Praying with Scripture

During Lent we are using different scripture to reflect on Jesus, the cross and His resurrection. This would be an opportune time to use the practice known as Lectio Divina (divine reading) to gain more insight into what the scripture is saying to you. Below are steps of the practice.
Set aside time, and a place with no distractions.



“LECTIO DIVINA”

  1. Choose a scripture text for your meditation.
  1. Place yourself in a comfortable position.  Allow yourself to become still and silent inside.  Be aware of God’s presence within you and all around you.  With the eyes of your heart, take a moment and ‘look at God looking at you’.
  1. Now turn to the text you have chosen and read it slowly, gently.  Savour each portion of the reading, attentively listening for the “still, small voice” of God in a word or phrase that somehow seems to say, “Stop, listen…here I am…this is for your today.
  1. Allow yourself to be drawn more deeply into God’s presence and love through the word or phrase you have chosen; take the word or phrase into yourself by slowly repeating it to yourself.  Allow it to interact with your inner world of concerns, memories, and ideas.  Do not be afraid that the memories or thoughts that come are distractions.  They are simply parts of yourself which, when they rise during lectio divina, are asking to be given to God along with the rest of your inner self.
  1. Then, respond to God in your own way.  Allow this inner pondering with God to lead you into a deeper relationship with the One who knows you and is with you.  Whether you use words or ideas or images or all three is not important.  Just interact with God as you would with someone who knows and loves you deeply.  Give to God what you have discovered in yourself during your experience of meditating on this word or phrase.
  1. Then, let go and simply rest in God’s embrace…let the words and images go.  Rejoice in the knowledge that God is with you in both words and silence, in spiritual activity and inner receptivity.
  1. You may come to a point where you are ready to move on to another word or phrase.  You may proceed as in #2 above or else you may systemically ruminate on the text phrase by phrase.
  1. When you are ready to end your prayer, thank God for this time and conclude with an Our Father or some other favourite prayer.

Ash Wednesday

Week of Ash Wednesday

ASH WEDNESDAY

Confession: Psalm 51:1–4 (NIV)

Reading: Mark 8:27–33 (NIV)

Reflection: If Peter was called a stumbling-block by Jesus, as not minding the things of God in what he said but the things of men, what is to be said about all those who profess to be made disciples of Jesus, but do not mind the things of God? [What is to be said about those who] do not look to things unseen and eternal, (but mind the things of man) and look to things seen and temporal? Would they be seen by Jesus as a stumbling block to Him, and because they are stumbling blocks to Him, as stumbling blocks to His followers also? In regard to them He says, “I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink,” so also, He might say, “When I was running you caused me to stumble.” Let us not therefore suppose that it is a trivial sin to mind the things of men—since we ought in everything to mind the things of God. —Origen’s Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew

Response: How are you mindful of the “things of people”? Are you harboring mindsets, possessions, goals, and desires that are incompatible with God and His kingdom? Make a list of these things and pray about them.

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THURSDAY

Confession: Psalm 51:5–8

 Reading: Mark 8:34–9:1 (NIV)

Reflection: Some are saying, Oh, that the world was crucified to me and I to the world! Oh, that my heart were as dead as a stone to the world and alive to Jesus! Do you truly wish it? Look, then, to the cross. Behold the amazing gift of love.… Sit down like Mary, and gaze upon a crucified Jesus. Then will the world become a dim and dying thing. When you gaze upon the sun, it makes everything else dark; when you taste honey, it makes everything else tasteless; so, when your soul feeds on Jesus, it takes away the sweetness of all earthly things—praise, pleasure, and fleshly lusts all lose their sweetness. Keep a continued gaze. Run, looking unto Jesus. Look, till the way of salvation by Jesus fills up the whole horizon, so glorious and peace-speaking. Then will the world be crucified to you, and you unto the world. Robert McCheyne – Glorifying in the Cross

Response: Has the cross changed the desires of your heart? During the season of Lent, many choose to fast or refrain from certain practices. If you have done so, are you focusing your gaze upon the cross?

