Tuesday, 28 September 2010

A Watershed Moment For Tasmania

The appalling case of the prostitution of a twelve year old girl to over 100 men in Hobart Tasmania has outraged Tasmanians. This outrage has intensified in the last few days as it now appears unlikely that any charges will be laid against the men involved in hiring the girl. It's cases like these which serve to illustrate our intuitive sense of justice and especially when something is obviously unjust. The Director for Public Prosecutions (DPP) has stated that there may not be sufficient evidence to proceed with charges against the hirers of this girl. To be sure, based on what Mr Ellis has said, this would indeed be a difficult case to prosecute. But prosecute they must. That's why this is a watershed moment for Tasmania.

What is it about this case that riles most Tasmanians? While we joke about sex, entertain ourselves with sexually provocative films and music, read with interest about the "sex lives" of celebrities, and sponsor a multi-billion dollar para-sex industry (Porn), yet we are still disgusted when sex - even consensual sex - results in abuse. And so we should! This particular case is a good example of how we all share an intuitive knowledge of right and wrong - even though we may not be able to define what it is that is precisely 'immoral'. But sometimes, even Supreme Court Justices share our common inability to define what constitutes as "sexually immoral" -
In 1964, Justice Potter Stewart tried to explain "hard-core" pornography, or what is obscene, by saying, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced . . . [b]ut I know it when I see it . . . "[1]
This case will be difficult to prosecute because, according to Mercury Reporter Sue Neales-
Director of Public Prosecutions Tim Ellis is believed to be reluctant to charge clients of the child prostitute with the crime of under-age sex because of a lack of admissible evidence...But Mr Ellis believes that based on similar cases interstate and the evidence collected by Tasmania Police, a court would be unlikely to convict the men...The fact the girl was just 12 at the time the 120 men had sex with her is not by itself sufficient for charges to be laid.  Section 124 of the Criminal Code includes a sub-section making it a defence to anyone charged with having sex with a person under the age of 17 to argue that they believed on reasonable grounds that the person was an adult. In police interviews, most of the child's clients are believed to have claimed they thought the girl was older than 18.  Others claimed that while their names were in her appointment diary, they never turned up for the booking or, if they did, did not have sex with her.  "Sex With Girl Culprits To Get Off",    SUE NEALES   |   September 25, 2010 12.01am

This 12 year old was pimped by her Mum and her Mum's 'boyfriend', Gary Devine. The girl's 15 year sister was the one who recorded and managed the appointments. Both the Mum and Mr Devine have now been jailed for 10 years. But the men who also perpetrated the crimes may never be prosecuted. This sends a very, very bad message. It also raises questions about the purpose of judicial prosecution and the legislation such prosecutions are based on.

  1. Do we pass Legislation purely on its ability to be enforced? Similarly, do we prosecute a case simply based on its likelihood of achieving a conviction? (Laws against murder and car theft are difficult to enforce at times.)
  2. Do we recognise the connection between Legislation and 'morality'? It is a misnomer to think that you can not Legislate morality. You can only legislate morality (a definition of right conduct). The real question is, Whose morality are we legislating?
  3. Is the educative role of Legislation considered? Because Legislation must be explained it actually serves to educate. I'm old enough to remember when Legislation was introduced making it compulsory for people to wear seat-belts while driving. I also remember the horrific advertising campaign associated with the Legislation showing ghastly car crashes and portraying victims being hurled through windscreens to a life of para- (or, quadra-) plegia. Today, putting our seat-belts on is almost an automatic reflex for drivers and their passengers. Arguably this is the result of the initial education campaign associated with the Legislation.
  4. Can Legislation be passed based on a very specific case and be good Legislation? Legislation based on exceptional circumstances is nearly always bad legislation. Good Legislation must reflect good general principles which are consistent with the highest moral standards. In this particular case a number of principles are at play-  (i) Sexual activity with children is always detrimental to the child; (ii) Commodifying sexual activity grossly distorts its vital role in human intimacy; (iii) Hiring a person for sexual gratification is a form of casual slavery which is demeaning to the one being prostituted; and (iv) Participation in prostitution undermines marriages (present and future) which undermines families and therefore ultimately societies. 

