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How to PORN-PROOF YOUR MARRIAGE

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CW contents: 13

winter | 2015 06 How to ‘Porn-Proof ’ Your Marriage Berni Dymet tackles the ‘elephant in the room’...

UNDERSTANDING DIVERSITY KNOW WHAT ‘CHRISTIAN’ MEANS WHEN CHOOSING HEART EDUCATION ENGAGING TRUE LEARNING

10 A Vision of H.O.P.E Melinda Chiew’s passion for justice finds a surprising new business venture...

06

12

13 SPECIAL INSERT Find a Christian School magazine. Start your search here...

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25 Stand Tall Spinning Girl Pastor, Author and Mum of three boys, Kirrly Lowe finds God in the centre of spinning chaos... 26 Pathways to a Secure Future A new concept that will assist in getting your children into property... Peter Delaney 28 The Speaking Invitation Nobody Wants Where did the distorted view that ‘singles’ have less need for companionship come from? Tania Harris discusses...

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4 Christian Woman Winter 2015

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“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

H

ave you ever read a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ novel? As a child I loved that each time I picked up my novel the outcome or ending would change. Decisions on which page I would jump to differed on any given day, and I always marvelled at the authors ability to make sense of what seemed like a jumbled up book if I randomly flicked through the pages. I imagine God like that. As the author of our story, the outcomes from the decisions we make each day differ and

as such He is there reworking the ending. I had a revelation many years ago in Bible College that God had the master blue print for my life and no matter which road I took, He would always work it together for good for my life because I loved Him and was called according to His purpose. My prayer always is that God’s plan in heaven would match my plans on earth. I can’t think of a more powerful prayer than that.

So if you’ve taken a wrong turn or made an unwise decision, don’t fret. You can choose your own adventure now. And trust me, with God as the author, His ending will always be better than anything you can come up with! Stay in Him always. Editor

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WITH BERNI DYMET

P

ornography is the elephant in the room in the 21st century Christian church … although we really don’t like to talk about it. Many men live in secret shame of an addiction that they can’t seem to shake, not knowing its cause or its solution. Many women live in secret fear that their man is using porn, something that – if confirmed – would be like a dagger to the heart. And so, we reason, it’s best for all concerned to leave the subject alone. Let’s not go there best sums up our attitude to pornography and marriage as Christians today. But the problem is that it doesn’t solve anything. So if you’re one of the women who lives with that secret fear, or perhaps you already knows that your husband is using pornography, then I want to share with you one simple thing that you can do, to help eradicate this scourge from your marriage. THE BRUTAL STATISTICS The website covenanteyes.com exposes the truth of the breadth and depth of porn usage around the globe, and it’s not a pretty picture, pun intended! Here are just a of the highlights (or should I say lowlights) of their analysis: • 64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women say that they

6 Christian Woman Winter 2015

watch porn at least once a month, • 9 out of 10 boys are exposed to pornography before the age of 18, with the average age of first exposure being 12, • there will be over 2 billion searches for pornography this year on the internet, with 1 in 5 mobile searches being for pornography, • households with higher than average incomes and education levels, are more likely to have porn usage, • 68% of divorce cases involved one party meeting a new lover over the internet, • 56% of divorce cases involved one party having an obsessive interest in pornographic website, and finally • 67% of young men and 49% of young women say that viewing porn is an acceptable way to express one’s sexuality. As I said, they’re just the lowlights. There’s lots more there, and the ready availability of free porn on mobile devices, is only likely to make this problem much worse over the coming years. When you look at the facts, they are truly scary. These statistics represent the dimensions of the elephant in the room, and the truth is, it’s huge!


A Different Perspective.

A GLIMMER OF HOPE There is however a glimmer of hope amidst those dark statistics. And that glimmer is this: Happily married men are 61% less likely to look at porn. That’s a huge reduction. If there was a new treatment for cancer that would result in the healing of 61% more cases than is currently possible, it’d be headline news, wouldn’t it? I want to share a story with you told to me many years ago by a rather elderly lecturer at the Bible college I attended, It was during a lecture on sex and sexuality and it went something like this: When my wife was in hospital early on in our marriage, following a miscarriage, a friend gave her a book to read about marriage. One of the pieces of advice in that book, was for her to make sex in our marriage so interesting and so much fun, that her husband wouldn’t think of looking elsewhere. At this point, I recall some larrikin shouting out from the back of the lecture theatre: Did it work? (Not an unreasonable question when you think about it.) Well, the lecturer’s face broke out in a grin that I swear went from ear to ear, as he replied rather emphatically: It has so far! Now there, is what you would call, a ‘happily married man’. Proverbs Chapter 5 contains advice to young men about impurity and adultery. This is what it says: Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be for yourself alone, and not for sharing with strangers. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a

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And yet the absence of the intimacy for which he was designed, drove him to meet that hunger elsewhere. How sad. How terribly, terribly sad. graceful doe. May her breasts satisfy you at all times; may you be intoxicated always by her love. Why should you be intoxicated, my son, by another woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress. (Proverbs 5:15–20) That’s good advice, great advice for men. But sometimes things aren’t that simple. PORNOGRAPHY IS SIN, BUT … You can’t believe in Jesus, and yet at the same time, believe that pornography is okay. You simply can’t: You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery. ’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27–28) And so as a result, we treat pornography use as a sin, which it is, but without ever thinking about its underlying causes. Let me explain through a parable of my own: Australia is a nation founded by convicts. Many of those “convicts” were deported from England in the late 1700’s for nothing more than stealing a loaf of bread. And the reason, by and large, that they stole the bread, was because they were hungry. Is stealing a sin? Sure it is! Can we understand though, why a hungry man would steal a loaf of bread? Of course we can! And by and large, a better solution than deporting the man to the ends of the earth for his ‘crime’, would have been a program that ensured there was enough bread for people to eat, because then, in most cases, there would have been no need to steal in the first place, right?! Many men (not all, but most) are caught up in pornography because their needs aren’t being met at home. And let me make something very clear here. As a man, I can tell you that men’s sexuality is every bit as much a need, a drive, a hunger, as the need to breathe, drink, eat and sleep. So, deprive a man of sexual intimacy and fulfilment in marriage (something which, by the way God designed marriage to provide) and should we be at all surprised if, in order to meet his hunger, he turns to pornography? Is it wrong? Of course it is! But can we understand why he goes down that 8 Christian Woman Winter 2015

