Friday, 22 February 2013


Lazy people are some of the busiest people I know. And I should know! I am plagued by bouts of self-inflicted laziness. If you call us lazy people "lazy" and we are deeply offended and will immediately defend ourselves with a list of our many and varied activities. But the unacknowledged problem is that we are busy with everything but what we should be doing!  This is because our laziness is actually fear. Because we lazy people fear what we have to do, we find lots of other things to do so that we have an excuse for not doing what we should have done. My laziness looks busy. But I'm learning how to overcome this crippling fear.
The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside!
I shall be killed in the streets!"
Proverbs 22:13
Rocking horseThere are things that I should have done by now. Instead of doing them I have found what I call 'reasons' as to why I can't get to them yet. My 'reasons' look convincing. They sound reasonable. They take up my time. They draw me away and justify their distraction. But still, the important things that need doing remain undone. But to the outsider my busyness makes look productive (the arch-enemy of laziness).
I know why I look for distractions rather than attending to whatneeds to be done. Fear. I fear that if I bear my soul to that person that need to resolve things with I will be rejected - and I deeply fear rejection. I fear that if I attempt that project that I've been putting off, I will botch it and look incompetent. I fear that if I make a start on that book I must read I will not enjoy it or understand it. I fear that if I start this new exercise and diet program I will not be able to keep going, so I neer start it. I fear trying this new thing because I feel I am a slow learner and far more comfortable with what I already know and I don't want to feel like a dope.
To another he said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."
Yet another said, "I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home."

Luke 9:59, 61
Jesus Christ was the most undistracted person in the history of the entire world. Jesus Christ was the most productive person who has ever walked our planet. Jesus Christ is the only person to have ever breathed air who has never offered an excuse in the place of His obligations. Yet He encountered distracted, unproductive, excuse-making people all the time. And thanks to me, He still does. In Luke 9 we read how he called certain people to action who instead of appropriately responding, offered excuses for why they were too busy to do what He summoned them to do.
¶ I suggest that you finish what you started a year ago, for you were the first to propose this idea, and you were the first to begin doing something about it. 
Second Corinthians 8:10
There is a difference between doing nothing and being lazy. There is difference being busy and being productive. There may be no difference between being lazy and busy. The difference is determined by answering the should question. What should I be doing? The difference is obscured if I am continually answerin: What can I be doing?
The businessman who spends all day making courageous decisions and works late simply because he's afraid to get home and talk with his teenage daughter, is disovering that fear is busy. The wife who always finds a problem with one of her children that demands her attention simply because she fears making time for her husband who she thinks has lost interest in her. The student who jus has to support her struggling friend over Facebook because she's afraid that her maths homework is going to be too difficult for her. The pastor who always finds a crisis in his church that needs his attention because he's afraid that people might think he lacks good leadership skills. Fear is busy.
Author unknown"For freedom, Christ has set us free!"
What joy is ours to claim!
No more enslaved, humanity
Finds life in Jesus' name.
We try, Lord, to be justified
Through all the works we do.
Yet you adopt us, saying, "Child,
It's Christ who makes you new."
We're clothed in Christ and we belong;
Now no one waits outside.
In him we find our common song;
Old ways no more divide.
"It is no longer I who live,
But Christ who lives in me."
He died for us, new life to give —
And new identity.
Now, Spirit-filled, may we be led
From ways that would destroy.
May we your people turn instead
To lives of love and joy.
May we find peace that makes us whole
And patience everywhere.
God, give us kindness, self-control,
And hearts and hands that share.
The most productive thing we can do is to follow Christ where He leads us. In the Old Testament we find Jonah busily avoiding God's will. We have Kings Saul and David sharply contrasted by Saul's continual pandering to fears and busyness and David's courage and action. When Goliath challenged, King Saul was busy looking for someone to fight him - even though God had called him to be Israel's leader! We see that King Solomon was very very busy with his wives - but utterly lazy to what heshould have been doing. In the famous Biblical love chapter, First Corinthians 13, we see this same point made. Someonecould be busy doing good works for the poor but actually miss the point about why they should be doing good for the poor.
each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.
First Corinthians 3:13
Here's some things that I observe in people who live with less fear and have a higher ability than most to be productive.
    1. They prioritise the important over the urgent (they answer the should question before the can question).
    2. They keep prioritised lists (deadlines keep them creative and productive).
    3. They keep short accounts with those in their key relationship circles (they forgive, seek forgiveness, and listen well).
    4. They embrace their failures and mistakes by redeeming them as learning opportunities (they have learned the art of "drafting" before completing).
If you're like me, struggling with this busy form of laziness, then perhaps we both realise that we need the grace of God to help us. And maybe as we learn to walk closely with Christ those things which which we should do will increasingly get priority over those things we can do. This grace-shift can help a church transition from good intentions about evangelism to actually evangelising. It can help a family procrastinating with reaching out to an estranged family member to actually sitting down together and clearing the air. It can help a marriage where hearts have steadily grown distant to move a little closer back together with an overdue date. Don't be fooled by the demon of laziness - especially when it comes dressed as busyness, because it's really not laziness at all, it's fear. And fear is busy.
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Second Timothy 1:6-7
Andrew Corbett

