We had a great time at our All Sites Celebration with Keir Tayler last night. Baptisms, salvations, joy and the presence of God in such a wonderfully tangible way.
Keir spoke about the reality of hell and the reality of choice. We need to make a choice – do we believe in Jesus or not? If we choose not to, there are consequences that include judgement and hell. This is a big part of our message to the world and an important reminder of the urgency of the Gospel message.
We’ve posted some photos at our Facebook page. Check them out here.
Key Women is all about being inspired by the amazing team of Cornerstone women, and on the 5th of February they welcomed everyone with red velvet cupcakes, mini quiche and delicious coffee – the perfect way to celebrate and fellowship in the month of love.
The theme for 2013 is the Fruit of the Spirit and we’re being encouraged to examine ourselves and ask the question – is the Fruit of the Spirit growing in our lives?
The Fruits of the Spirit are:
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control
Adele shared with us the First Fruit which is Love. Here is some of what was shared:
1 Corinthians 13:1
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol.
Words are meaningless without Love.
If I have the gift of the prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
Without Love we cannot have the other Fruits of the Spirit.
If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Fill your heart with Love, with Love we can do so much.
Love is patient, Love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
These are the characteristics of Agape Love:
Love is Patient (not irritable or resentful)
Love is Kind (making yourself useful)
Not being jealous (we must rejoice when others are blessed)
Love does not boast (boasting can make other people feel bad about themselves and what they have). We are only to “Boast in the Lord” – Give Glory to the Lord.
Love is not Proud (Obiadiah Vs 3 – “The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks, and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself ‘who can bring me down to the ground?“)
Love is not rude, Love is not self-seeking, Love is not easily angered.
Psalm 145 vs 8 – The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. (We cannot be rich in Love if we have anger).
Proverbs – Fall in love with the word of God.
Proverbs 15 Vs 1 – A soft answer stirs away wrath
Love keeps no record of wrongs. (Once we forgive we must ask God to help us forget)
Speak the Truth – I Peter Ch 4 Vs 8 – love covers a multitude of sins.
Love always protects (Never expose the faults of others, Do not believe wrong of each other.)
Love always Trusts (Do not block yourself off from other people, because you have been hurt in the past.)
Love always hopes (Always expect the best)
Love always perseveres (Hang in there, run the race to the end, enjoy the season you are in.)
Love never fails (Love is not in vain.)
John 13:34, “A new commandment – “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
God gives us the ability to love!
The Next Key Women will be on 5 March at 8:30am. The topic will be Joy. Looking forward to seeing you there!
Key Women is moving to a new time slot – 8:30am on the first Tuesday of every month at Bedfordview. It will now only take place in the morning (no more afternoon slot) to create more space for the ladies to get to know each other.
Key Women is also launching at South Side. It will be taking place on the first Saturday of every second month in a home in the afternoon (3pm). There is also an additional theme of “chocolate” which sounds tempting!
The theme for Key Women 2013 is Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit: Living Beyond Yourself. As Col Meeske explains, the theme is about developing a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit and then living out his character in our every day lives, impacting the world beyond ourselves.
“Women need to see just how key they are in God’s mission to the world. Every woman has a part to play and has a purpose for their lives. We are key in unlocking the presence of Jesus into the environments we find ourselves in – no matter where we are,” she says.
The Bedfordview meetings will now take place at the Fresh Ground coffee shop.
“All are welcome – regardless of age or culture. As per Titus 2, older women can teach the younger women how to love their husbands and their families, while the younger women can teach the older women how to be less conservative and to risk a bit more,” Col says.
Mums & Munchkins will also be joining Key Women on the first Tuesday for every month, to facilitate the ladies all getting to know each other better.
The last year has seen some great fruit at Key Women and 2013 promises to be even better.
When: First Tuesday of each month or first Saturday of every second month
Where: Cornerstone Church Bedfordview (Tuesdays) or Cornerstone Church South Side (Saturdays)
Time: 8:30am at Bedfordview; 3pm at South Side
All of last week I had a keen eye on the weather, wondering about the Sunday’s Hark! in the Park and the looming rain that just didn’t disappear from the weather report. When Sunday came it was pretty much as they predicted. And after the amazing time I had at last year’s Hark! in the Park – I won’t forget the sun setting as the carols started and how I thought to myself, “I’ll take a summer African Christmas over a winter one any day” – I felt somewhat disappointed that it was going to have to be indoors this year.
But my fears were all proved wrong as things kicked off. Despite the gloomy rain outside and the chill, the market was brilliant, the food warm and wonderful, and above all the singers were amazing. I took my hat off to them (quite literally, actually, as I had been bought a hat at one of the stalls!)
When we arrived there was already a buzz in the air as everyone checked out the goodies at the market. I even got some Christmas presents from my very generous family! The kids were running about, clearly enjoying themselves even though there was less space to get up to mischief, and with a delicious, warm pancake in one hand and my wife’s warmer hand in the other, we snuggled down to enjoy the choir’s marvellous voices as they led us in worship to our King and the team presented the True Story of Christmas.
