Living in the Holy Land

As has been my tradition, every sermon that I preach will be posted here. This sermon, Moving outside the private faith, was given at The Salvation Army Rochester on Sunday June 25, 2017. The Reading was Romans 6:1-13.

Living in a Foreign Land

I want you to imagine that you have moved to live in another country. Not there for a holiday, but moved there permanently. But you haven’t moved to one of the English-speaking countries – you’ve moved to France, or Germany, or China, Uzbekistan or Chile. And you don’t know the language. What are you going to do? Continue reading “Living in the Holy Land”

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Holiness drives us out to Mission

Has anyone here ever sculpted anything? Started off with a block of something and made it into something else? You may have heard of the quote falsely attributed to Michelangelo, who apparently said about his statue of David, that he started with a block of marble, and just chipped away anything that didn’t look like David. It’s that simple! You just chip away anything that doesn’t look the way that you wanted it to look.
You may remember a while ago, Liesl got me to bring in something that I had made – Picture of wooden sculpture - a Salvation Army Shield carved from Huon Pine on a disc of Huon Pine. Made by Ben ClaptonHere’s the finished product. This part here, it was once a square piece of huon pine. Then I decided what I wanted to make, and I just removed anything that didn’t look like what I wanted. With that in mind, I want you to watch this video. Continue reading “Holiness drives us out to Mission”

Called to be Holy

As has been my tradition, every sermon that I preach will be posted here. This sermon, Called to be Holy, was given at The Salvation Army Devonport on Sunday 15 June, 2014. The Reading was Matthew 28:16-20

Have you ever felt that you were too small to really make a difference? Thinking, “this town is too big for me to make a difference” or “how can I make a difference in this world that is so large” or “why would anyone listen to me?”

One of my best friends is absolutely incredible. She’s lived an incredible life – which is another talk in itself – and has been through all sorts of things in that time as well. In 2009, Daena committed to completing one random act of kindness each day, until her 25th birthday. She opened it up so that others could submit their acts of kindness as well, in the hope of getting 1000 acts of kindness by her birthday. Since then, she’s committed to completing a random act of kindness every day, and has done so – apart from a recent 3 month hiatus due to significant family issues – up until this date. On her blog, she says that she is “just an ordinary person looking to make a difference to the world, one small act of kindness at a time.”

I’m reminded of a story from the bible, where 5000 men, with women and children on top of that, were gathered, listening to Jesus teaching. With the crowd being hungry, Jesus poses the question to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” Philip answered saying that “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” Then Andrew pipes up, “There’s a boy here who has five barley loaves, and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” Continue reading “Called to be Holy”

Who are your spiritual heroes?

As has been my tradition, every sermon that I preach will be posted here. This sermon, Who are your spiritual heroes, was given at Waverley Temple Salvation Army on Sunday 18 August, 2013. The Bible reading was Hebrews 11:29-12:2.

Who are your faith heroes? In the bible reading today, we’ve heard a few of the faith heroes that were of importance to the faith community that this epistle was addressed to. We’ve heard of Moses and of Joshua and Rahab. We’ve heard of Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah – Judges of the early Hebrew tribes, and of David, the king, and Samuel, the prophet. We’ve heard all their actions attributed to their faith – by Faith, these great people did these things. These are people that they hold in high esteem in their faith, because of the things that they have done. Continue reading “Who are your spiritual heroes?”

The gifts that we bring to offer our King

As has been my tradition, every sermon that I preach will be posted here. This sermon, The gifts that we bring to offer our king, was given at the Church of Christ Wembley Downs on Sunday 6 January, 2013. The Bible reading was Matthew 2:1-12.

Annabelle in Wrapping PaperToday is the last day of our Christmas season. I hope it’s been a good season for you. It’s been a very special season for me, as it has been Annabelle’s first Christmas, and it was very special to be able to spend it here at home. But that presented itself with some other challenges. Everyone wanted to give Annabelle lots of presents, but we had to remember that everything that we received, we had to make sure that we could fit it all in our suitcases to take back to Melbourne. Thankfully we didn’t receive many large presents, but we’re still hoping that we’ll come in under our baggage allowance. Continue reading “The gifts that we bring to offer our King”

A new year, a new challenge…

Well, it’s 2012. 2011 has ended, and with it a whole heap of changes have been brought about.

We’re in the midst of packing right now – we move to Melbourne in less than two weeks now. The usual routines that we have fallen into will change dramatically, with our new lives being governed by college timetables and expectations. Not only that, but we will be bringing a new child into the world in May – something that will also change our lives dramatically.

So for today, let’s look back on the year that was, and look forward to the year that will be…

Continue reading “A new year, a new challenge…”

Right Job, Wrong Time

Dog Rock - Albany, Western Australia.
One of the iconic landmarks of Albany - Dog Rock (Image via Wikipedia)

I was offered a job yesterday. It was, a couple of years ago, my dream job. It was teaching violin, 4 days a week, at schools in Albany. A couple of years ago – even possibly as late as last year – I might have jumped at the opportunity. This time, however, I turned it down.

Why? Well, I’m heading to college (hopefully – should find out on Wednesday) next year, and if we’re accepted to that, then I’m moving house. Working 4 days a week in Albany (which for those playing overseas is about a 4.5 hour drive, or around $200 each way for flights) would put a serious strain on my relationship with my wife, especially in the lead up to college, where we would be thrown into a boiler room of pressure, living in the college, studying every day with everyone else around us.

So I turned the job down. I know it’s the right thing to do, but it’s also incredibly hard for me to pass something up that I had wanted for so long. A full-time teaching job – doing for a living what I was trained to do, instead of my current situation – working three hours on a Friday morning teaching, and doing non-musical work the rest of the week. But it’s ok, as I know that God has called me to ministry in the Salvation Army, and in a couple of years, I will not only be doing what I was trained to do, but also what I was called to do.

I think that makes it all better.

Have you ever had to give something up that you really wanted, because the situation wasn’t quite right?