Blog Archive

Friday, October 21, 2016

A question of the hour?

There is much being made these days and over the last several years of homosexuality as it relates to the Bible.

Those of us who are not "gay" have trouble putting ourselves in someones shoes who is.

I find from a Christian perspective one who has a compassionate and Biblical take on the whole issue is Dr Rosaria Butterfield.

A former English Professor and Lesbian who now is a link between two worlds that are often at odds.

Below is a link to her you tube testimony.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgDAEPRXWgU


I am sure that once you watch this you will want to view many other interviews she has done.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

From the wayside chapel-Graham Long


Dear Inner Circle,
Thank you so much for the outpouring of love and support in this past week. I try to respond to most of your emails but this week it was well north of six hundred emails and I need to be content to express my deepest gratitude here. We buried Mum in the same grave as Dad. At the moment of lowering the casket, I asked my siblings to sing an old hymn that we’d heard our parents sing together hundreds of times. When we were young, we sang pretty well together with strong harmonies. Last week we sounded a bit like someone was trying to drown kittens. It was a lovely, even powerful moment and my siblings will forgive me in just a few short years.
If you’ve ever attended our Sunday Church service in Kings Cross, you’ll be aware of a little lady up the front who we’ve lovingly named, Saint Interruptus. Our dear little saint died this week and we’re very sad to part with her. She’s been a regular at Wayside since 1967. She told me how previous ministers would be annoyed by her interruptions and at times, make her sit at the back of the chapel. In this past 12 years, Saint Interruptus and I had become something of a double act. I loved her and she loved me. I’ll have to rely on someone else in the community for Sunday interruptions. I’m pretty confident that our community won’t fail me.
One phrase stopped our world last week. A young fellow who has lived on the streets for two years, just last week obtained housing in a small flat. The positive attitude of this bloke is uplifting, not because he uses easy phrases or because there has been anything easy about his life, but because it’s been so tough for so long. As time has passed he’s become more involved in volunteering and is keen to help others even when his own situation is not fabulous. “How can I help?” is a good sign that a life is opening up and on the way to thriving whereas, “What can you give me?” is a sign of the opposite. Last week we had a function at Bondi and our young friend worked all night and until every task was done. He then said something that stopped all of us, “I’m going home now”.
Here is something that I promise will make your day, perhaps your year! Check out this beautifully crafted story of Wayside baker Andrew who spent many years in a spiral of addiction and homelessness and behold today the man, alive, engaged, contributing and even leading. Watch it, you’ll love it and you’ll love Andrew.
After a massive effort Wayside’s new serviced apartments at Bondi Beach are open for business. The location is right on Bondi Beach and the apartments have been redecorated by our new Ambassador, interior stylist, Jason Grant. The best part of this announcement is that all the profits from the rent will go directly to support our work with the most vulnerable in our community. Find out more and book here.
One of my granddaughters has a remarkable affinity with animals. When we walk hand in hand, I literally sense her heart leaping toward any dog that passes. The other day she said, “Oh Papa, look at that poor lost Jack Russell”. “Darling,” I replied, “Look at his lead and the lady holding it, he’s not lost.” “Papa,” she said, “Look at his face, he’s lost.”
Thanks for being part of our inner circle,
Graham



Rev Graham Long AM
Pastor and CEO
The Wayside Chapel
Kings Cross
http://www.revgrahamlong.com/
http://www.thewaysidechapel.com/

Friday, October 14, 2016

Passing Of Joyce Long.

