Christmas 2019

A merry and blessed Christmas to all of you as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Christmas is a time to celebrate, and I am grateful that you have chosen to celebrate with us this Christmas, as we hear again that God has entered into this world, and into our lives in a new way.

God has always been there, but with Jesus’, it is no longer a mystery! We celebrate Christmas because:

Suddenly God is tangible
Suddenly God is accessible
Suddenly God is vulnerable
Suddenly God is wrapped in the skin of a newborn
Suddenly God shares our life and our space, our joys and our sorrows.
Suddenly God is more fully present among us.
Suddenly God cries with our tears and giggles with our joys.
Suddenly God has entered into this world and into our lives in a new way.

God in Jesus Christ is now present, here and now, in every moment of every day of every life. Not because we deserve it, but because God so loves the world that He longs to dwell among us.

And so Christmas invites us to celebrate with wide-eyed wonder, and discover the subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle ways in which God is present among us.

 I pray that you have a safe and blessed Christmas,
celebrating the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Pastor Ben Hentschke

22/12/2019

Over the past few weeks as we lead into Christmas (not too far away!) we have been looking at ‘Ghosts of Christmas Past’, talking about some of the things that have followed us, haunted us and paralysed us from living the life God is calling us to.

I pray that this has been a time of refreshment and healing for you as we come into the Christmas season where the things we have looked at of: offence, shame and this week: ‘labels’ seemed to be more heightened than usual.

‘Labels’ and words are powerful. They have power to create, heal, shape and motivate; but they also have power to hurt, wound, discourage and destroy.

Whatever label that you might have been given in the past, I pray that you realise that it does not determine your future, because God can break all labels that are holding you back from God’s calling on your life. 

 Let’s get rid of the ’ghost’ of labels, and instead, focus on who God says we are in Christ Jesus whose birth we celebrate this Christmas.
Pastor Ben Hentschke

15/12/2019

Today we continue looking at the ‘Ghosts of Christmas Past’, and ways that God can heal us from those ‘ghosts’ as we move through this Christmas season.

Today we look at shame, which is really the internalising of our thoughts where we connect what we do (something wrong or bad) with who we are. We think that I did something bad, therefore I am bad.

Many of us, this sense of shame continues to haunt us, so my prayer is that as you hear God speaking his words of life and encouragement to you, that you can start the healing process.

Because you are not who others say you are. You are who Christ says you are. You are forgiven. You are healed. You are a new creation. You are loved. You are more than enough.

I am not ____________________

Because of Christ, I am ________.

 Let’s get rid of the ’ghost’ of shame, and instead, focus on who God says we are in Christ Jesus whose birth we celebrate this Christmas.
Pastor Ben Hentschke

08/12/2019

For many people, the most wonderful time of the year is not so wonderful. A painful past or even our own insecurities can overshadow the joy that we are supposed to be feeling during Christmas.

I believe that this year for you could like different, if you allow God to heal as we enter into our three week series that will lead us to Christmas Eve/Day called ‘Ghosts of Christmas Past’

Christmas has a tendency to magnify things. If there is something good, the Christmas season will magnify the good and make it even better. But at the same time, Christmas can also magnify the difficult times. What might be a little painful during the year seems to be incredibly painful at Christmas.

And today as we talk about overcoming offenses, maybe your family is divided, or you have friendships that have ended because of offense, this Christmas, let’s not celebrate the love of Christ in the birth of Jesus while holding offenses, or hating those around us.

Let’s instead extend the love and grace of God that we have received.

In His Service, Pastor Ben Hentschke

01/12/2019

Like most people, I love promises. I especially love the promises in Scripture, promises we can claim and apply to our lives because they’ve been spoken out by God. 

Imagine my excitement, then, when I discovered that Jesus referred to Holy Spirit as “the promise of the Father” (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4; 2:33). 

It started me reflecting on the Holy Spirit as the workhorse or powerplant of the Godhead. He brings to your heart everything from the Father’s heart. He makes real all that Jesus purchased. 

It’s the Holy Spirit’s privilege, perhaps his job description, to help you know the vast expanse of promises available to you, and to help you experience life and freedom through them. That’s why, as the Helper, he is the promise of the Father. 

