31 August 2012

Who Is The Holy Spirit?

John 3:5-6 (NLT)
5Jesus replied, "The truth is, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven.
The Holy Spirit is the most mysterious member of the Trinity, which includes God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Spirit (or the Holy Spirit). Many struggle with the idea of God being three persons, yet one. Quite honestly, we will never fully grasp the concept this side of heaven.

Some, however, have wrongly thought of the Holy Spirit as more of an "it" than a "he". That is probably due in part to biblical descriptions of him as being like the wind or coming upon Jesus in the form of a dove, among other comparisons.

Yet these descriptions must be balanced with the descriptions of the other members of the Trinity. For instance, Jesus referred to himself as "the bread of life" and "the good shepherd." In the same way, God the Father is referred to as "a refuge" and "a consuming fire." Does this mean that Jesus is a loaf of bread or a sheep farmer, or that the Father is a pile of rocks or a blast furnace? Of course not! These are simply metaphors used in Scripture to help communicate God's character.

Likewise, the unique descriptions attributed to the Holy Spirit do not imply that the Holy Spirit is merely some "force" or "power." Jesus said this about the Holy Spirit: "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth ....He will tell you about the future" (John 16:13). Note the use of the pronoun he. The Holy Spirit has a distinct personality and he also has specific work that he wants to do in our lives as followers of Jesus Christ.

Explore what the Bible says about him.

New Believer's Bible
Ps Greg Laurie

25 August 2012

Great Ocean Road

This archway near Aireys Inlet mark the entrance to the Great Ocean Road, even though the Great Ocean Road lies between the cities of Torquay and Warrnambool. It provided me with a great photo opportunity to mark this winter break to Lorne, since I do not recall it being here, the last time I used this road to the Twelve Apostles.

It was built as a tribute to the soldiers from the First World War who was engaged in the construction of the Great Ocean Road. Alongside the arch is a sculpture to commemorating the returned servicemen, which was commissioned and placed during the 75th anniversary of the road celebrations in 2007.

The Great Ocean road itself is listed as a 243km long Australian National Heritage, dedicated to the casualties of World War I. Three thousand Australian returned soldiers and sailors of the First World War (1914 - 1918) built the Great Ocean Road between 1919 and 1932. They had survived the war in which 330,000 Australian volunteered to fight in Europe, Turkey and the Middle East, 60,000 were killed and 160,000 wounded.

It is one of the most visited region in Victoria with spectacular scenic ocean drives, impressive natural formations such as the Loch Ard Gorge, London Bridge, with the famous Twelve Apostles taking the spotlight.

The list below shows the distance between the various cities beginning from Melbourne, along the Great Ocean Road to Warrnambool and to Port Fairy.

Melbourne to Geelong - 75 km
Geelong to Queenscliff - 30 km
Queenscliff to Anglesea - 54 km
Anglesea to Lorne - 28 km
Lorne to Apollo Bay - 45 km
Apollo Bay to Port Campbell - 103 km
Port Campbell to Warrnambool - 66 km
Warrnambool to Port Fairy - 29 km

These are some of the beach and coastal scenic views along the Great Ocean Road, taken from the various car parks along the road. One such stop is called the Devils Elbow. An odd name to name a place but I could not find the reason why. It is however the part of the road with a very sharp turn, into an amazing distracting view of the coast.

More images of the Great Ocean Road and archway, click here.

15 August 2012

Desert Song - Hillsong

Isaiah 49:9-10 (NLT)
9Through you I am saying to the prisoners of darkness, `Come out! I am giving you your freedom!' They will be my sheep, grazing in green pastures and on hills that were previously bare. 10They will neither hunger nor thirst. The searing sun and scorching desert winds will not reach them anymore. For the LORD in his mercy will lead them beside cool waters.

