It’s a free gift!

ImageSome time ago I pulled into my local petrol station to fill my car up. As I unhooked the nozzle from the bowser I saw a couple of police officers talking to an obviously distraught woman a couple of rows ahead of me. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but one of the officers was writing in his note pad. When I’d finished filling my car I went into the cashier to pay and asked whether the woman had been unable to pay for her petrol. The cashier confirmed that it was a failure to pay, and so the police had been called and were in the process of booking her. I immediately felt compassion for this poor woman, and so I asked the cashier how much she owed. I handed him back my credit card and told him to put her unpaid bill onto my card. As I walked back to my car I said to the police officers that there was no more need for them to book her, because I had just paid her bill for her. It took a few seconds for the police officer to register what I had just said, and another second or so for the woman to understand as well. Then suddenly the woman burst into tears, and began thanking me, asking what she could do to repay me. I told her that she didn’t have to repay me, or do anything at all, because it was a free gift. The police officer closed his book and thanked me, and his partner, a female officer, said that she couldn’t believe that someone would do that for someone they didn’t know. I noticed that this officer also had tears in her eyes. The lady kept insisting that she had to do something, but I just reassured her that her debt was paid in full, and that there was nothing that she needed to do except accept the free gift. Her debt to the petrol station was paid in full, and she and her children were free to go, without any penalty hanging over her.

As we celebrate Easter, this story is a great reminder of the incredible free gift that Jesus has given us through His death and resurrection. He has completely cancelled our debt of death and given us the free gift of eternal life with Him. Romans 6:23 in the Amplified Version says “For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.” The penalty that we deserved has been paid in full, our debt wiped clean by Jesus’ blood. All we have to do is accept this free gift. Amen!


The Apostle Paul – A Misogynist or Simply Misunderstood?

ImageThe Bible is an ancient book, written in a time, place and culture far different to our own. It’s many authors were ancient people with completely different mind sets and world views to those that we have in our modern, Western world. So, why do we read the Bible like it is a modern book? Why do we simply take what we read in the modern English at face value, and accept everything as being the absolute gospel truth?

So many man-made doctrines have arisen over the centuries because Christians haven’t taken the time to understand the history and culture of the times when the Bible was written.  And the body of Christ has suffered for it.

One of the most hotly debated doctrines in the church today is whether women are meant to remain silent and not teach in the church, and not have any authority of any kind over men. When we read the passages at face value they appear very clear. But, was Paul a misogynist, or was he simply misunderstood? Did he really teach that women should not speak in church?

The answer, of course, is NO! Paul DID NOT teach that women should be silent in church, or that they cannot teach or have authority over men. But because so many believers have read these passages through the filter of their own world-views and mindsets, many great women of God throughout history have been prevented from fulfilling the call that God has on their lives.

If you would like to know how this erroneous teaching came into the church, and how to discover what Paul was really saying, then I encourage you to visit our church website and download my free message on this subject called “Women Speaking in Church?” You will discover that when we have an understanding of the times when Paul wrote these passages we can come to the truth of what he wrote, and be set free from this man-made doctrine.

The Light at the end of the Tunnel

Reblogged from my wife’s blog, Faith and Fertility

Faith & Fertility

Have you heard of the saying “The light is always at the end of the tunnel”?

Well that is rubbish in my eyes! Why look for the light at the end of the tunnel?!

Jesus is LIGHT and LIFE and you can have that right NOW!

Jesus is with you NOW! In fact, He is ALWAYS with you and He wants to walk WITH YOU every day and every step of the way! That ALONE always encourages me! This means that we don’t have to suffer or struggle on our own, Jesus is there as our helper, comforter, strengthener and standby!

We have EVERYTHING we need in Jesus!

Therefore, connect with Him in the NOW, and know that the light is ALREADY with you so that you can walk in victory every day and every step along the way 🙂

…He God Himself has said, I will not in any…

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Surely we won’t make that!

