“We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.” (Colossians 1:3)This week we embark on 24/7 prayer for our Good Friday and Easter Sunday services. Prayer – something we know is a necessity for every Christian and sadly many of us feel we do not do enough of it. Why? It could be that we are busy with family activities, work has too many deadlines, sheer laziness, procrastination, or mere forgetfulness. Whatever the reason may be, our lack of prayer reveals our deeper misunderstanding of who we are, who God is and what prayer is for.
We Canadians are pretty savvy consumers. We often pride ourselves on the ability to spot what’s fake. Fake newsIt’s everywhere, and it’s becoming increasingly harder to cut through the noise to get to the truth. As a whole, we are becoming more skeptical and even cynical. We may have been fooled in the past, but now we consult our ever-present smartphones to fact check nearly everything.
“How do you do it? How do you manage to oversee leadership development at church, while finding time to work at your family’s coffee shop, spend time with family, and remain content and not go crazy?”These are some of the the questions I get asked lately. Looking outside in, I suppose it’s a common question for us pastors and leaders.
“So now: Fear God. Worship him in total commitment. Get rid of the gods your ancestors worshipped on the far side of The river (the Euphrates) and in Egypt. You, worship God. If you decide that it’s a bad thing to worship God, then choose a god you’d rather serve – and do it today. Choose one of the gods your ancestors worshipped from the country beyond The River, or one of the gods of the Amorites, on whose land you’re now living. As for me and my family, we’ll worship God.” – Joshua 24:14-15 (Message)
When Pastor Dave started our latest series “Closer”, he put on the front page of the Jan/Feb guide: “God is closer than you think.” This is one of the most important things you must think when thinking about God.E. M. Bounds writing on prayer says, “God is everywhere, watching, superintending, overseeing, governing everything in the highest interest of man… He is not an absentee God…
What does it mean to worship God? For many Christians the term worship is related to the time spent at church making music and singing songs directed at God in praise. This is definitely a very important part of why Christians gather corporately all around the world every week, to worship God our redeemer in Spirit and in truth (John 4:23,24).
I enjoy animated movies and a recent 3D film that intrigued me is The Emoji Movie. Go back a decade and emoji would not ring a bell in most people’s minds, but the widespread adoption of text and picture messaging led Oxford Dictionaries to make “emoji” the 2015 Word of the Year!What really caught my attention from the plot of the movie was the main character – Gene, a “meh” emoji.
On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. — Psalm 63:6-8 Growing up, I had a lot of fear in my life – fear of the dark, fear of failing, fear of danger, fear of having a broken family, fear of scary images, fear of what other people thought of me… the list could go on.
A healthy pursuit is when someone has your best interests in mind. While in bible school during my late teens, I was involved in a women’s singing group that ministered in various local churches on the weekends, as well as travelling on a 10-day road trip ministering to churches in northern BC. I had just begun dating Dave prior to this trip commitment and was wrestling with the thoughts of him losing interest in our newly formed relationship while I was away.
In Luke 15 we find the “Lost and Found” chapter. Here in this discourse we see Jesus respond to some of His critics by telling them about three things that get lost; a sheep, a silver coin and a son. All three of them are pursued, all are found and each restoration is celebrated.They all represent God’s heart for those that have wondered from His love. But it is interesting to think about who does the pursuing in each case.