Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas 2012: Follow That Star

Good Morning World!
This will be the last segment of our Christmas series, and hopefully it will the most thought provoking of all.

We have been studying about many things so that we can prepare our hearts and minds for a proper spiritual celebration of the Birth of the Messiah - Jesus Christ.  We have talked about the value and necessity of “Trust & Obey”, and “Faith, Love & Giving” now we are going to talk about the importance of the Birth and our reaction to it.


Let us look specifically at the wisemen again.  I don’t know if they were working in their labs altogether or if they lived in different villages or countries, but one thing for sure brought them together - a new star.  This new star brought an emotional and physical response. They must follow that star!  No matter what perils lay ahead.  No matter the consequence or cost they were going to follow that star to the ends of the earth!

In Matthew 2:10  The Bible tells us that when they say the star they were exceedingly joyful!
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

We must try to imagine in our small way the beauty and immensity of this desire.  They have just travelled approximately two years of their lives chasing something that seems to be always just over the next hill, and now they are on their last legs and the end is really in sight!  They’ve heard prophecy of this new King’s birth and His birth place!  They know that they are on the right track - finally their faith and endurance is paying off!  They find the star again and continue their journey!

A. How does this story and response apply to us today.

It can attract attention in many areas of our lives, however, I am just going to draw your attention to one area with a couple thoughts.

Luke 19
9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.   10  For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Romans 1
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

I am going to talk about the purpose of Jesus Chirst; the reason for His birth.  John the writer of the Gospel according to John tells us the He is the light and the darkness cannot overcome it.  So let us look at ourselves as lost flies.  We are nothing and our lives are many times meaningless, but all of a sudden we see a light glimmer in the distance, and like the wisemen we must follow that star of light!  So we turn our eyes into the light and we fly without ever knowing what will befall us, but we are following the light.

Many times like a fly we end up at the end of someone elses prank, or a trap which tries to do away with us, but there is something else to this light; it is different somehow.  We follow it inspite of the emotions that are crying us down.

B.  Let me pause here for a thought provoking siesta.

Recently I have had the opportunity to have conversation with a few people who have chosen to set their faith aside and no longer believe.  Life has taken its toll on these people, and because of it they have made this very important choice.  Not to diminish their life story or experience, but it is like they fly who is looking for the sunlight, but keeps getting fooled by the light of the fly zapper.  They keep getting bounced from one false light to another, and when life brings you down and you have no one to turn to for guidance in truth and righteousness it can very easily turn you aside and bring you to the point of laying aside a once precious thing.  We must be careful that we don’t trap ourselves in something that is shallow and will not really bring us any spiritual relief when we need it most.  There are so many false lights out their and at this time of year it can be so easy to get trapped by them, please don’t follow any light.  However, I encourage you to follow The Light - Jesus Christ.

Following men will lead you to disaster and devastation of mind, soul and spirit, but when we follow Jesus we find rest and peace in the midst of the storm.

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C. Back to our parable of light

When we hear the Gospel in Truth for the first time the light of it wells up in us and can overwhelm us, but I encourage you, as it takes a moment to adjust to the light first thing in the morning when you open your eyes so, it can take a moment to adjust to the saving light of Jesus Christ the first time you meet Him.

As the Bible indicates Jesus did come to seek and save that which was lost.  Not just people, but relationships, and not just any relationship, but a relationship with you personally!  Each one of us must find the light of the Star of Bethlehem to lead us to truth and a relationship with our Saviour Jesus Christ.

This Christmas I encourage you to look beyond the wrapping paper and food, and view the nativity in a new light.  Find a quiet place in your life and contemplate the creator and saviour, who came to find you!  The lighthouse light is bright, and the rocks of life are sharp, which one will you find yourself in.  Will your follow the life saving light, or will you ignore it because of past bad experiences and end up in the rocks of life? Will you find new life this Christmas, or will you participate in reminiscing about the old life, which leads to death and destruction?

The choice this Christmas is up to you.  Follow the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to salvation and freedom, or disregard it as another fraud and end up broken on the rocky shore of life....

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

How would you react?

Good Morning World!

