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  • Pastors comment 24th March 13

    MISSIONS UPDATE
    Hi folks. This is a quick update on the activities of our mission endeavours.
    We have had a change this year in regards to Chris and Sus Donaldson's.
    They have returned from Turkey and have taken up a Pastoral role with the Anglican Church in Havelock.
    As this is a 3/4 time paid position we no longer need to support them. We wish them well.
    Meanwhile Jennie Hamlin in Jakarta is still hard at work developing and distributing the 'Early Reading Programme'. This is going full steam ahead and has some secular help with premises and supply.
    Fortunately each area of the programme is headed by a Christian. Pray for Jennie - in particular for continued improvement with her health. Since her severe head injury a couple of years ago tiredness has been a major issue. Most days 4-5 hours work is her limit.
    Y.W.A.M. Currently we have Ben and Tammy Pfahlert on staff for 2 years at the Montana Base in America.
    Being recently married, plus learning new communication and leadership skills places them with on going challenges.
    Roger and Julie Philpott- our intrepid Bible teachers will be off to Malaysia and East Africa again .
    This will take place about July. They teach the Inductive Bible Study Method to Pastors in various Nations.
    Please remember to keep all these folk before the Lord.
    The Future.
    a) When the time is right we would like this church to help support Jennies local 2nd in command in Jakarta.
    b) Human Trafficking and the Sexual Exploitation of young girls and women.
    I am sure that if any of us had a young daughter or a sister etc kidnapped and sold into slave prostitution we would move heaven and earth to have them set free.
    Through the Baptist Union we have a channel that we can work with to help out in the rescue, protection and healing of some of
    these unfortunate ones. The ultimate aim is to see these women and children empowered to live full and productive lives.
    The Baptists call this endeavour "Freeset". This name comes about by reversing 'set free', which is the whole focus of this Ministry.

    Facts; Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan to name a few countries are rife with trading humans. An example, since 1990 as many as 400,000 Vietnamese woman & children had been trafficked. All part of the $30 billion dollar per year business.
    We can have a hand in setting some of these people 'made in the image of God' free from exploitation.

    Russ Mackay

  • 17th March 2013

    Welcome

    Maurice and Miriam have faithfully returned home from a week's holiday in the Marlborough Sounds. At the time of writing this I hadn't caught up with Miriam, but Maurice said they had a great time with perfect weather in a perfect setting. Not too many fish but lots reading and grandchildren time. Glad you had such a good time but it's good to have you back too.

    Tamar is doing a great job co-ordinating an Easter display for the front entrance of our Church.
    All of our community and children ministries are testing their creative flair as they each take responsibility for a certain aspect of the Easter story. Not that it is meant to be a competition, but just to let you know, some are taking their responsibilities "very seriously indeed". We look forward to seeing the finished article.
    Tamar is asking if there is anyone out there who is well acquainted with the art of window dressing?
    She would welcome some help and support with setting up the final display.

    Youth group is having what may be their last sausage sizzle fundraiser this morning.
    Easter camp is fast approaching and funds are still needed. So if you've come hungry then you know what to do.
    Side door, 11.30'ish, do we have a treat for you!
    Thanks to everyone for your amazing support for this annual event. Please remember to pray for it's success.

    Very soon we will be trying to raise a team of able bodied persons to get all the marquee tents up for Easter. It will be the afternoon of Wednesday 27th of March. We have it pretty well streamlined now on how everything works. We just need a good turn out to make it all so much easier on the leaders. The last thing all the youth camp leaders need is to be worrying about erecting marquee's when they will have so many other things to prepare and organize.

