Mission Statement

In classical sacrifices, the people get the good bits, and the gods get the refuse, the bits that would get thrown out otherwise.

Not our God. Leviticus (particularly Leviticus 3) describes the sacrifices that our LORD demanded from His people of Israel. God gets the kidneys, the tail, and all the fat. He gets the prime steak, He gets the best.

Today we do not literally give sacrifices of animals. For us the ultimate sacrifice has been made through our Lord, Christ Jesus. But should always be our ambition to do the same thing - to offer God the best of what we have, to offer Him the fat, and not the smoke and bones.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Muslims and Dominion (Part 2)

Here's some more thoughts on Muslims and dominion. It's interesting that Islam is the fastest growing religion worldwide. What is most interesting is that a significant part of this growth is not "conversion" but birth. Christianity grows because of conversion, and the fact is that many people classed as Muslim are either non-believers or secret believers of another religion, often Christianity.

The thing is, Muslims get dominion. They do. They want kids, they have kids, they by-and-large train them up in the faith.

Christians, not so much.

The average Christian family (especially in the West) has about the same amount of children as the average secular family. In the West, that's usually 2. But because we send our kids off to public schools (or really bad Christian schools, which is usually worse) about 3/4 of children of Christians "fall away" from the faith. Which is more than slightly scary. I mean, that's a lot of people "leaving" Christianity. And while I would argue that they never really got it to begin with, the fact that we are not communicating the glory of God to our children is a worry.

It's a bit rambly, but those are my thoughts. Let's all do that first bit of taking dominion - being fruitful and multiplying - and let's train up those God has given us in the way that they should go, so that when they are old they will not depart from it.

Let us not leave dominion to those who do not have the truth, but let us exercise it ourselves!

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Muslims and Dominion (Part 1)

We had a missions event at our church yesterday. I was kind of surprised that so few people went - our church is supposed to be a church-planting church. But I went, and Kal went, and Stephen, and a few other friends.

The speaker told us how one of the most effective methods of evangalism in the Middle East is "life-style evangalism", because a lot of Muslims have a very incorrect view of Christianity - they think everyone in Hollywood is Christian. I've written about this before when I was evangalising to Maryam. Here's an excert:

Because she thought that all Westerners were Christians, and most Westerns are basically self-centred and rather decedent, she thought that Christianity was a religion that encouraged that. When she moved to Australia from Iran she continued to think that most Westerners were Christian, but that because they never went to church or prayed it was a religion that even they didn’t believe in, and was one that gave them a licence to live generally immoral lives.

Recently Maryam told me how working with me has changed her view of that. She said how it was very good that I was a Christian, because my religion made me a good person. She realised that a Christian is someone who actually tries to live differently from the world, and when she saw this she was very impressed.

Afterwards I was talking to a recently married friend. She was saying how she wasn't sure she wanted children soon because it's the last days and it's going to be awful for pregnant women and nursing mothers in the last days. So I gave her an earful.

By choosing not to have children because she's scared she is essentially being disobedient to scripture (even if you don't believe the Bible forbids birth control). She is failing to trust God because she's scared. She is also eliminating the prescribed main method of evangalism set out in scripture. (Teaching your children and others in a household family context.) What's more, this method has been shown throughout history as being highly effective in the long run, and was being talked about in that very meeting as being the most effective way of reaching out to Muslims in the Middle East.

And she won't because she's scared.

Makes me cross, it really does. Because if God has commanded it, we need to do it. We shouldn't be running because it looks hard, or scarey, or impossible. We serve a God who delights to do the impossible because it shows Himself as mighty!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6.

Friday, 24 September 2010

A Servant's Heart

Kim C from Life In a Shoe wrote this in response to the question of what she wished she had worked harder at in her single years:
"There are many areas in which I fall short, but one in particular comes to mind: I think I was (and am) weak on the idea of service. My mom modeled a servant's heart - I don't want to impugn her example - but I was slow to pick up on the lesson, and I still have a hard time seeing the needs around me. I do my job - my own job, and expect the same of others.

If others help me, I am grateful but oh-so-slow to return the favor because I haven't learned yet to see the opportunities around me. It's not that I don't want to help, but I simply don't think to offer and can't think of what to offer."

Now, that's me. I'm usually willing to help - one year, for our church's holiday program I was roped into making crafts, editing scripts, acting with puppets, being the MC and being involved in the "after" event. And I was working and extremely sick at the time. So I'm willing to help... if I'm asked. But I don't go out of my way to find things that need doing.

It's something I need to work on - being ready to see a need and then move to meet it. The seeing has to come first, and that means taking my eyes off of myself and allowing them to see Jesus, and to see these little things as an opportunity to serve Him.

