Studying

7 02 2010

So since we last spoke…

I passed my Commercial Actuarial Practice exam, the big eight-hour monster. Now I am qualified to become a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries Australia, which will happen on 23 February after a two-day Professionalism Course.

Yay!

Having got the actuarial qualification out of the way, I have decided to pursue some further study.For the next 2 years I will be working part-time (3 days a week) and studying part-time at Moore Thoelogical College while I complete a Diploma of Bible and Missions.

Work has been very supportive of me doing this, which makes things easier, and I am very excited about getting stuck into God’s Word!

I have already started. I’m one week into the intensive Greek course and I am parsing and declining up a storm!

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Thursday Thought – Depravity

14 05 2009

I think we are far more depraved than we give ourselves credit for.

I woke up at 3am this morning (when the mind has greatest clarity!?) and, whilst battling to get back to sleep, I was thinking about this Matthew Johns affair.

I read today that Pru Goward is calling for criminal charges, despite the initial investigation falling through.

Regardless of consent, legality, assault, criminality, whatever… it is clear that something very wrong and depraved has happened here. Matthew Johns is right to feel extremely remorseful and he has copped a heap of judgement as a result of this episode. No doubt all parties involved are feeling the torment of the aftermath of the event, not least the young lady.

But, I think this event is just another manifestation of the depravity that lives in all of us. It’s a direct result of Self-Ish-Ness. It’s about taking something for yourself that feels good and not caring about the consequences for others. As much as I would like to point at these actions and say I am nothing like this, in truth, how different is my sin?

Another story in todays paper had this quote from an Australian Rugby League player:

“It’s fine for David Gallop to come out and say you can’t have group sex but the last thing blokes will be thinking about on a Friday night at the club is David Gallop….”
“We already have so many rules: we can’t drink on these days, we can’t go to these places, now we can’t have group sex.”

And I think this comment highlights the heart of the issue with this problem – you can’t legislate against Self-Ish-Ness. As much as I am sure David Gallop and, at a higher level, the governments of this world would like to create laws against this sort of selfish, destructive behaviour, as long as there are depraved humans and wilfull intent, it will happen.

What we need is for people to follow this commandment.

“Love your neighbour as yourself”

If everyone were to just treat other people in the way they themsleves would wish to be treated, then we would live in paradise.

Problem is, who wants to follow a rule like that? It’s only in your best interest if EVERYONE follows the same rule – fat chance.

If only people wanted to follow this law.
If only we had it written on our hearts.
If only someone with power and authority were to change us from the inside, then things might be better.

I think… I can’t wait for the new creation.





Romans 8:18-27

28 09 2008

I am preaching on this passage in about 6 weeks. I ♥ Wordle!





Engage08: Highlights

31 08 2008

What a fabulous weekend!

We had a great time with our brothers and sisters in Christ being challenged and encouraged from God’s word by two dynamic and engaging speakers.

Highlights were:

  • Being reminded by Driscoll of the REGENERATING work of the Holy Spirit in every Christians heart
  • Being challenged by the Don to not be another generation of LEGALISTS
  • Bitburger Lemon (aka BItburger brau) a beer that tastes probably a little like Skittlebrau

Will post more later.

What were your highlights of Engage08?





John 3:16

21 08 2008

After golf on Monday, Dave, Aidan and I shared a beer in the clubhouse. Well we didn’t share one beer, that would be silly, we had a beer each and then shared the experience of drinking them.

Anyway, on the wall was a shirt signed by several people who had obviously done something significant enough to justify signing and framing a shirt. Under one of the signatures was written “John 3:16”.

Now John 3:16 is probably the most famous bible verse in the world. It even has it’s own wikipedia entry. Now this fame is justified. It is a concise, easy to remember summary of the gospel. But Dave was of the opinion that maybe John 3:16 has had it’s day. Maybe it’s time for a new verse to be held up on placards at sporting events and scrawled across shirts on golf club walls?

This is not necessarily just a case of familiarity breeding contempt, but also, I think John 3:16 may not have the same impact on a new generation of non-Christians. For example, “For God so loved the world…” might now draw the response, “Which God?”, as the Judeo-Christian heritage of our society becomes more distant.

Anyhoo, Dave suggested 1 Tim 2:5 as a new contender. I am reading Romans at the moment and I like the idea of Romans 10:9.

What do you think? Which verse would you choose? What would the appropriate verse need to contain? Can one verse be expected to summarise the gospel?





ABS

22 05 2008

When Turns and I were at uni together studying for our actuarial degrees, we teamed up with Dave and Moses (not ‘the’ Moses) to start an Actuarial Bible Study Group, or ABS.

They were good times. We met up once a week (roughly) and read the bible together. We even studied a Matthias study, “Cash Values”, for a while in preparation for hitting the workforce.

I’ve mentioned before (see reproduced post below) that I think Actuaries possibly have a natural disposition to become Christians.

So it’s perhaps not surprising that the ABS has continued into my working life! We have a group of actuaries here at work who meet up very irregularly to read the bible together. We have about 4 core members and a few others. Yesterday we even had 2 new faces! Praise God!

We have been working our way through Hebrews looking at how Jesus is the reality that the old covenant foreshadowed. It’s been fabulous!





Reading

25 03 2008

I am currently reading three books:

ftlog.jpgworld-without-end.jpggitxtbookcovonlycrop.jpg

1. For the Love of God by DA Carson – I’ve mentioned this one already. Adri and I are doing the daily devotional readings. ‘Tis tops.

2. World Without End by Ken Follett – This is the sequel to the novel ‘Pillars of the Earth’. I really enjoyed Pillars, and so far I am really enjoying this. I think I like the historic context and the various characters story-lines that are interwoven. I also like how the story extends over many years. Although I sometimes feel like he dwells on one time period for too long and doesn’t give enough weight to others. Has anyone else read either of these? Would love to hear your thoughts.

3. Actuarial Practice in General Insurance 7th Edition by Hart, Buchanan & Howe – Boring as anything, but it must be done. Actually some of it is not too bad. I have to read 10 chapters of this tomorrow, and make summaries.