Thursday, 25 December 2008

The Cost of Clean Water

World leaders are using interesting language to stress how important and urgent they feel human-induced climate change is. Words such as "morality" are being used now in the climate-change vocabulary. Interestingly, some Christian thinkers, such Jay Wesley Richards, are raising some reasonable questions about this language and alleged importance. He questions the priorities of world leaders who ignore very resolvable issues such as making drinkable water available to those who currently have undrinkable water supplies. He says that at an estimated cost to the global economy of $T700 to implement the Kyoto Protocols, the other costs (economic, social) would be enormous while the benefits would only be around a fraction of a degree in cooling global temperatures.
For less than 1% of the cost of implementing Kyoto the entire world could have clean drinking water.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008


Christmas has forever made the world a better place. It dramatically reveals the identity of God and also shows us how we can each help to make our community a better place.
From Christmas we know that God-

God is a Father who does what fathers do- protects, provides, plays with, and prays for His Child.
We can continue to make our Valley a better place by giving our community children who know how to respect public property, each other, the vulnerable, and the less well-off. Good parenting is extremely hard work but it pays dividends like no other investment.

God gave away what He wanted most: love. By doing this He extolled love as the highest virtue.
We can continue to make our community a better place by giving away what we ourselves want. This might involve volunteering – in fact, the real wealth of a community is not measured in dollars, but in its care for each other and this is generally gauged by the level of volunteering within a community. Thank God, not just for the Salvos, but for the Fireys, School Canteen staff, St John’s Ambulance, the soccer coaches, the local tennis coach, Neighbourhood Watch and our church groups that all could not function without volunteers.

God has a plan of action. He saw a problem and took action. No matter what problem you are facing, with God’s help you can deal with it.
We can continue to make our Valley a better place by getting involved and all taking action: run for Council, join Neighbourhood Watch, support tree planting, clean-up days, working bees, keeping our properties fire-safe and well maintained.

God works in community. His plan involved a young virgin girl, a kind hearted carpenter, shepherds, wise-men, Herod and an Inn Keeper.
We can continue to make our Valley a better place by working in community and being community-minded. Don’t automatically think of your neighbour as “nosey” when they are simply showing care and concern for you. Christmas and New Year is a great time to get to know your neighbours over a backyard BBQ.

Everybody matters to God. Whether you are rich or poor, important or insignificant, yellow black or white, healthy or unwell, you matter to God.
We can continue to make our Valley a better place by ensuring that everybody is looked after, treated fairly and welcomed irregardless of our differences with them.

Happy New Year,
Dr Andrew Corbett

5 Proofs For The Existence of God

You can read this article in its fuller text edition online [click]

Friday, 19 December 2008

WIth All Our Heart

A Christian version of the catch cry- whateverWhat do you do from your heart? What you do you do with all your heart? These are strange times. Young people today are bored with traditional sport and recreation. Instead, they are into "extreme" sports. So, you would be forgiven for thinking that these same young people would be extreme and passionate about everything else in life. Not so. Rather, their catch cry is a seemingly apathetic: "Whatever". And the casual observer would be lulled into thinking that these same young people didn't really care. But this is definitely not the case.

Apathy is sometimes the disguise this generation wears to hide the almost continual sense of rejection they have either experienced or fear. But this approach to life can't successfully be Christinised. God's Word reveals that the victorious Christian life is lived out of the heart of the believer. And just to add emphasis, the Word of Life reveals that we should seek God, love God, and obey God, with all our heart.

Deuteronomy 4:29 But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul..”

Deut. 6:5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Deut. 10:12 ¶ “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

One of the defining characteristics of a Christian is that they have been given a new a heart from which they now seek, love and obey God. Ezekiel, the Old Testament prophet, predicted the outstanding result of the New Covenant when he prophesied-

Ezekiel 36:26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

While the emerging generation appears to apathetic toward so much of life and its future, appearances can be misleading. Nearly everyday the Media presents this generation passionately protesting what they consider to be environmental vandalism. There's definitely no "whatever" apathy here! All this confirms that even the whatever-generation can approach those things in life they feel are important with great passion- or, with all their heart.

But the things that these young people get passionate about (like, "Global Warming" and carbon emission levels) are less than insignificant compared to the things that God wants us to be passionate about: our right standing with God, our eternal destiny, loving our neighbour, caring for the less fortunate, building families that love God, the fate of those who have not yet heard the Gospel, and the fellowship of believers.

The Bible student who studies the way the Bible uses words like, mind, think, believe, will soon discover that these words are directly associated with our hearts, not our "brains". The heart is not only the source of our feelings, but our thoughts, according to the Word of Life. Indeed, Scripture says that our life flows out of our hearts (Proverbs 4:23; John 7:38).

Let us not attempt to Christianise a 'whatever' approach to life. Instead, let's worship God with all our heart-

Eph. 5:19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart,

Over the coming months, the world is going to try and win even believers to become more passionate about its causes (Global Warming, Sexual Preferences, Disarmament, Carbon Emission Trading, Two Thirds World Debt, Environmentalism). While we can feel strongly about these things with a Christian mind, there are probably over 100 things more important and urgent according to the Bible. But this won't stop secular humanists hijacking Christian language to hoodwink believers into becoming half-hearted Christians and whole-hearted secularists.

