17 February 2013

God's Spirit Will Empower Your Witness

Acts 1:8 (NLT)
8But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere--in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
One of the greatest things the Holy Spirit wants to do in the life of the believer is empower his or her witness. The word for power in this verse comes from the Greek word dunamis, from which we get the words dynamite, dynamic and dynamo.  God didn't give us the power of the Holy Spirit to feel something, but to accomplish something.

Sometimes the Holy Spirit's power acts like dynamite in our lives, blasting us with zeal, jolting us out of complancency, and motivating us to greater spiritual growth. At other times God's Spirit is like a dynamic, generating power that will help us live from day to day at a level we could not achieve on our own. We need to remember the encouraging words the apostle Paul gave to young Timothy:
2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)
7For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.
Are you timid in your witness for Christ? Is it hard for you to speak up for what you believe? Then you need to tap in to that power he has made available to you through his Spirit. God's Holy Spirit will give you an added dimension of boldness, power and persuasiveness in your witness that you have never experienced before.

New Believer's Bible
Ps Greg Laurie

09 February 2013

Crown - Chinese New Year Hawker's Bazaar

A Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year, to the readers who celebrate the Chinese New Year, which officially start on the 10th February for 2013 and the celebration goes on for 15 days. 2013 is the Year of the Snake according to the Chinese Zodiac.

Chinese New Year is not a holiday here in Australia, though it is celebrated among the Chinese and Vietnamese communities and enjoyed by the others in the community. The usual lion dance can be found happening at Melbourne's Chinatown and restaurants to usher in good fortunes.

This year we went to the Crown's Riverwalk to celebrate the New Year at their annual Hawkers' Bazaar, featuring traditional Asian food and merchandise stalls, cooking demonstrations and live entertainment. Also featured are the firework displays at night but we gave them the miss. The Crown's Hawker's Bazaar start on the 8th February - 10th February.

When we got to the Riverwalk, it was the food stalls that drawn our attention first on account of the aromatic smell that flowed from the many food stalls cooking. One in particular is the Lao Tuo Jia Restaurant stall serving lamb skewer. The stall itself was smoky, has two cooks one with a sweat towel around his neck, fanning and turning the skewers over the fire. Judging from the long line of people queuing up (that's a Melburnian thing to do) to buy some, it must be yummy! What's interesting also was the truck parked behind the stall that advertised ".... Cool Room Hire". I wonder.

A few stalls further is Little Nyonya, that not only serves Malaysian food but do so with a smile. All of them. They must be emphasising something about their food.

Fortunately it was not a very hot evening and as we were early, there wasn't a hugh crowd but I can see the crowd building up as the day goes by; the young, the old, casual and colourfully dressed, multi-cultural aspect of the city begin to show. Some were already sampling the food they got and I spy some feeding each other.

There were live entertainment on two stages and buskers along the river walk to keep the people happy and entertained. Some in the crowd unsuspectedly or voluntarily became part of the busker entertainers for the crowd.

At the time, the live stage entertainment was six ladies playing a traditional Chinese stringed instruments; a Guqin. From the looks of the instrument it is a difficult instrument to learn and play. My view only. It seems perfectly natural to the ladies playing.

Most stalls on display along the Riverwalk were colourful and have something of the traditional Chinese arts and crafts on display, though not all stalls. Those that may interest you as it did for us, are the Chinese New Year decorations, Chinese calligraphy, Chinese tea making, Chinese cooking and noodle making. There is even a stall for those interested in Feng Shui and fortune telling.

If you are looking for something to do tonight or for tomorrow, this is one place to be. Better decide soon, for the bazaar finishes tomorrow.

For other Chinese New Year happenings around the city, click here.


08 February 2013

Coolangatta - Rest and Recreation

This is the sight of the Gold Coast from the hotel balcony at Coolangatta.

We are at the last leg of our Queensland holiday, an overnight stay at Coolangatta, the southernmost suburb of the Gold Coast on the border with New South Wales. Coolangatta immediate neighbouring "Twin Town" Tweed Heads is in New South Wales.

The Gold Coast Airport, formerly known as Coolangatta Airport is just 5 minutes drive from the Coolangatta Beach and its accommodation and shopping district.

Coolangatta as an entry point is a great introduction to Queensland, if you stay long enough to have a closer look at it. However, like us, many would breeze it by on their way to Surfers Paradise or Broadbeach.

But if one were to stay, Coolangatta has much to offer. Click here, to check out a web-site promoting the city.

For more images of the place and its beaches, click here.

The Coolangatta Beach, white sand, picturesque scenery and said to have some of the Gold Coast's best surfing conditions.

