6 QUESTIONS EVERY 18 YEAR OLD MUST ANSWER // #SCHOOLIES

Six Questions - Intro

So, you’ve finished school? Well done. It’s a massive achievement to stick at anything for 13 years. This may not have occurred to you at the age of 5 when you began school, but it’s a big achievement nonetheless.

Now what? 

Make or Break

The first few months after you finish school can be a make or break time for your Christian faith.

For some who have grown up in a Christian family, there’s a risk that as they graduate from the church youth program, they’ll keep walking straight out the door and graduate from Jesus too. It’s heart-breaking when that happens.

Conversely, it’s massively encouraging to see young people graduate from high school and make godly decisions to keep following Jesus into adulthood.

Blog Series

This blog series is all about the “now what?” question. Most of your life has probably just happened up until this point. I’m not suggesting you have been totally unreflective in how you’ve lived your life. But, in Australia at least, school is compulsory, so you just roll with it until it’s over.

Now what? For some time now, the trajectory of your life has been moving away from your parents’ authority, as you increasingly taking responsibility for yourself. Now is a great time to stop and ask yourself some honest questions. Here are six questions every school leaver should ask and answer:

1/ Why am I here?
2/ Who are my real friends?
3/ What do I want to do when I grow up?
4/ How can I make a difference?
5/ What will I fight for?
6/ Where can I find happiness?

How you answer these questions will shape how you live your life. The answers to these questions will answer the “now what?” question.

Now What? Jesus.

I’ll be upfront. I believe Jesus should be central to each of these answers. So please follow along if you are a follower of Jesus, or if you’re simply curious to see why Jesus really matters.

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Follow the series via this tag or check back to this post. I’ll also tweet and facebook when new articles go live.

CELEBRATING 7 YEARS OF GOD’S GRACE

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At the end of October, City on a Hill celebrated its 7th birthday. His Story Our Story was a massive encouragement to see the many evidences of God’s grace over the last 7 years. We sang songs, we prayed, the kids performed Oh How I Need You, our plans to plant a Church in Brisbane were announced, Guy Mason preached a cracking sermon on The Great Commission, and 17 people were baptised.

In the last 12 months City on a Hill: Geelong and City on a Hill: West have been planted. This meant that His Story Our Story was the first gathering of Melbourne, Geelong and West all together in the one location. I love being part of what God is doing in and through City on a Hill and, by God’s grace, look forward to what he will continue to do in the future!

Below are two of the videos shown during the event at Melbourne Town Hall. The first is a short documentary style film looking back and looking forward. The second gives a glimpse into the lives of some of the people who were baptised on the day.

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KNOWING JESUS AND MAKING JESUS KNOWN IN A NEW CITY

Yesterday we enjoyed being part of His Story Our Story: a celebration of the last 7 years of City on a Hill in Melbourne’s historic Town Hall. I’ll share a bunch of the videos and content from the day throughout this week.

The first video? An announcement on our plans for planting City on a Hill in a new city!!

It’s early days, but here are three ways you can support us: pray; give; join.

If you are unable to watch the video above, you can read the script below:

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#INSTALIFEWEEKLY // 14 OCTOBER 2014

#instalifeweekly

I’ve had a bit of writers block lately with blog posts and some other projects. So I’ve been enjoying taking pictures a bit more often. Below is a collection of my instagram shots from the last week. There are more Melbourne-centric posts and I’ve enjoyed exploring a new city!

See below for the latest #instalifeweekly…
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GOOD NEWS: THE BIBLE APP NOW HAS 1000+ TRANSLATIONS IN 700+ LANGUAGES!!

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This is good news, right? The info graph below gives some of the history of Bible translation. Haven’t read the Bible before? Go check out www.bible.com to read online or download the app. Need some help reading? Check out my Mark’s Gospel reading guide and these 3 posts about who Jesus is, why he came and what it means to follow him.

The full info graph is below:
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PODCAST INTERVIEW ON ‘SOME ANSWERS’

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I was recently featured on the “Some Answers” Podcast. It was lots of fun recording with Sam Freestone. She’s an excellent host: funny; insightful; honest and keen to point people to Jesus. Check out the website for some excellent interviews and fascinating stories. Here is the blurb from my episode:

This interview is with Dave Miers. Listen as we navigate his life story from his love/potential career in soccer to his doppelganger Simon Burke from Playschool to how he became a full time follower of Jesus.

I am so ridiculously excited for you to hear this interview because it was so much fun to record AND because I loved hearing how solid and forthright he is in his faith despite the trials he and his family have faced. Please continue to rate and review on iTunes.

Some Answers Website | iTunes Link

Stream/download my episode below:

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#INSTALIFEWEEKLY // 6 OCTOBER 2014

#instalifeweekly

How was your weekend? Mine was big: I gave one of the talks at our Leader’s Day on Saturday and then preached across the day on Sunday. With Daylight Savings kicking in, it meant minimal sleep. But it’s all good.

If you missed the short story about the cute old couple below, make sure you check it out.

See below for the latest edition of #instalifeweekly…
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JESUS BRINGS SALVATION & JUDGEMENT

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Who is Jesus? If you were to ask that question on your street or your facebook page, you may receive a great variety of answers. How would the locals in Jesus’ hometown, Nazareth, have answered it? I’m sure many would have respected him, others knew he was a good man, still others would consider him to still be Mary and Joe’s boy – working as a carpenter.

But how does Jesus answer that question? “Who is Jesus” according to Jesus? In Luke 4, Jesus returns home and reveals from the Old Testament who he understands himself to be.

The sermon below explores what Jesus says in Luke 4:14-30.
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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?

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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.