Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Bold Faith

By the title of this article you may think that I am going to talk about becoming a bolder Christian. That would be a good guess considering that I am a Christian. Although I might get there, I am actually talking about the Islamic faith.
A few days ago I sat through a Ministerial Association meeting, strangely enough as I sat there I realized that we were talking more about the Islamic faith then we were talking about our own. To me this became a major reality check in how we as Christians can some times act. Don't get me wrong, the conversation was great. I learned a lot about Islam that I did not know, and discovered a few things about my faith along the way. One gentlemen in the room just got back from 11 years pastoring in the U.K. He was telling us that the area he was working in is predominately Muslim. The muslims that he talked to told him that they could not believe how soft Christians are. They would tell him, "if you have something that you believe in, then it is worth saying boldly." As I sat there I learned that the Muslim people are very up front with what they believe. They will get right to it and not back away. It has been predicted that the Islamic faith will be the predominate faith in all westernized societies within the next ten years.
Absolute truth is what they preach. That is why so many are turning to them. We, as Christians, are to soft. We believe that we have THE absolute truth. So why aren't we as bold as they are? Take what I have said to heart, but in context. I am not advocating the Islamic faith. They preach a message of peace, but truly want surrender, and submission to their way of life. But I do believe that we can take a page or two out of their book. We ought to claim the truth and preach it boldly.

"Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace."
Ephesians 6:14-15


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Wiatakere Ranges

Ryan and I took another amazing hike this past Friday on our day off. We are trying to make the most of our time here in NZ and see as much of this beautiful place as we can.
The hike was going to be 4 hours, but we didn't even get through half of it. The views were so amazing we had to stop several times and be in awe of it all. We stopped at the top of one peak and had our morning tea from our thermos like good Kiwis.
The first picture is on the way up to the lookout, the second is from the top. Crazy beautiful, eh?!


This past Sunday night cession replaced its usual service with an excellent cafe featuring BlairGiles Band. It was a great outreach, nearly 20 new faces! It was a great time hanging out and getting to know some of the people at cession better. Plus the food was awesome!