Please pray that I develope a servant's heart, and a servant's eyes!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Not Getting the Memo

"The inheritance of the Simeonites was taken from the share of Judah, because Judah's portion was more than they needed." (From Joshua 19:9)

The tribe of Judah had more than what they needed. As such, some of what their brothers would receive came from 'their' portion.

We need to take this as a model and be willing to pass on much of what we have to make the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ a little better, regardless of where they live. We need to be willing to give up many luxuries in order that others may have necessities such as food, clean water, medicine, and the Word of God. It is easy to claim that what we have is 'ours', that we 'earnt' it, so we can do what we like with it. But the truth is that it is all a gift from God anyway, and we need to do with all we have whatever He wants us to.

I have read several times this post at A Place Called Simplicity. It inspires me every time I read it. Here are a few passages...

Dw and I didn’t get the memo. You know what memo I mean?

The one that has been circulating for quite a few years now, throughout Christianity in the western world: that our lives are our own and our "reward" for accepting Christ is a life of pleasure. The one that says that we can pretty much do what we want as long as we “do” the Christian thing on Sundays and maybe attend a small group during the week. The one that says we can ignore the needs all around us. The one that says it really is all about making ourselves and the Christians around us very comfortable.


In fact here’s a little test: if you and/or your family are spending more money on pleasure than you are giving, then things are out of whack! Giving does not mean your tithe. Your tithe is a no-brainer - that’s 10%. Giving means ABOVE your tithe. And if each year your total of travel, manicures, pedicures, fashion, shoes, massages, facials, sporting events, purses, straightening hair, relaxing hair, perms, hair extensions, follicle implants, color treatments, fancy restaurants, hunting, fishing, golfing, boating, camping, skiing, rock climbing, fancy cars, is more than what you give above your 10%, then time to do some serious re-evaluation!

Today many of us live incredibly selfish lives. I shudder at how little some "good" Christians who earn a lot more than me give. I really do. And how they complain how they don't have any money... right before they go and play on their iphone.

We are supposed to be SET APART FROM THE WORLD. We are NOT supposed to look exactly like the world. And I'm really horrified at how so many Christians really seem to think that by doing a small thing they have covered their giving. That by sponsoring a child and giving to the Salvation Army they have become Saints. Ha! My anti-Christian Mum does that!

To whom much has been given, much is required. (Luke 12:48 - KJV) And if you're reading this, believe me, you have much. You have the internet, for goodness sake - and therefore electricity, and probably clean running water, plenty of food, shelter and clothing too. We have been given in ABUNDANCE. Don't cry poor when you spend more on chewing gum than most people earn!

There are so many ways we can make a difference. And yet we don't. Because we put ourselves first. We care about our own pleasures. We pray for ourselves (and maybe our family and friends) and wonder why our selfish prayers remain unanswered.

"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God." James 4:1-4.

Recently I've had a lot more prayers answered. And you know what. None of those prayers were for me. Most of them weren't even for people I know in real life. They were for different orphans who are in need of Forever Families, or who are in the process of being brought home by their Forever Families.

As I spend less (of my time and my money) on myself, I find that there is more there. More is done, more of a differnce is made. All because I made a few minor changes, like giving away a small portion of my income, or donating towards an international adoption, or praying for those I have never met.

Let us be lovers of God rather than lovers of pleasure. Let us be people who help our neighbour - even if we don't know them, or if they are "different" from us. Let us be those whose good deeds shine before the world so that they praise our Heavenly Father.

Let us be followers of Christ, and not of the World.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

On Dominion

"Clear it, and its furthest limits will be yours..." (from Joshua 17:18)

The Christian life is one where we need to take dominion. We need to set to work by the power of the Holy Spirit, and to gain great things for Christ.

yet just as the people of Joseph complained, we complain. We want to enjoy the fruits of dominion taken by others, but we don't want to make the sacrifices necessary to gain dominion for ourselves or our descendants.

The truth is, we can do it! We can make a difference; we can begin to transform the world for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ! We can take dominion of every sphere of life, and have it submit to the authority of Christ.

But we have to be willing to do the work. We have to be willing to spend time in prayuer, in meditation on the Word, in memorising. And most of all, we need to be willing to put things into practice - to actually go out there and take dominion of all that Christ has given us.

Friday, 17 September 2010

On Charity

I find it really surprising about the church in general and several Christians I've met in particular. Because, generally speaking, we don't want to give. And I've heard lots of excuses as to why.

I think the one I've heard most often, and makes me most angry, is the "we can't be sure that the money is really going to those who need it". I've even heard that statement from leaders in my church and the Christian community!

Firstly, many, MANY charities tell you exactly where they spend all their money. And the regulations to be "tax-deductable" in Australia are pretty stringent - you don't get away with much there.

So the excuse itself is pretty much defunct. But wait, there's more!

