Posts Tagged ‘faith’

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Friday Chapel

July 31, 2009

I love Friday chapel at College (and I’m so thankful that I’m in the Friday band so that I attend). Today, David Peterson gave a great talk on Acts 20:18-35 where Paul reflects on his ministry to the Christians in Ephesus as he is about to leave them. I was struck by two things in particular.
1) Paul taught a message of repentance and faith. Usually we see these two things as merely the result of the gospel message, but for Paul it is part of the content of the message. David reflect on the fact repentance and faith are essential for many matters including those of guidance. When we’re thinking about decisions are we lacking trust in God or need to repent of something? Coming to repentance and faith first in matters of guidance is often what is required.
2)  Secondly, Paul exhorts the Ephesians to “Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son” (20:28). In our ministry, we must look after ourselves, especially through remaining open and accountable to others. We must also look after those under our care. These people do not belong to us; they belong to God and they cost God a great price: the blood of his Son. Therefore, look after it!

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The Oscars

February 23, 2009

Talent, Praise and Faith

The new-look Oscars ceremony has ended this year and Slumdog Millionaire came out on top with 8 awards. Favourites Heath Ledger and WALL-E were winners, while the upset came when Sean Penn edged out Mickey Rouke for Best Actor.

Here are some observations from the ceremony:
Talent –
What a performance from Hugh Jackman! On such a large stage (physically and metaphorically) there is such a demand on the entertainer to fill it and he did. It was such an enjoyable experience to be spared the cringing of past comedians and to watch quality musical numbers. Bring back Wolverine next year!

Praise –
Another new addition was having five previous winners in each of the acting categories return to introduce each nominee. They did so with great praise, not only for the performances, but also for the talent and personalities of the actors behind them. The tears in the best actress nominees’ eyes reminded me of the power of praise, particularly when it comes from those who are respected and esteemed by the recipient. I’m certainly going to use that as an encouragement to praise when praise is due, particularly to Him who made the world and all that is in it.

Faith –
Best Actress, Kate Winslet, as part of her acceptance speech said “I’d like to thank those who had faith in me.” It occurred to me that faith (as opposed to blind faith) is not a forgotten, foreign concept. For Kate, faith meant that those people saw who she was, trusted in her and her abilities and supported her accordingly. Faith in a Christian sense is seeing who God is, trusting him to restore us to relationship with himself through Jesus’ death on the cross and to respond accordingly in dependence and obedience. Faith is alive and well, but who you put your faith in makes all the difference.

Finally – Did you notice how many awards (including the screenplay categories) were cut from the telecast? I wonder if it was Channel Nine compensating for a late start so it wouldn’t have to cancel Underbelly. Anyway, it meant an earlier bed time for me!