Churchie Feeds

The Christian Hope: A Counter To Spiritual Anemia?

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 11:00

I know the symptoms of anemia. You feel tired all the time, weak, lacking energy. You are alive, but life is a burden.

The cause of anemia, I’m told, is not enough red blood cells in the bloodstream to carry oxygen throughout the body. Serious lack of energy may be noticed before any other evidence of the deficiency.

Is there a parallel condition we could call spiritual anemia? A person may be a believer but may have limited faith energy and may lack rooted confidence in the hope Christians have of a life everlasting.

The short supply isn’t red blood cells but rather it is Spirit-delivered Christian hope. 

Christian hope means more than wishing for good luck such as: I hope the sun will shine on our family picnic. Instead, it is a “confident expectation,” a certainty, for the future that we cannot presently know or see.

It is founded upon something we do know as believers — that God raised up Christ from the dead and he will raise us up also!

Saint Peter shows us how fundamental this word is when he writes to beleaguered Christians of the dispersion: 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 … (1 Peter 1:3)

Not a theoretical hope, or a fanciful hope, a living hope!

The gospel songwriter, Eliza E. Hewitt caught this certainty of the Christian hope and the energy it plays back into our present circumstances when she wrote:

Let us then be true and faithful,

Trusting, serving every day;

Just one glimpse of Him in glory

Will the toils of life repay.

Paul reminds the Christians in Ephesus that, before their conversion to Christ, they were without God and without hope in the world (Ephesians 2:12). In spite of adequate resources, an abundance of this world’s excitement, and pagan religious affiliations, none of these spoke a sure word of hope about the life to come.

When we are believers but feel spiritually anemic — that is, we are short on the energy the Christian hope provides, and we have only an inner uncertainty about the promise of everlasting life — there is something we can do about it.

We can turn to those Scriptures that reinforce our confidence in the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and meditate on our promised resurrection too. These scriptures will stimulate a formation of spiritual red blood cells, so to speak, and restore our energy to love God and serve him in this world.

One such scripture recounts the conversation between Jesus and Mary when she was in the throes of grief from the loss of her brother, Lazarus (John 11:25).

He said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Then he followed with the question to Mary that all people of faith must be prepared to answer: Do you believe this?

Photo credit: tanjila ahmed (via flickr.com)

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Family Feud – Threshold Jr Feb 7th

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 02/05/2018 - 19:51

THIS WEEK

Family Feud
+ Stressed Out Part 1

See how well you know your groups as we face off in Family Feud!  Winning groups will receive delicious prizes!  We will also start a new series call ‘Stressed Out’. It’s a three-week series about worry and anxiety, and how we can live the stress-free life God intends for us.

+

NEXT WEEK

Beach Ball with a TWIST!
+ Stressed Out Part 2

It’s no where close to summer, but it doesn’t mean we can’t pretend that it is!  Escape the winter for the evening as we do a beach theme and play beach ball with a twist!  We also will be continuing with our ‘Stressed Out’ series!

MEET OUR SPONSOR CHILD!

Each week we collect an offering
for our sponsor child Simon
& for other missions projects

MONTHLY CALENDAR

Click here for this month’s calendar

 

If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please reply and say “Unsubscribe” (DO NOT click on the “Unsubscribe” link below).

Church of the Rock 1397 Buffalo Place Winnipeg, MB R3T 1L6 Phone: (204)261-0070 or 1-877-700-ROCK (7625) Email: tim@churchoftherock.ca (Tim Hamm)

Categories: Churchie Feeds

High School Ministry Weekly February 9th!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 02/05/2018 - 19:05

This week…

Family Feud with Small Groups!
February 9nd @ 7:11pm-10:00pm
Hopefully, you’ve spent enough time with your small groups that they are starting to feel like family!  We will also be concluding our Measure Up series!

