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Lately I have been taking another course through Seminary, looking at the first three Gospels. As I have been reading through the Gospels for class, there is a recurring theme that keeps popping out at me over and over again. How much of Jesus’ ministry was devoted to prayer? I have been struck by how often Jesus got away to pray. Before Jesus calls and commissions his twelve disciples, He prays. Before he is transfigured on the mountain and has this meeting with Elijah and Moses, He is praying. When Jesus is tired and needs to get away, He gets away to – you guessed it – PRAY! It seems as if prayer was absolutely foundational to Jesus’ ministry. Being in step and in touch with the Father was crucial. [READ MORE]
It is hard to believe that this weekend is thanksgiving already! Hopefully you are able to safely get together with your families this weekend, celebrate all the things you can be thankful for, and celebrate the goodness of God for another year. [READ MORE]
Today, as I write this, it is the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. This is a day that is set aside to remember and reflect upon the atrocities that were committed through the residential school system in Canada. It is also a day set aside to commit to pursuing truth, reconciliation, and healing with our Indigenous neighbours who were wronged in ways that many of us can’t comprehend, in many cases by the Church. [READ MORE]
I love the story of how the people of Israel, when they had crossed the Jordan River, were commanded by Joshua to take twelve stones (representing the twelve tribes of Israel), and build a monument. The purpose of this monument was to serve as a reminder to all the future generations of what God had done for them. God didn’t want the people of Israel to forget His goodness and love for them. [READ MORE]
Lately, Psalm 46:10 has been going through my mind a lot. For those who are unfamiliar, it says “be still and know that I am God”.
How hard it is to be still, especially when life is so uncertain, upside down, and unexpected. On a daily basis, there can be so many things that catch us off guard, and can throw us into a panic.
This is a lesson I continually need to be reminded of for myself. There are many times where I get thrown a curve ball, and my first response is to get stressed, to want to react, and to allow the panic to drive me. But what I have learned and continue to learn is that nothing I face takes God by surprise. Nothing I face is too big for Him. As long as I am running around in a panic, I miss out on finding rest in His protection. [READ MORE]
Do you actually believe that God can use you, as you are, being who you are, to make a difference in the lives of others and share His good news? The answer that we know is correct and often will reply with is “yes, of course.” But do you actually believe it? Or do you find yourself changing your personality, your appearance, your mannerisms, and your image because if you just looked or sounded a certain way, then God would be able to use you? [READ MORE]
What kind of a prayer is your choice? A general prayer is a prayer but almost impossible to track if God actually answered it or not. If we pray, “God, bless Dottie” but don’t ask Him for a specific way, how do we know if He actually blessed Dottie. Not asking God for specific things is a way we are wimping out in our prayer lives. [READ MORE]
I realized this week that driving in fog is a lot like life. You can be cruising along, singing to the radio and all of a sudden, you run into a wall of dense fog. It takes your breath away. In life, you may be cruising along in a season of peace and happiness, when all of a sudden there is a calamity, a health issue, a financial problem. It takes your breath away.
But what do you focus on in dense fog? The scenery? No. The song on the radio? No. Your focus is fixed on the roadway. In life, Jesus told us he is the Way. In times of trouble, we need to focus on Him. Following His Way will get us through our time of trial. He will gently guide us to the other side. [READ MORE]
The last couple weeks at our weekend gatherings, we have been talking about the importance of sharing our faith, and how as followers of Jesus, sharing our faith in Him is our cause. As I have been sharing this, I am aware of a larger question that some of you have and are asking: “how can we share our faith when we don’t know how?” That is a valid question. I am aware that as a church, we haven’t given a lot of help and guidance on this in the past. So with that being said, watch for details soon on some training opportunities on how to share your faith.
There is one thing I do want to add. Sharing our faith does not need to be a complicated ordeal. Sometimes I think we make it a lot bigger and scarier than it needs to be. Sharing our faith, in many situations, comes out of relationship. It is through having a relationship with people that the doors to share will naturally open. Opportunities to share our faith come out of us, intentionally building relationships with those who do not yet know Jesus, and living our lives in such a way that our actions point to Him. Sometimes, that is enough. And there will be other times where we will have an opportunity to talk about our faith because our friends have first seen it in action in our lives.
