Friday, 29 June 2012

TeenStreet 2012 Podcast 4 - Duzie are on their way

Friday morning focus

"And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul."
Deuteronomy 10:12

Share your personal Bible readings...

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

People obsessed with Jesus are Risk Takers

Haven't we all prayed the following prayer? Lord, we pray for safety as we travel. We ask no one gets hurt on this trip. Please keep everyone safe until we return, and bring us back safely. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.  The exact wording may vary a bit, but that is the standard prayer we recite before leaving on mission trips, retreats, vacations and business trips.
We are consumed by safety.  Obsessed with it actually.  Now, I'm not saying it is wrong to pray for God's protection, but I am questioning how we've made safety our highest priority.  We've elevated safety to the neglect of whatever God's best is, whatever would bring God the most glory, or whatever would accomplish His purposes in our lives and in the world.
Would you be willing to pray this prayer? God, bring me closer to You during this trip, whatever it takes...
Francis Chan "Crazy Love" 

Wow that's a thought provoking idea.  What's even harder is thinking about someone you love and praying that for them. Keith Green wrote a song called "Pledge My Head to Heaven" and his wife pleaded with him to change the third verse - check it out.

Well, I pledge my head to heaven for the gospel,
And I ask no man on earth to fill my needs.
Like the sparrow up above, I am enveloped in his love,
And I trust him like those little ones, he feeds.

Well I pledge my wife to heaven, for the gospel,
Though our love each passing day just seems to grow.
As I told her when we wed, I'd surely rather be found dead,
Than to love her more than the one who saved my soul.

I'm your child, and I want to be in your family forever.
I'm your child, and I'm going to follow you,
No matter the cost, I'm gonna count all things lost.

Well I pledge my son to heaven for the gospel.
Though hes kicked and beaten, ridiculed and scorn.
I will teach him to rejoice, and lift a thankful praising voice,
And to be like him who bore the nails and crown of thorns.

She was fine with the bit about her, but she couldn't fathom letting her son suffer for the Gospel.  However, Keith Green consumed by the passion he's famous for wouldn't be swayed stating that Jesus' will is the most important thing no matter what.

What a challenge for us to have as an example.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

God's love...

How He Loves (John Mark McMillan)

He is jealous for me loves like a hurricane
I am a tree bending beneath
The weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden I am unaware of
These afflictions eclipsed by glory
I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me

Oh how He loves us so
Oh how He loves us
How He loves us so

(Yeah) He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves

We are His portion and He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If grace is an ocean we're all sinking
So Heaven meets earth
Like an unforeseen kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don't have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way that

He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves

Monday, 25 June 2012

TeenStreet 2012 - Sneek Peek

They're back, and it's gonna be good.

(if you weren't there last year this may not make much sense - but you'll understand by the end of camp I am sure!)

Facebook take two...

I'm learning a bit more about these church pages on Facebook.

You can now find Deception Bay Baptist Church at

That makes it a bit easier.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Just Stop

Sometimes you just need to stop and admire the beauty of God's creation.

I have had a couple of opportunities to do that these past few weeks and thought I would share one.  This is Coolangatta, looking over Rainbow Bay - the southern most coast point of Queensland. The other side of the point is NSW.

  Coolangatta Sunrise 

 It was a beautiful sunrise

Friday, 22 June 2012

dBay Baptist on Facebook

The Deception Bay Baptist Church Facebook page has come up online.  Previously you could see Deception Bay Baptist Church as a location, but now it is linked to an actual Facebook page.  Once the church website is up and running we will link the two and generate more information for both advertising and uplifting our congregation.

Depending on how we end up branding the church online we might change the name of the Facebook page.  But for now it's the best place online to find out what is happening with the church.

If you are a member then go and 'like' the page so you can keep up to date with all that is happening in the church.  If you're just interested in seeing what we get up to then feel free to check it out as well.

Friday morning focus

“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, and repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them. He will not be slack with one who hates him. He will repay him to his face. You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment and the statutes and the rules that I command you today. 
(Deuteronomy 7:6-11 ESV)

The church is now God's holy people. Not because we are better than others, or smarter, or more worthy... but because he loves us. We've been freed from the slavery of sin and now need to live a righteous life worthy of the sacrifice Jesus made.

Anyone else reading stuff from the Old Testament that speaks the Gospel boldly?

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

"Bible on My Phone"

This is funny, yet somehow I can relate to it.  We live in a digital age and we need to get use to people using technology rather than books.

Awe of God is our Motivation

Great article over on The Gospel Coalition about what the pure focus of our lives and ministry should be
"Every human being has been hardwired by God to live in daily awe of him. This means the awe of God was designed to be the deepest, most life-shaping practical daily motivation of every human being. This is the calling of every person. This is the umbrella of protection over every person. This is the reality that defines and gives shape to every other reality."
Basing on Psalm 145, Paul Trip gives you a very succinct interpretation of the motivation for the mission of the Church - and the essence of our very lives.

