how to be successful

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Have you ever wanted to get beyond the disappointment of failure? Have you ever had to do something that you just did not want to do?

For Peter and his fellow fishermen, it had been a night of struggle. Hard work all night, but not a single fish. The last thing they desired was to go back out there tired.

But when The Lord instructs, directs, exhorts …. Luke 5:5 “BUT, because YOU say so, I will let down the nets …

*** Preference & priority is given to His word to us.***

Luke 5:6,7 “When they did so, they caught so many fish the nets began to break …. enough to sink two boats!

Therefore: to be successful
1. Keep at it; do it over and over again; even when you are tired try again.
2. Consider listening to the voice of Jesus – perhaps he can offer some good advice!
3. Make sure your ‘nets’ are ready and capable to handle success.

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the voice

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THE VOICE

Jesus speaks in times of doubt. “If it is you” we say to the Lord in moments of fear, hesitation, and doubt. Of course Peter should recognize his master’s voice by now – as sheep recognize their shepherd – especially after so much time of personal and public instruction as well as private conversations while walking with the Rabbi day after day. But when fear and uncertainty barge into our experiences, it is not only our courage level that is challenged. It is then that our ‘voice recognition’ technology begins to fail as well. Jesus had said to his terrified disciples “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” This is Jesus speaking the very words of God (an indirect allusion to his divinity) – encouraging words that are repeated time and time again in the Scriptures. Yet in troublesome times we are often deaf to that theme.

Jesus speaks in times of opportunity.Come” – he invites Peter to obediently demonstrate the power of faith. Peter seized the opportunity, but just for an instant. And then Jesus commented on his lack of faith, his unlasting faith. What a challenge it is to sustain faith over time, especially when the circumstances breed doubt and fear. Wind and waves are either the enemies of faith or the motivators to exercise increased faith. Jesus always seems to have an inviting voice: come follow and fish; come when you are tired and burdened; come when you are hungry and thirsty.

Our Prayer: Jesus, in the times of stress and struggle help us to hear clearly your voice. Help us to pray and not panic, trust and not test. Help us to proceed in your power. Help us to seize the opportunities so that when all is said and done, our water walking is a power walk that praises you. Amen.

For Sunday July 6, 2014 Matthew 14:22-23
Rev. Doug Johns
http://standrewskimberley.com http://dougjohns.net

I Can’t Find it!

 

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Looking In All The Wrong Places

I was inspired by a few paragraphs written by Tullian Tchividjian, pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. You can find his full article on page 96 of Leadership Journal, Spring 2014.

How many times do I put important things in a safe place, say to myself that ‘I will never forget this safe place’, and then promptly forget just a few hours later. How much energy is then subsequently wasted looking in all the wrong places?! This happens way too often. Pastor Tullian says that when he does this with his car keys he “frantically runs from room to room blaming someone” while he scours the house for the missing keys. You know exactly what I’m talking about. It happens in your home too. You blame while you look.

Then he says “and right about the time I’m ready to order mass executions I’ve put my hand in my pocket and found my keys. They’d been there the whole time.”

Two things resonate with me: The ‘blame game’ and the ‘not really missing thing’.

1. Ever since the Garden of Eden people have been quick to deny personal responsibility and just as quick to shift the blame to those close to them. It sounds like childish excuses. This dysfunctional behaviour is destructive. It can’t be overstated: our juvenile junk jeopardizes family unity and compromises our reputations.

2. In Christ nothing is missing. And the Bible talks about believers being “in Christ”. Therefore, logic tells us that we have everything. Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want” (NIV) The Message puts it this way: “God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.” Tchividjian eloquently states that we typically live and lead “frantically searching for something we already have … because of Jesus we already have all of the justification, approval, significance, security, worth, validation, love, righteousness, rescue, and joy that we long for. Yet we keep looking for those in a thousand things infinitely smaller than Jesus.”

So, like John the Baptist, I say – BEHOLD [look at] JESUS, THE LAMB OF GOD. He is the one who delivers ABUNDANT LIFE! (John 10:10)

 

Rev. Doug Johns

For Sunday June 29, 2014

http://standrewskimberley.com

http://dougjohns.net

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someone must have been praying

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I’m so thankful that you, and the people of St. Andrew’s in Kimberley, pick up the baton and run with prayers to compensate for my lack of/or supplement my little efforts in this regard: here is how I know you and others have been praying:

– the last 2 Sunday services have been quite powerful
– last week our meetings went so well (Finance on Monday, Knox Cranbrook Search on Monday, Session on Tuesday, Membership Matters on Thursday, Presbytery on Friday) 
– Ladies Retreat at Dutch Harbour was an inspiration to those who attended
 
We pray right now for the Knox Session meeting being led by Gwen Brown
 
 
* anyone feel called/led to represent our church at the Inter Church meeting tomorrow – the purpose is to plan a joint effort for a parade float for Julyfest. The meeting is at the RC church. let me know.
 
