This week's Combap Update newsletter.


Bringing People Into The Caring Community Of Christ
July 18, 2016 - "Choices" Edition

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Hello ComBappers:

Facebook has some great posts - some are funny, some are inspirational, and some are just plain cute.  Here are two that contain significant advice for all of us.  Instead of running on "auto pilot", let's try to be more intentional about our choices.  Although we can't control all our circumstances, we can - AND DO - choose our attitudes and our priorities.  



I love Philippians 4.  Here are some excerpts from this valuable chapter:

- "Always be full of joy in the Lord.  I say it again - rejoice!  Let everyone see that you are considerate in all that you do.  Remember, the Lord is coming soon."
- "Don't worry about anything.  Instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.  Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can under
stand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
- "Fix your thoughts
on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.  Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."
- "I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.  I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything.  I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or with little.  For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength."

These are all choices we can make:  "be full of joy", "rejoice", "be considerate", "don't worry", "pray about everything", "thank God", "fix your thoughts", "be content".  Our thoughts, words, deeds, and attitudes are all important and will determine which fellow in the above picture we most resemble.  Let's choose wisely.

Penny


Bringing People Into The Caring Community Of Christ
July 13, 2016 - "Plant/Water/Grow" Edition

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Hello ComBappers:

Well, eleven Sundays have passed since Pastor Joell started his sabbatical.  We definitely MISS him in the pulpit, on the worship teams, AND ALL OVER THE PLACE ... but we carry on.  We are blessed to have had people willing to fill in for preaching during Joell's absence, as well as in music, visitation, coffee-making-and-door-unlocking Sunday mornings, etc., etc.  I am still busy in the office, although some days do get a bit lonely without Joell buzzing around.  (Feel free to pop by anytime.  The coffeepot is on!)

I was reading something in I Corinthians 3 that is a good reminder of this phase in our church life.  "After all, who is Joell?  Who is Fred?  Who is Vic?  Who is Louise?  Who is Adam?  Emmanuel?  Ryan?  Janet?  Martin?  We are only God's servants through whom you believed the Good News.  Each of us did the work the Lord gave us.  I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was GOD who made it grow.  It's not important who does the planting, or who does the watering.  What's important is that God makes the seed grow.  The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose.  And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.  For we are both God's workers.  And you are God's field.  You are God's building."

Truly, God and His Word are the critical components to our growth.  We absolutely need to appreciate all of the planters and the waterers ... but remember that only God makes the seed grow.

Penny


Bringing People Into The Caring Community Of Christ
July 4, 2016 - "Freedom" Edition

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Hello ComBappers:

With Canada Day and Independence Day fresh in our thoughts, one can't help but think about the precious freedom we enjoy.  Thank you to all who have paid the price for our country's freedom AND to the One who paid for our spiritual redemption. 

Interestingly, our church mail this morning included a newsletter by "Our Daily Bread Ministries Canada", with an article on the front page called "Freedom Found In Prison".  This was particularly interesting to me as it was written about inmates in Bowden Institution (Innisfail, AB) and the ministry of Pastor Bud Sargent.  Terry & I have a special friend who was sent to Bowden in February and recently transferred to Drumheller Minimum Security Unit.  This friend has spoken very highly of Pastor Bud - and has indeed been deepening his relationship with God while in prison.  Miracles indeed can happen inside the prison walls, and sometimes incarceration can lead people to true freedom.  (Remember Tommy LaPlante's testimony when Teen Challenge visited our church May 29.)

Let's be grateful for our freedom and use it wisely.

Penny

P.S.  Some of you know our friend.  If you want to send a note or card of encouragement to him, please bring it to my office by Friday.  We hope to visit him next Monday or Tuesday when we travel back from Calgary.  Mail is a huge blessing to those in prison.


Bringing People Into The Caring Community Of Christ
June 27, 2016 - "Privilege" Edition

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Hello ComBappers:

Let me tell you about the wonderful privilege I experienced last Thursday morning...

First, the background to the story:  On April 23, 2015, a ladies' group called Joyful Melody Trio did a concert at our church.  They were lovely ladies, who shared powerful testimonies and music.  In preparation for their visit to our church, they had found our website and read the bulletin online.  That week's bulletin happened to include an Easter poem, written by Kathy Elias.

Easter

When God sent His Son, He had me on His mind,
Not only me, but all of mankind.
He knew no sin, suffered, and died for us.
He obediently and quietly went to the cross.

He was subjected to beatings and was falsely accused.
The disciples were with him, greatly confused!
How can this be happening to our Saviour and Lord?
He healed the sick and spread God's Word.

When brought before Pilate, he asked Jesus, "Are You King of the Jews?"
"Those are your words," He answered, and to speak, He refused.
"Don't You hear what crimes they say You have done?
Do You still say You are God's Son?"

Pilate knew Jesus was innocent, which of course He was.
The chief priests and leaders felt strong in their cause.
Pilate, agitated and confused, asked, "Barabbas or Jesus, who should go free?"
"Release Barabbas, and nail Jesus to the tree."

"But what crime has He committed?  I can find no fault."
"Nail Him to the cross," they shouted, preparing their assault.
Pilate could do nothing, the rioting about to begin.
Pilate washed his hands; he wanted nothing to do with this sin!

They stripped off His clothes, laid a crown of thorns on His head.
They mocked and beat Him until He bled.
Jesus was sinless.  How could it be
That they would hang perfection on a tree!

He took His last breath, everyone in shock,
Was laid in a tomb, the opening sealed by a rock.
Jesus rose three days later, His work was done.
He took on an appearance, bright as the sun.

He prepared a place for each one of us.
He took our sins with Him to the cross.
Accept His suffering, repent, and believe.
His precious gift, eternal life, we'll receive.


God inspired Cari to put the poem to music, and at the concert at our church on April 23, the trio shared that song.  It was beautiful.  The ladies were hoping to meet Kathy that evening, but unfortunately Kathy wasn't well enough to attend.  Loreen, Terry, and I invited the trio out for coffee after the concert.  Before we parted ways, Cari, Colleen, and Joyce  prayed for Kathy.

Fast forward to last week ...  Joyful Melody Trio was scheduled to do a concert in Leader on Wednesday and then one at Riverview Village Estates on Thursday afternoon.  They contacted our church to see if I could arrange for them to have a visit with Kathy.  I called Kathy that morning and asked if she was up to a bit of a visit.  I told her that Loreen and I would like to visit and that we had a surprise for her.   We showed up at 10:30 with Cari, Colleen, and Joyce from Joyful Melody Trio - and they performed a mini concert for Elmer & Kathy in their apartment.  They did the Easter song, as well as several other songs, visited and prayed with Kathy, and gifted her with their newest cd.  The genuine love and kindness demonstrated by the three ladies captured what ministry is all about.  Kathy and Elmer were blessed beyond words, and Loreen and I came away, knowing we had witnessed something very special.


Penny


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