Pastor Mike’s Garage June 17th, 2021
June 17, 2021
*Pastor Mike’s Garage-June 17/2021*
Earlier this week I went, along with my family, to Wolseley to stand
with several hundred other people to honour the ultimate sacrifice paid by
a member of our Police service as the body of constable Patton was brought
back to the funeral home to prepare for burial. My wife had worked with him
several times in her role as Coroner for this area. While I had never met
him personally, I still found it a pretty emotional experience as many
police vehicles and other service vehicles drove by slowly lights flashing
in silence, and to see the hearse drive by. As I looked around, I saw tears
in many eyes, in men, women, children, and also in the eyes of the many
constables as they drove by, remembering their comrade and feeling the
support of the many who came out to honour him and them. I don’t mind
telling you our eyes were not dry either!
As we were standing waiting for the entourage to arrive, I thought of
the reality that constable Patton would probably be totally shocked at the
amount of nation-wide attention he was receiving. My thoughts went to fact
that early Saturday morning, as he was responding to the call, he would not
have had any idea what the day’s events would unfold. I wondered what
preoccupied his thoughts earlier that day. In my wife’s role as coroner,
she deals with many scenarios similar to this. While obviously the
particulars are different, the outcome has parallels. Whether it be a
serious health event, accident, or a senseless act of violence, it usually
involves someone getting up having no clue this day would be their last. I
often wonder what occupied their thoughts leading up to the event that
culminates in their passing. What were they excited about, what were they
worried about, what were they looking forward too, what were they stressed
about? If I was to have any idea that today was my last, how important
would many of the things that occupy my thoughts seem? What’s on your mind
today? What’s totally stressing you out or weighing you down? What are you
looking forward too or longing to achieve or acquire? If this was your last
day on this earth, how important would any of those things be?
While I don’t think totally preoccupying our thoughts with our
eventual demise would necessarily be a healthy thing, I do think it wise to
ask ourselves these questions from time to time. Pastor Dave gave me a book
awhile back to read called “Living Life Backwards” by David Gibson. It’s a
study on the book of Ecclesiastes and I wholeheartedly recommend it. It
basically focuses on the fact that because our life is brief what should we
focus on and prioritize our lives after. To quote the introduction to the
book, “Keeping the end in mind shapes how we live our lives in the here and
now. Living life backwards means taking the one thing in our future that is
certain-death-and letting that inform our journey before we get there.”
This is a message and principle applicable for every age group and
I will close this PG by quoting a few verses from the bible along
these lines. “You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many
months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer.” Job 14:5 “You
saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are
your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!” Psalm 139:16,17
“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.”
Psalm 90 “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me
that my days are numbered-how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no
longer that the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to
you, at best, each of us but a breath. We are merely moving shadows, and
all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who
will spend it. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in
you.” Psalm 39:4-7
June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day
June 15, 2021
National Indigenous Peoples Day is this coming Monday on June 21, 2021. You
can read a bit more about it on this website:
In light of some of the tragedies that have happened in the past (some of
them that we are just learning about now), I think it would be a fitting
day to be called to prayer as a body for our first nations brothers and
sisters and the indigenous people across Canada.
Many of them have faced and are facing very difficult situations, some of
which has been caused by or made more difficult by the church in Canada. We
are not to blame for everything, but I think we have made mistakes in the
past and there is merit and value to acknowledging it, repenting of it and
moving forward. Read Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9.
Regardless, they are a people that need our prayers. A few years ago I was
meeting with a gentleman named Ron Kaye who lived on Sakimay. He was a
strong Christian man who was saved and discipled years ago under Ron
Hooper’s ministry. I asked him once what he thought his people needed most
and how the local church could help. He quickly answered and said, “Give us
Jesus and pray that we would turn to him. There is nothing else we need!”
So let’s honor that and prayer together on June 21st that in the midst of
all the struggles and tragedies that they would find Jesus. That they would
find comfort and that they would find peace and hope. Let’s also repent for
our part and ask God that they be released from the generational damage
that has been done.
Look forward to a Pastor’s Garage from Mike later this week.
Pastor Mike’s Garage June 10, 2021
June 10, 2021
*Pastor Mike’s Garage-June 10/21*
“Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise
wisdom and discipline.” Proverbs 1:7 NLT
I’ve been thinking a lot about foundations lately. Not because I’m
intending on building any kind of structure. Earlier this spring I was
asked by a friend of mine to perform the wedding for his son and fiancé. We
are just about to start getting together to do some pre-marital
counselling. I’ve been challenged in this because I want to give them the
best shot at a successful marriage. I’ve been challenged in this because I
don’t want to just create some busy work, but rather give them some actual
tools and strategy that will enhance their relationship. I’ve been
challenged in this because I’m not sure I have much to offer, in knowledge
or as a role model! I’ve been thinking a lot about the growing pains and
joys of the last eight and a half years of my marriage. As I look at a
myriad of resources on healthy relationships, my own limited knowledge and
experience, and think about the advice offered to me throughout the years,
I have boiled down what I want to offer them to just one piece of advice.
