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

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

COTH 40th Anniversary Part 1

In May of 1968, the foundation of our church was laid with the gathering of 4 people: Pastor Lorne and his wife Dianne, Rose, and her son, Dennis.

On Sunday, Church on the Hill (COTH) in Glenavon, SK, celebrated its 40th anniversary. In case you missed it, here are some memories of Sunday:

Rev. Doug Lancaster, Pastor of Avonhurst Pentecostal church and Presbyter of our region, brought us the message.

He said that the church was the gateway to heaven and that he'd felt welcomed by the people and the banners when he walked in the door of COTH. But, his thought-provoking words asked what other people expect from church: Do they see us on Tues the same way they see us in church? Are people sitting in the congregation surrounded by people but feeling lonely? Rev. Doug said ‘The moment we ask Christ to come into our heart isn’t the end but the beginning’.

Maurice was the MC for our special anniversary afternoon. He introduced the friends, singers, and former pastors who came to share this special day with us.

Noelle, the Youth Leader, read messages (see below) sent from people who wanted to be here but couldn't. Sorry, no photo of her reading messages but you can see her below when you check out the pics for the presentation of IMPACT's drama 'The River'.

COTH is blessed with 4 worship teams who make up the Music Ministry and take turns leading us in praise and worship each week. Separately, they are testaments to God's blessings and gifts but on Sunday when they joined together for the first time, we heard God's power in their music - especially when they sang their last song: Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone). I was too far back to get a good group shot so you'll have to imagine them together. From left to right:
Jessica - keyboard/vocals
Lori - acoustic guitar/vocals
Dianne - vocals/keyboard
Lorette - vocals
Nelson - bass guitar
Clayton - drums/vocals
Richard - electric guitar/vocals
This group was introduced as 'Tim & the Ladies'. Apparently they haven't sung together in 15 years but we couldn't tell from their melodic singing of 'Sheltered in the Arms of God'. They shook the building with their raised voices and even the window dressing trembled and fell! left to right: Sandra (keyboard), Dianne, Tim and Rondi

Rhonda led the Sunday School class in a drama based on Isaiah 40. Left to right:
(Courtney and Blake - we missed you.) More photos here

Sandra joined her son Blake in a moving song that went like this: "She’s the one who told me about Jesus....taught me to sing....deserves an armful of roses.... she’s satisfied with a handful of weeds." Does anyone know the title to this song?


IMPACT - the COTH youth group presented the drama 'The River'.

Check out the youth page for more photos and maybe even a video if I can figure out how to upload it.


A group photo was taken of the different pastors that have called COTH home. They are from left to right:
Pastor Simon & Jackie Sichangwa (Regina)
Pastor Wayne & Sandra Unger (Virden)
Pastor Lorne & Dianne Bonk (COTH pastor)
Pastor Phil Marshall (Edmonton)
Missing from the photo is Pastor Jim & Colleen Guskjolen


This gorgeous cake measured approx 18 x 26 inches. It was a delectable combination of chocolate, vanilla and butterscotch.

It was made by Lori, one of our worship leaders.


Anne Silversides presented greetings from the Glenavon Catholic church. (sorry no photo). She said that the people of Glenavon are fortunate to have several faith communities that work well together and respect each other’s differences. Anne gave a short testimony on her faith journey. She ended by saying Our Lady Of The Holy Rosary church sends this message, ‘May you be blessed and continue to grow in numbers.”
The following people couldn't attend but sent congrats and memories:

Laurie & Marilyn Winsor (RCMP officer posted to Indian Head now in Nfld): "We were so pleased to be a part of your congregation...almost 20 years ago. we enjoyed the friendship and fellowship greatly. You may never know how well some of you filled the void in our lives as we lived so far away from home and family..."

