This is the latest blurb that is published on the front of our weekly bulletin

Living Water

Sometimes I forget to drink water. I go about my day, surviving on coffee and toast. By the time the afternoon comes, I get a headache. But I only realise I am dehydrated after my headache, never before. I need water – coffee or other drinks won’t help. Nothing refreshes or rejuvenates like water does. I need it every day to survive and thrive.

Sometimes I forget, or put off reading my Bible. Life seems too busy to allow God to have input in my life. There are so many things to get distracted by, and reading God’s word is easy to make a low priority.

But just like we need water, we need Jesus.

Nothing this world has to offer can refresh and rejuvenate us like his word. 

Hebrews 4:12 says: For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

God’s word is alive and active! His word is a gift to us! 

If God cares enough to give us his word, he clearly thinks it’s important for us to read it.

Reading and listening to the Bible should be our number 1 priority. It is how we know God, and how he refines us to live for him.

In Luke 11:28, Jesus himself said “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

We shouldn’t wait until we get a spiritual headache to realise we need the water of God’s word. For our own good, listening to God should be a habit. Reading the Bible is not something we should do, it’s something we need to do.

Because like water, God’s word is the source of life.


The Perfect Backdrop

When was the last time you went to a jewellery store?

For me it was when I went to pick up an engagement ring so I could proposed to my lovely fiancé and (hopefully) soon to be wife.

I was absolutely dazzled! Firstly, by the price… and secondly, by the beauty of all the precious diamonds! 

They were displayed on a dark black velvet cloth, which helped them stand out even more.

The jeweller knows that black is the perfect backdrop for these precious diamonds because it lets the diamonds shine through in all their glory.

In Paul’s letter to the Romans he spends the first few chapters doing something similar.

Rom 3:10b No one is righteous— not even one. 11 No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. 12 All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one… 19b the entire world is guilty before God.

Just like the jeweller Paul sets the scene for his message by showcasing the dark backdrop of human sinfulness and unrighteousness. He then continues;

Rom 3:23 “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”

Every single human being has fallen short of God’s glorious and good standard. 

But, our sinfulness is the perfect backdrop for God’s righteousnesses to shine though!

Rom 3:24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.

Against the dark backdrop of human sin God’s grace in Christ shines through like a marvellous diamond.

Praise be to our gracious God! He has freed us from sin and made us right in his sight!


Controversial Conversion

In all my years of being a Christian, there’s nothing I love more than seeing another person become a new follower of Jesus.

It’s such a joy to see someone go from living for themselves, with all the guilt and uncertainty, to now living for Jesus, with all the freedom and certainty for eternity.

Yet, not everyone shares the thrill of seeing a person become converted to Christ.

I was reminded of this when I read again about how Jesus sent a mob of demons out of a man, which led to the death of a large herd of pigs.

Sure, the impact of losing the livelihood of the livestock was a significant thing, but to see the joy and relief of the once-possessed man should certainly have overridden such concerns.

Yet, we read in Luke 8 that when the people saw the man who was freed from the demons “fully clothed and perfectly sane,” they were all afraid, and so:

“all the people in the region of the Gerasenes begged Jesus to go away and leave them alone, for a great wave of fear swept over them.” (Luke 8:37)

The people were face-to-face with a modern miracle that brought complete release to a tortured man, and yet all they could do was drive Jesus away because of their fear.

When people meet Jesus and are changed, it can be confronting to others.

For, their new life will mean that they now turn away from some things that they once embraced and encouraged.

If some of those former things are valued highly by others, then that person’s conversion to Christ will be considered to be a challenge to others.

Yet, when a person knows how good it is to be forgiven by Jesus, there’s nothing that anyone can say that will take away that deep joy and certainty for eternity.


(Photo credit: K-State Research and Extension via

The Worth of Wisdom

How would you teach the value of wisdom to a six- or seven-year-old student in a Scripture (SRE) class?

That was the challenge this week as the syllabus required us to explain and celebrate the great gift of wisdom given by God to King Solomon.

For starters, it was tricky to try and simply explain what wisdom was, and why it was of value.

I said to them that wisdom is about knowing that it’s a good idea to use an umbrella on a rainy day with no wind, but it’s a bad idea to use an umbrella on a windy day with no rain.

The same action can be wise or unwise, depending on its context and situation.

This is why wisdom is such a good thing to have, especially as we are faced with things that are new and uncertain.

