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TRANSFORMED HumeRidge Church of Christ Magazine

Seasons

Edition 2010

Introducing Season’s Guest Speakers Jesma Ohara Cameron Semmens John Dickson

State of Origin A Fundraising Success Testimony from

Cheryl Hansen


BE PART OF A GLOBAL MOVEMENT

FRIDAY OCTOBER 14TH SATURDAY OCTOBER 15TH AT HUMERIDGE CHURCH OF CHRIST

HOST CHURCH REGISTRATIONS $79 before 13th September $99 there after [Registrations are accepted on the day]


TRANSFORMED HumeRidge Church of Christ Magazine

Hi Everyone,

Seasons Edition 2009 Edition 2010

contents

Welcome to the Seasons 2010 Edition of TRANSFORMED. As you read through this edition you’ll find that this time around we’ve done things a little differently to tie in with our Seasons theme “All Are Precious”. We bring to you stories of individuals whose lives have been changed by God, but more importantly we want to draw your attention to God, who loves you for who you are and desires to meet with you where you are at.

2 Prodigal God Tim Smith

In the busyness of our lives today it’s so easy to become complacent about our faith and lose sight of the reality of Jesus. All around us we have friends, family, coworkers and neighbours who don’t yet know Jesus as their Saviour. We believe that Jesus is the only way to the Father and to eternal life in heaven with Him. Our God values all life and each person is precious to Him. His Word clearly tells us that He desires that none are lost. But, without a personal relationship with Jesus those precious to God and to us will be lost forever.

Checklist

Our hope is that you are inspired, challenged and motivated into action by the stories you read. If you know God, you have received the Holy Spirit and are equipped to serve Him. Don’t be afraid. Don’t think you aren’t important. Don’t watch life go by. Let’s together join God in His work of reconciling all creation to Himself. May God’s will be done in heaven and on earth in our lives each and every day.

Cameron Semmens

Blessings

Natalie T. Natalie Tucker Student Minister & Editor

4 Our Senior Women Jean Willoughby 6 State of Origin Hagar Fund Raising Success 8 Jesus at uni Heather Fletcher - Student Life 9 S.O.A.P. Studies 9 What’s On On Sundays 10 Calendar August & September pull out 12 Found by seeking God Jesma Ohara 14 The God of my Teens 16 Life, love & Leadership John Dickson 18 Testimony Cheryl Hansen 21 Notice Board


the

Prodigal God “The Prodigal God” sermon based connect group series has been well received and generated much discussion and comment, along with spiritual introspection as our view of God has been challenged. The final climatic chapters/topics will be encouraging, challenging and thought provoking. Below is a brief excerpt from the book entitled “Who We Need”. As we engage in the final chapters I hope you continue in your journey of rediscovering God through Tim Keller’s “The Prodigal God”. If you have not already received a copy of the book and would like one, they are available for $14. Tim Smith

Who We Need Luke 15 informs us in verses 1-3 that Jesus told not one but three parables to the Pharisees who were complaining about his fraternisation with sinners. The first parable is called the Parable of the Lost Sheep. A man is tending a flock of one hundred sheep, but one goes astray. Instead of accepting this loss, the shepherd goes out searching until he has found his lost sheep. Then he calls all around to “Rejoice with me, for I have found my lost sheep” [verse 6]. The second parable is called the Parable of the Lost Coin. In this story a woman has ten silver coins in the house but loses one. She does not write it off as a loss, 2 I TRANSFORMED SEASONS EDITION2010

but instead “lights a lamp, sweeps the whole house, and searches diligently until she finds it” [verse 8]. And when she does, she calls her friends and neighbours and says, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my lost coin.” The third parable is the story we have been studying, the Parable of the Two Lost Sons. The similarities among the three stories are obvious. In each parable something is lost – sheep, coin, son. In each the one who loses something gets it back. And each of the narratives ends on a note of festive rejoicing and celebration when the lost one is returned. There is, though, one striking difference between the third and the first two. In the first two someone “goes out” and

searches diligently for that which is lost. The searchers let nothing distract them or stand in their way. By the time we get to the third story, we hear about the plight of the lost son, we are fully prepared to expect that someone will set out to search for him. No one does. It is startling, and Jesus meant it to be so. By placing the three parables so closely together, he is inviting thoughtful listeners to ask: “Well, who should have gone out and searched for the lost son?” Jesus knew the Bible thoroughly, and he knew that at its very beginning it tells another story of an elder and younger brother – Cain and Abel. In that story, God tells the resentful and proud older brother: “YOU are your brother’s keeper.”


God Meets Us Where We Are At Testimonies...

The Prodiga l God book is available no w

$14

Tim Smith

Geoff Wilson

Kev Distant

Born into a Christian home I have always been aware of God and the Church but it was as a 17 year old starting to be attracted to the world that I realized, God has no grandchildren; only children.

