My Postcode - 2216

In 1972 as a young journalist for The Courier Mail in Brisbane I encountered a group of people who loved Jesus. I didn't believe a word they told me. But I was so impressed by their love for others so I prayed: "I don't believe you exist but if you do please make yourself known." God made Himself known. In 2016 I now live in Rockdale, Sydney. Forty-four years in between has seen me live on four continents seeking to serve Christ. So why Rockdale? On returning to Australia after 30 years overseas I chose to live in a multi-ethnic area. Rockdale is a suburb of over 70 nationalities. It is an immigrant community. Over 85 percent of children at a local primary school do not speak English in

Why Men Need to Engage in the 'Gender Debate'

A few weeks ago I preached at my church on the 'Theme of Women in the Gospel of Luke'. It was in the context of a series on Luke but I was still quite anxious. I was worried that I would be seen as getting on my hobby horse and I feared isolating people in my congregation. However I realised that considering that this would be my first time preaching on the topic in a church where I have ministered for ten years, it should be ok! And it was ok. More than that there was a good response and a general feeling that as Christians we have a prophetic declaration to make that the kingdom has come and that this means we are to bring reconciliation to our world so that those living broken lives are i

31 Days of Prayer

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12.1-2 The Fixing Her Eyes site from day one has had the tag line: Gather | Encourage | Sharpen | Love | Worship | Grow To help us to do this even better, we would love you to join us as we pray daily together throughout the month of October. Some prayer suggestions: fix their eyes on Jesus persevere in their faith encouraged in their faith draw closer to God opportunities to show His love and share the good news of the gospel grow in their faith and be more like Jesus release from captivity and / or violence wise in decision making safety inner peace healing

5 minutes with Claire ...

- Tell us a little about you I live in Hobart, where I get to watch the moon rise over the river and set behind the mountain, all from the windows of my house. I have three children aged between 12 months and 4.5 years. I trained as a clinical psychologist but these days mostly apply that to myself while trying to stay afloat each day amidst the craziness of small kids. - What's your favourite bible passage & why? Colossians 3:12-14. Not so much a favourite as something I need to be constantly reminded of! - How do you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus? By sharing my life with others, especially other women, who encourage me to keep trusting and turning to Jesus. - What would you like the next g

Daily Reflection: Psalm 128.1

Obedience is ‘a lively, adventurous response of faith, that is rooted in historical fact and reaching into a promised hope’. Eugene H Peterson, The Journey. A guide book for the Pilgrim Life, 149 Reflection: Obedience is a struggle all our lives. Children battle against obeying their parents, and this battle is like a mini-snapshot of our own struggles in obeying our heavenly Father. Our hearts stray as we face temptation and sometimes fall into sin. Psalm 128 paints a beautiful picture of blessing from the Lord for those in Israel who fear him and walk in obedience to him. We live in a different era of salvation history, but obedience to the Lord Jesus will bring spiritual blessing, and

5 minutes with Gemma

- Tell us a little about you I’m Gemma. I’m a wife, mother of two beautiful children and I love worshiping God by singing and being good to people. I’m a Pentecostal Christian. - What’s your favourite Bible passage & why? I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29:11 Good News Translation (GNT) I love this verse because it totally changed my perception of God at age 16. I thought that if I dared to believe this it would change my life. - How do you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus? I try to spend time with Him every day singing to Him, praising Him, thanking Him for Who He is and what He has

Daily Reflection: Psalm 127.1

“Revenge, lust, ambition, pride and self-will are too often exalted as the god’s of man’s idolatry; while holiness, peace, contentment and humility are viewed as unworthy of a serious thought.’ Charles Spurgeon Reflection: Our society views ambition as a positive and desirable quality. And being ambitious can indeed bring about great results. Ambition can give us a vision for our lives; it can motivate us and bring out the best in us as we strive to achieve our goals. But with ambition comes temptation. How closely linked for us are ambition and pride? And how wholeheartedly do we bring our ambitions before the Lord, asking for his direction and prayerfully examining our motives and desires?

