Blog Archive

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Beware of Criticizing Others-Oswald Chambers

By Oswald Chambers

This today's reading came as a timely reminder to me.

Jesus’ instructions with regard to judging others is very simply put; He says, “Don’t.” The average Christian is the most piercingly critical individual known. Criticism is one of the ordinary activities of people, but in the spiritual realm nothing is accomplished by it. The effect of criticism is the dividing up of the strengths of the one being criticized. The Holy Spirit is the only one in the proper position to criticize, and He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding. It is impossible to enter into fellowship with God when you are in a critical mood. Criticism serves to make you harsh, vindictive, and cruel, and leaves you with the soothing and flattering idea that you are somehow superior to others. Jesus says that as His disciple you should cultivate a temperament that is never critical. This will not happen quickly but must be developed over a span of time. You must constantly beware of anything that causes you to think of yourself as a superior person.
There is no escaping the penetrating search of my life by Jesus. If I see the little speck in your eye, it means that I have a plank of timber in my own (see Matthew 7:3-5). Every wrong thing that I see in you, God finds in me. Every time I judge, I condemn myself (see Romans 2:17-24). Stop having a measuring stick for other people. There is always at least one more fact, which we know nothing about, in every person’s situation. The first thing God does is to give us a thorough spiritual cleaning. After that, there is no possibility of pride remaining in us. I have never met a person I could despair of, or lose all hope for, after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God.

Saturday, June 16, 2018


In some things I think I am a perfectionist.

A perfectionist, but one that doesn't often get anywhere near the impossible goal of human perfection.

In some things I am pretty slack and mediocre.

Do you think many of us are a bit like this?

My much loved late father was something of a perfectionist.

 At his funeral when I did the eulogy I described him as "a jack of all trades and master of all of them".

He was very clever and whatever he turned his hand to he excelled.

A very early exponent of "do it yourself".

In the first world war my Dad was a Catalina pilot.

In his pilot training days his colleagues, he told me, called him "Dr. Know all."

He said this didn't bother him as he maintained when flying an aircraft and responsible for others and his own safety he needed to know every possible solution for any technical problem.

A trait that served him well in life.

He was however so knowledgeable and and so well read that he had a theory for almost anything.

I love to talk about many topics with him and missed that when he died.

Particularly topics we had a common interest in like photography.

To strive for perfection is an honourable goal.

If you aim at nothing you hit nothing.

There are some annoying aspects of a perfectionist in my opinion.

1. If you are in a relationship with such a person or  work with one it can be very debilitating.
There behaviour can sometimes destroy family relationships.

2. The need to work out everything to leave as little room for failure as possible.
     I seems to me that such a person has to have everything perfectly thought out before they can         move ahead and make  a decision. They have little capacity to exercise calculated risk.

A book called "Risk makes sense"(Dr. Robert Long) shows that it is often a good thing to take a risk.

3.They rarely trust the opinion of others as they need to be right.

People with these traits, the annoying ones, sometimes seem to be almost suffering from a personality disorder.

Try and challenge someone who thinks they are always right, and your qualifications in "the University of Life" are not as good as theirs, can be almost impossible.

They want to be seen as a person who has it all together;

as wise and able to sort out anyone's problems with skillful, rational logic.

Such a person it would seem has little capacity to follow for instance "Intuition".

Or their "gut feeling".

In reality, we all have personality types that are flawed.

We sometimes recognise we have problems and sometimes seek help.

Some who are overwhelmed turn to drugs and lots of unhealthy solutions.

Some of us live reasonably controlled balanced lives.

Regardless of all these aforementioned issues we need to realise there is someone who is the answer to all our problems and enable us to be a new person altogether.

That is Jesus Christ.

We need to "go to Him".

That is recognise our shortcomings and take who we are to him.

And be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

Listen to a podcast on this  topic , "Go to Jesus" on the link below.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Being in the Moment.

Some years ago when digital photography was just an egg waiting fertilisation, we were on a family holiday in the snow at Mt. Hotham in the Australian Alps.
This was 1992.
I was shooting transparencies, negative film and VHS movies.

