LifeCity Church Canberra - Making It Real

The official Blog of LifeCity Church, Canberra a young, dynamic church now meeting in Civic, in the heart of Canberra.

Summer Holiday Service Times

LifeCity Church - Saturday, December 28, 2013

SUMMER HOLIDAY GATHERINGS

During the Christmas Holidays we have different service schedules and locations before re-launching our normal schedule in late January, 

SUNDAY AM - 10:27am - The Loft - 35 East Row, Civic

SUNDAY PM - 5:57pm - The Loft - 35 East Row, Civic (except the 29th of December - no gathering) 

Our Sunday PM Gatherings will be particularly relaxed with special Summer activities. 


Our Normal Gatherings and times will be re-launching...

//South (in Kambah, Tuggeranong) on January 26th @ 9:27am - 141 O'Halloran Cct, Kambah

//North (in Kaleen, Belconnen) on January 26th @ 10:27am - 100 Alberga St, Kaleen

//Qbn (in Queanbeyan) on February 9th @ 4:27pm - 262 Crawford St, Queanbeyan

//City ('Church at The Loft' - which will run right through bar the 29/12) - @ 5:57pm - 35 East Row, Civic

Welcome Home - The Code Series Wk 1

LifeCity Church - Tuesday, October 01, 2013

WELCOME||HOME

The way Jesus describes God in prayer and thus relationship is as 'Father'. It seems simple enough and particularly in the west we then position ourselves rightly as sons or daughters of God. Unusually though, many then proceed in their faith in a place of isolation forgetting that Jesus starts the Lord's prayer with 'Our'.


Though God wants you individually, the scarier element for most is that God's primary affection, God's direction, and yes even God's 'election' (I swear that was not supposed to sound alliterated) is not upon the individual it is upon his chosen people.

In the Old Covenant, Israel was 'chosen' (or elected) by God because “they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.” (Rom 11:28). Deuteronomy 4:37 tells us that "Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them".


Romans 9:11 – 12 tells us that... "though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that God's purpose according to His choice might stand, not because of works, but because of Him, who calls, it was said to her, 'The older will serve the younger'".

Some misunderstand this verse (and passage in general) because we are obsessively individually focused, however it is not individual election God is primarily talking of in Romans 9 but the election of a nation for his purposes. Genesis, giving a fuller background tell us "Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples shall be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger" (Genesis 25:23)

God chose Israel in the forefathers. Each individual was 'chosen' because they were born into Israel by birth and participated in the covenant through faith (yes, even in the in the OT). In the exact same way, we are told in Ephesians 1:4 tells us “For he chose us in him...” The Church is chosen as a new covenant community in Christ, through Christ and for Christ. Repetitively throughout Ephesians 1 and 2 we are told that our salvation, our identity, our sufficiency is in Christ.

BUT... what does this matter to us?

The Short answer is that the call of God, the direction of God and the affection of God is unconditionally towards his Church, Christ's bride. The Church has been unconditionally elected not you as an individual. This is important because such an understanding readjusts the way we consider our place in the world.

You cannot be walking in the will of God and be practically apart from the body. It is inconsistent with the community call of God in Christ. No where in the New Testament do we even get a glimmer of the idea that one might be a disciple and in a casual relationship with the Church or indeed practically and relationally not part of it. Baptism was the initiation and declaration of a repentant person coming into a new family, a new way, a new identity, a new community.


God is NOT about building your dream, God is about building his.


Psalm 37:4 tells us “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Unfortunately we frequently approach this completely opposite. We say to God (and to the Church for that matter) 'give me the desires of my heart and I will delight in you'.

God is about building a home defined by him.


a) Home is WHO we are (as defined by our father in heaven)

The good, the bad and the ugly. Christ is beautifying his Church and she is loved even when not perfect.

1 Cor 3:9 starts For we are God's fellow-workers; you are God's field, God's building.

For we are GOD'S...!!! We seem to continue to forget this little detail, we are his.

This is not about God blessing what we do, but about us standing in what he is blessing. 

This is not about us creating a monument to our comfort but a home that positions for the ultimate fight.

Psalm 127:1  says...

"Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labour in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.

More important then strategy, vision or style is our Identity, an identity found in Christ, expressed and shaped consistently in, through and because of the local community we are dedicated to because it is home.

b) Home is about our place of grace

The Apostle Paul continues talking of his call and the Church in saying...

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no-one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor 3:10 – 11

What is the grace on your life?

What is the Grace on the house?

The local expression of the Church is as diverse as the grace of God that he puts on our lives.

So often, individual's, Churches and Ministries get caught in a comparison trap. We get 'home' envy because the grace of God on another has built something unique to the call of God on that person or community.

When we try to live in a place of comparison rather than grace, we get intimidation.

The key sign of health in Church community is not simply growth or size (that could easily be obesity or a tumour), it is maturity expressed in healthy reproductivity.

c) Home is about our hopes & dreams


I remember drawing my dream home as a child, it looked remarkably similar to family friends of ours. Have you ever had home envy? As you grow in life and mature you discover another persons home is not your home.

