Thursday, December 30, 2010

Merry Christmas and God Bless you in 2011


From all of us at LifePoint Church 

Isaiah 9:6
 "For to us a child is born,
   to us a son is given,
   and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
   Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
   Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."



Thursday, December 16, 2010

“When The Power Went Out”


Ministerial message by Pastor Kevin Sawatsky

Last week something happened in the midst of all the hustle, rush and bustle of the day and of the season… the power went out.  Not sure what happened but I heard someone hit a power pole and they had to turn off all the electricity to fix it.  So for one hour or so we had no electrical power in town.  Now I know that the power going off for only 1 hour is not a big deal as houses were able to keep their warmth and refrigerators stay cool.  It is true that it would not have taken too much longer without power and we would have had a serious situation on our hands.  On side note, I was taken back at how ill prepared many are to handle a situation like this these days.  Emergency items often are not close at hand and trying to remember where they are or to find them in the dark did not work so well.  Just a few years ago, no electricity was normal and people did very well I might add.  Life was more physically difficult for sure but they were a hardy people and not only survived a time without electricity but thrived.  We have much to be thankful to that generation that paved the way for us to enjoy the lifestyle and the comforts we have today.  Though in these days we depend on electricity A LOT and when we loose it, even for only one hour, we notice just how much we trust and depend on it.  May I ask a question?  What do you do for that hour when there was NO power? You couldn’t shop, work, buy gas, play on computers, watch TV or listen to the radio, play hockey or do much of anything we do daily now.  So again, what did you do?  Did you read?  Did you rest, did you take some time to think or pray?  Maybe you just sat down for a little while?   When the power went out I, eventually, jumped in my car to go check on a few people in town just to make sure they were ok.  They were.  As I did, I noticed several other people doing the same thing and was thankful for them.  It is times like this that we remember how much we need each other and how important people are.   It was kind of strange to me to be driving around town as there were no lights on.  The whole town seemed to feel abandoned except for the faint lights in the inside of the homes.   There was no smoke rising from any houses (except those with wood fireplaces) and it was so quiet.  When I got back home, I walked with my son over to another person’s house to just check in with them.  As I was walking, it stuck me at how wonderful a gift this was to us.   To be given an hour when I really had no where I could to be, no meeting to be at, nothing I could purchase and nothing that I could do about it. It was a gift of time… how wonderful. As I walked, the town was so quiet and the faint glow of the setting sun in the clouds filled the sky.  It was beautiful.  I wondered if the first Christmas felt like something like this.  Mary, Joseph and their new born baby resting for a moment in a humble stable in great peace and joy.  Just a short moment to reflect and be quiet within the presence of the living God… how wonderful.    As the realization of what we all were experiencing began to fill my heart, I was so thankful for the gift of God, Jesus.  He came to bring peace and joy and hope in the midst of all that we think is important in this life.  He came so we could live in His presence everyday of our lives. He came to bring peace to our souls.   He came to forgive and love and help us in this journey of life.  Thank the Lord. Yes, the words of the angels are still true to this day…
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. … And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” ( Luke 2)
Jesus came to bring great joy, peace and goodwill toward men.  Glory to God in the highest!  Soon the power came back on and everything has gone back to normal.  It is my prayer for you that not everything will be as it was before when the power went out.  Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.  

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

If you are alone on Christmas Day....

If you are going to be alone on Christmas day and you would like NOT to be as your family and friends live a long way away, then plan to come for Christmas Dinner!

Many people in this region are alone on Christmas day so we thought it might be fun to get us all together and have a meal, because no one should eat by themselves on Christmas day!


You are welcome just let our office know to expect you and come at about 2:00P.M. (306.365.2465)

There is NO cost for the meal, but donations are gratefully accepted the help cover the expenses of the day.




JOY TO THE WORLD THE LORD IS COME...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

CHRISTMAS DRAMA!! THIS SUNDAY

JOIN US for our annual Christmas Drama at 6:00 P.M.

With special music and dance PLUS a wonderful play put on by the teens and children of LPC...

ALL WELCOME...

Saturday, December 04, 2010

To God be the Glory!!!

At twelve noon today we completed 24 hours of non stop prayer! A good group gathered at LPC and raised their voices in thanksgiving and praise. It was fantastic.

I pray that the time you had with the Lord was uplifting and empowering.

Please take some time to express to us what the Lord said or did in your life as in response to our seeking the Lord.

"Thank you Lord for meeting with us as we sought your face"

Early in the Morning My Song Shall Rise to Thee

Job 1:5 (New Living Translation)

5 " When these celebrations ended—sometimes after several days—Job would purify his children. He would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of them. For Job said to himself, “Perhaps my children have sinned and have cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular practice."

Arising early to seek God for others is something that people have done for 1000s of years... Tonight as we are in the hardest part of the 24 hours... the early time of day, people are waiting on the Lord for others just Job did here in this passage.
 This scripture is amazing even without knowing what we know about the book of Job.  Job was so concerned for his kids; the next generation and their relationship before the Lord that he would leave his warm bed, on a regular basis, and go to God on behalf of them.  He did this just in case they "sinned" against God.  This is what it means to interceed (intersession prayer ministry).  Intersession is to going to God on behalf of someone else... and he did this in the early part of the day.  
 As people right now are praying and have been doing so all night and seeking the Lord for others, we are following a long held pattern and spiritual discipline.  It is amazing to think that these are many people who are have been seeking God for you while you were sleeping, just a Job did for his kids while they were recovering from a party.  Job was asking God to forgive and watch over them.  We have been doing the same for you in the region.  You have been on our heart and we have been praying for you in the early hour...
God already has done some powerful things as we are into our 19th hour of NON stop 24 hours of prayer.  I am expecting to hear MANY more reports in the hours and days to come what all God has done in response to His people praying without cessing for one day! 