path? Absolutely! I was talking with a man recently who, a few years ago, had had an affair. He is a Christian, a church leader and passionately in love with the Lord. As he was telling me about it, he became emotional. I’ll never forget the pain in his heart, nor the words that he spoke: I just wanted someone to reach out and touch me. So far as the rest of the world was concerned, he and his wife were happily married. And yet the absence of the intimacy for which he was designed, drove him to meet that hunger elsewhere. How sad. How terribly, terribly sad. A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE The Bible talks more about sex than we might imagine. And on this particular matter, the availability of intimacy in a marriage, it is very, very clear: The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except perhaps by agreement for a set time, to devote yourselves to prayer, and then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self. (1 Corinthians 7:3–5) Do you see how powerfully God’s Word speaks into the cause of, and the solution to, pornography in your marriage? The bottom line is this: in this age of the ready availability of pornography on computers and mobile devices, if a wife withholds intimacy from her husband, and yet expects him to remain pure, she is asking him to exercise and extraordinary, indeed a superhuman, level of self–control. Some men are capable of that. Most simply aren’t. Yes, I know there are exceptions of ill health that make intimacy impossible. And yes, I know that sometimes she doesn’t feel like it or he doesn’t feel like it. But God’s design is for husband and wife to come together, to “cleave together” as one flesh, in the intimate and exclusive bond of marriage. And I would argue that the withholding of intimacy by one party, is every bit as culpable and every bit as sinful, as the use of pornography by the other party.

Or does Matthew 5:27–28 carry more weight than 1 Corinthians 7:3–5; is one sin worse than the other? THE GOOD NEWS I have some good news today for any woman who is in a marriage bereft of intimacy. That woman – you if this applies to you – has the ability to very quickly cause the frostiness in the relationship to melt away, and the détente to disappear, simply by making herself available again to intimacy. Men come to seek intimacy from their wives, and following knockback after knockback, they simply stop trying, because of the pain of the constant rejection (and it is a deep pain, let me tell you). But the moment that the wife restores the availability of intimacy in the marriage, things change, hearts melt, emotional intimacy is restored. For a man, let me tell you, about 60% or 70% of what it means to be “happily married” involves physical intimacy. That’s the way God made him. So choosing to restore intimacy in a marriage, will make a huge difference to him. Huge! Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not blaming anyone, I’m not pointing the finger at anyone and indeed, if I were writing this same article in “Christian Man” magazine, I’d be saying a whole bunch of different things. Things that apply to men, rather than to women. But this is Christian Woman magazine so my focus is on empowering you to make a difference, and I’m here to tell you that just this one thing, making intimacy available, making it exciting, making it fun, is the biggest weapon that any woman has at her disposal, to porn– proof her marriage. It’s as simple as that. CW

Berni Dymet is the ceo of the global media ministry – Christianityworks. His radio and television broadcasts reach millions of people each week in over 160 countries around the world. For instant access to his free, daily eDevotional, stop by at edevotional.net


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Clockwise from top left: Retail dreams coming true; The pop up shop at Glebe Markets, NSW; Organic and ethically traded coffee and tea; Mumpreneur Melinda juggling motherhood and business; Fairtrade Valentines Day gifts

10 Christian Woman Winter 2015


A Vision of H.O.P.E. SHOULD CHRISTIANS CARE ABOUT FAIR TRADE AND SUSTAINABILITY? WHAT IS FAIR TRADE ABOUT ANYWAY? SOCIAL MUMPRENEUR MELINDA CHIEW SHARES HER PASSION ON WHAT SHE BELIEVES IS ALSO IN THE HEART OF GOD. The dilemma It started with a church sermon on Samuel’s calling from 1 Samuel 3. The Lord called his name three times and Samuel ran to Eli the Priest saying “Here I am” three times, before Eli realised that it was the Lord calling Samuel’s name. Eli instructed the boy to respond to the voice next time with “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening”. Our pastor remarked: “Wouldn’t that be a good thing for all of us to pray?” And I thought: YES, that’s exactly what I want and need to pray! It was November 2011 and I had been working away at Heartsong, my home based business for 4 years with not much success. The scripture-inspired organic cotton and sweatshop-free baby/kids wear line of baby and kids clothes was still more a “hobby” than a “business”. I was stuck wondering what to do – sell, close or continue to work away at it. Next year would be 2012, the first time in 5 years that I would have three child-free days a week. I had a strong sense that something significant was going to happen in 2012, but had no idea what it was going to be. I wanted to use my time wisely, doing something that the Lord wanted me to do. So, that afternoon after church, I prayed: “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do in 2012. Did He want me to close Heartsong, sell, or continue? Teach Scripture or do more church ministry? Concentrate on being a stay at home mum? Or do something completely different? I prayed: whatever it is Lord, I’ll do it; but please direct me clearly, so that there will be no mistake about Your will for me.

