Something Practical

Read, Phil. 1:3 Rom. 5:6-8

Ask yourself this question; Over the course of my life what people have been the greatest influences for good? Who do I appreciate? Okay, that’s two questions but here’s todays challenge. There have been people that have made a significant difference for each one of us in a positive way. People who have taught us valuable life lessons. People who have sacrificed for our benefit with no expectation of a returned favor or future pay back. People who have loved us when we did not earn their love. People that we will never forget.

The person or persons that come to mind during the time it takes to read this blog are the ones that relate to the challenge for today. Some of the people who have impacted us may no longer be with us now so all we can do is thank God for their personal contribution to our own lives but what about those who are still here quietly making a difference in the lives of people around them? Here are three things you can do to let these unknown heroes know how much their lives have meant to someone else.

1. Pray for them. Even people who encourage others regularly need to be encouraged themselves. They face difficult circumstances, battle negative emotional responses to life’s ups and downs and struggle with unknown temptations. Pray for God’s intervention on behalf of those you care for on a daily basis. Prayer makes a huge difference because God listens to and answers prayer.

2. Tell the ones who have made a difference in your life just how they have been a positive impact when you needed them. Most people at one time or another struggle with doubts as to whether or not their lives have effected others in a positive way. Most likely all of us will ask the question, “Did I make a difference?”, at some point. We all want to know that how we have lived is significant if only in our own circle of family and friends. Hearing how our choices have been a blessing to others gives us great joy, encourages us to keep reaching out to others around us and helps to drive away discouragement.

3. Show them how much they mean to you. People use words all the time. You may say, “No kidding. What was your first clue.”, but think about it for a minute. Unfortunately most of us also know someone who talks much but that is all their words amount to. Talk but no action. People may say I love you but never give any other indication that this is how they feel and so what happens? We believe what they say just because they say it? No. We doubt what they say because we never see any actions that confirm the words we hear. God’s love is not just empty words. God’s love is His living Word who willingly sacrificed His life for ours. How do I know God loves me? I hear His Word and see the actions following that confirm the truth of His Word. For those who have been a blessing to us may we make a decision today to do something to let them know how important their contributions to our lives have been. It may not be something that seems big and it does not have to be some expensive gift. To show our appreciation can look something like a heart felt letter posted in the old fashioned mail or perhaps hand delivered would be a wonderful way to let someone know they are special to you. Take them out for coffee or a lunch and tell them how they have changed your life for the better. Find out if they have a need and meet it. Spend some quality time with the person and let them know why you are doing it.

Taking specific time to demonstrate our appreciation for others is sometimes a difficult thing. We feel awkward trying to express how we feel and with the busy lifestyle most of us have today it is easy to stay busy enough to let ourselves off the hook because of a tight schedule. Don’t allow that to happen. It is often so easy to share what hurts or frustrates us or what we don’t like. Let’s all make the effort together to begin to find ways to share the things we do like about others. Let’s make time for what truly matters; for the things that will last forever; our relationships with God and others. Please don’t just read this but rather after reading put it into action. It is the challenge for today.

 

Prayer is time well spent

imageI am not one to follow the news on a regular basis as I find it to be quite depressing. Every story that comes on the television or that is featured in the newspaper seems to inform us of another tragic event like the murder of a child or some other violent crime. The stories outlining the financial and political fronts are not much more encouraging and too much of this kind of mental diet can leave a person with a feeling of hopelessness. If hopelessness is embraced then the person who receives this deadly mindset will no longer attempt to make a difference because they no longer believe it is possible for them to do so. I am not suggesting that we ignore what is happening in the world around us but rather that we, in order to prevent hopelessness from getting in control of our thoughts and actions, take appropriate precaussions to guard ourselves against moving in this direction.

There are a number of things that I would love to share about that will help us be on our guard but let me just briefly touch on one way that each believer in Jesus Christ is able to make a difference anywhere anytime.

