BLCF Cafe Community Dinner Reports Feeding A Record Number of Homeless and Marginalized in the Heart of Toronto

Q: When is a church more than just brick and mortar?
A: When the people of the church decide to provide for those who are homeless and disadvantaged in the heart of Toronto with a warm meal in an environment that is safe and friendly: BLCF Cafe Community Dinner.

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BLCF Cafe Community Dinner serving dinner to over 150 homeless and marginalized people weekly, (that’s over 7,500 annually), right in the heart of Toronto, relying solely on volunteer help and donations for funding. BLCF Cafe reported serving a record 250 guests Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner *(2013) and served meals on both Christmas Dinner (2013) and New Years Day (2014) without government funding or corporate sponsorship.  BLCF Café depends solely on a core of dedicated volunteers to get the job done and private donations and fund-raising to finance the community dinners. 

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BLCF Cafe Community Dinner

BLCF Cafe Community Dinner Reports Feeding A Record Number of Homeless and Marginalized in the heart of Toronto

If you or your group are interested in volunteering to help feed the homeless and marginalized in the heart of Toronto, please contact Sophie at BLCF Cafe: Phone 416-535-9578 or email blcfcafe@yahoo.ca. You can make a difference in the life of Toronto’s disenfranchised as a BLCF Cafe volunteer!

Note: All photographic images, documents, web-designs, and graphic images may be subject to (c) copyright and are the property of Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship or the author, and may not be duplicated or reproduced by any means without written permission from Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship. Violators of said (c) copyright may be subject to penalties and legal remedies under Canadian and International Copyright Laws. 

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Why Did Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship Start A Community Dinner Instead Of Sandwich Run Or A Food Bank?

BLCF: whywedo

Why Did Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship Start A Community Dinner Instead Of Sandwich Run Or A Food Bank?

BLCF: it_is_not_what_but_why

Most of us have heard the Chinese Proverb: ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’

BLCF: no-sandwiches

Sandwich runs and to a lesser degree Food Banks offer scant opportunity to fellowship with or establish a meaningful dialogue with the homeless and marginalized. Both can make it awkward and embarrassing to those on the receiving end of a sandwich or food from a relative stranger. This can be a great stumbling block to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the ‘volunteer’ may appear condescending or patronizing to a homeless or marginalized person.

BLCF: conesending_food_banks

It is extremely difficult to share how faith in Jesus’ sacrifice allows all to be equal in the eyes of God, especially if they find out that volunteers are paying a fee to give a sandwich to them! At the cafe, there are no fees required to volunteer.

BLCF Cafe Community Dinner guests, who are the homeless and marginalized, are treated with dignity and respect, served a warm meal with music, and fellowship. These conditions are perfect for meaningful dialogue and to establish friendships as a launching point to witness as equals at the same dinner table.

 BLCF: dinner-on-us

 

A short testimony and shared scripture are given as the dinner’s second course, served between the main and dessert. Over time, our guests develop an appetite and appreciation for spiritual sustenance as much as the dinner served at the cafe.

BLCF: what_we_do

Through the power of the Holy Spirit some of our guests now help to serve others at the dinner, giving of themselves, showing that they have learned to become fishermen/women and embracing the Mission Statement BLCF Cafe Community Dinner:

‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.’

– Matthew 25:40.

BLCF Cafe volunteers

A number of our guests have made a decision to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour, which demonstrates how marvelous and great the work of the Lord is when we trust him to transform a simple function as serving and sharing a community dinner into a meeting of faith and worshiping of our Lord. Many returning guests feel that the community is their church meeting. Jesus knew what He was doing when he fed the multitude as He shared His message on the mount.

