Author Archives: Admin

Blurb – July 15th

Category : Links

We like to remember our Birthdays – well most of us do, most of the time. But how many of us look forward to our Death days? Not too many I imagine.
Last week I was part of a group that did an interesting exercise to finish our 10 week Spiritual Disciplines course. We wrote our own obituaries! It was a challenge to think about what we hoped people would say at our funeral. The aim was to get us to think about how to finish our lives well and to hear those precious words recorded in Matt 25:21 – “Well done, good and faithful servant!”.

In order to finish well, I have to live well. I need to sit in God’s presence and ask the Holy Spirit to help me take stock of my life and the way I use my time. What areas do I need to work on? Spend more time praying? Intentionally & sacrificially love my husband, children & grandchildren? Honestly examine my motives for serving and giving – out of duty or love? Have I been using my gifts and talents?

We are all in different seasons of lives. God has something for each of us to be and do in each of them. How sad and futile will it be to just trudge through each, without any insight into what’s happening to us. Quoting from Chuck Swindoll, “Seasons are designed to deepen us, to instruct us in the wisdom and ways of our God. To help us grow strong….. like a tree planted by the rivers of water”.

As a dear friend pointed out, the major part of my time on earth has already been lived. I’m nearing the time when I’ll be in the arms of my Father and Saviour. My prayer for us is from Ps 90:12 – ‘Teach us to number our days, that we may present to you a heart of wisdom’.

-Loges Yeow


Blurb – 8th July, 2018

Category : Links

We’re all learning, right?

We’re learning that we have the right before God to lament, to cry our hearts out, and ask: “Why!?” We are also learning, as individuals and as a church body, to praise God, even during hard times.
Have you found it easy or difficult to praise God this week? How do you feel about praising God at church this morning?

If it still feels difficult, don’t be discouraged! Don’t beat yourself up about it! This is not about meeting some religious requirement, but about learning, and deepening roots in your relationship to the living God, the Good Father, who loves you.

Instead, ask God:

Why do I feel that way? What’s holding me back?
Is there grief that needs addressing? Sin that needs confessing?
Am I feeling self-consciousness? Trapped in my own cynicism?

One beautiful thing about God is that He enables what He asks us to do. You’re never abandoned to work it out alone or in your own strength. So ask God to give you what you need in order to give Him praise; a friend, a song, a prophetic word, or a word from Scripture. For me, I’ve found it helpful remembering old songs, and exploring new ones. Youtube helps!

We can also trust that He enables us directly. Romans 8 says: “the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” The Holy Spirit within you prays on your behalf! Good news.

Finally, think of the widow in Mark 12:41-44, whose two-coin offering looked paltry next to the great displays of the wealthy. But hers was the greater. However small or insignificant we may feel, our offerings of praise are very precious to Him.
Praise God!

-Mark


Blurb – 1 July, 2018

Category : Links

We’re all learning right? We’re learning that we have the right before God to lament, to cry our hearts out, and ask: “Why!?” We are also learning, as individuals and as a church body, to praise God, even during hard times.

Have you found it easy or difficult to praise God this week? How do you feel about praising God at church this morning?

If it still feels difficult, don’t be discouraged! Don’t beat yourself up about it! This is not about meeting some religious requirement, but about learning, and deepening roots in your relationship to the living God, the Good Father, who loves you.

Instead, ask God:

Why do I feel that way? What’s holding me back?
Is there grief that needs addressing? Sin that needs confessing?
Am I feeling self-consciousness? Trapped in my own cynicism?

One beautiful thing about God is that He enables what He asks us to do. You’re never abandoned to work it out alone or in your own strength. So ask God to give you what you need in order to give Him praise; a friend, a song, a prophetic word, or a word from Scripture. For me, I’ve found it helpful remembering old songs, and exploring new ones. Youtube helps!

We can also trust that He enables us directly. Romans 8 says: “the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” The Holy Spirit within you prays on your behalf! Good news.

Finally, think of the widow in Mark 12:41-44, whose two-coin offering looked paltry next to the great displays of the wealthy. But hers was the greater. However small or insignificant we may feel, our offerings of praise are very precious to Him.

Praise god!

-Mark


Blurb – 10th June

Category : Links

God is doing stuff. God is speaking. God enables. We hear His voice and then obey with faith and action.

