You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2010.

Click on play button below or right click HERE to download

Advertisements

Perhaps you are familiar with the campaign slogan used by the Greens in last Saturday’s federal election.  As the political commentators wrestle with the implications of Saturday’s election, one thing seems reasonable to conclude, that the Greens, with a 50% increase in their vote are becoming an increasingly significant political force. Read the rest of this entry »

John the Baptist steps into his public ministry sure of what he was to do. God’s promise had come through to John form his Dad. Parents and older others can be used by God to reveal his specific promises, preparing children to live life knowing the security of his love and direction.

Click on play button below or right click HERE to download

Good afternoon everyone,

Last Sunday we spent some time considering the plight of Pakistan after the disastrous monsoonal rains and resulting floods.  Despite the fact that these events seem to come to us with unrelenting regularity, this disaster is enormous in the damage and future implications it has for this poor country.

20 million people have been made homeless by the floods with more than 750,000 homes damaged or destroyed. To help give us a perspective on this, its like the entire population of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia being made homeless in one event.

Despite the international aid effort, new difficulties such as the risk of waterborne disease, dehydration and malnutrition are escalating, due to t

he lack of safe drinking water, food and shelter.

In response to this the Australian government has announced an increase of our aid to Pakistan  from 11 to 35 Million, or a $1.75 for each person effected.    A spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said:

‘It looks like the number of people affected in this crisis is higher than the Haiti earthquake, the tsunami or the Pakistan earthquake, and if the toll is as high as the one given by the government, it’s higher than the three of them combined.”

This coming Sunday we’ll be taking up a special offering to pass onto the Barnabas Fund.  The Barnabas Fund especially seeks to help Christians in nations were being a follower of Jesus is illegal and where people are persecuted as a result.  The Barnabas fund suggests that because Christians are a minority group in Pakistan (2-2.5% of the population), that any international aid that does trickle through will not reach them.  You can read more about this here.

Normally I would pass on monies to aid agencies who help people regardless of their religious or cultural belief, but in this case I think we need to consider the needs of the 150,000-200,000  minority christians caught up in this disaster.  Paul encouraged the Christians of the church in Galatia “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”  Galatians 6; 9-10

Could I encourage you to chat about this with your family at the dinner table, or perhaps with your friends, small group or even with those you work with.  As you do ask the Lord how he might have you respond. Perhaps it’s to give a weeks wage, salary or pocket money; your coffee money for a month or to donate the proceeds of an upcoming purchase or upgrade.

Apart from what we give there is also the opportunity for us to pray. Pray its not a consolation prize for those we pray for.  It can often become an opportunity for God to show us his heart in the midst of something beyond us, allowing our prayers to effect challenging events.  Barnabas Fund have suggested the following as items to pray for.

  • That the authorities and relief organisations are equipped with the resources and manpower they need to reach and help the ever-growing number of victims.
  • For relief from the rain and that the water levels start to subside so that rehabilitation work can begin.
  • For Christians who have lost everything to experience hope in the Lord as they feel helpless and fearful about the future

have a great week,

Dave.

Click on play button below or right click HERE to download

Morning everyone,

Monday was Caleb’s birthday. We took him, his brothers and two friends to a rock climbing place (no pun intended) as a part of his celebration.

One of my boys, despite his usual adventurous spirit struggled climbing to the top, repeatedly saying that he was afraid and couldn’t do it.  Despite his voiced fears he made it to the top of a wall and back down.

Back on the ground I spent some time talking with him about the “Fear”. I asked him to picture it as black “Goup” (he’s into making “Goup” at the moment). I then encouraged him to tell this pictured “Fear Goup” that he didn’t want it, that it wasn’t a part of who he was and for it to go away in Jesus’ name.

Perhaps this sounds a bit strange to some of you, yet the difference was immediate.  For the rest of the day his climbing was confident and done without fear. His true self reappeared. At the end of the day he came to me and said. “Dad I felt different after we prayed.  Did you see how well I climbed after that!”

We all face our “Fear Goup” and despite the Bible telling us that “Nothing can separate us from the Love of God” (Romans 8:39) the “Fear Goup” life presents sometimes sticks.

David, the Shepherd King, spoke about how he eventually became Teflon like to the “Fear Goup” of life.

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40:1&2

What is this firm place that God gives David to stand upon in the moments of mud and mire?

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:3

David’s firm place in the midst of stress and difficulty is…Worship.  Worship as we looked at a few weeks ago is what we attribute worth to.  What we give worth to are the things that get the best of our thinking, time and money. As followers of Jesus we say that Jesus is worthy of our worth-ship.

You can worship God on your own, but it’s interesting that when Jesus spoke of worship he always spoke of us being with others.

“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. Or where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 19:18.

God is a relational God. The perfect relationship exists between the Godhead, Father, Son and Spirit.  God has created us in his image, so unsurprisingly we crave love, relationship and affection.  The Bible is the revelation of God bringing the whole of creation (and especially the pinnacle of creation, mankind) back into relationship with Him. Is it any wonder then that the Spirit of God “shows up” when we get people together and worship.

David’s “Firm place to stand” was built in worship.

I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O LORD. Psalm 40:9.

We live in a world where there is always mud flying of one sought or another.  The firm place to stand is worship.  All of our lives are worship to God, but meeting with other Christians to boldly declare, “God is God,” that’s what takes God’s promises from being nice thoughts that we have, to become firm foundations that we stand on and “own us.”

Our main together place of worship as a church happens Sundays.  It’s not just a place to get the mud washed off, but one of a few places where we meet with others to broaden the footing of the ultimate foundation stone, Jesus.

Who do you pray with, read with, worship with or minister with outside Sunday? If you don’t have a place I’d encourage you to get one. See me if you’d like one but you’re not sure where to start.

Blessings,

Dave

PS….

  • This Saturday the 14th at the church is a games night.  Bring your board games and nibbles.  Starts 7:00pm. There will be a movie on for the kids as well.
  • Vincent and Grace Munyosi rang me this week.  Their ministry and time at Mornington is going well, but they rang to tell me that starting their time in Australia with us “blessed them beyond our imaginations.” He wanted me to say thankyou for the great welcome and blessing they received from us.

Zechariah was a professional God person. At the pinnacle of his career as a priest was the opportunity to offer the incense of prayer before God. At this moment the Angel Gabriel appears to Zechariah telling him that his prayers have been heard and that he and his wife will have a son, John the Baptist. Despite this amazing encounter his response was one of unbelief to Gabriel’s news. In contrast to Zechariah is Mary’s response of faith and trust to Gabriel’s visit to her that she is going to be the mother of Jesus. What made the difference? We all face fearful and challenging situations, but who we believe we are, determines how we respond to them.

Click on play button below or right click HERE to download

Pastor Vincent Munyosi and his wife Grace visited us from Mbale, Uganda.
Vincent reminded us that we need to guard our heart, mind and lips.

Click on play button below or right click HERE to download

Download Hint

To download the sermon, right click and choose 'save link as' or 'save target as' depending on your browser.