Who are the righteous men, women are included by the way, who’s prayers are effective or that accomplish much? According to God’s Word if you are a follower of Jesus Christ you are a righteous person. [ 1 John 1:8-10, 2 Corinthians 5:21 ] Prayer is helpful on two fronts. Personally it brings our focus back to our relationship with God. When I am sincerely seeking after God I find that He is my reason not to lose hope, not to be afraid, not to quit, not to write people off, to keep forgiving, to keep giving, and to face whatever challenge life has put before me. In prayer I remember what God has promised to do for me and others as well as what having Him as my Father means in regards to good and bad times. Prayer helps me to remember that He is always with me no matter what.

In regards to others prayer is the beginning of making a difference. In prayer I not only ask God to act on behalf of those who I am praying for but I hear the Lord speaking to me about what I can do for those who I am praying for so as to become part of the answer to my own prayers. There are cases where God is the only one who can do anything at that particular time but many times He will give wisdom and directions that if heeded will provide the sought for solution. Time spent in prayer is time well spent.

As I close this brief discussion let me say that pray is a huge subject and I do not pretned to capture even a full introduction to the topic at this time. I hope that by reading this the Lord will bring to your heart the absolute necessity of time spent with God in prayer. How can we be hopeless if God is with us.

I am not one to follow the news on a regular basis as I find it to be quite depressing. Every story that comes on the television or that is featured in the newspaper seems to inform us of another tragic event like the murder of a child or some other violent crime. The stories outlining the financial and political fronts are not much more encouraging and too much of this kind of mental diet can leave a person with a feeling of hopelessness. If hopelessness is embraced then the person who receives this deadly mindset will no longer attempt to make a difference because they no longer believe it is possible for them to do so. I am not suggesting that we ignore what is happening in the world around us but rather that we, in order and to prevent hopelessness from getting in control of our thoughts and actions, take appropriate precaussions to guard ourselves against moving in this direction.

There are a number of things that I would love to share about that will help us be on our guard but let me just briefly touch on one way that each believer in Jesus Christ is able to make a difference anywhere anytime.

Who are the righteous men, women are included by the way, who’s prayers are effective or that accomplish much? According to God’s Word if you are a follower of Jesus Christ you are a righteous person. [ 1 John 1:8-10, 2 Corinthians 5:21 ] Prayer is helpful on two fronts. Personally it brings our focus back to our relationship with God. When I am sincerely seeking after God I find that He is my reason not to lose hope, not to be afraid, not to quit, not to write people off, to keep forgiving, to keep giving, and to face whatever challenge life has put before me. In prayer I remember what God has promised to do for me and others as well as what having Him as my Father means in regards to good and bad times. Prayer helps me to remember that He is always with me no matter what.

In regards to others prayer is the beginning of making a difference. In prayer I not only ask God to act on behalf of those who I am praying for but I hear the Lord speaking to me about what I can do for those who I am praying for so as to become part of the answer to my own prayers. There are cases where God is the only one who can do anything at that particular time but many times He will give wisdom and directions that if heeded will provide the sought for solution. Time spent in prayer is time well spent.

As I close this brief discussion let me say that prayer is a huge subject and I do not pretned to capture even a full introduction to the topic at this time. I hope that by reading this the Lord will bring to your heart the absolute necessity of time spent with God in prayer. How can we be hopeless if God is with us.

Eastern Conference 2015

Our annual conference is coming up fast. Plan your time and come hear the word of God and some awesome worship as we fellowship in praise to him together. Below are the full Details. Blessings and see you there.

Conference poster

 

Registration Form Conference

Summer Highlights.

Wow summer 2015 is almost done. These are a few highlights from our summer events this year. Can’t wait to see what the autumn season brings. God is awesome.

