Day 111 – Wed 21 Dec – I am really struggling with the wedding sermon on Philippians 2 for Friday and Sunday morning. I just feel like I’ve ground to a halt on both of them. I had my annual lunch with Reuben Hunter from Trinity West in Shepherds Bush, who’s a good friend, we met up with Alun Ebenezer in the afternoon and had a great couple of hours.
In the evening Claire and I met with a young couple in the church for the evening to talk all things marriage which was really encouraging.
Day 110 – Tue 20 Dec – We had our third session on Knowing God but there were only 3 of us with folk already having gone home for Christmas. I worked in Nero for the morning and met Gethin Jones who was on his way from Philadelphia to Cardiff. He’s hoping to do a year in London before heading to France, it was good to catch up. I slowly prepared stuff for the wedding before popping into town to do some Christmas shopping and just catching up on things I should have done months ago,
In the evening I played 5 aside, it’s been a few weeks since I played and I can’t remember playing so badly. We all went for a curry afterwards which was good fun.
Day 109 – Mon 19 Dec – I had a slow start in the morning before meeting with Natalie to go over this past term. I had thought this week was going to be slightly calmer but have got a Wedding sermon for Friday, Christmas Day service, and then there’s a deadline for an article on Regeneration for the Evangelical Magazine that is fast approaching. I meandered through the afternoon reading and studying. Then I took the evening off with Claire.
I read this by Jeremy Walker on ‘Keeping our Commitment’ which I enjoyed
Day 108 – Sun 18 Dec -We had the second of our elders training looking at Psalm 23 and the theme of Shepherding, plus looked over WCF 3 & 4. Chris Roberts was preaching yesterday morning and was excellent on Philippians 2, full of illustration and good application. It was lovely to hear, we had the Lord’s Supper afterwards
Another family in the church took Noah and Ellie for the afternoon so we had a gloriously quiet afternoon. I even managed to go to bed for an hour, I think it’s probably the first time for years that’s happened.
The carol service in the evening was very encouraging, it was a full house and so probably somewhere near 200. We were really pleased that quite a lot of the people we’d invited came along. The kids sang very well and the musicians were great. I spoke on the Second Coming of Christ, I’d never done it before at a carol service – He has come, He is coming, He can come to you today. People listened well but you just long for response, even sometimes a negative response. Folk tell you that was a lovely service but what does that mean? I did talk with one older man who agreed to read Luke’s gospel over Christmas and we’d meet for lunch to talk about it in January so that is good. Sometimes I feel like saying at the end of the carol service ‘Same Time, same place, next year’ but we’re praying that some come back.
Day 107 – Sat 15 Dec – I had a couple of hours to get jobs done and then we met for prayer before going out on the doors to invite people to the carol service. We just spent an hour and it was encouraging, people who answered the door were nearly all positive. We’ve got a couple of homes to follow up on. If nothing else it makes you pray for the area and to be aware of how very few people we’re reaching. There were about 16 of us going out in two’s, I hope we might be able to do it more often. I also popped in on the shops in Greenford Avenue and they were very receptive.
In the afternoon we had two parties, one for Ellie’s school friend which had a Batgirl as the entertainer. I’m not sure the kids had a clue who she was but they seemed to enjoy it. The second party was an open house by parents of some children in Noah and Ellie’s class. It was good to spend more time with them before coming home and doing very little that evening.
Day 106 – Fri 16 Dec- We had two school plays today, both based very loosely on the nativity. Ellie was one of 5 Mary’s and Noah had the small role of a mouse which he made as much as he could out of it. I was working on the carol service sermon and trying to do some planning for next year.
I met with Jess in the afternoon to do some letters to folks who are in membership with us but have moved away. In the evening Claire was out at the Christmas party so I did Christmas cards and tidied up bits for the tax return. I have caught up with my reading on De Graaf, I’m now 50 pages into volume 3.
Day 105 – Thu 15 Dec – I was slower on preparation than I’d hoped for Sunday night and so had to bail out of the church staff going down to Steve and Pam Frost’s for Christmas Dinner. As it turned out I had to meet with Chris Cradock to discuss some Presbytery matters anyway. I think I know where I am going for the Carol Service on ‘He is coming’, we’ve invited a load of friends and neighbours so are praying they will come. In the evening we had a meeting regarding some of the legal aspects of the building project which although it’s frustrating it’s going to take a little bit longer to sort than we thought will put us in a better position.
Iain Clements has written a good blog post on “Post Truth”
which is worth reading.