1 Peter 1:7 (NLT)
7These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold--and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

1 John 5:4-5 (NLT)
4For every child of God defeats this evil world by trusting Christ to give the victory. 5And the ones who win this battle against the world are the ones who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

04 August 2012

Lorne - Lookout, Waterfall, Bridge

Teddy's Lookout

Our first look at the surroundings outside of Lorne, sort of, was to Teddy's Lookout, named after a local ranger who would often go there to round up stray cattle. As it was looking like the day would rain, we opted to take the short drive up George Street to Teddy's Lookout instead of walking the trail up to the top. As we drove up the hill, we were glad that decided to drive up. The road up to the top was pretty steep.

From the car park, to the right we walked a short distance on newly constructed walkways to the lookout platform. There we took in the breath taking view of the Great Ocean Road coastline and the Saint George River that flows into the sea. It is also the perfect spot to look out for whales, except that, we were at the wrong season for whale watching.

On the lower platform to the right, the views change to mountainous peaks and the Saint George river winding itself into fern covered valleys and gorges. A truly scenic views. There is walking trail connecting Teddy’s Lookout with two other lookouts, and takes about 30 minutes return.

There are also a few picnic tables near the top to enjoy the day or for others to rest from the walk up the hill.

Eskine Falls

Next stop is the Erskine Falls, one of the most popular falls in the Otways and is easily accessible. Erskine Falls is a short drive, 9 - 10kms from Lorne at the end of Erskine Falls Road, of course.

From the car park, the first viewing point above the falls is about 150m. The second viewing point at the base of the falls, is another 200m; total up a short walk of 350m one way. It was drizzling on the day, so the walking track, steep in some places, to the base of the falls was wet and slippery at some parts of the track. However, the air was cool and crispy. Refreshing!

The falls cascade over one of the highest drops in the Otways, into the fern-lined valley of the Erskine River. From the base of the waterfall, we were able to get a frontal view of the falls and it is an impressively tall and slender 30m waterfall.

There are two more falls downstream; Straw Falls, a further 400m and Splitter Falls as part of the Erskine River to Lorne 7.5km away, a good 3 hours plus walk for experience walkers.

Not a good day of us to explore Straw Falls and a good pair of walking shoes is recommended.

Swing Bridge

On the outskirts of Lorne, on our entry into Lorne from Melbourne we spotted an ancient looking (read as, historic) footbridge over the mouth of the Erskine River where the river meets the sea. It is the historic Lorne Swing Bridge, built in 1934 and is one of Lorne's best places to visit. It provides pedestrian access to Lorne beach from the Great Ocean Road.

That evening, after Erskine Falls, we decided to walk from our hotel to Swing Bridge. We walked along the main road we used to get into Lorne, passing Lorne's Tourist Information Centre to the pedestrian boardwalk along the river from the caravan park opposite the IGA supermarket.

It was a leisure walk for it was a beautiful evening after the rain. See photos below.

Next to the bridge at the beach side of the bridge is a cafe, the Swing Bridge Café, with paddle boats for hire. The cafe has easy access to the surf beach with a family-friendly river and estuary beach where paddle boats can be hired allowing the adventurous or young at heart the opportunity to explore the estuary between the Swing Bridge and the caravan park.

This bridge is certainly worth a visit, if not for the cafe then for the 'excitement' of the place. It's the sort of place where you never know what may happen.

Guess who dropped in as we walk towards Lorne beach from the cafe.

01 August 2012

Our Peace Continues As We Follow The Holy Spirit

Romans 8:5-8 (NLT)
5Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.
6If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace.
7For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God's laws, and it never will.
8That's why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
Even if you are a Christian, you still struggle with your sinful nature. However, if you allow God's Holy Spirit to control your life, that struggle will be much less intense. For, as this passage says, you will want to live to please God.

If you follow your old evil desires, you "can never please God" (Romans 8:8). Your life - whether you realize it or not - will be empty. But if you live the Spirit-controlled life, you will experience "life and peace" (Romans 8:6).

To enter into the Spirit-controlled life, follow the advice of the apostle Paul, "Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:2-3).
Colossians 3:1-3 (NLT)
1Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God's right hand in the place of honor and power.
2Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth.
3For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.

New Believer's Bible
Ps Greg Laurie
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...