Monday, May 25, 2009

Listening to the Bible

After being immersed in the word for months leading up to Elnathan's birth, I did not open my own Bible for two weeks following his birth. Nor did I go for a walk, wash up, or do anything much except look after Elnathan and try to recover from birth/solve my breastfeeding issues! The challenges were all consuming. 

I am so grateful that just days before the birth, we chose to purchase this NKJV audio Bible . . . 

As well as receiving God's word during our evening Psalm reading (which we've continued together), I've been able to listen to this while feeding. What a blessing it is to hear God's word. I am grateful to one of the ladies at church who suggested I buy an audio Bible for this time.

The cutest little man

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Equipping children for a life of love

This post finishes a series about the belief statement I wrote about Christian education while studying at Wesley Institute. You can read the two prior posts on this topic, Education to the glory of God and Educating for godly dominion. Christian education must prioritise love for God and people, which is essential to the teachings of the Bible. We are hoping to homeschool, so in future I hope to adapt and expand on the thoughts in this belief statement for that purpose. A Christian education must also be a gospel-focused education. I hope to carefully consider how this could work itself out in our family, specifically with reference to reaching out to our community from our home. The possibilities for education in the home have become so much more exciting and real following the birth of our son Elnathan Michael Drew on Wednesday! Dave is excited about teaching our little one. He's already been observed speaking to the little guy in languages other than English and there seems to be classical music on around here more than usual!

"In order to become effective rulers of the world, children and young adults also need to obey the Great Commandment. Jesus taught that love for God and our neighbours is the principle around which we are to orientate our lives (Mark 12: 29 – 31). Christian education provides opportunities to prioritise love for God throughout the day and in every subject area. God can be glorified as a teacher reminds a student that He created numerical order and working out mathematical problems is possible. When the whole class recognises a sin or problem, they can learn to look to Christ as the answer. As a school, staff and students can sing God’s praises together and pray. Christian education also provides many opportunities to teach children about loving their neighbours. God’s word can be applied to students’ interactions with others and attitude toward themselves. They can be taught that their emotions, thoughts, words, and actions are important to God. Teachers can give moment-by-moment, situation-by-situation instruction about obedience, anger, speech, forgiveness, and many other topics. The academics in a Christian school should never be sub-standard, as this would display a lack of love for the students. Instead, students should be equipped to use the gifts God has given them to serve Christ and His body, the church.

As well as providing opportunities to teach about love for God and others, love for the gospel is an important characteristic of a Christian education. The centre of God’s work for humanity is the coming, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These truths also need to be central to a Christian education. The Bible not only commands Christians to believe the gospel, but to become people who can disciple the nations according to all that God has commanded (Matthew 28:20). Christian schooling can enable teachers to disciple students from both Christian and non-Christian homes. Teachers have wonderful opportunities to reach out to families who do not know Christ, or are struggling in their walk with Him, as well as those who are passionate about the gospel. A focus upon the gospel also gives students the strategies they need to deal with sin. Christian schools cannot protect children from sin, as each person in the school has a sinful heart. Instead, they provide an environment where sin can be exposed and biblically addressed. Through Christian education, students learn the answer to the problem of sin. In their particular circumstances, they can be reminded of God’s grace and its transforming power."

Elnathan Michael Drew

Elnathan ~ God has given
Michael ~ Who is like God?

Born at home
Wednesday May 6th

Monday, May 4, 2009

Baby shower

In April my mother and sister threw a baby shower for me. Here are my Mum Lorraine and sister-in-law Jen with the decorations Mum put up - the signs read "Let's celebrate Baby Drew". 

We had a lovely supper. I had to take care of a doll for the evening, as practice. Thankfully the doll did not cry or need its nappy changed.

One game involved tasting a variety of baby food options and trying to guess what was in them. Everyone who played decided that bought baby food was revolting! The only kind of nice one was berry and apple. Homemade baby food, here we come!

My sister Janelle served punch in a unique bowl!

Of course, there was "one of those games" that involved guessing my tummy size. Guests broke off the number of toilet paper squares they thought would measure baby and me. 

I was allowed to leave my baby in the care of others, and often made use of their willing arms. Yvonne is expecting, so she needs some practice :).

I am thankful for the friends who attended, for those who brought food, for the effort put into organising the shower, the presents, and especially for the special prayer time we had. 

Our gem squash harvest

In April we collected all our gem squash from the plants. We had fun picking them before we pulled out the plants, looking for them amongst the tendrils and uncovering them amongst other plants where the vine had twisted its arms. We were thrilled to harvest more than 50 gem squash from only two plants, as we had expected each to produce only 8 - 12! Gem squash are a South African favourite that are rarely grown here, and they keep for up to twelve months. We look forward to enjoying them over the winter months and into spring time.

Friday, May 1, 2009

A new blog plan

With baby coming soon, I've decided to shift to blogging on Monday and/or Tuesday each week rather than in the last week of each month. I'll be starting this next week.

I am also seeking to ask myself three main questions:

Does this glorify God?
Does this bless/help/edify those who read?
Am I writing this for myself (to get it off my chest, engage with others on a particular topic, let people know I think about more than babies, etc.) or for those who read it?

God has shown me that too often I've written primarily for myself. I've always sought to avoid blog "rants", and rather to give reasons for what I believe and to attempt to present my views (especially those that are controversial) in a thoughtful manner. However, God has shown me that I have still had inappropriate motives at times. I am not yet sure what this will mean for "A Deeper Love". One thing I hope to do is to refer readers more to resources (books, blog posts, talks) that may be helpful to them. I'd appreciate prayers as I seek to blog solely for God's glory and the good of those who read.

Dave's graduation

We had a wonderful time at Dave's graduation from Monash University early in April.

Getting a PhD means you get a special hat.

The Drews . . . Dave, Sherrin and baby.

I felt blessed to be able to share this special time with Dave, as I was only a week away from the stage of pregnancy when airlines don't like to let you onto planes! 

At the end of the evening, Dave was relieved to take off his hot and somewhat amusing garb.

While in Melbourne we were blessed to receive hospitality from friends. We also felt privileged that a friend and one of my aunts chose to attend the ceremony with us. Graduation ceremonies are not the most riveting of events, so we figured it must have been something of a sacrifice! It was great to be able to share the celebration with them. One of Dave's PhD supervisors also attended.