LEVEL-UP // #ESCAPETOREALITY

LEVEL-UP

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.
[Read more...]

THANKFULNESS // HELEN BERHANE

If you were to wake up tomorrow, with only the things you thanked God for today, what would you have? Helen Berhane was locked up in a shipping container for sharing the gospel, you can get her full story here.

My friend Mike Gore is a brilliant story teller. As well as the Thankfulness video above, you can see him in Risk-taking Christianity and Radical Faith – Hea Woo.

He works for Open Doors. They serve the persecuted church in the darkest places and stand alongside Christians who suffer for their faith and serve those suffering for the gospel.

Web // opendoorsyouth.org.au
Facebook // facebook.com/opendoorsyouthau

PARENTING IN THE DIGITAL AGE // #SYDNEY EVENT WITH TIM @CHALLIES

TIM CHALLIES PARENTS SYDNEY

Well-known Christian blogger, speaker, author and pastor Tim Challies will be in Sydney during May 2014. You can click the above image for more details.

Tim will be speaking at a Parent’s event on Thursday 15th May presented by Youth SurgeToongabbie Anglican Church and Matthias Media.

I know many parents who are desperate to learn how to care for their kids in the digital age. So pass this on to as many parents as you can!

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE PASTOR’S EVENT THE NIGHT BEFORE.

GREATEST COMEDY SKETCH OF ALL TIME?

Abbott & Costello’s* routine – Who’s on First – would have to be the great comedy sketch of all time. Don’t you think? The routine is a brilliant play on words with confusion over the names of baseball players. It’s quite a long script, but worth enduring because of the quality of the word play.

What do you think? Other contenders for greatest comedy sketch of all time? Feel free to leave a video in the comments, probably best to keep it PG.

*not to be confused with the current Prime Minister and former Treasurer of Australia…

#SNIPPETY // #ANZAC #EASTER #NIGERIA #KIDNAPPING #RETWEETS #PARENTING #SNAPCHAT #KILLCLIPART

#SNIPPETY

A mix of articles and resources in this latest #Snippety. I’m not quite sure how to title these posts. The last one received lots of hits because of (inadvertently) leading with homosexuality. This post is all hashtags. If you have an opinion on #Snippety titles, let me know.

Retweeting compliments is one of the most annoying things from friends and acquaintances on twitter! So if that’s you, read the 3rd article! Also – if you see me do it, you have permission to call me out on it!! Peace.

Anzac And Easter 2014 – Phillip Jensen

Christians, together with all sane people, find no joy in war. Peace, not war, must always be our goal. Yet when war is necessary those who take up arms on our behalf must be supported and respected. When they are injured in the course of such action they should be confident of our nation’s assistance. When they are killed, we should give thanks to God for their sacrifice, and maintain fitting memorials to remind us, and future generations, of the cost of our freedom.

234 girls were abducted last week. Why aren’t we talking about them?

Stolen from their boarding school by gunmen in the middle of the night. Packed into the back of open lorries as the buildings around them were burned to the ground… A handful of the teenage girls escaped by hiding in a dangerous nearby forest; others jumped from the lorries in their desperation to escape.

TO RETWEET OR NOT TO RETWEET: THE QUESTION OF RETWEETING COMPLIMENTS

I propose we stop the bad habit of retweeting compliments, and then perhaps move the conversation forward as we spill some ink (pixels?) on more edifying subjects like dealing with the underlying sin in our hearts that rises up whenever we read (let alone retweet) such compliments.

Cyber Parenting on snapchat

It’s the app where every message is meant to self-destruct. But is snapchat a suitable program for your children?

Lightstock – Say Goodbye to Clipart

Faith-Focused, Cheesy-Free Stock Photos & Footage

Peace.

THE PASTOR IN THE DIGITAL AGE // #SYDNEY EVENT WITH TIM @CHALLIES

tim-challies-sydney

Well-known Christian blogger, speaker, author and pastor Tim Challies will be in Sydney during May 2014. You can click the above image for more details.

Tim will be speaking at a Pastor’s event on Wednesday 14th May presented by Youth SurgeToongabbie Anglican Church and Matthias Media.

I am looking forward to hosting the night. Having done a bit of thinking and presenting on digital media, I hope I can help to draw out some ministry gold from Challies for our context in Australia.

HERE IS AN EVENT FOR PARENTS HE’S DOING THE FOLLOWING NIGHT

WALK IN HIM // @LOGOS VERSE OF THE DAY

Col2.6

Logos Bible Software is increasingly becoming part of my daily work flow. I like being greeted on the home screen each day with a new ‘Verse of the day’ design. Today’s is from Colossians 2:6. Great verse, good design!

I have been slowly growing my library through commentary and book packages (and free book of the month!) over the last 7 years and last year I bought a Bronze base package. If you’re keen to get a base package you can get a 15% discount by clicking here.

Do you use Bible Software? What do you use? How do you use it?

THE FIGHT // #ESCAPETOREALITY

THE FIGHT

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 3 of #EscapeToReality

EVERYONE FIGHTS FOR SOMETHING

Without wanting to unhelpfully stereotype, there are substitute battles that many dudes are commonly fighting; there are substitute battles that many ladies are commonly fighting.

Dudes fight in fantasy world adventures. First-person shooter games like WOW and COD. Guys will devote hours and hours to this fight. Some will become guild masters and clan leaders devoting a lifetime to digital fighting.

