mgpcpastor's blog

reports, reviews, thoughts, news (and fun) posted by Gary Ware

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Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 16

Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 16

Q & A 29
Q How are we made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ?
A We are made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ, by the effectual application of it to us by his Holy Spirit.*1

*1 Titus 3:4-7.

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Preaching In The Light Of Eastertide (via Will Willimon)

The actions of Easter are the message the preacher and the church celebrate week by week:
The purpose of the church and its ministry, the most important thing that pastors do, is preach. All your theological training – all for the purpose of giving you the guts to make an apocalyptic announcement: God has won a great victory. The bloody, crucified Lamb rules. Join up, or else stay stupidly out of step.
If you go to church tomorrow I trust you’ll hear that.
From Will Willimon.

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Full Of Grace And Power (preparing for mgpc 19/4/2015)

Songs of preparation: Now Open Wide The Gates (Psalm 118), All Heaven Declares, and Rejoice, The Lord Is King!
Call to worship:
Prayer of Approach and Confession: Asking that God will continue to give us open eyes to behold the risen Lord Jesus the one who was rejected, but who is the foundation of salvation.
Song of assurance, confession of faith, doxology: All I Have Is Christ; the Apostles’ Creed; Now To Him Who Loved Us.
Consecutive reading: Ezekiel 4: 1 – 17, Ezekiel symbolically portrays the coming final siege of Jerusalem and the punishment of Judah (realized in 587-86BC).
Bible memorisation: Isaiah 53:7.
Praise: Yours Is The Glory!
Reading: Acts 6:7-15
Sermon: Soon the Gospel will be carried to all the world. First, a faithful man will be persecuted on account of that faith.
Pastoral prayer, tithes and offerings.
Departing praise: Far And Near (Say It Loud)..

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Footy Tipping 2015 – NRL Round 7 / AFL Round 3

So, where were we?
AFL needs another week or two for everything to settle down. Apparently five was reasonable last week.
NRL. Yeah. I still got nothing with the NRL.

NRL (last round 4/8; season tally 24/48)
Gold Coast
North Queensland

AFL (last round 5/9; season tally 9/18)
Port Adelaide

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There’s Only One Way To See The Risen Lord Jesus

I’ve been continuing in post-easter mode with articles for the Border Watch.
Next week will have a remembrance theme.
I’m conscious that not everyone will read all of these, so even though themes overlap they have to stand on their own.
I’m also working on the idea that there will be a committed readership that identify as Christian. It may be larger than the readership among those who don’t.
A distinct part of the discipline of these is the title. It’s an area that I struggle with.
I was working under ‘A Singular Perception Of The Risen Lord Jesus’.
The editor decided on ‘Individual Perception Varies Resurrection View’.

Do you remember ‘dress-gate’ back in late February? It seemed like everyone on the internet was arguing about a picture of a dress that some people believed was blue with black highlights, while others, seeing the same picture, were adamant the dress was white with gold features.
Twitter exploded with whiteandgold and blueandblack hashtags, families and friends were divided, celebrities weighed in with their opinions via social media, and those with qualifications in Vision Sciences had a rare time in the spotlight (so to speak).
The best explanation seemed to be that colour was a construct of our brains and vision, with light, past experiences and other factors accounting for the differences in perception.
People can look at the same object and truly be correct in their own minds when they see it with completely different colours.
There are some people who propose a similar view about the resurrection of Jesus. The assertion is made that resurrection didn’t mean returned from the grave free from the power of death; but rather it meant that Jesus’ followers aimed to adopt his teaching and attitudes in their own lives and actions, and by so doing continue his ‘life’.
The argument would observe that the concept of resurrection and Jesus’ return are a metaphor for this shared conviction.
Everyone else would see an occupied tomb, but the disciples of Jesus perceived an empty one. With both being ‘right’ in their own minds.
The problem with this particular theory is that both the text of the Bible and the actions of the disciples seem to go out of their way to disprove it.
In Luke’s gospel, among others, the risen Lord Jesus is described in physical terms, able to be touched and eating food. It was not an idea or philosophy that came forth from the tomb, it was a person.
Similarly, in the Acts of the Apostles, the teaching of the disciples was about meeting the risen Jesus, not adopting a moral code or ethical precepts. Time and again, we observe the aim of their work was to see people in relationship with Jesus, not reform society.
Sometimes you might hear people say that they’re Christians because they keep the ten commandments, went forward at a rally, go to church every Sunday, or have lived a good life. If these are the only reasons folk think they’re a Christian or going to heaven, they’re not actually following that which the Bible teaches and the early Christians stressed.
The early church wanted to make sure people wouldn’t falsely fall into the idea that Christianity was whatever people wanted to make it to be. They guarded against the idea it was all a matter of perception.
Perhaps you’ve mistakenly been thinking that Christians are all about a moral and ethical values based on the teaching of Jesus. If that’s been the case please reconsider, and, instead, consider that Christianity is all about meeting the risen Lord Jesus.

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Almighty God by Sandra McCracken

I’m still listening to Sandra McCracken‘s new album Psalms.
Having featured We Will Feast In The House Of Zion on Monday, here’s Almighty God.

The lyrics:
Almighty God to you all hearts are open
Search and know our thoughts and anxious fears
Wash us in the fountain of your mercy
Come with your light, we cannot hide from you

Almighty God to you all hearts are open
With gratitude we raise our song to you
Come and fill the praises of your people
In grace and truth, you make us new again

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah

Almighty God to you all hearts are open
We long for more than what this world provides
No shallow spring will ever satisfy us
Your river deep floods over everything (Chorus)

To you all hearts are open, Almighty God… (Chorus)

Written by Sandra McCracken, Leslie Jordan and David Leonard
© 2015 Drink Your Tea (ASCAP) / Integrity’s Praise! Music/BMI (adm worldwide at, excluding the UK which is adm by Integrity Music, part of the David C Cook family.
Here’s a live video recording featuring co-writers All Sons & Daughters.

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The Gospel Coalition Australia Website Now Online

11150183_963581983665497_1577576391101532645_nThe Gospel Coalition Australia‘s website is online.
There’s been an effort to launch with a reasonable amount of content already available, so it remains to be seen what sort of ongoing frequency new material is published. I’d expect pretty much daily from the panel of contributors listed, but we’ll see.
Some of the contributors I know from their own online presences, but most look like newbies.
Whereas the US version of the Coalition adopted a number of existing blogs that doesn’t seem to be the case at its OZ counterpart.
One main difference is that there are no evangelical rockstars or celebrities in the GCOZ.
I think that what’s written will be more reflective of, and applicable to, life in small to medium size churches facing the challenge of sharing the good news about Jesus in a secular land.