Thursday, 29 September 2011

One Way God Works

God turns around individual situations to change the world. He works in the lives of individuals, bringing them change and life and joy, as part of His master plan.

For an example, we can turn to Luke and see how God worked in one individual life as part of His great plan. He turned around Elizabeth’s life by removing her barrenness, bringing her joy. It was bigger that that, though: while He brought her joy, He brought the world the forerunner to Jesus.

It's amazing to see how God is in the details, and how He uses all the bits to make an amazing whole. It's equally amazing how His plan is not just to do great, overarching deeds that change the world, but to intervene in people's lives, bringing them good, and changing the whole world at the same time.

Elizabeth gets a baby, great joy, and the removal of the stigma of barrenness. At the same time, the world gets John the Baptist.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

A Conversation

I don't know if she spoke directly from a script, lacks listening comprehension, or thought I was lying, but here is a phone conversation I had with some lady today.

Her: I'd like to speak with the person in charge of ordering office supplies, please.

Me: We don't do that here; it's all done through our main office.

Her: Okay. My name is (name) and I'm calling from (place that does surveys about office supplies) and we'd like to include you in our survey. Are you the one responsible for purchasing office supplies?

Me: We don't do that here. It's all done through our main office.

Her: Is there someone I can speak to?

Me: No; we don't purchase our own office supplies.

Her: Okay, bye. (Click goes the phone).

So you be the judge: script, stupid, or skeptic?

Sunday, 25 September 2011

An Update

Well, for a while I was good about writing regularly! I'm still going to try, but I'm really busy right now. I'm a bit short staffed at work; I was able to hire, but she can't start training for another week. It's made for some long days. I also have papers to research and write. I'm getting some research done, but it's been slow. I did arrange to take next Friday off so I'd have 2 days free to do school. In preparation, my freezer is full of meals (frozen in individual portions) as well as baking; I also prepared the next two month's worth of Junior Church lessons. Most of everything that needs to be done has been done and I'm free to write essays.

We have software for the church library now. One of the men has been looking at different programs and finally found one that meets our needs. This afternoon the other librarian and I, with the help of a barcode scanner, entered all the books into the system (except the 15 that are currently checked out and the 3 without ISBN numbers that we also couldn't find in the system). We now have 450 books as well as a selection of DVDs. We also have a sign so people can find us. Today, for the first time, we had a line up to check books out. Granted, the line up was 3 people, and they made up 60% of the total patrons who came by today! Still, that makes for a busy Sunday in our library!

The small elf who sits with me on Sundays was trying to write down something from the sermon. We were learning about Jesus healing the demoniac, sending the demons into the pigs. My small elf finally wrote that the man was "controlled by Satin." I managed to not laugh and then corrected her spelling.

My Sunday School class is going well. Most of them even learned their memory verse this week, which starts things off nicely.

That's about all I have for now. I'll try to write a little more often this week. For now, I leave you with this....

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

"But God...": A Rather Short Book Review

I like the word "but" in the Bible; I think it often introduces important, encouraging, "from despair to hope" moments. It often reads: "Everything is bad. Very, very, very bad. We are all going to die. But God....changes everything."

Casey Lute (who was in some of my classes at Masters) has written a book about this very concept. "But God..." The Two Words at the Heart of the Gospel shows how God changes darkness to light and despair to hope.

Casey looks first at the flood and the formation of the nation of Israel; second at the coming, death and resurrection of Christ; and finally at God's election, salvation, and perseverance of His people. Through it all he shows us from Scripture that without God's direct intervention in our lives, we have no hope. With God,though, we have life and hope everlasting.

The book is well-written, interesting, and (for my non-readers) not very long! It can be ordered through Cruciform Press. I enjoyed it and I'm sure you go buy it and read it!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Church Notes

Today we started Sunday School again. I have a good-sized class, around 12 grade 4-6 students (actually, 2 of them are in grade 3; we moved them up to make the grade 1-3 class smaller since they acquired 8 grade 1 students this year). I really enjoy teaching my class; they're fun and funny and smart. I did tell the new students that since this week was review from last year that they didn't need to be smart until next week.

We have more and more books in the library every week. One of the men at the church has a Christian book store and any "defective" books that are written off and not sold make their way to us now! It's nice, because most of the defects are small: a ripped cover, pages not cut properly (which only required a trim to fix them), or things I don't even notice. Plus, one of my friends new where to get me a copy of Journey Through the Night (the publishers live and sell their books in the farming community where her parents live) so I'm very happy. It's been years since I've read it and it was one of my favourites.

We had a sandwich lunch and baby shower right after church. I like that all baby and wedding showers are done with the entire church so we can all celebrate. Actually, I was off in the library checking out items for someone and talking with some of the young people during the formal part of the baby shower!

In all, it was a good Sunday. I love my church family and I thank God for them often.

We sang this when I was at church in California this summer and I really liked it...

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

And I'm Back

Vacation was wonderful. I'd recommend that everyone try it: leave everyone behind and go somewhere else. I walked, I read, I slept, I ate, I walked more, I went to bookstores, I visited a museum, a castle, a wharf, and a Chinatown....

Now I'm relaxed and de-stressed and happy. Even work today didn't raise my stress levels noticeably. Plus, I'm sleeping better again, which is undoubtedly why I'm less stressed and happier.

And now....back to my regularly scheduled life!