Sermon Questions and Weekly Reading Questions for week of June 12, 2016

You mentioned in the Sunday service that separating the children from the service is a form of exile. Your comment seemed to be a bit of an exaggeration to me, not to mention a misuse of the meaning of an exile. Are the ministries at the church meant to help people relate to and learn about God at a level for them to understand? FBC has Sunday school for children, youth, and adults, small groups for adults, young adults, support groups for those who have experienced miscarriage and loss, get togethers for Prime Time age, and many more. I think these valuable opportunities exist not to “exile” but to include people and their various stages of physical and spiritual growth within […]

Book Review – from Tablet to Table

From Table to Table is a passionate look at the image of the table in scripture and the value table fellowship and shared meals offer to us as individuals, as families, and as community. Leonard Sweet reminds us of the table ministry Jesus had. We are given a chance to step back and see how much food played in Jesus’ ministry and in his stories. So often when we read these stories we see the food and table as common everyday items, rather than clues to understanding the ministry of Jesus, and what God desires for us. Sweet’s writing style in this book took me a bit to get used to. I realized as I progressed through the book that […]

Recruiting Volunteers Priniciple #8 – No Cold Calling

Principle #8 – No Cold Calling   We do not act like telemarketers trying to fill roles in the church.  The more you cold call, the less trust you have with those you recruit. I think my first year or two of ministry I tried recruiting for people by phoning through the whole directory.  I talked to a lot of nice people.  A lot of nice people wondered why I thought they would be useful in the infant nursery.  I was left with a lot of holes in my nursery schedule.  Epic. Failure.    The conversations were valuable, but as a recruiting technique very inefficient. Whether emails, bulletin inserts, phone calls, or even standing up front in the sanctuary before the congregation – […]

Book Review – The Christmas Story for Children

Normally I don’t get my eye caught by children’s Bible storybooks, however The Christmas Story for Children stands out for a few reasons. First, it’s a part of the The Story project, and my favourite children’s story author Max Lucado is a part of this project. The Christmas Story for Children is what you would expect – the Christmas Story with the appropriate artwork. Yet there are some qualities to this book’s storytelling that stand out. First, they don’t try to mix all the Christmas narratives into one. The story is told clearly with a sense that this is a story being told based on scripture, but is not an actual scripture reading. Second, the artwork is wonderful and high […]

Book Review – Be the Dad She Needs You to Be by Dr. Kevin Leman

It always seems to me there is an endless supply of parenting books available.   Being the father of four girls, Be the Dad She Needs You to Be grabbed my attention from the many other titles I know are available.   In his book Dr. Kevin Leman  lays out his position on how important fathers are in the lives of daughters.   The topics he discusses range from understanding birth order, how girls relate compared to guys, discipline ideas, to sexuality, right through the teenage years.  Dr. Leman reminds us that we only have so much time and we want to help our girls be strong, confident and healthy in all areas of their lives. Reading the book I found myself overall […]

Building a Body that Serves – Introduction

Over the past decade and a bit of ministry I’ve had a growing desire that now requires a confession.   I love recruiting for ministry.  No, I don’t need therapy.  No I’m not crazy.  I believe one of the most important pieces that we need to develop in our churches is to effectively equip the body of Christ to serve one another and the world around us.   I wasn’t always this way.  I use to dread my need for more volunteers, spots on schedules to be filled,     Now?  I love seeing people serving in the church. Over the past year I’ve had a couple dozen separate conversations where people have asked how I recruit and work with individuals for ministry roles. […]

Valuing Life

As I looked over the web page of the Edmonton journal an article caught my eye entitled “Edmonton Hospitals provide drop offs for for unwanted newborns”. It would be an easy article to miss.  The general idea is that two hospitals in Edmonton, both Catholic run, are making space for babies to be dropped off, no questions asked.  It’s a safe place for a mom, unable to cope, to go and leave her baby safely and know it will be cared for.  Will it be used a lot – doubtful – but at least it’s an option.  The article quotes some critics: “However, the idea has remained controversial, with critics arguing that such facilities help legitimize the abandonment of children […]

No one came…

Can you imagine the story of the good samaritan, but instead of him stopping and helping he kept going? He just walked by… despite the need for help. The man would be dead in the ditch. That happened. Not in the story in scripture… but in real life… watch this video… The second last sign – “I have nobody. I need somebody.” It was reported this morning that Amanda Todd took her life. At some point I’ll post my view on what builds up to this – but for now – parents, go hug your child, kiss them on the cheek and tell them you love them, God loves them, that they are precious and valuable and have purpose and […]

Being Village People

First things first – this is not about the disco group that is known for quirky costumes and singing YMCA.  Glad we got that cleared up :). Over the past few months a number of letters to editors,  events in communities and a recent comment by  a friend have had the phrase ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ percolating in my mind.   This is one of those comfort phrases I think we are supposed to say, but many never wrestle with.  The phrase itself has African roots – with variations coming from different tribes.  The concept is simple – no parent raises their children in a vacuum so we each bear responsibility for how children turn out in […]

Raising Children

I spent 32 years of my life living in Strathcona County.  I was born and raised in that community and have a great love for the people that make it up.  It is a community that often loses it’s college students to see them return when they are married, desiring the same community experience they had growing up for their own children.  In many ways it was no surprise that Strathcona County ranked high in the Canadian magazine’s annual “Best Places to Live” article.  In one  specific category Strathcona County was given a first-place ranking for being the best place to raise children. The study examined 190 communities across the country. Strathcona County’s mayor was quoted in the Sherwood Park […]