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Showing posts from June, 2011

GIVING LIKE JESUS

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You may wish you could be part of a big production giveaway. Wouldn’t you love to stand on the back of a wagon in a third world village handing out bags of rice while the cameras roll? Could we not get CBC to show up to our Friday mission meal and show a church feeding 160 people every week?

Or would you like to give like Jesus? Oprah and other celebrities have multi-million dollar corporate sponsors to use the events for advertising. I don’t think you will see them give away their widow’s mite.

Jesus de-celebritized to perform the world’s epic giveaway. He entered the world stage not as an actor, but as a humble servant. He laid down the wealth of Heaven and his own life on a cross. Instead of accolades, he received beatings. He died in dishonor.

Here’s what He had to say about giving to the poor.


Matthew 6:
 1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
 2 “So when you give to the n…

GIVING LIKE OPRAH

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It’s hard to believe that Oprah has left the airwaves. After 25 years of history-making, life-changing television, she aired her last show on May 25th, 2011. Like I said, it’s hard to believe that Oprah has left the airwaves. I don’t think we have seen the last of her.

She has often portrayed herself as a woman of integrity and generosity. She is a spiritual role model to millions with her own mix of new-age success thinking.

Did you ever watch any of her fantastic giveaways? She would find someone who needed help and allow millions to observe her philanthropy. Going into her final season, she went over the top in her giving. From her website, it described what would happen heading into the home stretch.


The new season of the Oprah Winfrey Show began on a wonderful note when actor John Travolta escorted Oprah out to the stage where they were greeted by enthusiastic audience members. The audience of 300 was a specially selected group of Oprah's most devoted viewers, who had received i…

TAKE A DEEP BREATH

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In the Genesis account of Creation, God took the dust of the earth and formed it into a man. Then God breathed life into the man’s nostrils.

God’s breath is more intimate than His hands. He exhales life.


John 20:
22-23 Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. "Receive the Holy Spirit," he said. "If you forgive someone's sins, they're gone for good. If you don't forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?"


Receiving the Holy Spirit is not just an experience for Pentecostals. It is the empowerment of God entering your life via Jesus. Jesus gave the disciples the Holy Spirit. This too is how we are empowered to respond to God’s mission in our life.

Jesus ties the empowerment of God’s Spirit to enabling forgiveness. We can forgive at a humanly intangible level when we are filled with God. The child of God who will not forgive is left with a dilemma. How can God’s peace remain in us if we will not forgive? Can you be at peace when the Holy S…

WE EXHALE WITH UNCERTAIN BREATH

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What is this unconquerable peace that Jesus experienced? Torture and execution are not peace giving. Bearing the weight of the world’s sin is unthinkably horrific.

Jesus knew the peace of God, the true essence of Shalom. You cannot say ‘Peace to you’ with authority unless you are walking in peace yourself. How were the disciples to comprehend the peace of God if Jesus were not standing alive before them?


John 20: (The Message) 20-21 The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: "Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you."


In the strangeness of seeing a dead man back to life, Jesus repeats the greeting in case they missed it the first time. ‘Peace to you’.

When we suffer or experience humiliation, we are likely to lose our peace. Left to our own thoughts, we become impregnated with a root of bitterness. The injustice done to us cannot go unpunished. Someone has to pay! When justice is not satisfied on our terms, we d…

LOCKED DOORS & PEACE

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Following the trial and public execution of Jesus Christ, the disciples were afraid. If they did that to their leader, what would happen to them? Before the followers knew of Jesus’ resurrection they were traumatized.





John 20: (The Message)
19-20 Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, "Peace to you." Then he showed them his hands and side.


When a community or family is afraid, it is common to hide in the shadows. We seek the security of locked doors.

Fear locks doors. Fear shuts you in. Fight and flight are not the only responses to fear. Sometimes fear immobilizes.

What is the follower of Jesus to do with fear? Some would say that your fear is the opposite of faith. If you had more faith you could face your fears. That’s easy to say until you are immobilized by it.

We find Jesus’ closest friends sneaking around worried about the Jewish leaders. Rumours we…

BULLETS ON SAINT-DENIS STREET

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This past week I was in Montreal when two men were shot dead in the street. It happened not far from where I was staying.

(see more details at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/quebec/montreal-police-face-searching-questions-after-deadly-shooting/article2052688/ )


The first man Mario Hamel was a 40 year-old father of three. He had been separated from his family for the past two years and was living at a shelter. Apparently, he suffered from bipolar disorder and had a drug addiction.

The police were called when Mario was seen travelling down the street cutting open garbage bags with a knife.


It was between six and seven a.m. In the confrontation that ensued, shots were fired and Mario was killed.


The second man Patrick Limoges was a 36 year-old hospital maintenance worker. He was walking to work on the other side of the street, when a police bullet whizzed past Mario Hamel and struck Patrick in the back of the neck. He dropped to the sidewalk and never rose again.





There i…

MERRILY LEAVES

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This is Monique Moisenko singing her song 'Merrily Leaves'.

Sometimes I feel like I don't belong
Sometimes then I feel so down
Like a leaf I'm always blowing in the wind
Never know where I'm going

I like to sing by an open shore
Where the sea carries my music along
But I still have to believe in myself
And trust in God to take me there

Oh where am I going
When I'm blowing in the breeze
Oh merrily
Life is 'bout a dream
You just keep rowin' on

I'd like to live on a mountain
And sing my songs to heaven
But I still have to believe in myself
And trust in God to take me there

SONGS FROM NEW SONG CHURCH

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These 2 songs were from our repetoire of worship last Sunday.
* I WANT JESUS TO WALK WITH ME (traditional spiritual)* SWEET CONFRONTATION (by Karli Rogers)

LEAST SENSIBLE LOVING

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It feels good when we do something nice for another. When they go to thank us, we sheepishly respond, “Don’t thank me. Thank the Lord!” After all, we want people to more aware of God’s goodness than our own.

As we walk away, we sometimes sense a warm glow just above us. Why, it’s a halo!

But what about those times when you broke your back to help someone and it backfired? Instead of being appreciated, you were dumped on. ‘Why did you do that? You did it wrong. You shouldn’t do that because we have someone better to do it.’

There are times when we focus our service and kindness toward those whom we know appreciate us. But Jesus is calling for a richer, riskier, adventurous kind of loving.

Matthew 5:43 "You have heard that it was said, `Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.' 
44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 

Jesus is coaching you on how to deal with people who do not like you. He is giving us a challenge to love in a least sensible wa…