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CANCER DIAGNOSED; JEWISH WOMAN REMEMBERED VISION OF JESUS

(April 13, 2021) Benjamin Lahood, studying at Lighthouse Christian Academy, Los Angeles, brings shares a miraculous testimony...

After Shiri Joshua was told she had a rare, virulent form of breast cancer (already at stage 3) she faced a stark choice one Friday afternoon. Would she start chemo or undergo a mastectomy on the following Monday?

‘I honestly didn’t even comprehend those words,’ Shiri says on a 100 Huntley Street video.

An Israel-born Jew, she moved to Toronto at 19, but her family continued to speak Hebrew at home. She always had an inquisitiveness about spiritually. Due to her upbringing, she thought she could only be either orthodox or a secular Jew.

But after she moved to Canada, she fell under the spell of the New Age movement. ‘I really did not feel that my traditional Jewish upbringing would satisfy what I wanted,’ she says. I knew there was a God, I just did not know him.

Vision of Jesus
Two years prior to her diagnosis, she had a vision of Jesus. She had heard about the Lord but felt she needed to avoid Jesus because of her Jewish background. But in her search for spirituality one day, she asked God if Jesus was real.

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DAVID AND HIS GIANTS




(April 1, 2021) Brian Bell shares his latest meditation…

David’s encounter with the giant Goliath recorded in 1 Samuel 17 must surely be one of the most well-known scriptural records.

In the United Kingdom, we even had a series of television adverts promoting a particular product which used a caricature of the David and Goliath story while not referring specifically to it.

Many of us have profited from the life of David and his experience of the Lord and we are familiar with his many psalms. In this meditation I offer some thoughts which, while they may not be new, I found it beneficial to revisit.

A Defiant Giant
The scriptural record talks about Goliath’s defiance of the Lord and also of David who came to face him.

I see Goliath as a type of spiritual opposition, which is still prevalent today and may be manifested through actual people… just as Goliath was used.

The apostle Paul tells us we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness in the heavenly realm (Ephesians 6:12). This tells me ‘flesh and blood’ people are used to be defiant against the Lord’s work, word, and people!

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JESUS IS ALIVE!

(April 01, 2021) Carol Round reminds us of the miracle in Matthew 28:5-8…

This scripture tells that ‘The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.’ 

An empty tomb
The women were looking for Jesus. They were looking for their precious Jesus to anoint his body with spices, but he wasn’t there. The tomb was empty. How could that be?

Startled by the appearance of an angel, the women are afraid. Wouldn’t you be too? Imagine their racing hearts.

On the way to the tomb, they had asked each other, ‘Who will roll the stone away from the entrance to the tomb?’ (Mark 16:1-4). The women had been so intent on their mission, that they had overlooked the obstacle in their path.
Yes, Jesus had told his followers that he would rise from the dead on the third day.

But can you imagine their thoughts? Even though they’d seen him perform miracle after miracle, their finite minds could not grasp what he meant by this rising on a third day… his resurrection from the grave as we know it.

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THE ‘TOO-HARD’ BASKET

(March 10, 2021) Geraldine Brandt shares from her heart…

‘Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God … Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me … Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?’

Psalm 42 excerpts – cries from the heart of David, calling on God during despair. We can picture his state of depression.

Depression! Means to be lowered in spirit, dejected, weakened, despondent, having feelings of low value, sadness and pessimism, carrying delusions of inadequacy and hopelessness. Comes from Latin words meaning ‘pressed down.’

Too-hard basket for some Christians
Why is depression such a taboo subject in many congregations today? Because it doesn’t fit in with ‘kingdom-now’ mentality? One of those ‘problems’ that fits the ‘too-hard’ basket – too many grey areas? (more…)

PROPHECY, DREAMS AND VISIONS

(March 10, 2021) Brian Bell shares a meditation…

Scripture often speaks of these three topics. It is not my intention to ‘major’ on them as individual topics but to share some thoughts from those well-known words of Joel 2:28 (NLT 1999) where the prophet says – ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophecy. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions.’

Prophecy
It is generally accepted that prophecy falls into two general categories… ‘foretelling’ when God gives an insight to what is yet to take place. And ‘forth telling’ when God gives a word speaking into a specific situation very often to bring encouragement to his children.  Prophecy is also a gift of the Spirit which several exercise today: God’s word, however he chooses to speak it, is foundational.

Take, for example, Joel 1:16(NLT) where the prophet declares, ‘No joyful celebrations are in the house of our God.’ I believe he was speaking of an experience prevailing at that time. The people’s spiritual experience of God had waned. Could it be that we see a parallel in our recent experiences?

For many months there hasn’t really been the same joyful celebrations in the house of God – wherever that may be for you – as in the best interests and well-being of our congregations we have resorted to live streamed services conducted by a small number of people in a controlled environment. Or to a computer application such as Skype or Zoom or similar tools which enable ‘virtual’ meetings.

