Archive for December, 2012

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Where would you like to live?

Here are some of the most exclusive addresses in the world.

Beginning with the most luxurious hotels on earth, and concluding with some royal palaces.

1. Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabipalace 1

Costing approximately $3 billion to build, Emirates Palace has 394 rooms and suites, 40 meeting and conference rooms, a white sand beach, a myriad of pools and fountains, a sumptuous spa, marble imported from 13 different countries and over 1,000 crystal chandeliers. It’s like a small pleasure fortress that also boasts the most prestigious marina development in the Middle East. Royalty, or those who want to feel like it, can luxuriate in one of the many palace suites, all with lavish surroundings that would befit a Sultan of old yet with enough modern amenities to please today’s top tycoons.



2. Mardan Palace Hotel, Turkeypalace 2

Built by Russian Billionaire Telman Ismailov in 2009 to the tune of $1.65 billion, the Mardan Palace Hotel in Antalya, Turkey boasts the largest swimming pool in the Mediterranean (fits 1,000 guests) and is touted as one of the most elite luxury hotels in Europe. Beyond the sinfully sumptuous suites and jaw-dropping interiors of gold leaf, crystal, and Italian marble, there are also ten dining spots, 17 bars, a lavish spa and a sunken aquarium full of exotic fish. 9,000 tons of white sand was flown in from Egypt for the beach alone. 24/7 personal butler service is also included.



3. Burj Al Arab Hotel, DubaiPALACE 3

Built to resemble a billowing sail, the stunning architecture of Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai makes it one of the most photographed in the world. All rooms are luxurious suites spanning two floors with state-of-the art everything and incredible views. And beyond the unique over-the-top amenities like the attached heliport and hovering tennis courts, there is a vast array of futuristic dining and nightlife options. Their guest care is also seriously intensive. Upscale extras include in-suite check-in, 24/7 personal on call butlers, and a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce fleet, all catering to an extremely well-heeled VIP clientele that often includes royalty.

4. The Plaza, New York Citypalace 4

Though the Big Apple has many legendary and swanky hotels, The Plaza is often the top choice for visiting VIPs especially for its Royal Plaza Suite that boasts the best views of Manhattan. The three-bedroom/three-bathroom suite is styled in the most opulent of old world charm with a formal dining room, a library, a gymnasium, a grand piano, full kitchen (for personal chefs), and a butler’s pantry, and is serviced by its own private elevator. Butler service is also included. Built in 1907, the iconic structure was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1969.

(Photo: www.theplaza.com)

5. Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamaspalace 5

Built in tribute to the legendary lost city, Atlantis Paradise Island is a 141-acre waterscape and touted as the premier luxury resort destination in the Bahamas. But it’s their Royal Towers Bridge Suite on the 23rd floor that really pulls out ALL the swanky stops. It spans ten plush rooms topped by 12-ft. ceilings and full length windows and includes a grand piano, twin entertainment centers, a formal dining room with a 22-karat gold chandelier, whirlpool tubs, and more… plus a permanent staff of seven to cater to your every whim and fancy.




6. Palms, Las Vegaspalace 6

The Las Vegas Palms is famous for high roller living, and what better way to really indulge in Ls Vegas than laying back in one of their luxury rooftop suites like the  Sky Villa. It holds up to 250 people for a get-together and boasts a massive rooftop Jacuzzi hanging over The Strip. A private glass elevator, rotating bed, gym, sauna, media room, full bar and more make these swanky digs a spot to fulfil the fantasy of living in the style the world’s most famous VIP is accustomed to.




7. Secrets Marquis, Los Cabospalace 7

Inspired by a celestial legend of two angels seeking paradise on earth, the spectacular lobby of Secrets Marquis Los Cabos opens out onto the wildly restless sea like a temple to its creation. Gorgeous specially commissioned sculptures, massive waterfalls, spectacular infinity pools, and a lovely serene spa set the stage where VIPs love to come and play. (George Clooney’s beach villa is next door.) Luxurious rooms boast balconies where you can often spot migrating whales, and there are also private villas with personal dipping pools. This is where many foreign dignitaries are staying for the G20 conference in Cabos.

8. Taj Mahalpalace 8

In 1631, Shah Jahan, emperor during the Mughal empire‘s period of greatest prosperity, was grief-stricken when his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birth of their 14th child, Gauhara Begum

This palace was built to be a mausoleum for the wife who died. It was never meant to be lived in but to be a remembrance of  the Shah’s wife who died.



 9. The Palace of the Sultan of Bruneipalace 9

As monarch he is both the nation’s head of state and its head of government. He is one of the world’s wealthiest people and a contender for the title of wealthiest reigning monarch, and is known for having the world’s largest royal palace and the world’s largest car collection.




