Thursday, December 30, 2010

Gone Fishin'

Gone Fishin written in sandChristmas is over and roll on 2011. I love the final week of the year. That holiday feel when you get at least a couple of days to relax and hang up that sign on your office/workshop door ......gone fishin'.

Our family are always keen to get away to the beach, even for a day trip. For us, it is a great way to see out the current year and welcome in the new. For me the physical rest and relaxation has become a significant part of a spiritual rest and relaxation that enables me to prepare for the challenges and adventures of the year ahead. I better understand the purpose and value of the sabbath rest that God has given His people.

I hope you are able to hang up your "gone fishin' "sign and get that kind of rest to refresh you for the year ahead. Happy New Year to you and may 2011 be full of God's best for you in Jesus Christ.

Bye for now,
Oreste

Sunday, December 26, 2010

That Unwanted Gift

Oreste's message on Sunday 26th December 2010 is available for download.

The message is preceded by a brief testimony by Michael Tsekoutanis. In this message Oreste looks at circumstances in life we would prefer to avoid rather than go through. Those unwelcome circumstances may well be a gift from God intended for our transformation and blessing. Unlike an unwanted Christmas gift we can easily return on Boxing Day, these unwanted circumstances are not able to be returned; they are a necessary part of God's preparation for His people that gives them an increased capacity to live a joyful, peaceful and prosperous Kingdom life in Jesus.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Season to Surrender: Amnesty for All

Oreste's message on Sunday evening, 19th December 2010, is available for download.

In this message Oreste looks at Christmas as a celebration and joyful reminder that there is a season of amnesty given by God to all humanity. This amnesty is available for all people and is the only means of receiving a full pardon before God for all the things that stand to convict us during our lives. Be encouraged as you hear about God's patience with us and the kindness He extends to all of us.

Destined to Destroy Death

Oreste's message on Sunday morning, 19th December 2010, is available for download.

In this message Oreste looks at the significance of Jesus' first coming to planet earth where He was born as a babe on that first Christmas in Bethlehem. Although Jesus always existed, he made His earthly entry like all of us - as a baby born of a woman. However Jesus came as a human being to fulfil a unique God given destiny. Jesus came as one destined to destroy death and the destiny of every single person who has ever lived is connected to His destiny in one of two ways. What will your destiny be? In this message you will hear more about what this means for you. You might be surprised by what you hear!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Give Me a Foot Up

Have you ever needed to get over a fence or a wall only to find you couldn't muster enough strength to do it on your own? Some people seem to get over those fences easily whilst some of us struggle to go it alone. If we raise the fences another foot or so, no doubt there would be more people in need of help to get over the other side. There is no shame in needing someone to give you a foot up over the "fences" and "obstacles" we experience in life.

There was a time when I prided myself on going it alone and conquering those fences solo. There was even the occasional condescending thought towards "those people" that needed a foot up. Then came the time that life circumstances saw my fences raised by that extra foot and all of a sudden I became a part of the "those people" club.

I now thank God that I'm in that club. A correct understanding of the good news of eternal life and freedom from sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ, involves identifying yourself as a person in need of a foot up.

Jesus Christ came to accomplish what no other human being could do - to singlehandedly give all people that have ever lived the opportunity to get a foot up to a place they cannot reach on their own. That place is the perfect paradise of the Kingdom of God where justice, what is right, and mercy prevails. That place where joy and peace is forever in the atmosphere. Without a foot up from Jesus Christ, we can never make it into God's kingdom. The good news is that God is willing to give anyone who recognises their need of Him, a foot up into His glorious Kingdom.

Bye for now,
Oreste

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Pictures of Love

The Youth of Living Water Community Church ran the entire meeting on Sunday 5th December 2010. The message that morning is available for download.

In this message Jasmine Crennan looks at how we see and experience God's love, as she draws on Scriptures from the first letter of John. Joel Gillie and Sarah de Haan provide us with their personal stories on how they have encountered pictures of God's love.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Party Hard for God

We are approaching that time where Christmas parties hit us left, right and centre-office parties, family gatherings, girls' nights out, barbeques for the boys-the list could go on. Good fun? Yes they are. Personally I love celebrating.

There is much to celebrate at Christmas; so much more than the human mind can comprehend. However there is a joy of the heart that followers of Jesus experience through living life by the power and presence of the indwelling Spirit of God. Such a God-given joy has no limits and easily transcends the limitations of our minds to take in the fullness of what Christmas truly means.

The joy experienced by Jesus followers through connection with God our Father by His Spirit dwelling in us, gives us the capacity to see the wood for the trees at times like Christmas. It is important that we see the wood for the trees at this time.

We need to see and recognise the joy that is available for all the people of this earth, at a time where we rejoice at the day our Saviour Jesus Christ made His first entry to planet earth as a human being. Jesus was born into this world to commence a journey for our sakes; a journey that would lead Him to death through crucifixion on a cross for our sakes and ultimately to a joyful resurrection - again all for our sakes.

At Christmas, it is the cross and resurrection we must see over the commercial dominance of a secular celebration. Even where we may be pleased that we are doing well on this front (and may I say well done for doing so) let me leave you with a passage of scripture that will challenge most, if not all of us to go the next step. I do not think we have moved into this area of doing parties and celebrations, God’s way, anywhere near enough. Holiness means becoming more like Jesus. Are our parties, holy parties or Jesus kind of gatherings? May we reflect on this and take action to party hard God’s way.

Luke 14:1-14
1 One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. 2 There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. 3 Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” 4 But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way.
5 Then he asked them, “If one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull them out?” 6 And they had nothing to say.
7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Bye for now,
Oreste