Friday, December 20, 2013

The real meaning of the 12 Days of Christmas

On Ask The Pastor, this comes up almost every year at Christmas, and people have asked me for this, so here it is... the real meaning of the 12 Days of Christmas...

It dates from a time of religious persecution. The song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," was written as a kind of secret catechism that could sing in public without fear of arrest - a learning or memory aid to Christians in fact. The song can be taken at two levels of interpretation - the surface meaning, or the hidden meaning known only to the Christians involved. Each element is a code word for a religious truth.
1. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus.
2. The two turtledoves are the Old and New Testaments.
3. Three French hens stand for faith, hope and love.
4. The four calling birds are the four Gospels.
5. The five gold rings recall the Hebrew Torah (Law), or the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament.
6. The six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation.
7. The seven swans a-swimming represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
8. The eight maids a-milking are the eight Beatitudes.
9. Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.
10. The ten lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.
11. Eleven pipers piping represent the eleven faithful Apostles.
12. Twelve drummers drumming symbolize the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles Creed. 
If you think Jesus being symbolized as a partridge in a pear tree sounds blasphemous, remember: "Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered thee under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but thou wouldst not have it so." (Luke 13:34 and Matthew 23:34) The "true love" in the song refers to God Himself. The "me" receiving the gifts is every Christian. So that "silly" song we sing at Christmas time has more meaning than we thought.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Funny Christmas videos

I love a good laugh, and there are some videos that make me laugh right now as we approach Christmas, here's my list:

Mr. Bean's Nativity scene

The Skit Guys The Brothers Marley

The Santa Clause with Tim Allen - it's the trailer, but the movies make me laugh! All 3 of them!

There are others, but these are my favourites. If you haven't seen the movies of the Santa Clause (yes all 3) and Mr Bean's Christmas? You have a lot of catching up to do!

Yes, I know Christmas is all about Jesus and his birth, there is some fun we can have too though. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Dealing with loss at Christmas

This thought came ringing true this week while I was on the air. A listener had heard the song by Chris Tomlin "I Will Rise" and called in about it. It was touching to him as he had just lost his mother within the past week. It reminded me that there are a lot of people this time of year who deal with loss - whether as our listener this week with very recent loss, or as others who I know are remembering someone they lost about this time of year in the past. 

Some churches have memorial services to remember those who have gone on before us at this time of year to help ease the pain of loss so that Christmas isn't a sad memory for them, but rather a celebration still of Jesus and of the life of the person they lost.

How can people have peace this time of year when dealing with loss? The loss of a loved one or a job or something else? We turn to God. Only we as believers have hope beyond the pain, it is a hope that only Jesus can give through the power of the Holy Spirit. As John 14:27 says, 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

We are given a peace in times of trials and loss that the world simply cannot understand apart from Christ. So to those who are dealing with loss this time of year, of loved ones or employment or something else, may the Lord be with you at this time. I don't say that as a pat answer, but to encourage you that there is hope and peace that you can claim in Jesus today. 

God bless.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Giving Tuesday

We've had Black Friday, and we'll have Cyber Monday soon. But here's something new to try out... Giving Tuesday! I know... what? Giving Tuesday. I heard it on one of our commercials and thought what a great tradition to start! it's defined as (by Giving "a new Canadian movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Cyber Monday. The “Opening day of the giving season,” it is a day where charities, companies and individuals join together to share commitments, rally for favourite causes and think about others."

So why not start this with your home? I think we'll do it with ours! Sounds like a great idea, and very Biblical as believers we're called to look after those in need - widows, orphans, the poor and destitute. Giving Tuesday helps put Christmas back in focus after the madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

I like it! If you want to go to the Giving Tuesday website, you can donate to Life by typing in the charity name of Trust Communications Ministries, Barrie, ON, and you can enter any donation amount. We will be notified by them. Cool!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Christmas Flash Mobs!

I don't know about you but I love those Flash Mobs at Christmas time in malls. This one was great - right beside Santa Clause who sat there looking dejected while Christian Christmas Carols were sung all around him!

Here's another one...
And another...

