Weekly Reflections with Calvin and Hobbes – Volume #2: On a Shelf

C&H Bad Mood Friendship Need

“What’s wrong?” My wife Liza asked me in the car as we were leaving Horizon Church on Sunday morning. It had nothing to do with the service; I very much enjoyed the passionate, vibrant worship and the powerful preaching. Pastor Craig kicked off a great new series: “More: What if less actually gave you more?” It was an inspiring message reminding us that Jesus has come to give us life, and that more abundantly. But I digress.

“What’s wrong?”

What’s wrong indeed?

It had been three weeks since my final service preaching in Beausejour. Three weeks since we moved to Surrey and I transitioned from being a full time pastor to being a school academic advisor and guidance counsellor. And I was feeling a little displaced.

Out of sorts.

Lost.

After 24 years of being involved in full time pastoral ministry, now I was… what? Just a guy? I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was struggling with my identity, who I was, and where I fit.

As I contemplated my feelings (don’t get me wrong, that’s not something I do very often, but I was in one of those kind of rare reflective moods), I kind of felt like I was a vessel that had been put on a shelf. I thought about an encounter that the prophet Jeremiah had with God one day:

“The LORD gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, “Go down to the potter’s shop, and I will speak to you there.” So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over. Then the LORD gave me this message: “O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand. (Jeremiah 18:1-6, NLT).

Because God is the potter, and we are the clay vessels that he had formed and shaped for His purposes, He has the right to do with us what He wants to.

That’s what the Apostle Paul said in Romans 9:20-21: “Who in the world do you think you are to second-guess God? … Clay doesn’t talk back to the fingers that mold it, saying, “Why did you shape me like this?” Isn’t it obvious that a potter has a perfect right to shape one lump of clay into a vase for holding flowers and another into a pot for cooking beans? (The Message Bible).

Yes He does! And He has the right to do what He wants with me – whether it is to fashion me into a vase for holding flowers, or a pot for cooking beans. Whether it is to pastor a church in a little town on the prairies, or be the guidance counsellor for a group of high school students in a big city on the west coast.

And again, don’t get me wrong – I love my new job very much! I am so excited to be a part of what God is doing in and through Regent Christian Academy. But I realize that I had allowed a sense of my identity to come from what I did – pastoring – and not simply from who I was – a child of God, deeply loved by Him, accepted in the beloved, adopted into His family, and forgiven of all of my sins. THAT is who I really am!

And so, whether I am Pastor Chris, or Mr. Jordan (as the high school students now know me as), or simply Chris, or dad (to my four amazing kids), I. Am. Content. To. Be. A. Child. Of. God. Period.

As a post-script to this week’s reflections, this morning I got an email from my pastor, asking me if I was interested in speaking to the church this coming Sunday morning. When I shared that with Liza, she said to me, “Just a thought that maybe God is saying, “You are not on a shelf, and I’m not done with you!” Just saying…” Wisdom from my wife… Amen!

And God’s not finished with YOU either. Maybe you feel like you’re on a shelf, or in a valley, or some sort of dark storm, and you wonder where God is. May this quote, which I read during my devotions the other morning, encourage you as it did me:

ignatius-loyola-quote

“In times of dryness and desolation we must be patient, and wait with resignation for the return of comfort, putting our trust in the goodness of God. We must animate ourselves by the thought that God is always with us, that He only allows this trial for our greater good, and that we have not necessarily lost His grace because we have lost the taste and feeling of it.” (St. Ignatius Loyola, Spiritual Exercises).

Calvin & Hobbes (c) 2016 Bill Waterson.

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Weekly Reflections with Calvin and Hobbes – Volume #1

Dear friends,

From the time I started this blog, I have had two regular weekly features (in addition to several other random offerings). One was my sermon of the week (with a link to the audio MP3 and message outline), and the other one was a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. However, now that I am no longer a pastor, nor am I preaching on Sunday mornings, there will obviously be no more sermon of the week! And so, I thought this would be a great time to create a brand new postWeekly Reflections with Calvin and Hobbes.

calvin-hobbes-school-homework

After every weekend (usually Sunday or Monday), I am going to share with you my thoughts and experiences from the previous week, including a weekly Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. I might include some snippets of what I’ve learned at church, or some of our family’s crazy new adventures on the west coast. Feel free to give me feedback and let me know what you like, and what you’d like to read more of!

