Where is Jesus?

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The first “Where’s Waldo” book appeared in 1987 and was designed by Martin Hanford who, since childhood, was fond of viewing and drawing crowd scenes.  While working as an illustrator a friend recommended that he make one character more colourful than the others.  He suggested that as people looked for Waldo they would see the whole drawing more intimately.  Hanford began creating books with Waldo visiting famous world destinations and hiding in crowds of locals.  Soon, as children and adults alike searched Hanford’s detailed images depicting everyday life, they found themselves declaring excitedly “here he is.”  While looking for Waldo, seekers could not help but notice characters at work, play and even in distress.
Can others pick you out of a crowd as being different?  Are you able to identify signs in yourself that suggests you are a follower of Christ?  Are you able to recognize God’s presence in your life?
God want us to seek Him out.  He wants us to discover the promises He has made including the promise to transform us so that we are different from the world around us.  He wants us to look for Him so that by doing so we can find our purpose for existence.
The inability to see God generally stems from a complacency to recognize God’s remarkable involvement in ensuring the required circumstances, which exist so that life on earth is possible.  Unbelievers do not want to acknowledge God’s role while too many believers take God’s participation for granted.  This allows life’s trivial distractions to block their view of God.  We live in a remarkably made world and our existence in it seems beyond comprehension.  Science tries to use time and coincidence as factors, which allows millions of seemingly, unrelated species of flora and fauna to exist alongside humanity.  This theory suggests our existence is the result of an accident and has no higher meaning.  If a follower of Christ cannot see a reason for waking each morning nor recognize the incredible complex circumstance behind each breath drawn, they probably will not recognize Jesus even if His cross hit them on their head.  If followers fail to understand their own uniqueness has a purpose, then life will be seen as a futile combination of accidents and coincidences. If the creative will of a loving God has no real place in the life of a Christ follower, then they will see no purpose for the people and events they encounter daily.
Initially searching for Waldo was exciting but Hanford realized that as people searched for Waldo they were in fact missing the others who surrounded him; characters drawn with the same love and dedication. To help people see the beauty of all his characters he introduced Wilma, Wenda, Woof and others hoping to get people to look closer at the bigger picture.  It did cause people to slow down and see the difference, which contributed to the joy of searching.  God similarity surrounds us with people who are unlike us but just as valuable in His eyes.  People that we casually encounter each day in our community setting; yet don’t notice because we are often distracted by our own needs.  God knows, that often we don’t acknowledge the existence of the business executive, the homeless person, the vendor or the boisterous children whom we see each day; and that is not His will.
The world is colourful and offers excitement and pleasure.  However we have been created for more than short bursts of intense emotions.  We have been created to become children of God so we can experience His presence for all eternity.  In the process of fulfilling our purpose, we have been called to share the news of God’s promises by both our words and our actions.  However we will be unable to fulfil our purpose if we are unable to recognize God’s presence in our lives today or in the faces we see each day.
Do you wonder why you chose to follow Jesus?
Do you recognize His presence daily?
Do you think you can do more to find God?

Prayer/Study Gagetown Group

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

I am on leave and thankful for all of you who read this and I do hope it’s a blessing for you as it is for me.

That brings me to the topic I would like to share with you for this week…Thankfulness!

As Christians, we are called to be thankful to our God for all His blessings towards us starting with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for our salvation. The forgiveness of our sins we found at the cross is the greatest of God’s blessings because our soul is now safe for eternity.

The everyday blessings of family, friends, country, jobs, etc…those are all “icing on the cake”J. We are told to be thankful in our words (Eph 5:4, 20), for our food (Mt 26:27, Jn 6:11), for our brothers and sisters in Christ (Col 1:3), in generous giving (2 Cor 9:11) and in all things (1 Thes 5:16-18) even in trials (which is so difficult for me) because there is and will be thankfulness in Heaven (Rev 4:9).

