Monday, April 30, 2007

Dig a Little Deeper in the Storehouse of His Love!


Do you remember this song? I believe the "Fairfield Four" sang it. What truth it holds! We must always dig a little deep. Love a little harder. Give a little bit more! Another song by "The News Boyz" states, "to have found you, and still be searching for you is the souls paradox of life!"

You can never have enough of Jesus! You should never find your self in a position of complacency and satisfaction with Jesus. Don't get me wrong, you need to be satisfied in Jesus, but this satisfaction should drive you to get more!

In Ezekiel 47:1-12 God is continuing to show Ezekiel very important truths about the temple, its spiritual applications, and meanings to the Church to come. Here we find a prophecy of a time to come, but also a spiritual allegory to Christ's Death, and the tearing of the veil in the Temple.

Ezekiel sees a river flowing down toward the Dead Sea, which is completely contaminated with salt, as a result of God's destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. However, instead of destruction this time God's sends forth healing waters from the sanctuary to heal the desert, and heal the water in the Dead Sea. Life springs forth, medicinal trees grow, fish return and thrive, and all but the marshes and bogs are completely healed!

I want to draw your attention to the verses in which the angel is measuring the river. The fist 1,000 cubits (21,000 inches or 1,750 feet) was only ankle deep. The second 1,000 cubits was knee deep. The third 1,000 cubits was waste deep. Finally, the fourth 1,000 cubits and beyond was over the head, an uncrossable, swim-able river!

I would like to make a parallel from this with our walk with God!

Lately God has been working on me about my relationship with him, and the amount of control I've given Him over my life. (I need this chastisement once in awhile to keep me on the right road!)

Notice the four different stages of the river, in each of the first three the person wading into the water has control of his actions to a certain extent.
1. Ankle Deep: Here one can get ahold of God, splash around and get really wet, but their feet is still completely grounded, and they can jump out at anytime! Not a very consistent walk with God! You have too much control, and He has very little!
2. Knee Deep: Here it is much the same as above, but the difference is that it is getting harder to just jump out at any moment, and a strong current could sweep you off your feet. The problem here is multiplied from above, because we are cautious about how far in God we are willing to go! Again Jesus doesn't have enough control, and we aren't willing to do "everything" He askes.
3. Waste Deep: Here we can swim a bit, but we can always stand up and walk out. We can let the current take us, but if the going gets too rough we can always get out fairly easily! I think most Christians are here or in the Knee Deep experience. We are still in control of how much we allow ourselves to do for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ! We are sometimes like Ananias and Sapphira who along with the rest of the church felt God dealing with them about their giving, and the need to do more. So, they went and sold a piece of property, and gave it to the Church. However, they conspired together, and kept back a portion for themselves. This wasn't wrong, they had a right to keep some of the money, but in order to save face they lied to the Apostles, the Church and God! The result: They died!

"There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of Death!" (Prov 16)

  • How deep is your relationship?
  • Are you partaking of the river and trees, or the marshes and reeds that are still full of the salt of God's wrath?
  • Are you willing to become a fish and let the man of God catch you?
  • Are you willing to lose control, and wade out into waters you can't control yourself in?
  • Are you willing to become a new spiritual creation in Christ Jesus? (2 Corinthians 5:17)
It takes faith, trust and obedience to let Jesus change you!

It is time for each of us to take a step of faith, and launch out into the deep! There is untold riches, glory, power, healing, faith and love out there! We must only take the first step!

All Things work together for those who love Him, and who are (living there life according to His calling) called according to His purpose! (Romans 8:28)

Jesus knows what's best, even if it doesn't seem like it at first. None of us enjoyed the correction and chastening of our parents, but when we look back we can see that it really was for our good, and we are better for it. So, when we go through the highs and lows or our walk with God, we will look back and see Jesus really does know what is best for us!

I encourage you to dig a little deeper in the storehouse of His love!

(other scriptures to read: Ephesians 2:1-7; 3:14-19 and Romans 12:1-2)

Yours for a deeper relationship with Jesus,
Pastor Fred

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Where He Leads I will Follow...

