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.
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
Compassion Australia Press Release Used with Permission.
‘TRY’ is a great film clip by Colbie Caillat about not needing to conform to photoshopped images of beauty. It’s gone viral the last few days, but in case you haven’t seen it, it’s a message that all people – male and female, young and old – need to keep hearing.
Brazil 2014 has been a great World Cup so far, great goals, great matches, lots of drama. The round of 16 has just been completed and there are now 8 teams left. I picked 7 of the 8 teams. I’m looking forward to 2 full nights of sleep before the quarter finals start! I thought it would be fun to vote on the best goal of the tournament so far. It won’t take long…
When Helen Thomas was 19 weeks pregnant she was told that her baby was ‘incompatible with life’ and was advised to abort, but she and her husband decided not to have an abortion. Helen spoke to Simon Smart about her reasons for not having an abortion and the remarkable story of her daughter Zoe.
An extraordinary story from The Centre for Public Christianity.
In 1991, Ned Zelic scored two goals to beat the Dutch and qualify for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. The second goal was one of those “wonder goals”. Some of you may not remember it because you weren’t yet born. I remember it, I was 11 years old. We watched replays on BTN at school; and we tried to mimic Zelic at soccer training. In case you missed it, here’s a video:
I’m not sure if “America” will read this blog post, but I do know that there are regularly Americans who read this blog. So if that’s you, please pass it on to the rest of your country.
Whatever your opinion on the politics of former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, his bold leadership on gun control in 1996 is an important legacy. In the wake of the Port Arthur massacre, when 35 people were killed, Howard brought in sweeping gun reforms. These reforms have changed Australia for the better.
It was good to hear that US President Barrack Obama mentioned Australia’s example in being tough on guns after another school shooting in the US. I’m saddened with every new report of more school shootings in the States and baffled by how easy it is to get a high powered gun. Just get rid of the Second Amendment from the Constitution, amend it out of there! I hope and pray Obama has the bullets to stand up and lead.
I’m not sure if you’ve seen these 3 videos, they were shared around via social media last year, but they are worth watching. John Oliver compiled them for The Daily Show, and they show how government-mandated gun control actually can work. He highlights the political leadership of Howard (as well as Tim Fischer and Rob Borbidge) in bringing about the changes.
See below for the 3 part series:
He helped lead the Brazilian National Football (Soccer) team to the 2002 World Cup Championship. Over the last 12 years he has played on two more Brazilian World Cup squads, was considered the best professional player in the sport (2007), and on multiple occasions worked to overcome serious injuries just to get back into the lineup. He played with no fear.
With the 2014 World Cup games to be hosted by Brazil it was time for this soccer legend to return home and bask in the spotlight. But Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, commonly known as Kaká, would not get that moment. Still battling injuries, and for reasons known only by the Brazilian coach, Kaká was left off the 23-man squad for the 2014 Cup.
What is Kaká’s response? Discouragement? Controversy? Devastation? Uncertainty? Or something else?
Did you miss my videos last week to get you warmed up for the World Cup? Go check them here. And above is another one. Nike Football are known for producing excellent videos, especially at the time of the World Cup. This one is great.
Disclaimer: soccer is good, but not God. It used to be the other way for me. But the message of some of these Nike football videos is a message that could easily apply to Christians. “Risk Everything” is something Christians should do for the sake of Jesus and His Kingdom! He is someone worth losing everything for. Play every game as if it’s the last game? Live every day as if it’s your last (see # 52).
Sorry for the spiritual content on this World Cup post. Actually, #SorryNotSorry :)
Citizens are one of the most exciting bands making music for Christians to sing as they gather. Based in the local church, Mars Hill, many of their songs have grown out of Bible teaching in their church and make much of Jesus. Creatively they are producing a distinct, yet singable sound.
I’ve posted 3 of their films clips here, here and here. I recently recommended one of their songs in a post on newish songs to sing in church. And I included their Christmas EP as one that doesn’t suck. It’s safe to conclude I’m a fan :)
(If you’re young and cash-less… go crazy on the “free” part! If you’ve got cash, I reckon the album is worth a tip)
The Free download is for a limited time only.
The FIFA World Cup 2014 is only a week away! My calendar is locked and loaded with important games throughout the middle of the night. The following are some #WorldCup related videos to help you warm-up for the greatest sporting event in the world:
It’s not just religious nuts who think that pornography is harmful. Today I heard Dr William Struthers, a neurologist from the USA, speak on the harmful impact porn has on the brain. He is in Australia doing some events during June with non profit Guilty Pleasure. This was my first introduction to Guilty Pleasure, but it looks like they have some really valuable resources on this topic.
Here’s some more info from their about page:
On the look out for some new tunes to sing at church? Below are some newish songs we’ve recently done at church, youth or I’ve sung at other places. I haven’t heard the final one by Kings Kaleidoscope done anywhere, but I think it would work. Let me know in the comments of any others you think are worth checking out. Here they are:
This post was partially written two months ago and I only just found it in my blog drafts. Why the delay in publishing? Our delightful daughter was born a few hours after the draft was last saved! Although the two photographs aren’t as current as they were then, I think it’s still a relevant tale worth sharing.
Two photos, both released within the same week, part of two radically different narratives. One taken of hungry people desperate for food in a war-torn country. The other of glamorous people desperate for attention in a celebrity-worn country.
Host an event in your youth ministry, school or Christian group and join us as we pray for ASYLUM SEEKERS and REFUGEES and the issues they face in our world.
For more information and to register go to: takelove.com.au
I love some of the youth initiatives that are coming out of Anglicare. At Soulies we plan on hosting a #TakeLove event on Friday 20th June and then following it up on the Saturday with some #TakeLove projects.
More related links:
Movies, entertainment, celebrity culture, video games, digital media and social networks are often used to escape from reality. The goal of this 4-part series is to consider how to escape to the reality that comes in knowing Jesus.
Part 4 of #EscapeToReality
THE GAMIFICATION OF LIFE
I recently learnt about an emerging trend called the gamification of life. It’s basically turning life into a game complete with points, incentives and levels. 1 point for cleaning your teeth. 5 points for taking rubbish out. 10 points for inbox zero. 20 points for doing your most dreaded tasks. After a certain number of points, you can reward yourself or somehow move onto the next level.
From the examples I’ve read online, it looks like a useful way to get things done!
Using little incentives is not just for those “gamifying” their life, we use all sorts of little incentives in different ways. Maybe if you complete a certain amount of study you’ll get to go for a surf. Or if you achieve this goal, you’ll treat yourself to something special.
When it comes to the Christian life, followers of Jesus don’t need to create little incentives and rewards. There is a bigger incentive and motivation.
DO NOT LOSE HEART
In 2 Corinthians 4 the big goal of the Christian life is to “not lose heart”. It’s the idea of preserving until the end in the Christian life. Like a runner lasting to the end of the race, the Christian is to keep going and keep trusting Jesus.
In this series ‘Escape to reality’ I have argued that movies, entertainment, celebrity culture, video games, digital media and social networks are often used to escape from reality.
My biggest goal has been to show that we all need to escape to the reality that comes in knowing Jesus.
This passage one of best “escape to reality” passages in bible. It will help us to see the forest from the trees.
It’s easy to get caught up on the here and now. We are so easily distracted by the things in front of us: the smartphone, gaming console, the guy or girl you’re interested in. But we fail to see the bigger picture of eternity.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 will help us to see the big picture and give us the ultimate level-up.
There are three things that we see will give us the persecutive so that we will not lose heart.