Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Discipline

a Biblical thought...
Then he said to them all: If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24)

a Book thought...
"When it comes to preaching, I believe it is the prophet’s high privilege to get the messages directly from God Himself.”
a Dave thought...
At TYBI yesterday I shared the story of Brengle and how we can learn from his life. It is interesting to note that 58- year-old William Booth’s welcome to 27-year-old Samuel Brengle was… “Brengle, you belong to the dangerous classes. You have been your own boss for so long that I don’t think you will want to submit to Salvation Army discipline. We are an Army and we demand obedience.”

The next year at the Salvation Army Training Barracks in London one of Samuel's first duties was to blacken and shine the boots of his fellow cadets – 18 pairs, a job that was considered menial. Rather than complain he reminded himself of the fact that His Saviour did not consider it beneath Himself to wash the feet of the disciples.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

TYBI

a Biblical thought...
No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. (Luke 8:16)

a Book thought...
Lord, if Thou wilt only sanctify me, I will take the meanest little appointment there is! (p49)
a Dave thought...
Yesterday was the beginning of our first Territorial Youth Brengle Institute held at the Training College with special guest Rob Noland from Hawaii. Twenty Salvationists aged 16-21 were selected to be a part of three days of intense holiness teaching. It was a powerful time as we explored God’s word and what it means to be holy. Captain Rowan Castle spoke about the fact that holiness is not only the absence of sin but the presence of love. After lunch Captain Danielle Strickland talked about the need to live justly in community. We then went on a reflective walk after I shared the words of Brengle himself after having a full immersion in the Love of God (1885) … I walked out weeping for joy and praising God.Oh, how I loved! In that hour I knew Jesus, and I loved Him till it seemed my heart would break with love. I was filled with love for all His creatures. I heard the little sparrows chattering; I loved them. I saw a little worm wriggling across my path; I stepped over it; I didn’t want to hurt any living thing. I loved the dogs, I loved the horses, I loved the little urchins on the street, I loved the strangers who hurried past me, I loved the heathen, I loved the whole world.
Commissioners Jim & Carolyn joined us for tea and shared the fact that Eliza was only 16 years of age & filled with the Holy Spirit when she began The Salvation Army in the USA! It was a great and I’m sure even greater things are ahead for us all gathered together this week.

Just a thought.

Monday, September 28, 2009

MCD Young Adults

a Biblical thought...
Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:30-31)

a Book thought...
He began now to take preaching engagements, spending no little time preparing his sermons. Theses he wrote out in full and committed to memory, as he did his orations. (p41)
a Dave thought...
I went down yesterday to Phillip Island to share with the MCD young adults at their retreat. It was fun as Captains Christopher & Cath Garcia explored "Knowing your true self". As well as allowing me to preach to the group I was also challenged to do an Enneagram Test. My results suggested I was a type 3 - The Achiever

These one-word descriptors can be expanded into four-word sets of traits. Keep in mind that these are merely highlights and do not represent the full spectrum of each type.

Type One is principled, purposeful, self-controlled, and perfectionistic.
Type Two is demonstrative, generous, people-pleasing, and possessive.
Type Three is adaptive, excelling, driven, and image-conscious.
Type Four is expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed, and temperamental.
Type Five is perceptive, innovative, secretive, and isolated.
Type Six is engaging, responsible, anxious, and suspicious.
Type Seven is spontaneous, versatile, distractible, and scattered.
Type Eight is self-confident, decisive, willful, and confrontational.
Type Nine is receptive, reassuring, agreeable, and complacent.

For those that have not done the Enneagram test you can explore it further at http://www.enneagraminstitute.com

Just a thought.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

3 Myths about Preaching

a Biblical thought...
Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. (Luke 5:15-16)

a Book thought...
Eight years would pass before he would be rid of the continual struggle to keep his experience, and to act at all times like Jesus. (p30)
a Dave thought... by David Fitch

MYTH 1: If You Preach a Good Sermon the Church Will Grow
Anyone still holding onto the premise—if I just preach a good sermon, they will come—and ministering in a post-Christendom context, must either compete or be grossly disappointed with the continued dwindling of his/her congregation.

MYTH 2: Who You Preach To is Who You Will Reach
I have heard it said repeatedly “who you preach to is who will come.” This has worked within Christendom for centuries. Today, in post-Christendom, it has become another dying myth that IMO should be dispelled.

MYTH 3: The Goal of Preaching is to Make the Bible Relevant
We pastors, who are at the end of our wits in the fields of post-Christendom, will often try to make our preaching more relevant. Caught between the winds of the Neo-Reformed who argue “we just need to preach the truth and they will come,” and the mega church gurus who argue that “we need to make the Bible relevant,” we make a last ditch effort to do the latter (because we’ve already tried the former). Sadly however, this is a Christendom attitude that attempts to pull in the Christendom leftovers with a more updated gospel ready made to fit their already Christianized lives.

