The Transfiguration and the Glory of Jesus December 22, 2015 Some have suggested that the prscneee of Moses and Elijah represents the testimony of the Law and the Prophets to Jesus identity and his fulfillment of the entirety of the OT hope.I would also note that Matthew bends over backwards to distinguish Jesus from Moses and Elijah when he states that after the disicples look up from falling to the ground they see no one except Jesus Himself alone (NAS, trying to capture the emphatic nature of the Greek). Jesus is not merely on par with Moses and Elijah, but as the Beloved Son he is superior!
Prayer Requests December 22, 2015 My husband was dniseaogd with esophageal cancer in April. He has undergone chemo and radiation therapy. Through this, he has found a true relationship with our Lord Jesus and not just a mental knowledge. For that I am thankful. God has had him in the palm of his hand and he has tolerated this treatment with little side effects although this has not been easy. His last PET scan showed no hot spots or active cancer but it is still recommended that he have surgery to remove his esophagus. He is scared to death despite his faith and prayers. Our hope is that God would perform a healing miracle so that the surgery and life style change would not be necessary. If he should allow this surgery to be performed, we are standing in faith that all will be well and he will be cured. My husband is 58.Due to this disease, my husband was forced to retire; thankfully, he has been approved for disability. These payments will not begin until December and we have taken measures to reduce our financial load. So far, God has blessed us and provided but by my eyes and finite mind, this money will not last past another month or two. I feel maybe it would be best to sell our house, horses, and goats and downsize to a more affordable dwelling which requires less upkeep, time and would allow us more financial stability. I have a high pressure job but thankfully, understanding cohorts have been supportive and tolerant of my absences when necessary. The pressure I feel at this time is overwhelming and I feel myself succumbing at times into a place of just let me hide in a corner and let the world leave me alone. I have asked Jesus to guide me, strengthen me and show me the best course of action and to bless that action and give me the strength to do what I need to do. Please God, help us.In Jesus name.
RUSH: Humanist philosophers & God's prophets November 24, 2015 John van sloten 7 hours ago
+Tim FromLA Hey Tim... thanks for your backstory. Tragic. Some times I think that the biggest 'problem' with the Christian faith is its practitioners. Not all of them of course, but too many. A few years back I heard the story of a Christian pastor who set up a confessional booth on a college campus somewhere - one that allowed the CHURCH to confess and apologize to whoever would listen! Perhaps the best way the church can reach out is by saying sorry.
Tim FromLA 6 hours ago
+John van sloten
Thank you for the response. But not just saying sorry, but to stand up when their small but loud practitioners decide that Black Lives does not matter and take things into their own hands by:
5 Black Lives Matter protesters shot in Minneapolis
Though not a major issue in Canada as Canadians, as Geddy Lee would say, are a lot nicer, the repercussion tend to cross all borders and barriers when there is silence from the larger flock. You pastor, are not silent and I appreciate that a lot. My pastor and denomination are not either, as well as UCC, Presbyterians, AME, Episcopalians and so on...but the rest of the folks who claim to hate racism do not protest or use YouTube to spread love and peace like you.
Right now, I'm setting up a protest for the shooting while living in Los Angeles for Minneapolis, as well as the denomination I mentioned above, but I do it not to please God or to say that I will go to heaven because of...but I do it because I have to and will use all the resources I can, without the fear of heading south...in all honesty? This is why I became an atheist, but you are the reason why I still respect Christians. Tim FromLA (via YouTube)
RUSH: Humanist philosophers & God's prophets November 23, 2015 Hey pastor (?) John, as I said, I was never the loner-type, I guess I became a loner (spiritually) after I became an atheist, but no longer. My disbelief was not based upon logic or rationality of an invisible person or persons, but institutionalized racism within the church. Being a Rush fan yourself, you know the song Manhattan Project. I did not know what it was, let alone the Pilot of Enola Gay: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/rush/manhattanproject.html. This song was not about Freewill or a subdivided life, it's about the destruction of two cities by two deadly bombs on that August Day.
