God Seeking Us – a sermon podcast

Ever tried hiding something from your spouse.  Did it ever go well?
Ever tried hiding yourself from someone – maybe in fear?  How’d that work out for you?

Could you imagine trying to hide from God?
Why would you possibly want to do that?  How do you imagine that might turn out?  And what if/when you get found out?  Then what?

This past Sunday at Kemptville Christian Reformed Church we took time to wonder about hiding, getting found, and doing that with God.

What happens when God finds us?  What incentive does he have to go looking, anyway?

It was our annual service to celebrate the ministry of “Cadets” – the club for boys in gr.4-8, where Christian men connect with them, mentoring them in a life of friendship with Jesus.  “God seeking us” was the theme of their year.

You’re invited to listen in as we bat that theme around a bit.
Our bible readings were from Ezekiel 34:11, and John 10:16.
Grab a bible, download the podcast and study guide, and join in.
Please note – those of you using a mobile device may have to set your browser to “desktop mode” to access the download button (a glitch with our site – sorry about that).

God Seeking Us

You are also invited to download the study guide…..

God Seeking Us – Study Guide

As always, feel free to pass this stuff around.  You can also find this, and other messages online at the KCRC website under the tab “Sermons And Stuff.”

We’d also love to have you join us live for worship.
We gather each Sunday at 10am.
Don’t worry about getting all gussied up.  Just come as you are – we’re a church full of imperfect people.
And we’d be glad to have other imperfect people, like you, along for the ride!

Divine Restraint: a KCRC sermon podcast

What if an angel suddenly showed up at your church – right smack dab in the middle of a worship service;  if the glory of heaven was unveiled / unleashed just as the band began the intro to the third song?  How might that change things?

That’s the question we wondered about as we thought about Jesus walking into a church in his community.  We’ll be watching Jesus a lot this year – 2018 is going to be a year with Jesus at KCRC – in many of our worship services we’ll be focusing on interactions that Jesus has with needy people, power structures & authorities, skeptics, and more.

Like what happened in Mark 1:21-28 as Jesus went to a local synagogue.  He’s met by a gang of head-scratching worshipers, amazed at what he says and does, and one very sick man, plagued by a demon.

His response is both powerful and very restrained – at the same time.
And in that mix of power and restraint we catch a glimpse of how God deals with us, and how we are called to deal with each other.

Supporting the study of Mark 1 were readings from Deuteronomy 18 and 1 Corinthians 8:1-13.

So….. how did it all go down that Sabbath in the Synagogue?
Download the study guide, and grab a bible.
Then follow along with the message via the online audio player – or download it to your favorite device to catch again later.
Please note – those of you using a mobile device may have to set your browser to “desktop mode” to access the download button (a glitch with our site – sorry about that).

 

Divine Restraint

You are also invited to download the study guide…..

Divine Restraint – Study Guide

As always, feel free to pass this stuff around.  You can also find this, and other messages online at the KCRC website under the tab “Sermons And Stuff.”

We’d also love to have you join us live for worship.
We gather each Sunday at 10am.
Don’t worry about getting all gussied up.  Just come as you are – we’re a church full of imperfect people.
And we’d be glad to have other imperfect people, like you, along for the ride!

Join us in 2018 as we journey with Jesus!

 

2017 Christmas Eve Service – the podcast

Due to popular demand here’s the podcast of the 2017 Christmas Eve service – the whole thing.  Not just a snippet or two.

It was titled “A Puzzling Blue Christmas” – and, as you’ll hear, we wanted to make space for people who were struggling, puzzled over what to do with all the jolly and holly, when life had been hard and they weren’t feeling so merry;  when they were experiencing hard emotions and memories.  What to do with Christmas?  Would there be anything in it for them?  Or best to just run and hide.  Whether that be you, or someone you love – if you weren’t able to be with us, please join in via the podcast.  There’s a message of real hope waiting for you!

You can follow along with the message via the online audio player – or download it to your favourite device to catch again later.
Please note – those of you using a mobile device may have to set your browser to “desktop mode” to access the download button (a glitch with our site – sorry about that).

A Puzzling, Blue Christmas?

May you be blessed as you listen.
And, hey – please know that we’d love to have you join us live for worship in 2018.
We gather each Sunday at 10am.
Don’t worry about getting all gussied up.  Just come as you are – we’re a church full of imperfect people.
And we’d be glad to have other imperfect people, like you, along for the ride!

And if you can’t join us live, keep an eye on the website for future podcasts.  Better yet, subscribe, and you’ll be automatically kept up to date.

