Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Senna

Fantastic documentary about the world's greatest ever race car driver.  The things that man could make a car do were incredible... a true connection between man and machine.

And Ayrton Senna constantly gave the glory to God for his talents.  I was impressed that the documentary didn't water this down either, but allowed the true convictions of the man to show through as he gave testimony to God's work in his life.  I think this made the story of his early death in that horrific accident even more moving.

The racing footage from the 80's and 90's was excellent.  I didn't realise they had things like helmet cameras and on car cameras at that time.  And the pure emotion they were able to show in the pits, and on the start grid was incredible.   The story led beautifully through his life and the numerous hardships and political issues he had with the FIA.  The governing body really hampered the flow of true, honest racing during that time - I wonder how much it still does today?



Even if you're not a motor racing fan, this is still something you should sit and experience, Senna was truly one of the most passionate and amazing characters of the 20th Century.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

I believe this... even when it comes to counselling.

"The root of every problem in the world is sin. The answer is Jesus." (Mark Driscoll)

'Feeling' God or 'Knowing' God?

One of my mentors,  Joe, is writing a theology blog over at Dot Point Theology which I have wanted to mention here for some time.  Was just re-reading through his latest post and thought I'd throw a snippet up here

The problem with the current generation's fascination with "experiencing God" is that sometimes this has led young Christians to trade the special revelation of God for the general revelation of God and think that they are getting something better. When I hear Christians say that they prefer to go for a walk and experience God in nature rather than reading their bible, I get worried that our generation has little idea about how God reveals Himself. Or what about those who long for God to speak some personal and private message to them? A voice out of heaven or a miraculous sign from God? Ultimately God's revelation of Himself throughout history has not been a gradual broadening of the means and content of His revelation, but rather it has been a narrowing! God has moved from the "many times and many various ways" of the past to the single way of His Son.
What this means is that you don't need to chase an experience of God outside of Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture. There is nothing wrong with enjoying creation/nature but please realise that what you learn of God there is secondary to what you learn of God in the cross of Jesus Christ.

So if you want to learn some straight shooting, relevant theology, then add Joe's blog to your readers!

Future Grace

"...the way our joy expresses the value of free grace is by admitting we don't deserve it, and by banking our hope on it and doing everything we do as a recipient of more and more grace... Gratitude will always degenerate into the debtor's ethic if it only looks back on past grace and not forward as well to future grace." (John Piper - Brothers we are not Professionals)

Monday, 22 August 2011

Junior Rev Head

The Ipswich 300 at Willowbank last weekend gave me the opportunity to introduce my nearly 2 year old nephew to the world of motorsport.  Nathanael never really had a chance with Dad, Uncle Dean, Uncle Marty and Pa all long term rev heads - but with Vanessa and Mum taking young Reuben off to the markets for the day, it gave Andy an opportunity to bring Nathanael out for the final part of the Saturday race-day.

Sensory overload was abounding for the little tyke... fire trucks, police cars, big trucks and numerous racing cars were everywhere you looked (and for some reason Nathanael got really excited when he saw a Taxi...).  Disney and V8 Supercars have joined forces and created a life-size Mac the Truck from Cars 2 to host an activity zone for the kids at race meetings.

It was probably geared for kids slightly older than Nae, but he had a good time looking at Lightning McQueen and Mater and a whole heap of other Cars merchandise.


We then found my seat at the entrance to the turn 6 hairpin and sat to watch the V8s.  It was all a little overwhelming to start with for the little guy, but as the race went on he got more and more into it (especially cheering the smoking and stricken HRT Commodore of Garth Tander - he may have been egged on by his uncle on that one though).  By the end of Race 1 Nae was totally into it - and wanting 'more racing' when all the cars left the track.  He enjoyed the siren on the Safety Car, but was even more excited when the V8s came back.

Apparently the whole experience left him completely hyped up for more racing cars when he got home to Mum.   I'm sure he'll have plenty of more chances in the future!!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Guy Love... the way it should be

With all this talk these days of 'manning up' and 'sucking it up princess' there also seems to be other terminology like the 'man date' or 'bromance' coming into the fray when figuring out the 'essence' of manly interaction.

The TV show Scrubs always highlighted the genuine interaction between two best mates very well (although extenuating it to ridiculous levels for comedic purposes), but I think if a lot more of our men in churches related to each other guy Turk and J.D did we'd have a much closer nit, encouraging and accountable group of Christian Men in Australia today.

