Friday, 31 January 2014

Worship - a study from Exodus

The Children of Israel cross through the Red Sea on dry ground. ( ubdavid.org )

Our church is studying through the entire Bible this year. Our pastors are choosing topics and points of discussion as we go along. Today's sermon was based out of Exodus.

Exodus 15:21 And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

I usually take notes as I listen to the sermon. Pastor Ben was preaching today and so now I would like to share my notes with you here:


We are looking at the big picture of the drama of the Scriptures.
The Israelites have been enslaved in Egypt. God moved to rescue and deliver them.

God has revealed himself as Yahweh - The LORD - that is His personal name.
Names have meaning and the name Yahweh means that He has all authority, all power. He has all the power and there is no other God.

By bringing each of the ten plagues on Egypt, God is destroying each one of the Egyptian gods. Each plague represents one of their gods.

The LORD is present to act, to save and to deliver!

The last plague kills all the firstborn in each of the Egyptian households - not only of the human family but also the animals.
God offered a way to avoid this plague. The offer was for all the Israelites and also for the Egyptians. A way out of this disaster was offered.
At this point Pharoah sends out the Israelites. The people of Israel plunder the Egyptians of their gold and wealth. 
Pharoah has a change of mind and wants to bring the Israelites back but ...
God parts the Red Sea so the Israelites could cross. Pharaoh and his army attempt to cross as well but are drowned in the Red Sea.
The children of Israel are free - no longer slaves!

At mount Sinai the people enter into relationship with God. God makes a covenant with them.  " I will be your God - you are my people."

And today, God still wants to be in relationship with us.
Not only does He answer our prayers but He seeks relationship with us.

How should we respond? By worshiping God.

What is Worship?

1) Worship involves proclaiming who God is. This must be done as individuals at home, and as community with our church family.

Keep reminding yourself of God's character and who God is.
As you are praying begin by proclaiming who God is - He is holy, awesome, great, all powerful, almighty, creator of all things etc..

2) As a group - Remind ourselves and each other about who it is we are worshiping. In our song we proclaim God's justice, holiness, He is merciful, and mighty etc..

3) We pledge allegiance to God - we become loyal to God. He is first in all our thoughts, actions and life.
It is a pledge to be loyal to Him. You will be our God and we will be your people.
Remind yourself everyday that you belong to God.

By attending church you are pledging loyalty to God. You are saying I am on God's side, I am doing this public. Be in public what you are in private.

4) We are retelling what God has done.  Retell the story how God has saved you, how he has set you free.  Repeat the stories of the Bible, repeat the stories of how God has worked in your life and in the life of people you know.

God required the children of Israel to retell the Exodus story every year. Our Communion comes from Passover. Jesus was participating in Passover before He died.
Jesus came to show who God is, and to set people free. He says to remember. We remember at Communion - this do in remembrance of Me.

Tell the stories of God in your life.
Parents - do our kids know why you are a Christian? Tell them.

How often do we really remember to thank God for answered prayer?  It is important we do.

Tell what God has done in the past, and what He is doing in the world and in your life!!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

God is at work...... ( missionary report )

Note:  Recently my son travelled to northern Canada for a short missions trip. Here is the testimony of his trip as he writes:

Here for all your reading pleasure is a short review of the recent MX trip. Enjoy!

On January the 8th, two fellow students, Gillian Hunt and Karen Krahn, accompanied by our school president, Rob Reimer, together with mobilizers from SEND North, Bob & Trudy Mclaughlin and I made the long trek. This trip was a part of SBC’s MissionX program and a partnership with SEND International. This was the second time that a MissionX group had gone. We had a wonderful time and were warmly welcomed into this small northern hamlet for our short visit.

Things We Did

Visit to High School
Our team had the goal of keeping connections that were built with the youth by the previous year’s team. This led us to visit the local high school. The principal openly received us and let us into 5 classrooms to share about Steinbach Bible College and the role that it has had in our lives. We received much more than we expected and our hope is that future teams will have a similar experience.

Meetings at the Complex
We held two evangelistic services at the community complex and we were blown away by what God did. We did some skits and shared our testimonies and then the Bob gave an evangelistic message and an opportunity to respond. Combined from both nights 59 people came forward to give their lives to Christ, or about 95% of those in attendance. It was unlike anything like I had seen before. I turned around once to see empty chairs. I attended the Franklin Graham crusades in Winnipeg but I never saw 95% of the audience want to come forward to receive Christ like that and so we praise God for what He did.
It is unlikely that everyone was genuine, but many people were and so we leave it in God’s hands, trusting that He will finish the work He started. There is an Anglican church  and the goal is that these folks will become a part of that fellowship.

