I picked up some great new music yesterday. Jazz guitarist's "All we need..." an instrumental album of John Lennon & Beatles tunes - great music for creative writing! I also picked up the new Downhere cd "On the altar of love", which reminded me a story.
Last summer Des and I were looking to use up a gift certificate to the Christian Bookstore in Vernon. Our last purchase was supposed to be a 'down here' cd, since we were recommended to get some of their music by a friend. So we found the tab where there was supposed to be 'down here' cds, picked one out and bought it.
Our our way to the coast we put the cd in the car stereo, and while we enjoyed it I though - I didn't know 'downhere' sounded like this? After I first listen through I decided to look more closely at the cd cover. Turns out we didn't buy a 'downhere' cd after all! Rather we bought a cd called 'The Drawing Room' (http://www.myspace.com/inthedrawingroom
)- which I thought was name of the 'downhere' album we had purchased! So all that to say we unintentionally bought a cd from an artist we didn't know, and thankfully ended up really liking it!
Jesus loves rioters
After Wednesdays‘ nights hockey game, and proceeding riot, a friend of mine posted something important for us to remember. He wrote “Jesus loves rioters too”. That reminded me of this verse,
“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” 1 Timothy 1:15
As disheartening, and despicable it was to see people acting like they did, if it wasn’t for God’s grace in my life, I could be right beside them doing the same thing. But Jesus loves me, and love them just the same.
As we’ve been learning in our Bible Study, it’s not just our actions that matter (that make us righteous or sinners) it’s what’s in our hearts. And even at the best times our hearts can be a harbour for many sinful things. Praise God that He loves and forgives us nonetheless and that our hearts have been washed clean by Him! If Jesus loves rioters, then we must love them also, which does not excuse them from their crimes (I hope they face full justice for what they’ve done), but just because we view them, or anyone else, as criminal we are still indebted to show them God’s love because He loved us while we were rebels.
New things ...
I am endeavouring to write weekly "thoughts" for our church here in Cherryville. Here is my first one, and I'll try to get "caught up" as we go along here :)
Once again, thanks to everyone for helping us feel comfortable here in our new home. I hope to use this space to share some thoughts from week to week. In nothing else it might help me to be disciplined in writing :)
One word used to describe Cherryville's people is 'independent'. Independence is a valuable trait. Oftentimes it means that one is capable of taking care of themselves, that they have in mind where they want to go, and are able to see that through Sometimes, however, independence can lead us to where we don't realize that we need each other.
1 Corinthians 12 has much to say of how, as believers, we need each other. "The eye cannot say to the hand 'I have no need of you' nor again the head to the feet 'I have no need of you'. " We need each other in order to grow to be the mature Christians God intends for us to be. From the young to the old, the veteran believers to those new in the faith. We all have need of each other, teaching each other, encouraging everyone in their faith. A friend of mine used a term called 'eclectic mentoring'. The idea was that we can learn something from everyone around us. How amazing would it be if we viewed everyone as being a person we can learn something from, that they will help us to be, in a sense, more complete.
I hope one of the things our community of faith will be known for is our love for each other, and also that we treat each person as extremely valuable because they were made and loved by God, but also because we need them, and our lives would be much poorer without them.
Confession is good for the soul/ heart ... etc
I learned a valuable truth about myself last week. It was while Desirée and I were driving back from Prince Rupert, and were talking about life and ministry. She asked me "do you believe you've done what God has been telling you to do?"------ I wasn't sure.----- Now, yes, I believe in many ways I've been seeking God in what to do in this season of ministry, however there was this moment of honesty when I realized: I'm at times more motivated to do something because someone wants to see it done, because if I do it I may look better as a pastor, because ultimately I am tempted to be more interested in what people think of me than what God thinks of me. So I had to tell her "I don't know ...." However, I am resolved once again to seeking God's "well done" more than any person that I may be tempted to try and please! How about you?
The hike that wasn't meant to be
Desirée and I were excited to do more hiking this summer, and after a couple of good hikes we set our sights on Evelyn Mtn just a bit outside of Smithers. It's part of the Hudson Bay Mtn Range, and not that hard to get to.
