Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Learning to Live for the Shepherd....

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 
 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Are you alone? or maybe the real question is - Do you feel alone? Many times we feel alone in our situations even though there are people all around us. The truth is that a Christian is never alone. The Lord our Shepherd is always with us, drawing us close to Himself, watching over us and taking care of us.
Read Psalm 23 again and let it soak into your spirit.
The Lord is my Shepherd...I shall not want....He leads me and provides for me. He is with me - I am not alone. 
He leads me in paths of righteousness - He leads me in the path He has chosen for my life - a life surrendered to Him.  We find God's will for our lives in His Word. God's Word is the light for our path.
God leads us by His Spirit -  He directs us in the study of His Word, the Bible.  Hard circumstances grow us in the path of righteousness. The struggles in our life create in us the need to turn to the Lord and to call upon Him and trust in Him to hold us.
For His Name's sake - Did you know that God has a reputation? It is His will for us that we live true to His Name and through this we bring glory to His Name! It pleases the Father that we bring glory to His Name.
In our own lives, we need to be proclaiming the authority that God has in our lives. We need to live out our faith. Fly the flag at the top of the flagpole by standing up for truth and righteousness. There is victory in Jesus!
We may find ourselves in a bad circumstance - but regardless of what happens we must trust in the Lord. Show Him that you love Him by trusting Him today.
Embrace your trial, stand up for truth and righteousness - for His Name's sake - today is your opportunity to stand for Him!
Eternity is just around the corner....in a few short months or years we will all stand before the Lord - Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow

This is a favorite song of mine. It became precious to me when I was facing making a major decision in my life some years ago. I would play it on the old pump organ and let the words soak in my spirit. The Lord used this song to prepare me for what life would bring for me down the road.

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow
(by Ira Stanphill)
Verse 1
I don't know about tomorrow, I just live from day to day,
I don't borrow from its sunshine, for its skies may turn to gray.
I don't worry o'er the future, for I know what Jesus said,
And today I'll walk beside Him, for He knows what is ahead.

Many things about tomorrow, I don't seem to understand;
But I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand.

Verse 2
Every step is getting brighter, as the golden stairs I climb;
Every burden's getting lighter; every cloud is silver lined.
There the sun is always shining, there no tear will dim the eye,
At the ending of the rainbow, where the mountains touch the sky.

Many things about tomorrow, I don't seem to understand;
But I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand.

Verse 3
I don't know about tomorrow, it may bring me poverty;
But the One who feeds the sparrow, is the One who stands by me,
And the path that be my portion, may be through the flame or flood,
But His presence goes before me, and I'm covered with His blood.
Many things about tomorrow, I don't seem to understand;
But I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Sunday Sermon Review - Team Zambia

Sunday Sermon Review - November 25, 2012
( from my home church I attend regularly )
Topic - Mission Team Zambia Reports
Habakkuk 3:17 - 18  Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:  Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation

The service started with the singing of several songs including " You are Amazing God!"

A team of people from our church recently went on a short term missions trip to Zambia to visit the Seeds of Hope homes there. They shared their experiences in today's service.
The general theme throughout their testimonies was that God has changed their perspective on life through their experiences with the orphans in Zambia.

Darcy shared Mattew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. He said this trip has given him a new perspective on life through the love of the children. Though they have so little, they are passionate about life, and have a passion for God and to love other people.
Shanya shared how the team prepared Christmas dinner for the orphans in the group home there - providing  turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing for the meal. They did a Christmas program and gave gifts to the children. The whole trip made her aware of how we take things for granted everyday.
Liz shared her experience visiting the hospital and described the pain of seeing all the sick infants and also that she shared in the grief of a woman whose baby had just died.
Larry shared about meeting a thirteen year old boy named Davy who weighed only 40 pounds. He was in need of help due to being ill with cancer. Larry was able to build a friendship with him and bring hope to his situation by providing sponsorship for him.
Reily visited the childrens hospital and was overwhelmed with sadness for the starving children and the fact that there is no one there to love them. He reported that the ratio of patients to caregiver was 36 children per caregiver. The children are in desperate need of people to love them and to care for their physical needs. Reily reminded us that 97% of the world's wealth belongs to 3% of the world population. He suggested there must be a way for world leaders to bring more aid to the starving population of our world. If every Christian would do their part - wouldn't it bring hope to many a starving and sickly child?
Despite all the poverty the Christians in Zambia are praising God. God sees their suffering. Through this visit from our Zambia team, they have been assured that they are not alone.

