Sharing The Faith: Translation

Being a follower of Jesus, his lifelong apprentice, is an all-consuming thing.  And the longer you are on that path the more you discover that there’s a whole culture which grows up, in time, around that journey.
Which is NOT a bad thing.  Not at all.
But it IS something to be very mindful of when it comes to sharing our faith in Jesus with others.

The question is – how much of the culture around us ought be factored into what and how we share Christ?  Does the culture of the people whom we seek to reach matter?  Or is that irrelevant?

And that question puts the wraps on our Fall teaching series at KCRC, “Sharing The Faith.”   To figure out an appropriate answer to the question, we turned to one of history’s all-time Faith-Sharing experts, St. Paul.  And draw from his experience of visiting Athens.  Did he witness in that multi-cultural, religiously pluralistic society?  Well, yes he did.  So….. how?

Acts 17:16-34 provide the instruction.

Go ahead and find a bible, either print version or online or app.
Then download the podcast and the study guide.

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).

Here’s the podcast……..

Sharing The Faith: Translation

And here’s the study guide:

Sharing The Faith: Translation – The 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!

Sharing The Faith: Appetizers

It’s REALLY easy to overthink things, especially when you REALLY want to do your best at something.  And when that happens we easily make things too complicated or confusing.

Sharon and I witnessed that on a recent cooking competition we were watching on TV.  One competitor took the required dish and stuffed WAY too much into it.  It ended up a confusing mess.  Too much going on with his plate.

It happens in cooking.  It can happen pretty much anywhere.  Including sharing your faith in Jesus.  Sometimes you are better off  serving just one “bite-sized” portion of good news instead of backing up a truck and unloading everything you’ve learned about the Kingdom of Heaven.  Don’t force-feed them a whole banquet.  Just offer them an appetizer.  Often that goes down better and can be WAY more effective.

We’ll check in on Jesus as he follows this principle.  And wonder what that all means for our lives.

Welcome to our Fall teaching series – SHARING THE FAITH.
This week’s installment digs into Luke 10:25-37.
Go ahead and find a bible, either print version or online or app.
Then download the podcast and the study guide.

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).

Here’s the podcast……..

Sharing The Faith: Appetizers

And here’s the study guide:

Sharing The Faith: Appetizers – The 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!

Sharing The Faith: Motivation

Baseball Fans just enjoyed the pinnacle of their season – the World Series.  Ever wonder what sets the players apart on that field from so many other wanna-be baseball players, who end up trapped in the minor leagues, or working day jobs and playing in the beer leagues?

Yes, skill is part of it.  There’s the natural athletic ability that one is born with, or not.  And then the hours upon hours of practice to hone that ability into a razor sharp skill.

Yet, one can remain in the minors even with all of that.

I was listening to an interview with a sports psychologist recently who fingered this as one of the key factors in athletic success – MOTIVATION.

If you don’t have a strong motivation, lighting a fire in your belly, you aren’t going to succeed.
Period.

That’s true for way more in life than just baseball.
At KCRC we’re working our way through a teaching series that explores why, how, when and with whom we want and need to be sharing our faith in Jesus.  It’s called….. “Sharing The Faith” (creative, eh?).

This past Sunday we focused in on MOTIVATION – what lights the fire in our belly to want to share the love and story of Jesus with people that God puts on our life path?

You’re invited to share in the conversation.  And hope that you can track with us for the whole series via podcast or live on Sundays.

Our  Bible passage was 1 Peter 3:15, and Matthew 28:16-20.
Go ahead and find a bible, either print version or online or app.
Then download the podcast and the study guide.

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).

Here’s the podcast……..

Sharing The Faith: Motivation

And here’s the study guide:

Sharing The Faith: Motivation – The 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!

Sharing The Faith: Attitudes

“Really?”  So my friend said to me after going through a sales presentation by an individual.  My friend was looking for a particular product, and had wondered if this was the one.