So for the first weekly reflections, let me share with you some of my thoughts since moving our family back to Surrey, BC. We have been here for about 10 days now, and settling nicely into our new lives. Austin and Hannah have begun their new adventure at Regent Christian Academy, where they now have to wear uniforms to school. We have been down to the pier at White Rock to see the ocean and enjoy some fresh fish and chips (see the sunrise photo below). Yummo!

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We have been attending our previous church – Horizon Church (previously known as Bible Fellowship), and have been enjoying the worship there and reconnecting with our old church family. This past Sunday morning, Pastor Craig Millar shared a message from Matthew 6:16-18 called: “When you Fast.” He talked about how if you don’t do regular maintenance on your vehicle, it will eventually break down. Likewise, we must maintain our spiritual devotional lives in giving, praying and fasting. Because Jesus said, “When you fast,” that tells us that fasting is something that should be a regular part of every Christian’s life. As Jenetzen Franklin said, “So many people have lost the edge in their lives… but fasting can change all of that.” It’s time to seek the Lord in fasting and prayer – not to twist God’s arm, but to draw close to Him. Amen!

It’s been one week since I stepped into my new role as the guidance counsellor and academic advisor at Regent Christian Academy. The first week of school was a very busy one, dealing with dozens of students who wanted to change their courses, or simply meet to talk about what sort of courses they will need to graduate or get into the university or college programs they hope to attend next fall. It’s great to be back at RCA!

Because it is a Christian school, we started off the year yesterday and today with a spiritual retreat up at Charis Camp with the grade 9-10 students (my daughter Hannah is a part of that group). Our activities included everything from a rock climbing wall, swimming, ropes course, beach volleyball, and gym time, to a chapel with worship, a guest speaker (Pastor Jason Ballard) and the presence of the Lord. The retreat was cool for me because I had a chance to meet and mingle with several of the students, to learn their names and faces, and hear some of their stories.

And that kind of brings you up to speed on the first chapter of our new life on the west coast. Watch for another weekly reflections coming soon…

Calvin & Hobbes (c) 2016 Bill Waterson.

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A New Beginning: A Pastor No More!

For fourteen years, I served as a youth pastor at two different churches in Surrey, BC: Four years at Victory Christian Centre (now called Relate Church) and ten years at Bible Fellowship (now called Horizon Church). After that, I spent the past almost-ten years as the lead pastor of Beausejour Community Church in Beausejour, Manitoba. And so for the past 24 years, I have been involved in full time pastoral ministry.

But not anymore.

On August 28th, I preached my last sermon at BCC.

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Tomorrow morning, I will begin a brand new adventure in a whole new vocation, as a guidance counsellor and academic advisor at Regent Christian Academy in Surrey, BC. I have several years experience working at RCA from the past – as a guest presenter in the classroom, a Bible teacher, yearbook editor and chaplain. But this will be something different. And I’m excited about it!

Regent Christian Academy

“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:18-19).

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The Final Benediction – My Last Sermon at Beausejour Community Church

MY STORY AND MY PASSIONS #6: THE FINAL BENEDICTION (Sermon #2325)

(Pastor Chris Jordan – Beausejour Church)

On August 28, 2016, after almost ten years of being the lead pastor of Beausejour Community Church, I preached my farewell message to our church family.

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

INTRO TO SPEAKER: After almost 10 years, this is my final message at BCC!

benediction

OPENING TEXT:

11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All the saints greet you. 14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.” (2 Corinthians 13:11-14, NJKV).

  • Become complete – perfected – more like Jesus. One mind, peace, unity, Psalm 133!
  1. THE GRACE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST: SALVATION & FORGIVENESS:

 

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10).

  • The grace of Jesus saves us and forgives our sins! Thank Jesus for THE CROSS!
  • Do you know Jesus? If not, give your heart to the Lord today and forsake your sins!

2. THE LOVE OF GOD THE FATHER: ADOPTION AND FAMILY:

 

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

  • The love of God the Father adopts us into His family. Therefore, let’s love one another!!

3. THE COMMUNION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: POWER, WISDOM AND LOVE:

 

“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5).

  • The fellowship of the Holy Spirit – we experience God’s love through Him.

“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. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you…But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:16-18,26).

  • He also gives us wisdom and guidance in our lives. SO: Read your Bibles!

