Energizer Nights: Church Done Differently

Last Sunday night was the start of something significant.

I’ve been in church basically every Sunday for the last twenty or so years. I’ve seen a lot of great things and been a part of some special moments and for me, this first Energizer Night was truly a standout occasion. The tangible feeling of God’s presence, the sense of freedom from the Holy Spirit, the collective anticipation of a group of people truly expecting God to move: the atmosphere in the room was rare and electric.

Some of the most exciting moments of the night included a killer rap delivered by young Caleb Walker, while Eugene and some of the youth boys owned the stage in a dance performance. Ps. Layla Nahavandi is a talented young preacher, all the way from Adelaide and she challenged and inspired with a word that was perfect for our season. Church is always better with food and food we had in abundance, with a spit roast and BBQ going on before the service. The Energizer Youth kids fresh back from youth camp brought heaps of energy and the rest of the congregation really lifted to meet it. Of course, the most significant part of the night was the ministry time, especially for one young man who gave his heart to Jesus and changed his life forever. In a myriad of ways, this service represented us doing things differently.

This new service has taken a lot of planning, resources, leadership and prayer to get off the ground. More than just being the culmination of a lot of work, this service represents a huge step forward into God’s audacious, unlimited plan for our church. It means room to grow, increased capacity to reach the lost, new opportunities for our people to step up and grow and a whole new forum for us to collectively seek (and find) the heart of God. It’s the beginning of a new era.

Standing in worship last Sunday night, I was refreshed by a sense of God’s closeness and inspired by a glimpse of what’s to come for our church and our city. God is on the move, and his plans to find his people, always precede our desire to find him.

Let’s not sit on the sidelines while others chase the heart of God. Let’s not wait and see if God wants to move in the lives of our friends, our families, our colleagues, our neighbours. Let’s jump in heart and soul; let’s pray with passion and tenacity; let’s dream again; let’s believe again; let’s own the new era of The Church!

– Simon Grubb


A Note From Dave

One verse I’ve always loved is this one in Joel, which is powerfully proclaims again by Peter in Acts, as he speaks prophetically into a new era: the era of the church.

“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.”

Joel 2:28 (NIV)

When His spirit is poured out, we see! The spirit removes the fog; the spirit will enable your vision not to be clouded by your present circumstances, or distorted by past experience.

When we’re a son or a daughter, you see!

Being a son or daughter, in a spiritual sense, is not about our age, where, when or even who you are born; it’s about the fact that you are born of the Spirit, a rebirth that allows you to see beyond physical circumstances and limitations.

It’s a son and daughter spirit that speaks life into the future and lives with a prophetic edge. As we embrace a new era, let’s foster that son and daughter spirit. We know where we come from and where our words of life originate.

Last Sunday’s launch of our new night service was amazing; well done everyone! God is definitely doing a new thing among us and I believe we’ve only seen the beginning .

A son and daughter spirit is free and works, not from a sense of obligation, but from a place of ownership.

Together, let’s own what’s happening at the moment! You are vital!

On that note, let’s make prayer happen in a big way for all our services. I believe the atmosphere in our prayer meeting was a big factor in the success of Sunday night.

See you Sunday!

Ps. Dave

A New Era: Energizer Nights Have Arrived!

A note from Ps. Dave:

Often when I’m looking for something around the house, I will complain about not being able to see it, only to be asked by Alix “are you having a ‘Man Look’?”.
The ‘Man Look’ is a tongue-in-cheek way of describing the act of looking, but not seeing. Many of us suffer from ‘Man Eyes’;  I’m sure there are some other blokes who will sympathise with my affliction. Just as with these little domestic challenges that many of us face when trying locate something we need, it’s easy to look without seeing when it comes to what God is doing.

“But forget all that—
 it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun!
Do you not see it?”
Isaiah 43:18-19 (NLT)

The extent of our vision is determined by where we stand, or our location. Our vision is always filtered or framed by what we are looking through, sunglasses, glasses cameras, binoculars and windows all frame our vision.
God is doing a new thing! He is leading us into a new era. Let’s make sure we stand in a place where we can see, stand on his promises, his faithfulness and his unchanging character, whilst making sure our past experience and current circumstances don’t distort or filter us from what God has begun.

Let’s have a ‘God Look’ rather than the old ‘Man Look’ at what God has begun in us as we walk into an exciting new era. Our new night service is one of those new things in a new era at Energizer Church. Let’s keep praying standing together with expectation; let’s be present, engaged and aware of what God is doing.