But the salesperson was….. well…… WOW.  Not a good “wow.”  More like, “Wow, what IS this person doing here?  If she’s not excited about this thing, how am I supposed to be?
Her attitude came through in spades.  And, no, there was no sale. Surprise.

Attitude – it DOES matter.
I attended an all-candidates meeting recently for the upcoming municipal election.  And what interested me equally as much as the content of the various speeches was the attitude that each candidate brought to the table.  ‘Cause that attitude will set the stage for what this individual will do when confronted by this or that novel issue in the next few years.

Attitude – That’s the thing we tackle in the first of KCRC’s Fall teaching series, Sharing The Faith.

Yes, we’ll get to thinking about what to say (or not)  and when to say it (or not) and how.  All that sort of good stuff.
But first – Attitude.
Because attitude shapes everything.  It is like the rudder of the ship.  How it is pointed affects everything else.

Our  Bible passage was 1 Peter 3:8-16.
Go ahead and find a bible, either print version or online or app.
Then download the podcast and the study guide.

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).

Here’s the podcast……..

Sharing The Faith: Attitudes

And here’s the study guide:

Sharing The Faith: Attitudes – The 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!

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.

 

 

On Task: Questions

When someone is defensive, how DO you begin a conversation with them?
How DO you engage a topic that you just know often leaves the other person twitchy?  Keep quiet?  Bark at them as loud as you can?  Give totally in, and admit they’re right?

That’s what we wondered about this past Sunday here at Kemptville Christian Reformed Church in our teaching series, On Task.

And to find an answer we stopped to look at the life of Jesus.  We observed how he interacted with people who came across his path – especially those that didn’t necessarily agree with him.  Which was a lot of people.

What do you think the answer might be?  Out of 25 or so particular conversations Jesus had with others, 21 of them show a very specific sort of response.  The answer might surprise you.  But then again, maybe it wouldn’t.  Especially not when you’ve watched Jesus enough to realize that what he wanted, more than anything else, was a sincere, open, two-way relationship with others.

Which is, by the way, EXACTLY what he wants with you and me.  A sincere, open, two-way relationship.
I hope you’re experiencing that – are you?

The Bible passage we focused on was Luke 10:25-37.
You’re invited to share the conversation.
Download the message and study guide, grab a bible, and follow along.

On Task: Questions

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

On Task: Questions – Study Guide

As always, feel free to pass this stuff around.

On Task: Listening

Take a minute, please.  You’ve GOT to watch this…….


Enough said?
SOOOO right on the money.  Makes me giggle every time I watch it.
The skill and interest in listening to each other.
Ever wonder where it went?  😉

This past Sunday, as part of #5 in the KCRC teaching series, “On Task” we spent time rejoicing in how wonderfully God listens to us.  And we took in some examples of Jesus listening to others.  Beautiful!!  Gives me hope and courage in my life.

It also makes me pause to wonder how  well do I, as a apprentice of Jesus, listen to others?
Last week we talked about serving others.  Making the effort to listen – REALLY listen – is one of the best ways to do that.  So….. here are some thoughts about listening, and some tips.

You’re invited to share the experience!
Download the message and study guide, grab a bible, and follow along.

On Task: Listening

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

On Task: Listening – Study Guide

As always, feel free to pass this stuff around.

On Task: Serving

You just KNOW how uncomfortable this can feel, right?
When someone gets right into your bubble without permission.
Every pore in your body is focused on “How do I get them OUT of here?”
Never mind, at all, what their intentions are!

You need permission in order to get close to a person – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  That permission means trust needs to be established.  And one of the best ways to establish that trust is through generous service and care shown into the other person’s life – shown with no strings attached.

Welcome to #4 in the KCRC teaching series, “On Task.”
Where we explore the world of serving others in Jesus’ name, and the difference that can make in the quality and extent of our relationships with others.  As well as the doors that service opens for us to share the love of Jesus with people.  How can we serve?  What are the limits of service? Are there any misconceptions about serving which we need to be aware of?

