Category Archives: Newsletter Blurb

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Blurb 13th December 2015

Category : Newsletter Blurb

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, particularly later in his life, had little to rejoice about on Christmas. He was living under the authority of one of the most evil, unjust, racist regimes since the beginning of time. How was any German citizen to interpret the “good tidings of great joy” which had supposedly arrived with the birth of Christ? Yet, Bonhoeffer saw Christmas in the opposite light: not a confusing contradiction in a word of evil but encouragement for those living under oppression. He wrote, in his reflections on Christmas in ‘God Is In the Manger’

For the great and powerful of this world, there are only two places in which their courage fails them, of which they are afraid deep down in their souls, from which they shy away. These are the manger and the cross of Jesus Christ. No powerful person dares to approach the manger, and this even includes King Herod. For this is where thrones shake, the mighty fall, the prominent perish, because God is with the lowly. Here the rich come to nothing, because God is with the poor and hungry, but the rich and satisfied he sends away empty. Before Mary, the maid, before the manger of Christ, before God in lowliness, the powerful come to naught; they have no right, no hope; they are judged.

Kevin


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Blurb December 06 2015

Category : Newsletter Blurb

C.S. Lewis was not very pleased with the way many who bear Christ’s name celebrate Christ’s birth: He writes in God in the Dock “What Christmas Means to Me”

Three things go by the name of Christmas. One is a religious festival. This is important and obligatory for Christians; but as it can be of no interest to anyone else, I shall naturally say no more about it here. The second (it has complex historical connections with the first, but we needn’t go into them) is a popular holiday, an occasion for merry-making and hospitality. If it were my business to have a ‘view’ on this, I should say that I much approve of merry-making. But what I approve of much more is everybody minding his own business. I see no reason why I should volunteer views as to how other people should spend their own money in their own leisure among their own friends. It is highly probable that they want my advice on such matters as little as I want theirs. But the third thing called Christmas is unfortunately everyone’s business.

I mean of course the commercial racket. The interchange of presents was a very small ingredient in the older English festivity. Mr. Pickwick took a cod with him to Dingley Dell; the reformed Scrooge ordered a turkey for his clerk; lovers sent love gifts; toys and fruit were given to children. But the idea that not only all friends but even all acquaintances should give one another presents, or at least send one another cards, is quite modern and has been forced upon us by the shopkeepers.

Kevin


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Blurb – November 29th

Category : Newsletter Blurb

Last weekend I was away. This weekend I’m back. And today is a day that I’ve been looking forward to for a while. Why? I’ve asked three of our own amazing people to share a bit of their stories and their journey with God. We all have a story and it’s a unique story that nobody else has; and to hear someone else’s story we not only learn about them and their walk with God, but we also learn about a gracious loving God that blesses His people and hopefully learn about ourselves as well. One of the things we have to learn is that our story with God can and should be shared to build others and to proclaim His goodness and the good news. When was the last time you shared your story with someone?

But wait, there’s more
Next week we have a guest speaker coming in to share his story. It’s a ‘must not miss’ story… Derick is going to share how he coped with depression and how God ministered to him through it and bought him to a place of wholeness. Depression is often the ‘elephant’ in the room that nobody wants to talk about – but we here in this church talk about all sorts of things, so why not depression? He’s a good bloke, Derick, and so I encourage you not to make next week a ‘let’s skip church’ week.
But wait there’s more
Joel is running a concert evening at our place next Friday and Strahan is the guest artist. Strahan was here in church a few years back and we all appreciated his ministry amongst us…so for $10 you can come and enjoy…see Joel for more details.

Blessings
Kevin


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blurb 29th November 2015

Category : Newsletter Blurb

Last weekend I was away. This weekend I’m back. And today is a day that I’ve been looking forward to for a while. Why? I’ve asked three of our own amazing people to share a bit of their stories and their journey with God. We all have a story and it’s a unique story that nobody else has; and to hear someone else’s story we not only learn about them and their walk with God, but we also learn about a gracious loving God that blesses His people and hopefully learn about ourselves as well. One of the things we have to learn is that our story with God can and should be shared to build others and to proclaim His goodness and the good news. When was the last time you shared your story with someone?

