Wednesday, August 30, 2006

iDonate - Helping out Australian charities online. Earn donations and support charity by reading email and taking surveys.

iDonate - Helping out Australian charities online. Earn donations and support charity by reading email and taking surveys.

If you've got time to click on a link when they send you an email and maybe do a survey, this looks like a really easy way to raise money for a couple of different charities.

Looks worthwhile to me.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Jesus Didn't Say

“• Jesus never asked you to worship only on Sundays. His disciples worshipped daily, broke bread from house to house and the Lord added to the church daily and the churches were planted daily. ( Acts 2: 46-47; 16: 5; Heb. 3: 13)

• Jesus did not say that you appoint qualified professional pastors. He gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers to equip His church. (Eph. 4: 11-12)

• Jesus never said that only the pastors can serve bread and wine. Jesus served roast lamb, bread, bitter herb and wine for the last supper. Whenever His disciples gathered they shared Agape meals together in His remembrance. (Exo. 12: 8; 1 Cor. 11: 20-26)

• Jesus did not say that you should tithe. According to His teachings, the disciples opened their homes and shared their possessions with others so that no one lacked anything. (Acts 4: 32-34; Deut. 8: 17-18)

• Jesus did not ask you to build a church building. He said God does not live in houses made with human hands because the heaven is His throne and the earth is His foot stool. Now we are the temple of the living God. (Acts 7: 48-49; 2 Cor. 6: 16; 1 Cor. 3: 9)

• Jesus did not say that only the Pastors can baptize. Jesus said you go and make disciples and baptize them. (Matt. 28: 19)

• Jesus did not ask the pastor to bury. He said let the dead bury the dead, you go and raise the dead. (Luke 9: 60; Matt. 10:10)

Jesus did not ask you to follow the church program. He said follow me and I will make you fishers of men. He did not ask you to send believers to Sunday service or the Bible school. He said send the laborers to the harvest fields. He said he who gathers is with Me and he who scatters is against Me. (Matt. 4: 19, 9: 38, 12: 30)

• Jesus did not ask you to organize crusades and conventions. He will not judge you on the basis of large crowds or the wonderful worship and beautiful music. He will judge on what you did for the little and the least of the world. (Matt. 25: 31-46,18: 3-6; Isa. 58: 6-9)

• Jesus did not say that only men can talk in the church and the women should cover their head and keep quiet. He made them talk, even allowed them to argue with Him in public. ( Luke 10: 40; Mark 7: 24-30)

• Jesus did not say that you are just a layman. He bought you with His blood and ordained you priest and king. As royal priests, make disciples, baptize, equip fishers of men and rule on earth. (Rev. 5: 9-10; 1 Pet 2: 9)”

Personally, I reckon thats brilliant. Summarises a whole bunch of stuff I reckon about Jesus and Church, and I don't even have to do any of the research!

Found this on Signposts who stole it from Simple Church

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Coolest church ever!

Ok, so thats obviously an over-statement, but I was very impressed with this church's gatherings.

As part of the VETAMORPHUS retreat, we went along to the Salvation Army's city temple on Bourke Street, and I absolutely loved it. It was just real, there was no pretensiousness, no crap, just a whole bunch of people getting together to walk further with God.

It had a really casual vibe, all the worship band where just up there doing there thing, dressed in old clothes, not putting a on a show or any fake crap, just getting into it. Then some other band of local people got up and did a bit of an item, including beat-boxing, guitar, an MC and the harmonica! It was funky as.

A dude shared his testimony of a life turned around from drugs, an officer lead us in a time of reflection, and we were very warmly welcomed, particularly by the big hairy toothless guy in front of me who said he's just escaped from somewhere! He was so great.

But the thing I liked about it most was that you could see it was a place the homeless and marginalised of the city felt realy comfortable, they could just sit on the floor around the outside, hang out near the coffee machine, mutter randomly, walk wherever they wanted, it was awesome, this was a place they could be themselves.

If Jesus were around today, they would be the kind of people he'd be hanging out with. Of course Jesus calls all people to follow, no matter how much money they have, but Jesus always seemed to have a thing for the poor, the outcasts, the lonely, and so did the church.

Good work guys!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Homeless people need more than just food

Just back from the third VETAMORPHUS retreat, and about to head off on a PE camp, so just some quick blog thoughts before I head off.

Based a chunk of the weekend around spending some time at Credo Cafe, which is a part of Urban Seed, a mission agency I have a lot of respect for, who do some top quality stuff with the marginalised people of Melbourne.

One of my old youth group kids ran some stuff on the Sat night (and did an awesome job JB) talking about some issues behind homelessness, and sharing his personal reflections and songs-which was quality.

But the stuff he was talking about with homelessness really stuck in my brain. He talked about the fact whilst food is often available for people, quite cheaply in many places in the city-the thing that homeless people lack is the sense of comfort and security, the sense of belonging, that home provides.

So rather than just feeding people, they've also tried to create that sense of home, a place to belong, a sense of community, at Credo. And from what I've seen, they do a tip-top job.

I think thats what annoys me about the place where I serve free breakfast to some homeless people in my area, its very much just a free breakfast program, nothing more. We have to stay out in the kitchen and prepare the food, whilst they just come to the window and order what they want and sit down. Would love to sit down and work out ways to improve that. Only problem is, its so early I'm too brain-dead to want to engage with anybody!

Reminds me of an Ash Barker quote 'the poor don't need our money, they need us...' Challenging stuff.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Global Rich List

Check it out, you'll have to convert to US Dollars or Pounds or something, but its pretty amazing comparatively how much money we have. Even me, someone who is constantly complaining about how poor I am-I've got nothing to whinge about.

