SHOULD CHRISTIANS OBSERVE THE SABBATH DAY?

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In the Old Testament the Sabbath Day was a significant part of Jewish religious experience. The idea of setting aside one day as holy to the Lord was a pattern set up in the creation story in Genesis. Observance of the Sabbath Day is then written into the ten commandments found in Exodus.

How should 21st Century Christians relate to the Sabbath Day? Are Christians bound by the Old Testament law? Should Christians observe the Sabbath Day?

In Luke 6:1-11 some Pharisees rebuke Jesus because his disciples have apparently done what is not lawful on the Sabbath. This sermon [player below] considers Jesus’ response to them and what we can learn about the Sabbath.

The sermon finishes with 5 ways that Christians should apply the Sabbath principles to their life:

1) The Sabbath is about the heart
2) The Sabbath is for worship
3) The Sabbath is for our good
4) The Sabbath acknowledges that God is sovereign
5) The Sabbath looks forward to eternal rest

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FUNNIEST VIDEO I’VE SEEN ON YOUTUBE!

The Asian Cup 2015 football tournament kicks of tonight with the Socceroos playing Kuwait here in Melbourne. The tickets were a little pricey, but I’m looking forward to watching the delayed telecast on ABC.

To prepare for the cup, you need to see this video.

I have spent way too much time during the last 8 years watching YouTube videos. Top Soccer Shootout Ever With Scott Sterling made me laugh more than any other!

A soccer match between the Yale Bulldogs and the North Carolina Tar Heels comes down to Scott Sterling and the most epic penalty kick shootout you’ll ever see.

Don’t agree this is the funniest? Let me know what is!

TONY HAWK RIDES WORLD’S FIRST REAL #HOVERBOARD @HendoHover

It’s 2015, the year that Marty McFly and Doc travelled forward to in Back to the Future movies. That means, among other things, that hoverboards should be all the rage… and they now are!  Maybe you were conned by last year’s fake hoverboard with Tony Hawk? Sorry about that. So is Tony.

But the hoverboard in the video above is the real deal! The company, Hendo Hover, recently raised a stack of cash to keep developing the concept. Wild times.

NEW MORNING MERCIES // BEGIN EACH DAY WITH GLIMPSES OF GOD’S GRACE – #NewMorningMercies @PaulTripp

A new year has begun. Looking for a new Bible reading plan? This epic list might help you to read, remember and pray the word in 2015. My plan? I’ve just begun a new year-long set of devotionals by Paul Tripp.

New Morning Mercies

New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional is a new collection of 365 daily bible readings from Paul Tripp. I’ve loved reading his tweets, hearing his sermons, and reading his books. In each case, he oozes with the gospel of God’s grace shown in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Here’s the blurb from #NewMorningMercies:

Mornings can be tough.

Sometimes, a hearty breakfast and strong cup of coffee just aren’t enough.

Offering far more than a rush of caffeine, best-selling author Paul David Tripp aims to energize Christian readers with the most potent encouragement imaginable: the gospel.

365 devotional readings lead off with a compelling, gospel-centered thought, followed by an extended meditation for the day. Focused less on behavior modification and more on helping people encounter the living God, this resource equips readers with the good news that they need to trust in God’s goodness, rely on his grace, and live for his glory—day in and day out.

Each day has a gospel nugget at the top of the page, devotional reflections from Tripp, and then a Bible passage to read at the end.

Try Before You Buy

I’ve read and journaled for January 1. But I’ve also read ahead to get a feel for the style. It’s excellent! If you’re not ready to buy the book, why not try before you buy.

You can download a month of readings from Paul Tripp’s website (PDF).

You can also download January’s readings for free via Apple iBooks.

Buy It Now!

New Morning Mercies is an excellent way to begin each day with the good news of Jesus… buy it now:

Get it from Amazon (including Kindle for less than $10) | Get it from Koorong | Get it from Book DepositoryGet it from Apple iBooks

Are you keen?

During the #BibleStott reading plan, I found great encouragement from others reading at the same time. So let me know in the comments if you’re going to join in, and use the hashtag #NewMorningMercies whenever you share quotes on social media.

10 MOST VIEWED BLOGPOSTS FROM 2014

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2014 has been the biggest year of traffic on this blog with a 400% increase on 2013 stats. So thanks for reading! This post has the 10 most popular posts of the year.

