Tag Archives: war

mmmm ecclesiastes 3 mmmm

mmmm Turkish Gozleme in Sydney mmmm

#Love to #eat multicultural #Aussie #food from #Asia!

Have you tried #Gozleme from Turkey?

Over the last decade in Sydney, this Turkish flat-bread has increased in popularity.

It is cooked in front of you with a choice of meat or vegetarian fillings.

These lovely Aussie-Muslim ladies from Turkey always serve me graciously.

Like most peaceful Aussies, they contribute greatly to multicultural Australian society.

But sadly peaceful Muslims face racial discrimination and xenophobia all over the world.

They are unfairly blamed for the Syrian War and extremist Islamic Terrorism.

Now the peaceful Muslim community in New Zealand has been attacked.

The world has been shocked by the Christchurch terror attack in March 2019.

2 mosques in Christchurch were attacked and 50 Muslims shot dead during Friday prayers [1].

This is easily the largest mass-shooting in New Zealand’s history.

Even peaceful New Zealand (far away from the Middle East) is not immune to terrorism.

This follows a terrorist attack in my home city of Sydney just over 4 years ago [2].

The visibly-shaken NZ Prime Minister condemned this unprecedented act of violence [3].

Regrettably the arrested gunman was a NZ resident originally from Australia [4].

This White-Australian (Anglo Saxon) is from rural Australia where there’s less cultural diversity.

However this is no excuse for his premeditated shooting of innocent victims.

Aged 28, this radicalised man posted a White Supremacist manifesto online.

This deluded man’s right-wing ravings have been linked to racist neo-Nazi groups [5].

I join with many globally in rejecting this racist ideology and condemning violence.

The time for killing, war and hate is over.

I hope and pray that this unfortunate event will not spark revenge attacks.

The time for healing, love and peace is now.

This week, I have been reading these verses from an Old Testament book:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes chapter 3 verses 1 to 8

From this book, this passage is probably what is most remembered by followers.

The author has the Hebrew pseudonym “Qoheleth”.

This may be translated into English as “Assembler” or “Teacher” or “Preacher” [6].

He suggests that human life consists of a series of major life events.

There appears to be a time and season for every human activity:
1. Birth
2. Death
3. Planting & Building
4. Laughter & Dancing
5. Weeping & Mourning
6. War & Hate
7. Love & Peace

In the context of the whole book, the author claims that life is “meaningless” [7].

The author despairs that all human activity is pointless because we all die anyway.

He observes that work is hard (toil) and we cannot take our money with us when we die [8].

Death is the same fate for everyone, no matter if you are rich or poor [9].

But death is not the end, there is a glimmer of hope:

He [God] has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men…

Ecclesiastes chapter 3 verse 11A

This may mean that God has placed a desire in our hearts to search for eternity beyond death.

In the context of “life is meaningless”, our hearts may also desire to know the “meaning of life”.

Philosophers have pondered the “meaning of life” for thousands of years.

The New Testament offers us the answer to “meaning of life and death”.

Viewing Ecclesiastes with the lens of the New Testament reveals:
1. The promise of eternal life [10]
2. Life after death [11]
3. Peace with God through Jesus [12]
4. God demonstrating His love by sending Jesus [13]
5. A place with Jesus in heaven [14]
6. The undeserved gift of salvation [15]
7. Salvation by trusting in Jesus [16]

Despite all the war and terrorism in our world, we can find peace with God through Jesus.

Unfortunately we cannot predict where war and terrorism will strike next.

But we can find hope knowing that life and death are not meaningless.

In life and death, the only true meaning is “Jesus”.

Leading up to Easter, let us reflect on God’s forgiveness and mercy.

Another glimmer of hope: Christchurch shooting survivor forgives his wife’s killer [17].

Questions to consider this Easter:

Do you think life is meaningless and then you die?
Do you know the promise of eternal life?
Are you at peace with God?
For followers: how is Jesus the “meaning of your life” in your daily activities?

 

Footnotes:

[1] ABC News online (originally published Friday 15 March 2019, updated Sunday 17 March 2019): “Christchurch shootings: what we know”
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-15/christchurch-shootings-what-we-know/10904982

[2] ABC News online (16 December 2014): “Sydney siege: Two hostages and gunman dead after heavily armed police storm Lindt cafe in Martin Place”
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-16/sydney-siege-gunman-two-hostages-dead/5969162

[3] ABC News online (15 March 2019): “Christchurch shootings mark ‘unprecedented act of violence’, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says“ including the Full Transcript of NZ Prime Minister’s press conference statement
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-15/christchurch-shootings-unprecedented-pm-jacinda-ardern-says/10904950

[4] ABC News online (18 March 2019): “Christchurch shooting investigation reaches NSW, police raid Brenton Tarrant’s sister’s house“
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-18/christchurch-terror-attack-investigation-prompts-nsw-raids/10910798

[5] ABC News online (17 March 2019, updated 18 March 2019): “Accused Christchurch mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant used same radicalisation tactics as Islamic State, expert says“
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-17/christchurch-shootings-brenton-tarrant-social-media-strategies/10908692

[6] Longman & Dillard (1994, updated 2011) An Introduction to the Old Testament: Ecclesiastes (IVP) p279

[7] Ecclesiastes chapter 1

[8] Ecclesiastes chapters 2 & 5

[9] Ecclesiastes chapter 7

[10] John chapter 3 verse 16

[11] 1 Corinthians chapter 15

[12] Romans chapter 5 verse 1

[13] Romans chapter 5 verse 8

[14] Ephesians chapter 2 verse 6

[15] Ephesians chapter 2 verse 8

[16] Romans chapter 10 verse 13

[17] BBC World News online (17 March 2019) Video: “Christchurch shooting survivor says he forgives his wife’s killer“
https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-47602781/christchurch-shooting-survivor-says-he-forgives-his-wife-s-killer

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm john 3 16 mmmm

Mmmm Sydney Italian Pasta Mmmm

In Australia, we have delicious European Food thanks to waves of migration!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College this semester, I’m eating big mouthfuls of the New Testament.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

Sydney has been shocked by another radical terrorist attack:

A 15 year-old boy targeted a Police station and shot dead a civilian employee.

