Observations on life; particularly spiritual

Posts tagged “God

Two reasons to praise God

God's power and loveGod deserves our praise and worship because He created the universe and everything in it (Rev. 4:11). This should be obvious (Rom. 1:19-20). Creation is huge and complicated. Scientists will never understand it all. It looks like it’s been designed. And God not only created matter and energy, He also created the laws of science and mathematics. So, He’s the source of everything that’s good. (more…)


Todays’ weather brought to you by God

Todays’ weather brought to you by GodTsunamis, floods, and bush fires are no joke. In 2021 it was estimated by Deloitte that natural disasters cost Australia over $38 billion a year and this will nearly double by 2060. The real cost, however, is more than a financial one, many people and animals lose their homes and even their lives when a major disaster strikes.

So what should we think about the weather? Is God really in control? Most of us are comfortable asking God for good weather for our next sports game or outdoor event – we may even thank God for a perfect sunny day. But when it comes to bad weather, who’s to blame – infamous weather systems like El nina or God? And who can we go to about these disasters? (more…)


Was Queen Elizabeth II a true Christian?

Was Queen Elizabeth II a true Christian?Queen Elizabeth was the world’s most famous woman. She was depicted in award-winning films such as The Queen and the popular Netflix series The Crown.

One of the prayers at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral service began, “We give thanks to God for Queen Elizabeth’s loyalty to the faith she inherited through her baptism and confirmation, and affirmed at her coronation; for her unswerving devotion to the gospel; and for her steadfast service as Supreme Governor of the Church of England”. But are these indicators of a true Christian? (more…)


Be who were born to be, a child of God

Be who were born to be, a child of GodWhat would your ideal parent be like? This question may feel a bit awkward or even painful to answer, but I invite you to consider it for a moment. If you’re anything like me, your character list of the ideal parent might go something like… caring, gentle, wise, compassionate, capable, stable, fun. Then, if I was really going all out with a wish list I might add powerful, rich and well respected. (more…)


Lord’s Supper rebuke

Chest pain is the most common warning sign of a heart attackPain is part of our body’s warning system. If you touch something hot, it hurts so you automatically pull away before it does much damage. And chest pain (angina) is the most common warning sign of a heart attack. Pain is an alarm and warning signal to the body. It indicates that something needs our attention.

In 1 Corinthians 11 there is a description of the Lord’s Supper (v.23-26), followed by a rebuke (v.27-32). (more…)


What the Bible says about nature

Hopetoun falls, Queensland AustraliaNature is made up of atoms and molecules that we can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. It is essential for living, providing such things as air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat, and materials to use from farms, mines, forests and factories.

Nature is a part of creation. The definition of some terms used in this article is given in Appendix A. (more…)


Repentance – turning around to follow the true God

We had to turn around 180 degrees to reach our destinationIn 2013 a friend and I walked through Glenbrook Gorge in the Blue Mountains to Lapstone Rail Station. I had a map to follow. Outside the gorge we reached a junction, but I didn’t know where we were on the map. So I didn’t know whether the station was towards the left or the right. We walked right towards the north for about 15 minutes and then repented (turned around) because we realised that the station was probably towards the south! We had to turn around 180 degrees to reach our destination. As we wasted at least half an hour because of this mistake, I decided to get a mobile [cell] phone so I could use a GPS like Google maps to show where I was on the map. (more…)


Nature Psalms

Earth DayNature includes the air we breathe, the water we drink, the places and wildlife we love. Nature can inspire Christians to praise and worship God. But nature can turn unbelievers from God – there is no mention of God on Earth Day. And unbelievers can see nature as a god that they can become obsessed with.

The psalms were songs used by the Hebrews to praise God. Nature psalms praise the Lord as the creator and sustainer of the physical universe (Estes, 2005). God is separate from nature because He created it. This made Jewish beliefs different to the common beliefs of ancient times that various objects in nature are divine. Just think about the gods of Egypt, Canaan, Greece and Rome. The theological description is that God is “transcendent”, which means He is independent of the creation. But the creation (nature) is also sustained by His mighty power; He sustains “all things by His powerful word” (Heb. 1:3NIV). And the creation (nature) declares (shows) God’s greatness (Ps. 19:1). (more…)


Two scientists who left atheism for Christianity

Rosalind Picard - Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MITThis post is based on two articles by Dr Jay Wile.