So all this to say, don’t make sharing your faith harder than it needs to be. Just live your faith on display, and trust God to open doors to talk about it. And when He does, go through those doors believing that He will give you the words you need. (READ MORE)
Do you believe in the cause?
I love watching some of those TV dramas of rescue workers who put themselves in the line of danger every day and do these heroic rescues that defy odds. And while I do know that there are parts of the show that could be spiced up for the screen, seeing these shows where these heroes are giving themselves to a cause they believe in so that someone can be saved is captivating. And of course, as I watch the TV shows, I am always reminded of our real life, everyday First Responders who deal with many of those challenges and will put it all on the line because they believe in the cause of saving people.
Do you believe in His cause?
Sharing the message of Jesus is not easy stuff. It is challenging. It will move many of us out of our natural comfort zones. It could carry a level of
personal cost. But do we believe in the cause? Do we believe that the message of hope, forgiveness, freedom, and wholeness is that important, that valuable, and that life-changing that we will give ourselves to it as well, counting the risk as just something that is a part of a greater result? (READ MORE)
I want to tell you a story about my grandmother.
She just turned 95 a week ago. For much of the last year, she has had an up and down battle with her health, and we have seen a noticeable decline.
There have been a couple times in the last few months we have been told, during a hospital stay, that she would not make it. Yet, God always does a healing work, and she ends up going back home. Her most recent stay was towards the beginning of June, and the family was told to gather because she would pass soon. She was sent back home a week later, and is still holding her own.
In all this, she keeps asking “why is God keeping me here? Why can’t I go home to Heaven?” I was talking to a family member yesterday who told me that at 95, even in her state of fragile health, she (in the last couple weeks) was able to lead one of the staff who care for her at the seniors centre where she
lives to the Lord. Through her daily interactions and conversations with this staff member, something happened, and she was able to lead someone to the Lord. This is nothing new. During a hospital stay a couple years prior, she was able to pray with a random stranger in the hallway of the hospital to receive Christ.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because often times I think we feel like reaching our community with Jesus is too big of a job that we are not equipped to handle. We feel that unless the church creates opportunities for us, we can’t reach our neighbourhood or community. Yet, as I am reminded again, it is about you and I, living our lives, and letting the Holy Spirit speak through our lives (words and deeds) that makes the impact. God can and will use anyone who is willing, in any setting, at any age. (READ MORE)
Does God care enough about the little things of life to still speak? Do you ever wonder if your situation is too insignificant for God to care, let alone speak to you when you ask Him a question? Two stories:
15 years ago, when I drove city busses in Vancouver, I would frequently see a homeless fellow at the train station on my way home from work. I remember feeling like I should try to get to know him. And as I debated in my mind if I should, I remember asking God that if he wanted me to try and develop more of a relationship with this guy, tell me his name. And instantly, the name ‘Bill’ just kept coming to mind. I shrugged it off as just me thinking of a very common man’s name. Later that day when I saw him, I gave him my name, and then he told me his – ‘Bill’
8 years ago, a few days before Caleb was born, I remember how we left the hospital one evening,
thinking that it was going to be the day Caleb would enter this world. They had a planned induction and everything, yet Caleb did not feel like co-operating. After what was a tiring week, and a trying week of planned inductions that kept getting bumped, and thinking that “today might be the day” only to be disappointed, we were tired, discouraged, and a bit annoyed. On the way home, Josh asked “when is baby coming”. We, in our frustrated state told him to ask God. So He did quietly in the back seat. All of a sudden, in a clear voice, our five year old son said “God says I am still making your baby and he is not ready yet. He will be here in two days.” We shrugged it off a bit, yet wondered if there was more to this ‘message’. Two days later, Caleb was born.
All of this is to say, God still does speak, and He cares enough about you to speak into the little things if we are choosing to listen. (READ MORE)
A couple weeks back in the message, I talked about worshipping God, and how when we think about worshipping God, we often think of it just being the singing that we do at church. But worship is so much more. Worship is our whole life. Worship is me finding enjoyment in God in the day to day life. It is me honouring Him in how I choose to respond to others, in the quality of work I decide to do. All of life is an opportunity to bring God honour, even in the small, everyday, simple things.
