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.

January 19, 2019

Discovering Jesus Identity is an Epiphany Moment for All Christians (Epiphany 2)

 The identity of Jesus is the most important issue for Christians. Everyone agrees Jesus was a real historical person. What they do not agree on is whether or not He was the divine son of God, the promised Messiah. Many people who think they are Christians, have not had this Epiphany moment - and have not discovered their spiritual identity.

1. Isaiah 62.1-11 is a prophecy of Israel’s restoration

December 24, 2018

We Need Jesus Presence Not Presents at Christmas

Tonight we can just relax, chill out and rest from the stress of shopping for presents. We can all rest in the presence of Jesus. Christmas is the hinge of human history because God intervened by coming to us in the form of His son Jesus born of the woman Mary. The Good News is that Jesus life, sacrificial death and resurrection brought us out of error into truth, out of sin into a right relationship with God and out of death into eternal spiritual life. God gave a dramatic sign of His love for us, in trusting His son’s life to a poor unwed mother living in an occupied country.
  1. Jesus presence brought people out of error into truth

December 15, 2018

John Warns Us To Produce the Fruit of Repentance (Advent 3)

John the Baptist is an exciting figure. He is the last of the Prophets. The Prophets have a long history - two thousand years of warning the Hebrew People that God would come to them again and that they must be ready. There would be a time of divine judgement and justice. The poor and the oppressed would be able to celebrate. John the Baptist calls the religious teachers and clergy of his time “snakes”.  He calls on them to show the fruit of repentance if they really want to be saved from the coming judgement. As we prepare for the coming of Jesus at Christmas it is a good time to examine our lives and be sure we have produced the ‘fruit of repentance? 

1. We are called to repent our failure to love God more
Of course we think we love God. We know that is what we are supposed to be doing. The problem is, like the Pharisees, we often make up our own version of what loving God means:

December 6, 2018

Developing a Spiritual Life: Rev. Gishler’s Talk Notes

(Notes from a book talk on “Going Spiritual: Discovering, Developing and Healing a Spiritual Life” 
at Better Books and Bibles, Calgary on Nov. 24, 2018)

  1. What is Spiritual Life?
Watchman Nee explains the current confusion between “spiritual Life and soul life”. Many people are really living soulish lives - out of their soul (mind, will, emotions). They do not understand the functional differences between mind, body and soul.:
  • Spend considerable time developing a diagram that would illustrate these relationships
  • Found answer in Genesis 2.7 where God made man out of the earth and breathed on him to give him life - a living soul illustrates this overlap (purple)
  • Function of body is biological life, the physical senses of touch, smell hearing
  • Body makes demands on soul (mind and will) for food, heat, rest, security, sex and pleasure
  • Function of our personal spirit is intuitive communication - God consciousness, love relationships, joy, conscience
  • Personal spirit is where Holy Spirit lives as long as it is not polluted by sin - un-forgiveness, anger, lust, jealousy etc.
  • Personal spirit grows and develops as we grow and develop our love relationship with Jesus and other people - and shrinks and dies if we do not (like solitary confinement)
  • Function of the soul is self-consciousness - determining our identity, priorities, survival - our mind and will
  • Soul (mind and will) arbitrates between the demands of our worldly body and the spiritual demands of our spirit
  • Soul is carried to heaven when the body dies
  • Spiritual life is the balance we maintain between these competing demands - the spiritual battle

2. How do we develop a spiritual life?