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Thu, Feb 05 2009
What is My Purpose
I hope it is no bother that I continue to write. I notice that not many people do, so I thought I would share some of my journey's stories. Whether you use them or not is okay by me. I just like to write, and pray that they will touch someone. Thank you. What is my purpose? I have been rather discouraged in the last little while. I reflect on incidents where I should have utilized more wisdom, but wrestle with the surrender in knowing that I am not above God’s plans. Patience is definitely not my ripest fruit, and waiting is like hoping against the alternative of despair. What is my purpose? What is my calling? I once again lean in favor of the truth, and find the circumstances the same. Distance and uncertainty. But through all of this, I am to press on, keep the faith, and wait. Yesterday I had to wait before I started work and decided to venture on over to a nearby Tim Horton’s. I entered the building and off to my left heard a barely audible voice saying “Excuse me, but do you have some spare change.” My peripheral vision only caught a faint outline as I didn’t even bother to stop, but just went inside. I checked my change and something prompted me to just give the man the 5 dollar bill that was in my wallet. I went to grab the bill, but the 5 dollars was actually a 20. God said, “Give it to him.” I studied that moment, because it was God. Once again, he turned the unexpected into something that would be so beneficial, and I couldn’t wait to get back outside. When I approached the man, I asked him if he needing some change. He immediately broke into an “I am trying to catch the bus and I lost my…” I just handed him the money. I didn’t wait for him to finish his story, because it wasn’t for me to know. He responded with “Are you serious? Thank you!” and I replied, “Don’t thank me, thank God, He told me to give it to you.” I left feeling very grateful to God, for using me. I watched as the man ran across the parking lot, and all I kept wondering is, did I move enough aside for God to emanate through me. I am not an “in your face” type of Christian. In fact, I am probably the quietest one sitting in the chairs, hoping for an inflowing of the Spirit that will knock all fears aside and allow such a freedom to transpire. I am reading this book right now called “Jesus Mean and Wild” by Mark Galli. In it, he quotes, “We have to die to our notions of relevance and success and let God—through a crucified Savior, through and amateurish church, through a stiff communion service—raise up his people when he will and how he will, with a power and glory we can hardly imagine.” Giving money to that man, may not have been relevant or seething with success, but that is how God used me. And I realize that God does answer my prayers, it just isn’t the way I always envision. But I will keep waiting, and learn to be grateful for the small tasks that He entrusts me with.
Fri, Jan 23 2009
More than just spare change… I pit stopped at a Mac’s store to stock up on my latest habit, when I was confronted by a dishevelled lady looking for some change. I began to filter through my wallet, all the while, contemplating what would be a suffice amount to give to her. After all, my pride was at stake. Many times in these predicaments—and there have been many where I am from—I get caught up in the presumption of what they are going to use MY change for. Will they use it for alcohol? Drugs? Is it really for me to know? As I fumbled for “enough” change, God interjected with a reminder that I had just received a sizable profit sharing check from my employer. I don’t know about you, but when God speaks, be it with words of encouragement or correction, my allegiance to my heavenly home rises up and I am prompted to move. I asked the lady to stay where she was and I went into the Mac’s store and withdrew $40 dollars. I then went outside and asked her to come into the store where there was an adjoining Subway, and asked her if I could by her something to eat. When she received her meal, I also handed her the money. She began to cry and explained that she wasn’t going to use it for drugs or alcohol, but that she was sick. You see she was HIV positive and she explained that there are days that she just can’t get out of bed. She explained that she has a son whom she also cares for and respectfully declined eating the subway sandwich, as she was going to be taking it back for him. Of course I did tell her there is a better way, and I am sure she has been preached at many times before when she responded with “Ya I know Jesus.” But I didn’t really have to say anything at all, as I had hoped that Jesus would have been proud of my willingness to obey. I gave her a very warm and embracing hug, and in that moment, what I felt was far more elating than any sums of money could have done. As she walked away with 2 days’ worth of what she considered her minimum daily quota, I could only thank God for this amazing opportunity to be used as one of his vessels so that a glimpse of his image could emanate through me; that though she had been the one humbly asking for a need to be met, I was the one that received the most. My only regret is that I didn’t give her more. With that said, I would like to share a quote I had found in Brennan Manning’s A Stranger to Self-Hatred: “By accepting them as equals Jesus had taken away their shame, humiliation and guilt. By showing them that they mattered to him as people, he gave them a sense of dignity and released them from their old captivity. The physical contact which he must have had with them at the table and which he obviously never dreamed of disallowing must have made them feel clean and acceptable…they would have interpreted His gesture of friendship as God’s approval on them. Their sinfulness, ignorance and uncleanness had been overlooked and were no longer being held against them. Who has given you more than just spare change? Who have you given more than just spare change to? J.
Wed, Nov 05 2008
Just a little something
A few days ago the school called me because Lauren had a tummy problem. Once I spoke with Lauren over the phone I soon realized that all was fine and that she just had a case of the nerves so once I got back on the line with the secretary she jokingly said gee do you think you can handle my next problem? I asked her what it was and she told me that a little guy in grade two had had an "accident" and that there wasn't anyone answering the phone at home so they couldn't get him a change of pants. I was at home just finishing my lunch so I told her that I'd pop over with something. I stopped at Fields store and picked up two pair of jogging pants in different sizes seeing as I had no idea what size he might wear. I dropped them off at the school and felt so good knowing he would not have to sit in smelly pants the rest of the day. The asked what they owed me but I smiled and ran out the door waving goodbye.