I made a decision to become a Christian at age 14 and was baptized. Up until about 8 years ago, I believed that you had to work really hard to earn God’s favour and stay a Christian. I brought my two children up that way and both left the church believing that they would never meet the grade. This made me search the Bible in prayer and I discovered there was no way I could ever reach the standard, and that I was accepted as a child of God, simply by believing God’s Son had died to save me. Despite numerous difficult life circumstances since that time, I know I am accepted by God and am a child of His and have an eternal destiny. The freedom of this knowledge is incredible.

My life was filled with anger, depression and a longing for an acceptance of who I was and what my purpose in life was. This searching led to involvement in many unsavoury things and places: alcoholism, drugs, womanising… But none of this fulfilled my emptiness.

I had lived off my parent’s Christianity and now knew I needed a personal relationship with God through Jesus. God had always been a notion for me but since then he has been a reality, a personal friend and companion; my source of strength and guidance through life’s decisions and heartaches. As I grow older so too my relationship of trust and dependence on God develops and I include him in every detail of my life. I could not imagine life without Him now and look forward to eternity with Him in the future.

After giving my life to the Lord I now feel an amazing love and acceptance for who I am for the first time in my life. The support, love and acceptance that I have received from my church family is amazing as they have accepted me warts and all. The love from our awesome God has filled the void that was in my life. I am now complete.

HumeRidge Church of Christ Magazine

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celebrating our senior women Golden Eagles 50+

Being in a KYB group is very rewarding and enriching, not only do you get a better understanding of the Bible through answering questions prepared before a meeting but you learn so much from listening to others and seeing things from a different perspective. The fellowship with others ladies is a blessing. The prayer chain and companionship with women of similar age yet different experiences enhances our compassion, our understanding and expands our knowledge of living a Christian life. At the end of each term our groups combine for afternoon tea and at the end of the year we have a lunch together.

Once a month our valiant leader Warren Savill leads us through a varied programme of speakers, devotions, hymn singing, and humorous inserts to name a few. The relaxed and friendly environment helps everyone feel at home and our homemade morning teas are always a favourite.

Each year our group enjoys contributing to our community both here and overseas by decorating one or two Christmas trees for the display at St Luke’s, supporting ICCM in the Philippines and assisting Wednesday’s KYB Group with babysitting funds. We enjoy blessing others and helping them grow in their knowledge and understanding of our great God. Denise Hogarth is the Thursday KYB co-ordinator. This year we have looked at Psalms 1-40, Romans 1-8 and are currently studying Hosea. We will finish off the year with the Letters of John. We welcome others to join with the 40 or so ladies who attend the Thursday group at 12.45pm. 4 I HumeRidge Church of Christ Magazine

hby

by Jean Willoug

Thursday KYB Group

We also enjoy some special events throughout the year. Already this year we have had a bus trip to the Bunya Mountains and a mid-year lunch at Regent’s on the Lake. We always look forward to our Christmas celebrations at the year’s end. As seniors we realize how blessed we are and help others by bringing something for The Pantry to each meeting. Our regular collections have helped local folk in need and mission in other countries. Our events are listed on the Church Calendar and we welcome all those 50+ to join us. Hymn Singing If you enjoy the words and music of the old traditional hymns our Hymn Singing group may well be a place you’d like to visit. We have days when we sing favourite hymns selected by those present, others where we sing on a theme such as “Jesus is our Shepherd”, “How Great is Our God!”, or “Heaven”. Sometimes we sing the hymns of a particular hymn writer like Fanny Crosby. We also have days when a member selects


the hymns. Recently Carol’s mother turned 90 so she chose to celebrate it by choosing hymns of praise. We meet the second Wednesday of each month at 1.30pm and sing for 1½ hours before enjoying fellowship over a cuppa. We have some excellent male voices amongst us too! See Jean or contact the office for more information. Darling Downs Annual Rally Day In August each year, ladies from Churches of Christ throughout the Darling Downs come together in Dalby for a time of worship and fellowship. Last year, a committee of ladies from HumeRidge led by Iris Armstrong organised the day on the theme “Created for God” with Kaye England as the speaker. Each year a different church organises the day (this year that honour goes to Gatton) and a collection is taken to help needy families. Please join us this year... DALBY RALLY DAY 2010 25TH AUGUST. Darling Downs Ladies Retreat Early this year the Darling Downs Ladies’ Retreat was held at Camp Koojarewon, Highfields over a fabulous weekend. Many of the ladies from HumeRidge attended the Saturday and others the whole weekend. It is a great time for meeting other christian women, having time for spiritual input, worship, prayer and communion.

