Do you have a relationship with God?

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During a recent time of prayer one woman said “Thank you Jesus for what you did for me. I believe even if I were the only person on this earth needing saving, you would have gone to the cross for me.” All present whispered AMEN or YES Lord. However it wasn’t until I got home later that evening that the truth of her words struck me. Jesus allowed Himself to be humiliated, brutalized and crucified for me. He did this so that the promise of eternity He offered me could be realized. He did this so I could live a life of hope, so I could be comforted when I was feeling down, so I could be given strength to resist temptation, and so I could be His messenger of truth sharing with those closest to me. He did it so I could have an individualized relationship with Him. He also did it for you, so you could also be His.
Jesus’ death and resurrection affected all of humanity. But I know that when I stand before God, when you stand before God, the individuality of our relationship with Him will be clear when He personally acknowledges us. He will not compare us to anyone else nor suggest He loves one of us as much or as little than someone else; it will be about me and Him, you and Him. Scripture is clear that all people are God’s creation (Colossians 1:16) and that He loves the world (John 3:16) and showed it by giving Jesus to die so reconciliation with God became possible. However, scripture also says that to those who believe and accept Him will be given the right to become His children (John 1:12). In the ideal family, children are loved for their own merits not because they belong to the family.
It is important to realize that as Christ followers we are in a personalized relationship with God. Although we may function well in fellowship with others, eternity is dependant on our individual connection, adoration, worship, trust and belief in God. Each time we pray, whether it is intercession for a friend or a blessing over others, our actions and words are a reflection of that relationship. God hears the words spoken and knows whether they are said for the sake of those listening, whether it is a ritual that Christian fall into, or whether the speaker really believes God is listening and wants to respond. God is very interested in our mindset as individuals. He cares how we worship Him, how we acknowledge Him to ourselves and to others, how we seek to know more about Him by our reading and study of scripture, and how we apply His expectation to our daily lives. He cares because He sees it as a reflection of our individual relationship with Him.
We cannot hide from God. We can be surrounded by other followers singing praises at church or at a Christian concert, or we can be one of many voices lifting prayers to God at a gathering, or we can be seated amongst those listening to a Christian conference speaker. We know God created us to be in relationship with Him and with others, but He did not create clones. We are clay and He is the potter and although the formed pots may look similar, no two are truly identical. Amongst all crowds, the noise and the distractions, God sees and hear each one of us. He sees the individual personality, talents, and skills He placed in us and He wants a relationship with that person.
Some of us have yet to grasp the idea of a personal relationship with God; a relationship in which He cares about every moment of our day and how we seek to involve Him in it.  He wants our praise, not because we should but because we realize we have a bond with the creator of the universe and it is personal. Will you take some time to think about your relationship with God? Don’t start with thoughts about what you think you should have done. Satan will try to break your relationship by suggesting you are not worthy.  God chose you to be in relationship with Him. He alone decides what needs changing and will guide us to reflect more of Him in our relationship. Think about what a good relationship involves and then, in consultation with Him, seek to grow that relationship by applying some of those principles you uncovered.  God used six days to create the wonder around us, so don’t be in a hurry to make it all happen at once. Let the potter mold you.

Prayer/Study Gagetown Group

MCF - SMALL GROUP - ANDREW - FORM SQUARE - 2016-03-23 at 11.34.33 AM
Padre Andrew Whitman is a member of the MCF and is currently serving in 5 CDSB Gagetown.  He also serves the MCF on the executive team and contributes to the mission of bringing the gospel to the Canadian military community by leading a prayer/study group on the base in Gagetown, together with Jimmy Damiani and Jeff Page.   With his insights on Scripture, and Jimmy’s humble prayerfulness and Jeff’s cheerful faithfulness to the Lord, they lead the group fervently.  For more info on the Gagetown MCF prayer Meeting, don’t hesitate to contact the MCF office.
It is Padre Andrew’s desire to empower many to be watchmen for our people.
We pray you will find the notes by Jimmy to be inspiring.
(prayer meeting from Thursday July 28, 2016)
Good morning to you all!
I have noticed by last week’s email many are still on leave. I hope all is well and that God keeps you safe and returns you home refreshed.
As we look farther into James, I would like to put up a question to you… in the 3rdchapter, passage 1 to 5 why would your judgment be stricter as a “perfect” Christian (perfect here meaning mature) than just a follower of Christ with good works?
As in the military; leadership imposes responsibility, so think of the question and how it pertains to you. Do you teach? Are your words equal to your actions? Think of last week’s email…
Please pray…
‘Father”, my loving Father, please show me what I need to see in your word; help me to speak through my works and not to practice in this way: “do as I say but not as I do”. Give me the wisdom to teach if that is what you call on me to do, or to hold my tongue if I can’t follow your plan. My Father, I love you and want to see all the greatness of your word, so allow me to say what is needed and to always teach it in your son’s name, Christ Jesus…Amen
Blessing All!
Have a Great Day!
Keep your head up! GOD gives his hardest battles to his strongest SOLDIERS…
So as we go through our day let us go out to help and to care for all that need it in… Jesus name…Amen!
Jimmy ;o)

How do you respond?

