A great evangelist has passed away. Billy Graham was an innovator. A clear speaking Gospel message interlaced with humour, emotion and story. So many people I know can trace their spiritual lineage to a Billy Graham Crusade.
He used modern music to the mission he was involved in. From Johnny Cash to the Gaither Music crew.
At his funeral of the songs he picked was written by Paul Baloche in 1999. Billy would have been 80 years old when he heard this song…at the earliest. Years later he had Michael W Smith perform it at his evangelism rallies.
It goes nicely with this little newspaper response that has been floating around for a while.
I most love what Billy says here… ‘Sometimes Im afraid, a hymn can become so familiar to us that we sing it without thinking about the words’. In my words, sentiment should never replace spirituality. Worship has never been about us, its about God. Its about us being challenged to deeper spirituality, deeper connection. Its not about what we are familiar with.
So often we go back to the songs and the music that were present in our own spiritual formation. But God has moved on. What He was doing then was good. What He is doing today is better. Billy knew this.
I am going to listen to something new today. I hope to be like Billy when I am 80 years old.
You know that heart wrenching feeling in your gut. The type that stays there and fester as you realise you are in conflict with someone. You have upset someone. Or someone is just plain angry at you.
You either rip the bandaid off quick or you let if fester. Its almost simplistic to say don’t let the sun go down on your anger. However the Biblical principle is true for a number of reasons. One of them being our own emotional health.
For me, I have learnt the pain of dealing with a conflict quickly is better than the pain of letting it fester. I am a run from conflict guy, but Ive learnt to run to it for my own hearts sake.
There has been a lot of movement in church planting in Perth recently.
It is quite exciting to see so many churches being planted. Statistics will tell you that on a percentage wise basis new churches will see more people become Christians than established churches.
Many of these churches are vibrant, young and relevant. They are being planted out of more established churches in new areas with energetic and passionate leaders. Its great to see.
One thought of caution though. I believe as Church leaders our primary focus should be on seeking and saving that which is lost. Finding ways to reach those who are far from Jesus and far from Church. That is difficult. Yet that is our mission.
Boggy sand is boggy sand. The Grand Vitara handles it well with a lift kit and decent tyres. But the reality is it relys upon revs to keep up momentum, not the lazy torque of a Landcruiser Diesel. But it gets through. Next time I think I should try low range second and it would be the best of both worlds. Fun though.
I have had my Zook for over ten years now and its safe to say with the numerous dings and scratches from 4wd adventures it is no longer shiny like it once was.
However in one regard at least it is better. After getting back from some 4wd adventures down South of WA I decided to finally find out what was wrong with two of the three 12 volt outlets on the vehicle. The passenger ‘cigarette lighter’ was not working and the rear one had never worked. That was a pain because the Engel fridge is normally in the boot.
I had also installed a secondary 12v outlet with twin outlets for rear seated passengers to charge their phones or whatever. That also had stopped working.
I took apart the whole assembly surrounding the gear lever and discovered the wiring I had used was past its used by date so I rewired the secondary outlet. A couple of fuses were gone so I replaced those. That was harder than it sounds because the GV has micro blade fuses and they are difficult to replace, even with a fuse puller. A small screwdriver was actually far more helpful.
Then to the boot outlet which has never worked. Imagine my surprise when I dissambled the surround and discovered the wiring was not even connected. I reconnected it, checking first that the wires had power, and I found out the 12v outlet was unstable anyway. So I replaced that with a good marine grade outlet. Then I fitted a fuse tap in the front fuse box so I could run the rear socket with its own circuit. Standard it runs on the same circuit as the passenger 12v outlet. Thats not a great idea when running a fridge as well as 2 or 3 iPhone chargers through it.
The satisfaction of seeing the blue light come on with my tester was immense. Having owned the car for ten years, I finally have fixed that minor annoyance.
The outlet from the rear with no wires going into it.
I didn’t misunderstand my father. I didn’t understand him.
In one of those rare moments when I had his attention we attended a football game. It was his beloved Perth Demons getting touched up well and truly. I was about 7 or 8 years old. We left at half time.
I didn’t understand why we left early. Dad had taken me to the football. It was great. One of those rare moments where we had gone father and son together somewhere.
In later years I began to understand why he was as he was. Someone who wanted to communicate with his son, but was just unable to. He didn’t ever talk to me, not really. And I don’t think it was because he was a bad father. He wasn’t. He was a great father. But things had happened to him when he was a child, nothing abusive, just no emotional connection. He failed miserably at having one with me.
But at his funeral. There was over four hundred people there. Many of them dad had personally led to Jesus, or pastored or led in some way. The effect he had on the kingdom was profound. Out of the youth group he led, in a church which was in many ways dysfunctional, many teenagers grew up to be senior church leaders and pastors now leading all over the state and country. His effect for Jesus was profound.
People talk about him to me, and at my weakest moment a tinge of resentment rises up. Then its pride. And I’m a pastor. His son.
I wish I knew him like others did. But at the same time, I wish I was half the man he was.
Cooking brisket is a bit of an art. I have tried unsuccessfully a number of times to get it right. Yesterday I nailed it. Was the best brisket Ive ever had, and I made it myself!
First I got the nice fatty brisket up to room temperature and then rubbed a black pepper sauce on it. Then ground some black pepper, sea flakes, brown sugar and some cayenne pepper.
Now a low smoke in the offset smoker. Temperature around 100 degrees for about 6 hours. Fatty side down, and the fatter part of the brisket pointing to the firebox. But not too close.
The beef should look dark brown, but not black.
Now I wrapped in in about three layers of foil. But not before pouring some liquid into the parcel. I used some pork stock that had ginger beer in it. At the same as the brisket was cooking I was also slow cooking some pork shoulder. So the juice was superb. But you can use beer, wine, or any stock. Wrap it up so its properly sealed. It must be sealed so the moisture stays within. This is vital.
Then I stuck in back in the smoker for another 4 to six hours.
I unwrapped it with great trepidation. But it had a beautiful pink ring of smoke around the edge of the meat and it was fall apart tender with a lovely bark around it. Simply smoky, superb.