Saturday, 26 July 2014

places in the heart



88. Q. Of how many parts does true conversion, or the turning of man to God, consist?
A. Two: the mortification of the old man, and the quickening of the new.

89. Q. What is the mortification of the old man?
A. It is heartfelt sorrow that we have provoked God by our sins, and more and more to hate them and flee from them.

90. Q. What is the quickening of the new man?
A. It is heartfelt joy in God through Christ, and with love and delight to live according to the will of God in all good works.

91. Q. But what are good works?
A. Only those which are done from true faith, according to the law of God, and to his glory; and not such as are based on our own opinions or the precepts of men.

The Heidelberg Catechism, Lords Day 33 Q&A 88-91




It is a revealing thing that God because of His holy character should be provoked by our sins. It’s easy enough to make the connection that God is Almighty & all powerful (may God strike me with lightening if I have done something wrong …etc.) yet Christians can grieve God by their wrong doing. Luke 15: 11-32. God although Spirit has a heart & it is moved  to sadness when we sin against Him but also joy  when we come to the realisation that repentance is a good thing when acted upon...Ps 51:17.



Rembrandt: The prodigal son




Not what my hands have done can save my guilty soul;
Not what my toiling flesh has borne can make my spirit whole.
Not what I feel or do can give me peace with God;
Not all my prayers and sighs and tears can bear my awful load.

Your voice alone, O Lord, can speak to me of grace;
Your power alone, O Son of God, can all my sin erase.
No other work but Yours, no other blood will do;
No strength but that which is divine can bear me safely through.

Thy work alone, O Christ, can ease this weight of sin;
Thy blood alone, O Lamb of God, can give me peace within.
Thy love to me, O God, not mine, O Lord, to Thee,
Can rid me of this dark unrest, And set my spirit free.

I bless the Christ of God; I rest on love divine;
And with unfaltering lip and heart I call this Savior mine.
His cross dispels each doubt; I bury in His tomb
Each thought of unbelief and fear, each lingering shade of gloom.

I praise the God of grace; I trust His truth and might;
He calls me His, I call Him mine, My God, my joy and light.
’Tis He Who saveth me, and freely pardon gives;
I love because He loveth me, I live because He lives.


Horatius Bonar






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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Time & place



“If there really was a God he wouldn’t allow the little children to suffer” or words to that affect were told to me yesterday, among other things… It can be hard explaining that God is making all things new, that one day not only suffering (regardless of age) but also greed, corruption & injustice will be wiped away like a tear never to fall again.


It can be hard pointing people to consider Jesus & to trust in Him, especially with all the conspiracy theories swirling about regarding Scripture. Yet nothing is too hard for God…In the flesh or in the Spirit God gives His all & He will accomplish & complete. Not on a day of our choosing but His. As it was at Golgotha, on the road to Emmaus & Pentecost (Luke 23 -25) so it is with each & every day.


Rev 18:4-20











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Monday, 21 July 2014

Monkey magic





This sad & misleading poster denies, or attempts to deny the fact that Christianity walks hand in hand with science but accepts its limitations. The real problem is there are conflicting philosophies behind the science which are not testable… particular presuppositions or bias are already loaded into the evidence mechanism. http://creation.com/its-not-science

There is a lot to be said for trusting our ability to find out things. This is in harmony with human intelligence which comes from the Maker who provides instruction so we are not left in the dark no matter the age, imprisoned by our delusions of grandeur…to think that we are greater than God or His methods.

As attractive as free thought sounds with its optomystic outlook & Professorsorial declarations, Humanism seems to me like a bunch of “experts” telling us all what we should do. How bad religion is & how much better we would be without it. There is no denying the harm that religion can do, but this is more about humans breaking away from God & godliness according to Jesus, just as science & people of no fixed religion has also done great harm.


Rev 12:17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.