But wait, there’s more
Next week we have a guest speaker coming in to share his story. It’s a ‘must not miss’ story… Derick is going to share how he coped with depression and how God ministered to him through it and bought him to a place of wholeness. Depression is often the ‘elephant’ in the room that nobody wants to talk about – but we here in this church talk about all sorts of things, so why not depression? He’s a good bloke, Derick, and so I encourage you not to make next week a ‘let’s skip church’ week.
But wait there’s more
Joel is running a concert evening at our place next Friday and Strahan is the guest artist. Strahan was here in church a few years back and we all appreciated his ministry amongst us…so for $10 you can come and enjoy…see Joel for more details.

Blessings
Kevin


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blurb 22 November 2015

Category : Newsletter Blurb

Caleb and I have recently embarked on the exciting adventure of building for ourselves a teeny tiny house! One of the most drastic, unexpected exciting parts has been the changes in our perception to consumerism – the preoccupation with buying more and more things.
We are not building a tiny house out of material necessity – we could work 50 hours each, and get ourselves a 30 year mortgage to live in a Rototuna McMansion if we wanted to. The exciting part is that we are in a position to be able to buck the trend and see where it leads us!

Obviously our tiny house will have space constraints, leading us to start clearing out our stuff even this early in the game. We have been forced to consider why on earth we bought all this ‘stuff’ in the first place! We have been selling, donating and throwing out. I was always sure the experience would be a positive one, but boy did I underestimate it! We both never realised how enslaved we were to all this stuff, until we began to ruthlessly cut it out of our lives! How freeing!

Not only are we freer not to own stuff, but we are freer not to buy the stuff in the first place! Caleb takes great delight in not walking aimlessly around shopping malls while I look for rubbish to throw money at. Haha. We have honestly been surprised at all the areas in our life the tiny-house-ideas have filtered through – we’ve convinced family to all take a holiday away together this Christmas instead of buying gifts! Quality time instead of stuff – I think that’s what we all really want after all.

Hannah


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Blurb : November 15th 2015

Category : Newsletter Blurb

I hate wearing shoes. Can’t stand it. They’re hot, restrictive and I don’t see the point. I admit the exceptions, like blizzards and on worksites. They might save you from falling objects and frostbite. Otherwise, no thanks.

I was thinking about this at the Baptist Hui last week: why do we wear shoes to church?

As I was day dreaming an image of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet came to mind. Imagine if it happened – if Jesus turned up today and said he wanted us to wash each others’ feet next Sunday. Literally. I reckon we’d feel a bit nervous. Feet are so personal and private and can be really messy. But that’s what Jesus came to do, right? Wash us. Make us clean.

I imagine what’d happen is at church the next week, the congregation would turn out full of people who don’t need their feet washed. Some of you went and got a pedicure. We’d fiercely pumice-scraped away all the rough dead skin, and neatly trimmed our toenails. No unsightly blisters or verrucas or ingrained dirt. Nice pretty feet.

What would it say about our belief in God, if we thought we needed to be clean before we could meet with Christ?

See I think that if Jesus wanted me to wash your smelly feet, I’d do it. “OK Jesus,” I’d say. “Let’s serve these people. Look at how humble I’m being.” But what about the other end of humility; to let someone else wash yours? What about the vulnerability it’d take to be exposed in that way, to let people see the unwashed mess that’s going on inside your shoes?

The theme for Hui this year was the acronym “Humility – Unity – Intimacy” which is meant to be a description of the church. Foot washing came up a few times. As it happens there’s two sides to that coin. Jesus challenges us to love our neighbours in all their messiness.

How much more of a challenge to let ourselves be loved by them in all of ours?

