Faith @ home

Welcome to our regular blog from our pastors.

You'll find wisdom, encouragement and suggestions to help parents raise children of faith.

3 FEBRUARY 2019

As followers of Christ, we are commanded to pass along our faith. Home is the place that holds our most intimate relationships and, as such, it is the most crucial and effective place to pass on our faith. Pakuranga Baptist is committed to help and inspire you to do that is though Faith at Home events, including Marriage Night. 


Faith at Home events offer you an opportunity to invest in the spiritual life and development of your growing family. They are a small investment of your time that will pay off big with a stronger, faith-inspired family! Each event is centred on a biblical

theme and then offers a unique and creative way for you to connect around the theme with your child, both at the event and at home. Faith at Home events are offered once a year for each of the age levels advertised. On a Faith at Home Sunday, the event will be the only programming offered for this age. Parents and children are highly encouraged to attend the event

together. (Grandparents are also welcome!) These will be advertised in your weekly newsletter. The first event is Marriage Night on Friday, 8 March. 

Pastor Andrew

20 January 2019

Who do you say I am?  

It’s so easy to think we know the answer to this question from Jesus. But how will we answer it for ourselves and how will we talk about it with our children, family and friends? Many people were confused about Jesus’ identity. Some people were saying He was Elijah. Others said He was Jeremiah or a prophet. Some believed He was a good teacher or a great magician. Jesus asked this question of His followers in Matthew 16:15, not for His own affirmation, but because who they believed He was would make all the difference in their lives. He wanted them to be able to answer the question accurately. Who do you say that Jesus is?  A good man?  A great teacher? One of many ways to heaven? Or do you say He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), as Jesus described Himself? I want my answer to be like Peter’s as recorded in Matthew 16:16: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  Or, may it be more personal, like Thomas’ declaration in John 20:28 (but without having to “feel” Jesus to know He is real): “My Lord and My God!”

 Blessings Pastor Brigitte


23 December 2018

In a few days we’ll pause, remember and celebrate the first coming of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Often we’d like to have meaningful faith conversations with others, but we struggle to know where to start! So hopefully these conversation starters will help you to go deeper than “How’s the weather today?” Personally, my highlights always include my chats with other people, no matter who they are or how old they are! The longer I linger and engage with people, the more I learn about God, others and myself. Philippians 4:6-7 The Message (MSG):

6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.

Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life. Based on this passage:

Adore – What are you learning about God that you can praise or thank God for?

Admire – What are learning about yourself and your habits that you need to keep doing or that you need to change?

Aspire – What are you learning about life and people? How can this make a difference this Christmas?

May this Christmas and summer find you closer to God than ever before. Keep the faith!

Pastor Brigitte

9 DECEMBER 2018

BUILDING CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS

Now is a good time to consider what traditions to build at Christmas. My niece is carrying on one of ours... every Boxing Day she and her children buy one new good quality Christmas decoration on sale to add to their collection for the following year. Every year their house looks more festive and the kids are learning about Jesus too.

This year our son, Wesley is studying in Korea so we are reinventing our Christmas and looking at who we can invite to share it with us. Hospitality to non-family members is another strong tradition at Christmas. What patterns will you build in your household with friends, church family and family. The customs that you invent will often be the ones that create the most treasured memories.

Pastor Andrew


18 November 2018

IN AWE OF HIM

What do you want for Christmas? What’s on the menu? Will we bring Christmas tree with us on holiday? These questions came up recently in our conversations at home. The excitement of Christmas expressed by children amazes me as they take delight in their anticipation. But their amazement is fitting for Christmas - it's a sample of what Christmas should be for those who understand the Christmas story.

Our gift to our children will be teaching them who Jesus is and what Christmas is all about so they learn to love Him and to serve Him more and more. Our children's gift to us is their example of excitement, their faith and wonder as they celebrate Christmas year after year. May this be an encouragement that leads us to recapture our own sense of amazement at the birth of Christ. As the festival renews the world for another year, let us be in awe of our Saviour.

