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MGPC Sale Of Gifts 2014

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The 2014 Sale Of Gifts is our annual followup to Harvest Thanksgiving.
Everything from yesterday and a ridiculous amount more gets sold off.
This year all the proceeds are going toward the widows’ diaconal fund in East Timor.
We just sold a tub of Cherry Ripe Icecream for $19.
A tub of Mars Bar just went for $31.
Now a husband and wife are bidding against each other.
Lots of laughter, and not a bargain to be had really.

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Vending Machine Pizza

I love pizza, but I’m not sure about this.
Which is not the same thing as saying I wouldn’t buy one.
And I’ve just realised this blog didn’t have a pizza category.
An oversight now remedied.

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Jason Segal & Neal Patrick Harris Sing Impromptu Rendition Of The Confrontation From Les Misérables

At the tail end of some sort of a How I Met Your Mother Q&A an audience member asks Segal and Harris to reprise The Confrontation from Les Misérables.

I think life would be amazing if we constantly broke into musical scenes.
Oh, that actually happens a lot at our place.
My youngest daughter was saying on Saturday that we are such a nerdy family.
I guess this is further evidence of that.

This also reminds me of how much better the Les Misérables movie might have been if they’d hired an actor who could sing the part.
Sorry Russell.

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His Eye Is On The Sparrow – Sunday Songs

Okay, so His Eye Is On The Sparrow is not the most accessible of congregational songs.
Civilla D. Martin’s song invites plenty of singers to engage in vocal gymnastics rather than allow the heartfelt simplicity of the lyrics and basic melody to do their work.
Chelsea Moon led it at Preachers & Pastors conference and her acoustic presentation worked wonderfully well.
The chorus is delightful.
The lyrics.
Why should I feel discouraged,
why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely,
and long for heav’n and home,
When Jesus is my portion?
My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know He watches me.
And I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know that He watches me.
“Let not your heart be troubled,”
His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness,
I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth,
but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know that He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know that He watches me.
3 Whenever I am tempted,
whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing,
when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him,
from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know that He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know that He watches me. [Refrain]

Have a listen.

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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 13

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 13

Q. Why is he called God’s only begotten Son, since we also are God’s children?
A. Because Christ alone is God’s own eternal Son, whereas we are accepted for his sake as children of God by grace.

Q. Why do you call him our Lord?
A. Because, not with gold or silver but at the cost of his blood, he has redeemed us body and soul from sin and all the dominion of the devil, and has bought us for his very own.

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Putting Our Privileges Into Practice (preparing for mgpc 30/3/2014)

Our worship this week will also give special thanks to God for his provision and care for us, particularly in food and natural resources.

The Lord’s My Shepherd (Psalm 23) and He Is Exalted are songs of preparation, with Let All Things Now Living commencing worship.
After our responsive call to worship and prayer of confession, the song of assurance is My Heart Is Filled With Thankfulness and our corporate affirmation of faith are the Apostles’ Creed and Praise And Honour To The Father.
Hearing from God’s Word, John 8:1-30 declares himself to be the light of the world.
Hebrews 9:28 is our new memory verse, after which we sing We Plough The Fields And Scatter.
Reading from Hebrews 10:19-25 we’ll consider the writer to the Hebrews instruction to put our privileges into practice.
The access and advocacy we have before the Father should bring us near, cause us to hold fast, and live out God’s love.
After the pastoral prayer we’ll give our tithes and offerings then conclude worship singing Not To Us/Receive The Glory.

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Thoughts On Day Three: Tim Keller Planters & Pastor’s Conference

The third and final day of Planters & Pastors consisted of two sessions, so we were done by 1.00pm
The first session was Keller’s concluding address, this time on Grace Renewal Dynamics, and the second contained a Q & A, some thankyous and a final ‘charge’ by Keller.

I’m very conscious of preached messages that fail to root applications and imperatives in what Jesus has done for us.
This was helpful in encouraging me to think more clearly about how what Jesus has done for us specifically meets various reasons or impulses for not doing what he would have us do.
It’s goes beyond, ‘instead of running on the you fuel, now you can run on the Jesus fuel’, and brings out the theme of seeing people ‘changed in their seats’ as you demonstrate how what Jesus has done overwhelms and frees us from what inhibits and bring us into particular freedom.
Very helpful, I don’t know these notes demonstrate that well.
Some more general thoughts next week.

