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Flooding Creek Community Church

FCCC is a God-loving, evangelical, reformed church in Sale, Victoria.

Posts Categorized / General

  • Dec 07 / 2019
  • Comments Off on A note to the church.
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A note to the church.

FCCC has been without a pastor for over two years now. As the search continues into the new year and beyond please pray for the selection panel and potential applicants, that God’s will would be done and that we may have a Spirit of wisdom and understanding.

My hope is that this church – all the beautiful men and women who call Flooding Creek home and more ecumenically the local population of Christ-followers – may remember three important lessons from our church’s story.

One.

Grief and lament are a biblical form of worship. As I read the book of Psalms, I am reminded that when we are faced with disappointment (which personally I am feeling quite strongly at the moment), or, to broaden the scope further- when we lament the death of a loved one, feel despair, anxiety, neglect, or any number of emotions natural for humans living in a broken world, we must remember to do so in the same pattern as the Psalmists.

We should indeed lament – in crying out to our God we remind ourselves that God is God. He is our immovable foundation, and His salvation and righteous works are worthy of praise. His purposes have been made known – and whatever God’s plan is, despite it not looking exactly the way we might want or expect in this moment, it will most certainly culminate in the fulfillment of God’s reign on earth when Jesus returns in glory. Hallelujah.

Two.

When we face conflict- especially within the church, or with those who are in leadership, or if we are tempted to complain about a sermon or teaching, or if we feel wronged for whatever reason, remember:

a. Forgive as God forgave us.
b. Our brothers and sisters are saved sinners just like us, so their intentions are probably good – we must try to see the best in them.
c. Apply the principles taught by Jesus in Matthew 18. Approach them personally and talk it out. When doing so, let us remember the purpose of doing so (Romans 14:19, Ephesians 4:3, Hebrews 12:14), and remember to pray with them.

When these (and other, similar) biblical Christian principles are not applied to our personal circumstances and decisions, a sequence of events inevitably follows including gossip, strife, and broken relationships – and other hell-like descriptors. Ultimately, we could sum it up with a buzz-phrase like “be like Christ”; my prayer is that buzz-phrases like these would not be wasted on us.

Three.

If you come to Flooding Creek, it is likely that you have a heart for the lost, and that through His church you want people in Sale to hear the good news of Jesus’ reign, his resounding defeat of both sin and death, and that by the grace of God they would repent and follow Him.

My reminder is that you ARE the church. The good news of Jesus is spread by US. Predestined, certainly; the command remains.

Revival, and effective evangelism – when it works – is always rooted in the white-hot faith of the church. In this day and age especially, it is of paramount importance that we, you and I, practice the spiritual disciplines which help make us resilient to the negative aspects of our culture, ground us in the hope of the gospel, and help us to rely on the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and understanding – which He lavishes on us freely when we read and apply His carefully preserved scriptures and purposefully develop our now-un-broken relationship with the God who created us. This in order that we may indeed be able to answer confidently for our hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. Ie, read the bible and pray – (perhaps even) before you touch the phone in the morning(!) (…I’d like to try this.)

What we mustn’t do is just wait for a pastor to come and then expect that he and his family will magically inspire us and finally show us the way to live and evangelise Sale. We can’t expect him to come and do all the work, all the evangelism, and all the scripture reading on behalf of the church, and then expect that FCCC will somehow grow God’s kingdom in Sale. That is unrealistic, not to mention ineffective, inefficient, unfair, and ungodly.

The truth is, the pattern of living (the Way, Truth, Life) has been shown us already; we don’t actually even NEED a pastor as such. Sure, it would be great, and an extra set of hands and feet would be wonderful – but in the end, this church is God’s church. He wants to use us whether we’ve a pastor or not! Please pray for one to be sent (we’re all sent…), but let’s not sit on our laurels in the meantime.

That’s it for now. I pray and hope this post is an encouragement to you all. Please discern and distill God’s truth from it by the Holy Spirit; I’m not the boss. Jesus is the boss.

I look forward to reaching the people of Sale with the good news of Jesus Christ with you, firmly embedded in the Truth in Love, for His glory. 

Paul R.

