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Differences Between Geeks And Nerds Explained

This infographic is very helpful.
You may need to squint, but if you’re a geek or a nerd that shouldn’t be a problem.

The page from which it came at Geekdad no longer seems to exist.
They credit this website for the image.


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Who Am I? – Sunday Songs

Had the privilege of preaching at a meeting for the combined churches hosted by the pastors of Mount Gambier tonight.
Another privilege is knowing that the theme of a sermon which emphasises faith in the resurrected Christ and living lives of sacrificial love in Christian community is part of the hearts of the leaders of the Churches in this town.
Matthew, another one of the local pastors, was able to lead in song and as part preparation for my preach he sang a song recorded by the group Casting Crowns called Who Am I?
It may not suit congregational singing (but then again, it might), but it is a very good song to listen to.
I don’t have any Casting Crowns in my music collection, but I think I’ll look them out.
Sadly their website doesn’t seem to handle their own albums for download.
The lyrics.
1.
Who am I?
That the Lord of all the earth,
Would care to know my name,
Would care to feel my hurt.
Who am I?
That the bright and morning star,
Would choose to light the way,
For my ever wondering heart.
Prechorus:
Not because of who I am.
But because of what you’ve done.
Not because of what I’ve done.
But because of who you are.
Chorus:
I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow.
A wave tossed in the ocean,
A vapor in the wind.
Still you hear me when I’m calling,
Lord you catch me when I’m falling,
And you told me who I am.
I am yours.
I am yours.
2.
Who am I?
That the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love
And watch me rise again
Who am I?
That the voice that calm the sea,
Would call out through the rain,
And calm the storm in me.
Prechorus:
Not because of who I am.
But because what of youve done.
Not because of what I’ve done.
But because of who you are.
Chorus:
I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow.
A wave tossed in the ocean,
A vapor in the wind.
Still you hear me when I’m calling,
Lord you catch me when I’m falling,
And you told me who I am.
I am yours.
Prechorus:
Not because of who I am.
But because of what you’ve done.
Not because of what I’ve done.
But because of who you are.
Chorus:
I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow.
A wave tossed in the ocean,
A vapor in the wind.
Still you hear me when I’m calling,
Lord you catch me when I’m falling,
You told me who I am.
I am yours.
I am yours.
Bridge/Outro:
Whom shall I fear?
Whom shall I fear?
‘Cuz I am yours.
I am yours.

Words and Music: Mark Hall
(c) 2003 Club Zoo Music (adm by EMI Christian Music Publishing)
All rights reserved.


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Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 18

Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 18

Q & A 66
Q What is that union which the elect have with Christ?
A The union which the elect have with Christ is the work of God’s grace,*1 whereby they are spiritually and mystically, yet really and inseparably, joined to Christ as their head and husband;*2 which is done in their effectual calling.*3

Q & A 67
Q What is effectual calling?
A Effectual calling is the work of God’s almighty power and grace,*4 whereby (out of his free and special love to his elect, and from nothing in them moving him thereunto)*5 he doth, in his accepted time, invite and draw them to Jesus Christ, by his Word and Spirit;*6 savingly enlightening their minds,*7 renewing and powerfully determining their wills,*8 so as they (although in themselves dead in sin) are hereby made willing and able freely to answer his call, and to accept and embrace the grace offered and conveyed therein.*9

Q & A 68
Q Are the elect only effectually called?
A All the elect, and they only, are effectually called:*10 although others may be, and often are, outwardly called by the ministry of the Word,*11 and have some common operations of the Spirit;*12 who, for their wilful neglect and contempt of the grace offered to them, being justly left in their unbelief, do never truly come to Jesus Christ.*13

Q & A 69
Q What is the communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ?
A The communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ, is their partaking of the virtue of his mediation, in their justification,*14 adoption,*15 sanctification, and whatever else, in this life, manifests their union with him.*16

*1 Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 2:6-7.
*2 1 Corinthians 6:17; John 10:28; Ephesians 5:23, 30.
*3 1 Peter 5:10; 1 Corinthians 1:9.
*4 John 5:25; Ephesians 1:18-20; 2 Timothy 1:8-9.
*5 Titus 3:4-5; Ephesians 2:4-5, 7-9; Romans 9:11.
*6 2 Corinthians 5:20; 2 Corinthians 6:1-2; John 6:44; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14.
*7 Acts 26:18; 1 Corinthians 2:10, 12.
*8 Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 36:26-27; John 6:45.
*9 Ephesians 2:5; Philippians 2:13; Deuteronomy 30:6.
*10 Acts 13:48.
*11 Matthew 22:14.
*12 Matthew 7:2; Hebrews 6:4-6.
*13 John 12:38-40; Acts 28:25-27; John 6:64-65; Psalm 81:11-12.
*14 Romans 8:30.
*15 Ephesians 1:5.
*16 1 Corinthians 1:30.


