Articles for the Month of June 2017

Clearing the Way For the Holy Spirit, Part 11

‘God’s Blessings Versus Generational Sins’ is a topic that runs deep because it affects us all. Yet, there is hope for us all too. Our hope is in Jesus!

Jesus understands. He has literally been through everything.

Consider for a moment, what Jesus did. Would you leave the perfection of Heaven? Would you leave the perfection of Heaven to come down to an imperfect planet? Where the planet is inhabited by imperfect people who, through their choices, have wreaked havoc on God’s original ideal? And even after the mission was accomplished and successful, would you keep the scarred body forever?

But Jesus did! He didn’t arrive in some mysterious pod, similar to Superman. Jesus was born, so there was no contesting His humanity. In addition to His birth, Jesus inherited an human ancestry. His lineage is full of people who made choices that were opposite of God’s, which then paved the way for future generations. Jesus’ family did not give him the healthiest set up for life.

Yet, He didn’t wallow in it. There were no excuses. Jesus didn’t quit at the first sign of weakness and say, well my dad this or my mom that. He broke the cycle. He prayed for forgiveness for all those around Him, before Him and those to come in the future. After His ascent into Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to guide us, so that we’d never be alone.

Despite what has happened in our past, we are empowered to live differently. Follow Jesus’ example–He did differently. There are issues we have inherited because of the sins and choices of our ancestors. However, we are not forced to repeat them. We can learn from them and choose differently otherwise. We can choose forgiveness. We can choose to seek help in destroying those strongholds that threaten to hold us back from a healthy life.

We were encouraged to spend time confessing from any generational strongholds, being specific as we released them to God. Let us also remember that God forgives immediately. And then He forgets, cleaning us as though it has never happened.

Our prayer time ended with this choice:
I choose my Father in Heaven to be my example in everything. I receive His inheritance and blessing through Jesus making my adoption into God’s family possible. I receive my Elder Brother Jesus as my Saviour and Lord so that His character might be in my heart and expressed through everything I say and do. I also give thanks for every good thing that my parents and ancestors have passed on to me.

We conclude this series next Wednesday, June 28 at 7:00 pm. The last part of clearing for the Holy Spirit includes ‘Steps for Overcoming Sin’.

STUDY GUIDE

Children’s Ministry Needs US!


Recently, a sister school in Canada accepted help from a volunteer who was unfit for the role. The public outrage that followed was discouraging. However, this situation could have been avoided had capable volunteers been available to assist. Private institutions and nonprofit organizations often do not have budgets for paid staff. They rely on God to inspire His people to donate their time and energy to support valid causes. When organizations have a list of willing volunteers who are able and prepared to serve, it prevents moments of desperation.

We are in a similar position at Henderson Highway.

We need help!

Our lower division Sabbath Schools need trustworthy adults to serve in various capacities. While these classes are not new to our church, the ever-changing needs of them are new. Here is a breakdown of the current staffing situations in our Sabbath Schools:

Beginners (newborn to 3 years)
This class is well supported. In addition to their church-appointed leaders, there are numerous parents and guardians who also help. Because the children are too young to attend class on their own, they are often accompanied by at least one adult.

Kindergarten (4-6 years)
The support decreases a bit, but generally tends to be decently staffed, mostly by church-appointed leaders. On occasion, there is additional support from a parent or guardian who accompanies their child to class. Usually, the parents prefer to escort them to the door and return for them after class.

Primary (7-9 years)
The support decreases again. Even the number of church-appointed leaders decreases. Over the last few years, the Children’s Ministry has shared staff between Kindergarten & Primary. Parental support is pretty much non-existent as the children are able to get to class on their own.

Juniors (10-12 years)
We’re at the bare minimum for church-appointed leadership in this class. There is no parental support.