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FRIDAY

Confession: Psalm 51:9–12 (NIV)

Reading: Mark 9:2–13(NIV)

Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant. And they asked him, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first? “Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.”

Reflection: If other men cannot read our motives, we ought at least to examine them carefully for ourselves. Day by day, with extreme rigor, must we search our hearts. Motive is vital to the goodness of an action. He who gives his body to be burned might yet lose his soul if his ruling passion were obstinacy and not desire for God’s glory. Self may be sought under many disguises, and a man may be utterly unaware that thus he is losing all acceptance with God.

We must not impute ill motives to others, but we must be equally clear of another more fascinating habit—that of imputing good motives to ourselves. Severity in estimating our own personal character very seldom becomes excessive; our partiality is usually more or less blinding to our judgment. We will not suspect ourselves if we can help it; evidence must be very powerful before it can convince us of being governed by sordid aims. The stream of generosity does not always spring from gratitude to God. Zeal is not at all times the offspring of deep-seated faith. Even devotional habits may be fostered by something other than holy affections. The highest wisdom suggests that we spend much patient and impartial consideration upon a matter so fundamental as the heart’s intent in the actions which it directs. “If your eye is sincere, your whole body will be full of light” (Matt 6:22). Dear reader, stand by your inner springs and watch, and make faithful notes of what you see, lest you be deceived. Charles H. Spurgeon – Springs Uncovered

Response: Do you know yourself for who you truly are? This knowledge is not an end in itself, nor does it end with ourselves. Truly knowing ourselves means we are constantly fleeing to Jesus. Set time aside daily to honestly examine the motives of your heart and then turn to God in prayer.

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SATURDAY

Confession: Psalm 51:13–19 (NIV)

Reading: Mark 9:14–29 (NIV)

Reflection: The praying sinner receives mercy because his prayer is grounded on the promise of pardon made by Him whose right it is to pardon guilty sinners. The penitent seeker after God obtains mercy because there is a definite promise of mercy to all who seek the Lord in repentance and faith. Prayer always brings forgiveness to the seeking soul. The abundant pardon is dependent upon the promise made real by the promise of God to the sinner.

While salvation is promised to him who believes, the believing sinner is always a praying sinner.… “Behold he prays” is not only the unfailing sign of sincerity and the evidence that the sinner is proceeding in the right way to find God, but it is the prophecy of abundant pardon. Get the sinner to praying according to the divine promise, and he then is near the kingdom of God. The very best sign of the returning prodigal is that he confesses his sins and begins to ask for the lowliest place in his father’s house.

It is the divine promise of mercy, of forgiveness and of adoption which gives the poor sinner hope. This encourages him to pray. This moves him in distress to cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy upon me” (Luke 18:38). E. M. Bounds -The Possibilities of Prayer

Response: Like the father of the child in Mark 9:14–29 and the prodigal son—needy and at the end of themselves—may you, too, cry out, “I believe! Help my unbelief!” Confess your sin today, seek God, and know that you find mercy because He is merciful.

Lent – Week 1

MONDAY

Confession: Psalm 25:1–5 (NIV)

Reading: Mark 9:30–32 (NIV)

Reflection: Oh, do not forget to admire infinitely more the dear Lord Jesus, that promised seed. He willingly said, “Lo, I come,” though under no obligation so to do, “to do your will,” to obey and die for men, “O God!” Did you weep just now, when I bid you fancy you saw the altar, the wood laid in order, and Isaac laid bound on the altar? Look by faith. Behold the blessed Jesus, our all-glorious Emmanuel—not bound, but nailed on a cursed tree. See how he hangs crowned with thorns and in derision of all that are around Him. See how the thorns pierce Him, and how the blood in purple streams trickle down His sacred temples! Hark how the God of nature groans! See how He bows His head, and at length humanity gives up the ghost! Isaac is saved, but Jesus, the God of Isaac, dies. A ram is offered up in Isaac’s room, but Jesus has no substitute. Jesus must bleed. Jesus must die. God the Father provided this Lamb for himself from all eternity. He must be offered in time, or man must be damned for evermore.

