Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The inherent attraction of living like a Christian

I had a dream the other night.  In this dream I was on holiday with a whole heap of people I have known over the years, right back to high school.  These friends are all non-Christian people, and we were staying in a high rise apartment together, the way the dream worked was that the negative sides of people's attitudes were hyper intensified.  One friend I remembered being a little grumpy, was a complete anger-infused depressant, one who was a bit of a womaniser was an absolute jerk, one whom I remember had a temper and was a bit of a bully had become a completely violent psychopath in my dream. I was just normal me - no super powers or extra suave or anything exciting really.

In the dream there was lots of interaction with hotel staff, and what the dream showed me in an incredibly vivid way was the general response to a life that is committed to serving Jesus and upholding his moral standard.  I didn't preach in the dream (in many dreams I do...), but the hotel staff naturally gravitated their time and energy to me.  I befriended many of them (while enjoying my holiday with my friends and staying completely engaged with them as well), and I woke from the dream feeling a real sense of understanding the simple witness we have as living lives worthy of the Gospel.

I don't weigh too heavy on the 'meanings' of my dreams (last night I dreamt about an end of the world disaster and we were just trying to stay alive for another hour), but this 'holiday' dream left me feeling very secure in the grace of Jesus, and reminded me of the simple truth of living well.

How have you gone today on following Jesus in your actions.  Everyday life should still be seen as service to Christ, because when you do you'll find people are inherently attracted to your way of life.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Crazy Love - Chapter Four

Here's the chapter 4 video.  We'll be looking at both chapters three and four at Connection Group tomorrow night.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Preaching from a tablet.

I used my new Galaxy Tab2 to preach from this morning for the first time.  I've wanted a 7" Tab2 for a while, mainly for this purpose, so I was glad to finally have the opportunity to give it a go.

I found it a much easier way to handle my sermon notes.  I decided to not even use the pulpit, but just rest the Tab on my Bible.  Reading the notes was easier, and I could enlarge the print quite a bit more (8 pages of notes is nothing on the Tab but would have been a handful if printed out) so finding my place again after looking up to engage the congregation was much easier.

I had been contemplating the different issues of transitioning to a tablet while preaching, but all in all I think it was a really positive experience.  Do any other pastors have any insights into using tablets to preach?

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Next week...

Well since last night's Connection Group didn't happen (only one person turned up), we'll leave the chapter 4 video until next week.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Crazy Love - Chapter Three

This week at Connection Group we're going to be looking at both chapters 3 and 4 of Crazy love.  But I think I'll leave the chapter 4 video until Wednesday to provide some further reflection on a rough topic.

Before group tomorrow night, I hope you've read both chapters, but watch this video on chapter 3 so the image of God's desire for intimacy is fresh in your minds.

Holidays - actually having a break.

Well I'm back from just over 2 weeks off work, and have enjoyed stopping for a period of time.  This is my first break since beginning as Youth Pastor at Deception Bay Baptist in February and the thing I noticed most was how much my mind needed a break.

People think Pastors just sit in their office, write sermons, drink coffee, counsel people and plan events.  But there is so much more than that. I realised over my holidays that while I am working I am constantly thinking about 'church things'.  I mean all the time, every part of the day and night, even on my days off.  My mind constantly works through conversations I've had, or need to have, devotions that will be done, sermon ideas, or just random things and how they could be used as illustrations for devotions or sermons.

On my first day of holidays I realised I had nothing to do for the next two weeks, and my mind relaxed - I didn't start considering things coming up in a few weeks time, I didn't see some amazing thing of nature and immediately start thinking how I could use that to share the Gospel with someone.  My mind had a break, and I was able to see these things and think about their affect on me personally.

I now have a much greater appreciation of how my mind has been working as I work as a pastor.  I will be more conscious to give myself a break, but if you are not a pastor, then spare a thought for your pastor and understand the stress the calling puts on every aspect of their life - even recognition of this helps I think.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

I am not forgotten

For those who didn't make it to Clontarf Baptist last Friday this is what you missed.

My heart aches for these kids - I have such a passion for the work Watoto do. To think each of these children have lost one or both parents to AIDS or war, yet still sing to Jesus that they "are not forgotten" is incredible.

Jesus saves, and these kids remind me more of that than almost any other thing.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

How Great is Our God - World Edition

For those who missed it on Sunday night here's the video we started the service with.

It was an amazing experience to watch this live earlier in the year.  Realising how many people were worshiping God world wide at the same time, via the amazing technology of live streaming, gave the feeling of the entire Church worshiping its God at the same time.  The phrase "How Great is our God" trended world wide on Twitter during this session of the Passion Conference 2012.  It was incredible, unifying and glorifying to God.  I still get shivers on my spine when I watch this video.
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