Blog Archive

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Local Duckpond

This week we had a delightful 2 hours with our 4 year old grandson at a nearby wetland.
Here are a few pics.







It's a helicopter!


Sunday, May 24, 2015

On Nearing 70 by Geoff Thompson

I have now started this year, my 70th year.

You look back and think where did that time go?

I can still remember, mostly,vividly, the things of my childhood, teenage years, young adult and married years, years as a new parent, the struggles and joys of family and working lives and the list goes on.
In retirement I regularly meet with friends who are about the same age as me for coffee.
We are mostly all retired from the workforce.
We have a great time once a month reminiscing over coffee.
We sort out the problems of particular sporting teams, crack terrible dad jokes,(well I am probably the most guilty) and occasionally touch on serious world issues.
A great time not to be missed if we can help it.
Ocasionally we mention people who we have been close to who have died or have serious illness.
One of our close friends never made it to our coffee group. He died about 4 years ago.
Just this week I received a phone call from a friend who will be 70 this year and he informed me a couple of months ago that he had 2 heart attacks.
Thankfully he is on the mend after operations.
We are at an age where we enjoy life very much albeit the aches and pains.
Some of us have had, and still have serious health issues.
I have lately much thought about my Dad who died when he was 70.
He retired ,had an operation,heart bypasses, was just recovering from that when he was diagnosed with stomach cancer.
As I approach his age I have many thoughts about his life and mine and the realisation that life is very short.
On this earth anyway.
What might come after prompts this post.
Most of us try to ignore the fact that we will die.
Some of us are just resigned to our "fate" and think "whatever will be will be."
As  a Christian I believe at this age if we have never thought much about it before we should be now.
If Heaven and eternity exist we need to think about it now if we haven't done so before.
Below is a few sentences from one of my great  mentors, Frank Hunting.
He has passed on several years ago now but left a great legacy of Christian teaching.
It is an extract fro His booklet "Random Thoughts about Heaven"

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"RANDOM THOUGHTS FOR THOSE NEAR SEVENTY AND OVER
            I chose to write these random thoughts on Heaven for those over sixty because the biggest proportion of their living is behind them and the next really big event for them will be their passing from this life to the next.
            If one happens to be 5 or 10 years older than 70, then that event is so much the closer. As we move into the middle seventies we shall have to come to terms with the fact that we have had our “go” at life. We control less and less, we may influence less and less, and we may find ourselves living in a world strange and different from the world we grew up in and in which we had our “hey day". Much of the current world may seem incomprehensible to us, we have little or no interest in computers, fax machines, and a whole stack of modern technology.
            To tell those of us who are 75 we ought to set goals for our lives may be said with persuasive enthusiasm, but will be received with cold indifference. We prefer to live going over wonderful times in our lives, thinking of those who were very important to us, and who maybe, we loved very dearly in days now long gone. All of this with a secret hope we will not yield to the temptation to bore our loved ones and remaining friends or newer acquaintances by endlessly talking about wonderful days, which for us now are in a dead past, and which mean little or nothing to our listeners.
            Like it or not we have had our "one go" at life (not always easy to come to terms with) and the next big event for us is to pass from this life into the next."

Frank goes on to discuss the Gospel and how important it is to make sure we know about the afterlife and that we will be able to enter it and enjoy it and much more.

We do need to settle this question about Heaven.

Not just dismiss it as irrelevant. 

We can pass on when our time comes with a positive and strong faith to help us prepare and also comfort those who are left behind.


You will find much on this blog and on my blog of Christian sermons and podcasts to help you prepare if you ahve never done so or just revise or reprise  what you believe.

Foot note as at january 2017.

During the latter half of 2016 I was diagnosed with diabetes and also discovered I had very badly blocked arteries in my heart.
I have had surgery to remedy that and now going ok.
The point being we just don't know what is around the corner.
We do need to be ready to meet with our God.












Monday, May 11, 2015

Faith,Hope and Love

This is the outline of the message I brought to the Renmark and Renmark West Uniting Church this last weekend. 
White Plumed Honeyeaters,Renmark West.Young bird on left looking to be fed.



FAITH,HOPE AND LOVE-Renmark Uniting Church 10/5/15



Lesley’s Aunty Doreen, and Audrey’s sister, was a very sincere Christian and she often used to say that unless a sermon mentioned the Book,The Blood and The Blessed Hope, it wasn’t of much substance.

Hopefully to day with a topic that is in three parts we can come close to that.



Faith, Hope and Love.



When we went on a family holiday to Kangaroo Island some years ago we found a quaint museum in a cottage at Kingscote.

It was in one of three identical pioneer cottages on the Island called Faith,Hope and Charity.

At least one of the cottages was destroyed by fire some years ago but it gives you some idea of the faith of the early pioneers on Kangaroo Island.



Well  Faith,Hope and Love are all mentioned in one famous and well known passage in the Bible.

1 Corinthians 13.

It is quoted often during weddings.



13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

So lets start with Faith and The Book 

What is the definition of Faith?

It is found in the Book. The Bible.
Hebrews 11 to be precise.