To that effect, the wisest thing that Solomon ever did was to ask for wisdom in the first place, for not only did the Lord supply that in spades, he also gave great riches to this king as a blessing for all who lived in God’s land.

The Scripture lesson wisely avoided discussing the details of the most famous example of Solomon’s wisdom, in which he was able to discern who was the true mother of a baby.

You can read the story for yourself at 1 Kings 3:16-27, but here is the response to the King’s actions: 

When all Israel heard the king’s decision, the people were in awe of the king, for they saw the wisdom God had given him for rendering justice. (1Kings 3:28)

Yet the most wise thing that anyone can do is recognise the need to have peace with God.

In our Scripture class we sang together these words (as accompanied by my trusty ukulele):

 “The greatest treasure in the whole, wide world is peace with God. It’s the only treasure that can never fade, even death can’t take it away.”


(Photo credit: Alon via

God Doesn’t Grow Weary

Over the past week, our staff team were blessed to attend the Wollongong Regional Ministry Conference, along with many others who serve in Anglican churches nearby.

A highlight was hearing Archbishop Kanishka offer a word of great comfort and encouragement to us, as we reflected on the challenges of serving during the past two years of the pandemic.

He preached to us from Isaiah chapter 40, where the Lord instructed Isaiah to, “Comfort, comfort my people… speak tenderly… tell her that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned.” (verse 1 and 2)

This, alone, would be enough for us to have relief in the heart-filled word of our Lord.

Yet, this delightful chapter concludes with these wonderful words about the stamina of our God:

The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. […] He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (verses 28 to 31).

Our endurance comes from the Lord, who gives us power and strength as we simply trust in him and his goodness.

As Kanishka noted, “the way of comfort for us is to look outward to the God of grace and glory.”

As you reflect on your spiritual journey in the past two years, it’s normal to feel some degree of fatigue and even exhaustion.

But what a delightful comfort to know that the limitations of our creatureliness are a blessing, not a curse.

For, in our weakness and fatigue we are drawn to the rest and comfort of our maker who never grows weak or weary, and who gives us strength, in him.


(Photo credit: Joseph Choi via

True Reconciliation

On the 26th of May, this country recognises Sorry Day and it remembers that over 100,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were taken from their families, many to pass, never to meet any of their loved ones.

Many are still walking on this earth looking to find their families. 

So it is still a raw thing and the trans-generational trauma is passed down through generations upon generations.  

It’s still a real thing in the lives of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders.

We can all say ‘sorry,’ but it is not the word we say, it’s the actions that we do that show that we recognise and show respect to one another and we mourn with those who mourn.

It’s important because you need to understand the past to know where we’ve been. 

One, that we don’t repeat it and, two, that in order to be reconciled we have to make amends and deal with it. 

So, I love when I think of God’s message, that he sent his Son down to deal with our sin, that his Son died upon the cross, that through the blood of Jesus, we are reconciled to him, and he rose in three days.

I love that image, that true reconciliation is done and is seen through the blood of Jesus Christ.

As God’s people, and as his church, we have the responsibility to be ambassadors of reconciliation. 

So I want to encourage us … that we would be bringing the true message of reconciliation to this country.


The Chair of the Sydney Anglican Indigenous Ministry Committee

(This is an edited extract of the original post at

A Day at at Time

From a young age we’ve instilled in our children the need to plan ahead for the future.

After all, we want to make sure that we’re prepared in every way for what may occur, and that’s why we think weeks, months and years ahead in our planning.

But what if we lived a day at a time?

In Numbers chapter 9 we read about the cloud of the Lord that covered the Tabernacle, which looked like a pillar of fire.

It led God’s people in this way:

Whenever the cloud lifted from over the sacred tent, the people of Israel would break camp and follow it. And wherever the cloud settled, the people of Israel would set up camp. (Numbers 9:17)

But the amount of time at one place would vary from a single day to even a year, and they would move with very little notice.

God’s people lived a day at a time, waiting afresh to see what the Lord had in mind for their community.

This seems so different to the way we plan out our lives, sometimes with less regard for the overarching will of God.

We don’t have a tabernacle any more, but still we have this important warning in the letter of James:

Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)

This is why it’s good practice for us to say, “God willing” when we speak about the future, for it shows our humility as we live in the world that is lovingly lead by our Lord.

What’s more, it can also open up opportunities for us to share our deep trust in our Lord, as we live in a world that increasingly ignores the creator and his gracious redemption for all who turn to him.


