2 Corinthians 5:17-21
One of the benefits of living in the house we now occupy is the wood stove in the basement. Even on a cold winter day once it is warm inside we do not need the use of the electric heaters after a good fire is lit. This benefit is increased tremendously by the fact that a lot of yard clean up had been done after the previous tenents moved. At first glanse the pile of branches and downed trees seems like a mess left to be cleaned up taking up a lot of time and effort but look again and you see apossibility of renewing a valuable resource along with the chance of saving considerable money over the next winter. True some of the trees and branches are useless being too small or having rotted from laying outside in the wet mud for almost a year but with a little work much can be saved. This work of sorting good wood from what is rotten or too small to be stored is not so unlike the growth process of a believer in Christ. God sees that though not everything in our former lifestyle is benefical for our new life and some of it is down right deadly for us to hold on to there are things that can be of great use such as learned habits of disciplined living, music talent, artistic ability of other kinds, a network of relationships and, of course, the basic type of personality God created in the first place. God is ever patient and always purposeful in His work of molding each individual into His own image once again. He removes what is harmful or unnecessary and makes a vessel of honor for the Kings of Kings. What is seemingly a daunting task in the power and leadership of Holy Spirit becomes an exciting journey of growing up in Christ our Lord.
Is your life looking like a mess? I close with quote I first heard from Monty Louis once on of Canada’s most dangerous men who became a man of God used to bring hope to countless lives, ” God took my mess and turned it into a message.”,
” I don’t want to get involved.” Ever heard anyone say something like that when they hear about a person struggling with a serious situation? Ever say it yourself? I have in the past. It sounds like good advice and may be in the right circumstances but not when it is merely for our comfort or convenience. I will never stop being grateful that Jesus Christ got involved in the messy affairs of my life to provide solutions for my problems at His own expense. To profess love without action is like displaying a blank canvas and calling it a masterpiece. there is nothing to see. James challenges us to put the hands and feet to faith for all to see. Let us allow our faith to live in view of the whole world that our Lord may be glorified.
When we apply this Scriptural principle properly it brings freedom. The size of the gift is not the issue rather it is whether or not we are meeting the need in front of us that is important. The small things take on grate significance. Anyone can be involved. Everyone is equally necessary in the effort. the need for large levels of educations, large sums of money, gifted communication and grate influence do not prevent individuals from simply loving others under the Lord’s direction.
Ideas are our currency. An idea can change the world. Everything from lightbulbs to computers, electricity to automobiles, democracy to dance all began as an idea. Someone saw a possibility, gathered resources, put in time and effort, researched, failed and tried again until finally we benefit from the results. God, the creator of the universe, originator of all ideas is willing and able to share some of His ideas for saving lost souls with His people. Here is a practical application of a Scriptural principle we can all take away from this time of reflection. Pray for God to give you an idea or ideas about how you can show His love to someone over the next several days. Don’t dismiss the thought that comes to your mind as you pray. Love never fails so you have nothing to loose. If you feel to write an encouraging note even if you didn’t specifically hear from God to do so how does that hurt anyone. At the very least you have encouraged someone and thats always the right thing to do. Take the idea you get and run with it. Remember you love the person so if you don’t see explosive results the first day don’t give up. Continue incorporating this principle of idea to application in your lifestyle. Over time God will do amazing things in and through you. The person who may be blessed the most could be you.
Scriptures: Hebrews 11:6, Luke 5:17
For the simple reason that many”God is about to do something.”, or, “someday God is going to move.” Now some of this is sincere but for the most part it shows our tendency to live in the future. Then not now a good thing will happen. unfortunately though the future is bright in Christ and we will experience all the wonder of Heaven we can not live in the imagination of what the future will be like. Just as the moon can not reflect the sun of yesterday or the sun of tomorrow we can not reflect the light of the Lord Jesus, the Son of God unless we do it in the present. Real living is living in the now. Now we can discover God’s purpose for our life. Now we can grow in faith. Now we can experience His presence. Learn from the past and look forward to the future but don’t forget to live with God in the now. sadly while trying to live in the past life is indeed passing them by.
