Category Archives: Australia

Australia: Land Down Under Water

All the flooding in Australia, Brazil and elsewhere has set me to pondering. We humans are an odd lot.  Even though we know better, we build our houses and cities on the slopes of volcanoes, in floodplains, below sea level, on top of fault lines and in the paths of bushfires, tornadoes and hurricanes. Every year tragedy strikes. Volcanoes erupt, rivers flood, fault lines shift, bushfires, forest fires, tornadoes and hurricanes leave a path of destruction. When it is over, we rebuild in the same dangerous places. We usually do this out of necessity…most of us can’t afford to live where we choose. We are fly-trapped by sticky financial necessity.

For example, If your job requires you to live in Los Angeles, San Francisco or some other shaky place, do you abandon your livelihood to seek terra more firma?

If the only place to grow your crops is on the slopes or in the vulnerable vicinity of Mt. Blowapart, do you give up farming to starve on safer ground?

If the only place to build a shelter is to squat on a dangerous piece of ground or be homeless, what would you do?

On the one hand, I feel little pity for the folks with funds to live where they want but build holiday homes on the beach and then get upset because a storm spoils their fun. And then they have the cheek to expect us to help them rebuild. I question the sanity of those who have the resources to reside above sea-level but choose to live below it. Those who carelessly and perilously build in the forest because they love trees must understand that they have surrounded themselves with flammable materials.

On the other hand, there are the disastrous floods in the states of Queensland and Victoria in Australia. I have been in some of these stricken areas in the last year. No one could have foreseen the unceasing deluge that has killed, destroyed and changed lives forever. The sheer size of the flooded areas boggles the mind.  But I know something of the Australian psyche. They may have to live in the same place but Australians are tough folks. They will mourn their dead and then get to work.  After reminding each other, “She’ll be right, mate!” they will sluice out the mud, rebuild and reclaim what they can. God bless them every one!

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Filed under Australia, Current Events, Natural Disaster, South Pacific

Satan, the Opportunist

“Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose…(Acts 6:1)”

“When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time. (Luke 4:13)”

Success for God is failure for Satan. He will oppose, in any way he can, the progress of the kingdom. We can count on it: when things are looking good, Satan is looking for an opportunity. And, being a thorough demon, he usually finds one.

The church in Jerusalem was enjoying a brief run of popularity. In spite of the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira, “…the people held them in high esteem. And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women were constantly added to their number” (Acts 5:13,14). Then, all Hell broke loose. The first trouble came from outside: the arrest and flogging of apostles with a warning to shut up about Jesus. Then it came from inside with a complaint of unfair distribution of food. When it originates inside the body our out, it is the work of our adversary. Satan will not abide such advancement since it means retreat for him.

It is highly dangerous to discount his ability to disrupt any forward movement on our part. He will shut us down us if we let him. It is wise to aware of his schemes and strategies and to be assured that he will employ them against us. The warnings are clear:

“Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity” (Ephesians 4:26,27).
“…so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11).
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:11).
“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

It is when disciples are growing numerically and everything looks good that we should be on guard. I have, with my own eyes, seen savage wolves filled with the lust for power, tear successful churches apart. The carnage is horrible.

In the case of Jerusalem, seven godly men were chosen to answer the complaint and the tables were turned on Satan. “The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7).

In Australia, several churches are making decisions and plans to recapture the purpose and mission of the church. God will surely bless such decisions but we must be warned: Satan is also making decisions and plans.

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Filed under Australia, church, Culture Wars, Devil, Ekklesia, Good & Evil, Jesus Christ, Kingdom Growth, Missions/Evangelism, morality, Preaching/Teaching, Religion, Salvation, Satan, South Pacific, Supernatural

Gone to Winter

If you’ve been a regular reader of this blog (and who, in their right mind, would not be?) you may have noticed a dearth (shortage) of postings. So, knowing that many, many people are wondering where I am, I feel called upon to inform both of you.

At the moment, I am in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Yes…the land down under. I left the Northern Hemisphere Summer for the Southern Hemisphere Winter. Australia is my “other country,” to which I make yearly trips. I lived here once and fell in love with the people and the land. So, it is a pleasure to return each year to visit friends and churches, do some teaching & preaching, eat Aussie tucker (food) and hear the birds sing. So far I have been to Sydney, Dungog, Maitland, Newcastle and Parramatta. In few days I will head back to Sydney, then Adelaide, then New Zealand and back to Sydney.

I left behind my beautiful wife, Charamon, the Charamon Garden and loving family for a seven-week sojourn. Preparation took a lot of time and precedence over blogging. Getting the garden ready to leave in the capable hands of my family took additional time.

A phone call to my son, Tim, reassured me that all goes and grows well back in the garden. A phone call to my parents (90 year-old father, 88 year-old mother) says they are doing OK (at those ages, good days are treasures) and a phone call to my wife assures me that she still loves me and is missing me. Well, the feeling is very much mutual!

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Filed under Australia, Blogs & Blogging, Home and Garden, Love and Marriage, Missions/Evangelism, Preaching/Teaching, South Pacific, Vegetable Gardening