Two Royal babies

Two Royal Babies

In recent months the media has had a flurry of comments and photos relating to the announcement that Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their first child. The baby – still many months from birth – is destined to be the most talked about, written about and photographed baby on earth.

This baby will be born into a wealthy and privileged life, with many and varied expectations for the future, most relating to the role as the monarch of the United Kingdom plus head of state of a host of other countries. This child will always be in the spotlight, will always be the focus of the infamous paparazzi, and will potentially be immensely popular.

This world-wide obsession, wealth and position is so far removed from another Royal Baby as to be almost unrecognisable. At Christmas time we celebrate the birth of another Royal Baby. For the parents Mary and Joseph there was no privilege, no wealth or comfort, no international press release, no crowding photographers and no glaring television lights and cameras probing their every move. And they certainly didn’t announce it on Twitter!

There was no comfortable, safe, clinical environment for the birth of the baby – just a smelly animal barn. There were no attending doctors and nurses and no special equipment to ensure a safe delivery – just some animals staring at this unusual event.

And yet.

Despite these humble beginnings, this baby we call Jesus became the King of kings, Lord of lords and Saviour of the world.

How awesome. How amazing. How wonderful.

˄TH

Remember

Remember

Last year, many ladies around Murray Bridge studied Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus through KYB (Know Your Bible) classes.  Much of Paul’s instruction to Timothy and Titus wasn’t new to them.  He was simply underlining important points he wanted them to remember.

In 2 Timothy 2:8, Paul says ‘Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel’.

When I first read that verse, I probably just glossed over it.  But our study book asked the question, ‘Why do you think it would be helpful to remember these particular parts of the gospel?’  This certainly had the desired effect of making us think… and remember.  Most of the ladies in my class broke the verse into three parts:

Remember Jesus Christ.

We said He is our Saviour, our redeemer, our Lord, our friend, and so much more. Because of Christ we could know real forgiveness and we remembered the love of God which made it possible.

Raised from the dead.

We said that because of His resurrection, we could have that wonderful certainty of being raised to life – eternal life with Him.  And for the present, we can commune with our living Saviour and find comfort and courage for daily living.

Descended from David.

We said that this shows the humanity of Jesus.  Therefore as son of man, He can really identify with us, and understand everything that concerns us.  How encouraging is that?  Also it is prophecy fulfilled – which proves that God’s Word is truth.

Wow!  What a wealth of knowledge and truth from those few words, and what a tool for sharing the gospel message, but only when we take the time and effort to…. remember!

˄PS

What is Kairos?

What is KAIROS?

KAIROS is an international prison ministry.

Members come from many different denominations and from many different churches within those denominations.

The initial contact with a selected number of prisoners is what we call a “short course” and is usually held over a 31/2 day period. This is then followed up with a meeting once a week to support our “guests” in their walk with Christ Jesus.

What sets KAIROS apart from so many ministries?

  • Within the KAIROS ministry we all work as one, setting aside any specific differences that might exist. Where there is “unity” in bringing love, there God blesses the work!
  • The mantra of KAIROS is; “Listen, listen, Love, Love!”
  • We do not come to condemn, we come to bring the love of God to a hurting people who know no love!
  • It is our own brokenness and the healing hand of God’s love in our own life, that speaks so loudly to the prisoners.
  • The ministry is immersed in prayer.

˄MDeN

WHAT IF?

WHAT IF?

What if we treated out Bibles like we treat our mobile phone?

  • What if we carried it everywhere?
  • What if we turned back to get it if we forgot it?
  • What if we checked it for messages throughout the day?
  • What if we used it in case of an emergency?
  • What if we spent an hour or more using it every day?

 

Travelling at Warp Speed

Travelling at Warp Speed

Over recent months I have watched some old episodes of the television series Star Trek. It’s the one piece of escapism in which I indulge. What amazes me is that, despite being set in the 24th century – over 300 years into the future – some of the technology is already becoming reality. The series was filmed in the late 1970s and early 80s. They have hand-held computers, not unlike the tablets such as the iPad of today. The writers were accurate in some of their predictions.

