Friday, 28 April 2017

Eye spy with my little eye


Yesterday on the way to work around midday I spotted some hawks tracking a farmer cutting the grass much in the same way as sea birds track a fishing trawler. Other birds such as Ibis & Pee Wee's were on the ground foraging around.

It was a beautiful day with a breeze that enabled the hawks to glide more than flap around. I turned the car around & parked in a farm gate & took a few photos for 5 minutes or so. 

Usually the hawks stay at a distance & its hard to get a decent shot but because of the activity they didnt seem that bothered by me which was nice. 

The photos have been added to a previous album.


https://goo.gl/photos/LqgGUyFNfsWS5bqG6



Once upon a forest




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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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Thursday, 13 April 2017

Central


Good Friday is good news. Christ came to save sinners & the Bible says there was no other way. Scripture is where you find out about Easter, not media outlets or supermarkets. Isaiah 53:1-12.


The long expected Messiah steps into our suffering & death, our sinful brokenness & settling for lesser things. He steps in so that we may be made whole again. It is not the calendar that makes Easter Easter, it is Christ Jesus, very God of very God. Our greatest need can only be found in Him alone. 






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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Loyal subjects



A lot of people miss the connect between God, maths, science, art etc. God belongs in religion & religion has nothing to do with everyday life is the assumption. This formula is born out of modernism that assumes the big bang is solid & evolution is a fact.

The fact is that those two ideas have flaws & failings that just don’t add up even if the media create impressions that they do. You may even get hundreds of experts claiming consensus but that won’t change the flaws & failings…it will be just another impression designed to sure up favour.

So people are being educated & influenced but we are not being given the facts & flaws so that we can make informed decisions. Meanwhile God continues to give us maths, science, art, music etc. & without God at the centre of our life we continue to nurture nature into our lives & multiply that error & divide our understanding & subtract truth to create a lie.


Maths isn’t science & science cannot disprove the existence of God, it has chosen its path, it has chosen its belief & it is stcking to it, despite the failings & flaws.








When cleverness becomes unwise



Leonardo Da Vinci was clever. His famous drawings & paintings express much of that. Vitruvian man was based on an idea that the ideal proportions of the human body could be infused into architecture. That idea came from Marcus Vitruvius Pollio. Those Romans were pretty clever & it should be no surprise that many people will turn that into an idol which in turn becomes the main aim of a nation or nations.





We find a similar thing in Scripture, not a mystical mathematical formula as such but Jesus is the cornerstone & his people are living stones not motionless statues in one pose or another. We get this structure expressed by Peter the ex-fisherman.1 Pet 2:4-10.It is a spiritual house that moves & breathes & finds it being in God. Acts 17:16-34.






Many would like to think that our cleverness can save us & that is why they become servants of the Renaissance or humanism & commit their lives to Naturalism. In doing so they miss the heart & soul of the matter as the intellect takes pride of place. Jesus gives us a bigger picture & a deeper understanding to the things of life, death, eternity & peace with God. An enduring lasting blueprint from the architect of the universe is our God.











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Monday, 10 April 2017

A strong & constant love in an everchanging world







The Passover meal draws out the strong Scriptural historical perspective & it is more than a pattern & it is coming towards us, not going away. It starts back in Egypt like a vanishing point in reverse projecting forwards & expanding more & more into time as we know it.




The bloodied door posts of Hebrew dwellings in the land of slavery will have a powerful similarity & significance with a wooden cross that is probably rugged (but maybe not that old).Blood will be shed & a large curtain will be torn in two signifying the ushering in of the new covenant. All the Levitical stuff will now vanish into the distant past as the disciples/apostles take the gospel to all the nations & the four corners of the earth…something we already see in the OT but now things are getting bigger. 2 Cor 2: 12-17. 2 Cor 3: 1-6.


What started with Abram as far as the flesh is concerned becomes a revealed spiritual reality that bears witness to the fallen & broken world with which we find our presence.


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I would say Leonardo Da Vinci’s visual forensic fabrication of the last supper gets it wrong, I would say you sit around a table, not along. Artistic licence often wins the day & artists have their Passovers & codes too, just like science & history as we look back or even now as we asses situations, da da ism, culture wars & all that. 