I’m believing for salvations, healing and a new freedom across this weekend at Youth Camp and our three services, as we embrace a new era! We can’t wait to hear from Ps. Layla Nahavandi at both our Hobart services, and our Derwent Valley 10am service via live link for the very first time. Don’t forget, we also have a spit roast and BBQ from 4.30pm for the night service; what a great week to invite friends to church!

See you there,
Ps. Dave

Get Pumped, Energizer Nights are Coming

Our vision is bigger and bolder than ever before. This year, our Kingdom Foundation Vision is propelling us into a new era, bring some exciting developments to Energizer Church. As you know, our Kingdom Foundation Offering enables us to build the kingdom of God, both globally and locally. In light of that, this month’s focus is to set up our night service to run sustainably and to effectively reach more people with the Gospel in Hobart.

The month of October has arrived and we all know what that means: spring is moving towards summer; football is being replaced with cricket, the final school term is almost upon us and at Energizer Church we are launching our New Night Service! On October 9 we invite you join us for the launch of Energizer Nights. There will be a spit roast and BBQ from 4:45pm, before the service kicks off. We are excited to hear from our guest speaker, Layla Nahavandi from Lifepoint Church, Adelaide.

One of the ways you can be part of stepping into this new era is to contribute financially. Your generosity will enable the provision of a bus services from the university, outreach opportunities linked to our new night service and our re-launched Derwent Valley morning service and equipment to enable us to live stream our services and to upgrade our Derwent Valley campus auditorium, ensuring our Derwent Service goes from strength to strength in a season of transition.

If you are able to give toward our goal of $10,000, you can do so by direct deposit to the Energizer Missions Account.

BSB: 037-014

Account: 278109

In the reference note ‘New Service’. We’ll keep you updated as to the progress.

Your partnership will see God’s Kingdom advance in our city. Thank you for being such a generous church!

God Bless,

Ps. Dan Pastoor.
Service Pastoor, Energizer Nights

You’re Not the Boss of Me: Mental Health Lessons in the Psalms

Last week was World Suicide Prevention Week, so I’m a little behind the times, but better late than never, right? Anyway, in the wake of RUOK? Day and all the great awareness campaigns that champion good mental health habits, I’ve been thinking about my own mental health and the part that faith plays for me in maintaining it. I have been suffering, on and off, but mostly on, with depression and anxiety for the best part of a decade now and in that time, I have seen the public dialogue around mental health open up significantly, which is awesome, I never would’ve been brave enough to write this five years ago, but thank to the people who were brave back then, I am now!

Ironically, the hardest times for me to draw near to god are the times I am gripped by anxiety or depression: the times I need to most! Nothing sends me into a spiral like uncertainty! I’m learning though, that the more certain I am of God, the more uncertain everything else becomes. I’m learning, very slowly it would seem, to let go without becoming paralysed by anxiety.

Just because I am not in control, doesn’t mean I’m out of control. It’s okay, God is in control.

I just read Psalms 42 and 43 (they are a sort of part 1 & 2 of the same psalm) and was encouraged to see some of my own struggles mirrored in the Word. (FYI this post will make more sense to you if you have a read of these psalms too!)

Check out this refrain, which appears three times in the passage:
“Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
For I will yet praise Him,
my saviour and my God.”
Ps. 42:5, 11, 43:5

This refrain is the psalmist mastering his emotions. He’s basically telling his soul to submit to his spirit; although his emotions are intense and they are very real, he will not allow them to be in control. He will not allow them to become his identity. Although they demand that he gives up, he’s hanging onto hope.

This guys is pretty miserable. He writes that his tears have become his food! He has a downcast and disturbed soul; he is in mourning; he feels oppressed, taunted; he is suffering; he feels rejected and forgotten.These psalms are his outlet to be open and honest about what he feels, both to himself and to God. This is just where he’s at.

I think this level of openness is absolutely crucial to maintaining a strong faith through mental health battles. Our psalmist recalls the days before his exile, when he led worship at the Temple (Ps42:4). He looks back on the good times and contrasts them with his current situation (Ps42:1-3). In the end, he concludes that the love of God is unchanging throughout any circumstance (Ps 42:8). It’s vital to the longevity of our faith that we recognise the temporary nature of circumstances, compared to the endless, boundless love of God.