On Grace Renewal Dynamics
Keller opened with characterisations from Augustine, Luther and Calvin.
Augustine: anything you love more than God you will crush it with your expectations and it will break your heart. Eg marriage. If wife more important than God, anger and guilt will mount from expectations that will damage the relationship.
Martin Luther: When God says you shall have no other gods before me, he means you must believe in justification by faith alone.
Calvin: you can’t turn faith into a defacto work.

Look at Romans 1-3. Romans 1 paganism/relativistic way; Romans 2 obedience/legalistic way.
Contrast Gospel with both moralism and relativism.
Moralism and legalism are not poles with Gospel in the middle, Gospel is polar with the other two.
Dick Lucas – sermon on the mount. Jesus contrasts two ways to live, both are doing the same actions, the motives and expectations are different. It’s not about doing, it’s about why.
In gospels two groups, one gets the Gospel. The ones who know it’s about repentance for why they were doing what they were doing.
Both sons love the father’s things. They are both alienated from the father. One claims before death, the other waiting.
The older brother is angry. An ongoing condition. Failed elder brother syndrome: trying to same themselves by works but can’t live up to their own standards.

Applications need to grounded in what Jesus has done for you.

Go into the heart. Why do we fail to share gospel? What people think about us is too important. Who cares what the peasants think about you when you have the love of the King?
Does our preaching feed/nurture elder brothers and failed elder brothers or bring change to them?
You have to become a model yourself.
You’re not angry, chief repenter in the congregation, open to different people,
Nurture – don’t create a two tiered church, those you think are Christian enough and those who you think are not, wait for them to tell you.

Three basic ideas in preaching
1. Preach Christ as the way to obey every command.
‘if you understand the Gospel you will be generous – fear and pride inhibit.’ Only safe in God, only status in God. Never just hit will, always go to heart and show how deeper grasp on Jesus brings freedom and change.
2. Preach Christ as the resolution of every cultural narrative.
In Christ you get a meaning suffering can’t take away. Christianity gives an identity that can’t crush you. Christianity gives you an identity not based on performance so diversity flourishes. Christianity through contemplation gives love, not tranquillity. Christianity gives a view of sex that doesn’t lead to loneliness. Christianity acknowledges how discontented you are. Take a place where the culture is weak, and where culture can’t fill, and shows how Christ does. Christians have a sense of justice that is consistent and doesn’t turn them into oppressors.
3. Preach Christ as the climax of every biblical theme.
(How many biblical themes are there really? Don Carson knows.) Covenant, king, marriage, promise, etc.

Here’s his final devotion. Given to a room full of people desiring great things for the Gospel in Australia.

Luke 10:17-20
Martin Lloyd-Jones – quotes Luke 10:20 at the end of life, when asked about being ‘on the shelf’.
The universal call to mission.
Who are the 72 who returned with joy? 12 sent out, then 72 sent out same charge.
Why 72 (or 70)? Equals the table of nations. Sending out the whole church.
We’re all in mission.
God never calls people in to bless them without sending them out to be a blessing.
Abram. Isaiah 6. Peter fishers of men.
They come back, demons submit to Jesus’ name. It works.
Satan falls, power given, don’t rejoice in this.
What’s wrong with being excited? Nothing especially. Rather Jesus is talking about the boast. The ritual boast. (Keller hasn’t seen a haka, I think) The foundation for your confidence.
Where is the confidence? That our name is in the Lamb’s book of life.
That never wasn’t. Here’s what I rejoice in, my name is already there.
Your name is written over the heart of Jesus. Like the high priest’s ephod.
You can be on the shelf.
You can have a bad year.
Or so much more.
Moses sought forgiveness for the people on the basis of his own name being blotted out.
Jesus is the ultimate Moses. He was blotted out so that our names are written in heaven.
That brings security circumstance can’t erase.