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“Words are seeds. Sow a seed in your garden and watch a plant come up! Sow words in your mind. Same thing!” PHIL PRINGLE PAGE 12 >>


“Is there ever a right time to say goodbye to someone you love? Ever the depth of words that express the ache your heart is feeling? Or the numbness that pervades your whole being?” HEATHER LOVELL PAGE 13>>

7 Street to chaplain Tina is now a chaplain after being homeless at one stage in her youth >>

8 The Baptist story

Photo: BCWA

An insight into the growth and diversity of the Baptist Church >>

Pastors and chaplains from across West Australian Baptist churches made up part of the 120-strong Green Team volunteers at Leavers 2017.

Green Team’s impact Leavers 2017 was a record setter. Record numbers of school leavers attended each evening and over 120 volunteers from across the community and Baptist churches served on the Leavers Green Team. “It was great to see Baptist churches from Western Australia support the leavers and be a part of this amazing ministry by not only promoting Leavers, but by the pastors rolling their sleeves up and getting involved,” Baptist Churches Western Australia Event Coordinator Jess Ford said. “We had so many volunteers step out of their comfort zone and join the Green Team, not sure of

what they will be getting into and what to expect, but stepped out in faith wanting be a difference in this broken world.” Mount Pleasant Baptist Church member Carl Hough volunteered with Green Team and shared his story with The Advocate. “Before I attended Leavers I had been off work for several months with a back injury. I was feeling lost, unworthy and without purpose.” “Over the months a thought had crossed my mind about youth work but I had brushed it off as it was completely opposite to what I had been doing for the past 27 years.” “I was sitting in church and they were looking for volunteers to serve on the Green Team. I decided to help.” “At the induction night, a previous volunteer spoke, she had

been last year and said it was a life-changing experience for her. This gave me some hope.” “Arriving down south I was amazed at the kids and volunteers. Having raised three beautiful children of my own with my wife, we have experienced the teen years.” “I was surprised at how easy it was to connect with them, not being my own children they seemed to relate to me differently.” “I didn’t experience the normal ‘yeah, sure dad look’. I was the ‘other person’ in a young person’s life who had an opportunity to encourage and influence them.” “It was so great to be able to help them, they were so thankful, and they were blown away that we were there because we wanted to be, and not because we were being paid.”

“I think they felt safe knowing that we were there caring for them.” “Over the week I had a warm love feeling in my heart (a feeling I had only experienced once before when I was married), and I now know that it was the Holy Spirit.” “I started feeling alive and that I had a purpose. I had some great encouragement from other Leaver volunteers who spoke into my heart.” “It was such a blessing and a privilege to serve God in this way.” “For anyone interested it is absolutely worth doing, it was so well run and organised. Green Team is a beacon of light in the darkness.” “Volunteering at Leavers for me was a life-changing event, to the point that I am being baptised and changing my whole career. It was an amazing experience!”

10 Persecuted church What the Australian Church can learn from the persecuted Church >>

Committed to being honest, transparent and above reproach. BAPTIST CHURCHES WESTERN AUSTRALIA


my view FEBRUARY 2018

Power, love and the power of love The church I am part of has two congregations. The first started on Pentecost Sunday 20 years ago, the other, on Valentine’s Day 2016. Suggestive, isn’t it?

Dr Brian Harris Dr Brian Harris is the Principal of Vose Seminary and Pastor at Large for the Carey Movement.

Starting a church on Pentecost Sunday makes its own statement. Pentecost is the day the first church started. The resurrected Jesus about to return to His Father, instructs the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit empowers them. Put yourself in their position. How did that waiting period feel? Did they know what to expect? The instructions were a tad vague. If you’re one of those who likes every detail sorted in advance, you would have found it deeply unsatisfactory.

Their waiting was rewarded. The Holy Spirit arrives and those early believers found they were able to reach people in a way that had been impossible before. There were thousands of converts. It represented exponential growth for the church. After Pentecost, there was no turning back. Starting a new congregation on Valentine’s Day was novel. Truth to tell, Sunday 14 February 2016 just happened to be a convenient Sunday for a launch. Disappointing romantics that we are, most of

us didn’t realise the significance of the choice until it was on us. But having stumbled upon it, we decided it was a God thing – a little reminder that without love, we amount to nothing. While Valentine’s Day is remembered for love and romance, it is alleged that the actual St Valentine was beheaded on 14 February 269 for trying to convert the Roman Emperor, Claudius II. A bold move, albeit that it didn’t come off. So a church birthed on Valentine’s Day should presumably be loving,

courageous – perhaps even a little reckless. So there you have it. One church birthed on a day that reminds us of power, the other on a day about love. How would it be if we combined the two and prayed that God would give every church the power to love – and to do that courageously, perhaps even recklessly? And could it be that God wants to answer that prayer through you and me?

Invisible followers of Jesus We recently celebrated Christmas. Did you reflect on how much change the babe Jesus and His family faced in those early months and years of His life?

Sue Ash Sue Ash is the Professional Standards Officer for Baptist Churches Western Australia.

Jesus faced these changes in a family group, but later in His life, He did adult life without a life partner. What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus without a life partner? Having finished full-time work in mid-2017, I have had time to do things I’ve not done for a long time. I have had the privilege of talking with many people in our churches who are doing life without a life partner. What an amazing bunch of people they are. Individuals who give generously, serve faithfully, travel broadly and many work hard

in difficult and challenging jobs. Some are bringing up children and grandchildren as sole parents while others are caring for elderly parents and sadly, some are losing their life partner through the impact of dementia. Each one of them is doing life without the encouragement and support of a life partner. Yet as I’ve listened to their stories, almost every person has told me that they feel invisible in our churches. They are included in public gatherings but left out of the more intimate couple

focused social events. And it has been easier to find employment in secular, mission or faith-based organisations than within our local congregations. I have been left with a troubling question. What would our churches look like if the men and women who are doing life without a life partner were visible, known and fully engaged in the life of our congregations? Jesus had regular contact with His family. Yet, His radical message for the society in which He lived and for us today, is that our kin are

not just those we are related to but ‘whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother’ [Mark 3:35]. The challenge for the church today, especially in a world where more and more followers of Jesus are living alone, is to ensure that there are no invisible ones.

In defence of work I often find it interesting that if we spend a lot of time and energy on being a great mate, a better spouse, or serving in church, we’re usually met with approval – even praise. Yet smash a few massive weeks out at work, and others start wondering if we have our priorities in order.

Scott Ingram Scott Ingram is the Director of Helium Digital Marketing and attends Church at the Stadium in Warwick.

The term ‘work-life balance’ has only been tossed around liberally over the last couple of decades, as Western society in particular started placing a greater emphasis on psychological and relational wellbeing. And rightly so. However, sometimes I wonder if we have swung a bit too far the other way. As Christians, are we just a tad too quick to put long working hours in the naughty corner? Sometimes

it feels as though our work life exists separately from our spiritual life, but we know that is just not the case. To achieve something significant and meaningful takes putting in equivalent extra physical and mental energy. I would suggest that just as there are times for rest, there are also seasons for tremendous hard work. A hard day’s work builds character and creates opportunity to share resources with family,

friends and those who need it more than us. These are the days I’m most grateful for as these are the days I’ve had the opportunity to be a good and faithful servant. As a teenager, I remember hearing the Parable of the Talents, and feeling convicted that one day I would be held to account for what I have done with what I have been given. I often think of the proverb, ‘the wise youth harvests in the summer’. It is not a cherrypicked

verse: Proverbs are filled with wisdom on the value of hard, wise, diligent, honest work versus being slack and lazy. It makes me think, isn’t it just a bit ungrateful for the provision of work – whether from God, an employer or a client – to count every minute and put in the bare minimum? I understand that life has seasons and in 30 years I might feel very differently. Stewardship and discipleship means bringing the best I have to everything I do – and at the moment, that means back to work!

