29 June, 2014

5 ans après

5 years ago this week, I went on mission.

It was my first overseas cross-cultural experience, in a country where English is, at most, a second or third language.

I joined a team of like-minded Christians from a range of cultural and linguistic backgrounds,
- such as Armenia, the DR Congo, England, France, Guadeloupe, the Netherlands, Poland and South Korea.


For most of our week together, we spent about 2 hours each day hanging around outside university campus entrances. In those two hours, we approached as many students as had the time to stop and talk to us (not many stopped) and made efforts (sometimes quite feeble, garbled efforts) to engage them in conversations about the person & work of the Lord Jesus Christ as revealed throughout the Bible (most were not interested in talking for long; some openly mocked or sneered at us). Occasionally we were able to give away the odd Bible or an evangelistic tract (e.g. "Two Ways to Live", or Chappo's "What is a Christian?" - but not often). We also invited the university students we met to our evangelistic events and Bible studies that we ran during our mission week (interest and/or positive response were rare though)...

What really struck me about the local unbelievers (principally uni.-aged students) in the places where we did mission was how unwilling they were even to discuss religion at all. In Australia we still experience a fair bit of openness to discuss different belief systems, and there seems to be (in general) a tolerance of people who hold different religious views to others (though that's starting to change for the worse). Yet in this country where I was on mission, there seemed to be much more intolerance of anyone who expressed religious beliefs. A keep-it-to-yourself, faith-has-no-place-in-public, what-an-uneducated-idiot-you-are-to-be-so-deluded attitude.

Our team's outreach language was the official language of the country:
French.

The city in which we were operating:
Paris. Yes, the one in FRANCE.
________________

Most people see this nation as a holiday destination
- but even many believers don't see it as a nation under condemnation because of its refusal to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved.

They see French people as Catholic
- but excuse me, since when did the Roman Catholic version of the gospel give anyone total assurance of salvation?

They might even think most of the French are Christians - but the reality is, more than 25% of France's young people (ages 18-25) declare themselves to be atheists; most Catholics are only nominal and non-churchgoing; and the Protestants are few in number and generally poorly taught the Bible in their churches (unlike numerous Christians I know in Sydney churches).

Which is why I'm committed to God's mission in France.
Having been there; having seen what it's like to be young and Christian in France; knowing what a tough gig it is to reach people on the university campuses or to serve long-term in ministry there (whether among uni. students, in churches, or elsewhere); having met and made friends with ministry apprentices and poorly/not-fully-funded staff workers
- I want to keep being a part of this work.
Praying for it, caring for those involved in it (or trying, anyway), giving out of my relative poverty to it - and even going over to help my friends out with it, if God might open the door.

France is one of the major reasons why, 5 years after my first visit there to see and join in with the French GBU ministry to students, I accepted the offer to begin studies in theology at Moore College in 2014.

Because I want to be better trained for ministry - just in case...

L/T.
~

15 June, 2014

10 vidéos (si vous avez le temps)

The last 6 months have been insane, even though I haven't been working full-time at all.

Did I forget to tell you that I got to start studies at Bible college this year?
Only one subject per semester at present (still awaiting guidance about whether to go full-time/75% in Semester II or not); still sticking with my existing employment until further notice.

Prayer according to PHIL. 4:19 appreciated.

In other news, I've really gotten into a PG-rated series from 2009-2013  -  "Horrible Histories".
Live-action sketch comedy, generally thought of as a kids' show BUT, in fact, even in its 4th season it was winning adult comedy awards.

So just for fun..

..here are ten of my favourite song clips from this series!
(Whilst I work out the best & cheapest way to actually obtain all 5 series on DVD...less easy to access in AU. than in the UK. *sob*)
________________

1. "The Monarchs' Song (The English Kings and Queens)"
So much hilarity (and royalty). How can you not smile? Or at least bop along?

2.  "(We're the) Georgian Navy"
Think patriotic chant, but minus the usual alcohol-induced haze and plus a lot of historically accurate information presented via clever lyrics... (.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qnWtwYuwwE)

3. "The Few (RAF Pilots)"
The only reason this song doesn't rank higher than #3 is because it's just slightly disturbing - don't you think? .. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOXRvu-58qA

4. "Boudicca"
Those of you who have known me long enough to experience my Dark side should understand why this angry Celtic queen's history resounds with me ;P

5. "The Truth About Richard III"
The solo performer in this clip is just a bit younger than me. Can act. Can dance. Can make me laugh. And boy, can he sing - as this live gig shows. Wish I was half as talented.

6. "Alexander the Great"
This actor's strength? Why, he makes a ruthless historical figure from the intertestamental period look almost attractive. (Not a bad singing voice, either.)

7. "Funky Monks" 
If there are other classically-trained musicians out there who appreciate this style variance, please...sing out?

8. "Literally (The Viking Song)"
Ignore the lyrics..
Ignore the lyrics.. ..literally.

9. "Spartan High School Musical"
The energy in this clip is invigorating
- dancing that routine looks like so much fun.
(Would hate to be a teacher in Spartan times, though! .. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysmK6LUavR0)

10. "The English Civil War Song"
Liked the choreography in this one, too - and it's got some classic one-liners.
If you listen carefully.
________________

Just bubbling under, an 11th song with quite clever, factual lyrics - considering it's a spoof of Lady Gaga's style (only with more decent clothes). If you dislike the actual artist, don't click on this link.
(You were warned. I like this spoof - but I'd personally never listen to any real music from her if I could help it.)

