Weekly Messages

12th July, 2020

Dear Friends,

 

There is a song that keeps coming to mind, an old song that contains a very important message for Christians. It is in times such as this song comes to the fore to remind us of where we stand in faith.

The first verse says:

On a Hill far away stood an Old Rugged Cross an emblem of suffering and shame; but I love that Old Cross where the dearest and best died to pardon and sanctify me!

Then the Chorus adds what I want to say to each of you in these strange, unusual times. Cherish the Old Rugged Cross!

Yes I will cherish the Old Rugged Cross till my trophies at last I lay down; yes I will cherish that Old Rugged Cross and exchange it someday for a crown:

 

There are always temptations that can sidetrack us from what is important. Difficulties come in varied ways; but whatever is happening for you personally. Or whatever fears you have due to heightened medical concerns. Please do not forget who you are in Christ! Don’t forget you’re pardoned! Don’t forget what it cost Christ to set you free from the burden of sin. Don’t forget to cherish the old rugged Cross. 

Continue to grow in faith continue to yield to the Holy Spirit and be sanctified. Because I want each of you to eventually be present in the heavenly chorus where we will sing Gods praise with gusto.

XXXXX

As to singing, there were fewer present at our surfside meeting last week; but we were caught out when someone asked “are you singing?” The answer was yes, because we confine ourselves to separate cars where we can sing Gods praise without being in direct contact with one another. It’s sad that we have to take such measures but at the same time it gives opportunity to praise God!  

If you haven’t joined us, give it some thought because it gives opportunity for fellowship and honours Gods desire that we praise Him in song.

There is no need to guess which song we will sing this afternoon at 2 O’clock!

We will sing as we recall an Old Rugged Cross where the dearest and best died to pardon and sanctify you and me.

Yours in Christ

 Barry

 PS the time is 2pm.

The venue is the Kianga Headland opposite Lakeside Drive Kianga.

 

5th July, 2020

Dear Friends,

Are we there yet?

Can we reopen the Churches?  The answer is soon; just watch this place.

Once our Covid Plans are up and running we can meet in fellowship again.

Yes things will be a little different than before, but rather than dwell on this as a negative and become gloomy, let’s look to Gods leading as we navigate our way through these different waters.

Subject to your expressions of interest the plan would be to invite a small age specific group of folk at 9am at Narooma Church.

If there was enough interest a second small group could meet in the Hall at 10.30am

The change in venue is simply about the time it would otherwise take to clean between meetings.

The finer details are yet to be decided but please be in prayer so we can reopen in July to worship the Lord together.

I will still provide Home Service outlines for those who are still reluctant to meet together.

But remember we still have a message to bring to the nations. There are still great needs to pray for in Australia and throughout the world.

Please don’t let worries crowd Jesus out of your priorities.

On the night, Jesus was born every Inn was full. Jesus was crowded out due to a census.

There was no time or place for Jesus then; as other issues and worries crowded Jesus out of the lives of people then.

What about us, will we lose focus on why we worship Christ Jesus as our Lord and Saviour?

Christ remains the epitome of Hope in a world crying out for answers amidst the Covid evil.

This is a time when the world can’t afford complacent Christians! Because people still need to enter into faith in Jesus

If Jesus Christ can give sight to the blind, enable the lame to walk, cure leprosy and restore hearing to the deaf; as identified in Matthew 11:5, what can He do today? All of this and more, because He can give people New Life!

This is fantastic news that still needs to be proclaimed today!

Please pray and please let me know if you are willing to return to worship our Lord!

It’s my hope we can reopen Narooma and Cobargo ASAP.

Subject only to Covid Plans and Christians willing to resume Church based Worship.

Yours in Christ

Barry

Enquiries 0428-587-748

 

28th June, 2020

Dear Friends,

There is no doubt these are dark days. People throughout the world are dying in tens of thousands. At the same time as others do their best to ignore this scourge among us. What has been regarded as an old people’s problem in Australia is now impacting young children in Victoria.

What can we do? We can pray!

Pray for those who are ill. Pray for our Governments and those throughout the world to look to God for wisdom! Romans 13

We can still pray because even though the door’s of our church buildings have been closed for 14 weeks now. We remain the church of God. We continue as we proclaim Christs Gospel message of love. We continue as we care for one another or those in need. We continue as Christ’s church by living to serve God.

We are messengers of light!

As messengers of light we have fellowship with God as His Church of believers. We may be separated in some respects, but please remember we are joined, indeed united with God and one another, through our faith in Jesus Christ! 1 John 1:5-10

There is a chorus that sums it up well: The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple, because the church is Gods people!

We may be living in dark days but 1 John 1v7 sums it up well.

‘If we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Remember who you are in Christ and remain His Church.

Barry

 

21st June, 2020

Dear Friends,

Eight Christians we met in an outdoor setting to worship of God last Sunday. Although it was a little breezy overlooking the ocean. The setting was a wonderful reminder of where we live amidst God’s Creation.

While home services are good this was a joyous uplifting time because it is good to be with Gods people. If you think on it most of Jesus ministry was in the great outdoors as people gathered to hear His teaching.

So although it’s our custom to meet in buildings there is a wonderful precedent of meeting in the great outdoors.

This leads to the reopening of our churches: There are times in life when we come to a cross-road and we need to choose the direction we will go. It is our hope is to reopen the Churches ASAP.

But the new normal will differ from what we have known. Singing is limited to solos because congregational singing poses the risk of infection. So given we have a duty of care; we need to care for one another in this respect.

Your Pastor is supposed to actively dissuade those over sixty five or any with a chronic illness from gathering in Gods praise. In addition the doors and windows need to be open for ventilation. It all seems foreboding. But I am reminded that in Matthew 16:18 Jesus said nothing can prevail against the Church.

It has to be your choice if you continue with Home Services, join us Outdoor’s or return to meeting in Church buildings because the words Actively Dissuade mean you cannot be excluded on the basis of your age.

At this point I would not want exclude anyone unless they had the virus! But by the same token it has to be your choice.

Therefore I urge each one to bring the matter before God in prayer, and make your decision on that basis.

Yours in Jesus Christs Name.

Barry

 

14th June, 2020

Dear Friends,

Some years ago a pop group sang a song quoting Psalm 137. Bony M was the group and the song: By the Rivers of Babylon. The questions Gods people faced at that time were ‘how can we sing the Lords song, in a strange land?’

Due to spiritual neglect and political turmoil these people became exiled from all they had known, including their ability to worship God.

But difficulties expanded their way of understanding God. The challenges they faced enabled realisation that God is every-where and was not confined to Israel, as they had believed.

The circumstances called Covid are causing Christians to rethink how to include the vulnerable in worship. We have duty of care obligations like every other entity, to provide safe places for worship.

Presbytery and Synod have released detailed information for Church Councils to consider before formulating a plan to reopen churches for worship. Ultimately Church Council is responsible for how buildings are used safely. But although this is strange and daunting time, we can find our way through our circumstance. Provided we rely more on God than we rely on ourselves.

Psalm 137 notes: the faith of Gods people in Babylon grew in difficult days! Will ours?

In Christ’s Loving Name;

Barry

7th June, 2020

Dear Friends,

I have been with you long enough for you to know I opened my business when I was 17 and closed it 20 years later to enter full time ministry.

You know that my mother’s forbears were Swiss and dads were Irish. What you don’t know is the Irish side detoured via America before settling in Australia in 1830. Now even though we are a long way from the ‘Land of the Free’ I find the US racism and anarchy shown on TV most disturbing.

