Sunday December 15th, 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.

Over the years when I have been involved in teaching people how to pray I have sometimes used acronyms to help people with this. For example ACTS – Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. You will know others I’m sure.

Recently I learned another acronym to help during what can be a very busy and stressful time for many – REST – Remember His goodness, Express your needs, Seek His stillness and Trust in His faithfulness. This would be a good one to remember all year round as we learn to rest in His presence. As Jesus invited His disciples to come away with Him and get some rest, we too need to learn to slow down and rediscover the wonder and joy of the Christmas season.

Remember to invite your friends, family and neighbours to our ‘Carols on the Lawn’ on Saturday 21st December at 7:30pm where we will sing carols, have bible readings and hear the Christmas message presented.

With love & blessings, Sandra

 

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Sunday December 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.

CHRISTMAS is on the cards. Sending and receiving greeting cards is still part of our Christmas experience although technology has brought about some changes in the way they are delivered and received! The Christmas greeting is key because it was at the centre of the Christmas story in the Bible.

In the book of Luke, the Angel Gabriel was sent by God to Mary. His greeting and message troubled Mary. She was to conceive and to bear a son on her own. He was to be called Jesus and He would be great and be called the Son of God. Gabriel’s greeting and Mary’s response lie at the heart of Christmas. God comes to us in Jesus, born of Mary. God steps into the world and shares our human experience. The baby of Bethlehem is God with us and at Christmas we wonder at the purposes of God and marvel at His ways. It is God’s story we celebrate at Christmas and for most of us it is our story too. Like Mary we are favoured by God’s grace, and like her we are asked to believe and receive God’s gift, Jesus Christ His Son, as our Saviour and Lord. However for many of our friends, family, neighbours and colleagues this is not their story. As we lead into Christmas let us be praying each day for those around us who do not yet know Jesus.

I encourage you to be brave and invite them to our Christmas Carols on the lawn and/or our Christmas Eve service where they will hear the Christmas story clearly presented and have the opportunity to make it their story too.

With love & blessings, Sandra

 

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Sunday December 1st, 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’s on your Christmas wish list this year? Does the list grow each day as you see things you want and realise what you don’t have already? Sometimes we ask for good things, but don’t realise we’re not asking for the right things. Our desire for more isn’t necessarily wrong, rather, just misplaced. While we may want more things, more presents, more of what someone else is wearing or what they have, the truth is we might actually be looking for something a little more than they could provide.

So again, consider what’s really on your Christmas list this year. Is it more joy? More peace? More love? More confidence? More reassurance that you’re where you’re meant to be? More purpose in your life? Let’s again set our hearts and our eyes on Jesus this Christmas, the Saviour of the world.

Tony and I are away this weekend celebrating our wedding anniversary. A big thanks to Michael, Teresa and Liz for ministering to our church family this weekend. We are indeed blessed.

With love & blessings,

Sandra

 

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November 24th, 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 past weekend I was blessed to be able to spend it in Auckland with my brother and his family. They have 2 girls aged 8 & 9 who were desperate to take me to Rainbows End as they had never been there. For those of you who don’t know, this is an amusement park with 5 ‘Extreme’ rides and other more gentler ones! The second ride we went on was called ‘The Stratosphere’. About 30 people sit in seats in a large circle and on go it starts to circle and swing from side to side like a pendulum, getting higher and higher each time. Eventually it gets to the top where it stops for a few seconds and one is suspended completely upside down looking at the skies above with the only thing between life and death being the harness you are putting your complete trust in!

Somewhere in the midst of the air I was reminded that the only thing between life and death for each of us is our belief and confession of Jesus as Lord of our life. He is the ‘harness’ that saves us from hell and promises us an eternity in Heaven. He is the only person we can trust 100% of the time and who will never let us down. If you haven’t already or you are walking a life not fully given to Jesus, consider committing your life to Him today.

With love & blessings,

Sandra

 

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Sunday November 17th, 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.

Warnings have many forms from lights, signs, sights, sounds and smells to feelings and written words. Although different, their purpose is the same – to advise us to be alert and give notice of danger ahead. Our responses to warnings can vary – from disregard and neglect to evasive or corrective action. How we react to a warning is usually determined by the situation and the source.

Parts of the Bible are a warning to us about current or upcoming danger. Our world is filled with false prophets and teachers who claim to have the truth and who seek attention and a following. We need to heed the warnings in the Bible and grow in our knowledge of Christ and reject all those who teach anything inconsistent with God’s Word, for God’s Word is truth and light and life to all who read it.

With love & blessings,

Sandra

 

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Sunday November 10th, 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.

If I were to ask you to name truly great men and women of your lifetime it could  likely include celebrities, politicians, war heroes, sports people and family members. We remember them because of certain acts or character qualities. Now name some biblical heroes – this list could likely include many who served God faithfully and courageously. Does your list include Ezra?

I have been reading though Ezra – what an amazing man! He was a priest, a scribe and a great leader. His name means ‘help’. His whole life was dedicated to serving God and God’s people. His knowledge of scripture and his God-given wisdom were so obvious to the king that he appointed Ezra to lead the second emigration to Jerusalem, to teach God’s Word, and to administer national life. He not only knew God’s Word but he believed and obeyed it.

If you haven’t already, then I encourage you to read this small book and to be encouraged through the lessons of Ezra – a humble, obedient helper who committed to serving God for his whole life – a wonderful example for us all.

With love & blessings,

Sandra

 

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Sunday November 3rd, 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 we have farewelled and celebrated the life of our dear Jack – “a physically small but giant man of faith”. The number of people that turned up to celebrate Jack’s life was testimony in itself to the character of his life. Some of the words used at his funeral that I remember were “humble, quiet, determined, a gentleman, genuine, loving, loyal, independent and funny”. Jack served the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul and with all his mind up until the day he went to be with Jesus. He was a wonderful example for each of us of a man who trusted God and was filled with and guided by the Holy Spirit.

We will miss his offering prayers – “well Lord, here we are at Beckenham….!” We will miss his accounting. We will miss his prayers. We will miss his friendship. We will miss his sense of humour. We will miss him.

But oh the hope we have that as Christians we will also one day go to be with Jesus and we will be reunited with Jack once again.

With love & blessings,

Sandra

 

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