Our church will now begin the Advent season and so to help us begin to turn our thoughts toward Christmas, there was a presentation from Isaiah 9.
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

A Child in His Eyes...the value of every human life!

Psalm 139: 13-17  - ( Beautiful words)

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!

Did you know that when the Bible speaks of the unborn babies, it is referred to and called a "child"? Many people today try to deny the fact that the life of a baby begins at conception. But if we believe that God has  authority in our lives and believe that the Bible is the book God wrote, then our thoughts, beliefs and actions will match up with what God says.
Ecclesiastes 11: 5 As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.

In this post I want to first give four examples straight out of the Bible where it describes the account of the unborn baby being called a child, and secondly I want to discuss the value of human life.

Part I

1) The Angel Speaks -- In the story of Hagar, an angel comforts her with these words - Genesis 16: 11 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction. - Here we see the angel referring to the unborn baby as a child.
2)  Bathsheba Speaks -- When King David commited adultery with Bathsheba, she sent word to David to inform him of her pregnancy and this is the account of it in 2 Sammuel 11: 4-5 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house. And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child. Here we see that very early in the pregancy the baby is referred to as a child.
3) Matthew Speaks -- And in the New Testament in Matthew 1: 18 we read -  Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Here again the unborn baby Jesus is referred to as a child.
4) Elizabeth Speaks -- Another example we can look at is where Mary visits Elizabeth who is pregnant and will soon give birth to John the Baptist. It is recorded in Luke 1. In verses 43 and 44 Elizabeth exclaims -  And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Notice how Mary is referred to as mother at this point already ( meaning that she has a child that being the unborn baby Jesus) and that Elizabeth's baby ( John the Baptist ) leaps in her womb for joy.
It is very clear here that the unborn  is not just a mass of tissue or something that a woman should have the right to rid herself of. No,  it is a human life created by God himself. The unborn are real babies and actual children. Life begins at conception. It is murder for a woman to rid herself of the baby that is growing within the safety of her womb.

Part II

The second major point that we need to consider is the sanctity of the human life. All human life is sacred because we are all created in the image of God. God made it so and He has the final word on the matter.
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
 God commands that we protect and defend innocent human life from the very point of conception and to the very end of life. God promises His care for us in this way in Isaiah 46: “Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, And all the remnant of the house of Israel, Who have been upheld by Me from birth, Who have been carried from the womb: Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you.
As believers we are to protect and care for all people, the healthy, the sick, the elderly, young people,babies and children, the unborn babies,  the poor, every color and race, everyone is included and no one is excluded. The value of a human life does not depend on a person's abilities to function but it is based on the fact that we are created in the image of God. Our care and compassion must reach to each person in every stage of of development and life.

Heavenly Father, Thank-you for the gift of life. Thank-you for creating us in your image.  I ask Thee to deal with those who kill the little ones. Help them to see the error of their way and turn from it. We belong to You. I ask Thee Father to protect the lives of the unborn who are at risk, protect the lives of all the children and the sick, the elderly and those who are abused or  disabled in any way. Be near to each one of them and help them to feel Your love and Your nearness. In Heaven we will all be safe with You and for that I thank You. In Jesus Name Amen

You may also be interested in reading the post I wrote some time ago where I shared about the death and miscarriage of my unborn child - link here: http://sharingthefaith-northernsparrow.blogspot.ca/2012/04/baby-darcy.html

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

First of all I would like to wish all my American friends who read my blog a very Happy Thanksgiving! May the Lord guide you and richly bless you and all your loved ones!