How do you respond? 2016-07-22When a child takes its first steps, those watching get pretty excited. Some probably applaud and cheer and then flood the Internet with play-by-play videos of the steps. We celebrate the child’s achievement because we know, where walking can take them. Often during these early stages the child will fall and maybe even start to crawl again because it is easier and is something they are use to doing. When they do fall what is our response as a family member, a friend, or a causal observer watching the video on some social media tool such as FACEBOOK or snapchat? Do we chastise the child? Do we scold them and then walk away because they have reverted to their old ways or do we help them back on their feet while offering encouraging words and support?
In the 15th chapter of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus shares several parables about forgiveness, joy and celebration. The parable of the Lost or Prodigal son (Luke 15:11-31) is one that most of us bring to mind. Many have probably heard sermons that focus on one of the main characters and their reaction to the younger son. The characters include the Father of the two sons, the son who wanted his inheritance, and the other son who seemed disappointed at his father’s reaction. Also in the story, and less spoken about are those who partied and helped the younger son spend his inheritance. There are the family friends who may have been with the father when the son returned or were invited to the celebration party and there were the casual observers, such as the servants who watched this drama play. The youngest son was definably no baby but was taking some baby steps to reconcile with His father and the people observing had some very different reactions to his attempt.
Those in a relationship know that an argument is inevitable regardless of the couple involved. If, after the couple’s first argument one decides to walk away from the relationship, what response would you expect from the other partner? As a friend, what would be our response? As their next-door neighbour who barely knows them, how do we respond? If we have a neighbour with a noisy car who has started it up at 5:00 AM introducing their noisy car to those still in bed, how do we respond as a friend, possible family member, or as a causal neighbour? Would it make a difference if we knew their early start was because they had a child who had to be at a 6:00 AM Chemotherapy appointment or that they were going on a Timmies coffee run? And when the early morning noise stops because the child no longer requires treatment, do we celebrate with them or ignore the situation or go away and mope about those mornings we were woken?
There are many around us taking baby steps everyday and we often don’t even notice something is happening. Sometimes it’s because we have seen this person take those same steps many times before only to fall and go back to their old ways. Sometimes we are blinded to whatever is happening because our own concerns get in the way. Sometimes we don’t notice because we don’t care. How we respond to the world around us can influence our relationship with Christ. If we chose to ignore the good and bad that is happening around us and only focus on our own lives, we will become sad lonely people.   If we choose to see the fault in those trying to move forward, our bitterness and resentment will destroy us. If we cannot see the need to connect with others and struggle alone, we will not realize the hope Jesus offers.
We would like to challenge you to examine how you respond to those around you. Would you re-read the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-31) and see if you can identify with one of the characters based on how you respond to life. Meditate on the passages and then take a closer look at the different characters. Keep in mind your response to the baby steps others take, see if you can see yourself or others in Jesus’ story. Consider how you respond to other’s attempts at achievement. Consider how you respond to the neighbour who is undergoing anger management treatment again; the same person who you have heard scream obscenities at his wife time and time again. The same neighbour who seems broken because of his behaviour and says he wants nothing more than to love his wife, as he knows he should. Consider how you respond to those who want to change for the better. If you are convicted because of your response, pray asking to be transformed. Pray God opens your eyes to the world around you especially those needing that hand up as they take some big baby steps. Pray the Holy Spirit guides you to express holy love even for those you do not know. Pray for discernment to guide your response to the struggles and success of your family, neighbours, colleagues and even the strangers. Pray you can be an encourager who wants to celebrate life with others. Pray you can respond as Christ expects.

Prayer/Study Gagetown Group

MCF - SMALL GROUP - ANDREW - FORM SQUARE - 2016-03-23 at 11.34.33 AM

Good morning to you all!

Sorry I can’t be with you this Thursday. My mother did pass away from this earth to be with her Savior last Wednesday morning. We are still taking care of her things but I will be back soon.

Well it’s time to move on from the book of Job and we shall look a bit into JAMES.