10. The Stable and Manger where Jesus was born.palace 10

Christmas is all about Jesus being born.

Without that event we would be at work on Tuesday this week!

The origins of Christmas celebrations stem from a decision in 354 AD to celebrate the birth of Christ on the winter solstice which was about December 25. There was no way of accurately determining the exact date of Christ’s birth so this date was settled as far back as 354AD.

You can call it happy holiday if you want but it’s a celebration of Christ’s birth and can’t ever get away from that. Christmas means Christ’s Mass.

So when Jesus showed up, he was coming as the son of the living God. He was born of a virgin. This fulfilled a 700 year old prophecy: Isa 7:14  Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us].

When Jesus was born, don’t you know God could have organised that he be born in the most exclusive palace on earth? Why was the King of Glory, the creator of the universe born is such lowly circumstances?

Philippians gives us the answer: Php 2:5  Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:]

Php 2:6  Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained,

Php 2:7  But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being.

Php 2:8  And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!

Php 2:9  Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name,

Php 2:10  That in (at) the name of Jesus every knee should (must) bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

Php 2:11  And every tongue [frankly and openly] confess and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (AMP)

As part of what Jesus did to completely redeem mankind He did two things.

  1. Destroy pride which caused the fall of man, it was pride also which caused the fall of Satan
  2. Become completely poor in order that we can be made rich in Him.

The first Adam fell through pride. If you eat of this tree you will become wise like God. So Adam chose the course of pride – I know best, I know more than God, I want to be like God. So he took and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (Gen 3:6)

Jesus the second Adam had to redeem mankind. (Romans 5:15-19)

For Jesus to rescue mankind He could not come and be born at Holiday Inn.

He could no be born in a home as person,

He could not be born in a field as a traveller caught unawares, He had to be born in a place too lowly for ordinary man – the place made for animals.

He humbled Himself, He was not forced. He chose to give up his God kind of rightful dignity and privileges, to completely empty Himself for us. To become a slave, to free the captives, to become poor in order than we could be enriched in all things; to be emptied Himself so that we could be filled.

The manger was not a place of convenience, it was not a substitute for an unavailable babies crib, it was essential for the plan of God set down from the beginning of time.

No wonder the angels sang: Glory to God in the highest!

Humility is the trademark of God’s Son and is now the trademark of all his sons and daughters.

Jas_4:6  But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it). [Prov. 3:34.]

Jas_4:10  Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant].

1Pe_3:8  Finally, all [of you] should be of one and the same mind (united in spirit), sympathizing [with one another], loving [each other] as brethren [of one household], compassionate and courteous (tenderhearted and humble).

1Pe_5:5  Likewise, you who are younger and of lesser rank, be subject to the elders (the ministers and spiritual guides of the church)–[giving them due respect and yielding to their counsel]. Clothe (apron) yourselves, all of you, with humility [as the garb of a servant, so that its covering cannot possibly be stripped from you, with freedom from pride and arrogance] toward one another. For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful)–[and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble. [Prov. 3:34.]

1Pe_5:6  Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you,


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The Answer No. 4

How many times in life have you been faced with a problem and thought, “Why am I the one who has to fix this? I could just walk away.” However, you believe that you are the one that must take responsibility for this one and so you begin the journey of discovering what the answer is.

Have you ever been in the situation of making plans and later finding conditions have changed? What you thought would be easy is now not happening. You’ve got a problem.

Sometimes life makes a U turn right in front of you and there was no indicator!

Like a friend of mine who who’s brother took a drug overdose and ended up a quadriplegic. His parents were not well enough to take care of him so my friend took ten years out of his life to become a carer for him. That’s a 24 hours a day life change.

How do you get through a problem like that?

Like the time we decided to move from Brisbane to Melbourne to plant a new church and the week we left, the sale on our house in Brisbane fell through, the market went flat and we ended up paying rent in Melbourne and a mortgage in Brisbane with no income.  How do you fix a problem like that?

When life hands you a problem; Jesus is the answer.

There are only two reasons life hands you a problem. The first is so you can find Jesus and the second one is so you can get to know Him better; that is, grow your faith.

It’s all about faith. God wants you to learn faith; that is the constantly abiding trust that God is in control and He has taken care of everything.

I didn’t say there would be no pain, but there will be answers and growth and joy.

Let’s look at the day Jesus handed a problem to His disciples.

Mat 14:13  Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.

Mat 14:14  When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

Mat 14:15  Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”

Mat 14:16  But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.”

Mat 14:17  They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.”

Mat 14:18  And he said, “Bring them here to me.”

Mat 14:19  Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.

Mat 14:20  And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over.