Understanding God’s nature and heart towards him is one of the tools that this psalmist uses to get through his tough time. He acknowledges that God is a trustworthy person to put his hope in and writes of his certainty of salvation (Ps42:5). He dwells on the love of God, which is with him in the dark times, and the rest of the time too (Ps42:8-9). God is his rock, steadfast and immovable, and his stronghold, a safe place to hide (how important is that on a tough day?!) (Ps43:2). God cares for him faithfully and makes His presence readily;y accessible (Ps 43:3).

For the psalmist, knowing God deeply brings hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. He still feels the rawness of what he is going through, but he understands that his circumstances will change; he sees his temporary predicament with an eternal perspective. Even more importantly, he sees it in the light of a faithful and loving God. His certainty is in God, not the moment.

Some days, it honestly doesn’t take much to trigger a spiral into depression for me: the most minor of conflicts; a messy house; being too busy; not being busy enough; it honestly could be anything. In those moments, I’m learning (again, slowly) to be real with God and with my inner circle (and apparently the internet) about what’s going on in my “downcast and disturbed soul”. I’m learning to see it for what it is: a moment. Granted, sometimes there are a lot of those moments in quick succession, or a moment that lasts a week or so, but they are still just moments, and my perspective is eternal. My hope, my joy, my peace, my strength and my purpose are found in an eternal God. So take that, crappy moment!

Like this psalmist, I’ll continue to let my spirit take charge of my emotions. They are real, but they are NOT the boss of me. I’ll continue to declare the goodness of God and draw near to Him, in both the daylight and the dark.

– Jen

A Crash of Christians: 7 Lessons I Learnt From Pastor James McPherson

Last Sunday, we had the privilege of hearing a sermon from James McPherson, senior Pastor of Calvary Christian Church, in Queensland. Each week, we walk away from the sermons at Energizer Church feeling inspired, as Pastor Dave and the entire preaching team build on powerful messages and the Word that God is speaking.I always walk away feeling refreshed and revitalised, and this week I felt that James’ message cut through to us at all at a time of real breakthrough for Energizer Church. With that said, here are 7 key messages that I took away from James’s sermon today:

God speaks into familiarity.
Can you think of a situation in your life where you’ve become really comfortable? Perhaps it’s a career path, a favourite coffee shop, a relationship, a location you live in, or a style of music; whatever it may be, I’m sure you’ll agree there are periods of life when we settle and it feels great! Why? Let’s face it, we humans love the feeling of certainty.

However, God in his infinite wisdom programmed us to enjoy moments of uncertainty too. Take surprises for instance…do you like surprises? Of course, but only the ones you love! The ones you don’t love are often called ‘problems’ or ‘challenges’, which aren’t as nice as the others…

Listening to James’ sermon helped me to become more aware that when familiarity sets in to my life, I mustn’t be surprised if God begins to move and shake everything up! Sure, change is going to be uncomfortable, but I also know that it’s necessary! Let me explain why…

In Genesis 12:1-5 it reads: “The Lord has said to Abraham, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you.; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth Will be blessed through you.’ So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and lot went with him. Abram was 75 years old when he set out from Harran.”

Can you relate to the story of Abram?

Ps. James by touching on these words in Genesis, and the uncertainty that Abram faced setting out on such a remarkable journey. Keep in mind that Abram was 75 years old when God spoke this message into his life, so no matter what age or period of life you’re going through, rest assured that God will call on you; it’s necessary that you embrace it when he does!

Just because you’ve come to Jesus doesn’t mean life is going to be smooth sailing!

Ps. James recounted that when he first came to Jesus, there was a belief that his life was going to be filled with instant certainty. I definitely resonated with this, because I remember what the concept of ‘salvation’ sounded like when I first heard it. It was exciting…the thought of just letting all of the crap in my life go, so that I could be free of it forever!Perhaps, like me, there was a part of you that fell in love with the idea that once you become a Christian, God will take care of you and all fear and pain will subside? Well, how untrue that is and how grateful we must be as a result!

The truth is that becoming (and remaining) a Christian is a always a tough road, and my own journey has only just begun! However, the deeper truth is that because of the power and love that God has for each one of us, there has come a period over the last few months during which I have begun to view my struggles as situations to be truly grateful for.

When I realised that life as a Christian is happening for me and not to me, I began to feel a sense of freedom. I realised that coming to Jesus was the beginning of a new journey, and despite the inevitable challenges I’ll face along the way, it’s much better than feeling completely lost!

