Friday, February 27, 2009

Engaging... to Engaged... to introducing Mrs Taylor!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Engage #2

How Should I Worship?

In John chapter 4 Jesus speaks with a Samaritan woman. A woman who is a social outcast. A woman who cannot go to the well to collect her water at the same time as the other women in the town for fear of abuse. A woman who finds satisfaction, some would say even her own sense of worship, in sleeping with a lot of men in the town. A woman who looks at the world around her and questions 'How should I worship?'

Lucky for her, the person she has this conversation with is the one true person who can provide the one true answer.
Jesus says to her "a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

And whether we like it or not this answer is one which impacts every part of our lives, every part of how we live.
Jesus explains this new way of worship is different to the old. It is not requiring a particular place or time. This doesnt mean we get to chose whenever we want though, it means its continuous!

So if worship is continuous, what does this look like? (are you picturing someone walking around the office singing songs to God for all to hear?!)
Obviously it means in everything.
Driscoll said something that i found helpful for applying this to the workplace.
Work is worship (ie to the glory of God) and witness (ie showing people you are regenerated).
And how do we work out if we are worshipping with our lives? Driscoll gave us a helpful little formula: glory + sacrifice = worship.
Work out who or what you live for, then work out what sacrifices you make to that position of glory. This is how you know what is most important in your life. And if it isnt God, change it!

Interestingly, Driscoll said as humans, we are all worshipers. We all live for something. Often it is not the one true God.
So are you living in worship or in idolatry?

What do you long for most?
Where do you find comfort?
What do you make sacrifices for?
Who's approval do you seek?

Some of these questions really hit me.Am I really living to please God, or everyone else around me? Even if i ultimately am living to please him, do i really make that sacrifice in every day or do i think about how others may perceive that decision or remark first? Am i carrying out the things i know i want to do in service of Him or is something holding me back?

Meanwhile also as promised, here are a few more pics from JT's bday for you... Crossing the bridge post dinner...

The Deck next to Luna Park for drinks...

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Engage #1

Its August 2008. Winter.
Time is flying by.
With the dawn of each day comes new challenges in work and relationship.
One place of work has remained the same, yet the people that make it up changed dramatically. My place in it evolving each day. What am I doing there? A question remaining - though one aspect quite clear.
Another job begining with the '08 being challenges of a very different kind, but oh so welcomed and oh so important. What Im doing here is much clearer.
How does my relationship with God impact both these work places?
How does my relationship with my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ impact every relationship - from the 5 min telephone call, to the office lunch break, to the children I teach each week, to those i worship with, to those i live with and call my family, to those i call my friends... to everyone i meet?
How does my relationship with the one true Lord impact every single thing i do in my life?
How does my relationship with my Creator impact the decisions I make, or how I make those decisions?
How does my relationship with the true King impact how I spend the money I earn?

It is August 2008 and this weekend I headed to Katoomba for the Engage conference to address/raise these very questions, and more! This is what its about people! Lets make it happen!

It has been a full on weekend, as Mark Driscoll and Don Carson opened scriptures and boldly proclaimed the gospel and boldy challenged us to re-evaluate our lives. I needed it. I was impacted by it. I am praying to my gracious God for change in my life.

For the next few blog posts Im going to share with you one brief but defining point I either learnt or was reminded of this weekend that challenged me or opened my eyes

Point #1: Religion vs. Regeneration.

Religion - following rules, seeing the way of living as the important thing, valuing the rituals and practices of prayer and going to church more than the relationship with God - Religion says "I have to".

Regeneration - or new birth by the Holy Spirit working in you - says "I want to", or even more than that, it says "I get to".
To pray to God. To attend church with his people. to sacrifice things to follow him. To read the Bible and go deeper and deeper into the scriptures. We get to do those things! As a Christian, it becomes a source of job to obey, because these things, these parts of relationship, are a priviledge and a blessing. A gift to be enjoyed and valued and desired. It is never a case of 'have to' when it comes to Jesus, for He has done all that needs to be done. Now it is a case of Praise God, I get to and I want to. How amazing is that! While I knew this, I needed that reminder to change my thinking and my heart so this becomes evident in everything i do and say.

The other thing I am going to do in each of these upcoming posts is include a new photograph I have taken, as this is part of me I wish to share. This posts photos are brought to you by the fun-tastic evening of celebrating JT's birthday last week.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Church Planting

I have decided that Mark Driscoll is a cool guy!
I was lucky enought o be among the thousands who heard him at the Entertainment Centre on wednesday, and I liked what he had to say. This guy is obviously passionate about people coming to know Jesus! And from what i saw on wednesday, he's got the right idea about telling them about Him! Sure, some people may not respond to his brutal honesty and shock tactics, but what I think is great is the way he tinks about the audience he is speaking to - whether 10,000 people or 1 person, he wants to know where they are coming from and what issues they are dealing with and how he can reach them, while still being faithful to the gospel. This is cool!!
I was inspired by his passion for the gospel.

It was fun to hear him 'attack' the Aussie male pushing them to get into gear, and basically concluding they should go plant churches! As funny as it was to listen to, i gotta admit he's got a point. But not just for the Aussie male, but for all of us - lets get into gear and make the most of this life God has given us and share with people the most important thing they will ever hear! At a time when im trying to figure out what i want to do with my life, including what I want to be doing next year, this was a solid reminder. As Driscoll said, Jesus ministry was basically over at about 33 yrs of age. What on earth are we doing mucking around 'waiting' for something to come along. Action is where its at!

