October 31st – don't forget

Today is Halloween. Many people will celebrate by dressing in weird and wonderful costumes and doing all sorts of weird and wonderful things. They consider today spiritual in the sense of having something to do with ghosts and ghouls.

Spiritually however, October 31st is a very important day for the Protestant church – it is the day Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany – it is called by some Reformation Day. Luthers simple action triggered massive events in the following years, decades and centuries. Graham Tomlin has said of Luther that he ranks as,

“…as one of the most influential European figures of the last millennium.  Marco Polo and Columbus opened up new continents, Shakespeare and Michelangelo produced some of the most sublime pieces of art, and Napoleon and Hitler changed the political face of their centuries.  Yet Luther and the Reformation he triggered have made a huge impact not just on Europe, but…throughout the rest of the world. Protestantism shaped a whole new way of life for countless people across the Western world and beyond, which coloured their  approaches to God, work, politics, leisure, family – in fact, almost every aspect of human life…[including] the early development…of the United States, and in the emergence of democracy and economic and religious freedoms in Europe.”

 

The simple act of Luther’s affects all of you within Christianity today. I read James Emery White summing up the effect of Luther thus,

In essence, Martin Luther felt anyone could, and everyone should, make history with their life.

As a Protestant I stand thankful for all that Luther was prepared to do. Men and women of God like him deserve to be remembered. The Old Testament reveals that the Israelites continually remembered their history. We should do the same.

As a Christian with inclinations towards the charismatic I found this post by J Lee Grady, calling for reformation within the charismatic church, to be a good read.

LTCi Chapel preaching schedule

LTCi Chapel – Sunday preaching schedule November-December 2011

November 6th Aylwin Woleng
13th Peter Kashung
20th Ben Longchar
27th Arun Kochary
December 4th Themreingham Chilhang
11th Visiting speaker: Fellowship Bible Church Dallas – Ryan
18th Richard Chamberlain
25th Christmas Day Peter Kashung
31st New Years Eve – morning Moala Kashung

 

An Excellent Marriage Preparation Checklist

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I ‘love’ checklists. I should add that I don’t love them for the fact you get easy answers by ticking a box, but because they make you ask more questions – they make you think more deeply (rather like on a test a good multiple choice question is often harder to answer than an essay question). The questions below are taken from a list on the Desiringgod.org website – for the original post go here. If you are thinking of getting married, or are married it is worth taking time to talk, think and pray about.

Theology

  • What do you believe about…everything?
  • Perhaps read through the Desiring God Affirmation of Faith to see where each other is on various biblical doctrines.
  • Discover how you form your views. What is the reasoning-believing process? How do you handle the Bible?

Worship and Devotion

  • How important is corporate worship? Other participation in church life?
  • How important is it to be part of a small accountability/support group?
  • What is the importance of music in life and worship?
  • What are your daily personal devotional practices? Prayer, reading, meditation, memorization.
  • What would our family devotions look like? Who leads out in this?
  • Are we doing this now in an appropriate way: praying together about our lives and future, reading the Bible together?

Husband and Wife

  • What is the meaning of headship and submission in the Bible and in our marriage?
  • What are expectations about situations where one of you might be alone with someone of the opposite sex?
  • How are tasks shared in the home: cleaning, cooking, washing dishes, yard work, car upkeep, repairs, shopping for food, and household stuff?
  • What are the expectations for togetherness?
  • What is an ideal non-special evening?
  • How do you understand who and how often sex is initiated?
  • Who does the checkbook—or are there two?

Children

  • If and when, should we have children? Why?
  • How many?
  • How far apart?
  • Would we consider adoption?
  • What are the standards of behavior?
  • What are the appropriate ways to discipline them? How many strikes before they’re…whatever?
  • What are the expectations of time spent with them and when they go to bed?
  • What signs of affection will you show them?
  • What about school? Home school? Christian school? Public school?

Lifestyle

  • Own a home or not? Why?
  • What kind of neighborhood? Why?
  • How many cars? New? Used?
  • View of money in general. How much to the church?
  • How do you make money decisions?
  • Where will you buy clothes: Department store? Thrift store? In between? Why?

Entertainment

  • How much money should we spend on entertainment?
  • How often should we eat out? Where?
  • What kind of vacations are appropriate and helpful for us?
  • How many toys? Snowmobile, boat, cabin?
  • Should we have a television? Where? What is fitting to watch? How much?
  • What are the criteria for movies and theater? What will our guidelines be for the kids?

Conflict

  • What makes you angry?
  • How do you handle your frustration or anger?
  • Who should bring up an issue that is bothersome?
  • What if we disagree both about what should be done, and whether it is serious?
  • Will we go to bed angry at each other?
  • What is our view of getting help from friends or counselors?

Work

  • Who is the main breadwinner?
  • Should the wife work outside the home? Before kids? With kids at home? After kids?
  • What are your views of daycare for children?
  • What determines where you will locate? Job? Whose job? Church? Family?

Friends

  • Is it good to do things with friends but without spouse?
  • What will you do if one of you really likes to hang out with so and so and the other doesn’t?

Walking with the right people

Recently I rightly got criticised for putting on my about page that I hated certain people – my passions are strong and my desire to love God sometimes gets caught up in them. Yet today as I read Psalm 101, and “fell in love” with the man of God depicted there, I felt strong passions arising in me again. Nothing half hearted here, no accepting of grey areas in life, no compromise. These are not the vague ramblings of a man who wants to be seen as godly, these are the impassioned prayers of a man who has seen in part and has been marked by God so that there can be no going back. Desiring integrity, not gazing upon that is worthless, no perverse heart, no slander, no arrogance, no deceit, no lies, and he can even hate those who fall away – such people are hard to find.

Already I walk with some men and women who are like this – I long to walk with more of them. I hope you become one.

 I will sing of steadfast love and justice;
to you, O LORD, I will make music.
I will ponder the way that is blameless.
Oh when will you come to me?
I will walk with integrity of heart
within my house;
I will not set before my eyes
anything that is worthless.
I hate the work of those who fall away;
it shall not cling to me.
A perverse heart shall be far from me;
I will know nothing of evil.
Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly
I will destroy.
Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart
I will not endure.
I will look with favor on the faithful in the land,
that they may dwell with me;
he who walks in the way that is blameless
shall minister to me.
No one who practices deceit
shall dwell in my house;
no one who utters lies
shall continue before my eyes.
Morning by morning I will destroy
all the wicked in the land,
cutting off all the evildoers
from the city of the LORD.