Archive for straining towards what is ahead

Infectious Joy: flipping through Philippians (Apr-Aug 2019)

“This is Paul’s happiest letter. And the happiness is infectious. Before we’ve read a dozen lines, we begin to feel the joy ourselves – the dance of words and the exclamations of delight have a way of getting inside us.”
– Eugene Peterson’s Intro to Paul’s Letter to the Philippians in The Message

As we continue in our “Taste and See” theme for 2019, we consider together what it means to be salt and light. This letter has practical insight and application. Please join us as we flip through the Letter to the Philippians.


April 28: Partnership (Philippians 1:1-6) In these remarkable opening verses we are filled with optimism. With gratitude, are remembered the partnerships enjoyed in the gospel. Bathed in prayer, encouragement and promise compel us forward. (first part of recording is missing)


May 5: All the Best to You (Philippians 1:7-11) We learn what is valued most by looking at the content of a person’s prayer. The rich array of gifts sought for the Philippians is a highly desired treasure that we would do well to pursue. Let us also seek these gifts in prayer and discipline. (no recording available)


May 12 (Mother’s Day): Irrepressible Joy (Philippians 1:12-30) Some think they can stop the spread of Jesus and his good news by means of chains or other restrictive measures. Paul reminds us that the gospel, in all kinds of ways, is being declared and demonstrated. There is joy and courage for us in this truth. Welcome and a blessing to the ones who mother us.


May 19: Prayers Through the Senses (prayer service) We’ll take time in the service to pray together (from young kids to older adults) using our senses. Come pray with us. (no recording available)


May 26: If & Then (Philippians 2:1-11) In this remarkable Christ infused passage we are called to self-examination and response. If we are enjoying certain new realities in Christ then there will be a corresponding new attitude and action. Most revealing in this passage is the gospel portrayed in the humility and exaltation of Christ. Together we are carried into the worship of Christ. (first part of recording is missing)


June 2: Starry Starry Night (Philippians 2:12-18) We are called to shine. If we are salt and light then we need to be salty and bright. Against a dark reality in our world we shine like stars bearing witness to the Light of the World. Is there anything you or we need to work out?


June 9 (Pentecost): Siblings (Philippians 2:19-30) In the family of the church there are particular individuals that God graces us with. These siblings in Christ are those who motivate and encourage. We are so very grateful for these who bring the presence of Christ. Not only did Paul exchange letters with the church he exchanged gifted friends. (no recording available)


June 16 (Father’s Day): Valued Above All (Philippians 3:1-11) Sometimes what we think is most important goes through a change. A health crisis, a new experience, or an epiphany can all be motivators for rethinking priorities. Do we understand these words? “I consider everything loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” What do you value most? (no recording available)


June 23: Step Up in Him (Mark 1:15) Our faith is founded on Jesus’ claim: The Kingdom of God is near. We’ll spend some time looking at a brief overview of the story of humanity with God and Jesus’ redemptive act on our behalf. (no recording available)


June 30 (Canada Day weekend): Straining Towards What is Ahead (Philippians 3:12-4:1) Living for the moment is a popular idea. We can live for so much more. We can live for the promised future. “Forgetting what is behind, and straining for what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”Let’s explore together what it means to live heavenward. (no recording available)


July 7: Know Your Place (Mark 7:24-30) This passage makes Jesus look harsh, mean and maybe even condescending. As we delve into this passage, perhaps there’s a part of Jesus we’re not noticing. Let’s explore together. (no recording available)


July 14: My Ebenezer…and I don’t mean Scrooge! (Genesis 35:9-15, Joshua 3:9-4:9, Joshua 24:14-28, I Sam. 7:7-13, 2 Kings 23:1-3) Humans love to mark events and milestones and accomplishments with cards and certificates and trophies. This is not surprising since God also apparently thought it important to mark special events. Often it was with feasts, but just as often it was with stones! Today we will look briefly at five stories where God’s people were told to mark events with piles of rocks (Ebenezer) or pillars.  These were reminders of what God had done for them. Each time they were also told to prepare themselves – to pray, to repent, or to recommit themselves. We are approaching a major milestone in the life of our church – our own Ebenezer, and Christ is our rock, our cornerstone. What will this mean to us corporately and individually? May God bless us as we study His Word together. (no recording available)


July 21: Focused (Philippians 4:2-9) Life is stressful. Our minds are pre-occupied with all kinds of things. Sleep is difficult. It is enough to make us despair. There is very real hope and help. We find practical direction from today’s Philippian passage. (no recording available)


July 28: Lament (book of Lamentations) Did you know 40% of the Psalms are laments. (Do you know what “lament” means?) We don’t usually talk about it but we’ll spend some time tomorrow wrestling with it. (no recording available)


August 4: Renew Your Life (Zephaniah 1:12) sermon by Lin Ying Liu (no recording available)


August 11: Contentment (Philippians 4:10-23) Would you believe that there is a secret to contentment? What would such a secret be worth? How desirable to find what eludes so many people. This secret to contentment is revealed. Let’s have a look at it. (no recording available)


August 18: Look and See (Mark 6:34, Luke 7:44, John 4:35) How well do you see?  Jesus models seeing with compassion and action. People all around us long to be seen with the eyes of Jesus. We seek new eyes to see and a heart that breaks for the needs of others. Can we see others and the world around us with the eyes and heart of Jesus?


August 25: Sent Ones (John 20:19-23) We just completed an awesome week of super-hero adventure.  Ascenders assemble! We heard the words of Jesus, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” We celebrate and worship the one who sends us out as heroes of grace, truth and love. 


September 1: (Psalm 1:1-3) As we draw to the unofficial end of summer, what have you heard from God lately? We will share some of God’s words through prayer and through his Scripture. Focus is on meditation. (no recording available)