This is why I’ve enjoyed Hark! in the Park over the years. We’re not just belting out a couple of traditional songs and getting the whole Christmas thing done. Every year there’s been a real sense of worship and God’s presence at the event. By the time “Oh Holy Night” comes, I feel like I’ve gone back to my First Love again – Jesus. A fire in my heart for Jesus, the Kingdom and the Gospel is once again ignited and I remember just how much the world and history changed – for ever – when Jesus was born in poverty two thousand years ago.
Thanks guys for a wonderful end to the year. Loved it!
Check out all the photos for Hark! in the Park 2012 at our Facebook page.
Check out this video of this year’s Life Team talk about the year! Thanks to Andy Diesel for the vid!
It’s been a very fruitful, fun and fantastic year with Cornerstone Kids! If you were at the Bedfordview meeting on Sunday morning, you would have enjoyed a snippet of all the fun things the kids got to do. Here are some highlights of the year that show how this part of Cornerstone’s ministry has really grown and borne great fruit for the Kingdom in 2012:
I must admit that when the SEX, MONEY, POWER series was first announced I thought to myself, “That’s awesome. A lot of guys struggle with these things. And this is going to be a really good series for them.”
But I was in for a surprise. This series highlighted some major – an unexpected – things in my own life. It wasn’t just about ‘them’. It was a challenge for me in a big way.
I first realised this when my wife and I we were discussing how we were going to address the subject of sex in our Life Group, coming off the back of that Sunday morning’s message. It’s a difficult one, of course, given that our Life Group has guys and girls, singles and couples, and even children. How would we talk about this subject in such a mixed setting?
A key text in the Old Testament came out in our discussion – the story of the Golden Calf in Exodus 32. Here it is (NIV):
32 When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”
2 Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods,[b] Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”
5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” 6 So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.
7 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. 8 They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’
9 “I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. 10 Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”
11 But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. “Lord,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. 13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’” 14 Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.
15 Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. 16 The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.
17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “There is the sound of war in the camp.”
18 Moses replied:
“It is not the sound of victory,
it is not the sound of defeat;
it is the sound of singing that I hear.”
19 When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. 20 And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it.
21 He said to Aaron, “What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great sin?”
22 “Do not be angry, my lord,” Aaron answered. “You know how prone these people are to evil. 23 They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’ 24 So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!”
What a strange and rather hilarious thing for Aaron to say: “out came this calf!” As if the idol appeared out of nowhere.
After this event they begin to make the temple and various giftings are poured out (see Exodus 36). Also, God brings His presence. It seems that God needs to deal with idolatry in our lives before he pours out His presence in greater abundance and, as a result, pours out his gifts.
You might recall Mike Hanchett’s prophetic word over Cornerstone from a few weeks back. In it there was a lot around God’s presence and His gifts being poured out over our church. It may be that before God brings this prophetic word to fruition many of us need to deal with idols that have crept in. I know this is certainly the case in my life.
When Shannon explained some of this to me I felt God say, “Ah,” and he began highlighting certain things in my own life that I’ve been largely ignoring or just living with. Certain things that, like Aaron, I’ve been saying, “Well, it just appeared out of nowhere!” But the truth is, that’s simply not so.
Yesterday was the last of this series, POWER, and I was challenged again on the idolatry issue. There are some key points from Marcus’ notes from yesterday that I think are worth mentioning:
But, the real story is
For me, there are many things I actually do run to for comfort and salvation. Many things. But what I had never seen before was how these things, as the third last point says above, need me to survive. Often it feels as if I need them to survive. Isn’t that deceptive? Without me, idols have no life – after all, as Marcus said, an idol requires me to polish it, me to fashion it, me to keep it safe. It needs me. That’s been a brilliant revelation.
It’s been a really great series and has fitted in very well with where we are as a church right now, I believe. Or, at the very least, it’s been great for me. Check out all the resources below on this series:
SEX (Week 1: 28 October)
MONEY (Week 2: 4 November)
POWER (Week 3: 11 November)
Uptown have been hosting 50 Shades…, a series that has to do with God’s design for sex. It’s been a fantastic series thus far with plenty of insight offered from Mark Gungor’s Singles and Stinking Thinking DVD series. This has facilitated some brilliant discussion around the topics of sex, dating, singleness and relationships in general.
As a culture we suffer under a lot of over-romanticised ideals where we tend to think in terms of “The One” and a “soul-mate”. This series has gotten to the heart of this thinking, showing how we need to make good decisions in our lives and need to stop being victims of idealistic thinking around romance and sex. God gives us freedom to make decisions and we need to make sure that we take responsibility for our decisions and make better ones going forward.
The 50 Shades… series is named after the top-selling novels 50 Shades of Gray – a typical example of bad thinking, over-romanticised ideas and our culture’s harmful understandings around sex. While marketing may say otherwise, what this book series presents leads to despair and a good deal of confusion. God has something better for us.
50 Shades… will be continuing at Uptown this Sunday, 30 September. This will be the end of the series. Details below.
Sundays 9 – 30 September
Cornerstone Church Uptown
Cnr De Beer & Smit St, Braamfontein
A team from Cornerstone recently spent nine days ministering in Tanzania for the Tanzanian EQUIP time. The team also met up with Keir Taylor to encourage and minister to our friends in this part of the world. Being an EQUIP, there was also a lot of training, especially some training with the church in Makumi.
Check out some of the photos above. There are a lot more at the Facebook page.