Thursday, 31 May 2012

Real Christian Unity

"A politician once made a very interesting remark in a campaign speech. I quote: "Wherever I have gone in this country, I have found Americans." Well, this would have been an astute observation if he had been in another nation, but he was referring to America! It's one of those things that makes you go hmmm...
When I read that, it reminded me of an amazing aspect of the Christian life. Did you know that the minute you became a believer, you joined a worldwide family? It's true- you have spiritual brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers all around the globe."

It shouldn't be out of place for us to go anywhere in the world, and look around to find Christians.  People who we instantly have a intimate connection with.  Why? Well because of the unity that having the Holy Spirit dwell inside each of us brings.

"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."   (Ephesians 3:14-21 ESV)

"...from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named..." we are all 'named' in the name of the Father.  It doesn't matter if we're Australians or Africans, Queenslanders or New South Welshmen, male or female, young or old... we are all named for God because we all have God dwelling within us.  We are grounded in love!! Together, from the ends of the earth, we all attempt to comprehend the breadth, length, height and depth of the love of God which we ultimately know surpasses our comprehension.  Yet what we do know brings us together in true Christian unity.

Wherever we go in the world, when we meet Christians there, then that should be enough to know we have a true sense of unity with those people.  On the grand scale that sounds refreshing, encouraging and supportive, but bring it back to a local concept.  How well do we handle this notion within our own congregations? What about across denominations in our own suburbs?  This again is a thought that provides both inspiration and challenge.  The global idea seems inspirational, but maybe beyond our reach (which by being a bit disconnected allows us to feel inspired not threatened), but when we look at the real life scenario and we see the challenge, maybe we get just a little bit threatened.

Maybe we need to realise true unity in our own congregations better?

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Mission of the Church

I used some clips from this video by The Gospel Coalition a few weeks back in one of our sermons in the Acts series.  I think it shows us the true mission of the Church and how sometimes we mix up the meaning of the word 'missional'.


Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Crazy Love

The very fact that a holy, eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful, merciful, fair, and just God loves you and me is nothing short of astonishing.
The wildest part is that Jesus doesn't have  to love us.  His being is utterly complete and perfect, apart from humanity.  He doesn't need me or you. Yet He wants us, chooses us, even considers us His inheritance (Eph. 1:18).  The greatest knowledge we can ever have is knowing God treasures us.
That really is amazing beyond description.  The holy Creator sees you as His 'glorious inheritance.'
The irony is that while God doesn't need us but still wants us, we desperately need God but don't really want Him most of the time. He treasures us and anticipates our departure from this earth to be with Him - and we wonder, indifferently, how much we have to do for Him to get by.
(Francis Chan - Crazy Love p61) 

Before we even begin to figure out how we can individually (and as a local congregation) live out the mission Jesus calls us to I think we need to stop and realise the love Jesus has for us.  We are not slaves driven against our will to fulfill His plan.  We are cherished creation, bought as the greatest of all prices.  I'm about halfway through Francis Chan's book 'Crazy Love' and it is both inspiring and challenging.  The inspiring side is realising once again how unfathomable a capacity God has to love us.  His power and might is so huge - looking at creation shows us this time and time again - yet he loves each of us individually to an immeasurable extent. That's mind blowing.  Each time I hear about it and realise it's truth once again I am mesmorised by the enormity of God's love.

The challenging angle is the question of what we do with our lives in the light of this never ending love.  Like it says above, Jesus is complete and perfect within his own being.  The Trinity is perfect and God needs nothing outside of the relationship he has with himself.  Yet he chooses to love us with a love we will never fully comprehend.  A supernatural love - and it's because of this chosen emotion that Jesus hung on a cross.  Jesus doesn't need us, but he chose us, and chose to die for us.  Yet we desperately need him and most times choose to look at ourselves, what's best for us, how we can get ahead, or how we can stand on our own two feet.   The simple fact is that no matter how hard we try, or look for our own way, we desperately need God - and God is just waiting for us to turn to him.

So today simply try that - turn to God and ask him to help you through your day.  You may feel you've got today under control and can do it all yourself - that's not the right attitude to have.  In everything we do, whether we feel we can or not - let's rely on God - because he loves us and chooses us.  That's amazing!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Who Am I...


