Friday, 28 February 2014

Friday's Five - Happiness


That is happiness; to be dissolved into something completely great. - Willa Cather
Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile. - ― Mother Teresa
Just because you are happy it does not mean that the day is perfect but that you have looked beyond its imperfections - ― Bob Marley
Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here. - ― Leo Tolstoy
“Remember laughing? Laughter enhances the blood flow to the body’s extremities and improves cardiovascular function. Laughter releases endorphins and other natural mood elevating and pain-killing chemicals, improves the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to internal organs.
Laughter boosts the immune system and helps the body fight off disease, cancer cells as well as viral, bacterial and other infections. Being happy is the best cure of all diseases!”  - ― Patch Adams

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Happiness



Happiness is a wondrous dance
Like
A road home embraces a joyous liberty
A falling snow-flake cascades a mighty avalanche
A hope discovered starts a glorious song
A sweet refrain dispels a hovering cloud
A word of forgiveness releases the chains of condemnation
A touch of love heals the pain of sin
Happiness is a sweet season
Happiness is constant love
Happiness is a soul of joy
Happiness is overflowing grace.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Forgotten Heroes - Sergeant Lewis McGee V.C.


Sergeant Lewis McGee, 40th Battalion, Victoria Cross action near Ypres, Belgium. It was a posthumous award.

Lewis McGee was born in Ross, Tasmania. He was 27, married and working as an engine-driver when he enlisted in Tasmania in early 1916. Although the 40th Battalion, did not see any big battles until 1917, it did particularly good work in the attack on Broodseinde Ridge on 4 October. Leading a depleted platoon near Zonnebeke, McGee made a single-handed attack on a concrete blockhouse while armed with only a revolver. He then had an active part in consolidating the captured position.

Resuming the advance a week later, McGee was killed in the futile attack on Passchendaele. 

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

His Wonderful Grace



My advocate with words clear and true
No condemnation, he said, no condemnation
No matter how often, no matter how many times
With grace, failure doesn't make any difference

When I fail, He comforts and heals
The work of the Son on my behalf
Eternally righteous, sin taken away
God is satisfied with Jesus work.

He took my old sinful nature, shame, guilt, pain,
He nailed it to the cross, forever,
Now I am accepted, loved, held, kept,
Beloved in the fullness of the son.

New life, righteous, healed, holy, complete,
Christ now lives inside of me.
I found love, forever, free in His embrace
No condemnation, looking into His wonderful grace.


Sunday, 23 February 2014

Heavens Mirror



Starlit night
Unparalleled splendour
Magnificent greatness
Heavens mirror
Inexhaustible beauty
Unimaginable vastness
Untracked stars
Sing your praises
Here I stand
Infinitesimally small
Consumed by awe
Beholding you
Take my ache
This heart felt wonder
Let me see
Who I really am
Flaming grace
Restoring power
Deep inside
One with Christ

Friday, 21 February 2014

Friday's Five - Mercy


“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.”
― Abraham Lincoln
“His mercy is so great that it forgives great sins to great sinners after great lengths of time and then gives great favors and great privileges and raises us up to great enjoyments in the great heaven of the great God!”
― Charles H. Spurgeon
“The most frightful of all spectacles is the strength of the civilization without its mercy.”
― Winston Churchill
“My past life is abundantly full of God’s mercy, and, above all sin, stands the forgiving love of the Crucified.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“We get the odd notion that God is showing mercy because Jesus died. No. Jesus died because God is showing mercy.”
― A.W. Tozer

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Mercy


Mercy is a fragrant aroma
Like
A kissed cheek comforts the lonely heart
A secret smile perfumes a hidden glance
A given flower refreshes a cluster of cares
A cherished touch heals a furrow of grief
A word glimpsed smiles with sweet glory
A morning garland sings freedom’s promise
Mercy is abiding
Mercy is spiritual delight
Mercy is unfailing
Mercy is grace’s attire.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Forgotten Heroes - Lance Corporal Walter Peeler. V.C.



Lance Corporal Walter Peeler, 3rd Pioneer Battalion, was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at Broodseinde Ridge, during the battle of Ypres, Belgium.

