QB MAGAZINE THE VOICE OF QUEENSLAND BAPTISTS | DEC 17/JAN 18
Be Still and Know that I am God
The Risk Worth Taking
Is there room for Jesus?
Print post approved ISSN: 100003837 | The Queensland Baptist - first published in 1890. This series Vol 15 Issue 6. | qb.org.au
QB MINISTRIES 20
Baplink Merry Christmas from Baplink
QB Women Be still and know that I am God
26 Carinity Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ 28 QCCC Jinibara Agreement Landmark for QCCC’s Reconciliation Agenda 30
QB Archives Safe - For a Century!
Malyon Graduate of Influence Award
34 BWAA The Power of Hope
4 From the General Superintendent
Knowing God Series
Speaking out: John Sweetman
Around the regions
Global Interaction Christmas stories from around the World
Do You Hear What I Hear?
When the teacher
becomes the student
Is there room for Jesus?
The risk worth taking
QB.ORG.AU DEC 17/JAN 18 3
FROM THE GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT
Joshua 23:14 “and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one word has failed of all the good things that the LORD your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed.” Matthew 19:26 “But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”
As a teenager, I and a couple of my mates would think it clever to change some of the words of the hymns we sang for no other reason than we thought it was smart to do so. So, instead of singing “Standing on the promises of Christ my King”, we would sing, “Sitting on the premises.” At least the words truly represented my posture at the time!
Has it been more “standing on the promises” or more “sitting on the premises”?
At the end of this year it is appropriate that we stop and reflect on how 2017 has been for us. I know for some it has been pure bliss, for others, the toughest year yet. It is timely to remind ourselves that nothing ever happens to us without God’s knowledge or permission. But what about our response to the circumstances we have faced?
As we anticipate 2018, I wonder what promises of God you might claim as you face the unknown future? According to one source, there are over three thousand promises in the Bible. Here are just a few.
4 DEC 17/JAN 18 QB.ORG.AU
God’s promises always hold true, and He can accomplish all things He so desires. It can be with confidence and boldness, with a generous mix of humility, that we can face any situation.
Matthew 11:28-29: Come to me, all who labour and are heavy
laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. •
2 Peter 1:3: His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
Matthew 6:33: But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
I wonder whether any of these – or any others resonate with you and your current situation? It is time to stand on the promises! Ministry Matters There is no doubt that life and ministry are getting more complex! By the time you read this, it will be clearer how Australia views the same–sex marriage issue. Legislation is also currently before the Parliament on matters arising out of the Royal Commission, regarding institutional abuse of children. Both matters have the potential to impact not only how our churches and pastors function, but also every Christian in the conduct of our lives. Pastors and churches are facing issues that are increasingly complex. We need to reaffirm our commitment to the Lord Jesus and His ways. We also need to pray for wisdom for our leaders and pastors, as they deal with some of these issues, and that we might respond in a godly manner in every circumstance. The complexities of life will remain and we need to address them in appropriate ways. The most effective way of addressing these matters is for people to submit their lives to the Lord Jesus. Sharing our faith has never been more important.
Leave a legacy to honour their memory.
As we celebrate Christmas, we recall how many times in the Old Testament, God promised the coming Saviour. One well known Scripture is Isaiah 7:14
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” On behalf of our family and Queensland Baptists Services Group, I do trust and pray you and your family will have a blessed Christmas, and will know the joy of walking with Jesus as we enter 2018!
When you arrange a funeral through Bethel Funerals, you can create hope from the sadness. Because Bethel is a ‘not for profit’ company, we actively invest back into mission, humanitarian and community work. So your loved one will be honoured with a legacy that can make a real contribution. A legacy that leaves behind more than memories. To find out more, go to bethelfunerals.com.au or call us on 07 3219 9333
David Loder General Superintendent firstname.lastname@example.org
QB.ORG.AU DEC 17/JAN 18 5
FROM THE EDITOR
THE VOICE OF QUEENSLAND BAPTISTS
the years. He delivers excellent insights and God-given wisdom, and I know many readers look forward to his articles. We hope that John continues as a guest writer, as he moves into retirement. In this issue, he reflects on his 39 years of ministry with honesty and love, and many will relate to his observations about the challenges and joys of working with people and churches.
Wow! 2017 is almost over! It seems like only a moment ago that the year commenced, and we will soon be wishing each other “Happy New Year” again. God’s message of grace and truth are the only things that remain the same. Even as seasons pass, and celebrations come and go, the simple and humble message of Christ remains. The birth of the most glorious King of Kings in a dark stable among the animals, is an amazing testament of His love for us. “A thousand times in history a baby became a king. Only once did a king become a baby”. Allan Quak’s article about the circumstances of Christ’s birth (Room for Jesus) raises some important questions about the room we make for Christ in our own hearts and lives, despite our busyness and distractions. Sincere thanks to John Sweetman (Speaking Out) for his wonderful contribution to the magazine over
We have put together 2017 highlights from a few of our many amazing churches (2017 – Looking back. Moving forward). We are so grateful for the big hearts they have for their local communities, and the way God uses His people to deliver creative events and outreach. Be encouraged by the stories and photos from His church families. For the puzzlers, we have special Christmas themed games and a competition (Fun Zone) so make sure you get your entries in for your chance to win a Koorong voucher. Thank you to all our wonderful readers, and I hope you have a safe, joyous and blessed Christmas and holiday season. I look forward to the start of a new year and hope you continue to enjoy the qb magazine in 2018. God Bless,
Linda Nevell Editor, the qb email@example.com
The qb is a member of the Australasian Religious Press Association, published bi-monthly by Queensland Baptist Services Group in February, April, June, August, October and December. Editor: Linda Nevell Design: Shell Graphix Print: Printcraft This magazine is printed with soy based inks and paper from sustainable forest plantations. We welcome reader feedback and opinions about our articles. Remember to include your full name, email and postal addresses. Articles and advertising in The qb express the opinions of the authors, not necessarily the editor or publishers. Every effort is made to ensure the correctness of facts and information however we cannot accept responsibility for errors. The publishers reserve the right to accept or decline any advertising. Deadline for advertisement and copy: 10th of the month prior to the month of publication. PO Box 6166 Mitchelton Qld 4053 P 07 3354 5633 F 07 3354 5646 Advertising rates are listed in The qb Media Kit available at www.qb.org.au/newsmedia. Prices are also available on enquiry and advertising packages can be tailored to suit your budget. Reduced contract rates apply to three bookings within a 12 month period. Please contact us for details. A limited number of inserts are also accepted. Copyright © 2003 by Queensland Baptist Services Group. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means without written permission from the publisher. Unless otherwise noted, Scripture verses appearing in The qb are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Advertise in The qb It’s affordable and effective! Contact us for details and pricing. P 07 3354 5600 firstname.lastname@example.org
53 Prospect Road, Gaythorne Qld 4051 PO Box 6166, Mitchelton Qld 4053 P 07 3354 5600 F 07 3354 5646 email@example.com
QUEENSLAND CONFERENCE AND CAMPING CENTRES
DISCOVER QCCC TAMBORINE Situated in the beautiful Gold Coast Hinterland, we have 4 venues that would be perfect for hosting your next family camp, youth retreat or men’s and women’s getaways. From delicious meals to comfortable accommodation, we have everything to provide your guests with a memorable experience. Contact us now!
www.qccc.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org 07 5545 1417
BE AN “UNOFFICIAL CHAPLAIN” BY WARREN CRANK - WARRENBCRANK@GMAIL.COM
The recently published ‘Faith & Belief in Australia’ report (based on research conducted by McCrindle), found that 92% of Australians know at least one Christian. The good news is that the top 5 ‘Perceptions of Christians’ are positive; they are, in descending order, caring, loving, kind, honest and faithful. Pretty encouraging feedback! So, how can we all leverage our overwhelmingly good reputation in ways that point people to Jesus? This is the most pressing question, because the ‘Top Attractor to Religion and Spirituality’ (according to the McCrindle research) is seeing people who live out a genuine faith. Seeing them. What nonChristians observe as they see ordinary Christians going about their everyday lives is most compelling! Interestingly, two of the ‘Top Repellants to Religion and Spirituality’ are philosophical discussion and debating ideas, and hearing from public figures and celebrities as examples of faith. This means that your own life-witness is
8 DEC 17/JAN 18 QB.ORG.AU
what matters. For most Aussies, the most compelling reason to consider the Christian faith will be the life of a Christian they know personally. You. But if you don’t see yourself as an evangelist or a preacher, what model can you use? For me, the ‘chaplaincy model’ points the way. I have been chaplain for the North Queensland Cowboys (NRL) and the Norths Devils (QRL). I am currently the chaplain for the Brisbane Broncos (NRL). I would like to share what I have learned both from these ministries and other chaplains. The following 8 chaplaincy attitudes and approaches have been fieldtested and are Bible-based. They will position you to better reach the people around you, whatever the context—be it work, study or play. I encourage you to think of yourself as an Unofficial Chaplain to the people around you. 1. COMMISSIONED Apostle Peter described everyday Christians as “chosen…for obedience to Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:1-2). We have received a divine
decree to do good (1 Peter 2:13), to seek peace and pursue it (1 Peter 3:11). We need to share the hope that we have with everyone (2 Peter 3:15). This means that you have been commissioned by God for special service to people outside the church. Johann Oncken (18001884) was a pioneer German Baptist preacher & European leader. He coined the phrase “every Baptist a missionary”. Imagine that. Every Baptist. 2. HOLISTIC MINISTRY The National Church Life Survey data reported that the highest ministry engagement of people in Queensland Baptist churches was in hospitality ministry. Our second highest was in interpersonal relationships. We serve and care for people personally. According to the ‘Faith and Belief’ findings, the second biggest attractor to religion and spirituality is when someone experiences a personal trauma or life event. Our genuine care and hospitable actions during times of upheaval open opportunities to share.
they were negative about religion. Some of them are passionately opposed to Christianity. People have their reasons. Here’s how we are to respond: a) seek peace and pursue it (1 Peter 3:11); b) love your enemies, do good to those who hate you and pray for them (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27); c) entrust yourself and the circumstances “to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23). Do your best to respond to rejection in a disarming manner. Make every effort to live peacefully and positively with the people that you are called to serve.
3. AMBASSADOR FOR CHRIST Unofficial Chaplains represent God to the people around them. You may be the only follower of Jesus that someone knows. Don’t underestimate your influence. According to the ‘Faith & Belief’ research, the second greatest influence on opinions of Christians and Christianity are friends and networks. When our lives reflect the Christ-like traits of integrity, diligence, love and justice we will forge a good reputation with people in our friendship circles and natural networks (Colossians 3:23; 1 Timothy 3:7). This will go a long way towards creating the right conditions for spiritual conversations. 4. PREPARED TO SHARE HOPE The ‘Faith and Belief’ report revealed that 60% of people are open to engagement about spirituality in times of uncertainty. 55% talk about spirituality or religion at least occasionally. Australians are typically positive about Jesus. So, talk about Jesus. Share your God-story, because the third best attractor to religion and spirituality is stories or testimonies of people who have been changed due to their faith.
