Praise to My Creator
Submitted by Marlene Swan
Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Psalm 139:13 -14 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 119:73 Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands.
Isaiah 64: 8 Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
Job 33:4 The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Acts 17:25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.
Psalm 100:1-3 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness; come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God; it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.
Psalm 8:3-4 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?
Luke12:7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
I John 4:9-10 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Psalm 96:6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
“He is…He will…”
Submitted by: Gord Gooderham
Sixty years had passed since young John had spent an afternoon with Jesus and became His disciple. Those years of faithful obedience to his Master gave him great depths of God-filled experience set forth in this pastoral letter. He discovered, through times of travel and imprisonment, the reality of God’s character and His compassion. This ongoing fellowship with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ, revealed to him that God is both faithful and just. That being true, He will forgive and purify all who are sinners, and we all are sinners, if we confess our sins.
God is faithful, He keeps His word. Abraham was old, as good as dead. Sarah was barren and beyond bearing. But God promised a baby. Abraham considered Him faithful. A baby was conceived, and a nation was born. (Heb.11:11,12). God is faithful, He will not deny Himself. (2Tim2:13).
John also affirms that God is just or righteous. Jesus had taught that “God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.” (1:5). Moral darkness is a kingdom, from which is spewed lies, hatred, murder, deceit, idolatry, fornication – all manner of wickedness. The Devil, as king, is both a liar and a murderer. The Kingdom of God is Light – righteousness, goodness, truth, love, purity. God is righteous, He cannot lie.
Because God is righteous and just, He can forgive our sins, if we confess them. To ‘confess’ is to agree, to say the same thing God has said, “All have sinned.”
My confession, “I have sinned,” prayed with the humble spirit of the publican, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” The International Standard Version reads, “If we make it our habit to confess…”. Not an empty, vain ritual, but a daily heartfelt, sincere acknowledgement of our sinful omissions and commissions.
Our compassionate Father forgives and cleanses from all sin. Forgive is literally “to send away from”, as Jesus said to the stretcher bound cripple, “Thy sins are forgiven thee.” The proof of that deliverance was release from his paralysis.
Purify or cleanse means “to remove all filth,” casting away guilt, deceit, defilement, rebellion.
“Forgiven! I repeat, l’m forgiven!
So, clean before the Lord, I freely stand.” (Bill and Gloria Gaither)
Athletes for Christ.Submitted by: Gord Gooderham2 Timothy 2:5.Paul’s life-ending challenge to Timothy, his son in the faith, urged him to compete as an athlete in his Christian life and ministry. From his prison cell in Rome, the Apostle wrote, “If anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules.”These men were quite familiar with the Olympic Games held every fourth year in Greece. It was a religious festival honouring Zeus, the Greek king of the gods, dating from 776 BC (perhaps even earlier) and continuing through 393 AD. The first and only event in 776 BC was a 600 metre foot race. Over time, the pentathlon, boxing, wrestling and chariot races were added. Rules were established to ensure fair competition for determining the winner of the ‘stephanoutai’, the honoured wreath that crowned the victor’s head.Perhaps it was an Olympic year when Paul wrote Timothy, thinking of the discipline, determination and dedication of the athletes in training. Exercise, diet, repetition of skills, and knowledge of the rules were pursued to the highest level. No one involved in the Christian life should be any less committed to winning the reward of God’s approval. “Run”, wrote Paul to the Corinthian believers, “in such a way to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training…we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” (1 Cor. 9:24,25)Because Timothy was a young man, Paul sent him instructions to follow. Practicing these rules of life, he would set a godly example for other believers “in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.” (1 Tim. 4:12). Five rules of conduct to run the race of Christian faith and receive the victor’s crown.– in speech. Guard your tongue. Let your speech be without offence.– in life. Conduct or behaviour. The word means ‘up turning’, from former actions now known to be sinful, to acts of kindness and honour.– in love. The love of God poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” (Rom. 5:5)– in faith. Faith in the name of Jesus, by which we stand firm, act like men, strong in character.– in purity. A clean heart to worship God, and a chaste mind and body in relation to people.Run the race. Keep the rules. Win the crown.