Pastor Jacqueline


28 October 2018

4 Attention, Israel! GOD, our God! GOD the one and only! 5 Love GOD, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got! 6-9 Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. 

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 The Message

 

Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.” God wants us to talk with Him and talk about Him. One of our spiritual habits here at Pakuranga is to learn to talk openly about our faith. What better training ground than to start at home? So use the opportunities God creates to TALK, TALK, TALK!!! Talking is not limited to our words. We can for example write, draw, or take photos of where we see God at work in our everyday lives.

 

Blessings, Pastor Brigitte


21 OCTober 2018

One important factor in helping your children sleep well is by creating pleasant, memorable experiences at bedtime. One of the values of bedtime rituals is that they create a bond between children and parents. They also facilitate better sleep. Here are a few suggestions for creating a bedtime ritual:

1. Set clear bedtime rules, and be consistent about when it is time for bed. Make sure phones turn off and stay in the kitchen

2. Set aside priority time for your children's ritual, say 20 or more minutes each evening, and be consistent. In these days of stress and work pressures, parents need to give this time the highest priority.

3. Share your highs and lows together. Allow your children to tell you about their day or talk about whatever is on their minds.

4. If your child is young, they may enjoy singing or listening to a worship song together

5. Read a Bible verse or story from an age related book and talk about it.

6. Close with a short prayer. It helps to pray the same way each night so it becomes a regular experience. This might be a set bedtime prayer or follow a formula such as JOY where you pray for what Jesus wants, others need and lastly for yourself.

Blessings, P. Andrew.

23 AUGUST 2018

TREASUERS IN HEAVEN

 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."   Matthew 6:19-21 

What we have, comes from God. So how do we use what we have? Time is a precious asset freely given to us. Every day we choose how we use our time. We can either employ our time to work for God’s kingdom and for His glory or for ourselves. We are encouraged throughout the Bible to use our time wisely. We are encouraged to guard our hearts above all else. We are also challenged to be honest about what we treasure.  

God, because He is good, gave us all abilities. It is a blessing to God’s Father-Heart when we use our talents to be a blessing to others. Today in our [email protected] session we will explore these aspects further. Please join us during the service in the Activity Centre. Let’s run the faith-race together!

Pastor Brigitte


12 august 2018

What does a Faith at Home household look like?  The main thing is that it creates its own rhythm or pattern of life that enables its members to focus upon their relationship with God.  This involves organizing different aspects.  It could mean how you prepare so you are on time for Sunday worship. It could involve how you decorate your house so that your mind is focused on God.  It could be when and how you pray together, e.g. at mealtime or bed time.  It could be how you appropriation your household budget to bless the church and the poor.  It could be where you serve together.  It might be how you celebrate Christian festivals. 

The important thing is to build habits and traditions together that enable your home to be a Spirit-filled space. These methods will need to be reviewed and updated as time and spiritual maturity changes.  Are you single?  There is a lot of freedom to design this.  Are you married?  How can you have a successful conversation about this with your spouse?  In the New Testament the home and Temple are both places of worship. What might be the next step you can take at your place?


15 July 2018

This week our [email protected] is about Time, Talent and Treasure. The goal of this session is to learn what Jesus says about these things. It is a challenge to us to consider that God has already given each of us TIME, TALENTS AND TREASURES. What we do with these gifts are up to us. What do you have in your pockets or in your handbags right now? If you were to empty it out, how many of  the objects you carry around are  useful? 


What gifts do you have that cannot be seen and how well do you use them? What about our time? God’s desire is that we manage our time according to God’s priorities. When we organise our time this way we live without regrets of spending time unwisely.  Matthew 6:19-21 “Don’t store up  treasures here on earth, where  moths can eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves  break in and steal. Store your  treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves

do not break in and steal. Wherever  your treasure is, there the desires of  your heart will also be.”   