I was recently looking over the “Side Quest Bingo” card that came with our summer “Movin With Miss Marie” ministry initiative. Do you know what really excited me about it? As I read through all of the things that were on that card, they all
point back to worshipping Jesus in the simple things. They are about enjoying the God who created all we see. They are about honouring Jesus as we spend time together with family and friends. They are about worshipping God as we show care and love for others. As I was reading through the activities, it struck me that these are about us, in our every day lives, in the simple things, living in a way where, by what we do, honouring God.
So this summer, as you do those side quests together, do it unto Jesus as your act of worship. Enjoy being in His presence. Enjoy His creation. Enjoy serving Him. Enjoy Jesus through your relationships with others. And in everything, honour Him.? (READ MORE)
When is the last time you have slowed down and taken a break? By that, I mean a true break, not just one of those pseudo breaks where you stop what you are presently doing only to jump to something else and potentially become even more busy? When is the last time you have actually allowed yourself to stop doing, to slow down, and rest?
I was reminded recently of the words of Jesus in Mark 2 where the religious leaders are upset by Jesus’ disciples picking off the heads of nearby grain to eat as they walked. This was considered scandalous because this meant they were doing something on the Sabbath, which was intended to be a day of rest. I wont rehash all that was said here, except to say that Jesus finishes up by telling the religious leaders that humanity
wasn’t designed so that the Sabbath could be fulfilled, but the Sabbath was designed so that humanity could be fulfilled.
God, knowing we would need a break, designed for us a day, as a gift, so that we could be fulfilled and refreshed physically, mentally, emotionally, and of course spiritually. When you don’t take this gifted break, you are living in a place where your life becomes out of balance, and where you don’t take the time you need to find necessary renewal and refreshment.
So this summer I ask, are you taking a break? (READ MORE)
This morning,I was thinking what to share with you as a thought this week. Rather than write something new this week, I wanted to simply share with you the lyrics of a loved hymn as I think it ties so well into what we talked about Sunday during the service. May it be an encouragement!
I hear the Saviour say thy strength indeed is small Child of weakness watch and pray
Find in me thine all in all
Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow
Lord, now indeed I find Thy power and thine alone Came and changed the lepers spots
And it melts the heart of stone
And when before the throne I stand in him complete Jesus died my soul to save
My lips shall still repeat (READ MORE)
Last Sunday, if you were able to join in to one of our services, you would have heard me share from the start of our summer series in the book of Colossians. A point that I kept coming back to was that “Jesus in everything allows us to love in everything.”
Since Sunday, that phrase has been playing through my head a lot. As a result, I
have been asking myself whether that has been true of me. And as I reflect on this, I
began to wonder how much relationship stress, work stress, family struggles, and overallheavinessoflifecouldbediminishedifwelivedlike“Jesusineverythingallowsustoloveineverything”? Thatisnottosay that we won’t have problems (because we will). But just maybe, would our response be different?
I also think of the Church (large C – North American Church at large). As I think of some of the ways in recent weeks that the Church has failed on the public stage, and areas where the testimony of the Church has been heavily damaged, I wonder how things would be different if the church truly lived in a way that showed “Jesus in everything allows us to love in everything?”
What I am trying to get at today is that Jesus is transformational. He changes lives. He changes our lives. And if we live our lives with Him as our focus and with Him as our centre, and we live our lives fully surrendered to His control, we can respond in a way that we never thought possible in the difficult seasons – in love, in His love. How much difference could that make, even today? (READ MORE)
It is so hard to believe it is summer already! It doesn’t seem like that long ago, it was last summer!
As the summer starts, I just wanted to take some time to share with you where we
are headed as a church the next couple months. I am thrilled that our midweek
“Movin’ with Miss Marie” is just around the corner and ready to start. I have been
able to preview what is coming. I am excited to get together with my own family, and
do a fun family activity that has a really neat Bible truth attached to it. As we are having fun together, we will also be growing in our faith as we find Jesus in the simple things.
We are also starting a new teaching series this Sunday through the book of Colossians called: “In Everything… Jesus.” My hope and prayer is that we are encouraged to see how in everything we do as a church, and in every part of our life as Jesus followers, it is all about Jesus in everything. Jesus has to be our starting, end, and in between points on our journeys. It is all about Him, His love, His power, growing more in love with Him, growing more to be like Him, and sharing Him with those around us. Jesus is truly at the core of everything.
