In Conversation Freedom City Church Pastor Arastoo Yazdani talks about his experience of being a refugee. PAGE 12 >>
“How do we receive a blessed life?” PHIL PRINGLE PAGE 13>>
3 Reworking classics New band All the King’s Men release debut album >>
5 National honour Photo: Nathan Abbott
Mandurah Baptist College student receives award >>
Charlie Abbott, son of boarding house parents Nathan and Mandie, enjoyed having the firefighters on-site.
Firefighters bunker down
Esperance Anglican Community School opened their boarding facility to host 19 firefighters who were battling the devastating bushfires in Esperance recently. Firefighters from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) from Margaret River, Dunsborough and Busselton, State Emergency Service (SES) from Albany, and Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) from Ravensthorpe, arrived at the School on the evening of Thursday 19 November 2015. The firefighters battled the blazes during the day, taking up residence at the School for a week. The bushfire was believed to have been sparked by lightning at Salmon Gums and Grass Patch. Homes came under threat after the fire jumped containment lines on the western edge of
the blaze near Mullet Lakes and winds pushed it north-west towards Esperance. Tragically, four people died, including local farmer Kym Curnow, 45, who saved several people from driving into the inferno before becoming trapped himself. Norwegian national Anna Sashohova Winther, 29, British man Thomas Leslie Butcher, 31, and German woman Julia Kohrs-Lichte, 19, also died trying to outrun the fire. An evacuation centre was established at the Esperance Civic Centre on Council Place. It was here, amidst a community meeting that Principal of Esperance Anglican
Community School, Kerr Fulton-Peebles, offered the School’s boarding facilities to accommodate firefighters. Student Niwaa Patrick, 14, was eager to contribute. “I really liked helping out by cooking and making beds while the ‘firies’ were here,” he stated. “I liked being able to give something back to the people who gave up their time to come and help us.” Established in 2008 and located in the heart of Esperance, the School has grown rapidly to become a valued contributor to the local regional community and strives to demonstrate the values of Christian faith which binds the School community, a term Kerr describes as ‘Muscular Christianity’. Boarding was introduced for the first time in 2015, so that the School can continue to grow and better serve the needs of the surrounding areas.
The School provided beds, linen, refreshments and snacks for the firefighters who reportedly appreciated the comfortable facilities and beds rather than sleeping in swags or camp beds. Kerr has witnessed how the fires have affected the Esperance community. “There have been very sad stories of loss of life and property,” he said. “The father of a former student was one of the fatalities and her friends and friends of the family have been traumatised.” “Others have lost crops and buildings … The real test is probably yet to come as we attempt to restore hope and rebuild.” “Overall, however, the impression is one of care, resilience and pragmatism with so many tangible demonstrations of support and help.”
8 Terrorism A Christian response to terrorism >>
Living lives that are fully dependent on God in obedience to Christ and the Bible. BAPTIST CHURCHES WESTERN AUSTRALIA
my view JANUARY 2016
Courage to listen I was asked to write about – ‘whatever is on your heart’. So I compiled a list; eliminated the more controversial subjects, as well as those things that would be of little interest to anyone else; and began reviewing what was left.
Jackie Smoker Jackie Smoker is a Senior Pastor at Como Baptist Church and BCWA Accreditation Registrar/Safe Church Education Officer.
This is where my study skills came into being – ‘when you’re stuck, read the question’. ‘Whatever is on your heart.’ The silence was deafening as I strained to listen ... Have you ever tried so hard to listen to something that the muscles around your ears ache, and your neck feels that it is about to break from the strain? Now whilst those around me probably enjoyed a few minutes peace (except for the rhythmic thump of my heart),
I wasn’t completely enjoying the stillness. Listening to my heart seemed anything but calming. Rather, it was almost overwhelming. As I got closer to the deadline, the faster my heart raced, and sitting became almost impossible. It is what Bill Hybels describes as ‘Holy Discontent’. The exercise of stopping and listening was both exhausting and invigorating, so I decided that it was time to reflect and resolve the topic later.
In the meantime, three days at the National Safe as Churches? Conference (yes, the question mark is intentional) reinforced the discomfort of the things that are on my heart. These are things that I give my time to, things that I wrestle with, things that I grieve over. Then I hear Jesus speak: ‘Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.’ (John 14:1 NLT)
I know what’s on my heart, and it probably isn’t the same as what is on yours. I know that I need not be troubled, but rather trust in Jesus to help me act upon what He has placed on my heart – complete with the discomfort. So, let me challenge you with the question that was asked of me ‘whatever is on your heart?’ Do you know what the Holy Spirit has placed there? Are you prepared to live with the discomfort between the trouble and the trust? May we find the courage to listen to the heart of Christ in us, to endure the discomfort and to trust in Him!
When phones don’t ring … I’ve just had a mystery solved. After weeks of asking people why my mobile phone wasn’t ringing, it turns out I had inadvertently switched on a ‘do not disturb’ button.
Dr Brian Harris Dr Brian Harris is the Principal of Vose Seminary and Pastor at Large for the Carey Group.
I hadn’t even known there was such a function on my phone, though I had been perplexed by the quarter moon emblem that had mysteriously appeared on the screen. My conclusion that this was some inaccurate update on the latest phase of the moon turned out to be invalid. Apparently it means that even though my ring tone said it was on and set to the highest possible volume, it was actually off.
Not that I am complaining. Ignorance has been bliss. I haven’t had to explain to my wine club that I really don’t want to make use of their incredibly good two for one, three for one or even four for one deal. Nor have I been cajoled into purchasing a prepaid funeral. And I won’t be flying to Peru with some interesting new airline whose planes just might arrive in spite of the incredibly low fare they charge.
True, some calls of greater gravity have been missed. It was a pity not to know that a meeting I was rushing to was cancelled. And it would have been nice to receive the call alerting me that I was down to lead the opening devotions at a board meeting. (My trusty line, “we live in such a noisy world, so rather than my adding more words to the thousands you have already heard, let’s start with silent prayer” rescued me yet again.)
In spite of my missed calls, the sun has continued to rise day after day. But it has left me pondering. Could it be that I unwittingly have other ‘do not disturb’ signs written over my life. Perhaps the glance at the time when someone’s story is proving a little long. Or not really paying attention when someone is speaking. Perhaps it’s a cue I even give off to God. Priorities so easily get muddled. Better go – the prepaid funeral lady is on the line.
Discouragement – the enemy Money, sex and power are themes close to the heart of God. In the late 1980s when I first attended theological college, a book of the same title by Richard Foster had been published. As Bible College students and prospective pastors we were sternly warned that these were the big three.
Nick Scott Nick Scott is the Senior Pastor at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church.
