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May 2012
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July 2012

Some Thoughts on Sexuality

Today, we live in an increasingly sexually-charged culture. How can followers of Christ please God in the area of their sexuality? After all, God intended sex to be sacred. Firstly, make a commitment to sexual purity. Unless you do, it is unlikely that you will unintentionally slide towards it. Then, take time to understand why you should say ‘no’ to sexual temptation. God’s commands protect us from many negative consequences us and they provide a blessing for us. All of us are vulnerable, so be on guard against temptation and be wise in your relationships. Pornography You don't have to... Read more →

Some Thoughts on Family Conflict

Relationships are built and maintained through communication. When communication breaks down, so do relationships. Consider the quality and nature of the conversation in your relationships. It creates an atmosphere. Eph. 4:29. Do not let unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Prov.18:21. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. James 1:19. My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak... Read more →

Some Thoughts on Parenting

You can become a a father or a mother in an instant, but it takes a lifetime to learn to be a good parent. After all, kids arrive without instructions and each child is pre-wired (no 'blank slates'!) uniquely. What are some important principles for parents? Your greatest influence is who you are, not what you say. Kids do what kids see. Be an example of the kind of person you'd like them to become. This requires us to deal with our own personal character issues, so that we don't pass negative habits on. Love your kids with all your... Read more →

Some Thoughts on Marriage

According to the recent national census (2010), 49.4% of people in Australia are married. The medium age of a first marriage for men is 29.6 years old and 27.7 for women. Choosing to marry someone is an important decision that needs to be undertaken with much prayer and consideration. At our church, we require all couples who intend on marrying to take a pre-marital course called Prepare and Enrich Course. What are some ways to build a great marriage? A great wedding doesn't make a great marriage. Life is a journey and only with ongoing time and effort will a... Read more →

Some Thoughts on Dating

At some stage, many single people move into a romantic relationship with someone from their circle of friends. This in often an exciting yet somewhat scary time. Although it's often too early to tell, ideally, the couple see each other as a potential spouse, not just a relationship of convenience, which can easily become selfish and abusive. Moving from a friendship to romantic relationship with another person is an important decision and needs to be done with prayer and wisdom. We put a lot of work into considering buying a house or a car. How much more should we put... Read more →

Some Thoughts on Singleness

Based on last year's national Australia census (2010), 41.9% of adults in our local State of Victoria are single. They include people who have never married (because they chose not to marry or have not found a partner) or those who have been married but are single again because of the death of a spouse or through divorce. Single people are part of the family of God – they are not second class citizens. They are to be given full acceptance and affirmation. They are not abnormal or to be viewed with suspicion. Marriage is not a superior status to... Read more →

Update on the State of the Family

Created for Relationship The book of Genesis is the book of beginnings. It doesn’t tell us when the world was created or much about how the world was created (two matters that continue to be hotly debated today) … but it does tell us who created the world (God) and why he created it. God reveals himself as a relational God existing in a community of persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Three, yet one. Human beings are created in the image or likeness of God (Gen.1:26-28). We too are relational beings. When God created the world, he was pleased... Read more →

Jeremiah: Prototype for Prophets, Preachers and Pastors

Jeremiah is one of my favourite people in the Bible. He was called by God at a young age and was given a tough assignment. He lacked natural confidence but God continually encouraged him. Not everyone liked Jeremiah and he had to endure some extremely difficult circumstances. Yet he remained faithful in bringing God's word and heart to the people he served. Here is God's first message to Jeremiah: The Lord gave me this message: "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet... Read more →

The Parable of the Vineyard Workers

The parable of the vineyard workers (Matt.20:1-16) is unique to Matthew, although Jesus’ teaching about the first and last is not (see Mark 9:35. Luke 13:30 and also Mt.23:12). In this story, we have a vineyard owner visiting the marketplace looking for an influx of day workers to help with the grape harvest. A vineyard was the most common agricultural setting in Palestine at this time but was also a familiar image for God’s people. During harvest time, 12-hour workdays were common, from sunrise to sunset. Gathering grapes was tough manual labour and the heat of high noon in the... Read more →

A Word for You ...

On the weekend, I shared a few messages I felt that God put on my heart for various groups of people in our church. Here is a brief summary of them: 1. "You're It!" Did you ever play tag when you were a kid? No one likes to be "it." We'd rather hide and let others do the chasing. But at some stage, we're going to be tagged and someone will say, "You're it!" I sensed that God was tagging some people in the same way. Maybe you have been on the receiving end of the efforts of others and... Read more →

What Season Are You In?

Right now it is autumn here in Australia and I love it. The spectaular colours of the leaves display the creativity of our amazing God. Seasons - God created them. He told Noah: "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease (Gen.8:22)." Later on, Solomon noted that, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens ... (Ecc.3:1)" Verteran pastor Bill Hybels wisely notes that every church and organisation goes through various seasons and that the leaders job is to discern... Read more →

How to Get Super Focused (by Michael Hyatt)

[Michael Hyatt has one of the most popular BLOGS out there. Below is a recent post written by him that you might find helpful] "Every now and then, I have a need to get super-focused. It’s usually when I have an important task to accomplish like preparing a speech, writing a blog post, or solving a complex problem. Unfortunately, I live in the same distracting world you do, where multiple voices compete for my attention. I’ve gone through days when I didn’t accomplish a single thing on my to-do list. Yet, somehow I was busy the entire time! Recently, I... Read more →

Preparing to Preach ...

Preaching God's Word at any time and in any context is always a great privilege and, at the same time, a great responsibility. All of us desire to speak by revelation, to believe for impartation (not just information), and to aim for transformation, as well as a demonstration of the Holy Spirit at work in people's lives. Here are a few thoughts to encourage those who are preparing to speak this weekend. 1. Bathe your preparation in prayer. The best thing that you can bring to people is a quickened and alive word from God. Take time to wait on... Read more →

The Parable of the Wheat and Weeds

The parable of the wheat and the weeds (Mt.13:24-30) is unique to Matthew and is one of the few parables for which Jesus provides a detailed interpretation (Mt.13:36-43). The farmer represents Jesus as the Son of Man. The field is the world and the good seed are the children of the kingdom who are in relationship with God the Father. The enemy is the devil and he sows his weeds - the people of the evil one. The workers are not identified but are most likely Jesus’ disciples. The harvest is the end of the age and is symbolic of... Read more →

Living in this moment - NOW

Most of our minds are busy thinking about either the past or the future. Very few of us live fully in the present moment. Yes, there is an appropriate time to remember the past and to contemplate the future but we are not to live in either place. Interestingly, depressed people usually focus on the past, particularly on hurtful experiences. Anxious people usually focus on the future. What if we lived more fully ... in this moment - right here, right now? Learning to live more fully in the present moment can be quite powerful, lifting our mood, enhancing our... Read more →