We stayed in a popular chalet overlooking some snow covered hills.

I was woken by my wife about 6am who said come and look at the sunrise.

I quickly set up my video camera and set it rolling and starting taking some still shots on transparency film on my pentax.

At first there were these swirling dark, grey then white clouds drifting into the valley and you could see the glow of the sun trying to break through.

Then an amazing scene presented it self which looked like some thing out of Star Trek.

Remember "Beam me up Scotty".

I captured this on vhs video and here is my favourite still shot.

The image could be a lot better but this was what appeared for a fleeting moment.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Dean Hamilton (31/10/34-16/5/2018)

On sunday 3/6/18 I once again had the satisfaction of leading the worship service at Parkrose Village United Congregation at Everard Park.

We had a long serving member of our congregation and former much loved Church of Christ Pastor Dean Hamilton, leave us a short while ago to enter Heaven.

As a tribute to Dean ,and to enable him to minister to us once more, I chose to retell a message he gave at Parkrose a couple of years ago when he was well.

He had emailed it to us at our request.

Here it is in his words but I did leave out some of it but aimed to maintain the essence of what he shared with us.

He called it “Our duty of thankfulness”

Dean's Words.

"I came across some interesting prayers last week – they were all prayers of children.

Here is one from Debbie – age 7: Dear God: Please send a new baby for Mommy. The baby you sent last week cries too much.

From Angela, age 8: Dear God, this is my prayer. Could you please give my brother some brains? So far he doesn’t have any. 

From Lois, age 9: Dear God: Please help me in school. I need help in spelling, adding, subtracting, science, reading, history, geography and writing. I don’t need help in anything else.

Most of us delight in the prayers of children. They are not afraid to say what is on their mind; to God and to most people. They are very uninhibited when it comes to asking anything of God.

Have you noticed how often that most of our prayers are “asking” prayers? While it is true that we are encouraged to ask of God, there is more to prayer than just asking for things.

If you look at the Book of Psalms, many of these prayers and hymns are songs of praise. 

The first words of the last psalm, Psalm 150, is “Praise the Lord.”

The first words of Psalm 149 are “Praise the Lord.”

The first words of Psalm 148 are “Praise the Lord.”

The first words of Psalm 147 are “Praise the Lord.”

The first words of Psalm 146 are “Praise the Lord.”

Well – you get the point.

We don’t spend enough time praising God – praising God is not like thanking God. When you thank God, it is a prayer of thanking God for the specific things he has done. Giving praise to God is more of an adoration for what makes God who He is. 

Thanking God is somewhat self-centered – “Thank you, God, for what you did for ME.”

Praising God is more God-centered – “Praise you, God, for what you are.”

And praising God is something many of us forget to do.

This is something we have to be reminded to do, because praising God does not come naturally.

We have become so self-centered in our lives – and even in our worship. 

Have you ever thought about how worship has become self-centered instead of God-centered?

We judge the quality of worship by how it blessed, or failed to bless US. We don’t think about whether or not God was blessed by our worship.

There was a time when we judged the music by whether or not it glorified God. Now we judge church music by how it entertains US.

Even our prayers focus on asking for things WE need, and they become self-centered.

Praising God keeps our worship and our lives focused on God rather than on self-centered themes.

But we can take some positive action to change our attitudes and develop a praising heart, mind and spirit. 

I read about one man who decided to keep a “Gratitude Journal”’ Each day he looked for things for which he was thankful and entered them up at the end of each day. At first he found it hard to get started – and some days he jotted just a line or two – but as he got into the habit he gradually discovered that his praising spirit was growing, he was developing a spirit of thankfulness until he found his life was growing in happiness and he was becoming a happier person to all the people who were\ important in his life. Later he wrote a friend and related how this had become a real blessing for him – he wrote “It simply comes naturally to me now, and I am just a happy person in general”

We need to slow down to count our blessings and to regain a proper perspective on our lives.