Joe & Susie
Our hosts for the week were Joe & Susie Evyagotailak. We were warmly received into their home many times and had many good visits with them. Joe told us about certain aspects of traditional Inuit culture that I found fascinating and he also shared traditional food with us. He borrowed us his vehicle and so whenever we drove through town many people waved at us. Joe is a former MLA and is very well respected and is a part of the church leadership. Getting to know Joe & Susie and learning from them was one of my highlights of the trip. 

Personally, I really enjoyed learning about traditional Inuit culture. I had the opportunity at the high school to have an Inuit man explain to me how they use their spears to hunt whales, how they heated with whale blubber and how they lived traditionally. I also really appreciate the opportunity to spend time with Bob, he is a gifted evangelist and it was a joy to be with him.

Thank You Lord!
The connection we were able to make in 5 days was beyond all that I expected. Whenever I went to the complex, there would be a couple kids who would come to greet me and they were so friendly. I had a hard time remembering names but I am thankful that the Lord gave me the opportunity to meet so many people in our short time.

Our trip was an overwhelming success and this was partly because of the connection we were able to make with the community. We hope to have made inroads for more teams to come and eventually for a full time missionary to come. Our trip was also a success because of what God did at our meetings at the complex. We thank the Lord for His goodness toward our team!

Openness to meeting and getting to know people was a lesson for me. Everyone knows that on mission trips it is good to get to know other folks but I feel like I learned better how to do this. Bob is very gifted in connecting with someone very quickly and so it was a blessing watching him interact with some of the people. We also had the opportunity to go to a volleyball night while we were there and got to meet many more people. To some extent connecting with people and then leaving is painful, but it makes the whole experience worth it. So I learned about being open and continuing to be open. The sheer number of connections we made was a great highlight for me and a great lesson for me.

Trust in God-Psalm 1
I was also reminded to trust and rely on God for the energy for the trip and for greater things in my life. I was glad to learn more about this because missions work is all about trusting God. The devotional that I shared about David and Psalm1 connected with me. I want to be rooted in God and not in other things because all else will fail. When we put expectations that are not reasonable on other things and not on God we are setting ourselves up to be let down.

Power of the Gospel
I was amazed to see the response of the people toward the gospel. The gospel is a powerful; it transcends all cultures and is for all cultures. Howard Jolly told me once that perhaps Native people are not so much rejecting Christ but are rejecting the Western culture that cloaks Christianity. It is not meaningful to them. Seeing what happened testified to the power of the gospel and motivated me to share it in culturally sensitive ways.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

God's Covenant Promises - Moses and the Exodus

Exodus 3:14  And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.

Our church is studying through the Bible in one year. Our Pastors are preaching on the stories and topics of their choice. This Sunday our sermon focused on Moses and the Exodus. Pastor Ben preached a good sermon. He began with some review and just telling the early stories of the Israelites in bondage to the Egyptians and how God led them out of Egypt. A day or two after Sunday I was reading in my Bible and I happened to read Psalm 105 and I thought to myself how incredibly fitting it would have been if Pastor Ben had read from Psalm 105. Therefore I want to post it here before I begin with my notes that I took from listening to the sermon. Please do read the following verses from Psalm 105.

Psalm 105: 4-45 (KJV from Biblegateway )
  Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.
Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;
O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen.
He is the Lord our God: his judgments are in all the earth.
  He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac;
10 And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:
11 Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance:
12 When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it.
13 When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people;
14 He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes;
15 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
16 Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread.
17 He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:
18 Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:
19 Until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him.
20 The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free.
21 He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance:
22 To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom.
23 Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.
24 And he increased his people greatly; and made them stronger than their enemies.
25 He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his servants.
26 He sent Moses his servant; and Aaron whom he had chosen.
27 They shewed his signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham.
28 He sent darkness, and made it dark; and they rebelled not against his word.
29 He turned their waters into blood, and slew their fish.
30 Their land brought forth frogs in abundance, in the chambers of their kings.
31 He spake, and there came divers sorts of flies, and lice in all their coasts.
32 He gave them hail for rain, and flaming fire in their land.
33 He smote their vines also and their fig trees; and brake the trees of their coasts.
34 He spake, and the locusts came, and caterpillers, and that without number,
35 And did eat up all the herbs in their land, and devoured the fruit of their ground.
36 He smote also all the firstborn in their land, the chief of all their strength.
37 He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes.
38 Egypt was glad when they departed: for the fear of them fell upon them.
39 He spread a cloud for a covering; and fire to give light in the night.
40 The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.
41 He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river.
42 For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant.
43 And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness:
44 And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labour of the people;
45 That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise ye the Lord.


