Welcome to Church on the Hill, Glenavon, Sask, Canada





Sunday, September 26, 2010

Being a Mirror of Christ

Pastor Lorne said this message could also be called: Can people see Christ in your life? He said one attribute of Jesus is His truth. If we want to mirror Jesus, truth needs to be a part of our life.

John 14:1-7 says "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."

So, what is the definition of truth? Pastor Lorne checked his concordance and found the following definitions of truth:
- What is opposed to falsehood
- Fidelity, sincerity and punctuality in keeping promises
- In reference to God, is joined with mercy or kindness
- Truth is putting forth the true doctrine of the gospel
- Truth is opposed to hypocrisy, dissimulation or formality

Pastor Lorne said when his granddaughter phones and they’re not home, she leaves a message on their answering machine. She says “I’m really serious” and they know what she really means is “I’m telling the truth”.

So, truthfulness is something really important for us as Christians to shine and reflect Christ.

When Thomas asked, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life”. Jesus reassured him He was the Truth and what He said was right. No gray or extra colors. Whatever Jesus said, you can ‘take it to the bank’. And we want to show the world Jesus is true by our lives.

John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” When you talk about Jesus and being a mirror, truth is very important. In the olden days, deals worth lots of big money was shaken on. A man’s handshake was worth a lot. Now a lawyer needs to write it up and every area must be covered because people have drifted away from the truth.

It’s very important that people can trust us because we’re followers of Christ and our word can be trusted.

In John 18:37, Pilate is talking to Jesus: “You are a king, then!" said Pilate. Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me." It’s something believable and right.

To continue into the V38, "What is truth?" Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, "I find no basis for a charge against him.” Pastor Lorne says today, truth is whatever they believe is right. But in scripture, Jesus said He is the truth. You can trust Him. Jesus is total truth. To Mirror Him to the world, we need to be that way as well

Pastor Lorne can imagine why Pilate asks the question, because he’s a Jew and the Jews say Jesus is an imposter. In our situations, we wonder, what is true? But, go back to scripture and see what is true. If you have the same situation, then it’s true. If it’s not, then it can be questioned.

Prov 23:23 says, “Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.” This is written by a man who probably was the wisest man who ever lived. Great decisions, great kingdom, prayed for wisdom—get the whole truth. Truth will stay with you all of your life.

John 8:31-32 says, To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." There’s, an agriculture based TV show, (McLeod’s Daughters) and these ladies get into situations where they tell a lie or take something that doesn’t belong to them. And then the whole show is them trying to make excuses or cover up their deed and then near the end, the truth comes out. Pastor Lorne thinks the writers of this show are trying to show that it’s better to tell the truth than to make excuses, lose sleep, etc because you’re trying to cover something up and yet in the end it comes out anyway.

When you’re truthful, the truth sets you free. It’s a wonderful thing to be set free.

We’ve been talking about being a witness for Christ and one of the things about Him was that He was truthful. He said He’d send a comforter to lead us to truth – His Holy Spirit.

Pastor Lorne wants to leave us a challenge - show the world the truthfulness of Christ. Don’t live with a secret behind closed doors. Live an open life. You can depend on that handshake of Jesus. He wants you and I to have that truth and show that truth in our lives. Live a life that mirrors His truth and grace around us. It’s possible by believing in His Holy Spirit.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Street Invaders Return

Sunday Aug 15 was a special day for the church as the Street Invaders (SI) 2010 Australian team told us what they've been doing for the past 3 weeks.


Accompanied by Dianne at the piano, the SI team started the service by leading worship. From left to right are Mike (Grenfell/Kipling), Dianne, Nick (Montmartre), Noelle (Glenavon), Patricia (North Battleford), Samantha (Glenavon), Shanise (Bienfait), and Bailey (Kipling). Missing from the photo is Navonia (Cold Lake).

Noelle said this year's Street Invader's Team was the biggest showing ever with 104 kids responding from Saskatchewan. Our team worked with Ashlee who is a former exchange student to Glenavon. Ashlee's church is about the same size as ours with a regular 60-80 person congregation.

Skit: The Tree with Mike, Samantha and Shanise

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The Tree shows the struggles we go through to get what we want, especially if we're independent. And sometimes we get hurt before we realize we need God or someone else to help us get the result.


Skit – The Lucky with Bailey, Nick and Shanise

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The Lucky shows that we all have an inner beauty. We should be happy with ourself and not compare ourselves with anyone else because that's the way God made us.

Noelle said the leaders guide says to give kids lots of opportunities to witness, so she was going to give the team members a chance to do that by asking them each what they liked best about the mission trip and to name one event that stood out.

Patricia

Liked Best: Being treated as a sister in Christ.

One event that stood out: The grade 7-10 Scripture classes because we don’t have that in Canada. It’s about teaching the different world religions and includes discussion time. The team talked about proper etiquette and the meaning of true beauty much like The shine class for girls in Canada.

Bailey

Liked Best: Fun things like seeing the ocean and beaches.

One event that stood out: The Scripture classes because God really stretched her and made her step out of her comfort zone. The first day was easy because they spoke of Canada and themselves but the next day they had to come up with something new. Where to start a conversation about God with them? All the 10-20 kids were at a different spiritual levels, but once it got going, they had a real God-talk going and she liked clarifying some of their questions. She liked being billeted and the family she stayed with made them her feel at home and showed her around.

Nick

Liked Best: Fun stuff like... painting his name on a rock. This one coast was lined with rocks and they were allowed to paint them. Also, standing in the ocean. And, feeding a kangaroo – it was cool.

One Event that stood out: Australia is so different becaue they are allowed to have Scripture classes in school and they don’t have rules against cell phones in class. Nick said he was going to yell at some kids for having them in class until they told him they were allowed. (laughter)


Noelle said the schools were originally started by Anglican churches and then the gov’t wanted to take over but didn’t have the infrastruture, so the comprise was the gov’t could take over but the church has an input. Scripture classes aren't taught by teachers, but pastors and church leaders. And school officials can’t not allow you to do it. If someone offers to do it, they must allow it. It's optional and the kids don’t have to go, but they do until Grade 10. Not in 11 and 12. It's more common in elementary school. The team did year 7-10, which is our Grade 7-10. They weren't allowed to do altar calls, but could answer questions about God and that was one of the major things they did. Scripture classes were every morning in small groups. There was only one lady from Ashlee's church who wants to do it but physically can’t, so the team helped. Other church members saw this and stepped forward. Maybe it will continue. Noelle said the team members were really stretched to get up in front of kids their age or older and answer questions. It really stretched them out of their comfort zone. The students asked questions like, why does God love them, what about kids starving, what about abortions, etc. These classes were the major thing they did there.


