Jan 13, 2019
SATISFIED3
Posted by Rebecca Inglis
Series: Satisfied

I have long admired my neighbour’s lawn. It is completely free of weeds, it’s lush and it’s very green. I really wanted my lawn to be just as lush and green. One day, a couple of weeks ago, he had connected up his hose to a brand new bottle of liquid lawn food and left it out as he went to get something from Bunnings. Now, our neighbours lawn is just across the driveway from mine, just a couple of metres. It was so tempting to quickly grab his hose and water my not-so-green lawn with his ‘Weed & Feed’. I wouldn’t even have to cross the driveway, I could cover my whole lawn from where he left it. I didn’t steal his lawn food, but reflecting on that moment showed me how subtle and powerful the feeling of envy can be.

Ever since Shakespeare coined the phrase “green with jealousy,” people have associated the colour green with the feeling of envy. Envy is the desire to acquire what other people have. From ancient times the colour green also indicated sickness. This is why Shakespeare used it to describe the state of jealousy or envy. When we are caught in a storm of envy or jealousy it is as though we are sick. Different parts of our minds and bodies cease to function, other parts over-function and life becomes very, very difficult. Our minds become preoccupied with that thing that we are afraid of losing, or that thing that we desperately want.

Not surprisingly The Teacher in Ecclesiastes points out that all of this is meaningless. Pointless. Grabbing smoke. Instead, he teaches us a better way.

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  • Jan 13, 2019SATISFIED3
    Jan 13, 2019
    SATISFIED3
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis
    Series: Satisfied

    I have long admired my neighbour’s lawn. It is completely free of weeds, it’s lush and it’s very green. I really wanted my lawn to be just as lush and green. One day, a couple of weeks ago, he had connected up his hose to a brand new bottle of liquid lawn food and left it out as he went to get something from Bunnings. Now, our neighbours lawn is just across the driveway from mine, just a couple of metres. It was so tempting to quickly grab his hose and water my not-so-green lawn with his ‘Weed & Feed’. I wouldn’t even have to cross the driveway, I could cover my whole lawn from where he left it. I didn’t steal his lawn food, but reflecting on that moment showed me how subtle and powerful the feeling of envy can be.

    Ever since Shakespeare coined the phrase “green with jealousy,” people have associated the colour green with the feeling of envy. Envy is the desire to acquire what other people have. From ancient times the colour green also indicated sickness. This is why Shakespeare used it to describe the state of jealousy or envy. When we are caught in a storm of envy or jealousy it is as though we are sick. Different parts of our minds and bodies cease to function, other parts over-function and life becomes very, very difficult. Our minds become preoccupied with that thing that we are afraid of losing, or that thing that we desperately want.

    Not surprisingly The Teacher in Ecclesiastes points out that all of this is meaningless. Pointless. Grabbing smoke. Instead, he teaches us a better way.

  • Jan 6, 2019SATISFIED 2
    Jan 6, 2019
    SATISFIED 2
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis
    Series: Satisfied
    I’m not really a fan of winter. I don’t like to be cold. I can’t do so many things I love to do when it’s winter. The beach isn’t as fun in winter, and it’s often dark and rainy and cold. I struggle to feel as happy in winter as I do in summer. I can be a bit sulky as winter approaches because I feel like the best part of the year is over, and I grieve the loss of the warmth. This time last year I left the comforts of lazy days reading my book on the beach to fly to New York. I arrived just before they closed JFK airport for 2 days due to a ‘bomb cyclone’ (a fancy name for an intense winter snow storm) and -17℃ temperatures. I knew New York would be cold, but this was ridiculous. I wanted to be back at the beach, swimming in the ocean and walking along rock pools at sunset. This was so far from my current reality. However, it actually didn’t take me too long to embrace the conditions. I rugged up in so many clothes that it was hard to move. I made my first snow man, my first snow angel, threw snowballs at my friend, went ice-skating in Central Park. I even had fun shovelling snow from the driveway. There was no way I was going to place myself in this type of weather again, so I decided to make the most of the uniqueness of that season.

