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.


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!

Doing what you think is right won’t make you popular

11 10 2009

Exhibit A – Harry Connick Jr cancels shopping centre appearance because of concerns for safety.
Exhibit B – Catholic chemist “outrageous” for not selling pill

But who wants to be popular anyway?

I want to be a God-pleaser rather than a people-pleaser.

Romans and Zechariah

16 08 2009

Last day of church today for a little while. I don’t know how I will go for 5 weeks without church and bible study. Never really tried before!

At bible study this morning, we looked at chapter 2 of Romans. I am looking forward to reading some more of it in Rome!

Something that struck me from Geoff Shead preaching on Zechariah this morning… Zech prophesied that in the Day of the Lord, God would pour out a spirit of contrition on his people. Contrition – Why is that a good thing? Because we are stuffed before God and we need his forgiveness. But before that, we need repentance. We need to come before God with a broken and contrite heart. Even for that bit, we need his help.

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.


3 05 2009

Four more baptisms at church this morning.

God is doing awesome things in this Iranian ministry.

I love listening to stories of people coming to faith, and all the little incidents that have played a part along the way. One guy today, Amir, was invited to church by an Iranian Christian who walked into the shop he was working in. She was asking for directions, but they soon realised they were both from Iran and got to talking. She invited him along and know he has turned to Christ. How cool is that?

Happy ANZAC Day

25 04 2009

How did you spend your ANZAC Day? Are you a dawn service kind of person? Did you watch a family member march?

I was very interested to read on Michael Kellehan’s blog the origins of the phrase “Lest we forget”. Cracking poem.

Good to remember the sacrifice of brave men and women who fought for their country. Even better to remember that God is in control of all things, including the rise and fall of empires.

Thursday Thought – Knowing God

16 04 2009

I think there is a big difference between knowing God and knowing about God.

I fear I rely to heavily on the latter, whilst leaving the former undone.

Ok. I confess. This isn’t an original thought. I stole it from J I Packer. I have just started re-reading his book “Knowing God”. This book is a ripper. It’s a cracker, a belter, a corker and a flamin’ bottler!

Since it’s his thought, I’ll let him put it on his words:

“We are perhaps, orthodox evangelicals. We can state the gospel clearly, and can smell unsound doctrine a mile away. If asked how one may know God, we can at once produce the right formula – that we come to know God through Jesus Christ the Lord, in virtue of his cross and mediation, on the basis of his word of promise, by the power of the Holy Spirit, via a personal exercise of faith. Yet the gaiety, goodness and unfetteredness of spirit which are the marks of those who have known God are rare among us – rarer, perhaps, than they are on some other Christian circles where, by comparison, evangelical truth is less clearly and fully known.”

J I Packer – Knowing God

Thursday Thought – Good

10 04 2009

I think the word “good” has been diluted.

When I was a kid in english class, if I used the word good, I would get in trouble for not being imaginative enough. There are better words to use than “good”. It’s a pretty lame way of describing something positive.

But I think good is just suffering from overuse. When you look at how the word “good” has been used in the past, you can see it’s actually pretty powerful.

For example, when God created the world, he looked at it and described it as (very) GOOD.

When someone called Jesus good, he said GOOD was a word that should only be used to describe God.

And how about GOOD Friday? The day when 2000 years ago, Jesus, the Son of God, was crucified and suffered the ultimate punishment in our place. He was punished so we don’t have to be. This is a GOOD day.

How good is the word GOOD?!?

Thursday Thought – The Pope

19 03 2009

I think the Pope needs to work on his PR.

This story caused a bit of a stir from those sitting around me at work yesterday.

“What does he think hes going on about?”

“He’s not making any sense!”

“That’s a stupid thing to say!”

“This is like when he condemned that 9-year-old, pregnant to her step-dad, for having an abortion!

I haven’t read any stories where the Pope is given the chance to explain his belief that condoms only aggravate the AIDS problem, but I imagine his reasoning is something like:

AIDs is spread as a result of promiscuity –> the solution is monogamous marital relationships –> condoms only encourage promiscuity –> therefore condoms only make the problem worse.

Now the Pope might be absolutely spot on with his assessment. Abstinence outside of marriage may be the only solution to the AIDs problem. For Catholics, his comments may be the reminder they need to flee sexual sin. His comments may be the leadership those in the Catholic church need.

But to outsiders, including my work colleagues, all they hear is the a self-righteous man who has lost touch with reality and only wants to condemn the poorest and sickest people in the world. Regardless of his intentions, that headline screams insensitivity. Someone put it: “The people will not follow what the pope is saying. He lives in Heaven and we are on Earth.”

I don’t know how the Pope views his role as God’s representative here on earth, but I think he would have better PR if he was seen demonstrating the love and forgiveness of Christ to those who need it most.

Happy St Patrick’s Day

17 03 2009

Happy St Patricks Day!

Christian dude. Long time ago. Ireland. Told people about Jesus. God in three shamrock leaves. Let’s drink Guinness!