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  –  Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Please pray…

Our heavenly Father, we thank you for all the blessings in our lives. We thank you for the greatest blessing of all… your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. We thank you for the blessings which are seen and not seen in our lives. The hidden blessings that we don’t see, our health and your protection on us as we go through our days. How you know what we need in order to survive this world. Our Father, though we don’t always thank you for the blessings that you give us, you know our hearts and our faith; that we are thankful for everything you do for us.

 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)

Do you believe?

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Last Sunday I listened to a message about love. The love specifically spoken about was the illogical, unusual love that comes from a determined act of the will, from a joyful resolve to put the welfare of others above our own; agape love. It is that love which took Jesus to the cross and also allows us to love Him with our whole being. Agape love can create a desire in us to be concerned about the salvation of those we encounter daily. Ongoing agape love is a gift that is available to those born again, to those who have been spiritually reborn because they chose to believe in Jesus.

Questions often arise as to what do we need to believe about Jesus and Sunday’s speaker shared the following questions in the hope of getting listeners to question their own understanding and possibly connect or reconnect with God.

  • Do you believe that God created everything that exits and that He intentionally created humanity to have a daily and eternal relationship with Him?
  • Do you believe that when we enter into this relationship we can love God, the Holy Sprit and Jesus with all our heart, mind and soul and that we can also love all those around us?
  • Do you believe that in the process of loving as God desires it can cause others to praise His name?
  • Do you believe that there are things that we can do or say (sins) that are hurtful and offensive to God, to those around us, and even to ourselves and, that it is God’s desire that we do not partake in those activities?
  • Do you believe that sin is so offensive to God’s Holy nature that unless we stop or find a way to be forgiven of sin our eternity with Him will not happen and a dire outcome awaits us?
  • Do you believe that in order to reconcile the damage caused by sin Jesus was sent to earth to show us that a love exists, an agape love, which allows our behaviour to be forgiven and our eternity with God assured?
  • Do you believe that Jesus purposefully allowed himself to be arrested, brutalized and murdered and by His own power rose from the grave showing that He has authority over all life and death?
  • Do you believe the Holy Sprit can help us resist the temptation to sin and although we will never be free from the ability to sin, we can be freed from the desire to do so?
  • Do you believe that we can be born again, born of God’s Holy Spirit, so that our lives will be transformed?
  • Do you believe we must be born again, reborn with God’s spirit, so that daily we can experience God’s gift of illogical agape love?
  • Do believe that there is nothing we personally can do, no amount of good deeds, no amount of community aide, no amount of sacrifice, which alone will cause God to allow us into heaven with Him?
  • Do you believe that while we are on this earth unexplainable joy, remarkable peace, soothing comfort and wonderful hope are possible and that it stems from our belief in Jesus?
  • Do you believe that not everyone will be brought into God’s kingdom and there is judgement and eternal separation from God for those who do not believe?
  • Do you believe that we can be saved from the death caused by sin, which is eternal separation from God, and that our past and future transgressions can be forgiven when we believe and trust in Jesus’ promises and truth?

We may disagree on some aspects of the way we do church however we must not disagree on what Jesus shared which is YOU MUST BELIEVE IN HIM.

Examine yourself on these questions and if required, seek an understanding from your priest or pastor or a Christian brother or sister willing to discuss God’s expectations. Do not rely on your love or abilities but believe. Let God know what you believe and pray asking that agape love drives you to seek a stronger relationship with Him and creates a desire within you to share His truths with those you encounter.

Prayer/Study Gagetown Group

Good Morning to all my Brothers and Sisters!!MCF - SMALL GROUP - ANDREW - FORM SQUARE - 2016-03-23 at 11.34.33 AM

As you all must know by now the VBS is in full swing and is doing great; the kids are having fun as they learn about Joseph in Egypt. Great fun for all!! Let’s pray the rain holds out for them and it stays sunny for their BBQ on Friday.

So once again I am going to hold out on James to talk about the Children in the Bible. Jesus loved the Children and he poured God’s love upon them and said “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Mark 10:13-16

13 Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” 16 And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.

