Hi again Friends. I do hope and pray that you had a chance to look at our first Journal BLOG for 2018 and that you found it a helpful resource. I just wanted to let you know that Karen has been able to get a few days off so she and I are having some R&R this week. I’ll be back on deck THIS Sunday but just in the meantime if you could direct any of your urgent requests via Donna by leaving a message at the office OR by emailing secretaryccc09@gmail.com Otherwise I’ll be back in a wink of an eye and we can catch up then.  Thanks for being a supportive partner and fellow worker in the journey. Much love, grace and peace, Graeme

Here we Go!!!  – ‘The Year of Equipping for Increase’

In preparing for this exciting ‘Year of Equipping for (Sustainable and Reproducible) Increase’, which is the only increase worth celebrating, it is imperative that we keep DWELLING in the revelation Christ has brought, representing it and demonstrating it right where we live, work and play. It is SO easy to fall into a sense of ‘oh OK we know what to do now, we’ve been here as a church before, all we have to do is this great event, this successful program and organize things like they do at this particularly successful church and we’ll be guaranteed of more people sitting on our seats at Sunday meetings than we can deal with’. Well my friends, if that were true, then why does the ‘National Church Life Survey’ and indeed the Census itself tell us a VERY different story? We certainly don’t have the time or the space in this week’s journal to deal with the nuances of this reality BUT we can say that one of the key things we haven’t done well as churches in Australia, is equipping followers of Jesus to equip new disciples who can equip new disciples. (cf. 2 Timothy 2)

Those churches who have done this better than others have sustained growth over a number of years and even though we can all say very spiritual things like “oh God granted them a special anointing” or “sometimes the season is right for God to move and bless a church for special growth etc.” the fact of the matter is that Jesus said “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.” There was no defined season, it just IS.

The context for this statement in Matthew 9 is hardly ever noted. Jesus is representing and demonstrating the Kingdom of Heaven in the synagogues and throughout the towns and villages. He looked on all the crowds with COMPASSION (a key culture of heaven and the ONLY true starting point for evangelism), recognising that people needed shepherding. However, the word Jesus uses for shepherd is a very strong term which talks of guidance and leadership and providing signposts for moving in a SAFE and BENEFICIAL direction. Pastoral Care is always best achieved when we are together on a journey towards the goal of God’s purpose, both for individuals and His body the church. It is as Geoffrey Heawood once wrote, “The great tragedy of this age is that we are standing at the cross roads and the signposts have fallen down.”

Over the last few years we have been intentionally listening for God’s voice to lead us. We have been reading His word to hear from God, we have been being re-calibrated for mission and as such we’ve been repairing the sign posts, the sign posts to the kingdom of heaven, the sign posts that had fallen down. That is all we need to focus on.

You may not agree with everything we are trying to do but please be assured, WE ARE DESPERATE to actually look more like Jesus so that we can together be an effective missionary instrument to bring the GOOD NEWS OF HOPE to ALL people we have been given responsibility and favour for, so my plea is, GET ON BOARD. We will work with the God of heaven and earth to SEND (as the Father sent the Son) workers into the harvest field; not just one or two or ten people that have some energy for this but a concerted effort as ONE, supporting and resourcing each other, backing each other up and then some; BEING His agent for rescue in and through our everyday lives.

This will not be a burden for any one person, it will be the baton, the beacon, the flame that we will gladly carry and pass on quickly so we can inspire and involve as many as we can to sustain and reproduce the work as long as the Lord tarries.

The HOPE Project is NOT a gimmick, it is a simple but intentional focal point to help keep us aligned to the goal.  Stay tuned as we will pray into this, speak into this and express this in action as we grow into this opportunity and responsibility that Jesus wants to partner us in.

More about this and updates on other important developments in next week’s journal.

A Summary of the message I preached at Greystanes Uniting Church on Sunday. It is a HOPE Culture to be Cultivated but not the Honouring / Fear of the Lord culture that Julie would have spoken on at East Corrimal. We’ll catch up with some devotional reflection on that soon …. Meanwhile here’s something for your Prayer, Reflection, Response and Action

The Series is … ‘Cultivating the Culture of Heaven On Planet Earth’

The THREE scriptures that will be our reference points for this series

  • Matthew 6: particularly* verses 5-15
  • John 17: particularly* verses 13-26
  • Acts 2: particularly* verses 42-47

* Context is everything so don’t just read the particularly referenced verses


Focus Scriptures: Philippians 4:8-14; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Matthew 6: 25-34; Luke 4: 18-21; Revelation 21: 1-5 (Read these to give this summary context)

Context IS everything so let’s get some

I could have used the whole of Phil. Chapter 4 because we get context from what the Spirit teaches us about …..

  1. The Message Target – in this case the church at Philippi. For whatever reason, they needed a message of HOPE which was based solely on and IN Christ. Our first context clues are found in Paul’s use of the phrase ‘in the Lord’

Vs 1 – Stand firm ‘in the Lord’, Paul urging us to hang everything on Christ Vs

Vs 2 – Agree ‘in the Lord’, Paul pleading with us to engage the ONE ness that only Jesus provides. In Christ we can agree even if we can’t see eye to eye

Vs 4 – Rejoice ‘in the Lord’ always, Paul knowing that if we celebrate the focus of our affection, other things will align .. AND SO ON – it’s a clue to our topic.