Food for Thought

Scriptures to consider

Romans 8 whole chapter, Hebrews 2 whole chapter

Here is food for thought.  How do we read the Scriptures?  Now I know some smarty pants will say, “With your eyes.”, but thats not what I am talking about.  When I read the Bible do I tend to find things that talk about myself or do I find things that talk about who our God is.  Certainly I find things that speak to me personally concerning who I am, where I come from, where I am going, why I am here and how to live a life of purpose and yet even when the Word of God speaks to me about these important things there is always a connection between what is being communicated about myself and who God is and how that effects me personally.  As we read do we see God’s person, God’s abilities, and God’s actions?  Never forget that without God there wouldn’t even be a you or me.  Without God at work presently in each of our lives there would be no future, no hope and no Heaven.

We always want Scripture to speak to our current circumstances.  God’s Word is truth, [ John 17:16-19 ].  When we allow God’s Word to speak to us we hear the truth about whatever subject is being addressed and how desperately we need to hear the truth in our time.  As we draw to a close for now remember that the Word of God, the Truth is not merely a collection of writings but a living person.  Jesus Christ is the Word of God, the Truth.  When we read Scripture let us read not only to hear about ourselves rather let us read to hear the truth and particularly the truth about who God is.  If we do this we will learn more about ourselves and how to live life than in the pursuit of any other subject.  Know God.  Know LIfe. John 17:3

May 4th 2015 weekly blog

Scriptures to consider
Mark 1:16-18, Matthew 4:19

Fishers of men?  Do you think that sounded strange the first time the invitation was given to those who were called to follow Jesus?  We have perhaps heard it many times and so it no longer seems like anything apart from the ordinary but these men were probably left with quite a riddle.  Jesus used something they were very familiar with, fishing, in order to totally disrupt their ideas about their own lives.  Fishing was their trade.  Fishing was what they would do, what their father’s had done and what their sons would likely carry on doing.  Comfortable.  Familiar.  Nice and neat.  Not!

When God meets you in the course of your everyday living how can things be the same afterward?  Should there not be a significant change in how you think and how you live?  If it is truly God you have met it must change you.  All through the Bible whenever men and women were found to have encountered the presence of the living God their lives were transformed and since God never changes we should expect the same today.

Fishers of men?  Oh yes.  Do you hear that call today where ever you are sitting in your boat in the middle of life’s ocean?  Whatever you may think you know or whatever experiences you may have had heed the call.  God is the only one who truly knows what the purpose for your life is and so if we do not listen to Him when He speaks to us we will never discover why we are here in this world.  Do as the early disciples who proceeded us and leave everything you have previously known and follow Jesus.  He knows where He is going.

You might be thinking, “Just how do I begin to follow Jesus?”  Our pastor preached a wonderful message this Sunday.  In his opening point he shared with us about a struggle he was having over what to do in a certain situation.  As he was praying God told him to, “Make a decision.”  Nothing happens unless we make a decision.  This is the first step to take in a faith journey.  Determine within yourself that you will follow Jesus each day and then tell first of all God and secondly another person what you have decided to do with your life.  Second, learn as much as you can about Jesus by reading the Bible and talking to Him on a daily basis.  This is not just for people who are new to faith.  This is for anyone and everyone who wants to follow Jesus.  After we become familiar with things we forget how important they are to us.  Don’t let that happen with your relationship with God.  Guard against taking Him for granted.  Treasure His presence in your life no matter how long or how short your time knowing Him has been.

Now listen for His instructions and do what they tell you to do and you are on the road to becoming a fisher of men.  I am sure that whatever that looks like for your life it will not be dull.  Boring is not the word I would ever choose when describing the life of following Jesus.  Fulfilling, exciting, challenging, fascinating and a thousand other words like that but never boring.

Love life?  Follow Jesus.

Fishers of Men

Scriptures to consider
Mark 1:16-18, Matthew 4:19

Fishers of men?  Do you think that sounded strange the first time the invitation was given to those who were called to follow Jesus?  We have perhaps heard it many times and so it no longer seems like anything apart from the ordinary but these men were probably left with quite a riddle.  Jesus used something they were very familiar with, fishing, in order to totally disrupt their ideas about their own lives.  Fishing was their trade.  Fishing was what they would do, what their father’s had done and what their sons would likely carry on doing.  Comfortable.  Familiar.  Nice and neat.  Not!

