Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

MMH IVP marketing tweetThe Ministry of a Messy House is officially published today. And some people have even started reading it. A few have said they have enjoyed it, which is lovely. I have been praying that the book will be a blessing to readers. But I also want to say that’s it’s okay if you don’t love it with your whole heart.

It’s a bit weird writing a book and realising that it might not be for everyone. And that some people might even hate it or think it heretical or boring. But since I wrote about God’s grace and providence in the book, I can remind myself that his grace is sufficient for me and although I’d love everyone to think my book is the greatest thing evah, it’s okay if they don’t. So don’t be embarrassed if you read it and find it’s not for you. We can still be friends.

You can buy it in lots of places – including here on this blog. And today I’m linking to my special magic author discounts at my publisher’s: 40% off the print copy and 50% off the e-book.

I have been given a few author copies too. I’m afraid that I’ve already allocated the print ones, but I have a couple of e-books to give away. Tell me about the messiest part of your house in the comments and I’ll pick two at random to send you the link to the book. Sadly this isn’t available if you’re in North America – although IVP will be providing an alternative in the near future for anyone in the US or Canada who would like to read it.

I am also doing a proper author-type book signing on Saturday 26th October. I shall be at CLC Bookshop in Birmingham from 11am-2pm, under the Pallisades, just next to the entrance to New Street Station. I shall bring some Can Do Cookies (the recipe is in the book) and my best pen. Do come and say hello if you’re in the city.

Read Full Post »

Who has been sleeping in the holly bush at the entrance to the church? We’ve not seen them, but they seem to have built quite a little den. But since Gone is away at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, we don’t have an immediate suspect. I’m afraid the bush dweller may be disappointed tonight, as we’re clearing out this evening and the Vicar will be taking the debris to the dump.

There’s a funeral in church tomorrow and it’s respectful to the mourners to provide a tidy churchyard. The bush is right next to the church steps by the main entrance door. The church is being cleaned too, as we’ve had scaffolding in whilst damp plaster and ant chewed woodwork right up in the ceiling above the chancel has been removed and repaired. Theological college training can never cover all the bases for ministry life.

Bed (and sitting room it seems) in the bush

Bed (and sitting room it seems) in the bush

Read Full Post »

I know we’re all thinking about Back to Church Sunday and Harvest and everything (gosh, it’s a busy term – and we’ve got a confirmation to factor in too), but before you know it, it will be Halloween. And the brilliant Glen Scrivener (of Anti Santy Ranty fame) has produced a great new video to get your congregation or youth group thinking. A great reminder that the light triumphs over the darkness.

Read Full Post »

Still bogged down in book writing, so just a few things that have been on my mind this week:

  1. It’s about time to fetch the Resurrection eggs out. Don’t worry about doing the dozen. If you manage half of that you’ll doubtless do better than the Vicarage. Do some – it’s fun, a great way to prepare for Easter and an excuse for early Easter chocolate, unless you’re Lentenly fasting, of course.
  2. I’m loving the music from Ordinary Time – folky acoustic adaptions of traditional hymns. Mellow and lovely.
  3. I ordered a bunch of copies of The Mystery of the Empty Tomb for our toddler group for Easter – it has lovely pics and a really clear story. 10ofthose do very fast delivery if you want some too. And give you a one hour delivery time slot. Magic. I clubbed together with some other clergy wives on the conference to get a good price. on a bulk order. Perhaps you could do a joint order with other local churches. You could make a couple of calls and save everyone money.
  4. I have about 3 weeks to finish 2 chapters, edit everything to some sort of coherence, write a final chapter and send to my editor. Messy Meals and Messy Celebrations are next week’s challenge. Am currently wondering how many easy peasy meals I can plan for the coming weeks to allow more writing time. Macaroni cheese again anyone?

Read Full Post »

EstherEsther was the daughter of Kathy, who was on the Proclamation Trust Ministers Wives conference with me last week. Esther died of cancer just after Christmas, aged 14. They’d found out that she was ill in August 2011.

This is her testimony from her baptism in September – in her will she said that she wanted as many people to hear it as possible. Kathy read it out to all of us who were at Hothorpe Hall last week. And now I’m sharing it with you.

Before I became a Christian I came to church because I had to, and not because I really wanted to. I’d rather stay at my friend’s house or at home. I was slowly moving away from God and my family – I was never at home. I would ‘bunk off’ school and deceive my parents. It wouldn’t really bother me that I was actually sinning against God and I was gradually moving into becoming not a very nice person.

And then, at the end of August last year, I remember going with Miriam, Olga and Elaine to St Ann’s hospital for an x-ray, because I was getting really bad pain in my right leg, and I wasn’t able to sleep. I was sent straight to North Mid hospital for more scans, and shortly after having a biopsy, was diagnosed with bone cancer (which was really a shock because everyone thought that it was just growing pains). In the past year I’ve been given six different types of chemotherapy, two biopsies, I’ve had two operations to remove tumors, and I’ve got a metal knee. More recently I have had radiotherapy on my leg. So far none of these treatments have worked, and there are now multiple tumors in my leg and the cancer has spread to my lungs. It has been hard when I go to the hospital and keep hearing bad news.