When we shape a home we shape it in expectation and anticipation of a preferred future.

The expectant parent prepares the new babies room, the couple creates a home with quiet dreams of a child filling the empty room. God is not building us for where we are but where he is taking us

1 Cor 3:12 continues...

If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work.” 1 Cor 3:12 – 13

We build in expectation, anticipation and hope that what is built lasts in eternity.

We build not for the life that sits just in front of us but for eternity that extends this life.

We build for the vision of Rev 7:9 – 12, a vision of people from every nation tribe and tongue standing before the throne of God clothed in the righteousness of Christ.

In the Message Paraphrase of Ephesians 2:16 – 22 it says...


“Christ brought us together through his death on the cross. The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility. Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. He treated us as equals, and so made us equals. Through him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father. That's plain enough, isn't it? You're no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You're no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He's using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he's using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.”

The direct recipients of this passage were largely Gentile believers, feeling rejected at times because they were not 'chosen' like Israel. Paul however stresses in Ephesians that we now have been 'chosen in Christ' and he is building a home. He is not building a full service restaurant where we can come and go, where we can demand service and treat it like a consumer treats a business rather he is building a home.

So often people have become consumers of a spiritual product and seek more and better service, picking and choosing from different providers. Going from Church to Church to get their fix.

Are you a Spiritual Consumer relating to the Church as a provider? Or are you part of community on mission?


Listen to  'WELCOME HOME' from our sermon Series 'The Code' (note: the recording is initially not great before improving)

NEXT BLOG – ARE YOU A SPIRITUAL CONSUMER?

Dr Allan Meyer @ ONE GATHERING at ANU

LifeCity Church - Thursday, May 30, 2013
Hey all, 

//ONE is coming soon!!! We have Dr Allan Myer with us not only for the Sunday the 2nd of June but the whole weekend speaking and teaching.

GUEST SPEAKER - DR. ALLAN MYER

Until fairly recently Dr Allan Myer was the Senior Pastor of Careforce Church in Mt Evelyn, Melbourne, home to around 2500 people.

In 1992 Allan, together with his wife, Helen, established Careforce Lifekeys (formerly known as Careforce Recovery Ministries), a Ministry that releases healing, discipleship and evangelism in more than 2300 churches and organisations in over twenty countries around the world.

Allan concluded his doctorate with Denver Seminary in 2005. His project produced a new program to restore and fortify the moral and spiritual integrity of men. This program for the sexual discipleship of men is known as Valiant Man.

We know you will be inspired, informed and challenged by Allan. 

Our //One event will be back at ANU this time (as the Multicultural Centre is unavailable). 

WHERE? The Tank, ANU - Kingsley St, Acton (Connections team will point you in the right direction)

WHEN? Sunday June 2nd at 10:27am

WHO? YOU!!!


Breakthrough Sermon Series

LifeCity Church - Friday, November 16, 2012

Hey all, 

this coming Sunday we are kicking off our new Sermon Series "Breakthrough" focusing on the grace of of God to bring down walls, change circumstances, to reorient our lives, open new opportunities and ignite our hearts for the Glory of his name through prayer, fasting and giving. 

In Matt 6, building on the flow of Matt 5 Jesus speaks of a new way of living, a Kingdom way of living that is not always in the 'whats' but in the 'Why's. He speaks to three areas, Giving, Fasting & Praying. He never presumes that these activities are possible activities in our lives but 'givens'. 

Importantly, he says "When you do a charitable deed" (V3) and "when you pray..." (v6) and "when you fast..." (v 16) 

Living kingdom centred lives is the answer to worry and fear. 

I believe that God is always guiding us, we however are often effectively blind because the Storm dominates our vision rather then the one who is greater. 

Join us this Sunday to continue your journey, to connect to community and most importantly to worship God as one. 

Beach Getaway at Batemans Bay

LifeCity Church - Sunday, November 11, 2012
BEACH GETAWAY IS COMING AGAIN!!!

Set aside the weekend of Nov 23rd - 25th to come and celebrate the year as a church, hang out, pray together, have fun together and also connect with CrossCentral Church. 

This year we are at Kooringa Coastal Retreat in dormitory style accommodation. Checkout www.kooringa.com.au to get a better look at sleeping arrangements.

We are self catering...

Cost: $20 per adult/high school aged child per night
$15 per primary school aged child per night

To book your place transfer a deposit of 50% (one nights accommodation per person) into the church account. Please have deposit in account by Oct 1st and final payment by November 1st.

LifeCity Church
Bsb: 032713 Acc No: 212552 Ref: "Surname Getaway" and send an Email to admin @ lifecitychurch.coml or FB message just to give us the heads up.

Accommodation is in dormitory style for couples and singles (we have limited family rooms available for parents and children). If you are a couple and would like your own accommodation please chat to us as there are overflow options in cabins but these are limited. It is best if this is booked through the church to make sure everyone is accommodated.

Share/Rental Christian accommodation Canberra - Late 2012 - Early 2013

LifeCity Church - Thursday, November 01, 2012

Hey, with the transient nature of Canberra there is a lot of need for accommodation. 

