Category Archives: Links

Blurb – 30th September

Category : Links

Our sheep had twins the other day. Bilbo and Baggins.

Baggins she loved; Bilbo she rejected. By the time we recognized that she wasn’t feeding Bilbo, he was not a healthy wee thing. So we’ve been hand-rearing him and become rather attached to the little fella. Tonight I didn’t get home until 6:30, made his bottle up and went out to feed him only to find no Bilbo in the paddock!

Of course it had to be the day that Kevin had flown down to Christchurch so there was no help with looking! I put on the head lamp and started my search. I walked around all the paddocks, up the drive, up and down the road, into the neighbour’s property …calling his name. No Bilbo.

I was pretty upset thinking of him lost and hungry and lonely. I was praying that God would lead me to him and bring him back home. And then it hit me! A line in the prayer I wrote last night at The Gathering was ‘give me a burden for the lost.’ This burden I was feeling for Bilbo is the burden God wants us to have for his lost sheep. This prayer I was praying for Bilbo needs to become our prayer for those who are lost and hungry and lonely. “Lead me to the ‘lost sheep’ today Lord that you want to bring home”.

Remember the parable Jesus told: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbours together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Bilbo’s not home yet. I’m having to trust God with him tonight.

Cheryll Robertson


Blurb – 23 September, 2018

Category : Links

Rest. Something we all need.
Tiredness. Something we all experience.

The busyness and daily challenges of life can wear us down and at times lead us to a place of exhaustion!
About 6 years ago I began a journey, discovering how to rest well Some things I’ve learnt so far:

*Being intentional is key! As a Mum there are so many things clamouring for my time and energy that if I’m not intentional, I will not get the rest I need!

*Rest looks different in different seasons and stages of life

*I can not be effective for Jesus if I don’t prioritise rest. Jesus was an expert at escaping the crowds and going off on his own to spend time with the Father.

*Rest is more than sleep. It’s filling up mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually.

*Self-awareness. Knowing what I need and when I need it. Understanding what fills me up and what drains me.

*God is for rest! He (God) wants to partner with me to find rest and live a balanced life.

*Finding rest in His presence. I know when I come into His presence to be with Him, its here I find real rest. Here I unload my burdens and fix my heart on him. In return, he fills me up, whispers encouragement, covers me with His love and points me in the direction I need to go. I know if I stay close to Him, I’ll make it through no matter where I’m at. Even though my seasons change. He never does. He’s the perfect Father who loves His kids and knows what we need.

“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28

Sarah Yeow


Blurb – 26th August, 2018

Category : Links

On Sunday mornings I teach the older Kid’s church class, a great little group of 9-13 year olds, currently all boys. Last week we looked at the parable of the talents. We learnt that God has given everyone talents and he expects us to use them.
Have you been in churches where you felt unqualified to do more than warm a seat for the first couple of years? I have. One of the things I love about our church community here at HBC is that you don’t have to have been coming here for years to be involved. We want everyone to have the opportunity to use the gifts God has given them to bless the church and the wider community. Serving together is a great way to get to know people too. So what’s your talent? Don’t be shy. We would love to have you helping out in Sunday School, joining the music team, doing the dishes, welcoming people, contributing financially, working the data projector, doing bible readings, visiting the elderly, or whatever else it is that God is calling you to. If you’re not sure how to get started, talk to Renee in the church office.
And if you’re a young man with an interest in helping out with discipling a lively bunch of 9-13 year old boys on Sunday mornings, I would particularly love to hear from you.
-Domini Martin, Kid’s church teacher and coordinator of the Pastoral Care Visiting team.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds -Hebrews 10:24


Blurb – 19th August, 2018

Category : Links

It’s been an interesting time lately, and as elders we’ve been wondering “Did we do something wrong?” because things didn’t turn out the way we wanted or expected. But on closer inspection, the concern doesn’t hold true.

