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
So easily we slip over apparently unimportant words. Big
mistake. Every word in the Bible is there for a reason.
Can we really believe the Good News of
What does the Good News of
How do we apply the Good News in this Church?
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?
(Workshop at Better Books &
Bibles 636-16 Ave. NW, April 6, 2019)
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.
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
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)
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.
As many people have shared how Going Spiritual haschanged 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.
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