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.

Thursday, 31 May 2012


Recently Barack Obama came out with his official support of gay marriage. Which of course brought up a whole lot of discussion from a lot of different people about whether or not there should be gay marriage, what kind of restrictions there should be, and that sort of thing.

One of the boys at my church was listening to a talk-back radio program where the host was in favour of homosexual marriage. Lots of people phoned in over the course of the program with their opinions, and apparently, most were against. (I did not hear the program, I'm only repeating what my friend said).

The host then asked them if they had anything against gays living in de facto relationships. Most people then said no. The host then said that if they didn't have a problem with de factos they shouldn't have a problem with them getting married.

My friend agrees with this statement, and thinks that we should have higher standards than just being against gay marriage.

The thing is, THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. If there wasn't a difference, then gays would not be fighting for them to have this "right". There is a difference in the way that you view your relationship, in the way that others view the relationship, in the way that the government taxes you, in the way that banks treat you.

There is a difference between marriage and de facto. Regardless of the genders of the people involved in it.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Matthew 24

Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming (verse 42)

The church is obsessed with the end times, trying to work out exactly when they will be, exactly what will happen. But that isn’t what is required of us. Staying faithful is.

The end of days will come “like a thief in the night”. Most will not be expecting Him. Most will be idling away their lives in frivolous pursuits of the temporal. And unfortunately, much of the professing church is amongst that group.

I do not want to be. I want to be awake and serving my Lord when He comes. I want to be proclaiming the gospel – and more than that, I want to be living it.

I have so much progress to make with my life, so much more that I want to do for the Lord, so many sins to overcome, so much work to do. With His help I will do it! I will be ready for the return of my Lord!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Matthew 11

Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds (from verse 19)

This comes at the end of a phrase where Jesus pointed out that the religious leaders were not satisfied by either John’s fasting or by Jesus’ eating. No matter what either of them did, because it was not part of the establishment, it wasn’t good enough.

This is a big issue today. Christians cannot do anything right in the eyes of unbelievers. Those who focus on their families and the church are ridiculed and held up as being selfish, insular, and not reaching out to the community. Those who are involved with outreach activities like evangelism, or in “good works” type activities like missions, or volunteering at homeless shelters or pregnancy centres are also ridiculed as being those who are trying to coerce those around them into being Christians by their good deeds. Missions comes under special attack for this.

It is easy to get discouraged here. We can’t do anything right in the eyes of the world. But the thing is… we are not meant to! We are only to focus on doing right in the eyes of Christ. Wisdom, godly wisdom, will ultimately show up in our actions – in families and churches that are strong, in deeds that make a real difference both in people’s lives and in people’s eternities. And that is what we need to remember.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Matthew 5

And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: (verse 2)

I’ve never really noticed this verse before. It isn’t a hugely noticeable verse. It is just a preface to one of Jesus’ most famous teachings, the Beatitudes.

But today God brought to my attention the very important phrase, “He opened His mouth and taught them”.

We don’t like to speak about God much. In this day and age it is embarrassing. It marks you as being among the religious freaks of the world. And teaching people about God – especially unbelievers – is just plain hard. So often it is easier to just keep our mouths shut.

But that is not what God wants us to do. He wants us to OPEN our mouths and TEACH those around us. It is hard, but it is worthwhile.

Today I had the opportunity to explain to a colleague that there are answers to the common ‘scientific’ queries people make. She’s never had a Christian answer them before. And while it wasn’t much, it was sowing a seed. It was opening my mouth and teaching.

LORD, give me more opportunities like this!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Matthew 4

Immediately they left their nets and followed him (verse 20).

These four men (Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John) were all willing to walk away from absolutely everything they had the moment that Jesus called them. They did not wait or deliberate, but walked after Jesus, leaving behind family and career without a backward glance.

How willing am I to do the same? God has called me to Uganda. If He said for me to go tomorrow, would I go, or would I um and uh over the things I’m leaving behind, leaving undone? Surely God can use me more effectively if I have finished me education… etc. But the fact is that I need to be WILLING to drop everything at a moments notice in order to follow my Jesus.

