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DIARY

Saturday night notes….

I found this note on my mobile this morning. It’s obviously some kind of flow of thoughts from Saturday night, yet I don’t remember writing it…

It’s a Saturday night out in Kings Cross and I’m at the Piano Room witnessing a whole heap of broken women settle for broken sinful men.

The women are dressed to the nines with legs to oblivion lustng after anything they can get their hand on.

I would have been fairly under the influence of alcohol whilst writing that note… I do like the fact that with inhibitions lowered, I can think of things in this manner.

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DIARY WORD

Lots’ wife moment

Today at lunch I was wandering up George St towards Martin Place. As I waited to cross the street I noticed, as did ALL the guys walking that way, and in particular the opposite way, a buxom woman trotting in the same direction.

As I hurried past her I had the intention of glancing or looking over my shoulder to see her perceived beauty, but I resisted, no doubt with great assistance from the power of the Holy Spirit, and instead thought of Lots’ wife as Lot and his family hurried away from Sodom & Gomorrah. She turned back and was turned into a pillar of salt.

It is one of my hopes and prayers that I am able to do this more often; to be looking forward to the things of God and not back to the things that are of worth to this world.

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DIARY WORD

EOFY

Today is the last day in the Financial Year. Working in a bank has enough pressures at end of month, so today should be a real corker…. Yesterday afternoon I was plenty stressed out, so today should be even worse…. I cannot wait for the end of the day.

I wish, I hope, I pray that you ALL would have such eagerness for the end of Days when Jesus returns to judge all. Are you standing in the light? Or are you quaking in the darkness?

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WORD

Offensive Original Sin

The article The very useful doctrine of original sin by Ross Allen published in The Briefing [Issue 344 – May 2007] explains how useful and practical the doctrine of original sin is, even though it may seem highly offensive to believe that all humans are basically bad.

When you think about human perception of their nature the general populous believes that humans are basically good, or at least ‘not bad’. Christians believe otherwise; they believe that people are inherently bad, and this is something that is regularly expressed in the Bible. Often referred to as the doctrine of ‘original sin’; one standard expression is found in Article IX of the Anglican Church’s Thirty-nine Articles of Religion:

Original Sin … is the fault and corruption of the Nature of every man, that naturally is ingendered of the offspring of Adam; whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the spirit; and therefore in every person born into this world, it deserveth God’s wrath and damnation. And this infection of nature doth remain, yea in them that are regenerated; whereby the lust of the flesh … is not subject to the Law of God.

So without God and his regenerative gospel, humans do not have any ‘understanding‘ i.e. consciousness of God’s holiness, fear of or reverence for God. Instead, we are self seeking, looking out for ourselves, and this is a basic understanding of sin; It can be seen from the nature of children right through to old men.

Practically Ross suggests the following:

  1. Original sin helps us to see ourselves more clearly, and warns us against pride and complacency
  2. When a person puts their faith in God and thus becomes a Christian they have a new standing before God, a new spiritual identity, new loyalties and new obligations. Their mindset is to please God instead of self seeking. However, whilst in this life, Christians can never be without this infectious sin. It is good to remember this problem, it will help us to confess our complete reliance on God.

  3. Original sin helps up see others more clearly, and relate to them better
  4. This helps us to realise that when others stumble or mistreat us that this is also a problem of infectious sin. We are instructed to respond with love and prayer by Jesus rather than in a way that would be sinful and/or judgemental.

  5. Original sin helps us better understand the world around us
  6. The Australian governmental system is partially based on original sin. Recognising that both those who govern and those who are being governed have sinful tendencies. Recognition of this dismal truth is the starting point for providing a system that has at least some chance of providing fairness and accountability.

  7. Original sin helps us realise the need for spiritual transformation
  8. When a person becomes a Christian the natural order becomes reversed; rather than being someone naturally inclined towards evil, with a capacity to do good, they have a God-given inclination to do good with a lingering capacity to do evil.

I’d mostly agree with what Ross says in his article, however there are a few points of information to be raised. The 4th practical point seems less so; I feel that rather than being someone that is naturally inclined to do good, a Christian is less inclined to do evil, or has the God-given mindset to resist it more often. In my experience, I still think of evil things, many of them are quite horrific even, but the will and ability to act on them is less influential than when I wasn’t a Christian, or was a less mature Christian. Instead I want to be doing things that please God and are in service of others, rather than self-seeking.
The term ‘good‘ for a Christian can be mis-leading…. It’s hard to find a substitute word, but if I had to, holy would be my pick of the bunch.

What do you think of original sin?? Does it influence your life?? How about your attitude towards others??

