Building great people, because great people build great families and great families build great communities.
To God be the glory!

Monday, December 29, 2008

It Is Well With My Soul

PSALM 46:1-11 ... God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah….. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah… Be still, and know that I am God:

We all have days when we’d like to run away from it all. Sometimes our hurt is so bad our spirit throbs inside us.Our dreams fall apart...our hopes fade. Our lives become wearisome drudgery. A marriage goes bad...Health problems develop...Financial problems come up...A loved one dies...And we are tempted to give up.... There is hope because...

God is our Refuge (a shelter or hiding place) and Strength (our security, boldness, might) a very Present (He is always with us) Help (aid) in Trouble (tight spots, misery, distress, agony, suffering).

The word “IN” means not before or after but during, in the midst of. In other words IN all these problems God is our refuge, strength, and a present help.

The words "it is well with my soul" are not found in scripture, But Jesus did say, Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and you’ll find rest for your souls Matthew 11:28-29

Our compassionate heavenly Father gives us comfort, hope and peace in his Son Jesus Christ. One day God will wipe away every tear and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.

Just a note

I just read a quote from Vance Havner (my favorite preacher). I thought it was good enough to pass on.

"When I pastored a country church, a farmer didn't like the sermons I preached on hell. He said, Preach about the meek and lowly Jesus. I said, That's where I got my information about hell."

To all my climbing compainions - Be blessed!

Jesus Is Worthy.... He who died for your sins, is worthy to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. He is worthy to be believed, He is worthy to be followed, wherever He may lead us. Jesus is worthy to be our example, our confidant, our king, and our all. He is worthy of all He requires, all we can give, all His people have done for Him or suffered in His cause. He is worthy of 100% of our loyalty! Amen

TOO BLESSED TO BE STRESSED!

Praise God for His faithfulness! Over a hundred local ranchers attended our 2nd Annual Christmas Eve Service. What a joy!

Last Sunday was incredibly blessed by God's presence.... truly all those who attended were able to say.... whatever my lot.... it is well with my soul!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

JESUS

THERE WAS A YOUNG VIRGIN,
MARY IS HER NAME
GAVE BIRTH TO A SON,
IN THE MANGER HE LAY

THE ANGELS REJOICED AS THE SHEPHERDS STOOD BY
THE SAVIOR IS BORN, IN BETHLEHAM HE DOES LIE
THE SHEPHERDS AND WISE MEN DID VISIT THE SON
THEY HONORED THIS CHILD JESUS, GODS CHOSEN ONE

JOSEPH, HIS FATHER AND CARPENTER BY TRADE
MOVED THEM TO NAZARETH, AND THATS WHERE THEY STAYED
AND JESUS GREW STRONG, FULL OF WISDOM AND GRACE
HE KNEW THAT THE TEMPLE WAS HIS FATHERS PLACE

WHERE HE SPOKE TO THE PEOPLE AND ALL WERE AMAZED
AT THE KNOWLEDGE HE HAD AT SO YOUNG AN AGE
THE YEARS WENT BY UNTIL A VOICE COULD BE HEARD
PREPARING THE WAY AND PREACHING GODS WORD

REPENT AND BE BAPTISED, AND FORGIVEN OF SIN
WALK ON A NEW PATH WITH GOD WITHIN
JOHN BAPTISED JESUS, AND FROM HEAVEN ABOVE
GOD'S SPIRIT DESCENDED ON HIM LIKE A DOVE

''YOU ARE MY SON, WHOM I LOVE AND AM PLEASED'
'PREACH NOW THE GOOD NEWS, AND SET CAPTIVES FREE
TO THIS CHOSEN PEOPLE, THEIR MESSIAH HAD COME
BUT THEY MURMURED TOGETHER, ''ISN'T THIS JOSEPH'S SON''

JESUS HEALED THEIR DISEASES, THE BLIND THEY COULD SEETHE DEMONS DEPARTED, NO CHOICE BUT TO LEAVE
HE PREACHED THE GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD
HIS VOICE COULD BE HEARD NO MATTER HOW LARGE THE MOB''

LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, SOUL, AND MIND
AND REACH OUT WITH LOVE TO ALL OF MANKIND
JESUS WALKED ON THE WATER, CALMED THE WIND AND THE SEA
WITH FIVE LOAVES AND TWO FISH,THOUSANDS HE DID FEED
THE DEAD HE ROSE TO LIFE ONCE AGAIN
AND MANY WERE JEALOUS OF HIS POWER AND FAME

TWELVE DISCIPLES HE PICKED TO BE FISHERS OF MEN
THEY TRAVELED WITH JESUS THROUGH VALLEY AND GLEN
HE SENT MANY FORTH TO PREACH AND TO HEAL
THEY TOOK NOTHING WITH THEM, NO MONEY FOR A MEAL
FOR ALL WAS PROVIDED BY THOSE WHO BELIEVED

FROM TOWNS THAT REJECTED, HE TOLD THEM TO LEAVE
WHILE OTHERS IN HATE PLANNED TO KILL HIM ONE DAY
FOR HE ATE WITH THE PUBLICANS AND SINNERS HE FORGAVE
THE PHARISEES AND TEACHERS OF THE LAW
WERE ENRAGEDTHEIR MESSIAH HAD COME AS THE SERVANT OF ALL

AND THEIR HARDENED HEARTS HAD REJECTED HIS CALL
THEY WANTED A KING TO BRING FREEDOM IN THEIR LAND
NOT A SHEPHERD WHO SEARCHED FOR ONE LOST LAMB
SO JUDAS BETRAYED HIS LORD THAT DARK NIGHT
AND THEY TOOK HIM TO COURT, HE'D NOT ARGUE NOR FIGHT

''ARE YOU THE CHRIST, THE BLESSED ONE''
''I AM'', JESUS SAID, ''THE MESSIAH, GODS SON''
SO THEY MOCKED HIM AND BEAT HIM AND SPIT IN HIS FACE
AND HUNG HIM ON A CROSS WHERE HE DIED IN DISGRACE
BUT LITTLE DID THEY KNOW
THIS WAS GODS CHOSEN PLAN

CHRIST DIED FOR THE SINS OF EVERY WOMAN AND MAN
ON THE THIRD DAY HE ROSE TO LIFE ONCE AGAIN
AND ALL THOSE WILL RAISE WHO BELIEVE IN HIS NAME
JESUS WILL COME AT THE END OF THE AGE
FOR HEAVENS HIS THRONE,
AND THE WORLD IS HIS STAGE
AND EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW AND TONGUE WILL CONFESS
THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS IS JESUS.........

LYNNE JONES

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The I AM statements of Jesus

The I Am In the Old Testament was whatever man needed He became, he was his all in all. Jesus in the New Testament uses all the examples to show who He is. He is everything to man and the only way to God.

John.8:24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am (He), you will die in your sins.

John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever;

John 8:23 And He said to them, You are from beneath; I AM from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.

John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, I AM the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.

John 10:9 I AM the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

John 10:11 I AM the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 15:1 I AM the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Remembering Larry Norman (April 1947 - February 2008)

I've been shot down, talked about
Some people scandalize my name,
But here I am, talkin' 'bout Jesus just the same.

I've been knocked down, kicked around
But like a moth drawn to the flame,
Here I am, talkin' 'bout Jesus just the same.

I've been rebuked for the things I've said,
For the songs I've written and the life I've led.
They say they don't understand me, well I'm not surprised,
Because you can't see nothing when you close your eyes.
They say I'm sinful, backslidden,
That I have left to follow fame.
But here I am, talkin' 'bout Jesus just the same.

You wanna talk about my life, hey listen to me,
You got your facts all backwards, one two three
Spreading rumors and gossip is a real bad game
The only name to spread is Jesus' name,
I've been knocked down, kicked around
But like a moth drawn to the flame,
Here I am, talkin' 'bout Jesus brother,
Here I am, talkin' 'bout Jesus sister,
Here I am, talkin' 'bout Jesus just the same.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Philippians 1:3-11

A few good friends can make all the difference in the world. They can open your eyes to opportunity, provide wisdom and support. All of humanity want good friendships.

