He Is Risen

5 November, 2023 Pastor Mark Schultz

'Show and Tell" - is one of the first opportunities young children have to stand up in front of a small group and speak. It’s so simple…Take what’s precious to you. Tell the story of “Why.” Show and demonstrate its importance in your life. Nothing could be easier: “Show & Tell”

HE IS RISEN!…are the most precious words in all of Scripture…the most crucial… The resurrection IS the central event of the Bible from “In the beginning…” to “Amen.” HE IS RISEN!…is the power of God that raises you to newness of life in Christ now and anchors your future with Christ for all eternity. These THREE BIG WORDS are the most important in the life of disciples like you and me. Without HE IS RISEN we have nothing.

From that first morning when the tomb was found empty to this very day, the sole work of Jesus’ followers has been…“Show & Tell” Take what’s precious to you. Tell the story of “Why.” Show/demonstrate its importance in your life. Nothing could be easier: He is risen and in Him so are you! These three big words change everything, every day. As the Psalmist says, I will not die; instead, I will live to tell what the LORD has done. Today is your turn to ‘Show and Tell.’

#2 in seres: Three Big Words


It is Finished

29 October, 2023 Pastor Mark Schultz

From artwork to architecture -- home renovations to the “I always thought I’d have time for…” bucket list… The human story is often told like an essay where the pen ran out of ink…unfinished. Not just the projects, or the work, the little visits or grand adventures you just didn’t find time for…but the work of our own lives & hearts…the conversations that never came…the habits we sought or the ones we hoped to drop…We call ourselves “work in progress,” but it seems at times there’s not much ‘work’ or ‘progress.”

Only in Christ, is the work of our lives complete. Only in Christ are the words, “It is finished” true. Christ came. Christ died. Christ restored us to the Father. It is finished.

The Reformation recaptured that simple truth…first as the power of God that saves & transforms human lives into agents of his redeeming love…but then as the power of God that equips & empowers the church to live that good news into our world everywhere we are every day we live.

Among all our works that end unfinished, only the work of God in Jesus is finished. Only he can & transform death to life, alienation to reconciliation, wrath to rejoicing. It is finished. That's what we will experience again today.

#1 in series: Three Big Words


Contented Joy

22 October, 2023 Pastor Mark Schultz

“She’ll be right…no worries.” As a culture we pride ourselves on our laid back approach to life and our ability to go with the flow. We don’t get fussed if things are not perfect….she’ll be right. Whatever is wrong will right itself – no worries mate. But if only that was true. For the reality is that, as a nation, people are more anxious about things than ever before - globally, relationally and especially individually. There seems to be less resilience when things go wrong, more anger and dissatisfaction with what life deals, and more stress that burdens and robs people of joy. Paul knows the struggles of life, he knows the joy robbers better than most. Yet his call to the Church, then and now, is not to be anxious about anything. Paul has discovered the gift of Contented Joy and it’s this gift that he wants you to claim this weekend, whatever circumstance or situation you find yourself in.

#4 in series: A Pandemic of Joy


Eternal Joy

15 October, 2023 Pastor Mark Schultz

Life is a series of trade-off's You can't have it all. Every day we make choices. Choosing "this" thing will mean that we choose to not have "that" thing. We know that. You can't have all the advantages of married life and be single. You can't have children and have lots of time for yourself or your career . You can't take a lot of risks and enjoy a sense of safety. You can't have a busy weekend and get lots of rest. You can't be the "boss" and be free of responsibility. You can't speak up and remain anonymous. Some things just don't go together. Life is a series of trade-offs. Our path in life is determined by those choices…by what we value most highly and choose most deliberately. From his jail cell in Rome, Paul shares his highest value and most deliberate pursuit that leads to eternal joy. What he discovers is that there is only one priority, one value, one pursuit that is worth trading everything else for, every day of our lives. For only one pursuit, one choice will lead to eternal joy. We'll explore and discover that priority for ourselves today too.

#3 in series: The Pandemic of Joy


Purposeful Joy

8 October, 2023 Pastor Mark Schultz

Australians all let us rejoice,

For we are one and free;

When we stand as one and sing one tune we’re supposed to do so as a united people. The National Anthem is intended for all Australians, lifelong or recent arrival, to sing as one. Yet as a nation we seem more divided; less tolerant and more polarised than ever. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer…less than 1 in 4 Australians would offer to help someone who disagreed with their worldview. About 1 in 5 would willingly live in the same neighbourhood and a bit less would want to work with those who differ in their view of the world. When that national division & personal avoidance is played out on the streets…it can get ugly. It appears we've lost our unified purpose and heart as a people.