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Loving through safe churches

“There more than 250 baptisms in the past 12 months and more than 6,000 members, and that doesn’t include the extended reach that each church has through its unique, God-given ministries,” Baptist Churches Western Australia Church Health Pastor Jackie Smoker shared. “Add aged care, schools, child care, community centres, sports venues, and all those whom churches serve, as well as all of the workplaces, schools, homes, shopping centres, sports and leisure clubs that each of the almost 20,000 attend, that is a significant number of people that 122 churches can influence on a day-to-day basis.” “Some might say that Baptist churches in Western Australia ‘punch above their weight’.” “What an amazing opportunity God has given Baptist churches: to make every effort to steward resources, time, and gifts to see people say ‘yes’ to Jesus!”

Providing an appropriate response to the survivors of abuse will be critical to the opportunity for survivors to heal and to move closer to Jesus and His Church.

“Whilst this is very exciting, there are also many challenges to be faced.” “Statistics reveal that one in four to five children will have been sexually abused. It will take anywhere between seven and 20 years for them to tell anyone – if they ever tell,” Jackie said. Jackie shared that the Royal Commission is a stark reminder of the reality of the silence that has surrounded childhood sexual abuse, as are the recent revelations of widespread sexual harassment. “Regardless of statistics – one person is one person too many,” Jackie said.

“In the past 12 months, the church and society at large, has been faced with the reality of widespread abuses, sexual abuse and harassment, domestic violence and issues around gender, sexuality and identity.” “The need for change cannot be ignored, and neither can the place of the church in being agents of healing, restoration and hope.” “If the church is fulfilling its calling – then our churches will be full of people needing to experience God’s ongoing love through Christ.” For over nine years, BCWA has recommended and offered Safe Church support to churches. In that time more than 3,100 people from 90 churches have participated in 170 workshops. Yet awareness training is only one part of being the church that God created. “Safe Church is not about numbers, or compliance – it is about people – loving people because God loves all people: the lost, the hurt, the lonely, the vulnerable – and yes, the sinner and the sinned against,” Jackie added. “This is the ‘why’ of Safe Church: ‘God’s love for all people’. Take away love and, as 1 Corinthians 13 states, all that is left is a lot of noise.” To assist churches develop and maintain environments where people can safely flourish in faith, BCWA has appointed two new staff in the area of Safe Church: Sue Ash, Professional Standards Officer, and Pastor Dan McGrechan, Safe Church Educator. Together with Pastor Mike Bullard and Pastor Jackie Smoker, the Safe Church team is committed to empowering churches to be preventative and responsive, to make Safe Church a priority whilst continuing to reach out beyond the 21,000 who currently call a Baptist church their home. “Providing an appropriate response to the survivors of abuse will be critical to the opportunity for survivors to heal and to move closer to Jesus and His Church,” Jackie said. “After all, the local church is the hope of the world, and we need to say ‘yes’ to repentance when we have done wrong, to say ‘yes’ to reparation for suffering, and we pray that survivors might say ‘yes’ to reconciliation with Jesus and His Church.”

Photo: Jackie Smoker

On any given weekend 11,800 people gather together to worship in a Baptist church in Western Australia. Recent Baptist Churches Western Australia (BCWA) statistical returns inform that almost 20,000 people call a BCWA Baptist church home.

Safe Church team members Dan McGrechan and Sue Ash preparing for the year ahead.

Imagine if you had some help at home? Making it easier for you to stay independent and connected to your community. With Baptistcare’s tailored At Home Services, you can design an individual package with your choice of supports. Choose from our flexible support services for your needs and goals including: • Personal services – Assistance with dressing, bathing, showering, mobility, medication, social support and more. • Wellness options – Co-ordination of occupational therapy, physiotherapy, assistive technology, complementary therapies and more. • Home assistance – Cleaning, gardening, shopping, meal preparation, transport and more. Services are available in the Perth metro, South West, Great Southern and Wheatbelt regions through home care packages, private arrangement or Veterans’ Home Care. For more information about how we can assist you, please contact our experienced and friendly team.

1300 660 640 baptistcare.com.au

Baptistcare is one of WA’s largest not-for-profit aged care and community services providers, supporting communities for more than 45 years.


news FEBRUARY 2018

Ending seniors’ social isolation Social isolation among our elderly is more prevalent in our communities than is widely thought. Recently, Federal Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt expressed concern over reports that 40 percent of aged care residents do not receive any visitors.

For more information about volunteering with Baptistcare, visit www.baptistcare.com.au/ volunteering

Photo: Baptistcare

they continue to be involved in our society and have purpose and belonging,” Russell said. “There is potential for the Baptist community to work together to ensure individuals are connected in our society, particularly crucial for a generation for whom face-to-face interaction is of great importance.” “Bringing elderly people in through social programs or going out to them in the community is key.” “We hope to be able to partner with churches and other Baptist groups through volunteer programs to reach out to older people, so they know they are cared for and not alone.”

Baptistcare volunteer Donna Opie (left) with aged care resident Lens.

Author – Linda Lee

New life for Salter Point development

Photo: Baptistcare

Common reasons for elderly people not having friends or family who come to visit include not having family living nearby, or having disconnected social networks resulting from moving to a new area later in life due to a variety of circumstances. Similarly, their family members may be elderly themselves or have other commitments which makes them unable to visit. Aged care provider Baptistcare has been working to break down these barriers and optimise the quality of life for people living in its residential care facilities and those in the wider community who may face loneliness and social isolation. Emphasis is placed on its volunteer programs to bring in local community members who provide valuable social interaction with residents. Volunteers play the vital role of forming bonds with the residents through socialising, assisting with recreational activities, playgroups and school visits. Their visits are highly anticipated and help to enhance the residents’ wellbeing. For the past 23 years, Baptistcare has also been an active participant in the Federal government’s Community Visitors Scheme (CVS), a program which facilitates regular one-on-one visits from community volunteers to residents at facilities run by aged care providers in addition to Baptistcare. Baptistcare Community Visitors Scheme Coordinator Kerry Kenny, supervises 80 volunteers who visit residents at 28 residential care facilities across Perth each week. She works closely with volunteer groups and a network of CVS coordinators in the metro region to identify opportunities to connect people. “We bring together volunteer visitors and residents who we believe may have a good connection and rapport,” Kerry said. “It’s making a real difference and promoting important community links. Many wonderful friendships have evolved through the program.” Baptistcare CEO Russell Bricknell explained that Baptistcare’s contribution through these initiatives is part of its social conscience to support the community and show compassion for those who may otherwise be isolated. “It’s vital for all of us to intentionally engage with older members of our communities. We need to do our part to ensure

Baptistcare’s CEO Russell Bricknell and Executive General Manager At Home Services Deb Patterson at the site of Samuel Millar Court.

