Praying like Paul

How shallow my prayers can often be. “I pray God’s richest blessings on you; I pray for traveling mercies.” What do those word even mean?

Do they mean anything at all? Or are they only Christianised ‘white noise’? Just filler and fluff, about as meaningful and helpful as ‘sending happy thoughts your way’?

I’m challenged and convicted when I read Ephesians 3 because my prayers are frequently little more than that sort of fluff.

Not so when the apostle Paul prayed.

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The Pharmacy of Heaven

In the brilliant 2007 movie ‘I Am Legend,’ Will Smith plays a Virologist in New York City trying to save mankind. A virus developed to cure cancer has instead wiped out 99% of the world’s population.

He alone is immune; the only other inhabitants have been turned into terrifying rage-filled nocturnal mutants. The movie is edge-of-your-seat thrilling and frightening in equal measures. I highly recommend it!

We all – each and every one of us – suffer from a disease. This disease will also kill all of humanity. There are no exceptions; this disease is cruel. Even Will Smith’s character won’t be able to find a cure.

Humans have been trying to find a cure since the beginning of time. All have failed. All will fail.

What is this disease that is killing us without mercy? Continue reading

Sand or Solid Rock?

The city of Melbourne is famous for its Yarra River – ‘the river that runs upside-down.’ The Yarra is, for the most part, a pretty safe and healthy river. It just happens to carry a lot of silt, which gives it the appearance of being muddy. All that silt gets deposited at the mouth of the river, as it has done from time immemorial.

I remember years ago the authorities began to develop the Docklands area of Melbourne near the mouth of the Yarra for commercial and residential use.

The story goes that they drove huge piles into the ground to support the weight of the planned buildings. Piles are piers designed to go below loose soil onto something solid and immovable, thus enabling the structure above to stand strong.

Apparently, they drove 14m (45′) long piles into the silt, which promptly disappeared. They drove another on top, which also disappeared. I don’t recall how many had to be piled on top of the previous one before they found solid ground, but it was plenty.

The point is that silt can’t carry heavy loads. Unless they could get the load transferred to something solid below the silt, the structure above would collapse in short time.

Not unlike our Christian faith… Continue reading

The first Twitterstorm

When was the first Twitterstorm? Anyone care to venture a guess? No cheating though, no using Google to search. A chocolate bar for the first correct entry (special conditions apply).

For those unfamiliar with the term, a Twitterstorm is “a sudden flurry of activity about a specific topic on Twitter.” Presumably, there are terms to describe similar trends on Facebook, Instagram and other social media.

A recent example of a social media storm is the online outrage that arose after Australian rugby player Israel Folau paraphrased 1Cor 6:9 on Instagram. He posted it as a warning that “Drunks, Homosexuals, Adulterers, Liars, Fornicators, Thieves, Atheists, Idolators” will face punishment in Hell if they don’t repent and turn to Jesus.

The fury from some quarters was predictable. Strangely though, I don’t recall that drunks, adulterers, liars and thieves were quite as outraged. They certainly didn’t storm social media in rage. Continue reading