Submitted by: Ali Gooderham
My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.
Oft’ times he weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.
Not ‘til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.
He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.
Corrie ten Boom
Today, as I sit to write, I’m not sure there is much more than this.
Remember, God knows, and He sees the bigger picture.
Remember, God loves…He loves you so very much.
Remember, God cares about the very thing that you are walking through at this exact moment.
Will you leave the choice to Him?
Do you trust Him enough?
Do you believe that He has the very best in mind for your life?
Let Him use the dark threads, because without them, the full beauty of the weaving can not be revealed.
“For we live by faith, not by sight.”
2 Corinthians 5:7
One day He will reveal the weaving to us.
One day we will see the beauty in all that has been used in this life.
But until then when you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
“Spicing your prayers”
Submitted by: Gord Gooderham
The apocalyptic principle is simple and straightforward, says PH Reardon, “more is happening than appears to be happening.” This reality is constant through the Revelation. ( Greek – apocalypso) From an earthly perspective the Church appears in desperate trouble. The writer, John, is an exiled Roman prisoner. The churches, for the most part, are small, poor, and considered enemies of the state. Persecution is a common experience. (Rev. 2,3)
The plight of the churches on earth must be viewed against the majesty of the living Christ. (Rev 1). The vision of Jesus so overwhelmed John that he fell at his feet as though dead. Standing before him was the One who, sixty years earlier he saw hanging before him, killed by evil men, now alive, enthroned in the heavenlies, Lord of heaven and earth.
Into those heavenly realms John is taken by the Spirit (Rev. 4:1,2) and immediately sees a throne, with someone sitting on it. “From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder, an indication of violent, but directed, activity. All of this is hidden to the earth dweller, and not taken into account by rulers, elite and executives.
The storms of this scene are repeated three times in the Revelation, each time increasing in severity, showing God’s response in the unseen world to the wickedness of man.
Rev. 8:1-5. The 7th seal. Added to the fireworks is an earthquake. This outburst is the result of the Church praying, and an angel adding “much incense to the prayers.” Be encouraged, our prayers are not unheard, nor in vain. God spices them with the intercessions of Jesus to accomplish His eternal purposes.
Rev. 11:19. The 7th trumpet. Divine action increases, as does divine judgment, strengthened by “a great hailstorm”.
Rev. 16:17,18. The 7th bowl. A voice from the throne proclaiming “It is done”, with thunder, rumbling, lightning, an earthquake unlike any previous, and a plague of hail, each stone weighing about 100 lbs, judgment falls. Such is the description of the progressive workings of God from the unseen to bring to pass the ultimate victory of Christ and His people by revelation, redemption and regeneration. The Church of Christ – glorious and victorious!
Look up. Hang in. Pray on.
Submitted by: Ali Gooderham
It seems so crazy to think that it has been 6 months since our world seemed to be turned upside down.
Six months of questions without any real answers.
Six months of wondering when or if things will ever be back to “normal”.
Six months of uncertainty, upheaval, chaos, and nervousness not knowing what the future will look like.
Will we ever be done with 6 feet apart?
Will we ever be able to worship together as a whole body singing and praising the Lord with one voice?
Will the day come when we will be able to hop on a plane again, and go away without the worry of having to isolate for 2 weeks after returning home?
These are just a few of the questions that have been rolling around in my mind lately, and to be perfectly honest with you, many times they have consumed my mind. These questions that I don’t and will never have the answers to, have caused me to be anxious, fearful, angry, and depressed. I keep telling myself to let it go…it’s out of my circle of control, and for a time, I do but it seems I allow them to keep coming back.
I don’t think I’m alone in this.
I think there are a lot of people struggling with life as we know it.
I recently heard a message on contentment.
Contentment amidst the chaos.
The pastor referred to Phillipians 4:11, where Paul says “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”
Paul had gotten to the point where he had learned, but I am still learning. It’s a process, and for me, I believe it will be a life-long process. I’m not sure I will ever be able to put the -ed in the place of -ing.
