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Inspiration, encouragement, information, challenge and life-building messages from our team.

Aug 5, 2018
The Power of Prayer 5 – Lead Us, Deliver
Posted by Sarah Walker
I wonder if you’ve ever paid attention to bugs mindlessly flying into a ‘bug zapper’. You know, one of those contraptions people often have hanging in outdoor entertainment areas to prevent flies and mosquitoes from congregating around food and people. The gadget attracts insects with its light, only to sizzle them when they get too close. If you watch for an extended period of time, you will see bug after bug flying towards the light and being zapped from existence. You would think that an approaching bug might observe the tray underneath the zapping light filled with hundreds of dead bugs and wonder, “Is this really a good idea?”
Only a bug could possibly be that dense, right? Only a bug would go flying into the same trap that killed countless other bugs, right? Well, what about the glowing light of temptation that the evil one places in front of human beings? Over and over we hear of people who fall into temptations that devastate their lives, destroy their families and end their careers. Perhaps, more commonly, temptation comes in a subtle or hidden form but is just as destructive to the inner self. One thing is certain, temptation is everywhere.
The Bible makes us aware that we have an enemy that draws us into sin. Scripture not only warns us about temptation, but provides us with tools to resist the lure. It’s important for us, as Christ-followers, to be aware of the temptations of this world and to understand how we can resist with God’s help. Fleeing temptation begins with praying this final phrase of The Lords Prayer, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
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  • Aug 5, 2018The Power of Prayer 5 – Lead Us, Deliver
    Aug 5, 2018
    The Power of Prayer 5 – Lead Us, Deliver
    Posted by Sarah Walker
    I wonder if you’ve ever paid attention to bugs mindlessly flying into a ‘bug zapper’. You know, one of those contraptions people often have hanging in outdoor entertainment areas to prevent flies and mosquitoes from congregating around food and people. The gadget attracts insects with its light, only to sizzle them when they get too close. If you watch for an extended period of time, you will see bug after bug flying towards the light and being zapped from existence. You would think that an approaching bug might observe the tray underneath the zapping light filled with hundreds of dead bugs and wonder, “Is this really a good idea?”
    Only a bug could possibly be that dense, right? Only a bug would go flying into the same trap that killed countless other bugs, right? Well, what about the glowing light of temptation that the evil one places in front of human beings? Over and over we hear of people who fall into temptations that devastate their lives, destroy their families and end their careers. Perhaps, more commonly, temptation comes in a subtle or hidden form but is just as destructive to the inner self. One thing is certain, temptation is everywhere.
    The Bible makes us aware that we have an enemy that draws us into sin. Scripture not only warns us about temptation, but provides us with tools to resist the lure. It’s important for us, as Christ-followers, to be aware of the temptations of this world and to understand how we can resist with God’s help. Fleeing temptation begins with praying this final phrase of The Lords Prayer, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
  • Jul 29, 2018The Power of Prayer 4 – Forgive us our Debts
    Jul 29, 2018
    The Power of Prayer 4 – Forgive us our Debts
    Posted by Phil Inglis

    Suppose you borrowed money to buy a house. Who is responsible for paying that money back? You are. It’s a simple rule of society, You owe, you pay. You are the debtor, you owe the bank and you are responsible for repayments. Many people live under the financial burden of such a debt and it can have a detrimental impact on their state of mind. It is no surprise that financial pressure is one of the most common reasons why marriages fail.

    The truth is, there is no simple way of dealing with financial debt. You could try talking to your bank to reschedule your repayments and you could review your own spending habits but in the end the debt has to be repaid. Sadly the only real option is to slog away at it and pay the debt back as soon as you can.

    In his teaching on prayer, Jesus talks about a different kind of debt that we run up with our sin and moral failures. When we fail another person, or when we fail God, we add to the weight of shame in our lives. Just as a mortgage can be a burdensome financial pressure on your life, so too can the shame burdens of moral failures.

    Unfortunately this kind of burden cannot simply be removed by arranging a direct debit or handing over a pile of cash. The burden has to be dealt with in another way. It has to be forgiven.

  • Jul 22, 2018The Power of Prayer 3 – Daily Bread
    Jul 22, 2018
    The Power of Prayer 3 – Daily Bread
    Posted by Phil Inglis

    Can you picture this? A teenage girl stands at her open wardrobe, packed floor to ceiling with shirts, pants, dresses, shoes, jumpers, jackets and everything in-between. Her eyes scan back and forth, up and down. She pushes clothes on hangers left and right, looking for something, anything, that suits her fancy. Her face is locked in an expression bordering on disappointment, disgust and frustration. Then she says it. While standing in front of a wall of clothes that could dress a medium-sized village of people, she cries out, "I don't have anything to wear!"

