Friday, October 30, 2015

Week 6 - A Divided Kingdom - 1 Kings 12-14

1 Kings Sermon Series Curriculum

Week 6 – A Divided Kingdom (1 Kings 12-14)

(Our G2G Curriculum was crafted in-house and is designed to follow our Fall Sermon Series: 1 Kings ~ A Heart & House Divided. Want to get connected to a G2G group? Contact us and we'll find a spot for you!)

You may want to begin by watching the sermon that goes with this passage.

1. Rehoboam solicited advice from two groups, both with different recommendations. Have you ever wondered how to discern a way forward when there are differing perspectives? How did you move forward?

2. Read 12:26-60. Jeroboam set up more places of worship outside Jerusalem to make it easier for those living outside the city. Have you compromised your own values to accommodate other activities or people? What calves have been set up in our society that cause us to make compromises?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Resources ~ Part 3 ~ The Time of the Church

by guest writer, Caleb Dyck
first shared on his own site, Truth Set Free 

Read Part 1
Read Part 2
How good is the church at using the time that it has? I am thinking of both how it utilizes its time throughout the week, and then how well the church is using the opportunities that are unique to its current place in history.

First of all, how well does the church make use of its time during the week? Most churches that I have ever been involved with have been very busy places. Almost every night of the week has some sort of ministry happening. The staff of the church are always busy, and the volunteers are often stretched to their capacity. However, are our churches busy with the right things? We have ministries for people in every stage of life. But, are we actually being effective?

Most churches can not possibly field a team of staff and volunteers that can effectively cover the wide array of ministries that are possible. They only have a limited amount of man hours to contribute to any cause. So, would it be more responsible to focus the majority of the time on a few ministries that can really make an impact, or is it better to try to spread out enough to touch each of the bases?

I don’t know if there is any one answer. I think that each church needs to prayerfully consider how to be the best stewards of the time that they have and then move forward into the areas that they feel they have been called to work in.

Secondly, we are part of a global church that exists in its own unique spot in history. Each generation of the church has its own set of challenges, along with opportunities to advance the kingdom of God. Each generation builds on the foundation of the saints who have gone before. As the church of the present, we have a period of time that is allotted to us. What each local church needs to do is look at what ways they can contribute in our current context. The church is notoriously bad at keeping up with the times. As a church, we need to make sure we are aware of what is going on in the world around us and respond to the needs in a timely manner.

We don’t want to be the church that completely missed the struggles and needs of our generation.

We don’t want to be the church that is clueless to the bigger picture of our generation.

I want my generation to be the generation that seizes the day and fearlessly presses forward and storms enemy strongholds.

I want my generation of church to stand on the shoulders of giants of the faith and make a stand that reverberates for succeeding generations to come.

I hope that I am not disappointed.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Friday, October 23, 2015

92 Ideas For Packing An Operation Christmas Child Shoebox

So often we take our blessings for granted and forget that much of the world is struggling just to survive.  Operation Christmas Child makes it their mission to see that we don't forget - that we take a step back from our selfish natures and think of someone else. This is a great opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child who isn't so lucky as our own.

The boxes arrived this week and we are encouraging you to take up the challenge. Stuff a shoebox full with little joys that will bring hope to a child in a desperate situation.

And to help you face this challenge with all the confidence of a child executive (↑) we've pulled together a list of 92 ideas to get you on your way.

School & Art Supplies

Notepads/post its
Colouring books
Pencils/pencil crayons
Pencil sharpener
Pencil case
Safety scissors
Glue stick
Solar calculator
Self-inking stamp
Water color set and paint brushes
Little crafting kit - beads
Travel sewing kit
Dry erase board & markers
Duct tape
Tape measure

Grooming & Hygeine

Dental Floss
Soap (put in plastic baggie)
Small hand mirror - unbreakable
Colourful bandages
Baby wipes
Wash cloth
Hand towel
Emery boards
Nail clippers
Hair ribbons
Ponytail holders
Clip-on earrings


Ball cap
Flip flops
Plastic poncho in packet

Just for Fun

Individual sealed play-dough
Silly putty
Small stuffed animals or dolls
Inflatable beach balls
Bouncy Balls
Soccer ball (with needle & pump)
Finger puppets
Jigsaw puzzle
Mini magnetic check board & checkers
Flash cards
Picture books
Bean bag
Hacky sack
Toy binoculars
Slipping rope
Paddle ball
Toy cars/trucks
Solar-powered flashlight
Glow sticks
Plastic eating utensils
Toy pots & pans 

And Don't Forget

to pray for the child who will receive your gift
to add a personal letter and photo of yourself/your family
to include $7 to cover the shipping fees 

Do Not Include: food or candy of any kind, toothpaste, used items, breakable items, decks of playing cards, items that could leak, melt, or freeze (shampoo, creams, lip balm, etc.), items that can scare or harm a child (war-related toys, knives, toy guns, etc.)