The song was not about self-indulgence or selfishness (Anthem) but something that would change my life forever more. Yet I knew nothing about this even though my aunt survived the bomb only to die six months after 9/11. Even more hurtful, a group of Christians and still to this day, believe that the bomb was justifiable because them white folks did not know if my people could be trusted (forgetting Psalms 23 v. 4's rod and staff) so the concentration camps and the bombing were fine.
Even in you country, the west coast in B.C. forced Japanese and Japanese Americans (yes Canadians are Americans too) into U.S. concentration camps. So to answer your question:
//How amazing that a band's music could have this kind of unimaginable impact? Quite profound actually.\\
Yes very much so, as it made me into an atheist. Tim FromLA (via YouTube)
RUSH: Humanist philosophers & God's prophets November 14, 2015 Props and respect to you pastor. I am an atheist, a member of the Unitarian Universalist and a person of color...I used to be a protestant, but not anymore. Still, I respect your comments as I am a listener of Rush (the band people). Yet unlike most of the fans who are loners, I never really felt that way. At first it was the rocking tunes as I used to play piano and I loved their complex time signatures and yes, I enjoyed their lyrics too. It was not about F-ing chicks or getting stoned, no.
Yet my life changed when Rush performed the Manhattan Project: tinyurl.com/okfx9ps. You see, my aunt was a victim of the Manhattan Project and though my parents and adult knew about this, my parents kept my sister, brother and me in the dark. Being the curious person I was, I did research and I learned from Rush what the Manhattan Project was. Being a survivor of the Manhattan Project would mean shame in the Japanese culture, so we were kept in the dark. Rush managed to pry the door open in my family's life and since 1985 or their Power Windows album, I've been fighting against nuclear war and weapons.
So not fans of Rush are loners but activists inspired by their music to make a difference Tim FromLA (via YouTube)
Epigenetics and the Love of God November 01, 2015 +scarred10
We reserve the right to discuss science in the context of our faith, especially if that science was anticipated in our ancient scriptures. That's what we have here. marbanak
family October 31, 2015 i'm hoping God could give me a cool hand that the family and another family would have a relative marriage, one at 3066 first floor family and one at 3245 family would be a relative marriage for both family's daughter and son. Hoping that the son and daughter would be friends at first. if things go smooth, marriage would arrive on them. they are in the age of marriage. its the time for the 2 to have a new start of their life . i wish them they have a happy story if things really go smooooooth on them. i;m also praying for God's help that they would have a meet face to face with talking to each other in these months, oct, nov and before this year ends. Good luck on them, Thanks God first love
Why did a timeless God create time? October 10, 2015 Creating time is nonsensical since doing so requires a sequence: "There was no time, then there was time." You need time to create time. Time is a part of God's nature, and He has existed from eternity past. The concept of God being outside of time came from pagan philosophy, not the Bible. FEELSonWHEELS
Your Story - Finding God at New Hope Church October 04, 2015 Although I have not been a regular at New Hope Church for many moons, my family and I were there from 1998 to 2006. Actually the journey started earlier when a friend called us in Grand Rapids where I was going to seminary. She felt a nudge in prayer that we were meant to be there and help with the start up. I explained that we had no intention of being back for a long time and thanked her for the call but we could not help. Yet the nudge was transferred as I thought and prayed about it until 2 years later, to my surprise, we returned earlier then planned and joined the New Hope journey.
This journey for me and my kids was not just at New Hope but later included Hillside and was a journey through the Calgary church plants.
Although we were called to "help", at New Hope it was where ironically I felt a call to study further or maybe better to say a call back after loosing my mother to cancer, suffering through grief and depression and 3 kids later, I felt God's calling to pick up my studies again and go into ministry. The church recognized leadership and other skills in myself and nudge me to this call. So did a few others at the time when Dale, Layne, Heather and myself went off to study, each going in our own ministry way and yet still present in Calgary. I have heard that New Hope continues to have such fruit and will at times looses fruit to other places...
(I am also reminded that New Hope and Hillside was working together earlier when we had the Women's group, Mothers and Others we use to call it, that met at Maranatha church for about five years starting in 1998.)
I left New Hope and started at Hillside as an intern pastor for a brief time. We lingered there another 4 years until we came to our current church.