    I have to admit that I'm like this sometimes, except not with clothes, with food. I can spend minutes rummaging around in the pantry, or the fridge looking for a snack. Sometimes I go away and do something else because I can't find something and then I come back again, trying to find that elusive snack. It doesn't matter that there are boxes of cereal, biscuits and other things in the pantry, or eggs, cheese, bread and other things in the fridge. I've been known to say in an exasperated tone, "Why is there nothing to eat in this house?!"

    Jesus taught us to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread." It's annoying to watch a teenager complain that they have nothing to wear when they have so much and I am sure it's annoying to my wife when I complain that there is nothing to eat in the house, when clearly there is plenty. The truth is, we have everything that we need, but because we spend so much of our time comparing and contrasting ourselves to people around us, we find ourselves wanting more and more of what we don't actually need. How do we deal with the feeling of not having enough, or not being enough?

  • Jul 15, 2018Kids Holiday Program Special “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
    Jul 15, 2018
    Kids Holiday Program Special “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
    Series: Special

    “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

    When I was 8 years old, I wanted to play basketball for the Opals. When I was 12, I wanted to be a marine biologist. When I was 17, I wanted to be a lawyer. When I was 18 I wanted to be a police officer, and then a teacher, and now, I’m a youth and community worker. The truth is, I’d never really had a clear picture of what I wanted to be when I ‘grew up’, but I did have this strong desire to do whatever God wanted me to do.

    Colossians 3:20 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people.” What I have learnt as I have ‘grown up’, is that who I am is far more important than what I do. The fact that I am a lawyer or a teacher or a police officer matters far less than the person that I am. What matters most is that I am kind, loving, compassionate and Christ-like as I live out what I believe God’s calling me to do, and that I work at it with all my heart.

  • Jul 8, 2018The Power of Prayer 2 – Your will be done
    Jul 8, 2018
    The Power of Prayer 2 – Your will be done
    Posted by Sarah Walker

    For a number of years now the Social Justice Department AUE has been encouraging social media users to use the #KOG or ‘Kingdom of God’ hashtag on images that give us a glimpse of God’s kingdom here on earth. In the midst of our day-to-day lives in a world that is messed up, confusing and sometimes so different to His kingdom, we can see a glimmer of hope. Perhaps it’s something beautiful, somebody being kind to someone else, or maybe it’s one of those moments when we are overwhelmed with thankfulness for a friendship, or for all that God has given us. Those moments, those glimpses of the kingdom of God, are just a taste of what is to come when God makes this world all that it is meant to be.

    Over the past couple of years, this social media campaign has reminded me of two things. Firstly, that God’s kingdom is not some far-off, mystical place that I will one day get to rest in. God’s kingdom is his ideal plan for the world, and it is unfolding all around me. It has also reminded me that I have a role to play, both in identifying where God is already at work in the world, and in bringing his kingdom to earth. For me, this begins by reading, understanding and praying the same words Jesus taught his disciples, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” This prayer is more than just well articulated words for Christian’s to recite; it is revolutionary. God’s kingdom, as Jesus describes it, though completely upside down compared to the world we live in, is coming, and we can each play our part in joining with the God who rules it all.

  • Jul 1, 2018The Power of Prayer 1 – Who, What and Where of Prayer
    Jul 1, 2018
    The Power of Prayer 1 – Who, What and Where of Prayer
    Posted by Phil Inglis

    Over the last few weeks I have been working in the Salvation Army National Head Office in Melbourne. I have been working with a brilliant team helping the national leaders of the Salvation Army design a brand new way of running the Salvation Army in Australia.

    A common feature of project work is meetings. Lots of meetings with lots of different people to make sure things aren’t duplicated or wasted. Meetings to make sure things aren’t missed or overlooked. At least half of every day is taken up with meetings. Early on in my time there I would often find my mind wondering in those meetings. I would lose focus, I would daydream or start thinking about other things. I didn’t really know who they were talking about, I didn’t know what they were talking about and I didn’t know where it all fit so I found it hard to engage and stay focussed. Over time I got to know people, I began to understand what was at stake and started to see how it all fit together and suddenly I was engaged and interested in every moment of the meeting.

    A similar thing happens sometimes when I try to pray. Sometimes I lose focus my mind wanders and I get distracted. I forget who I’m praying to, where prayer fits in my life and what I’m praying for.

  • Jun 24, 2018Different- Perspective in Persecution
    Jun 24, 2018
    Different- Perspective in Persecution
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis
    Series: Different
    I find so many things in our world surprising. For example, cockroaches can live for weeks without their heads before they die of hunger. People spend more time sitting on the toilet each week than they do exercising. Apparently, we end up spending 1.4 years on the toilet during a lifetime? It’s pretty surprising to me that vending machines kill more people than sharks, and that the total weight of all the ants on earth is comparable to the total weight of all the humans on the planet.

