Never Be Destroyed Part 5 – Know Your King (Daniel 4 & 5)

There’s been lots of gear going down lately regarding good leadership and bad leadership. The Australian Labour Party figured that Kevin Rudd didn’t have the goods to take the party to win the next federal election. So they chucked him out hoping that Julia Gillard will do a better job. What makes a good leader good, and a bad leader bad? What we think about good/bad leadership is insignificant compared to what God thinks about good/bad leadership. What does God think? Daniel 4 and 5 will help answer.

In chapter 4, Nebuchadnezzar has another hectic dream (4:1-18). It’s about a massive tree that gets cut down. The stump from the tree (which really sound like a man), is then forced to live among the wild animals. Daniel is then called into action to interpret the dream (4:19-27). Neb is the tree, and he will live among the animals until he acknowledges “that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes” (4:25). This is exactly what happened (4:28-37). Neb repents of his arrogance and acknowledges God’s rule over all the kingdoms of the world.

What’s the point? All leaders (and in fact all people) must humbly acknowledge that God is the true king. Any human rule and leadership is to be exercised under the dominion of our Sovereign God.

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Shine Music Conference 04.09.10

St Paul’s Castle Hill are running a music conference on September 4th. Here’s some info: SHINE is an annual music conference designed to equip and encourage Christian singers and musicians. Each year we have a guest speaker and professional workshop leaders to help build us up in Christ and to develop the gifts that God has given us.

For info and online rego visit their website.

Local Missionaries – RICE Leaders Day Out

The crazy RICE season is fast approaching. (Pray for it!) I gave an evangelism seminar on Saturday at Leaders Day Out. It’s called “Local Missionaries”. Download below.

I kicked off in the Great Commission, encouraged the group to think like local missionaries and then gave a strategy for evangelism in youth ministry that doesn’t depend on big events. It was a bit rushed in the 2nd half, but I think it was useful. If you were there and want any of the stuff I spoke about, let me know.

Dave Miers “LOCAL MISSIONARIES” MP3 (right click to download)

Find out more about RICE Youth Sydney and the RICE Movement.

Maradona is not God

Argentina struggled to qualify for the World Cup, they’ve now been dominating each of their games. During qualification, the impression I got about Maradona (their coach and one of the greatest players, like ever!) was one of a has-been-crack-pot incapable of doing much with the team! But, so far so good. One of the fascinating things to observe is how much the people and players of Argentina treat him like god. Literally. Here’s a crazy throng of photographers snapping him singing the national anthem!

Check out a whole bunch of brilliant photos from boston.com.

If you don’t know the true and living God… check this out.

Never Be Destroyed Part 4 – Know The Cost (Daniel 3 & 6)

It’s easy to compromise. Sex. Parties. Alcohol. Popularity. These are just some of the areas where it is tempting to think and behave like the rest of the world rather than how God would have us think and behave. Sport. Career. Possessions. These are good things that, like the rest of the world, we are tempted to turn into god-things. What will help you to not compromise in your life as a Christian?

In both Daniel 3 and Daniel 6, God’s people are called to compromise their faith in God by giving their total allegiance to Babylon. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are told that every time they have hear certain music they are to bow down and worship this massive gold statue set up by Nebuchadnezzar; if they don’t they will be thrown into the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:1-15). Likewise for Daniel, during the reign of King Darius, it was decreed that anyway who prayed to a god other than Darius would be thrown into the Lion’s den (Daniel 6:1-9).

What would you do in the circumstances? Maybe you could bow down to the statue, but on the inside say that you are worshipping the God of Israel? Or if you were Daniel, you could still pray to the God of Israel, but just do it in secret?

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“Young Punks” – you heard it here first!

I’ve recently started referring to high school aged young people as “young punks”. Some friends have even begun to embrace the terminology while blogging, tweeting or speaking. You might think it sounds stupid, but not as stupid as some terms we use.

Here is my ranking of terms for defining this age group:

  1. Young Punks - this is my favourite. It’s a kinda playful and even an endearing description. But if you want to overly allegorise, you could say that the ‘punks’ bit recognises that they are sinners.
  2. Teenagers - I like this. It describes their age.
  3. Students - I like this. It describes their vocation.
  4. Youth – This one is okay. But, it’s also ambiguous. Triple J is a ‘youth’ radio station, which includes many Nirvana-loving 40 year-olds.
  5. Kids - This one is just terrible. Aside from ‘kids’ being junior goats, I think it is patronising and condescending.
  6. Children - This is worse than kids.
  7. Generation XYZ - what the heck is Gen Y or Gen Z or Gen Whatever?!? Too tryhard trendy. Very 2006.

You with me?

Never Be Destroyed Part 3 – Know Your Team (Daniel 2)

Our 21st Century global community is full of many impressive empires: Apple™; Google™; Facebook™; Coca-Cola™; McDonalds™; Hollywood™. So much of what these empires do as they conquer the world is very impressive. When Christians compare their humble little gatherings™ with the impressiveness of the world, it’s easy to feel intimidated. In Daniel’s time, the Kingdom of God looked pretty unimpressive: exile in Babylon. Chapter 2 gives a much bigger picture of kingdoms that will come and go.

