The Rock ChurchThe Rock Church

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The gospel going global

“Attempt great things for God, expect great things from God.” William Carey

While here I India on this trip, I had the opportunity to visit the William Carey museum and was greatly encouraged by what this man did in such a short space of time. He was a true man of faith, living a life of courage, discovery and invention. His pioneering achievement was living proof of his famous quote.

I must admit, as I travel around this huge country and reflect on the masses of people who need to hear about the gospel of love, I feel so inadequate. It looks like a hopeless task and I want to find the nearest rock and crawl under it.

Yet, I have had a great time, preaching the gospel to the locals, encouraging and challenging leaders and believers from the word of God. I have seen many accepting the Lord, and many getting healed. I have seen discouraged and downcast leaders and believers saying how blessed and fired up they are after hearing how important they are to God and how he wants to bless and use them to advance his kingdom. They all want to know when I am coming back!

When I stood in the William Carey museum, pondering all these things, I realised that the same God who consumed William Carey’s heart and life, is the same God who consumes mine. While I am certainly not worthy to be compared to such a great man, I am blessed and inspired by his sacrificial life. I am encouraged and strengthened in my latter years, to continue unceasingly in my attempts to be a worthy ambassador of Christ, until he calls me home.

I am also sobered by the fact that Christ is using thousands of his servants all over the world, building his church.

To some, my efforts may seem miniscule and the product of my own imagination, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord saved me, called me and appointed me to the nations. He has sovereignly provided in the most unexpected ways for this amazing journey around India – even through people I have never met before. This was all his idea!

This is the best job in the world and money cannot buy what God has given me. The dreams I have are his dreams and I don’t think that I will see the full impact of them this side of heaven.

While I cannot say that I attempt great things for God, I will never stop expecting great things from God.

By admin


At life group few weeks ago, my husband Brad felt that we should spend some time talking about generosity – one of the key cultural markers of our church. After some discussion he asked us to spend a bit of time praying and asking God where he wanted us to become more generous. We spent some time praying on our own and then shared what we felt God had said. For one person it was being generous with her time by attending prayer meeting. For one guy it was handing out bibles at traffic lights. For me it was being generous to the poor. I have always had a heart for the poor and specifically orphans, but the busyness of small kids and church life has kept me from actively participating in any ministry of this kind. Before we called it a night, Brad encouraged us to take a step during the week in the area God had highlighted and report back the following Wednesday. Well, the week flew by and I did nothing. The following Wednesday as various people spoke about what God had done (or like me, admitted they hadn’t managed to do anything yet) I felt even more convinced I needed to do something. So the following day my kids and I visited a local abandoned babies’ home where I often volunteered before I was a mom. We had an incredible afternoon with old friends and some precious little children. The oldest child was a sweet two-and-a-half-year-old boy. The rest  were babies less than a year old. While the little boy was being cared for amazingly by the loving, patient staff, I thought he may benefit from interaction with his peers. I also felt this may help prepare him for when he is adopted. The following morning I was praying with some ladies at my kids’ school, as we do every Friday morning, and the face of this boy at the babies’ home popped into my head and I thought, “What if we could get the little guy into preschool?” I approached the school secretary(a wonderful lady from our church) and the headmistress agreed that he could come for an assessment. I was super-excited and emailed my life group to ask if anyone would like to join me in sponsoring this little boy’s school fees. The generous response was overwhelming. I even had people from outside our life group asking if they could come on board. To cut a long story short, the little man is now in school. I am completely overwhelmed by the generosity of the school, our life group and many other people who have used their own finances to change the destiny of one small boy. In fact the response has been so great that there is now extra money for us to use elsewhere. Because that’s who God is. He is more than enough. Once again I am undone by his goodness. So here is my encouragement: Join a life group. You will be encouraged, spurred on and challenged to go to the next level. When God speaks, take a small step of faith and watch what he does. You will be blown away by his unfathomable love and indescribable kindness, just like I was.

By admin

Personal Jesus

I have had a beard for just less than two years now. It’s been short: a ‘designer stubble’ kind of look, it’s been long: a little more ‘homeless guy’ than designer look, and it’s been in between: what I like to call ‘lumberjack chic’.

Throughout the time I’ve had a beard, I’ve received some interesting reactions to my crop of facial hair. Some good, I’m talking high fives and air punches, and some bad, choking sounds and disgusted faces. And also some pretty interesting ones. On a number of occasions people have called me Jesus (hence the interesting).

It’s always got me thinking… what would Jesus look like? Which in turn reminded me of a preach I heard at a youth camp years ago, by Starla Bell. She had recently been to America, it was shortly after the film The Passion of the Christ had come out and the latest action figure on the market was a Personal Jesus. She chatted a little bit about the craze of this action figure and then went on to mention the catch phrase that was printed on the packaging it said, “He’s happy, he’s scrappy, he’s your own personal Jesus.”

This happy, scrappy gaunt action figure of Jesus in his underpants had become the fastest selling toy in the country.  But the Jesus I know is not scrappy or gaunt, he is loving and powerful… and I imagine him standing tall and strong, with seriously broad shoulders, and a mega set of guns (AKA biceps). He may not have a beard, or long hair but he is glorious and authoritative and gentle. People are clearly looking for him, longing for him even. That’s why the action figure sold so well.

What if the only Jesus people get to meet is Jesus in us… Jesus THROUGH us? What if the next time someone said I look like Jesus it’s because they could see him in me, feel his love and peace through my interactions? Not just because I have a beard. What if the next time someone in your office, or lecture class needed some comfort, or advice they asked you, because of the peace and love they feel around you, because of JESUS IN YOU?

