Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Naidoc week

Last Sunday we were treated to a virtue-signalling hat tip to the political ambitions of asserted aboriginies and Torres Strait Islanders.

One of the ambitions of the Naidoc club is to give its constituents more of a 'voice' in Australian society. That is, unequal representation.

Aside from being culturally misplaced, historically tendentious and politically motivated, it is not Christian to break up the church into special groups with special privilages. We are all together Christian, without distinction.

Additionally, why talk about the fake reconciliation of long past aboriginies and long past Europeans, when we have a far more important reconciliation in Christ? The church does not need to play into, or by played by the Aboriginal grievance industry.


Saturday, May 25, 2019

Customer survey

In business we use surveys to understand our customers and adjust to better meet their needs.

In church we don't usually do this. At my church we've done a couple, but not regularly.

Every quarter we should do surveys of church services, small groups, Sunday school, youth groups, etc.

They can be quite simple, and for younger people SurveyMonkey can be used: it automates analysis.


Here's a quick example of such a survey:


Thursday, May 23, 2019

Abide with me

Great comment on the hymn:

How blessed I am to hear this hymn..as many times..I am so blessed and thankful to know that Our Father is always there to listen and to help me and all who believe that He will always Abide with you and me..with the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen

(Wayne Catel)

The young person's guide to prayer

This is for praying out loud, use the same approach to your private prayers, if you like.

There are some good tips here, but I've jotted down some as well.

Prayer to our heavenly Father can be very simple. The shortest prayer in the Bible is:

"Lord, save me!"  uttered by Peter when he started sinking in the water (Matthew 14: 30)

A pattern you might like is:

Father in heaven...

  • thank you for [some good thing -- event, idea, something you've read. etc.]
  • please give me wisdom [in relationships... (think of specific people or activities)]
  • please give me...[ask for some specific help, guidance, change in self or others]

And that's it!

For a public prayer it helps to say "amen" at the end so everyone knows it is finished.

Or, you can say:

"In Christ, amen."


Another way is to follow the pattern of the Lord's Prayer, but use modern words that relate to your life:

"Father in heaven, please bring your kingdom so all is done as you will

Give us our needs for our daily life.

Please forgive our failings and wrongs and help us to be kind and forgive others.

Help us to not follow the wrong way, but keep us from evil

Thank you for your love and power and your eternal kingdom of peace."

 

How a teenager might read the Bible

I was recently asked by one of the members of our church youth group for some ideas about reading the Bible.

The question was about which books, which order, etc.

Here are my thoughts.

1. Genesis 1-11. Find out where we come from.

2. Mark's gospel. Yeshua (aka Joshua, tr Jesus) about his mission on earth.

3. Joshua: the people of God, escaped from Egyptian captivity moving into the promised land.

4. After Joshua, go on to read Judges: the exploits of the first centuries in the promised land.


5. Colossians: who Christ is.

6. Nehemiah: the re-building of Jerusalem's walls.

7. Philippians: encouragement for the Christian life.

8. Acts: the founding of the Christian church (the body of believers together).

9. James: more on living the Christian life.

10. Exodus: the Jews' escape from Egyptian slavery.

11. Matthew's gospel: a more detailed account of Yeshua's mission.

12. 1 Samuel: the organisation of the kingdom of Israel.

13. Galatians: the theology of God's grace.

14. 2 Samuel: David's reign in Israel.

Then, read through the NT from Matthew to Revelation

Following, read Genesis to Deuteronomy, scan over the bits that interest you less.

All the while, seek to read a Psalm a day or so. Skip the ones that don't attract you.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Light?

From time to time people wonder how God could create light before the sun.

Here's how:

Light is a synecdoche for the entire electro-magnetic energy field. In physical terms, this would have to be one of the first things created for the rest to 'work'.

If it wasn't created, the stars would merely be large dark blobs.

Perhaps the 'waters' that the Spirit moved over the face of has a similar physical scope. Maybe not 'water' per se, but some large fliud mass: undifferentiated sub-atomic particles?