Promise or Curse

4 June, 2023 Pastor Mark Schultz

Wonder Woman is one! As is Monster's University or Puss in Boots!. In film or literary terms, they are known as prequels - “the story before the story” – the backstory – the events that lead up to what you know as the story. As we open the pages on the Exodus story, a journey out of slavery into freedom as a people of God, there is a prequel, there is a backstory. There is a Promise that shapes all the promises even to this day. It's a promise that inspires courage and compassion. A promise that gives hope even when life seems to serve up curses. So join us today as we begin the journey and look at the prequel that reveals whether the story of our journey is one of promise or curse.

#1 in series: Exodus: Journey of Promise


Living by the Spirit

28 May, 2023 Pastor Mark Schultz

Weather is known to shift our emotions! Sunlight makes us feel less tired. Rain makes us more lethargic. Wind makes people feel more irritable, jittery or distressed. Ask any teacher and they will tell you when the weather is windy, students are chaotic; when they line up there will always be a problem or an issue. Ask any coach of a sporting team, and windy weather means a normally focussed and in sync team lose all structure, struggle to follow instructions and make decisions. They take less risks. They score less goals. They make more skill errors. The wind influences everything. Imagine those who witnessed the results of that first Pentecost then. The wind of the Spirit changed everything…but not like people expected. Rather than chaos, there was order. Rather than anxiousness, there was calm, rather than fear, there was boldness. Rather than despair, there was joy. Rather than indecision there was focus and purpose. The Son was shining and the Spirit was blowing and that transformed everything for the Church. It was not what the world was expecting. Filled with what the world offered, people's vision was blurred, their senses dulled, their judgment clouded and their souls poisoned. But when the Holy Spirit blows through and fills our lives, it opens our eyes to the mystery of God and the wonder and beauty of life, giving clear vision, a focussed purpose, a sharp wisdom, senses that are alive and souls that are restored. That's living by the Spirit and it will make you dizzy with love, joy and gratitude and it will definitely get people talking and asking questions.

#7 and final in series: "The New Normal"


Living Into Eternity

21 May, 2023 Pastor Mark Schultz

The sun'll come outTomorrowSo ya gotta hang on'Til tomorrow come what mayTomorrow, tomorrowI love ya tomorrowYou're always, a day away

It's the classic song from the musical “Annie” – the wishful hoping that circumstances, situations, or outcomes will be different tomorrow. We hope that our luck will turn, that easier times are just around the corner. But deep down we are scared that things won’t change, or the circumstances we find ourselves in will never be different. So the only option is either to curl up in a ball, put our heads under the blanket and pretend it’s not happening, or live like there is no tomorrow because if tomorrow doesn't come, nothing matters. That's not resurrection living and it's not the new normal that God has given us in his Son Jesus. We don't have to hang on til's not always a day away. The new normal is that the Son is shining today, heaven is here in our midst in the risen and ascended Lord who is with us always.

Every hard moment we live through, every trial and struggle we face, and every tear we shed moves us from where we are to where he is. And in his presence hope restores, love strengthens and grace sustains. It's a powerful reality that enables us to be a people who are 'Living into eternity.'

#6 in series: The New Normal


Living with Hope

14 May, 2023 Pastor Mark Schultz

In the world of marksmanship, there is a popular phrase – “aim small, miss small.” This means that if you just aim at a target, you may miss the target entirely, but if you focus and aim at the bullseye, you may miss it, but still hit the target. Peter narrows the focus for us in today in our missional calling as the people of God. How we concentrate our time…focus our attention…direct our efforts is important. But more critical than “How” is “Who.” Who is the focus of our attention and devotion? Who calls the shots and guides our days? Who has the final word about us both now and forever? Who determines both our identity and our destiny? Who is the centre of our lives? Knowing the answers to these questions prepares us for living with hope in every circumstance especially times of struggle. Only when Christ is at the centre of our hearts do we have or can we live the hope that offers future certainty and is grounded in the present reality of his victory over sin, death, evil and the trials and chaos of this world. Only when Christ is the centre of our lives…when we intentionally aim to be like him and focus to make his life visible…can we ever offer the hope we have in him, with others. Today we get back to basics, slow our breathing, focus our eyes, take aim and live the resurrection life God has set before us.

