28 January 2011

Why Do We (Still) Pray? - Enter His Rest

Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)
28 Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light."
This is another reason we pray, to come into His REST. Notice that in the verses prior to 28-30, Jesus was praying about the truth (Himself) hidden and about the authority given to Him and to whom Jesus chooses to reveal Himself to. It is from the revelation of Himself to you, that your faith in Him strengthens.

The real gift of entering into His rest is that He teaches you about His truth and about being yoke with Him. The thing about being yoke with Jesus, is that, there is still a burden to bear, a burden He gives you but it is a burden that fits perfectly; meaning it is something that suits you, something you can handle. He also promises that the burden will be light. However, you must want it, willing to take the yoke upon yourselves, that is to be yoked with Him, that is being obedient to Him.

The reward however, can be great. You might not see it now, but by coming into his presence through a time of pray, with faith and patience (time) He rewards (Hebrew 11:6) your trust in Him. That is why God is described in scripture as our exceedingly abundant Rewarder.

Hebrew 11:6 (NLT)
6 So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
And from what Jesus teaches you, you will find rest for your soul. The verse that comes to mind when entering into His rest are:
John 14:27 (NLT)
"I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid.
John 14:27 (NIV)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
The word for "Peace" in Hebrew is "Shalom", which has a much richer meaning that just the peace of mind, that the word Peace implies. Shalom peace includes the wholeness of your entire being - spirit, soul and body. Shalom means having a sense of completeness and soundness that encompasses prosperity, health and total well-being.

When Jesus says He is leaving His peace, He is leaving His Shalom. It means He is giving His abundance to you; there is no lack. If Jesus is able to meet the needs of 5,000 thousand men (not counting the women and children) with 12 baskets full of leftovers (Mark 6:34-44), He will meet yours too. That is the kind of peace that Jesus leaves with you.

Praying allow us to enter into His rest, it also allows Him to teach us and for us to receive His Shalom Peace. His Shalom Peace will change whatever challenges we may have.

Rest assured that when we rest in God, He is working for us behind the scenes. He promises that He will supply all your needs and He will supply them, not out of His richness but according to His richness. (Philippians 4:19)

27 January 2011

Why Do We (Still) Pray? - Faith

Matthew 21:21-22 (NLT)
21 Then Jesus told them, "I assure you, if you have faith and don't doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, `May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,' and it will happen.
22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
Examples of faith in action - the Roman Centurion (Luke 7:1-10), Jesus healing in response to faith, Jairus daughter and the woman with the issue of blood (Luke 8:40-56), the Faith of a Gentile Woman (Matt 15:21-28), four men who lowered a paralyzed man through the roof (Mark 2:1-12).

Many people have needs but not all who have needs goes to Jesus to have their needs answered. Refer to all the stories listed above. Many of the people who seek Jesus out do so out of curiosity, to meet a celebrity, to rub shoulders with Him, to see a man they heard so much about who is said to perform miracles, but not one of them ask Jesus for anything so nothing happens for these people. In each of the stories, only those who seek Jesus out believing that He can meet their needs, have their needs met when they engage Him ...by touching Him or by asking Him for a healing.

It is their faith that Jesus responded to, and Jesus himself says so (Luke 7:9; Luke 8:48, 50; Matt 15:28, Mark 2:5). It was never their needs that Jesus responded to, but their faith. These men and women reached out to Jesus by their actions of faith, that is, they first believed in Him and then acted on it.

Today you too can do the same by reaching out to Jesus through pray. Prayer is an act of faith, you believing that He is able and willing to meet your needs. The “trick” is, not to doubt. For that, you need to know the person of God, His nature, His likes and dislikes, through His son Jesus Christ. In short you need to build a relationship with Jesus and He will reveal Himself to you.
John 14:21 (NLT)
21 Those who obey my commandments are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them, and I will love them. And I will reveal myself to each one of them."
When we pray we exercise our faith in Christ Jesus and with time, in our knowing who God is, in His revelation of Himself to us, FAITH becomes second nature, to us.

Believing first before seeing the evidence of what you are hoping for or believeing for is called faith. (Hebrew 11:1) Faith is you having more confidence in God's love and power working for you than in the devil’s ability to harm you. When you choose to rest in the finished work of Christ at the cross, you will see miracles in your life; the impossible happening; the manifestation of your blessing.

