OneLove will return on Saturday 25 August 2018 at Sydney Olympic Park. Mary Willson the Associate Director of Women's Initiatives for The Gospel Coalition will be joining us to share from God's Word.
We are offering women an opportunity to purchase their tickets at a special Pre-Launch rate of $79 if they register before 29 October 2017. CLICK HERE to secure your ticket at the best rate!
Get a taste of Mary's teaching from The Gospel Coalition 2016 Women's Conference:
Last Saturday, women of all ages and life stages stood united under one roof to sing praises to God. Here are the list of songs that were sang at OneLove this year:
Registrations for OneLove 2018 are now open at the special Pre-Launch rate of $79 until 29 October 2017.
Mary Willson the Associate Director of Women's Initiatives for The Gospel Coalition will be joining us to share God's Word.
Secure your ticket and spot at OneLove 2018 at the best price today: www.onelovewomen.com
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Get your tickets here: www.onelovewomen.com/register
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*Terms & Conditions: The discount applies for every 2 tickets purchased in ONE single transaction. The promo code is valid from 9am Saturday 2nd September and expires at midnight Sunday 3rd September. KCC reserves the right to end this promotion at anytime without notice.
We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Merran, a member of the OneLove committee. In this interview, Merran shares how she came to faith in a season of severe illness, and how God has continued to carry her through the challenges of motherhood and living out the Christian life in a world that has competing values and priorities.
1. How did you come to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour?
throughout the pain, medical procedures and moments of fear, i discovered that i loved a god who was always there for me and whoSE goodness didn't change in a season of hardship.
I grew up in a family that loved Jesus, with parents who modelled their faith day-by-day, and who encouraged, supported and invested in sharing that faith with me. I accepted Jesus when I was about ten at Sunday School but really came to own that faith as a young adult when it carried me through a season of serious illness.
I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis as a teenager – a diagnosis that resulted in a number of intense, life changing and medically confronting years. Throughout the pain, medical procedures and moments of fear, I discovered that I loved a God who was always there for me – a God whose goodness didn’t change in a season of hardship, and a God who could be with me in moments when I was completely vulnerable and alone. I also discovered that my church family was willing and able to sustain my family and I with love, encouragement, time, meals, wisdom and prayer.
This changed me, and changed my faith. Rather than wondering 'why me?', I was left wondering how people experience trials of this scale without our kind and gracious God to sustain them, and a church family to care for them.
2. The Christian journey can sometimes be challenging and difficult. What helps you to fix your eyes on Jesus?
i have been blessed to be part of genuine and warm church communities...being a serving and served part of the body of christ gives me a wonderful, small taste of what is to come.
I think it’s often those seasons of challenge that help me to fix my eyes on Jesus, and call me back to him again and again. In the daily busyness of life I can be easily distracted from the good things that are to come, but times of challenge and of hardship remind me how great our God is and just how abundantly he meets my needs (which are often not the needs I think I have!) and how his ways, in his time, are good.
In a very practical sense the disciplines of regular prayer and Bible reading are some of the most helpful ways I have found to ensure I am not being distracted by the world, but stay focussed on Jesus. Throughout my Christian life I have also been blessed with a church community that is genuine, warm and serves great Biblical teaching. I have been loved by inspiring and godly friends. Being a serving and served part of the body of Christ gives me a wonderful and small taste of what is to come!
3. In 2016, God gifted you with a beautiful baby boy! What have been the joys and challenges of motherhood?
A Baby is a wonderful tool for shining a light on the many areas of my life that i need less of me and more of jesus.
He did! My husband and I are very proud parents to our beautiful son Ari! Becoming a mother has taught me so much. I regularly feel overwhelmed that God has given me this wonderful, tiny person to love, to be loved by, to know and to care for. What a privilege this is. At times I also feel an immense pressure to do this job well and to work out what doing it well means.
The joy comes in so many forms, but small moments of connection, of happiness and of family time are my favourite – when my husband and son pick me up from work and I see their smiles from the car, when we have a day with no plans that we can fill with small, toddler paced activities. And watching my tiny newborn baby turning into a toddler full of independence, emotions and personality.