Earliteens (13-15 years)
Due to lack of leadership, this class was dormant for a number of years. It was reinstated in Spring 2017 to meet the needs of the children and to prevent overcrowding in some classes. It’s too wide of an age gap to keep our teens grouped with the pre-teens. Yet, they’re not quite ready for the youth group either. They’re currently down to one church-appointed leader. This class is in jeopardy of being cancelled. Again.

Youth (16+)
There is an increase in leadership support, both from parents and non-parents. Our youth group plans social gatherings in addition to their Sabbath School class and often need addtional drivers to assist.

FAQ’s

Why not ask the parents? I don’t have kids that age or I’ve served my time already.
Parents are asked. We are very grateful for the parents and guardians who are able to help out wherever they’re comfortable. But it isn’t been enough to fill all the gaps. When the children reach a certain age, they may not be comfortable to participate openly & honestly if their parent is leading or assisting their class. Many parents are exhausted, particularly if they have served in Sabbath Schools from early childhood and onward. There are also some parents who choose to ‘follow’ their children; they will serve in a division as long as their child is a part of that class. Once they are promoted to the next level, the parent either moves as well, or they stop helping.

I’d love to help, but I’m not a teacher or I’m not good at leading.
That’s fine! If you’re good at sitting, we have the perfect position for you–a sitter. Literally, just sit. As part of our commitment to protecting children in our church, we’ve prefer to have two adults available in each class. One would be the leader, while the second adult would be a presence in the class.

Kids scare me.
Guess what? Kids might say the same thing about adults too! Why not seize this opportunity to get acquainted with our young people and start building relationships. You can still be a part of children’s ministry without directly interacting with children. The Sabbath School classrooms need decorating three to four times per year. Perhaps you have items to lend or donate for the upcoming VBX program. Maybe you have an idea that hasn’t been mentioned here yet. 

I have more questions.
Wonderful! Sheryl is eager to hear from you. Perhaps you have some great ideas as well.

Please continue to pray for this crucial ministry. We want our children to see Jesus to know Him, not just know about Him. We are preparing them for the Kingdom, for eternal life with God. Lessons learned in childhood will impact them for life, guiding them as they make decisions. God does amazing work with willing hearts.

Clearing the Way For the Holy Spirit, Part 10

‘Trustful Versus Negative Thoughts’ was our study this past Wednesday. Too often, negative thinking is akin to a natural reflex. When challenges arise, it takes great effort to talk about faith, let alone walk in faith.

The disciples were no exception to this either. Mark 8 finds them in a wilderness, facing a multitude of hungry people. This is the second time they’ve been before thousands of starving men, women and children without food. The first time, the crowd was larger, yet God provided.

However, it seems that the disciples forgot.

Rather than look to Jesus eager for a miracle, they question Him, asking what He thought should happen out in the wilderness. What role were they to play in feeding this crowd.

Jesus simply asked them what they had.

It is easy to focus on the numerous impossibilities of a situation. In that moment, the disciples failed to see the possibility that was in Jesus. They didn’t have and so they didn’t know how to go about getting. So they didn’t do anything.

Negative thinking is paralyzing. It limits us from seeing the potential and reduces us to only focusing on what we think we can do. But as humans, we are limited. There is only so much we can see and do. By focusing on our shortcomings, we put limits on God and what He is able to do.

Jesus asked  the disciples what they had. He didn’t even stop to lecture them first, reminding them of His other similar scenario. He just went straight into need-meeting mode. He shifted the focus from what they didn’t have to what they had and what they were about to have once He blessed it.

As always, we ended the evening with prayer. Not only do we pray for those in attendance, but we pray for our church family. We want everyone to be free from negative thoughts, focusing instead on trustful thoughts with God. Our prayer time begun with this:
I will fill my mind with the promises and truths from God’s Word. By God’s power, I will take my negative thoughts to Jesus and replace them with His way of thinking. I will speak faith and hope.

We’re in the last couple sessions of our study. Join us next Wednesday, June 21 at 7:00 pm as we study ‘God’s Blessings Versus Generational Sins’.