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World Reformed Fellowship Meeting In Sydney, April 2012 (via John Wilson)

As previously noted, the Directors of the World Reformed Fellowship gathered in Sydney over the past couple of weeks for various functions. As a church which has been humbled by the generosity of welcome which we have received when we’ve travelled abroad, Mount Gambier Presbyterian took the opportunity to invest in welcoming these brothers and sisters.
I had chosen not to make the trip over, and given events here this week that’s been a great decision.
John Wilson, did the lion’s share of the organising and thanks go to him.
Here he provides a report on some aspects of the visit.

We only have relationship with one ecumenical body – the World Reformed Fellowship
As Convener of the Relations With Other Churches Committee for the PCA I am reporting to all congregations on the recent meetings of the WRF in Sydney. Please distribute widely …

I’ve had the most amazing time here for the last eight days in Sydney with compassionate and clear thinking theologians and leaders from around the world. Picture sitting around a 40 seat board table and hearing discussions and prayers and project reports from reformed Christians of different cultures and tongues.
For example, there are Brazilians here – easy to warm to. Really passionate about Christ and reformed faith. They are from one of the strongest churches in Sth America: IPB (Presbyterian Church in Brazil). Mother tongue: Portuguese. One million members – strong allegiance to their confession of Faith … the Westminster Confession. Their personality is WARM, their devotion: strong.
So, for one part of the debate you hear truth expressed with a Latin American nuance, then the South Korean directness, followed by a Texan drawl, Scottish conservatism, then a perspective from Indonesia and, after a pause, a beautiful and heart-felt powerful plea from Uganda. Wonderful mix. I’m enriched by all this. I’m learning more about reformed faith as felt and experienced in Seoul, Kampala, Sao Paulo, Dallas, Dehra Dun, etc.
I have learnt so much about God’s work through the gospel of grace in different places throughout the world. I am strengthened by reminding myself that I am a world Christian. I’m hearing of global strategies and world-wide experiences that assist me in doing the work of the gospel within my own context. Global blessings that strengthen local work. I’ve learnt a new word “glocal” (think about the previous sentence!).
I’m still amazed at the ability of Dr Diane Langberg and her mercy ministries to develop strategies and to plea for the church’s help for those across the world who have been victims of terrible trauma, whether that be the result of sexual abuse, trafficking, natural disasters or cultural madness. At some stage I strongly recommend you listen to Diane’s addresses. Moves me to action. YOU REALLY MUST listen to her address … when the full version is up on the internet, I will let you know where. It should appear on the website for the Presbyterian Church in America website, under Christian Education and Resources page and under Mercy Ministries conference, March 2012, but it’s not up there yet.
There are many other projects which are continuing under the auspices of WRF, and, as they come to completion I will let you know.
The WRF board members, and some wives, have really enjoyed the setting – think Phillip Island CYC campsite  … but on the coast, with fully serviced hotel rooms looking out over the Pacific Ocean. And to think that we had this whole campsite (500 accommodation) to ourselves because of school holidays followed by Anzac Day. So peaceful! Providential timing because I was not aware of this when I booked.
On the final night we held a PCA welcome Dinner at the Nth Sydney Harbourview Hotel. Although there were some last-minute hitches (ask Peter Barnes) … the night went VERY well. We invited about 20 PCA leaders such as the Principal at PTC, 3 former Moderator-Generals, the present Moderator-General, the Assembly Clerk and Deputy, Director of Missions – all with wives – to help make the WRF team feel welcome. They all did a great job and especially Robert Benn who gave a masterful presentation on the life and ministry of John Flynn and the AIM. And David Jones’ preaching to conclude. All the WRF team enjoyed this night and saw it as a highlight of the whole week. I’m sure they have been blessed and strengthened by having spent some time with the PCA. They also enjoyed the fact that it was Anzac Day and they were eager to understand the meaning of it.
Next year the Board will meet in Pretoria and then the whole General Assembly in 2014 will meet most likely in Brazil.
And interesting conversations led to developing relationships and the potential for new ventures. To give you two examples:

1.  The chief representative minster (CEO) – called President – of one million Brazilian Presbyterians and the Convener of their Ecumenical Relations Committee spent time talking with me. They were impressed with the welcome given them and the quality of PCA reformed church leadership exemplified at the Dinner. They want to pursue a path that would lead to mutual inter-church recognition and acceptance and then to seek ways in which this relationship could further the course of Gospel ministry. Things like allowing their missionary ministers who are not strong in English come for English-speaking training in Australia before being sent to other parts of the world. Also mentioned was the possibility of sharing and strengthening the work in Portuguese speaking Timor Leste. We don’t predict how the relationship between the IPB and PCA will develop. These are just ideas … but such a fruitful conversation.
2.  Former President of Chongshin University and Seminary (South Korea) Rev Dr In Whan Kim and his associate Dr Lee sought me out for conversation. They have a burden for Australian Korean Presbyterian leadership, in that there are many “loosely called” Presbyterian Korean congregations in Australia being pastored by largely untrained pastors. Their desire is to see pastors trained here and to see 2nd generation young leadership from their congregations trained. Their concept is to start a theological school here, staffed in part by an approved and qualified Korean lecturer and partly … as an adjunct ministry to one of our PTCs … by PCA personnel.

