HAVE YOU EVER LOST JESUS?

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DEC 18th | WORDS BY PS. CHRIS PRINGLE

Well friends, the Christmas season is upon us again! Oh joy! We're all 'making lists' and tidying cupboards, buying gifts and baking goodies! In all our doing, let's keep our eyes on the one – Jesus – whom Christmas is all about! It’s so easy to miss him in the crowd.

Remember when Joseph and Mary lost Jesus? They went for a whole day without realizing he was gone, and then it took them three days to find him.

We can get so busy as the festive season comes around. Maybe we too can loose Him! Let's decide to keep Jesus close by - in our hearts, attitudes, our generosity of spirit and our relationships!

If you know you have lost Him, if you are off track, can I encourage to do what Joseph and Mary did – retrace your steps.

Sometimes we just have to get a little desperate and it can take some time finding Him. BUT DON'T GIVE UP!

When things cloud our path and we can't see Him anymore, we need to retrace our steps back towards the place we lost Him! Where His love was real. Where His presence was felt. His song loud and clear. At the cross. At an altar. In a 'certain place' on earth - the gate of heaven - God's House.

Eventually Joseph and Mary found Jesus in the temple – in His Father’s house. 

How wonderful! What a revelation! Are you looking for Jesus? You will always find Him in His Father’s house.  He is not too hard to find.

So dear friends, take a moment this season to find your way to the Father's house to worship the Lord of Christmas, the Christ. Maybe rediscover him again. He is the greatest gift of all. Wrapped in swaddling. Free to all.

Where can He be found ? In His Father's house.

Biggest hugs and Christmas love to you all!

 From our family to yours, Pastor Chris xxxx

FIRST LOVE

Words by Ps. Bernie Kelsey

“But you walked away from your first love—why? What’s going on with you, anyway?  

Revelations 2:4-5

 

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Recently I was asked to speak to a group of women and the topic was “First Love”. My preparation for the talk took me to this scripture in Revelations.

“What’s going on with us, when we walk away from our first love?” the writer asks. He doesn’t wait for an answer but goes on to instruct us to return and do the things that we did at first.

 

Well, this got me thinking about when I fell in love with Mark, my husband of thirty four years. I remember one time when we were dating I so wanted to see him that I jumped in a cab after I finished my nursing shift and travelled from Darlinghurst to Dundas (a cab ride that took forty five minutes) just to sit on the front steps of the Kelsey family home with Mark for thirty wonderful minutes. We held hands, chatted and looked deeply into each other’s eyes. Bliss! Sure we could have talked over the phone but just to be near Mark was worth every cent spent on that cab ride: a very expensive cab ride!  OH the things we do for love.

 

Love costs. Love always finds a way. Love doesn’t care what people think. Love is strong.

 

Eugene Peterson says this “Love is the background against which everything else is played out.

‘God so loved the world that he gave’ is our basic text for understanding and interpreting everything that happens in and around us, but enmity is the condition in which (more often than not) we find ourselves. We’re criticized, teased, avoided, attacked, shot at, abandoned, stoned, cursed, hunted down, snubbed, stabbed in the back, treated like a door mat, and dammed with faint praise. Not all of those things, and not all of the time, but enough of them and often enough to realize that not everyone shares God’s excellent attitude toward us.”

Thank goodness we don’t experience all of those things all of the time!

 

What makes our hearts grow distant, cold, callused and just plain indifferent? Well, certainly the criticism, the abandonment, the faint praise, the broken trust will cause our hearts to self protect and go into shut down mode. It’s not that we intentionally walk away from His love; it’s more like we drift. The busyness and everydayness of life, cares and concerns, disappointments and hurts and even Christian service can callous our once soft hearts.  

 

The remedy is this: to simply turn around, return to your first love – make a u-turn back to the greatest love ever. Take the cab ride, pay the fare!  Just like the prodigal son, he turned around and headed home to a place of love, celebration, absolute acceptance and complete restoration.

 

It cost God the Father everything to save us. He sent the most expensive gift we could ever imagine – He gave to us His very own son, Jesus – a love letter from heaven written to you and to me.

  

You are loved. So loved!

 

THE END…. (as my grand-daughter Selah says after her bedtime story)… but really girls it's just the beginning.

 

Blessings,

Bernie

xxxxx

WE HAVE GATHERED

 

Just one week ago over 1000 women from all over gathered together at our Oxford falls campus for our annual women's conference 'The Gathering'.