Sometimes! What if He is asking us to do something and change something that we have tried to do in the past but failed miserably at? How do we react when He asks us to change and there seems to be unmovable resistance on our part?

I’ve had to face that recently. I don’t like failing and yet He was asking me to do something that I’ve been an amazing failure at! If there were gold medals for failure I would have stood resolute on the podium while the National Anthem was played! In the past there have been periods of successful change but not lasting change. It’s been a weighty problem.
Knowing what He is asking of me and yet having to get the inertia and motivation to allow Him and others to walk with me.

See, even though I knew I had to get into the right head space to start, I also had to allow others to walk beside me. I don’t think God ask us to change without providing others to be our cheerleaders! It doesn’t matter if our ‘change area’ is spiritual, physical or relational, He provides others who can walk with us on our journey. We call that community or family or church.

With what I’ve been dealing with God has been gracious. He has allowed others to walk with me and so I’m indebted to Cheryll and Joel, my brother Peter, my good mate Mark, these are the burden carriers of God’s grace to me!

Galatians 6:2. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.

-Kevin


Blurb – 27 May 2018

Category : Links

…I have been reflecting on the Overseas Missionaries, and the children, that we as a family of believers here at Hillcrest support. This shouldn’t be a surprise considering I am one of the overseas mission coordinators. But that’s just it – I don’t have a team within our family seeking to be involved in our overseas missionaries… so I have nothing to coordinate other than the voices inside my head :). Therefore this week i have decided to delegate tasks to the wider congregation. I would like to challenge you all to become honorary international missionary team members and have a short list of tasks for this week:

Task 1.

This week we received four letters from our children that we support in Bangladesh. These letters can be found pinned to the notice board for you to read. Please refresh yourselves with these special children that have very little but feel blessed from the support that they get from us to enable them to go to school. Please lift them up in prayer this week.

Task 2.

I need a minimum of 4 people/families to commit to write a letter back to them and maybe share some pictures or photos to encourage them in their walk of faith and in their day-to-day activities. The paper for the letters can be found pinned to the notice board also. Please complete your letter and return it to the office next week.

Task 3.

Please lift up our missionaries in prayer this week. If you don’t know what they are up to, maybe you could ask them. Send them a message. They would love to hear from you.

sashajadebotha143@gmail.com

magintai@loxinfo.co.th

hannahpeart@gmail.com

Task 4.
We have recently been blessed by a visit from Mitch and Ging Atkins – our missionaries in Thailand. While they were here we floated the idea of sending a team to visit at the end of next year. Start praying to see if this is something that God is calling you to.

Thank you for your support. – Russell

missions@hillcrest.org.nz


Blurb – 20 May 2018

Category : Links

I’ve spent quite a lot of time on my PC this week, and on Wednesday morning I realised that I hadn’t saved one of the documents I had been working on the day before. No worries – my computer had autosaved it for me. This made me think about life. When I’m working on a document – or a spreadsheet – if I make a mistake, I can ‘undo’ until I get back to where I want – but it’s not like that in ‘real life’. Once a moment has passed, there’s no going back.

It’s a good reminder that we need to make every moment count. God has planned good works for us to do (Ephesians 2 v 10) and, like Esther, the situation you are in right now might be the very one that you were born for (Esther 4 v 14).

My challenge – for you and me – is to deliberately live every moment – not just ‘doing’ but being ‘fully present’ with the people around you.

No
Opportunities
Wasted!

-Steph


Blurb – 5 November 2017

Category : Links

I was reminded the other day of one of the
scripture verses that I have pondered on for
years…
What happened was that Cheryll and I have been
waiting for some time for the rain to stop so that
we could burn some bonfires we had stacked up. I
had dropped a heap of trees a while back and this
was what was left – so pyromaniac time! All was
going well – we were working like Trojans.
Granddaughter arrived so the ‘boss’ went inside
and I kept stocking fires. I picked up a large log and
ceremoniously dumped it on top of the burning
heap, satisfying! However, as it hit, debris went
flying and one large ember, glowing like Halley’s
comet, decided to land inside my gumboot. The
burn! It stuck on the top of my foot and embed
itself in my melting nylon sock. With quick
reaction, I started ripping my boot off and got
cramp in the back of my leg! I straightened my leg
out with the ember burning happily away.
Eventually the leg cramp eased and I managed to
get my boot off (brand new Redbands) and had to
pick the still glowing ember out of my sock and
foot, burning my fingers in the process. It was a
great day. There is now a burn hole in the top of
my foot.
What’s the verse? Matt 3:11, He will baptize you
with the Holy Spirit and fire.
What does the baptism of Fire look like for you?
And how does this relate to Hebrews 12:29?
-Kevin


