Archive for "Pastor Ryan’s Journal"

Value of Communion

Pastor Ryan's Journal May 02, 2017 Comments Off on Value of Communion

This article was recently published in the On Mission Journal which can be found here… 

http://www.cocwa.com.au/on-mission-journal

I wanted to share this reflection with you and make you aware of the great resource available in this monthly publication.

Thanks, Ryan 


Plate-spinner-spinning-plates-goofy-formated

 

Look at this picture. Does this remind you of something? Your schedule? Your life? How you feel when you walk into your local church service?

Truth be told, we all feel like we are spinning plates. We jump from one potential disaster to the next, hoping that we can just keep moving long enough to get to that next, wobbly looking problem at the end of the day.

Oh, and let’s not kid ourselves, we can often feel like this when we are supposed to be spending time with God. We struggle to pause and reflect on the deeper, more spiritual aspects of our walk with the Lord because every time we quite down and start to listen to the Lord, we can hear the faint sound of one more plate getting dangerously out of control.

What we need is some forced reflection. We need the Lord to give us something to do that will help us focus and train our busy minds and ears on what is real and true in our faith. We need something more substantive than a song, something more hands on than a sermon, and something that speaks loud enough to get our attention in the midst of a busy world.

This is where the gift of communion steps in. When we participate in the gift of communion during a time of purposeful worship and reflection we find a point of connection that is tailor made for our modern world.

The physical act of holding the bread and the cup in our hands does wonders for our ability to stop spinning plates, juggling schedules, and fidgeting with nervous energy. When we have the opportunity to pause during a gathering of other like minded Christ followers so that we might work through the meaning and the message of this God given act of worship, we are able to do something that is not found anywhere else in our world.

During the few precious moments that we celebrate communion, we are able to focus on the symbols of the bread and the cup to the exclusion of all other influences. We are given the freedom to focus on what we are holding, tasting, and consuming. The physicality of the bread and the cup force us to be present with the Lord in that moment.

When we hold the bread, we are reminded of so many truths. As this bread is real and physical, so was the Son of God. As the bread has been broken for us, so was the Christ. As the bread feeds us, so Jesus reminds us that he is the Bread of Life (John 6:35) that the Father has sent to all who call on his name.

When we take the cup in our hands, we are able to see the sacrifice made for each one of us. Jesus shed his blood on the cross, the greatest gift ever given and we cannot ignore this message while we are trying not to spill it down the front of our shirts.

There are a million amazing truths and points that can be said about the value and the meaning of our shared times of communion but the one that I need the most is this…

I need my times of communion to help me stop focusing on all that is moving and chaotic in life so that I can, for a few moments, focus on the one reality that actually matters for the rest of eternity.

I hope that we all experience this gift during our next opportunity to feel that bread and hold that cup. I hope that the physical stuff of communion will draw us into the present, the now, this moment with God. We all need to experience this gift as often as possible.

Ryan Laden

Board Chairman, Churches of Christ in WA

Senior Pastor, Warnbro Community Church

 

Life Group 101

News, Pastor Ryan's Journal Jan 30, 2017 Comments Off on Life Group 101

 Life-Groups-Banner-Web-Ad

Welcome

Hey there. It is great to see you checking out what it means to be a part of a Life Group.

When we talk about Life Groups at Warnbro we are talking about a great opportunity to grow in your knowledge of the Bible, grow in your willingness to put God’s truth to work in your life, and to grow in your trust and faith in Jesus Christ.

A Life Group is a small group of people who are also interested in growing in their relationship and experience with God. Together, the participants in a Life Group are able to encourage each other, pray with each other, and practically help one another in times of need.

A lot of our current groups meet weekly or fortnightly in people’s homes at times that are most convenient for those involved.  If you would like to talk to someone about when and where these groups meet we would love to help.

The easiest way to get to this information is to click here… http://www.warnbro.org.au/slideshow/life-group-information-request.

Alternatively you can call the church office at 08 95932133 and we can take it from there. 

If you are curious about what it takes to lead, host, or be a committed member of a Life Group we have posted a great resource below. This is a PDF that tries to help you understand what it means to be in a group, how to run a group, and what kinds of things often take place in a Life Group. If you are interested in that information just click on the following…   Life Groups 101

It is great to hear from you and we hope to se you around the church very soon. 