  • Aug 04 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Perfect judgement
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Perfect judgement

This weekend, we were privileged to have the company and encouragement of Andrew Macpherson, visiting us from over the ditch; Palmy North NZ. Andrew preached from the challenging Old Testament scripture of 1 Kings 21. It was a delight to extract some encouraging truths from this fascinating story. Among other things, it is an assurance to know that God’s judgement is perfectly just, perfectly timed, and perfectly in line with His nature – to the exact extent of His grace, mercy, compassion, sovereignty, and omnipotence. He is gracious to provide opportunity to repent, and faithful in His promises.

At the end of the day, while we don’t always know the details of God’s plan, we can rest assured that He is good, and that He works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. God’s judgement will surely come, His plan will come to fruition, and He will be glorified!

Thanks for being an encouragement to us, Andrew, and for visiting us here in sunny Sale; you and your wife are more than welcome any time!

Following the service this morning we had a little BBQ at the fountain park. It was great to hang out despite the chilly wind!

Before the service the last few weeks, Simone has been serving us by organising a small coffee table out the front in the carpark. It has been very encouraging to have some conversation opportunities and community engagement on a regular basis. If you’re able, please come and join us before the service for a quick cuppa!

Over the next few weeks we’ll continue hearing from Dr Don Carson in his series called “The God Who Is There”. From September we’re also looking forward to having Ross and Ruby Brightwell back in town more regularly, God-willing!

It is a pleasure and a true privilege to meet regularly with fellow believers who delight in God’s word, working out our salvation with fear and trembling, and proclaiming the good news about Jesus together! May God use us for His glory and for the kingdom in Sale through the work of the Holy Spirit. God is good!

  • Jun 12 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Alive in Christ
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Alive in Christ

It’s been a while…

Dan’s last post was on Abraham’s Thoughtful Faith. If you haven’t yet read it, may I recommend that you do. Dan’s faith was indeed a thoughtful one, and his faith, by the grace and gift of God, remained strong until the end of his time on this earth. Dan, our founding pastor, friend, and leader, passed away in January 2017 after a battle with leukaemia. He has been sorely missed since.

This blog post aims to shed a little light on what FCCC has been up to since then, which I hope you find encouraging.

After Dan died, the community found itself in grief and mourning, though not without hope. At that time Dan’s MTS apprentice, Rob Nicholls, bravely stepped up into the role of Acting Senior Pastor. Despite Rob’s minimal experience, he did a remarkable job and helped our community through a very difficult time. In October 2017, Rob and his family decided, with the blessing of the church community, to continue his theological studies in Brisbane.

Since that time, FCCC has had to band together in a significant way. We have continued to meet together weekly, enjoying encouragement and community as we unite to hear God’s word taught faithfully. We have been greatly supported by Ross and Ruby Brightwell who have travelled regularly from Melbourne to teach and minister to us, and at other times we have enjoyed the opportunity to listen to video sermons, or to hear from one of our own. Growth groups have continued to meet regularly; most recently we have completed a study through Ridley Bible College’s small group series on 1 Corinthians, which was both encouraging and challenging. I believe I can speak for all of those who attended in saying that we really enjoyed it and learned a lot from His word through it. 

In the last couple of weeks, we have just started a series on Revelation. It promises to be both fascinating and challenging, and as always God has plenty to communicate and reveal through His preserved, living and active word.

We continue to meet regularly in these ways, and are actively searching for a new Senior Pastor willing to partner with us in the gospel, for the sake of His glory in Sale. 

God is good. He has been faithful in his provision in the difficult times we have faced, and we are joyful to be His servants for His kingdom in Sale. Please come and visit us, we would love to meet you and fellowship with you! If you have any questions, or you’d like to get in touch, the best way is by emailing us at floodingcreekcommunitychurch@gmail.com.

  • Jul 18 / 2016
  • Comments Off on Abraham’s Thoughtful Faith
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Abraham’s Thoughtful Faith

Often people characterise faith as the opposite of thinking. It’s a blind leap in the dark. Friedrich Nietzsche, the nineteenth century atheist philosopher said, “Faith is not wanting to know what is true”. A little more modern example is Richard Dawkins:

“Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.”

Tim Minchin, the Australian comedian agrees:

“Science adjusts its views based on what’s observed. Faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved.”