Dance: The Dance with Bailey, Patricia, Samantha and Shanise

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Shanise said The Dance is meant to show that with so many goals, we block out God, but He wants to tear the walls down and that’s what He did for her these past weeks.


Skit: Thirst with Bailey, Nick, Patricia, Samantha, and Shanise

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Thirst is about a thirst for God and nothing else will do. There are distractions in life and you can try them, but you won’t like them.


Skit: Jackets with Bailey, Nick, Patricia, Samantha and Shanise

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About how Jesus is there waiting, like a warm jacket, no matter how much garbage is in your life.


Skit: Computer Addiction with Bailey and Nick

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Bailey said computer addiction is to show how we get so many addictions in our life and we feel we need those more than anything else. We get distracted with techno stuff, computers and cell phones and forget about God. We need to forget those and remember God more.


Samantha

Fun thing: Being with people and in a group of people. Youth groups were fun and to hang out with church people.

Was there something hard to do but you did it anyway?: Sam said they learned the dramas the first day and she worried she wouldn't know them after only a week. She said they played a few games with the Youth Group, like those they play here and other games from Youth Group. Talking time, dramas and connecting with people. On Wed, they joined the prayer walk with group of girls and walked 7 times up the street praying and worshipping God. At one spot drunk guys were hanging out and they kept walking but stopped on the 7th time and witnessed to them. Some of the older youth and boys had started doing this on their own to pray for the people of the town. But the boys had moved away and the parents weren't thrilled their daughters were doing this on their own so the SI team went with them.


Shanise

Fun thing: Petting a koala bear in a park with kangaroos and koalas.

One specific thing that made an impact: Just connecting with the youth, encouraging them to step out. There were kids that started in Youth but were having probs. One thing that made you grow that was different was being so tired and still needing to push on and try your hardest. They arrived late Sunday night and started Scripture classes in the school Monday morning.


Skit: Robots with Bailey, Nick, Patricia, Samantha, Shanise and Noelle

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Noelle took Navonia's part in the Robots drama. Nick said Robots is like being in a rut and we can’t get out. We get locked in sin and can’t get out. This last year, the same people annoyed him. Then he went to Springside Summer Camp and someone took him out of the rut and he got out. God takes us out of the rut.

Noelle said she likes the skit because although the robots are doing what they're supposed to be doing, in the end, the maker gave them joy and the freedom and joy was shared.

Mike said God centered him during boot camp. He felt it was the start of a new season... things he longed for a long time. But, he had to leave boot camp a day early to go back to work and in that day, he already started doubting the things God shared at boot camp. Doubts like, do you really think you can do it and what diff can you do? While waiting to depart in San Fransisco, the pilot said there was a problem with the oxygen and so they waited on the runway. Mike fell asleep. They sat for 2.5 hrs on the tarmac before they left.

So it was a 16 hr flight vice 14. Mike dreaded the long trip, but he opened his Bible and asked God to show him something. It opened to Isaiah 49 which says, 'Listen, you people of coast lands…' We don’t have a coast here. He wasn’t talking abut Glenavon. Mike was awake and knew although God was speaking to Isaiah, He felt it was for him. He read on... 'And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword; In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me, And made Me a polished shaft;In His quiver He has hidden Me.' Mike knows sometimes God puts you in a quiver. A little glimpse of life and then back in the quiver.

As Mike continued reading, he felt like he was spinning his wheels with selfish ambition. And then he read, ’...My God has been my strength, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel. I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’ Mike said God was saying it's not enough. He had to go farther.

Mike really felt the potential of the group. Something had been trying to take it away, but it came back as a light to the nations. The most exciting thing for Mike was that they were used as firestarters in that Australian community. Many kids had a bad attitude or were scared of the Scripture classes. In the first class, some little boys asked Mike to sing O Canada. He didn’t want to, but he did.

Then, a Gr 12 kid asked if they were a drama group or Christians. At Mike's answer, the kid said, oh, he wanted a drama group because Christians were boring. And then, he walked away. The kid knew, but was making a point. They were smart kids. Then at lunch, this same kid sent a girl over to ask if the team would talk to them. Over lunch, they talked about their faith and kept talking on into the next spare class. And then, they got in trouble because they were talking about it in the class after that. Many questions and opportunies arose.

The next Monday, Mike went to the school to do some photocopying. He didn't bring God up in the conversation, but during the dinner hour, the kids brought it up and began talking again. Mike trusts that God has lit a fire under them. They’re hungry. And that was what really encouraged him. Time and again. The kids had stopped youth and yet, they said they wanted to start youth again.

The prayer walk had been down to a couple girls and they were scared to go out because of the drugs and alcohol. But after the SI team joined them, other church members decided to go.

The pastor and his wife hadn’t been involved with Scripture classes, but after the team went in, they decided they’d dropped the ball and needed to get involved again.

After church on Sunday, one man in tears thanked Mike and the team for going there. He said one of the guys they talked to had been dating his daughter and all he saw was an non-Christian dating his daughter and he didn’t want him around her. But, even though they weren’t dating anymore, this guy decided to go over and witness to the young man. Mike said he really felt they did something over there for God and thank you for the support.

Noelle added that on Sunday, the pastor, who is Ashlee’s dad was sitting beside this guy who was telling the pastor about how God was really talking to him about those boys. The church members were so happy the SI team went there. At one time, the church had been socially active and spiritually aware, but Ashlee said it wasn’t like that anymore.

Noelle felt their main purpose for going was to inspire the church for leaders to step forward, especially where the youth are concerned. Ashlee's mom runs a ‘Mainly Music’ program where parents can bring young 0-5 kids and have a music time to connect while learning rhythm and singing. Noelle enjoyed the program, as well as the morning tea and fellowship which followed it. One of the little girl's grandmother, who was from Ireland, told Noelle how years ago, God used to give her songs, but she doesn’t have it anymore. So, Noelle prayed and talked with her. Even with the younger moms, Noelle could help with the young kids and lunch, etc.