And to make sure we learn to give God his proper place in our lives as the one who makes it all possible for us to live well.

We need to develop a “thankful eye.” Well, you‟ve heard of a thankful heart, but what is a “thankful eye”? Simply put, developing a “thankful eye” means that you have the ability to see things God is doing in your life. You can see the hand of God in the circumstances of your life, even if they are unpleasant or not the things you would have chosen. It is the ability to see something and recognize it as being a blessing from God when other people either do not see it at all, or see it as something else. Look at it this way. God is a good God, and it is part of His very nature to bless His people. It‟s just part of who He is. We can do nothing to deserve those blessings, and yet God many times lavishes them upon us in measureless amounts. His blessings surround us, yet most of the time we are not aware of them. One of the surprises of heaven will be the discovery of the blessings God heaped upon our lives when we did not recognize them as such, nor give Him glory for them. 

Learning to live a life filled with gratitude means that we train our eyes to look for the blessings of God which are all around us. It means that we deliberately take some time to hunt for them. It means that sometimes we might have to think for a while before we come up with something which qualifies as a blessing, or it might be staring us right in the face when we get up in the morning. A thankful eye sees things others never notice. A thankful eye sees past the present, and sees deep into the future. A thankful eye is tuned to watch for the workings of God in our present life. 

Would you like to learn how to be more thankful than you already are?

Here‟s how: 

1. Understand that expressing gratitude to God is not an option 

2. Slow down to count your blessings. 

3. Regain a proper perspective on your life 

4. Remember where your blessings come from. 

5. Develop a “thankful eye.” 

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)

Some more reasons for praise.
Every one of the Praise Psalms will include a collection of reasons as to why we should praise God.

In the Psalm we as our Old Testament lesson we are given a brief and poetic set of reasons as to why we should praise God.

First, we should praise him because God is someone we can trust. He will not fail us.

Psalm 146 says, “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.”

We too often place our trust in wealth, position, material things, power, military might and think we “have it made”.
But money can’t save us. Just ask someone who has become unemployed and who finds the money disappearing from savings accounts.

We like to trust technology. All the gadgets we have are nice, but they are not dependable. Just ask someone whose computer has crashed.

What will you put your trust in?

Ultimately, it is God alone we should trust. Why? Because He alone is eternal. Everything else will someday disappear. But God existed before creation and He will always exist.

If you begin to develop an attitude of praising God, then you will find that you put your trust in God, not in things that will fail you.

Second, we should praise God because He gives us hope. 

Psalm 146 says, “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them.”

God has a track record.

There is reference here to Jacob – a reminder of the history of God and his people in the Old Testament. We know what God did for Jacob – and we know what God has done for his people through the centuries. In other words, God has a track record in which you can find hope.
The psalmist talks about God creating the heaven, the earth, the sea and everything in them. You can look around at the glories of the universe.

God has made an awesome universe. I can see some of that wonderful universe and because I know about God’s track record in creating and maintaining the universe, I have hope.

People put their hope in things that have no track record. Or at best, a poor track record.

Where do you find your sense of hope?

If you begin to develop an attitude of praising God, then you will find that you put your hope in God, not in things that will fail you.

Finally, we should praise him because God loves us.

In our Old Testament lesson, we read, “God upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous.”

This is a huge universe.

It amazes me that God – who made this universe and sustains this creation – pays attention to us at all.
In the grand scope of the universe, we are so insignificant.

And yet, in the heart of the creator, we are loved.

For that reason alone, we should have the attitude of praise for God.

I will finish with reading the beautiful Psalm 8  

Psalm 8 Living Bible (TLB)

8 O Lord our God, the majesty and glory of your name fills all the earth and overflows the heavens. You have taught the little children to praise you perfectly. May their example shame and silence your enemies!

When I look up into the night skies and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you have made— I cannot understand how you can bother with mere puny man, to pay any attention to him!

And yet you have made him only a little lower than the angels[a] and placed a crown of glory and honor upon his head.

