Churchie Feeds

Threshold Jr – Feb 12th – Gross Out Night Pt 2!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 02/10/2020 - 14:44

This week!


Gross Out Night Pt 2.
February 12th – Wednesday 7-9 pm

We had so much fun getting grossed out, we’re going to do it all again! We’ll continue our series on Jesus!

The week after that…

U-Puttz Amusement Park
February 19th – Wednesday **6:45-9 pm**
COST: $19

Laser Tag, Bumper Cars, Mini-Golf – Oh my! Yes, we’re going to U-Puttz to have an amazing time together! Drop-off and pick-up at church!
WAIVER FORMS NEEDED.

The week after that…

Gargon Pt 2
February 26th – Wednesday 7-9 pm
We turn out the lights and try to find the flashlight pieces to destroy the Gargon! We start a new faith based series on Jesus!

 

MONTHLY CALENDAR

  Click here for this month’s calendar

 

The post Threshold Jr – Feb 12th – Gross Out Night Pt 2! appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

High School Ministry – Feb 14th – Game Show!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 02/10/2020 - 14:44


This week!

Game Show
February 14th – Friday 7:11-10 PM

Valentine’s Gameshow and finishing our series called ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’.

The week after that…

Gargon Pt 2
February 21st – Friday 7:11-10 PM

We turn out the lights and try to find the flashlight pieces to destroy the Gargon! We start a new faith-based series on Jesus!

The week after that…

Game Show Night
February 28th- Friday 7:11-10:pm
We love to play game shows for prizes! This is your chance to win big! Join us!

MONTHLY CALENDAR

 
Click here for this month’s calendar

 

The post High School Ministry – Feb 14th – Game Show! appeared first on Church of The Rock.

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How the Apostle John Guided the Church in Truth

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 02/10/2020 - 11:00

By the time the New Testament church had grown partly from a likely influx of second-generation believers, the integrity of the gospel had begun to fade in some quarters, and heretical elements were seeping into the ranks

The early Apostles were deeply concerned. They had governing authority over the church as given by Jesus.

When the beloved Apostle John wrote his first of three letters he exercised that authority. He was keenly aware of deviations from the truth of the gospel and he adroitly addressed them and called for repentance.

His first epistle reflects these facts. He opens his letter with a beautiful tribute to the wonder of the incarnated Lord.

I regard this manner of his address as a key element in his style of governance. The first paragraph is often called a prologue but I refer to it here as an anchor point. It was a call to first look beyond the present troubling issues that clouded the church’s faith and begin with a time of reflection to worship the incarnate Lord.

Thus, John’s anchor point: The Lord is from the beginning. He is forever. He enters fully into humanity. It was a miraculous manner of entering. Though he is eternal, the Apostles actually saw him. They even touched him. Both his deity and his humanity were celebrated.

As you will see, the Apostle proclaimed the Incarnation at the outset of his address. This proclamation was for one purpose, he says: to identify the sin in their midst leading to repentance and in so doing to renew the joys that come with genuine faith — this was his first leadership step (1 John 1:1-4).

As a second aspect of his leadership John addresses his readers with warm terms of endearment: My dear children (2:1), dear friends (2:7), dear brothers (3:13), and so forth. He was not coming to them as the sheriff. He addressed them with deep affection. Fifteen times in his first letter he identifies believers affirmatively in this fashion.

One might think that such gentleness of address to a group of faltering believers would show the Apostle as soft, shallow, easy to resist.

Not so. In fact, the third aspect of his leadership was his clarity with the truth and his directness in stating issues of life and death. In fact, in this third aspect, John continues his communication with a candor that is solemn:

Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. (John 2:4-6)

He reveals his commitment to eternal truth as of issue above all else. In spite of his good will toward those who heard or read him, he was not there to bargain on truth itself.

What could he state more clearly than the following:

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth (1 John 1:5-6).

This must be called loving candor.

This gem of a letter is filled with such measured but penetrating words. But there is one more element in the Apostle’s directness that must be factored into his address in large measure. This measure was likely effective in facing the perilous disorder in the church.