This is a common opinion now, but it is not the view of the Bible, and Abraham is a great example of thoughtful faith. In Genesis 15 we read:

‘He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.’ (Genesis 15:5-6)

What was it that caused Abraham (his name was changed from Abram in Genesis 17) to trust God? Paul tells us in Romans 4:

“Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” (Romans 4:20-21)

Abraham was fully persuaded that God had the power to grant him as many descendants as the stars. He didn’t just take a leap in the dark, or leave all reason behind, he reasoned his way to his faith. Abraham did a similar thing when God called him to sacrifice Isaac:

“Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead” (Heb 11:19)

Abraham worked from what he knew about God and then reasoned his way to trusting him. That’s what faith is, it’s trust. It’s not a leap in the dark. Trust is given to the one who is trustworthy. Abraham reasoned that God had the power to do what he promised. His faith was based on evidence. Christians also believe based on evidence. The key claim of Christianity is an historical one: Jesus of Nazareth physically rose from the dead. The eye witness testimonies of the risen Jesus lie at the heart of the New Testament’s evidence for Christian faith. Christians believe because they investigate the evidence and find it convincing. It’s logical. It’s reasonable. It’s based on historical observations. It’s based on evidence. Christian faith is no cop-out. In fact one might suggest that deliberately ignoring the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection is to ‘evade the need to think and evaluate evidence’.

  • Jun 14 / 2016
  • Comments Off on A Journey with Cancer
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A Journey with Cancer

Rob lomo small

Since January one of our pastors, Dan Godde, has been diagnosed with Leukemia and has been receiving treatment. This has meant long stays in Melbourne away from family and church. Rob, our other pastor, has happily stepped up into Dan’s role and is doing a great job. Dan’s journey with cancer looks likely to be a long one. Doctor’s project that if his treatment is successful, he will probably not return to work until next year. This news has brought grief to Dan’s family, our church family and his friends. But in the midst we are comforted, because our God is a good God and he is in control of this world, even when things look bleak. Please join us in praying for Dan and his family. Also, please pray for the leaders of Flooding Creek. Many of our church members have stood up and taken on more leadership this year, and we have already seen how in the midst of this trial God is blessing us.

If you would like to follow Dan’s progress, than you might like to read his blog here.

  • Jan 04 / 2016
  • Comments Off on World’s Biggest Problem Survey Results
Blog, General, Sermon Series

World’s Biggest Problem Survey Results

The survey results are in. 162 people responded to the survey and the top 10 results are:

  1. Terrorism 15%
  2. Lack of respect 12%
  3. War 12%
  4. Poverty 11%
  5. Greed 8%
  6. Religion 7%
  7. Pollution 4%
  8. Drugs 4%
  9. Lack of belief in God 4%
  10. Humanity 3%

Other answers included politicians, animal cruelty and overpopulation.

Later in the year we’ll be seeing how the Bible addresses the biggest issues in the world.

3 – War and Poverty
2 – Lack of Respect
1 – Terrorism

Stand by for the dates…

  • Dec 30 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Who cares about the Cross?
Blog, General

Who cares about the Cross?

Every religion has its own symbol. The Lotus flower was first used by the Egyptians and the ancient Chinese and Indians but is now mostly associated with Buddhism.  Its wheel shape depicts the circle of birth and death, and beauty and harmony emerging out of muddy water.  Ancient Judaism was scared stiff to have a symbol and avoided having one for fear of breaking the second commandment, but these days the modern Jewish nation has the Star of David.  Its hexagon shape represents God’s promise to David that his kingdom would last forever and that the Messiah would come from his line.  Islam has got the Cresent, depicting the moon, and Christianity has the cross.  The cross is now the universal symbol of Christianity.

But why the cross?  Why focus on the cross.  Jesus rose from the dead and went to heaven.  If you’re a Christian why wouldn’t you have an empty tomb as a symbol?  Or Jesus ascending to heaven?  Or what about the miracles?  Maybe there should have been more emphasis on Jesus’s miraculous powers.  Maybe a wave seeing that he commanded and walked on a few.  Or because he was God who came down as man we should have focused on him as the carpenter.  Maybe a hammer or chisel could have been the symbol. But why the cross? Why focus on his death and crucifixion?