Keep the Faith!!  Pastor Brigitte

1 JULY 2018

In the bottom of one of my drawers I have collection of old bookmarks.   Yes, I know its a little old fashioned, and although I love reading, I keep them for another reason.  As I was growing up my Mum would often pass them on to me.  They have poems on them about how its powerful to pray in the morning.  Some have Bible verses of encouragement.  Some are just nice photos, but they are an reminder to  me of my Mum's quiet encouragement in my walk with Jesus.  Maybe her love language was also gifts. I'm not sure, but how do you communicate your loving interest in your child's spiritual life?   Is it a regular Faith Five when saying good night?  Is it letting them buy any book or music they want from Manna Books?  Is it forwarding them articles on famous Christians in the news?   Is it a Bible text every once in a while?  Is it the monthly McDonald's breakfast with your teen where you talk together about life?  We might tell ourselves that is a bit naff and silly and why should I bother, but these small, deliberate habits of the heart can pay tremendous dividends.  They build faith and at the very least can leave a legacy of love.    

Pastor Andrew

10 June 2018

Ecamp seems like a distance away.  I have recently been encouraged by how God is continuing to work in our young people’s lives. 

 One mom whose son attended the camp for the first time this year shared this testimony with me.  Her son had an incident at school and was sent to detention.  He told his mum that while cleaning the toilets he understood what he did was wrong and God is teaching him patience while completing the task. He went on to say that he would pray for the friends he got into trouble with. 

 How wonderful to see how our  young people are growing in their faith.  They are praising God and praying for others no matter what circumstances they are faced with.  This mom gave the church the credit however, but I believe parents provide the strongest influence in a child’s faith.  For me faith begins at home.

 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverb 22:6)

 I am encouraged by parents who share their childrens’ journey with us. Your testimonies make my day and God is at work in the hearts of our young leaders in the making.

 Keep the faith, Pastor Jacqueline

27 May 2018

ALL AGES AND STAGES…  

It is said that the wellness and survival of the current church depends largely on the ability to form healthy intergenerational relationships.  Here at Pakuranga Baptist, we value every age and every stage. Pastor Keith talked about imagining what it will be like if our day ended different than it started and we are never the same again because of what has happened to us. Of course he was talking about the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.   

I want us to imagine healthy relationships, friendships with people of different ages and stages of life. See, God loves diversity and unity as we imagine the body of Christ “from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Rev 7:9).  We still have multiple opportunities to show God’s heart for unity and diversity to others. I am inviting people from our congregation to come share with our youth and children, but also to come listen.  

  

Psalm 145:4 (NLT) says:  4 Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts;     let them proclaim your power.  

Keep the Faith!! Pastor Brigitte

29 April 2018

Our [email protected] PHILOSOPHY: The home is the primary place where faith is nurtured - no matter what society tells us.

 

We love our children, but parenting them is a complex and often confusing task! To simplify things, this is one simple guiding principle: to equip our children to meet the demands of reality.  One day your children will have to face reality and handle it without your guidance. They will need to make mature choices to follow Christ; find great relationships to support their growth; set their core values and morals; handle romance, dating, marriage and family pathways; and craft their passions and careers.

 

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

 

Research shows that children who experience a household of clear and appropriate boundaries, delivered with love and warmth, are better equipped to meet the demands of life’s reality.  Why is this important and how do we set boundaries? Join us today for our FAH session on Boundaries with Children!

 

Keep the faith!  Pastor Brigitte

 


11 march 2018

Parents and grandparents are often keen for their kids to develop the right attitudes, but kids usually pick up who we are rather than what we say.  For instance, I had a friend many years ago who constantly criticised Christian brothers and sisters in their conversation at home.  Some of it was quite valid, but is it any surprise that their children became more distant towards Christians than what they ever needed to be?    


The next time you wonder why do they react in a certain way, do a quick inventory.  Is that what I believe deep down?  Is this something in my behaviour that they see?  We can't always control our children's response and we wouldn't want to, but we can control our own.  The cultivation and growth of our own inner child may just be the key to our own kids spiritual maturity.  

Pastor Andrew