Leadership without spin, Interviewing God, walking the tightrope & patience – All happening in Sydney in October

We could use your prayers with a multitude of evangelistic events happening in October. It is an exciting time and we are thankful for your prayers.

Russ oversees the coordination of these events and all are evangelistic in their manner and delivery.

Interviewing God – Starting 14 & 15 October

Imagine God applying for the position of God.  What would you ask ? What would God say?

Mark Leong will be looking at these questions, as well as others, and how we can find the answers in the book of Hebrews from the New Testament.

About our speaker: Mark has been interviewed for a range of jobs – selling shoes at Rivers, tax consulting at Ernst & Young and most recently, via a “coffee” with City Bible Forum. He manages the Young Workers Program

 

Leadership without spin – 21 October

Asylum seekers, the economy, leadership spills, and even the Ashes.

These are the topics that are in the daily headlines. How is leadership meant to respond during these challenging political times? This should be a wonderful evening of discussion about the value of leadership in turbulent times.

Panellists: Peter Pollock shook the international cricket world with his fast bowling ability in the 60’s & 70’s. He is the father of former South African Cricket Captain, Shaun Pollock and an established author, journalist, businessman and sports executive. He was a competitive and hard man, a no-holds-barred man.

The Hon John Anderson AO, MA lives in north-west NSW, farming crops and cattle. His family have been graziers and landowners in northern New South Wales since the 1840s. John is well-known as a politician of deep Christian conviction and integrity. He served Australia faithfully for nineteen years as the Member for Gwydir in the Federal Parliament, holding various ministerial portfolios including six years as Deputy Prime Minister (The equivalent to the US Vice-President.)

The Forum goes to the flicks: The Walk – 29 October

An engaging evening of film and discussion with some of the industry’s commentators.

After the film, Mark Hadley and Ben McEachen (The Big Picture) will discuss the film and what it says about life and our goals in life. Russell Matthews from Insights Magazine will moderate the evening.

Brief about the film
Twelve people have walked on the moon, but only one man – Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) – has ever, or will ever, walk in the immense void between the World Trade Centre towers. Guided by his real-life mentor, Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley), and aided by an unlikely band of international recruits, Petit and his gang overcome long odds, betrayals, dissension and countless close calls to conceive and execute their mad plan.

Robert Zemeckis: the director of such marvels as Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Back to the Future, Polar Express and Flight, again uses cutting edge technology in the service of an emotional, character-driven story.

Watch the exciting short for The Walk

About the panel

Mark Hadley has been a journalist for over 20 years and has been reviewing films, television programmes and children’s books for the past ten years for Australian papers and magazines and is co-host of weekly pop-culture podcast The Big Picture.

Ben McEachen has reviewed films for more than a decade. He has been editor at Empire magazine, contributes to Christian newspaper Eternity, and is co-host of weekly pop-culture podcast The Big Picture.

Russ Matthews review of  The Walk

 

Preaching at Rouse Hill Bible Church 

Pastor Ben Kwok and Russ Matthews are working through the book of James.

Russ will be preaching from chapter 5 on 18 October.

The theme will be on patience with God.

 

Thank you for your prayers and support.

The Matthews

Interviewing God, The Walk, Reel Dialogue and Humility

Hello from the spring season in Sydney

It has been a great time of ministry  at City Bible Forum and Rouse Hill Bible Church. Here are some of the key ministry opportunities coming up in the coming months.

Interviewing God

A new series coming up in October at City bible Forum.

Imagine God applying for the position of God.

What would you ask ? What would God say?

The questions considered in the series: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? What is your management style? Why are you interested in me? What do you offer that someone else cannot?

Mark Leong will be looking at these questions and how we can find the answers in the book of Hebrews from the New Testament.

About our speaker:

Mark has been interviewed for a range of jobs – selling shoes at Rivers, tax consulting at Ernst & Young and most recently, via a “coffee” with City Bible Forum. He manages the Young Workers Program although he wishes the Swans would interview him – he’s ready to pick up the phone!

Please pray for the series and for many guests to come along for this intriguing series. 

The Forum goes to the Flicks : The Walk

Thu Oct 29th, 6.15pm-9pm
It will be an engaging evening of film and discussion with some of the industry’s commentators.

After the film, Mark Hadley and Ben McEachen (The Big Picture) will discuss the film and what it says about this life, our goals in life and what the Bible has to say about our life.

Brief about the film
Twelve people have walked on the moon, but only one man – Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) – has ever, or will ever, walk in the immense void between the World Trade Centre towers. Guided by his real-life mentor, Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley), and aided by an unlikely band of international recruits, Petit and his gang overcome long odds, betrayals, dissension and countless close calls to conceive and execute their mad plan.

Robert Zemeckis: The director of such marvels as Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Back to the Future, Polar Express and Flight, again uses cutting edge technology in the service of an emotional, character-driven story.

