Vision Rescue: our Kingdom Foundation Focus for November

Hi church family!

June Gan-Pain here. I can’t believe we are already in November of 2016! Our Kingdom Foundation focus for November is Vision Rescue. We are raising awareness and funds for this amazing organisation in India.

Vision Rescue started off as a relatively small non-government organisation (NGO) in Mumbai, India. It grew in response to the wide range of needs for the under-privileged, and has since set up five core focuses:

Education Buses and Beacon School in the slums
Mobile Health Care in the slums

Rehabilitation Centres for those suffering from substance abuse

Training to encourage self-sustainability

Counselling and restored lives for the trafficked

We believe we each have a God-given potential, which we need to strive to achieve. While we are doing that, we are to help others achieve theirs.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40

We are very passionate about what Vision Rescue is doing; our long term goal is for us to partner with Vision Rescue, to support a Community Centre in the slums of Mumbai. November is jam-packed with different ways for you to participate in our Kingdom Foundation Focus on Vision Rescue. On Sunday 6th November, we are planning to take over Connect Café with delicious curries, the proceeds will go to Vision Rescue. On Sundays the 6th and 27th of November, we will have stalls selling gifts for your Christmas shopping, including:

Salamanca Skin Care Co. – Anna Rogers Thomason’s luscious range of skincare products.
The Tea Cup Garden – Robin Ekkel’s fabulous jewellery, succulents and candles.

Sea glass and pottery for Vision Rescue with Isabelle, Rupert and June Gan-Pain selling their two year collection of sea glass and pottery. Who else but God, can turn sea shards into money?

The proceeds from these stalls will go to Vision Rescue. We are also planning to grow a bigger Vision Rescue team, if you would like to be part of our team, please see me; I will be thrilled to chat about all things Vision Rescue.

Donations more than $2 to Vision Rescue are tax deductible. If you are able to give toward our Vision Rescue goal of $8,000, you can do so by direct deposit to the Energizer Missions Account.
BSB: 037-014
Account: 278109
In the reference note ‘Vision Rescue’. We’ll keep you updated as to the progress. Thank you for being such a generous church!

Okay November, let’s GO.


Early On Our Knees: Energizer Creative are Turning up the Heat in Prayer

Lately, I have been really challenged to up the ante in what we are asking God for and what we have faith to believe God will do in us and through us. It seems every message I listen to, every Bible verse I read, every time I am in worship and prayer, this is confirmed over and over again.

Ps. Dave has been speaking on entering a new era. We are moving into a time when God will empower us to do things differently to before.
“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)
God is doing a new thing! He is leading us into a new era.

The idea of being early on our knees may not get you excited (especially the non-morning people), but I guarantee that if you jump on board with this, which we hope everyone on the team will, your personal faith journey will go to a new level. This is not for the faint-hearted; this is daily discipline, hard-core, life-changing stuff, so don’t tune out, decide right now that you are going to take up the challenge, walk this journey and see it through!

Earlier this year at our first Team Night we spoke on 2016 being a year of breakthrough for our team and how it would take some stretching. Well, this challenge that we are setting may just be the biggest stretch of the year, but I am certain that it’ll also bring the biggest breakthroughs.

To understand this ‘Early On Our Knees’ challenge, it’s important to understand why we do what we do. So, why do you think we do what we do? To see every person encounter God through worship and the creative arts.

One thing we care about and often focus on in our creative team is the level of excellence in how we lead people to God encounters in worship. We take great joy in bringing our absolute best when we serve God, not for the sake of excellence itself, but because we believe what we’re doing is worth us playing, singing, mixing and creating to the best of our ability. We want to be authentic in everything we do and do it well.

As you know there are certain expectations in joining the creative team. Here are some that spring to mind:

Reliability and punctuality
Communication with team leaders
Accepting dates when the roster comes out or finding replacements where possible
Attending rehearsals
Attending team nights
Dressing neatly
Skill or being willing to learn a skill
Pursuing an ever deepening relationship with Jesus through prayer and reading of the word
Heart to serve the greater vision of the church
Attend heart & soul nights
Represent God and His church in all areas of your life
Be dedicated to improving the gifts God has given you – practice, study, attend lessons, online training courses
Be available for all special events and conferences where possible

They are our ‘not-negotiables’ I suppose, and one of those points in particular is what we want to focus on as we embark on this new era: ‘pursuing an ever deepening relationship with Jesus through prayer and reading of the Word’. It’s something that runs deeper than how well you may sing, play, or mix. What you design, write, and dream is awesome, but we care more about what the rest of us don’t get to see. Yes, excellence and execution as a creative team matter, but to grow and to see breakthrough, we need to give attention to our purpose and devotion; it is an important step in our faith to lift our devotion and expectation by being on our knees in prayer in the unseen hours.