And now, where are your tears? Shall I say, refrain your voice from weeping? No; rather let me exhort you to look to Him whom you have pierced. Mourn as a woman mourneth for her first-born. For we have been the betrayers, and we have been the murderers of this Lord of glory. Shall we not bewail those sins, which brought the blessed Jesus to the accursed tree? Having so much done, so much suffered for us, so much forgiven, shall we not love much! Oh! let us love Him with all our hearts, and minds, and strength, and glorify Him in our souls and bodies, for they are His. – George Whitefield – Abraham’s Offering Up His Son Isaac

Response: Christ willingly died for you and has forgiven you. Consider the paths you have turned from and the roads that you are treading on right now. Pray that you would do everything out of love for Him and a desire to use your time for Him.

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TUESDAY

Confession: Psalm 25:6–10 (NIV)

Reading: Mark 9:33–41 (NIV)

Reflection:  What do we intend to do as a Church for Christ Jesus, “whom the king wishes to honor” (Esther 6:6)? Let me answer briefly.

Believe Him. Christ is always very pleased with His people’s faith. Beloved, confide in Him. Tell Him your troubles. Pour out your hearts before Him. Trust the merit of His blood, the power of His arm, the love of His heart. There is no box of precious ointment whose smell will more delight Him than your simple, unwavering faith.

He is a God of love: If you would give Him something choice, show Him your love. Let your heart go after Him, and with the arms of your love embrace Him. Charles H. Spurgeon – What Shall Be Done for Jesus?

Response: Jesus ushers in the kingdom of God. The ways of this kingdom often defy our ambitions and expectations. During this season of Lent, how are God’s ways overtaking your ways? Pray for the trust and love of a child. Pray that you would be a willing and humble disciple. 

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WEDNESDAY

Confession: Psalm 25:11–15 (NIV)

Reading: Mark 9:42–50 (NIV)

Reflection: There is a perfect cure for all the ills that man is heir to. There is a cure that is sovereign, sufficient, sure, and speedy. Jesus Christ announced that cure long ago, but most men and women have not listened, and so our evils, miseries, and despair continue. You will find that our Lord Jesus Christ proposed the cure for all our ills in Matthew 11:28–30, “Come to me, all of you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to carry and my burden is light.” Christ Jesus Himself is the cure for all our evils. He came to “destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). He does it for all who receive Him. Poverty, sickness, bereavement, failure, bitterness of heart, despair, and death—as well as sin and unbelief—are all works of the devil. We can have done with them by coming to Jesus, the Christ of God.

I propose to take up these various evils and show how Jesus, the Christ of God, is the cure for them all and how each one of us may be done with them right now. – R. A. Torrey – The Gospel for Today

Response: What sins are present in your life right now? Ask your spouse or a trusted friend in your church community to help you recognize and address these sins. Pray that God would shed light on the darkness in your life and use you to spread light.

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THURSDAY

Confession: Psalm 25:16–18 (NIV)

Reading: Mark 10:1–12 (NIV)

Reflection: See a teacher’s wisdom.… By His argument He showed that it was the commandment of His Father, and that not in opposition to Moses did He command these things, but in full agreement with him. Notice Him arguing strongly not only from the creation, but also from His command. For He not only said that He made one man and one woman only, but that He also gave this command that the one man should be joined to the one woman.… But now both by the manner of the creation, and by the manner of lawgiving, He showed that one man must dwell with one woman continually, and never break off from her.  John Chrysostom – Homilies of St. John Chrysostom

Response: Jesus comes with authority. How are you eager for Him to reign in all parts of your life—your relationships, your work, your thoughts, and your goals?