Pastor Jim & Colleen Guskjolen (pastored at COTH 1981-1985): "We are thankful that we were able to have a part to play in the history of Church on the Hill...This was our first church and we immediately felt loved. We often have told the story of how Church on the Hill was instrumental in developing our ministry. In fact, we tell people that if it had not been for your ministry to us we would not be where we are today in ministry. Wherever we go we feel we are an extension of Church on the Hill...We cherish the friendships and memories we have from those days." Pastor Jim is now the Regional Director for Latin America and Caribbean of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.

Robin Exner (Director of Circle Square Ranch, Wolseley): "...Just wanted to thank you again for all your support and congratulate you on 40 years of reaching our community!"

Rev. Lynette Callfas (Minister of Glenavon United Church): "...I have always enjoyed the fellowship and friendship that I have experienced when visiting at your church. It has been a pleasure working with you in various community ecumenical services. I thank God for your faithfulness in sharing the message of the salvation brought by Jesus Christ..."
Pastor Lorne and Dianne have provided a home for exchange students over the years. The church, especially the youth group, has been blessed to know these young women. They will remain in our hearts no matter where their future lies. They've sent the following messages:

Nikki (Australia) - "Going to Church on the Hill helped me on both a social and spiritual level. It allowed me a chance to meet some GREAT kids my age that went to a different school than I did, and allowed me a chance to be part of a great youth group. However, it also helped me on a spiritual level. It made me realize that even though I could not be over 300,000 km away from my family and my home, my God was still with me. I had the heap of luggage/clothes that I brought, yet I also had somehow packed God into my suitcase. It just goes to show, God really is everywhere, you cannot escape him!"

Mayo (Japan, currently attends University in Winnipeg, MB) - "...Although I have lived in Glenavon only for a year (and a little bit whenever I come back), I have done so many things there with all of the church families and youths and these things are part of most precious memories in my life. Even reading Scriptures in front of everyone when I wasn't able to speak very well is a good memory and something that brings a smile to my face. I am so grateful that I got to meet everyone from Church on the Hill and that you guys are all ways so welcoming even after I left Glenavon. People say that all the Christians are a big family but there is no other place where that is so obvious than Church on the Hill..."

Ashlee (Australia) - "...Something that you may not know, before I came to Canada, I had to ask my pastor or prayer about my choice, I was so worried that it wasn't right for me to be leaving my home and didn't know what God wanted my life, after all I was only sixteen. But I came, and to be honest, it was probably the most amazing time of my life. And I know it was because He placed me in your family, with a church and a youth group, and without that I don't know what kind of people I could have lived with. I know it was God's plan and I made some of the most amazing family and friends..."

Eva (Germany) - "Church on the Hill meant a lot to me. This church is much smaller than the one I went to in Germany and I got to know what "living together" in a church with a lot of Christians really means. My church in Germany is way more anonymous. I really like the way everybody cares about each other and it seems like everybody is having their own part in this church. I also really likes the way Lorne is speaking because it is also not as anonymous as it is often in Germany. My parents also really liked your little church and felt very welcome..."

Suzie (Australia) - "Attending Church on the Hill was an extremely positive time for me...I got to meet a lot of new people. They were always so happy, positive and friendly who all shared the love of the church...I'm never one to sit still for more than an hour, but I had no problem with it while Lorne was preaching...even if it didn't look like I was listening...I was...just so I could say 'Oh yeah! I remember you talking about that in church last week' then he would smile at me and say, 'Oh, so you were listening!' and I'd say YEP! with a big grin on my face! I also enjoyed attending youth group with Noelle...Every moment I spent at Church on the Hill was exciting for me and I am so glad that I was able to spend a lot of time there!"