Get close to God!
I read an interesting verse this morning in the book in 1 Kings that
also made me ponder what kind of foundation I am laying, both in the advice
I am offering this young couple and in my own life as well. It is found in
the account of Solomon building the very first Temple for the Lord. 1 Kings
6:7 “The stones used in the construction of the Temple were finished at the
quarry, so there was no sound of hammer, ax, or any other iron tool at the
building site.” I pondered what it must have been like at that construction
site, to see a massive, majestic temple being erected in utter silence!
I’ve been on a couple construction sites in my day. They are not
particularly known for their quiet peaceful atmosphere. Quite often the
workers themselves are not particularly known for their calm reverent
personalities! I’m assuming that the reason for building it in this way was
the extreme reverence the people of Israel had for their God, that even in
the construction process this was to be a place of quiet reverence.
As I was thinking about this, I started looking through the bible for
the word foundation and came across these verses in Ephesians. “So now you
Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along
with all of God’s family. Together, we are His house, built on the
foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ
Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in Him, becoming a holy
temple for the Lord. Through Him you Gentiles are also being made part of
His dwelling where God lives by His Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22 I’m familiar
with the concept of me personally being the Temple of the Holy Spirit, but
I’ve never thought about us a Christian community collectively being that
Temple and what that might look like. In light of our interconnectedness
the thought comes to mind, what kind of foundation piece am I personally?
What does your piece of the Temple look like? Like it or not, we all affect
Maybe I’m a bit naive in my role in this young couples pending
marriage, but I don’t want to be just a hired gun that gets the knot tied.
I want to take an active role in their lives trying to encourage them along
their life journey. In some ways thinking about trying to offer anyone else
advice on marriage has made me ponder my own and try and make sure it’s
also healthy! This thought process is also applicable to my journey with
you, my fellow Christians. I want the best for you, and in trying to offer
any help or advice, it makes me ponder what kind of piece of the Temple am
I personally! We’re all in this together!
June 3, 2021
Thanks for praying for my mom. The surgeon said that everything went well
and they were pleased with the results. She will likely go home today or
sometime tomorrow at the latest.
God bless and have a wonderful weekend.
The Pastor’s Garage June 1, 2021
June 1, 2021
Hello everyone! I hope that you are having a great start to your week.
I know that this is a bit early for a pastor’s garage but I wanted to get
it out early for a reason. I’d like to ask you all to be in prayer for my
mom this week. She is heading into surgery tomorrow to have a large part of
her thyroid removed due to cancer. All signs and scans point to it being
contained in the thyroid, but one can never be sure with cancer. Would you
please pray for an efficient surgery and for all cancer to be removed. My
mom and dad are in good spirits but they would appreciate your prayers. My
dad has to be away for part of the weekend so I will be home with mom to
help her recover over the weekend and I won’t be here Sunday.
This Sunday we will again no longer be having an online sign in. There is
plenty of room now as we are allowed to have 30% of our capacity. Pastor
Mike will be sharing with you and Rachel Kardash will be leading worship.
Please pray for them as they prepare this week. I am so thankful for having
amazing people to serve alongside with!
Oh one more thing… Liz and I are celebrating 13 years of marriage today!
I am very blessed to be married to one absolutely amazing lady!
Enjoy the warm weather and enjoy the good things God has given you!
The Pastor’s Garage May 27th, 2021
May 27, 2021
*Pastor Mike’s Garage/May 27, 2021*
I won’t lie to you, as I sit in front of my computer to write this PG
I honestly feel like I don’t have much to say. I don’t feel particularly
inspired. Many times throughout my life, in fact, probably most of the
time, I constantly find myself on a time table that is behind what I had
originally planned or even on a course of life that was not planned at all!
This year is no exception. When I was booking my seed and fertilizer for my
farming dream last fall, I confidently told the rep I planned on seeding
the last week in April or first week in May. Here I sit on the last week in
May without a single seed in the ground! Now I have a myriad of reasons, I
haven’t been sitting around sipping iced tea! Life just hasn’t gone
exactly as planned. While many people assure me that their lives are no
different, to be honest, as I look around, it always feels like I am the
only one that struggles with this.
Last night while I was winding down from the day, I clicked on a
YouTube video of Rick Warren talking about when his son committed suicide.
He talked about how they were desperately praying for a miracle, hoping for
a strategy to manage, but the situation ended in tragedy. Now I believe God
performs miracles! I believe He also cares for us and wants to bless us!
But sometimes life has a way of throwing curve balls. Sometimes things just
don’t go as planned or desired! It was a pretty powerful video and I’ll put
the link to it at the bottom if you want to watch it but one thing he said
really stuck out. “The deeper the pain, the fewer words you use.” For the
most part I don’t know what you are going through today! I don’t want to
give you trite answers or strategies. I am aware that in light of eternity,
and compared to some of the things going on in the world around me, my
biggest problems are miniscule!