Be sure to bring your boxes back to the church by November 8.

Happy packing! 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Resources ~ Part 2

by guest writer Caleb Dyck
This post was first shared on his own site, Truth Set Free

In my first post about being responsible with our resources, I mentioned three big areas. These areas are time, money, and talents. In this post, I am going to discuss the idea of being held accountable for how we spend our time. We are a people who are easily distracted, and we like it. We know that we waste time, but those darn cat pictures are just so fun to look at. 
In my own life, I have wasted an incredible amount of time. The amount of time that I have spent watching television, playing video games, or mindlessly browsing the internet is simply embarrassing. I spent several years with grand plans of doing something great with my life and making a difference in the world, but when it came right down to it I would just waste the evenings and weekends on mindless entertainment and amusement. The worst thing was that I knew exactly what I was doing, but I didn’t have the willpower to actually do anything about it. After all, why save the world today when you can put it off until tomorrow?

Those days are now behind me, but I still sometimes wonder just how much time I still waste. I am a decently busy individual. I work a normal, full-time job, have a family to spend time with, volunteer in a couple of different capacities, and take classes on the side. Often, with everything going on at once, I have a hard time slowing down and designating time for the important things like investing in my spiritual needs. Sure, I am involved in a couple of different ministries and I am in the process of preparing for a future of serving the church, but my spiritual relationship is more important than acts of service. Especially with the advent of smartphones and other electronic devices, all my free time can easily be absorbed in mindless things like social media and entertainment. I can often find myself at the end of the day without finding time for prayer, and I know that if I was more interested in talking to God than I was checking status updates, I would have found plenty of time for prayer.

In order to combat this, I need to do a couple of things. First of all, I need to make sure I am creating strict priorities for myself. I intellectually “know” that prayer is a priority, but I don’t live my life that way. That needs to change. Also, in order to have an honest picture on how much time I waste on my phone, I have put an activity tracker app on my phone that tracks how much time I spend on my phone, and what I am doing in that time. I am somewhat afraid of what I will find. My goal is to be spending more time in the Word and in prayer each day than I spend wasting time on my various digital devices.

I don’t know how much time I have on this earth. I have spent years of my life on nothing of value, and those are years that I will never get back. While it is easy to look back and lament the lost time, there is nothing that I can do now to change the past. I need to now make sure that moving forward I am making the best use of my time. For the remaining time that I have left, I hope to learn to be a faithful steward of what I have been given.
Next post, enough about me, how is the church managing its time?

Week 5 - Fading Glory: misusing wisdom and wealth - 1 Kings 9:10-11

1 Kings Sermon Series Curriculum

Week 5 – Fading Glory: misusing wisdom and wealth (1 Kings 9:10-11)

(Our G2G Curriculum was crafted in-house and is designed to follow our Fall Sermon Series: 1 Kings ~ A Heart & House Divided. Want to get connected to a G2G group? Contact us and we'll find a spot for you!)

You may want to begin by watching the sermon that goes with this passage.

SUMMARY: Chapter 9:10-28 summarizes  the ‘what’ of Solomon’s building endeavours and the ‘way’ they are accomplished.  His strong relationship with Hiram, king of Tyre is tested when he exchanges some of the land God had promised Israel in exchange for Hiram’s resources.  He also conscripts foreigners living in Israel for temple, palace, and wall construction.  Additionally, Solomon builds ships and partners once again with Hiram to sail the seas in search of gold.

In chapter 10, Solomon meets the Queen of Sheba, a powerful and astute ruler.  She finds Solomon’s insight exceeds her expectations then praises the God who gifted him with such great wisdom.  They exchange costly goods before she departs, leaving Solomon alone with his gold.  Before long, Solomon makes the most of his time by hammering his gold and costly resources into shields, goblets, and an enormous throne.  The chapter ends with Solomon establishing Israel as a centre of trade—importing horses and chariots from Egypt and  exporting them to the people groups around them.  

1. Read 1 Kings 9:11-14. How did Hiram of Tyre feel about the payment he received for his labor? Can you relate to him? How? Have you seen God at work when you’ve been treated unfairly? What did you learn about God and yourself?

2. Read 1 Kings 10:1-9. The Queen of Sheba asks tough questions of Solomon. Why? What motivated her? Are you a ‘tough-question-asker’? or do you tend to accept things at face value? What motivates you to be one over the other?

3. Read Deuteronomy 17:14-17. Now Read 1 Kings 11:1-6. If Solomon is so wise, why isn’t he following God’s commands? How have you been distracted from following God’s leading/commandments?

