HIDING GOD’S WORD IN YOUR HEART

read-remember-pray

This is the second time I have written this blog post! I spent 3 hours pulling all these resources together on the 2nd of January, but for some reason the drafts weren’t saved and I lost it all 10 minutes away from publishing! It’s taken me a few days to deal with the grief of the post disappearing and then having to write it again!! I should be okay :)

I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:11 NIV)

As the New Year begins, regardless of what you think about ‘New Years Resolutions’, it would be good for your soul to follow the advice of the Psalmist and “hide God’s word in your heart”.

READ THE WORD, REMEMBER THE WORD, PRAY THE WORD

Reading, remembering and praying are three ways to help hide God’s word in your heart. Below are a number of resources that will help you to do this. Many of them use mobile applications, websites and other electronic tools. I think these are great! But they won’t solve all your problems. So pray now that God would give you the desire and will to read, remember and pray his word in 2014.

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#HASHTAGRESOLUTIONS // PART 1 KILLING BAD HABITS

KILLING BAD HABITS

Jonathan Edwards had a list of 70 Resolutions. My attention span hasn’t ever allowed me to actually read them all, but from what I can tell they are rock solid. In 2014 I have a list of FOURTEEN HASHTAGS. My hope is that these #HashtagResolutions will give me some focus in different areas throughout 2014.

This is PART 1 of 4 summarising my #HashtagResolutions.

The first 3 of my fourteen hashtags are all about bad habits I want to kill.

#NoToiletTweeting

Maybe this is too much information for hashtag one? If so, I’m sorry. Feel free to stop reading. Apparently there are studies that say that sitting on the toilet for too long isn’t good for you. But this is more about using time effectively and not feeling the need to always check in to social media. 4 days into the new year. I’m tracking with 100% on this one.

#NoMidnightMuesli

I love good muesli. Thankyou Australia have recently launched food products. If you buy their muesli you are helping to provide food for communities in the developing world… and you get to eat the tastiest muesli on the market. Even better than Carman’s! However, this resolution is about not eating it at midnight. It’s a great late night snack, but terrible for your diet to be having it soon before bed. 100% so far on this one.

#NoMultiTasking

I’m not going to link to any articles, but it seems that the different life hack websites are all suggesting that multi-tasking is a myth. I regularly try to multi-task, but it leads to greater ineffectiveness. So I want to quit. This is harder to measure than the first two, but so far so good.

Have you got bad habits you want to kill? Kill them! But be specific and realistic. Feel free to share any of your goals in the comments.

10 MOST VIEWED BLOGPOSTS FROM 2013

top-10-2013

2013 was a good year on this blog with significant growth after relaunching in October. Thanks for reading. It’s always interesting to see what gets the most clicks…

10 Most Viewed Blogposts from 2013

  1. SAM ROBSON // ACAPELLA HYMNS – This post has gone gangbusters! It’s the most popular post of all time on my blog. I’ve had a number of emails from people thinking I was Sam Robson and many others trying to contact him through me. Search for his name in google and my site is one of the first hits. I think there is a cricketer with the same name… but don’t worry no plans for talking about cricket on this blog. If you haven’t listened to Sam’s a cappella tunes… give them a listen!
  2. SAME-SEX RELATIONSHIPS, KEVIN RUDD and HOW TO READ THE BIBLE – this is obviously a controversial topic. I think I was able to be loving in the way I wrote the post. I had some good conversations with lots of people about the content.
  3. LALAH HATHAWAY // YES, SHE SINGS CHORDS – Lalah is amazing! Watch this video. It’s nuts!
  4. REDEEMING SOCIAL MEDIA // INTERVIEW WITH NATHAN W. BINGHAM @NWBingham – I did a series of blogposts leading up to the National Youth Ministry Convention. This one was pure gold from Bingham. It also got linked by Tim Challies in North America – increased the read count.
  5. KYCK 2013. THIS IS LOVE // PROMO VID – KYCK was a large youth conference I spoke at in April. Cool vid. God did an amazing work through the conference.
  6. THE BIBLE ON CHANNEL 9 – I thought this was a good series. I also had a resource page that got decent hits after the series.
  7. I HAVE MASTERED SINGING CHORDS LIKE @LALAHHATHAWAY #SOUL – See #3 above for context. Lalah Hathaway actually retweeted this one and left a comment on Instagram! I will keep practising.
  8. UNCLE JED // BROTHER – To be honest, this was a social media experiment to see if I could pick up hits during Australia’s Got Talent. It didn’t go gangbusters like #1 above, but it obviously did okay to make the top 10!
  9. THROUGH THE BIBLE // THROUGH THE YEAR // WITH JOHN STOTT #BibleStott – this series of daily devotionals has been such a wonderful refreshment for my soul. Stott was a sharp guy at explaining scripture with precision.
  10. 5 THINGS CHURCH LEADERS CAN LEARN FROM APPLE KEYNOTE PRESENTATIONS – this post was a fleshed out speech (rant) I gave at our staff meeting on the day of the Apple Keynote. I think it helped give our vision night in October better shape.