I can pray for America. Just as and I can share Christ’s love at home in Australia. So we do not end up going down the road to chaos and division.

The needless death of one man has been like the straw that broke the camel’s back. We can speculate that the violence that’s been unleashed stems from years of injustice.

We can pray that Christians in the USA lead people in the ways of peace, through faith in Jesus Christ.

There is no doubt we are living in interesting days; but whatever you think about the world at large; please don’t forgo your faith.

Presently we may be in our home bubbles; but remember we live to serve our risen Saviour Jesus Christ. Remember we have a Gospel roadmap for peace with God and one another. John 3:16 says ‘God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life’. So let’s pray and pick up the phone and share the love while we still can.

Barry

31st May, 2020

Dear Friends,

It’s time to let our light shine! But the dilemma is, although NSW Government will allow us to reopen, Denominational leaders are still exploring different ways to have services rather than reopen churches. This is due to ongoing concerns for the health of worshipers.

We have found meaningful ways to worship God together. All -be it we are in our individual homes; but this is not the ideal

Hebrews 10:v24-25 sums up my concerns: It says: Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,  not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near. [When Jesus Returns]

Please try to stimulate the faith of one another. Please aim to encourage others, and be encouraged yourself, knowing that Christ knows our hearts.

I also know; Jesus said where two or three are gathered together in his name, he is in the midst. So the challenge is to put on our thinking caps to find ways two or three might come together to worship.

One unusual way would be to come together in our cars and hold a car-park service. In 1980 I attended such a service at Murwillumbah. My rational in suggesting this is by singing in church, we risk spreading the virus. But we can sing to our hearts content, in our cars. If you are interested to try this just let me know.

Isaiah 60:19: You will have the LORD for an everlasting light, and you’re God for your glory.

Please let’s let your light shine!

Barry

24th May, 2020

Dear Friends,

I have been very encouraged by the fact that despite the doors being closed on our buildings. The Church remains open in very tangible ways.

God’s people are praying. God’s people are phoning or texting one another. As restrictions have started to lift some are visiting. Others are cooking meals so no one goes without.

What this says to me is the churches are still open, even if the doors to our buildings are closed. Keep it up my friends. Keep on encouraging one another. Keep on praying for one another. Keep on being there for those doing it tough.

It’s been said that when the going gets tough, the tough keep going; and if we are drawing inspiration from Gods Holy Spirit nothing can stop us from keeping Christ’s Church open in our Communities.

So keep on keeping on. Keep on encouraging one another as you can. Keep on sowing seeds of hope. Keep on using your God given gifts and talents to shine a light in what remain dark days for many people.

By continuing to do this and more, we are sharing the love of God Together in Ministry by letting Gods Holy Spirit work in and through us!

May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all!

Barry

 

17th May, 2020

Dear friends,

Throughout the time I have ministered with you, our motto has been: ‘Together in Ministry’.

Now the whole nation has adopted the notion that ‘Together We Can,’ that’s a good start but if you take it one step further to say ‘Together with God', the phrase takes on a whole new realm of meaning.

While ever our focus is on God there is no limit on what we can still achieve during our lives, for God.

But sometimes the events of life can seem overwhelming. Australia has suffered seasons of drought, fire and now the ongoing impact of a pandemic.

These events present us with a choice to either withdraw into our homes as if they were cocoons. Or decide to go forward together by living for God, despite the unusual circumstances we are facing.

In Romans 15: 13 we read words written to encourage Gods people to enjoy their faith despite the strange times they were facing: “May the God of hope fill your life with joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Just as our nation is proving its ability to adapt to tremendous change by abiding to the motto ‘We are all in this Together’, we can adapt to changing circumstance provided we remember who it is we live for. The fact is that Together with God nothing is impossible.

Regardless of what birthday you’re up to, live a life filled with hope, joy and peace that God instils in us by His loving care.

Yours in Christ

Barry

10th May, 2020

Dear friends, 

A mate in Canberra sent this to encourage me, so I pass it on to encourage you to pray. 

FIVE FINGER PRAYER 1- Your thumb is nearest you:  So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. They are the easiest to remember. So pray for our loved ones.

2 The next finger is the pointing finger so: Pray for those who heal, teach and instruct. This includes doctors, teachers and ministers. They need wisdom in pointing others in the right direction.

3 The finger is the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for the Prime Minister and leaders in business or industry. These people shape our nation. They need GOD'S guidance.

4 The fourth finger is the ring finger. It’s our weakest finger. It reminds us to pray for the weak, the sick, the troubled and those in mental, physical or spiritual pain. You cannot pray enough for them.

5 And last is our little finger it’s the smallest of all.

This is where we should place ourselves in relation to GOD and others. The Bible says, "He who is least among you all is the greatest" (Luke 9:48). After you've prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put in perspective. Author Unknown

Trust the past to God’s mercy-

The present to God’s love

The future to God’s providence!

.......................

Romans 8:27 points us to Gods Spirit who searches our hearts and minds and intercedes for Gods people accordingly. 

Remember Prayer is the way we can speak to God. 

Barry

3rd May, 2020

Dear Friends,  

We should never undervalue the privilege of fellowship.

The whole reason for Jesus Sacrifice was to enable true fellowship with God.

Faith has proven to be a guard against loneliness or despair, during recent weeks of isolation at home. There is an old saying ‘that every cloud has a silver lining’. Faith in Christ has proven to be our silver lining because by faith we are saved and by faith we have access to God by prayer.

I am gratified by those friends who have sent messages of encouragement and joined in prayer on Thursdays. I’m also grateful to those who have joined in separate Home Services each Sunday. What this shows us is that although we may be distant from one another, we remain one in faith, together in Christ.

If there is one lesson from this strange time; it is to value those freedoms we may have taken for granted to date.

We can praise God for the NSW Governments relaxation of some of the Covid restrictions we’ve endured for the sake of keeping people safe. This means we will be able to visit each other at home, which will enable us to reconnect with each other in a more real way.

That does not mean the danger is over, I understand there are 10 virus cases in Eurobodalla and another 9 in Bega Shire.

What this means is when we visit one another we still have to retain the social distancing rules for safety sake.

Please pray everyone in our region acts wisely to guard against any virus resurgence.

Yours in Christs Name

Barry

26th April, 2020

Dear Friends,

By reflecting on His Sacrifice Christians can appreciate all Christ endured to set the world free of any need to fear death.

By reflecting on the sacrifice of so many on Anzac Day we are reminded of what it has cost to keep us free from tyranny.

Australians together with people throughout the world have entered a battle that calls for varied sacrifices to repel a virulent Pandemic.

In the midst of these difficulties we should never forget God!

Neither should we forget the blood Anzacs shed to preserve our way of life.

We should never forget the loss of lives, the ongoing grief because men and women gave their all. We shouldn’t forget the injured or damaged veterans who returned home.

Groups like Legacy and the RSL are to be commended for all they have done to keep their memories alive:              

‘Lest We Forget’

But who is there to help us get through this current battle?

Locally Monty’s is open for take away meals to help local needy.

But beyond that I’m glad to say I had a call from an RSL* to ask how I was, and could they help in any way? They even offered to bring groceries.

What this says is the lessons of the mateship; like going out of your way to help someone else, is not yet lost!

Resilience: is key' to coming out the other side of testing times with our values intact.

Always Remember Gethsemane

Remember to the Anzac Ethos of Mateship and Pray we always remain a caring people.

Yours in Christ,

Barry

[*Campbelltown RSL]

19th April, 2020

Dear Friends,

I’m sure many of you would know Hugh C. Hugh has been attending Narooma Church every year for 72 years, and yet we list him as a visitor; because he otherwise lives in Wagga-Wagga. Hugh however regards himself as something more than a visitor.

