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

Spiritual Evangelism

When we think of the work of the Holy Spirit, we usually consider his work in the life of followers of Jesus.

However, when Jesus tells his disciples that after his death he will be sending the Holy Spirit, he says that the Spirit will have a special ministry to people who do not yet follow Jesus.

In John 16 verse 8, he says that when the Spirit comes, “he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.”

There are three things that the Holy Spirit says to unbelievers.

The first is that they are in sin because they refuse to believe in Jesus (verse 9), and that if they keep refusing him then they’re in big trouble.

The second is that, “righteousness is available” (verse 10), because Jesus went to the cross, and that they can have this sin dealt with by Jesus and his death for them.

The third thing he says is that, “judgement will come” (verse 11), which is the reason that we need to consider the gracious offer of Jesus as soon as possible.

All of these things are spoken by the Holy Spirit to the world, and they give a clear message about what needs to happen to avoid judgement and enjoy peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is why we can be so thankful that the Spirit works in the lives of the world as well as in Christians, and we can take comfort that when we tell people about the great news of Jesus, then we’re not alone… for he is speaking with us!

Let us pray that the Lord would give us many opportunities to use the power of the Holy Spirit to chat to people about Jesus… and the wonderful certainty for eternity we have when we come to him.


(Photo credit: Kenneth Reitz via Flickr)

Introducing Kanishka

Kanishka Raffel is the Archbishop-elect of our Diocese of Sydney, who was unanimously elected after a three-night selection process involving nearly 800 representatives of our Anglican churches and organisations.

He is currently the Dean of Sydney, namely the senior minister of St Andrew’s Cathedral, where he has served for six years, having previously led a large church in Perth for 16 years, having studied at Moore and served in Sydney and Canberra.

Kanishka is married to Cailey, has two adult daughters, and is aged 56.

Born to Sri Lankan parents in London, he and his family emigrated to Australia from Canada in 1972, where as an adult, he converted to Christ from Buddhism.

I have had the privilege of working closely with Kanishka as I serve as a member of the Gafcon Australasia 2021 Conference committee which he chairs, and I have witnessed first-hand his passion to proclaim Christ faithfully.

As a speaker, he has shown himself to clearly teach the Bible and to lead people to know Jesus better, as he stretches the minds and warms the hearts of the listeners, in obedience to the powerful word of God.

In his speech of thanks to the Synod, he showed his servant heart:

You have elected a weak servant, and you too, are but weak servants.  But we have a mighty Saviour – full of grace, sovereign, sufficient, supreme; having the supremacy in all things so that through him God was pleased to reconcile all things to himself  by making peace through his blood shed on the cross. If I can make a pledge it is this – to stand at the foot of the cross, weak, dependent and forgiven, and from there to seek to serve, as he enables.

Please pray for Kanishka as he prepares for the Inauguration on the 28th May, when he will commence this new ministry to us and with us as our Archbishop.


Our New Operations Minister

After a process of advertising and interviewing, the Rector and Wardens are pleased to announce that Jacob Mierendorff has accepted our invitation to serve in the all-new position of ‘Operations Minister’.

Jacob’s focus will be to help everyone in our church work together in the best possible way, so that we can keep focusing on the ministry of word and prayer as we proclaim Christ to the people of our village, valley and beyond.

Following on from the ministry of Kiarnay, Jacob will look after all the ‘machinery’ of our church, from our Elvanto system (with rosters and runsheets), right through to the livestream and social media.

He will also focus on growing our small-group ministry, as well as helping newcomers feel at home in their new church.

Overall, he plans to minister to us all as he seeks to streamline our operations, so that everyone is connected and encouraged in the best way possible.

He will also be looking after the running of the weekend services, as well as serving us through occasional preaching and other word ministries in various contexts.

We’re praying that this will help equip us with the ministry tools and support required to manage our fast-growing church, for the glory of God.

Beginning on the 12th May, Jacob will initially work four days per week, but we are praying that our giving in church will increase enough to enable us to employ him full time as soon as possible.

Please pray for Jacob, and Jemimah, as together they adapt to the life of gospel work, and ask the Lord that Jacob’s ministry might see our church grow stronger as we seek to make disciples of all nations, for the glory of God.