Mark 1:35
In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.

 
Stay tuned!!  
  

Thursday, December 02, 2010

ONE DAY AWAY

Hello everyone,

It is now one day from when we begin our 24 hours of NON STOP prayer at LPC.  I have great expectation in my heart as we set ourselves towards this call.

COULD we ask you all to please make sure that you sign up to pray for at least 15 min on the schedule (here in the office)?   We want to make sure that the whole 24 hours be covered with at least one person praying.  I am sure that there will be many times that more than one person will be seeking the Lord which is awesome.  Please call the office to find out what times are still open, which are still several at this time.    
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:

·        The Denniss Chapel will be open for the whole 24 hours so please feel free to come to LPC at ANYTIME night or day . 
·        At Noon on Saturday we will wind up the 24 hours with a time of worship and praise thanking God for the great things He did in response to the time of prayer.  I hope you can make it here to join in on the celebration.
·        Please feel free to send in your prayer requests and they will be added to those that have already been received. 
·        A prayer guide will be sent out today as a help direct our praying together. It will also be posted on the this blog
·        The blog will be updated with prayer requests and praise reports that come in throughout the 24 hours of prayer.  Please feel free to add comments/requests and praise reports in the blog comments section.

As 1 Chronicles 22:19 says "Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God...”.  That is God’s invitation to us all.. will you heed the call and pray?

-LPC






Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Twenty Four Hours of Prayer

This WEEKEND is the 24 Hour prayer event beginning midday Friday, till midday SATURDAY.   The scripture calls us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17), so for 24 hours we will do that as a church family…  ONE FULL DAY of nonstop prayer and intercession. We are encouraging everyone who calls LPC home, to please sign up (on the board in the office) for at least ONE of the 15 min slots over those 24 hours. 
There will be a prayer guide published on the Blog later this week (and emailed), as well as, we will have ongoing praise updates and prayer requests posted on the blog throughout the 24 hours.   

PLEASE NOTE:  If you have something you would like us all to pray for… PLEASE send it to us, as a list is being made.  The church will be open for the whole night and we will end, Saturday at noon, with a time of worship! 

 EVERYONE is welcome to gather, as we approach the noon hour, to end the time of prayer with explosive praise!   So, please, sign up today so that the prayer chain is NOT broken…



Monday, October 25, 2010

Emails From Brenda

I appreciate the godly people that call LifePoint Church Home. Sometimes I get emails that I think it would be good for more people to read than just me... here are a few from Brenda, one of our leaders and a great servant of the Lord. She has been teaching a class on ROCK solid doctrines of our faith on Sunday Nights... here are a few emails that have come out of these teaching times. I hope you enjoy reading them.

____________________________________________
Jesse (her son) told me an interesting fact from his sociology class. He said the teacher said that our culture today is much like the Roman culture 2000 years ago because the people then were very much about themselves too. He told them that to say that that was one of the things that led to the Roman's downfall, but when I heard it I thought how interesting it is that Jesus came the first time to a culture like that, and now he's coming the second time to a very similar culture. I guess it's interesting to me because I'm teaching that one of the reasons sin is so bad is that it destroyed the image-bearing nature we had been given (which really should define our purpose) and made our nature so "all about us", kind of like a black hole that pulls everything toward us!

Maybe when Paul said we "fall short of the glory of God" he wasn't referring to our many sins but our sin nature which is consumed with "me". I've been referring to the sermon when you brought a hammer on the platform and talked about the purpose things were designed for...and I think that the reason we have so much trouble finding out what we are supposed to do with our lives is because of this centripetal effect of sin...it's so clear in Genesis that our purpose is to bear God's image. It's a sad reflection on us that that purpose seems less somehow than a purpose like going to Africa, etc., and I think that's because even as Christians we want everything to be about us! Why is it that bearing God's image (bearing Christ's image - who was "the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being") seems less to us when it is such a high and holy calling!!!???

I have been blown away by the fact that we stand in grace. I read Romans 5:1-2 for about the 299th time a few weeks ago and I honestly have never understood so clearly that I stand in grace - and without it I can't even stand. Now everywhere I look and read I am reminded that I stand in his grace.....can't even put it into words yet, but I will keep pushing in to it.....He poured out his grace, lavished his grace on me! I am undone!
_______________________________________________


I do really believe that we (the church of this culture) have softened our take on sin to our people's detriment. I find it so interesting that the 2 kinds of sin the doctrine of sin categorizes as resulting from the Fall - imputed sin guilt and our sin natures - are NOT both taken care of in our justification/atonement.....our sin natures need to be dealt with through the process of sanctification - in effect becoming like Jesus reverses that effect of the Fall and brings us back to that "made in the image of God" state. We've got to look like Jesus who is "the radiance of God's glory and the EXACT representation of his nature"!!! Wow!!! That's bearing his image! Getting saved is just the beginning.