    Weather patterns generally take the form of four seasons. But in our lives, there are dozens of different seasons, each involving good and bad. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “God has made everything beautiful for its own time.” God can take even the bad things and, in the proper season, turn them around and use them for good in the way He intends. We may be going through a season that is not beautiful. Our finances may look ugly. Our health may look ugly. Our marriage or a friendship look ugly. Our future might even look ugly.

    Just as God determines the weather, He also controls the seasons in our lives. Do we resist those seasons and complain about the ‘snowy’ conditions on the horizon? Or do we trust God and thank Him for whatever He has planned for us? Ecclesiastes reminds us that if we’re following God’s will, if we’re trying to live life the way God wants us to live, we’ll eventually see that these experiences can have purpose and value. There’s a time and season for everything.

  • Nov 18, 2018Honour Everyone, Always
    Nov 18, 2018
    Honour Everyone, Always
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis
    When my brother and sister-in-law were married in the Philippines a few years ago, we travelled there for the wedding and to meet our new extended family. The first time I met my brother’s Filipino nieces, I was overwhelmed with their love and affection as they took my hand placed it on their forehead whispering, “Mano po”. The word ‘mano’ is Spanish for ‘hand’, and the word ‘po’ is often used in Filipino culture at the end of each sentence as a sign of respect when addressing an older person. This is a beautiful, physical gesture of honour that children are expected to perform towards adult relatives and adult family friends. Failure to do this in Filipino culture would be considered dishonouring, so experiencing this gesture made me wonder what we do in Australia to honour people. I couldn’t think of much. Actually, I think it’s fair to say that we've become a culture that is primarily without honour.

    Even in cultures where honouring is valued, generally those who are showed honour are elders, family, people in authority, and those we decide, due to position or performance, are deserving of honour. If someone is the right person, believes the right things or behaves the right way, we consider them worthy of honour. Conversely, if one does not believe the right things or behave the right way, they may be shamed, rather than honoured.

    This week, we consider what the Bible teaches about honouring everybody, always. Honour is a declaration of the inherent value others have as image-bearers of God. We honour one another because we have been honoured. Honour is central to who God is and what he does, therefore it should be central to the life of every Christian.

  • Oct 28, 2018Love Everyone Always
    Oct 28, 2018
    Love Everyone Always
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis
    The world can be so negative and ugly. At times, people are straight out unkind. This should disturb us, because regardless of the colour of their skin, the origin of their birth, their political affiliation, social status or lifestyle choices, each and every human being has been created in the image of God and is someone for whom Jesus died. As followers of Jesus we have to keep asking ourselves, “What does it mean to live out the teachings of Jesus?” When we do, we cannot go past the commandment where Jesus tells us to, ‘love our neighbour’. This has been God’s simple yet brilliant plan from the beginning. He made a whole world of neighbours. We call it earth, but God just calls it a really big neighbourhood, and tells us to go and love our neighbours - to go and love everyone, always.

    We are part of a Salvation Army that sees salvation as boundless. God’s ocean of love is deep - it is for the whosever, for everyone, always. The Salvation Army here in Australia has a vision to, ‘live, love and fight alongside others to transform Australia one life at a time with the love of Jesus.’

    This Sunday, five new soldiers are signing up to live, love and fight, because they desire to see lives changed by the love of Jesus. They make their covenant, not with The Salvation Army, but with God, who is love and teaches us both what love is and how to love. This call to love is not soppy, commercialised or superficial. It’s an all-in commitment to a radically different way of treating everyone we come into contact with. There’s no school to learn how to love everyone and we are not expected to love people flawlessly, but we can love them fearlessly, furiously, and unreasonably. People will figure out what we believe by how we love.

