Events on the Horizon

Posted in Updates on our fellowship on March 11, 2010 by Pastor Brett

There are a lot of opportunities coming up and March is going to slip by fast.  I want to encourage you to be praying for these events.  Pray for your involvement.  Pray for God to effectively use these events for  His glory, to build His church, and to reach the need around us.

I am really excited as I watch these opportunities coming together.  As we go through God’s Word we should see the fruit and we are!  God is raising up believers that are hungry to serve, people who are looking for ministry, people with a vision to follow God in the work of the ministry.  Our leadership has made concerted effort to equip the believers for the work of the ministry.  Read Ephesians 4:11-16, that is our leadership’s prayer and desire for our fellowship, key verse –

Ephesians 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ

As you see events, opportunities, outreach, consider your part.  Get excited, be encouraged, be motivated to step up and step out for God!

Up coming events –

Passover Celebration March 31, 2010

Resurrection  Celebration April 4, 2010

Church Picnic April 11, 2010

Discipleship Day April 17, 2010

Hope Alive – Swaziland mission Sept 22 – Oct 6, 2010

Along with our ongoing ministries and fellowship opportunities; Youth ministry, Bible studies, Children’s ministry, Women’s & Men’s Ministry, and on and on!

You are needed! Your gifts, your talents, your prayers, your support can be such a blessing to the family of God.  I can testify the blessings of serving are rich! Come be a part of what God is doing!

A Caring Savior

Posted in Devotional Thinkin' on February 23, 2010 by Pastor Brett

Acts 23:11  But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.”

On that night Paul found himself without companion.  Alone in a Roman barrack.  Timothy is gone. Silas is not there.  Luke is absent.  They couldn’t be there for Paul.

On that night Paul faced his internal questioning.  Paul boldly walked into this moment with his eyes wide open.  The Holy Spirit warned of the results, being bound and arrested.  But this preparation couldn’t remove the temptation to doubt and question.

It is common to our hearts to question and to doubt.  Finger pointing can occur in many directions.  Fear about tomorrow and dismay of what may happen can fill our minds.

It was a night like this in Paul’s life when Jesus stood by his bedside.  His presence brought security.  His words brought affirmation and confidence.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

We have a privilege of watching the heart of Christ revealed here in Paul’s life.  On a night when Paul likely wrestled with some of these emotions, Christ stood by him.  Jesus has a father’s heart.

He is an Everlasting Father.

Hebrews 13:8  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

As He was for Paul, so He will be for you.

Let His presence bring security.

Let His words bring affirmation and confidence.

Visible Fruit

Posted in Updates on our fellowship on February 15, 2010 by Pastor Brett

Growing up in Florida I can remember smelling the orange blossoms in the evening breeze.  Every year when I smelled the first hint of blossoms I stopped to take in a deep satisfying breath.  I took a breath like that this weekend.

We live in a time when struggle is frequent and as a pastor I become aware of many of your struggles and challenges.  I have prayerfully shouldered the burdens with you.  I have also been blessed to watch the Holy Spirit at work in your times of need.

Andy and Gen have grown so much in ministry, in giftings, in parenting, in faith.  What a blessing to witness the Lord in their lives.  Gen’s music was beautiful and I was thankful to Andy as he shared the importance of your involvement and investment with Calvary Fellowship in Ottawa.  There are new believers and a growing fellowship in Ottawa because we responded when the Lord ask “Will you help Andy&Gen in their work for Me?”  You said “yes!”  and God has moved.

The Bozarth Family suffered the loss of their beloved mother, Diane.  Many of you cried with them.  But we don’t grieve like the world, we have hope.  Many of you surrounded the Bozarths with love and support.  The family shared great testimonies of God’s love and their hope.  The Calvary Chapel Family came along side and showed God’s love and hope  in action.  Thanks especially to the young adults.