  1. The Message Presenter – in this case the apostle Paul.

We get context from the consistency of what Paul preaches (and using the word Paul uses for Preach, we are talking about what message he represents or declares as its ambassador)

If we compare Phil. 4: 12-14 with 2 Cor. 12: 7-10, the outcome summary = IN Christ or IN the Lord is about Christ’s sufficiency for ALL Paul’s needs. He identifies that Christ is sovereign.

  1. The Message Itself – Christ and Him Crucified

When Christ speaks about himself He identifies His life and ministry with the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matt. 6 :33ff)

When Christ teaches about the kingdom He identifies himself as its embodiment (Luke 4:18ff)

I.e. Christ is FIRST and ALL Sufficient (definition of Kingdom)

Let’s explore this a little more …

Healing and well-being is the state of the kingdom and we finally get this affirmed by Revelation 21 but we’ll put that on hold and come back to this

The context for Paul’s contentment is found in him receiving all sufficiency of Christ; clarified by the earlier verse ‘and the peace which passes all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus’. He is content NOT just because he has a peaceful state of mind BUT rather that he has the peace which pro-actively GUARDS his heart AND MIND in Christ which means he doesn’t feel want or need for anything – just true contentment …

This clearly indicates that Christ’s rule of our hearts and not self-rule is truly representative of the kingdom – Jesus is ALL sufficient

Jesus speaks the truth IN love and acts upon this loving truth. Jesus doesn’t just speak about the kingdom, He IS the kingdom, He represents, acts upon and demonstrates the kingdom.

As believers we are NOT asked to ensure that what we request for in Christ is provided in the way we might indicate … NO … we are ONLY asked to pray, represent and demonstrate the kingdom of heaven, i.e. serve people as Jesus did and trust Him for whatever happens BUT WITH BOLDNESS for a particular reason. What is that reason?

Christ is ALL sufficient and Contentment IN Christ’s all sufficiency is all that is required or makes sense.

We don’t and can’t always see the effects of our prayers or our demonstrating of the Kingdom or why some prayers aren’t answered how we’d hoped.

Contentment comes from knowing this isn’t our job; letting Jesus work through us

The truth we must always represent and depend upon is the truth found where the risen Christ is painting the picture of His kingdom come in Revelation 21. That is the hope Jesus has given us, a life FOREVER worshipping Him with joy because our lives on earth are created for HIS purposes.

We must not grow weary (but we do) of prayer or serving BUT pray IN faith KNOWING that God has ALREADY conquered death and indeed our sorrow for eternity.

Representing the Kingdom of God/Heaven right where we are here on earth is what Jesus requires and what Paul encourages in us (Eph. 2-4; Phil.) … NOT whether we get the ritual or the tradition or the style or way we DO things as a church right. We complicate the gospel with our words and our practices.


Let’s create safe spaces where people can be introduced to what Jesus HAS ALREADY done for them, not where they have to jump through particularly shaped hoops to be worthy of what Jesus ALREADY wants them to receive – in THEIR soft hearts

Let’s re-read Revelation 21:4-5 so I can explain further as I promised

In this passage the risen Christ is describing the kingdom of heaven

Complete healing and well-being is a constant state of God’s kingdom and not a               constant state of the kingdom of this world

It is always His will for people to be healed but ONLY IN Christ can we know what that means for any one person. If our prayers for healing are answered the way we hope, then there is a further purpose for that person’s physical life on earth

WE MUST Therefore PRAY and TRUST Jesus with His answer

He might give us clarity and a prophetic word when we are representing and demonstrating the kingdom BUT we must discern we are hearing from God

The aim of everything we do as the body of Christ is described by verse 3 ‘NOW the dwelling place of God is with man’

Jesus and Paul said, seek first the kingdom AND Jesus’ way of representing it (righteousness) and ALL these things (our very needs) will be added unto us

So, when I pray for your healing, I am praying for God’s kingdom to be FULLY released within you AS IT IS IN HEAVEN … in the context of Luke 4:18ff,

If you are impoverished, if you have experienced injustice, if you have been enslaved ….. AND you experience the miracle of healing,  you may or may not become a follower of Jesus BUT … If you experience the fullness of God’s kingdom rule in your life as it is in heaven, well …. You will more than likely be cut to the heart and transformed by Christ. It’s not a quick fix BUT a transforming engagement and a life time adventure which is resourced by Christ’s sufficiency and breeds contentment …

This is what I’m desperate to see grow in all areas of my life & hopefully yours … to experience wholeness, fullness, contentment and sufficiency IN Christ’s empowering presence (grace); in such a way that like with Jesus himself, his engagement with the community advanced God’s kingdom because daily decisions become good news for the poor, freedom for the captive, recovery of health for the sick, release for the oppressed and justice and favour for everyone He/We come in contact with.

PRAY AND BELIEVE … for His Kingdom to Come, and His will to be done ON EARTH as it IS IN HEAVEN so that people will meet Jesus and experience His power and mercy whatever their circumstances … that’s contentment. The promise is, other things will follow. Let’s chat ….

Here’s the Link to What’s Happening at the HUB this week http://corrimalcommunitychurch.com.au/blog/9-uncategorised/7-click-here

Here’s the Link to this week’s Prayer Diary for The HOPE Project http://corrimalcommunitychurch.com.au/blog/9-uncategorised/9-click-here

Here’s the Link to HOPE College, Student information & Application Process http://corrimalcommunitychurch.com.au/blog/9-uncategorised/10-click-here