You know too…Politics can’t speak to that. Votes and legislation can’t fix what’s broken among us. Only the good news of Jesus unites people and gives them a purposeful joy that transforms lives and communities. Only the gospel makes enemies friends and engages them as one in pursuing the highest good for their neighbours…whether or not they are alike in any way. Purposeful joy is grounded in Christ and grows to fulfilment as it is poured out for others. That’s the opportunity the Spirit gives to us everywhere we are, every day we live. It's that joyful purpose we will explore and experience today.

#2 in series: A Pandemic of Joy"


Thankful Joy

1 October, 2023 Pastor Mark Schultz

I’ve got the Joy, joy joy down in my heart…Where? That’s the question isn’t it? Where? Where is the joy? When…life happens...temptations attack...sickness comes...needs overwhelm...loneliness suffocates...friends betray. Where's the joy when decisions paralyse...worries strangle...finances disappear...careers stall. We would choose joy if we could and hang on to it with all our might. But what if joy isn’t a choice you make, but one that already chose you? What if joy was already yours and you now were able to be contagious & infectious in spreading that joy whatever you encounter in life?

In the midst of life's difficulties, it's easy for us to develop a selective memory that causes us to forget the grace we've been given, the love we've been shown and the blessings we've received. Paul in his letter from a Roman jail cell to the Philippian church invites us to embrace the pandemic of joy that is highly contagious, deeply infectious and leads to a thankful joy that is down in our hearts to stay. We'll explore and experience that today.

#1 in series: A Pandemic of Joy


'Dys'functional - Functional Communities

24 September, 2023 Pastor Mark Schultz

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his classic book, ‘Life Together’ said the following,

“Every human wish and dream injected into the Christian Community is a hindrance to genuine community and must be banished if genuine community is to survive.”

Mostly we want to clean up or fix our communities…church or otherwise. Get potholes filled & dangerous places made safe. Sing the right songs & get out in under an hour. We want to make right the wrongs our ancestors did…sometimes with the best intentions so that life today is fashioned into some sparkling clean perfect place for us to live. But how’s that working out?...All around us, in or outside the church, we see more discord & division than in most of our living memories.

In our reading today we hear that The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, & God’s great blessing was upon them all. Your life also has the ability to be a powerful testimony to the resurrection of Jesus. Just like Love is only love with Christ at its heart…Functional living in our communities only occurs when the church lives into the fullness we are promised in Jesus. That’s what we’ll explore this week as we talk about… functional communities.

#4 in the series: 'Dys'functional


'Dys'functional - Functional Relationships

17 September, 2023 Pastor Mark Simpfendorfer

Teachers often proclaim that teaching would be the best job in the world if it wasn’t for the students, or wasn’t for the parents. Nurses have been known to say something similar, ‘nursing is a great job if you just take away the doctors and/or the patients.” Anyone who has a job in a ‘people’ focussed industry probably appreciates the sentiment. There is both great joy in the privilege of having a job which is about supporting and helping others, but sometimes the ‘others’ you have to help make it extremely difficult.

Sometimes loving others is hard, especially when they have acted towards us in ways that have hurt us or those we love and care for. Sometimes it can feel as though no one really cares and that in this life we are on our own and have to look out for ourselves.

Thankfully we have a God who says to us, you are never alone, I will never leave or forsake you. We have a God who came to be with us and show his love and care for us and He gives us all the love we need to be able to love and serve those around us and show them the life transforming love of Jesus. And it’s that life and relationship transforming love that we’ll explore and encounter as we talk about functional relationships

#3 in the series: 'Dys'functional


'Dys'functional - Functional Marriages

10 September, 2023 Pastor Mat von Stanke

“Form follows function” – just like the adage ‘measure twice & cut once’, we all sort of get the wisdom that the purpose of something (its function) dictates the form the shape or arrangement of that “thing.”

A square wheel might look great…but it won’t carry out a wheel’s function at all…the form must be round/circular. Form follows function…

The same is true about something as familiar to us as marriage:

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord…husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her…” Whatever else marriage is or becomes over a lifetime together as husband & wife, it is first & foremost to function as a mirror of Christ’s love. God created marriage to be a source of blessing in this & every generation.

So how do we build resilience and persistent joy into our households? How do we create and sustain marriages that last, faith that endures, and love that triumphs over all things? In an era when relationships are entered into and dissolved because of how they meet “My needs, wants and expectations”, how do we live the self-giving, self-surrendering love we have received in Christ, in the most intimate of relationships?

The answer from generation to generation is that life in Christ heals hurts, brings hope, provides purpose, and ensures endurance that nothing in the world can destroy. That’s what we will encounter and experience as we explore… Functional marriages.

#2 in the series: 'Dys'functional