An annoying idea The next day, my daughter went down for her daily long afternoon nap. I attempted to get onto my usual admin, emails, planning, etc, when I was struck by a business idea which was so strong that I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. I thought that if I could just write it down, then I’d be able to get on to what I should be doing. The business idea or vision was for an eco-ethical coffee and gift shop. I started writing page after page covering in detail all the: who, what, when, where, why, how, costs, staffing, menu, set up, equipment, expected sales, etc. It was almost like my writing hand had a mind of its own. The brainstorming went on for several pages. I started to get annoyed with myself. Why can’t I just be content with being a stay at home mother of two and not get crazy business ideas? And in retail? Who would go into retail in this day and age with a shop closing down every hour? I don’t even know how to open or manage a shop! I stopped writing and started to pray that God would take this idea away, so I could concentrate on what He wanted me to do. This didn’t sound like scripture teaching, church ministry or anything like what He would be concerned about. I exclaimed to Him: “Lord why do I have to have these silly business ideas? Why can’t I just be a happy stay at home mum like everyone else?” It wasn’t long into my prayer when the Lord stopped me and gave me: “Who made you this way? Haven’t you been asking for direction?” So, I stopped my “please take this idea away Lord” prayer and changed it to: “Lord, if this is your idea, please would you confirm it by a Christian business person I respect. And I’m

not going to bring it up either – it has to come up naturally somehow. That person has to be 100% all for the idea. If they are questioning it at all, then I’ll know it’s not from you and that it’s just my own crazy idea.” The call No more than one minute after I said “Amen” my phone started ringing downstairs. I wanted to ignore it and keep writing, but something inside told me to answer the phone. It was Scott Edwards, the CEO of a company that owned Empowering the Poor, which had a lovely range of fair trade handmade gifts. Scott and I had met on a few occasions but he had never called me before. And yes, he happened to be on the list of “Christian business people that I respect”. Scott asked me: “Do you remember some time ago, we talked about getting some ethical brands to work together?” I did recall a conversation about perhaps forming a marketing group or working together somehow. Then he asked, “What do you think about going into retail?” I froze in disbelief. Scott explained that there was a vacant shop that used to be occupied by a Christian bookstore in Sydney’s CBD. The church that owned the space was willing to offer the space for a very reasonable price to a Christian operator. I started to shake and freak out a little: “Scott, you are not going to believe what I’ve just been writing and praying about for the last hour or so …”. I told him what had been going on. He said, “Well there you go. It’s God then, isn’t it?” It turned out that he had just been speaking and praying with other parties

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What is Fair Trade?

Fair Trade (or “Fairtrade”) is, fundamentally, a response to the failure of conventional trade to deliver sustainable livelihoods and development opportunities to people in the poorest countries of the world; this is evidenced by the two billion of our fellow citizens who, despite working extremely hard, survive on less than $2 per day. Poverty and hardship limit people’s choices while market forces tend to further marginalise and exclude them. This makes them vulnerable to exploitation … (A Charter of Fair Trade Principles, World Fair Trade Organization and Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International, 2009) The core principles of Fair Trade are: 1) Market access for marginalised producers – allows producers to realise the social and widespread benefits to their communities of traditional forms of production and shortens trade chains. 2) Sustainable and equitable trading relationships – both direct and indirect costs are taken into account and trading terms aim to maintain a sustainable livelihood into the future. 3) Capacity building and empowerment – trade relationships work to help producers develop further knowledge, skills and resources to exert more control and influence over their lives. 4) Consumer awareness raising and advocacy – Fair Trade relationships connect producers with consumers and inform consumers of the need for social justice and opportunities for change.

12 Christian Woman Winter 2015

about this opportunity. All of them were keen to help but none felt led to take it on. As a group, they had prayed that if it was the Lord’s will, then He would raise up someone to do it. It was at that moment that my name popped into Scott’s head. He called me straight away. A heart for social justice and environmental responsibility As long as I can remember, I have had a strong sense of justice, right and wrong. The thought of children, women and men suffering at the hands of injustice and oppression sickens me. When I started researching into the manufacture of baby/kids clothes for Heartsong, I was horrified at what I discovered about the harmful effects of pesticides most commonly used in cotton farming – not only on farmers and their families but also on the surrounding ecosystems exposed to conventional cotton farming techniques. What would those residual toxic chemicals be doing to a baby, being easily absorbed into their skin which was up to five times thinner than an adults? On top of that, I soon discovered the evils of sweatshops and the exploitation of workers in the factories that make the majority of the clothes that we purchase and wear. It made me determined that Heartsong’s line of baby/kids clothes would be organic cotton and sweatshopfree. Taking back what is God’s Over several years, I had taken part in many different environmental sustainability or “eco” exhibitions and events. It concerned me that other religions and philosophies seemed to be taking over the green movement. But wasn’t looking after creation our Creator God’s original idea? Didn’t He ask us to be good stewards of His created world? Wasn’t looking after the poor and oppressed also His idea? Yet if you were to attend these events, you may come out believing that the idea of looking after the planet and people originated from Buddhism. After Scott’s phone call, I felt totally ill equipped to proceed. Where would I start? How will I get the right suppliers and products into my shop? I didn’t have any capital to pre-purchase stock and I didn’t know the first thing about retail.

Thankfully, the business vision given to me (as I now saw it) covered how to deal with the question of stock. The shelves would be rented out to fair trade and eco-ethical suppliers and a small commission retained for sales. With the support of Scott, his prayerful and retailexperienced friends and other fair trade contacts, HOPE Collective was born. The distinct logo idea came to me of a crown of thorns around the planet Earth. H.O.P.E. was going to be all about Helping Others & Planet Earth under the lordship of King Jesus. Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.” (New Living Translation) HOPE Collective shop opened in May 2012 as a Christian book and fair trade gift shop. Soon after, we started serving Fairtrade Organic tea, coffee, hot chocolate and snacks. The Lord brought many people into the shop who needed some empathy, or someone to talk to or pray with. The spiritual needs were great and I witnessed the Lord work in amazing ways during our time there. It was the first time I really encountered obvious spiritual warfare. I refer to that period as my Spiritual Warfare 101 course. Our dual mission became: (1) to tell Christians about fair trade and sustainability; (2) to tell people who care about fair trade/sustainability about God. The following year, building changes meant that people were no longer coming into our area, and the business became unviable. The Lord confirmed that it was time to move. We operated as a pop-up shop in Manly for a time at the end of 2013. Now, HOPE Collective operates as an online shop, does fundraising events and other church, social justice, fair trade or sustainability events. The delivery mode has changed but the mission remains the same. CW Melinda Chiew is a writer, mother of two and speaker at various events on social justice. She has started Empower Christian Businesswomen’s Network blog (www.empowerchristianbusinesswomen. wordpress.com) and a Facebook page to encourage other Christian women in business.


