This is the latest blurb that is published on the front of our weekly bulletin

Genuine Peace

No matter where you turn, it’s hard to avoid the reality that our world is far from peace.

We hear lots about Ukraine and Gaza, but we know that these are just two hotspots around our planet where fighting is a daily occurrence, and where fear is a part of life.

Even in the relative safety of Australia, we know what violent conflict can be like, and sadly, it often happens in the secrecy of homes.

Yet, there is a peace that cannot be provided by the world, even when wars and conflicts cease.

For, we all need peace with God, and nobody is able to bring about that peace by themselves.

In the absence of that peace, we try to fill our lives will all sorts of solutions, and in the end, they will only fail.

For, Jesus said:

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27)

Jesus knows that the world is not able to give genuine peace of mind and heart, and so he offers the real deal.

He promised to his disciples that he would give them the gift of the Holy Spirit, who would bring them peace that would free them from trouble and fear.

Today, we who know Jesus now have this gift, and this frees us up from trying to find peace in the wrong places.

As we await the return of Jesus, we know we will still experience difficulties—but we will know the true, deep peace of mind and heart.

Wars and conflicts will continue until Jesus returns, but for those who trust in him now, we enjoy a deep peace that gives us true hope for eternity, no matter what happens.


Surprised By Prayer

Each year our Parish Council gives prayerful consideration to our needs and opportunities as it sets the budget for the coming year, setting the target for giving necessary for our expenses.

This year we decided to increase our target by only enough to cover increases in costs from inflation, but in January we realised that we were really struggling to meet this amount.

So, we prayed that God would supply our needs.

We know that the Lord is intimately involved with every aspect of life, so we asked him to provide for our church so we could keep telling each person in the village, valley and region how to follow Jesus and why it matters.

Then, after weeks of prayer, our Parish Council asked each of us to consider an increase in our regular giving, or even the possibility of a special, one-off gift that could pay back our hall renovation loan, and reduce the repayments by $325 a week.

We prayed… and the Lord answered!

Giving has increased by at least $350 a week… and we’ve received a gift of $25,000 to cancel the loan and its repayments!

I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was… because even though I knew that the Lord hears and answers our prayers, I was blown away by the wonderful way he has done this for us.

Yet, the greatest blessing has not been an increase in our giving, it’s been an increase in our faith!

I can personally vouch for how much this trial has lead me to depend more on God, and to delight in asking him boldly for the big things and the little things… so that he will receive the glory.

What a wonderful surprise to see afresh the kindness of God!


Power in Weakness

It’s amazing how many gyms have opened up in our region, each trying to attract new customers with discount fees and the latest equipment.

For some people, it’s the lure of ‘me time’ on the cardio machines, running fast on a treadmill to nowhere.

For others, it’s the promise of building strength, knowing that resistance training grows muscle, which overcomes one of our greatest enemies: weakness.

Nobody wants to be weak, because this means you’re subject to the strength of others, unable to independently manage your life.

But what if the way to strength was through weakness?

The Apostle Paul had many spiritual things to boast about, but he chose to boast only about his weaknesses.

He knew that something had happened that stopped him from boasting, and so he pleaded with Jesus three times to remove this painful thing, yet:

Each time [Jesus] said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

What was true for the Apostle Paul is also true for us today: the power of Jesus works best in weakness.

When we go through painful moments of weakness, we can trust that the Lord is working through them for our good and for his glory.

Power in weakness is the opposite to what we’d expect in life, but it’s exactly what happened at the cross of Christ, as the greatest battle was fought when our Lord was at his weakest.

Jesus showed his power in weakness… and so we should expect that of our life, too.


School’s In For Scripture

One of the great things about School Scripture is that it gives the best of both worlds to parents and carers who wish their children to have a public education, along with instruction about the faith of their family.

Now more than ever, there is some discomfort in having ‘God’ in our government schools, but the long-standing arrangement of ‘SRE’ (Special Religious Education) means that we can maintain the ‘firewall’ between church and state, whilst ensuring that students still learn about religion.

In our school at Jamberoo Public, we’ve got a team from our church of six, qualified and accredited teachers, who help the students learn more about the faith that’s been nominated at their enrolment, and using fun-filled, educationally-designed programs, we help kids know more about Christ, whether or not the household is currently active in practicing religion.