Go have a look.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Facebook for the Kingdom...

Facebook is an incredible tool for ministry.  It can also be a distraction and even become an addiction which could implode your ministry.

I have come to use Facebook quite intentionally.  I still have the random status update about how good my coffee was this morning, but I do stop and think before anything I post.   As a youth pastor I know that the majority of my youth group and other ministries are all on Facebook, and will most probably see everything that goes up on my 'timeline'. One of the benefits of Facebook is that people can get an insight into my life.  I'm not just the 'pastor' - that figure who is somewhat disconnected in a leadership role.

Yet as I said, even my personal posts have become more 'intentional', giving an insight into a specific part of my life, or beginning a thought process I might be able to delve into later by showing a snippet of what's going on with me.

The key tool I use though is the 'chat' feature.  As a youth pastor I keep that online nearly all the time. It's an instant, easy and accessible means of communication for the youth of today.  They know that if Dean has that little green circle next to his name they can send a message and I will see it and respond - I'm not saying it's an overly meaningful form of communication, or is equivalent to face to face conversations or even phone contact.  But it is immediate and a comfortable form of initial contact - and in that it is invaluable!

The private group feature allows you to build your own online community.  For youth groups it's best to have private and closed groups - taking into account risk assessments and Child Safe stuff.   Photos, events, invitations, ads... can all be seen in one focused centre for the entire group.  You can get quick feedback through comments - and even 'likes' may give you an idea of how well certain events or even sermons were accepted.

Finally I have numerous other websites and tools that link into my Facebook.  This blog posts an automatic link to both my timeline and the dBay Baptist Group timeline.  I've found that though few people comment on this actual blog, it can generate some discussion over on Facebook.

I think as pastors we should be thinking about how we can utalise Facebook better.  It not only connects us to our church, but to the whole world.  Somehow we must use it to forward the Kingdom of God.

Monday, 18 June 2012

TeenStreet Podcast 3

Introducing Darren, and the book of Joshua - which will be the focus of camp this year.

Illustration of Materialism

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
Luke 12:16-21

When you are given much and the people around you have so little it is a sin to keep it to yourself and not help those worse off than you.  This man had plenty, and he'd gained it through righteous means, he wasn't a crook, he wasn't a dodgy business man... his fields had simply produced a bumper crop.  Where this guy goes wrong is that he sees the wealth and think only about how it can assist him.  The communal communities of the period would have meant the people hearing the story would have instantly understood this man was probably the land keeper while an entire village lived on his land, worked on his land, and made their living working for him.  Not for a second does this man think of blessing those who live and work for him - who probably did most of the work collecting his bumper crop.

We are given so much in Australia.  We cannot deny that we are rich (even if we're not driving a Mercedes). And these days we live in a global community.  The majority of our goods are made by people in third world countries who live in poverty.  Yet it seems we exploit them more than we help or bless them.  Our materialism contributes to the continuation of poverty in other countries.

I used this following illustration in a sermon yesterday.  I had one of the young boys sit up on stage with me, and I asked him if he liked M&Ms - you can safely assume the correct answer I am sure.  Now the children had been quite involved in the service that morning so I asked him if he thought he deserved some M&Ms for his contributions (again you are already assuming the correct answer).  So I told him I thought he was a pretty top bloke, and he'd worked hard - so I put this bowl of M&Ms in front of him.


His eyes lit up (his mother's grew wide in the fear I was going to let him eat all of them) and I asked him if it was fair that he got to sit and eat all the M&Ms while everyone else just watched him.  I reminded him that I thought every one in the church worked pretty hard, and I cared for them all as much as I cared for him, and I would like them to get M&Ms as well... but I had given them all to him.  I asked him what his response to that should be - and thankfully he replied that he should give most of them away so others could have some too.  We put them out at morning tea and it was a great reminder that we've been given so much, and that God loves everyone so much and he wants everyone to live well.  So our responsibility is to give away most, so others can have some too.

Jesus calls the rich man in the story a fool.  Are we fools in Australia?

Friday, 15 June 2012

Friday morning focus

We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds.
 “At the set time that I appoint I will judge with equity. When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants, it is I who keep steady its pillars. 
 I say to the boastful, ‘Do not boast,’ and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horn; do not lift up your horn on high, or speak with haughty neck.’”
 For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up, but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another. 
 For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup with foaming wine, well mixed, and he pours out from it, and all the wicked of the earth shall drain it down to the dregs. 
 But I will declare it forever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. All the horns of the wicked I will cut off, but the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up.
 (Psalm 75 ESV)

Have you had a Psalm encourage, challenge or lift you up this week?

