LET GO

October 14, 2018

"Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it " (Matthew 10:39). 

We can often find ourselves holding onto to all kinds of interesting things in this life, and we often take control of our own ship. But Jesus is asking us to trust Him.
 
This week we will be reading from John 8. It is a familiar story about the woman caught in adultery. By the end of the passage all the accusers have dropped their stones and walk away one by one, until it is only Jesus left with the woman. In light of this passage we will be looking at what it means to let go. 

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WHY WE NEED EACH OTHER

October 7, 2018

Though we intuitively know it’s not true, we often buy into the “independence myth”.  It’s the idea that we’ll be happy if we have independence in our lives; if we don’t let others get too close to us and if we’re “self-sufficient”.
 
Paul, writing to the church in Rome, turns that idea on its head.  He says - “Since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others” (Romans 12:5).
 
God says community isn’t optional.  We need each other, and we belong to each other in the body of Christ.  We have to have other people in our lives if we’re going to be all God wants us to be. 
 
Scripture reminds us we need others to walk with us, work with us, watch out for us, wait and weep with us, and witness with us.

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FROM THE FRYING PAN INTO THE FIRE

October 1, 2018

Daniel 3:1-30

Have you ever been in an environment where you have felt like a “fish out of water”? Perhaps in a group setting where people are acting in ways which offend your Christian sensibilities, morals & beliefs.
Have people ever tried to entice you to go along with the crowd because “everyone else is doing it”?
Have you ever been criticized because of your Christian stance?

We’re going to look this week at the story of Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego & how they handled the pressure to conform to the world’s way of doing things. Then we’re going to look at Jesus’ words to his disciples in John 15 v18-26 as he moved toward the pressure cooker of his trial & death and how these words apply to us in our post Christian pagan society.

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THE RELATIONSHIP CHOICE

September 23, 2018

Everyone has relationships.  Everyone has broken relationships.  It’s part of being human.  And, in our pain and woundedness, we can build walls to keep the pain out and to
keep ourselves from being hurt again. 
 
When we do that, we end up locking ourselves in a prison and locking other people out. 
To rebuild relationships, we have to tear down the walls.
 
In his ‘sermon on the mount’ Jesus said - “Happy are those who are merciful to others.”  Matthew 5:7 (Today’s English Version).  Later in Matthew’s gospel Jesus tells a story that starts with Peter asking about forgiveness (“How many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me?” – Matthew 18).  It’s a story where Jesus measures our capacity to forgive against the forgiveness, the mercy, that God has first shown to us.
 
Both the beatitude and the parable remind us that we can forgive because we’ve been forgiven.  They also remind us that there’s a cost to not forgiving others; that we remain unforgiven ourselves.
 
So, we have an opportunity to evaluate all our relationships, offer forgiveness to those who have hurt us and make amends for harm we’ve done to others.

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THE BORN IDENTITY

September 16, 2018

The way we see ourselves has an impact of every area of our lives. Our identity determines who we are as people and even determines whether or not we are happy, successful, hopeful, and our ability for God to use us.

The devil is hard at work robbing believers of their true identity in Christ. This Sunday we will explore the key truths about our true identity in Christ.

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THE TRANSFORMATION CHOICE

September 9, 2018

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.”
 (Matthew 5:6)
 
In the Beatitudes, Jesus points to “blessedness” (“happiness”).  John Baker, in his book ‘Life’s Healing Choices’ describes them as God’s pathways to “wholeness, growth and spiritual maturity”.
 
Of course, the truths that are contained in the Beatitudes are all through Scripture.  They’re pathways to becoming all the person God wants us to be.  The story of Jacob in Genesis 31 & 32 describes his struggle “I won’t let go unless you bless me” (Genesis 32:26) and his conversion, his filling with righteousness - ‘Your name will no longer be Jacob, but ISRAEL … Then he blessed him there.  So, Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, ‘It is because I saw God face to face … (Genesis 32_28-30).

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FATHER’S DAY SERVICE

September 2, 2018

On Sunday we celebrated Father's Day.

We had morning tea, took photos, shared terrible dad jokes, and heard a short message from Peter. 

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SAFE OR FAITH

August 27, 2018

Have we become too safe locked behind the doors we put up around us?

Are we too comfortable living the same way everyday?

God calls us into the unknown and we are faced with the decision to play it SAFE or have FAITH. 

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THE COMMITMENT CHOICE

August 19, 2018

The third of Jesus’ statements about “blessedness” (happiness) is - “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).  And once again, Jesus is turning expectations on their head.  He’s speaking to a crowd of Jewish people, who have their sights set on a “Messiah”.  One who would ‘deliver them’ from their political and social circumstances.
 
So, this must have been puzzling, confusing, ‘crazy talk’ for them to hear.  They didn’t want meekness or gentleness.  They wanted ‘macho’ and they wanted it Braveheart style.  And it’s true for us.  Not much of our political, social and economic world values ‘meekness’.  It’s seen as weakness!
 
The good news is, a deeper understanding of ‘meekness’ is ‘strength under control’ or ‘courage under fire’.  It’s ‘conviction’ but with a gentle spirit that comes from the infusion of God’s spirit and God’s strength in our lives.  May God bless you with meekness.

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THE HOPE CHOICE

August 12, 2018

John Baker, the founder of Celebrate Recovery and author of “Life’s Healing Choices”, uses the Beatitudes of Jesus to help us explore choices that help on the pathway to growth, spiritual maturity, happiness and healing.
 
The choice to ‘hope’, he says, is grounded in the seconded of Jesus beatitudes – “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”  (Matthew 5:4)
 
Many of us, perhaps most, don’t like the thought of ‘mourning’ the past and those things that have happened that casue us hurt and grief.  And, we will often substitute unhealthy behaviours and attitudes in place of mourning.
 
Jesus says that mourning is the key to finding God’s comfort.  The pathway to that comfort and hope begins with knowing who God really is, understanding who we really are and seeing how God can change us.

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