But both types of sin ARE dealt with through the cross! Atonement through Jesus' death on the cross, and sanctification through my death on the cross. I started to think that when we were going through Romans last year.....and I really had to meditate on Romans 6 about being united with him in his death, and I think I'm finally starting to get it....a little anyway.

One of the teachers I listened to a lot this summer said "put your faith in justification, your hope in heaven (he said glorification) and your blood, sweat and tears into sanctification". Well said.

And I'm re-reading a classic - L.E.Maxwell's "Born Crucified" (used to be called "Embraced by the Cross") and he says "God's way of victory over sin is not through the suppression of sinful desires, nor through the eradication of the old nature, nor yet through the cleansing on inbred sin. God's way of victory over sin is through crucifixion - deliverance is only through death."

There's a couple other things I think we may have gotten wrong as a Church (capital C) and that's why I have been obsessed with this study since before the summer. Sin isn't so bad because it sends us to hell; sin is bad because it marred God's creation and made it impossible for us to do what we were intended to do - which was to display God's image [Note...I made it bold]. And the big one, when we see sin as totally dealt with in our by faith acceptance of atonement, it becomes a done deal, a past event, and we think we no longer need the gospel. But Jesus didn't just die for my sins, he died for my unrighteousness.........and I need the grace of the cross every day. I need to put myself on that cross every day. Sanctification is part of my redemption. Bonhoeffer said that when Jesus calls you he calls you to die!
__________________________________________________________

Thanks Brenda... really great thoughts... Thanks for giving me the permission to post them for all to read!

-PK

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Video to Watch...

Here is a great video by Charles Colson. If you do not know him, he is one guy that is worth getting to know. He loves the Lord passionately as well as he is SMART SMART!!!

He has a weekly video called "2 min warning". This one's subject is about the Chilean miners. he writes "Imagine being trapped in total darkness for 17 days 2800 feet underground, and waiting another 52 days to be rescued. How would you survive? Find out how the Chilean miners did it, and what it means for the Church".


Please FEEL FREE TO comment on what he says... I want to read what your thoughts are.
Blessings!

-PK



video

Thursday, September 30, 2010

NEW SONG Unchanging

Hello everyone...
We are going to sing this new song this Sunday... Have a listen and come prepared to help teach it to the family!
Blessings!


video

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Next 10 Years!

I enjoyed the post today by Trevin Wax from his website (Kingdom People, Living on Earth as Citizens of Heaven).

Read what HE has to say and tell me what you think...
____________________________________________________________

Ten years ago today, I (Trevin Wax) boarded a plane with a one-way ticket to Romania.

I was a bright-eyed (naïve) nineteen-year-old heading over to a third-world country. I had very little knowledge of the language. I had no ties with any missionary agency. I had no salary and no way to support myself, except to live off the savings I had accumulated during my year of work between high school and college. I had no close friends in Romania, only a handful of acquaintances. I had no idea when I would be returning to the U.S., only that my place of residence would be a Christian university campus.

Truth be told, I wasn’t scared. The situation didn’t frighten me. Yes, I dreaded the loneliness that would overwhelm me when I said goodbye to my parents. I dreaded the time that would pass before I could speak Romanian fluently. But my decision had been firm. God had led me to this place. No time to look back.

In my journal, I wrote about arriving in Oradea:

“The streets of Oradea were soon before us. The sky was sunny and the weather was lovely. The city was bustling with activity; the leaves just beginning to change colors and surrender from the trees. Looking over the city, I realized that this was now my new home. The excitement, anticipation, and wait of the past few months were for this moment – to be in the place where I belong… to serve.”

The excitement soon turned to sadness. After I said goodbye to my parents, I went to my dorm room and wept. What have I done? I remember thinking. I have left everything I’ve ever known. I have left everyone who loves me. I don’t know the language. I don’t know the culture. I don’t even know any people. And I’m supposed to minister here?

The tears flowed as I seriously questioned my calling. Even now, I choke up when I recall the emotions of that moment. And as I think of the ways God blessed the following five years of my life, I am overwhelmed. He gave me more opportunities to minister than I could have dreamed of. He gave me the ability to speak Romanian fluently within a few months. He gave me my precious wife. He blessed us with our first child.

When I flip through the journal I kept during the first year in Romania, I am embarrassed at my immaturity, my naive expectations and unbridled idealism. My disdain for my former self, however, is kept in check by the thought that ten years from now, I may entertain similar thoughts regarding where I’m at now! If anything, the journal reminds me that life is a journey.

The big story is about God. And this God is the One who calls us, who equips us, who goes before us, and then sends us off into the sunset of his plan, as heralds of his Son and the salvation he has brought to earth.

Thank you, Father, for calling me to Romania ten years ago. Thank you for sustaining me, strengthening me, and using me for your purposes. Please do the same in the next ten years, and grant me faith so that I will continue to follow you wherever you lead.

___________________________________________________________

"Amen" - PK



Monday, September 20, 2010

THE NEXT CHAPTER

Yesterday, though I did not say at the time, was a very important directional sermon for LPC.