Afterall, Christians are called to live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Also, it is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrew 11:6). With our faith founded in Jesus, He will give us rest and with that peace.

26 January 2011

Why Do We (Still) Pray?

Psalm 115: 16 (NLT)
The heavens belong to the LORD,
but he has given the earth to all humanity.
This question came about from a statement made that "God does not respond to our needs but to our faith in Him".

It is my hope that the following postings might bring some insight to the question or at the very least, to cause you to raise your own questions and pursuit in His Word.

Nevertheless, I believe that any attempt to answer this question will greatly assist us to understand the importance of prayer and why we should pray.

So now, have you ever wondered why do we still need to pray? After all, the Bible says that God already knows what you need or want, even before you ask.

Matthew 6:32-33 (NLT)
32 Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, 33 and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.

Psalm 44:21 (NLT)
21 God would surely have known it,
for he knows the secrets of every heart.
Yet there are many evidences in the Bible that prayers are still required and still being done even when the answer is already made known by God.

One example is in 1 Kings 18:1. God already told Elijah that He will send rain on the land, yet in 1 King 18:41-45, you find Elijah praying fervently for rain.

Another example is Jesus. He already knew His purpose on earth, yet you see Him often in the early hours of the morning (Mark 1:35, Luke 4:42) at an orchard, wilderness or a quite place praying. Jesus the Son of God, still prays! (Matthew 11:25-30, Matthew 26:36-46). The reason He give is so that He can do what He sees His Father do (John 5:19) ....that is another way of saying, I seek my Father's counsel and to ask "What do I do next?"

Even in the very passage where Jesus taught his disciples how to pray; The Lord's Prayer (Luke 11:1-12), the infamous principle of prayer ASK is enshrined - Ask, Seek, Knock.

Luke 11:9-10 (NLT)
9 "And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks.
Jesus not only teaches this disciples how to pray, He expects them to pray (Matthew 6:5, 7) and fast (Matthew 6:16). In these scripture verses the key word is "When you pray/fast ..."

But perhaps the answer to the question "Why do we still pray?" is in Psalm 115:16.
Psalm 115: 16 (NLT)
The heavens belong to the LORD,
but he has given the earth to all humanity.
The Lord has delegated authority over the earth to men, which is why He will not do things on earth until we ask Him to. This is also why Jesus became a Man to become the Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5) for man, which is why He always referred to Himself as the Son of Man. He is the Son of God too, but He became a man to recover what man had lost.

This is why we still pray and to do so in His name.

John 14:13-14 (NLT)
13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, because the work of the Son brings glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask anything in my name, and I will do it!
Becoming the image and likeness of Jesus is a process and a partnership with the Holy Spirit. The process includes our life's circumstances and spiritual practices. The act of praying helps us meet those life's circumstances with faith.

24 January 2011

Frankston - Pier

The City of Frankston is 41kms south east of Melbourne's CBD, a 40 - 50 minutes drive. It overlooks Port Phillip Bay and have a long sandy beach that features a 200m pier that is popular with fisherman and sightseers. A short pier was first build in 1857 and was extended into deeper water in 1863.

According to a local, the Frankston pier used to be at least twice the length it currently is but when half was damaged Frankston Council decided not to replace it. The entire beach is around 2km long, 400m south of the pier is a rocky headland, while approximately 1.5km north is the start of Seaford Beach.

Click here for a Wikipedia write-up on Frankston, Victoria.

It is amazing to see the number of people who comes to the pier at this weekend. It is just a pier that juts out into the bay yet on this warm, breezy and sunny day, it seems to draw people out to want to walk the full length of the pier and back.

The grass near the pier is lined with people enjoying the sun or sitting around enjoying the company that are with them. While some might prefer reading others are at the beach swimming or trying their hand on some sand sculpting of their own.

There are a lot happening along the pier.

While many walked the whole length of the pier, others were a bit more imaginative in the mode of transportation, afterall for some 200m is still quite a distance to walk.

The pier is also a great place to drop a line and catch some flathead or salmon, though none of the catch I saw looked anything like a flathead or a salmon. Large garfish are also common and fishermen have said that once in a while they could have an out-of-the-ordinary catch such as barracouta or squid. Guess that is one of the reasons the pier seems to be a popular place for the fishermen. While the fishermen enjoy their fishing, many of the on-lookers were just as excited to see the catch of the day.