Casey (Australia) - "What I remember of Church on the Hill is walking into a room filled with very inviting and caring people. I only attended 3 months worth of Sundays, but those Sundays I always looked forward to and can say I always left with a smile on my face. Church on the Hill is a very special place filled with very special people that are there to share their hope among themselves, with others and our Lord. Congratulations on 40 years. I'm sure it will continue to be a place where people come to be with others and celebrate their lives. See ya next year hopefully."
I will post another blog entry for the memories that former Pastors Simon, Wayne and Phil talked spoke on as well as more of Rev. Doug's message.
Do you have a memory of Church on the Hill you'd like to share? To share your memory with us click 'comment' right below here. If you're not sure how to leave a comment, go to the 'Labels' in the right column and click on the 'comments'.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Families Are God's Will

Scriptures: Gen 2:24-25, Gen 3:7, 12 & 13, Rev 3:20, 1 Peter 5:8,
Joshua 24:15, Rev 12:10 & 11

On Sunday morning, Pastor Lorne said he wanted to talk about families. He had us turn to Gen 2:24-25 which states, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.’ The Bible’s talking about Adam and Eve – the start of the husband and wife team...the start of the family.

Adam and Eve lived in a paradise more wonderful than we can imagine. A beautiful place...a garden...living and enjoying things...God would talk and visit with them...no distractions...no other men for Eve to cast glances at...no other women for Adam to be carried away by. It was ideal. The perfect situation. They were living a fantasy like a reality show when you’re stuck on an island with the person of your dreams.

Only something happened that changed everything. Gen 3:7 says ‘Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.’ Pastor Lorne said Satan came into their midst. Satan went to Eve and questioned God’s words about not eating from the tree of life. The Bible says that Eve took fruit from the forbidden tree and gave it to Adam. She didn’t go off by herself to eat it...Adam was with her when she ate of the forbidden fruit. They both ate the forbidden fruit. And both their eyes were opened and they realized that they were naked and they both felt shame.

Now up til that time, they enjoyed being with each other in the garden where everything including the temperature was perfect for them. But then they disobeyed God, ate the forbidden fruit, felt shame at their nakedness, and found fig leaves to cover themselves.

Pastor Lorne said he believes it was that point in time that was the start of the sexual sins we see and hear of in the world today and down through the ages. He said when he thinks of all the young kids that’ve been sexually abused, all the women who’ve been raped, all the depravity and incest that we hear about...that it all started when Adam and Eve realized they were naked.

Pastor Lorne said he noticed something else. He said if you look farther down at v12 & 13, you read about the first marital argument: ‘The man said, "The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." So this is the first laying of blame...Adam refused to take responsibility for his action – he blames Eve who then blames the serpent. And Pastor Lorne said that’s still going on in the world today...marital arguments...and it started way back then.

He then told us this little story about a new pastor who went and called on a family. There was no answer to his knock but he could hear rustling so he knew someone was home. He left a piece of paper with the Scripture Rev 3:20 that says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him...’ The next Sunday, the pastor received a note that said, ‘I heard you in the garden but was afraid ‘cause I was naked...’ (laughter)

Pastor Lorne continued with the message saying that he noticed something when Adam spoke—not only did he blame the woman, but he also blamed God for giving him such a woman. According to Adam, he was just doing what he was told. When God asked Eve what happened, she admitted to eating the fruit.

Pastor Lorne said since then, we have wrestled with all the problems of the earth. Adam and Eve didn’t have to work until they were expelled from the garden. Now there’s everything from spraying or rototilling persistent weeds to cutting grass.

“What I’m getting at today”, Pastor Lorne continued, “Is the fact that Satan was out to destroy families...to drive wedges in families. That’s where he struck first.” He wanted discord between Adam and Eve. Why? Pastor Lorne says the Bible talks in many places about how the husband and wife relationship is like God’s relationship to His church and us, His people. And that’s why Satan wants to break it. He said many things tear at a marriage like lack of finances or too much money, rearing kids, nosy relatives...the whole thing...Satan gets in there and causes things to happen. He does everything he can to lay blame, cause arguments and break up families. That’s his job.