Today, Monday, as I think and pray over the morning, I have a "release" in my heart that I have not had in a long time. I do not know where we (as a church family) are all going to go with this "great experiment" I just know that the way that CHURCH has been done for the last many years is not how the church will be done in the future and EVERYTHING is on the table.

You, as God's missionaries where you are, being led by His Spirit, walking by faith and taking risks for the gospel is what God is calling His church back to!! The Church organization will have a place but a it will be a different one than in the past. I also know that the pastor will also have different roles than they occupy now. I know that there no "maps" today that can lead a church in this direction or show them how to do this. Yet I know the Spirit is leading as He always has and this is His mission and His direction for you and for me.

YET... if the church (His called out people) do not go out by faith "not knowing where we are going", we will continue to see more and more people in our communities live this life without ever knowing the Lord. They will miss out on knowing the Love and forgiveness of Christ in this life and the next. I also believe that we will see less and less of our kids give and live their lives for the Gospel... as they see it as not being something important enough to give themselves to.

Friends...I want to Join God in His mission, as sent..." on mission" people and I want you, follower of Christ, to do so also. So.... if you feel a burning YES in your heart to this faith walking, great experiment as I, your pastor, do not sent a direction on HOW we are going to do this (I really do not know how it is going to look)... please talk to me... let us be in community and in relationship... and let's go!!

I know that this is where God is going and leading LPC... He is calling you to be His missionaries. As his missionary, where is He leading your heart? What is He burdening you for? How can I help you by training and whatever else to see your burdened fulfilled...Please let me know... I want us on Sunday to celebrate what God is doing and how he is leading you... so please contact me ok...

Acts 13:
"3
So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off"

Now is it our turn..

-PK

NEW SONG TO LEARN

Here is a new song from Hillsongs worship team that LifePoint will be learning one Sunday...

It is called Forever Reign...

video

Monday, September 13, 2010

SHEEP FUN

Hello everyone...
On Sunday AM we have been looking at the passage from John 10 for the last few weeks as Jesus talked about Shepard, Sheep, gates, thieves, hired men and robbers!

Here is a cool video about sheep! Amazing what can happen as Shepard's, Sheep dogs and sheep work well together... Does anyone see the spiritual significance?

Enjoy!!

-PK


video

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jesus Messiah

2 Chronicles 31:2
Hezekiah assigned the priests and Levites to divisions—each of them according to their duties as priests or Levites—to offer burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, to minister, to give thanks and to sing praises at the gates of the LORD's dwelling.

One more song...
video

vs1 He became sin
Who knew no sin
That we might become His Righteousness
He humbled himself and carried the cross

Love so amazing
Love so amazing

Chorus:
Jesus Messiah
Name above all names
Blessed Redeemer
Emmanuel
The rescue for sinners
The ransom from Heaven
Jesus Messiah
Lord of all

vs2 His body the bread
His blood the wine
Broken and poured out all for love
The whole earth trembled
And the veil was torn

Love so amazing
Love so amazing,

Chorus:

Bridge
Emmanuel
The rescue for sinners
The ransom from Heaven
Jesus Messiah
Lord of all

All our hope is in You
All our hope is in You
All the glory to You, God
The light of the world

Chorus:

6 Questions For Bible Study

This Sunday I told you about J.I. Packer, well known author and theology teacher, six questions we should be asking of any Biblical text.

Here they are as promised...

(1) What do these words actually mean?

(2) What light do other scriptures throw on this text? Where and how does it fit in to the total biblical revelation?

(3) What truths does it teach about God, and about man in relation to God?

(4) How are these truths related to the saving work of Christ, and what light does the gospel of Christ throw upon them?

(5) What experiences do these truths delineate, or explain, or seek to create or cure? For what practical purpose do they stand in Scripture?

(6) How do I apply them to myself and others in our own actual situation? To what present human condition do they speak, and what are they telling us to believe and do?

J.I.Packer, Among God’s Giants: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life, p138.

Monday, August 30, 2010

"Enough"

Psalm 40:3
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.

"Enough" by Chris Tomlin for us to sing together!

video

New Worship Songs

Psalm 33:1
SING joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.

I want to post several videos of some new songs I want us to sing to the Lord at LPC over the next few weeks... please watch them and be ready for us to sing them together as we gather together!

-PK
video

Come People of the Risen King...

Video from Sunday Aug 29th/10

video

Hey!!! Here is that great video from yesterday for you to enjoy again... Remember, that those voices that call you to less that Biblical followership of Christ are the voices of people Jesus call Thieves and Robbers... Careful who you listen to...

-PK

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Public Praying

The scriptures make the distinction between private praying and public praying. Both are important and necessary. The way you pray in private though is often not (and should not) be the patten you pray with other people. At times I have spoken to people about praying together and how what they are saying is inappropriate or really just preaching to others but using prayer as the format to do so. I do not want, in this post, to get into a debate on all that, though the discussion is important and is necessary as praying together is one of the gathered purposes of His church! We get to talk to OUR Father... not just yours or just mine but he is Our father and we, as part of His family need to talk to God together..

I say all this because I just read a quote from a very godly, older man named Stanley Hauerwas. he is a very well known theologian who really loves the Lord. He is greatly respected by many well known Christians.

Anyway... read what he writes about public prayer in a new book of memoirs entitled Hannah’s Child.

