In the old days, we called it a lack of "guts".
When we see in our local community just how ineffective we are ourselves at making important long-term decisions, should we really be surprised at how effective the people we elect to govern us are? People we pay enormous salaries to open-ended long-term appointments they can choose themselves how and when to keep increasing?
No this is not a political rant.
There was a worship song some years ago that had a line in it "Open my eyes that I may see, Lord", and in humility I am asking that we each might in all seriousness do just that, about the potentially destructive situation we may currently have put ourselves in through just wandering along, allowing our eternal affairs to "just happen", manipulated by those with agendae which we don't ever check the validity of.
I can think of three right now, only one of which has any bearing on the subject line this thread has, which actually was just an attention-grabber.
Please have patience as I explain.
Each of us has been careless enough to allow people who should know better to invent a history of nothing more than myths to convince us that they have all the answers, and we never checked the details, did we? Didn't even bother to think about checks, did we?
Okay, some of us are too young to have been taught real international history stuff in school but as our often under- or over-protective legal system tells us, "ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law". One of my grandfathers was a respected judge in the UK, who frequently made that statement and I for one did no checking!
Not an accusation, but a reminder why each one of us are here on this forum.
In my case I did it twice.
In my dear departed friend's case (Jan Groenveldt), twice.
We live in a "Nanny State", we are told, and I'm inclined to agree.
We are told - and therefore we believe - that Trades Unions have all the answers on employment conditions and other stuff. The Greens say they know all about climate change, vegetation, and animal life. Most of both have no concept at all of our wonderful Creator, and they go out of their way to ridicule Him and even His existence - and us for our belief.
Okay that's the end of this apparent "rant" but I would like to follow this up with several plagiarised posts (that means stuff written by other people and posted here).
I'll give short details maybe tomorrow or next week but there is a couple of sermons I would like to post as well as a couple of unsolicited statements showing how we have been systematically misled by gurus with agendae. But "obfuscation" is the order of the day with so much confused thinking resulting from politically-correct views replacing facts, and tending to become unchallengeable by "we, the people" because our differing views appear unwelcome to all of them.
I hope to post a little about the 500th anniversary of the Reformation as the date draws nearer (It officially started 30th October 1517) as that was an important eventual victory for a massive exposure of false gospel teaching, about which little more than (in some cases) generalities are all that we have picked up.
In closing this post, I draw attention to the difference in meaning between Restoration (ie substitution with something different) and Reformation (replacing what was changed with the original.
Thank-you for listening
Let me post this verse in his slightly amended version after leaving the AoG... changing the ownership of the land from "Us" to "Your" which was needed for a hymn after all, apart from the PC motivation;
Consider please whether this is not now true. How many dreams have dried up?
This is Your nation, This is Your land,
This “lucky country” of dreams gone dry.
And to all peoples there is a harvest
And to this land His Spirit’s come.
Incidentally the origin of the name of Australia comes from this page...
Please read this extract if you don't read the origination page...
Southland Of The Holy Spirit - An Honour Bestowed On No Other Nation
In the year 1606 Capt. Pedro Fernandez de Quiros gave this continent the name “Australia del Espiritu Santo” or literally “Southland of the Holy Spirit”. In the Bible Hebrew names not only indicate character but also happenings and even the destiny of those granted that name. What does this suggest for the destiny of Australia? No other nation on earth has been blessed with the title "South Land of the Holy Spirit"!
In fact de Quiros’s actual proclamation was as follows: “Let the heavens, the earth, the waters with all their creatures and all those present witness that I, Captain Pedro Fernandez de Quiros…..in the name of Jesus Christ ...... hoist this emblem of the Holy Cross on which His (Jesus Christ’s) person was crucified and whereon He gave His life for the ransom and remedy of all the human race…. on this Day of Pentecost, 14 May 1606….. I, take possession of all this part of the South as far as the pole in the name of Jesus…. Which from now on shall be called the Southern land of the Holy Ghost
Editor's note - the English words first came as "A note of Australia del Espiritu Santo. Written by Master Hakluyt." - published by Samuel Purchas in 1625 - Purchas, vol. iv, p. 1422-32. Captain de Quiros’s actual words had been "La Austrialia del Espiritu Santo" - believing he had reached the land he had been seeking - Terra Australis - he later stated that he'd had his Spanish monarch (from the house of Austria) in his mind as he dedicated this land of the South to the Holy Spirit. But quite ironically (for him), he was standing east of Australia in Vanuatu as he spoke - and Austria literally means "Eastern Kingdom". Still the Holy Spirit was doubtless involved in this irony (which we, somewhat like an audience, can also now see). Only one letter, the letter "i" needed to be removed to correct the focus - Austrialia to become Australia - and the English translation - click here for the evidence - gets it right. "We do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Holy Spirit pleads our case for us." "... I must decrease ☺" End note.