1 Peter 5:8 says, ‘Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’ Pastor Lorne said Satan crawls around and checks out your family, watching to see if he can do something to start an argument. He’s quiet, he blends in, and then he strikes the weak like a roaring lion after a wounded animal. He’s doing it to families today. He takes down someone in a moment of weakness. Down through the ages he’s disrupted families. He’ll do anything he can to get a foothold into our relationships.

Pastor Lorne says he likes to study people. Like in a cafĂ©. He’ll look around and watch. Like a couple with some kids enjoying themselves...a happy family doing things together and the love they share. But he said he once saw a man helping 2 young girls with their homework. Pastor Lorne said the man was enjoying helping them so he went over and started talking. The guy said he had the girls for a couple hours that night and then had to take them back to their mother. Pastor Lorne said he could see that the man loved his girls and wanted to be with them and yet he only had them for a little while.

Pastor Lorne said he wants us to know that we can declare and take a stand against Satan. Joshua 24:15 says, ‘...But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." Joshua took a stand that he wasn’t going to allow Satan to come in and destroy his family. He testified that in his house, they would serve God.

Pastor Lorne said that he hoped each one of us would take a stand that everyone in our house would serve God. Regardless of where we are in life...at what stage, whether we’re grandparents, parents with young children, or newlyweds, he believes God will honour your faith for taking that stand.

He said when he thinks of all the broken hearts and domestic fights...Satan is there trying to destroy our families because he doesn’t want the church to triumph. He said he doesn’t like to talk about the devil to much because he doesn’t want to give him time...even negative time...but he felt he needed to give this message to us. Satan is trying everything he can to upset and destroy our families.

Pastor Lorne said he believes God wants our families to stay intact. He believes that God wants us to have trust and faith in him and that He will cause that to happen.

Rev 12:11 says, ‘They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony...’ Pastor Lorne said he believes that the blood of the Lamb is something we know that Satan cannot cross...that it’s like a big electric fence and Satan can’t cross it. The blood of Christ that was shed on the cross so long ago still has its power today. He said he believes that God will give you strength by His Holy Spirit and the blood of the Lord will cover you and your family members whether they’ve strayed away from the fold or not...the blood of the Lamb will cover and protect them.

Know that we can stand on the Scripture that says, ‘they overcame him...’ and know that it’s talking about the devil. Rev 12:10 say, ‘I heard a loud voice in heaven say... For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.’ Pastor Lorne said he believes that you and I and our families can trust God that we will overcome our accuser.

Sometimes when we come against Satan he tries to put stuff on us but it’s so great to know that we can overcome him by the blood of the Lamb. And when that day comes we can all be together in heaven and stand before the throne, worshipping and praising God together as a family because that is God’s will and that’s what he wants us to be – a family.

If you would like to speak to Pastor Lorne about this, please email him.

Comments are appreciated. If you’re not sure how, please click on ‘comments’ under 'Labels' in the right column.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Women of Faith

Scriptures: Hebrews 11, Esther 1, Ruth chapters 1-4, Judges 4,
Joshua 2, 2 Tim 1:5, Luke 1:38

Pastor Lorne said thoughout the Bible we read of great men. Hebrews 11 even has a list of the heroes of faith. But, what about the women?

He said we always hear about Esther and how she arrived at the kingdom at the right time to save her people at risk of her own life, but what about the lady whom Esther had replaced? Esther 1 tells the story of how Queen Vashti refused to display herself before the king and his men, all who were drunk on wine (v10).

Pastor Lorne said Queen Vashti is a hero to him, because she thought enough of herself not to put herself in the position where she was the subject of lewd, inappropriate behaviour. To give you an idea of what the thinking was back then, Pastor Lorne said to look at Esther 1:15-18. When the men at the banquet realized that Queen Vashti wasn’t coming, they said they couldn’t condone that or when they told their own wives to do something, they’d also refuse and they couldn’t allow that to happen. At this point, Pastor Lorne said he could see some husbands and wives in the congregation looking at each other... (laughter)

And so, Pastor Lorne continued, these guys said they had to do something. They were worried because Queen Vashti thought herself special and important in God’s eyes. He said you know the rest of the story...the queen was taken from her position and Esther was brought in to replace her.