First let’s talk about who James is and who this message is for. James is the half-brother of Jesus and he’s writing his letter to the twelve tribes of the Jewish believers scattered outside of Palestine.  James is very practical in his advice on being a good Christian example towards others. One example: James 2:14.

“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?”

SO our actions have to match our speech…

Please pray…

Our gracious Father, please help us to understand the message that James puts before us. Help us to have our actions project loudly to others, so that when we speak of you to others, they can see our actions do match our words. Help us grow in our faith so our works can increase also for your glory. 

In your Son’s name, Amen.     

Blessing All!

Have a Great Day!

Keep your head up! GOD gives his hardest battles to his strongest SOLDIERS…

So as we go through our day let us go out to help and to care for all that need it in… Jesus name…Amen!

Jimmy ;o)

Prayer/Study Gagetown Group

MCF - SMALL GROUP - ANDREW - FORM SQUARE - 2016-03-23 at 11.34.33 AMPadre Andrew Whitman is a member of the MCF and is currently serving in 5 CDSB Gagetown.  He also serves the MCF on the executive team and contributes to the mission of bringing the gospel to the Canadian military community by leading a prayer/study group on the base in Gagetown, together with Jimmy Damiani and Jeff Page.   With his insights on Scripture, and Jimmy’s humble prayerfulness and Jeff’s cheerful faithfulness to the Lord, they lead the group fervently.  For more info on the Gagetown MCF prayer Meeting, don’t hesitate to contact the MCF office.

Below are the Prayer-Study notes the group is sharing with the MCF.  It is Padre Andrew’s desire to empower many to be watchmen for our people.
The MCF Prayer-Study Group in Gagetown meets every Thursday for lunch. Please consider joining them if your in town.

Good morning to you all!

I am sending this for Jimmy, who is with his mother. He told me that they’ve taken her off of life-support and the time is not long now. Please pray for comfort in her final moments, and for Jimmy and Muriel and the rest of the family .

I invite you to come join for the encouragement of fellowship with other believers in an often difficult environment, and to pray for salvation of our base – our comrades.
Cheers and God Bless.
Andrew Whitman
Over to Jimmy:

Finally some nice weather! God is Great!!!

Well I think most are still on block leave, so I will keep Job for when we have all returned. As for now I would like to share something that is heavy on my heart. I sit here in the hospital and it’s 0230hrs. As I sit here next to my Mom while she is at her last moments, I read a story from my Daily Bread titled “Better by far” about a young boy who hears a siren sound outside his house. Asking his mother what it is, she tells him it’s a warning siren to let people know of the dangerous storm coming and that if you don’t seek cover you could die. Well the boy asks his mom why is that bad? Cause if you die don’t you meet Jesus?

So this story brings us to Paul in Philippians 1:23. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.
Also in 2 Corinthians 5:6-8. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

I think of my mom and her going to meet Jesus and how wonderful it’s going to be for her and how happy it makes me feel knowing she will be with him.
As we have gone through the story of Job, I want to say thank you to all my Christian brothers and sisters that have prayer for mom, my family and myself. God Bless you all.

Psalm 23
The Lord Is My Shepherd
A Psalm of David.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Blessing All!
Have a Great Day!
Keep your head up! GOD gives his hardest battles to his strongest SOLDIERS… So as we go through our day let us go out to help and to care for all that need it, in Jesus’ name…Amen!
Jimmy ;o)

We pray you will find the notes by Jimmy to be inspiring.
(prayer meeting from July 14, 2016)

Prayer/Study Gagetown Group

MCF - SMALL GROUP - ANDREW - FORM SQUARE - 2016-03-23 at 11.34.33 AMPadre Andrew Whitman is a member of the MCF and is currently serving in 5 CDSB Gagetown.  He also serves the MCF on the executive team and contributes to the mission of bringing the gospel to the Canadian military community by leading a prayer/study group on the base in Gagetown, together with Jimmy Damiani and Jeff Page.   With his insights on Scripture, and Jimmy’s humble prayerfulness and Jeff’s cheerful faithfulness to the Lord, they lead the group fervently.  For more info on the Gagetown MCF prayer Meeting, don’t hesitate to contact the MCF office.

Below are the Prayer-Study notes the group is sharing with the MCF.  It is Padre Andrew’s desire to empower many to be watchmen for our people.
We pray you will find the notes by Jimmy to be inspiring.
MCF Prayer-Study Group in Gagetown.

Meeting every Thursday for lunch.

Good morning to you all!

I am off on compassionate leave tending to my mother and I have been on the road every day. Please keep a prayer in your heart for her for she is not well and soon will be leaving us to meet our Lord.

