Grandpa Died A few Minutes Ago

You may remember a post I made a few weeks ago, it went something like this –

My Grandpa Harold Vawser (95) is in his final stages of life, could be hours, maybe days, weeks if his body holds out that long.
He has recently been moved from his nursing home to Royal Perth Hospital with septicemia, pneumonia and urinary tract infection, that, added to his chronic diabetes, is making life a little uncomfortable for him to say the least.
He has been up and down for a few weeks in there at RPH, but when I visited before Halls Creek he was on an ‘up’ and it was good to be there and chat and pray with him with Mum and Dad for a while… read the rest

Well, it took him a while, he hung on with all he could! But finally today he passed away, just a few minutes ago! It was what we all wanted, he was keen to be out of pain and with his maker! – VERY keen!

I loved him a lot, he was a great man, a man who loved Jesus and loved people, enough said I reckon – that would be enough for me I think.

Goodbye Harold Vawser, you were an inspiration, thanks for loving me!

Harold Vawser

My Grandpa Harold Vawser (95) is in his final stages of life, could be hours, maybe days, weeks if his body holds out that long.
He has recently been moved from his nursing home to Royal Perth Hospital with septicemia, pneumonia and urinary tract infection, that, added to his chronic diabetes, is making life a little uncomfortable for him to say the least.
He has been up and down for a few weeks in there at RPH, but when I visited before Halls Creek he was on an ‘up’ and it was good to be there and chat and pray with him with Mum and Dad for a while.
Yesterday I got the low down from Mum and Dad (Grandpa’s son) on how he is. Before I tell you this, you need to know my Pop has a deep faith in God and is strongly evangelistic, nothing moves around Pop without hearing something of the good news of the Kingdom of God.
He is very sick, almost delierious with his body fighting all these infections and doing its best to stay alive, in this state it seems like he is making his final stand for his God.
He is endlessly preaching evangelistic sermons and quoting scriptures and calling out the Lord’s Prayer … “OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN HALLOWED BE THY NAME…”
The lady opposite asked my Mum, “Was he a preacher, coz he is sure doing a lot of it!”

I guess with his diminishing health and the loss of Grandma some years ago Grandpa was keen to go a long time ago, he has said as much – often.
But now it would seem (from his body at least) that his time has come, and he knows it!

I guessGranpa, like you and I was not perfect. But what I could say was that he loved Jesus with a passion that I have never seen in anyone, he would have given his life for his family, his whole family, son, daughters, their partners and their kids and now their kids too. He has prayed for us, been interested in everything we are doing, helped us in financial ways and with words of encouragement and words of scripture (in EVERY birthday and Christmas card he has ever given!!).

I think when I look at Pop, I see very real life, a very rich life. Not one that has ended with a big bank account (Nope no big cheques heading my way!) but one that seems to be ending with a family that loves him around his bedside, and the words of his deeply beloved God resounding in his mouth (and the ears of everyone on that floor of the hospital!)

On Ya Grandpa – Well done good and faithful servant – enter into your rest now.

3 Days on A River Somewhere

Last week I had the opportunity to exchange my usual 3 days Youth Vision coaching Youth Pastors for 3 days in actual youth ministry. I occasionally take off with Scripture Union (Warriuka Adventure Camping) to lift some of my credibility whilst working with youth pastors. Nothing worse than having no idea what they are talking about when I am coaching!

So off I went with 12 kids from Rosmoyne SHS, 2 staff Paul and Joel (an old Youth Vision Youth Pastor) and Mikey, the other SU worker. We built rafts and paddled for 3 days down the Murray from Pinjarrah. I was in a kayak (still popping anti-inflammatory for my shoulder)! It was idyllic, the kids were on the whole pretty good kids. The weather was incredible, the campsites chosen were straight out of some camping magazine – picture perfect.

On the last night we ran into a couple of guys around a fire on the side of the river, conversations followed, we got on to the subject of marrage and home ownership/joint ownership etc. These guys suggested that I was mad not having finances in my own name and a house of my own. They suggested that this is what Donnald Trump suggests after having 5 fail marriages or the like. Now I don’t know about you, but taking advice from Donald Trump on marriage…hmmm The comment was made by one of the guys, “You just have to put yourself first, you think about number one and then worry about marriage, Donnald Trump says it’s business first then relationship”. Hmmm – I was a bit stunned and reflected back to them that I had been with my girl for 20 years and we were extreemly happy, even more so now than ever, we have joint ownership of everything and I don’t intend to change it, and we are trying something a littole crazy and that is that we put one another’s needs before our own and that we actually deny ourself in many ways so as to serve the other and I that this has worked most of the time and seems to build up a strong marriage…I added that it can actually work outside of marriage in other relationships too.