Hugh rang me this week to say he had joined in our Good Friday Service at home and found it encouraging.

He was not the only one who participated in Communion at home; it’s gratifying to know we can still express our faith in the living Christ even when we are remote from one another.

As we continue this isolation period, please remember the Christian is never alone, because God is with us always.

We can access God in Prayer, we can pray for neighbours, family, friends, Australia etc.

I am happy to supply a weekly worship service outline as I have to date, via email, per hand or post.

But Zoom might be something some of us could experiment with going forward, as it might add a personal dimension to our home services.

On a different note let’s have a weekly Quiz! I know we have some Trivia buffs in the Parish. So put your thinking cap on:

Question: What is a Prodomos?

Question: How is Jesus like an A_ch_r for our souls?

If you have a Question for next week let me know!

Barry

 

12th April, 2020

Dear Friends,

Easter Celebrates New Life!

We remember how Jesus Christ hung on a Cross to die to pay the price of sin on Good Friday.

Why is it good that Jesus died on the Cross? It’s good because Jesus paid the penalty for sin on our behalf. It’s good because Jesus overcame death.

What’s more those who trust in Jesus are linked into His Death that paid for human sin.

We Celebrate that He arose in New Life the following Sunday.

The juxtaposition of the events of Friday and Sunday offers hope to those without hope because we can be linked into Christ’s New Life to live for God.

After 2000 plus years the Cross remains a great human leveller because some embrace what it stands for and others reject Jesus without a thought.

Why people would reject this outpouring of God’s love and compassion is hard to fathom!

Is it an issue of pride? Too many seem willing to trust in themselves rather than trust in Jesus for New Life!

Yet even now the world is facing another great leveller called the Corona Virus 19.

It has no compassion; it infects people of all ages or nations. It kills people without remorse.

The Doctors trying to create a vaccine are still fallible people like us. So there’s no guarantee of a quick solution.

If ever there was a time to reconsider the true meaning of Easter it is now! Because God still pours out love and compassion today on all who ask for Gods help!

“They, who call upon the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ; will be saved” Is Gods Solemn Easter Promise that’s offered to anyone from any nation today!

If anyone would acknowledge their need of Jesus; just pray.

‘Jesus please come into my life and make’ me whole!’

By praying that simple prayer you acknowledge Jesus died for you, and you are linked into his death and New Life to live for God!

That’s worth Celebrating!

Happy Easter

Barry

5th April, 2020

Dear Parish Friends, 

Given these unusual times, it may be nice if we all worship together at the same time on Sunday.

Even though we are distant from each other, we can spend time in prayer.

We can sing a favourite song. We can remember that Jesus, who raised Lazarus, will raise us in new life; we have no reason to be frustrated or stressed over events beyond our control. 

Hymn 454:

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness,

Bow down before him, his glory proclaim’

Gold of obedience and incense of lowliness

Bring and adore him: the Lord is his name.

Reflecting on Hebrews 13:20-21

May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep,  equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. 

Each week we close by singing now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling...

May God keep you all within the veil. 

Pam and Barry

 

29th March, 2020

Dear Friends,

Learning the lessons of social isolation needn’t mean being alone! I recall a song lyric: “I come to the garden alone” the song is about coming aside to spend time with Jesus. How? By, meditating on the wonder of God’s Love revealed to us by Jesus Christ.

“I come to the garden alone when the dew is still on the roses...” it continues: “and He walks with me and He talks with me and tells me I am His own, and the things we share as we tarry there none other has ever known.”

Just as our PM, asked different people to Step Up to serve our Country at this time: I’m asking Christians to Step Up to serve our God, by praying for our churches our region, our country and the world. Pray that people will call upon the name of the Lord to be saved! Call for an outpouring of Gods precious Holy Spirit. Pray that we use this time wisely and don’t lose heart.

>>>><<<< 

On another note: Please pray for those who suffered because of the fires. Let’s not forget those still living in temporary accommodation. Winter is coming which will make things all the more difficult for some.

>>>><<<<  

We have four Churches in our parish please bring our Cobargo folk before the Lord this week. Pray for Brian and Mary, Ulrich, Beatrice, Wilma and Haley, Geoff and Bobby then Mary, Joy and June to name just a few. 

Each one is precious to Jesus. 

In Christs Name,  

Barry

 

22nd March, 2020

Dear Friends,

It’s an understatement to say these are interesting times.

The saddest issue is the prospect of social isolation that has precipitated the closure of so many activities we otherwise enjoy. Perhaps the hardest decision I have made in recent years, is to suspend church services for the sake of the frail and vulnerable people in our congregations.

But please let me remind you that as Christians we are never alone, because Jesus is right beside us in good or difficult times. Please do me a favor and be in prayer for one another. Don’t sit and wait for someone to call you. Pick up the phone and say Hi! And don’t be surprised if I give you a call, because everyone in all our congregations is important.

Then too, everyone in our towns is equally important in the eyes of God. So why not make it your mission to ring someone you know is alone in their life. By taking the time to do this you will benefit others.

There are no doubt a lot of people estranged from God by ignorance, or misconceptions about Gods Love for them.

We know God loves everyone in the world!

We know that is why God sent His Son to save people from fear and despair or worse.

If you have the opportunity to help someone pray now or in the future. A simple prayer anyone can pray is as follows’: Dear Jesus please enter into my life and change me, from within. Nothing more need to be said, if this is prayed in sincerity.

May our Lord Bless you and keep you free from all fear.

Barry

 

15th March, 2020

 

Dear Friends,

At the risk of repeating my-self, let me say the greatest assets of our Parish is not the buildings in which we meet. Rather its people and their willingness to offer a listening ear to those in need of a friend. When we suffer problems or we are grieving over loss. It is good to be able to relate to someone we can trust. Because the more we share the better we are able to process our concerns.

Another important asset is our ability to pray for one another. This is a precious gift we can offer others, because we have access to God, through Jesus Christ!

We can pray with confidence, because we know our heavenly Father Listens to our Prayers and guides us through life’s ups and downs.

At a time like this when Australia has experienced drought, then devastating fires, followed by floods there is much to pray about. Add to this the Virus now impacting the world and Australia and you arrive at this conclusion:

If ever there was a time for Australians to support one another it is now. And if ever there was a time for the people of the church to pray to God, it’s now!

 

Each and every church is uniquely placed to be a strength and comfort to their respective communities. Our focus needs to look to help others by listening and praying for the needs of those who need a friend who cares.

Yours in Christ

Barry

8th March, 2020

Dear Friends,

What does it mean to worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth?

1 Samuel 4 is about the Ark of the Covenant a box containing Gods written Word on stone tablets and a piece of Manna.

The ark had two cast angels touching over its centre that represented the throne of God. Each year the high priest sprinkled sacrificial blood on it on the Day of Atonement.

The ark symbolized Gods presence with His people.

Rites and Symbols hold an important place in the mind of believers from both Old or New Treatment eras, provided they reminds us of God.

Yet it can become a problem if you place your faith in rites or symbols, rather than in God!

The ark was God’s chosen symbol of His presence with Israel. It was not God.

He did not inhabit it. But in a real way it stood for Him. As such, the symbol was to be treated with respect. [1 Sam 6 &7]

The New Testament Cross reminds us of Christ Sacrifice to ATONE for human failings. But the cross itself it is a poor substitute for faith in God.

As Jesus taught us, "God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth" [John 4:24].

God’s Glory is not found in rite or objects but is found in His Love and His Grace.