Mat 14:21  And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. (ESV)

Circumstances of life are constantly changing. A great friend of mine has a saying that I think is true: “Constant change is here to stay” Life just presents problems all the time. You can complain, but it won’t change anything. You can grow and that makes you a bigger person to handle the next challenge or problem. When you were a small child you handled it without stress; every time you fell over when trying to learn to walk you just got right back up and tried again. Every time you fell off that bike you had a bit of a cry, dusted yourself off and hopped right back on again and had another go. Now you’re older and wiser, when things go pear shaped, you whinge and complain and blame the government, your spouse and the economy and give yourself an excuse to stop trying.

I want you to notice something about this story. The crowd has been listening to Jesus all day…. That’s a long sermon. Wow, these people were hungry for spiritual truth. How hungry are you? But that’s not what I’m asking you to notice. The disciples are the ones who say to Jesus “Hey these people are hungry we need to send them to the shop for a burger. They were well trained in the Workplace Health and Safety requirements to ensure good practice!

So Jesus hands the problem back to them. “No, you feed them” Jesus hands them the problem knowing full well that He is the answer to their problem. He doesn’t just say to His disciples. “Hey let’s feed these people, go find anything you can and I’ll make it multiply. Watch this!”  If He did that people would be impressed but they wouldn’t learn what He wants them to learn. And that is: dependence on Jesus. In the same story told in the book of John it says as much.

Joh 6:5  Jesus looked up then, and seeing that a vast multitude was coming toward Him, He said to Philip, Where are we to buy bread, so that all these people may eat?

Joh 6:6  But He said this to prove (test) him, for He well knew what He was about to do.

Joh 6:7  Philip answered Him, Two hundred pennies’ (forty dollars) worth of bread is not enough that everyone may receive even a little (AMP)

When a problem comes your way in life, it’s opportunity. The problem isn’t from God, the answer is from God. In this story Jesus didn’t create the problem. The situation arose through people wanting more of Truth. Then the disciples recognised – we have a problem. However, Jesus plans through every problem to make you grow and find Him in a deeper way. What He wants you to learn is to trust Him for the answer, and don’t slide into blame, complain and despair.

In this story the disciples recognise the need. These people need food. Jesus throws the responsibility for the problem right back on them. “You feed them.” Now they discover resources are not adequate. In life resources will never be adequate. When the problem comes, it’s a problem because the resources aren’t adequate. So the process Jesus wants you to learn is this.

  1. Take responsibility for the answer
  2. Take stock of what resources you have
  3. Give those meagre resources to Him
  4. Trust Him for the complete answer.

Simple right? When King David of Israel faced this issue in 1 Samuel 30:1-6 He learned that even his most faithful supporters turned against him in his moment of greatest need. When the problem – make that challenge – comes your way; it’s often the case that all your normal leaning posts will fall over. Everything you could look to for support and strength seems to disappear. Why is that? God wants you to come to the place where He, and He alone, is your answer.

In the midst of your reality, that is the reality of your problem, you need to remind yourself that He is with you. Isa 43:1  But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

Isa 43:2  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. (ESV)

If you are facing mountains too high for you – Jesus is the answer. Each challenge is an amazing opportunity to find a new level of trust and faith in Jesus and see the answers come through. Why did Jesus say? :Mat 17:20  He said to them, Because of the littleness of your faith [that is, your lack of firmly relying trust]. For truly I say to you, if you have faith [that is living] like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

Surely the most impossible task for any person would be to move a mountain. Yet twice Jesus says to His disciples speak to the mountain, and expect it to move. No matter how big your problem is the only question is will you trust Jesus for the answer?

Jesus is the Answer for everything you face in life. Learn to totally trust in Him and rely on Him.

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It’s Christmas – End the war!reason-for-the-season

It’s Christmas time! It is the celebration of Jesus birth. Just as it was about to take place, God had something to say…

Luk 2:13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

Luk 2:14  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (MKJV)

So often it isn’t peace among men, but war. There are bitter disputes in all places between all ages and all ethnicities. God sent Jesus to earth to end the hostility between God and Man.

Rom_5:10  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

After this, as men became persuaded of this salvation, then they took on a new heart and a new way of relating to others. Now, through Jesus own command, His people must…

Luk 6:35  But love your enemies and be kind and do good [doing favours so that someone derives benefit from them] and lend, expecting and hoping for nothing in return but considering nothing as lost and despairing of no one; and then your recompense (your reward) will be great (rich, strong, intense, and abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind and charitable and good to the ungrateful and the selfish and wicked. (AMP)

Mat 5:44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (KJV)

There is a place for self defence. All that is precious must be protected. Thank God we have a police force and the courts system that brings justice, however flawed they are; without them we would have anarchy that would make life unliveable. However, beyond that, Jesus asks us as Christians Rom 12:18  If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

One day a along time ago, men who had been at war with each other put down their weapons and gave one another gifts. These men were fighting in World War I and one night their feelings for their enemy changed and their actions were reversed and a complete change took over their lives.