I am really not comfortable with thank you's and what not. I do what I do because it makes me feel good knowing I helped if only a little bit.

Sat, Nov 01 2008
Wow What A WeeK!
My heart is full of praise for the goodness of God and the goodness of His people.  I was helping  in the "SLIME TIME."  I was doing experiments in the lab.  Well, I had groups of fifteen kids at a time, and three stations to man.  The kids came in every 20 minutes.  So in between I had to clean up the mess I made and then set up for the new bunch.  Well after one of the groups, I saw that all the mess was cleaned up before the kids got out.  Shannon who was their with her children, cleaned up for me.  Just a small little thing, but was I ever thankful.  Shannon that was a "act of kindness".  Then I noticed she came in at the end and did it again.  This "cup of water" in Jesus name was seen by me and by Him.
Then I was going to go to a district retreat with my wife, and because of financial concerns, we decided not to go.  I received a phone call from those in charge, and said, "Roy, your way has been paid for"  WOW.  Then last night I get a phone call from Monica, and she says, "Roy, God told me to call you and ask you and your wife out for a special evening of a meal and theatre."  WOW.  God is so good.  The "ACTS OF KINDNESS" can change the world.  I have been over whelmed.  Also last sunday the church here gave Betty and me a dinner out for Pastor's Appreciation Week.  WOW, WOW!!
Has God done something for you through someone.  Write me and let us know, to the praise of God.

Pastor Roy
Tue, Oct 28 2008

Where has all the time gone?  I hope that you all are continuing to ask God for opportunities to "befriend, with the love of Christ, those whom God loves and has chosen, no matter what the cost."  Jesus tells a story of three men who were given the opportunity to serve.   (Luke 10:25-37).  While two of them continued in their fears, one made a bold escape.   Jesus was asked by a lawyer in the crowd, "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?"  Jesus' answer was essentially, "It's very practical.  Love God and love your fellow man." 
The man, wanting to minimize his level of responsibility asked.  "Why is my neighbor?"  Jesus replied with the parable of the good Samaritan:
 "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.  A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.  So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.  But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.' 
"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" 
The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
      Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."
Jesus' answer to the question "Who is my neighbor?" was "Your neighbor is the person right in front of you with a need in his or her life."  Not matter what those people look like, even if they happen to be our natural enemies, we are called to show them the love of God.
Jesus tells us that the way we treat others displays the condition of our hearts.  In other words, the way we (the church)  treat them (the unchurched) serves as a litmus test of our spiritual health. 
Frankly, most of my Christian life has resembled the actions and attitudes of the priest and the Levite who walked right past the wounded man.    The personal pain of the priest and Levite kept them away from life and focused on their own fears and myths.  I'm learning not to allow my pain to keep me paralyzed and sequestered from the world around me which is the object of God's love. 
True kingdom vision will always be people-centered.  The priest and Levite were inwardly centered, caught up in the rules and activities of their religious system.  They were in a hurry because they had programs to run.  Their programs appeared altogether worthwhile, even biblical and obedient, but these two men were ultimately corrupt because they didn't see people as being at the center of God's kingdom.
Talk to me about your walk of faith, and what God is showing you these days.  I'd love to hear from you.



