Pastor’s Pen 25th January 2018

Shalom.

Peace be with you in all areas of life. Peace is one of the fruit of the Spirit following love and joy. I think that it can be read as a list that requires one to be present before we can experience the full benefit of the one following, but it doesn’t have to be that way. For me, I know peace is a lot easier if I have love and joy present, then following that is patience, well that definitely works for me with patience if I’m feeling peace.

But fruit is one of those things that takes time as well. Fruit can’t be forced either, it needs to be encouraged and nurtured and watched. A tree will grow fruit when the conditions are right, in season, with the proper nutrients, moisture and fertilizer. Much like us, we need to allow the Holy Spirit room to grow us, this means we need to forgo any desire to control our lives and surrender to Him. We can create some of that fruit, but it will never be as rich, full and good than the fruit God will produce.

I’ve been musing on the future direction we can take as a church and the things I ask myself are how does what we do engage us in mission and worship? How can we best shine the light of Christ and let that draw men; women; young people and children to Him? What is an obstacle for people to engage with Christ – our buildings, our attitudes, our ‘hidden’ values? What do we have as strengths, what are our weaknesses? These are good questions to ask and we need to seek some answers, both individually and corporately.

But the most important question is – are we passionate in our relationship with Jesus? If we lack passion, then we are boring and I think there’s not a lot worse than a boring Christian. Oscar Wilde said the opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s indifference. If we’re indifferent to the things of God, then we have answered that statement – If God matters at all. He matters most – by saying no.
At times we all need to ensure that the first love in our heart is Jesus and awaken again the passion that burned bright and true.

Bless ya

Pastor Mike

Pastor’s Pen 21st January 2018

Shalom.

Let Jesus remind you his love has no limit… no geographical boundary, no emotional cutoff, no wrong unforgiven, it is love vast as the ocean and more.

Several years ago I wrote a poem… Thought I’d share it…

What love is this;

That would limit heaven in flesh and blood,

Wrapped in the form of man?

What love is this;

That would trade celestial glory,

For earthly shame and ridicule?

What love is this;

That would trade eternal life,

For finite heartbeats and death?

What love is this?

This is love that would transcend our understanding.

This is love that would expand our limits of ability.

This is love that would weigh us with the burden of this world,

And lift us see beyond the horizon of that world to glimpse the next.

This is love that would defeat the undefeatable,

Beat the unbeatable, defend the indefensible.

This is love.

Who loves like this?

He who left his heavenly throne,

Became as us and faced our tests.

Who loves like this?

A man named by men yet called by God,

Who walked the roads and alleys of our human condition.

Who loves like this?

Perfect yet marred by scars,

Wounded and healed by the pain and love for a world He made.

Jesus loves like this

How to love like this?

Leave our wants and needs at the cross,

Cast our cares on Him.

How to love like this?

Fleeing sin, Freeing grace,

Desiring a depth of closeness with the Master.

How to love like this?

To live a life lost in surrender, swimming in wonder,

Free of constraint, yet disciplined by compassion.

That’s how to love like this…

Follow He who loved you first.

Bless ya

Pastor Mike

Pastor’s Pen 14th January 2018

Shalom.

May the Holy Spirit indwell you in such a way you know true freedom in all areas of life and peace and satisfaction are your companions.

Have you ever paused and thought about how you came to faith in Christ Jesus? Chances are high that while each story is unique, there will be a degree of commonality in it. Obviously Jesus will be the main common denominator, but I suspect there will be the presence of others who, in one form or another, encouraged and challenged, provoked and debated, nurtured or planted questions or examples that either brought you closer to God or not. Then of course there would have been that sense that it was the right thing to do, and hopefully it made sense as well.

I think this is just as true in our ongoing walk and Scripture has a theme running through it that shows the importance of our relationships, our thoughts and our spirit. Daily we are to remind ourselves of our need to keep Christ first, foremost and centre. Then our relationships must be healthy and sincere, our thoughts authentic, honest and real. But somehow we can fall into this trap of going through the motions and losing the vitality and passion we may have had. Questions can arise and we sometimes don’t want to voice them for fear it may make us seem less as a Christian.

Truth be known, the biggest questions I have aren’t a result of those Scriptures I don’t know well, but from those I do. To not ask or question is to deny part of who we are, but as we do this we should keep pressing into Christ and trusting in him. We may not receive an answer we understand, or at times we may not seem to receive one at all, but we know who gives them and can stand in the promises and hope He provides.

For me, I find I need to return to Jesus and renew my commitment to Him, to reconnect with Him and this primarily, for me, is a faith step. This is especially true when I acknowledge that while I don’t have answers to everything I’d like to have answers to and I don’t know every step I should take, I also know that Jesus has never let me down and I will still put my faith in Him. As I do that, invariably I find that the answers unravel, the steps get revealed and my faith is grown. I think it’s because I choose to answer to Jesus first, rather than demand he answer to me.

I don’t know where you’re at with Jesus, but if there are issues you’re struggling with or people who get on your nerves, or questions you have, just give it to Jesus and trust Him with it, realign yourself and put Him in the centre and you might just find that the things you thought were so important will fade away.

May you know this in the week ahead.

Bless ya

Pastor Mike

Pastor’s Pen 7th January 2018

Shalom.

May you discover a renewed passion for life and a refreshment for your soul.

A new year… 2018!
I was just getting used to the old year and it’s gone. Truth is that time never stops. It doesn’t matter what happens or what you do, the sun will rise at the beginning of the day and set at the end. None of us are given more or less time than anyone else. It’s what we do with the time now that determines largely what will happen tomorrow for us. Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time for everything, this is true.

We live in a society that pressures us to think we must use all our time in the most productive and efficient way to maximise our output and make more … money, materials, stuff. But we need time to stop and unwind, to reflect and to simply smell the coffee.

God doesn’t call us to live the most effective way to live by accumulating assets, money and consuming them. He calls us to live an effective life where we love God, others and ourselves. He’s not against wealth, but he is against avarice, he’s not against accumulating assets, but he is against oppressing others into poverty. He’s not against money, but he asks us to bless others too.

Whatever 2018 brings may it be a year that draws you closer to Jesus, his message and way of living. After all, he is the one on whom we meditate day and night.

Bless ya

Pastor Mike