UNDERSTANDING DIVERSITY KNOW WHAT ‘CHRISTIAN’ MEANS WHEN CHOOSING HEART EDUCATION ENGAGING TRUE LEARNING

TOP 1O DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PUBLIC VERSUS CHRISTIAN EDUCATION COUNTING THE COST WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER THE FEES

SEARCH FOR SCHOOLS NOW www.findachristian.com.au

Join the conversation online: www.christianwomanmag.com 13


Lighthouse Christian College

ELC to Year 12

Co-Education

The Christian Choice for Excellence in Education Lighthouse Christian College is a co-educational, Christian College catering for students from K-12. Lighthouse provides a rich and exciting teaching and learning environment for your child by offering academic excellence, a wide range of co-curricular activities, facilities and resources.

927 Springvale Road Keysborough VIC 3173 Telephone: 03 8796 7373 Facsimile: 03 8796 7374 Email: school.office@lighthouse.vic.edu.au 14 Christian Woman Winter 2015

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IN THIS ISSUE: 06 Understanding Diversity 07 Do Christian schools remove children from the real world? 08 Heart Education 10 Counting the cost 11 Top 10 Differences Between Public And Christian Schools

06


Diversity

Understanding diversity

W

hen considering Christian Schools and Christian Colleges for your child it is important to understand the diversity. The inclusion, or exclusion, of the word ‘Christian’ in a school’s name, or its relationship to a church does not automatically mean it is more Christian than another. As parents it is important you ask questions rather than making assumptions. Here are some factors for you to consider • Is the school linked to a particular church or denomination?

• How strong is any link to a church or denomination? • Does the school only employ Christian staff? • If the school employs both Christian and non-Christian staff what are the percentages? • What criteria is used to select teachers? • Is the enrolment policy “open” or based on a minimum percentage of families being practising Christians? • What percentage of current families are practising Christians and how has this changed over time?

• What is the vision of the school? Even within an association of similar schools you will find differences of opinions, styles, policies and practices. Like churches we may not all agree on the details but we generally agree on the big picture. Schools change over time. Vision and culture may change - both for good and bad. You may even have gone to a Christian school as a child. You may have liked it. Maybe you didn’t. Regardless it is good to ask questions of whichever school you are considering.

This article was provided by www.WhyChristianSchools.com.au. Hear parents and teachers answer common questions about Christian education.

Prep to Year 12 Visit us online at brisbane.coc.edu.au 322 Wecker Road Carindale Queensland 4152 Australia t 07 3347 5899 f 07 3347 5900

16 Christian Woman Winter 2015


Reality

Do Christian schools remove children from the real world?

S

ome parents feel Christian schools place children in an artificial hothouse. They claim children are not well prepared to live in a society where most people are non-Christian. The Bible says of Jesus… “For by Him all things were created, things in Heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:16-17 We believe life is not an accident or coincidence. As Christians we understand we are created in God's image. Any education system which ignores God and Jesus also denies the Bible's claims of reality. In its

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“RATHER THAN REMOVING CHILDREN FROM THE REAL WORLD CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS HELP THEM SEE IT CLEARLY.”

place another view of reality is presented. Christian parents partnering with Christian teachers can help children discover and understand the truth about the world around them. Rather than removing children from the real world Christian schools help them see it clearly. The very first sentence of the Bible is “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 That God is the Creator is a basic belief for Christians. What we believe about God, Jesus Christ and the origins of life do influence how we act on a daily basis. These beliefs will also have a dramatic impact on how a school conducts itself. The beliefs of school leaders determine what priorities are set, what is important and therefore what should be measured and reported on. Secular education believes history and the world around us can be understood without reference to God or the Bible. By leaving these

18 Christian Woman Winter 2015

out curriculums don't become neutral but essentially anti-God. Families are the first place children learn about the world around them. Schools then help children understand more about the world. In the early years families and schools can be likened to providing a hothouse environment for children. Consider the purpose of a hothouse or glass house. It is to nurture plants while they are young. A hothouse provides an environment where the conditions, watering and nutrition can be better managed. The hothouse is designed to grow healthier plants faster. When removed from the hothouse these plants are better able to thrive in all environments. In the home parents can help control what is taught, how much and by whom. The home and family life gives a child a framework of reality. Parents naturally want to protect, nurture, feed and strengthen their children. Over time parents expose their children to more age

appropriate ideas and experiences. In the same way Christian schools seek to work with parents as an extension of the family home. Rather than providing a different, or even inconsistent, environment Christian schools aim to reinforce what is taught at home. It is up to parents to decide which hothouse environment they desire for their children outside of the home. Do we believe this is God's world? If so a supportive hothouse environment where God and Jesus Christ are seen as relevant to daily life can help prepare a child for the realities of life “We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of His body, the church.” Ephesians 4:15 This article was provided by www.WhyChristianSchools.com.au. Hear parents and teachers answer common questions about Christian education.


Covenant Christian School Northern Beaches / North Shore Sydney

Preschool to Year 12

We’re thinking about schools for the kids. Heard goo d things about Covenant. How’s your experience been?

