Thursday, December 20, 2012

Talk Tuesday-MERRY CHRIST-mas! The Story of Love

The story of CHRISTmas is about the vastness of God's love for us. I marvel at His love, because it is a love that goes far beyond anything I am even capable of understanding. The Bible says: "He who does not love does not know GOD, for GOD is love," 1 John 4:8.

What do you think of when the word 'love' comes to mind-mercy, grace, forgiveness, reconciliation, peace, charity, kindness, unmerited favour and the putting of others before oneself? The story of Israel is really our story. How many times has GOD parted the Red Sea in our lives-yet when we face another valley experience, our faith often times seems to shrink while our grumbling and worry increase? The story that always causes my heart to burn, is found in Judges 10, when Israel once again turns to idolatry. Sin brings pain. When Israel is bearing the pain of their sin, in repentance they turn back to GOD. This is the response of the Omnipotent, Omniscient, Everlasting, Mighty God of Israel-Yahweh Sabaoth, "And His soul could no longer endure the misery of Israel," Judges 10:16.  LOVE conquers SIN.

GOD knows of our sinfulness, our struggle between good and evil, right and wrong. He knows that, '...we like sheep have gone astray' Isaiah 53:6. And perhaps, because He could bear our misery no longer, He sent us CHRIST-the Messiah!

"For GOD so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end." Isaiah 9:6-7

"Then the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is CHRIST the LORD.'" Luke 2:10-11

"But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:5-6

"But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." 1 John 1:7

So, as we celebrate the CHRISTmas season, let us give thanks in our heart, saying, "Glory to GOD in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" 

Thank you GOD for your unfailing LOVE! Thank you Father for sending the Son, our MESSIAH JESUS CHRIST!

We would also like to ask for your commitment to pray for the families devastated by the Newtown, Connecticut shootings that took the lives of 20 precious children and 6 teachers from Sandy Hook Elementary School. Please also pray for the family of the shooter, who took his life and the life of his mother.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Talk Tuesday-No Word From God Shall Ever Fail

As I began reading the Christmas story in the gospel of Luke, chapters 1 to 2, I was impressed with one sentence, written in the various translations either as, 'No word from God will ever fail' or 'For with God nothing will be impossible', found in Luke 1:37.

The gospel of Luke opens up with an account of Zecharias' encounter with an angel, heralding the birth of his own son, John the Baptist. Zecharias' wife, Elizabeth, had been barren. The angel Gabriel appeared to him and said:

"Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth," Luke 1:13-14.

The promise included the fact that John would be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother's womb (Luke 1:15), that he would turn the hearts of the people back to God (Luke 1:16), and that he would go before Jesus in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17), to prepare the way. Imagine how Zecharias felt! His doubt, awe, fear, shock and joy all came crashing together in a statement of hesitant hopefulness, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years," Luke 1:18.

The angel Gabriel then visits Mary, in the Galilean city of Nazareth and says to her:

"Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, " Luke 1:30-32.

Imagine Mary's complete and utter shock! She asks the question, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" Luke 1:34

It is at this point that the angel responds with the words, 'No word from God will ever fail' or 'For with God nothing will be impossible', Luke 1:37.

What dream has the LORD spoken into your heart lately? What promise has He made? What kingdom purpose has He called you to fulfill? As we ponder the Christmas story, may the gift of faith rise up in our own hearts, so that we eventually boldly declare:

"Let it be to me according to your word." Luke 1:38 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Talk Tuesday-'Tis The Season

'Tis the season to be...busy?! As the countdown to Christmas Day begins, the temptation to get caught up in the commercial frenzy of the season may seem almost irresistible. While we are hunting around for the latest bargains, checking names off our list, and getting ready to eat our Christmas-full of meals, there are those for whom Christmas will be difficult, painful and uncomfortable. Let us begin to meditate on the real reason for the season, the birth of our LORD and SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST. What did it mean for Mary? What did it mean for the children of Israel? What does it mean for you and me?

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 

Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1:30-32 

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest,
 and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:13-14

For unto us a Child is born,
 Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder.
 And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
 Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Lord Jesus, help us to know you more. Help us to live out your purpose for our lives here on earth. May we be agents of peace and love this Christmas season, allowing your light to shine forth from our hearts, illuminating the way to salvation which is found solely in you. In Your name we pray, amen.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Talk Tuesday-In Pursuit of His Heart

When the children of Israel came out of Egypt and settled in the promised land of Canaan, GOD gave them judges to rule over the land for a period of about 150 yrs., until the arrival of Samuel the prophet. The people asked the LORD for a king, to be like the nations that surrounded them. First, He appointed Saul, the son of Kish, as King over Israel. Yet, his heart was prone to follow after the wishes of the people more than after GOD's will. In the end he was deposed because of disobedience. Samuel says to Saul: "But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over his people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you." 1 Samuel 13:14

When God sent the prophet Samuel to anoint the new King of Israel, the prophet found several of David's brothers who were stronger, taller, more handsome and more regal in physical appearance. Yet the LORD instructed Samuel, saying: "Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart," 1 Samuel 16:7. Of David, son of Jesse, tribe of Judah, God says, "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will" Acts 13:22.

Whenever you read though the book of Kings and Chronicles in the Bible, you will find a common description preceding the various kings, 'And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of his father David' (i.e. 2 Kings 22:2) or 'And he did not do what was right in the sight of the LORD, as his father David had done' (i.e. 2 Chronicles 28:1).

King David was not a perfect, sinless man. Yet he was a man after God's own heart. I love the LORD. When I think of all the things He has done for Andrew and me, tears of gratitude often spill down my cheeks. David says, "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of them, human beings that You care for them?' Psalm 8:3-4. I know many of us can attest to the goodness and faithfulness of the LORD-unmerited love, mercy and grace. In honour of all that He is, why not live in pursuit of His heart? What a great honour to hear it said that we were a people after God's own heart!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Talk Tuesday-God Is Not A Man That He Should Lie

"God is not man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?" Numbers 23:19

This morning I was reminded of this truth in such a profound way, as I looked back at the most difficult moments of my life and reflected on the promises of God. I began to weep as I realized that God kept each and every single promise He made to me. Each one seemed impossible at the time, and my situation seemed immovable. Yet, by His grace and mercy, I chose to believe and each time, the victory He promised came to pass. In some cases it took years, in others months. I have come to the realization that if you do not persevere through the valley, you will not be able to climb unto the mountaintop. The view from up there is quite stunning. You gain such an appreciation for the wisdom, faithfulness, love and mercy of God.