    Bless you all and I hope you have a great week.
    Greg Morris (pastor)

  • March 10th 2013

    Welcome All

    The NZ and Beyond conference begins tomorrow and carries on through Tuesday and Wednesday. It's been running annually in Auckland for some time now at Church Unlimited, West Auckland. Many of you will be familiar with the senior pastor there, Tak Bhana and perhaps also with this year's international guest and key speaker Bayless Conley. (His teachings are broadcast on Christian television here and around the world.) This will be the second year it has been brought to Christchurch, La Vida, which is a huge blessing for many of us who want the extra input in our lives without the hassles or added expense of travel. If you want to attend I'm sure there will still be registrations available online. It would pay to ring first if you are planning on paying at the door. If you would like to attend and want a lift in then give me a call and hopefully we can arrange some car pooling.
    I'd like to give Easter Camp another mention this week. It has always been the big annual event for youth NZ wide to look forward to year after year. Leaders would be just as enthusiastic, but enthusiasm can be somewhat easily dampened by the logistical nightmares that come with having over 4,ooo youth in one spot for 4 days. Bruce and Kimm will be taking around 50 youth to camp this year from Oxford. By far the greater portion of this group is from the community, so please pray for Bruce and Kimm, and their wonderful team of willing leaders and volunteers, and of course the youth. Often you will hear a person's testimony how that it was at a youth camp that they first decided to follow JESUS. And no matter how severely their walk fluctuated in the following years they have gone back to the memory of where GOD touched them so deeply and undeniably in their youth. It is often the "cornerstone" event in their lives where for the first time they had met and decided to follow a God and Saviour who loves them.
    Prayer is always the successful ingredient to seeing GOD move in power. Since the percentage this year is so much higher with youth from the community, it stands to reason that perhaps we are not going to have the same number of parents praying for safety, unity, etc, and above all.....for the softening of young hearts and the Gospel to be received. Please stand in the gap and hold them before The Lord in prayer. Better still, ask Kimm or Bruce who or what they would specifically like you to pray for. We value all your support in this and look forward to another powerful Easter Camp.
    I hope you all have a great week. God bless.
    Greg Morris (pastor)

  • 3rd March 2013

    Welcome all
    Joy and I attended a conference over the weekend in Tauranga called Convergence. It was hosted by Tauranga House of Prayer, YWAM Tauranga and a newly planted local church called Hope Centre. The latter has just been planted by a team from Nelson and pastored by Kristen Williams and his family. Anyone who has been to Easter Camp or any other significant youth events will probably be familiar with Kristen as he has been in demand across the nation as a guest speaker.
    Allen hood was the main speaker at this conference from International House of Prayer, Kansas City. All in all it was a very worthwhile weekend away. Great teaching and The Holy Spirit moved very powerfully. And especially in the evening meetings where time wasn't an issue. The meeting started at 6pm and it was just starting to settle down after 10pm when Joy and I were headed home. I have it on good authority there have been times when they have had to vacate the rented school hall by 11.30pm because of security rules, so they have just carried on in the car park through to the wee hours.

    It was great for us to see how well Adam (our son) has settled into church life there. We were able to stay with Adam and squeeze into his flat with all the others over the weekend. We were introduced to lots of people at the conference and we were able to put a lot of faces to all the names we had been hearing of for the last year or more.

    The Trust has continued to wade through interviews to find three new teachers for the Early Learning Centre. At the time of writing this we had settled on two placements and we were down to our last two contenders for the last available position. In the past we have employed people from interviews and references only. This year we have had people come along for a trial run. This helps both parties immensely to see if we and they fit comfortably together with philosophy and practice.

    Easter Camp is looming closer and all the much needed fundraising is underway. We had four young ones come around on Wednesday evening to earn some funds. Please help out where you can. Often some of the families struggle to send their children to Easter Camp, especially if there is more than one teen per family attending. In the past church members have been faithfully generous and dug deep into their pockets for this wonderful event. This was the one Christian event teens always look forward to every year. God always moves very powerfully during the meetings as young people. Kristan Williams mentioned last weekend at Tauranga how one year at Easter Camp he used a car trailer as a receptacle to take up the offering at the evening meeting. Many young people walked up in tears and lay in the trailer themselves as they gave to God their whole lives as an offering.
    Please pray for our youth and our leaders that they will continue in God's love and grace towards a closer relationship with Him. Any financial or practical help is always gratefully received. Please get in touch with Bruce or Kimm Moore in regards to the latter.