1 Chronicles 16:8 Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.

As many of you know Canada celebrates Thanksgiving in October so for me as a Canadian, my family and I have already celebrated Thanksgiving sometime ago. I wrote a post for the Canadian Thanksgiving titled - " It's Thanksgiving in Canada! " - link to the post here http://sharingthefaith-northernsparrow.blogspot.ca/2012/10/its-thanksgiving-in-canada.html
I shared a list of things that I am thankful for and today I am still thankful for each one of the things on that list. This past week while watching the news out of Israel and Gaza, I have become more thankful for something that I often take almost for granted - that is peace in our country. What a blessing it is from the Lord that we have the peace and quiet that we enjoy in our land. There is no fear of any bombs going off at any time. We do not have or need bomb shelters. We are truly blessed in Canada and for this peace that we enjoy, I am very grateful.

Here is my "thankfulness list" I posted in October:
I am Thankful to the Lord for:
* - my husband and each one of my children
* - our home, a warm bed to sleep in at night and food on the table
* - our garden and crops, and the garden tractors we sold
* - the health that we have though there are many challenges
* - my Bible and how God speaks to me
* - our school and the teachers that help my children
* - that our twin sons are both able to go to Bible based colleges
* - my mother-in-law survived her stroke and mostly recovered from it
* - my sister turned 60 years old and we could celebrate her day with a surprise party
* - our local grocery store and the nice people who run it
* - my husband could pump fill our water pond with water before the river got too dry
* - my son recovered from his concussion with the help of a professional chiropractor
* - my friend Percy
* - the snow that is falling here today ( Oct 4)
* - looks like the drought may be ending!
Now I would also like to add:
* - peace in our country with no threat of bombs
* - my son's good health and that he can manage his diabetes well
* - the peace of mind I experienced while at my dentist appointment
* - my Mom who is sweet and healthy at age 85
* - my 5 sisters who are my best friends
* - the fundraising is complete for my son's mission trip to Mexico
* - my internet friends

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? I would like to invite you to share something ( big or small ) that you are thankful for this year. If you are not comfortable leaving your name, feel free to stay anonymous. Please share in the comment section, and so everyone who reads here can share in your joy and thank the Lord together!
Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Revelation 11:17  Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

What do you want?...Sunday sermon review

Sunday November 18, 2012
( from my home church I attend regulary )
Topic: What do you want?
Text: Matthew 20: 29-35

The service began with the singing of several songs, new songs that I am not familiar with but also including a favorite of mine " There is Power in the Blood"
There was a promotion video for the Grey Cup Football game next Sunday and our church is encouraging people to attend a church party at the youth center. ( Note from me personally - I really do not agree with our church promoting this kind of stuff in church. I would much rather encourage everyone to focus on the soon return of the Lord Jesus and that we prepare our hearts to be ready to meet Him. The Bible says in Colossians 3:2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.)

This was followed by the reading of Psalm 72.
 The children's feature was really good and a blessing to all the little ones. They did an impromtu skit of from Matthew 20: 29-35. The adult who was leading this involved all the children and it was great to see the story become real to the children.

Matthew 20: 29-34 And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. 30 And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David. 31 And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David. 32 And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? 33 They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. 34 So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

Pastor Ben came up to preach and here is some of what he said.
Imagine what it would be like to have Jesus ask you - "What do you want?" -that is from verse 32 What will ye that I shall do unto you?
Try to imagine what it will have felt like for these two blind men.
The blind men likely had family in town, they had each other, they may have thought that with Jesus coming by, this could mean they would get more money. They called out for help and for pity.