In Exodus 3, God met with Moses at the burning bush on Mount Horeb and told him that not only would He deliver the Israelites out of Egypt, but that He would take them to 'a land flowing with milk and honey'. During their journey, they stumbled, fell, experienced opposition and became captives of their own doubt...yet God's promises remained true.

Right before crossing the Jordan River into the Promised Land, they faced Balak King of Moab, who feared them greatly for they had just defeated Og King of Bashan and Sihon King of the Amorites. Balak commissioned Balaam son of Beor to curse the Israelites (Numbers 22). God appeared to Balaam on behalf of the children of Israel and forbade him to do anything but pronounce blessings upon His people. When King Balak became frustrated, Balaam could only reply, "God is not man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill? I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot change it," Numbers 23:20.

God kept His promise to Israel. They entered the Promised Land. He kept His promise to me. He will keep His promise to you. We have to continue to trust Him. Do I still struggle with doubt? Yes. Do I still struggle with fear? Yes. Do I often feel discouraged when I can't see the promise on the horizon? Yes. Yet, God IS NOT a man, that HE should lie. Hold on to Him, cling to the promises in His Word, wait patiently for Him, and remember He has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Prayer Wall - October

Please post to the Prayer Wall your prayer request.  Our focus this month is prayer.  There is power in prayer.  Let us pray for you.

If you are not sure how to make a comment please see our YouTube video.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Talk Tuesday-The Power of Prayer

For many years we, along with many other believers, have been praying for the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani in Iran who was imprisoned and convicted of apostasy for his faith in Jesus Christ. His punishment? Death, unless he agreed to renounce his faith. His decision? Jesus.

On September 8th 2012, after 3 years in prison, he was released with time served credited as punishment for his 'crime'. As I read the news, I rejoiced in the power of prayer and the freedom of our brother in Christ. I was reminded of a similar story in Acts 12:

Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover. Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.  Acts 12:1-5

Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands.  Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.” So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.  And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.” So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.  Acts 12:7-12

The Bible exhorts us to "Pray without ceasing," 1 Thessalonians 5:17.  My mother always reminds me that 'more things are wrought by prayer than this world could ever imagine.' Let us never grow weary of praying, knowing that God is faithful. Remember, prayer undergirded by faith can move mountains. It did in Iran!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Talk Tuesday-What Do You Have To Offer?

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Acts 3:1-9 

In 2008 and 2009 I journeyed through the life changing experience of going from an extremely active person to one who was 'shut in'. As many of you know, I had two spinal surgeries to remove a tumour that begin to impinge upon my ability to walk, and could have potentially left me with a permanent disability. It was during this time of convalescing that I despondently began to wonder, 'What do I have to offer?'

Each morning I would wake up to the sound of my parents singing praises to God and offering up intercessory prayers-for the young, old, single, married, sick, and well. The Holy Spirit began to use their example to engage me in the ministry of intercessory prayer. I, who had always been too lazy, undisciplined or self-absorbed, to devote the time needed for such prayer. However, as I had suffered, it made me more sensitive to the suffering of others. As many prayed for me, it made me want to pray for others. God began to create in me the heart of an intercessor, by showing me how the intercessory prayers of others were so effective...and necessary. He slowly began to help me build a list, and gently trained me in the discipline I so lacked, enabling me to be diligent in my new calling. I confess that at times I would become frustrated, wondering if my prayers were having any impact at all, or why my list was so long!

Fast forward to 2012. I have seen many prayers answered-prayers for people whom I only casually knew, those who didn't really know me, those who never knew I was praying for them, those whom I would never personally know, and those whom I did know. I give God praise and thanks for He is the Potter- He forms the clay, and has a purpose for each one of us, regardless of our circumstances.

"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10 

So, if you ever wonder, 'What do I have to offer?', find yourself rooted in Christ, and like the branch that abides in the True Vine (John 15), you will bear much fruit, to the benefit and salvation of others. Peter confessed his lack of material wealth to the lame beggar at the temple gate, but He had the priceless gift and power of knowing Christ, which he freely shared. What about you?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Talk Tuesday-Beyond the Gold Medal

Okay, today I'm going to share something very personal, and somewhat embarrassing. I cried, and cried and still continue to cry each time I read about the story of Keshorn Walcott, the 19 yr old Javelin thrower from Trinidad and Tobago, who won the first gold medal in a sport that has been dominated by the Europeans since American Cy Young won in 1952. Keshorn is from Toco, a fishing and farming community located in the North of Trinidad. He is the country's first Olympic gold medal winner in the 'field' component of 'Track and Field'; the second gold medal winner since Hasley Crawford in 1976. Keshorn projects a very humble demeanour and seems stunned at his own win, as well as the attention it has generated. Yesterday he was greeted by thousands of fans wanting to express their gratitude for putting Trinidad and Tobago on the 'International Sporting Map'. He was rewarded with great material wealth by a government pleased with his accomplishment. I began weep as I thought of a young man who lived in humble obscurity- one who the Mighty God decided to exalt among the people. I thought of God, His Word, His power and His wisdom. Several scriptures popped into my head:

Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8 

For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Matthew 23:12

He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. Daniel 2:21

It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another. Psalm 75:7

My family is from Trinidad and Tobago. My father's family is from Toco. We have many happy childhood memories of vacations there. I always remember the humility of the people, their readiness to greet you on the streets, to gladly share the produce from their lands-I remember the friendly smiles and warm welcome upon their faces.

You see, we are all God's people-all the work of His hands. God is impartial. He is Sovereign. He is LORD. My tears express my rejoicing- that God would allow us to live, celebrate, work hard, and reap the rewards of our labour. Keshorn persevered, worked hard, and competed without the assurance that the Gold Medal would be his. We know that if we persevere, stay the course and follow Jesus to the end, the prize WILL BE OURS! So, we let the Word of God coach us:

Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. 2 Timothy 2:5

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

Onwards and upwards beyond the Gold Medal to the crown of eternal life in Christ Jesus!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Talk Tuesday - Caribana and Christ

Can you be 100% Trini (Caribbean) and christian at the same time? I was born in Trinidad and grew up all my life around Carnival and calypso. My identity was about being a 'real Trini', which meant partying, drinking and participating in Carnival. I loved my island and my culture but when I became a christian all that changed. When I made that choice to live for Jesus I gave up my old life for an new one.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17

It was not easy leaving the old life...I lived in a constant 'party' mode. When I became a christian I went to a young adults meeting and the preacher said we should not go to Caribana because it was bad. The first thing I thought was, "This is my culture! How could he say that?!" Then I looked at how we used to behave and dance at fetes (parties) and at Carnival...I was ashamed.