One thing that stuck out for Noelle was in 1 Cor where it says how we all fit together in the body of Christ, and how you have that sense of family when you meet other Christians. People accepted them and loved them and they felt part of that church. It would have been nicer to stay longer. They are in winter.

The team spent 2 days in a primary school to help weeding. But that meant cutting down trees. The rabbits and camels and other introduced species are ruining the land. Introduced plants are choking out the native species, so out in the middle of the huge school yard, they're cutting down trees. Cutting down one camphor oil tree isn’t going to make much of a difference, but it was an awareness and showed their willingness to help.

In our own life, we think something is fun and seeds get planted and start choking off those things God has planted. And sometimes it’s so much work to weed that out and get rid of it. So, we need to be aware of what we let into our lives. So even cutting down the trees spoke to Noelle. She said it really was a good trip. She got to know the young people there and the SI team became good friends with other kids.

Another thing the team did was Community Youth Service in the mountains. They'd just been given a huge grant to fix up the Youth Centre and needed help. Noelle said they were grateful we would go in and just work for a few hours and clean up the bldg.

They would like us to keep Adam in our prayers. A genetic disease is affecting his organs. His liver is shutting down and he needs transplant. He goes on list in Sept. His body holds-in fluids, so he has a big belly and is active, but needs it drained. It cramps and is painful and he needs our prayers. He jokes around and the SI team learned Rule #1 is not to take Adam seriously. He doesn’t go to church although his wife and daughter does.

Before the team left, Ashlee gave them an Australian flag so we can remember to pray for them. And, we left a Canadian flag there for the same reason.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Stretch Out of Your Comfort Zone

Scriptures: Judges 6-8, Daniel 6, Daniel 3, Matt 14:22-32

Have you ever watched the extreme sports on TV? Fast speeds. Hanging by your fingertips on a rocky wall only to jump to another spot where there doesn’t seem to be anything to grip on the sheer rock face. And, you wonder how they can do all those things.

Pastor Lorne said a neighbor was putting up a large shed and the guys were walking on the metal roof without safety harness. He said you look at something like that and you think you could never do that.

Pastor Lorne said this message is probably more for himself than anyone. He likes to be comfortable with nothing changing. Surrounded by the familiar and good. But, he thought of a few yrs ago when Noelle came home from school and told them about an exchange student who was having problems and needed to move to a new home for a couple months. They had a family discussion and Pastor Lorne’s family took her in. He said it was a real learning experience. Their life changed and hasn’t been the same since. The student was so eager to learn and do everything and followed him everywhere. Pastor Lorne’s chair and remote weren’t even his any longer. But, he said they were so blessed by the experience, they did it five more times afterward. He said it was a real stretching experience with turmoil at the time, yet the blessings they received outshone the discomfort of stretching out. Still does, in fact. They never know when they’ll get an email or phone call from one of ‘their girls’. God used the experience to bless them. And because of it, our kids (COTH Youth) now have a chance to go down there and witness to them.

Pastor Lorne said it’s good to take normal things in life and stretch them. He doesn’t advocate hanging onto rocks by your fingertips and swinging over an edge, but there will be times you’ll need to get out of your comfort zone. When he first started out, the ministry was the last thing he wanted to do because of his shyness. He struggled with public appearances, although he dealt with them. But, he believes God blesses us and is with us during our life struggles.

With the new church/school year starting in Sept, Pastor Lorne was wondering what to do to stretch the church. He knows he has to live up to his messages and so that includes stretching himself. And, as he thought about all those people in scriptures who were stretched and needed to do things out of the ordinary, he thought he could never do that.

In Judges 6, we find the story of Gideon. The Midianites had taken over Israel and were a total nuisance. They took their grain and livestock and ruined what they didn’t take. They were always bothering them and the people were slaves to them. Out of desperation, the Israelites cried out to God for help. So, the angel of the Lord came to Gideon while he was threshing grain in a wine press and hiding it from the Midianites. In verse 12, the angel said to Gideon, “The Lord is with you mighty warrior.” Gideon didn’t really believe it. He was the lowest person in his small family. They didn’t have much and everyone, including himself, thought he didn’t count for much. (V15) And God’s angel had even found him hiding in a wine press. Yet God came to Gideon. Gideon said, “How can I save Israel?”

How would you react if your country was being overrun by miscreants and the Lord said He was going to use you to get rid of them. Gideon was the least of his father’s clan and he was supposed to fight this big army with only 300 men. He didn’t understand it, but when he realized it really was God directing him, he gathered his faith and surrounded the Midianites’ camp with pitchers and torches and trumpets. On Gideon’s command, his men blew their trumpets, broke their pitchers and holding their torches high, yelled, “A sword for the Lord and Gideon!” (Judges 7:19,20) They made such a ruckus, the confused Midianites drew swords on each other before turning and running away.

In Judges 8:28-32, we read that the Israelites enjoyed 40 yrs of peace after Gideon’s victory. With many wives and concubines, Gideon went on to father 70 sons. Pastor Lorne said, talk about getting stretched… 70 sons? Can you imagine 70 teenage boys in one house? And all those wives? (laughter) But Gideon was a young man who didn’t think much of himself but the spirit of God was on him and he did great things. His name is on all those Bibles found in every hotel room and given out to school kids all over the world.

Pastor Lorne said if you feel God is reaching out and asking you to stretch yourself and do something out of your comfort zone, seek His face. Find out what it is He wants you to do. He thinks God may be calling some of us in the congregation. Because of his age, Pastor Lorne thinks he’s been stretched enough but he knows that’s not true.

Every time Pastor Lorne reads the story of Gideon – a guy hiding in a wine press – he feels encouraged. So, are you going to hide in a wine press? Or, will you go out and step out of your comfort zone for God? God has given all of us special talents, and if we use those talents, we can be a special blessing in the kingdom of God.

