28-07-2019

Hi Church,

This will be the 4th Sunday in our series “All are Welcomed” during which we will be exploring what it is to be “prepared for guests”.

It is going to be exciting to hear from Luke, the traveling doctor disciple, this week as he recorded Jesus showing us how God involves the church on His mission in the harvest.

As we read and hear from the gospel according to Luke we learn what it means to “be prepared for guests” where we are here so that we can “be prepared” to meet guests where they are at in the harvest or world.

We don’t “do welcoming” we “are welcoming”. Here among each other and out there in the harvest, because of and with the help of the Lord of the harvest.

Let’s seek to be welcoming as a church in all that we do. In His Service,

Pastor Roelof

21-07-2019

This week as we continue in our series ‘All are Welcomed’, we look at how Jesus is calling us to go the extra mile.

I’m sure you have a story (or two, or many) where you did not end up in the place that you set out to end up. You will know that it is incredibly frustrating to be given bad directions and
end up lost as a result.

Unfortunately, for many of our first-time church guests, they have that exact same experience.

Sometimes we think that everyone knows where our church is, and because for many of us, we have spent so much time here, we assume that they know simple things such as where the bathrooms are. I sometimes wonder if the signage around our church could communicate better the attitude of hospitality that we are called to have in Christ.

In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus encouraged his followers to love their enemies by going the extra mile with them.

If we should go above and beyond to love those who are our enemies, how much more so should we go above and beyond to show our guests that we love them and care for them, and that God loves them and cares for them?

Let’s seek to be welcoming as a church in all that we do. In His Service, Pastor Ben

14-07-2019

This week as we continue in our series ‘All are Welcomed’
we look at the idea that it is not all about us.

While some people love to be the centre of attention, as a
church we need to be careful that we don’t make it all about us, our needs, our wants or our desires.

Last week, we learned that hospitality is about loving others, and we are called to love and consider others. This week, as we read Peter’s letter, we note that we are called to do this loving and serving and showing hospitality without complaining or grumbling!

Every good and perfect gift we have comes from God: our
homes, our pantries, our budgets, and our time, and so it should be a joyful privilege for us to host people, both in our church and in our homes, especially those who are
not yet part of God’s family.


And Paul in his letter to the Philippians encourages us to ‘Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5) What is this mindset? That he laid aside his position
of comfort and he did that for the sake of others. If he could do that for us, then surely we can lay aside some of our own preferences to serve our guests and show them that all are welcomed.


Let’s seek to be welcoming as a church in all that
we do. In His Service, Pastor Ben

07-07-2019

This week we kick-off a brand new six-week series as we seek to continue to become a more welcoming church, because we know that in Christ, ‘All are welcomed’.


Over the course of these weeks we will see how we can change some of the things that we do to reinforce that as God welcomes all people, we too will welcome all people.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul writes about being ready to help those in need and how we are to ‘Pursue hospitality’ (Romans 12:13b)
And when we think about the word hospitality, we often get visions of great hosts or hostesses whose homes we’ve visited. And a good host we know won’t yell from the bathroom when you arrive ‘Come on in, the door’s open!’ Instead, they will greet you at the door, and let you know where things are as a hospitable host.

But we should also pursue hospitality, not just when people visit our homes, but in our workplaces, at the shops, down the street, and even more importantly, when people grace our worship centres.

Let’s seek to be welcoming as a church in all that we do.
In His Service, Pastor Ben

23-06-2019

This week we are into Part 3 of our series on “Supernatural” and we are looking at ‘Angels’.

And many people don’t understand the role of angels within the spirit world and within our lives as well.


We get our beliefs from television shows or movies, like ‘Touched by an Angel’ or ‘Supernatural’ with Sam and Dean Winchester (which is my favourite show of all time).


We also sometimes see a baby angel with a bow, arrow and love hearts on greeting cards at a certain time of the year which leads to our thinking of what angels are like.

But angels are simply supernatural beings created by God and for God’s glory. They do the word of God, and are so fierce that they can destroy thousands, and yet, so gentle that they can protect a single child. They are the messengers and spiritual
beings of God.


There are countless stories of angels in the Bible, apart from those that you will hear this weekend, and I encourage you to read these so that you can discover these worshipping, warrior, messenger carrying creatures for yourself.

This week, may God’s holy angel be with you so that
the evil one has no power over you – Pastor Ben.

16-06-2019

Hello Church,

We continue to celebrate the birth of the church this 1st Sunday after Pentecost. Last week we heard how the Holy Spirit, God’s breath of life, came to God’s disciples, birthing the church and empowering the church to join God in His mission to His creation.