3,2,1

3 Posts Always Worth Reading

  1. JESUS // THE MAN – who is Jesus?
  2. JESUS // THE MISSION – why did Jesus come?
  3. JESUS // THE MOVEMENT – what does it mean to follow Jesus?

2 Posts I’d have liked seeing in the Top 10 Most Viewed

  1. KYCK SEES 900 YOUTH COMMIT TO CHRIST – this really was an incredible privilege to be part of! Praying now for the 900 who responded to the good news of Jesus.
  2. COMPASSION IN INDONESIA (feat. Colin Buchanan) @CompassionAU – I went to Indonesia with Compassion in April/May 2013. You could read the 25 blog posts from the trip or watch this video produced afterwards.

1 Honourable Mention

  1. How do you spell the colloquially shortened form of breakfast? – This was a super-short post from 2007 that constantly ranks well in google. The original post didn’t even give an answer. So in 2013 I expanded the post with an answer.

Thanks again for reading in 2013. Peace.

IMAGE CREDIT: Joel Coleman. Used by permission.

5 CHRISTMAS ALBUMS THAT DON’T SUCK

Did you know that Mariah Carey receives $873,000 every year in royalties from her Christmas tune “All I want for Christmas is you”. Don’t get me wrong, Mariah Carey’s Christmas album is great! But a little cheesy. It’s time for another edition of 5 Christmas Albums that don’t suck! You can see volume 1 here.

The criteria for inclusion in this list? Obviously not sucking is essential. It also needs to have been released during the last four years (since the last list). Finally the bulk of the songs need to be Jesus songs… i.e. not the lame Santa songs. (Tangent: who would win in a cafe fight between Jesus and Santa? Check this). Here goes…

1. JOY HAS DAWNED by Kings Kaleidoscope //

This EP was released last Christmas and I haven’t stopped playing it for the 12 months since! I blogged on it three times… here and here and here. I also based the Christmas preaching series at St Faith’s on the title track. Why so much attention? Kings Kaleidoscope are one of my favourite bands and this EP is packed with energy and joy through its 5 tracks.

>> STREAM ‘JOY HAS DAWNED’ FOR FREE OR BUY IT FOR $4 FROM BANDCAMP

2. THE OH HELLO’S FAMILY CHRISTMAS ALBUM by The Oh Hellos //

I’ve had this one on repeat for the last 24 hours. It’s amazing! This folk rock EP walks through the story of Jesus in 4 movements with a pastiche of different Christmas Carols. It feels like it could be the score to a short film on the birth of Christ. Don’t shuffle the tracks, listen to them in order.

>> STREAM ‘THE OH HELLOS’ AND DOWNLOAD IT FOR FREE FROM BANDCAMP

3. REPEAT THE SOUNDING JOY by Citizens //

Citizens released this EP last month and it was being regularly played in our car until our 2.5 year old put a 10 cent coin in the CD player. Another energetic offering from Mars Hill Church.