Let’s think about it: why would you choose to remember as your symbol the time your God went through the most humiliating, embarrassing time of his short life?  Now when it comes to the Roman Empire, these guys were absolute guns at creating methods of execution.  They built a stadium for it and it still stands there today (barely).  Crucifixion which was a death only reserved for the dodgiest of people, was the cruelest method ever invented of execution for it delayed the death for maximum torture.  First stripping you naked, you could be up there for days before you died, having bird’s pecking your eyes out and pecking at your flesh.  Gross.  But that’s the reality.  They gave you a little bit of timber for you to hold your weight a bit so the nails wouldn’t tear through your flesh and you’d fall off and have to be re-nailed.  Such is the reality of Crucifixion.  But this is what Jesus Christ the Messiah and Son of God went through.  Why would his followers want to remember that and have that as the universal symbol?

Why choose this horrific event as thing we symbolize Christianity for?  Because the centrality of the cross originated in the mind of Jesus himself. He was a guy who from a young age knew his own fate.  From the time he was a youngster sitting in his “father’s house” hanging out with the teachers in the temple, he knew he had a mission.  His father had sent him into the world for a purpose.  He had one mission only he could do; this purpose only he could go through.  But only he and God knew about it.  Even his followers had no idea what his mission was.  Jesus tells Peter plain as day what is going to happen to him and Jesus turns around and says get away from me Satan.  In the upper room over the last supper the followers had no clue what was about to happen to him even after it was confirmed to them.  I am going to die tonight fellas. Huh?  Meanwhile, Andrew to Thomas: “Thomas can you please pass the salt.”  They had no idea.

So why did he have to die?  Why was his mission to die?  I might give four solid reasons.

  1. He died for us.

He did it for our sake and not his own and believed that by dying, he would secure the good which could not be secured in any other way.  He was the Good Shepherd who was going to lay down his life for his sheep for their benefit.  In the upper room he showed this as well by the Lord ’s Supper picture “this is my body given for you’.

  1. He died for us to bring us to God. (1 Peter 3:18)

Our reconciliation with God.  We stuffed up and are separated from God.  It was only through his sacrifice in that we can come to the Father.  We are saved through his death.

  1. He died for our Sins

Our sins are the roadblock that stopped us from having the gift he wanted to give us so they had to be removed so we could receive it.  So in Jesus’ death he took away our sins.  He died so that his sacrifice would be a once off payment for the humanity of the world, wiping away all their wrongs.

  1. Christ died our death

The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). The reality is we deserve death.  We are born with a sin inside that needs to be dealt with.  I know that sucks, but that’s the fact.  We are not all good people who do a few bad things.  We are wretched people who need saving.  When we say, I can do life my own way, I will do what I want to do, we have offended God in the most shocking way by saying “thanks for creating me, now get nicked”.  We are sinners and we deserve death and death is the final judgement for our rebellion towards God.  It is what we deserve.  But Jesus became our sin offering and died our death, the death we deserve so that we can live with him eternally.

So who cares about the cross?  All humanity should.  To have the Son of God come down as man, so that man can be sons of God is the greatest act of love.  To have a God who would send his Son to die for your benefit, to bring you into relationship with him for eternity, to pay for the sins that you committed, and die the death you deserve, a God who would die a death in the most cruel, torturous way for you.  Now there is a God who must love you and treasure you as his most precious possession.  A God who must really want to know you and be in relationship with.

Who cares about the cross?

by Rob Nicholls (Rob is one of the pastors at Flooding Creek)

  • Dec 17 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Mythbusters Christmas Eve Special
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Mythbusters Christmas Eve Special

mythChristmas web

Join us this Christmas Eve at 6pm at Guthridge Primary School Hall for a super-short, super-fun, all-ages Mythbusters Christmas Eve service. We’ll sing carols, sort fact from fiction and have lots of fun. Feel free to stay for a free feed and then drive around looking at the Christmas lights in town. Everyone is welcome.

Key details:
time: 6pm
date: Thursday, 24th December
location: Guthridge Primary School Hall

  • Oct 12 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Life
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Life

life post

 

Is there more to life?

