GLOSSOLALIA // NEW EP FROM JAKE BERRY

glossolalia-jake-berry

My friend Jake Berry has just released his debut EP, Glossolalia. It’s excellent! Jake is a massively talented singer-songwriter and I think his voice is as good as Jeff Buckley’s.

I’m giving away 5 FREE downloads to the first 5 people to comment on this blog post. (I’m currently getting spammed, so if this is your first comment, I will have to approve it before it goes live.)

You can listen to the EP at the bottom of this post.

I asked Jake a few questions to find out a bit more about his heart behind the release.
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BRINGING HOPE IN IRAQ // UPDATE FROM OPEN DOORS #WeAreN

On 10 June 2014, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS – now known as Islamic State) seize Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul.

An estimated half a million residents join a mass exodus out of the city, many heading east to Qaraqosh or north to places like Dohuk and Erbil.

For more than 30 years, Open Doors has supported Christians in the Middle East – including 20 years in Iraq.

Take a look around one of the churches Open Doors supports in Erbil, Iraq and see what life is like for those taking refuge at the church.

For more information about Open Doors and how you can pray for the situation in the Middle East visit www.opendoors.org.au

Find out more about Father Douglas and the work Open Doors is doing in the Middle East, visit our blog: http://opendoorsblog.org.au/2014/09/26/bringing-hope-in-iraq/

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#INSTALIFEWEEKLY // 28 SEPTEMBER 2014

#instalifeweekly

This post is dangerous. Why? Because it has the word ‘weekly’ included in the title. That means I’m aiming to post it – you guessed it – weekly! Perhaps I’m setting myself up for a #fail? We’ll see.

I’ve cut the automatic uploading of Instagram photos to this blog, but I’m still keen to share photos with those who aren’t following on Instagram.

See below for the first edition of #instalifeweekly…

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WHAT IS IT TO BE HUMAN?

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Social networks are a significant part of life in the our world: Facebook; Twitter; Instagram; Snapchat; MySpace; Google Plus; LinkedIn. And whatever comes next! However, social networks are not a new invention. A group of men that have swum in the same location at the same beach for the last 40 years who have no interest in digital networks, are still part of a social network.

Social networks show us that we have a deep desire for connection, community and relationship. It shows we are human.

What is it to be human? Relationship is important. It really matters.

What does the Bible say about relationship?

Listen to sermon below…

Here is the structure:

We have a deep desire for relationship
1) MADE FOR RELATIONSHIP
2) BROKEN RELATIONSHIP
3) RECONCILED RELATIONSHIP
4) PERFECTED RELATIONSHIP
Life Under God

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IS ISLAM THE GREATEST ENEMY OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH?

is-islam-the-greatest-enemy

We desperately want our western brothers and sisters in Christ to realise that the greatest enemy of our faith today is not communism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Atheism, or even Islam. Our greatest enemy is lostness. Lostness is the terrible enemy that Jesus commissioned His followers to vanquish with the battle strategy He spelled out for them in Matthew 28:18-20. He was addressing this same enemy when He plainly clarified His purpose in coming: “I have come to seek and to save those who are lost.”

Our hope is that believers around the world will get close enough to the heart of God that the first images that come to mind when we hear the word “Muslim” are not Somali pirates or suicide bombers of violent jihadists or even terrorists. When we hear the word “Muslim,” we need to see and think of each and every Muslim as a lost person who is loved by God. We nee to see each Muslim as a person in need of God’s grace and forgiveness. We need to see each Muslim as someone for whom Christ died.

Nik Ripken, The Insanity of God, p. 302-303

Find out more about Jesus: who He is; why He came; what it means to follow Him.

DIGITAL STRATEGY FOR CHURCHES // FREE E-BOOK BY JORDAN GILLMAN @JORDESIGN

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Jordan Gillman, from churchsites.co and author of this guest post, has released his e-book for free. Digital Strategy for Churches is a 48-page e-book designed to help churches think strategically about the way they use their website and social media presence. Jordan’s material is accessible for churches of all sizes with specific action steps at the end of each chapter. Definitely worth checking out.