With an abundance of interesting shops, al fresco restaurants, cafes, clubs, pubs, live entertainment, cinemas and beachfront markets, a walk along Coolangatta beach and its shopping district in the evening night is a must do activity.

To finish the evening, we had dinner at the Outback Jacks for some serious sizes burgers and steaks.

07 February 2013

Your Presence Is Heaven - Isreal & New Breed

John 6:38-40 (NLT)
38For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do what I want. 39And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them to eternal life at the last day. 40For it is my Father's will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life--that I should raise them at the last day."

Ephesians 1:21-23 (NLT)
21Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else in this world or in the world to come. 22And God has put all things under the authority of Christ, and he gave him this authority for the benefit of the church. 23And the church is his body; it is filled by Christ, who fills everything everywhere with his presence.

Hebrews 10:19-22 (NLT)
19And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven's Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20This is the new, life-giving way that Christ has opened up for us through the sacred curtain, by means of his death for us. 21And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God's people, 22let us go right into the presence of God, with true hearts fully trusting him. For our evil consciences have been sprinkled with Christ's blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.

Ephesians 3:12 (NLT)
12Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come fearlessly into God's presence, assured of his glad welcome

06 February 2013

Sunshine Coast - Underwater World

Mooloolaba is one of the larger cities along the Sunshine Coast and it is said the no trip to the Sunshine Coast is complete without visiting the Underwater World. Located at the Mooloolaba Wharf, UnderWater World is home to thousands of animals, including sharks, seals, turtles, stingrays, otters, sawfish, tropical fish and much, much more.

As we are already beach out after Harvey Bay and Fraser Island, we opted to explore the Underwater World. It is a multi-award winning all-weather tourist attraction which means the place is completely undercover and completely air conditioned, the perfect place to visit when it's hot outside.

It is certainly an alternative placeto spend some time with family, apart from being at the beach or shopping in town. The otter show and the seal show are very popular with the children.

If you want to, you can even have your photo taken with the seals or go behind the scenes to see how the seals and trainers prepare for the daily seal shows. Of course that will cost you a few more dollars on top of the entry fee.

The following are some of the photos of the other animals you can find in the place, like the rays as they glide in formation, over your head in the Ocean walk through. The Asian small-clawed otters are great to watch as they interact with each other in their home or see them clean their food.

Watch out for the 'Freshies', the freshwater crocodile which are endemic to Northern Australia.

However, it is the sights of living coral and all the colourful fish that swim amongst it, that I enjoy most.

05 February 2013

Montville - Europe in Queensland

Montville, a bit of Europe at the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. That's the feeling I felt when we saw the place. It is a charming village, very much a tourist destination, a great getaway place to be at in that part of the world. Montville is in the hinterland, about 450m above sea level and is about an hour north of Brisbane and only 30 minutes from the Sunshine Coast.

Today Montville is known as the creative heart of the Sunshine Coast. It is home to a range of quality art galleries that exhibit and sometimes produce works of interest to all art lovers. There are also pottery studios and craft cottages. I quite like the two frogs sitting by the "pond" enjoying each other's company. In the background is the mainstreet Gallery with paintings, jewelleries and other art works from some of Australia's most original contemporary artists.

Shoppers will find and love the many art and craft shops, gift shops and fashion boutiques that exhibit a staggering range of affordable, locally made items. Not forgetting the restaurants, tea rooms and cafes, both indoor and out, where one can relax and enjoy a wide variety of menus.

The photos below show some of the many craft and gift shops along the Main Street of Montville. Main Street Montville is home to over 100 boutique retail outlets, many housed in historic and unique buildings.

The Bavarian type cottage, the Montville Clock Shop, holds one of the largest collection of clocks, of all types and I do mean Cuckoo Clocks, majestic Grandfather Clocks and the distinct Mantle, Wall or Dutch Clocks, that I have seen in recent times.

At the village square, one would expect to find the Post Office, a Chemist, a (small) supermarket, a speciality shop or two but I did not expect to find a "Husband Seat", ......a seat for the husband waiting for his wife to finish her shopping?

As you can see from the colourful photos, could not resist going into almost every craft and gift shops along Main Street, some even impart words of wisdom. The set of 3 wise owls cost $10, so I thought. I could spend hours at the puzzle and game shop.

For a bite to eat, we decided on Poets Cafe. Established in 1995, Poets Cafe deco and food evokes the feeling of an European cafe but it was its uninterrupted views of the beautiful Sunshine Coast that draw us to it. However, we were not disappointed by it food. I had the burger with nice chunky fries and I washed it down with a cold XXXX (pronounced fourex) Queensland beer.

Some of the natural beauties of Montville.


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