Sunday September 22nd, 2019

Welcome to our service today. It is great to have you here and we would love to invite you to stay after the service and join us for tea and coffee.

In this life we are promised persecution and trials. The recurring picture I have had this week is of a tree with it’s many roots going down deep into the ground. When the strong winds come the tree with deep roots stands firm, but the young tree needs something to help it stand – tied to a stake in the ground or it will be ripped out of the ground and fall over and die.

The analogy is of course quite obvious. Our ‘roots’ need to be growing deep into the soil in order to withstand the troubles and trials that come our way. Our ‘roots’ develop through reading the Bible, praying, spending time alone with God, listening to worship music, being part of a life group, participating in corporate worship with the Church body, reading Christian books……and in many more ways.

But what about the young tree tied to the stake……what is the stake? I believe this is a more mature Christian who is prepared to walk with and disciple (teach) the younger Christian in the ways of Jesus. We are all called to go and make disciples – is there someone that you could walk alongside and be their ‘stake’?

With love & blessings,

Sandra

 

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Sunday September 8th, 2019

Welcome to our service today. It is great to have you here and we would love to invite you to stay after the service and join us for tea and coffee.

What is the first word that comes to mind when you read the word ‘Jonah’? I’m sure for many of you it was the word ‘whale’ (or big fish!) And many of you may remember the Sunday School song ‘Jonah in the whales belly’! I love the book of Jonah – it’s only 4 chapters long but is such a great picture of the salvation and redemption message.

God spared the sailors when they pleaded for mercy. God saved Jonah when he prayed from inside the big fish. God saved the people of Ninevah when they responded to Jonah’s preaching. God does answer the prayers of those who call on Him. God will always work His will, and He desires that all come to Him, trust in Him and be saved. We can be saved if we heed God’s warnings through His Word. If we respond to Him in obedience, God will be gracious and we will receive His mercy, not His punishment. If you haven’t for a while, I’d encourage you to re-read Jonah and hear what God is saying to you through it.

With love & blessings, Sandra

 

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Sunday August 25th, 2019

Welcome to our service today. It is great to have you here and we would love to invite you to stay after the service and join us for tea and coffee.

We are redeemed! Through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, the shedding of His blood, we have forgiveness with a complete pardon of our sins – Christ’s blood paid the penalty completely. We can and for some of us have, received salvation and deliverance through the finished work of Christ.

There is nothing we can add to the finished work of Christ. His death has accomplished it all – once and for all, so we can stand before God completely cleansed and assured of our salvation and reconciliation with God our Father. This is who we are as sons and daughters of God, and this is what Christ has accomplished for us.

Let us thank God for all He has done for us that we can walk in complete freedom, cleansed of all our sin. Thank you Lord that we can walk in the finished work of Christ!

With love & blessings,

Sandra

 

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Sunday August 18th, 2019

Welcome to our service today. It is great to have you here and we would love to invite you to stay after the service and join us for tea and coffee.

There are a lot of people in the world and many of these people deal with a lot of difficult circumstances. We only have to listen to the news or open a social media app to be quickly loaded with information about much pain and hurt in so many places in the world. Sometimes it can be hard to know who to help or how to help or when to help. But we can make a difference every day……with prayer.

Although life can often move at an incredible pace we can still find time to pray and therefore make an impact when we intentionally pray for people around the world. If you find it hard to make time to pray, just start in small ways. Pray while you brush your teeth morning and night; pray while you wait for the jug to boil; pray while you’re in the shower or while you’re getting dressed…..if you added up all these minutes you’d be surprised how much prayer you’d be doing.

We know that God hears our prayers, because Scripture tells us “the Lord is close to all who call on Him” (Psalm 145:18). So whether you have 30 minutes or 30 seconds every time you pray you’re choosing to draw close to God and He is drawing close to you!

With love & blessings,

Sandra

 

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Sunday August 11th, 2019

Welcome to our service today. It is great to have you here and we would love to invite you to stay after the service and join us for tea and coffee.

This week I have been pondering the difference between faith and courage. I believe the difference is this – FAITH is believing God’s promises without being able to see them (Heb 11:1) but COURAGE is doing what we know to be right even if it costs us something. Courage is an act of our will.

For example, courage is choosing not to sleep with our non-christian boy or girlfriend. Courage is not getting drunk when our friends around us might be. Courage is standing up to, speaking out against and not supporting some of the current legislation before us in parliament (abortion, euthanasia, legalising of marijuana). Courage is defending our faith in the midst of those who want to put us down.

Being a Christian means being courageous – it is not for the faint hearted! It takes courage to be a Christian. So when the attacks, put downs, mocking and laughing come your way – be prepared – and be strong and courageous – be very strong and courageous, not turning to the left or the right.! (Joshua 1:6-7)

With love & blessings,

Sandra

 

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Sunday August 4th, 2019

Welcome to our service today. It is great to have you here and we would love to invite you to stay after the service and join us for tea and coffee.

Because God created us and knows our innermost thoughts (Psalm 139) He knows what delights our heart.  He also knows the desires of our hearts. But have you stopped to think about what delights the Lord?

I believe we delight the Lord when we follow His instruction. I believe it is when we choose not to criticize someone but instead choose to say nothing or instead say something encouraging about them. I believe it is when we choose to honour the Sabbath when we might rather be doing something else. I believe it is when we carry out an act of service for someone in need when we might rather be doing something for ourself. I believe it is choosing to tell the truth when it might be a lot easier to tell a lie. And of course the list goes on……

There is nothing we can do to make God love us more. He loves us more than we can ever imagine or put into words. But we can show our love for Him by firstly reading His inspired Word and then obeying it as we live out our daily lives.

With love & blessings,

Sandra

 

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Sunday July 28th, 2019

Welcome to our service today. It is great to have you here and we would love to invite you to stay after the service and join us for tea and coffee.

It was such a blessing to have a lovely restful weeks holiday in the beautiful township of Akaroa last week. Thank you to all who made it possible, in particular Neville, Teresa, Ann, Luke, Jono and Nic.

I find holidays are a great time to ‘reset’ my ‘spiritual clock’ – to get back into the basic spiritual disciplines which sometime go amiss during the busy term time. For me this includes daily walks with my worship music, regular praise and prayer and doing my daily devotional and bible reading. I’m reminded during this time of how important these disciplines are – I use the word ‘disciplines’ because that’s what they need to be. A discipline is something that we develop by instruction and exercise especially in self control. I’m reminded how crazy I am not to be exercising them in the more busy periods of my life! Spiritual disciplines are like the air that we breathe and the food that we eat – without them we malnourish ourselves and become weak and unable to move forward in all that God is calling us to.

How are you going with your spiritual disciplines? Have you formed good habits and patterns or are you like me and in need of ‘resetting’ your spiritual clock? If so, I encourage you to take some time to pray and work out how you can do that because the result is SO worthwhile!

With love & blessings, Sandra

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