My HOPE

The word HOPE is still on my mind.

Without hope, we have nothing to hold on to and that is why the words of the song by David Crowder – All my Hope – is reminding me that Jesus is my hope.

The chorus of the song goes like this:

All my hope is in Jesus
Thank God my yesterday's gone
All my sins are forgiven
I've been washed by the blood

Tough times come and go, and we can make the tough times go away easier (and sometimes faster) if we anchor our hope on Jesus.

That’s why I will sing:

All my hope is in Jesus
Thank God my……

Make this one of your default encouragers.

We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone. - Psalm 33:20-22 (NLT)

Give Thanks

As Woodvale continues to be the hands and feet of Jesus as we assist the community post the tornado passing through the city of Ottawa, I would like to encourage you to give thanks.

Give thanks that you are alive, give thanks that you can help clean up, give thanks that you were protected, give thanks that God has blessed you to be a blessing to others specifically at this time.

As the church prepares to serve the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner this Friday to our community and those affected by the tornado, let us continue to pray for those affected.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.– Colossians 3:17 (NIV)

Does your Anchor Hold?

With all that has happened in our city last Friday, I could not help but think of those affected by the storm.

When trying times come, I am reminded of the hymn “My hope is built on nothing less.”

Here are a few versus from that hymn:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean in Jesus' Name

When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil


Does your anchor hold?

Let’s keep those affected by the storm in our prayers.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.Hebrews 6:19 NIV

Walking close with Jesus

I wanted to share something that I heard recently and have been pondering.

The scripture is Mark 2:4 (NIV) - Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.

The analogy was, the closer the paralyzed man got to Jesus, the further away he was going from his friends.

I am thinking that surely his friends were believers; after all, he could not get to Jesus on his own, he was carried by the four of them to Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he healed the paralyzed man (Mark 2:5).

The analogy may or may not be applicable to the story in Mark 2:4 but bears some truth in reality.

Have you ever encountered something like this in your life, in that, the closer you got to Jesus, you started getting further away from some of your friends?

Legacy

Have you thought about what you want your legacy to be?

Psalm 90:11-17 (NIV) provides some input as follows:

11 If only we knew the power of your anger!
Your wrathis as great as the fear that is your due.
12 Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

13 Relent,Lord! How longwill it be?
Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfyus in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joyand be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
    your splendor to their children.

17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.

Often times, when we think of legacy, we think of earthly treasures that we can leave behind for our love ones, things like money, jewellery, real estate, etc.

How about serving in the the kingdom of God and see that blessing flow through your generations to come as Man of Faith, Man of Prayer, Man of God! That’s a legacy!

What are you doing now that will outlive you?

Do you Believe the Truth?

Faith comes by hearing … and sometimes we hear things that are not true. For example, you did not believe that you were lazy or dumb ……until you heard someone said that about you.

What someone thinks about you does not have to become who you are, UNLESS you allow it.

Now that someone said that you are DUMB, you believe that you are dumb.

DUMB can be used as an acronym that means Don’t Underestimate Me Because God’s word says:

1)No weapon formed against me shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17)

2)I can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13)

3)If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

Feed your mind with God’s word. Build your belief system with what the bible says about you.

Did you answer the call?

Some of us need to be called by God more than once.

The Apostle Peter illustrates this point.

Jesus told Peter “Follow me.”

After Jesus was crucified, Peter went back to his comfort zone; being a fisher of fish.

Peter plied his trade all night and caught nothing. That’s when Jesus showed up and told Peter where to cast his net.

When Peter got that net breaking, boat sinking catch of fish, his eyes were opened, and he immediately left it and raced toward Jesus. [See John 21].

Isn’t it funny when God blesses you with the thing you are chasing but that’s not His call for your life?

When life gets tough, we sometimes go back to our comfort zone (as Peter went back to fishing for fish when Jesus called him to be a fisher of men).

What is God calling you to do?

Will you answer His call?

On Being a Leader

John Maxwell said, “The more followers see and hear their leader being consistent in action and word, the greater their consistency and loyalty. What they hear, they understand, what they see, they believe.”

This is what made Jesus such a great leader, he did not just talk the talk, the walk the talk. Many books have been written on Jesus’ leadership style. Jesus was always able to connect with people. His followers still find Him consistent in action and word today.

Whether you are in a leadership position or not today, try modeling His leadership style and ensure that your action and words line up.

Gifts

God gave us the perfect gift, His son Jesus.

I am sure that I speak for a lot of people when I say, “I like receiving gifts.”