Professor Rosalind Picard

Rosalind Picard (1962 – ) is a Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who invented a new branch of computer science called affective computing. Picard was raised an atheist, but converted to Christianity as a young adult. When she was a school student she believed that smart children didn’t need religion. So she promoted atheism and dismissed people who believed in God as uneducated. (more…)


God’s glory for all to see

The Grose Valley, Australia - sculpted by the flood & site of spectacular hikesA look at Psalm 104

I had an uncle who lived at Katoomba, who was an avid bushwalker (hiker) in the Blue Mountains. When I was young, I made a bush walk near our house on a farm. It had a sign at the beginning and included a bridge across a hole I had dug in the ground. Maybe it’s not surprising that bushwalking (hiking) is one of my hobbies. (more…)


Strangest thing – Jesus rose from the dead

Strangest thing – Jesus rose from the deadThe existence of another dimension. A character with the ability to influence and change the physical world without physical force. A powerful evil monster out to kill. These are the elements of a science fiction narrative. But what if there is truth in them?

The message of the Bible is pretty strange. It talks of a spiritual dimension – angels and demons and an all powerful, all knowing God in control of it all. This spiritual dimension is generally unseen by us ordinary humans with our physical eyes. But the Bible records a special time in history when the supernatural burst into the world in the very natural form of a new born baby. Jesus’ birth, life and even His miracles are recorded in numerous ancient historical accounts. Turning water into wine. Healing a paralysed person with only His words. Bringing a man who has been dead for four days back to life. This is not the kind of thing we see outside of science fiction and fantasy. (more…)


Pray for justice, mercy and peace

Pray for justice, mercy and peaceWhen a maternity hospital is bombed; when a 55 year old woman with multiple sclerosis has to be carried from her home to escape shelling; when a 5 week old baby is shot dead with his family as they try to drive to safety… What words are there?

Whatever our political views, whatever our beliefs or our circumstances, in all of us something cries out in protest against the horror of the vulnerable and innocent people of Ukraine suffering. (more…)


Christians discovered and invented science

Isaac Newton has been described as the greatest scientist of all timeA common view is that there is a perceived conflict between Christianity and science. But this is erroneous because Christians discovered and invented science.

This post is based on a book by Dominic Statham.

Science

Scientists seek to gain knowledge of the laws which govern how the natural world works. They describe these laws rather than explain them. For example, we don’t know what gravity is or why there is attraction between positively and negatively charged particles although we can describe these behaviors. And science can’t tell us where these laws come from. (more…)


Revealed through creation

This is my Father's worldThis post comes from Lisa M Samra of Our Daily Bread.

In the 1901 hymn “This Is My Father’s World” (Appendix), pastor and poet Maltbie Babcock wrote of the delight he felt on his frequent outdoor walks, where he was captivated by breathtaking panoramic vistas. Writing of his fascination with the skies, seas, and creatures, he described sensing God’s presence and concluded, “He speaks to me everywhere”.

Although creation doesn’t have an audible voice, as His handiwork it’s one important way we learn about the One who “made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them” (Acts 14:15). In creation we see evidence of God’s glory (Ps. 19:1), as well as aspects of who God is, such as His “eternal power and divine nature” (Rom. 1:20). (more…)


Distant starlight and the biblical timeframe

The Bible makes it clear that the creation of the heavenly bodies was just as miraculous as the creation of the first peopleThis post comes from Dr Don Batten of Creation Ministries International.

The following question is often directed to Christians, ‘How can you believe in a straightforward biblical time-frame and explain distant starlight?’

The ‘problem’ is formulated thus:

  • The biblical time-frame is about 6,000 years since creation (“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”, Gen. 1:1)
  • There are stars that are millions and billions of light years distant that we can see. Travelling at the speed of light, the light from those stars would take millions or billions of years to travel to Earth, depending on the distance, so that we can see them.

(more…)


Love hurts

Love opens us up to grief and painDo you agree love hurts? Should it hurt? Is something wrong if it hurts? If we understand love as an unrelenting concern for another’s well-being, love does open us up to grief and pain in this broken world. When we love, we feel our loved ones suffering with them. When we love we are vulnerable to being hurt by our loved one’s words and actions. When we love we hurt. (more…)


Meet your maker

Meet your maker before you meet your makerThough we don’t live like it, death is a sure thing. I often take walks amongst the beautiful gardens and graves of the cemetery I live near. Thousands and thousands of headstones and memorial plaques lay quietly in various stages of abandon. Each represents another human who was once living and breathing like me. Right now death seems like something that happens to other people, but one day the sum of our lives will also be etched on a headstone for others to pass by. And then? (more…)


Be encouraged, not discouraged

Protest to stop Russian aggression in UkraineWith war in Europe and floods in eastern Australia, there’s plenty to be discouraged about. But did you know that there is also plenty to be encouraged about?