Devotion matters. Prayer matters.
Ultimately, we don’t just want to engage our heads when we serve in church. Focus not just on your execution, but also your devotion. It’s tricky to measure – but is also best indicated by your mindset. How do you feel now about what you bring to the creative team? Is your approach the same as it was 8 months ago? Is there some negative thinking perhaps? Have you stopped working on your gift? Is some complacency creeping in perhaps? The key is to let your devotion to your creativity and giftings be fuelled by a growing private prayer life… hence the ‘EARLY ON OUR KNEES’ challenge.

“The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.” E.M. Bounds – 1907

Prayer strengthens our relationship with God. It’s one of the most important weapons we have to protect ourselves from the attacks of the enemy and to move ahead into what God is calling us to. I know for our team we need breakthrough in many areas if we are going to achieve all that God has in store for us to achieve. So why don’t we, together, accept the challenge to pray daily on our knees? Research suggests that on average, it takes anywhere between 21 and 66 days before a new behavior becomes a habit. So we went for the middle: for the next 40 days, Energizer Creative are on a mission to be early on our knees in prayer.

You may have heard the saying “if you want God to do something new in you, you cannot keep doing the same old thing.” You have to do something different. And if you do, God will create new capacities within you. There will be new gifts and new revelations. But you’ve got to pay the price (or pray the price in this instance). You’ll get out of this what you put into it. So… are you ready to take up the Early On Your Knees challenge?

Here are some pointers to get you started:

1. No More Excuses (ouch)
Let’s MAKE MORE TIME in our day – it’s a choice. Become aware of the enemy’s tricks and don’t let him invade your time with God by using things like busyness and tiredness as an excuse.

2. Teach Me to Pray
Even the disciples had to pray “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11). Don’t be so hard on yourself if you aren’t sure how to spend 15, 20, 30 minutes in prayer. Let that be your first prayer. Teach me how to pray focused prayers. We also encourage you to keep your own journal. It’ll help you not just pray, but pray through until you see the breakthrough.

3. The Posture of Prayer
We are choosing to kneel in fervent prayer because fervent prayer is necessary prayer. It is a total body posturing, focusing, and communing without multitasking. The true purpose of prayer is to get into God’s presence so He can outline His agenda for us.

4. Early Rising Prayer
We encourage everyone to rise 30 minutes before your normal routine each day to pray. We can learn this discipline from Jesus himself – in Mark 1:35 he demonstrates this for us: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”

The Early On Our Knees prayer challenge is going to change your life. In fact, we believe the next forty days have the potential to dramatically alter the rest of our lives. We are believing that God is going to begin a good work in us, and He is going to see it through to completion. If you press into God’s presence like never before, you will experience God like never before. You’ll look back on these forty days as the best days of your life. They won’t be the easiest days; in fact, they may be the hardest; don’t be surprised if you experience spiritual opposition along the way. But if you pray through, God will break through in new ways.

The time that Jesus spent in the wilderness fasting and praying, marked a critical chapter in His life. Jesus was tested like never before, but this experience set the stage for His greatest victories. When Jesus returned from the wilderness, He wasn’t the same person. You won’t be either. You’ll emerge from this Early On Our Knees prayer challenge, full of the power of the Holy Spirit.

As we dreamed up this challenge, we were drawn to 2 Chronicles 7:14.
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”

Our prayer is that this daily habit won’t stop on day forty but it will be something we all continue to do for the rest of our lives. Our prayer for you is that each day on this journey will yield a new discovery. Those discoveries will change the way you pray, and when you change the way you pray, everything else changes. We as a team are going to GROW FROM THE INSIDE OUT by being EARLY ON OUR KNEES.

Remember, breakthrough won’t happen when we are operating in our comfort zone, breakthrough will happen when we are operating in the faith zone. “Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)

We don’t want this team to just do what is comfortable or what comes easily; we are called to break new ground, to take back what the enemy has stolen, to pave a way for people to experience the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, to put on the armour of God for us and the people around us, to bind up the broken-hearted and to set the captives free; we are called to operate in the faith zone. It’s a new era.

Let’s be early on our knees!

Who is going to take up the challenge?

– Katie Swift
Creative Director

A Note From Dave

Hi everyone,

Earlier this year we were quite concerned that here in Tasmania, we might run out of power, due to the fact that our dams, which supply the water to generate our clean, green electricity, were at a record low: apparently down to ten per cent of their capacity.
To make matters worse, we became aware that the Tasmanian Government had been selling power to Victoria, hence using up a lot of the water storage, leaving us very exposed and feeling under-resourced when the power cable connecting Tasmania to the national grid was severed somewhere across Bass Strait.
The government started bringing in expensive diesel generators to get us through. Ironically, at the 11th hour it rained and rained and rained. The dams became full, then overflowed; we had floods and after all that, the countryside became green and lush and now we all feel secure again.

