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

Monday, October 13, 2008

Enter His Gates With Thanksgiving

Scriptures: Psalm 100, Phil 4:4-7

A new banner was waiting for us at church today. Thank you Kathy for the time and effort you put forth in the beautiful banners that grace the church.

Thank you Noelle for taking the photos of our Thanksgiving decor.

Here is Pastor Lorne’s Thanksgiving message:

Psalm 100 is where I’d like to talk to you for a little bit this morning. The more I read it, the more I grasped the excitement. The writer was really excited about this whole situation he found himself in.

I just looked out the window and I’m not really excited about what’s happening out there, (snowing) but we have lived here long enough to know it does go away sometime. Anyway, this bypasses all the external stuff and gets into something real exciting.

Here’s what the writer of this Psalm says:
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Worship the LORD with gladness;

come before him with joyful songs.

So he sounds real happy, doesn’t he? It sounds like he has something bubbling inside him. And we were singing songs of His goodness and love this morning. And here’s the reason why we can give thanks. Why we can have a thankful heart:
3a Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
This is quite a statement if you stop and think about it – to know that He is God and God is elevators above anyone else. God created us and we are His. We’re His handiwork if you want to say it that way.
3b we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

That signifies to me that we belong to Him. And because we belong to Him, we are looked after by Him. Now, I never asked Blair if I could use him as an example and I hope he won’t be too offended by it but I know that Blair’s cows are probably glad they’re owned by him and not somebody else. (laughter) Because they are his and they get looked after. They are in his pasture. They don’t run short of grass. They don’t run short of feed in the winter. He really looks after them.

And you belong to God and God will look after you. He will care for you. And that is a reason that we can just shout for joy. We can give thanks because we are the sheep of His pasture and we know that pasture is always going to be good. And we know we’re going to be looked after because we belong to Him.

This is kind of a different way this Psalm was written, but because of all that:
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;

So when we come into the church and worship the Lord and you don’t just have to do that in church – you can worship in your vehicle or at home or outside when you see the beauty that God has created all around us. When we went to Swan River a couple weeks ago, coming home through that north country, and all the coloured leaves and everything, you see the beauty of God’s handiwork.

‘Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.’

And so if we come to church with dirty coveralls and boots, we take them off like you do in someone’s house when you don’t want to disturb the housekeeper. You take them off and leave them on the outside step or something. I visit different people and they get into something and so it stays there. We can come into the house of God and leave it out on the step...we have a big cement pad out there and lots of room for it...leave it out there and you can come into His house and give thanks to Him and praise His name.

Why? Because:
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Last night Dianne and I went to a 65th birthday of one of my cousins. I have a lot of cousins. I have 48 or 49 cousins just on my dad’s side and not nearly as many on my mother’s side. But anyway, after the stories I wondered how he even made 65 but at one point he said how God stepped in and took over his life. Now, I don’t know if any of you...well, I’m sure most guys have done this...when you come to a nice hill especially with a standard vehicle, you slip it out of gear just to see how...anybody do this?...(chuckles)...just to see how it will go. Well, he had his tractor and he had been picking stones. This tractor is about 45 hp maybe....and if any of you have gone into the valley (Qu’Appelle) – north of Sintaluta – most of the valley curves but this is a long straight hill. And he came along with the tractor and he looked at that hill...and you know where this story’s going...and he said, ‘this will be a perfect place to see how much speed I can get on the tractor’. So, he pulled it out of gear and he said he couldn’t believe how fast it gained speed. He said he was going so fast that he kinda lost control and then he had that heavy stone picker on the back and he tried to keep that tractor straight and he said every time he tried to move the steering that stone picker would move. He said he was going maybe 50 or 60 mile an hour it was hard to say how fast but the next thing he knew he was going sideways down the road and he didn’t have time for a long pastoral prayer so he said, “Lord, help me!” (laughter) And he said he went into the ditch and the stone picker dug into the dirt and he said he shot back onto the road. And when he got back onto the road, he said he was going about 5 miles an hour. (Ooohs and laughter)

I mean, something that could have been a total disaster, just a little prayer to the Lord, just Lord, help me!’ and everything turned out good. Yet, he could’ve lost his life easily with something like that. And it’s so amazing – we have so much to thank God for. It only took those words – ‘Lord, save me’ and God came through and everything just turned out perfectly. And besides that, he has a good story to tell. (laughter)

But do you know that it’s just a great thing to serve and live for God? To know that you can call unto Him and He’ll hear you? You don’t need to get away somewhere and bow down and crawl on your knees to Him unless the situation allows it. But you can cry out to Him and He’s right there because you are the sheep of His pasture. He cares what happens to you. And that is something that can cause your heart to well up in praise and worship to Him

And I know you can look around to see what vehicles your neighbors drive, the money they’re making, what kind of house they live in or what vacations they take, but it’s great to know we can have a thankful spirit in our hearts and our lives in spite of the things we don’t have. In spite of the problems we face every day.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;

his faithfulness continues through all generations.

