Messages

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

Jan 13, 2019
SATISFIED3
Posted by Rebecca Inglis
Series: Satisfied

I have long admired my neighbour’s lawn. It is completely free of weeds, it’s lush and it’s very green. I really wanted my lawn to be just as lush and green. One day, a couple of weeks ago, he had connected up his hose to a brand new bottle of liquid lawn food and left it out as he went to get something from Bunnings. Now, our neighbours lawn is just across the driveway from mine, just a couple of metres. It was so tempting to quickly grab his hose and water my not-so-green lawn with his ‘Weed & Feed’. I wouldn’t even have to cross the driveway, I could cover my whole lawn from where he left it. I didn’t steal his lawn food, but reflecting on that moment showed me how subtle and powerful the feeling of envy can be.

Ever since Shakespeare coined the phrase “green with jealousy,” people have associated the colour green with the feeling of envy. Envy is the desire to acquire what other people have. From ancient times the colour green also indicated sickness. This is why Shakespeare used it to describe the state of jealousy or envy. When we are caught in a storm of envy or jealousy it is as though we are sick. Different parts of our minds and bodies cease to function, other parts over-function and life becomes very, very difficult. Our minds become preoccupied with that thing that we are afraid of losing, or that thing that we desperately want.

Not surprisingly The Teacher in Ecclesiastes points out that all of this is meaningless. Pointless. Grabbing smoke. Instead, he teaches us a better way.

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  • Jan 13, 2019SATISFIED3
    Jan 13, 2019
    SATISFIED3
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis
    Series: Satisfied

    I have long admired my neighbour’s lawn. It is completely free of weeds, it’s lush and it’s very green. I really wanted my lawn to be just as lush and green. One day, a couple of weeks ago, he had connected up his hose to a brand new bottle of liquid lawn food and left it out as he went to get something from Bunnings. Now, our neighbours lawn is just across the driveway from mine, just a couple of metres. It was so tempting to quickly grab his hose and water my not-so-green lawn with his ‘Weed & Feed’. I wouldn’t even have to cross the driveway, I could cover my whole lawn from where he left it. I didn’t steal his lawn food, but reflecting on that moment showed me how subtle and powerful the feeling of envy can be.

    Ever since Shakespeare coined the phrase “green with jealousy,” people have associated the colour green with the feeling of envy. Envy is the desire to acquire what other people have. From ancient times the colour green also indicated sickness. This is why Shakespeare used it to describe the state of jealousy or envy. When we are caught in a storm of envy or jealousy it is as though we are sick. Different parts of our minds and bodies cease to function, other parts over-function and life becomes very, very difficult. Our minds become preoccupied with that thing that we are afraid of losing, or that thing that we desperately want.

    Not surprisingly The Teacher in Ecclesiastes points out that all of this is meaningless. Pointless. Grabbing smoke. Instead, he teaches us a better way.

  • Jan 6, 2019SATISFIED 2
    Jan 6, 2019
    SATISFIED 2
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis
    Series: Satisfied
    I’m not really a fan of winter. I don’t like to be cold. I can’t do so many things I love to do when it’s winter. The beach isn’t as fun in winter, and it’s often dark and rainy and cold. I struggle to feel as happy in winter as I do in summer. I can be a bit sulky as winter approaches because I feel like the best part of the year is over, and I grieve the loss of the warmth. This time last year I left the comforts of lazy days reading my book on the beach to fly to New York. I arrived just before they closed JFK airport for 2 days due to a ‘bomb cyclone’ (a fancy name for an intense winter snow storm) and -17℃ temperatures. I knew New York would be cold, but this was ridiculous. I wanted to be back at the beach, swimming in the ocean and walking along rock pools at sunset. This was so far from my current reality. However, it actually didn’t take me too long to embrace the conditions. I rugged up in so many clothes that it was hard to move. I made my first snow man, my first snow angel, threw snowballs at my friend, went ice-skating in Central Park. I even had fun shovelling snow from the driveway. There was no way I was going to place myself in this type of weather again, so I decided to make the most of the uniqueness of that season.

    Weather patterns generally take the form of four seasons. But in our lives, there are dozens of different seasons, each involving good and bad. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “God has made everything beautiful for its own time.” God can take even the bad things and, in the proper season, turn them around and use them for good in the way He intends. We may be going through a season that is not beautiful. Our finances may look ugly. Our health may look ugly. Our marriage or a friendship look ugly. Our future might even look ugly.

    Just as God determines the weather, He also controls the seasons in our lives. Do we resist those seasons and complain about the ‘snowy’ conditions on the horizon? Or do we trust God and thank Him for whatever He has planned for us? Ecclesiastes reminds us that if we’re following God’s will, if we’re trying to live life the way God wants us to live, we’ll eventually see that these experiences can have purpose and value. There’s a time and season for everything.

