What Matters? (Part 3)

Sunday Service

  • 26 Feb 17
  • Pastor Garey Clark
  • What Matters?
  • Part 3
  • You matter to me!

Example of the teacher who changed

  • A boy was failing in class, because his mother died and his father was disengaged.
  • The teacher, who was merciless with his failures, repented.
  • She encouraged him.
  • He thrived. He got better.  He left school.  He entered university.
  • He graduated a doctor.
  • He got married.
  • The teacher was invited to the honoured position of sitting where his mother would have sat for the wedding.

Philippians 2:3-4

  • Don’t be selfish
  • Don’t try to impress
  • Be humble
  • Think of others as better

Paul says, we’re not to compete among ourselves within the Church.

  • I only deserve a polystyrene cup.
  • It’s a leadership decision to choose to offer a ceramic cup.

Matthew 7:12

  • The Golden Rule
  • Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.

Treat others with:

  • Respect
  • Kindness
  • Understand failures
  • Patient with weaknesses
  • Merciful with stuff ups

Romans 12:10

  • Genuine Affection
  • Delight in Honouring

Romans 13:1

  • Everyone must submit to governing authorities.
  • Not a common understanding today (lawlessness).

Hebrews 13:7-8

  • Remember the good
  • Follow their example

Ephesians 6:1-4

  • Children obey your parents
  • Honour them – comes with a promise of long life
  • Fathers don’t provoke your children

Steps for healing broken relationships

  1. Repentance
  2. Forgiveness
  3. Restitution

Know your love language

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch


What Matters? (Part 2)

Sunday Service

  • 19 Feb 17
  • Pastor Al Hall
  • What Matters? (You Matter)
  • Part 2

“They” Matter

  • Love others
  • g. Trump, Quaid Cooper, Aunty Helen, rugby referees, David Bain (whether innocent or guilty)
  • Even somebody who hates me

That’s a big ask:

  • What about the dude who cut me off on the motorway?
  • God says you must start from a position of love.

John 13:34-35

  1. Now I am giving you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
  2. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Love Others

  1. Love is proof
    1. The world will judge us here.
  2. Love is life
    1. When I interact with someone, do they come away with a sense that I care about them?
      1. “What kind of day are you having today?”
      2. “Great to see you!”
    2. Love costs… little
      1. Monetary value proves nothing
      2. Take your mind out of your current situation and think about the other person.
    3. Love rewards
      1. God will repay.
    4. Love wins!
      1. Only love is eternal, because God is love

James says:

  • This is an interesting interpretation of John 13.
  • Without disputing anything Al has said, I’d always previously interpreted this as His disciples should love one another especially.

Philippians 4:13

  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
  • This verse is not just for athletes.
  • Don’t do this alone. Ask the Lord for strength.


  • Jesus takes the “t” out of “Can’t”, by his sacrifice on the Cross.
  • You “can”, because he died for you.


What Matters?

Sunday Service

  • 12 Feb 17
  • Pastor Al Hall
  • What Matters? (You Matter)

Church Mission Trip to the Philippines

  • Final leg was to local church at Malolos
  • Kiwi Phil in attendance
  • Farewell haka at the airport
  • Could have been an international incident!

The Crown of All Psalms (139)

  • Talks about God and You

WHAT GOD KNOWS – all knowing (omniscient)

Guts of you Everything about you
Physical You Mental you
Home Away
Everything I do Everything I say
In front (future) Behind (past)


But despite this:

  • Hand of blessing – blows me away – too great to understand!

WHERE GOD IS – everywhere! (omnipresence)

Can’t escape Spirit Can’t escape presence
Heaven Grave/death
East to west at speed! Furthest


Hand will guide, strength will support – all powerful! (omnipotence)

Darkness Light
Sin Holy



Parts Whole
Wondrous Complex
Workmanship Marvellous



  1. Enough that He wants to spend time with you.



6 Week Challenge:

  1. Read a part of your Bible
  2. Ask: what does this make me think about?
  3. Write down something that stands out for you.
  4. At the end of the day, have a look over what you’ve written.


Hebrews 10:19-25

  1. Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,
  2. by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is His body,
  3. and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
  4. let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
  5. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
  6. and let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds,
  7. not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

John 14:2-3

  • In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.



The Best Road Trip Ever, Part 3

Sunday Service

  • 29 Jan. 17
  • Pastor Garey Clark

The Best Road Trip Ever

  • John 13:34-35
  • A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
  • By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Think about that:

  • The love that we have for one another is an indicator to the rest of the world of God’s love for us.
  • Not romantic love, that’s nice to everyone. There’s a backbone to God’s love.
  • Patient, kind, admonishes, compassionate, tender, correcting, counselling.

At some point:

  • You’re going to come across someone who is spiteful and hurtful.
  • God says, “Choose love”.

How to address conflict in a loving way (Book of Matthew)

  • Go to them individually
  • Go to them with some witness(es)
  • Go to them with the elders

Not good ways to resolve conflict:

  • Get quiet
  • Get loud

It is loving to say “no” to bad behaviour:

  • The child that is about to drink a bottle of bleach.
  • A loving parent says no.

For example

  • The prophet Nathan and king David
  • “What you’re doing is wrong”

James says, this leads to 3 scenarios:

  1. I need to be willing to hear Godly correction and receive it.
  2. I need to lovingly confront Christians who are perpetrating error.
  3. I need to lovingly allow non-Christians time (grant grace) in their error, for the Holy Spirit to convict them.

Question from the 3rd scenario:

  • What is role of Christians to inform “the world” that they are in error?  Discuss.