Keys To Building Friendships

1. Always thank God for the people close to you.

2.Pray for them with joy

What to pray for others.
1. Pray that they will grow in love and knowledge
2. Pray that they will live pure and blameless lives
3. Pray that they will do the right thing
4. Pray that they will live abundantly in God's glory

3. Be patient with their progress.

Remember that God is not finished with us... we are a work in progress.

Don't judge others by how far they have to go, rather rejoice for how far they have come.

4. Love them from the heart. This is possible only if you are filled with God's love.

Why Go To Church?

A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday.'I've gone for 30 years now,' he wrote, 'and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.'

This started a real controversy in the 'Letters to the Editor' column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:
'I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this... They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!'

Amen to that!

Here a few one liners you may like....

When you are DOWN to nothing..... God is UP to something!

Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible!

Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual nourishment!

Don't let your worries get the best of you; remember, Moses started out as a basket case.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Good Read.... I Corinthians 10

Remember our history, friends, and be warned. All our ancestors were led by the providential Cloud and taken miraculously through the Sea. They went through the waters, in a baptism like ours, as Moses led them from enslaving death to salvation life. They all ate and drank identical food and drink, meals provided daily by God. They drank from the Rock, God's fountain for them that stayed with them wherever they were. And the Rock was Christ. But just experiencing God's wonder and grace didn't seem to mean much—most of them were defeated by temptation during the hard times in the desert, and God was not pleased.

The same thing could happen to us. We must be on guard so that we never get caught up in wanting our own way as they did. And we must not turn our religion into a circus as they did—"First the people partied, then they threw a dance." We must not be sexually promiscuous—they paid for that, remember, with 23,000 deaths in one day! We must never try to get Christ to serve us instead of us serving him; they tried it, and God launched an epidemic of poisonous snakes. We must be careful not to stir up discontent; discontent destroyed them.

These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don't repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don't be so naive and self-confident. You're not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it's useless. Cultivate God-confidence.

No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it.

So, my very dear friends, when you see people reducing God to something they can use or control, get out of their company as fast as you can.

I assume I'm addressing believers now who are mature. Draw your own conclusions: When we drink the cup of blessing, aren't we taking into ourselves the blood, the very life, of Christ? And isn't it the same with the loaf of bread we break and eat? Don't we take into ourselves the body, the very life, of Christ? Because there is one loaf, our many-ness becomes one-ness—Christ doesn't become fragmented in us. Rather, we become unified in him. We don't reduce Christ to what we are; he raises us to what he is. That's basically what happened even in old Israel—those who ate the sacrifices offered on God's altar entered into God's action at the altar.

Do you see the difference? Sacrifices offered to idols are offered to nothing, for what's the idol but a nothing? Or worse than nothing, a minus, a demon! I don't want you to become part of something that reduces you to less than yourself. And you can't have it both ways, banqueting with the Master one day and slumming with demons the next. Besides, the Master won't put up with it. He wants us—all or nothing. Do you think you can get off with anything less?

Looking at it one way, you could say, "Anything goes. Because of God's immense generosity and grace, we don't have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster." But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well.

With that as a base to work from, common sense can take you the rest of the way. Eat anything sold at the butcher shop, for instance; you don't have to run an "idolatry test" on every item. "The earth," after all, "is God's, and everything in it." That "everything" certainly includes the leg of lamb in the butcher shop. If a nonbeliever invites you to dinner and you feel like going, go ahead and enjoy yourself; eat everything placed before you. It would be both bad manners and bad spirituality to cross-examine your host on the ethical purity of each course as it is served. On the other hand, if he goes out of his way to tell you that this or that was sacrificed to god or goddess so-and-so, you should pass. Even though you may be indifferent as to where it came from, he isn't, and you don't want to send mixed messages to him about who you are worshiping.

But, except for these special cases, I'm not going to walk around on eggshells worrying about what small-minded people might say; I'm going to stride free and easy, knowing what our large-minded Master has already said. If I eat what is served to me, grateful to God for what is on the table, how can I worry about what someone will say? I thanked God for it and he blessed it!

So eat your meals heartily, not worrying about what others say about you—you're eating to God's glory, after all, not to please them. As a matter of fact, do everything that way, heartily and freely to God's glory. At the same time, don't be callous in your exercise of freedom, thoughtlessly stepping on the toes of those who aren't as free as you are.

I try my best to be considerate of everyone's feelings in all these matters;
I hope you will be, too.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

NEW BLOG

I know some of you will appreciate the fact that we all need a good belly laugh once in a while. So for your well being and wholeness of mind I started a new blog..... "Church Pew Blues".

Drop by for a chuckle - and hey send me material... ;-)

www.churchpewblues.blogspot.com

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

News From Africa

The following is an e-mail we recieved from Kroonstad.


HI GUYS

GOD HAS BEEN DOING AMAZING THINGS IN THE BUILDING INDUSTRY.HE TOLD ME, IN A VISION, TO GO TO A BIG CONSTRUCTION COMPANY (GRINAKER)I MUST TELL THE PROJECT MANAGER, THAT GOD SENT ME TO LEAD THEIR STAFF AND WORKERS TO THE LORD AND BAPTIZED THEM WITH MY DIGGER LOADER. I ASKED GOD, HOW WOULD THEY KNOW I,VE BEEN SENT BY YOU!GOD GAVE ME A WORD "MY SON MICHEAL"

SO I WENT TO THE PROJECT MANAGER, TELLING HIM WHAT GOD SAID.HE LOOKED AT ME WITH BIG EYES, PICKED UP THE PHONE AND CALLED SOMEBODY TO THE OFFICE. I THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO KICK ME OUT. A BLACK MAN, MICHEAL, CAME IN.GOD HAS BEEN TELLING MICHEAL FOR LONGER THEN 5 YEARS TO DO THIS.

MICHEAL IS A CHRISTIAN (SON) AND BEEN TELLING HIS PROJECT MANAGER THAT THEY MUST PUT GOD FIRST IN THEIR BUSINESS. BUT HAVE NEVER DONE IT.THEY AGREED!!!

SO THE NEXT DAY I STARTED DISCIPLING THEM. EVERYDAY 5 TO 6 PEOPLE GAVE THEY HEARTS TO THE LORD JESUS. AFTER 2 WEEKS, GOD HASEBLESSED THEM, WITH MORE THAN 75+ BIBLES, 40+ SALVATIONS, BAPTIZED THEM AND STARTED A CHURCH AT WORK. MORE THAN 75 BELIEVERS MEET EVERYDAY AT LUNCH, PRAISING, WORSHIPPING, PRAYING , HEALING THE SICK AND TEACHING EACH OTHER IN JESUS NAME. HALLELUJA!!!

THEY ARE STILL GOING ON STRONG AND GROWING IN NUMBERS.

VIAAN BOSCH

Monday, December 01, 2008

You Gotta Be Kidding Me

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the WINTER SOLSTICE holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

In addition, please also accept best wishes for a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2009, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make this country great (not to imply that this country is necessarily greater than any other country or area of choice), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual orientation of the wishers.

This wish is limited to the customary and usual good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first. " Holiday " is not intended to, nor shall it be considered, limited to the usual Judeo-Christian celebrations or observances, or to such activities of any organized or ad hoc religious community, group, individual or belief (or lack thereof).

Note: By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher at any time, for any reason or for no reason at all. This greeting is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. This greeting implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for the wisher her/himself or others, or responsibility for the consequences which may arise from the implementation or non-implementation of it. This greeting is void where prohibited by law.

Please check with your physician before accepting this, or any other greetings.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

In A Fog



Coming into Osoyoos this morning I was taken back by the fog layer. Not one bit of the town site could be seen. The valley was literally filled with a thick fog blanket. Wonder if it is this way in the spirit realm at times. May God, our God lift the haze to reveal His awesome glory!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Bit Of Cowboy Humor

One Sunday a cowboy went to church. When he entered, he saw that he and the preacher were the only ones present. The preacher asked the cowboy if he wanted him to go ahead and preach.