  • Dec 30, 2018SATISFIED 1 – The Wisdom Of The Teacher
    Dec 30, 2018
    SATISFIED 1 – The Wisdom Of The Teacher
    Posted by Phil Inglis
    Series: Satisfied
    As 2018 draws to a close it’s natural for you to look back and reflect on the year that has been. As you do, ask yourself about your level of satisfaction. On a scale of one to ten how satisfied are you with your family, your job, your age or your social life? How can you increase your level of satisfaction in the year to come? Satisfaction is the focus of the wisdom of ‘the Teacher’ contained in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. Following years of trial and error the Teacher has a lot to say about finding real satisfaction. He finds that a satisfying life comes from sinking yourself into things that really matter. Our level of satisfaction takes a nose-dive when we are distracted from what really matters. It’s good practice to regularly stop and assess our level of satisfaction and adjust our goals and plans accordingly.

    Join us at 10am on Sunday mornings at Wollongong Salvos as we build the wisdom of the Teacher into our lives in preparation for a satisfying 2019. #welovesundays #satisfaction #wollongongsalvos

  • Dec 25, 2018Uncluttered 4- Make room for Jesus
    Dec 25, 2018
    Uncluttered 4- Make room for Jesus
    Posted by Phil Inglis
    Series: Uncluttered
  • Dec 23, 2018Uncluttered 3 – Make Room For Giving
    Dec 23, 2018
    Uncluttered 3 – Make Room For Giving
    Posted by Sarah Walker
    Series: Uncluttered

    One of my favourite youth group traditions is our annual Secret Santa. Each year at our Christmas break up, we each purchase a present worth $5 and gift it to someone else in the group. Some years we’ve bought for a specific person, and others we’ve bought generic gifts to be used in a game where you get to pick gifts, trade them and steal them from others. It’s always a hilarious and chaotic time because most of us get competitive with our gift giving and receiving. Some kids are really into it and pick funny, thoughtful gifts. Others completely miss the point and buy something thoughtless or irrelevant (which is still funny most of the time). This time at youth is always fun, but it’s also a mini glimpse into the reality of Christmas.

    Obviously a big part of the Christmas season is giving. We exchange gifts with family, friends, co-workers and often we make an annual contribution toward our favourite charity. But sometimes our giving can get caught up in materialism, competition, or just become a thoughtless obligation. Our lives are so full that meaningful giving is often lost at this time of year because we just don’t have the space to make it happen. So how do we make sure we’re truly giving the way Jesus would want in this season?

    After the birth of Jesus, Magi came from afar to visit Jesus. Not only did they present him with gifts, but they bowed down and worshipped him. These men gave their time, valuable possessions and their worship to Jesus. Their gifts were not given out of obligation or competition; they were given to honour the king and reveal his value. These gifts expressed the joy of the wise men at the coming of the promised Messiah. One more sentence to tie this in.

  • Dec 23, 2018Uncluttered 3 – Make Room For Giving
    Dec 23, 2018
    Uncluttered 3 – Make Room For Giving
    Posted by Sarah Walker
    Series: Uncluttered

    One of my favourite youth group traditions is our annual Secret Santa. Each year at our Christmas break up, we each purchase a present worth $5 and gift it to someone else in the group. Some years we’ve bought for a specific person, and others we’ve bought generic gifts to be used in a game where you get to pick gifts, trade them and steal them from others. It’s always a hilarious and chaotic time because most of us get competitive with our gift giving and receiving. Some kids are really into it and pick funny, thoughtful gifts. Others completely miss the point and buy something thoughtless or irrelevant (which is still funny most of the time). This time at youth is always fun, but it’s also a mini glimpse into the reality of Christmas.

    Obviously a big part of the Christmas season is giving. We exchange gifts with family, friends, co-workers and often we make an annual contribution toward our favourite charity. But sometimes our giving can get caught up in materialism, competition, or just become a thoughtless obligation. Our lives are so full that meaningful giving is often lost at this time of year because we just don’t have the space to make it happen. So how do we make sure we’re truly giving the way Jesus would want in this season?

    After the birth of Jesus, Magi came from afar to visit Jesus. Not only did they present him with gifts, but they bowed down and worshipped him. These men gave their time, valuable possessions and their worship to Jesus. Their gifts were not given out of obligation or competition; they were given to honour the king and reveal his value. These gifts expressed the joy of the wise men at the coming of the promised Messiah. One more sentence to tie this in.

  • Dec 16, 2018Uncluttered- Make room for serving
    Dec 16, 2018
    Uncluttered- Make room for serving
    Posted by Phil Inglis
    Series: Uncluttered

    As an adult, I have moved house 9 times in 21 years. Prior to adulthood I lived in another 10 houses. In January, I will celebrate the longest time I’ve ever lived in one house in my whole life - over 5 years!

    While there are so many things I do not like about moving house fairly regularly, one thing I appreciate is the regular chance to de-clutter. I’m not a big fan of clutter. You see, every time I move, I have to make a decision about every item I own. Do I want an item enough to assemble a box, put the item inside the box, seal the box and move it to a place where the removalists will then take the box, put it on a truck, take it out of the truck at my new home, where I will then take the box, unpack the item, find somewhere to keep it, get rid of the box, all to do the same process a few years later? Do I need/want the item that much? Turns out, for most stuff, no, I do not.

