Guest post from Aviel – Trusting God

In all my childhood I dreamed about so many things. I dreamed about being a woman, living an important life, and doing something to lighten the burden of this filthy, dark earth, bringing a little hope in the midst of despair. Right at this moment, on the 7th of December, 2013 at 12:26pm, I’m still dreaming, yet my dreams have strayed from the simple aspirations of childhood. I no longer have that complete and certain confidence in my beliefs, my dreams, my Almighty God.

Father Daughter Dance blog post pic no. 4 (1) final 3

When I was a small child, I thought my father could do anything. He was my inspiration and example in standing up for the Gospel, facing difficulties with the Lord’s strength, and living by the Word of God. My father was able and willing to lead me through life, teaching, guiding, advising, and correcting me.

If only I could trust my Lord Jesus as I did my father. If only I could turn to Him with every problem, lean on Him through every difficulty, have faith in Him to guide my path when I am lost, and trust my every dream and hope to His protection.

In the meantime I am here now, trying to cling to my childhood, striving to trust my Heavenly Father, trying to understand all these new responsibilities. But at the same time I still have to cling to my old innocent hope that has guided me through the time, and given me a purpose and a direction. But even more importantly, I must cling to my everlasting light that truly can never fail – Jesus.

Do you ever struggle with an unknown time, or have doubts? Remember to always cling to the hope we can find in our Saviour.

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore.  Psalm 125:1-2

Hello!aviel (1)

This is Aviel Gonen. I am really happy to be on Serving With Joy once more! I used to co-author this blog – I was writing alongside my good friend Rhoda.
To tell you a little about myself, I am 12 years old. I was born in Telaviv, Israel. My family and I moved to New Zealand because my father wanted to study at a Bible College in the North Island. After 2 years of studying, we had to go back to Israel because our Visas expired. 2 Days before our flights, my father was offered a place in Chosen People Ministries – sharing the Gospel with Israeli travelers here in NZ. We moved to Oamaru, on the South Island of NZ, because most of the backpackers go there. We had some great opportunities, and I also talk to them alongside my father.
While in Oamaru, I got to know the Newtons better, and we have been great friends ever since. I also started Serving With Joy with Rhoda, but then continued writing on my own blog – Crowned in Glory. We have moved to Mosgiel now and continue to serve the Lord in the ministry. It’s great to have been working with Rhoda on this post, she is such a good writer, and an inspiration to me as a young woman. 

Blessings and Love,
Aviel Gonen

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The Call to Personal Reformation

I’ve heard many times the challenge to be a real Christian. Not just an I’ve-said-a-little-prayer ‘Christian’, but a true Christ-follower, who knows her Lord and Master, and strives to serve Him with a joyful heart.
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Our family recently attended a baptism at a local church to which we have several connections. But since then, I’ve promised myself to avoid that church like the plague, and here’s why: During a ‘message’, a lady gave this call to the congregation: “Don’t just be a good Anglican, saying and doing all the right things. We must be true followers of Christ.” This was hard to take, as many present we knew to be just that, “good Anglicans.” I don’t know what they were thinking as they sat there. But it didn’t seem to go very deep, because they all went to the kneeling rail for Communion.

Just saying a little prayer, or answering an altar call, or going to church
can’t make you a Christian. We were all dead in our sins, and only God can change that. And He does!

He has saved us, and we should rejoice in that. And we’re completely safe and dry. But we’ll never, in this life, be able to say “I’ve made it. Now that I belong to God, I do everything I can for Him.”  Well, you don’t, do you?

No matter who you are, where you live, or how old you are, there is always more work to be done. We don’t live our lives triumphantly, holding with uplifted arms the cup, the prize we’ve won. No. Instead, we press on toward the prize (Phil 4:13). There’s always more to be done. We can always be more humble. More obedient. More Christ-like. We can always be Reforming.

…He must increase…
…and I must decrease…

Not for the amateurs

I wanted to share this with you – the education of our children is not the work of a moment, nor is it to be undertaken by amateurs – read on!

normal education

Continuing in the series for those considering their educational options, I invite you to join me in exploring the question: Is education a job for amateurs?

In the Christchurch Methodist Mission’s guidelines for social workers in interviewing clients, which I had the opportunity to see a number of years ago, I noted a remarkable item which went something like this: “The client is regarded as being expert in self and own life experience.” This sounds remarkably like stating the obvious, until you start to think about it. How many people do you know, for instance, who treat you as a complete non-expert on your own life and insist on telling you what kind of person you really are, what really happened to you, and how you really felt about it? For some of us, the figure would probably be equivalent to about half the people we know!

So let me begin…

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