Give and Live

Over the past twelve months it’s been a joy to meet most mornings with a few of you for a brief, online, service of Morning Prayer.

Each day I launch and, with those who gather, we hear a psalm, then read a passage each from the Old and New Testaments.

We pray together, bringing to the Lord our prayers and requests about things global through to local… and particularly pray for the matters of our congregation and village.

Each day there’s a prayer called the ‘Morning Collect’ that we pray, which is a short and powerful request to God for our service of him in the day ahead:

Eternal God and Father, by whose power we are created and by whose love we are redeemed: guide and strengthen us by your Spirit, that we may give ourselves to your service, and live this day in love to one another and to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Like so many of the historical prayers our church has written and handed down to us, it begins speaking of our heavenly Father’s character… his power that created us, and his love that redeemed us.

On that firm foundation, the prayer asks for guidance and strength by God’s Spirit, as we launch into the new day that he has given us.

But the purpose of this guidance and strength is two-fold: it’s to give and to live.

We pray that we might give ourselves to God’s service—that we’d be committed to serving him in every way during the day—and that we might live in love for each other and for God, our Father.

In God’s power and love we pray that we’d give and live.

As you start each day in this coming week, why not pray this ‘Morning Collect’… and if you’re up for it, join me online at 7:30am!


(Photo credit: Don Christner via

Getting the Cross Right

Even though some experts doubt whether he really rose from the dead, almost all, credible historians agree that Jesus of Nazareth was executed on a Roman Cross in Jerusalem, around 30 AD.

Yet, not all Christians agree about why he died.

Some say that he was killed by the religious rulers because his example and teaching of love were a threat to their system.

Others say that he died because he wanted to prove how much he really loves us, as the ultimate gift to humanity.

But in the end, we don’t need someone to tell us how to love, or someone to show us how to love, or even someone to prove his love for us.

Our big problem is that we’re all born as natural enemies of God, and unless someone deals with God’s anger for us, then we’re headed to Hell.

That’s why Jesus died for us: to take upon himself the anger that God had for us, so that we might now be forgiven by him and made his friends, if we trust in him as our loving ruler.

It’s pretty full on… but that’s the heart of Easter!

And by rising from the dead, Jesus proved he really did what his Father in heaven sent him to do.

As we read in Romans chapter 5:

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:6-8)

That’s why Good Friday is ‘good’… and why we can truly wish each other a ‘Happy Easter!’


(Credit: Claudio Ungari via Flickr)

Mercy in the Floods

The floods this week are totally different to the flood that the Lord sent at the time of Noah.

That flood was a specific act of judgement by God on a world that had become “consistently and totally evil” (Genesis 6:5) and was “corrupt and filled with violence (Genesis 6:11).

But, even as he acted to wipe out a generation of humans, he showed mercy upon Noah and his family, giving him a warning and a way to be saved.

But after that flood, God promised that, “Never again will floodwaters kill all living creatures; never again will a flood destroy the earth.” (Genesis 9:11)

But, humans have continued to rebel against God, but the solution is different: God shows his love for us by placing his anger upon Jesus instead of his followers who seek his mercy:

“For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10)

Which means that devastating floods are not to be considered as an act of judgement upon our world, but instead, a warning to repent.

For, when his followers asked him to explain why a disaster had struck, Jesus said:

“Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee?… Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God.” (Luke 13:2-3)

Whether it’s drought, bushfire, flood or pandemic, these disasters are an important time for us all to consider Christ in the crisis.

As we pray for the recovery of our land from these devastating floods, let us also pray that through this disaster might be a fresh opportunity for people to find eternal comfort and security in Christ Jesus.


(Credit: delphic via

Who Needs a Confessional?

During my truck driving test during the week, my examiner helped me relax by asking lots of questions about what I believe as a Christian and what my church does.

He asked me if my church had a confessional, where members of the church could go to a special meeting with the minister, to confess to him their sins so that he could then present those sins to God.

My answer was simple: we don’t have a confessional because we don’t need one: we can go straight to Jesus and tell him our sins, knowing that he will hear us, and will forgive us if we ask him.

I explained to my examiner that in the Old Testament, before Jesus, there were special people called priests who would act as go-betweens to God on their behalf.