The past week has been one of much soul searching, re-consecration, repentance and finally, once again handing the keys over to Jesus!

Romans 8:28
28We are assured and know that [[a]God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.
Philippians 4:13
13
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Do You know what's interesting? Everything that Jesus does is purposeful, designed, and best of all it is for mine and your good! The catch is that HE, that is Jesus Christ, MUST be in control, and we must learn to trust, obey, listen, follow and trust!

See when we are in control, even though sometimes we think that He is in control, everything will eventually fall to pieces, and turn to dust!

Proverbs 16:25
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Proverbs 10:29
The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
We are not our own best friend! We are our own worst Enemy! Our plans are all bound to fail!

What about all those worldly millionaires who keep getting richer and richer?

Let me answer that question with a scripture: a parable of Jesus:

Luke 9:24-26
24For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

25For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

26For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.

What is better?
  • To have all the money you could ever desire or peace of mind?
  • To have all the worldly treasures you could have or eternal salvation?
  • To have all the fame you could handle or a personal relationship with Almighty God?
These are three simple questions, but they carry eternal weight! It's like a quote I once read,

"He who provides for this life, and cares not for eternity is wise for a moment, but a fool forever!"

Sure it would be wonderful to have money at my disposal, but the question isn't the "have", but what would you do with it? Can God trust you with money? Are you a good steward of what God gives you? Are you consistent?

Everything we do must be done with Jesus' purposes and plans in mind! Are you willing to give your savings for the purposes and plans of God's Kingdom? Are you willing to forfeit your retirement fund to help Jesus reach lost souls?

Unless you are willing to give everything to the cause of Christ, land, money, vehicles, then you are not fit for the Kingdom!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Mysterious Ways of God


Looking back over the past few days I can see how God was trying to prepare me for what happened on Monday! Looking back I wonder why it didn't dawn on me! For some reason we never expect a sermon to be for us; we never expect God to deal with "me", but He does, and when it happens we almost always start the "name and blame" game. Then we look back and realize, "Oh, Jesus was trying to communicate His plans, why didn't I notice and listen?"

By now you are wondering, "what in the world is this crazy preacher talking about?" That's what you are about to find out!

The Mysterious Ways of God!

Let me start at the result, and then go back to the beginning so you will understand everything, as I slowly perceived the hand of God at work.

I received a call on my cell phone while at my Church office with some very disturbing news.
The owner of one of the stores I clean called me up and informed me that they would not be renewing my cleaning contract. The renewal date fast approaching. At first this was a major blow, as it was one of my main sources of income each month!

I fussed and complained and was quite upset with Jesus for letting this happen to me. I mean come on, I try so hard to make ends me and keep this Church open and running, but around every turn there is something to climb over, push through, dig around or drill through! It does get frustrating at times, but as my wonderful wife later said, "Honey, it will be ok. Everything will work out fine....God doesn't shut a door if He doesn't have a better one open!"

WOW! What words of wisdom!

Now let me go back to where I should have realized Jesus was letting me know something was going to take place. (He could have begun to talk to me much earlier, but my little pea brain can only see back this far.) Saturday evening I was once again privileged to participate in a community Gospel concert, which was going to raise money for our "Green Bay Community Living Association." There was a great list of singers from the area. I was fourth on the list, and due to my businesses cleaning schedule I couldn't stay for the whole concert leaving shortly after my turn was up. Anyway the song sung just before I was up struck me very strongly and ministered to me in such a way that I used it in my Sunday Morning sermon. The young lady singing, Crystal Woodford, sang about letting go, and letting Jesus take the wheel! It was a very powerful message.
So, Sunday morning I preached about "Jesus Take the Wheel." It was a good message about our constant human trait, which causes us the think that we are better than Jesus, and we are always trying to take control of our own lives. This we ought not to do, but we should rather let go of the steering wheel of life, and let Jesus have control of the direction we are going to take! We ought to get up each morning and find out what direction He would have us take! If we would just learn to listen and follow Jesus would tell and direct us, which way to go!

"What you Preach is What you Get!"