5. LEVERAGE INFLUENCE FOR GOOD The success of unofficial chaplaincy rests on the strength of relationships and leveraging those relationships for good. There are three identifiable levels of influence in the exercise of unofficial chaplaincy ministry. First level People need to become confident that you are a descent, trustworthy human being. It helps if they end up liking you! Second level When you spend time with people outside your usual context, friendships reach new levels, increasing the likelihood of openness to talk about deeper things, including spirituality. Third level Some relationships will turn into spiritual friendships. You will intentionally guide friends toward faith in Christ. This is the right time to introduce them to a wider circle of Christians and to your local church. 6. ANTICIPATE ANTAGONISM 1 in 4 people who participated in the ‘Faith & Belief’ survey reported that
7. INTERCESSION Intercessory prayer is a major duty of unofficial chaplaincy ministry. You pray believing that “the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer” (1 Peter 3:12). Oswald Chambers was a chaplain who died while serving in World War I. He wrote, “We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defence. We pray when there is nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all.” Prayer is vital! 8. NUDGE The dictionary describes a nudge as a gentle push, especially with the elbow, to get someone’s attention. Chaplaincy ministry is more about nudging than Bible-bashing. The Bible encourages us to share our faith “with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience” (1 Peter 3:15-16). There may be lots of small steps in a person’s journey to Jesus. Your role is to gently nudge people in God’s direction. Everyone can be an Unofficial Chaplain. The ‘Unofficial Chaplain’ book is available through Koorong, Amazon and as an ebook. Alternatively, you can email Warren at warrenbcrank@ gmail.com to place an order. What a great Christmas Gift!
QB.ORG.AU DEC 17/JAN 18 9
REFLECTIONS ON 39 YEARS OF FULL-TIME PASTORAL MINISTRY
One of the characteristics of my ministry has been the embracing of healthy tension. Following God often requires holding two opposites together. We find this in theology (e.g. God as three and one; Jesus as both God and man), but tensions actually pervade all our ministry. As I retire from full-time pastoral ministry after 39 years, let me reflect on a few of the healthy tensions I have found.
1A. THINGS CHANGE When I entered ministry, there were no computers or mobile phones or social media; we sang hymns with an organ only; we wore safari suits; we thought that raising hands in worship was dangerous; we stood up when a lecturer entered the classroom; we ran off notes on a duplicator; we did very dangerous things on youth camps; and home visitation was big. There are huge
10 DEC 17/JAN 18 QB.ORG.AU
gaps between what a pastor did then and what a pastor does now. Things change. Some of these changes have been good (e.g. openness to other denominations), some have been disappointing (what was wrong with safari suits?) and many have proved to be both. But change is inevitable and if we can’t change, we’ll have a great church for the 1970s when those days come around again!
1B. THINGS DON’T CHANGE Yet a surprising number of things haven’t changed. The Bible of course is as authoritative and reliable as ever, but I’m surprised at how similar sermons have remained over 40 years (and more). Sermons continue as a 30-minute lecture. Oh, preachers might use a more diverse range of styles and some images, but most preachers from 40 years ago would still be comfortable in
the pulpit today (except that the pulpit itself has disappeared). This is the same with many aspects of pastoral ministry. People still need shepherding. Evangelism still requires sharing the gospel. Prayer does make a difference. Kingdom advances rest significantly on spiritual leadership. The local church is the hope of the world. When you think about it, not much of the core stuff has changed at all. Not really. 2A. PEOPLE CAN BE DIFFICULT Frankly, I think pastoral ministry would have been a breeze if it wasn’t for people. If only I could have been a TV preacher! But you can’t separate pastoring from people (a shepherd only exists for sheep). And people are sometimes difficult to serve. We have all sorts of flaws that can bring pain to pastors. We can be selfish and untrustworthy and unreliable and slack and obstinate and cranky and easily hurt. Do I need to go on? Pastors sometimes dream of pastoring the Acts 2 church where everyone got on so well, because they were all beautiful and committed, but some of the people in my churches have looked more like those the rest of the New Testament addresses. I’m not knocking them. I’m just as flawed. But people can be difficult. We really can. 2B. PEOPLE ARE WONDERFUL Yet I’ve also found the most committed, selfless, passionate, godly, grace–filled people in my churches (and college). Some have been through horrendous experiences and have held on to God. Some lay down their lives day after day for the sake of others. Some have ministered despite huge pressures in their lives. Some trust Jesus in a simple, naïve way and see great answers to prayer. Some have stood with me through low times. Some have deep pools of godly wisdom. Some can’t stop talking about Jesus. Some give up everything to follow God’s call. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. People are wonderful. What
a privilege it has been to love them and admire them and serve them and learn from them. 3A. MINISTRY IS DEEPLY DISAPPOINTING Maybe not every pastor feels this as acutely, but I have found ministry deeply disappointing at times. I know that it’s not just me, because I hear disappointment in Paul’s lament at the end of his ministry (2 Timothy 4:9-16). There are times when your dreams are dashed, your heart is broken, your plans are in chaos, and/ or your prayers seem unanswered. After a particularly bruising time about 12 years into pastoral ministry, I was deeply discouraged, and wondering whether I would still be pastoring in a month’s time. Many visions I pursued have not borne fruit. Most plans have not worked out as well as I hoped. It’s easy to get disheartened in ministry. It hurts because it’s your life and passion as well as your job. 3B. MINISTRY IS INCREDIBLY REWARDING Yet I have found pastoral ministry to be incredibly rewarding. Partly it’s because it means following God’s grace call, and there’s no better place to be than pleasing God. But it’s also because prayers get answered, lives get changed, suffering takes us deeper, influence grows, God turns up, people find Jesus (or Jesus finds them), the broken get healed, the hurting find comfort, and God builds his kingdom. I was sitting in homegroup a few weeks ago as we shared our stories. Several said how they had found Jesus while I was pastoring at Bracken Ridge. I sat back and drank it in. What a privilege to be part of that. Thank you Lord. Ministry is incredibly rewarding. We get to see so much of God’s work firsthand. 4A. GOD WORKS SLOWLY I remember Bobby Clinton (from Fuller Seminary) saying, ‘God works more slowly than you expect, even when you expect him to work more slowly than you expect.’ That’s true.
Look at God’s promises to Abraham. It took hundreds of years (maybe thousands) for them to be fulfilled. I say to my preaching students, ‘Expect God to work through each sermon, but remember that the greatest impact of your preaching is accumulative. Give God time.’ I’m always in such a hurry, but I’ve found that God usually isn’t. He will keep his promises and work in power, but he’s not in a rush, despite all my pleading. I’ve never completely adjusted to this, but I know it’s true. 4B. GOD WORKS QUICKLY Yet sometimes God’s breakthroughs come suddenly. The resistant seeker gets converted. The difficult change is accepted. The church (or college) takes off. The prayer meetings come to life. The vision is rapidly achieved. Revival happens. For example, I’ve struggled with fear/anxiety for most of my ministry. It has caused many nights of struggle. Then two years ago I was abruptly released by God. No warning. God spoke and healed and everything changed. It seems that God just doesn’t operate by our time frames (2 Peter 3:8). He has his own agenda. But I’ve found that sometimes he moves amazingly quickly. When he does, it’s very exciting. I could say much more about the healthy tensions of pastoral ministry, but that is enough for now. Retirement may allow more time to tease these things out. I thank God for the incredible privilege of 39 years of leading and shepherding. I look back in wonder at what he has done, and celebrate his grace in allowing me a small part in his powerful kingdom’s work. I look forward to a new season of ministry at (hopefully) a slightly reduced pace. Thanks for reading (and hopefully pondering) my articles over many years.
John Sweetman Principal, Malyon email@example.com
QB.ORG.AU DEC 17/JAN 18 11
BAPTISMS Dave Herron baptises Ashley Barnes, Caboolture Baptist.
Caboolture Baptist Church • Tiona Barben • Ashley Barnes • Brooke Daniels • Jackson James Coral Coast Christian Church • Maxine Stauffer Maisie McKenzie, Forest Lake Baptist Church
Jackson James, Caboolture Baptist Church
Dalby Baptist Church • Matthew Wynd • Chas Graham • Lex Turner • Cate Turner • Broc Turner • Lara Turner • Matt Stockley Forest Lake Baptist Church • Maisie McKenzie • Dylan Thomson • Jacinta Williamson Greenslopes Baptist Church • Rebecca Cazzulino • Praises Peewee Innisfail Baptist Church • Elin Denness • Rhys Hamilton
Coral Coast Baptism – Maxine Stauffer
12 DEC 17/JAN 18 QB.ORG.AU
Mareeba Baptist Church • Elisabeth Breuninger • Evelyne Breuninger • Benjamin Cousley • Joshua Cousley • Iris Hood • Tara Gostelow • Joseph Knighton • Katie Moule • Alice Sibthorpe • Jack Sibthorpe • Olivia Sibthorpe • Caleb Walmsley • Mikayla Walmsley Outlook Christian Church • Armina Apan • Sara Loader • Katelyn McHugh • Jemma Melia • Rachel Peake • Christine Saleh Stafford Heights Baptist Church • Conner Wiseman • Jemah Wiseman • Lachlan Wiseman
Dylan Thomson, Forest Lake Baptist Church L to R: Rachel Peake, Katelyn McHugh, Jemma Melia, Sara Loader, Armina Apan and Christine Saleh.
Outlook Christian Church It was great to see six members of Outlook Christian Church publicly affirming their faith and giving their testimonies in a recent baptism service. The big crowd that came along to witness the baptism demonstrates that Outlook’s members share a wide influence within the community around us. God is working within Outlook Christian Church! We know that God wants all people to believe in him; faith in God is how we are restored to the full life that God wants each of us to experience. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that God is not just at work in the lives of our friends at church; God is also at work in the lives of our workmates, our unchurched relatives, neighbours, our growing-up children, and our grown-up children; God is even at work among some of the people that we prefer to keep at arms-length. Baptism is a representation of what happens to us when we give our lives to God. When you are submersed in the water, it is a separation from the old way of life. But we don’t stay submersed, we are raised into a new life. It’s a new life where the Holy Spirit empowers us to respond differently to the world around us. It’s a new life that was never possible, before we took that step of faith to believe that Jesus is risen from the dead and that, we too, can share in His resurrected life.
Toowoomba Baptist Church John Werth baptizing his son, David Werth.
Toowoomba Community Baptist Church • • • •
Juana-vieve Nevin Samuel Whittingham Sebastian Inskip David Werth
PRAYER IS POWERFUL Please set aside some time to pray for the people recently baptised. They have taken a courageous and life changing step in their walk with Christ. Baptism is an important event in the believer’s walk with Jesus Christ. The Bible talks about water immersion baptism, in which a believer makes a public confession of their faith. Jesus led the way in example of water baptism! 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!
Tiona Barben, Caboolture Baptist Church
QB.ORG.AU DEC 17/JAN 18 13
Around the regions
From Mess to Masterpiece! – Stanthorpe KidsGames Stanthorpe Baptist church was the venue for the fourth annual KidsGames program which had the theme of “From Mess to Masterpiece”. 63 children attended over three days and sang songs, did arts and crafts, played team games, made new friends and had a go at helping others. The program was run by School Chaplains from Stanthorpe and Warwick, as well as volunteers from a range of churches on the Granite Belt. Overall, nine different churches were represented as well as a YWAM team from the Brisbane base. The children came from an even larger background, some not attending church, but who became interested via connections through families and schools. This year our service component of KidsGames involved making biscuits and hosting a morning tea for Bluecare clients. We also ran a community car wash where drivers were asked to donate towards TEAR Australia’s overseas project of installing bores in Ethiopia. We are so glad to experience unity through our combined churches’ support. We believe God is blessing this children’s outreach and look forward to an even better event in 2018.
