Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It’s been a surreal week. Have you ever had one of those weeks where life goes on, but you feel as if it is not real – as if somehow things are going on around you, but you are not quite sure if you are there other than as a spectator? The Bushfires and the resultant smoke and haze in Sydney was somehow symbolic of my week! And yet in the midst of all of this the Lord’s work has been going on.
For me it is essential that when we seek to serve Christ we are able to do so with joy – whatever our circumstances. I have been reflecting on that this past week. Perhaps if I share with some of what has been going on, you will get the picture? So in reverse order in terms of ‘joy’ here is what I have been up to this week.
Team Meeting –
This is at the bottom of the list – not because it was bad or disappointing, but just because I enjoy these meetings least of all. This one was positive – with good news about funding for Third Space and more clarity about the direction we are going. But I was weary at the end.
Church Leadership –
I was honoured to address the Australian TGC Council. They have some impressive men and one impressive woman! I loved being with them – but I think I felt too free and perhaps said things I shouldn’t have said. I think the more I try not to step on people’s toes – the more I do so! Thinking out loud and being too open with people is not always good! As I said I loved being with these Christian leaders, but I came away feeling a bit out of my depth. I don’t think I’m in the same league.
I met with the leadership at St Thomas’s to discuss men’s ministry. Later in the week Steve and I did a consultation with Pitttown Anglican in Western Sydney, helping them with an outreach event they are doing this Saturday. It was a joy and encouragement to be with both groups. In all biblical churches there are problems and difficulties – but there are also good people working together as the body of Christ. It’s a privilege and joy to share in that work.
I enjoy writing. Which is a good thing, otherwise I couldn’t do it. Sometimes I think the well will run dry – and when it does, I will stop. No point in flogging a dead horse. This week I wrote for Evangelicals Now, Christian Today and a couple of blog articles. I need to be organized and inspired….I think this week there was more perspiration than inspiration. I also have an extensive correspondence to deal with. Those seeking Christ, and those wanting pastoral advice come first – which means my administration and finance stuff often gets put on the back burner. Which then leads to a backlog for me and frustration for others.
Quantum Podcast –
I was going to stop doing this – but there are such a number of regular listeners that I thought it would be wrong to stop. I love what Peter the producer does with it – so providing I have been collecting and collating stories throughout the week, I am usually able to record as live (i.e. a one off) and leave him to link all the bits together. Quantum 69 – The One with Hong Kong; France; Greg Sheridan; the USA; UK Election; Race Self Identification; Prince Andrew; Cold Showers; the Good Place; ACDC
On Monday I met with a media producer and on Thursday Steve MacAlpine and I recorded eight videos for the Third Space website. Meeting with the media producer was a joy because it was one of those meetings where it is clear you are both on the same wavelength. It’s good to dream dreams and imagine what might be. I also love working with Steve because we spark each other of and he has one of the sharpest minds I know. We were greatly encouraged by the response of the video maker. Hopefully you will see the fruit of our labours soon. Meanwhile here is an earlier recording that went live this week. How Good is the Good Place?
If you havn’t done so please visit our new website – https://thirdspace.org.au/
Ethics Group –
I loved this. I was invited to this small group which meets in a boardroom in the CBD. They are ‘gatekeepers’ and ‘influencers’ from a wide variety of backgrounds (Christian and non- Christian). At this meeting we listened to a comedian who led us in a discussion about the ethics of comedy. I find these kind of events enormously stimulating…my problem is that once my brain is stimulated, my mouth gets into gear! I need to remember that not everyone learns by, or appreciates, the Socratian method of questioning and thinking out loud! But I think I will be invited back!
I don’t normally write about the people I meet here. That would not be fair
because we meet in private and discuss things. This week I have enjoyed meeting with a small but varied number of people – often these meetings centre round food or coffee. I find that no matter who they are – two things are always true – firstly that all people have fascinating stories and secondly that all people need Christ.
Perhaps more than anything I enjoy preaching – not because as a friend quipped – I get to speak to a captive audience – but rather because it is through the preaching of the Cross that people come to know Christ. This month I have been doing City Bible Forum’s ‘Bible Shots. There are short lunchtime sermons (20 min followed by 10 min Q and A) held in St Andrews Cathedral (Tuesdays at 1:10) and Scots Presbyterian (Wednesdays at 12:20 and 1:10). The attendances are relatively small – but I just love the interaction with the people and the opportunity to proclaim Christ in the city centre (like Paul in the lecture hall of Tyrannus in Ephesus).
As a Shepherd of Christ’s flock I find that I am particularly burdened and drawn to the lambs of the flock. I miss the children in St Peter’s more than anything. I think about and pray for them every week. So today it was a great privilege and tremendous responsibility to be asked to speak to the children at St Thomas’s. I was more nervous about this than I am about preaching! But once I forgot about the adults and the rest of the congregation I loved sharing Christ with the children.
Scientists – Cross Culture….
Finally I spoke at a scientists meeting in the observatory at the University of Western Sydney. From the moment I almost hit a kangaroo driving on campus to the final cup of tea at the end – I loved every part of this. Cross Culture is a group of scientists, and those interested in science, who meet to discuss and think about the relationship between Christianity and science. Some come from a Christian perspective. Others don’t. What gives me joy about these kind of meetings is not the size of the group, or whether the ‘crowds’ applaud you – but the individuals who question and speak to you afterwards. I’m not sure what they thought – but for me this is the sea I am most comfortable swimming in! Here are some photos from the event….
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24
I hope and pray that you have had a great Lord’s Day. And that is has equipped you for whatever service he calls you to this week. May you know joy in serving…
Yours in Christ