The three great temptations of life that were most likely to lead pastors astray and thereby see them removed from pastoral leadership roles in churches. Some 25 years down the track I have discovered that an even stronger threat, an even greater enemy has entered the playing field: discouragement! According to Keith Farmer, who mentors over 100 pastors around the nation,
discouragement is singularly the greatest reason why pastors will leave the ministry. Diminishing attendance at Sunday services, shrinking offerings, and conflict within church leadership bodies can all too easily lead to a place of deep discouragement and an overwhelming urge to throw in the towel. This then highlights the great need for encouragement within the Body of Christ. And not just
for pastors, but for everyone. We all need encouragement! The writer to the Hebrews understood this, which is why he urged his readers to encourage one another – and all the more as we see the Day approaching. It is as we encourage people that we literally put courage into them. We plant seeds of courage into the lives of others, seeds that will in time produce the fruit of faith, hope and love.
To adopt the role of encourager is a high calling indeed. It’s easy to mock other people’s ideas. It’s easy to pour cold water on their enthusiasm, or to be negative and cynical. The world is full of discouragers, and their words and attitudes quickly become weapons in the hands of Satan. When Paul wrote a letter to his dear friend Philemon, he said, ‘Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.’ [Philemon 7] May the Lord send to his church more people like Philemon, people who are encouragers, who will refresh the hearts of others.
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New band reworks classics The ten-piece band, creatively named All the King’s Men, has given new life to a number of well known existing poems and songs by arranging and recording them with a contemporary sound. In November 2015 the band was officially launched, coinciding with the release of seven professionally recorded songs on their debut album Let Us Adore Him, available digitally and on CD. The idea for the band and putting together modern arrangements of classic works stemmed from the desire of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church (MPBC) Musical Director and All the King’s Men founder, James Collins, to broaden the repertoire of songs sung at weekly MPBC gatherings. “There is a depth of spiritual understanding, not to mention poetic skill, in the writing of people like Wesley that is simply unmatched,” James said. “All of the texts that feature in the songs were chosen because they state sublime truth clearly and also describe with clarity, real Christian exercises and experiences.” In 2014, James began setting some of these poems to new music and existing tunes, drawing significantly on the folk musical tradition.
“After some of my early attempts during our church services were well received, and seemed to be genuinely helpful for us as a people, I decided to do more and enlisted the help of fellow music team members Nikki Cunningham and Callum Bint before establishing the full group,” James said. All the King’s Men have taken the unusual step of making the CD, digital tracks, lyrics and music lead sheets freely available on their website as a way to share their work as widely as possible. A number of tutorial videos are also available to assist other church music teams to play the songs in their own congregations. “We believe we are announcing the good news, so there was never any question of charging money for it.” “We want the gospel to reach as far and wide as possible, and if the music we record can contribute to that in some way, then we want to make it as widely and freely available as we can,” James said. The musical talent within the group is diverse and lead to an eclectic mix of voices and instruments featuring on the recordings, including drums, a variety of guitars, bass, mandolin, banjo, violin,
Photo: Elena Ahmad
A new folk rock band has been birthed from some members of the music team at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church with one goal – to share the gospel and help Christians grow in their faith.
All the King’s Men members Nikki Cunningham, Callum Bint, Joel Waddell, Carolyn Thomas, David Chidgzey, Mia Formentin, Alanah Quartermaine, Caitlin du Toit, James Collins and Caleb Quartermaine.
keyboard, to the more unusual spoons and glockenspiel. The band is keen to perform and share their music, with a genuine desire to help spread the gospel as opposed to seeking fame and fortune.
“The whole idea of this band is to produce songs that will help the Lord’s people grow in faith,” James said. “We definitely aren’t aiming to establish ourselves as a brand or anything like that, and we’re
just going to try and keep our minds and hearts open and go wherever the Holy Spirit leads.” To download the album, view resources or make a donation, visit www.allthekingsmen.band
Former factory transformed into church
Photo: Terry Hicks
A former factory has undergone a major transformation and is now the new home for Inglewood Community Church.
Inglewood Community Church Senior Pastor Mark Edwards with BCWA Director of Ministries Mark Wilson signify the beginning of a new era for the Church.
The new community facility was officially opened with a time of celebration and praise on 6 December 2015. Baptist Churches Western Australia Director of Ministries Mark Wilson acknowledged the work and energy required to make the transformation with those gathered at the event. Mark also reminded the congregation that they weren’t just celebrating the opening of a building, because church is not just about the building, but about the people. There was a time of enthusiastic singing and recognition of the time and effort many had contributed to
transform the building into a suitable church venue. Senior Pastor Mark Edwards cut a red ribbon to mark the occasion. Holding the ribbon were three people ranging from very young to the elderly, signifying the prayer that the church would remain there for a long time. Mark Edwards then challenged everyone to consider the claims of Jesus Christ as we all have to make a choice: to follow Him or not.
news JANUARY 2016
Photo: Terry Hicks
Green Team make a difference
The many volunteers in the Leavers Green Team 2015.
A green experience
A dusty paddock transformed into an entertainment zone heralded the start of Leavers 2015. Medical facilities were prepared, rides were ready, music tents and the silent disco set up and toilets and water available. This year saw Baptist Churches Western Australia (BCWA) again managing the entertainment zone at Dunsborough, in conjunction with the Western Australia Police and other agencies from 22 to 26 November 2015. The Zone is a part of the WA Government’s Harm Minimisation Policy which was introduced to protect Leavers from harm and reduce negative impacts on local communities. Baptist Churches Western Australia were invited to participate eight years ago and has continued to be involved in this government funded activity. One hundred and forty five volunteers form the BCWA Green Team and work in The Zone helping to keep toilets clean, manage the crowds, help in the medical area and interact with the 17 and 18 year old Leavers. Each night, by the busload, an average of 6,500 Leavers converged on The Zone. In The Zone they enjoyed four hours of entertainment and activities in an alcohol and drug free area, protected from ‘toolies’ and others who want to take advantage of them. The Green Team volunteers ranged in age from 18 to 68 and
came from many different walks of life. Each volunteer receives training to assist them in the role and display enthusiasm and care, and actually enjoy their time at the event. The reward is seeing the Leavers safe and protected whilst they are in The Zone, as well as being able to have a good time. Many of the Leavers thanked the team for caring for them and helping them when they needed it. The positive effect of The Zone on the Dunsborough and Busselton communities was reflected in a significant reduction in problems and antisocial behaviour. When volunteers are asked why they do it, especially as they pay $90 to be involved, the response often refers to Jesus’s words in Matthew 25: 40-45, and that they care about the young people and want to help create a positive image of Christians and the church. The Zone Coordinator Michelle Smoker and her team were thanked by the WA Police and other support agencies for their contribution to Leavers 2015. If you are interested in being involved in the 2017 Green Team, contact the BCWA on 6313 6300.