Watch the exciting short for The Walk

About the panel

Mark Hadley has been a journalist for over 20 years and has been reviewing films, television programmes and children’s books for the past ten years for Australian papers and magazines and is co-host of weekly pop-culture podcast The Big Picture.

Ben McEachen has reviewed films for more than a decade. He has been editor at Empire magazine, contributes to Christian newspaper Eternity, and is co-host of weekly pop-culture podcast The Big Picture.

Please pray for the event and for many guests to come along for this intriguing evening of film and discussion. 

 

 

If you would like to read more of Russ Matthews reviews and consider some of the discussion questions from these reviews, all can be found on Reel Dialogue. 

The Book of James

Pastor Ben Kwok and Russ Matthews are currently working through the book of James.

Please pray as we look at this straight forward and confronting letter. This week will be on wordiness and humility.

 

Thank you for your prayers and please contact us with any questions about our work in Australia.

The Matthews

 

 

Heaps happening in Australia + a wedding in the Matthews future

Good afternoon to our friends and supporters,

We have had an exceptionally blessed and busy few months. Heaps of things happening in Sydney with the various ministries and with our family. Thank you for your prayers!

If God is so loving… Why?

The Christian God is supposed to be both loving and powerful.

But sometimes this is very hard for us to see or believe.

Please pray for people to come along to hear what Jesus says about this in a series of stories in Luke 13.

Dr Sam Chan will be giving weekly talks on these big topics and answering  questions on the day.

More details on citybibleforum.org/sydney

The Word 1 to 1

We have started a new evangelistic series of Bible studies in the city. The Word 1 to 1. It has been a great tool of working through the Gospel of John.

It is pretty amazing to be working through so many enquirers with this new series of studies. Please pray for many of these people who are opening the Word for the first time.

Wedding bells in the future

We are thrilled to announce the engagement of our daughter, Hope, to Matt Gibb. They will be getting married in January 2016. Please pray for the planning and for the future of this lovely Christian couple. We are thrilled with this announcement and look forward to all that is coming in the coming months.

Thank you for your continual prayers and support.

The adventure continues…

The Matthews family

Christmas in July

Please pray for this upcoming evangelistic event in the city. We are hoping for 100+ people to attend and that there would be 30+ enquirers at the event.

Would you be willing to pray?

You can find everything on your Christmas list…. in July!

Fun, food & drink, live music, gift giving, and Sam Chan giving a talk on What does Hollywood teach us about Christmas?

Pray that many will come along to enjoy a great evening of fun, food, music and a good speaker.

Thursday, July 16;  6:30-8pm

Location: Hotel CBD, 4th floor; 75 King Street

Speaker: Sam Chan
He has previously lectured at a theological college, and now works part-time as a doctor. He is also a conference speaker, ethicist, ex-rugby player (Sydney Uni 5ths!), and his PhD in theology.

Special musical guest: Jake Nauta
Jake’s fun, laid back, conversational live show is delighting his ever-growing gathering of loyal fans. Selling out shows across Sydney and the Blue Mountains, his performance leaves fans feeling like they have made a new friend.

Enjoy a video of Jake Nauta

What would a Christmas be without gift giving?

Operation Christmas Child is an organisation who provides Christmas gifts to less privileged children around the world.

At the Christmas in July event, we will have some fun and raise some funds to help making Christmas special for children around the world.

Please pray for the Christmas in July event!

How can people register?

What is Christmas in July? We did a bit of research and here is the answer!

Thanks,

The Matthews

 

How is the family going?

Culture lesson: Greeting in the US – How are you doing? Same greeting in Australia – How are you going, mate? 

So, how is the Matthews family going? Overall, pretty good.

Some of our supporters have asked for an update on our family. In this world of Facebook and Instagram, it can feel a bit redundant, but it is important to realise that there are people behind the ministry work. Five out the six of us have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, if you want those details, check them out.

Our website can tend to focus on ministry opportunities, but here is a bit about the family. This update will be about the kiddos… I will let Cathy do an update on her life in Cathy’s Corner soon.

Back Home – We have been back in Australia for six months and we do feel like we are back home. It took some time getting back into the work of the ministries and life in Oz, but we are feeling like we are finally getting our feet.

Hope and Becca - Busy at work as full-time early childhood teachers. They work in Richmond and experience the daily grind of working with children. It is rewarding, but exhausting. It is hard not to brag, but Cathy and I are so proud of who they have become as young women. They are both in relationships with nice, Christian young men. (Go to their FB sites and you can fill in the blanks). They go to church with us and attend Multi-cultural Bible Ministries (MBM) church in the evening. They live the active life of young adults and we do not see them as much as we would like, but it is exciting to see who they are becoming. Please pray for them and that the Lord will use Hope and Becca for His glory.

