Romans 6:18 NIV
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Romans 6:18 NIV
- a shift away from support for the linked overseas missionaries,
- a swing away from parishioner presentation of prayers and Bible readings (to the favour of staff), and,
- a stiff reluctance of the Senior Minister for congregants to have any say in the style of the church service.
The blight of Sydney Anglican reductionism was evident in Mrs Seventy's list. However, Mrs Seventy then let fly with the clincher. That clincher came in the form of Mrs Seventy’s summary of the situation:
I want car salesmen, and by extension of the illustration: clergymen, to be holistic."
Sydney Anglican reductionism is apparently a mantra that is drilled heavily into Moore Theological College student brains. It apparently dates to the time of formation of the College. Is there anyone who will save us from it?
Lest it be thought that I went beyond the immediate role of being a good listener to Mrs Seventy: the meal was superb, the keynote address bold and true to St Paul's letter and conversation with Mrs Seventy turned to the quality of her Christian walk in her new setting. God is good.
Sunday, May 28, 2017
A highlight of the article is that Mathis identifies the role of the oil:
- anointing with oil does not automatically bring healing,
- anointing serves to intensify the plea in prayer,
- we know that anointing is important to God as God anointed his own Son Jesus,
- God does not answer the prayer because of the oil, but instead he answers because of the person's faith and discipleship,
- The oil is a sign of life and a sign that the person is seeking restoration of full health.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
"Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other,“Why stay here until we die? If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’—the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.” 2 Kings 7:3-4 NIV
The story continues in that the lepers do indeed go over to the camp of the Arameans. They find the camp empty. They eat from supplies and then recognise their duty to return to the city to share that which God has provided.
"Then they said to each other, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.” 2 Kings 7:9 NIV
Three points arise on comparing the texts:
[2 Kings 7] The provision of food in the Aramean camp, [Parable] or in ample return on invested money, or through the provision of Christ is all good news.
[2 Kings 7] The leper's windfall find was too much for them alone. While they were broken and separated from the people of the city they identified the need to share. [Parable] A wise Christian will also share his wealth in Christ through using the skills he is given.
[2 Kings 7] The leper's windfall find was by means of grace. There works were minimal in that they need only go forward in faith. [Parable] God entrusts Christian to share the Gospel in response to the grace that God has offered them.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
The Rector commenced the day’s sermon. Minutes after the sermon started, the dishevelled man rose from his seat and proceeded out of the church. The ushers happily opened the internal doors for his exit. I sprung to my feet and followed the man. I begged the man to stop at a point before he departed the building. “Can I help you?; May I assist you”, I said. It was then that I noted that the ushers had followed me - we were a huddle of four.
The man responded in a manner that was incomprehensible. He let out mutters that were impossible to understand. I changed tact thinking it best to pray.
“What is your name?”, I asked.
Further incomprehensible mutters followed. Within the mutters I detected “John”.
“John”, I said, “May I pray for you?”
And then he was clear – not through words, but through body language – yes, I could pray for him. I requested the two ushers and John to bow their heads. I offered a prayer for John’s safety and for his peace. While I had my eyes closed, I had the distinct impression that the two ushers had one loose eye each upon John.
"Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers,
for by so doing some people have shown
hospitality to angels without knowing it."
Hebrews 13:2 NIV
After the prayer John seemed more relaxed. His speech slowed and while it remained incomprehensible, John seemed appreciative that someone cared. He departed in peace.
He said: “Do you think it right that you leave the church during the Rector’s sermon?”.
By the look on the other ushers face the statement was being made by both of them.
Note: Go in peace.
Note: I've been reflecting on this event while preparing a sermon on 2 Kings 7. The connection between this event and the 2 Kings 7 text is that faith requires action.
Friday, May 19, 2017
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Today's word, my children, is cis-gendered. It is best you understand it so that you can safely make your way in the world.
It is a rather young word. It was first coined within your father's lifetime in the year 1991. It is not often heard in 2017. The word will gain momentum.
It means: "a term for people whose gender, body and identity match with the gender that they were born to". People are said to be cis-male or cis-female.
That meaning is a mouthful. Basically, it can be broken down to either:
Or, simply, that they are normal.
Saying that people are normal is grand. It was once fashionable. The New Moralists have unfortunately made it unfashionable. You'll come to learn that by calling some people normal, you are automatically and damningly implying that other people are not normal.