I am far too attached to this world. I cling to my own comforts, to my own status, to my own finances. But they are not my own. They belong to my God, to my Saviour Jesus. And I need to be ready to drop them if He asks me to.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Putting my money where my mouth is

Recently I went to a “One Just World” conference, on the position of children internationally, and what we can do to support children, whether in Australia or internationally. I learnt a whole lot of interesting things:
• 115 million children are involved in the worst types of child labour.
• 79 million children have had female circumcision
• 100 children a day are reported to be abused or neglected in Australia

Pretty appalling, right? We often know that life for those in less fortunate countries is pretty terrible, but we don’t usually realise how terrible it is for so many people, and especially so many children. In the developed world we’re kind of sheltered from that, and we expect that the rest of the world has our views on keeping children safe etc. And while parents everywhere generally want what is best for their family, they face enough hardship and difficulty that what is “best” is quite frankly, unacceptable. Selling a child to prostitution so that your family can live is unacceptable. Child indentured servitude is unacceptable. Mutilating children so that they can make more money begging is unacceptable.

As many of you realise, I’m fundraising for my next trip to Uganda. I’m really excited about it, but the flights are $600 more than last time, and there will be other costs as well. While I work and have savings, I want to move to Uganda in the near future, so I’m hoping to fundraise all I can.

Last year, one of my most successful fundraisers was chocolates. I bought chocolates from the supermarket for $1 or less (mostly Cadbury and Nestle) and sold them for $2. It was low effort on my part, and raised around $200.

At this conference I found out about child slave labour on chocolate farms, and that it is ranked as one of the worst forms of child labour, along with things like child prostitution. A whole lot of children die making chocolate. And Cadbury, Nestle, Ferrero and Mars all band together to report only their combined statistics on their chocolate. This means that every company claims to be doing less wrong than their competitors, and there is no way of checking who is actually doing what, and buying only from the one or two companies who are aiming to change this.

So I’m not buying any chocolates from them. Not until they change this. It will mean that I won’t make as much money. It will mean that I need to put in a lot more efforts into raising the money. But I’m putting my money where my mouth is, and I’m going what I believe is right.

"Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?”
Isaiah 58:6

A note - I wrote this and then didn't post this for a while. I was a bit worried that my stance would effect my fundraising efforts - but I have raised FAR more this trip than I did with the last trip! Doing what God says is right is ALWAYS the best way to do things!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

John 4

My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work (verse 34).

Doing God’s will meant more to Jesus than food. Think of how essential food is to us. We waste away and die without it – slowly and painfully. Yet Jesus preferred to do God’s will, God’s work.

How important is doing God’s work to me? It is easy to put off what God wants us to do until another day, then another day, then another and another until it remains undone. I know I have done this so many times. Little things crop up, and I take care of one and then another, and then another, and then it is too late to work on what God has set before me – too late for memorisation work or quiet time or extended prayer or even the bigger projects God has set before me, like the books He wants me to write.

I need to be willing to sacrifice everything in order to do God’s work – my plans, my goals, my dreams, to even be willing to give up necessities such as food. Because the truth is, the only thing we truly need is God. And I have that!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

John 3

The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand (verse 35).

All things are in my God’s control. The big things and the little things, things I like and things I don’t.

I am reminded of the martyred death of Lady Jane Grey, and the ascension to the throne of the Catholic queen Mary. It must have seemed like an utter defeat for the protestants. But Mary’s bloody reign meant that England became protestant. Even God’s enemies do God’s will.