Among the attractions on the pier is this man's best friend who has his own admirers.

For the more adventurous and adrenaline seekers, there is always the acrobatic jump or diving from the pier. These boys enjoyed it and they make it look so easy.

Maybe there's something about being a youth; they are a lot more gung-ho, daring and courageous in what they do or maybe just plain foolhardy with their life’s. Notice the warning signs at the edge of the pier near the ladder; shallow water, boats, no diving, no jumping.

Yet I think a nation requires such youth who are risk-takers and bold in their endeavours. Just need to be smart about it.

These girls are contemplating the depth of the water and building up their courage for a jump.

Thinking, thinking, thinking.

18 January 2011

Jesus Saves - Jeremy Camp - Worship Video w/lyrics

Jesus Saves. Two words that sums up what Jesus do ....He saves.

John 3:17 (NLT)
17 God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.
So lets raise a shout, ...well in this case, a song, to let all the world know His name and that Jesus saves.

Hope you enjoy this.

17 January 2011

Frankston - Sand Sculpting

Ever feel like taking your family and/or friends to the beach, but wanting to do something else besides swimming. Well, here's something you might just be interested in. Sand Sculpting!

This year (2011) sand sculpting event is just 40 - 50 minutes drive, south of Melbourne's CBD, at the Frankston Waterfront, near the Pier. Actually the event has relocated there ever since 2008, from Rye. The sand sculpting event is held every year, for 4 months from Boxing Day the 26th December to April the following year. This year theme is "Creepy Crawlies".

It is an international event, with invitation sent out to the world's best sculptors from the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland and the UK, to Russia, Singapore, Canada and the USA - to join with their Aussie sculptors to form a team of 20 artists. It is a show that brings something creative and spectacular out of each sculptor, their imaginations into life-size forms.

This event has proven to be a crowd pleaser as evident by the crowd; families and couples, young and old, that queue up for the entry tickets.

It is a family friendly event. No smoking and no alcohol allowed. There are activities to keep the (young and old) children happy like sand sculpting workshops or to learn more about sand sculpting from the resident sculptor(s), who maintains the sculptures from the day to day "erosions" by wind and rain.

The photos above are instructions on how to create your very own sculptures, when you do go to the beach. To get a better view of the instructions, just click on the photo.

Below are some of the life size sculptures, you can see. There are more but I do not want to spoil it for you.

After the show and if lunch is on your mind, there is Sofia Pizza House Frankston at the waterfront, which is just a short 150+ meters from the sand sculptures. Sofia serves Italian cuisines; pizzas and pasta.

For those looking for a take-away, they do serve fish and chips, hamburgers, sandwiches, salads and the most important item for a hot summer day, ice-creams!

Our choice for the day was Spaghetti Marinara. Yummy!

Location of the City of Frankston, relative to Melbourne.

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15 January 2011

The Resume of Jesus Christ

Address: Ephesians 1:20
Phone : Romans 10:13
Website: The Bible. Keywords: Christ, Lord, Savior and Jesus

Hello. My name is Jesus -The Christ. Many call me Lord!
I've sent you my resume because I'm seeking the top management position in your heart.
Please consider my accomplishments as set forth in my resume.

I founded the earth and established the heavens, (See Proverbs 3:19)
I formed man from the dust of the ground, (See Genesis 2:7)
I breathed into man the breath of life, (See Genesis 2:7)
I redeemed man from the curse of the law, (See Galatians 3:13)
The blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant comes upon your life through me,(See Galatians 3:14)

Occupational Background
I've only had one employer, (See Luke 2:49).
I've never been tardy, absent, disobedient, slothful or disrespectful.
My employer has nothing but rave reviews for me, (See Matthew 3:15-17)

Skills Work Experiences
Some of my skills and work experiences include: empowering the poor to be poor no more, healing the brokenhearted, setting the captives free,healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind and setting at liberty them that are bruised, (See Luke 4:18).
I am a Wonderful Counselor, (See Isaiah 9:6).
People who listen to me shall dwell safely and shall not fear evil, (See Proverbs 1:33).
Most importantly, I have the authority, ability and power to cleanse you of your sins, (See I John 1:7-9)

Educational Background
I encompass the entire breadth and length of knowledge, wisdom and understanding, (See Proverbs 2:6).
In me are hid all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, (See Colossians 2:3).
My Word is so powerful; it has been described as being a lamp unto your feet and a lamp unto your path, (See Psalms 119:105).
I can even tell you all of the secrets of your heart, (See Psalms 44:21).