We have a choice: we can either do what God calls us to or not. Sometimes, that leads to odd places: before now personally I’ve resigned jobs more than once, moved to a place where I knew hardly anyone – and ended up realising it was exactly where I was supposed to go. The bit in the middle is a pretty dark and scary place at times; when God leads you through the valleys, sometimes the “light unto your path” barely reaches to the next footstep. But knowing the future is not our choice: our choice is to do that which is put in front of us, or to not do.

And by obeying even – especially! – in those dark, uncertain and sometimes scary places when it turns out differently to what you thought, we then have this knowledge: we are doing what we have been called to do, and God is with us. We are exactly in the centre of God’s will for us. It may not be fun; it may not be exciting, and it may not be where we think we should have been. But if God has led us to the place we are, then He has us in his hand. Part of our witness is to walk securely in that knowledge, and in His time we will be given the light to see by.

-Ian


Blurb – 12th August, 2018

Category : Links

Someone said recently that she didn’t know how to pray. I remember that happened to me when my mother was very sick. I ran out of words to pray!
After all, isn’t God sovereign? Surely nothing catches Him by surprise.
He also says He is working on our behalf (Isa 64:4), and that He will fight for us (Ex 14:14.) Why then do we need to keep asking Him to do things for us? Isn’t He already doing them? I think we should BY FAITH claim these promises, and PRAISE and THANK Him for what He is doing.

The Bible says to praise and give thanks:
Hab 3:17-18; Acts 16:19-40; Ro 1:21; Phil 4:4-7; Col 4:2; 1 Thess 5:16-18; 1 Peter 2:9.

Praise is faith in action, faith in its most vigorous form.
True praise and thanksgiving actually bless and magnify God.

Heb 13:15 “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of our lips that openly profess His name.”
In the Sacrifice of Praise, we are sacrificing our right to the blessings we think are due us. We are also sacrificing our human desire to understand everything.

When we praise by an act of will, by our own free choice:
We “Resist not evil”. We accept the present circumstances. Resentment and self-pity are replaced by the right (God’s) perspective. We trust that God will bring eternal good out of this situation.

Then we focus on God:
We begin to praise God, taking our less-than-good situation and taking it into the presence of God. We are acting out our belief in the character of God – His goodness, His love.

Then we wait, continuing to praise, while the Spirit does the work. We are acting out our belief in the present power of God – in His participating Presence.
And as we praise and wait, often unable to see any changes in the exterior circumstances, we understand what Paul meant when he wrote, “I am become a fool in glorying.” (i.e. onlookers think we are crazy or irresponsible because we seem happier than we should be under the circumstances)
Thankfulness enables us to live in the present moment, and consciously enjoying it.
In God’s time, what He had intended all this time, will come to fruition.

A story was told about a missionary who prayed “Prayers of Praise” for her brother, Clem. She said, “5 months of praising God for Clem just as he was, was more effective than 20 years of begging God in prayer to rescue my brother.”

-Lin Chu


Blurb – July 29th, 2018

Category : Links

Inviting Jesus Over for Supper

When I was about nine years old I can remember little old Mrs Pebbles teaching us Revelation 3:20 in our Bible in School class from the Old King James – “Behold I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with me.”

I’m sure she was doing her little bit to plant the seed in the hope that Jesus might one day come into our hearts for supper. Well Mrs Pebbles’ work was a factor in me beginning to read the Bible and then a few months later receiving Jesus Christ into my heart as my Lord and Saviour.

Since then I have come to realize that these words were not originally written for the purpose of evangelism to the unsaved! Rather they were written to a group of Christians in a church called Laodicea in modern day Turkey. Some of these believers had been Christians for many years but Jesus complaint was that they had become “lukewarm.”

The lesson is that we can actually close the door of our heart to Jesus over time. Our call is not to a one-off tea party like it would be with the queen of England. But it is a call to always be having supper with the King of kings every day of our lives. Patsy Cline put it this way in her old hymn –

Just a closer walk with thee,
Grant it Jesus is my plea,
Daily walking close to thee,
Let it be dear Lord let it be.

-Armand Newrick


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