The week after that…

Handball Handball Handball!
February 16th @ 7:11pm-10:00pm
This high flying activity is a ton of fun with your friends!  Join us as we play Handball and we also start a new series call ‘Social Skillz’, where we look into scripture to see how we can be more equipped to be a better friend and make better choices in the social scene!

The week after that…

Beach Ball with a Twist!
February 23rd @ 7:11pm-10:00pm
Summer hasn’t come early enough!  Join us as we take a break of winter, turn up the heat and pretend it’s the summer!  We’ll play beach volleyball with a twist!  We are also on our second week of Social Skillz, where we teach you how to master social situations!

MONTHLY CALENDAR

  Click here for this month’s calendar

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Good Decisions Don’t Just Happen

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 02/05/2018 - 11:00

Who doesn’t want to make good decisions? After all, our lives are shaped largely by the sum of the decisions we make.

Many of our decisions are routine and without moral significance: What shall I wear to work in the garden today? Then there are the big ones. If a proposal of marriage should come on Valentine’s Day, should I accept? Consequences either way would be long term.

Our grandson, Zach, once told me of a talk he heard on wise decision-making given by a doctor at a meeting of the Christian Medical Fellowship. What impressed him about the talk was the common sense of the doctor’s outline.

He identified two reference points for making life-shaping decisions — “righteousness” and “wisdom.”

Righteousness, the doctor said, equips us with an unshakable standard. The Ten Commandments in the Bible are a base for facing life’s most critical issues, and that standard, we find, is already written into our consciences.

For example, we are to have no other gods but the true God — the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are to reverence God’s name; to show honor to our parents; and we are not to steal, or bear false witness. Issues like these are not negotiable.

According to the doctor, a second element is needed in decision making and that is wisdom. This is the application of common sense in accordance with our grasp of the above deeply rooted standard of righteousness.

We apply the two together to the specific decisions we must make. For example, God’s righteousness tells us we are not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly (Psalm 1). In the light of that instruction, wisdom helps us to choose our friends wisely.

Wisdom allows us to maintain our commitments to righteousness while we wrestle with the endless variables of life. In doing so our solid footing does not give way while we tread through the process of deciding.

The doctor’s point that appealed most to Zach was this: when we take righteousness seriously as a fixed point but must make a decision unguided by chapter-and-verse, we can go forward confidently and carefully apply the best wisdom we have.

And when we go ahead, Zach continued, with the best wisdom at our disposal, we are saved from the paralysis of second-guessing ourselves. We remain staunch while we decide.

All of this reflects the wisdom of master decision number one: to follow Christ wholeheartedly. When we stay close to him we stay close to his righteousness and his wisdom.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, It is because of [God] that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God — He is the righteousness of God to us and he is (at the same time) the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:30).

Photo credit: Richard Elzey (via flickr.com)

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Engage – Thurs. Feb. 1 – Skate and Slide

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Wed, 01/31/2018 - 06:15

We’re ready to head outside, are you?

Skate and Slide
Thursday, Feb. 1
7:30 PM
Assiniboine Park

Grab your ice skates and a toboggan for a night on the slopes.
We’re headed to Assiniboine Park to enjoy their toboggan slide
and to skate on the duck pond.

Meet at the warming hut by the duck pond at 7:30 PM.

Don’t forget to dress warm and bring your own skates and sled too.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Bubble Wrap Day – Threshold Jr Jan 31st

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 01/29/2018 - 16:40

THIS WEEK

Bubble Wrap Day
+ Know God Part 3

Nothing is more satisfying or more annoying than having tons of bubble wrap to horse around with! Join us as continue our series Know God!


NEXT WEEK

Family Feud
+ Stressed Out Part 1

See how well you know your groups as we face off in Family Feud!  Winning groups will receive delicious prizes!  We will also start a new series call ‘Stressed Out’. It’s a three-week series about worry and anxiety, and how we can live the stress-free life God intends for us.

MEET OUR SPONSOR CHILD!

