Sunday, October 29, 2006

Government to fund school chaplains

This is huge. We need to be praying about it and thinking what we can do...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

wives and husbands - 1 Peter 3

I listened to this bible talk yesterday 1 Peter 3. It's on wives and husbands and headship etc etc. Worth a listen I think - sensitive, intelligent and doesn't suggest 1950's family norms are what we ought to be aspiring to...

Blogger cannot open this link...

Possible causes:

* Baptist explanation: There must be sin in your life. Everyone else opened it fine.

* Presbyterian explanation: It's not God's will for you to open this link.

* Word of Faith explanation: You lack the faith to open this link. Your negative words have prevented you from realizing this link's fulfillment.

* Charismatic explanation: Thou art loosed! Be commanded to OPEN!

* Unitarian explanation: All links are equal, so if this link doesn't work for you, feel free to experiment with other links that might bring you joy and fulfillment.

* Buddhist explanation: .........................

* Episcopalian explanation: Are you saying you have something against homosexuals?

* Christian Science explanation: There really is no link.

* Atheist explanation: The only reason you think this link exists is because you needed to invent it.

* Church counselor's explanation: And what did you feel when the link would not open?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Week 4 Prayer Calendar

Here we are at last with the final week of prayer points from the federal Church and Nation Committee. As JoBloggs quite rightly pointed out on last week's points, this list is by no means comprehensive. There are a lot more social and ethical issues than what can be compressed into a week's worth of prayer points. So here are the seven that the committee has picked - start with these and work through to whatever other issues you think need prayer.

Issues of Social Interaction

Oct 22nd - Pray that we, as Christians, would avoid absorbing the worldly, self-absorbed spirit/philosophy of materialism (aka "affluenza") and instead have a concern to minister to people - no matter what their age, gender, but especially to those marginalised by society (Ex 20:17, Mk 4:7-8, Mic 6:8)

Oct 23rd - Pray that all those involved in wholesome work, paid or unpaid, would be encouraged as they remember that its dignity was given by God (Gen 2:15, Ecc 9:1-7) but its frustrations are a result of sin (Gen 3:17-19, 1 Pet 2:18-20).

Oct 24th - Pray that relationships between employers and employees everywhere would be characterized by mutial respect, exemplary work-standards and cooperation (Col 3:22-4:1). Pray that those genuinely searching for work would be rewarded and grow in their faith (2 Thess 3:6-10).

Oct 25th - Pray for urban-area believers as they confront issues such as homelessness, crime, poverty, the drug culture and loneliness. Pray that they will long for the "city" to come, but seek justice and mercy in the "city" below (Gal 4:31, Heb 11:10-14, Rev 21,22).

Oct 26th - Pray for rural-area believers as they face the on-going effects of drought, limited infrastructure development and support services and feelings of isolation. Pray that they would continue to trust the Lord (Hab 3:17-19) and that all in rural areas would learn to look to Him and not take His blessings for granted (Ps 145).

Oct 27th - Pray for submission to Christ and discernment on priorities; so as to model a Christian lifestyle in the home, a brotherly spirit in the church and to enable Christians to build a good testimony in the community (1 Tim 3:1-7, Jn 13:34-35, Col 4:5-6).

Oct 28th - Pray for the continued reformation of our denomination and a God-glorifying experience of real revival in Christ's church (Ps 85).

Monday, October 16, 2006

New Tune For Our National Anthem

You must, you must watch this.

Very funny.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Week 3 Prayer Calendar

Past the half way mark in the Church and Nation Committee's prayer calendar, week 3 turns to ethical issues.

Oct 15th - Pray that the Hippocratic Oath in medicine (first of all, do no harm) would continue to be accepted as the standard amongst health professionals. Pray that the current law banning euthanasia as a crime of murder would continue in force (Deut 30:20, Ex 20:13)

16th - Pray about the destructive impact of certain aspects of mass-media communication on our culture. Pray for families and government in balancing the need for censorship with the entitlement to freedom. Pray for discernment amongst Christians as the access the pervasive new media and internet throughout society. Pray for the church in ministering to those addicted and exploited as a result. (Eph 5:3, Ps 119:37)

17th - Pray for continued success in applying the positive results of adult stem-cell research. Pray that the 'farming' of 'manufactured' human embryos for experimental purposes would end and that human cloning research would continue to be resisted (Ps 139:13-18, also www.makeastand.org.au as I posted a few weeks ago).

18th - Pray that the number of abortions performed in Australia would fall as alternative options are offered in counselling, and as those faced with making such decisons receiver better education and more personal/practical support. Pray that the church would be active in providing this support (Ps 127:1-5).