Friday, 15 February 2013



Camels, dromedaries, ships of the desert. One hump or two. Smelly, noisy, flea-hosting. I have asked many children what they hope to be when they grow up. Firemen, policemen, rock stars, sports champions, usually top the list. I have never, ever, had a young child aspire to be a "camel carer". Ever! Wealthy nomads owned slaves and hired servants to do this horribly humble job of watering socially insensitive camels. What might surprise you is that Jesus Christ was a camel-carer. Nearly everything Jesus said was from the perspective of a camel-carer...
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Mark 10:45
Jesus the Good ShepherdBy all reports the ships of the desert drink a lot. It is their ability to trek for days across deserts that helps to make them the ideal means for nomads to travel with their wares. If you were asked to water several camels by pouring water into troughs for them to drink out of, you would be very busy for the next hour or so. It wouldn't be a pleasant job. It was a lowly job. In Genesis 24, Abraham asks his unnamed servant to travel back to his place of origin to find a wife for his son Isaac. The servant loads up the camels for the long trek. When he arrives at a well near the country of Abraham's kin, he prays a prayer asking God for the seemingly impossible. As he waits for the owner of the well to arrive, he asked God that -
1. It would be a woman who came to the well.
2. This woman would offer him a drink from the well.
3. This woman would also offer to give all of his camels a drink as well (she had to be a camel-carer).
Let the young woman to whom I shall say, 'Please let down your jar that I may drink,' and who shall say, 'Drink, and I will water your camels'—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master."
Genesis 24:14
The most convincing answers to prayer are always the most coincidental. Coincidences tend to coincide most often just after praying for them to occur. Coincidentally, coincidences almost cease when prayer stops. Abraham's servant experienced the most remarkable coincidence to his prayer because even before he uttered "Amen" God was already answering his prayer.
¶ Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, came out with her water jar on her shoulder.
Genesis 24:15
What Rebekah does is literally extraordinaryShe offers the stranger a drink, then offers to water his camels! Rebekah was a camel-carer! Camel-carers add value to others - often without being asked. This is what makes them so inspirational. When Rebekah turned up at the well she must have been on a mission. It's not that camel-carers haven't got anything better to do. What contributes to them being very inspirational people is that despite their opinions, their feelings, their energy levels, or their needs, they serve. But if that's all they did I guess they'd be called "camel-servers". They care for things that people care about and by doing so they are actually caring for people. One of the secrets to very inspirational people's success at life is that they have learned you can bless a person by caring about what they are about. Abraham's servant had just been on a long bonding trip with his dromedaries. He cared about his camels. When you care about what those you care about care about, you may be becoming a camel-carer.

Over the 18 years I have been pastoring Legana, I have bonded not just with our people, but with the things we share - our property, our plants, our carpark, our buildings, our kitchens, our toilets, our creche, our playground, our grass, our fences, our microphones, and our musical instruments. If this list makes you think, "That's a sad, dull list" then you're probably not a camel-carer. I guess not everybody is. But some of you are. I've seen you caring for our camels. I've seen you on a Sunday at the door half an hour before our services start because you care. I've seen you making drinks for our thirsty camels at the end of our services because you care. I've seen you at our Sunday night prayer meeting because you care about our camels. I've seen you in one of our Home Groups listening and sharing with other camels, because you care. I've seen you down at our facilities through the week sweeping our pavements, pruning our plants, washing our windows and walls, weed-spraying our car-park, tidying our garden-beds, bringing our bins in, replacing our broken lights, and watering our parched plants. Camel-carers.

