Category

Newsletters

PRAYING FOR OUR NATION DURING THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC

By Australian Newsletter

We invite all of our members to continue to pray for our people as the Corona 19 pandemic continues to impact our nation and the nations of the world.  This week let us pray:

* for those working on the development of a vaccine that they would succeed in record time.
* for all Australians to remain calm and act wisely obeying all instructions put out by our Governments as difficult as that may be.
* for the Australian economy to be protected from long-term damage.
* that our leaders and decision makers would be given great wisdom to know when to impose restrictions upon us, but also to know, and have the courage to lift them, at the appropriate time.

For those who wish to pray for our nation in greater depth, we strongly encourage you to sign up to the National 24 Hour Prayer Watch which is now in its 21st year of maintaining continuous prayer over our nation. For those wanting more information and/or to sign up to the Watch please go to www.ausprayernet.org.au/members/24-hour-prayer-watch/

Source: Australian Prayer Network

Print This Post Print This Post

 

 

Feature Article 11 April 2020

By Feature Articles

WHY I AM PAYING NO ATTENTION TO THE COVID-19 CONSPIRACY THEORIES

By Michael Brown.  Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a professor at a number of seminaries. He is the author of 25 books and hosts the nationally syndicated, daily talk radio show in America, the Line of Fire.

Hardly an hour goes by without someone sending me the latest “must see” video or article.  This is the one, I am told, that explains it all.  This is the one that connects the dots.  This is the one that reveals the truth. With all respect to those sending me these links, I’m going to pass for now.  It’s not that none of them could be true.  Or that there is not some truth in many of them.  It’s simply that: 1) there are far too many theories to investigate in any depth;  2) in many cases, from our vantage point, it’s impossible to investigate the claims;  and 3) for the most part, our lives go on just the same whether or not the claims are true.

It’s not to say there is no Deep State.  Or that I believe everything the World Health Organization puts forward.  Or that I trust China.  Or the secular media.  It is simply to say that I do not have years of extra free time to evaluate every opposing claim.  It is also to say that some of the claims are far too wacky even to consider.  For example, in response to my video, “How Should Believers Pray During a Global Pandemic?”, Daniel G. wrote this: “Good news. The entire virus-game is a hoax.  It’s a game of make believe being played by children who’ve given their souls to Satan.  So go outside.  Hug people.  Don’t wear the mask or take the vaccine.  Each are the Mark of the beast.  Satan will know his followers by those wearing the mask because they are Satan’s deceived.”

There you have it.  If you wear the mask, you’ve taken the mark of the beast (from the Book of Revelation).  You are now known to the antichrist.  You have been deceived by Satan himself.  As for the virus itself, it’s a hoax.  Just make believe!  To call this pathetic is to be kind.  Especially as church buildings in Italy have been used to store all the coffins.  Especially as the ultra-Orthodox community in Israel and New York is mourning its newly dead.  Especially as we’re hearing more reports about health workers and grocery store workers dying.  Especially as this is touching our families and our friends.

Do I have concerns about a vaccine? Yes, but not because of a microchip that would identify me to the antichrist.

Do I believe that major world players have their own agenda with the virus? Absolutely.

Do I believe that, right here in America, from virtually every political corner, there are some diabolical plans in the making? It wouldn’t surprise me at all.

Is it possible that this virus was manufactured in a lab?  Or that it was an animal virus that was mishandled in a lab?  Or that it is a naturally-evolving virus that was intentionally allowed to spread through misinformation?  Or that some would like to use this crisis to push for a one-world government?  My answer is yes to all of the above.  Any of these, alone or in combination, could be true.  But at this point, I see no possible way that we can determine what, exactly, is true.

On the other hand, what we can do is determine not to be moved by fear. We can determine to work practically for the good of our nation and our economy.  We can determine to take wise steps to protect our own safety.  And we can do all this regardless of the veracity or mendacity of the latest theory.  In my new book When the World Stops: Words of Faith, Hope, and Wisdom in the Midst of Crisis, I devoted one chapter to the subject: “Who or What Sent the Virus? (And Does It Really Matter?)”

In this chapter, I included some of the responses to my Facebook and Twitter requests for a list of the oddest theories about the origins of the virus.  (Trust me: there are some real doozies on the list.)  I also examined spiritual theories that explained the spread of the virus (from God sending it in judgment to Satan sending it as an act of destruction, among other possibilities).  In the end, though, what matters is how we respond.  In other words, when I’m driving in a car and the rain starts pouring down, I don’t ask whether it was a natural phenomenon.  Or the result of manmade climate change.  Or the work of nefarious North Korean scientists (or Martians).  Instead, I turn the windscreen wipers on.  That’s what we need to do with COVID-19.  Turn on the windscreen wipers.