God bless!!

 

 

The Peacemaker: Peace In Community

Want some peace in your life?
Maybe, especially, the sort of peace that Jesus came to bring?
Which, as we learned last week, is that sense of life being whole, complete, rolling out the way God intended it to be for you…. or me.
If you do – where is the best place that you might find it?  Be able to test drive it, check it out, and then fill your life with it?

Welcome to the Christmas season teaching series at Kemptville Christian Reformed Church.
It’s titled “The Peacemaker” – and here at KCRC we truly believe that the absolute BEST way to experience peace is through getting connected to Jesus.  We believe that the Bible promises Jesus to be the link to peace – for us, for our community, for the world.

Our theme bible passage for the series is Isaiah 9:6.  And this week we also checked into Mark 3:13-35.
We’d love to have you track with us for this, and others, in our series.  All of which will show up here on the KCRC.CA website.

So, download the study guide, and grab a bible.
Then follow along with the message via the online audio player – or download it to your favorite device to catch again later.
Please note – those of you using a mobile device may have to set your browser to “desktop mode” to access the download button (a glitch with our site – sorry about that).

 

The Peacemaker (3): Peace In Community

You are also invited to download the study guide…..

Peace In Community – Study Guide

As always, feel free to pass this stuff around.  You can also find this, and other messages online at the KCRC website under the tab “Sermons And Stuff.”

We’d also love to have you join us live for worship.
We gather each Sunday at 10am.
Don’t worry about getting all gussied up.  Just come as you are – we’re a church full of imperfect people.
And we’d be glad to have other imperfect people, like you, along for the ride!

 

 

The Peacemaker: The Peace Jesus Brings

Miss it?
Wish you had it – at least a bit of it?
Peace, that is.

I suppose “peace” could mean a whole bunch of different things to different people. We’re talking here about that sense of life being whole, complete, rolling out the way God intended it to be for you…. or me.
Here at KCRC we truly believe that the absolute BEST way to experience a peace like that is through getting connected to Jesus.  We believe that the Bible promises Jesus to be the link to peace – for us, for our community, for the world.

The second message in our Christmas teaching series for 2017 explores that idea.
What inner peace looks like for us.
How we come to connect with it.
Our theme bible passage for the series is Isaiah 9:6.

So, download the study guide, and grab a bible.
Then follow along with the message via the online audio player – or download it to your favorite device to catch again later.
Please note – those of you using a mobile device may have to set your browser to “desktop mode” to access the download button (a glitch with our site – sorry about that).

 

The Peacemaker (2): The Peace Jesus Brings

You are also invited to download the study guide…..

 

The Peace Jesus Brings – Study Guide

As always, feel free to pass this stuff around.  You can also find this, and other messages online at the KCRC website under the tab “Sermons And Stuff.”

We’d also love to have you join us live for worship.
We gather each Sunday at 10am.
Don’t worry about getting all gussied up.  Just come as you are – we’re a church full of imperfect people.
And we’d be glad to have other imperfect people, like you, along for the ride!

 

 

The Peacemaker: God’s version of royalty compared to ours

Image result for royaltyWhen you think “Royalty” – what comes to mind?  Harry and Meghan?  Elizabeth and Philip?  Golden spoon in mouth?  Out of touch?  Body guards?  Palace? Elite?

Where in the world do we get such an idea?
Perhaps from the fact that this is exactly how it is with royalty.  And always as been.

So, we’re getting ready for Christmas; getting ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
One of the titles given to him, through prophecy and by bible writers, is “Prince of Peace.”

Prince.  That’s right – royalty.
Oh – is that really a good thing? Especially with what we tend to think of ’em?  Yes, and how many of them behave.

Before we wave this off and end up diving into a commercial Christmas, a party and eggnog-soaked holiday season, join with KCRC’S guest speaker, Michelle dePooter, as she helps us see that God’s understanding of royalty is WAAAAYYYYYYY different – and BETTER – than ours.

We’re delighted that she could be with us to launch our Christmas teaching series “The Peacemaker.”
Michelle is chaplain at “Ministry To Seafarers” in the Port of Montreal, PQ.

You’re invited to listen to her message via the online audio player – or download it to your favorite device to catch again later.
Please note – those of you using a mobile device may have to set your browser to “desktop mode” to access the download button (a glitch with our site – sorry about that).

And – We’d love to have you join this coming Sunday, December 10, for the second in the series, “The Peacemaker.”
Pastor Ken will explore what sort of peace Jesus brings to our lives.