The challenges come in many forms also! A baby, and now a toddler is a wonderful tool for shining a light on the many areas of my life that I need less of me and more of Jesus. I have learnt how impatient I am, how quick I can be to anger, and just how much I need Jesus to be able to change. A baby is also a huge practical challenge, as my husband and I strive to find a balance between the demands of work, financial commitments, family life, and the values and aspirations our society sets for us verses the values and aspirations of our faith.
Paul Tripp's 14 Principles has a wonderful reminder, that God doesn't call us to do things because we are able. God calls unable people to do impossible tasks so that in our search for help we find more than help - we find him. This really spoke to the challenges of motherhood for me.
4. What advice would you give to other women preparing for motherhood?
I found motherhood to be a wonderful season of building new relationships and experiencing encouragement and community. I’d encourage women preparing for motherhood to look for ways to be part of their church and broader local community. These communities can become a wonderful support network for a new mum, and a unique opportunity to invest in relationships where the Gospel can be shared.
There are also so many Christian books and resources for parents and I would recommend asking friends for recommendations on great things they have read. The books I enjoyed the most were not the 'how to be a Christian parent' books, rather they were books that encouraged me to shape my parenting around gospel centred values. They were books that encouraged me to pray daily, invest in growing my own faith and to think outside of society values for families.
The books I enjoyed the most were not the 'how to be a Christian parent' books, rather they were books that encouraged me to shape my parenting around gospel centred values.
5. How does the promise of eternity impact the different roles you play on a day to day basis?
It has helped me to identify who and what my priorities are, and what the priorities for my time and family should be. It is a wonderful reminder of where the balance of my time, gifts and energy should lie, and helps me to moderate the expectations and pressures of the world.
The promise of eternity also takes the pressure off my need for control, and reminds me that ultimately I’m not in control at work, at home, or in my relationships.
Finally it reminds me that the things I love and find joy in, are not things I have earned because of my own goodness or ability, but rather generous gifts from a loving father, to be used to benefit and grow his kingdom.
The Promise of eternity reminds me that the things i love are not things i have earned because of my goodness or ability, but rather generous gifts from a loving father to be used to benefit and grow his kingdom.
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*Terms & Conditions: Competition is open from Thursday 20 July – midnight Sunday 20 August for OneLove delegates only. Two prizes for two winners only. Allocated seating is available for tickets purchased by the winner as part of their group at OneLove. Prize is non-transferable and cannot be redeemed for cash. Prize will be available for pickup at OneLove conference on Saturday 9 September at Sydney Olympic Park. KCC reserves the right to cancel the competition at any time.
We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Julianne Jones, the Chairwoman of OneLove conference. In this interview, Julianne shares how she came to faith and how the promise of Eternity gives peace to some of the challenges facing Christian women today.
LIving in light of eternity means i can live with a sense of peace, knowing that the god of all wisdom, power and grace has already written the final chapter of my life and will protect and strengthen me along the way.
1. How and when did you come to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour?
I can’t remember a time I haven’t known and loved Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I was very blessed to grow up in a strong Christian family, with parents who lived and shared their faith with me. At youth camps as a teenager I was regularly struck by just how immense God’s love for me is - he allowed his one and only Son to die for my sins, so that I can have a rich, eternal relationship with him. As an adult, the generosity and goodness of God and His complete forgiveness of my sins continues to amaze me.
2. What do you think are the greatest challenges facing Christian women in Australia today?
we are all looking for the stamp of approval that says we are ok just as we are.
Christian women today live under the constant pressures and expectations of culture and society. The media, our education, profession and personal aspirations all put pressure on us to look, feel and act a certain way. I think we are all looking for the stamp of approval that says we are ok just as we are. We long for acceptance, a sense of identity, influence, physical strength, beauty, wealth and direction. We also live with fear and uncertainty for what the future might or might not bring; loss of a job, ill health, death of a loved one, and our lack of control over what tomorrow holds.
In light of these pressures and fears, I think we struggle to trust God at His Word. It’s easy to doubt his faithfulness, his goodness, his grace and his deep, knowing love for us that provides all that we need.
3. As of 2014 you took on the role of chairwoman for OneLove conference! Why do you think women should set aside time to attend women's conferences like OneLove?
onelove is a wonderful opportunity to sit under god's word and lift our eyes from ourselves and be in awe of god's majesty.