Each week we collect an offering
for our sponsor child Simon
& for other missions projects

MONTHLY CALENDAR

Click here for this month’s calendar

 

If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please reply and say “Unsubscribe” (DO NOT click on the “Unsubscribe” link below).

Church of the Rock 1397 Buffalo Place Winnipeg, MB R3T 1L6 Phone: (204)261-0070 or 1-877-700-ROCK (7625) Email: tim@churchoftherock.ca (Tim Hamm)

Categories: Churchie Feeds

High School Ministry Weekly February 2nd!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 01/29/2018 - 16:12

This week…

Missionsfest
February 2nd @ 6:45pm-9:45pm
Immanuel Pentecostal Church
We will be meeting at IPC just inside the doors for a concert by The Informants!  This will be a great time to see what God is doing around the world and enjoy a great concert!

The week after that…

Family Feud with Small Groups!
February 9nd @ 7:11pm-10:00pm
Hopefully, you’ve spent enough time with your small groups that they are starting to feel like family!  We will also be concluding our Measure Up series!

The week after that…

Handball Handball Handball!
February 16th @ 7:11pm-10:00pm
This high flying activity is a ton of fun with your friends!  Join us as we play Handball and we also start a new series call ‘Social Skillz’, where we look into scripture to see how we can be more equipped to be a better friend and make better choices in the social scene!

MONTHLY CALENDAR

  Click here for this month’s calendar

Categories: Churchie Feeds

The Battle of the Christian Heart

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 01/29/2018 - 11:00

On a visit to the Philippines, I spent part of a weekend with Pastor David Yardy in Manila. His was a newly-established church, attended by about 100 mostly young converts, many of whom were professional people.

At a steamy Sunday morning service one young man stood and spoke of his struggle with lust. At first, this seemed unusually candid to me, because during my time as pastor of a college church in the United States, sins like lust were usually confessed in private during times of counseling and prayer.

As the young man in Manila spoke I wondered how the young women present would see him from then on. However, Pastor David responded skillfully. He stood and quietly acknowledged the confession, explaining that this was among the struggles a new Christian would experience in his/her desire to be inwardly pure. He spoke clearly of the way to victory in Christ.

There was a refreshing honesty and deep seriousness about sin in that congregation that day. These Christians had recently come to faith in Christ and there was no impulse to conceal the realities of the old life.

The pastor was well aware that God willed his newborn children to be victorious not only over outward and more public sins such as stealing and lying, but also hidden “heart” sins. Pastor Yardy’s ministry was in accord with what the Apostle Paul wrote to Christians long before: So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature (Galatians 5:16).

In that letter the Apostle Paul identifies eighteen sins of our fallen natures, and they can be divided into four groups.

Sensual sins: immorality (fornication, or sex outside of marriage), uncleanness (inner defilement produced by harboring salacious thoughts), licentiousness (a reckless disregard for public decency).

Religious sins: idolatry (whatever we allow to dominate our affections can create an element of worship, whether of possessions, status or even the world’s values), witchcraft (the use of magic in the calling up of evil spirits for information or advice).

There are interpersonal sins: enmity (hidden feelings of unbrotherliness), strife (inclination to create division or conflict), jealousy (causing rivalry with or even hatred of the fortunate), anger (hurtful rage), selfishness (self-absorption, egocentricity), dissension (open hostility), party spirit (divisiveness, wilful breach of relationships), envy (secret desire to deprive another of what he/she has), murder (hatred which could grow to the taking of another’s life).

And there are vulgar, coarse sins marked by loss of self-control: drunkenness and carousing.

What a cesspool of evil! Sins from this catalogue are often the cause of inner bondage, or at the root of conflict in families or Christian communities and organizations.

Only the enablement of the mighty Spirit of God can help us conquer the sinful nature. And his help is only possible if we are willing to acknowledge the reality of these darker exertions as elements of our fallenness. They cannot be educated out of existence. They cannot be disciplined into good behavior. The Apostle Paul’s remedy is much more radical. 