14 DEC 17/JAN 18 QB.ORG.AU
One Heart Prayer for the City God calls His people to pray for the peace and prosperity of the community in which they live (Jeremiah 29:7). In keeping with this Scripture, Queensland Baptists teamed with Riverlife Baptist Church in 2017, and led a New Year’s Day prayer gathering in King George Square. Prayers of protection were said for the City of Brisbane and the State of Queensland. Riverlife Baptist Church has once more gained City Council permission to hold a public prayer gathering in King George Square at 5pm on Sunday the 7th of January 2018. This will be a time when we can join in unity as followers of Jesus, with one heart and one voice. We will not just declare the praises of God, and intercede for the city, we will be a public witness of the gospel. “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Jeremiah 29:7
The Power of One – Combined Worship of Greater East Brisbane Baptist Churches www.gatewaybaptist.com.au Jesus indicated twice in John 17:20-23 that unity has a powerful influence in seeing others come to faith in Him. As a tangible expression of their unity as followers of Jesus, 600 people from 7 Bayside Area churches gathered together for a combined evening service hosted by Gateway Baptist Church. Following on from Prayer Week, the pastors of the area decided to get together every month to simply pray for each other’s churches, to bless each other’s ministries and to pray for community transformation through people coming to faith in the Lord Jesus. Seeking God together has bought a renewed sense of cohesion, a sharing of resources, and the engagement of Rev. Graham Sercombe as an area evangelist to equip others. Moving beyond a ‘spiritual’ understanding of unity, the pastors and churches of the area are committed to exploring new ways to strengthen their unity in Christ.
Spring Fair Fun! Caboolture Baptist Church | www.caboolturebaptist.org A steady stream of community members enjoyed everything on offer at Caboolture Baptist’s Spring Fair 2017. The church was abundantly blessed with many donations including clothing, books, linen, tools and furniture. Lovers of food were catered for, with lots of home-made cakes and goodies. People enjoyed Devonshire teas at the outdoor tables, and watched the children enjoying the activities. The children were treated to beautiful face paintings, pony rides (with a very patient pony!), and the ever-popular jumping castle and side-show clowns. The church catering trailer provided delicious food alongside the coffee cart. In short, there was something for everyone. This is an annual event, and is a brilliant outreach, which helps connect the church to the local community. In fact, there are regulars that look forward to attending each year and snapping up some bargains! “God blessed us with a beautiful day!”
QB.ORG.AU DEC 17/JAN 18 15
Celebrations at “I Believe” Conference - Forest Lake
Fiji Mission Trip – City Tabernacle Baptist Church www.Citytabernacle.com.au Fourteen people from City Tabernacle completed a mission trip to the South Pacific Evangelical Fellowship (SPEF) Church in Lautoka, Fiji. They helped with refurbishing the hall and kitchen, and installing a new stove and fridge. The floors were painted, timber furniture sanded and re-varnished, and new hand-made curtains installed. Some of the team joined Lautoka Gideon to hand out Scriptures to school students, and others taught religious education classes at local schools. It was such blessing to listen to the enthusiastic singing of the children, and to see their faces as they listened intently to the stories and message. The team enjoyed wonderful fellowship and formed lifelong friendships with the folk of SPEF. Throughout the mission, there were many answers to prayer. The team were amazed at how things that had happened years before, were His answer to issues that arose as part of the work. This was a timely reminder that our Lord answers prayer, and knows what we need in advance. God has richly blessed each one who took part in this mission, those from SPEF, and those who upheld the mission in prayer. The fruits of the team’s labours are already being felt through the high levels of encouragement and empowerment in the SPEF congregation, and great things are expected. God is good! The new church hall at SPEF Lautoka, Fiji
I Believe Womens Conference Over 130 women from different Churches and denominations came together for the 2017 I Believe Women’s Conference, organised by Forest Lake Baptist Church. It was a time of challenge and encouragement as the women shared inspirational worship, great food and wonderful teaching by Cath Tallack. The theme of the conference was “The Time Is Now” and Cath challenged the women to take the next step God was laying in front of them, even if the destination is uncertain. Three women shared their special testimonies and journeys in taking the next step for Christ. Molly, shared how she became a Christian at the 2016 I Believe Conference, and was now returning to give her testimony. The challenge was given to women to write down their next steps, and so many great God given dreams were written on those cards. This year’s conference can be best summed up by what was written on one of our challenge cards: “God is present. I can trust His plan … He sees the ‘finished tapestry’ even though I can only see the knotted back.”
16 DEC 17/JAN 18 QB.ORG.AU
A warm cake and lots of love for mums in Maroochydore
Each year MOPS Australia recognises leaders who have contributed significantly to the ministry of MOPS in their local area.
For 12 years, Lifepointe Baptist Church at Buderim, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, has been operating a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group as a ministry to mothers with young children.
This year Sadie was chosen for recognition with the prestigious Hands of MOPS Award for QLD. On Sunday September 17th, MOPS Australia Board Chair Karen Dickson made a special trip to Buderim to be part of a service honouring MOPS at Lifepointe and to present Sadie with her award.
When the group first began, Sadie McCarthy was one of the women who joined the group as a child carer in the MOPPETS program. She was then 81 years of age. Sadie was a child carer for three years before she became the group’s Mentor. Sadie has been a Mentor for nine years and is a vital part of the group, supporting and encouraging mothers at each fortnightly meeting. Sadie has a wonderful smile, a gentle and encouraging spirit and a desire to come alongside mothers in their early parenting years. Even at her current age of 93 years, Sadie is a constant blessing to mothers, as she shares with them at each MOPS morning, ready to listen and encourage, and pray for the mums. Armed with a cake warm from the oven, Sadie is welcomed by mothers from the community and the church where the group meets each fortnight. Photo:: Tracey Beard Photographer L to R: Sarah Thomson, Karen Dickson (MOPS Board Chair), Sadie McCarthy (MOPS Mentor), Jenny Ahrens (MOPS Coordinator)
On the Move •
Rev Greg Peckman has concluded at New Hope
The award presentation was a surprise for Sadie who was surrounded by the MOPS leadership team who had nominated her. She graciously and humbly accepted her award, thanking God for how much He had blessed her in the years she had been part of the MOPS group. “It is all joy to serve our God in this way. MOPS is one of the greatest outreaches in our church, encouraging and blessing Mums and babies,” Sadie said. In presenting the award, Karen Dickson said what a pleasure it was to honour a beautiful Godly woman who gave her time, energy and love to mothers in the local area for 12 years and continues to do so. “Praise God for the love and commitment of women like Sadie who serve in MOPS groups across the country, seeking to encourage, care for and nurture young mothers in their challenging season of early parenting,” Karen said. “MOPS Australia considers it a privilege to honour Sadie McCarthy and offers its sincere congratulations to her on the Award. Pastor Phil Greenbury of Lifepointe Baptist Church and the leadership of its MOPS group are to be commended for their determination to reach out to and nurture the mothers in their community through MOPS.”
QB.ORG.AU DEC 17/JAN 18 17
SUNNYBANK DISTRICT BAPTIST CHURCH CELEBRATES 60 YEARS OF GOD’S WORK Pastor Joshua Tan | www.sdbc.org.au Sunnybank District Baptist Church (SDBC) recently celebrated their 60th Anniversary with a special combined service in the morning and a fellowship dinner in the evening. It was a great day of giving thanks to God for His work over the decades, and looking forward to God’s continued work in the future. The five congregations (three English, a Mandarin and a Cantonese congregation) combined for one service in the church auditorium. There were approximately 700 people attending the morning celebration including past members and ministers. It was a diverse and special service. All the elements of the worship service were special. The songs, prayers, and message demonstrated a unity between cultures and congregations, and the service was bilingual with Chinese translations. The Kids Talk gave the Church a glimpse into the bright future. Reverend Bryan Hoar, who was a significant minister in the history of the Church, gave a few words of reflection and encouragement. Stuart Pieper delivered greetings from Queensland Baptists. Reverend Daryl Evans, who is the Senior Pastor, opened God’s Word and reminded the Church to keep looking to the Lord Jesus Christ as the Church moves ahead into the next decade.
18 DEC 17/JAN 18 QB.ORG.AU
The fellowship dinner included interviews with Church members from a variety of generations and backgrounds. We praise God for His work through the Church and in the surrounding community for the last 60 years, and look forward to God’s continued work in winning people for Jesus.
PETER J HALLORAN More than just a child He came that Christmas day A gift from above To show the world the way. He grew and roamed the land A message to proclaim My life I’ve come to give For your sins to pay. Oh more than just a child The Son of God was He Come to walk the earth Pay the price for you and me. So will you today Hear what he did say Come on your knees His grace now receive. Then stand in glorious praise To our God above To thank Him for this child Through whom He sent his love. Yes, more than just a child The Son of God was He Come to walk the earth Pay the price for you and me.
Crane DAPHNE M. ROBERTS CITY TABERNACLE BAPTIST CHURCH Startlingly Like a flash of truth, In the brooding twilight A crane flew Homing, Smooth To the black water. A slim white line Like a tiny yacht Glided On the dark lake. The crane paused, Its neck obeying its name Searching for food.
You Can Fly High on Wings like Eagles RACHEL MCDONALD MOUNT WARREN PARK COMMUNITY CHURCH Have no fear for you have faith. Draw close, you can call Him now. A Son is given, So give with all your heart. He is always there, Answering your prayer. And you can fly high on wings like eagles. You can run and you will not grow tired. You can walk in light forever. You can fly high on wings like eagles. You once were lost but Jesus found you. If you surrender He won’t let you go. The light of the world can shine on you forever. Just stand firm and just reach out. The past and the future Rest on His shoulders You can have faith, Your needs will be supplied. You will find comfort in His touch, forever. Your hope and strength Will be His pleasure.
More Than Just A Child
Be strong and steady, Enthusiastic, Let your good deeds shine out for all to see. Let God transform you into a new person By changing the way you think. You can fly high on wings like eagles. You can run and you will not grow tired. You can walk in light forever. You can fly high on wings like eagles. [inspired in part by Isaiah 40:28-31; Psalm 147:11]
WOULD YOU LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE YOUR OWN “GOD MOMENT”? It can be a poem, short story, testimony or quote. Please email your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to PO Box 6166 Mitchelton Q 4053. Every published entry will win a $30 Koorong gift voucher.
QB.ORG.AU DEC 17/JAN 18 19
The Baplink Team is looking forward to 2018 with excitement, as we have a wonderful new reporting package to offer our churches. Our vision is to be the Partner of Choice for all Queensland Baptist Churches and affiliates, trusted to help finance and secure their visions for the Kingdom of God â€“ in a way that individually they could not. We are investing in ministry.