 

The Peacemaker: God’s Version Of Royalty Compared To Ours

As always, feel free to pass this stuff around.

 

 

Steps To Wholeness: Passing It On

Related image“Psssst – Pass it on”
Sharing a wonderful secret – it’s a great thing to do.  As we land the plane at the end of our Fall teaching series, “Steps To Wholeness”  we’ll be thinking about what to do with all this amazing stuff we’ve learned.  The angels in heaven will  be watching to see what we do with it.   And what they’re hoping is that we’ll engage in a loving whisper campaign, passing along the news of how we can begin to put our lives together in a new, healthy way.

But what if we’re afraid of sharing our faith with others?
Which, by the way, many of us are.
For a whole bunch of different reasons – but it remains true that many followers of Jesus hesitate to share their spiritual experience with others.

Then what?
How do we begin to face that fear?
And are there any tips that might help us get past that fear?

Join us as we explore these questions, in the context of Step #12 of the Twelve Steps To Wholeness.
Our central bible passage being Luke 15:1-10.

So, download the study guide, and grab a bible.
Then follow along with the message via the online audio player – or download it to your favorite device to catch again later.
Please note – those of you using a mobile device may have to set your browser to “desktop mode” to access the download button (a glitch with our site – sorry about that).

Previous messages in this series are here on our KCRC website.

And – We’d love to have you join this coming Sunday, December 3, as we begin to prepare for Christmas with a series called “The Peacemaker.”  You often hear about Jesus being called “Prince of Peace.” Great.  But what DOES that really mean?  As always, we worship each Sunday at 10am.  Don’t worry about getting all gussied up.  Just come as you are – we’re a church full of imperfect people.  And we’d be glad to have other imperfect people, like you, along for the ride!

Steps To Wholeness: Pass It Along

You are also invited to download the study guide…..

Pass It Along – Study Guide

As always, feel free to pass this stuff around.

 

 

Meditation – What? Me? How?

Image result for christian meditationThis past Sunday we talked about the importance of prayer and meditation in our journey along the Steps To Wholeness.  Those of you familiar with 12 Step groups may recognize this as Step 11.
And during Q&A one of you asked for some tips and suggestions to get started in meditation.
Thank you so much for asking that!  Important question.  Glad you poked for that!!
So…. here goes –
May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD Psalm 104:34
 
Someone wrote that “Christian meditation can be described as a peaceful focus on God.”
It doesn’t have to be hard work.
Neither does it have to follow a set formula.
So don’t get all worried about not getting it right.  Instead, relax, and enjoy the journey and blessings that come with growing closer to your Lord & Saviour through prayer & meditation.
Let me suggest some things about
SETTING
PACE
TOOLS
TECHNIQUE
and then
A WARNING
 
 
SETTING
– A setting that you find peaceful might be totally distracting to me.  Where would be a peaceful place that you could use for regular prayer & meditation? A path in the woods? By your fireplace? At the kitchen table? Coffee shop? Go there.  
 
PACE
Don’t rush.  It’s hard to be intimate with your spouse while saying, “I’ve only got 5 minutes.”  Same here.
TOOLS
– Have a note pad & pen handy.
– Keep your bible open.
Pad & Pen?  You bet! Our spiritual enemy will not be delighted to see us spend time focused on our Lord and Saviour and will try to distract us in all sorts of ways (eg the item that MUST be added to the grocery list RIGHT NOW, the email we should write IMMEDIATELY, the chore that CAN’T wait, etc).  When such an “urgent” item shouts in your mind write it down, so you can deal with it later.  And, by the way, you might well discover that after your quiet time is over, they suddenly don’t seem so compelling any longer.
Bible?  I like to read a Psalm as the beginning of my quiet time; and include a piece from the life of Jesus (the Gospels).  It keeps my thoughts grounded in God’s truth – so critical!
Oh yes, and you might find yourself helped by a book of prayers by a writer that you connect with.
TECHNIQUE
The pattern to follow in meditation will also be very personal.  Perhaps you begin with closing your eyes, paying attention to your breathing to calm down after getting the kids to school, and repeat a simple prayer, or maybe even the name of Jesus – welcoming him.  I suspect most of us will need some way to enter our Quiet Time, putting the rush of daily routine to the side.
There are many patterns to follow – let me suggest one that has been personally helpful.  It involves four steps, based on a daily scripture reading – whatever passage you choose to use – read; meditate; pray; contemplate.
READ – read the passage.  Don’t rush. Don’t skip pieces because you already know the story.  Take your time to let it speak to you – every word of it.
MEDITATE – think about what you just read.  What jumps out at you today? Is there something you didn’t notice before? Wonder – what message are you getting from God’s Word right here, right now?
PRAY – speak to God about what you’ve learned or heard or noticed.
CONTEMPLATE – stop talking, and just BE with the passage and its truth. Be aware that the Spirit of Jesus is right there with you.  This, now, is a bit of time not about content, not about new – just about BEING with your Lord and Saviour.
And then, after that time of four-part reading, a time of prayer.
Based on ACTS – Adoration (praise God), Confession (oops, God I am sorry), Thanksgiving (yes, God, you HAVE heard and answered!), Supplication (i.e. making requests).
 