Yours in Christ, 

Ryan Laden, Senior Pastor. 

Genesis 1-11 Combined Study Notes

News, Pastor Ryan's Journal Oct 10, 2016 Comments Off on Genesis 1-11 Combined Study Notes

Genesis-1-11-Combined-Notes

 

Genesis 1-11 Bible Study

Combined Notes from weeks 1-5

Here is a link to a single PDF that has all 45 pages of notes from our most recent study.

001 Genesis 1-11 Combined Handouts small copy

Moving Away from Worry

News, Pastor Ryan's Journal Jun 19, 2016 Comments Off on Moving Away from Worry

Worry-Study-Web-Ad

 

The following Bible study was prepared in response to the message given by Pastor Ryan Laden at Warnbro Community Church on the 19th of June, 2016.

You can watch or listen to this message by going to the sermons page of www.warnbro.org.au.

Introduction

God wants to help us replace our worry and fear with his gifts of peace and wisdom.

In the following passage, taken from the larger message of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians, we can hear some of the steps that we are invited to take as we travel away from the destructive power of worry and into the healing power of God’s peace.

If you are interested in moving out of a place of anxiety and fear, then listen to the message of God’s word and prayerfully consider how the following needs to be applied to your life.

Philippians 4:6-7

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Difference

There is a big difference between living with a general sense of anxiety and having specific concerns and worries in life.

In this passage we are instructed by the Apostle Paul to reject the destructive influence of worry and instead, to embrace prayer as an alternative to worry.

In order to bring your worries, fears, concerns, wants, and needs to the Lord Jesus Christ in a time of prayer, we must first be able to articulate and identify these worries.

In the space provided, write out some of the worries or concerns that you are currently experiencing that you know you need to bring to the Lord in prayer.

 

 

 

Prayer

We are encouraged to pray. In fact, in verse 6 we are told to pray about everything.

Are there some areas of your life, your emotions, your background, or your wants and desires that you are hesitant to bring to God in prayer?

 

 

Can you give an example of something that you are not comfortable sharing with God in a time of open communication?

 

 

At the end of verse 6 we are told to give thanks for all the Lord has done during our time of prayer.

In the space provided, write out some of the points of gratitude that you would like to share with the Lord right now?

 

 

 

 

God’s Peace

In verse 7 we are told that as we talk to God about any and everything in our lives, and as we learn to demonstrate our thanks to the Lord for the good that he has done and is doing in us,

we should begin to see the worry in our hearts be replaced with God’s gift of peace.

In the space provided, describe what you feel God’s peace might look like or be like if applied to your worries and concerns listed above.

 

 

 

 

Fix Your Thoughts

In the next section of this teaching, the Apostle Paul gives us a great example of how we can go from living in fear and worry to living in the peace of the Living God.

Philippians 4:8-9

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.

Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Replace

We are being called by God to take our eyes and our thoughts off the problems and worries that we are bringing to the Lord in our time of prayer.

Instead of focusing on these issues, the we are being invited to replace them with those things that will help us live in the peace being offered to us through faith in Jesus Christ.

In your own words, write out a brief description or example of each of the following replacement thoughts that were given in this teaching:

True

Honorable

Right

Pure

Lovely

Admirable

Excellent

Worthy of praise

From your perspective, how does this shift of focus away from the negatives of worry, fear, doubt, and anxiety and toward the good listed above, impact your ability to walk through life in the peace that goes beyond all understanding?

 

Next Steps

Spend some time in prayer with God, talking about whatever is on your mind and in your heart.

  • Hold nothing back from the Lord.
  • Give God thanks for the good he has done in you. Choose to remember the good.
  • Ask the Lord to help you replace the destructive nature of worry and fear with his gift of peace and with the power of his presence.
  • Ask the Lord to help you be aware of the good that the Lord is doing so that you will be able to spend less time consumed by the bad that comes with unchecked worry.

Adoption and Strength

Pastor Ryan's Journal May 18, 2016 Comments Off on Adoption and Strength

 Adoption and Strength

The following is a personal Bible study that was originally given to the men who attended our recent Man Camp. The study itself is not specific to men and might just be something that helps you in your journey to understanding who you are and what God wants with your life. I hope you enjoy what follows.