We are commanded to GIVE. While we certainly are supposed to be giving to those we know will use that money wisely, we are commanded to give regardless. At the end of the day, we are not responsible if the money is not spent wisely. We need to do what God has commanded us to do, and He will take care of the details.

When I've mentioned these two points (not as sweetly as I should) I tend to get the response of, "yeah, sure" followed by doing just about nothing, or the interesting comment of "I'd rather give to a big organisation because I'd be surer that they were using my moeny wisely." Said person then continued to not give to any organisation, big or small.

Now, I don't have anything against big organisations. They are able to coordinate some really awesome life-changing projects. But in all honesty, a scam artist is far more likely to choose a big agency over a small one. More money, people are less involved in your area, so longer to cover your tracks.

That's enough of me being on my soap-box for now. Get out there are use your money to change the world!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

On Joshua 17:1-13

The Israelites were not able to drive out the Canaanites from their midst. Later, they weere more able, but instead they subjected them to hard labour. Instead of killing their Canaanites, they allowed them to live, and in the long run, they paid the price, for the Canaanites were a trap and a snare to the Israelites.

How like us! When we have sinful behaviours (and we all do!) we are commanded to crucify them, to put them to death. But, usually, we don't. We allow them to live, putting them 'to work'. We make our pride serve to override our sloth. We use our anger to get out of feeling lust. We use one sin to do the work of suppressing another, usually a lesser one. The result is that the 'bigger' sin grows, while the 'lesser' sin remains alive and in hiding. And both end up being a trap and a snare to us, thorns in our eyes that stop us from growing spiritually or full serving God.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Joshua 15:63

Judah could not dislodge the Jebusites, who were living in Jerusalem; to this day the Jebusites live there with the people of Judah.
Joshua 15:63

The tribe of Judah was not yet able to remove the Jebusites from their midst. At times it must have been discouraging for the people of Judah to see all of these immoral Caananites in a strong, fortified position of power.

But the thing is, the Jebusites WERE conquered, and by the second most famous man from the tribe of Judah - King David! (Jesus is number 1!) This city would eventually become the Holy City of Jerusalem.

Often it feels like we are not having sucess, or that when we are the steps are so small that we will never get there. And the thing is, sometimes, we aren't meant to. Sometimes, what we leave is for our children to do, just as David left the building of the Temple to his son, Solomon.

This is not an excuse for us not to do our job! We must still work with all our might to do all that the LORD has commanded of us. But it does mean that we don't have to worry. For God's plans and promises always come about, and in His perfect timing.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

On Doing Things

There is always the danger that we may just do the work for the sake of the work. This is where the respect and the love and the devotion come in - that we do it to God, to Christ, and that's why we try to do it as beautifully as possible.
Mother Teresa

This is something I struggle with. I'm a get-things-done kinda gal. For example, once when I was home with gastro, I greeted Kallie (my housemate) at the end of the day with this statement: "I've read two books, watched three movies, and vomitted seven times!"


I like to get things done. I like it when something is achieved, when a goal is reached. I like to feel like progress is made.

And I have been known to put goals before relationships. I get more than slightly impatient with slow, annoying people who just can't get the things they are supposed to get done done. Don't they know I'm busy?

This is, of course the WRONG ATTITUDE. And while I do have (lots) of things to do, things that are important and that make a difference in the world and that other people are relying on me to do, the fact of the matter is that they are not the most important thing.

Jesus is.

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."
John 15:4-8.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Thoughts From My Quiet Time - Taking the Land

So on that day Moses swore to me, "The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly." (Joshua 14:9)

Caleb claimed the land that he had walked on, and it was given to him. But it was also given to his children and to those who would come after him.

When we take ground for Christ, it is not just us who have it. It goes to our descendants too, unless they are unwilling to fight to defend it.

For example, when we take ground in the area of adoption, these children often turn around and adopt themselves (or let their parents know that they have a sibling still waiting). Or they raise money for orphans in need. Their biological brothers and sisters are moved to make a difference in the adopted child's homeland or another land with many orphans. The land we claim will often be built on by our descendants.

LORD, help me to raise up many spiritual and physical descendants who will claim all the land that You will give them; that will fight for the crown rights of Jesus. In His mighty name, Amen!

Friday, 3 September 2010


For those of you who are interested (as in, you have access to girls who love dolls who need presents - and if you don't have any little girls who you could give these beautiful dolls blankets to, then you really should get out more. Make friends. Friends with little girls who should really have some beautiful dolls blankets), two of Karin's daughters are making dolls blankets and pillows to help fund heart surgery for baby Boy. The blanket sets are $11, but as each set is triple matched by husband Jeff's employer, each set MAKES $44. Which is pretty awesome. They are aiming to raise $5000.

There is also a competition, so you can even get one for FREE. Just by raising the word.

It's really encouraging to see what two small girls can do to help others! Hop on over and place an order!