The cowboy said," I'm not too smart, but if I went to feed my cattle and only one showed up, I'd feed him." So the minister began his sermon. One hour passed, then two hours, then two-and-a-half hours. The preacher finally finished and came down to ask the cowboy how he liked the sermon. The cowboy answered slowly, "Well, like I said, I'm not very smart, but if I went to feed my cattle and only one showed up, I sure wouldn't feed him all the hay."

Food for thought (no pun intended)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Make'n God Smile

Four types of thorns are described (Mark 4:18)
The care of this world; What’ll I eat, or drink? What’ll I wear? How can I keep what I got? How do I get more? .
The deceitfulness of riches: not riches themselves, but the deceitfulness of riches. Your line of conduct ought never to be ruled by gain or loss.
The pleasures of this life. This is the age of excessive amusement; Many have had all holy thoughts and resolutions murdered by a continual pursuit for pleasure.
The lusts of other things: All things except the things that glorify God are “other things”. Seed is choked.

The result: The seed was unfruitful. The seed grew, but brought no fruit to perfection. A person may look like, walk like and talk like a Christian... but the proof is in the fruit!

Far too many are growing weak in this late hour. Thorns are choking out the very life of the Christian’s spirit!

Consider: Thorns are natural to the soil. Sin is very much at home in the human heart.
Thorns are already established in the soil. The roots of sin run through our nature. Watch and pray lest temptation choke that which is good in you! Mark 14:38

Many professing Christians are like the thorny ground? I believe it is because the process of dealing with sin has been so watered down. Thorns need to be pulled out by the roots and burned on the spot. It is easy to say you’re a sinner without feeling what it means!

I believe in instantaneous conversion and I love to see it take place - but I’d rather see the thorough work of grace, awakening a deep sense of sin. You can’t get rid of dandelions by delicately nipping off the buds!

In the stony ground we see a group of people who:
· received the Word. They recognised God's truth!
· received it immediately. They jumped right in!
· received it with gladness. happiness vs conversion

These people in not counting the cost, didn’t figure in temptations and persecutions to come. They made rapid progress... but in due time came the trial.

No one gets to heaven without being tried! Not one fragment of God’s gold hasn’t first passed through the fire! The Lord Jesus said this testing came because of the Word!

These people believed, yet were immediately offended ... just as fast as they fell in love with the gospel they fell out! Their radical defect lay in an unbroken heart!

This ground was not soil with rocks in it was bedrock, a hard layer of rock with a thin layer of soil over it. The seed sprang up immediately.

These folk were so fast at accepting the seed they were:
· healed before they recognised they were wounded!
· clothed before they saw the shame of their nakedness!
· filled before they were empty!
· made alive before they were dead!

They were unbroken in heart and that is a fatal defect!

Psalms 34:18 The LORD is near those that have a broken heart and saves such as be of a contrite spirit.

They lacked depth! Everything was superficial - surface! This seed did sprout - but it had no root! No prayer, no bible study, no fear of God. No intimacy with Jesus.

Dear friends, guard your spiritual life.. Think about this - if your boat is near ready to go down in calm waters, what’ll become of you when a storm arises.

We need the Holy Spirit to cultivate our hearts. The chief work of a Spiritual husbanman is to sow the Word. Multiplying what God has revealed, not human speculation, not human news, not scientific discoveries however good they may be - not theories about the Word - just the unadulterated Word of God. My chief job… sowing the Word.

Each and every one of you is able to sow the Word. Each life touches another—and you multiply power for good or for evil.

Sow the true seed and you may count on a sure and large harvest. The seed’s fruitfulness is according to the condition of the hearts receiving it. Jesus said, “He that has ears, let him hear”. Divine truth needs attention.

Make God smile by being a good hearer of the Word:
· Stir yourself up to listen.
· See your hearing as an opportunity - take care to make the most of it.
· Keep what you hear by reflecting on it (meditating), and assimilating it for your edification and growth in grace.
· “Do” what you hear. To hear without obeying is to harden the heart.
· Make the most of each opportunity!

Make God smile by bearing “Much Fruit”

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What Makes A Good Mom?

What makes a good mother anyway?
Is it patience? Compassion?
The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time?

Or is it heart? Is it the ache you feel when you see your child disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time? The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 a.m., to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby? The need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a school shooting, a fire, a car accident, a baby dying?

So this is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies--and for all the mothers who wanted to, but just couldn't.

This is for reading "Goodnight, Moon" twice a night for a year. And then reading it again, "Just one more time."

This is for all the mothers who mess up. Who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair and stomp their feet like a tired two-year old who wants ice cream before dinner.

This is for all the mothers who taught their daughters to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.

For all the mothers who bite their lips sometimes until they bleed--when their 14-year-olds dye their hair green. Who lock themselves in the bathroom when babies keep crying and won't stop.
This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for all mothers whose heads turn automatically when a little voice calls "Mom?" in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home.

This is for mothers who put pinwheels and teddy bears on their children's graves.

This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can't find the words to reach them.

This is for all the mothers who gave life to their babies, only to give up their babies in the hopes of a better life.

This is for all the mothers who couldn't bare children of their own and who love the children given to them as if they were their own.

This is for all the mothers who sent their sons to school with stomachaches, assuring them they'd be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up--right away.

This is for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation. And mature mothers learning to let go. For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers. Single mothers and married mothers. Birth mothers and adoptive mothers. Mothers with money. Mothers without.
This is for you all. Hang in there!

"Home is what catches you when you fall--and we all fall."
--Author unknown.

BECAUSE

BECAUSE...
Because He emptied Himself of all but love, you can be filled.
Because His body was broken, your life can be whole.
Because His blood was shed, your sins can be forgiven.
Because He submitted to injustice, you can forgive.
Because He finished His Father's work, your life has worth.
Because He was forsaken, you will never be alone.
Because He was buried, you can be raised.
Because He lives, you don't have to be afraid.
Because He was raised, you can be strong.
Because He reached down to you, you don't have to work your way up to Him.
Because His promises are always true, you can have hope!
--Author unknown.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

No Words Needed


Pastor Keith and his precious wife were led of the Lord to give Erhard a few extra dollars as he left on his El Salvador Missions Trip. Little did they know the importance of this "small thing". This young girl had cut her foot and was in much need of medical attention. However her family did not have the funds to look after this need. This is where God had pre ordained that his servants (Keith and Lynn) would come in. Because of their generousity, Erhard was able to see to it that this little girl didn't end up losing her foot. A small scar may be a constant reminder to her and her family thay God, our God cares about them.

Lest We Forget

Remembrance Day! Every November 11th, Canadians across the country pause in a silent moment of remembrance.

WW I - it was 1914 and Canada’s population was just over 3 million, most of which were women and children. Of the men and women who VOLUNTEERED 60,000 were killed and 120,000 were wounded. This we should remember.

The Canadians' first major battle was later seen as one of the most crucial battles in history. It was April 22, 1915, and the Germans used poison gas for the first time in war. As 145 tons of chlorine gas drifted over the trenches, the Canadian troops held and stopped the German advance. The casualties were enormous. In 48 hours, 1 of every 3 Canadians died.
In April 1917, the Canadians helped turn the tide of battle when they won a major victory at Vimy Ridge. This too had its cost: more than 10,000 casualties in six days. The war continued for more than a year but finally on November 11, 1918, the Armistice was signed and the Canadians took part in the triumphant entry into Belgium. This too we should remember.

WW2: It was 1939 and again Canadians flocked to enlist. They included veterans of earlier wars, boys still in high school and thousands of unemployed. For almost six years, Canadians fought valiantly on battlefronts around the world. More than one million men and women enlisted in the army, the navy and the air force. When the war was over, more than 45,000 had given their lives.

