Monthly Archives: November 2007

Quiz

What’s your theological worldview?
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You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan

You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God’s grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan

86%

Neo orthodox

75%

Charismatic/Pentecostal

68%

Reformed Evangelical

61%

Fundamentalist

54%

Classical Liberal

43%

Emergent/Postmodern

39%

Modern Liberal

25%

Roman Catholic

0%

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Oh boy!

The middle boy’s different take on life never ceases to surprise/amuse/scare me.

This is the boy that once made orange juice by using a meat mallet to smash the juice out of the fruit into a big mixing bowl. (Clean-up was…um…fun) Or who tested to see what would happen to M&M’s strategically placed underneath the legs of a dining room chair.  He decided once to arrange some of my tupperware in the oven, and I, totally unaware of this fact, switched on the oven and had roast tupperware. (Granted, he was only 4 when he did the latter). The stories go on and on…

This is the latest, y’all. Straight from my house to yours. Hubby and I left Jenna at home with her oldest brother this morning. She has been fighting a cold and we thought best not to take her to church. The middle boy opted to stay home with his brother and since we were running late we agreed.

We went out for dinner after church and hubby got a panicked call from the middle boy saying he thought his mice were dying because they got too cold. He had wanted to cuddle them, but when he went to get them they were cold and very lethargic. By the time hubby told me about this and I called the boy back his mice were fine and back to normal.

Upon returning home we found evidence of a cardinal rule having been broken while we were away. A few burnt-out matches littered the kitchen floor. Now, our oldest sometimes plays with fireworks, but he is not allowed to do so when we are gone. The oldest denied using the matches, which left only one other person…my middle son. As hubby started taking off his belt to ‘minister’ some wisdom to the culprit, he scrambled to explain.

We were honestly not prepared for the explanation.  The boy whipped out a candle that was hidden behind the grocery bags I had just deposited on the kitchen counter. “Well…um…this might sound silly…” said the boy, “but the mice were so cold I thought I might hold them over the candle (he demonstrated how he’d dangle them by their tails, thankfully quite high above the flame but still…) to warm them up.”

It was hysterical watching the hubby trying to keep a straight face. I had to leave the room, y’all. The mental picture is just too funny. I’m still laughing whilst typing this. What was the boy thinking??!!

Jenna’s rendition of Old MacDonald

Old MacDonald had a farm
Hee Hi Hee Hi Ho
And on that farm he had a…
COW!

With a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
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And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
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And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
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And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
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And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
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And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
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And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere
And a moo everywhere…

Snippets

This will just be a random post full of little bits and pieces. 🙂

We had a bit of break from homeschooling the last few days. The boys’ school organised a family camping trip which we didn’t attend. The requirement for those of us who chose not to go on the camping trip was to spend some time doing family things, or something educational with our kids. The kids had to write a short report on what they had done. I told my kids they could learn all about folding laundry and stacking dishwashers and dusting but they didn’t think it would fly. We did some science experiments instead, and I think our Veteran’s Day Cookout with the homeschool support group will count as family time.

I had my first ‘real’  s’mores at the cookout, y’all. We had an American youth pastor who tried to educate us about s’mores in South Africa eons ago. We did not have graham crackers in SA so it was just plain unsalted crackers and Rowntree’s chocolate (which is thicker and less sweet than Hersheys) and marshmallows then. I thought it was high time I sampled this little bit of American culture and I was informed that it would be a moment I’d never forget. My friends looked on expecting me to croon with delight as I dug in, but alas, people….my tastebuds did not appreciate the sweetness of it all. I had the nerve to mention I actually preferred the South African version…which absolutely horrified every American within earshot.

My kids did get to experience a little bit of ‘educational’ cleaning. I decided to let go of my fussiness of having the kids’ clothes folded just-so. I fold their clothes because I do it better than they do, I put it away because I do it better than they do, they pull the clothes out every which way and mess up the closets because they don’t care. Enough of that. This weekend, they folded their own clothes and put it away themselves. And they didn’t do it too badly either.   

Before hubby went to work yesterday he gave them a pep-talk about helping out in the house and he left, leaving us all like little busy bees straightening up our little hive. It went well – until Jenna found a Superman cape somewhere and wanted to be Captain Underpants. Before long all 4 children were dressed up and playing some kind of fantasy game. I love it when my kids play togehter like that, so I let it slide for a little while before pulling them back to the work.

The two younger boys had to clean up the tv room and I had the brilliant idea to play some songs on my keyboard’s demo section to motivate them to move faster. Next thing I know they are dancing to the songs instead. The middle boy has this little Fred Astaire routine to one song, the harpsicord song gets a ballet treatment (too funny seeing the boy trying to do ballet), the bluegrass song is just plumb crazy, and Jenna runs away in fear when the dramatic organ song (Bach’s Tocatta in D minor?) plays. Somehow the boys have made that song out to be the ‘scary’ dance song. 😀 The oldest peeked in the door and wished for a video camera so that he can film (and blackmail) his brothers, but before long he and Jenna joined the fray and were dancing along happily too.  Oh…these are the moments one wishes you could lock away in your brain forever.

The house did get tidy…eventually… by the way.

