2210, 2021

What Delights God

By |October 22nd, 2021|

What Delights God What brings you delight? What gladdens your heart and gives you joy? It could be any number of things. Personally speaking, there are many things that bring me delight: the laughter of my kids, a smile on my wife’s face, reading Tim Winton, listening to Bob Dylan, eating rib fillet steak with pepper sauce, or stepping back to admire my freshly cut lawn. What about you? More importantly: What about God? What brings delight to the heart of God? There are of course a number of different things. For example, God delights in His Son (Is. 42:1, Matt. 3:17, 17:5), in what He has made (Ps. 104:31), in His people (Ps. 149:4, Zeph. 3:17), in honesty (Prov. 11:1), in justice (Jer. 9:24), and so forth. But

1510, 2021

Ethical Shopping vs. Christmas Shopping

By |October 15th, 2021|

Ethical Shopping vs. Christmas Shopping What kind of Christmas shopper are you? Do get your Christmas shopping done early or are you a last-minute shopper? Every year I lull myself into a false sense of security. I make lists in October and start shopping early... only to leave 50% of the gift buying to the week before Christmas! Now, you might be wondering why I’m writing about Christmas shopping? Consumerism is rife in our society. It’s one of the lies that culture tells us will make us happy. But as we were reminded last Sunday, the things of this earth will not make us happy. Adam said in the sermon ‘Happy is the person who is right with the happy God! This is the ultimate form of happiness. Because

810, 2021

Expressive Individualism: The ‘Truth’ Behind the Half Truths

By |October 8th, 2021|

Expressive Individualism: The ‘Truth’ Behind the Half Truths How aware are you of air? Air is all around us. We breathe it in every few seconds. It’s what we live and work and play in. But I’m guessing you’re not that conscious of air. It’s something you’ve just accepted as normal. Besides, you’ve never really known of anything else. But… let’s imagine you could speak to a fish. They would tell you that for them air is not normal. Not everyone lives in it… and it is peculiar to your species. Ok, so why the laboured analogy? Well, air is kind of like what ‘Expressive individualism’ is to Australia and the rest of the West. You might be thinking… “expressive what now?!” I’ll do my best to define it

110, 2021

Great is Thy Faithfulness

By |October 1st, 2021|

Great is Thy Faithfulness I grew up singing hymns. I remember the old hymn books – the colour, the print, the smell. I remember the hymn books in some churches I visited had the music score with the words written under the notes. As a child who found music fascinating, I loved to follow along on the music and challenge myself to sing the alto line or the tenor line and sometimes even the bass (which was way too low for my voice but so fun to sing.) Of course, as I grew older it wasn’t just the rich harmonies of the music that captured my heart, it was the words. Such deep, solid doctrine is found in the words of those old hymns. And as I sang them

2409, 2021

Justice Sunday 2021

By |September 24th, 2021|

Justice Sunday 2021 This Sunday is a special Sunday in our church calendar. It is what we call ‘Justice Sunday’, a day we set aside to focus our attention on God’s heart for justice and the role he has called us to play. It’s a day for us to pursue the vision of Micah 6:8 together: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” These well-known words are a clear call to all believers to be engaged in the pursuit of justice in our day. To lean into and push back on the darkness in our world so that more people might find the freedom

1709, 2021

The Value of Written Prayers

By |September 17th, 2021|

The Value of Written Prayers Perhaps, like me, you grew up thinking written prayers were somehow less spiritual, less meaningful, less authentic. As if the act of reading a prayer automatically diminished its value or spirituality. I can certainly remember feeling those who read out a written prayer, especially in a corporate gathering, were somehow cheating. I have a feeling I’m not alone. Broadly speaking, modern evangelical Christians tend to prefer spontaneity and passion in worship over specificity and precision. This, I think, can be to our detriment. I recently started reading ‘Everyday Prayers’ by Scotty Smith, a collection of 365 Scripture-centred prayers. I’m aiming to read one prayer before bed each night. To be honest, when I fall into bed at night, I find it difficult to fight

1009, 2021

Gospel Truth in a Fracturing World

By |September 10th, 2021|

Gospel Truth in a Fracturing World Our world is fracturing. It’s fracturing across many issues: from politics to race; from climate change to gender. And as it fractures, it becomes more and more tribal. People self-sort into groups that think the same way and often act the same way. And social media turbocharges this polarisation. I recently read an excellent article published by The Gospel Coalition titled “Four Big Lies Christians Believe in our Fracturing Age.” I’ve summarised the main points below, but I encourage you to check out the full article by Akos Balagh here. Lies are fracturing our world. And Christians are not immune from believing these lies. These lies drive how opposing groups think about the world, how they talk, and how they act, especially toward

309, 2021

The gospel and parenting: How do they go together?

By |September 3rd, 2021|

The gospel and parenting: How do they go together? Have you ever asked yourself what makes a good parent? What about, “What makes a Christian parent?”  How should the gospel shape and change your parenting? I mean, there are plenty of parents who don’t know Christ who we would think of as “good parents”. They show love to their children, they give them an education, they teach them manners, they play with them and explore their talents… but, should Christian parenting look any different? If your vision for parenting doesn’t require Christ, is it really Christian? People can tap into Christian principles in their parenting, but it still doesn’t quite make their parenting Christian. I’ve been thinking lately about how the gospel is supposed to shape my parenting and