Blog Archive

Sunday, May 29, 2016

“If anyone preaches any other Gospel” by Geoff Thompson

This message was presented at the Parkrose Village United Congregation on 29/5/16.Parkrose Village is a combined retirement village and nursing home in Adelaide South Australia.It is the basic draft which may have had some slight alterations in actual presentation.I left out some of the text in the interest of time.

Bible Reading Galatians 1:1-12 is posted below the message.

“If anyone preaches any other Gospel”

Paul was writing to the Galatian Church. It was a province in what is now modern day Turkey.
Many of the people in the Church there had been sidetracked into believing they had to obey the old Jewish laws to get to Heaven rather than rely on the Gospel of Grace, of our Lord Jesus.

As I share with you this morning I hope to show how this message is still very relevant for us today and that we are not immune to someone “preaching” or teaching another Gospel even here at Parkrose.

I will repeat part of what Paul said in today’s reading.

I am amazed that you are turning away so soon from God who, in his love and mercy, invited you to share the eternal life he gives through Christ; you are already following a different “way to heaven,” which really doesn’t go to heaven at all. For there is no other way than the one we showed you; you are being fooled by those who twist and change the truth concerning Christ.

Another Gospel?

What is the Gospel?

It means good news and this “good news” is encapsulated in Paul’s statement in this passage.

He died for our sins just as God our Father planned, and rescued us from this evil world in which we live. All glory to God through all the ages of eternity. Amen.
It is amazing how many people want to impress on us “good news”.
“Good news” that will make us
more at peace, calmer
exclusively chosen ones
better looking
give us:
supernatural power
amazing gifts
prophetic ability
a better house
better education
higher qualifications
better technology
eternal life
membership of exclusive societies
And the list could go on endlessly.
Mostly these things make their proponents richer and us poorer.
Notice that some of these things can result from being a Christian and believing the Good News.
But ever since Jesus died and rose again there has been the unseen rulers of this world trying to either convince us not to be believe that the Gospel of Jesus alone can save us or convince us that the result of forgiveness of sin can be achieved without the Cross of Christ.
Just this week there was an article on the ABC internet site trying to suggest people  can find fulfilment without God.
I will quote some of it.

Posted 22/5/16 “In his new book Beyond Belief, Australian social researcher Hugh Mackay argues a growing number of people, particularly young people, are abandoning religion in favour of a different kind of spirituality — one not restricted by institutions or guidelines.
First, in modern society, Australia included, we have been bombarded with propaganda over the last few decades, pressure from mass marketing — where we are told life's greatest satisfaction is to "buy, buy, buy".
We think we are entitled to more comfort and prosperity and it is all about 'me' … the industry is telling us we are entitled to be happy. If [we're not happy], then we need to do something about it: read that book, buy this CD, take that pill.
There is a trend among young people of them asking, "How can I unlock my spiritual potential? How can I be a better person without signing up or wearing the badge of religion?"
They still want the values that are taught with religion of "loving thy neighbour".
We pick certain parts from many religions, making their beliefs our own. Many people don't want all the rules that come with Christianity, so they take certain aspects: Love thy neighbour; love thy enemy … these are hard things to do, but when people do this, they are satisfied in their own version”
The Bible calls this “having a form of Godliness but denying the power of God.” 

2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Denying the Gospel!
This writer calls such people  “Spiritual But Not Religious.”  SBNR.

He goes on to say.
“I believe we can find meaning without religion.”
“I believe we can all think beyond ourselves, where faith is no larger than self or some non-religious pathway.”

Sadly many are going down this path today.
Over the times that humans have lived on this earth there has been an inbuilt desire for things to be better.
A longing.
A French Philosopher and Theologian called Blaise Pascal is said to have made the statement once that everyone has a God shaped vacuum within their being waiting to be filled.
Here is his actual statement from his writings.

"What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself" (148/428).”

We come back to some more of Galations in
Galations 3 :Oh, foolish Galatians! What magician has hypnotized you and cast an evil spell upon you? For you used to see the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death as clearly as though I had waved a placard before you with a picture on it of Christ dying on the cross. Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by trying to keep the Jewish laws? Of course not, for the Holy Spirit came upon you only after you heard about Christ and trusted him to save you. Then have you gone completely crazy? For if trying to obey the Jewish laws never gave you spiritual life in the first place, why do you think that trying to obey them now will make you stronger Christians? You have suffered so much for the Gospel. Now are you going to just throw it all overboard? I can hardly believe it!
Christ has come, we don’t need those laws any longer to guard us and lead us to him. 26 For now we are all children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, 27 and we who have been baptized into union with Christ are enveloped by him. 28 We are no longer Jews or Greeks or slaves or free men or even merely men or women, but we are all the same—we are Christians; we are one in Christ Jesus.
It wasn’t only the Galatian Christians who had strayed to another Gospel.
It was the same with the Corinthian Church.
Paul had to remind them what the Gospel was.

