Posture of Gratitude (the ACTS prayer)

There are a lot of different ways to pray. There are a lot of books written on the subject and, of course, how Jesus taught the disciples to pray in Matthew 6:5-15. But today, with Thanksgiving coming up this weekend, I wanted to share the simple way that I very often structure my prayers and how they end up with a posture of gratitude.

My Connecting Point group was talking about how we can strike a balance between being open and real in our communication with God while still maintaining a sense of reverence and awe while we approach a holy God. I shared with them that I follow the ACTS model when I pray for just that reason. It starts with Adoration (taking time to simply offer words of worship and praise), goes into Confession (a time to confess sin and receive forgiveness), and moves to Thanksgiving (tell God how grateful I am for anything and everything as it comes to mind). These three things always come before Supplication (bringing my requests) and I'm glad for this pattern because it repositions the posture of my heart. Walking through these steps builds a solid foundation of gratitude and changes my attitude to align with kingdom values before I ever start into telling God what I need.

Not only that, but intentionally walking a path like this when I pray helps me to wrestle down the distraction and busyness in mind.

On this weekend that's devoted to pausing and counting our blessings, I encourage you to follow this path when you pray as well. In fact, being a joyful, prayerful, thankful person is God's will for you - how great is that!? 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Grateful for you and with you,
P. Tracy

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
— 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

This Sunday

Grateful
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Join us on Sunday at 10am as our Pastor Del shares the Word.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

Psalm 32:8 (how to know what's next)

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
— Psalm 32:8

Many, many times I've talked and prayed with people who were struggling to figure out what they should do in some situation. What decision should they make? What direction should they go? What was God calling them to? Why doesn't He seem to answer?

These are legitimate questions that we all wrestle with in different seasons of our lives.

There is a beautiful verse in the Psalms that I simply wanted to share with each of you today. Here is a promise from God: "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you."

He sees you. He loves you. And with His loving gaze on you, He will direct your steps.

Psalm 32:8
Proverbs 3:5-6
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I invite you to meditate on these promises and instructions and trust Him completely as you pray for what's next.

In Christ,
P. Tracy


This Sunday

Sacred Rhythms
Mark 6:30-34

Join us on Sunday at 10am as our Pastor Tracy shares the Word.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

It's Miss Margaret! (from Honduras with the help of some technology 🇭🇳)

Margaret Pfeiffer (aka Miss Margaret, our Children's Program Director) left us back in June to serve for six months in Honduras, a part of the world that has been close to her heart for many years. We were thrilled to be able to make her a part of our 2019 Missions Giving Plan (see button below for details) and to track with the impact she is having every day as she serves with our PAOC missionaries.

I thought that the best way to give a report on what she's been up to is to just hear it from her. Click the video and hear my conversation with Margaret!

By the way... we're 80% of the way to our Missions Giving goal for this year!! I'm thanking God for how each of you are walking in obedience to the call to be generous.

Looking forward to celebrating church life during our 5th Sunday service this weekend!
Pastor Tracy


This Sunday

Devoted
5th Sunday: Who’s Next?

Join us on Sunday at 10am as our Pastor Tracy continues in our series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

Devoted: Making An Impact

As Pastor Tracy mentoned on Sunday, here are some great ideas from Timothy Keller’s book Center Church of how you can make an impact for Christ in ways that are organic, relational, Word deploying (bringing the Bible and gospel into connection with people’s lives) and active (each person assumes personal responsibility to share Christ).

  • Jerry is asked by his work colleague Bill how his weekend went. Jerry relates that he went on a men’s retreat that provided spiritual resources for forgiving people who have wronged us over the years. When Bill raises his eyebrows and says, “That’s interesting,” Jerry takes a small plunge and mentions that the thing that helped him most was the idea that even though he has not given God his due, God offers him forgiveness through Jesus.

  • Dan and Jill help their two sons, ages five and seven, with Scripture memorization and teach them a simple catechism. They field the boys’ questions and help them understand the meaning of the texts they are studying.