Another story of a man being stretched is found in the book of Daniel. Talk about being stretched. Pastor Lorne said he’s afraid of a vicious cat never mind a lion. But Daniel was cast into a lions’ den (Daniel 6:16). Now, the king liked Daniel but because of a decree, he needed to put Daniel into the lions’ den. But when the king went to his room that night, he didn’t drink or eat or sleep. He just rolled about, worrying about Daniel. V19-22 says, ‘At the first light of the dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue from the lions?” Daniel answered, “O king, live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king.”’ The king called for Daniel to be lifted out of the pit. Daniel was unharmed even after spending a night with the lions. Pastor Lorne understands these lions would have been kept very hungry, but they never touched him. However, the men who had instigated the event were thrown in the same lions’ den and were devoured before they even reached the den’s floor. Because of Daniel’s faith, the king placed him in a position of authority and respect and Daniel prospered.

Also in Daniel, is the story of 3 men who had to stretch out of their comfort zone. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego wouldn’t bow down to the required false idol when the music played. V19-23 says, ‘Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. The king's command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.’ Then, the amazed king asked how many bound men had been tossed into the furnace because he saw 4 of them in there and the fourth one looked like the Son of God. The king called from them to come out and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego emerged unharmed. No scorching on their skin. No smell of fire on their clothes. Not even a hair on their hair was singed. A real miracle. In v17 and 18, they had said God would deliver them but even if He didn’t for some reason, they wouldn’t bow down to the king’s golden images. God did save them and brought them out in the same condition they went in to face the flames.

Then in Matt 14 is the story of the disciples on a ship without Jesus and a storm comes up. The disciples become frightened when they see a figure out walking on the water. V27 says, ‘But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid”.’ So, Peter climbed out of the boat and started walking toward Him. Now, that was a walk of faith. Pastor Lorne said if the water was smooth as glass, he thinks maybe he would have tried it, but with the waves rising up and crashing against them and the boat, Pastor Lorne doesn’t think he could have done it. He would’ve attempted it if God really called him, but he would still have had his doubts. Peter, however, was willing to stretch out a little bit to walk out on the water. Forget the part where he started to sink because the important thing is, he had enough faith to get out of the boat and try it.

So, if you have doubts that God is calling you to do something, talk to Him and see what He wants. He’ll open up doors if it’s what He has planned for you. Step out of your comfort zone and try to do it. It won’t be as drastic as the people above, but as God speaks to your heart, allow him to work thorough you.

Remember Gideon in Judges... the Spirit of God was in him and he was able to win this great battle. If you feel God speaking to you, ask Him to show you the way. To open and close doors so that as you stretch yourself, you’ll know it’s His will.

God said, and I will be with you. That’s the whole answer right there. If we want to do something for God and feel him pulling us, remember, He will be will us. He will give us the courage, strength and energy to do it. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old. You’re not alone, God will walk with you.

So, will you hide in the wine press? Or, walk out in faith? Reach out to God and win a victory for the cross.

If you would like to talk to someone about this post, or about having a personal relationship with God, please contact us.


Photo Credits:
Extreme Rock Climbing www.deshow.net
Gideon attacking the Midian camp water color © NHP [
link]
Daniel in Lions' and 3 Men of Faith [
link]

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

COTHY Team Leaves on Mission Trips

On Sunday morning, the congregation prayed over members of the Church on the Hill Youth group who are heading out for a 3 wk mission trip.



As soon as church was over, they posed for a quick photo:

(L to R) Samantha, Nick, Noelle (COTHY leader), Jason, and Bailey.



After hugs to their families, the youth climbed into the Youth van and headed off to Eston, SK where they'll meet up with the rest of the team and spend some time preparing for the field.

:)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rest for Your Soul

Last Sunday, Pastor Lorne started his message by saying the last song sung that morning that goes… Coming to the heart of worship… is lifting our hearts and praise in worship. He said for the last few years, worship has become an industry. Special teams. Certain songs.

He said worship is Jesus and we need to lift Him up and worship Him totally. All the rest like the screens, computer graphics, background pictures and good music is nice, but in the middle of all that, our worship should be totally on Jesus.

Pastor Lorne talked about having lunch with someone who kept texting and making phone calls during the meal. He said used to spend lots of time trying to find Dianne but now that he has his own cell phone, he calls her and knows exactly where she is. In this day, if seems you’re not achieving much unless you’re not texting. You seem to always be on the go. People can’t just rest anymore. Always something going on or trying to stay connected. You’re never alone. He said it’s not a bad thing, but even in his own life, he has the phone ringing no matter what he’s doing.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

Gen 1:31 to 2:3 says, ‘Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. When God made creation, He made a day of rest.’ Pastor Lorne said God was very occupied creating everything, but even He rested from his work.

We all need a place of rest. There’s an old hymn ‘there’s a place of quiet rest near to the heart of God’. Pastor Lorne said he’s not talking about physical rest but mental rest. There is a place of quiet rest near the heart of God. Even if you don’t have a cell phone glued to your ear or you’re not networking on the computer, you need a solid place of rest. And this isn’t just for adults but also for kids. Even from the pressures of school. We need a time where we can have that change of direction in our lives when we can

Psalms 103:4-5 says, ‘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.’


And Isaiah 40:30,31 says, ‘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.

So when you get weary by all life’s challenges and it feels like you can’t take another step, whether you’re old or young, know that God will renew your strength. According to v30 above, even youths grow tired. School and studying take a lot of energy.

Psalms 37:7 says, ‘Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.’ Pastor Lorne said the King James Version of that passage uses the word ‘rest’ instead of ‘still’. Wait patiently for Him. He’ll be there for us.

In Isaiah 57:2 we read, ‘Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.

And the whole chapter of Psalms 23 talks about restoring your soul. When you can’t handle anymore, He restores your soul and gives you the energy to face another day. To enable you to handle your problems.

Matt 11:28 and 29 says, ‘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.’ Just rest. Rest from the phone, emails, and demands of everyday life. He will give you rest. The scripture also says Jesus wants to us to take his easy burden and learn from Him. We’ll find rest for our soul.

Pastor Lorne said as he travels around, he sees people who seem to have everything together but they’ll ask for a private moment with him and then, in privacy, they fall apart. So burdened with life’s issues. Jesus’ yoke – it’s easy – a light load. In all the cares of life, go to Him.