We are back at bible school again after a couple of months’ break. This time we are doing a simple but profound study on what the bible has to say about God and who he is. I have never seen such a turn-out for bible school before. We are forced to go early, if we want to have seats. I myself am feeling a deep stirring…something is up spiritually speaking and I can feel that deep calling unto deep. I have a real sense of purpose. We are not playing church. We are being prepared, for the fields are almost ‘white unto harvest’. I have a feeling that it won’t be long now, and hubby and I will be out there working in the field. I want to make the most of these days of learning. The word we sit under is so precious and I know I will miss our little fellowship when we are no longer here. It is bitter-sweet.

Searching the scriptures part II

OK…so we are still on lesson 1. There were a few thoughts I still wanted to share before going on to the next lesson.

Some people would say that they do not have a need to study the word or to be taught the word by seasoned ministers. They quote this scripture to prove their point:

1 John 2:27 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

 Paul is not saying that we don’t need teaching, this is contrary to other scriptures like Eph 4:12, 2 Tim 2:2, Matt 28:19, Acts 2:42, Acts 18:11. He is saying that we have the Spirit of God inside us to illuminate what is taught so that we can discern false/seducing teaching. 

We need teaching deperately. There is a tendency in the church today to be like the Laodicean church of Revelation 3 who says that they are in need of nothing when in fact they are poor miserable, blind and naked. God’s counsel to them is to buy gold tried in the fire that their shame will not appear. God’s word, when applied to our lives (in the midst of our fiery trials), will work the pure gold of God’s nature into our souls.

The word ‘buy’ is used in a similar context in Proverbs 23:23 Buy the truth and sell it not, also wisdom, and instruction and understanding… How do you buy truth? How do you pay? There is an exchange here. When we buy truth/instruction/understanding, we must be willing to give up something: we have to lay down our own perceptions of what is right, and be willing to yield and submit and humble ourselves to the truth (who is Jesus) in order to obtain it.

The bible says that those who despise wisdom and instruction are foolish. (Prov 1:7, Prov 15:5) but those who see their need for it are blessed beyond measure. I dislike lengthy blog entries, else I would quote all of these, but the following verses describe the blessings that belong to those who study the scripture and embrace instruction. Look them up, they are precious! (Josh 1:8, Ps 1:2-3, II Tim 3: 14-17, Prov 8:33-35, Prov 3:13-24)

We need to remain needy and cry out like David: Ps 43:3 O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.

There are some precious verses that describe what God does for those who are needy:

Ps 113:7 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; that he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.

Isa 41:17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.

On searching the scriptures

I have decided to go through a manual on searching the scriptures which was written by my pastor and taught in the bible school. I wasn’t attending the bible school when he taught this manual, so I decided to go through it during my personal study time. I am hoping that blogging about it might help me to chew on it a bit further and also be of interest to some of you.

This study is so rich and so exhaustive though, already I am wondering how to condense lesson 1  to something bloggery. I guess it is an impossible task. What I’ll do is just pull out one aspect of the lesson and leave the rest for another time, or perhaps never. 😀 

Lesson One is on Recognising our need to study the word of God. It starts with the passage in Hebrews 5:12 where Paul tells the hebrews that they should be teachers themselves already yet they are still babes. They have not become skillful with the word of God because they have not studied and applied it in their lives. The word unskillful there means to be ignorant, inexperienced, unable to pierce through a matter with the word of God. Babes are unable to fend for themselves spiritually. They still need someone to feed them, burp them, and give them a spiritual diaper change every now and then. We need the word of God to help us grow in maturity in Him.

In Luke 10 we encounter the famous story of Mary and Martha. It says that Martha was encumbered with much serving. The word there means to ‘pull or drag around, or be distracted with care’. Interestingly (to me) it comes from the same root word ‘to be pierced through’ that the word ‘unskilful’ comes from in the passage above. Martha cannot ‘pierce through’ her issues using the word of God, instead, she is being pierced through by her circumstances.

The word ‘serving’ there is ‘diaconia’ in the Greek – which is a derivative of the same word that we get the word deacon from. It means to give service, but with particular reference to christian ministry as a teacher, pastor or a deacon. The implication here is that you can be distracted from Jesus even by ‘good’ things. How many christian leaders are worn out and encumbered by the work of the ministry yet lack that one thing that is needful…time spent at Jesus’ feet?

Our churches today place a great emphasis on serving…but the importance of getting a strong foundation in the word of God is often downplayed in comparison. We are not primarily ‘saved to serve’…we are saved to be in right relationship with Jesus, to sit at his feet and learn of him, to allow him to deposit his word in our hearts and finally to form us into a people who will have something of substance to give to a hungry and dying world. The cart cannot come before the horse.

One thing is needful…we need to be like Mary, who chose that good part which shall not be taken from her. There is a choice involved.  I can choose to be busy, even with all the good stuff, (oh boy, as a mom there are plenty distractions, believe me) or I can realise that I have a real need to sit down a bit and listen to what Jesus has to say.

Can you hear the tenderness in Jesus’ voice? “Sumi, Sumi…you are troubled and anxious about many things…but you should do the one thing that will furnish what you need. Come and sit here by me a little bit and let my words speak life into your situation and your heart, and help you to grow in me a little more.”