Monday, 9 May 2016

Fellowship of Christian Assemblies Convention, Grande Prairie

Here we are, two old hippies, brothers in Christ at FCA convention Grande Prairie. Me along with Harold from Battle River Ranch Camp. One of us is a biker. Guess which.

Delegates came to this assembly from all across, and even outside, Canada. I had a number of interesting conversations. Most knew about Alpha, but a few didn't, and even though my position pertains only to Alberta, I was glad, of course, to help guests from other provinces.

One of the things I found especially poignant was that a number of the delegates were from McMurray Gospel Assembly, in Fort McMurray, which was right in the middle of the complete evacuation of the city due to the massive forest fire that virtually destroyed it. They must have been doubly troubled - not only at the destruction of their city, but at being separated from their families during the evacuation.
Driving through hell - leaving Fort McMurray Alberta


As I am writing this, the situation in Fort McMurray is still desperate. Please continue to pray for those were so suddenly, violently and with so little warning, displaced. Pray for the peace of that city.

Unfortunately, we have decided to cancel an event scheduled for May 14; an Alpha Lab similar to  the one held in Calgary. North Pointe Community Church is deeply involved in helping the evacuees, and adding one more thing to their plate in this time of crisis, we felt, would not have been productive. The next one will be held on June 11 at Beulah Alliance Church, also in Edmonton.

Blessings,

John

Friday, 29 April 2016

Something's Happening Here, What it is Ain't Exactly Clear


Stop! Hey! What's that sound...

I think it must be the sound of common sense going down the drain.

I was just thinking about the general reaction to the law passed in North Carolina regarding  men's and women's bathroom use, enforcing traditional gender use. Such hypocrisy! Bruce Springsteen cancelled a concert there, even though his home state, New Jersey, has similar legislation on the books. Apparently Apple is condemning the law as hateful toward the LGBTQ community, even though they do business quite happily in Saudi Arabia where they kill gays. Apparently being beheaded or thrown from the top of a building is not as traumatic as not being able to use one's bathroom of choice.

One thing I would like to see asked of all those jumping on the bandwagon of accusing the ones who passed this law of being bigots and haters, "Exactly when did you come to the position you now hold, that one's gender is not established biologically, buy according to feelings?" My sense is that many have arrived at this opinion relatively recently.

So my next question would be, "What were you previous to that; a bigot and a hater?"  

Just sayin'

Take Care

PS: I just noticed in the video there's a shot of a crowd rocking (and perhaps damaging) a 1961 Chev Impala bubble top 2 door hardtop - That's practically sacrilegious!

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Check Out Some Old-Time Rock 'n' Roll



I get emails from Holy Trinity Brompton, birthplace of Alpha. They often include, just for fun I suppose, You Tube links to various videos.

Long story short, one of these was to a live performance by Little Richard. It was not that impressive, but through it, following other links, I came to this video, originally recorded in 1969 on Tom Jones' TV show. The fact that it included Jones, whom I have always considered a crooner to middle-aged women (no insult to anyone intended, just what I believe was a true reflection of  the major demographic of his audience) , made me check it out, just for curiosity's sake. but, surprise, surprise, it's pretty good. Little Richard's first album was one of the first ones I owned, back in the day.

If you like rock 'n' roll you'll love this.

Take Care



Monday, 21 March 2016

Front Page News

This story rated a, "front page" position on Yahoo.
Interesting what we take as news these days. Interesting what we think is important. I'm not saying the chef was right (he wasn't), but I think it's interesting today what kind of story goes "viral." We are a people of bandwagons, and this seems to be one of the current ones.
I'm now not even talking about the Yahoo story, but there seems to be an attitude of "over tolerance," where it is cool to be gay, or transgendered, or in fact anything opposed to what we might call, "traditional sexual morality," and cool to be tolerant of them. But it is totally uncool to be against these new progressive ideals. It's not just tolerance of the new, it's affirmation, and those who hold traditional views are in fact, not tolerated at all.

How quickly have we seen it become a good idea for boys to be allowed into girl's change rooms, or to be introducing children to explicit, "sex education" way before they are ready for it?

Those who disagree with the current, "cool" narrative are quickly referred to as, "haters." It seems odd to me that those who are most in favour of tolerance are so quick to use the term, "hater" for others who merely disagree with them.

To try to give some of what I'm trying to say, I'd say it shows some kind of deep flaw in our cultural consciousness. We're doomed, people.

Just sayin'

Take Care

Are You Ready For What's To come?


Creed - Are You Ready
Hey, Mr. Seeker hold on to this advice
If you keep seeking you will find
Don't want to follow
Down roads been walked before
It's so hard to find unopened doors
Are you Ready?...For what's to come
Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one
Count down to the change in life that's soon to come
 Your life has just begun
Life has just begun
(Lyrics slightly edited


 
I'm sure this is not everyone's taste in music, but this song could be the theme song at the first night of every Alpha. I have been involved in Alpha courses since the early nineties. The first Alpha evening, the Alpha supper, is always the beginning of a new adventure. Guests arrive, perhaps not knowing what to expect. To us, the Alpha team, we know that each guest will become a new friend. But we start off not knowing them at all, not knowing where they are in their spiritual walk, not knowing where they will be by the end of the course.
 