Camel-carers are often mistaken for being task-driven because they take care of such practical matters as washing dishes, setting up tables, cooking choc-chip shortbread cookies, or pressing RECORD on the audio computer in the sound-desk. Mistaken. By now you're probably connected the most obvious traits of camel-carers and realising that a person's measure as a camel-carer is commensurate with them being an inspirational person. Enter, Jesus Christ. He was the ultimate "camel-carer". He is clearly the ultimate Very Inspirational Person. If you want to transition from being a Very Draining Person to being a Very Inspirational Person, become like Jesus! But don't just see Jesus from the Gospels - see Jesus in Genesis when Rebekah volunteers to water a herd of camels. See Jesus in Exodus when Moses shepherds a nation of wandering whining people. See Jesus in First and Second Samuel when a young goat-herder volunteers to do battle with an obscene giant. Jesus.
Author unknown
1. From heav'n You came helpless babe
Entered our world Your glory veiled
Not to be served but to serve
And give Your life, that we might live 
This is our God, the servant King
He calls us now to follow Him
And give our lives as a daily offering
Of worship to the Servant King
2. There in the garden of Tears
My heavy load He chose to bear
His heart with sorrow was torn
"Let not My will by Yours" He said 
3. Come see His hands and His feet
The scars that speak of sacrifice
Hands that flung stars into space
To cruel nails surrendered 
4. So let us learn how to serve
And in our lives enthrone Him
Each other's needs to prefer
For it is Christ we're serving.
I met a new camel-carer in our church two weeks ago. She asked if it would be OK if she came down through the week and trimmed up the dead fronds on our ferns. I thought to myself, "Hallelujah! A camel-carer!" This past week I have been surrounded by camel-carers. These people aren't idle. Yet they volunteer to serve. They don't just do the minimum - they water our camels as well. They aren't looking for thanks, accolades, encouragement, or medals with colourful ribbons, or their photo in the newspaper. Camel-carers care for things because they care for people.
¶ When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing a half shekel, and two bracelets for her arms weighing ten gold shekels,
Gen. 24:22

The Genesis 24 account doesn't end though with a bunch of camels rejuvenating their saliva stores. In what many Bible teachers have seen over the years, Rebekah is a type of New Testament believer. Her innocent faithfulness to her unseen spouse is honoured with treasures beyond her wildest imagination. This will be case for every faithful believer whose works will be tested by fire. And in a serendipitous way, if Rebekah hadn't watered these camels at this time, the world might not have hosted the Saviour since Rebekah went on to become the ancestor of Jesus Christ!
each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.
First Corinthians 3:13
Abraham, a type of the God the father, has sent his servant, a type of the Holy Spirit, out into the world looking for a bride, a type of New Testament believer, for his son, a type of Christ. What distinguishes the believer from the world? Camel-caring. When we say don't kill unborn camels or exterminate old ones, it's because we care for people, not politics. When we volunteer, we show the care of Christ, our Servant-King.
Will you let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I might have the grace
To let you be my servant too
(The Servant Song, by Richard Gillard of New Zealand)
"I'm not watering those stinking, flea-infested, slobering camels!" is usually translated into: "I'm really busy at the moment. Couldn't you find someone else for the creche roster?" and various other statements. But, "Let me get you a drink and I'll pour water for your camels to." - is most often translated not with words but with actions. If you really want to show someone you care, water their camels.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

Friday, 8 February 2013


Jesus the Good Shepherd
This week I was researching how Jesus has been reflected in art down through the centuries. One of the recurring themes for artists is Jesus The Shepherd. He is frequently depicted gently holding a young lamb. While the New Testament never records Christ cuddling little lambs, these artists have risked being arrested by the Cheesy-Police to portray Jesus in a way that they consider to be a reflection of His love and care for people. If Psalm 23 is but a shadow, it is surely Jesus Christ who is casting this shadow. Beyond the arguments, the rantings, the shrill objections of those who defy God, the Holy Spirit today ministers the grace of Christ to believers in a way that the world could never understand. The closest we can come to explaining to a non-believer what Christ means to us might be Psalm 23.
¶ The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
¶ Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
¶ You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD

Psalm 23:1-6
Christ satisfies my deepest and most immediate needs ("I shall not want"). I have some big challenges at the moment. I have needs which constantly cause pressure. I need Christ's help to meet my needs. Over the past few months I have been praying intently for Christ to meet my pressing needs. Little by little, day by day, I am seeing the answer to that prayer. Because I know that Christ the Shepherd of my soul will take care of my needs, I am at peace. I don't have to try and figure out "how" or "when". I don't have to sweat with stress over it. I shall not want.
Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack! "

Psalm 34:9
Last year I had a continual battle with fatigue. On a few occasions my body wouldn't listen to me. It involuntarily took over and basically shut down. But in the midst of this I knew that Christ my Shepherd was also my Sabbath rest. He led me to observe a weekly sabbath, and trust that as I laid a day down a week to meet with Him in His House with His people (notice the flow of this Psalm, it's not the green grass where I am meant to find my deepest rest) I would be even more productive with just the six days I had left. If you have been battling weariness, or perhaps even fatigue, let Jesus your Shepherd lay you down in green pastures and rest you. I heard the testimony once of someone who was really struggling to sleep. (I know some people who suffer horribly from insomnia and they tell me how taxing it is on them physically, emotionally and even spiritually.) One night in desperation they cried out to God for help. As they lay there on their bed they had a vision of Christ beckoning them to come to Him. As they did, he laid them down and stroked their head. With each stroke the anguish of their mind seemed to fade. They were soon overcome with the peace of Christ and just as soon experiencing His rest. The person sharing this testimony said that they ceased to experience insomnia from that time. He makes me lie down in green pastures.
Written by Edith G. Cherry, 1895
We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender!
We go not forth alone against the foe;
Strong in Thy strength, safe in Thy keeping tender,
We rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go.
Strong in Thy strength, safe in Thy keeping tender,
We rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go.

We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender!
Thine is the battle, Thine shall be the praise;
When passing through the gates of pearly splendor,
Victors, we rest with Thee, through endless days.
When passing through the gates of pearly splendor,
Victors, we rest with Thee, through endless days.
¶ This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
¶ "In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.

Isaiah 30:15
Our Shepherd leads us. For too long I stressed about doing the "perfect will of God". But some time ago I met Jesus as my Shepherd who leads me. I found that if I stayed close to Him and walked through the doors that He opened I could only do the "perfect" will of God. Sure, I still pray for wisdom and guidance and I rarely rush into things, but I have found that Jesus is my leading Shepherd. He leads me beside calm waters. I have a relatively busy life. I run four organisations and am involved in running some more with other people. I serve voluntarily in these not-for-profit organisations gladly - joyously - and heartily. But its usually difficult to see any of them as "still" waters. In fact, in trying to fit everything in, I decided over the Summer to lay down one of my passions: tennis (so that I had time to fit everything in). But I felt Christ my Shepherd lead me to a tennis court which strangely resembled still water for me. When I'm on a tennis court hitting a ball my soul is restored from the calm clear waters. Others tell me that their still waters are literally still waters which they occasionally ripple with a fishing fly!

Christ's shepherding of my life causes me to be away from certain things and into other things because I represent Him. I am led up 'paths of righteousness for His Name's sake'. What I do with my time matters - because I bear His Name. What I watch on TV or my computer screen matters - because I bear His Name. How I talk to those I love (and those I don't) matters -because I bear His Name. Christ has changed my heart to feel what grieves His heart. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name's sake.

In the eye of my busyness storm, when the valleys seem deep and the shadows cast long, I have been experiencing Christ's presence. At times His presence has overwhelmed me. Each morning, when I awake, I grab my iPad (from which I read my Bible) and go into another room by myself. As I read the Bible, I reflect and pray. Sometimes I'm struck by how relevant a Text is for what I'm going through. Sometimes I share these journal entries about these Texts with my Facebook friends. It is a time of worship. A time of renewal. A time when I fear no evil because Christ The Shepherd is with me and His rod and staff (protection and direction) comfort me.

The past few years have involved me being prominent within our State on matters surrounding the value of life. After one public forum where I presented I had a queue of upset people each waiting to tell me what an intolerant idiot I was. Just a few years before this I wrote a controversial paper on a development proposal which within half an hour of being published online resulted in a phone call from one of the most prominent politicians in our State demanding that it be taken down. Over the next few weeks I had several prominent politicians and business leaders demand that I recant. In these times I felt Christ's anointing on my head, and His table of nourishing set before me in the presence of opposition. While lesser critics of the same company behind the development project were being sued, threatened with solicitors' letters, and being economically handicapped, Christ kept me and caused my cup to overflow.

