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For the Children’s Sake

Melanie —  January 24, 2020

2020 is off to a good start in the Mead household!  My health hasn’t been the greatest this month but as always, I’m thankful for the good days.  Our gracious and compassionate Father is always there for me when I cry out to him.

We had such a wonderful Christmas holiday time – we made some really special family memories.

It was so great to have our whole family together again.

 

We’re so thankful for this girl!

Hannah is back at university in Oregon now and apart from a having a nasty cold virus, she’s doing really well and enjoying her new classes.  Last weekend she flew to St. Louis to meet up with some dear friends from Ireland who are now involved with youth there.  She was able to help lead a youth retreat and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Here she is with other members of the Ireland team that she and Aliyah worked with last summer.

Here in Chippenham, we are into our 16th week of homeschooling – crazy how time flies! I’m loving all the time I get to spend with the kids, especially reading aloud to them.  In a few weeks I’ll embark on teaching Jessah how to read (I always say this is one of the most challenging but also the more rewarding parts of homeschooling).  She’s so excited about it – our baby is growing up!

Speaking of growing up, Aliyah is about to turn 17 and has her first driving lesson scheduled on her birthday! She’s got exams coming up in the next months (SAT, CLEP and piano) and is looking forward to a trip to America in March to check out two universities.  She’s also planning on being a part of two mission trips this summer – stay tuned for more info!

I’ve recently been re-reading a book that marked me deeply when I was a new mother – For the Children’s Sake by Susan Shaeffer Macaulay. (She is the late Francis Schaeffer’s daughter).  I’m so grateful for the wisdom and beautiful ideas found in this book.  It’s been reminding me of the preciousness of our children and what a privilege it is to be a part of raising and educating them.  It’s an older books (published in 1984) but full of timeless wisdom, much of it counter-cultural.

“If Christianity is true, then every last little child matters . . . One day we will stand before the Creator.  Were we willing to give, serve and sacrifice “for the childrens’ sake?” (p. 11)

“Dear Lord, the little children are being smothered! The experience of beauty in God’s great outdoors is often exchanged for seeing flickering images on a screen.”

Macaulay talks about how young children are often as “pressurised as executives.” They are fitted in a frantic schedule to suit their parents’ needs.  She advocates more time for free and creative play, more time outdoors and lots of reading aloud of rich and “living” books.  She urges adults to value children as “persons” and actually do it for “it’s own sake.”  There is so much we can learn from children if we will just slow down and listen and wonder and grow together.  How often I fail in this area but I’m inspired to keep trying, a decision at a time!

Unfortunately, children are more under attack than ever in our culture today.  Satan, being the violent and evil enemy that he is, loves to prey on “the least of these” – the very ones that Jesus asked us to especially value and protect!  I feel more motivated than ever to advocate for them and protect them from the evil around them.  I received a link to this article this week: 10 Ways Porn Culture Will Target Your Kids in 2020 –  it’s an eye opener – there were quite a few things that both Peter and I had no idea about.  I would encourage you to read the whole article and follow the links in it too – whether you are a parent or not.  Our children are worth it!

At long last, I’ve updated my Currently Reading Page on this website.  You can click on the link to see it.

We are thankful for a really positive and seemingly fruitful Cor Deo preaching training course last week here in Chippenham.  Peter has been in Germany at the OM New Recruits conference the past few days. I’m sure he’ll report on how it went sometime soon.

Lastly, we’re in the middle of a challenging sermon series at church – Incline Your Heart.  If you’d like to listen, you can do so here.  As always, please let us know how we can pray for you.  Thank you so much for your partnership with us!

New Year, New Ministry…

Peter —  January 7, 2020

Happy New Year and welcome to the 2020’s!!  It is amazing how time flies so fast. This picture was taken at the Junior Parkrun on one of Hannah’s last days visiting home this Christmas.  It was fun to run with or cheer on the little two!

Melanie will post a Christmas/December update on here soon I am sure, but let me just take the chance to flag a couple of ministry plans coming up in the next weeks…

At Trinity we are into the new year with a new series called “Incline Your Heart” and on Sunday I preached from Joshua 24:23 to introduce the series.  This coming Sunday I am speaking in Feltham, London in the morning (at the church where my Grandfather was pastor until he was promoted to glory in 1973).

Next week we have a Preacher’s Intensive with Cor Deo, here in Chippenham.  We did one of these about three years ago and it went very well, so we are looking forward to this new format edition next week.  Our focus will be in 2 Timothy as we think about all aspects of preaching together.  Prayer appreciated as participants come from all over the UK and also one from Hungary.

The following week I have a quick flying visit to Germany for the OM New Recruits Conference (GO Conference).  I will be there just over a day, speaking twice and connecting with new recruits.

We are also in the final stage of preparing for the next book to come out, hopefully in May.  Please pray for the right endorsements to come in, and then for the book to be ready for launching at the European Leadership Forum in May.  I will tell you more about this little book soon!

Thank you for praying for us in these weeks.  There is a lot going on and we want to be walking closely with Jesus through it all.

PS I wrote a post to welcome in the new year called New Year, New You – you might enjoy that.

Responding to God

Peter —  December 5, 2019

At the end of September I was speaking at the annual conference of Josiah Venture.  I was asked to speak about the Christian life as a response to God.  The theme of the conference was “The Great Commandment: Renewing the Heart of Youth Ministry.”  If you want to listen to this session here are the links:

For the audio click here

To watch the session click here (the message begins at about 20 minutes into the video)