But we always look forward to what God has in store, for us and for them.
 
I like Creed. Their music has many Scripture-like references. Listen to, "Faceless Man," (especially from the 1:44 and the 4:15 marks), and  "Higher," (especially the chorus, for example)for examples. 
 
Are you ready for what's to come. Do you want to find out? #TryAlpha.
 
Blessings,
 
John

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Signs of the End of the Age?

Or, "Things That Make You Go, 'What?'"

Sometimes we look around at what is happening in our world and think, "Surely Jesus must be coming soon!"

I'm not at that point. Empires and civilizations have risen and fallen throughout history, even in the past two millennia, and the author of the play hasn't yet walked back on the stage. But I believe there are certain indications that indicate we are surely seeing the decline of our own Western society.

Here are a few items from just the last couple of days' news:
  • The Supreme Court of Canada has mandated that to satisfy the, "security of the person" in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the government must pass a law permitting assisted suicide. In other words, anyone wanting to end their life must not only be allowed to do so, they must be able to have someone assist them to do so. In other news, the City of Edmonton is spending over a million dollars to erect barriers on its High Level Bridge (above) to prevent people from committing suicide... WHAT??? 
  • Someone scrawled something insulting to gays on a Valentine's Day card. Apparently a post about it went viral. So the Prime Minister of Canada and several Members of Parliament sent messages to the recipient, a police investigation was considered and a complaint against the recipient's employer to the Human Rights Commission is apparently proceeding. All over an insult on a Valentine's card... WHAT???
  • A guy in Toronto attacked a Canadian Forces recruiting office with a knife, wounding two members of the military, and shouting that Allah had told him to do it. The latter fact was not mentioned by CBC News because, of course this probably has nothing to do with Islam. The Toronto Police Chief says it is an 'isolated incident'... Yeah, so was 9/11 and every ISIS beheading in the Middle East, I suppose.
  • And then there is the continuing move to allow boys to use girls' change rooms and washrooms for no other reason than they feel like a girl (or say so), and seemingly otherwise intelligent people are thinking this is a good idea. WOW! 
Society seems to be more and more rapidly losing its mind. We are dying of terminal stupidity. Bit by bit we are giving away the treasure of what we once had. The Supreme Court has mandated individual assisted suicide. I'm afraid we are seeing societal suicide as well, and it's unassisted - completely voluntary.

I don't particularly fight against any of these things. I just mention them and shake my head in wonder. My mission, as I see it, is to communicate to anyone who will listen, the hope that can be found in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. That is the only permanent thing. The world may pass away, including empires, societies and civilizations, but God and His Word, and only God and His Word, will stand forever.

Take Care

Monday, 15 February 2016

More Wisdom From Justice Scalia

From here...
“God assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools…and He has not been disappointed. Devout Christians are destined to be regarded as fools in modern society. We are fools for Christ’s sake. We must pray for courage to endure the scorn of the sophisticated world. If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.”
We have been forewarned that in this world we will have trouble, but that Jesus has overcome the world.

We have been told that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.

We have been told, but how soon or how easily we forget. And how stubbornly or naively we sometimes think that the government in power is going to make much of a difference. The world is the world and it is heading where it is heading.

Take Care

Chronolical/Anachronistic Arrogance

From time to time I come across instances of what I have referred to as Anachronistic, or Chronological Arrogance. What I mean is the tendency of current governments, or courts, or churches,  or even individuals, to feel that somehow we have something right; something all together; that in spite of all thought given to a particular issue in the past, now, suddenly, whatever our thoughts on the matter, they are, after all this time, indisputably the correct ones.  It is the surety that thinking on some particular issue is now finally settled whereas every previous generation has been too blind to see it. This is probably not limited to the current generation. It is probably a natural human tendency, but it seems that every generation, perhaps especially this one, forgets it.

A few examples:
  • Some churches' finding that homosexual sexual activity is not wrong after all; that Scripture and 2000 years of careful Christian thought have all this time been mistaken.
  • people now have the right (and, by corollary, always have had, but unrecognized) to demand a doctor participate in putting them to death.
  • any person who feels they are a person of the opposite sex has a right to use any washroom or change room they like.
  • the right to freedom of conscience or freedom of speech does not override another person's right not to have their feelings hurt.
What brought this subject back to my mind is the recent death of Supreme Court Justice Scalia of the US Supreme Court.  Here are his thoughts, from one of his opinions which sum up what I have tried to express, but expressed much better than I have been able:
From Here...
Much of the Court's opinion is devoted to deprecating the closed-mindedness of our forebears with regard to women's education, and even with regard to the treatment of women in areas that have nothing to do with education. Closed minded they were — as every age is, including our own, with regard to matters it cannot guess, because it simply does not consider them debatable. The virtue of a democratic system with a First Amendment is that it readily enables the people, over time, to be persuaded that what they took for granted is not so, and to change their laws accordingly. That system is destroyed if the smug assurances of each age are removed from the democratic process and written into the Constitution.
So to counterbalance the Court's criticism of our ancestors, let me say a word in their praise: they left us free to change. The same cannot be said of this most illiberal Court, which has embarked on a course of inscribing one after another of the current preferences of the society (and in some cases only the counter-majoritarian preferences of the society's law-trained elite) into our Basic Law.
Take Care