It’s 11.50pm on Sunday and it’s a hot night here in Adelaide and it’s still around 28C outside! :O I’m sitting in the dark living room with the A/C softly whirring above my head, keeping the room cool and comfortable. It’s been a great weekend all in all – no, I didn’t do anything exciting really, and I still haven’t had any time to contact any driving schools to arrange a driving lesson. I am committed now to learn how to drive – I have to face my fear and deal with it. It’s a ‘stone’ that I need to dislodge from my soil – just like what was preached last week at Edge.
I have been going to Edge Church in the city before I go to the Indonesian church in the past three weeks or so and the sessions have blessed me so much. Pastor Jonathan Fontanarosa has been sharing and examining the four types of soil that are described in Matthew 13:1-7. He started the series with an overall study of the passage three weeks ago, then two weeks ago he specifically discussed the hardened ground (“the footpath”) – I didn’t attend this one, as I went to Salvation Army’s 125th anniversary meeting. Last week he discussed the rocky ground, and today he discussed the thorny ground. I learn about a lot of things from this parable, things that I didn’t know before and it is certainly like discovering hidden treasures and finding their delights. Regarding the thorny ground, Ps. Jonathan mentioned that we should be careful not to be choked out by the lure of wealth and the cares of this world. Money is deceitful and can overpower our walk of faith, but when it is positioned well, it can serve us instead of the other way around. He mentioned that he had been quite uncomfortable talking about money as he didn’t want to be seen as asking for money from the congregation. However, we then learned that money matters were not matters of the pockets or matters of the hands – it’s the heart that needs to have the right attitude when it comes to money. It’s not money that is the root of all evil – it’s the love of money! (1 Tim 6:10) Again, a matter of the heart! He said something which was really insightful – a great guide for my attitude about wealth, money, and the cares of my life:
“God is looking for surrendered heart, not just surrendered hands.”
How true! We can lift our hands, pay our tithe, and then think that yup, we’ve ticked that box, we’ve done our duty, that’s it – and then we come and ask God for our rewards. That’s not the point! It’s the heart that needs to be surrendered!
After the service at Edge today, I then rushed to my church as I was appointed to lead worship today. I wasn’t scheduled to lead originally but the girl who was appointed couldn’t do it. It was a good service, by the grace of God. We didn’t practice yesterday because two musicians had other things to do instead and a fellow church worker rebuked us who said, “If we go to a nice restaurant and expect great food, the chef will have prepared the ingredients way before the restaurant is open. All of the tools and the kitchen will have been ready and well-prepared. How can we have a service and serve God, if we are so blazae that we can always have a short rehearsal before the service?”. It was only the grace of God that enabled everything to proceed smoothly – not because of how well I spoke or led, but because of God only!
So yeah, all in all, it has been a very spiritually enriching weekend. I have also started my annual Christmas card – it will be my last one as I haven’t really caught up with the latest techniques and methods. I will still do my annual letter and may create a small clip if I am motivated in the future but I think this will be it … On the wedding preparation, so many things to do and I just don’t know where to start. Yani is preparing on the homeground in Surabaya and as mentioned previously, my sisters are helping me with the preparation in Bandung. I owe them my guest list and what I want to put on the invitation. So many things to do! I just can’t let them stress me over – I don’t want to be choked by my ‘cares of life’. I just need to deal with them one by one, I suppose! 🙂