The Gospel of Saint John says, Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. If this is true than we as Canadians had best remember the price our friends paid for our freedom. And we as Christians had best remember the price our Friend Jesus paid for us.

As the artillerymen swung three abreast down Main Street, traffic stopped and people watched from the sidewalks. Some stood in silence. A few wept. Some cheered a bit or called out to soldiers they knew - they waved at the officer who had for years devoted his spare time to the militia battery, to the gentle giant from the lumber mill, to the young orchardist from the Okanagan, to the blonde haired teenager leaving the prettiest girl in town.

When war came, Canadians volunteered readily to serve their country as champions of liberty. They came from farms, from small towns and large cities across the country, riding high on the initial wave of indignation, excitement, and patriotism. For the men and women who rallied to support their nation's cause, the threats of war seemed far away and unreal.

In the fall of 1914 as the 1st contingent of Canadians left the shelter of the St. Lawrence for the open Atlantic, some of the realities came into focus....Those who came forward had not stopped to count the cost, for the excitement was thrilling, the lottery alluring, and the cause glorious; but now that the confusion was passed and the fulfillment of their vows alone remained to be faced, things took on a more somber aspect ..... and yes this too we should remember!

How could they know that four long years of death and destruction were ahead? With every battle over this century, extremes of temperature, mud, mutilation, mind-numbing fatigue, fear and death were daily realities for over 1,500,000 Canadian men and women. For all of these conflicts fought in far-off lands, there is much to remember. Foremost are the people, the men and women who served wherever they were needed. They faced difficult situations bravely and brought honor to themselves, to their loved ones and to their country They were ordinary Canadians who made extraordinary sacrifices.

We should not keep silent in our reflections, the price of our freedom and liberty is too awesome, the cost too great! Yes we stop to remember today - the horror of war - But I believe it only proper that in our daily living we remember their great sacrifice!

Turn with me to Deuteronomy 8:1-5 Keep and live out the entire commandment that I'm commanding you today so that you'll live and prosper and enter and own the land that God promised to your ancestors. Remember every road that God led you on for those forty years in the wilderness, pushing you to your limits, testing you so that he would know what you were made of, whether you would keep his commandments or not. He put you through hard times. He made you go hungry. Then he fed you with manna, something neither you nor your parents knew anything about, so you would learn that men and women don't live by bread only; we live by every word that comes from God's mouth. Your clothes didn't wear out and your feet didn't blister those forty years. You learned deep in your heart that God disciplines you in the same ways a father disciplines his child.

Deuteronomy 8:6-9 So it's paramount that you keep the commandments of God, your God, walk down the roads he shows you and reverently respect him. God is about to bring you into a good land, a land with brooks and rivers, springs and lakes, streams out of the hills and through the valleys. It's a land of wheat and barley, of vines and figs and pomegranates, of olives, oil, and honey. It's land where you'll never go hungry—always food on the table and a roof over your head. It's a land where you'll get iron out of rocks and mine copper from the hills.

Deuteronomy 8:10-16 After a meal, satisfied, bless God, your God, for the good land he has given you. Make sure you don't forget God, your God, by not keeping his commandments, his rules and regulations that I command you today. Make sure that when you eat and are satisfied, build pleasant houses and settle in, see your herds and flocks flourish and more and more money come in, watch your standard of living going up and up—make sure you don't become so full of yourself and your things that you forget your God.
· The God who delivered you from Egyptian slavery;
· The God who led you through that huge and fearsome wilderness, those desolate, arid badlands crawling with fiery snakes and scorpions;
· The God who gave you water gushing from hard rock;
· The God who gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never heard of, in order to give you a taste of the hard life, to test you so that you would be prepared to live well in the days ahead of you.

Deuteronomy 8:17-18 If you start thinking to yourselves, "I did all this. And all by myself. I'm rich. It's all mine!"— well, think again. Remember that God, your God, gave you the strength to produce all this wealth so as to confirm the covenant that he promised to your ancestors—as it is today.

Deuteronomy 8:19-20 If you forget, forget God, your God, and start taking up with other gods, serving and worshiping them, I'm on record right now as giving you firm warning: that will be the end of you; I mean it—destruction. You'll go to your doom—the same as the nations God is destroying before you; doom because you wouldn't obey the Voice of God, your God.

We should not keep silent in our reflections, the price of our freedom and liberty is too awesome, the cost too great! May God be glorified in our living!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Digg'n Through Some Old Files.....


As I was going through some old e-mails I came across this letter from Lawrence.
Here's a little play on words that came out of this morning. I see the word"revival" that churches across America are using to look to the past to findtheir passion, to get the masses moving again, to find heart and soul andcourage. The "glory days" of old, so to speak. It always alludes to a stateof being where people are dead, complacent, apathetic, even comfortable.Just watch "the Matrix" and you'll see what I mean. God can't help thosethat don't help themselves! So the real word that we are looking for is andalways has been "Revolution". We as born again, bible believing Christ-likebeings are at war. Not necessarily with a weapon. Your Sword and Trowelimage comes to mind. We work hard and endlessly to build the churchfoundation, but yet we as culture have no idea how strong to build it and wedon't have the "army" to protect it. This bodes the question, how are wegoing to build Christ's Church strong enough to withstand the forces at workin our world. Where are we going to find men and women with enough guts tostand and resist. When will we actually fight for our lives and ourfreedoms. What inspires people to become alive....a reason to live. How dowe learn and be open to love people....I shed a tear this morning, thereason...seeing how people have been stripped of their souls throughout theages. At this moment I feel God's pain. And I believe that His pain isintensified when people don't move. Free will is given to us and He can'tmake us do anything. He weaves in and out of our lives trying to inspire us.The word revival, as my wife just put it is for the World, to come alive andsee whats really going on and that they have to fight for their lives.Enslavement is coming on a global scale and the infrastructure is nearly inplace. Much to think about. Unfortunately, the majority of people won't seeit. I just pray for the difference. Lawrence.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

God's Quick Response

Bravo! God Bravo!

This past Tuesday at the Men's prayer meeting we requested prayer for the release of finances for the church. We believe that our calling to be "That" church in Osoyoos and Sidley area is valid and worth investing in. So as we prayed we gave our financial needs over to God and in faith released our anxiousness to Him.

Within two hours of our prayer one of our fellowship's newest members stopped by the offive on Main. She donated a wonderful framed print of an eagle in the storm. This numbered print is a beautifully matted and framed work of art worth well over $200.00. Rather than hanging it in our office we, with the permission of the donator are seeking direction as to how to generate some funds for the ministry using this item. We thought of a "Silent Auction", Raffle or a private sale. On Sunday we will be asking our congregation for some input.

Then today, this same sister brought in two more items to be used in the same fashion. The first is a Collectable Coca Cola Barbie, the other is a beautiful set of diamond earrings. Praise the Lord for the generosity of our new sister.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thanks Living


Listen to what the psalmist says: Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs… Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

When it comes to thanking God, we can't remain silent and we must not remain silent.

The psalmist tells us to rejoice in the Lord. We are to shout for joy to the Lord. We are called to serve Him with gladness. We are urged to come before Him with joyful songs. We’re to be filled with an enthusiastic, overflowing joy.

In the Hebrew, joy or rejoicing is an inward emotion that simply has to express itself as praise to and for God! The Old Testament shows God’s people were filled with joy they couldn’t help but come into God's presence with clapping, singing, shouting, and dancing. Joy, all joy, expresses itself in praise! Though joyful thanks is to be given in all of Christian life, Serve the Lord, come before him, Enter his gates, and his courts. Our life is to be a life of Thanks Living!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Dear Friends of the Gathering Place

It is with real joy that I write this short note to you. At The Gathering Place, we feel it is OUR responsibility to “clear the way” for you to take hold of all that God has for you. YOU are a very important part of YOUR church family. As senior pastor, I will do my best to bring you “doable” messages, in the hope that what you learn on the week-end, will be usable during the week.