Ladies fight to be unique, recognised and accepted. This will often involve a significant focus on external beauty, appearance, self-image and relationships status.

“…everyone fights for something. The desire to fight isn’t masculine or feminine; it is human. Deep down we all want to be noticed, for our lives to count for something. We want to be beautiful or noble. The problem is that we direct our fighting desires toward the wrong things. We work hard at being noticed of entertained. We fall short of beauty and nobility. What would happen if, instead of spending hours in front of the video screen or mirror, we spent hours in front of the gospel? What if we fought for a more noble cause, a more beautiful image?” (JONATHAN DODSON)

WHAT WILL YOU FIGHT FOR?

[Read more...]

#SNIPPETY // WHY #HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT LIKE OTHER SINS + A SNAPSHOT OF CHURCH ATTENDANCE IN AUSTRALIA + #GREED + MONSTER MYTH + #THEROYALS

#SNIPPETY

I’m considering doing these #snippety posts a little more often. But keen to gauge how useful they are. Not as many people click through to them, but I think it has the potential to be useful. So if you are a regular reader of this blog, a friend who has happened to click through this time or someone random who got here looking for pictures of cats… What do you think of a regular blog post like this with a variety of snippets from around the web with links to read the whole article? Feel free to leave a comment or contact me with any thoughts.

My pick of the links below is the first one. I have blogged a bunch of times on homosexuality and also linked out to relevant articles in these #snippety posts. Not because it’s my hobby horse, but because it’s an active issue that I am working out how to help young people navigate. Christians don’t believe that homosexuality is any worse than any other sin. But the article makes the point that it is an active issue in the way that it is being “celebrated by our larger society with pioneering excitement”. There are typically two camps in the debate, those who celebrate it and those who hate it. The author wants to suggest that Christians have the opportunity to say you’re wrong but you’re loved. i.e. Being able to disagree without being a jerk. Anyway, have a read and let me know what you think!

See below for the snips:

[Read more...]

7 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE PREACHING // FRANCIS CHAN

7 QUESTIONS

Are you a preacher? Below are some really useful questions to ask before each sermon from Francis Chan. They’re also helpful questions to ask for listeners. I’ve been encouraged by his preaching and his character and look forward to hearing him in Australia later this year. Here are my previous Francis Chan posts and here is his official website.

  1. Am I worried about what people think of my message or what God thinks? (Teach with FEAR)
  2. Do I genuinely love these people? (Teach with LOVE)
  3. Am I accurately presenting this passage? (Teach with ACCURACY)
  4. Am I depending on the Holy Spirit’s power or my ow cleverness? (Teach with POWER)
  5. Have I applied this message to my own life? (Teach with INTEGRITY)
  6. Will this message draw attention to me or to God? (Teach with HUMILITY)
  7. Do the people really need this message? (Teach with URGENCY)

Any other questions worth asking?

EDIT: One of my current sponsorsOXYGEN – will be hosting Francis Chan in Sydney during August 2014. Check out all conference website.

JESUS’ VICTORY AT THE CROSS

IT IS FINISHED

The gospels record 7 sets of words that Jesus spoke from the cross. One of those is found in John 19:30 when Jesus says “It is finished”. What could Jesus mean by these words? Is it that he has had enough? Is it that he has been defeated? The following is my sermon from St Faith’s Narrabeen Good Friday 2014. In it I suggest that when Jesus says “It is finished” it’s not a cry of defeat but a cry of victory. Have a listen to find out more…

Here is the structure of the sermon:

Famous Last Words
Jesus’ Last Words: It is finished
How is Jesus victorious at the cross?
1) JESUS HAS VICTORY OVER SIN!
2) JESUS HAS VICTORY OVER SATAN!
3) JESUS HAS VICTORY OVER DEATH!
Your Last Words

Dave Miers preaching John 19:30 “IT IS FINISHED” (Right click download)

Image from here

WHAT THE NEW NSW PREMIER THINKS ABOUT JESUS #NSWPOL #JESUSIS

Queenscliff (Manly)

It’s been a big 24hours in New South Wales politics with the Grange-gate affair. Barry O’Farrell is out. Mike Baird is about to become the new Premier of NSW! The Northern Beaches of Sydney is becoming a political powerhouse with the Australian Prime Minister and now the NSW Premier among our local members.

Mike Baird is a well respected politician. He is also a member of St Matt’s Anglican Church on the Corso in Manly. Mike recently wrote a short piece as part of a combined Northern Beaches Churches project: JESUS IS _____.

Jesus is my hope!

I think all of us on a daily basis have trouble focussing on what really matters. Whether it be the challenge of family stresses (heightened when teenagers arrive!!), the morning commute, an over-bearing boss or screaming customers each day appears more a daily wrestle than a joy to live!

I have to be honest that there are days when I wake and feel so overwhelmed about what awaits me that I am gripped not only with fear but a searing sense that I am not up to the job.

It is often at this point I am reminded of Jesus. Not just Him but a reminder that he died on a cross for me. As this reality floods my being I can see the way through the day and the morning haze is replaced with a steadfast purpose. Indeed the scope of hope is much deeper as not only is there an assurance of support despite my frailties there is also a reminder that I have eternal life!

Originally from here.

See more great content on the jesus-is.org.au website.

Want to hear more on who Jesus is? Find a church this Good Friday and Easter. Or you could read these short articles I’ve written:

Image (c) Saltmotion. Saltmotion are based in Manly. This image used by permission