Thursday, October 17, 2019

I Was Hungry, And You Fed Me


This past week, my wife and I had to be in Halifax for a medical appointment. Heeding the standard instruction to be registered about thirty minutes before, we calculated a departure time from our home. Armed with gas and a cup full of coffee, we set out. As we travelled, we noticed that everywhere we went, traffic was in our way. Other than navigating some unfamiliar streets to find a parking space, we made it in perfect time. We were looked after immediately and the appointment, only took five minutes.

As we were exiting the hospital, a young man, who was sitting on the sidewalk called out and asked if we could buy him some food as he was hungry. Without hesitation, we stopped, turned to him and said yes, as no one should be hungry. I must admit that the look of surprise on his face, and the quick response by him shocked us both. I don’t know how many people ignored or passed by him, but when God says do something then we need to do it. His age may have been around the same if not a bit younger than our own sons. He held a bundle which was probably what he owned. After spending a few minutes with him as he hastily chose a few items, we exchanged first names, a quick handshake and we were gone.

Upon leaving the hospital, a driver waved me out into traffic, then we drove almost six blocks without a single vehicle in front of us onto the bridge. The sun was out, and the temperature was warm as we both breathed a sigh of relief from being so well looked after. On the way home, we stopped for supper, and was seated immediately, and waited on, just before a tour bus landed. As we shared our meal, we chatted of God’s grace on us that day. We were blessed by a friend’s prayer for safe journey, given perfect traveling weather. The appointment went better than expected and we were able to show God’s love to a stranger. We’ll not soon forget his name, or his face, just as Jesus cannot forget our names or our faces. When we ask Him for anything in a time of need He will respond. When He responds immediately, we too will have the reaction of that hungry young man. We’ll jump to attention and never forget where our help came from.

Today, listen as He leads you and prepares your day. Pay His grace and kindness forward without thinking. After all, it may be Him that you see sitting on a cold sidewalk one day.

Mike Shindruk
www.mastershandministry.blogspot.com

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Lord, Bring New Life Into Me


A long time ago, I was taught you only get one chance to make a first impression. Now, usually the first words out of a person’s mouth are generally the ones people will remember the most about you. A brand new mother looks upon her newborn child, revels at the beauty of her child and, in almost every case, expresses her joy and love. First words generally are the most lasting. I remember my first words to my son; “he is perfect, I love you so much my lil buddy”. There are other occasions where it is not only the words but the tone we use that can communicate so much. I say hello to my friends much differently than I do a complete stranger. If we are on the phone, we need to communicate our visual cues with our voice and the person on the other end can hear and respond appropriately. This is what truly scares me about our society today. It is so easy to lash out and hurt people through the anonymity of the keyboard. We are unable to communicate cues through social media and leave the interpretation up to the other person. In many cases, relationships are destroyed through these misinterpretations. It took me years to understand that I must engage the thought process before opening my mouth and engaging my tongue.

I have taken to reading scripture in a new way. For years, I have read my Bible and know what it will say next but was recently challenged to read scripture as if it were the first time I read it. Read the Truth as though it were the first time you had met God and this was going to be your first impression of the King of kings. Consider the verses we are going to focus on this Sunday. The writer declares with exuberance “Oh, how I love your law!” Ps 119:97 NIV. Can you see the smile on the face of the person as they declare the joy and love for our Creator? Their face was probably lit up and there was a smile that could not be quashed. Now consider this; take a moment to absorb that joy in the declaration and think about how we can communicate that same joy to those around us as we go about our daily duties. Would it make a difference in the lives of others around us? Would this also make a difference in your own day? It is so easy to find negativity in life, find someone who is seeking to share their joy and drag them into this same pit. It only takes a few callous comments and suddenly misery has company. First words can make the day or destroy the day. My question is this; do you share your joy or find joy in other’s misery? Take time to consider your first words of the day, your first impression for someone else’s new day.

This Sunday, we continue our journey through Psalm 119:97-104. We invite you to join us if you can at 10:30 MST on Sunday or watch live online on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MainAvenueFellowship/ ) or view it afterwards on our website (www.mainavefellowship.blogspot.ca).

Blessings
Pastor Todd


Friday, October 11, 2019

Peter's Picks


The Perfect 7-day Diet – Peter’s Picks
‘JUST COME’
Day 1: Matthew 18:3 – “Then he said, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.’”
Day 2: 1 Peter 2:2 – “Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment.”
Day 3: John 1:12 – “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.”
Day 4: Hebrews 11:6 – “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”
Day 5: Ephesians 2:8, 9 – “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”
Day 6: Psalm 71:5, 6 – “O Lord, you alone are my hope. I’ve trusted you, O Lord, from childhood. Yes, you have been with me from birth; from my mother’s womb you have cared for me. No wonder I am always praising you!”
Day 7: Romans 8:16 – “For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.”
** Verses taken from the New Living Translation

Thursday, October 10, 2019

When I Was Your Age


I can remember a time when my dad said “when I was your age…” In fact, I have used that in the past with my own son. There are times when I want so much for my son to follow the rules I have laid out not to appease some dictatorial craving but rather to save him from the hurt and pain I suffered going through the hard times. Funny thought, however, is that these are generally the same rules I rebelled against in my past, the same sage words that my father passed along to me. When I was young, I knew everything and the older I got the more wise my parents became.