Families from 125 churches partner with Covenant for their children's education. • New Primary School • Dance Academy • Generous family discounts

We’re really happy the re. Fab community. Lovely tea chers. Kids love it and doing really well. Great mix of churches among families Is it pricey? Family discounts really

help :-)

Check out the website . Lots of photos and videos. Let’s do coffee and chat :-) I heard there is good coff ee at the school cafe True! Let’s meet at Caf é Covie. 9.30? See you there :-)

what every parent needs to know

WHY CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS? Parents & teachers answer common questions about Christian Education. Watch the videos online

Your 'To Do' List Explore www.covenant.nsw.edu.au Read community news stories

Q

WHAT TYPE OF WISDOM WILL MY CHILD BE TAUGHT IN SCHOOL?

www.WhyChristianSchools.com.au

Watch videos & enjoy the photos Book your school tour online or call Wendy (02) 9450 2688

www.covenant.nsw.edu.au 212 Forest Way Belrose (Enter via Dell St)


Heart education

Heart Education H

ow might we define education? Often we can think that the meaning of purpose of education is to ensure we become employed. At Maranatha Christian School, education means much more than this. At Maranatha, the purpose of education is to produce discerning students who can think Christianly about the world, and use the talents God has given them to the benefit of others. In this way, they become successful and productive members of society. To achieve this we need to work with each family to educate

not just the head, but as importantly, the heart and spirit of each student. True education is firstly about engaging the mind. It is about developing our ability to think, engage and generate ideas, and embed the love of learning. It involves using our minds to analyse, synthesise and apply what we might discover. It is more than training. Training will only limit us to one particular field. Education, especially Christian education, on the other hand opens doors to many fields. Christian education

requires not just a desire or thirst for knowledge, but also the ability to use our minds to understand and apply what we have learnt (on other words, our ability to think) from God’s perspective. Just like an eagle or falcon, true education enables us to see a larger picture in the way God does, rather than adopt a narrow focus, yet maintain an eye for detail so that our world benefits. It is not enough just to condemn others out of our own ignorance, rather the more we can discover and increase our knowledge, the better we will be

Visit our Website for College Tour dates

Anglican - P-12 - Co-educational 1 Morris Grove, Kellyville Tel 8882 2100 | Fax 9629 2041 enrolments@wcc.nsw.edu.au www.wcc.nsw.edu.au CRICOS Provider Number: 02315J

20 Christian Woman Winter 2015


“We can educate the mind all we want but if we have no compassion, integrity or love for others, what good would it do us?” and the more we can contribute to ensuring our world becomes a better place for all. Through our Christcentred curriculum, Maranatha Christian School assist students to acquire and apply knowledge, knowing that with the application of knowledge comes true wisdom. Just as importantly, perhaps even more so, is that we educate the heart and spirit. We can educate the mind all we want but if we have no compassion, integrity or love for others, what good would it do us? At Maranatha, it is often said, ‘the heart of education is education of the heart’. What does this mean? Education of the heart or spirit involves understanding the big picture. We are all different yet loved by God. In a diverse community we need to encourage tolerance of each other

through word and deed for tolerance comes from understanding, understanding comes from knowledge, and knowledge comes from God. After all, we are all different, yet each of us will have gifts and abilities. Educating the heart also means giving students the opportunity to engage in service. At Maranatha Christian School, all students are involved in service. As William Wordsworth stated, The best portion of a good person’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love. It is through these acts of kindness that we make everyone feel safe, secure and loved and we grow as a community. After all, the best way to challenge a wrong is by doing a good. In other words, Christian education will change our inside

rather than just our outside. It will encourage and inspire us, and give us the skills to step outside our comfort zone. At Maranatha Christian School, we believe that a good school should be a place where children have the opportunity to take risks and have a go, ie to try something new, knowing that there is a supportive safety net, both earthly and divine, underneath them. Christian education will give us more than a job, rather it will enable us to make the most of all that life has to offer, and be the best young man or woman that God intended them to be. Dr Roderick Crouch Principal/CEO Maranatha Christian School

Maranatha Christian School, Casey Campus Endeavour Hills 104-108 Reema Blvd, Endeavour Hills, VIC 3802 Direct: +613 9709 7219 Website: www.maranatha.vic.edu.au

St Andrew’s Cathedral School offers city-based and globally focused learning within a nurturing Christian environment, equipping students to impact the world around them.

Book a school tour today www.sacs.nsw.edu.au

Join the conversation online: www.christianwomanmag.com 21


Counting the cost

E

Counting the cost

This article was provided by www.WhyChristianSchools.com.au. Hear parents and teachers answer common questions about Christian education.

TYNDALE

ducation for every child is a modern concept. We now think of it as a right. Yet the provision and funding of education is debated around the world. The models of funding have changed many times over the last 150 years. Historically, education for most was provided by parents. At times it has depended more on churches. More recently it has been considered a government responsibility. However God has given to parents the primary responsibility for the nurture and care of their children. This responsibility has not changed over time. It has also not been delegated to government, the church or even teachers. If we do believe parents have responsibilities for raising children then parents also need to have choices. They should have options of where and what their children will be taught. Christian schools give parents a choice. Some Christians question paying school fees when they are paying taxes to fund government schools. Christian schools may even

ENROLLING NOW Currently accepting enrolments for 2016 Prep, Kindergarten, Year 7 & Year 11 EXPO - Wednesday 2nd September 2015 Open Day - Wednesday 21st October 2015 Bus services available for students in surrounding suburbs Ring now to book your school tour

(02) 8811 7800 Providing Christ-Centred Education since 1966 Ph. (02) 8811 7800 www.tyndale.edu.au

Tyndale

22 Christian Woman Winter 2015

CHRISTIAN SCHOOL

E. office@tyndale.edu.au 58 Douglas Rd, Blacktown

be accused of undermining the government education system and duplicating facilities. The Bible takes a different view, Where your treasure is there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34 Jesus saw it as a natural response to give to what we believe is important. What we are willing to allocate treasure, or finances, towards demonstrates where our hearts are. If providing an education which reflects a parent’s beliefs and supports their role is considered important then they will work out ways to make it a priority. When questioned about taxes Jesus’ reply was simple… Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. Matthew 22:21 He taught that paying taxes did not stop an individual from doing what God wanted them to do. They were not to be considered mutually exclusive. Parents do need to carefully consider the financial cost of education if they choose a Christian school. It will come down to setting priorities. The apostle Paul taught… Everything is permissible - but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible - but not everything is constructive. 1 Corinthians 10:23 Paul faced choices. He felt some decisions were better than others. As a parent you face the choice of ‘which school should I send my child to?’ In our society children will learn the basics of education whichever school they attend. However not all they learn may be beneficial or constructive. We can be thankful we do have a choice. Like all choices we make, it is one for which we will be accountable to God. Our choices can have short-term, long-term and eternal consequences. Whatever you decide, we hope and pray that this has been helpful in your choosing a school for your child.


