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is to worship God, and to glorify Him, through caring, equipping and mobilising people for mission.

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Living God's Story Together

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St.Marys SA 5042

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    I am Hungry

    Thursday, March 13, 2014


    As we start moving into the Easter season, I’m thinking about hot cross buns.  It’s because I am on a 30 day “paleo diet”.  No dairy, no sugar, no processed grains… and only one cup of coffee per day.  So, in about 30 days, I’m going to eat a whole carton of those critters.  Along with a milk shake/malt, a cream bun, and a hamburger with the lot.

    I’m not intentionally doing this for lent… it has kind of worked out that way.  And it reminds me of the place of discipline in our spiritual lives.

    1 Tim 1.7  “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

    For some of you, self-discipline comes easy.  But for some of us, it has NEVER been easy.  And there are other things in my life where I need to practice discipline –

    • Prayer
    • Scripture reading/memorization
    • Giving
    • Solitude
    • Living in each moment
    • Fasting

    These are called SPIRITUAL disciplines.  Dallas Willard says that… “Spiritual disciplines are not the desired end product of spiritual life – but rather a means to an end. “  Richard Foster says, “God has given us the disciplines of the spiritual life as a means of receiving his grace.  The Disciplines allow us to place ourselves before God so that He can transform us… they are God’s means of grace.

    Spiritual Disciplines have been practiced by the people of God since Biblical times.  So – allow me to encourage you to talk this over with God, and find an area in your life where you would like to create some space to meet God more intentionally.  You might just find yourself embracing a “spiritual discipline” this lent.

    And by the way, my 30 days are over April fools day.  Feel free to bring some really unhealthy food.

    Dale

    Dale Green

    Equipping Pastor





    Growing Together with God

    Friday, March 07, 2014


    During our trip to the Philippines this year, I was surprised to see how our ministry partners have grown in the last five years. For example, the outreach in Kalunansan, which EBC started off with a feeding program five years ago, now has 53 regular kids, 15 mums attending the women’s bible study every Wednesday and 7 men attending the men’s bible study on Fridays. There is also the prospect of 8 adult baptisms coming up.

    Another growing ministry partner is Lily of the Valley. They have 48 kids in their children’s program on Saturdays. Recently, they started their Sunday services in the centre, attended by 20 people from the area. They shared with us that they now have an outreach of 50 kids in the neighbouring slum area. An outreach with an outreach!

    House of Hope men’s rehab has also had great development. Just recently, some companies in Cebu started a campaign of giving mandatory drug testings to employees. Surprisingly, some employees were found to be positive for drugs. These companies then sent their employees to HOH for a 6 month rehab program. The deal was, if they decline they will be fired, if they accept, they will be given a second chance. When I was there I spoke to at least 3 who were in that situation and they shared how happy they are to have Jesus Christ in their lives. They even mentioned that some of their colleagues before them had started a bible study group in their work place. Would you not praise God for these developments? I know you would….

                1 Corinthians 3:6-7 says “I planted the seed, Apollos water it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow”. EBC, I thank you for planting these Ministries and for being a willing partner in working for God’s kingdom!

    Julio

    Julio Alejo

    Pastoral Care Pastor





    A Few Reflections

    Thursday, February 27, 2014


    It has been a busy few days so it is great to have an opportunity to reflect on recent events.

    Friday and Saturday of last week all the staff assembled at Tailem Bend to share some time teambuilding, learning new skills and praying. We all underwent personality tests and there was quite a diverse range of outcomes. It was interesting to notice that Pastoral care people had results that were similar to each other but quite different to the Administration group. This wasn't really surprising, however it reinforced the need for a diverse range of people to be involved in church leadership. 1 Corinthians 12: 20-23 'But now indeed there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you No, much rather, nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you," those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.'

    Easter is rapidly approaching and our young people are preparing for Easter camp at Adare, at Victor Harbor. Please give some thought to the possibility of financially supporting a young person so that they can get to camp.

    This Sunday we will be holding another EBC Connect lunch. It will be at Eddie's at 12.15. It is an opportunity for any recent arrivals at EBC to get to know our staff, and more about who we are and what we do. We would love to see you there.

    This Sunday morning, Simon Longden will be our guest speaker. Pastor Dale will be speaking in the evening and will present an overview of the upcoming preaching series on the Book of John. This will also be the focus of our Life Groups in the coming term. If you can't make it Sunday, please visit the EBC website, 'listen to sermons'.

    Hope to see you all in church. God bless.