…. and this always and forever ......and to the end that to all natives, in all the said lands, the holy and sacred evangel may be preached zealously and openly.” (Michael de Looper, Fernandez de Quiros, Understanding Our Christian Heritage).
Sermon MATTHEW 18:21-35 Unlimited Forgiveness and Infinite Love in Jesus our Lord How much can you forgive? This much…?
Here is the second of the two, both of which had been willingly agreed to be shared with all of us on this forum. The earlier one I promised will come in a day or so...
You see, in the context of a real sermon (not spoken as part of a money-making project by someone who sells his thoughts commercially as books, videos and sound bytes, there can be no copyright; it belongs to God - like I wrote years ago about worship music copyright.
The preacher was Pastor Chris Gallasch, one of two miniistering at the very large church at the Hope Valley Retrirement Village in North-Eastern outer Aselaide, which iincludes Pastoral care of several hundred residents.
Some of us may not have heard one of the stories he relates; I had not actually previously encountered it in as much detail previously
Sermon MATTHEW 18:21-35
Unlimited Forgiveness and Infinite Love in Jesus our Lord
How much can you forgive? This much…? This much……………..??
or this much…………………………………………………………………………!!!
How much love do you have? How much love do you give? Forgiveness and love – they go together don’t they?
Peter approaches Jesus and asks: “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus replies, “Seven?....Hardly…. Try seventy times seven” In other words, “Infinity!” Unlimited forgiveness and infinite love. They go together even better don’t they? We see them together in the person of Jesus our Lord.
A little girl who was going through a hard time and feeling very insecure once had a dream that Jesus was standing in front of her. She asked Jesus: “How much do you me?” He answered, “This much!,” and then He stretched out His arms and died on the cross. That’s unlimited forgiveness! That’s infinite love! That’s the limitless power and source of all forgiveness and love.
Some will argue that offering love and mercy is just fine as long as the wrong doer is sorry, remorseful and repentant. What about all those who have wronged us and have not repented or begged for mercy? What about the unrepentant terrorists? How could we possibly forgive them?
This is exactly the type of love and forgiveness in Christ which is given even to our greatest enemies. We forgive and forgive and forgive again. Where do find this love and forgiveness? There is only one place to find it. Unlimited, unconditional love and forgiveness comes from one person, Jesus Christ. He alone has offered his perfect body on the cross for all of our imperfections.
“Seventy times seven” forgiveness comes from God’s heart shown through the love of Jesus. It comes again and again and again. It is this unlimited forgiveness and love which “triumphs” over all human evil and rebellion. When Jesus died on the cross sacrificing his own life for us rising from the dead, he played the greatest of God’s trump cards over sinful human evil and rebellion, and the devil’s schemes. This great forgiveness and love in Christ is with us through His Word and through His Supper.
Someone will say, "I have my limits beyond which I can't forgive." We all have limits – that is true, but God’s love and forgiveness is limitless. This is the source of “seventy times seven’ forgiveness. The extent of our love is the love of Jesus who is the source of all love. Our love is as limitless as Jesus’ love. We can only forgive so much in our own strength. In Jesus’ strength we can forgive beyond what we think is humanly possible. Jesus’ love is “love divine”.