Taking it a bit deeper, God has given each one of us at least one gift. Are you using yours? Are you operating in your gifting?

Some gifts (this is not the complete list of all the gifts) identified in Romans 12:6-8 are prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leadership, and mercy.

Using your gift or operating in your gifting will be a blessing to others.

Father, lead me so that I can use the gift(s) you’ve given me to be a blessing to someone who does not know you or someone who needs an encouragement from you. May my gift bring honour and glory to your name. In Jesus name. Amen

How has your summer reading of the Psalms and the book of Proverbs going? Enjoying it?

What’s your DREAM?

What’s your dream?

Are you doing something on a daily basis that gets you closer to your dream?

I was recently reminded of something that I heard a few years ago.

Where is the wealthiest place on earth? Is it the diamond fields? The gold mines? No…….one more guess….

Is it the Federal Reserve of the USA? Unfortunately, NO!

The wealthiest place on earth is the cemetery. Here lie unexplored dreams, dreams that were put on the back burner, dreams that people talked themselves out of. Some of these dreams include books and that were never written, songs that were not written or sung and technology/machines that were never invented.

Some people have a dream of doing something for the kingdom. Do you have a dream of reaching the lost for Jesus?

So, I ask again, What’s your dream? Do something today that will get you closer to realizing your dream.

Please sign up for the breakfast and/or workday coming up on September 22, 2018 here.

That Song

Do you have a song that brings a smile to your face and spring in your step? If you are feeling down, or just not in the mood, you listen to this song and BOOM! You are ready to conquer the world.

One song that does this for me is “Just a little talk with Jesus,” the Andy Griffith version.

It does not matter what the situation is, I just listen to this a few times and I feel like I am a changed person. My mood changes.

What song gets you going?

Please sign up for the breakfast and/or workday coming up on September 22, 2018 here.

Vacation Time

This is the time of the year that’s popular for vacation and it got me thinking if we can really disconnect from all that keeps us connected (emails, text messages, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) Just recently, the big thing was to be connected all the time.

Now, the big thing is not to be connected all the time. It not enough to have an out of office auto reply for emails when you are on vacation; you have to indicate that you WILL NOT be checking emails while you are on vacation or people expect you to reply.

Can you leave your mobile/cell phone at home when you go on vacation? Or, if you cannot leave your phone at home when you go on vacation, would you try not to post or update or check in or reply to emails and just enjoy your time away? You can update your network when you are back.

Recently, I forgot my cell phone at home when I went to work. My colleagues thought that I lost it when they found out that I forgot my cell phone at home and that I did not feel the need to go home and get it.

What’s your take? Can you truly disconnect by choice? Remember that practice makes improvement and you can start today to intentionally try and not be connected all the time.

Please sign up for the breakfast and/or workday coming up on September 22, 2018 here.

When Troubles Come

I heard this recently – when troubles come, do you run to the phone or do you run to the throne?

Where we go first reveals where we feel the most comforted.

Going first before God should be a natural reflex that we build over time.

As we become more intentional about seeking God first, other areas of our lives will become more aligned with His will for us.

The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all-Psalm 34:19 NIV

How is your summer reading plan (Psalms and Proverbs) coming along?

** Mark your calendar, September 22 is the next breakfast. It’s also our work day.

Failure

Have you ever failed at something?

When failure does happen, it’s how you handle it that makes a difference.

The famous basketball player Michael Jordan explained that he missed over 9,000 shots in his career, lost over 300 games and failed over and over again in his life…but that’s what helped him to succeed.

If you try, you may fail but you should never fail to try.

The disciple Peter was considered to have failed the test when he denied Jesus, not one time, not two times but three times. Jesus knew that Peter would do this but still said to Peter, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matt. 16:18)

Whatever you failed at or are failing at today, pray and ask God to show you how He can use it to advance His kingdom. In our weakness, we are strong because of God.

Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong—not so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed.–2 Corinthians 13:7 NIV

Are you SPEAKING Life

The power of life and death is in our words. We may not ALWAYS be very conscious of what we are saying as we can sometimes be influenced by lyrics from a song or a catch phrase from a television show.

Using phrases like “I can never be as good as …….” or “I cannot get a good break” is a way of us talking ourselves out of what could be God’s will.

What are you saying today? What are you saying over your:

1)Education

2)Job

3)Ministry

4)Sickness

5)Love one who has not given their life to Jesus as yet

When you say something loud enough, you hear it and a seed is planted. I would like to impress upon you to say things that will encourage you and lift you up, like, I am the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21 paraphrased).