In this particular case, the services of the girl were advertised in a newspaper. The ad was made to sound like the girl was 18 and available as an "escort." Beyond Abuse spokesman, Mr Steve Fisher, rightly said that the 100 men should be charged (Mercury, Bruce Mounster's report: Anger At Child Sex Case End, 27th September 2010). But bewilderingly, he called for the "Sex Industry" to be de-criminalised and regulated-
Mr Fisher called for the decriminalisation and regulation of the sex industry. 
Efforts by the Government to legalise the trade failed to get Upper House support in 2003. 
The Government instead banned brothels, while allowing sex workers to work privately from hotel rooms. 
"We need some form of regulation so they know what's going on where," Mr Fisher said.
One wonders whether this same principle (Since we can't stop it, and even though we know it's bad, we should at least control it by regulation) should also apply more broadly in society to other areas of hard-to-control criminality? How about we regulate the House-Robbery Industry? After all, our present Legislation prohibiting it doesn't always stop it! Soaring into the stratosphere of bewildering reactions to this particular case is a comment by a Hobart "Madam", Pam Browne who incredulously said-
In May, former Hobart brothel madam Pam Browne said that if Tasmanian sex workers had been licensed, as in other states, the 12-year-old's minders would have been prevented from advertising. [Mercury]
What Madam Browne, who has been operating her Tasmanian brothel illegally, has said is, if there was a law prohibiting these criminals from advertising the services of an unlicensed prostitute in a newspaper, the ad would never have been placed. Someone might need to tell Madam Browne that there actually are laws now (and then) prohibiting what they were doing and they ignored them all! It is absurd to think that licensing prostitutes would "clean up" the "Industry". Yet despite this, astoundingly Ms Lara Giddings wants to act on the advice of Madam Browne and proceed with Legislation to decriminalise prostitution in brothels and regulate their activity.
A spokesman for Ms Giddings yesterday said the Government was working on a review of sex-industry laws announced in June. In June, Ms Giddings told Parliament it was important that people in the sex industry were protected. She said former attorney-general Judy Jackson's 2003 proposal would be used as a starting point for a Government discussion paper.
I was fairly involved in the proceedings a few years ago when the then Attorney-General, Judy Jackson, after reasonably considering all of the data, not only withdrew her Legislative Bill, but reintroduced the existing one with harsher penalties. What Mrs Jackson discovered through the Parliamentary Inquiry, and some of the data supplied to her, was that where ever Brothels have been decriminalised, legalised, and regulated, it has actually led to: (i) an increase in criminal activity; (ii) less safe conditions for those engaged in its activities; (iii) less hygienic conditions; and (iv) an increase rather than a decrease in the "Industry."And this case serves as a stark reminder about what the Parliament learned back then.

This case should proceed against the men who helped to perpetrate this crime. It is difficult, if not impossible, to accept that none of the men could be charged and convicted. Here are four good reasons for the DPP to prosecute this case-

  1. Based on the conviction of the girl's mother and Mr Devine, the criminality of this case is beyond question and if no "client" can be charged then on what basis were the previous convictions successful?
  2. Prosecution of this case should serve as 'constructive shame' to deter this from happening again.
  3. To not proceed with this case is to deny justice.
  4. Proceeding with this case is in itself going to send a clear message that we, the people of Tasmania, regard what has happened as being unacceptable.

