Greetings in Jesus name,
We hope you are having a fantastic and blessed day! This month has been demanding and challenging. We began many new series and are continuing to deal with some serious issues within the church. The Lord is in control and He never ceases to amaze me! It so thrilling to watch Him transform lives!
Two weeks ago
Two weeks ago, I finished teaching though the book of James. As we went through this practical book, some of the major issues that were lingering in the hearts of the body were brought into the light. It was the Lords perfect timing in dealing with these issues. Here is one of the things I spoke on:
What Prayer Is…
Prayer is coming into the presence of God…
Prayer is entering the throne room of the KING of kings and LORD of lords…
Prayer is taking our concerns to the one who cares for me
Prayer is to stand on holy ground…
Prayer is communicating with the creator of the world…(the one spoke this world into existence with a word…mountains, oceans, stars…)
Prayer is a child talking to His Father…
Prayer is bringing our hurts to the father of compassion and the God of all comfort…
Prayer is reaching out to our redeemer…
Prayer is crying out to the rock that is higher than we are…
Prayer is calling out to the only one who can save us…
Prayer is touching the one who loves us with an unfailing & unquenchable love…
Prayer is bringing our questions to the one who has the answers
Prayer is reaching out to the NEVER; tired, confused, afraid or taken by surprise God…
Prayer is connecting our lives with the ALL knowing, ALL present – and ALL powerful KING of kings…
Prayer is coming near to God…
Another point I would like to share with you, is when we are in the midst of our suffering we need to know the following:
God is always in control of our suffering. We may never know the full reasons for all the sufferings we endure, but we know that God will use our suffering for our good and His. God always has a purpose for what He does.
God always has a limit on the amount of suffering He allows for each of us. For instance, Satan could not touch Job’s life. Some saints like Job and Paul obviously have broader shoulders that enable them to suffer more for righteousness sake.
God’s presence will enable us to with stand the pressures of suffering if we turn to Him. If we cast our cares on Him, He will sustain us, but He may not remove our suffering until His perfect will is accomplished. Remember, “The will of God will not take us where the grace of God cannot sustain us”.
I was a blast getting into the basics of practical Christianity. James is such a powerful book because it gets down to the nuts and bolts on how we are to live our lives and what a healthy Christian looks like.
The next series and season, we will be teaching through the book of Ephesians. I know this will be a radical and revisionary study for us and I’m looking forward to sharing with you along the way what we are learning. As a reminder, you can always tune into our podcast either in iTunes or on our web site (www.calvarymelbourne.com.au).
Family Get Away
Three weeks ago, the Lord blessed us with a quick family get away at the Nepean Country Club on the Mornington Peninsula. We had such an amazing week! We were able to just hang out as a family and not worry about anything – no meetings, counseling, phone calls, emails (which when I came back I had 395emails waiting for me). It was one of the most relaxing and restful weeks that I can remember, next to our honeymoon almost ten years ago. It was wonderful to take a breather from the stress and challenges we have had to face over the last couple of months. We are recharged and ready to hit it hard for the next season of ministry.
Women’s Group: It’s been a challenging month! We have had to work through several issues that were causing uneasiness within the group. God is so faithful and we are now back on track. We are going to begin a new study from Beth Moore called “Breaking Free.” I believe with all my heart that the Lord is going to do something amazing with this study! Many of the women in this group have never addressed those wounds that have caused many strongholds in their lives. I can’t wait to see what He is going to do. We have also been blessed with 3 new additions to our group. Praise God!
Wow! We have had an amazing start to this 6 week series. The girls are so open, and willing to discuss those difficult subjects. They are taking their commitment to stay pure very seriously. It’s just so amazing to work alongside the parents of these 4 beautiful girls. They are so supportive and have been actively doing their studies as well with the girls. I have seen such an amazing growth and unity within the group. Please continue to pray for this series, and that the Lord would give them the strength to live their lives pure and pleasing to Him.
We are doing a series on sharing our faith with others. We have made it a spy/detective theme. Every week the kids are sent on a secret mission to find out how specific people in the Bible and missionaries from around the world shared their faith with others. The kids are having a blast! My assistant director is a very talented artist and has created some amazing spy props. They just make this series come to life for the kids.
Last week during one of our thunder and lighting rain storms, it got so cold that it hailed. Part of our backyard was covered with a thin layer of snow, and the boys were able to make a few snowballs. Talk about some crazy weather!
We have under 300 days before our visa expire. This next time we are applying for our permanent residency. Prayer for wisdom and provision (it will be close to $5000 for application process).
Pray for the continue protection of the church.
Pray for revival, for harvest, for the Lord to raise up more labors for the harvest.
Pray for wisdom, discernment, vision and focus, guidance, provision.
Pray for the next series and season of ministry as we teach through the book of Ephesians.
Pray for our family (Niki, Joshua, Christian, Andrew)
Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and for your faithful support,
Pastor Andrew Russell
Andrew, Niki, Joshua, & Christian