This week has been an interesting one…
Well this last week of holidays has yet again been a quiet one, though a little more eventful than the previous…
This week I’ve been blessed with a quiet-ish week, which is just what I’ve needed…
So this week has been on the up and up. At the last Sunday Summary I wasn’t feeling the best. This continued on through Monday and Tuesday.
to those that have been praying for me over the last week. I got a couple of messages and comments and am really grateful to you for your prayers in my struggles.
I got to chat to Gary about how things were going, how I wasn’t feeling the best and what was bothering me… It was a helpful conversation to have, something that calmed me down a bit and reassured me.
After work on Monday, I ventured out to Burwood to watch Your Highness with Geoff and Marcus. It was a pretty lewd and crude movie with some fairly odd sense of humor. When I got home, I really struggled to get to sleep. I was really anxious and frustrated with relationships and work and just life in general… It wasn’t until 3:30am that I managed to hit the sack.
I struggled to get up in the morning on Tuesday; waking up and then practically passing out for another almost 2 hours, making me late for work. I arrived to a few problems, mainly IT related that kinda made me wish that 2 hours was longer… Lesley noticed that I was down and asked me how I was doing, that was helpful, especially to know that people do notice these things, and actually do something about it. I guess it can be harder to pick up that a quieter and more reserved person is not feeling good. Mike also noticed and we had a bit of a chat in the afternoon. It was a good chance to unload, and though he didn’t have all the answers, he did pray for me and that was and is a great reassurance.
On Wednesday night at growth group, we continued to look at Matthew, this time from 6:19 to the end of 7, which, in God’s perfect timing, speaks about not being anxious… It was both great, but also a little hard to hear…
Thursday night at college with Nicky, I was a little tired and distracted, though we talked about God on the cross as; the wrath of God revealed, and as the forgiveness to the nations.
Friday was a quiet work day, which was good because it meant that I could get things done for the graceat6 weekend away; final prep of videos to be played, song powerpoints to be shown etc etc. I left work around 3:30pm to pack my stuff, some tech equipment and make some room in Jason’s car, before heading around to the Conway Residence to pick up Sam and Joel and take in a quick coffee, before heading off to Camp Kedron via McDonalds at St Ives.
The weekend away was enjoyable. We sat under God’s word, expounded by Andrew Graham from Psalm 119. It was an encouraging word, but a real and true one. As well as hearing from Andrew, I also got out for a 5.7km run on Saturday morning with Mike and Josh Ralph, plenty of soccer, some great times of fellowship over good food and I also got to lead a discussion group of great guys and girls known as Sin & Shin, with whom I was able to discuss things both serious and trivial in nature. I do pray that those who I was able to lead will take away and commit to the things that were discussed from Psalm 119. I plan to go through my talk notes and get something up here soon. I did manage to bruise my right leg and ankle, which had swollen up quite badly from defending a couple big shots on goal in soccer, but that seems to be going down now, still a bit painful though.
This evening at graceat6 James Davidson spoke from Luke 10:37-42 which is the story of Mary and Martha. His big idea being the core values of a disciple. At times we can get so distracted with doing things, Christian things in order to serve people, that we neglect to sit at God’s feet and listen to Him, learning how to serve Him and other people. We are also not to go over the top in our serving. James also mentioned that Jesus gave high status to women, and we also ought to do so. He also spoke about rebuking, and how Jesus gave an example of how to give a gentle rebuke.
This is something I really need to take note of; I’m often serving, and at times, I think that I neglect to sit at God’s feet to listen to His word…
After graceat6, I got to chat to a few people; we had Jon Singh-Key come to visit, one of the guys I met at The Gate @ Pablo’s, Mandy Oram and some peeps that weren’t at the weekend away. We organised for some dinner back at the flat, thanks to Nicky Sutton and Steve Gangemi, but since Lairdy wasn’t feeling too crash hot, we ended up moving the party back to church and using the resources of the kitchen to have a spag bol and a cake for dinner, by candlelight to the tune of the TRON Legacy soundtrack and watched Monty Python’s Holy Grail. A fun way to end a great weekend, and definitely something I wouldn’t have envisioned at the same time last week. How great is our God in the ways that He provides for us, carrying & sustaining us through all seasons of life.