When God saves you and changes you, you really become a new creation. I was talking to my wife the other night and I said,"I can't believe that we used to behave like that!" There is no party, no sex, no drug, no liquor that can give you the joy that Jesus gives you. God is not trying to stop you from having fun, God knows what's best for you. I am more satisfied serving the Lord than jumping up in some party. As the young adults pastor said,"there is no party like a Holy Ghost party". This weekend try Jesus.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Talk Tuesday-When Faith Pierces Through the Darkness of Sight

Sight can often bring a blinding spiritual darkness that causes us to stumble, lose hope and fall into despair. We may spend days, months, and years fervently praying about something or for someone, only to see the situation remain the same or become worse. When we begin, we expect God's answer to come speedily, with the swiftness of a defender's arrow or the protective cloak of a hero's cape. Yet sometimes, we are made to wait, and wait, and...wait. We are gently reminded, "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day,” 2 Peter 3:8. 

So what is this thing called faith that is so powerful that it can be a small as a mustard seed and still bring down a mountain; so edifying that it sustains our very lives?

I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God,’” Matthew 4:4. 

Faith is trusting in the benevolence of a loving God whose love knows no sacrificial bounds: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” John 3:16. 

Faith is going beyond the blindness of sight into the stubborn acceptance of God's reality; it is trusting in His Word beyond the frailty of today. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see,” Hebrews 11:1.

Faith is allowing His Word to guide our earthly steps into the eternal reality of heaven's narrow gate. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path,” Psalm 119:105. 

Faith is knowing that God does not lie, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change his mind. 
Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?” Numbers 23:19.

Faith gives us the courage to obey-to go out to the brokenhearted, the disenfranchised, the poor, the forgotten, the wounded, and the outcast, knowing that we walk with the power of Jesus Christ to be His hands and feet upon this earth. It enables us to look beyond our selfish borders into the unfamiliar territory of other people's pain. Just as God sent His Son, His Son now sends us:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
 because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. 
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, 
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness,
 a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendour. Isaiah 61:1-3

So, in the light of the darkness we have just witnessed here in North America-the shooting at a bbq at Danzig St. in Scarborough, Ontario and the mass murder at a cinema in Aurora, Colorado-let us remember to hold on to the faith that pierces through the darkness of sight. It is a faith that motivates us to love.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Talk Tuesday-Discipline...Ouch!

This week before service began, the worship team did a devotional on Colossians 3:1-17. As each member shared what the Word of God revealed to them, someone spoke on verses 8-14, noting that the responsibility is ours to actively 'put on' and 'put off' certain godly and ungodly characteristics:

8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. 12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. Colossians 3:8-14

It was at this point that the following complaint escaped from my lips, “Oh man, the LORD never lets me get away with anything!” Of course, this is not entirely true, but you know what they say- perception is reality. Well, since the words had already 'slipped out' of my mouth, I continued headlong into my childish tirade, “I always get disciplined and I am very well acquainted with the following verses, 'My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
 and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, 
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son' (I usually add the words 'and daughter' to that),” Hebrews 12:5-6. I personally call them 'spiritual 2 x 4's' or 'licks' know, like 'spankings'. God uses His Word to correct my attitude many times...obviously it's because I need the correction.

Psalm 119:105 states, "Your word is a lamp to my feet
 and a light for my path." Without the Word of God, we would not know when we are wrong or when we are right. Our keen sense of 'humanistic morality', predicated upon what we deem as just or unjust, is often directed by the tide of social opinion-and that 'tide' is often influenced by the culture we live in. In order to remain rooted in Christ, we must abide in Him-abide in His Word (John 15). When I feel the urge to whine about the fact that I am always getting 'spanked', I think about Matthew 7:13-14, and my complaint becomes a blessing: “13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” God's Word keeps us from destruction, and leads us through the narrow gate to eternal life. The last thing I meditated on yesterday was John 12:24, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds,” but that is a topic for another week...

p.s. Please don't forget to pray for our brother in chains, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who is in an an Iranian jail awaiting execution for the 'crime' of converting to Christianity.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Talk Tuesday-The Anchor That Holds

Yesterday I was once again reminded about the importance of God's Word as I settled down to read and meditate on it. I opened my Bible to the book of Nehemiah, and saw how the LORD used Nehemiah to rebuild the broken walls of Jerusalem-a city destroyed by its enemies. Many of the Israelites were taken away as exiles to foreign lands while a small remnant remained amidst the ruins. Nehemiah had subsequently become a cupbearer to the king of Persia in Susa. As he considered the plight of his people, he prayed, “O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant of love with those who love Him and obey His commands, let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer Your servant is praying before you day and night for Your servants, the people of Israel,” Nehemiah 1:5-6. Nehemiah proceeded to confess his own sins, and that of his people, repenting for disobeying the laws of the Lord and asking for restoration of their broken city and their broken lives. God heard his prayer, granting him favour with King Artaxerxes to go back and rebuild that which the enemy had destroyed.

Along Nehemiah's journey, many unexpected adversaries rose up against him. Yet, he continuously made such bold, faith-affirming statements to himself and to the people:

“The God of heaven will give us success.” Nehemiah 2:20
“Don't be afraid of them. Remember the LORD, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” Nehemiah 4:14.
“Our God will fight for us!” Nehemiah 4:20 

When their enemies plotted against them, Nehemiah responded in prayer: “They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, 'Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.' But I prayed, 'Now strengthen my hands,'” Nehemiah 6:9. By the end of chapter six, the wall of Jerusalem was completed. “When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been down with the help of our God” Nehemiah 6:16.

As I pondered Nehemiah's experience, I was reawakened to the Power of Prayer. The Word is the anchor that grounds our faith in the knowledge of who GOD IS, enabling us to trust in His love, mercy, compassion and goodness. Obedience comes through Faith. Suddenly I was refreshed, strengthened and renewed. I understood that there is no brokenness that God cannot fix, no enemy that He cannot subdue and no prayer that is impossible for Him to answer. His Word empowers us TRUST Him, PRAY to Him, have FAITH in Him and OBEY Him. Whatever it is that you are facing in life, I encourage you to take heed of Nehemiah's counsel:

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Talk Tuesday-In The Boat With Jesus

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Mark 4:35-40

As I sat in church a few weeks ago, I heard a sermon preached about how we should have faith and confidence in the midst of the storm because of the knowledge of WHO is in the boat with us-JESUS. In Deuteronomy 31:6, before Moses died, he instructed the Israelites with these words of wisdom prior to them entering the promised land: "6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” In the same way, God's enduring presence is manifested through His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ the Incarnate One, who is fully GOD and fully man, part of the Holy Trinity (John 1:1; John 1:14; Philippians 2:6; John 10:30; Matthew 28:19). His presence is always with us who believe.