A block of Salter Point retirement living units named in honour of the late Baptist minister Rev. Samuel Millar (1911-1981) will be redeveloped into modern retirement accommodation for the community. Baptistcare’s Samuel Millar Court was previously home to a bustling retirement community for over 25 years. Rev. Millar was ordained in 1938 at Fremantle Baptist Church and served in a number of churches in Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne. He was President of the Baptist Union of WA (now Baptist Churches Western

Australia) from 1966 to 1967 and chaplain at Baptistcare Gracewood residential care in Salter Point until the year of his passing in 1981. “We acknowledge Rev. Millar’s significant contribution and service to the Baptist community, as well as the heritage of these units, which form an important part of

Baptistcare’s history,” Baptistcare CEO Russell Bricknell said. The buildings have been cleared for a new retirement living development with planning, design and development approval work to be completed over the next 12 to 18 months. Construction is scheduled to commence in late 2019 with completion in early 2021. The development will provide additional accommodation adjacent to Baptistcare Riverside in Salter Point. Future residents will benefit from independent living units and full access to

existing Baptistcare Riverside facilities, including a bowling green, barbecue area, indoor pool, gym and theatre room. “This is an exciting time. We are looking forward to the new village connecting with and bringing an even greater sense of community to our popular Baptistcare Riverside retirement living precinct,” Russell said. For more information about Baptistcare’s retirement living, visit www.baptistcare.com.au Author – Linda Lee




College farewells principal Dawn was appointed the next Principal of Presbyterian Ladies College, Melbourne, and commenced in January 2018. “It is very clear that Dawn has a deep affection for Lake Joondalup Baptist College and its wider community, and her decision to move to Melbourne has come after a great deal of personal prayer and careful consideration,” Acting Principal Penelope Houghton said. “Her appointment as Principal of Presbyterian Ladies College truly reflects her excellent standing within the education community and on her time at Lake Joondalup.” “We know that Dawn will do wonderful things in her new position, whilst continuing to advocate strongly for Christian principles and values.” “Dawn’s effective and humble leadership together with her energy, vision and compassionate heart have made a positive and lasting impact on the students, families and staff of Lake Joondalup Baptist College.” According to Penelope under Dawn’s leadership, the College

has gone from strength to strength and is now considered a school that fosters excellence, but also one that stands as an educational flagship in the northern corridor of Perth. The strong academic results and growth in student numbers over recent years are testament to the work done by a committed team under her management and guidance. These outcomes are indicative of the strong Christian foundations of Lake Joondalup Baptist College (LJBC)to which she has been firmly committed, particularly the core values of ‘Wisdom, Justice and Mercy’. Following Dawn’s appointment in 2011 as Dean of Curriculum, it was soon recognised that her passion for excellence and thoroughness in educational delivery were exactly what LJBC needed in a new Principal and she was appointed to that role in 2012. As Principal of LJBC, Dawn very quickly established a strategic plan to enhance the College in every way. It encompassed major facility

Photo: Tony Fisher

After five years of inspirational leadership in her role as College Principal, the community of Lake Joondalup Baptist College farewelled Mrs Dawn Clements at the end of 2017.

Lake Joondalup Baptist College bids farewell to Mrs Dawn Clements.

improvements, such as upper primary classrooms and sports centre, to curriculum development and standards. “More importantly, Dawn has also ensured a precious nurturing of students’ characters, encouraging and developing

Dr Kok joins Vose During 2017, Vose Seminary undertook a global search for a New Testament lecturer. Now accepted by Canadian scholar, theologian and lecturer Dr Michael Kok, who arrived in Perth in January.

Dr Kok completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Alberta, Canada, followed by doctoral studies at the University of Sheffield in the UK. As a scholar, his particular interest was in the reception and formation of the Gospels. Already well-published, Dr Kok’s most recent publication is The Beloved Apostle?: The Transformation of the Apostle John into the Fourth Evangelist.

Photo: Michael Kok

seven outstanding years of service, and congratulates her on her new appointment. We wish her well for the future.”

End-of-life options for all Vose Seminary Principal Dr Brian Harris told The Advocate that Michael has a passion for teaching Greek, and is looking forward to entering into his new role, as he is invigorated by spending time with students, and the teaching and learning journey.”

As a scholar, his particular interest was in the reception and formation of the Gospels. “Having met Michael while he was in Perth during August 2017, the faculty and staff are very excited that he will be joining the team.” “Michael will bring a wonderful depth to our New Testament area in a variety of ways,” Dr Harris said.

Dr Michael Kok joined the Vose faculty at the commencement of 2018.

them to see beyond themselves and therefore to the difference they can make in the lives of others,” Penelope added. “While we are sad to see her leave LJBC, the College community thanks Dawn for her tireless, visionary leadership and

Author – Cate Vose

According to the Australian Christian Lobby, the Victorian Government crossed an ethical line, embracing a culture of death by passing the dangerous assisted suicide bill in the Legislative Council in November. “Many Victorians will be disappointed that the Parliament was not able or willing to adequately address the deficiency in palliative care … instead pushing their agenda that it’s okay to prematurely end lives,” Australian Christian Lobby Victorian Director Dan Flynn commented. “The Government has shown disregard for the terminally ill by deeming their lives ‘not worth living’ if they chose to ‘end it all’.” In Western Australia, a Joint Select Committee is currently investigating endof-life choices, with a report to be issued before August on the need for laws to allow WA citizens to make informed decisions regarding their own end-of-life choices. The Western Australia Heads of Churches met with Premier Mark McGowan in December 2017 and shared their

concerns regarding possible changes to legislation. “This valuing of human beings as equal has clear implications for our thinking in regard to euthanasia,” Heads of Churches Secretary Matthew Chapman said. “Patients in a persistent vegetative state, although seriously damaged, remain living human beings, and so their intrinsic value remains the same as anyone else’s. Conversely, patients who are old or sick, and who are near the end of earthly life should be valued equally.” “We believe it would be wrong to treat their lives as worthless and to conclude that they ‘would be better off dead’ through euthanasia.”


news FEBRUARY 2018

Christians connect at Kennedy Kennedy Baptist College Chaplain Pauline Burgess said that it began by speaking with the students, and asking them what they wanted from a Christian group. “Their response was that they wanted a place where they felt safe and part of a community. They also wanted to be involved in leading the group and to have members of staff involved,” she said. “Finally, they wanted to tease out some of the big questions without fear, but also to be challenged in their own journey.” The formation of the Christian Connect group was the outcome. During 2017 the group had an eclectic mix of staff led worship sessions, student led devotions, Youth With A Mission presentations, as well as input from various local churches, such as Lakeside Baptist Church, North Lake; Nations Church, Myaree; and Capital Youth, from Life Chapel in Cockburn. Year 11 student Joseph PetrusKasim shared that, “Having the group has helped me anchor myself within the school.” Christian Connect has been such a success that two groups will run this year. Planning by the students has already taken place.

Pauline said their enthusiasm in being given more ownership and involvement was obvious as they took part in brainstorming sessions, booked student led prayer meetings, planned worship sessions involving both students and staff, and outlined devotion themes. These are all within a mission vision that relates to both the local and international community work the College undertakes. “What started with six students in March 2016 has grown into a gathering that is now desiring to make an impact not only within Kennedy Baptist College and our local community, but also other nations.” “With the support of the School Executive, Board and the continued blessing of God, students are exploring what it is to be challenged and excel in their journey with God and be ready to take this preparation into all of the good works that God has planned for them,” Pauline concluded.

Photo: Pauline Burgess

Many of the students at Kennedy Baptist College would identify as non-Church goers. Yet each week between 50 and 70 students give up their lunchtime to attend the Christian Connect group.

Students at Kennedy Baptist College find a common connection in Christ.

Speaking out for a world made right

Kennedy Baptist College is situated in Perth’s southern corridor with 1,200 students in Years 7 to 12. Author – Linda Ang

digital church 04/01/18


ronedmondson.com There is more to this life than the world we know today … Jesus said to “store up treasures in heaven”. Whenever possible, I challenge you to consider the eternal consequences of the decisions, investments, and actions of your life.

twitter.com/craiggroeschel How do we grow in boldness for Christ? By spending time with Him!

