Thought for the Month – September

How often do we talk to God? This dialogue with him is simply called prayer. As a Pentecostal people we believe in a vibrant relationship with a living God and so we should be talking with him regularly, or even unceasingly, as the apostle Paul described in his letter to the Thessalonian church (1 Thes. 5:17). Every relationship that is to develop requires time and effort and this includes our heavenly relationship.

To whom do you pray, and does it matter? We have three separate persons in a Trinitarian God head who are each equally God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If you pray only to one which one and why? How about speaking with all three and expanding your dialogue with each. God is so incredible, and we have the most amazing privilege of access to a God who longs for us to speak with him. Of the three mono-theistic religions Judaism and Islam do not have a living relationship with a living God. Only Christianity enables that through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

This next season will see us as a church focus on prayer. I long for this to be the focus of everything we do and that we will increase our praying as individual disciples and as a gathered body of saints. I urge you to prioritise our monthly prayer meeting in your diaries.

Blessings, Alan

Thought for the Month – July

Jesus said that the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few (Matt. 9:37)…are you ready to enter the mission field?

Your local mission field and harvest awaits right here on your doorstep! Oasis Church exists to make disciples for mission – to build a people that hear God and are obedient to his requests and challenges for our lives. We have done much in the area of discipleship and now our week of mission is here – we call it Impact England. I would like to encourage you, whatever your age or abilities; to come and be a part of what will be an amazing week. We are working side by side with other churches in our village as well as hosting around 15 adults and children from around the world. People who are giving their holiday time and money to come and help us to extend the Kingdom of Heaven right here! It is a huge blessing and we aim to welcome and honour our guests. It really is an adventure following Jesus.
Prayer, being still, resting with and knowing God intimately are key aspects of discipleship and in encountering him in daily life. So before we commence with a very busy time of mission we are taking a day out to pray and rest. Our first church Prayer Retreat will take place on Saturday 21st July at Minster Abbey and I recommend you put your name down to go as numbers will be limited.
Before the summer break begins in August I wanted to encourage you all to make the most of Life Groups, LIMITLESS and Young@Heart. These are going well but need your prayers and hopefully your attendance. Finally don’t forget the last session of our Evangelism Academy on Monday 16th. July a month of possibility!

Blessings,
Alan

Keeping it real!

We were reminded this week that we have to keep things real. To build an ‘authentic and vibrant’ church which is part of our vision – we certainly need to keep it real. Lynda ministered to us this weekend and shared her reality and her story. If we can be honest with God and with one another then God can take any life from a place of self-dependence and confusion – to one of freedom, wonder and adventure! Being a disciple of Jesus is not always easy but it really is the only way to true peace and joy even when we find ourselves in the middle of difficult circumstances. Ready to walk this life?

What does a plank look like?

Often we like to think that we know whats coming any given Sunday services but often its not what we expect.  One of the things I love about our church is how comfortable we are together.  Sometimes the best way to get the most out of a teaching is not use more words but use images or props and humour.  This particular week we were studying what it means to take the plank out of your own eye before the trying to take spec from your brother’s eye (Matthew 7:5).  No better way to think about what might be the plank or trouble spot in our own life than to demonstrate it with a battle helmet and a palm tree.   We have new people join our congregation all the time and feel the loving atmosphere and creative teaching.  We look forward to meeting you any given Sunday and promise to not poke you in the eye!

 

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Raised to Life!

It was so wonderful to have our first water baptisms since becoming the Pastor at Elim Oasis Church in Broadstairs. Ben and Mandy have been raised to new life in Christ, having accepted Jesus’ offer of salvation they decided to be obedient to the great commission and to follow his example by being baptised by full immersion in water; and what better day could there be in the Christian calendar than Easter Sunday to do so as we celebrated Jesus resurrection to life.

Water baptism was a very special and significant moment when Jesus himself was baptised in this way, with the Father speaking out his pleasure of his Son and the Holy Spirit alighting upon and affirming Jesus. A real Trinitarian moment in scripture. It is also a special and significant step in one’s discipleship growth today. So if you are a disciple of Jesus and have not been baptised in water what is stopping you?

Those of us who have been through the waters of baptism then what a blessing and encouragement to us to witness such wonderful services and moments. It is also a reminder of the step we took and the promise we made to follow Jesus. He is ever faithful and continues to walk with us through the love and power of the Holy Spirit. So let’s be disciples on his mission!

Well done Ben and Mandy. Thankfully the water was nice a warm!