In the busyness of our lives it is easy to lose sight of the hope we have Christ, or to have that sight go little blurry. OneLove is a wonderful opportunity to spend a day away from the pressures and distractions of life, to sit under God’s word and lift our eyes from ourselves and be in awe of God’s majesty.
The theme for OneLove 2017 is "For Eternity", so it will be a day where you can learn how to live in the present with our eyes firmly fixed on Eternity.
You can expect a great day filled with:
4. This year's conference theme is "For Eternity". What does living in light of eternity mean for you?
Living in light of eternity has given me great peace in my roles as a wife, mother, nurse and midwife, and as Chair of OneLove!
In a very practical sense, living in the light of eternity means that as a mother, when I see my daughter struggle and become anxious during her HSC year, I can confidently tell her (and trust!) that God is in control, and that there is a future hope that is even greater than the hopes and dreams of today.
And as a nurse and midwife it means God is a great source of strength and perspective and peace when I struggle to cope with some of the difficult and sad moments these roles can involve.
As someone who struggles under the pressure to “people please” I am reminded daily through scripture to lift my eyes up to things eternal, that I am worthy because of my identity in Christ, and not the because of the praise and acceptance of others.
Ultimately, I find living in light of Eternity in heaven very freeing. The promise of eternal life, which Jesus purchased by His death, life and resurrection begins now. I can live with a sense of peace knowing that the God of all wisdom, power and grace has already written the final chapter of my life and will protect and strengthen me along the way.
5. How can we be praying for OneLove conference?
Prayer is so important! We would love your prayers!
We recently had the pleasure of interviewing long time friends and small business owners Mary & Sally. In this interview, Mary and Sally shares how their faith in Jesus has guided them through the challenges of starting a small business and how the promise of Eternity impacts the roles they play as Christian women in the home, church and workplace.
1. How did you come to know Jesus?
Sally: My first encounter with Jesus was going to church as a kid with mum. I remember getting my first Bible from Sunday school at the age of 7 and learning about Jesus in the gospel stories. During my late teens, I drifted away feeling that Christianity was a religion based on joy-killing rules, but the Lord showed His grace to me and drew me back through my best friend. It was then that He renewed my mind and heart, and allowed me to see His grace in salvation, and the joy and peace that comes from understanding that I didn’t need to earn or work for this. Looking back, I’m humbled by the fact that God was pursuing me and that He was faithful even when I was unfaithful.
Mary: I grew up going to a lot of lovely small Korean-speaking churches with my parents. While Christianity started making a bit more sense to me when I was in my final years of high school, it was only when I started attending services in English during uni that I was forced to claim my faith as my own and take responsibility for it. A lot of things clicked as I was taking it all in, in the language I was more comfortable in. God graciously allowed me to taste a real relationship with Him and that’s when the real heart changes started taking place.
2. What's the story behind your small business 'Mary & Sally'? What prompted you to start a business, and what do you hope to achieve through it?
Mary: It’s a pretty ordinary story – I just asked Sally one day if she might want to try designing some greeting cards with me! She jumped on it straight away though. We both wanted to work on something creative, but were a bit scared of doing anything on our own. God has been very gracious in giving us “Mary & Sally” to work on; we feel really lucky to be able to do it.
Early on we agreed that we wanted to be “salt and light” in the design space, and have encouraging and meaningful things to offer, rather than just creating pretty things for the sake of it. We hope to bring some encouragement to people, and help share that encouragement between people as well. We pray earnestly that we will continue to trust in God and that “Mary & Sally” would continue in future directions according to His will.
3. What advice would you give to women wanting to start a small business?
Acknowledge that it is god who has given you gifts and talents to be doing what you've set out to do. You may plan and strategise but god will determine the steps.
Sally: Acknowledge that it is God who has given you gifts and talents to be doing what you’ve set out to do. You may plan and strategise but it is God who will determine your steps. This means that you can praise Him through your success and failures. If you make mistakes, learn from them and move on. If you have a purpose that reflects this you will be able to persevere through the challenges of starting a small business.