Atheist Bible Camp




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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Close encounters



Our current minister is no rabbit but he likes to hop, skip, or jump when it comes to the Bible of late. What started out as small steps through Genesis & Exodus has now turned into leaping along books & chapters. All of a sudden we found ourselves scouting out the Promised Land with the elected representatives of the ancestral tribes of Israel. Num 13:1-25

Big fruit, big people & big worries were the majority call regarding the exploration. In their estimation of things & in comparison, the Israelites amounted to nothing more than grasshoppers. Moses & Aaron became public enemy number one, once again Egypt with all its misery sounded very inviting for the backward thinking travellers.

What made things even more ironic was that when God instructed that the Israelites head back to the desert the Israelites have a change of heart, not faith inspired though, this time they will take on the big people on their own terms. Num 14: 44. Yet again they go against the Heavenly Father.


Psalm 32: 1-11











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Friday, 18 July 2014

Onlooker



More lives lost. If it’s not a drone or jet fighter launching from altitude it’s a surface to air missile system tracking its target & taking it out. On one level its science, technology & engineering at great speed serving humanity & at the same time destroying it… amidst the carnage of twisted metal & debris lay human remains.


It’s always a tragedy when the civilian body count increases at the expense of war, whether it is one or one hundred. Like many funerals, personal stories appear sharing more insight after the event, after a life is gone & the pain of loss remains. In this International 24/7 culture of some good & mostly bad news I am assured that this sin stained world & all its mess has not been abandoned in times of war or peace.




Psalm 23:1-6





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Monday, 14 July 2014

Deja vu in mono tone


It’s 2014 for crying out loud…when you hear this I think you’re meant to get the implication pretty quick. There is a belief that religion was just an invention of the human mind to cope with the things that can make us afraid as apes allegedly came out of the trees & evolved into humans. Those goat herders from way back started all this mess…allegedly, then the implication…there is no God, we may do as we please. The apes to human is a great story that has more twists & turns than an illuminated manuscript, it also requires much faith for all the pieces to fit together.


The brick makers & yet to be again goat herders were coming out themselves, but not out of trees, it was out of Egypt by the power of the one eternal God. After escaping the misery instigated by the power of flail and crook a new road lay ahead & it wasn’t going to Rome just yet, eventually though it would [The Apostle Paul & the message of Redemption in Christ]. The Bible does not deny the advancement of human knowledge. Dan 12:4. Nor kingdoms or economies for that matter made of iron, bronze, clay, silver or gold. Dan 2:45. Yet it speaks of something far more precious, loving & lasting.



You see we are all coming out, but we are also on different roads or the same road heading in different directions. Jesus, who isn’t dead, tells us there is only one way. John 14:6 




Romans 6:23











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Sunday, 13 July 2014

The highs & lows of the world cup




All that footage, all those games, all those goals. On the face of it the world cup was impressive stuff, politically & financially though I doubt there is the same demand for fair play. Corporate power plays don’t tend to get penalised & that is a shame. The agony & ecstasy on & off the pitch will fade into the background like the setting sun on the vast ocean.



Germany will take home the cup & the players will head back to their respective homes & clubs across the globe. The game that is football can be orchestrated in many ways. As kids we would often have to retrieve the ball after a wayward shot too high or wide in a backyard or park, at times playing until it was dark & time for tea.



Mordillo




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In Christ Alone



When a man loves a woman, when a woman loves a man, it can be such a sweet, sweet thing… unless it goes all bitter. Romance & marriage is definitely not an exact science, there are many struggles involved. It’s a universal theme yet goes to another dimension in the spiritual struggle of holy living in a polluted world. It is God who completes us in Christ & He provides for all that we need in body & soul, single or married…God provides.


On this side of heaven in this sin cursed yet not forsaken world we see a whole host of ideas that could lead us astray regarding sexuality, much of it celebrated & praised as it is transmitted across cables & clouds. Make way for adultery, sex before marriage, homosexuality…there is no harm in it, get off on it if you like, seems to be the liberated message as people are encouraged to lock into desires that fill their hearts & minds. In fact society should offer comfort & acceptance as if these things are normal & good. 1 Peter 4:1




In Christ Alone


Heidelburg Catechism Lord’s Day 9
26. Q. What do you believe when you say: I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth?