What was the catalyst for this remarkable change? Christmas!

“Though there was no official truce, roughly 100,000 British and German troops were involved in unofficial cessations of fighting along the length of the Western Front.[8] The first truce started on Christmas Eve, 24 December 1914, when German troops began decorating the area around their trenches in the region of Ypres, Belgium.[9]

The Germans began by placing candles on their trenches and on Christmas trees, then continued the celebration by singing Christmas carols. The British responded by singing carols of their own. The two sides continued by shouting Christmas greetings to each other. Soon thereafter, there were excursions across No Man’s Land, where small gifts were exchanged, such as food, tobacco and alcohol, and souvenirs such as buttons and hats. The artillery in the region fell silent. The truce also allowed a breathing spell where recently killed soldiers could be brought back behind their lines by burial parties. Joint services were held. The fraternisation carried risks; some soldiers were shot by opposing forces. In many sectors, the truce lasted through Christmas night, but in others it continued until New Year’s Day.[7]


Here’s a clip from a movie called “Joyeux Noel” that told the story of this remarkable ceasefire.  http://youtu.be/CW2mGdiu8Uk

These soldiers were trained to kill. They truly believed that it was their duty to kill men from the opposing army. If they could kill many enemies and get home alive; that was very good, but if not, they were prepared to lay down their lives for their country. If men engaged in a bloody warfare can be so changed by recognition of what Christmas is all about, then surely we can look at Christmas through God’s eyes and call an end to the war we have had with others.

Are there people in your family that you have been at war with? Have you been hostile in word or deed with anyone in your world? Think about the thoughts that go through your mind at times when you’re thinking of those who feel badly towards. Those unkind thoughts, those accusations, that feeling of revenge; the lack of kindly plans toward them; are all evidence of something that can and must change.

If these men in WWI can rethink to the extent that they forgot that they were enemies for just one night- then why cant you? Most likely you haven’t had a gun fired directly at you from your people; nor have you seen your best mates carried off in a body bag. For most of us, what we have endured has been some unkindness, some bad words, some persecution or theft. Has your pain been of the order of these soldiers?

And yet they left the hostility and laid down their arms and celebrated Christmas. The really sad part of this story is that when the truce was over, they went back to business as usual, and began shooting each other. But this is not how it must be. The peace you create with those you have been hostile towards can be a lasting peace. It doesn’t have to be Christmas cards at 50 paces for ever!

How could this tradition of Christmas be so powerful? The reason is Christmas speaks so eloquently of God’s love and His gift to us all. Jesus – unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. Can we see ourselves as we really are? Can we see that our potential to hurt is the same as any other man; can we see that we have affronted God’s grace with our thoughts of evil? That we are as guilty of offence as any perpetrator is?  Can we see that we need the mercy of God to deliver to us this roughly gift wrapped package of forgiveness that was laid in a manger, for us, so undeserved and matched only by our need.

Thank God for Jesus – the reason for the season.

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The Answer No. 3 Jesus is the answer when you are sick.mum and child

When sickness strikes a family, the struggle can be enormous. Have you experienced the feeling of helplessness that comes when someone you love is very ill and you wish you could do more for them? Pain can take over your life and render you unable to function properly. Illness is costly in so many ways; the suffering, the loss of function and productivity, the stress of coping and the financial costs are all huge and debilitating.

People are living longer these days. Since the 70’s life span averages in Australia have increased by 10 years. Yet there’s a far greater load on the health system than ever before. The rates of heart disease, stroke and diabetes are rising all the time. Alzheimer’s disease is rising rapidly even in the lower age brackets. In spite of incredible advances in medical science; sickness is more prevalent than ever. No doubt our unhealthy life styles including lack of exercise, poor nutrition, and over eating have led to obesity and illness. Stress levels are rising (See the previous blog) pollution and contaminants are poisoning our air and water; and processed food adds little of the food value we once enjoyed. There is so much need in human lives even in this great country of Australia.

Jesus is the answer. All the way through the gospels we see Jesus healing people at every turn. He is still the same today. He never changes; He is the same yesterday today and forever. Heb_13:8  Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages). (AMP)

So many people don’t come to Jesus for healing of their physical bodies because they think that this is only available through faith and they just don’t have faith. I’m here to tell you today Jesus does heal through faith but you have faith. It’s part of your capacity as a person created by God. Jesus said: Mat_17:20  He said to them, Because of the littleness of your faith [that is, your lack of firmly relying trust]. For truly I say to you, if you have faith [that is living] like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. (AMP)

Many others don’t come to Jesus for healing because they mistakenly believe that healings and miracles only took place in Jesus day and are not for today. These wrong ideas come from erroneous teaching, and rob people of the answers available to them.