Mary: What Sal said! I feel a bit inadequate to be giving anyone any advice about small business, because we feel like we’re still only in the very initial stages ourselves – but one thing that has been clear to us is that God is in control. He has allowed us disappointments that have worked out so much better for us in the longer term, and experiences that have grown us both. We were reflecting just recently how much he was graciously granted us as well – so many little things that we mentioned to each other in passing as “dream goals” He has allowed us! It blows us away each time, His attention to the little and the big.
one thing that has been clear to us is that god is in control. he has allowed us disappointments that have worked out so much better for us in the longer term. - Mary
4. The theme for OneLove 2017 is 'For Eternity'. How does living in light of eternity impact the different roles that you play each day as Christian women?
no matter the role we are carrying out on a day-to-day basis, we can confidently hold fast to 'less of me, more of christ' because of what eternity holds for us. - mary
Mary: I think I need to be more aware of the eternal scope God has given us on a day-to-day basis! No matter the role we are carrying out on a day-to-day basis, we can confidently hold fast to “less of me, more of Christ” because of what eternity holds for us. So often we might think that we are missing out on something, or sacrificing too much for someone; but everything is worth it, in and for Him.
Sally: I feel everything we do in this life has an eternal impact on our lives and on those people around us. From those small daily interactions with my kids, to serving morning tea at church, conversations with colleagues and clients, God uses those opportunities to draw us into Him. So I try to remind myself constantly that I am an instrument for His glory, I live for eternity and not the here and now.
We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Viana, a member of the OneLove committee. In this interview Viana shares how she became a Christian upon her migration to Australia, how knowing Jesus has impacted her work at MS Australia, and the way she confronts some of the challenges facing Christian millennials today.
1. How did you become a Christian?
from the day i was born my mum and dad would wake up or stay up to pray for my sister and i to know christ personally.
The question of 'how' has always been an interesting one, very often I am tempted to conclude that one single catalyst led to my conversion. However, as I contemplated on the major factors that played and contributed toward me becoming a Christian, I resolved to two themes that echoed throughout my journey; through the faithful prayers of many and by the word of God penetrating my heart.
The faithful prayers were made by my parents. From the day I was born, my mum and dad would wake up or stay up to pray for my sister and I to know Christ personally, because it was only by God’s grace and power that my heart could change. This was coupled by my family’s migration from Hong Kong to Australia. At the time, I did not understand why we moved or why I had to learn a new language and culture. However, my parents later told me that it was because they wanted my sister and I to escape from the self-success work mentality that characterised Hong Kong, toward an environment that would cultivate a better growth in knowing God as Lord and Saviour.
This migration for my sister and I came at a cost to my parents. They had to give up their comfortable well-paid jobs, their proximity to family, and had to learn a new language. But as I reflected on their sacrifice, I realised that their sacrifice was motivated by a love that originates from God who sacrificed his own son Jesus so that we can live a new life in him.
"I was confronted by the challenge to either be '100% in with christ or 100% out', there was no '50% christian' option."
The constant prayers and sacrifice of my parents came to fruition when at one youth camp, I was confronted by the challenge to either be "100% IN with Christ or 100% OUT", there was no "50% Christian" option. Thankfully, Romans 8 spoke to my soul, where the inseparable love of God, salvation through Christ and his demand for Lordship over my life finally dawned on me. By the grace of God, the triangulation of these factors led to my commitment to a life lived for Christ, an identity defined by Christ and a righteousness given by Christ. I am very thankful to God for his grace upon me through using my parents to show me his love.
2. What do you think are some of the challenges facing younger Christian women in Australia - in particular millennials?
with mirrors which we call instagram, facebook, pinterest and snapchat, christian women are constantly bombarded with the desire to shape oneself towards the 'perfection' of flawless beauty, exciting life experiences and fulfilling social relationships.
In a world captivated by the allures of instant gratification, reflections from mass media mirrors and the pursuit of personal success, Christian women are faced with voices left, right and centre that distract us from the true voice of God.
The temptations of instant gratification calls women to be near sighted in their decisions, giving into the lie that there is no consequences to actions and that self control is not worth it. Christian women today are faced everyday with the decision to not give in to the fleeting pleasures of sin and instead be refreshed daily with the eyes which see eternity and the steadfast truths of God that promise us everlasting joy and satisfaction in him. This refocus on God helps us to step in faith to fight against sin, steward well our time and money and grow in our hope for his return.
we get distracted with comparisons on mass media that calls us to work tirelessly for approval, love and identity, the very thing things we've already received by god!