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FRIDAY

Confession: Psalm 130:1–4 (NIV)

Reading: Mark 10:13–16 (NIV)

Reflection: When our Lord blessed the little children, He was making His last journey to Jerusalem. It was thus a farewell blessing which He gave to the little ones. It reminds us that among His parting words to His disciples, before He was taken up, we find the tender charge, “Feed my lambs” (John 21:15). The ruling passion was strong upon the great Shepherd of Israel, who “will gather the lambs in his arm[s], and he will carry them in his bosom” (Isa 40:11); and it was fitting that while He was making His farewell journey, He should bestow His gracious benediction upon the children.

Beloved, our Lord Jesus Christ is not here among us in person; but we know where He is, and we know that He is clothed with all power in heaven and in earth to bless His people. Let us then draw near to Him this day. Let us seek His touch in the form of fellowship and ask the aid of His intercession. Charles H. Spurgeon – As a Little Child

Response: Jesus says we must welcome in the kingdom of God like a child. What areas of your life are marked by self-sufficiency? Is your posture like that of a child—totally reliant on God and receptive to Him?

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SATURDAY

Confession: Psalm 130:5–8 (NIV).

Reading: Mark 10:17–31 (NIV

Reflection: The law says, you shall not commit adultery; but you may not even desire—kindling passion by curious and earnest looks. You shall not kill, says the law; but you are not even to return a blow. On the contrary, you are to offer yourself to the smiter. How much more ascetic is the gospel than the law! You shall not swear is the law; but you are not to swear at all, either a greater or a lesser oath, for an oath is the parent of perjury. You shall not join house to house, nor field to field, oppressing the poor; but you are to set aside willingly even your just possessions, and to be stripped for the poor, that without hindrance you may take up the cross and be enriched with the unseen riches. Gregory Nazianzen – Select Orations of Saint Gregory Nazianzen

Response: What cares of this world have you elevated above following Jesus? Sometimes we prioritize even good things above our call to discipleship. Pray that your desire to follow Jesus would trump all of the good things in your life.

AGM 2021

The 2021 MCF Annual General Meeting (AGM), will take place on 27 February beginning at 1:00 pm (EST).  Again, this year we will be able to meet without having to physically travel to a specific location for the AGM.  As we did in 2019 and 2020, we will be using the teleconferencing application called “ZOOM”, which the executive team has been using for a few years. We have had great success with this application and have expanding its use in support of the AGM.  For the best experience please download the application to whichever device you will use to connect to the AGM.

While COVID-19 has closed the doors of many institutions, the MCF has expanded its ministry footprint through the online environment We are excited over what has happened during the past year and over what we are planning to do during the coming year.  Please note that more information will be provided in the coming weeks.

To help us ensure that the AGM proceeds smoothly,  pre-registration for attending the AGM is required no later than 26 Feb at 4:00 pm EST.  We will send everyone the zoom connection information Friday evening. Please reply to the MCF office. We do need your correct email address to be sure you can log in on Saturday 27 February, 2021.

We know that He can do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, so to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus in this generation and all those that are to come.  Blessings on you, chat with you soon.

Lent a time of Preparation

Forty is a significant number in the Bible. It signals a state of waiting and preparation. Genesis shows us Noah and his family shut up in the ark, enduring the rains for 40 days and nights (Gen 7:17). Moses spends another 40 days and nights atop a mountain, neither eating nor drinking as he experiences the presence of God (Exodus 34:28). Numbers 14 shows the Lord, fed up with the grumbling of the Israelites, condemning them to 40 years of wandering in the desert. Mirroring the Old Testament, the gospel writers of the New Testament show Jesus spending 40 days in the wilderness, fasting, and being tempted by Satan: “At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.” (Mark 1:12, NIV).

Following this pattern, Christians from many church traditions have marked the occasion of Jesus’ death and resurrection by a similar period of fasting known as Lent. The traditional calendar for Lent goes from Ash Wednesday to Easter, with exceptions for Sundays (always a feast day). This devotional follows that format—40 devotionals spanning 46 days.  Devotionals will be posted on our FACEBOOK site starting Ash Wednesday.