#5 in series: The New Normal


Living with Opposition

7 May, 2023 Pastor Mark Schultz

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” “We have met the enemy & he is us.” “Hi, my name is_____ & I’m an alcoholic.” However we say it…However much we want to deny it…Sometimes the greatest threat we face is the face that stares back at us in the mirror. Sometimes the greatest challenge in our world is the world we create by our own beliefs, thoughts & actions. Sometimes the biggest obstacle to following Jesus faithfully is the person standing in my shoes. In a world that often turns up the heat against us & our faith, we are called to not add fuel to the fire or jump straight into it. Our call is to ‘reach’ not just ‘resist’ those around us who are not yet part of the family of Christ. We are called to reveal the face of Christ in the most challenging circumstances… to witness to the power of Christ that triumphs over the painful brokenness of the world…to live as believable witnesses to the power that raised Christ from the dead & gives to us his victory. You are face of Jesus wherever you are…in public…in your family. Holiness matters. Credibility makes a missional difference. We’ll explore that today

#4 in series: The New Normal


Living in Unity

30 April, 2023 Pastor Mark Schultz

In Australia, over 30% of residential buildings annually are undertaken by owner-builders. An owner-builder is both the homeowner and the person responsible for managing and coordinating the building work done at their own residence from concept/design to reality, from getting the approvals to ensuring that everything is a compliant with all standards, specifications and regulations. An owner builder has greater control over the process and flexibility to make changes more easily. If the stress and worry of that seems too much, you can simply sign a contract with a builder who will charge you a fee to manage the building project for you. Any variations to the standard template will incur additional costs and any changes once building is underway will be subjected to a builder’s premium. Which of the two options would you choose? They represent two building projects that are being undertaken in the world today with widely different outcomes. Today, Peter shows us again the blueprint of a building project that is stunningly simple in design, is built to the highest standard possible, is fit for purpose and provides a place for all, regardless of background or circumstance, to come together in community for living in unity. It's a building project in which you play a valuable role.

#3 in series: The New Normal


Living in Holiness

23 April, 2023 Pastor David Schuppan

'Don't put all your eggs in one basket!' If you have ever been to a financial advisor, you will have heard words like this. Don't risk everything on one thing we are told. Diversify your investments, hedge your bets, seek multiple opportunities, multiple paths and multiple options to mitigate the risk of something going wrong and thereby losing everything. Don't put all your eggs in one basket because you can't be sure of anything. But the new normal when it comes to living the resurrection life, shares a different narrative. Because of what Christ has done for us, we can go all in. There's no need for spiritual hedging, and no need to look for multiple options. There is one life strategy, one life calling, one way that we can pursue with all we are and all we have because we have a living hope and an eternal destiny which is an absolute certainty. The pressure is not on getting it right, but in simply being the people Christ has redeemed you to be...a people set apart to let his life radiate out through us. That's living in holiness and that's what we'll explore and unpack together today.

#2 in series: The New Normal


Living with Certainty

16 April, 2023 Pastor Mark Schultz

Fixed reference points. Pilots use them, so do sailors. The stars, mountains, buildings or other landmarks. Fixed reference points are a known measure or position that give certainty and enable us to know where we are and what direction we are heading. Business, schools and other industries use fixed reference points known as standards or benchmarks to give a baseline and measure progress or success. In the journey and struggles of life, we need help to find our way. We need a reference point - something that is constant, true and certain - by which we can set our course with confidence regardless of the circumstances we encounter. That fixed reference point, that baseline, that standard or benchmark Peter tells us today, which gives meaning, purpose, direction and certainty to our living is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It establishes the new normal that gives living hope, eternal security and an unshakeable identity that enables us to live through difficulty, thrive through suffering and endure hardship with confidence. It's the good news of the resurrection that strengthens and transforms us to be a people living with certainty whatever situations we face and wherever we find ourselves sent

#1 in series: Living with Certainty


Easter Sunday: For You

9 April, 2023 Pastor Mark Schultz

The cross. It was meant to signal death. But instead, it's a sign of living. It was mean to be the end. But instead, it's our beginning. That's the earth-shattering good news of Resurrection Sunday that changes everything. There's nothing to see here. Everything that can be shaken has been shaken, so that what cannot be shaken remains. What remains for you is joy in the midst of sadness, peace in the midst of turmoil, hope in the midst of despair, love in the midst of hate, life in the midst of death. Death couldn't stop him, hell couldn't hold him, the grave couldn't contain him and sin couldn't defeat him. There's nothing to see here. God is with you...where you need him most. God is for the ordinary everyday rhythms of life. So stop hanging around the tomb...there's nothing to see there. The crown, the meal, the cross...all of that he chose for you! Don’t be afraid…go & tell… Easter is NOT something back there…an echo in human history…a memory of something long ago…a once-in-a-while revisiting of a familiar tale. Jesus is alive & sends us toward the world that does not yet know…has not yet heard… Don’t be afraid…go & tell…What has been done FOR you from now on works IN you & THROUGH you.

It means YOU are part of God’s plan for the whole of creation…yes YOU. When it was time to choose…Christ chose YOU for life with him forever.

#4 in Holy Week Series: Crossroad Choices