 
Amanda had a few days off work so we left after church on Sunday and went to Calgary to see family. Monday we had all the grandchildren at the Zoo and then all 14 of us shared dinner at Hanna’s house. Pretty special times. Yvonne finishes her 2 weeks of helping at the end of the week and should be back in Kimberley Friday night. No news yet on the imminent arrival of grandchild #6.
 
Driving home Tuesday we saw one mama black bear, but not where the warning signs were!!! Amanda says those signs are “false advertising”. Been looking for the grizzly bears the last few trips but no luck.
 
blessings
 
 
Doug

adventures

Friday May 9th, 2014

Hi Everyone!

Yvonne and I want to let you know that we are thinking of you as we continue our adventure towards Europe. We have been traversing the Atlantic for 8 full days now. One more night, our 9th, and we will arrive in Lisbon, Portugal. On Wednesday we saw our first sign of others navigating these waters – just one small sailboat and another small vessel. Until then we had seen absolutely no other signs of humans! Yesterday we caught a glimpse of land through the mist and fog – the Azores islands. I thought of how so many brave explorers and merchants and settlers sailed the ocean for months – and in small and fragile ships. These people risked their lives for a purpose that burned in their hearts. Boldly they made their way into an unknown future.

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The Church moves into the future, unsure sometimes of what lays beyond the horizon. It is a time for adventure and courage and risk. But this we are sure of: God is our navigator, our companion, our strength, and our comforting companion. It is a time to trust and a time to discover ‘new worlds’!

Speaking of companions, I have a travelling companion who has a birthday today! Yvonne is indeed a ‘co-adventurer’ – Happy Birthday to my wife!

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Blessings, Pastor Doug

coming to America – why the Pilgrims?

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It is a sentimental argument, but not a reasonable one, to promote the ‘religious freedom’ cause. They had this already in Leiden, Holland. Evangelism is also a noble cause, but one that cannot be substantiated.

Both Morton and Winslow make reference to another motive – the colonial emphasis, ‘plant the English flag on foreign soil’ cry – but again it does not stand up under inquiry. When promoting the colony to investors it was important argues Tracy McKenzie, to “soft peddle their [previous] civil disobedience” and to “defend the colony against arguments that they ignored English law”. But patriotism did not give wind to the sails of the Mayflower.

At first glance, the two more accurate reasons sound less than religious. (1) Leiden was a difficult place to maintain their English identity; specifically customs and language; (2) Leiden was a difficult place to maintain economic survival. The very survival of their community and their church depended on relocation; so it can be truly said that they fled to the New World for religious reasons – but not for religious freedom and not for mission.

But they also had a fear of losing their spiritual identity – not from persecution, but from the deteriorating secular culture. Comments from the original sources are interesting. Bradford spoke of “the great licentiousness of youth in that country.” He lamented the “evil examples” and “manifold temptations of the place”. Morton says that Dutch parents permitted too much freedom and this made it uncomfortable for the Separatist parents to provide correction without reproof from their Dutch hosts. These arguments sound like familiar current day rhetoric announced from some conservative Christian pulpits.

Today many argue that while the Dutch society has lost all boundaries, the Dutch churches still maintain rigid standards. But the Pilgrims from England believed the churches in Holland were lax in discipline, ineffective in influence, and soft when it came to observing the Sabbath. Pastor Robinson complained, after ten years in Leiden, that his people had not been able to reform the Dutch profanity of Sabbath keeping. The Pilgrims feared “their posterity would be in danger to degenerate and be corrupted.

It seems that America could provide an opportunity to live without the fear of moral decline – while insuring the maintenance of values held dear: religious freedom and English custom.
So I ask three simple questions then: (1) What kind of determination and courage must be involved in the ‘trade – off’ of these noble concepts for the disease and death to come? (2) Where in the world today could Pilgrims flee to restart a society more likely to guarantee high moral living, genuine faith, and pure Christianity? (3) Is such a dream realistic, or even loyal to the Biblical instruction? Just asking.

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No one can argue that American Thanksgiving is a complex weave of spiritual, historical and cultural elements resulting in a national identity with profound significance.
I have developed my insights based on information in the book THE FIRST THANKSGIVING by Robert Tracy McKenzie, Inter Varsity Press Academic, 2013.