I do promise some actual serious blog posts this year, as well - just not right now...

L/T.

~

23 March, 2014

6 sujets de grâces

In a non-easy week, I am thankful for small things...

 #1
The undeserved gift of blood relatives who show gracious support & love in spite of their disagreement with my lifestyle/life choices.

 #2
Prayerful & caring Christian community at both my AM Anglican and PM Chinese-background churches.

 #3
Being moved to pray/feel sad for an unsaved classmate even though I'm pretty sure she dislikes me and for whose salvation (until this week) it has been quite hard to pray.

 #4
Affirming words from my ballet teacher for the 1st time since before my calf muscle injury.
(As opposed to no words at all, so I couldn't be sure whether I was doing the right thing or not.)

 #5
Faithful, encouraging co-workers who serve with me in children's ministry (we work with all ages from 1-11).

 #6
God's Word in the Bible, which is living & active - and esp. this week has been timely in the midst of emotional strain.

________________

L/T.

12 January, 2014

5 raisons

En fait, il y a 20 raisons..!

Another new year, and another CMS Summer School!!

I love going to CMS Summer School, the early January annual conference of the Church Missionary Society of NSW.

I thought I’d start 2014 by solidifying at least 5 reasons for why CMS SS is, by far, my FAVOURITE of all holiday/weekend Christian conferences.

However, as I made notes on why I think this conference is SO good, I ended up with at least 20 reasons for going, instead of just 5.

And this is by no means a comprehensive list.

________________


You may be wondering  -  what happens at CMS Summer School that makes it such a good time away? Well, here are 5 general reasons why it's worth the week...


En générale

1.  Faithful, challenging Bible teaching with direct & personal applications to Christian life AND witness
(incl.emphasis on going to the ends of the earth)

2.  Detailed, current information about the needs of Christians and/or churches living outside of
-  or far away from  -  gospel-rich Western cultures
(e.g. most of South America, Asia and Africa)

3.  Hearing from any missionaries who have been serving in the gospel-poor fields of Europe
-  particularly those in France with the GBU (www.gbu.fr)

4.  Extended times of prayer, often in response to missionaries’ reports about God’s faithfulness, work and/or teaching in the situations where He placed them

5.  Catching up with link missionaries whom my Sydney city AM church* supports and/or with friends who have become missionaries (plus any of their children)


Missionnaires (missio’s)

1.  Chances to chat with with missio’-friends in the local Aldi or Coles, or just on the main street
(e.g. this year included a spontaneous catch-up with Leoni P. on HA from Cambodia)

2.  Chances to meet and/or chat with missio’s at the morning tea or shuttle car pick-up zones, in the Tribes&Nations Fairtrade coffee queues or other locations on the KCC site
{e.g. this year’s chance meetings included former missio’s such as Deborah M. (back from France since ‘12), Judy S. (back from Singapore since ‘13), Owen C. (back from France since ‘08) and Steve B. (back from Tanzania since pre-’07..)}

3.  Multiple video clips with different missio’s currently on location or back for HA  -  during not only the morning but also the evening programs

4.  Daily mid-morning sessions with missio’s sharing personal reflections on aspects of cross-cultural ministry or life such as contentment, perseverance, poverty, transitions, conflict resolution...

5.  Supper sessions after 2130h  -  often featuring missio’s who have served for over 10 years;
though these seminars were of much longer duration than the AM ones, yet always, ALWAYS it was worth the extra hour of downtime or sleep lost by going


Musique (chants de louange)

5 hymns I love singing from the CMS playlist but almost NEVER get a decent airing at my own Milson’s Point PM church** service
(note these are genuine PRE-1970’s hymn versions, thank you so very much!):

And Can It Be
Be Thou My Vision
Crown Him With Many Crowns
Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah
O For A Thousand Tongues


5 other songs I love singing from the CMS playlist but rarely ever get a decent airing at my own Milson’s Point PM church (*sigh*):

Great things (Smith & Begbie)
Nothing but the blood of Jesus (Morrow)
Send me out (Fee)
This life I live (Morrow)
Undivided (Smith)

________________



Why do I consider CMS Summer School?

In short
  -  if I say that Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour (ie. if I call myself a Christian)  -  
then as His disciple, just as He directed the first ones in MATT. 9:35ff, He wants me to ask the Lord of the harvest to send out His workers;  and to be involved in witnessing to Him "to the very ends of the earth" (ACTS 1:8)  -  that God's name be glorified.

But how can I ask if I don't look at His harvest fields and take an interest in what needs there are?

And how can I witness, not only to "all nations" (MATT. 28:18ff) but to the extremities of the earth without knowing anything of what God may be already doing there?

CMS Summer School is such an invaluable resource for the twofold task of asking & witnessing.

It never fails to be encouraging and challenging and always forces me to rethink where I am, what I'm doing with the rest of my life, and what God might intend before that life is over...

L/T.


*Anglican cathedral.

**Chinese-background, English-speaking, most attending are aged 17 to 27 y.o.

23 December, 2013

9 versets d'un prophète - concernant les prophètes faux

JÉRÉMIE 23,14-22

In 3 months of reading about the theology of miraculous, complete & instantaneous healing (inspired by a serious calf muscle tear in my left leg) - as well as modern prophecy and tongues - I stumbled upon 9 verses from a prophet - about false prophets!
________________

Here is one striking verse from the JEREMIAH passage:
"..If they had stood in my council,
then they would have
proclaimed my words to my people,
and they would have turned them
from their evil way,
and from the evil of their deeds." (v.22)

Therefore, friends and Christian brethren,
prophesy not to me
- unless it be about my lack of godliness,
unless you desire me to
"throw off everything that hinders
and the sin that so easily entangles" (HEB. 12,1).