    Blessings and have a great week
    Greg Morris (pastor)

  • 25 March 2012

    Last Sunday, when we opened and rededicated the building, I believe was a milestone in the development of the church in Oxford. We drove a stake into the ground so to speak and declared that this church exists alone for the glory of God and to express His message of love and mercy to Oxford and beyond. It seems such an obvious thing and almost unnecessary but all of these steps are legal and powerful in the spirit realm. Israel when they entered the promised land built a pile of 12 stones, representing the 12 tribes as a memorial and also as a declaration that God had given them the land.

    God promised Oxford to the church many years ago, meaning the church would have a dominant influence in every part of society. Just like Israel, however we have to fight to possess the land. The battle obviously is not physical but spiritual, most of the time I suspect we are fighting against our own smallness and petty religious ideas. We pray, we preach, we witness and the strongholds come down. Let the light shine into the darkness of hearts who do not have the knowledge of God, that all peoples will come to know Him.

    As we have a number of nationalities coming through the church, I have purchased some flags of nations that are the most common in Oxford and they will be displayed in the church. If your country is not represented then please inform me and we will order in your flag. It is intended as a visual focus that the gospel is to go out and not turn in.

    Murray Robertson spoke out of many years of experience last Sunday and warned the church of the possible dangers ahead and also gave some mature insights into the operations of the body of Christ. We have started an important phase in the development of our church, we are seeing community ministries multiply and spread out into Oxford. As never before we are serving the community and have access into peoples lives to bless and serve them. As Murray said at each stage we either change or plateau, God always leads us on to greater dependence on Him. There is always the temptation to say enough, but if we ever do that we will quickly become the church that was here 40 years ago. Churches die spiritually because the people say that's enough, we have a nice church lets just stay here and play families. Maturity in all of us is the realization that it never stops there, we must follow Him where ever He leads. It's not about happy families but rather the Kingdom of God being established in this town. Primarily in us, our families, this church and then we overflow into Oxford and beyond. That is where God is taking us, how I have no idea, the task looks impossible, but with God all things are possible.

    As I wrote this we were awaiting the birth of our third grandchild, but now I can tell you that Melanie had a baby boy around 3am on Thursday morning. Mother & baby are well, and Miriam is in Christchurch being grandma.

    Have a really great week.

    Many Blessings

    Pastor Maurice

  • 18 March 2012

    A very special welcome to everyone this morning and thank you for joining with us to celebrate the official rededication of our Church building to God's Glory. We are expecting a number of past church members to be with us today. For most past members I guess the progress and the changes that have happened of late will be quite staggering if it's been more than a year or two since your last visit. Gone are the days of thread bare carpet, pots and buckets catching dripping roof leaks during rainy day services. Someone even told me they came here on a Saturday to have a look around before they turned up for their first Sunday, and had to guess which door we all might use since the front door seemed to be nailed shut. Yet by the Grace of God Oxford Baptist still grew as people came and experienced the love and healing power of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

    What we celebrate here today is Gods faithfulness towards His people, in particular the Body of Christ in Oxford. And likewise I believe God celebrates our faithfulness and commitment to His work. Many people have given sacrificially into this particular building project with finances, prayer, hands on labour, encouragement, the list goes on. Some of those people have been here for decades, others had just arrived. But our common denominator is our love for Jesus and to see His name lifted high, here, and far and wide.

    I don't know if you've noticed the change, but since we have stepped out in faith to improve our facilities, the place has turned into a hive of activity. The youth hall is booked daily, likewise the lounge, even the auditorium is being booked to take overflow from time to time. It doesn't matter when you drive past; it seems there is always something happening here.

    Murray Robertson, (retired Pastor of 40 of years leading Spreydon Baptist ) has kindly accepted our invitation to come and preach this morning. Murray is an inspirational speaker, and continues to help many church's with growth and development. I'm sure we will be blessed by his time with us this morning.

    I'm off next weekend to lead a Men's Camp for Ashburton Baptist starting Friday night through till Sunday. They were thrilled with last years camp and I'm honoured to receive the return invitation for this year. I found out last week they have also opened it up to other church's to attend so they can build relationships with other Christian men. I'm a little unsure of the dynamic this may produce? Naturally I'll be very grateful for your prayers over this coming weekend, especially for the men to be open and willing for The Holy Spirit to move freely.

