2020 principal blogs

God's Love
  Adam Richardson  -  2020-04-22 13:56:15
 
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18)

Fear is a word that is being used more regularly this year, as we watch the various ways that each country approaches the coronavirus. John, one of Jesus' disciples, wrote the verse above that links fear and love by placing them in opposite spaces. But John is not saying that if you have love then you don't have any fear. What he's talking about is God's love and how, when you allow it into your life, it's so large that fear about him has no place to reside in your life. God's love is big enough to overcome any challenge, and you can be confident that he will not leave you. But that doesn't mean Christians don't experience fear, as obviously they do. What fear serves to do in our lives is show us our need for God and to find comfort in his love for us. After all, God's love is so large that he sacrificed his only Son so that we could be with him eternally. So a certain level of fear is healthy, as it keeps us from taking unnecessary risks and ensures our survival. And it also gives us a reason to turn to God and to put our trust in him. If you're experiencing fear at this time, remember that God extends his love so that you don't need to be overwhelmed by it, and there is nothing that will separate God's love from you. 

Look Up to the Lord
  Adam Richardson  -  2020-03-26 09:52:21
 
I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)

When we feel despondent, weary and overwhelmed, there's a natural tendency to drop our shoulders and cast down our gaze. It's usually accompanied with a downturn in our personality too as we struggle with anger, fear, confusion and perhaps even desperation. When the psalmist wrote this song, the hills referred to are those of Judea upon which the temple sits. As they walked to the temple, God's House, their eyes looked upward to him. As we face these uncertain times, it's all the more important that we keep our eyes fixed on God, remembering that he will give us the strength to face whatever comes to us. All of our families and staff are in my prayers, as well as the wider communities of Australia and the world, and ask for an extra measure of his love and care as the world finds its way through this challenge. 

Practice Love, Patience and Tolerance
  Adam Richardson  -  2020-03-18 15:06:27
 
A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.’ (John 13:34)

As the coronavirus situation develops, it is important that we remember to maintain compassion for our neighbours, both physical and spiritual, as we will all likely be touched by the evolving circumstances in one way or another . We should not cast blame if someone gets sick and we should not only protect our own interests. Periods of isolation will also not be the only impact many families face. There will be financial hardship, other health concerns and grief. That's why this is precisely the time for us to demonstrate Christian leadership with an outpouring of love, patience and tolerance, particularly for those most vulnerable and those most affected in the coming months. As Jesus has taught us, we need to share resources, assist where we can, not unduly burden essential services and extend lots of understanding towards one another. A healthy dose of prayers will also go a long way to making a positive difference. 

Drink Deeply
  Adam Richardson  -  2020-03-11 11:41:17
 
Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. (John 4:13-14)

Amongst the big headlines this past week was the rush on toilet paper as panicked shoppers prepared for extended periods of isolation - sadly even coming to blows over the issue. It's sometimes strange what people place importance on and what they miss as truely essential. During Jesus' time, a lady regularly visited the town's water well, as was the custom, to collect this basic life need. Yet, on this occasion, she recognised something different about Jesus and engaged in a conversation with him about the water he offers. The woman left with something far more valuable than just the water from the well. She gained an understanding of the eternal hope, eternal joy and eternal life offered through Christ. His water is ultimately life-changing and given as a free gift, which she quickly shared with the other town's folk. That same life-giving water is also offered to us through baptism and faith in Jesus as our Saviour. Drink deeply, for there is plenty for everyone - no fighting required. 

As God Wants Us to Be
  Adam Richardson  -  2020-03-4 12:28:56
 
"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did this for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me.' (Matthew 25:40)

Humans have achieved many great things, both individually and collectively. Within our lives, we set goals for ourselves and celebrate the successes gained. God has no problem with that but ultimately what he seeks for us is not about these things. God is not concerned with how many medals you have, how much money you make, where you’ve travelled or how many social media followers you’ve racked up. What he is concerned about is the type of person you are. When God looks for success criteria, he looks at your character. Are you becoming more kind, more caring, more respectful and more compassionate? Are you seeing other people as more than just the labels placed on them, and instead seeing their identity? The values and characteristics we seek to build within students at Good News are foundationally built upon God’s word and set with the pillars of Identity, Compassion and Respect. By maintaining these in all our relationships, we are following the path shown by Jesus. When these are the goals we set, we know that we are becoming the person that God intended us to be, and not just the person we want to be. 

