June 17, 2019

Holy Spirit - An IntroductionTo Pentecost (Church Calendar)

The Trinity of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is one of the great mysteries – but then do we really think we can understand God? The Trinity is the best explanation available as it describes  three ways of thinking of God as a person – God the father / creator, Jesus the redeemer / human sign of God’s love and Holy Spirit as life-giver / sanctifier. The Bible and the church year in liturgical churches generally begins with God as father and the Holy Spirit as witness and helper in the Old Testament and moves to the birth and teaching / healing work of Jesus in the New Testament.  Jesus promises to sent the Holy Spirit after His sacrificial death and resurrection have created a new way for people to be forgiven and come into a right relationship with God. The church season of Pentecost which begins 40 days after the Ascension celebrates the dramatic outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all Christian believers. This season is the longest, and possibly most important time in the church year as it continues from June to the end of the church year in October. The Holy Spirit plays a central part in the growth and expansion of the church in Acts and the letters of Paul as teacher, life - giver / sanctifier, guide in decision making and helper / healer. We will examine what the Bible says about:
·      Who is the Holy Spirit?
·      What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
·      How can I experience the Holy Spirit?

May 18, 2019

Love One Another Is a Spiritual Directive (Easter 5)

Lucille and I have been re-reading Acts in our morning prayers and noticing that the Holy Spirit is constantly guiding the early church leaders. The Readings teach us that church communities glorify God when they are united and energized by the spiritual gifts of love, joy and peace. As we will see these communities are by definition exclusive, Biblically based, Christ-centred and Holy Spirit led.

1. “When he (Judas) was gone” (John 13.31)
So easily we slip over apparently unimportant words. Big mistake. Every word in the Bible is there for a reason.

April 17, 2019

Easter - The Good News of Reconciliation With God


There are three huge questions:
  • Can we really believe the Good News of Reconciliation?
  • What does the Good News of Reconciliation mean?
  • How do we apply the Good News in this Church?
 1. Can we really believe the Good News of Easter?
The Good News of Easter is that God raised Jesus from physical death to authenticate all Jesus teachings and to create a new way for individuals to be forgiven and reconciled to God. Forgiveness removes the sin guilt that separates us from God, creates a holy place in us for the Holy Spirit and enables our soul to live on with God after our body dies. Many people have trouble with the miraculous and tend to dismiss the Resurrection – and its’ implications for salvation as myth. How do we know this is not a myth?

April 6, 2019

10 Questions For Lent: Using the 10 Commandments For Self-examination


(Workshop at Better Books & Bibles 636-16 Ave. NW, April 6, 2019)

Introduction
We all hunger for forgiveness and a right relationship with God and our neighbour that gives meaning and purpose to our lives. The good news of Christianity is that Jesus sacrificial death on the Cross created a new way to forgiveness and freedom from the guilt and shame that burdens our lives and separates us from right relationship with God and others. Anglican worship includes a general confession which we can use to ask for forgiveness - but sometimes it is hard to quickly identify our sins.

I discovered my own approach at a retreat.  I was alone in my room with three hours assigned to conduct a self-examination before my personal confession with a priest.. I prayed that wonderful prayer - HELP and received a word of knowledge that I should use the 10 Commandments as a guide. I developed 10 questions that would help me discover not if but in what specific ways I had broken each Commandment. I committed to three hours of prayer asking the Holy Spirit for guidance as I reviewed my life and filled at least one page with a written answer to each question

March 23, 2019

Lent Is a Time o Dig Around the Roots (Lent 3)


The Readings begin with Isaiah’s prophecy (55.1-9) calling people to repent, turn from their evil ways and seek the Lord. God is reaching out to them with the offer of forgiveness and free spiritual food that will satisfy their deepest needs. We all hunger for forgiveness and a right relationship with God and our neighbour that gives meaning and purpose to our lives. The 10 Commandments define our special covenant relationship with God:
  • Covenant is like a marriage relationship
  • Breaking any one condition ends the relationship
  • God promises us love, spiritual protection, and eternal spiritual life - and the gifts of the Holy Spirit (after Jesus)
  • We promise love and loyalty to God and our neighbour
  • We begin our self-examination by spending at least a half hour asking 10 questions that requires deep thought to find an example, however minor of our in-effect worshiping other gods - i.e. hockey, money, power, sex, popularity (self)

February 16, 2019

Going Spiritual Or Going Political? (Epiphany 6 Year C)


Our sixth Epiphany moment is discovering that Jesus was promising life after death to those who trust in him. This is a new idea - especially for Christians who think they can earn their way into heaven by good behaviour, going to the right church or knowing the right doctrine. Isaiah describes those who trust in man as “cursed” as opposed to those who trust in God as “Blessed” (17.7). The Luke reading is Jesus’ deeper teaching on how things are different in the spiritual Kingdom of God where the poor are blessed and the rich may be condemned and excluded. The question is the priorities of our heart or soul.

1.  Jeremiah says “the heart is deceitful above all things” (17.9). 
Many people deceive themselves into thinking that because they live a good life that is enough. 

February 4, 2019

Going Spiritual Available as Ebook on Amazon


As many people have shared how Going Spiritual has  changed their lives I have been working on an ebook format for six months. The ebook has 15 colour photos and can be read on any laptop, tablet,  ipad or phone with a Kindle or other ebook reader (available free on the internet). Sample content and a professional review is available on the blog "Going Spiritual" page and Amazon

I am now working on an ibooks version for Apple fans which should be available as soon as the US Government re-opens and I can setup on ibooks. The ebook is $9.99 US on Amazon or from me. Signed paper copies are also available from me for $ 20.00 which includes shipping. This is a non-profit ministry so copies are available to pastors and Bible Study groups based on ability to pay.