With less than a week to go before Christmas and the celebration of our glorious Saviour, I wanted to take the opportunity to wish you a season full of overflowing joy and blessing.
If you are looking for Christmas Scripture reading plans at this time, you will find a link to YouVersion Bible on our homepage or click here to access this information.
YouVersion also provides a Christmas story tracker so that you can locate the number and location of others currently reading the Christmas story. (see here)
Please remember that our summer series on the Parables of Jesus will resume in the new year and I would encourage you to join us for this special series.( see below)
Why do children have no trouble talking to God, speaking naturally and conversationally as with a friend, while you and I reluctantly mutter our prayers, stumbling over the words while we struggle with doubt? Someone has suggested that children spend more time looking up.
Whatever the reason, almost everyone at some time feels dissatisfied and inadequate and longs for healthy prayer life that is consistent, confident and genuine. Joe McKeever has written that, whether physical or spiritual, health and growth can only occur when everything is brought into balance. He recently wrote an article about 'our poor prayer life'; take a few moments to read it below.
….We do not know how to pray as we should…. (Romans 8:26)
I find it liberating to know that the great Apostle Paul was dissatisfied with his prayer life. At least, that’s how I read Romans 8:26. And if he could admit that “we do not know how to pray as we should,” it’s a dead-on cinch that you and I don’t either.
One thing almost everyone in your congregation has in common on a typical Sunday morning is a dissatisfaction with their prayer life. That is not to say that all are doing poorly, only that none of us feels we have got it down right, that we are praying with the effectiveness we’d like.
In this life, we are always going to be doing things partially. “We know in part,” Scripture says. “We prophecy in part” (I Corinthians 13:9,12).
Good music, they say, is music that is written better than it can be played. The Christian life is like that: written better than any of us can hope to attain in this life. The standard of God is still the same: “Be ye perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). We will not attain it in this life, but that’s how it’s written. So with your prayer life. You and I mumble in our prayers, like a child still learning to talk. It frustrates us and disappoints us, but–do not miss this–is oddly pleasing to the Father in Heaven.
Here are seven statements about your (and my) poor praying….
1. Your poor praying is a fact.
You knew it and you feel it often. In fact, unless you are one in a thousand, the fact that your praying is so poor has sometimes discouraged you from even trying to speak to the Father. Oh, friend. I want you to know you are not the odd man out. We are all in the same boat.
You have lots of company, poor pray-er. The preacher with a half-century of proclamation under his belt still approaches the Throne of Grace like a beginner, still coming humbly almost as a newcomer. “Nothing in my hand I bring; simply to Thy cross I cling.”
Do not let this upset you or discourage you. Go forward.
Last Sunday, we held a special family service and took the opportunity to highlight the important role of our community emergency services and show them our heart-felt appreciation for their work and dedication.
The service concluded with a BBQ and special activities for the kids. The highlight for them all seemed to be a trip in the ambulance, siren blaring. (We have posted photos of this special event on our Facebook page so take a few moments to check them out.)
Our second Potluck Dinner and Movie night, this Sunday night, will view a great movie- Fireproof. In the movie FIREPROOF, a couple dares to rescue their choking marriage from the flames of divorce and temptation using The Love Dare book as a guide. Now you can take the experience of the film one step further with your own copy of The Love Darebook. This daily devotional steers you through the fiery challenge of developing a strong, committed marriage in a world that threatens to burn it to the ground.
The Love Dare personally leads you through daily devotionals, records your thoughts and experiences, and ends each day daring you to perform a simple act of love for your spouse. This 40-Day journey equips you to melt hardened, separated hearts into an enduring love that can withstand the flames of fear, pride and temptation.The Love Dare book will help you reinforce and enrich your marriage, earn back a love you thought was lost, and hear more about the One who not only designed unconditional, sacrificial love—He illustrated it.
In a world that attacks, devalues, and redefines relationships every day, learn how to rescue and protect your marriage from the firestorm. Take The Love Dare and FIREPROOF your relationship.
The Love Dare guidebook will be available for purchase as well as a couple of copies of The Resolution for Men and The Resolution for Women. These inspirational books were born out of the Courageous movie, a powerful story of strong family leadership which we presented last month.
The church here at Tweed Coast is growing and we have an exciting vision for the work here, in the nearby areas of Kingscliff, Pottsville and Cabarita and within the soon-to- be developed area of Cobaki. This is a growth area for families with even greater growth anticipated within the next few years.
As you would no doubt be aware, our Tweed Coast church family is planning an extreme makeover– a renovation of our current church facilities and we need you. We’re looking to upgrade our buildings to reflect a family focus in keeping with our community neighbours. They’re the people who work, live and love in this community and, just like you, have a strong emphasis on building families that survive and thrive. We invite you to help us make a difference in their lives. It won’t be glamorous, but a little hard work is going to be mixed with genuine caring and friendship. The countdown is on and we're down to 11 days remaining before this work begins.
Is all this possible? Absolutely! We're looking for 100, even more, and already 50 people have signed up to assist us with this exciting project or contributed financially. Whole families have signed up and some have booked accommodation at some of the holiday resorts nearby.. it's, sort of, a working holiday. So, whether you can help for the full 3 days or just a few hours, please join us- painters, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, roofers, handy people, gofers, cleaners, those with ability in food preparation but especially, intercessors. Please join us September 29 to October 1. Register right here on our church website: www.tweedccc.com.au
I look forward to seeing you there.
Early Thursday, I'll be heading overseas (USA) with a full itinerary of speaking engagements and opportunities to share and encourage other pastors. For me, these times are both physically draining yet mentally and emotionally rejuvenating. Within weeks of my return, I will face a new and exciting challenge as I start my ministry with Tweed Coast Community Church. Each church family is different, each hurdle unique. Yet the vision to share Christ with others and be His ambassador, His face and His hands to each other and the community is universal. Please share this journey with me as together we learn and grow through this new work.
Church planting and growth has been a focus for most of my ministry. I frequently lecture and speak on church planting and have been actively involved in many church plants. Under God's hand and direction, my wife, Kaye, and I planted the