Before we came over to France, we had to go to D.C. for an appointment with the French Embassy. We decided, since this would be our last chance in quite a while to be in the area, to stop by the smithsonian. Ophelia, much younger then, insisted we follow the guided tour. If we lagged behind to look at something she would rage. Now, when we are at a museum or chateau and see a guided tour we try to steer clear unless we know we have the time to listen.
Ophelia loves hearing things explained to her. Now she asks for translations when people talk, she asks to watch Don Hahn talk about Snow White or the making of Sleeping Beauty, rather than Sleeping Beauty itself.
I love her zest for learning and discovering. I can’t say I always love the 8,000 questions that follow, but I love her zest.
My growth group has been reading through the letters of Paul to Timothy and Titus the last few weeks. Paul leaves quite a legacy and instructions for young leaders in young churches seeking an identity in Christ.
'we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. COMMAND AND TEACH THESE THINGS.' (1 Tim 4.10-11)
'the reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I DIRECTED YOU.' (Titus 1.5)
I can’t help but to think if the Gospels and books like Romans, Corinthians and Acts are the movie that Timothy and Titus are the Bonus Features. The behind the scenes ideas that make the movie go.
Titus in particular really insterests me. Paul urges Titus to work towards a CULTURAL SHIFT. Sure, Cretans are liars and bruts. Sure they need rebuking but they also have to work against what has become so normal but there is a presence and the church WILL grow.
'You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, teach the older women to be reverent, THEN THEY CAN TRAIN the younger women to love their husbands and be self-controlled. Encourage the young men to be self-controlled and SET AN EXAMPLE IN EVERYTHING. Teach slaves to be subject to their masters SO THAT IN EVERY WAY THEY WILL MAKE THE TEACHING ABOUT GOD ATTRACTIVE.' (Titus 2.1-10, excerpts)
These are the behind the scenes bonus features, how to of church growth, discipleship and evangelization. Titus doesn’t do all the work, he teaches others how to live and work and each person has a true meaning and purpose.
He is taught to make sure people know others are indeed watching and learning and that even those in perhaps not the best positions in life have a duty, as Christians, first to live a life that makes others ask and wonder who is in charge of their life.
'As for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, you’ve known the Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may BE THOROUGHLY EQUIPPED FOR EVERY GOOD WORK.' (2 Timothy 3.14-17)
Equipping is the fun part of life. We teach and learn and truly love it (whether it be in the classroom, kitchen, garage or worksite). This is the behind the scenes stuff that drives the church. It teaches, just as Jesus taught, that every person can be a fisher of men. Every person can be healed. Every person has meaning and purpose. Every person can access the Spirit of God that drives, loves, corrects and desires us to grow closer to Him who gave Himself for us.
Pray for us that we can become closer to the other parents at Ophelia’s school.
Pray for our church in Loches as we begin the work of realising our second campus in Descartes.
Pray for our fellow France Mission churches that we develop as further spirit of teamwork.
Pray for French Christians that we develop a love and thirst for evangelism.
Pray for our government (French and U.S.)