Category Archives: commentary

Giving thanks for 2016

With the power out and slush and freezing rain, only 3 people showed up for the early service. Happy New Year. Just in case you weren’t planning to come either due to it being New Years Day or on account of the weather here is an exercise that you might find enjoyable and honouring to the Lord.

Many have seen 2016 as a year of Great Loss and uncertainty. It is easy to say good Riddence to the year that was. There were however many unsung things that happened in 2016 that we should give thanks for. Here below is a list of 99 of them. At the end of the list is an instruction for prayer.

Happy new year and Give thanks to the Lord.

Some of the biggest conservation successes in generation
1. British Columbia protected 85% of one of the world’s largest temperate rainforests, home to the wonderfully named ‘Spirit Bear.’ Reuters
2. In February, Peru and Bolivia signed a $500 million deal to preserve Lake Titicaca. HNGN
3. In March, the US government abandoned its plan for oil and gas drilling in Atlantic waters, reversing its decision from a year ago. Guardian
4. After nearly 13 years of difficult negotiations, Malaysia established a 1 million hectare marine park that pioneers a mixed-use approach to marine conservation. Guardian
5. In 2016, more than 20 countries pledged more than $5.3 billion for ocean conservation and created 40 new marine sanctuaries covering an area of 3.4 million square km. Reuters
6. That included a new record holder for the world’s biggest marine reserve, off the coast of Antarctica. National Geographic
7. New research showed that acid pollution in the atmosphere is now almost back to the level that it was before it started with industrialisation in the 1930s. Science Bulletin
8. In 2012, the US and Mexico embarked on an unprecedented binational project to revive the Colorado River. By 2016, the results had astonished everyone. Audubon
9. In November, the Obama administration followed up its March announcements by banning offshore exploration and drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic until 2022. Politico

Huge strides forward for global health
10. The World Health Organisation released a report showing that, since the year 2000, global malaria deaths have declined by 60%. WHO
11. In 2016, some of the world’s biggest diseases, like colon cancer, dementia, and heart disease, started declining in wealthy countries. New York Times
12. A new study from the world’s leading health journal reported that the number of women dying from pregnancy and childbirth has almost halved since 1990. Guardian
13. Fresh evidence showed that public smoking bans have improved health in 21 nations. Wiley Blackwell
14. Uruguay won a major case against Philip Morris in a World Bank ruling, setting a precedent for other small countries that want to deter tobacco use. CS Monitor
15. Malawi achieved a 67% reduction in the number of children acquiring HIV, the biggest success story across all sub-Saharan nations. Since 2006, they’ve saved 260,000 lives. Al Jazeera
16. Child mortality rates came down by 12% in Russia. Article
17. Life expectancy in Africa has increased by 9.4 years since 2000, thanks to improvements in child survival, progress in malaria control, and expanded access to ARVs. Quartz
18. Mobile phones made significant inroads in the fight against rabies, a disease that kills more people annually than all terrorists combined. Ars Technica
19. Thailand became the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. World Health Organisation
20. Harvard scientists created a new platform for antibiotic discovery that may help solve the crisis of antibiotic resistance. GEN
21. Liberia was officially cleared of Ebola, meaning there are now no known cases of the deadly tropical virus left in West Africa. Vanguard
22. The WHO announced that measles have been eradicated in all of the Americas, from Canada to Chile. It’s the first time the disease has been eliminated from an entire world region. NBC
23. The proportion of older US adults with dementia, including Alzheimer’s, declined from 11.6% in 2000 to 8.8% in 2012, a decrease of about a million people. Scientific American
24. The number of cigarette smokers in the US has dropped by 8.6 million since 2005. That fall will be accelerated by a tobacco tax just passed in California. NPR