Blessings,
Alan

Real Life Mission

Reflecting on some of the stories from around the world that were shared with us at church today by Elim’s International Mission Director, Paul Hudson, I was left wondering afresh what real life is. As we heard about lives that had been broken and destroyed by the sins of others, it is good to know that in many parts of the world Christians never have to ask why? Their faith in God is never doubted and no matter how horrific life’s circumstances may become, they have total confidence that God is with them through it all. Many Christians in the Western World question everything and especially so when life gets tough or we don’t understand a situation. Real life will be tough but our response needs to mature to the wisdom of those who often have nothing.

Godly Spice Girls

We had an amazing day at Elim Oasis Church on Sunday. Almost record numbers came to worship Jesus at our morning service and we held an evening service too – both with the worship ministry provided by 5 amazingly humble yet talented ladies. Helen, Elesha, Tania, Nadine and Leanne – whom we have given a nickname of the Godly Spice Girls – were such a great team who brought us an incredible blessing as each one gave their all for Jesus. Thank you. It is a wonderful thing to see ladies rising up to be all they can be in God and to minister in ever more glorious ways and with widening influence. All ladies be encouraged that you are called to be disciples and to grow in him, to serve him and to radiate him to others. Men let’s be humble and stand with them, support them and learn from their example as we too seek to do our best for our King!

New Ministries

Reflecting upon what God is doing in our midst as a church we really are in an exciting new season of ministries. We were so blessed to have had Dr. Keith Warrington come and minister to us through his Word & Spirit ministry. A real call for everyday Christians to get back to Bible reading, devotions and studying the word of God. As a church we are running our first Alpha course which has started wonderfully and I’m seeing so many people serving Jesus by serving our guests. In a couple of weeks time we have Helen Yousaf and an anointed team of musicians coming to Broadstairs for ministry in song and word. I’m sure God is going to release a new prophetic call to our wider area of Thanet through Helen and her team. We really are being blessed – thank you Father, thank you Jesus and thank you Holy Spirit.

New Values

Our Values set out the principles of our local church expression. They intentionally create a culture of expectation for God to move amongst us, they set out how we intend to behave, and they demonstrate God’s love to one another and to those in our local community.

Knowing
When we grasp how much God desires to know us and the lengths he has gone and still does go to, to make himself available to us; then surely we must long to know him and desire to encounter him. We are to love God first, above all things, by simply spending time with him.

Serving
It is not about the quantity of serving that we do but it is entirely about the quality of our service. It is out of knowing him and receiving from him that we are empowered to serve where he has placed us, by bringing our resources through wholehearted and loyal commitment. Humble service should be constantly applied across every aspect of our lives.

Encouraging
All it takes to ignite fresh hope and purpose within us is some encouragement. It’s important to recognise when someone attempts to put their faith in God and to encourage them regardless of the result. Mistakes are allowed, they are part of discipleship after all, and are not failure. Failure is to not get up again after a fall! We can all be encouragers of others in their walk with God, lifting each other up so we can become all that we are meant to be.

Honouring
Things that are worthy deserve honour. As we honour Jesus and his Kingdom then we create space for his life and for heavenly things to dwell amongst us. As we honour each other by recognising individual calling we can equip and release people into the destinies. This will enhance our lives and enable the Kingdom of God to expand. God honoured us by sending Jesus and so we must also learn to honour. Therefore: everybody is welcome and nobody is judged!

Blessing
The beatitudes are a pronouncement concerning those who are blessed and this is true despite what circumstances may say. We must therefore also demonstrate this to others by being a generous blessing to them. We replicate the blessings that God shows to us by offering mercy, by living in purity, by reconciling, by refusing to compromise from God’s standards and by calling God’s favour upon people.

Excelling
As we grow spiritually and mature we are to excel in character and behaviour. God loves us too much to leave us the way we are and he uses the pursuit of excellence to progress us. Without excellence life would be rather ordinary. Excelling is not competition but rather it means being the best you that you can be.

New Friends

This attached picture on this blog introduces some new friends I made this summer. They are all handicapped and have been placed into a remote outcast village in India. One has a leg missing, another has stumps for fingers after suffering from leprosy, one has a withered arm and the other 2 are blind. It was both humbling and a privilege to have visited then in their homes which are little more than rundown sheds for us in first world countries.

The team I travelled with took medical aid and practical hands on nursing to these poorest of people. The whole village of 72 dwellings were offered spiritual help through prayer and a gospel message of hope in Jesus, and physical help through a food that we supplied as well as blankets for warmth as the colder weather approaches. Sounds like the gospel to me!

They sang a song during a time of worship which when translated for me had the lyric “without Jesus we are poor”. Makes you think doesn’t it. Please pray for them and the great work that the Church of Pentecost is doing in India.