Friday, 31 July 2015

The Way

My favourite song at the moment. Had the pleasure of hearing Brett Younker preach at Passion City Church when I was there in 2013. This year he was part of the worship leading team at the Passion Conference. And the words to this song (and then the music too) make it something I just can't stop listening too at the moment
"Lost and dead but Your love came to find me, Jesus you are the Way..."

 

Actually being there...

In a world pretty much run by social media, real connections and friendship is still vital. Words on a screen cannot completely fulfil our need for interaction and intimacy.  I've been encouraged lately by people who have taken some serious time to invest in our friendships.  Some of that has come through text messages or Facebook messages, and some has come through spending time together, talking, having lunch or coffee or just sitting and hanging around each other for a while.

I really appreciate it when people act like they like me enough to spend time with me - there is a level of intimacy there that you simply cannot get from words on a screen. Actually being there (physically) adds so much more to the situation that just 'being there' for someone.

It's been a reminder to me to be encouraging in all that I do, but also to show that my time, and personal presence is also worth the effort for those I call friend.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Not just turning to God in bad times.


It's so easy to think we are in control when everything is going well. That's the biggest challenge really... making sure we're depending on God and following Him when it's easier for us just to run with what we want.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

God's Plan; New Role.

On Sunday the 19th July, Birkdale Baptist Church held a member’s meeting and overwhelmingly voted to support their church offering me a call to minister to them. That means I'll be finishing up at Deception Bay Baptist in September after almost 4 years, and moving down to Redland Bay on the south eastern side of Brisbane.

Birkdale is a church of about 400, that now meets over two different campuses.  About 18 months ago they agreed to plant a congregation in the old Cannon Hill Baptist building (closer in towards Brisbane CBD). That means there is now a morning service at Birkdale and the young adults serve and run a small morning service at Cannon Hill as well. Theere is then a combined youth and young adults service called ‘BOOST’ in the evenings at Birkdale.  Once a month they run a community focused “Sunday Afternoons For Everyone” (SAFE) BBQ and Gospel presentation – local families come along and are then invited to stay for the evening service.

My role won’t be specifically youth, and another associate pastor looks after young adults. They have  also just hired a part time children’s worker and a student pastor who has extensive experience in outreach and evangelism (and who happens to be a very good friend of mine). I will serve in a wider church role focusing on the responsibilities of worship and discipleship. Worship-wise I will be overseeing music teams at both campuses and leading in all three services, as well as preaching in all three services at different times. The discipleship role will have me overseeing the small groups ministry of the church and ensuring the youth leadership team is properly discipled and that they are discipling the youth at their Friday night program. So, as I said it’s a very different role to what I have been doing here at dBay, and I think that was part of God leading me at this time, feeling I could move into something new, that will stretch me even more in some ways. I am going to enjoy my last few months here in dBay as a youth pastor but I am looking forward to what God has planned in this next stage as well.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Gears in Motion

Being mechanically minded, I love watching gears work. It may be looking inside a watch and seeing the intricate collection of gears keeping time, or someone creating a artistic mosaic of gears on a wall, or an engine pushing and pulling rods and pistons. Whether functional or artistic I enjoy watching gears move, tracing the connections and revolutions - in short I love watching something just work.

Well that's just it... the whole point of any gear system is to work isn't it.  Even the artistic one, if it was just sitting on the wall still, wouldn't have much point unless it was moving to show how it worked.

The Christian life is like that too.  We can know all about Jesus, the Bible, faith, theology and yet unless our lives are moving, unless we are acting on our faith, trusting in Jesus, sharing the Gospel, we're not really living up to our full potential are we?
These have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name
~John 20:31
This is the Apostle John sharing his reason for writing his Gospel. There are two elements. The first is to know about Jesus, to know about faith - in a sense to build those cogs into our life's gear system.  But the second is to have life in Jesus' name... to actually set those gears in motion and live up to the potential Jesus injects into our lives.

This is a thought process I have been giving a bit of time too lately, what cogs do we need to define better? How do we show that our lives are turning to the revolutions that Jesus is driving them? What is the result of having moving gears driving my life?

I'm going to be exploring it during the evening services at dBay Baptist throughout term 3 as well. Preaching on what I'm exploring each week. Join us, 5.30pm on Sundays.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

So Loved.

I love hearing the stories behind many of our modern worship songs.

This one is especially potent :-)


Monday, 22 June 2015

Salvation changes everything.

The master theme of the Christian gospel is salvation. Salvation is a picture-word of wide application that expresses the idea of rescue from jeopardy and misery into a state of safety. The gospel proclaims that then God who saved Israel from Egypt, Jonah from the fish's belly, the psalmist from death, and the soldiers from drowning (Exod 15:2; Jon 2:9; Ps 116:6; Acts 27:3), saves all who trust Christ from sin and sin's consequences
As these earthly deliverances were wholly God's work, and not instances of people saving themselves with God's help, so it is with salvation from sin and death... What are believers saved from? From their former position under the wrath of God, the dominion of sin, and the power of death (Rom 1:18; 3:9; 5:21); from their natual condition of being mastered by the world, the fles, and the devil (John 8:23-24; Rom 8:7-8; 1 John 5:19); from the fears that a sinful life engenders... and from the many vicious habits that were part of it...
~J.I Packer - Concise Theology; p146-147
And how are we saved? Only through the work of Jesus on the cross. It's not Jesus helping us to be better people... it's Jesus substituting Himself where we should be... it's Him taking the wrath that we deserve for all those things we're being saved from.

By Jesus paying that price our old lives are replaced, and our new life is bathed in hope and grace. How does that affect your attitude today!?

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Prayer = Dependence


In general I am a very capable person. There are not many times I don't feel confident that I can handle the situation I'm presented with.  On a human level that can be a good thing, but it can get in the way of me seeking what it is that God wants me to do.

If I feel I can just do something, even if it appears to me to be a good thing for my ministry - should I just go for it? How do I tell if God actually wants this, or it's just me doing something I think would be good.  In my human capacity I think I've done some things that have really gone well but afterwards I've felt a bit deflated cause I've realised it may not have been the outcome God had wanted, and maybe the whole thing could probably have been done differently.

As part of this spiritual journey I've been on regarding prayer this year, this is one of the things God's helped me address the most. I am to be dependent on Him.  My abilities, and my confidence don't actually matter that much, and have to take a second place behind my dependency of Him to work through me.

Before anything I do now I stop and I pray.  Even if it's something I do every week, and I can do it without thinking... I still stop and I pray - not because I may particularly need God's help to do it, but because I want Him to be working beyond my abilities, and without Him involved whatever I am doing means nothing despite my abilities.

The quote by Francis Chan above has become a constant reminder to me that I only want to do what matters to God. Prayer is the way that I actively pursue that.
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