I witness God's finger prints over each church, carry special memories and old friendships (some I still have). Its exciting to see you merge together in what I call the Hybrid church. My only problem is when I am visiting I can not always remember who is from which church! But maybe that is just as well...I am excited to see what God has planned for you in this new chapter! Sandy Reynolds
Your Story - Finding God at New Hope Church September 13, 2015 Our family story as part of the New Hope Church community starts in 2005. Anna and I had just returned from a year of adventure living abroad in the Netherlands and scratching our travel bug throughout Europe. We had moved into a little, rather run-down old bungalow in West Hillhurst. We were seeking a new church and preferably one in the neighbourhood that we could walk or bike to on Sunday mornings.
At the time, Robin Bailey was an associate pastor with New Hope as he prepared to start a church plant in Cochrane. Robin was previously a youth pastor at the church in Taber that Anna attended growing up. This connection peaked our interest to give New Hope a try one Sunday morning. We had an immediate connection with the casual and comfortable feeling of New Hope. We were also attracted to New Hope’s Reformed denomination as it gave us assurance the church was at least somewhat grounded in reasonable theology.
The deeper attraction to New Hope was the willingness of the church to embrace mystery. It seemed like New Hope was a church that did not need to have all the answers. A comfort with the beauty found in the grey of truth, faith and life provided a sense of relevance and authenticity for us that we found re-assuring. We have always appreciated the willingness to see God in the world at New Hope. Looking for God in the world is powerful even when it is not always clear or easy to discern the holy from the profane. It was and is refreshing to not artificially separate Christianity and the church from the broader community. We love seeing god in our cities and neighbourhoods. Experiencing God in our school (even a public school!) and through our teachers. Learning about God through sports (with a slight preference for basketball of course). Remembering that God is at our workplaces (and eventually reading about ‘God at Work’).
The willingness to experience God everywhere is a powerful reminder that nothing in our world is all good and nothing is truly purely evil or unredeemable. As we learned through New Hope, and as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn powerfully reminds us, ‘the line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man’. The tension in the approach of experiencing God everywhere is one of the reasons why we believe New Hope doesn’t feel too ‘churchy’ and is able to avoid the ‘Christianese’ that limits the opportunity for some Christian churches to demonstrate Christ’s love to the whole world. As a result of this resonance, we did not do any other ‘church shopping’ and have remained part of the New Hope community for the last 10 years.
During our time as part of the New Hope community, we were blessed to experience many family milestones. Both our children, Solomon and Marion, were baptized at New Hope Church and our niece and nephew were also baptized by John. Both of Anna’s brothers were married by Pastor John (brother Henry was even married at a Catholic Cathedral by John and a Catholic Deacon). We made many lifelong friends, including with people who had to leave the New Hope community for a variety of reasons. We participated in the Ubuntu group and hosted our guests from Malawi at our home. New Hope has become an integral part of our lives.
We are now looking forward to the next phase of the New Hope journey as we move to our new space and join together with the Hillside community. Plus it will be great to go to church in our new neighbourhood of Brentwood. We will be walking or riding down the hill with our kids when the Sunday weather permits. As we continue our journey, hopefully we can keep Metallica coming to church and experiencing God’s blessing in all parts of our lives together.
Searching for God (through a Giant Squid) September 05, 2015 WOW, amazing. Matt has always had a fascination and love for Giant squids. He has been intrigued by them and awe stricken by their beauty. Naturally we were all (the Freeman five) excited to tune into your sermon this morning from Suwon, S.Korea. Thank you for teaching us and sharing with us the inquiry and curiosity for God through the Giant Squid. We love how you continue to cultivate our curiosity of learning more about God and seeing God in all that we do, see, feel and experience. You help remind us that God is everywhere, and everywhere is God. As we reach towards him, he is there reaching for us. Thank you. Mei-Lyn Freeman
Your Story - Finding God at New Hope Church September 05, 2015 I started attending New Hope about four years ago. I have attended a church all my life. As in any area of life, sometimes a change is needed. I started coming to New Hope off and on. I read John's book "The Day Metallica came to church". I was impressed by the way of thinking, God is everywhere! God moments! Where is God in....? the parable of.....! This gave me a sense of freedom, openness in thought, a breath of fresh air! The idea that no matter where, what, or when, God can be found, God is there! This was on the one hand a new concept for, yet it is something that I have come to realize I have known to be all along! That is what I have found at New Hope! I now attend regularly.