Merry Christmas from Baplink
Robert Chapman - Manager As the year closes, we reflect on all that Baplink has achieved in 2017. It has certainly been a year of response to regulatory and legislative change with a tightening of our guidelines for operations. We have seen the beginning of a new era of governance in Baplink with the creation of the Baplink Management Committee (BMC). These changes take Baplink into 2018 and beyond, with confidence in our ability to provide excellent service to our customers. Regulation has been on our minds for much of this year. Baplink is committed to serving the churches and organisations of Queensland Baptists for many years to come. To do that, we have positioned ourselves to serve by protecting Baplink with an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) and with a new ASIC Identification Statement. Together these define who we can offer our services to and how we can operate. We thank all our customers for their patience as we have taken steps to update our
20 DEC 17/JAN 18 QB.ORG.AU
forms and processes to ensure we are compliant. The Baplink Management Committee was formed in October 2017 with five members. It has been charged with governance of Baplink across loan approvals, policy settings and financial review. Committee members will concentrate on Baplink, to maintain vigilance, and review of our responsibilities and services. We welcome the new BMC members and we are looking forward to their guidance in 2018. Xero continues to be a wonderful success for Baplink and we now have over 100 churches running their financials through Xero. We have had positive feedback across the State for both the ease of use of Xero and the team who visits churches for training and implementation. Thank you to Colin and Chelsea for a fantastic job. They have travelled all over Queensland installing Xero, and as far as the Solomon Islands! Photo: The Baplink team L to R, Robert Chapman (Manager), Kym Stendrup, Colin Chandler, Andrea Petrie, Liz McFarland, Chelsea Evans, Elisha Roberts, Tony Doevendans and Steven Jacobs (front)
WHO IS BAPLINK? Baplink is the finance arm of Queensland Baptists and our mission is investing in ministry. Anyone can invest with Baplink and enable good works in the process of making a solid return. Since 1994, we have provided investment accounts for individuals, churches and affiliated organisations. We also offer other services to churches and organisations such as transactional accounts, Xero accounting software and finance. Baplink use investorsâ€™ funds to offer churches preferential interest rates to fund the building of churches, youth camps, daycare centres and facilities for other worthwhile community ministries. Baplink believes every Christian and church should be a faithful steward of their finances, and we help make that happen. Baplink is a financial ministry that invests in your ministry.
Victory and Vengeance
CHRIS TROSKIE Oh Lord , to Thee in love I raise, My grateful heart in ceaseless praise, to Thee I come , to Thee I sing, to Thee my life , my all I bring, Oh Lord , may all I have be Thine, for all Thou hast thru Christ is mine.
MICHELE-ROSE BOYLAN STAFFORD HEIGHTS BAPTIST CHURCH ‘Vengeance and Victory are Mine!’ said the Lord
and as Thy gifts so full and free, flow from Thy throne and rest on me, let not their wonder catch my view, or turn my heart from worship true, I want not gifts to take Thy place, but thru each one to see Thy face.
The terrible consequences of life voided by sin: devastation, bereavement; complete loss of everything I once had or dearly loved.
behind each blessing help me see, Oh Lord, my Father , only Thee, in love for Thee I want to live, not seeking wealth or paths of ease, but only Thee each day to please.
Destruction entire of all I once knew or was although still described as, ‘beautiful’ by thieves who would steal all then leave. Broken. Utterly bereft until... intervention: divine included me in that victory claimed on Calvary.
This will not pay the debt I owe, yet in a measure it will show, a truer “ Thank You “ than words can say, so Lord , to Thee I humbly pray, that thru life’s journey I shall be, a living “ Thank You “ unto Thee.
The Open Door
Queensland Baptists’ Retreat Lodge
Thank You Lord
The Open Door is situated 30km north of Gympie on Mt Kanigan in a rural setting with spectacular 360
degree views. The complex sleeps 27-30 people in seven bedrooms and one dormitory and there are two kitchens, two lounge rooms, four bathrooms, a dining room and fireplace. Other amenities include a children’s play area and games room (pool and ping-pong tables) and a small meeting room/chapel.
The Open Door is a relaxed, refreshing environment that provides a unique uninterrupted setting for leadership seminars, prayer retreats, team weekends and missionary holidays.
For further information contact: Queensland Baptists Phone: (07) 3354 5600 Email: email@example.com
Subscription Form - $19.50 per year
THE VOICE OF QUEENSLAND BAPTISTS
WHY NOT SUBCRIBE? Treat yourself or give as a gift.
Email details to firstname.lastname@example.org Or post to PO Box 6166 Mitchelton Q 4051
Address Email Phone Send invoice via email
QB.ORG.AU DEC 17/JAN 18 21
Be still and know that I am God – Psalm 46:10 Busy, busy, busy. That’s what our lives seem to be about—not only this time of year when we’re busy with family and friends, but pretty much all the time. Sure, we try to carve out a little bit of time each day, or a few times a week, to spend with God. But how fruitful is it when it’s squeezed between everything else we are trying to do? When our mind is on ‘the next thing’, and there is the urgency of quickly getting a quiet time done, so we can tick that off the list, then run off to do the ‘next thing’? A quick daily quiet time is not a bad thing. Every little bit of time we spend with God is great, but how often do we put a big chunk of time aside to really ‘Be still’ and listen to Him? This year has been a crazy busy one for me, with big decisions to make regarding ministry, family, and my health. I really needed to know what God wanted in these things. How could I hear from God if I didn’t make the time to just sit, read His
22 DEC 17/JAN 18 QB.ORG.AU
word and listen? I discovered that I couldn’t do this at home, even if I was the only one there. There is always something to do, some distraction from being able to just sit and listen—something to fill up the space I needed God to fill. I needed to find a place, a place without distraction, where I could just sit. I headed down to the beach and found a quiet spot under a tree. I just had my Bible and journal, and I was able to spend time praying, reading and writing. To be honest, I was amazed at how much easier it was to ‘Be still’, to listen, and to hear from God in this place of no distractions. Having the time to sit and focus only on God, meant I could hear what He had to say more clearly, without interruptions. I’ve since been down to that spot a few times when I’ve felt life has become crazy, and each time I’ve been able to ‘Be still’, and get some clarity from God. Listening to His
voice, being able to follow through by stepping out in the direction He was leading, and receiving confirmation I was on the right path, has been life changing. How much time do you spend ‘being still’ with God? Are you able to find the time? Do you have a “place”? The place for you may be your back verandah, it may be at the local park, on the river, or at the beach. I would encourage you, as we come into a new year, to make time to sit and listen. To be still, and know that He is God, and to hear His voice in your circumstances. One of the things God has spoken to me about this year is the direction of the Qld Baptist Women’s Ministry. Over the last 2 years there have been a lot of changes within the ministry, a change in leadership, changes in the team, and some change in direction. After much prayer and listening, the decision has been made to finish up the She is… ministry and to start
a new ministry for 2018. God is doing something new amongst his women, and with that in mind, the conference ministry of Qld Baptist Women will now be known as: Anew conferences – Women with a heart for change. Isaiah 43:19 • •
Change within – to know we are deeply loved by our Heavenly Father. Isaiah 43:4 Change in those around us – to deeply love those around us, and to share God’s love with them To work towards changing the world for those in poverty by prayer, giving and going. Proverbs 31:8, Psalm 82:3-4
God not only wants us to know that we are deeply loved by Him, He also wants us to share that love with those in our world. In our conferences in 2018 and beyond we will be learning more about God’s love for us, and how we can share that love in practical ways.
The QBW ministry team and I are so excited about the future that God is leading us into, and we are looking forward to sharing with you more about where we believe He is taking us. Our theme and venues for 2018 will be released in the next QB Magazine, and will be on our Facebook page as well. Our new website address will be anewconference.org.au and it will be up at the beginning of February 2018. We pray that you have a wonderful Christmas celebrating our Saviour’s birth, and as we head into 2018, that you will find some time to ‘Be still, and know that He is God’.
Cathy Knechtli, State Director, Queensland Baptist Women email@example.com
2017 Looking Back, Moving For ward
We thank God for the amazing work across all our churches in 2017. Here are just a few stories and photos of the positive impact our churches have on communities, people and lives. We look forward to God creating new stories in 2018! Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16
sm of San
Silkstone Baptist Prayer
Silkstone Baptist Church – Across the Generations Silkstone Baptist Church embarked on a new and exciting season for 2017, with the purpose of becoming a multigenerational church. We recently celebrated our 105th year in our community, with a neighbourhood birthday party! We thank God for our continuing work as a positive hope filled light to all ages in the city of Ipswich.
CrossLife – Having a positive impact We have so much to be thankful to God for in 2017! The northern Gold Coast has been impacted by the Kingdom of God. We’ve seen people begin their journey following Jesus at all our campuses! As we come to the close of the year, our community hub “The Well” is being completed. We thank God for his faithfulness and giving us the strength to keep going as we let the Lord Jesus build his church!
South Redland Baptist Church – Celebration and Challenge
South Redland Baptist Church has experienced the Lord at work with a year of celebration and challenge. We celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the church with a Thanksgiving Service and Picnic, where the church family was joined by our friends from the Redland Bay Community. We give thanks to our Lord who has sustained us through this year, and given us hope for the future.
Fathers and Sons Blessings
Forest Lake Baptist Church – Blessing Fathers and Sons Forest Lake Baptist hosted its 6th Baruch Blessing where 3 Fathers delivered a Biblical Blessing over the lives of their sons in the company of a community of our King’s men. We consider this such a special and precious occasion, to spend a weekend of instruction and challenge, mingled with fun and celebration. We commend such opportunities to all Fathers and Sons.
A Fish an dC City South hips outing with Baptist C hurch! The wonderful crowd from Northern Beaches Connections
Northern Beaches Connections (NBC) – Lights in the Community Townsville…no jobs, no water, no money, many strongholds. Yet we love serving here. We continue the good fight in our community, as we live as a family of God. As a unified church, we’ve done so much this year and we’ve had time to pray, teach, serve and most importantly love one another. We’ve even grown! God is so good, even in a broken city.
City South Baptist Church – Heritage Building
Our second full year has been a busy one at City South, and over the final months we had three more baptisms, a Ladies Christmas evening, and combined Carols night. What a way to round out the year! Our special building is heritage listed, and we are currently waiting on Council approval for planned work, which involves painting and some structural changes. God will provide.
The Riverlife Family
Riverlife Baptist Church Pioneering New Ground
What an incredible year it has been! We changed our name from Kenmore Baptist Church to Riverlife Baptist Church, and moved to a new facility at Seventeen Mile Rocks. The move was accompanied by a strong sense of us pioneering new ground. We have seen an increased passion for worship and prayer, and a desire to be used by God to bring the Kingdom to our community. We truly have much to thank our Father for.
Lifepointe Baptist Church – Christmas in the Community The thousands of colourful lights wrapped around the Lifepointe Baptist Church have become a Sunshine Coast tradition at Christmas. The church opens to the community with an array of free activities. There is also a chance for everyone to write a prayer request, with each one prayed for by our prayer team. We are looking forward once again to sharing the gospel message “Love Came Down” with our community.
Lunch after the service
Mount Warren Park Community Church – 10-year Anniversary! This year, we celebrated 10 years since our church plant, which sprung from humble beginnings. We started with one family, to a place that is growing in the grace of God, and the love for people. Our goal is ‘Diligently seeking and faithfully proclaiming Christ’. With God all things are possible!
City Tabernacle Baptist Church – Hymn Fest The City Tabernacle hosted a Hymn Fest to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. We celebrated the landmark by singing the great hymns of faith and praise. The gathered congregation brought thanksgiving to God and our Lord Jesus Christ, whilst remembering that we are saved BY GRACE ALONE through FAITH ALONE.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”
– Galatians 6:2 EVS A loved one, friend or neighbour … we all know someone whose life would benefit from care as their years progress.
independent and stay at home longer.
That’s where Carinity, an outreach of Queensland Baptists, is helping seniors to live the life they love in the homes they’ve always loved.
“With access to a wide range of services our team works with you to review the options and choices available and build a tailored program that best suits you and your needs.”
Home Care Manager Robyn Jones says referring someone to Carinity Home Care can enable them to live independently at home while staying connected to their local community, family and church.