As I think about how hard life can be at times two sets of passages
come to mind. “We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise
us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. All of this is
for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there
will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. That
is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being
renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very
long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will
last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we
fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will
soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. “ 2
Corinthians 4:14-18 “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For
example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit
prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the
Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit
pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that
God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God
and are called according to his purpose for them. “ Romans 8:26-28
Notice about Sunday May 30th, 2021
May 26, 2021
This Sunday marks phase 1 of the reopening plan for Saskatchewan. What that
means is that we can now have up to 30% capacity in our building up to 150
What this means for us:
– We have set the capacity for the sanctuary at about 75 people as long
as people spread out in their seats and remain in family groups.
– The capacity of the balcony is 20 and we can also place a few seats in
the foyer if needed (say 10 more people).
– That means we can have 100+ people in the building.
– No more online sign-up! Just come and make sure your name gets on the
sign-up sheet in the foyer.
– Masks are still in effect.
I’m excited for this and look forward to a bit fuller crowd.
Can’t wait to see you.
A Call to Prayer for May 21st, 2021
May 21, 2021
We just finished men’s prayer and as I was getting up to leave I had this
thought. Let’s have a call to prayer tomorrow (May 21st, 2021) at 10:00am
Please, whatever you are doing, whatever you are busy with please stop and
pray, even if it’s just for a few minutes. I’d like you to shoot to pray
for at least 15 mins, but whatever you do will be beautiful.
I’d like you to pray for 2 people.
– Marg Thompson (Martha Puffault’s daughter) who has recently had
surgery for cancer and will be starting chemo here very soon. Please pray
for God’s grace and healing touch.
– Linda Sens (Rhonda, Brad and Rick’s mother) who is currently in the
hospital on a ventilator and who has recently had her liver begin to fail.
She needs prayer for a miracle as she battles covid.
Just think, at 10 and 2 there will be a whole handful of us crying out to
Weekend Service Sign-up and Update for Sunday May 23rd, 2021
May 19, 2021
Good afternoon again.
This weekend we will go back to one service at 10:30 am which you can sign
up for here: grenfellap.com/gathering-registration/
We are still at a 30 person limit for this service so please sign-up as
soon as possible.
God bless and see you this Sunday.
The Pastor’s Garage May 19th, 2021
May 19, 2021
Good afternoon family. It’s been so wonderful to feel the warm sun on my
face the last few days. I am so thankful and just can’t believe that in a
few days they are calling for the slight possibility of snow. Well, at
least we will get some moisture which we really really need.
This morning I read from Matthew chapter 9 the following verses:
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their
synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every
disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them,
because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers
are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers
into his harvest field.”
When he saw the crowds he had compassion on them. I am the first to admit
that I don’t often feel compassion when I see people who are struggling in
or through life. The addict, the depressed, the sick, the poor, the
lonely, etc… I’ve got great excuses that I use to justify a heart that
can easily move to hardness and apathy when I see them. And there lies the
problem, I don’t think that I actually *see *them. I see the cartoon
character I’ve built in my mind that has all the stereotypical reasons that
they shouldn’t be where they are – mostly to do with them being lazy or
that they somehow made the bed they are sleeping in. Which may have some
truth to it, but I think it is a lot more complicated than that!
Anyway back to seeing them. It’s not always easy to see past the rough
exterior or the painted on smile, especially when we aren’t close to people
or if we don’t know them well. We can develop relationships over time and
get to know people, but there are lots of barriers to this and there is
lots of time involved. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying don’t push
through the barriers or take the time needed to build those relationships –
but what if there was something that could give you a boost on this
journey. Well, I can’t remember if I shared this youtube channel before but
there is a youtube channel called Soft White Underbelly that might fit this
Now before you go and watch any of his videos (and I really debated whether
or not I would post this) you need to be forewarned that his interviews are
raw and unfiltered and not appropriate for the young or for those not ready
to see real life people struggling with some of the hardest issues in life.
He interviews addicts, prostitutes, mob bosses and everyone in between –
including some people who have done some vile things. His purpose is so
that we can get a glimpse into their humanity and have compassion on them.
Please, please know that I have no intention of sending you somewhere
inappropriate or for you to hear or see something that will trigger you. My
hope is that some of us might be stirred by *seeing *with a little more
reality and compassion the brokenness of our world and the desperate need
people have of Christ. If you think it will offend you or disturb you,
please ignore this and move on. And to be clear I have not watched all of
his videos, not even close. but the ones I have watched have left me
sobered, sombre, more empathetic and painfully aware of *our world’s need
for the loving, redeeming, powerful love of Christ.*
Before you watch any of his videos I suggest you watch his intro video
here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA50FoqW-MY. I think this gives a
good framework as to what he is doing. He has a lot of videos! Again, they
are not for children nor are they for the faint of heart. Some of them
contain mature subject matter and I’ve chosen to steer clear of them. I
leave it to your discretion. I will say this though – he does not
glamorize or misrepresent – he basically lets people tell their story AND
this is the world we live in! A world who desperately needs more workers
sent out. If anything we should be motivated to pray! His channel can be
found here: www.youtube.com/channel/UCCvcd0FYi58LwyTQP9LITpA
God bless and have a great week and weekend!