You have put him in charge of everything you made; everything is put under his authority: all sheep and oxen, and wild animals too, the birds and fish, and all the life in the sea. O Jehovah, our Lord, the majesty and glory of your name fills the earth."

Below is the order of service.


Order of Service

Welcome and Opening Prayer

Call to worship: Psalm 100

Hymn: 8. “All things praise the Lord most high.”

Announcements: Geoff

Bible reading: Psalm 146

Hymn: 356  “Dear Lord and Father of mankind.”



Church Prayer:

Hymn: “Give thanks with a grateful Heart”

Sermon: “Our duty of thankfulness”

Hymn: 76  “Holy,holy,Holy! Lord God Almighty”

Benediction and Vesper:  Now unto Him

Saturday, June 2, 2018

"My Grandma's Bible" by Geoff Thompson

My Grandma and I quite some time ago.

Grandparents can be an amazing influence on our lives.

And if we are Grandparents ourselves we have a huge role we can play with our own grandchildren.

My Grandmother died when she was 76 of a heart condition.

She was only a few years older than what I am now.

She came to our wedding in 1971 and then died a few days later.

Grandma was a quiet, gentle English war bride from the 1st World War.

My Grandfather was in England and Europe as an Australian soldier.

They married in England and then moved back to Australia with their first child coming with them.

When I was 8 years old Grandma gave me a Bible.

It was the first Bible I ever had and I still have it.

I tried to read it back then and had been to Sunday School but I wasn't really able to get into it and understand it except for the basic stories I had been taught.

After she died I came to own her own small pocketable Bible.

I still have it.

Very small print.

I don't know how she read it.

In her Bible she had underlined many verses.

As I am now a Christian I understand the emphasis of the passages she underlined and I think
how lovely it would be to now have a talk about the the things of God and her faith.

The influence of Godly Parents, Grandparents and Relatives can have an amazing result long after they are gone.

I believe she would have been in prayer for her family and Grandchildren in particular.

Often when we pray we may never see the results of prayer in our lifetime but prayers are eternal and I am sure many are realized.

Here are the passages she had underlined in her Bible.

John 1:12
John 1:12 King James Version (KJV) 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:

John 14:7
Acts 13:38,39
Romans 3:23
Romans 6:23
Ephesians 2:3
2 Thessalonians 1:8
Hebrews 7:25
Hebrews 9:27
James 2:10
1Peter 2:24
1 John 2:12
Jude 1: 24-25

If you put these passages into  the Bible Gateway you can read them for yourself.

Better still look them up in the Bible.

Are you determined to be special in the life of a child?

Monday, May 28, 2018

Code of Conduct for Wedding Photographers

Myself giving direction to the wedding party.

 I am a retired Wedding Photographer but still interested in the art of Photographing weddings and learning.

I have been watching a lot youtube instruction on photography lately and was disturbed when I saw a prominent online teacher using dialogue with his customers that I found unsettling.
He uses it to get a responsive expression and emotion but........
There is a fine line in my opinion between what is acceptable and not acceptable.

While jokes between friends who know each other might be acceptable, in today's climate we need to wake up to there is a fine line between fun and "felt or perceived"  sexual harassment.

People have different standards and we as photographers should not assume that even though someone laughs at what we say, or does what we ask during posing, that they are comfortable with what you are saying and suggesting.

I photographed a couple of weddings in an Adelaide Church years ago and while the priest was talking to the couple and the wedding party out of the gaze of the congregation, he was making some very suggestive remarks.
I was tempted to report him to his superiors and in retrospect I should have.
Another photographer had done a wedding at the same church and noticed the same behaviour.

As can be seen today it does not take much for people's careers to be destroyed overnight when people start saying "me too".

I am all for fun dialogue to relax wedding couples and others when having their photos taken but........

I did a a quick search for code of conduct for wedding photographers and the few I looked at did not seem to be addressing this problem.

Below are a couple  codes of conduct links I found.

Also see a link below to my youtube channel talking about the profile of a wedding photographer.

So do any photographers think about this?

