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We had a great morning yesterday.  It was one of those times where you can’t explain exactly what is happening but you can sense that Spirit is there. Over the last few weeks my sense has been then that there seems to be a greater sense of God’s presence when we get together.  What do you think?  I’m looking forward to what’s ahead.

Yesterday I spoke on the first four verses of Luke 1 as an introduction to us studying the book. As i have considered the book of Luke I am amazed at the sacrifice of Luke and his patron Theophilus who made the writing of Luke possible.  What a great legacy their “Hospitality”  showed not only to the early church but to us.  We’ve produced a study book to go with it that you can follow along in your small groups, triplets or in your own private times with God.  When you get your book can i encourage you to keep it with your bible and bring it to church.  We’ll be commencing with Luke chapter 1 on Sunday the 8th.

Deb Ball. Speaking of legacy, how wonderful was the Deb Ball!  I received such good feedback from parents, friends and families outside the church who attended.  Even the security guards that we were required to have were blown away by what a great event it was.   For some families, that have experienced breakup and heart ache, this was the first positive event they have had together in a long long time.

Next Sunday the 1st of August we have Vincent and Grace Munyosi visiting and speaking next Sunday.  Did you catch the last email i sent out about them?  Their love and perseverance are absolutely inspirational.  In May Vincent was jailed by the local Muslim leaders after they had 12 Muslim people become Christians and get Baptised.  Despite this Vincent and Grace’s church have cared for Muslim widows, provided loans to local Muslim people seeking to commence businesses and together with Jenga, supplied building materials and water tanks to the Mosque two doors up from where Vincent lives.

The result has been they have seen a massive change in the local Muslim leaders.  Here is an extract from Vincent’s email.These men started their talk. It was the opposite of what we had expected. They all started repenting and apologising to me of what had happened to me and our church youths. And they said this while shedding tears. To you who are not Africans, know that African men don’t cry, so if you see an African (especially elder and high in position) crying, you know it is serious and genuine.”

Reflectors. Vincents and Grace’s visit coincides with a REFLECTORS  celebration service.  This is where the kids show us what they have been learning in Reflectors.  There theme has been “Paul; Get the Message out.”  The focus has been to encourage the kids that regardless of their age they can share Jesus with those around them.  Consequently you might see some new  people on Sunday, whose children attend Reflectors and have invited their parents to church.

Hospitality. This Sunday with Vincent and Grace’s visit and the Reflectors Celebration we’ll be having lunch together.  Its been great to see over the last few weeks how people want to keep “hanging around” after church. So this Sunday bring some food to share for lunch as well and help create an Atmosphere where God can continue to move amongst us.

Blessings for a great week,

Dave

Ministry need…With the growing numbers of families with preschool age children it would be great to have a creche running in the service.  At the moment the lack of a creache space makes church more difficult for our parents with little ones and new people who arrive with little ones.  We have some people willing to help but we need a Co-ordinator to head it up and coordinate teams and team leaders.  Potentially we would set it up like Reflectors, where we have teams. Hence people wouldn’t be constantly on a creche roster. We need a space where parents are confident they can leave their kids and where little ones feel loved. If you’d like to explore being a part of this with as a helper, team leader or co-ordinator then please come and chat to me.

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How do you feel when someone goes to great lengths to be hospitable? Special, valuable, cared for, significant, loved? These are some of the words people shared on Sunday when I asked that same question as we introduced a study on the New Testament book of Luke. We tend to associate hospitality with food, but I think Dr Luke, the writer of the Gospel by the same name, was an extremely Hospitable person. His research and writing of the story of Jesus has created a special place where we are reminded us of the great Hospitality of Jesus who wants to invite us into his heavenly Father’s forever family.

Click on play button below or right click HERE to download

Click on play button below or right click HERE to download

Gidday everyone,

We had a great time yesterday morning.  We enjoyed a visit from David Wilersdorf who spent a couple of days with us giving input to our muso’s and worship leaders. We got to experience some of David’s fantastic music, while he also led us in worship (if you want to buy one of his C.D.’s please see Alan Morgan he has some for sale (amo14777@bigpond.net.au)

This morning I was recalling the events of Sunday.  We have so many people in our church saying, “Yes” to God.  Meals to the sick, Alpha teams, prayer groups, volunteers at Sonshine, Kids Hope, Port Footy players,  seniors morning tea, slices for Deb balls, intercessors, Fitness and faith, Footprints, Storm and Reflectors. Dance groups, small group and triplets.  People sponsoring people in need overseas.  CRE teachers, musician’s, worship leaders, executive, eldership and mentors.  Small groups, missions committees and mentors. That doesn’t even touch on the transformations many people are experiencing and the myriad acts of love and kindness that I get to hear and don’t hear about.