Finally,
A WARNING…
True Christian meditation is NOT, as some other spiritual traditions might suggest, the emptying of my mind or the goal of losing my identity in order to be united with some cosmic force.
Instead it is me, heart & soul & mind & strength – all of me, inside and out, being open to the Living Triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Welcoming the Trinity into my mind, my will, my emotions, my experiences – everything.
To only focus on emptying leaves one, well, empty.  In Luke 11:26 Jesus warns against being spiritually empty inside.  You simply don’t know what sort of “spiritual squatter” will take up residence inside!!
Does that help?
As always, if you want to dig further, feel free to drop me a note.
– Pastor Ken

Steps To Wholeness: Improving The Contact

Image result for ear trumpet“Eh?  What was that?”
Yes, I find myself saying that more often these.  Perhaps too often, suggests my wife in her lovely and gentle way.  Hmmmm.
I wonder if God finds me as hard of hearing as she does?

Welcome to the podcast for the second to last in KCRC’s Fall teaching series, Steps To Wholeness.  We’re wondering about how to ditch some of the rusty and banged up parts of our lives, in order to become people that more clearly resemble our Elder Brother and Saviour, Jesus.

This particular teaching segment wonders about staying connected to him – what and how?  Any simple parts to it?  And, yes there are, declares Step 11 of 12.
Join us as we learn what that step is, and why it matters.  We learned from Psalm 119:9-16 & 145-152.

Download the study guide, and grab a bible.
Then follow along with the message via the online audio player – or download it to your favorite device to catch again later.
Please note – those of you using a mobile device may have to set your browser to “desktop mode” to access the download button (a glitch with our site – sorry about that).

We’d love to have you join with us for the last of the series, this coming Sunday.  Perhaps here from the podcasts.  Or live as we worship each Sunday at 10am.  Don’t worry about getting all gussied up.  Just come as you are – we’re a church full of imperfect people.  And would be glad to have other imperfect people along for the ride, joining us for the journey of following the Steps To Wholeness!

Steps To Wholeness: Improving The Contact

You are also invited to download the study guide…..

Improving The Contact – Study Guide

As always, feel free to pass this stuff around.

 

 

Steps To Wholeness: Staying Alert

Image result for a stitch in time saves nine“A stitch in time saves 9.”
Who said that?
Certainly true – my wife reminds me of that every time I bring her a clothing item in need of repair.  “Don’t wait.  Get it to me as soon as you see something come loose.  If you wait, it only gets worse and repairs get harder.”

It’s true all over – home repair, physical fitness, auto maintenance, and our relationships with other people.  Actually, it’s true pretty much everywhere.

Pay attention.
And when something seems to be coming loose, wearing out, getting rusty, feeling flabby – whatever – deal with it NOW.
Don’t just assume that what worked or was healthy last month will stay that way for the next five years.

And all of this was the point of the message “Steps To Wholeness – Staying Alert” from the KCRC worship service of November 12.

We peeked in on the life of one of Jesus’ closest friends, Simon Peter, watching him first be confident (even cocky), then crumble, and then as an old man pass on some important wisdom.  Our bible passages were Mark 14:27ff and 1 Peter 5:6-11.

You’re invited to share in the discovery and learning.
Download the study guide, and grab a bible.
Then follow along with the message via the online audio player – or download it to your favorite device to catch again later.
Please note – those of you using a mobile device may have to set your browser to “desktop mode” to access the download button (a glitch with our site – sorry about that).

We’d love to have you track with us for the entire series.  Perhaps here from the podcasts.  Or live as we worship each Sunday at 10am.  Don’t worry about getting all gussied up.  Just come as you are – we’re a church full of imperfect people.  And would be glad to have other imperfect people along for the ride, joining us for the journey of following the Steps To Wholeness!

Steps To Wholeness: Staying Alert

You are also invited to download the study guide…..

Staying Alert – Study Guide

As always, feel free to pass this stuff around.