This week's Combap Update newsletter.


Bringing People Into The Caring Community Of Christ
March 26, 2015 - "Kindness" Edition

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Hello ComBappers:

Kindness.  Kind words, kind smiles, kind actions.  Even the word "kindness" sounds kind, doesn't it? 

I had an experience at 11:00 last night with a call from a NOT-so-kind stranger.  In two or three short minutes, his unkindness disturbed my mood, made me feel a bit creeped out, and probably even raised my blood pressure a little.  (He was calling about the Toyota Corolla we have for sale and was rude and demanding - so much that I ended up hanging up on him.)

Today, I'm happy to say I have had the opportunity to see several examples of kindness around me.  Lynn Kruger picking me up for the Lent service (and Sandy Ryerson going early and saving seats for us).  Phil Andrzejewski working hard at painting the fellowship hall.  Pastor Joell spending his afternoon helping Phil.  Lyle Krause delivering drinks from Tim Horton's for the guys working around the church.  Elmer Elias dropping off a lovely Easter poem Kathy had written (so I could include it in the bulletin).  Janet Dillabaugh sending an email that she and the ladies' group would be honored to plan the upcoming wedding showers.  Ahhhhh, kindness.  It warms the heart. 

The Bible tells us to "put on compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience" (Colossians 3:12).  Let's go out and do that!

Penny

combapupdate
Bringing People Into The Caring Community Of Christ
March 19, 2015 - "Wireless Congestion" Edition

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Hello ComBappers:

We are living in a wireless world now. Telephones are wireless. Computers are wireless. And, soon (maybe), electricity will be wireless. (It already is on my charging pad for my phone.) With all the wirelessness, there comes congestion. A gal was telling me that her son lives in an apartment in Saskatoon; and if he moves even a few feet away from him Sasktel wireless router, his signal drops dramatically. The problem? There are so many wireless routers in that building that they are fighting over the radio waves.

There are 13 different wireless channels (actually, there are only three that you should use....but that's confusing) for standard wi-fi routers, but each channel actually spans two other channels in each direction. So, channel 1 interferes with channels 2 and 3. Channel 6 interferes with channel 4, 5, 7, and 8. Channel 11 stomps on 9,10, 12, and 13. So, each bit of interference slows that connection to your wifi device (computer, phone, tv, fridge). It may still get through, but it has to do some sifting out of all the other traffic on, or near, your channel.

So that's why you often see your router set to channel 1, 6, or 11. They are the furthest apart and won't interfere with each other at all, keeping everyone happy...except that you live in a highly congested area and everyone else has wi-fi routers spewing out their signals too, making for a bunch on every channel...and making for unhappy non-campers.

The solution? Plug in. Yes, if you live in one of these highly congested areas, the foolproof solution is to grab that Ethernet cable and plug it into your computer. Being plugged in is always best.

Jesus tells us that we need to stay plugged into Him to thrive...actually, to just plain live!  He is the vine (trunk, internet backbone), and we are the branches (devices). When we unplug from Him and try to go wireless, we will start dropping signal strength from the Holy Spirit and soon find ourselves feeling disconnected. What are you doing to plug or unplug from Jesus? Stay attached to His body!

Joell

combapupdate
Bringing People Into The Caring Community Of Christ
March 11, 2015 - "Sump Pump" Edition

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Hello ComBappers:

Spring is peeking its head out of the ground and may, just may, be thinking about springing out completely in the near future. With Spring come melting and runoff. And with runoff comes a higher water table. And with a higher water table comes water seeping into our basements! Here at the ComBap campus (that's the cool way to refer to a building) we have, count them, six sump pumps spread throughout the building.

I suspect Jake has nightmares about sump pumps. He faithfully checks the pumps, which often suffer breakdowns from alkali, rust, and gunk building up in and around them. When one has a problem, he grabs one of his helpful cronies and then will tinker, fix, and/or replace as needed. And when I say that he often checks them, I mean every couple days, I could be sitting up here in my dry, cozy office, and the entire basement could be under three feet of water and I'd never notice. You see, Jake has got the church building's back. He's doing the mundane ministry of sump pump checking and, frankly, it's an amazing blessing.

It's the little things, or even the forgotten things, that, when left unchecked, can cause the most damage. Sin seeps into our lives from unchecked portals. The Bible tells us to take "every thought captive" which is just another way of saying "don't let your mind allow crap to creep into your life without a full examination in the light of truth". Ya, the Bible says it better. But, you get the idea. People who become addicts don't point to a single event but rather to a slippery slide into addiction. People who fall into sexual sin don't talk about a "one time event" but rather a process that began by dwelling on the temptation, perhaps even thinking something like "I deserve to be free to act on my desires"....and off it goes.

So, make sure you are like Jake. Check those holes in your life that need to be watched with mundane vigilance. 

Joell

combapupdate
Bringing People Into The Caring Community Of Christ
March 5, 2015 - "Lent" Edition

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Hello ComBappers:

Lent is upon us (we are now in the second week), and many of you have "upped your game" for this time of preparation for Easter. Some are participating in the Noon Hour Lenten Services & Lunch (Thursdays at East Side). Others are also foregoing some "treats" for the time to help refocus on what Christ gave up to become one of us. It really is a time of thankfulness and not of punishment. We don't make ourselves more acceptable to God by beating ourselves up, but rather we can use Lent as a time of personal restriction to remind ourselves just how restricted Christ became when he lived on earth.

Think about it.  The very Creator of the universe ended up subject to the laws of nature that He created. It's kind of like an author of a book being able to insert himself into the very story he has written (maybe a bit like Tron). He inserted Himself in our story so that He could transform our lives into something wonderful: Children of God.

So, don't beat yourself up in Lent.  Rather, if you want to play along, then restrict yourself in some meaningful way to remind you of the most meaningful restriction of all time.

Joell

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Swift Current

Saskatchewan

S9H 0R4

E-mail: combap@sasktel.net

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