This week has been fairly slow, both at work and at home, which is something to be thankful for, even though I kind of feel guilty because I’m not really doing much..

On Monday we celebrated the 65th birthday of our senior minister Bruce. We, the office staff, had a bit of fun with him involving a wheelchair, and plenty of old man & retirement jokes. We also had an absolutely delicious orange cake with berries & ice cream…
In the evening at growth group, we continued on our confusing exploration of Zechariah, this week in chapters 9 & 10, which are given as oracles. There is plenty of war language in these chapters, but also a fair amount of restoration and shepherding language as well. The greatest struggle the group seemed to have was how/when these chapters are/will be fulfilled. Upon further reflection, and some discussion with some of the ministry staff (one of the great benefits of working in a church), I don’t think there needs to be an exact fulfilment of these chapters. What’s wrong with a partial fulfilment in these ‘last days‘ with an expectation for the ultimate fulfilment in the new Heavens & the new Earth? Could not these oracles have been written/given as an encouragement to those who hear it?

Tuesday evening I went to pick up my parents from the train station upon their return from holidays in Queensland to celebrate their wedding anniversary, before coming back to The Flat to meetup with Geoff. We spent the evening playing Diablo 3 again, but this time our plans to continue the characters we started last week were thwarted by the Americas server maintenance, which was conveniently scheduled for 6pm till 2am AEST. We managed to still play, but on the Asia servers, meaning that we had to start new characters, unfortunately. We went the Dominos Pizza option again, this time managing to make it down there and pick up the pizzas as they came out of the oven, rather than sit on a shelf for 20 odd minutes. It was a much more enjoyable meal being able to eat them hot…

Wednesday saw the release of Spotify on iOS, and so I joined myself up. For those who don’t know, Spotify is a music streaming service, it’s been available in the USA for a while, and has just launched it’s Australian availability in the past week. There are three levels of service: free, unlimited & premium. For those that sign up, there’s a premium trial for 48 hours, which can also be extended to a 30 day trial, once you provide a method for them to charge you, should you not cancel the service before the end of the trial period. The costing of the services is $6.99/month and $11.99/month for the unlimited & premium services respectively. The difference between the three services is the amount of tracks you get access to, the ads, the ability to access tracks on mobile devices, and even the ability to listen to things offline.
I’ve been really enjoying the streaming service, it gives me access to plenty of individual songs, which I’m not normally used to, as I listen to mixes rather than individual tracks. I’ve found it a great source to discover some new music, based on music and artists that I like. I normally don’t listen to the radio, because there’s too much of a mix of things; I don’t like taking the bad with the good; but with this, I can get a ‘radio’ based on a track or an artist, meaning that it’s in the same or similar genre or style, and it’s quite tailored as well.
It seems like this is the way that the music industry is moving; people are less inclined to purchase physical albums these days, and I think the tendency is even less for people to buy digital albums, so this is a great alternative.

On Thursday night I headed back to my folks place for family dinner, before heading back home to play some Diablo 3

On Friday the day went from slow to busy seemingly quickly… In the afternoon Nicky came by to work out seating arrangements for her & Steve’s wedding in three weeks. We put chairs out, moved them around and ran a number of calculations… I think it was successful…
Touch was absolutely freezing, thanks to the wind chill, which was constant throughout the whole game, and then some… Combined with the ball having no grip and being pumped up too hard, every second pass, almost, was dropped. I found it difficult to play well, being on the wing and constantly ‘encouraged‘ to play differently to the way I normally do…
At SALT I was totally bombarded with tech bits and pieces, not giving me enough time and room to work in and stressing me out; I just had to walk away from it all for a few minutes… It all worked in the end, just not to the level that I would have liked it to, nor the level it should have been.

Yesterday I spent the majority of the day just vegeing out and playing some Diablo 3. In the afternoon, I got out to Rebel Sport in Auburn to see Steve about some new boots for touch. They were having a sale, with 70% off football boots, meaning some serious savings!! I spent more than I wanted to, but came away with a nice swag and saved a bunch of money in the process.

This morning in our 1-2-1, Nic and I finished our look at Hebrews with chapter 13. This chapter is an absolute corker of a summary of the entire book, throwing so many actions to take up right in your face. We were challenged to look at those we tend to neglect, or take for granted in our day to day lives. Of note to me especially was the looking out and obeying our leaders, who will give an account for us, and not neglecting to do good and share.
Tonight at graceat6 we heard Mike preach from Acts 2. This chapter talks about Pentecost, and he likened it to the opening ceremony of an Olympic Games; where some things happen which are just normal every day occurrences, but there are other things which are a bit special and only found in that instance. He addressed the ‘supernatural‘ things that happened, like the rushing winds of the Holy Spirit, the tongues of fire and speaking in languages, and he addressed the ‘normal‘ things like believers being filled with the Holy Spirit and preaching the gospel. Mike continued on and spoke about the days of Jesus; the Lord and Messiah, based on verses 22-36, where Peter preaches a great sermon, coming up with this list of things Jesus did, or had done to Him:

  • Man with miracles (v22)
  • Delivered up by God (v23)
  • Killed by lawless men (v23)
  • Raised by God (v24, 32)
  • Exalted to God’s right hand (v33)
  • Received the Holy Spirit from God (v33)
  • Pours out the Holy Spirit (v33)
  • Made Lord and Messiah (v36)

And for those that look to this Jesus for their salvation, this is a list of things we are to devote to in response to the grace that He offers to us:

  • Apostles teaching (v42)
  • Fellowship (v42)
  • Breaking bread, with joy and humility (v42,46)
  • Prayer (v42)
  • Fear (v43)
  • Reverence of and in awe of God

  • Sharing & generosity (v44-45)
  • Meeting together (v46)
  • Praising God (v27)
  • Having favour with all people

The things that God does explicitly within this chapter are

  1. Signs & Wonders
  2. These seem to be generally at the start of Acts and less and less throughout the rest of the bible, and normally around big events, kind of like a signpost.

  3. Adding to those being saved
  4. We have to remember that it is God who saves, He is sovereign and He is the one who adds to His people.

All in all it was a good talk, though a bit quick with the point lists, especially for the note-takers.
The remainder of the service was also enjoyable, and it was good to see Hayley, who had been doing work experience with Kara all week get up the front to present an overseas ministry partner spot, and pray a great prayer as well.