We follow a theme brought by a guest speaker and enjoy excellent food. Having lots of fun is always guaranteed – even if it’s doing chores! Someone still has to set the tables! Senior Conference – Caloundra In August some of our senior men and women, journey to Caloundra for a weekend Seniors’ Conference organised by Caloundra Church of Christ. This is a wonderful opportunity to join with about 100 others in singing, listening to speakers, sharing electives, enjoying good food and LOTS OF LAUGHTER!!! As ladies in our senior years at HumeRidge we have no reason to be lonely or feel unaccepted because there are senior women in our church helping and sharing in most areas in the life of the church or volunteering throughout our city. There are ladies who belong to prayer and connect groups, some are mentors, others do Hospital visiting or visiting of folk who are housebound or ill. Even a simple phone call to those in need helps encourage others in our community. There are ladies on church rosters, volunteering at Nu-Mylo, Save the Children or others. Should you wish to know more about any of these programs, please ask Tim Smith or Natalie Tucker and they will direct you to someone who can help you. www.humeridgechurch.org

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What A Night! The 7th of July dawned with expectation in the air and the anticipation grew throughout the day. The church was a buzz with preparations and food almost as far as the eye could see. As 7pm rolled around the auditorium began to fill. While the Blues put in a good showing they were outnumbered and on the field outplayed. Go Queensland! But what has church got to do with football and food you may be asking... In following Jesus steps of caring for the poor and hurting in our world HumeRidge Youth are active supporters of HAGAR International. For 3 years now Ross and the Team have provided a positive environment for youth and families to come together and enjoy what truly is one of the greatest sporting events. While we have lots of fun and all the footy food we can eat, we are helping raise funds for not just an organisation but for a CHILD. She is not a number, or an unnamed picture on the screen. She is a precious valued child of our Creator God. She is dearly loved. Here is Jackson’s State of Origin 2010 story... In early July, Radio 92.9 Voice F.M. asked Ross to come in and talk about HAGAR International and the State of Origin Fundraiser. So, on Friday morning Ross, Santeesha Smith, Sarah Yin and I went into

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the studio to speak to Mark Gladman about the work of Hagar and our endeavours to help. Each of us has been affected by the information we received at Youth Group about Modern Day Slavery and the children who are the victims of this awful evil. We talked about the statistics released by the US State Department. This report states that the conservative estimate is that there are 12.3 million slaves in our world today. This is approximately half of Australia’s population.

UNICEF ESTIMATES THAT UP TO 2 MILLION CHILDREN ARE SUBJECTED TO PROSTITUTION IN THE GLOBAL COMMERICAL SEX TRADE. This is not a small insignificant problem in our world and yet too often it is not discussed. We spoke about how we have often had talks about the work of HAGAR, and how it works to help children who have been exploited, abused and trafficked. I also spoke about how at youth group we have done a number of bible studies on the issue of Justice, particularly looking at the teachings of the OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS like Micah and Amos. We also were reminded that it was God’s people who lead the fight against slavery many years ago. God’s call for us, His people, is still to represent him in the


a note from Ross This year I would like to particularly acknowledge the wonderful support of Danny, Bear (The Cheesecake Shop), Glen & Julie (Debs Bakery) Jeff & Nita, Ron & Danielle, Rod & Sandra, Jenny, Renee, Dee, Patrica, Mike & Christy, Alison, Clinton and Sue (Australia Independent Vendors), and many of our Sunday morning congregation who’s donations helped cover any expenses.

l

by Jackson Savil

things that matter greatly to him. Amos Chapter 5 states: I can’t stand your religious meetings. I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions. I want nothing to do with your religion projects, your pretentious slogans and goals. I’m sick of your fundraising schemes, your public relations and image making. I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego music. When was the last time you sang to me? Do you know what I want? I want Justice – oceans of it. I want fairness – rivers of it. That’s what I want. That’s all I want. We told Mark that we believe it is important for us as Christian young people to know the facts about Modern Day Slavery, let others know, speak out about it and to help those who are trying to help the victims. That’s why we try to help HAGAR. That is why we organise and talk up the State of Origin Fundraiser. All the money raised goes to help HAGAR help these kids who are victims of a terrible injustice in our modern day world. Our State of Origin celebrations in 2010 raised over $6,000 for HAGAR. This will clothe, feed, educate, house and provide medical care for a child rescued from slavery and/or sex trafficking for a year. Thanks goes to all who supported our event and help make the night a success. If you would like more information about HAGAR you can check out their website or talk to Ross.

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TRANSFORMED SEASONS EDITION 2010 7

To heaps of the young people who did their stuff... setting up, cleaning up, serving, promoting and inviting, THANK YOU. To Ryan, Jake, Ben, Tom, The Ziebell, Bree, Darski, The Smith Brothers, Jackson, lisale, Katrina, Guinea and Nikara thank-you for all the extra. The State of Origin fundraiser works because our whole church supports it. This year because of it: 1. The work of this Christian organisation - HAGAR INTERNATIONAL has been promoted in this region as never before. 2. More people are aware of the existence of MODERN DAY SLAVERY. 3. We will send over $6000 to enable HAGAR to make difference in the life of 1 little girl for the next year. A little girl who now has hope and has experienced the love of God. Thank you!