Just a thought.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Berryless

a Biblical thought...
At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. (Luke 4:42)

a Book thought...
To be spiritual is to be in rhythm, and that means being devoted to living by the 6:1 rhythm God established at the time of creation. (p213)

Blackberry Addiction - Celebrity bloopers here
a Dave thought...
Yesterday, due to Kylie being up in the NT for a Kids camp, I got to spend a whole day with my seven year-old son Noah. As he is currently on school holidays I discussed what he'd like to do for the day. He was keen to head to the city and watch the Grand Final Parade, but with one proviso - "Can you leave your Blackberry in the car?". Well it must be the first day for a couple of years I went phoneless for six hours. Believe it or not the world continued to run without me and we had a fabulous day together. It continues to disturb me just how much I rely on the gadget world. Sadly it took my own son to remind me how I need to learn to live occasionally without being contactable 24/7.

Just a thought.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Chain Store Reaction

a Biblical thought...
When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him. (Luke 2:39-40)

a Book thought...
What enters our minds through our eyes and ears affects what comes out of our mouths. (p211)
a Dave thought...
One of the actions that has come out of the rockumentary CALL+RESPONSE is the website Chain Store Reaction. It is a brilliant idea and gives us each an opportunity to write an email to any company that we use to question them about their ethical practises. This is a very practical response to help stamp out human trafficking. Check it out and spend some minutes writing to the companies that you buy your goods from. http://www.chainstorereaction.com/

Slavery is a global problem that requires a global solution. We believe that the solution requires consumers and producers to work together. As consumers, we are in essence the last link in the supply chain. By the pure law of physics, we have the leverage to PULL that chain and create a reaction that leads all the way down to the very first link. If we as consumers don’t pull that chain, no one will.
One of the most strategic battlefields of the 21st Century Abolitionist Movement is the marketplace. Everyone has a role to play, and your consumption is a deft weapon, that when used properly, can elicit tangible and viral freedom. We believe one of the most effective penalties you can offer a producer who is not operating with transparency, is to choose a more transparent competitor.
Because we purchase our products in public, we choose to discuss a way forward in this issue, in public. Therefore, we are initiating an open conversation on this site that allows us to voice our demand of SlaveFREE products, and in turn hear what companies are doing on the issue.

Just a thought.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

CALL+RESPONSE

a Biblical thought...
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God." (Luke 1:35-37)

a Book thought...
You never know how long you have to show love to people in your life. Life is fleeting and fragile. (p205)
a Dave thought...
Yesterday I was given the opportunity to see a pre-screening of the new film CALL+RESPONSE. It tells the story of the disturbing fact that human trafficking continues to grow across the globe but in a unique way as musicians express themselves through their lyrics and take action against this growing degrading industry. Look out for the release in Australia on October 22nd and make sure you make the effort to get along, or better still take your youth group or congregation along. An amazing production about a sad reality.

CALL+RESPONSE is a first of its kind feature documentary film that reveals the world’s 27 million dirtiest secrets: there are more slaves today than ever before in human history. CALL+RESPONSE goes deep undercover where slavery is thriving from the child brothels of Cambodia to the slave brick kilns of rural India to reveal that in 2007, Slave Traders made more money than Google, Nike and Starbucks combined. www.callandresponse.com.au

Luminaries on the issue such as Cornel West, Madeleine Albright, Daryl Hannah, Julia Ormond, Ashley Judd, Nicholas Kristof, and many other prominent political and cultural figures offer first hand account of this 21st century trade. Performances from Grammy-winning and critically acclaimed artists including Moby, Natasha Bedingfield, Cold War Kids, Matisyahu, Imogen Heap, Talib Kweli, Five For Fighting, Switchfoot, members of Nickel Creek and Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers, Rocco Deluca move this chilling information into inspiration for stopping it.

Music is part of the movement against human slavery. Dr. Cornel West connects the music of the American slave fields to the popular music we listen to today, and offers this connection as a rallying cry for the modern abolitionist movement currently brewing.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Multi-Generational Leadership

a Biblical thought...
Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. (Mark 16:20)

a Book thought...
We are the wire, God is the current. Our only power is to let the current pass through us. (p204) a Dave thought... by John Ortberg
You should have all generations represented in a single leadership team. We are niched by generation as never before. Thirty years ago, families had one TV with three channels; and if people watched something, they watched the same something together. Today there are more channels than you can count, and they no longer broadcast; they narrowcast to a little sliver in the age spectrum.