Mon, Oct 06 2008
Barnabas Update from Pastor Roy
Dear Friends,
How is everything going.  I was wondering why you are not sharing your stories, and then it occured to me that I haven't shared mine.  I guess the funny thing about this is that it seems like you are blowing your own horn, and maybe that is why we are hesitate to share.    But I think we need to encourage one another in this adventure.  I have been trying to do extra things around the house and the office, just small deeds of kindness.  Like the other day, I did the washing, and the ironing, and putting away of the clothes.  This is just a small thing that I could do for my wife who has been ill.  I must admit it was good just to do this small thing. I also believe that just the knowing I am a Barnabas has made me a kinder person this past few weeks.   I think that sometimes we think that it has to be big, or that we have to really feel like do it.  I got this encouraging letter last week from our Children's Church's adopted missionary to Thailand.  I asked him if I could share it with you, and he said yes.  Here is most of it.  If you go to our children's Zone Ministry you can see the Paton family.  This is from Wade Paton of St. Albert, Alberta:

Another highlight from this past weekend is that we had the opportunity to make a return visit to an orphanage for girls that we were at a few months ago. There are about 16 girls that range in age from about 9 years old to 15 or 16 years old. Their main caregivers are a Thai couple who have 2 children of their own and they all live on the same property. Bonnie and I really enjoyed the little bit of interaction we had with the girls and their caregivers and we are excited about the possibility of visiting them on a more regular basis. We brought them some candy and yoghurt and spent some time talking to them about various things. We went as family along with our friend Debbie (our language coach) and being there with our kids was so amazing. Watching them play and interact with the girls was a blessing for us.

God used this experience to remind us of some things we had been neglecting. The night before we went out to the orphanage I was sharing some of my frustrations with Bonnie and how I felt so depleted in energy, focus, and desire. As I spoke to her about the physical, emotional, and spiritual fatigue I was going through, we prayed together and asked God to restore us and inspire us again. The next day came and, to be honest, the thought of going out to the orphanage for a visit was an exhausting thought for both of us. We even thought about not going or maybe just one of us going. In the end we all loaded in to the van and headed out to the home. We thought we would come back more tired but the opposite was true. Through a small act of service it felt like God blessed us with the energy, focus, and desire we felt we were lacking. Serving others is like fuel for life. When our time, our thoughts and our attention is spent only considering what is going on in our own lives the result is exhaustion. God made us to serve others and that service can be something as simple as taking some candy out to some girls that don't get many sweets. In God's kingdom, it counts! The Lord continues to speak to us about this and we want to stay alert for opportunities to serve others. Pray for us that we would not get distracted from serving. Pray that self-centredness would be pushed back and that the heart of Jesus to serve would grow in us each day.

 I Love that Letter.  Let's hear from you! 
Click on "Comments" under "The Barnabas Club" to leave yours and to read others and scroll to the bottom.


Thu, Sep 25 2008

 Wow, I truly have to say that I am overwhelmed with the response to our club.  There are 38 and counting, and  I praise that Lord for everyone of you.  Remember our purpose: 

“I am willing to befriend, with the love of Christ,
those whom God loves and has chosen, no matter what the cost.”

As  members of the “Barnabas Club” you are encouraged, to do a kind deed, at least once a week, for someone else, for absolutely no personal gain whatsoever. Undertake a “Random Act of Kindness” (RAoK) on a weekly basis... maybe it’s paying for the cup of tea that the person in the line in front of you has just ordered at Tim Horton’s... maybe it’s offering to carry an someones shopping... maybe it’s as simple as holding a door open for someone.  I am sure you can come up with much better ones, so I want you to share them with others through this blog.

Tell us what you did and how it made you feel.  Tell us if anything good happened to you in the days that followed.  And I will tell you about my experiences.    You can even tell me what you think of the whole idea,  quit the club or invite others to join.  Let’s blanket the community with the Love of Jesus through acts of kindness.

To make it even easier to remember let's make the day that we undertake at least one random act of kindness.  That would make it a Good Friday.  Do something Good this Friday.

Click on "Comments" under "The Barnabas Club" to leave yours and to read others and scroll to the bottom.

God bless you,  Pastor Roy 


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