Mar 182018

Last Sunday James spoke about the importance of us having a faith that is both existentially satisfying as well as intellectually credible. (If you weren’t there, it’s well worth a listen to the podcast). I wonder where your faith sits on the scale of those two things. Is your faith existentially satisfying? Is it intellectually credible? Of course, there are times when we are struggling in either of those areas; that’s been a normal part of the faith journey for people down through the ages and remains an important part of our growth as people of faith.

When I was 17 and seriously questioning my faith, one of the best things that a person who was discipling me wrote to me was that my doubt didn’t seem like a doubt that was denying God, rather a doubt that was seeking to know Him and come closer to Him.  That freed me to continue to wrestle with both the experience of my faith and the intellectual credibility of my faith. Through that wrestling,  both grew deeper.

So are you growing in each of these areas? What are you doing that grows you in either of these things? How are you wrestling with them? Which are you weaker in and therefore need the most growth in? Neither of these areas is ever really static. We are either growing more existentially satisfied in our relationship with Jesus or less so. Likewise, we are either growing more grounded in the credibility of our faith or less so. So how will you continue to grow?

We are in a world where our faith is challenged from many angles and it is important that we continue to pursue knowing Christ deeply. This is true for each of us and it’s also true for our young people. It’s so important for them, as well as us, to have a real experience of relationship with Jesus and to increasingly grow in their understanding of the intellectual credibility of the Christian faith. That’s what we aim to provide spaces for in our kids and youth ministries. It’s also what is important for all of us to encourage our young people and one another in. I’d encourage you to share with some others this week the way in which your faith is existentially satisfying and to discuss the intellectual credibility of your faith; also to share some of the ways you have grown in each of those areas in recent times. Equally, it’s important for us to make opportunities to share our wrestles in these areas and encourage and resource each other to continue wrestling, as I was encouraged as a 17 year old. Certainly that encouragement and permission was significant for me in continuing on in my faith at that point.

As we do this, I pray that “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:17-19).






Mar 042018

What do you ask of Jesus? How do you respond to his questions to you?

At our morning prayer time, the staff and others are currently reading through the book of Mark and Thursday morning’s reading had Jesus asking two different lots of people the same question: “What do you want me to do for you?” The first people he put this question to were James and John who asked Jesus to grant them to sit at his left and right in his glory. The second was the blind man Bartimaeus who asked Jesus to let him see again. How would you respond to Jesus today if he asked you, “What do you want me to do for you?” And what would your answer say about what is in your heart? The responses of James and John and Bartimaeus show what was in each of their respective hearts.

On Monday morning, I and some other members of St Philips had the opportunity to hear a lecture on wisdom given by Peter Adam, who had been the principle of theological college that I studied at. A precious opportunity. I was struck once again by the truth that everything we do flows from our heart. Proverbs 4:23 says Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. As part of his lecture, Peter encouraged us to pray prayers that shape our heart, prayers that shape who we will become. As examples, he spoke of  regularly praying, “Gracious God, please give me a wise heart today” and,  “God please train me to be single-minded.” As our hearts grow in these things, our thoughts, actions and words will all be impacted.

So what kind of prayers are you praying? What are you asking Jesus for? What do they say about your heart? How might you pray for him to so shape your heart that you might be deeply changed and out of which thoughts, words and actions might flow that bring life to the world . . . and yourself? What might he be inviting you to ask him for?

God longs to give good gifts to his children. As we ask for wisdom, James 1:5 says that God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, will give it to us. And Matthew 7:8 says For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

What are you asking the Father for? How would you respond to Jesus’ question, “What do you want me to do for you?”



Feb 252018 Play in new window | Download (Duration: 15:44 — 5.4MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe?  Matthew 10:37-39  Matthew 11:25-30   

Feb 182018

It’s the first Sunday in Lent, a time that through the years Christians have used as a period of particular devotion as we prepare to remember and celebrate Jesus’ death and resurrection. I wonder what Lent has been for you in the past and what it will be for you this year? As I was preparing for our Ash Wednesday service this week, I saw a statement written by a friend about Lent: “Lent is a time-bound way of ‘stepping [continue reading…]

Feb 112018

In KidsChurch and Junior Youth today our young people are considering the importance of remembering and attending to what God says about us. How do you go at remembering – receiving and believing – what God says about you? Is it the basis of how you live? Most of us are pretty forgetful when it comes to remembering the truth of what God says about us. Some of us don’t really know what it is that God thinks about us; [continue reading…]

Jan 282018

I’m finding it hard to believe that it’s almost the end of January. I’ve had a good but full time over the last month. Many of you will have heard about our time at beach mission during last Sunday’s services. Since then, amongst other things, I’ve been working on planning for the year, particularly with regard to our kids and youth ministries, as well as working on a statewide Children’s Ministry Training Day. As I write, I’m on a plane [continue reading…]

Jan 212018 Play in new window | Download (Duration: 24:28 — 8.4MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe? 1st Reading                Luke 10:1-11 (p. 844)                                 2nd Reading             John 1:1-14 (p.862)                                

Dec 172017

I had a couple of weeks holiday last month and drove up the coast with a good friend. Though I’ve been in WA for almost 7 years, I’d never been north of Kalbarri before. And even my few trips north of Perth had been very brief and often for my previous work. The Pinnacles, Kalbarri, Monkey Mia, Ningaloo. . . what an amazing State we live in and those are just a few of the fantastic things we get to [continue reading…]

Dec 032017 Play in new window | Download (Duration: 18:27 — 6.3MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe?1st Reading       Isaiah 64:1-9 (p.606) 2nd Reading     Mark 13: 24-37 (p.826)  

Oct 292017

I wonder what you think it means to be a good guest? What kind of guests do you like having in your home? I’ve just got home from hearing a few great talks at an evening run by the Centre for Public Christianity. One of those talks was on what it means to be good guests in this world that we live in. One of the key principles in the talk was that to be good guests we need to [continue reading…]