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A new Alpha course wil begin on the 8th of May contact office if you are interested....
- CHRISTMAS DAY SERVICE
Our Christmas Day Family service will be at 9am. Everyone is welcome to come and Join us....
- 2013-6 Thursday Service
We recently have started a Thursday Service fortnightly. It meets at 10am for a short service with some of the favourite older songs, followed by morning tea. Everyone is welcome....
- Cambodian Fellowship
The Cambodian Fellowship meet weekly on a Sunday at 5.30pm...
- 2012-7-1 Weekly Update
Thankyou for generous giving to the Cambodian Love Offering.
Courageous Living Mens Conference. A two day conference ...
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Pastor Ed's Blog
- Galations Ken Newlands 10.5.14
Eugene Peterson, the writer of “The Message.” begins his introduction to the book of Galatians with these words:
“When men and women get their hands on religion, one of the things they often do is turn it into an instrument for controlling others, either putting or keeping them “in their place.” The history of such religious manipulation and coercion is long and tedious. It is little wonder that people who have only known religion on such terms experience release or escape from it as freedom.”
While history is tainted with abuse and atrocities conducted under the “Christian” banner we are not alone - As we look at current international events we see extremist Muslims using religion to control and manipulate people. Wherever there are people, there are opportunities for evil to take hold.
As we work through the current series on Galatians we are drawn back to the core of what being a Christian is all about –Faith in Jesus and what He accomplished in his death and resurrection. We are warned against adding other things to the core and so judging others as less acceptable or seeking control over them. We are also encouraged to stand firm in this faith and not to allow others to manipulate us or lead us astray.
The grace and freedom we enjoy is not however an excuse for selfish indulgence, rather it is an opportunity to serve God thankfully, reflect His kingdom values, and allow His spirit to produce something tasty and appealing in us.
Eugen Peterson concludes his introduction:
“Paul’s letter to the Galatian churches helps them, and us, recover the original freedom. It also gives direction in the nature of god’s gift of freedom –most necessary guidance, for freedom is a delicate and subtle gift, easily perverted and often squandered.”
Galatians 5: 6
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith made effective through love.
May you know and experience His Grace.
- Introduction to Galations 9/7/14
While Pastor Ed and Linda are away, we will be going through the book of Galatians in our Sunday Services. Let this introduction from The Message wet your appetite for following the weekly messages.
“When men and women get their hands on religion, one of the first things they often do is turn it into an instrument for controlling others, either putting or keeping them in “their place.” The history of such religious manipulation and coercion is long and tedious. It is little wonder that people who have only known religion on such terms experience release or escape from its freedom. The problem is that freedom turns out to be short-lived. Paul of Tarsus was doing his diligent best to add yet another chapter to his dreary history when he was converted by Jesus to something radically and entirely different – a free life in God Through Jesus, Paul learned that God was not an impersonal force to be used to make people behave in prescribed ways, but a personal Saviour who set us free to live a free life. God did not coerce us from without, but set us free from within. It was a glorious experience, and Paul set off telling others … A few years later, Paul learned that religious leaders of the old school had come into those churches … and were re-introducing the old ways …
Paul was, of course, furious. He was furious with the old guard … and furious with the Christians for caving into the intimidation. His letter to the Galatian churches helps them, and us, recover the original freedom …. for freedom is a delicate and subtle gift, easily perverted and squandered.
We begin the Galatians messages on Sunday, September 14th.
- Future Building Plans (July 2014)
Future building plans
Many pre-earthquake plans have been changed or altered post-earthquake. We have to adjust to change, the positive aspect is our challenge to create new thinking; learning new ways to grow.
Growth is a biblical mandate we carry at many levels. God called us from the beginning to multiply (Gen 1:28). Furthermore, the gospel was never intended to be stagnant, but a living challenge for us to spread to the whole world (Acts 1:8). The problem with growth; it costs time, effort and money. Often the very thing we don’t have. But if the challenge is birthed from God, He will deliver.
Our present challenge is to expand our existing site to its’ potential. We felt this has been a word from God for a long time and it seems right for us; post-earthquake, to move ahead. It is clear that our empty section must be turned into car parks. We struggle midweek to provide enough for our own use. We also struggle with our auditorium capacity. It is not large enough, and if we want our congregation to grow numerically; this is a must. The basic plan is to build over our existing auditorium using the driveway and some of our existing car parks. Our car parks on the empty section will compensate and also meet Council requirements.