L/T.
________________
P.S. Torn calf muscle happened in mid-September;
3 months have passed without the muscle being totally healed.
It is getting better - but for the moment, God our Father has decided on gradual rather than instant full healing.
HAB. 3,17-19.

21 September, 2013

3 ans plus...

I am now 3 years older than Jesus was when He died (on the cross as Saviour of the world, before rising as Lord, commissioning His followers and ascending to heaven).

(Oh, well, technically 3 years and 1 day.)
_________________

Another year to reflect on what the last 36 years have been worth.
What have I achieved?
Where am I going (or what is my ultimate destination?)
What should the rest of my life look like (whatever time God gives me between my past achievements and my future destination)?


The answer to the 1st question: Nothing, without God.
.. My current standing before Him (saved/assured of eternal life & sinless perfection);
.. my sometimes verbatim knowledge/memory of whole chunks of the Bible;
.. my ability up until last weekend to turn 4 types of double pirouettes even on a weak L leg;
.. my gradually stabilising financial situation;
.. my completed childcare, gifted ed., primary ed., music & French qualifications;
.. my better-than-the-average-person's relationships with family, church, work & ballet people..
..all these accomplishments, God has done for me. (ISAIAH 26,12.)

The answer to the 2nd question: Eternal life; heaven; the direct presence of God my Saviour & Father & the Lord Jesus Christ.

The answer to the 3rd question:
".. if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace."
{ACTS 20,24^(!!).}


L/T.

^(!!) Ideally. Note I said "should" - this is regrettably not a reflection of actual life events..! So if you pray nothing else...please pray this verse for me!)
~

~
P.S. Thank you, friends, for your messages on my Wall on f'book.
Whatever you wrote has been transferred here in your honour.
To protect your anonymity, I've only used your initials...

CL(sport.)
happy birthday -----ia!! hope you had a great day :P

CL(musiq.)
happy birthday ----tia :)
hope you had a lovely day today!
:)

DB
Happy Birthday. Hope you have a fantastic day!

EC
Happy birthday ----tia (: !

ET
Happy birthday and have a lovely day!

GC(Z)
Happy birthday t---!!

IZ
Happy birthday ----tia!! :)

JA(C)
Happy Birthday -------a!

JS
Happy birthday T---!"

KC
Happy birthday from old London town! Hope things are well back in Oz. :)

LZ
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

MW(R)
Joyeux anniversaire ma soeur dans le Christ!

NC
Happy Birthday!!!!

NP(Y)
Happy b'day T---! Hope u had an awesome day!

NT(M)
Happy birthday ----tia! Hope you've had a lovely day!

NW(C)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ----TIA!!! <3 ^_^

OD
joyeux anniversaire!

PT
Happy Birthday, ----tia - or bon anniversaire!

rw
happy bday!

rBY
hey! happy birthday =) hope you have a blessed bday! x

SbP
Hullo! Happy birthday!!!!!

TC(jeune)
Happy birthday, dear T---! Have a fantastic one!

TC(aînée)
Happy birthday t---! Hope you have a blessed day and that your leg is feeling better :-)

VT
Happy bday -----ia

________________

ajt
All the very best:) Happy birthday!

AK
Happy birthday, ----tia! I hope that you've had a great day. Blessings to you. :)

AL(jeune)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

AL(aîné)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

CD
Happy Birthday :) I no idea what is your age but it's nor really matter, keep the smile and God bless you

DF
happy birthday, T---! have an amazing day!

FDCF
Joyeux Anniversaire et Bonne continuation ;)

JC
Happy Birthday ~

KD
Happy birthday L..C..!

KW
Happy birthday!

NF
Happy birthday.=)

PYJ
happy bday --t! :)

TK
Dear cousin, have a happy happy birthday! May God bless you richly and guide you

TN
Happy Birthday!!!!!

TT
Happy birthday ----tia!

WW
Joyeux anniversaire!! :)"

21 June, 2013

7 versets bien-aimés

Yes, it has been a busy year  -  more than 6 months since I've written here.

A chunk of Scripture that has been a great comfort and encouragement for me in the last 4 years is the 43rd chapter of Isaiah.
I love all of Isaiah - but this bit is just outstanding.


ISAIAH 43:1-7
_________________
But now, this is what the Lord says -
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:

Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.

For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
    Cush and Seba in your stead.

Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
    and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
    nations in exchange for your life.

Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
    I will bring your children from the east
    and gather you from the west.
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
    and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.
Bring my sons from afar
    and my daughters from the ends of the earth -
everyone who is called by my name,
    whom I created for my glory,
 whom I formed and made.

________________
Wherever you are at, I hope this comfort I have received from God will be of comfort to you also.

Que Dieu vous bénisse,
L/T.

01 January, 2013

0 regrets (je ne regrette rien)

un regret = chagrin, déception causée par la perte d'un bien ou la non-réalisation d'un projet
_________________

One French definition of regret, as expressed above, is: "chagrin, deception caused by the loss of a good, or the non-realisation [non-fulfillment] of a project".


