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

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Great News

This has been a very exciting week for our new ministry.

First of all I want to thank those of you who ministered at the Osoyoos Winter Carnival. Judi and Lawerance did an awesome job at the Gospel Jamboree. Judi said there were over 100 people present and Keith bumped that up to 150.... nevertheless it was well attended. There were many positive inquiries regarding our Sunday services.

Secondly we got the lease and our Administration and Ministry offices will be open soon. We've been busy cleaning and setting up, as well as getting to know our neighbors. Special thanks to Lynn - she is a great servant of the Lord. Our new address is 8145 Main Street, and our office phone number will be 250-495-0651.

Third, but certainly not least our proposal for starting Sidley Mountain Cowboy Church in Bridesville was welcomed with open arms by the Bridesville Community Club. We will be meeting the 2nd Sunday of each month at 7:00. Our first service will be March 9th. They were informed that this will be a temporary measure as we are planning on building a community church on our ranch property. Their response to that was very encouraging.

I love it when God's plan starts to come together.

In amongest all these good things came a temptation to get distracted. A pastor in Osoyoos asked me if there was any truth to the rumor that I had left OCC because I had an affair? I laughed out loud... obviously whoever started that rumor doesn't know Judi. If they did they'd know that she is the love of my life, the sweetest and kindest helpmate the Lord could ever give me.... a great wife, mother and friend. I am so very blessed! Having an affair on her would be complete insanity! I was tempted to dwell on this rumor but in accordance to this week's message, I made a choice to refocus my attention on the Lord.

Philippians 4:8 Think on these things, things that are good, positive, just, honest.

I encourage you in times of temptation to focus your mind on the goodness of God. Why? Whatever gets your attention, gets you.

Focus on God’s goodness, This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad. I will bless the Lord at all times ... His praise will continually be in my mouth ... I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Don’t tell me show me!

As we are seeking God’s wisdom in bringing forth a “Christianity That Works”, I am becoming more and more convinced that the modern day church is filled with individuals with dual personalities. Their lips form all the right words, but their actions destroy any credibility those words held.

Nearly 800 years ago Saint Francis of Assisi is said to have exhorted his followers to “preach the Gospel at all times, but only use words if necessary!”

I must confess that as I get older, I am much more impressed with what people do than with what they say. I love how Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, when he said, “What you are shouts so loudly in my ears I cannot hear what you say.”

Anyone can talk about love. Anyone can sign up to be a spouse, parent, boss, coach, or teacher, but when the going gets tough, then we see what we’ve got.

Loving others is about doing the right thing. It has very little to do with romance or emotions, and nothing to do with words, it is all about doing. So if you have something to say, perhaps a “word” to change my life, go ahead I’d be more than happy to watch ;)

Church Life.... (from

New churches seem to be much more fruitful in reaching unchurched people than existing churches, says an ordained minister who planted his Churchill Meadows church six years ago, he now helps others do the same.

People need to be given a reason to go to church every week and a new church has a better chance of persuading newcomers that they will be offered something fresh. You've got a whole generation of people who have never been in the habit of setting the alarm on Sunday morning, he says. You're competing with every other option they have – including sleeping in.

Church plants offer a fresh take on the faith, says Rev. Sean Love, a church planter in Richmond, B.C. They also are chance for newcomers to quickly assume leadership roles to help make the congregation into the kind of church they want. People know it's a new congregation and they aren't walking into a place where people have 20 years of history and don’t want to know anybody else. A newer congregation attracts new people better and faster than old congregations can. See for the complete article


Part III "How To Make Up Your Mind"

Are you the kind of person who stands in line at a fast-food outlet, trying to decide what to order while behind you a long line of people wait impatiently? Do you find it hard to make decisions? If so, this message is for you.
We’re constantly faced with the need to make good choices. But how do we do that? Some people seem to have a gift for making the right decision. Most of us act on what we call our “gut instinct,” and hope for the best.

"We make our decisions and then our decisions make us"

What is the secret of business success? Wise decisions.
How can I learn to make wise decisions? Experience.
How do you get experience? Dumb decisions!

THE PROBLEM: INDECISION v8 A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. In Greek, the word "double-minded" literally means "two-souled"- pulled apart in different directions, divided loyalties, divided priorities.

Double-mindedness is translated "confused" in many parts of the Bible. James says, “If you can't make up your mind it produces an unstable lifestyle.. Leading to constant turmoil.

