Mary’s First Christmas Ponderings

Mary’s First Christmas Ponderings, Ray Hawkins
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By Ray Hawkins, Beauty Point

Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.

Luke 2:51
Mary’s First Christmas Ponderings

Mary pondered so many things in her heart
That very first Christmas day:
Shepherds arrival and delight
As they saw Christ that night
Enthroned in the manger!
Angels’ words they’d relayed
With joy and faith displayed.
The Saviour had been born,
The Bread of Life had come,
As foretold, to Bethlehem.

Mary pondered disturbing things in her heart
That very first Christmas time!
Simeon, one of the prophets,
Stood upon the Temple steps
Speaking words of future things,
The child’s fame through suffering.
Mary’s joy one day would mourn
For this promised one now born.
The Light to the Gentiles had come
As foretold, to Bethlehem.

Mary pondered personal things in her heart
That very first Christmas night!
Anna, a widow of many years
Saw in Him that mercy was here
With a song of thankfulness
Celebrating God’s faithfulness
She shared the news of God’s grace
Which had come to the Human race,
As foretold, to Bethlehem.

Mary pondered so many things in her heart
That very first Christmas morn!
Told that her heart would be pierced
As though by a sword sharp, fierce.
This child, when grown, would be rejected
Though no fault in Him was detected.
Jesus would taste the people’s scorn
By whip, sword and a cross torn,
And yet to triumph, He had come
As foretold, to Bethlehem.

© Raymond N. Hawkins. Dec 2017

Behold the Conqueror

Behold the Conqueror, Ray Hawkins
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By Ray Hawkins, Beauty Point

Behold the conqueror!
He comes to gain His throne.
Behold the conqueror!
He comes for His own.
Who is He?
He is the Lord God of Hosts,
Heaven’s warrior Lord.
His name is Jesus,
His word a sword.
He is the Christ,
His glory the cross.
Before Him I surrender,
He is my conqueror! 

Behold the Conqueror!
His scars are from His cross.
Behold the conqueror!
Hear His triumph song.
Who is He?
He is the Saviour, Lord,
Son of God, Son of Man
Pre-eminent One.
He is the Christ.
His emblem the cross.
Before Him I surrender,
He is my conqueror.

Behold the conqueror!
The victory He has won.
Behold the conqueror!
His enemies undone.
Who is He?
The Lamb for sinners slain,
Risen victorious,
All glorious
His righteousness.
He is the Christ.
His power the cross.
Before Him I surrender,
He is my conqueror.

Raymond Hawkins © June 2011

ADVANCE | step by step – Jul/Aug 2021

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
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My plan for your future has always been filled with hope

Based on Jeremiah 29:11

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HOPE. Across the globe this Covid-19 season, we hope like birds in cages.

We HOPE the virus will dissipate; that vaccinations will help; that loved ones are kept safe.

How important to remember Jeremiah’s words:
“God has plans to give us a HOPE and a FUTURE”.

Take hold of hope by joining the National Prayer Gathering for the Covid Situation on Tuesday 31 August. Find out more below.

This issue includes . . .
FROM THE MD: Stephen Baxter with treasures new and old
INTERVIEW: Liam Conway Ministry Apprentice at Hobart: he is a gift!
HOSPITALS IN PNG: Prayers answered to avoid closure (a gift of PPE)
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Jenna Blackwell wrestles with being a missionary in Tasmania
CHURCH PROFILE: LifeWay Devonport, now ministering in the South!
MERGE YOUTH: Citywide are kicking goals
REGIONAL ROUNDUP: City, Latrobe, Westbury, Claremont, Citywide and Hobart
NATIONAL PRAYER GATHERING: Nationwide prayer against COVID-19
CONVERGE CONFERENCE: Advocating to our government leaders
NEED TO KNOW (news):
GATEWAY turns 145! | EmpowHer Northwest walk | Request from Library Aid International | Tas Baptists’ website | Fostering Hope devotional-zoom | Australian Christian Literature Awards | Baptist Basketball Grand Final | Stand Sunday | Farewell PETER CUTHBERTSON | Ray’s Poem

You can read all these in the download-able version

Be blessed this week!


Jenny Baxter, God's love poured in to you

Jenny Baxter
Communications Manager
Tasmanian Baptists


Without. A poem by Jenna Blackwell
A poem by Jenna Blackwell
Jenna Balckwell

Heater on, tea in hand,
Curtains just ajar.
Pen at the ready,
I sit, I watch, I wait for you.