>> STREAM ‘REPEAT THE SOUNDING JOY’ FOR FREE OR BUY IT FOR A FEW BUCKS

4. CHRISTMAS SONGS COLLECTION VOL. 1-5 by Folk Angel //

42 tracks of Jesus-centred Christmas song goodness! Excellent arrangements. Keep an eye out for the great artists they’ve collaborated with on some of the tracks.

>> STREAM ‘CHRISTMAS SONGS COLLECTION’ FOR FREE OR BUY IT FROM BANDCAMP

5. SILVER & GOLD by Sufjan Stevens //

This is quirkiest of the list. But Sufjan has cool stuff. I’ve particularly enjoyed using one of his tracks as the title track for a radio station on Pandora: it pulls out lots of great modern artists as well as old school stuff like Ella Fitzgerald and Johnny Cash.

>> STREAM ‘SILVER & GOLD’ FOR FREE OR BUY IT FROM BANDCAMP

Got any others you can suggest? Leave any recommendations in the comments.

See below for 4 of the 5 albums embedded to play on this site

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WHAT DO YOU BUY JESUS FOR HIS BIRTHDAY?

JOY HAS DAWNED

How are you tracking with your Christmas shopping? Started? Finished? Almost finished? Perhaps you’ve only got those people left to buy gifts for. You know the ones… those that are hard to buy for. They’re picky or they’ve already got everything! Good luck with that. What about Jesus? How would you go if you had to buy a gift for him? He’s the creator of all things – how do you give to the Creator something that doesn’t already belong to him?!??

In this sermon in our Joy Has Dawned series I explore the 3 gifts given by the Magi to baby Jesus. Traditionally these gifts have been seen to symbolise something about the identity and mission of Jesus. This was first suggested by Origen in the 3rd Century. Is this a good reading of the text? Have a listen below to hear what my thoughts.

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LET’S BUILD A TOILET BLOCK + WATER TANKS IN INDONESIA // @COMPASSIONAU

DONATE TODAY!

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

In the Summer of 2009/2010 readers of this blog raised $1741 for a clean water project in Rwanda. Then in 2010/2011 we helped to raise $2835 for a clean water project in India. It was really exciting to see the way that $4500 could be raised via social media.

IT’S TIME TO DO IT AGAIN!

Earlier this year I was able to see firsthand the incredible way that Compassion are doing Christ-centred, child-focused and church-based work in Indonesia. You can see a summary of my blog coverage on this post.

THE PLAN THIS SUMMER? BUILD A TOILET BLOCK AND WATER TANKS AND MORE!!

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IF JESUS WERE BORN TONIGHT…

UNTO US

What would it look like if Jesus were born tonight? In our time? In our context? UNTO US Films is a series of 3 short films exploring the Christmas story from this perspective.

Mary & Joseph were just a normal everyday young couple who had their whole life ahead of them.

The Shepherds were just normal down to Earth guys… working hard for their families… getting on with everyday life, they probably didn’t see themselves as the religious type.

The Magi were like special advisors… the senior scientists, politicians or professors of their day, who counselled their national leaders.

See the 3 short films below:
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WIN THE WORKS OF GEORGE WHITEFIELD (13 VOLS.) FROM @LOGOS

george-whitefield

For the last 6 years I have been gradually building a digital library of Bible tools and other Christian books using Logos Bible Software. The thing I love above Logos is having access to my library anywhere and anytime. I use Logos on my mobile phone, tablet device and laptop. It has now become part of my regular preparation for preaching and personal reading.

I’m excited to announce a partnership with Logos. The basic platform is free to download, but it is worthwhile purchasing one of the base packages to really start to accessing the powerful tools. CLICK HERE to receive 15% off the base package.

For the next 2 weeks you can also enter to win THE WORKS OF GEORGE WHITEFIELD. Whitefield was an English Anglican Evangelist who saw incredible fruit while preaching Christ in the 1700s. I’ve read biographies of Whitefield before and am fascinated by the man and the way that God used him to save many. This collection includes biographies, sermons and other writings/correspondence.

See below to enter…
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