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  • Pastors Comment 28th Oct 2012

    PASTORS COMMENT
    This Sunday the Children's Church are planning to talk to the children about Halloween. You will be given a handout by Tamar which shows the scarey roots of it all. What to do as parents is always the problem as the desire for free food almost always outweighs good judgement.
    We always give a treat to children who bang on the door (sometimes church kids) and say "this night is really about Jesus Christ defeating evil when He rose from the dead, so we give you something to celebrate that". Alternatively your children if they are keen, could dress in an angel costume, or as monks, even just a white sheet or blanket and go door to door and say they have come to give out a treat (lollies or
    whatever) to the people in the house as we believe Halloween is to celebrate Jesus defeating evil to bring peace to the world or something similar.
    That way we can use something wrong that has come into our culture via the media over recent years and still speak the truth while commending Christians as not being mean which is the way children will see it.
    Last Sunday Miriam and I ministered at Rangiora Baptist and enjoyed an encouraging meeting. In the afternoon we ran a well attended workshop on hearing God's voice and being sensitive to the Holy Spirit. As a bonus we sold 40 copies of my book, which seems to be selling really well so far. The church in Rangiora seems in really good heart having gone through the change over to a new Pastor on the retirement of Ivan.
    I hear you enjoyed a great well attended meeting last week, despite it being a holiday weekend.
    Miriam and I returned our 3 year old Grand daughter Grace back to her parents. It was full on, lots of fun and organizing us for the 3 nights she stayed, perhaps 1 too many as she started to get a little homesick and had a slight melt down. However she was consoled by the fact that her cat Oliver was also staying and he was coping really well.
    In fact Oliver is still there as the star boarder till Sunday.
    You can tell I'm running out of things to say, I know you will enjoy Greg today and hope you have a great week.
    Blessings Pastor Maurice
    PASTORS COMMENT
    This Sunday the Children's Church are planning to talk to the children about Halloween. You will be given a handout by Tamar which shows the scarey roots of it all. What to do as parents is always the problem as the desire for free food almost always outweighs good judgement.
    We always give a treat to children who bang on the door (sometimes church kids) and say "this night is really about Jesus Christ defeating evil when He rose from the dead, so we give you something to celebrate that". Alternatively your children if they are keen, could dress in an angel costume, or as monks, even just a white sheet or blanket and go door to door and say they have come to give out a treat (lollies or
    whatever) to the people in the house as we believe Halloween is to celebrate Jesus defeating evil to bring peace to the world or something similar.
    That way we can use something wrong that has come into our culture via the media over recent years and still speak the truth while commending Christians as not being mean which is the way children will see it.
    Last Sunday Miriam and I ministered at Rangiora Baptist and enjoyed an encouraging meeting. In the afternoon we ran a well attended workshop on hearing God's voice and being sensitive to the Holy Spirit. As a bonus we sold 40 copies of my book, which seems to be selling really well so far. The church in Rangiora seems in really good heart having gone through the change over to a new Pastor on the retirement of Ivan.
    I hear you enjoyed a great well attended meeting last week, despite it being a holiday weekend.
    Miriam and I returned our 3 year old Grand daughter Grace back to her parents. It was full on, lots of fun and organizing us for the 3 nights she stayed, perhaps 1 too many as she started to get a little homesick and had a slight melt down. However she was consoled by the fact that her cat Oliver was also staying and he was coping really well.
    In fact Oliver is still there as the star boarder till Sunday.
    You can tell I'm running out of things to say, I know you will enjoy Greg today and hope you have a great week.
    Blessings Pastor Maurice
    PASTORS COMMENT
    This Sunday the Children's Church are planning to talk to the children about Halloween. You will be given a handout by Tamar which shows the scarey roots of it all. What to do as parents is always the problem as the desire for free food almost always outweighs good judgement.
    We always give a treat to children who bang on the door (sometimes church kids) and say "this night is really about Jesus Christ defeating evil when He rose from the dead, so we give you something to celebrate that". Alternatively your children if they are keen, could dress in an angel costume, or as monks, even just a white sheet or blanket and go door to door and say they have come to give out a treat (lollies or
    whatever) to the people in the house as we believe Halloween is to celebrate Jesus defeating evil to bring peace to the world or something similar.
    That way we can use something wrong that has come into our culture via the media over recent years and still speak the truth while commending Christians as not being mean which is the way children will see it.
    Last Sunday Miriam and I ministered at Rangiora Baptist and enjoyed an encouraging meeting. In the afternoon we ran a well attended workshop on hearing God's voice and being sensitive to the Holy Spirit. As a bonus we sold 40 copies of my book, which seems to be selling really well so far. The church in Rangiora seems in really good heart having gone through the change over to a new Pastor on the retirement of Ivan.
    I hear you enjoyed a great well attended meeting last week, despite it being a holiday weekend.
    Miriam and I returned our 3 year old Grand daughter Grace back to her parents. It was full on, lots of fun and organizing us for the 3 nights she stayed, perhaps 1 too many as she started to get a little homesick and had a slight melt down. However she was consoled by the fact that her cat Oliver was also staying and he was coping really well.
    In fact Oliver is still there as the star boarder till Sunday.
    You can tell I'm running out of things to say, I know you will enjoy Greg today and hope you have a great week.
    Blessings Pastor Maurice

