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March 2009
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May 2009

The Increase of Knowledge

Over 2005 years ago, the prophet Daniel said that at the time of the end there would be many people going here and there to increase knowledge (see Daniel 12:4). No doubt, we live today in a time of knowledge explosion, with human knowledge now doubling every 5 years, according to some experts (click here to read a debate about this). The internet opens up a huge world of information. Many top-tier universities are now giving the public free online access to their best lecturers. YouTube recently launched an education hub called You Tube Edu dedicated exclusively to videos from... Read more →

My Favourite Oxymorons

An oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines two contradictory terms, like 'controlled chaos', 'deafening silence', 'alone together', or 'second best'. Interestingly, the very word 'oxymoron' is an oxymoron itself because it comes from two Greek words: 'oxy' which means 'sharp' or 'pointed' and 'moros' which means 'dull'. Here are a few of my favourites ... with apologies in advance for any potential offences :) Fun Run Country Music Military Intelligence United Nations Open Secret Black Light Ill Health Half Dead Pretty Ugly Microsoft Works Safety Hazard Jumbo Shrimp Same Difference If you really want to get into oxymorons,... Read more →

How Sceptical are Aussies?

What do non-Christian Aussies believe and how sceptical are they about Jesus? This was the focus of a recent survey and the results were quite surprising. Read the article here. No doubt there are far more Australians who would be categorised as 'apathetic' towards spiritual things than there are those who would be 'antognostic'. This means that Aussies are probably far more open to discussion about spiritual things and about Jesus than we may realise. Read more →

The Twitter Trend

Blogging, Facebook, and now Twitter, the SMS of the Internet. Technology continues to drive human interactions. Everyone seems to be getting in on the action - from news reporters to pastors to celebrities. Twitter use went up 43% after Oprah sent her first Tweet. To find out more about (or to join) Twitter, click here. Click here for an article on what makes a good tweet :) For a humorous look at the Twitter craze, check out this You Tube video clip. What do you think about it all? Can real 'community' happen over the stratosphere? Can it happen online?... Read more →

The Two Lost Sons (Pt.4)

A final thought ... This parable is the last of three parables that Jesus tells in response to the criticism of the Pharisees of him spending time with sinners. In the first parable, a shepherd goes looking for a lost sheep and when he finds it, he calls his friends to celebrate with him. In the second parable, a woman looks for a lost coin and when she finds it, she calls her neigbours around to celebrate with her. In the final parable, the younger son is lost but no one goes looking for him. This would have surprised the... Read more →

The Two Lost Sons (Pt.3)

Two sons. Two ways of doing life. Both were wrong. Both were lost. Both ways of living are dead ends. Amazingly, both sons were loved. The father in the story went out to welcome the younger brother home AND the father went out to seek to bring the older brother in. God is not a Pharisee to the Pharisees. Who needs to hear this good news of grace? Young brothers types! They need to know the father's heart and the grace that is available to them. Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship with a loving God. Older... Read more →

The Two Lost Sons (Pt.2)

Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York, in his excellent book, The Prodigal God, shows how the two sons in this story are symbolic or representative of two types of people. They show us two ways that people try to find happiness and fulfillment in life. Younger brother types represent those who choose the way of 'self discovery'. They choose to do their own thing, breaking free from the rules and traditions of society. These are the people who colour outside the lines and don't like boundaries imposed upon them. They look out for number 1. This... Read more →

The Two Lost Sons (Pt.1)

In Luke 15:11-32, we have a record of the familiar parable that Jesus told which is often called ‘The Prodigal Son.’ A more accurate title is ‘The Parable of the Two Lost Sons’, because both were lost, or even more appropriately, ‘The Parable of the Forgiving Father’, because the father is the real hero of the story. It is an amazing short story and through it Jesus teaches us about grace. In Act 1 we have the story of the lost younger brother who shames his father by asking for his inheritance right away and then goes and wastes it... Read more →

Unique Church Buildings

We know that the church that Jesus is building is not a physical building or a work of human architecture. Church buildings are really just 'sheep sheds' where God's people hang out from time to time. They can be anything from a home to a pub to a cathedral. The real church is people - God's new community. However, it's interesting to have a look at the different types of buildings that are used for church around the world. Check out this link for a list of the 10 most unique church buildings .... I like the Rock Church! Read more →

Grace - It's Unfair!