We don't forgive because we are able; but we forgive because God is able. As St. Paul prays: “Now to Him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than we can ask or imagine, to Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen!” (Eph. 3:20) God’s love and forgiveness is an overflowing reservoir as limitless as the death of Jesus. God doesn't keep track of how many times we come to Him for forgiveness. In baptism and in absolution, God wipes clean the ledgers of our lives. Seven times in a day or 490 times, it really doesn't matter! No person but Jesus is able to forgive perfectly seventy times seven. Whatever we do, it will never be enough. Jesus’ forgiveness is more than enough. He sends us as instruments of His forgiveness, to freely forgive as we have been forgiven.
We may struggle to forgive when somebody has turned against us and hurt us terribly. But it is here in this very struggle that we are confronted with our own sin - our own inability to forgive. In this struggle we encounter the grace of God. For Jesus forgives the sin of our own inability to forgive so that we can forgive others in the forgiveness he gives to us. We are thrust upon the mercy and forgiveness of Jesus as we pray, “Lord, forgive my unforgiveness so that in your forgiveness I may forgive others” What we cannot do in ourselves with our own forgiveness which has “limits”, Jesus does with his own “limitless” forgiveness. Our own efforts to hold onto our own “limited” forgiveness, must be put to death. As we despair of our own efforts we are thrust upon the mercy of the Master who alone can forgive the mountainous debt. The unmerciful servant in the parable did not know the mercy of his master, and therefore he showed no mercy to others. It is when our mercy comes to end, Jesus’ mercy kicks in.
Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsie were imprisoned by the Nazis during the Second World War. The Nazis discovered that their family had been helping Jews to hide. Corrie and Betsie were taken to Ravensbruck, which was one of the most notorious death camps in all of Germany. They were treated brutally by the German guards.
Betsie did not survive the ordeal, but somehow Corrie endured through it all, even though she missed the support of her sister’s inner strength by her side. Amazingly Corrie was released and after the war she devoted herself to sharing with others God’s faithfulness and forgiveness.
“It was in church at Munich that I saw him”, says Corrie, “a balding heavyset man in grey overcoat, a brown felt cap clutched between his hands. People were filing out of the basement room where I had just spoken, moving along the rows of wooden chairs to the door at the rear. It was 1945 and I had come from Holland to defeated Germany with the message that God forgives. ‘When we confess our sins’, I said, ‘God casts them into the deepest ocean, gone forever.’ As people stood up to leave in silence to leave the room, that’s when I saw him, working his way forward against the others.
One moment I saw the overcoat and brown hat, the next a blue uniform and a visored cap with its skull and crossbones. It came back with a rush: the huge room with its harsh overhead lights, the pathetic pile of dresses and shoes in the centre of the floor, the shame of walking naked past this man. I could see my sister’s frail form ahead of me, ribs sharp beneath the parchment skin. Betsie, how thin you were! ….This man had been the guard at Ravensbruck concentration camp where we were sent.
Now he was in front of me, hand thrust out :
‘A fine message Fraulein’, How good it is to know, as you say, all our sins are at the bottom of the sea!’
And I, who had spoken so glibly of forgiveness, fumbled in my pocketbook rather than take that hand. He would not remember me of course – how could he remember one prisoner among thousands of women? But I remembered him and the leather crop swinging from his belt. It was the first time since my release that I had come face to face with one of my captors and my blood seemed to freeze.
‘You mentioned Ravensbruck in your talk,’ he was saying. ‘I was a guard in there’ No, he did not remember me.
‘But since that time,’ he went on, ‘I have become a Christian. I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things that I did there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well. Fraulein – ‘, (again the hand came out) ‘will you forgive me?’
And I stood there – I whose sins had every day to be forgiven – and could not. Betsie had died in that place – could he erase her slow terrible death simply for the asking?
It could not have been many seconds that he stood there, hand held out, but to me it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I ever had to do. For I had to do it….And still I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart. But forgiveness is not an emotion – I knew that too. Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. ‘Jesus, help me!’, I prayed silently. And so, woodenly, mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me. And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm and sprang into our joined hands. Then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes. ‘I forgive you brother!’ I cried. ‘with all my heart!’ For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely as I did then.” Jesus sets us free! As Corrie Ten Boom says in another place, “To forgive is to set the prisoner free, and to discover that the prisoner is you”
Another prisoner was set free from a gaol at Robben Island after 27 years, his name was Nelson Mandela - a prisoner who became a President of South Africa. Mandela learnt many things during his imprisonment, about God, about himself and about his enemies.