Matthew 21:15

But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant

Genesis 33:5

And he lifted his eyes and saw the women and children, and said, “Who are these with you?” So he said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.”

Please pray…

Our heavenly Father we thank you for the gift of Children. Their innocence and simple love shows us your love and how freely you give it to us, without trade. By accepting your Son as our Savior we can, only then, know you through his sacrifice and we are able to be with you in your kingdom. Thank you God for that beautiful gift and may we honor you by teaching the children about you, your mercy and love that you have given us through your Son …we pray this in Jesus name (your Child) … 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)

Encourage one another

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This week a young couple that recently moved to our city to serve God had a child.  They came with little but trusted God would provide whatever they needed to share His truths. This couple are not finically irresponsible nor are they avaricious in their desires. They needed a crib and other supplies and did not ask anyone but God. Someone noticed how little they had and word spread that they needed some baby furniture. Brothers and sisters prayed for them but also gave what they could; they responded as Christ expected. The husband recently shared that he and his wife had prayed for God’s provisions and later that day an anonymous Christian family gave them $1000.00 for their baby’s needs.  I didn’t tell this story to communicate that when we pray with the right motives God provides, although that is true. This story is about how Christian brothers and sisters are necessary for the encouragement and support of the body of Christ.
While imprisoned, and in chains, Paul wrote a letter to Philemon telling him about the joy and encouragement he felt because of Philemon’s faithful walk. Paul recognized that the actions of Philemon were doing much to help other followers live for Christ and Paul commended him for that. The book of Philemon isn’t the only book where Paul writes about the need for followers to encourage and support each other. Many of his letters contain similar sentiments. He wrote these words not because they sound nice or polite but because Paul understood that God created us to live in harmonious relationship with each other, a relationship that is very difficult outside Christian community and sadly often lacking within it. Jesus’ direction to go and make disciples of all nations teaching them His truth was also part of His message of loving our neighbours. We tend to think He was only speaking about reaching the unsaved however He was also guiding us to interact with others followers. His messages often expressed what should be happening in Christian community. They highlighted the fact His truth and love is what binds the Church and shows the world what Christ’s love can do to people.
We pray for those who do not know Jesus as their saviour and must continue to do so. But, don’t forget about those who have already made the decision to be a follower; they also need our love and support. Our actions and words put a smile on their hearts and remind them that God has created something special. When people unselfishly bring encouragement to the family His church flourishes. The young couple that received the money are truly grateful and were encouraged. Paul shares that the actions and behaviours of brothers and sisters can also go a long way to bring hope to the Christian community.
Can you make a point of sending a note or making a phone call to another brother or sister telling them that you are thankful you are related in Christ? Can you refresh the heart of another follower so that they are reminded there is joy in being a Christian?

Prayer/Study Gagetown Group

Good Morning to you all!MCF - SMALL GROUP - ANDREW - FORM SQUARE - 2016-03-23 at 11.34.33 AM
Wow, still lots of you are out! Must be a good summer for all; not many around for prayer Thursdays. Our Father loves when we come together to pray in his Son’s name, no matter what denomination we are and there are over 33,000 distinct denominations in 238 countries. But one thing for sure is as long as we know that our salvation comes from Christ, the gift given through God, then, we all have this in common.
Which brings me to a question… (ya I know I have pushed James aside again but that’s ok because when Brother Andrew comes back he will bring me back in line LOL ;o) So my question! I was driving into work yesterday, and trust me I have an hour drive to work every day so I have lots of time to think and chat with God, I was thinking about my Commitment to God, so I ask you “How Strong is Your Commitment to God”? Is your commitment to God strong enough to make time for him, or is it only strong enough just to give him your free time if you can spare it?
I ask myself this question too. To make time for God shows that we are truly thankful for what he has done for us through his Son. Like John says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”. So ask yourself how much time do I give to God in prayer, and not just in the solitude in my home, but in the company of other Christians as in Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Food for thought…
This reminds me of a prayer I have said before, remember this one?
Please pray…
Our heavenly Father, we thank you for making it possible to being able to gather in your Son’s name and rejoice in the fellowship of one another in the light. In many places around the world this is not possible and Christians die for it, but here, oh Lord, you have blessed us with the freedom to pray and gather freely in your Son’s name and for this, we are so very grateful! Through our Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you…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)

Who is right?