While a Personal Jesus action figure seems a little strange, even blasphemous, it’s actually true. He is personal. He knows our heart’s desires, our dreams. He knows us.  He loves us, and is so ready to hang out with us. That’s the Jesus that the movies don’t always capture, the Jesus that the toy companies can’t injection mould into plastic. The Jesus that the world is longing for, the one who’s ALIVE!

Are you ready to show Jesus?

By admin

His strength in our weakness

On Sunday I was feeling terrible – I had a fever and my whole body was aching all day. I must be honest I really was not up to going to church in the evening and wouldn’t have gone but I was on coffee shop duty and didn’t want to bother anyone with calling in sick. Anyhow, I don’t remember much of the service last night or of the preach – I just couldn’t wait to crawl back into bed and let the day be over. When Brad asked if he could pray for me I almost said no I wasn’t really up for anything. During prayer I was trying to concentrate but my eyes and back were burning and my stomach was so sore. After he prayed I had a couple of things to do and we left about a minute later. As I was walking from the coffee shop to the door of the church I felt the fever leave – I actually just felt it lift and felt cool air on my back and neck. I slept well and this morning my stomach was not at all sore anymore! By Debbie Hamblin

By admin

Interrupting the pattern

Sin entered the earth, forever changing the story of man.  It brought in death as a reward and sickness as its chief warrior. Doubt joined its ranks and deceit became its master strategist. The pattern of behavior for all mankind was forever changed. They are stuck in endless loops of discouragement and anger as futility thwarts their best efforts to change. A pattern of destruction was set into place. Then… truth, like a spear piercing the breastplate of deceit entered the fray. Life was forever changed again. The endless cycles of brokenness and sickness gave way to life and wholeness. The pattern of behavior for sinful and sin-filled man was interrupted. Jesus was and is the Master Pattern Interrupter. This is the third key in true transformation. It’s the ability to interrupt the old patterns of behavior and replace them with new empowering patterns of behavior. As we read through the gospels we see Jesus doing this over and over again: Sinful man living in the rut/pattern of a sinful life with all its behaviors and Jesus, through a brief encounter, shifts them to a new pattern of the Kingdom. The one thing Jesus’ pattern always includes is “others first”.  Loving others more than yourself. Washing the feet of others who should be washing your feet.  Feeding others who should be feeding you. Esteeming others more than you esteem yourself. We could spend days looking at all the various ways this affects our daily behavior. The key is not to simply understand and examine, but to put this new pattern into action. When you and your loved one are arguing, have a simple word (previously agreed upon) that you can toss out to shift you both into a place of honouring and solving the problem versus blaming each other for the problem (pattern interrupt).  Instead of looking away from the beggar on the corner and pretending he or she is not there, smile politely and make eye contact acknowledging them as human (pattern interrupt). When your child comes crying for attention, instead of getting frustrated because you “have important things to do”, bend down and pause for a few moments to connect and embrace them, soon they will be involved in their own “important things” (pattern interrupt). Deceit as the master strategist for sin has many of us believing our own delusional stories about our self-importance. Truth gave up His self-importance and laid down His right to make right for us. Let that truth invade our lives and interrupt our patterns.  Let’s replace our self-important stories with His selfless pattern.

By admin

The perfect dance

I was in the throes of a sweaty Zumba class yesterday when it dawned on me how much gym classes and Christianity have in common. It sounds a little weird, I know, but just go with me and let me explain. As Jesus is to the believer, so the Zumba instructor is to us in the class. He knows exactly what he is doing, he is our example and he is the one who we should emulate. If I am going to have great class, I need to keep my eyes on the Instructor and copy what he does. And even more than that I need to catch his passion and find his rhythm. As I do, the steps become more instinctive and I grow in confidence and maturity as a dancer. In the class there are those who (unlike me) have been doing the class for years and dance a whole lot more like an Instructor than me. Watching and imitating them will also benefit me. They know the dances, follow the Instructor well and can help me learn the steps. But the best thing I can do it keep my eyes on the Instructor. I have found that the moment I look around and compare myself to the others in the class, I lose my step and it takes me a while to get back in the dance. There will always be dancers who do “better” or “worse” than me. That is totally irrelevant to my dance. The best thing I can do is watch my Instructor, give everything I have and commit myself to dancing more like him. Another thing that totally kills my groove is wondering if the super-fit gym bunnies outside the studio are watching me through the glass doors. Am I making a total fool of myself? Are they amused by the sight of me dancing my heart out? Who cares, actually! Those questions distract me and take the fun out of the dance. I am not dancing for anyone other than the Father. What pleases him is that I am watching the Instructor, keeping in step with him, and find joy as I grow. Some of the dances are easy for me and some are a little trickier. But the Instructor has a way of uncomplicating things, of breaking them down and patiently teaching us, so that after a while, even that which seemed hard starts to come naturally and we are dancing steps we never thought we could. One of my favourite things about Zumba is that I do it with a group of other people who love it and who are also following the Instructor. We share a love for dance, encourage each other, laugh at our mistakes, help each other, sweat together and grow together. I promise you, if I was doing Zumba alone in my lounge with a DVD to follow I would have given up long ago. Half the fun is doing it with other people: they keep me dancing when I feel too tired to carry on and their joy and passion rubs off on me. But what keeps me coming back to Zumba is my Instructor. He exudes life, his passion is contagious, and he is patient, kind, loves teaching and loves people. And he is just a man. How much more Jesus who calls us to imitate him in His dance? He is the perfect Instructor whose dance is perfectly beautiful. Every day he is calling me to watch him, catch his passion and dance my heart out. And in his eyes, as I try out new steps, stumble and trip, get up and keep learning, my dance is perfectly beautiful too.