Okay so now to my notes:

We are walking through the Bible.
We are seeing how God is involved.
We went through Genesis and now we are in Exodus.
God is not distant/
God made promises in Genesis 12 and it marked a shift in human history.
God to Abraham -- descendants, blessing, and land.
These promises carry through throughout the Bible and even today - they are everlasting promises.

God delivers the people out of slavery in Egypt.
Jacob has 12 sons and 1 daughter. One of his sons, namely Joseph is sold into Egypt. A famine hits Egypt. Jacob and his family move to Egypt. Jacob is named Israel and his descendants are the Israelites.

Pharoah enslaves the Israelites - he decides to destroy all the baby boys. Moses escapes this death when Moses mother hides him for three months, then puts the baby Moses in a basket out on the Nile River. The Egyptian princess finds him and claims him as her own son. Thus Moses life is spared.

The Israelites are oppressed and cry out to God. God heard their cries. He sends Moses to Pharoah. and a showdown begins between God and Pharoah!

God sends the plagues - ten plagues.  Each one of the ten plagues represent one of the Egyptian gods which have no power against the LORD God Almighty.
God moves to set the Israelites free. 
God reveals his personal name - Yahweh,  Jehovah.  In the Bible when you see LORD in all capitals, this refers to the personal Name of God. 
Exodus 6:2-3 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord:
And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them.

Names carry meaning in the Bible - What does Yahweh mean? - Exodus 3:14 has the answer - And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.
It means I AM THAT I AM.
This means that He is the ONLY GOD!

We see that God never struggles at all in any of the plagues that He sends upon Egypt. He sends the plagues and He lifts them again at a given time.
This is still true today! No power or system can compete with God. If He wants to do something, He will!!

We are praying to the Great I AM!
There is One God and none equal to Him!

He says - I AM with you.
Yahweh is present here with us!
The Great I AM is not distant!

He is here to act, not just to watch!
He brings deliverance!

He works with us - He chooses to use us to fulfill His purposes/

The cries have reached Him!

He responds to the prayers of His people!

Have you cried out to Him?

God works through people - He sent Moses. Moses was a man of no influence or power.

God is doing more and bigger than we can imagine!

The LORD has all power and authority!!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Giving God all the Pieces of a Broken Life

Give it all to Jesus!

Photo: "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3

Proof that God is all around us is at ►http://FaithTap.com/

Jesus said in Luke 4: 18 & 19  (NKJV )

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Everlasting Covenant with Abraham

Genesis 12:1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

Our church is preaching through the Bible this year. It is not a thorough study but rather more of an overview and touching on topics that the preacher chooses to preach on. This past Sunday the focus was mostly on Abraham and the everlasting covenant that God has made to him and his descendants. 

I like to take notes as the preacher delivers his message so I will post my notes below the Bible reading from Genesis 12:1-8

 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.
And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto theLord, who appeared unto him.
And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord.

Pastor Ben was preaching and here are the notes that I took from his sermon:

We are looking at the big picture story of the Bible. 
God created the world and all of humanity and He said that it is very good.
But humanity rejected God and turned against Him.

God made a promise to Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 12. He starts enacting this plan in order to combat and wage war against the evil that has enveloped his creation. God is looking to draw humanity back into relationship with Him. The covenant promise is an act of mercy and grace.

God is Holy. He is robed in majesty and power. Humanity rejected and betrayed Him. It is not surprising that there is judgement. God destroyed most of humanity in the flood of Noah's day and spared only Noah and his family. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah but spared Lot and his daughters. We can think of the tower of Babel when God confused the language of the people. 
The surprising thing is that God is so merciful and gracious. In judgement God shows mercy and grace.

Genesis 12 is a major shift in history - a change in how God relates to humanity. 
Verse 2 - And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
We are blessed through Abraham. The Scripture is written by a descendant of Abraham. Jesus our Savior is a descendant of Abraham.

What are the promises to Abraham in Genesis 12?
1) Descendants - a great nation 
2) He will be blessed and be a blessing
3) A promised land

Will God be faithful to these promises? Can we trust God to fulfill His Word?
Absolutely YES!!