Now, no one is sure where these two projects will go … but the point I’m making is that the reputation of PCA is such that Presbyterian leaders from overseas are seeking us out to do Gospel work alongside of us and that these developing projects are occurring because of the World Reformed Fellowship. It is WRF that is bringing Christian leaders together with a view to sharing resources so that in some small but significant way, the strengths of some may become the strengths of many.

Thank you to the PCA, the PCV and to Mt Gambier Presbyterian Church, for sponsoring this visit. Money very well spent.

John
(Convener of Relations With Other Churches Committee, PCA)


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Expanded Hearts And New Seasons

Expanded Hearts And New Seasons.
All it took was a phone call.
Ben rang at 4.02 pm on Monday. The call lasted one minute. A boy. Born at 3.01pm. Elijah Gary Loef. 7 pound 3 oz. 52 cm long. Mother and baby well.
We exchanged a few words more, and then Ben had more phone calls to make.
I’d pulled to the side of the road to take the call.
And, as I prepared to drive away, something happened that I’d never experienced before.
I felt my heart, my love and affection, expand and grow larger.
I knew in that instant, quite certainly, that there was a human being who I’d never met, but whom I was quite certain that I loved.
That’s never happened to me exactly like that before.
Sometimes love has grown. It flows from meeting and getting to know someone and having your hearts knit together.
Other times love has instantly met the object of its affection. I’ve been present for the birth of my children, heard their first cries, and the object of new love was right before me.
But this time it was different. Rather than the relationship preceding love, or the relationship and love beginning together, for three hours on Monday night love preceded the relationship.
That capacity in humans must be an aspect of what we call the image of God. To have the love without having yet encountered love’s object reminds me of the love which God always had for His people, for us, before we even existed.
God first loved us, we read, and the beginning of that love is not marked by our first meeting God, or by our birth, or by our conception. That love has always fully existed as part of God’s nature.
Our frail hearts grow and expand into love. Thank God we are not limited to the ability to love with which we are born, or that of our early years.
Little Elijah will learn to return his parents love, and his heart will grow to love them, and others, and, we trust and pray, he’ll love God through knowing the redeeming love of Jesus.
But the love of God has never grown, it has always eternally and consistently been there.
That love is united with God’s perfect will, by which all of creation, and each part of creation has been brought into being.
That love has been demonstrated in His sending His Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Three hours later I met Elijah Loef for the first time and my affection finally beheld its object.
Margaret and I rejoice in Ben and Kathryn expanding our hearts, and our family, even as they start their own.
For us it’s another new season, one in which our hearts will expand through the lives of those we love.
But we’re blessed in that the God, whose heart is beyond expansion, whose love is infinite, has from before all time purposed to lavish that love on us.


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The Words A Pastor Wants To Hear After A Funeral (via Brian Croft)

I’ll never forget the feeling; a small funeral early in my pastoral ministry, perhaps one of the first few I conducted.
Afterwards a couple came up to me and said something to me that has informed every funeral I’ve conducted since.
Brian Croft’s post reminded me again.

Sunday evening, I preached a funeral of an unbeliever with many other unbelievers present. When conducting a funeral in this environment, you never know what kind of feedback you will hear. I hear a variety of statements that are met to encourage me and sometimes I am just met with a scowl. But what should be the words we long to hear more than any others after a funeral?
I heard them from a very unlikely source. A burly man with a bushy beard and a long pony tail had already left, but I saw that he came back in specifically to talk with me. I must be honest, I had no idea what I would hear. What I heard was a great, unexpected encouragement to me. Let me first tell you what he did not say. He did not say, “You spoke very well about the deceased, or you accurately portrayed him though you did not personally know him, or you spoke in a very articulate way.” These are all encouraging words to hear, but should not be what most encourage us. The man said none of these things. He simply shook my hand, pulled me close and said,
“Pastor, thank you for preaching the gospel.”
Then, he turned around and walked away. A gift from God was this man. In an environment you expect to anger some people, God was so gracious to bring this bearded burly man to minister to my soul in that moment.
Pastors, my challenge to each of us is this: ”What words do we long to hear the most?” I will be the first to admit. I like hearing strangers praise me for speaking well or creatively represent a man I did not personally know, or that I articulate words of which were easy to listen. Yet, these all point to us and fed our ego often times in an unhelpful way.
Although my pride is always tempted to be fed in these moments of encouragement whenever they come, I can honestly say, by far the most meaningful words I heard came in the form of a really hairy servant of Christ who reminded me what really matters in those moments when the sting of death is so real and Christ is all we have.
Pastors, honestly, what words do you long to hear the most after a funeral or even after you preach on Sunday?

Now, in a smallish town, approaching a decade of funerals, the message needs to be presented in different ways.
Can’t just preach one sermon a couple of hundred times. Can’t recycle ten outlines over and over with some tweaking, the way you are (justifiably) able to in big cities.
The same people keep turning up. They’ve heard it before.
But every time the reality of the comfort God offers by trusting that Jesus has settled our rebellion against God by receiving God’s punishment needs is affirmed.
In slightly different ways, and in ways they’ve been unlikely to have heard it before.
And then, afterwards, not every time, someone will come and say ‘Thankyou for sharing the Gospel.’