Rest

On the 7th day of creation God rested. It wasn’t as if he needed to – it was to remind man that we shall work 6 days and have a day of rest. The purpose of this rest isn’t purely for relaxation, but a time to come to God in prayer and through His Word, that we might find rejuvenation.

When Christ came to earth, He opened up a greater Sabbath rest for us in Heaven – an eternal rest which awaits us.

For now, I must find more time to rest. It’s been a bad habit of mine to be constantly busy and not find time to rest – and not just rest physically, but also as a time of coming to His word and also to kneel my life in prayer. I often forget that my job is not to please God with my busyness, but to simply come to Him daily, on my knees, in humble prayer and adoration.

You know…when you put it like that, it’s just so simple :)

Big Bands…and Jesus-Fish-Bling!

It was Big Band theme on Australian Idol tonight. What a very fun show to sit through! To think that a few years ago I would have not enjoyed sitting through Jazz music… ahh how Nora Ephron movies can change my view of a whole genre of music :P

But anyway – the other day a co-worker commented on my ‘Jesus-Fish-Bling’. He was speaking in reference to my little blue wrist band with the Jesus fish across it. I told him briefly about how this fish symbol is synonymous with Christianity because in the early days of the church, under heavy persecution, Christians would reveal themselves privately to each other by drawing in the dirt one half of the fish…the other, if also a believer, would draw the other half thus completing the ‘Jesus Fish’.

Now, I had originally bought this little wrist band as a way of letting people in the know that I was a Christian. But also to possibly have this wrist band as a conversation starter.

But when I was asked, I found, yet again, that my work got in the way of sharing or having any deep and meaningful conversation. Whilst seeding is important, what is of greater importance is actually sharing the Gospel message.

It will be a struggle to keep this need, this urgency, in the forefront of my mind – especially next week when I continue my long stints in front of the computer doing the work I’m getting paid to do. Therein lies the challenge for Christians in the workforce – to be salt and light, and to share the Gospel message in their lives and through their work.

Easy Gospel conversations…

Ever had those people who call you up at night wanting to help you save money on {insert product} and give you great rates at the same time?

These calls can be easily annoying, but here’s an interesting way to turn them around. When they call up and ask if you want to save money, ask them if they are willing to spend as much time listening to you about the Gospel!

So…you either have them politely decline your offer, or you have a 5 minute Gospel conversation! Brilliant!

Healed! Amen?!

Was at Shte1’s place last night looking a brochure for the ‘healing rooms’ which are coming to Brisbane. Reading through the statement of faith I both smiled and cringed.

Though I do not doubt that God continues to heal people in this day and age of their ailments, I can’t help but wonder where people are putting their faith when they expect healing to come through ‘faithful prayer’. It just sounds so set up for a fall – like a story I read in Philip Yancey’s Where is God when it hurts? where a community came to pray for a pastor’s sick child. Nightly there would be large visitors and church members praying for the healing of the child…but when the child passed away the community was devastated – why didn’t God answer our prayers?

Why does the “prosperity” gospel – be it material or health – for lack of a better word, prosper? Is it because we are afraid that our faith is actually a hard one… that it calls us to die to ourselves and yeild to a God who calls us to live the life that His Son did?

I can’t help but ask – if I believe in healing…and don’t get healed…is there something wrong with my faith?

What am I?

As I look into the stars

I’m pondering how far away they are

How You hold them in Your hands

And still You know this man…

You know my inner most being, oh

Even better than I know, than I know myself

What a beautiful God, what a beautiful God

And what am I, that I might be called Your child?

What am I, what am I

That You might know me, my King?

What am I, what am I, what am I?

As I look off into the distance

Watching the sun roll on by

Beautiful colors all around me, oh

Painted all over the sky

The same hands that created all of this

They created you and I

What a beautiful God, what a beautiful God

And what am I, that I might be called Your child?

What am I, what am I,

That You might know me, my King?

What am I, what am I,

That You might die, that I might live?

What am I, what am I, what am I, what am I

What am I

What am I

What am I

What am I

What am I

– Shawn McDonald, Beautiful

What makes a good sermon?

It’s a tough question to answer. I remember once stating to a work colleague that the sermon I heard that previous Sunday was “not that good…” to which she replied, “Oooh…that’s a bit judgemental!”

But what is the dividing line between ‘judgemental’ and ‘discerning’? Just because someone is in the pulpit it doesn’t mean that the words they are speaking are perfect (even if it is Philip Jensen!). Speaking of which, Philip Jensen, in a talk given a few years back, did state that we should all be personally discerning as to what is being said from the preacher. The closest thing to perfect we have in our Church’s today is God’s word – though if we can speak Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic then there would indeed be perfection amongst us.

So back to discernment – it is something which is very necessary, despite appearances of ‘judgementalness’. God’s word should be the focal point and the challenge to our lives on Sunday mornings… not solely the words of the preacher – even if that preacher is myself ;)

Weddings

Weddings can be so nice! The venue can be outdoors in a nice setting, or in a grand Church as the one I attended today. The people get dressed up nicely because they want to look their best for the special occasion. The bridal party can be made up of one or five people – either being the forerunner to the entrance of the bride herself…in all her radiant glory :)

Today a pair of good friends united themselves before a flood of witnesses. There was much of the pomp and ceremony that a Christian wedding normally has – but what touched me the most about today was the expressions of love and committment the pair made and displayed for each other.

In a moving part of the afternoon (of which I took part) the bride sang to her husband a love song full of words of committment. The groom was moved to tears by this declaration of unwaivering love.

How, to, I am inspired to think (and also be challenged) by Christ’s unwaivering love and committment to us.

Too Busy…?

Evangelism is tough enough as it is without having to deal with other issues – such as the work you’re getting paid to do!

I spend most of my day running around passing out files or in front of the computer logging things in – this is what I get paid for, though I believe my computer has had it’s fair share of witnessing to considering all the articles I’ve been reading from matthias media website!

I’m struggling to continue to be a godly example when there’s so much going on around here. Whilst I haven’t been able to sit down and share the gospel with anyone in particular, I am making my beliefs known.

Which then brings me to the thought that I wish I had the wisdom to answer various issues/complaints quicker. It’s happened a few times now when people have said something, I respond lightly or remain ‘quiet’, then I think of something more profound to say.

Oh well… have to keep 1 Cor 2 in mind. I hope I haven’t used that verse out of context…hmm…

Frustration…all too easy…

It was a long day today – I spent extra time at work this evening getting more work done so as to limit the amount of extra work tomorrow.

But what got me a bit fired up tonight was when I got to the train station and nobody was there to pick me up. My brother had called a little earlier on to ask when I could be picked up – I said 6:30pm. But when I arrived at my destination, nobody was there.

I then got pretty frustrated at this lack of communication, and as my mind went a little wild with scenarios playing inside my head (of what I could have spurted out in reaction to this moment) I remembered back to what Jesus said in Luke 6:45.

So I asked a quiet prayer of forgiveness…and will endeavour to be a more open communicator with my family. We’ll see how this application point turns out later…

Yay…or not?

Salteee

I found out today that I’ve been taken on permanently! The news was welcome after many months of searching.

It has been a bit of a rough ride getting to this point. I had two job interviews and actually got two jobs, yet both times I ended up losing them through no fault of my own.

I do praise God for this opportunity. Now I pray for the courage and integrity to stand for Christ and shine His light in this workplace – which is quite anti-christian…