(photo credit: Dafne Cholet via

Division Over Unions

For the first time in five years, the national body of the Anglican Church of Australia met this week to discuss many matters, including its teaching about marriage.

In this first gathering since the marriage plebiscite in 2017, the members of this so-called ‘General Synod’ were asked to agree to a statement that simply reaffirmed what it had always declared, namely that marriage is between one man and one woman, exclusively, for life.

In the end, the decision was made to separate the vote into three ballots, and whilst the lay and clergy votes were firmly in support of the orthodox statement, the majority of bishops in charge of dioceses around Australia did not vote in favour, with 12 against and 10 for.

Because the statement was not passed, the Synod simply maintains the previous, orthodox position from 2017, although relationships within our national church continue to deteriorate.

For us in Jamberoo, this has very little impact, because our own Diocese of Sydney strongly affirms the Bible’s teaching on marriage, and is not required to adopt the theology of the national church.

Yet, for Anglican churches in dioceses where their bishops reject the Bible’s teaching on marriage, it becomes increasingly difficult for orthodox ministers to submit to the leadership of their progressive bishops.

That is why Gafcon is so important, as it provides support and encouragement to those who are seeking to faithfully teach the word of God in a hostile environment.

Furthermore, recent developments in Gafcon Australia have begun to provide a pathway for individual churches to leave the Anglican Church of Australia and join a new diocese, in fellowship with over 70% of orthodox Anglicans around the world.

Let us pray that those who have strayed from the orthodox position will repent and believe the clear teachings in the Bible, and resist the temptation to conform to the world.

Let’s also pray that through these challenging times that the Lord will give us fresh energy to proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations!


(Photo credit: 19melissa68 via

Who rules really?

If you didn’t know better, you’d think that the destruction of Jerusalem and the imprisonment of her leaders was sign of God’s failure.

Because when God’s people suffer at the hands of an enemy king, it looks like God is weak, unloving or perhaps just an imaginary being.

Yet everything that happened was according to God’s plan, for his actions were a punishment upon his people for their rebellion.

We learn about this from the prophet Ezekiel:

“…when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by the evil way they lived… so I poured out my fury on them. I scattered them to many lands to punish them for the evil way they had lived. But when they were scattered among the nations, they brought shame on my holy name. For the nations said, ‘These are the people of the LORD, but he couldn’t keep them safe in his own land!’ Then I was concerned for my holy name… Therefore… I am bringing you back, but not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name… And when I reveal my holiness through you before their very eyes… then the nations will know that I am the LORD. For I will gather you up from all the nations and bring you home again to your land.” (Ezekiel 36:17-24)

The catastrophic events that open up the book of Daniel were all part of God’s plan, but despite the tragedy, there was hope for God’s people because of the Lord’s hunger to demonstrate the true glory of his name.

And the ultimate rescue of God’s people was brought about by Jesus at the cross, where our salvation proved the goodness and kindness of God, and enabled all the nations to know that his name is truly holy.

What a joy to know that our salvation is guaranteed because of God’s rightful hunger for his glory to be known to the world!


(Photo credit: Edge Earth via Flickr)

A Kyck for Christ at Katoomba

Last weekend, 30 youth and leaders from Jamberoo Anglican headed up to the Blue Mountains to attend KYCK, a conference for high schoolers.

From Friday night until Sunday lunchtime, we gathered together with over 2000 other young Christians.

We ‘enjoyed’ the famous Blue Mountains cold and rain for the purpose of meeting together with youth from churches around the state, sitting under God’s word together and singing praises to him.

Over the 6 sessions of the weekend, we looked at the book of Philippians, and particularly thought about the theme of ‘Joy’.

We were encouraged by Paul’s words and example of joy, writing about being confident in the supremacy and love of Christ, even as he penned those words from a prison cell.

Philippians 3:6-7 reads ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’

Joy according to Philippians looks like having confidence in Christ, and being ‘stoked on Jesus despite circumstances.’

For a Christian, we can always have joy in Christ whatever situation we find ourselves in.

Joy exists alongside day-to-day emotions like happiness or sadness.

Paul’s situation in a Roman prison was hardly a happy experience, but he was so joyful in Christ.

Paul knew his eternity was secure with Christ, so he could remain full of joy.

Nearly 2000 years later, that truth remains the same for us.

If we have a relationship with Jesus, Romans 8:31-39 reminds us that nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of Christ.

My prayer for us is that we keep leaning into our relationship with Jesus, and keep discovering the peace of God, which transcends all understanding.

That’s something to be joyful about.