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Choices by Betty Gabel

In life, we are presented with choices that we must make each day. Should I buy a Mac or a PC? Or should I buy a Hyundai or a Jeep? These are what I like to refer to as First World Problems. However, sometimes we may be presented with a choice as to what is right and what is wrong. Sometimes these choices may also affect the lives of other people.

I have recently begun reading a book entitled “The Lion and the Lamb” by Charles Causey. This book follows the lives of two individuals during the Second World War. The first person is a certain Albert Speer, a German architect who becomes Adolf Hitler’s Minister of Armaments and the second person is one most of you have heard of: Corrie ten Boom. Corrie, of course was a leader in the Dutch Resistance during the war, hiding hundreds of Jews in a secret room in her house in Harlem.

Their stories run parallel to one another and in reading them you see the choices that each of them made. Mr. Speer chose to impress Adolf Hitler and in doing so destroyed the lives of millions of people. Corrie, on the other hand, chose the way of faith and showed love and compassion to her fellow man regardless of their race or religion. In doing so she likely saved hundreds of lives. Corrie’s faith in Jesus Christ gave her the courage to choose the right path. Through her faith in Christ, she was able to survive the atrocities of what was done to her. Speer only chose to take care of himself.

 

Paul tells the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

“Be on your guard; stand firm in faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” NIV

 

The above verse makes me think of Corrie. She did stand firm in her faith. I don’t even think she knew she was being brave. All she knew was that she had to help God’s people and this she did in love.

 

Proverbs 3: 5-6 teaches:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” NIV

 

As we go through our lives, it is important that we look to the Lord to understand what is right. Man will lead us astray, but the Lord will help us to see what is right.

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It’s fall again and every time we think about what the harvest will be like, farmers look at the fields and hope for a bountiful harvest at the end of a long summer and thank God for blessing them.

All of us need to stop and thank God for the way God has blessed us. We may not have received everything we were hoping or, but we need to be thankful.

David said in Psalm 9:1-2

“I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders.
I will be glad and exult in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High”

God loves it when we talk to Him. He takes great joy in our thanks and when we show Him our love for Him. He cares so much about everything that happens in our lives. Tell Him whatever is on Your heart. He understands and wants to meet your needs.

“Your heavenly Father knows all your needs.
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, And all these things will be added to you”

-Matt. 6:32-33

I remember when I went out of my way to help someone. As is often the way with young people, he did not say thank you. When I mentioned it to him, he seemed surprised. He felt it was my job as his pastor to help him and a thank you was not necessary. I was really hurt.

I believe God feels the same way when we don’t show Him how grateful we are for all He does for us each day. He wants us to be thankful and not expect that it’s His “job” to bless us without thanking Him.

How great is the Father’s love for us. How awesome are His deeds. Let us rejoice and be thankful to Him and bless Hi Holy name.

Give thanks to God for He is good, and His mercy is everlasting. Great is His love and greatly to be praised.

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Growing up in small town Alberta, I had the privilege to live two doors from my paternal grandparents.  I would need only knock on the door and walk in. Often, I would “catch’ them reading Scripture or singing from the Psalter.  Their love for the Bible was contagious, and soon I was reading God’s Book as well. To this day, I am grateful for the example my grandparents set when it came to their love for the Bible.

Some 2700 years ago, Isaiah wrote,

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the   earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

The writers of Scripture speak of the power of God’s Word.  God spoke, and the world came into existence (Genesis 1). Jesus spoke, and the seas were calmed instantly (Luke 8:24).  This confidence extended to God’s written Word as well.  The author of Hebrews says that the Word is “living and active” and has the ability to discern the “thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).  Paul believed that Scripture has the ability to “complete” us because it was “God breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).

Sixteen years ago, my boyhood love for God’s Word had sadly diminished.  The example of my grandparents had been forgotten.  Then, in the midst of a crisis, I was challenged to systematically and thoughtfully read the Bible with the simple intent to know God.  At first, my pride got in the way.  After all, I was seminary trained and was constantly preparing sermons and Bible Studies for the church. But thankfully, I humbled myself.  I began to sit at the feet of Scripture to personally meet my God.  I was not greeted with an instantaneous spiritual experience but instead I began to notice “little” changes. Joy where there had been grumpiness. Peace where there had been anxiety. Patience where too often there had been an impatience.  It was like God’s Word was the rain that caused my hard ground to begin to sprout.

The Scriptures speak that God’s Word has such a power. If individuals, couples, families, and churches decide to wipe the dust off their Bibles and make a conscious effort to regularly and thoughtfully submit to God’s Word, the Spirit of God will bring life.  The question is will we choose to “stand in the rain”?

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Lent – Give Up What??

WHAT SHOULD I GIVE UP FOR LENT?  MEAT? SWEETS? CHOCOLATE?  ICE CREAM?  BEVERAGES ? MEAT?

Many of us try to be more disciplined for Lent and give up something that we really like. That’s great! Fasting has always been an important tradition of Lent. This year however, let us also consider other things that we can give up.

Give up complaining – Focus on gratitude

Philippians 2:14-15 – Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure…

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.

Give up bitterness – Turn to forgiveness

Ephesians 4:31 – Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind and compassionate to one another forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Give up worry – Trust in God

Matthew 6:25 – “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life… who by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

Matthew 6:33 – But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Give up discouragement – Be full of hope

Deuteronomy 31:8 – The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you: he will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Isaiah 40:31 – But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Give up hatred – Return good for evil

1 John 2:9 – Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.

Luke 6:27 – “But I tell you who hear me; Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.”

Give up anger – Be more patient

Matthew 5:22 – But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.

Proverbs 15:18 – A hot tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.

Give up gossiping- Control your tongue

Psalm 34:13 – Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.

Proverbs 21:23 – He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.

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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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