Blurb – 12 November 2017

Category : Links

WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!
We realised that time was flying by when we flipped
over the calendar to November. There are only about 6
weekends until Christmas. We looked on the family “Board” and saw that every weekend was busy with
events, with the family only going to half of
them. Adam has finished school and is swotting for
exams. Howard has planted the summer vegetables. I’ve wrapped the Christmas presents.
It just seems as though we have hardly taken a breath
since 2017 New Year– and here we are planning
another.
What is this all for? Do we really need to cram
everything in before Christmas? Is the flip of the
calendar from 2017-2018 so monumental that the
world is going to end if there are a few days of
statutory holidays? Can it not wait? Do we need all
this stress– most of which is self imposed?
We are pondering on this– particularly after a recent
student Bible study session. We had some quiet
meditation time when the words“Be Still” reverberated
around our lounge. We realised that the scripture says “Be Still and Know that I am God” – but we wonder tooif God is saying to us that we need to rely more on Him
and He will give us rest (Matthew 11:28
-30). That maybe so, but do we need to spin out of control before we
remember to put that in practice?
Maybe this will be our mantra for the next couple of
months. To slow down. Remember God is in
control. We can only do the next right thing and have
faith that it aligns with God’s will.

Does this apply to
you too?

The Ettemas.


Blurb – 19 November 2017

Category : Links

I’ve been asked to share something
encouraging…
I’ve had a few ups and downs over the past year, and
with that I have appreciated the support and prayers of
people in our church. I enjoy coming to church. The
interaction between fellow Christians is a big
encouragement for me. This place where we worship
God reminds me of who He is and what He has
done for us.
How we live in the world is a challenge. God has put
each of us in a place of responsibility. We are to shine
for Him and be deliberate in sharing our faith.
I work as a lawyer with the constant tension of
operating in a high pressure business environment
where people rely on us to find solutions to their
problems, meet deadlines, and get good results for
them.
In the midst of this I see the hand of God guiding and
providing. He gives His wisdom to know how to
respond and what to do. He is always (at least) three
steps ahead of the game – which is reassuring,
especially when the pressure is on!
During the year I have been studying John’s gospel and
what I have found in that is that Jesus Christ died for
my sins, was resurrected and lives in me, to share His
good news with others. I’m still ‘rough round the edges’
but He is constantly there reminding me of His
presence in my life, His hand upon me and His great
love.
Thanks,
-Graeme Steed

 

Kidz Church Update
When I normally prepare for Children’s Church my
first thought is to have some exciting game or activity
that will make the lesson interesting and help them
remember what it was about.
So, last week I put a good hour or two into selecting
the right photos and You-Tube clip and made sure I
was prepared for the games. Apart from a bit of
prayer and a quick review of the Bible reading, I never
put too much time into this as I had heard the story
several times before.
However, the reality was our group just sitting in a
huddle on the floor asking and answering questions. It
wasn’t until Loges came in to remind us it was nearly
morning tea time, that we realised we had nearly ran
out of time!
Yes, we did do the games, the slideshow was cool (the
You-Tube clip wouldn’t work) but the best part of the
lesson was having the blessing to have the time to
listen and answer the questions of our very curious
and captivated children.
How busy do we get in
“doing” life, to make
sure children are kept
busy and have all the
right tools and
materials, when there
are times we just need
to stop and take time to
listen and talk?
Matthew 19:14
-Trish Morris


Blurb – 29 October 2017

Category : Links

It looks like spring has sprung where we are – if
nothing else, the grass has ‘riz’. We planted trees
not long after we arrived, and every year they’re a
little bit taller; plants that were posted in a box
now are twice as tall as me. It’s really impressive
the way that without me doing anything (and I can
vouch for doing NOTHING to help lately), this stuff
just does what it’s supposed to!
As with trees, so with us. We die without water;
death takes longer but is just as certain without
food. Spiritually, we need to have our roots deep
to drink (Psalm 1), and to feed regularly (John
4:34); and growth is the result.
So, how’s your spring going?
-Ian Martin