A. That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who of nothing made heaven and earth with all that is in them, who likewise upholds and governs the same by his eternal counsel and providence, is for the sake of Christ his Son my God and my Father; in whom I so trust as to have no doubt that he will provide me with all things necessary for body and soul; and further, that whatever evil he sends upon me in this vale of tears, he will turn to my good; for he is able to do it, being almighty God, and willing also, being a faithful Father.




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Friday, 11 July 2014

By the waters...








The place where I live with my family was once inhabited by the Gringgai clan of the Wanaruah people. It was initially known as Erringhi, presumably the Aboriginal name for the site, it is thought to mean 'place of wild ducks'.

Doing deliveries this week in East Maitland I passed the local Aboriginal building/meeting place which was a hive of activity due to Naidoc Week. Mostly I identify strongly with Aboriginal people & their culture, although our beliefs would be in contrast & conflict. The great southern land of Terra Australis has a not so great record when it comes to persecution & injustice.

One of the terrible tragedies was the taking away of the children, the tearing apart of the family fabric, which cuts so deeply on both sides of the divide. An Aboriginal man/artists shares the experience in song….Archie Roach







Aboriginal Heritage


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Thursday, 10 July 2014

The Alpha & the Omega



Hypocrisy can be a good thing if you are on the wrong side of it, just like a lie, even if you suffer from the injustice of it, says Jesus. Human history at times is nothing more than a dream catcher gathering fragments of dust when it comes to the whole story, which will be revealed when the end comes. Rev 20:12-13.

Due to the day to day & year to year “uniform laws” of nature that we have observed with our miniscule short spanned lives, it would seem that resurrections & virgin births only occur in the realm of fiction in this present day.

Thankfully God does not limit himself to human made rules when it comes to history with its "impressive bits" as if they are the only things that count. Small birds that fall to the ground,Matt 10:29, a bruised reed, Isaiah 42:3 & blades of grass are just as a concern to God, rights & wrongs also.

Entrusting ourselves into the Heavenly Father’s hands is not an easy thing to do, naturally speaking, but He is at our side, concerned with every step. With words of wisdom, warning & encouragement, He leads & guides with His Spirit, just as He said he would & there is nothing so surer.



Father-like He tends and spares us, well our feeble frame He knows;
In His hands He gently bears us, rescues us from all our foes.
Praise Him! Praise Him! Praise Him! Praise Him!
Widely as His mercy flows.


Henry Francis Lyte
Praise my soul the King of heaven




video



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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Its a bugs life...

Google doodles have understandably been getting into world cup themes of late. Today’s is pretty clever considering the VW bug plays/played such a big role in both countries. As far as icons go the VW Bug is up there in the stats. I had a VW for a few years after my muscle car days. From memory, they can have a gear ratio of 4 to 1 which can make them very quick off the mark. Wheel stands are not out of the question with some added horsepower, especially as the engine & gearbox sits in the rear.


My grandparents had a 2 door VW with blinker arms that popped out of the door pillars & a small compartment behind the back seat that Chiko (a basset hound) would sit in. Once when mum & dad were overseas they sent back a VW postcard, it has remained as one of my favourite automobile pictures over the years….






This car is in not so good a shape…a bit like Brazil at present who are down 5 nil as the teams go to half time…




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Saturday, 5 July 2014

Elec TRON ics


Some say the best way to connect with God is to be immersed in nature. The Bible echoes this at times but only like a secondary colour. In order to connect with God, truly connect with God, not His creation it all begins with Jesus. This is of primary importance otherwise you end up worshipping or glorying in nature & not God.

Some say the best way to connect with life is to disconnect from religion & discover the power of the mind & it’s intelligence. Apparently humans have the ability to self- correct (given enough time & the right conditions) maybe that’s why there seems to be so many new blacks whether they are purple, orange or whatever…free your mind.