Dr. Andrew Corbett, 28th September 2010

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Our Church And Our Hope

The Church has been around for a while. It is unique in that while any organisation shares similarities with other organisations, only the Church has the distinction of being an 'organism' as well as an organisation.It is not merely a collection of people - it is the Body of Christ on earth! It doesn't just meet, it assembles. When it kneels it arises! Its core activity is not merely social or educational, it is spiritual. Its leader is not merely a man, its the Man - God in the flesh! Its mission is not just a noble cause, it is an eternal imperative!
To be a Christian is to be a part of the church, and more particularly, a part of a church. The word "Church" means called out ones. We are called out of the world. In Romans 12, it instructs the believer not to be conformed to this world. It goes on to instruct that rather, we should be transformed in our thinking. Thus, the world wants us to think in a certain way, but God calls us out of this worldly thinking and to have minds renewed by His Word. In Ephesians 4:18 Paul describes the way the world thinks and links it to the way the world behaves in verse 19-
Eph. 4:18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.
Eph. 4:19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
Being honoured after 15 years of
Pastoring at Legana
Paul then declares how the believer has been transformed by God and placed into a community of called out ones: the church.
Eph. 4:20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!—
Eph. 4:21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus,
Eph. 4:22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
Eph. 4:23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, Eph. 4:24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
At the top of this chapter in Ephesians (which is all about the Church) he reminds his readers that being a part of the Church is a matter of being called-
Eph. 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—
Believers are called out of the world and called to Christ and therefore His Body, and this is our - "one hope". The local church is a place of hope. We have been given "hope" - not in the sense of wishful thinking, but in the Biblical sense of "a sure guarantee" (Hebrews 6:19).
So passionately affectionate is Christ toward the Church that when He confronts Saul of Tarsus on the Road to Damascus (who has been persecuting the "church") Christ asks him- "Saul, Saul, why have you been persecuting Me?" (Acts 9:4) Do you see that? Christ considers His Body (the Church) as a part of Him! Shortly after this encounter Saul becomesPaul - a vigourous lover of the Church, one of the greatest Church-Planters of all time, and the greatest theological exponent of the doctrine of the Church. Paul discovered that Christ is on a mission to establish His Church throughout the earth throughout all ages. Jesus not only wants people saved, He wants them planted (or "baptised") into His Church-
First Cor. 12:13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
For us, as a local church, it is my hope that we can win and train many more people to Christ and into His Church. In the next few years I hope we can develop our facilities with a 400 seat auditorium, a recording studio for multi-media production of Gospel resources, a premier children’s facility, a wedding chapel, a care-taker’s cottage, landscaped gardens, and a sealed car-park. It is my desire that we grow a generation of God-loving, Biblically-literate, Christ-exalting, Church-committed, God-fearing, holy, spiritually courageous, Holy Spirit filled, prayerful, servant-hearted, grace soaked, evangelizing, gifted, believers who can be a part of the congregation, leadership team and support base of Legana Christian Church who will reproduce themselves in the generation to come. I long to see our church become a church of hundreds worshiping together. This is one of the reasons why our ministry to children through our Kids Church and our Kids Club is so important.
We are committed to being a Spirit-filled, Sovereign Graced, Reforming, passionately worship, enthusiastically evangelizing, loving and caring community of believers living as a church for all the family reaching our community and beyond.
Lord Jesus, we thank You for calling us out of the world to a living hope and placing each of us into a community of hope. Help us now to reach out to those around us who do not have the hope we have. Give us an increased love for Christ and a grander vision of Him and His magnificence. Enable us to each live more fully for Him and to live the kind of lives which minimise any reproach for Him and His glory. May we be strengthened as we sow our strength into Christ and His Church. Keep our hearts sweet and free from anger and bitterness. When another brother or sister within our church causes us pain or offense give us the maturity to forgive and forebear. Lord, help us to glorify you increasingly through the hope you have given the world through Christ.
Eph. 3:21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Everlasting Arms of Grace

