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Pastors Ponderings

The ponderings this week comes via Mrs Jesus Follower: The Happy Game’s not Working ☹ I’ve always been a ‘Pollyanna’. You may not know that story but, to put it simply, I think my role in life is to make everything and everyone happy. I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to change things; to make everyone happy; to make things look good. Life’s not like that. I’m not sure how often you’ve read Ecclesiastes but I usually find…

Pastors Ponderings

Recently, Daniel continued our series on Romans by preaching a message from Romans 2. In it Daniel pointed out how carefully we need to read the book as Paul uses many literary devices in his letter. Particularly he draws his audience in regularly by saying things he knows they will agree to so that he can swing his argument around to them.  Initially they are led to believe that Paul is saying how bad ‘the other’ people are living the way they…

To love or to condemn?

How do I respond to those living a lifestyle that makes me uncomfortable? How do they see me? What attitudes am I conveying to them? Praise God for leaders with the courage to speak up and put these challenges out there for us to face. Praise God for those who continually make us think, read, pray, search your Word and ponder the questions from which we’d like to run! I’m scared, I’m uncomfortable and yet I’m excited and not wanting…

Pastors Ponderings

When we started our study of Romans, I said that Paul wrote this letter in a deliberate attempt to persuade us to change our behaviour. So, what is Romans Chapter 1 pointing to and challenging us to change? Romans Chapter 1 is a brilliantly crafted argument. Paul has us, his readers, agreeing with him for most of the chapter. He catches us with the bait; “Look at what that person is doing, it’s awful.” “Look at her, can you believe…

Pastors Ponderings

Have you seen the memes for autocorrect, where people send totally inappropriate messages simply because the autocorrect changes the spelling?  Most of them are rude, although I found one clean one: It is ok for us to send written communication, it’s an easy fix.  It wasn’t the case when Paul was sending letters in the first century. Letter writing was an art and very expensive. So, Paul would have had a secretary (an amanuensis) who would write on the papyrus…

Pastors Ponderings

The main theme of Paul’s letter to the Romans has been described as ‘the gospel’:- chapters 1-4 are the gospel and the righteousness of God; chapters 5-8 are the gospel and the power of salvation; chapters 9-11 are the gospel and Israel; and finally chapters 12-16 are the gospel and the transformation of life.   The trouble is when we think of the word ‘gospel’ (or ‘good news’ which is what the word gospel means) we tend to put out…

Pastors Ponderings

Recently, Daniel gave an introduction to the book we are going to study over the next season – Paul’s letter to the Romans.  He mentioned that although it is known for setting out much of Paul’s theology and some confronting sections on living as Christians, the central purpose is to talk about how to live in unity with one another especially where there is diversity.  Paul uses the term ‘weak and strong’ to draw out how he expects Christians of…

Salvation… the full story

It happened one day quite suddenly when the pastor was preaching from John’s gospel. I’d been taught from a very young age that the story of salvation began with John 3:16 but something made me flick back to the beginning of the gospel. Why, here was where the story of salvation began; not in chapter 3 but here in the words, “in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” Why, I…

Pastors Ponderings

After preaching on Sunday, Simon left us with some questions to get us thinking how we can participate with the Holy Spirit in what He is doing. If you missed Simon’s message, it’s easy for you to catch up on what was said through the CBBC website (http://christiesbaptist.org.au); simply press the Sermons box on the opening page. Here are Simon’s questions: What part is God asking you to play in being the church, for us and for others? Who can…

How Could They?

I closed my Bible and sat there for some time lost in thought. I’d been reading Jeremiah and a feeling of sadness so deep and so real had come over me. I love the old testament and frequently reflect on the details God gave Solomon for him to build the temple. This temple was the place where God’s people could meet with their holy God. Solomon had a passionate love for Yahweh as did his father, David, and that, combined…

Pastors Ponderings

Last week Daniel spoke on Pentecost.  He explained the significance of the event which occurred on a festival already in the Jewish Calendar.  This festival was already in place to thank God for the harvest, to celebrate the provision of the law to Moses which both provided a way for humanity to have a relationship with God and anticipated the future promise of permanent union.  To the eyewitnesses of the event and also Luke’s audience in the book of Acts,…

Pastors Ponderings

This week’s Pastor’s Ponderings is a challenging message written by a Jesus Follower. Enjoy! Am I Comfortable or a Comforter? I’m a great believer in the principal that if I don’t care for my own health I’ll be no good to help others. So, I set my ‘self-preservation’ plans in place and sit back to enjoy when, niggle, niggle, niggle a person comes to mind; someone I’d promised to visit or a text comes through…when are you free? Know the…