    Barry

    Barry Bennett

    Pastoral Assistant





    Be in Step with God

    Thursday, February 20, 2014


    Our Heavenly Father desires to pamper us with every spiritual blessing available for us (Ephesians 1).  What stands out to me is my salvation and that I belong to Jesus.  He paid it all on the cross and all to Him I owe.  He did it for you and me because He loves us.  Sometimes I try to understand the degree of God’s love and mercy towards us sinners, and I ponder upon the thought of “what is man, that you are mindful of him, O God”.  And I would ask myself, “Why is God interested in me?  Who am I that God would choose me, a rebellious, sinful and wretched man that I am.  Who shall deliver me from this life dominated by sin?  Like the Apostle Paul exclaimed in Romans 7:25 “Thanks be to God for the Lord Jesus Christ! He is the answer to this.”  And so I utter to Him also, “Thank you God, How wonderful you are!“

    Having experienced this powerful love of God in Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit, how can I then repay Him?  None in any way, but to do what God says.  How?  I guess, by simply loving and showing that we care for people with different beliefs and views from us, and also recognising that they need the love and forgiveness of the Lord Jesus.  On Wednesday, we made a hospital visit to a North African soccer player involved with our Saturday multicultural sports.  His wife gave birth to a baby boy and we gave them a baby bundle from the church.  They were so excited and expressed their appreciation.  In return, they wish to invite some of our women to celebrate the birth of their son sometime soon.  What great joy to see how they reacted to a simple act of kindness and love.  Let’s be in step with God.

    Edwin

    Edwin Del Pilar

    Pastor, Multicultural Ministries





    Gods Empowerment for Us

    Thursday, February 13, 2014


    In the study of Our Creed this month, I have been so encouraged that I am included in the same fellowship with God as He has with the members of the Trinity.  I have been comforted with the reality of God as my perfect Father and that Jesus, as my Saviour, is always better than anything else this world can offer me!

    One of my favourite verses is one we often read right over – John 13:3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God...”  This verse illustrates the relationship between God the Father and God the Son.  The reason I love this verse, is that it presents the framework into which Jesus’ actions fir into the verses following.  Jesus was totally secure in the source of His authority, where He had come from and where He was going and so was able to set a humble example of service to His disciples.  His BE-ing in relationship with His Father empowered Him to be DO-ing what He had come to do – to serve!  (Matt 20:28).

    This empowerment is available to us!  Are we BE-ing in God’s presence enough so that we know the source of our authority, that we are confident in our relationship with our Creator, and eagerly anticipate our future of being in His presence for eternity?  If this is true, we’ll be DO-ing what God has put to our hands, out of the enabling and empowering of our BE-ing in relationship with Him!  Studying Our Creed is refocusing our purpose for BE-ing – worshipping and glorifying God. Come into His presence and be encouraged and empowered!

     Can’t wait to hear about the Holy Spirit and our Humanity this Sunday!  Please join us!

    Marti

    Marti Williams

    Women’s Pastor





    The Truths of Gods Word

    Friday, February 07, 2014


    Vision month has begun and last week we were encouraged with great opening presentations for two of our eight faith statements. Our Creed; the things of faith we believe; the foundations of our spiritual life. The Bible and Trinity will be followed up this week with presentations on the Father and Son. In the following weeks we will also bring presentations on the Spirit, Salvation, Humanity and the Church. So commit with yourself, with God and others to attend, that we grow stronger as a Community of faith together.

    These foundational truths have guided me to persevere in faith. When my family or I face a crisis, health, financial or otherwise, what I believe, holds me and informs me in the decisions I make or respond to. There are many voices trying to persuade me in this direction, or hold me back from that decision, but the fundamentals of faith strive to keep me stable and consistent. As a pastor/shepherd the same applies (1 Timothy 3:5). What truths does God give in His Word? How is God revealing Himself in this situation? Is God teaching me more about Himself, others, or myself through this? How or when is it right to prepare or respond to this? Will the Church be hurt or grow through this?

    Last week Ps Dale shared a little proverbial truth as he began presenting doctrine.

    “A man convinced against his will … is of the same opinion still.” Whether it’s raising children in the home or teaching them in the classroom, the best environment for growth is one that involves a trusting, open relationship.

    This year EBC will present the truths of God’s Word through many formats. Let us be united in prayer that the environment through 2014 will be supportive to spiritual growth and aligned to God’s revealed truths.

     Joe

    Joe Gray

    Lead Pastor





    Gods Presence

    Thursday, January 23, 2014


    Let me add my welcome to 2014! Last weekend we had a youth leaders’ retreat, and I shared this verse with them,

    “And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest. The he (Moses) said to Him, Ïf your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. For how then can it be known that I have found favour in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?””
    Exodus 33:14-15

    Moses knew there needed to be more than strategy and survival. The Children of Israel weren’t an intimidating nation but Moses knew God’s presence made up for many of their weaknesses. But I love that Moses had a bigger perspective than what was before them, Moses wanted all the nations to know that God was with them.

    Jesus has this same perspective.

    “I pray that they may be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:21

    When God is present with His people it is a defining characteristic of who they are. It also speaks to the world about who Jesus is. Unity is not something we manufacture; it is birthed from praying together, from our mutual love for Jesus, from our common mission.

    2014 is full of potential and opportunity but we need more than good ideas and strategy, we need individually and corporately a desperate dependence on God’s presence.

    This weekend is the Australia Day long weekend, so if you’re going away, we pray for safe travel and as school goes back, we remember our families as they get back into routine.