  • Sally gets to knows a young woman named Clara at church. Clara confides that she and her husband are having marriage problems and he isn’t willing to go to a counsellor. Sally and her husband Jeff, invite Clara and Same over for a meal. Sam hits it off with Jeff. Afterward, Clara convinces Sam to meet with Jeff and Sally to talk about their marriage issues. They meet together once a month for four months, studying Ephesians 5 and several other biblical texts on marriage.

  • John comes to church with his wife, but he isn’t sure what he believes or where he stands on faith. The pastor introduces him to an elder named Tom, who begins meeting with John on occasion to read and discuss a book about basic Christianity. After two meetings, John agrees to study the gospel of Mark with Tom every two or three weeks.

  • Jenny begins coming to a small group in the church. She was raised in the church but has so many doubts and questions that her group leader, Beth, begins meeting with her one-on-one. They study Bible passages and read books that address each of her questions, one after the other.

  • Ted is a young single lawyer. He knows several other lawyers who go to church with him, though they don’t work for his firm. He decides to have a Super Bowl party for several of his non-Christian colleagues and invites two Christian lawyers from church and a couple of other believers as well. The men and women from his workplace hit it off with the lawyers from church. About three months later, one of them shows up in church with one of Ted’s friends.

  • Jessica meets Teresa, a new believer, at church and invites her to work through a series of six Bible studies for new Christians (on issues such as prayer, Bible reading, the role of the church, understanding the gospel better, etc.)

  • Fred has been attending a small group for months. At one point he realizes that he assesses the value of the group strictly on what he gets out of it. He then decides to being preparing well (studying the passage) and praying for the group. When he comes, he looks for every opportunity to help the Bible study leader by making good contributions and for ways to speak the truth in love so others are encouraged and helped to grow.

  • Catherine prays for her friend Megan for months. Megan responds well to two short books on Christian subjects that Catherine has given her. She then invites Megan to an evangelistic event in which Christian truth is presented. On the way home, she fields Megan’s questions.

  • Joe has a longtime friend from college days named Pete, who is a musician. Pete’s performance anxiety is harming his career. Joe has been a sympathetic listener for some time, but finally he bluntly asks Pete to explore the Christian faith with him. “I think maybe it’s the only thing that will help you overcome your problem.” Pete is taken aback, but after a while, he expresses interest, mainly out of desperation. Joe warns him, “If Christianity is going to be any help, it will only be if you come to the belief that it is not just helpful but true.” Pete doesn’t want to go to any Christian gatherings, so they start studying the Bible together and listening to sermons and lectures and discussing them.

  • Kerrie and two other Christian friends are moms who have young kids. They decide to start a daytime moms’ group and invite non-Christian friends. For about a year, the group grows to include a similar number of Christians and nonbelievers. The conversations are general and freewheeling - covering spiritual, social, marriage, parenting, and personal issues. As time goes on, several of the nonbelievers begin to go to church with the believers and cross over the line of faith. After three years, the group is a Christian Bible study but still open and inclusive toward a few non-believers who come regularly.

  • Jim and Cynthia are both artists who are involved in a citywide Christian artists’ fellowship based in their local church. The fellowship typically includes a discussion of the relationship of faith to art that assumes a Christian belief, but the artists have four events a year that will be either a gallery showing or a book event in which a credible working artist talks to a general audience about how their faith relates to their art. Jim and Cynthia are diligent in bringing non-Christian artists or art appreciators to these events.

  • Greg comes to faith in Christ through a skeptics/seeker group hosted by a church. When the date for his baptism is set, he invites a number of non-Christian friends to the service and then takes them out for lunch and discusses the whole event. One friend is very moved by the experience, and Greg invites him to come back. Eventually, the friend begins coming to his small group with him.

Center Church
Copyright (C) 2012 by Redeemer City to City and Timothy J. Keller
(excerpt taken from pages 279-280)

WebDevoted.jpg

Scheduling for Impact (getting trained-up)

On one hand, you do you. What works for me in some areas of life might not work for you.