“To be certain of God is to be unsure of everything else”. Ps. James then touched on a series of questions in his sermon, three of which are ‘Spiritual’ and three which are ‘Natural’…

The Identity Question: Who am I?
The Meaning and Purpose Question: What am I here to do?
The Life After Death Question: What’s going to happen to me when I pass?

How many times have you asked yourself these questions? I know I have…a LOT. Sometimes we may even get to a point where these 3 questions become overwhelming, So instead, have you ever shot for the natural or ‘earthly’ questions?

Who am I going to live this life with?
How am I going to afford this?
How am I going to get to where I need to be?

We humans “are not designed to live a life with our feet in mid-air”. Instead, it’s crucial for us to have some foundation of certainty and clarity, otherwise we drive ourselves insane with anxiety and worry about everything either side of the present moment.

So how did Ps. James overcome this challenge of uncertainty? He said that when he truly gave his life to Jesus, the three Spiritual questions were finally answered! Phew! Now life began to make sense, and no longer did he avoid asking these seemingly impossible-to-answer questions. For the first time in his life, James was certain – on arguably the deepest level there is!

To be certain of God is to be unsure of everything else, so let’s do ourselves a favour and hand everything else over to God! You never know where it may lead you…

“God is big on command and light on detail”

Let’s go back to the story of Abram in Genesis 12 for a moment…

God asked Abram, at age 75, to leave everything behind and follow him: his house, his belongings, his livelihood…everything! Naturally, if you were Abram in this situation, you might ask the question, “Ok God, but before we head off do you mind if I ask…where are we going?”

How would you feel if this were the answer back from God? “Don’t worry Abram… I’ll tell you when we get there!”

James mentioned that when he began to feel certain in God and the answers to Spiritual questions became clear as a result, his life began to shift dramatically. As a result, instead of having all the answers to the Natural questions as he once did, James had to now be ok with being completely CLUELESS about how he was going to live, who he was going to share the journey with, and where he was going to end up. Scary stuff…

God is big on command and light on detail. What does this mean? As I said before, to be certain of God is to be unsure of everything else, because God will ask you to take leaps of faith and you have to be okay with knowing where you’ll end up. Yes, it’s painful, because our brains love to be in control, but, in essence, don’t you believe this uncertainty is what makes the Christian life so incredibly dynamic?

The most pivotal moments in life are when we let go of control.
Have you ever been faced with a fear or decision that’s lingered for months, even years, and when you finally took action you, broke through and said, “Wow, I feel great! I can’t believe it took me that long to (*fill in the blank*)!”

I’m going to assume that if you had a tough decision that lingered, there was a part of you that got so tired of trying to control the outcome, you finally just let go and let God! Lo and behold, on the other side was a massive shift that most likely resulted in significant growth for you. This is called a BREAKTHROUGH.

Later in his sermon, I loved the way Ps. James explained the importance of doing our due diligence in life. James communicated that we all need to use our brain and think things through, especially if they’re potentially life-changing decisions we need to make. However, there comes a point when you have to relinquish the control of how you’re going to get to the other side. Why? Because when everything is fixed, there’s no room for FAITH!

Is there something in your life you should take action on, without control over the process or outcome? Does it scare you? Good, it probably means it needs to be done, so take a leap of faith and go for it!

Uncertainty increases with leadership.
Matthew 8: 19-20 – “Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, ’Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

This passage from Matthew is an example of Jesus explaining the journey of Christianity. As you progress through your own journey, and as you expand and grow into positions of leadership, it’s important to understand you will be met with compounding levels of uncertainty. The reason for this is that God will ask you to take leaps of faith, and when you follow Jesus, you’re never going to know what to expect as a result. However, what you can be certain of is the depth of appreciation and wisdom you gain along the way.

There’s something incredibly powerful about releasing your former identity and being reborn as Christian. I’m not sure where you are on your journey, but I believe that as long as you continue to lean into the uncertainty of life, then God will use you in a special way. As Bishop T.D Jakes once said, “God will promote you to the level of your tolerance of pain.” So go forth and embrace the uncertainty!

What good thing do you need for eternal life?

Matthew 19: 16-22 – “Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, ‘Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?’
‘Why do you ask me about what is good?’ Jesus replied. ‘There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.’
‘Which ones?’ he enquired.
Jesus replied, You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honour your father and mother, and love your neighbour as you love yourself.’
‘All these I have kept,’ the young man said. ‘What do I still lack?’
Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.”

