The pain of rejection
Feeling rejected hurts... it hurts bad... so bad I think because it warns us that there is an ultimate rejection that we never ever EVER want to experience. - photo on flickr by mohammadali
I Do Believe, Help Me With My Unbelief
The cry of the father when he brings his son to Jesus because of the spirit that keeps sending him into fits is a cry we all need to make. Hopefully this explaination of all that is going on at that time helps you make that statement a constant thing in your life.
Finding a place where you aren't in charge!
As a Pastor I find myself always feeling like I need to take charge in services. Even ones I may not be rostered on to do music or preach, I still feel responsible for helping others experience or worship God. At the Oxygen Christian leader's Conference I realised again the importance of finding time to allow God to be my soul focus. [Image by Brian A Petersen on flickr]
Looking back 10 years
In 2004 I spent 5 months living in The Gambia, West Africa. It changed my life, and I left a piece of my heart in the country. It's been 10 years now since I returned to Australia. That has certainly caused me to reflect on my time there, and God's plan for my life.
dBay Baptist - Evening Preaching Series
Starting on July 20 we are taking a journey through the Gospel of Luke and looking at some of the stories of people who met Jesus and how it changed their life. On a personal level sometimes we wonder what impact Jesus is having on our everyday life. What does having a relationship with Him mean? Hopefully we can explore these things and see Jesus is so relevant for our lives today.
Monday, 15 September 2014
Sunday, 14 September 2014
Wow - I love the directness John Piper brings to the table of Gospel proclamation, but sometimes I have to double take to get where he's going. Within this tweet I see the weight of what I do each week as I get up to preach the Word of God.
Today, just before the service I realised I had lost half of my sermon notes for tonight, and so preached my introduction then opened up to the passage and stepped through it verse by verse with some thoughts of application and illustration thrown in. I felt power and clarity in what I said, which I can only point to the power of God. All glory to Him.
My topic was the truth in the statement of the Roman Centurion in Luke 23:47 where he says "surely this was a righteous man" or the idea that this man realised the truth of who Jesus was, and we need to as well.
I pray that I continue to preach truth with clarity and power, and never fall into a place where I need to be hindered with weakness and confusion.
Friday, 12 September 2014
In the sport of cricket, a bouncer is a type of delivery, usually bowled by a fast bowler. It is pitched short so that it bounces on the pitch well short of the batsman and rears up to chest or head height (or even higher) as it reaches the batsman. Bouncers are used tactically to drive the batsman back on to his back foot if he has been freely playing front foot scoring shots.Sometimes in life we get into a place where we feel we are just driving at the ball, scoring points and then suddenly life bowls us a bouncer, it's unexpected and drives us back into a defensive position.
Sometimes it's God doing the bowling, maybe we've become too complacent and self-reliant so God serves up a bouncer to bring us back to depending on Him.
In all cases, though, the answer is the same... rely on God. Jesus died, He went through some tremendously horrid stuff, but He did it so we can fully rely on Him. When you get bowled a bouncer know that you aren't facing it alone. Jesus has promised He is with us, and that in the end, or in the light of the most important things we need, "all things work to the good of those who love Him" and "we are more than conquerors" (Romans 8:28 &37) Even when God is bowling a bouncer you're not the only one handling the bat, Jesus is there too, in you. You can always rely on Him to help you through anything, even long term, life changing stuff.
Wednesday, 10 September 2014
Thanks Ken Davis for providing such great illustrations for us.
Jesus Cleanses Ten LepersWhen we read this story we are forced to recognise that in this world a human can only fall into 1 of 3 different categories. Either we are a;
On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”
When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.
Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”
- Sick and dying leper
- Healed and ungrateful person
- Healed and grateful person
Friday, 5 September 2014
Doing life together is tough, the Christian life is a life of community, especially of unity in community, and though our normal human disposition is relational, and communal there is also a distinct independent and selfish that can fight against that unity within community. It's for that reason even within Christian communities doing life together can be tough.
I think I just feel the need to express that I know I get it wrong a lot of the time, I am by no means any better at doing life in unified community than anyone else because I know and recognise my own independence and selfishness. In that regard I know I find myself with more questions than answers at times.
However; as a Pastor, I feel the need to call people back to that only Way, Truth and Life, because it is only in Jesus that we can truly be unified. I will continue to remind myself of this as well, and pray Jesus replaces my selfishness with His grace, both for myself and others.
Wednesday, 3 September 2014
Most theologies seem to move from a sinless birth to a sin-bearing death, and most ignore all that lies in between. This is a terrible misstep since Jesus' ministry, beginning in Galilee with his baptism by John and ending in Jerusalem with his crucifixion, puts into motion crucial events in the divine drama of redemption. Let us remember that the books we call "Gospels" narrate Jesus' redemptive death as the climax to his messianic career, and that career should be part and parcel of our study.Jesus spent a lot of time teaching, and this teaching was regarding either the coming of the kingdom of God, what the kingdom of God was, or proper living for those in the kingdom of God. He especially poured his knowledge and example into twelve Apostles who became the fathers and spreaders of His church. Within his teaching, and the proclaiming of the Apostles of what Jesus taught them, was the source to the restoration of Israel (which they had been waiting for for so long) and the inclusion of all nations into the family of God.
~Michael Bird, Evangelical Theology, p375
Israel had been waiting for a Messiah who would bring about the restoration of their nation which God had promised. Jesus didn't bring a physical restoration by driving out the Roman occupying force and setting himself up as the king on a throne in this nation. Instead Jesus taught that God's kingdom was more important than the earthly kingdom, and that this was what God had intended all along... that people would be able to come to Him - that the Holy Spirit would dwell within humankind and a spiritual kingdom would be established. The only way this could happen was for Jesus to go to the cross. But His life was spent teaching about what He was about to bring about.
So we can turn to Jesus for so much more than salvation - even though salvation is our primary need. I hope as people have heard the "He Changed My Life" messages (available on www.dbaybap.com to listen to if you aren't a regular attendee) that they have seen some of these other areas where Jesus changes who and what you are!