How to Evangelise Friends Identifying as LGBTQ

Rosaria Butterfield shares some ideas on sharing Christ’s love.

At the Gospel Coalition, (Link via Tim Challies.)

Biblical friendship (part 3): Cultivating friendship

“In part 1 and part 2, we looked at what a true friend is, and how Jesus is the ultimate friend. Now we’re going to think about how to cultivate biblical friendships through the lens of one of the great friendships recorded in the Bible: Jonathan and David.

We won’t look at their story in any depth here, but I’d encourage you to read it for yourself in in 1 and 2 Samuel. It takes place in the midst of royal jealously, violence and manipulation. You would not be remiss to mistake it for the plotline of a soap opera, probably The Bold and the Beautiful if I had to pick one.

Jonathan and David’s friendship faced great trials and tribulations. Jonathan’s father, King Saul, tried to kill David no fewer than eight times. Jonathan saved David’s life twice. Although their friendship was greatly threatened, it stood firm right up until Jonathan’s death. And their friendship affected how David lived out the rest of his life. …”

– Caitlin Orr concludes her series on Biblical friendship at The Australian Church Record.

Biblical friendship (part 2): Being a friend

“In part 1 we looked at John 15 and saw that a friend is loving, sacrificial and outward looking.

The book of Proverbs fleshes out this picture of what it means to be a friend. Proverbs is immensely helpful in thinking through the issue of friendship, which isn’t surprising because it’s a book of wisdom that tells us how God’s creation operates. So let’s look at what we can learn from Proverbs about friendship. …”

– Caitlin Orr continues her series on Biblical friendship. At The Australian Church Record.

Last Minute Christmas Ideas from Reformers Bookshop

Reformers Bookshop in Stanmore has some ‘last minute’ gift ideas – on special until 16th December.

Contacting Parliament on sex discrimination amendments

“A number of Christian and other religious organisations are deeply concerned about the proposals in the ALP-sponsored private Bill due to be debated in the Senate on Monday Dec 3. As I have discussed in previous comments (here and here) the Bill, which started out as an agreed measure to stop religious schools from expelling gay students on the basis of their “orientation” alone, has a number of other serious consequences for religious freedom, not only for schools but for churches, mosques, synagogues and other religious organisations (such as, for example, University student ministries.)

The Bill amends the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 to remove some clauses which have previously provided protection for Christian organisations to operate in accordance with their religious beliefs. …

I have been asked how concerned citizens can contact their Parliamentary representatives. …”

Associate Professor Neil Foster shares some points you might make to your Parliamentary representatives. (Emphasis added.)

Praying through Advent 2018

Andy Geers shares some helpful resources you can access through PrayerMate.

Jesus Christ makes everything good for everyone, everywhere.

“We have to engage in cross-cultural mission respectfully, wisely and lovingly. The Bible tells us to obey the emperor and the government of the land in all things lawful and good. Christians who develop a calling or sense of urgency about the eternal salvation of any particular person or group need to be very prayerful, very wise and take lots of very good counsel.

We see a model of this in Paul’s missionary journeys through Acts. He and his team are certainly prayerful, as is the church in Antioch and elsewhere. Paul takes counsel to go or to stay in a place. He operates within the law, even when the law is used against him. He is respectful to jailers and governors, challenging them only when it comes to the claims of the Gospel itself.

Missions-minded Christians go all over the world legally, respectful of local laws and cultures and customs, breaking down every barrier in order to win the right to bear witness to Jesus. We go as humble servants of the Word. …”

The Gospel Coalition Australia speaks with Dr Wei-Han Kuan, State Director of CMS Victoria, about the motivation of would-be missionary John Allen Chau, on North Sentinel Island in the Andamans. (Image credit: NASA / MODIS.)

Related:

Glen Scrivener speaks about criticism of John Allen Chau published in The Independent.

Tim Challies shares some thoughts:

“Suddenly the whole world is talking about Christian missions. In his own way, John Allen Chau has sparked a conversation that now rages within the church and outside of it. I’ve spent the past week gathering my thoughts about his situation, and would like to offer a few points I hope you find helpful. …”

On Earth as in Heaven

The team at Speak Life in the UK have released the first of two videos for Christmas.

“Reaching the heavens was hard enough. But Christmas reveals an even greater mission.”

Watch it here.

Related:

The Apollo 8 crew read from Genesis chapter 1, Christmas 1968.

Meet the Nativity – the 2017 Christmas videos from Speak Life.

Biblical friendship (part 1): What is a friend?

“Over the past few years several studies have shown that social isolation and loneliness poses a bigger risk to our health than smoking or obesity. Loneliness has the same effects on your body as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. It increases your chances of heart disease by 29% and stroke by 32%.

Loneliness is on the rise and churches are not immune. I’ve had numerous conversations with people about how they have no friends at church and as a consequence are thinking about going elsewhere. They are craving friendship. …

Our world is a bit confused about the idea of friendship. But what is friendship according to the Bible?”

– At The Australian Church Record, Caitlin Orr shares the first in a series on biblical friendship.

Considering Christ with your children at Christmas: An advent Top 5

“It’s not like Christmas sneaks up on you. I think my first mince pie sighting this year was in early October. By November I find I can’t resist the urge to buy more gift tags at every single check out display, in case we are gripped by a nation-wide shortage come December.

There are so many things to plan and prepare, and so many reminders of them every time I enter the shops, that the logistics of Christmas celebrations can consume my thoughts for months. But how do I go at filling my thoughts with the one whose birth we are celebrating? And as a parent, how do I go at helping fix the thoughts of our children on the wonder of the incarnation?…”

– At The Australian Church Record, Jocelyn Loane has some helpful advice.

Related: Videos for Your Christmas Services (2018 Edition)Communicate Jesus.

Christmas gift ideas from Anglican Aid

The Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid has some terrific ways you can give hope to others this Christmas.

Check them out here.

Review: They Shall See His Face

“You may never have heard of Amy Oxley Wilkinson (1868–1949), although it’s possible you know of her great grandfather, Rowland Hassall – one of the first missionaries to come to Australia after fleeing trouble in Tahiti – or his son Thomas, who started the first Sunday School in Australia at Parramatta in 1813, and went on to be an Anglican minister in the rural south of Sydney, who earned himself the moniker ‘the galloping parson’ for visiting his far-flung flock on horseback.

If not them, you will surely know of the Rev. Samuel Marsden, chaplain, missionary and farmer, whose eldest daughter Anne married Thomas. Amy was their granddaughter, the eighth child of John Norton Oxley and Harriet Jane Hassall…”

– At The Gospel Coalition Australia, Dr. Claire Smith reviews They Shall See His Face, by Linda and Robert Banks. It’s about the most widely known female Australian missionary in China and the West in the early 20th century.

The book is available from a number of retailers, including from The Wandering Bookseller.

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