In reality we cannot do without the God & nature connect, but it goes much deeper than that. To appreciate the hard & software we must come to Christ & submit to Him, it’s His program, He knows how it works & who the Hackers are.

An old wooden cross, a bunch of misfits often bumbling along & a carpenters son, hardly seems a remedy to solve the problems of humanity that has advanced so much in knowledge if you look on the surface of things…yet the human heart remains the same…

Turn, turn… before it’s too late, says Christ Jesus. Matt 24












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Friday, 4 July 2014

Run Mustang Run. July 4



Today is July the Fourth, on the world stage it’s something about America & politics which at one time was connected to English rule. There is a lot that can be said about America, there is probably a lot of listening too in America, there is also a saying, only in America…

There’s a pink hotel, little pink houses & one on a prairie, some bridges in Brooklyn & Madison, a mountain named Walton & hills & Billy’s in Beverley, cowboys at midnight cowboys in rhinestone, yellow taxis that steal old men & screen doors that slam on Thunder road. There are bikes in Orange County & men in black helicopters. Houston has a problem, there’s purple rain & alligator lizards in the air, girls in Californeyeaye, corn in Iowa & somewhere they eat green fried tomatoes. A field of dreams, wood that is made of silk & a gate made of water...old black water….


The Doobie Brothers - Black Water














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Thursday, 3 July 2014

The Ebb & Flow of Ebony & Ivory



Orca Procession/R. Bateman




One wildlife artist of whom I have a deep admiration for is Robert Bateman. It’s not because of his awards or recognition but his ability to compose a complete picture, atmosphere, background, foreground & the subject matter, great or small.

I remember sitting in the University Library at times just being impressed at his ability. I discovered this 2008 video of him creating awareness of the fragile eco systems that are under threat from commercial shipping trade that can undo so much of the good.

Robert Bateman 2 min Video:


It reminded me of Jesus teaching his disciples to be aware of the negative effects of yeast (there are positives also), a one off, even a small amount, can eventually pollute the whole. Matt 16:6-12. We see it in the environment, it’s no different with the Spiritual.

Yes we need money & trade can be a good thing, but it should not become our god. In the OT also we see God commanding the children of Israel to look after the land, protecting it with rest, the beasts of burden also.


Mt 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money”…





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Dark side of the science...


So often science, or is that scientists, take us on a mystery trek into the vast unknown of the past. Video productions hit TV screens at an invariable rate pitting our minds so that they resemble the surface of the moon, whether the dust is thick or thin, its hammered big time…




So often though, it is mere speculation or theory with a hint of evidence to clinch the deal.  As far as science goes it’s not good enough to be sucking people into a void of bird brained propaganda on a parrot education program (apologies to the family Psittacoidea/Parrot)







That’s the problem with evidence…is it 1% & doesn’t follow the rules, or 5, 10, 35 or 67% evidence. Join the gang, gain consensus & get taken for a ride…Science is not all it’s cracked up to be…



Time machine


Dating is not its all cracked up to be....

times one...









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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Cruising & Crying.



I had a friend (Ross) whose uncle was a speedway driver. As young men we would go to the speedway here in Australia (Tomago NSW). Occasionally the “yanks” would visit for a series challenge. Some years later I had made friends with a guy (Dave) up the road who had moved in from the country & was a whizz with anything mechanical or anything attached to something mechanical…he ended up getting a job with the said speedway driver who also part owned a smallgoods company.


So we got into cars bit by bit, in particular, Ford V8 Windsor & Cleveland engines which meant gearboxes, brakes, suspension & diff’s followed. So I built up a good knowledge base over the years & have been trying to implement many of those skills in repairing our cars over the years with much success….My wife’s modern car/computer/Rubik’s cube however is taking me to the limit one more time, on a regular basis. Forget all the nice sounding inspiring names from the marketing department for now. In the Gods must be crazy the Leyland jeep is renamed “antichrist” I wouldn’t go that far…maybe I will settle for the “Black Hole”.


 The Gods must be crazy









Speedway @ Nazareth