BLCF: -blcf2bcafe2bsign
BLCF Café Contact Info: Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship 1307 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON | Phone: 416-535-9578 | Email: blcfcafe@yahoo.ca | BLOG: blcfcafe.blogspot.com | Facebook: BLCF Cafe Facebook | Web Page: blcfchurch.ca

The Passing of Our Brother, Val

In Celebration of

Val “Valentyn” Polakiwsky

May 23, 1934 –  March 8, 2017



Went to be with his Lord! Val Polakiwsky, God’s servant passed away peacefully in the presence of God to be with his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Husband to his beloved wife Valentyna, a constant to his adoring sons Yuri and Marko and dotting “Dido” to his favourite grandson Terrance (Tarasyk). He was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine, 1934. He was a fiery volleyball player, skier and tennis player, a designer for Ontario Transport Systems. A singer of the gospel, faithful churchman and BLCF Cafe Community  Dinner volunteer. A great soccer fan. He will be remembered as a joyous investor of the Kingdom of God. Inspired by Christ’s love he supported orphans, provided a cup of water for the thirsty, supporting God’s work throughout the world in hope of seeing God’s justice be done. As always, who in his last final days would say, “remember it’s the small things.” His greatest desire was that everyone would come to know Jesus Christ on a personal level. To have known him, would have been to experience God’s love.


Visitation – Friends may call at the Turner & Porter Yorke Chapel, 2357 Bloor St. W., at Windermere, east of Jane subway on Friday from 5-9 p.m.


Funeral Service will be held in the Chapel on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. Interment York Cemetery.


His wish that in lieu of flowers donations could be made to his beloved “Father’s House”, a refuge for orphans and forgotten children in Kyiv, Ukraine. (For more information, contact Turner and Porter – see link, below).

2015_Banquet_2015_09

 

The Coming of the Lord

 
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.            
 – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (ESV)

Val

Prayer Walk at Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship – BLCF Church

Prayer Walk at Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship

– BLCF Church, of home BLCF Cafe Community Dinner  

Tuesday March 7, 2017 at 7:30 PM

Join us, along with five other local churches, for a Prayer Walk,

Tuesday evening, March 7 at 7:30 PM in the heart of Toronto at

BLCF Church, 1307 Bloor Street West. 

What is prayer walking?

Is it biblical to go on a prayer walk?

(from gotquestions.org)

Question: “What is prayer walking? Is it biblical to go on a prayer walk?”

Answer: Prayer walking is the practice of praying on location, a type of intercessory prayer that involves walking to or near a particular place while praying. Some people believe that being close to a location allows them to “pray nearer to pray clearer.” Prayer walks are taken by individuals, groups, and even whole churches. They can be as short as a block or as long as many miles. The idea is to use the five senses—sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch—to increase the intercessor’s understanding of prayer needs.

For example, if you walk through your neighborhood looking for things to pray about, you might come across a yard that is extremely untidy and rundown. This might prompt you to pray for the health, both physical and spiritual, of the residents inside. Some groups prayer walk around schools, prompting prayer for the teachers and students inside, for their safety and peace, and for the schemes of the devil in their school to be thwarted. Some people feel they can concentrate and direct their prayers more effectively by walking near the people and places they are praying for.

Prayer walking is a relatively new phenomenon, the origin of which is not clear. There is no biblical model for prayer walking, although since walking was the major mode of transportation in Bible times, clearly people must have walked and prayed at the same time. However, there is no direct command that prayer walking is something we should be doing. To believe that prayers offered in any setting, or while in any position, are more effective than those offered at another time or in another manner is not scriptural. In addition, while we may feel we need to be close to a location or situation to pray more clearly, our heavenly Father, who is everywhere at all times, knows exactly what needs are present and will respond to them in His own perfect will and timing. The fact that He allows us to be part of His plans through our prayers is for our benefit, not His.

We are commanded to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and since walking is something we do daily, surely part of praying without ceasing is praying while walking. God hears all prayers offered by those who abide in Christ (John 15:7), regardless of time, place, or position. At the same time, there certainly is no command against prayer walking, and anything that prompts us to pray is worthy of consideration.

https://www.gotquestions.org/prayer-walking.html

Info: BLCF 416-535-9578 or blcfchurch@yahoo.ca

Guided by the Beatitudes – Part 2 (Part 1 Last Sunday)

BLCF: beatitudes3

Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship – BLCF Church Message for Sunday:

‘Guided by the Beatitudes’ – Part 2 (Part 1 Last Sunday)

© February 26, 2017 by Steve Mickelson

Based on a Message shared at BLCF on October 18, 2009

BLCF: bulletin-february-26-2017

BLCF: beatiful-atitudes

Announcements and Call to Worship; Prayer

Opening Hymn #177: Rejoice, The Lord Is King; Choruses

Tithing & Prayer Requests;                                                                                         Hymn #572: Praise God from Whom All Blessings

Responsive Reading #617: (The Beatitudes – Matthew 5)

Message by Steve Mickelson: ‘Guided By The Beatitudes’ – Part 2 (Part 1 Last Sunday)

BLCF: 10-commandments-and-beatitudes

Let us pray…

You may recall in last Sunday’s lesson, examined the Ten Commandments and the Mosaic Law, understanding that in spite of our sinful nature which  began in the Garden of Eden, the Bible records that God has faithfully provided mechanisms for guiding believers along the “A Path of Righteousness”.