On the other hand, I see so many people struggling in the area of scheduling, organization and productivity. They live in a constant state of worry, stress, lack of peace, fear of disappointing others and a general state of unchecked busyness. It matters a lot. Like, a lot. Why? Because this constant state of distraction will keep you day after day, season after season, locked in a place of unproductive days that don't seem to get you anywhere except even more panicked that time is flying by so quickly.

This Sunday we're going to focus in on our third core value: impacting. I probably don't have to work too hard to convince you of the value of spending your time, energy, finances and other resources on impacting the world with the message of Jesus. The hard work comes when we try and figure out how to be connected to God and others, be trained-up and make an impact when barely have the margin our lives to get a good night's sleep.

Is anyone out there tired of living in this space? I was. The noise in my head that was yelling at me about everything I needed to do or had forgotten about was getting to a critical level. It's nearly impossible to concentrate on what really matters when the busyness in my mind keeps you running, never really giving you the rest you need because you're never sure if anything is actually being accomplished.

It was in that season when I started to recognize that all that noise was drowning out the voice of the Shepherd (whose voice I was supposed to be able to recognize and follow) that I started to ask God for help.

And He did. I "stumbled" across articles and podcasts that weren't about my calendar at all but had principle that I could apply to it. I "just happened" to be in conversations where people shared how they were keeping margin in their lives and the difference that it made. I became a student of my own heart - was I able to say yes or no to the right things? Was I able to ask people to wait and trust that the time God has given me today and this week is enough?

I don't remember who said this but during this time of reshuffling my schedule in super practical ways someone said/wrote this: "God didn't given you too many things to do today." This begs two questions:

  1. What do the items on my calendar represent?

  2. Is my schedule an act of worship to God? (Or something/someone else - work, family, self, hangups?)

As we continue into this new season and keep exploring our core values as a church, these bigger questions about what busies your mind and planner can't be ignored. This is an ongoing journey for me to make my time a space of worship and not a commodity that slips through my fingers.

I'm asking myself today, how can I honour God and impact my world for Christ while accounting for the pressures of life and realities of every day living?

I'm coming back to this place day after day after day:

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.
— Matthew 6:33

Oh yeah, and I've got SO many ideas and suggestions for how to make this work practically in your life. Too many! Let's have coffee and talk about them someday. But for now...

Seeking his kingdom and his righteousness with you,
Pastor Tracy


This Sunday

Devoted
"Making An Impact”

Join us on Sunday at 10am as our Pastor Tracy continues in our series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

Dashboard Lights (getting trained-up)

This month we are looking at Acts 2:42-47 to see what some of the distinctives of the early church were and what we can learn from them. It's also where our core values come from. This church was very clearly connecting, being trained, and impacting the world around them for Christ.

With that in mind, we're going to look at the central importance of training this Sunday. Luke, the writer of Acts, says that they were devoted to it. It was that important.

So how do we do that in 2019? Among other things, we can never underestimate the power of reading, studying and applying the Word of God. We need scripture in our lives every day. No other resource is more powerful.

With that in mind, I tried something new on the YouVersion app last month. It was a devotional plan called "Beyond Blessed" and it reminded me that there are always beautiful things to learn and unlimited ways to grow in Christ. (The devotional I've linked to is called "Dashboard Lights" and I found it so insightful!) So if getting trained-up in the Word seems like a daunting task, here is a gentle reminder that wonderful resources are all around you.

I've included a few ideas for how you can get started or try something new in your journey to be trained to think and act like Jesus. The first one is the devotional that I just finished in case you'd like to give it try.

Honoured to help you train,
Pastor Tracy

YouVersion Reading Plan: Beyond Blessed

NEXT Discipleship Resources

Connecting Point

Encounters: Women of Freedom

Frontline: Men of Freedom

Redefine Youth Ministries


This Sunday

Devoted
"Trained-Up”

Join us on Sunday at 10am as our Pastor Tracy continues in our series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

Connecting For Real (like 'authentically' if that word wasn't a bit overworked)

These days you read a lot about things that are connected. We're reminded over and over again how we are the most connected people to ever walk the face of the earth. We practically hold everything there is to know about everything in the literal palm of our hand.

