Once again I am writing this ‘Down under’, and it is a great privilege to be able to do so. It is mid-winter here and normally they have wall to wall blue skies, temperatures in the mid twenties it rarely ever rains. However, we seem to have brought the UK weather with us (or so everyone tells us – especially our grandchildren!), with rain and lower than normal temperatures! But, we have had some great weather and are enjoying it, sadly though there is only just over a week left.
The novelty of worshipping at the church our son is leading, hearing him preach and have him administer communion to us, has certainly not worn off. The people are lovely and we have made a number of friends. We have also had the privilege of attending ‘The Hub’, the Bible Study which is held at Charlie and Tisa’s house.
We have been whale watching, and have just had a couple of days on our own where we stayed in a B & B on North Stradbroke Island, and were thrilled at having a Koala in the tree beside the veranda outside our room.
Once again, seeing the different scenery, animals and birds (including a Manta Ray), we are reminded of just how wonderful God’s Creation is. It is too perfect to have come from a ‘big bang’.
Reading the book of Acts, a number of themes ‘come out’. I am using the headings of the last three sermons Charlie has preached (these can be heard by going online into standrewsspringfield.org.au and clicking on ‘talks’), as the basis of my letter, for example:
- ‘Divine Appointments’ God can give these to those who truly believe, as he did for Philip in Acts 8: 26 – 40. Philip obeyed God and met the Ethiopian Eunuch, explained what the Eunuch was reading from scripture to him and told him the ‘good news’, which resulted in the Eunuch being baptised.
- ‘God’s Power Follows Faith and Commitment’, the faith and commitment of Peter, which enabled him to perform the miracles of healing the paralytic Aeneas and raising Tabitha from the dead both, in the name of Jesus, Acts 9: 32 – 40.
- ‘Everyone’s Invited’ – all may enjoy the promise of eternal life, in Acts 10: 1 – 20, 23b – 20 and 44 – 48, Peter was told by God in a vision that there is no such thing as clean and unclean animals and people, and also he was sent messengers from the Centurion, Cornelius, inviting him to go to his house. These were gentiles and were therefore unclean and forbidden by Jewish law to be associated with. Peter not only gave the messengers lodging but went with them to the house of Cornelius, completely disregarding Jewish custom. As a result, Cornelius and his household were baptised and the Holy Spirit came upon them (gentiles), as it did on the Apostles at Pentecost. Therefore, proving beyond any doubt that all are invited into God’s Kingdom.
We have these opportunities if we accept Jesus into our lives and obey the commands we receive. However, to receive the commands, we have to be patient and listen! What we are commanded to do may not be as spectacular as those which Philip or Peter did, but are equally as important to God.
Blessings to you all. See you soon. Peter