Ross


er Fletcher

Cameron and Heath

introducing Jesus at uni by Heather Fletcher

Uni students have a reputation for being hard-drinking, irresponsible, hard-nosed intellectuals. But our experience is that most uni students are spiritually open, ignorant of, yet interested in, the gospel. As tomorrow’s leaders, uni students are a strategic group of people to reach. Their capacity for critical thinking means they make considered decisions about following Jesus. They have time on their hands, are free from the constraints of home and school, and are not yet set in their ways. And they are fun to be around! Cam and I have been ministering with Student Life for nearly 20 years. But Student Life is a movement, not just a ministry. This means that the group isn’t just about fellowship, but about evangelism and passing on ministry skills; it’s self-replicating. This means that while Cam is the official Churches of Christ Chaplain at USQ, he is training students how to be chaplains to each other. 8 I TRANSFORMED seasons edition 2010

Peter and Jen Hibbs

ter

Christina Win

After all, the best person to impact a uni student is... another uni student. Working with uni students is exciting. We see them become Christians, grow in their faith, learn ministry skills, pass them on to younger students and then get launched into the world with a mission mind-set. This means that movements are sprouting up on campuses everywhere, so that everyone will know someone who truly follows Jesus. Attending HumeRidge Church of Christ are 3 other Student Life missionaries – Peter and Jen Hibbs and Christina Winter. As campus missionaries, we are supported financially by individuals who want to see God’s kingdom built among young people. If you want to know how you can do this or pray for us and the work of Student Life, we’d love to hear from you: Email cameron.fletcher@studentlife.org.au, phone 0402 032 063 or visit the website www.studentlife.org.au


s.o.a.p. studies

what’s on on Sundays Series in August

the

Prodigal

GOD Tim Smith

August

September

August

1

Jeremiah 1

1

Jeremiah 33

2

Jeremiah 2

2

Jeremiah 34,35

3

Jeremiah 3

3

Jeremiah 36

4

Jeremiah 4

4

Jeremiah 37

5

Jeremiah 5

5

Jeremiah 38

6

Jeremiah 6

6

Jeremiah 39,40

7

Jeremiah 7

7

Jeremiah 41

8

Jeremiah 8

8

Jeremiah 42,43

9

Jeremiah 9

9

Jeremiah 44,45

10

Jeremiah 10

10

Jeremiah 46

11

Jeremiah 11

11

Jeremiah 47

12

Jeremiah 12

12

Jeremiah 48

August 15

13

Jeremiah 13

13

Jeremiah 49

Jeremiah 14

14

Jeremiah 50

Seasons Conference Weekend

14 15

Jeremiah 15

15

Jeremiah 51

16

Jeremiah 16

16

Jeremiah 52

17

Jeremiah 17

17

Acts 1

18

Jeremiah 18

18

Acts 2

August 22

19

Jeremiah 19

19

Acts 3

Jeremiah 20

20

Acts 4

The Elder Brother

20 21

Jeremiah 21

21

Acts 5

Prodigal God #4 – Tim Smith

22

Jeremiah 22

22

Acts 6

August 29

23

Jeremiah 23

23

Acts 7

Jeremiah 24,25

24

Acts 8

The True Elder Brother

24 25

Jeremiah 26

25

Acts 9

26

Jeremiah 27

26

Acts 10

September 5

27

Jeremiah 28

27

Acts 11

The Feast of the Father

28

Jeremiah 29

28

Acts 12

Jeremiah 30

29

Acts 13

Prodigal God #6 – DVD

29 30

Jeremiah 31

30

Acts 14

31

Jeremiah 32

August 1

The People Around Jesus Prodigal God #2 – Tim Smith August 8

The Two Lost Sons Prodigal God #3 – Tim Smith

Guest Speaker - Jesma O’Hara Guest Poet - Cameron Semmens

Prodigal God #5 – DVD

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HumeRidge Church of Christ Magazine 9


calendar 2010

august SUNDAY

MONDAY

1

2

8am Prayer 9am Sunday Service 9.30am Playgroup 7pm Search for Life 4.30pm Prayer SUNDAY MONDAY Women 5pm Sunday@5

8

9

8am Prayer 9am Sunday Service 4.30pm Prayer 9.30am Playgroup 5pm Sunday@5 6pm Steve Grace 7pm Search for Life Women Concert

15

16

8am Prayer 9am Sunday Service 4.30pm Prayer 5pm Sunday@5 9.30am Playgroup Guest Speakers: 7pm Search for Life Jesma O’hara & Women Cameron Semmens

23

8am Prayer 9am Sunday Service 11.30am Prayer for Lost 2–5pm Pathways Membership & 9.30am Playgroup Maturity 7pm Search for Life 4.30pm Prayer Women 5pm Sunday@5

29

30

8am Prayer 9am Sunday Service 2–5pm Pathways Ministry & Missions 9.30am Playgroup 7pm Search for Life 4.30pm Prayer Women 5pm Sunday@5