In hindsight the problem doesn’t feel so large, because the resource came in the form of rain, rivers flowed and life returned.

“For I am about to do something new.

See, I have already begun!

Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.

I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”

Isaiah 43:19 (NLT)

Rivers speak of supply, resource, refreshment and sustainability. In a new era, we will experience rivers flowing through what has previously been dry and uninhabitable. Resource in areas where previously nothing has been happening.
Unlike what happened with the Tasmanian power supply, our God does not cut our life line; He is our constant supply.
“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (NLT)
In a new era, He will supply from His unlimited riches, which have already been given to us.
See you in church!

Ps. Dave

A God Story: Vickie’s Answered Prayer

This particular God Story took place in China, where I was in 2012. To set the scene for you, I lived on the fifth floor in an apartment building, in which I was the only foreigner and my spoken Chinese was minimal. The weather at the time had a high moisture level, causing a lot of condensation inside and outside.

On the day in question, I arrived home during the late afternoon. Thankfully, I decided not to get any cooking underway, sat my phone on the coffee table, turned the T.V. on, then went out onto the small balcony to get in my washing.

I opened one side of the double sliding doors, went to close the gap between the open door a little, just enough to have a smaller gap, but my hand slid along the wet glass. The door just slid along the track and closed, locking in two metal clips and leaving me locked outside on the balcony.

I was locked out. I was stunned, wondering what to do!I tried to open the door, tried to lift it off its track, just kept trying to open it, until I resigned myself to the fact I could not get in. I didn’t have my phone. I couldn’t get to any other apartment. I couldn’t climb down…I thought “should I call out to anyone?” but I didn’t know how to say “help me my door is locked?”.

All kinds of thoughts were crossing my mind: how long will I be out here; when will I be missed; what if a fire truck is sent to get me down…oh that would be an event!

It was getting dark and the air was damp and misty. For awhile, I sat on a small chair, watching T.V. from outside on the verandah, thinking “no sleep for me tonight, no work tomorrow”, wondering when I would be missed. All this went on for a long two hours, or more, and during this time I tried again and again to slide the door open, but it wouldn’t open. The metal locks had clicked into each other and were not budging.

After two hours or so stuck out on the small balcony, I decided that this was not where I wanted to stay for the night! I was fed up with this situation: feeling cold, hungry and tired. In all my attempts to open the door with no success, there was something I hadn’t tried: prayer!

So, I started pacing back and forth across the small balcony, speaking in tongues. Then, I placed my hands on the sliding door and said “Jesus, I can’t open this door; it’s too hard for me; I don’t have the strength, but I know you can and I demand this door be opened now in the name of Jesus”. And, do you know what? The door unlocked and I was able to slide it open!

I stood there, looking at this door now open and rushed inside, praising God! God answers prayer, and this prayer was answered very quickly!

In the days following, I retold my story, especially to my Chinese friends, who received a powerful testimony of my prayer and belief in God’s strength that He opened the door for me! There was absolutely nobody else around to do that other than God! Their response? “It must have been God!”, which of course, it was.

I leave you with this prayer from Psalm 91: 14: “Because He loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him. I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.”

Thank you for allowing me to share my God story.

Vickie Gracie

To be Created in His Image is to Accept All as Equal

I lead a Connect Group Course which traces the overarching story of the Bible to help make connections and between this fundamental story about God and personal faith. At our first meeting, we started in Genesis, examining what it was telling us about God and our relationships, with Him, each other and creation.

One of the most important understandings was that humanity ‘was created in his image’ (Gen 1:26-27); ‘we were created to be like God’, sharing his character and nature, including the freedom to choose. Of course we know what humanity chose. In choosing to rebel and make God in our own image, God’s image in us became corrupt and humanity entered into what they described as the ‘present (evil) age’, (see Gal 1:4). In this present age, evil was let loose and now dominates this fallen world, prompting humanity to focus on their own desires and will. Because of this rebellion, everyone’s destiny is death, both physical and spiritual. ‘Life’ has been forfeit because of our choice which resulted in humanity being banished from his presence (Gen 3:23).

In our course, we also looked at the other creation stories of the ancient civilisations that surrounded the Hebrews. All follow a similar pattern: evil existed before creation and that our universe was the result of squabbling, deceitful and fearful Gods who fought each other. The victor, in killing a rival god, used their corpse to create the universe. People were an afterthought and were created as slaves to serve these violent and inscrutable gods; appeasement was man’s only way to survive.

