Monday, 12 January 2015

Speedway honours Motor Racing Ministries Aus.

It's very humbling to see Valvoline Raceway (Parramatta Speedway) recognise the work of Garry Coleman and all the motorsports chappies in Australia by raising some funds for the ministry.  This weekend the drivers themselves will walk into the crowd asking fans to fill their helmets with a collection to give to MRM.

To go along with that Valvoline Raceway have recorded this interview with Garry Coleman.

I hope that gives you a bit more of an insight into what Sport Chaplaincy, specifically in the motor sport world, looks like. I feel truly blessed to be one of Garry's 46 chaplains - getting to work in V8 Supercars mainly these days, but I am always available whenever there are situations that arise around South East Queensland. It is a big job, and hard to do when it's something extra to the ministry I have here at Deception Bay Baptist - but it is certainly worth it.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Everlasting Enjoyment

In all of our thoughts and remembering that we are selfish humans who don't naturally turn to God but to ourselves, it's also important to not just focus on that negative.  The positive outweighs it so much! The good in Jesus, the love of God, the fact it's all seen in Jesus' actions on the cross creates for us (as Piper says above) a source of everlasting enjoyment.

So yes take stock of your life, but also stop to enjoy the relationship we know have because of Jesus. Marvel at the beauty of His love, rest in the peace that comes from His grace and rejoice in the sureness of His righteousness.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Always remember what has been done for you.

Relationships are costly. Whatever it will cost you to be with God is nothing compared to what it cost Him to be with you.

It's all about perspective isn't it - but how often do we ignore God's perspective and only think of ourselves?

"It's too hard"

"Everybody is doing it"

"God doesn't care if I mess up"

"I just want to do something for me"

"I know the best way to do this"

...there are so many excuses... but all of them are flawed when we put into perspective the cost God paid for our relationship with Him.

I wonder what we can do to help each other always keep the thought of God's input into our relationship on our minds? I think we need to help each other, but as a Pastor sometimes I feel it's all I am doing... almost nagging people to remember to not be selfish.

I wish we could just get it.  I have seen places where for a period of time people have 'got it' and amazing things happen. I have experienced times in my life where I have just 'got it' and moved so readily with God that it was incredible.  I'd love to hear some practical ideas on how we can work on this together.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The way we treat God

The first of three Passion Conferences was on last weekend in Atlanta, there is another in two weeks and one in Houston in February. I am hoping they do a live stream of at least one of the conferences... last weekend they only made one of the sessions available, I am thankful I got to watch that one.

Francis Chan spoke in this session and his message was fantastic.  If you have the time, sit down and at least watch that.

He spoke from Exodus 19, talking about the preparation of the people to meet God and then Moses going up the mountain to speak to God face to face. It's incredible the time and the preparation the people put into that event, and then their anticipation to actually meet God, but they were not able to - Moses was told to make sure the people didn't touch the mountain or they would surely die.

Chan then set up a tent (just a little pop up one) on the stage and described the idea of Louie Giglio coming out onto the stage and going into the tent, and all of the people there in the stadium getting to watch as God came down into the tent and witness Him speaking with Louie face to face... how amazing that would be for all of them...
God is going to visit us in that way!? A human being is going to climb in there and it's going to be him and Creator God! See this is the way they viewed this meeting with God.  And what's crazy to me is that nowadays is how we treat this time with God as ordinary or even burdensome... to where we try and squeeze in 5 minutes at the end of our day, like I gotta try and get some time with Him, I feel guilty because I only got 2 or 3 minutes... ahhh do you understand? I was reading this in Exodus and going 'man how did we come so far?'
Where it use to be "no way! A man is going to meet with Almighty God", and they'd see the lightning and hear the thunder, the fire... and now it's like a burden, and we have pastors that beg us to 'please, please, please just give Him a few minutes... please just try and read through the Bible in a year it only takes like 10-15 minutes a day, just try to hear from Him... Please!' How did we get here?
~Francis Chan - Passion 2015
I know that as a pastor I have done that, pleaded with my young people (and whole congregation) to just give 5 minutes to God.  That's disgusting, that even in our church the culture of today is so caught in itself that it denies God the respect and honour He deserves.  But I know I am guilty too... I don't give enough time to Him... and sometimes when I do, the time I give isn't given with the right amount of respect or honour.