I know that many faithful believers have struggled with this, saying we should never have given up our liberty to meet in fellowship. Whatever view we may take, the most important aspect is that our personal relationship with the Lord must be encouraged and enriched, as we continue to live for him without the support structure, we were used to in our church fellowships (which, God willing, we may soon resume, perhaps with renewed appreciation and enthusiasm). (more…)

SEARCHING FOR SIGNIFICANCE IN A BROKEN WORLD

(March 02, 2021) Carol Round reminds us that this world is not our home…

Social media has created a world where people can publicly and shamelessly promote themselves. From U-Tube videos to live-streaming on Facebook, many seek significance in a broken world. And it’s not just celebrities.

Watching young people constantly posting selfies breaks my heart. I understand their struggles, including feelings of worthlessness. They want to know they’re loved, wanted, and needed. They’re searching for significance.

Seeking to be known, people often choose paths that lead to self-destruction. Today, where more connections are made online than ever before, they mistakenly choose the world’s way of pursuing success and fame.

Worldly success and fame doesn’t lead to lasting significance
Have you ever considered how Adam and Eve could fall for the devil’s lies and disobey God?

I mean, they lived in a beautiful garden. Eden. A perfect place. They had dominion over it. How’s that for significance?

Even though they enjoyed God’s presence in paradise, maybe they hadn’t yet grasped the significance of their status. Although it wasn’t part of God’s plan, he had no intention of being thwarted by human sin.

As sinful humans, we’re tempted by the world to seek riches, power, or prestige. But those things never satisfy. They’re superficial. (more…)

RECOVER YOUR LIFE WITH JESUS’ HELP

(February 04, 2021) Carol Round, having experienced an exhausting moving home time, encourages us to relax in Jesus…

Packing! Moving! Unpacking! I questioned, once again, Why did I have so much stuff?’

It’s not the first time I’ve moved in almost 20 years, it’s the sixth! I know others who have moved more times than I have, and I don’t envy them. I’m still trying to recover from my latest move.

I’ll confess! If I’d had my way, I’d still be in the first place I moved to four years before retiring from my 30-year teaching career in 2001. My post-teaching career plans included freelance writing for area newspapers and continuing my 20-year photography business that exploded when I went digital.

But Jesus had a greater plan for me. That’s the reason behind my many moves. Although it took him nine months to convince me to move the first time, I’ve learned to say, ‘I want your will, not mine.’

Obedience means surrendering
Each time I’ve moved, it’s been in obedience to his calling on my life.

I don’t take it lightly. For someone like me, who was used to being in charge, and thought she was in control of her life, it meant surrendering. Even though I still struggle sometimes, I’ve learned his way is the only way to live freely and lightly. (more…)

PROMISES, PROMISES…

(January 29, 2021) Brian Bell shares some precious seed thoughts…

It has been said the scriptures contain 366 promises, one for every day of the year, including a leap year. I have not tried to ‘prove’ that piece of information however, reading in 2 Peter 1: 1-11, I believe the Holy Spirit showed me a some lovely ‘seed thoughts’ which spoke to me about God’s promises.

Nature
Verse 4 ‘…rich and wonderful…’

Rich speaks to me about value these are promises worth having; wonderful in the context here speaks to me about satisfying. Surely, we all appreciate things which have value and bring satisfaction.

I believe Russell Kelso Carter captured the nature of God’s promises in his 1886 hymn Standing on the Promises. The second verse says –
‘Standing on the promises which cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.’

The nature of God’s promises is not to keep us from difficulties or sickness but to be with us in every situation of life. (more…)

JESUS CAN MAKE ALL THINGS NEW… EACH NEW DAY

(January 11, 2021) Carol Round encourages us to reflect on a major choice for 2021…

Revelation 21:5 declares: ‘He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true”.’

The New Year is here! After the stresses of 2020, I doubt anyone wants to cling to the past. With the turning of the calendar to January 2021, sighs of relief were probably expressed by many.

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions?

While I used to, I don’t anymore. My list used to look something like this: lose weight, eat healthier, save more money, and so on. Those are also some of the more common resolutions made each January 1. (By the way, most people fail at keeping their New Year’s resolutions).

I quit making resolutions as I grew in my relationship with Jesus. Looking back, I cannot recall the last time I made a list of things to change in my life. However, I began to choose a focus word for the year. In the past, I’ve prayed and chosen words like trust, focus, and hope. My 2020 word was embrace – embrace more of God in my life. I would write the word at the top of each page in my daily prayer journal. Each time I do, I was reminded of my spiritual growth word for that year. (more…)

GOD SUPPLIES THE VICTORY!

(December 14, 2020) Norman and Margaret Moss share this encouraging Christmas meditation…

Such is the power of inspired scripture that when Charles Jennens gave the libretto of the Messiah to Handel, the composer was so moved and inspired that in 24 days he had completed the oratorio!

Handel said of the Hallelujah Chorus, ‘I did think I did see all heaven before me, and the great God himself.’

Victory lies in scriptureHoly Scripture can do that – and more! We were meditating on Isaiah 9:6…

‘For to us a child is born,to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’

Victory lies in Christ
Proverbs 21:31 came to mind: ‘Victory rests with the Lord’ and we felt the Lord was saying- (more…)