Another special woman in the Bible was Ruth, a young widow who chose to stay with Naomi. Ruth 1:16 has the infamous line ‘...Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.’ So doing, she honored not only her mother-in-law, but Boaz who she later married. Ruth 2:11 & 12 shows that even Boaz realized her worth. He praised her for the wonderful things she’d done and said she was a special person because of it. Ruth became part of the lineage of Christ. She was somebody who set an example...a lady who was important in the scheme of things. Important enough to be mentioned in the Bible and have a book named after her. A woman who, in a day when women didn’t really count for a whole lot, was praised and lifted up by Boaz.

Pastor Lorne said if you look in Judges 4:4-9, you'll find another lady who held a prominent part in history and Scripture. She was the prophetess Deborah who was leading Israel at the time. When the Israelites were threatened by an enemy that way outnumbered them, Deborah told them to take 10,000 men and she would lure the enemy into their hands. But, the military leader said that he wouldn’t go without her. Pastor Lorne said it was an amazing thing. Back in the day when patriarchs ruled in a society where women weren’t worth much, Barak wouldn’t go unless Deborah went with him. But he knew that she was under the hand of God and he knew he had to have her along if he wanted a victory. Deborah went with him and they won.

Jael, another important woman, can be found farther down, also in Judges 4. Pastor Lorne said Jael must’ve been a really tough gal because this is pretty gruesome, but the leader of the enemy was running away to hide and because their families had been friends, Jael invited him into her tent. He was exhausted from running. While he slept, Jael took a tent peg and pounded it right through his head, grounding him. She was just a lady who was able to help and win the battle and she’s mentioned in the Bible.

Pastor Lorne referred us to Joshua 2 where we find another lady who is actually listed as a heroe of faith in Hebrews 11. Amazing because she was a lady of ill-repute. But, she realized that God was with the 2 spies and she saved them from being captured by hiding them under some sheaves of flax on the roof of her house. Her name has gone down in history. She also is in the line that Christ came from.

This gives us a picture of how God uses people who are willing to open their lives and hearts to Him.

For another woman of faith, Pastor Lorne referred us to 2 Tim 1 in the New Testament. In Paul’s letter to Timonthy, V5, he says, ‘I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.’ Paul is crediting Timothy’s grandmother and mother for the faith they had put in him. How many mothers and grandmothers down through the ages...if it wasn’t for their faith and trust in the Lord...for the hours they spend on their knees praying for their children, for their grandchildren...it was because of them that Paul could write about Timothy and say the faith that is in them is also is in you.

Sometimes it seems just the way things are written that women aren’t as important - even in Scripture. Pastor Lorne said there aren’t as many women mentioned as there are men but he finds that those that are mentioned are ones that tackled situations and stood true...who had a faith that brought them through.

Pastor Lorne said he wanted to encourage all ladies...all mothers there on Sunday...to know that God hears your prayers. God will give you the strength to stand up for Him and for what you have to face in your life. He said he thinks of Timothy and how he was a young man who grew up into a spiritual person and had a relationship with the Lord because of his grandmother and mother.

In other Scripture, Paul talked about all the other women who stood and contended with him as he did the work of the Lord. We know of many times Paul had tough things in his life and yet he takes time to mention the women who stood with him:
- Lydia seller of purple
- Priscilla who worked with a tentmaker alongside Paul in the ministry
- Many other women who worked with him who were part of that whole setting of starting the church as we know it today.

Pastor Lorne said he knows of places like nearby Grenfell where the church was started either in part or whole by a lady who’d come to preach years ago. And to the north is the church in Lemberg which was started by a lady and now many have gone from there for missions. He said he wanted to encourage all the ladies that you can experience the blessing of God in your life and know that God’s hand can be upon you to change things...to shape things.