[Notes by Leslie D. Weatherhead available]

Barry

 

1st March, 2020

Dear Friends, 

God places a unique call on each of us. So we might enter faith in Christ and be saved. 

Our journeys of faith may differ; but who we place our faith in makes the difference now and into eternity. 

Derek Prince says: "GOD does not measure everything by numbers or dimensions.

HE has another scale of values, according to which, as JESUS Himself told us, one human soul is worth more to God than the whole universe!" 

Realising and responding to Gods Call makes a world of difference in our day to day lives. As recent events attest; Christ is with us in the best times and in the worst times. 

Christ’s Spirit walks with us to lead and guide us in the way God would have us live.

Now the world faces a new dilemma, as nations are try to navigate the impact of a new virus that is rife in the world. 

Experts suggest we buy extra food in case we have to self isolate; if the virus reaches us. 

What should Christian do in such circumstances? Buy added groceries by all means.

But remember you can trust Christ in any situation. 

As we are placed we can’t save the world; but we can introduce people to someone who can. Namely Jesus Christ! 

The way we witness may vary, but whatever you do in life, do it for Christs Glory. 

Yours in Christ 

Barry

 

23rd February, 2020

Dear Friends,  

Ivan is a friend who survived the 2003 Canberra Fires. He sends daily encouragements. The following excerpt comes from an article by Eddie Askew: 

"LORD, I don't know how it is, but we've turned the beauty of the world you made into a desert----cut down the forests of YOUR love with sharpened blades of hate. Polluted the rivers of your grace with selfishness.

We've brought division---built barriers----marked boundaries. And from the steps and platforms of our dogmas, shouted war.

We've found it easy to destroy by indifference as much as evil.

We're learning now how hard it is to build and re-create.

And yet YOU love us----can love be so elastic that it stretches out and out to take in all we've done and still forgive?

YOU tell us so----YOU show it in torn hands marked hard by crucifixion.

LORD, stand with us at the barricades, and help us, not to fight, but to dismantle them!”

 

Eddie concludes with a prayer: 

Help us to open up the road to reconciliation. To plant and water seeds of trust:  To reach out hands of love!  Amen 

In times of stress and frustration it’s easy to hit out at others to try to bring desired change. But remember it is love that opens the way to God. 

In John 15:9 Jesus urges Christians to remain in His love. In verse 12 we are commanded to love each other as Christ loved us. Verse16 reminds us we are Chosen by God to bear fruit that will last, then 17 reiterates Jesus Command to love each other. 

Whatever you do for God, do it for love of God and people. 

Yours in Christ 

Barry

 

16th February, 2020

Dear Friends, 

Its official the rains have extinguished the Currowan fire, and as it continues it is expected to extinguish the remainder of fires.

The fires that brought havoc and uncertainty have had a profound and ongoing effect on the faith of so many people.

This is a time for everyone to take a leaf from the example of Cobargo or Nerrigundah. These two villages suffered the most in terms of loss. Yet each has demonstrated remarkable resilience in pulling together as a community in their respective situations.

Those who lost everything at Cobargo and now living in caravans, have been told they can stay at the showgrounds for as long as they need to.

This is a level of generosity of spirit we should all aspire to as people commence recovery.

There is no doubt everyone is grieving a level of loss at this time; be it loved ones, homes or even a sense of innate safety.

But as we apply ourselves to building one another up in faith in Christ we may discover or rediscover Jesus promise in Matthew 28: 18-20. When    sending His disciples out into the world and make disciples. Jesus said in verse 20 “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

This co-mission and promise applies to every Christian: No matter what your circumstance Jesus is with you always!

The fires brought havoc and destruction. But we can be a strength comfort to others by relying on Christ’s promise to be with us always!

Yours in faith in Jesus. 

Barry

 

9th February, 2020

Dear Friends, 

There is no doubt we are living through momentous times; the fires have brought out the best in a majority of cases. People of diverse backgrounds have reached out to offer a helping hand to one another.

It’s an occasion whereby despite the sadness and pain of loss, people are encouraged to know others care. Just this week Pam and I were able to speak with two friends from Bodalla Church who lost everything: What would your reaction be to such sadness?

Barbara said “God’s answered all my prayers since the fire.” 

Her faith is intact, what’s more she is rejoicing in God! This is consistent with Philippians 4:4-6 which say three things pertinent to this stressful situation.

First and foremost v4 Rejoice in the Lord always!

Second V5 let your gentleness be evident to all because the Lord is near!

Then third V6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

If ever there was a time to put our faith into action it is now! People who have experienced the pain of searing loss need to be comforted and supported both now and well into the future.

Just as a great many that have been spared the worst to date, are still living with anxiety. Due to fear of what the future may hold as these fires continue.

As Christians we have the facility to draw on Gods strength through prayer.

So let us pray for everyone impacted directly or indirectly and seek to bring comfort to others by sharing the peace of God with them.

Yours in Jesus Precious Name 

Barry

 

2nd February, 2020

Dear Friends,

Next week we will welcome Rev Dr. Geoffrey Dornan to our Parish for a month to help in ministering with each of our congregations. Geoffrey will be available because of the generosity of his home church at St. Ives NSW.

Geoffrey can lead services, preach, and provide pastoral care especially among the communities severely impacted by the fires. One thing we can all do in anticipation of Geoff’s arrival is Pray for his safety as he travels about ministering.

The one thing we should not do is expect too much of him.

So please welcome Geoff as God’s faithful servant.

This week members of Presbytery visited churches on the coast to ascertain how they can best help the fire affected areas in the region. The gathering at Narooma was a welcome meeting and the Presbytery Reps were caring and gracious. I am sure good things will result from those meetings in the short and long term.

Let me ask you to look to encourage one another through what is a stressful time for all of us. I know a number of people in the wider community are looking to the needs of vulnerable friends and neighbours.

If you want to unload some of that burden, please phone me so we can pray it through together.

Unfortunately the fire season is far from over and fear of the unknown is foremost everyone’s thoughts. But please remember God can overcome all our fears! So let’s not forget to pray for God’s blessings and guidance.

Lastly please be in prayer for all the RFS personal who are here to help us through it all.

Yours in Christ, 

Barry 

P.S. On the ‘Good News’ front Di has a wonderful idea to bring a little cheer to those who have lost everything: Rather than reveal that, I will let Di share her idea with you.

 

26th January, 2020

Dear Friends,

New Years Eve 2020 was less than a Celebration here on the South Coast.

It has been said that fire is a refining process:  my observation of these fire events is they brought out the best in the vast majority of Australians!

Those who fought the fires;

Those who worked in evacuation centres;

Those who have lost loved ones;

Those who have lost homes, property or stock have looked to support one another, by showing unity & resolve.

Someone described this outpouring of care as Practical Christianity! Given Christ calls all people to love God and love one another it’s an apt portrayal!

There are so many examples of people caring for one another.

A man stranded in Narooma by fires spent all his time helping make others more comfortable in the evacuation centre.

A lady who has lost her house spent her time helping other evacuees rather than grieve by herself.

We have had reports of a caravan donated in Qld brought down coast in stages by varied means and filled with supplies delivered to ‘Aunty Gloria’ to help others in Mogo.

A boy moved by fires deciding his family’s campervan could be better used loaded on truck destined for someone in Cobargo who has lost everything.

Someone known to Mt Dromedary Parish arranged for Generators to provide power to Narooma.

A semi-trailer loaded with donated goods, camping gear, generators, and wheelbarrows heavy tools was sent from Bathurst to Cobargo.

So many people have given so generously to help one another. They all deserve our thanks and deserve a listening ear to understand their experience of this devastation.