Still others don’t come to Jesus for healing because they don’t know anything about it and that it is available. We see people healed often in our local church. We have seen and experienced miracles as people have prayed and trusted in Jesus’ power.

An Australian preacher who has great success praying for the sick is John Mellor who comes each year to this church and we experience healings and miracles as Jesus touches peoples lives. John has placed many of the miracles on Youtube as testimony to the miracle power of Jesus to heal. You can check them out here: https://www.youtube.com/user/JohnMellorMinistries

Jesus is the answer for you today. If you or your loved ones are experiencing sickness in your bodies Jesus can heal you. He is the answer. Let’s look at one of the most inspiring stories in the gospels about healing.

Mat 15:22  And behold, a woman who was a Canaanite from that district came out and, with a [loud, troublesomely urgent] cry, begged, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is miserably and distressingly and cruelly possessed by a demon!

Mat 15:23  But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, Send her away, for she is crying out after us.

Mat 15:24  He answered, I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Mat 15:25  But she came and, kneeling, worshipped Him and kept praying, Lord, help me!

Mat 15:26  And He answered, It is not right (proper, becoming, or fair) to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.

Mat 15:27  She said, Yes, Lord, yet even the little pups (little whelps) eat the crumbs that fall from their [young] masters’ table.

Mat 15:28  Then Jesus answered her, O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you wish. And her daughter was cured from that moment.

In this story Jesus goes to a part of Israel which is a sea port on the Mediterranean Sea. There were in these regions obviously many people who were not of Jewish origin. Yet as with people every where it was sickness that brought this woman to Jesus. There was a great need in her life; her little daughter was very, very sick and she needed a miracle. Have you ever had a child who was very sick? I’m sure you felt that you would do anything to see them helped.  This mother was desperate find help for her daughter. She had heard about Jesus and His miracles and she just decided that she was going to get one of those for her daughter.

The problem was: Jesus was on a mission to bring the message of God’s love and power to the Jewish people first and then have His disciples take it to the rest of the world later after He had died and rose again. So in effect this woman was asking for a miracle about two years too early. This wasn’t some arbitrary idea of Jesus to be exclusive with the Jews, He was fulfilling a promise God made long ago to Abraham and his offspring that He would bless the whole world through them.

But this woman would not be put off. She refused to take no for an answer. And she got her miracle. Jesus said it was faith that gave her the miracle. We look at that exchange and we see a woman who seemed to make a clever deduction about what Jesus was saying, but Jesus saw her faith, it was that determination and that persistence that won through. Is your faith like that? So often we have negative feelings and we just want to give up. There will always be big obstacles to your miracle just as there was for this woman. Your obstacles might be:

  1. It’s never happened before to me.
  2. What would my family say if I received a miracle at a church?
  3. My doctor said there is no cure
  4. We already prayed and nothing happened.

I could go on ad on. But this woman was so determined to receive that she just kept on asking and asking of Jesus. Mat 7:7  Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. (AMP)

You may say “Yes, but Jesus was physically there, He had to deal with it. I can’t see Jesus. I don’t know if He can hear me. It’s not the same”  Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever, when he had died rose again and ascended into heaven His disciples healed people everywhere. Act 3:6  But Peter said, Silver and gold (money) I do not have; but what I do have, that I give to you: in [the use of] the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!

Act 3:7  Then he took hold of the man’s right hand with a firm grip and raised him up. And at once his feet and ankle bones became strong and steady,

Act 3:8  And leaping forth he stood and began to walk, and he went into the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. (AMP)

Jesus is still healing people all over the world. Just watch a few of those John Mellor videos to inspire your faith. There’s about 2000 of them on that youtube channel. Perhaps you will say to me, “yes but I have no faith, it can’t happen for me!”

Don’t give up. Come to Jesus, He will meet your need, be persistent and determined. Luk 18:1  ALSO [Jesus] told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not to turn coward (faint, lose heart, and give up).

The opponents of healing and miracles will tell you about people who prayed like crazy and didn’t get healed as if this was evidence that no one will get healed. This kind of upside down logic, if applied to cars for example, means that if your car breaks down just leave it because someone once tried to get their car fixed and it didn’t work, so don’t even try and get yours fixed!  If there’s only one miracle in our day and age then it’s proof that it can happen. So if it can happen and you need a miracle why wouldn’t you go after it? Instead of looking at the ones who didn’t receive why don’t you look at the ones who did?