From my first article on the virus (dated March 2), my position has been the same.  This is certainly serious, but this is not the end of the world.  This is a major tremor, but not nearly the final earthquake.  To date, the virus has taken roughly 75,000 lives, which is about the same amount of deaths attributed to the common flu each year.  But in this case, there are 75,000 deaths only because extreme measures were taken to prevent more.  Otherwise, the numbers could have been astronomical – and we have yet to see how the continent of Africa will fare.

Again, it is very possible that some of the theories floating around today will be proven true in the days ahead.  I am by no means scorning or mocking all of them.  I am simply saying that, in my humble opinion, it’s best to deal wisely with what we know for sure.  It may not be exotic.  Or fascinating.  Or breathtaking.  But it works.

Print This Post Print This Post

 

CALL TO THE BODY OF CHRIST IN EACH COMMUNITY TO PRAY

By Australian Newsletter

Could God avert the C-19 virus from your community, or, if it is already there, minimise its impact?  Could your community see a miracle?  The bible says YES! A couple of weeks ago I started to sense that God was calling His Body in each community to pray, and as of a result of praying, God would do a miracle of deliverance to avert or minimise this virus in the respective cities.  The following was the first scripture that spoke to me. (Note: The virus being a plague/pestilence.)

2 Chron 6:28e-31,40. (A portion from Solomon’s Prayer at the dedication of the temple.) “whatever plague, whatever sickness there is, whatever prayer, whatever plea is made by any man or by all your people Israel, each knowing his own affliction and his own sorrow and stretching out his hands toward this house, then hear from heaven your dwelling place and forgive and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways, for you, you only, know the hearts of the children of mankind, that they may fear you and walk in your ways all the days that they live in the land that you gave to our fathers. “  Now, O my God, let your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayer of this place.”

Another portion. 2 Chron 7:13-15. “If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send a PLAGUE among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.”

A third portion. 2 Chron 20:9. ‘Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgement, or the PLAGUE , or famine, we will stand before this house and before you (for your name is in this house) and cry to you in our distress, and you will hear and deliver us.’ Lev 26, Num 14, Jer 19:17-19, are all instructive scriptures about how and why God uses plagues.  (And other judgements such as famines, war etc)  Note the numerous sins that the people of God were called to repent from….also applicable to us! In King David’s case when he took personal responsibility and confessed his own sin, the plague was averted from Israel. 2 Sam 24:17,25.

I believe God is calling the Body of Christ in each community to offer humble, unified and repentant prayer for the protection of the respective community from this virus.  The promise of scripture is that He will do just that.  The Chronicle passages are in the context of the temple (house) which in the New Testament is the unified church in each community.  “Do you not discern and understand that you [the whole church at Corinth] are God’s temple (His sanctuary),” 1 Cor 3:16. (AMP)  The whole church in a community is Gods temple. (House)

1. Humility among Christian leaders of the community provides an atmosphere where unity flourishes and repentance is the outcome.  If there is no humility there will be no unity, and no repentance, and for sure no healed city.

2. The above scriptures point out the many sins of the people of God.  The conditions for praying are clear, “if my people…” 2 Chron 7:14 and “if they confess….” Lev 26:40. Note….what are the sins of the church in our day?

3. Are we (the Body of Christ) desperate enough in the light of this crippling virus to cry out to God in each of our communities and trust that a good God will hear and answer according to His promise?

4. The promise of God healing a community.  “I will heal this city and its people.” Jer33:6a (GNT) and this after the plague in the city mentioned in the previous chapter. Jer 32:36.

PRACTICAL SUGGESTION.
Gather willing leaders in your community and explore these scriptures and then come to an agreement on content and context for praying.  Invite other Christian leaders to join.  In the light of the “virus crisis” most will agree.  Then pray humble repentant prayers with a request that God would protect your community from this virus.  Release the prayer strategy to the people so as many as possible can join in.  Even secular leaders could join in prayer in a crisis time as I have seen in our city during a past city crisis.  Keep it simple, confessing sin and asking for Gods mercy and protection on your city.