Talking a holiday is rest. Jesus took holidays with his disciples. Even more important than rest is to find rest for our souls. Some executive type people don’t even leave their phones at home on holidays. They think if they take their families on an expensive holiday, they can continue working on the phone. But, that’s not rest.

You need mental rest as well as physical rest to restore your soul and Jesus can help you find it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

COTHY Fundraisers

In just over a month, 3 members of Church on the Hill Youth group (COTHY) will be heading off on their Street Invaders' mission trips:

Jason - Alberta/Saskatchwan Children's Camp

Nick - Australia trip

Samantha - Australian trip


COTHY has been working hard fundraising for these trips. A couple weeks ago, they hosted an after church lunch which was very well received:

(L to R) Nick, Noelle (Youth Leader), Jason, and Samantha


A new item this year are the Cookie Mixes. All the dry ingredients for the Cookies come in a quart size jar. A gift tag listing the non-dry ingredients and the instructions is included. These jars can be custom-made.


Detailed info on the Cross necklaces and keychains are located here.



Please contact Noelle or any member of COTHY if you are interested in any of these items. Or you could email.

COTHY appreciates your support. Thank you.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Familiar Faces Come to Visit

We were blessed to see Mayo and her mom, Junko, as well as Mike Zorn, in church last Sunday.

The week before, Mayo flew to Vancouver to meet her mom's plane from Japan. Junko was in Canada to watch Mayo's graduation celebration on June 3rd in Winnipeg after 4 yrs of studying architecture at the University of Manitoba. Mayo and Junko are now touring Eastern Canada and will fly back to Japan on Tues, June 8th where Mayo will look for a job as an apprentice architect. Please remember Mayo in your prayers as she beings this new chapter of her life.


When Pastor Lorne saw Mike Zorn enter the church, he asked him to give us an update of the Kipling Youth Centre.

Mike said, for the last 4 yrs, he's been running the Youth for Christ Youth Centre in Kipling as a one man show. But in the last couple months, people have come forward to help him. Mike said it made him realize we’re not meant to plug away by ourselves. So much more can be accomplished with more people than what Mike can do on his own.

Here are Mike’s current projects:
- Developing a Girls’ ministry
- Trying to spruce up the centre so it’s “not so much a dump”
- Creating a Food Bank in the back of the building
- getting ready for an Open House at the end of June

As well, the Kipling Youth Centre is planning a Walkathon from Windthorst to Kipling for Sept. The Walk will raise awareness to the fact that over a billion people in the world don’t have clean drinking water. All money raised from the walkathon will go toward drilling fresh water wells where needed. The Walkathon goal is to raise $10,000.

And if that isn’t enough to keep him busy, Mike will be going to Australia in July with Noelle and the Street Invaders Team.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Men Made Mother's Day Breakfast

I'm a little late with the news but I really wanted to pass this on...

May 9th was Mother's Day and the men of Church on the Hill served breakfast to the ladies right there in the lower level.

And yes, I was late, but in my own defence, I have to say that whoever phoned Nelson and told him about the breakfast said the women should show up between 9 and 9:30 am. Since I'm trying to lose weight (20 lbs in 2 months so far) I didn't want to be first in the door or standing in line so I sauntered in at a fashionable 9:23 am. From what I heard, most of the other ladies were there at 8:55 am.

I was standing behind a chair wondering why everyone else was just about finished when Maurice presented me with a filled plate - the breakable kind, not a foam one - before I'd even been there 2 minutes. Not only had the men made the breakfast, they were serving it as well.

So, as someone who thoroughly enjoyed my Mother's Day breakfast, and on behalf of all the ladies at COTH, I'd like to say a loud thank you to the men who made, served and cleaned up our meal. I'm positive I speak for everyone when I say we're really appreciated it. Thank you.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Men's Breakfast Outreach

Thank you to all the men who took part in the Men's Breakfast.

Pastor Lorne said he got to the church by 6 am and Maurice and Allen were already making breakfast. After the meal, Darryl Hawbolt gave a good message based on his experiences and faith. Pastor Lorne saw two men who'd never been in the church before and he said he recognized two more who had attended the Men's Breakfast last Nov.

It shows the Men's Breakfast is a good outreach program for the church.

On Sunday I listened to the men talk about the event and from their laughter, they seemed to have enjoyed themselves.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Good-bye Wes and Lori


On Easter Sunday, Lori led worship for the final time. She was accompanied by her daughter, Cara.

As the congregation said good-bye, Pastor Lorne said he was always blessed by Wes's attitude. Pastor Lorne said he wants Wes and Lori to know we’ll always remember them and they’re not that far away. After 28 yrs, Lori said it’s exciting to move but they’re losing their (church) family. However, they feel God is placing them in other people’s lives who need them. Wes and Lori invited everyone to visit them in Fort Qu’Appelle.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

He is Risen!

Friday, April 2, 2010

The White Robe: In Africa Purity is Life

Last week, David and Nancy Seiling of Seeds International brought a multimedia drama to Church on the Hill.


The drama is entitled The White Robe: In Africa Purity is Life and was filmed for the most part in Zambia. The set consisted of a wide rear-projection screen with a smaller screen on the left panel. The set took up the complete width of the church dais.



The first interaction we see between the live actors and someone on the screen is at the wedding of Chris (Jeremy Parks) and Stacey (Madeline Williams), young missionaries on the verge of their life together.



I don’t have a photo of this but Chris and Stacey are carrying suitcases and skip across the stage with a lake on the screen as if they’re hopping across on rocks. At one point, Chris slips and water splashes up on the screen at the same time we hear a splash. The time was perfect and believable.



This photo shows Chris and Stacey talking with a teacher about the prevalence of the AIDS virus. Many male Africans believe that by bedding a virgin, they can be cleansed of the ‘virus’. Because of this, rape is rampant among teens and young adults in their society.



In this photo, an internet conversation between Chris and his aunt and uncle is simulated by showing us the image Chris is looking at on his laptop.



When Stacey goes into labour, they make a mad dash to the hospital for the arrival of their first child.



The side panel is used when Stacey interacts with a teacher at the local school. The school used in the drama is an actual school - Ibex Hill Community School in which kids receive backpacks ‘Seed Bags’ of school supplies provided by Seeds International.