DOWNLOAD ‘DIGITAL STRATEGY FOR CHURCHES’

I’ve written some content that might also be useful:

 

HOPE BEYOND CURE: BOOK REVIEW // GUEST POST BY ADAM SCOTT (@ADAMNSCOTT)

hope-beyond-cure

I recently noticed my friend, Adam Scott, share online that he had just finished reading a book for the second time. The book? ‘Hope Beyond Cure’ by Dave McDonald. Knowing some of Adam’s story I asked him if he’d be willing to share how this book has impacted him in particular. Ads is one of the ministers at St Mark’s Pennant Hills (Sydney).

“It’s actually very serious.”

That was the last thing I wanted to hear from the doctors treating me.

An MRI had apparently revealed a large arterial tear in my neck & the consensus was that I’d probably had a stroke.  It all started feeling very serious.  I was 28 years old, laying in a hospital bed, surrounded by pensioners who were apparently healthier than I was – go figure!

It was the first time in my life that someone spoke candidly & clinically with me about the reality of dying and it was terrifying. I’d always expected dying to be a future, far-off, unfortunate but inevitable reality, but someone with more authority on the subject was telling me that perhaps my presumptions were wrong.

That’s probably why I’ve appreciated reading ‘Hope Beyond Cure’ by David McDonald as much as I have. It’s a book written by a pastor who was humble enough to admit that facing death can be terrifying & perhaps our presumptions are wrong.

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THE PERFECT FATHER’S DAY GIFT

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As Father’s Day approaches, Compassion Australia is helping children choose the perfect gift for their dads while supporting people living in poverty at the same time.

With spending on Father’s Day gifts tipped to top $754 million in Australia this year, ‘Gifts of Compassion’ provide an opportunity to buy a gift such as a goat or veggie seeds on behalf of dads, which then go to a family living in poverty.

According to Compassion Australia CEO Tim Hanna, Father’s Day is the perfect opportunity to say “I love you” with a goat.

“No-one really needs to find space for another tie, pair of socks or the latest BBQ gadget,” says Tim.

“Putting a goat on your Father’s Day wish list does more than solve storage problems. It really can help a family break the cycle of poverty.”

Aussie dads given the gift of a goat, or another Gift of Compassion, will receive a card with the knowledge that it can help change the future for a family on the other side of the world.

Father-of-three Peter Munyao from Ngaamba, Kenya, is one person whose life was changed through the gift of goats from Compassion.

“It [the goat business] is very good for my family,” says Peter.

“Now we have more nutritious food and the children are happy. The Church gave me hope with these goats. I was depressed but now I’m doing well. When you have hope that everything is all right, it is all right.”

You can order your dad’s Gift of Compassion at www.compassion.com.au/giftsofcompassion

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Compassion Australia Press Release Used with Permission.

PHOTOBLOG FROM #DISRUPTSYDNEY #A29

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An epic night last night at Barney’s Broadway for the DISRUPT GENERAL ASSEMBLY run by Acts 29 Australia. Matt Chandler preached a cracking sermon on how we need Jesus to disrupt our mundane and broken existence with good news. Guy Mason did a fine job as the MC and Austin Stone Worship lead the music with great passion. I was also able to represent Compassion Australia on the night and we saw a whole bunch of kids sponsored at the end of the night.

Below are some sweet pics from the talented Josh Mikhaiel.

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POP-UP PASTORING: ONCE YOU POP YOU CAN’T STOP! // GUEST POST BY SIMON JACKSON (@SIMJACKO)

pop-up-pastoring

I recently saw my friend, Simon Jackson, inviting friends and church members on Facebook to join him at his next “pop-up pastor” location. Pop-up what? Intrigued, I asked Jacko to write a guest blog post about his experiences. Jacko is on the ministry team at Church by the Bridge, Kirribilli & Lavender Bay. A great church on the north side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, check it out if you’re in the area or visiting Sydney!

Have you noticed those stores in shopping centres and malls that just pop-up for a brief stint, sell some stuff, pack up and then they’re gone? I’m pretty sure they call them pop-up stores – yeah?

Drop in, make an impact, gone.

A few weeks ago early one Tuesday morning four things came together; (i) for some reason the ‘pop-up’ concept popped into my head; (ii) I had a meeting in the Sydney CBD at 2.30pm, (iii) a 1pm Tuesday lunchtime pastoral catch-up fell through and (iv) I needed to eat lunch that day! Strangely that quartet of ideas gave rise to what is known as ‘Pop-Up Pastoring’.

‘Pop-up Pastoring’ was birthed that day and has been alive and well since.

How does it work?

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