Apr 10, 2016
Persevering Through Discouragement
Posted by Sarah Walker

When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was be as good at basketball as Michael Jordan. Five-time NBA Most Valuable Player, six-time NBA championship winner, six-time NBA Finals MVP, nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team, 11 NBA All-Star Game appearances. All topped off, of course, with his lead role as himself in the 1996 film Space Jam. He was (and in my opinion always will be) the greatest basketball player of all time.

What I didn’t realise in my quest to be like MJ, was t

hat becoming that good was really a product of hard work. Yeah, talent was there, but it was mostly work that lead to his reward. Michael Jordan was a no-shortcuts kind of guy. He didn’t spend his time chatting or wishing or winging. He spent his time working. Those championships, the awards didn’t just happen. They were a product of his time, dedication and consistency.

As we take a look at the second part of God’s message through the prophet Haggai, we see that God is calling his people to action. They’re discouraged, they’ve been disobedient, they’re hung up on the past, but God stirs up something within them. It’s time for them to start working. And yep, rebuilding the temple was going to be hard. There was no shortcuts, it was going to take their time and energy and investment. But God calls them to be strong. Why? Because he is with them. Of course, God could have just given the people a beautiful, glorious new temple. But that wasn’t the point. It was time for them to start working. To engage in the physical work of rebuilding the temple as God challenged the deeper issues of their hearts.

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  • Apr 10, 2016Persevering Through Discouragement
    Apr 10, 2016
    Persevering Through Discouragement
    Posted by Sarah Walker

    When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was be as good at basketball as Michael Jordan. Five-time NBA Most Valuable Player, six-time NBA championship winner, six-time NBA Finals MVP, nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team, 11 NBA All-Star Game appearances. All topped off, of course, with his lead role as himself in the 1996 film Space Jam. He was (and in my opinion always will be) the greatest basketball player of all time.

    What I didn’t realise in my quest to be like MJ, was t

    hat becoming that good was really a product of hard work. Yeah, talent was there, but it was mostly work that lead to his reward. Michael Jordan was a no-shortcuts kind of guy. He didn’t spend his time chatting or wishing or winging. He spent his time working. Those championships, the awards didn’t just happen. They were a product of his time, dedication and consistency.

    As we take a look at the second part of God’s message through the prophet Haggai, we see that God is calling his people to action. They’re discouraged, they’ve been disobedient, they’re hung up on the past, but God stirs up something within them. It’s time for them to start working. And yep, rebuilding the temple was going to be hard. There was no shortcuts, it was going to take their time and energy and investment. But God calls them to be strong. Why? Because he is with them. Of course, God could have just given the people a beautiful, glorious new temple. But that wasn’t the point. It was time for them to start working. To engage in the physical work of rebuilding the temple as God challenged the deeper issues of their hearts.

  • Apr 3, 2016Doing The Hard Right
    Apr 3, 2016
    Doing The Hard Right
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis

    Easter was a fantastic celebration of the fact that the crucifixion was not the end of the promises Jesus made. Instead it was the start. It was the beginning of a new existence of healed humanity and the inauguration of a kingdom of God, full of healed humans.

    In 520 BC the prophet Haggai was used by God to urge the exiles that had returned to Jerusalem to pick up the neglected task of rebuilding the temple that had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC.

    They had go

    ne on a journey to a renewed kingdom. They had been excited about the rebuilding of a new life, a new temple in the centre of life. Sadly disillusionment, discouragement, and controversy crept in, work stalled and for the 15 years, no one touched this project - no one seemed to care. The place of faith in the centre off this new kingdom was neglected. The people had lost their vision and enthusiasm for rebuilding the city and its temple, a task which first inspired them to make the long trek back from Babylon. Although they had established themselves and their houses, life continues to be harsh and difficult. Some had even rationalised the difficulties as God’s guidance that the time was not yet right for the rebuilding work to resume.

    At first glance Haggai’s message doesn’t seem to be as intense as his fellow prophets. His complaints were not focused on the usual sins of idolatry, unrighteousness and injustice; instead his concerns were over his people’s apathy in their worship and service of God. He called his people to reexamine their priorities. His message concerned the interior of the person and the heart of the matters raised; external issues were merely symptoms of a deeper problem.

    Join us over the next 3 Sundays as we consider some great truths that Haggai can help us apply to our day-to-day lives. The Time is Now.

