Generosity Reality Check ~ Pastor Gary

Notre Dame University’s Science of Generosity Initiative (http://generosityresearch.nd.edu/) has recently shone a light upon American’s notions and habits with regards to generosity and giving.  Some of their findings include[i]: About two-thirds of Americans agree that it is very important to be a generous person Americans perceive themselves as a generous nation 45% of Americans gave no money to charity in the previous year (including a staggering 40% of those who said a generous self-identity was important to them!) Less than 25% of Americans gave more than $500 annually. In short, a relatively small number give freely and generously whilst most give little to nothing I am not necessarily surprised by these results, but do find it very interesting to have such a significant gap between ideals and self-perception and the cold hard facts. What is behind this gap between intention and action? Often it comes down to perception again: too often those who are able to give do not see themselves as part of the solution. Giving is for “rich people” and, of course, they do not see themselves as rich. Did you know that to be in the top 50% of world citizens in terms of net assets (value of all assets including your home, car, accounts etc less your debt) all you need to your name is $3,210. Just $68,800 in net assets places you in the wealthiest 10%. The picture below illustrates the wealth level of the average person by country with the yellow nations representing the wealthiest and the blue and green the least. We can all find people close to us who seem to...
October 8 ~ Pastor Andrew

October 8 ~ Pastor Andrew

Freed by the Gospel: When Unity Does & Doesn’t Matter Galatians 2:1-10     http://cbcilderton.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Oct-8-2017-A-Hall.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android |...

Unity in the Gospel Ministry ~ Pastor Andrew

There is something incredibly painful about church division.  In my pastoral ministry, I have seen conflicts erupt over a clock being moved, dishes being washed, and decorations gone astray.  Little things can become massive points of contention. As long as there have been humans, there have been conflicts.  Visionaries and lone rangers have often split and fractured the church.  Gifted and strong individuals are sometimes prone to exercise their gifts in divisive ways.  But the wise Christian knows and sees that the unity of the church was necessary for the success of gospel mission. What is so interesting about unity is this: the more you make unity a primary goal, the more elusive it becomes.  Unity is a fruit of gospel ministry. In Paul’s mission, he knew that the success of his mission was dependent upon having Jew and Gentile share one mind on saving faith.  So he worked hard to build unity on the basis of the gospel.  If the goal is gospel advancement, how do we work together?  Galatians 2 gives us some clues. First, no church succeeds unless they are on the same page (Gal. 2:1).  And differences can become barriers to cooperation.  But not for Paul.   Partnering with Barnabas and Titus, he ensured that their racial diversity as Jew and Gentile did not result in division but in a demonstration of gospel oneness. Second, a church moves forward when they are compelled by God (Gal. 2:2).  No inward neediness in Paul nor outward pressure to please people caused Paul to act.  He was motivated by the glory and revelation of God. Third, mission succeeds when...
October 1 ~ Pastor Andrew

October 1 ~ Pastor Andrew

Free From the Past Galatians 1:11-24    http://cbcilderton.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Sermon-Oct-1-2017.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android |...

Freed from the past ~ Pastor Gary

Sometimes I wonder if I had no past and no future, would I act differently today. That is to say, how are my daily actions limited by past failures and future worries? We know as Christians we are not to be limited by our past for if we are in Christ we are a “new creation (2 Cor 5:17)”, and we ought not fret for our future for just as the Lord cares for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field he cares for us (cf Matt 6:25-34). Thus, he expects (and enables) us to seek daily the kingdom of God unhindered by past mistakes and future concerns. We then walk in the newness of life promised to us able to glorify God in all we do, whether in word or deed. If you are like me, this is easier said than done. Think of the energy we expend in fashioning our lives in order to manage how we are perceived, what we may accomplish, and who we may impress. It can be an exhausting task. Not that we are to live lives void of ambitions, activity, and accomplishment. Paul spoke of the Lord granting us “good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Eph 2:10b)”. Can we trust that He really has prepared us for our day’s work regardless of our past failures and shortcomings? Can we trust that he will make a way for us in the future, such that we are freed to serve him and others today with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength? Do...