Religous Freedom Watch: Canada Summer Jobs Program

I had initially planned to post today on ‘5 Things that Will Stop You from Moving Forward in 2018‘ but ultimately decided to go another direction (I plan to get this post out some time next week).

As a pastor and Christian leader, I have some growing and serious concerns about religious freedom in our nation. While I am thankful for all the liberty that we do have here in Canada, I do believe we need to stay aware and vigilant about threats that do arise and speak out for righteousness.

One such threat is the Canadian Government’s recent decision with its summer job funding program to discriminate against any organization that is Pro-Life. This potentially will affect thousands of churches, ministries, not-for-profits and groups of other faiths as well and severely affect the programs they run to serve the community. Furthermore, the logic that is being used in this decision could be expanded to a number of areas and even threaten the charitable status of churches (if we would be denied funding because our church is pro-life how long before our charitable status comes into question?).

My Canada posted a recent update giving a more in-depth look into this situation as well as some clear action points that you can take to make a difference. Check it out here. Let’s pray. Let’s speak out. Let’s take action.

Thanks for taking the time to read. Feel free to leave a comment below. If you would like to have new posts delivered directly to your e-mail please click on the folder icon in the menu bar above and enter your e-mail address to subscribe.

Photo by Pam Menegakis on UnSpash

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Message Notes: DEEP CALLS 02

#2 – WORD OF THE LORD: 2018

I        FIRST FRUITS 2018 OFFERING

Proverbs 3:9-10 (Passion) – Glorify God with all your wealth, honouring him with your very best (or first fruits), with every increase that comes to you. Then every dimension of your life will overflow with blessings from an uncontainable source of inner joy.

A)   One of our practices here at Toronto City Church is to bring a special offering to the Lord at the beginning of the year – we call it our ‘First Fruits’ Offering. We will be taking this up on Sunday, February 4th, 2018.

1)    This offering is an expression of our love for God

2)    This offering is an expression of our commitment to God

3)    This offering is an expression of our dependence on God

4)    This offering is an expression of our faith in God

2 Cor 9:6-8 (Passion) – Here’s my point. A stingy sower will reap a meager harvest, but the one who sows from a generous spirit will reap an abundant harvest. Let giving flow from your heart, not  from a sense of religious duty. Let it spring up freely from the joy of giving – all because God loves hilarious generosity! Yes God is more than ready to overwhelm you with every form of grace, so that you will have more than enough of everything – every moment in every way. He will make you overflow with abundance in every good thing you do. Continue reading →

#Food4Thought – Stuff That Got Me Thinking This Week…

One of my goals is to be a lifelong learner and I’m always trying to read/watch/listen to different resources that will cause me to grow.

Here is some stuff that has really gotten me thinking this week:

  1. Faith Tech put out their monthly newsletter – I can’t link it but just check out their site and get on their mailing list. This is a cutting-edge ministry that is really a great thought leader in the area of faith and technology.
  2. Why You Should Have a Not to Do List by Brian Jones – really good article that gets you thinking on what you should not be doing. Please Note: this is written by a Pastor to Pastor’s but I think it can be helpful even if you are not a pastor in your personal context.
  3. How to Build Your Vision from the Ground Up – I have not gotten a chance to go through this conversation between Steven Furtick and T.D. Jakes but I have heard so much good stuff I already know it’s going to be good (and worth passing on).
  4. Passion Translation – I got the New Testament + Psalms/Proverbs Passion Translation for Christmas and I’m reading through the New Testament this month and I’m loving it! I highly recommend this translation of the scriptures. Here is an example:

Continue reading →

Tips for Healthy Fasting

Today in my message at Toronto City Church in addition to the post on Growing in the Word and Prayer I promised that I would post some content on how to fast effectively. Rather than try to reinvent the wheel I am posting several links to  some excellent articles/resources for you:

  1. 10 Tips for Healthy Fasting by Cherie Calbom
  2. Fasting Guidelines and Information from the International House of Prayer
  3. Book: The Rewards of Fasting by Mike Bickle (PDF Format)

While I’m not an expert (by any means) if you have any questions or need clarification, please post in the comments section and I will get back to you.

Thanks for taking the time to read. Feel free to leave a comment below. If you would like to have new posts delivered directly to your e-mail please click on the folder icon in the menu bar above and enter your e-mail address to subscribe.

Photo by Keith Hardy on Unsplash

 

Growing in the Word and Prayer

This week at Toronto City Church we are kicking off a week of prayer and fasting and I wanted to post this worksheet on growing in the basics of a devotional life, reading the Word and prayer.

Developing a Daily Devotional Life

I        The foundation of being a Christian is that we are following Jesus and so you want to develop daily time with Him – where you read the Bible and you pray.

II      Oswald Chambers said, “Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything. Unless in the first waking moment of the day you learn fling the door wide back and let God in, you will work on a wrong level all day; but swing the door wide open and pray to your Father in secret, and every public things will be stamped with the presence of God.”

III   To have an effective devotional time you want to make sure that you have the following:

A)   Have A Time – pick a consistent time when you will read your Bible and pray. It doesn’t always have to be the same time but if you have a regular time you will be more consistent.

B)   Have a Place – pick a consistent place. Again, you don’t have to have one place all the time but if you have a regular place it helps.

C)   Have a Plan – there are so many ways to read the Word of God and pray. It’s important though to have a plan rather than just being random. Continue reading →

Message Notes: DEEP CALLS 01

#1 – SITTING AT HIS FEET

I        “DEEP CALLS” WEEK OF PRAYER AND FASTING

A)   In 2018 God is calling us deeper. We are giving ourselves to a week of prayer and fasting to prepare our hearts to answer this call.

B)   We are going to go deeper through:

1)    FASTING – we encourage everyone to fast during this week.

2)    PRAYING – take extra time for daily personal prayer. Join a prayer call. Join us on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night for corporate prayer and worship at 7:15 p.m.

3)    DAILY DEVOTIONALS – take daily time in the Word of God and listening to Holy Spirit.

C)   You can find resources on http://www.brendanwitton.com on basics of how to grow in the word and prayer and effective fasting, (This will be posted for Monday)

D)   Next Sunday I’m going to share the “Word of the Lord for 2018” – for our lives and our church family.

II      INTRODUCTION Continue reading →

Get the Most Out of 2018: F8 LIFE Goals

For a number of reasons, coming into 2018 I have decided to throw my hat back into the ring in the area of blogging. My goal is to post original content at least once per week as well as my sermon notes from whenever I speak. I will see how things develop from there. This month I’m going to start with a focus on ‘getting the most out of 2018’. If you would like to have new posts delivered directly to your e-mail please click on the folder icon in the menu bar and enter your e-mail address to subscribe.

One of my personal disciplines at the start of each year is that I take a fresh look at my goals using something I call the ‘F8 Life Goals’. Basically, F8 Life Goals gives you a lens to look at your life through and identify goals, priorities and areas of focus. I have found it helpful to use it as a framework to make sure I’m looking at my life holistically and planning for personal growth. (Please note: the way I’m wired it works for me to have several goals in each of the eight areas. If that is too much for you feel free to pick one goal in each of the areas or even pick several of the areas to focus on for the coming year) Hope this is helpful. Continue reading →