But when Jesus came along, he replaced the priests so we now can confidently speak straight to Jesus, because not only is he the priest, Jesus is also the temple and the sacrifice… and, of course, the king!

Here’s how the writer to the Hebrews puts it:

And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:19-22)

I was pleased to pass my truck driver’s licence test, but even happier to have another opportunity to talk about how good Jesus is!


(Credit: Emilio Labrador via

God is Patient

Justice is very important to us all, and we can’t bear to see a guilty person get away with their crime… especially when their victim continues to bear the impact.

And it’s also very important to God… who made us, and gave us that sense of justice.

The Bible tells us that all of us, by nature, have committed a crime against God.

We’ve enjoyed the good things of this world he’s made, and we’ve chosen to live like he’s dead.

We’ve tried to kick him off his throne, and we’ve formed a coup to overrule him.

And in all that, we’ve committed a grave injustice.

But if God is there, and if he’s coming to judge, then what’s he waiting for?

If he really wants justice, then why doesn’t he deal with this rebellion and bring justice and judgement now?

Because God is patient.

We read in 2 Peter 3:9: The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

God hasn’t yet brought judgement because he’s giving you more time for you to get off his throne, and to say, “sorry”.

He’s patient because he loves you, and he doesn’t want you to be destroyed by his judgement.

But the offer stands right now: believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.

God took out his judgement on Jesus, in our place, on the first Good Friday.

Jesus takes God’s judgement upon himself, so that you and I can receive mercy if we ask.

God is being patient for your sake, but Judgement Day will come as unexpectedly as a thief.

God is patient, but one day his patience will run out.

Are you ready for that day?


(Photo Credit: Du Truong via Flickr)

The Ultimate Temple

As I’ve been preaching on the building and fitting out of the temple in Jerusalem by King Solomon, I’ve been reminded afresh of my visit to Israel with Mandy in 2018.

One of the most memorable experiences was visiting what’s known as the Temple Mount (or ‘Haram esh-Sharif’), which is the large, flat area where all this construction took place.

It was amazing for us to stand at the very place at which the detailed descriptions in 1 Kings 5-7 occurred, and to feel such a strong connection with the historical events.

When we visited Israel it made so much of the Bible feel even more real, as we had a physical experience of the actual places we had only read about in God’s word.

However, as people of the New Testament, we need to keep remembering that the Temple Mount, including the Western or ‘Wailing’ Wall, is now just a museum of the past with no spiritual value.

Jesus made it very clear that he is the temple, and that when we trust in Jesus, we too become part of that temple.

And what’s more, the New Jerusalem won’t have a new temple soaring above the horizon, but in fact there will be no temple at all, because “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” (Revelation 21:22)

But for now, as we read the amazing details of the physical temple Solomon built, we can learn so much about what it is like for God to “live among the Israelites and… never abandon my people Israel.” (1 Kings 6:13)

For as we explore the details of Solomon’s Temple, we understand so much more about what it means when in John 1:14 that “the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” 


Failing the Test

This week I went for my truck licence so I can drive a fire truck for the Jamberoo Rural Fire Brigade.

Everything was going really well until I turned left at a set of traffic lights and cut the corner a tiny bit… but just enough for the rear tyre to briefly mount the curb.

‘Bump’… FAIL!

Even though I’d done a good job of the rest of the test, that one, small, ‘bump’ meant I failed the test.

No matter how I went in the other scores, I just needed one little mistake in the ‘fail’ list, and it’s a long, sad trip home.

In many ways, this is what it’s like with God’s judgement.

All we need is one ‘fail item’ in our life-long test, and then God, the instructor, will put a big cross in the box next to the sentence ‘SORRY! YOU DID NOT QUALIFY’.

And the problem is that any one time that we live like Jesus is not our king, then this single ‘sin’ is enough to rightly disqualify us from eternal life.

As we read in Romans chapter 3 verse 23: “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”

It all sounds pretty hopeless!

But here’s the wonderful news that the Bible says straight after in verse 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.”

“Grace… freely… freed…”

Even though all of us have failed the test of life, God now makes us right in his sight… passing the test for us, and giving us certainty for eternity if we turn and serve Jesus as our loving ruler.

But even though Jesus has given me a ‘pass’ to heaven, I’ve still got to do that driving test again in three weeks!