Our leadership team is dedicated to helping you connect with the personal hope and practical help that God can give us. We are concerned with meeting your real life needs.

The purpose of the Gathering Place is summed in this way: To bring people to Jesus and membership in His family, develop them to Christlike maturity, and equip them for their ministry in the church and life mission in the world in order to magnify God’s name.

It is our dream that our fellowship will be a place where the hurting, the depressed, the frustrated and the confused can find love, acceptance, help, hope, forgiveness, guidance and encouragement.

The analogy of the Christian as salt is appropriate for the church in Canada. In order to be effective, salt must not only retain its saltiness, but it must leave its shaker and touch what it wishes to enhance.

To reach today’s generation, the church needs to examine once again what it means to be salty.

Too often we are so engulfed in our own problems of maintaining the traditions of our church that we fail to see the larger picture - that of people hurting and in need of saltiness, needing to be touched by God’s love. We lose saltiness when the comfort of our church is the most important thing to preserve. But when we see the church as a hospital that administers caring and healing to the hurts of society, we are preparing the way for the Holy Spirit to do His work.

We would like to thank each of you for the interest and support you’ve shown regarding this wonderful opportunity that the Lord is laying before us.

Matthew 5:1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions.

Counted among His climbing companions…. Pastors Ed and Judi Brouwer

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

PSALM 101

My theme song is God's love and justice, and I'm singing it right to you, God.
I'm finding my way down the road of right living, but how long before you show up? I'm doing the very best I can, and I'm doing it at home, where it counts. I refuse to take a second look at corrupting people and degrading things. I reject made-in-Canaan gods, stay clear of contamination. The crooked in heart keep their distance; I refuse to shake hands with those who plan evil. I put a gag on the gossip who bad-mouths his neighbor; I can't stand arrogance. But I have my eye on salt-of-the-earth people—they're the ones I want working with me; Men and women on the straight and narrow—these are the ones I want at my side. But no one who traffics in lies gets a job with me; I have no patience with liars. I've rounded up all the wicked like cattle and herded them right out of the country. I purged God's city of all who make a business of evil.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Thought In Passing....

This morning I heard Dave Wilkerson say, "We (the Church) are being influenced by the very things that influence the world".

In light of this upcoming Sunday's message this statement hit me pretty hard. My text for Sunday is the Apostle Paul's proclamation that "Jesus is all and all" . I wish that were true of us today. Is Jesus our everything? If not what is He competeing with?

Are we being influenced (driven, drawn or enticed) by the same things that influence this world?

Dear God, how do we change that?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Question For You....

For by him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created by him and for him Colossians 1:16

When is the last time you thought of Christ as the One by whom all things are created, as Colossians puts it; by whom all things were made: as John puts it; by whom God made the worlds, as Hebrews put it?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Safe In His Arms


Every little girl needs a big brother. Two of our grandkids are shown here, being at their best.
I can hear some of you saying, :Awww how cute!"
Sorry to burst your bubble, they are not always like this. ;-)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Brethren


We had a great meeting this morning. It is very encouraging for men to get together, sharing, praying and sometimes even crying together.
As the author of Proverbs reminds us, the refining of character requires a second individual against whom we can hone ourselves: iron sharpens iron
Proverbs 27:17
One thing for sure, we are not in danger of being alone in this unique ministry. We as a family are surrounded by unsung heroes of the faith.
It is for that, we are very grateful.

Not Your Usually Church Event


Ok so its not the norm, but then again why not?
Last Saturday night we entered the Lawn Mower Races at the Rock Creek Fall Fair. It was awesome! I even placed in one of the heats.
I'm so very glad to see we are not a fellowship of bumps on a log. We can actually have fun! What a neat opportunity to meet new people and build relationships.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Great Ideas......


What a blessing we had several weeks back. Our folk thought it would be great to provide a FREE pancake breakfast at the park.
Our fellowship showed once again how a small group of dedicated people can do much for God's glory. We severed over 60 people. All ages and backgrounds were treated to flapjacks, juice and fruit.
Several people were witnessed to, and/or prayed for. It was very neat to see the Spirit of God's love ministering so freely. As a group of French Canadian fruit pickers was leaving, one of them yelled out, "We love you guys". That made our day.

Its All About Attitude!


My Heavenly Father knows, and He alone, what it is,
day after day, and hour after hour, to fight against bodily
feelings of almost over­powering weakness and languor and
exhaustion, to resolve, as He enables me to do, not to yield
to the slothfulness, the depression, the irritability, such as a
body causes me to long to indulge, but to rise every morning
determined on taking this for my motto, “If any man will come
after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.”


The preceeding was a statement of resolve made by Charlotte Elliot (1800s) as she lay bedridden for some 52 years. During her struggles she wrote over 150 Hymns, one being "Just As I Am". What a powerful story of God's ability to use us in spite of our lot in life.

What Part Do You Play?

The Wrecking Crew
I stood on the street of a busy town,
Watching men tearing a building down,
With a ho heave ho and a lusty yell,
They swung a beam and a side wall fell,
I asked the foreman of the crew,
“Are those men as skilled, As those you'd hire if you'd wanted to build?”
“Ah, no, no indeed, Just common laborers are all I need,
I can tear down as much in a day or two,
As would take skilled men a year to do.”
And then I thought as I went my way,
Just which of these two roles am I trying to play?
Have I walked life's road with care,
Measuring each deed with rule and square?

And Now You Know .......

Dr. Thomas Welch (1825-1903) was the communion steward of the Methodist church in Vineland, New Jersey. The son of a Methodist minister, he himself studied to be a minister.

However, due to voice problems, Welch decided to become a medical doctor and later a dentist. At the time, unfermented wine (grape juice) was not available year round for use in communion. From history we know that unfermented wine was widely used and preserved in ancient times. William Patton in his classic book, Bible Wines and the Laws of Fermentation (c.1870), documents four methods of preserving grape juice in The Bible times. Apparently, these methods had fallen into disuse.

In 1869, Dr. Welch began to experiment in his kitchen with concord grape juice, using the pasteurization techniques developed by Louis Pasteur just four years earlier. He soon perfected a process for preserving grape juice and began marketing it with the label Dr. Welch‟s Unfermented Wine.

He produced it with the thought of providing churches with an alternative to alcoholic wine, never envisioning a beverage for the general public. His son, Dr. Charles Welch, envisioned greater things and bought the business in 1873. Charles said that the company was born, out of a passion to serve God by helping His church to give communion as the fruit of the vine instead of the cup of devils.

In 1893, the grape juice business really took off when samples were given out at the Chicago World‟s Fair and the name was changed to “Welch’s Grape Juice.”

Today, Welch’s is a $650 million a year business. Welch’s Grape Juice made worldwide headlines in 1913 when Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan, gave a formal state dinner honoring the retiring British ambassador. He served Welch’s Grape Juice instead of fermented wine. Bryan was a dedicated Christian who once ran for U.S. President.

Worldwide headlines were made again in 1914 when Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the U.S. Navy, forbade the use of alcoholic beverages aboard navy ships and substituted Welch’s Grape Juice in their place.

Thomas B. Welch proved the truth that, I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me Philippians 4:13
His son, Charles, demonstrated the Truth, where there is no vision, the people perish Proverbs 29:13.

The next time you see “since 1869” on the Welch’s Grape Juice label you can remember this service… and now you know the rest of the story!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Good Question

One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex standing in the foyerof the church staring up at a large plaque. It was covered with namesand small American flags mounted on either side of it. The six-year oldhad been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up,stood beside the little boy, and said quietly, 'Good morning Alex.''Good morning Pastor,' he replied, still focused on the plaque. 'Pastor,what is this?

The pastor said, 'Well son, it's a memorial to all theyoung men and women who died in the service.' Soberly, they just stoodtogether, staring at the large plaque. Finally, little Alex's voice,barely audible and trembling with fear asked, 'Which service, the 8:30or the 10:45?'

