Day 59 – Sat 29 Oct – A day back home, cutting wood, going to the park, playing with the kids, watching a bit of telly. Nothing of interest to report – as usual I hear you say
Day 58 – Fri 29 Oct – We popped in to see old friends of our family in the morning and had a great time catching up. There is something about going into the homes of people you’ve not seen properly for years and feeling immediately at home.
We got Roma’s chips for lunch before we headed home, saying goodbye to ageing parents gets stranger, inevitable thoughts and questions come to mind. I do love Swansea but won’t be back now until Christmas. The journey took us 5 and half hours which is the worst yet. A confined space with a limited number of CD’s and crying children made it quite trying. To top it off I’d offered to go and pick up my brother Steve and his family from King’s Cross which meant another hour and half in the car.
Day 55 – Tue 26 Oct – The morning was in the study and I preached at ELT on Romans 5:12-21, I had far too much content and there wasn’t enough light in the message. I didn’t do the passage justice. Numbers were slightly down for half term but still a good turn out. We drove to Cardiff to see friends for tea and then onto Swansea to my parents. They were in good form, regaling us with tales of their cruise and recent deaths in South Wales. The cruise was good but a bit of a disappointment as it was full of old people, said my 81 year old father.
I’m hoping to take some time off this week as it’s half term and so was in the study early to crack on with Isaiah 40. The morning was somewhat wrecked by my brother Steve and his family arriving en route to Paris but it was good to see them. I got back into the books before heading in the afternoon down to Chiswick to see Alun Ebenezer. Alun and I have known each other since we were early teens, he is the head of Fulham Boys School and I love that he is in London. I was back home for tea and then out visiting some newly weds and a young family, both are new to the church. I often think how blessed we are to live in a place where there is lots of movement of people and so we have people who move to the church. I worked late on Philemon and got a decent start.
1. Do you acknowledge that you are saved only through faith in Jesus, that you trust not in anything you have done or will ever do, but only in His finished work – His death upon the Cross, by which He took upon Himself the penalty for Your sins?
2. Do you realise that baptism is not a saving ordinance, and though it signifies your children’s membership in the covenant community, it is not a matter of magic? Do you understand that your children are themselves responsible to receive Christ as Saviour and Lord as they become accountable to Him?
3. Do you in this sacrament covenant together with God to raise your children in the instruction, obedience, and worship of the Lord, to pray for and with them, to keep them in the fellowship of God’s people, to be faithful and loving in your home, to be immediate examples of faith, and therefore to do your utmost to lead them to a saving knowledge of Christ at an early age?
4. Do you acknowledge that your children are a gift of God, who are of course to be cherished and enjoyed, but who belong at last not to you but to God? Do you undertake to assist your children in every possible way as they seek to lead a life of devoted service to his Lord and Saviour?
5. Do you, with God’s help, undertake not to hinder your children should they feel called to serve God in a far-away place? Do you, with God’s help, undertake not to complain against God should your children die before you?
Do you, the members of this congregation, agree to pray for these parents as they raise their children in the Christian faith, and to support them in their efforts by providing their children with further examples of obedience and service to God? Should these parents neglect their God-given task, will you in all humility rebuke and correct them?