Murals (2008) by PHANTAST - Graffiti - Cultural Music & Art Association inc. - 98 Milne St. Benleigh

Petru -mareST. PETER. Peter was a pretty tough character in his young days.

Born to Jonah, a fisherman who lived in notherh Galilee on the shores of the sea, Peter joined with a couple of buddies, James and John, and ran a fishing business that gave them a pretty fair living. The wind and weather bronzed and etched his face, and the long hours of labour battling the seas and the nets hardened his muscles and strengthened his back.

He was a man of many qualities. First, he was a man of action. He never vacillated. He didn't play the grandstand. He may not have always been right, but you knew where he stood. He did what he thought was right. It was this quality that made him a leader. Second, Peter was a man of commitment and loyalty. Once Jesus entered his life, Peter quickly walked away from his nets and vowed allegiance to the Carpenter- Messiah from Galilee. "Lord, no matter what others may do, I'll die for You!. I'll go to the wall with You!" That was Peter's temperament! And third, Peter was a man of courrage. When the temple guards seized Jesus as He prayed alone in the garden, it was Peter who quickly drew his sword in defence. Yes, I remember that Peter denied Christ as he warmed his hands outside the house of Caiaphas, but I am also reminded that he was the only one who ever tried to stay close be Jesus in His hour of trial. The closer he was, physically, to Jesus, the more secure he was psychologically; and inversely, the further away he was physically, the greater his insecurity and difficulty.

As I think of Simon Peter, I also think of him as a man of conviction. "I say You are the Son of God!" shouts Peter as he waves his fist in the air to drive home his point. It was that same conviction that, fired by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, caused Peter to become the leader of the early church and eventually give his life for the cause of Jesus Christ. Peter was crucified upside down because he did not deem himself worthy to die as his Lord had died.

There's something of this man in us all; and the way God used him, with his faults and failures, gives me hope, for the God who changed his life is still in the business of changing people...


ST. PAUL.  Some are born great; some have greatness thrust upon them; and some could be dumped out of an airplane in a brown paper bag over a country where they had never set foot, and they would still achive greatness. These are the ones who are truly great. Such was the individual born long ago of Jewish parents in the cosmopolitan town of Tarsus; located in the Zagros Mountains of Turkey. During the first part of his life, he was identified as Saul of Tarsus; but following a dramatic encounter with the risen Christ, he became known as Paul the Apostle.

No other individual so shaped and molded the future of Christianity as did this scholarly and dedicated individual. As an author he contributed 13 books to the New Testament; as a theologian of the 1st century, he settled doctrinal issues, set in order rules for church government, and became a missionary. His conversion (Acts,9) was immediate and complete. Whereas he had been the greatest enemy of Christianity, he now became its great proponent and evangelist. Paul and his traveling companions made 3 extensive missionary journeys and planted the flag of Christianity in many towns and cities. He discovered how it was to be on the receiving end of a jail sentence and was often abused and imprisoned for his faith; he received the traditional 39 lashes from enemies on 5 occasions. Three times he was beaten with rods, once stoned.

Paul sustained two long periods of prison, one for almost 2 years under house arrest in Rome, where he wrote letters to the churches, and then a final imprisonment about A.D.67, when he was martyred.

What a man! He's one to whom we are all indebted. (Harold Sala)

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