Has Jesus asked you this question - "what do you want from Me?
What is it that you are hoping God will do for you? - maybe you would like to win the lottery - why is that? what is it that you actually desire and want in life? - what excites you? - what keeps you up at night?

We have Objections
Do we really believe that Jesus wants to listen to us?
Don't we more often ask - What is God's passion for us? We want what God wants.
God will tell us what we are searching for if only we ask Him to reveal it to us. God will help us realize what it is we need.

1) Hear God's heart
2) God reveals to us what we truly want
3) Tell God what your heart truly longs for.

Are we afraid to be honest with God and tell Him what is on our heart?
We are afraid because we aren't sure how we will handle things if God denies our wants.
We need to be vulnerable with God
We want the very best for our children - God is our Father and He wants the best for us.
Many of us have experienced disappointment with God. So we play it safe and do not tell Him our deepest wants.
Our fear is rooted in our understanding of God or lack thereof.
God has compassion on us.
He does really care about us.
We need to believe that Jesus is really God.
We may not get what we ask for but God does want to hear from us.
Sometimes we do not ask for wise things. God knows the end from the beginning and He knows what it is that is best for us.

Are you going to keep playing it safe or are you going tell God everything that is in your heart?

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Making an Impact....

I found this short story on an old church bulletin and I'd like to share it with you.
The author is not known.

Struggling with Worldliness while making an Impact

John the Baptist would never get hired today.
No church would touch him.
He was a public relations disaster.
He "wore clothes made from camel's hair, has a leather belt around his waist, annd ate locusts and wild honey" ( Mark 1:6 )
Who would want to look at a guy like that every Sunday??

His message was as rough as his dress:
a no-nonsense, bare fisted challenge to repent because God was on his way!
John the Baptist set himself apart for one task - to be a voice for Christ.
Everything about John centered on his purpose. His dress. His diet. His actions. His demands.

You don't have to be like the world to have an impact on the world.
You don't have to be like the crowd to change the crowd.
You don't have to lower your standards down to their level to lift them up to your God.
Holiness doesn't seek to be odd.
Holiness seeks to be like God.

Prayer - Heavenly Father, remind us that worship is not only what we do on Sunday mornings in coats and ties, but how we live for You seven days a week. Amen

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Defining Sexual Immorality

1 Thessalonians 4: 3-7 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified.
What is more destructive than sexual immorality? We have seen time and time again how a man or woman basically destroys everything that has any real significance in his or her life by participating in this horrific sin.
The Bible is very clear that Christians are to abstain from every type of sexual immorality. There is no excuse because of how clear the Bible is on this issue. Sexual involvement outside the bond of marriage is unholy, and dishonors God. It ruins the chances of having a good relationship with your spouse or any future spouse ( if you are not currently married), with your family,  as well as destroying one's own body. The Bible teaches in Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death,. This death certainly means death in your relationship with the Lord, in your relationship with the people close to you as well as it can mean physical death.
 So what does sexual immorality mean in Biblical terms? When all is said and done it is God who sets the standard for holy living so it is important to remember that what we find in the Bible is God's standard and we need to abide by the words of the Bible.
The word sexual immorality or fornication ( as is used in the King James Bible) comes from the Greek word pornia which is translated pornography in the English language. It is a broad term which includes all forms of sexual immorality.

Sexual immorality includes:

Lust and pornography -  Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Adultery - is extramarital sex and also lust. It is included in the ten commandments and in the Old Testament law required the death penalty . It destroys the soul of the one participating in it - Proverbs 6:32 says But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.

Incest - is sex with a close relative who is not your spouse. Also required the death penalty in
Leviticus 18: 6-7 None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the Lord.
The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.
Deuteronomy 27:22  Cursed be he that lieth with his sister, the daughter of his father, or the daughter of his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Homosexuality - is sex with a person of one's own gender - male with male, female with female. It is strongly condemned in both the Old and New Testament . Romans 1:26 -27  For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.  Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
Leviticus 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination
Homosexuality also required the death penalty in Leviticus 20:13  If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Beastiality - is sex with an animal  - also punishable by the death penalty in the Old Testament 
Exodus 22:19 Whoever lies with an animal shall surely be put to death
Deuteronomy 27: 21  Cursed be he that lieth with any manner of beast. And all the people shall say, Amen.

