The Sunday Summary [11-13]

This week has again had a great amount of biblical thinking and learning, but not without it’s struggle; I’ve not really dedicated much time to my own personal bible reading and prayer, I’ve been distracted and undisciplined.

Monday night I went back to my folks place to check that it was still standing whilst they’re away. After checking the place and collecting my mail from the next door neighbours, I ducked out to the shops before coming back home to cook dinner: a chilli and lime mushroom risotto. It took a good hour or so from start to finish, but the fruits of my labor proved to be a very very tasty and creamy risotto.

Tuesday was a frustrating day. Important things that I said didn’t seem to get noticed and less important things continued to be blown out of proportion. Towards the end of the day, though, I dropped in on Steph and Hamish, aka SHToose and had a good little chat about rewards in the kingdom of God, and faith by works. For dinner Steph cooked us an avocado and chicken pasta with bacon bits; a tasty meal indeed.

On Wednesday night at growth group we continued to look at Colossians, this week at Chapter 3: 1-17 which talks about our resurrection with Christ, how we are hidden with Christ our God. As an outworking of this resurrection, we are to set our minds on things above, rather than earthly things, and to love and serve the body of Christ with the word of Christ dwelling richly within us and doing so in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ with thanksgiving.

Thursday night at Moore as we continued to look at Biblical Theology, this week looking at how to listen, reflect and let the Word renovate our lives and thinking. We applied this pattern of looking at the bible to the first three chapters of Genesis. It was really good to get into some good detail over these important chapters of the bible, especially to hear about God’s created order. I don’t think I’ve really pondered the way it’s reversed and restored in the fall and judgement.

Friday night touch was a pretty interesting one. I scored 2 tries early on in the game, one with a quick dart around a couple of players down the wing early on, and the second grabbing an intercept on our 15m and being able to ‘run’ the full length of the field before it being called a try. About 1/3 of the way through the game, as Kinsella crossed the line for a try with Wolnizer in tow, somehow Simon managed to trip over Kinsella¬†and hit his head on the ground, knocking himself unconscious. He was out for a good few minutes, warranting a call to 000 to hail an ambulance which took him away for a checkup and cat-scan.

Yesterday was pretty quiet again… For most of the day I watched some tv, played around with music files and played some Gears of War with Jase. In the evening, after dropping in to vote, I drove Jase back out to Newtown and then worked on my video for SALT.

This morning Nic and I sat down to read Acts 7 and 8 together. These chapters are really great!! Stephen’s speech is a great summary of milestone Old Testament passages, and then he rebukes the crowd before they stone him, but he commits his life into God’s hands and also asks God not to hold their sinful act of murder against them. Then we read the story of Simon the Magician who hears the gospel, but doesn’t quite grasp it and tries to buy his way into the kingdom of God, and then Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch who exclaims “how can I understand unless someone guides me?”; a great rebuke to those that aren’t actively out there helping people to read and understand God’s word.

Tonight at graceat6, we had a great missional focus on our Go themed week. Steph got up and ran through some tips/encouragements on how we can bring the gospel message to our friends by:

  • speaking openly
  • gathering socially
  • <thinking geographically

before interviewing Sophie Antognelli about her blog: Perjoyence and how she is using that as a tool to help answer questions her friends have about Christianity.
Bruce spoke to us about the Progress of the Word. In the book of Acts we see how the Word of the Lord continues to increase, and there’s a kind of pattern that we can see: a transitional point, where something changes, followed by impressive progress of the Word, where growth is both in numbers and also in depth of faith, and all this is because God enables it to happen, He is the author of it all.
This progress of the Word is also unending, as we see in Acts 28:30-31. Jesus is the hero of the ‘story’, not Paul, but the story is not finished: the gospel has come to Rome; not by the witnesses (apostles) because they are dying, but it is by those that have read the testimonies of Jesus and of the apostles. The Word ought to change us so that we are faithful, not hypocrites. Even when we fail, God is not hampered, because His Word will achieve His purposes….


The Sunday Summary [11-07]

This week as we prepare for the churches Annual General Meeting next week, things have been growing busier and busier.

I took Monday off of work, seeing as most of the ministers as well as MTSers were away for the day at the Priscilla & Aquilla Conference at Moore Theological College. Most of the day was spent watching Superbowl XLV between the Green Bay Packers and the Pitsburgh Steelers with Jase, Matt, Pete, Jimothy, The Fish, Billie and Geoff. It was a good game, with most of the game influenced by the defense. The afternoon was spent with Jase & Geoff around Carlingford Court and Church where I picked up an old bookcase which belonged to Gary, but is no longer needed and brought it home for my room.