The ladies joined in prayer on Saturday and Mike Rooks headed out to the Sudan.  The men are gathering on the 26th to hear Randy Saul’s testimony from his recent trip supporting a church in Kenya.  People digging into the Word in Bible studies, Discipleship Groups, and Prayer times.  The youth are growing in fellowship, worship, and the Word.

This week I heard from many of your testimonies, where you have shared your faith, prayed with others in need, reached to support people around you, and led some to Christ.

This weeks struggles were met with prayer, love, and hope.  Testimonies of answered prayer, strengthening faith, sharing our faith,  and seeing people led to Christ.

When the weekend came to an end I stopped.  I took a deep satisfying breath.  The hint of fruit on the trees came on evening breeze, the “Fruit of the Spirit” in blossoming.  Breathe in with me,  ahhh how satisfying.

Come Holy Spirit come!

A Love Like This

Posted in Updates on our fellowship on February 10, 2010 by Pastor Brett

Paul has said his goodbyes.  He is headed to Jerusalem.  Forewarned by the Spirit of God that trouble would meet him there.  These warnings seem to strengthen the  resolve of Paul.  He is headed to Jerusalem.

We have witnessed Paul’s fellowship and love with the church.  His farewell to the brothers  and sisters in Christ was rich and loving.  What a great example of the love of Christ within the church.  They are our legacy.

But know we see another side of love.

Matthew 5:43-46  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?

Luke 6:27-28  “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.”

Paul not only loved those that loved him, but he loved those who hated him.  His motive was to reach his people for Christ.  He would go to great lengths to see that happen.

Romans 9:1-5  I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.

When Paul finally arrives in Jerusalem the opposing Jews seized him.  They dragged Paul off with the desire to kill him.  The Roman soldiers intervened and pulled Paul away from the raging crowd.  The mood of the crowd was murderous the atmosphere was tense.  As the commander pulls him away Paul asks, “May I speak to the crowd?”  Paul turns to a crowd that moments ago was attempting to kill him.  He turns too a crowd still seething with hateful rage towards him.  Paul turns to the crowd and shares the love of Christ.

With wonderment I watch wondering what words were planted in hearts that day.  Did any leave with Gospel taking root?  Maybe, possibly?

I witness Paul and ask myself what manner of love had he known.  This love of Christ had deeply effected Paul.  Is this the love that I know?  Paul was once part of the rage, a leader of it.  Remember Stephen (Acts 7-8.)  Paul was confronted by Christ’s love on the road to Damascus (Acts 9.)  What I recognize is that this love of Christ had a transformative effect on Paul.  Now he could lay his own life down for the Gospel sake, he would lay it down for his brothers the Jews, all because the love of Christ had deeply effected him.

We are called to love our enemy,  to love the difficult, to love those that are hard to love.  They don’t have to be people on the other side of the world, they could be in the cubicle next to yours, in the tailgating car behind you, or in your home with you.  We are called to love.

Paul showed love by sharing how Christ changed his life.  That is our task.

I believe the only way for this to be accomplished is first to realize the depth of God’s love for us.  We need to be in that process, constantly discovering a new depth of His love.  It is when we are there, when we have been transformed by His love that we can begin to love.  When Christ’s love has effected us then we can begin to love those are difficult, we can begin to love our enemies.

Paul’s own counsel is this

Romans 12 :17-21  Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.  If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but [rather] give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance [is Mine, I will repay],”  says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Paul was no hypocrite, he lived it and so should we.  But his counsel here to love our enemies was preceded in chapter 12 with the counsel of a life that has been transformed.

Romans 12:1-2  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.   And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

This is  the first step to love. This love that Paul experienced is the same love available to us.  Oh, that it would change us like it changed Paul.

My prayer – Oh Lord I lay my life before you.  My heart’s desire is to follow you, to serve you.  Transform me as you transformed Paul.  As I receive your love make me a vessel of your.  Send me out with an abundance to share.

Love & Respect

Posted in Updates on our fellowship on February 8, 2010 by Pastor Brett

Our marriage conference this weekend was great!

