Here I Am, Send Me

By Pastor Nikki Ragush

A couple Sundays ago I was asked by a parent, “Did you know what you wanted to do after high school?”

Immediately, I said “Yes!” But regretted it quickly, because none of us have a simple story of how we got where we are now.  Being the pastor of the youth group here at Calvary Temple, and being a young adult myself I am weekly put into discussions about future plans and what we are called to do. Simply, I could say that in Matthew 9:9 we are given the easy directive, “Follow Me.” Yes, we know we want to follow God but what does that look like for each one of us, on a daily basis we can portray the fruits of the Spirit but what should our career be? Should we move away or stay here? Should we take the job promotion? Should we continue in school not knowing where we are going?

But, when we are going somewhere how do we know we have “arrived”. It’s easy to see our lives as one-dimensional that it’s about moving to an end, but how much do we miss around us in the moment when we are just trying to finish well?

One of my favorite Christian bands has become a group called ‘All Sons and Daughters’, they have a way of making their music simple yet powerful. They have a song called ‘Called Me Higher’, it says “You have called me higher, You have called me deeper, And I’ll go where you will lead me Lord”. What if each of us lived our lives continuing each day as a journey and not seeking to find the finish? What if our lives are about falling deeper into God’s calling, and having that calling change and develop into things we never dreamed?

After I bumbled on for a bit about how I arrived at the decision I did to pursue youth ministry, I then said something that my mother has told me many times “Do we ever really know what we want to do when we grow up?” I pray that if God spoke to me tomorrow and said “Whom will I send? Who will go for us?” I would be ready with Isaiah’s response “Here I am. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgAzLKXqcDk

Beauty Is All Around Us

By Pastor Ruth Denboer

Beauty is all around us!

I grew up on the west coast of Canada in a little community called Port Moody, a suburb of Vancouver.  I loved my childhood days so much.  We literally had a mountain behind our home and we were about 3 blocks from the ocean.  I grew up climbing trees, building tree forts and swinging from the huge cedar trees just beyond our back yard fence.  There was a cedar mill down by the ocean’s edge, so the smell of cedar is engrained into my childhood memories. 

ruthblog1

 

For years now I have struggled with some resentment due to the lack of large green trees here on the prairies.  I guess because of my early memories of huge trees and clear lakes with majestic mountains as the back drop … the scenery here just didn’t cut it for me.   

However, God has lately been helping me see the beauty all around me.  I can honestly say the prairies have a beauty all their own.  The glowing grain fields with the setting sun as a back drop are a gorgeous picture in their own right!    

Psalm 19:1 The heavens proclaim the glory of God.  The skies display his craftsmanship. 

 

ruthblog2

Simplicity

By Pastor Vern Kratz

At the end of August I drove my son back to college where he will be attending classes for the next 8 months. When you have to fit everything you need into one vehicle it becomes a matter of deciding what is important and essential, and then separating it from those things that are not necessary. Some call it downsizing. When it comes to daily life I like to see it as simplifying.

As we head into another busy season of life and ministry it will help us greatly if we take a moment to simplify and wade through the clutter of our “to do” lists and really decide what is important and essential.

Philip Yancey (writer/speaker) told about his time spent at a monastic retreat centre.

…A monk had shown him the room in which he was about to stay. It was small and very simple. The monk instructed him: “If you need anything, let us know and we will teach you how to get along without it.”

I am often surprised by how much I can do without.

I hope when you downsize your list you will find that you have plenty of time for moments that God can speak into your life, time to spend with family, and time to serve and care for the needs of others around you.

As we begin a new season take a moment to simplify your life. Make time for what is really necessary and important.