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Hanging In

Hanging In

Our community seems to be beset by business. There are so many options for things to do, and work seems to require availability of hours that destroy patterns and routines. Often we feel squeezed to have time to just enjoy relationship and “chill out”. My observation is that our spiritual life is high on the list of things we cut back or cut out. Spending time with our Christian family just seems too hard. As a result our spiritual energy wanes and God feels a long way away. Struggles in life on......

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Finding a Framework

Finding a Framework

People talk about our world becoming more complex. More understanding about how the cosmos operates has led to more options and opinions. It seems like we have more choices but less time to make our choices, and less resources to dedicate to things. Part of the complexities arises because the wider community no longer has an agreed set of values or sources of authority. For Christians, we still should have God at the centre of our decision making. The Bible is still an astonishingly accurate reflection of God’s values and will. The......

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Hearts Overflowing with Compassion

Hearts Overflowing with Compassion

The first weeks of our sermon series have concentrated on the heart of Christians. We freely choose to love God and love others. We replace fear and anxiety with thankfulness and generosity. As we learn to love God more and rely on Him more comprehensively, He fills our hearts with compassion and generosity. This weekend the compassion organisation is sharing with us the great opportunity to be generous to people materially much worse off than us. By taking the commitment to sponsor a child we are helping them to be less fearful......

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How Do I Deal with the Brokenness Around Me?

The Bible doesn’t sugar coat our realities. In Matthew 6 Jesus says in verse 34 “Do not worry about tomorrow …. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.” There is no promise that Christians won’t face trouble or have struggles. In fact, we should expect persecution and pains. The Bible encourages us not to be anxious or worried. We are told not to fear people in this world who can only take our earthly life. Easier said than done. At each level the scriptures encourage us to exercise our freedom and......

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True Freedom

In 1966 a movie was released about a lion cub Elsa called “Born Free”. The accompanying song featured a line which said: “born free to follow your heart”. Today we explore the concept of freedom. Freedom is a popular idea in our world and most of us want to be “Free”. What do we mean? For many, its freedom from constraints and rules. For others, it may be freedom from commitment and responsibilities. The bible talks about freedom from guilt, sin and death, but spends much more time talking about freedom for......

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The Real Answer

The Real Answer

Our world struggles with the reality of death. We dress up the casket with flowers and avoid grave sides and crematoriums. The best answer is to stay fit and thus postpone the inevitable. Ultimately it doesn’t work. Christianity has the only real answer to overcome the fear of dying. It is the exciting news of the resurrection. Jesus rose out of the tomb. He promises to come and take us to be with him. Physical death on earth is simply the stepping stone into eternity. This is spectacularly great news. We can......

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Reality Bites

Reality Bites

As Mark ends his account of Jesus’ mission, he is at pains to emphasise some important details. As Chapter 15 closes, he reports the reactions of many of the witnesses to Jesus’ death: – The centurion who describes Jesus as the Son of God. – Joseph of Arimathea wo demands the body of Jesus and ensures proper burial. – The women followers of Jesus who stayed around watching all the events and ascertained the exact location of His tomb. Mark goes to extraordinary lengths to ensure we are in no doubt that......

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Taking Responsibility

Taking Responsibility

As we approach election time our major political parties will spend a lot of time and energy blaming the other side for our economic and social problems. Nothing seems to be their fault. In Chapter 15 of Mark we see Pilate, the teachers of the law and the crowd all abdicating responsibility. We also see Jesus. He takes responsibility! He takes the responsibility for our sins and suffers the punishment for our sin. We can express repentance for our sin. We should confess to God because we know that Jesus‘ death was......

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When you... "Just Do It"

When you… “Just Do It”

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane understood what lay before Him. Jesus grasped the enormity of His impending death. He wrestled with the reality as a human, resolved to face His future none the less. He chose obedience to God, his Father, over all else. It wasn’t fair. He chose the way of the cross because it was the only way for justice and mercy for us all. As we follow this Jesus there will be times for us to choose. “Forgiving others as we are forgiven” is the hardest prayer to......

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He’s Worth It

He’s Worth It

Over the last few months we have been talking about “radical generosity”. As Christians we are given responsibility for given talents, opportunities, finances and resources. We are encouraged throughout the New Testament to be radically generous. In today’s reading from Mark 14 we encounter the woman who was radically generous in outpouring her care and love for Jesus. Even the disciples didn’t get it and rebuked her. Overall the passage teaches us that Jesus is worth it. He is our ultimate saviour. He is worth everything we could possibly dedicate to him......

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