So this last Tuesday, our day off, we prepared to conquer this mountain! We got ready all our supplies, and headed out. Now the trick to this hike is that you need to park outside a gravel pit, and walk about a half-hour (according to the guide) to the trail head. So we walked, and walked, swatted flies, walked, swatted mosquitos, and after about an hour on the trail still no visible trailhead. Hmmm... but then some promise! We found a couple trucks and trail heading into the bush - YES! So we start the climb, or so we think. After a bit, we realize that this trail isn't the well travelled trail we were looking for, but a brand new trail being cut into the bush - and we had no idea where it might take us. And to top it off, I think they're falling trees in the area. So we made the decision to turn back, and see if we somehow missed the actual Evelyn Mtn trail.
After backtracking for a half hour, success! There's a trail, and we totally missed it. Eventhough we were tired we thought we'd try this trail out for a bit, and found out once you start going up a trail, it's pretty hard to stop! So on we went, until to my horror our dog Morley disturbed a wasp nest that was in the ground! I noticed her zip past me, in some distress, then noticed a hole in the ground with some wasp emerging - and told Des to RUN! Unfortunately, I didn't tell her what we were running from!! Ooops :) So we hustled down the trail, and poor Morley still had a wasp clinging to her tail, but she eventually shook that off, and I was able to explain to Des what the problem was. No I didn't see a bear! Ohhhh!
After all that, we decided to call an end to our conquering hike of Evelyn Mtn, however consoled ourselves by eating our supper by Round Lake, watching Morley play in the water. A good end to a wonderful day off outside!
A Lesson Learned
*Note - this story actually happened, although some points may have been made up for dramatic effect*
This has been a busy week, no make that a crazy week! One of those weeks when on Monday you just hope to hang on, and make it through to next Monday. One of my solaces was to be found in getting to eat a pizza Desi and I had made together. Not just any old pizza either ... a homemade, smoked salmon, mushroom, goat cheese pizza! You see, when we make pizza for ourselves, we make two of them, one we eat right away - the other is put in the freezer to be used at a later date, and this was the week that we were going to eat our other pizza.
The plan was to eat it while in between work and our youth service at the church on Thursday night. So, upon arriving at the office on Thursday I put our pizza in the fridge downstairs for later consumption.
There was one other event happening at the church that afternoon, a memorial service in which there was to be a food and refreshments served afterward in the basement. The thought crossed my mind as I put my pizza in the fridge "hmmm they wouldn't think to use this uncooked pizza for the reception would they?" After concluding that at a reception, an uncooked goat cheese smoked salmon pizza would be highly out of place, I continued on with the rest of my day.
Meanwhile, an amazing dedicated crew of ladies were preparing food for the reception. Upon opening the fridge they noticed someone had put a strange food item at the bottom ... an uncooked pizza! They weren't really sure what to do with this, it seemed a little odd, however people have donated odd items for receptions in the past ... and there was no label saying that this was for anything but the reception - so ... they warmed up the oven ... cooked the pizza ... and put it out for everyone to enjoy.
As the afternoon moved along, my thoughts went to how we were going to enjoy our wonderful dinner. Hot and fresh right out of the oven. Just before I left to pick up my wife from work, I went down to pick up our supper ... only the pizza wasn't there were I left it. It was at the moment that I noticed my mother putting a slice of pizza into her mouth, then exclaiming how delicious it was!
My lesson - if you're going to leave yummy food in a fridge that is used for other purposes then your own ... label it well... or consider it gone!
How powerful is Jesus?
I've heard it said that some men have trouble worshipping Jesus because they have a hard time worshipping someone who, in their minds, they can beat up. It's true that Jesus is often portrayed in the gospels as humble, mild, peaceable - and yet there are stories where He shows righteous anger, and uses force. However, our cultures view on Jesus probably resembles more Ghandi then Gladiator. Here's something amazing I came across the other day, and it gives a glimpse into the power of our Risen Lord.
Let me set the scene, it's the end days, the very end - and a man called the "man of lawlessness" fueled by Satan, has set himself up above every religion and god, including Jesus, as the one to be worshipped by the world.
2 Thessalonians 2:8
"...the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming."
So here is this man who thinks he's really something, and Jesus comes in .... and breathes ... the the lawless one is done!!!! All Jesus does is show up, and evil and deception is dealt with! What an amazing God!