    More seriously, it surprises me that in our world today, even though there is enough food produced worldwide to provide everyone with an adequate diet, nearly 854 million people, or 1 in 7, still go hungry. It is shocking that today 165 million people are suffering from childhood malnutrition. It’s almost unfathomable that more people have access to a mobile phone than a toilet. These facts should surprise and shock us.

    What should not surprise those who are Jesus followers, is that we suffer and are persecuted for our faith. Christians are called to be different, to be holy, to stand out, and so Peter tells early Christians, “Don’t be surprised or shocked that you are going through testing that is like walking through fire.” (1 Peter 4:12) Earlier, Jesus explained to his disciples that they too should expect opposition and persecution from the world. “If the world hates you, keep in mind that they hated me first… if they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” (John 15:18,20)

  • Jun 17, 2018Different- Calling in a Dark World
    Jun 17, 2018
    Different- Calling in a Dark World
    Posted by Sarah Walker
    Series: Different
    “God’s calling me to be a missionary.” “I’m called to be a teacher.” “I’m called to be an officer.” “God is calling me to _______” When I was a kid, I was fairly convinced that I needed to ‘discover God’s call on my life’. To be honest, I’m not even really sure what that means. Somehow, I’d misunderstood the concept of calling, and believed it to mean something incredibly narrow. I was anticipating an audible voice of God that would reveal to me my life’s purpose. If I didn’t hear it, well, perhaps I wasn’t one of those ‘called’ people and I could just choose for myself the direction my life should go.

    Reading through the book of 1 Peter, we see that he uses the words call, calling, or called, over and over again. When Peter uses these words, they are not in reference to an occupation or career, but a different way of life. A call to a different standard of living, every single day. A call to live holy, from our God who is holy.

    As it turns out, I do believe I’m called to be an officer, but that calling is temporary in the scheme of eternity. What matters more is how I live out everyday. ‘An exemplary life’, as Peter puts it, is what I am called to live as a follower of Christ. Do you want confirmation on what you believe to be God’s call on your life? Then start living out his call to a relationship with him, to a better way of living, to a life of holiness. The reality is, if we don’t understand our daily call to a different standard, we will never grasp our temporary call to an assignment.

  • Jun 10, 2018Different- Values in an Unholy Culture
    Jun 10, 2018
    Different- Values in an Unholy Culture
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis
    Series: Different

    When my three children were young, we travelled as a family for a month throughout Southeast Asia. Everywhere we went, people would stare at Bradley, Chloe and Emily, and some would even try to touch them. People were fascinated by them and they became the centre of attention so often because they were so different; they stood out. People would “Ooo” and “Ahhh” at them, in awe of their baby blonde hair and gorgeous blue eyes, which screamed that they were foreigners. It was obvious they were not Asian, they did not belong there and they certainly did not fit in.

    When the Apostle Peter was writing to a group of people that were severely persecuted in the First Century, he told them to live out their time on earth as ‘foreigners’ in reverent fear (1 Peter 1:17). Other translations say ‘temporary residents’ or ‘strangers.’ Peter, inspiring hope, reminds his readers again and again that this world was not their home; they were just passing through, they were sojourners.

    This world is not our home either. Peter reminds us that as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven we are foreigners here on earth and therefore we will stand out. If you're a follower of Jesus, you're called to be different. You'll have different values, different passions, different uses of your time and different uses of your resources. You'll be different as a parent, you'll be different as a spouse, you'll be different in the way that you work. The result of a different life driven by faith should be that people are fascinated by you.

  • Jun 3, 2018Different- Faith in Trials
    Jun 3, 2018
    Different- Faith in Trials
    Posted by Phil Inglis
    Series: Different

    It may not always be obvious, but Christians are called to be different. Not just any kind of different, a special kind of different that the bible calls ‘HOLY.’ It's the same kind of different that God is. It’s not always easy trying to be holy. Trying to be different like God is difficult, because life itself is often not predictable.

    Almost from the moment you take your first breath life is challenging: going to school, navigating relationships, building a career, growing a family. All of these things add challenges and complications to life. Then add life’s more unpredictable events: being laid-off at work, having a car breakdown, being evicted from your home, flood, bushfire, divorce, the death of family members and friends. It doesn’t take long to figure out that life comes with some very traumatic challenges and trials. But if we read the scriptures and listen to the teachings of Jesus, we know that we are called to be holy in the face of these trials. We are called to be different, just like God is different, when we are confronted with trauma and pain.

    This week Phil is going to launch a brand new message series, walking through the New Testament book of 1 Peter. We will consider and try to better understand that when trials come, we are called to stand strong in our faith and be different.