How offten have you heard someone say something like, “When we get Heaven then we will truly know what God is like.”, or, and present successes most be compared to the past. The best preachers lived in the past. The best worship took place in the past and the past is the bench mark of church life. people find that so hard to accomplish.
I know that there are many people who live in the past. The past is the best of times for them. All experiences, accomplishments,
This past week end I attended a conference of the Good News Penticostal churches in Dartmouth. Our Pastor Kevin Walsh spoke a powerful message on Friday night in which he encouraged people to, ” live in the now,”. Why would he encourage us to live in the now?
I have heard it said that, ” If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” This quote from a popular country song from some years ago is true. It is the polar opposite of so much of the sentiment expressed in our culture today when people say things like, ” Just follow your heart,”, or, ” You need to find what is right for you,”, or, ” That may be true for you but not necessarily for me,”, or, ” Its whatever makes you happy.”. All these statements may sound very good and I can see how appealing it would be to listen to such things especially when life presents us with tough choices but how would it look if I truly based my life on such a shifting foundation? I think a fair example would be the TV and movie approach to relationships. If my marriage is based on, ” Whatever makes you happy., how long would it last? Likely not past the first major crisis. Certainly a successful long term marriage would prove virtually impossible in the face of personal sacrifice. How long would I be willing to put the oters person’s needs above my own living under this code of ethics since the whole belief system is based on My happiness and comfort? Not long.
Inversely if I have made a decision to stand for my marriage because I deem its value to be greater than momentary self gratification then my chances of long term success are very high.
Now look at life, the big picture through this corrective lense of truth. God has spoken to us and not in a vague or uncertain way. His Word is fixed and trustworthy. There are many good reasons for believing this and perhaps at another time we will look deeper into this subject but for now let the point stand. Do we stand with the Word of God or will we fall for the retoric of the day? To say there is no truth makes no sense at all. The logic equals someone trying to convince me that two plus two is not four but some other number when I know surely that the answer to the equation has always been four, is still four and will always be four and yet the more complex the issue the less it seems that any set standard by which to make good choices applies. Don’t fall for it! god has spoken. He has spoken a Word for our families. Will you stand with the Word of God? If not you will fall for a good sounding philosophy that in the end will prove to be a destructive force tearing your family apart fom the insicde. I encourage you today to know God’s Son and follow Him.
The family. The basic building block of any larger community from small
village to entire nation. How often when assessing the condition of a
country have we started the analysis in the broad terms of government
structure, education system, media content and so on when the actual
state of the nations health can be only found in the small family units
that make up its population. The more brokenness with in the nation’s
families the more brokenness with in the nation it self as its leaders
are drawn from an ever increasing number of broken people. If our
families are moving away in an ever increasing way from a Godly
foundation than it stands to reason that our country is doing the same.
The solution then is not merely to fix the political leaders, lawyers,
doctors, ETC., but rather to bring healing to the family and to see
Godly foundations restored. That is why we at Oasis Community church
feel strongly about helping families return to the Lord and to each
other. We want to work on repairing the foundation of the house first
so that the whole structure becomes sound.
Yesterday morning, Sunday, January third, Pastor Kevin discussed the
fact that what we believe will determine how we live. I am not talking
about casual belief such as when we say things like, ” I believe it may
rain tomorrow.”, I am talking about what we base our decisions on in
times of crisis, how we respond at a heart level to all life’s
conditions and who we are when no one is there to see or hear. What you
believe will determine how you live every time. Thats the truth. In
light of this fact we are going to help people discover the truth about
God, His Son, who He has made them to become and what it means to live
as a follower of Jesus christ in 2016. Oh we are not just talking about
providing information but actually challenging people to put this
information into practice and see their lives and families changed by
the power of God.