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TUESDAY

3

9.30am Playgroup 11am Playgroup TUESDAY 7pm Valiant Man

10

9.30am Playgroup 11am Playgroup 7pm Valiant Man

17 Golden Eagles 50+ Visit to Rangeville State School 9.30am Playgroup 11am Playgroup 7pm Valiant Man

24

WEDNESDAY

4

6.30am Prayer 9.45am KYB WEDNESDAY 6.30pm Stumpys

11

6.30am Prayer 9.45am KYB 6.30pm Stumpys

18 6.30am Prayer 9am – 4.30pm U3A Seniors Expo 9.45am KYB 6.30pm Stumpys

25

DALBY RALLY DAY 9.30am Playgroup 6am Prayer for Lost 6.30am Prayer 11am Playgroup 9.45am KYB 5pm & 7pm Prayer 6.30pm Stumpys for Lost 7pm Valiant Man 7pm Prayer for Lost

31

9.30am Playgroup 11am Playgroup 7pm Valiant Man

THURSDAY

5

12.30pm KYB 7pm The Marriage THURSDAY Course

12

12.30pm KYB 7pm The Marriage Course

19

12.30pm KYB 7pm The Marriage Course

26

12.30pm KYB 7pm The Marriage Course

FRIDAY

6

6pmFRIDAY Youth Group

13

SATURDAY

7

SATURDAY 4pm Band Practice

1414 Seasons Women’s Conference 9am - 4pm

6pm Youth Group

20

6pm Youth Group

27

6pm Youth Group

21

4pm Band Practice

28

4pm Band Practice

Seasons


September calendar 2010

SUNDAY

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

1

6.30am Prayer 9.45am KYB 6.30pm Stumpys

5

6

8am Prayer 9am Sunday Service 9.30am Playgroup 7pm Search for Life 4.30pm Prayer Women 5pm Sunday@5

12

7

9.30am Playgroup 11am Playgroup 7pm Valiant Man

13

14

8

6.30am Prayer 9.45am KYB 6.30pm Stumpys

15

THURSDAY

2

12.30pm KYB 7pm The Marriage Course

9

Golden Eagles 50+ 12.30pm KYB

16

FRIDAY

3

6pm Youth Group

10

6pm Youth Group

17

SATURDAY

4

4pm Band Practice

11

4pm Band Practice

18

at 7pm

9.30am Playgroup 8am Prayer 9am Sunday Service Final Day GLS Early Bird Host Church 4.30pm Prayer Registrations $79 5pm Sunday@5

19

20

9.30am Playgroup 11am Playgroup 7pm Valiant Man

21

6.30am Prayer 9.45am KYB 6.30pm Stumpys

22

12.30pm KYB 7pm The Marriage Course Final Celebration

23

6pm Youth Group

24

4pm Band Practice

25

school holidays 8am Prayer 9am Sunday Service 11.30am Prayer for Lost 4.30pm Prayer 5pm Sunday@5

26

4pm Band Practice Koorong 10th Anniversary Celebrations

10am Colin Buchannan Concert 6am Prayer for Lost 6.30am Prayer 5pm Prayer for Lost 7pm Prayer for Lost 7pm Prayer for Lost

27

28

29

30

school holidays 8am Prayer 9am Sunday Service 4.30pm Prayer 5pm Sunday@5

6.30am Prayer

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TRANSFORMED 11


Seasons 2011

The Road Back

a

by Jesma O’Har

Bernadette Black Mother of Year 2009

Deb Malcolm Women & Child Advocate and Compassion Representative

www.seasonsconference.com enquire@seasonsconference.com Phone 4635 3551

On a warm spring Brisbane day in 1951 a fair skinned blue eyed baby girl was born – the youngest of 5 children – a most unexpected arrival for her middle aged parents and her already grown siblings. She was descended from European pioneer stock, several of whom were sent, at His Majesty’s Pleasure, on convict ships, in the early 1800’s. Some 8 months later, on the other side of Australia, a baby boy was born. This one, however, was dark skinned. His parents had sailed from Burma following the Second World War to find a peaceful place to raise a young family. This boy’s ancestors came from India and Burma. Some 19 years later the little boy, my husband John, and the little girl, me, met and married and began a family of their own in a hippy commune on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. It was there that we were found by the

12 I TRANSFORMED SEASONS EDITION 2010


’Hara

Jesma + John O

found by seeking God God who reaches out across social, racial, religious and gender barriers to find the lost and place us gently in His family. Since the seeking God found us we have had the privilege of travelling to over 22 countries teaching His Word, supporting and establishing schools and orphanages in developing nations, funded mostly by sales from our Neighbours Aid Community Stores OP Shops. Jesus told us that if we have seen him, then we have seen his Father. In John 4 we read the story of Jesus’ encounter with a woman from Samaria. Jews in Jesus’ day preferred to walk many extra hours in the hot sun to avoid the area as they believed that the

Samaritans were half caste, racially impure members of a heretical cult. Jewish men also didn’t speak to women in public, especially strange women who are so unconcerned about their safety and reputation that they would go alone to draw water from a well in the middle of the day when everyone else was indoors avoiding the harsh desert sun. Probably her bad reputation meant that none of the other ladies in town would go to the well with her anyway! Jesus didn’t ignore the woman, he didn’t preach at her about her sinful life, he simply engaged her in a search for truth by asking for a drink of water [from her

ritually unclean bucket!]. At the beginning she sees him as simply a thirsty Jewish man but by the end of the story she knows him as the Messiah, and the woman who went out alone and ashamed of her past rushes back into town proclaiming, “Come see a man who told me all I ever did! Can this be the Messiah?” We take up the story in the book of Acts where revival breaks out in Samaria. She became one of the first evangelists. In this little story Jesus breaks through gender, social, racial and religious barriers to draw a needy woman into God’s family. We, his disciples, are called to do the same.

