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September 2008
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November 2008

God's Heart for the Poor and the Needy

The prophet Isaiah challenged the people of his time that God was more interested in their works of love for the poor and needy than he was in their worship (see Isaiah 58). This is a message strongly echoed by other prophets (see Amos 5:21-24). Jesus reinforced this strongly in the parable of the sheep and the goats where he paints a picture of the nations being divided not by doctrine, personal ethics, or religious activities but by how they had treated the poor and needy (Matthew 25:31-46). Poverty is not a 'left-wing' political issue; it is a Christian issue.... Read more →

Learning to Lead Like Jesus

Over the last few days, we've been talking about a biblical philosophy of business. Today, let's talk about learning to lead like Jesus. If you are a business leader, you want to learn and grow so that you can become the very best you can be. There is a plethora of business gurus (e.g. Bill Gates, Jack Welch, and Peter Drucker) and materials available to help today. Simply walk into your local bookshop and look in the business/management section. There are dozens of experts sharing their latest ideas (e.g. TQM, 360 degrees, and Balanced Scorecard) on how to see your... Read more →

A Biblical Philosophy of Business (Pt.5)

Why does business exist? I can hear some of you thinking, "Show me the money!" That's brings us to the fourth purpose of business ... 4. To generate wealth. In exchange for service or a product we receive payment of some sort. This is the principle of "fair exchange". It’s okay to make a profit. Making a profit simply enables you to do business for another day. Moses put it this way ... "Remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your... Read more →

A Biblical Philosophy of Business (Pt.4)

Let's continue our discussion as to why business exists. So far we've mentioned that business exists to glorify God and to serve people. Here is the third reason ... 3. To provide an opportunity for meaningful contribution. God has created us with the need for meaningful work. Part of our sense of significance comes from our ability to make a contribution to our world. God is a worker and he created us to work too. It is part of his purpose for our lives. Business provides people with an opportunity to be involved in meaningful work, thus enhancing their sense... Read more →

A Biblical Philosophy of Business (Pt.3)

Why does business exist? 2. To Serve People Every business should exist to add ‘value’ – to provide a service or a product that enhances the quality of people's life. Jesus came to serve others rather than to be served (Matthew 20:28) and as his followers we are called to do the same - to serve other people in love (Galatians 5:13). Business does not exist just as a way to make a living but as part of God’s plan for meeting the needs of people. Your organisation exists for its customers not just its owners or shareholders. Great service... Read more →

A Biblical Philosophy of Business (Pt.2)

The apostle Paul says this, "Whatever your do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:17)." The "whatever" includes business and doing it in "the name of the Lord Jesus" means working in such a way as to honour and represent him well. So what is God’s purpose for your business or work? Let’s look at four major aspects of why your business exists as a Christian: 1. To Glorify God. Who we are and how we do business should please God and... Read more →

A Biblical Philosophy of Business (Pt.1)

Today, let's talk about the business world. Most people spend the majority of their working week out in the marketplace and there are numbers of Christians who have their own businesses. Unfortunately, many people have created a division between what is ‘sacred’ and what is ‘secular’. In fact, there has been a certain amount of tension between business and Christianity throughout the centuries. St. Jermome said, "A merchant can seldom if ever please God." St. Augustine, a fifth century bishop said, "Business is in itself evil." Not too much encouragement there! Where does this perspective come from? It comes primarily... Read more →

Mobile Phone vs Bible

A friend sent me this last week. It is thought-provoking ... Mobile Phone (or 'Cell Phone' as they say in the USA) VS the Bible Ever wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our mobile phone? What if we carried it around in our pockets or purses? What if we flipped through it several times a day? What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it? What if we used it to receive messages from the text? What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it? What if we... Read more →

Third Space Conversations (Cont'd)