Many of you may remember the verses from Ephesians 5 that tell the husband to love his wife and for the wife to respect her husband.  Emerson Eggerich has considered these directives and really taken our understanding of love and respect to new levels.

Some highlights for me

  • Being re-energized to love my wife.
  • The fellowship – With all of experiencing this together there was lots of laughter, discovery and revelation about male/female differences.
  • My personal affirmation.  Growing up in culture where love has been emphasized and respect has been ignored, I started to think I was crazy.  As Emerson shared about respect and honor I realized that is my need.  I heard things explained that I already knew were true about me but to here other men had the same needs affirmed I wasn’t crazy.

If you missed the conference you need to catch any of the opportunities that will be coming up.  This should be required for every marriage.

What a blessing!  Big thanks to the team that put our conference together.

Amazing Gift, Wonderful Opportunity, Great Responsibility

Posted in Devotional Thinkin' on February 1, 2010 by Pastor Brett

Traveling along with Paul, we have witnessed the ups and downs, the joy and the fear.  We have been there for the introductions and now we are witnessing the good-byes.

Acts 20:25 “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.”

As Paul hurries to Jerusalem the good-byes become richer and sweeter –

Acts 20:36-38  And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.

Then even in Tyre, a church family that Paul and his team have just met –

Acts 21:5  When we had come to the end of those days, we departed and went on our way; and they all accompanied us, with wives and children, till we were out of the city.  And we knelt down on the shore and prayed.

Paul’s ministry had a way of knitting hearts together.  We see the love of the church so vividly here in Acts.   It is an example that has run clear throughout the history of the early church in Acts.  They are our example.  They are our heritage.  We are not disconnected.  We are not spectators.  We are their legacy.  We have inherited this love.

What we have been given is rich and everlasting.  The family of God is longer lasting than any other relationship we have.  A relationship founded on the grace of Jesus Christ.  We can meet a Christian from any culture, from any place and immediately have a bond and friendship like no other.  There is a day soon coming when we will all sit at a feast of Grace.  We will all sit together entering eternity, sitting before our glorious loving Saviour Jesus Christ.  What an amazing celebration of grace and love.  (I can’t wait!)

That rich love, our everlasting life,  doesn’t wait for the sweet bye and bye, it begins at the point of salvation.  Believer’s you are now part of the  family of God.  The richest, the largest, the most loving gracious family ever.  You are accepted, affirmed, secure, and connected.  You are loved.  You are not alone and never will be.  We are co-heirs with Christ.  We belong.

We belong to a family described with names that reveal a connection that is tight, deep, strong, and intimate.  Names like the “Family of God”, “Co-heirs with Christ”, “The Body of Christ”, and “The Bride of Christ”.  No names that sanitize or disconnect.  We are not the corporation.  We are not the monolith.  We are intimately connected to believing hearts from generations of time.  We will sit in fellowship with the heroes of our faith.

With this amazing gift comes a wonderful opportunity.  We can be a blessing to this family.  We can strengthen our family.  We can help others grow. We can see that others are brought in.  We can raise up younger believers and build up the church.  Amazingly, we are invited to be a part of this work.  Where will you jump in?

There are brothers who are struggling.  There are sisters in despair.  You can bring strength and grace.  You can be a game changer.  There are needs you can meet that no one else can touch.  There are people who need you.  Ministry that has been set aside for you.

What an amazing gift, what a wonderful opportunity, what a great responsibility.

“Whosoever Will” Available Today

Posted in Updates on our fellowship on January 28, 2010 by Pastor Brett

I am excited to announce that Gen Falleur’s Cd is now available.

Gen will be sharing a night of worship with our CCPH Ladies “First Tuesday” meeting February 2, 2009.

We also are looking forward to having Andy & Gen with us for our Sunday services February 14, 2009.

Make get her CD and make plans to be with us.  I know that you will be blessed by their ministry.