Someone I know very dearly had a hard day at work the other day, which when talking to that person I heard all about it.  Even though I wasn't apart of the day, the comments and story made me upset too.  After some contemplation a thought crossed my mind - As a Christian and a child of God one of the hardest things to do is keep your spirit right during these situations.

The problem seems to be jealousy, and when someone isn't secure enough in themselves many times they take it out on the one who makes them insecure.  Strife doesn't have to take hold on us when we realize that if we just keep on doing what is right everything will work out right.

The hardest part is going back to work and putting a smile on your face and being nice to the ones who have wronged you.  Not only is this the true spirit of Christmas, but it is also a truth in life.  By being nice to those who wrong us, we heap coals of fire - conviction - upon their heads. (As scripture puts it)  When we turn our spirit to anger and hurt we will only lash out and vindicate the jealousy and insecurity of the one who hurt us!

Rather let us do what scripture says and leave the vengeance to God. Yes, He does fight on our behalf!  If we will keep a right spirit during times of hurt and wrong against us, God will ensure a righteous outcome.  It is a hard thing for our human nature, which loves to retaliate, but letting God take care of these types of problems will bring glory to Him and allow you to walk in freedom from the chains of strife and pain!

So, how would you react if your boss lit into you for something that you know isn't valid, nor wrong?  Just remember there are bigger eyes looking down wanting to help you out. Will you let Him?

Yours for Christ,
Pastor Fred

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Advent Thoughts 2012

Good Morning World!
Here are some thoughts I've put together over the past few weeks to turn our minds back to the reason for the season.

Weeks 1 & 2
During our first two week period we talked about “Trust & Obey”.  During this Christmas season we need to be challenged to look back at the original story of Christmas, and re-enact the story in our own lives.  The gifts and such will be wonderful,  the giving will satisfy our souls, but what will we do for our spirits.

First:
Luke 1:5-20
Let’s look at the negative side of the coin, and see what happens when we do not “trust & obey”.  Zecharias was a righteous man, and his wife was a righteous lady.  God respected them because of their faithfulness during their time as servants of God, and so He rewarded them with the fulfillment of a promise and prophecy.
During the fulfillment of his priestly duties, which was very important, and randomly chosen an Angel appeared to him.
    1. He was preparing and burning incense, which fills the temple so that the High Priest can enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood and die not. This is a symbol of our praise and worship,and as we entertain the presence of God we must do - that we die not, so to speak.
    2. He had never seen nor heard of the Angel of the Lord during all his days.  The Angel of the Lord was a legend rather than a fact at that time.
    3. He was scared to death!
    4. Instead of turning his fear to faith, he was overcome with doubt.
    5. The promise and purpose of God was going to happen anyway, and so instead of finding another promise carrier, the Angel punished Zecharias.

If we decide not to Trust and Obey it may lead to the chastisement of God upon us.

Second:
Luke 1:26-38
Let’s look at the positive side, and see what happens when we do “trust & obey”.
Mary the virgin is getting ready to marry Joseph.  One day she has a visit from the same angel - Gabriel - who visited Zecharias.  The angel of the Lord tells her that she is the ONE that God has chosen to carry the Messiah!  She had some fear, but more than fear she wondered what was going on, and so the Angel explained.  She was going to have a baby - the Messiah.  Elizabeth was going to have the forerunner, and she was going to have the Messiah!
    1. Unlike Zecharias - Mary asked only a simple question of explaination
    2. Mary accepted the verdict with faith and obedience
    3. This season let us be like Mary and with open hearts “Trust & Obey” the calling of our Saviour, and do what He would want us to do!
Jesus came to seek and to save that which was Lost, so let us open our hearts to this calling and be His hands and feet during this Christmas season and help those who have need bringing the Gospel to all we meet!
Weeks 3 & 4
As we haven’t been able to meet regularly during this Christmas season, we will put two weeks into one as we did the first two weeks!

“Faith, Love & Giving”
This is a more practical look at our perspective of Christmas.  We don’t really know all the details of the birth of the Messiah, but we do have some notes on it, and in order to apply those things that were written for our examples and spiritual fulfillment we need to have a certain amount of faith. Let us look at some people who were on the outside looking in, and who they reacted to the news of the birth of a Saviour.