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HumeRidge Church of Christ Magazine 13


atfused whichwith is often patient. romance at which is theof God fining essence kind. atsongs feelingaspire whichtomost esture not envy. at whichthan is more luential es not boast. celebrity atsequential which is than more iticsproud. not ImakesStill Believe in T he God of My Teens at which hard n write poetry and ft womencameron watchsemmens rugby : poet : performer es not behave rudely. atterwhich is a four word inks no evil. at which isSHOVE used to yme with not easily angered. at which is often duced to the utation tter at the end of not selfish. which transcends eesatlaw not rejoice in ongdoings. at inwhich sees the st people ways defends. at which inspires mans to give without ought of receiving ways trusts. atan which promptsto and a woman mmit gethertheirI whole lives To write this testament of faith I looked back on some of my Christian scribblings from when I was 16 – the age I first became a committed believer. I thought I would disagree with many of my simplistic declarations. Instead I was surprised to find that most of what I wrote, I still believe. Perhaps I would say things less assertively, more gently, and with a few more conditions... But essentially, the fundamental faith of my teens formed the bones which lie beneath the fleshed-out faith of my thirties. Today, as then, I believe in a big God. A Gracious, Powerful, Unknowable, All-knowing God. I believe Jesus spoke Truth, gave Life, and showed the Way. I also believe it doesn’t just matter what I believe, it also matters how I live, how I love and how I follow through. I’m not perfect, but I don’t think God expects perfection, He expects our attention.

Ever since I was a child my attention has been drawn to the bigger questions in life, and that began within the church. I was raised in a Baptist church on the Eastern shore of Hobart. But of course, everyone must choose faith for themselves, and I did that in 1989 in a 14 www.humeridgechurch.org

car with my mates, just before we went street evangelising. I entered faith with the typical teenage persuasion toward blacks and whites, and for absolute wrongs and rights. Looking back I think I was more concerned with rightness than righteousness. But it started me on the journey I am still on today. At this same time I also started writing poetry. It wasn’t always a smooth process. Early on, my poetry was steeped in self-righteous zeal that now reads more like graceless judgement. I thought I could convert the world through poetry. But unfortunately these initial poetic efforts were technically, conceptually and theologically small-minded. I would probably now describe them less as poems, and more as condescending rants! Thankfully, in the 21 years since then, my understanding of faith and poetry has been refined and advanced in many ways. One of the most important developments is that I learned to discern the core concerns and the innate strengths of each. Poetry is at its weakest when trying to preach absolutes. Conversely, its power lies in seeing and expressing things in


Tconfused hat whichwith is often is patient. romance Tdefining hat which is theof God essence isThese kind. The Greatest of Tpophatsongs feelingaspire whichtomost capture does not envy. Tinfluential hat whichthan is more does not boast. celebri Tconsequential hat which is than more politics is not proud. Tmen hatwrite whichpoetry makes hard soft women watchand rug does not behave rudely. Tletter hat which is a four word thinks no evil. Trhyme hat which isSHOVE used to with is not easily angered. Treduced hat which is often to the salutation a letter at the end is not selfish. Tthe hatlawwhich transcends does not rejoice in wrongdoings. Tbest hat inwhich sees the people always defends. Thumans hat which inspires to give withou thought of receiving always trusts. Ta hat which promptsto man and a woman commit togethertheir whole live Based on 1 Corinthians 13

That which is often confused with romance is patient.

fresh, original ways to hint at the greater mysteries. Similarly, I have found that faith is least effectively expressed by prescriptive sermonising – even when it rhymes! – and much more persuasively presented through acts of faith-led love. Like poetry, faith is not a fact-file of certainties, and is instead a bold step into mystery. In poetry we can explore the deep mysteries of love, grace and sacrifice. While in faith we must grapple with the wonderful mystery of God’s great love, His ceaseless grace, and His ultimate sacrifice. Like developing a good poem, the Christian walk is a journey. We move along a path. Move words and ideas around. And sometimes we throw aside old eschatologies, Christologies, or denominational orthodoxies for God’s simple gracious, grace-filled truth. Thus, my poetry and my faith have grown up together. Poetry has been the platform from which I’ve asked my faith questions, it has provided the phrases of consolation when I don’t know the answers, and sometimes it’s helped me utter just a few small words of earnest, yearning prayer. Through all this, my journey continues. Daily, I seek engagement with the God of mystery. And daily I strive to follow the words and ways of Christ.

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TRANSFORMED 15

That which is the defining essence of God is kind.

