Fighting the Good Fight
If I say, “war room”, what kind of images pop into your head? War is a horrible thing, as the images on TV show. Even worse is the personal tragedy people experience in the midst of war. We have been blessed never to experience the ravages of war on Canadian soil. While we have never experienced a physical war in our backyard, most of us have experienced a spiritual war in our spiritual and emotional life. You may feel like you are in a great fight right now. Perhaps there is a war raging presently in your home, in your thought life, in your work place or even in your marriage. 1 Timothy 6:12 says, “fight the good fight of faith.” There is a spiritual war going on for your mind, family, and even your soul. But we can be encouraged, as Christ has given us the victory. That is why Apostle Paul calls it a “good fight” because we win. However, to win we need a strategy, and a strategy is usually developed in the “war room.” Do you have a strategy to win the fight you are in? Do you know how to win in the battle for your mind, family or soul? We can face our struggles with confidence. The battle we are in is winnable with the right strategy. And that is the topic of the Sunday celebration.Read More »
Considering The Lord’s Prayer
As we consider the Lord’s prayer we see a progression. The beginning is about acknowledging our loving heavenly father, who’s names reveals his character and love for us. We pray “His Kingdom come” because truly “father knows best.” Once we have truly found the heart of worship we are now ready to ask for ourselves and others. So he said, pray for your daily needs. Once that is done, we are encouraged to examine our relationship with God and others for chinks, flaws, or unresolved conflicts. Interestingly, this comes right after our daily provision part of the prayer. Perhaps it is because in the pursuit of wealth; often relationships are abused, discarded, and even ruined. So we are taught to pray for our needs, but make sure no one is hurt in the process of meeting those needs.
Easter - Life and Peace
We are in what the church calendar dubs as Holy Week. What are you doing during Holy Week? During Holy Week, Christians around the world will celebrate special days during this week. It starts on Palm Sunday, one week before Easter, then observe Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, finishing up with the Great Sabbath (Saturday). Easter Sunday is not part of the Holy Week celebration, but has its own significance. That is five days out of seven.
During this week, starting on Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey fulfilling Old Testament prophecy.
Monday, he cleared the temple.
Tuesday, he rebuked the Pharisees, gave us end time teaching (Matthew 21:23–24:51, Mark 11:20–13:37, Luke 20:1–21:36, John 12:20–38) and Judas negotiated the price for his betrayal (Matthew 26:14-16).Read More »
Forgiveness and Prayer
Have you heard someone say, “I will never forgive you for this”? Perhaps you have said it yourself? Offering forgiveness is a big deal for most of us. Hurt feelings are real, painful, and can be life changing. As we navigate this thing called life, bumps and bruises are normal. However, for the most part they are not consequential. It is not too hard to be magnanimous regarding the many small indiscretions we suffer. But every once in a while we experience a crushing blow that leaves us gasping. Now offering forgiveness is a lot more difficult. In fact, it can even feel wrong. “That person doesn’t deserve my forgiveness” is often our emotional response.
March 30, 2017
When I grew up, we had to say the Lord’s Prayer in school. We heard it said at every funeral, church service, and special occasion. It really was a part of our culture. That came to a screeching halt when Chris Tait who attended the same high school as me, decided to challenge the reciting of the Prayer. It was back in 1986 that Tait was suspended several times for refusing to stand during the reciting of the Lord's Prayer in his MacGregor Collegiate classroom. That led to a historic 1992 court case in which the Court of Queen's Bench struck down mandatory school prayer in Manitoba. From then to now Christian prayer has been banned across the provinces of Canada.Read More »
March 26, 2017
The one thing we can do which can change the world, we often forfeit for the things we can do that have little or no effect on the world. This one thing doesn’t require money, political connections, social status, athletic prowess, extraordinary talent or skill. The one thing that can make a difference in your life doesn’t depend on your age, education, or ethnicity. Can anyone guess what I am referring to? I heard yesterday that “knowledge is power”. A myriad of books are written how to influence people so change can take place. We think that if only we had money we could make the world a better place. We blame our origin of birth, our intellectual capacity, or our family tree, for our lack of ability to change our circumstances. Yet the answer is right before us. It is so simple. Too simple.Read More »
March 16, 2017
If I say “Leader”, what comes to mind? A CEO of some major corporation, Coach of a sports team, Sergeant of a platoon of soldiers, Father in a household, Pastor of a church, or a dishwasher in a restaurant pit, a janitor doing the night shift in a school, concession stand worker at the local theatre? Some professions lend themselves more naturally to the image of leader than others. Leadership carries with it the ideas of being in charge, managing people, and being an authority. Jesus had a different spin on it. He said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you.Read More »
March 9, 2017
Prayer is the forgotten discipline of the Church. Discipline here is defined as training in order to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior. We fellowship more than pray. We preach more than pray. We do church work more than pray. In fact prayer is often just a bookend to the really important stuff. The very life of all things is the least practiced. F.B. Meyer, the author of the great little book, the Secret of Guidance said, "The great tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer."
