Caring for the Earth in Practical Ways

Published: Friday, 03 October 2014

 

Geoff Pound requested these ‘headlines’ from John Weir knowing of John and Cathy’s concern for the earth both in the suburbs and on their farm.

Identify a piece of the earth that you have some connection with and influence over (it may be your garden, or nature strip, or a nearby park or watercourse or stretch of beach), and inwardly "sign up" for it, agreeing with yourself and with God that you will take responsibility, to the extent you are able, for caring for it, preserving it, healing it, watching over it, contemplating it.  Think of the life that it supports: flora and fauna; native, introduced and human.

List the threats and challenges to your piece of the earth.  In our case, our 40 acres of semi-bush farmland is faced with bushfire, some feral pests (rabbits and foxes), and mild infestation from three main weed species (gorse, scotch thistle, and capeweed).  The land is marginal quality farmland and currently supports some domestic stock (a breeding herd of 42 very gentle Boer goats), and so is potentially subject to overgrazing.  It is also home to an echidna pair, a hare and his family, numerous kangaroos intermittently visiting from the nearby Cobaw ranges, and an array of birdlife.  Oh, and countless grubs, ants, termites, worms and crawlies who keep the topsoil alive and vibrant.  And around 700 big old eucalypt trees, mainly peppermint gums, under a lot of stress from the long drought that ended 3 years ago and is about to start again.

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God and Our Work/Study

Published: Monday, 29 September 2014

Collins St 5pmThis address, ‘God in our Work/Study’, is part of the Spring Connections series at ABC. It was presented by Geoff Pound on Sunday 28 September 2014. It is followed by some questions used in a ‘Time to Talk’ discussion that followed the service.

In his book Christianity and Real Life, William Diehl makes this statement:

“I am now a sales manager for a major steel company. In the almost thirty years of my professional career, my church has never once suggested that there be any time of accounting of my on-the-job ministry to others. My church has never once offered to improve those skills which could have made me a better lay minister, nor has it ever asked if I needed any kind of support in what I was doing. There has never been an inquiry into the types of ethical decisions I must face, or whether I seek to communicate my faith to my co-workers. I never have been in a congregation where there was any type of public affirmation of a ministry in my career. In short, I must conclude that my church doesn’t really have the least interest in whether or how I minister in my daily work.”[1]

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God and our Work/Study (Study Guide)

Published: Friday, 26 September 2014

Click here for Geoff's study guide ‘God and our Work/Study (that which occupies us)' that was used in the 'Time to Talk' on Sunday 28 September.

God in Our Sport, Play and Recreation

Published: Saturday, 20 September 2014

Colossians 3:5-17

Introduction

The irony of me being asked to speak about God and Sport was not lost on me when this topic was first presented. I am not like the McClelland family who are all basketball freaks. I am not like Geoff and Lyn who find walking for 1000km a holiday?!? Rather I am that person who was always the last to be chosen in sport teams. If it was a ball sport – look the other way cause I cannot catch to save myself; if running was in the mix – thank my mother for my lack of legs and my friends who laughed at me claiming ‘You put in so much effort and don’t go anywhere’ and if it was hitting with a bat or a racket or a stick – well I have about as much hand eye coordination as a Melbourne Football player. (its ok I barrack for them).

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God in the Church - God and Ashy Baps

Published: Monday, 15 September 2014

This address, ‘God in the Church—God and Ashy Baps’ is part of the Spring Connections series at ABC.
It was presented by Geoff Pound on Sunday 14 September 2014.

fingerprint 2Mark Twain once said:

"Wouldn't it be nice to have been Adam and Eve and know that whatever you said hadn't been said before?"

Today we reflect on a similar nicety enjoyed by the Early Church.

When the church surged into life on Pentecost Day it was spared from always being compared to the Gold Standard of the Early Church.

They didn’t have to hear people say: “We’ve never done it like that before!”

They didn’t have a manual to follow.

They didn’t have any seminars to attend.

How deprived these people were as they rose up dripping wet from the baptismal waters!

All they had was the Hebrew Scriptures, the words of a Galilean carpenter and the Spirit of God.

This is the way it should always be.

The church in every age and place must live in this same liberty.

In talking about businesses and organizations, George Barna says:

“The vision for each person and group is as unique as your own fingerprint.”[1]

Read more: God in the Church - God and Ashy Baps

Springtime Prayer

Published: Monday, 08 September 2014

This is a guided prayer pattern led by Geoff Pound at 11.00am on 7 September 2014 in the WellSpring Chapel giving the chance to pray about the theme of the day at ABC: ‘God in the Seasons and Especially the Season of Spring’. Hope you can use it from wherever you are this week.

spring imgAs We Gather

Reflect on this Scripture about the season:

“For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.”

-Song of Solomon 2: 11-12

What are the signs of Spring that you particularly enjoy at this time?

Express your thanks to God in silent prayer.

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Just Do It!

Published: Monday, 01 September 2014

House

This address based on Matthew 7: 21-29 is the final in the Sermon on the Mount series at ABC. It was presented by Geoff Pound on Sunday 31 August 2014. It preceded our annual ABC Community Ministries Expo.

A pastor who’d preached lots of sermons was one day wondering:

What was all that preaching doing to the people?
Was it a waste of time?
Were the sermons making any difference?

The next Sunday people arrived at the church to find the place locked and on the doors of the church a notice read like this:

You have been coming here for a very long time.
You have heard lots of sermons.
Today, just go out and do it!

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The Golden Rule - Turning Madness into Flowers

Published: Monday, 25 August 2014

Banksy1This address is part of the Sermon on the Mount series at ABC. It was presented by Keren McClelland on Sunday 24 August 2014.

There's an old yellowing poster on the ceiling of my dentist's rooms drawn by his daughter with "embrace the pain". He has asked me before a filling if I really want anaesthetic! I was reminded of the definition of a sadist.
A sadist is a masochist who follows the golden rule.
In a similar vein the writer George Bernard Shaw wryly suggests "do not do unto others as you would have others do to you; they may have different taste".
We don't literally want people to do to us as is their preference.
Have you received a gift the giver would have loved but really wasn't your thing?
We want to be known for our own unique contributions, gifts, preferences!!

Read more: The Golden Rule - Turning Madness into Flowers