It is 2013.
10 years have passed since I began professional work.
There are some who would look back on my life since 2002
and who would say things pertinent to work would have been better
if I had made different choices.
But I have no regrets. Zero.
None at all.

I am happier than I was 10 years ago,
more satisfied in God than I was 10 years ago,
more confirmed in where(ever) I am going than ever I was 10 years ago.

Happy New Year.
Y'varechacha Adonai v'yishmerecha / que Dieu vous bénisse! / NUM. 6:24ff.

L/T.
~

30 December, 2012

4 cultures folles

Missionary madness!

In my opinion, the funniest conversation I’ve seen on f’book.
It occurred in response to a posted & tagged photo of a number of incumbent missionary families/singles, taken at a missionary training college some years previously (2005, maybe).

Codes:
(m) = male missionary
(f) = female missionary
(tck) = third culture kid (child of missionary)

CAMB. = serving in Cambodia
CHIL. = serving in Chile
IANT. = served in indigenous Australia/Northern Territory
NAMI. = serving in Namibia.
________________

(m) IANT.
Do the arranged marriages for our kids still stand?
They're getting frighteningly closer to the right age.


(f) NAMI.
In true arranged marriage style, they can't remember what each other looks like!

(m) CAMB.
Whatever the arranged marriages were is fine by me, I just want a lot of money to give away my daughter. When in Rome...

(m) NAMI.
remember, in africa, we price our daughters according to education levels.
For example, for a bachelor's degree, it will be a number of cows (as in Zimbabwe) for a daughter, but for an uneducated daughter, a chook will do (as in Malawi)


(m) CAMB.
Nope, here money will do just nicely.

(m) NAMI.
sure, but if your son wants MY daughter, then you pay the AFRIKAAN way MAAN.

(tck/f) CAMB.
I'm right here, dad. :P

(m) CHIL.
See, now THAT didn't happen when we commented on kids in 2005.

________________

*sniggering*

L/T.


By the way, for anyone familial wondering where I am at present, I've been in Vietnam since 26/12, hoping to be back before 05/01 next year (2013). Visiting family, adding to my motley collection of brothers (I now have 4 of them!), and confirming, among other things, the fact that NO, I am quite sure that God is NOT calling me to serve in this south-east Asian country any time soon. (And also, thanking God SO MUCH for reasonably reliable air travel, a set return date, generally cooler climates in my part of Australia, and that Sydney is nothing like HCMC!!)
:S

20 December, 2012

1 tâche impossible!

ÉPHÉSIENS 4,29-32
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,
but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs,
that it may benefit those who listen.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,
with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander,
along with every form of malice.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other,
just as in Christ God forgave you.
________________


L/T.

24 September, 2012

35 rue Lutetia (+ 3 jours)

HAB.3,17-19
Car le figuier ne fleurira pas,
La vigne ne produira rien,
Le fruit de l'olivier manquera,
Les champs ne donneront pas de nourriture;
Les brebis disparaîtront du pâturage,
Et il n'y aura plus de boeufs dans les étables.
Toutefois, je veux me réjouir en l'Éternel,
Je veux me réjouir dans le Dieu de mon salut.
L'Éternel, le Seigneur, est ma force;
Il rend mes pieds semblables à ceux des biches,
Et il me fait marcher sur mes lieux élevés.
Au chefs des chantres. Avec instruments à cordes.

________________

At the age of 12y7m, I was challenged to take Jesus seriously as Lord and Saviour. I have now reached the age of 35.

Therefore, now, in the 23rd year of the reign of King Jesus (the Son of God, Son of Man and son of Joseph & Mary - of David's line), I ponder:
What makes life worth living?

One's talents and/or gifts, of which God has bestowed so many upon me, His undeserving servant shepherdess?

One's career/relationships (or lack thereof?)

One's ability to be financially independent, or secure?

One's influence for good in the lives of other people?

One's faithful ministry serving the people of God where needs can be met by the considerate exercise of one's God-given gifts?

Or one's faithful Creator, the Sovereign Lord, who with the blood of His Son purchased men [presumably mankind: GK. anthropos] for Himself?

"..Parce que tu as du prix à Mes yeux,
Parce que tu es honoré et que Je t'aime,
Je donne des hommes à ta place,
Et des peuples pour ta vie."
ISA. 43,4

________________

Thank you to all my friends and/or family who sent me messages on my birthday. I replicate the Facebook posts from my Wall here, both as a token of appreciation and to free up visible space on that irritating f'b "timeline" of mine..

AT
[greetings card]

Happy happy birthday! =) thank you for all the wisdom you've shared with me, it's always such a joy to talk to you! =) Hope you have the loveliest day, God bless! X
AW

Happy birthday ----tia! :)
CMG

Happy birthday!!! x
DP

Happy birthday! Hope you have a great day.
ET

Happy belated birthday!
GT

Happy birthday t--- :)
GZ

Happy birthday ----tia!! :)
IH

Hope you are well. Hoping that you had a wonderful birthday! Hoping God will continue to look after you in the coming year and that he'll continue to grow your love and knowledge of him.
Love JL.