I have not had a chance to go over this Thursday’s prayer topic (finishing Job) with Andrew and I am sure that most of you are probably not even going to see this email or make it to prayer because you are on block leave. So for now I think maybe just a small passage and a prayer will do.
John 12:44-50
44 Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. 46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. 47 And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him
-the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak”.

Please pray…

Our Lord and gracious God, we are so happy that you sent your Son to save us; for without Him, we would be lost in our sins and forever in the darkness of this world. You know our hearts Father, and you know all those that weigh heavy on us so we lift them up to you so that you may, in your mercy, help and guide them in their pain. Father, your love fills us with the strenght we need to go on in this world. Your Son has brought us to You through his blood. Please take care of us all and hold us in your arms. Keep us, save us from falling and guide us all till that day when we will stand before you and thank you face to face for your love! I pray to you in Jesus name… Amen.

Blessing All!
Have a Great Day!
Keep your head up! GOD gives his hardest battles to his strongest SOLDIERS. So as we go through our day let us go out to help and to care for all that need it in… Jesus name…Amen!
Jimmy ;o)

Are you Committed

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It’s been five sleeps since most of us last gathered with our church family to pray, sing songs of praise and listen to God’s word.  In a few days we will again drive to those places of worship while driving past the homes of people who do not find God necessary.  These are people who have chosen to stay away from church because they would rather sleep in, take a child to a sport practice or game, cast a lure into a lake, hit a golf ball or gather with friends at Timmy’s to share a few laughs.  Many of these people are our friends who we have socialized with, talked about their lives, and have been on our prayer lists.  Many of them are satisfied with the lives they have built for themselves, with their homes, their jobs and their children; people we view life as good enough and see no need for Jesus.

Why indeed. Scripture tells us that there is no difference between any of us and we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Sin interferes with day-to-day living and has eternal repercussions. However many, including believers, have chosen to define sin based on their circumstances while believing they are doing life well enough. They see the bible as antiquated musings that do not apply to 2016 and unfortunately, many believers contribute to this mindset. If we stand some followers alongside those who choose not to believe and compare their lives, we probably would see no difference.  These type of believers act as if they had no hope. They complain about the same things, they are stressed and anxious when family issues arise, they rant about their neighbours, complain about their politicians, question church decisions and offer similar excuses on Sunday mornings when they choose to skip church. Side-by-side some are very much like their non-believing friends because life seems good and they see no need for God beyond Sunday mornings. They see no need to set aside time to pray, to reading scripture, or to want to share the Good News with others.

There is an intentionality required to be a follower of Christ. It leads to rewards both on earth and in heaven; peace and calmness on earth and an eternity of happiness in heaven. It cannot come about with part time commitment. It requires the follower to commit to Jesus. It requires reading the bible and not just to say they read so many pages but to say they read a story about God’s love. A love that encourages them when they are trying to understand a disruptive neighbour, deal with an angry driver in traffic, or encounter a heavily tattooed homeless youth wearing clothes they could never imagine should be worn by anyone. A follower, who chooses to read God’s word and talk with Him, sees the world differently. When they respond to what they read, they make different choices including wanting to share Jesus with those who believe that life is good enough. Followers of Jesus should be able to share about a life that is different from the one lived before they choose to become a follower. They should want to talk about the circumstances that lead to their decision to follow Jesus, and they should be able to speak glowingly about a life transformed because of the commitment to follow. The committed follower will want to share this Good news because their life is not the same as the friend who does not know God.

Believers should seek to become holy not to suggest they are better but to acknowledge they are transformed. They should want a 24/7 relationship with God that goes beyond satisfying our carnal desires; a relationship that gives hope to fulfilling spiritual and emotional needs.  Believers should want to experience life differently so that when they are faced with lives’ difficulties they can respond with a peace and calmness.  Committed believers should love those who do know Jesus but should no longer want to be like them. The life of a believer should cause others to ask questions and point them to Jesus and not remark “we are no different.”  Are you a committed follower of Jesus?