First:
Luke 2:8-18
The shepherds were busy doing what shepherds do: keeping the sheep out in the field.  Their job did not allow them the comfort of going home at night and sleeping in a warm dry bed, but rather they were in the field with the sheep day and night.  So, you can imagine the campfire stories that happened after this!
    1. The Angel of the Lord appeared again, this time with back up!  There was going to be no mistake that angels had visited these shepherds.
    2. The were told of the long awaited Messiah - He was born just a short walk down the road!
    3. What do we do with this news?  Do we stay on our jobs and forget this ever happened or do we go and see the Messiah!?
    4. I don’t know if they all just left the sheep in the field or if they took the sheep with them, or maybe they took turns, but they had faith and went to see this thing that had happened!
    5. Then they spread the news to anyone who would hear!

Second:
Matthew 2:1-11
The wise men from countries afar came seeking a great king.  Here is an act of faith if I ever saw one!  The seemed to have travelled from countries so far away that it could have taken up to two years for them to reach the place where Jesus was!  The impression that this star in the sky made upon them was so great that they were willing to go to the ends of the earth to find out the exact meaning it.  
    1. They enquired at the palace, but He wasn’t there.
    2. They listened to the scribes description of where the Messiah was to be born, and found the star again with joy!
    3. They followed the star right to the house where Jesus was!
    4. They worshipped Him and gave Him gifts fit for a King!

We have established the need for faith!  We must have faith to go to His birth place, and we must have faith to celebrate this 2,000 years later.  However, it should not stop there.  We cannot forget the attitude of Mary during this time either.  The Bible indicates that she loved Jesus, and pondered all these things in her heart!

Love  will bring us to a place of giving!  The Love of Jesus, which is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, if we will “Trust & Obey” with faith, will guide us to Give.  I’m not talking about giving to our family and friends.  Everyone does that and it isn’t necessarily following the commandments of Jesus nor the Gospel, but I mean to Give to those in need.

Let us take our Faith in Jesus, which is amplified by this season of worship, celebration, and giving and share some Love, which Jesus has put in our hearts, and Give something to those in need!  

Let us not contain our giving and love to just our family and friends, but let us go outside our door, and Good King Wenceslas did and share our bounty with the “poor” and “needy”.

Friday, December 14, 2012

How do you feel?

Good Morning World!

How do you feel?  How do you feel about Christmas?  How do you feel about giving?  How do you feel about family gatherings and Christmas parties?  So many questions a just a few minutes to ponder an answer!

I am asking these questions this morning because I want you to really begin to ponder the reason for the season.  Our modern concept of what is going on right now is somewhat warped and twisted.  Christmas is a combination of ancient pagan beliefs, mixed with more Christian beliefs and so we have the birth of a saviour along with the legend of a Saint who has been amalgamated with the stories of old German winter gods, wow what a twisted mix!

So, again I ask, How do you feel about Christmas?  There are many ways that you can approach Christmas.  Some just shun it altogether, some jump in head first and go crazy, some take it slow and easy, while others end up fighting their way through the malls and long store line ups!

There certainly isn't anything wrong with giving nice gifts during the holidays, but what I am afraid we let happen is the spirit of the grinch begins to settle on our soul as we become impatient and realize that we can't get that special gift for that special someone because it is sold out, or the line up is too long.  So many songs I hear during Christmas that say, "All I want for Christmas is you!"  So, my challenge this morning isn't to stop buying gifts, but to re-evaluate what your friends and family find important.  Yes, getting the new Galaxy Note 2 or the Iphone 5 would be nice, but is it really worth spending more than your budget this Christmas? Would a family party and carolling be better time to build lasting relationships?

Don't burn out your spirit of giving because of the commercialism of our modern age, rather step back enjoy the ambiance of life and connect with people you know and don't know!  Giving to a stranger may be the best thing that happens to you this year!

Yours for Christ
Pastor Fred

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Rebellious Generation!

Good Morning World!

I wasn't sure what to write this morning, but then while reading a couple chapters in Proverbs I found it!  This time of year is usually a time of giving and receiving, but it is also a time of reflection and pondering.  I so enjoy reflection and pondering, but it does raise questions, problems and many times things that need to be changed.  If we don't think about where we are or where we have come from then we will never figure out where we are going.  I know we think we know where we are going, but most of us don't!

