Friday, December 28, 2007

Stephanie blowing out her candles. She turned the big 3-Oh yesterday.

We take a break from skiing for a quick photo shoot on top of Mont Blanc, Quebec.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:11)

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Here we are, in Montreal, celebrating Christmas with my family (Steph). Last night (December 24th) we had a very scrumptious meal with my sister Marie-Claire, my brother-in-law, Will, their children Emma (4 ½) and Sabri (4 months), my mother, Michèle, and her husband, Richard. We arrived on December 19th, almost a week ago, and since then Paul and I have gotten more acquainted with our niece and nephew. We are very blessed to be here in Montreal celebrating the birth of our King. We have been able to catch up on our sleep, rest and play and read plenty of books about princesses! And this does not include the last minute shopping!

The Lord has shown me himself through Scripture on this trip. I was reading the Gospel accounts about the birth of Christ and encountered the Peace of my salvation in these Scriptures! Matthew starts with Jesus’ history and family tree, while Luke focuses on the coming of the Christ with John the Baptist’s birth. Mark skips directly to Jesus’ ministry and John takes on a different point of view and gives us the beginning of time when Jesus was and was to come. John almost starts with a prophesy of Jesus’ coming. No matter what Gospel you read, it points to Jesus’ birth and purpose for the salvation of sinners. I know that this is what the Gospels are all about and it may seem bizarre to point out, but in this Christmas season it opened my eyes to Jesus as the ‘I AM’, the One spoken of by the prophets, the Promise and the one showing us he keeps His Word with the Truth.

"'Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call him Immanuel' which means God with us." (Matthew 1:23)

Glory be to Our God and Saviour: Merry Christmas!


Steph and Paul

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Over the last several weeks Stephanie and I have been pondering our future ministry as missionaries with World Team. We have been especially thankful for the encouragement we have received from the Missions Committee at our local church.

It is also remarkable how much we have to learn throughout this deputation of support raising. This process can be daunting at times when facing the task of raising our financial support; it has honesty been overwhelming at times. And so, each day we need to seek the Lord and wait upon Him. This morning was no exception. I have not understood God's timing in having us start out during the busiest time of the year. So... why then would God have us start our deputation now?

Well... here is the answer that I received this morning during quiet time and prayer with God: in our day to day life we must always keep focused on Jesus Christ. Life is not about us. We are not to be self absorbed. It is not about our ministry. We must keep the main thing the main thing: Jesus Christ and his incarnation, life, death, and resurrection.

So here we are, in the beginning stages of our ministry and we are providentially starting it with Christmas. This is no coincidence. We are celebrating God's promised messiah coming to this little blue dot in the universe to redeem human kind from sin and reconcile us with the Father of Lights. What perfect timing, after all, we have been called to

"Love the LORD our God with all your heart and with all uour soul and with all your mind and with all of your strength." (Mark 12:30)

It is the love and grace of Jesus Christ that is to motivate us in all we do and to drive us to love our neighbours as ourselves. And what greater act of love is there than to share the salvation and hope and peace that comes through faith in trusting Jesus Christ and the redemptive work he has accomplished on the cross.

The Cross of Christ must always be our focus. It must always be our centre. The cross of Jesus Christ is the culmination of God's grace, mercy, and love for all people. The cross of Christ is the very reason why and how we can love the LORD with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Without God's plan of redemption through Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross Christmas would be in vain. Without the death and resurrection of the Prince of Peace we would still be enemies of God. And this all starts with Christmas.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, ut whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:16-18)

For if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To God be the glory forever. Amen. (Romans 12:36)

Monday, November 19, 2007

I’m sitting in Toronto Pearson Airport waiting for our flight to board. We just finished breakfast consisting of overpriced fruit and a croissant, recapping all the events that transpired this weekend. This whole weekend seems a blur. Let’s see… driving back and forth between World Team’s office and the Richards' house; having dinner with the Board of Directors; putting together WT information packages; attending WT’s annual dinner and making a ministry presentation; meeting different missionaries from around the globe; going to Bradford to meet with Bill and Michele Allan to discuss our future development with World Team, and fitting time to meet with friends and share with them our future ministry with World Team.

It all started on Friday morning in Thunder Bay. It seems that every time we travel we always seem to go to bed late. We set our alarm clock for 5:00AM, giving us more than enough time to wakeup and catch our 6:30 flight to Toronto. Even with the sleep I got that night I felt surprisingly rested until I realized that I was awaken by Steph’s exclamation: “It’s 7:20! We missed our flight!”

So after a moment of sheer frustration and double checking our clock we determined that this was NOT mere human error, but spiritual warfare. Our alarm was set correctly, there was no power outage, and we couldn’t sleep through it because it was set to the radio. When we called Air Canada to our surprise all their computer systems were down. Was it really this possible that Satan didn’t want us meeting the Board of Directors of World Team.

We made our way to the airport and discovered that even with the national delay of air travel, we still missed our plane by about 20 minutes. At this point all we could do was laugh. And to God’s grace, we were switched to an afternoon flight at no charge… because all the computers were down. God was reminding us that this was not the unravelling of his plan, but its unfolding.

After passing security it also became evident that we needed to be in the terminal at that time. We met our friend Sarah’s uncle while in that airort. I haven’t seen him for nearly a year, and he filled us in with his family and the story of his daughter’s battle with cancer. God’s timing humbled us completely, and allowed us to try to provide encouragement through our testimony and our pastor’s struggle with cancer. We were also convicted to bring this prayer request back to Fort William Baptist Church after our weekend.

Shortly after, I got on a 10:00 fight while on standby. Stephanie opted to stay until the afternoon flight. Unbeknownst to me, Stephanie got on a flight 30 minutes later and we would quickly be in Toronto. It was only in Toronto that I would hear of God’s amazing grace yet again from Stephanie. When Steph arrived, she shared how she and another passenger received seats through standby. From what we were told this is quite unique for Air Canada to have 2 people sitting on standby to get flights on a fully booked plane. This was no coincidence. This man was returning to Kingston from a business trip, and as Stephanie and he started talking, the Holy Spirit paved the way for Steph to share her faith and the gospel with him. Yet again, God’s purpose prevails and another seed was possibly planted for the Kingdom and we were rejoicing that our little inconvenience could lead to experiencing God in new and wonderful ways.

- Paul

Thursday, September 20, 2007

One Year Later...

Hello to all of you!

I am excited today to share with you a big news!
It is Paul and I's 1st anniversary of my surgery
to the very day! :-) Why it is Paul's? because
it has been a trial for both of us last year,
in two very different ways. For 2 months or more
Paul had to deny himself and take care of me,
with the help of our folks of course. I want to
thank all of you for your constant thoughts and
concern for me and for supporting Paul through
this while i wasn't quite awake yet to encourage
him. Most of you have been present throughout
this past year whether in body or in thought, but
you were there nonetheless! THANK YOU! I Praise
God for you all for without you and of course,
without our Savior we would not be where we are
today. Everyone and many more (whom I don't have
the e-mail in this account), have impacted us in
many ways this past year. I wanted to share with
you how thankful I am for this new valve, this
new heart that was given to me as a gift and share
in the Joy and Awe that I can get back into the
groove of my active lifestyle! Wow how God's timing
has been perfect through it all!

Thank you Jesus for without you, this would not
have been possible!

Je m'excuse pour ceux et celles qui aimeraient
me lire en français, je vous savais bilingue et
non les anglophones!