Thursday, 31 December 2015

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.


Some people just can’t seem to put a foot wrong, even when they do. It would seem that ignorance & injustice really are bliss. Meanwhile those who do what is right suffer. Christians are familiar with suffering as is probably most of humanity. But in Christ alone is our suffering  purpose filled & in the end leads to a better place…All is not what it seems & God’s word makes this clear. Psalm 37:1-40.





 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; 
live as God’s slaves.1Peter 2:16.





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Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Happy New Year








The horizon hides the magnificent splendour… shadows & darkness settle in the silent wake where daylight brightly shone. The calendar year two thousand & fifteen fades like so many before. Same sun, same earth but the morning brings a new day & with that God’s faithfulness remains the same. This is not same old, same old, but a steadfastness beyond human understanding. In our limitedness we have only just begun to grasp the manifold testimony of God, such is His wisdom. By darkness as by day God alone is trustworthy & true.



Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:22-24.











Phil 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 




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Saturday, 26 December 2015

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.John 1:9.



The ocean is composed of zones. Closest to the surface is the sunlight zone, further down the twilight zone, after that the midnight zone, and enter the Deep Sea Angler fish. Further below is the abyss zone & deeper still the trenches. The deep sea Angler is a fish that likes to fish, it has its own rod & lure with bling. But you don’t have to submerge into the depths to be lured in & snap swallowed up horribly by something.








The Bible tells us that people also set out to deceive, even people that come in the name of religion & Christianity among other teachings & ideas. 2 Cor 11-14. 2 Pet 2:1. It can be really hard at times to know what is safe & what’s not. It’s one reason why God has given His Word. God’s Word is a true light to show us the way, even if & when things get dangerous. Psalm 119:105. God can make difficult things easier to understand with good teachers.Eph 4:11-12. 








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Friday, 25 December 2015

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas Joy









Col 1:15-23.



Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Isaac Watts





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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Poor Patch Adam



Two for the price of one & sin & death become our inheritance. It’s just the way it is but it wasn’t always like that. Remnants of the glorious & joyful garden are scattered about & the happiness that was, but is no longer, is still being sought. An Ob-la-di -ob-la-da- Shangri-La & life goes on but we eventually die in a world of great suffering. East, west, north, south, it’s the same story. Sin & death have become our inheritance.

The intended coming of Jesus brings the gift that this earth is in most need of…Grace & righteousness, Redemption & renewal. Lest we keep filling our lives with dreams & satisfactions that just don’t last, though we try & try.

God is a holy God but He is also a generous giver of gifts, priceless treasure & infinite worth. Rom 5:12-21.




2Cor 8:9. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.





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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Can a leopard change its spots...



The wholly discounted Christmas experience of shopping centres was full throttle today. Car parks were packed & jammed to a halt, a hive of convergence. Live stream credit cards & cash on their annual migration path…And so this is Christmas, it’s beginning to look a lot like consumerism.

At a time of reflection over the year it’s no surprise that people would be opting for a peace-ism of sorts. All we are saying is give peace a chance? But actions speak louder than words. Best we form a committee to work out what peace is & how it can be achieved. See you in a millennium or so…

We could also cast our eye at the Saviour born in a manger…a little ‘bed in’ if you will’, a sign from on high that God really is making peace a reality. Not in the form of a rock star with a denim jacket or a professional person in slacks or a suit. God is not asking us to imagine there is no heaven. He is telling us there truly is one, the red tooth & claw will be no more.


He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears,  but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. Infants will play near the hole of the cobra; young children will put their hands into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 11:3-9




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.Rom 8:20-21.




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Sunday, 20 December 2015

God's Grand Grace







God is working on a grand scale, but not everyone can appreciate His masterpiece. 



Jesu joy of man's  desiring.

Jesu, joy of man's desiring,
Holy wisdom, love most bright;
Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring
Soar to uncreated light.

Word of God, our flesh that fashioned,
With the fire of life impassioned,
Striving still to truth unknown,
Soaring, dying round Thy throne.








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Friday, 18 December 2015

Miniscule Christmas


It’s Christmas time in Australia. Cicada sounds fill the air, a time for hot summer days & nights. We have wild deer(not native) & kangaroo’s a plenty, boing, boing, boing.

When it comes to Christmas, spiders are usually a second or third behind snakes & lizards where the bush meets the cities & towns.


Over the years I have been very familiar with red backs & funnel webs but only this year have I discovered the Christmas spider, also known as the Jewel spider (Austracantha minax). While taking some video I stumbled across these small/tiny creatures. 

Each time I placed the camera near them they would scramble along their web, very camera shy. They were spaced evenly a metre or so apart along a farmers barb wired fence. Plenty of flies & bugs in Australia in the summer too, especially near farm animals.

But like most countries we like to have our family & fun stuff too.