Alternatively, students can choose to be taught by the Roman Catholic church, or by a group that provides Special Ethics in Education (‘SEE’), for parents who wish their children to learn a worldview that is separate from a belief in God.

This arrangement means that students can attend a state school, whilst also receiving teaching about religion that is consistent with their household’s heritage and worldview.

Our teachers follow an authorised curriculum which has been developed over decades to utilise current research on how students learn and think, so that they might better-understand biblical principles, and then build upon them to develop values that underpin everyday life.

Our curriculum is publicly available at and provides a great overview of what we hope to teach our kindy, infants and primary students… and there’s an accompanying curriculum for High School students called 

Please pray for our teachers as we start again this Thursday—and ask that God would use SRE to help our students know more about how to follow Jesus and why it matters.


The Spirit Of Christ

If we want to discover the spirit of a country, then we need simply explore how it reacts to a major event, such as a natural disaster, a financial crisis, or a painful war.

Likewise, we can uncover the spirit of a person by seeing how they endure a crisis, watching how they display their true colours as they instinctively react to difficult and painful events.

For this reason, the night before Jesus’ death gives us a remarkable and candid insight into the spirit of Christ, as we see what was at his heart as he approached his crucifixion.

What he said and did on his final night was a powerful and intimate display of his spirit.

We saw this in how he acted to humbly serve his disciples, and how he then dedicated himself to caring for them and their grief, even as he approached unimaginable suffering of his own.

Yet, the most significant event of that darkest night was when Jesus spoke of how the Father would send the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit, upon his disciples:

“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.” (John 14:16-17)

Jesus revealed his spirit in more ways than one: he showed what was at his heart, but more than that, he revealed what life would be like when his Holy Spirit was poured out on them bringing comfort, assurance, and an empowerment to boldly proclaim the gospel.

Over the next two months we’re looking at John chapters 13 to 16, and as we witness Jesus’ reaction to his coming death, we’ll also see the blessing of receiving his promised Holy Spirit.


Integrating Enquirers

If you’ve ever visited our church you’ll know that we love to include and integrate enquirers into every aspect of our church.

So, if someone wants to come and check out Jesus, then our everyday church is the perfect place to drop in and see what we’re on about.

This is also true of our home groups, as we love to have people along who might prefer the relaxed nature of meeting with a few others to talk about what Jesus has said and the real difference he makes in our lives.

Some people think that it’s too tricky to run a group that helps mature Christians grow stronger, whilst also being a place that helps visitors learn about the basics of what Christians believe.

But, the thing about the Bible is that as it helps us understand more about who God is and who we are, it ends up being a message that is for everyone, no matter what their place on their journey of faith.

This is what we see in the Apostle Paul’s second letter to his colleague Timothy, where he says:

“But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:14-15)

The same things that enquirers are taught as they come to know Jesus for the first time are the same things that long-term followers of Jesus need to keep hearing and believing.

Which is why it makes so much sense to be integrating new believers into the everyday life of our church… so you’re very welcome, no matter where you are on your journey to know Jesus!


No place like home

When you ask someone to share a coffee or a meal, then the next question is often, “which cafe should we go to?”

These days we tend to ‘eat out’ much more than we invite people to our homes, which is a sign of our increased wealth and our changing lifestyle.

Yet, there is something very special about enjoying food and fellowship with someone in your home, as you get to share an intimacy and vulnerability that comes from letting others see what your life is really like, and vice versa.

The Old Testament people of God knew about the intensity of the fellowship of a meal, and that’s why they were forbidden from sharing a meal with a non-Jew; it was such a powerful moment of fellowship that dining with an unclean person could make someone unholy.

This is what made Jesus’ behaviour so controversial, for he invited, “disreputable sinners,” to eat with him in homes, which lead the teachers of religious law to ask his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” (Matthew 9:11) 

This is why that contemporary experts in evangelism encourage Christians to use meals as a platform to help people know how good it is to follow Jesus, especially now that we live in such a ‘post Christian’ world.

