Apr 7, 2019
Come and See 1 – Jesus Loves
Series: Come and See
A few years ago Rebecca and I were in Hawaii on holiday and we visited the big Island so we could go and see some active volcanos. We particularly wanted to go and see actual lava flowing and walk all over newly formed rocks. I don’t know if its the same now but at that time it was a 13km walk (one way) from the car park out to the lava fields. So we each took a couple of litres of water and set out. It was a great walk, most of the way on a well graded road. But once we got to the lava field we had to climb over very hot shiny black rocks. The Hawaiian sun, black rocks and hot lava just a meter away meant that our water supplies did not last long.

We still had an incredible time clambering all over the amazing landscape watching the rock flowing like mud. We stayed until the sun had gone down and the landscape glowed with pools of lava spreading over the terrain, it was surreal. By the time we got back to the car however I was desperately thirsty. I had a headache, my mouth was dry, my tongue was swollen and my muscles were like jelly - I needed water. I couldn’t think about anything else. When I did get some water it was the sweetest thing I have ever put in my mouth. I cannot describe just how incredibly good it tasted.

This Sunday we begin our Easter message series called ‘Come & See.’ Each week we are going to look at a different encounter someone had with Jesus.

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  • Apr 7, 2019Come and See 1 – Jesus Loves
    Apr 7, 2019
    Come and See 1 – Jesus Loves
    Series: Come and See
    A few years ago Rebecca and I were in Hawaii on holiday and we visited the big Island so we could go and see some active volcanos. We particularly wanted to go and see actual lava flowing and walk all over newly formed rocks. I don’t know if its the same now but at that time it was a 13km walk (one way) from the car park out to the lava fields. So we each took a couple of litres of water and set out. It was a great walk, most of the way on a well graded road. But once we got to the lava field we had to climb over very hot shiny black rocks. The Hawaiian sun, black rocks and hot lava just a meter away meant that our water supplies did not last long.

    We still had an incredible time clambering all over the amazing landscape watching the rock flowing like mud. We stayed until the sun had gone down and the landscape glowed with pools of lava spreading over the terrain, it was surreal. By the time we got back to the car however I was desperately thirsty. I had a headache, my mouth was dry, my tongue was swollen and my muscles were like jelly - I needed water. I couldn’t think about anything else. When I did get some water it was the sweetest thing I have ever put in my mouth. I cannot describe just how incredibly good it tasted.

    This Sunday we begin our Easter message series called ‘Come & See.’ Each week we are going to look at a different encounter someone had with Jesus.

  • Mar 31, 2019Philippians 4 – Peace
    Mar 31, 2019
    Philippians 4 – Peace
    Series: Philippians

    A few months ago a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer. Following surgery he is now working out what follow-up treatment he is going to require. This week was his first visit with a new oncologist and he was naturally a little anxious about it. In a social media post he quoted an inspirational text from the bible, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6).”

    As inspirational as it is, as encouraging as it is, it also seems impossible. How is it that someone with cancer could not be anxious? How could someone with a brain tumour not be anxious? How could someone with a sick child in hospital not be anxious? How could a parent who’s child leaves home not be a little anxious? How could a student sitting an important exam not feel anxious? How is it that someone is supposed to be at peace in the middle of any and all situations?

    In Paul’s letter to the Philippians he claims to have found the secret of true peace in all situations. Fortunately for us, he doesn't keep the secret to himself, but explains the basic elements required to achieve that peace. For thousands of years believers have wrestled with these elements, and following Paul's advice they have found that same incredible sense of peace in all situations.

    Whatever your life story we would love for you to join us at 10am on Sunday as together we look at what Paul taught and attempt to find peace in all the crazy things we face. #wollongongsalvos #peace#cancer #philippians

  • Mar 17, 2019Philippians 2 – Minds
    Mar 17, 2019
    Philippians 2 – Minds
    Series: Philippians
     Very few people have a mild reaction when they first taste Vegemite. Vegemite is so strong, bitter and salty that it turns peoples faces inside-out. This is very amusing for Australians as they often coax unsuspecting foreigners into trying huge spoonfuls of Vegemite by convincing them that it tastes something like chocolate. In some ways Jesus was like Vegemite. People rarely had a mild reaction to Jesus. They would either recoil in hatred at the things he claimed or they were attracted to his teaching, believed what he said and worshipped him. Jesus was a strong person, his message was powerful and his claims were incredible. Over time thousands of people began to follow Jesus. They discovered who he was, they learned what he taught and it changed their lives.