Public vs Christian

TOP 10 DIFFERENCES Between Public And Christian Schools

U

nderstanding differences between secular and Christian education is critical if parents are to make an informed decision in favor of their child. We offer the following comparison so that parents can see that in every area of education there is a significant difference in approach. These two different philosophies reflect who is the ultimate source of truth. Please read and pray through these. PURPOSE OF EDUCATION Public Schools: To prepare citizens for a humanistic society that tolerates all lifestyles Christian Schools: To prepare citizens for the Kingdom of God who are equipped to spread the Gospel CONTENT OF EDUCATION Public Schools: Humanism - no values are absolute and no truth is final Christian Schools: All of life is studied in submission to the Word of God and its precepts CONTROL OF EDUCATION Public Schools: The State determines the content and

methods of education Christian Schools: The school functions in loco parentis, reinforcing and supporting parental values SCIENCE Public Schools: Naturalism - everything comes from matter, time, and chance Christian Schools: God is the Creator and Sustainer of all things; science involves knowing God through knowing His world HISTORY Public Schools: Controlled either by autonomous man or by an impersonal process Christian Schools: Controlled by an omnipotent God who knows the end from the beginning ENGLISH Public Schools: Literature must be representative of all cultures, which are seen as having equal value, and has no inherent meaning Christian Schools: Students are exposed to a variety of

Respect Learn Grow Come and view our outstanding facilities and see how we stimulate enquiring young minds. www.barker.nsw.edu.au

Join the conversation online: www.christianwomanmag.com 23


Public vs Christian

literature, which is appreciated as a demonstration of common grace and interpreted in the light of God’s Word TEACHERS Public Schools: Varied backgrounds - Christianity or some other religion, humanism, atheism; may be straight or gay Christian Schools: Born-again, committed believers seeking to model Christ before their students RULES Public Schools: Determined by state and federal laws and guidelines Christian Schools: Determined by God’s Word and its moral standards PEERS Public Schools: Varied religious backgrounds, often receiving little moral instruction or values at home or church Christian Schools: Majority of students from Christian homes who are there because their parents support Christian values Chairo Christian School Chairo is a co-ed, non-denominational Christian school providing quality education from a Christian worldview perspective. With campuses in Victoria at Drouin, Drouin East, Leongatha and Pakenham, Chairo caters for students from Kindergarten through to Year 12 (VCE). Don’t hesitate to contact us to arrange a personal tour for your family and to discover more about Chairo. Address: 76 Balfour Road, Drouin, Victoria 3818 Phone: (03) 5625 4600 Email: drouin@chairo.vic.edu.au Website: www.chairo.vic.edu.au

02 8525 5111 www.sscs.nsw.edu.au from

Flourish

A Firm Foundation Prep to Year 12

24 Christian Woman Winter 2015

Barden Ridge, NSW


Faith. Inspiration.

Pastor, Author and Mum of three boys, KIRRLY LOWE finds God in the centre of spinning chaos...

Stand tall Spinning Girl T

here are days, there are weeks, there are years, when it feels like the earth may crumble around you, where you feel like you are holding it up just by continuing to stand. There are days when the heavens are shifting, plates are realigning, changes are transpiring beyond and above our earthly understanding. We are caught in the midst. A spec of dust caught in a heavenly storm, a loved daughter caught in a war raging beyond her understanding or ability to fully comprehend. There are days when the heavens are shifting and no-one on earth understands. Little humans in a big cosmos, trying to stand tall on a spinning planet. I remember the Joy Wheel at Coney Island at Lunar Park, the spinning circle, that keeps spinning as little ones keep falling and climbing and falling and climbing. I feel like one of those little humans falling, climbing, falling, climbing as the planet spins, ever spins. How funny that it is called the Joy Wheel, maybe there is more joy in this spinning planet than what we give it credit for. Maybe there is joy in the ride, in the spinning, falling, climbing, spinning, falling. I remember the key; get to the center, climb to the center and hold still. I clamber again to the center, to the

one who it all spins upon, to the one in the midst of it all. Is it possible for Him to hold me right in the center whilst it all spins around me? Is it possible to be held and breathe and watch and look? Is it possible to be still in a spinning world? This little girl wants to get off the ride, too fast, too crazy, too chaotic. But He is not off the ride, and that is the problem. He is in the center, in the middle, inside the spinning chaos, there he is and he calls me up, he calls me in, he calls me out. He knows I wrestle, He knows I want the peace, the quiet, the calm, He knows the struggle, the anguish and the pain, He knows all the words I have spoken, the shouts of get me off this ride, and He waits, so still, so calm and so strong. He won’t rescue the little girl, because He sees inside this girl an image that she can’t yet see, and image born for the spinning planet, an image molded right in the center of a spinning planet, an image not of a little girl, but a royal daughter. And He calls the woman up and out and in, and ultimately, He calls her to Him. He sees Himself in the woman, His image is embedded inside her, His seed hidden in her frame. And He calls her to himself.

