Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

21 January 2011

Twisting by the pool

Today we finish our two annual weeks of Vac Swim.  Both boys had lessons this year - AT THE SAME TIME!!!  On the first day I cast around looking for families we know - and was quietly pleased (I confess) to find that I didn't recognise anyone at the pool.  Which freed me up from conversation to pack my mp3 player in the bag of stuff on day two through ten.  Half an hour to listen to sermons for nine days running. 

So I've been taking my spot on the bench each day, midway down the pool, doing a fairly good impersonation of someone watching a tennis match, as I keep an eye on two different swimming lessons at opposite ends of the pool.

And I've been listening to three wonderful sermons. 

Personal Prayer by Tim Keller. 
Hearty thanks to Ali for recommending this one.  A great sermon exhorting us to daily prayer with lots of helpful examples and ideas.  I'll probably refer to this sermon a few times down the track.

Holding Fast to the Word of God in 2010 [and 2011 and beyond!] by John Piper.
A great sermon exhorting us to daily, diligent reading of God's Word - not a slavish, duty bound reading of the Bible but meaningful, nurturing reading.  This sermon was based on a passage from Philippians (ah, how I love Philippians) and as it turns out, was delivered last year on my birthday!  If nothing else, it was worth listening to it just to hear John Piper read the whole of Philippians at the beginning.  I don't think I have ever heard it read so beautifully before.  Very moving.  But don't stop there.  The sermon is just as moving.

These two sermons are great "start of the year" sermons.  Good "rebooting" sermons.  Probably worth listening to each year at Vac Swim.  It's a good thing I don't know how to erase things from my MP3 player!!

And then finally, Sustained by Sovereign Grace.  How to Endure to the End by John Piper.
I was pointed to both of the Piper sermons late last year (thanks, my friend, who directed me to these) and this one, about trusting in the God of amazing grace during times of hardship, became especially topical as we watched the tragedy of the eastern states floods unfold.  I have written more than once about the idea of storing up on God's goodness during the good times in readiness for the hard times.  This sermon is definitely fits this category - and yet it also has words of great comfort for those in the midst of hardship.

I'm not really one for downloading sermons from the internet.  In fact this is the first time I have heard a sermon from either of these men!  But I have certainly been well fed these last two weeks.  And now I am off to listen to the Keller sermon one more time...and to see if the boys passed their swimming tests.  Day ten of twisting by the pool, in my own quiet way!

4 comments:

Karen said...

Thanks for the recommendations Meredith. Will check those out.
Before my very good baby became a still very good but much more active toddler, I used to love the boys' swimming lesson times for uninterrupted reading. When I was studying or working, I would read journal articles. Sometimes I would just choose something from the pile of books beside my bed. The time will come again when I can do it, but for now I spend my time walking laps around the pool and outside...

Meredith said...

I hear you! The first year our oldest had lessons I sat on the sidelines and coloured in with the youngest. Five hours of colouring in. It nearly did my head in!! Listening to these sermons has been much better!

Please let me know if you know of any other great "one off" sermons. I'm no good for a series at the moment but stand alones may get a look in!

And guess what - last lesson today and both boys passed their stage...the oldest hard fought and well earned. A good day all round.

Helen said...

You would have laughed at me today. Pouring with rain all day, G insisted she still go swimming, M declined so she stayed home. So there I am poolside sitting under an umbrella reading my book while swimming lessons were on, that lovely 30 minutes of peace!

Meredith said...

That's funny Helen. And I can definitely picture it! The children love their swimming lessons. So do their mums!!