1 Corinthians 15  Living Bible

15 Now let me remind you, brothers, of what the Gospel really is, for it has not changed—it is the same Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then and still do now, for your faith is squarely built upon this wonderful message; and it is this Good News that saves you if you still firmly believe it, unless of course you never really believed it in the first place.
I passed on to you right from the first what had been told to me, that Christ died for our sins just as the Scriptures said he would, and that he was buried, and that three days afterwards he arose from the grave just as the prophets foretold. He was seen by Peter and later by the rest of “the Twelve.”[a] After that he was seen by more than five hundred Christian brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died by now. Then James saw him, and later all the apostles. Last of all I saw him too, long after the others,

2 Corinthians 11  Living Bible

11 I hope you will be patient with me --------------. Do bear with me and let me say what is on my heart. I am anxious for you with the deep concern of God himself—anxious that your love should be for Christ alone, just as a pure maiden saves her love for one man only, for the one who will be her husband. But I am frightened, fearing that in some way you will be led away from your pure and simple devotion to our Lord, just as Eve was deceived by Satan in the Garden of Eden. You seem so gullible: you believe whatever anyone tells you even if he is preaching about another Jesus than the one we preach, or a different spirit than the Holy Spirit you received, or shows you a different way to be saved. You swallow it all.”
In fact all of Paul’s letters to the different churches are about re- enforcing the truth of the Gospel ,showing Christians how to grow as Christians, learn to use our gifts and put on the armour of God against the evil one.

So how do we bring this message about being misled by a false Gospel back to something that is relevant to those of us who live at Parkrose and those of us who don’t.

Is this warning for us here as well?

Is our Faith being undermined here? 

Hopefully not by our band of volunteer speakers including me.
And we have a wonderful Chaplain Bill and dear people like Dean and Barrie who are such an inspiration here with much Christian wisdom.
When I stand up here and talk to you I seek to  present Jesus Christ and His Cross and that alone.

But; Are we hearing and embracing another Gospel?

Are we being seduced by messages that tell us we can go to Heaven, be forgiven by any other way than our Lord Jesus sacrifice for us?

In this place we have access to books,newspapers, tv,radio even the internet for some.
We can be constantly being presented with ideas that are contrary to the Gospel.
On TV,  if you like wildlife programs like I do , we are constantly being told we evolved from monkeys and fish and not created by our God in the Garden of Eden.
This is a message that undermines the Gospel and has no validity although some Christians embrace it.
We receive visitors who may be family and friends and we interact with staff.
Hopefully they bring us love which is from God not false ideologies.
Are we perhaps following the false promises of trying to win the lottery because that will make us happy?
That is the religion of luck and chance.
It is empty.
It won’t get us to Heaven and have our sins forgiven.
Are we in danger of being distracted from Jesus by false gods and idols.
Idols we sometimes worship that have no real substance.
When  I was a young boy and then  teenager I was a football fanatic.
I still love the footy and Lesley will tell you I watch too much of it.     That’s true.
As I moved from playing High School footy to senior football,I found myself playing alongside of footballers who I had been idolising as a teenager.
I found to my dismay though that some of them had pretty bad personal morals. I found this  to be sad even though I wasn’t a Christian at the time.
They soon fell off the pedestal I had them on.
It is pleasing that these days sports people are under much scrutiny and they are called to account when they play up off the sports field.
Sport is a religion for so many but it is an empty religion.
I think it’s great that you can especially in a place like this enjoy the footy in comfort on TV.
And remember to pray for your footy heroes as they are humans with all the same failings we have.
Like many things sport can give us much temporary pleasure but does not deal with the big questions of life.
In the large scheme of things it doesn’t really matter who wins.
I am so glad that some years later I found the one true person we can all worship.
Or rather He found me. (As He has found you.)
I accepted and understood His Gospel.
I received Him as Lord and Saviour.
He has been here with us today.
Sadhu Sundar Singh was a former Hindu who became a Christian.
He became a Christian Sahdu and wore an orange robe.
He preached the Gospel around the world.
His story is amazing.
Prior to becoming a Christian he had been worshiping a false God.
He was following another Gospel.
I heard(via John Stott) that once someone approached him and asked him what his Christian belief had that he didn’t already have as a Hindu.
His answer was “Jesus”.
The questioner persisted “but what do you do now that you didn’t do before?”
He replied “I have Jesus”.
We have been gathered together in His name.
The name of Jesus that is above all other names.
We have been sharing His Gospel.
His good news!
His wonderful Way,
the Way of Grace!
We don’t have to earn our salvation like the Galatian Christians were thinking and starting to believe.
Isn’t that wonderful!
Let’s, as we enter this coming week, keep our eyes and hearts fixed firmly on Him.
Make sure we are not distracted by another Gospel.
We will now sing our last Hymn and then have the vesper “Now Unto Him” as our benediction.
It is very appropriate for today's message.
“Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling”


