Friday, May 31, 2013

Catching up

Back in 2008 I was called to be the General Associate Pastor at Pinewoods Chapel responsible for youth/worship/children and some administrative. I was there for 2 years and only had to move on due to finances of the church at the time. We have stayed in contact and for a while we even just attended while waiting for what God had next for us. It's now 2013 and I'm the Youth Pastor at Stayner EMC, and I I still keep in contact with people from Pinewoods and Mt Pleasant EMC where I was Lead pastor for a year. Last night I had the opportunity to speak at youth for Pinewoods once again and it was neat to see the changes - new youth that had grown into the group from being kids when I was Associate before, the programme was still similar to what I used to do - and the response was great. It was great to catch up with Pastor Chris and John McConnell too who I worked with.

Time flies and things change. Sometimes it's just nice to go back and see what's been going on after you leave a situation. God is still working at both places where I have been, and it just reminds you how God steers you where He wills. That the ways we expect things to turn out aren't always what we expect them to be, but are what He wants for us to grow in our walk. 

For me when I arrived in the fall of 2008, I had never expected to be part of Life doing Ask The Pastor and then being an announcer, yet in 2013 Ask The Pastor has been on the air 4 years, and I have been an announcer for a year!

Sometimes it's good to just catch up and see how God has blessed and led in both the expected and the unexpected ways. We trust Him in all things so that when life takes an unexpected turn, we don't go into panic mode. Instead we do as Proverbs 3:5 - 6 says, 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

When we fail to look back and see how God has worked it can be hard to look to the future and see hope in our present situations. 

God bless!

Pastor Andrew

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Salt Water Taffy

I've been to the huge candy shop at Georgian Mall recently and rediscovered my love of Salt Water Taffy! Why the love? I first discovered this years ago with my family as a teenager going down south to the USA for spring breaks to places like Myrtle Beach and so on. There weren't so many flavours back then, but now? SO many to choose from! Cotton Candy! Chocolate! Coffee! Malt! So many more than when I first love it back in the day...

So what is my faourite NOW? Hmmmm. so hard to say, but Egg Nog is a REALLY good one! The coffee one is great too! SO hard to choose! 

So where did Salt Water Taffy come from? Candy store owner David Bradley's shop was flooded during a major storm in 1889. As a result of the flood, his entire stock of taffy was soaked with salty Atlantic Ocean water. When a young girl came into his shop and asked if he had any taffy for sale, he is said to have offered some "salt water taffy." At the time it was a joke, because all his taffy had been soaked with salt water, but the girl was delighted. She bought the candy and proudly walked down to the beach to show her friends. Bradley's mother was in the back and heard the exchange. She loved the name, and so salt water taffy was born. 

So there you go... regular taffy with salt water poured over top of it. It's since been worked on to be less sticky so it wouldn't stick to the little wrappers. Another great idea found by accident! Salt Water Taffy!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Using secular songs in worship services

What is a worship service? Seriously? Who is it for? defines worship as:

1. reverent honor and homage paid to God.
2. formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage: 
       They attended worship this morning.
3. adoring reverence or regard.
4. the object of adoring reverence or regard.

So if that is what worship is, to give honour and praise to God, giving Him the worship that He is due, then I fail to see why churches use secular music in the service. The argument is to be seeker friendly, to appeal to those outside the church to bring them in. 

If that's the case, should we be serving beer at services too? What about using PG-13 clips with swearing in them to be acceptable to seekers? Where do we draw the line?

A worship service is something designed with God in mind, not a person off the street. It's FOR Him, not for us or anyone else. If we offer secular music in praise of our God, is He well pleased with what He hears? I don't think so.

To me using secular music to draw a crowd defeats the purpose. It's trying too hard in man's power to try and reach the lost. Christian music has so many styles to match what's out there that we don't need to cross the line and use secular music in our worship services to God. It takes the passage from 1 Corinthians 9:21 - 23 out of context: 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. The passage was not saying to use the world's music in worshiping God. You can't worship God with a song that has no message trying to do so. Two different mindsets. It can't bridge the gap, only the message of the Gospel can.

Then that's just me...

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Is the Bible God's word?

This is a question that surprisingly has many answers. Some say it is God's word, without error, and that's that. Others say it contains God's word. Others say only parts are to be taken as God's truth because it was written by flawed men.

What do I say? I say without a doubt that the Bible is God's word given to men through the direction of the Holy Spirit to write using their own personalities without compromising the message. we can use it for all things for teaching, for correction, for rebuke... let's let God's word speak for itself...

2 Timothy 3:16 - 17, 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

So there you have it, straight from God. What else does God say about His word? Revelation 22:18 - 1918 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.

So in other words, don't mess with it! :)