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July 12th, 2011

Those Who Bear God’s Name

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The Power of the Name from cogwebcast on Vimeo.

Most Christians will readily admit that it is not good to swear or use God’s name as a “filler” for lack of something better to say. Yet the third commandment is concerned with matters far greater than the profane banter in the workplace or schoolyard. Jeff Patton delves into the scripture to bring to light God’s instructions on who bears His name and how His name is to be honoured.

July 12th, 2011

Suffering Coming Soon…

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gonorrhea-microbe
The “clap” is now resistant to all of this world’s most powerful antibiotics. Anyone who knows something about the microbial world knew it would happen someday. It was just a matter of time. Yesterday, Dr. Magnus Unemo announced…

July 11th, 2011

God Loves You: What Really Matters

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Feast Blog 2009

As we look forward to the Feast of Tabernacles  let’s remember the lessons of previous festival seasons, and prepare for our best Feast yet.

Today’s sermon about “Does God hear your Heartbeat,” spoke to my heart and brought to mind the struggle I have with feeling loved by God. In the months before my father died, I would go with my youngest son, JJ, who was 6 years old, and give Grandpa a big hug and a kiss before bed. This had been my nightly ritual from my earliest childhood. But, in his last months, my usually undemonstrative Dad , perhaps as a way of saying goodbye if that night were to be his last, said every evening, “Always remember I love you. ” It was something that has stuck with me and made me realize in times of stress and difficulty that if my human father could speak to my need and know how much I needed to hear those comforting words, then my heavenly Father knows that and much more. The Feast in Kelowna in 1998 was one of those times of great stress for our family.

Though the  Feast has not always been a happy time, the lessons learned are always valuable. One of my husband, Jeff’s, favourite little sayings about this time of year comes from a comic in the Jerusalem Post a few years ago. We Anglos wish each other a “Happy year” but the Jews wish each other a “Good year” and the punch line is, “What is good for us does not always make us happy! I have to acknowledge the wisdom of this in my life.

My most “memorable” Feast was a non-feast in many ways. It had begun poorly a week earlier when our church disfellowshipped us and said we would not be welcome at our planned feast site. We were never really told why, but we could surmise that they did not appreciate my husband for writing about the need to establish an impartial way of effecting justice in the churches of God. So now our feast plans were up in the air, and we were dealing with major emotional turmoil. The pastor, who had oversight of the feast site, was a good friend of ours and he said, “Y’all come anyway.” But we were just looking for peace and we knew that our presence would be a real red flag in front of the bull. No, we needed another option. Mom had talked to some of her friends and they had encouraged us to come join them at another feast site in the vicinity, so once that was settled we could carry on with our travel plans as anticipated. More

July 10th, 2011

Alone at the Feast: What Really Matters

1 Comment, Articles, Carolanne Patton, by CGP.

 

Feast Blog 2009

As we look forward to the Feast of Tabernacles let’s remember the lessons of previous festival seasons, and prepare for our best Feast yet.

There I was at Ambassador College in Bricketwood, England, and not feeling my normally confident, cheerful, nerdy self. I wasn’t happy and perhaps I was in denial about the source of my trouble.

There I was living my “dream,” one I had worked for since those days in summer camp 5 years earlier when I fell in love with my SEP counselors’ tales about college, and I learned about England from a campmate who was a bona fide Limey.  But now, I was seventeen, had completed Grade 13 and was in England, the home of my ancestors. The campus had a wonderful rural, small town atmosphere that was just what I was looking for and I was already busily engaged in and enjoying classes and work.

But something was amiss. I had gained 15 lbs in just a few weeks, and I was feeling awkward in my new shape. Working in the kitchen with access to unlimited food, clockwork tea and biscuit breaks, and regular visits to the common room for Horlicks, ginger beer, the ubiquitous nuts and raisins, or gouda cheese could account for the changes. But there was something deeper. I had great roomies, interesting classmates, stimulating professors, but perhaps being quiet or shy outside the classroom setting, had hampered me in making new friends.

Then the feast came and the whole campus moved in a grand bus caravan to the holiday camp at the seaside town of Minehead on England’s west coast. Bus trips and I have never had a good relationship; I can still vividly remember in exquisite detail all the horrors of my two-day trip to SEP camp in Orr, Minnesota, during the height of the Detroit riots. I have since learned I have severe petro-chemical sensitivities that explains why diesel fumes puts me into a tailspin of nausea and vomiting. So I knew I was in trouble as I anticipated a day trip in a coach along winding English roads.
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July 8th, 2011

Adventures to Share: What Really Matters

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Feast Blog 2009

As we look forward to the Feast of Tabernacles  let’s remember the lessons of previous festival seasons, and prepare for our best Feast yet.

Sometimes the traveling to or from the Feast can be a great adventure with many lessons learned. My second year at college I joined a group of students, with varying levels of French fluency on a train trek across Europe to the idyllic mountain village of Praz sur Arly. I don’t know why we thought we needed to carry all of our meager wardrobe across the continent, but it seems that most of us showed up ready to go with a huge valise and flight bag that would have kept us clothed for months. We were either going to build major muscle groups in our arms or destroy our spines. More

July 8th, 2011

Eliminating Idols

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Eliminating Idols from cogwebcast on Vimeo.

Before God reaffirmed the covenant with Jacob it was essential that Jacob, renamed Israel (Prince with God), and his household were “idol free.” When Israel left Egypt, it was with the understanding that the idols of Egypt had been vanquished by the God of their fathers: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Isrealites were leaving behind all the trappings of false worship and embracing the worship of God that He would prescribe when He met them at Sinai. Jeff Patton talks about God’s covenantal purpose in fashioning us, the Israel of God, into His image. So what are the idols in our lives that we must renounce in favour of the worship of the true God?

July 7th, 2011

Who’s Really Guilty? Adam or Eve?

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Adam and Eve and the Forbidden Fruit

Is Eve more guilty than Adam?

By Jean Jantzen

In our modern twentieth century perspective, most people within the Christian community suppose that Mother Eve was totally responsible for the fall of humanity and the dire consequences that followed her actions in the Garden of Eden. The origin of mankind’s trouble begins with the encounter between Eve and the beautiful serpent in the Garden.  It is in this garden where Eve succumbs to the temptation to partake of the fruit of the tree of good and evil.  Was only Eve then responsible?  What was Adam’s role or accountability in this major historical event?  If Adam and Eve were put on trial for their part in “the forbidden fruit episode”, what would be the outcome?  It is the popular view that I would like to explore and see if there is any validity to the accusations…