Global Rich List

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Australian DemocratsSurvey

I got this emailed to me the other day, and thought I would share it with the wider world. It's basically the democrats doing some research into what people's thoughts are on what the relationship between church and state should be.

Definitely some interesting questions to think about.

Australian DemocratsSurvey

My definition of worship

I've thought about it a lot in the past, and more so again this week as its our topic of discussion with the Huddle at the moment.

I've never really come to an adequate definition, but I've come up with something that I reckon fits for now.

Our worship is basically 'our response to God'. Pretty simple really, but allows for a lot of diversity.

So sometimes our response to God might be to jump around and sing songs or fall flat on our faces and thank God for the awesome stuff he's done in our lives. But not always.

Sometimes our response to God is to go out and serve Him practically by feeding the poor, donating our time n money to charity, visiting Him in jail, or talking to Him when he's homeless or lonely...

Other times our response to God might be one of questioning or anger, which are both very valid emotions toward God (although ones we don't see validated often enough-but thats another post!)

I like it because it leaves scope for both the 'I'm gonna try and live my life like Jesus would' worship, and the 'I'm gonna sing a song/draw a picture/write a poem/light a candle/sit n meditate' form of worship.

I've already thought of a couple of flaws, but for now, I'm pretty happy with that.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Eclectic Itchings: The Bum of Christ

Eclectic Itchings: The Bum of Christ

Weird, kinda stupid title, but coolest two sentence blog post I've read in a while.

Key questions on worship

Last Monday and this Monday coming up we'll be looking at worship, and specifically what it looks like for us at the Huddle. Here are some of the questions I saw as key for us in getting our heads around it all.

What are our positive experiences of worship? How can we possibly incorporate that into the life of our church?

What are our negative experiences of worship? How do we acknowledge them, but not let them sour our ideas of what worship could be?

What does worship mean to us? What is our definition of worship?

Does God care if we worship Him/Her?

Should the fact that we don’t ‘enjoy’ a particular style of worship, mean that we don’t do it?

If worship is a lifestyle (Romans 12:1-2) then do we actually need to do anything as worship when we gather?

If not, does there need to be any sense of accountability/sharing with each other in that?

By not worshipping in song, are we missing out on that creative/musical element of our faith?

Monday, August 07, 2006

We have to trust people

Was chatting with a friend recently about the people in their life they feel they can trust,a nd their struggles with doing so, due to people having let them down in the past.

The interesting thing though was their level of self-awareness, talking about not wanting to turn out like their parents, whose lack of close relationships and support networks-which resulted from their lifestyle of not trusting people. They had seen the negative effects it had had on their parents life, and were looking at ways of turning their life around.

"Not trusting people is just not a good way of living life, it means you never achieve any depth in friendships, and people then begin to not trust you, and you wind up living a shallow and superficial life"

So true.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Trivia Night a Success!

Well, the first ever Tyabb Footy Club Trivia/Auction Night Fundraiser for TEAR has been run and won (although there is still some discussion going on surrounding the winners-but I can't discuss that further due to the legal proceedings...) and I think its safe to say it was a resounding success!

Over $2000 was raised for TEAR, the trivia action was hotly contested, and many people went home with some pretty sweet auction items too.

The footy boys supported it reasonably well, as did a whole bunch of other friends from all over the joint-so thanks to all for coming out. Will probably run another one next year, so we'll see how it goes.

Cool Gandhi Story

I re-heard this Gandhi story the other day, and thought it was a pretty good one, a great illustration of integrity. Learning from him makes me a better Christian.

Basically, a woman came to him and said "My son really respects you as a teacher, and I want you to tell him to stop eating so much sugar-as I'm worried about his health"

Gandhi said "Come back in two weeks, and I will tell him then"

The lady left, a little puzzled, but came back two weeks later. She brought her son in and Gandhi said to him "Mate (OK, so he probably didn't say 'mate' but you never know!) you must stop eating so much sugar" and the kid was like "Yeah OK, I respect you as a teacher, I will"

The mother, although stoked, was still a little bemused by Gandhi's request for them to go away for two weeks and come back. So she asked him why he had requested that.

He said "Because two weeks ago, I was still eating sugar..."

That, my friends, is integrity.

Saturday, August 05, 2006 � Blog Archive � Tolkien�s Myth for the Iraq Invasion � Blog Archive � Tolkien�s Myth for the Iraq Invasion

I thought this was an interesting post about how we form our ideas about war, and people who are our opponents in war. Made me ask a few questions about the whole Middle East craziness, a situation I unfortunately have not followed anywhere near enough of late.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Thoughts and questions on prayer

Had a great night last night at the Huddle, looking at the topic of prayer, our understandings of it, and ultimately, what prayer looks like in the life of our group.

A few questions were raised for me:
We all agreed that if all our prayer life exists of is asking God for stuff, then thats gonna be a pretty shallow spiritual existence, but if we're asking God for stuff that are clearly a part of His will-people coming to faith/being healed/an end to hunger or oppression of any sort/helping people to deal with tough times, is that a bad thing?

Does God really care if we thank Him for all the stuff he does for us? Would he stop if we didn't? (Got an idea what i think about this one now, but still an interesting thought)

Why do we feel the need to pray out loud in groups? Obviously God hears us when we pray in our heads, so why do it out loud. This was an interesting one for me, because being extroverted and always willing to talk, i have no probs, but some members of the group who were slightly more introverted said they often found it a little stressful and intimidating.

Do we have to specifically call something 'prayer' for it to be prayer? Like when we're out in nature and we feel that deep sense of gratitude at how good the world around us is, or feel that sense of connectedness to God-without us having called it so, or even having specifically said God's name-is it prayer?

Just some thoughts for today, perhaps I should go pray about them :)