As I consider my God-given mandate, I realize that my calling as a steward of Jesus the King, is to be faithful (1 Cor. 4:2).  In reading through the book, The Deliberate Church: Building Your Ministry on the Gospel by Mark Dever and Paul Alexander, I was reminded of my focus:  Preach the Word; Pray; Pursue relationships; and have Patience.  There are many different options before us, but these items are not optional.  They must be deliberately pursued as we seek to build all that we do on the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the glory of our God.

Please pray for us as a church – for unity and passion for Jesus and His mission.  The enemy is real, so be on guard and watchful.  Be mindful of your thoughts.  Is that thinking in line with the Gospel of Jesus and the Spirit-inspired word?  The devil is a liar and subtle and divisive.  May we not be instruments in his hands, but vessels fit for the true Master’s use.

1 John series

We have just finished the first 3 chapters in this challenging letter.  John writes in black and white statements of truth, but does so in genuine love – of His Savior and of Jesus’ church.  The audio of these messages can be found here on the website in the media section.  The study guide for the series is also available there.

Join me in praying that this would not just be a series to study through intellectually, but a time where God speaks to us through this beloved apostle and transforms our hearts in real and lasting Gospel change.

Baptism

What an amazing time of testimony and picture as Jacques and Lisl were “doop” (Afrikaan for dipped or baptized) in obedience to and to identify with Jesus who went under the judgment flood waters for us.  And praise God, Jesus made a full and sufficient payment and rose again to life!  If Jesus did not rise, we have no hope and we could never have joy without the knowledge of the reunion of Jesus with His Father and the Holy Spirit – to the glory which He shared with them from all of eternity.  I could never be truly happy unless Jesus was to receive the honor and praise and glory that He so richly deserves.  Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, but who now lives forevermore.

I was disappointed that there were not more there to share in that time together, but for those who were there, it was a rich time of worshipping our glorious sovereign and saving God.  It was neat to see the kids on lined up along the edge of the water to get a great view.

And Chelsea, you may have thought you saw me cry during the testimonies, but I think it was the “powder” deodorizer coming from your car.  (OK,  maybe I did shed a tear or two – in amazement of the grace of God in our lives).

Grace Deaf Fellowship

I said my “see you later” to Neil and Helen tonight as they leave early Tuesday morning for Calgary and then on to the UK.  We will miss them.  Please continue to pray for Grace Deaf Fellowship.  They had another 4-5 new people this Sunday.

Acts 29 Coaching

On Monday evening, I have my coaching session with Scott Tucker in Lethbridge.  Please be in prayer for the church plant there.  Scott is just in the process of gathering others.

This coming weekend

This Saturday morning, we have the Porterbrook Training for those involved in that Gospel training.  The advanced group is going to begin working through the benefits of our reading in The Deliberate Church and the Porterbrook material on “The Missional Church and Church Planting”.

Lord willing, a number will also be going to the Bridge on 20th to serve there in the afternoon – as a tangible way to love the people in our city.

Please make the time to stay for our pizza lunch at the Galaxy following this coming Sunday gathering.  I look forward to spending extended time with the church family on Sundays … you’re not heavy, you’re my brothers and sisters!

Our third “redeeming your marriage” class will be held in the church office at 3:30 pm. this coming Sunday as well.  Lord, teach us how to love others – in particular, our spouses.

Rest in the midst of war

There are times in this whole church planting adventure, when I can feel overwhelmed with one thing after another.  It is in these times that I have to go to the Word of God and preach the Gospel to my own heart.   People may disappoint me – I disappoint me; but I am loved by the Lord of the universe.  He has adopted me for His own.  It was His delight to do so for His own glory.  I was a stranger to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world; BUT NOW in Christ Jesus, I, who was once far off, have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  I was walking, willingly and blindly following the course of this world – following my father, the devil, to the wrath he and I deserved, BUT GOD who is rich in mercy plucked me out of the grip of the evil one; when I was still a sinner, Christ died for me.  I have a heavenly Father who considers me His own beloved son.  I have an elder brother who is the King of all kings and Lord of all lords, who at great cost to himself redeemed this prodigal who had squandered every gift the Father had given me.  Jesus did not do this begrudgingly but with joy.  He is a saving God.  I have the Spirit of God Himself in me.  This same Spirit who raised up Jesus from the grave, transformed my heart in the hearing of the Word of the Gospel (with ears He Himself opened).  This Spirit who has sealed me to the ultimate fullness of my redemption.  How can I complain?  I am an unprofitable servant who is loved as a son.  How can it be?  Jesus is my Sabbath rest.  In Him I cease from my labours and enter His rest –  in His perfect finished work.  Whatever is in store for me in the next while, it will be far too good for me – and so much more than I deserve.   I am His and He is mine.  Now I’m going to go to bed and sleep like a Calvinist!