With mirrors which we call Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Snapchat, Christian women are constantly bombarded with the desire to shape oneself towards the ‘perfection’ of flawless beauty, exciting life experiences and fulfilling social relationships. This endless strive to manufacture one’s identity wars with the identity that has already been given by God, and hence we are forced daily to choose which metaphorical ‘mirror’ to look at for our identity. It is tempting to look at the identity that God has given us; daughters and heirs loved with his unfailing love, cleansed of sins by his precious blood and fully accepted and approved in the sight of God, and forget this as soon as we get distracted with comparisons on mass media that call us to work tirelessly for approval, love and identity, the very things we’ve already received by God! Hence, Christian women have a challenge every day, to choose between reminding ourselves daily of the unshakable identity we have in Christ, or to give in and strive to achieve an unattainable ‘perfection’ created by the world.
‘Listen and do what your heart says!’ has been the chorus of our generation, calling for women in the world to stay ‘true’ to their feelings and impulses as a guide to how to live their lives. This phrase often clashes with the calling for Christian women to listen and follow what God says. How will we as Christian women respond when the world calls us to do what is best for us, whether that be sacrificing relationships to climb the ladder of success, or to place the needs ourselves above the needs of others? We need to stand firm against these challenges with the belt of God’s truth around our waist, reminding us of the Godly calling to love one another with his love, lay down our lives for others and listen to his voice of true guidance.
'listen and do what your heart says!' has been the chorus of our generation...this phrase often clashes with the calling for christian women to listen and follow what god says.
3. How did your faith in Jesus impact your work at MS Australia last year?
In my time working for MS Australia as a physiotherapy assistant, my knowledge of eternity and ultimate salvation impacted my view of disability, hope and true healing. Due to the current poor prognosis and devastating life-long symptoms faced by many people who suffer from multiple sclerosis (MS), I was constantly challenged with the futility of life and sufferings of the world.
As a Christian, facing multiple stories of pain and death poses as a refreshing yet frightening reminder that there is an urgency to preach the good news of Jesus to all, but it also serves as a hopeful reminder that there is a future without pain or suffering, and an eternal healing that is offered through the cleansing by Jesus Christ’s blood. This shapes my work ethic in serving faithfully in work, for the approval of God rather than man, not to work with minimal effort but to sincerely love those I help with all that I can. It also shapes my prayers for each of my clients, that they would not only be healed physically, but to receive ultimate spiritual healing from God.
4. You also volunteer as a committee member for OneLove conference. What does the work involve and why do you think women should consider attending conferences like OneLove?
My time as a committee member has been nothing but amazing! There is something wonderful about turning up every month or two to see a group of women so zealous for the Lord, fervent in prayer and devoted in delighting in his word. Our work consists of prayer for the women and their churches, careful brainstorming of how to encourage and build up women at OneLove and organising every means to help achieve that goal.
As Christian women, we are often caught up in the busyness of life, whether that be in busy studying, or working, balancing relationships or taking care of families. In the midst of many distractions, it is easy to feel alone the fight to live boldly as a Christian and to be a witness in front of unbelievers. However, OneLove serves to be the refreshing reminder that we all need, a unity as sisters in Christ spurring each other on through worship in singing, listening and praying. It also serves as a friendly and inviting platform to invite our unbelieving friends and family to hear God’s word being preached! There’s no doubt about it that conferences like OneLove are worth it, good for your soul and the souls of others!
We had the pleasure of interviewing previous OneLove delegate Amy, who along with her husband, planted a new church called Chapel Hill in Rozelle. In this interview, she shares how God's Word has impacted her life as a missionary kid, theological student, church planter, and mum-to-be!
1. Hi Amy! Please share with us where you're from and how you became a Christian?
God's hand has guided, comforted, dragged and encouraged me all along this journey of life.
Hi! I was born in Sydney but grew up in Kiev, Ukraine in a missionary family. We moved back to Sydney when I was 18 so Sydney is definitely home now (after some time of adjustment).