He writes: Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:24). The sinful nature must be put on the cross and by faith and the use of Christian practices kept there. These practices include honest confession of the reality of heart sin, association with healthy-minded Christians, daily Bible reading, prayer, regular communal worship, and pastoral counsel if needed.

As Saint Paul exhorted long ago: live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature (Galatians 5:16).

Photo credit: Claudio Ungari (via flickr.com)

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Small Groups January 24th

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Tue, 01/23/2018 - 14:35

So great to see everyone out last week!  Groups will start with their first study session this Wednesday.

If you missed last week, come out this Wednesday and get connected.

If you’re interested in joining the “Resolution for Women” Small group, please note that we do not have any more books available for this study.  We ask that you purchase a copy at your nearest book store or order one online!

Here’s what happens Wednesday Mornings!

9:20am – 9:40am – Check-in and coffee/tea in the chapel
9:40am – 10:00am – Praise & Worship

10:00am – 10:10am – Snacks and more coffee in the lobby area
(if you feel like bringing in a snack one morning, that’s much appreciated)

10:10am – 11:10am – Break into Small Groups

Save the Date!

February 26th
Women’s Event!

Join us for a Night in Italy!
Dinner and an evening filled with entertainment.

More details coming soon.

Looking for another way to connect?

Monday evenings, join ladies from all ages and stages in life for this amazing 6 week study!

Begins Monday January 22nd
Contact: Ruth-Ann or Debbie at
propel.cotr@gmail.com

 

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Tobogganing – Threshold Jr Jan 24

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 22:07

Our database has been fixed!  If you are still getting multiples of this email please let me know by replying!  Thank you for your patience!

THIS WEEK
IMPORTANT LOCATION/TIME CHANGES FOR JAN 24

We will not be going to Adrenaline Adventures for tubing
FREE Tobogganing at Linden Woods
From 7:00-9:00PM

Meet & Pickup at Church of the Rock (1397 Buffalo Pl).

Wednesday Jan 24, 2017
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Church of the Rock
Cost: FREE


NEXT WEEK

Bubble Wrap Day
+ Know God Part 3

Nothing is more satisfying or more annoying than having tons of bubble wrap to horse around with! Join us as continue our series Know God!

MEET OUR SPONSOR CHILD!

Each week we collect an offering
for our sponsor child Simon
& for other missions projects

 

MONTHLY CALENDAR

Click here for this month’s calendar

 

If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please reply and say “Unsubscribe” (DO NOT click on the “Unsubscribe” link below).

Church of the Rock 1397 Buffalo Place Winnipeg, MB R3T 1L6 Phone: (204)261-0070 or 1-877-700-ROCK (7625) Email: tim@churchoftherock.ca (Tim Hamm)

Categories: Churchie Feeds

High School Ministry Weekly January 26th!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 18:12

Our database has been fixed!  If you are still getting multiples of this email please let me know by replying!  Thank you for your patience!

This week…

Small Group Night
January 26th @ 7:11pm – 10:00pm
Be prepared for food and good times for all!  We will be hanging out in the cage for games, worship and community!  That means you’ll get food while you hang out with your small group!  Enjoy and stay cozy!  Our series is called Measure up!  It’s about how we compare ourselves to others and how God can guide us through it!

The week after that…

Missionsfest
February 2nd @ 6:45pm-9:45pm
Immanuel Pentecostal Church
We will be meeting at IPC just inside the doors for a concert by The Informants!  This will be a great time to see what God is doing around the world and enjoy a great concert!

The week after that…

Family Feud with Small Groups!
February 9nd @ 7:11pm-10:00pm
Hopefully, you’ve spent enough time with your small groups that they are starting to feel like family!  We will also be concluding our Measure Up series!

MONTHLY CALENDAR

  Click here for this month’s calendar

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Is Holiness Optional?

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 11:00

The God who freely forgives sins is also the God who in turn calls us to be holy. God instructed Moses: Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: Be holy, because I the Lord your God am holy.