There is a certain sense of community at New Hope, yet if you choose not to be too involved that is okay too. I feel at home here and am excited to experience and learn what God has planned for the future of this church!
God's goodness in a Landlord August 06, 2015 In my home town of Bellingham, WA, 54% of the population rents. This is becoming the norm for millions of Americans who have essentially become modern day land serfs, renting and paying someone else’s mortgage. Today's landlords collect as much as 1/3 to 1/2 of their tenant's incomes which in turn pays for 100% of the landlord's costs plus. What then does the landlord provide? Ownership! Legal ownership. Thus, having determined that the surest path to wealth is to become a leech with a deed, and having made the conscious decision to live off others, landlords have become one of America's biggest success stories. Alas, there is a shortage of landlords! We need new ones to keep the current ones from taking even more of our meager pay. Pitiful, isn't it? Yet here is a Christian putting a happy face on this socially acceptable form of exploitative economic behavior - so long as it is done with a Christian attitude. And why not? Christian preachers once counseled slave owners. Marty Lee (via Vimeo)
Your Story - Finding God at New Hope Church July 30, 2015 Before meeting my husband a few years ago, I had never been to church (except occasional Christmas Eve services with my grandparents). My concept/experience of church before was learning information that was hard to understand and maybe worse, hearing something that left you feeling like you weren’t doing the best you should. For me, New Hope has never been that way. I feel so comfortable and at home when I go to church now. It’s the sense of honesty and vulnerability that makes NH unlike any place else (as well as the music). John has a way of explaining things that truly does allow you to “experience God everywhere”.
Your Story - Finding God at New Hope Church July 25, 2015 We started attending New Hope 12 years ago when it was the "cool" thing to do. At first we weren't very involved or connected to New Hope, until the first of our three sons was born five and half years ago. After his birth, we rapidly learned that we needed to lean into this community that loves and supports us as we are raise three little ones. The love and kindness that we feel displayed towards their rambunctious spirits at New Hope is invaluable, as we work hard to mould them into young boys who see God in everything.
For me, the spirit of the New Hope community was most poignant when I had a heart attack as a post-partum complication after our third son was born last summer. There was a deep sense of urgency, on our part, to contact the church. We weren't sure how anyone could help, but we knew that someone else would know what we needed. And we were right. The prayers, the meals, the offers of help were simply overwhelming at a time when we needed New Hope the most.
This is why we are still here after 12 years. It no longer matters if we are "cool" any more. But it sure matters to know that we have an entire community of authentic, genuine, real people who are ready to pitch in when the rubber hits the road.
Your Story - Finding God at New Hope Church July 23, 2015 The main thing I love and appreciate about New Hope is the sense of community and family. John, Heather, and the whole leadership team are a huge part of this in that they really communicate and engage with everyone, and I think that definitely sets the 'tone' for our church. We are a small group and although I am by no means close to everyone there, it is easy to be a new member, as we were some 5 years ago, and not feel intimidated or out of place. Another important factor for us, especially as a young family with small children, we have always felt that our WHOLE family (babies included) could sit and be welcomed to listen to the sermon if they were a little more shy of Little Lambs/ Discovery Zone on certain (or all;) days. The Chens
Your Story - Finding God at New Hope Church July 20, 2015 Having come from a traditional Anglican Church, I was in awe hearing music when I walked into New Hope Church for the
first time, I heard a guitar, a drum and I was hooked.I love music! I had not at this point even heard the message.
Then I listened to Layne give the message.
Today, I do not recall what the message was about, but I was anxious for sunday to arrive again so I could walk through
the door of New Hope and listen to music and what God and John had to tell me. And so, I found a home for the past 14 years.
I have seen many changes at New Hope, personnel, congregation, but the message has always stayed the same, God Loves Me.
He gives me strength and courage to keep me going each day. John was there for me when my husband and stepdaughter passed
away with 3 weeks of each other, but I knew I was not alone dealing with my grief.