We had the privilege yestrday  of attending the funeral of Mrs Joyce Long.
She was the wife of the late Pastor Hariold Long and mother of 5 children.
Her son Graham wrote this in his newsletter from the Wayside Chapel where he is the Pastor.
The funeral service was a wonderful tribute to a fine Christian lady.
Also is a link to the poem "My Two Mothers" that Heather Long read out as a tribute to her mum.

http://www.dementiacareaustralia.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=644&Itemid=81

Dear Inner Circle,
An old lady died this week. She was born into an Australia that knew a lot about economic depression and next to nothing about government support. It was a world of hard work. As the eldest daughter in a large family, her lot was about raising younger children and endless domestic duties. Her education finished at primary school because there were many brothers and they needed to be fed and their clothes washed. An old wood stove seemed to perpetually burn with soup for strangers and a kettle constantly ready for a cup of tea. There was no entertainment in the house except for when the family sang together or laughed together. After the lady got married she was amazed at how her parents could suddenly afford some labour-saving devices like a washing machine.
The lady’s mother had agoraphobia before anyone knew the word and so as a little girl as young as seven years, she would toddle up to the bank to bring home wages for the men in her father’s joinery. Her mother was sharp, all the prices for timber and quotes for building jobs were at the top of her head. Her father was a big burley builder. She adored her father who once every night would walk into a room full of children that ought to be asleep and say a prayer. One night she asked her father to pray for their pet dog who had taken ill. The father hesitated and she knew that he thought perhaps prayers for dogs were not in order. He prayed for the dog.
The lady fell in love with a soldier. He’d served in Darwin as an army nurse during the bombing and was on leave in her home town. The soldier came across a group of kids singing Christian songs on a street corner. The soldier thought the young girl playing the piano accordion was the most stunning girl in the world. He left the army and studied to become a minister and they married.
She loved her husband. She believed in him. She taught her children to honour him. He adored her. Every morning of their married life, he brought her a cup of tea and toast on the best matching plates they owned. Their children knew that they had been born into a love story that included them but was never all about them. They had five children but their home was constantly filled with 'strays'. The meal table rarely accommodated the immediate family. All kinds of people who had no place at any table, had a place at this lady’s table. Everyone got fed and everyone got loved.
The endless series of strays were a burden to some of the siblings. At times the siblings would roll their eyes and slap their foreheads when some lunatic remark was made. The complaints rarely broke the sound waves because nothing was clearer than these people could be loved in this family and they had as much right to love as anyone else in the world. This was love, not as ideology but as lived action and it couldn’t help but have a formative effect on the children.
Family trips were sometimes arguments between squashed kids and less than comfortable guests or they were a session of singing in at least a four-part harmony. All the songs were religious. They taught about a reverence for life, about a judge higher than any authority on Earth, about the power of love to overcome death and about heaven to come. Nothing was actually said about heaven to come, except that it was to come and so life was to be lived reverently and with a sense of purpose and urgency.
The lady had no education but she was sharp. She could smell a lie. She had no end of health tips that didn’t make much sense. Wearing a singlet seemed to be important for staving off most diseases. A brown paper bag on the chest under a singlet could prevent sea sickness. She had no interest in theological arguments. Faith was about living and loving not about reasoning. She knew that love trumped reason; it didn’t repudiate it but it trumped it. She had no interest in the television. She never got a joke in her life even though her husband was the joke teller of all time.
She watched her siblings all grow relatively wealthy and though she was one of the hardest working people to have lived in the past one hundred years, she never had any money. She banked everything on love. Even as an old lady with dementia, she loved the people who came to sweep the floors or give her a shower.
Her death, like her life, was hard work. Before she lost consciousness, she couldn’t swallow and her tongue had swollen so that her weak little voice could barely be understood. The last conversation was when her daughter asked her how she was going. Her last words were, "Real good".
This tiny woman, the warrior of love, died this week and I’m counting just how many ways I’m thankful that this was my Mum.
Graham


Rev Graham Long AM
Pastor and CEO
The Wayside Chapel
Kings Cross
http://www.revgrahamlong.com/
http://www.thewaysidechapel.com/

Sunday, October 9, 2016

My Dad's Photography



My Dad,Glen Thompson ,was the one who inspired me into photography.
I am working on putting together a book of some of his images.
Here is an example taken on a Retina 35mm camera.
The one I first learnt photography on.
He had a great eye for composition and light.
This one I have applied some sepia effects to.
This was in Royal Australian Airforce (RAAF)camp in the Northern Territory Australia.
Below are some more pics from his archive.
He was also a home movie enthusiast.