If you need or have accommodation available post your need or availability here. 

Simply post it in the comments and we will approve it. The purpose is to connect Christians with other Christians primarily in share house situations. 

This service is only to connect people and can not guarantee the character or references of any applicants, all such responsibility lies with the applicant and present tenants/owners. 

You can also post it at our new Christian Accommodation Canberra page on facebook and for people new to Canberra you can check out our I'm New here page

Things I wish Jesus never said Wk 1

LifeCity Church - Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Before we kick in I have to say I am sorry I have not finished the 'Practical' Blog series. I will get around to it but for the time being lets blog
life and what we are discussing in Church.

Things I wish Jesus never said (Wk 1)


(and the power and significance of them)


34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’[a] 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. Matt 10:34 – 39

Now of course if you just read that first verse someone might think that Jesus was calling for warfare which would seem rightly a little
unusual and as we read on we note that it certainly is not a military conflict Jesus is calling for but IT IS CONFLICT he is
saying will come relationally.

I am consistently amazed at the continual challenges that Christ gives us. For me this passage asks a number of questions.

In this blog I just want to zone in one verse 35 and the challenge it brings.

1) How Distinct is my life? V 35

Whilst the gospel brings connection and peace with God , the operation of the gospel and the changing values, beliefs and identity in our loves will and should cause 'distinction'. So often Christian struggle to 'be the same' or relevant but our greatest struggle is not really relevance but distinction. Am I different? Am I ready for that distinction to cause relational distinction? The potential for a life to make a difference is found not in its relevance (that should be assumed) but in its distinction.

If you read Micah 7 you will see that Jesus was quoting Micah 7:6. In effect we see in Micah 7 the potential feelings of a person of God and the isolation that can bring but don't worry keep on reading past verse 6.

Verse 7 says

"Therefore I will look to the Lord, I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me" Micah 7:7 NKJV

Note three things in here

a) "I will look to the Lord" Where is your focus?

b) I will wait for the God of my salvation" - Who/What am I waiting for? What do I practically consider my salvation or deliverance from my circumstances?

c) "My God will hear me" - Do you still trust in his ability and faithfulness to hear you? Circumstances can crush our hopes but he is faithful and will hear.

The results of a distinct Life

a) People will not 'understand' a distinct life (it shows your different values)

In Luke 2:41-49 Jesus as a 12 year stays at the temple - after the confusion in finding him and asking him why he was there. Jesus said that he was about his fathers business but they 'did not understand'. There should be things in our life that are confusing to the understanding of people and offensive to their perspective on life.

b) People will be 'incovenienced' by distinct life (it shows your different priorities)

When was the last time your kingdom priorities inconvenienced the normal plans that people have? It might be as simpleas going to church on sunday instead of the footy. Not watching certain movies etc. which might pull you out of activities with friends? I think you can easily say the call of Christ inconvenienced even his family.

c) People will be 'confronted' by a distinct life (It shows different rulership)

John 3:17 – 21

It is not our place to 'condemn' the world but we need to realise that it is condemning itself and your life should confront that position.

Stand up and you will stand out – stand out and people will ask you to stand down

4 Life,

Josh

LifeCity Church Canberra

Im:practical

Josh Reading - Monday, January 05, 2009

Im:practical

Stop being so natural

Im:practical – Introduction

It has struck me for some time both as a personal conviction about my own life and as a wider observation of the Church in general that we have increasingly become so practical, so contemporary, so excellent, so planned, so organized, so educated, so equipped, so missional that if God showed up in our meetings we might call him a disruption to our ‘order’, to the way we do things, no matter what that way looks like.

If God showed up in our contemporary church we would freak because it might kill our sound and set, it might blow out our time. If he showed up in the midst of that thorough exegesis on Leviticus that the academically trained teacher has prepared we would ask God to step aside as 'this is not the time nor the place for that emotional clap trap'. If he showed up in miraculous power while we were attempting to be missional, loving the poor, getting out there serving the least in a relative ‘no strings attached’ moment we would accuse him of trying some attractional form of outreach which is so ‘nineties’.

In the attempt to be ‘relevant’, ‘missional’, ‘community focussed’, whatever the tag. Have we forgot that whilst we need to be relevant, we need to connect with the culture, we are also a peculiar people, a spiritual people, we are a different people. If we are just the same with a cool band and cool relevant edgy speaker than why not just go to the pub band down the road and watch a video of Anthony Robbins.

I am not claiming that we have it at LifeCity Church in Canberra, to the contradiction it is a concern because this is a huge area of weakness. When Jesus came he was proclaimed as emmanuel, God with us. When he left physically, he left the Holy Spirit, the comforter. Why is it that whilst we know the Holy Spirit is with us, are we practically not with him?

In the next couple weeks I want to cover different practical people, of which I have been guilty of more than one. It is time to be a little impractical and more spiritual.

Coming soon – Practical Atheist – Practical Deist – Practical Gnostic – Practical Spiritual Socialist – Practical Spiritual Capitalist.

4 Life,

Josh

Co-labourer in one corner of the church in Canberra


LifeCity Church Canberra


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