This week's Combap Update newsletter.

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ComBap Update
Bringing People Into The Caring Community Of Christ
February 1, 2016 - "Sad News & Happy News" Edition


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Hello ComBappers:

Sad news.  Our church family has definitely had its share of that in the past year.  I was saddened this evening to hear that Julieta S.'s mother passed away.  Then I opened Facebook and read a post by Desiree H., stating that it's been two months since she lost her brother.  And of course we have lost a number of our dear ComBap friends to illness over the past several months. 

Pastor Joell's wise words come to mind that the grieving we experience comes simply because we loved.  Love is always worth it.  Henri J.M. Nouwen says, "Every time we make the decision to love someone, we open ourselves to great suffering, because those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain.  The greatest pain comes from leaving.  When the child leaves home, when the husband or wife leaves for a long period of time or for good, when the beloved friend departs to another country or dies, the pain of the leaving can tear us apart.  Still, if we want to avoid the suffering of leaving, we will never experience the joy of loving.  And love is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair.  We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking."

And as Christians, we have the amazing promise of Revelation 21:3-5. 

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”  And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.”

Until that promise is fulfilled (which could be quicker than we expect!), let's remember to "be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep" (Romans 12:15).  Another word for that is "community". 

On the good news front, we truly rejoice with Devin & Alicia B. that sweet Baby Lily is making good progress and will soon be transferred from Edmonton to Saskatoon! 

Penny

ComBap Update
Bringing People Into The Caring Community Of Christ
January 28, 2016 - "Unexpected"
Edition

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Hello ComBappers:

So, I was walking around the church building yesterday and I stepped in a mud puddle...well, not a mud "puddle" as such, but wet, soggy, muddy ground...that made my left shoe a muddy mess. Take note of the date. January 27th! How is mud even a thing in Saskatchewan on January 27th?! When I moved back to Saskatchewan, I never imagined mud in January. Snow. Yes. Bone chilling cold, yes. Slippery streets and sidewalks, yes. Blue skies, yes. But not mud in January.

Now, this won't turn into a global warming rant, but I will say that when unexpected things happen, we can be thrown for a loop. I distinctly remember when I was a kid coming out of the Kids' Arena in Fort St John after playing a hockey game early one morning. When we had arrived there two hours earlier, it was -20. When we walked out, it was +10. A chinook had blown in, and I found myself dumbfounded as I braced for the cold, only to feel warmth. It was unsettling. I had braced for nothing. It was anti-bracing.

Certain unsuspected things can be prepared for. Insurance companies bank on it. They make their money from persons sending them money so that they will send even more money back to the persons if something unexpected and costly happens. However, when it comes to life insurance, the money goes to someone else. Life insurance is the ultimate "prepare for the unexpected" deal. We don't want our loved ones to be caught in need from our own demise. It's smart (usually) to provide for that eventuality.

So, how's your life insurance situation? Or, rather, how's your "new life" insurance? The real ultimate protection for loss of physical life isn't money but eternity.

Read Mark 8:36

Joell

ComBap Update
Bringing People Into The Caring Community Of Christ
January 20, 2016 -  "Static" Edition

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Hello ComBappers:

I wonder what the ancients thought of static electricity. Granted, many of them lived in warmer climates where creating a static charge was more difficult and where balloons hadn't been invented yet. Surely, though, even without the aid of rubber soled shoes, the ancients must have accidentally zapped themselves and others from time to time and then pondered what had just happened.zap

Of course, lightning is a rather strong variety of static electricity, which had all sorts of myths and explanations in ancient times. Ancient Greek philosopher Thales of Miletus (600 BC) created sparks on purpose by spinning a disk of leopard fur and another of glass or amber and connected them with a gold axle and foil strips.  But it wasn't until the 1600's that Ben Franklin proved that lightning was just really, really, really strong static discharge. And I'm sure somewhere along the way somebody said "God does it" or even "the gods" but, for some reason, that didn't stop people from trying to figure it out what it was and how it worked.

Here, let me just state that God does, in fact, do it....by virtue of the fact that he had designed nature so, in a very real way, He's responsible for every static discharge. However, since He did it in such a way as to be engineered and designed, we humans have been able to figure out how He designed it and still marvel. It's called science. Sometimes critics of Christianity state that thinking the universe is created by God is a science stopper. That folks will just throw up their hands and say "God did it" and let's go to Starbucks. But, it doesn't work that way. In fact, it works the opposite way. Knowing that there is a supreme engineer (or rather Supreme Engineer) prompts us to be investigatory and hopeful to find out the "hows" since we know the Creator does things in consistent ways.

Dustyn got a Rubik's cube and, with great frustration, is trying to figure it out. The fact that he knows that it DOES work gives him encouragement that he'll figure it out. Someday.

Creation....the ultimate Rubik's Cube.  Go figure!

Joell

ComBap Update
Bringing People Into The Caring Community Of Christ
January 14, 2016 -  "Doug" Edition

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Hello ComBappers:

We have entered another season of sadness here at ComBap with the passing of our dear friend, Doug Heid. There are some people who are just a constant encouragement to their pastors...and Doug was one of them. He understood the trials, tribulations, and joys of ministry and was always there with a kind word or deed of support. He understood that church wasn't about the "show" but about the people. What happened "on stage" was secondary, and what happened in the foyer was primary. Often times he would say that he would prefer a church service where people were sitting around tables, sharing with one another over coffee rather than sitting in rows like ducks in a row. In fact, don't be surprised to find tables set up one Sunday.

Doug's battle with cancer was relatively short, and his passing seemed sudden (although we did, actually, have a few months of warning). However, just in the new year, it was apparent that the angiosarcoma was not slowing regardless of the treatment. Doug, however, while really wanting to stay, was not worried for himself. Yes, he started thinking about administrative details for Marilyn and kids to follow up on, but he was OK with going home. And that's how he lived every day of his life since coming to Christ. He was living for Christ in this mission field called "the world", but his home was in heaven. And, in this mission field, he took it upon himself to not only tell people about Jesus but also show people about Jesus, and Doug allowed the Holy Spirit to shape him into the man I got to know for the past 10 years.

We all could use some of that "Doug-ness" in our lives.

God Bless.
Joell

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E-mail: combap@sasktel.net

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