Jesus is the answer when you have a need. When you need a miracle or a healing, come to Jesus. Go find a church that believes in healing. Watch some of those John Mellor healing videos, read the gospels and get inspired. Go after it and don’t give up.

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The AnswerSTRESS

Stress is all too prevalent in the world today. In spite of all the advancement in medicine, education and health advice we face massively escalating levels of stress induced ill health.

Do you feel the pressure of life gets too much for you at times? You’re not alone; many feel like it’s getting too much to bear. Mental Experts say that stress levels amongst the general population today are equivalent to mental patients in the 1950-60s! http://tinyurl.com/a89hua9

I notice so often on game shows where the contestant is about to win some big money, the show host always asks what will you do with the money if you win? – The answer is almost always – take a holiday!

Do you find yourself feeling anxiety to the point of being unhappy? Do you suffer from the results of stress such as heart palpitations, mouth ulcers, skin rashes, tension headaches, stomach ulcers, neck pain, bad backs and on and on it goes.

Depression is huge in our society. I want help you today – Jesus can be your answer today if depression plagues you. The statistics are clear: “This year [2010] alone 1,000,000 people in Australia will experience a depressive illness.” http://mraact.org.au/2010/06/black-dog-r…
“Depression is the third largest individual health problem in Australia after heart disease and stroke.” http://www.blackdogride.com.au/view/red-…

“About 6% of [Australian] people will experience a major depressive illness in their lifetime. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 8 men will experience some form of depression during their life.”  http://mindframe-media.powersites.com.au…

What is it about our fast paced world we live in, that we have no place to de-stress? We live in a peace free zone that does not enable the majority of us the ways to find the life and peace that we so desperately need? Come on – how many of you have daydreamed about living on some tropical island paradise and totally veging out?

A study in England from June 2012 found that among people under 65, nearly half of all ill health is mental illness (http://tinyurl.com/d6azuzf). Yet only a quarter of all those with mental illness are in treatment, compared with the vast majority of those with physical conditions.

I want to help you to find out today that Jesus is the answer for you.

Jesus is the answer to the stress and pressure you feel today.

The bible predicts this kind of experience in the last days:

Luk 21:26  Men swooning away or expiring with fear and dread and apprehension and expectation of the things that are coming on the world; for the [very] powers of the heavens will be shaken and caused to totter.

Jesus faced the most horrific levels of stress imaginable and the result was he sweat great drops of blood. Here’s the story:

Luk 22:41  And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw and knelt down and prayed,

Luk 22:42  Saying, Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but [always] Yours be done.

Luk 22:43  And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him in spirit.

Luk 22:44  And being in an agony [of mind], He prayed [all the] more earnestly and intently, and His sweat became like great clots of blood dropping down upon the ground.

(Hematidrosis (also called hematohidrosis) is a very rare condition in which a human sweats blood. It may occur when a person is suffering extreme levels of stress, for example, facing his or her own death.[1] Several historical references have been described; notably by Leonardo da Vinci: describing a soldier who sweated blood before battle, men unexpectedly given a death sentence, as well as descriptions in the Bible, that Jesus experienced hematidrosis when he was praying in the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:44). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hematidrosis )

The stress that Jesus felt was through his task of bearing the sins of all mankind on himself. Would he succeed as a man? (Being essentially fully God and fully man) Would he be able to complete the task?  The fear He faced and overcame, was whether He would fail or not in His mission; not to mention the weight of all the sin of mankind about to be placed on Him; and the inevitable separation from the Father for a time. A very big outcome rested on His being successful in this mission. Yours and my salvation depended on it! He carried our sins and sicknesses on His body on the cross (1Pe 2:24  He personally bore our sins in His [own] body on the tree [as on an altar and offered Himself on it], that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed. (AMP))

The power of substitution.

All the way through the Old Testament God showed His acceptance of the substitute. God accepted the substitute of a lamb or a bullock as in offering to atone for or pay for the sins of a person who brought that animal to Gods altar of sacrifice. It was the innocent standing in the place of the guilty. Later Jesus became the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Because he carried our sins we don’t have to bear the judgement of them. Only if a person has faith in Jesus Christ, then they can claim the substitutionary death of Jesus as applying to them. In the same manner Jesus also carried our sicknesses in His own body on the cross. Mat 8:17  And thus He fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, He Himself took [in order to carry away] our weaknesses and infirmities and bore away our diseases.

Just as Jesus carried your sins and sickness on the cross, He also carried your stress and anxiety. By being so stressed and anxious Himself, He bore all the pains and stress and fear of failure that you will ever be faced with. In fact Isaiah tells us directly: Isa 53:5  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.

