Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Comforting Forgiveness

‪These words from C S Lewis are strangely comforting 

"I think if God forgives us, we must forgive ourselves. 

Otherwise it is almost like setting up ourselves 

as a higher tribunal than Him"‬


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Constant.....

It is the end of the Gregorian Calendar.

Yet again, many people have passed away. Some more publicly than others. Some more peacefully than others. Some are more missed than others. 

Death is a constant. As is change.

The only other constant is God. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Good Work Will Be Completed

This is such an assuring verse. What a promise. It can be applied to anyone who belongs to the family of God. It's a promise God keeps! Imagine putting your name after "you". Goose bumps

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Special Night Out

Hubby has been involved in bringing this amazing artist over to town - Don Moen! What joy! 

Here he is, receiving a souvenier from a fan - the mayor! 

What an evening - a time of worship, prayer and he even released a special word for healing. He looked like he enjoyed himself - he went on for two and a half hours....! That was way beyond anyone's expectations. 
He brought a friend along - Lenny LeBlance. Honestly, Lenny sings like a dream. No special effects, no electronic gadgets, not even a keyboard. He just strummed and plucked his guitar... and melted our hearts, after taking us along on a journey with the lyrics and melody.  
May this be the start of more!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Being Diligent

It's been a while.

It's even on the header of this blog.

"BE DILIGENT TO PRESENT YOURSELF APPROVED TO GOD, A WORKER WHO DOES NOT NEED TO BE ASHAMED, RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH." 2 TIM 2:15.

But I haven't been doing it so well. Forgive me Lord....

Be diligent. Effort is required. Exertion is implied.

Be diligent. Involves earnest endeavour.

Make effort, exert earnest endeavour to study, and to do so with haste. Don't waste time.

It's not being laid back. It's not being apathetic. It doesn't mean just waiting for something to happen.

Not at all.

It means to be forward, to be pro-active, to be intentional.

It means that words aren't enough. Actions need to back the words.

It means being diligent.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Lift My Eyes....

I will lift up my eyes to the hills —
From whence comes my help?
 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
 He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
 The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
 The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
 The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
 The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.
Psalm 121

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Good Article - 5 Things People Blame the Church For … but Shouldn’t

Good article

5 Things People Blame the Church For … but Shouldn’t

There’s a lot of church bashing that happens these days. I get that. Some of it is deserved.
Like me, maybe you’ve noticed that a lot of people feel justified in dismissing the church as anything between a complete disappointment and otherwise useless.

Doubtless people have been hurt in the church and hurt by the church, and for that I feel terrible.
But it’s one thing to have a bad experience or a series of bad experiences. It’s another to hang on to them for far longer than you should, especially when you have a role in them that you refuse to see.
So in the hopes of clarifying a few things and helping us all move through whatever hang-ups might be lingering, here are five things people blame their church for … but shouldn’t.

1. The church didn’t stop you from growing spiritually.
Most church leaders have heard this before from someone who’s new at your church. I went to X church for two years but I just didn’t grow there. Now I’ve come here. Hopefully I’ll grow!
I’ve heard this so many times, at one point I believed the logic. Until I realized that we were this person’s fifth church in six years, and they didn’t grow at any of them. Which makes you ask the question … is it really the church, or could it be them?
I came to the realization years ago that I’m responsible for my spiritual growth. Nobody can make me grow. And honestly, no one can keep me from growing because no one can actually control my thoughts, my heart and my mind. I can offer them to God in free surrender whenever I want.
Understand, the church can help, but it’s not responsible for your spiritual growth. You are.

2. The church didn’t burn you out.
You meet a lot of people in ministry, both paid and volunteer, who will tell you the church burned them out. As someone who has burned out while leading a church, it would be tempting for me to say, “For sure … my church burned me out. You should see the demands people made on me as a pastor and leader!”

But I would never say that.

You know who burned me out?

I did. 

I am responsible for my burnout. I pushed too hard for too long. I didn’t deal with underlying issues. I burned myself out.

Now, granted, I think ministry can be confusing, and I think it’s easier to burn out in ministry than in other vocations (for the reasons why that is, read this post).

But I’m responsible. And so, honestly, are you. For more on burnout,start with this post.

3. The church didn’t make you cynical.
I’ve heard many Christians say, “I’m so cynical after working at/attending several churches.”
And for sure, any student of human nature can become cynical.

But the church didn’t make you cynical. You let your heart grow hard. You chose to believe certain things about people, about God, about life, and it built a crust around something that used to be alive and vibrant.

The biggest challenge in life is to see life for what it really is but keep your heart fully engaged. God loves to help people do that.

I fight cynicism daily. And if anyone makes me cynical, it’s me … not you, not God, not culture, not the church. I want my heart to be alive and celebrating each day. That’s a choice I make with God’s help.

4. The church didn’t cause your unforgiveness.
It’s easy to hold a grudge. Get hurt (and yes, I’ve been hurt by people in the church too) and hang onto it long enough, and grudges will form.

Soon you’ll not want to hear someone’s name, let alone run into them in the supermarket.

Too many people in the church or who walked away from the church carry unforgiveness and blame the church for it.

What are you hanging onto from a bad church experience that you need to let go of?

Forgiveness is the one of most Christian things people can do. Yet it’s what far too many Christians withhold from one another.

I love how Mark Twain phrased it: “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”

5. The church didn’t make you lose your faith.
I hesitate to write this one. I’m a church leader. I do everything I can to help people find faith in Jesus Christ.

I also realize I’m far from perfect, that our church is not perfect, and that there never will be perfection on this side of heaven.

It breaks my heart when I hear people say, “I went to church but it was so bad/so hypocritical/so shallow I lost my faith.” I realize we don’t always do a good job. In fact, sometimes churches do a terrible job. Sometimes I do a terrible job.

But as you’ve seen throughout this piece, nobody else makes you lose your faith. That was or is a choice you made. It is.

And it’s a choice I make every day. To believe when there are more than a few reasons not to. To love when people don’t love me back. To forgive when it’s easier to hang on to the hurt. To trust when there’s probably a few reasons to stop trusting.

So if you want to believe again … believe again.

A Challenge
Now let me give you a challenge. I realize many of you have been hurt by the church. I realize many of you have grown cynical. And that’s true of people who have left the church and who are in the church.

Here’s the challenge: Be part of the solution. And the solution is not to walk away or be endlessly critical.

The reason I lead a church is because I believe Jesus designed the church to be the hope of the world. Churches are imperfect organizations, but they’re also chosen organizations. We’re on a mission given by Christ. We’re his chosen instrument.

I just want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. The world has enough cynics and critics.

We need people and we need leaders who deal hope.

Would you be one of them? Maybe get involved again? Or join a church and decide to work toward a better future? Or start a church of your own? That would be incredible. Really … it would! We need more optimists and more people ready to make the world a better place.

I’d love to hear what you’re taking responsibility for in your life and how you’ve decided to make a difference. 


By  Carey Nieuwhof