Multi-generational church ministry in our day is uncharted territory. In past centuries, because culture changed more slowly, when people entered the church, they entered church culture. They sang common music and spoke a common language. Today, church life has largely been contextualized to reach people in popular culture. But pop culture has fragmented into all kinds of micro-cultures. Generations are generally segregated by media, clothes, music, entertainment, and technology. Trying to reach different generations simultaneously has become like trying to design one church that will work in both Spain and France.

A way of defining a multi-generational community is relationally. How many relationships with people of different generations do folks at our church have? This leads us to look at the kind of activities and events that are actually relationship building.
We can't say, "Here are the methods we responded to when we were young. If you look like us, dress like us, sing like us, talk like us, then we'll pass on the faith and you can know God. Otherwise, we'll just let you drift into an eternity apart from God."
So as a leadership team, we have to have a firm commitment from each person that the big issue is not Who gets to determine what's cool? or Who is it that gives the money that supports the church?' or Who carries the DNA? The question is: How do we pass the torch?
God is the God of every generation.
Sooner or later every church hits the generation issue. We are richer people when we work together. Our relationships are enhanced when we have multiple generations around the table.God's plan is not for the church to be a one-generation operation with a 30-year shelf life. It is a richer thing to be part of a church that embraces multi-generational ministry and multi-generational leadership.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Shar

a Biblical thought...
Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. "Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will." (Mark 14:35-36)

a Book thought...
Raising children who have been loaned to us for a brief moment outranks every other responsibility. Besides, living by that priority when kids are small will produce the greatest rewards at maturity. (p199)

a Dave thought...
Yesterday at Rev Camp in the Eastern Victoria Division we had a special guest via Skype. DY Envoy Grant Whitehead who specialises in all things technical arranged Captain Shar Davis from NZ to be live on the big screen. It was inspiring to hear her passion for God and her wise words about life. Shar challenged us to be thermostats rather than thermometers, meaning we need to set the culture rather than being impacted by it. Shar also expressed her thoughts on women in ministry. She used this comical clip above to illustrate just how ridiculous women are treated on occasions. Shar's dream is to see the Army once again be filled with passionate women in ministry. I like Shar believe that if women officers are called and gifted to be in major leadership positions I pray that their gender or the fact that they are married will not deny them these appointments.

Just a thought.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Envoy Dick Collett (O.F.)

a Biblical thought...
Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on." (Mark 12:43-44)

a Book thought...
There are many of us that are willing to do great things for Lord, but few of us are willing to do the little things. (p199)
a Dave thought...
Dick Collett passed away peacefully at Box Hill Hospital on Sept. 12, 2009, aged 91 years, 11 months. Much loved and devoted husband of Myrle (dec.). Loving father and father-in-law of Alan and Katina. Dear Pa of Allison and Stewart and Sonia and Scott and special Papa of Kaja, Jesse, Jordan, Jaimee and Gabriel. Reunited with Mum now in God's care.

When I stand in Glory, I shall see His face, And there I'll serve my King forever, In that Holy place.

I met Dick many years ago when I first attended Preston Salvos in 1988, he played horn in the band and was one of the most encouraging guys I ever met. Dick would always let me know how welcome I was at the Corps and would always greet me with a massive smile and warm handshake. I soon learnt that Dick was not just a nice guy but had time for everyone. He was so genuine in his way that he cared and loved people in the Kingdom. He was also responsible for starting an outpost in West Preston where he lived and literally introduced hundreds of people to Christ through this ministry. Dick was an amazing guy, an incredible example of what it means to be a Salvationist, but most of all one of God's own who had an incredibly positive influence upon everyone he met.

If you have time today at 1pm (EST) you can watch the funeral service live of Envoy Dick Collett at www.Rivustv.com/funeral.php

Just a thought.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Christian Web Conference

a Biblical thought...
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. (Mark 11:24-25)

a Book thought...
Whatever God has given you that has enabled you to grow and deepen your relationship with him, you can pass on to others. (p194)
a Dave thought...
I believe it is important that we continue to be on the front foot when it comes to web initiatives with the Salvos & the Church in general. So even though this event that was held last weekend I was thought it worth posting, just to know kingdom people around the world are gathering to further improve our presence on the net.

