Stand firm! – Bishop Rod Chiswell at Moore College

Bishop Rod Chiswell, the recently-installed Bishop of Armidale, spoke at Moore College chapel on 1 Corinthians 15:53-58 last week.

Most encouraging.

Love and Gospel in the Time of Corona

“A bishop once said: ‘Everywhere St Paul went there was a riot; everywhere I go they serve tea.’ Our lives can get very comfortable, all too easily. Everything is predictable and orderly and follows a set pattern with little disturbance. That is how it is until God steps in. We often say that God is in control, but we lose sight of the fact that he doesn’t place at the top of his agenda that everyone should live comfortably and happily. …”

– On the website of George Whitefield College in Capetown, Principal Dr Mark Dickson observes that “the illness that has swept away millions and wreaked economic havoc is God’s reminder that this world cannot be all that there is”.

Read his article and watch the moving video.

Things I have learned about coaching senior ministers – with Peter Mayrick

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“Ministers have a crucial role as a source of guidance and authority in the church environment – but we also need coaching, guidance and support.

So how do we make sure that as spiritual leaders we are doing effective ministry? What heart issues and skills should we be focussing on to encourage sustainable and innovative service?

This week we’re speaking to an expert on the topic of ministry training, Peter Mayrick. As the co-director of the Centre for Ministry Development at Moore College, his key area of responsibility is supporting pastors and churches. Peter shares his wealth of experience with us as we discuss what’s helpful for coaching those who will shoulder the most responsibility for the health and growth of a church.”

Watch or listen here.

Peter Jensen on pure speech

In his editorial in The Global Anglican 135/1, Peter Jensen reflects on the power of words.

Via Ros Clarke comes this excerpt on the Church Society blog:

“Bad doctrine, which is a travesty of the gospel, is doing much harm. But just as harmful is the careless or self-serving language by which other believers are traduced either secretly or publicly.

To repel Satan in his assault on you, is to put on the whole armour of God, especially to buckle on the belt of truth (Eph 6:14). And it is to commit yourself to pure speech:

Not the speech which follows the world in foul language and in blasphemy. So frequent has this become in entertainment, let alone the marketplace, that it is fatally easy to allow our minds to become infested with obscenities and to begin to use them ourselves. …”

Read the excerpt here, Or start a subscription.

Jesus’ Post-Easter Priority

“Is Jesus Smart? We often think of Jesus as loving, kind, and selfless, but have you ever considered him smart? If we are honest, we must conclude that he is. He is the ‘author of life’ (Act 3:15) who came in the flesh! And since he is smart, he wasn’t ‘winging it’ when he met with his disciples in a locked room that first Sunday evening.

As a thoughtful and intelligent person, Jesus would have been very intentional about his first words to them and to us, and we find them in John 20:19-21…”

– Mark Eldredge at The American Anglican Council has a challenge for churches.

Stories from Moore College Mission 2021: learning and partnership

“This year’s Moore College Mission was, thankfully, able to take place face-to-face in partnership with churches, a refreshing contrast to the circumstances of our hurriedly ‘re-imagined’ online mission of 2020 which took place in lockdown in the early throes of the pandemic.

Mission has always been part of the makeup of Moore College…”

– At The Australian Church Record, Ben George shares encouragement from this year’s Moore College Mission.

Evangelists in No Man’s Land: On Not Losing the Gospel in the Culture Wars

Ah, the culture wars. Never was so much owed by so many to so few. For every keyboard warrior who wastes a good half day on Facebook or Twitter, there are a thousand regular people who just want to get on with life.

And yet, as Christians it can be hard to work out if we should be getting involved. Should we be taking sides, or can we just sit on the sidelines and remain neutral? …”

– At The Gospel Coalition Australia, Tom Habib writes to encourage Christians to not lost sight of what’s most important.