We have submitted plans to our Town Planner who will now take this to the Council and apply for a building consent. This stage is simply a footprint with no architectural drawings. If this is successful, we will then call a meeting for the whole church to make further proposals and decisions.
You might ask; what is the point to grow more in numbers? Are we not happy with what we have got? Isn’t the money better spent in other places? There are many answers to these questions, but the root answer should always be around our mission. The strength of our overseas and home mission is dependent on the strength of our home base. Simple maths shows that size has something to do with mission.
- Kingdom of God Breaks the kingdom of darkness
Kingdom of God breaks the kingdom of darkness
John Wesley (founder of the Methodist) said; “I look upon the whole world as my parish”. If the world is the place of mission, the task of doing it requires much more than being awake. There are defined actions from the commission of Jesus: go and make disciples; baptizing them…… teaching them…..This task was never meant to be easy. Why? Jesus added at the end the comforting words:” I am with you always to the end of age “(Mt 28:20), posing the problem of despair we will face in the light of this challenge. Fishing for men and woman is not that easy. I’ve seen many come to Christ but many have got away. Sometimes it’s just catch and release. So what are we really facing?
Paul the Apostle warns the Ephesian Christians to take their stand against the devil’s scheme and the powers of the dark world and spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6:11,12). We are called to be ready like armed soldiers to do battle against evil. Yet we are also called to conquer evil with good (Rom 12:21), and love our enemies (Mt 5:44). When Jesus confronts us with loving our enemies, he is clearly referring to those who persecute us; it could be your colleague at work. Praying for them and blessing them is simply the first step toward salvation. People are not the real enemy, even if they behave like one. The real enemy is clearly the Kingdom of Darkness. The Kingdom of Darkness is full of piggy habits of selfishness. People adopt this deceptive kingdom and become captives to self-centred living. That’s why Isaiah predicts a new Kingdom, an eternal Kingdom with different values (Isaiah 9). This new Kingdom will be marked by the ministry of Jesus (Isaiah 61), breaking the hold from the kingdom of darkness. Jesus claimed his Kingdom in Luke 4: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.
Linda and I will be visiting our missionaries in Cambodia, North Africa and England in September and October. We will be there to encourage them in this mission of God’s Kingdom, breaking the kingdom of darkness. This is no easy task, yet worth living for.
Pastor Ed Karlsen
- The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit
We applaud those who recently got baptized. Baptism is the affirmation of our faith, and the challenge to live a Spirit filled life. I cannot claim it is easy, but the Holy Spirit is available because Jesus made the promise (Jn 14:25-27). Many live by God’s principles, and although this is good; we are called to move deeper, and live in a relationship with the Holy Spirit. Over the years, I have grieved and quenched the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30), and on many occasions succumb to personal selfishness above what is right. The challenge is to get up again, and follow the Lord. The Holy Spirit started our relationship many years ago, and I have observed two things in this relationship:
He takes great pleasure in me reading the Bible. He glorifies Jesus
He likes it when I converse with Him
It takes approximately 80 hours to read the whole Bible and I think this is a good discipline. But for many, this is too difficult, especially if you are just starting. So I encourage beginners to read the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. There are too many Christians who are dwelling in other books or using “paraphrased bibles” instead of making the main text (the Bible), the main text. Nothing wrong in reading other books (I do all the time), but not at the expense of shelving the Bible, the real deal. I have my Bible on my smart phone as well, but it is not the same as the Book. Luke 6:45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart….
How do we converse with the Holy Spirit? For me, it is about learning how the Holy Spirit responds to you. Naturally this is ongoing with new things to discover. If you take no time to converse with the Holy Spirit, it is unlikely that you will find any change in your relationship. Many say to me that they can’t hear God. Let me suggest; instead of doing your next holiday in your normal fashion, make your holiday with the purpose of hearing the Holy Spirit. Find a tranquil place, slow down, take your Bible, read some Psalms and you’ll soon discover the Holy Spirit has more to say. For me it is impressions, and most important is the presence of His peace. This is unmistakably God, the Holy Spirit. I also get the sense of His assurance and the overwhelming joy of His forgiveness and grace, and much more. Ephesians 5; 18… Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.
Phone: 03 352 4227
Fax: 03 352 9818
Office hours: Tuesday to Friday, from 9 AM to 3 PM
Sunday Services: 10 AM