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


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Develop A Gospel Response Plan (via Tim Brister)

Another summer in Australia includes public service television spots reminding everyone in rural areas to have a plan to deal with bushfire emergencies.
After the fire has broken out it’s too late to develop a plan about how you’re going to respond to the threat.
Tim Brister reflects on the lessons Christians can learn from these warnings in the intentional development of a personal Gospel Response Plan.
The plan deals with two certainties of life: someone will sin against you; and you will sin against someone else.
When it’s happened is not the best time to work out what you’re going to do.
It’s far better to have thought it out before hand, and then work yourself through the steps of a gospel-centered response in everyday situations where your fallen nature might otherwise provoke you to respond in non-gospel ways.
This is personal because you know best the situations where you are most likely to react in ways that don’t display the love of Jesus.

An excerpt:

You are sinner living in a fallen world. You are going to be hurt, betrayed, frustrated, prideful, annoyed, judgmental, pitiful, and so much more. It’s going to happen. But are you going to be trained as a follower of Jesus Christ to know, almost instinctively, how to respond with the gospel through premeditated prescriptions of specific ways to walk in repentance and faith?
Perhaps what we need to do each morning is prepare ourselves with some “gospel drills”. Think about one possible situation a gospel response will be required of you. For example, you are at a restaurant and your server is extremely slow and the food is cold. The server asks you if there is anything else you need, and you are tempted to treat her like her actions deserve. But instead, you respond by saying, “Thank you for serving me today, and by the way, as I pray over my food I would like to know if there is anything I can pray for you about?” Who knows? The server may already be feeling guilty and embarrassed by their service and surprised by your gracious response. They could be going through a terrible crisis in their lives, and they open up to you and provide opportunity to minister to them (and perhaps introduce them to Jesus).
Why that gospel drill? Because you will get bad service and cold food. You will be tempted to act out of the old Adam and not out of the risen Christ.

Read the whole post at Tim Brister.


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One Of Many Privileges This Week

A final blessing in a week full of fellowship and fruitfulness was attending the last Code Committee meeting chaired by Rev Dr Paul Logan, retiring Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Australia.
Paul is a wonderful example in serving Jesus, the Gospel, and the Church.
Contact with him has always been an encouragement.

Now it’s time to go home.


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Prepared to Lay Down His Life for His Flock* (via Bondia Timor-Leste)

Gary Ware:

Mount Gambier Presbyterian Church will give thanks for Manuel’s life this Sunday and consider how we may offer practical help to his widow and children.

Originally posted on Bondia Timor Leste:

*The title of this post is the heading for an article published in the third edition of BondiaTL (published before the blog came into existence).

The minute you met Evangelist Manuel Rodriquez, you were struck by the radiance of the smile which took up the whole face of one of the smallest men you have ever met (not even reaching 5 feet high).

The second he opened his mouth to speak, you would recognise that here is a man who is passionate for life and the gospel of the Lord Jesus.

My memory vividly recalls him asking a question one day in a teaching seminar. Ev. Manuel asked, “what should I do when one of my neighbours gives me a gift of a picture of Mary or one of the saints?” The reply came back that he could give them a copy of the Gospel of Mark in Tetun. At…

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The ‘Immanuel Mantra’

No, it’s not mumbo jumbo.
It’s a simple and clear Gospel introduction based on three points.
1. I’m a complete idiot.
2. My future is incredibly bright.
3. Anyone can get in on this.
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Real Christmas Shines In The Darkest Of Places

This poem by Glenn Scrivener expresses something of what we’ve been experiencing lately.
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The full text of the poem is at the youtube page.


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Be Strong And Courageous – An Update On Jozua

Yesterday’s late evening update from Jozua’s mother contained the news that sedation is being reduced, but he has not yet regained consciousness; some bodily movements have been observed, which is good news primarily because it seems to indicate no paralysis; concerns for restoration of normal bodily functions and protection against infections continue; and that in their new relationships and contacts lots of people are finding out where the Zwijnenburgs are getting the strength for this season from.
They’re thankful for prayers and numerous tokens of support that are being received in Adelaide.
And they commend James 1:2-4, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” as a text that is providing great encouragement to them.

This song is pretty much our staple at the moment.


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A Time Of Lament

Today has closed with a prayer meeting at which our church prayed for the preservation and healing of a twelve-year-old who has severe head trauma as a result of being hit by a car while he was riding to school this morning.
His family are with him in Adelaide.
We are in Mount Gambier 450 kilometres away.
The next 48 hours are considered vital.

Our collective sense of longing for the return of the Lord Jesus has grown very real.
It is such a privilege to sit and listen to the prayers of a church for an hour and experience their ministry to the soul.

We also found comfort in the truths expressed by the answer to this question which begins the Heidelberg Catechism.
It is a comfort which this family have, and which sustains us all in times such as these.

Question.
What is thy only comfort in life and death?
Answer.
That I with body and soul, both in life and death,
am not my own,
but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ;
who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins,
and delivered me from all the power of the devil;
and so preserves me
that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head;
yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation,
and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life,
and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.

And songs like help as well.