Another year gone!
|Some of our year's achievements|
We are Trevor and Estelle Burns, Aussie with New Tribes Mission, currently serving in the roll of Medevac assistance and supply buying in Cairns Australia.
|Some of our year's achievements|
“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14)
What a day! I had been busy all day sanding down windows and cabinets, had a bit of time to catch up with family on Skype and finally got down to the kitchen to prepare some dinner.
Mmmmm…what should I have? Out came the frozen trees (broccoli and cauliflower), the carrots and potatoes, ah! There is some topside steak, which will do. Into the microwave it goes to defrost and then on with the oven 180° C. How can I treat this steak? I know, I’ll marinate it a bit to get some of that sauce into the cuts and then into the oven to cook. Yum I can taste it now! Well…out came a few sauces and, ok, some tomato paste in one of those flip top type of bottles from the fridge, that will do it. Hold it over the dish so I don’t spill it …boom!!!
I was dazed for a few seconds. The cap flipped open and when I was able to clean the paste out of my eyes I slowly came to realize that the room suddenly had a new pattern on the walls, my newly painted walls. On further investigation there was not one surface in the room that didn’t have paste blotches on them, walls, ceiling, cupboards, venetians, canisters etc, floor, me and the doors, even the door in the
next room. What a mess!
Well what would you think at such a time? I had a few thoughts, the first one being aaaaah! Then, Oh man! I knew I only had a short time to wash it off before it set and for the next hour and a half I washed and wiped and rubbed until I was as wet with sweat as the walls I was washing.
What did I think? “God has a good sense of humor.” He has such interesting ways of reminding us that the things we own and the things we work for are so temporary. One moment the work is done the next, “splat”, it’s not. It just reminded me that there is nothing in this world that doesn’t start to corrupt the moment we think it is perfect. That is certainly true in this life, the only thing that lasts being those of eternal value, belief in Christ and trust in our heavenly Father. I’d rather put my trust there where it will be kept and actually I can have it now as well as receive it later.
Until next time.
Well what a blessing Keswick Convention has been all around the world, here too in Western Australia it has been established for about 60 years.
Shocks, shocks, everywhere and what will happen next!!
It appears we are living in uncertain or exciting times, depending on how you view the world today. Coming home from a foreign country to learn to live again in an Australian environment certainly adds to that mix and we have certainly felt the brunt of the uncertainty that comes with that. Rising fuel prices, re-enrollment for taxation, gas and water bills, electricity connection, telephone and broadband for the internet let alone the council rates the garbage pick-ups and all that comes with assimilating into our home again. On top of this are the other things of family life and death which is enough to give anyone ulcers. (Not to mentioned Wall St.)
This is the “baggage” that one has to handle on what they call “Re-entry” after having lived in another culture for many years. Is it any wonder that one tends to become a bit of a recluse, trying not to venture too far away from known ground to that dark unknown of the unfamiliar?
This reminds me of what happened to Jonah in ancient times. He, it seems took the long road to where God wanted him to end up. On top of this he was supposed to be involved in preaching a message of warning to a group of “heathen” as he saw them and an undeserving lot at that. Yes he went through a bunch of stuff including a one way trip the wrong way, a violent storm that nearly wrecked their cruse and he ended up having lunch with or should I say being the lunch of a great fish. It was just as well God was the one in control or he may never have reached Nineveh! Oh, hang on, was that a good thing? You might say he was in very unfamiliar territory.
Again we ask ourselves, “Well what is the right direction?” This unfamiliar territory can be quit frightening as it was for Jonah. For him it was foreign and seemed to go against everything he was raised to believe. After all these Ninevites were not God’s people were they? It went against everything he believed in, unfortunately in self righteousness! It does make me think of our own position and attitudes though.
What was God trying to get through to Jonah? After Jonah preached at Nineveh God ended up planting a rather quick growing bush behind him where he sat sulking. God give Jonah shade from the exceeding hot sun he found himself under. Well that was great; you could say that it means, “… my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) Trouble is the next day God sent a worm to eat up Jonah’s shade. Well you could surmise that “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21 - NKJV)
What Jonah was blind to was not God’s provision for his benefit, rather Jonah needed (and WE need) to simply recognize that everything is according to God’s will and NOT ours. God will do whatever He wishes and if we see that as unfair well let me say that there is no way we will be preaching to God or complaining when we stand before Him in eternity!! I think God will be the only one doing the talking, we will only be able to listen.
The bottom line, -- No matter what we do, no matter who we are and no matter what our situation, God alone is in control! In the book of James it reads, “Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” (James 4:15)
Presently we are doing a whole lot of house renovations and just waiting, perhaps a little impatiently to see what ministry God has for us in future. It would be good to add to this some time soon and tell just how God has directed.
Don’t we live in a complex and sometimes fearful world? The question is a rhetorical one but even asking it seems absurd because the answer is that obvious. We read the news and it seems that crime is at our doorstep, society is hiding its head in a proverbial hole of moral ignorance; morality itself (to stand against the selfish acquisition of what we feel want to satisfy our lustful desires at the expense of others) has been flushed away as if it doesn’t matter any more (if it feels good, do it) and corrupt governments are wherever one looks.