That’s why our small group leaders are now discussing whether it’s possible to turn our ‘growth groups’ into ‘home groups,’ so that we might start our times of Bible study and prayer with a meal around someone’s dining table each time.

What better way to help people in our village, valley, and region to know how to follow Jesus and why it matters, than to use our home groups as a hub for relational evangelism?

What do you think: could your growth group work better with a meal in a home?


How To Be Free

One of the most amazing things about being a Christian is that we are saved by God’s free gift of grace, and not by what we’ve done.

But the problem is that this clashes with our performance-based world, in which we love to reward achievement and success.

We love to be able to point to our wins and, ultimately, to justify ourselves by all the good things we’ve done.

Yet, if it was possible for us to achieve enough to save ourselves from God’s righteous anger, then Jesus wouldn’t have needed to die for us.

But Jesus had to die because we were helpless: and so that’s why we can only, ever, be saved by free grace—God’s rich mercy.

However it was only a short time after Jesus died that some of his redeemed people felt the need to reintroduce some of the Old Testament laws into the New Testament life.

The most obvious of these were related to the infamous Jewish customs of food laws (not eating with non-Jews) and circumcision (a physical ‘badge’ for men.)

But the Apostle Paul, who was converted to Christ after a life as a zealous Jew, saw that a return to this legalistic past was to deny the riches of the mercy of Jesus, and to instead return to the failed religion of the past.

Some did this because they wanted a clear way to show their own contribution to their faith, as some sort of visible guarantee or tangible achievement.

Yet, to do that was only to return to slavery, even though they had been freed by Jesus.

This is the message at the heart of Paul’s letter to the churches in Galatia, and it’s a timely reminder to embrace the rich mercy of Christ and celebrate true freedom.


Why Reach Globally?

If we are so eager to grow our church in Jamberoo, then why would we bother focusing on reaching people globally?

Well, in one sense, the answer is simple: Jesus tells us to, “go and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19), and so we’re simply doing what he tells us to do.

That’s why we partner with the Church Missionary Society (best known as ‘CMS’) and it’s why several of our church members attend the week-long ‘CMS Summer School’ conference in Katoomba this week.

It’s also why we love to financially support people who have gone out from our local churches to tell people around the world how to follow Jesus and why it matters.

But another thing Jesus told us was that, “it is more blessed to give than to receive,” (Acts 20:35) and it often turns out that churches with a focus on world mission get revved up for sharing the good news of Jesus with their local area.

This is something I personally experience each year when I head up to the Blue Mountains for this conference, for as we pray that the people of the world would know Jesus, it enthuses me to pray the same for the people in our own village, valley and region.

As our heart for world evangelism beats a bit faster, it helps us see the deep need for people to share our certainty for eternity that can be found only in Jesus Christ—no matter where they live on the globe.

Then as we look locally, we see opportunities for relational evangelism, as we seek to be Christ’s ambassadors to the precious people God has placed before us, as he makes his appeal through us..


Find Life This Summer

The summer holidays are generally a good time for some R&R: get-togethers with friends and family, time at the beach, backyard cricket and time off work are just some of the reasons we love summer. 

But the summer break is also a time for a third R: Reflection. 

As we look toward the year ahead, we also reflect on the year that’s been, with all its ups and downs.

We reflect on life’s big questions: what we’re doing with our lives, and who or what we are living for. 

Each summer, thousands of tourists come to the Kiama area for a holiday and together with locals, they pack out the cafes and beaches in town, as well as the surrounding area. 

And each summer, a few dozen Christians from Sydney come to our area to talk to people about Jesus, as part of the ‘Summerlife’ (Kiama Beach Mission) team from the 28th December to the 5th January. 

The goal is to get people to spend time chatting and reflecting on who Jesus is, and what he’s done for them, and we look forward to seeing how the Holy Spirit works amongst these chats. 

For us at Jamberoo, there are two things we can do to support this mission.

Firstly, we can pray for the team as they seek to lead people to Christ through conversations.

Secondly, as the team members encourage contacts to head along to a local church, then you could be the local person who they can connect with.

So, be praying, and also head down to Surf Beach and support the team each day at either 1pm or 6pm.

It would be such a great encouragement to the team to see you, and it would be a terrific way for Jamberoo Anglican to be amongst our community.