Major Accomplishments
I was an active participant in the greatest Summit Meeting of all times, (See Genesis 1:26).
I laid down my life so that you may live, (See II Corinthians 5:15).
I defeated the arch enemy of God and mankind and made a show of them openly, (See Colossians 2:15).
I've miraculously fed the poor, healed the sick and raised the dead!
There are many more major accomplishments, too many to mention here.You can read them on my website,which is located at:  www dot - the BIBLE.
You don't need an Internet connection or computer to access my website.

Believers and followers worldwide will testify to my salvation, deliverance, restoration and guidance

In Summation
Now that you've read my resume, I'm confident that I'm the only candidate uniquely qualified to fill this vital position in your heart. In summation, I will properly direct your paths, (See Proverbs 3:5-6), and lead you into everlasting life, (See John 6:47).

When can I start? Time is of the essence, (See Hebrews 3:15).

Send this resume to everyone you know, you never know who may have an opening! Thanks for your help and may God bless you!

Contributor - Anonymous

14 January 2011

Melbourne - Ezard Restaurant

The Ezard Restaurant is located at 187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.

Ezard is listed in the Entertainment Book that offered a 25% discount, up to a certain $dollar value, off the total bill. So a couple of our friends and us opted one night to sample Ezard menu, specifically the Degustation.

The Degustation is an eight course tasting menu, and in Ezard own words, a set menu that have been carefully constructed to enable diners to experience Ezard at its best. What that means is an opportunity to sample eight of its Modern Australian cuisine that it specialize in, but in smaller portions, which leaves you feeling that it was not enough should you find something that you really like. Guess, that's the idea of degustation.

There is also an eight course vegetarian version of The Degustation.

Ezard's ambience is one of a candlelight romantic feel. The "crowd" for that evening is made up of basically two groups; couples having a romantic night out which were outnumbered by the celebrative groups of four or more. At least for that night, the restaurant is not quite the place for a quite romantic dinner, not that we were looking for a romantic night. We were after all looking forward to the food and were in a celebrative mood.

The cuisine type is Modern Australia, which translate to a fusion of Eastern and Western flavours, as evident from the combination of the produce used and the flavours. The food itself is very well presented, one may say artistically presented.

I am not able to give a personal rating for the food or the place, but if you are to ask me if I would re-visit Ezard, I would have to say; Yes, I would. It's pricy but I certainly did enjoy the food.

At the recent launches of the 2011 Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide and the 2011 The Age Good Food Guide, Ezard retained their two-star and two-hat ratings in the respective guides.

12 January 2011

Melbourne - Melbourne Observatory

The Melbourne Observatory is on a site just next to the Royal Botanic Garden, with a gate entry into the garden that passes The Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden. This gate is called the Observatory Gate or the O-Gate.

The Observatory site is also managed by The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and works closely with the Astronomical Society of Victoria (ASV), to maintain the historical site.

The Melbourne Observatory once housed the largest telescope in the world, a 48-inch fully steerable telescope called The Great Melbourne Telescope. However, as the city of Melbourne grew, the resulting light pollution made quality astronomical observations difficult. Hence when the flood-lit Shire of Remembrance adjacent to the Observatory was completed in 1933, it further impacted the night skies. The Melbourne Observatory was finally closed in 1945. The Great Melbourne Telescope, along with its scientific equipment and instruments were either sold or moved elsewhere.

Most of the original buildings still stand on the site. It still houses three other smaller telescopes; the Astrograph, South Equatorial and Photoheliograph telescope which are still in used despite the light pollution. There are regular guided tours to the Melbourne Observatory buildings and if the weather conditions permit, the telescope can be used to peep into the night skies.

At the Observatory Plaze, you'll find the:
The Visitor Centre is the place where you can place a booking for any of the guided tours for the season. The Observatory Cafe is an alternative to The Tea Room, for some brunch.

The above three photos shows some of the original observatory buildings with the Shrine of Remembrance in the background.

The photo on the left shows the view of The Melbourne Observatory as seen from the Shrine of Remembrance.

Location of Melbourne Observatory in the City of Melbourne.

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