The Inside Column 29/09

Posted in: The Inside Column- Sep 30, 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.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.                – 1 Corinthians 15:58

Today is gift day …

We give thanks for large and dedicated team of people that take services, lead communions and provide pastoral care in the eight rest homes in our community, as well as many home communions. We give thanks for the pastoral care team. We give thanks for the Marriage Course and Alpha course that has been run over the last couple of years. We are thankful for the people who lead and support this ministry. We give thanks for the outreach opportunities that these course have provided us to reach out to the community. We give thanks for the Mainly Music group and many other children’s groups that use our foyer, crèche and hall. We give thanks for the relationships that are been built, friendships made and the encouragement for many parents. We give thanks for the home groups, the leaders that give their time, those that open their homes and those who participate in engaging with one another. We give thanks for the many musicians and singers that give the time and skills to the worship life of the church. For the Choir and organists, and the worship leaders and band members. We give thanks for the youth band and the joy and excitement we see in the youth. We give thanks for the vestry and wardens and the many people that have faithfully served in the management of the Church. We give thanks for the opportunity to minister to the community through the food bank gifts that that so many give to. We give thanks for all the people who help in the church – brass and flowers, laundry, gardens and lawn mowing, We give thanks for our mission partners and the giving to missions over many years. We give thanks for the Sunday Club, Crèche, and Youth Group volunteers. For the teaching and the fun they have with the children, for their time and commitment. We give thanks for all the people that do the things that go unseen, those that see a job that needs to be done and do it, for all the little things that no one thanks them for, but our God sees.

Most of all we give thanks to God, who has blessed us more than we can know, for His love for us, for His truth revealed in us, and His grace poured out in us. May we join with the Angels and the Heavenly Hosts that never stop giving thanks and praises to the King of Kings. Amen    

Yours in Christ

Phil

 

The Inside Column 15/09

Posted in: The Inside Column- Sep 16, 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 looking at the spiritual practice of Simplicity.

If there is one spiritual practices that flies in the face of our modem lives it has to be the practice of simplicity. We are bombarded all the time with advertising telling us we need more, we need to have more, we need to experience more, more, more, more…

Richard Foster, author of The Freedom of Simplicity says:
The Christian Discipline of simplicity is an inward reality that results in an outward lifestyle. Both the inward and the outward aspects of simplicity are essential. We deceive ourselves if we believe we can possess the inward reality without its having a profound effect on how we live. To attempt to arrange an outward lifestyle of simplicity without the inward reality leads to deadly legalism. Simplicity begins in inward focus and unity. Experiencing the inward reality liberates us outwardly. Speech becomes truthful and honest. The lust for status and position is gone because we no longer need status and position. We cease from showy extravagance not on the grounds of being unable to afford it, but on the grounds of principle. Our goods become available to others. We join the experience that Richard E. Byrd, after months alone in the barren Arctic, recorded in his journal, “I am learning … that a man can live profoundly without masses of things.”

Contemporary culture lacks both the inward reality and the outward life-style of simplicity. We must live in the modern world, and we are affected by its fractured and fragmented state. We are trapped in a maze of competing attachments. One moment we make decisions on the basis of sound reason and the next moment out of fear of what others will think of us. We have no unity or focus around which our lives are oriented. Because we lack a divine Centre our need for security has led us into an insane attachment to things. We crave things we neither need nor enjoy. We buy things we do not want to impress people we do not like. In a world that is wrestling with limited resources and extremes of rich and poor, revisiting the principles of living simply is worth exploring.

Reminder – Next Sunday we are having a combined celebration gift day service, with breakfast starting at 9.00am followed by the Service at 10.00am. All are welcome.

Yours in Christ

Phil

The Inside Column 15/09

Posted in: The Inside Column- Sep 16, 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 continue our series on encountering God through spiritual practices. This week we are looking at the spiritual practice of study.

Why study the Bible?

