1508, 2019

As We Forgive Our Debtors

By |August 15th, 2019|

As We Forgive Our Debtors Have you heard the saying, “To err is human; to forgive, divine”? It was first penned by English poet Alexander Pope in 1711. Pope was making the point that we are flawed and sinful, and in the face of this reality we should aspire to do as God does, that is, show mercy and forgive when we are sinned against. This is indeed a common command in the Bible; to forgive as we have been forgiven (e.g., Matt. 6:12; 18:21-22; Mark 11:25; Eph. 4:31-32). In fact, a couple of weeks ago we explored the words of 1 Peter 1:22 and the instruction to “…love one another deeply, from the heart”. As we saw, this deep love will necessarily involve the need for forgiveness. But

808, 2019

I Say Mission, You Say?

By |August 8th, 2019|

I Say Mission, You Say?   I was telling someone recently about my conviction that churches need to prioritise mission. Little did I realise how the word ‘mission’ actually came across. My friend asked me to clarify what I meant because all their mind was filled with was people walking around in sandals handing out tracts. I don’t know what comes into your mind when you hear the word ‘mission’, but that certainly wasn’t what I was thinking. I was actually thinking of something much larger than that. I was thinking about what God is up to in the world. In fact, the entire story of the Bible is really a story about God’s initiative (or mission) to restore our relationship with him. God intended to dwell among us

208, 2019

Our Glorious Hope

By |August 2nd, 2019|

Our Glorious Hope This term at Youth we are discussing ‘Our Hope’ – the hope that we have as Christians because of Jesus’ return. It has led me to reflect on the question, what will happen exactly when Jesus’ returns? You might think this is a somewhat irrelevant or unimportant topic, but the Bible actually talks often about what will happen when Jesus returns. While some of the imagery can be difficult to interpret, some key things stand out clearly: Jesus’ return will be unmissable When Jesus came to earth the first time, 2,000 years ago, it was in the most inconspicuous way imaginable: as a baby, laid in an animal trough, who grew up to love the outcast and died without putting up a fight. But when he

2607, 2019

We Can Make a Difference

By |July 26th, 2019|

We Can Make a Difference I wonder how you feel when you’re confronted with photos of children living in poverty. You know the photos I’m talking about—the ones that pop up on our Facebook feed, or on day-time television, or appear in our letterboxes with the mail. Photos of severely malnourished babies in the arms of their mothers, or of a child collecting water from a dirty waterhole, or even an Australian child in a torn school uniform with a plastic bag and no lunch. I don’t know about you, but seeing those images usually brings me to tears. And the immense scope of poverty and injustice can seem overwhelming. But let me encourage you, because there are things we can all be doing, and we can all make

1807, 2019

Better Together

By |July 18th, 2019|

Better Together I have a son who is fascinated by animals. This means I often hear “Let me tell you about… (insert any and every animal here)”. Well, it is my turn now, and you have the privilege to hear me say “Let me tell you about... the emperor penguin”. Emperor penguins live in the Antarctic where it is, obviously, freezing. Researchers have discovered that the penguins huddle together for more than just warmth, they also make very specific, synchronized movements that further the effort to retain heat. Roughly every 30 to 60 seconds, all of the penguins in one row of the huddle move anywhere from 5 to 10 centimetres in the same direction. The penguins in the next row copy the movement soon after, over and over,

1207, 2019

The Mid-Year Challange

By |July 12th, 2019|

The Mid-Year Challenge If you’ve opened the YouVersion Bible app recently you would have noticed something called ‘The Mid-Year Challenge’. It’s got nothing to do with exercising, eating or budgeting, though those are all good things. It’s a challenge to make time with God a daily habit by selecting a Bible reading plan and then completing daily readings for seven days in a row. For some, this might sound like a significant challenge, while for others, it may sound like your average week. Wherever you find yourself, it’s a good challenge for all of us to consider and a good reminder about the importance of regularly feeding on God’s word. Psalm 1 powerfully reminds us that the pathway of life with God leads us deeper into the word of

407, 2019

The Story Behind the Song – Rock of Ages

By |July 4th, 2019|

The Story Behind the Song: ‘Rock of Ages’ I was recently given a very old, very beautiful hymn book from a member at our church. The hymn book, titled ‘Sacred Songs & Solos and New Hymns & Solos, 888 Pieces’ was published in 1898 and is believed to be one of the first ever compiled hymnals. I am so thankful for this special gift and will truly treasure it. The songs themselves are treasures; indeed, the richness in the lyrics and the history and stories behind the songs are priceless. As I’ve leafed through the pages there are some songs that I recognise and still to this day love singing with our church. One of the songs, Rock of Ages, stood out to me because I recently heard a

2806, 2019

Let Justice Roll

By |June 28th, 2019|

Let Justice Roll My eldest turned 18 this week, which means I’ve been looking through old photos and gathering the most embarrassing ones together for his party! It’s certainly sparked lots of lovely memories, well, for me, anyway. I have especially fond memories of the Kindy years – puzzles, water play, box construction, playdough, circle games, day-time naps. I often wished I could go to Kindy for the day. I also remember the seemingly endless number of paintings that came home each week. They would cover our fridge. We’d use them to wrap gifts, we’d even frame them and give them to grandparents. But there always seemed to be more. And our children would be absolutely heartbroken at the mere thought of throwing away something they’ve made. How could