Happy Birthday L---sa Cheng and Miss-l't Cheng Miss you ladies! Catch up soon!! :)
JM

Joyeux Anniversaire à vous mon cher ami.
kYC

Happy Birthday!
LkC, VT

Happy birthday :)
LZ

Happy birthday! See you on Sunday :) hope it's an excellent day.
LH

Happy Birthday T---!!!"
MLQ

Happy B'day T---!! xox
MH

Happy Bday Miss l't!
MW/H

Happy birthday. See you in Summer School, right? :)
PC

Joyeux anniversaire, Miss Cheng! xoxoxo :)
PP

Happy Birthday ----tia =)
You're an amazing person! Hope you enjoy this special day!
x
(r)BY

Happy Birthday ----tia!
RL

Happy belated birthday ----tia=)
VV

Happy Birthday! :D
VH


Happy birthday cousins!!
AL

Happy Birthday! Have an amazing day :)
CoC

Happy Birthday :)
GC


happy birthday to Miss-l't Cheng :)
AgL

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
AdL

Happy birthday! :)
AK

happy birthday! =]
BL

Happy Birthday! hope you have a great day
CS

happy birthday T---!! :)
DF

bonn anniv depuis utrecht!
JRF

Happy Birthday ~
JC

Happy bday!
JF

Happy birthday.=)
NF

happy birthday l--!
hope you have the happiest of days!! - enjoy the contentment and complete satisfaction of being in a relationship with Christ.
thanks for all the help and guidance over the past year, have learnt so much :)
PYJ

happy birthday ----tia!!!! God bless ya for being such an encouragement to us in small group and all! Have an awesome day and God bless!
RC

Happy Birthday ----tia!
TT

________________

1 THESS. 3,12-13

L/T.

02 September, 2012

3 ans célibataire et contente - merci, Seigneur!

It is now over 3 years since I began a lovely period of contentment about being single.

My first time going to France for short-term mission in 2009 was instrumental in that, and I am so incredibly thankful that France happened, and for all I have learned about myself (and the role I can play in God's plan for the nations) since then.

I wasn't always this happy about being single. But for now, I really appreciate the gift, and am glad that it has been given me to enjoy it.

"Mais, si Dieu a donné à un[e femme d'être célibataire], .. s'il l'a rendu[e] maître[sse] .. d'en prendre sa part, et de se réjouir au milieu de son travail, c'est là un don de Dieu."
~ ECC. 5,19


L/T.

04 June, 2012

4 amis, 2 jours de juin, 1 anniversaire

4 friends
Partly because of my prayer diary, partly because for His own reasons God has put this on my heart, my mind turns to the 4 people I considered my closest friends in the last 10 years:
C. Soo (married name CHIN), met 2000;
L.P.Y. MOK, met 1996;
S. KRITSOTAKIS, met 1995;
and S.L.W. CHAN, met 1990.

Perhaps because in recent years I've neglected them in person, though keeping them in prayer.

2 jours de juin, 1 joyeux anniversaire
Happy birthday, S.L.W. CHAN!
- can't get in touch with you for toffee at present;
but, until you die or ask me to stop, I will keep praying for you - probably the longest-standing friend I've ever had.
(Would insert *hugs* here, but as in the 22 years I've known you you're not the touchy-feely type, I'll settle for *pats-on-shoulder* instead!)

If by some freak of nature any out of the 4 of you stumble on this
- get in touch!
(though I know it's partly my fault for not keeping up too).

L/T.

26 May, 2012

2 morts

1 KINGS 19:4
"Il s'assit sous un genêt, et demanda la mort, en disant:
'C'est assez!
Maintenant, Éternel, prends mon âme,
car je ne suis pas meilleur que mes pères.'
"


________________

le 9 mai, 2011
It has been over a year since my sister's cat, Nyara, became ill for the last time & died. She was an elegant spotted grey tabby with white evening gloves on her forepaws whom we adored, nicknaming her "The Princess" because she always looked like a princess in a ballgown, especially when sitting at a window.

le 30 avril, 2012
At the end of last month, in her 96th year, my maternal grandmother Sonia fell asleep in Christ.
She had been in a nursing home since about age 90 and just faded away in the last 2 weeks of April.
That said, being a believer, there was a big advantage
- she would have woken up without sin.

How nice it would be to wake up sinless!
We'd have all our character imperfections gone;
no way of inadvertently hurting others by our besetting sin;
no way of letting ourselves down with disappointment over how we thought or felt or behaved even though we knew better...

Sometimes, in my most depraved moments, I wish I were where my grandmother Sonia is - in perfect holiness with our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ.

Indeed, to die is gain. Incredible gain. Elijah desired it; Paul desired it; I desire it.

But obviously, my heavenly Father has plans that involve me living. Oh well. At least, one day, sinless perfection will be mine...

;D

L/T.

21 January, 2012

1 an plus proche..

One year closer to:

* Godliness - humility - perfection in Christ
* Going to be with Christ, which is far better
* Knowing what on earth the future holds for me
* Turning triple pirouettes
(in case you think that's frivolous, remember that David, the chosen king of Israel & ancestor of our Lord & Saviour Jesus, was also the dancing type^)


The 2nd two items are only if God precisely wills it, of course.
Thankfully, the first two are in line with His Word!!


L/T.

^2 SAMUEL 6:14-16
"David dansait de toute sa force devant l'Éternel.."

25 December, 2011

un verset en 2 Samuel

Then the king said to Zadok,
“Take the ark of God back into the city.
If I find favor in the LORD’s eyes, He will bring me back
and let me see it and His dwelling place again.
But if He says, ‘I am not pleased with you,’ then I am ready;
let Him do to me whatever seems good to Him.”
2 Samuel 15:25
________________

Cryptic this may seem - but I feel a little like David on the run at present, so this was a comfort when I found it during catching-up with the prophet Samuel...