The Apostle repeatedly reminds them of their status in faith: they are “born again.” That is, they are regenerated; they have received the gift of the Spirit; they have inner experience enabled by new life. All of this is implicit in the term born again. By this reality they are bound to the Lord and to one another. This puts them under obligation. Seven times he refers to their new birth (2:29; 3:10; 3:19; 4:8: 5:1; 5:14; 5:18). That emphasis cannot be without purpose.

He writes, for example: … for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith (1 John 5:4). Because of their “regeneration,” their flirting with the manners and inducements of the fallen world had to be repented of and had to cease. He identifies those inducements one after another in his letter and reminds them they are born again. 

The church in every age is tempted to drift from purity of heart and life. Heresy so readily reveals its deviant ways. This epistle is given to Christ’s church in all generations to identify and to correct its wanderings.

Photo credit: Paul VanDerWerf (via flickr.com)

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Rock Talks: Key Relationships in Your 20’s

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 02/10/2020 - 02:17

Whether it’s friendships or family, we can all agree that relationships take work!

Key Relationships in Your 20’s
Thursday, February 20
Youth Room
7:30 PM

Join us for a panel discussion with Mathew Povey and Tammy Junghans as they share their experiences in building and maintaining healthy relationships in your 20’s.

Consider these topics:

–  creating your inner circle,
–  types of relationships, and
–  becoming the friend you need

The post Rock Talks: Key Relationships in Your 20’s appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

High School Ministry – Feb 7th – Missionfest!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 18:25


This week!

Mission Fest
February 7th – Friday 7:00 – 10 PM

We will be meeting at My Church Winnipeg to experience an epic concert by BOLD AS LIONS! YAS!

The week after that…

Game Show
February 14th – Friday 7:11-10 PM

Valentine’s Gameshow and finishing our series called ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’.

The week after that…

Gargon Pt 2
February 21st – Friday 7:11-10 PM

We turn out the lights and try to find the flashlight pieces to destroy the Gargon! We start a new faith-based series on Jesus!

MONTHLY CALENDAR

 
Click here for this month’s calendar

 

The post High School Ministry – Feb 7th – Missionfest! appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Threshold Jr – Feb 5th – Blindfold Game Night!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 17:57

This week!

Blindfold Night
February 5th – Wednesday 7-9 pm
How well can you rely on your other senses? Play these crazy games for prizes! We will be starting a new series on Jesus!

The week after that…

Gross Out Night Pt 2.
February 12th – Wednesday 7-9 pm

We had so much fun getting grossed out, we’re going to do it all again! We’ll continue our series on Jesus!

The week after that…

U-Puttz Amusement Park
February 19th – Wednesday **6:45-9 pm**
COST: $19

Laser Tag, Bumper Cars, Mini-Golf – Oh my! Yes, we’re going to U-Puttz to have an amazing time together! Drop-off and pick-up at church!
WAIVER FORMS NEEDED.

MONTHLY CALENDAR

  Click here for this month’s calendar

 

The post Threshold Jr – Feb 5th – Blindfold Game Night! appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Repost: Resisting the Peril of Narcissism

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 02/03/2020 - 11:00

Narcissus by Caravaggio

Narcissus was a mythological figure known for his beauty, who, it is said, looked into a pool and fell in love with his own reflection.

Drawn from this story, narcissism is the term used to describe people who are excessively self-absorbed and preoccupied with their own imagined superiority. They may come across as strong and self-assured, but when their self-satisfaction and high self-regard are not honored as they expect, they are likely to react in a surge of punishing anger, insults, or even violence. The so-called big ego turns out to be amazingly fragile. (For those interested, there is a quieter covert, or vulnerable, form of narcissism, too.)

Narcissism has been on the rise in recent years. It often is manifested by a strong sense of entitlement. “I’m special and I deserve special treatment.” “I’ll not take just any job.”

So why is this in the news in growing measure these days?

Brad Bushman of Ohio State University and others have conducted various studies to understand the cause of narcissism. My takeaway understanding is that narcissism doesn’t come, as previously thought, from lack of parental warmth but instead can be traced to parents who “overvalue” their children during the developmental stage of their lives. Children between six and eight are especially sensitive to this kind of unwise parental influence.