The sermon challenged me, and as I began to examine my response to the most recent storm we found ourselves in, I began to pat myself on back...that was short lived. Another wave rolled right in and rocked our boat soon afterwards. Yet, as I look back, I realize that GOD always prepares us for the imminent turbulence. Weeks before this sermon was preached, the Holy Spirit led me to Psalm 93 in my devotion time. I had been meditating on these words for quite some time: "The seas have lifted up, O Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea—the Lord on high is mighty," Psalm 93:4.  So by the time I sat in church that Sunday, it was clear to me what the LORD was saying. During our lives, the storms will come, our boats will be rocked by the pounding of the waves caused by the seemingly unrelenting winds and rain, but our response is to always be one of PEACE, FAITH, CONFIDENCE and TRUST as we fix our eyes on the ONE who is in the boat with us. HE is unchanging, immutable, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent-HE IS GOD. So, I lifted my head once again, and instead of staring disconsolately at my feet, I looked up to the heavens and began to give thanks.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Talk Tuesday-A Prayer For You

"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" 1 John 5:4-5

"Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God." 1 John 4:15

"If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." Luke 9:26

"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever." 1 John 2:15-17

Today as I did my devotions, I considered the faithfulness of our Lord Jesus Christ. I thought about where we came from, what He has taken us through and where He has brought us to. I began to weep and praise Him, as my heart was overcome by awe and gratitude. It was such a big step to commit our lives to Christ-such a drastic change to turn away from worldly living. We lost many things in the process, but as impurities are removed in the refining process, the LORD was stripping away from our lives those things that would cause us to stumble on our journey of faith. It was very painful at times, and still is. We grieve and pray for those who don't know Christ, those who don't acknowledge Him as personal Lord and Saviour, and those who don't choose to live for Him. We mourn for a world that is blindly lost without Him, while persevering in faithful prayer for its salvation. It is the burden-the cross-that every believer carries.

Today I want to encourage us all to pray for one another, to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world who are persecuted for their faith, and to pray for our unsaved loved ones. I pray that we would set our eyes on Jesus, and experience a renewed passion to spread the gospel and share our faith in love. I pray that we would not be overcome by the pressures of this world to conform, but that we would remember who we are: 'we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us' (Romans 8:37).

LORD Jesus,

Make us bold and compassionate, faithful and obedient, loving and merciful, that we may do as You taught us to do while You walked on this earth. Help us to overcome the temptation of the flesh, and to live our lives as a pleasing sacrifice for Your Name's sake, Your honour and Your glory. Let us remember Your Word, and abide in it at all times. Help us to walk by faith, and not by sight. Grant us the strength to get up when we stumble, and the grace to accept Your forgiveness when we sin. Grant us the grace to freely offer that forgiveness to others who sin against us. Help us to remain humble servants, understanding the power of the cross. Let us live our lives in the reality of who You are, as the Son of God. All these things we ask and pray in Your precious name, Lord Jesus...amen.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Talk Tuesday-The 'Wait' of the World

Have you ever felt like the weight of the world was on your shoulders as you had to wait upon the LORD for answered prayer? Why does God ask us to trust Him in our trials, trust Him with our loved ones and trust Him with those things that matter the most to us? I know that He is able, but are we? In the Old Testament, the Israelites were surrounded by hostile nations, constantly going to battle, and even faced exile. Yet the Word of the Lord said:

"But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

"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." Proverbs 3:5-6 

"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3

I confess that I am constantly learning what it means to wait upon the LORD, while entrusting Him with the weight I am carrying on my shoulders. It is humbling and painful as I wrestle with myself. Somehow, as human beings, we believe that we have the power to effect change by worrying, striving, attempting to control and fix situations and people in our lives. Yet GOD is the Potter, and we are the clay; He is our Father and we are His children. He is the Creator and we are the created. Sometimes, He simply asks us just to wait in stillness, and trust, fixing our minds upon Him and Him alone. Why does He ask us to wait and trust? Probably so that we will be able to learn of the character of Him who made us. Probably so that we will not fear.

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling." Psalm 46:1-2

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am  your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Let us hold fast to Him who is able to exceedingly, abundantly above all we can ask or imagine, as we wait upon Him with faith, hope, and trust. Let us encourage each other on towards the finish line!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Talk Tuesday-I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel

The Apostle Paul says, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile" Romans 1:16.

Jesus commands us to go and be bearers of the Good News throughout all the earth.

"Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!" John 4:35 

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20 

We live in an age where it is becoming increasingly unpopular to share the gospel message, unless it is tailored to fit the permissiveness of our ever evolving postmodern society. It has become unpopular to talk about sin-sexual sin, homosexual sin, heterosexual sin, adultery and the like. Jesus came to set the captive free from sin, and to restore us to right relationship with God the Father. To the woman caught in adultery Jesus says, "...neither do I condemn you...Go now and leave your life of sin," John 8:11. Judgment is tempered with mercy, yet its foundation is righteousness and truth.

"Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; mercy and truth go before Your face." Psalm 89:14

When I became a Christian, Jesus put a burning desire in my heart to share His gospel message with all who I encounter-young, old, rich or poor. My motive is, and always has been LOVE. Many times I have been ridiculed, ostracized, rejected and hated. I have cried many tears, felt great loneliness and fought the desire to leave people as they are. Then I remember my own state before Christ and what He did on the cross for me. I think of all those He sent in my life to sow the seeds of the gospel, water and eventually reap its harvest. So I encourage you today, as I encourage myself, to press on in faithfulness, unashamedly sharing the gospel's call to salvation. And remember, if we don't speak, they will not hear! 