Words are powerful, let’s use them to impact the world for JESUS.

I would like to share with you a sample of words from the TobyMac song “Speak Life”

Some days, life feels perfect.
Other days it just ain't workin'.
The good, the bad, the right, the wrong
And everything in between.

Some days the tongue gets twisted;
Other days my thoughts just fall apart.
I do, I don't, I will, I won't,
It's like I'm drowning in the deep.

Well it's crazy to imagine,
Words from our lips as the arms of compassion,
Mountains crumble with every syllable.
Hope can live or die.

So speak life, speak life.
To the deadest darkest night.
Speak life, speak life.
When the sun won't shine and you don't know why.
Look into the eyes of the broken-hearted;
Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope,
You speak love, you speak...
You speak life, you speak life.

The tongue has the power of life and death….. –Proverbs 18:21 NIV

Summer Plans?

Summer officially started last week. Do you have plans? I’m sure you do. More specifically, do you have plans to read the bible a bit more than your usual devotions time reading? If you don’t, I would like to suggest a plan.

The plan I would like to suggest is reading the Psalms and book of Proverbs twice over the summer, once in July and once in August. There is a format to follow that goes like this – July 1 – read Psalm 1, 31, 61, 91, 121 and Proverbs 1. You start with the date and then add 30 for the Psalms, for example, today is June 27, read Psalm 27, 57, 87, 117, 147 and Proverbs 27. Just remember: the date + 30.

If you wanted to double check you got it correct, here is a link to the guide of the daily reading - http://storage.cloversites.com/atlantametropolitancathedral/documents/30%20Day%20Psalm%20-%20Pr_2.pdf

You can move Psalm 119 from day 29 to 31 so that on the 31styour reading time is similar to other days.

If you miss a day, that’s okay. Start with the current day’s reading and if you have time and you want to catch up, read what you’ve missed.

Looking forward to seeing how many of you try this as part of your summer plans.

Through HIS Eyes

I’ve heard it said that we do not see the world as it is, but we see and understand it through our past experiences and our understanding of history.  With all our biases, this is sometimes not a clear and truthful view.

The difference between how a believer and an unbeliever sees the world is revealed by the way they judge things. The unbeliever, judge things by worldly standards and by past experiences. The believer brings God into everything, viewing things through His eyes and His values and His perspective.

If we see the world through the eyes of God, our perspective of the person or situation becomes so much different in a better way as He knows the good in us.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened …..–Ephesians 1:18 NIV

Are you Toiling for the Kingdom?

I came across this quote again this week - The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

You usually hear or read this quote when someone graduates from college or university. It is also heard when someone achieves their dream after working hard and long to get there.

I started to ponder on what heights can I reach in my prayer life, my ministry or simply reading my bible more if I put in extra hours and effort into doing or learning more.

If I became more intentional in pushing myself to reach my potential so that God can use me to advance His Kingdom, would I be fulfilling my purpose here on earth?

How much more impactful our lives are for God’s Kingdom when we wholeheartedly choose to serve Him and do His will. Be all that you can be – join God’s Army.

The Need for Self-Discipline

Did you make any resolutions at the beginning of this year? If you did, what’s your progress? How are you doing with achieving them?

If you did not make any resolutions, did you plan to do something this year that you never did before? Or something that will stretch you or push you outside of your comfort zone?

Achievement of any goal takes discipline and a positive and healthy mindset. Self-discipline is a great tool to help us manage ourselves.

There may be speed bumps and rest stops along the way to achieving your goals. Don’t let these times of rest discourage you.

Remember, it’s not how you start……it’s how you Finish? I would like to finish this year well. Can you join me in challenging yourself to finish the year 2018 well? We have a little over six (6) months to do so. Whatever you had plan to achieve, bring it before God and ask for His guidance.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. –1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV

The Big GIVE

As our church participates in the Big Give this weekend, I am reminded that God performed the first ‘Big Give.’

When you love to help people in His name and be the hands and feet of Jesus, you prayerfully and obediently give freely what God has blessed you with.

God did not hesitate to Give His Son to die for our sins.

The eyes of our heart open when we start to understand what God did for us by allowing Jesus to die for our sins. We then freely give our time, talent and treasure for the advancement of His kingdom.

Consider what could be your Big Give, give it to Him and watch in amazement what only He can do in and through your life.

Looking forward to seeing what God will do at the Big Give this Saturday in the city of Ottawa and in our nation of Canada.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…...” John 3:16 NIV