“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” – Acts 20:35
I remember how the observance of Halloween around our Castlebridge community was so different this year than it was last year. First of all, the preparations we made last year were just phenomenal. I recall how we went all out decorating the gym at the school like it was a one-day VBS. We led everyone in singing and played games where prizes were given out to the winners. Our church members heartily donated chocolates, candies, and even little toys imagining what it would be like for even the kid at heart to receive such treats.
“You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.” – 1 Peter 1:22
Full tank of gas — $40. Total US highway tolls paid going to Atlanta — $6.25. Two dozen Jim N’ Nick’s cheese biscuits — $10.46. Brothers forged in the Lord for each other and for God’s work — priceless. Cheesy introduction? Maybe. But that pretty much sums up our experience at the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta.
“For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.” – 1 Corinthians 1:21 (NIV)
Summer time presents us all with the unique opportunity to do things we cannot otherwise do in the colder months. During the recent church camp, several campers got to try their skill and courage at the High Ropes, which is simply some kind of an obstacle course placed about 50 feet above ground! I happened to be a spectator as one brave camper after another across all ages tried the thrill of either walking across wooden planks or tight ropes. Pretty soon, I was being corralled to join those Tarzan-like souls who completed or even just tried the high rope obstacle. I wanted to try my best, but my overly cautious side won the day. Plus, I was not about to make a widow out of my wife just yet!
More recently, one of our growth groups decided to take on paintball! This one seems more normal as we get to stay on the ground. However, the thought of firing high velocity paint-loaded sphere bullets out of an air-powered rifle didn’t quite strike me as something sane either. Call me cowardly or a germophobe but as soon as I saw the participants donning on combat-like fatigues and gears, my interest went to zero rather quickly. They looked so serious! So I found myself retracting yet again for what looked like an interesting game of shoot-hide-drink-lots-of-water-clean-yourself-up.
Then the day after, GCF Peel decided to kick it up a notch by introducing some summer flair to our after-Sunday-worship-gathering. We invited friends and neighbors in our community for some BBQ picnic, games, and of course, a healthy dose of karaoke. Even our guest preacher, Pastor Nick Adams, surprising us all with a few songs that he belted out so well. I said ‘surprising’ because, for some reason, I don’t find many here in Canada who are actually into karaoke. And of course, Pastor Nick paved the way for me to be strongly compelled to deliver my own rendition of songs stored in the karaoke machine’s microchip. That certainly scared me more than the high ropes and paintball combined! So yet again I chickened-out!
It turned out to be a great Sunday because God made it so. Three people came forward with a decision to repent from their sins and make Jesus Christ their personal Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord, for working in Your message that continues to be preached through our church. As we delight in the fun that deepens fellowship, may the fervor of your people in sharing the gospel to everyone translate into a step of faith in Jesus Christ in the lives of everyone else we touch along the way. Amen.
“The real warriors in this world are the ones that see the details of another’s soul. They see the transparency behind walls people put up. They stand on the battlefield of life and expose their heart’s transparency, so other’s can finish the day with hope. They are the sensitive souls that understand that before they could be a light they first had to feel the burn.” ― Shannon L. Alder
“From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” – Psalm 8:2
My wife and I, along with our kids, laughed ourselves to sleep late last Sunday night as we read and studied Scripture together. We’ve started a regular devotion in preparation for Christmas. As is the case with our Bible studies, the topics tend to veer off in many different directions. We blame it mostly on Jed, our son, who asks the most probing questions – and also comes up with the funniest of answers. That Sunday night, he and his younger sister, Naomi, began a barrage of questions that tested my resolve [and even patience] to answer them. Continue reading
Every now and then it’s important for us to hear from other church members and contributors to enhance various Christian perspectives that this blog means to be a channel of. It is our pleasure this week to welcome our first guest blogger, from our youth, Maria Isabel Opiniano, as she takes us through a glimpse of the re-starting of our youth ministry. Thanks, Isabel!
Written by Maria Isabel Opiniano (guest blogger of the week)
“‘Do not say, I am only a youth; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.’“ – Jeremiah 1:7-8 Continue reading