"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore to send out workers into his harvest field.'"Matthew 9:36-38

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Talk Tuesday-Trust HIM

Trusting in the LORD is hard. We live in an age of instant gratification, materialism and wealth that constantly seduces us into thinking that immediacy is the fruit of fulfillment. Our Enemy, the Devil, knows that. The Bible calls him, 'the god of this age' 2 Corinthians 4:4, 'the ruler of this world' John 14:30, 'the prince of the power of the air' Ephesians 2:2, and 'the accuser of our brethren' Revelation 12:10. When Jesus had fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, he met with Him in the wilderness to tempt Him to exchange the promise of faithfulness for the emptiness of immediate self-gratification. In Matthew 4:1-11, he appealed to the imagination of the mind and the hunger of the flesh by telling Jesus to prove Himself by changing stones into bread. Then he took Him to the highest point of the temple, challenged Him to throw Himself off, and command the angels to come and lift him up, in order to display His magnificent power in an act of self-glorification. Lastly, he took Him to a very high mountain, showed Him the wealth of the world and promised Him that if He would worship him (Satan), then all would be given to Him. Each time, Jesus responded with the Word of GOD. Jesus' obedience resulted in the salvation of mankind: "For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" Hebrews 12:2.

"Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us" Romans 8:34. "He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:2

As we wait upon the LORD, we may feel tempted to stop praying, give up, walk away, rush forward on our own, fulfill the lusts of the flesh and abandon GOD. That is the voice of the Tempter our own wilderness experience. Let us encourage one another to hold on, trust Him and trust in His Word.

"For we walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7 

"God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?" Numbers 23:19 

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23 

And remember, sometimes the fire of delayed answers is to bring forth repentance. "With the LORD a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day. The LORD is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:8-9


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Talk Tuesday-Out of Bondage

When God takes us out of bondage, He never leaves us half way there, but takes us to a place of complete deliverance and restoration. When the Israelites fled Egypt, "By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people," Exodus 13:21-22. At the beginning of their journey to the Promised Land, they faced their familiar enemy-the enemy of their past. Pharaoh was gaining ground on them, and in their anxiety and fear they turned to Moses accusingly and said, "What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn't we say to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians'? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!'" Exodus 14:11-12.

Haven't we felt like that at times, after having come to accept Jesus Christ as our personal LORD and Saviour, only to have a huge trial fall upon us? For many, living for Jesus has meant being ostracized from family members, ridiculed by friends, excluded from social activities or outwardly persecuted for their faith. Sometimes we stumble on our way to the Promised Land when we hear the roar of that familiar enemy behind us.

Moses said to the Egyptians, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fright for you; you need only to be still" Exodus 14:13-14. Let us fix our eyes on Him who is able to deliver us. If you are feeling discouraged, disillusioned or like giving up today, don't turn back to the familiar place of bondage for comfort. Put your trust in the LORD, He will never disappoint you. God was preparing the Israelites to witness one of the greatest acts of His might and power they had ever known-the parting of the Red Sea. "And when the Israelites saw the great power of the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in Him and in Moses His servant," Exodus 14:30-31.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Talk Tuesday-When Love's Cry is Obedience

This morning I sat down to meditate on Mark 15- the account of Jesus' crucifixion. It begins with the following observation, "And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate." Mark 14:1

Pilate asks him if he is the King of the Jews, to which Jesus simply replies, "Thou sayest it." Mark 15:2

The Bible goes on to explain that although the chief priests accused Jesus of many things, he did not answer them. I paused and began to think. What were they accusing him of? Deception? Misleading the people? Insurrection? Of being who he said he was? I felt indignation rise up in my heart.

"And Pilate asked him again, saying, 'Answerest thou nothing? Behold how many things they witness against thee.' But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled." Mark 15:4-5

I began to marvel as well. What was going on in the heart of Jesus at that very moment? He is fully God, yet fully man. He felt pain, humiliation, indignation, yet stood silently as a lamb about to be slaughtered. As is customary, Pilate offered them to release one prisoner and in Pilate's economy of thinking, Jesus was the obvious choice. He asked the crowd, "'Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?' For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy." Mark 15:9-10

Envy. I paused and considered that. Pilate, an outsider, knew that it was envy that motivated the chief priests. Jesus knew all that was in their hearts at that moment, yet he said and did nothing. As I continued reading, I tried to understand why the Roman soldiers who took him to the Praetorium, mocked him, beat him, spat on him and abused him. Why? What is in the heart of man to cause them to mistreat an innocent, harmless man. If he was to be flogged according to Roman law, then why the following?

"And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head. And began to salute him, 'Hail, King of the Jews!' And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees  worshipped him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him." Mark 15:17-20

Why? I still do not understand the motive of the Roman soldiers. The chief priests were gripped by envy, but what was the reason for the Roman soldiers to behave that way? And why did the people even want to crucify him? What had Jesus really done to deserve the basest treatment we could offer? The rest of the crucifixion is rife with ridicule, abuse, condemnation, and mockery. They cast lots for his clothes? They taunted him to display his power and come down from the cross?

Then it happened. He cried out, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? Which is, being interpreted, 'My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?'" Mark 15:34 

"And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the vail of the temple was rent in twain from top to the bottom. And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, 'Truly this was the Son of God.'" Mark 15:37-39

As I pondered all of this, I asked myself WHY? Why did he have to be treated so basely? Why did he allow himself to be treated that way? And what was in his heart as all this was transpiring? My only answer was that LOVE'S CRY LED TO OBEDIENCE, EVEN TO DEATH ON A CROSS. Jesus knew what was in the heart of man, what was broken, ugly, hurting, twisted and ignoble. He knew what needed fixing, so he humbled himself and paid the price for our redemption.

I still do not understand. I never will. Oh, but how I love the One who loved me while I was yet a lost sinner!

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Prayer Wall - April

Post your prayer request and we will pray for you.

If you are not sure how to make a comment please see our YouTube video.



With the power of Google + we are now able to have up to 10 people join us in an online prayer meeting.    If you are on Google + add me to your circle and when we decide on the best date we will contact you.   If you are interested in doing this  Google Hangout Prayer Meeting leave us a comment below with your ideas or the best day and time for you.  

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Talk Tuesday-The Illusion of the Past

Have you ever sat around reminiscing with your friends about your 'wild and adventurous' days before you became a committed Christian? Let me be the first one to admit to that! I remember laughing with others as I proudly reminisced of my days of partying that somehow seemed carefree, exciting and youthfully foolish. Naturally, what I conveniently forgot to remember was the pain of emptiness, the void that I tried to fill with a myriad of endless activities only to face an unfulfillment of soul that I could not understand. I was chasing after the wind, and we all know that you can't catch the wind-so futile were my efforts to find happiness.