So many great Christmas flash mob videos to surprise people! I once tried this with a few members of my college choir when I was at Word of Life Bible Institute. We were on tour for the Christmas show Ring the Bells and when we tried it we got told by security to stop. Even though they liked it, they said another group had booked the place.

So in order to do a Flash Mob you have to book it, you can't just show up and start singing. Too bad. I'd love to so this myself sometime! Anyone interested in organizing one?

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Red Poppy White Poppy

Red Poppy White Poppy...

Hard to believe there's a controversy surrounding the poppy. Yet there is a group made up mainly of university students who try to say that the Red poppy "glorifies war." Seriously? Since when did the poppy become a symbol for promoting war? When I grew up it was always taught as the flower that was growing in Flanders Fields where soldiers died and they grew between the crosses where soldiers lay. How is that glorifying war?

Seem to me these "educated" students have learned the wrong lesson.

It has bothered those in the military because they have had this Red poppy as their symbol to remember those who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms, and for those who still do. 

I live in a military community and this to me would seem like a sap in the face to them. "Your poppy isn't good enough... so wear the white one instead!" What a statement to make. Disappointing.

The Bible talks about those who have been killed in living out their faith for the Lord from the Old Testament (Able) to the New Testament (John exiled on Patmos) and we have modern accounts of those who die for their faith. Imagine someone said to us - sorry your symbol of the cross isn't good enough - use this instead because you're glorifying death? 

I have a lot of respect for the military and this just seems silly to me.

On Remembrance Day I'll be wearing a RED Poppy. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Thoughts on Halloween - 2013 edition

Thoughts on Halloween 2013

From: Original post from Nov 5, 2010, 8:32pm

Okay, so here's the deal. Every Oct 31 churches go through the debate - should we or shouldn't we participate in Halloween? While I don't agree with dressing up as something like a zombie or vampire or so on, I do think we can use Halloween as a time to be a witness. It's amazing that some people think it is a religious holiday. Maybe for the church of Satan and so on, but not Christians. I respect when people choose not to be part, not hand out candy, not allow their kids to go out trick or treating and so on. For them it is the right thing to do.
For us as a family, we have always tried to use this as a means to witness for God on a night when it is usually not seen as such. I will carve Christian themes into pumpkins such as the image of Christ, a cross, a crown of thorns and nails, or something like that. My boys are allowed to go out as long as they dress as something from the Bible or something Christian themed.
Another thing we did was to play Life 100.3 FM throughout the entire time of kids coming the door. A night when the atmosphere is usually not glorifying to God, we made a statement to praise God and be that light in the darkness with what we did. I have done this type of thing since before I got married, and my family carries on the tradition now. Just one way to bring the Light of the Gospel out on a night when it would usually be forgotten.
 Here we are again. I thought it would be interesting to see if any of my posts from 3 years ago and more have change about this issue. Today we still hold to the notion of not hiding in our homes on this day. We will have Life 100.3 playing on our porch, we'll have Christian themed pumpkin carvings with the candle light shining the truth of Jesus to anyone who comes to our door. Our kids still have to dress up as something or someone from the Bible, or a Christian superhero like Bibleman or Angel Wars or Archangels comics series. 

We have thought about handing out tracts - and we have before with candy. I don't hand out ones that show grimacing images to turn people off, but friendly ones that share about Jesus love and what He saves us from. 

I know some people won't do anything and just stay home or go to a Halloween alternative party instead - and that's fine. What does the Bible say? 

Romans 14:5-7 (NIV)

One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.

So if you are convinced that not participating in any way is right for you - then go with that, if you think you can make a difference by doing something like what we do - do that. Go with your convictions is what Scripture says to do. Whatever you decide about this - I would ask you (and I) do not say the other person is wrong. Respect the conclusion they have come to. God bless!

Pastor Andrew

By the way... here's a history lesson on the day...