  • Mar 27, 2016Hope for Healing
    Mar 27, 2016
    Hope for Healing
    Posted by Phil Inglis
    One of the most hopeless moments of my life was after I had spent 2 months in hospital. I had been through 3 brain surgeries and I was still unwell, I was still struggling. My family was wondering what was happening. I was unable to leave the ward because of the fear of infection. I was only allowed limited visitors. My wife was travelling back and forward to the hospital and trying to deal with kids and life without me. The first surgery to remove the tumor was success

    ful, but my brain fluid was leaking. Twice more they cut open my head in attempts to patch the problem but none of the treatments worked. All that is pretty much par for the course when you are in hospital I guess, but the most hopeless moment came when the doctors-in-training said, “I don’t think we actually know what’s wrong.” My hope for healing only appeared when they called in the original surgical team and they went back to the original site of the problem and dealt with it finally.

    When God sent His son Jesus, we know what he did, we know what he said, but we don’t often know why. God is the doctor of doctors and knows all things and he knew from creation that Jesus would have to come and die on a cross to heal us. In the words of a 4 year old though.… But Why?

    When Jesus met a couple of guys on the road to Emmaus after he had risen from the dead, he explained why he came and why he died, starting from the beginning. Join us this Easter (Good Friday 9am, Easter Sunday 10am) as we celebrate the Hope for Healing we experience when we understand how God dealt with the original cause of the problem of sin and shame, and works his healing for humanity through the resurrection.

  • Mar 25, 2016What do you hope for?
    Mar 25, 2016
    What do you hope for?
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis
    What do you hope for? 
  • Mar 20, 2016The Mystery of Hope
    Mar 20, 2016
    The Mystery of Hope
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis

    A few months ago I went to the cricket. I don’t go often but someone invited me and I loved it, I cheered and carried on like a total idiot. Australia was playing a 20/20 match against India and at times I almost got as excited as the indian fans. I cheered, and stamped, and threw my KFC bucket in the air whenever Australia took a wicket or hit a six.

    The sad truth is however, I knew nearly nothing of the game. I had never watched a 20/20 match, I didn’t know the part

    icular rules, I didn’t know the players names. I was merely a spectator who was carried away in the excitement of the moment, rather than a fan who got carried away the same way he does every game. I will admit that I got so good at the game that I began giving coaching tips at the top of my lungs.

    When Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem at the beginning of the last week before his crucifixion there was an excited crowd. I won’t say it was as vocal as a cricket crowd but it did wave palm leaves, (the first century equivalent of foam fingers, streamers, and ticket-tape). No doubt there were some who understood his true mission and purpose in coming to Jerusalem. Some may have understood where his path would take him. But considering his closest disciples didn’t quite get what he was doing it seems like that would have been a very small number. More likely there were fans, followers, spectators and others who were carried away in the heat of the moment. The heat of the moment that came from hope. Hope for salvation. Hope for freedom. Hope for release. Hope for the power of God to be made real in the world. Hope of Glory.

    The power of Palm Sunday is that the Hope of Glory fulfilled by Jesus is not what they expected, but its’ what they needed because the hope no longer is restrained in one man, it is released and revealed through all those who accept and believe.

  • Mar 13, 2016Simplify Surrender
    Mar 13, 2016
    Simplify Surrender
    Posted by Sarah Walker
    Series: Simplify.

    A few weeks ago I (Sarah) needed to get access to my old, archived emails. I spent ages trying to open the mailbox, but for some reason it was blocked and I couldn’t get the page to load even though I could log in just fine. After struggling for ages in the office I finally vented my frustration. Rebecca walked over, hit two buttons on my computer and it opened! Problem solved in approximately three seconds. Aargh! Have you ever spent hours trying figure something out, only to have someone come along with a simple solution? While I was genuinely grateful for Rebecca's help, I was more frustrated because I somehow missed the simple option in my quest to figure out the answer.

    Over the past couple of weeks, we've painted a picture of simplified schedules, finances and relationships. But the question is, how do we maintain this way of living? How do we figure out the way to go when it comes to making decisions that keep our souls uncluttered and our direction clear?

    There's a simple solution for all of us. Psalm 119 tells us that the way to stay on the path of purity is living according to God's word. In the bible, God-breathed truth is laid out for us. It guides, it corrects, it teaches. Engaging with God's word is the key to ongoing simplified living.

  • Mar 6, 2016Simplify Your Relationships
    Mar 6, 2016
    Simplify Your Relationships
    Posted by Phil Inglis
    Series: Simplify.

    Have you ever moved house? Changed schools? Changed job? Changed church? How often do you keep in touch with the friends you had from those times in your life?

