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!