A Glimpse of a Disciplined Life

“One thing that always fascinates me when I read biographies is learning of other people’s habits. That’s especially true when the subject is extremely disciplined.

Tim Chester’s Stott on the Christian Life is not quite a biography of John Stott, but it’s not far off. He gives an interesting glimpse of Stott’s normal, well-disciplined routines. Here is what his life looked like…”

Encouragement from Challies.com.

(Photo: Langham Partnership.)

Psalm 136 and The bread and butter Christian

“How much is thankfulness part of your life as a follower of Jesus? How much, in our current situation, are you tempted to grumble? How much do you focus on the negative and lose sight of the positive?

These questions are significant because giving thanks to God is the mark of a follower of Jesus. Or conversely, the mark of a pagan mind is a lack of thankfulness. See what Paul says in Romans 1:21a: ‘For although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him….’

It is for this reason that I think Psalm 136 is such important teaching in our current climate…”

– Encouragement from Ben George at The Australian Church Record.

Nothing takes God by surprise

“Nothing takes God by surprise and the ministry he has entrusted to his people remains the same: ‘this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world’. …”

– Dean of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, is praying for a Corona harvest.

Theology or Evangelism?

“James Denney, the late 19th, and early 20th-century Scottish theologian is quoted as saying, ‘The church is healthiest when its evangelists are its theologians and its theologians are its evangelists’.

In my lifetime I have known two evangelists who were effective evangelists because they were able theologians. One was John Chapman …”

Encouragement from David Cook.

A new culture of one-to-one ministry under lockdown

“How can we stick resolutely to our marching orders, now that proper ‘churching’ in person is impossible?”

Like every other church, we asked numerous such questions as the global pandemic gathered its eerie pace in what now seems almost another age, barely three months ago. …

rather than attempting to maintain familiar structures via an unfamiliar online medium, we resolved to set up a brand new ministry structure with every current and fringe church member assigned a place.

– Stephen Anderson shares an encouraging approach from the parish of Oatley West. At The Australian Church Record.

David Cook launches Expository Preaching Trust website

David Burge, Chairman of the Expository Preaching Trust, commends their new website:

“For over 40 years, God has used the ministry of David Cook to strengthen the faith of His people through expository preaching, and to train thousands of other preachers to do the same.

This site, and the Expository Preaching Trust behind it, seeks to make David’s ministry and resources more accessible.”

See the new website here, and pray that it will be an encouragement to faithful expository preaching (and listening).

The Monotony of the Wilderness: Are you just marking time?


“I’m reading through the Pentateuch. There’s much that happens in these books, especially during the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land.

The trip is action-packed, especially at the beginning. Consider the many memorable events: the crossing of the Red Sea, the miracle of manna, water from the rock, the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai, and the Golden Calf incident.

We tend to remember the high and low points, but for most of the forty years it took for the Israelites to reach Canaan, the days were probably pretty monotonous. …”

– At the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation, Mike Emlet writes to encourage a heavenly perspective on these times.

God’s concern for greater Sydney

“If you were to look for one sentence that summarises the teaching of the Bible, it would be hard to find a more succinct candidate than the final words of the prophet Jonah’s prayer: ‘Salvation belongs to the Lord!’ (Jonah 2:9).

Jonah is a remarkable book for many reasons. One example is that it contains, in the Hebrew text, only five words of prophecy (3:4), whereas both the minor and major prophets of the Old Testament contain hundreds and thousands of words of prophecy addressed to Israel or the nations.…”

Archbishop Glenn Davies points us to the message of Jonah and God’s concern for the city.

Evangelism encouragement from Bishop Dudley Foord

Bishop Dudley Foord spoke to the ACL’s 1988 Annual General Meeting.

The topic he chose was “Reaching Out In Difficult Situations”.

While many things have changed in the last thirty-plus years, the need of men and women to hear the gospel and be saved has not. Be encouraged and challenged. In our Resources section.

Supporting Moore College in Challenging Times

“There is nothing quite like a crisis to help us assess the deep desires of our hearts. COVID-19 has certainly led me to ask the question: in what do I trust most in life? If one good thing could come from this terrible pandemic, may it be that all Christians would ask this simple question. And may we honestly assess what our answers tell us about the things in which we trust. …”

– Trevor Cairney, at the Moore College Foundation, writes to encourage you to pray for and partner with Moore College.

June 2020 Southern Cross now online

Southern Cross, the monthly magazine from the Diocese of Sydney, is being published online while churches are not meeting in person.

You can read – and download – this month’s issue here.

Pressing on or Treading Water?

“There is still a strange eerie feeling about the community at the moment. It was present during the bushfires, and it is still here with the coronavirus. If normal life was all about parties, crowds, and living it up, then normality has yet to return. Everything remains disrupted, although to varying degrees.

To some, it all seems rather exaggerated, even manufactured, perhaps a plot concocted by political powers who are seeking to exercise yet more power. To others, it seems that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have been let loose, and the end is nigh.

If we are Christians, we are called upon, in the first place, to be faithful, and seek God’s Word for our hearts and minds. …”

Great encouragement in this message from The Rev. Dr Peter Barnes, Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia.

How to Pray for your Pastor during Lockdown


“If you pray for your pastor, as I hope you do, how will you pray for him during this coronavirus lockdown?

Of course, this global lockdown affects us all differently. We live under widely varying regulations in different countries or even in different counties within the same country.

But there are some things you can pray for your pastor – regardless of his circumstance. Consider these six. …”

Some encouraging thoughts from Christopher Ash, at 9Marks.

(Photo: Christopher Ash at the 2016 Moore College graduation.)

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