“Resentment” said Nelson Mandela, “is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” The love and forgiveness of Christ is the medicine of the gospel which brings healing and restoration. This is not a “pie in the sky” high ideal. It is a “down to earth” truth which is lived out in the real world, in real families and in real communities where conflict has inflicted deep pain and isolation. Only God can change the heart of person to be kind to the enemies who have committed evil against them.
The intimate and infinite love of God combined with His unconditional and unlimited forgiveness “trumps and triumphs” over all sinful plans of evil every time again and again and again, “seventy times seven!”
In regards to the 'postal survey', it is shameful, in my opinion, that our so-called leaders can't do the job they are paid to do. What a dreadful waste of $122 million. A pox on their houses.
Perhaps "A pox on all your houses" would be even more appropriate (heh)
Not sure which would measure up to the "Bard of Avon" and the implication of his version pf words (grin)
However, it is presented by the same preacher...
THE SERMON – 18TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Pastor David Eckermann 8.10.17
Text - Philippians 3:4b–14
What does it mean to be religious? Some might define it as following a particular code of conduct that expresses your devotion to whoever or whatever it is you worship. Others might say it means standing up for whatever it is that you believe in, expressing what is important and foundational in your life. But does carrying out certain behaviours or strongly believing in something meaningful necessarily indicate a person’s standing before God? People can be religious about a whole host of things. They can pledge allegiance to a wide variety of gods. Many people religiously follow a football team, pledging their devotion and time to their support of the team. Others are devoted to their goals in life, believing that a successful career is all-important, or that the accumulation of wealth and possessions will provide security and happiness, and so they religiously set out to achieve their goals, devoting much time and effort to them. Throughout the world, there are very religious Buddhists and Muslims and Hindus and followers of other gods.
Unfortunately, many very religious people on this earth will not be in heaven. They may worship regularly, lead very good lives, and observe all the right rituals of their particular ‘religion’. The problem is they are either worshipping a false god, or they are trying to reach the true God the wrong way by trying to earn their salvation through their own efforts. People can believe in something as sincerely as they like, but if it doesn’t involve knowing Jesus as their Saviour, and if the foundation of their hope for eternal life is not 100% based on him, there is no certainty that they will be in heaven.
The congregation in Philippi, a very important city in Greece, was having some problems with religious people. There were some false teachers going around insisting that these Gentile Christians had to obey the Old Testament laws and rituals to make themselves acceptable to God. Particularly, they insisted that the Philippians had to be circumcised before they could be God’s people. However, the apostle Paul assured them that circumcision for religious purposes was now a useless ceremony because of what Christ had done. There was no longer a necessity to keep all the Old Testament ceremonial laws, because Christ had fulfilled these laws completely and had achieved salvation for all people through his death on the cross. In addition, circumcision had been replaced by baptism as the means of making a person a member of the family of God.
Paul tells the Philippians that they should not “have confidence in the flesh.” This phrase has a double meaning. First, it refers to anyone who trusts in circumcision, the cutting of flesh, to obtain God’s approval and to become a member of his family. Second, and much more importantly for us, it refers to anyone who trusts in the works of the flesh, i.e. human effort, to obtain salvation. Paul claims that, if anyone could boast about carrying out all the right rituals, about doing everything according to the law of God, about having the right to claim acceptance by God because of his obedience, it was him. Paul says, “I was circumcised on the eighth day of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.” His parents were good Jews who had him circumcised according to God’s command. He was a member of God’s chosen people by descent. He belonged to the same tribe that gave Israel its first king, after whom he had been named. Paul had carried out God’s law with great energy and single-mindedness. The Pharisees were obsessed with following the law, at least in the way they believed it should be followed. And Paul was one of the best Pharisees you could find. No one could deny that Paul was a very religious man. He was so fanatical about his beliefs that he even persecuted those whom he thought were heretics and non-keepers of the law of God.