The trees, like fits of rage on a drug-induced night,
Bend every direction in the gusty wind.
They are but shadows against the dark sky,
Mere blurs, not close to human.

The sky has been crying all night,
The fields are flooded in its tears.
My eyes on this city prompts my heart,
As a ten-tonne truck sits on my chest.

People. It's always people.
Without homes, without safety,
Without warmth, without family.
Without weighs on my chest.

Does without have a name?
We hide them away, buried in darkness.
We wish someone else would jump in the muck
And bring them to the light.

My heart rages at injustice.
But my outward eyes turn in on me
And the truck reminds me of its weight.
What am I doing?

Comfy, warm, safe, peacefully alone
I too have flooded tears, but not over this.
"Disconnect!" my mind screams
But I refuse to let this be another too hard basket

I don't want to sit in comfort,
Disconnected from those without.
I don't want to say "I'm yours, God,"
And not break for what breaks you.

I love comfort, but I don't want to live it
If it's outside of your reign.
I don't want to be another Sunday-goer
Who isn't transformed by you.

I want people to know your goodness,
I want lives to be transformed.
I want connection, not disconnection.
I want... to be without?

That's too scary to say aloud,
I wrestle with the discomfort.
But they say to live is to die.
To die to self is to live for you.

Without, they cry.
Without, I surrender.

Jenna Blackwell © 2021
Without. A poem by Jenna Blackwell
Inspired by Jenna’s article Am I An Imperfect Missionary?

The Longing of the Heart

The Longing of the Heart - a poem by Ray Hawkins, Beauty Point
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The Longing of the Heart

By Ray HawkinsBeauty Point
There were many places waiting for me,
So many things to do and see.
Then, unexpectedly,
All this changed.
My life was rearranged,
 New desires took hold of me,
Changing me completely.

Unseen, unheard by those around me,
The Holy Spirit made me see Calvary,
And bade me surrender 
To Jesus, the Saviour,
And walk with Him faithfully,
Into the future’s uncertainties,
Trusting His grace and Sovereignty.

Every-time I share in Holy Communion
This longing in my heart has its reunion
With the One for whom it yearns,
And the words, “Only until He returns”
Holds that promise, I’ll see Him face to face.
Such is the wonder, the power of His grace,
Drumming deep within my heart is this song …

I want to see Jesus,
See Him face to face.
I want to meet Jesus
And fall at His feet.
I want to say to Jesus
My words of gratitude …
“Thank you, Jesus, thank you,
For loving me, saving me,
Changing and keeping me
Through time and eternity”

©August 13 2019 Ray Hawkins.

Read more in the June 2021 ADVANCE | step by step

ADVANCE | step by step – June 2021

Love poured out, ADVANCE June 2021
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My love has been poured out into your hearts through the Holy Spirit

Based on Romans 5:5

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This Bible encouragement is such a good one. It’s so heartening to remember that God’s love is literally poured out, into you.

  • MAY ASSEMBLY from a first-timer, Stephen Avery (City Baptist)
  • Q&A with PAUL MANNING the new Baptist Word Aid Tas/Vic rep
  • YOUR CHURCH WILL BENEFIT from running Alpha.
  • PROFILE Hobart Baptist church
  • WELCOME to COUNTRY History made at May Assembly
  • TESTIMONY From Swami to Christian by Ruth Burgess
  • MORE FROM ASSEMBLY Michael Henderson and Jenna Blackwell serve you
  • FOSTERING Q&A with long-term carer Tracey Avery
  • FOOD FOR THE SOUL #nofilterchurch by Spiritual Director Denise Stephenson
  • BAPTISTS IN MISSION The Pastors’ and Leaders’ Muster 
  • FAREWELL Jeff McKinnon With thanks to a passionate servant
  • REGIONAL ROUNDUP Tasmanian Baptists in Action – Perth, Ulverstone, Wynyard, Citywide, Claremont, Hobart
  • NEED TO KNOW: NEWS – Religious Freedom Weekend | Training Day for TaCCs | TWO Online Baptist Conferences | EmpowHer Southern Walk | NCLS Survey 2021 |COVID-19 Crisis in Asia | Perth Celebrates | Hobart’s Luminous Festival | Pastors’ and Leaders’ Muster | Covid-19 in Bangladesh | KidzFest 2022 | Poetry from Ray Hawkins

Happy Reading!


All articles are available here: DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE PDF >>>

Jenny Baxter, God's love poured in to you

Jenny Baxter
Communications Manager
Tasmanian Baptists