In the 19th chapter of Leviticus where this is found, many specific requirements of holy conduct are listed. Not every one of them remained an issue after Messiah came, but the command to be holy as God is holy did. We see this in the New Testament where Saint Peter, quoting from Leviticus, exhorted the church: But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: be holy for I am holy (1 Peter 1:16).

At the very outset of Leviticus 19 God declares his holiness: I am holy. Then, 15 times we have his repeated declaration: I am the Lord. The two declarations belong together: I am the Lord and I am holy.

The word, holiness, means “to set apart.” That God is holy reflects his “otherness.” He is not merely an enlarged or improved version of mankind. He is utterly pure, perfectly just, righteous, loving, and in this passage his holiness is the quintessential attribute of his being.

In Christian experience, therefore, seeking and demonstrating the holiness of God is not optional, it is fundamental: You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.

Consider four features of his holiness in Leviticus 19 that the whole assembly was expected to display as his chosen people — features that are relevant today.

The passage begins with this command: Each of you must respect his mother and father (Leviticus 19:3). That is, the holy nation was to be characterized by wholesome family life. While later in the chapter God’s people are commanded to love their neighbor (Leviticus 19:18) children loving their parents is not the first issue in family life; it is children of all ages giving parents their due respect or honor.

Second, holiness is reflected in a strong sense of compassion for those with special vulnerabilities: Gleanings for the poor were to be left when God’s holy people reaped their land (Leviticus 19:9,10). Wages were to be paid promptly so a worker’s family would not suffer deprivation (Leviticus 19:13). Special care was to be shown for the deaf and the blind (Leviticus 19:14).

Third, God’s holiness was to prompt a keen morality in his worshipers; there was to be no stealing, lying, deceiving or the taking of false oaths (Leviticus 19: 11,12). Likewise, meticulously honest measurements were to be used when doing business (Leviticus 19: 35,36). God’s holiness quickens the conscience, and holiness and moral integrity belong together.

Fourth, God’s holiness forbade the heathen practice of seeking guidance through divination or spiritism or sorcery (Leviticus 19: 26, 31). These were superstitious practices used by heathen neighbors to manipulate or communicate with their gods. To be holy meant to be separated from superstitions, trusting only the faithfulness of the one true God.

In summary, the Old Testament issues much more than a promise of the forgiveness of sins, as amazing as that is. It issues to all believers a clarion call to be holy as God is holy.

Holiness, as all other blessings from God, is a gift of God’s grace in response to faith. But the yearning God places in us for his holiness is manifested by the honesty of our seeking — by our searching of the Scriptures, our faithfulness to the church where the Bible is taken seriously, and particularly our confession of heart sin and impurity as the Holy Spirit makes them known to us.

Our part, without merit, is the setting ourselves apart — consecrating ourselves. Then follows the promised results to those whose faith is in Jesus: since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God (2 Corinthians 7:1).

 

Photo credit: ideacreamanuela2 (via flickr.com)

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Dodgeball – Threshold Jr Jan 17 ** If you’ve received duplicates, we apologize**

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 17:41

We apologize if you receive this email multiple times.  There is a bug in our database/email system that is causing multiple emails for some.  We are working on getting it resolved and appreciate your patience.

THIS WEEK

Dodgeball
+ Know God Part 2

Dodgeball is simply a classic and must be played!
We also continue with our current series!

Wednesday Jan 17, 2017
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Church of the Rock
Cost: FREE
 

NEXT WEEK
IMPORTANT LOCATION/TIME CHANGES FOR JAN 24

We will not be going to Adrenaline Adventures for tubing
FREE Tobogganing at Linden Woods
From 7:00-9:00PM

Meet & Pickup at Church of the Rock (1397 Buffalo Pl).

Wednesday Jan 24, 2017
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Church of the Rock
Cost: FREE

MEET OUR SPONSOR CHILD!

