National Youth Ministry Convention 2011

NYMC is back for 2011. It’s a youth ministry conference held every two years in Australia. Here are my blog posts from the 2007 event (I couldn’t make it in 2009). It has speakers and participants from a spectrum of different youth ministries and theological camps. I think it’s a valuable conference and would encourage you to come along and join in the conversation! Register by June 30 for the early bird spesh.

I’ll be running an elective and a professional development seminar. Details below…
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Best Goal of 2011?

It’s been almost a year since my last football (soccer) blog post… This goal is amazing! Mexico beat USA in the Gold Cup this weekend. Here is the final goal from Dos Santos:

Flippin magic!!! Joga Bonito!!!

Best goal of 2011? If not, show me what you think is better in the comments…

(h/t Craig Foster)

Beware the Anti-Nanny State Police

Check out this article from this week’s Australian Financial Review: Beware the Anti-Nanny State Police (PDF). It’s a great article on protecting the vulnerable in society. My brother wrote a letter agreeing with the article from a Christian perspective. Here it is:

I think it’s a thoughtful, intelligent response. Tidy work bro :)

A Fresh Look at Mission

The conference audio is now available from the “A Fresh Look at Mission” conference. It was held last Friday in the Sydney CBD. A really useful day and with some great content. I look forward to continuing to engage in thinking through how to reach Sydney and the World with the good news of Jesus.

I was particularly encouraged by John Dickson’s vision in the final talk.

Find out more about the conference // Download the sermon audio

It’s not cool to ride a bodyboard

Unless you’re a professional, it’s not cool to ride a bodyboard when you’re 30! So next summer, I plan on finding a cheap surfboard and shredding some salt. In the meantime, I enjoy learning from the daily photo gallery emailed out by the Saltmotion Gallery Manly.

Joel and his team take regular shots of Northern Beaches waves as well as pics from surfing trips around the globe. Check out their website.

I’ve been given permission to use their pics on blog posts. So keep an eye out for more pics in the future! Peace.

Jake Nauta @ Paradox Cafe

After a killer time with Mike McCarthy at Paradox during April, we’re running another one in a couple of weeks time. For various reasons (Thomas is one of them!) I was slow off the mark in securing an artist for the night. But I’m very excited (and thankful) that Jake Nauta has agreed to play. He’s originally from the well-known and much-loved band Playjerise.

Northern Beaches peeps, find out all the deets at the Paradox website or the Facebook event.

3 Quick Shout-Outs

  1. Jake Nauta – check his website. Grab his latest gear on iTunes.
  2. Creation Swap – I blogged on them last week. Sweet free design stuff. I didn’t have much time to produce promo material. It didn’t take too long to edit this free photoshop file and produce a smart looking business card.
  3. Worldwide Online Printing – I’ve used them for a number of years. Since coming to St Faith’s Narrabeen, I’ve been using the Brookvale office for print jobs. Super speedy service, competitive prices and amazing turnarounds on print jobs. Check ‘em.

Dear Aussie Muslims

A bunch of Aussie Christians have responded to the Aussie Muslims’ billboard about Jesus with their own billboard. I think it’s an intelligent, thoughtful and respectful response to the MyPeace campaign. Religious dialogue can be courteous! www.aussiechristians.com.au

See below for a video that shows some of the key differences with a Muslim understanding of Jesus. John Dickson from CPX interviews Diaa Mohamed (the founder of the MyPeace campaign). Worth a watch:

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Creation Swap – Free Stuff for Church Design

Creation Swap has recently re-launched. They used to operate as CreativeMYK (see all the times I’ve mentioned or used their images), but now hit the refresh button with more great free stuff for church designers. It’s free. It’s generally good quality. And it’s free.

The Blurb:

Search royalty-free stock photos, church bulletins, sermon art, logos and more shared freely or sold by Christian artists worldwide. Also, visit our Network to connect with artists, view portfolios or post jobs free.

Get into it. Peace.

Which English Bible?

There are still approx 3500 languages in the world that don’t yet have the Bible in their own language.  English speakers really are spoilt for choice with the number of Bible translations we have available. In my circles, the 1984 New International Version has reigned for a long time. It has now been discontinued with the release of the updated 2011 edition.