Lent is a time of preparation; a season of prayer, fasting and repentance. It’s a time for reflecting on our shared experience of the suffering, death and glorious resurrection of Christ, the very center of our faith. Lent is a time of self-examination that should lead us to the end of our self-sufficiency and to full dependence on Jesus. However you mark this season, we hope that this devotional will enhance your meditations on Christ’s redeeming work. May this season be one of repentance, hope and joy in the resurrection of Christ; one that will last beyond these 40 days.

Change


Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
Psalms 119:27



SIMPLE STEPS TO STARTING OR CHANGING A HABIT OF PRAYER OR READING AND STUDYING SCRIPTURE

    1. Trust that your desire to change is also God’s desire that you change. Start with a simple prayer such as “God, I want to change so that I can know you. I will need your help. Amen”
  1. Pick only one area where you want to change and identify a simple statement that reflects your desire. For example:
    1. I want to “pray”, or
      1. I want to “read and study scripture
    2. I want to “pray more often”, or 
      1. I want to “read and study scripture more often
  2. Once you have selected what you want to change, break that activity down into baby steps. For example, identify a way you can do the exercise under 60 seconds:
    1. PRAYER
      1. When you first open your eyes in the morning, consider praying, “Father, thank you for giving me another day.”
      2. As you go about your day and see things happening around you, consider saying one-liner prayers:
        1. Seeing strangers on the street – “Holy Spirit, I don’t know what that person believes, but can you help them think about God sometime today.”
        2. Hearing an emergency vehicle, “Lord be with the drivers of that vehicle and keep them safe as they go to their destination.”
        3. While at work, “Father, help me be a positive example in my work and help me guard my words, my attitude and my behaviour.”
      3. Remember that God is available to us no matter the time of day or our physical location
    2. SCRIPTURE
      1. Consider starting by reading prepared daily devotionals. These are short commentaries linked to specific scripture verses that include practical life applications. Daily devotionals can be sent to you automatically via email.
      2. Ensure you select a bible that you will read. It should be a translation that you will want to read because it uses the words and language you use. If you are not sure, Bible Gateway (internet source) has all translations, You can scan through the different translation to find the one you like.
      3. Read logically – start and end your reading at a point that makes sense and allows the story to flow. i.e. Don’t end mid-chapter because you needed to read ten paragraphs.
  3. Recap your activity and reflect on what you did. Hold yourself accountable. Think of how you will approach that activity tomorrow and plan to increase your involvement.
    1. Recording your activity in a notebook is known to reinforce a habit. Simple statements such as:
      1. Today I prayed at least eight one-line prayers, which included a prayer for myself, my boss, the bus driver, the homeless fellow I passed today, and my colleagues’ son.
      2. Today I read the 23rd Psalm.
  4. The more time you become involved in your new habit, the more joy it will bring you. Once you feel comfortable that you have accomplished the baby-steps, it is time to move up to a new level of involvement. In addition to your new habit of the baby-step activity, consider spending more time participating in prayer. This could mean that:
    1. You may need to identify a specific time slot to be able to participate in your activity. Remember that you may have to give up another activity to fit this in and so choose wisely.  Missing some time in front of the TV will not hurt us, so consider replacing a little TV time with a bit of spiritual development time.
      1.  Set aside manageable time slots, i.e. 15-minute increments.
      2. Remember that praying for 15 minutes is very different than reading or studying for 15 minutes.
    2. You may need to identify a comfortable place where you will be alone and undisturbed;
    3. You may need to leave yourself reminders such as sticky notes on a mirror or an entry in a Day-Timer.
  5. If you forget to pray, don’t feel guilty. Ask yourself why you missed it. You may have to rethink your location and timing choices. Ask God to help you keep future appointments.
  6. Focus on the reason you are developing or changing this activity. Please do not tell yourself that you have to pray “God says I should.” He wants your heart more than your obedience.
  7. Strong willpower is not a character trait, and it is not a sign of weakness if you can’t “will” yourself to stop or start something. Focus on developing a habit so that eventually, you become comfortable praying or reading scripture whenever you desire.