The Journey to Easter
  Adam Richardson  -  2020-02-26 15:17:08
 
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you. (1 Peter 5:6)
Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of Lent. Lent is the 40 days before Easter and is traditionally a time to think about the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for our salvation. Although it’s not an expectation of God, some Christians give something up during Lent as part of that reflection. Of course, it’s supposed to be something that you’ll actually miss so that there’s some impact upon you. Perhaps it’s red meat, or it’s chocolate, and for others it’s coffee. But even if you choose not to deny yourself anything, Lent serves as a reminder of Christ’s journey to the cross; His ministry, his isolation, his betrayal, his crucifixion and his death. Jesus’ journey was not an easy one – and he was God’s Son! So why should we think that our journey must be easy? As we journey to this year’s Easter, may we reflect upon God’s great love for us and how Jesus has already paid the price for our sins so that we can be made right with our Heavenly Father for eternity. 

The Light of the World
  Adam Richardson  -  2020-02-20 15:23:58
 
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

When Jesus spoke these words, he was amidst a time of being challenged and tested. The Jews and Pharisees alike tried to trick him, catch him out and prove that he was nothing more than a troublemaker. However, Jesus remained steadfast that he came from his Father in Heaven. A couple of weeks ago the children learned in chapel about the pillar of fire that God provided to the Israelites to guide them through the desert. It was a sign that God was always protecting them. When Jesus says that he is the light of the world who has been sent by his Father, he is making a clear statement that he is the new guide for their lives. He will keep them safe and he will show them how to live with a clear understanding of God’s word – although it still took quite a while for them to catch on! Jesus is the way to a more fulfilling and hope-filled life, as he is the way to eternal life with our Heavenly Father. 

God's Inerrant Word
  Adam Richardson  -  2020-02-12 15:36:34
 
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. (Hebrews 1:3)

The Bible is a collection of documents and genres collated over hundreds of years. Yet, despite its many authors who never met, it is consistent in its message. This is because it is the inspired Word of God, outlining his plan for everyone’s eternal salvation. The central figure is Jesus. Whilst his name was not known in the Old Testament period, there are clear references to where the Saviour would come from and what would happen to him and through him. In the New Testament, the time from when Jesus was born, the scriptures are fulfilled and record Jesus’ life until his return to heaven, as well as the struggles and celebrations of the early church. We now wait in anticipation for Jesus’ second coming to earth, just as the scriptures have foretold. In the meantime, we have his words and his example for how to live our lives as a way to sustain us and fill us with hope, knowing that Jesus has paid the price for our sins, so that we could be made right with our Heavenly Father. 

The Light of God
  Adam Richardson  -  2020-02-5 15:00:53
 
Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119:105)
This term we are exploring the theme of Light during our chapels. Last week Pastor Paul shared about how light helps us to see what is otherwise unseen, and that the light of God reveals to us his plan of love and mercy. This week we learned about God’s pillar of fire that guided the Israelites through the desert, bringing them comfort and hope. That same light shines for and in us today, as God reveals himself in his Word and the Holy Spirit guides us. I pray that this term your life is warmed by the light of God and that the path he has laid out for you is clear. 

Bloom Where You Are Planted
  Adam Richardson  -  2020-01-30 11:15:05
 
Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.
(1 Corinthians 7:20, 24)

Although the saying “Bloom where you are planted” is not actually written in the Bible, it is often used as a way of expressing how we should live our lives for God. The following ancient legend summarises the essence of the saying, encouraging us to be the best we can be wherever God has placed us.

A king walked into his garden one day to find almost everything withered and dying. After speaking to an oak near the gate, the king learned that it was troubled because it was not tall and beautiful like the pine tree. The pine overheard their conversation and added that it, too, was upset, for the pine could not bear delicious fruit like the pear tree. The pear tree heard its name and began to complain that it did not have the lovely scent of the spruce tree. And so it went throughout the entire garden.

Near the very edge of the garden grew a little daisy. As the king approached, he noticed the daisy’s bright little face, full of life. "Well, little flower," said the king, "I'm glad to find that there is at least one happy face in my garden."

"Oh king," it said, "I know I'm little, and not many people notice me, but one day I realised that if you planted me here, you must have had a good reason. So, your majesty, I'm determined to be the best little flower I can be!"

This year we will encourage our students to make the most of the opportunities they have, to be the best they can be in their relationships and to apply their best efforts to their learning. If they do so, they will bloom brightly and benefit through increased confidence, resilience, knowledge and capabilities. And of course, God will help them, as he has placed them in the Good News garden so they can continue to grow in a caring, nurturing environment.
 

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