How do I react to this fact in my own life? Do I trust in Him, committing all things into His hands? Or do I worry, gripe and whine, thinking that things are getting out of control? In all honesty, it is a bit of both, but I am learning to trust in God and His providence more and more each day. And I have no doubt that God will continue to teach me in this area, for He not only holds all things in His hands, but He does all things for the sake of His children, including me!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.
Malachi 3:10

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are onebody, so it is with Christ.
1 Corinthians 12: 12

We were recently discussing tithing in my small group. There are a whole range of opinions about tithing in the church, from those who believe it is no longer something God wants or requires, to those who do. Then there are those who want to publish who tithes (and therefore, presumably who doesn’t), and those who tithe to charity rather than a church, and those who give a “double tithe” of 20% rather than 10%.

One thing that my friend Kallie noticed in the discussions about tithing is that the verse from Malachi is usually brought up. If you tithe, God will bless you. And if you don’t tithe, then… well… you get what God gives you. But don’t be surprised if it’s a pocket full of holes.

This then can become either superstitious, or form an entitlement mentality. We gave, now God had better give us something good in return. And this is not the way God works! We deserve nothing but wrath from Him, and He gives us so many wonderful things, all by grace!

But God does exactly what His Word says. And tithing is no exception. God will pour out His blessings on those who tithe.

But as we the church are one body, that blessing might not be seen with our physical eyes. The tithe I give may pour out a blessing on a widow in India, who comes to know the LORD. Or it might be poured out on an orphan in Uganda, who receives physical and spiritual food from Christians serving where he is. Or it might be for a pastor in Russia, who has been toiling for years without breakthrough, or to the backslider in Europe who renews his relationship with God.

God has nothing but good gifts for His children. And when we are obedient, the blessings become even more abundant. And one day, when we see Him face to face, we will know what all those blessings were, and what part of our body saw them in the physical.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

John 2

Zeal for your house will consume me (from verse 17)

Jesus was passionate about His Father’s name, and for His Holy House, His Temple. Jesus was so passionate He took action – decisive action. Jesus did not whine about it, He did not pander to the leaders – He did something, and it restored glory to God’s House.

Am I willing to do the same? Am I willing to act on what I know is wrong in God’s House? Or do I prefer to whine about it? I know the answer – and unfortunately it isn’t the flattering one.

I need to be consumed with zeal for God and His House. I need to make that my primary mission. It requires some massive dying to self, some massive taking up of my cross in order to follow Jesus. I need to fix my eyes firmly on Him, and on Him alone.

It is hard. Sometimes it is terribly hard. But it is worthwhile – amazingly, abundantly worthwhile.

God’s ways always are.

Friday, 11 May 2012

John 1

Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. (From verse 29)

How much do I believe that Jesus takes away the sin of the world? Seriously, how much?

If we believe, it will come out in our actions. It is inevitable. Yet I care so little for the lost, especially those in far off countries. I pray only a little for them. I give little to those who are reaching out to them. And my own preparations to move out to the mission field move slowly, at least in part because of a lack of fiery effort on my own part.

There are so many things waiting to distract us. But if we truly believe what God has said then we will not become distracted. We will reach for the goal with all our efforts, with all our hearts, as part of our service to the Lamb who saved us from sin.

I want to give my life to Him, to making His name known, to making His name great. There is no cause greater, no one greater.

So the question is – how much do I believe? Enough to act? I pray so.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Colossians 4

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. (Verse 2)

Prayer is such a bedrock of the Christian faith. It is how we communicate with God, how we give thanks, how we tell God our needs and receive His direction for our lives.

Yet how little we as Christians pray! How little I pray! If I were to continue merely as I do now, how terribly little I would manage to achieve.

Paul assumes prayer as the starting point for all Christians. And it is something that I am so far behind in, and something that I am tempted to cover up my failures of by comparing myself to others, especially those who God has not blessed as much as He has me. It is an unfair comparison – it causes me to look down on them as “lesser” for what God has chosen to give them; and it builds pride in my heart for something that was merely His gift to me. I need to focus on my own state before God, not that of my peers.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012


Those of you who read here will probably be aware that I am planning on going to Uganda in order to do missions there - particularly with children who have been affected by the HIV crisis. I went on a mission trip with COME Uganda last year in November, and this year, in June, I am going to visit Bushikori, where I have 3 sponsor children. I am really excited in general, but especially about meeting them!