4WDHave you ever been Four Wheel Driving? I recently gained a new client for my Television Production business – a 4WD magazine that has a DVD supplement each edition. My job is to shoot stories for this DVD supplement, and as a result I have done some very interesting assignments over the last few months. Last weekend I was hired to shoot a story on a 4WD Club who’s members spend the occasional weekend clearing and repairing a remote 4WD track that winds through some very rugged bush and which ends up at the top of a jagged mountain range. After shooting under some very difficult circumstances (we dressed for the cold, but not for the rain!), we finally made it to the top of the mountain. Thinking that now we were at the top we would turn around and head back down again, particularly because the steady rain was growing heavier, imagine my surprise when the club’s president informed us that now we were at the top we could now head off to our destination, which was a further 5km into the bush! We piled into his 4WD and proceeded to drive down some of the most frighteningly sheer drops I have ever seen! I was “lucky” enough to snare the front seat, so I had a front-row seat, so to speak, as we plunged off these massive drops, the bottom of the truck banging and scraping on the rocks as we slowly inched down the inclines. Incredibly, we were making good progress. At one point, however, we reached one particularly sheer drop, and, as I peered over the dashboard and looked at the massive incline, I turned to the driver and said, “Surely we won’t make that”! He turned to me, smiled, and said, “Watch me”! Sure enough, because of his experience in 4WDing, he skilfully manoeuvred his 2 tonne vehicle up, over and around the boulders, and, before I knew it, we were at the bottom. Isn’t life like this sometimes? We can sometimes find ourselves facing an extremely difficult situation or circumstance. We peer over the edge, and decide that there is no way we can possibly go forward. Our natural understanding will look at what we are facing and find ourselves saying, “Surely we won’t make that!” But, Jesus says, “Watch me”! If we put our trust in Him, He will guide us through the rough patches and the slippery slopes, and before we know it, we will find ourselves on the other side!

That tree looks strangely familiar….

bus copyA few years ago I drove past a bus with one of those destination signs above the front windscreen that simply said “Lost”. After initially wondering where I could get myself one of those sign thingies, I began to ponder why it is that us guys have such a fear of asking anyone for directions. It’s a well-known scientific fact that the male of the species has an almost primeval aversion to asking for directions. A woman has no qualms about stopping in the inside lane of a busy freeway during peak hour to ask for help (I know because I’ve seen it happen). A man however would rather keep driving until they reach Iceland than admit they don’t know where they are and have no idea how to get to wherever it is they want to go. Is it because we don’t like to admit we don’t know as much as we’d like to think we know? Is it because we think that asking for help is a sign of weakness, that it would tear down the invincible “Superman” persona we have so meticulously cultivated over all those years? To be honest, I reckon it’s a little bit of all these. But whatever it is, there is a solution. Two words – G.P.S!

With those little puppies a man will never get lost again. No matter where you are, your trusty Sat-Nav will give you the solution. In the middle of the Sahara Desert? No problem.Take the next left, cross the roundabout, second exit, and in 300,000 metres you have reached your destination.

There is another G.P.S that you can trust in that will guide you and place you on the right path – God’s Positioning System! His Word, the Bible, is the ultimate map for life. No matter where you are in life, no matter how lost you feel, how sad, how broken, His Word will guide you, give you the solution, point you in the right direction, and help you reach your destination. So next time you are lost, reach for your G.P.S – God’s Positioning System, and let His Word guide you.

When all else fails……read the instructions!

confusedHave you ever bought a piece of furniture from Ikea? They look so great in the showroom – all sleek and shiny and so, well, Swedish. You go to the warehouse and give them your ticket and they give you a flat cardboard box. And you think to yourself, “How can a TV cabinet/chest of drawers/four-poster bed possibly fit inside a box the size of a dinner plate?” But it does. You get home, open the box, and out pops a giant jigsaw puzzle. What do you do next? Do you reach for the instructions? Heck no. You’re a man for crying out loud. Men build things. Do you think Noah had instructions when he built the ark?*

So…Tab A goes into Slot C…fold B so that A is perpendicular to the right participle of the convex parameter…no, wait…Tab A can’t fit into Slot C…

And so it goes. And all the while your wife is saying “why don’t you just read the instructions?” And then before you know it, four hours have passed and the TV cabinet/chest of drawers/four-poster bed looks nothing like the one you saw in the showroom, you have half a dozen screws left over and it looks like it may collapse at any moment. That’s usually the point when we finally admit defeat and grab the instructions, only to find that there is no Slot B and that the one main screw that holds everything together is still in the little plastic bag keeping the tiny pieces of left-over dowel company. Does this all sound strangely familiar?

How often do we face things in life and think to ourselves “I can get through this. I don’t need help. It can’t be too hard.” How many times have we bottled everything up inside because “that’s what men do”. How many times have we gone it alone, and ultimately failed? If you’re anything like me, it’s way too many times. But let me tell you, we have an instruction manual that has the answer to every question we ask, every problem we face, and every hurt we feel. It’s full of stories of guys that have been through the exact same things as us. It shows their failings, their struggles, and their triumphs. And it shows how they did it. It’s the ultimate Instruction Manual. So, don’t wait until you have a bag full of screws left over – read the instructions first!

*Noah WAS instructed how to build the ark (Genesis 6:15-16)