Thursday, 27 April 2017

God's radiance & radar

19. Q. Whence do you know this?
A. From the holy gospel, which God himself first revealed in Paradise; afterwards published by the holy patriarchs and prophets, and foreshadowed by the sacrifices and other ceremonies of the law; and lastly fulfilled by his only begotten Son.

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Lords day 6 Q & A 16-18 (Heidelberg Catechism) sets the scene for a saviour, but not just any Saviour. And this has been revealed to us by God himself. Christianity is not a man- made invention. God through the gospel is redeeming a people & calling them out of this troubled & torn world.

We begin to see it in Genesis & on a national scale with Abraham & the nation of Israel in ancient times. Like shadow puppets & silhouettes we don’t get all the detail. OT Israel get to see first-hand, wonderful & terrible things but Christ in the flesh is so much more. The hand of God is in all eras & the last days before the final curtain will bring an end to this life lived drama enveloped with spiritual influence.


This world is filled with fairy tales but the Bible isn’t one of them. It doesn’t sugar fill life like a can & pretty things up with artificial ideas. The Gospel points us to Christ as God’s promise of redeeming love, a shepherd that truly cares for His sheep, in  life & in death, sickness & health. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.








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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

In Christ Alone


There are lots of things that can strike fear into the heart or mind or spirit of the human experience. Deadly creatures particularly, even small ones. Fear & respect in the right measure can be a very good & very dependable thing & so much better than false bravado & ignorance.

If the lion is the king of the jungle then I would say that the crocodile is the king of the river, powerful, fast, stealthy & deadly.Humans have their rich & powerful also & they ought to realise that they are accountable before a holy & almighty God.








Matthew Henry: 
Commentary on Ezekiel 32:1-16

It becomes us to weep and tremble for those who will not weep and tremble for themselves. Great oppressors are, in God's account, no better than beasts of prey. Those who admire the pomp of this world, will wonder at the ruin of that pomp; which to those who know the vanity of all things here below, is no surprise. When others are ruined by sin, we have to fear, knowing ourselves guilty. The instruments of the desolation are formidable. And the instances of the desolation are frightful. The waters of Egypt shall run like oil, which signifies there should be universal sadness and heaviness upon the whole nation. God can soon empty those of this world's goods who have the greatest fullness of them. By enlarging the matters of our joy, we increase the occasions of our sorrow. How weak and helpless, as to God, are the most powerful of mankind! The destruction of Egypt was a type of the destruction of the enemies of Christ.

Ps 33:8-9. Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.


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Monday, 24 April 2017

Observations & calculations




The fox is often on the run, the hunter & the hunted. We don’t always see its activity as they mostly operate in the nocturnal world.  At dawn & dusk they can be seen on the landscape & their dead bodies are easily recognisable by roadways after being hit by traffic.




The fox is known for its cunning in comparison to other creatures. Jesus called Herod a fox & the children of Israel lost chicks. Jesus likens himself to a sorrowful mother hen. Luke 13:31-35.





In this sense creation becomes more than a functional wisdom filled with life & death under the curse but a lesson book for all to see that points to our history & circumstance. We live in a beautiful world desolated & decimated by sin, in the landscape & in relationships. 

You don’t have to be a great scientist or mathematician or preacher to recognise sin & cunning in the world but you do need Jesus to put everything in its place.



Carnivorous & the Gospel.


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After a couple of days I have settled on these two images as a final product artistically speaking. In hindsight I would probably pass on my previous post. Not that I would say they are wrong as such & so much more could be written again & again & again. 



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Sunday, 23 April 2017

Down on the farm


In our culture Nature or Mother Nature tends to be strongly suggested instead of the created order subjected to the curse. The laws that govern & the marvellous design displayed tend to be suggested as accidental or limited to process, anything & everything except God the maker of heaven & earth.



We should not be surprised how people try to get around things like a cunning fox, inventive & sneaky & not to be trusted & sad to say it. Cunning & craftiness also exists in the world of men & women, the elderly & infants. All Creation remains under the curse despite the beauty & wisdom that it beholds. 




For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
Rom 8:20-22.







Saturday, 22 April 2017

Big Farma

Lately I have been doing extra hours & shifts & have been unable to fit in blogging. I have been digging around a bit regarding Charles Spurgeon & came across his farm sermons. http://www.spurgeon.org/misc/fspref.php

The church is God’s tilled ground & there is labour & rest to be had. I have often been amazed at God’s instruction for ancient Israel & the welfare prescribed for animals, humans & the land. Agriculture & society without God can be very brutal & oppressive. That’s one reason why people struggle with food & production issues but we can still kill a baby in the womb & imagine ourselves civilised & sensitive & even caring.

