I am just finished with a very busy and very rich weekend in Canberra. I will offer the details in a moment, but I was impressed to lift up some key Christian champions in Australia and to give them some much needed recognition, respect and honour.
In Romans 13:7 we find these words: “Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour.” I am not here to talk about taxes, but I am hoping to give a bit of honour to whom it is due based on my time in Canberra.
The annual National Prayer Breakfast and the National Alliance of Christian Leaders both had their annual events in Canberra this weekend. I have attended quite a few of each over the past few decades, and this year’s events were very good indeed.
Let me begin by giving honour to a terrific couple, Paul and Hilary Moroney. They are some of God’s choice servants in Canberra and have been doing so much great work. Almost five years ago now they set up this amazing place called the Canberra House of Prayer.
Even the building and the location they are in is so neat, being amongst the various international embassies. C-HOP is strategically nestled between the Nigerian High Commission and the Saudi Arabian Embassy! It has rooms for worship, teaching, prayer, dining, etc., but also can accommodate around 35 guests.
So all year long it is a beehive of activity, with Christians coming and going from all around the world, with vital prayer, intercession and spiritual warfare taking place, and great times of teaching, fellowship and worship. I told Hilary the fellowship and community almost reminds me of some of the communes I stayed in back in my younger days!
Some of the times of intercession, repentance and worship that occur here are just amazing. It keeps the Moroneys very busy indeed, but they are real servants who seek to serve the Body of Christ worldwide. They perform invaluable tasks for the Kingdom, and the enemy is certainly displeased with what they do, so please keep them in your prayers thanks.
See more about C-HOP here: http://www.c-hop.org.au/
The NACL dinner which is held on the Saturday night before the Parliamentary function was once again a superb event, really being, in so many ways, the highlight of the weekend. Graham and Pam McLennan put this on every year, and it really is something to keep your calendar open for.
Key Christian leaders from around Australia and overseas are given a chance to briefly discuss their ministries and what God is doing in our world. That coupled with a great meal and time of fellowship makes it a not-to-be-missed event. So I must honour Graham and Pam for their years of dedication and commitment to this great work.
See more about the NACL here: http://www.nacl.com.au/
And see more about the great work Graham does with the Christian History Research website here: http://www.chr.org.au/
One special highlight of the weekend was the showing of the new 2-hour documentary Gallipoli: The Road to Jerusalem by Kelvin Crombie. This remarkable video traces some of the amazing moves of God in history, with Australian and New Zealand connections to things like the formation of the modern state of Israel.
See this short video clip about this amazing documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2WwCq2JyHc
And see more here: http://www.heritageresources.com.au
The breakfast itself features a Sunday night function along with the main Monday morning event. Anyone familiar with my site will know that during the past few years this event has been a bit disappointing for various reasons. The clear distinctives of the gospel tended to get a bit lost, and at times the whole affair seemed to lose its clear Christian edge.
I wrote about some of these more disappointing sessions in years gone by, but I am happy to report that the breakfast seemed to get back to its roots this year. Under the leadership of NSW MP and evangelical Christian Louise Markus, the Parliamentary Christian Fellowship, which puts this on, seem to have gotten its groove back.
The gospel, Jesus and the Bible were all clearly and unashamedly affirmed this weekend. The keynote speaker this morning was Michael Ramsden of the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. He shared on various things from an apologetics point of view, including the relationship between love and truth. Good stuff.
So the two-day affair was quite good and a real improvement on recent years. Hopefully it will stay that way in coming years. As always, Satan wants to minimise or quash any work of God, and that can include things like prayer breakfasts. So keep that in prayer as well if you will, and uphold Louise.
One final thing: I also had the joy this afternoon of attending another meeting of the Christian Values Institute run by Warwick and Alison Marsh. Each year they honour a few great Parliamentarians who stand strong for the faith in the busy and draining world of federal politics.
Several MPs received the Christians Values Award today, including Senator Bob Day, and I was privileged to be able to present one to George Christensen, MP from Queensland. I have long said that George is a champ. He is bold and brave, not willing to let the forces of political correctness keep him down. He will speak out resolutely for faith, family and freedom. I wish we had more politicians like him. So I honour George and his five year stint in Parliament.
Keep Canberra in your prayers. There is a lot of nasty stuff going on there, but God is also at work. God is concerned about cities and about nations. The enemy wants to claim Canberra and Australia for his own nefarious purpose, but we need to work and pray against that.
We need to reaffirm and proclaim that Australia is indeed the great Southland of the Holy Spirit.