Am I being paranoid about something that you take for granted? I hope so! Why then is this all happening?
We are also led to believe that with all the socioeconomic programs being put into place and our social bent to “political correctness” (at the expense of rightness and justice) and a sense of “fair play” that eventually, things will get better.
Jesus Christ, gave the words that are the world’s most fought over in its short history but contrary to what many believe, His message was not supposed to lead to peace as the world sees peace. He never used political correctness and fair play was not in His mind. At one time He said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ (Matthew 10:34-36)
Why would he say that? Did He mean for us to kill and hate as in some beliefs? Why would He do that? More importantly, what does he mean?
Rest easy, Jesus ways are never violent. To understand this you first must understand His mission. The Jews thought he was come to save them from the Romans who ruled them with an iron fist but they missed the point. Others hoped that He was there to heal them and patch up their sin induced sicknesses (some were not personally sin induced). Some were hoping for a king that would supply all their needs, or should I say wants (wants – usually at the expense of others) but none of the above were part of His agenda.
To understand His mission you need to trace the history of man right back to its inception where man was formed perfect. A time when man was glad to listen to his heavenly councilor, talk with Him, even walk with Him; accept the perfect instruction and things that came from the Creator’s hand, things that had been put in place for man’s benefit.
Those times and things no longer exist and there is a good reason for that. It would be hard to believe that a person so blessed as that man, would be so willing to choose to go it alone, throwing away all those “perfect” benefits. Who was that man? It was Adam, who was made perfect but chose the imperfect way and so we are.
So ask your self that question again. Why is the world so complex and fearful? I have just answered it, man chose to ignore God’s ‘best’ for what he decided on as ‘good’ and it was all down hill from there. If you were to be honest you would agree that we messed it up. But what does this mean for us and our society? Simply this; We have chosen and still choose to make life’s decisions based on what we think is right and best according to our own estimation. God calls our bluff and says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6) In other words trust Me and see!
So again, why did Jesus say he came to divide with the sword putting family against family? Simply this that He walked into this corrupt world took our place for payment of our rebellion and asks us to accept Him and his forgiveness. What causes the offences, wars and family divisions then is that some do not wish to accept Him or His forgiveness and it is an affront to them that this the new believer has accepted what they refuse, which leaves the obvious suggestion that they still walk in sin, still wishing to say they can do without Him. This is an offence to their pride and pride like a drug makes one think they are better than they really are. The next verse of Proverbs 3 says, “Do not be wise in your own eyes”.
The good news though is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Rest assured that if you feel conviction and a certain rebellion to that conviction that Christ was right, the best course of action is to let go and trust God for He is right and not your pride. Trust Him! His comments on division are there to make you think and choose Him and His payment for your sin; otherwise He would not have said it in the first place. The peace He talked about is from your knowledge and acceptance of forgiveness and not from a lack of war as the world sees it. That doesn’t mean He wants war of course, but His peace is an everlasting one which destroys everlasting fear – think on that.
Well, where are we at? It is New Year’s Day 2007 and it seems that we have dropped off the radar for awhile but in reality what has really happened is “life”. What do I mean by that? Just that some of the normal things that happen in the natural course of living are not so wanted but they always make the twists and turns in our lives interesting to say the least and yes, whether we liked it or not we have certainly had our share of some biggies lately.
Everything was sailing along as usual, me in the publications office and my industrious wife busy with needle and thread lovingly sewing up a rather large quilt for our daughter’s bed. Before you could say “hang on” I was on a flight from
Strangely enough after all that it is that quilt that brought a few things to my attention.
It wasn’t just any old quilt, it was one composed of many small squares of different colours, each one having a different picture, motif or theme. You see it was to be a patchwork of life’s little happenings and she had selected specific colours and designs in line with the various events in our daughter’s life from when she was young through to her marriage etc, their time in
Well this really caught my attention because you see this is something like many people’s path through life. All start with the dark square and this I liken to the fact that we are all born in the linage of Adam which is biased to the rejection of God’s control in our lives, the Bible calls this rejection sinfulness. If all people’s lives were a quilt some would be dark from corner to corner, others’ would have that graduation from dark to light but the reason for this graduation seems at first to be hidden. However, as with my daughter’s quilt, on closer inspection you discover hidden in the fabric is a ‘red’ square and it is from this point on that the shades start to become paler. It is the red that makes all the difference. That one red square represents blood, not just any blood but that of God in the form of Jesus of Nazareth, His Son. His blood was drained on a cruel cross as payment for crime, for the cross was an instrument of death for a criminal. Do not be mistaken, this payment could not have been for himself as He was sinless, rather it was for any and all who accept that payment (His blood loss) in their stead, in which case the debt of Adam is paid and the one that claims it is accepted by the perfect God.
If your life was a quilt, what colour would it be?
Until next time ................