home > Pastor’s Desk > 2023 > December 29th > At the End of this year I will recount 12 wonderful things (An Explication of Psalm 9)​

At the end of this year, I will recount 12 wonderful things.This is my last end-of-year Pastor’s Desk post. When the leader of our Live-stream ministry, Sari, asked me what I was thankful for this year, my immediate answer was obvious and predictable. But since then, I have considered that I also have eleven other things for which I am grateful to GOD for. In my last ever end-of-year Pastor’s Desk please indulge as I share my heartfelt thanks to God and for those God has used to bless me in my role as pastor of Legana Christian Church this year.

¶ I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
Psalm 9:1

When David penned this psalm he was clearly under pressure. He and his nation were under constant attack from surrounding enemy nations. Added to this, he wrote he was also being afflicted and near “to the gates of death” (Ps. 9:13). Yet his psalmic song is a song of thanks to the Lord (Ps. 9:1) in which he expresses his “praise to Your name, O Most High” (Ps. 9:2) and “recounts all Your praises” (Ps. 9:14). Despite his personal and national adversities he wanted to thank the LORD with all of his heart! And so do I.

The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
And those who know your name put their trust in You,
for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.
Psalm 9:9-10

Anglican Bishop Richard Condie anointing me with oil and laying hands on me for my healing

In the midst of all that David was going through he knew that “the LORD sits enthroned forever” (Ps. 9:7). It was God who surrounded David with faithful and loyal friends who gave him the support that he needed when he most needed it. And I too can thank God that He gave me my best friend who cried with me, assured me that God was still in control (“enthroned”) and that He had not changed His plans for us, and that we would get through this trial! Indeed, Kim was a model of a godly woman. As David was also thankful to God for his colleagues, I too am so thankful to Pastor Phil Hills who prophesied to Kim what she had to do, and then on several occasions prophesied by phone and text messages to me in some of my darkest moments. In addition to this, I am extremely grateful to Bishop Richard Condie for his pastoral care and for taking the time to travel up from Hobart to lay hands on me and anoint me with healing oil. Tasmania is blessed to have such a godly bishop.

¶ Sing praises to the LORD, who sits enthroned in Zion!
Tell among the peoples his deeds!
Psalm 9:11

Karen Dickson H.R.H.I have only just recently been discharged as an outpatient of the Launceston General Hospital. I have but high praise for all of the staff of the LGH. The doctors, nurses, orderlies, radiological and neurological teams were brilliant. I am particularly thankful to Dasha in the Neurology Department who wrote down on a sticky-note superficial siderosis and then said it would be best if I went home and Googled it for myself, which Kim did and then read it out to me. I then realised why Dasha didn’t want to tell me what it was. And speaking of my gratitude for the LGH staff, when I was first admitted into the Emergency Department at the LGH it was Queen Karen Dickson who, while taking leave from her regnum mãternus to visit the provincial parts of her realm (E.D.) where I was a guest, who then took full advantage of my temporal suboptimal incapacity as I lay there with a dozen wires glued to my head and chest that Saturday morning, who regally told me that she was “preaching tomorrow.” To which I responded with the correction, “No no no, I’m being discharged later today and I’ll be able to preach tomorrow.” Karen H.R.H. then shot back,“For someone who is so smart, you can be really really stupid! Have you noticed where you are?” And I am deeply appreciative of Karen, and I was very proud of her for doing exactly what she said she was going to do the next day during church service when she delivered an outstanding sermon on the text of John 5.

There are many parallels between Christ and king David. The prophet Isaiah prophesied that the coming Christ would possess “the key of David” (Isa. 22:22). This “key” was the ability that David had to inspire others and bring the best out of them. Jesus told the leaders of the church at Philadelphia that He was the fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy:

¶ “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the Holy One, the True One, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.”
Revelation 3:7 

My diminished capacity enabled Kim to do for our church what I have never been very good at – inspiring others and bringing the best out of them. Since my return on March 26th many people have commented to me how thrilled they have been to see  so many of our young people used in our pulpit ministry — and I share their sentiments. King David had his “mighty men” (2Sam. 23:8) – but Legana is now blessed to have many (young) mighty men and women! Jared and Alexandra Nielsen have also made a significant contribution to this enhancement. This is another wondrous thing for which I am thankful to God for.

Adam Williams, one of young members of our pulpit team

And it is not just from our pulpit that we now have mighty men and women, I am recounting my thanks to our ten elders and overseers who now share the pastoral burden of oversight for our church. I am particularly thankful to God for Dr. Ali Kidmas for his years of faithfulness as our senior elder. We now also have a team of seven deacons overseeing our various ministries and several intercessors committed to praying regularly for our church. (Our deacon responsible for our Worship Team, Thomas Ferguson, deserves much encouragement for his countless hours of dedication each week to prepare for our weekly Sunday worship services.)  I cannot begin to express just how grateful to God I am for our Board who have been outstanding in their level of care for, vision for, and oversight of, our church and our resources. Also, I am overwhelmed by the many unseen volunteers who have laboured to make our grounds so presentable (Lydia, Alan, and Paul Chatwin) for whom I am ever thankful to God.