So 'normal' will face a death - as the original meaning of 'gay' has; and 'cis-gender' will flourish. You may even find that comes a day when being cis-gendered is seen as a bad thing. Indeed, it is all part of Satan's plan to over-turn the order of God's wonderful creation.
- "Fred is so simple, he has only ever known what it is to be a boy."
- "Jane has never experienced testosterone-supplementation"
Note: all links good as at 19 May 2017
Note: "testosterone-supplementation" (is an allusion to a programmed testosterone steroid experience in Brave New World; for instance, 'violent passion surrogates').
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
The first factor - go into the city - is possibly listed by the author as a means of firmly setting the context. There certainly would be no doubt to a Jewish reader of the story of the leper’s situation – they simply could not go into the city. The fourth factor – the one I presume was discounted by the lepers is probably fanciful. The siege had been lasting a long time. The Armaens quite possibly held significant control across the whole region. To abandon the city and flee was surely not sensible.
The result has been glorious life-giving freedom. The Spirit revealed two critical pieces of information that had been hid from me. Two different people revealed the information. The information has opened my eyes to how I have been under yoke of oppression for some considerable time – I had been burdened by someone’s false construct. The dawning of the implications of the revealed information was slow at first. Then it struck with a rush all on one day. I walked unburdened into church for the first time in years on Sunday. I was rewarded with the joy of a meaningful and enriching conversation. Christ genuinely does bring freedom when light is shined upon darkness!
There is much to do and much to gain from the Spirit’s revelation. I look forward to life afresh with my cup over flowing.
Note: this post intentionally identifies all three of the Trinity.
Note: it was a song with peculiar lyrics that was a turning point on the January holiday.
Sunday, May 14, 2017
The visitors were from a far flung place. They named their town and their church. For context I'll not reveal any detail beyond identifying it as a place known commonly as the home of the Church of England.
My interest in the use of these phrases was heightened. Why did they specifically use both of these phrases? Weren't all churches in their area led by Christian ministers? Wasn't the Bible taught clearly in all churches in their home town? (Indeed, I had not heard 'born-again' used for sometime).
On querying them I learnt that within the vicinity where the people lived:
- many ministers were seen as being customary or rote teachers. Their faith was often not evident. The ministers were often open about their homosexuality and often lived in homosexual relationships,
- the Bible often was used secondarily to the quotation of theologians or other teachers,
It was a heartfelt conversation. I was glad to offer them encouragement. My own faith and Christian walk was enriched by being reminded that I was at a church that offered solid spiritual food.
We should all thank God for the quality of teaching that is available to us. We should never take it for granted!
Saturday, May 13, 2017
Purpose: to display a story from the Old Testament in illustrating God's gift of his son Jesus Christ.
Focus: to identify that there is no foolishness in losing your all, for sake of Jesus Christ.
|(Image credit: http://multifacetedblog.net/2015/06/19/elizabeth-elliott-1926-2015/)|
2. Introduce the Christian martyr Jim Elliot using the above slide, speak to the quote and how it relates to Jim's missionary experience in Ecuador
3. Before turning to Bible: prayer. That God's Word will be faithfully and truthfully conveyed, and that it will be sweet to the listener's hearts.
4. Articulate the leper's logic (2 Kings 7:3-4):
- the lepers were separated from the city
- faith requires action
5. From 2 Kings 7:5-11:
- identify the leper's discovery
6. Tie in God's providence/leper's bold success/return of health to city
7. Identify how in faith one acts for the Lord Jesus:
- with nothing to lose (do not fear man)
8. Exhort boldness and confidence in Christian walk, conclude in prayer
The sermon is prepared in 15 slides beginning here.
This is a sermon outline for a sermon opportunity offered me timed for October 2017. It is a privilege and a blessing to preach. I am not a natural preacher and have had no formal training yet God has provided a talented and passionate ordained coach for me. I would appreciate any feedback on this outline. The outline precedes a first draft of the sermon.
This sermon is thematic in that last time I preached (January 2017, Mephibosheth from 2 Samuel), OT text was used. In that instance, and this, the OT narrative is fascinating in its own right and the Christological application is very clear.
Initial feedback from readers of this blog will allow me to present a credible first outline to my coach.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
The people bite and devour and Jesus warns them of such behaviour. Israel has received its Saviour and yet is blind.