    One of the interesting parts of our age has been the rise of Facebook and the ability to maintain ‘friendships’ with people from previous times in your life with far greater ease than you could even 15 years ago! Photographs shared from decades ago not only show terrible hair styles, but often bring to mind those

    friendships once enjoyed but now lost. It's like a very low intensity, but very long, high school reunion. Like many high school reunions I guess not all experiences and relationships are remembered with excitement and joy. And perhaps there is also a low level 'guilt trip' for not being a good enough friend and keeping in touch like you promised to do when you all left school.

    The end result is that now people have so many ‘friendships’ that take so much time, that they may have very few decent relationships. In Australian language people have lots of friends but not that many true mates anymore. Things have become really complicated and complex in our relational world. The reality is, the number of people we know does not equal the number of true friends we have.

    When you wrongly assess the friendship levels in your own relationships, it can cost you a lot. An unevaluated, underdeveloped relational world can wreak havoc in your life. If your relationships are out of alignment, simplified living will be a distant dream rather than a present reality. By evaluating, pruning, expanding, bordering and deepening your relationships they can bring greater joy and energy to your simplified life.

    Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived said "So—join the company of good men and women, keep your feet on the tried-and-true paths. It’s the men who walk straight who will settle this land, the women with integrity who will last here. The corrupt will lose their lives; the dishonest will be gone for good.”

    Join us on Sunday at 10am as we learn wisdom for our relational lives.

  • Feb 28, 2016Simplify Your Budget
    Feb 28, 2016
    Simplify Your Budget
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis
    Series: Simplify.
    When I was a kid I (Phil) was terrible with money. In fact, I probably still am but I wisely handed over all control of my finances to Rebecca!

    When I had money I would often spend it to buy cool stuff. Not just because I liked it, but I bought stuff because I thought my friends would like me more because I had those things. Body boards, model trains, roller blades (remember those?), radio controlled cars, new guitars all sorts of things. Some of these things I enjoyed
    for ages, but others I enjoyed only for that time when my friends would say 'wow'. After they lost the wow factor, they quickly lost any interest for me.

    I'm not sure why I felt so much like I had to buy such things but I know I'm not the only person to feel this way. Zacchaeus was someone who had a similar kind of relationship with money. He liked it for what he could get with it, the people he could influence, the reputation he could garner. Unfortunately for him it was an uphill battle, as the more he had, the more his reputation was tarnished. It was never going to work.

    The difference came when Zacchaeus meets Jesus. He gains a whole new understanding of wealth and a whole new value in himself that did not come from possessions or reputation. From the time he met Jesus his whole budget went out the window or at least was rewritten.

    Join us at 10am this Sunday as we tackle the question: "What does your budget say about who you want to become?"
  • Feb 21, 2016Simplify Your Schedule
    Feb 21, 2016
    Simplify Your Schedule
    Posted by Phil Inglis
    Series: Simplify.
    Many of you would know that I (Phil) am not the most organised and structured guy. When it comes to holidays, I am more than happy to jump in the car, with a destination in mind, and simply drive. I'll sort out the accomodation and food situation when I get there, as I go. Rebecca is the polar opposite. If she is going to spend time on holiday, she much prefers knowing where we are going, how long it will take, where we will be stopping for breaks, when we are going to

    leave, where we will stay the night, what time we can check in, what time we have to check out, what time we will need to see all the things we want to see.

    When we were first married this caused a little friction but as time went on I saw the benefit of organised time. When we scheduled stops, check-ins, must-see attractions and so on we fit so much more into our time off, we learned more, we experienced more and we enjoyed more.

    In scripture a story is told of when the Nation of Israelites is just forming. Moses is in charge of everything and he is left short of time. He is running from appointment to appointment with no plan and no end in sight. His father in law takes him aside and gives him some good advice. It's all good and well just to wander in the desert, but if they actually want to get anything done, if they actually want to get anywhere there has to be a plan. There will need to be more people involved and Moses is going to have to manage his time better.

    So now, when we go on holidays we have the best of both worlds. Rebecca organises everything down to the last dot and keeps it secret from me so that I can pretend in my own little mind that we are just relaxing and wandering down the road care-free and yet we still see an incredible amount of things and have great experiences and make the most of every minute.

    Join us this Sunday, at 10am, as we commence looking at how we can simplify our lives, unclutter our souls and how the thoughtful arrangement of our daily and weekly calendars can be one of the holiest endeavours we take.

  • Feb 14, 2016Masters of Good and Evil
    Feb 14, 2016
    Masters of Good and Evil
    Posted by Colin Stoodley
    Learning to grow up so we can we grow in our relationships with each other. "Retreat Session 3".