This week we continue to learn to be aware of the spiritual, unseen, reality of life as we shift our focus from the Holy Spirit to the devil and unclean spirits. The main message is: you should be aware but not afraid. The devil and his servants are real but ultimately already defeated by the cross of Christ. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead now lives in us, so where the evil one and his servants whisper notions of chaos and death, we live with the Spirit the brings order, love, joy and life.


Join us this Sunday as we explore the reality of our unseen surroundings, how to be aware of their influences and how to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.


Pastor Roelof

09-06-2019

This Sunday we celebrate Pentecost, which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus, as described in the Acts of the Apostles.

In some ways, you could say that this is the birthday of the church!

This weekend we also start our new series: Supernatural, and to kick it off – we are looking at the reality and the power of the Holy Spirit, because God wants to empower believers in Jesus to live a supernatural life.


Sometimes within the Lutheran tradition, the Holy Spirit has not been a big focus because of the ‘over-focus’ of other Christian traditions. But there has been a resurgence in understanding the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, and how it is absolutely and completely necessary to live a life in the Spirit as followers of Jesus Christ.

God wants to fill each of His children with His Spirit so that you can live and lead a supernatural life, which builds up the church and the world as you exercise and display the gifts the Spirit has given you.


May you be encouraged by the supernatural
Spirit of God this week as he works in you and
through you. – Pastor Ben Hentschke.

02-06-2019

This week we are blessed to be led in worship by Bishop Paul Smith who will be reflecting on our Synod theme: “Lord teach us to pray: God promises to hear us”.


Each year as the Queensland District gathers together it has been recently focussing on the different sections of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, and as you may have guessed, this year we are focusing on the section where the Lord’s
Prayer is explained.


Especially we are focusing on the conclusion where Luther wrote following the ‘Amen’: What does this mean? This means that I should be certain that these petitions are pleasing to our Father in heaven, and are heardby Him; for He Himself has commanded us to pray in this way and has promised to hear us. Amen, amen means “yes, yes, it shall be so.”


We can be confident in prayer knowing that God promises to hear us. And this promise should inspire us and encourage us, and make us keen and eager to
pray. God makes this promise to us so that we don’t look down on our prayers or treat them lightly, and instead, take our opportunity to pray seriously.

May you be encouraged as you pray,
knowing that God promises to hear us. – Pastor Ben Hentschke.

26-05-2019

This week we dive into the second chapter of God’s message to us through His prophet Haggai, and again we hear God’s call to us through Haggai for us to ‘Consider our ways’.

The people had clear instructions from God to rebuild the temple, but what happened is they were discouraged. And they were discouraged because of their comparisons and their lack of progress.

Because what the people were doing was comparing their start with someone else’s finish. Haggai and some of the people knew what the temple was like in all its glory and splendour, and so were comparing their progress with what they knew, which caused them to be discouraged.

All God was asking them to do was to obey what it is that He had asked them so that they could receive His blessing. Sounds easy, right? But it turned out that this was a little bit harder than they thought, and what happened is that even after asking them to ‘consider their ways’, the people did not return to God, they did not obey.

This led them to see God as unloving, but really it was because their heart was not God’s. They were not giving themselves completely over to Him, even though he had called them to ‘consider their ways’, and do so.


I pray that you give your heart and all to God
and receive the blessings He has for you. – Pastor Ben.

19-05-2019

This week we start a new two part series based on the Old Testament book of Haggai. Haggai is a minor prophet and in your Bibles it is after Zephaniah and before Zechariah (but feel free to use the index!)

I think often you can ‘wake up’ at stages in your life and have a bit of an unsettling feeling because you might think that at that point in your life your would have expected more.

And in many ways this is the context into which Haggai was written. The people were saying “we thought we would be in much different shape than we are in now”, and that is because they had gone from having the most magnificent temple (built under King Solomon), to now being in captivity under King Nebuchadnezzar.

But when they returned from captivity back into their nation, rather than build up their temple which had been destroyed, they focused on their own houses. Instead of focusing on God, they focused on themselves, their wants, their desires.

This led the Lord to say through his prophet Haggai: “Consider your ways”. Instead of doing their ‘own thing’, he prompts the people to do what the Lord called them to do as He delivered them from Captivity – simply focus on and worship Him.

I pray God’s blessing on you as you ‘Consider your ways’, and move towards what God has called you to do. – Pastor Ben.