She climbs to the center, summoned by His voice. And He holds her and the earth spins and she watches and she sits. And in the center, on that wheel, in His hands, He starts to mold her on this spinning planet. Shaping her, molding her as she is held by Him. Then He pushes her up, He calls her to stand on the spinning planet. She screams, then finds her balance, finds gravity, discovering she can stand. Standing whilst the world is spinning, standing whilst heads are spinning. Then he urges her to use her voice. He urges her to summon others. To summon others to climb to the center, to find Him in the midst of this crazy spinning planet. She stands, she speaks, and she calls to others to climb to the center, to climb to Him. And all the while the earth is spinning. And her mind is learning, to be still, very still. To be still and tall when voices scream fall. Held still by love. His love. In the center of it all. CW

www.kirrilylowe.com

Join the conversation online: www.christianwomanmag.com 25


Innovation.

With all the talk about the cost of housing, and how the next generation is going to enter the property market, PETER DELANEY had a vision to help. Here he explains how his organisation creates a pathway to safely assist family, friends and the community to enter residential property market in an affordable manner, much earlier than the traditional way.

M

oveUp2 was designed around my family. I have four daughters all working through the stage of getting married, setting up home and making their own way. As parents, my wife and I wanted to help, but we wanted at the same time to avoid creating family tensions. Money and family often don’t mix especially when things go wrong – as I am sure you all know! However, we were passionate about creating some strategy to help our daughters become financially independent. Housing is always so expensive and the deposit to buy a home for a young couple is enormous. It appears that we all have stories of friends whose children have been off to the bank and have somehow managed to secure an enormous mortgage which appears impossible for them to service. I have to admit having the same conversation with my parents when I launched bravely into the housing market. When you are young there is no thought of what happens if things go wrong, and of course, the parents worry that you can over commit yourself and be trapped in huge debts. So our first challenge was, how to help in a way which meant our money was safe. I can tell you, as a father, it is impossible to have an open discussion with your daughter about what happens if they break up with their partner. Immediately, your daughter assumes that you don’t like the partner and, well, there is virtually no chance of coming back

26 Christian Woman Winter 2015

from that position. The concept that we developed was that the young people should borrow what they can afford and rent the rest of the house. So that the approach is changed. We have in Australia, a model for housing where we either rent or buy; there is nothing in between. Our concept was to create a more affordable point between the two alternatives that could act as a stepping stone. We did a lot of research and decided that our product had two basic concepts.

We need a 5% deposit and MoveUp2 invests so that the kids are ‘renting’ between 15% to 20% of the house. So if you like, the kids ‘rent’ 15% of the house from MoveUp2. We took it further and designed MoveUp2 so that it builds in as part of its investment, the first three years ‘rent’ on the property. The young people are just servicing the 80% home loan for the first three years and have a period to build up their finances and income so that they can afford to ‘buy’ the remaining 15%.


“The concept that we developed was that the young people should borrow what they can afford and rent the rest of the house.”

You will notice that we say ‘rent’ and ‘buy’. The way it actually works is that the kids hold title to 100% of the home and MoveUp2 is a contract called ‘shared equity’, which calculates the payout to include a share of capital growth on the property. They enter the market with a home loan at a level which the banks consider to be safe and avoid the banks charging them risk fees. So, in the analogy they have a bicycle, with trainer wheels being the MoveUp2 investment. A few years

down the track they can afford to step up to normal bank finance for the whole house, so the trainer wheels can be taken away, and MoveUp2 is no longer needed. We came up with the idea of separation of moneys and families. How did we do this? By pooling the moneys of the like-minded. Instead of parents’ money being directly tied to their own children, we pooled the parents/ helper’s money. So the pool deals with the children, not the parents. The pool evaluates their ability to pay, and

manages the fallout of defaults, marriage breakups and so forth. Who manages the pool? A professional funds manager registered with ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission). So the pool is accountable and transparent. Helping our children create a home for their future children is a legacy we would all like to leave. CW Peter Delaney Founding Director Storehouse Investment - MoveUp2.com.

Join the conversation online: www.christianwomanmag.com 27


All the single ladies.

The Speaking Invitation Nobody Wants Where did the distorted view that ‘singles’ have less need for companionship come from? TANIA HARRIS discusses...

S

o it finally happened. I guess it was inevitable. My first invitation to speak on singleness. Ugh. My gut instinct was to say; Sorry, too busy. Not free on that date. No. Can. Do. The last thing I wanted was to become the poster-girl for Single Christians Everywhere. Someone else can have that on their bio. Then I thought about all those times in church listening to sermons on marriage and family. How in my twenties I’d sat on the edge of my seat diligently taking notes. How in my thirties I’d still be listening, but kept my pen stashed in my purse. And how now in my forties, I’m checking Facebook on my smartphone. I thought about those speeches I’d heard over and over again at pastors’ conferences when a leader was celebrated on the platform: “I’d also like to thank my beautiful wife. I couldn’t do it without her,” and wondered how on earth I was ever going to pioneer a church on my own. I remembered all those wedding ceremonies quoting the wisdom of Ecclesiastes: “Two are better than one... If either of them falls, one can help the other up. Pity the one who has no one to help them up,” and how I’d thought; Bad luck you. I thought about all the things I’ve learnt that I wish someone had told me. I said yes. It was the most vulnerable message I’ve ever given. The truth is I don’t like being single. I used to feel bad about that. God fills every need doesn’t he? We would sing those songs in church: “You’re all I