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?
This week has been a steady slow climb back to full health….
First thing Monday morning I trundled off to see the doctor. She told me that I had some kind of gastric bug, but that it should go away naturally. The main remedy was rest, to avoid dairy, starchy and/or greasy foods, and if I was to eat/drink, to consume slightly burnt toast, and electrolytic rich drinks, like Gatorade. I dropped by work to deliver the mail and let them know that I was taking the day off sick. The remainder of the day was spent trying to sleep, rather than throw up and go to the toilet.
By Tuesday I was feeling a bit better, about 80%. I thought it was enough for me to go to work, but take it slowly. I went about my work slowly and steadily, but knocked off fairly early to get home for some rest and recovery. Wednesday I’d regained health to be about 87%, so I made it to Growth Group that night. We looked at Colossians 1:15-29, the first half of which contains what’s commonly referred to as The Christ Hymn. These 5 or so verses are an amazing and succinct summary of Christ and His Christology, linking him with God the Father and with all things.
Thursday night lectures were pretty interesting; we looked at Epochs, which are periods of time distinguished by certain events. Peter Bolt pointed out several biblical epoch structures and then gave us examples of how to look for and find out epochs that are mentioned or referred to in the bible, like with the genealogy of Jesus in the beginning of Matthew. Our peer group met to look over a Biblical Theology of Mission, including an assignment in which we’ll be looking at how that works out in the books of Luke and Acts. I’ve been a bit slack in my Moore College workload, and so I’ll really need to pick up the slack sooner than later.
Friday was an enjoyable day. Work wasn’t particularly busy, and I got to have a good chat with Rose in the morning. By the afternoon I was able to reorganise a bunch of things on my desk to help my workflow and administration out. At touch I managed to get kneed in the left calf as I was falling over, which hurt alot and meant that my left leg doesn’t work properly, or is corked… It still didn’t stop me from scoring a fantastic try: we were attacking, 5th touch. Mike had the ball in the middle, and gave me a quick glance on the wing. I nodded and prepared for a run. The kick went up and I gave chase…. I managed to get down field and watched as the ball sailed over one of their defenders to land in my arms before diving to put the ball on the pitch before getting touched. It was as if the try was a well rehearsed play.
Saturday was a busy busy social day. In the morning was Mim Binskin’s 21st at church. There were over 100 people attending and it was great to be able to celebrate with so many Christians, although the clicks were very defined. There was plenty of food floating around, hat tip to the chef’s especially for the chocolate cake, and the little cupcakes.
After a quick change at home, it was off to Roseville for Steph and Hamish’s Engagement Party, aka SHToose. The Swanton Residence is an amazingly beautiful house, with plenty of areas to mingle; a great party house, and there were so so many great party people around to meet and catch up with. I in my introverted self found some awesomely awkward situations flowing between groups of people; trying to speak to some and getting hijacked or interrupted by other socialites. I did get the opportunity to see Adri and Scarlett Guthrie whom I hadn’t met since Simon became a father, so that was pretty darned exciting. She is one cute little girl, with a great smile. As we were standing there, she managed to grab a hold of a few of my fingers and play around with them… I also got to chat a few times with Wendy; Steph’s mum, having spoken to her a couple times for work related bits and pieces, but it was good to catch her outside of that. The best introvert overcoming conversation I had though, was with a girl by the name of Alana. I boldly fronted up to her as she sat by herself and introduced myself, sitting down beside her and awkwardly asking her questions, before getting answers and numerous long pauses… I almost felt like she didn’t want to be involved.. whether that is true or not, I don’t know, but I felt like we eventually got to a reasonable pace of conversation before she had to head off for some kind of gig…
After the SHToose‘s engagement party, I trundled off to my folks place before heading over to my sisters place for family dinner. It was good to catch up and see them all, and to have a home cooked meal.
This morning I caught up with Nic Trevena over coffee and Acts 2. We talked about how some speakers on the passage concentrate more on the speaking in tongues rather than the great gospel that is contained within, about Jesus not being able to be contained by death, how he loosed the pangs of death, and how the believers are to escape the crooked generation and join together with the saints, sharing in all things, grateful for what they each and all have together as a community.