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Examining our Expectations

"Remember, disappointing is cured by revamped expectations. I like the story about the fellow who went to the pet store in search of a singing parakeet. Seems he was a bachelor and his house was too quiet. The store owner had just the bird for him, so the man bought it.
The next day the bachelor came home from work to a house full of music. He went to the cage to feed the bird and noticed for the first time that the parakeet had only one leg. He felt cheated that he'd been sold a one-legged bird so he called and complained.
"What do you want," the store owner responded, "a bird who can sing or a bird who can dance?"
(Max Ludo - Let the Journey Begin)
When we feel we've gotten the rough end of the deal from God I can pretty much guarantee that it is us who needs to reevaluate our expectations.  God's plan is good.  And we know that he works for the good of those who love him (Rom 8:28).  So we should think carefully when we feel disappointed with God.  This should also play into the way we look at some of the governing of our church, it's finances, our roles, ministries and work. God may be doing things in our church which we are uncomfortable with.  Before we try and change that back to what we want we should see if it's our expectations that might need a revamp.

Monday, 11 June 2012

TeenStreet Podcast 2

Important info about what to bring, and Interact times.

Hopefully you can find the important information among all the silliness.


Friday, 8 June 2012

Friday morning focus

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else."
Acts 17:24-25

Share something you've read today.

When God gives you a word...

Was praying through the book of Philippians yesterday, and God hit me with this prayer Paul prayed for the church.  It needs to be my prayer for Deception Bay Baptist, and really all my friends and family.

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. 
(Philippians 1:9-11 ESV)

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Noble Characters

As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men. When the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, they went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up. The brothers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea. The men who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible. 
(Acts 17:10-15)

Interesting little story on my way through reading Acts.  Paul, Silas and Timothy have just been in Thessalonica where the Jews got pretty angry at them.  That's why they were sent off to Berea at night.  Yet when they get there they go straight to the synagogue - they're so focused on the mission Jesus is sending them on to preach the Gospel that even though they've just had a negative experience in Thessalonica, it doesn't phase them in trying again, exactly the same way in Berea.

And the Jews here react differently.  They go to the Scriptures to test what Paul is saying.  I think this is one of the only accounts where the Jews take the Gospel and think "if this is the Word of God then it will line up with the Word we already have, if it does we should listen to God." Usually the Jews have looked at their own traditions first and not cared about what God might actually be doing.  I'm thinking that's why Luke refers to them as "of more noble character".

We need to be the same with the church.  Examining the Scriptures every day to see if what the people in our churches and denominations and cities are saying is true.  If it is then we should receive it 'with great eagerness'.  If not we need to then be preaching a truer Gospel.

But also to note - we should be of noble character and not dismissing something that's different because it's not the way we usually do things.  That's what all the other Jews had been doing, that's why the Thessalonian Jews came and caused trouble in Berea.  Let's always examine the Scriptures, even if we think it may change the way we have always done something.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

TeenStreet 2012 - getting close. Pre Camp Podcast

For those heading to TeenStreet in Warwick this year check out the first pre-camp podcast from Dan and Sam, released last weekend.

If you're not heading to camp, check it out anyway for a laugh.

Like the TeenStreet Aus Facebook page to follow along with the rest of the podcasts.

Gospel at Depth

When I think of sin I shouldn't b moved 2 judge others. I must look 2 the kindness of God & b moved 2 repentance (Rom 2:1-11) #gospelatdepth (Joe Khan)
See more tweets about #gospelatdepth

Some good tweets to make you think on this hash tag.  Check it out.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Ok to be Small

"Sitting here, I feel so small - and small feels surprisingly good. So good I begin to wonder why it's so surprising that feeling small feels so good. 
The truth is, feeling small may not be so bad if in recognising our smallness we come to realise the wonder of God - a God who is beyond our ability to fully describe or imagine, yet someone we are privileged to know, love, and embrace. Looking up from our tiny estate we are faced with the supremacy of a God who not only is fully capable of running the entire cosmos today - a task that doesn't tax Him in the slightest - but of sustaining the affairs of our lives as well. 
You would think getting a glimpse of God's true size would have us happily lining up to embrace our little-bitty lives, especially given we are loved so dearly by the One who gives them to us in the first place.  But then again, human history is not exactly the record of man's unquenchable quest for smallness.  More accurately, our history is a stark reminder of our insatiable quest to make our names, our fortunes, our fame and our kingdom as vast and enduring as possible."
Louie Giglio "I Am Not But I Know I Am" (p21-22) 

That's a humbling read, yet it's also a reassuring read.  It's humbling to realise that I'm suppose to act small - that I'm not suppose to be exalting myself in a quest for fame or fortune.

But it is also reassuring that we don't have to be big.  Being small is ok, because we are loved so much by the one who's bigness we will never completely comprehend. 

Friday, 1 June 2012

Friday morning focus...

Part of my Bible reading this morning

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
(1 Corinthians 6:12-13 ESV)

What's something you read?
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