Friday, May 18, 2018

Consider the Lillies--- more from Oswald Chambers

From today's daily devotional by Oswald Chambers

Living Simply— Yet Focused

By Oswald Chambers

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin”— they simply are! Think of the sea, the air, the sun, the stars, and the moon— all of these simply are as well— yet what a ministry and service they render on our behalf! So often we impair God’s designed influence, which He desires to exhibit through us, because of our own conscious efforts to be consistent and useful. Jesus said there is only one way to develop and grow spiritually, and that is through focusing and concentrating on God. In essence, Jesus was saying, “Do not worry about being of use to others; simply believe on Me.” In other words, pay attention to the Source, and out of you “will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). We cannot discover the source of our natural life through common sense and reasoning, and Jesus is teaching here that growth in our spiritual life comes not from focusing directly on it, but from concentrating on our Father in heaven. Our heavenly Father knows our circumstances, and if we will stay focused on Him, instead of our circumstances, we will grow spiritually— just as “the lilies of the field.”
The people who influence us the most are not those who detain us with their continual talk, but those who live their lives like the stars in the sky and “the lilies of the field”— simply and unaffectedly. Those are the lives that mold and shape us.
If you want to be of use to God, maintain the proper relationship with Jesus Christ by staying focused on Him, and He will make use of you every minute you live— yet you will be unaware, on the conscious level of your life, that you are being used of Him.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Have you heard of Keith Green?

When my wife and I were young Christians in the late 1970's and early 80's  one of the greatest influencers we had for our Faith, someone who challenged us all, was the late Keith Green.

Keith Green was an amazing Musician, Songwriter and Evangelist all in one.

A book about his life written by his wife after his tragic death in a plane crash, his own which he was flying, is called "To Obey is better than Sacrifice".

Keith preached and played and sung at amazing Gospel Events around the world.

Just go onto youtube and you will find the many examples of his ministry and gifts.

He and his wife established "Last Days Ministries" and made much material available to help new Christians.

One tract, which I still have, was "What's wrong with the Gospel?"

This youtube video is Keith explaining his reasons for writing this and how his faith was growing.

This blog is just to encourage the younger generation to discover his music and his message.

Above all to discover the  God in Jesus, who was his Lord and Saviour and mine also.

Below are 2 links.

One that shows the amazing talent Keith had even as an 11 year old.

Another to give you an example of his music and ministry.

I trust you will find this challenging and a blessing.

Many of course are already greatly appreciative of his legacy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Boxed in in a black dark place?

Today I read of yet another discovery of a previously unknown "blackhole".

This from the ABC.

"Professor Tamara Davis, an astrophysicist at the University of Queensland, says it has implications for our understanding of how it all began.

"There's a big mystery about how these supermassive black holes form, because we don't understand how something could get that big that quickly; our normal theories don't work," she says.
"And it might mean that there were seeds to these black holes in the very early universe.
"During the birth of the universe, some really massive seeds were created that these black holes then formed around.",-and-its-growing-very-fast/9761540

I always find it interesting when new discoveries like this are made.

We all ponder the heavens particularly when we are somewhere where we can see the night sky in all its brilliance.

As a creationist rather than an evolutionist it seems to me that  secular scientists are ever learning but each new discovery puts them back to the drawing board when their previously long held views are challenged.

And yet for the Christian who is a scientist, each new discovery makes them marvel even the more about our Creator and His creation.

A dichotomy for sure.

Where do you stand?

Have you examined the evidence for the creation story with an open mind?

We can of course be in a deep dark space within.

 The creator of the "black holes"Jesus, can assist you to escape from your own.

I love what Stephen Hawking says in the linked you tube video.

"If you feel you are in a blackhole you can get out of it so don't give up".

I couldn't agree more.


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Tamron Fotovix- The shape of things to come?

When the digital photography world was just beginning to encroach on analogue(film) photography along came the state of the art Tamron Fotovix. (1991)

The one pictured is the amateur model and there was a more expensive one for about $3000.

For a couple of years I had my heart set on one of these quite expensive items.