Francis also said this;
I think this generation would be more excited to take a 'selfie' with Moses than to meet with the living God.
That's it isn't it? It's so true! Today's society is all about who we know... or who we are known to know. We crave the 'selfie' with the celebrity, so people will see that we 'know' that person.  I've thought about it... I was at a conference earlier this year where Francis Chan was speaking and I really wanted to get a photo with him so I could make it my Facebook profile shot... how cool! I met the Chan! But I didn't, because he preached a message like this, and I realised as cool as he is... it's not about him... it's not about knowing him, it's about knowing Jesus.  We have access to God now, through Jesus, yet we don't go ourselves, we chase the selfie with Moses instead. In Exodus 19 the people couldn't go to God... they had to experience it through Moses, but now, because of the peace we have with God through the grace of Jesus Christ we can approach him like Moses did, face to face.

So why do we idolise and search out our modern day Moseses?? Why don't we go ourselves? Why do we see it as a burden, or flippantly give God 5 minutes at the end of the day out of guilt? We need to shake up our church culture... we need to realise the privilege we have, and the honour that God deserves... because most of the time I think we miss the point.

I don't want to do better just so I can say I am better... I want to do better because I realise God deserves the best, and when I am not doing that I am not living a life worthy of the grace He has shown me.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

More on Prayer

I saw this on twitter, but I believe it is from one of Tim Keller's books.

I continue my journey on discovering prayer. I can't seem to escape people's thoughts and beliefs on prayer at the moment, and I am working through my own prayer/devotional life searching for a more authentic and interactive experience - I want to do better... I find I keep getting in the way of doing better... but these little snap shots help me refocus.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Our focus for this year... and the next!

As 2014 ends I've spent some time reflecting back on all the different things that have gone on throughout the year. We had a reflection service last Sunday night, and I displayed some images from some of the major news events of the year.  Some were good, some were weird, and some were downright horrific.

Then someone read this Bible verse as part of the service.
Jesus replied:" 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it:'Love your neighbor as yourself. ' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
~Matthew 22:37-40
In the middle of all the chaos this world throws up, I see here a very clear and simple focal point for us as believers.  This focal point of loving God with your all heart, soul and mind is a firm foundation through good times and bad.  It will get you through even the worst of times and help you remain pure in easy and good times.  And then loving the neighbour as yourself will make sure your interaction with the world is always pure as well - in its purity it is then helpful, kind, compassionate, safe, courageous and glorifying to God.

Some of the horrific things that have happened this year have caused people to zealously hold to that first commandment (that they'll proclaim their love for their God for all to see), but the second commandment has taken a hit.  I've been disturbed by some Christians responses to people groups, cultures, even religions, after extremists have shot down planes, blown things up or taken people hostage.

I think we would all do well to realise that loving God with all our heart, soul and mind means that we will love our neighbour as ourselves... you can't actually focus on one while you neglect the other. It just doesn't work.
For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
~2 Corinthians 5:14-18
Because of Jesus, because He's shown us such an amazing amount of love, and a grace we simply do not deserve, we can't look at other people the same way anymore.  We have to look at them through the grace filled glasses that Jesus has washed us with, by His very own blood. We no longer regard anyone merely from a worldly point of view, so where the world condemns we must offer peace and forgiveness (because when we were to be condemned, we were offered peace and forgiveness).  Yes there is still a thing as justice, but it is not ours to dish out.  Does that mean Christians might get the raw end of the deal? Does that mean we may be persecuted, terrorised, even killed? Yep; actually it does.

That's a scary proposition, but when my focus is to simply love God with all my heart, soul and mind then I know that whatever the proposition is, I can handle it, and in the same breath I will be able to love my neighbour as I do myself.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Share Eternity

This Christmas we at Deception Bay Baptist want to share the story of Jesus with everyone. In that light we want to equip our people with tools that help them share this story with their friends and family.

YesHeIs is a fantastic app that you can have with you at all times, on your smart phone, that gives you access to videos and pictures that are valuable assets when you want to share your faith.

You can either use the app on your phone as part of a discussion you have with other people, or connect the app to your social media and share videos and pictures online. Here’s a little more on how it works.

So we encourage you to Share Eternity this Christmas – and we hope that YesHeIs helps.
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