The desire to be a volunteer with the Leavers Green Team had always been with me but it was only this year, being for the first time a Pastor without a church, that I found myself available. So I signed up with great anticipation only to discover at the training session that the majority of Green Teamers were somewhere under 30 years old — a milestone that I had passed more than 30 years earlier — and that the whole project was vastly different to what I had assumed it would be. That’s when the doubts crept in. Would I, as an old guy, fit into the very youth based culture of the Zone and be at all effective there? God soon showed me that he had all things in hand. The acceptance I felt from all the other team members and especially from the Leavers was amazing. The way God steered me into the areas that He wanted me to work in was
Photo: Terry Hicks
Keith Hall had his first experience of volunteering with the Green Team in 2015.
incredible. I knew from the first night, as I stood in the crowded confines of the Zone amongst 6,000 plus teenagers intent on pushing many of the social boundaries as far as they dared, that God would use me and all the other volunteers there that week, and He did. For instance, there was this young man who I had taken to find medical assistance on
the first night. Absolutely inebriated, before he even entered the Zone, he spent that whole night in the first aid tent. On the final evening he saw me as he was leaving, thanked me profusely for helping him, and told me that since his initial over consumption he had not touched any alcohol. In my heart I praised God for His faithfulness.
digital church 29/11/15
twitter.com/KyleIdleman There’s a big difference between sharing struggles out of vulnerability and humility, and the sin of complaining. One helps, the other hurts.
twitter.com/MaxLucado Though you failed, God’s love does not. Face your failures with faith in God’s goodness.
joelosteen.com Are you facing something that seems impossible in your life – in your relationships, finances, or on your job? When we don’t know what to do or how to do it, remember this: God does.
twitter.com/EugeneCho Sermons aren’t just from pulpits. They’re preached around kitchen tables, on streets, in boardrooms … even on a bus.
twitter.com/InLifeOnPurpose Turned ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ by Alicia Keys into part of my prayer this morning: “I don’t want nothing at all if it ain’t You Lord.”
thegospelcoalition.org Ministry is hard work, but it is glorious work. Something every Christian is given the responsibility and privilege of enjoying. Let’s not allow discouragement to steal the delight from us.
twitter.com/CSLewisDaily It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.
desiringgod.org If we know the medicine will work, we don’t so much mind the bitter taste. In the gospel, the medicine works.
Louie Giglio twitter.com/LouieGiglio Focus less on your wounds, and more on the wounds Jesus bore for you. Both are real, but His can heal.
Rick Warren rickwarren.org/devotional You’re not God. You don’t have all the answers. You can’t do everything. If you’re struggling to find balance in your life, that one admission can transform everything.
National honour for student The talented artist was a member of the 2015 Year 12 cohort, with Courtney’s selfportrait being one of 2,500 entries to be selected for the prestigious award. “I’ve always loved art, and especially portraiture,” Courtney said. “I drew it [the self-portrait] on a piece of paper and then projected it on to a canvas, I traced it to a basic outline and then used base colours for the skin, then I just did layers and layers until I was happy with it,” she said. “Everyone’s technique is different and it’s hard to explain how I do it.” Courtney received the award in Melbourne in late 2015, with Mandurah Baptist College Head
of Arts, Robyn McCormick, and her mother accompanying her for the ceremony. “Mandurah Baptist College have always jumped at the opportunity to showcase the amazing talents of their students, whether they be volleyball stars, gifted drama students, or even aspiring artists,” Robyn said. “We invest a great deal of energy and care into nurturing our students’ natural abilities.” “As a school we are extremely proud of Courtney’s achievement and the acknowledgement it has allowed for Mandurah Baptist College on a national level.” Courtney plans to study fine arts, graphic design and commerce at Curtin University in 2016.
Photo: Robyn McCormick
Mandurah Baptist College student Courtney Cummins has been crowned the 2015 Young Australian Artist of the Year.
The award-winning self-portrait by Mandurah Baptist College 2015 Year 12 graduate, Courtney Cummins.
Just over six years ago Anthon was a chef in a restaurant, but felt he wanted to do more with people and serve their needs. He is now one of six Perth Christians who are the proprietors of V Burger Bar, with outlets located in Victoria Park and Floreat. Through their business, Anthon has seen how God has helped the owners daily. Even
though the market has slowed down, Anthon believes God has carried the business. “We surrender the business to God – every time before we open a shop we have a blessing of the shop,” Athon said. “We believe God will always lead us.” “There are down times and difficult times, but we rise through – we rely on Him.” Staffing is usually one of the hardest issues in the hospitality industry and Anthon has witnessed God at work here as well. “If a few staff leave a good replacement is found in the right timing – God’s timing,” he said.
Anthon has found that his Christian beliefs and values impact the way he conducts business. In dealing with people and staff, Anthon believes it has given him more grace and hope in making decisions. “Sometimes a decision we make may appear to the world (that) it is a loss, but for us it is a gain, for example, a difficult staff member, rather than terminate them, I try to dig into the base of the problem.” “There could be a personal or family issue.” “We try and change people around by fixing the inside and sometimes they say they might start going to church.”
Serving more than burgers
V Burger Chef Abel Gonzalez and Proprietor Anthon enjoy serving the local community.
Anthon feels God is leading him to keep the business growing so they can be more of a blessing to staff and the community.
Elizabeth Quay will be the next location for another V Burger Bar, with a store due to open by early February.
Celebration at youth night
Brad Patterson, formerly a pastor at Mukinbudin Church of Christ, spoke at the event. His message of hope and finding power when believers plug into God was a timely message for the young people present. One of the organisers reported that God clearly spoke through Brad with over 30 people making first time decisions to say ‘yes’
to Jesus and more than 50 responses. The team at Inglewood arranged a variety of games and entertainment for the youth, such as human bowling, a spooky corner and giant buzzer, bouncy castle, silly string and Nerf gun area. Jess Magowan lead a young worship team with
Photo: Josh Thomas
Youth groups from across Perth gathered at Inglewood Community Church for the final combined Baptist youth event of 2015, on 27 November.
A strong response to the gospel message was experienced at the final Perth combined youth event for 2015.
Giuliana Inga, a year 11 student from Inglewood, opened the night singing ‘Energy’ by Hillsong Young and Free.
Church youth groups represented at the event included Bentley, Ellenbrook, Girrawheen, Morley, Parkerville and Woodvale. Four of the combined events
are held each year, with a different church hosting each one. Inglewood Community Church hosted the event in its new building.
news JANUARY 2016
The gospel midst surf and sand
Teenagers, young adults, families and some older folk from numerous churches are involved in programs in eight different locations around Western Australia. This summer there are programs being held in Bremer Bay, Brookton, Cervantes, Cheynes Beach, Denmark, Jurien Bay, and two in Augusta, one at the Turner Caravan Park and one at the Flinders Bay Caravan Park. Teams run an exciting and energetic program for children and teenagers, during which they open the Bible in a way that is engaging and appropriate for their age. It’s a fun time where leaders build relationships with the children and young people and where they get an opportunity to share the gospel with those who come.
Many teams also have coffee available for parents and other adults providing the opportunity to build relationships with them, often having the chance to support these people, and share about the hope that they have in Jesus in the midst of that. During the day and at night, the teams run fun community events for those in the caravan park or the town. These events include games of cricket, movie nights, quiz nights, amazing race events, mum and daughter pamper nights, fishing competitions, slippery slides and paella evenings in a market style atmosphere. The events are gifts to the community, as well as providing further opportunity for building relationships and sharing the gospel with campers and community members.