When God meets you in the course of your everyday living how can things be the same afterward?  Should there not be a significant change in how you think and how you live?  If it is truly God you have met it must change you.  All through the Bible whenever men and women were found to have encountered the presence of the living God their lives were transformed and since God never changes we should expect the same today.

Fishers of men?  Oh yes.  Do you hear that call today where ever you are sitting in your boat in the middle of life’s ocean?  Whatever you may think you know or whatever experiences you may have had heed the call.  God is the only one who truly knows what the purpose for your life is and so if we do not listen to Him when He speaks to us we will never discover why we are here in this world.  Do as the early disciples who proceeded us and leave everything you have previously known and follow Jesus.  He knows where He is going.

You might be thinking, “Just how do I begin to follow Jesus?”  Our pastor preached a wonderful message this Sunday.  In his opening point he shared with us about a struggle he was having over what to do in a certain situation.  As he was praying God told him to, “Make a decision.”  Nothing happens unless we make a decision.  This is the first step to take in a faith journey.  Determine within yourself that you will follow Jesus each day and then tell first of all God and secondly another person what you have decided to do with your life.  Second, learn as much as you can about Jesus by reading the Bible and talking to Him on a daily basis.  This is not just for people who are new to faith.  This is for anyone and everyone who wants to follow Jesus.  After we become familiar with things we forget how important they are to us.  Don’t let that happen with your relationship with God.  Guard against taking Him for granted.  Treasure His presence in your life no matter how long or how short your time knowing Him has been.

Now listen for His instructions and do what they tell you to do and you are on the road to becoming a fisher of men.  I am sure that whatever that looks like for your life it will not be dull.  Boring is not the word I would ever choose when describing the life of following Jesus.  Fulfilling, exciting, challenging, fascinating and a thousand other words like that but never boring.

Love life?  Follow Jesus.

Are You Prepared?

Scriptures to consider as you contemplate this brief devotion.

James 4:13-14, Hebrews 4 whole chapter, Psalm 103:1-5, Deuteronomy 28 whole chapter

This week at Oasis our guest speaker was Pastor George Campbell from Good News Pentecostal Church in Highfield Park Dartmouth Nova Scotia.  He delivered an excellent message using questions to stimulate thought and focusing on the importance of remembering that each of us will give an account to God after death, believer and unbeliever alike.

“Why is it?, Pastor George asked, “that we celebrate tragedies?”  He went on to point out that the one great tragedy we tend to want to forget in general as humanity is the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  The pastor laid open the greatest disaster of all concerning the sinking of the Titanic.  The most disastrous events that took place 103 years ago came long before the actual sinking of the great vessel.  These events were the constant failure of the ship’s crew and captain to heed the warnings of danger that if  adhered to would have prevented the loss of life that occurred on that day.  The pastor asked us if possibly we, the church were in danger of ignoring the warning signs of the return of Jesus Christ to the Earth and the fact that we must stand before Him whether we were prepared or not.  Are we ready to meet Christ when He comes?  Are we ready to meet God when we die?  Some signs of preparedness are our love of studying the Word of God, the Bible, spending time with God in prayer, involvement in matters concerning the kingdom of God and the church, our joy and willingness to give of our resources to the work of the winning of souls and other needs concerning the kingdom of God, and generally being a true follower of Jesus in daily living.  If we lack concern for the winning of souls, feel that our behavior and attitudes toward sin and obedience toward God do not matter much in the light of our personal relationship with the Lord or the effects of these choices in the outcome of the lives of people around us, if we are unfamiliar with the Word of God, and feel that we can settle up with God later with no thought to the shortness of life then it would be an excellent idea to take time to re-evaluate our relationship with the Lord.

Honor god today.  Tomorrow may never come.

