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October 2011
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December 2011

GROW - Understanding Stages of Faith

This year as a church community we have sensed a need to go deeper and to focus more on our relationship with Jesus and our life as disciples. Our FOCUS for 2011 has been simply: Following Jesus. So far, we have looked at four aspects of following Jesus: SURRENDER, GO, LOVE and DISCOVER. This weekend we began our final teaching series and it is entitled GROW. Kingdom Growth. God’s kingdom is often described in an organic way and is seen as growing larger and stronger (Mark 4:26-29. Lk.13:18-19). The church is also seen as growing and maturing (Eph.4:15-16). Individual followers... Read more →

The Starfish Story - Making a Difference

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up. As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was... Read more →

Justice Trumps Spices (Pt.3)

Practicing Justice Let's take this first important matter that Jesus mentions: justice. How can we move from believing in justice to actually living it out in practice? It requires as to ACT and that involves three things: Awareness - Ignorance is not bliss. Sticking our head in the sand until the storm blows over is bot meant to be an option for us as Christ followers. Jesus has called us to be ‘salt’ and ‘light’ (Matt.5:12-13) which both involve a proactive positive influence on our world. We now live in a global village and we need to have our eyes... Read more →

Justice Trumps Spices (Pt.2)

Weightier Matters In the Pentateuch, there was as many as 613 different laws or commandments that God’s people were meant to keep - 248 affirmative commands and 365 negative commands. Debates and discussions often occurred as to which were the more important ones. One teacher of the law even asked Jesus this question: “What is the most important commandment?” Jesus selected two: “Love the Lord your God …” and “love your neighbour as yourself.” While not neglecting the others, Jesus made it clear that these are the two most important commands and that if a person does these two things,... Read more →

Justice Trumps Spices (Pt.1)

In Matthew 23, we have a record of Jesus’ strong condemnation of the religious leaders of his day, who had not led the people faithfully and who had become hypocritical and legalistic. Here is one of the seven “woe’s” he gave them: “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law — justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things (NLT).” To Tithe or Not... Read more →

Recycling Hotel Soap to Save Lives

Derreck Kayongo, from Uganda, is one of this year's Top 10 CNN Heroes nominees. Click here to read his amazing story. Through simple presence of mind, Derreck had an idea to collect used hotel soap, that usually ends up as landfill, and recycle it for use in impoverished nations such as Haiti, Uganda, Kenya and Swaziland. Each year, more than 2 million children die from diarrhea. According to the World Health Organization, these deaths occur almost exclusively among toddlers living in low-income countries. The issue is not the availability of soap. The issue is cost. If you are living on... Read more →

Abolitionist Sunday

The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery will be recognised by many churches around the country by holding an Abolitionist Sunday on November 20th this year. Although the fight to end slavery is a year round activity, Abolitionist Sunday provides an annual focus for churches to unite in action against this injustice. Tim Costello from World Vision says, "Whilst legal slavery has been abolished, tragically there are far more slaves in the world today than when William Wilberforce was campaigning for the abolition of slavery in the first part of the 19th century. Today churches are challenged to work... Read more →

Tom Wright for Everyone

Tom Wright (also known as N.T. Wright) has achieved global recognition as a biblical theologian through his academic and popular publications. He is a leading New testament scholar and former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England. His most academic work is his Christian Origins and the Questions of God series, of which three editions have been released so far. These include The New Testament and the People of God, Jesus and the Victory of God and The Resurrection and the Son of God. Tom also has also written a commentary series on the entire New Testament called For... Read more →

You Lost Me - Latest Church Research from Barna Group

People are calling it "The Great Departure" - Christian young people leaving the church. Close to 60 percent of young people who went to church as teens drop out after high school. Now the bestselling author of unChristian trains his researcher's eye on these young believers. Where David Kinnaman's first book unChristian showed the world what outsiders aged 16-29 think of Christianity, You Lost Me shows why younger Christians aged 16-29 are leaving the church and rethinking their faith. Based on new research, You Lost Me shows pastors, church leaders, and parents how we have failed to equip young people... Read more →

Evaluating Vitamins and Supplements

Ok, so how many vitamins and/or supplements do you take each day? Personally, I take a few tablets with my breakfast each morning - fish oil, vitamin D, and a men's multi-vitamin. The fish oil (Omega 3) helps to keep my cholesterol down a bit and the Vitamin D gives me a little extra energy, especially since I work mainly indoors and don't get a lot of sunshine. A few years back I took some supplements but found them so expensive to buy and I didn't really notice that much difference in my energy levels. So do they make a... Read more →

Ready for Adventure? An Invitation from Earnest Shackleton

Apparently explorer Earnest Shackleton placed the following notice in a newspaper while preparing for an expedition to Antarctica: "Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success." Supposedly there were 5,000 men and 3 women who responded! Have we become too comfortable today? P.S. The search for a copy of the advert still continues today. Click here to read more. Read more →

Unlikely Friends

Christopher Hitchens is one of the most outspoken atheists today and author of the best-selling book God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. Francis Collins is a world re-known scientist with a strong Christian faith, noted for his leadership of the Human Genome Project and his best-selling book The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Faith. The Telegraph, a newspaper based in Great Britain, reported on an unlikely bond of friendship and trust between these two very different people. Even so, a March 2011 newspaper headline announced, "Atheist Christopher Hitchens could be 'saved' by evangelical Christian." The... Read more →