It’s time to get back on the horse

My blog tells me it has been over 100 days since I last posted anything. How time flies!! There have been a few reasons for the lack of action. A minor case of writers block. A stunning little daughter who likes to play at nights. 3 months of heavy work load. Too much good sport to watch …

Going to try and get back on the horse. Got lots of ideas, thoughts, reviews to share. Now to make time to write ….

Looking in the mirror

At The Point we are studying the Book of James in Term 2. Below is the weekly article I wrote in reflection of the series. The Pastors each take it in terms to write something each week as part of our communications.

The Mirror is a powerful metaphor in James (1:23-25).  Many of us hate mirrors. We don’t like what we see. Apart from showing you what’s stuck in your teeth, mirrors show you what you look like. You can’t hide.

The Bible is the mirror for Christians. As we look into it, God shows us who we are. We are image-bearing workers in his world. We are family people; fathers, mothers, sons and daughters built for relationship. We are sinful creatures. We fail to give God the honour he deserves. As we look into the mirror, the Bible reveals our heart. They are full of passion and desire, yet broken, confused, full of mislaid worship and deep-seated selfishness.

James knew that the great temptation of Christians is to avoid looking in the mirror. We prefer to invent our own reality.  This is deeply foolish. When we starve ourselves of God’s word we miss out on meeting God. We miss out on seeing how God promises to work in our story now and in eternity. When we ignore God’s Word, our minds and world tell us who we are.

Looking deeply into the mirror, hearing and doing what the Bible says, is the path to a growing, joy filled life as a follower of Jesus. But it is not magic. Actually all of us will lose our bearings in one of two ways.

The first is to emphasize how strong we are. We read, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might” (Ephesians 6:10).  We can all fight sin and the devil’s temptation with courage and victory. But in this life we are also weak, and it is foolish not to factor in our pervasive weakness.

The other misstep is so to emphasize our weakness. The Word of God reveals that we are all sinful (Romans 3:9). We all struggle. But if all we do is wring our hands and moan, “Oh, I’m so broken, I’m so broken,” without laying hold of God’s strength — that self-indulgence will defeat us every time.

Which are you denying today — your weakness or his strength?  Which do you need to acknowledge and embrace?

Jesus wants his followers to let God’s mirror not our imagination define who we are. Look into God’s Word. See who you are as God’s child. Yes we are weak, but we are not helpless. Our God is strong. He has saved in Jesus. He has placed his Spirit in us. We are strong in Him. As we listen and do what he says, we will conquer sins. We will live different lives. We will know who we are!

Anzac Day

The significance of Anzac Day to Australians has grown remarkably over the last decade. When I was growing up Anzac day parades were attended by a significant but small group of committed families and veterans. Pilgrimages to Gallipoli were uncommon. The media coverage was on the ABC

Tomorrow the coverage will be on every channel with live crosses to Turkey, France and Afghanistan. 7000 tickets to Anzac cove have been sold out for months. Thousands will line streets around Australia to celebrate our courageous veterans as the true heroes of Australia.

When we went to Turkey in 2009 Gallipoli was not high on our agenda. We were happy to visit but it was not a pilgrimage for us. At one level we both thought the whole thing had been beat up by the media looking for a story. Whilst not changing our mind on the way media affects culture, we both were deeply affected by our visit to Anzac Cove.

The area is thoroughly untouristified for 300 days a year. The beaches where the Anzacs stormed are still beaches. The bushland remains bushland. Apart from a road and grace sites, the Turkish people have left this area untouched. I like that.

The biggest thing that struck me was how devastating Gallipoli was for the Turkish. The turks lost 80,000 men defending the invasion of the Australian, NZ and British. We rightly remember the courage of our men. The Turks rightly remember the courage of theirs. Gallipoli is full of memorials to both sides. The tourist guides speak with admiration of the courage of the Turks and the allied forces. Our guide spoke about how both sides fought, “they were men at war who behaved like men not animals. They fought to win at all costs yet when the fighting ceased they treated each other with honour. It was the last war where this has happened.”

On Anzac day we promise to never forget the courage of our fallen soldiers. It is also appropriate that The Turks don’t fail to remember theirs.