The Christian Web Conference is a place where the web's top thinkers can collaborate on ideas and discuss how to implement them on the web. The conference is unique because it is a place where you can engage with one another by taking a philosophical, introspective, and futuristic look at New Media practices. We are cultivating a tight-nit community where people will be refreshed, challenged, and inspired in their thinking; a gathering through which big ideas and blessings online can be shared to the joy of all; an experience which will lift people from their place to see the big picture of God's work in the world through the web. With the rising popularity of New Media practices, including online churches and twitter, we must act wisely as they decide which New Media trends to follow and use. On the other hand, a passive attitude may cause us to miss the big idea that revolutionizes New Media. As we engage in the dialectic to understand and embrace prevalent ideas, the conference will provide a unique place for idea building. www.christianwebconference.com

Just a thought.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

mPULSE

a Biblical thought...
He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me." (Mark 9:36-37)

a Book thought...
The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are. (p183)
a Dave thought... http://www.theforgottenways.org/mpulse/
mPULSE is a unique online profile that can be used as a to test the ‘missionality’ of your church or organization. It can be used as a standalone test, however, it is specially designed to assist in applying the concepts found in The Forgotten Ways, Alan Hirsch’s seminal book on missional movements. Based squarely on the Apostolic Genius model (the six elements of mDNA described in The Forgotten Ways) the test will provide leader’s with a diagnostic tool that identifies the weaknesses and strengths of the church plant/church/organization. It then provides the respondents a report, and a suggested action plan, to aid strategic planning. It is designed to work well with the very practical workbook, The Forgotten Ways Handbook, but can also be used without it.

Just a thought.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Midnight Basketball

a Biblical thought...
If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. (Mark 8:35)

a Book thought...
Catching a God-sized vision gives the Lord an opportunity to do something amazing in you and through you. (p172) a Dave thought...
During some workshops I attended this week addressing issues surrounding disadvantaged youth, I was made aware of an activity called Midnight Basketball. I believe it is such a brilliant idea I thought it would be worth posting some info on it…

Midnight Basketball is a national social inclusion programme to help youth identify and embrace positive opportunities. Dinner, compulsory lifeskills workshops and tournament basketball games are run in stadiums on Saturday nights from 7.30pm till midnight, providing a safe and motivating environment. The Midnight Basketball program was launched in Redfern Sydney in 2006 and was such a success the program spread nationally. Midnight Basketball is open to youth aged 12 to 18 years.
Basketball is used as it is a fast and inclusionary game. While the actual sport is not important per se, Basketball is actually the only sport that caters for all the requirements and fits with the inclusionary culture: it caters to all areas of sporting ability (some sports require a high level of skill which would exclude some players), is a magnet to both genders and ages, provides great mentoring opportunities (the older players mentor the younger players in their team), is played on basketball courts (which are small enough to house indoors), and is held inside which is important from a safety and climate (eg, rain, darkness) perspective - given they are looking after 60-80 youth till midnight these are all important to creating happy, high energy and safe environments. http://www.midnightbasketball.org.au

Just a thought.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Woolworths & Pokies

a Biblical thought...
And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed. (Mark 6:56)

a Book thought...
Building significant relationships is simply not optional. It is part of the law of Christ. (p147)

a Dave thought...
Recently I signed a Pokie.Act.org petition, and yesterday received a response. Not only was it good to hear the results of signing this petition but also I like the fact that they continue to fight against Woolworths. Have a read below and if you can help take action I encourage you to join the fight.

Hi David,

Thanks for signing the PokieAct.org petition.

Your efforts have made a difference. In July 2009, all state and federal gambling departments agreed upon a number of National Principles. The first National Principle stated that children should not be exposed to pokie gambling within pokie venues. Coles have committed to implementing all the National Principles in their 70+ pubs. Unfortunately, it seems that Woolworths intends to continue to lure families with children inside their pokie pubs.

Now let's urge Woolworths to adopt the National Principles and remove children from the sights and sounds of pokie gambling.

The first thing we need to do is to get Woolworths to talk about the conduct of their 11,000 pokies.

You can make this happen if you are a Woolworths shareholder just by signing and mailing a simple form. To do this, go to http://www.nickxenophon.com.au/ and follow the instructions. If you know anyone with Woolworths shares, please ask them to log on to http://www.nickxenophon.com.au/

If you can help, this small action will have a huge effect in drawing the line on harm caused by pokie gambling.

Paul http://www.pokieact.org/ http://www.pokiewatch.org/ http://blog.pokieact.org/

Just a thought.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Gospel for iGens

a Biblical thought...
When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. (Mark 5:27-29)

a Book thought...
Challenge yourself to be a dispenser of verbal medicine - an encourager who speaks healing into another person's life. (p140)
a Dave thought...by Scot McKnight
iGens (18-30) are not selfish or spoiled. Instead, they are intoxicated with the impact of 40 years of education that has focused singularly on self-esteem as the entitlement of each and every person for nothing more than being alive. As Twenge puts it, "GenMe is not self-absorbed; we're self-important."
Please don't get me wrong. iGens may have the healthiest, most robust egos in the history of the West, and some of this self-perception is profoundly good. Nevertheless, this robust self-perception is more than a formidable issue when it comes to the gospel and to church life today.
Jeffrey Arnett is perhaps America's most respected scholar of "emerging adulthood." He identifies five major characteristics:
1. They are exploring their own identities in love and work
2. They are in an age of instability
3. They are in a self-focused period of life
4. They feel in between adolescence and adulthood, neither one nor the other
5. They are driven by endless possibilities and are actively exploring them—jobs, travel, love, sex, identity, and location. This generation collects experiences more than money. While some may head off to Africa to change the world, at least as many (and probably more) head off to experience the world.

