Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Don’t Do It!

As I was growing up, I thought for sure my nickname was “What where you thinking?” My last name was “Don’t do that again!” My brother and I had a great childhood. We had a swing-set in the back yard that needed to be tied down to the ground with a large piece of ready-rod lest we tipped it over swinging too high. We were often told not to swing so high because we were going to wreck the swing and if we did, we would not get another one. Beside the swing was a very cool fort. It had three levels and windows for shooting our cap guns out when the enemy came to attack. It later served as target practice for shooting tennis balls at with our hockey sticks. Then we got the bright idea to get people to go inside the fort and put their face in the window and try to avoid getting hit with the ball as we fired the dripping wet tennis projectile at the hole (we had dogs that loved to drool). Apparently we were “not thinking” when it was discovered what we were doing and we were told to stop it – NOW!  Beside the fort was our sandbox in the shade of a huge evergreen. We spent hours playing with our Tonka trucks and Dinky cars and, like most boys, we also dug holes. One day in our exuberance, we started digging and just never stopped. After some time, mom looked out the kitchen window wondering where we had gotten to and came out the back door to call us in for lunch. My brother and I popped our heads out of the rather large hole to answer and we asked “what on earth are you two doing?” We thought it was quite obvious but failed to realize that as we dug down, hacking through roots as we went, we were weakening the tree at the foundation. We were told very vehemently that what we had done was wrong and to fill it back in and don’t do it again.

If you read the scriptures, the Old Testament is full of rules God handed down to us. These were not meant to hold us back but rather to protect us and, yes, direct us to a better path. God’s creation, His children, often rebelled because rules are meant to be “broken or tested”. My parents set up some very solid rules to live by, many of them biblically based, and, while we did push back on them, they still are an integral part of our personalities. When we were living as children, we needed the parameters but as we grew, rational thinking became a part of our makeup and our thought process changed quite a bit. The Old Testament had the pat rules but take a look through the New Testament and count the number of times Christ referred to the law and put it out there in a different way, “You have heard that it was said…but I say to you.” Take Matthew 5:21-24 for example;

 “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.

“So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

Here we see rational thought and a positive solution being presented in such a way as to promote growth and peace for all involved. This is the message of the Christ. This Sunday, we will explore the “but I say to you” moments in the New Testament. We would love for you to join us either in person or online Sunday at 10:30 AM MST.

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We look forward to seeing you this Sunday.

Blessings,

Pastor Todd

www.mainavefellowship.ca


Please Note: This will be the last blog post on this page. Future posts can be seen at www.mainavefellowship.ca 


Thursday, June 23, 2022

Peter's Picks

 The Perfect 7-day Diet – Peter’s Picks 

‘Be Washed in His Mercy’ 

Day 1: 1 Peter 1:3, 4 – “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you...”

Day 2: Lamentations 3:22, 23 – “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Day 3: James 1:5 – “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

Day 4: Psalm 73:25, 26 – “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Day 5: Psalm 29:11 – “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.”

Day 6: 2 Corinthians 9:8 – “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

Day 7: Psalm 103:1-5 – “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” 

** Verses taken from the New Living Translation

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The Fullness of God

When we start to think outside the box and test the boundaries of limited understanding, this is when we can fully begin to realize that we may not know everything. There are those who will attempt to impress with their vast knowledge of a variety of topics but when it comes right down to it I just want to know the basic facts. Consider this, I was having issues with a solenoid for a garden tractor and, like a dope, I forgot to take pictures as I pulled the solenoid and the starter off the tractor. Part two to this, if enough time has gone by, I will forget or question myself on how to put it back together again. Long story made short, I could not remember which pole to put the positive wire on and I started to question myself as to how it all went back together. So, like all guys, I googled it and ended up even more confused and not at all confident. There is a lot of conflicting messages out there and numerous “experts” who will be more than happy to tell you how to do it even if they are bat crazy. We need to question things (science relies on this to move forward) but we all need to recognize that if the facts lead to a specific conclusion, we should really heed the wisdom even if it runs contrary to our own preconceived notions. An open mind is a wonderful thing, a closed mind leads to stagnation.

With all that said, consider this; God, three in one, is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. In other words, He is infinitely powerful in all creation, infinitely wise and infinitely everywhere. He is the Father of all creation, the Son is perfect in word and the Holy Spirit is with us always and forever. In John 1:1-5,

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

And in Genesis 1:1-2

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

In the beginning, God, the Father, created and at that same moment, the Holy Spirit hovered over the surface and eventually breathed life into Adam. In the beginning was the Word, the Son of God. This from the word of God, witnessed to and faithfully followed for thousands of years. It has been studied, questioned and tested well before the thoughts of mankind had even begun to fully understand. I am not saying that science does not have a place in our world, but I am saying that the Word of God has just as much a right to play into the conversation. Many do not understand faith in God but faith in an all-powerful divine Creator makes a bit more sense than blindly following spaceships, aliens and zombies.

Do you want to test it? Join us this Sunday as we seek the truth in the Word.  We would love for you to join us either in person or online at 10:30 AM MST.

Facebook Live - Main Ave Fellowship

YouTube Live – You Tube

We look forward to seeing you this Sunday.       

Blessings,

Pastor Todd

www.mainavefellowship.blogspot.com

 

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

How Do I Explain This?

While I was in university, one of the discussions we had focused on the Trinity, or Triune God. The question our professor wanted us to consider was this; how would you explain the wholeness of God to a ten-year-old? Our class had some brilliant students and we thought this was going to be quite simple but it turned out to be more difficult than we first presumed. The group was fortunate to have a parent of a ten-year-old and, as we began to formulate a method of delivery, we discovered this was going to be more difficult than we first imagined. Let me give you an example.