    When you have to move, you start to prioritise what you really want, and what is clutter. There are lots of useful things you could keep, but few are really essential. In this crazy time of the year we can get overloaded, and unless we’re intentional, we tend to keep and get lost in the clutter.

    As we workout our Christmas schedule, it seems logical that our priorities should line up with Jesus’, the one whom we’re celebrating. As we look at his life, we discover very quickly that humbly serving was near the top of his list. In fact, the bible says that Jesus’ whole purpose in coming to earth was to serve. “The Son of Man did not come to be served. He came to serve. The Son of Man came to give his life to save many people.” (Mark 10:45)

    If we want to follow Jesus, we need to make room for serving this Christmas, and always.

  • Dec 9, 2018Uncluttered- Make room for relationships
    Dec 9, 2018
    Uncluttered- Make room for relationships
    Posted by Phil Inglis
    Series: Uncluttered
      
    I think we all know someone who could be described as a hoarder. I have them in my extended family. You can easily tell if a person is a hoarder because they will have a lot (a real lot) of stuff. Now it's not that hoarders collect things, everyone collects things. It's that hoarders don't let things go. Things that most people would throw out, they keep. Things that most people would give away, they put in cupboards. Things that most people would sell on eBay, they store under the bed. Eventually cupboards, rooms and houses get really, really cluttered and important things get lost.

    I think that for many of us the Christmas season itself has become cluttered. Our credit cards are maxed out, our wallets are empty, our calendars are full of events, reminders and deadlines. But somewhere amidst the toys, and decorating, the wrapping paper and visits from Santa, there is a divine story about the birth of a baby boy. Somewhere amidst the fancy office parties, carolling engagements, gingerbread decorating and cinnamon spiced lattes there are important relationships, principles and blessings. All the clutter of Christmas puts us at risk of losing what really matters most.

    Perhaps the most obvious result of the clutter of Christmas is the strain that starts to form in relationships.

  • Dec 9, 2018Uncluttered- Make room for relationships
    Dec 9, 2018
    Uncluttered- Make room for relationships
    Posted by Phil Inglis
    Series: Uncluttered
      
    I think we all know someone who could be described as a hoarder. I have them in my extended family. You can easily tell if a person is a hoarder because they will have a lot (a real lot) of stuff. Now it's not that hoarders collect things, everyone collects things. It's that hoarders don't let things go. Things that most people would throw out, they keep. Things that most people would give away, they put in cupboards. Things that most people would sell on eBay, they store under the bed. Eventually cupboards, rooms and houses get really, really cluttered and important things get lost.

    I think that for many of us the Christmas season itself has become cluttered. Our credit cards are maxed out, our wallets are empty, our calendars are full of events, reminders and deadlines. But somewhere amidst the toys, and decorating, the wrapping paper and visits from Santa, there is a divine story about the birth of a baby boy. Somewhere amidst the fancy office parties, carolling engagements, gingerbread decorating and cinnamon spiced lattes there are important relationships, principles and blessings. All the clutter of Christmas puts us at risk of losing what really matters most.

    Perhaps the most obvious result of the clutter of Christmas is the strain that starts to form in relationships.

  • Nov 25, 2018Serve Everyone, Always
    Nov 25, 2018
    Serve Everyone, Always
    Posted by Sarah Walker

    While musicians are touring or actors are on set, they will often have a rider - a list of extras they expect to receive for their performances. Usually, riders include a list of items to be left in their dressing room including food and beverages. Generally, the more fame a person gains, the more ridiculous their demands become. On their 1982 tour, Van Halen’s rider insisted on bowls of M&M’s with all the brown ones removed. David Hasselhoff requires a life-size cutout of himself set up backstage. Brittany Spears requests McDonalds cheeseburgers with no buns, and Jenifer Lopez demands that every single thing in her dressing room be white - the chairs, the curtains, the carpet - everything. The craziest part is, these demands are met! These celebrities have such a high opinion of themselves that they demand whatever they want and expect other people to make it happen. It’s all about them and meeting their every need because they hold the power. They want to be served, because they are the most important.

    Most of us can’t imagine demanding people serve us in this way, but we can easily get caught up in that, ‘All about me’ mindset. We can be quick to trample over those who are beneath us, and push people out of the way as we climb towards the top. Ancient Rome, not unlike today, was a society where a small minority at the top held all the power and control, and didn’t care much for those who were at the bottom. It was all about climbing the ladder and making yourself more important. But Jesus came to show us a different way of living. He entered the world in the position of a servant. He didn’t demand power, he didn’t exploit people because he was in a position of authority, in fact, he made himself nothing. He poured himself out for people and showed us that what is required from Christ-followers is a posture of humility and an attitude of service. Not so that we can get ahead or elevate ourselves, but that we might live lives that put others first and be satisfied, because our identities lie in who God is, rather than the position we hold in the world.