Anyone who vividly sketches a community marked by justice, love, peace, and holiness has a message iGens want to hear. The self hidden behind the castle wall is now interested. And I have found that the self-in-a-castle feels shame about systemic sin, and their sensitivity to things like AIDS, poverty, and racism leads inevitably to recognizing the sin in each person. At some point in this movement to the castle door, the iGen will realize that systemic sin is linked to personal sin. Suddenly he or she feels accountable to God.
Along with Jesus' kingdom vision, some iGens are awakened to faith by the discipleship demands of Jesus. I usually focus on the Sermon on the Mount, and not just because I'm an Anabaptist. This message of Jesus was the church's favorite and it remains a powerful sketch of a moral life that both creates a world of possibilities and—at the very core—unmasks pretence and sinfulness. Through the Sermon on the Mount, I find the self-in-a-castle lured to the castle door. In fact, rather than turning off iGens, the demand of Jesus for a life that matters and a morality that exceeds what they have experienced, is radically attractive. It challenges them to their core.
One danger to avoid when gospeling iGens is the common tendency to choose between Jesus and Paul. Given the option, iGens will choose Jesus every time.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

4 Pillars of Youth Support

a Biblical thought...
He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!" (Mark 4:40-41)

a Book thought...
Comparison, whether out of pride or embarrassment, will not help us keep our minds servant-focused. Acceptance will. (p138)

a Dave thought...
Yesterday a small group of us connected to the world of youth work in the Salvation Army met to discuss some new ways forward. Dave Turner was the facilitator and his knowledge of the UK youth policy and connection with the current government was very informative. The four pillars of youth work was a concept presented which reminds us that “schools, youth services, teachers, youth workers and case managers cannot do it alone”. Each of these pillars are essential for our marginalised youth to make it through into adulthood.
1. Parents/Caregivers – the primary support that often breaks down
2. Professionals – the paid support that connects the youth to agencies
3. Community and Significant Adults – role models and coaches that may evolve into mentors
4. Peers – activities with others an in teams is vital for support

Just a thought.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Speak O Lord

a Biblical thought...
On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

a Book thought...
Whether we've yielded our lives to God or not, this much is true: our schedules really are not our own. (p135)

a Dave thought...
Yesterday Kylie and myself were asked to conduct the morning meeting down at Carrum Downs. Unlike the other meetings we have done this year we decided Kylie would preach and I would lead. As I was responsible for choosing the songs I decided it would be good to teach a new hymn I have come to love 'Speak O Lord'. I heard this Stuart Townend & Keith Getty song for the first time about 18 months ago at the Men's Bible Conference in Belgrave. Occasionally you come across a song which God just inspires, that just grabs your attention & this is one of them for me so I thought I would share it with you.

Speak, O Lord, as we come to You,
To receive the food of Your holy word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness,
That the light of Christ might be seen today,
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us all your purposes,
For Your glory.

Teach us Lord full obedience,
Holy reverence, true humility.
Test our thoughts and our attitudes,
In the radiance of Your purity.
Cause our faith to rise,
Cause our eyes to see,
Your majestic love and authority.
Words of power that can never fail;
Let their truth prevail over unbelief.

Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us.
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time,
That will echo down through eternity.
And by grace we’ll stand on Your promises;
And by faith we’ll walk as You walk with us.
Speak, O Lord, till Your church is built,
And the earth is filled with Your glory.

Just a thought.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Early Risers Crash

a Biblical thought...
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20)

a Book thought...
A God-given dream brings you together with what God wants to do in His world through you. (p128)
a Dave thought...
Early birds may get the best worms—or at least the best garage sale deals—but they also tire out more quickly than night owls do. In a new study researchers Christina Schmidt and Philippe Peigneux, both at the University of Liège in Belgium, and their colleagues first asked 16 extreme early risers and 15 extreme night owls to spend a week following their natural sleep schedule. Then subjects spent two nights in a sleep lab, where they again followed their preferred sleep patterns and underwent cognitive testing twice daily while in a functional MRI scanner.An hour and a half after waking, early birds and night owls were equally alert and showed no difference in attention-related brain activity. But after being awake for 10 and a half hours, night owls had grown more alert, performing better on a reaction-time task requiring sustained attention and showing increased activity in brain areas linked to attention. More important, these regions included the suprachiasmatic area, which is home to the body’s circadian clock. This area sends signals to boost alertness as the pressure to sleep mounts. Unlike night owls, early risers didn’t get this late-day lift. Peigneux says faster activation of sleep pressure appears to prevent early birds from fully benefiting from the circadian signal, as evening types do.

