We just returned from Banksia Grove Family Camp, where this year's theme was "Through Heaven's Eyes." Using this graphic and the movie Prince of Egypt we learned that through Heaven's Eyes we can see: WHOLE truth, with our heart, mind, soul, strength, not just a selfish fragment; WORTH of people; WONDERS of God all around us; WORLD history as HIStory.
Families worked together on: a family crest (depicting your family values heart, mind, soul, strength); sock doorstops for each valued family member; white-crayon paintings showing where God is at work perhaps unseen; and a 7-Color Story booklet showing the arc of all good stories, of the Gospel, and of Biblical/World History.
As usual Camp was a great boost for the relationships between families, between family members, and between us and God. This year saw the further development of about 8 high quality young adults, developed at Cheers, now taking on much of the responsibilities that make camp run. This made it that much easier for all concerned. The same young adults also are playing various roles in delivering BOOST to other young people. They are advancing along The Pathway.
Last year we were joined by a gentle soul with a true prophetic gift, having died, visited, and returned from heaven. We were just beginning our study of Revelation, and she could confirm numerous aspects of it for us. So unassuming, she's a real blessing. Also, early this year we had a new family move in to the neighbourhood with a fully functional Christian mum & dad. Sadly that's a rarity where we live, and we are thanking God that they've thrown their lot in with us.
We continue to look to God for the nooks and crannies to bless and benefit Banksia Grove and beyond. The life in this movement is wonderful to be a part of. We continue to work and pray for open hearts with whom to share the Gospel of Jesus, and for some of our trainees who are becoming trainers to launch and multiply elsewhere what God is doing here.
I returned to Israel in March 2017 (having first visited in 2013) to personally show 18 Aussies the Core Sites of the Core Stuff - where the key events occurred that founded Christianity on solid, historical foundations.
As tour leader, I had less time to process the journey, but on the upside I could take the tour where I wanted to go in the time available. We squeezed a lot in - maybe too much if you count that one time I forgot lunch! But it was worth it!
It became a presentation, CSI: Christ Scene Investigation. We personally investigated how the sites agree with the texts of the Core Stuff. We saw for ourselves:
Looking back so far this year...
Church 247 continues Sunday afternoons at the Banksia Grove community Centre. It has settled into a routine based on Discovery Bible Study, Looking Back (did you do what you said you would last time?) Looking Up (prayer, worship, Bible Study, listening for what God is saying to us), Looking Forward (planning to obey that word, community announcements, engaging with the neighbourhood). We've worked through Mark, now a series on varieties of mission (including doing Clean Up Day and Tree Day in our time slot), and look likely to tackle Revelation in term 4.
Cheers' Family Camp theme was Hearty Times, appreciating the role of various emotions, based on the Bible, using the movie Inside Out. We learned that:
From J-Walkers to J-Workers.
Building from last year's theme, Keep Moving Forward, we have been training the young people forward along a pathway toward leadership and mission. They are no longer just Walking with Jesus, they are also Working with Jesus - J-Workers. They run their own studies, help run Church 247, get involved in blessing and benefiting their neighbourhoods, schools, and workplaces. They are now beginning to step into camp leadership roles. This training is open to all ages, but it is mostly young adults attending - and growing forward. This is where BOOST is beta tested.
Previous Cheers logs back to the beginnings in 2003 can be found here.