I know that today I am a better person then I was yesterday, because I accept Gods Love for me. ( and I am 17% less judgemental)
I look forward to a few more years ( I hope) attending New Hope wherever we worship. Lillian
I grew up in a church-going, Bible thumping home - we were in the habit of going to church twice on Sundays and at least once more during the week for prayer meetings or youth group activities. I hated church as I associated it with boredom and guilt and being forced to do things I despised.
Sundays we were forced to socialize for those big "invite-some-strange-family-over" Sunday dinners. I, as the oldest girl, often had to do the mountain of dishes by myself as my parents relaxed with the guests.
Sundays we were forced to eat food I didn't like - my Mom didn't make breakfast on Sundays and we had to eat Puffed Wheat, which I hate because it makes me gag. I always went to church nauseated and hungry.
Sundays we always missed the ending of the Sunday Disney show because we had to get to evening church.
I never woke up Sunday mornings eager to experience the second day of every weekend. I always woke up Sundays with a sense of doom and a never-realized hope that my Mom and Dad had overslept. I always woke up Sunday mornings wishing it was Monday.
My high school years were spent at a religious boarding school where we did even more church if that was possible. Once every morning, an additional session every Tuesday evening, plus twice or three times on every Sunday. Then we suffered through twice-a-year conferences with twice-a-day church. By the time I was a married adult I felt I was stuffed full-to-vomiting with the Bible - I was so sick of it and all it represented.
Going to church became even more of a burden - a chore I had to do to maintain my salvation - something you did because it was expected, but everything was so old and false and I just wanted to be done with it. To the chagrin of my mild mannered husband I rebelled and took a 5 year church holiday. I found a measure of relief but there was an underlying sense of loss as well. I didn't miss church but I did miss God.
Then we found New Hope via a relative who had periodically attended. From the first moment I felt like I had come home. I had found many of the things I had been craving; no expectations, no pretensions, no dress code, an open invitation to be involved as much as I wanted to be involved. The underlying theme of God is Everywhere really stuck a chord in my under-developed sense of spirituality.
I was reintroduced to old, well known bible stories and ideas which became new and deeply personal for me. I found time and again that I was experiencing wonder from things I had grown tired of. What I was hearing and seeing on Sundays revealed a previously squashed need to meet God during the rest of my life. NH has awakened my desire (and the tools) to develop my spiritual life.
Community events have always been difficult for me, as a confirmed introvert, but I feel that NH has also allowed me to develop my place in this church's community at my pace, with no pressure or judgment.
The telling event came a few years ago when we woke up late one Sunday morning and needed to make a quick decision about going to church. In a previous life I would have said a quick prayer of gratitude and gone back to sleep. I hate being late (if late is even possible at our church) and it was never a big loss to miss church, but this day I wanted to make the effort - I wanted to go to church. Amazing!
I came to visit new hope at the 2006 Christmas coffee house with my friend Mark. It was there that I unexpectedly got recruited by Gary Strom to play piano and sing on a worship team. I soon discovered a very laid back, refreshing, contemporary approach to worship; and in church in general. This was the one and only time that I'd ever experienced a place where the secular world, and the religious world, were married together fluently. I fell in love with this new way of looking at church; without the hypocrisy of organized religion. This was a place I could be real, be myself, and not have to be concerned about being a fallible human.
Your Story - Finding God at New Hope Church July 20, 2015 Like most people the majority of my friendships start at work. Spending 8 hours a day, 5 days a week with people and you start to get to know each other pretty well. One of my friends from work was struggling with her marriage and had a lot of unanswered questions. In our conversations church and God became more and more of focus point. While her experience with church was more limited than mine over time the desire to know more was contagious. In retrospect I believe it was the feeling of hope, and being attracted to a community where seeing and knowing God can provide a lot of answers for life. Our family was not attending New Hope Church at the time. We were at a more traditional church. When she said she would like to come to church with our family deep down I knew that where we attended was not the right place for her and her child. I knew of New Hope but never attended myself. We tried it out ahead of time to see if this was a place where someone new to the faith can learn and be welcomed. It only two Sunday’s and we not only knew that New Hope was a the perfect place to take our friend but it was also the perfect place for our family. That was 16 years ago, and we feel the same way today. Chuck