Aussie Jingle Bells/Bucko & Champs










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Tramps




There is a lot of doom & gloom in this world. The global garden & its inhabitants suffer. Even the secular world can’t argue with that. And in that misery we are looking for security or the ability to secure some happiness & peace.

Can it be founded or found in human government, some say laws are meant to be broken & many live it out day to day. Laws don’t change people, the problem is within. Democracy becomes more of the same just like any other world power or system when all is said & done.Each falls short in its own way.

Peace has come in the likeness of a child that grew into a man. This is no earthly or fairy-tale, it comes from & through heaven’s gate. God came into our miserable kingdom, a kingdom of our doing or undoing, trampling God & His ways, as if they meant nothing to us…All of us. Matt 21:33-46.

Jesus... He is our peace.


Above All Powers. Micheal. W. Smith



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Thursday, 17 December 2015

What about You, Who do you say Jesus is...& Why?




The Bible often comes under attack, its message & claims once had a greater sway in the day to day stuff that we call life & living. More & more documentaries hit the mainstream media seeking to undermine the biblical world view. Sadly, the views that seek to undermine Scripture are given lots of air play & dont present the challenging other side of the argument. 

This too is part of life & living though in a corrupted world driven by all kinds of desires & anarchy that claim to want peace & power on earth. The Bible points this out clearly. 

Learning about Scripture & how it formed is valuable. One site I visit to learn about history & Scripture is Canon Fodder, created by Dr Kruger.He responds to an article about Jesus...or is that an article about a non Jesus or a non article about the real Jesus.


http://michaeljkruger.com/did-jesus-even-exist-responding-to-5-objections-raised-by-rawstory/#comment-3603







Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah. Mark 8:27- 29. 

 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”  They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”  “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”  






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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

rationalising happiness


By the look of things Santa is always ‘happy’. Advertising tends to do that…sell happiness as if it comes in a bottle or a can or a box or something like that.

We can have a tendency to do that with our own lives too, take a short cut to happiness. When God wants us to slow down or stop & wait, we want what we want & we want it now. 

We imagine we have the wisdom & God is like a child, we imagine we are King of the road...If you want to put the pedal to the metal you need to have your ears on in the slipstream of life.












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Monday, 14 December 2015

Dr Doing Little


Yesterday after working in the morning I had an hour to myself in the afternoon. I went for a swim down at the river & took along a boogie board & put a go pro camera on a mini tripod at the very front & proceeded to manoeuvre it around in turtle man fashion (no snapping turtles here thankfully, or crocs or sharks...).

There is a lot I like about the go pro but getting small things like dragon flies, small fish & even medium sized lizards captured on screen is not what it’s cut out for or I need to master it a bit more.If i could talk to the animals I would ask them to be still for just a little bit longer.


What I enjoyed most was spotting a kingfisher & enjoying the swim on a hot day & feeling like it was a holiday…no pressing engagements or deadlines…just cruising. I did smell a bit swampish after pushing through the river weed & my boardies went a bit green but it was enjoyable & relaxing. 









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Sunday, 13 December 2015

World without End


Away in a from a manger...

It’s Christmas time…Joseph, Mary, Jesus & the manger & all that stuff (The Nativity). John the Apostle however draws us away from the manger where our attention is drawn to an all-encompassing, panoramic, picture over time & space...no Tardis, Flux Capacitor or Lightning Bolt required. 

John’s nativity scene has the birth of Creation, John the Baptist-prophet of the Most High, Jesus the Word, Moses & the birth of the Law & children born again by Grace & Truth. John 1:1-18.



The foundation of Christmas & the abolition of slavery to sin
 forever & ever & ever amen. A truly glorious Christmas.











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Saturday, 12 December 2015

H20






Over the years I have built a big mental picture of the Williams River where I live. It is about a kilometre from our house & has a couple of public access points between private properties, much of them farmland. It begins high up in the Barrington Mountains. Further down its path it merges with the Hunter River before it meets the Pacific Ocean.


I get a fair bit of joy from this river with all its ecology & provision, a greater joy still knowing God’s handiwork & wisdom is woven through it & in it.


A lot of articles like to mention the science behind things…the Bible reveals that God is behind things too. God provides an objective moral & spiritual basis for our behaviour & we need to consider that just as much, if not more. 


Science often gets it wrong or hangs in speculation, it can lead us up the creek without a paddle. God does no such thing, yet the post-modern world treats God like trash. Alliances matter & have a cause & effect scenario also...consequences.








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Friday, 11 December 2015

The cone of silence in every day life



Officially school is out for summer in our neck of the woods. My wife came home with her secret Santa gift, a tin of biscuits, the tin has a lovely pressed metal art work on the front. What struck me straight away was that it was a skinny Santa.

Secret Santa is sort of a Santa thing happening as much as a Saint Nick/Nicholas thing. Its not a random act of kindness & you deliberately keep your identity hidden...who was that masked man...sorta kind of without the super hero but the super natural is involved.


