Dion's random ramblings

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I'm impatient, slow to pray, and often lack hope... But there's something even worse!

I have a reminder that is set in my iCal appointments each week for a Monday morning at 9am (iCal is like Outlook, except, because it is an Apple Mac application it actually works ;-).

It is set for 9am on a Monday morning because that is directly after the Monday morning worship service at the Seminary where I serve. It sounds just as I arrive to the barrage of calls, people, tasks, meetings, and concerns from my staff, students, and the ministers and Bishops of the Methodist churches throughout the 6 nations of Southern Africa that our seminary serves.

The reminder is necessary! It helps me to keep in mind that I do this work because I have the joy of being called into it by God. It reminds me that others are as sinful and incomplete as I am, so be patient, approach them, their need, and concerns with joy, and live in the hope that even though I seldom get everything sorted out in a single meeting, a single report, or even that single day, there is the hope of knowing that I have done my best for the God who loves me, and my best for those whom God loves... And, that leads me to the infomercial 'but wait there's more moment...'

While verse 12, of Romans 12, is my weekly reminder, I have seldom taken the time to heed the command of verses 11 and 13.

Here's what the passage (Romans 12:11-13) says:

'Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be
joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's
people who are in need. Practice hospitality'.

Amazing isn't it? Zeal, fervor, service of Christ, joy, hope, patience, faith, sharing and lastly hospitality!

This last week my bi-weekly radio show on Radio Pulpit (first broadcast is always at 9am on a Wednesday, then rebroadcast throughout the week) dealt with that last injunction 'Be hospitable'. It has unleashed a great deal of criticism from more conservative quarters. We're happy to TALK about values (zeal, joy, hope, etc.) but when it comes down to doing something (welcoming people into Christ's fellowship) it becomes a battle ground!

So from this week I have added an extra reminder to continue to serve the Lord with fervor and zeal, and another to care for God's people in need and be constantly hospitable (to the outsider, the disregarded, the misunderstood, the rejected, the poor, the rich, the American, and the African, straight, and the gay, the liberal and the conservative). What I like most about this passage is that is places God, in Christ, at the centre of all of these actions. Love and zeal and service of Christ, prayer to God in Christ, care for the people that God loves, and welcome, on behalf of God, to all the people that God loves!

It also struck me that since BGod is the centre of all life, it is not my right to exclude anyone that God loves! I am the steward, God is the truly hospitable householder.

Dion, blogging while braaing (an offering of thanks for our victory last night!), Megie putting Liam to sleep, and Courtney is playing.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

True humility... I need to learn more of it.

The day is over... Amazingly, this spoilt brat (yup, that's me!) survived the day just fine! No phone, no electricity, no car...

I suppose I need a few more days like this (not only to be reminded how lucky I am to have a car, electricity, and telephones on hand), but also to be reminded of the many who live their lives without these luxuries and commodities!

Thanks to those who read the post and smiled... To the one or two who emailed me their horror stories about Telkom, ESKOM, and various car problems. At least I didn't feel alone.

However, as I sit at home, my children are asleep, Megan and I are catching up on some correspondence, I am at peace.

So, after the rant of this morning I turned to my devotional reading the heading is True humility:

1. Prayer of invocation: Almighty God, you have sent Jesus to show us how to live. Grant me the power of your Holy Spirit so that I may follow him in faithfulness all the days of my life. Amen.

Basically humility is the attitude of one who stands constantly under the judgment of God. It is the attitude of one who is like the soil. Humility comes from the Latin word humus, fertile ground. The fertile ground is there, unnoticed, taken for granted, always there to be trodden upon. It is silent, inconspicuous, dark and yet it is always read to receive any seed, ready to give it substance and life. The more lowly, the more fruitful, because it becomes really fertile when it accepts all the fefuse of the earth. It is so low that nothing can soil it, humiliate it; it has accepted the last place and cannot go any lower. In that position nothing shatter the soul's serenity, its peace and joy.
-- From Living Prayer by Anthony Bloom.

2. Benediction: Live today in Christ's presence, remembering he is near and will sustain you as you serve his name. Amen.

So, God clearly anticipated my mood, and the situations that would expose my need of growth and grace. I thank God for knowing me even better than I know my self. This day has ended well. Thanks be to God.

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No power, no phone lines - it's becoming a bit of a concern

This morning ESKOM decided to cut the power to our suburb in order to shed the load throughout the country. Normally this would not be a problem since we are notified in advance so we can prepare to boil bottles, and prepare Liam's food for the day... Sadly there was no warning. I guess it is time for this child of the first world to buy a gas stove...

Oh, and we've also had no telephone lines whatsoever since a storm on Saturday. So if you phone my office it will simply ring... Telkom says they'll attend to it, but 4 days later there is still no sign of a technician.

So, if you need to reach me please phone my cell phone... That is, until the battery goes flat...

If you're thinking 'how can Dion be blogging without a telephone line and power?', well, I am sitting in my 1 year old car at Hatfield Volkswagen (fourth time in two months with the same electrical fault) - this is a 'moblog', submitted via email from my Nokia E90 cell phone.

Aaaarrrggghhh! Today I need to pray for patience

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