Each week we collect an offering
for our sponsor child Simon
& for other missions projects

 

MONTHLY CALENDAR

Click here for this month’s calendar

 

If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please reply and say “Unsubscribe” (DO NOT click on the “Unsubscribe” link below).

Church of the Rock 1397 Buffalo Place Winnipeg, MB R3T 1L6 Phone: (204)261-0070 or 1-877-700-ROCK (7625) Email: tim@churchoftherock.ca (Tim Hamm)

Categories: Churchie Feeds

High School Ministry Weekly January 19th! (If you receive duplicates, we apologize!)

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 17:25

We apologize if you receive this email multiple times.  There is a bug in our database/email system that is causing multiple emails for some.  We are working on getting it resolved and appreciate your patience.

This week…

Small Group Night
January 19th @ 7:11pm – 10:00pm
Be prepared for food and good times for all!  We will be hanging out in the cage for games, worship and community!  That means you’ll get food while you hang out with your small group!  Enjoy and stay cozy!  Our series is called Measure up!  It’s about how we compare ourselves to others and how God can guide us through it!

The week after that…

Small Group Night
January 19th @ 7:11pm – 10:00pm
Same sort of thing as we did on Jan 19th!  Just continuing with a emphasis on small groups and growing together as a COMMUNITY!

The week after that…

Missionsfest
February 2nd @ 6:45pm-9:45pm
Immanuel Pentecostal Church
We will be meeting at IPC just inside the doors for a concert by The Informants!  This will be a great time to see what God is doing around the world and enjoy a great concert!

MONTHLY CALENDAR

  Click here for this month’s calendar

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Is God’s Mercy Really Boundless?

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 11:00

If you know someone who thinks their sin history is so dark that they are beyond God’s mercy, suggest to them that they ponder the story of King Manasseh of Judah (2 Chronicles 33).

Manasseh was the most wicked of the kings in the lineage of King David.

God had declared that his own name, Jehovah, would endure in Jerusalem forever but Manasseh wantonly defiled his holy temple there. He built pagan altars in the courts of the temple for the worship of all the “starry hosts,” and he covered the land with altars to Baal, the fertility god of Judah’s neighbors.

Following the practices of heathen nations, Manasseh sacrificed his sons in a monstrous religious rite, burning them in the valley of Ben Hinnom.

Here’s the chronicler’s summary of the extent of his evil: Manasseh led Judah and the people of Jerusalem astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites (2 Chronicles 33:9).

The nation followed Manasseh’s lead and God’s anger was provoked. As punishment, Jerusalem fell to the Assyrian forces, and they captured Manasseh, put a ring in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles, and took him far away to Babylon.

Eventually, an unexpected word came from that distant land. The chronicler tells us, In his distress, [Manasseh] sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers (2 Chronicles 33:12).

He had been so wantonly wicked that one might expect the Lord’s response to his entreaties would be: You’ve crossed the line of no return. There’s no hope for you!

Instead, the chronicler writes: And when [Manasseh] prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God (2 Chronicles 33:13).

The Lord’s mercy to Manasseh was boundless, beyond our comprehension.

For Christians, such incomprehensible mercy points us to Jesus. He was the lamb slain from the foundations of the world (Revelation 13:8) so that his sacrificial death might pay the penalty for the sins of the world from Adam forward. God’s wrath against sin was appeased and, at the same time, God’s mercy towards the penitent was displayed. As Charles Wesley wrote centuries later:

He breaks the power of canceled sin

He sets the prisoner free;

His blood can make the foulest clean;

His blood availed for me.

Upon Manasseh’s return to Jerusalem after his release from Babylon the forgiven king took up the hard work of undoing his previous evil and setting Judah in order. He got rid of the heathen idols, destroyed their altars, and improved the protection of his people. He also spoke out as God’s man and exhorted the people of Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel (2 Chronicles 33:16).

Was Manasseh a rare case of undeserved mercy? When God gives the most sinful of us a glimpse of our sin history and we humble ourselves like Manasseh did, his boundless mercy is given and his grace sets us on a new course.