Just a thought.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fairfield Boathouse

a Biblical thought...
'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' (Matthew 25:38-40)

a Book thought...
There are five roadblocks of life that are crucial for letting go of your past - worries, wounds, wrongs, weaknesses, and wishes. (p120)
a Dave thought...
Well today I celebrate my 39th birthday. Life is going way too quick!! I've just been spoilt with so many presents by my beautiful family & now we are about to head off for breakfast. When Ky & I were discussing what to do today I suggested we celebrate at Fairfield Boathouse. Firstly because breakfast is my favourite meal of the day & secondly I love the Boathouse. Not only because of the serene setting on the river, but I think it is also because I've been going there for over 20 years and I have so many good memories of these times. Most importantly though the cooked breakfast there is sensational, if you haven't been treat yourself sometime:)

Just a thought.

Friday, September 11, 2009

FareShare

a Biblical thought...
Jesus replied, You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. (Matthew 22:29)

a Book thought...
We surrender when we hand off every aspect of our lives - past, present, and future - to God and trust him completely with all of it. (p117)
a Dave thought...
Yesterday I was walking down Nelson Road Box Hill when I came across this small truck. The advertising caught my attention "Rescuing Food, Fighting Hunger" so last night I decided to explore FareShare some more...

FareShare, formerly known as One Umbrella, is an innovative, energetic organisation, rescuing food and fighting hunger.
Since 2001 we have given away healthy, nutritious meals to the hungry and the homeless in Victoria, using food donated by businesses. By ‘rescuing’ food, we mean that it would otherwise be wasted, ending up in landfill. And in saving food from landfill, we also do our bit for the planet by helping to cut methane pollution and reducing demand for new food products.

We are a small, not-for-profit community organisation operating on a very small budget, and with no operational funding from government. But through the tremendous passion and commitment of staff, volunteers and supporters, we continue to increase the amount of food we rescue and nutritious meals we prepare and give away to charities.
In May 2008 we moved into our wonderful new kitchen, the funds for which were kindly donated by extraordinarily generous supporters. Our gratitude to them knows no bounds. The new kitchen has increased our capacity substantially and we need more food, more volunteers and more funds because our goal is to give away one million meals a year.

Its always encouraging to come across another organisation who is helping the world become a better place.

Just a thought.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

INSANE 2010 Poster Description

a Biblical thought...
Jesus stopped and called them. "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked. "Lord," they answered, "we want our sight." Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him. (Matthew 20:32-34)

a Book thought...
Let your life proclaim his message, whether its content is marked by ease or adversity. (p110)
a Dave thought...
Christopher Green is the artist who is responsible for this illustration. He has some helpful responses...

1. Where's the girl poster?- we originally had wanted to do a male AND female poster, but there were factors that were beyond our control to create both, so we had to settle on one.
2. Whats the deal with the tatts?- aside from appealing to the target demographic (and beyond, it would appear), we wanted to inject some more meaning, rather than something that just looks cool. left arm: the lion embodies everything brave, everything courageous, everything noble. for those CS Lewis fans out there, it also serves as a metaphor for Christ. the lion is at war with the dragon. the dragon (in this case) represents the devil and all things hellish. note the composition favours the lion, giving him an upper hand in the battle. look closely and you'll note the subtle differences between stances - the "devil" is at a loss, is cowering in defense, the lion is pouncing, about to do some serious divine damage.

Right arm: the dove embodies everything true, everything peaceful, everything hopeful. it also serves as a metaphor for the Holy Spirit. note it is carrying an olive branch, and flying over tumultuous waters; i deliberately tried to make reference to the Genesis Flood for some added familiarity. the koi is sometimes regarded as a sort of dragon "larvae" which in turn represents the evil being swallowed up by the waters, being overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit.you can certainly delve deeper into the meaning of these elements.
Just a thought.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