L/T.

07 December, 2011

10 v. 28 .. (l'Évangile de Matthieu)

All year I've been plodding through Matthew's gospel, and at times I really do not understand him..

In chapter 10, Jesus sends His disciples out to "the lost sheep of Israel".
They are to preach that "the kingdom of heaven is near", just as He & John the Baptist began.
This preaching is to be accompanied by the same helping miracles Jesus did:
healing the sick, casting out unclean spirits, etc.

THEN..

..in chapter 28, Jesus sends His disciples to "all nations".

They are to go
~ baptising the disciples made in the name of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit;
~ teaching them to obey everything Jesus had commanded.

What is the reason for the differences?
At the risk of being accused of cessationism (although my personal experience of Jesus Christ as Saviour & Lord makes that impossible)
- why, in His second & more global commissioning from ch.28, does Jesus SKIP the part about miraculous doings (cf. ch.10)?

We know, of course, in the days of the early church, there were miracles aplenty. Through Simon Peter and John Zebedee, a lame man is healed at the gate Beautiful (ACTS 3, verses 1-10). The casting-out of a spirit from a slave girl in Macedonia sparks a crowd riot (ACTS 16, verses 16-24). Eutychus, who is picked up dead after falling from a window, comes back to life after Paul hugs him (ACTS 20, verses 7-12).

So it's obviously not as if Jesus didn't intend for His disciples *not* to do these things. Did He just assume they would do these signs/wonders and, therefore, in His ch. 28 commission, He deliberately concentrated on the preaching/teaching command
- because He knew that otherwise this word-focus might take a back-seat?

Why is His emphasis on baptism [presumably for repentance/the forgiveness of sins] and teaching obedience to His commands?

Why not "go and make disciples, baptising..teaching..AND healing.." (etc.)?

This is all conjecture, of course.
But if we want to take God's word seriously, surely these are things we should ponder?

L/T.

07 November, 2011

1 vie seule

It seems that every year since 2008
I have gone through seasons of nothingness
- that is, where nothing much happened, & looking back on it all it seemed like just a waste of unfilled time.

I should like, in 2012, to be able to be doing something over the whole 12-month period;
something within my ability,
& something which allows me time/opportunity to develop further ministry skills
that I would need if any overseas ministry [not overseas teaching work] became an option.

Preferably before my life stage changes!
(Or, before I depart & get to be with Christ, which is far better.)

That "something" is not a full-time job.
Nor is it any kind of employment that takes me away from the mentors & coaches who have been so willing, under God, to meet with me & encourage me to seek our Father, to listen to Him & grow in Him.

And we only live once. Only 1 life.

It would be nice to have a year where everything balances a bit better than it has done since Dec.'08.

But may I be willing to accept whatever is in store - & to wait not for transient things but for anything that leads to sanctification & perfection in the Lord Jesus Christ.

*sigh*

L/T.

07 October, 2011

34 rue Lutetia

Am I really that OLD?
34 years and 17 days?

Well, as my life slips away without my noticing, let's reflect on 1 pertinent issue impacting what things would be like if God picked me up and hurled me into the French student ministry situation
- at this very moment of who I am and where I am in life.
________________
{replicated from a recent Note on my Facebook page}

Well, I know where I'm meant to be for the moment. 3 trips to Paris plus 1 trip to Strasbourg have helped to clarify it. So did a meeting with CMS in July this year.

A number of issues are at stake here, some of which will be discussed in future - though in random order. Solitude and loneliness, for one..
* because, when I go, I think it most likely that I will go alone.

Not that I won't know anyone - in fact, I'll be better off than most people I know who might go in my stead, because whenever I've been in France I've managed to make new friends among the locals.

What I mean is that if I go, I'm likely to go by myself - sent by a sending organisation, but without ready companionship in my langue maternelle. Because, simply put, I've been single all my life, & now that I'm past 30 it becomes rarer and rarer for Christian girls such as me to end up married.
And I am really, really OK with that, unless God isn't at some point in the future!! So no sympathy is required here..
;)



What implications does this have?
Let me paint a recent picture for you:
When in Strasbourg, I was part of a small team of fantastic people
- 3 French, 1 Italian, 1 Australian (who by virtue of having lived in France since 1991 is practically French anyhow).
Our principal interactions/communications, therefore, were in French.
And I was really, really OK with that, too..
..except for the time difference.

By 2PM each day (10PM AEST) I would be, well, let's say quite sleepy. Trying to concentrate in a 2nd language (French, for me) as well as concentrating on staying awake...something had to give.
So on a number of occasions in the afternoons, when my 3 French team-mates chattered to each other in French, I ended up not switching into the conversation due to exhaustion; this meant that I didn't really participate and therefore isolated myself. And yes, that isolation was hard - but don't forget the fatigue factor..

Thus the sense of isolation and loneliness could be quite strong, owing to my opting-out of the conversations at certain "down-times" in the afternoon.
Please be aware, however, that this was no-one's fault. No-one was to blame. (I always had the feeling my level of French surpassed their level of English, so it was more convenient for everyone that we operated in French.) Yet it was tiring - so very tiring.

In hindsight, I don't believe I am yet ready to cope with that level of isolation or loneliness in the long term.