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me.” (Acts 1:8).

  • Finally, He empowers us to share God’s love with others.

PRAYER: Pastoral prayer and blessing for the church to grow in the Lord!

THE FINAL BENEDICTION:

“The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.” (2 Corinthians 13:14, The Message Bible).

My Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/

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The Weekend Funnies – being invisible or being able to fly?

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Would you prefer being able to turn yourself invisible, or being able to fly?

Calvin & Hobbes - invisible

Calvin & Hobbes Kryptonite

Calvin & Hobbes (c) 2016 Bill Waterson.

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My Story and My Passions #5: Revival

MY STORY AND MY PASSIONS #5: REVIVAL

(August 2016 – Pastor Chris Jordan – Beausejour Church)

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

Awakening

MY STORY: One of my passions is revival. I don’t want to just play church or be religious!

I want to see God come down and move in our hearts and lives in a very real way!

KEY TEXTS:

“Will You not revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You?” (Psalm 85:6).

“O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years!” (Habakkuk 3:2).

  • Two kinds of revival in the Bible: Personal and corporate – the church.
  • Before God will bring revival to the church, we individually need a spiritual awakening.

WHAT IS REVIVAL: Chayah: sustain life, be restored to life or health; to cause to grow; restore. Something that’s alive will be growing and bear fruit!

  • When we are revived, we will be ‘juicy fruit’ Christians – full of the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control).

THE NEED FOR REVIVAL: PREACH!

When the people of God are easily offended; easily gossip; compromise with and justify sin; act and talk just like the world, put sports over God’s house, neglect prayer and Bible reading…

REVIVAL HISTORY: Throughout the history of the church, there have been times where God has send fresh fire to stir up His people to seek after Him again.

  • 1500’s – the reformation – Luther and Calvin – reminded us salvation by grace alone
  • 1900’s – the Pentecostal revival – William Seymour, Aimee Semple McPherson

THE WELSH REVIVAL OF 1904:

  • – 1904 – 26 year old ‘youth intern’ Evan Roberts had prayed for revival for 11 years.
  • – felt God was going to pour out a mighty spirit of revival on Wales – prayed, Bend me, O Lord!
  • – pastor led him speak following a prayer meeting, only 17 stayed, mostly youth & young adults.
  • – all ended up at altar crying out to God until 2 am.  That week, 60 people were saved,
  • – next 1 1/2 years = revival in Wales, 100,000 people saved – changed national culture
  • – would pray from 1-5 am; prayer meetings were multiplied (2,000 in a meeting).

MY STORY:

  • I have a hunger for more of God in my life. My life Scripture:

1 A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. 2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. 3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. 4 Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. 5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.” (Psalm 63:1-5).

  • Are you hungry for more of God in your life? Are you tired of the usual?
  • Have you tasted and seen the goodness of the Lord? He is GOOD.

TEXT: “1 When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 2 And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house. 3 When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever…”

14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chron. 7:1-3,14).

BIBLE STORY: “36 Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. 37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.” 40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” So he said, “Teacher, say it.” 1 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” (Luke 7:36-47).

FOUR KEYS TO GETTING READY FOR REVIVAL:

HUMILITY – to admit our need for God.

  • Humility means we acknowledge we need God.
  • How many of us go through a whole day without calling on Him?

PRAYER – to pray in boldness and faith.

  • We need to pray AND seek God’s face. Prayer for things like asking God for revival and spiritual awakenings for our lives, our families, and our church.

SEEK GOD’S FACE – where we want to know Him more.

  • Revival isn’t a formula, it’s about falling in love with Jesus again! We’ve got to stop seeking His hands (his blessings) and seek His face (His presence, knowing Him).

REPENTANCE – to turn from our wicked ways

  • We will see God come in revival when we begin to seek Him in prayer and repentance.
  • It’s all about seeing Jesus and the CROSS – salvation from our sins!

CLOSING:  PRAYER FOR HUNGER!

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The Weekend Funnies – The Wild Side of Shopping

Okay, I’m not going to lie. I’m an adult, and I still like reading comic books. Is that wrong? Not to mention if I find myself shopping at Costco or Superstore with my wife, I might be tempted to go for a ride on the shopping cart. Life’s too short to be bored or boring!

Calvin & Hobbes - wild side shopping cart ride

Calvin & Hobbes (c) 2016 Bill Waterson.

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