But you, like me, are probably also hearing how false all this connectivity really is when it comes to the things in life that matter. Depression and other mental illness is more and more common and people report never having felt more lonely even if their latest snap/tweet/post/pic had a record number of likes.

Here's the deal: You know as well as I do that we need people in our lives. Real people, not their digital avatar. We were meant to connect because when we do, well, a lot of great things are possible.

That's the opportunity we're offering up at Connecting Point. My relationship with Christ gets deeper and more sincere when I do it with others. My ability to grow is massively stunted when I try and do it on my own. So I don't. Connecting with others is on my calendar. It happens when it's cold and rainy, it happens when I've had an exhausting day, it happens when I'm celebrating a victory, it happens because I know I can't develop in my discipleship without it.

One of our core values at Freedom is Connecting: Building authentic relationships with God and others. Or, since 'authentic' might seem like a tired word, building real relationships. It's doesn't have to be at Connecting Point, of course. That's just a great option that we offer as a church to help you in becoming a fully devoted follower of Christ in this area.

So how are you connecting for real? Here's what's happening at Connecting Point that might get you started, or be the 'what's next' for you this fall. I'll be there - join me!

FINANCIAL PEACE
This group will focus on having peace and freedom in your finances by finding out what biblical principles we can learn and apply when it comes to money.

JOHN: LIFE-CHANGE SERIES
This study is a deep-dive into the gospel of John with relevant application from the life and teaching of Jesus.

LIFE IN THE SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is a vital part of our life in Christ. This course walks you step by step through the basics of what the Bible teaches us about the Holy Spirit and how He makes life transformation possible. (Will include a podcast/video component that includes group members.)

PARENTING SUPPORT WORKSHOP
Provides parents with the tools they need to help their children develop self-discipline, cooperation and problem-solving skills. (Registration is required.)

PLUS... we are offering everyone the chance to come for dinner before CP so that you can take the stress out of getting here on time and have a chance to get to know your church family better. #winwin

Of course, all of this information is on our website so that you can figure out if this would be a good way for you to make time to connect, for real. And even if it's not this, connecting is a core value for a reason. We believe that life in Christ gets deeper and richer when we pursue real relationships with God and one another.

Together in Christ,
Pastor Tracy


This Sunday

Devoted
"Connected”

Join us on Sunday at 10am as our Pastor Tracy launches our new series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

Surprised By Beauty (adventures in my new garden)

image1.jpeg

I was delighted when we moved into our new house last fall that there were simple perennial gardens around the fence. I love how gardens warm-up and finish outdoor spaces. They're so welcoming and beautiful. But then early spring came and I was meeting a neighbour outside of my house. She glanced at my yard and said, "So, do you like gardening?" Uh...

She knew something I didn't. These simple gardens require a lot of maintenance. I got to skip the construction and planting stages, I hardly have to do anything to make the plants grow, but that is far from the whole picture. My neighbour had seen the old owners working away in those gardens on a consistent basis and was wondering if I was going to do the same or bring the neighbourhood property values down.

I've spent more time gardening this year than ever. While it has been backbreaking at times, I've actually been surprised by the joy I've found watching those plants develop over the past weeks and months. I really didn't know what most of them were since the season was over when we moved in last year. But one day I looked out at my garden and realized that two of the plants were lilac bushes. I love lilacs! A few weeks later my street smelled like lilacs again... turns out that the trees in my boulevard are white lilac trees. Sweet.

I've been watching one plant grow that I thought might be rhubarb... then it wasn't. It was very, very slow to come to life and after several months of waiting it suddenly took off and is now blooming purple flowers. Nice. And if that weren't enough, just when I thought I had seen it all, two unknown bushes started to flower with pink hydrangeas (I think… see photo above). What?! Gor-geous.

I know that some of you reading this are wondering how I didn't know what a hydrangea plant or lilac bush looked like before they flowered. If you want to come by and identify all the plants in this garden for me, I welcome you. We'll have tea. My only gardening strategy is to keep things tidy, pull the weeds and prune anything that gets out of control.