Yours in Christ,

Ryan Laden

Senior Pastor

 

Setting

Find a place where you can sit down and concentrate. Grab a pen, a Bible, and maybe even a notebook of some kind (phone is good too) so that you can write out any brilliant ideas God gives you that are not a part of this study.

 Thinking

Everyone carries certain titles, images, and sets of expectations on their shoulders everyday. Some of these titles are given to us by our families…

Some of them are given by the people around us at work or school.

While others are placed on us by the society and culture we are a part of in this world.

 

Do your best to fill in the following…

My family titles and rolls are:

Example: Provider

 

At work or school I am expected to be this kind of person:

Example: One who knows what to do all the time.

 

In the surrounding world I have the following labels attached to me:

Example: Racial or physical descriptions.

 

Reading

Galatians 3:26-29 (NIV) 

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Thinking

In this teaching, the Apostle Paul makes clear one of the most powerful truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. When you choose to exercise your trust or faith in God by choosing to acknowledge Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour… You become aware of your true identity, your true self.

Based on what you read in this passage, what is the number one most significant title that God has applied to you?

 

Read Some More

This same idea is echoed over and over in the New Testament. Here are two clear examples of how God has redefined our status thanks to the work of Jesus Christ.

 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 (NLT)

12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.

Colossians 3:11 (NLT)

11 In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.

Thinking

 So what does it mean to you to know that all the titles and expectations that we wear in this world are not stuck to us permanently?

 

 

What does it mean to you to know that the Lord views you as one of his sons, his child, rather than all those other titles and expectations handed out by the people around you in this world?

 

 Reading

If we go back to the teaching from Galatians that we started with and continue on in our reading, we will learn even more about what it means to be a son or child of God.

Galatians 4:1-7 (NLT)

1 Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. 2 They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. 3 And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world.

4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. 6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.

Thinking

In this passage we are given at least two ways that our status as sons of God should impact the way we live this life.

 In verse 5 we are told that the Christ bought us what?

 

What does this gift mean to you?

 

In verse 6 we are shown that one of the benefits of our freedom in Christ is that we can approach God our Father as sons.

We can come before the Living God and cry out, Abba.

Not the band. Abba is Aramaic for father or in English we might say, “daddy”, though this sounds childish to most English speaking adults. But in Aramaic, Abba was a sign of intimate respect. Even today, men in the Arab and Israeli world call their respected elders Abba as a sign of closeness and honor.

What value or benefit does being free to approach God in this way bring to you?

Reading

We can hear more about this freedom in another of the Apostle Paul’s letters…

 Romans 8:14-18 (NIV)

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

 Thinking

This brings us to another point of impact. In verse 17 we hear that if we are adopted sons of God, then this means that we are also adopted as co-heirs with Christ.

 

What images or ideas pop into your head when you hear that you are considered a co-heir with Christ?

 

Also in verse 17 we see that we are co-heirs with Christ in two important ways.

Glory and Sufferings.

 

Glory

The following teaching from the Apostle Paul makes it clear that being included in Christ’s glory is to be included in the gift of eternal life and the act of salvation.

 Reading

 Ephesians 1:13

13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Thinking

Sufferings

What does it mean to you to be included in the sufferings of Christ?

 

What do you think this meant to people like the Apostles Peter, John, and James who would eventually suffer and die for their faith?

Acts 5:41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.

 

In Romans 8:18 we are told that the Apostle Paul does not think that his current troubles were even worth comparing to the glory that was to be found in salvation and the gift of eternal life.

 

How does the promise of your own eternal future and the gift of salvation through Christ impact your perspective on the hardships and pains you experience in the here and now?

 

 List a few of the trials, hardships, pains, and difficulties that you are currently wrestling with?

 

How does knowing that you are an adopted son or daughter of God, a co-heir with Christ, a recipient of the Holy Spirit impact your perspective on these hardships?

 

Do you agree with the Apostle Paul that our current sufferings are not even worth comparing to the promise of eternal life and the redemption of creation?

 

 Prayer

Spend a few minuets in prayer asking the Lord to help you see yourself through his eyes.

Pray as one who cries Abba to the Almighty God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.