Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Bracing For The New Future

Over the past year, the term I have come to loath is “It is the new normal”. Truth be told, every time we wake up, it is a new normal. The only thing that is consistent according to normal is the setting on the dryer but even that is determined by the make, model and type of dryer. What was once considered normal for the day in 1908 when Henry Ford rolled out the first Model T soon changed the second they added options. I can assure you the world is ever changing and every moment we are alive is a new normal. So why is there always change? Why does “normal” never really become, well, normal? We talk of ethics and morality as being a point of view dependent on our own perspective and “normal” also belongs in this category. The only thing that is normal in our daily lives is that change is normal. To expect anything else or be surprised by the stray ball out of left field is rather naïve.

Now, with all that said, there is a sense of normalcy that is unchanging for it does not need tweaking to be perfect for He is perfect. One thing that is perfect and constant is Agape. I know, there are some out there who do not know the term Agape so let me throw this out there. Agape is a love that is so perfect it is indescribable, in fact there is no definition that fully describes it or translation that does justice to the perfection of what it is intended to describe. At the beginning of John 3:16, scripture states “God so loved the world”. The word loved in this case was ἠγάπησεν, egapesen, which is in the agape family of words. God so loved us that He sent His Son into the world to die for our sins. This is not just for a time but for all times and, for God, this is the perfect normal. There is only one perfect norm and that is the love of Christ, Agape. It is a love that does not change because it is perfect and in Glory, there will be nothing but this perfection. How can I say this in confidence? The message in Hebrews 13:8-9 states “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them.” There is a truth to this in light of today’s circumstances. In all things governed by the will of mankind, normal is in the eye of the beholder but when we focus our gaze upon the Saviour, we find an anchor point to set our course. When we focus on the Master there is a newness in the term normal and, while life may throw up all sorts of bumps and detours, we can rest assure in His promise, His Agape.

This coming Sunday is a bit different a service. We will be holding our AGM while we sing praises to our Lord and Saviour and there will also be a short devotional at the end. We invite you to join us either in person (we are limited to numbers inside the building) or online. Should you wish to join us online, click on either link below to join us live:

Facebook Live - https://www.facebook.com/main.ave.31

YouTube Live – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs9LIkN_QTdVM6eVXEgy9QA

Blessings,

Pastor Todd

www.mainavefellowship.blogspot.ca

Nazarene COVID Response supports hospital in India

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Peter's Picks

The Perfect 7-day Diet – Peter’s Picks 

‘God of Mercy’ 

Day 1: 1 Peter 1:3 – All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation. 

Day 2: Deuteronomy 7:9 – “Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands. 

Day 3: Exodus 34:6 – “The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, ‘Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.’ 

Day 4: Psalm 145:9 – “The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation. 

Day 5: Malachi 3:17 – “’They will be my people,’ says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. ‘On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child.’ 

Day 6: Psalm 23:6 – “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. 

Day 7: Lamentations 3:22 – “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. 

** Verses taken from the New Living Translation 

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Anticipation

As I sit to write this, I am bursting with pride and wonderment at the arrival of a new granddaughter on Mothers’ Day. Her arrival was the first for our daughter and son in law, and the anticipation for them and both families was electric. With every ping of our computer, or ringing of our phone came the expectation of the wonderful news. When the message finally came, our home exploded with joy. With the thousands of miles between us, we can only wonder what she looks like. What would she feel like in our arms, and what would be the first words we would say to her. We remember the sheer joy of those experiences with our own children, all now grown. We know what her mom and dad are feeling right now, as we have been blessed with those emotions three times. We, as grandparents will now wait with anticipation of the first time we meet her, the first time we hear her voice, and to watch her walk and grow up in her parents care.


Events in our lives will always give way to many forms of anticipation. A wedding day, an unexpected illness, a needed surgery, a new job, or even a retirement date. All of these will evoke different emotions, some of joy, and some of sorrow. I cannot help but draw a comparison to Jesus here. I can imagine Mary and Joseph’s anticipation when they were waiting for Jesus to be born. Can we all imagine the people at the time, hearing of a King, their Savior that was to be born as prophesized? The waiting, the signs, all strong enough to draw Kings to travel long distances to meet Him. Then came the elation of His arrival, and the joy it brought. Their faith in God strengthened by the news, gave hope. Not many years later, sorrow as He was crucified by the very people He came to save. Yet, He rose, and the anticipation of His return, was, and is even stronger than ever.