But back to the point. How much is this like our lives in Christ? God has created us in fearful and wonderful ways. He has done the work of planting His calling and gifting into our lives. He keeps speaking and moving, giving us every opportunity to grow and mature into all that He designed us to be. When we join in with what He has already done, the beauty that is produced in our lives is sometimes surprising and always amazing.

So how are you cooperating with what God has planted in your life? Do you see the miracle of His grace in your life? Are you noticing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control growing, flowering and being produced?

Let's not ever take for granted the power of staying in step with the Spirit every day and what is produced in our lives through that diligence. And let's not ever take for granted the incredible things that that God makes beautiful in His time.

To quote Psalty the Singing Songbook:

Beautiful, beautiful, Jesus is beautiful
And Jesus makes beautiful things of my life

Thankful to be in Christ,
Pastor Tracy


This Sunday

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things
"Good Good Potter”

Join us on Sunday at 10am as our Bjorn concludes our summer series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

Connecting With The Aragons (God is doing great things in 🇬🇹)

Hector and Ruth Aragon do such great work in Guatemala and I wanted to send you a quick update on what they were thanking God for in the first half of 2019. We are so very grateful for folks like the Aragons who are doing amazing work for the Kingdom and for our ability to support them financially. We love the Church!

Enjoy,
Pastor Tracy

PRAISE REPORTS

Dear supporting church and individual friends, so much done on YOUR behalf as you allow us to be here… As we write this lines I, Hector, am teaching at the School of Evangelists of the Assemblies of God here in Guatemala for two weeks. Most of the 15 students in first grade and the10 students in third grade are already full-time out “On the Field” PTL! Good reports of salvations across the country.

At the end of January, 33 small roofs were installed (12X30) with ERDO for volcano eruption victims.

In February, a church roof was put on at the same time as a community roof by a work team from Ontario. And later, a medical/dental team from Edmonton worked in three communities where ChildCare Plus is present.

In March, pap tests and pampering happened for 200 pastors wives with a team from Manitoulin and four parsonage kitchens were redone.

For the past five years since we have been given the joy of administrating the ChildCare Plus program the ERDO we have grown from 180 children to now 530 strong, graduating a good number of technicians every year.

THANK YOU for your faithful support!!!

Hector & Ruth Aragon


This Sunday

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things
"Keep Your Head”

Join us on Sunday at 10am as our Pastor Tracy continues our summer series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

Pray Until You Pray (another great YouVersion plan)

We should seek to pray long enough and authentically enough that we move past formalism and unreality and begin to delight in God’s presence and esteem His will.

I've been switching up my devotional time over the summer and discovering some great reading plans in YouVersion. I loved this one because of how it combined prayer and scripture, helping me gain insight into both while I worked through it. Spoiler: On Day 1 the above quote appears, without much ado, but it stuck with me. You never know what the Holy Spirit might have in store for you when you step into His Word and presence day by day. So go ahead and subscribe to this plan (or any other one!) and use these beautiful summer days to build a new rhythm into your life. And for all of you who are already into plans like these, consider this a recommendation for what's next. 🙌

In Christ,
Pastor Tracy


This Sunday

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things
"Are You Persuaded”

Join us on Sunday at 10am as our Pastor Erin continues our summer series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

Outside the Church, Too (an article to consider)

How will we know when the next great move of God happens? Because it will be felt outside the church, too.

This article by Karl Vaters is a couple of years old but still speeds up my heart rate every time I read it. The picture of where Christ is leading His Church is so compelling and so beautiful that it reminds me what I've given my life for.

I'd love to hear what you think. Does it give you hope for the future? Can you see this happening in the Church now? Is the author just pipe dreaming?

Leave a comment on Facebook or here on our blog.

