Remember: Satan’s Power Is Limited

Whatever happens today, remember that as strong and as ugly as the evil one appears to be, he has limited strength and ability. Jesus Christ, ruler of our universe, has all power and authority. He is on the throne and rules all nations. You can trust this powerful Saviour to be near you and to give you all you need today to follow him.

Rev 12:1-9 “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron sceptre.”  And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. “

Prayer: High King of Heaven, this strange visit fits our this world. Every news story of misery and corruption is an echo of the dragon waiting like a thief to devour all that is good and to vandalise your shalom. Thank you for the good news that evil has met its match in Jesus, and give me the patience in this day as I wait for its complete end. Amen
(Philip F. Reinders, Seeking God’s Face, p.537 – using material from Belgic Confession, Article 12)

This Is What Forgiveness Looks Like

On May 20, 2012, 18 year-old Takunda Mavima was driving home drunk from a party when he lost control and crashed his car into an off-ramp near Grand Rapids, Michigan. Riding in the car were 17 year-old, Tim See, and 15 year-old, Krysta Howell. Both were killed in the accident.

Takunda Mavima lived.

Mavima pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to between 30 months and 15 years in prison.

Despite their unimaginable grief and anger, both the sister and the father of victim, Tim See, gave a moving address to the court on behalf of Mavima, urging the judge to give him a light sentence.

“I am begging you to let Takunda Mavima make something of himself in the real world — don’t send him to prison and get hard and bitter, that boy has learned his lesson a thousand times over and he’ll never make the same mistake again.”

And when the hearing ended, the victim’s family made their way across the courtroom to embrace, console, and publicly forgive Mavima.

Make sure this image sticks with you forever:

Photo Credit, Chris Clark, Grand Rapids Press.

There will be a time in your life when someone will wrong you. God forbid they take the life of your child. But it will happen. And what matters most isn’t how it happened, but how you respond to it.

And if you’re a person of faith, the calling is even greater. The gospel of forgiveness isn’t a high calling for the heroic individual, or a counter-cultural description of heavenly perfection. It is a principle central to the gospel itself – the very heart of our faith in which we are called to embody.

In the swelling sea of human destruction, the little story of Takunda Mavima and a family from Michigan is a lighthouse on a hill, a beacon of hope, guiding the way for all our ships to pass through.

Right now, how can you prepare yourself with a clear plan of action to forgive in the darkest of times?

This post was written by @JustinZoradi and is used with permission. It first appeared on Justin’s blog, and later on Don Miller’s Storyline


Where is God in all this?

Are you asking why? I am. I do regularly when things happen that that hurt and leave me a mangled.

My problem is that I don’t ever get too far past that question.

And I’m guessing that there are many people in Australia and the world over for whom the question ‘why’ is a regular and relentless visitor.

As a follower of Jesus I am not immune to pain and grief and doubt. The questions come

  • What have I done to deserve this?
  • Why did this happen?
  • Is this how God works?
  • Where is God in all of this?

Those questions were driven home with even more intensity this morning as I learned of a Melbourne Pastor who has announced his view that the fires in Victoria are a result of that state’s abortion laws. I am no supporter of abortion, but these words are ugly.

Reading them made me sick. Right in the gut. Angry. And very, very sad.

That voice sounds so arrogant, insensitive, and judgemental. It is devoid of all hope and grace. It reminds me of fingernails running down the blackboard: just stop it. It is callous and heartless. It perpetuates the pain of this tragedy.

And then I got thinking about the big question: ‘where is God in all of this?’

While I’m wary of platitudes, I think there’s something in the Bible’s picture of a seeking God, who risks his own comfort and safety to go after the lost and the broken.

So here is my portrait, for what it’s worth…



I saw Jesus this morning. You may disagree, and others may doubt. But I saw Jesus. I did.

He’s the fellow in the orange suit, the red goggles, the gloves, and the big hard hat.

He was standing there, leaning forward against the pressure of the water.

Beating back the flames.

Now, his face is blistered and burned from the heat.

He’s feeling spent.

But he’s there to save people, to fight fire. To turn back hell on itself.

He’s the bloke wiping the sweat from his brow. Staring. Cuppa in his hand, it’s tipping a little, like he has no strength left.

And you can see the tracks of his tears down the blackened, dirty cheeks.


See the pilot of the Ericson Aircrane dousing the flames with water?

Did you see the woman, weeping on the shoulder of another, because her husband had died?

Or the policewoman, with the mask to her face, looking into the shell of the burnt out car. What is she holding back?

Or the ambo, holding the mask to the guy with the badly burned arm.

Or in every one of the $15m currently pledged from one man to his mate.

This is where God is. At the rescue’s front line. Bringing hope. And a new beginning out of hell’s inferno. He’s been in this business a long time. And we shouldn’t be surprised to see him show up the way he does.




Let’s unite to bring relief in flood & fire tragedy

Hear the cry… Help the grieving… Lift up the broken… Bear the burdens… Share with those in need…

Today I have been struggling to grasp the size of the natural disasters in Victoria (Bushfires) and northern Queensland (Floods).

I was watching the Channel Nine news last night, when I heard that well known Melbourne newscaster Brian Naylor and his wife, Moiree, had perished in the fire. I choked up a bit about that. I did not know the Naylor family personally, but he seemed a likeable man, someone who genuinely cared for other human beings. It then occurred to me that there are many other families affected by the fires, either by death of friends and loved ones, significant loss of property and homes. Or simply the terror of being threatened by fires, or in the case of northern Queensland (the town of Ingham in particular), rising floodwaters.

It’s Monday afternoon here in Brisbane, 2:45pm, and the death and damage toll is rising every hour. Everyone says the numbers will get worse in the next few days.

Here are a few stats as they stand at present


Cyclones and heavy rains have brought severe flooding to northern Queensland

  • Ingham residents isolated for the eighth successive day
  • Townsville residents sandbagging in expectation of a king tide
  • Millions of dollars of fruit produce have been lost, the cane harvest in worst affected areas has been ruined
  • Many towns are isolated, many people are homeless
  • Damage bill could exceed A$190million


  • 128 confirmed dead in Victorian Bushfires
  • The towns of Kinglake and Marysville have been almost wiped off the map
  • Over 30 fires still raging
  • Over 5000 people homeless as a result of the fires

Excellent news coverage for both Queensland and Victoria on the ABC News web portal:

Give Generously

Now is not the time to argue about which agency should receive the funds, whether they go through churches, or community or denominational groups. People have died, thousands are homeless. Grief, trauma, and severe hardship has invaded the lives of too many people.

Now is the time to act. Act now. Be compassionate. Help your brother. Hear the cry of your sister. Care for the children. Read Matthew 25:31-40

And God would just want us to come to their aid, so here’s how you do it:

Bushfire Appeal: channel funds through the Australian Red Cross. Red Cross have stated that 100% of the funds donated will go to victims and their families. You can go straight to the donations page at

Queensland Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal: Anna Bligh, Premier of Queensland, has launched a special fund to help alleviate the effects of flooding in northern Queensland. People can donate to the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal by:

• Phone: 1800 173 349. The Smart Services Qld Call Centre will be open 24 hours a day.

• Mail: Premiers Disaster Relief Appeal, PO Box 15185, City East, Qld 4002.

• In person: Visit CBA, NAB, Westpac, ANZ, Bank of Qld or Suncorp.

• Internet banking: Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal, BSB: 064 013, Account number: 1000 6800

These agencies have a proven track record, capacity to deliver, forces on the ground, and public transparency.

God loves cheerful, generous and courageous givers.

Now is the time to act. Go for it!


Dave Groenenboom