After starting off grumpily last week and
then deciding that YES, I was meant to be learning with the children; this week I prepared and planned for Children @St. Stephen’s and
then no one came!

       Even though I did not get to play at story-telling with the felt board, or to make clothespin disciples, I
did get to stay in the Service and listen to Pastor Nick’s sermon, and was able
to keep an eye on my lunch soup to save it from boiling over!

       Actually it was kind of neat to let a little
“video” of my imagined children’s ministry time play through my mind while
listening to an exegesis of the same passage, for an adult audience. The best
of both worlds!

      
Matthew 4:12-25 continues on last week’s theme of Jesus calling his
disciples as He begins His teaching in Galilee. (Matthew points out that
Jesus’ relocation at this time is also in fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy). Nick
noted that Jesus did not call the disciples to be “other” people but asked
them to “come up higher” by using the gifts God had given them (e.g. fishermen) to become “fishers of men”.

      
Several people shared stories of their own “callings” and Blair made
some really good points from the perspective of a person who grew up in a
Christ-centred home but has grown into a fuller understanding of what it means
to be a disciple and model Christ in daily life.

      Having,
also grown up in a church-focused family I always felt I knew God and was loved
by Him, so never had a “conversion experience” but I can recall exactly the
time when I knew in my heart that I wanted to be able to serve God in my
life and not to hold back or be shy about my witness for Him.

      Not
surprisingly, that revelation took place at the first Day Camps Residential
Training.

      The
then Director of Day Camps (Vina Sweetman) had asked my Mum to come and be the
cook for the weekend (the training only lasted for a weekend, it is now a full
week!!) and I went along as kitchen helper.

       I clearly remember sitting off in a corner at
Evening Worship, listening to Praise Music, watching those young adults sing
and pray and witness so openly, honestly, and informally; I knew, in my heart
that I wanted to be like them.

     Vina
is a very wise woman, she knew me well even then: – painfully shy and
introverted. I don’t know if she thought she could actually lure me into the
Travelling Teams (no I never was on a Team!) but she knew that these people,
this community of believers could change me, and 30 some years later, I can say
she was certainly correct in her assumption!

      Still shy, but only too happily been sucked
into the vortex of this crazy world of Day Camps. Passionately committed to
the Ministry and knowing that God has called me to use the gifts He gave me (being
able to cook has sure come in handy!) …

      “Helping
People of All Ages, to Become Strong Disciples of Jesus Christ”

  
Fast forward to church this morning,  

     
At lunch, several people said very nice things about the soup and bagels
and there was even a request to put the soup recipe up on the Blog, so here you
go, a bonus “Sunday Reflections” recipe!

                                       Split
Pea and Sweet Potato Soup

1 cup yellow split peas

5 cups water

2Tbsps. margarine       

1 onion, chopped

1 large sweet potato, cubed

1 14 oz. can whole tomatoes, roughly
chopped

1 tsp. dried tarragon

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh coriander

½ tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. chilli powder

1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled

Soak split peas overnight in plenty of cold
water. Drain well, place in a large saucepan with the 5cups of water, bring to
a boil and simmer for 30minutes, or until just tender.

In a separate pan, melt the margarine and sauté
the onion until soft but not brown, Add the sweet potatoes, tomatoes, tarragon,
coriander, cumin, vegetable stock cube and chilli powder, bring to the boil.

Add the vegetable mixture to the pot of
split peas. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are
tender.

Serves 4-6.