Now I liked my French team-mates, I miss them all more than they probably know or care, I'd do another week with them in a heartbeat. But coping with long-term interactions in French (or any other 2nd language) - I think it would take around 2 years to get over the sense of loneliness and isolation
- the feeling that there's no-one in your own age bracket who you can really, really just talk to because of the existing language barriers.


And then, one backtracks - because what about God?

Am I saying, somehow, that God is not enough for me?
That He is not up to the task of dispelling any loneliness or isolation I might have to handle?
That He is not Someone whom I can really, really talk to without any language barriers?
Is it that I am not dependent enough on Him?
Not willing enough to rely fully on Him, to let Him be the companionship I know I'd need if I went back to France long-term?
Or is it none of this, and I'm simply just discovering my own limitations?

And yet in twisting and turning through all of this, I know the needs in France, the lostness of the people, the difficulties faced by those who serve full-time as ministers of the gospel. These things sharpen more into focus every time I visit.
So would I be willing, in the end, to face even the threat of loneliness and isolation for the sake of advancing the kingdom of our God and of His Christ?

L/T.

10 September, 2011

2011 début de semestre - à l'étranger

This month my thoughts and prayers rest particularly with the French Christians and their international mission partners trying to reach university students across France with the gospel of salvation in Jesus.

A few groups in cities like Paris and Strasbourg are running something like an Aussie university "O-Week" campaign..
..minus the postering, the walk-ups, the soapbox evangelism (great initiative from the SUEU a couple of years back) the actual being permitted a presence on campus property.
No such freedoms exist on any French university campus.

So keep them in your prayers, with reference to:
* COL. 1:28-29
* COL. 4:2-6

And pray that they will be reminded of 1 COR. 2:4-5 as they attempt to have conversations with local students about the only One that stands between them and eternal condemnation.

Because there is much less openness in this age group in France than in Australia - less willingness to engage, less willingness even to stop & talk..

L/T.

04 July, 2011

2 ans plus tard..

Two years ago at this time, my life was in the middle of radical upheaval.

At the start of 2009 (after six years flickering in and out of different teaching roles in Sydney schools), I found myself jobless and caught up in the inexorably swirling currents of the then-quite-new global financial crisis (not-so-affectionately known as the GFC).

As any person brought up in the fine traditions of a Protestant work ethic, I tried - without success - to find replacement employment throughout 2009. Through casual stints here and there, God provided me income that kept the scoreboard ticking over and 2 substantial tax returns (both pretty 4-figure sums).

In mid-2009, I went on a long-intended short-term mission trip overseas (to see the reality and difficulty of proclaiming Christ in a non-English-speaking context) and returned with a redefined idea of what I wanted my life to look like.

To ensure this was not just a phase, I went back in September 2009 and June/July 2010 for another look - and, as a result, decided to be more committed to praying, caring, giving, going or all four together.

Thus this year so far (6 months on a challenging class in a difficult school in a less-than-easy area) has seemed like a bit of a wilderness detour. A more than full-time demand on my life that has pushed quality time with my Father and with His people relentlessly to one side. Which I have not only resented, but been negatively affected by - because, after all, when one drifts further from God, it follows that one's conduct becomes significantly less godly and can even be a stumbling-block to unbelievers with whom one has to work. In particular, my students at school.

Apart from the income generation, I have found it hard to see the positives in this job. I feel as if the amount of pressure/stress I have been under has neither developed my Christian character further, nor has it contributed to any observable professional growth as a teacher.

Of course, I am sure the Father sees the last 6 months very differently. I just wish it was all over quicker. The pitfalls of living in an instant society.

Oh that the doors may open to develop what actually needs development - if I am ever to be useful in an overseas cross-cultural context with university student age groups!

L/T.

27 June, 2011

5 versets qu'il faut obéir

(English ~ ROMANS 12:17-21)

Ne rendez à personne le mal pour le mal.
Recherchez ce qui est bien devant tous les hommes.

S'il est possible, autant que cela dépend de vous,
soyez en paix avec tous les hommes.

Ne vous vengez point vous-mêmes, bien-aimés,
mais laissez agir la colère;
car il est écrit:
A moi la vengeance, à moi la rétribution,
dit le Seigneur.

Mais si ton ennemi a faim, donne-lui à manger;
s'il a soif, donne-lui à boire;
car en agissant ainsi,
ce sont des charbons ardents que tu amasseras sur sa tête.

Ne te laisse pas vaincre par le mal,
mais surmonte le mal par le bien.

________________

(Hymn time!)

To God be the glory,
Great things He hath done.
So loved He the world
That He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life
An atonement for sin
And opened the life-gate,
That all may go in.

L/T.

P.S. Merci, Père,
Qui m'a pardonnée mes offenses,
Qui m'a donnée Ton Saint Esprit pour me délivrer du mal/malin.
Tu es digne de toute louange!

06 June, 2011

5e-9e versets d'Éphésiens 6

No time to grieve the loss of our princess of cats, because in the job I have been given to do at school since start of February, it's Nightmare City (otherwise known as report-writing time).

So here's a snippet from EPHESIANS 6:5-9 to keep life in perspective.
__________________

Serviteurs, obéissez à vos maîtres selon la chair,
avec crainte et tremblement, dans la simplicité de votre coeur,
comme à Christ,
non pas seulement sous leurs yeux, comme pour plaire aux hommes,
mais comme des serviteurs de Christ,
qui font de bon coeur la volonté de Dieu.