So this summer, whether it be on Sunday mornings, or through our midweek summer ministry, I encourage you to look for Jesus in the simple things, and live in a way that says “In Everything… Jesus.” (READ MORE)
Hebrews 12:1-3 says “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
The creator of the universe sent His own perfect son to suffer and die at the hands of sinful men. To overcome sin once and for all. For me. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!…” (1 John 3:1).
These are foundational truths in our faith, but I often take them for granted. When I truly reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice for my hopeless failings, that I’m washed clean by His death, and that my creator calls me by name, I’m filled with awe and wonder; renewed in motivation to spread the good news so that every person would know the reality of God’s endless love. May we shine His light in the world. (READ MORE)
Matthew 5:3 – “Blessed are those who are poor in spirit…..”
This was the verse on which my devotional was based one morning. In the message by Pastor Villodas, the words that jumped out to me were “offer yourself”. They were the words that were meant for me that day.
I began to focus on the image these words create, to imagine what this would look like — to move towards the Creator of the universe and bring myself as an offering. My inadequacies are glaringly obvious and yet the invitation is genuine and will not be withdrawn. As I sat with these thoughts, I came to realize that this is what Jesus is trying to tell me. I don’t need to achieve in order for Him to invite me. I don’t need to be clever, or organized, or anything else that the world values. I just need to offer what I have, who I am, what I can do now. With that, He can do anything He needs to do.
The other thing that I realized is that offering myself is not a one time thing. It’s a
“new every morning” thing. A fresh start. A new beginning. A focus on today and the
future, not on what I messed up or how I was inadequate yesterday. Of course I need
to learn from my mistakes and correct my actions where I have done wrong. But what I don’t need to do is carry the self-criticism or guilt. So I will ask forgiveness for all my mistakes every night. And then to open my eyes in the morning to the gift of the day I’ve been given and offer myself anew to my Lord.
How about you? (READ MORE)
I like to bake. Last year when we were first going thru COVID, I, like so many, decided that I needed to do more baking. I didn’t go so far as baking bread, but I worked my way through muffins, tarts, cookies, loaves, cakes ,and pies. I even brought out my mom’s recipe for “sour dough” starter and made biscuits & cinnamon rolls. No, Bill and I did not eat it all—that would have resulted in more than the average “quarantine 15”!
You may be thinking, what has this got to do with HMC? Well, let me explain. Let’s compare our Church/Christian life to baking a “pumpkin pie”—one of my favourites.
Before I begin baking anything, I need a recipe. I may make a pumpkin pie every day for 5 days but I still need to look at my recipe. For our daily Christian life we also need a “recipe”. God anticipated our needs and gave us His instruction manual for our lives: the Bible (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth).
Now that you have your recipe, you should read it to make sure you have all the ingredients; know how much time you will need to bake your pie, etc. In our Christian life we have to prepare our hearts to follow/hear what God wants from us. Psalm 51:10 says, “pray for a pure heart.”
Before we make the filling for our Pumpkin Pie, we need a crust. You can go to your favourite grocery store and purchase a ready made crust or you can make your own. The crust is the foundation of our pie. A flaky crust is delicious; a tough crust is usually left on the plate. How is our crust? Read Galatians 5:22-23. Is your crust made up of the fruit of the Spirit? Are you a pre-made crust that is an exact copy of someone else’s beliefs but you don’t own your own beliefs?
Okay, you have prepared your crust. Now assemble what you need for the pumpkin filling. Before mixing all the ingredients, taste each one individually. How do you like the taste of raw egg, cooked plain pumpkin, spices, etc.? Many of the ingredients on their own are really not pleasant but if we mix them all together, they are delicious. Just like our pie filling, Jesus wants us to work together. Romans 8:28 says, “all things work together for good to those who love God.”
A pumpkin pie can take about one hour to bake. Do you ever feel like God is “baking” you? He is turning up the heat on us (even as a Church family). It may take the form of stress in our lives, conflict, etc. This heat is needed to make a delicious finished product. After baking our pie, it has to cool before we can enjoy it. After you have been “baked” by God, you will need a season of peace. John 14:27, Philippians 4: 6-7.
