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Looney Tunes

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The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me’, he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything’. The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.” (Matthew 18:26-27, NIV)
Looney tunes originally referred to a television cartoon series but this is about a lesson that one special bird – a loon – taught us on the weekend of August 12-13/17. According to a Canadian press report, Don Gibson was camping with his family at Fish Lake Provincial Park in Alberta. Don was standing on the dock when he noticed a loon swimming towards him. He was really surprised since loons normally stay away from humans. As the loon got closer, it was obvious that it was in some trouble and desperately needed help. Don noticed that the bird was entangled with some fishing gear-hooks, wire and a line wrapped several times around one of its legs.

Although he was afraid of the bird’s sharp beak, he eventually got into the water after the loon even allowed him to pat his head. Ama…

Sheep on Track

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The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He restores my soul, He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:1, 3, NASB)
Imagine seeing sheep who knew where they were going! By nature sheep wander all over the place looking for the greener grass. They are too busy eating to notice where they are going – they just see their immediate needs and have no long range purpose. They can only find and stay on the correct path and on track if they follow their shepherd.
Verse one of Psalm 23 reminds us that all who trust by faith in God through Jesus have the awesome blessing of having God Himself as our shepherd. The word “paths is actually the word “tracks”. A train on a fixed track reaches a destination and fulfills its intended purpose only because it literally stays on the correct track.
In our present culture, there are many false shepherds and destructive beliefs clamoring for our attention. Many people now ignore or reject the Bible’s teaching on life, tru…

Sand Dune Skiing

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“…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:1b, 2, NIV)
Sand dune skiing is similar to snow skiing but, in my opinion, it is even more challenging! Four of us from our Edmonton church staff and leadership were on a break for our visit with the international church in Dubai back in March, 2010. We had joined with other visitors for a thrilling sand dune “race” up and over high sand dune hills in Toyota “sand dune” vehicles. Our driver would race up dunes, tip over the edge and then race past other drivers on steep slopes with just inches to spare! One young woman spent much of her time screaming but still enjoying the adrenaline rush!
After this experience, our guides provided skis, rubbing some slippery substance on them, and then challenges us to ski down one of the huge sand dune hills. Since this was a t…

The Wonder of You!

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For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”
I was thinking about me but God reminded me to pray for you. For many weeks now, I have experienced a serious problem with my sinus and throat – unable to speak for long in any conversation. It was easy to pity myself and cry out to God for healing so I can teach and preach again. In the midst of focusing on me, I received a strong impression on my heart that I should be focused on and praying for you.
This happened as I was working out in the university gym near our new home. I teach others about developing a Christ-like mindset and attitude so that their ministry is really focused on others. As I began to pray for individual persons working out near me, the peace of Jesus began to fill my mind. I prayed for each of them to hear God calling them to consider and know Jesus as their Savior and Lord of their hearts. I asked the Lord to begin a work of tran…

The Yoke Factor

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Welcoming and inspiring others around you must involve the “yoke” factor. In my first new Blog entry below, I refer to “The Left Seat” --- how to serve and inspire anyone who is sitting, standing, working or walking beside you. None of us are meant to live in isolation. We are each created by God and designed to live in intimate relationship with Jesus. This relationship is intended to be progressively growing and continuously empowering so that we bear much fruit from Jesus and for Him. This is the result of our spiritual impact in and through persons in close proximity to us (John 15:16) – what I called the Left Seat in my previous column.
It was our Savior and Lord Jesus Himself who used the word “yoke” to describe the relational faith connection with Him. According to Matt 11:28-30, “…Jesus said ‘Come to me all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens…Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yo…

The Left Seat

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Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others as better than yourselves….Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:3, 5, NIV)
In an airplane cockpit, the left seat represents the more “important” person in the pilot crew of two. In the seating arrangement in my home church of Heartland Alliance, the person seated in the seat immediately to my left is definitely the most important person from my perspective. Now, my wife always sits on my right but on any given weekend of worship, I focus my attention on the “new” person sitting in the left seat. I say “new” because in our large and fast growing church, there is a different person sitting to my left in most worship services.
As I teach and demonstrate to participants in my “Welcoming Church “ seminars, it should be the natural — or supra-natural -- response of every Christ-like Christian to pray before and during worship for others around him or her. As the Bible sa…