Hope grows in Myanmar: “We never dreamed God would do this”

“When God blesses the work done in his name, it’s amazing what can happen. This has been the experience of three Sydney women – who travel to Myanmar each year to teach the Bible and help care for two orphanages year-round.

The Rev Jackie Stoneman from Mary Andrews College, and Chris Gerardis and Lynn Pickersgill from Anglicare, were invited to go to Myanmar as part of a short-term mission in 2008. …”

– Greatly encouraging news from SydneyAnglicans.net. With more info at growing-hope.org.

Forgiveness and a hug for his brother’s murderer

“If you haven’t seen this anywhere else, watch it now.
If you have seen it, watch it again. …”

– This video is being posted on multiple websites. Well worth watching.

This link via Gary Ware.

What Should a Church Look Like?

“The apostle Jude said that he was very eager to write on one subject – our common salvation – when he found it necessary to write against who were assailing the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). In his case, it was a matter of divine inspiration; in my case, it might look more like temptation. Nevertheless, it will be good for us to look later at what we are meant to look like as a church.

My diversion came with news from Union Theological Seminary in New York, which was established in 1836 by Presbyterians. …”

Dr Peter Barnes writes as the new Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia.h

Related:

Flower Power? – Carl Trueman

“Liberal theology may well be rooted in highly sophisticated theories and articulated by extremely intelligent people, but it tends to result in liturgical practices that are at best banal and at worst childish. Talking to plants is a fine candidate for the latter category.”

We harvest what we sow – Murray Campbell

“There is plenty of mockery being aimed at Union Seminary today. Some of it makes you laugh, for if we didn’t, one would likely weep. The absurdity of the original message is being matched by the Seminary today as they double down and attempt to explain why praying to your indoor garden is a great idea…”

Practical tips for sharing the gospel with a stranger

“How are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?… Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:14, 17)

How often do we consider the urgency of Paul’s words here? …

– At GoThereFor.com, Mike Taylor shares some very helpful ideas for sharing Christ. Read, and be spurred to action.

‘Belief…’

“When the subject of religion comes up we often hear comments like: ‘Religion is for the weak-minded’, or ‘it is poisonous’. We also hear, ‘All religions are the same’. And if the conversation continues, we might get told, ‘Religious people are so self-righteous!’ There are also those who tell us, ‘Everyone’s right in their own kind of way.’ ‘In any case, when I die, if there is a God, I’m sure he’ll accept me: I’ve led a good life’.

So, in this indifferent and sometimes hostile world, how do people come to faith in Christ? In 2 Corinthians 4 Paul provides some helpful clues. Let me identify them briefly. …”

– At The Anglican Connection, John Mason continues a series of short reflections on sharing the gospel. Others here.

The gospel for criminals (Ephesians 4:28)

“I owe a huge debt to prison chaplains. My whole nation does. Richard Johnson and Samuel Marsden were foundational figures in the history of Australia. Johnson came out on the First Fleet in 1788, and Marsden followed him.

They were evangelical ministers, and they were prison chaplains. That’s because the whole colony of New South Wales was a prison. Apart from the original owners of the land which became known as New South Wales, everyone was involved in the correctional system in some way: either as a customer, or as a service provider.

As the colony was being set up, mission-minded evangelicals in England knew that this new prison needed the gospel of Jesus Christ. So they made sure that the position of chaplain was included in the colony, and they provided gospel ministers to fill it. …”

Biblical encouragement from Dr Lionel Windsor at Moore College.

What sins are you killing today?

“I admit it is an intrusive question, and one that tends to stop a conversation! 

(The context is someone I am mentoring or advising or counselling, not everyday conversations! And it takes place some months after the serious conversations begin.)

If I ask it of someone I am talking with, I always allow time for a stunned silence. Then say, ‘I don’t want to know what they are, I just want to know that you are doing it.’ That allows some colour to return to the cheeks of the person I am talking with, and the conversation continues. …”

Very helpful article from Peter Adam, at The Gospel Coalition Australia.

Leaving the Faith: Reflections of a Prodigal

“By now the firestorm of commentary around Josh Harris’ public announcement–that he has not only divorced, but departed from the Christian faith–has died down. People have moved on, but not before delivering a slew of analysis, indictments, pleas, condemnation, and speculation.

When the news hit and I observed all the commentary, I too wanted to offer my two cents. However, I found myself struggling to say anything publicly. While I do think there might be some merit to the contributing factors cited, namely that he was never a true believer to begin with, I know there is more to the story than simple pat answers can provide. Now with the news that Marty Sampson of Hillsong fame has announced his departure from the faith, I am compelled to speak.

You see, I was a prodigal. …”

– At Reformation21, Lisa Robinson Spencer shares her story.

Living for Others

Here is a photo of my son Noah, when he was about 25 weeks old.

My wife and I had just been told that Noah had a massive hole in his heart, and that he was likely to have Down Syndrome. (He did.)

Put yourself in our shoes. There are many heavy emotions flowing thick and fast through your heart. Your mind races ahead, drawing out a narrative of the next few weeks, months, & years ahead. …

Now, you’d be amazed just how quickly all of the above thoughts can flash before your eyes.

And you have the power to make it all go away.

– Thanks to The Gospel Coalition Australia for publishing a very personal reflection by Matt Dodd.

By way of contrast, this morning brought the news that the “‘Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019” passed in the Lower House last night, and now goes to the Upper House of NSW Parliament.

“Members of Parliament were granted a conscience vote on the bill, which aims to remove abortion from the Crimes Act and define it as a medical procedure in its own legislation.

The bill was passed just before 11.00pm with 59 in favour and 31 against.…”

We are a resistance movement

“I don’t know about you, but I’m intrigued by resistance movements – those organised efforts by a portion of a populace to withstand a government or occupying power. When those in control are evil, resistance can be seen as an admirable and even noble task. …

The book of 1 Peter highlights that we – the Christian church – are a resistance movement.”

– At GoThereFor.com, Stephen Liggins draws encouragement from 1 Peter.

Pastor, Keep Preaching the Gospel to Yourself!

“Do you want to be a gospel-centered pastor? Just keep preaching the gospel. Doing so is much more than merely pinning John 3:16 to the tail of every sermon or conversation.

The first person we must preach the gospel to is ourselves. …”

– Encouragement for pastors at Reformation21.

Who am I? And why was I saved?

“As Christians, we sometimes get so preoccupied with being better and more effective, that we forget just how special it is to be born again – that we are safe in the arms of Jesus.

Yes, sin is still present in our lives. Yes, our settled posture as Christians is constant repentance. But when we are feeling so crushed by sin that we don’t even have tears to cry, I am so thankful that God reminds us of who we are because of Jesus. …”

– A wonderful reminder from Ben George at The Australian Church Record.

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