Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Matthews Down Under

Four tips for getting a place at the table, Word 1 to 1, Reel Dialogue & family update

“Russ, can we get together and read the Bible?”

The Word One to One is a resource designed to walk you and your friends through the good news found in John’s Gospel. We have been using it in our In-House groups in the city.

One of the groups has been growing over the past few months and includes over 60% enquirers to the Gospel. Many of them being recent immigrants to Australia. It has been a great opportunity to work with these individuals and ask for your prayers for their journey to knowing more about Jesus.

Russ has come enjoy leading this group, continues to pray for more attendees and the Lord would work in their lives.

Upcoming at The Forum: Four tips to get a seat at the table

The final Forum for 2015 will be an exciting new series from the book of Luke.

In the world of business, many aspire to get up on your opponents, get that next raise, climb the corporate ladder or getting the invite to have a place at ‘the table.’

How can someone achieve these goals and is it bad to desire them?

Interestingly, there is much wisdom in studying the words of Jesus on aspiring to reach these goals and the importance of being invited to sit at ‘the table.’

Pray for the  November series from Tho Luu on these topics from Luke 14.

A new ministry opportunity at City Bible Forum for 2016: Reel Dialogue 

City Bible Forum is excited to introduce a new activity: REEL DIALOGUE

Reel Dialogue aims to engage and equip people with creative dialogue between faith and culture. It is a creative dialogue between the Christian faith and the entertainment culture, with people discovering how common ground can be forged with story tellers, image shapers, and culture makers.

In essence, Reel Dialogue will facilitate engagement with films without disengaging people’s faith — discussion, engagement and interaction with one another help to bridge the gap between faith and culture.

Website: On this site there are downloadable discussion guides and links that have all the tools groups need to reflect on, discuss and discover what spiritual truth often resides in popular films. REEL DIALOGUE website

Events: We will plan to have film events that will be engaging with recently released films and allow for the audience to connect with the film, the speakers and the Bible.

Reviews: City Bible Forum’s Russell Matthews has worked for City Bible Forum for over 10 years and is a reviewer for Reel Dialogue, Insights Magazine, Entertainment Fuse and his own blog called Russelling Reviews.

He will be moderating events called Reel Dialogue (Formerly, The Forum at the Flicks) which connect the film industry with the general public.

We hope you are able to be entertained, enjoy the films, but to engage with some of the bigger questions in life with the team at REEL DIALOGUE.

Family details:

1. Cathy is having a good year at Bible Study Fellowship and scripture classes in the public schools

2. Wedding plans are coming along nicely, Hope and Matt will be getting married on 9 January

3. Becca is having a good year with her new job

4. Joshua has started his final year of high school and had a good year playing for the East Coast Eagles (AFL club)

5. Caroline has begun with a combined class of year 5 and 6 for advanced studies at school

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

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

 

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

 

 

Home again

Thank you for all of your prayers and support over furlough. We are back home in Sydney. We are looking forward to 2015.

Please pray for the planning for the ministries of the coming year.

City Bible Forum, Rouse Hill Bible Church, scripture classes and Bible Study Fellowship

Unbroken on the radio 

Hope you can stay up to listen to 2CH 1170AM’s Sunday Night program next Sunday night, 11 January

Dominic Steele interviews City Bible Forum’s film reviewer Russ Matthews about faith in the new film release, Unbroken

You can listen on-line or on that thing called a radio: 2CH

Russelling Reviews on the film Unbroken

Missions Vehicle

Thanks for your prayers and support for our missions vehicle. We are thrilled to announce that we received the funds for our vehicle.

 

The adventure continues…

Russ, Cathy, Becca, Hope, Joshua and Caroline

Thank you for a wonderful furlough experience

Goodonya, mates

We are coming into the final week in the US. It has been a busy, but a great experience. The churches have been wonderful and we are grateful for all who were willing to talk with us about the Lord’s work in Australia. We hope we were able to see you.  We have tried to get up with as many friends, family and supporters as the time would allow. Please forgive us if we missed seeing you during this trip.

Thank you for your support and prayers.

We will be at Saylorville Church for our final Sunday in Iowa.

Funds for ministry vehicle

As we conclude the US trip, one of the key fundraising components is to replace our current missions vehicle. Our current van is a 2003 Toyota Tarago with 320km on the metre. We merely what to replace that vehicle with a similar vehicle. We would need to raise approximately $20,000 for the vehicle.

We have received funds for the vehicle, but still need more torch our goal. If you have the capacity to contribute to this project, we would appreciate the support.

Van Donation link: Enter in these details: Matthews ministry vehicle, Account: 0132363

We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season. Keep living for the Lord and thank you for your support and prayers.

The adventure continues…

Russ, Cathy, Becca, hope, Joshua and Caroline