Changes to the way the Federal Government funds aged care has made finding support often difficult and frustrating. Carinity provides options for pensioners, self-funded retirees and people facing hardship.
“Reaching out in Jesus’ name, we value every person uniquely and we take the time to really listen so we can understand what’s important to you, and understand your dreams and aspirations,” she says.
“The Government is encouraging competition and choice for consumers and that’s why Carinity now needs to ensure the Baptist community is aware of our services,” she says.
“Most people know of Carinity because we has been delivering residential care across Queensland since 1949. But now we can provide personal, nursing and domestic care along with wellness and lifestyle support to people wanting to remain
Five Reasons to Choose Carinity Home Care
26 DEC 17/JAN 18 QB.ORG.AU
1. You have a dedicated Lifestyle Team: Once you are a client of Carinity, you can directly contact your locally based Lifestyle
Team, and they will get back to you. We also do face-to-face meetings in your home or at our office. Your partner and family are always welcome: While your funding is for your care and support, we understand your partner and family are part of your life too. If both you and your partner love getting out and about, like going to the movies, our Lifestyle Carers can take both of you. We make your money go further: Our Lifestyle Team always strive to give you the greatest value for your budget. If you want more social activities, we will do our best to find lowcost or free options. If you love the movies, we will always find ways to get you the cheapest tickets. If you need mobility aids, we can help source what is right for you. Your choice of carer: We understand that having someone come into your home requires trust. All our staff are qualified and are trained by Carinity so we know that whichever carer comes to your home you will be happy and feel safe. We make sure you have limited carers scheduled to provide your care so there is always a familiar face. We are always flexible: We understand life happens. If you have an emergency or want to change the services from week to week, we can do this. You can also change your allocated activity on the day. If your carer was supposed to clean, but you would just rather go out and have a coffee…no problem!
Robyn says Carinity is here to help. And if you want to switch from a current provider, Carinity can take care of all the details SIMPLY CALL 1300 109 109 OR VISIT CARINITYHOMECARE.ORG.AU.
please pray PERSECUTION BRIEF
Authorities in China have tightened their grip on the country’s churches by ordering that children are to be banned from joining religious groups. The ban also prohibits children from attending religious sermons and other activities in several provinces across the country. Control of churches began several years ago when places of worship were ordered to remove crosses from their buildings in Zhejiang province. Over one hundred churches in Wenzhou, China’s Zhejiang province reportedly received a notice from government officials informing them that young people will be banned from entering churches. Minors are also reportedly banned from participating in religious activities. Members of the church were not allowed to organise a youth summer camp. William Nee, researcher for Amnesty International told MailOnline: ‘At this point its unclear how widespread the bans on children attending church services are in China, but these alarming reports seem to be coming in from fairly diverse areas throughout the country.’ He says that the move reflects a tightening control of religion under President Xi Jinping. ‘China is in the midst of a religious revival and the current government seems concerned that religion could be a means through which foreign values may ‘penetrate’ into China and ultimately affect political stability.’ Nee told MailOnline: ‘In an important speech on religion last year, Xi Jinping said that young people must study science, believe in science and develop a
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
‘correct’ worldview and set of values. The Communist Party of China may be concerned that young people going to church or religious activities could challenge the government’s worldview, through the public education system. China has repeatedly said that its citizens enjoy freedom of religious belief. The Communist Party of China already stipulates that members and officials can not believe in religion. The ban also means that officials will investigate government approved churches and underground congregations, who operate outside the tightly controlled Beijing-run Catholic and Protestant Churches. In 2014, there was a public outcry in China’s Zhejiang province after churches were ordered to remove their crosses. Within seven months, three churches were demolished, and over 360 crosses, including those from Catholic churches were taken down. Officials used the excuse of the crosses being too large and not according with government guidelines.
PRAYER POINTS FOR CHINA • • •
Pray for Christians, who like other civilians have seen a reduction in freedom in all sectors of society, but face even more persecution for their faith. Pray for Christians to reach out to atheists and Confucianists who have not heard the gospel. Pray for Christ to reveal himself to government officials who seek to control the church.
SOURCE: MAILONLINE AND OPEN DOORS USA
QB.ORG.AU DEC 17/JAN 18 27
Goombuckar Dancers at Mapleton
Director of QCCC Andrew Grant with Kerry Neill and the Jinibara elders at QCCC Mapleton
JINIBARA AGREEMENT LANDMARK FOR QCCC’S RECONCILIATION AGENDA “The pain and tears of all the years were met together on Calvary. The sorrow of heaven joined with the anguish of earth; the forgiving love stored up in God’s future was poured out into the present; the voices that echo in a million human hearts, crying for justice, longing for spirituality, eager for relationship, yearning for beauty, drew themselves together into a final scream of desolation.” NT Wright1
28 DEC 17/JAN 18 QB.ORG.AU
Our God is one of reconciliation, and we who are made in His image are called to be His agents of reconciliation here on earth. Jesus instructed us to go out into all the world to pursue God’s redemptive purposes, telling people of the good news of restoration and immersing them in it. Queensland’s Christian camping industry contains some innovative operators, none more so than Emu Gully. Their focus on Australian
ANZAC themes of mateship and sacrifice are resonant with biblical ones. QCCC’s desire to work with our Aboriginal brothers and sisters for reconciliation and understanding, is resonant with God’s purposes to restore all things to communion with Him. QCCC took a large step towards reconciliation with the finalisation of a three-way agreement with the Jinibara People and Goombuckar Creations.
As the closest outdoor education facility to Baroon Pocket, historical venue of one of three traditional Bunya Festivals, Mapleton is the ideal location for educational activities, to promote reconciliation and collaboration to future guests. QCCC now enjoys a formal relationship agreement with the native title holders for the Blackall Range, the Jinibara People Aboriginal Corporation (JPAC). The agreement accepts and endorses Aboriginal Cultural Awareness activities for delivery by Goombuckar, at QCCC Mapleton’s Outdoor Education campus. When signing the agreement JPAC elder Uncle Ken Murphy confirmed the arrangement, and its resonance with the historical purpose of the Bunya Festival saying, “for thousands of years Aboriginal people from many miles around came to the Blackall Range during the bumper fruiting seasons of the Bunya tree for a time of feasting, story-telling and conflict resolution. Baroon Pocket was a place of plenty, and the Jinibara people welcomed people from near and far to share in their good fortune.” Goombuckar’s Kerry Neill is well known on the Sunshine Coast because of his innovative Cultural Bus, but he is looking forward to finding a permanent home for his cultural and educational activities. The activities will be offered to QCCC’s guests at the “Triballink Centre” and will include story-telling and dance, reconciliation exercises, aboriginal arts and crafts, and bush foods and bush skills. Kerry has worked successfully with QCCC for over five years and he outlined his gratitude for the partnership enthusing, “as a Kabi Kabi man, I am so happy the Jinibara people continue their proud heritage of welcoming all people to their country. Australian society is making progress on issues of recognition and reconciliation. The Prime Minister who made the formal apology to the Stolen Generations grew up so close to here, and his
gesture of reconciliation, hope and understanding is one we want to continue here in Mapleton. I’m so excited to find a place for these activities and a large audience to provide it to.” What we are trying to offer at each of our campsites has a lot of similarity to the Bunya Festival— feasting, story-telling, team-building and conflict resolution. JPAC received native title determination over this area in 2012, so their input, relationship and agreement for our onsite cultural activities is a significant endorsement. The focus on reconciliation that the agreement helps us deliver is entirely consistent with God’s mission for His Creation. “God’s justice is a saving, healing, restorative justice, because the God to whom justice belongs is the Creator God who has yet to complete his original plan for creation, and whose justice is designed not simply to restore balance to a world out of kilter, but to bring to glorious completion and fruition the creation, teeming with life and possibility, that he made in the first place.”2 the combination of Reconciliation, hospitality and Outdoor Education is a vital and often-repeated narrative of the Bible. We are privileged to work with Billy Williams on our CAMPFIRE internship program. From 2019 at least one place in the internship will be set aside annually for Jinibara youth, to be trained for employment in the Triballink Centre activities. Billy is a blessing to the internship for the spiritual wisdom he brings to his role. The church exists primarily for two closely correlated purposes: to worship God and to work for His kingdom in the world. Our hope and prayer is this arrangement will help us to do this meaningfully with the hundreds of thousands of future guests who will spend time at QCCC.
Wright, N.T. Simply Christian. SPCK, 2011 Wright, N.T. Evil and the Justice of God. SPCK, 2012
With the Jinibara/Goombuckar agreement in place, QCCC Mapleton will install several new activity areas for Cultural Awareness and Reconciliation programs over the summer of 2017/18. The Federal Government has provided a small grant to help. However, to realise the full vision of these school-based activities a further $200,000 could be spent. If God lays it on your heart to contribute to this nation-building project, please contact Andrew Grant.
Andrew Grant Director of Queensland Conference and Camping Centres firstname.lastname@example.org
Outdoors Queensland Award win for QCCC’s Neil Robinson QCCC’s Senior Supervisor of Outdoor Education, Neil Robinson, has received the recognition and accolade he’s due from his industry peers, taking home the Queensland Government Outstanding Achievement Award (Individual) from the annual Queensland Outdoor Recreation Federation Awards. Neil is a trusted pioneer of Outdoor Education in Queensland, joining the staff at QCCC Mapleton in 1994 to start a one-man operation. Neil has given two decades of his life to the passionate pursuit of excellence in Outdoor Education and Christian Camping and has mentored many more to do the same. Congratulations to Neil and the QCCC team on this recognition, and God bless his ongoing ministry and excellent representation of Queensland Baptists to the wider community.
QB.ORG.AU DEC 17/JAN 18 29
(L to R) Phillip McCallum, Bill Hughes & David Parker with the Fortescue Street document
SAFE FOR A CENTURY! On 4th October 1917, the legal officer of the Baptist Union of Queensland (BUQ) was handed an expertly made parchment document by the secretary of the Union for safe keeping. He made a note of this transfer and it was pasted inside the back cover of the then current BUQ Minute Book. A few years ago, the Baptist Archives staff came across this note and were immediately interested in it. We wondered where the document had gone? It was not in the Archives where it might have been expected. Was it still somewhere in the depths of the BUQ office, or had it been ‘lost’ along the way? There was no dedicated office of the BUQ in 1917, so there was not a great deal of hope about the whereabouts of the document. General enquiries produced no results, but then in August this year, almost a century after the original transfer, it turned up! The Archives staff were searching
30 DEC 17/JAN 18 QB.ORG.AU
for other documents in the BUQ office, which led to the inspection of miscellaneous legal papers. Amongst the few old packets in this collection, there was one labelled, ‘Original constitution of the Baptist Church Brisbane 1872’. Examining its contents revealed a well preserved and professionally prepared parchment, which was none other than the long-lost treasure—safe after one century! What is so interesting about this document? And how is it connected with North–East Baptist church? The document was at least 35 years old in 1917 when it was placed in the custody of the BUQ office. It was the official constitutional document of the Fortescue Street Baptist church, which was once
located in Spring Hill, Brisbane. The story goes back to 1863 when a dispute at the Wharf Street Baptist Church, the first church in Queensland, led to the formation of the Edward Street Baptist Church. This new church was officially constituted in 1865, and the members erected a building designed by the famous architect Richard Gailey, near the corner of Edward and Ann Streets (just about where the Canberra Hotel stood later, and now the Mincom Building). This building had a short but complex history before it was demolished to make way for railway extensions in the late 1880s. However, the fellowship was extremely vigorous in its activities, and gave birth to Petrie Terrace and South Brisbane churches, as well as many preaching stations in outlying districts. But most importantly, the core of the church members relocated to a new building in Fortescue Street, Spring Hill, which was also designed by Richard Gailey and opened in 1876. In the process, they changed their name from Edward Street to Fortescue Street. Due to demographic changes, the church closed in 1889. The building was moved to Nundah to be the first Baptist chapel. It was used until 1923 when the Memorial Church next door was opened. The old Fortescue Street building has changed hands many times since, and has been put to various uses, including a church of another denomination. It now houses a commercial company.
