Posted by: Dale | August 3, 2010

Time to slow down

Today I rushed into the office after a week of vacation. I did not really notice the people I was driving along side (I saw their vehicles, I just did not pay attention to the passengers). I had no reason to be in a rush and I was not speeding, I just wanted to get to my destination. But in the travel from point A to B did I miss out on something? The saying “It is not about the destination, it is about the journey” seems appropriate to me. And I wonder why in Canada we don’t take that to heart.

I find it amazing that in our modern culture, we rarely take the time to slow down and enjoy life. People are always rushing from one thing to the next and rarely savor the moment that they are living in. I know the Bible talks about being prepared for the future and being ready, but that does not mean that we have to put an activity in every waking moment as filler. In fact the Bible often times speaks of finding those quiet moment to meditate on God’s word and His being.  Jesus says our rest is found in Him.

So while you are driving  or walking or riding or whatever, take the time to notice the people that are on the journey with you. Take the time to stop and enjoy the fellowship of God in His creation. Take the time at lunch instead of having a ‘working lunch’ to contemplate the goodness and grace of God in your life. Just, TAKE SOME TIME WITH HIM!

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Posted by: Dale | July 29, 2010

So infected nothing works right

There is a saying in computer programming. It goes like this, “Garbage In, Garbage Out”. In essence, what it is saying is that you can not expect a program (or anything) to be perfect if the code that goes into the computer is worthless. Likewise in our lives we can expect very little productive to come out of it, if we just bombard it with garbage. Why am I thinking about computers? Well,  I spent the night last night (from about 11:30pm to 4:30am) getting rid of garbage. A nasty virus/trojan horse had infected my daughter’s laptop and it was not the easiest one to get rid of. It required specialized tools to download to get rid of it. These tools, scanned the computer’s registry and got rid of every instance of the nasty thing. And that whole process made me think about the how invasive sin is in our lives.

Something that may start as a ‘one time thing’, infects us. It tangles it’s roots around our memories and infects our brains and persona to the deepest level. These invasive sins also require special removal. We need Jesus to work on our sinful habits, and our memories to clean the affects of the sin away. Forgiveness is immediate, but the regeneration on the damage that the sin does, is ongoing and will only be complete when we are finally with Him face to face.

So in the meantime, on my journey though life, and on your journey through life, we need the constant presence of Christ in order that he can work out all the kinks in our lives and prevent future indiscretions to happen. Let the master take care of all your needs.

Posted by: Dale | July 8, 2010

Motorcycle trip day one

Well with day one in the books and 500 kms (300 mi) behind us we are one tired bunch. We are staying at the Super8 in Johnstown, NY and are grateful for the small things like a bed to lie in and an air conditioner in the room to cool us (98 degree Fah will take it’s toll on your energy level)

As I type this and am thankful for those little things, it reminds me that in Canada and the USA we have it so easy. There are billions of people in this world that would just like to have the freedoms and peace that we take for granted. There are billions of people that don’t know the peace of Jesus and yet so many Christians take that for granted too.

So as you lie in your bed and live a life that 90% of the world would love to live, check your attitudes and just be thankful for everything you are blessed with.

Posted by: Dale | July 7, 2010

In Christ Alone

I will be away for a few days so the posts will be more sporadic than usual and probably of a more personal nature of my 3 day motorcycle trip to Lake Placid, New York with some other ministers, so check it out if you want to see the wild stuff Pastors do. 🙂

I want to leave you today with some thoughts on Christ. The thoughts are given clearly in the lyrics of the song I posted below, but I find it amazing that a God who is far more superior to us than we are to the ants that crawl on the ground, desires to have a relationship with us. Not like we have with pets, but He wants a Father to Son/Daughter relationship with us. And He accomplishes that by what Jesus did on the cross. So in Christ alone, we find fulfillment. In Christ alone, we find hope. No matter your situations. No matter your failings. No matter how powerful you are or how weak. All things are possible through Christ.

Posted by: Dale | July 6, 2010

Entertaining Angels

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:2 NIV)

I had a visit this morning at the church. A  man by the name of Michael came in his sandals and brought to me some copies of the New Testament in side by side Hebrew/English and some Old Testament of the same variety. He asked if there was anyone in my congregation that knew a Jewish person that might like a copy of the Bible. He desired that they come to know Jesus as Messiah and see Him as the light of the world. A noble task. When he introduced himself and his mission, my mind went to the scripture quoted above. I had never met this man, and who knows his origins. Regardless of whether they are natural or supernatural (I believe Natural), our meeting was not by chance. We were put together in order to fulfill the will of our Father in heaven.

Michael’s visit reminded me of the movie I saw many years ago called “A Thief in the Night“, and in particular he reminded me of the people portrayed as the 144,000 witnesses in that movie. Men and women going from place to place in the last days sharing the love of Christ to the world.

You may have a Michael cross your path today. You might have someone come into your life today that will encourage you, or you may have someone come into your life that needs encouraging. In everything you do, do it to the Lord, because  you may be entertaining angels today.

