High Ropes, Paintball & Karaoke

“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)

high ropesSummer 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!

paintballMore 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

 

Lost in the Fine Print

“What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:21-23

Tim Horton’s famous Roll Up The Rim To Win contest has just ended.  It is one of the most successful business campaigns here in Canada causing a frenzy of coffee-buying (as if we’re not already overly indulging in this caffeinated drink) just to get at a chance to win any prize.  Here’s what most people probably don’t know about the contest:

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Summons to Witness

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” – Matthew 10:16-20

The following is typical verbiage that appears in a legal document called “Summons to Witness”:

“You are entitled to be paid the same personal allowances for your attendance at the hearings as are paid for attendance of a witness summoned to attend before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. If you fail to attend and give evidence at the inquiry at the time and place specified, without lawful excuse, you are liable to punishment by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in the same manner as if for contempt of that Court for disobedience to a summons.”

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Sparky

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.” – Ezekiel 3:17-19

At a growth group meeting last night, someone mentioned that as Christians we are like lighthouses to the world.  “Lightouse” – now that’s a term that I haven’t heard in a while.  A dear brother mentioned it because we were engaged in trying to understand a passage in Scripture that says, “Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” – Philippians 2:15b.  Almost immediately, my memory took me back to our trip to the beautiful garden Hawaiian island of Kauai back in 2004. Continue reading