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  • 24th Feb 2013

    Welcome all
    I trust you're all making the most of what has turned out to be one of our warmest summers for a long while. Although on the other hand, I'm sure there is more than just a few of us praying for a good rain fall to come soon.

    Students for YWAM have been arriving over the last few days for the latest Father Heart school and the AW80 (around the world in 80 days) school. If you are one of those students and are here this morning we welcome you to Oxford. It is a great place to be and to experience the new thing God is doing in your life. We hope you really enjoy your stay here and have time to connect with some of the locals.

    While on the subject of YWAM our oldest daughter Tara started her YWAM discipleship school in Perth in the first week of January this year. At first they were in a house with no air conditioning. For the next few weeks the temperatures were in the 30's at night time. So hot that all the girls soaked their top sheet in a tub of water to help keep them cool enough to drop off to sleep. Then someone had the bright idea to sleep with hot water bottles that had been filled with cold water and kept in the freezer during the daytime. Things are ok now though as her school have all been moved to the base dorms. Air conditioning has never meant so much to Tara as it does now. Outreach is going to be in Nepal. Seven weeks of which will be in Kathmandu and then they move on to China. So there is quite a swing in temperatures coming up. Joy and I are waiting for the call to send over the heavy duty sleeping bags and winter clothes.

    The Early Learning Centre has been busy with interviewing for two new teachers. In years gone buy we would have had to advertise for months to receive an application or maybe two. Times are changing and we have been thrilled will the number of applicants this year. They have all been so good our problem is making the choice that is right for us. We are trusting in God to help us make that right choice.

    Joy and I are in Tauranga this weekend at a conference held by Tauranga House of Prayer. The guest speaker is Allen Hood, Associate Director of International House of Prayer, Kansas City. We will be staying in with our son Adam and his flat mates. Bit of a squeeze but should be a very worthwhile conference.

    Have a great week
    Greg Morris (pastor)

  • Pastors comment February 17th

    Last week Miriam and I travelled up to Kumeu Baptist just on the outskirts of Auckland, to attend Sam and
    Rachel Shuurman being inducted as Pastors. Sam asked me to preach at the ceremony which was a great
    honour. I pointed out that he was our first Carey College graduate and in fact our first Sunday School and Youth group graduate into the Pastorate. Sam is the youngest Senior Pastor in the Union having 3 staff who are older than him. He finished at the college as the head student so obviously has leadership ability. His young brother
    Joel was also there sporting a beard and looking very eligible fresh out of the army.

    We were staying with Pastor Murray Cottle who had asked us to minister at his church, Westgate Baptist in Auckland on the Sunday. I spoke in the morning and Miriam worked with me on a workshop in the evening. It was a very enjoyable time and we were very challenged by the great work being done by other churches.

    We returned home on the Monday morning and called to see our grandson Bjorn who had been in hospital with a bowel blockage. He was back to his old self, jumping around full of fun, so that was a relief.

    Before returning home we took the opportunity to see the film "Les Miserables", we thoroughly recommend it as a story full of gospel truth, a tale of redemption and human frailty. We were both quite moved as the familiar tale unfolded and in fact sat in the empty theatre for some time after the film had finished before we left.

    At the present time we are planning for Easter and hope to do something creative with our foyer this year.
    Perhaps something that the town can see at night and receive the Easter story in a very creative way.

    We are enjoying the grandparent thing, now that Gracie (3) has learned to dial our number anything can happen. Last week she rang in the morning and shouted to me "love the Lord with all your heart", it was her memory verse apparently. As I talked with her mother I could hear her in the background chanting it out. "Such fun" never a dull moment.
    Well have a great week and see the movie if you have a chance.
    Blessings Pastor Maurice

  • Tenth Feb 2013

    PASTORS COMMENT

         Last Monday our day was off to an interesting start to say the least. Our Grandson Bjorn who is coming up to 2 years old was ill with a stomach bug, which is not unusual for little children. As the day progressed he continued not being able to hold food or water and finally after passing some blood was taken into the 24 hour medical service.

