Archive for September, 2010

Media Watch

September 29, 2010

I believe everyone should watch the program “Media Watch” on ABC TV on a regular basis . It helps to make us aware  that whatever the media says is not always true and can instead be misleading. It is an important reminder to us that we should not believe everything we hear and read from all forms of media . It can teach us to be discerning about what we read and hear and to realise that much of what is presented to us from the media often has personal interest groups and financial backing from particular parties and media owners involved. It can also alert us to propaganda bias and untruths that can be perpetrated to us through the media.

Let us try to take a step back and think for ourselves instead of being automatically brainwashed by whatever the media says. It can also be wise to obtain our information or news from a variety of reputable sources and not just from sensationalised or commercial ones.

The program “Media Watch” can be viewed on ABC1 TV on Monday 9.20pm and repeated on Wed 12.25 am

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Why We Suffer as Christians

September 17, 2010

I recently read an excellent book called “Broken Things – Why We Suffer”. This was a huge encouragement to me since it gives common sense reasons why many of us as Christians often go through great trials and suffering while on this earth. The following is a summary of the reasons stated in this book:-

1. Suffering Silences Satan – when we are willing to go through suffering without abandoning our faith, it proves to Satan that we are not just serving God for what He can do for us, but for who He is. This is demonstrated in the book of Job where Satan accuses Job of worshipping God only for the riches and blessings that God can give him. When Job was then greatly afflicted and all his good fortune was taken away, Job did not curse God, but remained faithful. This was shown in Job’s words “ The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away ; blessed be the name of the Lord”. Job 1:21

2. Suffering Enables us to Glorify God – many people have to go through excruciating trials eg. healing from childhood sexual abuse, severe racial injustices, marital abuse, a painful terminal illness etc. Some of these trials may continue for many years. However when God finally delivers us from them, His name can be praised and glorified. Even while we are going through these trials and have not received final or total deliverance, God can still give us the supernatural strength to endure so we are not totally defeated. In this way God is also glorified. This is shown in John 11:5 when after great sorrow at the death of Lazarus, Jesus came to raise him from the dead giving praise to God’s name.

3. Suffering Makes Us More Like Christ – God does not wish to save us just to forgive our sins so we’ll go to heaven. His dual purpose is to also make us more like Christ. As a result we can then reflect God’s glory to the rest of mankind and help make this world a better place. Romans 8:29 says that God’s intention is to conform us to the image of His Son. Often we can only be perfected through trials and suffering. Hebrews 2:10.

4. Suffering Makes Us Appreciative – often when we are in bed with a bad case of the flu, we begin to appreciate the blessing of having good health. While we are healthy we often take it for granted. When things are taken away from us we learn to appreciate them more & thank God for them. Without trials and suffering we may become self centered people who are always wanting more.

5. Suffering Teaches Us To Depend On God – when everything is going fine and rosy we often feel less need for God. We may tend to forget about Him and even survive by relying on our own strength and resources. However when we encounter suffering it compels us to cry out to Him for help. At these times we learn to trust and depend on Him. God desires this because he knows He can provide much better and way beyond what we can do for ourselves. He also wants close fellowship with us on a personal level. In Exodus 14:13 when the Israelites stood before the Red Sea with the Egyptians behind them and the desert and mountains on each side,  Moses said “ Stand firm  and you will see  the salvation the Lord will bring you today”.

6. Suffering Makes Us and Keeps Us Humble -Learning to depend on God requires us to be humble and can be a blow to our pride. God hates pride but exalts the humble. This is why Paul was given a “thorn in the flesh”. 2 Corinthians 12:7. We don’t know what this was. Some think it was a hunchback, speech impediment or a certain illness. However God allowed this so that Paul would remain humble and always acknowledge his need for God’s help.  Paul was a highly educated scholar from good breeding.  Perhaps God knew that Paul needed something to keep him humble.

7. In Suffering We Exercise Faith– In Hebrews 11:1 it says “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” While going through suffering – not knowing the outcome and when it will cease, it forces us to exercise our faith in God. This in turn helps our faith to grow. If we knew what will happen in the future & when, then we would not need faith. In learning to exercise faith we are learning to put our trust and security in God and his character rather than the things of this world. A faith that is not tested will never be strong. If you are suffering and asking “Why must I suffer? Why can’t I be like others?” remember God’s words in Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

8. Suffering Teaches Us Patience – Have any of you been waiting a very long time for an answer to prayer? Perhaps it is a healing, a loved one to come to Christ or a breakthrough in a certain area? The waiting time in this trial teaches us patience and this is one of the fruits of the spirit – Galatians 5:22. The more time we have to wait the more we will grow in patience. During this waiting time it compels us to seek God’s word for comfort & faith and learn to trust that God knows best for our situation. It also forces us to give up control of our own lives.