There was a stunned silence, the 2 Christian guys knew where I was coming from and sat waiting to hear the response…nothing for a long few seconds, then…

“naaaa, too risky, that wouldn’t work, you have just got lucky”

So – maybe I have, Christine is amazing, but still…imagine if everyone actually lived like I have suggested I try to (but fail so often) – putting one another’s needs before our own and actually denying our self in many ways so as to serve the other.

These guys were great fellas and they got in there boat and went off collecting firewood for us (looking for nothing in return – how unselfish of them!)

It was a great few days.

Peace

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:27

I have for some time been quietly stressed about what my life will look like next year. It’s that balance of having enough (whatever THAT looks like!) money coming in with as much time to do and be mission/relationship/family as possible as well I guess is the fact that I one day want my vocation, life family job, community to kind of all bleed into one as much as that could be done. I don’t wont to be pulled in a million different directions yet at the same time I want a good diversity as I get restless with only one focus. I want to do things that honour my passions and sense of calling, yet I don’t feel I HAVE to always be paid to fulfill all these passions and ‘callings’. I then have the ugly issue of being a bit of a people pleaser, so when someone says, ‘let’s do this’ – I am thinking, ‘sure, if that would make you happy, or like me more or...’, or someone comes to me and suggests, ‘you would be great at this job‘, it pats my ego and I think, ‘yes I would be wouldn’t I!‘.

So when I read a devotional thought today by Charles Ringma on the theme of peace, I thought it was very comforting as was the scriptural theme (above). So I thought I would type the lot out!

Finding Peace Within
Learning to Be At Home With Ourselves.

We need to come to an inner peace if our life is to be perennially productive. Such inner peace is a fruit of the way we consistently live. It is not the product of an escape from our circumstances – although we frequently think that a change in our circumstances will provide us with the answers we seek and the peace we long for.
Peace comes from being at home with ourselves. It comes from being thankful for the way God has made us and gifted us. It comes from the joy of giving and an appreciation for all that we receive. It comes from accepting ourselves and celebrating all that is good, while working on what needs to change.
Peace comes from being loved and having the satisfaction of achievement and the challenge of new goals. Peace wells up from within, but is clearly related to the way we live and the choices we make.
But it is seldom the result of much-having. It does not necessarily come with great success. Instead it is the unexpected gift. It is the surprise. It is there even when we didn’t expect it. It remains even when the going is tough. And it can grow even in the midst of pain and difficulty.
If peace finds its expression in being at home with ourselves, we clearly need to stop looking elsewhere. Henri Nouwen laments the fact that “we do not trust our inner most self as an intimate place.” He notes that we “anxiously wander around hoping to find [peace] where we are not.” Because peace is not simply the fruit of our circumstances, it can only come from within. And it can only abide there if we are at peace with ourselves.

Charles Ringma
“Dare To Journey with Henri Nouwen”

Hope you appreciated these thoughts as I did.
Shalom

Scott

Mark Sayers makes a point

I am looking at a young man’s car parked close to mine. On the dashboard of the car is a plastic figurine, it is Bart Simpson, he is pulling down his pants, and ‘mooning’ the world. Normally I would not stop and think about this, but this time I am shocked. I am not shocked out of a sense of oversensitive Christian piety, I have grown up with the Simpsons, and when it comes to butts I am the owner of one myself which has provided me with great support during my life. I am shocked however because I think of all the passionate, stubborn, activist, wildly revolutionary young people of history, who have fought to change the world, to bring down corrupt governments, overturn oppressive laws and regimes, who have given their lives on battlefields to improve the world. Sometimes they were right, sometimes they were misguided, but they believed in something. Of all the slogans, of all the messages that this young man could have sent the world, he chose this one. Bart’s nihilistic, plastic moon, exposes more than just are bare butt, it exposes our total lack of cultural depth, and reveals to us just how superflat our culture has become…Read full article at Mark Sayers brilliant blog

Another Gem From David Timms

Our group (The Joondalup Thing) has many ongoing conversations. In fact one thing I love about our group is the ongoing nature and feel of the group between our more formal (?) gatherings. I would be a rich man if I got a dollar for every email sent during the week between our small group of friends. This week 2 themes have been thrown around at least by a small handful of us.
1. Is God a sexist? (Gender struggles)
2. Do we ‘bring people’ to something, an event a meeting to hear a preacher to meet the pastor? (Is our event any more or less sacred than when I go to my neighbours for coffee?)

David Timms who speaks into our group often via his weekly writings speaks well into some of the issues in this weeks thoughts.

“The Reformation principle of ‘the priesthood of all believers’ … teaches us that ‘the plow boy and the milk maid’ can do priestly work.
But even more profoundly it teaches us that the plow boy in his plowing and the milk maid in her milking are in fact doing priestly work.”
~ Richard Foster, Streams of Living Water, p.266.