The only sex blessed by God and that brings honor to His Name is that of a husband and wife who are married to each other - commited till death do part.

Monday, 12 November 2012

The Joy of Salvation! ( sermon review )

Sunday Novemeber 11, 2012

Salvation brings joy!
1 Peter 1: 6-9
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:  That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:  Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:  Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

( I wasn't able to attend my church this Sunday, so I will do a review of an online sermon I listened to recently.)

Joy is a result of God's gift of salvation. It is sin that makes joy depart from the believer's heart as we see in the life of King David. Psalm 51: 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit
Salavation has a built in joy that we can experience constantly.
Why then are we not rejoicing all of the time?
Many of God's people in the Bible suffered unjustly, were treated harshly but endured with patience. We also see how Jesus suffered and so as his followers, we too will suffer. The Bible teaches that we are blessed when we suffer for righteousness sake.
Difficulties do not need to diminish our joy. When circumstances are such that threaten to diminish our joy - where should I go for strength to go on?
We need to recognize that joy is tied to faith, to hope and to love. Joy is not cheap as it has been provided to us through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
Positive circumstances can bring us happiness but real joy is not related to our present circumstances. So what does provide us with joy? What is the answer? The answer is the blessed hope that we have of eternal life.
The Blessed Hope of Eternal Life in Heaven:
As born again believers, we are in a relationship with the Lord while we live here on earth. This relationship will continue and the Lord Jesus himself will lead us to our eternal home in heaven. Therefore we can get our eyes off this world and off the circumstances we face here. The time we spend here on earth is very very short compared with our eternal life in heaven. This is a very small part of the whole. Therefore we need to set our affections and thoughts on things above.
Christ is our hope. This is not a mere wish - it is an abiding confidence that as Christ has been raised so also we will be raised with Christ to live with him eternally!
The Holy Spirit is our seal, our guarantee like an engagement ring - a ring of promise that will lead us to the marriage supper of the Lamb - those of us who are saved are the Bride of Christ!
We are not denying our pain, our sufferings our troubles and our sorrows here but we are looking ahead to the glory that we will experience when we see Christ!
With joyful anticipation we look forward to the return of Jesus Christ. The world will come to its conclusion - not by the destruction of the environment and the planet, not by war or disease, but with the return of Christ!
Revelation 22:12
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

God - the Greatest Artist Ever!

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

I believe God is the greatest artist ever - I am sure there isn't anyone who would disagree with me. After all, the paintings and sculptures that any human artist creates is a reflection of what he or she observes in creation. So all glory to God the creator of all the earth!
We had a snowstorm here overnight so I took a picture because I think the white snow is so beautiful. I just love it! Also snow is a reminder to us that the blood of Jesus cleanses away all our sin. Though our sins are as scarlet, we can be washed white as snow through the cleansing blood of Jesus. Halleujah!

White as Snow
Psalm 51:7   Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Thank-You Veterans - Remembrance Day......

Proverbs 21:30-31 There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord.  The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the Lord.

I want to take a moment here to say thank-you to all the veterans of war for your sacrifice for our country. As Canadians, we all benefit from your personal sacrifice and we respect you. We live in peace and freedom and for that we are truly grateful. Thank-you.

I admit that I am not the most qualified person to write a post for Remembrance Day as I do not have close friendships with people who have fought in the wars though I do know people in my community who are veterans. My Dad worked in the bush camps as a conscientious objector but that was many years before my time.
I remember the solemn assemblies on Remembrance Day in my school days at Graysville and I also have attended some of the local Remembrance Day services in my children's school. I guess I began to feel more of the pain that many people feel on this day was when I worked in the nursing home. Seeing the tears of the elderly people as they watched the Remembrance Day services on TV made me it more personal and real for me.

