THE TRACK: GETTING HELP ALONG THE WAY

July 9, 2018

An important aid for navigating our “track” in life is to figure out what we don’t know.  So, how do we do that?  How do we discover, what we don’t know, that we don’t know, so that we avoid, the potholes, and pitfalls, we never saw coming?
 
Solomon’s wisdom (Proverbs 15:22) tells us our “… plans fail for lack of counsel, but
with many advisers, they succeed.”
 
For a variety of reasons, we’re hesitant to seek advice – our ignorance, our pride or our laziness.  And sometimes the advice we seek isn’t from “wise” advisors.
 
Solomon says - “... let the wise listen, and add to their learning, and let the discerning get
guidance” (Proverbs 1:5).

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POTTAGE OR PRIZE

July 3, 2018

Genesis 25 v19-34
Genesis 27 v1-40

Most of us are probably familiar with the story of Esau and Jacob where Jacob’s mother Rebekah tricked her husband Abraham into giving the family birthright to the second son Jacob.
She did this by providing what is called in the NIV bible either red stew or lentil stew to Jacob to give to the near blind Abraham on the pretext that it was being given by his older brother Esau so that Jacob might receive the family birthright.
Esau had previously said, at Jacob’s instigation, that he was prepared to give up his birthright if only he could have some of that red stew.
And so it happened and Esau gave up his birthright.

In the King James version of the bible the stew is called a pottage.
So we can say that Esau gave up the long term prize for a bowl of pottage; short term gain for long term pain.

Have we ever been tempted or succumbed to the lure of the “quick fix” rather than considering the long term consequence; of accepting the pottage rather than the prize?
Jesus didn’t and neither should we.

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THE TRACK - MAKING A DIRECTION CORRECTION

June 24, 2018

When it comes to geography, it’s true that our direction determines our destination.  And much the same is true for our lives.  Even more than our hopes, dreams and even intentions, our direction in life determines our destination.
 
In the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, Solomon says - “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going, and pay the penalty” (Proverbs 22:3).   Both the ‘prudent’ and the ‘simple’ see danger - one responds by changing course, the other keeps going, and hopes that the danger, will never arrive.
 
Solomon’s wisdom is - if we’re on a wrong track, a track in life that won’t lead to our destination, then “take action”.  Step off that track and get on another who’s direction will ensure we reach our destination. 

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THE TRACK - OUR DIRECTION DETERMINES OUR DESTINATION

June 19, 2018

The track of our lives is filled with many twists and turns and it’s not an easy course to navigate on our own.
 
Which is why God has not left us to ourselves.  He’s provided us with the wisdom we need for the journey ahead.  The wisdom of Solomon in Proverbs gives us principles that will keep our heads, our hearts, and our lives on the right track.
 
Proverbs encourages us –
to remember that it’s not enough to have good intentions alone, and
to take intentional steps, in our lives, that will bring those intentions and desires to fruition.

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WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

June 12, 2018

There is power in the words we speak.  In the book of James our tongues are compared to the rudder of a large ship which can steer the ship wherever the pilot wants to go. We need to be wise in the words to choose and we need to be encouraging to one another and realise we are all in this together. We are family. 

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Give It A Rest

June 3, 2018

Message by: Paul Mulroney

Some people say the Bible is a rule book for living. Some rules get special attention. Christians regard the 10 Commandments as pretty important. The 4th Commandment starts by saying “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” Jesus disciples were criticised by the Pharisees for picking grain to eat on the Sabbath. Picking grain was seen by them as work and not in keeping with the holiness of the day. Jesus stood up for his followers. He saw God’s commandments as quite different from a set of rules to follow.
We often assume that there are rules of behaviour that everyone, or at least all Christians, must follow. Most of the time that may be so but is it the approach that Jesus had to rules? Sometimes we are at our most un-Christlike when we want others to follow what we think are the rules.

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20th May 2018 - Pentecost Sunday

May 20, 2018

The Christian life isn't hard, it's impossible. Without the Holy Spirit we can not live the life that God wants for us. We need to be filled everyday with the Holy Spirit so that we can live out the Christian life in all its fullness. 
 

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13th May 2018 - What is our hope?

May 13, 2018

What is our hope?

In 1 Corinthians 13:13 Paul writes “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love”. We talk a lot about faith and love, but not so much about hope. Usually when we do talk about hope it is about hoping that something will happen in the near future. Paul was talking about a different hope all together. What he reffered to is our ultimate hope, the ultimate promise of eternity.

But is it “pie in the sky when we die”? Is our vision of clouds and cherubs? What difference if any does this make to the way that we live our lives?

50 years ago Rev Dr Martin Luther King made a speech that looked at the lack of civil rights for Afro Americans. He spoke of imprisonment and threats to those striving for justice. He concluded his speech with these words:

Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop.

And I don't mind.

Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!

And so I'm happy, tonight.

Are we that kind of happy?

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6th of May 2018 - DON’T GET ANGRY

May 6, 2018

When Jesus asks us to do something that seems unreasonable, even impossible, it’s actually because, he wants us to have, the healthiest, fullest life possible.  The life we were created to have.
 
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said some pretty demanding things, like ‘don’t worry’ and ‘love your enemies’ and ‘don’t get angry’.
 
Of course, we can’t do this stuff on our own, but Jesus reminds us that “with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).  He wants us, to constantly recall our need, for the transforming power, of the Holy Spirit, in our lives.

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29th April 2018 - LOVE YOUR ENEMY

April 30, 2018

In his “sermon on the mount” one of the challenging things Jesus said was - “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.  Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:34). 
 
That’s more than challenging, that seems unreasonable.  We live in a world of anxiety and worry.  Worry about the pace of change and changed expectations.  Worry about human morality, security, international events and the ultimate future of the world.  How can we not worry?
 
Jesus reminds us that we’re not in control of the future, but we can focus on the areas where we can make a difference. 
 
Paul writing to the Philippians reminds us - “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds, as you live in Christ Jesus.”   (Philippians 4:6-7)

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