Issue 114 November 2018 – January 2019
Our quarterly newsletter edited by Venessa Crane.
Contributions are welcome.
Click here to email a contribution to Venessa.
♫ ♪ Deck the halls … ‘Tis the season to be jolly ♫
In these final couple of months of the year we are again gearing up for a busy but joyful time of celebration. Christmas decorations are being created at our Monday morning Creations on the Corner, preparations are in place for the Gingerbread House Night, School Presentation Ceremonies are on the calendar, Carol and Christmas Services are being organized. It’s a busy time, but worth the effort as we prepare to celebrate one of the most significant events in human and cosmic history.
The event that we celebrate on the 25th December each year is not remembering the birth of Jesus of Nazareth as if he were just another prominent human being whose life and teaching shaped a small and insignificant corner of the world.
Rather it is marking the initiative of the Creator of the universe to come into this world as one of us – the Eternal Word of God “became flesh and took up residence among us” (John 1:14) – the Incarnation – an event that has global impact! We are all affected by it whether we realise it or not!
The birth of Jesus the Messiah (Lord and Saviour) is truly a momentous event and worth celebrating. So get the decorations ready, prepare the party food, and mark the Christmas Services on the calendar, it is indeed a season of great joy and wonder; for the “true light, who gives light to everyone (has come) into the world”! (John 1:9)
Celebrating Christmas with Gingerbread Fun
Our world famous Gingerbread night is on again. As usual it will be a great night of Gingerbread fun, overloading on lollies, and enjoying conversations about life, the universe and everything!
What an extraordinary opportunity we have to share time with people from our community to build gingerbread goodies, chat, build relationships, and share the good news of Christmas.
Celebrating Christmas at BUC in 2018
|Sunday, 23 December|| 9.00 am
|A Service of Carols and Lessons
Carols for Kids
|Monday, 24 December||6.30 pm||Christmas Eve Carols Service|
|Tuesday, 25 December||9.00 am||Christmas Day Service|
Being A Praying People
Prayer is a great privilege and wonder – imagine, we can talk with the Creator of the universe like children to a loving parent! It is a foundational and integral part of our Christian discipleship and a means of growing in our relationship with God.
But learning to pray is a life-long exercise. Even Jesus’ disciples, who spent many hours with Jesus – listening and watching – had to learn what prayer is all about and how to do it. As Luke records for us:
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1)
There are innumerable books on prayer that help us to develop our praying life – for personal spiritual growth, as well as for our pray life together as the Church. There are some in our Church library – here are a few that I have found helpful:
The Art of Prayer – A Simple Guide to Conversation With God, by Timothy Jones
(Waterbrook Press 2005, 252 pages includes 12 Study Guides and notes)
This very readable book offers 16 chapters of helpful Bible teaching, advice and personal illustrations on the practice of praying. From developing a personal relationship with God through to what we say and how we say it. There are examples of prayers that inspire us to share our hearts with our loving Heavenly Father, along with quotes from great Christian thinkers, writers and pray-ers to encourage us to pray.
Prayer – Does it make any difference? by Philip Yancey
(Hodder & Stoughton 2006, 344 pages with prayer resources and end notes)
In 22 easy to read chapters, Yancey takes us on a journey of discovery, exploring some of the big questions of prayer like: What is Prayer? What difference does it make? Why and how should we pray? What about unanswered prayer?
If you have enjoyed Yancey’s other insightful books like What’s so amazing about grace? then you will be blessed by reading this book on prayer.
Prayer and the Knowledge of God by Graeme Goldsworthy
(IVP 2003, 220 page with subject and scripture index)
This more theological book has the sub-title: What the whole Bible teaches, and Goldsworthy does just that. He takes us through the Bible to explore how it is that we can talk to God, what we pray about, understand that God listens to us, and what difference prayer makes. From Genesis to Revelation he maps out the “progress” of prayer. A great book for understanding the basis for prayer, its role in our relationship with God, and what is involved in Christian prayer.
The Classic Collection on Prayer by E M Bounds (revised in modern English)
(Bridge-Logos 2001, 765 pages omnibus containing 8 of E M Bounds’ books)
Don’t let its size put you off. This brick of a book contains the classic writings on prayer by E M Bounds that will inspire, encourage, and lift you in prayer.
Covering the necessity of prayer, the essentials of prayer, the possibilities of prayer, the reality of prayer, the weapon of prayer, the purpose of prayer, the power of prayer, and examples of pray from the Biblical characters, this book will deepen your prayer life.
Reading books on prayer is great for learning how to pray. But supplement it with biographies of great pray-ers that will inspire you and encourage you to pray, such as:
Rees Howell – Intercessor by Norman Grubb
(Lutterworth Press 1952, 283 pages)
Rees Howell was a Welsh coal miner who went on to become a great prayer warrior, and an integral part of revivals in the early 20th century in Wales and Africa.
This biography outlines Howell’s passion for, and practice of, prayer that will excite and enthuse you to pray. Every chapter is full of drama and insight. It is an enthralling story told with simplicity, humility and humour.
Farewell to the Yew Family
We are saddened to say farewell to the Yew family at the end of December, 2018.
We have appreciated their ministry, their fellowship and their participation in our Church.
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