Created In The Image of God

Genesis 1:27 5:1-3, 1 Peter 1:23-25, Psalms 8:1, 57:5, Isaiah 40:22

I am sitting here this morning recalling something Luke recorded about an encounter between Jesus and one of His questioners.  Jesus was presented with a seemingly unsolvable problem designed to discredit and condemn Him regardless of the solution He proposed. The individual asked whether or not taxes should be paid to Caesar.  On the surface this looks like a simple inquiry but hold on a minute to consider the extreme social and political issues attached to the question.  In Israel at that time Rome ruled.  The Israelites resented their conquerors especially in regards to Roman interference in the temple and worship of God.  Messiah, when He came was going to drive the hated Romans from Israel and liberate the people of God or at least this was the prevailing view of the Hews at this point in history.  Furthermore, there were among the people those who had committed an act that was considered one of the deepest betrayal to ones fellow Jews in become a tax collector for the Roman government.  Often these tax collectors would add insult to injury by not only receiving Roman taxes but also do to lack of specific regulations or the strict enforcement of those regulations which were in place would take by force many times more than what was required in order to become rich off the suffering of their own people.  If anyone refused to pay he and his family could be sold in to slavery to pay the tax, have their property confiscated or thrown into prison for resisting the law.  To top it all off false Messiahs periodically rose from to insight rebellion among the Jews which created a climate of civil unrest with harsh retaliation from the Roman forces.

Your-best-likeness
Now, ask the question again in this hostile environment.  If Jesus had said no then He could have been brought up on charges of insighting rebellion among the people and been likely sentenced to death by the Romans.  If Jesus says yes then he is agreeing with all the suffering Roman law has caused his own people, indorcing the actions of the tax collectors and seen publicly to support a government that has interfered with the worship of God.  Basically you could die either way.  It looks like a loose loose situation.

Jesus shows not only His brilliance in His response but also His grasp of the real important issues involved.  A question answered with a question.  Should we pay taxes to Caesar?  Who’s image is on the coin?  Most of us are familar with the final answer, ” Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”, but I recently heard a preacher go a step further by suggesting that the scribes should have asked what it was that belonged to God at which Jesus might have responded by asking who’s image was on the person asking the question.

images
Who’s image is on you?  Just as the image on a piece of money defines its value and shows it to be authentic even so the image of God in humanity gives us our true worth and identity.  Let us not reduce God to our image thus creating a false god made to our own preferences but rather let us remember that we are created in the image of God.  You and I find our highest place of honor in our surrender and service of the one who has created us.  Honor Him today.  He is truly worthy.

Prepare for eternity

1 Corinthians 15:54 NKJV So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

While I was conducting the funeral service for my uncle Howard Sherman about three weeks ago it came very forcibly to my mind how short a walk it was from behind the pulpit to the place where others would be gathering to remember me. Before you point out to me what a morbid thought this seems to be let me just say a few things that may change your mind.

First a reminder from our good friend Captain Obvious that we are mortal. Though we know this to be true how offten does this fact affect the way we live from day to day. Do we live as if every moment counts? Are we mindful enough of the short length of the time we have in this life to say all the important things that need to be said to thos who are dear to us? Most important of all do we keep in mind that we must give account to God at the end of our days?

I find so often it is the circumstances I presently face that determine the direction my thoughts take. If things are good, family members are healthy, and nothing on the horizon appears to be threatening the peaceful easy progression of living I could without discipline go on a type of cruse control mode of routine not pausing to remember to appreciate the time of blessing or prepare for the new challenges waiting just ahead. Unless we call to mind the brief nature of our mortal life we will never truly live to the full or realize how much we need a relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord.

Secondly there is a resurrection of the dead. The Bible teaches that death is not just a natural part of life but an enemy of life. God’s original design for humanity was that we should never know death but due to Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God in the Garden of Eden death entered the world. Surely this is why the news that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”, is so good. Jesus, among His other conquests has utterly destroyed the power of death, [ Hebrews 2:8-15 ],. Do we believe this to be true? Then living a life of obedience to God should be something we give every effort to achieve. It is true that we can not do this on our own. God has sent His Holy Spirit to give us the power necessary to accomplish this impossible feat; living a blameless life in the sight of God, [ Acts 1:8 Eph. 1:3-5 ], but since our need of assistance has been fully provided for we can not use our human weakness as an excuse for failing to obey the Lord. Our decisions to disobey reflect our lack of faith in God to keep His promise of help when it is needed. Also deliberate disobedience reflects the fact that we have forgotten how short mortal life truly is and that we have become caught up completely in temporary circumstances. Remember dear friends that everything changes except for God and His Word. Does life seem filled with trouble? It will change. Is everything perfect? Sadly, this too will change. Put your hope in God the only truly unchanging One and take courage. Heaven is not far away and until we reach that final destination the presence of God is with us now and evermore.

