During 2021 we did have family camp, on the theme of Hearing God. We built in family times to train, including times of solitude and silent listening for the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit. We were all met.
And about 40 people got to know each other better around the attractions of Busso.
During the year we were able to continue meeting with youth on Fridays, the Art club, various small groups, and continued our regular meeting together at the community hall. Gathering around the Gospel of John has been spiritually eye-opening - every chapter has more to say about how we should see spiritually. This isn't easy when our cultural default is materialism. We also found each section to have very specific implications, as if we had rigged the section to fit the circumstances, but the 12 month schedule had been planned mid year. God just knows what he's doing. It's our job to listen and do.
A core team of young adults joined OAC in delivering on the Worldview Australia camp in January. Another big success, and as we tune in it seems the Lord wants to duplicate the ministry with many young people interested in stepping in to various directing roles to enable another camp to begin elsewhere midyear. So we're working on that now.
Don't Squander Your Chance
For many this forced layoff is a chance to reset our priorities and activities. The decks have been cleared for us. So what shall we do with this time? First thought: have a rest! Yessss!!! Watch some movies, read some books, sleep longer…. Maybe get some jobs done, clean up, sort out… But after you’ve caught up, then what?
Well, what do you consider most important after all?
Now is a great chance to start doing what you really deep down want to do.
How about these top five practices for life:
5) Be generous with toilet rolls. If we don't share when we have, who can we ask when we need?
4) Spend quality time with the people in your household. Don't be isolated in your screens, make time to reconnect. Have dinner around the table; ask "what do you thank God for today?"; play a board game; do some craft; a jigsaw… google family fun ideas.
3) Reconnect with extended family and friends via calls or videolink.
2) Re-introduce yourself to God. Actually pray. Get to know him better. Day by day. (We can help with Core Stuff, and the Bookmark of HPOWER).
1) Meet for prayer, care and sharing around the Bible, in groups of 3-6, via videolinks if necessary, to actively grow in the Spirit, and share the love with others. (Cheers can help with this, and get you BOPping!)
This virus, now, is an opportunity for humanity to turn back to God. Let’s take it.
As Ferris Beuler famously said, Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.
I'm not panicking because my worldview is not limited to Naturalism. COVID-19, bushfires, climate change, etc. merely remind me of our mortality, and the bigger view of life. But Naturalism, which dominates Western public discourse - news and entertainment media, social media, politics, law - across Australia, NZ, USA, UK and Western Europe, has no bigger perspective. As such it's a worldview that generates the very fear, depression, and hostility we see with every reminder of how fragile we are.
Naturalism in a nutshell:
Naturalism is both shallow and brittle.
It's shallow because it rules out other dimensions, and disregards all non-physical phenomena observed.
In contrast the Biblical meta-narrative is deep and robust.
Don’t be put off by the shallow dismissals on public broadcast. Examine the Bible properly without prejudice against spirituality, and you’ll see why it stands the test of time as uniquely reliable revelation from The Creator to us. Unique because no other volume or corpus of texts has anything close to the following qualities:
- Reliable because the archeological and manuscript historical evidence is peerless concerning the Bible's preserved transmission from eye-witnesses to us.
- Revelation from God, because miraculously the over-arching Saviour-centred story is uniquely coherent and comprehensive, despite the diversity of 40 contributing authors across at least a 1600 year period.
.Plus it contains hundreds, even thousands of specific prophecies, many of which were fulfilled in later parts of the Bible, some of which are yet to be fulfilled in the yet-to-be-completed parts of the Story. Plus it claims to contain, and be, God’s word around 3000 times.
.Plus the meta-narrative combines with the readers’ realities to change lives for the better, right up to the present day. (I mean people can relate with the God of the Bible in the present!)
The Biblical meta-narrative is deep in that it accepts other-dimensional realities and interacts meaningfully and substantially with them.
Naturalism is a shallow and brittle worldview that discords with reality, and fragments society.
The Bible gives a deep and robust worldview that accords with reality, and unifies humanity under God.
Our public discourse needs to break out of its shallow, brittle naturalistic worldview. Otherwise it will keep covering up the BIG Story that these apocalyptic events are meant to uncover for us:
- that we are mortal, sin/self/satanic forces are bad, we need a Saviour. Leaving God was not progress.
- turn back, trust & tune in to the Creator, accept his salvation now and forever. In this true, deep and robust worldview, fear subsides, and we can live in courage & faith.
That’s why with all these fires, viruses, climate change... I'm neither panicking nor in denial. I know what to think when reminded of my mortality. Not only the creation, but we who have the first fruits of the Spirit also groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For we were saved with this hope in mind - Romans 8. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom - Proverbs 9.