Submitting to God’s Plan for Us – by Dirk Vrielink

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Exemple

It is said that the only constant in life is that change will happen.  This often brings us a sense of fear and anxiety because we find that we cannot control what is happening around us.  This anxiety often expresses itself as anger or frustration with life.

The good news is that God has a plan for us both as individuals and as a congregation.  As we give up control over our path to God and allow Him to guide us to where He wants us to be, we can let go and relax and look forward to all the God has in store for us.  Our prayer can truly become “Your will be done.”

We soon realize that we are right where we need to be at this time and we can look towards taking the next best step forward by praying for His will to be made clear to us.  The change becomes something to look forward to and should not be feared because God is preparing us for this.  Isaiah writes in chapter 43 verse 19 “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”  This is exciting and invigorating.  It is His promise to us and His promise is sure.

In the end we can only go forward in the promise that “…. we know all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

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Exemple

If someone told me that I could go anywhere in the world, no holds barred, I would pack lightly, take myself to the airport, randomly choose a destination depending on my mood and hop on the first plane.  Planning is not essential for me.  I am all about the adventure of the journey.

Psalm 121 is a song that the Jewish pilgrims would sing on their journey.  This psalm is not only for going from one place to another, it also gives us perspective on our journey through life.  It’s my song.  And let’s face it, music always makes the journey go better.

I have traversed a landscape full of magnificent mountain tops and deep valleys.  There were times of great joy and times of great sorrow.  There were times of hopelessness, that scary feeling of being stuck, vulnerable and weak.  God has promised, however, that he will not let my foot slip. (v. 3)

I admit that when I read this, I am immediately suspicious of false hope.  I want to have confidence in the scriptures, but it’s a dirty road that I travel.  How many times have my feet slipped either inadvertently or on purpose?  How do I reconcile this?  What happens when God’s promise doesn’t seem to match up with real life?

My feet move in progress, but I stand firm in the foundation of God’s infinite power and goodness.

I stand in faith (2 Corinthians 1:24)

I stand in grace (Romans5:2)

I stand in the gospel (1 Corinthians 15: 1)

I stand in courage and strength (1 Corinthians 16:13)

I stand in the Lord (Philippians 1:27)

Wherever my feet fall, my ultimate goal is to stand within the complete and perfect will of God. (Colossians 4:12)

“The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” (v 8) God is just as present in the destination as in the journey.  No matter where we are on life’s path, God’s heart does not change.  The Israelites didn’t live to see their final destination across the Jordan.  Joshua lead them over a whole generation later. (Joshua 3). What does this tell me?  Just because it sounds true in our life, it may not come true in my life.  I am a part of a much bigger story. Reality is for all time. I stand, trusting the path of my feet to be woven into His story.   My destination is fixed, I need only keep my eye on the horizon and sing.

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By Rita Burkard

Every year after the Christmas rush, when we have been busy with church services, buying Christmas gifts, visiting people, parties to go to or have, making oilbollen, comes January.  The days are still short, nights are long and the weather is still getting worse before it gets better…it’s January and I get the January blues.  Do you feel the same way?  What do you do other than wait it out?

I thought I would research what experts would advise and found this tidbit on the internet (dialymail.co.uk).  It suggested to: 1) Exercise – that is a given – 10,000 steps a day or at least 30 mins of walking or exercising.  Besides you need to work off the turkey and trimmings!, 2) Plan a holiday – for us that is Palm Springs in February, but if you can’t afford to go anywhere, go for a road trip to the mountains, 3) Balance out your life – The idea is to draw a wheel with eight spokes. Each spoke should represent eight areas of your life. These include:

  1. Your health
  2. Your money
  3. Your social life (including fun and recreation)
  4. Your partner/relationship
  5. Your work/career
  6. Your friends/family
  7. Your physical environment such as your home
  8. Your personal growth/spirituality. This could include your religion, interests, hobbies, for example.

Now, for each area of your life represented by a spoke, give it a score out of 10. Where you score below five, take that area and try to focus on it.

When I look at these areas, the one that I need to focus on is number 8 because of our situation with calling a new pastor to grow our church.  I don’t know what this will bring and this uncertainty is going to take some faith on my part to see what the Lord is going to do.  We are at an impasse, a crossroads, and the only way is forward because doing nothing would be going backwards.  Choosing to go with the Nesting model means we still want to have a Reformed Church in Calgary that is spreading the gospel in the community.  Isn’t this what we want?  Isn’t this what we are supposed to do as Christians?  Then why is it so hard.  We need to support this vision and direction and do what we can to make it happen.  This isn’t a job for one person.  We are Jesus’ hands and feet and we need to step it up and support this for it to become successful.  Praying is a good start but it isn’t the only action we need to take….and it isn’t only for the young at heart, it is for the whole church community to figure out what their role is.

This will be a challenging yet interesting year in our church.  Be encouraged that we all want others to share in the joy we have in Christ.

13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats[b]; do not be frightened.”[c] 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil  1 Peter 3: 13-17.

 

 

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God has been doing some amazing things in our community through our church this past year! Take a moment and listen to the video above that highlights the various community engagements we are so privileged to have!

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