Three ways indecision makes you unstable:

Unstable emotions. You worry and strain, you're confused. You can't sleep or eat… what to do? And when you do finally decide… you lay awake wondering if you did the right thing?"

You go to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist asks, "Are you indecisive?" You say, "I used to be, but now I'm not sure."

Unstable relationships. Indecisiveness can wear on your spouse or your children. How frustrating to be around someone who simply can’t make up his or her mind!
Sometimes it takes more energy to decide than it does to do.

Unstable spiritual life. v7 That man should not think that he'll receive anything from the Lord Being of two minds blocks your prayers. It keeps God from giving and you from receiving.

Some ask, "Why doesn't God answer my prayers?" Maybe you're not specific enough. Maybe you've never decided what it is you really want. Perhaps you don't have a clear-cut goal.

Pilgrim's Progress talks about a man named Mr. Facing-Both-Ways. What's the solution? James says, Get wisdom.
If any of you lack wisdom you should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him.

James gives 3 practical steps. Admit, Ask, Anticipate.

Admit your need. v 5 If any of you lacks wisdom..
Wisdom is different from knowledge. Wisdom is knowledge put into practice. Wisdom is seeing life from God's point of view.

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes then comes disgrace. But with humility comes wisdom.

Pride blocks wisdom. You can't learn anything if you think you know it all. The key to wisdom is to admit that you don't know what do. Admit that you don't have all the answers. Admit your need

Ask for wisdom. If any man lack wisdom he should ask God How do you get wisdom? The Bible says by asking God. Proverbs 2:6 It is the Lord who gives wisdom.. So go ahead ask God for wisdom. James 4:2 You have not because you ask not. Could it be that simple?

20 times in the NT it says, Ask, and it shall be given.
Literally..."keep on asking, be persistent, continual"

As your pastor, I wouldn't dare to lead our church without continually asking God for wisdom. I pray this prayer almost every day sometimes it feels like its 100 times a day.

In our new work especially, my spiritual responsibility as the Shepherd is to discover what God wants to do in this His body.

Anticipate it. Expect an answer in faith. if any of you lacks wisdom he should ask of God who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him. But when he asks he must believe and not doubt. Circle "not doubt".

First - ask the right person. Second - ask the right way
(in faith, believing, not doubting)

The reason you don't have wisdom is because you're looking at the problem and not the Lord. A lot of Christians are victims of their circumstance.

THE PROMISE: GOD WILL GIVE IT! If any man lacks wisdom he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

Look how James says God will give you wisdom:

Continually: In the Greek God who gives.. is in the continuous tense. He keeps on giving.

Generously: His resources are unlimited. He has enough resources for everybody. He's got plenty.

Without finding fault: God gives cheerfully. God is pleased when you ask. Have you ever received a gift from someone you knew was giving it to you grudgingly?

God will not make the decisions for you, but He will give you His wisdom to make the decision.
2. God's wisdom is found in God's word. I need to read, study, memorize, meditate on this book. Psalm 119:105 God's word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

God’s Word like our life is filled with choices. Joshua said to the Israelites: Choose for yourselves whom you will serve.... But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15 Choose whom to serve! The most crucial choice of all.
The greatest single decision you can make is to commit your life to Jesus Christ. I Kings 18:21 says, How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him.

Stability comes from knowing God’s Word. The more you base your life on His Word, the more stable you’re going to become.

1. Ask God for wisdom
2. Believe God has a solution
3. Don’t second guess yourself.
4. Focus on the facts and not your feelings
5. Base your life on the principles of God’s Word
It’s true, making good decisions isn’t easy. But it is possible.

God promises to grant you the wisdom to do so. With your hand in His, you can make decisions for this life and for the life to come. No more second guessing!

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Christianity That Works Part II

How To Profit From Your Problems
James cuts right to the chase.. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Key phrase because you know

Your attitude is determined by your understanding.

1. Problems are inevitable Scripture doesn't say, "If’” you encounter problems it says whenever - in other words “count on it”.

2. Problems are unpredictable. He says, whenever you face problems The word "face" in the Greek literally means "to fall into unexpectedly".

3. Problems of many kinds - all shapes & sizes. Many kinds literally means multi colored. They vary in intensity and duration.