     Jarrod

    Jarrod Flack

    Youth Pastor





    Hope Came Down

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013


    HOPE CAME DOWN!

    “For to us a child is born...” Isaiah 9:6

                “And she gave birth to her firstborn son...” Luke 2:7

                            “It is finished, and he bowed his head, and gave up his spirit...” John 19:30

                                        “He is not here, for he is risen, as he said.”  Matthew 28:6

                                                    “This Jesus, who was taken from you into heaven,

    will come in the same way...” Acts 1:11

                HOPE CAME DOWN!

     

    Mission Accomplished!  Jesus came, lived, died and was raised again and returned to His Father – for OUR salvation!  We take this time of year to celebrate that first Christmas – as we should. But, if we simply see an innocent little baby in a manger – and leave Him there all year, we miss the whole point of His birth!  This baby grew up, lived a perfect life (Luke 2:40), gave up His own spirit on the cross in obedience to His Father’s Will (Matt 26:39), was buried and raised again (1 Cor 15:3,4) and returned to His Father in Heaven to prepare a place for all who choose to believe (John 14:2,3).

    We MUST “see” Jesus at His Father’s right hand, preparing a place for us.  If we keep Him in the manger, on the cross, or in the tomb, we keep Him weak and helpless. We must see and serve Him as our Risen Saviour!

    Sunday we have a Celebration Service in the morning and we will be hearing testimony to what God has been doing among us here at EBC.  It will be greatly encouraging!  In the evening we have our Christmas Production – HOPE CAME DOWN!  It will be GREAT!

    On a personal note: Thank you for the love, prayers, cards, emails, texts and well-wishes this past week. I am doing well!  God is so gracious!!

    Marti

    Marti Williams

    Women’s Pastor





    Thank You and Praise the Lord

    Thursday, December 12, 2013


    It is at this time of the year we get a glimpse of all the workings within the structure of EBC’s operation. As groups break up and celebrate Christmas, there is the natural invitation for the ‘pastor’ to attend, share a thought and encourage folk to continue on in the faith. Not a good time for the waistline because celebrations include the odd meal or sweet treat, but it is a good time to see the faithful, available and teachable (FAT) servants in ministry.

    On Sunday our Children’s ministry celebrated – we thank God for the committed leaders who serve approximately 100 kids each Sunday.

    This week Friendship Club, Little Royals and Craft groups celebrated – then there’s Lifegroups, Youth, Women’s & Men’s ministries, Fitness & Agape sports who use the Youth centre each week, plus numerous other individuals or teams who regularly connect with the EBC family and community folk. We praise the Lord for the servant-hearted leaders who have overseen all these people each week through 2013. In your service you have truly offered “your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this [has been] your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:10)

    As we finish 2013 well, can I encourage us to consider 2014? Our Equipping (teaching) Pastor will commence in January and I sense the Lord has EBC ready for a release of His Spirit through the church into the lives of others. Would you pray and consider how the Lord has gifted you for ministry? How together we can be a part of His releasing to touch and minister into the life of others next year. We are the Church of the living God. We are His Ambassadors in this society & culture. May God bless you all this Christmas and keep you safe in Him.

    Tom Golding is speaking at the morning service this Sunday on Isaiah 42 and Travis Johnson will speak on Isaiah 52 in the evening service.


    Joe Gray
    Lead Pastor





    Evangelism in the Midst of Adversity

    Thursday, November 28, 2013


    Despite the calamity that happened recently in the Philippines, we can still find the Lord working strongly in our midst. Isaiah 43:1 says…”Do not be afraid. For I have bought you and made you free. I have called you by name. You are Mine!”

    I want to share an encouraging email from Pastor Homer.

    Subject: Evangelism in the midst of Adversity –

    Hi to all,

    I would like to take this opportunity to share a testimony from Silver Monte, a former volunteer/ worker in our Kalunasan Outreach (foothills ministry).

    Update from Leyte:
    Silver Monte, one of my former church leaders and a volunteer/worker in Kalunasan Outreach since 2011, until he moved to Leyte in Sept 2012, is one of the survivors from Tanuan, in Leyte, a 30 minute-drive from Tacloban.  Tanuan is reported to have more than 1,000 people feared dead, one of which was his grandma. They were able to recognize her body after 4 days of searching.

    Silver arrived in our house today in Cebu City bringing good news about how God saved him with seven other people from the calamity and how he was used by God to lead them to accept Jesus Christ into their lives a few minutes before the sea water rose up. Three adults and four children surrendered their lives to the Lord, Jesus Christ.

    This is his concise testimony. He said, “when the sea water rose up, I was able to hold a bar by my right hand, then my left hand was holding on to two kids, while others were holding to my body.” He further said, what he was experiencing was a miracle from God. It was God who gave him the strength to hold the bar for 45 minutes while fighting for survival. Praise God! The 7 lives are all safe.

    As we all face a new week, please know that no matter what the circumstances you find yourself in, God is with you.

     

    Julio

    Julio Alejo

    Pastoral Care Pastor







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