Servez-les avec empressement,
comme servant le Seigneur et non des hommes,
sachant que chacun, soit esclave, soit libre,
recevra du Seigneur selon ce qu'il aura fait de bien.

Et vous, maîtres, agissez de même à leur égard,
et abstenez-vous de menaces,
sachant que leur Maître et le vôtre est dans les cieux,
et que devant Lui il n'y a point d'acception de personnes.

L/T.

15 May, 2011

1 tristesse

My sister's cat had not been well since February, though had been in spirits up until the start of May.

She went to the vet last Monday 9th, was fed at 6:45PM that evening before they closed up.

At some point during the night she went to sleep on her side and never woke up.

I know the world hasn't ended. But in moments of reflection like this, it sure as heck feels like it.

L/T.

27 April, 2011

1e semaine de T2

As one starts a new school term, it is always good to keep some of the Father's wisdom in mind.

I'm sure as heck going to need it!

ROMAINS 5,1-10
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.
And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings,
because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
perseverance, character;
and character, hope.
And hope does not disappoint us,
because God has poured out His love into our hearts
by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.

"You see, at just the right time,
when we were still powerless,
Christ died for the ungodly.
Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man,
though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.
But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

"Since we have now been justified by His blood,
how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him!
For if, when we were God’s enemies,
we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son,
how much more, having been reconciled,
shall we be saved through His life!"

________________

L/T.

12 March, 2011

5 versets de JONAS 2

I dedicate this post to all those affected by the recent earthquake & tsunami in Japan.
________________

JONAH 2:2-6

In my distress I called to the LORD,
and He answered me.
From the depths of the grave I called for help,
and You listened to my cry.

You hurled me into the deep,
into the very heart of the seas,
and the currents swirled about me;
all Your waves and breakers
swept over me.

I said, ‘I have been banished
from Your sight;
yet I will look again
toward Your holy temple.’

The engulfing waters threatened me,
the deep surrounded me;
seaweed was wrapped around my head.

To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But You brought my life up from the pit,
O LORD my God.

________________

L/T.

26 February, 2011

2 Psaumes

It has been an extremely busy month.

I have felt so rushed so much of the time, & it seems so hard just to sit still awhile with my Father.

Expressing almost perfectly my thoughts at this demanding time of work are two Psalm quotes..

PSA. 42:1-2
(or vv.2-3 if using French Bible)


PSA. 63:1
(or v.2 if using French Bible)

L/T.

02 February, 2011

1er des 4 Évangiles (Matthieu 10..)

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side*.

Listen to Him, for He shall be thy guide..
________________

"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.
Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?
Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.

And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Whoever acknowledges Me before others,
I will also acknowledge before My Father in heaven.

But whoever disowns Me before others,
I will disown before My Father in heaven.

Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.
I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

For I have come to turn
'a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law
- a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.'

Anyone who loves their father or mother more than Me
is not worthy of Me
;
anyone who loves their son or daughter more than Me
is not worthy of Me.

Whoever does not take up their cross and follow Me
is not worthy of Me
.

Whoever finds their life will lose it,
and whoever loses their life for My sake will find it.
"

MATTHEW 10:28-39


L/T.

*[hymn words - source unknown]

20 January, 2011

3 jours (au lieu de 5)

I would really value your prayers that God might provide me with a job of up to 3 days per week.

NOT a full-time job (5 days/week, 1.0 load); I do not wish to be totally monopolised by work - & I know this WILL happen if I go back to full-time employment.

I would see a part-time one (ideally 0.6 load) as being least inconvenient in what I want to do with my life long-term.

So, a PART-TIME job prayer request.

Would you please pray about this with me?

L/T.

14 January, 2011

10 ans après: Réponses aux prières

It was nearly 10 years ago that I began adding students I taught to my prayer-list.

Back in 2001, on a practicum teaching block of time with a Year 4 class - an experience I enjoyed so much that it was impossible not to pray for the children - especially the majority of unsaved ones, mainly from unchurched families.

And as time went on & I moved from school to school, so were added to the number yearly those who were not yet saved (or those whom, as children, may/not have made a commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ at the time).


Prayer points for former students included:

[unsaved]
* that God would place people/circumstances in their lives to challenge them with the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ - & that He would show them mercy, turning their hearts to repentance & faith in Him

[Christian families]
* that any faith they had in God might be proved genuine & that if calling Christ their Lord & Saviour, they would continue to walk with Him..

[all]
* that for those students whom God called to be His, He would also raise them up to be leaders of His people..


Such little prayers..
..prayed by a little shepherdess with little fitness for much other ministry..

There were times in more recent years where I wondered, should I keep these children on my prayer list? (..or should I give up..?)

________________


But this week I went, for the 3rd time in three years, to NSW Summer School
- a week-long conference run by the Church Missionary Society.
A conference full of mission reports from the harvest field of the world; full of prayer and praise and expository preaching from the Bible and..well, more prayer.

At that conference were at least 2 answers to my own personal prayers;
two former students, children I had taught who are now little brothers in the Lord.

One from an unchurched family background; one from a Christian family.
Both professing faith in Christ.
Both serving on the teams of leaders for the youth/children's programme
- helping teach a new generation of children about Christ & the call to follow Him.


Who could have imagined this?
What kindness, goodness and faithfulness - & all totally undeserved.

Père céleste - merci!
Que Tu, qui as commencé en eux cette bonne oeuvre, la rendras parfaite pour le jour de Jésus Christ!!

(PHIL. 1,6)

L/T.