Soon after the victory of the Red Sea, the Israelites found themselves grumbling against the Lord. They encamped in Elim where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees. When they left, they came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai. The desert was arid and difficult, unlike Elim. "In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the LORD's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death" Exodus 16:3. It is interesting how the people forgot the bitterness of their bondage in Egypt, only remembering the illusion of the 'good times' that were really not that great. The truth is, they were crying out to the Lord because of the pain of their slavery and He delivered them. The journey of Exodus is really a story about revelation. It is here that God begins to make Himself known to the Israelites, and ultimately to us. Not to be outdone by their complaints, God rains down manna and quail from heaven, giving the people an overabundance of food because He is GOD ALMIGHTY.

 When we are tempted to hold on to the illusion of the past for comfort in the present, we will find ourselves in danger of wanting to go back. Let us not be deceived but hold on to the goodness of the LORD and keep marching forward, into the Promised Land. As the Apostle Paul emphatically says, "but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:12-14

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Talk Tuesday- Everything Under the Sun

Last week as my dad was driving me to school, we began to reminisce about the past. We were laughing as warmhearted memories shaped our conversation when my father began to ponder the meaning behind the fleeting years that once seemed as though they would last forever. He paused, then quietly said, “The years pass so quickly. I wonder what GOD is trying to tell us.” I began to ponder the meaning of this statement.

The Psalmist says, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

“As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.” Psalm 103:15-16

As I cycle back to my father's question, I think about how I was once young, and now I am older. I take stock of the things that I have done and I wonder, what are their worth? I realize now that whatever is done for the LORD, in the LORD and through the LORD is worth more than gold. If we are parents, let us raise our children to love the LORD wholeheartedly-it will carry an everlasting blessing from generation to generation. If we are married, let us endeavour to love our spouses as Christ loves the church. If we are single, let us use our time wisely to bring Him glory. "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the LORD and not to men, knowing that from the LORD you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the LORD CHRIST” Colossians 3:23-24.

Solomon the wealthiest and wisest king in all of Israel embarked upon a quest to discover the meaning of life. “Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart rejoiced in all my labour; and this was my reward from all my labour. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on all the labour in which I had toiled; and indeed it was all vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun,” Ecclesiastes 2:10-11. He concluded that the meaning of all life could be found in the following words; "Fear GOD and keep His commandments, for this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil," Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

And so I remember the words of our King Jesus: “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect,” Matthew 24:44.  “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing,” Matthew 24:45-46.

Let us give everything under the sun to the LORD, who will redeem our years for His honour and glory.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

And the WINNER is....Stacey!!!!

Congratulations Stacey you have won our first ever writing contest!  It was a hard fight to the finish.  Our runner up is Raevae.  We want to thank everyone for participating.  It was fun.  Hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did.  We will be doing another contest in the future so stay tuned.  Also....



With the power of Google + we are now able to have up to 10 people join us in an online prayer meeting.    If you are on Google + add me to your circle and when we decide on the best date we will contact you.   If you are interested in doing this  Google Hangout Prayer Meeting leave us a comment below with your ideas or the best day and time for you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Hey Everyone,

 It was great to read all the entries! We all had a different person for the third spot so we are posting the top 4- Stacy, Betty, Farah, and Raevae. Now it's your turn. Out of the four contestants you get to vote for the winner. All you have to do is make a short comment on the one you like, it can be as short as "I love it", it's that simple.  Voting starts February 14th and ends February 29th 2012. Get all your friends to vote. One vote per person please. Have fun

God bless
Andrew and Tash

If you are not sure how to make a vote/comment click on this link to see a video demonstration.

Stacey - A Tribute

Of all the things I am thankful for since Jesus transformed my life nine years ago, there is one that ranks pretty high on the list. It’s the radical way in which He’s changed and reshaped my view of the opposite sex.

Secular culture did little to help me understand how men think and what they experience or need as they face life—except perhaps that physical intimacy was a high priority, and that for them, being in a relationship—whether a casual or committed one—was important. My own father’s faithful presence in my life was somehow not enough to stop me from believing the lies of the world, the flesh and the devil that were influencing my thinking and attitude towards the opposite sex … and cheapening my expectations of what I should expect from them in relationships and in life.

 But God has been so faithful! He has given me an increased understanding and appreciation for what motivates and discourages them, and how we women can make a difference in how they see themselves—we are in fact uniquely designed to do just that. 

So this is a short tribute and encouragement to you—my brothers in Christ—and to those still finding their way into His light and His love. In spite of what the world communicates to you … you are needed … and valuable … and appreciated!!!

  •  Each of you are made in God’s image—unique, precious in His sight, and incomparable to any other (Genesis 1:27, 31, Psalm 8:3-5). 
  • Your leadership and provision are a needed dimension in our lives and families (Ephesians 5:23, 1 Timothy 5:8, 1 Peter 3:7). 
  • Your physical strength—though admirable—is most awe-inspiring when used for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 1:25, Psalm 84:5-7). 
  • Your spiritual strength comes from your humility and inspires us to follow your lead (Proverbs 11:2, 15:33). 
  • Far from being unemotional, your hearts can be vulnerable to the women you love … so guard it wisely (Judges 16:4-19). 
  • But trust God to bless you with a woman with whom your heart can be trusted (Proverbs 18:22).
  • Your courage in the face of insecurities, setbacks, disappointments, and struggles will be rewarded as you trust God (Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua 1:6-8, 2 Chronicles 32:7-8, Psalm 31:23-24, 1 Corinthians 16:13). 
 May God strengthen and prosper you as you honour Him!


Click on the comments link below to vote for Stacey

Betty - A Godly Women

Would I be called a godly woman if God looked down on me today? Would there be any evidence of holiness throughout my day? A godly woman is held as something valuable; one who brings good to the world, not harm. She is free from anxiety, worry and strife. Her life is not bound by alarm. A woman of honor provides for her family. She works hard to make ends meet. She gives of herself, unconditionally and she'll be fair to all, until her heart no longer beats.

 A noble woman is kind to the poor. She reaches out a loving hand to those in need. She encompasses strength and dignity; joyfully serving all, never showing a sign of greed. A woman of God shows good judgement and possess' wisdom beyond her years. She offers good counsel to those in pain and shows compassion in her tears. A beloved daughter of the Most High King fears the Lord, and follows Him where He leads. She humbly praises the One who made her and lives to scatter the gospel seeds.

 Would God see all these traits in me or have to search hard to find just one? Would I have to seek His forgiveness for my sins when day is done? I want to live a godly life; a woman after God's own heart. I may not see these qualities in me but today gives me a chance to start. I'll start by whispering a simple prayer for God to make me pure. Then I'll continue to seek Him day by day. I want to be spiritually mature.

