I have been reading Acts for Everyone part 2 by Tom Wright and his comments on chapter 13:13-25 really resonated with me after coming to the conclusion last week that God wanted us to carry on waiting, and not to create an Ishmael. Here is what he had to say when Paul was addressing the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch "Paul makes his way swiftly through the early years to arrive at the monarchy of Saul and David. What he says about the early period, though is enough to establish the fact that God's method of operation is to choose his people, to prepare them, to lead them through one stage after another, and then finally, to give them 'the man after my own heart' as king. In other words, perhaps the main point of verses 17-20 s to stress that God's purposes normally take a while to unfold to get to the place where the ultimate purpose can be revealed."
It is great to realise that God is not always in a hurry to get his plans accomplished. It also reminds me of Elijah who spent three and half years in Zarephath doing exactly what? Well the Bible doesn't record it, it was nothing of real note. So one of the great prophets in the Bible sat and twiddled his thumbs for over three years, well there wasn't much planting or reaping to do as there was a drought on, which he had prophesied there would be, and there wasn't going to be any rain or dew until he said so, so Elijah would have realised it is a bit pointless planting anything.
I have also been reading Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell and I love his statement about missions "Missions is less about the transportation of God from one place to another and more about the identification of a God who is already there. It is almost as if being a good missionary means having really good eyesight. Or maybe it means teaching people to use their eyes to see things that have always been there; they just didn't realise it. You see God where others don't and then you point him out." In many places that would turn missions work on its head and is less about telling people that they have it all wrong and need to start again from scratch but recognising the good that is there and affirming it. Why aren't Christians the most positive people in the world at times, shouldn't they be? And I am not talking about being overly positive to the point where problems are not recognised but why do we always have to be seen as critical just because it isn't "Christian". Some people do a good job even though they are not Christian, and we need to applaud them for it, not bring them down. Having said that I am conscious of the fact that as regards church and what goes on I have been told I am not the most positive up upbuilding of people. I guess I need to learn what to say and when to say and when just to shut up, as I used to tell my kids even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue. (Proverbs 17:28)
We ran out of fish oil tablets about a week ago and Ian seemed to be suffering and feeling down (the weather wasn't helping), we got some more and I realised they were already having a quick effect the day after when he started whistling in the afternoon. Not sure what it is about fish oil tablets that has the effect of making some people whistle but it has been observed several times now both in Ian and my sons. Lol Fortunately I have not been subject to this side effect.
Electricity went off Saturday for around three hours wasn't sure if it would be off for the whole weekend. Didn't know if the electric companies worked at weekends or not, so was quite relieved in some ways that they do as I didn't want my freezer defrosting, then again the booming music that emanated from our neighbours when the electric came back on wasn't really appreciated either as we had wondered about just going to bed anyway rather than finding candles for the evening, especially as I wasn't feeling so good.
Today we got our new cooker in preparation for the rearrangement of the gas pipes. We have a rather unusual arrangement at the moment as you can see which no one seems to understand the purpose for and I call the spaghetti junction. It is connected to an oven which only has two burners working and I don't even use the oven as we were warned it smokes. There was a beautiful but expensive cooker (stove) I really liked that seemed to be very good quality as well but it had an electric oven - I have a combination microwave oven already so we decided that really we should go with the gas oven, the power cut the other day confirmed our decision as we were still able to use the cooker even if we had no lights or microwave. We also got a freezer in preparation for freezing some of our produce and also for when we get meat in bulk - ie anytime we venture to one of the bigger shopping centres when we stock up. The meat available in the small town we live in is usually either minced pork or chicken legs and only one sort at a time so not a huge variety. They say that this country is behind the times and yet we bought the freezer and the cooker around lunchtime and by early evening it was delivered for the total of 20 Lats, probably a bit excessive for here but the job is done and a lot less hassle than deliveries in any of the countries we have lived in so far, so I am not complaining!