Monday, September 28, 2009

Single minded desire for God's glory

This prayer from Blaise Pascal is an encouragement to desire God's glory above our own comfort.

Take from me, Lord, that self-pity which love of myself so readily produces, and fromt he frustration of not succeeding in the world as I would naturally desire, for these have no regard for your glory. Rather, create in me a sorrow that is conformable to your own . . . Let me no longer wish for health or life, but to spend it and end it for you, with you, and in you. I pray neither for health or sickness, life nor death. Rather I pray that you will dispose of my health, my sickness, my life, and my death, as for your glory, for my salvation, for the usefulness to your church and your saints, among whom I hope to be numbered. You alone know what is expedient for me . . . Conform my will to yours . . . May I equally adore whatever proceeds from you.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Precious days with Gramps and Gran

  Apologies for the bizarre picture formatting - I'm still getting the hang of blogger's new features!

Gran plays the piano beautifully and Elnathan enjoyed listening.

Gran and Gramps were delighted to spend some time with their precious first grandson.

We were sorry to have to fly away, knowing that they would not see Natey for a long time. However, we were also very grateful to have had the opportunity to introduce him to them.

Girltalk hospitality series

Girltalk is running a great series at the moment on hospitality. I've found this encouraging, and I hope you will as well!

Also check out Deb's post thoughts on a rainy day for a quote that points out the connection between hospitality and truly loving people.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Our second wedding anniversary

We spent our second wedding anniversary in South Africa, as we did our first! We enjoyed a lovely lunch with Dave's parents Will and Di, and then headed into Durban to spend the evening with our friend Sue. Sue traveled all the way from South Africa to attend our wedding in 2007. How wonderful it was to have a little baby to celebrate with this year! We still look at him sometimes and marvel that he is real! It is a precious thing to love one another, and for that love to result in a little person who is a delight to us both.

Natey! Look at the animals!

We were blessed to spend a week at Kruger National Park while in South Africa.

These photos were taken at Letaba camp during our drive out of Kruger Park. The park is large and it takes hours just to drive out of it from Olifants camp where we stayed.

"Mum, is that a bushbuck?"

Elnathan was a good traveller during our game drives, but seemed just as interested in his hands as in the animals! We would be like "look Natey, a water buck!" and he would coo and put his hand in front of his face. Of course, he'd only just discovered his hands existed so it is understandable that he didn't realise they were of less interest than elephants.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

God is at work in Zimbabwe

During our trip to South Africa it was encouraging to speak with a pastor who has been involved with taking food over the border to Zimbabwe. We also spoke with a Zimbabwean refugee who said things were improving somewhat and he hopes to go home in the near future. 

A friend recently sent me a link to the article "God is Working!" about the way some Christians are responding in faith to the difficulties in Zimbabwe. We can learn much from Christians who face extreme hardship. 

I love this quote:

"Optimism is being able to acknowledge brutal realities and to paint an even greater reality." 

Christians in Africa need that type of optimism! Dave and I hope to have this type of attitude toward South Africa's "brutal realities". Yes, the crime and poverty and corruption (and really bad driving!) are real. Yes, God is real too and we have hope that the church will thrive and do great things in the midst of suffering. The kingdom of God is the "greater reality".

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back to blogging

As you can see, I didn't have a chance to blog during our month in South Africa! When there were gaps in our schedule I was often forced to be in bed resting as I had some severe back problems while away. We have been home for a week. Now that I've caught up on personal emails, sorted our mail stack, begun to make inroads into the mess, and feel better in terms of my back, I feel free to begin blogging again.

While on the topic of blogging, why not read Stacy's article Tips for Cutting Back on the Internet. When I go away for a month like this I'm reminded that it is possible to live without the Internet, and I may not even be poorer for it! Having said that, I still enjoy reading others' blogs and posting on mine - the Internet just has to be kept way down on the priority list where it belongs.