Driscoll mentioned he'd be back to chat church planting with us here in Australia sometime soon - and i am looking forward to hearing what light he has to shed! But in the meantime, I thought id check out his blog 'Acts 29' relating to church planting going on in the US.

Check out
this post - it is seriously encouraging - and humbling!! That 7yr old has got the right idea!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Congratulations Rebs and Dan!

A few weeks ago I had the beautiful priviledge of being the maid of honour at the wedding of my dear friends Rebs and Dan. Congratulations guys!! Im so excited for you!!
Rebs looked absolutely stunning. Dan scrubbed up well. The great Lord blessed them with an amazing sunny day (surrounded by heavy rain either side of the day!). The ceremony was beautiful and our great God was glorified. Oh and they had a very cool car too ;)

It was such an honour to share the day with them as they embarked on their new life together. And just so much fun too!!

(I do apologise for the lack of blogging as late, please do stay tunned as i promise to return shortly with a few movie reviews, photos, and a fresh take on the usual ramblings....)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Welcome to the World

My cousin's little baby girl, who was born on Friday the 11th of July.
Isnt she beautiful?! Its at this point when i am so very thankful for the invention of internet and photographs - she lives in NZ and i wont be able to meet her to at least February!
Welcome to the world Ella!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Its not a building, its the people of God.
For the last few years Artarmon Community Church has been meeting in the local primary school. Its a great venue because there's heaps of room to have the main meeting in the school hall and to have the kids running around crazily on the other side of the property without disturbing the parents.
Unfortunately, the school decided it no longer wanted us there, and so the last few months have involved searching for a new place to meet.
This has been quite a struggle, but ive also found it a joy for a couple of reasons...
Firstly, im just excited to be apart of that process in church life. As part of the ministry team there ive have the priviledge to be involved in parts of the decision making regarding what would work best for kids church, and that has just been a really joyful experience for me, having never been apart of something like that before! Its exciting to get a glimpse into the behind the scenes of ministry and be challenged to think about the needs of the church and how to best meet them.
Secondly, its just been such a joy to see how people arent really too concerned about it all. Now dont get me wrong, they obviously have been worried about whether we will actually have somewhere to meet from July onwards, but their trust in God has been so aparent and i think it has ultimately really brought home the fact that church isnt anything to do with where you meet, but the people who are gathered and why. The body of Christ meeting to grow in relationship with Him and honor and praise Him. I have been encouraged by that thought ever since starting work at Atarmon, not only cos it met in a school, but also cos its such a smaller church than my home church, Christ Church St Ives. The community feel at this church is so strong its just so great! And that has shone through as we've searched for our new location, because these people care about encouraging each other in relationship with Christ, and they know they will do that regardless of where they are! Praise God!
And praise God still, for we have now found a new location to meet!! We move there on the 6th of July. Please pray for the move, and thank our gracious God for providing us with this new church building!

I shall leave you with another pic from the weekend away, one depicting our gracious God's beautiful creation!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Back and Blessed!

Housesitting was one of the best experiences ever!
Apart from the crazy cat, who was affectionate but also just pretty much psycho at times, living out of home for a month in a flat in Lane Cove was just the best way to keep my life on track and moving forward - pretty much i got a taste of the independance and freedom ive been craving - and grabbed it by both horns and rode it home baby!

Alas this means now i am home again it will be a bit of a struggle, but i am truely thankful for the way even such a brief experience can strengthen and grow me!

Meanwhile, speaking of growth, the Bible study im apart of this year finally got to have our weekend away toward the end of May - and it was awesome! Singstar, chai lattes overlooking the valley, wanders through funky mountains shops, a look at what the Bible says about spiritual gifts, consuming lots of food, gazing at the amazing book collection in the house we stayed in, and a walk by the three sisters. Not bad! Its great how a weekend together just chillaxing and taking time out of crazy sydney and the life that follows can really grow a group! It was just a great weekend of getting to know each other and overcoming any akwardness which still got in the way of having a completely honest and comfortable Bible study. So Praise God for that!
Plus, it was just sooo good to have a break!! While I love every week of my ministry at Artarmon and the joys and challlenges that accompany it, i have realised that taking a break occassionally actually strengthens that ministry rather than displaying weakness - i came back feeling so refreshed and pumped to get back into it!

Anywho, Im going to go read what Bonhoffer has to say about Disappointment (in 'The Consolations of Theology'), so i will leave you with some pics from the weekend away and return shortly to let you know what i discover....

Friday, May 09, 2008

still alive and blogging...

Hello faithful readers! I just wanted to let you know a new post IS coming, I am just currently housesitting (or rather catsitting?!) at a place that has no internet access so the posts I have up my sleave cant quite make it out just yet..... watch this space and ill get some happening again asap!

Speaking of housesitting though, its great! Ok, so the cat can be a little psycho sometimes, but that can be entertaining....when its not involving the fear of her jumping on my head in the middle of the night! It is the first time ive lived out of home, and its great to have a bit of space and freedom! Very thankful for this experience!

In other news, the job at Artarmon (...did I ever actually tell you all about that? well im working part time at Artarmon Community church with the kiddies...) is going well, and ive taken on a Scripture class thursday mornings now, which is just such a joy! I decided yesterday thats Thursdays are just one of the best days! Thats the day I have off my HR job and have Scripture in the morning, occassionally followed by a coffee with someone from church, then a lunch time group at a high school where we get to chew the fat and get deep into God's word with a great bunch of kids; followed by a prep for friday & sunday ministries. While I love every bit of my job at Artarmon, Ive just really been loving the challenges and joys of having a day like thursday! Praise God - what a blessing!

ok, really gotta get back to work now....