This is the Day

“The Lord has done it this very day;
let us rejoice today and be glad. Psalm 118:24 (NIV) 



Do you have a favourite day of the week? Are you more productive on one day as opposed to the rest of the week? Do you dread one day over another?

Each day we are given is a blessing from God, but sometimes our nature causes us to feel uncomfortable about certain days of the weeks. Somehow, we all seem to have a favourite and least favourite day of the week. We tend to be people of habit and emotion, so our minds associate particular joys or distress with activities we tend to do on certain days. Our western society loves to share specific days’ virtues, and we tend to buy into it. Did you know (based on multiple statistics sites):

  • Monday is the best day to send out surveys,

  • Tuesday around 3:00 PM is the best time to look for and book airlines tickets,

  • Wednesday is considered the best day to shop,

  • Thursday is regarded as the safest day of the week to travel by car while Friday is thought to be the worst,

  • Saturday is not a perfect day to visit a hospital because most people suffering from alcohol poisoning are admitted that evening, and

  • Sunday is the happiest day of the week.

We know all this is irrelevant to the truth that Jesus wants us to share; the fact that every day can be a day of joy if we seek it.

Most of us fret about certain days of the week despite knowing that scripture guides us to be thankful each day. Our minds know how we should react each day, but our emotions often take us in another direction. An unknown author once said, “Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.” Consider this to be your COVID slogan as you go out into the world or sit around in lockdown. Start each day by asking the Holy Spirit to help you see that which is pleasant or inspire you to do good where it is required. Don’t let the evil one take your mind to things that cause you anxiety but allow Jesus’ peace to reign over you today and every day.

Knocking on God’s door

“So, let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16



Bill Hybels says, “Prayer is an unnatural activity. From birth, we have been learning self-reliance rules as we strain and struggle to achieve self-sufficiency. Prayer flies in the face of those deep-seated values. It is an assault on human autonomy, an indictment of independent living. To people in the fast lane, determined to make it on their own, prayer is an interruption.”



I am embarrassed to admit this, but at times I have struggled with prayer. I believe in prayer. I know what the Bible teaches about prayer. I know the biblical stories that demonstrate the power of prayer. But if you were to chart my Christian life, there would be significant gaps where prayer has been missing in action. Even though I know it’s not true theologically, prayer has often felt passive like I wasn’t doing anything. I would describe what prayers I did as boring, mechanical, obligatory, and lacking faith.

The Gospel of Luke has a thought-provoking story about prayer that changed my approach to talking with God. Luke 11 opens with the most general, vague, non-descript statement. It merely says, “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place.” There must have been something very compelling and different about the way that Jesus prayed because, in the very next verse, we find the disciples asking Jesus to teach them how to pray. I don’t know if you realize this, but the only thing the disciples ever asked Jesus to teach them was how to pray.

In that same chapter, in verses 5-8, Jesus tells the story of a man who has a friend show up for an unannounced visit. And the man has no food to offer his travelling friend. So, he goes to his neighbour, and even though it is midnight, he knocks on the door and asks for bread. The neighbour is irritated and initially refuses to get up and help. But the man at the door refused to give up and keeps knocking and asking for help. Then, the punch line of the story comes in verse 8. “I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet he will surely get up and give you as much as you need because of your shameless audacity.” 


God invites us to come to his door and bring our request with shameless audacity.


That might sound a little presumptuous and irreverent, and maybe your thinking, “I thought we were supposed to approach God humbly.” There is a difference between coming to God boldly and coming to God arrogantly. That is very different from the way I was taught to pray, almost sheepishly; “God, if it’s your will and if you have time, and if it wouldn’t be too much trouble, could You, maybe, potentially hear my prayer.” When you are desperate and have a real need (like the man in the story), you don’t worry about protocol or policy. You don’t care about image or what people will think.

God is not a grumpy neighbour who doesn’t want to be disturbed.  He is a gracious Father who delights in responding to His children.

The next time you pray, don’t be afraid to knock on heaven’s door and, with shameless audacity, bring your desires and deepest longings to your Heavenly Father.