See you on Sunday, Church. So glad we get to do this Christ-centred life together.
Pastor Tracy


This Sunday

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things
"Kindness Leads To Repentance”

Join us on Sunday at 10am as our Pastor Tracy continues our summer series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

Partners in Mission: Ray of Hope

 

Allow me to introduce you to or reacquaint you with one of our missions partners. Ray of Hope works right here in Kitchener and provides life-changing services to people in need. They demonstrate the love of Christ to those who are disadvantaged, marginalized, or troubled. Their vision is: "People investing in people. Inspiring Hope. Transforming Life." Wow - it's no wonder that we count it a privilege to partner with Ray of Hope. Their vision and ours share so much in common.

Ray of Hope works in so many different areas of our community. Specifically, they focus on:

  • Community Support

  • Refugee Support

  • Youth Justice

  • Youth Employment

  • Youth Addiction

For the past several years we have been sending a team every other month to make and serve a meal at the Ray of Hope Community Centre. This year, even as we continue to do that, we have a plan to raise funds over and above the cost of the food to be able to bless their ministry in some way at the end of the year.

We appreciate everyone who has served with our Freedom team at Ray of Hope and invite you to get involved if you want to participate with us. (Just email Katie and let her know you're interested.)

Thank you for partnering with us as we support this great work in our community and our missions families!

See you on Sunday,
Pastor Tracy

Ray of Hope Collage.png

This Sunday

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things
"A White Stone With A New Name”

Join us on Sunday at 10am as our Pastor Tracy continues our summer series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

My Favourite Things: Worship Edition VOLUME II

This Sunday, Rob is bringing a message about one of his favourite things from scripture - the story of Abraham. With that in mind, I thought it would be very appropriate to have Rob curate his personal Top 10 list of influential Christian music through his life. He is, after all, our Creative Ministries Director so what could be more appropriate?

This is a great list... other than maybe Stryper. LOL! I'll admit they were influential but that's as far as I'll go with that. Enjoy this list - be inspired - revisit some great music that has shaped our faith. What are you listening to that builds you up and points you to Christ? We'd love to hear about it!

Rob's Top 10 Most Influential Albums:

  1. Michale W. Smith - "Big Picture"

  2. Carman - "Radically Saved"

  3. Stryper - "In God We Trust"

  4. Steven Curtis Chapman - "The Great Adventure"

  5. DC Talk - "Jesus Freak"

  6. Delirious - "Glo"

  7. David Crowder Band - "Illuminate"

  8. Lincoln Brewster - "Amazed"

  9. Robbie Seay Band - "Give Yourself Away"

  10. NEEDTOBREATHE - "The Outsiders"

You're welcome for the new playlists. :)

See you Sunday,
Pastor Tracy


This Sunday

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things
"Father Abraham Had Many Sons”

Join us on Sunday at 10am as our Rob continues our summer series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

My Favourite Things: Worship Edition (you're welcome)

As you likely know, music is a pretty important part of my life. Growing up my family was always listening to and singing along to something. And as much as I loved the stuff on the radio (New Kids on the Block, MC Hammer, C&C Music Factory), I always connected so deeply with music that talked about Jesus. It wasn't as cool as the stuff on the radio ('Everybody dance now!") but even as a small kid I could tell that songs about God were something entirely different and they got into my soul.

These days there is so much great Jesus-focused music out there so no matter whether you're a little bit country or a little bit rock and roll you can find something you'll like. But, since this summer is all about sharing some of our favourite things, here are some of the albums that have had a huge impact on my spiritual life through the years.

By the way, this list was painful to curate. I feel guilty about all that I've left out. If you're reading this on our blog or FB page, leave a comment with your favourites and maybe more of the worthy songs will have a chance to get an honourable mention.

  1. Fred Hammond - "Pages of Life - Chapter II (Live)"

  2. DC Talk - "Free At Last"

  3. Gaither Vocal Band - "A Few Good Men"

  4. Lakewood Live - "We Speak to Nations"

  5. Hillsong Music - "Shout to the Lord"

  6. Elevation Worship - "Here as in Heaven"

  7. Bryan & Katie Torwalt - "Champion"

  8. Charity Gayle - "Lord You Are My Song"

  9. Ron Kenoly - "Lift Him Up (Live)"

  10. Chris McClarney - "Everything and Nothing Less"

I encourage you to find music that encourages your soul and speaks the Word. I can't tell you how many times God has spoken to my heart as I've listened to music that honours Him. Try out something new this summer!