God is like an egg. The egg has a shell, the yellow yolk and the white. While all three are separate, they all make up an egg. The parent in our group just stared blankly at us and we waited for the response.

“God is an egg? Do you know what the first question would be? Do you realize where the questions are going to go especially in a Sunday school class full of ten-year-olds? Is it a boiled egg or a raw egg? Is it a brown egg or a white egg? Robin’s eggs are blue”

We were just talking about eggs and hadn’t even started in on the Triune God. Explaining the Father was going to be relatively easy since most children of faith already understand that God, the Father, was Christ’s Father (don’t get me started on when someone noted that Joseph was His father – there is always one). The Heavenly Father, by way of the Holy Spirit (don’t use the term Ghost, that is a story for another day) became pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit.

This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Matt 1:8 NLT

We all thought we were going to nail this part but we soon found out how wrong we were. Here were some of the possible questions:

·        Where do babies come from?

·        Was Joseph mad?

·        Is Joseph the stepdad?

·        What’s a virgin?

None of us really saw that coming. We were thinking on an adult level and not a child level. We were using adult speak where we needed to kid friendly language. You see, the message of God is not complicated but we have made it tough. Too many scholars trying to make everyone realize just how smart they are rather than take the time to speak the truth in simple terms. This may upset some of the highly educated and the professors but the truth is this, Christ came for all and not just the highbrows. In fact, if you want to know the Trinity read this bit of scripture.

One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized. As he was praying, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.” Luke 3:21-22 NLT

God is the Father of all creation, Jesus the Son who came to earth to save us all and the Holy Spirit who dwells with us 24/7. All three are God and God is the great I AM. It may seem tough to wrap our head around it all but we can think of it this way; God is creator, saviour and protector wrapped up in one magnificent package. This is as simple as can make it.

This Sunday, we will finish the series on Pentecost. We would love for you to join us either in person or online Sunday at 10:30 AM MST.

Facebook Live - Main Ave Fellowship

YouTube Live – You Tube

We look forward to seeing you this Sunday.       

Blessings,

Pastor Todd

www.mainavefellowship.blogspot.com

Monday, June 13, 2022

Peter's Picks

The Perfect 7-day Diet – Peter’s Picks 

‘You say… God Says’ 

Day 1: Matthew 11:28-30 - I’m Tired – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Day 2: Proverbs 3:5, 6 - I Can’t Figure It Out – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Day 3: Romans 8:1 - I Can’t Forgive Myself – “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”

Day 4: 2 Timothy 1:7 - I Am Afraid – “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

Day 5: 1 Corinthians 1:30 - I’m Not Smart Enough – “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”

Day 6: 1 Peter 5:7 - I’m Always Worried – “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

Day 7: Hebrews 13:5 - I Feel All Alone – “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” 

** Verses taken from the New Living Translation

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Peter's Picks

 The Perfect 7-day Diet – Peter’s Picks 

‘Jesus Paid it All’ 

Day 1: Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Day 2: Ephesians 1:7, 8 – “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us… ”

Day 3: 1 Peter 2:24 – “‘He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed.’”

Day 4: 2 Corinthians 5:21 – “God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Day 5: Isaiah 53:5 – “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

Day 6: Acts 4:12 – “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Day 7: John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” 
** Verses taken from the New Living Translation

The Way of Life

There are two phrases that I question. The first one is when I hear people say “it is what it is” because that means the person has resigned themselves to accept the circumstances rather than fight for what they feel is right. The fight has gone out of them and they accept that it is what it is and nothing is going to change it.

The second phrase is “it’s just the way of life”. This is also known as “it’s the new normal” or “that’s the way it is”. I heard a funny thing the other day where a politician was telling the audience to trust the science yet Albert Einstein was quoted as saying “the important thing is to never stop questioning”. If you adhere to the thoughts of Vinod Khosla, an Indian-American billionaire businessman and venture capitalist, when he states “Religion asks you to believe things without questioning, and technology and science always encourage you to ask hard questions and why it is important in science and technology. So I was always interested in science and technology”, then the two phrases I hear so often take on an almost religious attitude. I would like to counter with this; when Thomas was doubtful and questioning the return of Christ, Jesus did not come up to Thomas and destroy Him but rather Jesus provided the proof.

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:24-29 NIV

The final sentence says it all for me. “because you have seen, you believe, blessed are those who have not seen and yet they believe.” Thomas asked for proof but the key is this, he accepted the proof. When people first come to hear the Truth, there are questions, there are inquiries. This is, for many, not a blind following but rather an educated choice based on research and facts. Like all inquiries, there are those who will oppose, who will not listen to the proof and try to sway. This is a fact of human behaviour. We all have a choice to make but those who are not willing to hear the opinions of others and decide to default to accept the phrase “that’s just the way it is” are only robbing themselves of the chance to grow in knowledge and wisdom by testing, researching and asking for the proof. Put you finger here, do you feel the nail holes, do you recognize the spear’s entry point? The neutral path is to accept society’s lethargy and resign to walking the fence between good and evil. Just remember, the evil one owns the fence.

This weekend, we welcome Rev Glenn Reeder to bring us a message of hope and joy. We would love for you to join us either in person or online Sunday at 10:30 AM MST.

Facebook Live - Main Ave Fellowship

YouTube Live – You Tube

We look forward to seeing you this Sunday.

Blessings,

Pastor Todd


Reminder: at the end of the month we will be shifting to our new website at www.mainavefellowship.ca