The Fortescue Street Document
The official tour photo was taken on the steps of the distinctive 1927 church building. Finally, it was a back to Brisbane to complete the 350km trip. Many of those on the bus had personal and family connections with German and other Baptist churches in the area visited. What a great day!
The former Fortescue Street Church at Nundah – 1889
The full history of the Edward Street/ Fortescue Street church, which was researched in detail by Bill Hughes in 2010, is now being updated with the new information in the recovered document. It contains the statement of faith, the rules of the church and most importantly, a list of members. Judging by the names mentioned, the document almost certainly dates from 1865.
the old Lanefield site to Rosewood, with its ‘transplanted’ building, and on to Coleyville, one of the earliest church sites for the German Baptists. After that it was on through Kalbar, stopping to look at the new and old church sites and cemetery, and then to Boonah. Here again the local church was out in force waiting to serve afternoon tea in true country style!
THE STORY OF YOUR CHURCH Do you know that the Baptist Archives collects histories of Baptist churches in Queensland? We have a fair collection of booklets and a growing batch of digital productions. But we would like to cover all the churches, so if your church has a recent or forthcoming production, please send it to us (printed and/ or digital). If you have older one, contact us to see if we have it already!
A FIRST FOR BHQ— HERITAGE BUS TOUR Baptist Heritage Queensland partnered with the City Tabernacle Over–Fifties group to sponsor a bus tour which visited many of the historic German Baptist sites in the Lockyer Valley. About 50 people from different churches called first at the Vernor church and cemetery sites. Then, driving past the old Tarampa church, they pulled into Minden to see the cemetery and church. This was once at the centre of the German Baptist Conference and its various US German pastors. The tour then proceeded to Tent Hill and Gatton, where the church entertained us for lunch, and informed us about their current active ministry. We also inspected their very detailed historical display. From here our driver Alex (front right in photo) took us to Laidley where we drove past the old church site and ‘Karinya’ before heading past
The Heritage bus Tour group outside the 1927 Boonah Baptist Church Building.
Baptist Church Archives email@example.com Phone 07 3354 5642, 07 3878 3178
around us. “It was a humbling experience, and we praise God for all He has done.” Darren shared that he and his wife will be attending the Cru Bridges Student Vision Conference in Washington DC later this year. “We used the prize money to pay for flights to the US. This will be a great chance to be able to learn, and we hope our ministry will be effective here in Brisbane.”
“It was wonderful to see all the nominations come in and hear how Malyon graduates are making such a difference in God’s kingdom” said Principal John Sweetman. “I am so glad that Baplink have got on board this year to help us once again recognise a worthy recipient.” Darren Stone (left) last year’s winner receives his award from John Sweetman.
Graduate of Influence Award We are excited to announce the 2018 Baplink Graduate of Influence Award. The 2018 sponsor of the $2,000 cash prize, Baplink is committed to investing in ministry. Baplink’s commitment will be demonstrated through the giving of the award to an outstanding Malyon College graduate who has significantly influenced others and contributed to advancing the kingdom of God. This is also the Baplink mission – investing in ministry. Anyone can invest with Baplink and enable good works in the process of being a faithful steward of their finances. Since 1994, Baplink has offered a range of services that are tailored to assist individuals, churches and organisations make the best choices with their finances whilst supporting ministry with funds to build churches, youth camps, day care centres and other ministry initiatives. Baplink Manager Robert Chapman explained “We saw this award as an extension of our mission at Baplink,
32 DEC 17/JAN 18 QB.ORG.AU
and as an opportunity to honour a Malyon Graduate who is doing good works for our Lord.”
The prize is now open for receiving nominations. If you are inspired by a Christian who has studied at Malyon, no matter how long ago, please make the time to tell us about their testimony and good works. Entry is simple, click on the Baplink Graduate of Influence Award page on the malyon.edu.au website and fill in the form.
Last year’s winner, Darren Stone, was awarded the prize for his work with Power to Change ministry. His work in building disciples in the international student community inspired us all to reach out to those
developing Christians of influence Degrees in theology and ministry Bachelor | Masters | Doctoral
‘Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding’ (Jeremiah 3.15).
Do You Hear What I Hear? Advent’s Peace Steven Dilla | The Park Forum | www.theparkforum.org
“God travels wonderful ways with human beings, but he does not comply with the views and opinions of people,” observes Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book, God is in the Manger. God does not go the way that people want to prescribe for him; rather, his way is beyond all comprehension, free and self-determined beyond all proof. Where reason is indignant, where our nature rebels, where our piety anxiously keeps us away: that is precisely where God loves to be. There he confounds the reason of the reasonable; there he aggravates our nature, our piety. True to this, the Christmas story is full of unlikely characters. At the centre we have a single mother, in a culture that scorned those in such circumstances, and a father who was thinking about bailing. Together they form a subsistence-level family carrying enormous amounts of stress. The next groups to arrive are the shepherds, outcasts of society, and the wisemen, who were likely both superstitious and pluralistic. In the midst of this we find the Son of God— first in a barn, laying in a feeding trough, then in the arms of political refugees fleeing across international borders. If earthly comforts and riches are “blessings,” Christ lived a radically unblessed life. He was found far from the palaces of men. He spent much of his adult life homeless, detached from even the slightest of luxuries, and, upon his death, possessed only the clothes on his back. “Do You Hear What I Hear?” asks the carol, of the same name, by Noël Regney. ‘I am amazed that people can think they know the song—and not know it is a prayer for peace,’ Regney told the New York Times in 2002. Rome brought peace through the sword. God offered peace freely, though it was bought with the humbling and destruction of his own son. Grace confounds power and pride. Bonhoeffer concludes;
Only the humble believe him and rejoice that God is so free and so marvelous that he does wonders where people despair, that he takes what is little and lowly and makes it marvelous. And that is the wonder of all wonders, that God loves the lowly. QB.ORG.AU DEC 17/JAN 18 33
“I was so hopeless and crying all the time... I was depressed and always worried about my future and my children’s future.” – Fulan.
THE POWER OF HOPE Married as children of 11 and 13, life in Nepal was already very difficult for Fulan and her husband, Kamta. But when Kamta fell ill with tuberculosis, life got even harder. With her husband too sick to do anything but fight to stay alive, Fulan was left to fend on her own. She was all that stood between her family and certain demise. Their survival was entirely in her hands… literally. Fulan took to collecting grass, and learned to make rope by hand. At first, the process would make the tender flesh of her palms so raw that she could make very little, but, still, she persisted. She had no other option. “It was better to do something, rather than dying by starvation,” Fulan explains. But no matter how hard she worked, Fulan could never sell enough ropes to feed her hungry family. 34 DEC 17/JAN 18 QB.ORG.AU
“Many times,” she remembers, “we would go to bed without dinner.” For six long years, this was the story of Fulan’s life. A sick husband and 2 young children (both with disabilities) to care for, unending hunger, and a constant fight to stay alive. She had no hope that things could ever get better, and her heart was filled with despair. At Christmas, we reflect on the hope Jesus brings to the world. And we can share a small part of this hope with others. For Fulan and Kamta, hope means regular meals and full bellies for their family, instead of near starvation. Hope means they can buy clothing for their children, instead of watching them shiver in the cold. Hope means they can pay for medicine to cure tuberculosis, instead of more years of sickness.
BE HOPE THIS CHRISTMAS. GIVE GENEROUSLY AT: BAPTISTWORLDAID.ORG.AU/BE-HOPE
It’s people like you who gave them this hope. People whose generosity helped to set up the Self-Help Group that gave Fulan and Kamta a loan to buy a new rope-making machine. When she worked by hand, Fulan could only make 2kg of rope a day. The first day Fulan and Kamta used their new machine, this increased to 15kg of rope. Now, they have an income that their family can actually live on! “I feel very good,” says Fulan, “because of the machine we are able to get food, clothes, and we have some savings as well!” Through the blessings we receive, we can bless others like Fulan and Kamta, and help turn despair into hope. This Christmas, you have the opportunity to help even more families living in poverty… and bless struggling mums and dads who have seen hope deferred for too long.
Permanent, life-changing impact for real families!
GORGEOUS GIFTS TO END POVERTY! Recently, Baptist World Aid launched its beautiful new range of Big Hearted Gifts. ‘These gorgeous gifts are an amazing way for you to share your passion for ending poverty with the people you love most,’ said Baptist World Aid representative, Samara Linehan. Each Big Hearted Gift represents a donation to real, life-changing activities that are supported by Baptist World Aid and will help bring an end to poverty for good. There are gifts to grow incomes – like fish farming and bee keeping. There are gifts that promote health – like hand soap and safe birth. There are even gifts to strengthen communities – like child friendly spaces. So, as you can see,’ says Samara, ‘every time you choose a Big Hearted Gift, you’re actually giving a loved one something that transforms the lives of children, families, and communities in desperate need.’
Manpura, her husband, and their three children were helpless to do anything but watch, as their world was reduced to rubble by a landslide in Nepal. That they managed to escape with their lives was a miracle. Sadly, they lost everything else. ‘In just a matter of moments,’ remembers Manpura, ‘everything was swept away in front of our very eyes… our house, cattle, crops, cattle-shed, food, clothing – everything.’ With no food, farmable land, or belongings to speak of, Manpura and her family were plunged into dire poverty. The next five years were spent in constant hunger. But when Baptist World Aid’s Christian Partner in the field began working in their community, Manpura received a wonderful gift – access to clean water. This little change had big consequences!
Not only did health improve in her community, but Manpura was also able to use the water to irrigate her high value onion crop (which she’d learned to grow through training provided by the Christian partner). Today, Manpura and her family have rebuilt their lives. Her children no longer go hungry – they’re healthy and in school – and her farming business makes enough to feed her family all year round. ‘This year, our Big Hearted Gift cards have a fresh new look… and they’re even more beautiful than ever!’ says Samara. ‘But, what hasn’t changed, is the impact you make for people living in poverty, each time you choose one.’ CHOOSE A PRINT-YOUR-OWN OR ECARD BIG HEARTED GIFT TO SHARE WITH A LOVED ONE THIS CHRISTMAS. VISIT: BAPTISTWORLDAID.ORG.AU/ BIG-HEARTED-GIFTS.
QB.ORG.AU DEC 17/JAN 18 35
Christmas stories from around the world Christmas in Thailand with Muana and Villi Christmas is a wonderful time to share the love of God and the story of Jesus with our neighbours and friends. We gather with 1520 people (including a handful of believers). Thai people love fun (sanuk), so we start with a number of games and light activities. Then we tell the story of the birth of Jesus. Next comes a gift exchange and a time of prayer. The celebration concludes with a meal of sticky rice, fried chicken, pork, steamed veggies and Thai dessert. We pray that the story and love of Jesus will bring hope to their lives, and show the Kingdom of God. Muana and Villi - Thailand fun and games on Christmas Day.
