What are we bringing?

I hope we come to our time of worship expecting to learn more about our great Creator God. I hope we come to join in singing songs of worship as we remember Who He is and what He has done for each of us. I hope we come to enjoy fellowship with Him and those of His family who meet in this building week by week.

We are blessed as we listen to the faithful preaching of His Word, and we are blessed as we share around the Lord’s Table and remember Him.  How do we respond to His daily blessings, His mercies which are new every morning?

Let us consider these lovely words from ‘The victorious Christ’, as we think of our Lord Jesus today.

   His Hands were pierced, the hands that made the mountain range and everglade;

   That washed the stains of sin away and changed earth’s darkness into day.

   His Feet were pierced, the feet that trod the furthest shining star of God,

   And left their imprint deep and clear on every winding pathway here.

   His Heart was pierced, the heart that burned to comfort every heart that yearned!

   And from it came a cleansing flood, the river of redeeming Blood.

   His Hands, and Feet, and Heart, all three were pierced for me on Calvary,

   And here and now, to Him I bring my hands, feet, heart, an offering.


May this be our prayer each day, not just today – to bring to our Lord Jesus all that we do with our hands, everywhere we go on our feet and all that is so dear to our hearts, to show our love for Him Who gave His all for us.


Saint Valentine’s Day

Although Saint Valentine’s Day has its origins in the early Christian Church, we don’t celebrate the day in our church.

The original Saint Valentine was an interesting priest in the early church. He was imprisoned and later executed by Roman authorities for secretly marrying Roman soldiers, something forbidden in his day in early Rome. He also ministered to early Christians who were severely persecuted in the first few decades after the death of Jesus Christ.

According to legend, during his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. An embellishment to this story states that before his execution he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell. This started the modern craze to send a card or gift to the one you love.

Through giving his son Jesus as our saviour, God demonstrated his love to us who follow him. His Word – the Bible – is his love letter to each one of us. Through the words of the Bible we can begin to understand the depth of God’s amazing love for us. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

What amazing love; He died for me.

What an amazing gift; eternal life.

You can read more about Saint Valentine’s Day here.


A new minister

Induction of Grant Spangenberg

Induction of Grant Spangenberg

I am a little tardy in posting this article; the event happened a week and a half ago.

Sunday 2nd Feb saw a special celebration in our church. After a period of about two years without a minister, we were delighted to see the induction of Grant Spangenberg into ministry here in the Murray Bridge Church of Christ. We praise God for leading us to Grant, and for him feeling called by God to serve Him here in our church. This was a result of many months of prayer, and waiting on God’s leading. Grant was previously in ministry in the Naracoorte Church of Christ, and before that in the Balaklava Church of Christ, both in rural South Australia.

The photo above shows Greg Elsdon, State minister, inducting Grant into ministry here. Later in the service I had the privilege of welcoming Grant and his wife Helen in membership of our church. After a challenging message from Greg, we gathered in the Coffee Shop for a church lunch.


How good is our God?

I was challenged recently when I read the account of a Bible college student’s reaction after losing his house and all his possessions in the bushfires near Sydney – it appeared on the Bible Society’s web site. This is a part of what he wrote:

During times of disaster, when a piece of positive news is heard – eg a property was spared – a Christian will often automatically (and rightly so) exclaim that God is good. However, I can’t help now but ponder the implications of this statement.  Had that property been taken in the blaze, would that in some way render God ‘less good’? At what stage do we look at suffering and stop proclaiming that ‘God is good’? 

If our picture of God is confined to that of a glorified philanthropist who rains good gifts on His creation, then we run the risk of boxing God in to fit the conception that my comfort is in some way directly proportionate to God’s goodness. While ever the sun shines, we can faithfully say that God is good. But when things take a turn for the worse and the storm clouds are mustering, what happens with our God then?

I am more convinced than ever that at the point of scraping the barrel of divine compliments (‘I managed to save my photos, therefore God is good’) we run the risk of watering down our faith, paying pious lip service and potentially little more. No, I believe that God’s goodness runs far deeper than that.

If it is a fundamentally true statement that God is good, as the Bible claims, then His goodness is true no matter what my personal circumstances may be.  I may be on the brink of losing all, but God is still good.  

This reminds me of Job’s statement after he suffered the loss of his children and his possessions. It is found in Job 1:21. ‘The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the Name of the Lord.’ Could we say ‘God is still good’, no matter our circumstances?  May we learn more of our good God this morning and bring Him our heart’s worship.


A changing of the guard

The Changing of the Guard

Joshua 1: 1 – 9

            Moses was dead.

The mantle of leadership shifted to Joshua. What a burden of responsibility that must have been. Joshua had watched Moses leading God’s people through the wilderness. He was there when they left Egypt, when the Egyptians were defeated at the Red Sea and had watched as God had provided for them on a daily basis. Now they were on the threshold of the Promised Land.

Get ready to cross the Jordan River,’ God tells Joshua. It was time for action and for obedience. Joshua never hesitated because he knew God was on his side. No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ (Joshua 1:5) How encouraging those words must have been. He was assured of God’s continued presence and help.

God then issues a command to Joshua to be strong and courageous. Leaders always need to be strong and courageous no matter what the circumstances. He was also commanded to be careful to obey the word of God as revealed to Moses. All leaders can do no better than to be obedient to the word of God.

Today we see the ‘changing of the guard’ within our congregation. As Grant Spangenberg joins our leadership team and has the mantle of leadership placed upon him he will need to ‘be strong and courageous.’ He will need to be constantly striving to be obedient to the word of God. To do this he will need all of us to also be ‘strong and courageous’ as we support him, walk with him and pray with him.

Exciting times were ahead for the children of Israel as they moved over the Jordan. We, too, have exciting times ahead. There will inevitably be times of challenge, times when we will be terrified or discouraged. ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’ (Joshua 1:9)

Be strong and courageous. God is with us.


A Special Church Service tomorrow

This is a last minute reminder that tomorrow will be a special day in the life of the church when we see the official Induction of Grant Spangenberg into ministry here in Murray Bridge Church of Christ. The service will commence at 10am and should finish around 11:30 followed by fellowship over a cuppa.

Greg Elsdon, State Minister, will conduct the induction and will also bring the message. Grant will lead us at the Lord’s Table. Chris Longden will be worship leader.

After the service there will be a shared lunch, so come along prepared to share in a time of fellowship over a great meal. Note that the Chinese service will be at 3pm, so we will need to clean up before then.

It is going to be on the warm side, so don’t forget to drink plenty! (The urns will be going – so no excuse.)

Looking forward to a great time of fellowship.

All welcome.