Sunday evening I felt is God's plan for us to be in the Middle Arm Church for service. So, Saturday I'd made arrangements with Rev. Glenn Christopherson, and he gladly invited us down for a visit. I immensely enjoyed the service! God's presence moved in during the worship service, and a young lady reached out, and Jesus touched her greatly! Having the altar service first, Rev. Christopherson decided to shorten his message, which was about the fact that our walk with God will have mountains and will have valleys. We will have ups, and we will have downs. He talked about the fact that no matter whether we are in an up or down it is necessary to "look up to the hills from whence comes our help, our help comes from the Lord!" Instead of looking down, we must look up so we can see where we are going, and which direction we should take!

Now what are the odds of hearing two messages in the same day from two different preachers and two different Churches during two different services? This is no coincidence. Jesus was trying to prepare me for a bump in the road, a valley if you will. Jesus sees all, knows all and understands all. I don't know if it was God's will that I loose this contract, but I do know Jesus saw the phone call coming and began to prepare my spirit for this obstacle.

If we would just listen to our own advice some times, and look around to the signs that Jesus is giving us we would be much better off, and more prepared for everything that comes our way! Never question the mysterious ways of God, and never brush a sermon off, as if it is for someone else! Jesus may very well be talking to YOU!

Yours for a prepared spirit,
Pastor Fred

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Footnote to Animal Stewardship

I feel compelled to give a footnote to my previous post on animal stewardship. I received a very interesting comment to that post, and it shows that I may have been a little missunderstood. And, if someone is going to quote me I would rather that they get a clear understanding of my motives, meaning and position.

Stewardship:
--Wikipedia:
Stewardship is a sense of personal responsibility for taking care of something that is not one's own. The term stewardship has different interpretations depending on the context of the word. It can apply to environmental resources, commercially-made products, finances, land claims, or organizations, among other things.

--Wiktionary:

Etymology: From Old English stiward, stigweard

Pronunciation: The word is pronounced "stew-urd".

Noun

steward (plural stewards)

  1. A person who manages the property or affairs for another entity.
  2. A ship's officer who is in charge making dining arrangements and provisions.
  3. An attendant on an airplane. [syn: flight attendant]
  4. A union member who is selected as a representative for fellow workers in negotiating terms with management. [syn: shop steward]
  5. A person who has charge of buildings and/or grounds and/or animals. [syn: custodian, keeper]
  6. In IT, somebody who is responsible for managing a set of projects, products or technologies and how they affect the IT organization to which they belong.
Therefore, animal stewardship is the taking of responsibility of the animals (and creation) that God has given to us; caring for them and managing them.

Why did God give us animals?

Genesis 9:1-7

1 So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.[a] 2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. 4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man.
6 “ Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man. 7 And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; Bring forth abundantly in the earth And multiply in it.”

Let me put this into perspective with animal stewardship.

It is, therefore, our duty, responsibility and honor to care for God's creatures so that we can supply the world with food. We must do it in a ecologically sound manner. It is not in our interest to be cruel, and slaughter every species into oblivion; when they are gone we starve!

Finally, let me put a footnote in about our local seal fishery. In the past, over 20 years ago, the hunt was extremely cruel, however, we have evolved the seal hunt into a very humane respectful fishery. Unfortunately, the opposition is using films, pictures and other propaganda, which is outdated! I didn't say that they were wrong, I said that it is outdated!
If we don't hunt the seals, the seal population will get so large that they will begin to hunt us! They are already eating most of the few cod stocks that are left!

So, in conclusion, I am an advocate for Animal and Environmental Stewardship. Am I perfect? No, I am trying in my small way to make a difference. Will I continue to eat meat? Yes, if I don't eat it eventually it will eat me. God understands that we must curb the animal populations so that they are manageable just read the story about Israel's gradual conquering of Canaan land.

Yours for understanding,
Pastor Fred

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Biblical Perspective to Animal Stewardship and Seals

Every year around this time we begin to hear trash about the need to abolish this fisher, that hunt, and save this animal. Most of the people who raise these feeble yet very noisy arguments don't really have any idea what they are talking about! They use information that is ancient, out dated and generally useless. However, they manage to convert "celebrities" over to their "side" all the time using this OLD information. Makes you wonder how smart some of our favorite stars really are if they can't even do some research of their own, but just take the word of some "joe" at face value! Anyway let's move on....

