The Inside Column 09/06

Posted in: Uncategorized- Jun 10, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshiping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

Pentecost

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”  Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” - Acts 2:1-12

Acts 2 has been described as the start of or the birth of the Church. We see this group of Jesus disciples, men and women meeting daily for prayer after Jesus has gone to heaven. They had been told to “not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about”. And then the day of Pentecost came. This was the game changer – this small group went from hiding and afraid, to bold and speaking out in power, bringing deep conviction and healing with new power that changes lives. People from all over the world came to faith, 41 those who accepted his message were baptised, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. All these people take their new faith back to all parts of the world, and the world was forever changed. The Good news about Jesus has continued to go out in the power of the Holy Spirit to the ends of the earth. We too have heard the Good news about Jesus and we to are told to be empowered for our mission by the Holy Spirit for the glory of God’s kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.  So we pray like the first disciples “Come Holy Spirit, Come Holy Spirit”

 Amen

Phil

 

The Inside Column 02/06

Posted in: The Inside Column- Jun 02, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

Welcome to the combined celebration service this morning. It is good for the whole body to come together and have communion together, please do stay for the special morning tea after the service.

Today we start a new teaching series from 1 Thessalonians. Thessalonica was a bustling seaport city at the head of the Thermaic Gulf. It was an important communication and trade centre, located at the junction of the great Egnatian Way and the road leading north to the Danube. It was the largest city in Macedonia and was also the capital of its province.

The background of the Thessalonian church is found in Acts 17:1 – 9. Since Paul began his ministry there in the Jewish synagogue, it is reasonable to assume that the new church included some Jews. However, Acts 1:9–10 and Acts 17:4 seem to indicate that the church was largely Gentile in membership.

Purpose – Paul had left Thessalonica abruptly (see Acts 17:5–10) after a rather brief stay. Recent converts from paganism were thus left with little external support in the midst of persecution. Paul’s purpose in writing this letter was to encourage the new converts in their trials, to give instruction   concerning godly living and to give assurance concerning the future of believers who die before Christ returns.

Theme – Although the thrust of the letter is varied, the subject of eschatology (doctrine of last things) seems to be predominant in both Thessalonian letters. Every chapter of 1 Thessalonians ends with a reference to the second coming of Christ. The second coming seems to permeate the letter and may be viewed in some sense as its theme.

Today’s key passage:

For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you,  because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.                – 1 Thessalonians 1: 4,5

 

Coming up – Whanake Youth has its first ever Quiz Night 6.30pm – 9.30pm on Monday 10 June at Speights Ale House. They are keen as to have as many people there, not only to have a fantastic time but to help financially in the work that Whanake Youth does. Tickets are only $10.

For more information and tickets see Lee – ann O’Brien or email: hello@whanakeyouth.org.nz

 

Yours in Christ

 

 

Phil

 

The Inside Column 26/05

Posted in: The Inside Column- May 26, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

Well it is good to be home! One of the comments made when I was away was this; “England is a long way to come for a two day conference.” My reply “Yes it is a very long way” Then I was asked “Was it worth all the travel and cost?” My answer – “Yes, yes it was”

The conference was on a Monday and a Tuesday from 9.00am until 9.00pm, with seminars on in the afternoon and worship and main speakers in the Royal Albert Hall, with five thousand other people. There were many great speakers, but one of the highlights for me were the worship times. There is something very special about worshiping with five thousand other people all singing at the top of their lungs and giving it everything they have got. Very powerful! It was great to go with Ian Hussy and Simon Martin as we were able to have some time talking about what we had heard and breaking it all down.

Thanks to everybody that helped run the church while I was away, and for those that stepped up into new roles that they had not done before. Thank you.