Wow…the young man seemed to have everything, and all of his Natural questions had been answered! So why did the young man walk away from Jesus feeling sad? Because he couldn’t let go of control…

In his final message, Ps. James shared with us the importance of relinquishing control of what’s in front and behind us. Like a crash of rhinos, which can only see less than 10 metres in front of them, we must all move together with faith. We as a Church will never know what’s ‘out there’ or on its way, but we do know what power is within all of us – and we’re willing to crash through all challenge that lies ahead!

At Energizer Church, I feel there’s more room than ever for God to move. As James mentioned at the end of the sermon, much of what we do looks controlled, but Ps. Dave, Ps. Alix and everyone else are taking leaps of faith in uncertainty, because of the way God is speaking. I may not have been at the church long, but I’m sure it’s the way it’s always been, and always will be!

It’s an oxymoron to have nervous and stressed Christians, and we’re breaking through as a Crash of Christians on a mission to spread the word of God. So Church, let’s continue to Love Local and Love Global!

Thank you again to Pastor James McPherson for your inspiring words of wisdom. It was a truly life-changing morning for me, and I’m sure the rest of the Energizer team feel the same way. All the best and God bless!

Unearthing Buried Treasure: Regos Now Open for IGNITE CAMP!

I’m just sitting in the Hobart bus mall typing this. It’s one of the places I am most inspired. I love thinking about God and being surrounded by people that he loves.

You know, we find ourselves in a position of influence, which flows from our significance in Christ. There is nothing insignificant about your life and who you are. You are unique for a reason and you will reach people that no one else will reach. It is a lie to think that you are just another person, or even just another Christian. God created you and I as individuals within his family, each with a specific plan and purpose for our lives, which only we can fulfil (through Christ). One of the beautiful and completely amazing things about our Father God is that he never makes mistakes, and he never overlooks or devalues one person. Not once. Not ever.

As I sit here, I’m surrounded by a heap of young people. I know most of us have had a bit of trouble filling in our recent census, but in our last one (2011), there were 82 007 people aged 12 to 25 years recorded statewide. This group represented 16.6 per cent of the total population of Tasmania. At this time, the Local Government Area with the highest proportional population of young people aged 12 to 25 was Hobart (19.8 per cent). How incredible! There is something so special about young people.

I don’t think I’ve ever met a group of people so creative, so compassionate, so adventurous, so willing to take risks, so innovative, and often swept up in some kind of relentless chaos or struggle. Much the same as in my own life, I see beauty and glory, but also the rough edges and the effects of sin. I think that’s exactly how it is with buried treasure; it is destined for glory but it needs uncovering. It always takes some work to unearth and restore a treasure to its original purpose.

“I will break down gates of bronze
And cut through bars of iron.
I will give you hidden treasures,
Riches stored in secret places,
So that you may know that I am the Lord,
The God of Israel, who summons you by name.”

The next generation is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered and unlocked.
God has always been passionate about these ones.
Throughout the ages, the uncovering and unlocking has been a team effort.
We have a unique part to play.
We are the ones who dig and uncover as we simultaneously partner with the Master Locksmith who knows the combination to every lock on every treasure chest of every one in this next generation.
Our job is to make a way for God to do what only he can do.

“God says, “Rebuild the road!
Clear away the rocks and stones
So my people can return from captivity.”

Youth ministry is the real deal, and it is the heart of the Father.
Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. When he saves us, it is far from a slight adjustment. It is the complete transference from a place so deathly dark into the Kingdom of pure light. He saw treasure in us and paid a high price to bring us back to our original glory.

As guardians of the next generation (and that is what we are), may we believe that to truly value a person is to expect greatness to burst forth and make room for it. It may be in seed form, or be buried under years of struggle and apparent chaos, but God has placed treasure inside each young person and we one the ones who must expect it and prepare for it.

Potency. If there is one word I might use to describe the next generation, I would probably describe them as POTENT.
What I love about this concept, is that in its very nature, the potent article possesses the preexisting ingredients ready to be brought into existence by an environment or culture which matches perfectly with its needs to grow into what is was always meant to be.