Before the advent of Jesus, whose sacrifice on the cross, subsequent resurrection, and ascension to Heaven, allowed those who believed to be sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

God gave the People of Israel the Ten Commandments, as described in Exodus 20:1-17. These laws gave a nation of former slaves’ rules to guide the people along God’s path.

Over time, the Commandments have been expanded by the Jews into the Laws of Moses, comprising three Codes. The first Code is the 10 Commandments. The second Code consists of the Ordinances, a set of Spiritual specifications which include: description of the Tabernacle, Holy Days, acceptable offerings and activities or responsibilities of the priesthood. The third Code may described as a set of Social rules governing  such things as diet, sanitation, quarantine, soil conservation, taxation, marriage, slavery, etc. Many consider these comprehensive Mosaic Laws as the foundation or template of our modern legal system.

While the first code was given by God to Moses, the second and third were a human attempt to expand or embellish the original ten by covering every possible facet of society. Most importantly, as the manmade Laws grow in number and complexity, in an attempt to address each new situation, there is a tendency to forget the importance of the original 10 Commandments and who authored them.

Some mistakenly think that Jesus came to do away with the Laws of Moses, as we read in Mathew 5:17, Jesus said that not that he came to destroy the law, or the prophets: but he came to fulfill them, and by his death and resurrection bring the Holy Spirit to those who believe. The Holy Spirit is the key to God’s plan for providing guidance to believers to keep along His path.

As believers in Christ, God has removed the old rules or laws and provided, through the Holy Spirit, provided a beautiful and simple way for us to grow and mature, by accepting the responsibility of our spiritual maturity. He has given us his Beatitudes by which each of us may use to measure our spiritual growth on a personal level. By doing so we may grow and develop our fruit of the Spirit and draw closer to his presence with the help of the Holy Spirit.

The Gifts of the Spirit given by faith in Christ’s act of salvation are free, and not of works, lest anyone should boast. To grow the fruit of the Spirit does require conscious effort on our part as believers. For any of you who have grown fruit in a garden, must realize that it takes time and you may not get fruit in the first season. You must wait for the trees and vines to mature. You must plant, water, prune, fertilize, spray, and protect a tree or vine. And you must provide the right soil and climate to allow the fruit to grow and prosper. Finally, you must be persistent and patient to see fruit grow and mature.

BLCF: Fruit_of_Spirit_Galatians_5_22-23

You may ask: “What are some concrete evidence or expressions of these spiritual gifts and what are expressions that we our using the Spirit’s Gifts in a way that is producing fruit?” Jesus gave us a list of expressions of expressions Godly Gifts, which he described as Beatitudes, in his Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5:3-10:

  1. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  2. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
  3. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
  4. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
  5. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
  6. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
  7. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
  8. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
  9. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you … for great is your reward in Heaven.

Some Biblical scholars consider the 9th Beatitude as part of the 8th one. But what is the significance of the Beatitudes. Described in Christ’s Discourse? We find part of the answer from gotquestions.org:

BLCF: beatitudes

Question: “What are the beatitudes?”

Answer: The Beatitudes are the eight declarations of blessedness spoken by Jesus at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3-12), each beginning with “Blessed are…” It is debated as to exactly how many beatitudes there are. Some speak of seven, nine, or ten beatitudes, but the number appears to be eight (verses 10-12 of Matthew 5 being one beatitude).

The Greek word translated “blessed” means “happy, blissful” or, literally, “to be enlarged.” In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus uses the word to refer to more than a superficial happiness; in this context, blessed refers to a state of spiritual well-being and prosperity. The happiness is a deep joy of the soul. Those who experience the first aspect of a beatitude (poor, mourn, meek, hungry for righteousness, merciful, pure, peacemakers, and persecuted) will also experience the second aspect of the beatitude (kingdom of heaven, comfort, inherit the earth, filled, mercy, see God, called sons of God, inherit the kingdom of heaven). The blessed have a share in salvation and have entered the kingdom of God, experiencing a foretaste of heaven. Another possible rendering of the beginning of each beatitude is “O the bliss [or blessedness] of . . . .”