Joshua - Coming to the end of year 11 and the intense part of high school called year 12 and the HSC (High School Certificate). It is a whole new level of expectation put on an exam that determines placement in University. In amongst the busyness of school, assessments and exams, he is loving playing for the East Coast Eagles – Australian Football team. Also, he goes to weekly youth group and finds time to play a bit of XBOX. He had a wonderful opportunity to go on a special excursion to the US. It was a wonderful experience for him and for our family in the US. (Go to his FB site and you can fill in the blanks). He recently received the Long Tan Youth Leadership award from his school. Thankful for the young man that he is becoming, please pray for him and that the Lord will use Joshua for His glory.

Caroline – How many children do you know that are upset when school holidays arrive? Caroline loves school, challenging herself and learning more about most things in life. She loves to read, play her violin and piano, do any craft project and spending time with her friends and family. She loves to ask questions of everyone she gets to know and soak up what she learns. Pray for her that she will continue to grow in her love for knowledge and the Lord. As with all of our children, she brings a beautiful spark and enjoyable component to our family.

Thank you for your prayers for our family. We are grateful for your involvement in our lives.

The adventure continues…

The Matthews

 Ministry websites:

City Bible Forum, Sydney

Rouse Hill Bible Church

Russelling Reviews

Do you pray? If you do, THANK YOU! – Life, reviews and good-bye to a good friend

We are moving into autumn in Sydney. We are into the second term of school and the new series at City Bible Forum. The weather is changing and the opportunities for a multitude of evangelistic events are open to us. 

Do you pray? Seems like s silly question for many, but do you really pray for others? Honestly, it is something that is a conscience effort and easier said than done. We can get so caught up in our lives and needs, if we do pray the words tend to be for our own personal needs. It seems like a simple request to ask for prayer, but we understand that it takes quite a bit to take something from theory to practice. So, THANK YOU!

Thank you to those who take the time to pray for us. It is a bigger request than many may realise. So, THANK YOU for your prayers.

Here are some of the latest prayer points and events in Sydney:

Ask Dr. Sam about life, God and surgery?

Beginning in May,  Dr. Sam Chan will be giving talk about four of life’s biggest questions. Am I somebody to someone? Am I making a difference? Am I having fun? Will I be remembered? 

Pray that many would come along for this series. Sam will be talking on how we know our lives are valuable, appreciated and worthwhile.

Also, each week at The Forum, we finish each talk with a Q&A time. Many have asked to extend that time with our speakers. On Thursdays, 21 & 28 May, we will meet those requests with an extended Q&A session with Dr Sam Chan.

Anyone is welcome to come along and ask questions about God and life, yes… even surgery. (Once you read his bio, you will understand why!)

Dr Sam Chan  is a “double doctor” - a medical doctor with a PhD in theology – who speaks on life, meaning and faith. He is hopeless at dancing, rugby and karaoke – but he does know the words to American Pie (or maybe just the chorus).

Russelling Reviews: Can we see God in film? 

Over the past few years, Russ has had the opportunity to work on his evangelistic work within the film industry. Through various evangelistic events, he has been able to work with industry professionals to see more Christians having a voice within this community. It has been a fascinating and stretching journey, but the Lord has opened amazing doors to His work in this area. One component of this work is writing articles and reviews on film. Through good mentorship, he has been able to be published in Insights magazine and currently has a blog called Russelling Reviews. The intention of these reviews is to incorporate his love of film and point people to see how we can find God within the storyline of these films.

It has led to coordination of evangelistic events that combine film and the Gospel. Please pray for these events and for all who do not know the Lord who come along. For many, this is the first introduction to the Gospel.

 Celebration of the life of  a good friend 

Pastor John Colyer of Ankeny Free Church went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, April 18, 2015 while doing missionary work in Lusaka, Zambia. Ankeny Free Church is a vibrant church that has been exciting ministry partner over the years. Even though John would be too humble to admit it, The Lord has worked in mighty ways through him and the church, but please know that he was more than a supporter of our mission work. He was a good friend and we will miss him greatly, for now. John was instrumental in helping our family get to the mission field and was always willing to give of his time and wisdom.  We praise the Lord for the opportunity to have known John Colyer in this life, for all he did for us and we are thankful that we will see him again. Please pray for the church and his family during this time of grief, celebration and transition.

Thank you for your prayers. Enjoy the update, read the reviews and keep serving the Lord.

Cheers,

The Matthews

 

Creation and The Age of Adaline

We would appreciate your prayers for some of the upcoming events in Sydney:

Russ will be speaking on the purpose of creation at Rouse Hill Bible Church. We will be travelling through Psalm 104, we will look at the majesty of creation, but try to find the purpose of it all.

Pray as we engage on this massive topic of God’s creation and its purpose.