Halloween originated with the ancient religion of the Celtics in Ireland. The Celtic people were very conscious of the spiritual world and had their own ideas of how they could gain access to it - such as by helping their over 300 gods to defeat their enemies in battle, or by imitating the gods in showing cleverness and cunning. It was originally called Samhain (pronounced Sah-ween) at the end of summer (Nov. 1). They believed Samhain was a time when the division between the two worlds became very thin, when hostile supernatural forces were active and ghosts and spirits were free to wander as they wished.
"During this interval the normal order of the universe is suspended, the barriers between the natural and the supernatural are temporarily removed, the sidh lies open and all divine beings and the spirits of the dead move freely among men and interfere sometimes violently, in their affairs"
(Celtic Mythology, p. 127).
During the Festival of Samhain, fires would be lit which would burn all through the winter and sacrifices would be offered to the gods on the fires, this would include animal and sometimes human sacrifice. Note, that sacrifices still occur on Halloween even here in North America, but by other cults and Satanic rituals now. This would happen just down the road only about 10 – 20 mintues away from the Bible college I went to in New York State for a year. We would be praying on our campus while these types of animal sacrifices would be happening not far away.
As the influence of Christianity spread into Celtic lands, in the 7th century, Pope Boniface IV introduced All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs, to replace the pagan festival of the dead. It was observed on May 13. In 834, Gregory III moved All Saint's Day from May 13 to Nov. 1 and for Christians, this became an opportunity for remembering before God all the saints who had died and all the dead in the Christian community. Oct. 31 thus became All Hallows' Eve ('hallow' means 'saint').
In 1517, a monk named Martin Luther honored the faithful saints of the past by choosing All Saints Day (November 1) as the day to publicly charge the Church heirarchy with abandoning biblical faith. This became known as "Reformation Day," a fitting celebration of the restoration the same biblical faith held by the saints throughout church history.
What should Christians do with Halloween?
As an alternative to the celebration of evil and death, Christians should rather do what Christians are supposed to do every day and that is shine the light of Jesus Christ. We should emphasize the Christian influences and strive to make Hallow's Eve a celebration of the acts of God through his people the saints. We should make it a day when acts of charity and a day that emphasizes the light of Christ instead of the darkness of evil. A day when people meditate on the acts of Godly people instead of ghosts and goblins.

So why have a Halloween Alternative like All Saints’ Day? To celebrate those who have gone before us that have been faithful to the Lord and have been an example to follow, to remind us to be an example to follow as we walk out our faith. The tradition of dressing up for Halloween was to try and fool spirits to think that the wearer was one of them so as to not be tricked by them or worse. So why have a dressing up contest here for us? Biblical themed costumes remind us of what God has done for us, what He is doing, and what He will do. It is not to appease some evil spirit, but more a reflection and celebration of our faith. Seeing examples of Moses, Abraham, Joseph, Samson, an apostle, even the very creation of the Lord from animals to trees to rocks tell of the Creator’s love for us and how He has been faithful, and continues to be that way to us. The tradition of carving out a pumpkin was originally to show the ancient symbols of damned souls, and to ward off demons. Today we can use the pumpkin to carve out testimonials to Christ such as the symbol of the cross, a carving of His face, the crown of thorns and the nails, other symbols of our faith to cause others to stop and think of Jesus. I once had Jesus carved out on my pumpkin on the front step and a kid at the door asked who the hippie was and his friend said, “That’s God stupid!” So pumpkin carving can be a time to share our faith through visual representations. So as we move into the activities tonight, think about these things. We are not celebrating Halloween; rather, we are celebrating God and His faithfulness to us as shown through the testimony of His saints over the years. This is why we celebrate All Saints’ Day and not Halloween. We can participate in Halloween in that we can testify about Jesus through our costumes and hand out candy with maybe tracts, play Christian music at the door like having Life 100.3 FM playing through the night instead of haunted house music, and more.
Scriptural References:
• The apostle Paul said Witchcraft is one of the acts of the sinful nature and those who practice it will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:16-21; see also Revelation 22:15).
• As believers, we are called to "Put everything to the test. Accept what is good and don't have anything to do with evil. [1 Thessalonians 5:21-22] or as other versions put it "Abstain from all appearance of evil." [1Thessalonians 5:22]
• Who can deny that virtually all of the symbols of Halloween are evil? Witches, monsters, ogres, vampires, ghosts, ghouls, goblins, devils and demons all portray evil. Christians are to "Don't take part in doing those worthless things that are done in the dark. Instead, show how wrong they are” [Ephesians 5:11]
• " Stay away from people who are not followers of the Lord! Can someone who is good get along with someone who is evil? Are light and darkness the same? Is Christ a friend of Satan? Can people who follow the Lord have anything in common with those who don't?” [2 Corinthians 6:14, 15]
• " Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack.” Or devour as other versions put it. (1 Peter 5:8)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Another year, another page turns in the grand scheme of life

Another year, another page turns in the grand scheme of life. Just a fancy way of saying that today (October 18th) is my birthday and so the page turns to the next chapter of my life. By the way - I'm 42 today...

