Monday, 9 December 2013

Fwd: Is Santa a Woman?

I saw this humorous post and thought I should pass it along.
Is Santa A Woman?
I think Santa Claus is a woman....
I hate to be the one to defy sacred myth, but I believe he's a she. Think about it. Christmas is a big, organized, warm, fuzzy, nurturing social deal, and I have a tough time believing a guy could possibly pull it all off!
For starters, the vast majority of men don't even think about selecting gifts until Christmas Eve. It's as if they are all frozen in some kind of Ebenezerian Time Warp until 3 p.m. on Dec. 24th, when they - with amazing calm - call other errant men and plan for a last-minute shopping spree.
Once at the mall, they always seem surprised to find only Ronco products, socket wrench sets, and mood rings left on the shelves. (You might think this would send them into a fit of panic and guilt, but my husband tells me it's an enormous relief because it lessens the 11th hour decision-making burden.)
On this count alone, I'm convinced Santa is a woman. Surely, if he were a man, everyone in the universe would wake up Christmas morning to find a rotating musical Chia Pet under the tree, still in the bag.
Another problem for a he-Santa would be getting there. First of all, there would be no reindeer because they would all be dead, gutted and strapped on to the rear bumper of the sleigh amid wide-eyed, desperate claims that buck season had been extended. Blitzen's rack would already be on the way to the taxidermist.
Even if the male Santa DID have reindeer, he'd still have transportation problems because he would inevitably get lost up there in the snow and clouds and then refuse to stop and ask for directions. Add to this the fact that there would be unavoidable delays in the chimney, where the Mike Holmes-like Santa would stop to inspect and re-point bricks in the flue. He would also need to check on carbon monoxide fumes in every gas fireplace, and get under every Christmas tree that is crooked to straighten it to a perfectly upright 90-degree angle.
Other reasons why Santa can't possibly be a man: - Men can't pack a bag. - Men would rather be dead than caught wearing red velvet. - Men would feel their masculinity is threatened...having to be seen with all those elves. - Men don't answer their mail. - Men would refuse to allow their physique to be described even in jest as anything remotely resembling a "bowlful of jelly." - Men aren't interested in stockings unless somebody's wearing them. - Finally, being responsible for Christmas would require a commitment.
I can buy the fact that other mythical holiday characters are men......... Father Time shows up once a year unshaven and looking ominous. Definite guy. Cupid flies around carrying weapons. Uncle Sam is a politician who likes to point fingers. Any one of these individuals could pass the testosterone screening test. But not St. Nick. Not a chance.
As long as we have each other, good will, peace on earth, faith and Nat King Cole's version of "The Christmas Song," it probably makes little difference what gender Santa is. I just wish she'd quit dressing like a guy!!!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Remembrance Day 2013

This is a day for remembering — remembering those who sacrifice their own security and safety to secure our freedom.  It is a day to remember that life is precious — that all of us are valuable — that we need each other — that we are called to be a people who look out for one another.  We want the best for the other person, and let me remind you that it is not that way in some parts of the world.

The reason we need a day for remembering is because sometimes our memories fail us.  We either loose touch with the reason behind the day, or we forget to uphold the truths, rights, and freedoms secured for us by those who went before us. We live in a land of hope and promise, and we take that for granted.

Hope can be described as a light shining in the darkness — a touch point that leads the way out of despair — encourages us on our journey — keeps us on track for the right outcomes.  When life gets difficult, we hold onto hope.  When accidents happen, we have hope that our medical teams will come to the rescue.  When the fires burn, we have hope the firefighters will extinguish the flames.  When disaster strikes, we have hope in the first responders to protect us.  And when enemies threaten us, we have hope that our troops will protect us.

As this is the year to honour our Korean War veterans, we think back to June 1950.  As the army from North Korea invaded the south, we heard the cry, “I hope someone will come to our rescue.”   We did, and the rescued people held onto a renewed hope.  While war is messy and creates other issues while solving some issues, Canadian troops have been a sign of hope to millions around the world.

1 John 3:16-18      We know what real love is because Jesus laid down his life for us. So we also ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has resources to help and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

You first responders and military of our society are the ones who lay down your lives for us, and we thank you deeply.  We encourage you in your task of serving and protecting our community.  You bring hope to troubled times.

This is a day for hope.  We hope that wars will cease to the ends of the earth.  We hope that we will continue to live in freedom.  We hope that there will always be someone to defend us when necessary.  We hope that any new conflict will end quickly.  We hope our own families will be able to get along.