The Temple, the Psalmists and the Acts Church

I am privileged to have been raised in the church my whole life. Recently, I’ve become aware how much each church I have attended over the years has brought different aspects of my character to light and shaped who I am today. What an incredible journey! I was raised in what I will refer to as ‘The Temple’: A church (or several, in reality) rich in history that thrived on liturgy and theology. It taught me the importance of tradition (though I certainly didn’t value this as a child or even as a teen). I sang the hymns and folk songs of those generations before me. I witnessed transitions into more contemporary worship. I was taught how to memorise the Scriptures, how to read The Bible in con

Daily Reflection: Psalm 126.3

‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control’ Galatians 5:22-23 Reflection: Psalm 126 is the Psalmist’s reaction to one of the most significant events in Israel’s history: her return to Jerusalem from exile. While praying for continuing restoration, the psalmist also bubbles over with joy as he contemplates the ‘great things’ that the Lord has done for his people. We too, are a people for whom the Lord has done great things. We can become blasé about redemption, forgiveness of our sin, adoption into God’s family, the love of God and the presence of Christ with us by his Spirit. But let us rather join the psalmis

Daily Reflection: Psalm 125.2

"Rapid change, accommodating it can be one of the great human capacities. But living through it can be the stuff of stress and often suffering." Ron Suskind Reflection: Even though Jerusalem is on a mountain, it is lower than the tops of the surrounding mountains. For an ancient city, this was the most militarily secure position to be in, encircled by a mountain fortress. The image here is one of security for God’s people. In our world of rapid change, we can feel insecure and out of control. But the Lord is like a fortress surrounding his people with his grace, power and strength. Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, we long for security and to feel that our lives are stable and ordered. Thank yo

Children's Fiction: Books to read together

School holidays are around the corner. If you’re a parent, aunty, grandparent or guardian with school-aged children in your life, this knowledge may trigger feelings of panic or relief, or else a mixture of both. On the upside, holidays are a break from homework, a pause from routine. And, though it may be a quaint idea, or even a dying art in a world of iPads and the XBox, holidays also give you enough time to read a book together. This means that even if you’re stuck at home over the break, you’ll still get to travel someplace else, somewhere exotic, like Narnia, or the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or outer space. Sharing the reading experience, like all good travel, means you’ll come away

Daily Reflection: Psalm 124.8

‘No man is an island entire of itself’ John Donne Reflection: There are times for all of us when we need help. Some of us need more help than others, and some of us find help more readily than others. Family, friends, fellow believers, work colleagues – all can be wonderful sources of help and support. But all of us face some situations that test us beyond what we feel is our limit. A death in the family; a child failing to thrive; a relationship breakdown; a financial crisis; a major health issue. What an encouragement to remember that ‘Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth’. Prayer: Great God, Maker of heaven and earth, what a comfort it is to know that you off

Daily Reflection: Psalm 123.3

“Of course you can deride and mock their [Sydney Uni Evangelical Union] beliefs as naive or incorrect, and you can do so safe in the knowledge that you’re unlikely to get attacked or prosecuted for hate speech.” Chris Ashton, The Daily Telegraph, March 17, 2016 Reflection: We may feel that the tide is turning against Christians in Australia at the moment. After years of being a Christianised country, Australia is now what we might call post-Christian, perhaps heading anti-Christian. As we struggle with living gracious and godly lives, and speaking in a winsome way for Jesus, we can sometimes feel vulnerable and insecure. This verse reminds us that God’s people have often faced contempt and

5 minutes with Naomi ...

