New Journals to be updated 

 

Each week, Father James blogs a journal based on the theme for the week.

Here is his message for this week:

8th June 2014 – Pentecost

 

Today is the church’s birthday and a day that changed the course of history in the life of the church. It is not a flippant celebration but a day that empowers us to look deeper into our lives and of those around us. I am sure the disciples and Jesus’ followers did not think “oh wow! Today is the birthday of the church so let’s organise a party.”  They were more completely amazed at what had happened to them personally. You see great things happen in the life of the church when the Spirit is moving mightily through the lives of individuals. Often we pray that God will grow the church or bless the church and so on. What I have seen, however, is that when we get on our knees and pray for each other and when the Holy Spirit is pouring out on every individual in the church – that is when the church becomes unstoppable. Can I encourage you to receive the Holy Spirit today and to pray for the people sitting near you that they might receive the Holy Spirit too? Pray that the Holy Spirit will move mightily in this church starting in the hearts and souls of every single person. 

 

1st June 2014

Well we are rounding out the Easter season and each week now there have been hints as to what is to come. Jesus, in giving instructions to his disciples, is giving instructions to us. In this week’s readings we see again the common theme of this season about being shepherds, being in our community, being visible and making a difference. But this week is more powerful as this week we get to overhear Jesus praying for us. Not only has he instructed us in what we should do, he also prayed to the Father on our behalf that we might have the strength and power to continue His work. How will we be able to do this –  I wonder who Jesus will send to help us?

Let’s wait and see, you might need to come next week to find out.

25th May 2014

“If you love me”

I think it is not mistake that Jesus makes a strong link between love and obeying commandments. When it comes to Jesus teaching we see that love is his greatest command of all. I don’t believe that here Jesus meant this to make us feel guilty. I believe he was talking about how we are best placed to be obedient to him is out of love not of duty. When we love Jesus all kinds of things become possible that once may have been impossible.

Lets all focus on our loving of Christ and others as we strive to follow his example and commandments.

 

Fr  James

 

 

 

18th May 2014

Father forgive them.

As we look at Stephen and the faith he showed. He gives us a great example. The love that he showed was amazing. To be able to ask God to forgive those who are stoning him sets the scene for how we are to love the world today. It sheds light on how we sometimes complain about how the world treats us,  and sometimes we don’t show the love and faith that we should.  When we show this unbridled love the world notices. Let’s all try harder to love more than we complian. And show the world that we love love them no matter what they say or do to us.

Fr james

 

11 May 2014

Acts 2:42

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

 

Apostles teaching

Fellowship

Breaking of bread

Prayer

These are great rules to live by, both for us all personally and for the church. As a church we can make sure that we keep these things as core to what we do. Lets all make an effort to try to focus on these in our personal life too. Think of someone you can have fellowship with this week, someone you can pray for. Invite someone to church with you and seek out a study group. These rules to live by will make you stronger and more connected and in turn strengthen the church.

Blessings to all mothers this weekend.

Fr James

4th May 2014

Do not conform?

What helps you stay motivated to do the right thing? Is it fear of Gods punishment? Is it fear of others?

We all have our own reasons and method for making decisions in life. I am sure that no two people are the same when it comes to how we process and respond to the world. A thought for today is how is our behaviour affected by Gods love? When I think about the times that I have changed my ways out of fear of a judging God, then I am always reminded of feeling isolated from God and also ashamed to be near him when I have done wrong. When I think about the loving merciful God who gave his son for me. That makes me want to be a better person not out of fear but out of love. That makes me feel closer to God and makes me try harder and have a much better success rate.

Let’s all today remember Gods love for us and use that to help us to not conform to the sins of the words but stay close to a loving God.

 

Fr James

 

27th April 2014

What about the rest”

Today’s readings we look at the story of doubting Thomas, but what about the others.

Jesus had been performing miracles and teaching about what was to come, he told his disciples that he would have to suffer and die and rise again. But were the disciples out looking for Jesus? They knew by now the tomb was empty but we are told they were locked in the upper room. This reading I think can be an encouragement to us all. It can be all too easy to blame someone else who has made a bigger mistake than us or sometimes just a more obvious mistake. Thomas being a more obvious doubter does not make all the other disciples somehow more righteous. What is great about this reading is that Jesus came and gave them all the Holy Spirit and Thomas still gets to have his confirmation with Jesus. We all come to Christ differently what is important is that we look to him and not compare where we are in relation to others. Let’s all be filled with the holy spirit and seek Jesus.

