LIFE UNDER GOD // CONCISE THEOLOGY

#LIFEUNDERGOD

The following is a blurb I wrote for our news sheet for Arvo Church last weekend.

Today is the last part of our LIFE UNDER GOD teaching series. I’ve personally found it to be a stimulating time considering some of our core beliefs from God’s word.

If you have enjoyed thinking through these topics and are keen to think through more theological issues, J.I. Packer has a fantastic book called Concise Theology. The book is divided into different doctrines and each section is short with lots of scripture references you can look up for more information.

You can purchase easily enough from Christian bookstores or online retailers, but all the articles are also available online for free. I have linked to the articles here: www.miers.co/packer-theology

My prayer for us is that each time we consider what it is we believe about God, that in response the Holy Spirit would transform us to live all of LIFE UNDER GOD.

SOULIES.NET RECEIVES FACELIFT SURGERY

#SOULIESYOUTH

Not long after I told a bunch of youth leaders how to get their ministry online, the website of our youth ministry crashed! There was some bug in the theme, and while the content was safe, the look/feel/vibe of the site was dead and buried. We then put a temporary (and ugly) template online in its place.

After 6 months of that ugly template, we have finally given the site a more permanent facelift. Check out the new site and the launch video here.

I really like it. The new www.soulies.net theme is simple and with responsive width design it’s much better for viewing on mobile devices.

It’s from Studio Press using the Genesis Framework (those are affiliate links, so I get a couple of dollars if you purchase anything with Studio Press). The current theme and framework on my blog, launched October 2013, is also adapted from Studio Press.

ZOE’S STORY // WHERE LIFE BEGINS & ENDS

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.

DEAR @SOCCEROOS, WATCH THIS VIDEO OF @NEDZELIC FROM 1991 AND THEN BEAT THE DUTCH AGAIN. LOVE FROM AUSTRALIA

#GOSOCCEROOS

Dear Socceroos,

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:

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LEARNING TO PRAY // DR MICHAEL SPENCE

I’m really glad to see that the address from last week’s Sydney Prayer Breakfast is available online. Dr Michael Spence’s talk was moving and a great challenge to pray. It’s worth taking 15 minutes to watch the video above or read the transcript.

As Vice-Chancellor of Sydney University, Dr Michael Spence is the University’s principal executive officer with responsibility for promoting its interests and furthering its development. He took up the position in July 2008 and is the University’s 25th Vice-Chancellor.

Michael speaks about prayer, and reflects on his own experience during his wife’s illness and after her death.

You can also read the full transcript over at The Bible Society website.

10 REASONS TO ATTEND #OXYGEN14

#OXYGEN14

Oxygen 2014 conference is coming up in August. It’s an interdenominational national Christian ministry conference. The following are 10 reasons why it’s worth attending:

1. 4-days of preaching on the uniqueness and supremacy of Christ
2. Encourage other Christian leaders
3. Get trained in practical skills by experienced practitioners
4. Connect with people and share ideas
5. Meet with people in similar roles
6. Six high-caliber elective streams
7. Two topical (and much needed) roundtables
8. Hear sermons that you aren’t preaching!
9. Team building
10. Benefit others

Read a short description for number 1-5 and for number 6-10.

Registration and more info here.

AMERICA, IT’S TIME FOR #GUNCONTROL

#GUNCONTROL

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:
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KAKÁ RESPONDS TO BEING LEFT OUT OF THE #BRAZIL2014 #WORLDCUP TEAM

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?

From I Am Second.

“DROP THE NAME OF JESUS FROM YOUR TAGLINE” // WHY I’M GLAD COMPASSION IGNORED THIS ADVICE @COMPASSIONAU

in-jesus-name

I love the work that Compassion do in “releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name”. I’ve just heard that the fundraising project I’ve been spruiking for the last couple of months has made it to $12300!! Blog readers gave $5000 and the rest has been raised by a church and a generous Compassion supporter.

One of the reasons that I love the work of Compassion is that they are unashamedly doing what they do “in Jesus’ name”. I was alerted to the following quote from Mark Hanlon the Senior VP of Global Marketing for Compassion International. I read about it in an advance copy of David Chalmers‘ (see my post about him here) new book about his work with Compassion.

Here’s the quote:
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NIKE FOOTBALL: THE LAST GAME // FT. RONALDO, NEYMAR JR., ROONEY, ZLATAN, INIESTA & MORE #BRAZIL2014 #WORLDCUP

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 ALBUM IS FREE ON NOISETRADE

citizens-citizens

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 :)

You can now download their debut album for FREE from via Noisetrade.

(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.

5 APPS TO HELP YOU SHARE JESUS

SHARE JESUS

The gospel of Jesus is unchanging. People throughout all cultures and all times need to hear that Jesus is the King of the Universe, who came to deal with their sin at the cross and calls all to follow him. However, while the message is unchanging, with every technological advancement there are new opportunities to share this message in different ways. Printing press. Microphones. Radio. Television. The Internet. Mobile Apps.

Mobile technology and web/app enabled phones mean that it’s possible to always be equipped with tools that will help you to share the good news of Jesus. There are at least 3 ways that apps can help you in this task.

>> Equipping and teaching you to understand the good news of Jesus for yourself
>> Use the app on your device with someone as you explain the message of Jesus
>> Share links to the app via social media, a footer in your email signature, or gift the app via iTunes to friends so they can investigate Jesus for themselves on their device.

Here are 5 excellent apps to help you share Jesus:

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WARM-UP FOR #BRAZIL2014 #WORLDCUP

#WORLDCUP

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:

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GUILTY PLEASURE // RAISING AWARENESS OF THE HARMFUL EFFECTS OF PORN

guilty-pleasures

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:

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DID JESUS REALLY COME BACK FROM THE DEAD?

The Gospel of Luke culminates in a detailed account of Jesus’ death – and resurrection. If Luke is right, Jesus not only died for our sins, he came back to tell us what comes next.

READ LUKE’S BIOGRAPHY OF JESUS

NEXT STEP: Interested in reading more about Jesus? Click here. Interested in hearing what it means to start following Jesus? Click here.

See all videos in this series // Content (C) The Search