Max Lucado tells the story, in his upcoming book (Outlive Your Life), of the time when his 3 year old nephew came over and saw his basketball hoop. He asked uncle Max if they could "play basketball". Max lowered the hoop from 10 feet down to 7 feet, taught his nephew how to throw a "Granny" style, but still nothing enabled his nephew to score. Uncle Max then lifted his struggling nephew up to the ring where the 3 year old was able to roll the ball through the hoop. With this he gave a double fist pump and began yelling- "I did it! I did it all by myself I did it!"
The eternal God is your dwelling place,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.
And he thrust out the enemy before you... 
Deuteronomy 33:27
Walls of Jerusalem hike in the highlands of TasmaniaIn Deuteronomy 33:27 it says that God's "everlasting arms" are under His people. Perhaps in much the same way that Uncle Max helped his nephew to score an impossible goal, so God helps us to do the impossible with much the same response by us as Uncle Max's nephew.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2Corinthians 12:9
This is what we call grace. When God enables us to do what we usually take for granted, it is an act of divine grace, but how many of us recognise it? Underneath us each are the Everlasting arms of God enabling us to score a goal. Sometimes these goals look like the car we drive, the house we live in, the clothes we wear, the job we perform, the family we have, the church we are a part of, and accounts we keep with banks. God's Everlating arms of grace take on various forms.
Like the little nephew, we kid ourselves and try to kid those around us that we know how to score life-goals. But alas, we are often like the tick which got into the elephant's ear, Max Lucado goes on to say, that caused the elephant to burst from the herd and head to the nearest river. As the raging elephant made it to the river is crossed a rickety old wooden bridge which struggled under the immense weight of the elephant. The bridge bounced wildly as the stampeding elephant stormed across it. Once on the other side of the bridge the tick yelled out to any who would care to listen- "Look what we just did to that bridge!"
Walls of Jerusalem walk in Tasmania near Trappers Hut
Walls of Jerusalem scenery in Tasmania
I've been that tick too many times! Amazingly, even Jesus said that He could do nothing without the help of his Father! (John 5:19) Therefore, who do I think I am? I need to understand that underneath me are the Everlasting arms of God's grace.
“I can do nothing on my own."
John 5:30a
Got an impossible task that you're faced with? Perhaps you need to feel the loving arms of an Everlasting God lift you up to the level of overcoming whatever it is you are confronted with.
Lord Jesus, lift me up with Your Everlasting arms. Give me the strength, wisdom, and insight needed to be able to glorify you in all I face. Please lift our church up. Fill every person at Legana Christian Church with a deepening love for You, Your people, and Your House. Help us to be able to score the goals of people coming to know and follow Christ. We confess to You our reluctance to say sorry for those destructive acts of pride and its declarations. We ask for Your forgiveness. Now Lord I pray, grant that we will not look to our selves to answer or solve all of our problems - but that we might continually invite you to hoist us up and that we might each time go some of the way to thank You for it.
Ps. Andrew

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Reaching or Preventing Prodigals

Reaching & Preventing Prodigals
I love Saving Private Ryan. It has a powerful message about the value of an individual. It's not too difficult to see the similarities between its story and God's great redemption through sending His Son to save mankind in the themes of this movie. But Saving Private Ryan also raises questions such as- is one life more valuable than another? In what way is it right that many lives be risked and lost in order to save one life?
While we ponder these questions, perhaps we could consider some less theoretical questions that relate directly to the spiritual battle we are engaged in. Imagine a war-time scenario where news is received that a naval ship has been hit and there are 100 survivors stranded in the water. A battle-ship nearby is summoned to go immediately to the rescue. All 10,000 sailors muster into action, but before they get there they sail into a ferocious battle and are engaged by the enemy. Thousands of lives are lost in the heated conflict. But the battle-ship is eventually on the way to rescue the 100 survivors, which they managed to do.
Psalm 89:1b I will make known your faithfulness to all generations...
Psalm 22:30 Posterity shall serve him;
it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation
Those numbers may at first appear to be out of proportion. But sadly, they're not. When it comes to passing on faith in Christ to the next generation, we're not doing so well. Some of the statistics range from 70-80% of all Christian teens and twenties who enter into a university will walk away from their commitment to Christ. There are apparently common reasons for this which the survey results reveal. These include an ability to reconcile the teachings of the Bible with the irrefutable data of science; unanswered questions about the Bible; and, the absence of meeting a fully committed and passionate Christian who lives a consistent Christ-honouring life.
If we are going to make a serious attempt at possibly fulfilling the Great Commission we must learn the importance of winning our children to Christ. I've spoken with many strong believers who have tried their best to raise their children in the faith, but without success. I've also seen parents who have set out to disciple their children in Christ and have had to learn how to do it. There are of course no guarantees that even if we do everything "right" that our children will take up their spiritual inheritance and follow Christ. But, there does appear to be some common pitfalls for Christian parents trying to raise Christian children. Added to this there are pitfalls that churches can fall into which make it more difficult for them to pass on their faith to generation of children growing up in their church community.
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.Second Timothy 1:5
At the very least, in order for us to consolidate the next generation of Christian children into fully devoted Christ-followers, we must work harder at being informed about how the Bible and Science can be integrated. I strongly recommend the resources of Reasons To Believe to this end. Secondly, we should welcome honest questions about the reliability and trustworthiness of the Bible. Naturally, this demands that we ourselves become more familiar with the Scriptures. I can not recommend more highly doing a course with ICI Theological College (which can be done by correspondence at your own pace) to increase your depth of understanding into the Bible. Thirdly, we need to model what genuine, passionate, commitment to Christ looks like.
"Now, let us turn briefly to the point that is not in the text. I want to make a particular application of this whole subject to the conversion of children...Children need to be saved. Children may be saved. Children are to be save by instrumentality. Children may be saved while they are children...To reclaim the prodigal is good, but to save him from ever being a prodigal is better. To bring back the thief and the drunkard is a praiseworthy action, but so to act that the boy will never become a thief or a drunkard is far better."C.H. Spurgeon, The Soulwinner, pages 297-298
Spurgeon writes that he would teach every mother in his church that they were his greatest evangelists. A mother's chief goal is the salvation and discipleship of her children. If we could heed Spurgeon's words today we may make the task of evangelism for the next generation a little easier.
Perhaps you are not a parent? But perhaps you hope to be one day. Learn from those parents who have successfully evangelised and discipled their own children. Watch them closely and immitate those things they are and do which have aided in the conversion and growth of their children. When in church fellowship, encourage the children of other parents to turn to the Lord and remain steadfast in their commitment to Him. But especially pray. Pray that you will be able to parent as a soulwinning parent who can pastor your child into the depths of Christ.
For those Christian parents who have children who are now "prodigals" it might be encouraging to remember the actual story of the Prodigal which Jesus told. The heart-broken father of the Prodigal never gave up hope that his prodigal would one day return. "...But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion..." (Luke 15:20). The father expected that his wayward son would one day return. What did the father do in the meantime? He never disowned his son. He would have continued to pray for his son to return. He didn't pester or nag his son. He kept his relationship with his son open (his son knew that his father would accept him back). He made it clear enough that he disapproved of what his son was doing (the Prodigal knew that his father would expect confession of sin and admission of guilt- "Father, I have sinned against you..."). The father worked at maintaining a relationship with all his children despite the attention his Prodigal was receiving. While there is no formula for success when it comes to winning prodigals back, the things which hinder prodigals from returning can be avoided.