Thirdly, resurrection is for the believer and unbeliever alike. John 3:36 says, “He who has the Son has life,” and it also says, “He who does not have the Son will not see life but the wrath of God abides on him.” Not popular but true. There is a default setting out there called death, AKA without God. I know, I know. God is everywhere and yet it is still possible that we can choose to live a life outside of the personal presence of God. We reject Jesus Christ and remain under the just wrath of God. Is that fair? Consider this. If God let sin, any sin at all into Heaven what would happen? Well, sense sin is what caused death, disease, broken relationships, murder, and injustices of every kind if God allowed sin into Heaven then Heaven would become no different than what we have right here on Earth. Imagine that for all eternity. Sin has to be totally eradicated if God is to keep His promise of everlasting life in a place free from the effects of sin. Since sin is inherent in human nature due to the disobedience of Adam and Eve God, in order to keep His promise of salvation has provided a way to take away sin and transform those who have put their trust in Jesus Christ thus restoring the image of God which was marred at the time of original disobedience. [ 2 Cor. 5:17, Jn. 1:8-14, 1 Jn. 1:5-9 ] God will not allow sin into Heaven thus those who choose to live in disobedience to God will not be permitted to enter. A way has been made for all to be saved. Why would we refuse? God has given His Son’s life to demonstrate His love toward us and His willingness to save us, [ Rom. 5:6-8 ] If you are uncertain as to your eternal destiny then:

  1. Admit your need to be forgiven for breaking God’s law and that there is no one who can have God’s forgivenness without Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross on our behalf.
  2. Choose to believe that Jesus Christ is alive today at the right hand of God ready to speak on your behalf.
  3. Confess to God and others that you are a follower of Jesus Christ. This means that you are willing to tell others about Jesus and what He has done for you.
  4. Don’t turn back. Continue to learn what the Bible says about living and put it to practice.

Finally, let the fact that “death is swallowed up in victory.” bring you hope. A hope that is secure. It isn’t like we are saying that we hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow or that we hope our favorite team will win the big game. This is hope because we know it is going to happen. There is no guess work involved. God has spoken. What will People remember about you and me when the time comes? Live today what you want to be remembered tomorrow. Prepare for eternity.

Verse of the Day

“When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”” — Matthew 2:4-6 Listen to chapter Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica. Powered by BibleGateway.com.

Upcoming Events

Dec
13
Wed
6:30 pm Weekly study and prayer
Weekly study and prayer
Dec 13 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Spend time in the word and prayer with us as we grow together in the Lord.
Dec
14
Thu
12:30 pm Women of Worship @ Oasis Community Church
Women of Worship @ Oasis Community Church
Dec 14 @ 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Women of Worship @ Oasis Community Church
Each 2nd Thursday of the month we  desire to encourage, empower and equip God’s daughters so we can impact our community in a much stronger way. Come and join us for a time of fellowship,[...]
Dec
17
Sun
10:30 am FOOD BOX SUNDAY @ Oasis Community Church
FOOD BOX SUNDAY @ Oasis Community Church
Dec 17 @ 10:30 am – 2:00 pm
Once a month we collect food for a monthly food hamper that goes out into the community
10:30 am Celebration Service @ Oasis Community Church
Celebration Service @ Oasis Community Church
Dec 17 @ 10:30 am – 1:00 pm
Join us every Sunday at 11:30am for fellowship!

Recent Articles

Hanging with the Oasis Family!