Thriving when you are on your own

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13 September, 2020Pastor Mark SchultzNew Terrain

On your own. Three small words that contain a range of emotions. Fear. Excitement. Dread. Anticipation. Loneliness. Freedom. On your own. Three small words that cover a range of transitions. From dependence to independence, from needing your parents to drive you everywhere to driving on your own, from living at home to living on your own, from being in a relationship/marriage to being on your own. From having someone do things for you to making it on your own. From a house full of kids to being just on your own. From being connected and having a purpose to feeling like you are on your own. From sharing a lifetime together to being on your own again.  From having a faith passed on from your parents to believing the claims of Jesus on your own. Life is full of 'on your own' moments that can either halt you in your tracks or launch you into new adventures. So how do you thrive when you’re on your own. We'll explore and discover that today.

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“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

 I have summoned you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1



You are never alone, when you on your own.

For in God's presence, you have an abiding home.



1  When do you feel most “on your own/alone?"

2.  When has God been especially present to you in a recent “alone” time?”

Bible Readings

But now, this is what the Lord says—

    he who created you, Jacob,

    he who formed you, Israel:

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

2 When you pass through the waters,

    I will be with you;

and when you pass through the rivers,

    they will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire,

    you will not be burned;

    the flames will not set you ablaze.

3 For I am the Lord your God,

    the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour;

“Forget the former things;

    do not dwell on the past.

19 See, I am doing a new thing!

    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the wilderness

    and streams in the wasteland.

20 The wild animals honour me,

    the jackals and the owls,

because I provide water in the wilderness

    and streams in the wasteland,

to give drink to my people, my chosen,

21     the people I formed for myself

    that they may proclaim my praise.

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

More from 'New Terrain'

Thriving when Work is different

6 September, 2020 Pastor Mark Schultz

Covid-19 has dramatically changed the way we live and work, affecting every element of life, from family and community to even how we socialise. Work has seen one of the greatest shifts, from in person meetings to zoom meetings (with kids banging on the door wanting to see mum or dad), from workers commuting to offices and flying internationally to putting on the tracksuit pants and walking to the home office in 20 secs. For some the change has brought better work/life balance, for others it has created incredible stress as they have had to upskill in new technology, pivot in different ways, and adapt to flexible environments. But the changing nature of work has been in evidence for several decades with the sandwich generation and early retirees, caring for ageing parents while supporting their children and becoming the new generation of unpaid baby sitters! How do you thrive when your work is different? How do you find purpose and significance when your work and life encounter new terrain? The Apostle Paul invites us to do a heart pivot in which we discover a new purpose, a spiritual significance and a deep fulfilment that enables us to thrive even when work changes.

#3 in seres: New Terrain

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And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17


What you do each day becomes an act of faith that brings the presence of Christ into ordinary moments to bless others.


If someone asked you, 'Why do you work?' how would you respond?


Thriving when Families Change

30 August, 2020 Pastor Mark Simpfendorfer

It has been said: ‘As the family goes, so does the nation…’ As the family is able to navigate changing times, as the family is able to thrive in the midst of crisis, so is the nation able to navigate uncertain times and thrive in changing circumstances. What could we conclude about the health and resilience of our nation as we look at families at this time? Some families are thriving as they find a new found purpose in rearing children into competent and confident adults who can overcome life's difficulties. Some are embracing the togetherness that this crisis has brought. Many are struggling as they fight to stay upright themselves on foundations that are shifting. Some families are living out the law of exposure which says that our minds absorb and our lives reflect that to which we are most frequently exposed, with frightening and destructive consequences. So how do we navigate the new terrain we find ourselves in and thrive as families change? How do we thrive through the changing stages of family life as we move from dependency to growing independency and everything in-between? Joshua gives us some insight today. He not only led a nation, but his own family though times of crisis, discovering the one that enables families to thrive in any crisis and change.

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But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15b


In a world filled with options and choice, choose C every time. For the Creator, the Chief Cornerstone and Counsellor is the foundation that supports, empowers and enables thriving families through all the changes and crises of life.


What is your family motto, or if you could choose a motto for your family, what would it be?


But listen up. Let me give you a heads-up, because it won’t be easy to fire up. When God said that he’ll join us up, it won’t always add up, and you’ll need to buckle up. We all have hang ups, we all stuff up. When things begin to pile up, and you mess up, or foul up or muck it up, or there’s a blow up or a dust up, or a break up or crack up and you feel like giving up or going belly-up, or selling up, and you want to pack up and you’re fed up, and your life seems screwed up, and you feel cut up, or maybe a relationship has broken up, and your heart ices-up, and things foul up, and love dries up, you can’t speak up, and you want to throw up and sell up and pack up, and you think there’s no back up, and you want to even up, or cover up, don’t give up. Buck up. Cheer up. There is a back-up, or a pick-me-up, and a leg up, and a hand up. We will need a check-up, and be reassured that God shows up! He rolls up. And He will follow up! He wants your heart to soften up, for you to ‘fess up, and open up, so don't pass this up and be stuck up. God wants you to wake up, move up, and make up, and man up, and perk up, and grow up, and loosen up. God wants you to join up, and wise up, and pump up, and belt up, and cheer up, so you people, in your lives, lap-it-up, and fire up, and light up, and step up, and talk-it-up, so you can be filled up, to live-it-up,‘ cause God never lets up.

So here’s the lowdown. We have a God who comes down. He’s a God who comes to us. A God who comes down when we’re run-down, or there’s been a put-down, and helps us calm down, and makes sure we won’t be let down. If you’re down cast, he doesn’t look at the down side. The times we break down, or fall down, and our world turns up-side-down, and there’s a meltdown, and we need to shut-down, and go into lock-down, Jesus comes down. He’s the down load.


Thriving in Grief and Loss

23 August, 2020 Pastor Mark Schultz

The only real constant in the world is change. To cope with that we develop a reflex response. You don’t think about it, you don’t plan for it, you can’t seem to stop it. It just happens. When life’s challenges hit, when we are confronted with a shifting and changing landscape and life-scape, most of us revert to our reflexive response. Some respond by giving up, taking flight or curling up in a ball saying, “I can’t take it.” Others fight the change angrily or aggressively. Still others respond with a cool indifference, having developed a protective shell around their hearts that nothing can penetrate. Then there are those who thrive on the challenge saying “Bring it on!” In this season when we have lost so much and stand to lose perhaps a whole lot more, when we grieve all that is no longer available to us and the future uncertainties loom large and are overpowering, what is your reflexive response? Navigating change is tough. Finding a ‘new’ normal is tedious. Living through grief and loss is painful. Wherever you are in that today, God promises his steadfast love, his faithful presence and his unfailing strength. It’s a gift to help you stay true as you navigate new terrain and thrive in life’s changes, especially grief and loss.

#1 in series: New Terrain

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The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.

Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him! Lamentations 3:22-24


God’s grace is sufficient for you today and it will be sufficient for you tomorrow


When life gets hard, what’s your reflexive response? Why do you think that is?