You Can Do It – Yes You Can Can

 

I grew up with a father who was a hard working man who was proud to support his family

He was the oldest of 9 children – 8 boys and one sister

His father was an alcoholic and would spend all of his pay cheque on alcohol each week and come home drunk – beat my father to pulp, and then fall asleep

After grade five my father stopped going to school and went to work to support his mother and his brothers and sister

This grade five graduate had one motto – if I heard it once I heard it 10,000 times

“If you set your mind to do it – you can do it”

When he died at 56 years old he was teaching high school and owned his own, successful local business in the city where we lived – a suburb of Montreal, Quebec Read more

DON’T MAKE IT DIFFICULT

We are now entering the countdown to Christmas and much of what we are thinking and doing in our spare time is geared to those few days of family, food, and fun…

As I walk my dog I find it interesting, to say the least, that the homes that were seriously decorated for Hallowe’en are now just as decorated for Christmas
That those who did the Hallowe’en thing are now doing the Christmas thing
And, for many, it is just “a thing” and not, in the least, really connected to the birth of Jesus and the spiritual significance – the eternal difference – that his birth was really all about
But, this I do know, it is a great window of opportunity for those of us who believe to share Jesus and, as we say, “the reason for the season” with each and every person that we meet during the mad rush towards more debt…

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Come and See / Go and Be

We live in a inwardly focused world where people are at the center of their own world
Everything is about them
How they feel
What they think
Where they are going
Where they have been
Their thoughts
Theirs opinions
Their beliefs
It is all about me – mine – my
But, as believers, we can and must learn how to live outwardly focussed lives in the inward focussed world
To go into our everyday world and touch lives for Jesus

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Seeing Through the Eyes of Jesus

Towards people who He regarded as “sheep”

Lost sheep in need of a shepherd – in need of Him Jesus is the good Shepherd of the sheep ….

John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

And, as the good Shepherd of the sheep, He has great compassion on them for they are lost and in need of a Shepherd – a Saviour

Matthew 9:36 “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Every animal that God created has its own built-in defence mechanisms.

God, in His wisdom, placed within all living things the desire to survive and the means to do so

So, you may ask … What is the mechanism of self-defence of the common sheep? Is it lightening-quick speed?

No, not with those big round bodies and short legs Is it their ferocious roar and sharp teeth?

Nope!
Is it the incredible camouflage?

Puffy white creatures on rolling green hills? Don’t think so

We all know it isn’t their quick intelligence and cunning strategic thinking They are some of the dumbest animals on the planet

Some who are a little more in the know might respond to this question by saying that sheep have strength in numbers

To a wolf pack, however, that is the difference between a single entree and an all-you- can-eat buffet!

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“SPIRITUAL COVERING” BIBLE DOCTRINE OR ROMAN/PAGAN DOGMA? By Steve Hill

INTRODUCTION:

Sometimes the line between right and wrong in doctrine and practice does not run through the words or even the practice but through the hearts of those involved. People may blame leaders and leaders may blame people. However, foolishness is often driven from both sides! It was the people of Israel that demanded a king when that was not God’s will for them. God wanted to be their king! Theocracy is not rule by one man. That is a dictatorship! Theocracy is rule by God. This is fulfilled in the New Covenant with the statement that “the head of every man is Christ”! That is the promise of Jesus, “I will build my church!

Sometimes the line between truth and error is visible by the emphasis. Truth is in Jesus. It is living and dynamic. Jesus is God of God and man of very man. Logically those two things cannot be true in the same individual at the same time but our universe is not rationally determined. It is relationally structured. Truth is a person! Jesus is both Son of God and Son of Man. We must hold both at the same time to remain true to who He is. If we let go of either truth we end up in the ditch on the other side of the road. To remain in the way to God we must hold both to be equally, absolutely, totally true at the same time! Our minds must worship. They cannot understand, ie, control this! If my mind could do so, it would be God. My mind must worship the mystery of the Son of God who is the Son of Man! All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ (Colossians 2:3)! Read more

Hear and Heed (Listening to God and to Others)

 

In the Old Testament God’s people heard Him speak – Heard His Words…

Through the ministry of the prophets

In the constant retelling of the major stories of Israel’s history

The Scriptures being read as a community on the Sabbath

During meals at home led by the home’s spiritual leader

Special festivals when they returned to Jerusalem and the temple

And yet, time after time, they walked away from the truths that they knew and the God that they worshipped

They heard the word but did not heed the word Read more

Jesus, The Revolutionary

Jesus Christ is NOT ONLY…

The Saviour The Messiah The Prophet The Priest The Apostle The Healer The King

He is also the Revolutionary
He was not a rebel…or even rebellious The difference:

“a rebel attempts to change the past; a revolutionary attempts to change the future”

Jesus was and still is a revolutionary … wanting to change the future / your’s, mine, the world’s

YET, few Christians think of Him as a revolutionary Fewer yet know Him as a revolutionary

If you read the Bible without your religious and traditional glasses If you read the Bible with the Holy Spirit helping you to see clearly You will discover Jesus, the revolutionary

The revolutionary teacher
Radical prophet
Annoying and even irritating preacher (provocative)
Controversial in His lifestyle
Iconoclast – a person who attacks established beliefs and institutions Implacable opponent of the religious establishment (relentless, unstoppable)

Remember:

“a rebel attempts to change the past; a revolutionary attempts to change the future”

Jesus was never harsh or critical with His own people He is full of mercy and kindness

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Meeting or Movement?

We go to church meetings … one, two, three a week

Mary had a little lamb
She grew up to be a sheep Then she became a Christian And died from lack of sleep

Jesus did not come to establish a “meeting” He came to establish a “movement”

Jesus is not really focused or interested in another “meeting” He is looking for His people to release a “movement”

Meetings – something we do, an activity
Movement – helping the church to be and working to become

Bringing transformation and change to lives everywhere Jesus did not say, “Go into all the world and hold meetings”

He did indicate that we were to “go into all the world and multiply (make disciples)” Multiply = disciples making disciples who make disciples who make disciples

This is what The Great Commission is all about

Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Jesus said that to pour out “new wine” (a movement, a new move of the Spirit) That He would need new wineskins

Old wineskins can no longer stretch or expand so if you pour new, still fermenting, wine into them the gas released by the fermentation process will destroy the wineskin as it cannot expand

And then the wine is lost as well
Wineskin = a new form of the church build according to the New Testament Wine = a fresh move of the Holy Spirit

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Belonging, Not Believing

Human beings – you and I – don’t appreciate nor do we embrace change

We unconsciously resist change – sometimes consciously

We prefer what we know than what we don’t know

We like to feel safe, secure, and comfortable

So, we resist change because it will cause us to go where we have never gone before

And that is uncomfortable, not safe, and certainly offers little security or certainty

Mark Twain once said, “The only person who likes change is a baby with a wet diaper” Read more