Details on rousehillchurch.org

The Forum goes to the Flicks: The Age of Adaline

City Bible Forum will be hosting an engaging evening of film and discussion with some of the industry’s commentators. After the film, Ben McEachen (Empire Magazine, Open House) and Renee Brack (Writer and industry professional) will discuss the film and what it says about life and eternity.

Please pray for the evangelistic opportunities from this event.

Details on citybibleforum.org/sydney

Praising the Lord for a wonderful weekend with Dr. Mark Harwood

Why won’t they listen? Have you wondered why your witnessing falls flat and people fail to respond? Many comment that science has disproved the Bible and therefore it is not relevant to today’s modern world. But what’s the answer? Can the majority of scientists really be wrong?Dr Mark Harwood delivered a powerful message ‘Going Where the Evidence Leads’ on Sunday 22 March.

The conversations about creation were wonderful and challenging for our church family.

Details on rousehillchurch.org

Adjustments of post-furlough

It has been great getting home, but the realities of the life of ministry have set in. There are many different things that we are excited to participate, but now is the time to determine what is the right things for us to put our efforts. Pray that we continue to follow the Lord’s direction for all things.

We are grateful for your prayers and support.

The Matthews family

 

Life lessons from cross-country

1 Corinthians 9:24

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

I look back fondly on my years of high school and university cross-country. There were good days and bad days, but these lessons still impact my life today. Also, being a Christian, I have come to appreciate how running has provided life-lessons and a multitude of sermon analogies.

Top 10 lessons from cross-country

  1. Run despite the weather
  2. You can talk and run at the same time
  3. Value rest
  4. Never run injured
  5. Hills are better than the flat
  6. Stay hydrated
  7. Good shoes make the difference
  8. A bad day running is better than not running at all
  9. Knowing your limits, but pushing ahead anyway
  10. We run individually, but we finish as a team

My daughter asked me the other day, why 1 Corinthians 9:24 is my favourite verse?

I love to run. I have been running for over 30 years. It has provided many great experiences in life and I have been privileged to run in countries all around the world. Just give me a good pair of running shoes, a course to run and I will go see the world. Running through the city streets and the countryside, the runner’s perspective of things is an amazing experience. Seeing the sites, experiencing the smells and being amongst the people, regardless of the language and culture barriers, running allows unique access to the world.

The Apostle Paul used a multitude of sporting analogies to share about the work that he was doing sharing the Gospel throughout the world. I do not think he was a runner, but he shared a similar mindset that helped with his rigorous efforts and single minded focus for the spread of God’s message. In the words of 1 Corinthians, Paul was not condoning a work based faith, but the willingness to do all that he could with the life that was given to him for the sake of serving God. To the end of his life, or the metaphoric race, he would serve the Lord with all that he had been given.

I cherish the opportunity to run and the many lessons I have learned. But even more, I cherish the grace and mercy  given to me by God. I hope I can utilise the life I have been given to finish the race well and serve Him throughout my life.

Thanks goes out to Coach Chuck Knutsen, the Apostle Paul and Jesus for these lessons.

2 Timothy 4:7

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 

Written by Russell Matthews @ Matthews Down Under

The four keys to happiness + school starting

It was an exciting few weeks. We have been preparing for The Forum: The four keys to happiness with Dr. Sam Chan. We had the challenges of new venues, new times and new speakers. The team was actively engaged in prayer for the launch of these events.

We have breakfasts, lunches and evening events for people to invite their work colleagues to each week. An opportunity to hear from God’s Word and ask questions of our speakers.

The response was thrilling to see. We had full rooms for both events. New faces, great questions and positive response to Sam. We are truly praising the Lord for the numbers and pray the ministry will grow in 2015.

Please continue to pray for these events for 2015. Check out upcoming events in the city

 

School begins

It was a wet beginning, but it was great for Josh and Caroline to get back to school. They missed their school mates and classes. It is a big year for Josh in preparing for the HSC. (High school Certificate exam)

Pray for them and their school year.

Psalms & Esther

Pastor Ben Kwok and I will be working through Psalms and Esther in the beginning of 2015. Rouse Hill Bible Church has put an emphasis on evangelism for the year. Pray as we prepare and invite our friends, neighbours and workmates to church.

Thank you for your support and prayers,

Russ, Cathy, Becca, Hope Josh and Caroline

The four keys to happiness, ministries and school begins

We are rolling into the new year with The Forum, Bible studies at Rouse Hill Bible Church, scripture classes, Bible Study Fellowship and school beginning.

Please be praying for all of these items for us.  If you would like to find out more about each of these events, click on the links.

Thank you for your prayers and support.

The adventure continues,

Russ, Cathy, Becca, Joshua and Caroline

The Forum

 

The four keys to happiness with Dr Sam Chan

 

 

 

 

Rouse Hill Bible Church