Sunday June 20th, 2021

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 does it mean to have faith in God? We are to fear and serve the Lord only, no-one else, and nothing else. We are however not able to worship Him completely because of our rebellion and sin. 

By choosing God we enter into a covenant with Him where He promises not only to forgive and love us, but also to enable us by His Spirit to do His work here on earth. This covenant requires us to turn away from principles and practices in society around us that are hostile to God’s plan. These will continue to increase as we draw nearer in these end days.

But we need not fear and we don’t need to do this alone. That is why we “don’t forsake the gathering of the assembly” and why we gather together during the week to pray and study God’s Word. Let us continue to make this a priority and to encourage and build one another up. 

With love & blessings,

Sandra

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Sunday June 13th, 2021

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.

I have been reading this week about what it means to ‘deny yourself’. In Matthew 16:24 Jesus says to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself…..” But how do I outwork this in my life?

To deny is to say no. Therefore, if I want to follow Jesus the first step is to say no to myself. The original Greek literally says to deny your soul. Our soul is made up of 3 parts – our will, our mind and our emotions. Our will says “I want”, our mind says “I think” and our emotions say “I feel”. Putting this all together, to deny myself I must say “It’s not what I want, but it’s God’s will (what He wants for me),” and “It’s not what I think but what God says,” and “It’s not what I feel, it’s what the Holy Spirit impresses upon me.” I found this a really useful teaching!

In summary, I think of the following well known song – “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” 

With love & blessings,

Sandra

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Sunday June 6th, 2021

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.

How do you respond when someone compliments you? Some people love receiving praise because it lifts their spirits and makes them feel valuable. Others are uncomfortable with it. They look down at their feet or offer reasons why they really don’t deserve such praise. I’m sure we’re all guilty of that at some point!

For Christians, there’s another dilemma. We’re called to be humble, so what are we to do when others say good things about us? Because pride is always waiting to raise its ugly head, we need to be careful not to let praise puff us up. Some believers think that accepting a compliment is a sign of pride, so they make a big show of giving all the glory to God when it’s actually fine to simply accept the compliment.

My advice is simply to say, “Thank you very much.” Then whisper a prayer in your heart to the Lord, thanking Him for the blessing, recognising that anything worthy of praise ultimately comes from Him.

Our character is tested by the praise that comes to us. Every compliment that comes into our ears should quickly be returned to God. If we hold onto it, the poison of pride will begin to infect our hearts. But if we pass the praise to God, humility takes up residence in our souls.

With love & blessings, Sandra

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Sunday May 30th, 2021

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.

As Joshua prepared to cross into the Promised Land leading 2 million people with him he must have been terrified. What a job! What a responsibility! What if the people turned against him? What if they didn’t listen to him? What if the whole thing just went pear shaped?! These are often questions we ask when we know God is calling us into a new season of life.

Without God, it would have been frightening. But Joshua knew God and trusted that when God said to him to be “strong and of good courage” that God would be with him, leading and guiding him at all times. And of course this is still the same for us today.

With God, life can be an adventure. Just as God was with Joshua, He is with us as we face our own challenges. We may not conquer nations, but in our daily life we often encounter tough situations, difficult people and temptations. God promises that He will not abandon us or fail to help us. By asking God to direct us we can conquer many of life’s challenges so make sure you are talking to Him every day. 

With love & blessings,

Sandra

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Sunday May 23rd, 2021

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.

As we make our journey from our homes on earth to our one great home in Heaven, we can endure pain and grief which can come in all sorts of shapes and forms. But if we are in Christ, we have the assurance that none of the struggles along the way are meaningless, that none of the trials are wasted and none of them unseen by God.

Of course it is not just Christians who have such experiences. Those who reject Christ are not immune from suffering either. However the key difference between our suffering and their suffering is that no matter what, we have the assurance that the suffering we experience here is not a foretaste of hell but a refinement for heaven. Christian suffering is always purposeful, always accomplishing something good, for through our suffering God makes us more like Christ. Through it He orients our hearts so they long to be where Christ is. Through it He shapes our character so it will be at home in Heaven. Through it He changes our desires so we lose interest in the pleasures of this earth and instead long for the pleasures above. 

With love & blessings,

Sandra

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Sunday May 16th, 2021

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 also warmly welcome those of you who have come to support Will and Melissa as they share their testimony of why they are getting baptised later today out at Sumner Beach.

It is an awesome privilege to be able to approach God with freedom and confidence. Most of us would be apprehensive in the presence of a powerful ruler…a King, President or Primeminister! But thanks to Jesus, by faith we can enter directly into God’s presence through prayer. We know we’ll be welcomed with open arms because we are God’s children through our union with Jesus. As silly as it sounds, we don’t need to be afraid of God as some people are. We can talk with Him about any and everything at anytime. He is just waiting to hear from us. 

With love & blessings,

Sandra

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Sunday May 9th 2021

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 turns out that the things that we tend to value most, and the things that God values most, aren’t always the same. And as counterintuitive as God’s values are, in the end they’re the only things that end up satisfying us.

Each kingdom or country in this world has its own currency – ours is the NZ dollar. The Kingdom of God has its own currency too, and this is how Jesus describes it in Mark 12:29-31 The most important command is this: … ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second most important command is this: ‘Love your neighbour the same as you love yourself.’ These two commands are the most important.

From this we learn the currency in God’s Kingdom is love, and that makes it quite a bit different to the currencies of the kingdoms of this world. In our worldly kingdoms, success is about how much of the currency you can obtain and how much you can spend. But in the economy of God’s Kingdom, success is about how much you can give away, how much you can lose and how much you can sacrifice.

The thing of greatest value in God’s Kingdom – love – flows in the opposite direction to the things of value in the world’s kingdoms. In God’s Kingdom, the more you give, the more you have. The more you sacrifice, the richer you become. Perhaps that’s why all the money in the world can never satisfy the deepest yearnings of the human heart – love.

With love & blessings, Sandra

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