I believe this is the way God has designed us, and this is what we are called to do in youth ministry. We want to facilitate a culture and environment where young people can get to know Jesus and become all they were created to be. We owe this to the teenagers we know and love, and we also owe that same opportunity to the rest of the 20% of Hobart’s population who are young people. We owe it to our Father who sent his only Son to die in our place and the place of the other 80,000 young people in Tasmania. Heaven will be missing its full inheritance if we are the only ones who experience the love of God. We have to pave the way for these generations following.

There are many ways of facilitating this, but our fast approaching youth camp is a practical example of providing the very kind of environment we have been taking about.

IGNITE CAMP is undoubtedly one of our favorite weeks of the whole year. I cannot say how much the experience of camps like this shaped my life for the better when I was a teenager. I went away changed after each camp. Over the years, there are so many people who can tell of what God has done in their lives and the lives of family and friends on a youth camp. What can sometimes take months or years, God can do in a moment at camp.

Ignite Camp continues to be the focus of much prayer and planning from an amazing group of leaders who are passionate about the next generation. We are particularly focused on providing a safe place where teenagers can encounter God for themselves, build friendships, experience a sense of family, and have copious amounts of fun.

As we have chosen to lengthen Ignite Camp to four days this year, we’ve therefore needed to increase registration price to cover costs. Obviously it’s not always easy to come up with money for a camp registration, so we are also looking for some generous souls to sponsor some of our young people to attend.

We don’t want money to stop any young person from coming. We really want to give an opportunity for teenagers to get to know Jesus. Four days without distractions, four days pursuing Jesus together. We’d like to invite you to seize the day and contribute financially to sponsoring teenagers to get to camp. I know there are many young people who will be eternally grateful… quite literally.

This is the perfect opportunity to partner with God and see treasures once hidden, shine forth. Let’s give this generation the opportunity to encounter the one who loves them more than they realize.

– Jemimah Priest

Expect to Encounter

Have you ever heard the saying “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey”?
Well, with respect to motivational posters everywhere, I would like to politely disagree. It is absolutely about the destination.
Let me tell you about a recent journey of ours, and perhaps you will understand where I’m coming from.
It may not have been the longest journey of my life, but it certainly felt like it, in fact, even making it onto the plane felt like the longest journey!

Our story starts in a nursing home in Christchurch, New Zealand, where my husband’s grandfather, who had been incapacitated for about 9 years in hospital, passed away peacefully. Following this, many discussions amongst the Australian branch of the family tree took place and eventually it was decided that we would make the trip to the funeral, which was in three days.

My husband is a travel agent (remember this fact for a later part of the story), so flights were booked quickly and we were all set.
Until the next day – 2 days out from leaving – when we realised that our daughter, three months old, did not have a passport.

There was no way I was ready to leave her behind. But no problem, we decided we could just get some photos done and take her birth certificate the passport office and they could rush through a priority one on compassionate grounds. No problem.

PROBLEM: that was when we realised her birth certificate had never arrived.

No problem, I could just reapply for a birth certificate through the “Service Tas Express Service” and they could send it straight to births, deaths and marriages that day. Excellent.
Until they told me “your daughter’s birth certificate will be ready on Monday.” Flight was Thursday, that comes before Monday!

It turns out that internal mail from the “Express Service” at ST in Hobart to BDM in Rosny takes 3 days (to make a 10 minute trip!). Eventually, I was able to convince an army of bureaucrats that I could speed this process up by simply driving the application there myself. We got the birth certificate that day.

So with 2 days to go, we have photos and the birth certificate and I rock up to the passport office with cautious optimism. However, I had forgotten we needed one of our passports in order to get one for Eleanor. I realised this with 45 minutes to go until the PP office closed.

Enter Katie Swift, hero of the hour, who braved our very large dog, broke into our house, rifled through our wardrobe and drove like the clappers with our passports to the city. She made it in time, so all good. Right?

Wrong. We needed someone to guarantee the photos and Eleanor’s details. I was back on the phone to beg one of Simon’s colleagues to leave work and come and verify that I wasn’t trying to steal a baby. Although why ANYONE would want to take a baby that wasn’t even theirs on a plane is beyond me!

Meanwhile my husband, remember what he does for a living again, informs me that we need to get the passport processed even faster, because he accidentally booked the flight out of the wrong airport!

So the application is in. The passport office is closed. We have done it. NO. The phone rings again, it’s Sandra from the PP office; apparently I have put the wrong date in a page of the form and I have to go back and fix it, she agreed to wait for me, bless you Sandra.