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We all have preferences when it comes to church. We like the music, the programs, the preaching or even the people; that is why we continue to go back to the same church each Sunday. However just as many have ideas about how an ideal church functions, they also have opinions as to how others are doing church wrong.  We can identify flaws in their mission statement, the way they baptize people, the way they pray or even the sound of their musicians. These opinions and differences are rarely about a church’s or denomination’s core beliefs. They often focus on the irrelevant or something that has not been well defined in scripture; such as to sprinkle or dunk during baptism.

When Jesus met the women at the well she brought up one of the divisive differences of opinions that Samaritans and Jews have regarding worship. Jesus however sets the record straight by suggesting worship is not about the location or the frills. He said true worshipers worship the Father in spirit and truth; true worship engages the heart which has been enhanced by the truth about God. Worship in spirit and truth requires scripture, not legalism or preferences, to be the foundation of our love of God. When we ground ourselves in His truths, we then know who it is we seek to glorify.

Have you ever been in a church other than your own or even one from another denomination? Have you seen people worship in spirit and truth outside of your own congregation? It is happening despite what you may have heard. It is happening in churches where liturgy and ceremony are central to the service just as it is happening in places that resemble concert stages. It is happening where people are not concerned about where they are but who they are there to honour with their worship.  Focusing on our differences out of jealousy or ignorance hurts Christ’s Church (the body of believers) and can have dire consequences.

Stephen is identified as the first Christian Martyr of the Church and his problems started with people who probably worshipped differently from him. He was chosen to oversee the early church’s food programs not because he was a great logistician or had connections to food distributors or was well liked by everyone in his community. He was chosen to be part of the Holy Spirit’s earthly mission because he was full of faith and the Holy Spirit. He set about doing the work to the best of his abilities and people had opinions about his ministry, specifically the Synagogue of the Freedmen (literally made up of those who were former slaves). Their opinions lead to an accusation of blasphemy which resulted in his stoning and death. Incredible to think that even in the early days of the church, differences of opinions caused such horror.

It is a great sensation to worship with others. The knowledge we gain from these experiences enhances theoverall Church. Would you consider enhancing your understanding by visiting a church of another denomination? I am not suggesting that we abandon our own Sunday experience with our church family. Go to a nigh-time or mid-week service elsewhere. We should not go thinking we will find something better or worse. We should go looking to worship in a style different from our preference. We should go looking for ways in which others praise and glorify God hoping it will be part of our spiritual transformation so we can worship in spirit and truth.

Prayer/Study Gagetown Group

Good Morning everyone!
God is GREAT!
I am now back to work. If you don’t mind, I would like to pause a minute from James, for this Thursday, to maybe just spend some time in our fellowship with one another and talk about you, me and whatever comes to mind. Maybe even go back over a few points of the beginning of James, but mostly just to enjoy being in the company of fellow Christians who are all in fellowship with Christ… if that’s ok with you guys.
Sometimes we struggle so hard to understand the Word of God and to say the right prayer or do the right things; we sometimes need to step back and just sing to God and to his Glory and thank Him for all that he has done for us and this Base.
Let’s just talk ;o)
5 This is the message, which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Please pray…
Our heavenly Father, we thank you for making it possible to being able to gather in your Son’s name and rejoice in the fellowship of one another in the light. In many places around the world this is not possible and Christians die for it, but here, oh Lord, you have blessed us with the freedom to pray and gather freely in your Son’s name and for this, we are so very grateful! Through our Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you…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