The upside of regret

I’m having a moment of regret.

Looking back on a moment in time of my ministry experience and wishing, not that I had done it better but that I had done it completely different. And if I’d known back then what I know now I probably would have.

While I feel distress about that moment, I also feel encouraged by the fact that I want a do-over. Because it means that in the last year I have learnt more about God, about myself and about the people I seek to minister to. And it’s amazing how knowledge changes you. I like it.

Mission – Day 8

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Well we have come to the last day of mission – and it has been quite a week!

Friday was all about Barker College. We went and hung out at year 10 chapel – Steve Blyth preached up a storm and Andrew gave a great testimony. We they hit up their lunch time group where Gus – the MT-er at St Andrews Wahroonga – challenged the kids on being workers for the harvest, and I gave a testimony. (Want to read it? Check out my about page.)

After that we tag along to some Christian studies classes. I went to a Year 7 boys class where the teacher gave the kids 30 minutes to grill me and my team mate on any questions they had about the bible, God etc. That was a tough 30 minutes!

Friday night I left my mission team to tackle the youth at All Saints Waitara while I headed back to my church (St Augustines Neutral Bay) to speak to 30+ primary school girls about what is better than chocolate. They were a tough crowd but I know at least one girl left understanding the gospel so praise God for that!

Saturday was the Family Festival at All Saints. Despite not the best weather a heap of people from the community turned up and seemed to have a great time – many stayed for a few hours. I have a blast walking around giving people ‘The Essential Jesus’ (Luke’s gospel) and free Colin DVD’s for their kids. It was a great day and the church raised $4000! It was a great day and the church did an awesome job!

This morning I hit up 8:30 church (after a much appreicated extra hours sleep) and 10am church. Pretty soon I’ll be heading off to get ready for 5pm cafe church and then pizza and trivia night. After that a brief team meeting and then i’ll hit the road for Newtown and I much anticipated LONG nights sleep in my own bed.

Read more about earlier in the week here and here.

What to hear about other missions? Mike has a stack here.

It has been an amazing week! Praise God for his work through us and the 2 churches we have been serving. Pray that many seeds will have been sown onto ground of deep soil that will produce a crop.

I had many hesitations before mission but it has been an awesome week and God has given me many opportunities to serve that have help me think hard about my future after college. It has been a week that has started to cement my thinking about what I will do. Please pray for wisdom as I think through what to do over the next few years while I’m at college to best equip myself for the future.

Mission – Day 6

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So here we are at day 6. What a great week it has been!!

Wednesday was about the best day of my life (slight exaggeration but it was a good day). Chapel at Abbotsleigh seemed to go well. I had fun, girls seemed to be listening, lots of good feedback was given.

Following this a group of 6 of us went to Hornsby Girls High to do a Q&A withe the Christian lunchtime group. This group of girls was amazing! They usually have anywhere between 30 – 60 girls (50 showed up on wed) and it is run by a group of year 11 girls. I was so encouraged by the work that these girls put into running this group and they do a great job! We had some amazing questions to answer and didn’t get through anywhere near as many as we would have liked. It was a great time of interaction between the team and the girls. Thanks for having us ladies :)

I then had the afternoon to chillax which is always nice.

At night we had a ladies coffee and dessert at All Saints Waitara. It was a lovely privilege to be able to hear my wonderful friend Megan preached on the greatest makeover ever. On of the greatest things about mission is to be able to serve alongside your college friends and its always great to hear them preach. Megs did a great job!

Read more about my team’s mission here.

About to hit the road for chapel and lunchtime group at Barker. Pray it goes well

Abbotsleigh Chapel – 1 John 1:8-9

Thanks for all your prayers for my talk at Abbotsleigh.

