Connecting

Points from the President


Bill's Blog: Summer 2017

Posted by donna on July 19, 2017

Summer 2017.PNG 

Summer 20172.PNGSummer is finally here and I want to encourage all of you to spend time with your families, to rest and recharge … to be still and know that He is God.  Before you know it, turn around twice and the fall preparations will be upon us.

It was such a pleasure to see many of you at the Canada West and Canada East AGC Regional Conferences.

Summer 20173.PNG

The Canada West Conference hosted at McGregor, Manitoba drilled down deep into the high calling for each of us in the AGC to be disciple makers. Discipling is necessary in so many ways. We must disciple because it is the command of Jesus to His Church. We must disciple to equip God’s people to become mature in service, worship and leadership. We are raising up people for the Kingdom and for the Church as a divine expression of that Kingdom on earth. 

Summer 20174.PNGThe Canada East Conference was held at Fair Havens Ministries and was a blessing to all who attended. There was a sense of God moving among us, calling us all to “Chase the Lions “of evil and fear, and to gain the victory in the name of Jesus.

My prayer is that you “Disciple Making Lion Chasers” will find time this summer to recharge yourselves. I commend to you once again to take the time to read Henri Nouwen’s book on Christian leadership, In the Name of Jesus

Summer 20175.PNG

 

 

It was recently my privilege to help lead some National Christian leaders through the disciplines contained in this short, yet powerful book. If you have read it before, read it again.  If you have not read it, find it and let Nouwen and the Spirit of God minister to your soul.

 

 

Blessings,

bill_signature.jpg

Willem Fietje

Summer 20176.PNG


"Chasing the Lion" - A Personal Story

Posted by donna on June 8, 2017

ChasingtheLion (002).pngThose of you who receive emails from me may have noticed that under my signature, I always have a quote from Hudson Taylor, one of my life’s hero’s. Taylor once said, “Without the element of risk there is no need for faith.”

The life of a disciple of Jesus Christ was never meant or promised to be without risk; quite the opposite in fact. Jesus said “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.” (Mark 8:34f)

Jim Elliot, famed martyr, is noted to have said, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he can never lose.” Jim Elliott was killed along with several other young men on the shores of a remote river in the jungles of Ecuador.

I’d like to relate a personal story that illustrates how I came to understand more fully the words that Jesus spoke and that Elliot echoed.


The Holy Spirit and Church Renewal/Revival

Posted by donna on May 2, 2017

holy spirit.jpgThis past January, I joined a team that travelled to Steinbach Manitoba to experience a Church Renewal weekend. For four days, we experienced what God is doing in the lives of the people at Southland Church. For the past two decades, they have walked with God, demonstrating life in the Spirit through confession, prayer, worship, and transformational obedience to God’s Word.

Pastor Ray Duerksen and his wife Fran have experienced God building into their lives. They teach from experience, often through years of real life challenges with which most people could identify. The central teaching is best understood as ‘going back to the ancient basics’ rather than finding the ‘new and improved’ which often captures merely out of our curiosity.


Eph 2vs8.pngFor centuries, church theologians, both scholarly and novice, have been in a bitter struggle about the moment and manner of conversion. This doctrine of salvation has divided serious students and orthodox believers into two camps.

Arminians, following the teachings of Jacobus Arminius, believe that every person, having been made in the image of God, can apply faith in their life. Arminians know that salvation is the gracious gift of God to people, but each person must apply their faith, as small as it is, to receive and activate the salvation freely offered and made known through the Holy Spirit. In short, faith precedes regeneration. Followers of John Wesley and all the denominations that come from that camp would hold to this belief. This would include our friends in the Salvation Army, as well as many brands of the more charismatic or Pentecostal denominations.


The Holy Spirit and Evangelism... Part 1

Posted by donna on March 1, 2017

Evangelism.PNGWhen speaking with Nicodemus, Jesus compared the Holy Spirit to the wind, which cannot be seen, but whose effect is evident.  Perhaps the clearest evidence of the Person and work of the Holy Spirit is seeing unregenerate people continually coming to Christ and receiving salvation … becoming “born again.”

The Scriptures have one central theme from Genesis to Revelation and that is the redemption, reconciliation and restoration of all things back to God the Father through the work of Christ and the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  Ephesians 1:1-10 captures this theme perfectly.  This theme is only made known through the process of revelation.


Holy Spirit and Spiritual Renewal

Posted by donna on February 1, 2017

Holy Spirit Come.PNG

The Apostle Paul reveals the secret of Holy Spirit renewal in Romans 12:1-12 - “I appeal to you therefore brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (ESV)

Paul took 11 chapters to outline what God’s grace means to us, His children. It is all the work of God for His elect. It is Paul’s manner to begin with doctrine and move to practice, and he does so here. Paul makes it clear that we have a vital role to play in living out this grace, and it is to our spiritual benefit to obey God’s injunctions to us.


Prayer and the Holy Spirit

Posted by donna on January 3, 2017

invitation to prayer.jpgThis year, from January 18-25th, believers in Christ around the world will observe the Week of Prayer.  The theme for this year is “Christian Unity.” This is also a time when the Protestant Church celebrates the 500th Anniversary of The Reformation. At the heart of The Reformation is the reality of reconciliation to God through faith, apart from works.

As we contemplate this year’s theme, I want to direct our attention to the role the Holy Spirit plays in bringing about unity and reconciliation.


The Gift of the Holy Spirit

Posted by donna on December 1, 2016

Manger.PNGChristmas is my favourite time of year.  Ever since early childhood, the anticipation of Christmas has been somewhat overwhelming. The thought of gifts and presents had something to do with the anticipation, but it was much more than that. It was the sounds, sights and smell of the season.  It was my keenness to be with extended family. It was Christmas concerts, with the memory of bags of candies being placed in my eager hand as I made my way out the door. It was simply a joyous feeling and it remains that way to this day.

Yet, above all else, it was the story of the birth of Jesus that impacted me the greatest. Even when I wasn’t faithful as a teen, the message of Jesus was truly overwhelming to me. God in the flesh. The incarnation. The walking, talking Jesus.  The very image of God and Man without sin. Such a glorious truth.


The Holy Spirit

Posted by donna on November 2, 2016

Capture.PNGA key tenet of the Christian life is a clear understanding of our identity in Christ. In Christ, we are positionally and experientially in right relationship with God.  We are, through Christ, justified in God’s sight, and in a very personal and practical way, we have an intimate relationship with the Father’s heart and love for us.

 


“The Gospel” … a Living Message

Posted by donna on October 5, 2016

circle hands.png“People do not care how much you know, till they know how much you care.”

Last month, I began a two-part message on the Gospel. In particular, I shared that the Gospel is the ‘Power of God unto Salvation’ (Romans 1:16) and the Gospel is the ‘Righteousness of God revealed.’ (Romans 1:17)

Yet, the Gospel is also something that we need to live out. In 2 Peter 1:3, Peter declares that “His (God’s) divine power has given to us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” He continues by saying, “for this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith (Gospel) goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self control; and to self control, perseverance, and to perseverance, godliness and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love” (2 Peter 1:5-7.)  Peter reminds us “to be eager to make our calling and election sure.” (2 Peter 1:10)