19th - Pray that the distinctive place of marriage as "the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life" and the two-parent family, with its Chrstian distinctives, would be respected and promoted as the desired norm in our society (Gen 2:24, Deuth 6:4-9, Eph 6:1-4, Col 3:18-21).

20th - Pray for Christian families, including your own, in this time of unprecedented strain on the family unit - both from fractured relationships and the demands of work. Pray for stable Christ-honouring marriages and family roles within the church, so that we may be a witness to the world (Eph 5:21-33, 1 Tim 3:4-5).

21st - Pray that all Christians would take seriously the command of God to honour and observe the Lord's Day (Ex 20:8-11, Acts 20:7, 1 Cor 16:1-2, Rev 1:10. There was an edition of AP looking at this topic last year. I've borrowed it at the moment, but I'll bring it back on Sunday if anyone else wants to read it.)

Looks like there's some good discussion starters here as well (hint, hint!) now that we're moving away from what you might call the theological points, towards more practical points.

Next week the prayer calendar concludes with issues of social interaction (woohoo, more discussion starters!)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Warning! Warning!

Keep away from our household.

We have chicken pox.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Pas de deux

by Michael Dransfield

Morning ought not
to be complex.
The sun is a seed
cast at dawn into the long
furrow of history.

To wake
and go
would be so simple

yet

how the first light
makes gold her hair

upon my arm.
How then shall I leave
and where away to go. Day
is so deep already with involvement.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Week 2 Prayer Calendar

Heading into week 2 of the month of prayer, this week we pray for the nation.

Oct 8th - Pray for everyone in positions of political authority, whether they are Christians or not, whether they are sympathetic to the faith or not. Pray that they will not abuse their offic but govern in justice, righteousness and integrity (1 Pet 2:13-17, Rom 13:5-7, 1 Tim 2:1-4).

9th - Pray that our freedom to proclaim the Gospel would be safeguarded in Australia, especially in the light of moves to adopt so-called "anti-vilification" legislation (Eph 6:18-20, Acts 4:20).

10th - Pray for the federal and state Church & Nation committees as they work closely with their respective moderators, that they would make constructive and faithful representations to government leaders on issues of Christian concern (1 Tim 2:1-4).

11th - Pray for those in state and federal parliament who are known to be Christians, (whether you agree with all their policies or not) that they would "exude an attractive fragrance of Christ" in their speech and conduct (2 Cor 2:14-16, 1 Tim 2:1-2, 1Thess 4:9-12).

12th - Pray that our nation would uphold its Judeo-Christian heritage in the ten commandments at all levels of civic life: political, legal, education, medical, business and community (Ex 20:1-17).

13th - Pray that the church in general and our branch in particular would conduct itself with integrity and faithfulness to the Gospel with respect to other religions represented in Australia (Acts 4:11-12, 2 Tim 2:24-26).
Pray also that our church will effectively serve all peoples of our nation, including cross-cultural and indigenous ministries, with an emphasis on biblical reconciliation (Mt 28:18-20).

14th - Pray for yourself and those around you that you may have a respect for all positions of authority, in church and state, even when some weaknesses and inconsistencies of behaviour are evident in the lives of those holding such offices (Acts 23:5-6, Rom 13:1,4).

Next week, prayer for ethical issues.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Psalm 131

A Song of Ascents, of David.
1 O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
2 Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
3 O Israel, hope in the LORD
From this time forth and forever.

I've been thinking about this Psalm lately. I've never really understood it before. Is it implying that it's wrong to fill our minds with 'great matters' or 'difficult' things? Will these things make our hearts proud and our eyes haughty?

But I think I'm starting to get it. Imagine a tired toddler resting against his mother at the end of the day. As she sings him a lullaby, his mind is not occupied with world economics or quantum physics. He feels the warmth of her arms around him and her rhythmic pat on his back. He hears the soft lullaby and his mind is at rest. Mum is here and that's all that matters. He trusts her to keep him safe in the night and provide breakfast tomorrow morning. His heart is not proud and his eyes are not haughty.

Dear God,
As a child rests against his mother
May I rest against you.
Still my restless heart,
Quiet my anxious soul,
Remove pride from my eyes and
Teach me to trust
in your son Jesus.
Amen

Human Cloning

Federal Parliament will have a conscience vote later this month on the topic of human cloning, even though they unanimously rejected it only 4 years ago.

There's a groundswell under way at www.makeastand.org.au to help educate people about cloning and also to let people sign an e-petition and email their MPs and senators about it.

Why not go and make a stand now?