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New Love: Visibility

This week we continue on in conversation about the book ‘New Love’ that wrestles around with the idea of holy living (or living like Jesus). It’s a book that Canadian delegates attending The Salvation Army World Youth Convention – Raised Up – in Sweden July 15-18, 2010 are reading pre-trip.
Not going? That doesn’t matter! Read [...]

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Happy Canada Day 2010

Enjoy this video as you enjoy your Canada Day today!

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Sky Words: Fireball

“In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.” (Psalm 19:4-6)

I’ve heard some guys mock verses like this. They say David’s description of the way the sun works proves that God’s Word is flawed. They say it shows that David thought the sun revolves around the earth. The guys who do that don’t tend to be poets.

Yes, we all know its the earth that does the rotating and revolving around the sun, not the other way around. God knows it, too. Here, He inspires David the poet to describe in rich metaphor what is happening on the big screen called “the sky.” David doesn’t really believe the sun lives in a tent, either. He uses the language of poetry to capture the beauty of creation.

In fact, in clearly describing the sun as a beautiful, powerful created thing instead of an actual personality, David is standing against those in his day who worshipped the sun as a god. Even in poetry, he is standing for what is rational, the understanding that we must worship the God who created that powerful, relentless ball of fire that dominates our days with its light and heat. Don’t worship the thing, as awesome as it is. Worship the God who made it.

Think: Are you ever tempted to dismiss God’s Word when it talks about nature and other areas of science? Why or why not?

Pray: Ask God to help each new discovery about the natural world to make you more impressed with His supernatural power.

Do: Write your own poem describing how you see the sun or stars or moon.

Percy Jackson – The Sea of Monsters

Check out our review of the first book in the series – Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief.
The second book in this series is Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Sea of Monsters. In this book, Percy has to deal with some big surprises! After Camp Half-Blood turns out not to be as [...]

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Sky Words: UNMUTE

“There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” (Psalm 19:3-4)

One of my favorite buttons on the remote control is MUTE. You’re watching something intense; the emotion is running high; then they cut to a commercial and instantly double the volume. Ack! Hit the MUTE; shut that guy up.

Our brains come with MUTE buttons, too. Psychologists call it “selective hearing.” We’re able to tune out things we don’t want to hear, noises that distract from what we’re interested in — static on a radio station, other people’s conversations in a crowded coffee shop, even the voice of someone talking directly to us when we’re not ready to listen (e.g., your mom calling you to dinner when you were little or a friend who never quite stops talking to you).

Way too many of us learn to MUTE the voice described in these verses. It isn’t God’s voice. It’s the voice of “the heavens” (sky, stars, moon, and especially sun). It’s the voice that announces to the earth day and night, “Look at us, and think about God’s power and wisdom! He made all of this! Pay attention! Make the connection between our beauty and His glory! Don’t miss this!”

Don’t MUTE the heavens.

Think: Have you learned how to MUTE God’s creation? What can you do to start listening again?

Pray: Ask God to help you learn to block out worthless noise and to UNMUTE the important voices.

Do: Grab a blanket (and maybe a friend) and find a spot outside to lay down and listen to the heavens for a while.

Pray For Jacksons Staff 2010

Please pray for Jacksons camp staff this summer. This one’s a big list!
CAMP STAFF 2010
Bruce Aitken, Rachael Allen, Thomas Argent, Joshua Armstrong, Jessie Barrett, Brittany Bishop, Brett Boyd, Ashley Broadhurst, Amanda Brouwer, Janette Brown, Marty Brown, Rob Brown, Emma Buckingham, Kathryn Chaulk, Jennifer Colliss, Lindsay Craig, Matthew Do, Jonathan Dodd, Jeff Droogh, Janelle Eilering, Emily [...]

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Sky Words: Look Up!

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.” (Psalm 19:1-2)

Ever have to fill out a job application or hand over a résumé to someone? You work hard to list all of your best accomplishments, your education, your experience. You hope the person sees from a summary of credits that you’ve got what it takes to do that job. Your work and academic history — and your references — speak for you.

In Psalm 19, David makes the case that God doesn’t need to carry any kind of résumé with Him. He should not have to convince anyone that He exists, that He is real, or that He is powerful. He can just say, “Look up.” “The heavens” should be all the PR He needs. The sun and moon and stars shout down to the earth, “Look what God did. Look how powerful He is, how creative, how artistic, how precise.”

What a silly thought that the God who created all that beauty and function and light would have to prove Himself to anyone.

Think: If the heavens speak of God day and night, what are some of the things they say about Him? What are some concrete things we can know about God from His creation?

Pray: Ask God to help you see His fingerprint in what He has made. Thank Him for giving you the ability to notice.

Do: Look up! (Works best if you’re outside.)

Gandalf Goes To World Cup 2010

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The Uprising: Fullness

We continue our interactions about the book ‘The Uprising: A Holy Revolution’ that wrestles around with the idea of holy living (or living like Jesus). It’s a book that Canadian delegates attending The Salvation Army World Youth Convention – Raised Up – in Sweden July 15-18, 2010 are reading pre-trip.
Not going? That doesn’t matter! While [...]

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Saved How?: Unframed Art

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

My brain hurts a little from this huge idea. Not only can my good works NOT save me — or even help save me a little — I am God’s “good work.” We are His “works of art,” made by His own hands. You can almost picture each of us hung on a gallery wall and signed, “God.” Our existence is evidence of the artist’s greatness.

But here’s the kick in the pants: God doesn’t hang us on a wall or stick us in a frame. Instead, we are works of art designed to create brand new “good works.” Its like a pyramid of creativity that starts with God and extends out generation after generation after generation. He intentionally left blank spots in human history for each of us to fill in with our good works which He “prepared in advance for us to do.”

What a concept! What a gift to be asked to join the ultimate artist in His this masterwork of goodness He is creating through His adopted sons and daughters moment by moment until the work is completed.

Think: What good works do you think God prepared in advance for you to do? How will you use your God-given creativity to contribute to your little piece of the canvas?

Pray: Thank God for preparing some good work for you to do; ask Him to help you discover what that is.

Do: Make a list of some of your favorite works of art — paintings, poems, movies, etc. How does the art reflect the artist? How does your existence reflect your Creator?

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