Category Archives: God

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BEWILDERED PERPLEXED PUZZLED

By now you will be aware of the events in part of the CBD in Melbourne.

We as a part of the community have been involved in the community support.

There is nothing more to say, so I’ll leave you with our sign message….

JESUS
WEPT


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Love Others Radically

Love others so radically they wonder why.

This weekend it was announced by the Prime Minister that he wants to pass a law that says that anyone who has tried to come to Australia, illegally,  by boat since 2013 will NEVER be allowed to enter the country. It is being done as a “sign to the people smugglers of how serious we are” about border protection. That’s great , Mr Turnbull, but it’s not the people smugglers who are being effected by this, its the little people desperate to find a new life away from tyranny and oppression – they won’t find it here apparently. (Yes, I know that some of the boat people are trying to jump the queue and beat the system but the (documented) majority are trying to escape terrible lives. Just think, what would have to happen to you and your family to make you jump into a boat and risk your life? It’s not a decision that most of the people make lightly.)

I was listening to the radio yesterday morning and a politician (I don’t remember her name) confirmed to the interviewer that if someone has tried to come to Australia to seek asylum by boat, even if they are found to have a legitimate claim, they will not be allowed to enter the country EVER! My friend (who works for the United Nations as a lawyer) cannot work out how many U.N. statutes  and Internation Laws this new law (if passed) will contravene. Where is our nation’s compassion? Where is our love for our neighbour? When we will stop singing the National Anthem that says, in the second verse, “For those who’ve come across the seas, we’ve boundless plains to share”?

Please don’t think I’m advocating that we do away with our immigration laws – I’m not. I went through the system to be allowed to live here, it was fair to me. I am questioning the fairness and justice of a law that contravenes many International laws and treaties for those legitimate people who have been so oppressed in their own country that they have had to make the difficult decision to flee and will be denied the right I have because of the way they travel; for many the boats are the only way they can get out. (And I’m very aware of the amazing privilege I have to be able to write this blog, granted to me because I do live in a ‘free’ country.)

The sign this week speaks of the Christian value of love – that love that Jesus speaks about and shows to others. To those who, in the eyes of the government of his time, didn’t deserve love; to those that did him all manner of wrong; to those who oppressed him and, eventually, killed him.

This ‘radical’ love is what we, as Christians (I would say decent humans), should strive for; a self giving love that sees others as equals; a love (and a way of life) that doesn’t judge the worth of others by what their job is, or where they come from.

Love one another because love is from God – to quote a book a read from time to time.

A very appropriate meme!


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HOMELESSNESS IS UGLY

Working on the streets and being involved in peoples lives is challenging.
I get that, I get that it creates inconvenience, I get that it may  not ‘be a good look’ for the streetscape and I even get its ugly…….HOMELESS IS UGLY, BUT its not those who are homeless which makes it ugly!!

I read a recent article in the online version of one of our newspapers The Age,following is a quote from our Lord Mayor taken from that article.

“We should be supportive of people that are vulnerable, but we shouldn’t romanticise the situation,” he said.
“There are challenging, illegal behaviours that we shouldn’t put up with, whether people are homeless or not.”

As I walk the streets on our city, I witness some of the behaviours of those who are not ‘the homeless’, so why do we make statements about those who are vulnerable and often have no voice??


Perhaps Mayor Doyle if we prioritised some real solutions, and made as much effort to care for vulnerable people as we do for the ‘top end of town’ we might believe you actually care.
Just because you give $$ to some organisations to give bandaid solutions, don’t think you can wash your hands of this issue.

You give them soup, but they want their lives back.





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#TogetherStronger

You may think that this week’s sign is a bit strange – and you might be right. If you look on Twitter the hashtag #TogetherStonger is the hashtag for the Welsh Soccer team. As of today they are in the semi finals of the Euro 2016 soccer championship. This is unheard of and (being honest) quite unexpected.

So we at the Melbourne Welsh Church wish to show our support for the Welsh Team as they play Portugal on Thursday morning our time. C’mon Wales!

But thinking about it – #TogetherStronger is a great idea. If we’re honest (and by that I mean Welsh Soccer fans) we don’t have that many world class, top name players. (One of our strikers doesn’t even have a contract for next season yet!) Apart form Gareth Bale we don’t have any world beating superstars. In fact mention the names of the Welsh team to most soccer fans and they’ll know a few of them and have heard of some of them but we don’t have a team of over paid stars like, say, the English soccer team. Most of the English players are household names in football – well known and well paid players who play for big teams and expect success. By comparison the Welsh boys were just pleased to get to the Euros at all – it’s our first major championship for about 50 years.

To get to the semifinals is a huge achievement for Welsh football. It shows that a star team can beat a team of stars and that we are greater than the sum of our parts; that we are #TogetherStronger. To Chris Coleman (the manager) and all the staff and players we can only say well done, keep it up, you’ve made your nation proud!!!!

If I was asked to go and talk to the Welsh team before the game I would give them this advice from
Joshua – it fits the hashtag #TogetherStronger (and it can apply to all of us as we face the various problems in our lives).

Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. GOD, your God, is with you every step you take.”