Source: Pastor Ian Shelton Movement Day Australia

Print This Post Print This Post

 

WHAT IS A WOMAN

By Australian Newsletter

Last month International Women’s Day was celebrated with the announcement of the NSW Women of the Year Awards.  One of the finalists was in fact a man who now choses to identify as a women.  Binary Spokeswoman Kirralie Smith decided to ask the question “What is a woman?”  She contacted the State Premier’s office, the Minister for Women and Women NSW asking each of them that question.  She was staggered that not one of them could answer the most fundamental question about human biological reality.  Women NSW took the ideological pathway and stated, “”It is 2020, anyone who wants to be a woman can be a woman.  A woman is anyone who identifies as a woman!”

Smith said “That is nonsense.  How can you identify as something you can’t define?  And if anyone can be a woman why do we need a Minister for Women or Women NSW?  It may seem funny at first glance, but this is serious.  If the government can’t, or won’t, define the terms man or woman, if they can’t differentiate between the two, we will end up with chaos.”  “The consequences are already unfolding in other areas as well.  Males in female sporting categories, men in women’s prisons, shelters are no longer safe places, change-rooms and dormitories are being compromised.  This is about safety and privacy for all people” Smith said.

Source: Binary

Print This Post Print This Post

 

SEASON OF PRAYER DURING THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC

By Australian Newsletter

We invite all of our members to continue to pray for our people as the Corona 19 pandemic continues to impact our nation and the nations of the world.  This week let us pray:

* that during this time of worship centres shut downs, that many would find church services and Christian content online and be drawn closer to Jesus through the message of hope that they receive.

* that those in isolation, experiencing fear, anxiety or depression would turn to a loving God and be comforted and protected.

* for our health workers that they would be protected and sustained throughout this pandemic

* giving thanks that the spirit of fear and panic that was evident early on in our nation has been brought under control. Give thanks for the many and varied expressions of community that have sprung up across the nation as people turn towards thinking of others rather than just themselves.

Source: Australian Prayer Network

Print This Post Print This Post

 

WHAT DOES COVID 19 MEAN FOR THE CHURCH CALLED TO BE A COMMUNITY

By Australian Newsletter

Humans are fundamentally relational beings, dependent and incomplete by design; no one can be who they truly are in isolation. But Australia is a socially fragmented society.  The average Aussie moves every 6 years, 40% of marriages end in divorce and busyness is a virtue.  As the pandemic forces everything to a halt and contains us to our geographic locations, the Church is faced with an opportunity to help change the fabric of our society.  But for the first time in living memory, churches are being forced to close their doors.  It’s a challenge that many pastors likely didn’t think their congregations would have to face, but for the foreseeable future, all regular gathering has come to a halt.

The Church is also called to serve the poor and protect the vulnerable, to etch out a place for them.

Psalm 82: 3 “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.  4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

Isa 54: 2  “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes

So how does the Church help restore community and provide for the vulnerable without a physical place to do so?  Some of Christians Against Poverty’s (CAP) partner churches are already providing stunning examples of what this could look like.  The Grainery in the NSW Hunter Region is one such church.  Calling their community to step up and be the church, the young adults pastor wrote to the church’s young adults last week saying:  “As young adults, most of us are the healthiest, more able and mobile in our community at this time.  In contrast we have many people in our church who are vulnerable, isolated and need extra support over the coming weeks.”

“With many ministries and events altered or postponed, many of us who normally serve at church, are now available to help in other ways.  The church is encouraging healthy members to get creative in how they reach out an help their community with things such as; creating care packages and kids craft packs and delivering them, cooking meals for the regular attendees of Grainery Care (community outreach program), making check-in phone calls, taking time to visit, play games or lead a fun activity for isolated families and children, setting up technology for older people so they don’t miss out on church over live-stream.”

Of course, all these activities will have to consider Government restrictions on gathering and movement.  But these are logistics to be overcome, the church is pulling out all stops to ensure no one is left isolated!  Already, stories are emerging of CAP clients struggling through the crisis.  It’s heartbreaking.  However equally, there are stories of how churches are continuing to support them through the CAP Debt Centres and CAP Money courses.  One family, a mum, dad and 4 kids aged 1 through to 9 have lost their income due to the crisis.  They reached out to their case worker who was able to but their debt repayments on a hold.  The client was full of relief and reflected:

“It is such a blessing that we did reach out when we did.  If we didn’t have you now, it would be devastating”  What a gift it is to be able to provide for people in their season of need.  Even as advice and measures keep changing, there are ways you as a church can help people practically.  As individuals scattered around towns and cities, together you can reach many people.  Here are some practical ways as Christians to show love to our communities.