28 Christian Woman Winter 2015

need.” I’d sing them loudly, all the while thinking, But what about this deep ache? Then I would feel bad about feeling bad. Those songs we sing - they’re true and they’re not true. Didn’t God himself say, it was not good for us to be alone? God is spirit. He doesn’t suddenly manifest in your lounge-room to give you a hug when you’ve just received news that breaks your heart. He doesn’t meet you at the door after work and ask; How was your day? He doesn’t stand beside you at that party when you look like a loser because there’s no-one to talk to. We receive God’s love primarily through other people. His love has to take human form at some point. For singles, that means prioritising healthy relationships just as couples do. We often forget this. While marrieds attend seminars that work on interpersonal skills and remind them to spend quality time with their partners, singles have “more time to ‘serve’ God!” And serve God they do, running from place to place; filling their calendars meeting ‘ministry’ needs. They become human ‘doings’ more than human ‘beings’ and turn into emotional husks as a result. Perhaps this kind of thinking has come about as a result of Paul’s advice in 1 Corinthians 7: “An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.” (v.34 NIV) Paul’s instructions are at odds with his Hebrew background which elevated marriage far above singleness. Now Paul was elevating singleness, saying that it

allowed for greater spiritual devotion. Having never been married myself, I haven’t had the opportunity to live this out. I’ve always hoped that a partner who was equally devoted to the cause of Christ as I, was would spur me on and strengthen my spiritual walk.  History tells us that Paul’s words fit into an ongoing discussion amongst the stoics and the cynics about the importance of marriage in society. Perhaps Paul was trying to restore the equilibrium in a time where public opinion leant towards marital status. Perhaps he was merely being pragmatic in highlighting the advantages of singleness in light of the ‘current crisis’ (1 Corinthians 7:26). His comments certainly came at a time when questions were being asked about which social status is preferable for spirituality and he was careful to qualify his answers as pastoral opinion, not divine mandate (1 Corinthians 7:25). In the end, Paul’s ultimate concern was that “each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them” (1 Corinthians 7:17). However one of the unfortunate outcomes of some of Paul’s comments is the distorted idea that singles have less need for companionship and intimate friendships than marrieds do.  I noticed this when I first started itinerating; “At least you can do this because you’re single,” people would say like it was a consolation prize. Then I’d gently explain this was not the case. I’d explain how my trips can’t be too long as they’re not emotionally sustainable. I’d let them know that it’s unhealthy to spend too much time alone in hotel rooms and that I needed relationships that required consistent time and


investment too. As much as my spirit was singularly devoted to God, my soul still needed companionship. The truth is everyone has relational needs, whether they are single, widowed, divorced or in intimacy-deprived marriages. We all need to spend time developing our relationships. God doesn’t always provide for our gaping needs in the shape of a spouse. Oftentimes his provision comes in the form of friends and community. Whatever season of life we’re in, whatever marital status we have, we all need to identify the God-given people in our lives who love and believe in us. Then we must all do whatever it takes to invest in those relationships. It is not good for us to be alone.

He doesn’t suddenly manifest in your lounge-room to give you a hug when you’ve just received news that breaks your heart. He doesn’t meet you at the door after work and ask; How was your day? He doesn’t stand beside you at that party when you look like a loser because there’s noone to talk to.

Tania Harris is a pastor, speaker and founder of God Conversations, a ministry that equips people to recognise God’s voice. She is the producer and presenter of The Other Side of the Conversation and the author of The Easy Way to Hear God’s Voice. When not ministering, she is most likely to be found kayaking on Sydney Harbour or climbing a really high mountain and skiing down it! Hillsong is her church home in Sydney. For your free ebook, podcasts and resources that will help you recognise the voice of God, visit godconversations.com.

Join the conversation online: www.christianwomanmag.com 29


AFRICAN INLAND MISSION

Now is the time for Australian Christians to befriend Muslims

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ow is an opportune time for Australian Christians and churches to connect with Muslims in Australia. This is the view of international author and advocate for Christians connecting with Muslims, Fouad Masri. Fouad is founder and president of the Crescent Project in the USA. He will be guest speaker at a series of events in Australia hosted by Africa Inland Mission in August 2015. The theme for these events in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne is “Christians Sharing the Hope with Muslims”. Full details including how to register online are on www.AfricaInlandMission.org/au or by phoning (02) 4322 4777. According to Fouad, Muslims in our communities are interested and will appreciate contact by Christians and churches in Australia. “Today the militancy of Islam is more and more in the mind of Muslims and many are asking questions about the truth in their religion. “Today militant events are not one off, but are occurring widely in places like Libya, Algeria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, 30 Christian Woman Winter 2015

Yemen and more. Muslims are asking what is true religion and why is the Muslim world suffering? ” “They need to be touched by the love in the Gospel”, Fouad said. Fouad said in the August seminars he aims to help Christians understand Islam and how to build bridges instead of walls. “We need to be able to communicate effectively with Muslims.” Fouad said these events are a great opportunity for groups to come from churches and learn together how they can connect with Muslims. “Christians need to be praying for their Muslim neighbours. On women “Today the majority of Muslim women are illiterate. They cannot read or write. Many do have an education and have joined the workforce, some as professionals. “Many Muslim women have not read the Bible or even seen a page of the New Testament or Injeel.” “Islam does not offer equal social rights for women. Many women who come to Australia do not have an

Australian or Christian friend.” According to Fouad this offers Australian Christian women a great opportunity to make friends with Muslim women, and share the Hope they have found in Christ. “Islam allows polygamy, child brides and one-sided divorce. “Due to the conflict in the Middle East, refugees are pouring into our countries. Many Muslim women and children are suffering from traumatic stress. “The role of the church is move beyond the barriers. Followers of Jesus Christ are called by our Saviour to look behind the news headlines and share the Hope of Jesus.” The Africa Inland Mission Conference events at which Fouad Masri is speaking, include one-day seminars in Sydney on Saturday 22 August and Melbourne on Saturday 29 August, and evening seminars in Brisbane on Tuesday 25 August, and in Adelaide on Thursday 27 August. Register and see details on www.AfricaInlandMission.org/au or phone (02) 4322 4777. Early- bird registrations close on 30 June.


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NASA: Dasht-e Kevir, Iran

T H E

S P I R I T

A N D

T H E

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S A Y

I

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C O M E

And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Revelation 22:17 (NIV)

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CW Winter 2015  

The latest issue of Christian Woman Winter is available now! Great articles on Marriage, Fairtrade, The Speaking Invitation Nobody Wants and...

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