December 10 ~ Pastor Gary

December 10 ~ Pastor Gary

The Coming King: Mighty God Isaiah 9:2-7     http://cbcilderton.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Sermon-Dec-10-2017.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android |...

Shortbread, Sweaters, and Unending Praise ~ Pastor Gary

With just two and a half weeks until Christmas (sorry for reminding you) you are likely in the midst of all the planning and activity for the season. Surely no time of year has such predictable rhythms and traditions associated with it. We plan office parties and our holiday visiting schedule, we bake the time-honoured family favourites, hear all the traditional carols many times over, decorate the home, put off our shopping, and pull out that ugly Christmas sweater again. For many of us these rhythms provide a sense of stability and comfort, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, as I was meditating during devotions earlier this week, I also reflected on the dangers of familiarity. There is a lot of truth to the expression familiarity breeds contempt. I was thinking of our advent season, and particularly our sermon series centred on Isaiah 9:6:  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. This is the best known of the prophecies concerning the birth of Christ, and we are guaranteed to come upon it every year through devotional reading, Christmas cards, cantatas, or preaching. How do we protect our hearts from the dangers of familiarity? How do we approach the familiar with the kind of awe and wonder of a child on Christmas morning? As I expressed my desire to the Lord to not treat him with apathetic familiarity (or worse contempt even) he drew my attention to Psalm 145. I know it probably feels like I...
December 3 ~ Pastor Gary

December 3 ~ Pastor Gary

The Coming King: Wonderful Counsellor Isaiah 8:19-9:7    http://cbcilderton.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Sermon-Dec-3-2017.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android |...

The Word made flesh: our life and light. ~ Pastor Gary

In 1866, a Welsh missionary with the London Missionary Society named Robert Jermain Thomas departed China with the objective to provide bibles to the Korean peninsula. At this time the Chinese and Korean languages shared some characters such that educated Koreans could read Chinese bibles. According to a personal diary entry Thomas learned enough Korean to share “some of the most precious truths of the Gospel.” It would not be without risk as the Korean people, as a whole, were hostile to foreigners and bibles were given or taken at the risk of fines, imprisonment, and even decapitation. “Death to the Western Barbarians! Death to all Christians!” were slogans shouted on the streets of Pyongyang. Yet in his first visit, in the fall of 1865, Thomas found some eager to listen to the good news of the gospel and to accept Christian literature, even with the known risks. And so, Thomas was eager to return and boarded an American ship whose intentions we are today unsure of. Various reports suggest either smuggling, spying, or trading; any of the aforementioned being forbidden within this closed culture. In addition to a large supply of bibles, Thomas carried a love for the Korean people and a desire for the light of God’s love to shine upon them. Unfortunately, hostilities broke out between the American ship and the Korean coast guard resulting in the burning of the ship. As it sank, Thomas struggled to the shore as the lone survivor taking with him all the bibles he could carry. When the Korean soldiers came to him he thrust God’s Word into their hands,...

Opposition or Opportunity? ~ Pastor Gary

Have you heard the one about the two salesmen? Well, looking to expand its business a shoe company sent a salesman to a remote part of the country. When he arrived, he was dismayed because everyone went around barefoot. So he sent word back to home office: “No prospect for sales. People don’t wear shoes here.” Later, another salesman went to the same territory. He too immediately sent word to his company saying: “Great potential! People don’t wear shoes here!” Isn’t it remarkable how different our perspectives are! It is no different when it comes to spiritual perspective. Where one Christian sees opposition another sees opportunity. This is certainly true for evangelism. Why do some of us so regularly have opportunities to share our faith whilst others see only opposition? Could it be a matter of perception? In Numbers 13 we read of the twelve spies spying out the promised land and reporting back to home office. All of the spies saw the tremendous fruit of the land, a land “flowing with milk and honey”. But they also saw fortified cities and inhabitants so large they felt as grasshoppers in their own eyes. Due to the opposition ten of the spies gave a bad report of the land and its opportunity, whilst two (Joshua and Caleb) said, “go for it”. Ten of the 12 spies forgot God’s promises. They forgot his faithfulness, he provision, and his works. All they could see was opposition. They took their eyes off the solution, off what they knew to be true, and dwelt on the problem. Is it possible that you sometimes focus...