We also hope that our health-care system will be there for us.  We hope that our environment hold out.  We hope that the sex-trade children in Thailand will have a better life.  We hope that factory workers in India will have a safe workplace.  We hope that the victims in the Philippines will get relief help.  And in true Canadian fashion, we need to take seriously how we can help these things happen.  We can be providers of hope in troubled times.

But, our hope must have a secure foundation in order to be real hope.  King David wrote:
Some nations boast of their chariots and horses,
    but we boast in the name of the Lord our God.      Psalm 20:7

The prophet Isaiah commented:
Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.     Isaiah 40:30-31

When all else fails, and life seems to crumble around us...  When you are standing alone with nothing else on which to hold, nothing else in which to hope, you need something secure.

Again, Isaiah writes:
So the Lord is patiently waiting
    so he can show you his love and compassion.
For the Lord is a faithful God.
    Blessed are those who wait for his help.
Isaiah 30:18

I am always reminded of the mission of Jesus, who at the beginning of his ministry, quoted these words:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
    that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
    and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.
Luke 4:18-19

Remembrance day should spur us on to love and good deeds – to be the kind of people who bring hope into a troubled world.

I will end with a prayer from apostle Paul:
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17     Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Thanksgiving Macedonian Style

2 Corinthians 8 (ESV)
Encouragement to Give Generously
We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favour of taking part in the relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. 

In the New Testament there appears to be no church more generous than the Macedonian church.  In 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 Paul tells us how their joy overflowed in rich generosity.  The encouraging thing for us is the circumstances from whence it came.  Paul explains that they were in the midst of severe affliction and extreme poverty.  And it was in these times that God gave them this overflowing joy that resulted in generosity.  Trials and suffering could not shake these believers because they didn’t care about material stuff.  Their secret was not in what belonged to them but to whom they belonged.  
Every one of us will also face trials and sufferings at some point in our lives.  And, just like the Macedonians, we must decide in whom or in what we will trust when they do arise.  So, let us look at three truths that the Macedonian believers teach us that will help us obtain the same joy and generosity they had in the midst of extreme poverty.
First, nothing can shake the joy of the generous.  Paul’s description of the Macedonian state of affairs should not be taken lightly – a severe test of affliction and extreme poverty.  These circumstances were more than minor setbacks.  Yet, God gave them the joy to not only make it through, but to give generously in the process.
Second, generosity flows from a heart of self sacrifice, not self preservation.  The motivation of giving is not to get, but instead, just like the Macedonians, it begins with our surrender to God and flows from his joy as we trust in him.
Third, biblical giving comes from grace, not the law.  A tithe, or 10%, is the biblical starting point for giving.  Jesus validated this in Matthew 23:23.  But, as the Macedonians showed us, their giving was a direct result of the joy they found in God’s grace, not from an obligation to give.  These verses model for us the response God is looking for when we look at our financial situation.  
Paul tells us that the Macedonians gave themselves first to the Lord.  In this same way we should approach our finances by first affirming, or re-affirming, our commitment to trust God’s promises.  And then we are told the Macedonians gave to others.  Their generosity was proof of the source of their joy.  In the same way, our giving echoes in what our hearts are trusting.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Regarding the USA Supreme Court and Marriage:

One solution is to remove "marriage" from the legal/government hands altogether. Give every type of couple the same legal rights and "sign up" at the local notary as a civil union of two people. If people want to be "married", find the faith group that sees things the way you do and get their clergy to perform the religious ceremony. Separation of church and state, I say! It's clear to me that many who come to the church to get married have no desire to submit to God's view anyway. And it's improbable that any whole society will agree on this issue -- unless forced. The role of government and the courts is to protect justice and freedom. Morality cannot be legislated.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Depend Upon Jesus