Political and economic progress in many parts of the world
25. In 2016, for the first time ever, the amount of money it would take to end poverty dropped below the amount of money spent on foreign aid. Vox
26. World hunger reached its lowest point in 25 years. New York Times
27. In February, Ontario announced a $100 million initiative to curb violence against indigenous women. The Star
28. Myanmar swore in its first elected civilian leader in more than 50 years. BBC
29. Black incarceration rates fell in the United States. Not fast enough, but certainly something worth celebrating. Washington Post
30. In 1990, more than 60% of people in East Asia lived in extreme poverty. As of 2016, that proportion has dropped to 3.5%. Vox
31. Homelessness in the United States declined by 35% since 2007, and Los Angeles committed to $1.2 billion to help get more people off the street. CS Monitor
32. Taiwan is on the verge of becoming the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage. New York Times
33. The Gambia and Tanzania banned child marriage, following sustained lobbying by civil society groups. Independent
34. In June, after years of wrangling, the drive to end female genital mutilation in Africa made a major breakthrough, when the Pan African Parliament endorsed a continent-wide ban. The Wire
35. Germany took on rape culture, introducing a law to broaden the definition of sex crimes by zoning in on the issue of consent. Catalogue
36. Two weeks before Brexit, the African Union announced a new single African passport that permits holders to enter any of the 54 AU member states without a visa. Washington Post
37. The United States now feeds healthy lunches to more than 30 million children, is about to ban trans fats, and has enacted one of the biggest overhauls of nutrition labels in decades. Vox
38. Italy became the last large Western country to recognise same-sex unions in 2016, following a long-running battle by campaigners. Independent
39. Denmark became the first country to no longer define being transgender as a mental illness, and Canada announced a ban on transgender discrimination. Telegraph.
40. 2016 marked the 24th year in a row that teenage pregnancy rates declined in the United Kingdom and the United States.
41. In December, the Gambia became the latest African country to show that voting does count, and dictators do fall. Daily Maverick

We finally started responding seriously to the climate change emergency
42. The Paris Agreement became the fastest (and largest) United Nations treaty to go from agreement to international law in modern history. CBS
43. Global carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels did not grow at all in 2016. It’s the third year in a row emissions have flatlined. Scientific American
44. Thanks to rapid technological innovation and political support from around the world, renewables now account for more installed capacity than any other form of electricity in the world, including coal. Gizmodo
45. The Chinese government placed a ban on new coal mines, created new rules for grid access, and doubled its renewables targets for 2020. WRI
46. India announced it won’t need any new coal plants for the next three years because it’s flush with generation capacity. Times of India
47. In April, the UK’s Chatham House released a report saying “Big Oil is screwed.” Chatham House
48. In the same month, 25% of European countries announced that they had quit coal. EcoWatch
49. The BRICS New Development Bank approved $1 billion in renewables investments in China, Brazil, South Africa, and India. RT
50. In 2016 Costa Rica ran solely on renewable energy for over 100 days. Now it’s aiming for an entire year with no fossil fuels. The Independent
51. In July, the US, Mexico, and Canada committed to getting 50% of their electricity from renewables by 2025. Their leaders also nailed the awkward handshake thing. Time
52. A new report showed that China reached peak coal in 2014, a landmark moment in the fight against climate change that was reported by every media outlet on the planet. Right? Guardian
53. China installed 20GW of solar in the first half of 2016, three times as much as during the same period a year ago. Reuters
54. In October, the International Energy Agency reported that half a million solar panels were installed each day around the world in 2015. It also drastically increased its five year growth forecast for renewables. IEA
55. In the same month, 197 countries agreed to drastically reduce their use of HFCs, and the International Civil Aviation Organisation agreed to measures to combat the impact of flying on greenhouse gas emissions. Scientific American
56. The world’s biggest offshore wind farm received the go ahead for its second phase. Guardian
57. Mexico announced $6 billion in renewables investments, Argentina$2.7 billion, Scotland connected underwater turbines to its grid for the first time, and solar energy generated more power than coal in the United Kingdom. Independent UK
58. In November, India unveiled the world’s largest solar-xpower plant, and revealed that it is now on track to be the world’s third biggest solar market in 2017. Al Jazeera
59. And in the same month, the United Kingdom agreed to phase out coal by 2025, France said it would get there by 2023, and Germany promised to reduce emissions by 95% by 2050. Guardian
The world got less violent
60. Following the end of conflict in Colombia in 2016, all of the war in the world is now limited to an arc that contains less than a sixth of the world’s population. Associated Press
61. ISIS quietly started preparing its followers for the eventual collapse of the caliphate it proclaimed with great fanfare two years ago. New Yorker
62. In April, a new report revealed that for the first time ever, the death penalty has become illegal in more than half of the world’s countries. Article
63. Juarez, in Mexico, used to be the world’s most dangerous city. In 2016, crime came down and residents started losing their fear. National Geographic
64. Crime rates in Holland plummeted, with total recorded crime shrinking by 25% in the last eight years. One third of the country’s prison cells are now empty. Dutch News
65. Three years ago Honduras was the most dangerous place on earth. Since then community crime programs have achieved a remarkable reduction in violence. New York Times
66. Hellholes? Not according to US mayors, who in 2016 celebrated years of positive gains in US cities. Politico

