Update to the MCF Spiritual Retreat and AGM 2016

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A reminder to set aside a few days to join us for our first annual spiritual retreat in Ottawa, which will coincide with our annual general meeting. On Friday, November 11th, there will be an MCF prayer breakfast at 7:00 am at the National House of Prayer, 17 Myrand Ave, Ottawa, ON. K1N 5N7, which will be followed by attendance at the National Remembrance Day Ceremony in downtown Ottawa.  Lunch is available at the Chateau Laurier, or at various Messes in Ottawa. For information on these, please contact the MCF office.
 
In the afternoon, beginning at 1:30 pm, at Greenbelt Church, 839 Shefford Rd Ottawa, we will spend time reflecting upon Jesus’ call to us to make disciples.  The session will start with a tutorial on disciple-making and then continue with individual prayer and meditation on the Scriptures.  We will then come together again to share what the Lord has been communicating to us individually.  We will close the day at approximately 5:30 pm. 
 
On Saturday, November 12th, a small change in the schedule, we will recommence at 9:00 am with prayer and worship.  Snack and coffee will be served and in our second session we will consider the concept of discipleship.  Following a similar agenda to the previous afternoon, we anticipate ending the session at 12:00 and then share lunch together, which will be provided.  The annual general meeting will commence at 1:00 pm.
 
Please reply to this email if the Spirit leads you to join us in Ottawa.  As we get closer to the weekend of the spiritual retreat, more details will be forth coming.
 
Life is busy, there are many demands to which we must respond.  God knows this and He gives us strength to endure, but He also instructs us to stop, listen, and pray.  Take time to be still and know that He is God.  I invite you to come and stop together on the 1st annual MCF spiritual retreat.

Prayer/Study group Gagetown

Good Morning to you all!!MCF - SMALL GROUP - ANDREW - FORM SQUARE - 2016-03-23 at 11.34.33 AM
It’s getting cold, so dress well! Oh, did you get your winter tries on yet? You know it’s coming… I don’t want to say the “S” word but it’s close. So please, be safe.
Ok, last week we looked at Joshua and how as a soldier he followed his Commander “GOD” with faith. But what happens when we don’t trust in God and do not have the faith in his word? King Saul started well but turned away from God and because of his disobedience, God rejected him and abandoned him…. You know what happened?
Reading 1 Samuel chapters 13 to 15

 you will see Saul’s beginning of his end from disobeying his Commander “GOD”.
Please pray…
My heavenly Father, give me wisdom to be more like Joshua who followed your orders to the letter, not adding nor removing your commands, my Lord God, as I have seen through King Saul. I need not add to your commands even if I think it is doing more for you, but by your word only, help me do no more or no less than your commands. Like a soldier at war, we follow you and only you. Help my faith in your word grow as your Son Jesus has taught me. I will try to listen to what you ask of me and do it to the letter, oh God. I have faith in you that you will grant me that wisdom. I pray this in your Son’s name, Amen!
Blessings 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)

Have you been thumped lately?

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When a potter bakes a pot, they check its solidity by pulling it out of the oven and thumping it. If it “sings,” it’s ready. If it “thuds,” it’s placed back in the oven. Max Lucado once shared an analogy where he compared the potter’s test to the testing that Christians undergo daily. He suggested our response to the testing/thumping reveals our spiritual maturity. How we react to our day-to-day circumstances reveals whether we merely listen to the Word or whether we do what it says (James 1:22).

James’ letter to Jewish Christians living outside of Jerusalem offers encouragement while sharing some of the basic principles of the Christian walk. He was well aware of the verbal or even physically abuse they encountered because of their belief in Christ. He wanted to suggest that their circumstance are temporary compared to what lies ahead. He wanted them to remember that “there was a crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12); love that is expressed in their response to being thumped. James was not telling them to sing and dance whenever they faced adversity but recognize that our relationship with God can be strengthened if we trust that God’s plan for us is greater than our daily circumstances.

How do you respond when you are in a traffic jam or when your children are fussing as you try to get them ready for school? What is your reaction when your spouse makes a banking mistake or forgets a day you consider special? What do you say to the clerk who puts sugar in your coffee despite your specially saying no sugar or to the waiter who mixes up your order? Do you say or do things that you know are considered offensive to that person and to God? The testing is about an accidental blurting out of some regretful comment but is linked to consistent inappropriate behaviour when life’s little things trip us up. This testing occurs in environments and situations beyond our control. The thumping may not seem as dramatic as being told you have cancer, but never the less it puts our faith to the test. These trials constantly question whether we love God and His creation unconditionally and in all circumstances. Our response can be as God desires when we pray, study His word, and seek spiritual strength to grow with each thumping.