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WORD

Focal adjustment – Legs

I have to admit I’m a fan of legs. In the city of Sydney there is plenty of opportunity to see ladies wandering around displaying legs of all shapes and sizes, especially on a work day. The most impressive, I find, are definitely toned, usually of the longer variety, and in a pair of high heels. I find it hard not to look at them all year round. In summer, they stride around tanned and bare, and then in the colder months out comes the fancy hosiery, in all it’s various forms and patterns, from seamed to fishnets.

God is not taken aback by them, as written by the Psalmist in Psalm 147:
10 His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
11 but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.

So I should not be as much as I am, despite them being His creation, rather, I should fear the Lord an continue my hope in his steadfast love.

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DIARY

Mis-fortunate rebuke

I’m feeling kind of upset at the moment after a long and tiring KYCK weekend up at Katoomba with SALT.

My role at KYCK was two-fold: part of the site-host team for Katoomba High School and SALT-o-grapher.

Having taken approximately 300 photos. I managed to rush together a slideshow of some for church this evening… As about half of the service watched the show during supper, we reached the end and my desktop wallpaper showed up, then randomly rotated, as it has been set to do, to a picture of Jennifer Love Hewitt to everyone’s surprise and my embarrassment and surprise…

Now this isn’t something I’m proud of… and something that I need to work on. So it was a timely rebuke, and the mis-fortune was that it was a very public one… My feeling of upset-ness is that there wasn’t much of a personal reaction to it from my Christian brothers or sisters…. They were all very much surprised and made comments when it popped up, but I felt so much like a black sheep when almost no one said anything to me after it had happened… Please pray that I will give this up to the Lord and that He will help me to overcome this and other related areas of my life….

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Bible Study – Week 7 (Luke 16 – 18)

This week we changed up the location to Jason’s flat on account of the family von Everett down and out with gastro or some variation thereof.
This week we met Rach and Alfie before gender splitting and reading Luke 16 – 18.
We men discussed the following points, mainly questions, in this section:

  • Does this mean that we should throw child molesters into the sea? When referring to Jesus said to his disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks should come, but woe to the person through whom they come. It would be better for him to have a mill-stone tied round his neck and be thrown into the sea than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. Watch yourselves closely. …”
  • An intense and surprising question to kick us off, I think it caught us all out for a second or two. It was a misinterpretation of the passage taking “little ones” to literally mean children in the sense of kids. This term could mean any number of things but is more likely referring to children of God, young Christians or those Christians being led astray.

  • What is the meaning behind this parable of the manager? (Ch 16)
  • Summary of the parable is the manager does wrong to his master/rich man and is fired, he decides to set himself up by reducing customers’ debts so that they will help him out in the future. Jesus finishes the parable with this: “Now the master commended the unrighteous manager because he had acted cleverly, because the sons of this age are more cunning than the sons of light when it comes to dealing with their own kind. And so I tell you, make friends for yourselves with unrighteous wealth so that when it fails, they will welcome you into eternal dwellings.”
    This is definitely a confusing and hard to interpret part of the bible. We came up with a few different ways that this could have been applied, all of which more or less fit, but nothing solid, the most prominent one being supported by D.A. Carson, telling us that the manager used resources under his control to prepare for his future. Another interesting action was to befriend those that posess this unrighteous wealth, in the hope that when it falls away/fails, they will turn to God and may be the ones welcoming you into heaven… I think it seems to fit in a little better overall, not brilliantly or neatly, but better…

  • “Watch yourselves closely. If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. Even if he sins against you seven times in a single day, and seven times turns back to you and says, ‘I repent’, then you must forgive him.”
  • This was something that we were sorry for not doing, and we were challenged to do so.

  • In the parable of the 10 lepers (Ch 17), when is the one leper ‘rescued’ by his faith?? And what of the other nine?
  • The parable reads: On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus was passing through the border region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered one particular town, they met ten lepers, standing at a distance. The lepers called out, “Jesus, Master, be merciful to us!”
    And when Jesus saw them, he replied, “Go and show yourselves to the priests”. And while they were going, they were made whole.
    When one of them realised tat he had been healed, he came back, honouring and praising God in a loud voice. He fell on his face at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan.
    Jesus responded, “Weren’t there ten who were made clean? Where are the other nine? Did none come back and give honour and praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Stand up, and go on your way. Your faith has rescued you.”

    There is a distinction between rescued and healed, which was the confusion behind the question. There are a few important points to pick up on :

    1. That this leper that returns is a Samaritan, a sworn enemy of the Jews.
    2. That he responds with praise and honour.

  • It is interesting how the Kingdom of God is described throughout these chapters
  • it is announced, difficult to enter and not able to be closely observed as to it’s arrival, but is in the midst of us.

  • A certain leader asked him, “Good teachers, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”. Jesus said to him, “Why do you speak of me as ‘good’? No-one is good except God alone. …”
  • An interesting way for Jesus to subtly explain his oneness with God, He doesn’t doubt his being good, only diverts the focus to God.