WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THE ARABIC LETTER IN FACEBOOK PROFILE PICS?

Arabic-Nazarene

Have you noticed the picture above? Lots of my friends on facebook have been using this as their profile picture during the last 24 hours. It’s an Arabic letter for ‘N’ short for Nasrani which is Arabic for Christian.

Apparently ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham) have been painting it on the houses of Christians in the city of Mosul in Iraq. Basically these Christians are being asked to either a) convert to Islam, b) pay a ridiculously high tax or c) be killed. Pretty crazy stuff. Thankfully many Christians have come up with a forth option and d) fled.

My Christian friends are using it as their picture as a mark of solidarity with our Iraqi brothers and sisters. It’s only small, but it’s one way of expressing a desire to be bound with them.

You can read more about the events:

Keen to do more than change your profile picture? Barnabas Fund is currently raising money to support Iraqi Christians.

And pray. Here is an Urgent Prayer Alert for Iraq from Open Doors Australia.

I’ve written often about persecution on this blog. Christians believe that Jesus is someone worth losing everything for. If you’ve never taken time to consider Jesus, a good place to start would be considering who He is, why He came and what it means to follow Him.

DO YOU NEED HELP TO PRAY MORE?

prayer-mate

Do you struggle to pray? Most Christians most of the time are discontent with their prayer life. I am. I have great habits of regular time reading God’s word each day, but have never been as consistent with the frequency and fervency of my prayers. I have learnt from the wisdom of people like D.A. Carson with his 7 Lessons from the School of Prayer, but the best tool to improve my prayer life was downloaded onto my phone at the start of this year.

PrayerMate is an App that featured on my READ + REMEMBER + PRAY resource post in January this year. It’s fantastic! I have 4 push notifications that remind me across the day to take time out to pray. The App is brilliant in the way that you can organise different prayer lists and as well as subscribing to external prayer lists.

I recently asked Andy Geers some questions about his app. See below to hear his responses.
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DOWNLOAD THE NEW KATOOMBA CHRISTIAN CONVENTION APP // #OXYGEN14

kcc-app

Katoomba Christian Convention have just launched an App. Here’s the announcement from their Oxygen: Christian Leaders Conference facebook page :

We are excited to announce that KCC now has an App that allows you to access life-changing Bible teaching, participate at conventions and stay up to date with our ministry and events.

Also, in preparation for our Oxygen Conference next month, we’ve developed a special tab with information and opportunities to interact throughout the conference.

If you are attending Oxygen make sure you Download the App today: http://buff.ly/WpbX4P

I’ve just downloaded it and it looks great! I particularly like the options on the tab for the upcoming Oxygen conference:

  • Submit a question
  • Prayer & praise
  • Listen to music from Oxygen
  • Twitter stream
  • Feedback form
  • Transport apps

There is great potential for interaction during the conference through this App. If you haven’t registered for #OXYGEN14 yet, get on it! You can also see all my #OXYGEN14 related posts here.

LEONCE CRUMP // ONE OF THE ‘LEADING ON THE FRONTLINES’ SPEAKERS

#LEONCECRUMP

We will be arriving in Melbourne just in time for the Acts 29 National Conference, Leading on the Frontlines. It looks like it will be an excellent event with some great preachers. I’m familiar with the ministry of Guy Mason, Matt Chandler and Steve Timmis. I’ve heard each of them preach and enjoyed reading their published content too.

However, I’m not familiar with Leonce Crump. So I thought I’d listen to some of his content online to become more familiar. You can listen to many of his sermons on the Renovation Church website or just search in YouTube. I’ve been encouraged by what I’ve seen/heard!

Below are a 4 shorter clips of Leonce speaking:

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REALITY IS STARTING TO SINK IN

CRUX

I just scrolled through 1219 photos on Instagram tagged with the #SOULIESYOUTH hashtag. Reality has started to sink in. Today is the 17th July. Our last Sunday is 17th August. One month!!! I really hope it goes slowly! I will miss this community.

My final series at Soulies is called ‘CRUX: The Heart of Christianity’

1) The NEED for the Cross
2) The PAIN of the Cross (Guest Speaker Matt Sparks)
3) The FRUIT from the Cross
4) The LIFE under the Cross

I have tried to keep the cross of Christ central to my ministry at St Faith’s. My hope is that this final series is a way to underline that desire.