9. Suffering Makes Us Sympathetic – ever met people who are hard of heart, unmerciful and even condescending to the poor, marginalized and those going through trials? It may be because they have never had to go through suffering in their own lives to be able to empathize with those who do. There is nothing like a period of trial, to help give us true compassion and empathy for the hurting. Often it is only when we are humbled and broken in spirit from suffering, that we can begin to allow God to open up our hearts to the hurting people around us in society and take some action to help them out.

10. Suffering Teaches Us To Pray – only when we go through great suffering do we learn to pray with earnest from the depths of our soul and spirit – often because there is nothing left that we can do. In doing so we learn to commune with the heart of God and foster a closer and more intimate relationship with Him.

11. Suffering Brings Rewards – De Haan states that there is a “special crown, a special reward for those who suffer patiently for Him”. In 2 Timothy 2:12 Paul says that “ If we suffer we will also reign with Him”. This helps to make more sense of some of the deepest suffering that some Christians have to face. It also helps to bring a sense of justice into our lives here on earth”.

Conclusion

The above are the main points that DeHaan describes as to “Why We Suffer” as Christian believers. He also talks about the need for brokenness in our lives to be fully used by God for his purposes and gives more encouragement for those who suffer, throughout the book.

If you would like to obtain a copy of this thin paperback – “Broken Things – Why We Suffer” you can contact:-

Email : australia@rbc.org OR

Address: RBC Ministries South Pacific Ltd
PO Box 393
GLEN WAVERLY VIC 3150

The book is free or you can make a donation.

NB. The author M R DeHaan founded “Radio Bible Class”, now RBC Ministries who produce the free “Our Daily Bread” devotional booklets. They also publish other books teaching materials and online Christian courses.

Muslim’s Rights to Convert

September 13, 2010

The following is a brochure and flyer about the fight to allow Muslims the right to convert to Christianity or any other religion without being ostracised or harmed by their own Muslim community.   Even though the last flyer event has already passed it still provides some useful information.


Unemployment Encouragement

September 8, 2010

The following is an article from the Billy Graham Website offering encouragement & wisdom for those who are looking for work.  It offers some sound wisdom and advice to help those who are in this difficult situation.

http://www.billygraham.org/articlepage.asp?articleid=3951&BA=2080&QR=116

Fatherless Society Vote

September 7, 2010

Media Release

The Vote (NSW) to Promote a Fatherless Society Likely to Take Place within
24 Hours

On Thursday 2nd September, the Lower House of the NSW Parliament narrowly voted 46- 44 to support Clover Moore’s homosexual adoption bill, supported by Premier Kristina Keneally. The bill will go to the upper House on Tuesday the 7th of September and a vote taken within 24 hours.

Warwick Marsh, founder of Dads4Kids stated, “According to the Commsec State of the States report which was released April 2010, New South Wales has the worst performing economy in Australia, its trains don’t run on time and people are literally dying waiting to get into our overcrowded hospital system.  How can the Keneally government waste precious time tying up parliament while whole sections of the community are in such desperate need? We have 24 sitting days until the next election, so why waste time debating this bill when there are so many other important community issues still to be dealt with?”

Marsh said, “Fathers Day has been celebrated this Sunday and is a celebration of the importance of a father in a child’s life. The message NSW
parliamentarians who voted for this bill are giving is that Dads are not
important. Conclusive research proves this to be a lie. Children with
involved fathers are more confident, better able to deal with frustration, better able to gain independence and their own identity, more likely to
mature into compassionate adults, more likely to have a high self esteem,  more sociable, more secure as infants, less likely to show signs of depression, less likely to commit suicide, more empathetic, boys have been
shown to be less aggressive and adolescent girls are less likely to engage
in sex:

* 63% of teen suicides come from fatherless homes. That’s 5
times the national average. SOURCE: U.S. Dept of Health

* 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless
homes. 14 times the national average. SOURCE: Justice and Behaviour

* 85% of children with behavioural problems come from
fatherless homes. 20 times the national average. SOURCE: Centre for Disease Control

* 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the national average. SOURCE: National Principals Association Report

* 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centres come from fatherless homes. 10 times the national average. SOURCE: Rainbows for all God’s Children

* 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes. 20
times the national average. SOURCE: U.S. Dept. of Justice.”