The focus of the story is on a young orphan named Mabruke whom Chris takes under his wing. Mabruke has his eye on Grace and wants to keep pure for her. But as a young virgin, Grace lives in jeopardy.



In this scene, the interaction between live and screen actors is exceptional as Chris aids Mabruke in carrying another man away.

The story maybe fiction but it’s based on reality. In Africa, rape is a fact of life. Purity is life. Seedlings Int’l teaches how to keep pure until marriage.

David Seiling said the next 3 yrs is very important to the Seedlings organization. They (Africans) will remember what you have done. And it’s going to change their country forever.

A monthly gift really keeps Seedlings going. They currently serve 550 schools worldwide with 640 schools targeted in 2010.

Grade 4 kids attending these schools each receive a Seed Bag which contains the Seedlings book where they learn about Christ, a Canadian Bible Society New Testament, pencil crayons and a small toy. This Seedlings book is an accepted part of their curriculum.

These public schools sometimes have non-Christian teachers and because the Seedlings book is part of the curriculum, these teachers are learning about Christ in the same way the kids are. Seedlings International has reports of teachers coming to Christ in this way.

If you would like to see how you can help, please check out the Seedlings International website.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The White Robe Multimedia Drama

Seeds International, a ministry which supports children in third world countries by providing backpacks of school supplies and knowledge of Jesus, will present a live theatre/multimedia mission event:

Tues, March 23
at
Church on the Hill
Glenavon, SK


Here's a promotional video about The White Robe presentation:



Please join us. Everyone is welcome.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Learning What Not To Do

The Rawling Brothers from Alberta led worship at church on Sunday morning, bringing out some favorite hymns as well as songs from their CD’s. Songs included His Sheep Am I, Consecrated, I Saw the Light, You’re Beautiful Jesus, I’ll Fly Away, Peace Like an Ocean and A Closer Walk with Thee.

Darryl Hawbolt gave the message. He started by thanking Church on the Hill (COTH) for welcoming him and his family when they moved to the area last summer and letting them become a part of COTH.

Scriptures used: Matt 14: 22-33, 1 Chron 16:11

Darryl said he remembers before Tyler was born when he’d look at other families walking around with their kids and he’d pick out qualities of parenting he wanted to use in his family – or not if the kids didn’t seem to be disciplined. He said when he was young he wasn’t bad… just busy. He remembers going to K-mart and his mom would be crying because of him. Once, she told him to stay in a rack of clothes while she looked around and when she looked back a second later, he was already gone. She was frantically searching for him when one of those round racks on wheels started going down the aisle. Through the clothes, she could hear him giggling as he propelled the rack away from her. He said he heard the word ‘no’ a lot as he was growing up. Usually when a parent says no it means they have wisdom and are using guidance to teach their child. They’ve been down that road and have learned what to do and want to pass on their knowledge.

Darryl used the example of cliff jumping as a teen with the youth group. The cliff was 35‘ high and he was told to jump off with his arms spread out on either side of him and not to bring his arms down until he entered the water – not before. But as soon as his feet hit the water, he dropped his arms and they slapped the water, hard. It was his last jump of the day due to his bruised arms.

Learning isn’t just about learning what to do, but also what not to do.

Darryl read Matt14:22-33 which is the where Peter walks on the water. He said the Sea of Galilee is normally tranquil but it’s ringed by two mountain ranges on the north side and when the wind whips between them, it has a tunneling effect creating havoc on the water. On this night, a major storm abruptly started with high waves coming over the bow of the boat. As fishermen, the disciples were professional sailors but even they were scared at the storm’s ferocity. Then they saw someone walking on the water toward them and were even more frightened. V27-29 says, ‘But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," He said.

If we want to accomplish tasks for God there are things we should avoid.

1. We should not live for Jesus on our own strength.
Peter walked on the water because of his faith in God’s power. Walking on the water is a supernatural act we can’t do on our own. It’s humanly impossible. Have you ever wondered if you could be like Peter and tried to walk on water, say at the beach?

Darryl spoke about the missionary Hudson Taylor who said, “All God’s giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on His being with them.”

Darryl then said Pastor David said, “When you see a turtle on a fence post, you wonder how it got there.” In the same way, we can’t do anything of our own because we need God’s strength to accomplish it. The key to living a productive Christian life is to rely on the strength of God. 1 Chronicles 16:11 says, ‘Look to the LORD and His strength; seek His face always.’ When people look at us and see the things we do, and they see something supernatural happening or a smile on our face when we’re going through a crisis, they wonder why. It’s like the turtle on that fencepost they wonder how it got there.

2. We should not allow ourselves to become distracted.
When Peter had his eyes fixed on Jesus, he was walking on the water. He was doing the impossible. But as soon as he allowed himself to be distracted, he started to sink. With the wind blowing, and the rain falling, the last thing you want to do is get out of the boat but Peter did. He put his trust in Jesus and stepped out. How often do we find ourselves starting to do something for God and in His strength, we begin to do something beyond our capabilities and then we look around and our faith waivers. The storm overtakes us and we begin to sink. We take our eyes off Jesus when we’re distracted by something else.

3. We should not stay in the boat.
Imagine being in that boat with the waves crashing against and over the boat, the sails snapping, the wood creaking and groaning, and the wind whipping across your face. Peter was wet, cold, exhausted and terrified. It would have been easy to stay in the safety of the boat. But if Peter never got out of the boat, he would never have walked on the water. To walk on water requires you to climb out of the boat and step out in faith. That’s what Peter did. So did Peter fail then when he started to sink?

Darryl mentioned Jonas Salk who made 200 unsuccessful vaccines for polio before he found one that worked. When someone asked him how it felt to fail 200 times, this was his response, “I never failed 200 times at anything in my live. My family taught me never to use that word. I simply discovered 200 ways how NOT to make a vaccine for polio.”

So in a sense Peter did fail because he began to sink when he became distracted and took his eyes off Jesus. But there were 11 bigger failures who sat in the safely, quietly in the boat. Their failure was unnoticed and uncriticized. Only Peter experienced the shame of public failure. And only Peter knew the glory of walking on the water.