A prophecy from Proverbs 30:
11 There is a generation that curses its father,And does not bless its mother.12 There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes,Yet is not washed from its filthiness.13 There is a generation—oh, how lofty are their eyes!And their eyelids are lifted up.14 There is a generation whose teeth are like swords,And whose fangs are like knives,To devour the poor from off the earth,And the needy from among men.

I am only a young man, but I have personally watched the beginning of about 2 generations and rise of a 3rd.  The first I was apart of, and respect for elders and parents was still taught, albeit not as much as other generations.  Then as a very new young adult I watched the second generation as children through graduation, and they had very little respect for authority, so little it was hard to find. Finally, the 3rd generation, which includes my own Children respect and honor are a thing of the past.  Of Course I am desperately trying to instill this important life truth into my Children, but it seems so often I am beating my head upon a brick wall.  Society has changed so much in the past 30 years!  What was once ok is now breaking the law, and what was once breaking the law in now ok.  Children do not have any moral, spiritual, sexual or relationship guidelines, examples or mentors to follow!

We wonder why people are dying younger and younger, well I can give you a simple answer that you may not like or even agree with, but here it is none the less. The Bible tells us in a couple places: Children Obey your Parents.  However, what many people don't realize is that this scripture is the first commandment that comes with a promise, and in reverse a curse.

"Children Obey your parents that you may live long in the earth!"

I don't know if you understand what this means, but I'll tell you anyway.  If we learn respect of authority and we learn how to respect and honor our parents it will be a main deciding factor in how long we will live physically. On the flip side, we are rebellious and curse our father and mother, and don't listen to their wisdom and guidance then it will also be a deciding factor in the length of our life on this earth.

WAIT! You may say.  "I know many people who have died young that were good people."  True, True.  However, you don't know their heart or past, but the fact remains that society has bread rebellion into its very fabric, and now everyone is feeling the pain of this ungodly pandemic.  Just as we are all sinners because one man and women sinned against the creator, so because we have bread rebellion into our generation we all will feel the sting of death!

HOWEVER!  This is the reason for the season!  Jesus Christ was born, God with Us!  He came to seek and to save that which was lost! He came to bring us salvation from this rebellion and curse of death!  He came to free us from the slavery that comes with sin, rebellion and death.  Jesus the Messiah came to give us eternal life!  Through His birth, life and death we find truth, and truth will set you free!  Let us take time to ponder, and take ownership of the fact that we are apart a rebellious generation.  It is us, not them who need to change.  We, you, I are the ones who must find redemption, and turn back to the way of truth!

Yours for Christ,
Pastor Fred

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Advent Thoughts: Trust & Obey

Good Morning World!  This advent season I would like to turn your attention to another reason for the season.  It's not all about the gifts or the giving, and it isn't all about the peace and joy, which we love and participate in especially during this time of year.  However, there is an element of the season that is often over looked, but has just as much relevance and importance as all the above.

TRUST & OBEY

There is a song that we sing when I am participating in a service at the local senior homes called Trust & Obey, and in it is described the blessing and importance of trusting and obeying Jesus our Saviour.  Also, in reading the story of the birth of Christ - the whole story, we come across two stories that really portray the meaning of our title.  First, we have the priest, Zechariah.  He was going to become the father of John the Baptist who was the forerunner or pro-claimer of the Christ.  However, when the angel told him this news he was full of fear and doubt.  So much so, that the angel punished him for his unbelief by taking away his ability to speak.  Zechariah didn't speak until after the birth of John when they were going to name him.  So much for trust and obey!  The other story is about Mary.  She a young virgin, with probably only a limited knowledge of God and angels, was visited by Gabriel the archangel, who told her she was the chosen one who would carry the incarnate God within her.  She asked a couple questions and with faith accepted this great honor without fear or doubt.  God was with her and made sure she was protected throughout the pregnancy and all the while the child was growing.

Are you beginning to see what I am talking about?  When we trust and obey we are given great honor in the kingdom of God.  We are protected and shown the way.  When we do not trust and obey we are given just the opposite.

I am not trying to scare anyone into finding Jesus, but I am trying to encourage you that when He comes knocking on your door that you listen, trust and obey!

Merry Christmas,
Yours for Christ,
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!