Faith Committing

Published: Wednesday, 27 September 2017

This sermon was presented by Geoff Pound at ABC on 24 September 2017. ‘Faith Committing’ is the seventh in the ‘Journey of Faith’ series on the life of Sarah and Abraham. This sermon manuscript concludes with some Questions for Personal Reflection and Group Study.

Reading: Genesis 17: 1 - 27

Many years ago, I was in a church that staged a weekend expo featuring the challenges and opportunities of global mission. The guest speaker was Oswald (Ossie) Sanders, who had been the director of the China Inland Mission.[1]

Just before the final meeting I asked Ossie what his next week looked like and what his commitments were. He said he was returning home to celebrate his 85th birthday with his loved ones. Then he rattled off his itinerary for the next month or two whereby he was going to speak at various conferences around the world. This was no chore. He was relishing the opportunities.

Then he said to me: “You know, Geoff, I think this last decade has been the most fruitful of my life!”

I was staggered. This man had been a lawyer, a College principal, a Missions statesman, a popular conference speaker and the author of more than 30 books. He was saying that this last decade, between 75 and 85, had been the most fruitful.

Today’s reading begins with a reference to Abram’s age:

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Faith Exposed

Published: Monday, 18 September 2017

This sermon was presented at ABC by Rev. Keren McClelland. It is the sixth in our series about Abraham and Sarah.

This is a story about the Willie Wagtail, Jitta Jitta…[1]

Long ago before the sea surrounded this land as we now know it the Raven and his wife, the Magpie, travelled here from far away.

They came here through the kingdom of the Eagle. On account of the Magpie’s beauty they had accumulated great wealth.

The Magpie had sung and the Eagle and his kingdom were spellbound. The Raven and Magpie, however, had deceived the Eagle.

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Faith During Delay

Published: Monday, 11 September 2017

This sermon was presented on 10 September 2017 by Geoff Pound. It is the fifth in the ‘Journey of Faith’ series which is following the story of Abraham and Sarah. 
Questions for Personal Study and Group Discussion follow this sermon manuscript.

Scripture Reading: Genesis 15: 1 - 24

Carlyle Marney was a Baptist preacher in North Carolina.[1] One Sunday, as he was preaching a sermon, he suffered a heart attack. When he was carried from the pulpit to the ambulance his congregation thought that might be the end of him, or, at least the finish of his pastoral ministry.

But Carlyle Marney recovered. Six months later he was back in that pulpit. Beginning his sermon, he said: “[Now] As I was saying…”[2]

The narrator in the Abram and Sarai story begins today’s instalment in a similar vein:

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Faith in the Real World

Published: Monday, 28 August 2017

This sermon was presented at ABC by Rev Nguyễn Hữu Tri. It is the fourth sermon in our series about Abraham(Abram) and Sarah(Sarai).

Genesis 14: 1 - 24

Previously in the ABC preaching series on the life and faith of Abram and Sarai, we learned how God called Abram and Sarai to go from their country, kindred and their fathers house to the land that God will show them. (Gen 12)

In obedience to God’s call, Abram and Sarai received God’s promises; ofwell-being, security, prosperity, prominence, fruitfulness, peace…’[1] (Gen 12: 2-3)

While God promises to bless, Abram and Sarai were called to journey on, step by step, believing…

This was quite a challenge for this couple who could not have children, who only had a vague sense of where they were going and how on earth God was going to bless them…

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Faith Facing Conflict

Published: Monday, 21 August 2017

Red DeerThis sermon was given by Geoff Pound at ABC on 20 August 2017. It is the third in the ‘Journey in Faith’ series on the life of Abraham and Sarah. The sermon manuscript concludes with some Questions for Personal Reflection and Group study.

Scripture Reading: Genesis 13: 1 - 18

An article emerged recently that gives lots of tips for students writing their university admissions essay, for crafting a CV or for nailing that job interview.[1]

The author highlights this point: “Don’t all the time brag about your achievements. Instead recount the times you’ve struggled and even better the times you’ve failed.” She says, “Failure is gold! Figure out what you’ve learned from failure. Tell about that. Be honest… Just remember those exhausted admission or employment officers sitting around the table in the winter. Jolt them out of their sugar coma and give them something to be excited about.”

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Faith Undercover

Published: Monday, 14 August 2017

This sermon, the second in our series on Abraham and Sarah, was delivered by Keren McClelland on August 13, 2017. Some questions for personal reflection follow the text.

Genesis 12:10 - 20 Wendyterrarium KMc

This week I asked Ken whether he had been into WellSpring to see Wendy’s paintings. He turned around and reappeared some 10 minutes later.

I was intrigued… “Ken, what were you drawn to?”

“Oh, the ones with the bottles…”

I said, “They’ve all got bottles!”

There are a lot of bottles... or terrariums. When you go down and take a look I’d love to know which one/ones reflect you. Some are self-contained, while in others the life is bursting out or reflecting the wider setting.

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Faith ventures forth

Published: Monday, 07 August 2017

This sermon was presented by Geoff Pound at Ashburton Baptist Church on 6 August 2017. It is the first in the ‘Journey of Faith’ series about the story of Abraham and Sarah. Some questions for personal reflection and group study are at the end of this manuscript.

Reading: Genesis 11: 26 - 12:9 Abraham journey GP

The language teacher, Daniel Rose, recently confessed that every week he studiously reads the obituaries in the newspaper.[1] He admits that some might wonder at his morbid fascination with the recently deceased and think such a habit would be depressing. But Daniel said, “It’s quite the opposite. It’s invigorating. It’s energizing. It renews my faith in humanity.”

He says: “The obits offer up the real inhabitants of our world…not the airbrushed celebrities. Real people living real lives…People who serve, people who love puzzles, people who dance, students who pay their way through Uni, folk who visit hospitals, people who bake homemade cinnamon rolls.”

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Cast all your Anxiety on God

Published: Monday, 29 May 2017

This sermon was presented at Ashburton Baptist Church on 28 May 2017 by Geoff Pound. It is the final in the series in the biblical letter called 1st Peter. The sermon manuscript is followed by some questions for personal study and group discussion.

Scripture Readings:

1 Peter 4:12 – 14; 1 Peter 5:6 - 11

Each Thursday evening from six o’clock, about 50 or 60 people from our church and community gather in our Café. At what used to be our Evening Service, we now eat a delicious meal and we’re gladdened by nourishing friendship.

At this HUB community meal, we have everyone from toddlers to retirees. Why don’t you come one night to this organic, home grown experience, to taste and see?

Sometimes after the meal many go into our church hall to let off some steam. Some weeks back, several were playing indoor soccer when one of the boys kicked the ball high and it hit the cross fixed on the far wall.

One seven year old girl caught the rebounding ball in her hands and said to the young offender, “You’re not allowed to hit the plus sign!”. To which he said, “That’s not a plus sign. That’s the cross.”

What spirituality on the soccer pitch! It makes you think of the great challenge that we have with children and young people in our community growing up with very little awareness of Christ and spiritual things. As a church this is one the goals we want to kick.

As we come today to study the last page of Peter’s first letter to believers scattered across what is modern day Turkey, we see him pointing to two pieces of wood and saying, “That’s not a plus sign. That’s the cross.”

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