Here in Australia we take many Christmas traditions for granted. However, our Global Interaction staff often spend the Christmas season in different ways. Let’s travel the world to see what Queensland families will be doing… Christmas in Thailand with Luke and Belle This year we plan to have a party with the local believers. We will have a gift exchange, and a short ceremony to honour Jesus’ birth. The believers invite others to come along, as it’s a great opportunity to share Jesus. Christmas day isn’t an event here, so I’ll even be teaching on the 25th, but we do our usual family thing. Gifts under the tree, and a special meal. This year Belle’s family will be visiting, so Christmas will be all that more special.
36 DEC 17/JAN 18 QB.ORG.AU
Christmas on the Silk Road with Ben and Petra What does Christmas look like on the Silk Road? Hopefully it will be white with snow! In the town where we are working there is no local fellowship, and the ‘K’ people don’t celebrate Christmas. Life around us looks like every other day of the year. So, we are responsible for making our own Christmas. We will start the day opening presents and talking with family in Australia. Then we will gather with the other team family here, and remember the birth of the One who brings light to all. We will, of course, eat - and because it’s cold outside, we can truly enjoy a hearty roast meal!
Christmas in Malawi with Tim and Mel Christmas in Malawi is a non-event. If you didn’t have a calendar handy, you would have no idea it was Christmas Day! Nothing, absolutely nothing, changes - no tinsel, no carols, not even a present to be seen. Nonetheless, our family makes the effort to celebrate the birth of our Lord. We make our own Christmas tree and decorations. We scrounge around for interesting presents for each other, and invite any expats from around the region to join us. The locals think us rather strange with our celebrations, but being strange is something we have grown used to! This is also an opportunity to be generous to those around us. We find things we can give away to our local friends, who are happy to receive gifts. We are so thankful to those supporters who send us Christmas care parcels. From these we can almost hear the carols by candlelight. The boys receive gifts too, and we are always so very grateful and humbled by this.
Christmas in Thailand with Dema and Carolyn Less than 2% of the population of Thailand follows Jesus, so Christmas is an exciting and challenging time. Last year, we were living at Ban Luang. We took the opportunity to gather faith groups from different villages to come and celebrate together. We showed a video “From Creation to Christ” in Thai. Now we live in Chiang Rai where we plan to do the same, and share why Jesus is important for us.
Christmas with Scott and Janelle In the past few years there is more Christmas fanfare leading up to Christmas in Cambodia, with hotels making large light displays of Christmas scenes, malls playing carols, and stalls on the street selling red Santa suits. But Christmas day is just a normal day, with locals going to work or school! Leading up to Christmas we like to share with our local Khmer friends what Christmas means to us.
In our home we put up our Christmas tree, and our special stockings. This Christmas we will be in Phnom Penh participating in a tennis tournament! But we will also enjoy the ‘gift’ of a nice hotel where we will join with Aussie friends and partake in a traditional Aussie Christmas feast! After Christmas we are driving to a small coastal village for a short holiday, before heading back ‘home’ where it is back to school and work in the New Year.
Pictured top L to bottom R: Cambodia with the Windus family: Christmas tree in the hotel on Christmas Day, Malawi: Pets are always fun on Christmas day! Malawi: Jarred and Clayton – Christmas ‘angels’! Malawi: Christmas day at a local orphanage. Muana and Villi Thailand 1: Telling the Christmas story.
QB.ORG.AU DEC 17/JAN 18 37
WHEN THE TEACHER BECOMES THE STUDENT PETER FRANCIS
Peter Francis – Solomon Islands
Earlier this year, I flew to the Solomon Islands to teach a three-week intensive course on Missions at the Saura Bible College. This is the College of the South Seas Evangelical Church (SSEC), and was chosen because of the partnership agreement that Queensland Baptists have with the SSEC. After having taught at Malyon for six years, this was to be the start of my Study Leave program.
Upon our arrival, Wendy and I spent just a couple of days in Honiara, adjusting to the heat and humidity, and buying provisions. I was keen to observe and learn as much as I could about the local culture. On the first Sunday, I was blessed to have the opportunity of preaching in the Adeliua Church. What a fabulous time! My heart was knit together with the hundreds of believers who
38 DEC 17/JAN 18 QB.ORG.AU
had come to worship the Lord. There is something special that happens whenever members of the Body of Christ come together, even if they don’t speak the same language, or have the same coloured skin. I learnt once again, in such a tangible way, that there really is only “one body and one Spirit… one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all” (Ephesians 4:4).
After travelling the bumpy road out to Saura, and experiencing a few challenges, including the lack of textbooks, I commenced teaching the course. We were soon joined by our son-in-law, Joshua Cocks (Pastor of the Beaudesert Baptist Church) and our twelve-year-old grandson, Nathaniel (Nat). They had agreed to come out for two weeks, and God had much for them to do!
Rebuilding the Dormitory
The single men’s college dormitory was riddled with white ants, and needed to be stripped back to the floorboards and rebuilt. The timber was ready, but they needed helpers to re-build the frame. After two solid weeks, working from sunup to sundown, Josh and Nat and a small team of students, successfully demolished and rebuilt the wall frames and roof trusses. What a thrill to hear the manager delight in the assurance that, “even before you call” God says, “I will answer” (Isaiah 65:24). Again, I learnt the peace that comes from knowing that God is always at work, going ahead and providing the way for those who know Him and trust Him. After just one week, I had to say goodbye to Wendy, as she had other responsibilities back home in Australia. For the next two weeks, I was also to learn that one can still survive on rice, pasta and tinned tuna, even if there was no constant electricity. Somehow, my cooking just wasn’t the same as Wendy’s! Apart from teaching my class each day, I ended up preaching about nine times overall, sometimes with a text given to me just the night before. But again, I learnt that God is always sufficient. How blessed we were to see people responding so positively to the sharing of God’s Word. On more than one occasion, people asked if my father had visited to share the gospel fifty years ago. Indeed, back in 1967 my dad conducted a series of crusade meetings in and around
Honiara. The stories related by some of the older locals about the effectiveness of those meetings seemed to have become almost legendary! What a delight to meet people whose lives were forever changed by his sharing the gospel. Now, three generations of my family have come to share the task. I learnt again, that God’s word will never return to Him void or empty (Isaiah 55:11). It will always accomplish His purpose. I revelled in the opportunity of teaching and sharing with the students. We shared both course-work, and the blessed reality of what it means to be children and servants of God. Coming to College for each of these students was a challenge. For many, it meant living far away from home and family. The financial challenge was also great. But, they had a passionate love for Christ and a commitment to prayer. Three times a week I would be woken to a loud clanging noise (a piece of steel being bashed against the side of an old gas bottle). This was their wakeup call to gather together for early morning prayer. Well before the light of day had dawned, I would hear melodious singing as they lifted their hearts in praise to God. The sound wafting up the valley was breathtaking. Bishop Matthias Lima said that “God is doing a reviving work in many areas across the islands, in the face of many challenges.” As I shared with my students, and as I heard them pray and saw the evidence of their deep commitment to “praying the price” for the outpouring of God’s grace, I was reminded again that every great advance of the work of God’s kingdom is based on a personal and often team commitment to pray, “Lord, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Once again, I, the teacher had been taught by God, and by His faithful, humble servants.
QB.ORG.AU DEC 17/JAN 18 39
IS THERE ROOM
A REFLECTION ON LUKE 2:1-7 ALLAN QUAK
A businessman on his deathbed called his friend and said, ‘Bill, I want you to promise me that when I die you will have my remains cremated.’ ‘And what, his friend asked, ‘do you want me to do with your ashes?’
can erase. Indeed, our lives seem to be constantly interrupted and influenced by the need to pay tax. So, it comes as no surprise that part of the reason Jesus was born in Bethlehem was because of taxes.
The businessman said, ‘Just put them in an envelope and mail them to the Australian Tax Office and write on the envelope, “Now you have everything!”’
Luke 2:1 says, “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.” The census was used to determine how much tax each city needed to pay Rome.
Taxes. They are like a never– ending debt that not even death
Now pause for a moment and read Luke 2:1-7.
40 DEC 17/JAN 18 QB.ORG.AU
Caesar Augustus was born Gaius Octavian, and he was the grand–nephew of Julius Caesar. Julius later adopted Augustus, and he was recognised as the sole leader of the Roman world in 27BC. In that position, he was honoured more like a god than a man. One inscription calls him ‘Divine Augustus Caesar, son of a god, commander of land and sea, the benefactor and saviour of the whole world …’ It is during his reign that Jesus–the true Saviour and King, the Son of God, the One under whom God puts all things, is born. Because of the census, Joseph and Mary must travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem—about 120km. It would have been a 6 or 7 days journey for the eightmonths-pregnant couple. They have come into town and find
themselves talking to the inn– keeper. Which is a little strange because Bethlehem is the hometown of Joseph. Communities in those days didn’t change very much, so Joseph would have had extended family living here. The Scriptures don’t say so, and I’m not going to make this a 100% declaration, but shouldn’t there have been people willing to host him and Mary? A cousin, an old uncle, a distant relative? Yet nobody does. I can think of two possible reasons why Joseph and Mary are standing at the inn. The first possibility is that, when guests came to town, the most important family guests where given priority. So, the possibility here is that there are more important family in town, and now Joseph and Mary have nowhere to go. Yet surely, even with important people around, the pregnant woman would be given sympathy. So that leaves a second possibility, or more precisely, a possible problem of which we are given a little indicator in verse 5, ‘He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him, and was expecting a baby.’ “Joseph is in town with his fiancé.” “She’s having a baby … something about a holy conception.” “Sounds like a whole lot of rubbish.”
“I can’t have them sleeping together in my house, I don’t care how pregnant she is.” Like I said, we are speculating a little–but you can see how it happens, can’t you. Family should have looked after them, but the culture of the time doesn’t allow it to happen. Bethlehem was Joseph’s hometown, but it wasn’t his home. So, it is off to the local inn. Since that very first Christmas this innkeeper has been portrayed in one of two ways. Either he is the insensitive villain, a mean-spirited grumpy man who slams the door on this young family in need. Or, he is the sensitive hero, a gentle, kind-hearted man who is the victim of circumstances beyond his control and offers the only place he has left…the stable. Whatever the case, this is the last resort and Jesus is born amid the smell of animal droppings. This is not silent night holy night. This is chaos. No pampering. Little comfort. No luxury. Little preparation. Both Mary and Joseph descend from King David. That should count for something at least, but it doesn’t. It all seems so wrong. Especially since God has the power to make the arrangements so different.
God arranged the census. God arranged the need to go from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Surely God could have arranged a room? Yet this was how God wanted Jesus to be born. Which raises a very significant question … “Why?” Why did God allow it to be this way? I think one reality being shown here is that it is all too easy to push Jesus aside. In the hustle and bustle of catering for an overflow in the city of Bethlehem, perhaps we cannot blame the inn–keeper, or the family, or the citizens for their lack of hospitality. It’s not that the inn–keeper was being cruel, it’s just that his inn was overcrowded. He was too busy with his own affairs to make room for the One who would become the Saviour of a special people. In the same way, many do not welcome Jesus. It’s not because they hate Him. It’s not because they think He has absolutely nothing to offer. It’s not even because the message that He came to bring isn’t clear. The problem we have … all of us have … is that our hearts are overcrowded. We are just too busy with thoughts of riches, success, honour, prestige, pleasure and self–absorption. Which raises a good question for all of us. Is there room in our lives for Jesus? Jesus has come to bring eternal life. Jesus has come to offer us the right to come before God’s throne. Jesus has come to take our sin so that nothing can keep us separated from God. Are we too busy for Him? Or will we keep making room for the King who will never push us away?