The scene kicks off with Nebuchadnezzar, the most powerful man in the world, troubled after having some nightmares (v1). So he gathers together all of the magicians, tarot card readers, witch doctors and psychics; he wants answers (v2-3). But he doesn’t make it easy for the dream team, he won’t even tell them what the dream was, yet expects an interpretation (v5-6, 8-9)!

The dream team plead with him to at least share the dream (v4, 7). He doesn’t. The astrologers answered the king, “There is not a man on earth who can do what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer. What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among men.” (Dan 2:10-11 NIV)

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Moore College Exam Fest

Mid-year exams rock my Winter. We’re currently on StuVac at the moment. Next week it’s game time. So Moore College crew get your exam prep tweets on with this hashtag: #MooreExamFest. I figured the World Cup (pray for it) is on, lots of festivities, let’s make a festival of exam study!! (Probably the single most nerd thing I’ve ever typed!)

There were quite a few peeps who got in the action for #MTCexamcram09. It was good. Here are the 3 reasons from last year:

  1. I’m motivated to study because I see others studying
  2. There are gems among the quotes, reflections and bible verses being shared
  3. It’s a fun and maybe (?) useful way to use social media

Follow the action in the widget above or by clicking here.

3photos: Outside Inside

Samuel has just turned 1. Crazy, I remember when he was just this big! Lots of friends and family came over on a gorgeous Winter’s afternoon to celebrate Sam’s birthday and to also witness his baptism. Row made a delicious World Cup Mascot cake to put the icing on a lovely day. The only negative was that we forgot to give out the party bags. If you were there with kids, please come and collect a bag before we eat them all! Here are 3 photos from the morning of Sam’s special day. On the outside looking inside.

Outside Inside 1

see below for the other 2 pics

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Never Be Destroyed Part 2 – Know Your Identity (Daniel 1)

Fitting in is a big deal for young punks. Not fitting in is an even bigger deal. That’s why peer pressure exists. You know that you’ve done dumb things because your mates were doing dumb things. Part of fitting in is working out who you are and where you belong. Daniel 1 shows Dan and his mates working out who they are and what it will mean for them to fit in or not fit in, in a foreign land.

Daniel 1:1-2 sets the scene for the rest of the book. We’re introduced to 2 kings and 2 cities. Jehoiakim and Nebuchadnezzar are the kings; Jerusalem and Babylon are the cities. These two cities are probably the most important cities in the whole of the Bible. They are in the opening and closing books of the Bible and everywhere in between.

Babylon is the city that represents human self-rule. In Genesis 11 Babylon tried to create a city that didn’t need God. There are Babylons all over our world today. But we know from Revelation 18 that the ultimate destiny of Babylon is destruction.

Jerusalem is the opposite of Babylon. It’s the city built by God. It is the Holy City. The future is certain and it’s good: the New Jerusalem will be inhabited by God and his people for all eternity (Revelation 21).

In part 1 we saw that Jerusalem had been taken over by Babylon. And now the King of Babylon has begun recruiting good looking young men to be part of a 3-year Babylon School Bootcamp (vv3-4). Dan and his 3 good looking mates were chosen to join the school and be part of the king’s posse.

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Preparing God’s People for Suffering

The following video will help you to be prepared for suffering; not if it comes, but when it comes. It’s from a Pastor’s conference, Together For the Gospel, and features Matt Chandler, CJ Mahaney and John Piper. Filled with gospel-centred goodness.

Here are some other resources on the subject:

Free Music Friday 08 // Jonnday – So Amusing

Jonnday are a hot young indie pop rock band from the Central Coast. I recently had a killer time hanging out with them in Tamworth. They opened the event with an energetic set and their EP, V for Victory, captures that same energy in a really tight recording. They remind me of No Doubt, fortunately without the 90s ska-pop beats and also without the annoying Gwen Stefani, just the good bits. Seriously, they’re legit. With an increasing number of young punks following them, and more gigs on the horizon, they’re definitely worth checking out. Jordan the drummer is probably one of the best on the planet.

Jonnday and dmdc are giving away one copy of their EP V for Victory. To be in the running, just leave a comment below. If you don’t win, defs worth the $8.45 in iTunes.

Jonnday SO AMUSING (right click to download free mp3)

MySpaceFacebook | YouTube | iTunes | Twitter (ps they’re all desperate for followers on Twitter @rinnylee @jessamypurcell @sammytelford @jordanjonnday)

Praying for the World (Cup)

I used to worship soccer. That’s dumb. Worshipping soccer is as foolish as worshipping a scarecrow in a cucumber field. I’ve been getting fairly excited about the 2010 World Cup. Almost too excited! To help keep things in perspective I make it my aim to pray for both countries at half-time of each game I watch. The World Cup is an opportunity to learn about 32 different countries and work out how to best pray for them.

