Why not try our Bible Reading Plan, to read the whole Bible over three years? Its updated a week at a time each weekend.
Why not try our Bible Reading Plan, to read the whole Bible over three years? Its updated a week at a time each weekend.
Welcome to Food and Friendship, a free soup and bagel lunch in the lovely basement room at the Mount Forest Library on the second Tuesday each month. Our next lunch is arranged for TUESDAY, MARCH 10TH
Join us at 12noon-1:00pm, and bring a friend.
It’s good to be able to meet in a warm room, check out the book stand, listen to the music and enjoy a good meal. Share your faith. Show Christian love to one another.
We will have a fresh supply of Christian literature, yours for free, so please check out the bookstand during lunch time.
Jesus said: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” He loved us enough to die for us; will we love enough to live for Him?
This poem, based on Jn 20:21, was written by Margaret Clarkson, who went to work as a teacher in the far north. There she experienced loneliness as a Christian, not finding like-minded people to share with. Then she realized that actually she was in the place where God wanted her to be, where He had sent her. When God says “Come out from among them” He is always calling us on to the place where He is already. He never sends us to a place He would not go Himself.
So send I you to labor unrewarded,
To serve unpaid, unloved, unsought, unknown,
To bear rebuke, to suffer scorn and scoffing-
So send I you to toil for Me alone.
So send I you to bind the bruised and broken,
O’er wand’ring souls to work, to weep, to wake,
To bear the burdens of a world aweary-
So send I you to suffer for My sake.
So send I you to loneliness and longing,
With heart a’hung’ring for the loved and known,
Forsaking home and kindred, friend and dear one-
So send I you to know My love alone.
So send I you to leave your life’s ambition,
To die to dear desire, self-will resign,
To labor long, and love where men revile you-
So send I you to lose your life in Mine.
So send I you to hearts made hard by hatred,
To eyes made blind because they will not see,
To spend, tho’ it be blood, to spend and spare not-
So send I you to taste of Calvary.
Welcome to Bible Explorers!
Friday evenings from 6:30-7:45pm kids enjoy Bible Explorers, held in the Community Room in the basement of the Mount Forest Library. Usually they will enjoy a fun activity for starters, followed by time making crafts. Then there is (rather loud!) singing of Camp Choruses and similar fun songs. There is always a Bible story to learn about, and a memory verse that’s worth remembering. The time flies, and judging by the evident desire of the kids to come back again and again, we must be doing something right!.
Kids who attend will make friends with others and can now be planning to go to the Day Camp run by Mount Forest Camp in the Summer.
Apart from the occasional snow day in Winter, we try to operate nearly every Friday during Fall, Winter and Spring. This season our topic each week is “Mission Possible”
Check out the Bible Explorers FaceBook page at: FB
One night each week we get together to read the Bible and learn from it, by exploring it’s meaning in context, considering parallel accounts in the Bible, and considering the examples found there and from the experiences of each of us. This is for adults, and especially for those with an interest in what the Bible teaches. Join us, won’t you, and enjoy the discussions, and the snacks of course!
We are currently engaged in a series of How To topics. This week we are tackling How To Pray, and here’s how we propose to consider that subject:
There is a great deal in the Bible about this essential subject, so if we are to devote just one study session to it we shall not cover all possible considerations. Many of the relevant passages of Scripture teach us about more than one aspect of prayer, so it may be inappropriate to try to just allocate them to a few starter verses after each study question. Instead, this time let’s start by doing something of a marathon “sword drill”:
Gen.18:22-33; Ezra 9:5; Job 35:13; Ps.37:4; Eccles.5:1,2; Isa.1:15; 59:1-2; Jer.29:13; Ezek.8:18; Matt.6:6,7; 7:7,8; 18:19; 21:21-22; Lk.18:1; 22:41; Jn 9:31; 15:7; 16:23; Acts 1:14; 2:41-42; 9:40; 20:36; 21:5; Rom.8:26; Eph.3:14; 6:18-20; Phil.4:6-8; Col.4:2; 1 Tim.2:1; Jas.1:6-8; 4:2; 5:15-16; 1 Jn 3:22; 5:14; Jude 1:20. [It would obviously be best to read the wider context in which each of these verses arise, but that must be left to individual study.
After this good spiritual exercise of reading to equip us, let’s attempt discussion on the following points:
It’s hard to avoid the focus at present in all the media on the recent general elections in Canada and elsewhere (especially the UK). Many will breathe a sigh of relief that they are over. Some will express joy and others disappointment. In democratic countries around the world Christians are often expected, and sometimes guided, by their church leaders to exercise their right to vote. There are good reasons for this, but perhaps not many Christians consider valid reasons why they should not be committed to using that right.
Check out this article in our section on Big Issues titled Voting: Things to Think About, which aims to fill that gap.
Have you read it yet?
This is the title of a book by Francis Chan*. It is really worth reading. In some ways our small house church here is a picture of what the author is pointing people towards. Why not get hold of a copy of the book, and check it out yourself? It isn’t expensive, and its available for free from our local library if you live in Mount Forest (and have a library card!). And like other books by Francis Chan it will make you think, and hopefully make you want to get closer to God.
