Thursday, June 07, 2007

Brief Catch Up

Dear friends & family,

Greetings from Tasmania. Things continue to roll along here. I have been busy with the various duties of the ministry. However there have been a few developments to pass on.

Winter is setting on here. It has not gotten down to freezing yet, although several people I have talked to in the shops say it is. At times it still gets warm enough to go without a coat or jumper (sweater or sweat shirt) but I am told that these days are running out. I have a little portable heater in my office, courtesy of one of the elders in the church, and it keeps the office quite comfortable to work in. The house has a heat pump (kind of like an air conditioner that pumps hot air) but I do not use it. I am usually just inside to eat and sleep. I eat fast and the blankets are warm anyway.

The church continues to grow. Since I arrived in Tasmania one family has joined the church here and Lord willing two more families will soon join. It has been marvelous to the see the Lord working in the lives of the people that have chosen to cast in their lot with the Southern Presbyterian Church. He was working in them, guiding His people in a more and more Reformed direction, and the Lord providential brought me into the mix in His time. It always rejoices my heart to see the Lord's plan continue to unfold for the good of His Kingdom and people with a force, a subtle one at times, none can stop.

We recently began a Bible study Tuesday nights at 7 pm. We are going through the 10 commandments together. Last Tuesday we considered the 4th commandment, focusing on the principles upon which practice is based. Several people attend (usually between 12-17) and we have a nice time of tea and biscuits (cookies) afterward. Lord willing, the Bible study will not only be away for us to study the Word together but that it will also help build community and fellowship.

We also began a Puritan Bible study about an hour or so North of the church in George Town. It is called a Puritan Bible study because we hope to consider a portion of the Scriptures together and consider it teachings, noting specifically what the Puritans thought of the passage and why they did. The focus is not so much on the Puritans but rather what the Scriptures teach, the Puritans usually being in strong agreement. First we get together for tea (evening meal) and then we sit in a friends living room and consider the Word of God together. Our first meeting considered who the Puritans were and what they were best known for: Experiential Christianity (seeking to consistently live out your faith). In that connections we considered portions of Psalm 19 and 139. There was about 10 of us (perhaps a couple more) who got together and Lord willing we will continue to once a month.

The wedding grows closer and as the days get tick by I become more and more eager to be wed to the marvelous Martha Julia Lipsy. The wedding planning is coming together with help from friends and family. The dresses, order of service, songs sung, reception, rehearsal dinner, photography schedule, and flowers are all coming together.

Until next time,