If you’re a Christian. Here’s some ideas for prayer during the World Cup

  1. At half time. Pray for both teams. Don’t pray for one team to win, pray for stuff that matters in the big picture of eternity.
  2. If you’re on twitter use this hashtag #Praying4WorldCup to share what you’re praying and encourage others to pray with you.
  3. Spend some time on Wikipedia learning about the countries
  4. I’m currently preparing a very brief guide with one thing to pray for each team. I’ll post it here when it’s finished. EDIT: It might take a bit long, so maybe not.
  5. If you have Operation World, keep it near the TV
  6. Check out The Joshua Project for stats on unreached people groups in the world.
  7. If you know missionaries or some of the needs in any of the countries, share them in the comments below.
  8. EDIT: New idea – check out the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students website www.ifesworld.org

GROUP A: France | Mexico | South Africa | Uruguay

GROUP B: Argentina | Greece | Nigeria | Korea Republic

GROUP C: England | Algeria | Slovenia | United States

GROUP D: Germany | Australia | Serbia | Ghana

GROUP E: Netherlands | Denmark | Japan | Cameroon

GROUP F: Italy | Paraguay | New Zealand | Slovakia

GROUP G: Brazil | Korea DPR | Côte d’Ivoire | Portugal

GROUP H: Spain | Switzerland | Honduras | Chile

Check out the Latest #Praying4WorldCup tweets:

Tryhard wearing (fake) Ray Ban sunnies

I found a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses in the gutter on George St in the City today. I don’t think they actually belong to Ray Ban. Nor do I think they were even made by Ray Ban. Rather I think some guy pretending to be Ray Ban made them and sold them really cheaply. Then someone bought them. Then they lost them. Then I found then. The end.

Check this out for more LOST + FOUND action.

Never Be Destroyed – Daniel Part 1

Here are the opening two verses of Daniel chapter 1: “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god.” (Dan 1:1-2 NIV)

It sounds terrible! God’s holy city, Jerusalem, has been taken over by the Babylonians. They’ve taken all the bling from the temple of God and carried it off to the temple of Babylon’s gods. Where is God? Is he still in control? Does he still rule? Or has he lost his power?

One of the main themes throughout the book of Daniel is that, despite appearances, God is still in control. Human kingdoms come and go throughout the book, but “the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed.” (Dan 2:44).

We’ll meet Daniel and his friends as they seek to live as God’s people in a foreign, sometimes hostile, land. They have some wild adventures with lions, fiery furnaces and some crazily vivid visions & dreams.

The world of Daniel is not unlike our world. As we see the hostility (and even the impressiveness) of the world around us, our belief in God can easily be challenged. My hope is that this blog series on Daniel 1-7 will help teach us to live wisely, while we wait for the return of our King Jesus and his kingdom that will never be destroyed.

7 Years = Perfect Marriage

It’s exactly a year since our 6th anniversary. You know what that means – today is our 7th anniversary! Very cool. In the Bible, the number 7 is often symbolic of wholeness, completeness, or perfection. It means we have finally attained the perfect marriage!!

Okay, maybe it’s not perfect, but I think it’s getting better. We still love each other and we’re learning more and more how to forgive each other. Love ya Row!

Are you married? Tip: Work hard on your marriage. We’ve been reading this book, What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage – it’s brilliant. Check it out!

If I could run a business…

We spent 4 hours in the car today travelling. One of the games we played was which 3 business would you like to own & run. The aim wasn’t to make lots of money, but rather something you’d be interested in operating. It was fun. Feel free to share yours.

Dave’s List:

  1. Cafe – I like the coffee thing, but probably more so the people thing.
  2. Shoe Shop – during high school and my first few years out of school I worked in a sport shop. I like shoes. The shoe shop would specialise in sports shoes and casual/urban/street shoes.
  3. Creative Suite – web/graphic design, marketing, advertising, PR etc.

Row’s List:

  1. Florist – even though she’s allergic to grass, she likes flowers. That’s cool. (Mental note: buy row flowers)
  2. Travel Agent – not just the opportunity to travel, but help people plan sweet trips.
  3. Art House Cinema – operating an independent cinema. A little bit like the one at Avoca Beach (if you haven’t been there… make the trip one day/night)

If I could run a business…

Wicked the Musical

Last night, we enjoyed watching Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz. Very clever story line. Great performances. Spectacular set. Check it out while it’s still in Sydney. Not in Sydney? Don’t have any money? Just read about it on Wikipedia!

Have you seen it? What did you think?

Pinch + Punch // June 2010

During summer, I had an “embracing summer” policy. It just meant I wouldn’t ever complain about the heat, but rather seek to enjoy it. I’m doing the same (or kinda the opposite!) this winter. I’m “embracing winter”. This means I won’t complain about the cold, wet or darkness; but rather enjoy this season in its time. If I complain about something to do with winter and you hear it – you have permission to slap me. Deal?

The high light of June will definitely be the FIFA Football World Cup held in South Africa. During the 1998 World Cup, my trial HSC was significantly impacted by late nights watching soccer matches. This year I have 2 exams at college during the world cup… good luck studying! This month’s Smashing Mag Wallpaper is the better of the 2 soccer related ones (see above). Australia for the win!

Here’s the best of May (according to clicks) and some other stats:

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