Mothers-In-Law Are A Blessing Too

Written by Anthony Douglas on Wednesday, 17 May 2017.

As today is Mother’s Day and we all thank our Lord for our mothers, I want to pay homage to my mother-in-law and thank God for her influence in my life.

When I was a child, like most children of my era, I went each week to Sunday School but did not make my confirmation as most of them did at the “approved” age. I subsequently turned away from church and God, thinking if they didn’t want me I didn’t want them. Fast forward a few years and in my mid 20’s I had been feeling that somehow my life was incomplete though by society’s standards I was doing ok – husband, 2 great children, home etc.

The local church had recently completed their new church building and my mother-in-law was invited to the dedication, which she was reluctant to attend on her own, so I offered to go with her. I was pleasantly surprised by the warm welcome she received. Over a cup of tea after the service I was invited to attend Sunday services with all my family, which we did.

After a few weeks, it was announced in church that a confirmation service was to be held in a couple of months time and that confirmation classes were to start the following week for those interested in being confirmed. It was a ‘lightbulb’ moment for me as I realised that this was what was missing from my life. I signed up for the classes immediately after church – I didn’t care if I was the only adult to do so I knew it was meant for me. Surprisingly there were 6 adults altogether and we met as a group each week.

The joy I felt on ‘confirmation day’ was hard to describe but I know that this was just the start of my journey with Christ and I am eternally thankful that He brought my wonderful mother-in-law into my life and I miss her presence daily.
So to all of us who have mothers and mothers-in-law who are Christians we are doubly blessed.Mothers In Law Are A Blessing Too
Linda Curran

Imperfect Work of Art

Written by Anthony Douglas on Wednesday, 10 May 2017.

Art is all about the emotional power it has over its audience. I, generally, walk away from galleries confused about how I should feel and unsure about what makes good or bad art. When it comes to writing our own testimony, we think we need a perfect work of art which captures emotions of those who hear it so God can work through our words. But the amazing thing about testimonies is that they are all about how God has worked through us to bring us to himself. Scott reminds us of just that:

Growing up in the Shire (Sutherland) gave me plenty of opportunities. It certainly was not the streets of Calcutta. I came from a christian family and we attended Caringbah Presbyterian Church. It was here that I met my wife Kim in creche when I first began to walk. The church shaped me in in many ways as I was involved in the youth group and have fond memories of the annual ski trip and trying to impress Kim with my skiing prowess. It was at Caringbah that I received solid biblical teaching that helped lay a firm foundation. This was reinforced in Scripture at my local primary school. I had a Scripture teacher Mrs Bible who impressed on me a genuine faith and love for God and his Word.

As I reflect on my life I look back and have learned two valuable lessons. Firstly my own sinfulness (Rom 3:3). And secondly God’s grace and love for me as a wicked sinner (John 3:16). I need a saviour. I am a work in progress. An imperfect work of art. I look forward to one day being changed to a masterpiece painted by my master’s hand.

For the moment I concentrate on being a Dad, Husband, Nurse, Guitar player and Goat farmer on the South Coast all for His Glory.

Imperfect Work of Art
Scott Dobson

An Ordinary Miracle

Written by Anthony Douglas on Wednesday, 03 May 2017.

The beautiful thing about testimonies is that they are all different. Everyone has their own story. Everyone has their own experience. We love to hear the dramatic tales of those who overcame addiction, war torn counrties, illness or had a dramatic change of heart, like Paul on the road to Damascus. They encourage us when our lives are full of uncertantiy and doubt. But many of us don’t have a story like that. Many of us are like Peter. We are just hanging out in a boat and next thing we know, we are being called to follow Jesus.

Maree’s story is just like that. Simple. But a story that is as importanat as any other and certainly worth sharing!

I owe my conversion to one of God’s ordinary everyday miracles: geography. When I was a child, my parents were not Christians , but God placed my family home directly opposite a church. So my parents sent me off to Sunday School and allowed me to go to any kids’ activities that I wanted; it required no effort on their part. When I was 10, I went to a church service with the Girls’ Brigade (a group a bit like kids’ club), and heard the minister explain (actually in a sermon on Esther!) how each of us needed to believe in Jesus as our Saviour, declare our faith in him and commit our lives to follow him. I realised that I believed and so stood up to become a Christian.

I did not understand everything about Christianity at that stage, but I am profoundly thankful that God enabled me to begin my life with him at an early age. When hard things happened in my life later, I do not know how I would have coped without the support only God and his people can give.

An Ordinary MiracleMaree Stavert

Love in Struggle

Written by Anthony Douglas on Wednesday, 26 April 2017.

Kyck is always a great time away. The experience, atmosphere and group bonding that happens, can have a lasting impact on those who attend. This week we have Chelsea Bevan, a SPY attendee and Junior Leader talking about her experience becoming a Christian.

I grew up in a non-Christian family; however, my sister Brooke, and I would attend the Kids’ Church, Playgroup and Kids’ Club. We are known around the place for being the first youth to rock up on the very first day of SPY. Even though I attended SPY, went to scripture at school and went to these church groups, I did not see myself as a Christian. I believe I truly opened my mind to being a Christian while attending the first Kyck I went to with SPY in 2013. I looked around and saw all these young Christians and felt as if this was something I could believe too.

During Year 9 and 10 at Bomaderry High School I struggled with mental illness. I lost my friends, my hope and also my faith. It was through the love I found at church, especially from my youth leaders and now close friends, Jonathan and Amanda, that I came to call myself a Christian and regained my faith.

As I look back on that time of mental illness, I can see how the love and support I was receiving came not just from them. That love, I could see, was shaped and empowered by God and his love for them and also for me.

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I am proud to say I am healthier and stronger in my faith and I have my church and God to thank for that.

Chelsea Bevan

Another Year As God's Friend

Written by Anthony Douglas on Friday, 21 April 2017.

Over the next few weeks we will have the opportunity of hearing how people in our community came to know Jesus... starting with David Mulready:

Although I’d been to Sunday School and a Church School I didn’t understand what the Christian Faith was all about until I was 17. I’d been to some Christian camps run by “Crusaders” and then at an Easter Camp the Lord opened my eyes to see that Jesus had died on the Cross to pay the punishment that my sins deserved. I committed my life to Him and have followed Him ever since.

I have failed the Lord many times but He has never failed me. Over the years I’ve sought to grow in my understanding of God through regular Bible reading, prayer and regularly sitting under the teaching of God’s Word at Church.

I prayed that the Lord would give me a Christian wife which He did when I married Maureen 46 years ago. Together we’ve served the Lord in ministry for all of those years. We’ve also prayed for our three children and are thrilled that they too are serving the Lord with their marriage partners. Now we’re praying for our five grandchildren aged 4 to 13 that they will commit themselves to Christ.

The greatest joy I have is knowing the Lord and knowing that my sins and the sins of Maureen and our children have been forgiven on the basis of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Easter is like a birthday for me as I celebrate another year as God’s friend. David Mulreadyfamily-hands-copy

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