People get so concerned with birthdays, especially as they get older. The thing is, there's nothing to worry about. Matthew 6:25 - 33 says, 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Birthdays, no matter what age, should be a celebration of life, and what God has done during the past year to grow us, mature us, and prepare us for what lies ahead. Don't get the mid-life crises or anything, just accept that you're one year closer to seeing our Lord Jesus Christ!

Be sure to have fun though! Cake is a must! Balloons? Not so much... presents from people? Nice but not necessary. Dinner out somewhere? Sounds good - especially if there's beef involved! Right?

My birthday is shared by at least one person I know (John Mc), and so I would say to anyone looking down the barrel of another birthday and dreading it - don't! There is a time and season for everything - for every activity under the sun as Solomon would say in Ecclesiastes 3. So don't fret it - enjoy it! Embrace it! God bless!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Former Power Ranger turned MMA fighter shares his testimony!

Jason David Frank - Former Power Ranger turned MMA fighter 
shares his testimony!

If you grew up in the 90's you knew this guy's name - or at least saw him in action on the show Power Rangers as the Green Ranger, then White, then Red, then Black. He since became an MMA fighter, but the cool part? He's a Christian! The video shows his testimony after two introductory testimonies for a young adults group in the USA. 

He has uploaded his baptism on youtube, and in this testimony video makes no apologies for his faith in Jesus Christ! Go Green Ranger go! 

Cool that he is so open about his faith, and yet is such a huge positive influence for many generations now. He'll be back in the role that made him famous this coming year - the Green Ranger in the Ranger War to celebrate the franchise's 20th Anniversary. 

God bless this guy for being willing to standing up in the crowd of Hollywood for Jesus Christ!

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Speaking for Life 100.3

I am one of the people who rotate speaking for Life 100.3 at churches when they ask for us to come and speak and I like this role as I get to see how other churches do things from a wide variety of backgrounds. I get to speak about different topics, and sometimes to get to join their worship as a bonus using the keyboard and singing too. 

I enjoy this activity. I enjoy the opportunity to share God's word with a congregation not knowing what's happening in the life of the church and then having people say how much it was needed in the church right that time or similar comments. God works His will in all situations and I love seeing how He brings together events and shocks everyone!

The New Living Translation of the Bible from Isaiah 45:15 says, "Truly God of Israel, you work in mysterious ways." I love it when God works out the details of a service to match across the board and yet person leading worship, the speaker, and the life of the church were all veiled from each other! God worked it out showing He's in charge! Love it!

I count it a privilege to be able to go out and speak on behalf of Life wherever I go. If I'm due to come to your church? Mind if I join your worship team that day too? :) See you around and God bless!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Youth groups are for... the youth!

I was at Jr. Pitch and Praise on the weekend with over 850 Jr Highers who were all hopped up on sugar (thanks organizers for throwing out lots of candy before meetings began!) and going through the "I'm trying to be a teen and a kid at the same time" personalities. There was (NO) sleep... okay some... and it rained the whole weekend pretty much. 

The teaching was good, the music was good, the juggler/entertainer was incredible, and the time spent with the youth in our small groups was very good! One thing I remembered very fast, youth group is definitely for the youth! Try keeping up to them! You need to be in shape to keep up their speed! Luckily at their age you don't have to be a physical guru, that's for Sr High leaders! 

This yearly event is something every youth should go to if they can. It is something they won't forget. For leaders? It is something they won't forget either - whether it's for the popping cups in the lunch room or screaming or the connecting with their youth in sports or spiritual times - their lives get impacted too. 

But it is definitely for the young! I'm in recovery mode... it was still fun though and challenging spiritually for all!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Halls of Faith - will we be in there?