For anyone who is interested here is my talk. This was for high school girls, most of whom are not Christians, but who hear the gospel in chapel every week. If you have feedback you would like to give feel free to email rather than post it here. Thanks

If you could be anywhere right now where would you be?
If I were you I‘d want to be almost anywhere but in chapel.
I would especially not want to listen to who ever was doing what I’m doing right now.
My mind would probably be wandering, thinking about all the better ways I could be using my time.
I could be hanging out with my friends, lying on the grass in the sun sleeping or getting a tan, I could be planning my weekend; I could probably even find some school work to do that would be better than this. Perhaps I’d even be wondering would any one notice if I fell asleep right here.
So if your thinking that – first let me say – I’m onto you!
Now the reason I can say all this is that if I had chapel when I was at school, that’s exactly what I’d have be thinking. I didn’t have chapel at my school, but my parents took me along to church every week – which I think was worse cause it went for twice as long! And I have to get up early on Sunday mornings!
Every week I went and heard the same story – Jesus died blah blah blah
And I would think – I know this, I hear it all the time. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand, I’m not stupid, I got it – I just didn’t care, I wasn’t excited by it!
So you can imagine how happy I was when I turned 18, had a car and a licence and some independence – it wasn’t long before I stopped going to church – after all I knew all the answers.
So no church meant I felt free to go do what I want – so that’s exactly what I did.
I went out and partied as much as I could, got drunk all the time and basically didn’t care about anything.
But gradually I would hear a little voice in the back of my head saying – what are you doing? This is the ‘sin’ stuff you have been hearing about all your life. And I slowly realised that I was completely ignoring God and this was hurtful to God. And it was hurtful to me as well. It was not a good way to live.
And more and more I realised that this was what sin was and it was putting a barrier between me and God – a big one!
Then I started to worry about this. I thought that God would never be able to forgive everything that I had done, and remove that barrier.
I knew that Jesus had died so that God could forgive me – but I didn’t think it was enough to forgive everything.
But one day someone read something to me – it said

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

I was amazed that this didn’t say he will forgive us our sins to a certain point, or he will forgive some of our sins. But it didn’t say that – it said he will forgive us our sins and purify us from ALL unrighteousness.

Why does he do this though? Its so beyond what I would thought God would do – I had ignored God, so why would he forgive me for everything?
It tells us why – because he is faithful and just.
God showed his faithfulness to us by sending Jesus to die on the cross.
Jesus died to take the punishment for ours sins and this is what enables God to forgive us for everything.
Jesus says that if we believe in him we won’t be punished but instead will have eternal life.
God is faithful to that promise – so when you hear that he forgives ALL your sins you can trust that he can and will do that, no matter how bad you might think your sins are.

And this sentence also tells us what needs to happen for him to forgive us – it starts by saying ‘if we confess our sins’.
So God is faithful and will forgive EVERYTHING but we need to be prepared to admit and confess those things to him.

There may be some of you thinking that this has no meaning for you and that you don’t need to confess anything to God.
Let me read the sentence before this one to you.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

If you think you don’t have sin that is a barrier between you and God, you’re kidding yourself.

If that’s you – I want to say two things to you.
First is that God is faithful. He loves you and you have no reason to be afraid that he won’t or can’t forgive you. He has told us that through Jesus he will forgive us and he is faithful to that promise – and that is great exciting news!

The second thing I want to tell you is that you’re not alone. Your Christian friends and Christian studies teachers have all been through this too. If you want to confess your sins to God I’m going to give you a chance to do that in a moment and then your friends would love to celebrate your forgiveness with you.

Forgiveness is a great thing! But God doesn’t just forgive us – he also promises to purify us from all unrighteousness. God cleans us from the stain of sin and guilt, so that we are acceptable to him. Because he shows his goodness to us we need to stop ignoring him, and instead start following him.

The truth is that everyone in this room has sin between them and God.
If you have admitted your sin to God, you have been forgiven…. Completely and for everything.
Everyone else is deceiving herself.

If you want to be in that first group of people I am about to pray a prayer that you could pray with me.
First I tell you what I’m going to say and then I will pray one line at a time so you can repeat it in your hearts and minds after me.

