The Weekend Funnies – Contemplative Fishing

Dear friends,

What do you do when you want to relax?

For me, I like to curl up with a good book. How about you?

Calvin & Hobbes - fishing contemplative

Calvin & Hobbes (c) 2016 Bill Waterson.

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My Story and My Passions #1: Faith – Sermon of the Week

MY STORY AND MY PASSIONS #1: FAITH

(Pastor Chris Jordan – Beausejour Church)

To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.

When I went to share this message, I had only three Scriptures before I started preaching: Hebrews 11:1,6,8. From there, I endeavoured to walk by faith and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as I shared this message on faith…

Chris CropOPENING TEXT:

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1).

  • One of the most important aspects of the Christian life is FAITH:

FAITH THAT GOD IS GOOD:

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Heb. 11:6).

  • Do you want to please God? Then you need to learn to walk by faith.
  • What is faith? Not only believing that God EXISTS: James 2:19 says, “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble!”
  • TRUE faith believes that God is GOOD – that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
  • How do we get more faith? By reading and meditating on the Scriptures:
  • “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17).
  • The more you know about God and His nature, the more you will trust Him.

ONE OF MY FAVOURITE SCRIPTURES: THE GOODNESS OF GOD:

“1 A Psalm of David. Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. 9 He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion for his children, So the Lord has compassion for those who fear Him.” (Psalm 103:1-13).

  • Sometimes we need to speak to ourselves and tell ourselves to praise the Lord.
  • God tells us to not forget – to call to remembrance – all of His benefits:
  • He forgives our sins, heals our diseases, renews our youth, He is merciful and gracious, slow to get angry, forgives our sins, has compassion on us like a Father on His children.

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” (Heb. 11:8).

  • God had a plan and purpose for Abraham’s life, and he stepped out in faith to obey God.
  • God has a plan and a purpose for all of our lives as well.
  • 95% of God’s will for everyone is in the Bible: Be kind, loving, forgiving, etc.
  • 5% of God’s will is specific and unique for everyone – who you will be, what you will do, who you will marry, etc. Start out by doing what you know to do of the general will of God (obey the Bible), and the rest will fall into place.
  • Pray and seek God’s wisdom and direction for your life! (James 1:5).

THE CALL OF ABRAHAM – WALKING BY FAITH:

“The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s house-hold to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:1-3).

  • When God called Abraham to go, he didn’t know where he was going, but he obeyed.
  • What do we learn about God’s plan and purpose for US from Abraham’s story?
  • God calls people who aren’t perfect (Abraham struggled with lying).
  • Just because God calls you doesn’t mean you won’t have troubles (Abraham did).
  • God calls us to bless us so that we can be a blessing to others.

MY PERSONAL STORY:

  • After my salvation, I sensed God was calling me into pastoral ministry.
  • In obedience, I stepped out in faith and moved to BC to go to Bible College.
  • One of the things I sought God for in my life was direction concerning who to marry.

CLOSING THOUGHTS:

God is a good, good Father and He has good plans and purposes for your lives!

Church Website:         www.beausejourchurch.ca

Pastor’s Blog:             https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/

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The Weekend Funnies – Summer Vacation – and a Big Announcement!

I don’t think I’ve made this announcement on my blog yet, so here goes…

For the past 9 1/2 years, I have served as the lead pastor of Beausejour Community Church in Beausejour, Manitoba. (Prior to that, I served as a youth pastor in Surrey, BC for 14 years).

The Big Announcement: in two months (Sept. 2016) I will be starting my new job as a guidance counsellor and high school teacher at Regent Christian Academy back in Surrey, BC!

Needless to say, it’s going to be a busy summer of transition, as we work on finishing up our time in Beausejour, selling our home, and getting ready to move from the prairies back to the west coast of Canada. Pray for us!

And – what are you doing for your summer vacation, if anything, this year?

CAlvin & Hobbes - nature camping

Calvin & Hobbes (c) 2016 Bill Waterson.

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The Weekend Funnies – Summer Days

As I’m writing today’s post, I’m sitting in a hotel room in Regina, Saskatchewan. Later this afternoon, I have the privilege of performing my sister Jodi’s wedding ceremony. I’m looking forward to seeing all of my relatives, many of whom I haven’t seen in several years. Ready to party this weekend!

Calvin & Hobbes - summer days

Calvin & Hobbes (c) 2016 Bill Waterson.

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Spiritual Formations #4: First Things First – #Sermon of the Week

SPIRITUAL FORMATIONS #4: FIRST THINGS FIRST

(June 2016 – Pastor Chris Jordan – Beausejour Church)

To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.

Hungry for God

THE RIGHTEOUS FOUNDATIONS OF CANADA:

On Friday, we celebrate our nation of Canada’s 149th birthday!

  • OUR NAME: “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea.” (Psalm 72:8).

“Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley, then premier of NB, was one of the 33 Fathers of Confederation. He was a born-again Christian who started his day with prayer and a chapter of the Bible… When reading Psalm 72:8, the thought occurred to him, “What a splendid name to give Canada!” A letter signed by John A. Macdonald explained to Queen Victoria that the name was a tribute to the principles they earnestly desired to uphold.” (Faytene Kryskow).

    • OUR FLAG: The leaf “for the healing of the nations.” (Rev. 22:2).
    • OUR CREST: The motto is in Latin a mari usque ad mare (From sea to sea).
    • OUR FOUNDATION: John Cabot planted a Cross on Newfoundland’s shores in 1497 claiming it “For God and for England.”

PRAYER: For the nation of Canada.

SPIRITUAL FORMATIONS QUOTE:

“To live the spiritual life and to let God’s presence fill us takes constant prayer, and to move from our illusions and isolation back to that place in the heart where God continues to form us in the likeness of Christ takes time and attention.” (Henri Nouwen, Spiritual Formations).