  • Pastors Comment 21st October 2012

    Good morning everyone

    I hope you are all enjoying the long weekend, whatever the weather? At the time of writing this (Wednesday) the outlook was for a wet Labour weekend.
    Joy and I are looking forward to having all our family together. Our son Adam is down from the North Island for work and while down here I've slotted him into preaching at tonights Service. Looking forward to it Ads.
    Juddy tells me purchasing the new van is imminent. We (Oxford Community Ministries Trust) did have a bit of red tape to jump through but we have now ticked all the boxes and we are free to proceed. Finding the right one on our fixed budget isn't easy as we first thought, but I'm sure GOD will lead us to the right one.
    The Financial Seminar is proving to be very popular. By the time you read this we will be able to tell you exactly how many attended, but by Wednesday lunch time there was 62 of us booked in. We are praying the seminar will benefit families and individuals significantly. Financial freedom is often talked of as though it can never be a reality until our latter years. We trust what we learn at the seminar will provide some valuable insight and equip people to move towards financial freedom much earlier in their lives by knocking years off their mortgages.
    The Alpha programme has just started this week for the staff at the Early Learning Centre. It's being run as a part of the staff's professional development training. It's also the first time as a leader I've run the "Work Place" Alpha course it with the shortened session times of around 20 minutes as opposed to 50. So far I think it is a great way of doing Alpha and is adapts itself to fit around busy schedules.

    I hope you've got something exciting planned for tomorrow.
    God Bless
    Greg Morris (Pastor)

  • 14th October 2012

    Welcome Everyone

    As you are probably well aware the fourth school term starts this week. Usually that's bad news for kids but great news for parents. For most of us though it's our annual indicator for things to become really busy from now on right through to Christmas. Already some of our ministry leaders are finding their schedules are becoming quite tight for time and venue availabilities. But of course it's a good pressure to have in the sense that God is moving powerfully through these ministries into our community. So many community needs are being met through the willingness of leaders and co-workers sacrificing their time and serving Christ through various ministries, week in, week out. From OBC we so appreciate your faithfulness and hope you have had a nice break during these past school holidays. Hopefully you have all regained your strength for the Term ahead. No doubt the Church carpark is going to filling up again on a daily basis. Neat to see.

    Don't forget the Financial Health Check is on this Thursday Night (18th October) 7.00pm here at the Church. You're welcome to invite friends or neighbours. But you will need to get a ticket from the Church office or myself, Juddy or Miriam, just so we know how many to cater for. Tickets are $5.00 each.
    Financial seminars are well worth attending. People are often surprised to find out just how significantly your total monetary payback or time period can change through making small adjustments. Joy and I have been "loyal" to our Bank for more than 20 years. But at times I'm sure that our loyalty has been misplaced and we have undoubtedly incurred heavier payments than we needed to. Not that we had a bad deal at the time. It's more to do with an ever evolving market place and not taking the time every five years or so to see if what was once competitive has remained so. Hence, taking up the offer a Financial Health Check can only be a good thing. That is unless you're a Bank manager offering high interest mortgages, in which case you will find this seminar very depressing.

