Wednesday Wisdom 29/01/2014

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

C.S. Lewis

Wednesday Wisdom 22/01/2014

“Each day you wake up to a home filled with color and diversity is a day you wake up reflecting the last day. The last day when all tongues and tribes will be worshipping as one. You get a small glimpse into heaven. And if you have other children, they, too, get to experience firsthand the beauty and majesty of God’s creativity. “

Trillia Newbell

* This is an excerpt taken from an article “Do I Have What It Takes To Raise An African Child?” published on The Gospel Coalition. You can read the whole article here.

What makes a Joyful home? 10 Reflections

I came across this inspiring blog post on Tim Challies’s blog.

The writer gives 10 reflections from her journey as a mother and how a joyful attitude changes the whole atmosphere in a home.

Here are her 10 main points:

1. Fill the home with laughter

2. Realize a mother’s power in her home

3.  Remember that work is a good gift

4.  Read God’s Word as a family every day

5. Show affection continually

6. Celebrate ordinary days

7. Play

8. Remember that joy is a moment by moment choice

9. Love one another

10. Pursue the One who gives joy

Nr 8 is especially challenging to me to realise that to be joyful remains a choice we make, and even if the day started out very bad we can still choose to be joyful!

I encourage you to read the whole blog here.

Wednesday Wisdom 8/01/2014

“The great challenge of adoption and orphan care ministry is to cultivate a death-defying passion for God above all things. A faith that rests in him whether living or dying, whether comfortable or miserable, whether successful in our orphan care or not. Our aim is to cultivate and spread the unshakable confidence that God is better than what life can give us and what death can take from us.”

John Piper

Siya 2 months later!

Today we mark 2 months since Siya came home! What a joy and journey it has been so far having this sweet, happy boy as part of the family!

Just over 4months old, Siya currently weighs over 7.5kg… That is 3kg more than he weighed when he came home in November! He is a calm and contented baby, crying only when he is hungry or tired. He is very interactive and really tries to communicate by making eye contact and mimicking sounds.

We’ve enjoyed experimenting with different hair cuts for him, as you’ll see below. 🙂Siya 4 months

We praise God for building our family in His perfect way!

Being Family – The Greater Blessing

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Being family is special. A nuclear and extended group of people bound together by a bond that allows for quality relationships. Therein lies the joy of being family – the satisfaction and safety of relationships that are shaped and directed by love defined by the boundaries of what we call family. Belonging to a family is a wonderful privilege – a true blessing.

Jesus affirmed the inherent value of family by pointing out the importance of ensuring respectful family relationships (Matt 15:3-9). As the eldest son he also showed a special concern for the care of his mother during his earthly ministry. Even as he was suffering and dying on the cross he committed her to the care and protection of John, the disciple he loved (John 19:26-27).

But Jesus also showed us that there is a greater family with greater blessings. During his earthly ministry when the crowds where pushing closer to hear his teaching his mother and siblings sent word to him through the crowd that they were there to see him (apparently to take him home to save them from further embarrassment!). His response definitively marked out spiritual family – those who hear the Word of God and do it – as more important than earthly family (Luke 8:19-21). Jesus elevated kingdom priorities above loyalties to earthly family if they pose any hindrance to following Jesus wholeheartedly (Luke 14:26). Jesus believed and affirmed that although earthly family is a blessing the infinitely greater blessing lies in being a child of the Most High God – not only hearing his Word but doing it (Luke 11:27-28)

Despite the precious blessings of our earthly families they are only temporary blessings. Through faith in the Lord Jesus we become part of God’s family bound by the bonds of love for His chosen children – a family with blessings that will last into all eternity.

At the end of time there will only be one family left – the family of God – bought with the precious blood of Jesus. In that day it will not matter what earthly family you belonged to, only whether you belong to God’s eternal family. In that family every child will be adopted and every child will share in the love and the full inheritance of God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ (Eph 1:4-14; Rom, 8:15; Rom 8:23; Gal 4:5-7).

“In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”  

Ephesians 1:4b-6

Wednesday Wisdom 01/01/2014

As it is the first day of a new year, it may be appropriate to prepare our minds for the coming year by asking ourselves some questions and reflecting on this.

This blog with 10 questions was posted by Kevin de Young on The Gospel Coalition site.

“Ten Questions for the New Year

I have used these reflection questions in the past. As we begin a new year, I find them still remarkably relevant. Even though the questions are particular to a husband, father, and pastor, you may be able to put them to good use as well.

1. Am I spending time slowly reading God’s word and memorizing Scripture?

2. Am I having consistent, focused, extended times of prayer, including interceding for others?

3. Am I disciplined in my use of technology, in particular not getting distracted by emails and blogging in the evening and on my day off?

4. Am I going to bed on time?

5. Am I eating too much?

6. Have I exercised in the last week?

7. Am I patient with my kids or am I angry with them when they disobey or behave in childish ways?

8. When at home, am I “fully present” for my wife and family or are my mind and energy elsewhere?

9. Am I making sermon preparation a priority in my week or am I doing other less important things first?

10. Have I done anything out of the ordinary to cherish and help my wife?”