Commissioning our Prayer Intercessors

Finally, my twelfth thanksgiving prayer point is for those largely unknown to our church but ocassionally mentioned in our church’s prayer points. This group of people are comprised of my local ministerial colleagues:
particularly Noel and Beckie Eagling, Anson van Delden, Steve Fitzallen; and interstate, pastors including:
Chris Maynard (“Pastor Encouragement”), Sean Wood, Ted Pangilinan, Kevin Thomas, and Michael Ridley. Most of these precious people have prayed daily for me and been in contact with me weekly (or every other week) to see how I was going. In addition to these colleagues I have been so encouraged by Prof. Stuart Piggin who has been very gracious toward me in his encouragement and prayers. As no doubt king David would have experienced during the background to his writing of Psalm 9, I too have felt unusually and supernaturally strengthened by the prayers of God’s people.

As you can see from these twelve thanksgiving prayer points I, like king David in Psalm 9, have a lot to be thankful to God for. And I hope that you will join me in prayer for the future of our church as the mantle of leadership is transferred to a new senior pastor. 

 

OUR SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Finally, many many people have raised with me their sense that what has happened to me (and our church) this year has been a spiritual attack by the evil one. I do not disagree with them. And this might surprise some people because I don’t talk about this very much. The reason is that I have an understanding of how the Bible says we should engage in spiritual warfare. I see king David employing this practice in Psalm 9. Rather than directing our attention at our enemy, the spiritual warfare encouraged and modelled in the Bible is to direct our attention and increased devotion to God! And this has been my practice and encouragement for others to do the same.

¶ Arise, O LORD! Let not man prevail;
let the nations be judged before You!
Put them in fear, O LORD!
Let the nations know that they are but men! Selah
Psalm 9:19-20

Thank you for indulging me by reading about my twelve wondrous thanksgiving prayers for this past year. 

Your Pastor,

Andrew

Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.

5 Comments

  1. Wendy Williams

    Thank you to the entire Corbett family. A Godly family unit working together to bring God’s word and healing to those who cry in need.

    Andrew, you’ve spent countless hours counselling your flock through what at times seemed like unfathomable circumstances, only to set us back on our feet with a new understanding of how God works through us during trying times. Not only have we received words of God’s comfort, but your Spirit led teaching has guided us forward, growing ever closer to our Father and much much further away from the darkness that is tenacious in its thirst for our grief. Thank you for showing us how to turn our backs on the darkness and turn our faces to the Son, the Light and the Way.

    Kim, to see your strength of faith in action as you choose the light of the Son is a blessing. We are only ever aware of a small fraction of what it takes to endure what others go through when they walk difficult paths with loved ones. And each path is different, but yours is surely mighty in God. Thank you.

    And your children have shared you both with us, day after day and done so with Grace and love. Thank you.

    Andrew, may the prayers we lift to God, asking for His mercy and healing for your entire family, be as mighty in faith to God that you, as our good Shepherd, pour out with all your heart to every one of us who are blessed to be counted among your Father’s flock.

    Reply
    • Karen

      Beautifully written Wendy… I echo your thoughts.

      Reply
  2. LYDIA

    Thank you Andrew. Yes blessings abound.

    And I could add Martin and Marko as we still tackle that rock wall, moving this exciting project into the new year. It is nearly finished! Even though I have completed the landscaping of the church garden leaving that now for the next person to take the baton to care for it, it has been one of my many blessings and things to be thankful for over the last two plus years and I very much appreciate Alan’s willingness to help during that time as well…ah and memory is kicking in. That willingness came about as we discovered that you Andrew mowed the lawn one time, so we found a solution for that:)! Oh there are so many exciting stories to tell while working on that property. It was the highlight of my life and God is very, very good!

    God bless you and yours for this coming 2024.

    Reply
  3. Gladys Parry

    Thank you for all your messages from the Pastoral Desk
    God bless you and Kim for all you do

    Reply

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Follow Me AS I FOLLOW JESUS

We all walk a path in life that is set before us. We start with very little experience and knowledge about the purpose of our life and the world beyond us. All of humanity experiences joy, wisdom, strength, weakness, suffering and hardship, especially those who are “contending for the faith”. Knowing Jesus is a very special part of this life journey.

A CERTAIN GOD

We can be reasonably certain about many things. In fact, without this certainty about life, none of us could function. We can be certain that tonight the sun will ‘set’. Tomorrow the sun will ‘rise’. After the February 28th it will be February 29th. This year there will be international unrest and much political instability in many parts of the world. In the coming months global warming will be identified by politicians as the source of floods and wildfires. Several high profile international celebrities will die this year. Archaeologists will make a discovery that will require some aspects of history to be rewritten. And you will certainly have one of the most memorable moments in your life in the coming days. You see, there are clearly some things we can be quite certain about. However, there are some aspects about our future that we cannot be certain about, yet in those moments we can be certain about what we should do.