Under Pastor Chris' colourful leadership, we saw many voices from across the movement rise. "Let me see your face, let me hear your voice. For your voice is soothing and your face is ravishing." was the scripture proclaimed over our women from the invitation to the closing performance by Amy Rose. Together we experienced the unique presence of God that comes when we Gather as women and we heard his intention toward us in this season.

The message was undeniable, whether you heard it through the visuals of the arrows and the teepee, the faces of the 150+ servants of the house, in song and dance, in the food (yes, the cake pops did whisper sweet nothings), the fierce prophetic rapping by Silverwaters' Apina, the gorgeous gifts or in the words of the various voices that were released over the course of the weekend. For some, the call was to find rest in being hidden (not hiding) in Christ (in the teepee?!) to be sharpened, restored and prepared for a magnificent release - for others, the call came to stir us up to rise up and be released like the arrow to hit the mark and dream again and again (because it costs nothing to dream!). Ps. Leanne Matthesius from C3 San Diego sharpened us with prophetic messages, tearing apart every hinderance after reviving times of worship lead by a 3 campus team. The next generation were not excluded from the celebration with beautiful words of Identity and a charge to Dream from Emma Mullings and Natalie Taylor at "Everygirl".

To those that couldn't make it, we missed you... stay tuned for a link to the message Ps Chris shared at conference! For those that were with us, we pray that the messages continue to settle deep in your soul.

Lots of love,

The Everywoman Team

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DEAR FRIENDS

 From Chris Pringle 

Dear Friends,

We are so expectant and believing God to totally revolutionize you and pour love onto YOU this weekend at THE GATHERING .  

Ps Chris Pringle | Senior Minister

Ps Chris Pringle | Senior Minister

Every time we gather - significant messages shape our lives and impart clarity into our busy lives.

Get ready to be outrageously spoilt and blessed, from the time you arrive- to the time you leave! 

"EveryGirl" gathering is looking amazing too! We see our daughters growing strong in God and they also will be spoilt with many treats and ministry times where they will meet with God.

We so value you being here - so pack your bag and come join the PARTY!  We are waiting for you with expectant hearts ! 

Big love and hugs as always,

Chris and our Merry band of 'Everywoman' sisters!

HAVE YOU EVER FELT OVERPOWERED AND OVERWHELMED?

By Ps. Leanne Mathesius

Have you ever felt overpowered and overwhelmed? Have you ever felt intimidated and insecure, like your issues disqualified you from the life God has called you to?  Have you ever felt like your life is a series of obstacles, and you just can't seem to catch your breath?

Ps. Leanne Mathesius, Senior Pastor C3 San Diego.

Ps. Leanne Mathesius, Senior Pastor C3 San Diego.

At this years Everywoman Conference, I am so excited to share with you stories and revelations from  God's Word and from my journey as a pastor, mother and wife where I have seen God move powerfully on my behalf.

In the midst of dark and impossible circumstances, God empowered and encouraged me and showed me I could look forward to the future without fear and with joy and hope.  His Word filled me with courage, wisdom and peace so I could walk through those seasons and look forward to the days ahead with a smile!

The reality is that Life happens to us all. Even as believers we will still have battles to fight and mountains to move.

The Bible says in Psalm 34:19, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous" ...not a fun verse....but the end of that scripture is the victorious redemptive part that we can hang our hat on. The scripture goes on to say, "...but the Lord will deliver us out of them all."  

My hope is that you will be inspired and challenged and have your faith renewed as I share with you the power of how God's words sustained me as I walked through some of my darkest days.  His words are not words of a man that are fallible and unsure but unfailing words of a mighty God and a loving father who is looking for opportunities to "show himself strong on our behalf."  His words are our sure foundation.  Matthew7:25 says, "When the rain falls, the floods come, and the wind blows and slams against the house, it will not fall, for it has been founded on the rock." That rock is the word of God, and it will keep us standing strong when the storms hit.

God has given us His word to light up our life and give us a clear pathway forward. It's God's Word that will hold us up when we feel weary, encourage us when we feel overwhelmed, and instruct us when we need wisdom and strategy.  

At this conference, I am believing that we will awaken again eyes to see and ears to hear how powerful and available the Word of God is and its ability to walk us through anything life throws at us.

I believe that God's overwhelming love will be so present in every session that we will begin to see again no matter what obstacle we face and no matter what mountain blocks our way, that when we stand with God, nothing shall be impossible.

Can't wait to experience this time with you! Come ready, come expectant!

