Watch Archbishop Dr Glenn Davies‘ first Christmas message below. The Archbishop of the Sydney Anglican Diocese shares his thoughts on “selfies”, being in the image of God and the relationship of Christmas to Easter. An excellent message.
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.
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!!
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:
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…
Last week I began a series on finishing school. I was hoping to have more posts online by now, but my writing flow was interrupted by an exhausting and encouraging week away with a group of 15 SOULIES crew who have just graduated from school. Stay tuned for more in the finishing school series and see soulies instragram for some pics from the schoolies trip.
In the meantime, I thought it was worthwhile highlighting one of the current sponsors of this blog…
Perhaps you’ve just finished school. You should consider being part of Year 13!
What’s Year 13? Here’s a blurb from their website…
Garage Hymnal have recently released a new album, Lowly. “Come One and All” is a lovely song with a really well-made animation on the film clip. Music by Garage Hymnal, words by Alanna Rodgers with adaptations from Christoph Von Schmid’s German Folk Song, “Oh Come Little Children”. Animation by Taste Media.
The Piano Guys create music and videos that inspire and uplift. They have just released a Christmas Album and video with one of the tracks, “Angels We Had Heard On High”. It’s good! You can see it and some other Christmas videos below. Find out more about them and their albums on their website. Enjoy.
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 massive achievement nonetheless.
Make or Break
The first few months after you finish school can often be a make or break time for your Christian faith.
For some who have grown up in a Christian family this might be a time when they graduate from the church youth program and keep walking straight out the door as they graduate from Jesus too. It’s heart-breaking when that happens.
Conversely, it’s massively encouraging to see young crew graduate from high school and make godly decisions to keep following Jesus into adulthood.
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 and unthoughtful in how you’ve lived your life. But, in Australia at least, school is compulsory and you just roll with it until it’s over.
Now what? You have been on a trajectory for sometime out from your parents authority and increasingly taking responsibility for yourself. There are a bunch of questions you should ask yourself at this point.
- Why am I here?
- How will I spend my time?
- Do I really want to grow up?
- How will I use what I’ve got?
- What will I fight for?
- How will I hold myself?
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 might be so significant.
(IMAGE copyright Joel Coleman. Used by permission)
I’ve really enjoyed preaching 4 of the 5 weeks of our series on Colossians. Many suggest, and I agree, that Colossians 2:6-7 are the key verses in this book. “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” The way you begin the Christian life – with Jesus as Lord – is the way you continue the Christian life. The Lordship of Jesus is a big deal in Colossians. In chapter 1 Jesus is revealed as the Supreme LORD. Chapter 2-3 shows how the Christian can be raised with Christ and shows how our new identity in the Lord should change how we live. Then in chapter 3-4 Paul speaks about how Jesus as Lord will impact everyday life and relationships. This sermon explored those relationships.
DAVE MIERS SERMON ON “RELATING FOR CHRIST” (right click to download etc)
Here is the structure:
THE COPERNICAN REVOLUTION
CONTEXT + KEY VERSE: COLOSSIANS 2:6-7
1) JESUS IS LORD OF YOUR HOME LIFE (Colossians 3:18-21)
2) JESUS IS LORD OF YOUR WORK LIFE (Colossians 3:22-4:1)
3) JESUS IS LORD OF YOUR PRIVATE LIFE (Colossians 4:2-4)
4) JESUS IS LORD OF YOUR SOCIAL LIFE (Colossians 4:5-6)
JESUS IS LORD OF ALL!
It’s a little crazy in the lead up to Christmas. We spend lots of time preparing physically for this season. Whether it’s the purchasing of gifts, the tidying of homes, the completion of renovations, the cooking of food or trying to compete with the Griswolds for number of lights on your house!
Yet we don’t prepare spiritually for the season ahead. I think that’s what Advent is seeking to do. What is Advent? It’s a season of preparation that some Christians observe to prepare their hearts and minds for the coming of Jesus. The word ‘advent’ means ‘coming’.
I’m planning on reading through Bible verse and the short reflection each day in the lead up to Christmas. I won’t read the reflection with my kids, but I’m hoping to read the Bible verses and spend time preparing as a family for the coming of Jesus.
Are you interested in joining in? Go on. It’ll be good for you.
Here’s the idea…