God actually apportions thousands of promises. For sure, some are duplicated, but you could easily go a couple of years writing down a new promise of God each day and not repeat the same verse.

Many of the Father’s promises are related to your identity. When you know you’re His precious daughter, His dear son, it can change your whole outlook.

And how promising is that!

Pastor Peter Steicke

24/11/2019

This week is the last part in our series ‘At The Movies’, and the movie that I am using to help illustrate some biblical truths really shows the tension many of us feel trying to balance work life and family life.

And in the name of ‘work’ too many people feel like they have to succeed, they have to do more, make more, become more. But if we are not careful, we might end up missing out on what matters most.

While it is good to think about the future, to plan, to be wise, to be responsible, we don’t want to do it at the expense of embracing today. The Psalmist writes: This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24)

We each have a choice. Let’s not settle for making a living at the expense of making a life. This is the day the Lord has made. Today. Don’t wait until later to enjoy God’s blessings, to express love to those around you, or to do what God has called you to do.

This is the day the Lord has made. Rejoice. Be thankful. Embrace it. Your life is today.

In His Service, Pastor Ben

10/11/2019

It is that time of year again! My favourite series kicks off this weekend as we are ‘At the Movies’, and I hope you brought along some popcorn and maybe even a choc-top!

Powerful truths live in some of our favourite movie moments, and over the next three weeks during ‘At the Movies’ it is going to be a great ride as we explore them together.

Unfortunately, due to copyright restrictions, you can only experience ‘At the Movies’ live at one of our locations, so make sure you block out the coming weeks so you don’t miss it!

The message this week, highlighted by our movie looks at how God has created each and every one of us to make a difference in this world, and how we are encouraged by God to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our lives to do what He is calling us to do.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy the service, as we hear God’s Word through the lens of some favourite films.

In His Service, Pastor Ben

17/11/2019

This week we are into Week 2 of At The Movies, as we continue to use some of our favourite movie moments to illustrate biblical truths.

This movie raises the question: what brings fulfillment in life? What really matters?

So many of us have good things right in front of us, but we don’t see them, and instead we want more, we want it all.

But the Bible teaches us that while you cannot have it all, you can have what matters.

Because outside of a relationship with Christ you will always be searching, because nothing on earth will ever completely satisfy you.

We will see how we need three things today: a calling to live; a family to love; and a home to embrace.

If you’ve been chasing after the wind, pursuing what doesn’t matter, make it right. You can’t have it all, but you can have what matters most – Jesus, and His life, forgiveness and salvation.

In His Service, Pastor Ben

03/11/2019

Hi Church, this weekend we commemorate All Saints Sunday (the first Sunday after the 01/11), where we remember the Saints that have gone on before us to heaven, but specifically those from our own faith community who have now departed.

We are focussing on a story that John records for us about one of Jesus’ friends – Lazarus. Lazarus was sick, he died, but Jesus raised him from the dead for God’s glory.

When we lose loved ones – sometimes we feel like we lose hope. But in our loss, Jesus is there to encourage us, to give us hope and the words that Jesus gives to those who were mourning were these: I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.

My prayer is that those same words bring you hope as we celebrate how we have hope in our own resurrection from the dead, as we put our faith, trust and hope in Jesus.

In His Service, Pastor Ben

27/10/2019

Hi Church,

Today, we commemorate the Reformation, an event that started in 1517, and continues even until this day.

The 95 Theses that Martin Luther posted on the castle church door of Wittenberg propounded two central beliefs: that the Bible is the central religious authority; and that humans may reach salvation only by their faith and not by their deeds.

These two central beliefs have inspired the church to continue to reform – to ensure that the never-changing message of Christ can be heard in an ever-changing world.

It also inspired Luther to do things differently, to move away from the status quo to help people know Jesus Christ and make Him known. And I think this begs the question of us: in what ways are we continually reforming?

This weekend we are blessed to have Danielle Robinson share with us from God’s Word keeping these same two things central – helping us know Jesus Christ so that we can go out and make Him known.

In His Service, Pastor Ben