Fading Glory: Misusing Wisdom & Wealth ~ Sermon Video

Watch on YouTube

Follow along with our 1 Kings Curriculum

Friday, October 16, 2015

Resources ~ Part 1

by guest writer Caleb Dyck
This post was first shared on his own site, Truth Set Free

We have all been given a certain allotment of resources by our Master, and we will all be called to account for how we used what was entrusted to us. Everyone has received something different and unique. While we can break down these resources into categories, subcategories, and down to the most intimate detail, the three big areas that I would like to look at our time, finances, and talents. I want to focus on these three because I feel that as a (North American) church these are what we squander and waste away more than anything. 

Some people may be blessed financially and use their wealth to further the advance of the Gospel but waste their time in frivolous pursuits.

Some may be poor and work 60 hours a week to provide for their families, but they may have other talents that they have been given that they can use to bless those around them.

Everyone has something to give, and as a North American church, we have been given incredible resources and have the opportunity to put those resources to use. Are we going to hide them away, squander them, or are we going to invest them in what is truly important?

We need to look at our own lives and be critical of how we spend our time, money, and gifts. If you were performing an audit on your own life and habits, how would you score? I know that for most of my own life I would have returned dismal results. In the next couple of posts I’ll be taking a look at each of the different areas in greater detail and discussing ways that we personally and as a church can make better use of what we have been given for the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Week 4 - Constructing The Temple: My Glory or God's? - 1 Kings G2G Curriculum

1 Kings Sermon Series Curriculum

Week 4 – Constructing The Temple: My Glory or God's? (1 Kings 5-9:9)

(Our G2G Curriculum was crafted in-house and is designed to follow our Fall Sermon Series: 1 Kings ~ A Heart & House Divided. Want to get connected to a G2G group? Contact us and we'll find a spot for you!)

You may want to begin by watching the sermon that goes with this passage.

SUMMARY: In chapter 5, Hiram king of Tyre sends messengers to Solomon.  Solomon responds with a request: “help me build a temple for the LORD.”  “You supply the wood and labours and I’ll supply more labours and I’ll finance the whole project.”  Hiram agrees and they strike a deal.  Solomon conscripts workers from Israel and the massive temple project begins.

Chapter 6 describes the temple in detail.  Beams of cedar, stone chiseled at the quarry, and a golden interior.  In the middle of the construction God’s word comes to Solomon to remind him: stay obedient to the LORD your God.

Chapter 7 seems to interrupt the temple focus by inserting details about Solomon’s palace.  It was just as beautiful and even larger than the house he was building for God!  Our attention is refocused back at the temple where the articles of the temple are described: the bronze Sea for ritual cleansing and other bronze articles and gold articles from the altar and lamp stands to golden door sockets.

In chapter 8 the Ark of the Covenant is brought into the temple and the presence of the LORD descends.  In the midst of God’s appearance, Solomon offers prayer for himself and the people as he dedicates the temple.

Finally, chapter 9 begins with God’s answer to Solomon’s prayer and a warning to be obedient to the LORD and walk in His ways.

Offer group members a pen and paper. Give them five minutes to reflect and respond to the following:

  1. Solomon’s dream was to build the temple. What’s your dream 
  2. Where is God in your dream? Is the dream for your glory, God’s or both? Explain.
  3. Read 1 Kings 9:4-9. God tells Solomon that there will be roadblocks along the way if he is not obedient. Have you experienced roadblocks in pursuing your dreams? Have they been because of your disobedience or your obedience to God?
  4. Solomon prayed a prayer of dedication for the temple. Write down your prayer of dedication for your dream.

Leader, after everyone is finished, read each question out loud one at at time. Ask if anyone would like to share - leave space and time for that.

If people don’t know their dreams, have a discussion about hearing God’s voice or ways to discern a dream for their life.

Constructing The Temple: My Glory or God's ~ Sermon Video

Watch on YouTube

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Teen Challenge Choir

We had the distinct privileged of welcoming the Teen Challenge Men's Choir last Sunday. And because they did different things in each service we are offering them both.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 3 - 1 Kings G2G Curriculum

1 Kings Sermon Series Curriculum

Week 3 – Teen Challenge Sunday

Option #1:
 Spend an evening making food for HMC’s freezer.  Meals for individuals and families in need are getting low so it would be great if your group could help replenish our supply of “ready to go” meals.  Talk to Pastor Lyndsay for more info.

Option #2:
 Invite some non-churchgoing friends or neighbours to a BBQ or games night with your group.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Jr Pitch Fun ~ video

Our Junior Youth had a blast last weekend attending the annual retreat at Stayner Camp. Take a moment and check out the highlight video Dave McArthur put together - Thanks Dave!