FOR WE ARE YOUNG & FREE // PODCAST

FOR WE ARE YOUNG + FREE

I’ve recently launched a Preaching Podcast. I have a whole bunch of preaching series’ recorded that, if time and demand permits, I will upload. The first series is from the start of 2013 at St Faith’s Youth Community (SOULIES) on Ecclesiastes. It was a 3-part series for our mission month. These are good for Christian teenagers and their friends. If you’re a little older, I’m sure they will still be relevant enough. Check it:

FOR WE ARE YOUNG AND FREE

PODCAST UPDATES: RSS // SOUNDCLOUD // ITUNES // EMAIL // PODCAST

DON’T TO TRY TO CONFORM TO ‘BEAUTY’

‘TRY’ is a great film clip by Colbie Caillat about not needing to conform to photoshopped images of beauty. It’s gone viral the last few days, but in case you haven’t seen it, it’s a message that all people – male and female, young and old – need to keep hearing.

It’s easy to compare ourselves horizontally to those around us. What we need to do is look up and define ourselves vertically.

I don’t know much about Colbie Caillat and her music, but Jazon Mraz is popular in our house and so his duet with Caillat ‘Lucky’ is a favourite.

WE’RE MOVING TO A NEW CITY!

#MIERSMELBOURNE

After four years of life and ministry in Narrabeen, it was announced at church a couple of weeks ago that we will be finishing up in August and moving to… Melbourne!

We love our church family at St Faith’s Narrabeen and have loved sharing Jesus with our local community. There are still so many people on the Northern Beaches and all over Sydney who desperately need to turn to Jesus and find life. But we are convicted of the need for people to meet Jesus outside of Sydney too.

Saying goodbye to St Faiths is fast approaching and it’s sad to be leaving. I love my job, the location, my colleagues and most of all the people we serve. In 1 Thessalonians 2:8 Paul speaks about how he has not only shared the gospel but his life with a people that have become dear to him. It’s been such a privilege to share our lives with many precious brothers and sisters at church and other friends in the local community.

As well as leaving Soulies Youth Community, I’m also sad about moving out of frontline youth ministry. I have been freed up from normal work for over 10 years to invest full-time in reaching teenagers. However, while I won’t be a youth minister, my passion for reaching the next generation with the message of Christ remains the same.

What will we be doing in Melbourne?

I am joining the team of Pastors at City on a Hill, a church based in the CBD of Melbourne.

In the short term, I am looking forward to being part of the team and using our gifts in whatever way we can to serve God’s people and make Jesus known in Melbourne.

God willing, in the medium term, I will lead a City on a Hill church plant. So I hope to become part of the City on a Hill family, learn from the team, grow in my leadership and be sent out to continue knowing Jesus and making Jesus known.

Read more in this Blog Interview on the City on a Hill website.

Please pray for our family in the transition moving from Sydney to Melbourne. Pray that we would finish well at St Faith’s and pray in particular that God would continue to provide solid leadership for the youth community after we leave.

#MIERSMELBOURNE

VOTE // BEST GOAL #WORLDCUP 2014

#CAHILL

Brazil 2014 has been a great World Cup so far, great goals, great matches, lots of drama. The round of 16 has just been completed and there are now 8 teams left. I picked 7 of the 8 teams. I’m looking forward to 2 full nights of sleep before the quarter finals start! I thought it would be fun to vote on the best goal of the tournament so far. It won’t take long…

SCANDALOUS: THE CROSS AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS // D.A. CARSON

#SCANDALOUS

I spent the last weekend with our Soulies Team considering Cross-Shaped [Youth] Ministry. It was a fantastic weekend and a joy to spend lots of time together learning about the centrality of the cross in the message of the Bible and the impact it should have in our ministry. A number of our team will be meeting throughout the next month or so to discuss together John Stott’s magnum opus, The Cross of Christ.

Another great place to plumb the depths of Christ’s love shown for sinners at the cross is D.A. Carson’s book Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus. Here is a blurb from the book:

“How are Christians to approach the central gospel teachings concerning the death and resurrection of Jesus? The Bible firmly establishes the historicity of these events and doesn’t leave their meanings ambiguous or open to interpretation. Even so, there is an irony and surprising strangeness to the cross. Carson shows that this strange irony has deep implications for our lives as he examines the history and theology of Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection.”

I’m looking forward to hearing Carson preach at Oxygen 2014! This book was based on 5 talks that Carson gave in 2008. Videos of all 5 of them are embedded below.

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