Thursday, 27 December 2012

Essential Jesus

I've begun my series of blog posts on the Essential Jesus Bible reading plan @
Following The Star:

Feel free to join me as I get to know Jesus better!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Sunday Morning Play

Anna and Abigail have recently decided to play at being vampires. Not sure what brought this on... other than the whole Twilight craze in general! Of course, being little girls, they play at being vampire mummies with little vampire (American Girl) dolls who need to be taught not to be afraid so they don't accidentally turn into bats. And need to be taught all sorts of schoolish things as well.
I thought I'd help them out a bit with their vampire poses, so I gave them some "Vampire Juice" to try:
This was the result:
For those who are wondering, Vampire Juice is made from the "blood" of:
3 oranges,
1 (organic) lemon and
1 (fresh from the backyard) beetroot.

 Meanwhile, the boys were busy playing Ninjajo Snakelords versus Power Miners:
For once, it was one-on-one battles, so both boys were ensured of a "fair" outcome. This is the happiest Lego play I have seen the boys engaged in together in a long time.
After observing them playing so well together, I almost didn't like to tell them to get ready for church.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Intentional Reading for 2013

Last year, I planned to read "12 books in 2012". This was my deliberate, intentional reading for the year. Of course, being an avid reader I read a lot more than 12 books, but these were the books that I really thought I should read. My plans changed, as plans do, and I found myself reading great books that weren't on the list, and not reading some that were. Several of the books I added into my intentional reading list last year helped me understand the Old Testament better, as I studied the OT through the Australian College of Theology, which was very valuable. Some were parenting books - and some of these were more helpful than others.

This is my final list of 12 books read intentionally in 2012:

1-2-3 Magic1-2-3 MagicThomas W. Phelan

Five Festal Garments: Christian Reflections on the Song of Songs, Ruth,...Five Festal Garments: Christian Reflections on the Song of Songs, Ruth,...Barry G. Webb
ThinkThinkJohn Piper
Feminine Appeal: 7 Virtues of a Godly Wife and MotherFeminine Appeal: 7 Virtues of a Godly Wife and MotherCarolyn Mahaney
Gunning for God: A Critique of the New AtheismGunning for God: A Critique of the New AtheismJohn Lennox
God and Stephen HawkingGod and Stephen HawkingJohn C. Lennox
Histories and Fallacies: Problems Faced in the Writing of HistoryHistories and Fallacies: Problems Faced in the Writing of HistoryCarl R. Trueman
On Becoming Childwise: Parenting Your Child from 3-7 Years (On Becoming. . .)On Becoming Childwise: Parenting Your Child from 3-7 Years (On Becoming. . .)Gary Ezzo, Robert Bucknam
Essays on the Patriarchal NarrativesEssays on the Patriarchal Narratives
The Early Church to the Dawn of the ReformationThe Early Church to the Dawn of the ReformationJusto L. Gonzalez
Battle Hymn of the Tiger MotherBattle Hymn of the Tiger MotherAmy Chua
The Trellis and the VineThe Trellis and the VineColin Marshall, Tony Payne

Having revisited my original list, some books I now plan to put off reading, and others I have decided to sell on ebay without ever reading the whole way through!

Next year, I'm sure my "regular" reading will go on as usual: haphazardly, with whatever takes my fancy, whether it be Agatha Christie, Lois Duncan, Francine Rivers or Orson Scott Card. And my reading aloud for the kids will continue as well, with a few more fairy tales and a bit less of John Flanagan, now we've almost finished the entire Ranger's Apprentice series.

But in 2013, I'm focusing my intentional reading on Jesus.

Why? Because I've come to realise that the purpose of living as a Christian in the time before Jesus' return is not to become perfect, but to fall further in love with God.

How does a Christian fall more in love with God?
They get to know Jesus better!

So that's what I'm going to do with my intentional reading in 2013.

I'm starting the ball rolling a little early, planning to begin the Essential Jesus Bible reading plan from Scripture Union with YouVersion the day after Christmas.

Feel free to join me as I blog about my Bible reading at my other blog Following the Star.

I'll also be reading Jesus and the Gospels by Craig L. Blomberg, one of Jeff's texts from his early days at Trinity Theological College, intermittently throughout the year.

I hope to read God is the Gospel by John Piper. The blurb says, "This book is a plea that God himself, as revealed most clearly and fully in Jesus' death and resurrection, be seen and enjoyed as the final and greatest gift of the gospel. ... All God's gifts are loving to the degree that they lead us to God himself. This is the love of God: doing everything necessary, most painfully the death of his Son, to enthrall us with what is most deeply and durably satisfying - namely, himself." The premise of this book is the reason I am focussing my intentional reading on Jesus in 2013.

I might also (re)read A Call to Spiritual Reformation by Don A. Carson. I might not. The front cover quotes, "the greatest need for churches today is ... a deeper knowledge of God." That fits with my desire to love God more, and the discipline of prayer (as examined in the book) will help me achieve my aim.

And that's it.
Short and sweet and focussed on Jesus.