He said you’ve heard it said that ‘The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world’. Well, you have a great part to play. You are of great importance in God ‘s kingdom. When times are tough, you think of all sorts of different things. You stay up late nights with sick children and then when they get older, you stay up late nights waiting and praying for them to get home safe. Pastor Lorne said he believes God sees your heart and sees your faith. He will honor it and bless you and He will keep His hand upon you.

He believes that day will come when we stand before the Lord and each one of you will be counted and listed in that list of heroes of faith...those who have stood for the Lord...those who have accomplished what God has called you to do. Be encouraged...it’s a great task. You have a great responsibility but he believes that in the end, you will have a great blessing.

Pastor Lorne thinks if you were to talk to a lot of the people who have become famous or have great ministries, many of them...probably most of them...will point back to what their mothers have done for them. Their mothers’ testimony, their prayers and their wisdom.

Keep that in your mind and heart and when you have a tough time, think of all the ladies who have gone on before you who stood for God...stood for truth...who have led their families...those who have been an encouragement to their husbands and who without their help we don’t know what would have happened.

Pastor Lorne said the last lady he wanted to mention was the Mary, the mother of Jesus. He said after the angel told Mary she would bear God’s Son, Mary replied in Luke 1:38 ‘I am the Lord's servant...May it be to me as you have said...’ Pastor Lorne said he thinks there are so many women who have that attitude and say Lord, your will is my will...

He asked members to think of the impact their own mothers have had on their lives. The service was concluded with a special blessing on the mothers to honour them and let them know that they are special.

If you would like to speak to Pastor Lorne about this, please email him.

Comments are appreciated. If you’re not sure how, please click on ‘comments’ under 'Labels' in the right column.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Intercessory Prayer & God’s Promise

Scriptures: 2 Peter 3:8-9, 1 Tim 2:1-4, Matt 21:21-22, John 14:13,14, John 15:7, Romans 10:13

Last Sunday morning, Pastor Lorne said he wanted to talk about intercessory prayer for our friends and loved ones.

He drew our attention to 2 Peter 3:8-9 which says, ‘...With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise...He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.’ Pastor Lorne says the scripture is talking about Jesus’ promise to come back, in His own time.

We then turned to 1 Tim 2:1-4 which says, ‘I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone...and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.’ Pastor Lorne said with this scripture, he’s trying to emphasize that it’s Gods will for everyone and God wants every person to gain knowledge of the truth and not perish (previous paragraph).

God doesn’t have certain people picked out that He wants to come to Him. He’s made it plain and clear that He wants everyone to know of the truth. He wants every member of your family to have a relationship with Him: your kids, your friends, your uncles and aunts, your neighbours, your work mates - everyone. No one is to be left out. If your best friend or a small child doesn’t know, you have to tell them. Everyone you deal with or have a relationship with.

God wants men everywhere to follow Him. He wants everyone to be a follower of Him. He doesn’t want anyone to perish, separate from God or go into hell.

The Bible is plain...everyone is to have a personal relationship with Him.

Pastor Lorne said he realizes that every person must make that personal commitment themselves, sometime in their life. In Christian homes, it happens sometimes when you’re very young and you don’t know the exact time you became a Christian because you’ve always believed. Others can tell you the exact time and place that it happened. But besides all that, we need to know that when we pray and ask God for salvation for someone, we can pray in confidence that we are praying totally according to the will of God.

When you pray for your adult child that he or she will return to God, or when you pray for your neighbour that they find their way to God, Pastor Lorne believes you are praying in God’s will because the scripture plainly says he wants everyone everywhere to come to the saving knowledge.

Matt 21:21-22 says, ‘Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt...If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."’