Genesis 1-11 describes how humanity fails and are not faithful to God. People reject Him time and time again.

But God is showing that He can be trusted and He is faithful.

God does provide children to Abraham. Isaac is born - a miracle baby. Genesis 12 is a blessing to Isaac.
Then we see Jacob getting the promise of Genesis 12. Jacob has 12 sons and so they become the 12 tribes of Israel. God does give them children and they become a great nation and even to this day!!

Laban is on the receiving end of the blessing when Jacob lives with him. Laban recognizes this to be true. God is constantly fulfilling his promise.

God's promise invites us to respond, to change and to live a new life in Christ.

Just as God called Abraham to leave his old place behind him, so God calls us to leave our old ways behind and he invites us to come to Him - to change and to follow Christ.
We need to trust Him. We need to come to Him in repentance and faith.

Will you trust Him?

God has promised provision. He has promised to take care of us. He will provide for us.
This allows us to live in a new way. We do not need to cling to our possessions, to our bank accounts or retirement fund.  We hold our possessions with a free hand because God is our provider.

God has promised to be in relationship with us. We don't use people in our to get ourselves ahead. We don't need to worry because  we are resting in the promise of God.

Hebrews 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Our well being does not come by living for ourselves. Society says "me first" .
The Bible says "me first" is a recipe for disaster.

We are learning to trust God and to live in His promises.

Thought for the week - "When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, I used everything you gave me." Erma Bombeck 

Thursday, 9 January 2014

In the Beginning... ( Through the Bible Sermon series )

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Our church is starting a new sermon series in which our Pastors will preach through the Bible in a year. This was our first Sunday in the series. I took notes as usual and would like to share them here with you.

The Bible is an important book. It explains what God is like. God loves his creations ad hates thing that harm his creation.
The Bible teaches us to put the needs of others above our own.
As we read our Bibles, God reveals to us what we need to hear n that particular season of life. His Holy spirit guides us.
The Word of God is alive and will speak to us.
Ask God to show you how to live with the unknowns in your life. Our trust is in God. There is no other One who can really help us. 
The four topics for today are:
* Creation
* The Appearing of Evil
* Evil is Prevalent
* Noah

The Creation
Moses wrote Genesis - the Holy Spirit inspired him to write the creation account. 
There is only one true God and He does care about all that He created.
Humans are created in the image of God - we are created for relationship with God and with others.
God created the universe.
Science is not a threat to our faith.

The Appearing of Evil
Eve did not believe that God is trustworthy
Adam and Eve were instructed to take care of creation but to not eat of the tree of good and evil.
The serpent came, lied to Eve and she chose to eat the forbidden fruit.
We have authority to choose God or to choose evil.
After eating the forbidden fruit, Eve and all women must endure pain in childbearing and a strained relationship to her husband. The man must endure hardships in the workplace - thorns and thistles

Evil is Prevalent
Sin is crouching at your door, you must master it. Each day we are faced with choices, to choose to obey God or will we choose to sin
We must learn to master our own desire to live our own way.

It seems that God regrets his plan of creation. His creations are not following His plans.
Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

God promised to never again flood the whole world. God extends His mercy though His creation is resistant to His ways. In His mercy and grace God continues on with His plan.

Ephesians 1:9-10 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

A Devotional from Billy Graham - keep sin out...

The following is a devotional written by Billy Graham. He wrote:

As Christians, we have the Spirit of God in us. But ours is the responsibility to keep sin out of our lives so that the Spirit can produce His fruit in us. Become grounded in the Bible. As Christians, we have only one authority, one compass: the Word of God. Abraham Lincoln in a letter to a friend said, “I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all of this Book upon reason that you can, and the balance upon faith. You will live and die a better man.” Begin the day with the Book; and as the day comes to a close, let the Word speak its wisdom to your soul. Let it be the firm foundation upon which your hope is built. Let it be the Staff of Life upon which your spirit is nourished. Let it be the Sword of the Spirit which cuts away the evil of your life and fashions you in His image and likeness.

Proverbs 13:13  Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Healing is from The Lord....

Psalm 46:10 
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

picture from coffee4thesoul.wordpress.com

Be still and know that I am God
Be still and know that I am God
Be still and know that I am God

I am the Lord that healeth thee
I am the Lord that healeth thee
I am the Lord that healeth thee

In Thee, O Lord, do I put my trust
In Thee, O Lord, do I put my trust
In Thee, O Lord, do I put my trust

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

Exodus 15:26  And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.