that is passing around you, than you would in five nights with your eyes fast closed, and your senses wrapt in perfect unconsciousness. At such times, a mortal knows just enough what his mind is doing to form some glimmering conception of it’s mighty powers, it’s bounding from earth and spurning time and space, when freed from the irksome restraint of it’s corporeal associate.