Finally, an hour after the PP office should be closed, Eleanor’s application was complete, but, Sandra informed me “there’s no guarantee it will be processed in time!”

Thanks for nothing, Sandra.

In fact, it was processed in time, and Eleanor’s passport was the fastest passport ever processed by the Hobart office. It was completed just under 2 hours before our flight was supposed to leave. Perfect.

Except for one thing: Eleanor’s passport was TOO NEW! When we arrived, we found that the passport had not yet been loaded into the national database of non-criminals. So we couldn’t check in. No problem, we were told, there must be a way to over-ride.
It became apparent as the flight we were supposed to be on was called, that if there was a way to over-ride, this employee had no idea what it was.

In the end, we checked in for the first leg and prayed that by the time we arrived for the international connection, the passport would be in the database!

Thankfully, it was. Finally, we were able to get on the plane. Eleanor celebrated by screaming all the way to Christchurch and pooping through her cloths twice.

I was pretty excited to touch down in Christchurch. Let me tell you, it was definitely about the destination.

Worship is a journey. Revelation is a destination. Your encounter with God is not over until there is change, breakthrough, transformation.

If you haven’t read it recently, check out Psalm 24. It’s a psalm of ascension: coming into the presence of God. The mountain of the Lord, Mt Zion, was the seat of the first temples, where the priests entered God’s presence on behalf of the people of Israel. The mountain is a Holy place, where David experiences God’s presence, much like Moses did when he climbed Mt Sinai to sit in God’s presence on behalf of the people.

He has made and sustains this incredible world; He has gathered those who seek Him and made a way for us to become His family. He is waiting, expecting an encounter with us! We need to be a church who expect to encounter God in the every day!

So, how do we live expecting to encounter?

Firstly, we need to take authority over the atmosphere.
David began this psalm with a declaration:
“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.”

When we expect to encounter God, we declare that over our lives as well. I remember when I babysat as a teenager, once the kids were in bed, the house, the TV, the snacks, were mine for the next few hours; I could spread my homework out, kick my shoes off, make mess, I didn’t expect the parents home for awhile. So in that time, it didn’t look like the house was theirs and everything in it! BUT, as the time approached when I expected them home, I would tidy up, I would put my stuff away, I would do the dishes, the house would look like it was theirs again. My expectation controlled the atmosphere.

Does your life declare that “the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it?” Are you waiting for Him to walk in at any moment? Are you ready for an encounter?What is controlling your atmosphere? Fear? Pride? Hurt? Or faith? Expectation?
If we want to live life encountering God, let’s take every opportunity to make faith declarations that we are His.

Jesus said in Matthew 28:18 “All authority under heaven and earth has been given to me; GO therefore and make disciples!”
He passes His authority onto us with the expectation that we will do something with it!

In my classroom I have the authority. I’ve been given the authority to be in charge, but it’s not automatic, trust me, I’ve seen enough out of control classrooms to know that!
If I don’t make it clear to the students that I’m in charge, I won’t be!

James 4:7 makes resisting the devil part and parcel of encountering God.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”
Submit to God, Resist the devil, draw near to God.
The devil has no choice to recognise your authority, but only if you USE it.

When we expect to encounter God, we repent and receive from Him. In other words, let’s get wet! Repentance is not a one-time thing. At least for me, it’s an almost constant part of life! Repentance is how we become that one with clean hands and a pure heart, able to come into God’s presence.
The apostle Paul sums this up well in 1 Timothy 1
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, that He considered me faithful and appointed me to service. I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a violent man; yet because I had acted in ignorance and unbelief, I was shown mercy. And the grace of our Lord overflowed to me, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
This is a trustworthy saying, worthy of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst. But for this very reason I was shown mercy, so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His perfect patience, as an example to those who would believe in Him for eternal life.”

Jesus has poured out grace over all of us, but refusing to acknoweldege and deal with sin, which is what repentance is, not just saying sorry, is like having a permanent umbrella up in that downpour of grace.

Imagine standing in the rain with an umbrella, you can see the rain, it’s all around you, but you are unaffected; it can’t change you!
When we don’t repent, it doesn’t change the power or potency of God’s grace, He is still who He is, but we can’t be transformed by Him.

Let’s all get drenched in the outpouring of his grace! Let’s be brave and throw off everything that hinders and the sin which so easily entangles. (Hebrews 12)
Your encounter with God is not over until you are free from whatever is entangling you, so keep bringing it back to the cross, even if it is every day, because it’s not about the journey, it’s about the destination and our destination is total freedom.