Easter

Easter is such an amazing time of the year, and I am always intrigued as to how it can mean so much to so many people and often for very different reasons. For some it is about family for others it is about coming to faith, for others it is the time they were baptised and for others a time of new beginnings and forgiveness. Whatever the reason there is so much we have to be thankful for this Easter. Jesus giving his life for a ransom for us is truly life changing. Every year God seems to show me another reason why this time of the year is so special. I pray that we might all have a truly amazing Easter that we might have revealed to us a special Easter mystery.

Fr James

 

30th March – Helen’s Journal

As we reach our halfway point of our Lenten journey, we are reminded this week that we are to live as children of the light. The path to burn brighter is illuminated by He, who is the light of the world. Jesus ask us to follow him and we will have the light of life. The Ephesians reading today is an identity reminder – a concept many of us struggle with often asking the questions of who we are and what our purpose is. Paul reminds us that we were once in darkness and now we are children of the light. We are then called to act as a result of this light. The fruit of our light identity involves conduct which is universal goodness, righteousness, and truth. We recall the good works God prepared for us (goodness) and the righteousness and truth that was established by Jesus involves our conduct, speech and relationships. Illumination is a lifestyle choice not an act. As the blind man’s sight is revealed in the gospel today we see that he receives an inward illumination as well as an outward ability to see. Jesus reminds us that as long as we live in the light we must do the works of God and whilst that may be questioned and criticised as the Pharisees did in the gospel today, the Christian identity of being children of the light should be the springboard for all goodness, righteousness and truth. The vision for our church this year is that we will be a city on a hill and that each one of us will be lanterns shining the light of Christ. May we pray for inward illumination that springboards our illuminated works.

Helen Hall

 

23rd March 2014

Worship the Lord in Spirit and truth.

Worship is an amazing privilege that we have. It is a good time during lent to think about how and why we worship. Sometimes we might lose our focus and we might be worshiping for other reasons. We are being called to worship in Spirit and truth, what does that mean? I feel that worshiping in spirit is when we really allow the worship to penetrate our souls not just singing or praying with our lips but really letting the words sink in so that we are changed. In truth is feel is that we are being honest with ourselves and with others. Not worshiping because it’s what everyone else is doing or looking around to see if others watching. Being truthful with our elves is that we attend to and confess what is weighing us down or what we are struggling with. When we have beared our sould before God and asked for his forgiveness that is often when we then enter into amazing worship.

Let’s all today come before God humbling and honestly and allow the spirit to really touch us and be lost in worship.

Fr James

 

16th March 2014

What does it mean to be born again? Well Nicodemus had trouble with this one so it is quite ok for us to wonder what this means. Nicodemus took the normal human response and took it literally. How can I enter a second time into my mother’s womb? Jesus wonders at Nicodemus’ answer. I can just imagine Jesus saying to himself, “I can’t believe he just said that”. Being born again is about receiving Jesus into our hearts we are born earthly, by our mother our spiritual birth takes place at baptism, confirmation or whenever we make that commitment to submit to God and invite Jesus into our hearts. We pray for Felix as his is baptised this morning may the Holy Spirit fill him and be with him always.

 

Fr James

 

9th March 2014

 

Being the first Sunday in Lent you will notice a few changes around the church. There are no flowers and the colour has now changed to purple. During lent we focus on the suffering of Christ and we join with him in this over the next 40 days. Lent is a time to refocus our relationship with God and to relight the flame that may have gone out or may be burning dimly. This season can do wonders for a lost and searching soul. Let’s all make use of Lent this year, to refocus our connection with God and to relight the passion that comes from basking in the full light of Christ.

Fr James

 

2nd March 2014

Transfiguration

Jesus was transfigured and God spoke from heaven the disciples where so amazed they wanted to build shrines in memory of that day. Jesus tells them to get up don’t be afraid. They were told not to tell anyone till the son of man had risen from the dead. Well he has risen now and we need to keep on telling people that Jesus is Gods son and that just as he was transfigured we can be transformed. When we accept Jesus in our hearts we are transformed from the inside out. That is the message that we are to tell the world. Not to build shrines but to go without fear.

Fr James

 

23rd February 2014

Turn the other cheek

My Father one day was walking in the street while he was a priest in England and a lady came and was talking to him and had some real problems with God and the church. She got very upset and ended up slapping dad on the cheek to which he stopped and turned his head and said would you like to slap that one as well. This seemingly back fired because she did and slapped his other cheek as well. Then she broke down crying. The act of being violent and having that returned with love was too overwhelming for her the bear. She shared all her problems with my Dad and he prayed with her. She gave her life to the lord and became a regular member of his church. Jesus has shown us the way the hard part is to have the courage to live it out.