I leave you with this music video by Newsboys called “Entertaining Angels”

Posted by: Dale | July 3, 2010

Knee Deep in Mud

Tomorrow at Harvest I am starting a sermon series that will follow the Israelites’ journey from Egypt to the promised land. The series is titled “Journey Through the Desert into the promised land”.  I am sure that we all can relate to the spiritual implications of the people as they traveled and were forced to be totally reliant on God.  Tomorrow the theme of the Sermon is ‘Knee Deep in Mud”.  It will show the struggles the people were in under the Egyptian rule. They were literally knee deep in mud because they were forced to make bricks out of the dirt they lived on.

Maybe you are knee deep in mud in your life (I know I sometimes am). Maybe your spiritual walk is stuck in the mud and you just cant seem to break through. Maybe you need the help of God to get out of your current situation. I encourage you to look to Him today for that help. And I encourage you to go to church (come to Harvest if you are in the area) and seek the help of your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

There is no substitute for   worshiping together with brothers and sisters in Christ. We can make excuses about praying at home and fellow shipping at home, but in the end we need each other to get out of the mud. We start relationships at church and then build them through the week. The people who claim to be Christians then don’t attend church are seriously stunting their growth by staying away from the body of Christ. Let me be clear, churches are not perfect in fact they are filled with flawed people who will fail and may tick you off, but we are told not to forsake the assembling together of one another. That was a direct reference to the worship by the saints in unity together.

I am stuck in the Mud, you are stuck in the Mud. Lets get out together with God’s help!

Posted by: Dale | July 2, 2010

Having a blast

I believe Jesus liked parties. He was often the guest at such events. His first recorded miracle was performed at a wedding party (changing water into wine). And I don’t believe that Jesus just sat like a stump in the corner refusing to participate with the people around Him. He did not come to the parties to complain, condemn or criticize. He went to the parties to have fun, fellowship and to get to know people. And I believe that is the same reason Jesus wants us to go out and be a part of the things that are happening in our communities.

Yesterday Canada celebrated it’s 143 birthday. And because of that birthday there were plenty of party options for people to take in. And many people from my church took part in such an event at the nearby Broadlands park. Many Church members (Harvesters) came and volunteered at this event so that the community knew our church cared about them. Some ran our church table that was giving out playdough, having a couple free draws and giving out information on who we were. Others helped with the BBQ and distribution of THOUSANDS of hotdogs. And some came to take part in the fun that was happening.

I know personally, I made connections with people that I otherwise would never had the opportunity to reach. One lady in my church had the opportunity to listen to a lady whose sister had just passed away. It made me realize all the better something that Jesus knew, that ministry does not just happen in the church/synagogue. Ministry happens at parties, at BBQ’s at picnics at the coffee shop. MINISTRY HAPPENS EVERYWHERE, but only if you are open to being used. You don’t have to say a word to share the love of Christ. You just have to be true to who He has called you to be.

So let me encourage you to have a blast like Jesus did, and while doing that, let Him shine through you.

Posted by: Dale | June 30, 2010

I thanks Him for Freedom

On the eve on Canada day, I sit here and am pondering the freedom that I enjoy in the great country. And I find it amazing to see the diversity of this nation. Even in my own church we have many different countries represented. We see people who have came to Canada for various reasons, but all of them are seeking a dream. The thoughts of the many immigrants to Canada starkly contrasts the views of many of the protesters that Toronto saw last weekend during the G20 summit. Don’t get me wrong, I am ok with people protesting, but I am against the violence that some of the people showed. Imagine if the G20 was in China, the same protesters would not be treated as well as they were treated in Canada. They take the freedom they were given too far. The Apostle Paul talks about freedom when he says

“Though I am free and belong to no man I make myself a slave to everyone”
Paul was talking about thinking about others more than you think about yourself. He was talking about true charity. So as you celebrate Canada Day (or Independence Day in the US on July 4th) then thank God for the freedoms that you celebrate in Canada or the USA.

God Bless You and enjoy your Long Weekend!

I encourage you to check out this blog

http://scottcochrane.growingleadership.com/index.php/2010/06/22/equipping-a-new-kind-of-prevailing-church/

Scott has summarized alot of what I think is true about how the Canadian Church can have success. Instead of just programs, we need to look at living the christian life.

I don’t think the Missional church movement is full of new ideas, as much as I think they are getting back to the basics of what Christianity is and how it is meant to be spread.

Jesus lived out the gospel, the early christians lived it out. It is only recently that the church has started compartmentalizing their lives into categories of “Church Stuff” and “Personal Stuff”. I am of the opinion it is time to start tearing apart those compartments and living our lives daily to the will and grace of God.

Posted by: Dale | June 23, 2010

When the Earth Shakes

When the earth and all its people quake, it is I (God) who hold its pillars firm.

Psalm 75:3

This afternoon a phenomenon that does not occur that much in the area of Canada I live in happened. We experienced a Earthquake that was reported at first to be about 5.5 on the Richter scale. It did not last long (10-15 seconds for me) but I felt the house shake, I saw the walls sway. And I was a bit concerned that something would happen. At that moment I did not know exactly why the house was shaking (wind, explosion nearby, earthquake) but It was still a sobering experience.

After going on the internet (Facebook & Twitter) I quickly came to realize what I had experienced. And of all the tweets or status updates that I received, the scripture verse above was the most calming. Your ground may not literally be shaking right now, but in your life you may be going through some shaking. And this Psalm is a constant reminder that God is in control.

So no matter what is happening in your life, He holds the pillars firm!

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