If during those years children are continually told they are superior, are more special than others, do things better than others and in these ways are put on a pedestal, they may internalize an unrealistic view of themselves. Other people begin not to matter.

One might assume from the findings of such studies that the condition is planted by parents who have a need to reach some personal achievement of their own vicariously through their children. They believe their child can do no wrong; their child is unusual in every respect; their child deserves special attention from kindergarten on.

The need to foster healthy self-esteem in children is an entirely different matter. Self-esteem develops when children are helped to internalize the sense that they are valuable individuals but not that they can do no wrong. As they grow up, such children will get the appropriate amount of teaching, nurture, and encouragement but equally importantly, correction, discipline, and such otherwise character-shaping treatment as needed, all within the context of warm adult parental love. It is “overvaluing” that does the damage.

Christian parents are in danger of unwittingly fostering narcissism in their children by absorbing the culture around them. Thankfully, however, they can instead take their teaching from the Scriptures and Judeo-Christian understandings of fallen human nature.

Such parents know from Scripture that children are not a possession; they are a trust from God and must be raised with that in mind. Valuable as we are to God and one another we are all flawed and that fact should be kept in sight as we raise children.

Christian parents will not therefore be surprised when they catch a child in the first lie, or see the first tantrum. Dealing with these both with love and firmness is very important.

Christian parents will affirm their children’s achievements to a degree appropriate to their ages and commensurate with the actual achievement. When a four-year-old makes his bed or a seven-year-old sets the table he or she is thanked, but not raved over as if that was the most amazing thing anyone had ever done. And when they do wrong, the call to account should be real.

Christian parents pray daily with their children, and in this setting the Christian view of human nature may be shared at an age-appropriate level. Children can be helped to face and accept their failures as well as their successes. The early teaching of a developing child to worship God who is majestic and holy and far above them, and to say I’m sorry when appropriate, is a first line against the development of narcissism.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

A Brief Midwinter Break

Just Call Me Pastor - Tue, 01/28/2020 - 04:13
It’s almost February, and, here in Brampton, Ontario, the weather may be aptly described in the words of King Lear, “Blow winds and crack your cheeks.” So it seems appropriate to take a midwinter break from blog writing — but just for a week. I am very grateful to you for your ongoing interest in my blog. — Donald N. Bastian
Categories: Churchie Feeds

What Are You Looking At?

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 01/27/2020 - 21:33

Nancy Braun preached this last Sunday January 26, 2020.

By clicking on the link below you can take a listen to what she spoke!

What Are You Looking At? Preached by Nancy Braun  

The post What Are You Looking At? appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

High School Ministry – Jan 31st – Nerf War

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 01/27/2020 - 18:17


This week!

Nerf Wars!
January 31st – Friday 7:11-10 PM
All out Nerf War in the church! We will provide the guns and darts but feel free to bring your own

The week after that…

Mission Fest
February 7th – Friday 7:00 – 10 PM

We will be meeting at My Church Winnipeg to experience an epic concert by BOLD AS LIONS! YAS!

The week after that…

Game Show
February 14th – Friday 7:11-10PM

Valentine’s Gameshow and finishing our series called ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’.

MONTHLY CALENDAR

 
Click here for this month’s calendar

 

The post High School Ministry – Jan 31st – Nerf War appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Threshold Jr – Jan 29th – Dodgeball!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 01/27/2020 - 18:08

This week!

Dodgeball
January 29th – Wednesday 7-9 pm
Let’s hang out and get moving with dodgeball! We’ll also be finishing our ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ series!

The week after that…

Blindfold Night
February 5th – Wednesday 7-9 pm
How well can you rely on your other senses? Play these crazy games for prizes! We will be starting a new series on Jesus!

The week after that…

Gross Out Night Pt 2.
February 12th – Wednesday 7-9 pm

We had so much fun getting grossed out, we’re going to do it all again! We’ll continue our series on Jesus!