Fr James

 

16th February 2014

In our world today this teaching is more and more important. It seems that you have to sign a form to do just about anything these days. If is becoming increasingly rare for people to “take your word for it” Lets all just for a second imagine what the world would look like if people all over the world listen to Jesus Teaching. What would happen if we let our yes be yes and our no be no. There is an amazing amount of trust to take someone’s word for it. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had that kind of trust around the world? Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to take a key tied to a hubcap to the toilet at a petrol station?  Jesus teaching this week demands both trust and commitment to make sure that we commit to doing what we have said. And to trust others that they will do what they said. This builds as we all get better at this. I have included a prayer that I prayed myself when I wrote this.

Prayer for the week.

Lord please help me to be more committed to letting my yes be yes and more trusting of others to do the same. Amen

 

9th February 2014

Because he suffered when he was tempted he can help those who are tempted.

Jesus was both fully human and fully divine and this help us as we recognise exactly what Jesus did for us. Not only did he have the temptation of doing the wrong thing he also had the temptation of using his power to save himself. We see this in both when Jesus was tempted in the dessert and when he was tormented by the criminal on the cross. “If you are the son of god save yourself and us”. Because he has suffered this temptation he can now help us in our temptation giving us strength and an example to follow. The next time you feel tempted think of Jesus suffering through temptation and draw on his strength to overcome.

Fr James

2nd February – Vision Sunday

“The ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.”

I love this definition of vision so important to be able to us imagination and wisdom when looking to the future. As we begin this New Year in the church I want to us all to be looking at the future with these qualities. If we can use our collective imagination then I am sure we will be able to see new possibilities in all areas of church life. What is really exciting is when what we imagined starts to become a reality. I am confident that this parish can make a deep and lasting impact on the community around us especially if we use our imagination and wisdom. God made us creative for a reason and I am really excited to be here doing God’s work with so many wonderful people. Let’s all remember this definition of Vision as we begin and plan this new year with new possibilities and a renewed passion.

 

Fr James

 

26th January 2014 – Australia Day

As we celebrate Australia day we celebrate the wonderful country in which we live. Our life style, security, mateship, determination and many other great character traits of this amazing country. It is important to note that we are all responsible for the way our country is. Many Christian people complain about the change in our society when it comes to Christianity. This has been sparked again with the suggestion that the Lord ’s Prayer should be removed from the beginning of parliament. Should we force people to say something that they may not mean? This is a good question worth talking about. However ultimately we can change the course of our country. The more Christians there are the less this will be a problem. If we all make sure we try as hard as we can to let others know the joys and love of Christ them maybe just maybe we can make an impact on this great country that we call home.

 

19th January 2014

Who would you go and tell?

If you saw the saviour coming down the road, who would you go and tell. Andrew went and got his brother Simon who Jesus renames as peter. Look at what peter went on to do, Andrew had a job to do and that was to bring peter. Andrew didn’t go on to be one of the key disciples but his actions changed the course of history forever. What is God calling you too? Who can you go and tell about the saviour the one who will change their life forever.

 

12th January 2014 – Baptism of our Lord

Jesus baptism is a very important part of the God Story here we have Gods Son being baptised and when he has done nothing wrong. We normally talk about baptism being the washing away of sin, it is that and so much more. When Jesus was baptised the Holy Spirit came down like a dove and rested on him. As we see in the Isaiah reading today. God puts his spirit on Jesus and then Jesus is first tempted but then goes on to perform miracles. As we begin a new year this is a great theme for us to really take hold of. Jesus was baptised in a way as an initiation into ministry, let’s all remember our baptism and draw on the Holy Spirit to aid us in our ministry.  Fr James

 

5th January 2014

So a New Year has dawned and we are off and running, I am sure there are plenty of New Year’s resolutions that have been flying around. I will do this more!!! I will do this less!!! All things I am sure that are great and worthwhile.  A new year does bring new opportunities and new challenges. I think that it is good to have New Year’s resolutions however we need to give ourselves the best chance possible in achieving them. But having a new year’s resolution is a good sign because it means that you have first realised that there is something in your life you want to improve. It is good to not set you goals to far and to make sure there is something that you can measure it keep track on how you are going.

