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The NORTHLAKES Salvation Army Community Church 12th February 2012

From the Coalface Romans 12:1-2 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your

bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is true worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Ecclesiastes 1:1-11 1 These are the words of the Teacher, King David’s son, who ruled in Jerusalem; 2 “Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!” 3 What do people get for all their hard work under the sun? 4 Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes. 5 The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again. 6 The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles. 7 Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea. 8 Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content. 9 History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. 10 Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. 11 We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now. (NLT)

The Meaning Of Life There is some debate about who wrote the book of Ecclesiastes. Whoever it was, we can be tempted to refer to him as „old misery guts‟. Here is a man who is never going to be swept away by irrational optimism. Here is someone who reckons there is a cloud behind every silver lining. So why does he get space in God‟s Bible? Simply because he tells us what life is like if we leave God out of life. He plays the „bad cop‟ in the „good cop bad cop‟ routine. It is a scathing comment on materialism: the belief that this immediate sensory world is all there is, that it matters most. It is not bitter cynicism that causes the writer to conclude that our earthly work is futile unless there is some good, ordering hand behind it. It is not dank pessimism to say that our various advances in material progress don‟t actually make us better people. It is not bleak hopelessness that causes him to write that our attempts at materialistic satisfaction are doomed to failure. What he is saying is that we were made for more than the material. We can acquire much wealth, gain much pleasure, achieve some material results, but without the loving hand of God in our life we fall short of what we were made to be. We may challenge this author‟s exaggeration (a feature of biblical literature including some sayings of Jesus). Of course lots of worthwhile things happen on earth. But he exaggerates in order to make a real point. Only if the living God invades our lives will our lives become as they ought to be. St. Augustine‟s famous saying reflects this reality: “You have made us Lord for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they rest in you”.


A DATE FOR YOUR DIARY Good Friday 6th April 2012 at the Civic Theatre

PORTRAITS OF THE PASSION

No Greater Love FEBRUARY Megan Elliott

1

Claire Kolasinski

2

Ellen Bromhead

2

Claire Dimmock

6

Madeline Chadban

6

Ross Collyer

9

Dyani Ison

11

Julie Collins

11

Vanessa Bromhead

12

Michael Hannaford

13

Kylie Sims

13

Guy Stig

23

Rana Amos

23

Liam Crump

24

Mark Elliott

26

Hailee Anderson

26

Lisa Jackson

27

There's no greater love than the love of Jesus. There's no love that's wiser, that's stronger, that lasts longer, that's more willing or thrilling. There's no love more beautiful, more bountiful, more bold, more basic and unbiased. There's no love more caring, more sharing, more daring to risk all in danger for sinner and stranger. There's no love more gracious, more giving, more living, more sacred, more selfless, more soul-satisfying, more pure and undying. There's no love more verifiable, more valuable, more validating, more victorious, more glorious.

James Ruse - A Model to Follow Around Sydney the name James Ruse is well known, mostly because of a school and a road, but the name is very significant in Sydney's history. When the British first settled in Sydney it was a beautiful but inhospitable environment. The new settlers were constantly hungry and waited for supplies to be shipped out from England. An ex-convict, James Ruse asked for some land to try farming. His farm was originally called “Experiment Farm� as he tried his hand at planting crops just outside Parramatta. His efforts resulted in great success and soon the starving colonies were setting up other farms based on Ruse's model. The farm went from being known as Experiment Farm to "Model Farm" and became the lifeline for a new colony. What Sydney needed in the 1780s was for someone to strike out and try something new and be a model for others to follow. Today Sydneysiders and people around our country and the world are still hungry; not for food but for meaning and purpose. I believe that as we follow the example of Jesus, we can also be a model to bring new hope and life to a hungry community.


The Journey Part 4 By Lisa Jackson Sitting back in church last Sunday and listening to the message from Graeme, no not just listening but hearing the message and understanding that for many years I was walking around in the wilderness probably only kilometres from the „promised land‟. Back in 2002 was my first diagnosis of cancer. I had metastatic melanoma. What this means is I did not present with a mole on my body to indicate cancer, my cancer was found in my lymph glands under my right arm with the probability of spread throughout my body. I was 30! My prognosis was not good, my age was against me and the statistics were also not favourable. At this time in my life Kiah-Rose was 5 and Callum 7. Jeff and I had been married for 8 years but most noticeably we weren‟t Christians, we didn‟t attend church or even have any inclination to attend. We were a family in turmoil at constant loggerheads with each other. During this time Jeff and I were both heavy drinkers, probably to block all the badness out and try to forget what was happening. Unfortunately this didn‟t work and things kept happening. Because of the illness, surgery and radiation treatment both Jeff and I were unable to work for a long period of time, being self-employed this meant that no money came in but money still kept going out. We had hit rock bottom financially, physically and emotionally with nowhere to turn. It was whilst at the bottom and knowing that we had no way of turning things around that we were first introduced to the Minmi Salvos. (This was a small group of

