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Monday, November 30, 2015

What on Earth’s Going to Happen?

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This is an outline of the message I shared the Parkrose Nursing Home United Church Fellowship on 29/11/15 

In talking to my friend Norbert in Ghana a few weeks ago he was reflecting on the state of the world with horrible things happening all the time.

"What's the world coming to?" he pondered.

I said a man called Ray Stedman has written a very good book on the subject.

It's called:

"What on Earth’s Going to Happen?"

Hence the title of my address this morning.

Every morning when we wake up do we look forward to what the day might bring?

Or do we get quite down because of all the doom and gloom?

Particularly when we read the news or watch it on TV.

Some of us become very concerned about what is going to happen to this world.

Concerned about wars, climate change, accidents,bush fires,earthquakes, tornadoes, even sharks if we swim in the sea.

We become quite fearful.

You know some fear is healthy.

The fear that comes when you see a poisonous snake nearby, or spider that causes you to give it a wide berth.

That is a healthy fear.


Unhealthy fear is always worrying about the world we live in.

Where worry and fear becomes our constant companion.
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Some people are very superstitious and consult with fortune tellers and read the stars or horoscopes in the magazines and newspapers.

The Bible tells us that we should not be doing this.

In Christian circles some Churches specialize in often bringing a sermon about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and the end times.

My formative Christian  years were at the Grote Street Church of Christ where the late Pastor Harold Long often preached on the “second coming” .
(see below a link to my youtube channel where I have posted audio of some of Harold's addresses on the subject in the 1970's)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqPbR_Sd9wM 

Some Churches don’t bother to talk about it hardly at all.

That is sad because the whole Bible is given to us for our benefit and blessing.

This includes the book of revelation which many find too hard to bother with.

Our late Aunty Doreen used to say that sermons should be based on the Book, The Blood and the blessed Hope.

I am inclined to agree with her.
Our communion service should definitely have these elements in it.

Getting back to looking at what the world is coming to.

If we are always worrying about the future
It can mean we are taking our eyes off how Jesus can make a difference in  our lives and the lives of others here and now.

If we go to Jesus in prayer,daily Bible reading,Christian worship both here in a setting like this or privately what a difference , what a change can come into our lives each day.

In looking at the daily offerings in the news we can see that the world seems to be plunging headlong into a crisis.

I believe it is, and, we can understand in broad terms what is going to eventually happen through studying the Bible.

Our Bible reading today is Jesus telling the disciples what some of the signs are of His coming again.

Luke 21:25-28New Living Translation (NLT)
25 “And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. 26 People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then everyone will see the Son of Man[a] coming on a cloud with power and great glory.[b] 28 So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!”
And there is much more of His teaching on this theme in Luke 21 and also Matthew 24.
Here is some of Matthew 24. Verses 4-14
Jesus talking to His disciples. It is the same time as the Luke passage.

Matthew 24:4-14New Living Translation (NLT)

Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.
“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.[a] 10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations[b] will hear it; and then the end will come.
In spite of what’s coming as Christians we have nothing to fear.

2 Timothy 1:7
  KJ  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

AMP For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].

God has given us His Holy Spirit when we became Christians.

If we allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives then this verse will become true.

This means we are expected to use our God given abilities and to put into practice what the Bible teaches us.

Reading all the words of Jesus in the New Testament is a good place to start to actually learn what God’s will is for us.

So when we look at the papers or the TV what do we do?

Do we despair or do we pray?

When you learn of terrible things pray for those who are left to suffer.

We can be praying for the people who have suffered as a result of this weeks bushfire in the Barossa Valley.

We can pray that evil men will be reached by God’s Holy Spirit.

We can pray for world leaders who make right decisions.

Those leaders we agree with and those we don’t.

We can love our enemies as we are instructed too.

Pray for your loved ones when they are travelling on our roads.

So what on earth is going to happen?

One thing you can be sure is that God has a plan.

He is even now working out His plan in the lives of all of us as we let Him.

One day we will all stand before our God.

It is my prayer for all of us that He will say well done thou good and faithful servant.

We don’t need to know the future.

We need to know Jesus who has the future under control.

We do need to know that time is advancing.

We look at the time each day and don’t take too much notice of time ticking away.

We use it to measure when we think we should eat, get up, go to bed, go to an appointment but it just ticks away each day.

The time when we sometimes take notice is at midnight on New Years Eve.
Then we notice another year has slipped by and that time is indeed advancing.

Our present time is an exceedingly important commodity.

It is given to us to redeem and be redeemed.

We do not need to know what the world’s coming too but who is coming to the world.

In fact He is already here living within us.

We do not need to be full of worry about the future.
 We do need to watch and wait for it will be agreat day when Jesus returns.
We should be looking forward to it.

No one knows when that will be.

It could be today or another 1000 years .