I've continued my reading through Hebrews and at chapter 11 last night I was dealing with the topic of heroes of the faith, and it got me wondering if when walking through the halls of faith - would I be considered one to be counted in that list someday? You know, someday people would be able to look back and say, "He was a man of faith like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the prophets and apostles..." It's a humbling thing to think about. Are we being strong enough in our faith to one day have people look back and say we were a strong example for them to follow?

There have been times in my life where I know I have thought of myself higher than I should have. God had to humble me. I compare myself to the heroes of the faith and think can I ever match up? Then I remember - Moses made excuses, David was an adulterer, Samson had a lust problem, Peter had a temper issue, and more. They were human like me. They had faults like me and yet were considered heroes of the faith BECAUSE of their faith, not because of what they did. It gives me hope that I have a chance to be like them! A hero of the faith! Just human, but still someone others might look up to one day and say "What a man of faith..."

Friday, September 06, 2013

Daily Devotions Highlights - Hebrews 1

I'm doing something different for my BLOG, I'm using it for Daily Devotions weekly highlights. I just started the book of Hebrews, and today was Hebrews 1. In that passage it talks about Jesus being the EXACT representation of God's glory. That He is above the angels and described as God who will rule the nations with a scepter of justice. That His name is above the names of angels, and his place is at the right side of the Father, the position of power in that culture. To be seated at the right side was deemed to be the seat of power and authority, the opposite of what's wrong - giving equal honour and authority to the one in the middle. So Jesus being described as sitting at the right hand of God the Father meant He was equal to God in every way in power and authority. It's quite a description. 

Another thing to notice about the passage is OUR position - we are ministered to by the angels, to be served by them because we inherit salvation through Jesus! 

This could easily feed our egos, but it shouldn't. It should really help us to realize how fortunate we are. Other passages of scripture talk about how we as believers will some day judge angels! Wow. Heavy stuff right? 

So what does this mean to me - to us - today? Realize who Jesus is - what His position is, that He is God Almighty! He has the authority to rule. realize our positions - we are only where we are in the spiritual rankings above the angels because of what Jesus did for us. We ought not to take a high thought of ourselves, but in humility realize where we are and be gracious and humble. 

Humble does not mean doormat, but it does mean we consider others better than ourselves - looking out for their needs. I will be posting these devotional highlights weekly. So next week will cover Hebrews 2 - 8. Be prepared! God bless!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Looking at Syria... is war ever right?

The headlines ooze the news from Syria - confirmed 1429 of the general population - including 426 children died of chemical warfare from the government against them. It makes us all stop and think - when is it ever right to have war? In the face of atrocious regimes like this? What about in the past? Hitler? Imagine if we had never stood up to his regime - what would the world be like today? 

What does the Bible say about war? 

We all know it say do not commit murder, yet there were times when God demanded people be put to death for crimes. We know there were times when God had the Israelites invade and wipe out entire nations of people. When is war justified? God commands us to protect those who cannot protect themselves as James 1:27 says, Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. Ecclesiastes 3:8 says there is a time for war. God does NOT LIKE war, but sometimes it has been necessary when all peaceable means have failed to resolve a situation. Let me say I am not pro-war, but I am not against it when it is needed to free those from harm's way. If we can help and don't help, what does James say? James 4:17 says, If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

So what do we do as believers. I've had people challenge me saying we can never go to war because it kills, and if I seem to be okay with it to help out a situation that cannot be resolved any other way they get upset at me and quote the Ten Commandments - me... a pastor. Like I don't know what the Ten Commandments say. I get talked to like i'm ignorant of the Bible. I know some denominations flat out say we are against people serving in the military. "Turn the other cheek!" "Blessed are the peacemakers!" So if Canada got invaded by an evil force... would they sit back and not do anything? 

I know this is a touchy subject, but I thought it was very relevant considering the situation the world is facing with Syria right now. 

It is wrong to kill, it is wrong to sit back and watch people being killed by an evil regime who would use gas warfare on their population. Decide for yourself what you think the world - including Canada - needs to do here. For me? I think we can support a strike situation as Syria is now challenging the world against its actions. War can only be considered when all other means have been exhausted - the world has tried sanctions of different kinds, they have tried to negotiate peace, and Syria has remained defiant. it is an evil that must be overthrown in my opinion - or we could have another Hitler. This is not about revenge, it is about standing up to an evil force with any means necessary to get rid of it.