Signs of hope for a life-sustaining economy
67. Good science and simple economics have started a reversal in overfishing in the United States. New York Times
68. Norway became the first country in the world to commit to zero deforestation. The Independent
69. In June, a new survey showed that the ozone hole has shrunk by more than 3.9 million square kilometres since 2006. Scientists now think it will now be fully healed by 2050. Sydney Morning Herald
70. In July, more than 800,000 volunteers in India planted 50 million trees in one day. The country is planning on reforesting 12% of its land. National Geographic
71. Later that month, Israel revealed that it now makes 55% of its freshwater. That means that one of the driest countries on Earth now has more water than it needs. Ensia
72. McDonalds announced it would be removing corn syrup from its hamburger buns and removed antibiotics from its chicken months ahead of schedule. CNBC
73. By August, every major grocery and fast-food chain in the US had pledged to use only cage-free eggs by 2025. Washington Post
74. The average number of large oil spills around the world has been drastically reduced, from an average of 24.5 per year in the 1970s to just 1.8 a year in 2015. ITOPF
75. The citizens of Mumbai conducted the largest beach clean-up in human history, removing more than 4,000 tonnes of rubbish. Washington Post
76. Plastic bag use plummeted in England thanks to the introduction of a 5p charge in 2015. BBC
77. The Italian government overwhelmingly backed a new set of laws aimed at cutting down the vast amounts of food wasted in the country each year. Independent
78. In December, four of the world’s biggest cities, Paris, Madrid, Athens, and Mexico City, agreed to ban diesel cars from their centers. Guardian

Endangered animals got a some well-deserved breaks
79. At this year’s CITES conference, 183 countries agreed to the strongest protections ever for endangered animals, with big wins for parrots, rhinos, porpoises, rays, and elephants. Washington Post
80. In February, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the global manatee population is no longer endangered. Scientific American
81. Wild wolves started coming back to Europe, and for the first time since the American Revolution, wild salmon began spawning in the Connecticut River. Al Jazeera
82. In March, Yellowstone’s grizzly bears passed a major milestone, completing one of the greatest wildlife comeback stories in history. National Geographic
83. Fifty years ago, the Columbian white-tailed deer population was 450 animals. This year, the US Fish and Wildlife Service took it off the endangered list. CS Monitor
84. Green sea turtles in Florida and Mexico were taken off the endangered list. Huffington Post
85. Sea World agreed to stop breeding captive killer whales. NPR
86. Humpback whales were removed from the endangered species list, having fully recovered in the last 46 years. Science Mag
87. The US finalized new regulations to shut down commercial elephant ivory trade within its borders and stop wildlife crime overseas. WWF
88. Mongolia created one of the world’s largest protected areas for snow leopards. Snow Leopard Trust
89. In September, giant pandas became the latest species to be taken off the endangered list. Guardian
90. And in 2016, for the first time, we heard that the number of tigers in the wild rose for the first time in 100 years. National Geographic

The world got more generous
91. At the beginning of the year, we heard that global spending on aid and development increased by 7%, and spending on refugees has doubled. OECD
92. In April, Pony Ma Huateng, the chief executive of the Chinese internet giant Tencent, donated $2 billion to charity. South China Morning Post
93. 2015 was America’s most generous year ever, with charitable donations from individuals, estates, foundations, and corporations reaching record highs. 2016 is on track to be even bigger. Associated Press
94. In 2016, charitable giving in China rose to $15 billion, a 10 fold increase from just a decade ago Bloomberg
95. Online crowdfunding raised almost $1 million for the kids of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile to go to college.
96. Warren Buffett gave $2.9 billion to charity, again. And his son, a farmer and environmentalist, quietly continued to spend his billion dollar inheritance on sustainable agriculture and hunger eradication. The Atlantic
97. The Gates Foundation announced another $5 billion in charity for Africa. They also tweeted this video about progress on malaria.
98. Germany took in an additional 300,000 refugees in 2016, despite growing concerns about integration and a backlash from populists. Guardian
99. In Canada, hockey moms, poker buddies, and neighbors took in Syrian refugees, one family at a time. New York Times

Write a prayer based on one of the good news stories that you have selected.

Include the following.

Thanksgiving for what was achieved

Any connection with the commandments of God

Any connection with the promises of God.