___________________________
Page 255 “I do not trust prayer to spontaneity. Most “spontaneous prayers” turn out, upon analysis to be anything but spontaneous. Too often they conform to formulaic patterns that include ugly phrases such as, “Lord, we just ask you …” Such phrases are gestures of false humility, suggesting that God should give us what we want because what we want is not all that much. I pray that God will save us from that “just.”
_________________________

I say "just" all the time when I pray publicly so I was challenged by his thoughts. Though I do not feel I am trying to be false in my humility in my prayer, but I get what he is saying. We ask in prayer because Jesus invited us to ask! So no need for a "just" as in "sorry to bother you Lord... I have just a small little request of you..." No where is this type of public praying in the word suggested. Boldness is though... with humility in who we are in relationship with.

What do you think?
-PK

Friday, August 27, 2010

Welcome Home!!

Hello Everyone,
It is good to be back at LPC after a few weeks away. I have much to share with you all as we serve Christ together...

I do want to share a few things I have read this summer with you. Here is a great post about worship from blogger Treven Wax on his blog Kingdom People (Living on Earth as Citizens of Heaven).

Read it below and please tell me what you think...
-PK

_________________________________

When it comes to the atmosphere of worship services in the next generation, something’s got to give.

More and more churches are focusing on the centrality of the Word in worship. The resurgence of Reformed theology among younger evangelicals, the reestablishment of a rock-solid belief in the inerrancy and inspiration of the Scriptures in the Southern Baptist Convention, the revival of expository preaching… this wave that we’re riding is about to collide with an even bigger wave: the dominance of contemporary worship styles across the U.S. and the world.

For many churches, the biggest requirement for a “worship set” is novelty. We’re aiming for an experience. So we put together a worship service that is more influenced by the latest hits on Christian radio than by theology or history.

We also try to put people at ease. “Good morning… Let’s try that again, GOOD MORNING!” There’s a chatty, street-level style of worship that has become prevalent in evangelicalism. And I’m not sure how our pursuit of novelty and casualness in worship is going to mesh with hearing the Word of God expounded upon in all its glory.

Can a contemporary, casual service bring worshippers face to face with the glory of God in a way that buttresses and upholds the magnificent truths being expounded from the Word? I think the answer is yes, but not always.

It’s like eating steak on a paper plate.

My wife is an excellent cook. Her Romanian dishes dazzle my tastebuds, and her American cooking is terrific too. In the past couple of months, she has been using paper plates frequently. I understand why. We don’t have a dishwasher. She wants to save time setting the table, and she doesn’t want me washing dishes after dinner. Paper plates are easy and disposable.

But after a few weeks of paper plates, I told my wife, “Your cooking is too good for paper plates.” Slapping down a hot dog and baked beans on a paper plate in the middle of summer is just fine. But when my wife makes her famous pork chops and rice, or her Romanian cabbage rolls, or steak and mashed potatoes, paper plates just don’t cut it. I said, “Let me wash the dishes. But at least give us dishes!”

When it comes to worship, we are frequently told that form doesn’t matter. Style is not what’s important. I get that. I’m not downing contemporary music or advocating a return to liturgy, organs and hymns. I’ve been in contemporary worship services that have put me on my knees before the holiness and majesty of God. Cultural forms adjust and adapt.

But in worship today, there is a tendency toward casualness. The emphasis on feeling God’s closeness in worship may short-circuit the possibility of being transformed by a glimpse of the Transcendent One. There’s hardly any room for feeling awe in worship, and I can’t help but think that part of our problem is the form.

Form and content mirror one another. A church with serious Bible preaching is going to have a serious worship service (contemporary or traditional isn’t what matters, but serious it will be). A church with a feel-good preacher is going to have peppy, feel-good music.

Christians need to sense the weight of God’s glory, the truths of God’s Word, the reality of coming judgment, and the gloriousness of God’s grace. Trying to package the bigness of this God into most casual worship services is like trying to eat steak on a paper plate. You can do it for awhile, but at some point, people will start saying, “I want a dish.”

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Joshua Muller's second update re Street Invaders

Hey guys,

Well, we’re on day six of our mission, and things have been intense. I haven’t updated you since Bootcamp though, so I’ll update you on that first.

It was an amazing time. God did cool stuff over the course of the week. The times of worship were amazing, and the teaching was awesome too. One highlight for me was getting to pray with a girl to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and hearing her receive the gift of speaking in tongues.

Another highlight for me was the night of our commissioning. It was an amazing night. The normal commissioning consists of everyone getting prayed over, and often receiving prophecies when God gives a message to the people praying for said person.

An average commissioning night is more than an amazing time, but I especially enjoy the memory of this year’s service for a couple different reasons. First off, I should mention I was put in charge of praying with my team after they had been commissioned. It was cool being able to do that, and bond with the team in that way.

After the students had been commissioned, I was called up, and was commissioned. The things they prayed and said were definitely an encouragement to me. Afterwards, I came back to my team, and they prayed for me. When they were praying, I just felt the love of God and His presence SO strongly. I almost cried. It was so amazing. There was another amazing thing that happened that evening. Between praying for my teammates as they came down from being commissioned, I was chatting with a friend of mine that was on my SI team in 2008. The conversation turned to the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. I remembered that he mentioned at our mission together that he had never received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and ever since I had always wanted the opportunity to pray with him to receive it, but I had never seen it or taken it. As we were talking, and this thought came to mind, I realized that this was the moment I had been praying for. I asked him if he wanted me to pray with him to receive the Holy Spirit and the gift of speaking in tongues, and he said, “ya”.