But we should live our lives as if He were coming today.

Jesus living in us is more than sufficient for us to deal with any evil that may come our way.

I heard the voice of Jesus say is our closing Hymn.

(read this out first)

2. I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Behold, I freely give
The living water; thirsty one,
Stoop down and drink and live."
I came to Jesus, and I drank
Of that life-giving stream.
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in Him.

3. I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"I am this dark world's Light.
Look unto Me; thy morn shall rise
And all thy day be bright."
I looked to Jesus, and I found
In Him my Star, my Sun;
And in that Light of Life I'll walk
      Till traveling days are done.

 (Sing Hymn now.)
Prayer before benediction.

“Lord Jesus ,thank you that we do not need to wait until some future day to know the glory of your presence, but can experience it every day that we live.
But we pray that in this moment of waiting and watching we shall recognize that the strength of our hope is determined by our experience of your present life.
Teach us then how to “occupy until you come”, in a ministry of loving concern and help to others.
In your name we pray Amen.

 Benediction 1 Thess 3:11-13  

1 Thessalonians 3:12-13New Living Translation

12 And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. 13 May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen
Now unto Him
















Under 19 Australian Cricket Championships Adelaide

I was at the Henley oval for a few hours today watching Western Australia under 19 cricket team play Tasmania Under 19's.
Below are a few pics.









Note ball about to hit stumps
















Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Classic 35mm point and shoot-FUJI FIlm Super Mini Tiara II

I found this camera at a school trash and treasure market.
The asking price was $1.
I paid $1.60 as I sensed I was onto something good.
The reviews I found and online images of this camera samples are brilliant.
I am shooting with it now.
Even if it didn't work it would still be great just to display on a shelf.
Below is a comprehensive review I found.
You will also find a link to a PDF of the manual for this camera therein as well.
http://www.35mmc.com/17/03/2015/fuji-dl-super-mini-tiara/



Friday, November 27, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Electric Light Cricket

We are about to see the first day/night test match in Adelaide.
An article has been written as per link below of the days of Electric Light Cricket played here in Adelaide.
I played this game in the 1960's with many others.
It was used by many football clubs to keep teams together in the summer months.
I played with a team consisting of West Adelaide League footballers.
As there were 18 players in a team it was ideal for this type of group.
Read about it in the link below.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-25/electric-light-cricket-invented-by-adelaide-digger/6972582

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Darryl Kelly-Emerging Photographic Talent

Occasionally I am able to pass on some of my experience and knowledge as a photographer to others.
One such person is Darryl Kelly who lives in my neighbourhood.
I spent a little time  with Darryl helping him take photos of food for his wife Debbie's catering business.
We went through some of the basics of photography over a few hours and some casual discussions.
Darryl had been struggling to grasp what the camera was actually doing and how it all came together.
I found him to be, out of all the people I have taught over the years, to be the quickest learner I have come  across.
The other day he showed me his photos on Flickr and some of his favourite landscape photography.
It is really outstanding work.
Take the trouble to follow the link below to photos taken, many within an hour from where we live.
South Australia and Adelaide  is a great place to visit and enjoy your photography.

https://www.flickr.com/people/130981345@N02/

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Cross of Christ

The western world has been reeling from the terrible attacks on Paris.
By really wicked men.
The answers to such wickedness maybe a lot closer than we think.
It begins with us.

People are in a grip of fear,

The only answer to fear and evil is the Cross of Jesus Christ.

I provide a link to one of my first posts on this blog.

You can listen to the audio and the transcript.

Let God speak to you through this message,

It is a message of foregiveness,

 redemption,

  triumph over evil,

    the expose of our hypocrosies,

       the only answer to the unseen rulers of this world.

Ignore the fact that just a man is delivering it.

Just suppose God is speaking.

If you have switched off to God it will not mean a thing.
Just maybe there is still a glimmer of light shining through the darkness in your personal being.
I hope and pray so.

http://geoffthompsonsblog.blogspot.com.au/2009/09/the-cross-of-christ.html


Monday, November 9, 2015

What will you say? Renmark West and Renmark Uniting Church Service 8/11/15

It was once again my privilege to lead the service at these two churches this last weekend.
I occasionally do this as a visiting lay person.
Here are the Bible Readings,my message and the order of service.  Geoff Thompson



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Renmark Uniting Church Service 8/11/15


