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Vows. Psalm 76:11
The psalmist encourages us to “make our vows before God and fulfil them. ” Perhaps we can think making promises to God is an option. But the bible says God already has set aside for us good things for us to do. Making our vow is recognising God has a plan for us.

Click on play button below or right click HERE to download

Click on play button below or right click HERE to download

This week coming there is a lot happening as we approach the end of the year. If your family is like mine your well into the end of year events for schools, sporting teams community groups and family.  In amongst this we have a team of young people coming from YWAM.  They are going to help with the C.R.E breakups at Portarlington and Drysdale as well as our own Carols on Thursday night.

These young people have taken out a year and have paid to join YWAM, serving and blessing others.  How unusual to find people like this in our world!  Sounds like faith and sacrifice. With the mixture of those two elements you already have a potent mix where the Holy Spirit loves to be present.

Several weeks ago as the eldership got to pray about our future, one of the things we wanted to see occur is for our children to develop an expectation that they can be used by God now.  Traditionally, when I was growing up,  the church taught kids about Jesus, but there was an invisible barrier and expectation for kids that they needed to “wait” until they were older before God could use them. But this isn’t what the bible says. Imagine if the little boy who gave his lunch to feed the 5,000 had left it up to the “big people.”  (John 6:9).  Isn’t it wonderful that the Prophet Samuel was taught from the time he was a little boy by the Priest Eli that he could hear from God (1 Samuel 3).  Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Luke 18:16).

We tend to think Jesus is just talking about the attitude of faith that children display.  But as I read this passage again recently I don’t think its all that Jesus was saying.  Could it be he was also seeking to show the disciples that the kingdom is as much for children as it is for big people?  I think so, but its something we’ve tended to ignore or not see. Traditionally children haven’t been taken seriously as people that God can speak and work through, despite the bible showing something to the contrary.

This Tuesday at 6:30pm, Friday at 6:30pm and on Saturday morning, the YWAM team will be worshiping us an opportunity to  worship and also learn how to listen to God.  This is for anyone but especially for our kids, so that we can grow in them an expectation that their Father by his Spirit lives in them and can use them for his good purposes. I’m excited for our kids and whether your young, older or involved in a ministry to that age group I’d encourage you to come along and learn more about hearing from the Spirit.

John said that as followers of God we were to “Walk as Jesus walked.”  To do that we need to learn to “Hear.”  Listening generally is a skill, something we develop.  Its not a surprise that its the same with God.  So if you’ve every shrugged, throwing up your hands saying, “I don’t know how to hear from God.”  Can I encourage you to come along, why?  So we can walk as Jesus walked.

For those billeting the YWAMers a thank-you in advance.  I am sure you’ll be blessed by having them in your homes.

Dave.

Good afternoon church.

Last night we had our second opportunity for people to come and see the eldership with their questions, concerns and suggestions about the future vision of the church.  As an eldership we have really appreciated the considerate feedback through these meetings and others who have spoken to us.  As a result of this we’ve made a couple of decisions.

Firstly, we are going to cancel the vote on the “Faith Vision Budget” that was proposed for this Sunday.  We are appreciating that in some areas people need more time and information to make a prayerful decision.  Because unity is so important to us we are going to change the process, so we can “hasten slowly”.

Instead we’ll present you some information regarding the three main areas that we believe are important to our future. These are;

1. Schools worker; Mass working with “Out there”  one day a week starting in 2011

2. Children’s ministry pastor; Consideration of a new role to help equip, co-ordinate and mature our children’s ministries.

3. Refurbishment of our buildings; what we need to do to better prepare our building to be utilized effectively, safely and consistently with our ministry and mission.

On Sunday we’ll present you with why we believe we need to act in these areas, what we believe these roles and changes bring to our vision and how we will proceed regarding our discernment as a church.

Talking of knowing God’s will and purpose, St Paul said, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror” When Paul said this mirrors were very different than today.  They were at best a highly polished piece of bronze or the reflection in a stream.  So he was trying to say, figuring out God’s direction for our lives can be difficult!  We will relate to this both individually and together.  That’s why it’s so important for us to consider carefully how we go about discovering God’s will as the people of God.

When I was 20 a friend and I had a situation occur in the church we belonged to. It caused us to consider deeply how in the future we would seek to discover God’s will. Would we lean on just what “we think” is right, or would we put more importance on what the body, the church says?

Both will get it wrong and right, but we decided that a person in isolation on their own is far more likely to get it wrong that those who seek the confirmation and unity of the people of God.  At the time we didn’t recognize just how biblical and significant a decision we were making.

Jesus said that it’s in relationship with God and others that he appears.  That’s why unity is such a BIG DEAL in the bible.  There is no lack of discernment about the “Right thing” in the trinity.  The God head; Father, Son and Spirit walk in unity, but this unity is born out of a mutual submission to each other. We see it when Jesus says, “Not my will but yours be done” and “The Son can do nothing without the Father.”

So how does communal discernment of God’s will work out in life?  I still remember Craig ringing me in February 2010 on behalf of CBtB, inviting Julie and I to visit CBtB as part of discerning if God was calling us here.  My answer was, “I can’t say yes to that until the leadership of Narangba releases us to explore it.”  A few weeks, after telling them about CBtB and giving them a week to pray, I remember the great joy as I left a meeting, the church leadership having laid their hands on me, praying with me and giving me their blessing to pursue CBtB and whether it was right for us to come here.

It seems crazy to put huge decisions as it were “in the hands of others.”  That’s often why unity doesn’t happen because we are afraid that God cant, won’t or will tell us something to hear through other mature Christians.  When we do hold onto fear, we’ll hold onto the past, we’ll seek to be “safe” and in control, we’ll make excuses for doing things on our own.  In doing so we’ll miss out on the perfect love that occurs when in Faith we risk ourselves because we Know that ultimately our value, significance and security are located with the eternal Father & not with our ability to get it right.

The “Vision” and direction we are seeking from God in one sense isn’t important.  I believe God is using these three Vision proposals to test us. Not so much in whether we’ll do it  but as to how will we choose to seek him, honouring each other in the process.  The degree to which we honour God and love each other in the process will be an indicator of how much God is able to trust us with.  Check out Luke 19  and the talents for more…

See you Sunday,

Dave

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