INSANE 2010 Poster

a Biblical thought...
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:25-26)

a Book thought...
God sees our life from beginning to end. He may lead us through a storm at age thirty so we can endure a hurricane at age sixty. (p106)
a Dave thought... http://www.insane.salvationarmy.org.au
Insane 2010 planning is well under way and after the great success of 09 where we had 619 young people attend we are again looking forward to another great event. But as we have began distributing the promotional material over the last week, we have received contrasting feedback about the male image above. From the Gen Y’s, our target market, the response has been very positive and one of the first comments is about how cool the belt buckle is. We have had also had enquiries about whether they will be on sale at the event! However our feedback from some the older generations has been quite the opposite with the use of tattoos in particular not appreciated. So for what its worth if you would like to comment on the appropriateness of this advertising campaign, it would be appreciated. Also if you can also put your age after your comment it will help our analysis. For the record 2Love was not going out to offend but just attempting to relate to a generation that continues to lose touch with an aging Salvation Army.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Under Age Drinking Stats

a Biblical thought...
I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. (Matthew 17:20)

a Book thought...
Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards. (p89)
a Dave thought...
Research commissioned by The Salvation Army shows more than two million Australians were younger than 10 when they first tried alcohol. The Roy Morgan research also showed that 12 million Australians were unaware of new national guidelines which advise the safest option for teenagers is to delay drinking for as long as possible. The Salvos said the research was alarming, adding it was concerned the message that children under 18 should not drink is not getting through.
"The latest federal guidelines emphasise that the safest option for teenagers is to delay the onset of drinking for as long as possible," The Salvation Army's Major Brad Halse said.
"It is widely thought that supervised introduction of alcohol to young people in the home minimises the risk of the young person developing problem drinking patterns later in life.
"In fact, research clearly indicates the reverse - that the earlier a person is introduced to alcohol, the more likely they are to develop drinking problems later," he said.
The Salvos released the research on Monday as part of a campaign to educate the community about the national guidelines, developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council, and the dangers of youth drinking. The research also showed that 1.7 millions Australians believed it was safe to give a child under 12 years of age an occasional sip of alcohol, while five million felt it was okay for someone 15 years or younger. Seven million Australians had their first taste of alcohol in the home, while 8.8 million first drank with their family. The Roy Morgan research was based on a telephone survey last month with a random sample of 687 people aged 14 years and over.

Just a thought.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Money

a Biblical thought...
Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. (Matthew 15:30-31)

a Book thought...
It will be hard to fulfil your Kingdom Purpose if you take on ministry opportunities that don’t align with the way God has fashioned you. (p89)
a Dave thought...
New research, as reported in the Boston Globe, actually does buy happiness, if its correctly spent. “For deep-seated psychological reasons, when it comes to spending money, we tend to value goods over experiences, ourselves over others, things over people. When it comes to happiness, none of these decisions are right.”
In other words consumption doesn’t make us happy. Once our basic needs are met, more money doesn’t do much to make us enjoy our lives more. This graph , picked up from Conor Clarke, illustrates the point well by linking happiness and GDP.
However, these findings neglect one thing. Money used in a certain way does make us happy. In a study of a group of employees following a special profit-sharing bonus, researchers “found that the only factor that reliably predicted which workers would be happy six to eight weeks after the bonus was their prosocial spending – the more money people spent on charity and gifts for others, the happier they were.”
Also, money spent on experiences did more to make people happier, probably because experiences like vacations, travel, or other events involve other people. The experience then changes the person in certain ways that stick around much better than the feeling of joy that comes from a new TV or cable subscription package.
The research on money coincides with other research on what makes people happy: Relationships with other people. That may be why church-goers are happier, married people are happier, people who are involved in voluntary organizations are happier. Money does make us happy, but only if we don’t keep it for ourselves.

Just a thought.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Planning

a Biblical thought...
But Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honour." And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
(Matthew 13:57-58)

a Book thought...
The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it. (p76)
a Dave thought... by John Maxwell
Passive planning happens when leadership allows the raft to travel downstream at the mercy of the current rather than steering, rowing, and turning.
Panic planning happens only after the raft is in trouble. At this point, all of the organization's resources are scrambled in a reactionary pattern in an attempt to solve the problem.
Scientific planning is viable, but can be laborious, mechanical, and often ends up abandoned in the process. Imagine if a raft guide constantly tried to measure the depth of the water, the distance between rocks, the wind speed, and the water current.
Principle-centred planning is the key to effectiveness. It is the artistic or leadership approach. Principle-centred planning recognizes that life in general can't be graphed on a chart, but sees that planning still remains essential.

Just a thought
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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Children's Stories

a Biblical thought...
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

a Book thought...
Passion is the fuel of life. It is the great source of energy and drive. It's what makes us explore new vistas, develop new relationships, and seek solutions to perplexing problems. (p53)
a Dave thought...
It's been encouraging to spend the last seven days in Perth. There are some great things happening in youth work over here and the DYS Captain Nikki Novell is to be commended. There is a great spirit among the interns and youth workers and they all have heart to see God do even greater things among the young people here in WA. Last night we had 2Love Church with over 100 teens present at Balga, for games, worship, food and just to hang out. Kylie gave the bible message last night and shared from Psalm 139 and let everyone know that God has great plans for them and they were made for a purpose. She used a children's story to begin 'Edward the Emu' which is about the fact that we need to be ourselves and not try and be someone we are not. It was amazing how many restless teens listened and soaked up the message. There is certainly something about a simple children's story that just grabs our attention and speaks to all generations like nothing else I've seen.