Photo: Scripture Union WA
As has happened each January for over 50 years, this month more than 200 volunteers are out sharing the good news of Jesus with children, young people and families on Scripture Union WA Family Mission programs.
A few of the many children who enjoy hearing the gospel while on summer holidays.
Those on team benefit in a range of ways too as the experience develops members’ leadership skills, and inspires them for mission and gospel ministry through the year. There are many people who point to their experience on a Scripture Union (SU) WA Family Mission as a key point in their
Doing Leavers differently
leadership development for Christian ministry. “The biggest area where my faith has really come into my life was at mission,” volunteer Ash Hotchkin said. “That’s where I found my faith, and it’s just gotten stronger and stronger.” “For our family, mission has
been the really big point where we’ve all had our faith centred at and sourced from.” SU WA are always looking for people of all ages to be on their teams, for more information, contact Community Missions Coordinator Jane Duff on 9371 9100.
Proclaiming God’s grace
Leavers enjoying the end of school in true style.
What better way to celebrate finishing school than swimming with turtles at pristine beaches, snorkelling coral reefs, sand-boarding white sand dunes, shopping, chilling out at cafés and meeting new people. Scripture Union (SU) WA 2015 leavers have just celebrated like this on their three Leavers programs; Leavers Ningaloo, Leavers Esperance/Albany (diverted to Albany due to the Esperance fires) and Leavers Melbourne. SU WA Leavers offers a mixture of relaxation, adventure and new
beginnings whilst celebrating the end of an era. The program is structured to combine freedom, a great Christian leadership team and fun activities with the aim to create a great week of celebration of the end of school in a safe and nurturing environment. “This is the best way to do Leavers!” one Leaver’s mum said.
Leavers SU programs reportedly assist in building lifelong friendships with peers and leaders, with many leavers becoming leaders or kitchen helpers the following year as well as volunteers on other SU programs. All programs invite a space for exploring faith in a variety of ways. Leavers Ningaloo set up a gospel tent where leaders served the campers in a café style space while a leader shared their testimony. Each day the gospel tent was packed while a leader shared wisdom on the truth of Jesus and the Bible.
Naomi and Lucian also both testified about their journey of faith and declared their lifetime devotion to God through their baptism. In the same worship service, Jonathan and Alexandra Khoo dedicated their son, Noah Alexander Khoo to God. Both parents prayed that Christ would dwell in their child’s heart through faith. Organisers felt that it was fitting to celebrate both
ceremonies in one worship service because both were a proclamation of God’s grace. Infant dedication is the way parents make a personal pledge toward God to pass their heritage of Christ’s saving grace to their child, while through believers’ baptism, the candidates proclaim God’s saving grace that they have experienced through their personal faith in Christ.
Vale Ross Norling
Photo: Scripture Union WA
The Romanian Baptist Church in Bayswater celebrated two baptisms and one infant dedication on 15 November 2015. Naomi Bughiu and Lucian Cușai made a public proclamation of their salvation when they were baptised.
Ross Norling, Pastor Hedland Baptist Church, passed away peacefully in his sleep on 9 December 2015 after a long battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Jenny, and children.
Claremont Baptist Church members Ellen Broerse and Marilyn McCutcheon recently led a team of volunteers from Hope Behind Bars to visit prisoners in Thai jails who write to Australian pen pals. The group of Christians from Perth and Melbourne visited six prisons, including their first visit to the Central Youth Prison. Teamed with pastors from Thai churches, there were times of rejoicing as 17 men were baptised at Klong Pai Central Prison and five at the high security Khao Bin Prison. Many of the team members met their pen pals who are serving medium and long-term prison sentences. During their visit to the women’s prison, the team worshipped with 30 women who are following Jesus. The women come from around the world. They met in an upper storey classroom where they heard stories from the women about how God is working in their lives. The prisoners’ choir of rich African voices and sweet harmonies from the Philippinas added to the worship experience for everyone. Many of these women have been in jail for 16 to 19 years, missing out on seeing their children grow up, but several testified that it was only because of their prison sentence that they met Jesus, giving them a different perspective to their suffering. “We shared the Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi with the prisoners and found this to be a guide for our team, to be used by God as an instrument of His peace on our visits,” Marilyn said.
Hope Behind Bars started in 1994 when Ellen Broerse was living with her husband in Thailand and a local church leader asked her to become a pen pal with a Thai prisoner. Twentyone years later the movement has three of its five branches in Australia where people write to hundreds of needy prisoners. At Klong Pai Central Prison the team met many of those listed as pen pals, but not all. They took gifts of small towels, eyeshades, toothbrushes, highlighters, reading glasses and some guitar strings for the musicians. At the prison shop they bought soap, toothpaste and shampoo for each of the 51 men on the pen pal list. At the Bangkok Immigration Detention Centre four of the team visited four individuals. Some detainees from Africa came to Thailand with the
Five men at Thailand’s Khao Bin Prison were baptised during an Australian team’s visit in November 2015.
promise of work, but found none and have now been in the Detention Centre from nine months to years. Mental health issues appear to impact many detainees.
The team was able to provide the majority of the money needed for an air ticket to return home for a Congolese lady, Betty. She had been detained with
no hope of returning home because of the airline ticket cost. She recently spent time in hospital with depression but is now well enough to leave Thailand.
Food security for workers
Disciple-making movements in India are helping workers become self-sufficient in providing food for their families. Using aquaponics they produce fish in a tank then circulate the water, including the waste products, to a series of containers where they grow a variety of vegetables. A simple solar powered pump keeps the plants supplied with nutrients and the water fresh for the growing fish. A community development worker in central India, uses this system for his own family, designating a section of their backyard to produce fresh organically grown vegetables for his family.
“We’re still experimenting and fine-tuning things, but we see this is an answer to the daily needs of Christian workers in India where finances are often tight,” he said. When workers come in for their regular training sessions, he explains the benefits of the system and how the aquaponics process is set up. “There is not much that can go wrong with this simple system, but the benefits are huge,” he said. India has thousands of workers leading networks of simple house churches across the country. As workers become
Photo: Jill Birt
Photo: Marilyn McCutcheon
Pen pals’ hope in Thai jails
In India a backyard aquaponics set-up is helping workers in disciple-making movements provide their families with fresh fish and vegetables.
established in an area, a suitable version of the sustainable kitchen garden can be
developed. Excess vegetables and fish could be a source of cash for the worker.
Volunteers help to rebuild Nepal
Photo: Phil Lindsay
TEAR Australia raised $1.1 million for relief aid to Nepal following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the country in April 2015.
Children do early morning exercises outside their Temporary Learning Centres in Talajung, Nepal.
Through their partner, International Nepal Fellowship (INF), they have been replacing infrastructure, particularly schools and some shelters for individuals. Prior to construction, INF chose a simple but resilient
structure, called in some volunteers to Pokhara and taught them how to erect the Temporary Learning Centres. These volunteers then travelled with the INF teams and after some supervision, were able to construct the shelters themselves.