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Sunday

6.30am Church House 5.30pm Chadban‟s Home 5.30pm Church House 5.30pm Church House 6.30am Church House 45 minutes before Church

people who met at Minmi Town Hall once a week for a church service. We knew they were part of The Salvation Army. Jeff had met Pam O‟Dea at different meetings for the Minmi Progress Association but that was all we really knew). It was bill time and we had been presented with a water bill that we knew we had no way of paying. The cupboards were empty and we were caught between deciding to live with running water or to put food on the table. It was hopeless. On one particular morning no different from any other morning we were greeted by one of our friends who attended the Minmi Salvos. Bonnie had a cheque to give us that the Salvos had given her. She knew that we didn‟t go to church but had asked if she could pray for us and get the church to pray for us. The miraculous thing was the cheque was for the exact amount of our water bill right down to the odd dollars and cents amount, there was no way anyone could have known this amount. Our immediate problem had been solved and we were able to feed ourselves again. I‟d like to say that the outpouring of prayer and help was just what we needed and we immediately started attending church but that was not the case. It actually took another 12 months before the thought of entering the local church came to our minds. Once again we were fighting with each other. We had been seen by the psychologist/counsellor at the Mater, we had asked for intervention as times were extremely hard and it felt that there was no hope in sight. When we finally got our meeting it lasted less than 30 minutes in which time we were told that there was nothing wrong and it was just normal. We left there much deflated and certainly no better off. It was probably one or two weeks later when we hit rock bottom again. This time we discussed our options and decided that we should contact Pam O‟Dea from Minmi Salvos, she might be able to put us in contact with a counsellor within The Salvation Army as the health system didn‟t seem to care. This was a Sunday and we were able to speak with Ian over the phone who explained that Pam was already at church but if we would like to come to church we could meet after wards and see what could be done. So with much trepidation we went to our first church service. When we had a chance to meet with both Pam and Ian they had talked and decided that they would counsel us, our trip out of the wilderness had begun. ...Continued on Page 4


Northlakes Salvation Army Theme for Feb/March

Check out our website www.northlakessalvos.com.

‘Words for Life’ Bible Study John (Chapters 1 & 2) 15th & 29th February 14th & 28th March

7.30pm at Church House 46 Reservoir Rd Glendale We started attending church as much as our drinking would allow us. There were times that we were so hung over that we had to sit near the door because the noise of the praise and worship were so loud it literally hurt our heads and made us sick, but stick with it we did. About 12 months later I attended The Hunter Harvest at the Entertainment Centre and gave my heart to God, but I was still stumbling in the wilderness and that didn‟t really mean anything. I had attended Sunday School as a child and I was fairly well educated in bible stories growing up but that was it. I had never developed a close and personal relationship with Jesus. So having made my decision to give my life to God was just another decision and I can remember thinking what the difference is. We still struggled. Every time I felt a little bit closer to Jesus something would happen and it was a case of one step forward and two steps backward for quite a while. It wasn‟t until 2005 when Jeff attended „Harvest‟ and gave his life to Jesus that we noticed improvement in our circumstances, at least perhaps I allowed myself to see the changes. Six months after Harvest, David Price approached Jeff about a project the church was interested in partnering with called Hope Rwanda. This was an overseas mission that was birthed from the Hillsong Church in Sydney, a project developed by Mark and Darlene Zschech. On the 20th October we went to our first Hope Rwanda meeting in Sydney and Jeff knew straight away that this was for him. On return to Minmi Salvos (Northlakes) he shared with the leadership team and serious prayer was entered upon. God had spoken to Jeff through Isaiah 49 (The Lords Servant Commissioned) and in 2006 Jeff went to Rwanda to work on a building project building houses for orphans and widows of the 1994 Genocide. On Jeff‟s return we set the wheels in motion for the family to go to Rwanda little knowing the real impact this was to have on our lives and the change of course we were to take following God‟s calling.To be continued….

SHARE A PRAYER For our Church family at Northlakes Lisa‟s results on Tuesday Ken—strength and healing People with elderly parents who are unwell: Prue‟s parents; Di‟s parents; Rob‟s Mum; Judy‟s Mum; Jean‟s parents; Katrina‟s parents; Elaine‟s Mum EPIC Youth Ministry Children‟s Ministry RAVE ministry Pauline—suffering lung and brain cancer. Pray she will find her Saviour. Julie and family as they care for their mother and grandmother Iris—stage 4 cervical cancer. For pain relief and peace over her family. Donna—more surgery. Protection and peace over Donna and her daughter during this time

For the Salvo’s Noosa Corps, QLD—Lieutenants David & Lara Sutcliffe Hawksberry City Corps, NSW—Cheryle Symons and Lieutenant Cara Brackstone Bega Corps, NSW—Lieutenant Karen Harrison and Lieutenant Vanessa Kohler

‘Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still’ E.M.Bounds

World Wide Prayer Meeting Long Jetty Corps, NSW—Captains An drew & Melissa Humphreys and Lieuten ant Katherine Mills Armidale Corps, NSW—Lieutenant Ged Oldfield and Lieutenant Teena Hughes


Coalface 12 February 2012