That feeling which most pop songs aspire to capture does not envy. That which is more influential than celebrity does not boast.

That which is more consequential than politics is not proud.

That which makes hard men write poetry and soft women watch rugby does not behave rudely. That which is a four letter word thinks no evil.

That which is used to rhyme with SHOVE is not easily angered.

That which is often reduced to the salutation at the end of a letter is not selfish. That which transcends the law does not rejoice in wrongdoings.

That which sees the best in people always defends.

That which inspires humans to give without thought of receiving always trusts. That which prompts a man and a woman to commit their whole lives together always expects the best. That which binds a mother to a child; a people to a land; a God to a universe always, always, always perseveres. That which is more than sentiment is greater than faith.

That which is more than a lofty ideal is greater than hope.

That which, when perfect, drives out all fear goes on... goes on... goes on... forever.


John Dickson the lost key to

life, love and leadership... It has been several years since John made his first journey to HumeRidge when he spoke about how we can effectively share the truth about Jesus in the context of contemporary society. His personable style and knowledge, along with 16 I www.humeridgechurch.org

his practical wisdom ensured an engaging and informing meeting. Hearing his personal testimony was also inspiring. His books “Jesus: A Spectators Guide” and “Promoting the Gospels” are filled with historical, practical, and biblical

information that inspire the reader to take a fresh look at Jesus and how we communicate the gospel today. If you haven’t heard of John Dickson, or of his work, here is some of his story...


John lost his father in a plane crash when he was 9. This event has shaped his passion for life’s big questions and continues to motivate him to be the best father, husband and man he can be. Above all the roles he has, he values his family above all else. Today John lives in Sydney with his wife and three children. John specialises in the big ideas that have shaped our world and inspired men and women to live beyond themselves. His journey has been an eclectic one: from full time musician to professional speaker, author, biblical historian, TV presenter and director of a multi-media think tank. John began his career as singer/songwriter for Aussie rock band In The Silence, touring and recording for seven years before temporarily giving music away to focus on academic studies and a wide-ranging career as a speaker and author. With an honours degree in theology and a PhD in ancient history John is also a Senior Research Fellow of the Department of

pubs and universities. In addition to his passion for promoting the public understanding of the Christian faith, John is also fascinated by the paradoxical connection between high-level achievement and the historical virtues of compassion and humility, themes explored in his professional keynote address and seminar “Humilitas: a Lost Key to Life, Love and Leadership” and in a forthcoming book by the same name.

Ancient History, Macquarie University. He is committed to delivering creative, engaging content grounded in careful thought. His book “The Christ Files: How Historians Know what they Know about Jesus” was made into a major television documentary which aired nationally on Channel 7 in March 2008. Now a best-selling DVD, it won the 2008 Pilgrim Media award. His recent “Life of Jesus” also aired on Channel 7 in April 2009. John is also Co-Director (with Greg Clarke) of the Centre for Public Christianity (CPX), an independent research and media company promoting informed discussion about social, ethical and religious issues in modern life. Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd praised CPX as “a welcome development in the spiritual and intellectual life of Australia.” A busy public speaker John delivers over 100 talks a year in a range of contexts, including corporations, conferences, churches,

Part of what John shares with us at Seasons 2010 will be from his Humilitas address. In a society full of injustice and pride it is timely that we take some time to reflect on Jesus, a man of compassion and humility, and how we can impact our world through valuing others and recognising that “All truly are Precious”. You can find more information about John, his books and music at these websites www.johndickson.org. www.thechristfiles.com.au www.lifeofjesus.tv www.publicchristianity.org.

TRANSFORMED SEASONS EDITION 2010

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With people at the Church who accepted me just where I was at and who allowed me the freedom then to share my pain, I started on the road to recovery.

Cheryl Hansen MY TESTIMONY... of gratitude to God “I waited patiently for the Lord: he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.”

Psalm 40:1-3 Cheryl’s journey with Koorong began following a very personal journey with God as He revealed His love for her that gave her the courage and strength to leave an abusive marriage and begin afresh. To her surprise God surrounded her by people she knew and cared for her. This is Cheryl’s story... 18 I TRANSFORMED seasons edition 2010

This was the best expression of God’s grace that I had ever experienced. I knew God loved me. I knew He also felt my pain. He knew what it was to be beaten, to be spat upon, to be humiliated and to be falsely accused. I can now say to God, “Thank you for allowing me to go through my pain”, because through it all He revealed Himself to me and offered His gift of grace which I gladly accepted. My journey with Koorong began after I was asked by an elder of the Toowoomba Church of Christ to work as a volunteer in their office. I took this up even though I really didn’t think I had much to offer them, my selfesteem was very low. A few months later a lady from the Church and myself started up a “Bookshop” within this Church. I was keen on the idea, as it was a dream I always had to work in a bookshop. We had approached Koorong about letting us have books on a commission basis – “Bookstalls” as we know them. So we would drive


