Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sermon Notes- Church on Sunday

Yay, the grunsta was tasked with preaching on Sunday in Twizel. Below is the manuscript that I (loosely) stuck to:


The Beginning Genesis 1:1-5

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

My Story
In the beginning of 2008 I sat up one night after Sarah went to bed. I was reflecting on who I was. I was supposed to be a Man, zealous for his God, Passionate for his wife Sarah & my four sons – Someone with faith that could move small mountains.
Instead, I’d started work for the year, burnt out from the last one, exhausted from a 2500km road trip loosely described as a holiday, & Facing 2008 with a to-do list that was longer than my arm.
Despite the many blessings that I could count, my heart that night was empty.
The words that I wrote in my journal that night, surrounded with character traits to improve, goals to achieve, and jobs to complete, were headed up “Frustration at a Life of Uncontrolled Busyness”
If you are wondering what a 12 month old bout of depression has to do with the first day of creation, please hang with me for 10 minutes, while I make a layman’s attempt at unpacking Genesis 1: 1-5.
I am not going to duke out creation vs. evolution today, or muscle through the 7 literal days or 7 large time periods debate, suffice to say that Genesis 1 was written assuming that God is the creator. I am going to avoid trying to make science say what it does not, and also avoid making the bible say what it does not about the subject.

The Opening Scene
When we read these verses, we see a picture painted of how the earth was before time began. We see light created, and day separated from night, and then we are ready to move on to day 2. Often when I read a few versus at the start of a book that is how I whip through until I find one of the ‘good bits’ like Eve eating the fruit. But when we do this, we miss out on an awful lot.
A few weeks ago, I watched a movie for the 3rd or 4th time on TV. It was called gladiator, and is about a roman general called Maximus who is almost killed and then reduced to a slave by a wicked emperor, but meteorically rises to fame in the bloodthirsty world of the Gladiators arena.
As I watched the opening scene, I saw a roman army drawing up battle lines in the middle of winter, and a somewhat graphic battle is won by the roman army.

But as I watch the opening scene, especially for the umpteenth time, I’m not so much watching to see who wins the battle, or how the battle is won, I’m watching for pretty much one thing…….Maximus. The director has masterfully used the opening scene to introduce us to the character traits of the main character. A great warrior, fearful of nothing, loved & respected by his men, a family man, the Consummate Leader,
The main purpose of this opening scene is to introduce us to the main character, and provides a reference of what that individual is like, that is revisited throughout the rest of the story, time and time again.

I think that it is at least possible that the first scene in Genesis was God-Breathed to introduce us to the Bibles main character, and to provide a point of reference for us to describe who he is and what he is like, for us to revisit throughout the rest of scripture, and indeed throughout the rest of time.
So what does this passage of scripture say about what our God is like? Well, more than we have time for in 1 quick chat. But following are 3 key things that stood out to me when I was meditating on 1 Genesis1: 1-5

Nothing is too big, too formless, or too dark for God
“Now the Earth was Formless and Empty, darkness was over the deep, and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
Nothing is too big, too formless, or too dark for God.
If He can make our world out of something described like that, then stop to think what he can do with your circumstances.
Nothing is too big, too formless, or too hard for God. You see God made this world, to show his power, his glory, and his goodness, and he made us for the same reason. He loves us. God is interested in overcoming the big stuff in our life, not so much that we can live happily ever after, but so that we, and the world can see just how awesome he is.
As you let him more and more into your life, and as the spirit of God hovers over the deep waters of your heart, in the dark stuff, and over the emptiness, Know this: Nothing is too big, too formless or too dark for God.

God can make something from nothing
“Now the Earth was Formless and Empty, darkness was over the deep, and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God Said ‘Let there be light’, and there was light”
Can You imagine what it must have been like to be with the Angels on the first day of Creation. Gabriel is sitting there watching and then he sees it…. The spirit of God just hovering, waiting…
”Hey Michael! Quick, come and take a look at this!”
“The Spirit, It’s on the move!”
“Just There, hovering all over the deep”
“What d’ya think He’s going to do?”
“I Dunno, but I think It’s going to be big!”
“He hasn’t got much to work with”
“let There be light.” BAM!
All of a sudden, Out of nothing, the lights go on. Can you imagine what that must have been like? I’ve seen some pretty cool thunderstorms, and been in some pretty cool theme parks, seen some cool magic shows, but that, That would have been an experience!
God can make something from nothing.
How did he do it? He merely spoke.