Pastor Tracy

PS - Rob and I were a part of making an album 12 years ago. We had a hand in writing a bunch of these tracks. Check it out if you're interested.


This Sunday

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things
"We Do Not Know What To Do”

Join us on Sunday at 10am as our Pastor Tracy continues our summer series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

Praying Scripture (another way to read your bible, pray every day, grow, grow, grow)

Here's a devotional idea that you can incorporate into your personal discipleship this summer: praying scripture. This is especially practical if you want to increase your knowledge of the Word and your prayer life at the same time (who doesn't?).

There are so many beautiful prayers in scripture that can help to guide our own prayers. Sometimes we can't find the words to pray what's on our hearts, sometimes we're nervous about what we think we are allowed to say to God, sometimes we just don't know where to begin. Scripture can be a great guide for us

Here are a few great examples to get you started...

And, as you read the bible as part of your personal devotions, watch for prayers. I think you'll find it encouraging and like me, often find prayers that you can send to others to encourage them in the season they are in.

Be blessed as you pray the Word!
Pastor Tracy


This Sunday

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things
"Do Not Be Afraid, Little Flock”

Join us on Sunday at 10am as our Pastor Tracy continues our summer series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

Set Your Intention (Canadian summer is here!)

ben-white-131241-unsplash.jpg

I keep hearing the phrase "set your intention." It's not usually used in a spiritual way or with discipleship in mind. I most often hear it with self-help in mind. But even so, our minds are incredibly powerful and what we think day to day and moment to moment changes the decisions we make and ultimately the path of our lives. (Hence my message on June 2 about allowing the Holy Spirit to transform our minds.) So while most people who "set their intentions" are looking to improve some part of their lives with the powerful tool of changing their thoughts and attitudes, I'd like to offer it as a suggestion to launch into your summer.

If you're like me, you have all kinds of goals for these next few months when the weather is warm. Beaches, markets, water parks, hikes...so many things to do! And if you're like me more often than not you end up at August 27th and wonder where all the weeks went and all you felt you did was eat a lot of hot dogs.

And what about your spiritual life? Without the routine of the school year, does time spent with God get lost on your daily agenda? Yeah, been there, done that.

So I'd like to invite you to join me in "setting your intention" this summer. Sure, put those fun summer activities with family and friends on the calendar so you actually make them happen... but don't start there. What kind of spiritual value could you gain in your life while the weather is warm and vacation days come your way?

Personally, I have set my intention to working through the stack of amazing books that are sitting on my desk this summer because I know I'll be inspired, encouraged and challenged by them. I intend to not miss one day on my YouVersion Bible app reading plan no matter how unstructured the summer days can be. And also, I'd like to write a new song over the next few months (which requires a lot of quiet piano and Jesus time for me).

How about you? I'd love to hear what you have decided to set you intention on this summer that will fill you up instead of leaving you feeling like you lost nine weeks. Reply on our blog or in the comments of the Facebook post with this devotional.

Looking forward to a beautiful summer!
Pastor Tracy


This Sunday

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things
"True Religion”

Join us on Sunday at 10am as our Pastor Erin kicks off our summer series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

Generosity Revisited: A Follow-Up to Sunday's Message

SUNDAY’S MESSAGE PODCAST

As a follow-up to Sunday's message, here is some practical advice to help you to become financially free and walk in the generosity the way that you want to and are called to. (2 Corinthians 9) 

Big thanks to Jackie Morris for the advice, the resources and for helping me fact-check my message. 👏

Pastor Tracy

Simple Steps to Financial Freedom: A Starting Point

  1. Pray and ask God for wisdom and direction.

  2. Get help. Financial counselling available all over.

  3. Trust the process. You didn't get into debt overnight and you won't get out of it overnight.

If you think you can tackle it on your own:

  • Do a detailed list of all your credit cards - how much your limit is, how much you owe, and the minimum monthly payment.