Parents not wishing to raise prodigals would do well to consider little listening ears and little watching eyes when they are tempted to drop their own display of commitment to Christ. Secondly, in a similar vein, while there is no perfect church, where their church is obvious in its imperfections, these points should not be the focus of criticism but of prayer. I once had a dad of a prodigal who was very critical of his church and his pastor tell me that not even his unsaved friends wanted to come to church because of "what the church had done" to him. I asked him how they had come to feel this way to which he responded that he had told them! No wonder his children didn't want anything to do with Christianity when their father had beat up so much on Christ's bride! Wise parents would do well to never run down Christ's church or Christ's servants in the presence of their children.

If you have the opportunity, turn your family dining table into an 'altar'. At this altar invite your children to share what they have read/learned/heard from the Bible that day. Invite your children to share their current prayer requests. Share a Scripture and a prayer as a model to your children showing them how you mine God's Word and cultivate your relationship with Christ in prayer. Let's commit ourselves to preventing and reaching prodigals.
Lord Jesus, save our children. Keep those who have been brought up by Christian parents. May these parents have a deep work of the Holy Spirit in their own lives which greatly impresses their children. May these little children see Jesus in their Mummy and Daddy. May these children be taught the Gospel in such a natural way that to them all of life is sacred, and all of life is God's. May they come to know that the Gospel is not a truth, but the Truth. Help us as a church to raise up a generation of children who will love God with a passion and totally surrender their lives into His service where
Ps. Andrew

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Guides

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was one of the most extraordinary men to have ever lived. Born to one of the most celebrated Psychiatrists of all time, Dietrich was exposed to frequent visits from professors, academics, political leaders, who all came to speak with his father at their family dining table. This became the seedbed for Dietrich's incredible hunger to learn and understand. He exhibited all the hallmarks of being an emerging genius. But he recognised that there was so much to understand about the world that he could never read of in any book. He turned to prayer and found Christ to be a fount of more than knowledge...

By his early 20s, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a newly graduated Theological student, was famous. His sermons were being heard weekly by thousands, and perhaps millions more were following his progress around the world in the 1930s. But One person held Bonhoeffer's attention while one person desperately wanted it. Although Bonhoeffer was a genius, he was a devoted follower of Christ who believed that God spoke, guided, and deeply moved a person in their soul. Because of this he was a man who practiced the prayerful reading of Scripture - he expected God to speak to speak to him. And like never before, there came a time when Dietrich Bonhoeffer urgently needed to hear from God because the man who wanted his attention, Adolf Hitler, was now breathing out murderous threats.

