Our Mission: To belong To grow To influence
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
- 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.
- Prayer a lasting tradition
Prayer, a lasting tradition
I am currently a board member for the Canterbury/Westland Association. Our board is made up of 5 members who work with a Regional leader (Paul Askin), Youth leader (Mike Dodge), Children’s leader (Donna Reid), and an Administrator (Nicola Rosanowski). Paul and Nicola are vacating their positions, so we have been advertising for a Regional leader and an Administrator. Our roles are to resource and help Baptist Churches in our region to grow and be healthy.
Although this sounds like a business operation; there should be a family dynamic to our existence. Family fallout is a common pastoral issue most of us face; and thankfully we have some great guidelines of reconciliation through the teaching of Jesus Christ. The positive side of family is expressed in our desire to relate and rejoice in our successes and support those in need.
This year our Association have continued the theme of “prayer”; between Easter and Pentecost. I have also encouraged us as a church to include fasting. The Association have made opportunity of 40 days of prayer in weekly prayer sheets, available at our information desk. You can do one week or all 6 weeks. Each sheet gives you the privilege to pray for churches and ministries in our region. In addition there are Bible readings and challenging thoughts for each day.
Prayer has many shapes and various forms from active to quiet prayer.
Contemplative prayer or centring prayer which is a focus on a specific topic or word; all being valid forms of prayer. For us as Christians, we connect in prayer with our God, the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. One of the most traditional forms of prayer is known as Lectio Divina; Latin word for sacred reading. This form of prayer has 4 separate steps, and you need a quiet place for meditation.
2)Meditate on the words (avoid turning it into a study)
3)Praying in words your response from the Scriptures
4)Contemplate and sense the response from God, resting in His love and presence.
Give it a go with Scriptures from our 40 day of prayer sheet, and be blessed.
- Growing in God (Feb 2014)
Growing in God
Last weekend we had an Elders retreat at the amazing lodge at Castle Hill. We revised some of our stuff from last year. We also spent time praying and seeking God for our future.
Growing as a church is not only numerical growth. We are well aware of the limitations we have due to our buildings, and we need to address this issue. However, growth can still take place.
Ministry growth, is in areas of deliberate ministries that we offer to our community; eg Mainly Music, youth, children and much more. Growth can be in the quality that we deliver, and the way we serve those around us. Ministry growth has a servant heart as the foundation for operation. (Mark 9:35)
Mission growth, is about people who respond to the gospel, and this growth provides opportunities. We appreciate new commitments to Jesus Christ, and look forward to more this year. Mission growth comes out of a heart for those who don’t know Jesus. (Luke 19:9,10)
Prayer growth, is both a personal and corporate commitment. We all know how important this is in terms of overall church growth. I’ve always found prayer more of a discipline than a desire, hence the difficulty of achieving. I’ve observed that prayer growth is a cultivated discipline.
Spiritual growth, is many things to many people, but for me, it begins with the awareness of the realm that is different from the physical. Secondly, we learn to operate in this realm. The Bible defines this realm as spiritual, hence the need for spiritual gifts. One way of spiritual growth is to exercise our spiritual gifts.
(1 Corinthians 12,13,14)
The above is a simplistic view of growing, and should be expanded. Our Cambodian fellowship is a good example of growth. The focus has not been on numbers, but growing in God and making stronger disciples. They have learned to pray for one another, and strengthen each other by serving their people. The two recent baptisms are signals of growth, and there are more to come. May the Lord anoint us for His service.
Luke 4:18-19 18 “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, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
- The Easter story is alive.
The Easter story is alive.
Easter blessings to all the Norwegians who are reading this blog.
I recently made a trip to Norway to see my father before he died. It was a privilege to be at his side and pray for him as he was letting go. Let me thank all of you who prayed for us and supported us. It was very much appreciated.
It was also a time to catch up with family and friends. I realized that a large gap had formed in my life; some friends, I had not seen for over 20 years. Life has a way of slipping away from us, and I became acutely aware of how much I wanted my life to count for something. I don’t mean being rich and famous, but impacting my friends and family with God’s love. As I have pondered on this dilemma, my best friend growing up, came to the funeral. We had gone two separate ways, or had we? It dawned on me that God was also working in his life. He had prayed, he believes in a God, he genuinely wants to know about my God. He is on a search which I now have the privilege to help. Not only because of friendship, but I can. Many others had made attempts to ask the bigger questions and it is my pleasure to help plug some of those gaps, in fact it is my duty to tell the Easter story. The apostle Peter reminds us: (1Peter 3) 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect… Notice in this passage; people are asking about your hope, rather than us thrusting it upon people. Respect is the manner we deliver our message. Very important!
Easter reminds us all about this hope. It is the pinnacle point of the year to embrace the freedom we have through the works of Jesus Christ. It was Jesus himself who said: “It is finished!” (Jn 19:30). God has done the work and we pass this message on. Some will sneer, but others will embrace the message (Acts 17:32). Keep sharing your faith lovingly and respectfully.
Last year we called the church for prayer and fasting between Easter and Pentecost (50days). Many of us did this in various ways; less TV, less Coffee, less cell phones, less food etc. Important to also replace those times with meditation and focus toward God. It certainly drew me closer to the Lord. Let me encourage you to do so again. Easter is always a good kick start to affirm our faith and experience the love of God.
- 2013-12 The Gathering
(Assembly: November 7-10)
National Assembly, or better known as the Gathering, is an annual event where all the Baptist churches are invited to send their pastors and representatives to hear what the Lord is doing amongst us. Linda and I have been regular attenders for the past 20 years. We worship, celebrate, debate, vote and listen to the prophetic voices from the Christian Communities, even beyond our own Denomination. Our wonderful hosts were Manukau Baptist Church in Auckland. We started early morning and went late into the night.
Eleven of us managed to attend the graduation at of Jeremy Adams, Margaret McFedries and Donna Reid. They have been on a two year probation period of study and supervision. In this process they also learn about the history of our Denomination and gain a better understanding of how we operate as a family of churches. They are now accepted by our Denomination as fully registered Ministers. This is a great achievement for our church. I can feel our vision statement; “belong, grow and influence” in their development. Congratulations!!
The topic of “the Gathering” was “Diversity”. Our main speaker was Keith Newman who is the author of: Beyond Betrayal and Ratana the Prophet. Keith delivered a sombre message around our Treaty and the injustice of our past to our present day. Fantastic!
Duncan Gibb, the CEO of SCIRT was inspirational. He shared the story of Christchurch rebuild. SCIRT leads all the underground work of water and waste. They have been recognized on the world stage for their model of unity and efficiency. Brilliant!
We heard stories of how churches have been embracing different ethnic ministries; even Sam and I got a slot to share our story. There were constant deliveries of powerful short testimonies often bringing people to tears mixed with sorrow and joy. We could attend workshops; sound, children, youth, mission, Maori ministries, and much more. Our overseas mission focus was the sad and moving story of world slavery.
The debate on same sex marriage was intense, but held in commendable manner of respect. We finished off with “the banquet” and ethnic celebration held in Mangere, and Sam and Nimol treated the large crowd with their dance.
Those of us who went are still digesting the rich layers of theology and stories.
Overall this will have to go down as one of the most stirring, moving and memorable Gatherings for Linda and myself.
Blessings Pastor Ed
Phone: 03 352 4227
Fax: 03 352 9818
Office hours: Tuesday to Friday, from 9 AM to 3 PM
Sunday Services: 10 AM