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A world that knows Jesus

During the second week of January, our family was fortunate enough to go to the Church Missionary Society’s (CMS) Summer School at the Katoomba Christian Convention Centre. The week is structured around a time of worship and Bible talks as well as sessions with the CMS missionaries who are currently in Australia on furlough, final home assignment, or are about to be sent to the mission field. There is a fantastic children’s program which meant that our two eldest children were looked after for the mornings. It’s one of the highlights of their year. In fact, one of our kids liked it so much they play summer school with their soft toys! There were so many amazing and encouraging stories about

Passing the collection plate…..

In 2018, I find my wallet bulging with credit and debit cards, reward cards, Medicare, Working With Vulnerable People cards and so on. Often my wallet has no cash in it whatsoever. Recently, I needed some cash and it cost me $2.50 to withdraw cash from a non-bank ATM. Retail transactions increasingly are going cashless with payWave and even cardless, made possible by mobile payment apps on your smartphone, such as Apple Wallet. The idea is the same: make a payment on the spot with no cash. And, not surprisingly, mobile apps on smartphones and contactless payments are making inroads in the area of Church giving. Even the somewhat staid Church of England is testing such systems, as reported in

Why did Jesus wait so long to be baptised?

On Sunday, we celebrate the baptism of Jesus. Though he was sinless, Jesus joined the ranks of sinners and was baptised by John in the waters of the Jordan. Jesus lived for thirty years at Nazareth before being baptised. Why did he wait so long to be baptised and to begin his public ministry? Was he merely idling his life away? Nothing could be further from the truth. A vocation requires a period of apprenticeship and formation. The profound experiences that shape a person’s character, the things that make him or her what they are, take time. During the thirty years he spent at Nazareth, he had been growing quietly, in wisdom and in grace. But all the while he was waiting for a call to somet

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