So Strength, courage, don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged – we are #TogetherStronger be that with teammates on the pitch or with God in life!!


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heaven don’t miss it for the world


heaven don’t miss it for the world….
so said the sign on the road side…..

It appears like we think Heaven is somehow going to be better than The World????

When we pray for God’s will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven, what are we asking or expecting??

Its seems  we are just biding time, or waiting for ‘pie in the sky in the sweet bye and bye rather than steak on the plate while we wait’?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m eager for things to be ‘put right’, whatever that looks like.

All new things or all things renewed??

Its Easter, perhaps its time to get on with God’s will being done on earth, rather that waiting for your insurance policy to be invoked.

Don’t hide Jesus this Easter, get out there where its happening and be part of things being renewed…….if your looking for Jesus this is where Jesus will be…..





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death is not the end

One of the ‘stuff’ of life issues  which I’m honoured to be part of is  that of taking part in funeral services..
There is a sense of beginning and ending, as one of my mates i met on the streets of melbourne put it, after saying goodbye to a mate, ‘I’ve come to the conclusion death is a mystery’.
This week I along with a club brother, we  support a family with six daughters age 18>4 as they farewell their dad, their mothers partner.
As we sat with them the second to youngest daughters handed us a letter she wrote, which she would like read out at the funeral
This is the stuff of life where the mysterious ways of God are often the only way to make ‘sense’ of tragedy and loss.
When you’re sad and when you’re lonely
And you haven’t got a friend
Just remember that death is not the end
And all that you held sacred
Falls down and does not mend
Just remember that death is not the end
Not the end, not the end
Just remember that death is not the end
When you’re standin’ on their crossroads
That you cannot comprehend
Just remember that death is not the end
And all your dreams have vanished
And you don’t know what’s up the bend
Just remember that death is not the end
Not the end, not the end
Just remember that death is not the end
When the storm clouds gather round you
And heavy rains descend
Just remember that death is not the end
And there’s no one there to comfort you
With a helpin’ hand to lend
Just remember that death is not the end
Not the end, not the end
Just remember that death is not the end
Oh, the tree of life is growing
Where the spirit never dies
And the bright light of salvation shines
In dark and empty skies
When the cities are on fire
With the burnin’ flesh of men
Just remember that death is not the end
And you search in vain to find
Just one law abiding citizen
Just remember that death is not the end
Not the end, not the end
Just remember that death is not the end
Not the end, not the end
Just remember that death is not the end
Songwriters
BOB DYLAN



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Whatever you do give 100% unless it’s giving blood


Today we continue the re-vamped Bible verses – how about Matthew 5:41?

 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.

Or in modern speak – 

Whatever you do give 100% unless it’s giving blood.

The original verse is about the practise of impressment, when a Roman Soldier could command a civilian to carry their pack a mile for them. Jesus was saying that you should even help those with whom you don’t agree. Not just help them but do more than you’re expected to. 
Society doesn’t do this anymore, at least it’s not common practise anymore. Here, in Australia, on the whole, we seem to have a “that’ll do” attitude.
The job isn’t quite finished but that’ll do
I went to church three weeks ago, that’ll do
I helped a little bit, that’ll do
I saw someone else give that homeless woman 50c, that’ll do
Climate change? I turn some lights off sometimes, that’ll do
Insert need here – Other people help, that’ll do
People – it isn’t good enough. I don’t care if you share my faith, have a different one or don’t have one at all – in a world with so much suffering as ours “that’ll do” is never good enough. Basic humanity demands that everyone has just that, basic humanity. When did it become normal for someone to work over 40 hours a week and still not be able to care for their family? When did we so shut our eyes to the needs of others that it became okay for some children to go to school hungry because their parents can’t afford food for them?
I met a guy the other day at a food van who has a choice – either he or his two kids eat. He can’t afford both. And before you shout that “he should get a job” he has TWO and still can’t afford to pay rent, bills, etc and get food. 
And this is becoming more and more common. Western ‘civilisation’ globally is now finding it has a new emerging class – the working poor. People who do work hard and who still can’t afford to live. People who struggle everyday to try and make ends meet only to find the gap between the ends is getting bigger and bigger. 
If ‘that’ll do’ then I pity you. If you can read and understand that concept, if you agree it’s happening and your heart doesn’t say that you should do something about it then your faith and mine are very different. Our views of social justice will not agree and our understanding of who Jesus is and what he wants us to do is markedly at odds.
The faith I follow demands I walk with those in need – not to make me feel better but to make their lives easier. Jesus told his followers to do that for the invading army. Carry the burdens of the Roman soldiers – not just carry them but to carry them twice as far as you need to. Go the extra mile.
It’s not just Christians that have this idea; most (if not all) of the faiths of the world do; Muslims do, Jews do, Buddhists do – we do not have a monopoly on compassion and caring, but we are commanded to do it. 

When life is fair for all, when everyone, regardless of their faith, or colour, or background can feed their family and have basic human rights then that’ll do – until then go the extra mile; until then give 100% in everything, well, unless it’s giving blood.
(And yes, that is a Joel Osteen quote – I don’t agree with all he says, I’m sure he doesn’t agree with all I say but we agree on the following Jesus bit and that’s a start.)

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.