So I prayed with him and he started speaking in tongues. In was an amazing time.

Since then, my team and I have come to North Central Regina, and we’ve been working in the neighborhood in various ways to share God’s love. We helped clean up a couple’s garage that had been flooded during the crazy rain this summer. We did some work at the Regina Food bank, and helped out at a community festival that was being put on for the neighborhood kids and families.

So far, however, my favorite ministry that we’ve done has been the work we did on Thursday.

We got together with a guy that works with Soul’s Harbour Rescue mission.

We choose a block to minister to. Then we went door to door, offering free yard work, and telling the people that we would be having a barbecue with free hot dogs and juice. The ministry that our team was able to do was really awesome. While some of our team was doing the yard work and such, others took time to talk to people in the neighborhood, and a few people on our team had a chance to pray with a lady. It was a really cool time, and a really cool concept I thought.

Well, I best go. We’re on a really crazy schedule that sometimes prevents us from getting the sleep we need, so please pray that God will give us the energy we need to stay healthy and complete our mission. Also, please pray for continued team unity. This years compassion team is one of the most amazing teams I’ve been on. Pray that God would keep us as one, that we would continue to hunger after Him with everything that’s within us, and that any attacks from the devil would have no effect whatsoever

Thank you all for your continued prayer support!

God bless!

Joshua Müller

Next Update from Stephen Muller re Street Invaders

Hey yall!

How are you all doing? The past week has been amazing!
My team is working in Regina with kids ministry and street evangelism type stuff.
Mykala Dotchkat is also on my team :)
Tuesday night we went to victoria park for an outreach evening. and...

WOW! God is amazing!

Within the first 2 minutes I found myself sharing Christ with 2 guys who were smoking weed.
I’m stoked to see what else God has planned for us.

So... Ya...
Miss you guys!

God bless!

Stephen Müller

Friday, July 16, 2010

Big Island Update

Jim was unable to get hold of Rachel before the tent meeting. He will try again later. If he doesn't have any luck he will try again in the morning.
God bless.

Gina

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Big Island Outreach Update for Thursday

A lot of work got done today. One third to one half of the main floor is tiled. The basement is framed in completely. Rachel put insulation in the floor for soundproofing. Twenty four kids showed up for a thing called Kids Stream. The men are working on the floor tonight and the women have a ladies night out at the tent. Women only. They will be costuming themselves with whatever they can find. Rachel has taken a lot of pictures to put together with Jim's. Also, a man named Cory also took a lot of pictures and will send them to us when possible.
The work that everyone went there to do is getting done. Praise God.
Please continue to pray for everyone involved in the mission. This includes the people who are being taught how to teach the adults and the children.

Gina

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

Update for Big Island Outreach for Wednesday

Jim made it home safely. He really enjoyed himself. We will continue to update the blog by talking to Rachel every night. This one should have been posted last night. I am a bit late.
The floor is nearly finished and ready for tile. Needs just a little leveling first. Got the natural gas hooked up the the furnaces. Framing in the basement is finished. Plumbers and electricians should be there Thursday. Had a kids programe in the afternoon with 32 kids showing up. Isn't that awesome. Two native women, who are in training to teach sunday school, helped with the children.
Rachel reported that they were having a severe thunderstorm and very heavy rains when she was on her way to the tent meeting. She said that she had never heard thunder that loud before.
Please pray that the weather for the rest of the week is good so that they can get as much done as possible. Unfortunately, they are a little short on supplies.
I will talk to Rachel again tonight at six thirty and post another report.
Sorry that I am late with this one.

Gina

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Big Island Outreach Update for Tuesday

I just talked to Jim and he said that it rained all night. As a matter of fact, it rained so hard and so much that the big meeting tent collapsed. They spent a good part of the morning putting it back up so that they could hold tonights meeting. Once that was done they put on some more siding. Unfortunately, they ran out of siding. It had started to rain again so they had to go inside anyway. They spent the afternoon stapling the floor. They realized that the floor was not meeting flush in places so now they have to get some floor patch before they can lay the tile. The rest of the afternoon was spent cleaning the main floor spotless so that it is ready to tile. The stairway that they built yesterday, they finished today.
Jim said that Rachel is thoroughly enjoying herself. Another good thing to come out of this trip is that Rachel and Jim got to know each other. Funny how something like this lets you get to really know someone that you see all the time.
More people were just showing up at 6:30 tonight to help for the rest of the week.
Jim has had some awesome things happen to him spiritually. I know that this trip has changed him in a good way. Praise God for all that He has done.
Focusing on someone else and their needs will always bring you closer to God.
Jim will be home sometime tomorrow. Rachel will be staying until the end of the week.