Pray for our Country

July 1, 2016
O Lord God Almighty, who rules the nations of the earth, we humbly beseech you to behold our Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth, that in all the things she may be led by thy guidance and protected by thy power. Give wisdom to the Governor-General of this Dominion, the Lieutenant-Governors of all the provinces, the Legislators of the Commonwealth and Empire, and all who are set in authority. Bless Prime Minister Trudeau. May peace and happiness, truth and justice, religion and piety be established amongst us for all generations, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Book of Common Prayer
Today we celebrate Canada’s 149th birthday as a nation. Looking back in history we can conclude that the union of the first four provinces were motivated by the desire to protect individual rights, especially the rights to life, liberty, and property. The British North America Acts (BNA), which gave us permission to call ourselves a Nation, came into being in 1867. However it gave our leaders limited control over the future of the country as the United Kingdom still held the reigns. During the drafting of the Acts it was not the intent of the leaders to declare Canada to be a Christian Nation in which God’s principles would guide us. There was reference to protecting religious rights and we can even suggest that at the beginning of our nation scripture was the basis for some of the laws and guidelines used in our country. There was however no doubt that God was not our King.
Scripture tells us that when we first asked God to be ruled by a man we were making a choice to replace Him as King and set Him aside as an advisor.  Kings tried to keep His laws and guidance at the forefront of their decision-making, but it did not take long before they chose to ignore God’s advice and ruled within their own means, wisdom and judgment. Nations have risen and fallen and their citizens have suffered. Governments have tried to set rules to protect the right to life, liberty, and property for all its citizens but often at the expense of others.
There have been twenty-one amendments to the BNA, some affecting the rights of the people. In 1982 Prime Minster Pierre Trudeau, along with Queen Elizabeth II, signed the Constitution Acts, which turned all remaining legislative and constitutional powers to Canada. We alone would choose our destiny as a country, whether all citizens would benefit or not is something only history can reveal.
Who said “The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.” It was then Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau in response to new law addressing abortions, homosexuality and contraception. He was partially acknowledging that we choose what happens in our home including whether God is part of our lives. He was relinquishing control of the intimate and important part of our lives to us by suggesting we should be in control of what happens in our home. However we give that control to God asking Him to guide us.
On this 149th birthday celebration we should enjoy the freedom we have to make the decisions that affect our relationship with God, with our family, our country, and even our leaders. We should exercise that freedom with prayer and can start by praying for our leaders who have the impossible task of trying to please every citizen of Canada. Pray they realize that it is only God they need to please.  Pray they are not influenced by popularity but by moral conviction.  Pray they lead by example. Pray they serve with honour and respect for this Nation that God has allowed them to lead.

Prayer/Study Gagetown Group

MCF - SMALL GROUP - ANDREW - FORM SQUARE - 2016-03-23 at 11.34.33 AMPadre Andrew Whitman is a member of the MCF and is currently serving in 5 CDSB Gagetown.  He also serves the MCF on the executive team and contributes to the mission of bringing the gospel to the Canadian military community by leading a prayer/study group on the base in Gagetown, together with Jimmy Damiani and Jeff Page.   With his insights on Scripture, and Jimmy’s humble prayerfulness and Jeff’s cheerful faithfulness to the Lord, they lead the group fervently.  For more info on the Gagetown MCF prayer Meeting, don’t hesitate to contact the MCF office.

Below are the Prayer-Study notes the group is sharing with the MCF.  It is Padre Andrew’s desire to empower many to be watchmen for our people.
We pray you will find the notes by Jimmy to be inspiring.
MCF Prayer-Study Group in Gagetown.

Meeting every Thursday for lunch.

To start off I just want to wish everyone a great and super relaxing LONG weekend that is just around the corner. For some it started on Wednesday afternoon and for the rest it most likely started Thursday at 1400 ;o) Be safe, enjoy your family and friends and thank God for all your blessings; for without Him we have darkness. (So I am hoping that a few of you can still make it this Thursday for discussion and prayer before the long weekend to move on through Job.)

On that note… Job asks why? Why has God let this happen to him? Like us; when we have been hit with bad times and suffering, we can ask why but not demand it of God to tell us for why are we suffering. We know Job did not sin. His friends kept telling him that he must have sinned, so when we approach others that are in pain or suffering, we should not think that it is because they did something bad but to help them to wait for God to reveal His purpose.

I pray…

Lord, our heavenly Father, I am here before you today in prayer and in thanks. I pray to you for the safety of all my brothers and sisters in Christ, on this long weekend, as they travel to church and to their places of relaxation. Watch over them my Lord, and keep them safe. Father, I thank you for your love and protection; giving me grace and mercy for free but most of all for sending your Son to die for me, for taking on my sins and paying my debt to you in full with his blood. I have been saved by you and now I can build that relationship with you that I need so much … in Jesus name I pray to you, Amen.

Reading Job 3:11 – Job 6:11 – 1Peter 3:13-17.

Blessing All!
Have a Great Day!
Keep your head up! GOD gives his hardest battles to his strongest SOLDIERS. So as we go through our day let us go out to help and to care for all that need it in… Jesus name…Amen!
Jimmy ;o)