Ron Edmondson


Chase Kuhn sydneyanglicans.net/blogs In the face of grief, we may find ourselves doubting that Jesus is indeed the resurrection and the life … But this, again, is where we must cling to our anchor: we remember the promises of the Scriptures. We do not waver from them.


JD Greear jdgreear.com We can’t force God to answer our prayers. But I can guarantee this: He’s not going to answer your prayers if you aren’t praying them.

Craig Groeschel


Brian Croft practicalshepherding.com There are many reasons sleep is good for the soul, but here’s an important one. Sleep forces [us] to let go of the daily burdens and trust Jesus. When we desire to control our lives, it is hard to let go of that. All sleep does for the Christian is it reminds us we are truly not in control.


Kyle Idleman twitter.com/KyleIdleman Anger does damage spiritually. Ephesians talks about not sinning in our anger and getting rid of bitterness, we’re warned, ‘Do not grieve the Holy Spirit’ [Ephesians 4:30]. Why would the Holy Spirit be grieved because of anger in our hearts? Because our hearts are His home.

The 2018 Baptist World Aid Australia Catalyst Launch will take place in February.

Baptist World Aid Australia representatives will be in Perth on Saturday 17 February, for the 2018 Catalyst Launch. “Catalyst is a grassroots advocacy program that equips individuals and churches to speak up for the kind of world that God wants – a world free from poverty and exploitation,” Baptist World Aid Australia Catalyst Manager Eliza Johnson said. “Catalyst groups meet regularly to learn and pray about issues of global justice, but, importantly, they also act.” There are currently about 60 Catalyst groups in churches across Australia.

“I am constantly inspired by the creative ways they find to raise awareness about issues of injustice in their communities, from movie nights to clothes swaps,” Eliza said. “And Catalyst groups are making a real difference.” “Over the last few years we’ve seen Woolworths and Coles commit to stocking more ethically certified Easter eggs.” “We’ve also seen our Government make huge progress on enacting a Modern Slavery Act in Australia – something we’ve been campaigning hard for,” she said. In the year ahead, Catalyst groups will campaign on the issue of modern slavery in supply chains and take part in the Australian Baptist Church’s national domestic violence campaign.

The theme for 2018 is Redeemed Relationships, for a World Made Right. “Catalyst members will use their voices to stand alongside people who are victims of injustice, as we work with God to bring about a world made right,” Eliza said. The Catalyst Launch will be held at North Beach Baptist Church on Saturday 17 February, from 3pm. All are welcome to attend. For more information and to register, visit baptistworldaid. org.au/catalyst-launch-2018 Author – Samara Linehan




From the street to chaplaincy Even within church circles, many people don’t understand what a chaplain is or what they do. But kids don’t forget kindness. At a recent trip to the shops, Tina bumped into a former student when she was a chaplain at a primary school. The 14 year old was heavily pregnant. “She didn’t know who the father was, but she remembered me,” Tina said. “I remembered she had difficulty reading so I asked how that was going.” “I reminded her that it was important to improve – for the sake of her baby.” “She said I hadn’t changed at all. I told her: ‘I’m the same chaplain you had in school and I will always care.’”

Meeting the physical needs of the children was the first priority.

Photo: YouthCARE

For YouthCARE chaplain Fa’atina (Tina) Ma’a, a religious upbringing did not provide much clarification on the subject. “I used to think a chaplain was like the old guy in the TV show M*A*S*H,” she said with a laugh. For the last six years, Tina has served schools in Perth’s southern suburbs and freely admits that the role was not what she initially expected. “I worked at two schools which were only seven minutes apart, but were worlds apart in a cultural sense. In one school, kids would worry about having their iPad confiscated by a parent, while in the other, I would have kids come to me hungry and barely clothed.” “You just never think that things could be that bad. I’d ask the student, ‘why aren’t you in school uniform?’ and they’d say ‘the police turned up at 2am, raided our house – so we moved to Aunty’s house and we don’t have our school uniform, shoes or our bags’.” “Sadly, this sort of scenario is a familiar event for many children.” Some of these kids are exposed to some pretty heavy stuff,” she said. “In my time, I can remember at least four different instances where students were homeless due to a drug lab in their house exploding. In one case this resulted in both parents going straight to prison.” Meeting the physical needs of the children was the first priority. Tina would make sure the kids were fed, clothed and had someone to talk to. “If we didn’t have what we needed to do that, I would call local churches like Life City Church for help. I would call and ask for clothes or food – or get what is needed from an op-shop.” Even if they moved away from the area, families would try to keep their kids at the same school. “We really care and the kids can tell,” Tina said. “The one consistency was that the children felt safe with me and the staff at the school. When something would happen, I would be the one who got the call.” “If I saw one of my students on the street late at night, I would put on my high beams and make sure they got home safe.” “I’d put on my ‘aunties hat’ and ask them if their parents knew they were out. They weren’t used to someone caring.” “For many, they could leave their home and do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted from a very young age. I’d tell them that I’d better see them at school tomorrow! For me to be caring for them, it ‘weirded’ them out. They’d ask me: ‘why do you care?’”

YouthCARE Chaplain Fa’atina Ma’a shares her journey on being a chaplain with YouthCARE.

Tina was born in Wellington and has Chinese, Tongan and Samoan ancestry. Her name – Fa’atina – means ‘to cause pain’. “I’ve always preferred to be called Tina, but my sister pointed out to me that pain is sometimes needed.” “She said that often I’m the only one prepared to tell the harsh truth to kids who need to hear it.” The 38 year old speaks from experience, and having been homeless at one stage in her youth, can really empathise with those going through tough times. “I was homeless in Sydney for 18 months in my 20s,” Tina said. “As a Kiwi in Australia I was not eligible for benefits and so I had to sleep in doorways, shelters or ‘couch surfed’.” “My family had cut me off and I was too proud to ask them for help. I definitely see myself in some of those kids, especially the angry ones.” Fortunately, a local church helped get Tina back on her feet. Fast-forward nine years and Tina is happily married and loving her life as a chaplain. Whether it is drugs, absent parents through FIFO or even family trouble over a winning Lotto ticket, Tina will always be there for her students. “Being a chaplain is very rewarding and no two days are the same.” There is a personal and emotional price in this job, but I love what I do,” Tina concluded. Author – Josh del Pino

briefs Baptisms In obedience to the God she has been following for many years, Robyn Losinski was baptised at the Golden Bay Beach on 8 October 2017.

Accreditation of pastors On Saturday 28 October, the following pastors were recognised as being Accredited Persons in Ministry by Baptist Churches Western Australia (BCWA): Pastor Andrew Binns, Pastor Ann Clews, Pastor Bassam Abou Haidar, Pastor Ian Hewson, Pastor Daniel McGrechan, Pastor Grant Moore, Pastor Dinh Nguyen, Pastor Benjamin O’Reilly, Pastor Bradley Vigus and Pastor Kirsty Wager. Pastor Len van Aarde was presented to the BCWA Assembly having been accepted as an Accredited Person in Ministry through transfer of his accreditation from South Africa.

Pastoral changes Pastor Adrian Buggs concluded as the Senior Pastor at Karratha Baptist Church. Pastor Joseph Chang has concluded as the Youth and Young Adults Pastor at Riverton Baptist Community Church. Pastor Paul Dean-Smith has been

appointed as Pastor of Pingelly Baptist Church. Pastor Rick Fletcher has concluded as Associate Student Pastor at Margaret River Baptist Church. Pastor Jason Hemsley has been appointed as the new Senior Pastor of Yokine Baptist Church. Pastor James Middleton has concluded at Craigie Baptist Church. Pastor Bruce Miller has concluded as the Associate Pastor at Gosnells Baptist Church and will become the Pastoral Care Pastor at North Beach Baptist Church. Pastor Stephen Nosworthy has concluded as the Senior Pastor of Lake Joondalup Baptist Church. Pastor Adam Snell has been appointed as Sole Pastor at Coastal Community Church.