Pastor Lorne said everyone must make their own personal commitment. But as we seek out people in our lives, the Holy Spirit will work and bring people into our lives. People who will want to commit and serve God. ‘If you believe, you will receive...’

Pastor Lorne asked us to look at John 14:13, 14 which says, ‘And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.’

And in John 15:7 ‘If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.’

Pastor Lorne said these promises are pretty clear. When we pray, if someone’s sick we pray for God to heal them. Or we pray for financial needs. We pray, seek God, commit ourselves to live in faith by Him and our needs are met. We believe Him and God answers our prayers and meets our needs.

He said he believes we need to take that same mindset into our life when we pray for people that are special in our lives whether they are family members, friends, neighbours, or people that we work with. We have to believe that God will do something in their life.

Pastor Lorne said the 1st scripture we read said that ‘With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day’. Pastor Lorne wants us to keep having faith and keep trusting in God. Don’t be one of those people who say they’ve prayed and after 2 days nothing happened so they think God won’t answer their pray. Pastor Lorne said he himself is impatient and sometimes when he’s waiting for a phone call, he wants to call back and find out what’s the hold up, but he believes that if we put our trust in faith and ask God, He will do what we ask in His own time.

Pastor Lorne said he wanted to encourage us...if you’ve been praying and pouring out your heart for someone, and nothing seems to be happening, he knows that God will hear your prayer and honour His promise and bring it to pass.

Pastor Lorne said there’s one more scripture he wanted us to see. We turned to Romans 10:13 which says, ‘...Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ So, salvation is for everyone.

And today, (last Sunday) Pastor Lorne wanted to pray specifically for certain people. He said we can pray generally, and that’s great, but today he wanted us to ask for intercessory prayer for specific people.

So, the congregation gathered in small groups around the sanctuary and prayed for family and friends who needed salvation.

Communion followed.

If you would like to speak to Pastor Lorne about this, please email him.

Comments are appreciated. If you’re not sure how, please click on ‘comments’ under 'Labels' in the right column.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Compassion of Christ

Scriptures: Matt 23:27, Matt 21:12, Heb 4:14-16, Matt 9:36,
Matt 14:13-14, Matt 15:32, Matt 20:29-34, Mark 1:40-41,
Luke 7:11-15, John 11:35

Pastor Lorne said he wanted to wrap up his Life of Christ series by talking about the compassion of Christ.

We find that compassion was the main guiding force of Jesus. Pastor Lorne said that people today have all sorts of different reasons for doing things. Some people are motivated because they need money, feel the need to make money, or want a bigger bank account. Other people are driven not because they want compassion or like it but because it’s the right thing to do. Others are motivated by a satisfaction in a job well done. These are all okay.

Still others are motivated by a challenge or a competition, especially in sports. Sometimes coaches emphasize the winning and not the fun of the sport. As long as they are in a race or competition, they feel motivated. There are many others reasons that make people do things, too.

Pastor Lorne said reading the scripture, he found that what caused Jesus to do what He did was because he had compassion for people. It’s why He did the things He did:
- He was harsh with religious leaders whom He referred to as dead bones (Matt 23:27)
- He chased people out of the temple who weren’t there to worship (Matt 21:12)

But mostly we read about Jesus and His interaction with people because of His compassion with them:

Heb 4:14-16 calls Jesus our High Priest – ‘Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God...For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are...’ This scripture lays out what Christ was like. He’s not like a high priest who’s unable to give us sympathy (v15). He’s a high priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses, problems, etc. Jesus understands what we feel...what we’re going through...what real life is all about because He went through it.

Pastor Lorne pointed out our farming area. We understand when someone talks about being hailed out, frozen crop, diseased cattle, all these things. We can sympathize with them because we know what it was like. We had a frozen crop. We were hailed out, etc. So when someone talks, we can relate and we feel for them. Pastor Lorne says he knows what they went through. He says the same for raising a family, the stages of growth – if you have a family, you know and can talk to someone else about it.