QB.ORG.AU DEC 17/JAN 18 41
THE RISK WORTH TAKING CHRISTINA HUBBARD – CREATIVEANDFREE.COM
The reality for many of us around the holidays is that it’s hard to be present to the people closest to us. Let’s face it: love is messy and requires copious amounts of time and effort. But when we endeavour to love others even when we don’t feel it, a surprising thing happens: we begin to recognise the mark of God’s love for us more deeply.
THE BIG LOVE EXPERIMENT Last Christmas I did something that no one has done in our family for years: I invited everyone to our table. Uncles, aunts, and cousins I had not seen for a very long time. Most of us didn’t mesh geographically, politically, philosophically, or spiritually. Despite our differences, I
42 DEC 17/JAN 18 QB.ORG.AU
knew someone needed to be brave enough to restart the relational conversation.
were welcome. Another piece of me selfishly hoped this little party would soften my scarred heart.
I was nervous to step out of my safety zone. What I feared was our history of back-handed hurtful comments and the awkward ambiance in which no one says what they really mean. As I made preparations, I questioned if opening my home and my heart to this family of strangers would create new rivers of pain.
What scared me most is the fact that I didn’t know what would happen. This was strangely exciting too. When we risk our hearts to serve others in love, we stand on the invigorating precipice of possible blessing.
Part of me wanted to help heal the wounds that time had ruptured between us. I hoped my house would be a neutral ground where a new story could begin to be told: one that would let everyone know they
That was the plan for the big love experiment. The gathering could either be a great discovery or an explosion like a science experiment gone awry.
everyone was behaving. What surprised me were the beautiful stories being told: all these very different people with their pasts, dreams, hurts, and hopes. The gathering was just a small affair, but I sensed God’s love in a profoundly tangible way. I saw how being present to others with provision and hospitality enlarged my heart with compassion, just as Christ has compassion on me in my selfish ways. As I witnessed family members who barely knew each other exchanging meaningful gifts, I was participating in drawing them closer to each other and to God. We shared and laughed like the past had never been. I felt an enormous sense of gratitude that God connected us as family. As I watched everyone drive away, my home felt holy and changed. I will never regret that risk. What I realised is that God never calls us to love passively: he wants us to love in forward motion.
INTO PRACTICE Here are five simple ways that have helped me love others better:
LEARNING RISKY LOVE So many times I’ve just gone about my life, trying to love in the same old ways: careless compliments, meaningless gift cards, and thoughtless text messages. In the words of Will Durant, “We are what we repeatedly do.” It’s much like a brain traumatized by depression or anxiety, stuck in harmful thought cycles. However, new thoughts can replace old ones. Every time I introduce a healthy thought to a broken one, I rewrite the way my brain thinks, and, ultimately, the way I cope with life. It’s the same with love.
Love is purpose and work. It’s the choice to change the way things are by forging a path into the way they could be. Acting on our intention to love is how we feel it in our soul. My children, love must not be a matter of words or talk; it must be genuine, and show itself in action. This is how we may know that we belong to the realm of truth. (1 John 3:18-19, NEB)
A RISK WORTH TAKING? Come they did. It was non-stop eating and noise. Through the course of the two days, I decided to talk less and listen more. I wanted everyone to feel free of expectation. There were times I eavesdropped on conversations to make sure
This article originally appeared at sheridanvoysey.com
1. Invite people to the table. Include someone you struggle to love 2. Really listen, then ask great questions 3. Make a screen-free zone so you can spend meaningful time together 4. Take inventory of how the people closest to you like to be loved 5. Say thank you often. Be specific When we love with action and risk, we allow God to invade our life with a meaningful experience of his presence and affection. Question: What do you think of the idea of loving others to understand more of God’s love for you? Who do you need to love with more purpose?
QB.ORG.AU DEC 17/JAN 18 43
FUN ZONE WHERE IS THAT LITTLE PIGGY? Sir-Save-a-Lot the Baplink piggy bank is hiding somewhere in the magazine. Can you find him? Congratulations! To all those who found Sir-Save-a-Lot hiding on page 17 (Oct/Nov 2017 Issue of The Qb Magazine).
WORD SEARCH Can you find the hidden words? They may be horizontal, vertical, diagonal, forwards or backwards.
Angels Star Bethlehem Jesus Donkey Joseph King Holiday Manager Nativity
Shepherds Gold Tree Mary Gift Rejoice Bauble Stable Miracle Tinsel
Frankincense Myrrh Family Gabriel Herod Wreath Inn Lights Garland Magi
Puzzle Choice www.puzzlechoice.com is the source of this Crossword. For solutions, visit Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GaythorneOffice/
44 DEC 17/JAN 18 QB.ORG.AU
SUDOKU CHALLENGE Sudoku rules: Each row, column and block must contain one of the numbers from 1 to 9. No number may appear more than once in any row, column or block. When youâ€™ve filled the entire grid, the puzzle is solved.
CHRISTMAS COMPETITION - WIN A $30 KOORONG VOUCHER We will randomly draw six winners, who have correctly answered the clue to the Word Unjumble in this issue. Please either post (PO BOX 6166, Mitchelton QLD 4053) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) your full name, address and Clue Answer for your chance to win. Entries close at midnight on the 22nd January 2018. The winners will receive a $30 Koorong Gift Voucher. ENTRY SLIP Name: Address:
Word Unjumble Answer: (What did the wise men do when they saw the star?)
Sudoku puzzle provided by www.sudokuoftheday.com visit them and get a new Sudoku every day!
CALM SPOT - COLOUR
WORD UNJUMBLE Christmas Unjumble the words relating to Christmas. Then unjumble the red letters to answer the clue. Clue: What did the wise men do when they saw the star? Y K E N D O E A N G M R P H S D E F H R S S G K I N G E B L A I R S J U E S C M R L A I E L D G O
QB.ORG.AU DEC 17/JAN 18 45
reviews MR ETERNITY: THE STORY OF ARTHUR STACE ROY WILLIAMS, ELIZABETH MYERS PAPERBACK: $19.99 AT KOORONG Almost every day for 35 years, Arthur Stace spent hours writing a single word - Eternity - on and around the streets of Sydney. Sometimes his mission took him much further afield, to country New South Wales and even to Melbourne. Stace’s identity was a mystery for more than two decades. Then, after his ‘unmasking’ in 1956, he became a reluctant folk hero. By the time he died, in 1967, his was a household name and the word Eternity was ingrained in the soul of Sydney. It still is. In this long-awaited biography, the full story of Arthur Stace’s life is told for the first time in vivid and often surprising detail. Drawing upon many original sources, some never before made public, this book will engross Christians and nonbelievers alike - anyone who loves a great Australian story. - Publisher/Koorong
THE COMPLETE GOSPELS (LUMO 6-DISC SET) DVD: $59.99 AT KOORONG The Lumo Project is a ground breaking series that revolutionizes the way we encounter the story of Jesus and the world of firstcentury Palestine in which he lived. Redefining the standard of visual biblical media, each Gospel film brings the actual Bible text to the screen, word for word.
In this 365-day devotional consisting of all-new material - renowned New York pastor Timothy Keller works through the entire book of Proverbs, applying its ancient practical wisdom to our contemporary contexts and concerns.
Each DVD in this collection contains:
• • •
Narration options of both the NIV and KJV translations Additional bonus features A short guide with questions for reflection or discussion
WOW HITS 2018 – DELUXE EDITION DOUBLE CD CD: $24.99 AT KOORONG Every year, WOW Hits showcases the very best in the latest Christian music. This deluxe edition of WOW Hits 2018 features 36 amazing songs - including many #1 and Top 5 hits - both from established favourites plus lots of exciting new talent! Includes three bonus tracks. - Koorong
46 DEC 17/JAN 18 QB.ORG.AU
THE WAY OF WISDOM TIMOTHY J KELLER PAPERBACK: $24.99 AT KOORONG
Travel with no single supplement. Register with Integrity Travel. For more information go to www.integritytravel.com.au. ACCOMMODATION BRISBANE: House available as a ministry for missionaries and church workers on the move. Three bedrooms, fully furnished, everything provided. Bus stop at the door. Minimal rent. Email: email@example.com
CALOUNDRA - GOLDEN BEACH: Highset three bedroom holiday home. Weekends or weekly. Pets OK. Close to beach. Phone 0402 077 822 or firstname.lastname@example.org. CHURCH LIFE PASTOR CLEVELAND BAPTIST CHURCH
Cleveland Baptist Church on Brisbane’s Bayside is seeking to add an experienced associate pastor to their team. The Church Life Pastor is initially 0.6 FTE, 3 days per week, growing to full time as soon as possible. The role focus on strategy and coaching for the church and it’s ministries (particularly young adults) in helping people move along the discipleship pathway from making a connection with us, to deciding to follow Jesus, to loving and serving God and our world wholeheartedly. At Cleveland Baptist we call this process the Discipleship Pathway, with four key words describing the path; Connect, Explore, Grow, Serve. This role requires a leader who is a good connector, implementer, coach, and who has a heart for the evangelism and discipleship. The successful applicant will have recognized theological training, pastoral experience in a church setting, and be (or willing to be) registered with the Queensland Baptists.
CALOUNDRA: Sunshine Coast, Qld, beachside units from $400/wk, ph 0427 990 161. LOGAN VILLAGE: Room for rent on acreage at Logan Village, $140/week plus electricity. Short and long term stay available. Phone: 0488 630 462. FOR HIRE LARGE AUDITORIUM: Seats 290. Queensland Baptists’ Centre at Gaythorne. Phone Sharon, 07 3354 5600 for more information or visit www. qb.com.au – venue hire.
For a full position description, church profile and application details please email Rev. Mark Westhuyzen. email@example.com.
INTERIM PASTOR LONGREACH BAPTIST CHURCH
Longreach Baptist Church is seeking an interim pastor for a period of at least three months while our pastor is on leave. We are a family based church and we cater for various ministries including mainly music, Sunday School, youth group, young adults, prayer groups and bible study groups. The interim pastor would be expected to support these ministries while working with a strong leadership team. Longreach has a population of approximately 3500 people and is located 1200 kilometres north-west of Brisbane with a daily return air service. Accommodation will be provided. For further information, please contact the secretary, Craig Neuendorf on (07) 46582662 or at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
MUNDUBBERA BAPTIST CHURCH IS SEEKING A PART TIME PASTOR
Mundubbera is a vibrant small rural church. The position is for 2 days a week with an opening in the area for a school Chaplin for 3.5 days. Accommodation is supplied. Preference for a married couple. Our church has a focus on families, children and outreach. For further information contact email@example.com or John Baskerville Ph 07 4165 4327.
ORGANISING A SEMINAR OR CONFERENCE? A MAJOR TRAINING OR COMMUNITY EVENT? We can help you get the media part working so that your message is well presented. Video recording - live streaming - sound systems - rear projection screens. Call Darbeth to discuss how we can help make your event a success. 0422 414 829 and ask for Darryl or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Book all of your holidays and travel with Integrity Travel and help missions. Tours & specials at www.integritytravel.com.au Ph 07 3142 2242 for more information and bookings.