Pastor Josh Thomas has been appointed Associate Pastor at Lesmurdie Baptist Church. Pastor Baren Van Heerden has been appointed as a Pastor at Beaumaris Baptist Church. Pastors David and Kirsty Wager have concluded at Collie Baptist Church and have commenced at Kununurra. Pastor Danny Wocjik has been appointed as Sole Pastor at Dalwallinu Baptist Church. Pastor Garth Wootton has concluded as the Interim Pastor at Kununurra.

Vale Founding member of Riverton Baptist Community Church Les Coulson passed away in November aged 94. Les is survived by his wife of 70 years, Joan.

Youth Worker

Eaton Baptist Church is seeking expressions of interest in a 2 day a week (16hr) Youth Worker role focussed on the discipleship of high school age teens. If you are interested in more details, contact Gary or Ryan on9725 1793 or office@eatonbaptistchurch.com.au


feature FEBRUARY 2018

The Baptist Churches Western Australia was formed in 1896 by four West Australian Baptist churches that united together in order to engage more effectively in overseas missions. These churches consisted mainly of Baptists who had migrated to Western Australia from the eastern state colonies as a result of the newfound prosperity from the Kalgoorlie gold rushes.

Asia Pacific Baptist Federation 33,000 churches 21 countries 59 conventions 5,972,668 members

Baptists Our story so far Our Baptist churches have seen a steady growth over the last 100-plus years to more than 120 churches and congregations. We act as the glue that links the individual Baptist congregations and ministries together by delivering services that help build healthy churches. By uniting together, individual churches can assist one another to be more effective in reaching Western Australia (and beyond) with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Baptists of today are a diverse group of people from all walks of life, with a wide range of interests and spread not only throughout Western Australia, but the world. We recognise that everyone is on their own spiritual journey. As followers of Jesus Christ we want everything we do to stem from a commitment to serve our communities together and make an impact for Jesus Christ as we help others on their journey. Across WA, there are over 10,000 people that attend weekly services, and we minister to over 56,000 people each year in our ministries, schools and camp sites. Around the world there is well over 100 million people who belong to a Baptist community. Together, through our vision of being ‘An empowering movement helping pastors, ministries, churches and their communities say “Yes” to Jesus’, we are striving to become the kind of churches described in the Bible, where there is relevant teaching, heartfelt worship, honest relationships, constant prayer and compassionate care for those in need.


1,200 SportsFest 7,000 Leavers 750 Fresh


14 aged care residential facilities 9 retirement villages 1,568 staff 250 volunteers 1,400 people served 1,014,000 meals per year

feature FEBRUARY 2018


122 churches and unique congregations 32 cross-cultural and Indigenous churches 20 BCWA Ministry Centre staff 17 Vose staff 28 camping staff 10,687 average Sunday attendance 6,227 total church membership 250 total baptisms 157 services each week 19,303 total community that Baptist churches in WA minister to


15,000 campers per year 112,500 meals per year



197 students engaged with each year 44,000 library books

Baptist World Alliance 124 countries and territories 238 member bodies 47,976,960 members

Baptist schools 12 schools 8,448 students 670 teachers 341 non-teaching staff

100,000,000+ Baptists worldwide


10 growth FEBRUARY 2018

Photo: Open Doors Australia

Learning from the persecuted

A destroyed church in liberated Bartella, Iraq – one of the many churches that have suffered persecution.

“We [celebrate Easter] knowing that at any time a suicide bomber can come and disrupt our service, our worship, our praying. Then I think: Will it really be disrupted or will I be sent into the fullness of worship?” a mother of two who previously was Muslim and now celebrating Jesus at Easter said. The Australian Church is undoubtedly blessed by not having this problem. Our situation could not be more different than for those in Pakistan. In the Open Doors World Watch List 2018 Pakistan ranked as the fifth hardest country to live as a Christian. It is the most violent place for believers. Most of us in Australia, live in a period where we don’t have to attend church wondering “will I go home afterwards?” For many, myself included, the concern can occasionally be the opposite: “What time will I get to go home?” That attitude is also a problem. One of the biggest threats to the church in the West and in Australia, is a lukewarm attitude. Only once is this talked about in the Bible where Jesus says, ‘I am about to spit you out of my mouth’ [Revelation 3:16]. A lukewarm attitude isn’t initially embraced within church, but without us even knowing it, that attitude can begin to grow over time. Like a weed, if it is not pulled out, it has the ability to choke the good roots and destroy what was planted in the beginning. So what are some ways we can avoid being lukewarm? Well to start with, the answer is not persecution. Persecution does not guarantee a passionate, sold out church. There have been

many persecuted Christians who walked away when the pressure got too hard to continue following Jesus, just like in our own churches. But those who continue to hold onto Christ above all else, have a few things in common that we in Australia can do as well. In a changing climate of Christianity, where the tide may be beginning to turn, we can take the opportunity to learn from the persecuted church now. The first thing these brothers and sisters have is a robust prayer life. In many of the churches I visit I ask this question: Do you pray more in the good times or when you have a problem? Every time people say it’s when they have a problem. For Christians in persecution, they are often facing nothing but problems. But those who also have a glorious and inexpressible joy in persecution, as Peter describes it in 1 Peter 1:8, these are the brothers and sisters who have a strong prayer life. There is no shortage of commentaries and articles that talk about our ability to come to God with any problem as witnessed time and time again in the Psalms. We do not have to pray always with utmost thanks or hide our true thoughts. God knows our hearts regardless and as we talk with Him more and

more our relationship grows and our faith is strengthened. The second thing our brothers and sisters have is a deep love and respect for God’s Word. While I was meeting with some ministry partners in Central Asia, in countries all ranked very highly on the World Watch List, I was struck time and time again as they said, ‘it is written’ before quoting a passage of Scripture. For these believers memorising large parts of the Bible to have on call at any moment was totally normal. It puts me to shame but it is something infinitely more accessible for us in Australia to achieve. Unlike in Central Asia we have no restrictions on accessing Bibles or other Christian literature. Memorising God’s promises and having His truths ready to recall is better than any reflex. How can we have a deep love or trust of a God we do not know? Memorising the Bible will mean that any reminder we ever need of how great God is or how amazing His promises, they are always at hand. The final thing that keeps Christians from falling away in persecution and keeps us from getting lukewarm is making disciples. Saudi Arabia is the 12th hardest country to live in as a

Christian and Christians are forced to keep their faith a complete secret. A believer in Saudi Arabia said, “It is unnatural – maybe even wrong – to keep one’s love for Jesus entirely to oneself. I cannot tell my wife. Or my children. Or my parents. I found Christ in a dream, and only He knows I follow Him. But I have to, or I’m dead.” We are called to discipleship to make disciples. It is as true for Christians in Australia as any other country. If we share our faith regularly we are relying on the work of the Holy Spirit in us and others and so trusting God. Having a strong prayer life, a deep abiding love for His Word and making disciples are all common disciplines of the persecuted Church that can have

a profound impact on our faith. Our churches in Australia are in a time of change. 2017 saw some big challenges for the Church and in the next few years it is likely more will follow. Now is a good opportunity to look to those who not just stand under persecution but thrive and learn what keeps their affections for God new. Author – Tim Reid Tim Reid is a passionate follower of Jesus, a Church Engagement Manager for Open Doors and pathetic lover of romance films. He has travelled to meet with persecuted brothers and sisters around the world and works to share their stories in churches.