Our lives will be a journey of joy and sadness, yet, when we accept Jesus as our very own, and acknowledge Him as our Savior, then our anticipation of meeting Him face to face is immeasurable. Just like our grand daughter so far away, we know we will see her. We know also that we will also see Jesus, look into His eyes, and hear His voice. The anticipation of that very moment will help us in the human as we face mortal challenges. As I approach the age of sixty-five, I feel blessed to have my general good health. I also know that friends and loved ones around me share in the same joys and fears as I do. I’m sure that many who read this are wearing the same shoes. I encourage everyone in these troubled times in our country to reset. If you have already accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then continue to believe that He will pull you through anything. If you haven’t allowed Him into your life, then today is the day to look up and give Him the invitation. I would like you to have the same anticipation of meeting Jesus some day, as we did waiting for our grand daughter to arrive.


We will see her some day, and will welcome her and tell her how much we enjoyed waiting to meet her. Jesus will meet us someday, and He will look into our eyes and say welcome my child, I have been anticipating your arrival.


Mike Shindruk

Master’s Hand Ministry

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Annual General Meeting

Attention members of Main Avenue Fellowship, Sundre Church of the Nazarene. As has been announced, the AGM for Main Avenue Fellowship will be held 16 May 2021 @ 10:30 AM. Once again, due to protocols established by AHS, this will be a bit different. We have emailed the Annual Report to our active members with the exeption of those who do not have access to email. For those without email access, the reports, along with a voting ballot, will be mailed out today, 06 May 2021. 

Voting ballots will be distributed either in person or at this Sunday service and will be picked up during the week or they can be dropped off at the church at your convenience. They will be handled in such a manner as to ensure anonymity. 

For those who wish to have an Annual Report mailed out or emailed out, let us know at mainavefellowship@gmail.com and we will get one to you. There will be hard copies available at the church as well. 

Please note, the booklets do not contain the financials for last year as they take a bit of time to prepare but will be available before the AGM.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via email or phone (403-638-4055)

Blessings to you all,

Pastor Todd


Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Something To Think About

Voice of reason versus voice of authority. Let me take you back a few hundred years. The church was the centre of the community and the voice of authority reigned supreme. The clergy spoke the law to the masses and held court over the community. Did you know that the only ones able to read scripture at one time was the clergy? The Rabbis and the Priests were taught to read the Holy Words and would relay them to the masses. The Priests of the Catholic Church were trained to read Latin and were the authorized communicators of His Word. We take it for granted that there is a Bible in almost every hotel room, thanks to Gideons, and the Word of God is available in an app form and we can carry the Message with us on our electronic devises. Go back in time and you had to apply to the authority, the keeper of the Bible, in order to understand the Scriptures, to hear the Good News. Something to think about.

My question is this, did the authority of man ever convert the heart of a sinner? What I mean is this, can we force anyone to heed the Word and give their lives over to Jesus? Is there anyone powerful enough to hold the prize, that is, the promise of Glory, over anyone’s head on this planet? There is only one voice of authority, He is the one who holds the key to our salvation, and He is truly in love with everyone of His children. He loves us so much that He went to the cross for our sins so that those who ask His forgiveness and claim Him as Lord and Saviour will be with Him in Glory. The door is unlocked, we only need to open it and invite Christ in. The Voice of Authority is the only one who can grant eternal life.

Now, for those of us who claim to be followers of Christ, we are the voice of reason. We have the opportunity to share the Word of God, speak to the hearts of those around us and lead out with our hearts. I recall the old saying that you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink. If you try to force the horse to drink, it will either resent you and be wary, or it will drown. Long gone are the days of pounding pulpits, calling down fire and brimstone and using eternal damnation as a way to get people to claim the love of Christ. I suggest that the best way to claim the love of God is to show those around us that same love. We reason, we plant seeds and help people to see the Light, and all the while, the Voice of Authority sits at the right hand of the Father and intervenes on our behalf.

Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong! 1 Peter 3:15-17 NLT

As you may have heard, the updated restrictions on Sunday services by the Government of Alberta are in effect this weekend and we are required to reduce our gathering to fifteen people. The voice of authority has spoken and we will comply (Romans 13) but we will continue to broadcast His message throughout the land. We invite you to join us either in person (we are limited to numbers inside the building) or online. Should you wish to join us online, click on either link below to join us live:

Facebook Live - https://www.facebook.com/main.ave.31

YouTube Live – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs9LIkN_QTdVM6eVXEgy9QA

Blessings,

Pastor Todd

www.mainavefellowship.blogspot.ca