America has been shocked by yet another mass shooting:

A 26 year-old gunman targeted a College in the US state of Oregon and killed 9 people.

The Syrian Civil War has claimed more than 200,000 lives since 2011.

Death tragically robs families of loved ones, often unexpectedly.

Is there any hope in our world so stained by death?

The verse above is the most famous and most quoted in the Bible.

Why? Because it sums up the message of the entire book so succinctly.

The Bible tells us that God created the world and mankind.

The devil tricked Adam & Eve into rebelling against God.

God punished them with death.

God still loved mankind and gave us a second chance.

He promised that 1 of Adam’s descendants would defeat the devil in the future.

The Old Testament follows these descendants such as King David in Israel.

King David ruled over a peaceful kingdom, but did not defeat the devil.

Within 2 generations this kingdom was divided and eventually invaded by Babylon.

Prophets predicted that a Saviour would redeem his people.

The Jews desperately wanted freedom and the restoration of their own kingdom.

Jesus was born during Roman occupation of Israel.

He did not defeat the Romans as the Jews expected.

Instead Jesus came to save the whole world by dying on a cross.

His death gives us life and signals the devil’s defeat is imminent.

Jesus will finally defeat the devil and eliminate the stain of sin and death.

This Earth with terrorism, mass shootings, wars and death will be destroyed.

Jesus offers eternal life and entry into God’s kingdom.

This offer is open to everyone in the world including the Jews.

We have the chance to live again after we die.

God will create a new Earth that will be free from pain and death.

How can you have hope while surrounded by death in this world?

What will happen after you die?

For Christians, do those around you know your hope for the new creation?

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mmmm romans 5 mmmm

Mmmm Chocolate Hot Cross Buns Mmmm

In Australia, we have access to awesome food!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College last semester, I ate big mouthfuls of the New Testament.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Romans 5:6-11

We know Easter is coming when all the stores start selling Chocolate Eggs & Hot Cross Buns.

Every year they start appearing earlier and earlier as retailers exploit this Christian holiday.

Sadly I saw eggs appear in January immediately after months of Christmas commercialisation.

Although eggs and buns are delicious, what is the real meaning of Easter?

The passage above is a great summary of the “Amazing Grace” of Easter.

Humans fight with God even though He lovingly created us.

We hate God and His name has become a common swear word in society.

We are at war with God and have become his bitter enemies.

As a result our world is in a mess: wars everywhere and environmental destruction.

How does God respond?

Instead of waiting for us to be his friends, he takes the initiative to reach out to us.

God demonstrated his amazing love for his enemies by sending Jesus to die on a cross.

Very rarely will anyone choose to die for anyone else.

Possibly you might choose to die for a good friend, but never your enemy.

We deserve to die for our own sins – our rebellion against God.

God sacrificed his own Son to die in your place to pay for your sins.

Jesus chose to die so that we can have peace with God.

God raised Jesus to life again as King of the Universe.

We can now have a real relationship with God.

At Easter we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus.

The amazing grace is the gift of eternal life that Jesus offers his enemies.

If we accept this gift, we can be friends with God.

If we reject this gift, we remain his enemies and face eternal death.

Are you at war with God by fighting or ignoring Him?

Do you want to be at peace with God and have forgiveness for your sins?

For Christians, do you think that the Jesus’ grace is the most amazing thing in your life?

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mmmm revelation 21 mmmm

Come for a delicious journey through God’s Word with a hungry Sydney Bible College student!

Do you hunger for something more filling than yumcha?

If so, read on ….

Revelation 21:1-4 (NIV 1984)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

What do you look forward to?

I look forward to actually meeting God face-to-face and living with him in his city.

Imagine a place where there is no:

  • War
  • Death
  • Sickness, Cancer, Arthritis
  • Pain
  • Mourning & Crying

Our current earth is only a shadow of things to come and we are only passing through. This is not our permanent home. There is something better to look forward to.

The problems of this world only serve as a reminder not to place our hope in our own abilities.

We cannot fix man-made Climate Change. Our world is dying from pollution. We haven’t cared for our world properly and face major environmental problems – erosion, deforestation, salinity & land degradation.

There has always been conflict in some part of our world as peoples war against each other. Today it is Syria & Afghanistan. Yesterday it was Iraq, Lebanon, Vietnam, Korea, Germany. There have been mass-shootings in the USA and Norway in the last few years. Recently, an innocent woman was brutally raped and murdered while walking home, shocking the city of Melbourne in Australia.

It is obvious that as humans we fail to control our world and find a solution to our countless social problems. There is crime, domestic violence, divorce, depression, homelessness & unemployment. We try to escape our problems by turning to alcohol and drugs. But this is no solution.

Wouldn’t you feel cheated if this is all the world had to offer you?

Jesus conquered death and offers us life with him. There is hope beyond this world. Our old world and its problems will disappear. It will be replaced with a beautiful new world.

mmmm Bible mmmm