We are all individual ingredients at HMC. We need to be blended and baked before we give off a beautiful fragrance that is appealing to those in our Community. Psalm 34:8a says, “taste and see that the Lord is good.” (READ MORE)
As some of you may know, I am an avid golfer. Not a good golfer, but I love to be out there smacking that white ball around the manicured fairways. And therein lies the problem – keeping the ball on the fairway. Not a game goes by without me shanking a ball into the tall grass of the rough, far from the short grass of the fairway. Much to the chagrin of my foursome, I always stop and hunt for my ball. Why not walk on by and drop another ball? Because I want my ball back.
Think of the golf ball as our lives. We try to stay on the right fairway and roll the right direction. But sometimes, when we sin, we take a wrong turn and end up in the rough, far away from the fairway God had planned for us. Does God just walk on by and focus on another soul, leaving us there alone, lost and floundering? NEVER!! God always wants what is best for us. He is always watching over each of us, searching for us and lovingly guiding us back onto the fairway. He so deeply loves us, no matter how far into the rough we have gone, and He wants to care for us as our loving Father. We just need to let Him. Like Romans 8:38-39 says, “nothing can separate us from the love of God” … Not even tall grass. (READ MORE)
I have always enjoyed Old Testament stories. There is one is from a book on prayer that has stayed in my memory. It is about Jacob. Jacob & Esau were twins born to Isaac & Rebekah. Esau as the firstborn was entitled to a birthright – a blessing & an inheritance. In a moment of weakness for Esau, Jacob tricked him into selling his inheritance for a bowl of stew. Then later he stole Esau’s birthright. When Esau discovered this trickery he vowed to kill Jacob.
Fear gripped Jacob. His mother sent him far away. Jacob was gone for over twenty years but in that time he married & had children. I imagine the date of Esau’s birthday would fill him with fear. Whenever someone asked about his family, fear would fill his heart. Then came the day God told Jacob to return home. He shook with fear. Fear was Jacob’s problem, not Esau.
Jacob gathered his wives, children, and flocks together and headed home. When he was nearly there he gathered a peace offering for Esau of his best goats, cows, and a Ford Mustang.
That night his bottled up fear took control. His prayer was “please deliver me, please deliver me, I’m scared, help me, I’m scared. “A man wrestled with him until daybreak.” (Gen 32:24) We know that it was God who wrestled with Jacob. The fear of Esau and distrust in God that Jacob had been carrying for years needed to be confronted. As dawn was breaking, so was the bondage of Jacob’s fear that had held him for two decades.
The next day Esau actually ran to Jacob hugging & kissing him. The very thing that Jacob had feared never happened. It may not be fear that has trapped you but lust, doubt, anger, a critical spirit. But this hindrance needs to be dealt with before God can bless you . God is quite willing to wrestle with you & heal you. (READ MORE)
How many of you have been doing jigsaw puzzles during COVID-19 to help pass the time? I must admit, jigsaw puzzles are not my thing but Bill has taken over our dining room table with jigsaw puzzles for much of COVID. When I volunteered to write a short devotional, I thought about what to say. Looking at the current jigsaw puzzle has given me some inspiration. How do you compare a jigsaw puzzle to HMC? Young children begin doing very simple puzzles. You cannot expect a young child to know how to do a puzzle unless they are taught to do simple puzzles. It was so encouraging at the Zoom Under 18 meeting last week to hear that we need to teach our children at a very young age if we expect to have involvement when they reach the age to participate in our Youth Programs. [READ MORE]
Lately, the words of Psalm 42:1-2 have been going through my mind a lot. The image of the deer panting for water speaks powerfully to me. The image here is not of a deer that happens to stumble across a spring of water that it wasn’t really looking for or wanted, but decides to take a small drink at it. The word “pant” implies a deep and desperate longing. The deer is really thirsty and needs a drink of water for life itself to continue. [READ MORE]
Spring is here isn’t it? It is so nice to be able to go outside for a walk and enjoy the fresh air. It is nice to (most days) not have to bundle up to leave the house. It is great to be able to see the fresh growth on the trees and in the yards. For me and Shannon, we have been spending a lot of time in the yard pulling out shrubs that were old and unhealthy, while also transplanting and relocating others, and bringing in new plants to our flower beds. I have also been busy with a few other yard projects. I have also been walking a lot. For me, it provides a way to relax and unwind from all the cares of the world. It provides a way to be refreshed. And while I am outside, away from the other distractions, I have more ability to talk with God and listen to His voice. [READ MORE]
