Lest We Forget

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This past June marked the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 1944. This event put into motion a plan that would eventually cause the demise of allied enemies in Europe. Although the fighting continued, the end of the war had already been set in motion. On May 8, 1945 – V-E Day brought the war to end as a result of the sacrifice made by many soldiers and all of those before them who gave their lives eleven months earlier, to ensure the final victory.

This historical event should remind us of the spiritual victory God set into motion when He sent His Son Jesus to die as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sin. This was our Spiritual D-Day (Colson) that was necessary to free us from our own personal battles with sin. His death and resurrection has provided a way for all of us who believe to be made right with God once and for all. Even though our battle continues in this world, our victory has been secured! Our final victory will come when Christ returns and God’s ultimate plan of heaven on earth will be fulfilled.

On November 11, 2019, please make time to participate in our local ceremonies to remember those who have paid the price for our freedom, then and now. Remember also that God has paid the price so you and I could have a relationship with Him through faith in Jesus Christ.

 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16 (NIV)

Blessings,

 

PT

If you want to see change with what’s around you, be the change of what’s within you.

 

Compassion

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Like many of you reading this, my heart still hurts for the families and victims of the recent shootings in El Paso and Dayton because of the tragic loss of life and suffering. It’s the kind of thing that even though we have no idea about the amount of heartbreak they feel, their heartbreak and suffering becomes our own. This is known as “compassion” and it changes the way we live, and it should.

 Many of us have been moved to do things we wouldn’t normally do, because of compassion. We find ourselves sending money or food in support of hurricane or flood victims around the world. Although we may never experience the kind of loss and suffering we see in the world around us, we still see what it looks like in our communities in a different way.

Take the elderly for instance- many of them have lost loved ones and attempt to live out their lives in loneliness. There are people in our community or even in our own families who could benefit from compassion.  I get it that some people are hard to show compassion to because of how they are or what they may or may not have done.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said,

We must learn to regard people less in light of what they do or omit to do, and more in light of what they suffer.

Whether we are willing to admit it or not, we have a loving God who offers compassion and comfort to each of us which is not meant as an end in itself, but as a means to an end.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

You and I have the power to empower someone out of loneliness and suffering.

 Go be compassionate to someone today!

You Are The Best "You"

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Last month, we witnessed the launch of the Apple/Google approved FaceApp. At first glance, and because everyone was using it, it appeared to be a fun and harmless way to get a glimpse of what you might look like as the older version of yourself.

I decided to give at a try out of curiosity. Since I’m already considered “elderly” from a health care perspective, I tried the younger version through the App. It was neat to see a younger version of me, but honestly, it didn’t look like the younger version of the “me” I remember or see in pictures of myself. 

Aside from all the negative press FaceApp has been getting lately, in part because a Russian company created it, there is a lesson of great value we can take from this. Regardless of which version of “you” you may be looking for, whether it’s just for fun or because you may be dissatisfied with the current version of “you”, the YouVersion you see in the mirror is not a mistake. The God of the universe doesn’t make mistakes.

He created the most incredible “you” and there is nobody like you anywhere on planet earth. Scientists have concluded through DNA studies that there cannot be another you anywhere because you are unique.

Ephesians 2:10

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

Most of us have taken advantage of things like FaceApp, especially since it’s free and well... we are just curious creatures. If you’ve ever wondered “Why am I here?”, you need to know that God has a plan and a purpose for your life. Why not start exploring the answer today?

Here’s a free app that would be worthwhile downloading to your phone or tablet:

www.youversion.com/the-bible-app/

Blessings, as you discover why the best version of “you” is you!

The Summer of Gratitude

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Whoever has been praying for rain…please stop!

 As I was slinging gravel the other day and complaining about all the rain to my new friend, he said one of the most profound things to me in response to my negativity, he said, “Yeah, it’s rained a lot, but we should remember that each day is a gift because we never know what tomorrow will bring.” (Let that sink in for a bit)

The wisdom he shared stopped me in my tracks and it should all of us. It’s unfortunate that this gets overlooked more often than it should, the gift of gratitude can change not only our attitude, but also the attitudes of those around us.

 G.K. Chesterton claimed, “giving thanks is the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” When we remember the one who has created and provided for all our needs, it should change our perspective.

Psalm 74:16-17

Both day and night belong to you; you made the starlight and the sun. You set the boundaries of the earth, and you made both summer and winter.

This has given me a new perspective for the remainder of the summer. I’m now looking ahead and challenging myself to make this The Summer of Gratitude! What about you? What if we all tried to keep track of all our blessings over the summer months and lived out of that perspective? What about the people in your life? What kind of difference could your attitude of gratitude have on your family and friends if you were to take time to encourage them with gratitude for being part of your life?

Each new day is a gift and you and I have an opportunity to be the gift somebody else might need.

Have a blessed summer!

Keep on Keeping on!

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This time of the year is very special for all students who are celebrating all their hard work and perseverance over the years leading up to graduation. It’s very special because of all the challenges and obstacles these students have faced throughout the year and the years leading up to this point. Regardless of their next pursuits, each graduate will no doubt continue needing to work hard and persevere because life will continue to throw many challenges their way.

