Monday, 17 April 2017

Sunday Notes

Okay, yes: It's Monday. Yesterday was very busy, so you get the Sunday post today. I hope I didn't drive off all 7 of my readers by doing this!

Yesterday was good. There was no Sunday School (we give the teachers a break for Easter). After the service, I learned how to play quarter hockey (which, it seems, should be penny hockey, but no one has pennies now). It was a very exciting game to watch as the two boys battled it out for bragging rights. I also watched an interesting snowball fight; one of the older ladies got involved, and she has a good arm.

I spent the rest of the day with friends and their family. There was good food, good company, and lots of laughter. One of the boys and I still need to play another chess game; we're tied 1-1. He wanted the best of 3. I really thought he'd beat me in 2, but we battled out the second game until I won. I had to assure him that I didn't let him win the first game. I've had some people tell me that I should let kids win games and that they'll feel better about themselves if I let them win, but I disagree. I think it's insulting to the children, gives them a false sense of how wonderful they are, and makes it harder for them to lose later in life. Also, they know that they won because they played better than I did; that's what makes them feel good about themselves.

And on that note: Here's an Easter hymn for you:

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Sunday Stuff

We finally finished the order of salvation this morning in Sunday School. I showed them where Paul refers to all believers as saints, and explained that when we become Christians, we are called saints by God (although we are not yet perfect). We also talked about how sanctification is an on-going process, and is a combination of our work and the Holy Spirit's power. I really pounded that one home; I do not want them thinking that they have to do all the work, nor do I want them to think that they can just sit back and wait for God to do stuff in them.

We are enforcing the "parents need to pick up their children after Sunday School" policy. For a while, parents were sending older siblings, or just taking forever to get their children (perhaps waiting for us to stop waiting and bring the children out). The issue with older siblings is that they tend to come with their friends, and there really isn't much room for that many people; also, they don't leave quickly and quietly. This seems to be going well, except for that one mom I overheard today muttering about what nonsense it was to have to pick up her children rather than sending a sibling. I wish parents would understand that we're not trying to make their lives harder. We're trying to make it easier for the Sunday School teachers (who would like to have a few minutes between Sunday School and the service to at least find a seat), but our primary reason is to make sure the children are safe, that they get to their parents, and that they don't wander off somewhere. I didn't respond to the mom (who seemed to talking half to herself and half to her small child as they headed off to get a slightly older child), since everything I was thinking was rather sarcastic. Sometimes I can keep my mouth shut!

Here is this week's hymn for you. I really like it, and it uses "propitiation" which is a great word to find in a hymn.

Friday, 7 April 2017

For the Tough Days

Some days are easy. Some days are tough. On all of them, my desire is to praise God, to glorify Him, and to hold tight to Him and to His promises.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Sunday Notes

Today was a reformation lesson: we learned about Tyndale, his love for God's Word, and his work in translating it into English. He was captured and killed before he finished the entire Bible. Then we tried to figure out how many Bibles we each had in our homes. I have 10 Bibles, covering a total of 5 different translations. We have been incredibly blessed in our ability to access God's Word, which my be why so many people (and I'm only talking about believers here) don't care enough about it. If it was suddenly banned, and hard to find, and illegal to read, I think we might see better how precious it is.

During class, we suddenly heard a violin playing O Sacred Head Now Wounded (the hymn I posted below). We stopped to listen and wonder where the sound was coming from. Someone thought it came from the nursery, or close to it, because when it started, all the babies became quiet. It turns out that one of the junior high students was practicing to play it during the offering this morning. The babies could undoubtedly hear it, since we could, so maybe that did settle them down. If so, we need her to play for them regularly!

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Sunday Notes

This week and last week, Pastor James has been preaching on church discipline (1 Corinthians 5). I was explaining the passage and the overall method of church discipline to my Sunday School kids at the end of class, in preparation for the sermon. To explain how church discipline happens, and why, I used my helper as the person who is sinning and refusing to repent. She's actually the sweetest person, so it was extra funny to them.

We also talked about repentance today in class. We talked about how is requires us to admit that what we did was wrong, and that we were wrong to do it (without making excuses); ask forgiveness; and then not do it again. My example had one of the girls killing one of the boys. The boy's brother cheered....brotherly love at its finest!

We had our monthly soup and sandwich lunch today after the service. Last month, we had piles of soup left over. This month, we had piles of sandwiches left over! We're split by last name as to what to bring, so they may need to adjust the break-off spot to even up the food.

Today was also communion Sunday. It was really good for me this week, to focus on and remember God's blessings through His Son, and His faithfulness to me always. It's been a bit of a tough week, but things feel more settled in my heart now.

On that note, here's a communion hymn for you.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Sunday Notes

Well, we finished reviewing election, atonement, and God's calling in Sunday School today. I think it was a really good class, and I'm pretty sure they understand things better now. Next week we'll move on to the next step (regeneration/conversion/adoption/justification).

After the service, we had our annual general meeting. Because we're an elder-led church, we don't have to vote on everything, so our AGM is very, very short. Basically, we affirm the current elders and deacons (we would also affirm new ones, but there weren't any this year), and then we all have the annual report (with reports from the various ministries in it) so we can read it and ask questions later if anything isn't clear.

There is some confusion about what being elder-led means; I've had people think that the elders are dictators. This is simply not true. They do make the major decisions, but they always listen to and consider what people have to say, both in terms of getting input before making decisions, and concerns about the decisions they make. We are called in Scripture to submit to the elders, but this doesn't mean blind obedience. Also, the elders aren't power seekers, nor are they prone to lord their authority over us; they love the congregation, serve them, and seek their good.

This week's hymn is one we sang this morning.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Here you are, the true story of St. Patrick, complete with flannel graph:

The next video is the reason why every time I teach on the Trinity in Sunday School, someone calls out, "That's modalism, Patrick!" It got to the point where I gave them a few minutes at the beginning of class to get it all out of their systems, and then told them that Lutheran Satire was banned from class for the rest of the day.