Bible readings:Heb 9:24-28; Ephesians 2:2-6

Heb9:24-28

24 For Christ has entered into heaven itself to appear now before God as our Friend. It was not in the earthly place of worship that he did this, for that was merely a copy of the real temple in heaven. 25 Nor has he offered himself again and again, as the high priest down here on earth offers animal blood in the Holy of Holies each year. 26 If that had been necessary, then he would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But no! He came once for all, at the end of the age, to put away the power of sin forever by dying for us.
27 And just as it is destined that men die only once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so also Christ died only once as an offering for the sins of many people; and he will come again, but not to deal again with our sins.
This time he will come bringing salvation to all those who are eagerly and patiently waiting for him.
Ephesians 2
Once you were under God’s curse, doomed forever for your sins. You went along with the crowd and were just like all the others, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air, who is at work right now in the hearts of those who are against the Lord. All of us used to be just as they are, our lives expressing the evil within us, doing every wicked thing that our passions or our evil thoughts might lead us into. We started out bad, being born with evil natures, and were under God’s anger just like everyone else.
But God is so rich in mercy; he loved us so much that even though we were spiritually dead and doomed by our sins, he gave us back our lives again[a] when he raised Christ from the dead—only by his undeserved favor have we ever been saved— and lifted us up from the grave into glory along with Christ, where we sit with him in the heavenly realms—all because of what Christ Jesus did.

Sermon:   “What will you say?”

27 And just as it is destined that men die only once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so also Christ died only once as an offering for the sins of many people; and he will come again, but not to deal again with our sins.
This time he will come bringing salvation to all those who are eagerly and patiently waiting for him.
Today we are going to consider the judgement that awaits us all.

I am going to lead into that with a true story that could qualify as a children’s talk but after all we are God’s children.

Luke 12:6Amplified Bible (AMP)

Are not five sparrows sold for two [a]copper coins? Yet not one of them has [ever] been forgotten in the presence of God.
In some countries sparrows and songbirds are still sold for food.

Matthew 10:29-31J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

29-31 “Two sparrows sell for a farthing, don’t they? Yet not a single sparrow falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. The very hairs of your head are all numbered. Never be afraid, then—you are far more valuable than sparrows.
God cares even if a sparrow falls to the ground.

How much more will He care about us.

You might find that hard to believe that God cares about the sparrows.

Not only does He care about sparrows but about blackbirds and very other creature in His creation.

A couple of weeks ago I was driving down our street and I caught a flash of black on the side of my car and then heard a thump.

A blackbird had flown into the side of my car.

I drove another 50 yards to our place and looked back.

I could see this black shape on the road.

I thought the poor thing is probably dead.

It was a hot day and my first impulse was “Oh well bad luck I’ll just leave him there.”

But this verse about God and the sparrows came into my head.

I thought I better go back and check on him.

He was lying flat on his back on the road and seemed to be twitching a bit.

I thought yes he’s dead.

I decided to pick him up by the tail and dispose of him humanely.

He immediately flipped over onto his front but was unable to support himself on is legs.

Remembering the rich legacy of Dud Foweraker and Lesley who have cared for and rescued many birds I picked him up gently and took him back to our place.

I think I assured him that God cared and he might get better.

That was all in my thinking anyway.

I got him home, put him in a box with a bowl of water and talked reassuringly to him.

His eyes were open, he was breathing heavily and his beak was open and not moving.

I put a little water in his beak to no response.

Over the next couple of hours I checked on him.

He had managed to stand up a bit and had his eyes closed but as soon as he was aware of my presence his eyes opened wide and he looked at me.

I had to go out so Lesley had come home and I put her in charge.

She took him down the backyard where we have lots of birds and she turned her back at one stage and on looking back he had flown off.

This sounds like a children’s talk I know but we are all God’s children.

God showed that He does care at that level.

He had prompted me to act on His word.

(we probably should have sung “Morning has broken,blackbird has spoken” this morning)

How much more does He care about you and me?

Now the Bible does not teach about what happens when birds and animals die and whether they go to Heaven.

I like to think they do.

The Bible does say that the whole of creation is groaning in travail.
“Romans 8:
22For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.”

Creation itself is awaiting the return of our Saviour and redemption.

So what has this story got to do with the Judgement of God.

The Bible doesn’t teach that animals and birds etc have to repent and acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Saviour. They are caught up in our sin.

The Bible does tell us that we have to respond to the claims of Jesus on our lives.

There are clear instructions for us.

What do we want to happen to us when we pass from this world?

Do we fear the Judgement?


Have we come to the place in our spiritual life where if we were to die tonight, we would know for certain that we would go to heaven?

 Suppose that we were to die tonight and stand before God and He were to say to us, “Why should I let you into my heaven,” what would we tell Him?

Our Bible reading today,Hebrews 9:27,28, says that after death comes the Judgement.

The truth is that we need to have these questions well and truly settled before we die.

When we die our destiny has already be settled.

One way or another.

You might remember back to one of my earlier messages where we talked about Nicodemus and Jesus told him he needed to be born again.

It is too late to be born again after we die.

We need to enter into eternal life before then.

If we are Christians we already have entered Heaven.

Not physically , but certainly positionally.

As Christians we are seated with Him already in Heavenly realms or places.