Let me encourage you to continue taking time to have a cuppa with people and listen to their experience.

Presbytery is also looking to help our Parish among others impacted so severely by the fires. So please be in prayer as to how they might best help us help others come through this crisis praising God.

Yours in the Precious Name of Jesus,

Barry

 

PS Pam’s favourite verse reads

‘Underneath are the everlasting arms’

Deuteronomy 33:27

15th December, 2019

Dear Friends,  

Christmas is here once more. 

To some its stuff and nonsense

To children, its beaut new toy:

Parents worry how to afford toy.

 

The important question is what does Christmas mean to God? 

God Celebrates the Birth of His Son Jesus Christ! -Jesus’ Birth Fulfilled God Given Promises of Salvation by faith in Christ! See Isaiah 35: 4ff

Your God will rescue and save you!-The eyes of the blind will be opened. The ears of the deaf unstopped. The lame will leap like a deer!-The mute tongue, will shout for joy

Because God to will create a highway of holiness. 

The Birth of Christ ushered in age of undeserved Grace as God’s Way of Salvation! 

Put as simple as possible, all anyone has to do to be saved is to trust in Jesus Christ. 

He dedicated His life to living, then dying for God, to pay the price of human sin. Remarkably God raised Jesus from death into New Life. 

The invitation to come to God invites folk to begin a new life. 

Very few people willingly admit their faults, but for those prepared to own up to their need of Gods help to overcome their failures. God has kept His promises to provide a way of holiness: Jesus is Gods Christmas Gift to humanity! 

All anyone has to do to be forgiven is accept Jesus then live for God by following Jesus teachings and example of how to live by faith in God! 

A comparison of Isaiah 35 with Matthew 15 shows the promises of God recorded by Isaiah correspond with the outcome of Jesus Ministry. 

By example: The blind received sight, the lame could walk, the deaf could hear, and the Good News was proclaimed to the poor. 

Isaiah 35 was not the only Prophet who God used to predict Christ’s Birth. I am happy to supply a list of other examples on request. 

Regardless of your preconception about Christmas let Gods Spirit prompt you to reconsider what Christ means to you! 

Merry Christmas 

Barry

 

8th December, 2019

Dear Friends,

It’s Advent. What does it mean to you? At basis we celebrate Christ coming to earth the very first Christmas.

When Jesus was born Angels sang of Good News, Shepherds and Kings worshipped, praising God for the arrival of His promised Son Jesus.

All throughout His life Jesus lived by a different standard to that of the world. Everything He did was motivated by love for people.

Rich or poor, friend or foe Jesus chose to care for people.

Even at the time of His death Jesus prayed ‘Father Forgive them they don’t know what they are doing?’

What was happening then happens now! People reject Jesus because they do not understand that that action cuts them off from God!

Everyone needs hope for the future of this Earth. Everyone needs hope for the future beyond this life on Earth.

Christmas Celebrates the Birth of HOPE in a world that needs hope for today and tomorrow.

Without access to knowing the Christ of Christmas this world would be a poorer more desperate place, than it is.

When you drill down into the meaning of Christmas from Gods perspective: the redemptive role of Jesus enables God to forgive people who do not deserve to be forgiven: Even folk like us!

That’s why those who follow Jesus look to serve God here on earth by caring for people rather than rejecting people.

Rather than become jaded or cynical about God’s Season of Hope, Celebrate Christmas for the Blessing it is; and look to be a blessing of God to everyone you meet.

Yours in Christ’s Name,

Barry

PS I have some Billy Graham tracts about Christmas if anyone wants one.

 

1st December, 2019

Dear Friends,

Israel Folau is in the news once more. As I have said before, although I do not agree with everything he has been reported to have said, I do believe in upholding freedom of speech as something every Australian should value. 

An interesting article on Israel last week published on the net by the Daily Mail Australia. It quoted two Christians who had made insightful remarks about Israel’s notoriety. 

One man Martyn Iles, director of a Christian Lobby Group said: ‘the media had rushed to judge Folau’, adding his sermon was more nuanced. 'Sermons don't lend themselves to quick sound bites, and the media's attempts, to paraphrase a sermon, have caused some unnecessary angst’. 

Other comments came from Rev George Capsis. He said: 'When I was his age, I was a red-hot, angry fundamentalist and would have said something like that when I was 30-years old when I started in ministry. But over the years, the realities of life have mellowed me.’ 'You've got to love people, you got to help people, you don't just pull out judgment on people - there are grey areas and we've got to work through them.' 

George added further ‘that he went to Theological College and learnt more about Gods Love’. 

That comment leads me to observe it may be time for Israel to attend Theological College to gain a more rounded view of God’s Love for us all. 

What can we take from all of this? Romans 2:1ff observes that people should not judge each other: because no one is perfect. Some may be good and others stubborn and selfish but every one of us needs Gods love. That is why God sent His Son into the world NOT to JUDGE but to SAVE people from their predilection to sin. 

Salvation involves admitting your need of God then asking Jesus into your life as Lord and Saviour! 

It’s that simple and that hard, depending on where you are in your thinking about God!

Yours in Christ’s name

Barry

 

 

24th November, 2019

Dear Friends, 

If you are praying for rain the following lament may help. 

Drought and Fire - a Lament By, Rev Dean Rerekura

How long O Lord? How long will you withhold rain from a thirsty land?

Lord, the hopes of too many are as dry as the land they look at and live on. Yet, you are the owner of the floodgates. You are the Commander and Creator of the clouds. So we cry to You, and yet ours is a cry of faith, for where else have we to go? We depend on you and we are desperate for you. Please, do only what you can do. Make it rain.

But Lord, our fear is not only that there is not enough water, it is also that there are too many fires. Please Lord, as you quench the thirst of the soil; also quench the fury of the flames.

Lord, we pray for the tiring fire fighting men and women, and also the SES volunteers, who even now, are driving into the furnace as others are driving out. Please keep them safe and comfort their families.

Lord, comfort the families, friends, and communities who are mourning the loss of loved ones, and are even now, coming back to the cinders of lost homes and possession.

O God, these communities are suffering. Yet Lord, you are compassionate and caring. You are close to the broken hearted and you raise up the down trodden.

Lord, you once went before your people in a cloud of glory, now we ask that you arrive in clouds of rain. Yes and yes again, our only hope is you.

Hear our cries - maybe they have been too slow in coming, but God, history tells us that the slowness of your people does not diminish the swiftness of your loving kindness and mercy.

So we ask for your mercy once again.. Mercy, so that the land can be healed, Mercy, so that the emergency can be withstood. Mercy, so that the grieving will not be without hope Mercy, so that Australia might know that you are God, and there is no other.

Amen

 

Deans Lament was written in response to the fires and the request of Pastors in the regions of the fires. 

Please continue in prayer for relief from the drought and the safety of all involved in fighting the fires. 

Yours in the Name of Christ 

Barry

 

17th November, 2019

Dear Friends, 

I have been re-reading a book by John R. Rice an Evangelist who called for the outpouring of Gods Holy Spirit on what he described as the dry lifeless Church of America circa 1932. 

One chapter compared the plight of church then to that of the devastating impact of drought, during one of USA’s prolonged drought events. He goes on to describe the false hope of relief, when a cloud appeared on the horizon only to float by without rain. 

This reminded me of the time we lived in the Central West of NSW when every farmer longed for rain and any cloud that gathered, just drifted on by. 

Dorothea Mac Keller’s Historic Poem about this wide brown land of Australia, it says: ‘I love a sun burnt country’ She portrays an apt description of this vast continent we call Australia. 