I was thinking bout all this today after watching "The Blanks'" (or Ted's band of peons from Scrubs) new official music video of the song "Guy Love" - it was written by one of the band members for the musical episode of Scrubs, but they have reworked it and don't quite a humerous music video.  Check it out.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Becoming an Introvert.

It's strange... all those personality tests you do through high school, uni and then again at the start of Bible college always had me as an extrovert.  Feeding off the vibe of being around people.

Yet earlier this year I was surprised to do another one of these 'tests' in class and it came out with me being introverted.  I could see my studies and way of life having changed in such a way over the past 3 years to reflect that slightly... being more inward focused for my recharging time, I thought maybe I was just getting old.

Now however I find myself struggling in group situations.  I feel more claustrophobic and uncomfortable in group situations, and would rather just chill at home or find one person to hang with somewhere quiet.  I find a lot of social stuff awkward now.

And I don't really understand why.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Those Special Places

As I said in an earlier post, I was on Tamborine Mt for my church family camp last weekend.  Tamborine Mt was also the site for the numerous WEC camps (Highschooler's, young adult's, easter and leader's) that sculpted my Christian walk in my late teens and early adulthood.  However the church camp last weekend was in a totally different campsite (considering the old WEC site has been demolished it is impossible to go there anymore anyway) and in a way it didn't feel like Tamborine Mt use to.

That is until after the camp ended and I scooted up to The Beacon for a quick look before heading home.   Many a late night was spent at the Beacon on WEC Camps, singing songs, talking, praying or just sitting and overlooking the valleys below.   I immediately felt a sense of awe and wonder when I got out of my car on Sunday afternoon.  A flood of memories came back, the most potent being those of amazing moments of God experienced in that very spot.  I remembered songs we'd sung together and felt the Holy Spirit move within us, I remembered conversations I'd had with other young adults regarding our lives and the Gospel, and I remembered the numerous times I'd come here alone, early in the morning, to pray and do my devotions.

There were other people on the Beacon that day, but I sat in silence, totally lost in the memories of the place, tears on my face as I remembered, and totally oblivious to whatever else was going on around me.  In a very real sense it is Holy Ground, as I have met with Jesus there - and simply being there again brought me back into his presence in a very real way.

The view from The Beacon (Tamborine Mt Qld)

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Creative Obedience

A mate from college spoke at Church on Sunday night on what role obedience has in Christianity.  Are we merely saved by faith alone? Or is there an element of work for us to do to gain it as well?

I think Rusty nailed it in his sermon which you can listen to here, and I think we need to ponder this idea on a deeper level than we usually do.

The generic Baptist idea would be that works does not play a part in our salvation - nothing we have done can save us, there is nothing we can do to save ourselves, it is simply that God loves us enough that he sent his Son in our place.

I 100% agree with that... the 'good' things we do in life are not going to get us through the gates of heaven, and simply obeying God's laws and rules is not enough to save us.

However; (and this is a carefully stated 'however' I must admit...) there are many places in the Bible which show our obedience does play a role in our sanctification and ultimate salvation. I am in no way claiming there are things we must work at before we are saved, but I think the key is how we treat Jesus in response to accepting his gracious act on the cross.

We cannot simply accept him as our Saviour... just saying Jesus has saved me doesn't make it so - just putting my hand up or walking to the front and acknowledging Jesus at the end of a sermon IS NOT ENOUGH.  If that's all that is done then I am afraid that person may very well continue sinning and disobeying and one day find themselves shocked to discover their sin still held against them.

The life changing aspect of salvation is not only seeing Jesus as Saviour, but declaring him Lord as well.  There isn't just a call in the Bible to accept Jesus, or to believe he can save you, or acknowledge what he did - the call in the Bible is to "confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord" (Romans 10:8)!!! That's when we're saved.  I think as churches we need to explore more what it means to have Jesus as Lord than putting out emotional calls for people to accept or respond to salvation (because in a sense accepting someone saving you is the easy part - living the life under the Lordship of Christ can be much harder to grasp).

So it all comes down to whether or not you want to count the numbers of people making the easy choice, or spend the time making true disciples who follow Jesus as Lord (because then obedience and what we do has an important role to play).

I think Russel's sermon handled the topic very well.

Ecclesiastes 1:1-18

Well done to the girls from City North who made up this video for the Bible reading for the first sermon in our Ecclesiastes series. I think it's fantastic.

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