  • Jun 24, 2018Different- Perspective in Persecution
    Jun 24, 2018
    Different- Perspective in Persecution
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis
    Series: Different
    I find so many things in our world surprising. For example, cockroaches can live for weeks without their heads before they die of hunger. People spend more time sitting on the toilet each week than they do exercising. Apparently, we end up spending 1.4 years on the toilet during a lifetime? It’s pretty surprising to me that vending machines kill more people than sharks, and that the total weight of all the ants on earth is comparable to the total weight of all the humans on the planet.

    More seriously, it surprises me that in our world today, even though there is enough food produced worldwide to provide everyone with an adequate diet, nearly 854 million people, or 1 in 7, still go hungry. It is shocking that today 165 million people are suffering from childhood malnutrition. It’s almost unfathomable that more people have access to a mobile phone than a toilet. These facts should surprise and shock us.

    What should not surprise those who are Jesus followers, is that we suffer and are persecuted for our faith. Christians are called to be different, to be holy, to stand out, and so Peter tells early Christians, “Don’t be surprised or shocked that you are going through testing that is like walking through fire.” (1 Peter 4:12) Earlier, Jesus explained to his disciples that they too should expect opposition and persecution from the world. “If the world hates you, keep in mind that they hated me first… if they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” (John 15:18,20)

  • Jun 10, 2018Different- Values in an Unholy Culture
    Jun 10, 2018
    Different- Values in an Unholy Culture
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis
    Series: Different

    When my three children were young, we travelled as a family for a month throughout Southeast Asia. Everywhere we went, people would stare at Bradley, Chloe and Emily, and some would even try to touch them. People were fascinated by them and they became the centre of attention so often because they were so different; they stood out. People would “Ooo” and “Ahhh” at them, in awe of their baby blonde hair and gorgeous blue eyes, which screamed that they were foreigners. It was obvious they were not Asian, they did not belong there and they certainly did not fit in.

    When the Apostle Peter was writing to a group of people that were severely persecuted in the First Century, he told them to live out their time on earth as ‘foreigners’ in reverent fear (1 Peter 1:17). Other translations say ‘temporary residents’ or ‘strangers.’ Peter, inspiring hope, reminds his readers again and again that this world was not their home; they were just passing through, they were sojourners.

    This world is not our home either. Peter reminds us that as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven we are foreigners here on earth and therefore we will stand out. If you're a follower of Jesus, you're called to be different. You'll have different values, different passions, different uses of your time and different uses of your resources. You'll be different as a parent, you'll be different as a spouse, you'll be different in the way that you work. The result of a different life driven by faith should be that people are fascinated by you.

  • Apr 22, 2018Foundations Week 8 – How Do I Resist Evil?
    Apr 22, 2018
    Foundations Week 8 – How Do I Resist Evil?
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis
    Series: Foundations
    On March 13, 1996, Thomas Hamilton, aged 43, entered a primary school gym in Dunblane and opened fire on a class of five and six-year-olds. Sixteen children and their teacher were killed; seventeen other children and teachers were wounded. It remains the deadliest mass shooting in British history. When addressing the media that day the principal said, “Evil has visited our school.” I think he was right, but what exactly is ‘evil’? Can it be resisted? Can it be overcome?
     
    In our society there’s an increasing interest in the demonic — in occult powers, witchcraft, spiritualism, palm-reading, ouija boards, channelling, consulting the dead, astrology, horoscopes. These are things that are expressly warned against in the Bible, and labelled as ‘evil’. Christians are called not to focus on these things, but on God.At the same time we know evil exists; we see it and we should believe in it. The apostle Paul believed in the existence of evil and instructed, ‘Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Romans 12:21) Jesus himself was tempted by the devil. He believed in the existence of evil and taught his disciples to pray ‘deliver us from the evil one’.
     
    The key to resisting the devil is to sincerely and consistently draw near and remain close to God. James 4:7 instructs, ‘Submit yourselves to God. Resist the Devil, and he will run away from you.’ Submission is about who we ‘fall in line’ with. Instead of an unhealthy focus and obsession with evil, submission to God results in resisting the devil because we cannot serve two masters.
     
