November 14, 2019

We Grow Spiritually As We Overcome Lies, Temptations and Persecution (Proper 33)

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 In the Gospel Reading (Luke 21.5-19) Jesus is asked about the End Times. He gives a warning about false teachers and persecution. The Good News is that the Holy Spirit will guide and strengthen believers so they can overcome both false teachers and persecution. This helps us grow spiritually.

1. Our lives on Earth are a time of spiritual testing and growth

November 12, 2019

Don Cherry God Moment - Canada's Archie Bunker

A normally very quiet and spiritual woman at our prayer group suddenly blurted our "He's an A..hole" We all laughed and nodded in agreement. Then the Holy Spirit managed to get a word in. Our leader said "I think we should pray for Don Cherry." There was a bit of confusion as we all pried our minds off judgmental ism and onto spiritual things. The result was the realization that judgment and negative thinking is always spiritually destructive to everyone. We also realized that all of us are racist to a lesser or greater degree. We all need to repent, ask Jesus to bear our sin and give us forgiveness to free us from this bondage. On deeper reflection I saw the good news that always comes out of the bad news. Don Cherry is like Archie Bunker who helped a whole generation see how ridiculous, foolish and hilarious racism and bigotry looks to others. He used the power of love and humour to overcome the hidden fear and insecurity that drives racism. I don't know Don Cherry, but Jesus does and whether he did it accidentally or deliberately, Jesus still loves him and will thank him for showing us how unforgiving we are and how foolish and ridiculous bigotry and racism is in Canada. We love you, we thank you and we pray for you Don.

October 17, 2019

We Are Called to Persist in Our Historic Faith (Proper 29C)



The Readings call us to repent our collective failure as a church to proclaim the historic Gospel and to persist like the widow and Timothy in teaching the Faith that was handed down to us. We need to recognize our place as a Church that has been marginalized and in effect exiled as irrelevant to the culture. Like the Hebrews in exile we need to call on our leadership to repent and be more persistent in proclaiming and sharing our historical Faith.

1. The widow refused to give up in her quest for justice

September 27, 2019

Lords' Prayer Bible Study


General Outline of Sessions:

·      Opening Prayer
  - Introduction

·      Readings and questions for discussion
·      Closing Prayer and Prayer requests (daily bread)
·      Time for personal conversation and private prayer

Opening Prayer

(Mt. 6.9-13 NIV 2013)
Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name,
Your Kingdom come, your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread,
And for give us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one

 

         1. Teach Us To Pray

Introduction
Jesus is teaching His disciples how to pray. They were all devout Jews and the Jews were a praying people. Everyone believed in God and believed God heard each individual prayer.

September 20, 2019

For What I Received I Passed On To You (Mens Cursillo verse Oct. 2019 1 Cor. 15.3)


For What I Received I Passed On To You (1 Cor. 15.3)

(Men’s Cursillo Verse Oct. 2019)

Our mission on this Cursillo is to pass on to others what we have received. This includes both head knowledge and personal experience. The most important take-away from Cursillo is a life-changing experience of Christian community and witness. The experience itself verifies the teaching. This is the pattern of the Bible:
·      Jesus performed a miraculous healing – then he gave a teaching
·      We are all sceptics – need to see it or experience it ourselves
·      Weekend is a series of experiences and teachings
·      Experiences and teachings go deeper and deeper as the weekend progresses

1. What was it Paul experienced?

September 14, 2019

Outreach Tests Our Love (Proper 24c)

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We are like the lost sheep that has been found. Someone has reached out to us at various times in our lives to re-connect us to the church and inclusion in God’s Kingdom on Earth. We have found meaning, purpose and a new spiritual life of joy in Jesus. The Readings challenge us to get up, go out, find and bring others home to Jesus. They teach us how to do this by:
·      Being Discerning but not judgemental
·      Being Loving, patient and forgiving
·      Being Courageous in outreach
·      Remembering apathy is a failure to love our neighbour

1. Being Discerning but not Judgemental
Jesus is giving a stinging rebuke to the Pharisees and teachers of the Law in the parable of the lost Sheep:

August 24, 2019

Jesus Can Free Us From Bondage (Proper 21C)


The Luke reading (13.10-17) reminds us that Jesus mission to proclaim the good news, open the eyes of the blind and free the prisoners includes freeing those “crippled by a spirit” (v 11). Sadly many in our time do not believe in spiritual warfare and would interpret this as a psychological problem or victory over superstition. One has to be blind spiritually, another form of bondage, to miss the clear meaning of “whom Satan has kept bound for 18 years” (v 16). Other forms of bondage mentioned in the readings are:
  • Fear that almost prevented Jeremiah (1.6) from accepting his call to be a prophet 
  • Legalism that criticized Jesus for healing on the Sabath
  • Religious spirit that prevented the Pharisees and teachers from seeing the love of God