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October 2008
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December 2008

Lamentations - Where is my Happy Ending? (Pt.4)

"... Yet I still dare to hope ... The Faithful love of the Lord never ends!" [Lamentations 2:19-24. NIV] In the face of unspeakable horror the Poet laments to God. A God who is, who hears, and whose faithfulness endures. Right in the middle of this sad poem we find hope that causes our spirits to soar. I have this passage of Scripture stuck on my desk. It carried me through some of the darkest moments of this year. The sweet fragrance of hope. Emil Brunner, the Swiss theologian said: "What oxygen is to the lungs, such is hope to... Read more →

Lamentations - Where is my Happy Ending? (Pt.3)

b. The Sorrow of Regret "... my sins have been bound into a yoke ... the Lord has rejected all the warriors ... I rebelled against His command ..." [Lamentations 1:14-18. NIV] If only! Regret truly is a terrible burden. You can hear it in the voice of this poet. If only the people had listened. If only they had not chosen to rebel. If only ... “If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world.” [Mercedes Lackey] If only….. the children of Israel had not forsaken God. If only….. they had listened to the continual voices... Read more →

Lamentations - Where is my Happy Ending? (Pt.2)

In the book of Lamentations, the Poet expresses great sorrow. Let’s examine a few of these: 1. The Sorrow of Loss “She who was once great among the nations ..." [Lamentations 1:1. NLT] The poet laments the loss that Israel has faced. She was once prosperous and blessed. Now she lies in ruins. She has lost everything. Loss is something we can all identify with - the loss of a loved one, of friendship, or relationship, employment, position, culture, roots, health, or trust. Facing loss is devastating. To work through loss is a journey, not an event. There are no... Read more →

Lamentations - Where is my Happy Ending? (Pt.1)

[Guest post by Nicole Conner] At CityLife we are reading through the Old Testament and currently preaching through the prophets at our weekend church gatherings. I'm not sure what preaching team meeting I missed where the straws were pulled on who preaches what, but somehow Lamentations fell at my feet. After a year of mourning the death of my beautiful mother, dealing with the ordeal of all of our children and two of their friends being in a horrific car accident, dark humour kicks in – of course: Lamentations! Background: Scholars place Lamentations somewhere around 587 BC. Some attribute the... Read more →

Ever Read a Entire Dictionary?

The Oxford English Dictionary has become the word lover's Mount Everest ever since its initial publication eighty years ago. Weighing in a 62 kilograms, it is the dictionary to end all dictionaries. Ammon Shea has been reading dictionaries since he was ten years old. Recently, Ammon set aside an entire year to read the OED with the aim at "compiling the most obscure, hilarious, oddly useful, and exquisitely useless gems" he discovered along the way. One man, one year, 21,730 pages! You can read his story and all of his favorite words in his highly entertaining book Reading the OED.... Read more →


Many have lauded the election of President Barack Obama as a new day for African-Americans, after a long history of abuse and mistreatment. Unfortunately, racism is still alive and well in America. Click here to read a shocking report of recent incidents since the election. Prejudice based on skin colour is not only sad, it is morally wrong. Each human being is created in the image of God and is to be treated with dignity and respect. The apostle Paul tells us that 'in Christ' there is neither Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male nor female (Galatians 3:28). This... Read more →

Billy Graham turns 90

Last week, on November 7th, Billy Graham turned 90 years of age. He is one of the most well-known Christians in the world today and through his evangelistic ministry he has preached to over 215 million people. Through many decades of ministry he has remained humble and he has lived with utmost integrity, a shining example to all. Click here to read a recent article in the USA Today newspaper about Billy Graham. Click here if you would like to post a belated personal birthday greeting to Billy. Tens of thousands of people have already done so. His autobiography Just... Read more →

Spiritual Abuse (Pt.4)

So how do you recover from spiritual abuse? Here are a few suggestions: Find a safe place. God does not require you to stay in a place or a group that is abusive in its leadership. Be bold and courageous and move on. Find some safe relationships where you can process what has happened. Share with others who you can trust. Talking to a qualified Christian counselor can be very helpful. Bring your feelings and experiences out in the open. Allow your mind to be renewed. Spiritual abuse tends to distort the truth. Seek perspective on what has happened and... Read more →

Spiritual Abuse (Pt.3)

For those of who have leadership roles, it is important that we understand how God wants us to carry out our responsibilities. The apostle Paul had been given great authority to plant churches and give them leadership. However, the way he handled his authority was very imoportant. Read these quotes from a few letters he wrote to a church in the city of Corinth ... "For even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than pulling you down, I will not be ashamed of it." [2 Corinthians 10:8. NIV] "This... Read more →

Spiritual Abuse (Pt.2)

Today we continue speaking about a very important subject - spiritual abuse. Peter Nash (former director of our church's counseling and community ministries and now school chaplain of Waverley Christian College) shared an important message with our church a few years back entitled Spiritual Abuse - When the Church Becomes Unsafe. Here are a few thoughts from his message ... What is abuse? Abuse is the misuse of power in such a way as to bring harm to another person. Abuse can be sexual, physical, verbal, emotional, or spiritual. Spiritual abuse is when a leader uses their authority as a... Read more →

Spiritual Abuse (Pt.1)

Read the following words from the prophet Jeremiah ... "What sorrow awaits the leaders of my people — the shepherds of my sheep — for they have destroyed and scattered the very ones they were expected to care for," says the Lord. Therefore, this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to these shepherds: "Instead of caring for my flock and leading them to safety, you have deserted them and driven them to destruction. Now I will pour out judgment on you for the evil you have done to them. But I will gather together the remnant of... Read more →

Water Baptism

Water baptism services are a terrific time with an atmosphere of celebration and joy as friends and family members gather to show their support to those taking this significant step in their spiritual journey. Why be baptised in water? First of all, because Jesus commanded it (see Mark 16:16. Matthew 28:16-20) and obedience to his commands is a demonstration of our love for him (John 14:15). Water baptism isn’t necessary for salvation but it’s the next step Jesus calls us to take after we choose to follow him. Jesus himself was baptised in water (Matthew 3:13-17), giving us an example... Read more →

A New American President

Yesterday, the American people voted in a new president - Barack Obama. Winds of change are in the air and there is a lot of anticipation about what kind of leadership Obama will bring to his nation. There is no doubt that he is a charismatic speaker who has captured the attention of people from all sectors of society. The challenge for Obama now is to try to turn around a nation that is in crisis financially and in regard to its place in the world arena. Regardless of our personal thoughts about Obama, we need to pray for him... Read more →

Obama or McCain - who would you vote for?

On Tuesday, November 4th, Americans will vote for a new president as their presidential election takes place. Who will win - Barack Obama or John McCain? Who would you vote for? Some people tend to vote more 'conservative' while others vote on the 'liberal side'. Here is an article on the election by American political commentator, Jim Wallis (author of God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It). You may not agree with everything he says but his comments are very thought-provoking ... "In 2004, several conservative Catholic Bishops and a few megachurch pastors... Read more →