    The Taylor family have been away for the past week in Matamata hosting Kings Kids training. It'll be good see them back this week. Hopefully you had a great time guys. We know how powerfully God has moved through this ministry in the past. We've been praying this time you have been met with the same Presence of God, but with increase. Look forward to hearing all about it.

    Great to see Jenny home again in N.Z. We look forward to hearing from you too Jenny once you have settled in.
    For those of you who don't know Jenny, she does a wonderful work in Indonesia among the slum children. Joy and I visited Jenny briefly mid August on the way home from Israel and Turkey. In both of those countries we'd seen poverty, but nothing in comparison to where Jenny works in Indonesia. I'm not sure how long you're home for Jenny, but I do know your rest is well deserved.

    I hope you all enjoy our family service this morning.
    Blessings and have a great week
    Greg Morris (Pastor)

  • 7th October 2012

    PASTORS COMMENT

    Last week was an enjoyable service, not just because of the "hotties" but because the presence of God was strong in the meeting. My thanks and congratulations to the music group for another fine team effort.

    We have started the school holidays so for the next few weeks there will be children's talks for your entertainment. Many thanks to the Children's team for the fine effort they make with the children.

    The earthquake repairs have been completed on our house, painted throughout plus a few alterations as well. I was mildly panicking listening to Miriam and the decorator, as walls vanished, ranch slider door installed, colors changed. I managed to keep the carpet and most of the furniture after discovering having sneaky reasoning chats with the decorator saves a fortune. The finished product is of course magnificent, I am learning.

    The house is almost ours again after having Tim Randi and family staying while their house was finished and Randi recovered from birthing little Mark. I now remember what it is like to raise boys, Bjorn at 18 months is a human dynamo who is really into decorating. Nothing seemed to be in the right place. We caught him last week chair against the bench waving the carving knife around, looking for something to modify.

    He is never happier when left in the car by himself or running around outside looking for anything. Lots of fun if you are prepared to be with him, constant stress if you are not.

    "Such Fun". Miriam was a tremendous Granny and deserves some sort of award, she is however quite tired and needs to build up before we travel.

    We enjoyed the youth service on Sunday night, the music group played well and James Smith spoke very well. The lighting was quite amazing, we are looking forward to seeing the new lighting bar installed permanently. It should help introduce some drama to the services.

    Well I hope you have an enjoyable week, welcome to the latest batch of YWAMers, Oxford is a wonderful place, this church is quite unique as Baptist churches go, we hope you have an encounter with God while you are here.

    Many Blessings

    Pastor Maurice

  • Bill and Jean Gray

    Miriam and I are in Richmond Baptist in Nelson this weekend, we have a very full program and fly back Monday afternoon. In our absence we wish to extend a very warm Oxford welcome to Bill and Jean Gray from Norway. Bill and Jean were called to pastor this church in 1977 and at that time brought the message of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. It was then that the church went through considerable change and they saw new souls for the first time in many years. They are good friends and a wonderful spiritual couple.

    We want to extend a warm welcome to the Livermore's who have been in church for the last 2 weeks. They are here from England to celebrate the wedding of their son Timothy to Olivia Inch. They were married on the Inch farm yesterday and I am assuming all went well. Congratulations to Barry, Judy, the Livermore's and of course Olivia and Timothy who are leaving to live in England almost immediately.

    Next weekend Michael Ford and Rachel Wilson are to be married, we wish them every blessing for the big day and congratulations to Andy and Carolyn.

    I have been really appreciating our worship times over the last few weeks, the music group has been very sensitive to the Holy Spirit and have lead us into His presence consistently. Don't forget to encourage them and pray for them. They are managing without a front line drummer so make that a subject of prayer, it is difficult without a drummer keeping time.

    I don't know about you but I was a wreck after the game on Saturday, the French forgot to do what they were supposed to do so it was a near thing. I guess the game against Australia took the steam out of our team, "Aussies". Anyway all ends well, it was an awful game with a good result, so New Zealand will not have to listen to years of recriminations about what should have happened and who should have been in the team etc etc.

    The builders will be finishing off the South wall on Monday so we can have the building work signed off by the council office. The stage will then be installed before Christmas and the plan is to complete the sound desk in January. The tiles are on order for the foyer so we are expecting them to arrive any day. Hopefully in the new year the work will be completed.