Sunday, May 19, 2013

“Christ has set us free to live a free life!” Galatians 5:1 The Message
Depend Upon Jesus
Proverbs 3:5  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” 
John 14:1 “Trust in God; trust also in me.”
What does it take for you to trust someone…
What does it take for you to trust Jesus Christ?
Trust comes from deep knowledge and a conscious choice.
Deep Knowledge
John 10:27  “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they know me.”
John 8:32 “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 7:17 “If anyone chooses  to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.”
Conscious Choice
…you must no longer live as the Gentiles do in the futility of their thinking… Ephesians4:17
Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that [nothing] will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
John 10:3 “He calls his own sheep by name and he leads them out.”
John 16:33 “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Daily Prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father, I praise You and honour You as my Lord.  You are in control of all things.  I thank You that you are always with me and will never leave me nor forsake me. You are the only all powerful and only wise God.  You are kind and loving. I choose not to love the world nor the things in the world, and I crucify the flesh and all its passions. Thank You for the life I now have in Christ.  I ask You to fill me with the Holy Spirit so that I may say no to sin and yes to You. I declare my total dependence. I choose to believe the truth of God’s Word despite what my feelings may say.  I refuse to be discouraged; You are the God of all hope.  Nothing is too difficult for You.  I am confident that You will supply all my needs as I seek to live according to Your Word. I now take my stand against Satan and declare that the evil one cannot touch me.  I choose to put on the full armour of God so that I may be able to stand firm against all the devil’s schemes.  I submit my body as a living and holy sacrifice to You, Lord. By so doing I will be able to prove that Your will is good, acceptable and perfect for me.  In the name of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Amen. 

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Balance My Life

Listen to the message at
“Christ has set us free to live a free life!” Galatians 5:1 Message
Balance My Life
“Those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun.”  2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT
Ephesians 4:17 - 5:2
Balance My Life: Mind
Input = Output
…you must no longer live as the Gentiles do in the futility of their thinking… 4:17
Thoughts Matter
…to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self… 4:23
…we take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.   2 Corinthians 10:5
Positive Reinforcement
…what is helpful for building up others according to their needs… 4:29
Balance My Life: Body
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?   1 Corinthians 3:16
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?   1 Corinthians 3:16
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?   1 Corinthians 3:16
Balance My Life: Spirit
Sabbath Keeping
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” Exodus 20
“The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”  Luke 6:5
Daily God Time
You were taught… to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 4:24
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children…   5:1
 “I am tired of living in a way that looks exactly like people who do not have the Holy Spirit of God living in them.”  Francis Chan, Forgotten God

Monday, 29 April 2013

Acknowledge My Struggle

Acknowledge My Struggle
Part 2 of “Freedom is Possible”
April 28, 2013

Celebrate Recovery (Step One)  “I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable.”

Why won’t I acknowledge it?
Fear of Consequences
Lying & Denying
Blaming Me & You
Acknowledge My Struggle

What causes it?
Genetic & Family History
Physical Conditions
Upsetting Life events
Spiritual Battles
Galatians 5:1 “Christ has set us free to live a free life.”
Ephesians 6:12

What are the consequences of it?
Confusion… v.15  “I do not understand what I do.”
Compulsion… v.17  “It is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.”
Guilt… v.18  “I know that nothing good lives in me.”
Frustration… v.18  “I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.”
Failure… v.19  “For what I do is not the good I want to do.”
 Despair… v. 24  “What a wretched person I am!”

What can be done about it?
Deepen my understanding of Jesus.  Romans 7:24-25
Deepen my dependence on the Spirit.  Galatians 5:16 
Deepen my connection with others.  James 5:16

Monday, 22 April 2013

Connect With Others (When You Feel Like Giving Up)

“Connect With Others”  April 21, 2013

Review: “When You Feel Like Giving Up”
Acknowledge My Struggle
Balance My Life
Connect With Others
Depend Upon Jesus

Connect With Others
With Whom?

Why connect with other?
We need each other!
Galatians 6:2  “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Romans 12:5  “In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”

How do we connect with others?
Open Up
Be a Friend
Be as honest as possible
Be as brief as possible
Be as caring as possible
Join a Group

Philippians 4:6-7  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Mark 9:29  He replied,  “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

James 5:14-16  “Is anyone of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to each another and pray for each another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.”

How do I pray for someone?
“How can I ask God to bless you today?”
Be Brief
Be Specific
Be Confident
Be Sensitive

With whom should I connect?
Someone with whom you are comfortable.

When should I connect with others?
At any and every opportunity.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Facebook Bullying or Positive Peer Pressure?

I have often been miffed at messages I have received via email, or seen posted on Facebook which suggest I do something in support of a cause. Now, I'm all about supporting a good cause, especially when it would benefit from raised awareness and reduced stigma. However, when any post tries to bully me into support: "Post this... but most won't." "I'll know who my real friends are..." "Funny, how we won't stand up for..." I delete it out of principle. If I consider something worthy of my support, like mental health, or having great kids, then I will say so. I don't appreciate someone thinking they need to shame me into posting something that will result in shaming someone else, and so on. So, as Jiminy Cricket said, "Always let your conscience be your guide." I have included an example, which I have also altered for effect. I wondered why a post in support of mental health would also try to bully my response.