Most people call me Deano, I'm the Associate Pastor at dBay Baptist Church in Deception Bay, Queensland, Australia. This is my personal blog and though my main role at the church is looking after the Young Adults, Youth and Children's ministries; I, like all Christians, am resolute in the forwarding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In Matthew 16:18 Jesus says "I will build my church..." and he continues to do so today, however Jesus also gave his church a mission, to go into all the word making disciples. This blog's major focus is how we can together stand on Jesus' promise that he will build his church, and also how we can better work on the mission he gave us.

I studied I.T and worked in the industry for 7 years as a computer technician and network support officer. After completing university and before starting my full time employment I spent 6 months working on the mission field in The Gambia, West Africa with WEC International. While there I did some computer support but mainly focused on work setting up a Christian Union on a local Technical Training Institute; leading Bible studies, hosting student events and other exciting things. I also assisted with the work of the Omega Evangelical Church of The Gambia with preaching, teaching Sunday School and music.

In 2009 I left the I.T world and went to Bible College - I spent 3 years at Malyon (Qld Baptist Bible College) completing my Masters of Divinity before starting my role as Associate Pastor here at dBay.  I have also worked as a Motorsports chaplain with Motor Racing Ministries (a part of Sports Chaplaincy Australia) since 2005.  I have mainly been involved with ANDRA drag racing events at Willowbank Raceway, but more recently have been working with the V8 Supercar series at their Queensland rounds in Ipswich and on the Gold Coast.

My personal passions are cars and motorsport as well as photography and coffee.  These things will probably be reflected throughout the blog as I explore my many wandering thoughts on how we as The Church (universal and worldwide) get our act together and work on this mission Christ gave us.

Welcome to my blog.

Welcome to 'Working on the Mission'

Well the relaunch of this blog is a complete transformation, both in style, title and focus.  Gone is the old 'My Jarrol Spot' which was a blog I've written for the past seven years.  It was mostly a personal blog which gave friends and family from all over the world a chance to keep up with what I was doing.  That kind of blog is pretty much made redundant these days by social media like Facebook.

With that in mind I was searching for a viable reason to continue contributing to a blog.  I have found it quite worthwhile these past seven years, yet needed a distinct focus to keep my motivation up.  At the beginning of this year I graduated my Masters of Divinity from Malyon College in Brisbane and began a call at dBay Baptist Church as their Associate Pastor: Youth and Young Adults.  I can see this blog being an additional tool to my ministry, providing a place where people can go deeper into the discussion of the church and faith ideas.   Practically working full time for the Gospel has highlighted to me the constant encouragement, challenge and prompting people need to work on the mission Jesus gave his church.

In Matthew 16:18 Jesus says "I will build my church..." and he continues to do so today, however Jesus also gave his church a mission, to go into all the word making disciples. This blog's major focus is how we can together stand on Jesus' promise - that he will build his church - and also how we can better work on the mission he gave us.

If you look back through the last seven years of posts you will see that this was somewhat a focus of my old blog, as I have always had a passion for taking the Gospel into all the world.  In 2004 I spent 5 months working for WEC in The Gambia as a missionary. I have seen first hand what the untouched ends of the earth looks like, and I am passionate about sending more people there to preach God's Word.

So please join me as we together work on the mission of the church, and share ideas on what we can be doing better.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The final "My Jarrol Spot" post

Hey there everyone.

I thought I'd put this post up for all those who have followed My Jarrol Spot over the last few years. I haven't posted here since October 2011 - and I've been thinking recently about what to do with this blog.

This year I have begun working as the Youth and Young Adults Pastor at dBay Baptist Church in Deception Bay Queensland. I want to use this blog to enhance my ministry so I'm going to move it from being a personal 'life' blog to a more focused ministry blog.  With that in mind I'm also going to change the title of the blog (and consequently the URL) so if you want to keep following you'll have to update your RSS feeds.  We're currently preaching through the book of Acts at dBay and all my sermons have seemed to focus on the mission that Jesus gave his Church.  He told the disciples "I will build my church" (Matt 16:18), however in Acts 1:8 he gives the church it's mission - " But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

So with that in mind I am going to relaunch this blog as "Working on the Mission"

Thanks for the interaction over the years, I've enjoyed sharing bits of my life with you all and I hope that you'll continue to interact with this new direction I'm heading.


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