Before we break open the bread of life on this very controversial subject I would like to make a comment. If animal rights activists are truly working to make this world a better place for animals rather than humans, they all ought to be complete vegetarians! If they are not vegetarians then they are only out to make money, make a statement, get their names out in the headlines, and really truly don't care about animals!

That said, I personally am not an animal rights activist, and am not a vegetarian, but I am a preacher of God's Word, and am an animal stewardship activist. My voice is small in the wide world of idea's but none the less today I shall be heard, or rather God's Word will be heard!

In the Beginning God created the heaven and earth, and upon this wonderful earth God place mankind. God originally gave man some basic duties, among which included tending to, and maintaining the vegetation and tending to all the animals. God put us her and gave us command and stewardship over the earth. It is our responsibility to care for everything in this earth, and tend to it as if it was our own farm and cattle!

Genesis 1:26-31

26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.28And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.29And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.30And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.31And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Then after the flood God gave Noah another command concerning animals:

Genesis 9

1And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. 2And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. 3Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. 4But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

Now we must except the command of God, and be stewards of His creation!

Over the past 110 years or so, we as humans have desecrated this planet we call home! We have made extinct many species of animals. We have over fished the wales, the fish, and many of the land beasts! Instead of advocating stewardship over animals, and tending to them and keeping them we have eaten everything up because of our greed!

Now we have a huge population of seals, just a few fish and we still are overfishing the depleted fish stock and asking government to lower our seal quotas!

Something is wrong here!

We should be lowering the fishing quotas, and raising the seal quotas!

Let's do a little math for a bit. I am no scientist, but I understand adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing....

6,000,000 (6 million) seals equals many millions of hungry mouths. What do seals eat? FISH! What do we eat? FISH! Therefore if there are 6,000,000,000 (6 billion) humans eating fish, and one of many species of seals, which has over 6,000,000 (6 million) residents eating fish, we have a problem!

I am not advocating the extinction of seals, then we would be over run with fish! Rather we need to sit down do the math, and figure out how many seals we need to keep in order to balance this equation out!

STEWARDSHIP! (Taking proper care of something given to you. Keeping it. Maintaining it. Preserving it. Prospering it.)

We have learned how to maintain and prosper our cattle such as cows, sheep, goats and other such animals, but we have eat to maintain the stocks of animals within our oceans, seas, lakes and rivers.

We must stop being greedy, and stop hording all the goods this world has to offer!
Rather we must turn this whole earth into a farm, and treat all animals with respect, and maintain a healthy balance of all species!

Many provinces and states have put legislation in place that maintain deer, moose, wolf and coyote populations. When either one is down they lower the licenses, and when either one gets to large they raise the licenses. This is a fair system, flawed but fair! We must do this type of thing with all species. Maintain the ecosystem, and maintain the animals within each!

Your's for animal stewardship,
Pastor Fred

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Our Prayer Family: A List of Prayer Requests

  • Newfoundland & Labrador! That a wave of God's Spirit would flood this great province!
  • Your Neighbors, that Jesus would save their souls!
  • Springdale, Newfoundland: Pray that God's Spirit would awaken souls to their need of salvation and continued spiritual growth. Also, pray that Pastor Fred can teach many Home Bible Studies.
  • Pastor Fred and his family: Pray for Health, Strength, Inspiration, Revival and that God will lead him to many hungry souls
  • The Country You Live in: Pray for Salvation, Revival, Missionaries and the Moving of God's Spirit

Weekly Prayer for A Country on my counter:

Please pray with me for the country that is in focus each week. Thank You and may God richly bless your prayer life.


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A Prayer for Canada:



This week Lord Jesus we bring the country of Canada. Let the revival of your Word and Name sweep across this vast dominion. Let all ethnic groups that now call this great land home become hungry for something more, and find YOU! Let the Church arise to become the bastion of Truth that it is meant to be. Let you people become the light and power that spreads your Gospel throughout all this land!
We ask this all in the Name of Jesus Christ -- Amen!