Love Leanne

 

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STRENGTH AND HONOUR ARE HER CLOTHING

   

Deb White shares her heart from Everywoman Solo

Proverbs 31:25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

Deb + sponsor child

Deb + sponsor child

The sound of laughter and music, the chatter of women gathering  (young and old), splashes of traditional batik, plus the fragrance and flavour of Indonesian food is a contrast to the streets that we've walked off.

Ramadan (fasting month for Muslim people) is in full swing and the hourly groaning prayers echo through the streets, into the homes and buildings of Indonesia. There is no escape from the intense repetition of their cries to Allah, as the Muslim men congregate in the mosques hourly before sunrise till the setting of the sun.

However, as we come together in a meeting place called church, the joyous sound of worship brings freedom and a welcomed presence that only God through Jesus can bring to any people group - no matter what language or cultural barrier.

 We gather as women not out of religious obligation, rather out of the strength of relationship, acceptance and inclusion.

Everywoman Solo, central Java, meet for two special woman's events - 2 venues over 2 nights.

Our everywoman team from C3 Monash, ACT gathered a whole lot of beautiful cosmetics, plus gifts to bless our three C3 churches in Central Java. As Snr Pastors Glory, Elmart, Dina and Kim bring their gorgeous women together, we partner with them to raise a profile, to promote strength, beauty, value,  destiny and favour that only a woman can bring when realising her true value in the person of Jesus.

We shared testimonies, stories, prayed together, laughed and cried as we spent quality time with one another.

When I was asked to bring a message on marriage and sex, I thought…‘hmmm’.  I knew there would be challenges with many different cultural beliefs, but I knew that God’s word is relevant to anyone - particularly in the arena of love, sex, marriage, commitment, respect and value.

I knew his Word would help them navigate their way through to healthy relationships. Women gave their hearts to Christ, prayed for their families and some for their Muslim spouses.

The take home value for our team was the strength of connection and the joy of relationships. This brings us together and broadens the vision of what God is doing throughout this nation as we partner, support, empower and grow His church with our C3 church 20/20 vision in sight.

My heart has connected more and more with these beautiful pastors and their teams over the years that Steve and I have been coming to Indonesia. Ps. Joshua and Sannita Winarta are extraordinary people pastoring thriving churches in Jakarta and overseeing the C3 Indonesian churches - supported by Ps Keith and Janet Edwards (C3 Victory, Newcastle) . As often as we can, we'll take teams to strengthen connection and help to partner with the church on the ground, reaching their city with the message of faith, hope and love.

Deb is Senior Minister alongside her husband Steve at C3 Church Monash, ACT, Australia ( www.c3monash.org.au  ). Steve & Deb also oversee C3 ACT & Southern NSW Region & are involved in School of church planting SE Asia. Deb is Mum to 4 great kids (3 of them married to adorable in-laws) & 3 beautiful grandchildren.

 

WHAT WOULD BECOME OF ME?

Written by Tamara McDonald 

 

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Proverbs 27:13 AMP [What, what would have become of me] had I not believed that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!

14 Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for andexpect the Lord.

I have found myself recently waiting on the Lord’s next instruction. In the waiting room I have found certain expectations rise up within me regarding what he might ask of me and all the other uncertain ‘what ifs’.

What if He asks me to live on my own in the middle of Siberia? What if He asks me to slaughter every desire within me in order to see His kingdom come? What if He remains silent to see if I will still believe in Him?

Many of these questions arise to reveal a lie I could believe about His nature and will. In the midst of these false expectations arising, I turned to his infallible Word for assurance and found this verse. “What, what would have become of me had I not believed that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the Land of the living!” What a question! What would become of me?

I know that in the moments that I have allowed these lies (that contradict His good, pleasing and perfect will for my life) to take root - I am at my most vulnerable to sin. Of course I will seek to go my own way if I am expecting his path to lead to an unpleasant end. On the flipside, when I am anticipating all the favour of Heaven over my future – His path for my life to drip in abundance according to His word – then I find myself looking out for all the good works He has set up for me to step into, there is freedom, there is generosity, there is peace, there is hope.

While we don’t always know the plan, we do know the planner and we can trust confidently in all that he is - good, true, wise, holy, faithful, the lover of our souls.

Perhaps the questions to ask ourselves today are -  What will become of me if I believe fearlessly in his good, pleasing and perfect will for my life? What will become of me if I believe that I will taste and see that the Lord is good in my lifetime?

What does that look like for you?

Love, Tamara

 

Tamara is a leader at C3 City Campus, a student at C3 College and part of our EW Blog Team!