LOW COST LIVING

Turn on any TV or radio news lately and there’s bound to be a story about the current “cost of living crisis”. We all feel it. Initially most people accepted the widespread price-rises were caused by 2020-21 pandemic lockdowns. But whatever the reasons for the rapid price hikes over the past two years, every time we go to the supermarket we feel it again. While governments are striving to curb the impact of this cost of living crisis, there remains a way to enjoy low cost living. The key to this is recognising that the most valuable things in life are literally priceless. The path to enjoying low-cost living is to be found in Christ, and what He taught — and it begins with treasure.

How To Know Jesus Better

It’s a scary thought to realise that the Jesus we have been told about and worship may not really be known to us at all. We can ‘know’ about someone or something, but not really know them. In Christian circles it’s often referred to as head knowledge not heart knowledge.

Knowing Christ Better

As a church, this year’s theme is coming closer to Christ by getting to know Him better. I feel that I am “the least qualified person” to tell anyone how this is done — but someone else has already claimed this distinction – the apostle Paul. After decades of hearing directly from Christ, seeing extraordinary miracles, being taken to heaven temporarily, planting churches across the Roman Empire, he could still say I would give anything to really know Christ – even if it meant suffering like He did! (Phil. 3:7-10). Therefore, I could say: If you do this or that, you will then know Christ better – but in my view, it’s not as easy as that! How we develop our relationship with Christ is shaped by several factors including our personality, our life experiences, our physical health and fitness, and our relationships with others (especially our parents and particularly our father). In fact, I believe that there is a relationship between how we have learned to build relationships with others (and notably how we have learned to relate to those who are closest to us) and how we then proceed to have a relationship with God. Even though I have expressed my lack of qualifications in telling anyone how to have a closer relationship with Christ, I still can, like one hungry beggar to another hungry beggar, offer you a few of the morsels of food that I’ve been able to find.

SOME PEOPLE HAVE AMAZING BUTS

I know of several people with amazing buts. There’s Jo’, Mo’, Sam, Esther, Jerry, and others. Each of these people were gifted by God with an amazing but that changed there life and the course of human history. Sometimes these gifts came with a …then, or …God, or …the LORD. When it comes to the size of things, a but is a relatively small thing (in Greek it can be just two letters: de) but it can have huge implications and enormously great blessings for multitudes. I hope to show you how this was the case with each of the people I have chosen as samples, and then show you how God is your God of buts.

OPEN

What does the word ‘open’ mean to you? Like language itself, it is like any word in which the meaning only comes from the context in which it is used. I can think of at least 12 different understandings of this word, some of which I will point out, most I will not, and one that I focus on because it is prophetically important for where we are at as a church at this crucial time.

ONE THING I HAVE TO SAY

​I’m always amazed at the really cool events I’d organised for my kids to experience, so that they might have happy memories – but now they don’t remember it except the random comment someone made in the car trip on the way there or what snack was eaten. Conversely, if you make a mistake, well that one is remembered! Once I drove Andrew’s car and just lightly hit something so it ended up with an annoying 2cm scratch. The mistake is (still) there in full view to anyone who looks. Is Andrew going to remember this above the years of my devotion to him? (Not likely, but some people do remember the wrong for way too long!) If you had the choice, what one thing would you want to be remembered for? What one thing would you want your family to remember? It’s not often going to be the thing you have in mind.

‘Famous last words’ comes from the hope that you’ll be remembered for them. If you were given the privilege of being able to articulate as the important thing to say, to be remembered by all, what would it be? Would it be a reflection on your love toward someone? Would it be a directive on how to have the best life? Would it be that you wished you had done something? Someone once mused, ‘would your dying words be that you’d wished you’d spent just one more day in the office’? (Not likely.)

HE WAS BORN A KING

The king who reigned over Judea when Jesus was born was Herod the Great. Herod had no legitimate claim to the throne of Israel. He was from an Idumean noble family who supported the Roman occupation of Palestine. As a reward he was appointed by the Roman Senate as the King of Judea. Despite his attempts to curry favour with the Jews, including several major public works programs (including completing the temple reconstruction) he was still largely unpopular among the Jews. Little wonder then that when the Magi arrived in Jerusalem with their large retinue and requested to view the birth of the prophesied King of the Jews, Herod was emotionally threatened by this revelation. Herod immediately ordered an enquiry from the chief priests and religious scribes.

THE SHEPHERD IS THE LORD

Of all the 150 Psalms, Psalm 23 is probably the most loved. As we read it we can easily imagine its author, the young shepherd-boy David, making the trek through a ravine where bandits, bears, and predators lurked as he led his small flock of sheep through to fresh water and green pastures. As he reflected on how he led and cared for his flock he must have pondered of how the LORD was like a shepherd to him. As easy as it is for us to imagine teenage David composing this beautiful Psalm, it is also easy to imagine how the God he describes as his shepherd in this Psalm is also a shepherd to us. God, as a shepherd, provides what we need (vs 1), restores our soul (vs 3), when we are unsure He leads on the right path (vs 3), He protects us from evil (vs 4), comforts us in times of distress (vs 4), strengthens us in our moments of weakness (vs 5), He gives us honour when our opponents attempt to bring us shame (vs 5), and He provides a place of belonging for us (vs 6). This is what a shepherd does, David tells us, and it is ultimately only found in the True Shepherd, the Lord Immanuel.