What do we need to know if we decide to get out of the boat?

1. At times you will fail and begin to sink just like Peter. But Peter experienced something no one else did. He actually walked on the water! There is no record of anyone else doing it.

2. Jesus will be there to grab your hand.
Only Peter knew the glory of walking on the water. And the moment he started to sink, Jesus grabbed his hand and pulled him up. Only Peter knew, in a way the others in the boat never would, that when he sank, Jesus would be there to save him. Peter shared that moment with Jesus and we know he went on to do great things after that. It was a connection the others missed. And they missed it because they chose the safety and comfort of the boat instead of stepping out onto uncharted waters.

Darryl said to turn it around and apply it to ourselves – especially to those of us who learn by being told what they should do… you won’t always stay on top of the water, but at the time you start to sink, Jesus will be there to grab your hand.

If you want to walk on water, you need to:
1. Rely on Jesus for your strength.
2. Keep your eyes fixed on Him.
3. Get out of the boat.

We need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. He’s the one to keep us going. When you’re in a difficult time, ridiculed by people around you who are questioning you – maybe even Satan is whispering words of doubt in your ear. So you doubt your faith and your trust in God. You think maybe someone else should do it. And you find yourself wanting to get back in the boat. But you’ll never experience walking on the water if you don’t get out of the boat. If you want an experience similar to Peter, and you want to step out and do incredible things for God, especially in your community where there are many people who don’t know that power of having their sins forgiven, or people in our midst who have sickness and need healing – you want to be that person who steps out in faith and believes things will happen.

And if we, as a church believe we can do these things, then people all over the place will come see why there’s a turtle sitting on the fence post. We will see God moving in our midst and we’ll see a revival happening because we‘re stepping out of the boat and keeping our eyes on Jesus. And these things will happen if we believe.

The Rawling Brothers followed Darryl’s message with the songs, Hosanna and I Lift My Eyes Up.

Pastor Lorne said we’ve had good music and a good message of encouragement to give us something to take us through the week . He thanked The Rawling Brothers for their concert last night and for blessing us this morning. The congregation then gave The Rawling Brothers a standing ovation so they went back up for another song.

Doug asked if anyone is familiar with the book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. He said it’s about a slave who had everything taken away – but not quite everything because he said his body was just his cabin and he was leaving it behind when he went.

Final song: Golden Slippers

If you would like to know more about having Christ as your personal Saviour, please contact us.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Blessed By the Rawling Brothers Concert




Church on the Hill was filled to capacity Sat night when the Rawling Brothers from Alberta blessed us with an eclectric mix of songs from old standsards to their own creations.









Doug said the Rawling Brothers all have a Rawling last name and they're all brothers but not to each other.
Bruce (on the right) is from Taber Alberta and he's Doug’s brother.
Doug (on the left) lives west of Pincher Creek and he's Bruce’s brother. (Laughter)
Mark (in the middle) is from Wainwright and is a brother to Doug’s daughters (Doug’s son) heh.

After a couple songs, Doug Rawling (on the left) said we have to give Pastor Lorne some slack because he flew back from Australia yesterday so if we hear him snoring during the concert, it’s okay. (Laughter)

Doug says he comes from the Southwest corner of Alberta and wanted to tell us about an old bachelor friend he has there. He said the old cowboy's name is George and this next song was dedicated to him. George lives in a house that's no bigger than the church dais with only cold running water and an outhouse. But George told Doug he had to work hard when he was young so Doug could be ‘set’ like George when he was George's age.
Doug said we all have a story to tell and the author of life who gave us each a story, knows each of our lives.
Song: The Last of the Horseback Kid.


Doug: Said they run a camp called Wilderness Ranch out near Pincher Creek where they take kids on horseback rides. Some family camps, too. He said he used to spend a lot of summers going to Bible camp. It's so important to have kids in an environment where they know they are loved even when they mess up. Some kids only see black asphalt and video games and it’s easy to see that God is really big when you’re out country he made.
Song: Life of a Cowboy with Wilderness Ranch slideshow

Doug said this is their 4th time playing in Glenavon now and it feels like home. He said we have a awesome pastor and they really enjoyed having a meal at Pastor Lorne's place.
He said the Bible says we are to give thanks - all the time in all circumstances. If our day is going great or terrible, we are supposed to be thankful people. Some days we wonder what is there to be thankful for, but if we believe Jesus came to this earth to die on the cross so we can be forgiven and our sins taken away, then there’s always something to be thankful for.
Song: Keep on the Sunny Side


Doug says he's been a grandpa since last May and it’s fun. His granddaughter is 9 months old and she thinks she’s big and tries to do things by herself but can only crawl and needs help. Sometimes we think we’re pretty tough and can face the world alone and we break off too much to chew but it’s good that we have someone there – like Grandpa – and God to lean on.
Song: Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

Jesus fed 5,000 people with a little boy’s lunch. You don’t need to do it alone. Give it to Jesus and He’ll make it big enough for everyone.
Song: Sombbody (written by Mark)

Song: I Saw the Light

Doug said it’s funny how you can play the same song over and over and still have fun playing it.

Instrumental: Foggy Mountain Breakdown with Doug on harmonica, Mark on bass, and Bruce on 6 string guitar pretending it was a banjo. They sounded great.


Doug said the songs tonight are pretty old tunes, some older than others and one is older than all the audience put together. It was written long ago by David the King who wrote some songs in the Bible called Psalms.
Song: I Lift Mine Eyes Up (Sung and played by Mark now on guitar.)

Doug said at Easter, Jesus came riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. The prophesy said the king would come riding on a donkey. The place when crazy. "Hosanna!" they called. Doug thought it meant ‘Yay, God!’, but it means ‘Save Now'. The Jews didn’t think He should come just to die. They wanted Him to kick the Romans out and make Israel a great nation. ‘Save now son of David’. There are times in our life we didn’t know which way was up. In our heart of hearts we cry out ‘Hosanna!’ If you cry it out, God will hear your prayer. Doug said when he's going through a difficult period, it’s reassuring to know even Jesus cried out on the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matt 27:46) No matter what, we can still rest in Him. Doug wonders when God will say enough is enough and send Jesus back to us. He is the great Redeemer.
Song: Hosanna

Bruce said he wrote this next song in a time of his life when he needed to be ‘Saved Now’. Everyone experiences those difficult times. Bruce wants to focus on the fact God is bigger than our difficult times. That’s an awesome thing.
Song: Peace Like an Ocean

Doug said he appreciates everyone here tonight as well as the family who travels with him.