Monday, 15 April 2013

When You Feel Like Giving Up

“When You Feel Like Giving Up”

When you are struggling with some personal crisis, do you ever hear these words? Get over it. Suck it up. You’ll be fine. It’s not that serious. Don’t be a baby. You’re making a bid deal over nothing. If it doesn’t bother me, then it shouldn’t bother you. If you only had more faith, you would get better.

Depression means various things: downturn in the economy; dip in the road; overcome by sadness.
Melancholy: sorrow, anxiety, distress, guilt, paralysis, difficulty, anguish, feeling overwhelmed.

Acknowledge My Struggle
Psalm 88
Matthew 5:4
Romans 8:38-39

Balance My Life 
Matthew 6:25-34       
It’s not all about me. Focus on others.

Connect With Others 
Galatians 6:2
Romans 12:5

Depend on Christ
I can lose everything, (mind, health, money, loved ones) but I can’t lose Jesus.
Isaiah 61:1-3 (Luke 4:17-19)
Psalm 89:1-8

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Finding Hope and Power to Live

(Listen to the sermon at )

“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection…” Philippians 3:10
Jesus died and rose from the dead. That’s the past. Jesus will take his followers to be with him in the presence of God. That’s the future. But, what about life here and now? Does Jesus have any bearing on that?
What God has done in the past and what God is going to do in the future must affect how we live in the present. God is a God of the “right now.”  God demonstrates his power in restoring the physical life of Lazarus, (John 11) but Jesus desires for us to understand the spiritual significance of being resurrected to new life. We can trust Jesus with both our death and with our eternity. And, we must trust him with our day to day life.
There are days when I feel defeated. There are days when I know the power of God at work in my life and those are the best days. As Jesus’ disciples, we are no longer living for ourselves but we are living for Christ and walking in him.  He promises to give us the power to be able to live a life of hope and victory! He can be trusted to provide that. It is up to us to choose to walk in that power.
There are a lot of things that die in our lives: dreams, finances, relationships…  God is the god of resurrections – of power to change us, transform us, to give us what we need to walk day by day in resurrection power.
In the Easter Sunday message, I talk about a “tear-off” to fill out. The top asks for your feedback on issues you would like to see addressed in sermons during the coming year. The bottom asks where you are in your relationship to Jesus Christ.
§  1.   I am reconciled to God and I’ve embraced new life in Jesus Christ
§  2.   Today I accepted Jesus’ offer of eternal life
§  3.   I want to join the baptism on June 16
§  4.   I cannot yet commit to following Jesus
Leave your comments here or send them to my email. I would enjoy hearing from you.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

How Do I Integrate God's Word Into My Life?

40 Days In The Word – Part 6
March 24, 2013

      “What I want most of all and at all times is to honor your laws.”            Psalm 119:20 (CEV)

how to integrate god’s word into my life
(Using My Memorized Verses)
1.   I must build on it.
“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine, and puts them into practice, is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”  Matthew 7:24

Unreliable Foundations
·         Culture
·         Tradition
·         Reason
·         Emotion
2.   I must feed on it.
      “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.”  Colossians 3:16

            1.  Receive it with my ears (listen)
2.  Read it with my eyes
3.  Research it with my hands & mouth (study)
4.  Reflect on it with my mind
5.  Remember it with my heart

3.   I must live by it.
      “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11

4.   I must grow through it.
       “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.”    Psalm 119:18

            1.  The hardened soil = ­a closed mind

            2.  The shallow soil = a superficial mind

            3.  The weedy soil = a preoccupied mind

            4.  The good soil = a willing mind

5.   I must act on it.
      “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.”           James 1:22

            Picture it!                    Visualize the scene in your mind
            Pronounce it!               Emphasize each word aloud
            Paraphrase it!              Write it down in your own words
            Personalize it!              Put your name in the verse
            Probe it!                      Ask the S.P.A.C.E.P.E.T.S.  questions
            Pray it!                                    Pray the verse back to God
6.   I must trust in it.
      “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”           Psalm 119:105


                        1.  Commit to stay in your Small Group Study
                        2.  Commit to stay in the Word daily.
                        3.  Have a party!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

How Do I Understand the Meaning of a Bible Passage?

40 Days In The Word – Part 5
Robin Burley     March 17, 2013

            Observation: What does it say?  
            Interpretation: What does it mean?
            Correlation: What other verses explain it? 
            Application: What will I DO about it?