The Bible tells us that much of our giving should be done in secret, no need for a big song or dance or a mega cheque that takes two or three people to hold. Matt 6:1-15.Humility & service to others is something that God truly treasures.Godliness amongst the kaotic.



Biscuits dont make you skinny by the way




Saint Nicholas




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Thursday, 10 December 2015

The real sabre of light



Some might call this a metamorphous, one thing blends into another, multi culture or belief combining to come up with something new.

This is not new however & somethings gets discarded or lost in the process…devolution is happening all around in society. The apostle Paul spells it out. Rom 1:25.


Not all exchanges are good(Gen 3:1-24). There truly is a dark side to human nature & only God can break down the impenetrable wall of sin. And He does it not by might or power, but by His Spirit.



Dreamin of a white Christmas



Happy X (wing) mas

The force of consumerism & military might are strong in this world,
 that is for sure. But we can take heart, God has overcome....




Onli-Wan Kansaveme






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Monday, 7 December 2015

Validated




(approx 8-10cm wing tip to wing tip)









I took a photo of this moth on the side of our garage last Saturday. I erased the original background & have replaced it with another. What moth is this? As yet I cannot identify it & will be relying on other sources. It appears to be of a fair age with it’s damaged/wornout wing tips. 

Joseph & Mary get more verification regarding their son in the temple. The sheperds, the wise men, now Simeon & Anna. Luke 2:21-40. God is joining in the dots regarding history & salvation. More details emerge, the picture becomes clearer.

“Hear me, you who know what is right, you people who have taken my instruction to heart: Do not fear the reproach of mere mortals or be terrified by their insults. For the moth will eat them up like a garment; the worm will devour them like wool. But my righteousness will last forever, my salvation through all generations.” Isaiah 51: 1-16. v 7- 8.











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Sunday, 6 December 2015

The fight & the flight of Theism



Christianity has its own bed of roses as much as its bed of nails but it is not mind over matter or a meaningless exercise or red in tooth & claw. God the son in the flesh is already a part of, & target in, a spiritual battle. Joseph, Mary & Jesus must flee & Egypt becomes a haven of rest for a time.



The Flight into Egypt. 1883. Eugène Girardet (1853-1907)



The second & third NOEL’s give us more insight into the workings of the world. Satan is out to destroy God’s children, anywhere anytime. The friendly & enquiring face of Herod has a heart that is dark & full of self- interest. Yes, his power is great to deceive but God sees all. Matt 2:13-23.


Rev 12:1-17. symbolise the spiritual battle in an earthly perspective across the centuries. In all of this, God is there & He is victorious. History is natural & super-natural.





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Saturday, 5 December 2015

BANG !









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The science of the star



All the stars & all the stripes & all the crescents & all the worries & all the misery.


I don’t know if I would call Herod paranoid or not, or maybe what I am trying to say is there can be a good type of paranoia & an evil type of paranoia. Soldiers, politicians & parents would all have heightened senses I would think. Strikers & defenders side by side are probably watching every twitch & move with the intent of a Korean military border…worlds collide.



So maybe there is part time, full time & extra time paranoia. But in all of this there is no excuse to implement murder or violence according to God’s Word, especially towards the helpless. God’s word gives us the game plan. Love of God & love of our neighbour is central to our humanity but even here we fall far short…Enter the Christ child…The supreme leader presides over all that is super & natural. Micah 5:1-15. 






His name is Wonderful



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Friday, 4 December 2015

More than one X in Christmas







The year is coming to an end. Christmas & Christmas holidays collide. In the busyness there is time to relax & celebrate. We are also encouraged to splurge at this time & there is a feast for the eyes & senses.


In contrast the humble birth of Christ speaks to our hearts, yes there are things in existence that money cannot buy or cannot be gained by human might or strength. Many of us would understand the value of good friendship. God sends a sign of friendship or peace which can be found in the Christ child. Salvation is a gift, in Christ we receive what we could never attain for ourselves.


For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the sinful nature,  God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful humanity to be a sin offering. Rom 8:3.


So while the temporal excesses of the season seek their claim & seek to entice, remember the fellowship & friendship of God revealed in Jesus the Son. Only He can satisfy our desires with good things.



Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled. You who answer prayer, to you all people will come. When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave  our transgressions. Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple. Psalm 65:1-4.




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Thursday, 3 December 2015

Sand Tree



The mighty ocean can leave us
 awe struck with its power & might. 
Its ability to cleanse, wash, be calm & still inspires us so.
Could anything clothed in human flesh
 match the worth of the ocean?

Yes, in Jesus it is so, & much, much, more. 






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So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son. I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 
and through your offspring  all nations on earth will be blessed,because you have obeyed me.” Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.Gen 22:14-19.






Jesus Begins to Preach

When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:

“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” 
From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Matt 4:12-17



Abraham - Phil Keaggy






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