As we read his Word and observe his actions, we get to know who he is, know him better, and recognize his voice, to gain wisdom, learn what’s right, to correct wrong thinking, and receive guidance. Cultural understandings, other people’s views, and our own biases make it very difficult to know with certainty how to handle the questions and problems life brings us. Asking for wisdom and deepening our understanding of how we should do life as disciples of Jesus is done through studying the bible.

The Bible is living Word of God.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.       -Hebrews 4:12

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. - 1 Timothy 3:16-17

Tools to help with studying the Bible

The Bible in One Year 2019 is a that takes readers through the entirety of Scripture in one year, including readings from the Old Testament, New Testament and either a Psalm or Proverb each
day. Combined with a daily commentary from Nicky and Pippa Gumbel, this plan guides us to engage more closely with God’s Word and encourages us not only to apply the teachings of Scripture to our everyday life, but also to move deeper in our relationship with Jesus. For more information visit: www.bibleinoneyear.org 

The church Vicarage is having a change of tenant. In the middle of next month Jude and family are moving out of the vicarage. This will mean that there will be shortage of household items, furniture etc. for the Bible college students that are staying, including Georgia. We would like to set up the Vicarage to support the ongoing letting to young Christian students. There is a list of items we need in the foyer. If you can help with any of these and they are in good condition please tick the item box and write your name and phone number so we can let you know when you can drop them off (or arrange pickup for larger items).

Yours in Christ

Phil

The Inside Column 08/09

Posted in: The Inside Column- Sep 09, 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 continue our series on encountering God through spiritual practices. Yvonne is speaking about serving this morning.

As Jesus gathers his disciples for the last supper we read of a simple act of serving that shows us the power and blessing of becoming a servant. It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not everyone was clean. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
– John 13:1-17

When was the last time you washed someone’s feet? (figuratively)

Yours in Christ

Phil

The Inside Column 01/09

Posted in: The Inside Column- Sep 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 worshiping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

Today we have a guest speaker Dr Omar Djoeandy. Omar is in NZ for the service of our new Bishop Steve Maina yesterday at the Cathedral, and it is our privilege to have him with us today to speak. At the age of 16 Omar surrendered to follow Jesus and his mission. He graduated from Medicine at the University of NSW in Sydney, Australia in 1984. He has worked as a General Practitioner in Sydney and in Nairobi. From 1998 to 2003 he served as an Associate Pastor at Nairobi Chapel, Kenya when it grew from 800 to over 2,000. During that time Omar published his book “Redefining Success” (2002) and had opportunities to be on radio and TV.

He served as the National Director of SIM Australia (2004-2019) and provided visionary, courageous and team-building leadership that contributed to SIM Australia’s growth from 94 to 125 long-term missionaries. He has visited 21 countries and preached in 12 including PNG, NZ, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Pakistan, Thailand, Kenya and South Africa.

Now Omar continues as a member of SIM Australia, serving half-time in Mission Engagement – preaching, inspiring, challenging and coaching churches and people for global mission, especially towards the least reached. In the other half-time, he is revising and publishing Redefining Success. He is married to Kay, a Counsellor, and they have three children. Kay and Omar are members of Caringbah Baptist Church.

Last Wednesday, with sad hearts, we held the funeral of Muriel Pratt. Muriel was a much loved and long standing member of our church and although she had various health issues in the last couple of years that limited her involvement, she remained active in many groups in the church. She will be much missed and our thoughts and prayers are with her family.

Points from my sermon a couple of weeks ago on confession…

Replay the week in your mind. Take a few minutes to reflection on the last week, allowing it to play like a movie in your mind. Call to mind the highs and the lows of the week and all of the emotions tied to those moments.

Invite the Holy Spirit into your reflection. Ask the Holy Spirit this simple question: “When did I fail to love God or love someone else this week?” Take a few moments to quietly replay the week in your mind, allowing the Holy Spirit to show you moments where you did not love God or others

Acknowledge those moments before God and ask for forgiveness. Once those moments have come to mind, confess them to God by acknowledging the wrongdoing towards him or towards someone else. After you’ve acknowledged them to God, call to mind God’s readiness to forgive you and thank him for his forgiveness.

Yours in Christ

Phil