When we compare the two stories, we immediately see how different their cosmology was to that of the Hebrews. The God of Jacob was good, His creation was good, where no evil existed and men and women were created to be like him, to be honoured partners with God working to care for his good creation. What in fact fallen humanity has done in their stories is to create gods in their own image. They reassure us that what we are today has always been that way because that is the way we were made. Thus in creation stories of ‘the present age’ the gods will of course act just like us. So it’s not surprising that today when we look at our increasingly troubled world we can see that this cosmology is still the one adhered to by most people, no matter what their faith position may be.

However, Christians know that evil had entered God’s good creation through humanity’s rebellion, but now it has been totally defeated through Jesus’ death on the cross. What seemed like a defeat was actually a triumph where through the cross Jesus dealt with evil, the rebellion and sin, for those who believe who have been deemed right in the sight of God as they were in the beginning. Faith in Jesus has justified us before God, Rom 3:23 and ‘credited to us as righteousness’ Gen 15:6 & Gal 3:29. Paul tells us in Col 2: 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision (rebelliousness) of your fallen human nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,14 having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. His death and victory exposed how the powers of the fallen world work as they did their worst against him but he humiliated them by exposing them for who they really are, violent, liars and evil.

That is why Paul says in 2 Cor. 5:17, ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone’, for we ‘have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all’, Col 3:10-11.

Our new self redeems and restores us to reflect the true image of God. Paul follows this statement by listing some of the most basic community divisions fallen humanity has always used to promote conflict between people. These include conflict between, them and us, race, cultures, status, privilege and power. These no longer apply to those who are renewed ‘in the image of our creator’. Gal 3:28 has a similar list but also includes the conflict between male and female, i.e. issues of gender.

John sums up our new creation character, basing it on our God of love as the image we as new creations are to reflect. 1 John 4:16b God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus, (in his image). 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.

Fear (of the other) is what drives this fallen world, being the result of clash of our self-interests, but fear has not part of our new self, but instead our modus operandi is love. Paul reminds us in Col 3: 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. This is what it means to live according to ‘the image of God’.

Written by Sweis Meijers

A Note From Dave

Hi all,

Recently, Alix has been to some pretty amazing and unique places as she’s engaged her passion for bushwalking. The thing with bushwalking is, you see and experience an environment that can’t really be accessed any other way. Even without a great deal of navigation experience, you will still successfully arrive at your destination, provided you follow the track that is.

These tracks are pathways through often rugged and inhospitable wilderness to unique, incredible and beautiful destinations and experiences.

For I am about to do something new.

See, I have already begun!

Do you not see it?

I will make a pathway through the wilderness.

I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NLT)

In a new era, God will make new paths. Pathways show us a way through: a way through your current challenges; guidance where you are unsure; a way around an old obstacle; pathways to new influence, relationships and people whose lives will be transformed by the love of Jesus.

Let’s not allow our past, or perceived lack of experience, to obstruct or make us feel unqualified to walk the new paths that God has created for us. There is no doubt that there are exciting and fruitful days ahead for us to walk together. We are being led to some amazing and unique places.

Let’s keep the momentum going! As always, pre-service prayer is key to this momentum.

Let’s come this weekend, full of expectation for what God is going to do.

Ps. Dave

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

Final Heart & Soul for 2016!

We have been saying for some time that God is moving us into a new era and now we are starting to see evidence of what that new era looks like at Energizer Church! Of course, I am referring to the launch of Energizer Nights, which was incredible last night. We are moving into a time when God will empower us to do things differently to before, when we will engage with new people in new ways. We are entering a new era!

“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)

As Ps. Dan often says, church is like a Mexican Wave; it’s only effective if everyone gets involved! To move boldly and confidently into all that God is calling us to, we need you; you are absolutely vital. You are an essential part of our Church family; you carry the heart, the culture and the DNA of our church and you have an irreplaceable part to play in our vision and how it is outworked in this city and beyond.

In light of that, I want to invite you to come along to our final Heart & Soul night for 2016, this Tuesday night at 7.30pm. Heart and Soul is not a night for those who have particular roles or titles (well it is, but it’s for everyone else as well!). Everyone belongs at Heart & Soul. It’s where we cast vision for the future, celebrate victories, pray for and minister to one an another in a more intimate setting than we can often achieve on a Sunday and it’s where you can really hear the heartbeat of Energizer Church.

In this new era, more than ever before, you are vital. I hope you can join us at Heart and Soul.

Ps. Dave