On Monday night I got out to see Geoff and Tiff in Newtown. We watched some Family Guy and Smallville whilst eating “pizza pie” and then chatted and prayed.
On Wednesday night at Growth Group we looked at Colossians 2:16-23 and discussed the body of Christ, and the outworking of that. We split as guys and girls to pray together and the focus of many of our prayer points were Christ, the thing’s He’s done, and to keep on actively learning from His word and bringing things before Him in prayer.
Thursday night instead of college, we had a week off due to Moore College Graduation, but instead of doing college work, I procrastinated and mucked around…. and did a load of washing, about 3 times thanks to our slightly broken washer/dryer which is currently finding it difficult to drain…
Friday evening touch was pretty good this week. We were a bit down on numbers, probably due to the weather, but still we ended up with a good 8 or 9 a side. I managed to score a try, diving into the corner out on the left side, but as I rolled to get up, I copped a knee to the head from my counterpart. I have an egg on the right side of my head which is still quite tender and sore to touch. After lying on the ground for a minute I slowly made my way up and sat out for a while. Towards the end of the game, I also got hit with some studs in my right shin, which actually hit a nerve and numbed the right side of my leg and foot…
Throughout this week at work I’ve been working on a seating diagram for the main auditorium, so that when chairs are moved around for events or group discussions, people will know how to put them back to the proper configuration. This was something that was needed since we got our new chairs back in July last year, but never got around to. The urgency increased this week as SALT was doing cafe SALT where they moved a whole lot of the 250 chairs in the auditorium out and placed tables in there to give it more of a cafe vibe, with a live band – “Green Picket Fence“. In addition to this, they had a whole stack of baked goods, lollies and milkshakes for sale in order to raise money for Christchurch. After SALT had finished, it was time to get the packup efforts under-way. The diagram seemed to work pretty well; as well as it can with many people involved.
After SALT, outside of my working hours, I got asked about stuff for a booking. It’s something I should technically be free to say no to, but this is a grey area that I tend to come across, especially in my job, since I am kind of in an official ministry. Whilst I’m fine with people asking questions, I got pretty upset, though, with people mucking around on the sound desk and computers. Whilst some were legitimately there to ‘learn’ houw to use it, others were just fiddling with little to no knowledge of how things worked, and when they finally did get things going, they were in danger of driving the system too hard and breaking it, plus too loud for people in the area at that time of night. I ended up being the guy that ruins peoples fun by turning things down, and they thought that it meant turn it off…
On Saturday morning after getting up fairly early and scrambling up a couple of eggs, I headed off to Chapter House; part of St Andrew’s Cathedral, for Mission Minded Network‘s conference on The Past, Present & Future of the Evangelical Church with Phillip Jensen and Al Stewart speaking, picking up some guys from church along the way. When we arrived and parked the car, we wandered up to Workshop Expresso to grab a coffee before heading over to start the day, meeting up with some friends and brothers and sisters in Christ.
Phillip’s first talk was on What is the Church?. He spoke about how there is often a confusion about what church is, how, to the non-Christian, it is seen as an archaic and yester-year institution, how it is a religious term, and may be better translated as assembly, as Tyndale did, or gathering or meeting. Even Christians are often confused about church; mainly about why we go, and what we get out of it…. Phillip also addressed creation; it’s individualism and community, salvation; the gathering and scattering nature of it, congregations and denominations.
Al spoke on Evangelicalism and Evangelism: The Church and Church Planting addressing The “Church” and mission: how it’s involved, why many churches have compromised, why we need new churches, some methods/techniques on how to go about planting churches, and finally challenging hearers on if we would be faithful in the church and mission.
Phillip’s final talk on Sydney’s Evangelicalism: Past, Present and Future was pretty rushed, but full of great things. The present times in which we live are times of difficulty, but we must be urgent in our mission, both in season and out of season. Although there are thousands being converted, there is also great seduction and so whilst the kingdom comes with confidence, it is also challenged in conflict by persecution and seduction. The past consisted of a great general history lesson of Sydney evangelicalism, starting with heroes of the 16th century reformation, running through the Tudors, the Stewarts, Cromwell, Bunyan, Whitfield, John Wesley, Charles Wesley, Newton, Wilberforce, Richard Johnston, Samuel Marsden, Cowper, Barker, Mole, TC Hammond, RBS Hammond, Boyce, Paul White, Marcus Loane, Chapman, and Broughton Knox.
Our past also has had obstacles both from within, such as committees, divisions and denominations; eg charismatics, and from outside, such as the sexual revolution, materialism and material wealth, and technology via science.
The future we have confidence in that the gospel continues to see people converted, and persecution will continue to happen and drive us to continue the mission of God.
Part of this Mission Minded Network is also to meet people who are in ministry. I ended up meeting a few MTS guys from St Andrew’s Wahroonga: Steve, Caroline, and Robert.
Last night for dinner, I wandered up to Carlingford Village to Cafe de Hong Kong for one of my favorite $11 meals consisting of 窩蛋牛肉飯 (Minced beef with raw egg rice) and a hot coke with lemon, whilst I got to do some Moore College reading…
This morning on my usual meetup with Nic I finally got to meet the barista of the cafe that we go to. His name is Thomas and he’s a catholic. He knows that we’re Christian, cause we gather together and read the bible there each week, but also invited him along to the evangelistic service that we had last week. Hopefully as we continue to meet there, we’ll be able to speak to him a bit more… Tonight at graceat6 we had Bruce Hall come start his four part series on Acts, starting with a great overview of the book. First up he spoke through the authorship and purpose of both Luke and Acts, how they’re both written by Luke to Theophilus, and gave us something to think about in whom Theophilus was, and whether he was a believing Christian, or if he was someone that was inquiring into Christianity. We then looked at some repeated phrases that generally help us to look for themes, one of which was that the Word of God continued to spread or increase as in Acts 6:7.
We also looked at the Salvation of God: how it comes from the scriptures in Joel and comes through God’s Messiah: Jesus, the Call of God; a call for all people to respond, both Jew and Gentile, to be saved out of impending judgement, and the Renewing work of God; the bringing together of the people of God by His Spirit, ultimately seen in Revelation 7 with every tribe, nation, people and language gathered around the throne of God.
Acts is an encouragement for Christians:
- for wavering Christians, in the face of difficulties
- it’s a defence of God’s saving plan
- it’s a reassurance of the triumph of the word through suffering
examples of Paul and Barnabas we see a suffering Christian and it is through many tribulations that we must enter the Kingdom of God
We are 2000 years from the beginning of the church and the life of Jesus; how are our passions & plans going with respect to those followers/apostles, and with Jesus and His great commission?