You’re invited to track with us –

Download the message and study guide, grab a bible, and follow along.

On Task: Serving

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

On Task: Serving – Study Guide

As always, feel free to pass this stuff around.

The Thin Thread Of Life

Recently I heard from someone close that her oldest son, a married man with three teenage kids, has been suddenly diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. He’s in his early 40’s. They give him a couple of months. BOOM – just like that, no warning, no early symptoms!!

A few days ago a friend shared how she’d been driving down a rural road recently. Conditions were a wee bit slippery, but nothing crazy. Till the car in front of her lost traction and slid into the path of an oncoming vehicle. The impact killed the occupants of both cars, who all happened to be roughly my age. My friend managed to avoid being part of the accident – just. She was the only witness. All in the blink of an eye.

Later today I’m headed to the funeral of a friend’s mom.  She was older, but not way out there – not by today’s standards.  Recently her health had been failing.  And last weekend she passed away.

It all made me aware, again, that it doesn’t matter if we’re young, or just think we’re young(er), but oh man, oh man, life she hangs on an awfully thin thread. We don’t know – we just DON’T know when our thread will snap.
And, yeah, I know – we can’t live every day with a dark fear of that. But being aware of the gift called “today” is worth treasuring – saying “Thanks” every day we wake up alive. Every day. As well as being gratefully aware that standing in Eternity, ready to receive us, is our Loving Saviour Jesus.

There’s also this piece – earlier today I was blessed to be able to share a significant spiritual conversation with someone. This individual is spiritually aware and sensitive. But not in a living relationship with Jesus. But the conversation we started ain’t done. More will happen. And she’s now on my prayer list – “Holy Spirit, in your sovereign grace please allow me more opportunities to build a bridge between her and Jesus.” Can’t wait to see the next part. Especially knowing that one day her thread of life will snap, too. And what an amazing thing it would be to know that our conversations would be part of her coming to saving faith.

Do you have someone on your prayer list like that?
If not, may I encourage you to ask the Lord to point you towards someone for whom you can begin praying for such opportunities.
And – plan on being here at KCRC for worship later this Spring. We’ve got an exciting series planned, designed to help equip all of us to better have such spiritual conversations with others.

The Jesus that people see in us

Had an encounter this week which renewed my awareness that we have more influence than we probably realize. That is – we have more influence on the attitude that people may take towards spiritual matters than we first suspect. People will be more or less friendly towards conversations about eternity, God and Jesus depending on how more or less winsome our attitudes and actions are.

For example – our attitudes towards each other. And actions – how we treat each other. When kids and teens witness their parents and older siblings fighting over traditions and interpretations of Scripture, doesn’t it make sense that they quietly begin to close their mind to the idea of becoming an active part of the church?

Perhaps this is what Jesus was concerned about when he prayed to the Heavenly Father, “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:23)

Or what 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 says: Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live…

Or Romans 2:24 which warns us to be careful about how we live, because if we go around preaching one thing, and then end up living another way, “God’s name is blasphemed among unbelievers because of you.”
GULP!

Or – what if people don’t see or hear from us at all?
What if we live in isolation from the rest of North Grenville? Then those who have never heard about Christ, except as a swear word, won’t have a clue of what a life shaped by the love of Jesus might look like. And won’t be drawn to consider it for themselves. How sad!

There’s a song that was popular some years ago… probably more years ago than I care to consider (they say time moves quicker as you get older…. yikes!):
You’re the only Jesus some will ever see.
You’re the only word of life some will ever hear.
So let them see in you the One in whom
Is all they’ll ever need.
You’re the only Jesus some will ever see.

I hope my neighbors see Jesus in me.
And I pray my influence will make them even just a little more open to thinking about exploring who Jesus is and what he might have to offer for them.

Holy Spirit, please guide my speech and actions that this would be so.
And do the same for all my brothers and sisters at KCRC.