At our recent City Women Volunteers night, those who attended received a mug with the following vision on it:

What City Women is Fighting For: By 2020 we want to see in Toowoomba…

A significant decrease in sexualised advertising.

An increase of images and media that promote the value & worth of women.

A decrease in the sexual, physical and emotional abuse of females.

An increase in the value & worth of a human life.

A decrease in depression, suicide & eating disorders in females.

An increase in healthy attitudes and actions to one’s body.

A decrease in women dependant on drugs or life controlling issues.

An increase in women living with purpose, free from damaging outside sources.

A decrease in foster children.

An increase in families taking foster kids in.

A decrease in the number of women having abortions.

An increase in the awareness that life begins in the womb.

A decrease in absent ‘dads’.

An increased awareness of the importance of the role of a ‘dad’.

A decrease in lack of purpose and direction for one’s life.

An increase in understanding your giftings, passions and role in the community.

Will you join with me in praying that as the church of the city, we can make a difference in the above areas? The world into which Jesus was born, was a culture that did not value and dignify women. Women were second-rate citizens. But when Jesus came along He changed that. He said that women were equal; He began to speak value into women and heal them.

Now Jesus lives and moves through us, His church. If we are really being Jesus, life for women and girls should be changing in Toowoomba. When you read the above it can seem overwhelming, but we must remember that as we step out, nothing is impossible with God!!!

Letitia Shelton

Renovation Nation

In Australia, the reno industry has an annual turnover of $30 billion! That’s a lot of nails, wood, paint and power tools. It also means a lot of visits to emergency rooms. In Victoria alone 15 people each year are killed, and at least 2,000 seriously injured, carrying out home renovations!

Why are shows like The Renovators or Better Homes and Gardens so popular? Would it be a stretch of the imagination to think that we could have an inbuilt desire to see things around us repaired and restored? I believe so…. we being created in the image of God, who went to immeasurable lengths to restore us to Himself.

Sometimes Christians try DIY repairs. We start to believe that if we knew more of the Bible or prayed a scripted prayer then we would no longer suffer from our fleshly passions. So we read the latest books, we buy the latest albums, we listen to the latest podcasts in the hope that we will hear that ONE thing that will give us what we need in order to be in working condition.

Well the truth is, Jesus isn’t into repairing, He’s into restoring. He doesn’t just want us to be functional and bandaged up! He wants us to realise the fullness of restoration. No bandaids, no plaster or nails.

By His grace and mercy, through the blood of Jesus Christ, we actually become undefiled, unfading, secure in our faith, filled with glory, no longer slaves conforming to passions of our former ignorance.  We become holy, without blemish or spot, imperishable, chosen and precious, never again to be put to shame. We are free to be a true servant of God. He promises to have His eyes upon us, to have His ears open to our prayers and to bless us… even in our suffering!  (1 Peter).

Restoration isn’t a feeling or an emotion, it is the reality and the truth of what Jesus has done for me.  What He has done for you! The fact is that my restoration is complete and my position as a daughter of the most Holy God has been claimed! My mood and opinion of myself doesn’t alter or change that.  My “faith is the assurance (the confirmation) of things we hope for, the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]” (Hebrews 11:1 ESV). That faith in Jesus Christ removes bandages.

The kind of restoration He promises won’t send you back to the emergency ward. It will free you, release you from the desire to repair yourself, so you can live in His marvellous light bathed in His restoring love. His restoration is not just for us inside the church, but for our whole city as well. Jesus restores us, so that we can restore others.

Brooke Jackson