Pastors’ Blog

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Dream Night: What’s Our Soil?

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

On Sunday night about 60 of us gathered for Dream Night, where we took time to think about the ‘soil’ of our church—the fertile ground in which the body of Christ will flourish (Matt. 13). Our soil is the Good News of Jesus Christ. We had a number of stations (set up by PBC staff) inviting people […]

Good News, not Good Advice

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

In Simply Good News, the book we’ve encouraged you to get by Tom Wright, he writes: “for something to qualify as news, there has to be (1) an announcement of an event that has happened; (2) a larger context, a back story, within which this makes sense; (3) a sudden unveiling of the new future […]

Ephesians: United in the Gospel of Christ

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

This Sunday we’re starting our new series, Ephesians: United in the Gospel of Christ. The gospel of Jesus Christ comes as news within a larger story. It points to a wonderful new future, and it introduces a new period of waiting that changes our expectations. During this series, each Sunday we’ll be hearing a “Gospel in 2 Minutes” (G2) talk from […]

Gathered and Scattered

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

The Holy Spirit gathers us together and unites us to Christ so that we might bring glory to the Father. He also scatters us to participate in Christ’s mission in the world. Our vocations all vary, be that teaching, bus driving, managing accounts, or mission work in the classic sense. Christ calls us in many […]

Simply Good News

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

After three weeks of Prayer & Self-Denial, our term 3 series will be “Ephesians: United in the Gospel of Christ.” The central question we’re asking is, “What’s the good news that Jesus himself announced and told his followers to announce as well?” This message of good news has been around for 2,000 years, but what’s so “good” […]

Door-to-Door

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Last year Damian did a wonderful survey of Freedom Trust group programme participants on whether they believed the Trusts programmes are effective. The feedback was very positive. This year the Trust is planning to conduct a door-to-door questionnaire in our local community. We shall be conducting the questionnaire from 23rd of July – 5th of August. The […]

Being the guest

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Throughout the week, Papanui Baptist Church and Freedom Trust host a number of programs and groups in the church building. We are a highly invitational church Monday through to Friday. What would it look like to be as invitational on a Sunday? But also, what could it also look like for us to have spaces in our local community, […]

Sarah and Elliot Rice

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

In Elliot and my first weekend in Christchurch, we met a pastor we were inspired by. He has been serving the church for a long time and we asked what sustained him. He talked about how he has one weekend off a month to grow his personal faith. We thought this sounded like a good […]

Courage

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

In Joshua 1 it says “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” What do you need courage for this week? Has anything happened that brought fear into your heart and made you feel discouraged? Jesus comes towards you […]

Dream Night

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

On Sunday evening we held our second edition of “Dream Night”. This is an important space for us as the body of Christ, gathered by the Spirit, to discern the Father’s leading together. We opened the night by discussing Rom. 15:5-6. Many people noticed how much God gives—may we increasingly live into that God-given unity! […]

In case you haven’t heard: 

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

There have been changes in the Freedom Trust Board and a 6-month review is underway. The review is so that Papanui Baptist Freedom Trust can work towards a closer partnership with Papanui Baptist Church (while keeping a distinction between the two organizations). This closer relationship is coming through the board being made up of church […]

Take time to look up: Isaiah 58:10

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

In this weeks living lent they have argued despite the economic odds being stacked against poor and vulnerable communities, there are actions that we can take from here in New Zealand that have a direct impact both on the injustices we have been looking into within the fashion industry and similar injustices. Some companies take […]

November

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Kia ora Papanui Baptist,   Baptist Hui We’re writing this from Dunedin, where we are gathering with New Zealand’s Baptist leaders for our annual gathering—the Hui. This year our theme is ‘The Grace of God TE AROHA NOA O TE ATUA’. Sam and several leaders from the Cambodian fellowship will also be joining in the […]