Living with the expectation of encounters with God means being committed to seek His Face.
“They will receive blessing from the Lord
and vindication from God their Savior.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, God of Jacob.[b
We need a bit of effort and a bit of boldness to seek the face of God.” (PS24:5-6)

To put it simply, you don’t seek something if you already know where it is.

Everyone has mild superpowers, things that are a little bit magical about them. One of my very mild superpowers is knowing where everything in our house at any given time, which, given we have a 2 year old who likes to help put things away in weird places, is very impressive to my husband.
After Simon has searched the house fruitlessly for at least 3 minutes, he will usually admit defeat and ask me if I have seen some missing item (usually his phone, or a sippy cup for Jasper).
Usually, I don’t need to search, because I know where it is. It’s familiar.

We don’t seek the familiar.

Seeking the face of God means always going into unchartered territory. It means facing the unfamiliar all the time. We will spend an eternity discovering who God is! It can also be an uncomfortable experience, because God is a radiant light and radiant lights, have a habit of showing up flaws and imperfections.

John 1:5
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”

Coming into the presence of God might make us feel exposed, because we cannot hide the dark parts of our life, but God’s heart is not to expose, but to heal those areas. His light overcomes the darkness, His perfect love drives out all fear.

In Exodus 34, we read that when Moses would come down from Mt. Sinai, which he would climb to represent the people in the presence of God, his face would visibly glow. When we seek the face of God, we need to be prepared that we will be transformed.

A life which expects to encounter God is an open life. There are always going to be barriers to encountering God. If it were easy, then the metaphor in the Bible would not be climbing a mountain!
“Lift up your heads, you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.” (PS24:7)

What are the barriers for you? Is it doubt – questions you can’t answer? Is it disappointment from past experiences? Is it fear of what people think? Is it comfort?

Revelation 3:20
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

Jesus is knocking; it is always up to us to open the door if we want to encounter Him. He would not be on your doorstep is He wasn’t expecting an encounter with you!

Sometimes we need to open the same door again and again; four times in this psalm, David calls for the ancient gates to open up.
Ancient gates can be sticky, rusty even. The residue of hurt, disappointment, bitterness and wrong mindsets makes it a challenge for us to stay open for God, but Jesus will always be outside that door waiting for us to encounter him afresh.

If we are going to continually encounter God, we need to keep asking who He is. When the door knocks, the appropriate response is ‘who’s there?’ Twice in this psalm, David repeats the question “who is this King of Glory?” Normally in poetry, which is what the psalms are, a question is rhetorical, it doesn’t require an answer, but in this case, the question demands an answer.

In fact, it is one of the most important questions you will ever encounter. It is a question that will give your life purpose. It is a question I have devoted my whole life to answering:

Who is this King of Glory?
Who is Jesus Christ?

It’s the same questions the disciples asked on the boat when Jesus silenced the storm:
“Who is this man?”

Nothing is more important than know Him. The more you know Him, the more you understand how much he wants to draw near to you. Let’s be people who continually ask Who is Jesus Christ?
Let’s be people who continue to expect to encounter him.

– Jen Grubb

A Note From Dave: Sunday July 31

Hi all,

In engaging the power of the big ask, asking God for what we want and not being intimidated by the perception that our question is a “stupid one”, there will be noises, voices and thoughts that we may need to shut out.

“When they arrived at the house, Jesus wouldn’t let anyone go in with him except Peter, John, James, and the little girl’s father and mother.”
Luke 8:51(NLT)

When Jesus arrived at the house, he was confronted by the sound of mourners and even ridicule. Some said “you’re too late, as if you can do anything now”, because mourning proclaims and builds an atmosphere of pain and death.

While there is a time for mourning, it’s important that we don’t allow an atmosphere of death and ridicule to lock us out of the miracles that God wants to pour out in our world. Jesus wisely took only those who would believe with him into the room; when the girl was raised they came back to crowd.

There will be moments, times and even whole seasons during whichwe need to lock out certain voices, ways of thinking and atmospheres, if we want to move to a season of miracles.

Let’s be the Peter, James and John-type people, who will stand in faith with others as we walk into a season of miracles and multiplication!

Keep being a thermostat as we set an atmosphere of faith across our Church family and as we meet on Sunday.

Keep making pre-service prayer a priority and believing for miracles and salvation.

See you soon,
Ps. Dave