10 MOST VIEWED BLOGPOSTS FROM 2014

  1. WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THE ARABIC LETTER IN FACEBOOK PROFILE PICS? - Awful things have taken place in Iraq this year as Christians have been forced to flee their homes. I’m always encouraged by the stories of Christians who persevere through persecution. Christians all around the world changed their profile picture to the Arabic letter for ‘n’ in solidarity with Iraqi Christians. Read the post for more of the back story. The hits on this post have been overwhelming! I have even been contacted by Iraqi Christians thankful for the support they’ve received in their hardship.
  2. ZAC’S STORY // AMAZING VIDEO RECORDED 3 MONTHS BEFORE TRAGIC DEATH – a powerful story of a young man whose life continues to impact other young people.
  3. KAKÁ RESPONDS TO BEING LEFT OUT OF THE #BRAZIL2014 #WORLDCUP TEAM – cool story from a great soccer player who know there is something greater than world cup glory. After Brazil’s embarrassing tournament, he was probably more than happy to not be on the team!!
  4. 6 QUESTIONS EVERY 18 YEAR OLD MUST ANSWER // #SCHOOLIES – this post got a surprising number of hits, and now I just need to finish writing all the posts!! Stay tune.
  5. WE’RE MOVING TO A NEW CITY! - this was big news for us. We’ve now been in Melbourne for the last 4 months, and things are going well. Our move has also coincided with less posts on this blog! I’m hoping to post more often in 2015.
  6. WHAT THE NEW NSW PREMIER THINKS ABOUT JESUS #NSWPOL #JESUSIS
  7. 10 GREAT PLACES TO FIND FREE IMAGES FOR CHURCH PROMO // GUEST POST BY JORDAN GILLMAN (@JORDESIGN)
  8. A PRAYER FOR IRAQI CHRISTIANS #WeAreN
  9. WHAT’S YOUR WORLDVIEW? // ONE OF THE BEST FREE EVANGELISM TOOLS AVAILABLE
  10. 5 NEWISH SONGS FOR CHURCH

Thanks again for reading! Cya in 2015.

See the Top 10 post from 2013.

Thanks also to the various organisations who have partnered with this online ministry in 2014. Here are some of the current sponsors:
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LOVING AND CARING FOR THE HOMELESS OF MELBOURNE // #MANYROOMS

One of my roles at City on a Hill is Mercy Director. That means I’m seeking to help our church to be people who show comfort, care and compassion to those in need. I oversee the different mercy ministries across our 3 sites: Melbourne, West Melbourne, and Geelong. Many Rooms, our ministry to the homeless of Melbourne, is a significant part of that ministry.

I love what God is doing through the people of City on a Hill in and through this ministry. You can learn more about Many Rooms in the excellent video above.

I wrote an article on our website this week about our Kitchen in North Melbourne and our plans to begin a new kitchen in the CBD in January 2015. Here is an extract:

City on a Hill is a church established 7 years ago in the heart of Melbourne that seeks to Know Jesus and Make Jesus Known. From the beginning our desire has been to serve the city and help care for the most vulnerable.

[…]

In November 2009, Many Rooms opened its doors for the first time with The Kitchen in North Melbourne. Our vision: “as God has loved us in Jesus, so we aim to love and care for the homeless of Melbourne“

In the past 5 years we have seen close to 20,000 meals served. Since starting that first Saturday, we have served lunch every week. And 2 years ago we began serving breakfast every Saturday as well.

What Many Rooms provides is more than just food for those in need, but community in a city where it’s easy to be disconnected and on the margins.

[Read more…]

YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE WHAT THEY’RE SHAKING OFF IN THIS TAYLOR SWIFT (@TaylorSwift13) PARODY

Watch and share this brilliant “Shake it Off” parody! I recently went on a Scripture Union Queensland Schoolies camp on the Sunshine Coast. Each night I gave a talk after the evening show called Pluggers. This is one of the excellent videos produced for Pluggers. Find out more about SU QLD Schoolies.

ADVENT: THE DAWNING OF INDESTRUCTIBLE JOY // #ADVENTJOY READINGS WITH @JOHNPIPER

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Last year, THIS was excellent. John Piper has put out another excellent book of daily devotions in the lead up to Christmas:

Advent: The Dawning of Indestructible Joy

It’s available as a Free PDF or you can pick up a Kindle version for super-cheap.

I’m planning to share a highlight each day on social media using the hashtag: #AdventJoy

It’s called The Dawning of Indestructible Joy, “because the joy Jesus was bringing into the world was like no other kind in history. Once we have it, it cannot be destroyed. Jesus said, “No one will take your joy from you” (John 16:22).”

It starts on December 1 and goes through to Christmas Day.

Let’s go!

Read my post from last year for a little more context on what Advent is.

WHY AM I HERE? #SIXQUESTIONS #SCHOOLIES

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This is part 1 in the 6 Questions Every 18 Year Old Must Answer series

Katy Perry is one of the most famous people on the planet. In fact, she is the most popular person on the internet with 144 million followers collectively on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram! 

With legions of online fans, she has the world at her fingertips. When she sings, stadiums listen. What she wears, defines fashion. When she performs, Sasha and Malia Obama join in. When she campaigns for a cause, people donate. When she uploads, people download (she has the most digital sales of all time).

Fan or not, you can’t deny her influence.

But fans, fame and fortune don’t keep you immune from troubles. Katy Perry hit rock bottom when her husband, Russell Brand, broke up with her on New Years Eve 2011… via a text message. In an interview, Katy revealed that this heartbreak caused her to ask the deeper questions of life.

It’s often at moments of transition, change or loss that we get reflective. We ask, “What’s the deal with life?”

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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

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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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