Nov 112018
 

It’s no secret that today is Remembrance Day. We remember the end of the First World War and, more importantly, those who died in it.  Lest We Forget.

I was listening on the radio to Peter Hitchens, the renowned atheist Christopher Hitchens’ brother; the difference is that Peter is a committed Christian.  Peter was explaining eloquently the impact of the wars on the Christian faith of all of Europe.  Obviously everyone thought God was with them, when clearly, if winning the war was the criterion, God was not with them all. 1 Samuel 4 today sees Israel heading out to war, for no particular reason it seems, expecting God to be with them.

What do you expect from God when you ask?

I found the introduction to the Open Doors Prayer Diary compelling. I quote from the Egyptian pastor writing there: “If you pray for us, you will pray for the wrong things.  You will pray for the church to be safe.  You will pray for the persecution to cease.  We are not praying for these things.  We ask that …… when the inevitable persecution comes we will be faithful, even if it costs us our lives.  Will you tell your friends to pray these prayer with us?”

So much of our lives is seeking our ease and an easy way out.  This message asks not for a way out but, in and through the resurrection of Christ, to find a way through.

Our eldest grandson, Ari, who is 5, has a very special relationship with his grandma,  He has been behaving erratically lately; he is sad and then he just lashes out and dissolves into tears.  His mum had a chat to him and said, “You seem sad and angry these days, what is happening for you?”

Ari responded by saying that he is sad because he misses his grandma.  He used to do so many things with her.  He finished by saying, “I miss her because I just love her!”

When I heard that I just dissolved.  Ring Qantas!  Buy a ticket!  Get her over there!

But no.  This is not God’s way.  I want to find a way out – for Ari, for grandma, and probably mostly for me. I want a way out.  But here is the thing.  If Ari is to grow up to be a resilient, compassionate, emotionally-attuned young man, he has to go through his sadness.  He has to find a way through.  And he has to find a way that doesn’t involve lashing out and and being destructive.

Dear Jesus, for those of us who need you now, more than ever, please, in your mercy help us to reflect on our circumstance and how we are handling it.

Reassure us of you love, power and resource. 

Help me to look at the situation with fresh eyes.  Help me to seek you as, together, we look for a way through this season.

Be our certainty when everything else seems adrift.

Amen

 

Blessings

Malcolm

 

Oct 212018
 

http://media.blubrry.com/stpips/p/stphilips.net.au/main/media/SR-20181021-Malcolm-Potts.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 24:55 — 8.6MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe?Readings: 1 Samuel 2:1-10 Luke 1:46-55

Oct 072018
 

Each fortnight I meet with James and Jared to discuss the progress with the Common. This week James reflected on a talk he had heard by one of the senior pastors from Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. He had said that as he reflected on years in church he had observed the following: We see the need for parents to have somewhere for their babies and little ones to cry and cope inside the church environment.  So we begin church by [continue reading…]

Sep 302018
 

http://media.blubrry.com/stpips/p/stphilips.net.au/main/media/SR-20180930-Malcolm-Potts.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 16:48 — 5.8MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe? Reading 1       James 5:13-20 Reading 2       Mark 9:38-50  

Sep 232018
 

Today Pam is sharing with us her reflections from the Bible on “I believe in the communion (or fellowship), of the saints and the life everlasting.” I have no idea what Pam will have to say but I found her first reading choice particularly intriguing: Then he showed me the high priest Joshua standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. And the Lord said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, O Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke [continue reading…]

Sep 162018
 

I want to give thanks this week for encouragement. There are so many examples of people joining in with the Holy Spirit in ways that bring so much encouragement. I shared the front with two of our parishioners during funerals this past week or so, whose lives, words and love were such an encouragement to me. I am on the Being Church email feed.  It is where ‘the left hand reports to the right hand’ what it has been doing [continue reading…]

Sep 092018
 

http://media.blubrry.com/stpips/p/stphilips.net.au/main/media/SR-20180909-Malcolm-Potts.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 32:13 — 11.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe? Reading 1       Genesis 1:1-5 Reading 2       Acts 2:1-13  

Sep 022018
 

http://media.blubrry.com/stpips/p/stphilips.net.au/main/media/SR-20180902-Malcolm-Potts.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 29:02 — 10.0MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe? Reading 1       Acts 1:1-11 Reading 2       Romans 8:31-39  

Aug 192018
 

Good to be back from holidays. Cheryl and I had our time away all sorted out and things got tossed on their head the first week in.  We ended up back in Perth and didn’t get away again. Family stuff…..you know how it is?  In fact, I felt God gave me a picture of the St Philips congregational life as I considered my own challenges.  The picture was of the sea off Cottesloe…… On any day it can be different, [continue reading…]