World Watch List 2018 Country Rank North Korea


Afghanistan 2 Somalia 3 Sudan 4 Pakistan 5 Eritrea 6 Libya 7 Iraq 8 Yemen 9 Iran 10

news 11 FEBRUARY 2018

300 million Bible installs The YouVersion Bible App, a free application for smartphones and tablets, has reached the 300 million installs mark. Looking back, 2017 has proven to be a very fruitful year for the Bible in the digital realm.

In recent years, technology has made it possible to accelerate Bible translation like never before.

Photo: YouVersion

more, so we spend a lot of time thinking about how to help make it easier for them to do what they want to do,” Gruenewald said. The Bible verse that was shared, bookmarked, and highlighted most often by YouVersion users in 2017 was Joshua 1:9: ‘This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go’.

In many churches around the world, digital Bibles have become just as common, if not more common, than the printed version of God’s Word.

Children’s Bibles for Iraq

In Australia and New Zealand, Romans 12:2 was the most popular verse: ‘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’. Author – Ramona Ötting

Photo: Open Doors Australia

“We are encouraged to see from this year’s data [2017] that people all over the world are finding hope in God’s Word,” YouVersion Bible App Founder Bobby Gruenewald said. YouVersion users read and listened to 19.7 billion chapters of the Bible in 2017 and created 1.4 billion highlights, bookmarks and notes. On average, people created 42.3 highlights, listened to 96.1 audio chapters and read 532 chapters every second of every day in 2017. One particular focus of YouVersion is to translate the Bible into as many different languages as possible. Working together with around ten different Bible translation agencies, the company’s vision is to translate the New Testament into 99.9 percent of the world’s languages by 2033. Currently, the app enables users to access 1,656 versions of the Bible in 1,186 languages. “In recent years, technology has made it possible to accelerate Bible translation like never before. There’s incredible momentum around this effort,” Gruenewald stated. Since first made available for download nine years ago, the Bible App has been downloaded in every country of the world. In 2017, download numbers in some areas of the world saw a strong increase such as in Angola (733% growth), Indonesia (171%), India (228%) and Mozambique (243%). “When people install the Bible App, it’s usually because they want to read the Bible

Exciting position available at Carey Baptist Church | Harrisdale

Part Time Associate Pastor The Associate Pastor should be a spiritually mature, enthusiastic, Christian leader who is experienced in developing pastoral care and discipleship systems and leading in spiritual formation. For further information and key selection criteria please contact Church Administrator, Mel Gillis. T: 9394 9155 E: mail mgillis@carey.asn.au Applications close 5:00pm Wednesday 28 February 2018 www.carey.asn.au

Teenagers in Iraq receive their own Bible and other Christian books.

For many Christian families in Iraq, access to the Bible and other Christian books has been difficult since having to leave their homes in the Nineveh Plains and abandoning most of their belongings to flee from ISIS.

In 2017, local Open Doors partners were able to distribute more than 50,000 Bibles to Iraqi families in need; a hope-giving blessing to their communities. According to Open Doors, most of the children receiving them have never read the Bible for themselves. One of the organisation’s helpers said that he felt like God had told him in a dream to help with the distribution of Bibles,

so he started driving his minivan from village to village, giving out Bibles and colouring-in books to Sunday Schools. In anticipation of God’s plan for these communities, the anonymous helper asked believers worldwide to “pray for God to continue to bless these activities, for His Word to take root in the lives of these children”. Author – Ramona Ötting

12 in conversation FEBRUARY 2018

Get a new brain

Three times the parable of the sower and seed is repeated in Scripture. The core message is ‘Words are seeds, so make sure you get the best words deep inside you’. Most of what we do is unconscious. We’re not aware our brain sends signals to our heart to make it beat. It’s subconscious. We drive our cars on autopilot. We brush our teeth starting on the same side, every time. What becomes a habit in our subconscious mind directs our whole life. Sometimes we find ourselves doing things that we wish we wouldn’t do, not understanding we could change that. Some things we do are born from bad seeds that took root in our brain and now we ‘automatically’ act and react badly in those circumstances. Happily, this principle can work positively for us too. Good seeds can take root and produce good ‘plants’ (behaviour). The challenge is, it’s more difficult to grow roses than weeds. If you want weeds in your brain, do nothing with your thoughts. A lazy brain grows weedy thoughts. These bad thoughts choke out the good ones. Get active with your brain. Grow a good mind. You can control your thoughts! I know you think that’s impossible. You think you can’t do that. Your mind is like a crazy typewriter typing off screeds of thoughts all day long, all on its own, the keys clacking away line after line. Your mind feels like a wild horse galloping from one field of thought to another, totally out of control. It’s like a radio possessed, and it’s not just one channel. It’s like there are five different conversations going on up there all at once all on different frequencies. You tune into one and it’s the last words your wife said to you when you left the house. The next channel is that Netflix show you watched till 2am. The other channel is in Mandarin! There’s static and popping and tons of white noise. You’re thinking you could never control your thoughts. But, you can! Right thinking is as much about what you don’t think about as what you do think about. When you feel the temptation to think about ‘that’, don’t! Refuse to let the thought settle. At

Photo: Adike

Words are seeds. Sow a seed in your garden and watch a plant come up! Sow words in your mind. Same thing! You’ll grow a new thought pattern from those words.

present, it’s just a vague worry, about what, you don’t know, but if you focus on it you’ll remember what it is and then it drowns you, again. At first, this seems like you need to be Hercules to bring your thoughts into line. You feel like you’re at the mental gym trying to lift 200 kilos off your brain. But this is what defeating giants, pulling down strongholds and slaying Goliath is all about. It always feels impossible when you’re facing the giant. But you can do it. Lift that thought off your brain. Stop thinking about it. Sometimes our sincerity gets the better of us and we think that if we worry about the problem and feel bad, then we are being more responsible and dutiful, than if we refuse the worrying thoughts and live joyfully. Hey, your mind solves problems far better when it’s not depressed. Forget the thoughts that lead to depression. Move on. For some, this seems too good to be true. It would be like, freedom! Absolutely! Go there! Some people complain they have a bad memory. Most of us have a worse problem than that. A bad ‘forgettery’! We remember the things we should forget and forget the things we should

remember. We should shut out of our mind those memories that depress us. Some memories are what we did wrong. We resurface the guilt and regret, believing we have no right to happiness and that being miserable somehow atones for our wrongs. When you asked God to forgive you He did. He has ‘forgotten’ your sins, deliberately. He says, ‘I will remember them no more!’ Now it’s your turn. Forgive yourself and forget your sins. It’s time to move on! Other memories include how we were taken advantage of when we were young. Feelings of anger, injustice and revenge follow hard on the heels of these memories. There has to come a day when I stop letting or even making myself feel like a victim with no control over my life. I have to decide. These thoughts don’t rule me any longer. It’s possible for dark thoughts to leave us. Dark thoughts are displaced by good thoughts. We defeat darkness easily. Not by fighting the darkness, but rather by turning on the light! Healthy thoughts. This is where I need to plant new phrases, type new words into my subconscious code so I start acting and reacting in life differently, not artificially,

