January 16th, Pastors Garage,

Hey there,

Well it would seem the “hot topic” of discussion the last few days has been about a subject that could be defined as anything but hot, the weather! It has been rather chilly to say the least, with the news continually stating that our area is the coldest place on earth for this week! Its during times like this that I once again contemplate the validity and wisdom of a warm winter holiday! Not that we are able to take one every year but I have been on a few and it always amazes me how one can get on a plane at -30, get off a few hours later at +30, and how ones mood, outlook, and even breathing ability can improve so quickly and drastically! It really breaks up the winter and has a way of reminding us that “It’s gonna be ok, life’s still worth living, don’t give up yet!” Unfortunately it’s not financially feasible for us this winter. We’ll just have to grin and bear it and take comfort in the fact that at least due to the cold there likely wont be a outbreak of malaria in this part of the world next summer!
Last night I was at a bible study focusing on prayer and the question was asked “how can we find ways to help us focus in prayer and get away from distraction?” While I didn’t share this thought, my mind went to last Tuesday when Pastor Dave and myself took a drive to Regina and spent a few hours in the Regina Apostolic prayer room praying for wisdom and direction for our church and for our men in specific. I found the drive and change in atmosphere helpful and refreshing and I believe it helped us to focus better. A wise person once told me that its really hard to recognize dysfunction, and how to get out of it from, within any given circumstance, but when we remove ourselves we can better diagnose issues and how to deal with them. It’s not that Dave and myself couldn’t possibly pray or focus in our church, but I believe the time driving and the change of scenery did help us to focus more clearly and gain fresh insight to what we were struggling with! Its the same principle of a warm winter holiday. Its not that its impossible to stay alive and find enjoyment here at -30, but given the financial ability, desire, and disposable time, a trip down south can be very enjoyable and improve ones outlook on life!
How’s your spiritual life doing? Do you think it possible your operating in any dysfunction? Does it feel alive, warm and vibrant or are you in a season similar to our weather as of late? The lament of any event planner is that the people who “need it the most usually” don’t bother coming, but the reality is that part of the reason they need it the most is cause they “never come to those kind of events!” As it is so hard to recognize dysfunction from within, it is imperative that we take opportunity to get a change of scenery every once and awhile to better diagnose how we’re doing and formulate strategy to make improvements in our lives. This is why I believe it essential for every believer to take a spiritual “winter holiday” as often as possible. Its why I’m a firm believer in Bible camps, retreats, conferences, and courses. They pull us out of our normal day to day surroundings and we magically start to notice things in our lives that need some attention and we are better able to formulate strategy as to how to deal with those areas. For those of you who are married, allow me to give you a opportunity to put this principle in place! Shauna Dimler and Kelly Phillips have been working on a marriage retreat for our church at circle square in Feb. Does one only go to events like this if your marriage is really in trouble? NO, you go because you don’t want your marriage to be in trouble! Please consider joining us!
Pray for me as I share this Sunday on James 3:7-12. Please pray for Rachel Kardash as she leads us in worship. Just a reminder that this Sunday is family Sunday, meaning there will be no Sunday School during church and a potluck after. Would you consider using this as a opportunity to invite someone to church, offering to make enough food to cover them as well?

Stay warm,
Pastor Mike