Walter Peeler was born near Castlemaine, Victoria. He enlisted in February 1916 in time to join the 3rd Pioneer Battalion. He was slightly wounded during the battle of Messines in June 1917.

On 4 October 1917 Peeler was one of several Lewis gunners attached to the 37th Battalion for the attack on Broodseinde Ridge. In the forefront, he led attacks against a series of enemy posts, eventually accounting for over 30 of the enemy. A few days later Peeler was wounded and while recuperating received the Victoria Cross from the King.

During the Second World War, Peeler understated his age and enlisted in the 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion. After serving in Syria, he was captured with his unit in Java during 1942 and spent three and a half years as a prisoner of the Japanese. He was a Custodian of Victoria's Shrine of Remembrance between 1934 and 1940 and from 1945 until 1964. He was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1961.

Peeler was awarded the Victoria Cross, British Empire Medal, service medals for the First and Second World Wars, and coronation medals for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II.


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Living Within


Once I thought of God
Far away
High above
I felt so small
Detached
Alone.

It was easy to cry out
Shout
Scream
To a God so far away.

Then I discovered God inside
Close
Entwined
I felt so alive
Complete
Whole.

It was easy to talk
Ask
Whisper
To a God living within.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Unending Love by Bill Thomas



Will the rivers ever cease to flow?
Can the waterfall run dry?
Will the stars ever cease to glow?
Can the sun leave the sky?
Will the East winds cease to bring the rain?
Will creation cease to thrive?
Can I ever lose His love again
As long as I'm alive?

Unending love holds the stars in place,
Unending grace fills my heart,
In perpetuity with love's embrace,
I can never depart
From this love that will hold me firm,
That will prevail till the last;
I may struggle and I may squirm,
But His love holds me fast.

Will the mountains ever cease to tower?
Will the oceans still their rage?
Will the storms ever lose their power?
Will Nature turn another page?
Can I ever lose this awesome love?
Will I ever lose His grace?
Endless love flowing from above,
From the Saviour's face.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Valentine Heart



This lovely heart was left with a variety of Love Heart sweets in our staff kitchen.
 A little present for all staff from our Catering Manager.

Happy Valentines Day.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Call On Him


In Christ
There is no ethnic culture
There is no distinction
There is no tribal separation
That divides
In the act of bestowing his riches
On all who call to him
Hear His shout
Join the redeemed
With one voice
Call on Him
Call on Him

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Forgotten Heroes - Corporal Walter Brown. V.C.



Corporal Walter Ernest Brown, 20th Battalion, Victoria Cross action at Villers-Bretonneux, France.

Born in Tasmania, Wally Brown was a grocer in Sydney when he enlisted in 1915. He was in the light horse and the camel corps before transferring to the infantry. A brave soldier, he gained the Distinguished Conduct Medal in 1917.

On 6 July 1918, at Villers-Bretonneux, Brown's party had taken over some newly captured trenches. When told that an enemy sniper was causing trouble, Brown discarded his rifle and picked up two Mills bombs. Running towards the post, he threw one bomb, which fell short, but on reaching the position he attacked a German with his fists and threatened the others with his remaining grenade. They all promptly surrendered.

During the war Brown was twice wounded, and promoted to sergeant. Although married and over-age, he served again in the Second World War. He went missing after the fall of Singapore in February 1942; he was last sighted declaring, "no surrender for me".

Brown was awarded the Victoria Cross, the Distinguished Conduct Medal, service medals for the First and Second World Wars, and the King George VI Coronation Medal.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Acceptance




I don’t have to accept:-

My identity in Adam

The report of the Doctors

The letter in the post

The lies of the Devil

The bad news of the reporter

The remnants of my old life

The negative thoughts in my mind

The negative words of my friends

The unbelief that assails me.