How to Build Up Your Church: A Guidebook for Members

“For years now, 9Marks has argued that church membership is not just a status, it’s a job. By joining a church, you’re not joining a club, you’re stepping into an office. Jesus has given you work to do, and he’s given you the competence and authority to do it.

Most 9Marks Journals aim at pastors and church leaders. This one was written for members. Its purpose is to lay out some of the essential elements of that job. So we called it a guidebook. Print it out. Read it one article at a time over a month. Ask God how you might better serve your fellow members, your pastors, and your non-Christian neighbors. …”

– Jonathan Leeman introduces the latest 9Marks Journal. Looks like a good one!

What to preach on for Anzac Day?

David Cook writes:

“This year Anzac Day falls on a Sunday, providing an opportunity for congregations to reflect together on the sacrifice of our servicemen and servicewomen who have served our national interest in wars and peacekeeping missions since the Boer war up until our present involvement in Afghanistan.

Last week I met Wilf who enlisted in 1944 as an 18 year old and had 2 years service in the Pacific islands in WW2. Wilf’s two older brothers had also enlisted at 18 and had served in the army before him.

When I asked Wilf why he went to war, he responded, ‘We all fought for freedom, for liberty and in our case for freedom to continue to preach the gospel.’ Wilf is 95 years of age and we met after an evening service in Melbourne.

What to preach this Anzac Day?

We could preach on the theme of service, sacrifice, thanksgiving and remembrance.

But I think we best serve the spirit of the Anzac, by preaching on the freedoms for which they fought and for which so many of them died.

I intend to preach on 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. …”

Read why, and be encouraged to preach Christ this ANZAC Day.

God’s Plan for Corporate Worship – podcast

From Crossway’s podcast series:

“In this episode, Matt Merker discusses the central importance of corporate worship for the life of the Christian. He shares his thoughts on the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic could have on church gatherings in the future, explains why the concept of a church liturgy is a good and necessary thing, and offers encouragement to the person who may be toying with the idea of not returning to church once the pandemic is over.”

This podcast episode is a real encouragement – for pastors and congregational members.

There’s also praise for Reformation Worship: Liturgies from the Past for the Present, the fruit of much painstaking work by Jonny Gibson and Mark Earngey.


A Tale of Two Liturgies.

On how the Reformation changed Sunday gatherings.

We ask Mark Earngey about ‘Common Prayer for Homes’.

“He Will Hold Me Fast” — The Story Behind the Song.

Photo of Matt Merker: Together for the Gospel.

Frayed about the Edges

“It is a common failing of any writer, teacher or preacher to impose one’s individual circumstances on a whole community – to assume that what one is going through, all are going through.

Nevertheless, it is a reasonable diagnosis to say that Australian society, and Western society in general, is looking very frayed about the edges. …”

– Peter Barnes, Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, writes to encourage Christians to be confident in the God who reigns over heaven and earth.

Book Review: The Whole Counsel of God by Tim Patrick and Andrew Reid

The Whole Counsel of God: Why and How to Preach the Entire Bible is designed to help you give to the Lord’s people what he wants them to hear—the Bible.

Tim Patrick and Andrew Reid write from both an academic and practical background. As church ministers and professors in Australia and southeast Asia, they want to convince, inform, and train their readers to preach the entire Bible.

The book has already begun to influence my ministry, and I anticipate it will be a much-used resource in the future. …”

– At 9Marks, Shane Walker reviews a very helpful new book.

It’s available from Reformers and The Wandering Bookseller as well as other bookshops.

Peter Jensen’s sermon at the Consecration and Installation of Rod Chiswell in Armidale

Dr. Peter Jensen, former Archbishop of Sydney, preached at the service of Consecration and Installation of Bishop Rod Chiswell in Armidale this morning.

Most encouraging and very much worth your time – and an extra insight into how to pray for your bishops.

Here’s the Order of Service, and please uphold in prayer Rod and Jenni Chiswell in this new sphere of service of the Lord Jesus.

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