Here are a couple of resources you might be interested in:

www.bibleinoneyear.org

Bible in One Year, 365 Days Readings. With over 2 million users worldwide since 2009, Bible in One Year is the leading daily Bible reading plan. Each day, you will receive a Psalm or Proverbs reading, a New Testament reading, and an Old Testament reading. Nicky and Pippa Gumbel then provide insightful commentary, intended to be read or listened to alongside the Bible to provide fresh understanding of the texts. Nicky is the vicar of HTB Church in London and pioneer of Alpha.

 

Bible.com.

YouVersion free Bible app. Already installed on over 370 million unique devices all over the world, the Bible App offers a free Bible experience for smartphones, tablets, and online at

 

For the diary Next Sunday 2 June we are having a combined service starting at 9.30am, followed with a special fundraising morning tea for Joy Bradley’s next trip with Habitat for Humanity. Joy will be sharing about her recent trip to Cambodia for

Habitat for Humanity. Come prepared to give. All money raised will go toward her trip to the next building project in Fiji. See opposite page for other donation information.

 

God bless

 

Phil

 

The Inside Column 19/05

Posted in: The Inside Column- May 19, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

Recently I was browsing the shelves while passing time in an airport bookshop. No doubt many of you have done the same. I was looking at the business section and became aware of the multitude of books on the topic of leadership. Fifteen titles all supposedly having the answer to making oneself in to the greatest leader known to the business world and then no doubt creating an opportunity to write one’s own book on the topic! Seeing as Phil, our leader is currently in the UK at a Leadership conference it seemed like a good topic for the pew sheet.

Jesus could have written a great book on the topic because his leadership model was and still is   completely disruptive. Jesus turned the concept of leadership upside down by creating a model of servanthood rather than dictatorship.

I like this explanation of Servant leadership by Robert Greenleaf.  “A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid,” servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.”

The Bible teaches us a lot about how Jesus ‘walked the talk’. It’s in John 13 that we read the account of Jesus washing the disciple’s feet and Peter’s dismay at the idea. By this stage of Jesus’s ministry he had established himself as a leader. Huge crowds were following him wherever he went. Culturally the act of humbling himself to wash the feet of the disciples when he was held in such esteem would have been shocking. Maybe even today as I don’t think many CEOs would humble themselves that way!

Do we display servant leadership and ‘walk the talk’ as we go about our daily lives? Do we focus on the wellbeing of the people in our communities and put others needs above our own egos?

I’d like to leave you with a prayer found in “The Word for Today’

“Lord reveal to me what I need to know, teach me what I need to learn so my decisions are in line with your will and best for all those concerned.’

 

Blessings

 

Kathy

 

The Inside Column 12/05

Posted in: The Inside Column- May 12, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

Today we are focusing on hearing from God.

Jesus said,  “My sheep know my voice” and “My sheep listen to my voice”( John 10:4 and 10:27).

The psalms tell us that we have to “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). In today’s world of activity and busy-ness, being still is not easy, that is why for centuries Christians have set aside a quiet time each day to be still and know, to listen and hear.

Our quiet times include reading the bible, prayer for others and for our own needs, but most  mportantly waiting on God. I know when I had young children the only time I managed to be still and listen was during their afternoon naps, then Kindy and eventually school. As the family grew up I switched to a morning quiet time, but some find last thing at night works best for their daily routine.

Apart from setting aside daily time drawing close to God, which can vary in length and  quality, it is also good to plan other shared times. For those not working there is                St Barnabas’ “Stillpoint”, one hour on the first Tuesday of every month and Quiet days led by Spiritual Growth Ministries (an ecumenical group) on the last Friday of every month; for others an annual retreat works best. Whatever your life circumstances we can’t get to know God’s voice unless we make the time to listen. During the sermon today I will share 7 ways I’ve experienced that we can hear God speaking, but there may be more! After all, God’s love for us and interest in us is infinite!

God is always speaking but sometimes our ears are blocked by the distractions of this world. Wherever we find ourselves on our spiritual journey, on our walk with God, I would encourage each one of us to make time to listen; the effects can be life changing.

 

May God bless you richly today and always.

 

 

Yvonne