October

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Kia ora Papanui Baptist, We’ve been thoroughly enjoying working our way through the second half of the Samuel series for the past five weeks, with just a couple of Sundays to go. We’ve been continually amazed at the God who makes his own way in these stories, humbling the proud and exalting the humble. The […]

September

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Kia ora Papanui Baptist, It seems spring has come early, and for a couple of soft Aucklanders, this is good news! We can hardly complain though… For the first three weeks of August we boarded 11 different flights for a trip through the currently hot and humid Southeast Asia. Our trip began with a week-long […]

August

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Kia ora Papanui Baptist, A highlight of the last month for us was the staff retreat. We have an    amazing staff team here at Papanui who are talented and eager to follow Christ’s leading. We spent the day at the Papanui Youth Development Centre, talking about our vision to Belong, Grow, and Influence, and how […]

July

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Tēnā koutou,   A big thank you to everyone who made the Stations of Samuel possible – it was a  tremendous time, the feedback was that people got to meet each other in new ways and that God is speaking deep within us. We now begin our series of Proud         Humbled / Humble Exalted, looking at […]

May

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

  Kia ora koutou Papanui Baptist,   Firstly, we want to say thank you! We’ve been here for just over a month now, and we can’t believe how easy it’s been to settle into this new city and new     community. You’ve overwhelmed us by your generosity, and we’ve now lost count of the number of offers for […]

April

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Tena koutou Papanui Baptist Church!   It’s great to be here with you all again, and we’re so excited we get to call you our whanau! Since our arrival we’ve hit the ground running… After a glorious road trip down the country via Nelson Lakes we joined Y@P for the Southern Easter Camp, and we […]

Final chat with Donna Reid – Philip McFedries

by Guest Author

Donna Reid ends her role as Assistant Pastor at Papanui Baptist Church at the end of March.  I interviewed her a few days ago and was impressed with her commitment and vision for serving God especially among the young, our future. Donna’s first ministry role in a church was as a voluntary youth leader. She […]

Faith – Ken Newlands

by Guest Author

Today we farewell Ed & Linda. We are very thankful to God for the part they, and their son Ben, have had in the life of our church over the past nearly eleven years. As Senior Pastor Ed has lead us through some great times, and also through some very difficult times. From his first […]

Thanks to God For Papbap

by Ed Karlsen

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.   Linda and I have been blessed to be part of Pap Bap for the past near 11 years and it is time for us to let go and start something new. We know that our future […]

Agape Love Found at the Cross

by Ed Karlsen

Spare a thought for the South Africans who lost to Japan and wrote in their national newspaper the Die Rapport: “the darkest day in South African history.” Before we start to glee in their downfall and using the biblical analogy of David and Goliath; we ought to remind ourselves of Jesus on the cross. This […]

Love is still No.1

by Ed Karlsen

Love is still number one.   1 Corinthians 13 launches into the most exquisite writings of Paul the Apostle; known as the love chapter. It is a common text for marriage and funerals.   Nowhere has there been a summary of words describing the unselfish behaviour of love. In spite of trouble and persecution, Paul […]

Keeping the Unity of the Spirit

by Ed Karlsen

Keeping the unity of the Spirit   Thank you to all who participated with Linda and I on our 10th anniversary of ministry here in Papanui. Appreciated the acknowledgment but I was more intrigued with the words given for our future as a church and also the sermon by Murray Robertson.     If God […]

Prayer and Fasting

by Ed Karlsen

Prayer and fasting   We often pray: “I want to be more like Jesus”; although our thoughts tend to exclude suffering and fasting. We are not likely to do 40 days of fasting from food and water; however followers of Jesus Christ are expected to fast. Why? Immediately after Jesus instructs on prayer he talks […]

Reset or Focus

by Ed Karlsen

Actress Diane Lane says:  “It’s always refreshing to step into another time.” Linda and I felt we had stepped into another time as we found ourselves on the water in Milford Sound. The surrounding cliff face that makes big cities look small, and the cleansing waters that stream down like vertical rivers. The analogies of […]