 

 

ARE YOU BEING PAMPERED WITH PURPOSE?

By Kirrily Lowe

About 6 years ago I was in the shower thinking about how important it is for us as women to look after ourselves, yet how real the call is to extend our hands and heart beyond ourselves to a broken and hurting world.   

I was trying to reconcile and understand how both of these aspects of being a woman worked together.  So often as women we can get caught in caring for everyone else and neglect ourselves, or we may be so focused on getting ourselves right our ears grow dull to the cries around us.

I understood that to love others properly we had to first learn to love ourselves, and that to minister God’s love to others we had to be able to receive it ourselves.

As I was pondering these thoughts, and thinking about the most effective ways of reaching, blessing and ministering to women, a little phrase jumped into my head “Pampered with Purpose” – we need to learn to be pampered with a purpose to reach and pamper others with the love of God.

Sensing that this was a heavenly thought I ran with it – and with the help of the most incredible team ever – the women of C3 City Campus we launched Pampered with Purpose.

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This Saturday we are running Pampered with Purpose for the 5th time.  Over 50 volunteers from the community + over 50 church members volunteer their time to provide various beauty treatments, entertainment and hospitality to church members, friends, and marginilised women from various organisations in the community.

Pedicures, manicures, facials, hair and makeup are all offered at $20 per service with all the money raised going to fund scholarships for the education of many young women rebuilding their lives in Northern Uganda after the horror of being captured by Joseph Kony.

For those women who are unable to pay for services, the awesome men of City Campus rally to the cause – sponsoring 20 women across our campuses for a full day of pampering.  We have seen hearts melt, and self esteem soar as a result of this.

What I love about this day is that it serves 3 purposes:

This opens hearts in imparts the love of God in a beautiful and unique way.

So, if you are not already coming – come along and be a part of the day this Saturday at C3 City Campus 10am-2pm.

We have a great silent auction running with so many incredible items to bid on – including an amazing painting from our own pastor @philpringle.

There will be entertainment, food and even an appearance from our very own @chrispringle – the EW Africa pioneer.

For more information check out www.pamperedwithpurpose.com.au

Love you girls, see you on the weekend!

Kirrily xx

THE SATISFACTION OF PERSEVERING

Nicola de Vreugd + family

Nicola de Vreugd + family

Nicola de Vreugd | The Hague, the Netherlands

When I was growing up my Mum had a rule: we were only allowed to quit at the end of the year. It applied to everything - violin lessons, swimming lessons, gymnastics, dancing, hockey - whatever we started we knew we were locked in until the end of the season.

While on several dramatic occasions my sisters and I tried to get around Mum’s rule, it taught us one very important skill - one that I now regard as essential for achieving any kind of success - how to persevere when you feel like giving up.

Many years later, I’d just moved to Amsterdam to fulfil a lifetime dream of serving God in Europe. I arrived on cloud nine ready to change the world and got a job as an ‘au pair’ with a good Dutch family in the wealthiest neighbourhood in Amsterdam.  I was very quickly confronted with the ugly truth. ‘Au pair’ is simply an exotic way of saying ‘maid’. I even lived under the kitchen… literally.

The pecking order was the mother, then the father, then the children,

then the cat and then me. There were so many cultural differences to overcome. I wasn’t used to having someone get angry with me and tell me every time I did something wrong. In Holland this is generally considered healthy, open communication! I was miserable. I’d committed to a year but after two months and many tears I honestly didn’t believe I could last any longer.

The only way to survive was to change - to become someone I didn’t think I was.

I was forced to talk to the mother and father about how I felt, which was my first experience of having a difficult, confrontational conversation. Standing tall and positively articulating what I wanted in the face of a strong personality was a totally new approach for me.

As it turns out, this is exactly who I needed to become to do the job God had called me to do. After working through a number of conflicts, the situation improved so much that the 12 months turned into 18 months. When I did leave, I had a good relationship with the family and many great memories. Looking back now I can appreciate how much I learned in that job about Dutch culture and communication - knowledge and skills that proved essential to successfully leading a Dutch team.

Yes, giving up half way brings immediate relief but the satisfaction of persevering and finishing well stays with you for the rest of your life. The truth - which we know but often forget - is that when we persevere, we change and grow stronger, bringing us closer to the dream God has called us to.

As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. James 5:11

 Nicola de Vreugd was the Music Director of C3 Amsterdam for 9 years. She and her husband, Lucas de Vreugd, are now planting a C3 Church in The Hague, the Netherlands.