Tonight at graceat6 Mike spoke from Zephaniah 2:4-3:30. The passage speaks about the sovereignty of God, about His judgement to come on this world, this deaf deaf world. And how He saves us, and that is the only way; by coming to Jesus. We come to Jesus: calling upon Him as Lord, serving Him with humility, speaking the truth, accepting the rest that we do find in Jesus and being joyful and excited by the great fact that we are saved!!!
Monday morning felt really productive. I seemed to get plenty of things done, which was really good. Something that has been a bit lacking since Emma went to college. After work, I went out to Geoff’s place before we wandered down to Moore College for a bbq dinner. It felt like a really surreal place, seeing so many people that I knew who were happy/surprised to see me, but were caught up in their friendships with fulltime college students. We then went back to watch 3 confusing episodes of Smallville.
Tuesday night I cooked dinner for Steph, Hamish and Lairdy. On the menu was Honey Soy Chicken with rice and Buk Choi, which turned out alright, except that the Buk Choi was very bitter. During Steph & Lairdy’s Growth Group when I was confined to my room I setup my new iPod Nano to go with my LunaTik Multi-Touch Watch Band. I picked up a 16GB (product) red special edition iPod Nano, engraved with Made in CHONGLAND on the back to go with the watch band which I have Limited Edition 155 of 500. Thus far it’s been really enjoyable to use, being able to have tunes sitting on my arm, listening to them and being able to rate them with ease.
On Wednesday night for Growth Group, we joined up with the other Wednesday night group at church to hear from Martin Field, one of our overseas ministry partners working in Argentina with university students. It was interesting to hear how things are going in Argentina, how those that believe that they are Christian don’t value Jesus enough, because they see Him as either a baby, or dying on a cross, so instead they go through myriads of saints to get to God.
Thursday Night was the first night of college for me. This semester I am doing Biblical Theology with Peter Bolt lecturing. I went in with Nicky Sutton, who is also studying BT as well as Turns and Guthers. It should be a good semester, although with so many smart classmates, I’ll need to ensure that I stay on top of my studies.
Saturday was a very very quiet day. I spent most of it watching som television and sorting out iTunes meta-data for free singles I’ve downloaded from RCRD LBL and Triple J. In the evening I went to pick up Nicky Sutton and Billy to head into The Local Taphouse in Darlinghurst for Susannah Cole’s birthday. It took us ages to find a parking spot, but once we did, we joined the many other friends of Susannah’s over beverages and food. Just before leaving around 10:30pm, my body gave in to an illness which sent me to the gents to vomit, not a pleasant thing at any place, but probably worse when you’re in a public venue… The drive home wasn’t too bad, although I felt some amount of discomfort throughout the journey. We did stop off on the side of the road in West Pennant Hills to see some odd little parachutes floating around in the air, being propelled by candles, kind of like miniature hot air balloons….
Sunday morning, after a very restless night of vomiting and diarrhoea, I managed to get myself together enough to go and meetup with Nick Trevena for coffee and some bible at the Carmen Drive shops. We looked at Acts 1: what it means to be witnesses of Jesus, and prayed together. At graceat6, Mike preached on Zephaniah 1:1 – 2:3, a very very bleak picture of the judgement to come, but with a silver lining in that Jesus hides us from that judgement, a greatly reassuring message.
Apologies that this post is late, but given the circumstances, I hope that you’ll understand….
Well this week has been an extremely exhausting one with January Ministry Conference (JMC) filling up my days. Basically I have been leaving the house around 8/8:30 each morning to make sure everything was fine for the day and that the sound and powerpoint stuff was ready to go for the morning talks, along with my normal duties of collecting mail and answering queries. A typical JMC Day would be talks in the morning by Craig Schafer on Psalms, followed by morning tea before Strand Groups. Lunch would follow before Electives, which then fed into free time. After free time was dinner and then night talks by Paul Grimmond on 1 Timothy. I plan to give a semi-in-depth run-through of the talks in a couple of posts.
I ran my first ever elective on the Wednesday afternoon of JMC, in my specialised field of Tech Training. I had 3 participants who all managed to get the hang of most things. One of which is on board for tech team this year, with the other 2 potentially coming on board later on.