The shelters are basically free-standing tin tunnels. They are constructed in a way that uses no nails so the tin can be recycled and used for the roof of new permanent school buildings when they are built. They are insulated with foam and plywood which keeps down the sound of the rain on the tin roof, and also prevents condensation. Each shelter weights 360 kilograms and is designed to be used for five to ten years.
feature JANUARY 2016
Regardless of who is perpetrating evil or how much evil is being perpetrated the Christ-like response is clear. ‘Love your enemies.’ ‘Blessed are you who are persecuted for righteousness sake.’ ‘Vengeance is mine – do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.’
If we want revenge and spread hate then we are fuelling their fire and not trusting God or His Word. We need to ‘bring good news to the poor’ in word and deed. We need to work for justice and peace alleviating poverty, the conditions that breed terrorism in the first place while pointing to Jesus the source of grace and peace. The context The recent spate of terrorism hasn’t come from out of nowhere. The ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] terrorists are a relatively small group of Muslim extremists who are using their religion as a means of hitting back at the ‘Christian’ West after years of the ‘Christian’ West invading their land taking their oil. George Bush Sr was quite clear why they invaded Iraq in 1991, he said “We are defending our way of life”, which in fact is dependent on oil. When George Bush Jr invaded Iraq in 2003 with Australia’s support he said, “I am driven with a mission from God”. God would tell me, “George, go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan”. And I did. And then God would tell me “George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq”. And I did.” [The Guardian, 7 October 2005] Is it any wonder why Muslims might stereotype our God as a God of violence? Our response to
them needs to be qualitatively different to theirs. Christians in the West are beneficiaries of this system that relies heavily on oil to maintain our standard of living. Most Australians are in the top five percent of the richest people in the world and we have never been richer. Those who are victims of that global system, including those in the Middle East, can only see that the Jesus to whom we point to is part of the same oppressing system; even sanctioning it. To quote Brian McClaren, “Christianity has become the hood ornament on the Hummer of Western society”. God created us in His image and we have decided to return the favour. We have created a god in our image and called him ‘Jesus’. This ‘Jesus’ is white, male, middle-class, votes liberal and wants retribution. This is a long way from celebrating the Prince of Peace who didn’t come in power and force but came into the world in a humble cattle trough, in a cow shed, as a Jew under the boot of the Roman Empire. He was an asylum seeker in Egypt, mixed with those despised and rejected, preached on loving your enemies and died naked on a cross at midday for the whole world to see at the hands of the Empire. Perhaps this point in history presents an opportunity
for us to repent of co-opting Jesus for our own ends and be reconverted to the biblical Jesus who is one with the poor and broken. The only way to see through our own culture is to connect ourselves with the God of the suffering, the poor and marginalised. The Bible has a bias towards these people. To be Spirit filled and evangelical means to bring good news to them [Luke 4:17-18]. We need to ‘weep with those that weep’ and ‘mourn with those that mourn’ [Romans 12:15] and see things from their perspective regardless of which race or creed they adhere to. I am appalled at the recent terrorism in Paris, but I’m not surprised. This is a response by an oppressed minority of Muslim extremists who have
been subjected to the greed and violence of the ‘Christian’ West for a long time and are using any means of revenge they can. Professor Noam Chomsky said, “The best way to stop terrorism is to stop participating in it”. A Christian response Terrorism has a mix of economic, political and religious motivations. It is difficult to say where one stops and the other begins, however I am far surer of what a Christian response should be. Grace is the Christian distinctive. We have grown up on the cycle of violence and the revenge motive operates in a majority of most movies. Einstein said that a problem can never be solved by the same consciousness that created it. War can’t bring peace.
Forgiveness is the only way to bring peace. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do this. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do this.” (Martin Luther King) This does not mean being a door mat. When Jesus says, “Love your enemies” He doesn’t dilute truth. He clearly states, you will have enemies. Neither does He dilute love, suggesting we tolerate them. Rather love rises above and beyond truth. This means standing up against evil in love; in non-violent resistance. ‘They will know that you are my followers by your … love.’ ‘Greater love has no man that this; that he lay down his life for his friends.’ [John 15:13] Forgiveness is letting go or giving up your right to take revenge to pay back. (By the fact you have abused or wronged
are crucifying him in the most painful way said, ‘Father forgive them’ and He also said ‘forgive one another as God forgave you’”. We may not always reach this but this is the standard we aim for. We need also to positively work for justice and peace. TEAR Australia works with the poorest communities empowering them to break the shackles of poverty and the preconditions for violence and retribution. Locally, our small Christian community in Lockridge decided to engage with and accommodate Muslim asylum seekers from Iraq. We have found a great deal in common. They find it difficult to get their heads around God being three in one, but then who can? Many of their stereotypes of Christians
have been blown away. They have called us their family and report to their family back in Iraq, “The only people who have loved us are Christians”. The Greek word for devil is ‘diablos’ which means to separate and divide. ISIS’s plan is to separate and divide the world into two groups those with faith and infidels. If we hate and divide then we are just as bad as ISIS. Jesus came to bring peace and wholeness. Lastly, I wonder whether our abhorrence and anger at what ISIS is doing is tied in with our own personal unresolved wounds. If we have truly been marinated in God’s unconditional love and forgiveness and accepted this, it would be far easier to show grace to others, especially those who don’t deserve it.
So in 2016, may God grant you grace and peace in your inner most being so that you reflect this into the world. May you join the winning side of the real Prince of Peace that overcomes evil with good that fights hate with love that absorbs violence with peace and divisiveness with wholeness.
Photo Terry Hicks
me – you have given me a right to retribution. When I forgive I abandon that right and I open the door of opportunity for you to make a new beginning. I don’t think you can get rid of the pain but you can say I am not going to let you victimise me.) The late M Scott Peck, the American psychiatrist writes, ‘The healing of evil can be accomplished only by the love of individuals. If one takes the evil itself into one’s heart, like a spear into one’s side, it can be absorbed and it goes no further. … Whenever this happens there is a slight shift in the balance of power in the world.” Desmond Tutu was asked, ”Is there anything that is unforgiveable? Genocide, torture, rape, affairs, terrorism?” He responded, “We follow Jesus who at the point when they
Steve McKinnon is the TEAR Australia Assistant State Coordinator for Western Australia and Chaplain at Ellenbrook Christian College.