Song: How Great Thou Art (Love offering taken)
Song: In the Sweet By and By

Bruce said Jesus has been rock steady in the lives of the Rawling Brothers. He’s been steady and faithful and dependable. If you don’t know how good a friend Jesus is, then Bruce wants to encourage you to get to know Him. Invite Him into your life to be your friend and Savior and find out how rock steady He is.
Song: Rock Steady

Pastor Lorne said the Rawling Brothers weren't done yet as they will be doing worship during the service tomorrow morning here at Church on the Hill in Glenavon.

He then lead us in a prayer and said if there was anyone who wanted a personal relationship with Jesus to pray a simple prayer asking Jesus into your heart.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Privileged to Serve

Scriptures used: Matt 19:16-30, Matt 20:1-16

On Feb 28, 2010 Maurice Giroux of Montmartre spoke on The Privileged to Serve.

Maurice started his message by referring to Gary Inrig’s book, The Parables: Understanding What Jesus Meant as it pertained to the American Bill Borden. His parents were descended from the British aristocracy and his dad made his fortune in the Colorado silver mines, so by the time Bill was 21 yrs old in 1908, he was already worth a million dollars which equates to 40 million dollars today. The book continues with, “But in 1912, at the age of 25, Bill Borden did two things that made headlines. First, he gave away his entire fortune, half to God’s work in the United States and half to missions overseas. Second, he chose to set sail for missionary work among the Muslims, first in Egypt to learn Arabic and then, ultimately, to a remote part of China. To the public and the media, and even to many of his Christian friends, Borden’s actions seemed incredibly wasteful, especially when he died of cerebrospinal meningitis shortly after reaching Cairo. He had apparently thrown away his money, his career, and even his life. To what end?”

Maurice said he had a good friend who died recently. Although this man only had a Gr 6 education, he said he’d completed Gr. 12. He farmed and auctioneered. And he kept renting more and more land. He wanted lots of land and machinery and he worked day and night to keep up with all the work from having that much land and machinery. He wanted to win the 649 lottery so he could buy all new equipment. But his health declined. He went through 3 failed marriages and was living common-law. And he started to let his land go. Maurice said he would minister to his friend but the guy just couldn’t seem to connect with God. He died waiting for a double lung and heart transplant operation.

Maurice said the book of Job is a conversation between God and Satan. Does Job fear God for nothing? That accusation is powerful and disquieting and even modern. Why do you serve? For His blessings? There’s no need to be embarrassed by God’s blessings, but is that your motivation? If it is, then your enthusiasm will be thin in difficult times. We need something more solid to hold us.

Matt 19:17 says, “Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.” Maurice says Jesus is trying to teach that all men are sinners. Jesus is referring to mosaic law where God commanded us to obey the ten commandments. This is the standard required by God. You can’t get into heaven doing it alone, or by religious means, or by your own terms.

Matt 19:21-24 says, "Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Maurice said Jesus is trying to expose the rich man’s heart. Jesus already knew it which is why He brought it up. The guy wanted to continue doing it his way where his money was ruling him and not the other way around. The analogy is anything that big will not fit through anything that small.

The needle Jesus is talking about refers to a mountain range with a small opening on the border between 2 countries. (Petra, Jordan) You could shave several days travel on foot if you go through the opening, but a camel couldn’t fit through it. Caravans must detour several days to weeks to go around the mountain range.

Maurice said maybe Jesus is trying to tell us our religious ways are the camel. They won’t get us into heaven. We must go through the mountain range to get to heaven but we can’t go through with all our worldly baggage. Salvation is grace alone, thru faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Maurice said we should hang onto this whether we have doctrinal issues with others. If they don’t have this message, they’re missing the point. If you picture a table cluttered with dishes, that statement should be your centerpiece and if you need to move some dishes to make it fit, then do so.

Matt 19:27 says, Peter answered him, "We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?" The disciples are trying to understand Jesus’ teachings from an earthly perspective. They are desperately trying to connect the dots. They already walked away from their earthly possessions and they’re following Jesus but they keep asking, what’s in it for me?

Matt 20:1-16 is the parable about the vineyard owner and his workers. Maurice believes that story clearly talks about anyone coming to Christ for salvation. In the parable, it didn’t matter if they worked one hour or 12 hrs, they were all paid the same. Some people come to Christ when they’re young and have 50-60 hrs serving God but others come later on. The last group are not denied the Kingdom of God regardless of when they accepted.

Maurice said we read in the 2nd chapter of Acts where the apostles became empowered with the Holy Spirit and dedicated their lives to serving Christ. But Maurice read about the fate of the Apostles in Sincerely Yours Vol Five The Book of Acts by Ann Mainse. All of their deaths were premature and not pleasant:
- John fared the best and died from extreme old age
- Judas – suicide
- Peter – crucified by Nero
- Andrew – died on a cross
- James the younger brother of Jesus –thrown from the pinnacle of the temple and beaten
- James the son of Zebedee – beheaded
-Matthew- killed by an axe in North Aftrica
- Thomas – lanced in Indies
- Simon – died on a cross in Persia
- Batholomen – was flayed alive (skin ripped off)
And they all died because they were spreading the gospel.

Maurice referred us back to The Parables: Understanding What Jesus Meant where Gary Inrig talks about David Livingstone in Africa. The missionary said ‘I personally have never ceased to rejoice that God has entrusted me with the service’ and ‘can this be a sacrifice if we give Him back what we owe Him?’ He said it was a privilege not a sacrifice to do God’s work.

When Beth Moore was called to comment on her missionary work she referred to Heb 12:1&2 which says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” When she was commenting on that passage, she said, ‘instead of running a foot race, what if it was by car and you had to cross the finish line without any blemishes on your car?’ That’s hard to do if you’re in a car that’s gone done dirt trails and rabbit trails. And if you’re spreading God’s word, there will be times people will broad side you.

What will your car look like when you cross the finish line?