Galatians 1:1-12Living Bible (TLB)

1-2 From: Paul the missionary and all the other Christians here.
To: The churches of Galatia.[a]
I was not called to be a missionary by any group or agency. My call is from Jesus Christ himself and from God the Father who raised him from the dead. May peace and blessing be yours from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. He died for our sins just as God our Father planned, and rescued us from this evil world in which we live. All glory to God through all the ages of eternity. Amen.
I am amazed that you are turning away so soon from God who, in his love and mercy, invited you to share the eternal life he gives through Christ; you are already following a different “way to heaven,” which really doesn’t go to heaven at all. For there is no other way than the one we showed you; you are being fooled by those who twist and change the truth concerning Christ.
Let God’s curses fall on anyone, including myself, who preaches any other way to be saved than the one we told you about; yes, if an angel comes from heaven and preaches any other message, let him be forever cursed. I will say it again: if anyone preaches any other gospel than the one you welcomed, let God’s curse fall upon him.
10 You can see that I am not trying to please you by sweet talk and flattery; no, I am trying to please God. If I were still trying to please men I could not be Christ’s servant.
11 Dear friends, I solemnly swear that the way to heaven that I preach is not based on some mere human whim or dream. 12 For my message comes from no less a person than Jesus Christ himself, who told me what to say. No one else has taught me.


1.  Galatians 1:1 Galatia. Galatia was a province in what is now Turkey.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Unofficial Test Matches-Australia and England

At the end of the 2nd world war there were some unofficial cricket test matches between the actual England test team and teams made up of Australian Services cricketers.
These happenned before the Australians returned home.
They also played in India.
These were very well attended and have never been recognised as Test Matches. Many including myself think they should have been.
Keith Miller and Lindsay Hassett went on to become highly successful test players for Australia.
I am gradually trying to put together a book based on the archives of Ross Stanford who played for Australia and was the father of my good friend Greg.
These are a few pics from his collection of those days.
Ross flew in the famous Dambuster's Squadron but not on the actual raid of  that name.
See my earlier posts on this subject and Ross Stanford.

Ross Stanford batting at Lords. Ross played briefly for South Australia but employment took him away from cricket in Adelaide.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

How many water dragons?

I took this photo in the Canberra Botanic Gardens a few years ago.
There are many Water Dragons there.
See how many Dragons you can count in this pic.
A clue is there are more than 2.
Below is what a full grown one looks like. I will tell you how many I found next week.You will probably have to download the photo and enlarge and zoom in.

Ps. There are 5

Most obvious
Original scene
Next obvious
One here
Two here

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Uncle Harry and Albert Einstein.

What did Uncle Harry and Einstein have in common?

They both didn't wear socks.

See link below.

Uncle Harry Dunning was my wife's late Uncle who died on the morning of 1/1/2000 aged 98.

Like Einstein he was an intelligent man but never wore socks.

I never found out why.

He was a man of great Christian Faith but a little eccentric.

He said " lawn was a waste of good dirt."

"If the music is not from a wind instrument then it doesn't count.

When he retired much was made of his no socks behaviour.

Here is a pic from his retirement function at Phillips Factory where he was a machinist.
They called him "socks" Dunning as he never wore socks.
He was gifted several socks on this day.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Australia's Island State

In 1973 Lesley and I had a very memorable holiday in Tasmania with good friends Anne and Dave.
I was just getting started as a photographer then but was inspired by the wonderful scenery and landscapes.
I captured a few slides on a Yashica Minister D 35mm rangefinder camera.
A week ago I was in a used book shop when I came across a book of Tasmanian Photography by Dennis Harding.
I had to buy it as not only was the photography very good but the cover had been attached upside down and back to front.
Probably never made it to the shops I think.
Amazingly just this week I discovered a video about Dennis' work on the ABC Open.
Then I went to his website and found some beautiful photography and the video posted on the ABC.