Here’s what I will pray.
Dear God,
I am sorry that I have sinned. I know that this puts a barrier between you and me.
Please forgive me.
Thank you for sending Jesus so that I can be forgiven.
Amen

If you would like to pray that then you can do that with me now. If you don’t want to pray that’s ok but I’m going to ask you to bow your head and close your eyes anyway.

Lets pray.

If you didn’t pray that with me but you have questions then your Christian studies teachers would love to hear your questions and help answer them, or I will be here for a while and would also love to talk to you.
If you prayed that prayer that’s great and I know that your friends and teachers would love to hear that, and I would like to encourage you now by reading again what was once read to me –

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Question time…. ???


At night church, each week after the sermon we have question time, often referred to as ‘roast the preacher’. Since I started at St A’s I have been mulling over in my head Paul’s instructions to women in 1 Corinthians 14 and how or if this has implications for women during question time at church.

1 Corinthians 14:33 – 35 says

As in all the churches of the saints, the women should be silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but should be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, they should ask their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church meeting.

So many questions come out of this for me. Here are some of them –

  • Does this mean women shouldn’t ask questions in question time?
  • Does the prohibition of speaking refer back to the speaking in tongues and prophesying that is discussed in verses 26 – 33? If so how does this prohibition of women prophesying relate to Paul’s teaching in chapter 11 that should pray and prophesy with her head covered?
  • If a women is to learn by asking her husband at home, how is a single woman to learn? What about a woman with a non-believing husband?
  • If it is ok for a single woman to asks questions but not a married woman, does this need to be explained every week? Would that make the whole concept of question time more unhelpful than helpful?
  • Is this instruction only related to learning, or does this have implications for woman reading the bible, or leading prayers in church??

I’m sure that this is just the beginning of a long process of learning for me from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. While this has been on my mind for a while, I am yet to really take a closer look at this passage and its implications.

Would love to hear your thoughts?

A hymn that should be heard

We sang an old hymn at church tonite which I had never heard before. On the advice of the assistant minister I came home and looked it up on YouTube and found this great recording I think everyone should hear.


And for all the fans of this hymn (or masterpiece as some might prefer) please note I have already been chastised for having never heard it ;)

Enjoy!

Climbing Mt Durham – scaling the arguments for women’s consecration


Here are some interesting posts I have been reading on women’s consecration.  



Climbing Mt Durham – scaling the arguments for women’s consecration

The last few weeks……


A few very exciting things have happened in the last few weeks and a few sad things.

Exciting things first –
I went to Batemans Bay for a week with some friends from church – and what a great week it was!! Very relaxing! We celebrated my birthday and New years while we were away which added an extra bit of fun to our week.
The following week was Summerfest on the Central Coast. I was on the Xtreme team (yrs 7-9) and we averaged about 90 kids a day!! It was HEAPS of fun :)
We also did some door knocking in the afternoons – which while being very scary, I actually enjoyed it and have been inspired to join the evangelism committee at college this year.
It was also a privilege to spend some time at Central Coast Evangelical Church (aka EV).
Next week will also be exciting as I head off to Next Gen (formally KYLC). Its is a great privilege and responsibility to be able to teach the leaders of the next generation of leaders so please pray for me and my co-leader Simon (Jacko) as we lead.
Now for some sad things –
Just before Christmas I farewelled my home church Glenmore Park Anglican. It has been my home for the last 4 years and it was a very sad day.
This Sunday I join the team at St Augustine’s Neutral Bay (this probably belong in the list of exciting things).
I blogged a few weeks ago about my aunty and grandma who were schedule for surgery after being diagnosed with breast cancer. My aunty’s surgery has been postponed until the end of the month. My grandma’s went well and has recovered well and is back at home. Sadly the cancer is in her lymph nodes. She requested that the lymph nodes not be removed and she has declined to have chemotherapy. Please continue to pray for them both and my dad.