I am glad I never wasted my money on one.

The apparatus was designed so you could scan negatives or positive films and transfer them to a TV screen or a Video Tape.

This was before digital cameras had really come into their own.

Everyone was still shooting film.

Now there are film scanners that can do the same thing.

The only time I saw one of these being used successfully for commercial purposes was when we had a family holiday in the Australian Alps at Mt Hotham in 1992.

Photographers were employed by an entrepeneur who had set up a photo business based on one of these.

Photographers would photograph, on negative film, holiday makers snow boarding and skiing over jumps etc.

The business owner would then develop the films and show them on a tv screen with a number for each pic.

People would check them out and choose one or two  and he would print them for a price after they placed their order.

He seemed to be doing a roaring trade.

A curious thing that was seen as very innovative at the time.


Monday, May 7, 2018

"Shutterbug in the Bush" a book review.(sort of)

One of my favourite photographers that I came across when I was starting my photographic journey was Jocelyn Burt.
The late Jocelyn Burt was a Australian Landscape and travel photographer.
She authored and produced numerous pictorial books about Australia.

In her latter years she was based near Bright in the picturesque Ovens Valley.

My friend Ray Smith was her local pastor and he had offered for me to meet her on one of my trips
to Victoria but sadly I never got to take up the offer before Jocelyn died.

He autobiographical book,"Shutterbug in the Bush" I found enthralling when I read it.

Amazingly a book about photography, by a photographer, and not one photograph in it.

You would think how can that hold my attention but it did and still does.

I have put together quite a collection of Jocelyn's Pictorial books as they are often found in used book stores.

I have taken the liberty to include a little text from the book and one of the illustrations for you to encourage you to go searching for the book. 

The book is illustrated by Eva Wickenberg.


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Lost Images- 1963-1970.

I have a huge collection of photos, digital images, negatives in my collection.
I started taking pictures in 1970 on a Kodak Retina 35mm camera, a Yashica Minister D 35mm rangefinder camera and then a Pentax Spotmatic 2 SLR.

When I look back on my photography there is a definite gap in the collection of family photos.
I have all the images my Dad, my Father in law, and wife's uncle took.

Most of them anyway.

When I look back at my own photos there is a distinct gap of pics between 1963 and 1970.

An most of my generation would probably say the same.

Then there was a surge in the popularity of Photography when people started buying the famous Kodak Instamatic.

Instamatic Pic Darwin 1971

According to wikipedia the Instamatic went into production from 1963 onwards but from my memory it wasn't until the early 70's they came into widespread use.

So the people of today are hugely privileged to be able to capture their lives with their phones.

There are heaps of the instamatics available on the used market these days but very hard to get the film cartridges.

See my previous article on these cameras.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

It's Not Cricket! It's Human Nature!

Such a tremendous disturbance in the cricket world over some cricketers doing something to a cricket ball they are not supposed to.

Bewildering to the non cricket fan.

A common lament is that these guys were role models.

What do we tell our children?

It just shows what happens when sports idols and any other idols fall.

They fall because non of us are perfect.

Non of us are without sin.

We are wrong to promote people as sports idols and advertisers are wrong to exploit them.

The Bible says "he who is without sin, cast the first stone" in the well known story of the woman caught in Adultery about to be stoned.

Jesus reprimands and challenges those who would stone her.

They all slink away.

See the attached link to an opinion by Natasha Moore.

She says so eloquently what I am trying to say.

I for one love sport and cricket but many of us  make a mistake to let sport take the place of true religion in our lives.

It is not sustainable.

These guys need to be forgiven if they ask for it, ------Smith,Warner and Bancroft.

Let them continue to do what they are good at.

C T Studd one of 3 cricketing English brothers, tossed in wealth and fame, (he probably would have captained England), to become a missionary to spread the Gospel where it had hardly been heard of before.

There is life before and after cricket.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Road to Jerusalem by Geoff Thompson

SERMON 20/3/16 Renmark and Renmark West Uniting Churches.