• Go the local shops for those who can’t or are scared to
• Pray for neighbours (leave a note in their letterbox telling them you are a Christian and offer to pray)
• Donate money and items to foodbanks and charities caring for the vulnerable.  By giving instead of hoarding, we demonstrate that it is God who we trust.
• Regularly check-in with isolated people over the phone
• Keep giving blood, as the need will increase and potential donors decrease
• Display gratitude to service workers (mail carrier, supermarket assistant) they are likely feeling overrun and encounter a lot of stressed out people
• Offer to help single parents with childcare needs; drop off a meal, a box of diapers or puzzles for the kids
• Buy a gift card from a local small business to redeem at a later date (stock up some for Christmas presents)
• Send an encouraging text message to any of your friends who are medical professionals, and offer to help their partner or family
• PRAY

But the reality is many Australians are going to face economic crisis.  CAP is here to equip the local church with practical tools for helping people through financial crisis and give them the tools to achieve financial wellbeing.  Our communities need the hope of Jesus more than ever and now is a time for the church to step out to reach people that are feeling hopeless.  As A. W. Tozer put it, “A frightened world needs a fearless church.”  And as Jesus said the world would know his disciples by their love.  As a church, how will you respond to COVID-19 for your community?  Find out more about what you and your church can do to help: https://www.capaust.org/Get-Involved

Source: Rosie Kendall, CEO, Christians Against Poverty, Australia

Print This Post Print This Post

 

UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA INTRODUCES GENDER INCLUSIVE BATHROOMS

By Australian Newsletter

The University of Canberra is revamping its toilets to accommodate transgender people.  Whereas the traditional model is to have toilets for men and women there is now a third category it’s calling “gender inclusive bathrooms”.  The university said, “The bathrooms can be used by anyone of any identity or gender.”  “We are going round the university looking at where it’s possible to have three different types of bathrooms,” the university’s deputy vice-chancellor, professor Geoff Crisp, said.  There were cost implications and new multi-gender bathrooms were more likely in new buildings, but it was “important to have bathrooms that will accommodate people’s differences of identity”.

The changes are part of a raft of measures the university has taken to reduce discrimination.  Senior staff are also being trained to identify their own unconscious biases against women and other groups.  One prejudice, for example, comes because some men assume that quiet women lack authority and that means they don’t get promoted.  “There’s a lot of unconscious bias around behaviour,” Professor Crisp said.  “Men are often more outspoken and aggressive in their body language,” he said.  An assumption might be made that a lack of those qualities meant a lack of leadership ability.  “Just because you don’t bang the table, doesn’t mean you can’t lead.”

The university has just been honoured in a project set up by the Australian Academy of Science and by the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.  The organisers say the aim of the project they’ve called the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) is to increase diversity in universities, particularly the number of women in senior positions in scientific departments.  But it has rejected the idea of accepting “blind” applications where the name of the applicant is withheld so interviewers and the HR department can’t work out whether a man or woman is applying.  Professor Crisp said it was usually possible to work out someone’s gender from other information in a resume.

Rather, the university was concentrating on raising awareness about discrimination and training staff to spot prejudice and counter it, including in themselves.  The issue of toilets has been problematic elsewhere.  It fires up intense emotion.  In London, one theatre put in new “gender neutral” toilets and some women born as women objected.  When Scott Morrison became prime minister, a sign on the toilet door said that the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet was “committed to staff inclusion and diversity” and invited staff and visitors to “please use the bathroom that best fits your gender identity”.  Mr Morrison was quoted as calling it “political correctness over the top

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

Print This Post Print This Post

 

SEASON OF PRAYER DURING THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC

By Australian Newsletter

We invite all of our members to continue to pray for our people as the Corona 19 pandemic continues to impact our nation and the nations of the world.

This week let us pray:

* for our Prime Minister, State Premiers, the Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly, State Chief Medical Officers and all front-line medical personnel who are leading us as a nation through the difficult situation this virus is causing, and the impact it is having on our nation.  Pray that they will be given the physical strength to keep going, and the wisdom to make correct decisions which are insightful and impacting.

* for the spread of the virus to be supernaturally slowed

* for the aged, the disabled and those with pre-existing conditions to be especially protected

* for the success of the announced rescue package, that employers will enter into the spirit of the package and re-hire and/or keep their staff on their pay roll.

Source: Australian Prayer Network

Print This Post Print This Post