A prayer for going further.

Select someone from the group to come forward and read (Pray the prayer) and then place it on the Lord’s Table

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Thankyou for attending and sharing

Thankyou so much for coming out last night to our discussion. Your input was valuable to me and also to Bishop David. It was valuable to me because it showed me the range of thinking and feeling for the parish, which is likely not much different for the Diocese. Some want and need more information. Some continue to struggle with what they will do either in the near future or in three years time. Some have worked out a way to deal with the issue. Some have remained silent.

David’s message to us was clear. He is the bishop of the whole diocese, the mission of Christ is the most important thing and we need to continue to listen to each other and process this. It has wide ranging effects that have not been fully considered.

There will be more to come. In two weeks time the Delegates to Synod will meet meet in fredericton to do much the same thing that we did. Out of that will emerg some kind of way to process all of this. I urge your full participation as we go forward. Surely our parish is worth this effort.

David has Called us to remain in unity for the sake of the Gospel and I call you to that as well.

I would also commend to your reading the work that Chris Smith did in commenting on the report “This Holy Estate”. If you would like to read it then email me or Chris and we will send it to you. There will also be a copy in the church narthex.

Both documents are available below

marriage_canon_report_15sept22

copyofholyestatenotes

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Some Thoughts on changing the definition of Marriage

To the faithful Members of St. James the Less Church in the Parish of Renforth

This Thursday we meet with Bishop David to talk about the implications of the actions of General Synod. General Synod has passed the 1st of 2 required readings of this motion. The motion redefines marriage by removing the traditional prescription of one man with one woman and restating it as simply two persons. The problem that I have with this action is that the definition that we have accepted for thousands of years has come through the scriptures not through synods. It has never been up to us to define or redefine marriage. It just is as the scriptures say that it is. By doing what they did General Synod has down graded its view of scripture. This is not a trivial thing. They have also in their so called debate preparation taken liberty with methods of bible study and with the nature of the Holy Spirit. I listened to several of our delegates talk about this at our recent clergy conference. The document that was given as the report of purposed change is also deeply flawed and offers no real theologically sound argument. In other words the whole thing was rigged and manipulated from the beginning. Perhaps a better thing would have been to simply remove the cannon on marriage altogether.

To some of you this will not be a big deal. So what? The Church is becoming more and more like society and generally in harmony with the laws of the land. Can’t we just all get along and be fine with it?

Wait a minute; I made a vow before my bishop and God and the gathered public at my ordination: Here is what it says: Will you be ready, with all faithful diligence, to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to God’s Word; and to use both public and private monitions and exhortations, as well to the sick as to the whole, within your cures, as need require, and occasion shall be given? .. and I said: I will, the Lord being my helper.

And so I have to say here in my blog that I believe that General Synod has erred grievously in what they have done. I warn you as people of God to not accept this change in doctrine. Examine the word of God and your on conscience. I would be out of compliance with my ordination vows if I did not say this.

On the other hand… and there is another hand… how do we proceed? How do we proceed as Christ’s hands and feet, light and truth in the community that we are planted in. Should we advocate that we simply return to a “don’t ask, don’t tell” position. That will not work now and was also always sub christian in its values set. This is a real time to ask the very important question What would Jesus do? The world that we live in today is much more complex than the world that Jesus lived in, yet he still walks with us today in this world. The world we live in is much more sexualized and given over to human and individual rights and expressions. This stuff is enshrined in our laws and acceptable practices. You can be shocked by this or ignore it personally if you like, but as a community church that would not be an acceptable position.

I was briefly encouraged this spring when the house of bishops could not find support for the motions and the primate indicated that perhaps a legislative solution was not the answer here, but that direction did not come to any fruition. They were able to create a few more liberal bishops that would turn the vote. Was this sneaky and dirty politics? If only they would have struggled with the scriptures and talked with the rest of the Church around the world.

I believe that there is a way forward for us. It begins with prayer and it begins with Jesus. What do you think we should do? Bring your thoughts and your prayerful self to our meeting this Thursday.

Eric
Rector of Renforth

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Well Done!

We have made it through the first six months of the year and successfully contributed what the diocese has asked of us and were able to also give 10% of everything that came in toward local missional situations.

We know that this has been an answer to prayer and the steps of real faith that the vestry and leaders have taken.

It is a principle of the Kingdom of heaven that as we bless others, we too are blessed.

