Kick Off

It’s been a little while since I’ve been available to keep the weblog up-to-date. The reason for this has been the business of work at this time of year and a couple of conferences I’ve attended over the last two weekends. God is good and has sustained Emma and I in this time. I feel quite well and energised for the year. I’ve been excited and encouraged by the great teaching I’ve been hearing recently, and I’m looking forward to leading and encouraging students in service of Christ.
I referred in my previous post to the Leadership Training Conference (LTC) held in Cooma 2 weekends ago. This was a great time, I think that its the best value for money conference in NSW at the moment. There were only about 40 delegates and about 20 leaders. The leaders were drawn from the pastoral staff and trainees from a wide group of churches – throughout Southern NSW and the ACT. The leaders are a quality group of people with incredible experience and training ability. To have a 2:1 ratio of leaders to delegates means that there is a huge amount of time for quality input to each individual. This year the conference broadened from its focus on Youth Ministry to all forms of lay leadership in the Church. The main aim of the conference is to equip people with the tools to teach the Bible in a faithful expository manner to a wide variety of people. I think that it achieves this aim brilliantly.
LTC was also a time to renew friendships with others in ministry around our region. This makes it a refreshing time and when combined with the great Bible teaching by the conference speakers, makes it better than a holiday.
The conference talks were on 2 Chronicles and Hebrews, by Mark Short and Simon Flinders respectively. Both speakers revealed treasures that I hadn’t seen in these books before. I had never studied the book of Chronicles before in detail and was greatly encouraged by this insight into another gem of God’s word. Simon Flinders modeled great Bible teaching with his clear, succinct style. It was great to hear him and think of how I could improve my preaching.
Praise God for a great time. If you’re in the ACT region next January make sure you come!!
This past weekend has been the annual Riverina Christian Convention in Tumut, NSW.
Emma and I attended, along with my parents and the rest of my family (except my younger brother). It was a special time, the convention was one of the highlights of the year when I was a young teenager growing up in Tumut. This year my Dad was invited to speak. Seeing him, and being able to share with people who had been impacted by his ministry gave me solid joy. The convention has been running for decades – one person there had been in attendance since 1961. God’s faithfulness in preserving his people and keeping them for Himself over generations was a great encouragement. We saw lots of old friends and enjoyed spending time at favourite haunts, swimming, picking blackberries, eating out. It was an ideal summer holiday.
Simon Manchester was the other speaker on the convention, he opened the book of Job for us. I was completely spun around by the new things I learned about Job and through that about the character of God. I have studied the book a number of times but never been given such useful keys to understand it. I hope to spend more time this year working through in detail what I have learned. Perhaps there will be some Bible studies up here soon.
This week is our Crossroads/FOCUS staff orientation on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday/Thursday is our FOCUS Vision Days with the returning students. Friday is a ministry training day on Evangelism. It is a very busy time. Pray that God sustains us, we know that He will.
I’m reading the book of Philippians at the the moment. I love this verse:

Philippians 3:10-12
10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

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