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when will jesus return???

Driving through a country city recently, I spotted a sign posing the age old question…when will jesus return??? As a kid this was the subject of many a ‘sermon’, ‘discussion’ and ‘debate’, people became wealthy writing endless books about it, there was even a ‘movie’ or two made to try and answer that very question!!
I reckon Jesus will return when good and ready!!

Maybe the more important question is, what ever this ‘return’ might look like, is how are  things since Jesus ‘left”??

Have we stuffed things up?, how have we loved our enemies? and have we loved our neighbours as our selves?

How are we doing on the ‘stranger’ and ‘sojourner’ front?, how is the planet looking?

Who have we in excluded rather than include?

Has ‘justice been served’?

Has God’s will been on earth as in heaven?

Have I though of  the needs and desirers others over my own?

Now ask yourself, when Jesus ‘returns’, how ready are you?

If I think my faith and you think your faith is is about ‘pie in the sky in the sweet by and by, you’d be wrong, its more like ‘steak on the plate while we wait’!!

before worrying over Jesus return, ask yourself has justice been done?, have we loved kindness? and have we walked humbly with God?… THEN if time permits spent time concerning yourself with Jesus return, OR get on with humbly walking with God….. you might run into Jesus along the way!!!

Them people might say…………………………………………………………….

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When someone told me I live in a fantasy land I nearly fell off my unicorn.

Last month someone said to me that God doesn’t exist and that I’m living in and preaching about a fantasy world. I nearly fell off my unicorn. 

The thing that really annoyed me about that conversation was that the person who accused me was just re-iterating what he had heard from other people and had not thought about the ideas for himself.
A few days ago I was talking to a born again Christian about the idea of marriage equality. We disagreed on the idea (and that’s fine) but the thing that really annoyed me about that conversation was that the person with whom I was taking was just re-iterating what she had heard from other people and had not thought about the ideas for herself.

I have said many times I do not mind what people believe about faith (among other things) as long as they have thought about why they believe what they think. A lot of my friends are not Christians but we have great discussions about faith because they have thought about why they do not believe. It is a conscious choice for them not to believe as it is also a conscious choice for me to believe.
Some may think I do live in a fantasy world where God makes rainbows and bunnies and I ride a unicorn but do not condemn me for that if you haven’t thought why you live in a world where God does not exist. 
I believe what I believe because I have thought about it, studied it and have come to decision that God exists and Jesus is his son. Do you have to agree with me? No, you don’t but if you’re going to challenge me at least think about why you believe what you do. Don’t just tell me I’m living in la-la land or I’ll get my unicorn to stab you! 

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We guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why they are poor
They get the same as rebel Jesus
Jackson Brown & Bruce Cockburn

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Loitering in the small hours recently, I was greeted by an old friend who I had not seen for some time.

I was met by a hug and kiss on the cheek, as we caught up with life happenings.

Sadly my friend is involved, as a witness in a court case to do with the death of one of her friends.

I did not know the person who died, but I have met family and many friends of this person.

As we chatted the sadness and grief felt was still part of this persons life, and her hope for justice to be done was real.

It reminded me of the prayer we call the Lords Prayer, in which we call for His will to be done on earth as in heaven and for forgiveness to those who have done wrong.

May it be so.

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SOMETIMES THE DARKNESS IS YOUR FRIEND

Darkness conjures up negative images.

I’m not sure that darkness is always ‘bad’, with the exception of a headlight failure while riding a motorcycle at night!!!

when you can’t 
look on the bright side,
I will sit with you 
in the dark

7. I BELIEVE IN YOU.

Sometimes I think I see You.

Sometimes I think I don’t.

Sometimes I think I’ll hear You.

Sometimes I think I won’t.

Sometimes I feel I trust You.

Sometimes I feel I doubt.

Sometimes I feel I’m into You.

Sometimes I feel I’m out.

I see You in the darkness.

I hear You in the silence.

Thru’ clouds of uncertainty.

In doubts and inquiry.
When the night is misty,

When the day is still,

That’s when I know You –

I believe in You.
Derek Lind – adapted by Dave Andrews.

Sometimes the best map will not guide you 
You can’t see what’s round the bend
Sometimes the road leads through dark places 
Sometimes the darkness is your friend
Today these eyes scan bleached-out land 
For the coming of the outbound stage
Pacing the cage 
Pacing the cage 
But then………
Sometimes you’re made to feel as if your love’s a crime
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight
Got to kick at the darkness ’til it bleeds daylight
When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time
We were lovers in a dangerous time
We were lovers in a dangerous time
Songwriters
COCKBURN, BRUCE
Published by
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., CARLIN AMERICA INC


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The call to serve.

The call to service, after a recent brief trip to NZ, has had an impact on me.
Not only was it a passion of those I travelled with it was modelled in the way life is lived.

I spent time with people from all walks of life.
Some with whom it may one day be illegal hangout with, but which I will anyway.
People who are ‘doing’ life differently regardless of ‘societal norms’.

Have conversed, eaten, drank and been shown hospitality as a stranger.

The call to serve the broken, poor, lonely, widowed, prisoner, isolated, sojourner and the stranger  is still as valid as at any other time in history.

This prayer written by someone else is for all who go into the difficult places in life;

God go with us as we go into the difficult places and offer hope.
Jesus , who has travelled the narrow and dangerous road and been to the difficult places make us brave as we go.
Spirit who gives freedom, freedom to go and offer hope and spread the good news along the narrow road, go before us on the narrow road to the difficult places.
Amen.

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Lest We Forget

A simple sign this week

100 years ago the First World War started. The “Great War” or “The War to end all wars” unfortunately, as we know, wars still go on. 
At 11am on the 11th of November we remember all those who have given their lives in conflict. We will pause for two minutes and offer prayers to God for the all affected by conflict peace of the world. We do not glorify war but we do remember.
As a visual reminder of some of those who died in the First World War the Tower of London has an exhibition of ceramic poppies. One for each Commonwealth solider who died. There are 888,246 of them. I saw them in September. It is a truely awesome sight. A river of red to remember some of the fallen. I took the photo below, it doesn’t do the sight justice at all!
I was asked by one of the children in church on Sunday why we wear poppies? We wear them because of this poem by Lt. Col. John McCrae who wrote this in May 1915.

In Flanders Fields

John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead; short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe!
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high!
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

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Upcoming Events

Dec
23
Sun
11:00 am NATIVITY SERVICE
NATIVITY SERVICE
Dec 23 @ 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
FOLLOWED BY A VISIT FROM SANTA AND A CHRISTMAS LUNCH
Jan
27
Sun
10:00 am CHURCH PICNIC
CHURCH PICNIC
Jan 27 @ 10:00 am – 3:30 pm
 
Mar
3
Sun
3:00 pm 2019 St. David’s Day Gymanfa Ganu
2019 St. David’s Day Gymanfa Ganu
Mar 3 @ 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm
A wonderful afternoon of traditional hymns and music held at St. Michael’s U.C. on the corner of Collins and Russell Streets. Features the Blue Ribbon winner from the 2018 National Eisteddfod of Wales, Andrew P.