    In Flanders Fields
(by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae )

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Obama Wins - What now??

Hebrews 10:30-31 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Many Christians are scratching their heads this morning wondering why or how God could allow Obama to be re-elected. I for one was hoping that Mitt Romney would be given the chance to turn America around, get people back to work and to slow down the progression of evil across the country. Some may be wondering what God has in store for America or if the US has already crossed the line and that God's judgment has already begun. Is the re-election of President Obama a clear picture of the moral state of the Christian chrurch in America? Do the majority of Christians not stand for the truth of the Bible any longer? The Bible clearly condemns homosexuality and abortion which are two areas in which President Obama opposes the Bible.
Is it possible that God is giving President Obama a second chance for very good reasons? As Christians we know that our heavenly Father is the God of second chances. We see this played out in the Bible in the story of Jonah, the disciple Peter and many others. When we have seriously messed up, many times God will give us another chance in order to repent and so avoid the judgment that otherwise would be our lot. So also it appears that God has given President Obama another chance to repent of his evil ways and to repent and undo the evil that he has put in place. If President Obama will do right in his second term, perhaps the country could still be spared. Perhaps Obama will come to see the evil of homosexual living and begin to work against gay marriage. Perhaps Obama will come to see that abortion is the murder of the innocent and in repentance he will have the chance to bring hope and protect the life of the innocent unborn. If President Obama continues on the path of promoting moral decay and decline across the country, it will be very painful to watch. Hold on to the Lord Jesus and trust Him with all that the future brings.
What to do? -  Choose to live for Christ in your own personal life regardless of what is popular in the country. And the other one thing that is very important is to pray, pray pray!!!
1 Timothy 2:1-3  I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;  For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

Monday, 5 November 2012

Prayer and Sharing Sunday Sermon Review

Sunday Sermon Review - November 4, 2012
(from my home church I attend regularly)
Psalm 66:20 Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me
Our service at church today did not follow the usual format. It was a time dedicated to prayer and sharing rather than to preaching.
The service began with singing several songs, one was "Jesus Messiah -Lord of All."
There was a testimony time from some people of our congregation who are heading out on short term mission trips to Bolivia and also to Zambia. We prayed for them and their work there.
This was followed by a short video discussing the persecution of Christians in countries abroad - many heart breaking stories of Christians who are suffering for their faith and for sharing the good news of the gospel.

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church: Nov. 4th (or 11th), 2012

They are stripped of their rights. Their neighbors threaten them with violence and death. Their homes are razed. Their families beat them. And their governments want to slaughter them.
They are our brothers and sisters around the world, boldly believing and proclaiming Christ in places where the penalty for doing so is often death.
Please check out thevideo at the  following link - www.gfa.org/persecuted  We prayed for Christians who are suffering in this way and thank the Lord for the peace we have here in Canada.
Singing followed - "All for Jesus, all I am and ever hope to be..."
Time of Sharing and Prayer
Prayer requests from our congregation -
* for those suffering from mental illness
* our elderly people
* marriages
* the church in Tigertown, Texas
* a brother-in-law
* that we know God better and grow deeper in relationship with Him
* a couple who is moving
* friends
* those suffering from drug addictions
* those with a new baby
* a father
We pray for these prayer needs.
Communion was served
- we remember the price that Jesus paid on our behalf
- as believers we share in communion with our brothers and sisters around the world.
1 Corinthians 11: 23- 29
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.


Friday, 2 November 2012

Hurricane Sandy - A Prayer for you...

Psalm 22:24 For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from him; But when he cried to Him for help, He heard.