This is the outline and recorded message presented on Palm Sunday 2016 at the 2 Renmark Uniting Church Services.
The Bible Passages are underneath the transcript.


The Road to Jerusalem

In todays readings we see the enthusiasm for Jesus of the common people as He road into Jerusalem on a colt.

They had no idea of His real mission and purpose and were probably thinking on the lines here is our future King and Leader.

They were aware of the miracles He had been doing and this turn out was in part a celebration of what He had been doing over the last 3 years, the 3 years He actively carried out His ministry on earth.

They were overjoyed and thinking He will lead us out of oppressive lives we live under the ruling Romans.

Many of them had also just recently witnessed the raising of Lazarus from the dead.

They were thinking Jesus was the promised Messiah.

They were probably thinking of Him as their Saviour.

Saviour from Death,

as they saw what happened with Lazarus.

They lay down palm leaves in His path as part of the celebration.

The irony of the occasion however was that Jesus chose a colt or donkey to ride on.

A beast of burden.

Usually triumphant kings in those days rode into town on a war horse,

a symbol of strength and victory in battle.

But Jesus chose a beast of burden,

a servant animal.

Jesus was coming ,

although they did not know it ,

as the servant King.

Remember Him washing the Disciples feet.

The Son of God who had come to give His life for all mankind.

People were casting off their outer garments and laying them and palm fronds down in His path.

The Palm fronds and laying down of garments are given some significance in other commentaries.

“Zechariah had prophesied, "Behold your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden"(Zech.9:9; Mt.21:5). Jesus instructs the disciples to bring a donkey and a colt, and so they do exactly that--just as it had been prophesied.”

“It is John's Gospel that informs us that these branches were palm branches(Jn.12:13), but what was their purpose? Why was this massive crowd stripping off their outer garments and throwing them on the road? Well, thankfully, we have another biblical precedent of this to provide us a clue.

If your Bibles are open, you may want to turn to 2Kings, chapter 9. In 2Kings 9, the prophet Elisha sends a messenger to give a Word from the Lord to Jehu. After pouring oil over Jehu, the messenger said to him in verse 12, 'Thus says the Lord, "I have anointed you king over Israel"'. After that declaration, everyone who was present took their garment and placed it under Jehu's steps, and they blew the trumpet, shouting, "Jehu is king!"(9:13).

So what does this mean for Jesus' entry into Jerusalem? It would imply that the multitude recognized Jesus as a king . Like in the case of Jehu, the garments and palm branches served as an improvised red carpet.”

So regardless of the behavior of the crowd Jesus was calmly and quietly riding to His certain death.

The crowd had no knowledge or suspicion of this.

Jesus came to us with one purpose.

To die for our sins on the cross.

To take our place.

To cancel the power of the devil.

To cancel the power of sin.

To rise from the dead and ascend into heaven.

(Having first descended into Hell)

To send us the Comforter , the Holy Spirit to allow us all to be born again and enjoy victory in our lives over sin and death.

In the garden of gethsemane, the night of His betrayal, we are told He was not looking forward to it.

The accounts tell us that he was in agony there and sweated great drops of blood.

His disciples fell asleep.

He pleaded that if it were possible could His Heavenly Father take this cup from Him.

But He had set His will, His face to the Cross.

He knew what had to be done.

None of the people on the road to Jerusalem had any idea that this was all to come.

Even his Disciples were of the  same expectations as the crowd.

They had no idea that their  winning team was going to be in disarray with the death of their Lord.

They did not handle it well.

They were to fall into a state of shock and disbelief and fear.

Indeed even Peter when he later saw what was unfolding denied that he had anything to do with Jesus.      

 3 times.

Only hours after saying he would never betray Him.

At this stage I would like to introduce an even more amazing and spectacular triumphal arrival of Jesus.

A huge contrast to the Palm Sunday event.

And some of us just might be there to witness it live.

Listen to these few paragraphs from a book by Max Lucado.

(read from introduction in italics)

What a breath taking description on the return of our Lord Jesus.

It is based on the book of revelation.