 I want to be seen as a woman whose integrity does not cast a doubt. A woman who knows who I am in Christ, not dying away from spiritual drought. Would I be called a godly woman when God looks down on me today. I know He's preparing me for this role but I must let Him lead the way. I humbly come to sit at Jesus' feet, my tears pour forth with joy and sorrows. Sorrow and regret for the way I lived in the past and joy for what God will do with all my tomorrows.


Click on the comments link below to vote for Betty.

Farah - What’s in YOUR dream?

I love to look up the meaning of my dreams, especially the ones that seem to stand out the most. Just recently, I had a dream, in which I saw many birds flying, and I woke up thinking of what the birds symbolize. So I went on what has become my favourite (and most trusted) dream dictionary online, and this is what it said: “To see birds in your dream symbolizes your goals, aspirations and hopes. To dream of chirping and/or flying birds, represents joy, harmony, ecstasy, balance, and love. It denotes a sunny outlook in life. You are experiencing spiritual freedom and psychological liberation. It is almost as if a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.”1 Definitely true of where I am right now!

 Can you remember the last dream that you had? Did you dwell on it for a moment and shrug it off afterwards, or did you ignore it altogether? I believe that God speaks to us even while we sleep, so we should try to seek interpretation for the meaning of our dreams. Throughout the Bible are scattered the dreams of people that actually took the time (and some even went to great lengths) to understand their meaning, whether the dreams were wonderful or horrific. Joseph, for instance, had dreams of becoming a ruler (Genesis 37:5-7, 9-10), while Pharaoh had dreams of famine ravaging his country (Genesis 41:1-7), and both dreams were fulfilled! I wonder what would have happened if Joseph and Pharaoh had both shrugged off their dreams as pointless? The lives of many would have definitely been lost. Instead, the Bible tells us that in the morning, Pharaoh “send for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt” to tell them about his dreams (Genesis 41:8). This tells us that Pharaoh took his dreams very seriously, and so should we!

 The next time you are tempted to ignore your dreams, remember that God might be trying to tell you something very important that will not only affect you, but the people around you as well. So consider carefully, what’s in YOUR dream?


Click on the comments link below to vote for Farah

Raevae - Taking a Stand

I sang at a friend’s wedding and sat feeling so proud of him and his new wife for taking such a commendable step in holy matrimony, when I was introduced to a man in his late forties. He sat on the same dinner table with me and I sat calmly waiting for the commencement of the reception. Enjoying our conversation, it then dawned on me that this 49-year old married man was actually ‘interested’ in me. He told me that he mentioned to the bride’s parents, “If she is single, I will become a Christian!” I sat stunned trying to maintain some sort of composure but tried laughing it off for indeed, it had to be a BIG JOKE. What would this 49 year old married man have to do with a 20-something year old woman like me? As well, he had the galls to show me pictures of his 20-something year old daughter and son on his cell phone. As I quickly finished my meal and tried saying goodbye he desired to have some sort of contact with me...but I escaped. What is this world coming to?

Lately we’ve been seeing many couples who marry each other mainly for physical intimacy, being unequally yoked in every way and corrupting God’s ideal for marriage (See Ephesians 5:31; 2 Corinthians 6:14). Same sex marriages have also sky rocketed since New York’s laws made it legal, and God’s people are staying silent. Are we supposed to just sit there and let the enemy have his way with us? A million times NO!!

Ephesians 6: 10-13 says:

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (KJV).

I deeply encourage you to spend more time in prayer with God and surrender all to His Holy Spirit. Time is closing in on us and Jesus is soon to return (John 14:1-3). Why not purpose in your hearts to live according to His standards today...and every day of your lives?

Click on the comments link below to vote for Raevae

Friday, February 3, 2012

Bible Talk-Matthew 4, The Temptation of Jesus

Welcome to Bible Talk! This is a small, informal Bible Study, where we want to hear from you. So come join us as we share in the LORD's Word together! 
Matthew 4 

The Temptation of Jesus

1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[a]” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[b]” 7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[c]” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour. 9“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[d]” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

1. Why does Satan tempt Jesus?

2. Why do you think this account was recorded in the Bible?

3. What are the main messages of this passage?

Talk Tuesday-The Abide Series, Pt.III-ABIDE IN LOVE

Hey BGOers, I just wanted to apologize for my tardiness in issuing out this week's Talk Tuesday post. We had a bit of a difficult week. Hope this blesses you and remember to keep on commenting!
ABIDE IN LOVE-This is our last part in the ABIDE Series, from John 15:1-10. Jesus tells us, “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you wil abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” John 15:9-10. What does it mean to abide in His love?
  1.  Love the LORD your GOD. In the first part of Luke 10:27, Jesus instructs us on what loving GOD entails; “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” Luke 10:27. We are to LOVE GOD above all else, and with all of our being. When we LOVE Him first, only then will we be able to fulfill the second part of Jesus' command in Luke 10:27. 
  2.  Love one another. "...and, Love your neighbor as yourself” Luke 10:27. In order to ABIDE IN HIM, we must ABIDE IN LOVE. "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him" 1 John 4:7-9.
  3. Love in purity of heart. "Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart," 1 Peter 1:22. Jesus teaches us about love repeatedly. The power of LOVE, as manifested the one who laid down His life for us is captured in this statement, "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins" 1 Peter 4:8. If you, like me, have ever wondered what that type of love looks like, we only have to travel to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." May the LORD JESUS CHRIST bless us as we seek to ABIDE IN HIM all the days of our lives!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Talk Tuesday-The Abide Series, Pt. II- ABIDE IN THE SPIRIT

Last week we discussed what it meant to ABIDE in Jesus from the perspective of abiding in the Word. This week, we are looking at Jesus' command to ABIDE in Him from the perspective of ABIDING IN THE SPIRIT. In John 15 Jesus says:

"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” John 15:7-8

"If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love" John 15:10. 

ABIDE IN THE SPIRIT. Jesus reminds us of the importance of 'abiding' in His Word, and allowing His Word to abide in us. The result is that our lives will bring glory to God as we bear much spiritual fruit. So, how are we to abide in Him?
  1. Walk in obedience. This idea of obedience and love, while repeated in John 15:10, actually appears in the preceeding chapter. In John 14:15-17, Jesus promises the Holy Spirit to us if we walk in obedience. “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” The promise to ABIDE goes both ways, as we abide in Him, He will abide in us! “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” John 14:23 
  2. Abide/Walk in the Spirit to produce much fruit. “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” Galatians 5:16. The branches of the grape vine cannot produce fruit unless it remains connected to the vine. It is the vine that takes the nourishment from the soil and feeds it to the branches. It is the same with the Holy Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” Galatians 5:22-25. 
  3. Abide in the Spirit to bring Glory TO GOD – John 15:7-8 outlines the threefold blessing of ABIDING in Him; we receive whatever we ask, we bear much fruit which glorifies GOD, and we show ourselves to be His disciples. In the epistle to the Romans, the Apostle Paul reminds us, “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you” Romans 8:9.
As we ABIDE in His Spirit, we can rest in His promise of eternal life. "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you" Romans 8:11. What does it mean to you, to ABIDE in the Spirit? Please click on the comments link below to share your thoughts with us! We look forward to hearing from you!


