FAST Food for Youth

Young people from the Mount Forest area who have attended Mount Forest Camp in the Summer often want an excuse to get together with fellow campers during the Fall, Winter and Spring. So teens with that kind of interest, who want to attend an event that is a good mix of fun activities and sound and applicable Bible-based information-sharing, get together to enjoy FAST Food for Youth. (Oh, and yes, food is usually on the menu too!).
CHECK THE FACEBOOK PAGE FOR DETAILS OF NEXT GET-TOGETHER
You can ask to join the FaceBook page at: FAST Food. Or if you know a fellow teen who already attends, just hitch a ride with them to the next monthly event.
If you missed Spring Alive at Mount Forest Camp! Cultiv8 and Harvest Day, then now’s the time to plan for next events…

Food & Friendship

Once a month in the cooler months (!) we are delighted to provide a free soup and bagel lunch, in the comfortable Community Room of the Mount Forest Library Basement (which is conveniently served by an elevator).

Don’t miss out on sharing in these events.

Check local notice boards in the Library and local stores (including the Thrift Store) for the date of the next lunch (and we’ll post it on this web page too).

Lunch is served between 12 noon and 1:00pm.  All are welcome.

Bible Explorers

Its the Fall. Time to restart 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!
The Bible talks for this session will be on the subject of “Masterpieces”.
Apart from the occasional snow day in Winter, we try to operate every Friday during Fall, Winter and Spring (with a short break for Christmas/New Year).

But 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.

Ask to join the Bible Explorers FaceBook page at: FB

Historical Context (N.Korea v. USA)

Those, perhaps the minority of Bible readers, who read the Old Testament prophetic books, may miss some of their pointedness because of a lack of awareness of the historical context in which the prophets first spoke. Some of the books make the setting quite clear. For instance, Haggai was speaking to the Jews who had returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. So we can date his words quite well. It still needs an appreciation of why the Jews had been led away captives in the first place, how long they had to stay there, which world leader would issue a command for them to return, etc. All these matters can be found by further study. Then there is the matter of broader context; what was going on in the nations generally.
This is worth noting when we read Jeremiah. It is helpful to know that there had been three competing world powers during his times. Egypt still considered itself a major player. Assyria, which Jonah hated so much (perhaps because he understood how cruel they would be to Israel), was declining in power and having to battle the up-and-coming Babylonians. The good king Josiah of Judah seems to have made a fatal mistake in deciding to try to ward off the Egyptian armies when they were on the way to fight on the side of the Assyrians against the Babylonians. The first round of those battles may have been a draw, but eventually Egypt would be forced back to its own borders and then subjugated to Babylon, after the Babylonian armies ruthlessly took out the Assyrians.
Against that historical background you can see why those who listened to Jeremiah telling them in advance that the Babylonians would be victorious were unsure which side to back. Even after Nebuchadnezzar taught those in Judah a lesson and carried away their king (Josiah’s grandson, Jeconiah), they still seemed to hold out hope that Egypt would be the one to help them. Yet God made it very clear that Nebuchadnezzar was being used to punish other wrong-doers – and those in Judah, who had turned from God to become idol worshippers, would not escape. The alternatives were to capitulate straightaway and change their ways, or to suffer Babylonian domination of a worse sort. They chose wrongly and suffered. Only after 70 years was Jeremiah’s accurate prophecy fulfilled when King Cyrus (king of the empire that conquered the Babylonians) told the Jews to return. Not many did. It is instructive to compare the books of Nehemiah (who did return) with Esther (who did not).
Now we see China and Russia opposing proposed action by the USA to bring North Korea to heel. All hope there will not be war. Will the USA allow nuclear arsenals in Japan and South Korea instead, upping the ante? Will there be a saw-off in which China is allowed more control of the Korean peninsula in exchange for peace?
When Christ described world conditions that will prevail before His return to earth, He already knew such things. His warnings will make absolutely sound reading in the context of those times. And before His feet are on earth again, He will come to the air and take disciples away from the conflicts on earth. That more immediate prospect is the context Christians should be focused on right now.
So context matters. Happy reading!

