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)