We are however coming into one of the most challenging times of the year. Last Sundays attendance was very low indeed. I totally understand the number of distractions that todays world brings, especially as we come into our all too short summer.

To continue making our budget will require sacrifice and discipline. One way to make things easier is to take advantage of the Automated Giving options that are available. You can click on the Donation button at the right of this page or better still sign up for the automatic deduction scheme that is offered by the diocese. We pay the monthly fee so 100% of what you give comes back to us. Forms are available at the Church. or you can click below and down load it.

http://renforth.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/PAT-application.pdf

The diocesan records prove that churches that use this system do a much better job in the financial stewardship area. Consider it today.

Eric Phinney
Rector

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Bridgetown

Sunday after church the parents/children/and team met to talk about the attempts that we have made by using the messy church model on a Sunday morning service basis. The feed back that we received was mixed. On one hand the quality of learning, interaction with all generations and shared experience was amazing. It was our hope that this could become a once per month way of operating that would include the whole community. Sadly however we received significant negative response that ranged from people specifically saying that they would not be there through to a very low over all turn out. We have to agree that the whole church was not ready for this move and also that we did not implement it carefully enough. What we have decided to do is the following.

Once a month during the traditional “Bagle Sunday” we will hold a “Bridgetown” service at 9:30 This will consist of a number of creative stations that are open to everyone but specifically designed by the Intergenerational Team with the children in mind. We “invite” all people from 8:30 and 10:30 to either stay late or come early and participate in as much of this as you wish. We believe that it will enhance your understanding and practice of your faith. The message at the 10:30 service will consist in part of presentations made from the intergenerational “Bridgetown” teams.

We have spent time in prayer and searching for the Lord’s direction and believe firmly that we have heard from him. This was a painful but very rich experience for us and we ask for your prayers as we move forward.

We believe that by doing it this way it will allow for growth, creativity and an advancement in our whole community experience.

Our next Bridgetown event will be May 1

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Note from Lent 1

For people who are meeting in the 5W’s small groups, here are my notes to add to what you might remember.

GOSPEL: Luke 4:1-13
When Jesus returned from the Jordan River, the power of the Holy Spirit was with him, and the Spirit led him into the desert. 2For forty days Jesus was tested by the devil, and during that time he went without eating. When it was all over, he was hungry. 3The devil said to Jesus, “If you are God’s Son, tell this stone to turn into bread.” 4Jesus answered, “The Scriptures say, ‘No one can live only on food.’ ” 5Then the devil led Jesus up to a high place and quickly showed him all the nations on earth. 6The devil said, “I will give all this power and glory to you. It has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7Just worship me, and you can have it all.” 8Jesus answered, “The Scriptures say: Worship the Lord your God and serve only him!’ ” 9Finally, the devil took Jesus to Jerusalem and had him stand on top of the temple. The devil said, “If you are God’s Son, jump off. 10-11The Scriptures say: ‘God will tell his angels to take care of you. They will catch you in their arms, and you will not hurt your feet on the stones.’ ” 2Jesus answered, “The Scriptures also say, ‘Don’t try to test the Lord your God!’ ” 13After the devil had finished testing Jesus in every way possible, he left him for a while.

What is temptation.
Why were these temptations for Jesus. Are they also temptations for us?
Sin is deliberately aiming for the wrong mark. (Archer) It is not just missing it.

Temptation are those forces that pull you to the wrong mark. Urging you to aim at something else.

By knowing god’s word, having the knowledge not to give in and the knowledge of the gospel. We can deal with temptation.

But much of the world today is not concerned with god’s word, does not believe there is a devil and sees no need for the salvation of Christ and his cross.

Morality is reduced to be happy and do your best to get along with others.

For Jesus he faced three temptations.

He was tempted to feed only his flesh and ignore his spirit.
Turn these stones into bread…

Phil 3:19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.

The flesh is not in itself evil. God has made that too and made it to maintain itself.
There are very powerful appetites that call us to satisfy the needs and desires of the flesh.
We would not survive if it were not so.
But there is more to us than flesh. We are also spirit.
Since we have been born from above we also now have a spiritual self to look after.
This takes discipline and faith since

He was tempted to focus his affections on the creation rather than the creator

The devil showed him all the nations of the earth and offered it to him.

romans 1:24-26 …24Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,…

The creation is beautiful. It was made by the creator God. It is a very big temptation to become too attached to things. Things are beautiful to look at , yo touch, to use…
We can become independant with the right things The more things we possess the less we think we need God.
Cars, houses, gadgets, books, misic, philosophy , science, art, engineering, sports, achievement , discovery. This week scientists announced a discovery that is as important as the observations of Galileo. They discovered and observed a ripple in the space/time continuum. Confirming einstein’s theory and opening a new chapter of Astro physics. Does this advance the creation or the creator?