    Eight hours later they decided he should be admitted to hospital where they found a valve in his small intestine was basically stuck. After several attempts to free things up they finally operated that night and repaired the problem. We had a day of praying, supporting parents, helping them deal with a little boy in pain who could not yet speak to communicate clearly, it was quite a trial. Many thanks to those who prayed and supported us.

    On Tuesday he was discharged with everything working again, complete with pictures of his insides.

    We are believing it will help shift them all closer to the Lord.

         Miriam and I are finding this is quite an intense season of prayer for the church, we feel new things are coming and God is bringing all into order. The worship team has pulled together in a new way and enjoyed some profitable sessions with James Ensors group on Sunday night and afternoon, at the time of writing they were planning a further session on Thursday night with the intercessors.

         Miriam and I are in Auckland at the moment we preached yesterday at the induction of Sam Schuurman into Pastoring Kumeu Baptist Church. Sam attended Oxford Baptist with his parents and siblings, he was in the church for about 10 years before he joined the NZRAF and finally Carey College to be our first Baptist College graduate. Pray for Sam as he and his wife embark on a new and very challenging career.

         I know you will enjoy the first full service of the year with Greg at the helm, lets us believe together that this year will be the most fruitful year we have ever seen in this church.

         Have a great week

         Blessings Pastor Maurice

  • 26 February 2012

    This weekend Miriam and I have travelled up to Blenheim to attend Pastor Aaron and Wendy Salisbury's farewell as they are traveling back to Africa. I have worked with them a number of times over the years and we have formed quite a friendship. We will be representing a group of ministers who have worked with them.

    Sometimes things happen which you could argue were just a "coincidence", I remember a TV show called "Ripley's Believe It or Not" and another called "Strange but True". They would examine weird and wonderful happenings and you chose to believe it or not. As most of you realize who closely follow this column, we are planning to rededicate the church on the 18th of March. The reason being because God showed us that the original building had been dedicated to a persons personal controlling ambition. We were to destroy the foundation stone and start again with a re dedication of the work to God's Glory. We only discovered this because He spoke through our prayer meeting that there was a problem with the foundation stone and we investigated old records at the Christchurch Library.

    Now the point is, just when the old Building is now gone and we are about to start afresh, the Nth Canterbury News have just printed an article which includes the old photo of Mrs L Waterman in 1920, laying the foundation stone in question, for the Baptist church. Also the minister in charge in the 1920s was a Pastor L Robertson who resisted this woman's attempt to control the church.

    By another "coincidence" we have invited Pastor Murray Robertson to rededicate the new building. At the very least I have to say this is rather odd, in the last 30 years I have been here we have never had a picture of the Baptist church printed, let alone that one at this time. I think it is just God's way of showing us we are on the right track and is underlining our actions.

    Consecration is a spiritual principal, when you dedicate a person, object or building to God you invoke spiritual power. That works for the occult if you dedicate something for evil, as well as in Christianity when the dedication is to the Lord God. I understand that well, I have seen it work in my own life and the lives of others. Water Baptism is a consecration, God cannot work in your life with complete freedom unless you have come to that place of consecration, He has your consent and you have yielded yourself to His will. This is very powerful, people who have dabbled in the dark arts have to renounce permission and be prayed for to break curses over themselves.

    We intend this re dedication to be a very powerful time, we need all members to come and agree with what we are doing on the 18th March.

    Have a blessed week and also welcome to the new YWAM school

    Blessings

    Pastor Maurice Atkinson

  • 12 February 2012

    I sat in on the first Community Ministries meeting Thursday and I was so encouraged with the positive attitudes in the leaders. There was an expectation of God moving in the town this year and a desire to present the gospel where ever possible. A comment was made that if you stand outside the church and look in, what we are doing in the Community is quite remarkable. We are serving the Community of Oxford in so many ways. We have a generation of Children and Young People coming through our groups, all are being exposed to the message of Christ and many of their parents are hearing as well.

