Yet another late entry in the SunSum this week. I’ve been away again, this time down south at Port Hacking for the Mission Minded Network Conference.
This last week has been an amazingly interesting one. It’s been plagued with stressful situations, but maintained by the joy bestowed by Awesome. So this year when we rebuilt our server, it highlighted some problems that we had within our network, one of them being a Windows Vista Home machine which was incompatible with our anti-virus. I took the opportunity during my busy week last week to rebuild this machine, throwing Windows XP on it instead. Now this was by no means a complete rebuild, because I really needed to sort out what programs the user needed, but I wasn’t given the opportunity to sit down with them before problems arose. In all of this I tried to keep the words of Paul in mind, in his 1st letter to Timothy in verses 4:12 which say:
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
and 5:1-2 which says
Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.
On Wednesday night I headed out to Darling Harbour to M9 Laser Skirmish for Kahlara’s birthday celebrations. It was pretty good fun, although I think the map in there was too open. It was really easy for people to camp, or to walk around following you to kill you. Out of all the laser skirmish games I’ve played (M9, Code Red and Zone 3) this would have to be the worst. Post game we headed over to the King St Brewery for a few beverages, and happened across the remnants of The Footy Show with Wendall Sailor about the place.
On Thursday I had a pretty awful day, with an afternoon confrontation involving computer stuff. I decided not to head in to college, but instead spent the evening at the Halls residence having a meal with them and the Abels on their last night in town. It was a good evening of fellowship, and a bit sad to say goodbye.
On Friday there was more computer problems, so I tried as much as I could to stay calm. I got a little bit of an early mark in order to head home to pack for the Mission Minded Network Conference. Around 5:30, I headed off with Alex Trevena driving Lauren Mahaffey, Gary Koo and I down to Port Hacking, stopping in at McDonalds for an evening meal, and to try to avoid at least some of the traffic. When we finally arrived, we went straight into the evening session, where we met some people via interviews, and heard Phillip Jensen give the first talk of the weekend, on The Character of the Man of God. He outlined the man of God as one that takes responsibility as a leader, to lead God’s people, a role that has previously been taken by such faithful men as Moses, Samuel, David, Elijah and Elisha. We do however see what happens in the OT when the man doesn’t step up to lead in Judges 4 & 5 with the example of Deborah.
The man of God needs to give up on infancy and immaturity, but rather to think, speak and act like an adult.
The man of God is of the book, the Bible, in public and private, and he is to teach it ins season and out of season – whether convenient or inconvenient, and this may mean sacrificing things, like pleasurable things.
After the talk, I went to choose my residence for the weekend. Rather than spending the weekend rooming with people from St Paul’s I decided to go and mix it up a bit, an intentional plan for my whole weekend, and ended up in a room with three guys from St Andrew’s Strathfield.
Saturday felt more like the start of the Mission Minded Network Conference. I started the morning reading some Galatians by the water, and then met a few people before breakfast.
The morning talk was given by Adrian Russell on the topic Knowledge of Truth Leads to Godliness, from Titus 1:1 – 2:10. He spoke about self control, about how the world doesn’t value it, yet we as Christians need to, as the bible commands us to. We need to be controlled by wisdom, to be of right mind, of sound mind. Our character, actions and behaviour need to be shaped by our convictions and our knowledge, which shapes our Godliness. Nothing is more valuable than knowledge of the truth, and so a man of the mission minded must be blameless, a one woman man who is sexually moral and takes responsibility for his wife and family; willing to sacrifice himself, even to the point of death. We then got together into small groups and looked at the character of overseers and deacons from 1 Timothy 3 as well as work through some questions that the group had. My leader was Evan, and the other members in our group were Shan, Justin, Hayden, Phil, Rebekah, Chris, and Owen.
In the afternoon after some free-time, we had a Q&A with Phillip before moving into electives, where I stayed to hear Phillip and Tara Thornley speak about Men and Women Serving Together. It was a really valuable elective, helping us to know that all men and women are equal, but not the same. Phillip also put things into perspective with an explanation of the fall and it’s reversal in Genesis 3. They also spoke about communication and complementing each other.
The night talk was given by Mike Paget on The Character of the Evangelist. I felt that it was pretty hard to follow, Mike seemed to jump all over the bible, but the point was strong in the end: The Evangelist is totally confident in the gospel, despite persecution.
By Sunday I was absolutely drained… I was struggling to stay awake in the talk, and in the discussion group, despite them both being in the morning… Adrian spoke from Titus 2:11 – 3:14 on the topic The Grace of God Teaches Us Godliness. There was a heap in the talk, and I felt like it struggled in the middle a bit, I got a tad lost in the middle, and the end didn’t quite land well to drive the points home. The grace of God changes our whole perspective, changing and transforming us. It reveals His plans and His character. His word is one of salvation, regeneration, hope and redemption.
In our discussion group, we had Con Campbell come along and answer questions about Moore Theological College that we had, before we looked into faithfulness.
During free time I got a much needed nap in, after discussion Christian tattoos with Dan and Lauren; specifically Revelation 19:16. At night we heard from Con on The Character of the Pastor from 2 Timothy 2, by far the most exegetical talk of the weekend. Con proposed that this chapter was a job description for the pastor, which I can see, but then there is a bit of an ambiguity as to whether it is just for the pastor, or if it is applicable to all people, which it ultimately is. The example/metaphor of the soldier is amazingly appropriate and great, and Con explained it really well, definitely a talk I’d be keen to hear again, and again, and again.
This morning the sun came out to play, finally!! We started with discussion groups before moving into the final talk with Phillip speaking on The Character of the Man of Prayer. Prayer being one of the three ministry P‘s along with Proclaimation and People. We ran through what prayer is, and isn’t, the command to pray, examples of prayer; both in the old and new testament, the necessity of it and finally the great prayer of Jesus in Mark 14:32-42. We ended the weekend in prayer, followed by a lunchtime bbq in the sun. Following a trip home with Mike and Jase we got into some Horde 2.0 on Gears of War 3.