When God Speaks, Stuff Happens
You see, the first time that God speaks in our bible, he is not communicating, he’s creating. You see, before speech was a communication device, It was a creation device. This verse doesn’t say that God spoke, ansd then went and made light. It doesn’t say that God spoke, and someone else made light, it says that God spoke, and there was …..
When something is spoken over your life by the spirit of God, it is. When Jesus said that the centurion’s daughter would be healed, she was. When we are dealing with hard stuff in our life, and we turn scripture, and the Holy Spirit takes something that we have read a gizzilion times and somehow Jams it into our spirit, a new circumstance is created from nothing.

At the beginning of 2008, Grant Thompson felt lower than a pregnant ant. Despite all that I had been given, I felt I had stuff all. Despite having a great job, I had burn out. Despitehaving achieved some cool stuff, I was overwhelmed with all of the things that I had to do , and everything in life that I had to hold together.

Fast forward to today, and Grant thompson is looking back on a year that was frought with breakthrough, fulfilled dreams and basically a sense of God’s hand on my life. A trip to Indo, a rental property that miraculously sold on the week we shifted, as the market plunged, a Job that rocks, a shift back home to my people, and a wife and kids that want to come with me!
The same God that hovered over the deep at the beginning of time, hovered over the heart of Grant in early January last year .
The same God who spoke and created light from darkness, spoke over my life, and his purposes were brought to pass.
The same God who is big enough, and powerful enough to to create the heavens and the earth is big enough and powerful enough to take you, ad your life in whatever state it is in, and speak to the darkness, and great something that has never been seen before.
I would be a liar if I told you that I no longer negl;ect Sarah and my little boys, that I don’t sometimes get frustrated and depressed, or overwhelmed at what life throws at me.

But I’d be an even greater liar, if I didn’t tell you that God has used the last twelve months to to prove that he is big enough, a loving enough, to pick us up in all of our weakness, and for some reason create something from nothing.

The first few verses in the gospel of John say this about Jesus
“In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made, without him nothing was made that has been made, In him was life, and that life was the light of men.”
If you haven’t put Jesus Christ into the driver’s seat in your life, and want to do that today, I want to talk to you, and help you to do that after the service. Come up and grab me when we are finished.
If you feel like this year is off to a bad start, that there is something going on in your life that is so big, so dark, or so empty, that it seems nothing can sort it out, then I want to stand with you after the service and ask God to come and deal to that situation in the same way that he did at the beginning of time.
If you can sit up and say, “nup thanks Grant, but I’m good.” To all that stuff, can I simply challenge you to not do as I so often do, and flick past half the bible looking for all of the ‘good bits’. Take some time to chew through it, try to get a flavor for what it is saying about who God is and how that affects who you are.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Christmas Holidays

Friday, December 12, 2008

Gideons Birthday - Read 'Grant takes some kids fishing'!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Caleb is 6!

Caleb 'Hokey Pokey' Thompson turned 6 yesterday. See fotos below.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Dusky Trail - Remembering Murray

Below are some pics of the start of the Dusky Trail race that I had a crack at last Monday.

Thanks to Gerald Cubillo's wife Mary-Ann for the pics. Geralds the good looking dude holding baby Marcus.

The tragic note on this post is that our neighbor and former workmate Murray Ewans (pictured wearing the grey Meridian Energy top) died in his sleep a week later. Our prayers and sympathy go out to the family.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Trout for Breakfast..anyone?

Ahh, nothin like living in the rat race. I got up this morning at 5:35, hopped on the bike and was fishing before 06:00. I hooked two, and landed one - both on a size 14 pheasant tail nymph - home by 7:00 am for breakfast!

Both trout were in the 2- 2 1/2 pound range
The escapee benefited from a poorly tied knot.
Condition on the local population of rainbows appears to be generally quite poor at this end of the season, due to them appearing to be still in the throes of spawning.
I still haven't seen a brown trout on the Twizel river, although I've only fished 200 m of it so far.

Monday, November 03, 2008


First Trout of Many?

OK, so it's not the very first trout of the season, but it's the first one on a fly in a high country river...

Grunta worked on it for about 45 minutes, while the kids played noisily about 20 meters upstream. Not you usual scenario, normally with that mouch noise she would've been long-gone. This one just kept feeding on nymphs happily, so I couldn't resist having a crack.

A shade over 2lb, it's not exactly a trophy, but the kids were stoked (and so was I after having a maiden on opening day) so we pulled out Grandad Thompson's 'priest, banged her on the head and took her home.

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