Gina

Philippians 4:19 - "And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

Monday, July 12, 2010

Big Island Outreach Update

I talked to Jim at 6:30 tonight and they got a lot of work done today. They cleaned up the upstairs of the building to get it ready to mud. They built walls for two bathrooms and a set of stairs to the basement. They also put on a lot of the siding. Supplies were needed, so they had to wait until two this afternoon for someone to get back from Bonnyville with the needed supplies otherwise they may have gotten a lot more done. Jim is enjoying himself and Rachel is getting to the type of construction work that she wanted to do. Praise God.
Please pray for their safety. There were two minor accidents today, everyone is fine but no accidents would be much better. One of the men shot a nail through his finger with a nail gun. Jim was stepping down from a sawhorse, someone had left a hammer just below it and he stepped on it. He fell and hurt his right ankle and his left wrist. Thank the Lord it was not serious and he continued to work for the rest of the day.
There is a three hour service in the tent tonight even though it is raining. Everyone will just put on their rain gear and attend.
Jim says that he will get to meet the Chief of the Indian band tomorrow. He has been a follower of Jesus for about three years.
This is all really cool to learn about another culture and their following of the Lord. Awesome.
Both Jim and Rachel felt called to go on this mission. I praise God for putting this on their hearts and making it possible for them to go.

Gina

Romans8:28 - "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Big Island Outreach

Just to let everyone know the crew going to Big Island today made it there safely. They have toured the church to determine where they will start tomorrow morning. The plan is to have the upstairs for the church ready for Friday night service.
They have a big tent set up right now and they hold service every night from 7 until 10.
Jim said that they have a lot of drywalling to do and a floor to put down.
Please pray that the weather is good and that everyone remains safe and healthy.
Praise God that another building will house people praising Him.
I will update the blog again tomorrow night.

Gina

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sex talk

Why is it that for something that God created and said was good, we as people of God most never talk about the subject of sex?? I know that those who are not Christians do so, and often crudely. Yet for us who are in Christ... we most never talk publicly about it.

I was sent this link to article by Joe Beam. he wrote a great article on the subject of porn. I hope you take the time to read it. Then.....let's talk...

-PK

__________________________________________


Internet Porn is the New Sex Ed?

by Joe Beam
President, LovePath International

If I opened Details magazine before, I don’t recall it. I don’t think I’ll open another. The September 2009 issue caught my eye with quarterback Tom Brady’s name in huge orange letters on the cover.

That was the bait. The hook set when I noticed a smaller cover title, “Generation XXX: How Internet Porn Became the New Sex Ed.”

Be aware that I’m one of those people that takes seriously Jesus’ prayer about His followers being in the world but not of the world. (John 17:13-18) I seek opportunities to interact with people outside of church contexts, and love to be on secular TV or radio answering questions from people that are not remotely religious. Just the other day I was on the top-forty station 107.5 The River in Nashville with morning hosts Woody and Jim. These guys are very bright, extremely witty, and faster than lightning, so it’s a thrill-a-minute to be on their show taking calls from their listeners about relationships while Woody and Jim jump in readily. (They’re hilarious, but they’re also quite good at helping people.) All calls during this particular show happened to come from women living with their boyfriends. The most interesting was the lady who asked if her boyfriend’s obsession with porn, and resulting decrease in sexual activity with her, should be something for her to worry about or was she overreacting. She wanted an answer before she married him.

That was still on my mind when I ran across Details.

After thumbing through more than 70 pages of ads for clothes apparently designed for men that have never eaten, I finally found the table of contents on page 72 and flipped over to the article. It was saturated with language you’ll never find on Crosswalk, so I held my nose as I slogged through it to see if the author, Eric Spitznagel, had any information I could use.

Though he focused much of his article on porn use by teens, his message directed itself to adults.

He began by sharing “fond memories” of his first exposure to porn when he was fourteen, then explained how his experience pales in comparison to what a modern 14-year-old has available today. He stated that there are more than 400 million pornographic web pages, “The awkward truth, according to one study, is that 90 percent of 8-to-16-year-olds have viewed pornography online…By the time they’re in high school, America’s porn-fed youth have already amassed an encyclopedic knowledge of smut.”

He went on, “According to a 2008 survey, one in five teenagers have sent an explicit photo of themselves to someone else or posted one online.”

It gets worse.

He writes, “In fact, ‘porn readiness’ is now a source of pride. While on tour promoting her memoir, [porn actress] Jenna Jameson was reportedly stunned that 13-year-old girls kept telling her she was their role model.”

Spitznagel wasn’t writing about how bad this is, but rather thinks of these teens as “sowing the seeds of a sexual revolution.” I believe he’s right about those seeds, but the revolution won’t lead to greater sexual satisfaction as he seems to think. Just the opposite.

So why doesn’t someone do something about this?

The article quoted former State Department staffer Mary Eberstadt’s comments in Policy Revue, “[Porn] is widely seen as cool, especially among younger people, and this coveted social status further reduces the already low incentive for making a public issue of it.”

From the time kids first plop down in front of a TV, they are exposed to sexual situations that were not allowed even to be mentioned in polite society just a few years ago. That desensitization, along with the Internet, makes moving up to porn easier than it was for previous generations. I’m not claiming we should go back to hiding information and forbidding discussion about sex, but I certainly see that the current fixation with sexuality as portrayed by porn is having a dramatic effect on marriages, beginning years before the marriage itself. As porn becomes the new Sex Ed (my work with marriages leads me to believe he is right about that), it creates a set of expectations about sex in marriage that are quite literally impossible to fulfill. This doesn’t happen just with the guys; it’s happening with the gals as well. The porn from teen years becomes the disaster in marriages years later. Not just from the memories, but because porn usage continues into marriage for millions of people.