The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

For some clear explanations of Jesus’ parable about the Pharisee and the tax collector who went to the temple to pray, please listen to this recording; just click on the following link:

“Pharisee”

If you thought you knew this parable inside out, you’ll most likely find these insights and challenges different and very helpful

Camp Season is Over! Well Almost..

The church here has the benefit of being located only 20 minutes drive from Mount Forest Camp, which it sponsors.  The Camp was established in 1963, but largely served city children, for whom a week in the countryside was a rare pleasure.  City kids are still a large proportion of campers, but local needs have also been met by running a Day Camp.  This is for 5-10 year olds and the program runs from 9.30am-3:30pm each day.  The large number of repeat campers at all the camps confirms they are highly popular with campers and families who bring them.

This year, the Camp has introduced a new website with the capability to register and pay online.  Within 24 hours of its launch, one week of children’s camp was completely booked for boys!  Teen Camp is now over. Between Christmas and New Year some of those hardy teens will want to brave winter conditions and return for Deep Freeze. Pine trees here are producing cones abundantly, which some say is the sign of a harsh winter to come, so it looks like “Deep Freeze” may be aptly named! What is more certain is that those attending any of the camps this year will have left with warm hearts. The Camp advertises itself as “100 acres of natural beauty; a Christian environment to grow in.” One of the growth opportunities for young people in churches of God is to serve as a volunteer worker at Camp, and several of our teens from the Mount Forest House Church have enjoyed that experience this year.

It is very encouraging to recognize that all counselling staff at Mount Forest Camp work on a voluntary basis.  This helps keep fees low (Day Camp is only $40 per week, all meals, snacks, crafts and everything else included!).

For some really good pictures of the Camp and for lots of additional information, visit http://mountforestcamp.com/

“How to” do personal witnessing

We have a useful item in the Podcasts/Resources section of our site.  It is helpful material on how to approach personal witnessing.  Here is an extract:

“Speak to convince the mind first. Paul “entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God.” (Acts 19:8): reasoning, as to the mind; persuading, as to the heart. It is of no use urging persons to believe unless they are clear in their minds what they must believe.   When the mind agrees, then we can look for the word to be received into the heart. A careful reading of Jn 3 indicates that the Lord Jesus worked this way with Nicodemus. In verses 1 to 3, they are speaking face to face; verses 3 to 8, mind to mind; from verse 9 onwards heart to heart.”

You can read the whole thing here.

Turkey, Venezuela, Brexit, etc…Voting?

Someone said that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others! And that may well be generally true in public affairs. Democracy relies on the ability of the people to express their choices. It is easy to take sides and think another person’s ideas about political issues are wrong or even dangerous. The majority view may be the wrong view, and the right decision may not be held strongly enough to convince others. These are inevitable weaknesses. The Christian will want to think through how they should be addressed. Is highly visible political involvement the way to go, so that Christians end up in positions of power? That is currently a strategy being followed by other faiths, and when they become dominant Christians are victimized. However, people of self-proclaimed Christian faith have exhibited significant weaknesses when placed in positions of authority.
Recent elections around the world have certainly showed how unpredictable outcomes may be. And younger people are showing signs of greater political awareness, and a readiness to vote in order to bring about changes. But have they thought through the biggest issue of God’s plans for this world?
Our article on voting attempts to point Christians in a different direction, with different objectives. Read about it here.

Is it Inevitable?

Do we all have limitless free will?  Or does God predetermine every detail of our lives, including how we will respond to the Gospel?

If we were God, would we design a robot with artificial intelligence, or would homo sapiens be better?

This is a potentially complex subject, but a contribution to understanding the ramifications will be found in our Podcasts and Resources section.

Check it out here