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October 2012
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December 2012

The Wonder of Cucumbers

According to the word on the street (yet to be confirmed by www.snopes.com), cucumbers are more than meets the eye (or taste buds)! 1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day. Just one cucumber contains vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc. 2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours. 3. Tired of your... Read more →


Heretic Hunting?

It always concerns me the amount of so-called ‘Christians’ who spend their time throwing mud at other Christian ministries, claiming that so-and-so is a false prophet or spreading heresy. Jesus does call us to discern ministries (by their fruit) but to go beyond this and place a judgment on a person is something we are strongly commanded to NOT do (see my previous BLOG post 'Discern, Don't Judge). To quote my previous post, Derek Prince recommends five key things that we should look for when discerning whether any church, ministry or so-called “move of God” is genuine or not (from... Read more →


Christmas Resources

Believe it or not, Christmas is only four weeks away! For followers of Christ, and especially for those of us who pastor a church or speak from time to time, Christmas presents another excellent opportunity to communicate the good news of Jesus Christ. But how do we share this timeless message in new and fresh ways that capture people’s attention and interest? J John from the UK has put together a variety of resources specially related to the Christmas season. Check out his web site for further details. Of note, is the recent release of the book Proclaiming Christmas, a... Read more →


C.S. Lewis Deserves His Place in Poet's Corner

By Alistair McGrath for The Telegraph With simplicity and elegance, he captured the imagination of a war-weary generation. Today it will be announced that a memorial to the poet, literary scholar and novelist C S Lewis (1898-1963) is to be placed in Poets’ Corner at Westminster Abbey next November, 50 years after his death. He joins a select group of poets, playwrights and writers to have been buried or commemorated there, including Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespeare. I would argue that Lewis certainly merits inclusion among these greats of English literature. Has he secured his place because he was a poet?... Read more →


Living in the Last Days (1 Peter 4)

The apostle Peter presents us with a strong challenge for times like ours: 1 Peter 4:7-11. The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God... Read more →


Religious Belief in Australia (2011 Census Results)

Do you remember where you were and what you were doing on the evening of August 9th last year? It was census night here in Australia, a day every five years where the government requires every person living Australia to complete a survey (conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics). It includes questions about personal details, the people we live with, our education, our employment, and any significant changes that have taken place in the last few years. This helps to provide a snapshot of our nation, which becomes useful for the government as well as many other organisations. One... Read more →


Leading in Tough Times (1 Peter 5)

As part of his letter to followers of Christ scattered throughout the Mediterranean world, the apostle Peter shared a few thoughts especially for church leaders. 1 Peter 5:1-4. I have a special concern for you church leaders. I know what it's like to be a leader, in on Christ's sufferings as well as the coming glory. Here's my concern: that you care for God's flock with all the diligence of a shepherd. Not because you have to, but because you want to please God. Not calculating what you can get out of it, but acting spontaneously. Not bossily telling others... Read more →


Endurance during Suffering (1 Peter 1)

The book of 1 Peter was a general letter written by the apostle Peter to a wide group of early Christian communities comprising a vast network of small groups scattered throughout the Mediterranean world. Like most letters, it begins with a greeting (1:1-2), then moves to a blessing (1:3-9), followed by a statement (1:10-12), then the body of the letter (1:13). The recipients of the letter seem to be Gentile converts from paganism. They were undergoing some form of suffering. Various “trials” were testing their faith (1:6). They were being “spoken against” (2:12), they had to “endure pain while suffering... Read more →


Skipping Church

Father Norton woke up Sunday morning and realizing it was an exceptionally beautiful and sunny early spring day, decided he just had to play golf. So... he told the Associate Pastor that he was feeling sick and persuaded him to say Mass for him that day. As soon as the Associate Pastor left the room, Father Norton headed out of town to a golf course about forty miles away. This way he knew he wouldn't accidentally meet anyone he knew from his parish. Setting up on the first tee, he was alone. After all, it was Sunday morning and everyoneelse... Read more →


River of Life Conference

The River of Life Conference will be held in Melbourne on May 9-10th, 2013. I am excited about this event and the opportunity it provides for followers of Christ from churches right across our city to gather together in unity to worship Jesus Christ as Lord. The early bird ticket offer expires on 30 November. With over 65% of the Thursday seats already sold we don't want church or organisations who have not yet booked to miss out on securing seats at the early bird and group discount rate for bookings of 5 or more. There are some excellent multi-media... Read more →


New Archbishop of Canterbury: Justin Welby

[The following article is by Cole Moreton from the Telegraph] The next Archbishop of Canterbury woke up yesterday with something on his mind. “Thought in the night,” he wrote on Twitter. “Those who made money betting on me give it to their local church!” Chatting wittily online to 6,429 online followers is not something the present Archbishop, Dr Rowan Williams, would find easy. But as one observer suggested when the appointment was announced on Friday, the Rt Rev Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham, may be the most worldly man ever chosen for Canterbury. “Good gracious,” he said in response, raising... Read more →


Billy Graham turns 94

Rev. Billy Graham turned 94 years of age this week. “I never expected I would live this long, outliving my beloved wife, Ruth, as well as many friends and loved ones,” Graham said last week. “I believe God must still have a purpose for keeping me here, and I look forward to seeing what that might be.” His daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, credits her father's long life to prayer, and said she hopes people continue to pray for her father. Graham's son, the Rev.Franklin Graham, says his father has been saying since he turned 90 that he expects to live... Read more →


The Church in Australia - latest NCLS data

Religious editor, Barney Zwartz, wrote the following article entitled "Flock keeping the faith - and feeling blessed" in this week's AGE newspaper: FALLING church attendances in Australia may have plateaued and churchgoers are considerably happier than 10 years ago, according to the five-yearly church ''census''. ''The complete Australian church is growing stronger, or holding its ground, and those who go to church are feeling pretty good about it,'' said Associate Professor Ruth Powell, from the Australian Catholic University and research director of the National Church Life Survey. ''The churches are not out of the wilderness yet, but the signs are... Read more →


2012 American Election Day Preview (Barna Group)

The following article is the from the Barna Group web site ... November 5, 2012 – Compared to the days leading up to 2008, when Barack Obama was a frontrunner and poised to make inroads among Christian voters, the 2012 presidential race remains without a clear leader. Yet most voters place a high urgency on tomorrow’s outcome: Two-thirds of all likely voters (67%) perceive the 2012 election to be one of the most important races in the past 50 years. From the early primaries through the debates, Barna Group has been tracking the public perceptions of the candidates and the... Read more →


Overcoming Temptation

More wisdom from James on temptation ... James 1:12-15. God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. God never tempts anyone so we... Read more →


The Joy of Trials

Here is some wise and highly relevant advice from James, the brother of Jesus: James 1:2-8. Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is a fully developed, you will be a perfect and complete, needing nothing. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your... Read more →