Ephesians 2Living Bible (TLB)

But God is so rich in mercy; he loved us so much that even though we were spiritually dead and doomed by our sins, he gave us back our lives again[a] when he raised Christ from the dead—only by his undeserved favor have we ever been saved— and lifted us up from the grave into glory along with Christ, where we sit with him in the heavenly realms—all because of what Christ Jesus did.
and lifted us up from the grave into glory along with Christ, where we sit with him in the heavenly realms—all because of what Christ Jesus did.
Put more simply we can, as we walk in the light of what Jesus has done for us, we can begin to enjoy the benefits of Heaven now.

In John 3 we read this

This is from the encounter Jesus had with Nicodemus
16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son[c] so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.
18 “There is no eternal doom awaiting those who trust him to save them. But those who don’t trust him have already been tried and condemned for not believing in the only Son of God.

We should be fully aware of the following
1.     There is a judgement after death to be applied to all mankind as sinners.
2.     God has provided in Jesus a way for us to avoid Judgement and Condemnation
3.     We need to respond to the way He has provided. The way of the Cross of Christ.
4.     We need to sort this out before we die.

We might want to think God will just pardon everybody regardless.

The Bible does not teach that.

It is not a good idea!

We might decide that I’ll take my chances when I die and just do pretty much what I like while I’m alive..

Now you may not be aware but the Bible actually talks about two Judgements.

The Judgement Bar(Seat) of God  2 Corinthians 5:10

The great white throne. Rev 20:11-15

The Judgement seat or bar of Christ is for Christians

The Great white throne is for those who have rejected Him.

If we are Christians we are going to know only the Judgement Bar of Christ.

It may be a little embarrassing and challenging to us but Iam going to read out a poem that I have read out here before.

     WHEN I STAND AT THE JUDGEMENT SEAT


When I stand at the judgement seat of Christ
And he shows me His plan for me;
The plan of my life as it might have been
Had he had His way and I see
How I blocked Him here and I checked Him there
And I would not yield my will,
Shall I see grief in my Savior’s eyes;
Grief though He loves me still’

Oh, He’d have me rich, and I stand there poor,
Stripped of all but His grace,
While my memory runs like a hunted thing
Down the paths I can’t retrace,
Then my desolate heart will well-nigh break
With tears that I cannot shed.
I’ll cover my face with my empty hands
And bow my uncrowned head.

No, Lord of the years that are left to me
I yield them to Thy hand.
Take me, make me , mold me
To the pattern Thou hast planned.



Here is what Oswald Chambers says  about it.

 We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ . . . —2 Corinthians 5:10

Oswald Chambers  

Paul says that we must all, preachers and other people alike, "appear before the judgment seat of Christ." But if you will learn here and now to live under the scrutiny of Christ’s pure light, your final judgment will bring you only delight in seeing the work God has done in you. Live constantly reminding yourself of the judgment seat of Christ, and walk in the knowledge of the holiness He has given you.

"If we walk in the light as He is in the light. . ." ( 1 John 1:7 ). For many of us, walking in the light means walking according to the standard we have set up for another person. The deadliest attitude of the Pharisees that we exhibit today is not hypocrisy but that which comes from unconsciously living a lie
Jesus  cares about every detail of our  lives just like He cared about that little blackbird.                  
 He knows every detail of our lives.
Nothing is hidden from Him but He still reaches out to us with His love.
So what will we say when that day comes and we stand before God.
Will we arrive at the judgement seat having already qualified by what Jesus has done for us?
 and we have responded to Him?
We should not get too smug about our salvation and the fact that our names arein the Lamb’s book of life.
Just a few words from another favourite devotional book of mine.
“Jesus says: “For from within,
  out of the heart….”
It is all there,
All the evil this world has ever known
In the hearts of men(and women).
And,we are men.
If you are not doing the evil of other men,
You will be wise to recognise the reason.
You are being saved
By the GRACE OF GOD!
Probably, at the judgement, we won’t be able to speak and we will fall to our knees and He will say
“well done my good and faithful servant”.
My prayer is that will be true for all of us.

ORDER OF SERVICE 081115 RENMARK
Call to Worship:  Geoff Thompson (Psalm 148 from Living Bible)
Hymn:  Oh Lord my God when I in awesome wonder.  
Prayer of confession praise and thanksgiving
Hymn:  Amazing Grace  ahb 56
Bible Readings:  Heb9:24-28
                            Ephesians 2:2-6
Hymn: I give my heart to thee AHB  471
Offering:
Sermon: Geoff Thompson:  What will you say?
Hymn : At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow. AHB 170
Benediction:
“May our Lord,God of peace-----“


If you are not sure of how we can be saved or what we must do, then read the post immediately before this one on the big question.
You might like also to visit my other blog. Life Changing Christian Sermons.