Friday, 7 September 2018

Starting One to Ones...

This last fortnight has gone so quickly! I only realised this morning that it was time for me to write my blog again! Thank you to those of you who were praying for me as I travelled to England. I had a good time with family and friends. Unfortunately I was ill with a cold the entire time and had a flight from Venice to England that almost rivalled my trip to America a few years ago (if you don't know the story you can read about it here https://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/business/29road.html) Ok so it wasn't as bad as that one but we were sat on the plane in Venice for about 2 hours before we set off. Despite these setbacks I really did have a good time in England. I had to take most of the next week off to recover but it was worth it!

It's the beginning of a new term and so church activities are about to start back up. This means that I have also started preparing for my one to ones with some of the younger women in the church. In fact I had my first session yesterday. In this blog post I thought I would focus on some of the things we'll be looking at in these sessions. With the teenage girls we're studying the book of Proverbs. Some of you may be asking why Proverbs, I don't think it's first on many people's lists to study. I chose it, however, because I was reminded in my own study that it is a useful book for learning how to live in a way that's pleasing to God. It is full of God's wisdom that is applicable to all people in all situations in life. It is a great book for teenagers to look at as they work out how they should be living with all the pressures they face from society today. As well as Proverbs we're also looking at sections from a book called Battles Christians Face by Vaughan Roberts. This was first published about 10 years ago and was very helpful for me when I was in my late teenage/ early twenties. The first chapter is on image and identity. It was good for me to be reminded that we don't give ourselves identity but it is a gift of grace from God. It doesn't matter what the world thinks of us, what we look like, what we do etc because we have been chosen and given a new status by God.

I haven't started the second one to one sessions yet although hopefully they will begin in the next week or so. With one of the women in church we will be looking at Rejoicing in Christ by Michael Reeves. I must admit that I haven't actually read this book yet (although I have started). We chose to look at this book because it has been recently translated into Slovene and was recommended by the church. I have heard Mike Reeves speak and read other books of his. He has an easily understandable style and just effuses excitement and energy whatever subject he is talking/ writing about. The pages of the book seem to be jam packed full of gospel truths. I'm looking forward to reading it properly and learning more about Christ and the joy that we can have in him and in what he has done for us.

This next week is when things will start to get busy at church with normal activities like the youth group starting again. A few times people have commented that I arrived in Slovenia at a really weird time in the year. It was right at the end of the school year and so just as I started getting involved in activities, they stopped for summer. In reality I'm very glad I arrived when I did. I was able to get a sense and an idea of what life is like here during term time but then I had the summer to learn how to live here and to build on relationships with people. I was able to be involved in the church camps having already spent time with the people at church. It also means that I know what I will be involved with now that the summer is over. I am able to start afresh but not in an unknown capacity.

Please pray for the term ahead and especially for the people I will be meeting with regularly. Please pray that they will be learning and growing in knowledge of God and how to live their lives in a way that's pleasing to him. Please also pray for me as I seek to lead and be a good example to those around me. Pray that I will put my trust completely in God to guide and to help me especially when I am leading these studies.

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