As a substitute for us, Jesus carried our stress and anxiety. The chastisement of our peace or the pain necessary to obtain our peace was given to Him. What He carried we don’t have to carry. Just as He carried our sins and He carried our sicknesses; so He also carried our stress and anxiety.

Through faith in Christ you can obtain the atonement of sins, the taking away of your sins. Through faith in Jesus Christ also you can receive healing for your infirmities. So then also in faith you can receive total peace in your mind and heart through Jesus Christ because he carried those things also. As our perfect substitute He paid the price for all that we need for complete salvation in our body soul and spirit. The healing of our minds or our soul is just as real as the healing of our body and heart. This life and this healing we have received is complete.

Do you know that Jesus knows your pain and stress levels intimately? He experienced all that you will ever experience and more. That is why He is compassionate and able to bring healing and life to you. Heb 4:15  For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning. Heb 4:16  Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favour to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]. Psa_94:19  In the multitude of my [anxious] thoughts within me, Your comforts cheer and delight my soul! (AMP)

So what does this answer look like? What is this peace that Jesus offers to us?

Here’s how the bible describes it: Php 4:6  Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.

Php 4:7  And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

What a beautiful picture of God’s help for you, that tranquil state of mind. It’s a kind of peace that will set up a protective wall around your life. It’s like a garrison around your heart and mind. It sounds awesome doesn’t it?

It’s obtained through faith; but let me share with you how to work with your faith to obtain real and lasting peace.

  1. Come to Jesus and see how big He is in comparison to your tiny problems. He created the whole universe and this world; isn’t  He big enough to take care of you?
  2. He is so vitally interested in you and loves you unreservedly, unconditionally. Luk 12:32  Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom!
  3. 1Pe 5:7  Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. [Ps. 55:22.] What this means is; you throw over, to cast upon; your cares; it implies a quick flip or toss of the cares and anxieties onto Jesus. This is about how you think on your problems. It’s about applying your faith to this change of thinking….. you can think differently because you have evidence now from God’s word that He cares for you; so you can give the worry and anxiety and stress over to Him.
  4. Now thank Him for every good thing. Phil 4:6….. with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. Thankfulness is very powerful in changing your thinking to receive God’s peace.

Reach out to Jesus today. Lean on Him with your mind and heart. Consider how much He loves you. He knows how to bring the answer to you. Jesus is the answer!

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The Answeranswer

Jesus is the only answer for your life

What are you searching for? What do you want from life? Are you sometimes wondering why life has brought you hardship and frustration? Did your life journey so far bring you to the real place of satisfaction that you longed for? Perhaps you’re feeling the pain of broken relationships. Has someone you love really let you down; and the pain of it still feels like a knife in your heart.

Families all over are hurting and broken, many have experienced marriage breakdown, love disappeared and sadness and pain took its place. So many kids grew up without a full-time dad, or seeing parents fight and argue.

For others; how you wish you had your health back, or maybe that slim figure that left you many years ago. One young woman I have talked to in the Police environment has struggled to recover from a stroke at the age of 35. It meant two years off work and now back in the job things are not the same. The memory and the emotional reactions to events is not the same. How frustrating it must be not to feel whole and healthy like she once was and with such a long life ahead potentially.

Let me share with you a story of someone who was searching for something and Jesus came along and gave her the very thing she longed for in her heart.

The story – John 4:1-42

Jesus encounters a woman at a well in Samaria.

At this encounter Jesus talks with this woman and gives her acceptance and an answer.

READ John 4:4-9

This is why I’m telling this story today, so that you can see the real Jesus reaches out to anyone and everyone. The way Jesus acceptance and love to provide a life giving answer for this woman shows just how Jesus operates.

He can make a difference in your life here today.

The thing that everyone seeks is real life, a thirst for freedom, joy, peace, strength, and to be loved and accepted.  We seek for it in money, in relationships, in positions of power, in drugs and alcohol, in the worship of many kinds. Yet for most there is a thirst that can never be quenched. For many there is never a place; to which having arrived we say; I am home, I have found what I searched for all my life, my search is over; I am saved.

Is there a thirst inside you today for something more in life than what you currently experience? Can’t put your finger on it? Does it just seem to you that life is supposed to be more than what you have, that there’s something that would all of a sudden lift you up and out into a new place of real fulfilment?

This woman was searching, she was thirsty, her life was a series of failures and sadness. When she grew up I doubt she planned to be married five times and then be with someone she wasn’t married to. Yet this thirst, created by disappointments and pain, was covered over by religious questions and resentments for how she was treated.

Deep down she longed for a kind of fulfilment that was a long way out of her reach. Enter Jesus, who offers living water, what is this living water? It takes a little while before she catches on what this really means.

Only through Jesus is this true life possible.