When you’ve read it, you may want to also think a little more about the use of the word “church”. Does it mean all Christians everywhere? If so, how could a person ever be put out of such a church (see 1 Cor.5)? It seems to us that all believers since the days of the Apostles do indeed form just one big amazing unified church, what is called by the Apostle Paul “the church which is the body of Christ” (e.g. Eph.1:22,23; Col.1:18). Then again, there are also frequent references in the New Testament to multiple churches in many different places around the world; a quite different concept. It’s worth exploring the Bible to see how God defines these two different groupings, and what His purposes and expectations are for each of them. There is plenty more about that on this website, and if you’re interested to pursue that and want to be helped by being pointed to the right places, just contact us.
In the meantime, enjoy reading!
*Published by David C Cook and also available as a Kindle e-Book
Here is a link to a video recording about the ever-present danger of idolatry, putting anything in the place of God. And the answer to that weakness we so easily fall into: tearing down the idols, tearing out from our lives what is getting in the way.
Why are fewer people responding to “the Gospel”, the good news that Jesus, God’s Son, has been punished once-for-all by God for all our wrongdoing, so that God is now acting justly and in love when He offers to free us from the punishment we deserve – if we accept that Jesus has instead suffered for us. That is the start of the good news. And alongside the relief it brings is the assurance of God’s related promise that if we accept His offer of being saved from punishment, we shall also receive spiritual life that extends forever beyond the grave. So the good news continues. And all of the injustices we face here on earth, the eternal God will deal with when everyone appears for judgment. All that is good news (for those who are pardoned), but extremely scary for those who refuse God’s offer of freedom from punishment, and must therefore face the existing forever penalty they deserve from a righteous God whose love has been spurned. So why aren’t people believing the good news? The simple point we are making here is that they haven’t realized they need to. And perhaps that’s because people today have not been exposed to the Bible warning that Jesus is returning, soon!
You can read more about that here
Most of us have laboured over a jigsaw puzzle. The harder ones have more pieces, and the hardest have lots of the same colour pieces, and many different shapes. Checking a piece against the box lid picture often helps. It’s usual to start with the edge pieces, which are fewer in number and where there is one uniform side to line up with other similar pieces. Here is a picture illustrating that approach.
A very different approach would be to repeatedly throw all the pieces in the air, and hope they fall on to the table in exactly the right way. They must all fall picture side up, and all the edge pieces must be on the outside. And all the pieces must be oriented correctly to line up with the one next to them. Would you challenge a friend to use the normal approach with one puzzle while you tried throwing everything for another puzzle in the air, to see who would finish first? You could agree to quit after an hour, with the most complete puzzle winning. Would you bet your friend $1,000 that you will win, because you believe there is a chance everything could fall from the air just right, in time? But you don’t believe that, do you? Both scientific knowledge and experience tell you it will never work, not in a million years. And you don’t have a million years anyway.
While none of us would risk $1,000 on such a bet, many seem prepared to risk far more for an even less probable outcome.
Let’s call the two puzzle approaches “intervention” and “chance”, with “chance” being the throwing in the air method. The bigger challenge is, which method do you think is most likely the reason we as humans came to be walking on the earth today? Those with mathematical skill to apply to such a question would have to work out how many chance events would have to occur in the right order for complex beings like ourselves to develop from the simplest form of life. We might think a few hundred million years would be enough for random chance events to accomplish the result we now see around us. However, those best able to study the biology and do the math have concluded chance alone could not be successful in even the 4.5 billion years it is suggested this Earth has been in existence.
Some have therefore proposed life must have originated and developed elsewhere and then somehow got to Earth in a partially developed form. But if we propose that, we have really moved from applying the “chance” method to applying the “intervention” method. In the jigsaw puzzle test we know who intervenes. Who or what could intervene to bring life to Earth? What capabilities would such an external force have to possess, and where did they come from? And is there any scientific evidence for that?
To complicate matters further, we could try to calculate the chance that Earth itself would exist as it now certainly does, assuming the universe were to start billions of years ago. But the environment we now enjoy depends upon a host of different variable factors, which must individually and together operate to govern the universe within extremely narrow ranges. And they do, in a way that is to be expected if they are operating by design not chance. Or Earth as we know it simply would not exist. We are comforted that these things are measurably governed by apparent physical laws, so we are not expecting to vanish in a puff of smoke any time soon! But where do such laws come from if we are using the “chance” model? A huge further complicating factor is that nothing so far discussed attempts to explain why the universe itself came into being, or why life ever began.
Perhaps that’s enough for now. We are left to ponder why we should believe people who advise us to bet everything we have that no external force was involved in starting or maintaining the universe, or originating life, when science seems to demand it. But if there is nothing that can explain the present reality except such an external force (the “intervention” approach), why would we risk everything and blindly adopt a “chance” solution, just like throwing puzzle pieces in the air and wishing it could make them create a finished picture? Christian’s can see the finished picture of life on Earth, the box lid so to speak, and can place their confidence in a Bible-based worked-out solution requiring all the pieces to be in the correct place. Don’t be satisfied with an incomplete solution!
We can be encouraged by the fact that fellow-Christians are included among competent professionals in the fields of mathematics, nuclear physics and biology. If you’d like a suggested reading list of science-based material addressing these issues, by properly qualified writers, please contact us.