This week's Combap Update newsletter.


Bringing People Into The Caring Community Of Christ
April 26, 2016 - "Hi Ho" Edition

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Hello ComBappers:

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to sabbatical I go. OK. That doesn't quite fit in there, but you get the point. Yes, I'm off duty for a few months. During my sabbatical time, I will be doing a bit of Church Planting work first (so, yes, technically that's not a sabbatical just yet) but will then change gears and drop straight into reading, maintenance, and construction mode.  I've got a slough of books to get through (most will be the audio book variety while I'm driving), and I've got house projects on the go at our house and at Matt and Kirstie's in Waldeck. I'll be swapping a commentary for a hammer and am quite OK with that!

I'll be back in the saddle in September and eager to hear how the congregation pulled together and took up the mantle of ministry!  Special thanks to Penny for holding down the office fort, to Eva and Bill for arranging all the preaching and music, and to all of you who will be involved in visitation, service preparation, hospitality, and the rest!  Thanks also for the wonderful T-shirt which I'll wear proudly every day and never wash. ;)

Joell


Bringing People Into The Caring Community Of Christ
April 20, 2016 - "Savior's Shadow" Edition

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Hello ComBappers:

I heard a beautiful song called "Savior's Shadow" the other day, written and sung by Blake Shelton.  Blake explains, "I dreamed the song last summer.  I woke up and wrote down everything I could remember."  Here are the lyrics:

"I'm standing in my Savior's shadow
He is watching over me
I feel the rain, I hear the thunder
As he cries for me

I'm standing in my Savior's shadow
Grace will lead to where I'm free
I take his hand, we walk together
And his light shines on me

Though the devil try to break me
My sweet Jesus won't forsake me
When I'm in my Savior's shadow
Where I'm supposed to be

I'm standing in my Savior's shadow
Following his footsteps there
Every mountain, every ocean
He hears my every prayer

Though the devil try to break me
My sweet Jesus won't forsake me
When I'm in my Savior's shadow
Where I'm supposed to be"

That's where we need to live - in the Savior's shadow, following in His footsteps as best we can and enjoying the grace and freedom He gives.

Penny


Bringing People Into The Caring Community Of Christ
April 14, 2016 - "Enemies" Edition

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Hello ComBappers:

Our Wednesday small groups covered Luke 6 yesterday where Jesus talked about loving our enemies, turning the other cheek and what not, as an expression of showing mercy like God has shown us mercy. It's a tough one. It's THE tough one. It's the very thing about Christianity that sets it apart from other religious/philosophical systems. The concept of loving your enemies is foreign to the world and to our inner instinct. Revenge is the stuff of movies. Payback is considered vindication.

Imagine John McClane in "Die Hard" capturing the bad guy and, instead of blowing him away, capturing him, taking him to jail and hugging him, saying "I forgive you".  Imagine Liam Neeson rescuing his daughter (yet again) and, after subduing the bad guy, saying "Jesus loves you and so do I".

Weird.

But, for the Christian, loving is the ultimate goal ... which means revenge gets set aside. Payback doesn't get paid. Hearts get changed through love, not through bullets. It's the Gospel way. It is The Way...the Truth and the Life!

Joell


Bringing People Into The Caring Community Of Christ
April 6th, 2016 - "Democratic" Edition

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Hello ComBappers:

We had our Provincial election last Monday, and Brad Wall remains our Premier for the next four years (barring unforeseen circumstances or his investments showing up in the Jamaica Papers). The idea of everyone being able to vote for their leaders is pretty new. Just over 100 years ago, many Western countries didn't let women vote. Another 100 years before that, most nations were ruled by monarchies that ruled based upon their family heritage. The closest we see to democracy in the Bible is drawing lots to decide something. It's just not done. People had to follow their duly unelected leaders. Still, Paul told us to pray for our political leaders, even though they were put in place by dubious means.

Nevertheless, democracy is a pretty good idea. It's such a good idea that nations that don't actually have democracy like to call themselves democracies just to sound good (the Democratic People's Republic Of North Korea or the German Democratic Republic, aka East Germany).

We put the word "Community" in our church name. Note the little vision statement at the top of this newsletter: "Bringing People Into The Caring Community Of Christ". That's sorta what we are striving to do here. It turns out putting the word "Community" in a church name is all the rage these days. However, it's pretty clear that many times, the "community" isn't that caring. Hopefully, we are working on this and not just having that word in our name because it's cool. And, doubly hopefully, the name isn't indicative of what we aren't! 

Democracies take a lot of money, energy, and work to make them happen. Elections are a bit of a bother but whenever we gather, whether here in the building or our for coffee or in our homes or in small groups...let's keep working on this crucial aspect of our lives.

Joell

 

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