10 feature JANUARY 2016
Being healthy for the sake of others
A few weeks ago a friend had a persistent and somewhat ominous pain in her abdomen area. She tried to ignore the pain for a while, but as it worsened she realised she would have to go to the hospital to try and get an assessment, diagnosis and treatment for this potentially serious issue. After days of tests and scans it was determined the problem was a swollen gall bladder, for which there was no remedy other than immediate removal. As it turned out, this was clearly a correct diagnosis as she felt incredible relief after the pain of the operation wore off. When we experience physical problems we are sometimes forced to take stock of our health and lifestyle, and make whatever healthy changes we can. But to be fair, we can only work on factors that are within our control. Tragedy, disability and death are aspects of this life that will inevitably affect us at one point or another, and sometimes our only option is to rely on God’s grace in making the best of situations and limitations beyond our control. When it comes to other aspects of our health, the symptoms of problems are not always as obvious. Issues affecting our emotions,
personality and character can sometimes lie well beneath the surface. We may live what we consider to be ‘emotionally healthy’ lives, but then unexpected events can suddenly trigger something within us that threatens to overwhelm us, derail career paths, sabotage ministries and relationships, etc. So again, it seems prudent to be proactive in gauging our emotional health periodically so that we can try to get on top of issues before they get on top of us. The uncomfortable truth is that every one of us has blind spots and weaknesses, some of which are minor while others are huge and crippling. We can carry ‘emotional baggage’ with us for years, our whole lifetime sometimes, and these issues have the potential to limit our emotional, spiritual, mental and relational capacity for growth. The really sad fact is that dysfunctional patterns
are sometimes no different in a Christian’s life than for those who have not heard of Jesus. Some of these problems can be due to ‘family of origin’ issues; like the young man who had an angry, explosive mother who dominated the home and made everyone walk on eggshells, a destructive behaviour he promised himself never to imitate. But then later in life he finds himself caught in fits of rage where he seems to just lose control, and the unpredictable power of it scares him and those around him. Or, the gifted young woman who had a father for whom nothing was ever good enough, who never praised her accomplishments as a child, who is then set on a life long pursuit of success by an internal drivenness to perform. But it seems that no matter what accolades she receives, it’s almost as if she can’t hear others’ praises as she is subconsciously working for the approval of the one man who may never speak the words she is aching to hear. We all have work to do. But how do we work on these issues, where do we begin? For the last 13 years I have been involved with a ministry at our church (Mount Hawthorn Baptist Church) called ‘Prayer ministry’. This is different to
other professional interventions which can also be beneficial (like counselling, psychology, psychiatry, social work, etc), and ideally a combination of caring interventions in conjunction with spiritual growth can help us develop and grow most holistically. The differentiating aspect of prayer ministry is that it is a way by which Christians appropriate the healing and victory Jesus has won for every one of us on the cross, through a process of prayer and discerning root issues by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. After years of helping lead a team in this ministry, I found that we were coming against certain barriers in this ministry again and again. Firstly, a lack of training, and secondly a lack of confidence in people who had received training to then lead ministry sessions. A lot of the training we received was from Ellel Ministries, who have some of the most respected leaders and teachers in this field. But after years of studying and implementing their insightful principles, I found their course notes to be very in-depth and not always easily accessible to lay Christians working full-time who did not have time to attend their intensive seminars. It seemed to me that Ellel represented the ‘SAS’ of this ministry but the
‘general army’ needed resources to equip them for the basics of the ministry. From there we could then refer more intensive needs for further ministry to others more specialised in the field if needed. In 2010 I first felt prompted to start writing a prayer ministry manual to address this need, and the years of training and ministry experience just flowed out of me as I had a passion to create a resource that was biblically based, simple, practical and accessible for all Christians. As I had never written anything before I naively thought this manual could be completed within the year and that many would then excitedly engage with this new resource … Three years later I finished writing the manual and then the agonising process of scrutiny and editing started, which took another two years. I emailed a soft copy to many respected Christian leaders I knew, including the Director of Ellel Ministries here in Australia. I received a lot of helpful feedback which was then incorporated, but I have to admit it felt incredibly hard, like giving birth again and again, and if hadn’t been for key people God brought into my life at the right times I would often have rather just abandoned the project altogether.
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The manual outlines some of what I believe to be God’s biblical plan for redemption and emotional health, and gives practical ways we can start to prayerfully work through issues like trauma, generational strongholds, addictions, damaging lingering soul ties to influential people from our past, etc. It ties in teachings from not only Ellel Ministries but also other respected Christian leaders like Neil Anderson, Joyce Meyers and Dr Henry Cloud. My desire is that it would be as helpful to as many people in Christian ministry as possible, so I would be happy to email a soft copy to anyone requesting one: email@example.com. To close, I believe the highest calling anyone can have on this earth is to do something on behalf of others. Jesus demonstrated this most powerfully in giving up His life in order to free us from the consequences of sin and death. As we walk in increased healing and victory, God’s life-transforming power is best displayed; as we are ‘cleanedup conduits’ we are less likely to affect others negatively by unredeemed aspects of our life and character that do not yet reflect the character of our righteous and holy God. When we are as healthy as we can be
on every level, not only do we experience greater blessing, but so do our families and ministries, thereby bringing greater glory to our loving Creator and Redeemer. Anina Findling is the Relationship Manager WA for Baptist Financial Services.
12 in conversation
Photo: Public domain
Arastoo Yazdani and his wife Megan lead Freedom City Church in Fremantle.
Refugee challenges church Arastoo (Ari) Yazdani is the pastor of Freedom City Church in Fremantle. He came to Australia as a refugee more than three decades ago. He has a degree in Accounting and Taxation and was the Youth and Young Adults Pastor at Perth Christian Life Centre before moving to Freedom City Church. Tell us a little about how and why your family came to Australia. My family came to Australia from Iran in 1984. Once the Ayatollah Khomeini took control of the country, things went downhill very quickly. My father was a teacher and my mother a nurse, however as my parents associated with the Bahá’í faith, they were labelled second class citizens virtually overnight. My mother and father decided this was no longer a country they could raise their children in. My sister was five years old and I was only a newborn. We fled over the border to neighbouring Pakistan, and shortly thereafter Australia granted us visas and flew us over for the opportunity of a new life. What was it like for you at school? School was smooth sailing for me. I fitted in well with the other kids, and was generally accepted. I had my occasional bout with discrimination and racism, however it was very rare. As most teenagers do, I had my season of rebellion, however when I found Jesus I found my path. I did well in my studies and graduated from Curtin University with my Accounting and Taxation double degree.
How did your family embrace Australian culture? As far as my parents were concerned, the Australian way of life resonated with what already lay in their hearts and they began to contribute to this great new country of ours straight away. They learnt the language and began their careers. I believe the fact we were well accepted helped this process along. Even though they missed their family and friends, they soon made new friends. They have always been grateful to the Australian Government for extending a helpful hand in their time of crisis, and have passed this attitude down to my sister and I. They have never taken a dollar from Centrelink, have always paid their taxes, and I still remember my father marching me back to the local deli to pay the 50 cents the store clerk had undercharged me. In my eyes, they are model Australian citizens, and this nation is better off because of them. What made it easy for you? A Catholic organisation had a lot to do with us when we first arrived. This displayed a significant contrast to the system my parents had fled from, which helped with the transition. When an overzealous religious system
has attempted to segregate you, label you, control you and push you down, a person becomes very open-minded to the alternatives. Therefore, having this positive experience with the church in Australia, left my parents with an optimistic point of view about Christianity as a whole. Again, this point of view flowed down, and when my time came to find God for myself, I found Him in Jesus.