What is the sign that Manasseh’s mercy was received? With a new heart and hands he worked to undo wrongs he had committed and to live henceforth under the sovereign rule of Judah’s God.

 

Photo credit: Matthias Ripp (via flickr.com)

Categories: Churchie Feeds

High School Ministry Weekly January 12th!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 19:32


This week…


Archery Tag
January 12th @ 7:11pm—10:00pm
COST: $5— OR BRING A FRIEND & IT’S FREE

Another one of HSM’s favourite pastime is Archery Tag!
Totally safe and fun! Bring out your friend and it will be free for the both of you! Otherwise, pay up! See you there!

The week after that…

Small Group Night
January 19th @ 7:11pm – 10:00pm
Be prepared for food and good times for all!  We will be hanging out in the cage for games, worship and community!  That means you’ll get food while you hang out with your small group!  Enjoy and stay cozy!  Our series is called Measure up!  It’s about how we compare ourselves to others and how God can guide us through it!

The week after that…

Small Group Night
January 19th @ 7:11pm – 10:00pm
Same sort of thing as we did on Jan 19th!  Just continuing with a emphasis on small groups and growing together as a COMMUNITY!

MONTHLY CALENDAR

  Click here for this month’s calendar

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Strength for the New Year

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 11:00
Even youths grow tired and weary, And young men stumble and fall; But those who hope in the Lord Will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, They will run and not grow weary, They will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:30,31

 

Photo credit: Don Wise (via flickr.com)


Categories: Churchie Feeds

High School Ministry Weekly 2018 Reminder!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 19:34


This week…


December 29th & January 5th
No youth! Take time with your family over the Holidays!

In the New Year…

Archery Tag
January 12th @ 7:11pm—10:00pm
COST: $5— OR BRING A FRIEND & IT’S FREE

Another one of HSM’s favourite pastime is Archery Tag!
Totally safe and fun! Bring out your friend and it will be free for the both of you! Otherwise, pay up! See you there!

The week after that…

Small Group Night
January 19th @ 7:11pm – 10:00pm
Be prepared for food and good times for all!  We will be hanging out in the cage for games, worship and community!  That means you’ll get food while you hang out with your small group!  Enjoy and stay cozy!  Our series is called Measure up!  It’s about how we compare ourselves to others and how God can guide us through it!

MONTHLY CALENDAR

  Click here for this month’s calendar

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Engage – Thurs. Jan. 4 – Seekers vs. Finders 2.0

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 04:31

We’re taking over the church with our version of hide and go seek.

Seekers vs. Hiders 2.0
Thursday, Jan. 4
7:30 PM
Youth Room

Can you catch all the hiders before time runs out?
Or will the hiders beat the seekers and stay hidden the whole time?

Join us in the Youth Room at 7:30 PM for the rules!

Categories: Churchie Feeds

LONG-HAIRED FREAKY PEOPLE NEED NOT APPLY

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 23:07

A few months ago I was standing in a church lobby in Edmonton when a young woman approached and asked me if I had every heard of the Five Man Electrical Band. Without missing a beat, I sang the opening verse of their iconic 1970 hit ‘Signs’.

And the sign said “Long-haired freaky people need not apply”
So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why
He said “You look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you’ll do”
So I took off my hat, I said “Imagine that. Huh! Me workin’ for you!”
Whoa-oh-oh… Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

What followed next can best be described by saying, we shared a moment. It turns out her father was one of the founding members of this Ottawa based rock band which produced multiple hits in the ’70’s but is still best known for this song.

Lead singer Les Emmerson wrote the song after taking a road trip on Route 66 in California, where he noticed gigantic billboards that he felt littered the roadway and obscured the beautiful scenery. He wondered aloud: Who is allowed to put up signs that interfere with nature? This led to another question: Who gets to make the rules that appear on so many signs?