Marsh continued, “The Dads4Kids Fatherhood Foundation calls on the mothers and fathers of New South Wales Australians everywhere to phone and email all members of the Upper House, MLC, or use the facility at
http://www.kidsrightscount.org.au to tell all the members of the upper house to vote ‘no’ to this bill when it comes up for vote next week. Fathers are important and children need both a mother and a father.”

Peter Walker, Aboriginal Elder of the Bundjulung tribe spoke to a capacity
crowd at a meeting in Parliament House, Sydney to protest against the
proposed Bill. Mr Walker said, “Children need a mum and dad. Aboriginal
culture is built around the family. Indigenous culture would never endorse
such injustice because within our culture children are greatly loved and
appreciated. This law is likely to create another stolen generation of
children and is simply unacceptable.”

Children Need a Mother & a Father
Contact the below listed NSW Parliamentarians

The parliamentarians who make a stand for children and families need our
support and those who don’t need to know that we care. Many people are too
busy with the challenges of life to become involved. Most never say
anything. As a result, in political circles there is an informal weighting
given to messages. It varies depending on who you hear it from, but it goes
something like this:

When no-one says anything, almost no-one cares.
For every email received, about 100 people care.
For every paper letter received, about 1,000 people care.
For every thoughtful phone call, about 5,000 people care.
For every person who visits, about 10,000 people care.
For every group that visits, about 50,000 people care
For every group that come back again, about 100,000 people care.

At the time of writing, NSW politicians had received 41,694 emails
concerning this legislation. To be a part of making it 60,000 in the next
few days, just use the Kids Rights Pollie-mail feature at the Australian
Christian Lobby.

Alternatively, you can use the details below to make more direct contact.

New South Wales Legislative Council (Upper House) MPs

Hon John Ajaka 02 9230 2111 –
john.ajaka@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Robert Brown 02 9230 3059 –
robert.brown@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Tony Catanzariti 02 9230 2837 –
tony.catanzariti@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon David Clarke 02 9230 2260 –
david.clarke@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Mr Ian Cohen 02 9230 2603 –
ian.cohen@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Rick Colless 02 9230 2344 –
rick.colless@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Catherine Cusack 02 9230 2915 –
catherine.cusack@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Greg Donnelly 02 9230 2280 –
greg.donnelly@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Amanda Fazio 02 9230 3593 –
amanda.fazio@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Marie Ficarra 0419 241 579 –
marie.ficarra@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Luke Foley 02 9230 3451 –
Luke.Foley@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Michael Gallacher 02 9230 2302 –
michael.gallacher@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Jenny Gardiner 02 9230 2903 –
jenny.gardiner@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Duncan Gay 02 9230 2329 –
duncan.gay@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Kayee Griffin 02 9230 2040 –
kayee.griffin@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Ms Sylvia Hale 02 9230 3030 –
sylvia.hale@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Don Harwin 02 9230 3519 –
don.harwin@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon John Hatzistergos 02 9230 3463 –
office@hatzistergos.minister.nsw.gov.au
Dr John Kaye 02 9230 2668 –
john.kaye@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Tony Kelly 02 9230 2528 –
sharon.armstrong@lands.nsw.gov.au
Hon Trevor Khan 02 9230 3491 –
trevor.khan@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Charlie Lynn 02 9230 3362 –
charlie.lynn@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Matthew Mason-Cox 02 9230 3572 –
Matthew.Mason-Cox@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Shaoquett Moselmane 02 9230 2526 –
S.Moselmane@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Rev Hon Gordon Moyes 02 9230 3340 – gordon@gordonmoyes.com
Rev Hon Fred Nile 02 9230 2478 –
F.Nile@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Edward Obeid 02 9230 3474 –
edward.obeid@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Robyn Parker 02 9230 3332 –
robyn.parker@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Melinda Pavey 02 9230 2977 –
melinda.pavey@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Gregory Pearce 02 9230 2428 –
greg.pearce@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Peter Primrose 02 9230 2763 –
peter.primrose@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Christine Robertson 02 9230 2971 –
christine.robertson@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon John Robertson 02 9230 2152 –
john.robertson@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Eric Roozendaal 02 9228 3535 –
enquiries@treasurer.nsw.gov.au
Hon Penny Sharpe 02 9230 2741 –
penny.sharpe@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Mick Veitch 02 9230 2111 –
mick.veitch@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Lynda Voltz 02 9230 2111 –
lynda.voltz@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Ian West 02 9230 2052 –
ian.west@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Hon Helen Westwood 02 9230 2094 –
helen.westwood@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Dads4Kids Fatherhood Foundation
PO Box 542
UNANDERRA NSW 2526
Ph: 02 4272 6677
Fax: 02 4272 6680
Email: info@fatherhood.org.au
Web: http://www.fatherhood.org.au