Mark Day


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blurb – October 11th

Category : Newsletter Blurb

After the farce of last Sunday regarding our wedding anniversary and chocolate missiles, I think it appropriate I write a little about it.
On Thursday 8th October Kathryn and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary. Now 18 years is nothing compared to some of you and a lifetime for others. Given that the odds of a marriage lasting more than 5 years being low, we are confident that we have done it right. But we aren’t complacent.
How?
Firstly, we have God in our lives. He has held us together through thick and thin.
With his help we make an effort to really listen to each other. I’m a bloke who deals in black and white. My emotions run hot when watching sport and soppy movies! But Kathryn can let her emotions rule her day. Together we have learnt to respect our differences and enjoy our similarities. We laugh a lot. Usually at my expense. We are honest with each other. We share the humdrum tasks of life. Kathryn is better at somethings and me better at others. We play to our individual strengths.
Secondly, when we do have a weekend on our own, I understand when she spends it getting her legs waxed, eyebrows plucked and nails done. I mow the lawns. Her time is her time, and my time is her time but with a list. I understand.
Lastly, but by no means least, we love each other.
Howard


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Blurb 4th October

Category : Newsletter Blurb

I’ve been interested in the evolution of the blurb in the newsletter since handing it over to other writers. I love ‘hearing’ the voice of others but todays one is from me…and so it’s going to be a basic non- amazing practical write.
Firstly due to a few hiccups and running out of time last week I want to give you the links to the two YouTube clips I was going to show during my message. If you have time I think these are worth the watch: the first is what God is up to in Indonesia, the second from North Africa https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxFflMMpl8o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZ88Ucp3qsg. They leave me leaning towards prayer – I ask the question, “Where are you moving in our community God and how can I join in with what you’re doing?”
Secondly: This morning we are starting a mini-series in the preaching. 3 weeks all from the same passage. It’s a very well known parable that Jesus told but the three who are going to share are all viewing it from different perspectives. When was the last time you heard 3 sermons in a row all on the same passage? I hope we all learn and allow God to bring change and challenge us as we become kingdom ambassadors.
Blessings
Kevin


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Blurb 27 September 2015

Category : Newsletter Blurb

I’m not the most talkative person in the church, so one of the nice things about being on the elder’s team is hearing all the stories of people just getting things done. Call it vision, drive, or just scratching an itch, but we are in sum a really awesome community, and I’m proud to be a part of it. From Jack and Glynn’s over 65 group to Amy and Renee and the preschoolers, all the CAP befrienders, CAP Money course leaders, the team of 10 or so that help Joel and the Mortons with the youth group, home group leaders and participants, Andy and the worship team, Mark J’s team of childrens and intermediate helpers…and so on. There’s so many people who are part of making things happen.

But there’s two sides to this. We get called to different tasks, but even the son of God had 12 friends to walk the road with him. God knows we work best together, and He puts us in places where we can work with others. So what are you being called to? And how can we as a church help make that happen?

Ian


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Blurb 13 September 2015

Category : Newsletter Blurb

“What’s your favourite colour, Mikaela?” I asked my granddaughter. “Blue” came the answer – but just to set the record straight, it’s now pink!

What’s my favourite flower? I can’t decide as it changes with each season! How can I choose when God has done such a fantastic job?

What’s your favourite verse or Psalm? I’ve got one – Ps 40: 1-3.
“I waited patiently for the LORD
He turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
He set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth…”

Notice that all I had to do was to wait patiently. Then see what God does. He turned, heard, lifted, set my feet on firm ground and gave me a new song! One act on my part (although often difficult) and an overflow of loving responses from God.
Isn’t that also true in other areas? We give and He blesses in abundance. We return to Him after our wanderings and He runs to us with open arms, hugs, welcomes and even throws a party!

So what’s your favourite verse for this week? Share it. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear a buzz in church as people start sharing their latest God moments with each other? Go on… bless someone!

Loges


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