I don’t know if you’ve ever been addicted to anything. According to Liesl, I’m addicted to coffee. It’s true. I do love the stuff. And it would indeed be a rare day that I would not have a coffee. And I keep saying to her that I could give it up any time, I just don’t want to.
Alright. So maybe I am addicted.
But I have gone through times of giving it up. Sometimes for health reasons, sometimes to prove to Liesl that I wasn’t addicted. But I have successfully gone for periods of not drinking coffee. And what I’ve found is that in order for me to give up something that I may or may not be addicted to, I need to replace it with something else. Preferably something that is healthier.
So for example, when I gave up coffee, I would replace it with water. I would drink lots of water, and I would have hot water to replace the social aspect in my brain of having a hot drink.
In the times that Liesl and I have come into contact with Salvation Army rehab units, we’ve discovered a similar thing. Most recovering drug addicts and alcoholics take up smoking, and most centres are ok with it, because it is giving up a damaging addiction and replacing it with something less damaging. They realise that if you take the addiction away but don’t replace it with anything, then it won’t be a long term solution.
Or maybe you’ve tried to get rid of an old habit? In the very same way, it is a deliberate action that we must take to replace a bad habit with a good habit.
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”
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 – Here’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”
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”
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?”
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.
Today 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”
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…
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?