On Thursday night after JMC, I went to play indoor soccer in The Derby: the match between Jesus Lives and Destiny FC. I played particularly cautiously due to my shoulder still not feeling 100%, but came away seemingly unscathed, only suffering an unnecessary kick to my ankle in the post-game. There was a fairly close call at one end of the field, when I was double teamed and barrelled into the net. I bounced off the net, but felt the chairs that sit alongside the court… It was an alright game, despite us losing to Destiny FC 8-2.
Friday afternoon touch was a bit less popular this week than the last few weeks. We had about 8 a side with many of the regulars not there. Highlights of the game were:
- Bruce scoring a try by stepping JJ and outrunning him.
- Scoring a hat-trick with some fancy stepping
The last couple of days have been pretty quiet as I tried to recover from the exhaustion of JMC plus sports… My day today has been tainted with the fact that someone stole my laptop and ipod touch out of my room by removing the fly-screen and reaching through the window of my room whilst I was out of the house for about 45 minutes, and whilst Jason was still in the house….
Tonight Jason spoke on Flee the Love of Money from 1 Timothy 6:3-19. Jason drew some great observations from the passage that apply to money, particularly our attitude towards it, in this day and age being:
- Spending of money to be content
- Using money as a measure of worth
- Finding security in money
- Finding our joy in money
He reminded us to flee from these things and to find our contentment in Christ, pursuing good Godly things instead like righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness, as it says in the passage. There were plenty of examples given by Jase of ways in which he has fallen victim to each of the points he made, which helped listeners to connect and relate. It was another great and timely reminder to think about where our priorities lie.
Post graceat6 we went back to The Everett’s for pizza again, this time around there were plenty more pizzas, and less people, but still an enjoyable time sitting around and chatting.
My bible reading has really suffered over this week, which is not good, despite still being in the bible for JMC stuff. Pray that I would continue to find my joy in Jesus and God’s word, that I would make my reading and prayer a priority, meditating day and night.
This week has been a bit busier in my down-time… and a still fairly quiet in the office, with the majority of ministers being at CMS Summer School. I’ve had the opportunity to work on redesigning the graceat6 website, which is planned to (re)launch on the 30th of January.
After getting the guys back in the house, we got on to playing Xbox on Monday night, with COD Black Ops: Zombies which was pretty fun… Though I’ve been finding that living here is not quite what I expected. My previous shared house experience with my uni mates John and Ed was mostly enjoyable. We bought groceries together and shared food, cooking and cleaning together. So far here, it feels like I’m renting a room… We all spend time in our own rooms, or out, there is little communication, and I feel a bit strange coming in as the third person to a couple of people that have lived together for a little while already. I’m sure that it will just take a bit of time to sort out, or adapt, but for the moment, life is really developing my graciousness and patience..
On Thursday night I dropped back home for some dinner with my folks before heading off to play indoor soccer with Jesus Lives. We played a good game of soccer and beat them, though I’m not sure what the final scoreline was, but I came away with a hurt shoulder. I was running up the right side of the field after the ball, and was tripped/tackled fairly abruptly. I wasn’t expecting it and wasn’t able to get my hands onto the ground to soften the blow, so I landed on my right shoulder, grazing a 2.5cm by 1cm patch and bruising a bigger patch around it. I didn’t really notice the damage that was there until after the match had finished, and then the severity of it hit again when I was driving home and wasn’t able to move my arm properly without experiencing pain. My folks suggested that I get to see the doctor as soon as I could. Sleeping proved fairly difficult as well, since I could only sleep in a couple of positions…
Friday morning I was off to see my Dr down in West Ryde at the medical centre. I arrived just short of 8am, which is when they open, to secure a spot in the line to see her when she arrived at 9… As I waited, I got to delve into some more bible reading, on a bit of a catch-up session. I didn’t get in to see the Dr. until about 9:45am… She examined my injury and told me to get it x-rayed, along with my chest, since I told her that I had been having a fairly sore throat for a few weeks. So I went upstairs to get my x-rays done, and dropped back down to see her, where she told me that there was no break, which was good, but that the muscle was bruised and that it would take a week or 2 for recovery, and also that I had chronic laryngitis…
The rest of Friday at work was pretty enjoyable; doing up bits and pieces for JMC (January Ministry Conference) which is happening from tomorrow until Friday at St Paul’s Carlingford with Craig Schafer speaking on Psalms in the mornings and Paul Grimmond speaking on 1 Timothy in the evenings from 7:30pm. I also spent some time in the afternoon making a wedding card for James and Charlotte’s wedding.