If you have a knack for writing, and a heart for ministry, we are calling you to write a 300-400 word article that is scripturally based and edifying to the Body of Christ. All entries must be emailed to by January 31st, 2012. A panel of four judges will select the three most outstanding submissions. They will be posted on BGO on Tuesday February 14th, where our readers will be encouraged to vote by simply commenting on the entry of their choice. Only comments made between February 14th and February 29th will be counted. The winner will be announced on March 6th, 2012. The prize is the outstanding DVD of the movie 'Courageous,' which will be mailed to the winner. The first runner up will receive a Hillsongs DVD. The winning submission will be featured as a special 'Talk Tuesday' post.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Talk Tuesday-The Abide Series Pt.1, ABIDE IN THE WORD

1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. 9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.  John 15:1-10 

Throughout this passage of scripture Jesus reiterates the message, 'Abide in Me.' What exactly does it mean to 'abide' in Him? He uses the analogy of the vine and the branches to provide an example of what is required of us to be fruitful Christians. If we visualize a cluster of grapes, it is the vine that takes the nutrients from the soil and feeds it to the branches. Yet it is from the branches that the fruit grow. 

We are to 'abide' or 'remain' in Him. The word 'abide' in the original Greek, meno, means, 'abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand and tarry' (Strong's Concordance). When I think of what Jesus is asking, the following scripture immediately comes to mind,"For in Him we live and move and have our being" Acts 17:28. 

ABIDE IN THE WORD. In the first chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus is described as the 'Word.' "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God," John 1:1; "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us," John 1:14. In John 15: 7-8, He tells us that if we abide in Him and His words abide in us we will, 1) receive what we ask, 2) glorify the Father, 3) bear much fruit and 4) show ourselves to be His disciples. So how do we ABIDE IN THE WORD? 

1. Meditate on His Word day and night, you will be firmly planted in His dwelling. Psalm 1:1-3 instructs us accordingly. "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." 

2. His Word is a mirror, revealing to us what needs to change and improve. Hebrews 4:12, "For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account." 

3. His Word is a compass, it guides our steps. Psalm 119:105, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." It shows us where we are to tread and the places we need to avoid in order to abide or remain in Him. 

What does it mean to you to ABIDE IN HIS WORD? Please click on the comments link below to share your thoughts with our BGO family. We look forward to hearing from you. And stay tuned for next week's addition, ABIDE IN THE SPIRIT.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Courageous is an inspiring, scripturally based movie whose message is about the importance of fatherhood in the Christian home. It is a powerful, poignant film that will make you laugh, weep, and cheer. This DVD could be yours if you are the winner of our Writing Contest! The entries are great, so keep them coming in!!! Remember, the deadline is January 31st, 2012.

Monday, January 9, 2012

WRITING CONTEST - Calling all writers

Biblegrouponline is launching its first ever writing contest!!!! If you have a knack for writing, and a heart for ministry, we are calling you to write a 300-400 word article that is scripturally based and edifying to the Body of Christ. All entries must be mailed to by January 31st, 2012. A panel of four judges will select the three most outstanding submissions. They will be posted on BGO on Tuesday February 14th, where our readers will be encouraged to vote by simply commenting on the entry of their choice. Only comments made between February 14th and February 29th will be counted. The winner will be announced on March 6th, 2012. The prize is the outstanding DVD of the movie 'Courageous,' which will be mailed to the winner. The first runner up will receive a Hillsongs DVD. The winning submission will be featured as a special 'Talk Tuesday' post.


2012 @ BGO

2012 is gearing up to be an EXCITING year for BGO!! We will be launching our 'Writer's Contest', 'Bible Talk', the 10-40 Window Prayer Chain, while continuing with our Talk Tuesdays, Movie Mondays and Prayer Wall. We will also have surprise giveaways throughout the year to our readers across the world!

'Bible Talk' will feature weekly Bible Studies on scriptures from both the Old Testament and the New Testament. These will be posted on Fridays. Your participation is greatly appreciated, as it is our hearts' desire for this forum to be used to share our knowledge of God's Word with one another, and to draw closer to our Saviour as we learn more about Him.

The 10-40 Window is an area of the world, from 10 degrees to 40 degrees north of the equator, stretching from North Africa across to China, in which the world's largest population of non-Christians reside. In the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19, Jesus commands us to "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." While we may not be able to go physically, we can pray and intercede for our brothers and sisters who live, often under persecution, in these nations. Let's also pray for a move of the Holy Spirit that will see many new hearts transformed by the power of Jesus Christ!

Our New Year's resolution is to Seek Him With All Our Heart in 2012. We will be writing a four part series called, 'Abide In Jesus,' based on the Gospel of John 15:1-10. Please join us as we travel through some of the powerful truths contained in this scripture, from Tuesday January 17th to Tuesday February 7th. We will be focusing on what Jesus means when He calls us to 'abide' or 'remain' in Him. He says, "I am the vine and you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing" John 15:5.

Thank you for your faithfulness throughout the years. Remember, KEEP may JUST get a surprise giveaway gift when you least expect it!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy Blessed New Year!!!!

We here, at BGO, wanted to wish you all a Blessed and Spirit-filled New Year! Get ready for a mighty outpouring of God's Spirit upon your life. As we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). Our New Year's Resolution is to SEEK HIM WITH ALL OUR HEART. We know that Jesus has promised to come again. We know that He has commissioned us with the great work of spreading the Gospel. Let us purpose in our hearts to be single-minded, and faithful in our words, deeds and thoughts toward the LORD, so that we can accomplish His will in our lives. Let us also remember to, '...encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.' Hebrews 3:13

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:1-3

Blessings in Christ,
Andrew and Natasha
January 2012

P.S. Look out for new and exciting additions to BGO! We will be relaunching this January, with an exciting contest...shhhh, it's a secret for now! There will be a great prize give away, so look out and stay tuned.