Blippy things that go blip… and then save your life. (warning this post contains bruises)

I haven’t been on here for a little while.

I think I’ve started a couple of posts like that over the past few years. I feel like that person who announces that they’re back on twitter, right before they stop using it for the fourth time.

My absence this time is because I had this little box and wires put in my chest last Thursday afternoon. It’s a pacemaker.

Way back in July, we were away on a family holiday and I blacked out. No warning. Just blacked out. Thankfully I was sitting on our bed, so I didn’t hurt myself. Nothing else happened until the end of September when I blacked out again. I was at college. It was sunny, I had just had lunch. I was also sitting on a retaining wall. When I blacked out I fell backwards off the wall, hit my head, broke three toes and wound up in RPA for three days. They ran tests, and then they ran some more tests. I had an operation. No results came.

The decision was made that I would have a small device implanted into my chest that would constantly monitor my heart. I needed to blackout again. Awesome. Three weeks passed, and in the middle of a doctrine lecture, at exactly 11:31 am, something happened. My heart stopped. Completely. For 5 seconds. We didn’t find this out till a few weeks later, but the problem was worse then we originally thought.

My cardiologist looked at Kirsty and I and said, “Right, we need to get a pacemaker into you as soon as possible”. Plans were then made. Which resulted in last Thursday.

I’m so thankful for Drs, surgeons and engineers who care for people and make things like this that keep people alive. For friends who have made us so many meals and prayed. Also so very thankful for K, who is always by my side. But most thankful for our God who has sustained us and kept me safe over the last few months along with sending His son into this world to save it.

I’m sore and we’re tired, but I have been promised that I won’t blackout ever again. For this I am also very thankful.

p.s I’m not thankful for trainee pathologists who don’t know how to take my blood without creating these masterpieces. What’s the deal guys? Also, the Iron Man jokes are getting a bit old. 🙂

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Through the Bible, through the year with John Stott. (via @davemiers) #BibleStott

Kirsty and I are joining a bunch of peeps who are starting this bible reading plan this week. Wanna join us? This post was stolen (borrowed) from my mate Dave.

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I’ve been doing the same bible reading plan for the last 4 years. It’s time to mix it up a bit! So starting on September 1 I am beginning a 12-month reading plan written by John Stott. John Stott, who died at the age of 90 in 2011, is one of my favourite authors. I appreciate his clear, compelling and Christ-centred writing. His commentaries in the Bible Speaks Today series have been a particular help in preaching. The new reading plan is from a book Through the Bible, Through the Year with ‘Daily Reflections from Genesis to Revelation.’ Stott is the legend flossin the blue tracksuit and bird-watching binoculars in the pic below.

Key features

  • Read through an overview of the story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation
  • Each day has a short bible reading with a short devotional comment from Stott
  • Each day has a suggestion for further reading in the Bible
  • September until Christmas, read the Old Testament story from the creation until the coming of Christ
  • January through April, read the story of Jesus in the Gospels
  • May through August, read the story of Acts through Revelation

Get the reading plan

Keen to join in?

Doing physical exercise is often easier when you do it in a group. Likewise with spiritual exercise. A number of people have already indicated they’re keen. If you want to join in, let me know in the comments below. If you’re not sure, perhaps you could do the first two weeks for free and then make a decision.

#BibleStott

If you use Twitter, Facebook or Instagram – use the #BibleStott hashtag when sharing Bible verses or reflections of what you’re learning.

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‘To the Interior’, by David Thompson

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I have been thinking about storytelling recently. Partly because I really like preaching narratives, and I want to know how to convey stories better. I stumbled across this little poem about the time Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson crossed the great dividing range (The Blue Mountains). I think it’s fantastic.

You can hear David Thompson’s son, Jack, reading it here. [audio http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/local/sydney/201304/r1099828_13255273.mp3 ]

 

Trust us to learn the truth they said,
Lay of the land,
it’s soil, it’s vegetation, it’s watersheds and waterways

Thus with assurance,
shouting at their camels,
rearing their proud horses,
they started off.

And all that day,
the red cloud of their going was
pointed at across the dusty plain ,
by those who stayed behind,
and envied them.

Their creatures bore them patiently
into the thirsty waste,
which, as it widened
became more niggedly
and promised less.

The streams narrowed
and and ponds were smaller,
the bushes dwindles,
and the trees with spindlier,
the sparse grass hissed and rattled.

This they noted in their journals,
also the hot white sun,
the wildernesses of stone,
the tracks of sand,
the dryness of the air,
the flat horizons,
the blind white lakes of salt.

Onward, through melting mirages,
far past their lean provision for return,
they rode the endless level,
stone, sand, salt.

Until at length they cried,
‘soon it must change’,
‘it must end’,
‘it must soften’,
So with a desperate belief,
they hurried to reach the first oasis vale or foothill,
of whatsoever gracious and green region,
must lie before them.

Urgently they peered for frontier tents,
or huts for border trails
of whatsoever strange unheard of people,
Lovers of dancing and feasting,
faithful keepers of farms, roads, markets, hostelries and temples,
must dwell beyond the desert.

Surely a kingdom thriving and fruitful,
crowned with palaces of languid rajas,
dangling crimson birds,
of passionate noblemen,
and decked with gold.

Surely, a singing realm of waterfalls,
of friendly woods, orchards, and pleasances,
beyond the loneliness,
through which they laboured
blearing at each other
unable to croak farewell,
among the stone, the sand the silences,
their horses dying and their camels lost.

Until the silences the sand and the stone,
possessed them all,
and took them,
and absorbed them,
into the truth that they had dared to seek.

Being Christian and God’s Law

Law

This week at church we finished up a two week series with John Woodhouse, on ‘The Christian and God’s Law’. These two talks were outstanding, have a listen if you want.

Being Christian and God’s Law: Part 1 // Matthew 5:17-20

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (ESV)

 

Being Christian and God’s Law: Part 2 // Romans 6:15-23

15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (ESV)