Dad showing home movies

Friday, October 7, 2016

Camera Flashback-Minolta 9000


 
One of my dream cameras when autofocus film cameras were entering the market was the Minolta 9000.
The Minolta 7000 was the camera I think that really got autofocus off the ground in Australia but the 9000 was the fully specced up professional version.
I was a mainly pentax user but had seen the results of one of the entrys in the Telecom Grand Prix Photograph competition ,that I had oversight of, where the photographer was using a Minolta 9000.
I was impressed.
I also read an article in a pro photo magazine where a  wedding photographer had shot a whole wedding on a Minolta 9000 with the camera and flash all set on auto.
He was boasting about how even and consistent his exposures were.
I wasn't all that impressed with his shots but the idea appealed to me.
Well the opportunity came to purchase a used one from a camera store in almost mint condition.
I still have the camera and some lenses and the program flash 4000F.
I used it mainly as back up camera in weddings as I had a comprehensive Pentax set up.
The camera is still one of my favourite film cameras.
The book by Andrew Mannhein on the camera is well worth purchasing.
.It tells you everything about the camera and it's accessories.
The auto focus is very slow by today's standards but it has many professional features.
Get one if you can and want a good professional 35mm  film camera.


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Masterpiece of Design- The Bottle Brush

The Bottle Brush trees of Australia are a wonderful testimony to God's design and creation.
They are beautiful to look at and such a smorgasbord of food and shelter for the birds and bees and insects that make them either a temporary or permanent home.












“Yesterday,today and forever” by Geoff Thompson

-->
This was a recent service I was privileged to lead at the Parkrose
 Village.

Order of Service 28/8/16 Parkrose Village

Welcome and Call to Worship : Psalm 81
Hymn: “The steadfast love of the Lord” 209 “Be exalted Oh God.” 191             
Announcements: Barrie
Bible Reading: Hebrews 13:8-16

Hymn: “There is a green hill far away” 146

Communion:


Offering
Church Prayer
Hymn: “Beneath the Cross of Jesus” 492

Sermon: “Yesterday,today and forever”

Hymn: “God make my life a little light” 540
Vesper:
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace”
Parkrose 28/8/16

Heb 13: 8-16
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your spiritual strength comes as a gift from God, not from ceremonial rules about eating certain foods—a method which, by the way, hasn’t helped those who have tried it!
10 We have an altar—the cross where Christ was sacrificed—where those who continue to seek salvation by obeying Jewish laws can never be helped. 11 Under the system of Jewish laws, the high priest brought the blood of the slain animals into the sanctuary as a sacrifice for sin, and then the bodies of the animals were burned outside the city. 12 That is why Jesus suffered and died outside the city, where his blood washed our sins away.
13 So let us go out to him beyond the city walls (that is, outside the interests of this world, being willing to be despised[a]) to suffer with him there, bearing his shame. 14 For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our everlasting home in heaven.
15 With Jesus’ help we will continually offer our sacrifice of praise to God by telling others of the glory of his name. 16 Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have with those in need, for such sacrifices are very pleasing to him. 

