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Life Anglican Church

The Future of Life Church

Our church has been around for nearly twenty five years and in that time our community and church has changed drastically. 30 years ago Quakers Hill was a sleepy little hamlet that was surrounded by rural activity. There would have been nearly 3,000 people in the parish. Today there are around 100,000 people living in our area and over the next fifteen years we expect about another 180,000 people to join us. Yes, there is going to be continual change in our area over the next decade. Each month we see paddocks being transformed into roads and then houses, schools and facilities popping up all over the place.

We can’t expect to reach the community for Christ unless we connect with them: In schools, neighbourhoods, families and cultural needs or groups. Yes Life AC will look a lot different in ten years’ time! By the way, so will all of us! No doubt our families will have grown significantly in that time.

And our whole aim as a church is to bring honour to our heavenly Father and grow His kingdom. We have the responsibility to bring Christ to the people in our own backyard.

Our church has a fine God-honouring vision. Can I urge you to get behind this wonderful vision and serve the Lord well in our day and generation? With God’s blessing we are going to do great things!

If the Lord permits, I look forward to continuing to partner with you and make a difference for Him in the next decade!!

Your brother in Christ
Geoff Bates
Senior Minister

What to do when you get Discouraged

The last few months have been unbelievable for me and my family. These people have died in my family: Father in law, father, close uncle, and now my mother-in-law who has only weeks to live. At times life can be overwhelming. We put in long hours, we experience a unique form of loneliness, and we face difficult decisions everyday. It’s easy to get discouraged.

And I think discouragement is one of the most deadly of diseases. Everybody can catch it, and you can catch it more than once. It’s highly contagious and spreads easily and quickly. But here’s the good news: Discouragement is curable. Nehemiah the great leader of ancient Israel understood there were four reasons for discouragement in ministry.

First, you get fatigued. You simply get tired as the labourers did in Nehemiah 4:10. We’re  human beings, and we wear out. You cannot burn the candle at both ends. So if you’re     discouraged, it may be that you don’t have to change anything. You just need a vacation! Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is go to bed.

Second, you get frustrated. Nehemiah says there was rubble all around. So much that it was getting in the way of rebuilding the wall. Do you have rubble in your life and ministry? Have you noticed that anytime you start doing something new, the rubbish starts piling up? If you don’t clean it out periodically, it’s going to stop your progress. Now, what is the rubble in your life? I think rubble is the trivial things that waste your time and energy and prevent you from  accomplishing what God’s called you to do. It could be computer games. It could be television. It could be just about anything that turns you from God’s purposes.

The third cause of discouragement is failure. They were unable to finish their task as quickly as originally planned, and as a result, their confidence went down the drain. They were thinking, “ We were stupid to think we could ever ever rebuild this wall.” You feel like a failure.

But you know what I do when I don’t reach a goal on time? I just set a new goal. I don’t give up. The fact is –in life and ministry, you’re going to fail. Everybody fails. Everybody does dumb things. So the issue is not that you failed – it’s how you are going to respond to your failure. Do you give into self-pity? Do you start blaming other people? Do you start complaining, “It’s impossible?” Or do you re-focus on God’s intentions and start moving again?

Finally, fear causes discouragement. Nehemiah 4:11, says this: “Also our enemies said, ‘Before they know it or see us we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to their work.’” You know there were people who did not want the wall to be rebuilt. They were doing everything they could to keep that from happening. First, they criticized the Jews, and then they ridiculed the Jews. When that didn’t work, they threatened the Jews.

Notice who gets fearful the quickest: “Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, `Wherever you turn, they will attack us.’” (Nehemiah 4:12) The people most affected by fear are those who hang around negative people. If you’re going to control the negative thoughts in your life, you’ve got to get away from negative people as much as you can. If you’ll just hang in there, you’ll outlast that carnal person who’s giving you so much trouble in your work or family. But it’s important that you stick it out. We refuse to get discouraged, because we are all serving the Lord and we are to make real a difference in our life, church and community.

Have a great week!

Geoff Bates
Senior Minister

Take a Break

When we take a break in like we usually pause for a small period of time to refresh ourselves and take our breath before we get back to work. The summer holidays here at Life Anglican Church are an opportunity to take a break with old and new friends.

This Summer we are looking at the meals of Jesus and the many things about life, friendships, ourselves and God we can learn. I am excited at what God is going to be doing with us in this take a break period and in spending time with others. A break can be simply catching up and having a cuppa with someone during the week.

It has been said that Sunday is a good day for the ministry of the BBQ chicken: Grab a chook on the way home from church and invite someone for Sunday lunch (or any other time for that matter. We never take a break from God and serving Him and His people, but why don’t we invest this time into something really worthwhile?

I am sure if you do this, this summer will be a real blessing to you, your family and those you are taking a break with.

So take the opportunities that are before you in the next five weeks and have break with someone!

Geoff Bates
Senior Minister

Don't Miss the Good News

It was in December of 1903, that after many attempts, the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, were successful in getting their “flying machine” off the ground and into the air at Kitty Hawk. Thrilled over their accomplishment, they telegraphed the message to their sister Katherine: “We have actually flown 120 feet. We will be home for Christmas.”

Katherine hurried to the editor of the local newspaper and showed him the message. He glanced at it and said, “How nice. The boys will be home for Christmas. He totally missed the good news – for the first time in human history, man had flown.

With all the lead up to Christmas this week, I wonder as we prepare family Christmas gatherings, and the Christmas jingles all around us and secular stories of Santa and Reindeer that people don’t miss the real meaning of Christmas.

This week we are going to celebrate the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is fantastic news! Let’s remember this and invite our family and friends to celebrate it with us!

Geoff Bates
Senior Minister

The Hope of Christmas

I was walking in the shops with my 2 year old Olive when we wandered past a Santa toy. The beguiling bright red obviously caught Olive’s eye and she felt the need to introduce me. "That's the Man" she informed me. I queried my wife Suzi, "The man?" "She just asked me who he was. I was on the spot and didn't know what we were planning on telling her so I said, 'He's just a man.'" Suzi  responded. Olive had evidently concluded that this couldn't be just any man. He was obviously someone special. He was obviously "The Man."

We Christians toil each Christmas to help people to recognize the paltry servant king born to a peasant girl in a backyard animal shelter while it seems Santa in his flashy red suit and shiny nosed companion effortlessly assume centre stage. This week I am reminded of the glossed over message that accompanies our incarnate God: suffering. While we carry a great message of restoration we yet bear this broken world. 

This week we grieve with the Bates family as they mourn the passing of Geoff’s father and I am reminded of the great suffering many in our church have faced not excluding members of our leadership with the passing of Kim Bates’, Steve Grose’s father and also Jenny Cathers’ father who was also a member of our Riverstone congregation. You may have heard that my family have faced our own suffering recently with a miscarriage at 14 weeks.

Christmas is a celebration of what we have been given and with those celebrations comes a reminder of what we have lost.

It reminds me how much we need each other in Christian community and to be in constant fellowship with our heavenly father who has given us a joy that goes deeper and spans further than the heartbreaking suffering we endure now.

So let me kick off December with this message: Love each other, love the Father and repeat the sounding joy.

Daniel Walmsley
Senior Associate Minister