I would say that I initially became a Christian when I was about 9 years old through the testimony of my parents and having always known Jesus' love for me. I understood that I need Him for myself, not just because it's what my parents believe. But God's refining and revealing work has (and always will be) consistent in my life.
Moving back to Australia was a really formative time in me embracing my faith for myself away from the familiarity of church and friends. I'm so thankful that God doesn't let go of me even in my times of struggle. I can look back on all of my life and clearly see His guiding and sustaining hand through it all. God's hand has guided, comforted, dragged and encouraged me all along this journey of life.
2. When you moved to Australia you spent some time studying at Sydney Missionary Bible College (SMBC). How did God work in your life during your studies?
I had come from a very conservative church in Ukraine so what I believed about God was challenged here in Australia. My desire to know God's Word more deeply for myself motivated me to study at Sydney Missionary Bible College. I didn't have any big plans of where my training would lead me afterwards, but I just knew I wanted more of God.
Studying at theological college helped to confirm my knowledge of God in His Word and helped me to think through things that I may have grown up knowing, but not really questioning. I remember being so awestruck when I realised that all of the Old Testament was pointing to the need for Jesus. I hadn't seen that before!
During my time at SMBC, God used the Bible teaching and my relationships with other students to build up my personal confidence in Him. I sorely miss discussing lecture content with friends over lunch or late into the night .
3. Along with your husband, you started a church plant called Chapel Hill in Rozelle. What have been some of the highlights and challenges of starting a new church?
i've really enjoyed journeying with girls who like me, have come from christian families, but are now actually being challenged by god's word and seeking to put him first.
Straight out of college I was confident and on fire! Mikey and I were married a year after college, and straight away started church planting what is now Chapel Hill. In that first year I lost a lot of the confidence God had taught and built up in me. This was because I feared and listened to humans more than I listened to God's promises. It was a challenging time as I was trying to be a super wife and person in ministry but I was just floundering! The expectations I put on myself along with these fears overtook me.
Again, I'm so thankful that God's hand was leading me through all this and now as Mikey and I look back on our 3 years of church planting, we can so clearly see God's work in it all. He has deepened our love for Him and each other each year, and as we look back on the challenges of the past, we can see how much He grew us through them.
Real highlights of church planting have been seeing those who have been Christians for awhile getting into the 'meat' of God's Word, and watching them grow in Him. I've really enjoyed journeying with girls who like me, have come from Christian families, but are now actually being challenged by God's Word and seeking to put Him first.
4. What is your favourite Bible verse and why?
I don't particularly have a single favourite Bible verse, but over the past year Psalm 73:28 has been a huge source of comfort and encouragement. I've cried over it, clung to it and fallen asleep reminding myself of the refuge the Lord is:
"But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deed."
5. How does the promise of eternity with God impact your ministry?
instead of worrying about what i should do in my own strength, the promise of eternity takes me to a place of surrender and reliance on god.
Half the time I'm scared out of my mind with being a pastor's wife and a soon to be mum (our first bub is due mid June)! I get so caught up in what I should do that I lose sight of the whole purpose of life. Instead of worrying about what I should do in my own strength, the promise of eternity takes me to a place of surrender and reliance on God - which really is where we should all be all the time anyway! It calms me down to know that all parts of my life - family and ministry - are all about Jesus and I want my life to reflect that. I'm so excited for the day where i'll be standing before my Lord!
To celebrate Mothers Day (Sunday 14 May) and the role that older women have played in our lives, we're hosting a giveaway where you can WIN some hand crafted goodies for mum!
We've chosen some beautiful products, created by Christian women who are using their companies to spread the love of Jesus locally and across the globe.
HOW TO ENTER:
1. Follow @onelovekcc on Instagram or Like the OneLove Facebook page,
2. Tag two friends in the competition post (graphic above),
3. Enter the draw to win!
*Terms & Conditions:
Competition is open for Australian residents only. 1 prize for 1 winner across Facebook and Instagram. Prize cannot be redeemable for cash. KCC reserves the right to cancel this promotion at any time. The competition runs from Friday 5 May and ends at midnight Friday 19 May. Winner will be announced on Tuesday 23 May.