Dad’s final sermon delivered at Hope Community Church, Nelson on 9th September 2011
Category Archives: Devotional
In the dramatic selection of Matthew, the hated tax-collector and Simon, the zealot, as disciples, Jesus demonstrates the weakness of those who pull out of churches because they don’t like certain people or the way things are done. In ordinary Jewish society Simon the zealot would have ‘hated Matthew’s guts’ to the point of wishing mischief and murder on Matthew. In choosing these two, Jesus demonstrated what Jeff Buchanan observed, “that you can only be a real Christian by being with people who are not like you.”
I was really impressed by the campers at The Crossing, in Geraldine last week. Seventeen homeschoolers between 14 & 17 yrs of age gathered from as far away as Cambridge in the North Island to Dunedin in the South. It was all the accommodation could hold and there were 2 other speakers besides me. I had 6 lectures on ‘Developing a Biblical Worldview’ and the interaction was great. The young people were courteous to this old bloke and not afraid to put forward their views on a wide variety of topics. I was particularly impressed at the way they sang – particularly the boys. Most boys I’ve encountered of that age are shy about singing too loud in worship but these ones did not hold back. They sang very enthusiastically and they all showed great talent on ‘talent night’. I was so blessed to be part of their scene for those few days.
When Bronwen and I visited Auckland to preach at Long Bay Baptist Church on 22 May, my brother Gordon and his wife Cathy gathered rellies together for lunch on Sunday. There were over 30 people present ranging from cousins, brothers, nephews and neices and their children as well. Out of my own father’s family of 5 brothers, 4 of the brothers’ descendants were represented. It was a great occasion to celebrate memories before Bronwen and I flew home later that Sunday afternoon.
My health remained good after a health scare the previous Wednesday when I had what appears to have been a bleed within the liver. The pain was so great I had to revert to the strongest pain-killing medication available. It felt as if I had been whacked in the side with a log of wood and I wondered if I would be able to travel to Auckland on the Friday afternoon. The pain gradually abated over Thursday night and Friday and by Saturday the pain resembled that of a bruise. By Sunday I was back to my usual Panadol medication to keep any pain under. It was nice to know that there are sufficient reserves in my body, that though the liver is distended, the body is healing itself of these annoying little ‘side’ issues.
That was the title of the Sermon I delivered at both services at Long Bay Baptist Church on Sunday 22 May. The church have been running a series of special Sundays throughout the month of May with messages titled “May you …” covering restored relationships and other crisis situations of life. Because of the battles I have encountered in the last two and a half years I was invited to Auckland to speak on the issue of maintaining enthusiasm for life in the face of impending death. The message seemed to be very well received and can be downloaded by visiting the church website and going to sermon archives. The sermon date is 22 May. There may be other topics that will interest you as well.
On Sunday morning I was honoured to be invited to bring the message at the Hope Community Church for Mothers’ Day. It was great being back in the pulpit and the message seemed to draw favourable comments.