There has never been a more urgent time for believers to be whole hearted God adorers who live out our devotion to Christ the Lord with all our heart.

Father, help us to be most passionate about You and Your Cause. Lord, as the world seeks to squeeze us into a different way of thinking and force us to accept their values about what is important, may we keep our devotion to You, our love for our family, our charity toward our neighbours, our care for the poor, our burden for the lost and the ignorant, our compassion for the oppressed, and our care for the unborn. Continue to renew our hearts so that they are completely Godward. Help us to give You our heartfelt best.


Thursday, 11 December 2008

Reasons For Faith In Christ

The Apostle Paul never saw Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry. Many scholars believe that utters deep regret about this in his statement in First Corinthians 15:8-

Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

Yet Paul certainly did encounter Christ. His first encounter with Jesus was while he was on the road to Damascus. His next encounter was at perhaps the lowest point in his life, when everything seemed to be going wrong-

Acts 18:9-10 And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.”

To be sure, Paul had other spiritual experiences that involved visions, dreams, and out-of-body experiences. But his spirituality wasn't based on these experiences. His spirituality was based on provable hitorical facts. Paul makes a big deal about the facts of Christianity and in particular the greatest and most important historical fact: the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. He says that many of the people who had witnessed the Resurrected Jesus were still alive and that he had personally met them and verified these events with them.

Secondly, Paul's spirituality was grounded in Christ being the fulfilment of the Old Testament message. To Paul, the birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Christ was all foretold in the Old Testament and uniquely fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. This could not have been a series of mere coincidences to Paul. It could only have been orchestrated by God.

Thirdly, Paul's spirituality was grounded in God's creation. To Paul, creation screamed of a Creator. This led Paul to wonder in awe about, and worship, this Creator who he said was Jesus Christ (Col. 1:17-18).

The issues that Paul faced in being a Christian and keeping his faith in Christ are the same issues that Christians have faced down through the ages and perhaps we face today. But for the same reasons that Paul was able to keep going in his walk with Christ- the facts, fulfilled prophecy, and the wonders of creation- are also good reasons for us to be spiritual and follow Christ.

Father, help us to develop the gift of faith that you have given us. Help us to know and make known the historic facts for faith in Christ . Lead us in our reading and study of your Word so that we might marvel at Your unfolding plan fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Lord, give us eyes to see the wonders of Your handy-work in Your creation. May our lives increasingly reflect Your transforming glory.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

The Pace of Change...

We all know that things are changing and it is often hard to keep up. I was bragging to someone about how powerful my DUAL-CORE Mac computer is the other day. But that afternoon I received an email from Apple announcing that they had just released their new groundbreaking 8-CORE computer! Two weeks ago I bought the latest piece of Office software for my Palm computer. The very next day they made this you-beaut software obsolete and released a new much more updated, feature-packed version! Not only does all of this impact our working lives, it affects how we relate to each other, gather and process information, and share ideas. Consider this chilling YouTUBE clip-

The rapid pace of technological change affects how we relate with each other as a church and reach out to a desperately lonely and confused world. While the world becomes increasingly educated and more affluent, we should (continue to) live like Daniel in Babylon - studious, dlligent, disciplined and connected.
Daniel 1:4 youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans.

If Daniel lived today, he wouldn't be daunted by all the technology - he would learn to use it and use it. I think this is how we should approach the rapid technology changes ahead. And it begins by embracing change.

Father, help us to keep up with all this change and not be afraid of change. Help us not to be overwhelmed by it. Help us as a church to be dependent upon You, but able to change so that we can be relevant to our world. Help us to use technology and digital media to share the truth of God's Word without being absorbed by these toys. May we walk into the future looking to be a part of shaping it rather than just being shaped by it.

Andrew Corbett

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Seven Days Without Prayer Makes One Weak...

Sin will keep a man from prayer and prayer will keep a man from sin. Christianity without prayer hasn't got a prayer! Families that pray together stay together.

We should pray. Prayer is simple. It is talking with God. The Bible encourages us to pray in different ways. We can "petition" God in prayer by bringing Him our requests. When we do, we are depending upon Him and He is glorified as our Provider.

We can also "praise" God in prayer.

But most importantly we should pray for God's will to be done- especially in our own lives. But before you do, I need to share a warning with you. This warning is not merely theoretical or just something I read about in a book. I am a firsthand spokesman for this warning. When you pray for God to have His way in your life He will take your prayer very seriously. As a result things will happen and circumstances will change in a way that it becomes obvious what the will of God is.

Father, please have your way in my life. Help me to do Your will, even when I don't understand it. Please work in my heart and mind to want to do Your will and obey Your Word. Help me to live and to love. Help me to be a blessing to others. Help me to listen. Help me to notice. Help me to care.