Friday, March 2, 2007

No Greater Joy

(This is a post I've been meaning to write for a while, but it got waylaid somewhere between the tasks of daily life with two small sweeties and one traveling man. Thinking through these things has given me strength, hope and courage lately, so I pass them along in hopes of offering you some of the same.)

I freely admit I'm not the sharpest crayon in the box (especially by the end of the day), but frankly, my attention span during Jack and Sophie’s waking hours ain’t what it used to be, either. So instead of joining a daytime group like the other Mums, I’ve been thinking about one of the evening small groups at church. The one I'm interested in is called New & Views, and they meet in someone’s home once a fortnight (translation for the Americans: every two weeks) to discuss current events from a Biblical perspective.

Here are the top three things I’m looking forward to about this group:

1. Being around people my parents’ age and hearing their take on things in the world today. (Most of the people we’ve gotten to know here have young kids like we do, and I really miss the input of older/wiser believers.)

2. Being part of a discussion with people who express themselves more rationally (a typically English trait) than emotionally (my default mode). (I’d really like to grow in this area.)

3. Being challenged to think outside my cultural bias and look at what the Bible says. (This is one of my favorite things about getting to know Christians from other countries.)

While I don’t have much spare time on my hands, when I do get a chance to sit down at the computer, one of the websites I check is a blogspot by Nigel Barham. Nigel is Canadian, grew up in Zambia and was part of the class I sponsored at Rift Valley Academy. My contribution to his life is a really, really small one, but still I'm incredibly proud of who he is and how he's allowing God to use him.

Anyway, this is Nigel’s prayer blog. He’s working for a year with OM founder George Verwer and is funnily enough based on the opposite side of London. We have yet to see one another -- he’s on the road even more than Matt is -- but it’s been great to follow his blog. I’ve been especially inspired by his “mega-excerpts”, quotes from books that George has asked him to read and evaluate.

This is how Nigel introduced his “mega-exerpts”:

Raise your hand if you are *very* busy. How about too busy to read? Trick question... The busier you are, the more you need to read good books. Otherwise you are liable to spin your wheels (faster) and waste your life (more). And how will your in-need-of-transformation mind be able to compete with the mind-conforming media you are already sucking in (ie, billboards, chats, newspapers, TV, movies, magazines, etc) otherwise? Romans 12:1-2. So I hope these "mega excerpts" serve, in some small way, to edify you; and keep you thinking.

As one of the sponsors of the Class of ’99, I’m really proud of all the kids I knew at RVA who are out there making a difference for Jesus in their various corners of the world. And as a not-much-time-to-read-serious-stuff-these-days-mother-of-two, I’ve really appreciated Nigel's “mega-excerpt” posts.

During this season of wiping bottoms and kissing boo-boos, singing songs and reading bedtime stories, I keep praying that Jack and Sophie will grow to love and follow Jesus with all their hearts so that they'll impact their generation with the gospel, too.

* * * * * * *
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." (3 John 1:4 NIV)


Gayle said...

I don't think I knew you , but I went to RVA and graduated in 1996. The staff at RVA had a great impact on me--they made me who I am today.

Anonymous said...

Your study/discussion group sounds great. I hope it is a beneficial and stretching opportunity!
I've been musing lately on the subject of blessings - how are we to identify and understand them? Thoughts?