Unfortunately, travelling to Africa is not exactly cheap. My church is mostly made up of international students, but they were pretty appalled by the cost, because it's a LOT more than it costs them to travel back to Singapore or Malaysia etc. With this being my second trip, money was beginning to get a bit tighter, especially as I am hoping to go again in November before looking to move there next in 2013 or 2014. While I work, I was beginning to be concerned about the costs involved, especially as I am also studying this year. I hoped that fundraising would cover enough for me to go on the November trip.

At the beginning, fundraising was really hard. I didn't raise much money, though every bit was welcome. I was working really hard to make every bit I could, mostly by making and selling paintings. A few people gave me small donations.

Last Sunday but one, one of my friends came up to me and handed me $200, from his parents, who have never met me! I was so amazed, and really thanked God for this. But God was not done!

Last Sunday, I was given a few smaller donations and two envelopes and a red packet. I assumed that all three were small donations and a letter (which is what I've mostly gotten before). But the red packet contained a letter and a cheque for... $1000 from a member of my church who wishes to be anonymous, and one of the envelopes contained $800 in cash from a young couple in my church!

I have now covered the airfare and most of the costs invovled with my trip, which means that I do not need to worry so much about being able to afford a trip in November, and can concerntrate on preparing myself to better serve the children I will be working with.

Faithful God!

Monday, 7 May 2012

The Widow’s Mite

I was re-reading this passage recently, and it really struck me.

The widow gave less than the wealthy, but she gave ALL SHE HAD. Every cent she had, she gave to God. That represented her every security, as she probably didn’t have an income (even a small one), or much food in the cupboard. Those few copper coins were literally her whole life.

In contrast, the rich gave merely a small amount of their money. They had money left over. They had resources left over. They had food, and connections, and all that they needed left over, held back from God.

We need to be giving to God our whole lives, not merely a small portion of our largesse. This doesn’t just mean money, though money certainly is a big part of it (big savings account your security anyone?) Are you willing to give up your job for Jesus? Your friends for Jesus?Your family for Jesus?You country for Jesus?

Or are you just throwing in out of your riches?

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Colossians 1

For this I toil, struggling with all His energy that He powerfully works within me (verse 29).

Paul toils – works hard, suffering all the while. He toils, but not in his own strength. No! He toils with the strength and energy that Christ works in him.

I am so prone to working in my own strength, to putting in immense efforts only to wear myself down with all that still remains to be done. I have much reading to do. I need to study. I need to learn Luganda. I have more funds to raise. There is oh so much that awaits my attentions and efforts, and the to-do pile rarely seems to get smaller.

But Christ! How He lifts me up when I let Him! He reminds me that there is only one important thing – loving Him – and that I do not need to worry, but just trust and let Him take care of the details. He is the one who works, in me and through me and through all the circumstances I go through. All I need to do is rest joyfully in Him.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Hudson Taylor

There is a needs-be for us to give ourselves for the life of the world. And easy, non-self-denying life will never be one of power. Fruit-bearing involves cross-bearing. There are not two Christs – an easy-going one for the easy-going Christians, and a suffering, toiling one for exceptional believers. There is only one Christ. Are you willing to abide in HIM, and thus to bear much fruit?

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Philippians 4

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (verse 8)

What do I spend my time thinking about? It is good things, or things that are far from good? And what direction am I moving my thoughts in? Am I heading towards greater purity of thought, or the other way?

My thoughts are not good! I spend time worrying, thinking about gossip, thinking about how people have annoyed me, thinking lustful thoughts or greedy thoughts. It is easy to look at my thoughts and feel appalled. And while that is certainly a valid reaction, it does not capture the massive changes in my thought life that Christ has already wrought and is continuing to do. He is slowly replacing my bad thoughts with His noble one. It is a slow process – my sinful flesh is quick to resist but slow to obey – but it is happening. To God be the glory!