Joh 10:10  The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).

Joh 14:6  Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.

Jesus gives Living Water. He is the only answer to that thirst you feel deep inside for life and for acceptance and for hope. Life deals out some troubles and pain for so many lives. What pain and disappointments have you faced? It’s not just success that drives some people, there’s that desire for life – some kind of peace and joy that seems illusive.

In this story the Jews hated the Samaritans

From many causes arose an irreconcilable difference between them, so that the Jews regarded them as the worst of the human race Joh_8:48, and had no dealings with them, Joh_4:9.

Our Saviour, however, preached the gospel to them afterward John 4:6-26, and the apostles imitated his example, Acts_8:25. The gospel was, however, first preached to the Jews.

Nearly everyone is thirsty for this living water, but many push it away because of religious prejudices and resentments against churches, Christians and even God who they feel have been part of the problem. But today I want you to know Jesus is the only answer to your thirst.

The soul by nature is like such a desert, or like a traveller wandering through such a desert. It is thirsting for happiness, and seeking it everywhere, and he finds it not. He looks in all directions and tries all objects, but in vain. Nothing meets his desires. Though people seek for joy in wealth and pleasures, yet they are not satisfied. They still thirst for more, and seek still for happiness in some new enjoyment. To such a weary and unsatisfied soul the grace of Jesus Christ is “as cold waters to a thirsty soul.”

This woman eventually perceives that Jesus is a prophet; that is He knows stuff that no one else could know.  She jumps at her chance to clear up ticklish religious questions that have long bothered her community. She asks about worship – its a heart issue, its about the inner life, the inner world where we encounter God personally, not just as an observer. Worship will soon be not limited to one place but when the veil of the temple was torn in two the presence of God became available to all men everywhere.

Jesus was tired because of His journey, yet was still able to put others first. He cares about you today.  He asked her for a drink – to find out what’s in her heart. She was puzzled , “Why are you talking to me?”

Jesus demonstrated His love and total lack of prejudice by talking to and giving the good news to this woman from Samaria. The reasons why some people would have thought Jesus should not even acknowledge the woman of Samaria are:

  1. She was a woman – Jewish Rabbi’s are not allowed to converse with a woman.
  2. She was a Samaritan – The nations of the Jews and the Samaritans held a long and bitter feud so that no self respecting Jew would give the time of day to any Samaritan. The Jews who hated Jesus abused Him by calling him a Samaritan in John 8:48
  3. She was a sinner – This woman had previously had 5 husbands and was now living defacto – This was totally forbidden in Jewish law – punishable by death.

Jesus offers her Living Water, at first she doesn’t catch on, so Jesus says,  “Go call your husband” – just to see what’s in her heart. At this point she is amazingly open, truthful Then the bombshell – He knows everything about her. She is amazed, “OK you’re a prophet” – so now I want all my questions answered. But answering them is not what she really wanted… It’s this living water she needs.

God is seeking true worshippers. Real intimacy, real relationship, that’s where the truth lies, that’s where the living water is.

She asks, “I know the Messiah is coming and He will tell us all things. Then Jesus drops the next  Bombshell – I am He.

Just then disciples come back – it’s an inconvenient time… she’s at the point of revelation. Off she goes to tell the whole town – she’s convinced. The whole town hears – many believe just on her word. Jesus speaks of the harvest; people matter to God. The fruit of the crop is eternal life; for you God’s plan is your eternal life. Only one thing matters to God – people – you. Giving you living water. This is what you’re made for.

It doesn’t matter that she was messed up, it doesn’t matter that she was from a despised race, a marginalised minority, it didn’t matter that she was living in an unacceptable relationship according to Jewish law; Jesus accepted her and gave her living water. No matter what your life is about, no matter how messed up your past is, no matter how many times you have failed, Jesus loves you deeply, profoundly, endlessly. There is living water for you here today. Jesus is your answer. It’s not knowing some religious story, it’s meeting Jesus.

Lots of Samaritans believed through the woman’s word. They came out to see Jesus. When Jesus rolls up some people ask Him to go and some people ask Him to stay.

These ones asked Him to stay – will you? Many more believed, through Jesus word.

Jesus demonstrated complete acceptance of a race of people hated and despised by Jesus’ own race.

There’s no prejudice in Jesus. There’s only love acceptance and hope. Your search is over when you surrender your life to Jesus. It doesn’t happen when you find out who Jesus is – it happens when you realise He is the only  answer for you, and you’re willing to let go of every other counterfeit answer, every prop you’ve leaned on to fill the gap that never gave you what you truly needed and wanted  – living water.

Will you come to Jesus today, will you drink deep of His living water? Will you let Him accept you as you are right now and you accept Him as He is right now?

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