    Even the recent additions and alterations to our building have been a testimony to the fact that the Gospel is alive and well and the church is still viable and alive.

    I have always enjoyed witnessing to people, when I was in secular work I had many opportunities because of the contact with unsaved people. I could write a book on the many rewarding experiences I had with people which far outweighed the occasional embarrassing one. As I progressed I became more discerning in whom to speak too and when to keep silent. Do not cast your pearls before swine comes to mind.

    As a Pastor I do not have the same opportunities as I deal mainly with Christians. My main contact with the town is at the Golf Club where I have had the occasional inquiry about the church or about my faith. Under the jokes and humour some people are really searching, if you are no different from the rest in conduct and standards, then they will despise you, it is almost like you have betrayed them by being a hypocrite. Jesus told us we are the light of the world and do not hide your light under a basket or under your fears and or bad character etc.

    My advise is in your heart be willing to say something to people who in some way open their heart to you. Just talk about your own experiences at the level they are at and see if they ask more questions. If they do, just continue on, if not just let it go. If they are interested they will come back to you some time later.

    I do believe we are going to find it easier to win people this year, the Holy Spirit is the great communicator, you don't have to concern yourself with persuasive arguments, just be yourself and care for those who are lost around you.

    Have a very blessed week and prepare for a fruitful year.

    Blessings

    Pastor Maurice

  • 19 February 2012

    On Sunday the 18th March we will be officially opening the new church. We have invited Murray Robertson to come out and speak and he holds an official position in the New Zealand Union.

    We feel it is very important to take this step, if you recall the last dedication stone just had on it ....... "This Stone was laid by Mrs L Waterman 20th April 1920"........ and in the prayer meeting the Lord let us to check on the church history to find this person was behind a serious rift which divided the church from 1924 to 1928. God showed us in prayer, confirmed by the Elders, that we should destroy the stone and relay a foundation in Christ. Strangely the same night we did this, we sold all of the old pews. It was as though God was clearing the decks for a new start in a new building.

    We will not be laying a new foundation stone but we have set into the tiles in the foyer the early church symbol of the fish. The Greek letters contained within the drawing is the Greek word for fish, it is an acrostic meaning Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour. We will rededicate the buildings to be used for "The Glory of God in Oxford and Beyond" by publicly praying in agreement together. For that reason we want every member and person who attends regularly to be there in agreement with one another.

    A couple of weeks ago I prophesied a word in church that this year was to be the year of the Spirit and God was going to move in the Supernatural and we would see things we had not seen before etc. I was speaking with Tamar Hylands, she and her leaders have been moving the children in that direction. She felt God spoke to her in December last that 2012 would be a year of the Supernatural. They are seeing God answer prayer in the area of healing with the children. The Children's leaders feel God is going to use the children in some way to pray for the sick. I just want to stay sensitive to God and do whatever He requires of us, I do believe we are going to see an increase of God's power in all meetings of the church. So let's look forward to an exciting and fruitful year.

    I am assuming by the time you read this the foyer will be finished, Glenn has finished the design and is just looking for the opportunity to install it. The choice of symbol is unusual but it is full of rich meaning and truth. The Early church used it as a means of determining if a person they met was a Christian. You drew one side of the fish in the dust, if the person completed it then they were a brother or sister in the Lord. As explained above, it means Jesus Christ Son of God, Saviour, and says we are all "Fishers of Men".

    It is so exciting to be part of a vision God has given for this town, I look forward to seeing peoples lives changed and healed. That is really what it is all about, the works of the Kingdom of God glorifying Jesus Christ and lifting His name high in Oxford.

    Have a very blessed week

    Blessings

    Pastor Maurice

Pastors Comment