Some people can pray for hours, but I think this is not the norm. I struggle to engage in extended periods of prayer. I don’t think that I am that much different than most.Read More »
March 2, 2017
We have been talking about spiritual maturity. One of the problems with the Western Christian church is its immaturity. No one would question its intellectual prowess or even its religious appearance. But those things do not equate to spiritual maturity. The Church has gotten a bad reputation because society as a whole sees it as having never grown up or matured as a follower of Jesus. To put it another way, the church or the body of Christ, is to be a reflection of Jesus. The litmus test of maturity is when people interact with you (the church). Do they see Jesus and feel like they have been with him, or do they experience something else? In past blogs and sermons we have looked at what spiritual maturity looks like, what it is not, and today I would like to give the necessary steps one can implement on the path to spiritual maturity.Read More »
February 23, 2017
Are you mature? This question is not about your age. It is more about whether you are emotionally, physically, and spiritually mature according to the markers considered appropriate. A child crying because he couldn’t get another piece of candy is ok. A 30 year old having a melt down because he can’t have a ski-doo is another thing. There is an expectation also for those who profess to be followers of Jesus to become mature in their relationship with Christ. I always cringe a bit when I hear reports of Christians acting like immature, spoiled children. Like throwing temper tantrums when God doesn’t do what they want. Like gossiping about each other because someone else is being promoted. Like hoarding wealth when they should be generous.Read More »
February 16, 2017
Many Christians suffer from “know it all syndrome” (KIAS). KIAS is a terrible disease. It is contracted by attending disciple training sessions, bible studies, reading end time books, taking spiritual development courses, attending conferences, and faithfully attending Sunday morning sermons, but never taking opportunity to put into practice the good knowledge one is filling their head with. KIAS people become so spiritually fat that they can’t “run the race” (1 Corinthians 9:24).
But KIAS trained people are really good at telling others how to run the race. They can recite the four spiritual laws, explain the trinity, expound on the virtues of holy living, and have all the tithing scriptures memorized.Read More »
February 9, 2017
Everyone is talking about the snow. We are all wondering, just how high can the snow get? We have received a record snow fall in Nelson and more is on its way. As I was shovelling the stuff, I got thinking about the tiny, little, delicate fluff that falls from the sky. Snow can be so beautiful, but such a hardship as well. Just how many of these little flakes would have to fall to make a four foot blanket on my back yard? And to think every one of them is unique. Can it be? Considering the sheer number of snowflakes and if each one is unique, just how many patterns are there? It just seems impossible. So I thought I would check to see if it was true.Read More »
February 2, 2017
I was supposed to be in Haiti writing my weekly blog. Instead, I am in my home office typing, feeling the warmth of my fireplace, listening to Christian music, and smelling the sweet aroma of dinner being crafted upstairs by Doreen. I almost got there. To Haiti I mean. My team and I were in Fort Lauderdale ready to catch the next morning flight to Port au Prince when the call came that I was needed at home. My good friend was in trouble and the situation affected Doreen to the point of tears. I had to make a choice; go to Haiti with my friends where it is warm, where I will have honor, (almost like celebrity status), and a good time; or go back to cold, hard work and potential pain and suffering.Read More »
January 26, 2017
Helen Keller; "Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much."
Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. There is no better example of one, who against terrible odds was able to overcome every obstacle and rise to hero status. True, it was her grit, determination, and willingness to learn that made her into the legend she is. But if it wasn’t for a host of people who believed in her, who stood by her side, who paid for her education, she would never have achieved world famous status. What she was able to accomplish is nothing short of amazing, but it was her team that helped her to reach her complete and full potential.Read More »
January 19, 2017
Paul is writing to his disciple, Timothy, and he says these poignant words. “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:12-15 (NIV)
There is so much here to unpack in my 450 word blog.
Let see if I can break it down for us.Read More »