Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ann: On John Stott

Bryan’s not up to this today—somewhat flat after a heavy week. So this is Ann, with my thoughts of the day. 

The passing of the venerable John Robert Walmsley Stott of London, a long time pastor to London’s All Soul’s Langham Place, England inspired anew my commitment to frugality and moderation!  Another evangelical Anglican man of God in my life—J. I. Packer, five years younger than our brother Stott—has similarly inspired me—he still types on a mechanical typewriter!

While always a frugal person, preferring to buy second-hand and hating waste (a direct product of growing up in WW2) I was newly inspired to simplify my life. Hence a garage sale is planned at our house for Saturday, August 20, 2011.

Whether I achieve that goal will much depend upon my husband’s willingness to humour this venture! And if his much appreciated humour doesn’t extend to that plan, then I will graciously concede, but it will go on the back burner for a while, I assure you. That decision is based on previous experience of his joy at the success of my garage sale endeavours. Added to experience is our long held commitment to travel “light.”

Among his achievements during a life-long commitment to his parish and the Christian community at large, Stott was uncompromising on the priority of Biblical revelation, and this very devotion to truth has left us with a wealth of books on the basic elements of Christianity, some of which are Bible commentaries.  These were nearly all written in his small cottage outfitted with oil lamps, where electricity was added in 2001. As well, all his royalties go to charities.

Thank you, Lord, for protecting and keeping this man of God true to you and to us, your people.

Monday, August 8, 2011

We All Worship Something

It seems there will be volatile markets around the world for a few days or weeks. Money can accomplish so much, but making it an idol can bring heartbreaking consequences. The following insight was published in our church bulletin yesterday. We can all probably benefit from it somewhere in our lives.

In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God . . . is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.
If you worship money and things—if they are where you tap real meaning in life—then you will never have enough. . . . It’s the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you. . . .
Worship power—you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart—you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. And so on.
 Look, the insidious thing about these forms of worship . . . is that they are unconscious. They are default-settings. They’re the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day . . .
David Foster Wallace (novelist) – commencement address, Kenyon College, 2005