Their spaceship can travel fast – very fast. They use the term ‘warp speed’ to describe their movement through space. At its fastest it can travel to the moon and back in just over a second. Now that’s moving! Our current space craft can travel at unbelievable speeds, but nothing like the Starship Enterprise. It’s like comparing a child’s tricycle with a Ferrari.

Speed tends to be relative, and I am not talking about Einstein’s theory here. Do you ever get the feeling that the days and weeks are racing by faster and faster. Sometimes I feel like my life is travelling at warp speed. The world generally seems to be speeding up and everyone is tired out by the energy needed to just keep up. (Maybe Einstein was onto something, after all.)

We are bombarded by demands on all sides. Our newspapers, radios, televisions, computers, phones and the internet are flooding us with information like never before. More data is uploaded to the internet in a few weeks than all of the previously accumulated knowledge from the time of Adam. That’s scary.

In this fast moving world it is increasingly important to take time to be still. Be still, writes the psalmist, and know that I am God.  How often do we take time out from the rush of life and really spend quality, unrushed, worshipful time with God?

˄TH

 

The Dead Letter Office

The Dead Letter Office

We all delight in receiving letters in the mail. Sure, in this era, letter writing is fast becoming a lost art. We whip off quick emails or text messages to all and sundry with no thought about the style, spelling or grammar. It’s symptomatic of the instant society in which we live. Am I the only person left who checks emails and Facebook status updates for spelling, punctuation and grammar?

Most post offices in the world have a Dead Letter Office, the place where undeliverable mail accumulates. In some places these are called ‘nixies’, meaning that the address is indecipherable, incomplete, totally wrong or the person no longer resides there. One source I consulted estimates that 35% of all mail ends up in the rubbish bin.

My wife and I enjoy the television series As time goes by (BBC TV). The two main characters had a relationship before the Korean War. The war separates them and their letters end up in the war dead letter office. Many years later they meet by chance, falling in love all over again and then marrying. There is much misunderstanding in their relationship and this is rich material for a great deal of humour.

In our courting days (goodness – there’s an old fashioned term) I would write to my girlfriend every second or third day, despite living only about 30km apart. Our letters didn’t end up in a dead letter office, and we were married early the next year. We’re still in love – with each other fortunately. (Note to self: I haven’t written to her in a while.)

We’re never too old to receive a letter from someone who loves us, so would you like to read one? How about opening your Bible, God’s love-letter just for you? Be reminded of the fact that he loved you so much that he gave his son Jesus for you.

Don’t let his love-letter languish unread in the Dead Letter Office.

˄TH

Clean Up Australia Day

Today is Clean Up Australia Day.

In 1989 an ordinary, average Australian bloke started a campaign that has spread throughout Australia in the years since. Ian Kiernan, a builder and yachtsman, was appalled at the amount of rubbish he found when sailing.

In its first year the campaign was restricted to Sydney Harbour, and 40,000 people responded. In 1990 it spread Australia wide, and 300,000 people turned out to clean up their communities. Since then it has grown to include many more people in most communities around the country. An estimated 600,000 people will participate today, collecting over 16,000 tonnes of rubbish. That’s impressive.

Even more impressive is that the vision of one man has now spread world-wide, with the Clean Up the World Day being held in September each year. An estimated 35 million people will participate in about 130 countries. From one man’s simple idea a massive effort is being made to do something positive for the planet. It exemplifies the concept of “Think globally; act locally.”

The world certainly needs cleaning up – no question about that. The problem with this clean-up programme is that it is restricted just to the environment. What about the moral decay we seen all about us in society? This, too, is a massive global disaster. People living God pleasing lifestyles are very much in the minority. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned.” Everyone has done what is not pleasing in the sight of God – and deserves God’s punishment.

Thankfully Jesus Christ single-handedly started a clean-up campaign when he died on the cross, taking the punishment for our sin – and the sin of every person on earth. His life-blood, poured out for each one of us, cleanses us from the pollution of sin. By believing Jesus Christ died in your place, he becomes your saviour, and you are a part of Jesus cleaning up an awfully messed up world.

˄TH


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