    Tune in as we continue our ‘Foundations’ series, exploring what it takes to resist evil.
  • Mar 18, 2018LivingOurVision Week 6 – With The Love of Jesus
    Mar 18, 2018
    LivingOurVision Week 6 – With The Love of Jesus
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis
    I say I love a lot of things. I love coffee, I love my husband, I love the beach, I love my kids, I love eating, I love walking and I love the local church. Love has become a very basic way to describe how we feel about something or someone. The problem is, while I ‘love’ burgers, I wouldn’t lay down my life for them like I would for my kids. It’s not the same thing. Real love doesn’t mean the warm, fuzzy feelings we get when we enjoy something. It’s not simply about our belongings, places or people that bring us delight in life. Real love is about commitment, steadfastness and being faithful no matter the cost. Real love is often very, very hard.
     
    The Salvos national vision to ‘transform Australia one life at a time, with the love of Jesus’ is a radical statement. The ‘love of Jesus’ is not easy. The love of Jesus meant he drew near and engaged with people in a way that transformed them. He healed and restored them to their communities; he forgave them; he set them free from their addictions; he treated them with dignity and significance. He challenged the religious and political authorities. He gave up his life for the sake of others – for us. This is what real love is all about.
     
    Tune in as we explore the final part of our National Vision, and consider some practical ways to continue living out this vision at Wollongong Salvos.
  • Mar 4, 2018LivingOurVision Week 4 – Alongside Others
    Mar 4, 2018
    LivingOurVision Week 4 – Alongside Others
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis
    Last Sunday night, in the torrential rain, I went and saw Sydney FC defeat the Western Sydney Wanderers at Allianz Stadium. Sydney FC scored three absolutely stunning goals, and after each one the massive screens would declare, “This goal proudly brought to you by Beechwood Homes.”
    Running around the field, boasting of his skill after scoring two of these goals, was star player and record goal scorer, Adrian Mierzejewski, who brings out his guns with every goal. On the screens however, was the clear acknowledgement that the goal would not have been possible without the sponsorship of Beechwood Homes. Without their money backing the team, it wouldn’t matter who was playing, what they were doing, how loudly over 25,000 fans were screaming at the top of their lungs or how skilfully other players had set up the goal. In order to enable them to achieve their purpose Sydney FC works alongside others like Beechwood Homes.
    The Salvos are part of the world-wide church, the body of Christ, but there are other parts that play an important role in the world too. We need to work alongside other organisations and community groups to fight for justice and care for people. We can’t do it all on our own. Within the Salvos too, each of us plays different roles; we are more effective when we look to work alongside others to make a difference in this world.
  • Dec 31, 2017Sticks & Stones 1: Anointing
    Dec 31, 2017
    Sticks & Stones 1: Anointing
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis

    It’s almost a new year, and for many of us a new year comes with new year resolutions, dreams and goals, things we want to achieve. The beginning of a new year seems to be the time we strive for the new. However, many of us can probably relate to the one who said, “My resolution for 2018 is to accomplish the goals of 2017, which should have been done in 2016, because I promised them in 2015.” For the majority of people, new years’ resolutions never become more than words.

    The best resolution we can make for 2018 is to resolve to be obedient to God; to complete the assignments he sets for us. Over the next few weeks, in our series, 'Sticks and Stones', we’ll be looking at the life of David in 1 Samuel 16 & 17, and considering the tools, the weapons we have to enable us to be resilient and fulfil our resolve to serve God faithfully; to make our resolutions more than words. Though we may not be called to be king, as David was, we are anointed by God to achieve important works. We don’t have to wave the white flag of surrender to the giants in our life.

    The reality is that in 2018 many of us will face the same battles and the same responsibilities, but God’s word can help us to face them with a new perspective and passion. We have nothing to prove, and only One to please, so we can fix our eyes on Him and find strength in the new anointing God gives us every day.