I can accept:-

My identity in Christ

The grace of God

The finished work of the cross

Christ righteousness and now my righteousness

My holiness in Christ

My healing

The work of Christ in my life

The power of the Spirit in my life

The love of Christ in my life

The glory of Christ in my life

All I am In Christ.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Labels by Jeff Turner


People love labels. In fact, our brains are predisposed to label, and we actually tend to remember things better - like a shopping list, for example - when we place items into categories. This is a fine practice when it comes to remembering what you need from Wal-Mart, but not so admirable when it comes to people made in the image of God. 


Believer, unbeliever. Saint, sinner. Baptist, Pentecostal. Calvinist, Arminian. Charismatic, cessationist. Catholic, protestant. Jew, Gentile.

All of these and more have been used to divide humanity into quadrants.

What we love about labels is that once we've placed one on a person we can take away their individuality and assign them to a group. Then, instead of getting to know the person in order discover who they are as people, we can just assume that what is true of the group is also true of them. It dehumanizes people and makes it easier for us to attack and slander them since we no longer see them as they really are.

When we attack them we are not attacking a sincere father or mother who loves their family and works hard to provide, just like us, we're attacking an idea that we've linked them to. We're not attacking a person with feelings and emotions who hurts and bleeds the same as we do, we're attacking a worldview that we've come to despise. When we label people we lose them. They become easy to blame, and easy to maim. They become easy targets on which we can vent our frustration.

But we're wrong to do this.

Jesus has successfully removed the religious barriers that provided us with ammunition to label one another. In His death He has shown that all were in need of Grace, and that no one had their stuff in order. The uptight, religious man has to admit that he's in much of need of mercy as the heroin addict. The preacher must admit that he's as needy as the pimp. There is no difference. When we label one another we deconstruct the work of Christ which deconstructed the religious machine with it's labels and designations.

EPHESIANS 2:14-18
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

By Jeff Turner of Sound of Awakening

Friday, 7 February 2014

Friday's Five on Peace



A great many people are trying to make peace, but that has already been done. God has not left it for us to do: all we have to do is to enter into it. – Dwight L. Moody.

Peace reigns where our Lord reigns – Julian of Norwich.

 With peace of mind a poor man is rich: without it. A rich man is poor – Author Unknown.

All that matters is to be one with the living God to be a creature in the house of the God of life. Like a cat asleep on a chair at peace. – D.H.Lawrence.

Keep your heart in peace: let nothing in this world disturb it: everything has an end. – John of the Cross.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Peace



Peace is a secure refuge
Like
A pure honey caressing a wounded soul
A harbour’s haven safety from a hurricanes power
A home coming light shinning in the night
An incorruptible seed yields a joyous harvest
A drifting petal calms a mighty oak
A silent drop ripples a vast ocean
Peace is a sweet reassurance
Peace is a joyful heart
Peace is treasure
Peace is indwelling grace.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Forgotten Heroes - 2nd Lieutenant Fredrick Birks. V.C.




2nd Lieutenant Frederick Birks, 6th Battalion, Victoria Cross action at Glencourse Woods, near Ypres. It was a posthumous award.

Frederick Birks was born in North Wales, and migrated to Australia in 1913. He held different jobs before enlisting in August 1914. He was posted to the medical corps and served as a stretcher-bearer on Gallipoli; he was wounded in June 1915. In France next year he was awarded the Military Medal for bravery.

Having been selected for officer-training, Birks was commissioned in the 6th Battalion, AIF, in May 1917. On 20 September, during the battle of Menin Road, Birks and a corporal attacked a German pillbox which was holding up the advance; the corporal was wounded but Birks went on, killing those in the pillbox and capturing a machine-gun. Later he led a small party against another strongpoint, capturing 16 men and killing or wounding nine others. The following day, while trying to rescue some of his men who had been buried by an explosion, the brave officer was killed by a shell. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross; the award was accepted by his brother, who was serving in the British army.