Many people assume that science is the saviour in all of this but science too has been the cause of ecological calamity. And science can be very selective when it comes to data. So much so that objectivity is blown away like dust or chaff. It is nowhere near as solid as people would have us believe. Furthermore science is nothing without maths & language & writing & it can also require art & animation. Science can become disproportionate, fallible & false, a hopeless hope & a false god with aspiring worshippers. The imagination can be a powerful tool.


Knowledge without God is like a regime unchecked & a society that wanders in this way is in a greater danger than a rising sea level & a warmer climate of instability in an already unstable earth.







We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Rom 8:22.


Friday, 21 April 2017

farmland



I have come to know these fields & hills like the back of my own hand. I pass through these towns on an almost daily & nightly basis & have done so for twenty years or so. The lower plains flood & cut the main road into the city when the heavy rains come. A lot of work is being done to sure up the river banks & bends in the hope of managing erosion & flood.

Going to work in the morning it is especially enjoyable when road gently descends past the houses & opens up to the panoramic plains that span to Hinton.





4 images of Wallalong & Hinton farmland





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Sunday, 16 April 2017

Oh my goodness ?

Goodness won’t get you into heaven or a right relationship with God (Salvation cannot be earnt or bought). So why would the Apostle Peter encourage Christians to add goodness to their faith? 2 Pet 1:5.

1. Faith is a gift from God. Eph 2:8.
2. We are instructed to put that faith into practise & grow & mature in it.

This is part of the sanctification process & life-long in many respects. Being good is very much a part of being a Christian. 1 Pet 2:12. Being saved though is all down to Christ Jesus.

The sanctifying work of the Spirit is something that is often debated about & varies due to denominational differences. Nevertheless, you wouldn’t put the cart before the horse, neither can you put good works before Salvation.


If you don’t have Jesus, your good works amount to a rejection of God. It is a narrow gate but He alone is the only way to God.

Truth matters, doctrine matters. Its why we have different denominations & differences.










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Saturday, 15 April 2017

Beauty will rise again.


The bodily resurrection of Jesus is a physical fleshly testimony that death has been defeated. The misery of sin has been overcome & that is wonderful news. The risen King has conquered death by humility & obedience. Heb 1:1-4. Jesus is making all things new. He didn’t come to patch up things but to completely annihilate death, sin & the devil. That is greed, envy, pride, lies, deception, sickness, addiction, suffering etc.…The King of creation is about the restoration of all things.

Lots of people go for the idea that you are born, then you die & you cease to be, except for becoming a slow decomposition of what was once life, an apparently freak impossible chance of nature. Atheism without evidence, it is a faith but not in God. http://creation.com/five-atheist-miracles. Others opt for cryonics & the prolonging of a futuristic world of chemical advancement.

Jesus came to set His people free. To be released from the deep misery that has beset & brutally attacked the blessing of life like vikings on a quest for ransacking power & rule. Yes we still see beauty (praise God) but cannot deny our dire need of salvation or redemption in this fallen world. The spirit driven transforming power of the gospel enables us to rejoice in the power of the resurrection displayed in Christ. In Him is true & lasting hope, now & forevermore. Acts 2:24-28. 










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road trip

Photos from a recent road trip. 

The older country towns tend to hold on to their historic buildings longer than the city. These days it seems as if nothing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not a million) for an older house only to knock it down to build new in the big smoke.

Much of early Australian history is of British influence. The Aboriginals tended to be nomadic & highly skillful with a deep understanding of the land & coast. Similar to the US, the Chinese came & after WW2 Europeans came in search of a new beginning. 

The bush & country play a big role in Australian culture. Long distances for families & work situations.



https://goo.gl/photos/tne62P2B4KZWDQ2n6




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Friday, 14 April 2017

Amongst the fallen ruins

It seems extraordinary that Jesus remained silent regarding the accusations of the religious hierarchy, those supposed to be representatives of godly leadership.But then again he had addressed them time & time again.

An opportunity arises for the chief priests & elders & they persuade the crowd to condemn the innocent man Jesus. Pilate’s wife urges Pilate to have no part in it. Some commentators take it further & say Pilate doesn’t want any pressure from Caesar. I don’t know about that. Matt 27:11-26.

Church & State both fail regarding justice, like the law without the Spirit or human flesh without God. But this does not stop God from restoring the sin cursed world of fallen humanity & that is what is good about this Friday like no other.

Though this world plundered & ransacked be, though humanity operates on many levels of depravity & corruption...the bond that lay broken & shattered, the love & tenderness so far removed or twisted & torn may now be found again in the grace of God demonstrated in Christ.






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