MONTHLY CALENDAR

  Click here for this month’s calendar

 

The post Threshold Jr – Jan 29th – Dodgeball! appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Elevate Worship Night

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Fri, 01/24/2020 - 07:00

Continuing with our “Take Me Higher” series, we’re on part three!

Elevate Worship Night
Sunday, January 26
Youth Room
7:00 PM

It’s the first Elevate of 2020 and we’re excited to continue delving deeper into Isaiah 40:31. Join us as one of our young adult leaders shares their experience with running without growing weary.

The post Elevate Worship Night appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Family Feud

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Tue, 01/21/2020 - 17:41

We may not all be family…

Family Feud
Thursday, January 23
Youth Room
7:30 PM

…but we can still have fun with Family Feud! Join us in the Youth Room at 7:30 PM as we enjoy a night of friendly competition and laughs. No team required. We’ll also have a hot chocolate bar with lots of toppings!

U P    N E X T

Elevate Worship Night
Sunday, January 26
Youth Room
7:00 PM

It’s the first Elevate of 2020 and we’re excited to continue our “Take Me Higher” series from Isaiah 40:31. We’re tackling part three of this verse as one of our young adult leaders share their experience with running without growing weary. See you in the Youth Room at 7:00 PM.

The post Family Feud appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

High School Ministry – Jan 24th – Mall Hunt

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 01/20/2020 - 17:09


This week!

Mall Hunt
January 24th Friday 7:11-10 PM
We disguise our leaders and have them walk around the mall to be found by our students! Winners get prizes!

The week after that…

Nerf Wars!
January 31st – Friday 7:11-10PM
All out Nerf War in the church! We will provide the guns and darts but feel free to bring your own

The week after that…

Mission Fest
February 7th – Friday 7:00 – 10PM

We will be meeting at My Church Winnipeg to experience an epic concert by BOLD AS LIONS! YAS!

MONTHLY CALENDAR

 
Click here for this month’s calendar

 

The post High School Ministry – Jan 24th – Mall Hunt appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Threshold Jr – Jan 22th – Game Show!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 01/20/2020 - 16:49

This week!

Game Show Night!
January 22nd – Wednesday 7-9pm
Let’s gather inside for some warmth and prizes! We are continuing with our ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ series!

The week after that…

Dodgeball
January 29th – Wednesday 7-9 pm
Let’s hang out and get moving with dodgeball! We’ll also be finishing our ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ series!

The week after that…

Blindfold Night
February 5th – Wednesday 7-9pm
How well can you rely on your other senses? Play these crazy games for prizes! We will be starting a new series on Jesus!

MONTHLY CALENDAR

  Click here for this month’s calendar

 

The post Threshold Jr – Jan 22th – Game Show! appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

The Changes New Life in Christ Will Bring

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 01/20/2020 - 11:00

When we come to Christ in faith, confessing our sins and declaring ourselves his followers, we begin a new life. As the Apostle Paul exhorts: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Let us consider several ways in which this newness in Christ expresses itself for every Christian — though not always in the same way, and not always at the same rate of development. I hope this will help you or that you will pass it on to new Christians.

1. We have a new Lord. Before the change we were largely our own lord, seeking our own pleasures, captive to our own sometimes empty interests. Now, we bow before the lordship of the one who gave up his life for our salvation. His lordship brings us to a surprisingly enlightened state of mind! Understanding deepens! We are able to say with Paul: … no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God … can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3).

2. The Holy Spirit becomes our new spiritual guide: He guides us, leading us in a righteous life. As Jesus said to Nicodemus: Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit (John 3:5). Spirit here refers to the third person of the Trinity. He is a personal, spiritual presence. How personal? The Apostle Paul exhorted reverently: And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30).

3. We have a new Guide Book. When we were dead in our sins and alienated from God we had little thought of the Bible, unless it was to speak of it casually or with disdain. But the new life in Christ awakens in us commitment to the Bible as the primary source of saving truth and also the guide for righteous living.