Poems like this give insight into the fact that generation’s before ours have experienced the privations of fire and drought. 

Right now Eastern States are facing a protracted fire season exasperated by the prolonged drought conditions. 

Apart from those brave souls, who willingly to put life and limb on the line to rescue the perishing, people like those in the RFS and other Firefighters, most people do not seem to know what to do apart from playing political blame games! 

Surely our Parish can gather people together to pray for God to intervene and pour out the life giving rains on our country. Especially for those farms in desperate need! 

I suggest each congregation set’s apart time to pray for rain to fall on the ‘lucky country’! 

Further; let us pray for an outpouring of Gods Holy Spirit to quicken our faith and gives us grateful hearts for what Jesus has done to save us. 

Pray for the safety of all who fight fires and pray for the souls of those yet to embrace faith in Jesus Christ! 

Yours in the risen Christ Jesus. 

Barry

 

10th November, 2019

Dear Friends,

I was reading the comments of a surfer during the week. He had made the remark “there is something special about the ocean – even spiritual”.

As someone who grew up on the coast, I can agree the ocean can be awe inspiring. It is both inspiring and fearful to witness its relentless power.

The surfer made this comment about the ocean; “I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that there was a God and Creator behind the scene, but I was never sure?”  

Our surfer would not be alone in this observation about a spiritual aspect to the ocean. Nor in his following query “can I know God?”

The ocean is one reminder that there is more to life than mere existence. It challenges and sometimes frightens surfers.

But just as the reward of coming in on a wave, is exhilarating. The reward of realizing there is a Creator God who we can know is all the more exhilarating. Especially as that knowledge leads us to realise all of life can be a spiritual adventure.

How? Just as we place our faith in the power of the wave to bring us to shore, the power of God can bring us into security of faith in Jesus Christ!

 

Jesus Christ came into the world to save us from our doubts and fears. He alone can overcome those things that would otherwise pull us down.

If your still wondering who Jesus is to you: Picture yourself at sea in a storm as Jesus friends found themselves. They cried to Jesus “don’t you care?”

Jesus stood and ordered the wind and waves to ‘BE STILL’, and they became calm!

That’s the Power Christ has over creation. If creation ‘knows’ to obey Jesus; why don’t we accept the challenge to ride the wave of faith all the way to the peaceful shore, by trusting in Jesus for ourselves?

If you want to know more about faith in Jesus read Marks Gospel 4:35-41.

Then ask Jesus Christ to bring calm into your life and trust Him in all you do in your adventure of life…

Yours in the Risen Christ Jesus

Barry

 

3rd November, 2019

Dear Friends,

Ward Powers’ was an ethics teacher at SMBC Circa 1985. He asked hard questions like: How will the world be fed as populations grow. How would countries react to burgeoning migration? It’s fair to say he was well ahead of his time?

I don’t’ recall if he canvassed the issue of climate change. But others have warned of dangers to the ozone etc for some years now.

Hymn 651 in Together in Song accredited to Lawrence Francis Bartlett 1933-2002 states in Verse 1 ‘There is nothing in Gods Book that says we should pollute the earth!’

Verse 2 calls us to preserve the oceans: ‘You’ve heated up my rivers, with industrial mills; you’re killing off my oceans with your waste and spills.’

This verse ends with God saying: ‘You didn’t want my advice when I first gave you dominion, but maybe now is the time to get a 2nd opinion.’

The prophetic voice of this song was well ahead of its time. Calling people to care for this planet God has created for us.

This begs the question why are we playing catch up in the climate debate. Rather than being on the front foot to share how God Calls us to act as wise stewards of earth’s resources?

Let me suggest the profound but simple answer is greed! After all greed was the basis of defying God in original sin.

The sad truth is too few people pay any heed to Gods Will!

As to extinction due to Global Warming; the Bible predicts this earth will end in fire! We are also advised no one knows when that will be except God!

What this suggests is everyone needs to get ready for the end. To get ready people need to turn to God by faith in Christ.

But that’s also a message far too few people want to pay heed to today. Do you?  And if you do, do you have compassion to share, it’s not too late to enter faith and be forgiven our every failing.

Yours in Jesus the risen Christ!

Barry

27th October, 2019

Dear Friends, 

There are varied types of music from classics to pop. But many of us favor Hymns. Modern Hymns like ‘How Deep the Father Love’ convey the depth of God’s Love for all people. 

Older Hymns like ‘We have heard a Joyful Sound Jesus Saves, Jesus Saves,’ brings a challenge to remember Jesus gave His Life, so we can praise God with confidence now and into the future. 

Every Generation of Christians’ have songs that are special to them. So a balanced selection of new or old songs helps everyone find significance in what they sing. 

My collection of Christian songs, range from George Beverly Shea through to Simon Townsend and even Hill Song. 

The other day when playing an Ira Sankey Collection the cover notes mentioned that in 1903, over 1200 songs of praise were published that year alone. It doesn’t say why that year stands out for such a prolific output of songs that praise God. But this fits in with Gods request that we sing Him new songs. It also suggests an outpouring of Gods Spirit may have inspired interest in God. 

Within our four congregations I’ve no doubt there would be those who would take up a challenge to write a song or a poem of praise, please don’t hold back. 

Yours in Christ, 

Barry

 

20th October, 2019

Dear Friends,

There would be many unsung heroes in the world, who quietly go out of their way to help others. Without naming names let me thank those within our congregations who go the extra ‘mile’ to be a friend, to those in need.

I was recently reminded of the quiet actions of caring people within our parish, who look for ways to help others in need.

To my mind these people are putting their faith into action.

Friendships that go beyond fellowship to give expression to faith are greatly appreciated. They also function as a blessing both to giver & recipient alike.

So let me thank you if you taken a meal to someone in need. Or make time to be with someone who needs to know they’re not forgotten.

If you mention Jesus, that adds another dimension to those you minister too.

Thanks also to those practically minded folk, who do ordinary little things that need doing.

There is a song: 650 in ‘Together in Song’, that epitomizes this helpful attitude, it begins: ‘Brother Sister, let me serve you, let me be as Christ to you. Pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant too’.

One of the more pleasing aspects of faith is when people look out for one another in this way! So keep on being a blessing, but remember to let others bless you as well. 

Remember also whatever you do, to help someone, do it in the name of Jesus.

Yours in Christ

Barry

PS Narooma Congregation has enjoyed fellowship with Frank. Frank needs somewhere to park his bus, which he uses as a mobile home. If anyone from our congregations knows anyone who can help Frank, Please let me know.

PPS He is willing to pay $500 per month.

 

13th October, 2019

Dear Friends, 

Faith based on knowing Christ; who God raised from the dead, gives Christians reason for hope we are being kept by God until the Day of Salvation! 

But how should we live on earth in these complex times? 

Given Jesus said: ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers’. Aim at being peacemakers in all you do! 

The early Church stood out as peacemakers in troubled times. Especially: As they shared the message of peace with God. 

Acts 8:25-26, prompts us to be open to Gods leading just as the original Disciples took their lead from God. 

Gods Spirit called the Apostles to preach beginning where they were then strategically moving out spreading the Gospel throughout the lands. 

Phillips spontaneous response gives insight into how we should be sensitive to the Spirits leading. [See v26] 

This means that we like Phillip need to be open to the Spirit looking for opportunities as they arise. [Viz vv27-30] 

Your Testimony is unique and offers a good basis for a chat. But like Phillip we need to link what we say to Scripture as it is the prime source for knowing about God! [Vv31-34] 

Like Phillip we should point people to Christ because we ourselves are unable to save anyone. [V35] 

Like Phillip in [vv37-39] we should encourage people to respond to Christ. How? By encouraging repentance and faith that leads to baptism. 