  • Make a payment plan based on above and set them up as automatic payments from your bank account.

  • Get rid of all your credit cards.

  • Don't add any new debt no matter how small.

  • Pay more than the minimum on the lowest balance card with any extra cash.

  • Pay off the lowest balance first then go to the next, etc.

  • Call creditors and see if they can lower your interest rates.

  • Set a budget and stick to it. 

Here are some sites to help you get started:

http://practicalmoneyskills.ca/

https://www.mymoneycoach.ca/

https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency.html

https://www.daveramsey.com/

Outside of Our Walls (and say hey to the Pennings)

Screen+Shot+2019-06-10+at+10.40.50+PM.jpg

This Sunday we're going to be outside of our four walls... literally. (Okay, weather permitting.) It will be great to be under the shade of our beautiful trees but more importantly we'll be able to see our neighbourhood. Come ready to talk about the incredible place that God has planted us and to pray for our community. It's going to be amazing! (Bring your lawn chairs and a picnic lunch.)

20776797_10155698615651757_7379516094215583285_o.jpg

One family that is making an impact in their community is the Pennings. Barbara and Anthony and their kids live and serve on Manitoulin Island, deeply passionate about sharing Christ with their indigenous neighbours. The Pennings were sent out from our Freedom family seven years ago and continue to make inroads on their mission field. They are a vital part of our mission giving plan this year and it is our privilege to support them financially and in prayer. Join me today, as you receive this email, to pray for this great family.


This Sunday

Speaking The Truth
"Our Mission Field is Right Here (Sharing My Faith is Too Hard)”

Join us on Sunday at 10am as our Pastor Tracy concludes our series… outdoors!

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

Shout Out To The Men! (and a little on water baptism)

I love Father's Day... except figuring out how to help my kids get a gift for Rob... but otherwise, it's a great day. I have a lot of great men in my life: my husband, my dad, my father-in-law, my brother, and on it goes. The men who call Freedom their church home stand out as examples of honesty, humility and service. So many of you are like the men from Issachar who understood the times and knew what to do. (1 Chronicles 12:32) Really, I am so blessed. I know that my son can look at his family at church or home and see example after example of men who are following Christ. So, l'm glad that we got to celebrate you guys on Sunday. I pray for all of you that:

...out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
— Ephesians 3:16-19

And while we're talking about great things in church life... if you have made a decision to follow Jesus but haven't been baptized in water, it would be our honour to help you take that step of obedience. All the information you need about why we believe in water baptism and what steps you need to take to get baptized can be found by clicking the link below. Maybe this is what's next for you!

See you on Sunday,
Pastor Tracy


This Sunday

Speaking The Truth
"Generosity Leads to Blessing (I Can’t Afford to Be Generous)”

Join us on Sunday at 10am as our Pastor Tracy continues in our series.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.

More on Spirit Baptism (lots of resources for you)

On Sunday we celebrated Pentecost and I shared about how vital it is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I know that a lot of us don't come from a pentecostal background and this might be something new that you'd like to study more. Here are some resources to get you started and as always, don't hesitate to reach out to me with more questions or insights. I'd love to hear your story and share in your journey.

Be filled!
Pastor Tracy

SCRIPTURE: The Book of Acts

BLOG: Why do Pentecostals care so much about SPIRIT BAPTISM? (Andrew Gabriel)

COURSE: Life in the Spirit (Del Wells)

EBOOK: Sprit Baptism in the Old and New Testament (Andrew Gabriel)

BOOK: The Charismatic Theology of St. Luke (Roger Stronstad)

BOOKLET: A Scriptural Outline of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit (George Gilles)

POSITION PAPER: Baptism in the Holy Spirit (Assemblies of God)

NEXT STEP: Deep Roots (next one is July 3rd @ 6:30pm)


This Sunday

Speaking The Truth
"WikiHow to Dad”

Join us on Sunday at 10am as our Pastor Del shares a Father’s Day message.

Follow along with the message on YouVersion.