Inaugural Cricket Match 2013

Inaugural Pastor’s XI versus Chairman’s XI

The coin tossSunday afternoon, 24th March 2013,  members and friends of Zion attended the first ever Pastor’s XI versus Chairman’s XI cricket match. The match was organized by the men’s fellowship group, ‘Bloke’s World’.

Teams in ActionThe afternoon was held at the Immanuel Lutheran Primary school oval with perfect sunny weather. A fundraiser barbecue lunch was held with drinks, cake and plenty of tea and coffee.

There was a cricket quiz for the spectators. The cricket players were asked for a $10 donation to be in one of the two teams. Children’s games were played during half time.

Can this umpire be trusted?

Luke, our Chairman won the coin toss and opted to send in Pastor Geoff’s team to bat first. 

Pastor Geoff’s team won the day. A great fellowship day, all who attended had a great time.

Are You Free?

Sometimes it can be hard trying to measure up to other people’s expectations. What about measuring up to God’s expectations? Several hundred years ago, during the 16th Century, a monk by the name of Martin Luther found this weight of expectation too much to carry. Try as he might, he felt that he could not measure up to God’s lofty standards. This left him feeling very much afraid of God.

Then one day God revealed an amazing truth to Luther. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace, through faith in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:23). This wonderful truth is the gospel in a nutshell. God loves us and has given us His Son to pay the price for our sin. God’s expectation is simply that we believe and accept His gift of grace.


Scripture Readings

Jeremiah 31:31-34
The Lord promises a new covenant

Romans 3:19-23    
We are justified by faith

John 8:31-36
The truth sets us free

Would you do me a favour?

Whenever someone asks: “Would you do me a favour please?” I usually want to know what the favour is before answering. Some favours can be ok, but others are not. Two of Jesus’ disciples asked a favour of Him which was not ok. They wanted Him to give them places of highest honour in His glory, but this was not even His to give.

Not surprisingly the other ten disciples became angry when they heard about it. You can imagine the tension which would have been present between them. Following Jesus is not about personal prestige and power; it is about submitting to the Will of God and serving Him. Even the Son did not come to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45).


Scripture Readings

Job 38:1-7, 34-38   
The Lord challenges Job

Hebrews 5:1-10
Jesus the Great High Priest

Mark 10:35-45
The request of James and John

He has blessings for everyone

What a great invitation we have from Jesus. He said: receive the kingdom of God like a little child. As children are open and trusting of their parents, so we are free to be that way with God. He offers blessings now and for ever through Jesus and all He asks is that we receive them like a child receives a gift from its’ parents. You are a child of God and He loves you with His whole heart.


Scripture Readings

Psalm 139: 14-18

Hebrews 4: 12-16

Mark 10: 13-16

There are no Black Sheep here

Most families have someone who is “the black sheep” of the family. That person is a bit different to the rest, either by lifestyle choices or behaviour. But it is comforting to know that in God’s family there are no “black sheep”. The Bible says: all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, but we are justified by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:23).

Jesus makes us holy through His death and resurrection, and we are all members of His family. In the letter to the Hebrews we read: the One who makes us holy and we who are made holy are of the same family. Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters (Hebrews 2:11). While it is an honour  to be in the Lord’s family, there are still a lot of “long-lost relatives” who need to know Him.

Scripture  Readings

Job 1:1, 2: 1-10
Job is tested

Hebrews 1:1-4, 2: 5-12 
God has spoken through Jesus

Mark 10: 2-16 
Jesus speaks to the crowds

Spot the Christian

One day Jesus said: let your light shine so that people will see it and praise your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). People are meant to see a difference in us. Jesus also said: if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out (Mark 9:42-47). If we took Him literally, it would be easy to spot the Christians. They would be the ones without hands, feet, and eyes!

Actually, Jesus was not promoting self-mutilation. He exaggerated to make a point. Often sin can only be conquered by radical “spiritual surgery”, the kind that must be performed by the Holy Spirit. But we need to be willing, obedient “patients” to undergo this kind of surgery. Our faith and our actions must be consistent with God.


Scripture Readings

 Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29
Moses chooses seventy leaders

James 5:13-20
Prayer offered in faith

Mark 9:38-50
Acting in Jesus’ name

Come Near to God

Would you like to see into the future? Would you really like to know that a bad thing was going to happen if you couldn’t do anything to stop it?

Jesus knew that He would be betrayed, arrested, and killed, so He warned His disciples to prepare them for when it happened. He also told them that He would be raised back to life, but they didn’t understand what He was saying.

Instead of asking about it, they began to argue amongst themselves about who was the greatest. They missed the point. True greatness is not about “blowing your own trumpet”, it is about serving others by being useful to them in God’s name. Jesus is the perfect example for us to follow.


Scripture Readings

Jeremiah 11:18-20
A plot against Jeremiah

James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a
Wisdom from heaven

Mark 9:30-37 
Who is the greatest?

Which is Which?

One day Jesus asked His disciples: who do people say I am? When they told Him what they had heard He made the question more personal by asking: What about you. Who do you say I am?  Peter answered, “You are the Christ”.

There are many opinions about Jesus these days, even among so-called Christians. But if we want to  truly know Him we must accept Him as the “Christ”, the Son of God (yet One with the Father), Lord, Saviour, and Friend. Who we are and how we live as Christians is determined by who Jesus is, and what place He has in our hearts.


Scripture Readings


Isaiah 50:4-9a
The obedient servant of the Lord

James 3:1-12
Taming the tongue

Mark 8:27-38
Who is Jesus?

How does Faith show itself

Some people have a reputation for “telling it like it is”. They speak their mind and you are left in no doubt as to what they think. This can be confronting or it can be quite refreshing. James, the brother of Jesus, seems to be one of those people.

In todays’ reading he says: whoever keeps the whole law, yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it (James 2:10).  That would include every human being! We all need God’s forgiveness, no matter how good we may think we are, so instead of looking at the faults of others, we ought to spend more time thanking and praising God for His grace towards us. Then we will be able to love one another, as He commands.


Scripture Readings

Isaiah 35:4-7
God’s promise to save His people

James 2:1-10, 14-17
Faith shown in love

Mark 7:24-37
Jesus shows God’s love through healing the sick

Clean or Unclean?

Jesus was under attack from the religious leaders (Pharisees) because His disciples didn’t wash their hands correctly before eating. Sounds ridiculous but it’s true. The Jews gave their hands a ceremonial washing before eating, whenever they came into contact with Gentiles. This was to prevent them from becoming “unclean”, as they considered Gentiles to be unclean.

It was a tradition which had become law but Jesus wasn’t having any of it. Rather than be bound by man-made traditions He called them to obey God’s law. We too have an obligation to be obedient to God; not so that we earn His favour but because we already have it. Our response ought to reflect His grace and mercy.


Scripture Readings

 Deuteronomy 4: 1-2, 6-9
oses urges the people to keep God’s command

James 1:17-27
Listening and doing

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
Clean and unclean

Come for a Chat & Cuppa

In the hall after each worship.

cup_of_coffee with cross