Light Strengthens

12 January, 2020 Pastor Mark Schultz

It’s called SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s a form of depression common in places with prolonged dark winters, where for days on end you experience little to no natural sunlight. The darkness literally wears you out…drains you…sucks the life right out of you. Prolonged darkness makes you sick. The only cure is more light. But even more than our mental health…intense light also has physical health benefits. Researchers at the University of Colorado have discovered that Intense light amplifies a specific gene that strengthens blood vessels and offers protection against heart attacks. Exposure to the light of Christ also has health benefits that protect from dark times. Prolonged exposure to Christ, through his Word, among his people turns our lives more and more toward him like a plant to the sun. It conforms us to his image and reveals our true identity. It gives us a clear vision for each day and unfailing hope and strength to live out our calling in this world. The Light of Christ strengthens and we will explore how it does that today personally for each one of us.

#2 in series: Everyday Epiphany

THEME VERSE:

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,

my chosen one in whom I delight;

I will put my Spirit on him,

and he will bring justice to the nations. Isaiah 42:1

REMEMBER THIS WEEK

In every moment you are chosen, loved and upheld by God and anointed with his Spirit to fulfil his will and bring his light and blessing to the world.

FAITH TAlK

1. On a scale of 1-10, how compasionate are you?

1...I'm a rock you can't squeeze any out of me to 10... when I see someone suffering, I hurt so much for them

2. In what area of your life do you need God's strength as you step out into 2020?

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Light Shines

5 January, 2020 Pastor Mark Schultz

A-ha!...Eureka!...By jove I think she’s got it! However we say it…it’s that moment we finally get it! We finally see our way through a homework problem. We finally see how to put the puzzle together. We finally get that last thing to fit in the suitcase or cupboard. We have that breakthrough moment. It’s called an Epiphany…the light clicks on, the penny drops…We see with clarity & insight…There’s a sudden recognition/realization/revelation…and everything is clear, reoriented & transformed. What if that could happen for you every day? What if you could live 2020 with 20/20 vision? What if you really could live 365 days with sheer purpose…on purpose? What would it take for you to live every moment with intention, as if you just had an epiphany? What would it take for you to be an epiphany…a revelation of the light & life & love of Christ to those around you? It's possible when the light shines. And that's what we’ll explore and experience today as we continue to celebrate the coming of Christ…the light of the world…God’s love for the world…who shines on you today.

#1 in series: "Everyday Epiphany"

THEME VERSE:

“Arise, shine, for your light has come,

and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. Isaiah 60:1

REMEMBER THIS WEEK

You are called to shine! When the light of Christ emanates brightly from your life, people will come!

That's a divine guarantee.

FAITH TAlK

1. Who has been a light in your life, shining brightly with the love of Jesus?

2. Where in your life do you feel in the dark and needing light?

3. What's one thing you could do to begin intentionally letting Jesus' light shine through more brightly in 2020?

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A Song of Hope

22 December, 2019 Pastor Mark Simpfendorfer

Songs of Protest. Every revolution has them. Songs of solidarity that unite and inspire people to take action. Just the singing of these songs is considered a revolutionary act! Today we add to our playlist a song that Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor and theologian called, “the most passionate, the wildest, one might even say the most revolutionary Advent hymn ever sung.” Sung by a young, pregnant and unwed girl, this provocative song of hope by Mary, the mother of Jesus proclaims a revolution that is still turning the values, priorities and activities of the world upside down centuries after it was first sung. Today you are invited to join the revolution - a revolution of love – and add your voice to a song of hope that will continue to change and transform the world one life at a time.

#3 IN SERIES: CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST

THEME VERSE

My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. Luke 1:46b-48a

REMEMBER THIS WEEK

Hope is a future certainty anchored in the reality of God’s present-tense grace. God has and is changing the world. When you, like Mary, allow yourself to be caught up in that plan, it will revolutionise the way you think, the way you act and the way you live, giving voice to a song of hope on your lips.

FAITH TALK

1. What has been the greatest revolution in your time?

2. How has the love of Jesus revolutionised your life?

3. How can we still be revolutionaries today in the world?

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A Song of Promise

15 December, 2019 Pastor Mark Schultz

Everybody sings...in the car in the shower, along with ads on TV...wandering around the house doing odd jobs…on the job? Sometimes life has its own tune... maybe it’s a song of despair as we looked at last week. But sometimes it is a melody of expectation. A song that sings toward something new - a promise a pledge a commitment just waiting to be fulfilled. Young children know that sort of song when the tree goes up in the lounge room; there’s a promise just waiting to be kept. But when the promise is long in coming or seemingly forgotten, it can be hard to believe the promise even if it is right in front of our faces. This week we get to sing with a vocalist named Zechariah, who has been waiting so long he’s almost forgotten how to sing, but when the promise is kept and the expectation fulfilled you can hear his song across the centuries. Today you are invited to join in singing and experience the joy that this song of promise brings.

#2 in series: Christmas Playlist

THEME VERSE

“Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people" Luke 1:68 NLT

REMEMBER THIS WEEK

God has visited this world and what he promises is so much beyond human ability that it is almost unbelievable. But don't underestimate what the grace and love of God can do. For when you are willing to enter into and believe God's Word, the promise will become true for you too and fill your lips with a joyful song for eternity.

FAITH TALK

1. What song do you find yourself singing/humming most at this time? Why is that?

2. What makes it hard for you to believe the promises of God?

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A Song of Despair

8 December, 2019 Pastor Mark Schultz

You know those tunes that get stuck in your head and you just can’t shake them. Maybe it is an ad jingle, a song you heard on the radio, some musical hiccup from your memory, something the kids practiced on their instrument but it’s stuck and it isn’t going anywhere except around and around in your head. Life often has its own playlist. Sometimes you “whistle while you work” Sometimes it’s a song of sadness or despair, of frustration and futility. Try as you might you just can’t seem to shake it and that tune persists, setting the tone for all you are and all you do. Between now and the end of the Christmas season, we’ll invite Jesus to rewrite the music for our lives. Instead of the same old songs stuck on repeat, we’ll allow Jesus to write us into ‘A Christmas Playlist’ and be swept into a song of hope for all eternity. Today we will explore what happens when we are stuck in a Song of Despair.

THEME VERSE

How can we sing the songs of the Lord

while in a foreign land? Psalm 137:4

REMEMBER THIS WEEK

When disappointment, disillusionment or despair sets in or the song has stopped in your life, don't give up. God has not forgotten you. He comes to save you and fill your life with a peaceful tune that ignites hope and anticipation.

FAITH TALK

1. 'All I want for Christmas is...' Complete the sentence

2. As we edge closer to Christmas, what is the song playing in your heart? Is it joyful or in a minor key, full of promise or full of despair? Share.

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