Lately Colossians 3:12-14 has been playing through my mind. Ever read a Bible verse that was inconvenient? For me, this would be one of those verses. As I read it, the phrases “compassion”, “kindness”, “humility”, “gentleness”, “patience”, “forgive”, “love”, and “unity” stand out. Sometimes, it is easier for me to want to be the exact opposite. It seems justified. Yet, as a follower of Jesus, as “God’s chosen people”, this is what I wear. This is what people should see when they see me. [READ MORE]
In my devotional time, I was reading the other day in Ephesians 3:1-13. As Paul was penning these words, he was in a Roman jail. He starts out that section by calling himself a prisoner of Jesus Christ, who was in chains because of his ministry to the gentiles. He goes on to talk about the message of the Gospel that he was given to share, and then says something peculiar. He calls the fact that he is locked up in chains in a Roman jail a gift. He says that he was made a servant of the Gospel to the gentiles by the gift of God’s grace. [READ MORE]
It was once said that the only constant in life is change. How true that is. Change is happening yet again all around us. As we are all aware now, we are under a new stay at home order in our province. With that in mind, there are some further changes to ministry here at the church. For the coming weeks, Sunday gatherings will be solely online with no in- person gatherings in the building. Other in person ministry and meetings will also not be happening. As we move through the month of April, and as updates become available, I will be sharing them with you. [READ MORE]
This morning, as I was coming back from a meeting I was at, I heard the song “Only Jesus” by Casting Crowns playing over my radio. The words of this song have meant a lot to me the last while, but today, they hit me again. In the verses, the writer talks about the drive to
make a name for ourselves, leave a mark, build our empires, and chase a bunch of things that we think matter to life and give us deeper meaning. And the writer concludes that all these things will fade, but the only thing that will matter is Jesus. [READ MORE]
I was thinking about what I wanted to share with you today. I think it can be summarized in five words: Be good to each other. Everyone around us (and maybe ourselves as well) are tired. All of our lives have varying challenges and struggles. We all have things that are causing us stress. And in the current situation that is life for all of us, it just seems to amplify everything we are feeling, experiencing, and thinking. Yet in the midst of this, be good to each other. [READ MORE]
Hi everyone! Hope you are all doing well and have dug out from the recent snowfall!
I have been thinking a lot lately about intentional rest, specifically honouring the Sabbath (7th day) rest that God says we need to take. Are you taking the time you need each week to rest and be refreshed?
I must admit that there are weeks where it is a struggle on my end and I allow the busy nature of my week to overtake things. And rather than taking the rest I need, I push on and end up paying for it later by being worn down and exhausted. [READ MORE]
Hi everyone! Since the message this past Sunday, I have been doing a lot of thinking about what it means, like Ephesians 6:15 says, to walk as someone who is wearing the Gospel of Peace on their feet. There are so many people around us who are not experiencing peace. Life is an upside down mess with no hope of peace it seems. Yet at the end of the day, it comes back to that cliché phrase that has made its way around the church for a few years now: “No God, No peace. Know God, know peace.” Isaiah 26:3-4 tell us that those who keep themselves focused and fixed on God will be kept in perfect peace because God is a rock who is everlasting. This does not mean that
we will be free of struggles, but it does mean that we can have peace in the midst of the storm. [READ MORE]
Hi HMC family! I hope you are all keeping well these days. I just wanted to make sure I let you know that you are thought of frequently, you are missed, you are prayed for, and you are loved. I hope in these days where there is a lot of stress and anxiety, and where life continues to be disrupted, that you are finding God’s peace and strength, and that you know that you are never alone. I am reminded of the Word of God in Hebrews 13:5 where we are told to be content with our life and what we have because we have all we need in Christ. He is not leaving us, forgetting us, or abandoning us. We are never alone. May you find strength in the knowledge and reality of a God who is unfailing, who is eternal in His promises, and who loves you with a faithful and committed love. [READ MORE]
Hey everyone! We have had a lot of snow lately, and when I am not grumbling about cleaning my driveway, I have had a lot of chance to look outside and see the beauty of it. I love looking at the snow before it has had a chance to get disturbed and dirty by the cars and plows. There is something beautiful about the pure white snow, especially on a sunny day.