I would like to say a big thank you to Fr Doug and Margaret for all there ministry and friendship over the years. I pray that God will continue to use you both to further Gods kingdom.

Fr James

8th December 2013

 

The Prophets

 

The prophets foretold the birth of Christ it is fascinating to read through these prophecies in light of Jesus birth. We, knowing the ending of the story can see Christ in these prophecies, the prophets had no idea what impact Jesus was going to make on the world. They did however faithfull tell of his coming birth. When God speaks to us we can speak his word and not be afraid. Let us all think about the Prophets and the part they play in the Christmas story, their part was all about the preparation of the coming King. We can think about this as we prepare for the king to come at Christmas.

 

Fr James

 

1st December 2013

 

Advent 1

 

The season of advent is upon us, this is a time of preparation for the Christmas season. A time where we pause to remember those that have gone before us in our faith. We look closely at the patriarchs, the prophets John the Baptist, Mary and then Jesus himself. In a world that seems to be getting increasingly busier these traditions actually start to bear more meaning than they ever had before. Lets all take time this advent to slow down a little before Christmas to think about what Chrsitmas is really about so that we can celebrate with Great Joy the wonderful birth of Christ.

 

Fr James

 

24th November 2013

 

Fr James Journal Christ the king 2013

 

 This week marks Christ the King Sunday one of the more special lesser festivals of the year.  We celebrate today Christ being the king of our lives, there is something wonderful in the image of Jesus being the servant yet king as well. Showing the place he has in our lives but we know he will not be a king like the world knows but a king that cares more for his people than himself a king that would give his life so that all could have eternal life. May you lift Jesus up today as king of your life and let him care for you in all that you do.

Fr James

17th November 2013

 

This is the last week in this series on Act justly, love mercy walk humbly. I have really enjoyed preaching this series and I hope that it has challenged us all to thing about justice in the world and in our own community and to think about what we can do. That we might be humble Christians who just get on with loving others and serving God. Jesus has given us a great example to follow and when we do we are able to live a life by all these principles. That is when we are the most effective for God, that is when are more able to change the world as Christ did. Lots all challenge ourselves to help out more to look at injustice  and work towards a solution. Let’s see what we can do with the power of the Holy Spirit with us always.

 

 

 

Fr James

 

10th November 2013

 

 

When we walk with God through life his promise is to be with us always, through the good and bad, when we are happy or sad. The great thing is that he wants us to take him along for the journey and he longs to be part of our lives. When we introduce others to Christ we give them the chance of having a companion for the journey, a journey that could otherwise be very lonely and isolated. Last week through the Gospel Jesus told us that he came to seek and to save the lost. Being found in Christ is one of the greatest things in life, there is great comfort in knowing that Christ is in us and with us. We may still sometimes feel lonely and isolated these are normal and natural feelings but the comfort we have in this is that Jesus is there with us. He knows exactly what it feels like to be lonely and isolated. The disciples left him and then on the cross he was separated from the one he loved dearly. Jesus knows our pain yet he is happy to walk again with us through that dark valley. Please be encouraged that Jesus is with you always and he loves you with outstretched arms.

 

Fr James

 

3rd November 2013


From the readings last Sunday I pointed out that in every reading there was some mention of Gods call to ALL people. This reminds us that we too need to be reaching out to ALL people. As the church I think it is always important for us to try to see if there are any unnecessary barriers that we have put up, that may be stopping people from coming to church. We should always be looking to see how we can make that choice easier for someone so that they can come to worship and be cared for and encouraged. We don’t have all the answers but we can care for and do what we can, sometimes just knowing that someone cares for us can make all the difference. Let’s all think this week how we can either invite someone to church or how we can help someone that we might know who is struggling with coming to church.

Fr James

 

27th October 2013

 

Extravagant self-sacrifice

 

At the recent John Dickson day this was a term that was used. John used this when he was giving examples of good deeds that can help bringing others to faith in God. I really loved this session what a great way to explain what Jesus did for us, extravagant self-sacrifice, Jesus changed the world in many ways because he did the opposite to that they expected, when they showed hate he showed love etc. We have the same opportunity today, when we show extravagant self-sacrifice the world notices. Let’s all think about our opportunities to show those around us that we truly care for them in a sacrificial way.