Just a thought.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Mandurah Youth

a Biblical thought...
Anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:38-39)

a Book thought...
You have been gifted for greatness - in service, not status. (p50)
a Dave thought...
Last night Kylie, Nikki (DYS) & myself went down to Mandurah to visit the corps ably run by Captain Michael & Erica Cossington. Thursday night youth group was on with over twenty present including many local Sudanese teens. This week was a little different as John Marion, and his six interns from Perth ran the night. The theme of messy games was in full force as everyone ended the night with anything from shaving cream, chocolate, and water covering them. Afterwards all the leaders went back to Elaine, the local youth workers house for a debrief and food. Youth Group is still a successful program all over the territory and the way it gathers so many young people on a regular basis is encouraging. The idea of a low cost, fun time which not only develops community but where gospel ideas are shared has been around for over forty years & if the fruit is still there why not continue it for another forty.

Just a thought.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Spiritual Exercise

a Biblical thought...
The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!" (Matthew 8:27)

a Book thought...
Give yourself permission to be who God gifted you to be, regardless of what others have said. (p49)

a Dave thought...
On Sunday a nun from Washington state has become the oldest woman to finish the Subaru Ironman Canada race in Penticton which consists of a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and 42.2km run. Sister Madonna Buder, 79, a Roman Catholic nun from Spokane, crossed the finish line on Sunday with five minutes to spare before the 17-hour cutoff time. “It was very emotional when she came through and set an age group record,” said competitor Carolyn Gebbie of Victoria. Her ability to finish marked an improvement over 2008, when she missed the midnight cutoff time by mere minutes. Sister Buder is no stranger in triathlon circles, completing over 35 Ironman competitions, setting several age group records. One came in 2005, when at age 75, she became the oldest woman to complete the Hawaii Ironman. Starting to race at age 49, she sometimes says: “I train religiously.”

The YouTube above is a fascinating interview with Sister Buder where she talks about jogging being ‘Spiritual Exercise’. She says “Exercise is the one thing that can truly harmonise body, mind and soul.” Exercise has become her ministry and her tribute to God. As you can tell I’m a big fan of the sister and can certainly relate to the idea of spiritual exercise.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Five Questions that kill discussion

a Biblical thought...
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? (Matthew 6:25-27)

a Book thought...
The purpose of giftedness is stewardship and service, not selfishness. (p34)
a Dave thought... by Terry Powell
Subjective questions
Some small-group leaders unintentionally transfer authority from the Bible to group members by instructing them to look inward for meaning rather than investigating the text.

Long-winded questions
Questions get long when a group leader attempts to stuff several facts into a question so that group members will give the appropriate answer. But that kind of information is more easily assimilated by group members when it is put in the form of introductory statements.

Leading questions
Rather than inciting curiosity, these questions may insult the intelligence of your group members. A leading question sags under the weight of your own opinion or predetermined notion, and the way you ask such a question actually reveals the answer that you want to hear. They usually call for a yes or no response that kills conversation. "Don't you think … " or "Isn't … " are typical ways of beginning a leading question.

Compound questions
Resist the impulse to fling back-to-back questions at your group without waiting for a reply to the first one. Either they will be confused about which question to answer first, or they will forget the first question by the time you finish the second. One question at a time!

Compulsory personal questions
We want small-group participants to reinforce biblical truths with anecdotes from their lives. We want them to reveal needs exposed by God's Word so the group can pray specifically for them. Yes, transparency is a vital sign of small-group health. But it's a bad idea to drop a question that requires transparency in the lap of an unsuspecting person.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mini Bus for Boys Home

a Biblical thought...
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them. (Matthew 4:23-24)

a Book thought...
The most fulfilled and effective people I see are functioning in areas that precisely match the gifts God has given them. (p32)
a Dave thought...
It is great to hear the Elms family from Unley in Adelaide are travelling back to the boys home in Bali in October. Samuel Elms has raised $10,000 towards buying them a new mini bus and Reno Elms has just shaved his head and raised $4,500 to put towards the total. They are hoping to fundraise $5,500 more to make the $20,000 target they set last October. If you would like to support this great endeavour please contact Reno on reno.elms@aus.salvationarmy.org The way the Elms family have taken on this mission project and continue to visit and helps the boys home in Bali is a great example to us all. Lets all pray and support them the best we can.

Just a thought.