Why is it that so many are turning their back on the Lord and walking down a path that leads nowhere? I remember when I was younger my grandparents ensured I knew the Lord and understood how His law was not there to pin us to the ground but allow us to rise up and thrive. At some point, the message was buried and the rules of the world took over. Now, however, many of us are realizing that what we turned away from or seemingly forgot is becoming real and relevant once again. As the days behind us become more than the days in front of us, many are starting to realize that the His wisdom and knowledge are infinitely greater than my own and He is much becoming much wiser as I grow older. It is never too late to re-visit His place in our lives and to accept His offer of eternity in Glory. It is never too late to turn to our Father in Heaven and give thanks for sticking by us as we wandered through life.

My parents always had my best interests in mind when they put forward boundaries, rules and passed along words of wisdom. In retrospect, they were and are correct. In hindsight, even though I walked through the valley of the shadow of death, my Father in Heaven walked through the trials with me, with us all, and wants us all to seek out the blessings and grace of God.

This Sunday, we take a break from our Psalm 119 series to give thanks for all our Lord has provided. We invite you to join us if you can at 10:30 MST on Sunday or watch live online on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MainAvenueFellowship/ ) or view it afterwards on our website (www.mainavefellowship.blogspot.ca).

Blessings
Pastor Todd


Monday, October 7, 2019

Peter's Picks


The Perfect 7-day Diet – Peter’s Picks
‘Feeling Down?’
Day 1: 1 Peter 5:6, 7 – “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”
Day 2: Psalm 37:23, 24 – “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.”
Day 3: 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4 – “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
Day 4: Psalm 40:1, 2 – “I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.”
Day 5: Joshua 1:9 – “This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Day 6: Isaiah 41:10 – “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
Day 7: Philippians 4:8 – “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
** Verses taken from the New Living Translation


He Has You Covered


Last Sunday I received an e-mail from my pastor, and she was marveling at the early morning frost that covered everything. With the stillness of the air, and the sun gleaming down, she likened the view as if God had sprinkled diamonds on everything.  She said it reminded her of how God covers every single square inch of the earth, and our lives with His care and love. As I listened to her message in church that evening, I just could not release that image from my minds’ eye. How true, that frost does indeed cover every imaginable surface, but for a short time. As each day warms up, the frost will simply disappear without anyone giving it a thought. What fascinated me about this is that frost eventually melted and the earth would absorb the gift of water.

I likened this to how God indeed covers us. Each day we wake, He has given us another chance at life. He has clothed us with His armor, and covered our day with His protection. He gives us a thousand things each day to view as His message, that He is real, and not dead. It’s up to us to look for and recognize them. When we do, we will find that His influence will soak into us like the frost does to the ground. And like the frost, His soaking in will be gentle, and for the most part, un-noticed, yet it will still happen.

When we are in any struggle, we should ask for His presence. In Luke 11:9-10 NCV, Jesus is answering a question of how to pray. He says this” So I tell you, ask and God will give to you. Search and you will find. Knock and the door will open for you. Yes, everyone who asks will receive. The one who searches will find. And everyone who knocks will have the door opened. When we know and understand this scripture, we will see how God will cover us just like the early morning frost of last Sunday. And just like the melting, His assurance will soak into us. 

The days of autumn will give each of us a reminder of His covering. His word, as in Luke, will confirm what He pours into you. So watch now for the next frosty morning and be reminded of just how much He has you covered for that day. Then as the sun warms your face, let His presence soak in.

Mike Shindruk
www.mastershandministry.blogspot.com


Friday, October 4, 2019

When Jesus Calls, We Should Answer


In this day of instant communication, it’s pretty easy to accept or ignore a call from someone. Social media has created the tools of instant connection, and connection avoidance all wrapped up in a neat little bundle. We crack open our Facebook page at the crack of dawn, just hoping someone out there on our friend’s list will be chomping at the bit to chat. A private message or a friend can be ignored or deleted without them knowing which allows us to build a wall around us, and for what? We can watch the promises of political candidates, or scroll by if we don’t like what they’re offering, then be mad at them when we cast a ballot being uninformed. We can send a birthday wish to people we don’t know, hoping our list will get longer, and yes, place the never ending selfie with bathroom fixtures in the background.

My point here is we are losing our ability to connect with each other intimately, face to face. Time spent just having a coffee and conversation is being eroded and replaced with tired eyes and sore necks from staring at screens. I am as guilty as anyone at times when it comes to this as the internet is as powerful a drug as any script for the flu.

Now here’s where Jesus comes in. He needs no internet to call because He’s right now sitting next to you. He sees and knows what you post, and what you think. He’s sitting with your elderly parent who is alone, and if you are the elderly parent, you’re not alone. Each week I write about His being ever present with us and each week He gives something new and different. He whispers His encouragement in our situations, and is the very first to sing our praises to God when we please Him. He needs no page to spread His gospel, just ordinary people like us. He has no ego to be constantly asking for admiration from strangers, yet He offers himself completely when we call. He answers every message, in His own way and will never ignore a request or prayer. He has no selfies, because, well, He doesn’t need them anyway. We’ll find out what He looks like when we meet Him.

You see friends we may crave the attention and adoration of the world, because that is what is fed to us. Jesus craves only our love and affection, because He offers us a banquet beyond all understanding. The communication systems we use are not all bad, but can be if it’s the addiction we’re on. Try and curb the appetite for self-promotion, and answer Jesus’ calling. After all, He’s just sent you a private message, don’t ignore it.

Mike Shindruk
www.mastershandministry.blogspot.com