    Have a very blessed week
    Pastor Maurice Atkinson

  • Children Matter

    Today we welcome Pastors Nigel and Joy Crocombe and Temuka Baptist members who have been attending a Church Camp at Glenroy. Greg has been the star speaker so I am sure they have had a great time. Miriam and I have actually just returned from Temuka where we attended the 50th Wedding Anniversary of my elder sister and her husband. It does not seem that long ago when we celebrated our parents 50th, time certainly passes by.

    I have heard that Jennie spoke very well last Sunday, her work in Indonesia is certainly impressive and we support very much what she is doing. Please pray for Jennie as she rests up and prepares to return. I have asked Tamar the Children's Pastor to make a comment as they prepare for the new term.

    Have a very blessed week
    Pastor Maurice

    Children Matter To God: As leaders of Ignite, we always welcome our holiday break as it gives us all a time to refresh, spend time with our families, and to be inspired by God again for the upcoming term. I can honestly say that I miss seeing your children each week and its always joyous starting up again for a new term. The longer I am involved with ministry to children the more I am understanding and seeing Gods heart, desire and plans towards them. Children matter to God and because they matter to God, then they should matter to you and me. When you take a moment to ponder the people who are leaders in our world today, and how their role in government, business, community and church influence our lives today, (good and bad) then we need to remember that each of these people at one time was a child. Their lives were influenced by people around them who saw their potential and their unique gifts and how they were directed and released into their leadership roles. As Christian adults we have tremendous opportunity to shape morally and spiritually not only our own children that God gave us, but other children as they will in turn help shape the world that we will be living in. The perfect time to influence these children is when they are children. By the time they reach adolescents, most of their moral and spiritual foundation has been formed. Research tells us that it is far easier to have influence before these foundations have firmed up. Makes sense doesn't it! Which brings us back to children. If we want our children to stand firm on the battlefront, which we are all in – then we need to raise them to love God with all their heart, mind, strength and soul. (Deut 6: 5-9) Then we know that the decisions that they make will be right and God honouring. We are investing into future generations – some that we will not even see, but it is well worth it. So that might explain what keeps us doing what we are doing each week - Ignite Children's Ministry rocks!!

    Tony & Tamar Hylands

  • Family Reunion

    Miriam and I have had an interesting week, as we first held a birthday party for our daughter Melanie at home. It was a mini family reunion which even involved our son Tim's mother-in-law from Denmark, who has arrived for a visit. After all the feasting was over and the guests departed, we were left with our 2 year old grand daughter Gracie who was to stay with us till Tuesday morning. One of the wonderful things about grand children is they eventually go home and you catch up on your sleep. Apart from that we had a wonderful time, she gets through about 40,000 words a day and is a continual source of entertainment. We are both enjoying this new stage we are in. If some of you are wondering, our AGM is on the 22nd of November this year. The building project takes the blame for all delays, so that is why it is a little late. Hopefully by then we will have the building signed off, the only delay is the outside South Wall needs to be plastered. Russell and Wes have concreted the path across to the office which should eliminate the last possibility of mud. Please use the path and resist the temptation to save two steps by cutting across the new grass. Bruce & Emily Chapman have moved to Auckland with Bruce's promotion. A letter of thanks was sent expressing our appreciation for all their input to the ministry of the Church over the years. We wish them well in their new endeavour.

    I enjoyed the worship time last Sunday, I hope you all pray for the team and it is not easy Sunday after Sunday. We are needing more musicians especially a drummer, it makes it so difficult when you do not have somebody keeping time.

    In John 4:24 Jesus said "God is Spirit and His worshipers must worship in Spirit and in truth". I wonder sometimes just how perfectly people understand worship and what actually is worship. In Luke 4:7 the Devil said to Jesus "so if you worship me it will all be yours" speaking of the Kingdoms of this world. So the Devil prizes worship above anything else on this earth. The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12:1 "to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, this is your spiritual act of worship."

    So in summary, worship must involve allegiance or ownership, which explains why the Devil offered Jesus such a prize to worship him. It involves giving our physical bodies to God as worship 101. It also involves interacting with God with our innermost being (spirit) as He is Spirit and as we do, to respond to the truth we receive.