JOHN 15:1-17

Problem Verse:
Vs. 6 “If anyone doesn’t remain in me, he’s like a branch that’s thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”


1.   Consider the Historical Context
 Chapters 13 to 17 = Jesus’ final words of comfort to his disciples before his arrest.
Vs. 11 “I’ve told you these things so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete!”

2.  Define Key Words
            “Love” = mentioned 9 times “Fruit” = mentioned 9 times   
        “Fruit” & “Fruitful” = 45 times in New Testament
            What is meaning of “fruit” in this context?

3. Interpret  Unclear Verses With Clear Verses
   Vs. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:4 (NIV)

·      BEARING FRUIT is produced by remaining in Christ

   Vs. 8 “This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

·      BEARING FRUIT brings glory to God

Vs. 11 “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

·      BEARING FRUIT will give me complete joy

4. Look for the Most Obvious Meaning in the Text
   Vs. 7 “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you!” 

·      REMAINING IN CHRIST PRODUCES answered prayers

   14:13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
·      Answered prayer brings glory to God!

   16:24 “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete!”
·      Answered prayer GIVES ME COMPLETE JOY!

   Vs. 16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name!”

   I BEAR FRUIT BY asking in prayer


My prayer for bearing fruit this week:

Memory verse: “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house upon the rock.”  Matthew 7:24

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Easter Letter 2013

Easter Letter — 2013

Dear Church Family,

Dramatic presentations of the Bible are nothing new.  For centuries, actors have portrayed Bible stories, and now most recently, there is a ten hour television series on the History Channel, called The Bible. They do an admirable job, and I encourage you to watch it.  This Easter we will portray one event in the Bible as depicted in a famous painting.  At the front of our sanctuary is a copper tooled picture of Leonardo da Vinci’s mural, “Last Supper.”  This painting has appeared on everything from mirrors to mouse pads, to musical pillows.  If Leonardo were still around, he would be earning plenty on licensing fees alone.

This painting, while not an exact representation of the text is, at its heart, a story rooted in the truth of God rescuing humanity.  This truth, while controversial, is vital for our world. The Bible tells us that where there is no revelation of God, the people live as they please. (Proverbs 29:18)  Maybe you have noticed, as I have, that when left on our own, we do not make great life choices.  As with the producers of the TV series, I see a crisis of faith in our community and an opportunity for the church to impact a lost world!

This Easter season, as we remember and celebrate our redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus, we are going to focus on the depth of meaning within the “Last Supper.”  It’s more than a famous painting.  It’s an inclusion by Jesus Christ of his followers in his imminent death and resurrection.

Christ in the Passover:  This meal that Jesus shared with his disciples was connected to an ancient commemoration of God’s rescue of his people from slavery.  Jesus places himself as the redeemer, and his followers as the redeemed.  We will celebrate “Christ in the  Passover” together on Monday evening, March 25, at 6:00 pm.  We will follow the ancient Seder traditions and see how they connect with freedom in Christ.  We will also enjoy a meal together as part of the evening.

Last Supper “Living Picture”:  On Good Friday, March 29, at 11:00 am, we will witness a presentation of da Vinci’s famous painting.  Thirteen characters will give their version of what is happening as Jesus prepares to die for the sins of the world.  Then, all of us will have the opportunity to share the bread and cup together in recognition of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, and in symbolic partnership of our death to sin and new life in him.

Easter Sunday Celebration:  Easter Sunday is always a great celebration of all that Jesus Christ brings into a hurting world.  He offers what our soul craves: a longing for intimacy; a longing for destiny; a longing for meaning.  Sunday morning is our time to grab that reality with both hands.  We will start with a really great breakfast at 9:00 am. Then we will meet for our Resurrection Celebration at 10:45.  This is a family of God gathering you don’t want to miss!

Plan to join us.  Stay close to Jesus!

Pastor Vernon Vickruck

The Back Page

Baptism:        Are you, or is someone you know, interested in being Baptised this June?  Talk to Pastor Vernon about classes that will start soon after Easter.

As we consider Christ’s total sacrifice for us, there are some matters in which we can be involved that enhance our ministry in the community.  As you consider your Easter Offering gift this year, here are some items to consider:

                       As part of our 250th Anniversary Celebrations, we would really like to pay off the mortgage on our ministry facilities.  We only owe $100,000 and we believe we can do more effective ministry when we no longer need to make monthly payments.