If you are ready to make a fresh commitment to witness let me know so we can pray together! 

Barry

 

6th October, 2019

Dear Friends

A Channel Ten News at 5pm interview with an Astronomer drew my attention. He was discounting the likelihood of any other life form in the universe except say microorganisms. He dismissed speculation of a Planet B to replace this planet. In what was an interesting discussion he did raise the issue of mining other Planets or Asteroids for rare minerals in short supply here on earth. Suggesting this as an ethical issue to consider? 

Although he and I would have other differences: He identified as an Evolutionist whereas I hold that God has Created humans as Stewards to care for all Creation. I do agree any form of interplanetary mining raises ethical concerns. 

While it’s also true Australians benefit from mining income, isn’t it time to explore our collective conscience when it comes to interplanetary mining Asteroids or Planets to satisfy any appetite for rare minerals? 

Questions to consider include: 1/ is it a reasonable excuse to assume this action wouldn’t harm anyone? 

2/ Must human actions always be driven by greed? 

Some years ago a Church at Lakemba turned its hall into a temporary restaurant to raise monies for missionaries working directly with people in the poorest 3rd World Nations. 

The motto they adopted was ‘Living Simply so others can Simply Live’. Although this ideal is at odds with the ever rapacious hunt for the next new thing. It does offer food for thought especially as Australia prepares for the next round of Space Exploration. 

Barry

 

29th September, 2019

Dear Friends

Skepticism about Jesus Christ is not new! People have rejected the idea of a certain future with God, by trusting in Jesus Christ for two millennia. 

*Eternity Newspaper shares at length insight into the journey of Actress Anna McGahan, an avowed skeptic. Who has discovered the reality of Jesus after reading a Gideon’s Bible! 

In a very revealing article she answers the question: ‘When you met Jesus he was not at all as you expected was he?’ 

She said: “I expected to meet a Jesus that was on the side of Christians and of people that I, at that time, didn’t identify with. When I first read the Bible- it was a Gideon Bible that I knew would be in the drawer of the hotel I was staying in –I read it to convince myself it wasn’t true”. 

The report identifies:

This was at a low point in the actress’s life. She added the following comment: “As soon as I started to read it the person [of Jesus] sort of came out of the page and was at my side. I felt a deep alliance with Him and acceptance”. Her portrayal of Gods acceptance of her follows: “Everything that you are- the entire mess that you are- exactly as you are right now, I am with you. 

Imagine the effect of that realization. The depth of God’s acceptance has had a profound impact on this person’s life! 

This speaks to Gods willingness to accept us; just as we are! 

It also shows the impact you can have on others by telling of your journey of faith. 

Yours in Christ 

Barry

*In Depth p6 September issue of Eternity 2019

 

22nd September, 2019

Dear Friends, 

Last Sunday’s 11am. Parish Service brought together folk from each of our churches. 

The fellowship was good as was the lunch that followed. 

John Williams from Presbytery led our service. The speaker Rev Kerry Bartlett spoke of the Parable of the Lost Sheep. To remind us how important it is to gathering together everyone including those who’ve strayed from God. 

This tells us God values everyone with equal love and urges, indeed Commands us to go and seek the lost, to bring them to faith in the Good Shepherd. Who is Jesus Christ our Lord!   

It’s just a thought but it would be wonderful to have periodic combined services at say Narooma and Cobargo to praise God together. 

On a different note please be in prayer for the three Australians incarcerated in Iranian Prisons. One couple is accused of flying a drone in a Military Zone and another woman is accused of spying. 

This is a grave situation for anyone to face. So although we do not know any of the individuals involved. That doesn’t prevent us from praying for them to commend them to Gods care. Please pray our countries Diplomats can help them receive a fair and just hearing and help their respective families face coming days in God’s strength. 

Yours in Christ 

Barry

 

15th September, 2019

Dear Friends, 

Why is the Blood of Christ necessary so we can live spiritually effective lives? 

Paul gives insight into the answer in Galatians 2:29

“It’s no longer I that lives but Christ that liveth in me!” 

He is not talking about living on a higher level than other Christians. What he identifies is our day to day Christian life. 

Examine it as it applies to you! It’s no longer: Insert your name _______that lives, but Christ that lives in me. 

God offers only one solution to our human need and that’s His Son Jesus! 

God works in us by removing our sinfulness and replacing it with? Jesus! 

The Son of God died instead of us, so we can be forgiven. 

This works by substituting Christ’s death on the Cross, to pay for our sins, so we do not have to pay the consequences for them ourselves: Atonement

So the Cross secures our forgiveness!

‘But wait there is more’

Christ living in us secures our Victory! Because it’s no longer I that lives BUT Christ who lives in me? 

If we remember this verse we know what God has done and is doing in us. 

Then every Question we might ask of God is answered by showing us more of Jesus. So that having entered into faith in Christ Jesus, we will choose to model our lives on His. 

Yours in Christ 

Barry

 

8th September, 2019

Dear Friends, 

It’s a true saying to ask “who can lengthen their days by worrying”. But worry which breeds anxiety and uncertainty is prevalent in the world today. 

Anxiety over our past; concern for our future, are common triggers for unnecessary worry. 

Matthew 6 can go a long way toward resolving unnecessary concerns if we are open to the words of Jesus. 

Verse 24 outlines a problem then verse 25 and following identify how relying on God resolves unnecessary worries. 

Matthew 6:24-34 (NIV)

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. V25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes?” 

If we would filter every concern through maxim that God is the solution to all that might disturb us! Then the Joy of knowing God could enable us to trust in faith in Jesus without need to worry unnecessarily. 

God does not forbid prudent care. But verse V34 reminds us not to worry in advance, as each day has its own worries. 

Christians have brilliant access to God through prayer, to bring any or all our concerns to God in humble confidence.   

Anyone who invites Christ into their lives by prayer can be guided in wise decisions by God’s Holy Spirit! It’s just a matter of being open to God! 

Barry

 

1st September, 2019

Dear Friends, 

Most children hero worship their dads thinking nothing is impossible for their ‘Dad’. 

Most dads would love to live up to those expectations; but know they need help to do so. 

A Godly Father loves God as the basis upon which happiness is built. Read Matthew 6:33 

A Godly Father fosters healthy relationships with all his family. 

A Godly Father loves his Wife. 

Real love seeks to meet all the needs of another person; read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 for a definition of real love. 

A Godly Father loves his Children. Love is more than provision for material things. Don’t miss your children’s childhood; there is no second chance at childhood.

A Godly Father is a man of Integrity! 

A Godly Father is a role model of God. 

Given we live in testing times please be in prayer that more Dads will take up the challenge to become Godly Fathers so more children can enjoy a blessed Fathers Day. 

Yours in Christ 

Barry

 

25th August, 2019

Dear Friends, 

Flicking through TV Channels; the end of a Science Show was on ABCTV. The picture on screen was a Blue Planet like Earth only larger. The host suggested it might possibly support human life. Unsure if this was speculation or more, I dismissed it from my mind, until 9 News announced QLD Astronomers have discovered 10 New Planets. 

As a Christian the idea of a New Earth isn’t a surprise. 

Revelation 21:1-8 predicts a New Heaven and New Earth to replace this tired planet when it has passed its use by date. 

That prediction from the Bible was written some 2000 years ago to focus the attention of Christians on Jesus as Gods Plan for their future, at a time when they faced difficult days! 