Mark 8:36. 36″For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? 37″For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

He was tempted to do it his own way rather than gods

Jumping off a high point and landing without hurting yourself would be quite a stunt. It would perhaps even convince people that you were a god.

Last night I watched a video of someone jumping out of a plane at 10,000 feet and going through a hole in a roof 3×5 feet and landing on a trampoline. Pretty impressive. But he did not become God.

matthew 26: 41-43 …41″Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.…

Jeremiah 29:11’For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12’Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.…

Ephesians 2:10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

What are the important verses that you should have memorized regarding temptation.

Verses to memorize on Temptation

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

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

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Verses to memorize on Temptation

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

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

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

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50 Scriptures you should probably memorize

I mentioned on Sunday that if it were not for the scripture that I had memorized when I first became a believer that I would never be able to recognize His voice. Here are 50 important ones. I have scanned through these and found that I know them all well. This would be a good start for any believer.

Eric

God
Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 40:28
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Salvation

John 3:16-17
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.
Romans 3:23
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Revelation 3:20
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.”
Ephesians 2:8,9
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Assurance
Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Isaiah 40:30-31
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Romans 8:38-39
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Matthew 11:28-30
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart ,and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Psalm 27:1
The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?
Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Lamentations 3:22-23
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Christian Life
2 Corinthians 4:18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Psalm 37:4,5
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust in him and he will do this.
Proverbs 3:5,6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
James 1:22
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Colossians 3:23
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.
1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
James 4:7
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Luke 16:13
No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
1 John 4:7,8
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Hebrews 12:1-2
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Acts 1:8
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Romans 12:1-2
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Prayer
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 19:14
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Philippians 4:6,7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Scripture
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.
Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
Psalm 119:11
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Confession/Temptation
Hebrews 4:16
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out, so that you can stand up under it.

Mission
Micah 6:8
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Matthew 25:40
The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Matthew 28:19-20
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Ephesians 6:12
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

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YOU’RE OUT-a-Here!!!!

The supreme court decision of last week left many of us in shock and wondering… can they do that? Many believers are angry and feel that they have been singled out and have lost position in the society that we live in, in favour of a No – God only preference. I have four things to say about the possibility that very soon we will no longer be allowed to pray at Saint John City Council as we have for many many years.

1) God is sovereign. In other words he does not need us to fight His battles. God can and does do things on his own and when we take up the tools of the enemy and begin to act in “The Name of God” we risk smearing the very nature of Christ’s grace toward us. So lets think this through carefully and ask the question, “What would Jesus do, in this situation?”

2) We are still commanded by scripture to pray for those in authority over us and this court decision does not affect that biblical imperitive. We do need to reinterpret it and hopefully it will take on a new profile and we will stand together as believers in the Lord Jesus in Greater Saint John and continue to pray for Common Council. This might take place in the lobby area or out in front of City Hall. However we do it, we need to continue to do it.

3) We do not fight agains flesh and blood but against unseen spiritual forces. Ironically last week when I was being interviewed by CBC information morning about the Balsa 85 saga, I was sitting beside Chris London, who was about to go on the air to decry the prayers at City Hall. There are certain rules of engagement when it comes to Spiritual Warfare and some notable ones in this case are as follows. a) Don’t fight or argue with people, they are not the problem. b) Do not engage with the “same” spirit, but rather discern the spirit that is operating and then move in the opposite spirit. c) Resist the devil and he will flee from you. d) Do not be tempted by the spirit of this world.

4) I watch baseball and am a fan of the Bluejays. Occasionally an umpire makes a “Bad Call”. Quite simply the call is just wrong. However when that happens the coach needs to be very careful. He can come out on the field full of wild hand motions and colourful speech and begin to take on the umpire. If he does this, it is very likely that we will be ejected from the game completely leaving the team without his leadership. Much better if he simply acknowledges to his team that a bad call has occurred and call upon them to bring their very best. I believe what we have here is a BAD Call by the Chief Justices of Canada. This has been the result of perhaps some bad law making by our parliaments over the years. (we elected them)

Let us then go forward in the power of the spirit (not the flesh) and win the prize that is prepared for us.

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