Tuesday was back on deck at work, but with Monday’s work added on top, so a fairly busy day. That night was the first of Lairdy and Swanto’s Growth Group at the flat, so whilst that was going on, I was confined inside my room. I spent the time trying to chip away at organising my music collection, sorting out the meta-data for some radio shows that I have.

Wednesday night’s will be my Growth Group night. I’ve joined Tim & Alicia’s group. Our first night we spent in fellowship over a BBQ, followed by some get to know you games and group prayer. It’s a group of some great guys and girls, and I’m looking forward to looking at and wrestling with the bible with them. The group consists of:

  • Amazing Alicia
  • Jovial Joelle
  • Sweet Sophie
  • Musical Monique
  • Terrific Tahlia
  • Perfect Penny
  • Jumping Jono
  • Tall Tim
  • Yodelling Yohan
  • Awesome Alex
  • Authentic Angela
  • Marvellous Mel
  • Elegant Emily

Thursday at work was spent with lots of time looking at a bookmark that I’m in the process of designing. I’m trying to express a few different ideas that the staff have about the churches vision. I hope that it’ll be finished and distributed soon. That night I went home for dinner to my folks place. It was a productive time. I grabbed a whole heap of files from one of my old computers that lives there, had my hair cut by my sister, and grabbed a whole bunch of books that have been stored there as well.

Friday was a bit more of a relaxed day… I went to visit the dentist first up in Epping at No Gaps Dental. My sister works at their head office in the finance department and she recommended it. It wasn’t a bad experience. I got my teeth polished and checked out with relatively little pain or discomfort. The day seemed to roll through pretty quickly, nothing particularly significant happening. Touch was a pretty good game, with a good 14 a-side or so. I played on both wings and didn’t get much of the ball at all, despite some good runs…. SALT was really easy as well because it was picnic, so there wasn’t much tech for me to do. I did get the job of putting together a flyer for the talk next week by James Fong entitled “How can a loving God allow Suffering?“. Post SALT, I was delightfully told by Susannah about a dream that she had involving Penny and I, which was quite hilarious.

Saturday was Good Vibrations Festival!! I made my way out to Geoff & Tiff’s place in Newtown and Tiff kindly drove us out to Centennial Park. We walked into the festival around 2 O’clock to the sounds of Time & Jean on the Good Vibrations Stage before wandering the grounds to see where the stages were and to work out who to see. My main draw to Good Vibes this year was Sasha, with Faithless and Phoenix running equal second. In my lead up to Sasha who was starting at 6:45pm, Geoff and I managed to catch Koolism, Fenech-Soler, Fake Blood, Friendly Fires in the rain (who were pretty enjoyable), The Ting Tings, AjaxRusko, and Bag Raiders who were also good, especially hearing their current single: Sunlight. I managed to make my way over to see Sasha from the front, on the barrier. He played an awesome set, filled with a mix of Progressive House, Breaks and Trance, tough and dark with breakdowns every so often. The crowd appreciated it and Sasha seemed to enjoy it. After Sasha finished, we wandered past the last of Miike Snow into Nas & Damien Marley before venturing back out to the main stage for Faithless. The presence of Maxi Jazz was almost enigmatic, his thin frame standing there bare chested in a suit jacket and pants, a mix of defined muscles and bones showing, and as he began his signature vocal stylings we could tell that the show would be a good one. As with any live show, it can be difficult to pick the songs that are being played, as they’re often tweaked to be played in a live environment, but with more experienced groups that have been around for an extended length of time, that difficulty grows since they can choose from their great repertoire of tracks. What was unmistakeable though was their classic, almost signature track: God is a DJ. As much as it is a great track, I struggle with it’s theology… the lyric of

“This is my Church, this is where I heal my hurts. It’s a natural grace, Of watching young life shape It’s minor keys, solutions and remedies. Enemies becoming friends, when bitterness ends.”

is simply not theologically sound. It gives a theological spin to the everyday clubbing and festival culture, but it misses the key ingredient to making a Church what it really is: the gathering of the body of Christ. The festival finished off with a visit to see Phoenix, who were very much the same as their album, before catching a couple of Faithless tracks and heading back to Geoff & Tiff’s place via Janet’s Pies in Newtown for a late dinner of pie and chips.

This morning, we ate breakfast at a cafe on King St before coming back home in the mid afternoon. I got confined to my room again as Jason & Eliza’s Growth Group met for their first time. Tonight Mike preached from Haggai 2, the talk entitled: Disappointed, Discouraged and Doubting. It was a good talk that encouraged us as Christians how to face times where we are feeling down, which is inevitable in our fallen world. We are to:

  1. Be Strong
  2. Work
  3. Look Up
  4. Look Back
  5. Fear Not
  6. Look Forward