ILLUSTRATION:

“A little boy was watching a sculptor at work. For weeks the sculptor kept chipping away at a big block of marble. After a few weeks he had created a beautiful marble lion. The little boy was amazed and said: Mister, how did you know there was a lion in the rock?” (Henri Nouwen).

  • God the Father wants to chip away from us everything that is not the image of Jesus!

OPENING STORY:

38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But ONE THING is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42).

  • How can you tell when you’ve been ignoring that ‘one thing’ in your life?
  • Like Martha, you become distracted, frustrated, worried and troubled about many things. Which one are you?

THE BIG IDEA: Three of the key spiritual formations are abiding in Jesus in prayer, abiding in the Word, and abiding in His love.

  • First things first – Mary (being with Jesus) then Martha (doing things for Jesus)
  • We need to put Jesus first, and then we will have strength to do our work.

KEY TEXT: “ONE THING I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple.” (King David, Psalm 27:4).

  • David said his #1 desire was to seek the Lord, to see Him and know him more.
  • David also says that He wanted, “To inquire in His temple.” What does that mean?
  • God has a plan and a purpose for every person, and gives us wisdom and guidance:
  • “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5).

1. ABIDE IN JESUS IN PRAYER:

 

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 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. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.” (John 15:1-3).

  • Jesus is using a metaphor to describe our relationship with Him.
  • Sometimes He needs to prune our lives – remove things that keep us from being fruitful.
  • If you cut a branch off of a tree, it will no longer bear fruit. What kind of fruit?
  • “But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Gal. 5:22-23. NLT).
  • This is what happens when we neglect our personal relationship with Jesus.

“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. 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. 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.” (John 15:4-6).

  • The first essential spiritual formation is to abide in Jesus.
  • If we don’t bear fruit, we will be cast out like a branch and thrown into the fire. Yikes!
  • Abiding in Jesus means spending time focusing on your relationship with Him.
  • It is sharing your heart with Him, and taking the time to listen to Him, too.

2. ABIDE IN JESUS AND HIS WORD:

 

“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).

  • The second part of spiritual formations includes abiding in the Word.
  • “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious” (1 Peter 2:1-3).
  • As we abide in the Word, we will grow spiritually.

3. ABIDE IN JESUS AND HIS LOVE:

 

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” (John 15:9).

  • If we don’t taste and see that the Lord is good, we won’t have a desire to pray or read our Bibles. We must meditate on His love first.
  • “We love Him because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19).
  • When we know and believe the love that Jesus has for us, we become more loving.
  • “Behold what manner of love the Father lavished on us.” (1 John 3:1). Meditate on it!
  • It’s not Mary or Martha – it’s Mary first, then go and love and serve and bless.

QUOTE: “I cannot imagine a greater motivation to pray than that God enjoys having me in His presence. He enjoys my company. He delights in listening to me… It is such a dazzling thought, that the same God who has countless billions of angels worshiping Him sixty seconds a minute, day and night, to whom the nations are but a drop in the bucket, and who knows all about every leaf on every tree in the world, also welcomes my company – because I am very important to Him.” (R. T. Kendall, Did You Think To Pray?).

SONG: What a Friend We Have in Jesus.

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The Weekend Funnies – TV (Again) and Saturday Morning Cartoons

I love Calvin and Hobbes. An insightful look at human nature, through the eyes of a six year old boy and his ‘pet’ tiger. This week’s comic strips are another look at TV, and Saturday morning cartoons (I miss those days!). Enjoy…

Calvin & Hobbes - TV 9

Calvin & Hobbes - Saturday cartoons and comics

Calvin & Hobbes (c) 2016 Bill Waterson.

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Spiritual Formations #3: Good, Good Father – #Sermon of the Week

SPIRITUAL FORMATIONS #3: GOOD, GOOD FATHER

(Pastor Chris Jordan – Beausejour Church)

Good good Father

To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.

OPENING SCRIPTURE:

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).

  • We are living in a loveless, fatherless generation, and God wants to give us a new and fresh revelation of the extraordinary love of God the Father!

ONE OF MY FAVOURITE SCRIPTURES:

“1 A Psalm of David. Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. 9 He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.” (Psalm 103:1-13).

THE BIG IDEA: God wants us to know, believe and receive the extraordinary, unconditional love that He has for us.

PRAYER: “I pray that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height– to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Eph. 3:17-21).

QUOTE: “People fear God because of wrong concepts of God. Let a man meet God in Christ Jesus, and he will love God.” (John G. Lake).

TEXT: “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:7-9).

  • Jesus came to reveal to us a picture of the Father’s loving heart.
  • If you want to know how much God loves you, meditate on the life and teachings of Christ as found in the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

THE EXTRAORDINARY LOVE OF GOD THE FATHER: Luke 15

  • Prodigal – Rashly or wastefully extravagant: Giving in abundance; lavish; generosity

1 Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3 So He spoke this parable to them, saying… Skip down to verse…

11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living…

17 But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ‘ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. (Luke 15:1-24).

  • See the extraordinary love of God the Father.
  • He didn’t wait until his son got his penitent speech out, or cleaned up his act.
  • The father ran towards him, embraced him and showed him unconditional love.
  • We cannot love God and love others until we know and believe the love God has for us!
  • Our experience of the extraordinary love of God the Father is what will empower us to effectively love God and love others. Let’s meditate on the Cross.

CLOSING PRAYER:

“The love of God is poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 5:5).

  • Pray for the Holy Spirit to pour out God’s love into our hearts, and for a revelation of His love.
  • Challenge: Come home to the Father’s House!

Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca

Pastor’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/

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