- Tell us a little about you I have lots of ideas. I love to write and speak. I’m married to Darren and we have three sons. We lived in Nepal for six years, through seven monsoons and civil war. We worked as physios, and we counted the days of rain, and we loved the local church, and I home schooled our three boys. We’ve been back in Australia for ten years now, and I’m still aware of how much those years continue to shape my thinking and responses. - What's your favourite bible passage & why? Jesus said, “Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) I find it impossible, of course (even to love my family well), but it reminds me, daily, of the relentless, sacrificial, grace-filled lov

Daily Reflection: Psalm 122.1

“Those in whom the Spirit comes to live are God’s new Temple. They are, individually and corporately, places where heaven and earth meet” N.T.Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense Reflection: The house of the Lord for the Israelite people was the tabernacle, or the temple, depending on the point of time in their history. It was the place that signified the presence of God with them as a people, and it was the place they went to meet with their God. The Psalmist rejoices here in the opportunity go with his people to meet with their God. We too, have the opportunity to rejoice in meeting with our God and with his people, although a pilgrimage isn’t required for us. Chur

Daily Reflection: Psalm 76.1

‘Would the most famous love story in the world be as poignant if it was called Romeo and Gertrude? Why is what we call ourselves so important?” Julie Kagawa, Summer’s Crossing Reflection: Names are important, aren’t they? When we name our children, we think long and hard. A name reminds us of the person behind the name – their character, their achievements, their reputation, our relationship with them. This verse reminds us that to God’s people, his name is great – He is renowned. Our God is Jesus, the Messiah, the Christ, Emmanuel. He is the one who saves, the anointed one, God with us. His name is great! Prayer: Lord God, Heavenly KIng, Almighty God and Father, we worship you, we giv

#Amplification

As an author, part of my job has been publicity. Confession time: I hate it. I don’t know about other authors, but I don’t write to be famous. In fact, I really rather enjoy being anonymous a lot of the time. Which isn’t particularly helpful if the end result is no books sold. All those editors, publicists and hard-working legends at the publishers need to feed their families, too. So sitting back and hoping for the best isn’t a particularly good idea. The sad fact is that although women write the majority of books, in the secular world it’s the men who tend to get most of the press time. The situation is even more pronounced in the Christian world. Women I speak to from all sorts of workpla

Daily Reflection: Psalm 75.8

‘The “problem of evil” is not simply or purely a “cosmic” thing; it is also a problem about me.’ N.T. Wright, Evil and the Justice of God. Reflection: The image of the cup in the Bible can be either good (Ps 23:5; Ps 116:13) or bad. Here it is the cup of God’s wrath that awaits the wicked, and ironically the image is of top quality wine, drunk down to it’s very dregs. But who are the wicked who drink this wine? The truth is, the wicked includes you and I, and the cup of God’s wrath awaits all at the end of the age (Rev 14:10; 16:19), unless they accept by faith that Jesus has drunk this cup on their behalf. Prayer: Lord God, it’s sobering to be reminded of the extent of your anger at sin,

Daily Reflection: Psalm 74.11

“If we believe in God only when he is doing great things for us, we are not really serving him; we are only using him”. Keller, The Songs of Jesus, 173 Reflection: Psalm 74 arises from one of the most bitter experiences in Israel’s history: the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the Babylonian army in 587BC. This devastation brought to an end the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah. “Why don’t you do something, Lord?” is a (mild) paraphrase of verse 11. When we face our own devastations, we often cry out the same question. Verse 12 is the answer of faith: ‘God is my King from long ago; he brings salvation on the earth’. Our situation may not be fixed in this life, but God is our King.

Daily Reflection: Psalm 73.2-3

“Doubt is something only a believer can experience, for you can only doubt what you believe. Doubt is to unbelief what temptation is to sin. A test, but not yet a surrender”. Clements, Songs of Experience, p74 Reflection: It can be easy to doubt the Lord when we look around us at the world and how it works. There are many who seem to flourish at the expense of others, while some believers in Jesus seem to struggle more than they should. ‘Why do bad things happen to good people’ might perhaps sum up our unease. The psalmist’s feet had almost slipped as he confronted this dilemma. But as he met with God and his people in the sanctuary (v16-17), his perspective was reshaped into the etern

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All images, words and materials are copyright protected and are the property of the author and / or Fixing Her Eyes. Please contact us at fixinghereyes (@) gmail.com for permissions. January 2020