Are we prideful or arrogant to make such statements? Not at all. God is
faithful to His Word. If anyone obeys His Word He will not fail to
uphold it. We are not being arrogant but rather trusting that God never
fails and if people truly come to Him to be saved and set free according
to His Word then He will save and set them free.
We are looking for an exciting and rewarding 2016.
Every second Tuesday a few of us have the wonderful opportunity to help with Supernatural Kids, a childrens after school program where the children are given the chance to learn about who Jesus christ is and how knowing Him changes the way we live. This Tuesday, December first was our Christmas party and the last Supernatural Kids for 2015. Now what do you think the kids thought of when I asked them about boxes at Christmas time. Of course you know they are thinking of what comes in those boxes; presents! There are two things that can happen with gifts. You can receive them or give them. God has given us the ultimate gift in His Son Jesus Christ. When we truly receive that precious gift we become members of God’s family. We receive eternal life.
Let’s flip things around for a second and ask ourselves this; what can we give to God? I asked the children to invision a box. Then to imagine a peice of paper with “ME”, written on it in large letters. Now, see ourselve putting “me”, in the box, wrapping it up and giving this gift to God. To simple. Absolutely true. What do you give someone who really does have everything? Yourself.
Merry Christmas and God bless you richly.
Scripture to consider Psalm 150
Wednesday afternoons at two o’c is the weekly meeting for New Beginnings which is a peer support group for people dealing with mental health issues or who have individuals in there personal network who are struggling with mental health. When the group began two years ago the leaders were advised not to use the Bible or to emphasize Jesus Christ as
this would tend to make people feel excluded who did not believe. Coupled with the doubts that were expressed over the leaders ascerttions that recovery from mental illness is possible especially through the power and Word of God there were some seemingly grave obsticles to over come right from the start of the group. Well, … here’s the thing I need to share with you today.
I was waiting for the group to begin about four weeks ago. Usually one of the ladies who attends the meeting starts us off with a few songs. I went to the washroom to get ready for the start of the meeting and heard the group singing in the main room. I thought I was a bit late and they had already started so I hurried to return so as not to disrupt the rest of the activities and discovered that the people who had come for the New Beginnings group had started singing together spontaneously. Remember that some of these people are dealing with fairly severe mental illnesses. Remember that when we first met some of these people they would not talk to us beyond hi and bye. Remember that some of them are living in assisted living situations and if you were to ask some of us who help on Wednesday afternoon if we ever saw ourselves involved with people like this on a regular basis you might have gotten a very different answer before the New Beginnings as opposed to the fact that now this afternoon meeting is one of the highlights of the week for those who serve. Perhaps it goes without saying that it touched my heart deeply to hear them sing. I could clearly hear them from the back in the washroom and I am sure that the kitchen staff of Spit Fire Arms next door could hear them as well. If I have ever wished to see transformed lives I need only call to mind how many of these precious people have learned, changed, grown in their relationships and come to enjoy helping in other areas within the church and community. They reminded me of Psalm 150 which encourages everything that has breath to praise the Lord. Through the teaching of Biblical principles and a generous does of love we are watching change from the inside out. Good work New beginnings. Keep it up.
On the CTV News channel the announcer proclaimed it to be ” a big day for Canada today “. Can you believe that Monday October 19th is election day, Monday night football, the bluejays have their next World Series game and the revealing of the official trailer for the new Star Wars movie the Force Awakened happens all on the same day! Can you really believe it! Maybe we should play a little game I learned by watching Sesami Street. “One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just isn’t the same. One of these doesn’t belong here. Now its time to play our game, its time to play our game.” I wonder if you can guess which of these things doesn’t belong with the others. I don’t know why it grabbed my attention so forcefully today since it has been happening for a long time but it appears that entertainment is on the same level of importance as who will be the next leader of our country in the eyes of the news media or is it that as a people we fail to grasp the big picture because we are being distracted by insignificant details. Actually, if you look at it this way entertainment scored three out of four in terms of what makes it a ” big day for Canada today”. Please hear my heart friends. When it comes to the future of our country how will we be effected in any capacity by who wins the football or baseball games or by what Luke Skywalker faces in this new adventure. Conversely it is a certainty that we will be profoundly effected throughout all of Canada in regards to who is chosen to lead the nation. What disturbs me even more is that when it comes to who leads us as individuals it is just as easy to get distracted by entertainment or matters of feeling as it is for us to give our attention to sports and movies as opposed to crucial decisions that will effect the future of our country. Truly the minds and hearts of Canadians is where the battle for the future must be fought and won. No matter what choice you made at the voting stations today, when it comes to daily living choose Jesus Christ for Lord. Remember what matters.