Why is that a big problem?

As people watch porn – whether they’re 13, 33, or 63 – they start to buy into the idea that most people, especially the spouse they have or are going to have, should always be ready and willing to have sex. Not only that, from exposure to the multiplied variations of sexual behavior modeled in porn, they expect their partner to have sex in every manner possible. For example, Spitznagel writes, “According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control, the number of heterosexuals having anal sex nationwide has almost doubled since 1992.”

Add to this the fact that as spouses age, gain weight, and get wrinkles, they don’t compare physically to most of the women and men in porn. One woman said to me, “I wish I had the money to have cosmetic surgery from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet so that maybe my husband would want to look at me rather than those women on the Internet.”

From my perspective, it appears that the American expectation (maybe worldwide) is evolving into marrying a spouse that doesn’t age or change physically, thinks about sex constantly, talks, acts, and dresses seductively, can’t wait to jump into bed (or more exotic locations), makes every lovemaking session extraordinary, and does everything either of them has seen, heard of, or imagined.

Will all who have that marriage please raise their hands?

Real life isn’t like porn. Even the real life of porn actors isn’t like porn. People get tired, become preoccupied, develop broader interests, grow passionate about other dimensions of life, change after childbirth (both genders), and age a little every day. Occasionally, they don’t like their partner. Life isn’t nonstop sex. Sometimes I hear someone say that men think about sex every 30 seconds, or some such number. Ridiculous. Life is broad, complicated, and demanding. My friend, outstanding sex researcher, writer, and expert Barry McCarthy, PhD, spreads the message broad and wide that we shouldn’t expect every sexual encounter to be great. As we communicated about this article, he urged, “Emphasize the crucial importance of positive, realistic sexual expectations: The most important being that less than 50% of sexual encounters among happily married, sexually functional couples have outcomes that are mutually satisfying, and 5-15 % of sexual encounters in marriage are dissatisfying or dysfunctional.”

I’m aware that there are very frustrated husbands and very frustrated wives that are angry because they feel that their spouses are sexually inhibited, or seemingly don’t care whether sex occurs or not in their marriage. As part of completion of my PhD in sexology, I currently am designing a weekend workshop for married couples that will have one goal – helping couples develop a sexual life more fulfilling to each of them. Yet, no matter how good the weekend workshop will be (ahem, it’s already very good), it will not make every day a great day of sexual fulfillment. We may seek great sex in our marriages but we should accept that valid research indicates that about half our sexual encounters in marriage aren’t going to be wonderful. Seek outstanding sex in your marriage, but be realistic in your goals and expectations.

As a proponent of great sex in marriage, I shout from the rooftops that porn is not the answer to achieving great sex. It creates impossible expectations that lead to misery. If one of you pursues porn, you will drift emotionally from your partner into an imaginary world that will never exist in reality. If you use it together, you will eventually reach the point where your lovemaking relies on the stimulation of watching others and not at all on intimacy between the two of you.

While I pray that parents and church leaders will discuss sex, including porn, openly and frankly with teens, my purpose is to discuss it frankly with adults. According to McCarthy, about 15% of men and nearly 5% of women compulsively use porn. Barry isn’t a Christian, so his views aren’t “stained glass” church rhetoric. Instead his insights root themselves in solid research and education. Of compulsive porn users, he states matter-of-factly, “For them it is very destructive.” If the studies Spitznagel cites are accurate, it’s frightening to think how much higher those percentages will be when today’s teens become adults. How many individuals – how many marriages – will be destroyed when “porn ready” teens become husbands and wives?

However, right now let’s talk about people already married.

If you are both into porn in your marriage, please believe me when I say that my experience with thousands of couples demonstrates that you will develop problems with your intimacy, self-esteem, and fulfillment as a couple. Stop now. Save your future by rescuing your present.
If one of you is into porn and the other doesn’t know, don’t think that it isn’t hurting your marriage. Every exposure to porn immerses you into a fantasy world that erodes the real world you could have together. It will change you; maybe it has already. Think you can keep it a secret? Get real. When your spouse discovers, he or she will very likely feel betrayed, rejected, unattractive, and abandoned. Do they have the right to feel that way? Yes. You have violated the marriage covenant. (Matthew 5:28-30)

If one of you is into porn and the other does know, the spouse not into porn should take the lead in demanding the removal of porn altogether. Get rid of the Internet, just as you would remove an addict’s access to alcohol. Check up on missing time and missing money. Seek out a Celebrate Recovery group in your area (you can find locations online). Finally, do something immediately to salvage the future you can have together. If your marriage is in trouble, let us help. Our success rate over the last decade is three out of four marriages, even when porn, adultery, or other things have deeply hurt the relationship. If not us, let someone help. Don’t think a slap-on-the-wrist and a promise to do better will solve a problem that is deep-seated, especially an addiction such as porn.

I believe that a couple can overcome porn’s affects by learning a new kind of sex education. However, it is very unlikely that they will until they solve the problems in their marriage, especially unrealized expectations on the part of one, or feelings of betrayal by the other.

By the power of God, you can have a great marriage and a great sex life.

Act now. Save your future.