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Biblical Nerve-arna

As kids we would see the adults go up the front & sit together for the Lords Supper, real bread & real wine that you could smell was poured out into two cups & passed around from the minister to his left & right. At the end of the supper with readings a hymn would be sung. Now days its grape juice in separate cups and bread or rice crackers passed along the isles. Both are solemn in their own way.

The hymns often seemed old & to be honest I couldn’t really comprehend the depth of meaning at the time as far as I know but I definitely had some favourite tunes. A bit like the rock & roll songs of the day that also were full of meaning that I couldn’t really grasp but also had lots of favourites.

But now those hymns hold so much richness & depth & the melody & tunes deliver a deep joy.It is something I could never of imagined, such as enjoying spinach & beans & stuff like that.

 I know there are trends in churches to throw out stuff considered to be old & out of fashion as the young seem to be given pride of place. Doctrine too is deemed to be not worthy or it is rebadged & softened like a pillow more than a book & placed as a footnote somewhere.


I don’t know why that is exactly & maybe the church should drop family & church from its vocabulary & we could all start to talk like teenagers again. We could have fairy bread & hamburgers & creaming soda for the Lord Supper too. And when you have 70 year old rockers can rock really be a consideration or justification to youth up or youth down worship. Maybe a mosh pit, Scripture does mention dance does it not. What a blast we oldies could have, man we would be so pumped & probably have to be with cortisone & pain killers & stuff.

I suppose if you can have hard rock you can have soft doctrine & soft teaching to create a contrast. That would sort of work on a sunny & clear day but remember storms have their place too.



* various stereotypicals are applied in this item 
& may or may not resemble actual circumstances at any give time.

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Sunday, 9 April 2017

Prophetic survey


They don’t call Psalm 22 a Messianic Psalm for nothing. Yes all Scripture is inspired by God & therefore Messianic in a way just like so many songs that point to the Saviour, the worm.

In Psalm 22:1-31. we see an unmistakable resemblance with cutting edges of clarity. If you’re looking for the Saviour that is what He will look like. Not the most impressive King but neither was David or his line for that matter.1 Cor 1:18-25. And they didn’t call him Jesus for nothing either. Matt 1:21-23.





Isa 53:8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. 
Yet who of his generation protested?

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No room in the inn

Q: When the minister, or his style, becomes the substance what happens to the Word & Christ.

A: Usually the minister will speak about stuff & go outside of, or beyond what the text is really saying. He may introduce all kinds of examples but in doing so creates confusion rather than a clear focus on the Word or what the text is really saying.

For instance, the claim may be made that giving away second hand clothing is not an act of love when it really is. Just because you don’t give away your best garments doesn’t mean you do not love God or your neighbour in a genuinely true sense that brings honour & praise to God.


Some denominations are also very rich with big investment portfolios & have very generous entitlements for ministers but the congregation are expected to make do with what they have. Not exactly an Acts scenario& that is not to say that technically it isn’t all above board (with several justifications) but nevertheless things can get out of touch & disproportionate.

Love God, love the Word & love your minister & seek to be truthful in all things.

Col 3:16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.











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Saturday, 8 April 2017

God is in the detail too


When a sermon (or a part of it just doesn’t cut it). No offence, but ministers can create false or limited impressions by what they choose to insert or remove from their message. We get that with songs enough & expect it. And the older you get the more you learn & hopefully retain & explain to those who may need more substance.

Yes you can’t cover every conceivable angle in a short sermon (a lot of people like them) & a long sermon can labour over things unnecessarily too. And it’s not all about head knowledge or memory verses & the minister’s wife or kids as if they are the measure or un-measure of all things.


Wet behind the ears, young punks & new brooms & old brooms & dry skin, deaf ears & shuffling feet make for interesting & interactive times. Conversation, feedback, clarification & all that other stuff that may go on on any given Sunday.