    Bless you all and have a great week

    Greg Morris (Pastor)

  • 11 March 2102

    Last weekend Miriam and I were ministering at Liberty Fellowship in Auckland. We were very busy to say the least with meetings morning afternoon and night for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. However we both felt we were able to really touch on some issues from the church's past when they went through a difficult split. It is really rewarding when God does that and a privilege to be part of the solution to bring some healing and restoration. The current Pastors Trent and Sue are a very caring couple who are building a church that demonstrates the supernatural with healings and power. I can see them fulfilling a similar role in Auckland to us down here. We have enjoyed getting to know them and will have them in to speak some time this year.

    We returned to hear that Albert and Nancy have decided to return to Auckland to be near family. We knew when Albert took the job this was a possibility, but now the time has come. They put their house on the market and it sold the same day for an excellent price which they believe God told them to ask. They will be moving out at the end of May. They have both made a very real contribution to the church, Nancy with Kiwi Mums and Albert has been a real rock in the office. Because of his computer skills we have upgraded our systems and weeded out some of the old clunkers. His negotiating skills with the church build and refurbish have been amazing, everyone has worked so well and they all still like each other. They will be with us for another 2 months and we will be advertising the position/s of Office receptionist, Church Manager and Treasurer as soon as we work out what he does.

    We are in house refurbish at the moment, we have had to replace a shower and vanity, like us, getting worn out. I have applied my skills as a wrecker with the axe etc and now we have a very empty ensuite. By next week things should be looking a lot better now that winter is coming on.

    Hope you all have a great week, Greg is giving me a turn at preaching for the next three weeks so I am looking forward to trying out the stage.

    Blessings

    Pastor Maurice

  • 04 March 2012

    This week Miriam and I have travelled to Auckland to speak at Liberty Baptist, we have a very busy weekend with hardly a spare moment. I have packed my jeans and have done my best to fit into the culture.

    Last Saturday we drove up to Blenheim to Pastors Aaron and Wendy Salisbury's farewell as they are leaving to go to Australia. It was a fun weekend and a very anointed time as we prayed for them and sent them out in the Lord's work. It was a long drive up on Saturday and then back on Sunday evening but good to honour them and see them off.

    Last week Oxford was shocked to hear of a murder on one of the Dairy Farms, 2 men have been arrested for the crime as you would have heard on the news. I found myself being called at Blenheim to give the Christian input at a memorial service on Monday. The victim was from a Buddhist background, the service was run by his former boss who did an excellent job. It was a privilege, although I never knew the young man, to give some comfort to those New Zealand friends who held him in high esteem. It highlighted the need for all of us to be witnesses where ever we might find ourselves for we do not know what tomorrow will bring.

    It has been all go at our house since Miriam has decided our en suite is in dire need of refurbishment. Trade me has been getting a thrashing and I have been skilfully removing now obsolete bits and pieces with the help of the axe, hammer, crowbar and a few prayers.

    The various church community groups have started the year well, we are seeing once again the familiar stream of people to and from the church hall.

    I have just received a letter from Michael Sellwood who is completing a DTS at Denver Colorado, it sound like he is doing well but is looking for some sponsors to make a faith investment in his outreach.  He is $1500 short at this stage, if you wish to help then please speak to Marianne Sellwood.

    Just another reminder for the conference coming up in April, we have 77 enrolments at this stage and are expecting at least twice that number. This is a great opportunity, actually having a noted international speaker at Oxford for a conference. This is an opportunity for you to attend at a fraction of the cost if you had to travel elsewhere. We have made a big step of faith in hosting this event, because we believe God is going to do something special in imparting anointing and power to the church to impact the district. It is not just limited to Oxford Baptist, if you have friends at other churches or in other towns then please invite them.

    Hopefully you would have noticed the mosaic in the entrance of the church, an explanation is on the wall. The fish is an ancient Christian symbol, it was used as a secret greeting between believers and it speaks of Jesus as the one true God. The work which was quite painstaking was completed by Glen Ellison-Jones who donated his time free to the church. Thank you Glen, we so appreciate your generosity, the mosaic will always speak of whom the Church is about.

    Have a very blessed week

    Blessings

    Pastor Maurice

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