    In Philippians 2 we learn that one of the most important lessons Jesus taught and demonstrated was that of humility. Intentionally using your power and influence to build up others rather than yourself, is such a powerful counter-cultural concept, but it leads to a life of true satisfaction.

  • Mar 3, 2019Selfless 4 – Extravagant in Giving
    Mar 3, 2019
    Selfless 4 – Extravagant in Giving
    Series: Selfless

     If someone was to ask me about my favourite movies, “Rocky” would definitely be in my top ten. Rocky is the story of a complete and utter underdog boxer from the streets of Philadelphia, who comes up against the reigning world champion Apollo Creed. No one gives Rocky a chance to get through the first round let alone “go the distance” with Apollo.

    It’s not the achievement of Rocky “going the distance” that stands out most to me, but it is his sheer determination, tenacity andperseverance. The fact that he battles not only the world number one but also his circumstances of being uneducated, unemployed and not given a shot by anyone only makes the feat more impressive.

    There are many times Rocky could have given up and thrown in the towel in the lead up and during the fight, but Rocky absorbs each blow and is determined to follow his passion and persevere through his circumstances.

    What are your circumstances today? Are you just about ready to throw in the towel or are you ready to get up and keep fighting?

    If we are looking for the perfect example of someone who never gave up in the midst of struggles you can’t go past Jesus. The Son of God had all the power and authority to live a life of comfort, but Jesus chose to be amongst the poor and needy. Jesus chose to go to the cross and take the sin of the world upon his shoulders in order to have a relationship with us for eternity. Jesus chose to be grateful and embrace the grind of what life has to offer in order to have a relationship with us.

    Are we willing to be grateful in the grind of life and push through our circumstances so that others may experience the love of Jesus too?

  • Feb 17, 2019Selfless 2 – Faithful in Service
    Feb 17, 2019
    Selfless 2 – Faithful in Service
    Series: Selfless
  • Feb 10, 2019Selfless 1 – Bold in Witness
    Feb 10, 2019
    Selfless 1 – Bold in Witness
    Series: Selfless

    When I was about 10 years old my Sunday school teachers challenged us to invite a friend to Sunday school. We would even be rewarded with a prize if that friend actually came along.

    This prize was necessary because there was no way I would normally invite someone to church. Just like most other people I was terrified of talking to people about God. I was terrified of inviting people to church. I was terrified of the response or reaction of my friends. What if they laughed at me? What if they got offended? What if they asked a question I couldn’t answer?

    As it turns out, the promised prize was good enough that I gathered all the courage I could and I invited a couple of school mates to Sunday school. None of the things I feared actually happened and we all had a great time.

    I’m not sure if we should offer a prize for inviting people to church but I’m still curious about what kind of incentive it would take to actually get adults to invite others to church? Why is it that people are afraid to talk about their spiritual experience? Why is it that people are hesitant to share their faith story? Why is it that so many of us lack a little boldness when it comes to our faith?

  • Jan 27, 2019SATISFIED 5 – Age
    Jan 27, 2019
    SATISFIED 5 – Age
    Series: Satisfied

    A few years ago I fell off my mountain bike and hurt my shoulder. This was not an unusual occurrence but this time my shoulder still felt painful a few days later and I had to go to a doctor to get it checked out. I asked the doctor why I didn’t recover from this injury like I had plenty of times before. His response was brutal, “you’re getting older.” Apparently my body isn’t as flexible as it was. My joints aren’t as smooth, my bones are not as strong, my muscles are not as quick and my eyesight is not as good. This came as quite a shock, getting older was something that happened to other people! This injury, and the doctor's blunt diagnosis, really brought home the truth. Suddenly I found that I could really relate to Terry Pratchett who wrote that inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened. What about you? At what point did you realise that you were actually getting old, or was it something you have always been aware of? How did you feel when the doctor (or whatever) made you realise that you were getting older?

    I think it's especially a shock because we live in a culture that celebrates youth. It seems like a vast majority of advertising is aimed at a younger audience, a majority of people featured on radio and television are young and certainly the majority of social media stars are young. Some Youtube and Twitch streaming video stars don't even seem to have finished high school! When we are no longer a part of this celebrated bunch of people it's easy to feel a sense of loss and perhaps even regret. If you had the opportunity what would you say to your younger self? What advice would you offer? What warnings would you give? What encouragement would you bequeath?

  • Dec 30, 2018SATISFIED 1 – The Wisdom Of The Teacher
    Dec 30, 2018
    SATISFIED 1 – The Wisdom Of The Teacher
    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
    Series: Uncluttered
  • Dec 16, 2018Uncluttered- Make room for serving
    Dec 16, 2018
    Uncluttered- Make room for serving
    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.