Oct 152017

Musings are whatever is on the mind of one of the staff team here at St Philips.  We write one every week.

As I write this,  I am sitting outside in the sun in amongst the playgroup mums and kids. I am also thinking about all the visitors to our church today!

I wonder how many of you have been to a church recently?  I wonder what you find yourself thinking as you come here this morning supporting Charlie, Venetia and little Hugo? You’re here for a baptism.  Do you know what baptism is all about, what it signifies and what we are asking of God as we celebrate Hugo’s baptism? James will explain some of this in his talk. But if you’re more of a TV type, you can watch some very short videos on the St Philips Cottesloe website that explain baptism simply but a bit more thoroughly.

Anyway, I want to welcome you into this community for Hugo’s baptism, as you spend an hour or so with God’s people while we worship God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Churches can be very diverse things, from smoke-filled cathedrals to almost rock concerts.  None is right or wrong.  There are many ways to gather as what the bible calls “the people of God”.  At St Philips we are up to all sorts of things; faith-building, practical help, caring for people, training, mentoring, even being a genuine family for some. These activities cross all ages.  You will hear from Graham what we are up to in Africa.  James may mention what he is up to in Palmyra. 

But what are we trying to do as we gather this morning? We are fundamentally a community of worship on Sundays.  Worship carries the idea of ‘Worth-ship’.  We know that God is worthy of our love, thanks, even praise and this time is when we seek to express that.  Why?  Because God has first loved us and made us for friendship with him.

We are celebrating with thanks the goodness of God, as well as celebrating what God has done for us, to bring us into relationship with himself – which baptism symbolises and James will talk about. But for us here at St Philips it is a time to celebrate and give thanks for what God is doing in us and through us, in all manner of ways, not just in here but out there: caring things, teaching things, training things, faith-building things, welfare things and many more.

It’s fantastic to have you to share in this Christian community at ‘worth-ship’ today.




Oct 012017

What a week of wet and cold it has been.  One of the spinoffs of my not too distant surgery is that I feel cold a lot of the time. In fact, because I am a bit of a foolish man I have expected recovery from a double hip replacement to be a routine thing that I would get over fairly quickly. Ahhhhh! Foolish, foolish man.  I have been really struggling, physically and emotionally.  I have never felt this depleted before.

What do you do when you are really struggling?  Does your faith have a part to play?  What role do other people serve?

Here is what I find myself doing.  I start by having a big sook.  Then I hope other people [mostly those closest to me] will be super kind and loving.  But I often don’t clearly communicate my situation or what I need; I just sook and expect them to intuitively know my unstated wants and needs. I then get resentful when they don’t deliver – pathetic, right!?

Anyway, there is the confession. I’m not much fun to live with some of the time.

After I ‘get over myself’, I usually get more constructive. I often share how I’m feeling in prayer at our in-church prayer times. For others, it can be good to state things and God is a good listener.  Others just need to do that ‘on the inside’.

Then I remind myself that in this situation God is not dead.  He is good all the time,  he is with me and he does care.  If I am feeling especially pious, I can even remind myself that struggle is always the place of strengthening and growth.

Then I go to the bible to read what the word of God actually says.  Today I wondered what ‘faith’ really means.  What have I put my faith in?  It’s not my feelings that will carry me on.  The bible constantly tells me that our ‘faith’ sustains us.  So, I’d better know what my faith is in, right?

The beginning of Romans was useful today (Romans 1:1,2). It says, “Paul, a servant…”, Ok, I’m a servant; “called…”, I cannot be forgotten if I am called; “for the gospel of God…”, God is and has delivered good news.  What is the good news I am part of? Well, we are told it is woven through the whole bible from beginning to end.  It concerns his Son, who was declared to be Son of God with power.  If I truly believe this, it is the “Spirit of holiness” who has revealed it to me. And it is sealed for good, or proven once for all “by resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ our Lord”.

That is my foundation.  I am only as good as my foundation.  Foolish though I can be, I try and find my way back to bedrock –  “This one thing I have!

This is what Kieran and Ruth will be doing as they prepare to shift their whole life over here.  It is what James and Jane must do as they take on the risks they are confronting in their service and call to build a new thing in Palmyra.  It is what every Christian disciple of Jesus is called to do – secure their life in the One who is faithful, whatever may be happening in the here and now.

I just need to thank so many of you for your words and expressions of support during this time.  They have meant a great deal and have been used by God to bring strength and encouragement.  We all need them. Thank you.

Every blessing.



Sep 242017

http://media.blubrry.com/stpips/p/stphilips.net.au/main/media/SR-20170924-Malcolm-Potts.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 20:15 — 7.0MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe?Readings: Romans 8:1-30 Romans 8:31-39

Sep 172017

http://media.blubrry.com/stpips/p/stphilips.net.au/main/media/SR-20170917-Malcolm-Potts.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 31:41 — 10.9MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe?1st Reading       1Corinthians (p.935) 2nd Reading     Luke 9:18-27 (p.842)  

Sep 102017

I often talk about ‘.people of peace’. People sometimes ask me “What do you mean by ‘people of peace’?” Let me tell you a story. I ride my bike with a group of guys and a few wonderful girls.  Now some of these guys are from church and they bring a wonderful generosity to our rides and chats over coffee afterwards.  But most of the guys represent the general population of working men in and around the western suburbs.  Most [continue reading…]

Sep 032017

http://media.blubrry.com/stpips/p/stphilips.net.au/main/media/SR-20170903-Malcolm-Potts.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 36:55 — 12.7MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe?1st Reading: John 21: 1-14 2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 

Aug 062017

Thank you for the feedback following the talk Cheryl and I gave in church last Sunday.  If you were not there and are interested, jump on St Philips Cottesloe website, press on the Podcast button and you can hear it. We addressed 1 Peter 3, where Peter says, “Wives submit to your husbands.”  Of course Peter said much more than that and that text of all texts deserves a context, both culturally and for its place within the letter as [continue reading…]

Jul 302017

http://media.blubrry.com/stpips/p/stphilips.net.au/main/media/SR-20170730-Malcolm-Potts.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 46:10 — 15.9MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe?Readings: Ephesians 5:15-21 1 Peter 2:18 – 3:7

Jul 232017

http://media.blubrry.com/stpips/p/stphilips.net.au/main/media/SR-20170723-Malcolm-Potts.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 32:31 — 11.2MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe?Readings: 1 Corinthians 10:23-33 1 Peter 2:11-18; 3:1, 7

Jul 162017

I woke up this morning absolutely exhausted after the sleep of a dead man.  Why was I feeling so tired? The day before I had taken a funeral.  One thing people do not realise when they watch the ‘pros’ do things like funerals is just how challenging we find them.  For me, it is not the grief necessarily, it is the difficult place I find myself in with nominal or secular families, longing that they might know the truth and [continue reading…]