LAUGHTER IS A GOOD MEDICINE

A little girl walked to and from school daily. Though the weather that morning was questionable and clouds were forming, she made her daily trek to the elementary school. As the afternoon progressed, the winds whipped up, along with lightning. The mother of the little girl felt concerned that her daughter would be frightened as she walked home from school and she feared the electrical storm might harm her child. Full of concern, the mother quickly got into her car and drove along the route to her child's school. As she did she saw her little girl walking along. At each flash of lightning, the child would stop, look up, and smile. Another and another flash of lighting followed quickly and with each the little girl would look at the streak of light and smile. When the mother's car drew up beside the child she lowered the window and called to her 'What are you doing?' The child answered 'I am trying to look pretty because God! keeps taking my picture.'

May God bless you today and everyday as you face the storms that come your way...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

FREEDOM!

FREEDOM! Many see Christian freedom as freedom from sin, death, law, and the need to earn God’s favor by works. However, Christian freedom is not just freedom “from” it is much more it is freedom “for”, freedom for doing what’s right.

When we were still caught in sin, we weren’t able to please God, no matter how hard we tried. But now, in Christ, we are free to do what God desires, even what His law requires.

Yet, we don’t do this to earn God’s favor, rather in an attitude we respond this way for the favor already given in Christ.

Here’s the good news of your freedom in a nutshell: You are now free to do the right thing.

You are free to live your life for God.
You are now free to live the best possible life there is.

In Christ you have freedom from and freedom for.

Paul is quite specific in Galatians about what our Christian freedom is for. Galatians 5:13-14 For you’ve been called to live in freedom—not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one law: Love your neighbor as yourself.

Did you catch that? Don’t use your freedom for your sinful nature (“the flesh” in Greek). Rather use it “to serve one another in love.”

The English misses the shocking irony of the Greek, which literally reads, “You were called to freedom , so use your freedom by becoming slaves to each other in love.”

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Good News


What a powerful week July 13-20 has been. Two of our grandchildren although many miles apart, in two different households, on two different days had one wonderful thing in common.

They both gave their hearts to the Lord. Both young boys responded to the tugging of God on their tender young hearts. We are thrilled to see the Spirit of God working His wonderful grace in their lives.


To God be the glory!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What part of GO don't you understand?

When Jesus came back from the dead, why didn't He go to Herod or Pilate and say, “I'm back!”
In fact why did He make himself known only to those who believed?

To the women at the sepulcher the angel said, “Go tell his disciples”. Mark 16:7

The disciples were bewildered. Jesus had died; their dreams had faded; their hopes had vanished. They didn't know what to think. Some had gone back to their old ways. They were trying to live on the memory of a dead Christ. But there was a message for bewildered church:
“Go tell His disciples that He is going on before you!” The message is simply Christ is risen!
We need a new experience of the living Christ.

Listen to the result, Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord,

Is He really in our buildings? He is if He is in us! And if He is in us let us never be content with leaving our gathering together as if we been to a funeral - instead may we as the disciples were when they saw Jesus, “be glad”. Jesus Christ - victorious conqueror!

“Go tell his disciples AND PETER.” Peter was a backslider and the Lord singled him out as though he were marked “special”. Jesus wished to restore Peter. Unfortunately, many congregations miss the fact that Jesus can fire up the lost with new love and zeal.

What a field day for the gossips who heard about Peter denying the Lord! Can't you imagine them whispering, “Have you heard the low down about Simon Peter?” Ever wonder why they call it the “Low” down? Let us be know for our desire to lift up - not tear down.

"How are you?" "Great, since the resurrection!"

Jesus only had one question for him, “do you love me?” Not, “Aren't you ashamed of yourself?” He only asked, “Do you love me?” The issue is Christ. “Do you love ME?”

"Go into all the world and make disciples". Jesus is the Center: “All power is given to me; Lo, I am with you always.” When Jesus spoke with Peter, He was the Center: “Do you love ME?” But there was also the circumference: “Feed my sheep.” In geometry we use a compass. One prong is stationary, fixed. With the other we scribe our circle. Folks, Christ is the fixed Center, the same yesterday, today and forever. From that Center we make the sweep of the whole world as our circumference. Once we admit to loving Jesus, He sends us out to feed His Sheep. “We've a story to tell to the nations”.

Our story is not centered about “a way of life” “our church” or even “Christianity”, it must be centered around Jesus.

“All things are mine: Come, Believe, Go.” That is the full Christian experience.

We are to let our light shine and that light is Christ. It is a glow, not a glare, and we do not shine it, we let it shine. Before you start thinking of how hard this is consider the fact that, the disciples did not have any special advantage over us! It wasn’t any easier for them to believe the miracles than it is for us. True, they were eyewitnesses, but being an eyewitness to an extraordinary event doesn’t make it any easier to believe.

But Jesus didn’t care about their doubts! He gave the Great Commission to every one of them, even the doubters. The doubting disciples loved Jesus and that is all that really mattered.

Even if your not a Bible whiz the Great Commission still applies to you. You don’t have to have it all figured out, simply trust and obey the Lord Jesus. It’s as if Jesus is saying, “Hold your questions to the end. Right now your primary task is loyalty and obedience.”

Go ye therefore…… Before you imagine having to leave Osoyoos to do this understand that “Go” could mean next door or across the street. But make no mistake about it “Go” is an action word.

Mark 5:18-20 And when Jesus got to the boat, the man who had been possessed with the devil asked Jesus to take him with him. However, Jesus said, no, GO home to your friends and tell them about the great things the Lord has done for you. Tell them how the Lord had compassion on you. And he WENT, and began to testify about the great things Jesus had done for him: and all the people marveled.

Commission: an authorization or command to act in a prescribed manner or to perform prescribed acts: charge: authority to act for, in behalf of, or in place of another: a task or matter entrusted to one as an agent for another

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Got A Question For You....

What shall we do to recover the lost radiance of the Christian faith?

Strange thing about us Christians: we would not leave our faith for anything, but neither will we live it! We would not give it up, but neither do we give it out. "Man has never been willing to give up the next world for this or this world for the next."

Vance Havner said, "We are afraid not to give something to the cause of Christ: we are equally afraid to give it everything. And yet, if it is worth anything it is worth everything. Who will arise in all the babel of our confusion, the rattle of our empty worship, the whir of our religious wheels-within-wheels, and recapture the fervor of the first apostleship?"

We shall have a dull time of it until we either live our faith or take down our sign.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

JESUS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING

What an interesting statement. Early this morning Paul Vieira's book “Jesus Has Left The Building” was recommended to me. I've only read the first chapter and already I have been challenged.

Many pastors have learned how to operate without dependency on the Holy Spirit. Tragically, you can learn to study without revelation, to preach without anointing, and to lead with words but not by example.

We need to once again become desperate in our dependency on Jesus.

I recently shared with our congregation that we must stop praying for God to bless what we are doing. Rather, we should pray that we are involved with what God is blessing!

Paul states, "there comes a time when believers should mature to a point where they are able to feed themselves and others in need. We know so much today. Why are so many Christians staying in infancy?"

So often what we traditionally do in the church building is completely
irrelevant to the people in our culture, especially to the emerging generations.

There is a pressing question that drives my quest for an authentic expression of church for me: "If Christ were to send a letter His church, who would get it?"

Paul said, “It seems like Jesus' church was the gang that hung out with Him, and they gathered in a house, or by the sea, or in the desert, or wherever they happened to be. Jesus did not start a religion or an organization. He lived a lifestyle in the context of community and mission.”

The church Jesus started looks very different to what we call "church" today.

