Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Few Days in Lorne

Last week I travelled to Lorne and spent from Monday evening until Thursday morning working on the beginnings of the Church-wide series that will begin in the first week or so of February 2011. The Sunday messages will be on the same topics as the material people study in their small groups.

This last year the Church-wide series was called "Thrive - Living the Life God Created You To Live!" and the year before our series was called "Living Church." The series is a great way to begin the year and to encourage people to join a small group for the series. Often 50 - 70 people sign up and join small groups for the first time during the series.

The leadership agreed to give me a week away to work on the series and were keen to see that I had adequate time for uninterrupted preparation. I looked for an opportunity where I might be able to get a few days clear and when I found one I took as many books as I thought I might need and I headed for the coast!

Usually I have tried to write both the messages and the studies but this year is going to be different! If I can get the main messages planned in the next few weeks another person in the church who is gifted and passionate about small group materials is happy to write the studies. This will mean that my wife will have plenty of time for proof-reading and double checking and our office staff will be able to produce the guides in their final form without huge pressure. The worship and creative arts team will also have lots of advance notice and planning time so that each service is packed with great creative elements as well as really appropriate music.

My prayer is that the end result will be lots of people using their many and varied gifts to help lots of people grow in their faith in Christ and love for God.

While I was there I took the chance to go on a few runs and to have a cafe latte at the restaurant at the Lorne Pier. I stopped and took these photos. It was very quiet there and there had been a lot of rain recently.

Although the time in Lorne was short and I felt like I was only really just getting into it when it was time to go home, I am really thankful for the times spent getting started. I will look for another opportunity in the weeks ahead to work more on what I have begun.

So look out for a life changing series in February 2011!

See you! Jonathan

PS If you are every in Lorne a great thing to do is to buy fish n chips from the Salty Dog Fish n Chips shop and eat them on the beach. Unbeatable!

Daily Journal for Wednesday 8th of September 2010

A Time Will Come

S - "I tell you for certain that the time will come, and it is already here, when all the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God. And those who listen to it will live!" John 5:25 NCV

O - Jesus tell us something that he says is true for certain. Those who are dead when they hear the voice of Jesus live! Those who are spiritually dead, who are dead in their sin, hear the good news and respond to Jesus' voice, they cross over from death to life. Jesus is also saying that a time will come when all the dead, everyone who has died will hear the voice of Jesus. People wonder about what lies beyond the grave and here is something that Jesus says we can be sure of. You will hear the voice of Jesus. Those have known him and put their faith in him will receive eternal life. Those who have rejected the Son and rejected God's love during their life will remain in a state of rejection for ever.

A - Today, respond to the voice of Jesus! In him is life, eternal life. As you hear his voice respond! And know that nothing can separate you from his love, not even death.

- Thank you Father for sending your Son. You love is so clearly shown to me in sending him to take my sin and shame upon himself so I can be forgiven and have life. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for caring about my lost state and for sending you Son to save me. I will hear you voice as I have today, forever. Amen.

Daily Reading - John 5