Australia Day 2014

2013-12-18 11.54.06

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Australia Day


Today we celebrate a special day in the history of our nation. It marks the arrival of the First Fleet of British ships in Sydney Cove in 1788. While it hasn’t always been celebrated throughout the nation as it is today, there has been some recognition of this anniversary from at least 1808.

It is also an event which is steeped in controversy. It has also been widely called “Invasion Day”, especially amongst our indigenous peoples. I must admit to having mixed feelings about this, but I acknowledge that the indigenous people do have a point. But to deny the right for the non-indigenous population to celebrate is to deny a significant event in our history, no matter how distasteful it may be to a part of our society. We can’t turn back the clock, nor can we pretend it didn’t happen.

I felt the same way in 2008 when the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced the Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples, and during the now annual Sorry Day. Again, it recognises a sad, tragic part of our history, but not being personally involved I found it hard to accept, but realised it was a necessary step in the right direction.

At the time there was much talk of reconciliation. There has been much progress in recent years in reconciliation between different cultures in our nation, and with the indigenous peoples in particular. It is my opinion, however, that true and complete reconciliation between peoples cannot fully occur except at the foot of the Cross of Jesus Christ.

I count amongst my dearest friends some brothers and sisters in Christ who are Aborigines. Our skin colour is irrelevant; we are one in Christ. I have shared the preaching platform with these brothers, and felt a great privilege to do so. Our common love for Jesus Christ completely obliterated any differences we may have had in the present, or in our past.

Let us, on this special day, pray for true reconciliation between our peoples. Let us also pray for our nation, our leaders, our community and our neighbours. Pray that many will be reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ.

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Cor 5:20)


Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

New Year Resolutions

How are you going with your New Year’s Resolutions? Around the change in the calendar the newspapers and magazines are full of suggestions about the importance of making resolutions, and how to keep them. Most people try for the first few days, then fail a few times, shrug their shoulders and give up – for another year.

The problem rests in the way most people word their resolutions. They resolve “to lose weight” or “exercise more”. Christians might resolve “to read the Bible more” or “spend more time in prayer”. These are all worthy and commendable things, but what do they mean? As they stand they are almost meaningless because they cannot be measured.

It is far better to set goals which can be measured. Instead of resolving to read the Bible more, why not set a goal of reading the Bible for five minutes every day? Or to read through the New Testament, one chapter a day (By the way – that would take 260 days, or just under 9 months.) If you are diligent in keeping a record in a notebook so you can measure your progress, you are more likely to succeed.

To resolve to spend more time in prayer cannot easily be measured. If, however, you aim to pray for five members of our church per day, steadily working through the church directory, everyone in the church will be prayed for every month. That has to make a difference! An interesting spin-off will be that you will have to get to know more people. How can you pray intelligently for someone unless you know them and their needs?

You may have given up on this year’s resolutions already, but goals can be set at any time of the year. Why not start on a Bible reading programme today? Or aim to pray for specific people every day? It will take discipline – and heaps of God’s help. Ask God to help if you lack discipline.

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.  Jeremiah 29:11-13


Our Church Bookshop opened again today

Welcome to the Bookshop-Optimized

Bookshop Manager Chris De Nieuwe

Our church Bookshop reopened today after the Christmas-New Year break. Our hard working volunteer staff deserved a break from the shop.

The web page for the Bookshop (click here) has been revamped and updated today as well, so take a few minutes to check it out. There are more changes coming soon.

One of the important changes is to include a list of the ministries that the Bookshop supports.

Come in the check out the wide range of gifts, cards, DVDs, CDs, Bibles, study material and much more.

Oh – the shop also stocks many wonderful books for the holiday period.

Good reading.