My advice is always this: let’s attempt to place ourselves in the shoes of these refugees. Australia is accepting 12,000 refugees from Syria – what advice would you give to the Australian community at large? My advice is always this: let’s attempt to place ourselves in the shoes of these refugees. Imagine all of the plans and dreams you had for your family were one day suddenly stripped away. Would you not do all you could to find a better life for them? I believe we all would. We are so very fortunate to live in a country like Australia. In turn, the truth is, not one of us chose what family to be born into, often to our dismay. Neither did we choose what country to be born into. One of the things I love about Ross Lyon’s leadership of the
Fremantle Dockers, is he teaches his team that no one player is any more important than the others. He looks down on what is called being a ‘ball hog’ – someone who doesn’t share the ball with others. For those of us blessed enough to taste the freedom, opportunity and standard of living we have in Australia, I say let’s not be ‘hogs’ about it. Let’s share what we have. What about to the Christian community? As a pastor of a church I have the privilege of doing life with many Kingdom-minded people. In the same way we already do so well at loving our literal neighbours – our family, friends, workmates, and the needy of our nation – Jesus calls us to love all of our neighbours. When quizzed on who exactly our neighbour is, Jesus gives us the Good Samaritan. A man who cared for and helped someone of a different ethnicity and religion to his own. “Go and do likewise” Jesus says to the people after explaining the parable. These Syrian refugees are human beings created by God, in the image of God, who Jesus considered worthy to die for. That sounds to me like someone I’m called to love. We’re not all called to focus on policies etc, however we are all called to love the individual. There seems to be a fear response by some areas of our society to people of the Muslim faith. How do you respond to that? I have noticed a rapid rise in the fear response. I think we
all expected a bit of that after the Paris attacks. However, to be honest I have been quite surprised by the level and ferocity of it. Personally, I believe the media has had a field day with this topic. I try not to subscribe too much to what mainstream media feeds me. I rely more on my experiences with people I’ve actually met from different ethnicities and religions, as well as concrete information and knowledge. Unfortunately, I’ve found a lack of education about people of the Muslim faith has led to some of the mass hysteria. My goal is to try to see people as individuals – not in classes or groups. According to my understanding, at the end of the day every human being is similar deep down. We’ve all been created in God’s image and likeness. We are all unique, with our own personality, talents, dreams and destiny. No two people are the same. My heart breaks for the innocent, well-meaning, model citizen, who is labelled as a villain for something they had nothing to do with. I hope never to make an enemy out of the very people I am called to love. Can you describe some ways Christians can engage with Muslim people to build community? I think it all starts with our attitude. If we can find love in our hearts for people of the Muslim faith, when God brings one along our path, we will be ready to love them practically.
leadership 13 JANUARY 2016
A blessed house
As humans, we have a tendency to drift out of God’s standard of what He has set out for us as His children. How do we receive a blessed life? ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.’ [Ephesians 1:3] Blessed – ‘To invoke divine favour upon. To confer wellbeing and abundance upon.’ We can define blessing in our lives by these factors: • Happiness/Contentment • Peace • Wholeness (spiritual richness, emotional and mental health) • Healthy relationships • Fruitfulness (success in work, increase and fullness) From the beginning of humanity with Adam and Eve, God has wanted to bless His people, giving them fruitfulness and authority. God gave a promise of blessing of Abraham that continues to be fulfilled in all who receive Christ. ‘I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ [Genesis 12:2-3] Righteousness was imputed to Abraham and because we are children of His promise as well as having the righteousness of Jesus, we are blessed with the same blessing as Abraham.
‘Therefore we know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles, by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.’ [Galatians 3:7-9] ‘For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.’ [Romans 4:13] We receive the promise not through our lineage but through our faith and acceptance of Jesus as our Saviour. ‘But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.’ [John 1:12] The last thing Jesus did before He ascended to Heaven was lift His hands and bless the disciples. Because of this, we can now receive Christ so He can show us a new way of living, a way that inherits the blessing of God. Under the New Testament, God has made it absolutely foolproof for us to be blessed; if we receive Christ we are called blessed. It’s that simple! So how do we live it out?
Wisdom is not just knowing what to do, but actually living it out daily. We need to understand how to appropriate Christ and blessing into our lives. Practically, wisdom looks like this: • Fear God = make God your first priority
We can honour and please God by serving Him first and out of love Honour the Lord with your possessions = acknowledge what you have came from God and return it to Him in tithes and offerings
Arrange your time, money and lifestyle so that God is respected in your life Live out your blessed life and you will be a blessing to others! Used with permission from Phil Pringle, www.philpringle.com
His worn out Bible
For years, I was coached by Warren Myers. Warren, who passed away in 2001, coached many young leaders. One of those men had the experience of travelling with Dr Charles Malik* one summer as his personal assistant and sent the following to our mutual friend and coach, Warren. “We spent hours discussing the atmosphere in a crises, the immense demands on a leader’s time, the pressures from all sides, the growing threat and danger of nuclear war, the degeneration of
Western civilisation. And I asked, ‘How, in the midst of all this chaos, do you maintain your own sense of values and priorities, of what is right and wrong – how do you find meaningful solutions for the chaotic times in which we live?’” “I will never forget his answer. Going over to his still unpacked suitcase, he ever so carefully took out a book. The pages were loose, some fell out, it was beat-up, worn, and looked terrible. Yet he handled it so carefully and carried it like it was the greatest of all treasures. As he sat down, I could tell that the beat-up old book was his Bible. I asked him if I could hold it, and as I turned to page after page – in the Old and New Testaments – there was hardly any more room on any page for more writing. Every page was well-worn and obviously wellread and studied.”
“I asked him how often he had to get a new Bible – thinking that the Bible in my lap was at least 20 years old. He replied, ‘About every two years!’ At 70 years of age, wearing out a Bible every two years by studying it!” “I knew what his answer would be to my original question. He simply said, ‘You must get to know the author of this book and put into practice everything He tells you to do.’ As a college student he established his priorities and down through the years his first priority has been to begin each day alone with God and His Word.” “As we travelled and lived together I saw that Dr Malik never began his day with men and their problems until after he came out from the presence of God.” Used with permission from Dave Kraft, www.davekraft.org
Dr Malik: Received his PhD from Harvard University where he also taught Was appointed as the Lebanese Ambassador to the United States and the United Nations
Was President and Chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights Was President of the 13th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
*The late Dr. Charles Malik of Lebanon, 1906-1987.
14 news JANUARY 2016
Nations Church’s double release
98five Music Director Chela Williams
Songs were written out of what we believe has been divinely inspired moments in the life our songwriters. “Definitely a great growing process for our team.” Aimed to create a trigger for the presence of God for both Nations Church and the church abroad Lead Pastor Ken Lee explains Seek has been 11 years in the making since planting the church in 2003. “The album is basically an overflow of what has been happening here at Nations Church,” Ken said.
