31 January 2012

Who The Holy Spirit Helps

Acts 2:1-41 (NLT)

The Holy Spirit has been given to all belivers to deepen their spiritual walk and to enable them to make an impact upon their world for Jesus Christ. This passage illustrates three aspects of the Holy Spirit's unique work in the lives of belivers.

The Holy Spirit Fills All Belivers
In the Old Testamen, the Holy Spirit was given only to a select few to perform specific tasks. This chapter indicates a change in the pattern. the Holy Spirit was poured out on all the believrs in the house that day (v4), and he was present in each of their lives from that day forward. This outpouring of the Holy Spirt was used by God to establish the church - and to spread the message of the gospel to everyone everywhere (v39).

The Holy Spirit Draws Attention to the Saviour
Notice that Peter did not focus on the unique happening that had just taken place but turned the crowd's attention to the message of Jesus Christ and their need for repentance. Likewise, the Holy Spirit does not draw attention to himself but to the Saviour. And when he fills your life, he will increase your ability to share the gospel with others.

The Holy Spirit Inspired Peter's Message
Peter's sermon, inspired by the Holy Spirit, led many in the crowd to a point of decision: "What should we do?" (v37). The people were not attracted to Peter but to his message. The Holy Spirit worked powerfully that day, and three thousand people responded to the message.

The Holy Spirit is promised to all who repent and receive Jesus Christ into their lives. Many people fail to understand who the Holy Spirit is and what dimension of power is available to them through him. It may help to examine what took place after the disciples received the filling of the Holy Spirit that Jesus had promised (Acts 1:8).

New Believer's Bible
Ps Greg Laurie

26 January 2012

Victoria - Canola Fields

Somewhere between the town of Benalla to Cobram we came across a sea of yellow flowers. It immediately caught our attention. It felt like a place in heaven, a peaceful place to be, so much so that we just had to stop to take some photos of it. It was an awesome view of a canola covered field.

We later saw many of these canola farms on both side of the Murray River, all the way to Yarrawonga, east of Cobram.

These vivid yellow flowers, flower in late August which is spring time here at Down Under. Canola is a winter crop. It is grown for its seed which is crushed for the oil used in margarine, cooking oils, salad oils and edible oil blends. That means you can actually eat it, if eat is the right choice of word.

It is one of the plants used in crop rotations and because it is a profitable crop in its own right, it has become a major industry in the region. Canola as part of the crop rotation choices allows farmers to better manage their weeds. Because canola is a broadleaf crop, and because there are different herbicide tolerant varieties of canola, farmers have more options for weed control than in cereal crops such as wheat and barley.

According to the Department of Primary Industries, canola production in Australia averaged 1.24 million tonnes per year between 2002 and 2008. Victoria produces an average of 248,000 tonnes from 198,000 ha.

The main production area is south west Victoria but the crop is important across the grain belt. The rank order of production by States is Western Australia, NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

Important markets for Australian canola are Japan, China, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

23 January 2012

Benalla - Ceramic Mural

Spring time. Thought it would be a good time to go see what the season has to offer out in the country. So we decided to go check out the much promoted RACV Cobram Resort, at Cobram a small town along the Murray River, up north in country Victoria. Never been to that part of the country.

To our pleasant surprise, at the nominated weekend, Susanne and Looi was coming over from Perth for some RnR so they decided to come along with us.

Along the way, we stopped at Benalla, Ned Kelly's country just 2 hours from Melbourne, via the Hume Highway. It is a small Victorian town where we stopped for lunch. What prompted us to stop was the strange odd looking ceramic mural, not that we know it was ceramic from the distance, as we cross the bridge over Lake Benalla towards the town centre. Anyway it was close to lunch time and the town looks just as good a place to stop for lunch.

Located next to the mural is the town information centre. Always a good starting point to find out what the town has to offer tourists, like the best place for lunch.

Google the mural and found that the Benalla Ceramic Mural began as a community art project in 1983. It has wide practical support of the local community and the skills of ceramic artist and architects. It also has the support of the local and State Government.

Set against the foreshore of Lake Benalla, the mural invites passer-by and the curious like us, with seatings to rest or to take in the view of the lake with plenty of spaces for children to play.

The mural include an Amphitheatre, a small circular performance area that seats around 100+ people and it is paved with hand made hexagonal tiles, surrounded by tiered bull-nosed bricks.

Across the lake is the Benalla Art Gallery. We did not manage the time to see the gallery collection, but it would be a place to visit when we next come by this way.

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