Posted: 29 July 2011 / Jonah 4
Jonathan Swift once famously said:
We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.
That line could sum up the problem in the life of Jonah. His hatred ate away at the walls of his soul. Nowhere is that more clear than in Jonah 4 (this Sunday). In this chapter, he prays:
Now, O LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.
Growing up hearing the story of Jonah, I thought that he ran away because he was scared of the big bad Ninevites. Turns out it wasn’t the Ninevites he was afraid of.
Come and find out if you share his fears.
Surry Hills Library
Level 1, 405 Crown Street
Surry Hills...Continue Reading
Posted: 27 July 2011 / Philippians 4:19
Next week is National Homeless Persons' Week. A couple of churches in Surry Hills are getting together on Wednesday 3rd August, 2-3pm, to hold a service for those who sleep rough.
Please come and join us and pray for those who sleep rough that God would supply every need of theirs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
Wednesday, 3rd August, 2–3pm
Shannon Reserve, Surry Hills
(on Crown Street, opposite the library)
Download the flyer below or get more details about National Homeless Persons' Week here.
Posted: 25 July 2011 / Genesis 21-22
Michael reflects on Genesis 21-22:
There is some crazy stuff in the Old Testament and this is certainly the case in Genesis 21 and 22. We have a nonagenarian (90-99 year old) becoming a mother for the first time, Abraham a dad for the first time at 100 not out, wells springing up out of nowhere in the desert and perhaps one of the more shocking parts of the Bible where God asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son. Well what do we make of it? I am going to cheat a little and skip the hard parts by looking at the very start of this passage Genesis 21:1-7. This passage should be a great encouragement to all people, reminding that God is faithful and keeps his promises even when we...Continue Reading
Posted: 24 July 2011
We are very pleased with two articles by journalist Margaret Rice in the latest Wentworth Courier.
Inner-city Christianity comes to small bars of Surry Hills: This is about Vine church as 'a different kind of church to meet the needs of inner city dwellers.'
Good neighbour plans laneway parties for Surry Hills: This is about Nicole, one of the women at church, who organised a laneway party for her neighbours in Surry Hills last Christmas.
Posted: 06 July 2011 / 1 Peter 3:8 - 4:19
Last week I spoke about men, women and marriage in the city. One of the most striking examples of a beautiful and fearless woman who hopes in God is that of Joni Eareckson Tada. Joni grew up riding horses, hiking, playing tennis and loving to swim. One summer day in July 1967, while on a beach with some friends, Joni dove into the bay not knowing how shallow it really was. She broke her neck and became a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the shoulders down. While her friends were busy preparing to go to college in the autumn, Joni was fighting for her life and having to accept the fact that she would spend her life in a wheelchair. Her rehabilitation was not easy. She was angry,...Continue Reading
Posted: 04 July 2011
Does he exist? Does he care?
Why doesn’t he make himself clearer?
Why doesn’t he end all the pain?
Do I care?
Join us this August for the opening of Vine Church, a new urban church in Surry Hills. We surveyed people in the area and hope to begin a conversation about our four most common questions for God.
Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going?
August 7, 4pm (Opening Night)
Why don’t you make yourself clearer?
August 14, 4pm
Why do innocent people suffer?
August 21, 4pm
I’ve got no questions … so what?
August 28, 4pm
Surry Hills Library
Level 1, 405 Crown Street
We have been handing out and letterbox dropping the...Continue Reading
Posted: 30 June 2011 / 1 Peter 3:1-7
Someone once said, ‘Marriage is the only war where you sleep with the enemy.’ Sadly this is often the case, even in Christian marriages.
In fact, marriage is in a bad way in Australia with rates have fallen to 5.5 per thousand in 2007, coupled with a divorce rate of 2.3 per thousand in 2007, the seventh highest in the world. In 2008, this affected a disturbing 43,184 children. The average age for marrying has climbed steeply to 29 for women and 31 for men, a trend which places greater stress on women who contend with a less merciful biological clock. Linked with this is the rate of cohabitation which has increased from 6% (1986) to 15% (2006).
Consequently, a recent study...Continue Reading
Posted: 15 June 2011 / Job
A Nigerian Poet once said:
When suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to worry because he has brought his own stool.
Job suffered. Greatly. It is hard to comprehend such suffering. Maybe you have experienced deep pain, or a member of your family. And yet people suffer all over the world in terrible ways.
Is there a path through it all?
This Sunday Justin Moffatt (St Philips York Street) will come and tell the story of Job. We will ask the question: What will get a person out of their dust and Ashes? In other words, is there a path through suffering?
Come this Sunday and explore this idea with us.
Posted: 10 June 2011
This Sunday we are privileged to have Dr. Michael Jensen come to speak to us on the topic:
To die for or to kill for? Martyrdom and the Spectre of Religious Violence
Michael was one of my favourite Moore college lectures, and a previous minister to Tim, Rachel and Murray, who has an excellent ability to make complicated topics very accessible. He writes on this topic,
Even after the death of Osama, there is nothing quite as terrifying as the thought that suicidal religious fanatics might inflict their unreasoning violence on us. They seem to lash out with such resentment against the rest of us. They seem driven by a hatred of life itself – willing not only to die for their...
Posted: 03 June 2011 / 1 Peter 2:13-17
This Sunday at Vine Church we are looking at 1 Peter 2:13-17 and the topic Citizens in the City. In particular we are considering whether a separation should exist between church and state. This afternoon I was reading over one of the sermons of Martin Luther King Jr. (the great American civil rights advocate). He said,
The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.
Come this Sunday and explore this idea...Continue Reading