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Terry Hicks Andrew Sculthorpe Maclain Bruce Vanessa Klomp Peter Ion Hayley Emmett Catherine Bartlett Sally Phu Sally Phu 5th of each month
“Songs were written out of what we believe has been divinely inspired moments in the life our songwriters.” Ken is also featured on the Seek album performing ‘How Great Thou Art’ and ‘I Exalt Thee’. “I just had the privilege of leading our congregation in a couple of classics,” Ken said. “I’m probably showing you my age by telling you I love those songs, but I think sometimes as much as I think praise and worship resources should be cutting edge and fresh there is much room in our churches for that which is timeless and multigenerational.” “We as songwriters essentially get to place spiritual declarations into the mouths of our congregations,” Chris said. “That’s why we put a lot of time and energy into refining our lyrics.” Seek and Break Free EP are available for purchase on iTunes.
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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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Nations Church’s Seek and Nations Youth’s Break Free EP are available now on iTunes.
Lakeside dance in the aisles
Photo: Sarah Parks
“Prior to this, we had never really written for our church,” Chris said. “It was pretty much a case of dedicating time to prayer, seeking God for what He wanted to say through the music and then putting pen to paper.”
Photos: Nations Church
Recorded live from their Myaree campus Nations Church’s Seek and Nations Youth’s Break Free EP are loaded with original songs and fresh sound. Written and produced by the Nations Creative the projects were conceived in late 2014 when core members began writing and experimenting with original material. Led by project manager Chris Burke, it was recorded live in July 2015.
Sean W Smith in the ‘groove’ with children at Lakeside Baptist Church
Lakeside Kidz and parents were excited to welcome back Christian children’s songwriter Sean W Smith at Lakeside Baptist Church on 1 November. After sharing a song in ‘big church’ with adults, which had everyone dancing in the aisles, Sean led the kids into the hall for their special Lakeside Kidz concert. Sean immediately grabbed the children’s attention by appearing, on stage, wearing his ‘grandma’s’ knickers over his jeans. Toddlers through to teenagers, and a few stray parents, got right into the concert mood, singing and performing actions to a mix of familiar songs and songs from Sean’s new album, Groove.
There was a sense of excitement as the kids were so engaged in singing, but also to see them sit and quietly listen as Sean reminded them that being different because we love Jesus can be tough, but if we remember that we have Jesus as our parachute we’ll
always be okay – as long as we remember to pull the ripcord! Sean also entertained children at Morley Baptist Church and enthralled them as the exuberant and talented kids’ entertainer, which he is renowned for, who has a heart to see kids come to Christ.
intermission 15 JANUARY 2016
Down the left side of this page are some books of the Bible, and down the right side are some people’s names. Draw a line between the book and the name of the person (who is a main character in it.)
Jonah didn’t want to go to Ninevah when God told him to. So God had a big fish swallow him and take him there. [Jonah 1-3] Answers for the Christmas Word Scramble in the December 2015 issue of The Advocate. 1. Herod 2. Shepherd 3. Married 4. Stable 5. Manger 6. Jesus
Christmas Egypt Joseph Mary Star Wise Men King Flocks Angel
The Me I Want to Be
John Ortberg The Me I Want to Be is a five week study, with short video sessions and a study book of group questions. In the videos John Ortberg discusses how believers can flourish the way God has created them. Viewers learn to assess their spiritual life and deepen their relationship with God. Becoming the best version of ‘yourself’ is a focus of this study and viewers learn through it that life is God’s project, not theirs. John Ortberg’s way of teaching is easy to relate to for any believer, whether a new or experienced Christian. Through the sessions focusing on mind, time, relationships and experiences viewers can become not only who they want to be, but who God intended them to be. This title is available as a book as well as a study.
Gabriel’s Messenger Films What do you do when your world caves in around you? Who if your identity is in your job and you are forced to retire? Is there a God who loves us when tragedy strikes us? In The Investigator, Sergeant James Buanacore must answer these questions, leading him on a journey of discovery of who he is and who God is. A moving story based on real life events of the love of a family to bring one of their own through a traumatic and potentially devastating series of circumstances. Sergeant Buanacore changes careers to find himself and the God who he turned away from. For anyone who has struggled with these questions, viewers will find this journey has laughs and tears, drama and joy, just like many people’s own journeys to find out who God is and His place in their lives.
Priscilla Shirer Fervent is a practical guide to a prayer-filled battle plan against the very real enemy. Priscilla Shirer is a powerful speaker, author and most recently main actress in the popular film War Room. Priscilla has brought her movie role into real life through Fervent. She takes readers step-by-step through many areas of their life, such as passions, identity, family and fears. She uses strategies inspired by the movie and personalises them into prayers for the readers own life. These strategies can be applied to ask God for help in taking back what was lost, standing ground, strengthing relationships and living a prayerful life. She reveals key situations, intentions, how real the enemy is and encourages believers to stand up against him the only way they can, by prayer.
Reviews by Koorong Mount Lawley Assistant Manager Dorothy Waddingham
7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.
Website: www.koorong.com Address: 434 Lord Street, Mount Lawley Phone: 08 9427 9777
This voucher entitles you to 15% off your next purchase in store at Mount Lawley The Advocate – January 2016
16 news JANUARY 2016
Photo: Tiago Melo
Sharing through surfing
Matthew Gordon catches a wave at Bowes River Mouth, Horrocks.
Matthew Gordon has loved surfing since his early teens when his family moved close to the beach at Wembley Downs. Today his passion for clean waves has not abated and he leads Christian Surfers Scarborough. Good waves and the camaraderie of surfing with mates are not the only things that Matt thrives on. He is a committed follower of Jesus and is a member of the worship team at C3 Church Scarborough that meets in the Rendezvous Hotel on Scarborough Beach. Christian Surfers Scarborough is one of more than 40 Christian Surfers groups around Australia that engage surfers of all ages and build bridges between the beach and local churches.
About 100 people are part of Christian Surfers (CS) Scarborough providing a surfing environment with positive and encouraging role models for young surfers to look to. A fortnightly Bible study and barbecue is held with 15 to 25 members attending. “CS is for all ages,” Matt said. “It’s about reaching out and showing the surfing community who Jesus is.”
The group is committed to helping novices get the hang of riding waves as well as providing a surfing community that is a little bit different. They run a ‘learn to surf’ session on Sunday mornings. “We are here to be something different in the community, we need to be different and noticed,” Matt said.
It’s about reaching out and showing the surfing community who Jesus is.
“Surfing is a very selfish sport and everyone is after the best wave for themselves.” “At CS we try to share and give up the best waves for others even if we are in the best spot.” From grommets (young surfers just learning the art of riding waves) to veterans, Christian Surfers offers far more than surfing skills. Leader Chris Kearney takes novices he meets at Scarborough out on the group’s soft top ‘foamies’ for an introductory lesson. Recently he met three Brazilian men from the Groundswell Surf Festival run by Be The Church (C3 Church Scarborough). The Festival was a free event on Scarborough Beach with open surfing and open
bodyboarding competitions, and a beginners’ event. Chris had the pleasure of baptising the three new followers of Jesus late November 2015. Members of CS Scarborough take regular trips to the South West searching for waves. A crew of eight male leaders recently made a trip to Lombok and Bali, Indonesia in November 2015 to look at potential surfing trips for 2016. The Christian Surfers Scarborough Facebook page posts information about the group and coming events. For more information, email Matt Gordon at email@example.com