God bless.  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sci-Fi and the believer

People who know me know I'm a sci-fi guy. Often Christians don't go into the sci-fi realm because of different reasons and then announce that any believer who does like it and watch it is not strong in their faith "obviously." Really? The original Star Trek had Biblical references, on in particular I remember seeing was when they found a planet that was into sun worshiping. At the end of the episode it was Lieutenant Uhara that said, "not the sun, the Son of God!" It was an acknowledgement of God. Firefly had a Shepherd (pastor) as part of the crew, Babylon 5 recognized Christianity. Stargate had a character say, "There's only one God ma'am, and He don't look like that!" There are Christian sci-fi writers out there and I have a book of Christian sci-fi shorts. I keep waiting for a huge sci-fi on the level of a Star Wars of something to appear at the Christian bookstores, maybe even a Christian sci-fi movie... maybe some day.

Christianity and sci-fi can exist. Worried about aliens? Think they don't work with the Bible? Two thoughts on that - 1) Maybe there are aliens out there that we are not permitted to contact because we are fallen and they are not? 2) Firefly is the only sci-fi out there that doesn't use aliens, and a main character is a Shepherd/Pastor! Shiny! It is a series that has other themes that are not kid friendly so it's not a family sci-fi. Maybe someday we'll get something like Firefly that IS family friendly. The universe God made is so vast that it hold secrets we may never know until we get to heaven. 

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Seasons change... not just the seasons of nature

Seasons change, and not just the seasons we experience in nature like summer/spring/fall/winter (which is the order I like those seasons by the way). I'm talking about the seasons of life we experience. Being born, childhood, teens, young adult, adulthood, parenting, getting older and empty nesting, senior years, jobs, and more. We all experience times of joy and times of sorrow. Ecclesiastes 3 talks about this: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 2 a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time for war and a time for peace.

So change is inevitable, the point is are we going to be ready for it? Churches get pastors that come and go, businesses gain and lose staff, people get sick and well, and more. No matter who we are we will face trials of many kinds - and as believers we know these trials produce perseverance which produces a stronger faith. We intellectually know that God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, but do we believe it? 

How we handle change is what determines if we are successful in our faith or not.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Bitterness rots our souls

It's no secret that the Bible talks about the effect bitterness and unforgiveness has on us. When hearing others speak about it, including James MacDonald recently this thought came to mind... "As bitter lemons and limes are to our taste buds, that's how bad bitterness is to our souls." That was my thought, but does it really go far enough? What does the Bible say about bitterness? Acts 8:23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” So being bitter is to be captive to sin! Wow. Ephesians 4:31 tells us to
Get rid of all bitterness. So we are under command to get rid of it. How do we do that? We forgive - even if the offending party doesn't ask for it. That's tough to do. At Life we play songs about this topic such as Forgiveness from Matthew West and 7x70 by Chris August, Toby Mac has a song about Forgiveness as well... many artists do. It's no coincidence as if we let unforgiveness fester in our souls it rots us from the inside out and bitterness sets in and we become ineffective for Christ - the enemy of our souls wins. 

So how do we beat this? Forgive. Overcome evil with good as Scripture says. Don't give the Devil a foothold. Easy to say, tougher to do...

Monday, July 22, 2013

A time to rest...

In life we get so busy that I think we forget to take time to rest. I have discovered this for myself at times when I have gotten so busy (even with being busy at the church) that God has had to step in and STOP me! Whether it is getting sick, or one year almost cutting my fingers off with a hedge trimmer... (yeah don't ask) sometimes God has had to stop me so I could rest.

Jesus often went off alone to rest and to pray and seek God's face. He didn't allow the busy patterns of life to get in the way - He took time out to rest, and He was the Son of God! I heard Chuck Swindoll use a phrase today that went like this: He will break the bow that is always bent. It was meaning that if we are always on the go and never slow down, that God will take matters into His own hands to slow us down. Something to think about...