Another post from Nicole ... "In a moment of blinding fury at someone's shortcoming, my own shortcomings STARE me in the face. I am so dependent on God's grace, and find it so hard at times to show the grace I have been shown, to others. I want God to forgive me my zillion dollars of stupidity, but would prefer to extract the $1 someone owes me. Isn't human nature weird? If you're anything like me, at times you struggle with mercy. The thought that God would forgive those we don't want Him to forgive. It is my grandmother's greatest... Read more →

Easter 2009

Easter is here again and with it comes: an increase in church attendance (for those with any sort of faith), a four day weekend (got to love that!), the mega sales to tempt any credit-card carrying shopper, hot-cross buns, the Easter bunny and chocolate Easter eggs in all shapes and sizes. Easter is an annual event celebrated in most parts of the Western world. Where did this celebration come from and what’s it all about? Here are some interesting facts about Easter (historical trivia): Christians have celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ since the beginnings of Christianity. Sunday, or the... Read more →

Good News for Scallywags!

My wife, Nicole, just posted this on her Facebook page and I thought it was worth posting here too ... I have been a Christ follower for over 25 years now. Just a few minutes of reflection and I stand in awe again in recognising what tremendous Good News the Gospel is. Today, just like when I first encountered Christ, I rely completely on His grace. I am painfully aware of my sins, my shortcomings, my severe "limp", the recognition that the life I have in God is Him living in and through me. I guess that is why the... Read more →

Living in Grace

Here are a few great thoughts from the apostle Paul from his letter to the Galatians, with thanks to Eugene Peterson and his The Message translation ... "We Jews know that we have no advantage of birth over "non-Jewish sinners." We know very well that we are not set right with God by rule-keeping but only through personal faith in Jesus Christ. How do we know? We tried it — and we had the best system of rules the world has ever seen! Convinced that no human being can please God by self-improvement, we believed in Jesus as the Messiah... Read more →

The Power of Generosity

An interesting news item - Denny's resturants in the USA gave away free Grand Slam breakfasts back in the month of February, in an effort to give back to the community during the current tough economic times. Two million people took up the offer. The result? Overall sales have been up for the resturant chain. A new freebie will be offered on April 8th. Click here to read the news item. Isn't it good to see the business world living out the value of generosity. Here are a few thoughts from the Bible on the power of generosity ... "Good... Read more →

Ken Duncan - Photographer

Ken Duncan is an outstanding landscape photographer. He is a good friend and we have had the privilege of having him speak at our church a few times. Ken has a terrific story. He describes himself as an average photographer with an amazing God. You can see his award winning panographs on the walls of homes and offices all around the world. Check out his online gallery here. If you ever have a chance to visit one of his galleries in Melbourne, Sydney, the Central Coast, or the Hunter Valley, it will be well worth your time. His latest book... Read more →

Amazing Grace

Our theme for April at our church is the Freedom of Grace. During the month, and especially over the Easter weekend, we will take time to reflect on the amazing grace that God has and continues to show to this world. We will also read through the letter to the Galatians written by the Apostle Paul, the apostle of grace. Paul tells us that we are saved by grace through faith, not by our own works but once we are saved the natural overflow of God’s life in us should be good works done for the glory of God and... Read more →

April Fool's Day

Today is April 1st, commonly known as April's Fool's Day. The online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, outlines the history of this light-hearted day and you also might enjoy a list of the Top 100 April Fool's Day hoaxes of all time, pulled off on this day throughout history. Watch out for any tricksters! P.S. For a few extra morbid laughs, check our the Darwin Awards, which are awarded to people whose demise is achieved in some infamous ways. Read more →