Be still and know that I am God

Preacher: Gordon Hay

Verses: Psalm 46:10 (NIV) and Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

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Psalm 46:10 New International Version (NIV)

10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

 Matthew 11:28-30 The Message (MSG)

28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

 How many times have you been driving around looking for an address you have never visited and found yourself turning down the radio? I find myself doing this quite often, even with my GPS giving me turn-by-turn directions. Why do we do this? We are not looking for our destination with our ears. Or are we?

 In 2002 I contracted cerebral malaria. I spent some seven nights in hospital. The effect of the malaria and the medication caused my mind to travel to strange places, sometimes I was conscious, and sometimes unconscious, but experiencing hallucinations that were so real that I struggled to recognise reality. I would hear Sue’s footsteps coming down the passage. I knew what her footsteps sounded like. The door would open, she would pull up a chair and start talking. But when I opened my eyes to answer - there was no one in the room.

Repentance and Worship

Preacher: Lincon Hardouin

Verses: Joel 2:12-17

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Joel 1:1-3, “The word of the Lord came to Joel, son of Pethuel. Hear this, you elders; listen, all who live in the land. Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your forefathers? Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation.” And what was that word? What were they supposed to hear, to listen to? What were they supposed to tell? Well, quite simply, and based on the very first chapter of this prophetic book, a catastrophe, unlike anything that generation had seen, was coming, it was impending doom, absolute destruction that could not be avoided. There was a warning sent from the Lord to His people, telling them that there would be an invasion of locusts, not simply a naturally occurring phenomenon, but rather an invasion sent by the Lord Himself, and once this invasion was over… there would be nothing left except their own grief, their own sorrow… their joy would be exchanged for mourning. This was the Lord’s divine and just punishment for a nation, His very own people, called by His own name, because of their unfaithfulness toward Him and their failure in upholding His Law.

"Can these Dry Bones Live?"

Preacher: Lincon Hardouin

Verses: Ezekiel 37:1-14

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Ezekiel’s message comes to the nation of Israel at a time of great confusion, political complexity and unrest. That is because at this time, Israel had already been taken into exile by the Babylonians and have been there for a significant amount of time. His prophecy was aimed at a people, a community, who were forcibly removed from their home, but more than simply addressing the issues of their physical hardships, those issues that affect their current physical reality, Ezekiel’s prophecy deals with a people, a community, who have broken faith with their God. And of course Ezekiel makes the reason for the exile clear. It is because of the faithlessness of the people towards God and their continued failure to live as God’s renewed humanity. Over and over again Israel has been warned about the coming judgement of God, they have been called to worship Him and no other god, they have been constantly called to repentance and they have not responded nor have they heeded God’s warning to them through the prophets… and now, more or less 5 years into the Babylonian exile, Israel is facing the consequences of their unfaithfulness.

The Real Transformer

Preacher: Lincon Hardouin

Verses: Jeremiah 24:1-10

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The year was 2007. In my humble opinion, it was the year that one of the greatest movie franchises came to life for me. With the release of the first movie in the franchise, I was so excited to see characters of my childhood cartoon days come to life in a relatable, albeit, a farfetched and highly exaggerated movie. Of course it must be said that the movie I am talking about is somewhat of an action movie but at the same time, it has humour, a bit of romance and a whole lot of nerdy and geeky aspects. The entirety of this particular franchise revolves around the concept of alien robots that come to earth, robots that have the ability to transform from their almost “human-like” states into cars, or trucks, motorbikes, jets and even helicopters. And even then, they are not limited to a particular form, they can change into any mode of transport they so desire. For me of course, if I had that ability, I for one would become a Redbull F1 car, but that’s just personal preference. But as all good action movies should have, there are two factions within this alien race, there are the good guys and there are the bad guys. The age of the transformers was upon us, and after 12 years, 6 movies, countless man-hours of preparation, screenwriting and scripting, hours of recording and re-recording, editing, and of course the watching of some of the most amazing battle scenes and quirky moments, it became clear from the very beginning that the good guys were always going to win.

Who is my neighbour?

Preacher: Gordon Hay

Verses: Isaiah 6:1-8, Luke 10:25-37 and Matthew 25:35-40

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The main point this morning: Your love for God and your love for other people cannot be separated.

Three aspects:

1.    Who is your neighbour?

2.    What does the Bible say?

3.    What is our challenge?

…oooOooo…

You are the one to show mercy.

“Here am I. Send me!”[1]

When I studied law I learnt of a case about a snail in a bottle of ginger beer. Mr Stevens the manufacturer was sued after a Mrs Donoghue of Paisley who drank the ginger beer became ill. It became known as the “Paisley snail” case.[2] The case was heard in 1932 and decided in favour of Mrs Donoghue by the House of Lords holding that the manufacturer owed a duty of care to her. They held this because they felt that it was reasonably foreseeable, that the failure to ensure the product’s safety could lead to harm to consumers.  

What interested me was the reasoning of Lord Atkin in deciding which group of persons might have a claim.

[1] Isaiah 6: 1-8

[2] Paisley Snail. Paisley was also the site of an incident that gave rise to a major legal precedent. In a Paisley cafe in 1928, a woman allegedly found a dead snail in a bottle of ginger beer, and became ill. She sued the manufacturer for negligence. At the time a manufacturer was considered liable only if there was a contract in place with the harmed party. However, after Donoghue v Stevenson wound through the courts, a precedent was established that manufacturers (and other "neighbours" or fellow citizens) owe a duty not to do foreseeable harm to others by negligence, regardless of contractual obligations, which paved the way for modern tort law. The case is often called the "Paisley snail."

Breaking the sacred and secular divide

Preacher: Gordon Hay

Verses: Isaiah 6:1-8 and Romans 12:1-2

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When growing up I had the idea that my life in church, and my life outside of church, were two different worlds.

Going to church with my parents, I realised quickly that it was a time to be neatly dressed and to be on one’s best behaviour. It was a time when people seemed rather serious. It was clearly very special, but different to the everyday life that we lived on the other days of the week. I understood this to some extent. On Sundays we were in church to worship our mighty God. This required proper behaviour. There was after all, plenty of time to relax during the other six days of the week.

Looking back, I perhaps had the idea that it was only on Sundays that we worshiped God, prayed, sang hymns and practised our faith life.

It seemed to be okay to relax during the week and to play around, and do things with my friends that might not be appropriate for Sunday.

The Generation Game

Preacher: Lincon Hardouin

Verses: Psalm 119:89-96

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This is such an incredible Psalm to read. It is of course the longest of all the Psalms, described as “a devotional on the Word of God.” It is so gripping and so beautiful seeing how this Psalm highlights and should causes us to think about 4 things: the word of God should become the word of life, humbly acknowledging the sinful ways of hearts, to know the pain as well as the fruits of God’s corrective discipline, and that there will be suffering at the hands of those who disregard the word of God. And what we will look at this morning is but a small portion of this amazing devotional.

The Right Choice...

Preacher: Lincon Hardouin

Verses: Matt 2:1-12

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Have you ever thought about the fact that life is full of decisions and choices that have to be made?  It is a simple fact that no one has ever been able to avoid.  There are times where we are aware of the decisions and choices that we have to make.  For example, this Friday past I knew that I had to make a pretty important decision.  I tried to avoid it for as long as I possibly could during Friday morning, but eventually I knew that I had to make this decision… to do my own washing.  The other day I noticed that the petrol in my car was running a bit low. I knew that at some point I would have to put petrol in, but I put that off as well for as long as I could until my car made the decision for me… the little orange petrol pump light came on, beeeeeep, because my car screams at me from time to time, and I had to make the decision to stop and fill up.