Christ The Shepherd has called me to pastor. I'm not like most pastors though. The burden to pastor that Christ has laid on my life is a little difficult to explain to most people because it's so unusual. Invariably, whenever I begin to explain it I am always misunderstood. It is often easier to let people be disappointed with my pastoring than to both disappoint and confuse them. My pastoral burden is not confined to a time-frame. I have burden to pastor in a way that will leave an ongoing legacy for generations. But it is a pastoral burden that yearns for the welfare of people who are beyond the regular reach of our church. And this is where people (within our church) begin to misunderstand me because it sounds like I'm saying that I don't care about those in our church. If you get to know me you'll discover very quickly that I deeply care about everyone in our church. But, just like the parents of an only child trying to help their child understand that just because they are having another baby doesn't mean they will love them any less, I try to help those in our church to understand that we are called to introduce them to The Shepherd and this involves us sharing in a slightly more impossible vision than we might have dared had.

This sense of call to pastor our community is being appreciated by a growing number of our flock who have been in our church long enough to understand this call. But our call to shepherd begins where we together experience Christ as ourShepherd: the House of The Lord - our local church. Thus, we say with the Psalmist King, I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. It has been my delight to be committed to the House of Lord at Legana. It has been in the House of the Lord that I have most experienced the Shepherd's goodness and mercy. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life as I dwell in the House of the Lord forever. This provision, this rest, this comfort, this anointing, this overflowing cup, this house of goodness and mercy, where Christ shepherds His, is an utter folly to those who have not been made believers by the Spirit of God. But to us who are His, it is the hand of the Great Shepherd running through our fleece to remove the burs, thistles, and mud of this world as with each stroke He restores our soul and nourishes our spirit.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28
Ps. Andrew

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Is It Time To Unsheathe Spurgeon's Sword?

Unsheathing Spurgeon's Sword
by Dr. Andrew Corbett 4th February 2013
He's known as the "Prince of Preachers". There was once a time when kings and their princely sons were the first ones into battle with their armies to defend their people. And if this is what is required of princes, then Charles Haddon Spurgeon deserves the royal accolade. For when the Church was under vicious attack in the nineteenth century from both within and without, it was Charles Spurgeon who had the courage to step into the fray at great personal cost. These attacks came in three waves during Spurgeon's career. While he fought valiantly, he most frequently fought alone and it was this sad aspect of his battles that arguable led to his premature departure.
No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.
Second Timothy 2:4
Understanding The BibleSpurgeon was converted at the age of 15 after an irregular visit to a Methodist Church in Colchester where he sought refuge from the snow. Even at such a tender age he was acutely aware of his sinful condition. He knew that he did not have peace with God. But on this day, a lay preacher called his tiny congregation and their 15 year old visitor to "look unto Me, and be ye saved" (Isa. 45:22). It was this simple revelation that effected Charles Spurgeon's faith in Christ as his Saviour.
"I believe that I had been a very good, attentive hearer; my own impression about myself was that nobody ever listened much better than I did. For years, as a child, I tried to learn the way of salvation; and either I did not hear it set forth, which I think cannot quite have been the case, or else I was spiritually blind and deaf, and could not see it and could not hear it; but the good news that I was, as a sinner, to look away from myself to Christ, as much startled me, and came as fresh to me, as any news I ever heard in my life. Had I never read my Bible? Yes, and I read it earnestly. Had I never been taught by Christian people? Yes, I had, by mother, and father, and others. Had I not heard the gospel? Yes, I think I had; and yet, somehow, it was like a new revelation to me that I was to ''believe and live.''
Charles Spurgeon, The Early Years (Autobiography)
From that time, Spurgeon became a fully devoted follower of Christ. His call as an evangelist was immediately obvious as he handed out Gospel tracts, wrote scriptures on scraps of paper to drop on the ground along his walks, and went house to house asking if he could be of assistance. His potential became apparent to the leader of the local Preachers' Association, who gave him his first church preaching assignment when he was just 16. His text for that first sermon? Isaiah 45:22 "Look unto Me and be ye saved all the ends of the earth..."
Spurgeon on the DowngradeSpurgeon's father and Grandfather were both preachers. Much of the time he spent at his Grandfather's as a young boy was invested in reading many of the Puritan books in the Rev. Spurgeon's library. Charles Spurgeon learned to read books from a very young age. From his 20s, while pastoring a church of thousands, he made it his habit to read 4 "difficult" books a week. From the age of 17 Charles was appointed the pastor of a small chapel in Waterbeach, Cambridge. But within two years he received a call to the historic pastorate of New Park Street Chapel in London.