The Beatitudes describe the ideal disciple and his rewards, both present and future. The person whom Jesus describes in this passage has a different quality of character and lifestyle than those still “outside the kingdom.” As a literary form, the beatitude is also found often in the Old Testament, especially in the Psalms (1:1; 34:8; 65:4; 128:1) and in the New Testament as well (John 20:2914:22James 1:12Revelation 14:13).

https://www.gotquestions.org/beatitudes.html

BLCF: code-of-conduct

Ronald G. Falconberry writing in Moral Ethics and the Beatitudes: Righteous Code of Conduct is Revealed in the Sermon on the Mount  helps us to further understand the importance to the Lord of his Beatitudes:

Each beatitude reveals a moral philosophy or code of ethics which God desires in everyone. Those who embrace those moral values will receive God’s blessings.

While the Law of Moses judged men by their actions without looking at their motives, the Beatitudes reveal that God looks at each person’s heart because whatever is in the heart is what leads one to actions:

Jesus began his Sermon on the Mount with eight statements known as the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10). Each beatitude reveals a moral philosophy or code of ethics which God desires in everyone. Those who embrace those moral values will receive God’s blessings.

While the Law of Moses judged men by their actions without looking at their motives, the Beatitudes reveal that God looks at each person’s heart because whatever is in the heart is what leads one to actions.

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit for Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven

The “poor in spirit” in the first beatitude are those who are not self-centered. According to Proverbs, “The Lord detests all the proud of heart” (16:5) but God will bless those who acknowledge their need for God’s grace and humble themselves.

As James writes, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10)

Blessed are Those Who Mourn for They Will be Comforted

The second beatitude refers to a spiritual mourning. Those who recognize that they are lost in sin can, in their sorrow, accept the gift of salvation from God and be comforted to know they have the promise of eternal life in heaven.

As it is written in Revelation 7:17, “For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

Blessed are The Meek for They Will Inherit the Earth

The word meek in the third beatitude does not refer to a weak or spineless person but to a strong person who submits to God’s control. Although Jesus was meek, he overturned tables in the temple and drove the money changers out on two separate occasions (John 2:2-25; Matthew 21:12-17) and publicly denounced the Jewish leaders’ corruption of the Law (Matthew 23).

The meek are those who submit to God’s will but are willing to stand up and confront evil and injustice. As Jesus stated in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Blessed are Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

The fourth beatitude alludes to those who desire to live moral and virtuous lives. Those who accept Jesus as their savior and attempt to live Christ-centered lives will receive righteousness. Paul writes, “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:22).

Blessed are the Merciful for They will be Shown Mercy

In the fifth beatitude, the merciful are those who reach out to help those in need or forgive those who wrong them. God will remember their love as James, the brother of Jesus, wrote, “because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!” (James 2:13)

Blessed are the Pure in Heart for They will See God

The pure in heart work to keep themselves unpolluted by the spiritual filth of the world. The sixth beatitude promises that God will bless those who try to keep themselves morally clean. In Ezekiel 36:26, the prophet writes, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you” and, as Paul writes, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)

Blessed are the Peacemakers for They will be Called Sons of God

The seventh beatitude refers to those who love peace and work to prevent or resolve conflicts or disagreements. This does not mean simply appeasing people or watching quietly while contentious activities occur; instead, peacemakers attempt to establish a healthy relationship based on truth and righteousness.

Romans 14:19 says, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”

Blessed are Those Who are Persecuted Because of Righteousness for Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven

Paul writes that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). Even Jesus died for his righteousness; however, the eighth beatitude promises the ultimate blessing.

As Paul later wrote, “Now, there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8)

Beatitudes Help Develop Quality of Character

https://suite.io/ronald-g-falconberry/1txm2fy

BLCF: faith

People work their entire lives to achieve wealth, fame and power, which may bring material rewards. Christians believe, however, that those who live by the code of conduct outlined in the Beatitudes and pursue righteous lives will develop the quality of character that God wants His followers to have and will ultimately be blessed with the reward of an eternity in Heaven.