to Brisbane monthly and pick up a supply of Christian resources to bring back. After a short period of time, the other lady moved on. I continued to run the shop on my own. By then I was working three other part-time jobs. One of my bosses, as a bonus treated me to a weekend trip to Sydney as this was his hometown. He took me to see different sights and also to Koorong at West Ryde because of my interest and association with Brisbane Koorong and the Church bookshop. It was there that things really started moving. God revealed to me a vision, His plan, while I was visiting Koorong that day. The vision was to have a Koorong store in Toowoomba. He planted a seed that day. On the drive back to Toowoomba, all I could do was talk to Bob about the vision God had given me. I knew within myself that I was to be His instrument in some way and I was compelled to take some form of action in obedience to His will. At this point, I really wasn’t thinking of a Koorong store as we know it, but more our Church bookshop being much bigger and servicing all of Toowoomba. As soon as I was back in Toowoomba, I started working on a proposition to present to the Elders of the Church. They liked what they saw, and proceeded to extend the existing area to a sizeable, lock up shop. I arranged an Open Day to invite the community and promote Koorong, by having the local Christian radio station broadcasting live all day. People just flooded in. It was very successful.

I continued in this way until it was just consuming all my time. Everything was done manually and the Bookshop had grown beyond a manual operation. It was just getting too much with my other jobs and family!! I asked the Elders about contacting Koorong directly about a computer system to help me out. That started a progression of meetings between the Church and Koorong. After much prayer, consideration, discussion, and planning, the choice was made to open a proper Koorong store in Toowoomba, separate from the Church. God’s vision for His future plan for Koorong, given to me in Sydney had been fulfilled. I want to thank HumeRidge Church of Christ for all they have done to stand beside me on my journey. They have been “Jesus” to me in every way. From the words of Billy Graham, “Suffering or persecution can become a blessing because they can form a dark backdrop for the radiance of the Christian life. So don’t despise the shadows God brings into your life. He can use them to produce a masterpiece.” While initially not taking on the role, Cheryl has been the Manager of Koorong for some years. She has received awards including “Store Manager of the Year” and the “Excellence in Sales Results”. See is very happily married to a man of God who cherishes and loves her totally. He is her best friend and soul mate. Together they try to honour God in everything they do.

10 Anniveth Celebrarsary tion

Touching the Community Koorong Birthday Week Celebrations 20th to 25th September

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www.humeridgechurch.org 13


Touching the Community 25th September 2010 Start t 9.15am Worship Dale Whi te Entertainment Darling Downs Sch ool 10.00am Speeches and cake cutt

1 Anniv0th Celebrersary ation

of Excellence in Dance

ing In-store authors Mark Gladman 17 Irritating Law s of Followship Elissa MacPherson Beautiful: Lav ish Devotions for Women Brett Glover Grace v Self-Esteem

Carpark Bonanza • Face-paintin g • Clowning • Sausage sizzle • Drinks Hair braiding and beading • Sal vation Army Crisis Centre Ble ssing Box

Lend a Hand change the world Let’s all lend a hand! you can help in 5 ways

w rld

changers

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The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Luke 10:2

1

prayer

2

professional & medic al

3

Teaching

4

trades

5

giving

Please contac t us if you can help in any of these areas. Email world@humeridgechurch.org


U3A Seniors Expoist at HumeRidge Church of Chr 18th August 9am – 4.30pm

$3

Senior Pastor Dale White 0419 756 469 Pastor – Evangelism Neale Proellocks 0419 737 950 Pastor – Congregational Care Tim Smith 0438 350 376 Student Minister/Ministry Support Natalie Tucker 0409 393 439

aturity

Membership & M

Sunday 2–5pm 22nd August

Careforce Lifekeys & Pathways Jack Kamst 0434 729 115 Pastor – Youth Ross Savill 0411 201 227 Youth Worker Elicia Wuersching 0402 158 700

ns

Ministry & Missio

Sunday 2–5pm 29th August

Children’s Ministry Chris England 0413 580 012 Zara England 0401 948 860

Dalby

Rally Day

August 25

Music Ministry Brendon Walmsley 0419 654 548 Minister Emeritus Bruce Armstrong 4635 9885 Youth Turn (House 469) 4636 2981 Graham Storey 0431 268 065

T ransformed Magazine submissions and enquiries email: humemag@humeridgechurch.org

10am at HumeRidge

Colin Buchannan 21st September

christianity

explained

Searching for answers about life and God?

PHONE 07 4635 0350 FAX 07 4635 4674 EMAIL admin@humeridgechurch.org WEBSITE www.humeridgechurch.org ADDRESS 461 - 469 Hume Street Toowoomba Qld 4350 PO Box 7564 Toowoomba South Q 4350 OFFICE HOURS 8:30am - 4:30pm Monday - Friday

journey Join us for a six week ained”. pl Ex through “Christianity b, Maryanne or Contact Denise & Bo urch office to ch r ou h ug Neale thro time to meet. t arrange a convenien

Editorial by Natalie Tucker Graphic Design by Kristy Fielder { www.blackcanvas.com.au }


All are precious!


Transformed Magazine - Seasons 2010 Edition