It is from Max’s book called “When Christ Comes”.

It is something that could happen in our lifetime.

Before we die.

It could happen tomorrow or in several years in the future.

It is not for us to know when but to be ready.

Next week we will be celebrating Easter once again.

I would like to share this from the very first message I gave in Renmark a couple of years ago.

“The cross of Jesus begins for most of us to have a profound effect upon us the day or the time we take ourselves, and what we are, and we kneel before his cross as he hangs there.

Until we do ,this personally and individually, the Cross of Jesus is mostly and mainly an historical event. A thing that happened 2000 years ago.

But when we kneel before our Saviour’s cross , when we kneel before Him hanging on His cross, it is then it begins to have a profound effect upon us.

As we kneel , and look up into His face, the face of Jesus as He hangs upon His cross , we see someone who utterly died to self, and as we look at Him and as this realisation begins to come home to us ,

I can assure you we are shaken to the very core, and not only are we shaken , but ,
we are scared ,we are frightened to death by that terrible challenge to self.

As we look into His face we begin, and often it’s only a beginning , begin to see how controlled, we are, by self.

We begin to realise how demanding self is.

That I always want to be first!

That I always want to get the biggest!

That one way or another I’ll scheme to get the best!

Give me the chance and I’ll put myself before you!

Driven by self ,all these ugly things as you kneel there, start to come home.

And you know that the Son of God is dealing with you.

When we kneel and look up into the face of Jesus on His cross, we begin to realise what Love really is.”

God is Love.

Jesus is Love.

At our Easter service next Sunday, and we can begin today, let us set our wills, our face towards the Cross of Jesus and allow Jesus to shake us at the depths.

Shake us out of our ;

spiritual doldrums,

our self pity,

our unforgiveness of others,

our criticisms and condemnations,

let’s live in the power of His Cross!

And let’s look forward to His triumphal return to this earth.

Luke 19:28-40
28 After telling this story, Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking along ahead of his disciples. 29 As they came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany, on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead, 30 with instructions to go to the next village, and as they entered they were to look for a donkey tied beside the road. It would be a colt, not yet broken for riding.
“Untie him,” Jesus said, “and bring him here. 31 And if anyone asks you what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs him.’”
32 They found the colt as Jesus said, 33 and sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners demanded an explanation.
“What are you doing?” they asked. “Why are you untying our colt?”
34 And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs him!” 35 So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw some of their clothing across its back for Jesus to sit on.
36-37 Then the crowds spread out their robes along the road ahead of him, and as they reached the place where the road started down from the Mount of Olives, the whole procession began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles Jesus had done.
38 “God has given us a King!” they exulted. “Long live the King! Let all heaven rejoice! Glory to God in the highest heavens!”
39 But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Sir, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!”
40 He replied, “If they keep quiet, the stones along the road will burst into cheers!”

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Bible Exhibition- Now on at Berri South Australia

I have been in the Riverland today and yesterday saw some people setting up for a Bible Exhibition on the lawns at Berri.

It is a display and gospel Mission under the guidance and leadership of Bryan and Dawn Stewart.

Below is a link to their website.

There are gospel addresses on each night at 7pm until next Thursday.

I managed to catch the last 20 mins of an address by Len Walker.

He and his wife Nerida worked as missionaries in Colombia for some 15 years.

Len Walker,one of tonight's presenters.

I was too late to hear Bryan speak.

This is a marvellous exhibition and listening to Len speak I believe the Gospel is being presented faithfully, thoughtfully and without compromise.

I would recommend that anyone who is in the Riverland ,Berri,Renmark, Loxton, Waikerie,Barmera  and other nearby towns get along to hear and see this unique presentation.

For many years around the world and in Australia many "tent" missions were held with many turning to God as a result.

There may be some reading this who have had their minds stimulated by the recent death of Billy Graham the well known Evangelist.

Well this is not Billy Graham but I am sure he would endorse this and so do I.

I hope to attend on another night.

Dawn,a friend, Nerida and Len

Bryan in discussion in the background