Let us pray…

Closing Hymn #79: We Come, O Christ, to Thee

 Benediction (Numbers 6:24-26):                                                                        

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

BLCF: No Jesus No Peace

Guided by the Beatitudes – Part 1 (Part 2 Next Sunday)

BLCF: the-beatitudes-header

Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship – BLCF Church Message for Sunday:

‘Guided by the Beatitudes’ – Part 1

 (Part 2 Next Sunday)

© February 19, 2017 by Steve Mickelson

Based on a Message shared at BLCF on October 18, 2009

BLCF: bulletin-february-19-2017

 BLCF: 10-Commandments

Announcements and Call to Worship; Prayer

Opening Hymn #204: There’s A Quiet Understanding; Choruses

Tithing & Prayer Requests: Hymn #572:                                                                Praise God from Whom All Blessings

Responsive Reading #664 (About Spiritual Gifts – 1 Corinthians 12)

Message by Steve Mickelson: ‘Guided By The Beatitudes’ – Part 1

BLCF: beatitudes

Let us pray…

For our lesson today and next Sunday, we will examine how Christians, with the help of God’s Holy Spirit, are guided along the Righteous Path, with the goal of a life that is best described as a beautiful expression of His gifts.

To understand this expression of God’s gifts of the Spirit, under His New Covenant through Jesus, let us look at the old Covenant, under the Old Law of what we refer today as the Ten Commandments.

In spite of our sinful nature, that began in the Garden of Eden, the Bible records that God has faithfully provided mechanisms for guiding believers along the “Paths of Righteousness”.

Before the advent of Jesus, whose sacrifice on the cross, subsequent resurrection, and ascension allowed those who believe to be sanctified by the Holy Spirit, God gave the People of Israel the Ten Commandments, which we find in Exodus 20:1-17. These laws gave a nation of former slaves’ rules to guide the people along God’s path.

Over time, the Commandments have been expanded by the Jews into the Laws of Moses, comprising three Codes. The first Code is the 10 Commandments. The second Code consists of the Ordinances, a set of Spiritual specifications which include: description of the Tabernacle, Holy Days, acceptable offerings and activities or responsibilities of the priesthood. The third Code may described as a set of Social rules governing  such things as diet, sanitation, quarantine, soil conservation, taxation, marriage, slavery, etc. Many consider these comprehensive Mosaic Laws as the foundation or template of our modern legal system.

While the first Code was given by God to Moses, the second and third were a human attempt to expand or embellish the original ten by covering every possible facet of society. Most importantly, as the man made Laws grow in number and complexity, in an attempt to address each new situation, there is a tendency to forget the importance of the original 10 Commandments and who authored them.

Jesus came not to do away with the Laws of Moses, but to fulfill them, as we read in Mathew 5:17, Jesus said that not that he came to destroy the law, or the prophets: but he came to fulfill them, and by his death and resurrection bring the Holy Spirit to those who believe.

Jesus did not come to end sin but to take upon himself the judgement for sin, which is death. And to those who receive Christ’s Gift of Salvation, also receive the Gift of God’s Holy Spirit, and the Spirit brings believers Gifts of the Spirit which are characteristics that are expressed as beatitude.

The Holy Spirit is  the key to God’s plan for providing guidance to believers to keep along His path.

What is the Holy Spirit? Let us go to wikipedia.org for our Wiki bits answer.

What is the Holy Spirit?

BLCF: What_the_Holy_Spirit_does

Within mainstream Christianity the Holy Spirit is one of the three persons of the Trinity. As such he is personal and also fully God, co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and God the Son. He is different from the Father and the Son in that he proceeds from the Father (or from the Father and the Son) as described in the Nicene Creed. His sacredness is reflected in the New Testament gospels (e.g., Mark 3:28-30, Matthew 12:30-32, and Luke 12:8-10), which proclaim blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as unforgivable.