The potter does not throw the pot out when it does not sing, but puts it back into the oven to allow it to develop as it should. The joy associated with the testing we face is the promise that Jesus will not abandon us when we fail a thumping. The Holy Spirit will convict us, prompt us to repentance, and lead us to forgiveness. We are allowed back into the family and can be strengthen by our trial. God does not expect us to giggle foolishly when we face trials but desires that we not lose hope and trust our thumping will only make us stronger.

Prayer/Study group Gagetown

Good morning all,MCF - SMALL GROUP - ANDREW - FORM SQUARE - 2016-03-23 at 11.34.33 AM

We are having some nice days, good days to cleanup around the yard and enjoy Gods beautiful landscape. Don’t forget to spend time with the family outdoors… not in front of techJ.

So now, we keep up our theme of moving back to our focus on soldiers. Last week we looked at what Paul told Timothy, and for us, we are now in God’s armor under Christ, we can understand the mirror effect in Joshua. He had to put on God’s armor and was commanded by God himself! It was faith then as it is today for us; no matter what the odds we have to keep faith in our Commander and do as He says. The victory over Jericho dramatically demonstrates this. God always fulfills his promises!

On a side note, even though there is no specific prophecies of Jesus in the book of Joshua, something that is interesting is that Joshua is an obvious representation of the coming savior. His name which means “the Lord saves” is the Hebrew equivalent of “Jesus” a Greek name.

Read Joshua 1:1-9, pay close attention to the promise, I think verse 5 is important to us today as we are soldiering in his son Jesus today to protect and speak Gods word to those in need.

Please pray…

My glorious God, stand by me as I go forth in this world overwhelmed by hate and evil. Stand by as you promised and I will do your work for those in need of your love. As Joshua stood fast in your strength; so will I, for you are my greatest strength today.  My “promised land” will be with you, one day, after this body can do no more. My God in heaven, I pray to you in your Son’s name, Christ Jesus, Amen!

 

Blessings 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 Group Gagetown

MCF - SMALL GROUP - ANDREW - FORM SQUARE - 2016-03-23 at 11.34.33 AMGood morning to you all!!

God is GREAT! Have you seen the beauty in the trees? Gods paint brush is at work once again and this fall season looks wonderful. If we are content with our lives and with what God has given us through His great wisdom; then and only then, can we see the beauty that is around us. Slow down, look around, be satisfied with your blessings from God and enjoy your life within Christ!
So now that we have finished James we are going to look back and rediscover what it means to be soldiers in Christ. Let’s think about how we can be more active in our roles here on base, in helping those who are lost and shining the light of God to those who are in the darkest place of their lives.
Paul writes to Timothy:
“You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”
Also… please read 2 Timothy 2:1-13
Ephesians 6:11-17
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
Please pray…
Our wonderful Father, we come before you with prayers of thanks and hope. We thank you for choosing us to do your work, being your soldiers and helping us to building this line of defence through the Holy Spirit. And thank you for sending your Son to teach us how to be your soldiers; arming us with your word and your strength. Guide us to those who need defending from the darkness. Let us be their security force in their times of need. We pray this to you in your Son’s name, our teacher and defence Commander, Jesus Christ…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)

“Send me”

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Have you ever prayed, “send me Lord” but in fact were afraid God would send you? Where you afraid that He would pull you off your comfy couch and send you to some desolate land where simple comforts of life do not exist or are very limited? Does such a thought actually prevent you from praying; “send me” because you know in your mind that you are not ready to go? God will not send us somewhere when He knows it is not in our heart to go. For now God would be more pleased to send us out of our living rooms and across the street to our neighbours.

God will not send us somewhere until He is ready. He chooses to use us in His plan and when He wants us He will be the provider, enabler, supporter and protector of those He sets in motion. His work is not based on whether we feel ready but when He is ready. The Holy Spirit is transforming those of us who truly want to be disciples and is getting them ready to be part of Jesus’ mission. God does not expect us to have memorized the bible or have all theological arguments fine-tuned. He wants us to continue to seek Him and when He recognizes our desire to be disciples, He will use us. Being a true disciple of Christ causes us to want to go and make more disciples.
In a vision, Isaiah stood before God filled with guilt and doubt about whether he could have any impact on his community. He says “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”(Isaiah 6:5). God cleansed and forgave Isaiah of his guilt and sin and then called for someone to do His work – Isaiah responded, “send me”. The work of the Military Christian Fellowship of Canada is to take the Good News of Jesus Christ to the military community in Canada and abroad. We do not pray for a new mission from God because we already have one. We do pray for men and women to step and tell God “send me” so He will consider them to take Jesus’ love into their military environment.  If you have accepted Christ as your Saviour then you have been commissioned by Jesus (Matthew 28: 16-20) to accept God’s call. God used Peter, a fisherman who made numerous mistakes, to take His truth to the world.  Can you, in whatever role you have in society, say to God “send me”?