This is what we all have in common, preparing and persevering through our own challenges as we continue on the road of life. Each of us may be working towards our own little prize along the way. The greatest prize of all; however, is one we all consider at various times in life. It is a goal we should all be thinking about because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

The apostle Paul said it in 1 Corinthians 9:25 when he was encouraging the church there to keep on keeping on in their faith.

“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

The word compete in Greek is Agonizomai, say it enough times and you start to get the picture. Like students, we all agonize over our goals, challenges and obstacles in this life. The lesson in this is that we should spend some time agonizing over eternity and how God desires for us to experience heaven on earth, right now.

Like everything in this life, it takes effort and hard work for us to persevere, even in faith. What may seem like a huge obstacle for us is sometimes the path God desires to lead us through into victory! 

Congratulations to all graduates and keep on keeping on!

 

Spring into New Life!

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Spring has been knocking at the door and the crocuses have started bursting out of the ground revealing another fresh new start to a brand new season! I personally dislike the cold and dark months of winter and am looking forward to warmer temperatures in the months ahead.

Think about the number of times you’ve taken a deep breath and felt renewed because you got a fresh new start with something. How relieved and renewed would you feel if I came knocking on your door today offering to pay off all your debt? I honestly have no idea about your personal financial situation, but I do know from my previous career in the credit industry that Canadians are maxed out and continue owing more than they make. It reminds me of Bob Dylan’s song “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”, where the badge can’t be used anymore and it feels like the end is near…knock, knock, knocking on heaven’s door.

Life can feel like this can’t it? It can seem like there just isn’t any light at the end of the tunnel with whatever we’re going through. I’m not entirely sure what Bob Dylan meant with his lyrics, but I do know many people have thought about what’s on the other side of this life. Maybe you’re not ready just yet to knock on heaven’s door, but heaven is certainly knocking on yours. Are you listening?

 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will share a meal together as friends.” Revelation 3:20

Jesus lived, died, and was resurrected so our spiritual debt could be paid, allowing for us to experience new life, now and forever. This is the gospel message in that God is so crazy in love with you and me that he pursues us. Will you open the door to your heart and let him in?

Happy Easter and remember, if you want to see change with what’s around you, be the change of what’s within you.

 Tim

Predictive Accuracy

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Furry rodents predict the future?

On February 2, 2019, Nova Scotia’s own “furry weather prognosticator” (Shubenacadie Sam) saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter. Somebody said he didn’t see his shadow so I was encouraged that spring was here! Obviously this person was joking, explaining the snow on February 21st.  All joking aside, people do believe a small furry rodent can predict (prognosticate) the future. Some stats suggest these magical rodents are correct about 33.33% of the time.

For people living in our neck of the woods, we doubt the accuracy of weather predictions because we know the weather here can change in a heartbeat. How many times has rain been forecasted, but it isn’t raining? When it comes to predictions and forecasts, let’s be honest, we are skeptical about the accuracy.

But, there is one prediction you can believe. According to scholars, the Biblical predictions (prophecies) about Jesus in the Old Testament number more than 300. Peter Stoner in his classic book, Science Speaks, calculated that the chances of anyone fulfilling just eight of these prophecies to be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000 (10 to the 17th power). The mathematical probability of Jesus fulfilling just one, let alone all of them, is highly unlikely and literally impossible. But He did with 100% accuracy!

Prophecy:

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

Fulfillment:

"The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God." Luke 1:35

This is not just an opinion about Jesus, it’s the kind of accuracy we all look for but eludes many the skeptic. It’s called Truth and…“nothing, you see, is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 (MSG)

I don’t know about you, but I need more of His kind of accuracy in my life. There are just too many things in the news these days that make us scratch our heads and make us wonder if things will ever change? My advice would be to put your faith in Jesus who is ‘the way, the truth, and the life!’

Got questions after reading this? I’d love to hear from you and talk through any thoughts and questions you might have.

Have a great week!

Tim

ps. If you want to see change with what's around you, be the change of what's within you.

Searching For Love

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Why is love such a big deal?

February has arrived and retailers constantly remind us that this is the month of Love! Julie and I have never really been a couple who goes all out on Valentines Day because we’ve always felt that we don’t need a day to express our love to each other. Having said that, it is very sweet to see so many people experiencing love from others during the month of love. Why is love such a big deal? If you were to search this out you would find that there are many findings that support the idea that this is the one thing we all have in common, the desire to be loved and to love.

Many will or have, including me, gone to great lengths in hopes of finding it. Have you ever considered that God gives our desires to us?  There are many bible passages that reveal exactly this, that God is drawing us to himself through our desires.

O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.
— Psalm 63:1-2 (NLT)

It is not wrong for us to have desires. But even more important is God’s loving desire to have relationship with us. This is where it gets difficult for us just like it has been from the beginning. God planted within us a desire to live well, but we continue to struggle in this world when we attempt to live without him.

If you’ve been “looking for love in all the wrong places”, God wants you to know that you are a BIG deal to him because he’s crazy about you and wants your desires to be complete in his love for you.

 Need to talk? Email: connect@livewell.church

Tim

God will bring the right person into your life at the right time. Always believe that! If they are not there, God isn’t finished yet!
— Shannon L. Alder