Police Warning

September 6, 2010

The following is an email I received:-

Baby Car Seat on the Roadside
While driving on a rural end of the roadway on Thursday morning, I saw an infant car seat on the side of the road with a blanket draped over it. For whatever reason, I did not stop, even though I had all kinds of thoughts running through my head. But when I got to my destination, I called the Police and they were going to check it out. But, this is what the Police advised even before they went out there to check….

“There are several things to be aware of … gangs and thieves are now plotting different ways to get a person (mostly women)to stop their vehicle and get out of the car.

“There is a gang initiation reported by the local Police where gangs are placing a car seat by the road….with a fake baby in
it…waiting for a woman, of course, to stop and check on the abandoned baby.

“Note that the location of this car seat is usually beside a wooded or grassy (field) area and the person — woman — will be dragged into the woods, beaten and raped, and usually left for dead. If it’s a man, they’re usually beaten and robbed and maybe left for dead, too.

DO NOT STOP FOR ANY REASON!!!

DIAL 0-0-0
AND REPORT WHAT YOU SAW, BUT DON’T EVEN SLOW DOWN.

Eggs Thrown on Your Windscreen

“IF YOU ARE DRIVING AT NIGHT AND EGGS ARE THROWN AT YOUR WINDSCREEN, DO NOT STOP TO CHECK THE CAR, DO NOT OPERATE THE WIPER AND DO NOT SPRAY ANY WATER BECAUSE EGGS MIXED WITH WATER BECOME MILKY AND BLOCK YOUR VISION UP TO 92.5%, AND YOU ARE THEN FORCED TO STOP BESIDE THE ROAD AND BECOME A VICTIM OF THESE CRIMINALS.

THIS IS A NEW TECHNIQUE USED BY GANGS, SO PLEASE INFORM YOUR FRIENDS AND RELATIVES.

THESE ARE DESPERATE TIMES AND THESE ARE UNSAVOURY INDIVIDUALS WHO WILL TAKE DESPERATE MEASURES TO GET WHAT THEY WANT.”

Please talk to your loved ones about this. This is a new tactic used. Please be safe.

Help Prevent Child Abuse

September 6, 2010

NAPCAN
NAPCAN is an organisation which seeks to help prevent child abuse by bringing it’s awareness to the community and seeking to make it everyone’s responsibility to assist in it’s prevention. The following is a link which provides some starting guidelines on how everyone can play their part to help overcome this grave aproblem.

http://www.napcan.org.au/campaigns/what-can-i-do-

The following is an excerpt from a NAPCAN email outlining some features of their recent community survey regarding child abuse:-

NAPCAN SURVEY RESULTS

NAPCAN has released the findings of our Community Attitude Survey on the Safety and Wellbeing of Children, which many of you took part in during National Child Protection Week 2009.

The Survey asked a range of questions about who is responsible for protecting children and what people might do if confronted by a situation where they suspected child abuse or neglect.

The Survey found that although most people (92% of respondents) consider child abuse to be a serious issue, many are hesitant to take action if faced with a real situation.

The Survey results reveal that when confronted with clear-cut scenarios of child abuse, less than 50% of respondents would take action to help the child by ringing a child protection authority or the police. And even if a child disclosed sexual abuse to them, only 34% of respondents would call the police.

The findings are alarming, especially given that respondents had a good understanding of child abuse and neglect issues. The results highlight the need to educate the whole community that protecting our children is everyone’s responsibility.

Respondents gave a range of reasons for not taking action, from worrying they might be wrong (48%) to not wanting to admit things like that happen (22%). Many people (38%) wouldn’t take action because they ‘don’t know what to do’. But the most troubling reason given was many people just don’t think it is their business (42%).

POLLY AND ME
We hope you will watch ABC 1 TV on Thursday 9 September at 9.30pm for a very important program. “Kids At Risk”, hosted by Geraldine Doogue, will feature the screening of a short film, Polly and Me, followed by a live studio discussion. Polly and Me depicts the life of an eight year old child who could be living in your street. Its purpose is to help break down the wall of silence about child abuse and neglect in 21st century Australia.