Sunday Preview» Posted on 20 Feb 2015 • Sunday Preview
This Sunday…Last week’s talk on spirituality was ‘big-picture’ and a bit theological. All things are sustained and held together by God’s power (His Spirit), so our being (and the existence of all created things) depends totally and utterly on God. This is our starting point for what we are talking about when we talk about spiritual matters. (By the way, to say God is in all things is not to say all things are God, e.g. while God holds the trees together, the trees are not God.)
This week we will be asking, ‘if God is in all things, how might we expect to experience him?’ I intend to use less 'theological' language and speak to issues common to us all. I want to explore how God is at work through situations we know God has opinion on, but somehow forget that God is also conspiring within them to speak and shape and achieve his purposes.» Posted on 13 Feb 2015 • Sunday Preview
Sunday's subject...Everything is spiritual
We are beginning a journey into defining and understanding what it means when we talk about spiritual matters asking questions like, 'what is spirituality?', and then 'what do we mean by Christian spirituality?' This is an important journey. It's ultimately our theory of everything for when we speak of spiritual matters, we speak not simply of religious activities, or an experience of another realm that few are initiated into and few experience. To be spiritual is much more basic than that.
I can't remember who said it, but the comment has been made that Jesus did not come to start a new religion, and they are correct. Jesus instead spoke of coming to bring life in all its fullness (John 10), and to BEING that life (e.g. John 6:35).
For pre-Christians, this presents as the challenge to accept Jesus as THE way, truth and life, instead of making up their own path. For Christians the challenge is to allow God to take up residence in every aspect of life, and let him dig deeper than simply undergoing or undertaking religious activities. Jesus is concerned with the bedrock of life and reality itself.
Meet at Alex and Judi Shepherd's place (384 Horsham Downs Road) on Sunday, from 4pm for a pool party and BBQ. Bring your togs, and a snack or drink to share.
- Women's bible study group, BSF is launching a branch here at Chapel Hill - the only one in the north of Hamilton. They start this Monday from 7pm. If you are a women, would like to develop deeper Bible study habits and get the meat out of the word, then this is your thing. Turn up this week!
- Family outing - keen to get off the couch, see some of New Zealand's better sights, and join other Chapel Hill homies for a fun day out? Then book in 21 March for the Tongariro Crossing. More details to follow.
- Community support - Hospital chaplaincy services at Waikato Hospital have asked for our help to raise funds. To keep doing what they do, they need to raise about half of what they need. We are looking for eight people to give an hour each of their time in the morning of 28 March, to sit outside Rototuna Countdown with a bucket, and receive donations from passing shoppers.
Sunday 1 December 2013 is D-Day Rototuna for Chapel Hill Community Church.
Instead of strapping on our Sunday best, we're lacing up our walking shoes, because it's Delivery Day - the day we deliver to our neighbours a small Christmas gift.
If you're visiting on this day, sorry. We really enjoy our worship and teaching, but there are days like 1 December when it's good for us to corporately put our words to action. You might even want to join us!
To prepare for delivery we need Gingerbread stars (or shortbread if you prefer), and we're asking for help from the church family. Use any recipe you like, but below is one I whipped up earlier. It works a treat.
Please supply your cookies next week by Friday 7pm. If you're keen, bring your dinner and family to church at 6pm Friday 29 November so we can enjoy dinner together before getting on with packaging up the biscuits into the gift bags. We'll put on a movie for the children to keep them occupied!
- 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons of golden syrup
60g of butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1-1/4 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 ground ginger.
Pre-heat oven to 180degrees.
Soften golden syrup by standing in hot water. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy; add egg yolk and beat well. Slowly add sifted dry ingredients and warmed syrup. Mix well. At this stage you should have a dough you can knead, but isn’t sticky. (I needed to add golden syrup and a little butter to get mine just right).
Take two sheets of oven paper, and roll the dough between them until about 1/2cm thickness. Take off the top sheet of oven paper, place this on oven tray. Cut stars out of the dough and place these on the oven tray. You will be able to re-roll the scraps of dough and make about 50 7cm stars.
Bake for approx 20mins.» Posted on 07 Oct 2013 • Sunday Preview
Our teaching series until the end of this year is on the Spiritual Disciplines. We're using Richard Foster's classic book on the subject, titled Celebration of Discipline.
Foster describes the 12 main disciplines used in antiquity (including the worshiping life of Israel) designed to develop life-giving habits in the practitioner. Foster is quick to point out that the disciplines in themselves are of no value, they are only doorways or means to an end. The place we step into through the disciplines - the end to which the disciplines are aiming - is freedom in Christ. The disciplines are aids to coming before God seeking the change only he can affect.
One of the reasons we are doing the series is because the typical evangelical church has lost touch with the benefits of the disciplines, fearing they are too much like law, and not salvation being a matter of grace through faith alone, and faith itself being a gift.
The disciplines are not matters of salvation in Christ, but rather a matter of living more and more the kind of life we are saved to. There are two key reasons we are looking at the disciplines:
- We do a good job of avoiding God in our busy lives. These disciplines do a great job bringing us into the awareness of our need for God and his presence to help. We may be saved, but that doesn't mean we are living out the life of freedom Christ has saved us for.
- In all areas of life we expect results from training, not just trying hard. No matter how hard I try, I cannot fly a helicopter, because I have no training. With training though, I could. Paul uses training for a marathon as an illustration of the spiritual life, and encouraging all disciples to do the same. The spiritual disciplines are training exercises so the life of grace flows more readily in us.
Join us one Sunday - 10am.
Make yourself at home.