Pastor Lorne said we should know Matthew by now. He said he doesn’t remember ever being in the Book of Matthew as much as he has while doing this series.

In Matt 9:36 says when Jesus ‘saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.’

When Jesus heard that John the Baptist had been executed, He wanted to be alone. Matt 14:13,14 says ‘When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.’ So even in His own time of grief and sorrow, He had compassion and healed them.

Pastor Lorne said this is the Lord we serve. The Master we serve.

Matt 15:32 says ‘Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, "I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way."' A miracle follows that Pastor Lorne hadn’t covered in any of his other messages – that of the 7 loaves and a few small fish. (The boy with the 5 loaves and 2 fish have been in another blog post.)

Pastor Lorne said he looked up the dictionary definition of compassion: Feeling what other people feel and compelled to do something about it.

So, compassion is more than just feeling it. Compassion is more than love. You have to have love for people before you can have compassion for them. Not only do we feel it, but it drives or compels us to do something about it. Pastor Lorne thought that was pretty good. He says he’s blessed when he sees the people of this church help others. When there’s a need in someone’s life and the church people step forward to lend a helping hand.

Compassion. You feel compelled to help and you do it.

Pastor Lorne said what we have here in Matt 20:29-34 is a couple of blind guys who started to yell out as Jesus was walking by. They were yelling for the Lord to have mercy, but the crowd told them to be quiet. Jesus ignored the crowd and asked the men what they wanted. When they said they wanted to see, ‘Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.’

Mark 1:40-41 has Jesus traveling in Galilee: ‘A man with leprosy came to Him and begged Him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean." Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," He said. "Be clean!" Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.’ Pastor Lorne asked if you can imagine the results of leprosy...stumps of hands and feet, damaged face and skin. When Jesus saw that leper, He was filled with compassion and it drove him to reach the man so that his leprosy would be healed. He made a difference in that man’s life.

Jesus knows what we’re going through and His compassion causes Him to do something about it.

Pastor Lorne referred us to Luke 7:11-15. (also in a previous blog). Jesus saw a funeral procession. Back then, there were no cars so the body, a man, was being carried down the street. The man’s mother was a widow and v 13 says, ‘When the Lord saw her, His heart went out to her and He said, "Don't cry."' Then Jesus gave him – alive – back to his mother.
When you have to face the death of a loved one, Jesus knows how you feel and His heart goes out to you. His heart went out to the widow and caused her son to rise from the dead. That would be something great to happen today. It would make the national news!

John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the Bible: ‘Jesus wept.’ It’s in the story of Lazarus, a good friend of Jesus. When Lazarus died, Jesus saw the sorrow in the hearts of His friends’ sisters and Jesus felt compassion for them. And He wept. But He also did something about it...He called out to Lazarus and Lazarus came back to life.

Pastor Lorne said it would be interesting to find out how long these people who ‘came back’ or were healed...what their lives were like...how long did they live afterward...what did their families say when they walked in the door? Pastor Lorne said we can ask them when we get to heaven.

Pastor Lorne wanted to leave this with you us as a help. For comfort and encouragement. When you come to Jesus , He’s not going to say ‘You’ve got yourself into trouble’ or ‘It serves you right’, etc. He is moved by compassion because He knows what you feel. What you’re going through. When we go to Jesus, He says ‘I know’ I went through it. Here’s what He’ll do...He’ll reach out a hand, touch you, and take care of it.

Pastor Lorne said He wants you to know that even though Jesus was a man, when you come to Him, remember that He is a high priest who is touched by your infirmity or your needs and He can work in your life and in any situation you have.

Pastor Lorne said he didn’t know what your needs are, but lift your need up to Jesus and know that He has compassion for you and He has the power to do something about it.

Pastor Lorne said next week he was going to talk about families and the belief in the salvation of your friends and family.

If you would like to speak to Pastor Lorne about this, please email him.

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