So for all of us... myself included... make sure to take time out to rest and seek out the Lord in SPITE of the business of life.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Got questions?

I've been doing Ask The Pastor for over 4 years now on Life 100.3 Mondays at 9 pm. I started out with AJ the Wonderdog, have worked with Junky Rhodes, then Evan Duran, and back to Junky Rhodes. I've had the occasional fill-in DJ with me too at times when someone was not available. 

So 4 years later I've realized - people still have SO many questions! Some are worth repeating too. So here is my plea to all who listen - no question is a dumb question except the one you don't ask. So please ask! Email them in early if you wish to, or call the nigth of at 1-866-737-LIFE (5433) or TEXT the word lifeonline to 212121 and ask your question!

I love hearing from listeners who just can't figure things out and need some help. I will do my best to answer what I can. I have also had the opportunity to counsel people off the air and through the week. For those more personal issues, feel free to contact me directly at and I will be glad to get in touch with you.

It's been an amazing 4 years and I feel so blessed and privileged to be able to continue to do this ministry. Thank you Life 100.3 for your support over the last 4 years and for the time to come! God bless, and ASK away! 

Pastor Andrew Robertson
Announcer/Ask The Pastor Co-Host 
LIFE 100.3

Thursday, July 04, 2013


Bethany Hamilton and Nick Vujicic!

Two amazing testimonies, two amazing people who inspire so many!

Both have been through unreal situations and yet turned to God for strength in their time of need. Nick has been around the world sharing his testimony to inmates at prisons, world leaders that others are denied access to, and more and now he's married and has a child of his own!

Bethany survived the shark attack and a movie was made about her life, she competes still and serves as an example as to how to overcome adversity!

Two great examples! 

We may never face situations like them, but we know that whatever we face? God is there to back us up!
Deuteronomy 31:6 says, Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Monday, June 24, 2013

14 Years!

This past week my wife and I celebrated 14 years together! Hard to believe it's been 14 years already. Where did the time go? Seems like yesterday we were saying our vows and then celebrated getting married by each of us taking turns at being sick. Yeah, some kind of bacterial parasite from the rehearsal party that waited at least until the day after our wedding to show up. I got it first for a week (good thing we didn't go away anywhere but celebrated our condo that we got with my parents help), Tanya got it the week afterwards. Happy honeymoon right?

So here we are 14 years later, 2 great boys in Seth and Gabe, and we're still making things work out for work and more. For anyone who is not married, don't be deceived, marriage is work. It's a commitment. It's a covenant not to be entered lightly. Yes we love each other, but for those couples who start out and they say "We never fight!" - just wait, it'll come. The key is when you do fight - fight fair. Don't keep a record of wrongs and bring them up over and over, because that's not love - just look at 1 Corinthians 13 for that.

So to celebrate our 14th we went to Fair Havens Bible Centre in Beaverton and had a great time. It was relaxing. The programming hadn't started yet which was actually fine for us, we just needed some time away. We had the kids and it was fun.

So recap - yes, I love my wife Tanya still after 14 years, and still dedicated to her. Am I perfect? Just ask her... :) Have we got this marraige thing all figured out yet? No, but we are working on it together.

God bless!

Friday, June 07, 2013

Our heavenly Daddy?

I know some people will hear this phrase and think I'm being disrespectful to God. Not true. Quite the opposite really. See, Jesus gave us the example in Scripture in calling God the Father by this intimate term "Abba" in Mark 14. This term literally means in our modern English - "Daddy." It's not offensive to call God the Father our heavenly Daddy. In fact, this is really the level of intimacy He wants with us! We're His kids! 

When I was at Bible college, I first heard a guy in group prayer (thanks Keith Wilhelm) start off his prayer with a simple, "Our heavenly Daddy..." It took me off guard, but the more I thought about it, that's how it should be! We could even go simpler with with, "Hey Dad..." in some senses to truly feel that intimate connection, because that's how we would talk to our dads right? How many of us go around talking to our dads like this: Father, how are you doing? Not many. Instead when I talk to my dad I say, "Hey dad!" As a child I said, "Hi daddy!" I wouldn't expect to hear my kids address me so formally as father.