ALPHA WINTER SESSION

I am looking forward to what the Lord has determined that the MCF will be involved in over this next year.

Our year starts off with our third online Alpha Course.
This season we offer two online Courses.
Sunday, 31 January online 7:00 pm EST and
Wednesday, 3 February online at 7:00 MT

I love this course as it presents the fundamentals of the Christian faith in an easy to understand yet sufficiently profound way that participants have all that they need to become followers of Jesus.  And for those who already know Him, their faith will be steeled.

The MCF’s core mission, the reason that we exist, is to bring the gospel to the Military community at home and abroad. The Alpha course is an excellent tool to use in accomplishing that mission.

If you haven’t been on an Alpha course, please consider joining us or some other Alpha course in your local setting.  If you have been on the course, then talk to your military community friend or family member about joining us on Alpha this winter.

Get out there and invite (virtually) your bud, your bro, your sis, your mom, your… and register for one of the MCF Alpha courses. The experience will change them and you…forever.

Are you ready to join us, here are the coordinates for the groups:
Sunday, 31 January online at 7:00 pm EST
Leading the sessions: Gerry Potter – mcfoffice@themcf.ca

Wednesday, 3 February online at 7:00 MT
Leading the sessions: Padre Oliver Edwards Oliver.Edwards@forces.gc.ca

Is everything distorted?

“I will go before thee, and make crooked places straight” Isaiah 45:2a (NKJV)



Have you ever looked through a window after it has been splashed by rain or even some kind of dirty water? What you see as you look through the window is a twisted distorted form. You know what you are looking at isn’t distorted; it is the wet window that is responsible for the distortion.


Fear twists and distorts. Fear can grip us, choke all faith out of our hearts. Fear has a way of tying our stomachs up in knots, paralyzing our thinking, inducing panic.


The individual who is fearful, afraid, angry, depressed or lives in any negative state whatsoever doesn’t understand that he or she is looking at the world through something that distorts the world around them. They are looking at the world through their distorted nature that began in the garden and has been shaped by centuries of experiences that didn’t put the love of others first. Sadly, many are captive to negative states and can’t see what we are supposed to see. They do not see God’s creation as He intended it to be. They don’t see others as God created us to be. They don’t see themselves as they were designed to be.

God did not create us to walk around with a distorted view of His creation. Christmas reminded those who believe, Jesus brought news of the possibility of hope, love, joy and peace so that we don’t see the world through fallen eyes.


We are reminded that without the grace of God we are completely unable to choose by ourselves to follow Him.

We are reminded that we can’t refrain from sin or accept the gift of salvation without God’s grace.

We are reminded that the truth and the light are words associated with a divine intelligence that created us and loves us; the truth and light say: “He will go before us and make the crooked places straight” (Isaiah 45:2).


Because of our relationship with God we don’t need to fear anything. This is not positive thinking as our hope is not putting away negative thoughts. Instead, our confidence and hope rest in the power of God Almighty.

Sadly, many see the world with a corrupted vision that is responding to a world view or even their expectations. They look at the world and believe it is as it is supposed to be and, as long as they can’t separate themselves from that thought, they will never be able to realize the purpose of their existence. Some can’t see the world as God intended, despite the desire in their heart to connect with God. Maybe they are trying too hard with their efforts, possibly thinking that if they do certain activities, the distorted view of the life around them will be removed.

However, only God can open up eyes to His world. He invites us to believe that He is with us and is part of our daily life. He invites us to acknowledge His existence throughout the day, not just in morning prayer or evening prayer but everywhere we go and in everything we do. When we can believe He is in the world, we will begin to see the world around us through His eyes.

Here is a challenge for you this week – throughout your day stop and have a short conversation with God saying, “thank you for loving me and being with me today.”  When you begin to acknowledge and look for Jesus’ presence during your day, He will remove the distortion. His truth will go before you to help you reconcile what you see. He will break your heart for your community and change you to become a new, changed person who wants to share Jesus’ truth and promises. Seek, acknowledge and give thanks.