Presently the world at large is facing difficult days according to a UN IPCC Report. 

They cite emissions; need of good food production and food waste as issues of concern. So this worlds burgeoning population can be fed! 

If only the world at large knew of Gods Plan to resolve the Spiritual and Physical problems facing this Planet! 

In Matthew 28:16ff Jesus Commands His followers to go into ‘ALL’ the world to share the Gospels Good News so others can trust in Jesus as God’s Plan for their future. 

By sharing Gods Love we give people opportunity to make an informed decision, so they too can have Eternal Hope. 

Blessings 

Barry

 

18th August, 2019

Dear Friends, 

It’s interesting what you can learn on local radio. As an instance, a hairdresser was interviewed to explain how shampooing works best. Who would imagine that each individual hair on our head has scales like fish have scales? As we wash our hair in hot water the scales open to release dirt. 

Then as we condition our hair we use cold water to close the scales to protect our hair from breakage. 

It’s said in the Bible God knows us so well, even down to the hairs on our heads. Matt 10:30 

If you compare shampooing of our hair with what Jesus can achieve in our lives He washes away every aspect of hurt or failure in our respective lives. He gives us new life to trust in Him. To carry the metaphor one step further; Gods Holy Spirit conditions our lives by leading us the way Jesus would have us follow in truth & love. 

In walk with God, people poured cold water on the idea anyone could benefit from knowing Gods Love at work in or through their lives. 

Comments similar to “he will get over it” can come from unexpected sources. Perhaps you have fielded similar rebukes by people dismissive of your faith. 

Let me encourage you hold to onto your faith in Jesus and let God minister in every aspect of Eternal Life. 

Yours in Christ 

Barry

 

11th August, 2019

Dear Friends, 

Every generation has songs that appeal to them:

Two songs that stand out for me are ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘How Deep the Fathers Love’.

The first was written by John Newton 1725-1807 after he admitted to himself his involvement in slavery was wrong. Gradually but surely he understood his need of God’s forgiveness. The lyrics continue: “Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now am found I was blind but now I see”. Once he realised the depth of his sin, he called on Christ and two Amazing things happened. 1st he was forgiven all his wretchedness. 2nd his life found new meaning serving God by advocating the end of slavery.

My second song choice: ‘How Deep the Fathers Love For Me’ was written more recently; by Stuart Townsend. It also uses the word wretch but the meaning is more general in application because anyone singing it could apply it to themselves: How Deep the Fathers Love for Me! How vast beyond all measure, that He would give His only Son to make a wretch His treasure.

The concept that God treasures us is lost to many today: Just remember God did not send His Son Jesus to condemn anyone He came to save people from their doubts fears and failures.

We can experience Gods Amazing Grace for ourselves simply by asking for Jesus help.

Then we can live for God with a clear conscience. 

Yours in Christ’s Name 

Barry

4th August, 2019

Dear Friends, 

Charles Stanly shares on how to be led by Christ’s Spirit!

By citing Dietrich Bonhoeffer; who was martyred for his faith in WWII. He found self denial was necessary to follow Jesus.

"Self-denial means knowing only CHRIST, and no longer oneself. It means seeing only Christ, who goes ahead of us, and no longer the path that is too difficult for us. Self denial is saying: HE goes ahead of us, hold fast to HIM!''  

The Apostle Paul was led by the Spirit as the following extract from Romans 8:14 and Galatians 5:18 share. 

"Both times the reference is to resisting ones own sinful -impulses as the flip side of one's own practice of righteousness. Taken rightly; LEADS means 'guides'. In Galatians 5:25 we find another reference to walking in the SPIRIT. This time how-ever, Paul uses a different and more descriptive Greek word----WALK. This word means to 'be in line with' or 'agree with'. The idea here is to walk in such a way as to avoid the moral land-mines buried all around us!” 

When someone is following another there must be trust----even to the point of dependency! 

"So I say, live by the SPIRIT and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature."  Galatians 5:16 

"Since we live by the SPIRIT let us keep in step with the SPIRIT." Galatians 5:26 

Hopefully this offers you food for thought. 

Blessings 

Barry

 

28th July, 2019

Dear Friends,

 Colossians 2:8 Warns against becoming captivated by hollow deceptive philosophies based on human traditions… rather than on Christ. 

This begs the question:

What is Jesus Christ to you? 

Is he “the way the truth and the life” John 14:6? Or a philosophical concept, that you might be tempted to dismiss as obsolete? 

The following extract from ‘Thought for the Day’ offers food for thought about the Person of Jesus. 

“Truth is not just a concept to study. Truth is a Person.

JESUS did not say, 'I will teach you the truth,' HE said, 'I am the truth' (John 14:6).

When GOD gives you eternal life, HE gives you Himself (see John 17:3). HIS Holy Spirit, who lives in you, reveals truth... When the Holy Spirit reveals truth, HE is not teaching you a concept to consider. HE is leading you to a relationship with a Person. HE is your life!

When GOD gives you eternal life, HE gives you a person.

When you became a Christian,

JESUS didn't give you a thing;

HE gave you Himself!"

 

If or when someone seeks God’s will for their life God reveals the truth to them, alerting them to what He is doing in their life. 

On that basis faith is an active interaction between God and the person who seeks to know Him rather than an idealistic concept derived from human tradition. 

Knowing Jesus for your-self is important: a simple prayer for Gods help can overcome unbelief. 

Blessings 

Barry

 

21st July, 2019

Dear friends

We celebrated the life of faith of our dear friend Bev on Tuesday. Narooma Church was packed with those who recalled someone who lived for Christ in good or hard times. 

Each of our Churches were represented, but for those unable to be there let me share in part my recollections of Bev. 

She was someone with a large wonderful generous and caring personality. 

Undaunted by impact of Floods Bev arranged for Queensland flood victims to holiday in Narooma. 

When Vanuatu experienced a Hurricane; Bev expressed her love of God and people in practical caring ways. 

Together with Jim, Bev encouraged others to be generous &-loving as well. 

Bev’s actions epitomized the essence of Christ’s Commands: To ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’ and ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ [Matthew 22:37-39] 

The point to take from the example of Bev’s life is she wasn’t trying to earn her Salvation! Rather her actions gave expression to her abiding faith in Jesus Christ! 

If you recall Beverly Wilkinson remember she shared God’s blessing to bless others. 

Blessings 

Barry

 

14th July, 2019

Dear Friends, 

It is good to know people pray for us. As prayer creates inner awareness that others care.

In his letter to the church at Colossae the Apostle Paul assures the Colossians of his prayers of thanksgiving for their faith, love and hope

He came by this knowledge when their minister Epaphras shared this good news. 

But Paul doesn’t single out Epaphras as their sole minister. Rather he identifies all the people of the church as ministers; indeed he describes them as saints, because they had all attested to their faith. Paul further prayed their knowledge of Christ increase. 

He prayed for their ministry to be fruitful and importantly he prayed they would be strengthened in faith. Col1:9-11 

Those who rely on Christ’s redeeming love, appreciate Gods Holy Spirit of Grace reveals the Fathers love for each and everyone on earth. 

Yet even after years as a Christian there is always something new to learn and share re Christ’s abiding Love. 

There are four congregations within our parish and each has its own area of ministry.

Let me encourage you to be in prayer for the Bodalla Church. Thanking God for their faith love and hope! Pray their ministry is fruitful & their faith as Christians is strengthened. 

Equally it is fitting to pray thanksgiving & encouragement for our Bermagui, Cobargo & Narooma congregations as well; as each gathering of faithful people is important to God and to us as a Parish. 

May God strengthen you all! 

Barry