Encouragement From The Word

Merry Christmas!

At this notoriously busy time of year, let me encourage you simply to stop for a few minutes, amid all that’s going on around you, and spend some time chewing on this passage of Scripture.

For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
 His government and its peace
will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen!
  (Isaiah 9.6-7, NLT)

Let each name for Jesus in this prophecy wash over you, comfort you, and encourage you as we celebrate the most miraculous birth of all time.

Merry Christmas!  I invite you to worship at St. Paul’s Church, Nobleton on this special weekend.  Service times are printed below.  God’s best!



Interested in a Retreat in Daily Life?

Church life can be about making a difference in your own life, too.  There are many ways that can happen, and one of those ways that’s coming up this fall, about which you have been hearing announcements, is a Retreat In Daily Life that we at St. Paul’s are sharing with our sister congregation, Cornerstone Church in Kleinburg.

A retreat in daily life is a bit like a regular retreat, where you go off to a special place and find yourself challenged by God’s Word as you are led into a deeper walk with the Lord.  But in this case, because it’s “in daily life”, you don’t go off to a special place.  Your retreat happens each day, in your own daily experience.  Then, once a week for five weeks, you meet with a spiritual director to discuss some Scripture passages that you have been reading for each week, and you can talk about how any of those passages have gained new meaning for you as you let them live in your spirit while you went about your everyday activities.  Meeting with a spiritual director gives you the opportunity to reflect on where God is showing up in your life, in ways great or small.

This process is a concentrated (5-week) form of the ongoing spiritual direction opportunity that I offer to people in the congregation, where we meet once every few weeks in a safe, confidential environment to discuss the ways God is at work in their lives.  As I describe spiritual direction, the basic structure goes like this:  I will read a passage of Scripture and pray for you, and then if some word or phrase from the Scripture seems to jump out at you, we can discuss that, and you can share what’s been going on as we look for God in the details of life.  Spiritual direction is not counselling or therapy, but a spiritual discipline which helps to build our faith more and more.  There are different forms that spiritual direction can take, and your spiritual director – me, or the person assigned to you in the Retreat in Daily Life – listens to the Holy Spirit to discern if a particular approach should be taken with you in a given session.

The cost for the RDL is $50, and you can register by speaking to me.  I’ll gladly entertain your questions, too.  The retreat begins with a group worship session on Saturday, September 15 and concludes with a closing session on Saturday, October 20.  Mutually convenient dates for your meetings with a trained spiritual director will be set once we have a clear picture of how many participants there will be between the two congregations.

I know that my own experience with a spiritual director has been life-enriching, and I think some in our congregation who meet with me for spiritual direction would say the same.  So if you’d like to take spiritual direction for a test-drive by signing up for a 5-week retreat in daily life, let me know.  I think you will find it a blessing.