Our Priestly Calling

The debate over women in ministry, the practice of only clergy baptizing converts, and the inordinate reverence attributed to the ordained, generally ignores the priesthood of all believers. Gender struggles, class distinctions, and specialist ministries create strange complications for this simple kingdom truth.

More than that, misunderstanding our vocation—our calling—robs us of the rich life Christ intended. Whoever submits to the Lordship of Christ and commits themself by faith to Him has a priestly calling.

The folk who officiate at our worship services and read Scripture at weddings and funerals play a valuable role among us. But if we insist that they alone are “ministers” or “priests” we deny our privilege and neglect our responsibility.

The implications reach far beyond this short reflection, but I suggest at least the following few points to consider.

First, the priesthood of all believers—biblically speaking—has no hierarchy among the believers and no distinctions between young and old, male and female, race, class, or heritage.

Second, the world is our sanctuary for ministry—not a building on Third and Main Streets that we open on Sunday mornings.

Third, it’s not that we sometimes do priestly things (pray, preach, or pastor) but everything we do becomes sacred. Whether we’re balancing budgets for large corporations or babysitting the neighbor’s kids, cooking meals or manufacturing ball-bearings—whatever we do in word or deed is now done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Colossians 3:17)

Fourth, every one of us, at all times, in all places, with all people, function as priests. This is the dream of God. “And I shall make them a kingdom of priests.” (Exodus 19:6; Revelation 1:6; 5:10) That means we constantly highlight the Presence of Christ among us, our hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27) Just as the ancient Jewish priests gathered around the Holy of Holies and helped the people connect with God, so do we, whether we’re driving trucks, tutoring school children, or selling insurance.

We are priests in our work and as we work. If we can grasp the glorious significance of this truth, it will dramatically change our view of ourselves and those around us. The Lord has not called us to occasional sacred tasks. Instead, He desires to sanctify every task in our lives, from writing to wood-working, from plumbing to praying.

The artificial barriers between paid and unpaid kingdom-servants hinders our appropriation of this truth. Every follower of Christ brings the holy place to the world. May we do so more this week and grow in this grace.

In HOPE –
David

Interesting Comment on Evangelism

“[…they] do not believe in evangelistic strategies, other than the pursuit to be like Jesus in his interactions with others. They do not target people or have an agenda but rather seek to love all those whom God brings to them. They do not hope for a belief change for their conversation partners as much as a life change. Because of their high level of engagement with other cultures, the sacred/secular split is overcome as they practice the kingdom in their midst, in community.”

Eddie Gibbs and Ryan Bolger cited in Scot McKnights, A community called atonement (Abingdon Press, 2007).

I wonder who “they” are? I wonder if “they” look like your/my church, your community group whatever.
I wonder if “just living it out” is just an excuse for not proclaiming their faith, or if in fact their faith is so ‘present’ in their lives that it is open and lived as a natural part of their lives”
Challenging hey, how different is your lifestyle? Enough to make people think, wonder, ask questions, consider their own lives?

Love Rules

Folks, you need to see this example of the love of Christ at work in our city.
Seriously, if you are wanting someone to come and share with your family, your church, your small group, your youth ministry, your elderly congregation, your play group mums, your craft group, you left wing anti-nuclear group, your right wing people for high morals group, your men’s wood working group, ladies bible study group…your whatever group – Jarrod McKenna will bless you and challenge you to think more deeply about living out the message of Christ in ‘real life’ tangible ways.
email me [Scott] for Jarrod’s contact details.

Click here for the full story.

Hirsch on Bonhoeffer…on Dischipleship

going troppo! the way of obedience

By Alan Hirsch on the forgotten ways

Bonhoeffer believed that the only way to truly comprehend the revelation of God in scripture is by approaching it with the pre-commitment to obey it. For those interested in weird theological terms, he calls this ‘tropological exegesis’ or simply ‘tropology’. Bonhoeffer can therefore speak of discipleship as a ‘problem of exegesis’ and goes on to say, “By eliminating simple obedience on principle, we drift into an unevangelical interpretation of the Bible.” So, if we never obey God we can never understand or follow him. Simply believing right doctrine is not enough. As followers of Jesus, we have to start obeying long before we know and understand much of Him whom we obey. More than that, if we take obedience out of the equation, we cannot even hope to truly understand the bible. Calvin can claim that true knowledge of God is born out of obedience, and to obey takes us to the path of action, of praxis, of goodness…

More…

Again, Al has written some challenging stuff here on his blog (thought he was having some time off after teaching, obviously his brain still works in his down times!!) I love Bonhoeffer and particularly his comments on discipleship and obedience. This stuff gets to the heart of it!