but because it is who I genuinely have become, transformed at the deepest levels within, healed, set free and renewed. In fact, we are transformed by the renewing of our mind. How do I write new code in these deep areas of my mind? We type it in with words. Spoken words. Our mouth is the keyboard. You believe what you say. What you believe is received by your ‘heart’. For any thought becoming a deep thought, it has to travel from the mind to the heart, that place where we ‘feel’ the truth of what we’re saying, rather than just knowing it in our mind. When we speak the truth about ourselves, (which may not be our current facts – but remember there’s a difference between facts and truth), and choose to believe it, (instead of what everyone and everything else is trying to make us believe), we will find ourselves transforming. When we speak the Scripture, the Spirit of God infuses those words with power and those words become reality. The Scripture and the Spirit of God work together. Whatever is our greatest need determines the Scripture we should use. If we are stewing in

hatred, then we need to say ‘the love of God is shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit’. If fear is overwhelming us, then we need to say, ‘Fear not, for I am with you says the Lord!’. If doubt is plaguing us, then we need to say, ‘Have faith in God’. If negative feelings are dominating our heart, then we need to declare, ‘All things work together for good to those who love God’. And don’t just say it once, but many times! Over many days. For some, their survival depends on this. Speak it until it’s who you are. Change yourself. Change your life! Sow Scripture in your good soil today! Author – Phil Pringle Phil is the Founder and Leader of C3 Church Global, an international movement of over 500 churches, and the Senior Minister of C3 Church in Sydney. C3 Church began in 1980 and continues to flourish today. Republished with permission, www.philpringle.com

growth 13 FEBRUARY 2018

Something about letting go

way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert’ [Isaiah 43:18-19 (ESV)]. How many times have I read this and tried to apply it to my life? The reality of these words struck the core of my being when I stood on the porch of my parents’ home, wrapping my arms around them with the knowledge seeping into every part of my mind that this may be the last time. Time, kilometres and life choices mean that the years will keep moving on, but I wouldn’t be near to rekindle memories with them.

Letting go, saying goodbye is everything to do with forgiveness and nothing to do with selfjustification. Forgiveness is not forgetting or walking away from accountability or condoning a hurtful act; it’s the process of healing so we can truly live. Whenever you are asked to let go, consider the act as one of faith. Trusting the grace of God to make that parting easier and peaceful. There will often be tears, heartache and struggles, but the separation will become a victory, and joy will come in time.

‘Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me — practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you [Philippians 4:8-9 (ESV)]’. Author – Heather Lovell Republished with permission, writesomething.org.au


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You will still be able to read a print copy or access a digital copy via www.baptistwa.asn.au/ view/news/the-advocate

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all. And even though I wanted to let go, I allowed my life to revolve around my former pain, and my feelings and beliefs about the past to limit my effectiveness and happiness in the present. My revelation over the past few weeks is that there will never be a time when life is simple. There will always be time to practice accepting that. Every moment is a chance to let go and feel peaceful. Returning to my place of birth, to the family who remains close to my heart, and in particular, my parents whose relationship with me has been tested over the years, saw me revisiting past mistakes again and again. It saw me allowing feelings of shame and regret to shape my actions in the present. I didn’t realise how much I had clung to frustration and worry about the future of these beloved people as if the act of fixation somehow would give me the power to make things right. I held stress in my mind and body, accepting that state of tension as the norm. It was my sense of identity of my past. I adopted a stance about regrets. I adamantly declared that I had none from my past. I have since changed that mantra. Regret is a tough but fair teacher. To live without regret is to believe you have nothing to learn, no amends to make, and no opportunities to be brave with yourself and your life. ‘Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a


In truth, you have worked towards this day, this hour, this very minute with dread and undeniable denial. It’s not the feelings of regret or the knowledge that perhaps things could have been different, but the reality of the here and now. The trapped feeling of having to leave again, knowing that this may be the last time. Ever. You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. A feeling that you’ll not only miss the people you love, but you’ll miss the person you are now and this place because you’ll never be this way again. Only in the agony of parting do we consider the depths of love. There are always goodbyes. Some are simple, fleeting expressions said as part of our normal daily activities. Off to work, school, shopping, church, gym, or anywhere that is taking you away to a different place. Usually, the goodbyes are uttered unconsciously as automatic behaviour. We don’t think about letting go. Significant events in our lives demands letting go, enabling the next steps in life. Steadying the baby with a firm hand, and then letting go allowing their first step. Standing at the school gates and watching the five year old disappear into the playground, seeing the little legs supporting the oversized school bag on their back. Running along holding the bike, and then letting go to set the child free to travel. Helping remove the L-plates off your car and handing over the keys with a silent prayer of protection. Weeping with joy watching two lovers join as one. Amongst the steps of life are many goodbyes – of the past, or of who we were. Regrets that linger, but events that linger to remind us that life doesn’t stand still and must move on. I must confess that I have spent a whole lot of my life dwelling on events from the past that seemed unfair. Choices I made that caused me to feel ashamed. I even obsessed about what should have happened, what shouldn’t have happened, what I should have done, what I shouldn’t have done, and how everything would be better if I could just go back and change it

Photo: Hlemeida Ivan

Is there ever a right time to say goodbye to someone you love? Ever the depth of words that express the ache your heart is feeling? Or the numbness that pervades your whole being?

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14 news FEBRUARY 2018

Hillsong Worship nominated for first Grammy

Editor: Managing Editor: Subeditor: Production: Creative: Advertising: Distribution: Editorial deadline:

Matt Chapman Andrew Sculthorpe Suzanne Willcock Vanessa Klomp Peter Ion Sally Phu Sally Phu 5th of each month

Hillsong Worship has been nominated for their first Grammy for the song, What a Beautiful Name.

Previously called Hillsong Live, the Hillsong Worship band has gone through many iterations since its formation in 1983, having released 28 albums and numerous other EPs and singles. Ligertwood is the current worship leader of the group, who have featured consistently across the Australian and US charts for over a decade now. At the time of writing this article, the band has only been nominated for the award. The 60th annual Grammys took place on 28 January. Author – John Igglesden

EDITORIAL AND ADVERTISING: Email: editor@theadvocate.tv advertising@theadvocate.tv Mail: Baptist Churches Western Australia PO Box 57, Burswood WA 6100 Tel: (08) 6313 6300 Fax: (08) 9470 1713

PUBLISHERS GENERAL DISCLAIMER All the articles, comments, advice and other material contained in this publication are by way of general comment or advice only and are not intended, nor do they purport to be the correct advice on any particular matter of subject referred to. No reader or any other person who obtains this publication should act on the basis of any matter, comment or advice contained in this publication without first considering and if necessary taking appropriate professional advice upon the applicability of any matter, advice or comment herein to their own particular circumstances. Accordingly, no responsibility is accepted or taken by the authors, editors or publishers of this publication for any loss or damage suffered by any party acting in reliance on any matter, comment or advice contained herein.

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The Advocate is published on behalf of Baptist Churches Western Australia by imageseven. Tel: (08) 6500 7777 Email: info@imageseven.com.au

Chris Tomlin’s latest single Released on 12 January, Chris Tomlin’s latest single, Resurrection Power, is the first from his new album due to be released later this year. “I can’t think of a better song at the start of the year than a song about new life declaring ‘The old is gone, the new is here!’, Chris said. “I believe this song is going to give so much hope to people as it presents the victory Christ offers us.” Tomlin is one of only four artists ever to be awarded the Sound Exchange Digital Radio Award for over one billion digital radio streams. The Grammy award winner has amassed over eight million album sales and won 23 Gospel Music Association Dove awards. Tomlin’s career has spanned more than two and a half decades and in that time, he has released 14 albums and had 16 number one singles. Resurrection Power is now available for purchase and streaming.