Hebrews 11 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

For by it the elders obtained a good report.

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
And how does our Faith grow and materialise?
Where does it come from.
We are not born with it although we might get brought up in a Christian family which can help and sometimes hinder.
Romans 10:17 says this:
“17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
If you are continually exposed to the word of God, and sometimes only briefly acquainted, that is how faith manifests itself in us.
For when we engage with the Bible(the Book) we are engaging with Jesus.
Why can I say that?
Because the Bible(The Book)  also tells us this.
John 1:

“1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.”

and this

“14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

“14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

So if Jesus is the Living Word, this book is living and when we read it,or hear it, we are entering into the mind of God,the mind of Jesus, His revealed will and message for us.

Hence faith comes to us by reading,and hearing the word of God and as the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts.

I can testify to the reality of this in my life.

I was not a Christian when my wife and I married and she was. 

I had a principle I wanted to follow in marriage in that we should do things together.

I said "I will come to church with you but don't expect me to become like you."

I was not prepared to become a Christian even though I had always had a basic belief there must be a God. 

Well sitting in Church for 3 years, mostly hiding in the back corner, I ran out of arguments against God as I heard the Word of God explained and expounded to me by two wonderful ministers.

Even though I resisted that long, the Holy Spirit was speaking to me virtually every time I went.

I became a Christian then at the age of 28, just before our first son was born.


From 1 John 5 we read this;

This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the[a] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.

There is a great deal that can be made of that passage but that is for another time.
We come to Hope
The blessed hope referred to earlier is a term used by Christians to point us to the hope of Jesus coming back again as He promised.
What is known as the second coming of Christ.
And this is a great hope we can look forward to as Christians. We don’t know when He is coming we just need to be ready.
Abiding in Him.
Just being Christian really.
(There is a wonderful thought that if we as Christians are alive when He returns,to catch us up to Heaven,we will not go through physical death if we are alive at that time.)

But there is hope that keeps us going on a daily basis.

The hope for a possible cure of an illness, healing of the injuries from an accident
The possible restoring of relationships
The possible healing of an addiction
The possible relief and help when in times of great trial like those affected by earthquakes, floods and fires.
Our hope in these things is sustained by our faith in God and of God.
He is the one who gives us His faith.
Sometimes our hopes don’t seem to be realised in the way we would want them too.
Sometimes they are.
The hope of the mothers and families of the boys put to death in Indonesia was that they would be spared.
But the even greater Hope that materialised is that the boys might not have come to know Jesus as lord and saviour if they had never gone to jail.
They might have died without hope.
But they died with a far greater hope.
The real hope and assurance of forgiveness of sin and eternal life.
We too have that hope if we trust Jesus alone for our Salvation.

We come to Love
We heard this earlier:
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

And in 1 Corinthians 13 again we are reminded;
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

It would be a challenge for us to insert our own names in the place of love in that passage.
And live that out.
I learnt of this idea from a sermon by J Oswald Sanders.
He suggested you do this each day for several weeks and we will change.
In reality if we are really abiding in Jesus,
 then in His strength,

only His, 

we can love like that.

Not only those near and dear to us, but those we wouldn't think to love or want to.

We can only live like that if we have entered into the exchanged life with Jesus.
If like the Apostle Paul we can say "it is o longer I that lives but Christ who lives in me!"

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

What a privilege to know the faith,hope,love and friendship of our Lord Jesus Christ


 

Bible readings:


Psalm 98

A psalm.
Sing to the Lord a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
    have worked salvation for him.
The Lord has made his salvation known
    and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
He has remembered his love
    and his faithfulness to Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation of our God.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
    burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp,
    with the harp and the sound of singing,
with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
    shout for joy before the Lord, the King.
Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
    let the mountains sing together for joy;
let them sing before the Lord,
    for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
    and the peoples with equity.





John 15:9-17

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.


ORDER OF SERVICE

Call to Worship:  Geoff Thompson

Psalm 98 from UC suggested readings.

Sing to the Lord a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things;
Hymn: 196(AHB) “O sing a new song to the Lord”

Prayer of confession praise and thanksgiving

Hymn:  “And can it be,” 138 AHB

Bible reading: Psalm 98

Offering and Prayer: Geoff

Hymn: God is love let heaven adore Him.93 (AHB)

Bible reading: John 15:9-17

                   

Hymn: “To God be the Glory great things He has done.”85 (AHB)



Sermon: Geoff Thompson 
 
“Faith,Hope and Love”


Hymn:  “My hope is built on nothing less” 344 C of C hymn book

Benediction: from suggested UC handout material

Then from Hymn Book vesper as usually sung


Monday, May 4, 2015

Slow Tv

I read on the internet how slow TV is taking Norway slowly. Programms that run for about 7 hours of a train journey etc.
The idea is that life is all too fast these days.
I agree.
I have long had ideas of doing such videos and have done some in small doses while on motoring holidays around Australia.
Here is a link to a similar video on my you tube channel but only a few minutes long.

Here is a link to one of the shows from Norway.