Why I would never make a good farm hand

Thank you, Madam Toastmaster, for that amazing introduction.  After that, I can’t wait to hear what I’m going to say!


The following four stories are true.  They all happened to me, and they conclusively prove why I would never make a good farm hand, much to the disgust of my father-in-law, who is a good keen Southland sheep farmer.

BTW, why do cows like being told jokes? Because they like being amoosed!

First, I have chronic hay-fever.

I always knew I suffered from this ever since I was a wee lad in Nelson.  However, I had temporary respite when I moved to study and work in Wellington.  Little did I know, this respite was only because I happened to be working in air-conditioned buildings.

Fiona is also from the South Island.  We met in Wellington.  I went down to visit the in-laws on their farm in Southland.  Pops took me out on the trailer, on the back of this quad bike.  We rode through a field of tall grasses.  He looked back once.  He saw my eyes streaming.  He sent me back to the farm house.  Basically, to him, I was useless!

BTW, did you hear the one about the convict who had allergies?  He broke out.

The second reason, is my educational philosophy.

I always wanted to go to university.  My father-in-law was not impressed with my reasoning.  I told him I wanted to get a degree, because I hated getting my hands dirty.  I didn’t realise at the time that that could be interpreted to mean I thought I was too good for menial tasks.  Whoops!

BTW, I got a job programming computers.  How many programmers does it take to change a light bulb?  None; that’s a hardware issue.

Third, I’m a terrible shepherd.

Pops once asked me to help him herd the sheep into the sharing shed.  Somehow, I got in front of the pack.  They went the other way.  Not a great start.

BTW, an accountant was having a hard time sleeping and goes to see his doctor. “Doctor, I just can’t get any sleep at night.”

“Have you tried counting sheep?”

“That’s the problem – I make a mistake and then spend four hours trying to find it.”

The final reason why I would not make a good farm hand, is my lack of good tools.

This is not so much a fun story, but it is true.  I was 5 years old when my parents divorced.  I was raised practically as an only child by my mother, despite having 5 older siblings who were either out of the house or had gone with my father.  So I never got to observe my father doing odd jobs around the house.  And I never got to accumulate useful tools.  Instead, as I grew up, I had to acquire my own tools as various jobs arose.  However, this lead to my purchasing the cheapest and not always the best because I didn’t know any better.

Do you know that old saying, “a poor workman blames his tools”?  This is true on two levels.  The obvious level is that the poor workman is merely making excuses for his poor craftsmanship.  But on another level, a poor workman has poor tools.  This was certainly true for me.

BTW, some men in a pickup truck drove into a lumberyard. One of the men walked in the office and says, “We need some four-by-twos.”

The clerk replies, “You mean two-by-fours, don’t you?”

The guy scratches his head and says, “I’ll go check,” and goes back to the truck.

He returns and says, “Yeah, I meant two-by-four.”

“All right. How long do you need them?”

The guy pauses for a minute and says, “I better go check.” After a while, he returns to the office and says, “A long time. We’re gonna build a house.”


As you can see, I have four valid reasons why I would never make a good farm hand:

  1. I have chronic hay fever;
  2. My educational philosophy;
  3. I’m a terrible shepherd; and
  4. I have poor tools.

All I can say in my defence is, I found a job I like instead.

BTW, what do you get when you cross a robot and a tractor?
A transfarmer.


The Best Road Trip

Sunday Service

  • 15 Jan. 17
  • Al Hall

The Best Road Trip Ever

  • We live in a pretty cool place
  • Enjoy the Kiwi summer

Mark 4:35-41

  • Out on the road == out on the lake
  • “Who is this man? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
  • Jesus changed the dynamic between God and Man


  • Friend
    • Restored the relationship from the garden of Eden
  • Companion
    • Jesus was in the boat with his mates.
  • Teacher
    • Knows stuff we don’t know
  • Rabbi
    • has disciples
  • Leader
    • Worthy of following whole-heartedly
  • Rescuer
    • In whom we can trust

Story ==> Events ==> Conversation ==> Problem ==> Solution ==> Question ==> Statement

  • The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”
  • When Jesus work up, He rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!”
  • Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm.
  • Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Don’t you have any faith?”
  • The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other.  “Even the wind and the waves obey him!”


  • In addition to the traits above, there is room for us to be healthily terrified of what God could do.


Jesus came because…

Sunday Service

  • 11 December 2016
  • Al Hall

Jesus came

  • because it was the father’s will
  • to fulfil scriptures
  • to save sinners
  • to reveal the father to us
  • to save sinners
  • therefore, to die
  • so we might have a right relationship with God & eternal life

“Are you still going to church?”

  • We battle within ourselves to ask this question
  • But this question turns a conversation from mere pleasantries to caring for people
  • On a scale from 0 to 100:
    • 0 = Chicken
    • 1 = Me asking someone if they are still going to church
    • 1 = Me asking someone round for a coffee
    • 1 = Me drawing a diagram for someone
    • 1 = Pretty much anything God asks me to do
    • 100 = Dying on a cross to save the world

Celebrate Jesus coming to us

  • Christmas in your community
  • This Christmas, do something special for your community, your neighbours, a workmate, a friend… you choose!
  • Invite for a BBQ, dessert or bake for them
  • Take them out for coffee
  • Do it anytime in the week
  • Big or small, plan it, pray for it and do it!


  • Stan will help his neighbour Tony
  • James will buy a Bible for his co-worker Venu

John 17:3-5

  • And this is the way to have eternal life – to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.
  • I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.
  • Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.