My son had a doctor’s appointment today in the middle of school hours so we picked him up around 10-30 and took him back to class at about 1:10. As I was walking down the front of the school toward the road I heard the music class singing and stopped to listen. It was raining but the sound of children singing is such a wonderful sound I did not care about getting wet. The song must have been something they were learning in relation to Thanksgiving which we had just celebrated in Canada the day before. The kids were singing, ” I’m thankful for my hands to clap, thankful for my hands to clap. I’m thankful for my hands to clap, thankful for my hands.”, A thought struck me like lightening shattering my joyful reflections brought on by the music. I was suddenly gripped by the harsh reality that most of these kids are saying thank you and yet they do not know who they are thanking for their hands, feet, ETC., Not only is it a reality that most of these children do not know who they are thanking it is also true that they are growing up in a society that by and large would have them believe that there is no one to thank for anything. Our holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas are being reduced to commercial opportunities and the consumption of favorite foods with loved ones. Please don’t get me wrong. I love my family and friends. I enjoy gathering with them to celebrate community and to spend time having a meal together but I am most grateful that I have come to know who to thank for these and many more precious gifts as G. K. Chesterton wrote: “We are thankful to those who fill our stockings with candy on Christmas. Should we not be thankful to God who fills our stockings with legs?” Yes, enjoy turkey and ham dinners. Enjoy friends and family. Enjoy those special traditions that make certain times of year precious to us but in all the food, family and fun please take time not only to remember but to pass on to others just who it is that has given us a country, a family, friends, food and yes life itself. Never forget who you are thanking. Perhaps in future when I hear school children singing my heart will not have to be broken with the knowledge that many of them have already been taught that there is no one out there to thank and the song they are singing is, after all, just a song.
If actions speak louder than words then now is the time for actions to shout.
Windsor Nova Scotia is known as a town of firsts. First agricultural exhibition in North America, the town where the first game of hockey was played and on it goes but here is a first that until recently seemed to be little known.
On Tuesday September 29th it a was pleasure to host the :Loving God Blessing Israel” cross Canada tour here in Windsor. The team wanted to spend some time in Windsor for a very special reason. In 1917 Fort Edward located here in Windsor was still under British control. The British at that time were given special permission to recruit volunteers from as far away as the United States to help form what was to be known as the Jewish Legion made up of the 38th through 42nd battalions of the Royal fusiliers. The 39th battalion was stationed at Fort Edward while receiving special ops training prior to their mission to liberate Palestine from The Ottoman Empire during the first world war. Among the troops 39th was a man named David Ben-Gurion who you may recognize as the first Prime Minister of the restored state of Israel.
This historical connection to Israel prompted our Mayor Paul Beazley to personally welcome the team to Windsor. He expressed his long standing desire to honor the towns connection to Israeli history and proposed the planning of a hundredth year celebration commemorating
Ben-Gurion’s first military experience received at Fort Edward. This opens the door to the church to be a part of something that will build positive relations with the government of Windsor, the Hants Historical society, the local Jewish community, some international ministries and all while sharing the gospel in word and action.
This Event was packed with many blessings from praying over the Town, for Israel, For
Canada. The Shofar was blown that day and a blessing of peace was spoken over the town. It was truly a wonderful time of prayer and blessing.