So enjoy his work and also just a few pics of mine from 1973.Not great photography but a record of a happy holiday and wonderful state of Australia.
Sea Scape
At Port Arthur
At Port Arthur
Yours truly
somewhere near Roses Tier
Yours truly at Cataract Gorge
Gordon River Dam wall under construction
Bording the Empress of Tasmania
Queenstown Landscape
Chairlift at Cataract Gorge
Do town

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Wild Weather in South Australia

Travelling to Renmark for a quick trip over the weekend we came back yesterday on a day where South Australia had some very wild weather.
Strong wind and lots of rain.
It was not even reported on though the massive dust storm in the Riverland.
Driving back we went through the worst dust storm I think we have ever driven in.
That was from Renmark to Morgan.
Shortly after that we encountered heavy rain and strong wind.
A lot of contrast over the course of 3 hours.
Some pics are attached.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Using some old photographic technology to improve your health

Even farmers sometime sat down while they worked.

As I rapidly approach 70 life and wear and tear has been catching up with me.

I have put on weight and have an often chronic back condition.

In fact those two problems have been with me a long time.

I first injured my back playing cricket as a young person and then, being employed most of my life in a sedentary occupation, I did not get natural exercise that stopped me putting on weight.

The last 10 years of my working life were mostly spent locked in to a desk and a computer.

When I retired from active sport I did not continue to maintain fitness with regular training.

As I write my back has been pretty bad for about a week.

So what do I need to do?

Commonsense really but how often do we ignore commonsense in our lives?

Watch what I eat,exercise and avoid sitting for long periods!

I spend lot of time at my computer.


 importing photos and editing them,

creating personal photo books for family and friends and just as an upmarket retrospective of my work.

writing sermons,

watching youtube,

ongoing learning about photography

creating my own content for training others

recording and digitising old taped addresses

archiving and scanning.

In other words heaps of stuff where I am sitting looking at screen for periods longer than I should.

Well as far as the sitting is concerned I have known about one solution for a long time but not actually practised it.

Many of us photographers of days gone by used to hold family slide nights.

If we were serious about it we had a special projector stand.

Made out of metal and with the capacity to be raised to about chest height.

So I have started placing my laptop on my extended slide projector stand and standing up while working.

Now you can buy especially raised desks for your office for this sort of solution.

But this has cost me nothing and not only that I can take it anywhere.

I have about 3 of these and also 2 portable pulpit stands from churches no longer using them.

I started doing this this week so in about a month I will report back on how I am going.

I have got a bit more living to do yet so I don’t want my body to be a lost cause.

I will put up a picture of my solution when I can find time to do so.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Place of Prayer besides The River

Photo by Dr. Ian W. Scott

Today I once again had the privilege of leading the Parkrose United Congregation in worship.

Below is an out line of the service including my Communion Talk and Bible Message.

PARKROSE  1/5/16

Order of Service

Welcome and Call to Worship :   

Hymn: “Praise to the Lord thee Almighty”


Announcements: Deane

Bible Reading: Acts 16:6-15  Deane

Hymn:  “Here is Love”(Barrie singing then congregation join in)

Communion:  Geoff


Church Prayer:  Geoff

 Hymn:  “Like a river Glorious”

Sermon:   “The Place of Prayer beside the River”

Hymn:  “God forgave my sin in Jesus name”

Benediction and Vesper. “Now unto Him”

 Bible Reading

Acts 16   Living Bible

Next they traveled through Phrygia and Galatia because the Holy Spirit had told them not to go into the Turkish province of Asia Minor at that time. Then going along the borders of Mysia they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus said no. So instead they went on through Mysia province to the city of Troas.
That night[b] Paul had a vision. In his dream he saw a man over in Macedonia, Greece, pleading with him, “Come over here and help us.” 10 Well, that settled it. We[c] would go to Macedonia, for we could only conclude that God was sending us to preach the Good News there.
11 We went aboard a boat at Troas, and sailed straight across to Samothrace, and the next day on to Neapolis, 12 and finally reached Philippi, a Roman[d] colony just inside the Macedonian border, and stayed there several days.
13 On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank where we understood some people met for prayer; and we taught the Scriptures to some women who came. 14 One of them was Lydia, a saleswoman from Thyatira, a merchant of purple cloth. She was already a worshiper of God and as she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart and she accepted all that Paul was saying. 15 She was baptized along with all her household and asked us to be her guests. “If you agree that I am faithful to the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my home.” And she urged us until we did

--> -->
“The Place of Prayer beside the River”

A little while back in this service I shared a message called “Does God Engineer our circumstances?”

