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It’s been cold and rainy and windy these last few days. Finally weather that warrants a coat and thick scarf and a hat. It’s also best when you’re indoors, even better when you can sleep or you’re with friends.

Saturday I just slept and pottered and slept a bit more. Sunday was a City Writing Day, except we had it at The Sweet Spot at The Spot. Ben came too and we ate yummy cakes and all tried to harness the writing bug (it’s a very tiny bug with a very tiny harness…). I just wasn’t in the mood to write, even though I had been looking forward to hanging out with my fellow writerly friends for a couple of months. My head was cloudy and sad, and try as I might I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to write. I did manage to get some stuff down; it was just writing for writing’s sake, but sometimes that is much better than a blank page.

Karen wins at boxing…or was it baseball?

Then we got Thai takeaway and went back to the Uns’ place to eat and play Wii. I think I get as much fun watching people play Wii as actually playing it myself. We laughed a lot, which was much needed by all. Though by the end of the afternoon I was getting a little weary. M came home from visiting her parents, so the Beilzes and I took our leave and headed out into the rainy afternoon.

We went to church, and it was another great Kurt sermon about Paul and his Christian journey in Acts. He started off with the startling comparison between Paul and a modern-day suicide bomber, saying that to contemporary Australians there probably wouldn’t seem to be much difference between the two. However a suicide bomber is ready to die so that others will die; Paul was ready to die to bring others life in Jesus. The key thing was Paul’s attitude; he had already gone to Jerusalem expecting death, so fearlessly proclaimed Christ because after all, to Paul “to live is Christ, to die is gain”. Kurt said that although we aren’t facing death like that, are we willing to die to our ambition, life goals, comfort, security for the sake of the gospel? If we’re struggling to live for Jesus, maybe it’s because we still think we have life apart from Jesus. But the fact is, we don’t.

I’ve heard a few talks like this recently and it really does challenge me, especially in the area of work. I complain and gripe about work and the money and all those standard bitching and moaning things, but really what am I complaining about? If I am committed to the spread of the gospel, and am serious about the fact that my job contributes to that, then I should be honoured to work where I do. And I am.

the AFES staff at conference last week

I am grateful to work in a place where we get to open the Bible together and study it every day. I am grateful to work with colleagues who are constantly striving to be more godly. I am grateful to have the chance to think about living as a Christian as part of my job, and to write about those things, to encourage others. That doesn’t mean the work is going to be easy, in fact, it probably means the exact opposite. And we’re still a bunch of sinful humans messing things up and getting frustrated and irritated with one another, getting tired and stressed, not coping with life generally. But I guess the difference is that because we are trying to be more godly, and trying to remember that we are serving Christ in our work, we apologise, we seek resolution, we try harder next time. So I shouldn’t be discouraged by work, but I should be encouraged, and should go to it gladly.

Some days that’s easier to do than others. But with God’s grace, I struggle on.