Sermon: Seeds

Genesis 25:19-34, Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

Sermon 13 July 2014 St Anne’s Porirua
Rev Felicity O’Brien

The story of Jacob and Esau could be a story from today. There are two boys, one is beloved by one parent, the other one favours the other boy. Now, we who are parents know that it’s not a good idea to have favourites. Sometimes my kids accuse me of having a favourite – usually when I have had to tell off the other one. It’s not fair, they say. He’s your favourite. or She’s your favourite. You never tell him or her off!
So then I tell them that I don’t have a favourite, but I have a least favourite, glaring at them. And there are often several least favourites.
Many troubles in families arise when parents play favourites. Isaac loved his outdoorsy, hunter son Esau. There was something about their personalities that just clicked. I’m sure he loved Jacob as well, but we just get on better with some people than others. On the other hand Rebekah loved Jacob, the quieter boy, who loved to grow things and tend the field. Maybe she felt protective of him around his more vigorous, rambunctuous brother. I’ve often felt the need to protect my weaker child against the stronger too. Continue reading

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God in climate change

Guest post by Kevin O’Brien

Christians worry too much, relying on their own understandings and accepting the misinformation barrage.God has a simple logical proof as well as his word that disproves the reality of the whole of the climate alarmism.

The latest leaked draft IPCC report AR5 attempts to cover over their previous failed scary projections by offering “trust me it will get worse”. Unfortunately science in the climate arena has largely abandoned truth for advocacy and PhD student models. This is no comfort to those who have come to believe their island homes will swamped or other speculative alarmist scenarios.

God has his answers:

Firstly for us to try to reduce the global temperature by only 1/20 of a degree would cost 4/5ths of the worlds productive output. What sort  of God do we have that would put us in that position? This chart is based on accepted science referred to on the 50 to 1 site:

Claymore_1_edge

Secondly we don’t have the world-wide productive capacity or land to enable a switch to biofuels, nor are wind farms or solar panels sufficient. Renewable energy is more aspirational than real. Here it is described as a disaster: it should be described as totally impossible on a global scale. Can we trade topsoil for fuel oil? Where do we get scarce phosphorus for future food crops? God does not expect us to beggar ourselves or our neighbours to produce motor fuel.

Thirdly the switch to renewable energy brings great injustice. Who is to bear the rising food prices and resulting famines? Our God is a God of justice so this is against Gods’ will.

The solution that fits all this: we will adapt to the natural climate changes, the islands will not sink unless supporting water reservoirs are used up, coral will still grow up to sea level; the earth has an unmeasurable equilibrium which each of us will find different in our own lifetimes.

There is energy. God hasn’t abandoned His every growing people to a world without adequate agreeable energy. Nuclear fuel has got a bad reputation because the electric power industry preferred to use uranium to provide a by-product for atomic weapons.

Thorium is no use for bomb making nor popular with terrorists but does make good heat and hence electricity. While it is radioactive, you can hold it safely in your hand. It is now being used in low temperature reactors which cannot explode or do a Chernobyl. The reactors have the potential for factory assembly for neighbourhood use and the fuel is plentiful. Trust God to have provided even before we were aware of our needs.

Viscount Monckton: The triumph of the individual over the hive mind

Viscount Monckton was in Australia and New Zealand recently.  This address given in Melbourne is re-published from Quadrant Online.       Printable version.

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The triumph of the individual over the hive mind

by Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, April 3, 2013


Drab, pietistic uniformity is the curse of the collectivist age. Today, with a fearful and unanimously acquiescent docility, the hive mind tediously hums the Party Line, now rebranded “consensus”. Imagination, initiative, inquiry, inspiration, intuition and invention are not merely discouraged but hated. Individuality in any form is not merely loathed but punished.


It is the solecism of modern government imprudently, expensively and too often cruelly to emphasize the collective at the expense of the individual. Yet, as John Stuart Mill wrote,

“The worth of a State, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it. A State which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be mere docile instruments in its hands, even for beneficial purposes, will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished.”

Man is at once an island and a universe, an anchorite and a socialite, a lone wolf and a member of the pack. The strength of the West lies in encouraging what Santayana called the “eccentricities, hobbies and humours” of each, not in hindering or punishing individual achievement in the name of all.

In feudal times, the State was everything. The individual, if noticed at all, was recognized solely by his status in the ordained pecking order.

“God blessed the squire and his relations,
And kept us in our proper stations.”

It was only when free-market contract replaced feudal status that the individual, be he never so humble, acquired the right freely to negotiate with his neighbours and, by so doing, to earn advancement by achievement. Social mobility is a feature not of collectivism but of contract and of the cheerful chaos of the free market that it enables. Continue reading

#11 Wallpaper: “If I take the wings of the morning…”

Another in our free wallpaper series:

If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
Even there your hand shall lead me,
And your right hand shall hold me fast. Ps 139: 9-10

#11 Free wallpapers — If I take the wings…   (Example 1440×900)

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What can you see?

When you look at the picture at the top of this blog, what do you see? It’s easy to focus on the graceful toetoe stalks (a kind of pampas grass which is common in NZ) waving in the wind. They are beautiful and spectacular, at 2 metres tall. But what is beyond it? First, the beach, with rounded stones, and driftwood, with lots of contrasting textures. Then there’s the sea-  Wellington Harbour, from the Eastbourne side. OK, so the water is sparkly and blue, so? Look beyond that again, and you will notice green hills, purpled by distance. What can there be of interest apart from a pretty landscape? Look closely at the hills, and clinging to the gullies you can just make out houses and roads. There’s a city of people there, surrounded by landscape, a city bustling and loving and hurting.

Where is your focus? There’s no right or wrong answer. At different times, different parts of this picture feed us. But when we are fed by the blue and green colours, which scientists say have a mood-stimulating effect, and the natural textures, it is time to cross the water, and engage with people again. May you see God’s hand in nature, and share God’s love for all of it, ourselves included.

Link

Water

Felicity O’Brien, Jan 10, 2010. All rights reserved. PDF

Ps 29

Lk 3

Water – it’s weird stuff. Two atoms of Hydrogen, which is a gas, combined with one atom of oxygen, also a gas, and suddenly it’s a liquid! Different combinations of hydrogen and oxygen make entirely different things, like peroxide.

It’s vital to our survival. We are largely composed of it, and can’t survive long without it. Water is mentioned over four hundred times in the Bible. For a people living in the desert, water must have often been on their minds as the first necessity of survival.

Water can also be very powerful and destructive. The Psalm set for today, Psalm 29, reassures us that “The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over mighty waters”. Our reading from Isaiah also offers comfort:

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.” Continue reading