This is the level God the Father wants with us, He wants to be our heavenly Daddy. The question is, will we let Him get that close?

Friday, May 31, 2013

Catching up

Back in 2008 I was called to be the General Associate Pastor at Pinewoods Chapel responsible for youth/worship/children and some administrative. I was there for 2 years and only had to move on due to finances of the church at the time. We have stayed in contact and for a while we even just attended while waiting for what God had next for us. It's now 2013 and I'm the Youth Pastor at Stayner EMC, and I I still keep in contact with people from Pinewoods and Mt Pleasant EMC where I was Lead pastor for a year. Last night I had the opportunity to speak at youth for Pinewoods once again and it was neat to see the changes - new youth that had grown into the group from being kids when I was Associate before, the programme was still similar to what I used to do - and the response was great. It was great to catch up with Pastor Chris and John McConnell too who I worked with.

Time flies and things change. Sometimes it's just nice to go back and see what's been going on after you leave a situation. God is still working at both places where I have been, and it just reminds you how God steers you where He wills. That the ways we expect things to turn out aren't always what we expect them to be, but are what He wants for us to grow in our walk. 

For me when I arrived in the fall of 2008, I had never expected to be part of Life doing Ask The Pastor and then being an announcer, yet in 2013 Ask The Pastor has been on the air 4 years, and I have been an announcer for a year!

Sometimes it's good to just catch up and see how God has blessed and led in both the expected and the unexpected ways. We trust Him in all things so that when life takes an unexpected turn, we don't go into panic mode. Instead we do as Proverbs 3:5 - 6 says, 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

When we fail to look back and see how God has worked it can be hard to look to the future and see hope in our present situations. 

God bless!

Pastor Andrew

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Salt Water Taffy

I've been to the huge candy shop at Georgian Mall recently and rediscovered my love of Salt Water Taffy! Why the love? I first discovered this years ago with my family as a teenager going down south to the USA for spring breaks to places like Myrtle Beach and so on. There weren't so many flavours back then, but now? SO many to choose from! Cotton Candy! Chocolate! Coffee! Malt! So many more than when I first love it back in the day...

So what is my faourite NOW? Hmmmm. so hard to say, but Egg Nog is a REALLY good one! The coffee one is great too! SO hard to choose! 

So where did Salt Water Taffy come from? Candy store owner David Bradley's shop was flooded during a major storm in 1889. As a result of the flood, his entire stock of taffy was soaked with salty Atlantic Ocean water. When a young girl came into his shop and asked if he had any taffy for sale, he is said to have offered some "salt water taffy." At the time it was a joke, because all his taffy had been soaked with salt water, but the girl was delighted. She bought the candy and proudly walked down to the beach to show her friends. Bradley's mother was in the back and heard the exchange. She loved the name, and so salt water taffy was born. 

So there you go... regular taffy with salt water poured over top of it. It's since been worked on to be less sticky so it wouldn't stick to the little wrappers. Another great idea found by accident! Salt Water Taffy!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Using secular songs in worship services

What is a worship service? Seriously? Who is it for? defines worship as:

1. reverent honor and homage paid to God.
2. formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage: 
       They attended worship this morning.
3. adoring reverence or regard.
4. the object of adoring reverence or regard.

So if that is what worship is, to give honour and praise to God, giving Him the worship that He is due, then I fail to see why churches use secular music in the service. The argument is to be seeker friendly, to appeal to those outside the church to bring them in. 

If that's the case, should we be serving beer at services too? What about using PG-13 clips with swearing in them to be acceptable to seekers? Where do we draw the line?

A worship service is something designed with God in mind, not a person off the street. It's FOR Him, not for us or anyone else. If we offer secular music in praise of our God, is He well pleased with what He hears? I don't think so.

To me using secular music to draw a crowd defeats the purpose. It's trying too hard in man's power to try and reach the lost. Christian music has so many styles to match what's out there that we don't need to cross the line and use secular music in our worship services to God. It takes the passage from 1 Corinthians 9:21 - 23 out of context: 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. The passage was not saying to use the world's music in worshiping God. You can't worship God with a song that has no message trying to do so. Two different mindsets. It can't bridge the gap, only the message of the Gospel can.

Then that's just me...