Thursday, 23 December 2010

Do you believe Jesus is God?

"The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?”
Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me.  Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.  Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him."
Luke 7:15-18

Jesus basically says that if you're questioning his teaching then ask God, if you honestly ask God he will let you know that Jesus' teaching is real.

Jesus taught that he and God are one.   So God will tell you - or show you - that Jesus is God.

There's no way to explain that, but I ask you this Christmas time, if you don't believe in God, or if you believe in God but think Christianity with this Jesus guy is a bit far fetched... honestly open yourselves up to asking God if he is real - and if Jesus is the key part of him.  Because if you do then I know God will show you Jesus is Lord.

Contact me if you want to ask anymore questions, but first, ask God (that's the start of doing his will) and you will find out that Jesus' teaching comes from God.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

The Power of the meaning of Christmas

From Mark Driscoll & Gerry Breshears' Doctrine - Page 220-221.
The incarnation of Jesus Christ [God becoming human] is recorded in detail in the first two chapters of both Matthew's and Luke's Gospels.  There we read that the angel Gabriel was sent as a messenger from God to the town of Nazareth to a young virgin named Mary who was betrothed to a man named Joseph.  The angel announced:

Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." 
And Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?" 
And the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy— the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

Further, the Bible reveals the birth of Jesus as the pattern for our new birth - both are miracles of God the Holy Spirit to be received by faith.  Belief in Jesus' incarnation is an essential truth that Christians have always held...

I think Driscoll points our the key point that we are not merely celebrating a time of the year to spread good cheer, to buy people presents and to sing some cutsie-wootsie songs.  But we are recognising a significant time where God stepped into the human world as a human!  This was the beginning of God's redemptive act.   And in doing so he showed us the way in which we will be saved by being born of the Spirit.

Very Cool - Merry Christmas

Flash Mob sing the Hallelujah Chorus in a random shopping mall.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Carols in the Park

As I've mentioned in a previous post, we set up in drizzling rain all day for our carols service, but here's a photo from just before we actually kicked off that highlights God's amazing work that day

Look at that sky... it wasn't just blue, it was the most beautiful sunset I'd seen all year!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Quote from John Stott

"The church has a double responsibility in relation to the world around us. On the one hand we are to live, serve and witness in the world. On the other hand we are to avoid being contaminated by the world. So we are neither to seek to preserve our holiness by escaping from the world nor to sacrifice our holiness by conforming to the world."

It is these paradoxes that make the Christian life so exciting, yet challenging.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Front Yard Blitz!

My landlord is also my good mate, he only moved out a few weeks back so I thought I'd give him his Christmas present early.

I know Ben won't see his front yard as often as we will now that he's moved out, but I'm sure he'll be stoked with the gardening I did today.  3 1/2 hours work, 1 dead snake and a lot of thorn scratches later and she's all done!



Trusting in the Eldership

We have a great group of Elders at City North Baptist Church.  I have grown to respect and come to a better understanding of their biblical styled leadership.

This weekend really highlighted it for me.  Our annual carols service was being held in a local park and the Eldership team had the task of prayerfully considering the situation 24 hours prior to the event and making a decision whether or not to set up all the equipment outside.

They had prayed and consulted weather sites, before deciding to go ahead with the planned outdoor carols service.  Literally minutes after hearing of their decision rain descended on my little house and continued all through the night.

Sunday morning came and the rain continued.  It drizzled the entire time we were setting up in the park and things were getting mighty muddy.  I was praying all day, seeking God's will, wondering if he was telling us to move the event indoors, or not do the event at all.  But the thing I kept coming back to was that the Elders had prayed and felt led to continue outdoors, so their faith should strengthen my faith to believe we were fulfilling God's will.  

Not only was I trusting in God, but I was trusting in the Eldership to successfully seek God's will.

I'll admit my faith wavered towards the end, as we were doing final set up it was so wet.  But just as I felt myself becoming depressed about the potential outcome blue sky broke across the horizon and within minutes the clouds had evaporated.  

The carols night was amazing, we were blessed with the most incredible sunset, and there was no rain for the entire event.  About 400 people came out to sing carols and hear the Gospel proclaimed, a lot of those not from City North.  God certainly blessed the time and the event.

And showed me to stand firm in my trust of both him and the Eldership of my Church.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

From the Church Bulletin

I thought Ps Murray's welcome message in the City North bulletin last week was great.  Hopefully he doesn't mind me sharing it.

The Christian life calls us to active cooperation with and obedience to God's commands in the Bible.  As we mediate on God's Word, the Holy Spirit applies that Word to our hearts, and we learn how to live lives that are pleasing to the Lord.  Philippians 4:8 is one very practical verse that urges us on. "Finally, brothers, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."

AW Tozer put the challenge this way:

  • What do you want the most?
  • What do you think about the most?
  • How do you use your money?
  • What do you do with your leisure time?
  • What company do you enjoy?
  • Who and what do you admire?
  • What do you laugh at?

Why not take some time out this week and do some meditating.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Aussie Christmas Carol - "Sweatn' in a Sizzling Summer-land"

Ha - great video from my mates Scat Jazz... they released their Christmas Album a few years back, but this video is new.

Very clever, very funny boys :-)

Friday, 3 December 2010

Babysitting the Boy

My Mother and sister decided that today was a good day to go shopping for dresses for my brother's upcoming wedding.  They came in from Ipswich to shop at Chermside, so lucky me got to spend almost 2 hours with my 14 month old nephew roaming the toy departments and pet stores throughout the shopping centre.

It was a lot of fun, Nathanael and I had a great time checking out all the toy cars (broom brooms), tonka trucks (ucks) and numerous stuffed dogs and real puppies (oof offs).  We even sat in the food court and shared a pack of sultanas!

The highlight though was definitely the 20 minutes Nathanael spend driving the school bus.  It was great, he was happy even without having to put in any money to make the thing move.  That plus a big red balloon made it a pretty awesome day spent with Uncle Dean.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Internet Safety Tips

Over on the City North Baptist website we've thrown up some tips for making your home Internet browsing safe for the whole family.

Check it out, there are some great tools available.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

All things are better in Koine

Ahhh can't wait to get back into my Greek next year - signed up for John exegesis in Greek. Maybe we should make something like this for Malyon!?!?!?

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