You may or may not recall it but it was a the story of how Jeremiah was called by God to do mighty things that Jeremiah was not very keen on.
God caused things to happen in Jeremiah’s life that brought him into God’s will.

A few weeks back I also spoke about a “Street called Strait” which was where God directly intervened in Saul’s circumstances and Ananias which resulted in Saul becoming Paul and an amazing Apostle of the Lord.

This week we have another story of God engineering circumstances.

It is the story of Lydia and her encounter with Paul and his small group.

This happened as Paul, on his famous missionary journeys, had a definite sense of calling to go to Macedonia.

“Come over here and help us” was the request he heard in a dream.

Lydia was a by all accounts a successful business woman who traded in Purple cloth and the dies that created them.

“Lydia in the Bible was originally from Thyatira but was living in Philippi when she met Paul on his second missionary journey. She was a seller of purple cloth, which Thyatira was famous for, being a center of indigo trade. Lydia apparently had moved to Philippi to ply her trade in that city. Archaeologists have found among the ruins of Thyatira inscriptions relating to a dyers’ guild in the city. It is possible that Lydia was a member of this guild, but there is no evidence from the Bible to prove that detail.”

The indigo dye was extracted from sea snails.

It was and still is a colour associated with Royalty and Power and Status.

"Lydia was also a worshiper of God (Acts 16:14), and, when Paul found her, she was honoring the Sabbath, which means she was likely a Jew. The account of Lydia’s conversion says that she was gathered with a group of other women on the Sabbath at a place of prayer near the river outside of Philippi.”

It is interesting that in Paul’s vision he heard a man calling him to come to Macedonia but it was group of women Paul first encountered and accordingly as she responded to the Gospel presentation by Paul she became by all accounts the first person to become a Christian in Europe.

Many of the larger Church denominations regard Lydia as a saint and they hold feast days in her honour.

Lesley and I were at a funeral a couple of weeks ago and were surprised to see a large wall hanging in the Church hall of Lydia.

I thought it is obvious that this Lady is quite significant and yet in my journey as a Christian I had not really been aware of her so it has been very rewarding to research for this talk.

The place where Paul and Timothy, Luke, and Silas came was a special spot by the river which is still a place you can visit today.

The picture you have seen is of an outdoor chapel which has been built where it is believed Lydia was Baptised. The picture is courtesy of By Dr. Ian W. Scott – He is an Associate Professor of New Testament Studies, Tyndale Seminary. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
I wrote to him and asked permission to use it. 

Co incidentally Ian was preaching on the same passage last Sunday.
Here is a link to his youtube message.

So how did Lydia become open to the Gospel.

In the first place she had become a Jew as she was observing the Sabbath.

As such she was a believer in the one true God.

The God of the Jews, Yaweh, is also our God.

Jesus is His only begotten son.

In Romans Paul tells us that the Cross of Christ is the means by which God draws us near to Him in the process of our salvation.

“1 Corinthians 1:18English Standard Version (ESV)

Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Our salvation is a process.

All of us who come to Jesus and receive Him as our Saviour have at some point in our lives responded to the message of the cross.

That is what Lydia did and her whole household.

God had brought her some of the way to Him via the Jewish religion and then He arranged for Paul to show her the way of salvation.

By going to the river with a group of like minded women each week to pray and observe the Sabbath was a process whereby she was listening to God and He was listening to her.

It appears that there was no synagogue in Phillipi that she could attend.

She was Baptised almost immediately and her household who were also being prepared by God to receive Jesus.

If they were not they hardly would have entered into Baptism.

15 She was baptized along with all her household and asked us to be her guests. “If you agree that I am faithful to the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my home.” And she urged us until we did.

The story does show the importance of us sharing our faith with our family.

That can be quite awkward sometimes but it is important.

It strikes me that there are many honest seekers of God who may not be believing and following the right God , they may be even involved in some sort of pagan sect or practice but that does not mean God is not recognizing their seeking.