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Thursday, 6 April 2017

Times & tides


Not only are we situated in just the right place regarding the sun, but the earth rotates so that the warming & cooling & days & nights grant us rest & seasons & time as the moon joins in the orchestrated symphony. It is a sublime complexity of purpose of supernatural cause, order, proportion & wisdom.

The suspense, the drama, the music, the joy, delights & wonders… The power & the might infused & speckled & freckled with delicate designs & sustained forces beyond our reason to truly understand in their fullest measure.


Yet content in God we may be & trusting in Him for all things, the Lord of all is He. His name is wonderful.Psalm 19:1-6.






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Whats in the mix


I am not sure why, but a visiting preacher opened his sermon the other day by implying some may not be that happy that he was preaching. He may have been alluding to doctrinal differences but if that was the case he never made it clear.

In country towns & probably cities for that matter casual nuances rule except when they don’t. I wouldn’t call God layed back, except on the day he rested from all His labour (so to speak).Tit 2:7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness.


The pulpit (the minister) is meant to be an instrument of God. Played beautifully, skilfully & humbly it can be of great blessing & truly edifying where Christ takes centrality instead of cloudy sleepy stuff. Doctrine aside, sometimes I get the impression that casualness is being worshiped & our holy God is second or third down the list.

It is a dilemma for the church of God as it goes this way & that as formality meets with the informal and man centred worship & God centred worship can get a bit mixed up at times.








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Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Amongst the double speak & actions of humanity

We know our physical lives wind downwards to death, even before we are born & we know the universe is winding down in regards to the 2nd law of thermodynamics. The death & decay patterns are all around.

These both fit the biblical model perfectly as we live our lives as if God does not exist or that any old god will do, or money or health or happiness or drugs or sex or whatever takes our fancy. The spiritual connection with ancient cultures cannot be denied although the clever invention that man created religion is as convincing as Satan’s lie in the untainted garden.

God is so often accused of not doing this or not doing that but even when He acts that is not good enough either. But God is no slacker & sneak like us that come up with excuse after excuse, He has put it out there for us to see & hear. 

We are hard to please, hog headed  stiff necked stubborn mules like sheep with forked tounges that go astray & don’t seem to want to budge in our unbelief& for this we will pay a price if we do turn to Him who made all things in infinite wisdom & he who stooped down & emptied himself that we may be filled. Matt 11:17-19.

God has given us lots of examples & Satan provides lots of lies & the church is not immune from sin, it never was…the battle goes on until the end of all things.


Heb 1:1-2. In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.





God speaks as does the beast but God will have the final word.


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Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Lives & reigns, world without end


Ps 23:4. Jesus was no snowflake, His resolve was like flint & so was the hardened heart of humanity for which he came to redeem.1 Pet 2:24-25.The crimson of sin that is washed whiter than snow & the shepherd that knows each of His sheep by name & for which he came with a resolve that goes back before the beginning of time as we think we may know it. Eph 1:1-14.


The LORD's steadfast love will never cease & his tender mercies are still new each dawn to guide us in truth & obedience as the hungry foe seeks to tear apart & discard the flock.In this we patiently wait & rejoice in these end times & last days before Gods purposes are fulfilled when judgement of all humankind takes place then the restoration of all things is set in place. Isaiah 11:1-9.


The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want...







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Sunday, 2 April 2017

Out of the blue & into the black, then the orangy beige






We are on the verge of moving away from the most hospitable & uniquely situated planet known to humanity where “The impression of design is overwhelming.” Paul Davies.



Insanity? is us, dressed up of course in soothed speech of profound intellect (supposed or assumed) & market possibilities & cosmic dreams where humanity chooses desolation over abundant life. I guess that’s what happens when we assume we are meant to master the universe & the el natural, exquisite metals & plastics & fuels, seize the day, and seize the planet.


So as much as climate change, once global warming (what is really causing it) is a problem here on earth with alleged dire outcomes it is a fine thing to opt for life, or a kind of living & getting by on Mars which has its own severe climate issues, but that's OK, don’t think too much about it just trust us when we won’t adapt as such but create artificial living conditions that mimic earth with I expect a very extreme cost of living. Be conditioned folks & peeps, space is us, step right up, step, right up & see the greatest showmen on earth. 




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