After work was touch footy. We had a fair amount of guys turn up again this week. I struggled to play a bit with my shoulder meaning that I couldn’t catch the ball or pass it particularly well, though I managed to get a couple of good attempts, including an intercept which led me 2/3 the way down the field, only to be tagged by Jace. At night I ended up at the folks for dinner again, this time with my sister and brother in law, plus a family friend. My sister also tidied up my hair with the clippers, taking out some length around the sides of my head.
Saturday was the union of James and Charlotte at Trinity Grammar School Chapel. Despite it being overcast, the weather was still quite muggy, especially uncomfortable in a suit.. James and his groomsmen: Hamish, Gareth and Geoff all looked quite handsome in their dark, subtley pinstriped suits, white shirts and green ties. The bridesmaids: Emily, Sophie and Peneloope looked equally as beautiful in their green dresses, but Charlotte was the standout, as she should be; a radiant bride in her lovely white dress, complete with a massive smile on her face. The reception was held at Angelos on the Bay in Cabarita and was an enjoyable time with family and friends of the lovely couple, with the traditional speeches from the fathers of the bride and groom, the best man, and the groom. The meal was tasty; I had salt & pepper calamari, beef medallion on a bed of mashed potato with vegetables, and an icecream pyramid. It was also good to see Sootie & Will; the photographers, who were the same ones who took photos for my sister’s wedding last year.
Here’s one of my favourite shots from my camera on the day. I plan on working on the rest with adjustments and what not soonish. They’ll go up on my Flickr eventually, most probably after I’ve given a copy to James and Charlotte.
Today has been a pretty lazy day: playing computer games, watching some NFL with Jase and Lairdy and a nap in the afternoon before graceat6. graceat6 felt pretty disastrous: the church server had no power when I got in there, so that meant no network and no internet, I didn’t get the song details till late this afternoon, and of the four songs that I got, we didn’t sing one of them, which was the first one up. These things aren’t a huge importance, but it’s helpful to have them done right and with sufficient preparation. I wonder how things will be this year if I pull back from doing tech….
My bible reading plans have fallen through this weekend… I’ve not done as I said I would do… I guess it’s a good thing that the plan I’m on has a few days le-way, but it’s something that I shouldn’t take advantage of… This week won’t help much with it either with JMC.
Last night I was a busy butterfly floating around a number of places and peoples.
After arriving home from what seemed to be the longest day at work, (Christmas period days will be much worse) I dropped around to see newlyweds Geoff and Tiff at their pad. It’s a very spacious place with a pristine 70s feel to it. I got to catch up with Geoff in the old person smelling granny flat before shooting off to dinner and Bible study at The Flat.
We had the pleasure of hearing from overseas partner Stephen Shead who has been living and teaching in Chile for the last 3 years with his family. We heard about how they live and work over there, how their children find it with school, about CEP (Centre for Pastoral Studies) and their church and bible study groups. Stephen led us through a few passages:
Colossians 3:12 – 17
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
And Colossians 4:2-4
2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. 5Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Here we looked at reasons why we have Bible study, kind of the fruits that would come out of it, and how we are to conduct ourselves during and as a response to it.
We then looked at Psalm 1
1Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
This Psalm talks of the wicked man and the righteous man, but we can also think of them as the foolish man and the wise man respectively.
From the 3 passages we see that bible study is both head knowledge and heart knowledge aka feelings, but it is also actions. This was something that was a bit lacking in Chile where the bible studies are called bible courses and it’s very much about getting the right answer as opposed to exploring the text, sharing lives with one another through experiences and struggles, and praying with and for each other. Whilst Stephen said that we were lucky to have such an opportunity here, I did get a feeling that we could still be doing more; whilst we do these things, we tend to still hold back a bit in our sharing, almost in a sense of lacking passion and love for one another.
Finally after Bible study I went to Physical Training for some push-ups and core/ab work. It was a little disappointing that the only people there were Geoff and I, but we still did what we were there to do: get fit and pray.