 

Fr James

 

20th October 2013

 

Character

 

“Character a wise person once said is what we do when no one is looking” Bill Hybels

 

  Character is such a vitally important thing in our society, sadly much of our society operates on the theory its ok if you can get away with it. Something is only wrong when you get caught. This is having and eroding effect on the standards in our communities. As Christians we live with a higher calling, we are to try to live as best we can using the example of Jesus himself. The more people there are in our society choosing this higher calling the better our society will be. This would have a profound impact on many of our social problems. Let’s all pray for a turnaround in our society and a rise again of Character, lets lead the way and fulfil our higher calling in Christ.

 

13th October 2013

 

Sharing the Load

 

When we all work together to build God’s Kingdom amazing things can happen. I have seen incredible things happen when Christians are able to use the gifts that Gods has given them together. It is like a multiplication of blessing, where a gift that may have been good can become great or even extraordinary when used together with others on the same mission. Sharing the Load means that those who maybe feeling a little flat who feel that the wind might be out of the spiritual sails can be swept along with the others and in time the sail fills with the sweat breeze of the holy spirit. Let’s all get on board and share the load together to help with God’s building project.

 

p.s sorry for all the nautical analogies

 

Blessing Fr James

 

6th October 2013

 

 

 

Rest and relax

 

This week we went camping and had a small break with the kids. We haven’t been camping for a while so we decided to go somewhere local. We booked into the Coolum beach caravan park and the kids thought it was great. We could just walk down to the beach and the best thing was we made them leave all there electronic games at home. We often go to Coolum to the beach but somehow it is different when you are camping there. It is amazing what a few days can do to help you relax and it was great to spend quality time with the kids. Taking time out with God can have the same effect on us. When we make sure we slow down and spend a good amount of time waiting on the Lord he renews our strength and he restores our soul.  Let’s all take a break with God this week and let our souls be refreshed.

 

 

 

Fr James

 

29th September 2013

 

 

 

I am always overwhelmed by the way God invites us to join in His ministry. We has the privilege to Serve God and our brothers and sisters in many many ways. True happiness is found in our lives in the service of others. Jesus showed us that he came to serve even though he was greater than his disciples he served them. This can be a very difficult thing to overcome as our society tells us that those beneath us should serve us. Jesus showed that there was true freedom and happiness in service. Lets all take up Gods invitation and join countless other Christian brothers and sisters in His service.

 

Fr James

 

22nd September 2013

 

God’s Building project

 

Following on from the Harvest festival Helen and I believe this will be a great new preaching series. I always find it very humbling to think that God is able to use us for his mission. To think that we are able to follow in Jesus footsteps is really quite remarkable. During this new series we will look at how God has positioned us to grow HIS church, what our part might be and how we can be more effective at proclaiming to Gospel to those around us. Please join Helen and me as we pray for God’s blessing on the parish and for an increase in our effectiveness.

 

Fr James


15th September 2013

 

Combined prayer.

 

During the week we had another combined prayer meeting for the sunshine coast. This was held at the Maroochy Baptist church it was another fantastic event. With ministers for many of the churches leading in prayer for all different areas of our community from children to politicians. One of the areas that was prayed for was for unity in the churches, the comment was made that we have the world today that we have prayed for. This is a very challenging statement was meant to challenge us all to pray more for our community and country. Unity is a vital component to any church, we also prayed the prayer the Jesus prayed about us. “That they may be one as the father and I are one”  For a church to be a true reflection of the body of Christ we NEED to be unified, this mean sometimes doing things for the good of others and often requires us to think twice before we give negative criticism. I find it helps to run our comments through a filter by asking ourselves questions like “Is this going to build up the body of Christ”, “Is this going to help us be a true reflection of Christ” and “is this what is best for me or for the body” I believe nothing saddens Jesus more than an disunited church. Let’s all work harder at being the best reflection of Christ as we can be. And work harder on building each other up to bring glory to God.

 

Fr James.

 

24th March 2013

 

Palm Sunday a special day in the year of the church, made even more special today with Taj, Suzie, Sarah and Isaac making their first communion. On Palm Sunday we celebrate the triumphant entry into Jerusalem of Jesus on a donkey.  So much of what Jesus did was misunderstood at first, often did not even make sense, until he finished his ministry on the cross. That is why on Palm Sunday we read the passion because when we see what Jesus did through the perspective of the cross it makes more sense. So Jesus riding in on a donkey does not make sense at first, but when we look through the perspective of the cross we see that Jesus was the embodiment of humility and then the donkey makes complete sense. Can I encourage you to look at the events of holy week through the perspective of the cross so you can draw more meaning and get closer to God.

Fr James