But throughout the ups and downs of the past year, I have never felt angry with God or questioned Him about why I am going through all of this. I feel like God is testing my faith and this illness was supposed to, and has, brought me closer to Him. Over time, as I’ve needed God more and more, it’s made me put Him at the centre of my life, and has made me into a changed person whose view on life (as Mr Mac says) is ‘live one day at a time’. I know that I am in God’s hands and I’m ready for whatever or wherever He wants my life to go – however hard it might be. Obviously I’m really praying that God will heal me, but I have put my trust in Him and I know that He will do what’s best for me, in my life. I have realized that Jesus is my Saviour and I’ve asked Him to forgive me for all of my sins. It’s so AMAZING that someone can wash away all of my sins, so that it’s like I’ve never sinned in the first place. But I know that that doesn’t mean that I can keep on sinning; I have to try not to sin – but I’m still only human, so I will make mistakes, and when I do, saying ‘sorry’ to God; but I’m trying not to, and trying to follow God’s commandments.

Before I got saved I was quite a selfish person, and always did what I wanted to do, even when I hurt someone else’s feelinging, it wouldn’t really bother me because I wasn’t that other person. During this past year I’ve had to put myself in other people’s shoes because I turned into that other person. For example, because of having different operations on my leg, I’ve had to go around in a wheelchair. People look at you differently, and it makes you realize how much other people go through that are in similar situations.

One day, I hope that I can become a chemo nurse, and help people like all of the nurses have helped me. Now I really want God to show me how I can help people who are less fortunate than me, and people who need to know the Truth. I don’t expect God to heal me – He may have other plans for me. But whatever happens, it’s amazing to know where I’m going to end up on judgment day. God has given me so many blessings in my 13 years of life, and even through this last year. I went on a Mediterranean cruise; I’ve been able to spend time in Dorset, and I’ve just got a dog called ‘Hope’.

It may sound crazy but, although this illness has brought me a lot of pain and discomfort, and I can’t do everything that I would like to do, in some ways this illness has changed my life for the better. I mean, I don’t know what I would be like if I hadn’t got ill – I don’t think that I would have got saved or appreciated life, or realized that every day that I live is a blessing from God. I thank the Lord for making me ill if it meant that I realize all of these things, and made me accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.

I’m so grateful that God has given me 13 years of life, loving parents that have supported me, friends and family that have continued praying for me and most importantly His son Jesus Christ who died for me!

Esther Childress 27th Sept 2012

Read Full Post »

coollogo_com-105672830I’ve been thinking about what to do for Lent this year. Although, theoretically, I could start something new at any time of year, I find that seasons in the church year are good opportunity to review spiritual disciplines. Last year I managed to produce a blogpost every weekday throughout Lent and the Vicar and I had a no-screens-after-8pm fast. We found the screen ban very helpful – and did a lot of talking and reading. We did have Sunday nights off for Dr Who after the Evening Service though. And I enjoyed the more frequent blogging, but I don’t think that is on the cards in 2013.

So here is a little list of what I’m planning to do throughout Lent this year, to draw closer to God and reset my life compass:

  1. Continue reading my encouraging devotional,Taste and See: Savouring the Supremacy of God in All of Life by John Piper.
  2. No screens after 8pm again, although I may have to make an exception for writing if I’m to finish Messy Ministry by my deadline just after Easter.
  3. Write the book – I’m finding the thinking I’m doing quite challenging so far, and the self-discipline involved in setting time aside to write is very good for me. And I have that deadline to meet.
  4. Increase family devotion frequency to at least 3 times a week. At the moment we’re only managing once a week, although we’re enjoying the format, which includes reading from Sally Lloyd-Jones’ lovely devotional book ‘Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing‘ and praying from prayer diaries from The Leprosy Mission, CMS and the Barnabas Fund, all of whom are supported by our church.
  5. Did I mention finish the book? And not faff about on the internet being distracted.

sCome nearer Easter, we’ll dig out our Resurrection Eggs too. But other than that I think we’re set. I want to be realistic in the challenges I set but also stretch myself. The screen fast will be the hardest. But I’m also looking forward to the space it will bring into our lives. I’m wondering whether the Vicar and I might use this devotional book together in the time that is freed up. How about you?

Read Full Post »

Over the holidays we’ve caught up with some friends and family – a great joy. Our old mate Grinagain, who we visited last week, has a useful phrase:

Fail to prepare…

Prepare to fail.

This is a helpful reminder in many areas, but today I’m applying it to the whole of next year. I have a few big projects on the horizon, and I want to approach them well. Today I’ve been reading through old blogposts, and came across one from January 2011 with some very helpful questions from Don Whitney. This year I’ve put pen to paper with my answers. It’s scary to hold myself accountable but also necessary – I struggle with self discipline every minute of every day. Here are those questions again for anyone else who wants to tackle 2013 before it’s upon us:

Ten Questions to Ask at the Start of a New Year or On Your Birthday

Once, when the people of God had become careless in their relationship with Him, the Lord rebuked them through the prophet Haggai. “Consider your ways!” (Haggai 1:5) he declared, urging them to reflect on some of the things happening to them, and to evaluate their slipshod spirituality in light of what God had told them.

Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think about the direction of their lives. It’s so easy to bump along from one busy week to another without ever stopping to ponder where we’re going and where we should be going.

The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bearings. To that end, here are some questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God.

1. What’s one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?

2. What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?

3. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?

4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?

5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?

6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?

7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?

8. What’s the most important way you will, by God’s grace, try to make this year different from last year?

9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?

10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,298 other followers

%d bloggers like this: