Be Not Ashamed

In today's service, Pastor Damean preached on Luke 8:40-48. It's a passage you've no doubt heard a lot. If you've been going to church for a while, you've probably heard countless sermons on this passage or it's parallels in Matthew or Mark.

It's a powerful passage, but one almost always tied to faith. Now, don't get me wrong, faith is a huge key to this passage. Jesus even tells the woman, "Daughter, be of good cheer. Your faith has made you well."

But there was one point that Pastor Damean hit on today that struck me- the woman wasn't ashamed of Christ. She may have been ashamed of who she was- 12 years of being an outcast, living with such a terrible disease would have surely worn down her self worth, but she wasn't ashamed of being a witness to the power of Christ. After she was healed, she pointed the way so others would see who He was.

The woman in the passage in Luke wasn't "trained", wasn't "ready", wasn't a "powerful speaker". The woman simply recognised that Jesus was who he claimed, and so she wasn't going to be ashamed to trust Him and proclaim His goodness.

A few weeks ago, one of our members felt God's calling to preach in public. He went to the local shopping centre and literally stood on a box and proclaimed the Gospel. He talked to us about being terrified, yet 100% convinced this is what he should do. What God has done for him must be proclaimed so that others may not perish. He now plans to do this regularly.

I pray that we are all as unashamed of Christ,  particularly in light of what He has done for us.

Raj

 

(you can listen to the sermon from Luke 8:40-48 here)

Great Hymns of the Faith

If you've been in church for any length of time, at some point you'll probably have heard one of the great hymns. Many churches today still use them regularly. In our church, we worship with a mix of contemporary song and hymns.

There are many reasons that believers love hymns- but for me, the best thing about hymns is the stories behind them. A few of my favourites are:

  • "Abide with Me" was written in 1847 . Henry Francis Lyte delivered his final sermon, a few days before passing from Tuberculosis.
  • "It is Well with My Soul" was written by Horatio Spafford is 1873 on a on his way to his grieving wife after learning of the death of his daughters.
  • "Amazing Grace" was written by John Newton who, after years as a
    hardened slave trader, met Jesus Christ and abruptly turned to defend the gospel he had so long despised. His tombstone reads: "John Newton, Clerk, once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa, was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had long labored to destroy."

There are countless stories behind hymns like these, but it seems that overwhelmingly each hymn is a great example of God providing people strength when they rely on Him.

What's your favourite hymn story?

John Newton's tombstone

In Christ,

Raj Close

The Importance Of Continuing Your Child's Sunday School Lessons At Home

Each week at churches all over the world, in some form, our children are taught. Call it "Kids club", "Awana", the more traditional "Sunday School" or anything else, but essentially it's the same. I personally think it's great- I went to Sunday School when I was young, and have wonderful memories of my teachers, and still remember key concepts that I learnt there.

In the last few weeks I've taken on teaching one of the kids classes at Living Springs, and whilst I've learnt a lot, I feel I can sum up my learnings in 2 points. Firstly, kids are amazing. They see things totally differently, and are totally unencumbered by presumptions. They are certainly ensuring I have to be totally prepared. Secondly, and this is the key point: The learning cannot stop in class.

Let me expand on this more. There are so few curriculums that actually teach from the word directly. And when you find one that does, you realise it's too much to cover once a week. And so it becomes pivotal for parents to continue the learning at home.

Thankfully, a good curriculum caters for this. Living Springs uses John Macarthur's "Generations Of Grace" program, and each week it provides a quick rundown for parents to use with their children, based on the learnings from that week.

Here's an example of week 1:

Title: God Creates the Heavens and the Earth

Passage: Genesis 1:1–2:3

Principle: Everything God made was good.

Praise: “Trust and Obey”

Prompt: Ask your child these questions:

• Who created the heavens and the earth?

• What did God say about everything He had made?

Practice: Help your child apply these truths in the following ways:

• By thanking God for making the heavens and the earth.

• By praising God because He is wise and good.

This Week: As a family, read Genesis 1:1–2:3.

Next Week: Genesis 1:26–29; 2:7, 18–24 

 

Pretty straightforward, right? Realistically, it only takes a half hour to go through. My suggestion- after dinner. As you're sitting around the table it's a great opportunity to start a discussion.

I think you'll agree with me that it is of the utmost importance to ensure we are teaching our kids the Word of God. Let's ensure we're taking charge of that, and not leaving the teaching till once a week.

 

God Bless

Raj Close

Operation Christmas Child

Living Springs has decided to once again support Operation Christmas Child for 2014! Throughout the year there will be constant reminders and also tips for what you can buy to fill your shoeboxes.   Another good reason to be thinking about this in advance is due to the costs, which are involved.  You can spend as much or as little on the items in the boxes.   There is a charge of $9.00 to send the box…  

For further information www.operationchristmaschild.org.au  

If you'd like to contribute, please don't hesitate to contact us via the contact page on this site. 

A Little About The Davises

When Damean Davis arrived at Living Springs Baptist Church in 1994, back then known as Deer Park Baptist Church, he was eager to come and learn as much as he could about serving in the local church.  Taken under the wing of our then pastor, Jim Massey, Damean quickly made our church his home whilst studying at Victoria Baptist Bible College.  Having sensed a pastoral calling on his life as a teenager he felt that completing tertiary studies at Victoria Baptist Bible College would enhance his knowledge and experience and enable him, with the Lord’s help and leading, to be more effective in answering the call on his life.  So the journey was made from the tiny town of Howlong in regional New South Wales to the big city of Melbourne where Damean’s first home was in Sunshine.  It would take almost 20 years for a door to open up in relation to that call on Damean’s life but when the opportunity to pastor Living Springs Baptist Church arose last year he knew that to not go forward as a candidate would be being disobedient to the Lord.  And so it was that on Sunday, 13 October 2013 my husband became the pastor of Living Springs Baptist Church.

When asked to provide a little blurb about our experience as a family, now that Damean’s appointment has been formalised, I must admit that I did feel somewhat overwhelmed.  Perhaps it is because if I were to write our whole story and the many lessons learned throughout those years I could fill many volumes.  And I wanted to share the lot with you.  But because of space and time constraints I thought I would provide you with just a little about us.  We look forward to sharing the rest with you one on one. As a married couple we, the Davises, are quite complementary.  Damean being the logical intellect and I being the creative one.  God has been faithful to us throughout our fifteen years of marriage.  We have had many ups, many downs and then some more downs but God has used every single experience to build our faith and enrich our life experience so that we can relate to different circumstances on a deeper level.  I can truly say that I am just as thankful for the downs as I am for the ups.  Since my own conversion at the age of thirteen I always knew that life as a born again believer would take me down a path that would be unique.  God gave me a passion and hunger for ministry from a very young age and put a burden on my heart to work with children to teach them the truths of God’s Word and use my creative passions to glorify Him.  I find this calling on my life peculiar as I grew up an only child with only very limited exposure to young children.  Funny how God prepares us for the work that He has for us regardless of our circumstances.  As I grew older I thought that if God did not provide me with a spouse with the same calling I might go it alone but God had different plans and Damean and my paths crossed at Bible College.  We married in 1998. Over the years the Lord has blessed us with two wonderful children, Aidan, twelve, and Alissa, ten, and after a few moves we have settled in Eynesbury. 

Both Damean and I look forward to serving our church family and the Lord at Living Springs Baptist Church.  We look forward to being used by the Lord to build up our church family and see them grow deeper in their relationships with the Lord.  We want to see families strengthened and built on the Word of God through living lives that are pleasing to Him and effectively reaching the lost through their own testimonies.  Indeed we are all called to evangelise and this is how we as a church will grow.  Our desire is to see the church family at Living Springs Baptist Church serve God corporately as a tight knit family.  It is Damean’s desire to see men in our church rise up to not only lead their homes to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ but to also take on this responsibility in the church.  It is my desire to see the women in our church follow the instructions given to them in the Word in teaching their children, honoring their husbands and being willing to be used of the Lord to glorify Him.  We both look forward to seeing the church reach outward into the community, introducing people to the Lord, perhaps, for the very first time and seeing God save these people thereby glorifying Himself through them. 

We are humbled that the Lord would entrust us with the care of His people at Living Springs Baptist Church and ask that you please keep us in your thoughts and prayers continually.  We assure you that you are all in our thoughts and prayers as well.  May the love of the Lord bind us and keep us as we grow together and enter into this exciting new chapter at our church.  In future you will be hearing in this capacity from your new pastor but I do look forward to writing to our beautiful ladies to edify and encourage them.

 

Blessings, Anna Davis