We read on in the chapter shortly after this encounter.
‘16 One day as we were going down to the place of prayer beside the river, we met a demon-possessed slave girl, who was a fortune-teller and earned much money for her masters. 17 She followed along behind us shouting, “These men are servants of God, and they have come to tell you how to have your sins forgiven.”
18 This went on day after day until Paul, in great distress, turned and spoke to the demon within her. “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her,” he said. And instantly it left her.”
This girl was in the grip of the devil.
She was at the same place that Lydia had come to worship.
It is an interesting thing that she was shouting out the truth of Paul and his friends’ mission for all to hear.
The demons know who Jesus is.
Paul set her free from this power that had become lucrative for her owners.
I have no doubt that she became a follower of Jesus.

(Some years ago, when Lesley and I were first married we were living in Darwin.
I was not a Christian.
We went to a party of Airline Pilots and Flight attendants.
A friend's wife who was an air hostess had invited us while she was on a flight to Darwin.
There was a flight attendant there who was quite attractive and yet had a depressive type of disposition. 
She was reading people's palms.
By her appearance she was possibly from the part of the world Lydia came from. 
She told me that I was not very close to my parents.
It was hardly a revelation as my parents were 2000 miles away in Adelaide!
I wondered after that encounter, and since becoming a Christian, whether she had some demonic presence in her life.
She certainly seemed oppressed.) 
This incident with Paul and the fortune telling girl, produced a reaction in her owners that resulted in Paul and his companions being thrown into jail.
Another thing that followed on from that was the conversion of their Roman Guard and his family.
The Guard was about to commit suicide because he thought his prisoners had escaped.
28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” 29 And the jailer[f] called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. 34 Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.

On their release from Jail after God’s miraculous intervention, Paul and Timothy, Luke, and Silas briefly went back and stayed at Lydia’s house and encouraged them in their faith before they left.
There is a whole book in the New Testament dedicated to the Phillipian Church.
Paul encourages them in the letter to the Phillipians and expresses his gratitude to their faithfullness in supporting him in his work.
It all started in Lydia’s house.
So God was working in people who were very unlikely converts in our eyes but not in God’s.
Imagine what was like for the people in Lydia’s house as they started their house church.
The young church of the book of acts mostly met in houses to begin with.
We learn in the book of revelation that there was indeed a Church established in Thyatira where Lydia came from but that is a whole new topic.
It is part of the letters in the book of revelation to 7 different churches.
The place of prayer beside the river.
The Bible tells us that if we are Christians, that through the Holy Spirit, Rivers of Living Water will flow from us.
The river where Lydia met Paul and Thus Jesus, was not really conscious of the wonderful things happening in it and on the riverbank.
In the same way it is more than likely that we may not be aware of the impact our lives are having on others.
If we continue to walk in the Light of the Son of God,
that means being in communion with Him,
 obedient to His word to the best of our ability,
meeting with fellow Christians,
studying the Bible
it will be certain that God is speaking to others through us.
Lydia would have no idea that we are talking about her today and learning from her encounter  with Jesus.
I have often heard from staff who work in places like Parkrose how much some of the people they care for inspire them.

So lets all determine to be God’s person in this place.

Communion Talk

In Australia we are blessed to have an amazing continent.

We have desert,

snow an mountains,


rivers and lakes,

sweeping plains,

wide open spaces,

amazing wildlife ,birds and plants:

We have droughts and we have floods.

A land of great contrast.

The floodwaters, when they happen up in Queensland, wind their way down through our dry  interior to fill up the usually dry salt Lake Eyre.

They create a great inland sea.
When that happens Birds and Animal arrive from every where to breed.

The desert blooms.

It is like God is pouring out His love on our gasping,dry continent.

It is a time of wonder.

Most of our normal rivers flow into the ocean but not those rivers and creeks that head to lake eyre.

There is life  a plenty in our dry interior when this happens.

It is great when in our lives some unexpected good fortune comes into our lives to brighten us up and give us new lease of life.

All too often though, like the floods in the outback, the good things and times are soon past and we struggle onwards.

Our communion Hymn,Barrie’s song though reminds us how God provides for us no matter how dry our life has become.

I will read the words of the song again and then we will give thanks for the Bread and the cup.

1 Here is love, vast as the ocean,
loving kindness as the flood,
when the Prince of life, our ransom,
shed for us his precious blood.
Who his love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing his praise?
He can never be forgotten
throughout heaven's eternal days.

2 On the mount of crucifixion
fountains opened deep and wide;
through the floodgates of God's mercy
flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
poured incessant from above,
and heaven's peace and perfect justice
kissed a guilty world in love.

 The Prince of life Jesus,did shed His precious blood for us.

"Who His love will not remember?

As Christians we need to always remind ourselves and remember what Jesus has done on the cross for us.

We will give thanks.