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Two Destinations

I’m traveling to Sydney for committee meetings of the Presbyterian Church of Australia and am due back Saturday.

Next month I’ll be attending standing committee meetings in Brisbane.

Margaret would have travelled to Brisbane with me and seen her parents for a couple of days.

At fairly late notice we decided she should go to Brisbane today instead so she can spend a longer time with them and them come home with me mid-February.

So, we spent a very early morning drive together to get to Adelaide airport, and now we go our separate ways for a while.

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More Than Conquerors by Trevor Hodge – Sunday Songs

More Than Conquerors, from Trevor Hodge’s EP Once For All.

The lyrics:
Verse 1.
Almighty God, did not withhold his Son
For sinners he gave him up
Sacrificed once for all
So will not He graciously give all things
Mercies and sufferings for those he loves
If our God is for us
Who then can stand against
If our God is for us
Who then can stand against
For in all these things
We are more than conquerors
Through the love of Christ
Raised from death to life
Yes, of this I’m sure
None can separate us now
From the love of God
That is ours in Jesus Christ our Lord
Verse 2
Who can bring charges against God’s child?
Who can condemn us now
Those he has justified
Christ who died, in victory raised to life
Intercedes for us now at God’s right side
Neither ocean’s depths
Nor mountain’s heights
Can separate us now
Neither demon’s lies nor angels lights
Can separate us now
Neither pasts regrets nor futures yet
Can separate us now
Neither life’s array nor death’s decay
Can separate us now

Words and music © Trevor Hodge 2017

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New City Catechism Question and Answer 3

Question 4
How and why did God create us?
God created us male and female in his own image to know him, love him, live with him, and glorify him. And it is right that we who were created by God should live to his glory.

This song covers the answers to both questions four and five.

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Preaching Hopeful Realism (via Joel Beeke)

In writing that good sermons need to preached realistically, idealistically, and optimistically, Joel Beeke writes why optimism is essential.
If you’re listening to a sermon tomorrow may it contain this element:

A Hopeful Realism
The believer also needs to hear from the pulpit the optimistic preaching of the Christian life: that one day I will be as holy as Jesus is holy and I’ll be married to him forever. I’ll be his bride and there will be a utopian marriage between me and him and in heaven this glorious idealism will be perfected in eternal optimism.
If that truth isn’t taught, then we can sort of stay settled in this life. We put our tent stakes in the soil too deeply and think this earth is all there is. Whereas optimistic preaching about the future teaches us that this life here is just like an introduction to a book and eternity is the whole book and we’re always living with one eye on eternity.
I need that optimistic view of the eternal destiny of the believer—that God will make amends for everything on that great day and I will enter the joy of the Lord.

Read the rest of the post here.

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Heaven’s Accent (preparing for MGPC 27/1/19)

Song: My Lighthouse
Call to Worship
Song: This I Believe – (The Creed)
Prayer Of Confession
Song: Rock Of Ages
Affirming our Faith: New City Catechism 4
Song: Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow
Bible Reading: Zechariah 4: 1-14 – Zechariah’s fifth vision is of a golden lampstand and of two olive trees, the latter representing Zerubbabel the governor and Joshua the priest, through which by the power of the Spirit of God the work of rebuilding shall be accomplished.
Bible Memorisation: Matthew 6:6
Song: Sweet Hour Of Prayer
Bible Reading: Luke 11: 1-13
Sermon: Heaven’s Accent
Pastoral Prayer:
Closing Blessing
Song: Behold Our God

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Gospel Ministry Should Be Collaborative, Rather Than Competitive (via John Stevens)

This article contrasts ‘aces’ with ‘average’ pastors and observes the pitfalls of trying to normalise the achievements of the gifted at the cost of marginalising the efforts of the ordinary.
From the post:

We need to repent of jealousy and envy of others in our ministries, and to avoid glorifying their achievements and comparing ourselves to them. Gospel ministry should be a collaborative, rather than competitive, activity as we all work together to build the kingdom of God. We can all too easily be envious of others’ greater gifting or the easier context in which they are labouring. We can even fall into a historical envy that leads us to wish we had been working in an earlier era of greater gospel progress, or which mistakenly assumes that the results of the past would be replicated in the present if only we adopted their methodologies.

Read the whole post at John Stevens.

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Training Cats (via Fake Science)

This observation about training cats from Fake Science may have some parallels in pastoral ministry.