Oct 082017

Malcolm and I were having a conversation on Monday as he read about what had happened in Las Vegas. My response was a small sigh of despair. Mal reminded me that we are not a people without hope. Indeed we are not. I have found myself this week wondering about how we ensure we remember that and live as a people with hope, rather than buy into the worlds lies and our fears and, consequently, live as a people without hope. How do you do that with regard to things in your personal life as well as when you reflect on world events?

This week during one of our morning prayer times at church we were reading Philippians 4. Paul helps us in this passage with wisdom on how to live as a people who have hope. He encourages us to rejoice in the Lord always, to let our gentleness be evident to all, to remember that the Lord is near. He also exhorts us to not be anxious about anything, but rather to bring every situation to God, with thankfulness, and he reminds us that the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. He also encourages us to think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.

As we notice ourselves getting anxious about things in our lives and the lives of those around us, how are we going at bringing them to God in prayer? And are we dwelling on those things that we are anxious about or are we thinking about things that are life-giving like Paul encourages us to? And are we rejoicing in the Lord always?

I’m really enjoying the lovely clear Spring mornings after what felt to me like endless days of wet Winter mornings. My experience is that as I bring the things that I’m anxious about to God, dwell on those things which are true and life-giving and rejoice in the Lord whatever the circumstances that it feels a bit like the shift from the dreariness of Winter into the clearness and freshness of Spring. I find peace in the midst of circumstances, a different perspective on life and a readiness and freedom to join with God in what He is doing in and around me.






Sep 242017

As many of you know, some of us are heading to Augusta in January to be part of the Family Festival (Beach Mission) in the Flinders Bay Caravan Park. While we will run some programs for children, youth and families while we are there, a large part of what it is about is camping alongside other holiday-makers and joining in with what we see God doing around about us. It’s about being and bringing good news into that caravan park. We can plan some of that but as we don’t know specifically who the people will be this year, or what the dynamics will be, or how God will be at work, much of it is about being ready to discern and join with God when we get there, much like all of our lives are everyday really, wherever we find ourselves. As a team, we’re planning on using a tool to help us reflect on what God’s doing and for us have eyes to see how we might join in with Him. We’re practising using this tool in our meetings leading up to January. When we meet together each day at the Family Festival, we’re going to discuss what we’ve seen happen and what we’ve experienced in the caravan park using five words starting with C … and that will form the basis of our prayers and some actions for the following days. We’ll be asking:

What’s been happening that we want to CHEER – what’s the great stuff that’s going on in the caravan park, maybe where have we seen someone being kind to another camper or how the caravan park managers have been going above and beyond to help out the campers. Could we acknowledge that in some way?

Are there any CELEBRATIONS happening that we could join in on? Perhaps we’ve heard that it’s someones birthday the next day or Australia’s won the cricket. How might we join in on these things or initiate a broader corporate celebration?

What CRISES are happening around the caravan park? Has someone had a significant issue with their tent or is there tension in the caravan park? How might we be good news in those situations?

What CONVERSATIONS have we had that are worth noting? In both incidental and more significant conversations, where do we see that God’s been at work and doing things that are worth us paying attention to? Is there something that would be useful for us to follow up that conversation with?

Finally, what ‘COINCIDENCES’ have occurred? Perhaps we keep bumping into the same person at the BBQ and then while we were in town we also bumped into them. Would it be worth being a bit more intentional with that relationship?

We’re looking forward to seeing how this tool helps us notice what God’s doing and helps us join in with Him in Augusta in January.

As you think about the contexts of your life and reflect on these five words, I wonder what things it might make you aware of? How might you pray and act arising from what you observe? How might you be and speak good news into those situations? I’d encourage you to share some of your thoughts, reflections and subsequent plans with someone, or perhaps organise to meet up with someone during the week to chat and pray about it.




Sep 102017

http://media.blubrry.com/stpips/p/stphilips.net.au/main/media/SR-20170910-Barb-Totterdell.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 21:34 — 7.4MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe?Colossians 1:15-23 Philippians 3:20-21

Sep 032017

This Sunday James moves to two days a week here at St Philip’s in order to continue to shift his focus more towards The Common, the church plant that the Duffs and the Murthas are leading in Palmyra.  What God is doing already in and through this missional community is so exciting and we look forward to what is to come.  As well as praying for James and Jared as they work out structural and financial avenues, let’s continue to [continue reading…]

Aug 202017

The famous preacher and theologian Don Carson has been in Perth this week and on Tuesday night, along with more than 1000 other people, I heard him speak.  I know some others from our community have also had the opportunity to hear him at one or more of the events he’s spoken at during the week. On Tuesday night, he started his talk with a cheery statement: “If you live long enough, you’ll get kicked in the teeth.”  He then [continue reading…]

Aug 132017

http://media.blubrry.com/stpips/p/stphilips.net.au/main/media/SR-20170813-Barb-Totterdell.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 23:46 — 8.2MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe?Readings: Phillippians 2:1-11 1 Peter 5:5b-11

Aug 132017

It was fantastic to be away last weekend with a group of women from our church – a rich weekend of connection with each other and with God in a gorgeous location.  At one point over the weekend I was struck by how unique it is for that type of cross section of ages to be comfortably together – it’s pretty rare in our society these days.  I was also struck by the desire of the group of women who [continue reading…]

Jul 302017

We’ve had a couple of great weeks of prayer ministry training.  Thanks to Trevor and Liz Parry who have run these times and led the Prayer Ministry team so faithfully.  It’s also been great to see the sense of engagement and momentum at both of these gatherings.  God’s doing something in our midst . . . and it is good! At the first one, we explored what Prayer Ministry looks like at St Philip’s, some of the principles involved and [continue reading…]

Jun 252017

It’s so good to be part of a community that actively values people of all ages.  It’s precious and rare in our society today – even in the church.  It takes effort and intentionality and it goes against the grain of the norms of our society.  Thanks for the part that you play in making St Philips this kind of church community. More than just valuing people of all ages, we want to see people of all ages coming to [continue reading…]

May 282017

http://media.blubrry.com/stpips/p/stphilips.net.au/main/media/SR-20170528-Barb-Totterdell.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 21:05 — 7.2MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe?Readings: Proverbs 4:20-27 James 3:1-12