                       Again this year we are hosting the “Kids to Camp” Ball Hockey Tournament — which sends community kids to Camp Wildwood.  As this is for kids outside our church, more donations help more kids learn about Jesus. (April 26-27)

                       Finally, all of the ministries in which we engage are made possible by our congregational partnership.  You are part of our outreach to the community by your volunteer hours, your prayers, and by your financial support.  As we studied this past year, we must live generous lives. We must learn to be open-handed Christians in a tight-fisted world.  Your giving to our general budget is vital for our influence in the community.

Prayerfully consider where God would have you give this year, not out of compulsion or guilt, but cheerfully, giving thanks to God who has provided for you.

 Calendar of Events

Christ in the Passover:        Monday, March 25, 6:00 pm.

Good Friday:                         Living Picture Theatre of the Last Supper, 11:00 am.

Easter Sunday:                     Breakfast at 9:00 am.
                                                Celebration at 10:45 am

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

How Do I Study a Bible Passage?

40 Days In The Word - Part 4      March 10, 2013

The key to Bible Study is asking good questions.

   I.          OBSERVATION: What does it say?

·  Paul intends to send two men to Philippi.
      “I hope to send you Timothy” vs.  19
      “I think it is necessary to send Epaphroditus back to you.”  vs.  25

·  Paul endorsed these men as role models.
            (Timothy) “I have no one else like him!”  vs.  20
             (Epaphroditus) “Welcome him...  HONOUR men like him.”  vs.  29

·  What does it mean to be like these men?  What are they like? 

                vs.  20-21 “takes a genuine interest”
                vs.  22 “has proved himself”
                vs.  25 “my brother, fellow worker, fellow soldier”
                vs.  26 “longs for all of you and is distressed”
                vs. 27-30 “almost died for the work of Christ, risking his life”

II.        INTERPRETATION: What does it mean?
         vs.  21 “I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare.  For            everyone else looks out for his own interests…”

      (TEV) “genuinely cares for you … others only care about themselves
            (Ph) “...they are all wrapped up in their own affairs...” 
      1.  A godly person is caring.                    

      vs.  22 “Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father, he has served with me in the work of the gospel.”    
             (GW) “ know what kind of person Timothy proved to be.”
      2.  A godly person is consistent.

vs.  25 “I send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs.”  (GN) “...he has worked and fought by my side”
      3.  A godly person is cooperative.
            vs.  26 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard     he was ill.” 
      4.  A godly person is considerate.

      vs.27+30 “Indeed he was ill, and almost died...he almost died for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for the help you couldn’t give me.”
            5.  A godly person is courageous.

III.       CORRELATION:      What do other verses say?
      Timothy: 1 & 2 Timothy Epaphroditus Ph.  4:14-18

   IV.  APPLICATION: What does it mean to me?
             S.P.A.C.E.P.E.T.S.  Personal Practical Possible Provable

Monday, 11 March 2013

How do I see what God wants me to see?

40 Days In The Word – Part 3     March 3, 2013

      ILLUMINATION: Letting the Holy Spirit show me the meaning of God’s Word and how it applies to my life

“The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”       John 14:26

“He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.”  John 14:17 (NLT)

      “…the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”  John 16:15

      “I ask the glorious Father and God of our Lord Jesus Christ to give you his Spirit. The Spirit will make you wise and let you understand what it means to know God.”   Eph. 1:17 (CEV)

      “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened         in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”  Eph. 1:18-19


1.   I see the solutions to my problems.
“Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.”  Genesis 21:19

2.   I see the barrier to my progress.
“Then the Lord opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.”  Numbers 22:31

3.   I see the defense for what’s attacking me.
      “Elisha prayed, ‘O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha!” 
      2 Kings 6:17

4.   I see how God is walking with me.
“Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.”  Luke 24:31


1.   I must begin a relationship with Jesus Christ.
“The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”  1 Cor. 2:14

      Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born          again."       John 3:3
2.   I must ask God in faith to open my eyes.
      “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your Law!”   Psalm 119:18

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask 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.”
James 1:5-6

      "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”  Matt. 7:7

“I WILL instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I WILL counsel you and watch over you.”  Psalm 32:8 

3.   I must come with a humble attitude.
      “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.”        Psalm 25:9 

      “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”           Prov. 3:5-6

4.   I must cleanse my heart of sin and conflict.
      “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matt. 5:8

      “Whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.”    1 John 2:11

5.   I must commit in advance to do what God says.
       “Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end.  Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and             obey it with all my heart.”  Psalm 119:33-34

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. DO what it says!”           James 1:22