    I believe this involves physical actions like lifting hands in surrender, bowing in allegiance or whatever else we feel to do which is a response to the Lord, this is worship. I believe also our minds and our hearts need to be focused on Him, say meditating or adoring an aspect of His truth or character. God may be speaking to us about our salvation so we give gratitude to Him for the sacrifice of Jesus. It is not as though God is just going to be so rejected unless we do this, it is actually for our benefit, that He would own us, that we would offer up in sacrifice an aspect of our life which He wants us to yield. That brings us to a better place in ourselves and in our lives.

    Spiritual warfare can involve worshiping Him for His greatness and His power and His intentions for Oxford. Sometimes to do something in an act of worship will bring personal breakthrough, lifting our hands in church, bowing before God, even giving money to God's work in an act of obedience and worship will break powers that bind us to fear of poverty.

    I encourage you to enter into the service with your whole heart and give Him the worship He deserves and is His right.

    Have a very Blessed week
    Pastor Maurice Atkinson

  • Preparing the Garden

    The last week has been a pleasant change from winter weather. I guess like us most of you have been in the garden preparing for the growing season. The church lawns are growing over and all evidences of mud holes are disappearing. For the first time we are not going to have mud, sand, stones etc tracked into the church and ground into the carpet.

    As I am writing this, some doomsday prophets are awaiting the September 28th earthquake and Tsunami which was supposed to wipe out Kaiapoi and Nth Christchurch. As you are reading this then it obviously never happened as predicted. How do we judge such predictions? Would God ever give warning of such an event? Would He judge a city for their sin like he judged Sodom and Gomorrah?

    Firstly when does God judge cities or countries, in my humble opinion in scripture the judgment of God fell on cities or populations when they began to obstruct God's sovereign purposes. For example the tower of Babel, people conspired in an occult agreement to unite the earth against the Lord. Noah's flood, angels or demons had interbred with Adam's seed to corrupt the Messianic line. Egypt in trying to destroy Israel and refusing to release them to worship the Lord. Nations who attacked Israel. Israel, when they became so corrupted with idols and demon worship. God had Babylon invade and take them captive back to Iraq where they found their faith again and converted Nebuchadnezzar the King before God returned them to rebuild Jerusalem. The list goes on if you get the picture. I wonder also that a judgment came on the Jews through the Nazi's in World War 2 when they refused for nearly 100 years to return to the land when the Zionists were calling for the return. God's sovereign end time purposes needed them to be a nation once again.

    So where does Christchurch feature in all this? We are not directly involved as a city in the sovereign purposes of God that I can see. I know of churches in Christchurch who resisted a move of the Holy Spirit and consequently today they either have closed or hardly exist. In one sense you could call that consequences rather than judgment. I have been a church leader long enough to witness consequences in peoples lives, both good and bad. I have seen people walk away from God's call on their lives and lose everything that He gave them. That is the saddest thing of all. If God was judging the world like He judged Israel then He would be totally occupied with floods and earthquakes such is the corruption of the human race. However we do need to judge predictions because God can and does warn about coming disasters. I have read of a number of accounts and lives were saved. However in those cases He gave the warning through nationally recognized figures, not through some little group of slightly weird people.

    So some people think God is a cosmic sadist, just itching to give us our just deserts and others think He is a divine Santa / marshmallow God who wouldn't hurt a fly. Jesus taught that people who would not forgive those who wronged them would be handed over to the torturers or tormentors. In Matthew 25 He taught about consequences where believers disobeyed Him, were unfaithful to Him, they would lose rewards, be shut out of His presence, suffer in darkness. If they treated other believers badly then they would risk hell fire. I believe God holds us all responsible for our fellow believers, if we see people are in serious trouble in their faith and say nothing then we are worse than them.

    We are engaged in the most serious business of life, we are Christ's ambassadors, His representatives in Oxford. We need to watch over our church and our souls in reverent fear. I do not believe God will judge us with natural disasters. I do believe He will warn us if we listen. I do believe He will let us suffer the consequences of our sin if we do not repent. I do believe He holds us accountable to warn others on the path to destruction.

    I also have great faith in God's loving kindness and His ability to rescue us from our stupidity and weakness, like a good shepherd, He knows His sheep.

    Have a great week, stay dry and steady

    Blessings
    Pastor Maurice

Pastors Comment