One of the realities of living overseas is getting acquainted with the US Embassy. In Ireland, the embassy is in Dublin, and there are times when getting or maintaining our US documents requires a visit. This week we’ll be going up to renew Daniel and Rebekah’s passports. Today I (Seth) took them to get their passport photos and noticed that I didn’t have to coach them not to smile – they already knew exactly where to stand and what to do. International living is the norm for these kids.
On Sunday our family drove to Midleton for church, instead of going to church in Youghal. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel strange. Not that the people in Midleton are strange, mind you, but after years in Youghal the reality that this transition is beginning to actually happen is a bit jarring. We do like the church in Midleton, though, so that’s nice!
On Sunday, we had two major events. First, we went to our last official service at Youghal Baptist Church. From now on we will start attending the church in Midleton, and working with them towards seeing something start in Carrigtwohill. It’s been seven years since the church in Youghal was officially formed, and it was definitely hard to say goodbye, even if we aren’t going that far away.
After church, Seth went to Cork to help with Munster Bible College’s very first graduation ceremony! We had a graduating class of eight, who have now completed three years of study. All told, 82 people have taken classes with Munster Bible College. It was a very encouraging evening, seeing what God has done and hearing from some of the students about how God has used the studies in their lives and ministries. We are thankful!
This incredible kid is eight today, which is hard to believe! We are so thankful for the gift of his life and that we get to have him in our family!
Last week Seth and Jessica celebrated 13 years of marriage! We went to a nice restaurant, and afterwards the proprietor came and said: “You’re Seth, right? I heard ye are moving, it’s a shame to lose ye!” Which goes to show that there are no secrets in small towns. Being known is one of the things we’ll miss most about Youghal.
In Ireland, Summer officially begins on the first of May, and we’ve had unusually clear days and warm weather. The sun has been shining, bringing us up into the mid-teens Celsius for highs, so on a good day we break 60 Fahrenheit. We’ve even had to water the plants several times, since it hasn’t been raining regularly. May first also happened to fall on a Bank Holiday (a national holiday just for the sake of it), so we celebrated with hot dogs and s’mores over the fire pit.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
We celebrated this national holiday by going to the local parade in Youghal, which includes lots of community groups, vintage cars and tractors, and bagpipes. We hope it’s a great day for you as well!
Idols. What are they? Other gods, right? Almost no-one believes in them nowadays, right? Wrong. Idols are anything and everything that we put before God. When you are saving up to buy or getting something awesome, you could be idolising that awesome something that you’re going to get. Or you could absolutely love something that you already have, like a power tool, family, friends or money. You can idolise anything except God. To try to love God and something else would be a complete failure. Jesus said that Himself: “No-one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24) What he’s saying is do not attempt to serve two things at once. Choose one. Choose God if you want eternal life in heaven, true joy and wisdom. Anything else will lead to destruction, disaster, and hell, even if it looks like a good choice. The Bible condemns idols strongly. Probably the most famous condemnations are the first two of the Ten Commandments: “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or in the earth beneath or in the waters below.” (Exodus 20:3-4). Many people think they are serving God, who they were made to serve and love, but they are actually serving something else. On the day of Judgement they will say “Lord, Lord did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and preform many miracles? Then I [Jesus] will say “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Matthew 7:22-23) Another great many people choose money or other things when faced with the choice. Woe to them! All people who do not choose Jesus, the Saviour as their master will anguish in hell for eternity and their life will be destroyed like the foolish man’s house that was built on the sand. That’s the bad news. The good news is that everyone who chooses Jesus as their master and is faithful to Him will reign in heaven forever! Who will you choose?