Letter from Australia 53
The Lost Glove, the Spanish Inquisition and the Writer’s Reasons
Dear brothers and sisters,
Greetings from a cold Australian winter….relatively speaking. It’s a bit like a Scottish summer!
Jesus tells us the story of the woman who lost her coin and swept the house until she found it. Last week I was delighted to discover a pair of gloves in my cupboard – I needed them for an early morning walk because it is cold here in the mornings (I was up in Canberra midweek and in the morning it was minus 2!). I walked five miles through Artarmon Reserve, only to discover when I got home that one of the gloves had fallen out of my pocket. It was so annoying…it was lost. Gone. No chance I could find it. But I decided to do exactly the same walk the next day – and much to my amazement came across my glove in the middle of one of the paths. Rejoice with me – for I have found my lost glove! The point of Jesus’s parable struck home – if I could rejoice over a lost glove – how much more does God rejoice over one sinner who repents?
The Spanish Inquisition –
It’s not every week you get interviewed by a former Spain’s Got Talent finalist! My work involves speaking to groups of people but also doing a lot of media work and meeting interesting people. This week I recorded an interview with Pedro Garcia. Pedro is a former Spain’s Got Talent finalist – a saxophonist – who now lives and works in the US. Whilst he was teaching and playing at University in Nashville, he met Rebecca, a dog trainer, who was a Christian who challenged his worldview. Her father, Dr. Stanley Morris, was a Bible translator, expert in Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek. Pedro started studying philosophy, philosophy of mathematics and the Bible, and accepted Christ a year after. I’ll let him finish his story:
“This changed the way I saw the world: with music I could entertain people, with Christ I could change lives. in 2018 I left music for several reasons. I have always had a heart to talk to people about the biggest questions, and that is what I do with Ask and Wonder now (askandwonder). Also I am a English to Spanish translator (www.askandwonder.com/translations) specialized in helping Christian thinkers reach Spanish speaking countries, and I am the outreach director at a local church here in Nashville (https://donelson.org).”
It was a joy to share with Pedro…here is the interview discussing The Dawkins Letters if you are interested.
Just to prove that Pedro is an SGT finalist.
The Pen –
The keyboard is mightier than the sword. A lot of my time is spent in writing – more than I had anticipated. As well as writing for Christian Today every week and Evangelicals Now every month, I have also been asked to write for other publications such as the Australian Church Record and the Australian Presbyterian. I even have an article in the Free Church’s own Record, this August. As well as writing for Calvinists, Charismatics and Catholics, I am also trying to write in secular publications and have good contacts with a number of journalists. Why do all this writing?
Initially, I wrote for myself. I keep a diary and find writing a useful way to slow my mind down, help me think and reflect – I have done this from when I was a teenager. When I began the wee flea blog it was largely because I no longer had a column on the Free Church website and found it difficult to get the opportunity to write elsewhere. That did not disappoint me – why should anyone want to read what I write?
Sometimes we can be really unrealistic when we consider our own abilities and how long they will have an impact. I heard a speaker who was training people in how to use online recordings tell his audience that they were preparing talks which would be around for a hundred years. Whilst theoretically possible, it is extremely unlikely that anyone will be watching them next month – never mind next century! That’s the same for my writing – I suspect all of it will be gone and forgotten within years. So why do it? Because you hope to shine a little light now, to help others and add to the millions of lights that have shone, are shining and will be shining.
So why do I write? It is still for myself but my hope and prayer is that for a few of those who actually read these things, these ‘scribblings’ prove helpful. Thomas Manton, in his introduction to Richards Sibbes volume 3 of his works explains why we write and publish.
“Good Reader – There is no end of books, and yet we seem to need more every day. There was such a darkness brought in by the fall, as will not thoroughly be dispelled till we come to heaven; where the sun shines without either cloud or night. For the present, all should contribute their help according to the rate and measure of their abilities. Some can only hold up a candle, others torch; but all are needful.
I like this image. My aim is to hold up a candle and hope that with the others who hold up torches and candles – we will be able to reveal Christ. Manton goes on.
The press is an excellent means to scatter knowledge, were it not so often abused. All complain there is enough written, and think that there should now be a stop. Indeed, it were well if in this scribbling age there were some restraint. Useless pamphlets are grown almost as great a mischief as the erroneous and profane. Yet it is not good to shut the door upon industry and diligence. There is yet room left to discover more, above all that has been said, of the wisdom of God and his riches in the gospel; yea, more of the strategms of Satan and the deceitfulness of man’s heart. Means need to be increased every day to weaken sin and strengthen trust, and quicken us to holiness. Fundamentals are the same in all ages, but the constant necessities of the church and private Christians, will continually enforce a further explication.”
Again this is helpful. Especially in this Internet age. We are drowning in ‘useless pamphlets’ yet it is not good to shut the door, because there is still room to discover more. Manton goes on to talk about how when the church is battered and besieged it needs renewed fortification – and that writing and reading gives us an opportunity to observe the works of the Spirit on the same truths. That is my simple aim.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine! You in your small corner and I in mine…
See you next week,
Yours in Christ
PS. This photo is of the sunset from our apartment this week….I just love this sky…