This means in the near future we’ll need to decide whether to upgrade to the NIV 2011, or consider a different English translation. I’m going to be doing some research and thinking through the options. At the moment I’ll be checking out the NIV 2011, HCSB and ESV.

Let me know what you think are the key considerations and any useful resources. Thanks!

I wrote you a song

Today is our 8 year wedding anniversary. Here’s a recent pic of Rowena with our two young punks. When I proposed to Row, I wrote her a song – the last line was the proposal. She said yes. I considered writing her another song. Time is one issue; talent is the other… I’m a one hit wonder. So I got one of my friends to put this one together. Thanks Mick:

According to the most recent Australian Bureau of Stats figures I could find, the average Australian marriage lasts for just over 8 years. So I’m praying we’d help to take the average higher! I’m praying that for you too.

I gave Row some books, flowers and chocolate. She gave me some music and another son. We’re going out for dinner on Thursday night. At the risk of public display of affection… Love ya Row!

Here’s some previous anniversary blog posts: 3rd; 5th; 6th; 7th.

What has Zerubbabel got to do with Christianity in China?

What follows is from the editing room floor from my sermon this past weekend. I was given Zechariah 3 & 4, but could only fit chapter 3 into the sermon. So here are a couple of comments and a story reflecting on chapter 4.

In Zech 3, we see how God will deal with the sin of his people. In the vision in Zech 4, we see how God will sustain his people while they carry out the work of rebuilding the temple.

As we read chapter 4 through the lens of the cross of Jesus, God’s people are no longer seeking to build a physical temple, but rather we are part of “being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:4) We build the Kingdom as we join in God’s mission of making disciples of all nations.

1) Kingdom work happens by the power of God’s Spirit.

Check out Zech 4:6

So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.

It’s easy to think that Kingdom work happens in our strength. But that’s dumb. Zerubbabel was a pretty impressive leader – but God’s word for him was “trust me, not yourself”. Israel needed to depend upon God for God’s work to be completed with the temple. We need to depend upon God as we join him in his mission. Trust him.

2) Kingdom work happens in God’s timing

Check out Zech 4:10a

“Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.

This verse is brilliant. The plumb line is the ancient measuring device used to make sure things are vertical. Basically they made sure that buildings didn’t become leaning towers of Pisa! It’s therefore something that would have been used in the very early stages of building, as the scaffolds went up – out went Zerubbabel’s hand with the plumb line. This could be seen as the day of a small thing, yet it’s significant and worthy of rejoicing.

Kingdom work is normally made up of lots of little things, small steps. Most people don’t get the gospel the first time they hear it. It normally takes time.

Most churches don’t experience 1000’s of conversions each year. But one by one, God is adding to the number of disciples in the Kingdom.

Verse 10 made me think of the small things that Robert Morrison was part of 200 years ago in China.

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Robert Morrison – The First Missionary to China

In 1807 Robert Morrison, the first Protestant missionary to China, began his ministry with high hopes. After 27 years of hard work all he had were ten converts to Christianity. But during this time of hard spiritual sowing he translated the Bible into the Chinese language. Twenty years after his death another young missionary came to China with high hopes.

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Before the Throne of God Above

In my Zechariah 3 sermon this weekend, I quoted from the 1863 hymn Before the Throne of God Above. Here is a link to the sermon. Check out the video of the song in full:

Here’s the bit I quoted:

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.

Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Amen.

Sick of half-hearted Christianity?

Below is a 50 word book plug I wrote for Thirteen Three to use for some upcoming events. Radical is my favourite book of 2010 written by David Platt. Stay tuned for more reflections on Radical, including an exciting event coming up in July: Soulies Underground.

Sick of half-hearted Christianity? Read RADICAL by David Platt. No other book (outside of the Bible) has challenged me to take seriously the radical call to follow Jesus. His stories about persecuted Christians have encouraged me to be bolder, more hungry for the Word and prayerful for the world.

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In other Thirteen Three news, SOULIES is raising money for underground Bible school students in Vietnam. More info here.

Pinch + Punch // June 2011

Pinch + Punch is the monthly post that doesn’t really say much. But if you’re new to dmdc, then it might give you some highlights from the last month. If you missed my 50 tweets proclaiming the good news, we had a new edition to our family during May. Praise God! Find pics here, here and here. June has now begun, so has winter. I wore shorts today to celebrate! Here’s my selection of the June smashing mag desktop calendars:

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