Thursday, 28 March 2013

hints for hosting a missionary at your church

We've recently returned to Vanuatu after six months in Australia.  While in Australia we visited lots of churches.  We were greatly encouraged by these visits especially by the many people who pray so faithfully and tirelessly for us.

Every visit was different.  Mostly we only went for a Sunday.  On some occasions we also visit mid-week and sometimes overnight on the weekend.  Sometimes Glen preached, sometimes we did an interview, sometimes we gave a presentation in addition.  Sometimes we attended multiple services sometimes just one.  Sometimes we were overwhelmed by people talking to us and sometimes we were left quietly on our own.

I've given some thought to what worked well and what didn't.  I'm going to share some of these ideas over the next little while.  I'd love for your comments as well.  I'm particularly keen to hear what you think makes a good missionary visit to your church.  What is really helpful and what isn't?

As I write the posts, I'd add links here.

Hint #1: cheat on the interview
Hint #2: give them the microphone

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Matthew's news

This was the sentence Matthew wrote for school this morning:

Well we went to the dental clinic, then to radiology at the hospital and then back to the dental clinic. Fortunately they are very close.

It turns out that Matthew has an extra tooth!

It is coming down where one of his adult front teeth at the top should be. It is conical and pointy, quite a bit narrower than the space left by his baby tooth, and is only just emerging. Both his adult teeth (front, top) are present.

But you can see from his picture than it has taken on enormous proportions in his mind.

A lesson there for me to be more careful how I talk about things.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

B.H.Harwood 1.7.1918-19.3.2013

Today my Grandad passed away.

He was a quiet man, happy to let everyone else do the talking.

He worked with his hands, strong hands with thick fingers.  He crafted beautiful things from wood.  Here, holding out his gift in his hands, see this?  This is how much I love you.

He was a faithful man; faithful to his wife whom he loved dearly.  Theirs was a marriage that survived much sadness; one in which 'for better and worse' was not romantic platitude.

He was faithful to God whom he served humbly.  He started going to Chatswood South Methodist Church when he was only six years old.  He attended meetings there for over seventy-five years and sung in their choir for almost as many.  He was methodist through and through and loved to sing.  One of my last, and most precious, memories will be of singing carols together this last Christmas.

In August 2009 he found and showed me this hymn, copied out in his own hand.  I know not who wrote the first verse or when.  Grandad wrote the second.

The heavens proclaim Him with ceaseless devotion
The eternal's name o'er all is heard.
Its praise is echoed by earth and by ocean.
Receive O man their godlike word.
He holds the stars in the firmament glowing.
He bids the sun in splendour rise.
Our God all good, all great, all wise (repeat).
The earth acclaims him Lord of creation
His wondrous works are there to see.
The mighty storms and glowing sunsets
Forth tell His power and majesty.
He clothes the plants with a colourful beauty
He tunes the birds that sing above
All creatures come now and join us to worship
Our glorious God of grace and love.