To follow on from yesterday's post on "Third Space Conversations" ... here are a few reflection questions ... One approach to evangelism is for Christians to invite unchurched people into the ‘first space’. What kind of person is this applicable to? What kind of person may never come straight into a ‘first space’ gathering? What ways could we can make the ‘first space’ more welcoming to outsiders? The majority of Christians spend a great deal of their time and energy in ‘second space’. How can the church better equip them to fulfil God’s purpose for them in this space? Reflect... Read more →

Third Space Conversations

Slowly read the following record of the Apostle Paul visiting Athens ... "While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the market-place day by day with those who happened to be there. A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him. Some of them asked, 'What is this babbler trying to say?' Others remarked, 'He seems to be advocating foreign gods.' They said this because Paul was... Read more →

How the Stock Market Works

Once upon a time in a village, a man appeared and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each. The villagers seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest, and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10 and as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort. He further announced that he would now buy at $20. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms. The offer increased to $25... Read more →

Living in a Parallel Universe (Pt.3)

Back in 1986, Christian novelist Frank E Peretti wrote a book called This Present Darkness endeavouring to paint a picture of two worlds interacting in the drama of daily life. Heaven and earth. Light and darkness. The book, which has an engaging multi-layered plot, has not been without its criticism. However, through the power of a story, fictitious as it is, it helps us to see how the natural and the spiritual world interact. As a result, it encourages us to live more spiritually discerning lives. Peretti's sequel Piercing the Darkness (1988) accomplishes a similar thing. Together these two books... Read more →

Living in a Parallel Universe (Pt.2)

Hmmnn ... a parallel universe. Sounds a bit like the Matrix, doesn't it! This is what the Christian life is all about ... through faith and repentance we exprerience the living God, in response to his promptings. He sends his Spirit to live inside of us. We experience a conversion - an inner transformation. Two worlds inter-sect. Light comes into darkness. Heaven invades earth. God lives inside of humanity. What an amazing thing ... What would it look like to live with a greater awareness of the spiritual world - not just the natural world? We would see with very... Read more →

Living in a Parallel Universe (Pt.1)

If you think about it, we live in what could be called a parallel universe ... There is the natural world that we engage with our five senses - sight, touch, smell, hearing, and taste. There is also a spiritual world that is just a real, if not more real, as the natural world, even though it is invisible to the human eye. It contains real beings - God, angels, a devil, and demons. These two worlds are part of the one universe, yet they are parallel to each other ... and they interact. Heaven touches earth. Earth touches heaven.... Read more →

The Philadephia Experiment

Talking about conspiracy theories ... Some of you may have heard of the Philadelphia Experiment which was an alleged naval military experiment at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard sometime around October 28th, 1943, in which the U.S. destroyer USS Eldridge was to be rendered invisible to human observers for a brief period (a pretty handy feature during war time!). Some people even reported seeing this ship in another place 346 kms away before it returned to Philadelphia. Back in 1984, this story was made into a movie and then again in 1993, then a book on the topic was released in... Read more →

The Mystery of the Bermuda Triangle

Recently Channel 9 screened the 2005 mini-series The Triangle, built around the fictitious story of a billionaire shipping magnate who keeps losing ships in the Bermuda Triangle. He hires a motley band of experts to uncover the mystery that has haunted the Bermuda Triangle for centuries. The series weaves an eerie web of conspiracies and strange possibilities as the characters find themselves swept deeper and deeper into the secrets of the Bermuda Triangle. Entertaining viewing. The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil's Triangle, is a region of the northwestern Atlantic Ocean in which a number of aircraft and boats... Read more →

Faith, Hope, and Love ... from a Technical Arts Perspective

A few weeks back we had a gathering of our ArtwoRx ministry - all of the singers, musicians, audio, media, and drama team members of our church. Ian Moyes, who heads up our audio ministry, shared a creative twist on 1 Corinthians 13 - the supremacy of love - from a technical arts perspective. I hope you enjoy it ... If I use the vocalisation waveforms of my facial resonance cavity but don’t have love, I am only an oscillating Q-curve shaped brass resonator. If I have the gift of time-shifted data and can zero-in to single bit-depth magnification of... Read more →