Church as we know it today looks extremely different from what it was in the beginning. But things are changing. Christianity, as we know it, is morphing and its appearance will be a reality that we haven’t seen in a long time, perhaps two thousand years.
I am ordering several copies of this book for our church library. Let me know if you want to borrow a copy. May God lead us by His Holy Spirit! Out of the building and into the streets!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

How Great Is Our God

THE SPLENDER OF THE KINGS,
CLOTHED IN MAJESTY
LET ALL THE EARTH REJOICE,
ALL THE EARTH REJOICE

HE WRAPS HIMSELF IN LIGHT,
AND DARKNESS TRIES TO HIDE
AND TREMBLES AT HIS VOICE,
TREMBLES AT HIS VOICE

HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD,
SING WITH ME,
HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD,
AND ALL WILL SEE HOW GREAT,
HOW GREAT, IS OUR GOD



Wednesday, July 02, 2008

July 1st Report

INCREDIBLE! It was so exciting to see the impact our small fellowship had on those who came to Osoyoos to celebrate Canada Day. The morning started off with a bang, when Keith arrived at the office at about 7:30. A young man came by asking for something to eat - Keith not only fed him physically but was able to share the gospel with him. What a day starter.

By 8:30 we had a number of us setting up the old Rambler stationwagon brought in by one of our new families. We set up our sandwich board depicting our church service, loaded the over 800 bottles of Miller Springs water (donated) and after donning our new "witness" t-shirts we even had time to pray.

Several of us then participated in the joint church service held at the bandshell. After hearing a bit of our testimonies several people approached us with prayer requests. One father said, "after hearing what God did for you, I know there is hope for my son." PTL

We then worked our way through the already growing crowded Main Street to the starting point of the parade. We located our group and prepared ourselves for the intense moments ahead. Although we were not sure of our reception we felt that God was going to bless it and we certainly didn't want to miss it..... It was overwhelming! People we very appreciative of the free water we were distributing. Our t-shirts looked great, the car was a definite attention getter - and we had a blast. We ran along the vehicle and dashed back and forth with bottles of cold water being readily and gratifully accepted. I heard people yelling - over here! we want water!

I thought later, wish they would call for the living water with the same enthusiasim. Our runners were exhausted but the thrill was incredible. What a "feel good" experience.

An hour later as we sat rehabing back at the office three fruit pickers stopped in to see if they could cook up their spagetti. After finding some sort of pots (empty coffee cans) we did cook up their lunch. They thanked us with a song and went on their way. What a day!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It Is Later Than You Think

Although no one knows the hour nor the day when the Lord will return, the Bible is filled with many indicators or conditions we can use to assess how close we are to His return.

The following are but a few of the signs:
There will be a mixture of believers and false believers within the Church body:
Matthew 13:24-30: Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

There will be scoffers:
The Bible tells us one of the key signs of the end times will be people doubting the return of Christ will ever happen. II Peter 3:3-4: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

Perilous times will come for mankind:
II Timothy 3:1: This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

As it was in the days of Noah (Luke 17:26), so it shall be at the end.
Genesis 6:11: The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

There will be warfare all over the globe:
Mark 13:8: For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:

Deadly diseases will be rampant:
Matthew 24:7: For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

Famines will be common:
Matthew 24:7: For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

Earthquakes will be occurring globally:
Matthew 24:7: For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

There will be violent weather:
Luke 21:25- And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

Mankind will be in a state of moral decay:
II Timothy 3:2-5: For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Religious cults will flourish:
II Peter 2:1: But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

There will be progress made toward a global government:
The European Union, the revived Roman Empire, is alive today and moving steadily toward the fulfillment of this prophecy as seen in Daniel 7: 23: "The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces." The Antichrist who will lead this world government (after the rapture of the Christian Church takes place) will be a leader from the European Union as seen in Daniel 9:26. He will be of the people who destroyed the city of Jerusalem and its sanctuary in AD 70, the Romans.

The world will be desperately seeking peace:
I Thessalonians 5:3: For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Israel will exist as a nation in the latter days:
Read Ezekiel 37:1-14 to see this prophecy, which was fulfilled in 1948.
Israel's birth as a nation will have happened in one day:
Fulfilled on May 14, 1948 as seen in Isaiah 66:8: "Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once?"
Israel will be in possession of Jerusalem (has been since 1967):
This happened as a result of the Six-Day War in 1967. The capture of Jerusalem was critical from a prophetic standpoint as the Antichrist will someday enter a rebuilt Holy Temple that will be standing in Jerusalem at the midpoint of the Tribulation Period where he will declare himself to be God. This event, referred to by most as the abomination of desolation, is documented in Daniel 9:27 and Matthew 24:15.
Israel will be surrounded on every side by enemies:
Psalms 83:4: They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
The possession of Jerusalem will be the source of international conflict:
Is this happening today or what? It's a HUGE sign to us! Zechariah 12:3: And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

Christians will be lukewarm in their faith:
In Christ's address to the seven churches, He says in Revelation 3:15: I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

There will be signs in the heavens:
Luke 21:25: And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

Many Christians and church doctrines will depart from the faith:
I Timothy 4:1: Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

Have you seen any of these signs in the world today? If so, I suggest you quickly enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ if you haven't already done so! He is coming soon!

A Word From James

James 5:7-12

If you've been praying for something and you haven't gotten it, you may think God doesn't want to give it to you. We have to learn the difference between "no" and "not yet".

Our problem is that we are in a hurry and God isn't!"

In advance, thank God because He's working things out. He gives the illustration of the farmer. When the farmer plants the seed, he's waiting for that seed. While he's waiting, God is working behind the scenes to cause that plant to sprout. He's creating the conditions so at the right time, in the right way there will be a harvest. The farmer waits, God works.
Philippians 2:13 "God is at work within you."
Romans 8:28 "we know that in all things, God is working."

What are you supposed to do while you wait?
Look at James’ three illustrations, and do what they did while you're waiting on God.

First the farmer. Wait expectantly. Expect a harvest. What does a farmer do while he's waiting on God? Sit and watch reruns on television all day? While he's waiting on the harvest, the farmer is preparing for a harvest.

Your preparation shows your expectation.

We get ready for the answer in advance. Psalm 130:5 "I wait expectantly, trusting God to help, for He has promised.". What are you waiting for from God?

The Bible says, According to your faith it will be done unto you.
How can you prove that you're expecting God to do something? Simple. What are you doing to get ready for it? If the answer came today, would you be ready?
Remember, your preparation reveals your expectation.

A lot of times when I'm waiting on God, He's really waiting on me. He was ready to give the answer a long time ago, but I wasn't ready to receive it. Sometimes He's saying, "Grow up! I want to bless your life but you can't handle the blessing yet. Get some spiritual muscle in your life and I'll bless you beyond what you can imagine." Waiting is a time to get ready.
Isaiah 49:23 "The Lord says ... No one who waits for my help will be disappointed."

Friday, June 13, 2008

East Coast Reflections







Don't Just Do Something, Stand There!

Some years ago a young man approached the foreman of a logging crew and asked for a job. "That depends," replied the foreman. "Let's see you fell this tree." The young man stepped forward and skilfully felled a great tree. Impressed, the foreman exclaimed, "Start Monday!"

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday rolled by, and Thursday afternoon the foreman approached the young man and said, "You can pick up your pay cheque on the way out today." Startled, he replied, "I thought you paid on Friday." "Normally we do," answered the foreman, "but we're letting you go today because you've fallen behind. Our daily felling charts show that you've dropped from first place on Monday to last on Wednesday." "But I'm a hard worker," the young man objected. "I arrive first, leave last, and even have worked through my coffee breaks!"

The foreman, sensing the boy's integrity, thought for a minute and then asked, "Have you been sharpening your axe?" The young man replied, "I've been working too hard to take the time."

How often do we work harder and harder spiritually only to find we are less and less fruitful. It time to hear the words, “Don’t just do something. Sit there and let the Lord minister to you.”

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

STOP PRAYING!

Stop praying, "God bless what I'm doing".
Don't pray that anymore.
Instead pray, "God, help me to do what You're blessing."

Help me do what You're blessing. I don't want my plans, I want Your plans in my life.

James 4:13-17 "Dealing With The Future"

We all want to know what's going to happen next. People try to forecast the future: tea leaves, fortune cookies, astrology, palm reading. We attend planning and goal setting conferences.