I like that word (generations) because I have a granddaughter and the Scripture says His faithfulness will be there for her, too. God’s faithfulness and His watchfulness will look after your family and your children and your grandchildren. He is faithful to generations and that’s something you can’t buy with money. That’s something that only faith and trust in the Lord and a realization of this: that God will be faithful to you and your children and all the generations that follow...God will be faithful to them. That’s what His word says

I have one more scripture I’d like to share with you. I suppose what I’m trying to get across to you today is that we need to live in a spirit of thankfulness, not looking at what we haven’t got or what hasn’t happened yet...what we haven’t done...what we can’t do...but rather to live in a spirit of thankfulness to God for what He has given us and what He means to us, for we are the sheep of his pasture.

Phill 4:4-7: 4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

You can be thankful to God and know that His peace will come into your heart and your life. And it will guard it. God will guard your heart and your life. He will put a wall of protection around it. The peace of God will guard your heart. Don’t be anxious. Don’t worry about anything. If you need something, bring it before the Lord. With thanksgiving, bring your petitions...your needs...before Him. He wants you to do that. And His peace will guard your hearts and your lives.

I’ve come to the end of the message today, so even though it’s snowing outside and you think of all the work you didn’t get done – and I’m the same, there’s a fence I’m trying to build and I just can’t seem to get done – but we can still be thankful. We can still praise and worship the Lord because we are the sheep of His pasture. He’ll love us, He’ll care for us, and He’ll guard your heart and your mind and your soul and you’re spirit, so we can just praise Him and give Him thanks for that.

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


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Is it God's Fault?

Dianne, wife of Pastor Lorne, is guest blogging here today:

Have you ever looked up at the sky and asked, “God how could you let this happen?”

Sometimes, we are so bewildered at our circumstances that we just want to shake our head, wring our hands and walk away from the whole mess. We sigh, and we want to put on a smile, but the burdens of life can sometimes be overwhelming. That’s when we need to turn to the One who is above all circumstances, all troubles, and all burdens that we bear.

This summer one of my family members experienced a strange illness. Thinking that it was just a 24 hr flu, we weren’t too concerned at first, but as it dragged on to one week, then two, we realized that we were dealing with something more serious. Yes, we went to the doctor, but tests take a while to come back from the city, so in the mean time, the sickness got worse. It was then that we called the leaders of the church to pray. That night brought the first night of sound sleep in two weeks, and the next day was the beginning of healing and restoration to health.

Was it God’s fault?


We only can know that He allows us to be tempted no more than we can bear. And sometimes, He wants to show His glory to us in our greatest need.

How could God let this happen?

I only know that He is a loving Father, and He will give us grace for every day. Sometimes, the answer isn’t what I would like, but most likely it is what I need.

In Proverbs, it says that He sends the rain to the righteous and the unrighteous alike. He gives all of us good things, but because we live in an imperfect world we also experience the bad.

But God loves all of us alike, and He cares about us, and He will sustain us if we turn to Him.

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

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Worship at the ACFW Conference

Okay, I'm back and I'll update the church pages after I get to church this Sunday. If you have something to add prior to that, please email me.

So, where did I go?

To start with, I attended the American Christian Fiction Writer's conference in Minneapolis, MN. It was a fantastic conference. In attendance were about 600 people from the Christian publishing industry.

Each day started early with breakfast at 0730. That was followed by worship and devotions. I cannot explain how emotional I became standing in that room with all those other Christians, our voices raised in praise, knowing we all had the common goal of bringing Christ to a secular world.

The worship team was made up of volunteers from the industry - mostly authors. I don't know all them except for these: Cassie Campbell (acoustic guitar), author Rachel Hauck (keyboards), author Gail Sattler (bass guitar).

On Friday night, I attended the Harp and Bowl. The room wasn't crowded at all since many groups used this 'time-out' night to go out for their yearly dinner/visit. All I'd been told about the Harp and Bowl: - it was a worship and prayer session and - bring a box of kleenex and a shoulder to cry on.

Rachel and Cassie led the singing and then invited anyone who felt the urge to go forward and pray with a 2 min time limit. So, one by one, people went up to the microphone and offered up prayers while the worship team played in the background. This went on for an hour. I ran out of kleenex but found more than enough shoulders. I was thoroughly humbled and blessed by the experience.

Classes went until 10 pm each night except Sat when the Banquet was held and awards were given out for the best Christian fiction books on the market.

The conference ended Sunday at noon after a final worship and devotion session as well as a closing message from author Angela Hunt, the key-note speaker.

I then headed up to Thunder Bay, Ontario, to spend a week with my mom and finally arrived back home at 8 AM Tues, Sep 30th.

One thing that stuck to me was a song we sang at all the worship and devotion sessions at the conference. I'd never heard it before and yet it was familiar because of the words. It stayed with me long after the singing was over. It was the Revelation Song.

Then on Sunday while in Thunder Bay, Mom took me to a church that both started and ended the service with the Revelation Song. The words and music reasonated through my mind during the afternoon. I've found YouTube videos of a couple people singing this song as well as the lyrics and chords and I'm presenting them to Jessica. Of course, she might decide not to bring this song before the church during our praise and worship, but I'll be praying that she does. And then again, many of you are probably familiar with it so that'll be just great.

You can go to my personal blog if you want to read more about the conference, my trip or see the photos.