The Christian Scriptures are inspired by God as the source of his truth. It’s the book describing God’s redemptive purpose for our lives. The Apostle Paul had this practical goal in mind when he wrote:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16,17)

New Christians not yet well instructed in Bible truth may begin acquainting themselves with the Bible by first reading through one or more of the four gospels, preferably beginning with Mark, the shortest of the four.

4. As we live the new life some old relationships may fade and new ones take their place. When we experience Christ in a saving way friends will either show keen interest in our story, asking sincere questions, or they will appear skeptical, disinterested, or even hostile. Friendship may become difficult. The prophet Amos asks: How can two walk together unless they be agreed? (Amos 3:3) In such situations, the Holy Spirit will lead and comfort.

5. With the blooming of the new life, we find ourselves drawn toward a new community. Call it the local church. Most often, when we read the word church in the New Testament it is a translation of the Greek word for called out. That is, it is an assembly of believers who are called to gather regularly to understand and deepen their faith in Christ. We may also find new friends in such an assembly of Christians.

In looking for a good church in which to worship and to serve the Lord, look for one where pastors and other leaders carry on ministries rooted in Scripture and who themselves are alive to Jesus Christ; where church life is well ordered, love among members is evident, and Bible teaching makes clear what we are to believe and how we are to live. It should also be a gathering where fellowship looks inward to nurture the Christ-centered life, and outward to find opportunities to serve others.

As you ponder these suggestions keep in mind that the life God calls us to follow is a life that includes warfare, not against people but against the evil one who is the archenemy of God. Consider the Apostle Paul’s word about conflict and temptation to the church in Corinth:

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

6. The end result of these life changes will be the natural development of Christian character. It’s what Paul had in mind when he set before the Galatian Christians the wonder of Christian growth, comparing it to a beautiful collection of developing fruit thus: … the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). It was in our Lord’s thoughts when he prayed for his disciples when he was soon to leave them: Sanctify them [make them holy] by the truth; your word is truth (John 17:17).

If you are challenged and encouraged in your faith by these six points of change prompted by the new life in Christ, I wish you God’s rich blessings as you ponder and receive ongoing Christian guidance from them.

Photo credit: wsilver (via flickr.com)

Categories: Churchie Feeds

High School Ministry – Jan 17th – Game Show

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 17:04

This week!

Game Show
January 17th Friday 7:11-10PM
Let’s gather inside for some warmth and prizes! We are starting a new series called ‘Choose your Own Adventure’.

The week after that…

Mall Hunt
January 24th Friday 7:11-10PM
We disguise our leaders and have them walk around the mall to be found by our students! Winners get prizes!

The week after that…

Nerf Wars!
January 31st – Friday 7:11-10PM
All out Nerf War in the church! We will provide the guns and darts but feel free to bring your own

MONTHLY CALENDAR

 
Click here for this month’s calendar

 

The post High School Ministry – Jan 17th – Game Show appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Threshold Jr – Jan 15th – Mall Hunt!

Mark Hughes (Church of the Rock) - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 16:49

This week!

Mall Hunt
January 15th – Wednesday 7-9pm

We disguise our leaders and have them walk around the mall to be found by our students! Winners get prizes!

The week after that…

Game Show Night!
January 22nd – Wednesday 7-9pm
Let’s gather inside for some warmth and prizes! We are continuing with our ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ series!

The week after that…

Dodgeball
January 29th – Wednesday 7-9pm
Let’s hang out and get moving with dodgeball! We’ll also be finishing our ‘Choose You Own Adventure’ series!

MONTHLY CALENDAR

  Click here for this month’s calendar

 

The post Threshold Jr – Jan 15th – Mall Hunt! appeared first on Church of The Rock.

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Spending January in the Psalms

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 11:00

My resolution for the first part of this New Year has been to read for reflection five psalms from the Book of Psalms each morning. At that pace it will take me one month to ponder prayerfully all 150 of them, even though they may not all speak to my need on the day I read them.

If my pledge strikes you as old-fashioned, please recall that the Bible is still the most read book in the world and the psalms are the most often read portions of the Bible. This has been so for generations.