4. Problems are purposeful He uses the word "testing", as in testing gold and silver. So problems purify my faith.

Christians are a lot like tea bags. You don't know what's inside of them until you drop them in hot water. Then you know.

How does God teach us the fruit of the spirit? By putting us in the exact opposite situation. If God wants to teach you love, He puts you around unlovely people. If He wants to teach you peace, God puts you around chaos.

Rejoice: Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials We don't rejoice for the problem, we rejoice in the problem. I Thessalonians 5:18 In everything give thanks for this is the will of God concerning you in Christ Jesus. It doesn’t say, For everything give thanks. It says In everything give thanks. Why? God can use our difficult situations for our good.

It is your attitude that makes the difference! I may not be able to control the circumstances, I can control how I respond. Psalm 34:1 I will bless the Lord at all times…. His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Request: Pray. v. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault... Pray for wisdom so you don't waste the opportunity to grow

Relax: Trust God to know what's best for you, co-operate with Him, that's called faith. Relax. Let God work.

That in a nut shell is Part II of “A Christianity that Works”. Please join us on Sunday at the Gathering Place or here next week for Part III “How To Make Up Your Mind”.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

We had a great service last Sunday. As we gathered for prayer, each table group brought forth their requests. At our table Eddie asked for prayer for his eyes. It seems he was having trouble seeing the words on the screen. Within minutes of his request he asked if he could give a testimony, boy he was excited as he testified that his eyes had become focussed and clear.

Saddle Up Your Horses.... We've Got An Adventure To Go On!

This will be Part 1 of a 15 part Mini Series out of the Book of James presently being shared at The Gathering Place. This wonderful book is a “must” study for all believers. It is our prayer that this series of messages will bring about “A ChristianityThat Works.”

Perhaps the number one cause of problems in the world is immaturity. We get ourselves into all kinds of problems by saying immature things, making immature decisions, acting in immature ways. Simply put, we need to grow up.

MATURITY has nothing to do with how long you've lived or how long you've been a Christian. Maturity is not appearance. Looks can be deceiving. Maturity has nothing to do with how many degrees or how much education you have. You can have so many degrees they call you Dr. Fahrenheit, but that doesn’t make you mature.

God says maturity is all about attitude. Christianity is a life, not a religion. Jesus said, "I've come that you might have life." Life means problems and part of life means solving problems and facing them with the right attitude.


The first thing a doctor will say when you go for a check up is "Stick out your tongue." He uses your tongue to check your health. God does that spiritually, too.

Definition of gossip: hearing something you like about somebody you don't.

Have you ever heard anyone say, "I just say what's on my mind."? That may not always be acceptable. Maybe what's on their mind shouldn't be said out loud. Take the following test; For one week say whatever comes to your mind; If you survive speak only things that encourage and build up for the next week. You judge the results for yourself.

Ephesians 4:29 "Do not let any negative talk come out of your mouth but only what is helpful for building up others according to their needs..." Circle the word "any". When you talk say things to build other people up. If it doesn't build somebody else up, don't say it. Even if it's the truth. That's a mark of maturity. You don’t have to say everything you think!

I encourage you to blow the dust off that Bible of yours and open up to the Book of James. Pour yourself a coffee and take a good read. It will without doubt be a benefit for your soul.

You are welcome to join us on Sunday morning or look here next week as we continue to discover A Christianity That Works – “HOW TO PROFIT FROM YOUR PROBLEMS”

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Upcoming at The Gathering Place

Dear Friends of the Gathering Place. After praying for you, Judi and I have concluded that it would be very profitable for us to take a close look at the book of James. With that in mind I have compiled 15 messages complete with handouts and worksheets. Please join us as we grow together through this Mini Series entitled "A CHRISTIANITY THAT WORKS".

Lord willing our SUNDAY CONSTRUCTION ZONES will be as follows:

Feb. 3 Coming to Maturity
Feb. 10 Profiting from your Problems
Feb. 17 Making up your Mind
Feb. 24 Winning over Temptation
Mar. 2 How to be Blessed by the Bible
Mar. 9 How to Treat People Right
Mar. 16 How to have Real Faith
Mar. 23 Managing your Mouth
Mar. 30 Relating Wisely to Others
April 6 Avoiding Arguments
April 13 How to quit Playing God
April 20 Facing your Future
April 27 How to be Wise with your Wealth
May 4 Developing Patience
May 11 How to Pray about your Problems