I finally got a bit of relief with a quieter week this week.

Monday after work I came home to find our landlord Jason in The Flat. It was good to have a bit of a catch up with him, to talk life, struggles, work and other bits and pieces before we met together as a household to just run through some logistics of how we are to run as a household, like cleaning, furniture, guests and other odds and ends…
After that, I got along to growth group, this week looking at Luke 2-9:17 first off before diving into the meatier section of Luke 9:18-27, following the Matthias Media pathway bible guides Following Jesus book by Gordon Cheng. We see in this section who Jesus is, why He is here, and what He calls people (us Christians) to do.

Tuesday was my birthday. I got a cake, cooked by Cherinne in the office for morning tea, that was nice. I also had Billie & Linda drop in in the afternoon with a box of cookies for me, they were delicious!! In the evening I headed back home to my folks place for birthday dinner; a tasty affair of Balmain Bug, prawns, broccoli and mash potato, all cooked up by my masterchef mother:

Birthday Dinner Plate

Post dinner we had cake as well, complete with a candle, but when it came time to light the candle, my sister grabbed this package that appeared to be candles:

Supposed Matches

But they actually turned out to be something quite different:

Carrot Seedstick instructions

They’re actually carrot seeds, with sticks for planting them… I’m not sure where they came from, or how they got into the cupboard where the matches live, but they were definitely a good and entertaining surprise…

Thursday evening, I was invited around to the Halls for dinner and to help out with some computer problems they were having. It was a nice meal and good to catch up and chat with them.

Friday seemed to have plenty of things to be done; I guess something that goes hand in hand with a slower week… By the end of the working day, I was completely exhausted, though not too spent for touch!! It was a bit of a quieter game again, with the initial play being 3 vs 4, before Chris finally joined us for 4 vs 4. There were some good plays, and you get to see a bit more of the talent come out with the smaller number of players. I’m still learning how to play the strategies. I’m not sure why, but the wet weather seems to deter players from coming along, they assume that we’re not playing, but this is a misconception. The assumption should be that we are playing always, and it is only if there has been constant heavy rain for a number of days that we don’t play.
At SALT we had our first evangelistic talk for the year with Sam Russell speaking from Colossians 1:15-23 on the topic of Where does Jesus fit in my world?. It was a pretty good talk, albeit a bit long, with some repetition which I don’t think needed to be in there. It addressed people’s potential objections to Christianity, which was good.

Yesterday was an enjoyable day. After a lazy morning watching some NBA games of Knicks from the last couple of weeks featuring the rise of Jeremy Lin I headed out to Hornsby for the engagement party of Matt & Sarah. A nice little affair with plenty of delicious food, some good speeches and a very delicious molten chocolate cake!! After that I headed out to Collaroy Beach for the 1st graceat6 social of the year. It was a pretty relaxed social with a bit of sport, a bit of food and a bit of conversation. There were a good number and mix of people there, let me see if I can recall them all: Grace, Hollie, Mel, Lauren, Courtney, Meredith, Monique, Robyn, Emma, Imogen, Claire, Jorge’s Sister, Kelli, Juliette, Sam, Ethan, Billie, Ben, Jorge, Garth, Cath, Jay, Nat, and Nick.

This morning I continued in my 7:45am attendance. Did I mention how I’m enjoying the prayer book service?? There some really nice succinct prayers in there that cover a whole bunch of things, including praying for the Queen… Bruce’s third talk in the Crossway series was on Living by the Cross from Mark 8:27-9:1, but incorporating all the way from 8:14. He spoke of the confusion experienced by the disciples; how they didn’t understand the feeding miracles due to their hardness of heart. Then the 2-attempt healing that Jesus performs is not a failed miracle, but a parallel to the disciples understanding, of what is happening in their hearts & minds. Bruce taught us that near enough is not good enough when it comes to life & death with Jesus, and so we must be a follower of the Crossway; we must repent of our natural tendency to please ourselves, take up our cross and believe the gospel, that of forgiveness of sins, of new life, of hell avoided and heaven gained, and of assurance of heaven, and we need to follow Jesus in serving, in a way that is marked as different from the world, one that doesn’t seek honor, glory or prestige in this world, or stores up treasures here, but one that loves God first, and then others second. It’s also enjoyable talking to the older generations, and seeing their example of their Christian journey.
I was a bit disappointed after coming home from church though. We had planned as a household to sit down and read the bible over a fried breakfast, but the buy in wasn’t there this morning… Hoping that it will be able to happen sometime soon…
I did manage to catch Nic and have our 1-2-1 at Red Heart Cafe. It was good to read and discuss the bible with him again, after such a long break… We recapped the first 5 chapters of Hebrews before reading through chapter 6 and having some lunch together.
Tonight at graceat6 Mike preached through Genesis 37-50 entitled Promises, Deception & Trust. It was a really good sermon, covering plenty of ground, but doing it well. We see that these chapters of the bible teach us that God is sovereign and He keeps His promises, God is with Joseph, Joseph trusts God in the good and the bad, and even to death. It also teaches us about Jesus and how he fulfils both the promises made by God and also fulfils Joseph with a really neat 12 point summary:

  1. Highly Exalted Son
  2. Jealousy/envy , rejected & humiliated
  3. Sold for pieces of silver & handed over to Gentiles
  4. Falsely accused, innocent, but condemned as a criminal
  5. Left for dead, but keeps trusting God
  6. Spirit of God was with him
  7. Exalted even higher than before
  8. 2IC of the most powerful kingdom
  9. Offers forgiveness & salvation
  10. All people bow before him
  11. Those who curse him are cursed
  12. Those who bless him are blessed

So how does this all affect us now?? There’s a 10 point list for that:

  1. Bow down to Jesus.
  2. – God blesses the entire world through Jesus, so we must bow down to receive that blessing.

  3. God is with us.
  4. – Even when God feels distant, He will still be close

  5. Trust in the sovereign God.
  6. Romans 8:28-29 – All things for good, even evil. Keep trusting God, in the hard times and the good times.

  7. Don’t show favouritism.
  8. – it ruins families & churches (James 2:1)

  9. Don’t be jealous or envious.
  10. – Who are you jealous of? It effectively says that God hasn’t done a good job (Proverbs 14:30, James 3:16)

  11. God can use us.
  12. – God uses imperfect people

  13. Dream dreams.
  14. – One of the blessings of the NT – (Acts 2:17/Joel 2:28) – to dream dreams of how the kingdom can grow and expand. How Jesus name is taken out into the world.

  15. Don’t be a deceiver. – we are to speak the truth in love.
    Don’t be deceived. – watch out for false teachers.
    Don’t be self deceived. – Ask God to show us who He is, who we are (1 John 1:8, James 1:26)
  16. Flee Sexual immorality.
  17. – Flee from it, don’t flirt with it. (1 Corinthians 6:18)

  18. Die, trusting in the promises of God.
  19. – we can die in the certain hope that God will fulfil His promises, no matter what.