Sermon : Jesus Christ, the same yesterday,today and tomorrow.
Or an “Affirmation of Faith”
Hebrews 13
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your spiritual strength comes as a gift from God, not from ceremonial rules about eating certain foods—a method which, by the way, hasn’t helped those who have tried it!
10 We have an altar—the cross where Christ was sacrificed—where those who continue to seek salvation by obeying Jewish laws can never be helped. 11 Under the system of Jewish laws, the high priest brought the blood of the slain animals into the sanctuary as a sacrifice for sin, and then the bodies of the animals were burned outside the city. 12 That is why Jesus suffered and died outside the city, where his blood washed our sins away.
13 So let us go out to him beyond the city walls (that is, outside the interests of this world, being willing to be despised[a]) to suffer with him there, bearing his shame. 14 For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our everlasting home in heaven.
15 With Jesus’ help we will continually offer our sacrifice of praise to God by telling others of the glory of his name. 16 Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have with those in need, for such sacrifices are very pleasing to him.  17 
Yesterday,Today and Forever.
This is an amazing truth about Jesus.
I have tried to tackle this subject today by showing how far short we fall form being like Jesus. How inconsistent we are.
And yet if we are in Him,His children,how we can become more and more like Him.
This is our goal.
Jesus has never been and never will be any different in His love for us as individuals and for the world in general.
He existed before He created the world.

John 1Living Bible (TLB)

1-2 Before anything else existed,[a] there was Christ,* with God. He has always been alive and is himself God. He created everything there is—nothing exists that he didn’t make. Eternal life is in him, and this life gives light to all mankind. His life is the light that shines through the darkness—and the darkness can never extinguish it.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
If we are Christians we have received Him.We are His Children.
The same yesterday,today and tomorrow.
There are others in history who might have claimed to be a cut above us all,even divine, but none in the same league as Jesus.
Just one example.
When I studied Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in High School, Caesar is quoted thus. (It does sound a bit like the language of the KJV.)
“But I am constant as the northern star,
Of whose true-fixed and resting quality
There is no fellow in the firmament.
The skies are painted with unnumbered sparks.
They are all fire and every one doth shine,
But there’s but one in all doth hold his place.
So in the world. 'Tis furnished well with men,
And men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive,
Yet in the number I do know but one
That unassailable holds on his rank,
Unshaked of motion. And that I am he”

Well poor old Julius was full of his own importance, according to Shakespeare anyway, but obviously Brutus didn’t think so and Caesar died at his hands.

Caesar compared himself to the Northern Star.

The North Star or Pole Star – aka Polaris – is famous for holding nearly still in our sky while the entire northern sky moves around it.
Polaris marks the way due north.

People used to rely on this star to know which way was North.

Because it is reliably always in the same place. This can be illustrated by our picture of it.

It is amazing that the Universe is created to enable precise calculations to be made so as to predict when things like eclipses will happen and Halley’s comet and others will pass us by.


However the created world is winding down but not so Jesus.

In Him there is no shadow of turning.

A strange phrase.

What does it mean?

We read this in James !

James 1
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

This is another way of saying Jesus is the same, yesterday and forever.
Sometimes we come across people who impress us because they never seem to change.
They seem consistent in their behavior towards us and others.
We might praise them up and say “you are always the same”
Or at least think that.
Always gracious,
friendly,
patient,
kind,
softly spoken,
calm and wise.
But in contrast,
We are often angry,
impatient,
harsh,
loud,
 excited
 and quick to speak without much thought.
Quick to criticize.
     To condemn,   To Gossip ,
We are not always good listeners.
We often don’t hear what people are saying to us as we are so full of our own ideas that we want to get across.
Now some of the things I mentioned earlier, of people we sometimes meet, were virtually some of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
“Always
gracious,
friendly,
patient,
kind,
softly spoken,
calm and wise.”
They are also attributes we see in Jesus who is never changing in His love for us and for all mankind.
Lets pick on one of our common problems.
We might sometimes think we have a right to be righteously angry.
We feel justified to let people have have a piece of our mind.
Do we have a right to judge our fellow Christians?
Or people who aren’t Christians?