Birk received the Victoria Cross, a Military Medal, and service medals for the First World War.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

From A Park Bench - Philippians 3 v 21


Philippians 3 v 21
He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.
There is a day coming when the glory that now resides in my united spirit will transform my flesh into a new glorious body.  I will be resurrected from this weak flesh into a new creation body. My outward man will one day reflect all that has taken effect in my Spirit.
When i first believed in Christ and trusted him for my righteousness, I died to my old nature and I was made a new creation, my spirit was born again and my sinful nature was crucified.  This union with Christ was real and effective, and as I believe all he has achieved and receive all the benefits of his grace my mind is renewed.  Likewise my body although it ages and decays with the effects of time is the temple of God, the residence of the Holy Spirit, the ark of the power of God, the place of the presence of Christ.  It is where Christ dwells and it was created a good dwelling, a body made for pleasure. 
Fallen nature and the effects of sin have corrupted everything around me and one day I will be subject to the fallen world I was born into. But, I do not have to live according to the lies of the world, or to the wisdom of man, I can decided to live from my union with Christ and receive all he has promised me through his word.
His words become life to my flesh.
Christ is my bread, His blood is the power that works in me, and my body is his temple.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Grace Notes - Luke 13 v 16



Luke 13:16 "And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?"

Sickness is not a blessing in disguise, God does not withhold healing from us to teach us or show us things. In the same way that all our sins were forgiven at the cross all our sickness was dealt with at the cross.

God in his grace has provided all we need to live in victory. Jesus never refused to heal anyone in scripture and everyone who came and asked to be healed was healed. Jesus never withheld healing.

The full provision of our healing is included in our salvation and we have access to full power of Christ and this power works within us. I have received the fullness of Christ in my spirit and I am united into all God’s complete work, inside me.

Here Andrew Wommack explains that healing is part of our salvation, and we need to receive all God has provided for us.

This sickness was the work of Satan - not the work of God. Jesus said it had bound her - not blessed her - for eighteen years. The teaching that says that sickness is actually a blessing in disguise, because the Lord is working His plan in one's life, is not found in scripture. As Acts 10:38 says, Jesus "went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil," not "oppressed of God."

There are 17 times in the Gospels when Jesus healed all of the sick that were present. There are 47 other times when He healed one or two people at a time.

Nowhere do we find Jesus refusing to heal anyone. Jesus said that He could do nothing of Himself, but only what He saw the Father do. His actions are proof enough that it is always God's will to heal!

Jesus provided for physical healing as well as forgiveness of sins. The very word "save" (Gk.-"sozo") is translated "made whole" in reference to physical healing in Matthew 9:22, Mark 5:34, and Luke 8:48. James 5:15 says "the prayer of faith shall save (Gk.-"sozo") the sick." Many scriptures mention the healing of our bodies in conjunction with the forgiveness of our sins.

Healing is a part of our salvation, just as much as the forgiveness of our sins.

It is God's will that no one should perish, but many do because of their unbelief. Likewise, it is God's will that we all be healed, but not all are healed because of failure to believe. It is a mistake to assume that whatever God wills will automatically come to pass. We play a part in receiving from God. Believe His Word today.


Sunday, 2 February 2014

Grace Says We Are Free from Under The Waterfall Of Grace



But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. James 1:25

It is amazing that in the new covenant, we have been completely taken out from under law. The 'law' that we find ourselves under in this wonderful new covenant is called the law of liberty. How is it described by the NIV above? As the perfect law that gives freedom! Wow, what kind of amazing law is this that actually gives freedom!


Usually when you think of laws being put on people, what kinds of words come to mind? For me, thoughts of bondage/being bound, pressure, fencing people in, rules, requirements, being tied down, being compressed, structure, force, compliance, should and must - these are the words and images that come to my mind on hearing the word "law"..thoughts of obligation and things being demanded of me, or else something negative will happen. Yet the verse above says the new covenant law of liberty gives freedom! 


How can that be, when law seems to denote restriction and loss of freedom?

I was thinking about this, and I realized that there is another use of the word 'law' in scripture - it can mean a defining or overarching principle, a description of how things work. Sort of like the law of gravity. What does the law of gravity tell us? Does it 'demand' that we not float off into space? No! It describes what is always true of us, tells us that we will not float off into space because we are held on the earth by an overarching force keeping us 'grounded.' I think the law of liberty may be kind of like that! This 'law' explains the state we are in now as new creations in Christ - we are in a place of freedom, and we won't be in bondage to rules anymore, we are free in grace!