The song was an attempt to give voice to the powerless masses that have rules placed upon them by arbitrary forces. Half a century later not much has changed, except the signs have a new target – Christians. Our Federal Government has erected a new sign that says Christians need not apply. Literally! Now before you dismiss this as another anti-Justin Trudeau rant about our dope dealing Prime Minister, hear me out. This is something quite different this time and even more insidious. There is an agenda at play in Canada to systematically strip Christians of their right to freedom of religion and conscience.

This past December the Federal government announced that it will double the funding for the successful Canada Summer Jobs program from $35M to $70M. This is where grants are made available to organizations to hire students for the summer. When we were a new struggling church we used to take advantage of the program to hire one or two students every summer. That will no longer be an option as bible-believing freaky christians need not apply. You see the grants will only be made available to groups that first sign an “attestation” saying they agree with the government’s views on abortion and gender identity. “These include reproductive rights, and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.” In other words any business or organization that holds a pro-life position on abortion or a traditional view on marriage and sexuality is ineligible.

To conclude that this is just a mere inconvenience would be to miss the fact that this is systemic religious discrimination at its worst. We have been specifically singled out as ineligible because of our religious beliefs. As bible believing Christians we cannot sign the aforementioned attestation since we simply cannot disregard the sanctity of life or of marriage. These things are part of our core beliefs and that will never change unless God does a rewrite of the scriptures, which I do not see happening any time soon since Jesus said, Heaven and earth will pass away but My Word will never pass away. This is also just the latest in a long list of overt attempts to curtail the Christian faith in Canada.

In 2014 when Justin Trudeau became leader of the Liberal party he declared that he would not sign the nomination papers of any prospective candidate that did not uphold his party’s pro-choice position on abortion. This effectively eliminated any practicing Catholics or Evangelicals from running for his party. Which was the intended goal. Our Prime Minister once remarked, “Evangelical Christians are the worst part of Canadian society”.

In 2016 after taking office the Trudeau government shut down the Office of Religious Freedom, launched by the previous government, to defend the rights of persecuted religious minorities overseas. Later that same year the Federal government pressured Prince Edward Island into offering abortion services in their hospitals for the first time by threatening to withhold heath care funding.

In 2017 the Liberal government announced $650 million in funding towards sexual and reproductive rights in developing countries. International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau defended the decision by saying that “contraception and even abortion is only a tool to end poverty.” Yikes!

There are of course many more examples but these should be enough to convince any skeptics that there is something nefarious going on in Canada and most of us are not even aware of it. It pains me to be the doomsayer. I would much rather write funny and ridiculous blogs about Trudeau, like how much he reminds me of Derek Zoolander.

But as bible believing Christians there is no question that we are heading towards very troubled waters. Not only are our values now in the minority position, they are no longer regarded as valid to even hold. We are already routinely accused of hate speech when we talk about biblical morality. And with the pace in which things are changing we are a hairs-breath away from this discrimination we  face, becoming criminalization. I realize I sound like one of those nutty alarmists… but at least this way when we are all sitting in concentration camps, I can say, “I told you so”.

What we are seeing today is nothing new. The first century church faced the same kind of opposition from the Roman Empire. Christians were thrown to the lions, sawn in half or torn limb from limb and yet the church continued to grow and make a difference in the world. Persecution has a funny way of bringing out the best in believers. One can no longer sit on the fence but must decide whether they are going to live out their faith or not. Under threat of persecution, lukewarmness, that is so common in many churches today, gives way to radical committed followers of Jesus that are no longer intimidated in the face of opposition. They live their faith out in bold proclamation without regard to the worldly powers (that will eventually have to bow their knee to the living God). “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word” (Acts 4:29)  When the disciples were confronted again on why they continued  to proclaim the name of Jesus, “Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)

Hey, I don’t want it to get to this point any more than the next guy, but I’ll be damned (literally) if I am going to stand by silently and just let it happen. And maybe, just maybe if we let our voices be heard, we wouldn’t end up this mess in the first place.

 

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