ANZAC – We will remember

by Ed Karlsen

ANZAC we will remember   New Zealand continues to pay tribute to our fallen soldiers and our centaury commemoration is now etched as a significant part of our history and so it should. We collect the war stories and shudder as we think of family members and friends who died under the tyranny of war. […]

The Significance of the Passover (Easter)

by Ed Karlsen

The word Easter is Anglo Saxon and has its origins in a pagan festival. In contrast, other European Countries adopt the translation from the word paschal (Greek) translated from the Hebrew word Pesah, meaning Passover. Why is this important?   The Passover reminds us and it links the two monumental events in our history; both […]

GROWTH…..

by Ed Karlsen

I believe every church has potential to grow and I believe God wants us to grow. Grow in Maturity and grow new Babies. The tricky part of the growing is the work of the Holy Spirit; as we see in the parable of the “growing seed”   Mk 4 26 And He said, “The kingdom of God […]

Living Water

by Ed Karlsen

We have been spoilt with extraordinary summer weather and we are all hanging out for some rain to prosper our land and gardens. Water is precious, and I quote from Dr Ramon Pink; “clean water is still the number one health issue in our world”. Jesus alludes to himself being the living water (Jn 4) […]

Peace be with You

by Ed Karlsen

Celebration is in complete order for this time of the year. Things are coming to an end; so like a good ending to a movie we finish on a happy note; announcing a new and better living for 2015. It is a time for family reunions with lavish meals and unwrapping gifts. Most of us […]

Galatians

by Guest Author

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 […]

Introduction to Galatians

by Margaret McFedries

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 […]

Kingdom of God Breaks the Kingdom of Darkness

by Ed Karlsen

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 […]

Future Building Plans

by Ed Karlsen

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 […]

The Holy Spirit

by Ed Karlsen

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 […]

Prayer, a Lasting Tradition

by Ed Karlsen

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 […]

The Easter Story is Alive

by Ed Karlsen

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 […]

Growing in God

by Ed Karlsen

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 […]

The Gathering

by Ed Karlsen

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 […]

Christian Behaviour Must Have the Courage to Forgive

by Ed Karlsen

We all need to take time to experience God in our personal lives. One of the fundamental ways to experience God’s love is to keep our relationships with people in order. This doesn’t mean that we will have sweet fellowship with everybody, but we are called to be forgiving. 1Jn 2 10 Anyone who loves their […]

How is Your Health?

by Ed Karlsen

This week I made a visit to the doctor, getting my physical warrant of fitness. He took my blood pressure with a basic overhaul to discover improvement from my previous year visit. My doctor demanded: “The only thing I’m prescribing for you is another holiday next year in the Cook Islands. Whatever you did there […]

Faith Evokes the Holy Spirit

by Ed Karlsen

Prayer mixed with faith is a potent mix. I encourage people to pray in an audible voice, especially when we are faced with depression or discouragement. Jesus never seemed to have drawn out prayers, but he was the audible master of small sentence prayers; “come out”, “be quiet”, “receive your sight”, “get behind me Satan”. […]

The Platform for Battle

by Ed Karlsen

The Platform for Battle – Ephesians 6 Last month I spoke about the need to forgive. Matthew 6:14,15 – we see that as we forgive others, God will forgive us, but if we do not forgive others God will not forgive us. Although this principle is true, we also need to be in a place […]

Forgiveness

by Ed Karlsen

Abraham Lincoln was burdened after the American Civil war and was wondering how he could make peace and reconciliation. In the White House he was speaking sympathetically about the South. A person infuriated by this notion, interrupted and said; “How dare you speak so kindly of our enemy, we should be destroying them”. Abraham Lincoln […]

Jesus Is Calling

by Ed Karlsen

The debate continues with the passing of our new Marriage Equality Bill. I hear comments like; ”this country is going to the dogs, and God is going to judge us for sitting back.” There are many who champion the past, and how the “good old days” were soaked in godliness. There are things of the […]