James says there are three mistakes that are commonly made that we should be aware of.

The first mistake is shown in v13 Now listen you who say, Today or Tomorrow. We will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.

What's wrong with this? People make plans every day.
The Bible talks a lot about planning. So what's wrong here?

James says the first common mistake we make is PLANNING WITHOUT GOD. There's not a single mention of God in this entire business plan. So James is not talking about what these guys did, it was what they forgot to do… “Include God!”

If you are a believer all your business is God's business.

What's the solution? v15 Instead, you ought to say, If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.

Right in the middle of the word LIFE is IF. Life is pretty if-fy. I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, you don't either.

Christians for hundreds of years used to write the initials D.V. at the end of their letters. They'd sign their name and then write D.V.. This stood for the Latin phrase "Deo Valente" -- "Lord willing". James says that ought to be our life response.

Proverbs 16:9 make plans, counting on God to direct you

The second mistake is PRESUMING ABOUT TOMORROW.
V14-16 Why you don't even know what’ll happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while, vanishes. You boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.

We shouldn't presume about the future because:
Life is unpredictable "you don't even know". None of us know what's going to happen tonight, much less next year.

One day life is a bowl of cherries, the next it's the pits.

Don’t be worried about tomorrow, let it cause you to trust God more, let it cause you to be more dependent on God.

Life is brief. you are a mist. Who knows how long we're going to live? None of us do. In describing your life the Bible uses phrases like a leaf, grass, shadow, cloud, puff of smoke, vapor. Life is short. It goes so fast from hot wheels to wheelchair.

Proverbs 27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.

What's the solution? Matthew 6:34 So don't be anxious about tomorrow -- God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.

Live one day at a time, that's how God says to face the future. The future could be overwhelming but fortunately it comes in bite-size pieces, a 24-hour segment at a time. Plan for the future but, but live now. Life is what passes us by while we're planning something else.

Today is the Good Old Days you're going to talk about in 15 years. Enjoy the now. Make the most of your now.

"I may not know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future", and that's what counts. Psalm 35:15 Lord, my days are in your hands.

A third common mistake is PUTTING OFF DOING GOOD.
Anyone then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it sins. V17. James is talking about procrastination.

Ever meet somebody who is always "aiming to do it." I always want to say, "When are you going to pull the trigger?"

How do you define sin? We think of evil activities: murder, adultery, cheating, and stealing. Those are sins of commission. But there's another kind of sin - sins of omission. "To him who knows to do good and doesn't do it, it's sin."

I can do nothing and still sin. Christianity is far more than simply avoiding evil. It is about doing good.

The solution is “Do it now”. Proverbs 3:27-28 Don’t withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Don’t say to your neighbor, `Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow' - when you now have it with you."

If somebody comes to you and asks you a favor, if you can do it now, do it now.

You can do one of three things with your life: spend it, waste it, invest it.

Invest your life in things that will last—make it count. You know it doesn't matter how long you live if you're not doing anything with your life.

Remember the story that Jesus told about the talents? The master gave one talent to one man, five to another and ten to another. He left and came back years later. Two guys had doubled their money. The third man had taken his gold, buried it in the ground and did nothing with it. The master said, “At least you could have put it in a bank and got interest on it!” He said, "You wicked servant!" Why? What had he done? Nothing.
Doing nothing with your life is bad. Make your life count.

Jesus tells the story about a man who is very successful in life but he made a very foolish decision. He made all 3 mistakes James pointed out. He planned without God, presumed about tomorrow and put off doing good. Luke 12:16 The ground of a certain rich man produced abundant crops and thought, What shall I do. I’ve no place to store my crops. Then he said, this is what I'll do. I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. I will store all my grain and my goods and I will say to myself, `You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy. Eat, drink, be merry, but God said, You fool. This very night your life will be demanded from you, then who’ll get all that you have prepared for yourself.

This guy had "I" problems - all he could see was himself. The fact is, none of us have any certainty how long we're going to be here. Just consider that in your planning and do three things: plan with God; Don't presume on tomorrow, Make your life count!

You weren't created just to take up space. There is more to life than that. It starts when you give your life to Jesus, God's Son, and you commit yourself to Him. He becomes the manager of your life and He will direct you. Start by getting in tune with the Lord and establishing that relationship with Him.

If you only had a week left, how would you spend it?
What would you do with your husband, wife, children? God says, live each day and each week as if it were your last.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

God Pleasers



I trust that today will be a great day to move forward in the Lord. When it comes to faith it is kind of like our Grade 8 Dance - some (mostly girls) were dancing while the rest (mostly boys) sat on the sidelines. If you can see the dance as faith and the sidewall lined with chairs as unbelief and doubt - then you - we should all do as the song, "I hope you dance" says. Dance! David said, "do not sit in the seat of the scornful." So my friends, if you get the chance to sit it out or dance, I hope you DANCE! For without faith it is impossible to please God.

Monday, May 19, 2008

May 25th at 10:30

You are invited to join us at
THE GATHERING PLACE
for our
2008 El Salvador Report
Psalm 34
I bless God every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise. I live and breathe God; if things aren't going well, hear this and be happy: Join me in spreading the news; together let's get the word out. God met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears. Look at him; give him your warmest smile. Never hide your feelings from him. When I was desperate, I called out, and God got me out of a tight spot. God's angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray. Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see - how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him. Worship God if you want the best; worship opens doors to all his goodness.

God keeps an eye on his friends, his ears pick up every moan and groan. Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you. If your heart is broken, you'll find God right there;If you're kicked in the gut, he'll help you catch your breath. Disciples so often get into trouble; still, God is there every time. God pays for each slave's freedom; no one who runs to him loses out.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

THE VISION OF SLAUGHTER

Ezekiel 9
Then He cried out in my hearing with a loud voice saying, "Draw near, O executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand." Behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate which faces north, each with his shattering weapon in his hand; and among them was a certain man clothed in linen with a writing case at his loins. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar. Then the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub on which it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed in linen at whose loins was the writing case. The LORD said to him, "Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst." But to the others He said in my hearing, "Go through the city after him and strike; do not let your eye have pity and do not spare.
"Utterly slay old men, young men, maidens, little children, and women, but do not touch any man on whom is the mark; and you shall start from My sanctuary." So they started with the elders who were before the temple.

How Many More Casualties?

Just how many more pastors and their families need to be cast away like yesterday's newspaper before we cry out against this injustice?

I met with a local pastor this week, he too has been attempting to heed God's call for change in the church. After coming to an impass several months back he felt it best to resign his post. Since then he has been left totally isolated from the denominational body that he and his family have served in for years. Not one call as to how he was doing... no one seems to be concerned with those who don't fit the typical mold... but wait there is another brother not far from here who is pentecostal through and through (even attends the ministerials) alas he and his wife are struggling in their church right now and guess what? Yes sir, they too are on their own. It would seem by all appearances that once you get placed in a church you are on your own baby. Pardon the expression - but that sucks!

Judi and I after spending 35 years within that same denomination have not been contacted by our leadership officers since our choosing to stay ministering in Osoyoos. We got a slap on the hands for being out of order and I can understand that, but what I don't get is the total lack of caring for one another as brothers and sisters. You'd be pretty hard pressed to sell that bill of goods to a non christian. People today are starving for relationships that work. God help us if the church can't do more than the world in that area. Is it any wonder we are loosing pastors to secular (not sure about that word) empoyment. Is it any wonder there is extreme lonliness in the ministry today?

God have mercy! We need you to reach out to the pastors and their precious families missing in action. God, please search out the MIAs in the prisons of discouragement.

What in the world is going on? Three pastors from the same denomination, within a 25 minute driving distance of each other, all seeking God's permission to be effective and relavent in this late hour - abandoned, neglected and seemingly judged not worth the effort by the very ones that should be loving on them. Absolutly inexcusable! The sad part is the denomination doesn't even blush, they just justify themselves. Shame on you!

Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all [men], especially unto them who are of the household of faith.