The Holy Spirit is believed to perform specific divine functions in the life of the Christian or the church. These include:

  • Conviction of sin. The Holy Spirit acts to convince the unredeemed person both of the sinfulness of their actions, and of their moral standing as sinners before God.
  • Bringing to conversion. The action of the Holy Spirit is seen as an essential part of the bringing of the person to the Christian faith. The new believer is “born again of the Spirit”.
  • Enabling the Christian life. The Holy Spirit is believed to dwell in the individual believers and enable them to live a righteous and faithful life.  The word Paraclete is specifically applied to the Holy Spirit in this regard. A paraclete is one who intercedes on our behalf, a comforter or an advocate.
  • Inspiration and interpretation of scripture. The Holy Spirit both inspires the writing of the scriptures and interprets them to the Christian and/or church.

The Holy Spirit is also believed to be active especially in the life of Jesus Christ, enabling him to fulfil his work on earth. Particular actions of the Holy Spirit include:

  • Cause of his birth. According to the gospel accounts of the birth of Jesus, the “beginning of His incarnate existence”, was due to the Holy Spirit.
  • Anointing him at his baptism.
  • Empowerment of his ministry. The ministry of Jesus following his baptism (in which the Holy Spirit is described in the gospels as “descending on Him like a dove”) is conducted in the power and at the direction of the Holy Spirit.

And most importantly the Holy Spirit is God’s way of poring his love into our hearts Romans 5:5(NIV): And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_spirit

As a Christian, I believe that the Holy Spirit enables direct communication with God through discernment of God’s will. The Holy Spirit guides and empowers. But what can a believer do to draw closer to our Lord, to facilitate or augment the Holy Spirit’s guidance in our lives?

BLCF: fruit-of-the-spirit1

First, as believers, God, through the Holy Spirit makes available to us what is described as fruit of the Spirit. The fruit is described by the apostle Paul in Galatians 5:22-23:

“The fruit of the Spirit is charity, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”

Evangelist Rick Warren believes that fruit of the Spirit becomes evident as a sign of Christian maturity:

Rick Warren’s Second Session–INCREDIBLE!

Here goes…my mind is still spinning from the first session!

What causes relational conflict? Immaturity. It’s easy to measure financial and evangelical growth…but how do you measure spiritual growth?

Marriage counseling can be summed up in two words–GROW UP!

The proof in spiritual maturity is love! I Corinthians 13:11

Most churches are full of people who talk and relate to others in childish ways.

Maturity is relational–not intellectual. Jesus said love God and love others are the two MOST IMPORTANT commands.

A person can attend church all of their life and never mature…they are cranky, rude, irritable…how can some people attend all of their life and not love people?

The church should focus on two main aspects of meeting together–large group and small group.

Sometimes you have to kill something in order to start something new.

Rick said at one time his prayer was not, “Oh God, build a great church,” but, “Oh God, get me through Sunday!”

Discipleship is about turning the audience into an army!

“We practice church discipline in this church.  We’ve disciplined people for not paying their bills.  We’ve disciplined people for borrowing money from other church members and not paying them back!”

If maturity was perfection then none of us would be mature.

One day pastors will stand before God and be held accountable for their spiritual maturity!  (DANG)

How do you know when a church/person is mature?  Simple–when something is mature it bears fruit! (Matthew 7:17-20 and John 15:8)

http://perrynoble.com/blog/rick-warrens-second-session-incredible

BLCF: LSS

I was fortunate to attend a high school in Richmond Hill which had no bells between classes. If you were absent you wrote your own notes to sign yourself in or out. The expectation was if a student were given responsibility, he or she would grow and mature if the rules of conduct were minimized.

BLCF: LSS-policy

The slogan of Langstaff Secondary School was and is “Maturity through Responsibility”. As believers in Christ, God has removed the old rules or laws and provided, through the Holy Spirit, provided a beautiful and simple way for us to grow and mature, by accepting the responsibility of our spiritual maturity. He has given us his Beatitudes by which each of us may use to measure our spiritual growth on a personal level. By doing so we may grow and develop our fruit of the Spirit and draw closer to his presence with the help of the Holy Spirit.

However, Fruit of the Spirit given through salvation, which the gift of the Holy Spirit is free, not of works, lest anyone should boast. To grow the fruit of the Spirit does require conscious effort on our part as believers. For any of you who have grown fruit in the garden, must realize that it takes time, you may not get fruit in the first season. You must plant, water, prune, fertilize, spray, and protect a tree. You must provide the right soil and climate to allow the fruit to grow and prosper. And you must be persistent and patient to see fruit grow and mature.