Photo: David Joyce

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Grammys and Hillsong Worship’s first Grammy nomination. The song’s video currently has over 100 million plays on YouTube. Brooke Ligertwood (formerly Brooke Fraser) co-wrote the song with Ben Fielding, a long-term member of the Hillsong Worship team. Fielding is behind some of Hillsong’s biggest worship hits, including Mighty to Save, This I Believe and Anchor. Ligertwood (under her artist name Brooke Fraser) has five solo albums in her discography and is also responsible for some of Hillsong’s biggest songs including Hosanna, Desert Song, Man of Sorrows, None But Jesus and Lead Me to the Cross. Ligertwood is quick to clarify that the songs written for the church are not meant to shine a light on her songwriting but be used as a tool for worship. “When I’m singing as Brooke Fraser, it can be more about me; when I am with Hillsong, I am simply part of the church and it’s not about me,” she said. Ligertwood recently told Billboard that What a Beautiful Name was written to serve people and link with them in the presence of God. Billboard also described the song as a ‘genresmashing single’ and named Hillsong Worship as top Christian Artist of 2017.

Photo: Hillsong

Hillsong Worship’s, What a Beautiful Name has been nominated for a Grammy in the Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/ Song category.

Author – John Igglesden

Christian music legend, Chris Tomlin, has releasesd his new single, Resurrection Power.

intermission 15 FEBRUARY 2018

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Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God

Photo: City of Gosnells

Rev. Peter Abetz – Member of Parliament and attends Gateway Community Church, Cockburn Central

Brian Zahnd Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God is a very, very intersting read – one that is sure to provide some interesting material for spiritual conversations. Brian Zahnd describes his early experiences and meditations on Johnathon Edward’s classic Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. Zahnd tackles ‘difficult’ topics such as Old Testament genocide, substitutionary atonement, Hell and final judgement with much thought and grace. You can tell that this is more than just an intellectual exercise for him, it is also deeply autobiographical. It is well written, easy to read but without losing the scholarly feel. – Andrew

Peter, for the last two terms of State Parliament, you represented the Southern River electorate as a Liberal member of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly. What drove you to serve your community in this way? As a pastor I was concerned that our Christian values were increasingly being undermined. Several elders and close Christian friends urged me to run for parliament.

The Beautiful Word

You’re now in the role as the State Director of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), what led you to this new role? Scripture calls us to pray for those who govern. Living in a democracy we can also choose them! If Christians don’t engage in the political processes, we can hardly be surprised if decisions hostile to the values of the Kingdom of God increasingly shape our society. I see this as an opportunity to use my knowledge of the Word of God and the political system to help Christians to be salt and light in our nation.

Zondervan The Beautiful Word is a beautifully presented book to ponder 100 scriptures taken from the New International Version Bible. With thoughts presented on each scripture to give an insight on what it is about and how it can be applied, and some written as a prayers. This is a lovely way to pick a thought for the day, help in the meditation on scripture and with memorising it as there are visuals to assist. A lovely gift book or to keep as a treasure of the beautiful scriptures and promises throughout the Word. – Dorothy

What is a feature of the ACL that you’d like to share? One feature is the three month residential Lachlan Macquarie Internship for recent university graduates who want to make a Kingdom difference. The graduates are highly sought after by MPs as staffers. Which historical figure has influenced you the most? William Wilberforce – I admire his tenacity in the face of ridicule and mockery. When he started his anti-slavery campaign he was the only anti-slavery MP in the whole parliament and he endured abuse and mockery. But he never wavered – he knew what God’s Word taught! How do you separate yourself effectively from work to rest? When you are passionate and love what you do, it is hard to stop! Taking a day of rest each week and a few weeks holiday each year has enabled me to stay motivated and energised. What do you think God has been trying to say to you lately? That He is still on the throne and is the ruler of all things – and that I need never be discouraged. Do you have a plan to intentionally develop yourself as a leader? Being a leader standing for Christian values in the public square is challenging and takes a lot of courage. So, my focus is more on maintaining my courage! A final thought … The Christian community in Australia needs to learn afresh to be salt and light in

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listen WOW Hits 2018 You can’t go past the WOW compilations for great music and a wide variety of contemporary artists. WOW Hits 2018 is no exception. With hits from Skillet to Hillsong there is something for everyone. Favourites of mine from the album include Big Daddy Weave’s ‘The Lion and the Lamb’, Lauren Daigle’s ‘Come Alive (Dry Bones)’ and Elevation Worship’s ‘O Come to the Altar’. All of these resonate with my spirit and where I am in my walk with God, so it has been a great way to meditate on what God is talking to me about. I hope it is for other listeners as well. Enjoy 30 songs on the regular edition and 36 on the Deluxe Edition. – Dorothy

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God keeps Aaron on course

As a committed Christian, Badds, as he is known, confesses that he thought about giving up golf and going into ministry during the tough times, when he failed to live up to his own and other people’s expectations. And he revealed that he meets every week for fellowship and Bible study with other Christian golfers on the tour such as Tom Lehman, Ben Crane and Bubba Watson. “We meet on a Tuesday night at a hotel or house and have a night of fellowship and study God’s Word,” he said. “We would get between ten and 40 turn up typically, depending on the event.” “It’s a great time with the guys, some wives and people involved with the tour. A couple of teachers travel basically each week and teach us. Right now, we are going through the book of John.” The PGA Tour has had an official chaplain who travels to each tournament and hosts Bible studies for the players and caddies for more than 30 years. Badds, who grew up in Australia but is now based in Phoenix, Arizona, hosts the Bible study at his home during the week of the Phoenix Open. When he took the golfing world by storm in 1999, winning the Australian Open as an amateur while still a teenager, Badds declared that his aim was to be better than golf superstar Tiger Woods. However, in the

Photo: David Leindecker/Shutterstock.com

In-form AustralianAmerican golfer Aaron Baddeley says he is 100 percent sure that his best golf is ahead of him after surviving several fallow years when he had to cling on to his faith in God’s promises.

Aaron Baddeley hits a shot at Congressional during the 2011 US Open in Bethesda, Maryland.

following years, he struggled for consistency and came to be overshadowed by his Australian contemporary, Adam Scott. Badds told Eternity that his relationship with Jesus and trust in his plan for his life were the crucial factors in keeping him playing during an extended career slump that took him from a career high ranking of 17 in 2008 to 427th in 2015. “I know this is the arena God has called me to and I’ll continue to play golf until He tells me it’s time to do something different,” he said. Badds has always been a brilliant putter but he went through years when he

struggled to perfect his swing off the tee. When he slumped so far that he lost his sponsor, Badds says his strategy was to hold on to God’s promises. “With the Bible being truth we are able as Christians to stand and believe the promises God has for us,” he said. “Like the plans He has for us are good, that all things work for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. That in our weakness His strength is made perfect, that He gives us the ability to get through any and all storms in our life – just to name a few.” He would read and believe these promises when things got

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rough – “when life is relentless whether on or off the course,” said the father of five, who often travels with his family on the PGA tour. A ‘breakthrough win’ in 2016 of his first US PGA tournament in more than five years was a ‘massive’ confidence booster, he said. “I know and understand my game better now than I ever have and, with the experience I have gained over the years, I’m superexcited about the coming years.” Asked what advice he would give other Christian sportspeople trying to make it big, he said: “Work hard, believe and above all trust and pursue Jesus. God says in His word, seek


first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else will be added unto to you.” “Make your relationship with Jesus number one in your life – reading, trusting and obeying His Word – because He loves you more than you could fathom. His plans for you are good!” “In addition, work hard at your game. Leave no stone unturned. There are no guys or girls on tour who haven’t worked hard.” Author – Anne Lim Republished with permission, www.eternitynews.com.au

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The Advocate - February 2018  

The Advocate - February 2018

The Advocate - February 2018  

The Advocate - February 2018

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