Sunday, 8 November 2009

St John Northland Regional Comps 09

Abbie, Joel and Lydia experienced their first St John Competitions on Sat 7 Nov in Okaihau. Their respective teams won stacks of 2nd and 3rd placements as well as two FIRST PLACE trophies each! Abbie's team won First place in Resuscitation (CPR) and Drill (marching). Joel & Lydia's team won First Place in First Aid, and their team won the Overall (Aggregate) Trophy as well! They are all very thrilled and grateful! They had a fantastic day with lots of realistic (and well acted) scenarios that managed to freak them out a little (especially Adam Gilbert's excellent heart-attack-victim enactment, which actually gave ME clammy hands it was so scary!). Whangarei had a large contingent and scooped many trophies and a swag of placements... all very exciting. WELL DONE WHANGAREI TEAMS!

Heaps more pix on our picasa album (interested cadets can download your own)...

Monday, 2 November 2009

How I Approach God When Feeling Rotten

By John Piper, Desiring God Blog (see sidebar for link).

A vague bad feeling that you are a crummy person is not the same as conviction for sin. Feeling rotten is not the same as repentance. This morning I began to pray, and felt unworthy to be talking to the Creator of the universe. It was a vague sense of unworthiness. So I told him so. Now what?

Nothing changed until I began to get specific about my sins. Crummy feelings can be useful if they lead to conviction for sins. Vague feelings of being a bad person are not very helpful. The fog of unworthiness needs to take shape into clear dark pillars of disobedience. Then you can point to them and repent and ask for forgiveness and take aim to blow them up. So I began to call to mind the commands I frequently break. These are the ones that came to mind.

Love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Not 95%, 100%. (Matthew 22:37)
Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Be as eager for things to go well for him as you are for things to go well for you. (Matthew 22:39)
Do all things without grumbling. No grumbling- inside or outside. (Philippians 2:14)
Cast all your anxieties on Him- so you are not being weighed down by it anymore. (1 Peter 5:7)
Only say things that give grace to others- especially those closest to you. (Ephesians 4:29)
Redeem the time. Don't fritter or dawdle. (Ephesians 5:16)
Set your mind on things that are above. Connect all your thoughts to Christ. (Colossians 3:2)
Do not return evil for evil- like when your wife or daughter says something you don't like. (1 Thessalonians 5:15)
Rejoice always, and again I say rejoice. Always. If sorrowful, keep rejoicing. (Philippians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 6:10)
Give thanks in all circumstances. All. All. All. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

So much for any pretensions to great holiness! I'm undone. But now it is specific. I look it in the eye. I'm not whining about feeling crummy. I'm apologizing to Christ for not keeping all that he commanded. I'm broken and I'm angry at my sin. I want to kill it, not me. I'm not suicidal. I'm a sin hater and a sin murderer ("Put to death what is earthly in you" Colossians 3:5. "Put to death the deeds of the body" Romans 3:18.) In this conflict, I hear the promise, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1John 1:9). Peace rises. Prayer feels possible and right and powerful again

Statement of Belief

Bible: We believe the Bible, consisting of 66 books, to be the inspired Word of God, without error, the revelation of His will for the salvation of men, and the divine and final authority for all Christian faith and life.

God: We believe in one God who exists and operates as three: the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The Father: We believe the Father created all things in heaven and on earth. He created human beings and desires a personal relationship with each of us.

Jesus: We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life and died on the cross as the sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. Further, He arose bodily from the dead and ascended into heaven.

Holy Spirit: We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convict men, making them aware of their sin and the salvation available through Jesus. He regenerates, guides, instructs, and empowers the believer for godly living and service.

Man: We believe that man was created in the image of God and sinless, but fell into sin and is therefore lost and subject to judgement. There is nothing man can do to save himself from this judgement, but he can accept the death of Jesus as punishment in place of his own eternal death by acknowledging God and accepting the free gift of salvation.

Salvation: We believe that the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ provides the only way of justification and salvation for all who believe. Any who attach additional works of man as a requirement for salvation are false in that they infer Jesus' death is insufficient in and of itself to save and that human beings somehow have the capability to save themselves.

Grace Plus Nothing: We believe that it is only by grace through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus that one is justified and receives salvation. It is heretical to add any additional requirements to God's grace, or to claim that certain prayers, water baptism, baptism of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, or any other human work is essential for salvation.

Accepting the Sinner, Denouncing the Sin: We believe that no sin is too big for God to forgive. Therefore, as Christians we should be open and eager to share the Gospel with everyone regardless of their sin or affliction. However, making Jesus Lord of our lives means striving towards holiness and turning from our sinful ways. Therefore, while being open to all sinners, Christians ought not accept, ignore, or promote any sin as permissible.

Non-Essential Elements: We believe the above tenets make up the basis of Christian faith on which all Christians believe and agree. We also realize that many aspects of God's nature including His omnipotence, omniscience, holiness, and tri-unity are beyond human understanding, and have therefore intentionally omitted any statements regarding areas of legitimate disagreement (i.e., baptism, predestination, end times) on which agreement is not essential for salvation.