We are told in the Bible “Judge not less you yourself also be judged.”
Have you ever yelled at anyone?
I have.
Christians and none Christians.
I am not proud of that.
So even though we might be pretty good in our behavior most times,
 as Christians,
we are not able to say,
in this lifetime we have been the
same, like Jesus,
yesterday, today and forever.
Never wavering in our love and good will toward others no matter how much we think we have been wronged.
Jesus was wronged.
But on the cross He said “Father forgive them, they know not what they do!”
He was God in the flesh but also perfect man;
without sin!
Jesus loved us that much that He went to the cross for us.
Our reading reminded us
10” We have an altar—the cross where Christ was sacrificed—“
Our Christian life is one of failure and fresh starts that God gives us all the time no matter how often we stumble and fall and make a mess of things.
So how do we get fresh starts when we have made a mess of things?
We do that by taken ourselves, our real selves to the foot of Jesus cross.
We confess our sin, our failures.
In our imagination we can picture us
kneeling before Him hanging on the cross and seeing the love He has for us.
We can be ssking Him to make us more and more like Him.
Sometimes we  might hear a voice in our head telling us “God won’t forgive you for what you have done!
You have been much too wicked!”
Not so!
That voice does not come from God.
God’s voice say this in His Word.
If any man sin he has an advocate in Jesus Christ the righteous

1 John 2 King James Version (KJV)

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
Jesus is there before our Heavenly Father saying in effect Father forgive him or her.
Sometimes we really make a mess of  our relationships and friendships.
We read this.
I John 1If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
So when we are in a relationship that has broken down we can be restored in fellowship with each other if we walk in the light of Jesus.
That is abide in Him.
Let Him be our Lord, not just our Saviour.
Walk His walk with Him.
Notice another result of our walk,
“the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
So Jesus is the same, yesterday,today and tomorrow and forever.
There is no turning by Him, no relinquishing His plan and purpose for us.
Not even a quiver or shadow of turning away from us.
Turning away from His plan that means He died for us . for our sins on the cross.
He is and was our substitute our redeemer.
If we walk in the light as He is in the light (and is the light) then we can have fellowship with each other and with Him.
His love for us is steadfast against all the powers that try to separate us from Him.
We are going to sing God make my life a little light.
This Hymn is in effect saying we are declaring and wanting to be like Him.
More and more like Him.
That we want to be His light in a very dark world in this small patch of earth where we live.
That we can become people who others can count on.
 And from today’s Bible reading: we finish with this.
15 With Jesus’ help we will continually offer our sacrifice of praise to God by telling others of the glory of his name. 16 Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have with those in need, for such sacrifices are very pleasing to him.  17 



Monday, October 3, 2016

Putting Christ back in the News



While recovering from some surgery I have been digitising some more of my tape collection.

Some time, ago in the 1980's, I enrolled in a correspondence course in Christian Writing.

It came with a set of 10 lessons on tape produced by Ken Packer in association with New Creation Ministries.

This was an Adelaide based course.

I wasn't able at the time to continue with the course but learnt a lot from the tapes which were produced during the "live" version of the course. 

It was in the days well before the internet and blogs etc when newspapers and magazines and radio and TV ruled the news gathering world.

Notwithstanding that, there is still much to be gained by listening to the tapes and in someways I think they  influenced me in starting this blog.

Ken produced a book called "Putting Christ Back in the News  The local church's role in public relations and Christian journalism"

I have it on order at the present.

You can still access Ken's writings at the link below.

http://www.timeforworship.com/ken-packers-column/

"Ken Packer.  In 1980 Ken began a monthly Christian column in his local suburban newspaper. In 1985 he began (and still writes) a weekly Christian column for country newspapers.  In 1986 he published his book “Putting Christ back in the news” to explain a local church’s role in public relations and Christian journalism. Click here for Ken’s articles "

I have found there is also a similar free course online at the link below by Fiona Veitch Smith.

http://christian-writing-course.thecraftywriter.com/ 

I would love to hear  from anyone who did the course and what they did as a result of completing it.

One of my neighbours, Rob Ferguson also did the course back then.

His "tree of life ministry" is featured on this blog.