When I see that snow, I am reminded of the image of us putting on the breastplate of righteousness that we talked about last Sunday. When we allow His righteousness to cover us, we become pure and clean in the sight of God, much like the radiant pure white snow fresh after that snowfall. [READ MORE]
A couple weeks ago in the message, I said that the best defence against things that are false is to clothe yourself in truth. Last Sunday, we talked about the importance of putting on the belt of truth, and that in doing so, we become protected in the battle against the lies that the enemy wants to throw at us. As I think about my own life, I can affirm that this is absolutely true. There are so many times that the enemy has tried to
discourage me and knock me down. There are so many times that he has whispered in my ear that I am a failure, that I am hopeless, and that I should just give up. [READ MORE]
Last Sunday, we started a new series together all about putting on the whole armour of God. This has been something that has been heavy on my heart lately that I believe God has told me to teach on because I look around, especially now, and see so many who love and follow Jesus walking around in defeat. It is not limited to HMC. It is an ‘across-the-board’ reality for so many. [READ MORE]
Happy New Year! 2021 sounds good doesn’t it? For many of us, it couldn’t have got here soon enough! As we start out a new year together, my encouragement for you is that whatever this year will bring (because we really don’t know – take 2020 as an example), God is still in charge. He still is taking care of you. He still loves you. And He still has a plan for your life. [READ MORE]
We are coming into the advent week of joy. Is there a reason today for you to have joy? When we think of joy, often our minds go to this overwhelming sense of euphoria and celebration. But is joy a fleeting emotion, or is it a conscious choice and state of mind? Is joy more about choosing to be content and at peace, and finding reasons to be thankful? Can you have inner joy even when you don’t feel outwardly happy? [READ MORE]
“For God so loved the world…”. These words are the start to what is probably the most well known Bible verse in the whole world. The reference to it is seen on placards at various sporting events. It is seen on road signs. It is likely the first verse you memorized as a kid in Sunday school. [READ MORE]
When is the last time that your life has been at peace? When is the last time when it felt like the storms around you were silent? Lately, I have been doing a lot of thinking about peace. I have been thinking about peace that triumphs in the face of difficulty. It is fitting that the focus of the advent candle this Sunday is peace. [READ MORE]
Does anyone reading this remember what it was like to drive to somewhere new in town before every phone had a built in GPS program? The other day, I was driving one of my boys to an appointment in another city, and I had no idea where I was going. So I pulled up the GPS on my phone and let it tell me where I had to go. I was so glad for the technology I had, and that I didn’t have to pull up a map book and examine each map for the street that I was looking for. It saved me a lot of time and headache! [READ MORE]
I have been thinking a lot lately about the troubles and hardships that we all seem to face on a daily basis. For each person, it may look a bit different. For some, it is health related. For others, it is financial. For others, it could be job or school related. And for others, it is relational. In a world that is constantly changing, sometimes it feels like the only constant is that life feels like an uphill battle. [READ MORE]
The other day, I was out driving through the country side in our area, and I was struck by the pure beauty of the fall colours that were in front of me. As I drove, I was reminded of the absolute wonder, creativity, vastness, and power of God. Yet I was also reminded of Psalm 8 where the psalmist looks at all that is around him that God has made and is left to wonder of God “who am I that You are mindful of me?” [READ MORE]
Hi everyone! After having a week off to relax and unwind, it feels great to be back with all of you!
It is hard to believe it is October already! I have to pinch myself thinking about this next weekend being Thanksgiving already! Where has the time gone? I know this has been a different year for all of us. For some of us it has been stressful. For some of us, it has been unsettling. Some of us may be missing the opportunity to gather with our families this weekend for a Thanksgiving meal. As we come into thanksgiving, we may struggle with things to be thankful for. [READ MORE]
With much uncertainly still hanging around us, planning for the fall has been a challenge. Knowing we may need to pull things back on a moments notice we have designed a fall plan that will flex with government regulations as needed.
Thank you for your patience as we’ve navigated this challenging time together, and thank you for continuing to be the body of Christ in and around your communities. It is our prayer that you carry on being the hands and feet of Jesus regardless of the current climate. [READ MORE]