First off, Happy 4th of July to my American buddies. Some of the Korean-Americans in Sydney had a nice BBQ dinner last night to celebrate the birthday of the good 'ol US of A. And also Happy Canada Day to my Canadian buddies. I think it was last week (?) :P Oh Canada.
Happy USA and Canada Day
Happy USA and Canada Day
Matt, Paul and I (pictured above) had a nice lunch last week to catch up on things and to talk ministry. They both started seminary and I've been enjoying the new questions they have now that they're starting to get their feet wet a bit more in ministry. I'm very hopeful for the future of the Australian church with a whole new generation of ministers being raised up in this country. May their passion be pure and may Christ be their everything.
The latest sermon has been uploaded to my podcast and you can download the sermon outline here. I'm also in the middle of trying to organize the past sermons a bit better - by text and hopefully by topic in the near future. It's located in a new link I made called sermon archives. I only have the Ruth series and some of the 1 Timothy there right now, but my goal is to get everything there eventually (MP3 and outlines).
I don't know why I'm like this, but I always want to keep organizing things more and end up spending so much time trying to think of more efficient and effective ways to access information. Anyone else like this? I'd love to talk through organizational systems with someone ... anyone? :P Anyways ...
With the possibility of moving back to America becoming more of a reality (after leaving the US over 12 years ago!), each day is filled with so many mixed emotions. I get excited at the thought of living closer to friends and family members that I haven't seen in years (and in some cases decades!), celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas again ... and a new vision of seeing the Kingdom of God grow in a new city. But also, it makes me appreciate every friendship and partnership that God has blessed me with here in Australia over the past 6 years. So much has happened ... and so much is yet to come.
But ultimately, with faith, I'm always excited about the next adventure God has in store for me. Throughout my life, whenever God led me to a new country ... though I was nervous at first, God blessed me in ways I could have never imagined.
USA. God raised me, saved me and called me into ministry in this country. I'm thankful God brought our family here on July 4, 1976 (USA's 200th birthday!). It freaks me out to think about how different my life and faith would have been if it wasn't on this path of grace God led me on in the city of Chicago (baby!). It was through my youth group days that I tasted the joy of salvation and first got my itch for ministry. This is where it all began.
Canada was one of the happiest times of my life ... and it was a place of healing for me, a place of falling in love with learning (and books!) and a place where the community gave me a taste of heaven - it was amazing. And by far, the most beautiful place to be and enjoy God's creation (as long as it's not raining!)
Korea expanded my vision for His Kingdom, challenged me in ministry like never before, and pushed me to grow in every area of my life, while gaining a heart for the nations by meeting wonderful people from all over the world.
Australia expanded the capacity of my heart to embrace people for life and be willing to lay down my life for the flock that was entrusted under my care. I was ready and more than willing to lay down my life for my family at New Life. I love them so deeply. And I could never trade the joy of seeing so many lives change ... to see lives fall in love with our Savior and have Christ be their everything.
So though I didn't know those things would happen before I went to each place, I'm glad that they did. And in light of God's goodness in my past, I'm can look to the future with equal expectation and excitement, knowing that He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ. And for this moment now, to be thankful, content and happy to be in His presence. Peace.
The World As Best As I Remember It, Volume 1
By Rich Mullins
Step By Step (O God You Are My God)