What did Jesus free us from? He freed us from sin, from the effects of sin (death), from the bondage to the law, from the curse, from our futile way of life handed down to us by religious tradition (a performance-based way of life where we thought we had to earn blessings or do certain things to avoid cursing, and it was all up to us, all based on what we did). Jesus set us free from all this!


We are free from sin's reign in our lives: Sin doesn't have any control or hold over us, it can't make us do wrong anymore! We are free from sin's bondage! It doesn't have any power over us!
And we are also free from the rules and regulations of the old law: The law doesn't have any jurisdiction over us! The law cannot make demands on us (demands that we could not keep and were doomed to fail at anyway). The law cannot condemn or curse us or hold a verdict of guilty or a punishment/penalty of death over our heads!

We are free from living by performance: We don't have to earn blessings by our good acts, thoughts, words or even beliefs! And we don't have to worry about incurring curses by our bad acts, thoughts, words or even beliefs! We will never get all those things completely right, and God knows that. That is why in the new covenant everything is based on Christ's perfect acts, thoughts, words and beliefs, not our own! His work is perfect and is already completed on our behalf, and we get all the benefit of it - all blessings, no curses - completely for free, right from His loving hand! Now that's what I call freedom, that's what I call a glorious new covenant, that's what I call grace!


So what does all this tell me? We have been so freed from sin's rule over us, law's rule over us, performance-based thinking's rule over us. One thing it means to me is that we are not under any obligation today. What a relief this is!


What does it mean to be without obligation? It means you don't owe God anything. Nothing is required of you. God makes no demands on you today. He is not pushing you. He is not forcing you to do anything. 


There is nothing you have to do, or else He'll be disappointed, withdraw from you, stop working in your life, or stop blessing you! Nothing you do could stop Him from loving and blessing you, because He does those things out of who He is, not based on your performance! There is nothing YOU have to do, HE does it all; and also there is nothing you HAVE to do, there is no pressure on you to change, measure up, get better, improve, meet a standard, be a good Christian, be more spiritual, or perform in any way! There is no requirement put on you!

God isn't struggling with you today, wishing you would just shape up or clean up your act! God is at total peace with you right now. He is not judging you. He is not evaluating you. He is needing nothing from you. He is completely satisfied with you, just as satisfied with you as He is with His Son Jesus! If you did nothing at all for God ever again, never even prayed or looked His way ever again, He would be loving you and blessing you just the same!


This gives such relief and rest! For this means you don't have to 'try.' You can cease the strivings, you can relax, you can be..you do not have to try..not even try to have more faith or understand grace better or seek His face or ANYTHING..you can rest! He will do it all. He will bring you to see who you are in Him. He will take care of everything that concerns you. He will manifest your new creation life without your help! 


Wow! You are really free to stop trying to become and just BE your beautiful self that you already are, perfect and lovely and beloved! You can simply BE and just enjoy life!

You are really free to do anything you wish and it will not change you status with God one bit, because it is totally based on the finished work of Christ. You are so secure it's beyond words! You cannot fall out of His grip. You cannot even fail! Yes, wow, with grace, you cannot fail! Failure will make no difference in your relationship with Him! Because He bases that relationship totally on His loving nature, Christ's finished work, and His commitment to you, not on anything that you have to do or be. He is holding up this relationship from beginning to end - and there is no end to it, yay! You are in Him for all eternity, safe within Him! So if you fall, the safety net of His grace catches you every time! He is holding on to you and won't let go!


As R F Capon says, "You can't get away from a love that will not let you go." That's grace, the love that just won't let us go! The love that makes us safe and free to be ourselves, free to relax and even do nothing, free to expand our horizons and discover new things, free to ponder and ask questions, free to feel and not be rebuked for the way we honestly feel, free to make mistakes and still be accepted, free to spread our wings and fly!


The new covenant law of liberty describes your state in this new creation realm - in this realm, you are free! Free to do and be anything! The question is, what do you wish to do?




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