STUDY GUIDE 

C’mon Down to Cactusville!

Our time for Cactusville is fast approaching! Here is how you can be involved in our VBX fun this summer:

Online registration is now available, for this summer’s Vacation Bible Xperience (VBX), which will take place August 13-17 from 6-9 pm. If you have children between the ages of 5-12, pre-register them now for a trip to the imaginary Western town of Cactusville, where they will learn that they are called by God and how they can accept and live out this calling in their own lives as they participate in some rip-roarin’, Bible-treasure-huntin’ adventures!

WANTED…VBX Volunteers! Contact Sheryl to discover ways you can help out with this summer’s exciting journey to Cactusville, where Xciting adventures surely await you!

VBX props and decorations: The decorating team would appreciate your help in acquiring items such as wooden barrels or crates, tin tubs, cowboy boots, saddles, ropes etc. If you have anything you are willing to lend or donate to help us create a “Wild West” atmosphere, please contact Sheryl. Your REWARD = A GREAT BIG THANKS!!

Clearing the Way For the Holy Spirit, Part 9


God is profound. There is much work involved in clearing our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit. It’s evident that we are never alone in our mess. God is right there. His Word is full of promises to keep us on task. Some have already been fulfilled; others are in the process of being fulfilled.

In our discussion this past week, we focused on the topic ‘Freedom in Christ Versus Evil Spirit’s Control’. As Christ covers us with His righteousness, we need to understand that the devil is opposed. God’s enemy attacks Him relentlessly, willingly using any pawn possible, including us. Jesus tells us in the book of John that the devil is the father of lies. Everything he does is rooted in untruth. There is no reward for those who choose to surrender to this destructive control.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have Jesus. Everything he does is truly rooted in pure love for us. Jesus fights for us and freely offers salvation as a gift. There is nothing we can do to earn it, only accept it. Furthermore, Jesus offers us a reward–eternal life with Him in Heaven.

We are encouraged to suit up with God’s armor, customized to fit everyone uniquely. Ephesians describes our armor piece by piece, helping us understand how to use them in resistance to the enemy. The passage ends with the reminder to pray diligently for ourselves and for others.

Our prayer time started off with this collective commitment:
Jesus, fill my heart with Your presence through the Holy Spirit. Knowing that You, Jesus, have overcome all evil spirits, I will rely on Your power for anything I need and trust You even if You don’t do everything like I ask You to. I put on Your armor and fight in Your strength.

Join us next Wednesday, June 14 at 7:00 pm for part ten, ‘Trustful Versus Negative Thoughts’.

STUDY GUIDE

The Infinite Side of Love: Pastor Tony Yorgov

John 2:25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas,[a] because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

EQUIP 2017 Recap

Last weekend, an EQUIP training event was held at the Silver Heights Seventh-day Adventist Church. The EQUIP training is provided as part of the TMI initiative.

What is TMI?

Too Much Information? In many circles, yes, but not in this case.
Two Member Involvement? That’s a scenario we hope to avoid.

TMI is the acronym for Total Member Involvement; that all members can use their God-given gifts and talents to share the gospel message.

Seminars were presented on ministries such as health, communications, young adult, education, young adults and more. Having seen the work of God in their ministries, the leaders were enthusiastic as their shared information and personal stories with their respective audiences. The goal of these sessions is to empower church goers to share the gospel message. These training events equip us so that excuses are stripped away and we can share the love of Christ freely.

Our church leaders could share their vision and encourage us to tell others about Christ. However, they’ve chosen to take things one step further, by showing us how this can be done. But things don’t end with an EQUIP event. There are numerous ministry resources available on the Manitoba-Saskatchewan Conference website. Ministry leaders are also within reach. Our Conference has appointed a director for TMI, Pastor Lynn Ripley.

Visit our Conference TMI website for more upcoming training events, resources and more.