People work their entire lives to achieve wealth, fame and power, which may bring material rewards. Christians believe, however, that those who live by the code of conduct outlined in the Beatitudes and pursue righteous lives will develop the quality of character God wants his followers to have and will ultimately be blessed with an eternity in Heaven.

Let us pray…

BLCF: be-the-church

Closing Hymn #451: I Have Decided To Follow Jesus

Benediction (Numbers 6:24-26):                                                                        

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

BLCF: Peace through Jesus

2016 – Year In Review For This BLOG Based On WordPress Stats

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Absolutely NO WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2016 annual report for this BLOG. I had to do it all by myself !

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I guess the stats helper monkeys were released by WordPress.com?

 

    
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Stats for 2016

Views of Posts & Pages

  • Stats for 2016
  • Number of Views  per Title or Page
  • View 10,634 Home page / Archives
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Visitors Based On Country

  • Stats for 2016
  • Number of Visitor Views  by Country BLCF: wordpress-com-traffic-animated
  • 10,418 United States
  • 1,020 Canada
  • 759 United Kingdom
  • 359 Australia
  • 339 Philippines
  • 295 Germany
  • 268 India
  • 215 France
  • 200 South Africa
  • 190 European Union
  • 186 Brazil
  • 183 Norway
  • 98 Singapore
  • 83 Netherlands
  • 83 Malaysia
  • 82 Indonesia
  • 67 Italy
  • 66 South Korea
  • 59 Poland
  • 56 New Zealand
  • 52 Hong Kong SAR China
  • 47 Mexico
  • 46I reland
  • 44 Russia
  • 40 Japan
  • 35 Spain
  • 34 Malta
  • 33 Nigeria
  • 30 Ukraine
  • 28 United Arab Emirates
  • 27 Trinidad & Tobago
  • 24 Thailand
  • 24 Hungary
  • 23 Pakistan
  • 21 Romania
  • 21 Austria
  • 21 Egypt
  • 20 Vietnam
  • 19 Taiwan
  • 18 Belgium
  • 18 Lebanon
  • 16 Argentina
  • 16 Sweden
  • 15 Kenya
  • 15 Switzerland
  • 15 Croatia
  • 15 Sri Lanka
  • 14 Ghana
  • 13 Jamaica
  • 12 Denmark
  • 12 Saudi Arabia
  • 12 Portugal
  • 12 Bulgaria
  • 12 Bahamas
  • 11 Turkey
  • 11 Tanzania
  • 11 Finland
  • 10 Slovakia
  • 10 Serbia
  • Czech Republic
  • 9 Greece
  • Colombia
  • Estonia
  • Bolivia
  • Qatar
  • Cayman Islands
  • Zimbabwe
  • Barbados
  • Oman
  • Israel
  • Puerto Rico
  • Peru
  • Fiji
  • Lithuania
  • Iraq
  • Kuwait
  • Ecuador
  • Luxembourg
  • St. Kitts & Nevis
  • Myanmar (Burma)
  • Namibia
  • Venezuela
  • Suriname
  • Curaçao
  • Algeria
  • Réunion
  • Angola
  • Bangladesh
  • French Guiana
  • Latvia
  • Costa Rica
  • Faroe Islands
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Mongolia
  • Malawi
  • Slovenia
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Guam
  • Brunei
  • Zambia
  • French Polynesia
  • Chile
  • Jordan
  • Bahrain
  • China
  • Belize
  • Senegal
  • Dominica
  • Cambodia
  • Morocco
  • Congo – Kinshasa
  • Botswana
  • Kazakhstan
  • Armenia
  • Uganda
  • Guatemala
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • American Samoa
  • Macau SAR China
  • Isle of Man
  • Panama
  • St. Vincent & Grenadines
  • Nepal
  • Aruba
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Cameroon
  • Belarus
  • Liberia
  • Guinea
  • Benin
  • Tunisia
  • Guyana
  • Macedonia
  • Ethiopia
  • Vatican City
  • Haiti
  • Albania
  • Georgia
  • Rwanda
  • El Salvador
  • Mauritius
  • Monaco
  • Cyprus
  • GrenadaBLCF: wordpress-blog-footer

Thank you for following our BLOG! – Steve Mickelson

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Note: No monkeys were harmed in the authoring of this presentation.

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