But then Paul’s life had been turned upside down. Everything that he previously thought stood him in good stead before God and before human beings, he now considered to be valueless, a total loss. Why? Because of Christ. Paul met Christ on the Damascus road, and everything changed. In fact, he now considered everything he had achieved by his own efforts as useless “compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” Christ was now the greatest thing in his life, the one in whom he trusted completely. To Paul, everything else was mere garbage. Christ and everything Christ freely offered to him was all that mattered. Christ alone was truly his Lord. Paul knew that he had no righteousness of his own that he could claim from his obedience to the law. No one, not even someone as religious as Paul, can achieve perfection through obeying the law of God - and perfection is the only standard acceptable to God. Instead, our righteousness, our ‘rightness’ before God, has been given to us by God himself as a free gift. It comes through faith in Christ, the only perfect one. Christ’s righteousness is the only one that counted for Paul, because receiving that righteousness is the only way to salvation. Nothing or no one else can achieve it. So Paul urges us not to put our trust in any human works or in our own ability to fulfil the demands of the law. No matter how religiously we might try to live, we will never achieve the required level of perfection.
Because Christ meant everything to Paul, he wanted to be bound up completely in him. Every part of his life was now connected to Christ. That is why he says in his letter to the Galatians, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” He had an ongoing, personal relationship with his Lord and Saviour. Paul tells the Philippians that his only desire for his life was “to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Does Christ mean so very much to you? Is it your desire to know Christ to the same extent as Paul? Knowing Christ is much more than intellectual knowledge. It is experiencing him in your life, trusting in him, and gratefully receiving the blessings that he offers you so generously. It is believing that Christ died and rose for you, that he has made you one of God’s children through baptism, that he continually gives you the Holy Spirit to enable you to believe and to live the Christian life he has prepared for you. It is having a living, ongoing, intimate relationship with Christ. Do you have this kind of relationship with your Lord and Saviour?
To know Christ is also to recognise the extraordinary power of God, a power that showed itself in raising Christ from the dead, proving that Christ had totally conquered sin, death, and the devil. This same amazing power is now at work in you. It was present at your baptism, and continues to come to you through Word and Sacrament. This means you, too, can fight against and win the victory over sin, death, and the devil because the same all-conquering, victorious Christ lives in you and fights for you. On the other hand, Paul reminds us that knowing Christ is also to experience suffering and trouble like Jesus did (although at nowhere near the same level!). It is to recognise that Jesus is always right there with you, helping you through those times of hardship, making you stronger through them. You are never alone in your tough times. God’s power often works in what seems to be weakness and failure, just as it worked most powerfully in Jesus’ shameful death on a cross. His power still works today through sickness and suffering, economic hardship and damaged relationships, drought and flood, and even through death. Knowing Christ is to believe you are so intimately connected with Christ that you have already died and risen again with him. Your old sinful nature has already been defeated and killed through Christ’s death, and you have already been raised with a new nature, given to you by God. You are a new creation, to be finally completed when you are raised from death on the last day and welcomed into heaven as a perfect child of God.
Paul’s use of the word ‘somehow’ when referring to his resurrection does not indicate uncertainty or doubt about his resurrection from the dead on judgment day. Rather it indicates the extraordinary nature of our resurrection and our acceptance into heaven when we don’t deserve it. Paul can’t explain what is going to happen on that last day because it is so great and glorious that it defies human logic. It seems almost too incredible to be true! Paul wants to make it very clear that it is the amazing mystery of Christ’s saving work that brings about our resurrection to eternal life, not human achievement or understanding.
So - are you religious? In what or whom do you put your trust for your salvation? Is there even the smallest hint in your mind that your own goodness contributes something toward your salvation? Paul reminds you today that it is 100% Christ that brings about your salvation. He alone is your sure hope for eternal life. In comparison, everything that you could possibly do yourself to win God’s approval is totally insignificant, and a whole lot of garbage. Put your trust totally in Jesus. He died and rose again for you.
And then go and live your life with the certainty that eternal life is yours, through Christ alone.
Thankfully is is actually readable and free of the special jargon of Vic, and proof that there are other preachers of the Word who is Jesus Himself.
1 Corinthians 3:6-9 (from the NIV)
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.
So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labour.
For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
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