Jesus Christ says there is. We’d love you to join us at Life to explore what he says about this question and many more, such as:

  • Who is this man called Jesus? Isn’t he simply an urban myth?
  • Is there any real evidence? What about his resurrection from the dead?
  • Does my life have purpose?
  • How can you trust the Bible? Hasn’t it been changed over time?
  • Why should I care about all this stuff?

You will have plenty of opportunity to ask questions. Regardless of how difficult or controversial, we won’t be offended.

Is Life for you?

Life is for anyone interested in exploring the big questions of life. Everyone is welcome, no matter age or background. The night includes good food, coffee, a short talk, and opportunity for discussion and questions – all in a relaxed atmosphere.

Life series details

Our very popular Life series begins again on 16th October and includes 6 Friday nights for coffee and dessert.

location:   Tall Poppy Cafe, 344 Raymond St Sale (Opposite Harvey Norman)
cost:          $2 (includes coffee and dessert)
time:         7:30pm – 9pm Friday nights starting 16th April

  • Jul 16 / 2015
  • Comments Off on The Sacred Cows of Domestic Violence
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The Sacred Cows of Domestic Violence

I was chatting to an Amnesty International activist the other day. He informed me of the growing problem of domestic violence and the importance of Australians standing up and letting their government know that they take domestic violence very seriously. He said that Amnesty was involved in lobbying the government and also ensuring that kids in schools were made aware of the dangers and appropriate attitudes to domestic violence. I said I couldn’t agree more, and asked him if the risks involved in de facto relationships and pornography were part of the education package. He looked at me blankly and became a little agitated. As far as he was concerned there were no connections between domestic violence and de facto relationships or pornography.

Concern about domestic violence is escalating recently, with good reason. One third of all women in Australia have experienced domestic violence. This is a sad and sickening figure and it’s absolutely right to turn our attention to this issue. Many have pointed the finger at traditional attitudes to gender roles as a cause. But attitudes and opportunities for women have changed remarkably over the last few decades, and yet violence seems to be increasing rather than decreasing. With our rightly renewed interest in stamping out domestic violence, why are de facto relationships and pornography being ignored in the public debate?

Sacred Cow 1: De facto relationships

One of the big changes in our society that was meant to reduce domestic violence was the introduction of no-fault-divorce in 1975. Women trapped in abusive marriages were now able to escape. Over time, marriage became less popular and a new, liberating  alternative to marriage began to emerge and was eventually recognised: the de facto relationship. But have de facto relationships been good for women? Not if you look at the domestic violence stats. According to different studies, women are three to four times more likely to suffer domestic violence in a de facto relationship than they are in a marriage. Yet there is little or no coverage of these statistics in the media. It seems counter-intuitive, but the numbers speak for themselves: women are safer in marriages than they are in de facto relationships. Ironically divorce has not made women any happier either.

Sacred Cow 2: Pornography

Another big change in our society came with the internet age: easy access to pornography. Before the internet you had to go down to the news agency and physically stand before another person in order to buy a pornographic magazine. Now you can secretly watch it on your smart phone without a soul ever knowing. But why does it matter what someone does in the privacy of their own home? It doesn’t affect anyone else, right? Wrong. Pornography is having devastating effects on our society. One of those effects is an increase in abuse to women by men. Studies show that exposure even to non-violent pornography increase people’s acceptance of violence towards women. And it’s not just attitudes, men (and also boys) act out on those new attitudes. Rape rates increase by six times with exposure to violent porn. Even soft-core porn correlates with increased rates of child sexual abuse and rape. Yet it doesn’t get a mention in the new campaigns about domestic violence! Why on earth not?

No doubt about it. Men are to blame for domestic violence against women. But if we’re going to get serious about reducing domestic violence then let’s speak the hard truth. Two sacred cows need to be exposed for what they are: havens of domestic violence.

  1. De facto relationships are too dangerous for our women. Ladies, insist on getting married for your own safety and protection. Men, don’t slide into a commitment-free sexual relationship, man up and marry the woman. Commit to her life-long well-being.
  2. Pornography is not a harmless indulgence. It trains your brain for sexual violence. Switch it off before it ruins your life and the lives of others.
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