 
“Lord I am just a ________ but I accept the calling of the Great Commission that you have put before me. I will need the Holy Spirit to me give me courage and strength to do Your will. I am as ready as I will ever be Lord. Where do you want me? AMEN”

Soldier on

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…1 Peter 4:1,5  As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do-living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 
It was during my second posting that I became a follower of Jesus.  Circumstances in my life had become dire. Work was suffering, relationships were suffering, and financial challenges were overwhelming. I came to the end of myself. Christ stepped in front of me and figuratively held out His hand.  I was a broken man, my pride was gone, so I grabbed hold, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and He began His work in me to transform me, my life and my mission to being that of a servant, a Disciple-maker.
The joy and the peace I experienced as a result of my re-birth was extraordinary and, being a person who likes to share experiences, I shared my new found faith with my spouse, my friends and co-workers. Oddly, they weren’t as excited as I was about my experience with Jesus.  Some were polite, some less so.  For a short while I enjoyed a type of honeymoon with Jesus.  When I read His word I understood, when I spent time with other Christ-followers I was inexplicably encouraged and when I worshiped with others, hearing His word preached and singing songs that praised Jesus I was filled with that crazy consuming joy.  I know that at times I was irritatingly joyful, but it was uncontrollable.
Soon, my friends and colleagues began to push back.  On occasion they would avoid me, sometimes walk away, and sometimes maliciously attack me.  I began to learn to temper my enthusiasm. However, the push back began to turn into efforts to get me to compromise the rule that I had chosen to follow.  When I did not compromise, then ridicule followed. It followed me into the work place and it followed me into social settings and I began to withdraw.
The description given in 1 Peter 4 of what a follower of Jesus will experience is real.  It will be different for each of us depending on our life circumstances, but the effects will be very similar.
I came to a point where I had to make a decision between three options: blend in, go along to get along, so that the persecution would stop; continue to withdraw and isolate myself so that I could minimized the frequency and intensity of the attacks; or I could resume my willingness to be transparent about my love for Jesus regardless of the reaction.  After a few weeks of discussions with God, my pastor and my fellow believers, I chose option three.  I admit that the experience did temper my enthusiasm somewhat, and I was not as bubbly with some people as I was before, but I lived my faith openly.
The efforts of others to get me to compromise resumed with intensity, but my temporary retreat seemed to steel my will to follow Jesus.  Instead of withdrawing, I placed the names of my persecutors on a piece of paper and prayed for them daily. I asked God to help me remain faithful, to love those who sought to cause me harm, and to give me opportunities to serve them.  Those opportunities came and I served.  Eventually, the attacks diminished and became infrequent, and some began to ask questions about this Jesus, even going to church to check Him out and some, even becoming Christ-followers themselves.
Jesus tells us that the struggles that Christians face are many times the result of the spiritual forces of darkness (Ephesians 6:12), who use people and circumstances to persecute Christians, but we also are told that those forces are no match for the power of the Living God who lives in the Christ-follower in the form of His Spirit (1 John 4:4-5). “Greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world.”
I have been walking with Jesus for 33 years now.  My circle of friends and colleagues still contains many more non-believers than believers.  The joy I have in Christ continues unabated as does the persecutions, albeit they are more sophisticate and subtle now, yet I know I still fight the same enemy and I still use the same weapons and in Christ I still win.  I am grateful for Jesus and His love for me, I am grateful that He still gives me opportunity to serve in His mission, to be in the fight.
How about you? How goes the fight? We are in this together, and though it might seem at times that the darkness has the edge, it has already lost.
Soldier on.

Prayer/Study Group Gagetown

Good morning everyone!MCF - SMALL GROUP - ANDREW - FORM SQUARE - 2016-03-23 at 11.34.33 AM
Well, it’s getting colder in the mornings! I think old man winter is on his way so get ready… bring in the wood, light the furnace and close the windows. Now, let us take advantage of these cold nights to catch up on our reading, sit with our family and read God’s word and rejoice in the hope that soon Jesus will come for us and we will never be cold no more. We will be warm in his love!
Ok, we are at the end of James and this closing section acts as a summary of various sins and their solutions. In James 5:19-20 he is calling on us to help those who have fallen and encourage repentance because God will give him forgiveness. Amen!
 
James 5:19-20
19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
 
Please pray…
Dear God, my Father, may the Holy Spirit guide me to my fallen brothers and sisters so I may save them from death; not the physical death but spiritual death. Give me the wisdom to lead them back to repent from their sins so that they may gain your forgiveness. May they once again live in your light and rejoice in your love till the day when you send your Son back to bring us to your kingdom in heaven. I pray this to you, in Jesus name, AMEN!
 
Blessings 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)