Having started a few days after January 1, recently Psalm 34 was included in my assignment. As background, this psalm was apparently written after King David had a narrow escape from death. The heading to the psalm refers to an incident when he was running hard from King Saul who wanted to kill him (1 Samuel 21:10-15).

To escape, he sought refuge by offering himself in the service of a Philistine competitor of King Saul, Achish king of Gath, only to learn that his life was in danger there, too. So, he feigned insanity. By this ruse and divine providence David escaped.

This psalm itself teaches the reader how to pray during times of special struggle. It teaches us how to praise God in the times of his blessings, and to be at all times attentive to his mercies.

That’s what caught my attention in the very first sentence of the psalm. Its opening resolution is to extol the Lord — that is praise him highly — at all times.

We might call that a 24/7 pledge — to give God praise during both day and night, good times and bad.

Is that kind of devotion possible in our kind of world? Our world is fast-paced, and many distractions and issues come at us from all directions. To add to those challenges our present era is not a particularly religious one. If we don’t worship the God who rules the universe we may say it is because God doesn’t matter (secularism) or that he doesn’t exist (atheism). Even some who say these things have their superstitions, rabbit feet or hidden idols to fall back on and lend a little dash of spirituality.

Psalm 34 is a wonderful alternative, written for believers.

Here’s the psalmist’s testimony toward the end of his prayer: The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken (verses 19, 20).

Or here is his further word of witness: I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears (verse 4). Or this: The Lord is close to the broken-hearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit (verse 18).

I will admit, after reading Psalm 34 several times, that its Hebraic style is different from modern poetry. But reading it can be like panning for gold. Both activities take time and some sifting and careful inspection, but when gold appears in the words of the Psalms, the search proves well worth the while.

Photo credit: News of Peace (via flickr.com)

Categories: Churchie Feeds

A Mistake or Providence?

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 01/06/2020 - 11:00

Although the word “providence” is itself not a word in the Bible, we use the term generally to reflect God’s loving care of the universe he has created and which he continues to sustain.

But as laypersons we also use the term in specific and personal ways. We use it to speak of God’s extraordinary gracious interventions in our lives.

Take, for example, the story of Ruth in the Old Testament, told in the book named after her. She was a Moabite, widowed from her Israelite husband. She insisted on relocating to Bethlehem with her mother-in-law, Naomi.

As a result of her decision, she eventually married Boaz, and the two of them became the grandparents of David, king of Israel. Her story shows that bad things may happen (Ruth’s widowhood and alienation), but providentially they may also lead to good consequences.

A story I heard a while ago reflects events that were alarming yet turned out to bless wondrously.

As the story goes, on a certain Saturday night a pastor was working late at his church. He decided to call his wife before leaving for home. It was about 10 p.m., but his wife didn’t answer the phone.

The pastor let the phone ring many times. He thought it was odd that she didn’t answer, but decided to wrap up a few details and then try to phone again a few minutes later.

When he tried again, his wife answered after the first ring. He asked why she had failed to answer earlier. She said that the phone had been quiet all evening. They agreed that it must have been a fluke.

The following Monday the pastor received a phone call at the church office. It came in on the phone he had used the previous Saturday night. The call was from a stranger who wanted to know why the pastor had called on Saturday night.

The pastor was puzzled until the caller said, “My phone rang and rang Saturday night but I didn’t answer it.” The pastor remembered calling his wife and realized he must have called the wrong number.

The man interrupted the pastor’s explanation, “That’s okay,” he said. “Let me tell you my story. You see, I was planning to commit suicide on Saturday night, but before I did I prayed, ‘God, if you’re there, and you don’t want me to do this, give me a sign now.’” At that point my phone started to ring. I looked at the caller ID, and it said, ‘Almighty God.’ I was afraid to answer!”

The reason it showed “Almighty God” on the man’s caller ID was that the church the pastor was serving was called Almighty God Tabernacle.

Was that “wrong number call” just a coincidence or a providential interruption to show grace to the caller? My readers can ponder and decide…

Photo credit: Dejan Krsmanovic (via flickr.com)

Categories: Churchie Feeds

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