Being content in my circumstance does not mean that I stand still and do nothing. That is not what God is calling us to do.
I need to have an active contentment.
A contentment that drives me to action.
2 Timothy 4:2-5
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
This is the action that we are called to.
God is calling me. God is calling you.
Today, more than ever before, people need the Lord.
Instead of keeping my eyes on my circumstance I need to turn them to Jesus. To the One who holds all the answers. I need to exercise my faith and believe that He is in control. I need to stand on His promises and do what I am called to do…bring others to Him. Instead of focusing my energy on what is outside of my circle of control, I need to reel in my emotions, give them to God, and get busy doing the things within my circle of control, the things that He is calling me to.
There is so much work to be done, and if we as children of God don’t do it, then who will?
I need this active contentment.
Joni Eareckson Tada said:
“I want to stay in the habit of ‘glancing’ at my problems and ‘gazing’ at my Lord.”
I love that.
Glance at my problems, because they will always be there, but gaze at my Lord because He is bigger than any problem and He too will always be there.
May we be faithful to living our lives in active contentment.
Praise to the Creator of the World
Submitted by: Marlene Swan
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
Isaiah 44:24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, And He who formed you from the womb: “I am the Lord, who makes all things, Who stretches out the heavens all alone, Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself;
Acts 17:24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.
Ecclesiastes 11:5 As you do not know what is the way of the wind, Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything.
Isaiah 40:28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.
Job 38:1-6 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:
“Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Now prepare yourself like a man: I will question you, and you shall answer Me.
Where were you when I laid he foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?
To what were the foundations fastened? Or who laid the cornerstone, while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
Psalm 104:24 How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
Jeremiah 32:17 ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.
Psalm 121:1-2 I will lift up my eyes to the hills– From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”
Psalm 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.
(from NIV dictionary the meaning of praise is to worship, commend or give honor to)
The Good Thief
Submitted by: Gord Gooderham
The combination of the words good and thief seem as contradictory as the expression, Good Friday. Both come from the same day in history. One of the two criminals executed alongside Jesus at the Passover remembrance repented and trusted his life to Jesus, thus becoming the good thief.
This unnamed villain had lived a wild and reckless life, an outlaw and bandit who robbed and plundered without remorse or regret. Luke described him as ‘kakourgos’, a person of evil disposition and evil works. His behaviour was such that the Roman courts deemed him deserving of public execution. Death, not by the quick, efficient and relatively painless method of beheading, but by crucifixion, the most painful and the most disgraceful punishment and death powerful men had devised. A threefold agony; the preliminary scourging with bone-studded leather thongs, carrying the 200 lb beam of the cross to the execution site, and the prolonged hanging naked on the cross for hours or days until asphyxiated. Nobody messed with Rome.
Jesus suffered the same death. Mark records that “those who were crucified with him, reviled him.” It was normal for the crucified to curse their tormentors as they gasped for air. The man in the middle uttered no such vulgarities, but rather sought forgiveness of his accusers, and provided ongoing care for his grieving mother. No one, including the thieves, had ever witnessed such behaviour. One thief mocked Jesus, “If you are the Christ, save yourself and us.” But the second, seeing the great difference in Jesus, rebuked his comrade, “Don’t you fear God,…We are punished justly…But this man has done nothing wrong.”
And then reviewing his life, once a revolutionary, then a rebuker of a godly man, he repented in his heart, and implored Jesus, “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He saw through the injustice of the verdict of powerful Rome, to the reality of another government, a kingdom excelling and outlasting that Latin power. He saw through the spit and sweat and shame, a body smeared with blood, to the person of a King, the Lord of that Kingdom. He saw through the gross ending of this earthly life, to another realm, triumphant, righteous and whole. He became the good thief.
And Jesus received his confession of faith, “Assuredly (lit. ‘Amen’) I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” We all must pray, “Lord, remember me.”
Don’t let it be your last words.