In Thessalonica

The letter of 2 Thessalonians tells Christians how to face difficult times, in this case it was facing false teaching. The key verse is 2:15 which says, “stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter” (NLT). That meant to follow the teaching given by the apostles, which is now in the New Testament. (more…)


Jesus is even better than Bluey’s dad

Jesus is even better than Bluey's dad“You’re as good as Bluey’s dad”. It is the highest compliment our young children can give my husband. I’ve given a similar compliment to one of our humorous friends and father of four. Bandit, more commonly known as Bluey’s Dad, is an animated Australian cattle dog daddy who has captured the hearts of children and parents the world over with his dry wit, playfulness and love for his two doggy daughters. The show has won an Emmy and Bandit has been declared a dad-idol by celebrities and dedicated fan groups. (more…)


The Trinity is unique to Christianity

This post comes from Dr Tom Murphy who lives in Sydney, Australia.

What feature most differentiates Christianity from any other religion? What makes it special? Is it the crucifixion? The resurrection? The belief that Jesus was divine? Or something else?

What makes Christianity special? (more…)


You are welcome here

You are welcome hereIt was Christmas Day. I was in Kathmandu 10,000 kilometers from home. I knew no one. I didn’t understand the language everyone was speaking around me. The food, the gestures, the smells were all new and strange to me. Yet I clapped along to the songs, in which I understood only one word, with a sense of belonging. The word was Yesu – Jesus. Because of Jesus these strangers were also my brothers and sisters. They welcomed me. They shared their Christmas lunch with me. They invited me back to their homes with warm smiles and enthusiasm. (more…)


Taking risks for God

Developer ordered to fix serious defects in a 16-storey apartment tower in AuburnIn March 2021 a developer was given an order to fix serious defects in a 16-storey apartment tower in Auburn in New South Wales. The defects included waterproofing, fixing of wall tiles to bathroom and ensuite walls, and falls to bathroom and ensuite floors. Following the structural flaws in Sydney’s Opal and Mascot towers, there has been increased attention on weeding out shoddy work. The risk assessment done by the builder was something like this. I can make more money by not doing everything properly. What could go wrong that could harm my profit? I could get caught by the NSW Building Commissioner. What would be the consequence of this happening? Is it minor, or moderate or major? Besides the extra cost it would be bad publicity and so the impact would be “major”. What is the likelihood of this happening? Is it unlikely (rare), or possible, or likely (common)? Because he thought he could get away with it, he thought it was “unlikely” (rare). What is the risk level? The risk matrix (table), says that a “unlikely” likelihood and a “major” consequence give a “medium” risk ranking, which is tolerable. That’s why he went ahead with the shoddy work. But he erred – the likelihood was actually “possible”, which gives a high risk. And he suffered the consequences. (more…)


Forgiveness – Easier said than done

Forgiveness – Easier said than doneForgiveness is hard. It is painful. It can be slow and gruelling. Yet there are no relationships in which forgiveness is not necessary.

The forgiveness the Bible speaks of is not turning a blind eye to the wrong committed against you, it is not pretending you are OK, it is not convincing yourself you deserved it or that the wrong doing wasn’t that big a deal. On the contrary, biblical forgiveness looks the offense in the eye, names it for what it is, acknowledges all its painful consequences, weeps over what has been done and lost, and in so doing says, “I love you still”. (more…)


The gospel in one Bible verse

Joe lives alone and has been socially isolated during the 3-month COVID pandemic lockdownJoe lives alone and has little contact with his family. He has no carer and needs help to look after his home, garden, health and safety. And he has been socially isolated during the 3-month lockdown in Sydney during the COVID pandemic. Like all of us, his days on earth are numbered. But being over 90 years of age, his number of days is less than most of us.

Joe is a nominal Roman Catholic who needs to hear the good news about Jesus – the Bible says that Jesus took our place before God by dying on the cross for us so that we can be forgiven and have a new relationship with God. Here’s an easy way to share the gospel with someone like Joe. (more…)