All these “Yes’” change the Atmosphere and create an environment  welcoming to the Holy Spirit.  Saying “Yes” to God’s prompt has powerful results.  The greatest example of this is Jesus.  In the garden of Gethsemine, tempted not to go through the great suffering of the cross, Jesus asks his Father if there is another way.  Yet in the end he says “Yes” to God’s will.  Aren’t you Eternally thankful Jesus said “yes.”

You might be tempted to think that your “Yes’” to God doesn’t make much of a difference.  So let me share a couple of stories with you.  The other day I got an email from one of the cross cultural mission workers CBtB sent a card to for our “May missions month.” Recently we gave an opportunity for all of us to sign or write on giant cards, to encourage those people we support prayerfully and financially overseas.  This is an excerpt from what this person wrote to me.

Thanks also for the giant card that arrived this week. What prompted that?! Its lovely and very touching. I have to say I have never had a card from a Church like that with so many encouraging words, so hats off to everyone who contributed and to whoever’s idea it was. Genius. I’ve never even received a Christmas, Birthday or encouraging card of any description from a church so you can see how lovely it was to receive it!

Next story is from the Deb committee and their observations of how the Deb is changing the Atmosphere for those involved.

The deb ball is only days away, and the 30 young adults involved with it are very excited.

Many of them have family coming from all over Victoria. Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, cousins -all making an effort. Superficially one could mutter deb balls are all about material things, yet I believe they can have deeper levels to them. They are another example in working towards a goal, being part of a team and part of a community.

They are reasons for families to come together, both to celebrate on the night – but to also help the young person prepare for the event. We have had one Dad moan that if this is anything like what getting ready for a wedding is like – his daughter can elope! But it was a joke, he is secretly pleased to see his wife and daughter sorting things out together.  His sister, who they hardly get to see, is flying in for the event.

We have a mum who came to a rehearsal to see what the hall is like because she is in the middle of receiving treatment for cancer and wants to know the surroundings and where the bathroom is. We have a Dad whose ex-wife has remarried, yet he is determined to come despite the fact he will be watching his daughter dance the parents dance with her step father.  For many this is the first family thing to celebrate for a long time.

Our church has always strived to be out in the community, our work in the school, at our op shop, with the seniors, with the youth; they all have a long history. The Christmas carols we run regularly attract 500 people. This ball will have 330 people in attendance. We see the Deb as continuing the heartbeat of our church.

Please pray for protection for the night, and for God’s peace and joy to be with us all.

Thank you

The Deb committee.

Changing the Atmosphere, that’s what Jesus invited us to do when he taught us to pray, “Let your Kingdom Come let your will be done.”  Because of Jesus we can say “Yes” to so many good things.  I’m looking forward to God continually revealing and Expanding the scope of his invitations for us to say “Yes” to his Will.

Have a great week.

Dave.

PS- Fitness and Faith. David Lavars is the manager of the Salvation Army’s Kardina network, in South Geelong.  David’s office has a fully equipped gym and is offering it as a place where people from the church can workout and be encouraged to pray for their workplaces and communities.

The concept is an eight week program where individual workout programs are developed with a personal trainer free of charge.  Following the workout, people would then meet to pray for their workplaces/community, encouraging each other as followers of Christ in those places.  The hope is that at the end of the eight weeks their is someone else from your workplace/community that you can invite to participate in a new eight week program. Let David know if you’re interesteddavid.lavars@aus.salvationarmy.org

David Rock

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Morning everyone,

Through a series of events and conversations I found myself saying to God, “Lord we need some eye popping, draw dropping miracles that display who you are to our world!” My frustration and desire for this led me to look for some stories of God’s miraculous provision. I did find some credible stories, which was good but as I looked for these stories I got an email from Vincent and Grace Munyosi.

Vincent and Grace pastor a church in Mbale, Uganda. In May they were going to visit us but had to postpose their visit because of threats, intimidation and jailing from the local Muslim community. As a result they postposed their trip. The good news is they’ll be with us in the first weekend of August. The following email (in blue) follows up the event from Vincent from May. I was challenged and greatly encouraged by it.

My Western Christianity I’m sure, is effected by our “have it all have it now” society (which no doubt impacted my desire to see God’s miraculous hand as work). As you read Vincent’s email I hope it encourages you of the miracle of sacrificial, radical love. I can’t wait to meet these genuine, loving servants of God. See you Sunday.

Dave.

P.S. Don’t forget, the Alpha introduction night is this coming Wednesday the 14th.

Read Vincent’s letter Read the rest of this entry »

Dave made some bread and talked about our foundations in Christ.

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