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The Word That Says It All (mgpc 1/9/2013)

The message which God spoke through the prophets makes promises which anticipate the coming of one who would fulfil them.
The message which God spoke through the Lord Jesus Christ is that all of those promises have been kept, and there is nothing more to add.

Psalm 81 (To God Our Strength) and From The Highest Of Heights (Indescribable) anticipate worship which begins with How Firm A Foundation.
After announcements, the prayer of approach and confession will recall the failing by which we look back to that from which we’ve been delivered.
Sovereign Grace O’er Sin Abounding, The Apostles’ Creed and Unto God Be Praise And Honour will be our testimony of faith and assurance.
Jeremiah 36 will recount the futile act of Jehoiakim in resisting God’s words of judgement, even as that judgment is falling.
Recalling the promise of God with us, we’ll sing We’re Not Alone, For Christ Is Here (Never Alone)
Beginning the book of Hebrews with chapter one, verses one to four we are introduced to Jesus, who is so much more than the latest of God’s messengers. God reveals Himself in the Son, not as another stage in His unfolding promise, but as the fulfilment of that promise. The other messengers prepared us for Jesus’ coming. Jesus coming brings final peace with God.
After our pastoral prayer and the giving of our tithes and offerings we’ll conclude worship singing God Has Spoken By His Prophets.

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96 Year Old Widower Enters A Song-writing Contest With A Song About His Late Wife

96-year-old Fred Stobaugh entered a singer-songwriter competition with a composition about his late wife Lorraine, who had died a month earlier after over seventy years of married life.
But Fred is not a singer or musician and submitted only a simple set of lyrics instead of a finished song and recorded performance.
The studio running the competition decided to compose, arrange, produce and professionally record Fred’s song.
The video below tells the story.
A Letter From Fred.
Tissues may be needed about the 6:30 mark and beyond.

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Football Tips – NRL Round 25 / AFL Round 23 2013

The last few weeks have been a bit sad here in tipsville, particularly in the AFL.
While you’d like to think that sides with something to play for would put in an effort at the business end of the season,

NRL (last round 5/8; season tally 119/172)
New Zealand
Saint George

AFL (last round 6/9; season tally 139/192)
Port Adelaide
Essendon (Don’t know why)
West Coast
Gold Coast
Collingwood (But I hope North Melbourne win, Carlton lose and Carlton don’t make the finals.)
Western Bulldogs

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Presbyterian Church of South Australia News, September 2013 ed.

Online edition of the September 2013 edition of the Newsletter of the Presbyterian Church of South Australia posted at the PCSA website.

Devotions from Barry Rossiter and Don Broadwater.
The May 2013 PCSA General Assembly.
New congregation begins in Alice Springs.
Reports from Mount Barker, Mount Gambier, Naracoorte, Millicent, Penola, Seacliff, and Whyalla.
Prayer points.

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Duct Tape Surfing

Compelling and uplifting story of one person’s dreams being realised by the gracious actions of another.
(And duct tape)

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Presbyterian Pulse – August/September 2013 Issue

Aug13_cover-212x300August/September 2013 edition of The Pulse, news magazine of the Presbyterian Church of Australia in the State of New South Wales.
Download or open the pdf here.

The Trustees: So that’s what they do! General Manager Wayne Richards gives a rundown.
Accept Jesus and become right with God: Words of wisdom from 2013/14 Moderator, Colin Langford
The [PCA-NSW] Assembly: What was presented (and decided) at General Assembly 2013.
The news: Vale Rev Doug Murray; celebrations at Rose Bay; same sex marriage
The perspectives: Rev Bruce Christian on the fourth commandment; Rev Chris Balzer on 1 John.
The future: M&M’s Bruce Meller reports on the urgent need to plant churches.
The ministries: Special features from PIM, Social Services and Presbyterian Youth.

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Seven Criteria To Be A (Positive) Agent Of Change

A pastor is an agent of change.
Not all change is growth though.
Some change is deterioration.
Maintenance is a plan for deterioration as well.

Ron Edmondson offers seven criteria to be a positive agent of change.

You have to be willing to fail – Not all change will work. You can strategize and plan, but change at some level involves the risk that it may not work. Are you prepared for that?
You need to be able to withstand criticism – Change invites pushback. Change changes things. (That’s deep, isn’t it?) Change is uncomfortable and people will tell you the degree of discomfort they are feeling. Sometimes in passionate…even mean ways. You’ll feel unpopular at times.
You must evaluate and be willing to adjust accordingly – You can’t be a change agent and equally be a control freak. You are leading people through sometimes muddy waters. You’ll need to solicit buy-in from others. You will need to collaborate. You’ll need to process the success rate of the change and recalibrate as needed.
You have to outlast the opponents of change – When the naysayers show up you’ll have to stand strong to the vision of change for which you believe is worth fighting. It will take longer than you hope it will at times and you’ll have to stand the test of time.
You must think bigger than today – Change is always going somewhere new. Always. So you have to be able to think about the options that aren’t currently on the table. You’ve got to think beyond now and even beyond the most immediate future. You have to look for what others can’t see, choose not to or are afraid to see (or admit).
You have to challenge status quo – That’s the kicker, isn’t it? You have to go against the way things are being done and the way things have always been done. We are talking about change. Get it? Change. That means something is changing. (Oh, such a deep post.) You have to move people from the center on which they’ve grounded themselves.
You have to have a DNA in which to work that is conducive to change – And here’s another kicker. Every church and every organization in which you are called to bring change isn’t wired for change. The fact is that some of those said churches and organizations are going to die…they’ll stall…perhaps for long periods…but they’ll eventually just fade away…and nothing you can say or do will encourage otherwise. In the end, you can’t lead people where they don’t want to go. The sooner you can learn that fact the quicker you can try to be a change agent where change will actually occur.