Corrupt German Clergy who had been beguiled by Hitler

In his early 20s, the great German, Dietrich Bonhoeffer had a national audience thanks to Radio- Deutsche Welle. Bonhoeffer spoke to the German nation with prophetic courage as he warned his countrymen about the growing danger of the beloved Nazi Party. Unlike his colleagues, pastors and theologians, Bonhoeffer was not fooled by Hitler. They had 'theologised' the Nazi agenda. One group of pastors even formed a society (called "The German Christians") and developed a series of doctrines which justified hatred toward Jews by claiming the New Testament taught it! They went so far as to claim that Jesus was actually not Jewish! Bissarely, many Christians accepted their teaching without question. But not Bonhoeffer!
Philippians 3:9a and be found in him...
In the midst of so much personal and national turmoil, Bonhoeffer wanted to be found in Christ. He prayerfully read his Bible and looked to the Lord to speak to him. But as Hitler was raging he was forced to take immediate action. He fled Germany for America. But on the voyage over, he cried out to the Lord in prayer and asked God to speak to him. He felt increasingly that perhaps he had done the wrong thing. He determined that he would cut short his time in America to only stay a year. But the more he prayed the less peace he had about his decision. He returned after 26 days.

Bonhoeffer's "Cost of Discipleship"
At a time when his colleagues were embracing Liberalism (denying the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture - that is, the Bible is not really God's Word) Bonhoeffer preached the Jesus of the Bible and believed every word of it. He led a move to withdraw from what he saw as a Biblically weak and compromising Church and formed a new group called The Confessing Church. But the Fuhrer didn't look favourably upon this new group and Bonhoeffer was soon tracked down and jailed at the express orders of Hitler. From his prison cell he wrote some of the most profound sentiments about the glory and wonder of Christ and His church. Far from feeling the church had let him down or betrayed him, he recognised that the True Church was full of failing saints who depended upon the grace of God but were found in Christ. To Bonhoeffer, true Christian fellowship was only possible if both parties were in Christ. This was true "life together" (which became the title of one of his most profound books dealing with the believer's relationship with Christ and each other).
He [God] is the source of your life in Christ...First Corinthians 1:30a
Just three days before Germany surrendered, the spiteful Hitler ordered that the imprisoned Bonhoeffer, aged just 39, be executed by firing squad. Dietrich faced his long expected execution with the full confidence that he was in Christ.
Bonhoeffer was led away just as he concluded his final Sunday service and asked an English prisoner Payne Best to remember him to Bishop George Bell of Chichester if he should ever reach his home: "This is the end — for me the beginning of life."Eberhard Bethge, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Biography, p. 927
One of the latest, and probably best,
biographies on the life of
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Christ is our not only our Saviour, He is "our life" (1Cor. 1:30; Col. 3:4). It is our moment by moment goal to be found in Him. Even in the midst of horrible distractions, Bonhoeffer managed to maintain his fellowship with his Saviour through prayer, Bible reading and most preciously- fellowship with others who were in Christ. I am stirred by the story of Bonhoeffer. I am stirred to pick up my Bible in the midst of my mundane trivialities (disguised as urgent demands for my immediate attention) and to quietly ask God to speak to me. I am encouraged to settle my soul so that I too can sense the leading, directing, and guiding of God. I am stirred to meet with Christ and to be found in Him.
Lord Jesus, I need You. You are becoming to me increasingly magnificent. Your wondrous glory fills my mind. I think of You when I read of You. I hear You speak to me when I read of speaking to others. I want my mouth filled with songs for You. I want my mind reflecting on what You have said. I want to know You more and I especially want to be known by You. Lord, take my mind. Take my heart. Take my soul. Captivate my attention. Cause me to draw closer to You even in the midst of all that life can distract me with. Help me to be a husband who reflects You. Help me to be a Dad who bears Your Name well. Help me to be a pastor who points people to You and brings honour to You. Keep me. Guard me. Guide me.
Ps. Andrew