Charles Spurgeon's first city pastorateNew Park Street Chapel began in 1650 as a Reformed ("Particular") Baptist Church. When they called the 19 year old Spurgeon as their pastor in 1854, this 2000 seat church was barely drawing a hundred people to worship. But within a few months of Spurgeon arriving, it was full. Not long afterward they undertook a building expansion program to accommodate another 200 seats. Yet the crowds kept coming and queuing outside to get in so that there was an inordinate number of people standing during the service. The church hired large music halls each Sunday from 1856 to be able to seat those attending. Eventually the church decided to buy property at the Elephant and Castle in South London and contruct The Metropolitan Tabernacle. This new building was opened in 1861 and could seat 6,000. Spurgeon would pastor this church for 38 years, ended by his illness and death at the age of 57 in 1892.

Spurgeon's First Battle - Election
In his book, THE FORGOTTEN SPURGEON, by Iain Murray, he identifies three great battles which Charles Spurgeon felt he must fight. Each of these battles had two attackers which Spurgeon took it up to. His first great battle was over... [read full article

Saturday, 2 February 2013

When Everything Is Lost


Dunalley BushfireAustralia has been battered by extremes over the past few weeks. Just few hours from our city, the Tasman Peninsula has been devastated by horrendous bush-fires which destroyed the majority of homes there. Meanwhile in Queensland the worst floods in recorded history have destroyed homes, businesses and farms. One Bundaberg home builder had just a million dollars of his life savings on their dream home. It was one week away from final Municipal inspections and approvals. Because the owner didn't have this inspection and Municipal approvals he was not able to insure his new home. The floods demolished it. "I've lost everything!" he told the reporter. A Dunally resident, who lost everything in the fires was heard to say that in strange way it was: "freeing". It's tragic moments like these that should gently interrupt our sympathies and cause us to reflect on what we consider to be our "everything" - our real "treasure".
Bundaberg flood 2013
¶ "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Maathew 6:19-21
Dunalley BushfiresI once heard of a bumper sticker that said, HE DIES WITH MOST TOYS WINS. What a pitifully sad way to view life. Jesus taught that life does not consist of things, rather it consists of having rich intimacy with God. The next time you are feeling down about what you don't have, raise your hands to heaven and thank God for what you do have! If you woke up today and you weren't in the metaphysical flames of everlasting damnation, even if you don't care much for Christ, you should really drop to knees and gratefully bow your head in thankfulness! And while you evaluate your 401C or Superannuation Account, consider an investment strategy plan in eternal treasures! You can start building your true treasures now. But it will mean holding onto your material treasures with a very loose hand - that is, it will require a change from rich for yourself to being rich toward God.
"So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God."
Luke 12:21
Horatio SpaffordHoratio Spafford was rich toward God. He and his wife mourned as their only son died very young. They suffered great loss in Chicago fires of 1871. He was a lawyer who had invested heavily in real estate around Lake Michigan and was sorely tested when everyone of these holdings were destroyed. He had previously arranged to travel to England with D.L. Moody in 1873 as he conducted evangelistic campaigns there. He still had business to attend to though in Chicago so he postponed his voyage but sent his wife and four daughters on ahead. As passed through a particularly rough portion of the ocean they encountered a fierce storm and the boat began to sink. His wife survived but his daughters did not. As he sailed the Atlantic to join his wife in England the captain of the ship called him to the bridge. "A careful reckoning has been made", he said, "and I believe we are now passing the place where the de Havre was wrecked. The water is three miles deep." Standing on the deck of the ship in the midst of raging seas he was sprayed by the billowing seas, he returned to his cabin and penned these words-
Written by Horatio SpaffordWhen peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
Horatio Spafford's treasure was not his vast real estate holdings - or even his family - it was his peace with God. The apostle Paul instructed Timothy to pastor the wealthy in his church with these words-
thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
First Timothy 6:19
For those who have been gripped by Christ and shaped by the Gospel, our "treasure" has been redefined. As we spare a thought and offer a prayer for those who have "lost everything" we should be grateful that no earthly fire or flood can take from us what is our true treasure.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28
Andrew Corbett