Hurricane Sandy has brought great destruction and tragedy to the United States - many deaths, flooding, homes destroyed, power outages. People are cold and there are food and water shortages. It breaks my heart and my eyes are filled with tears as I watch the news on TV everyday. It is so very very sad to see the pain and heartache of these people. The thought comes to my mind - "it could be me, my family" - what would I do and how would I cope, or - " where will a tragic event hit next?" That is something none of us knows.
So, to anyone reading this - if you are suffering in the midst of this tragic event or if you have family or friends affected by it, I want you to know that my heart aches for you and your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers. The only hope is to look to the Lord Jesus in difficult times - He knows your situation and He loves you. Turn to Him and trust in Him to get you through. I extend my deepest symathy to everyone who has suffered the loss of loved ones and homes due to Hurricane Sandy. May the Lord be very near to each of you.
Proverbs 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
Dear Heavenly Father, I ask you to bring relief and comfort to the people suffering from Hurricane Sandy. I ask that you would heal the broken hearts and help the people across the United States to turn to you for salvation and for help in these days. Oh Father, may they receive Your mercy and grace to help in this time of need. May Your Name be honored and glorified as You answer the prayers of the people. In Jesus name I ask. Amen
Psalm 22: 27-28 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, And all the families of the nations will worship before You. For the kingdom is the Lord’s  And He rules over the nations.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Daily in God's Presence

Psalm 16: 11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Often times we will hear people say that God seems so distant in their lives - there is no doubt we have all felt that distance at some point in our walk with Christ. There are a variety of reasons why this happens which would include a physical ailment or sicknes that just drains the strength out of us, or something more serious such as unconfessed sin in our heart. I think a very common reason though is the simple fact that we are forgetful people. We go about the busyness of our daily work and our thoughts are not on the Lord simply because we are focusing on what we are doing - that is not a bad thing. But we also must admit our best days are the days in which we have been in regular communication with the Lord Jesus throughout the day. Personally I like to consider that every thought I think and every word I say is as spoken to the Lord. I also suggest keeping something ( it could be a marble, or a small rock, or cloth etc - whatever you choose) in your pocket to remind yourself that the Lord who loves you is with you at all times. I have done this and what a blessing it is to have such a constant reminder.
I want to look at Psalm 15 and in doing so get a glimpse of what it is to live in God's presence daily and I want to find the answer to the question that is asked in verse 1 of Psalm 15 -  Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
The question is asking -  Lord, what does it take to find favor with You? How can I spend time with You?
The answers follow in the rest of Psalm 15.
Verse 2 - He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
At the point of our salvation, we also receive the gift of the Holy Spirit - the abiding presence of the Lord in our heart. So from this point on, the Lord walks with us and enables us to put off the sinful ways of our past and gives us the grace and help we need to live uprightly and be truthful. He commands that we live holy for Him.
1 Peter 1: 15-16 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Verse 3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.  The words we speak are to be pure and kind words - not slandering or filthy.
Verse 4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. The righteous person hates what God hates and rejects the wicked ways of the enemies of God. Within the pages of the Bible we find what God considers sinful behavior. He is the One who sets the standard - we are the ones who must live accordingly. When God says lying, cheating, gossiping, drunkeness, homosexuality, murder, lust, idolatry, fornication, immorality etc is sin - we agree with God that it is indeed sin. Sin separates us from God so we must rid ourselves of every sin through the cleansing blood of the Lord Jesus Christ which He shed to redeem us to God.
Verse 5  He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.
A righteous person is a man or woman of his word. You can count on this type of person to do as promised even if keeping the promise requires hard work and brings difficulty. We do not look for a way out.
 He that doeth these things shall never be moved. In Christ we are secure not only in this life here on earth but our eternal salvation is also secure. As Christ followers the Lord Jesus is our foundation. Through faith in Him we are saved. Jesus is our Savior. He bore our sin and paid it for us when He was crucified on the cross and died there. He was buried and rose again on the third day. He has promised to return and take us up to be with Him for ever. We eagerly look forward to His return!