Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Food For Thought...

A friend just sent me this in an email. I wanted to share it here... I don't know who wrote it, but doesn't it just make you think!?

Does God exist? This is so true!! This is one of the best explanations of why God allows pain and suffering that I have seen. It's an explanation other people will understand:

A lady named Sheryl went to a beauty shop to have her hair cut and her nails painted and trimmed. As the lady began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the beautician said: "I don't believe that God exists."

''Why do you say that?" asked Sheryl, who has MS.

"Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things."

Then Sheryl thought for a moment, but didn't respond because she didn't want to start an argument. The beautician just finished her job and the Sheryl left the shop. Just after she left the beauty shop, she saw a woman in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and not groomed at all. She looked dirty and unkempt.

Then Sheryl turned back and entered the beauty shop again and she said to the beautician: "You know what? Beauticians do not exist.''

"How can you say that?" asked the surprised beautician. "I am here, and I am a beautician. And I just worked on you!''

"No!" Sheryl exclaimed. "Beauticians don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty, long, unkempt hair, like that woman outside.''

"Ah, but beauticians DO exist! What happens is, people do not come to me.''

"Exactly!" affirmed Sheryl. "That's the point! God, too, DOES exist! What happens is people don't go to Him and do not look for Him. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Hall of Faith - (Part one)

I was struck by something in the sermon today. Our Pastor was reading a verse from Hebrews 11, and he said, "this is the 'Hall of Faith' chapter in the Bible." We think of Hall of Famers, and their contributions to the world... Hockey: 300+ career goals, 1000+ games played, one game wonders, you name it... But that's not all... there are Halls of Fame for Country music, Aviation, Rock and Roll, Baseball and all other sports, Science and Engineering, and the list goes on and on... seriously, you should Google "Hall of Fame" if you want to see how many Halls you can try to get your name on.

But the difference that struck me with the Hall of Faith, is that these men listed in Hebrews 11 weren't in a contest, or sports challenge trying to get recognized for their great abilities... rather, they usually were simply following God's commands and they seldom received the rewards while they were alive.

What does it take to be inducted into the Hall of Faith?

What is FAITH??

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. Hebrews 11:1-2

What did these guys hope for? They wanted to please God. That was it. That was their goal. So how were they equipped? Were they men of valour and courageous as kings? Not usually!

By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. (vs. 4)

Did you catch that? Abel died... and part of the reason was because of his faith. He didn't get a reward for living in faith, at least not that he saw on this earth. But his eternal reward outshines all that we could hope for here. God approved of his actions because it says, "God spoke well of his offerings."


By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (vs. 5-6)


By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. (vs. 7)

Would you have done what Noah did? The people in Noah's day had never even seen rain, so to talk about a flood was pure foolishness by their standards. But Noah stood his ground, build his ark and let his faith in God be the guide. What God said to do, he did, and for that he was saved along with those who would listen to him. Have you seen the movie "Evan Almighty?" It is a modern day telling of Noah's Ark. Although the whole world doesn't get wiped out like in the Bible story of Noah, it shows faith in God, and how we need to trust God even when we can't understand.


By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
By faith Abraham, even though he was past age-and Sarah herself was barren - was enabled to become a father because he considered him fitful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. (vs. 8-12)

Wow- Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. Sarah was 90. God keeps his promises. Just follow his leading, and believe.


All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country-a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (vs. 13-16)

There is more to it than just believing... you must live by faith, which implies action. To say you have faith means nothing, without doing something with it you are speaking meaningless words.

If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. (James 2:16-18)

Have you been inducted into the Hall of Faith? Do your actions back you up?

This is where I had to turn the page for verses 17-40 of Hebrews 11... so this is where I'll stop. If you want to read the entire chapter click here for Hebrews 11. I will come back soon to write the rest!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Women of the Bible

In January, we will be starting a study on Women of the Bible. We will take a look at a different woman each week for the 8 week study. So, here's my question... which women would YOU be most interested in studying? I have a few in mind, but I would love to know which ones most interest you for a study.

Thanks for leaving a comment!

ps- remember that even if you don't go to our church, you can be a part of this study, right here on this blog... so please feel free to leave a comment as well, with your choice for women of the Bible to study.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Sammy recently discovered spinning. So cute! He spins until he can't stand up anymore and then he falls on the floor and lays there until he can get up and do it again. This week I've been feeling like I'm "spinning" too, but it seems I don't have the time to lie on the floor and recover! Makes me think of something a pastor of mine used to say... "Remember that God created us as human beings not human doings".
Hope you can all find some time to just "be" this weekend!!

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

Monday, November 12, 2007

Coffee Time

We're meeting for coffee at 9:15 tomorrow morning... email me for details! Hope you can come.

The next study will start January 8, 2008.... more details to follow. We (Leanne, Jane and myself) will keep posting weekly on this blog, so please stay with us through the winter!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Study of MARK

Wow, this last 8 weeks has flown by... we are on our last study of the book of Mark. We actually spent 2 weeks on the 7th lesson, because there was so much to discuss, so we have lots to cover today at Bible Study.

Mark 14-16

If you had been a follower of Jesus at the time of His arrest and crucifixion, do you think you would have stood by Him in His final hours?

What do you think the motive was behind Judas' betrayal of Jesus? Was he just responding to the officials' plea to help them find and arrest Jesus? Or was he really hoping that Jesus was going to establish His kingdom on earth, and because Jesus failed to do this, he decided to betray him? What about Judas' greed? Is that the reason he turned Jesus over to the officials? Or was it the voice of Satan that urged Judas to betray Jesus with a kiss?

In the Upper Room, Jesus reinterpreted the elements of the Passover meal to explain the new Covenant. The bread had previously been described each Passover as "the bread of affliction which our ancestors ate when they came from the land of Egypt." Now, it would represent Jesus' body, broken for us, and the wine represented His blood, shed for us. Jesus was the ransom for many. We remember his shed blood and love for us each time we participate in communion... an act of worship.

Read Mark 14:53-65
What false charges were made against Jesus?
Why did the Sanhedrin face difficulty in convicting Jesus?
How did Jesus respond to the High Priest's questions?
Why did Jesus declare in public that he was the Son of God?

Mark 14:66-72
Who denies Jesus?
What did Peter do after he heard the rooster crow?

Mark 15:1-15
Jesus came before Pilate and confirmed that he was King of the Jews. He didn't answer any other charges. Then Pilate asked the crowd who they wanted released... Jesus or Barabbas... they chose Barabbas and shouted for Jesus to be crucified.

Jesus was mocked, and forced to carry his own cross to Golgotha. Jesus cried out, "My God, why have You forsaken Me? And then he died. Joseph of Arimathea asked for Jesus' body and buried him in a tomb, and rolled the stone against the opening.

Mark 16:1-20... the stone could not keep Jesus in the grave. The most surprising or shocking think to ever happen in your life could not match the surprise that awaited the women at Jesus' tomb after his crucifixion.

After Jesus rose from the grave, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, a pair of the disciples, and then to the gathered disciples. Jesus proclaimed the missionary commission of the disciples and described signs that would accompany those who believe.

With his time and ministry on earth complete, Jesus ascended into heaven and took his rightful place at the right hand of God. The disciples took the gospel message and spread it all around.

Jesus lived as we live and suffered as many of us suffer. Mark clearly shows us in his gospel how Jesus made great sacrifices to become one of us. His mission on earth was that "The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:45