January 2020 at CalGrace
We’re all getting back into our schedules for work, school, and activities. Likely you are also getting started on a bible reading plan for the year. There are many different ones to choose from, as well as cool audio apps. There are useful resources for using the M’Cheyne plan here and here.
It’s also helpful to think about how to order your life as you begin the new year. Spurgeon commented on Psalm 119:133 and made the point that:
A holy life is a masterpiece of order. Holiness rejoices in symmetry, proportion, harmony, order.
Added to the weekly rituals and rhythms of life, we are blessed to have special events that are a seasonal stimulus for our Christian walk. One of these is our annual winter conference, this year focused on the theme of Union with Christ. Speakers are Stephen Yuille, Gavin Peacock and myself.
If you are at CGC would you prioritize this event and register early? Please register as soon as you can.
To whet your appetite, here is an article that combines elements from the talks from all the speakers, on Calvin, union with Christ, and Ephesians. It's written by Lee Gatiss who teaches at Union School of Theology.
To prepare for the conference, and the coming year, we will have some special days of prayer. These will be noon-hour prayer times from Monday to Thursday, January 20-23. If you can leave work over your lunch hour we will have short times of prayer together, getting our hearts in tune toward God in that week of spiritual emphasis.
Praying about World Events:
Concerning world events, it’s a good time to be aware of the advance of the gospel in Iran and other places in the Middle East. Consider the testimony of a pastor, Mehdi Dibaj, who was martyred. The growth of the church in Iran is not talked about in Western media, but the gospel is being spread!
Though not in the Middle East, remember to pray for the S. family as they get settled in Europe for language training.
Also pray for our friend M.A. who is going on a short training trip to Egypt to assist in training pastors there with Training Leaders International. It is also a possible ministry opportunity for him.
Closer to home.
In Alberta we can thank God when governments and courts preserve the freedom of conscience, freedom of religion and the opportunity to speak truth to others in the public square. :
This month, we are reading Tony Reinke’s book Competing Spectacles. Reinke works with John Piper in the Desiring God ministry. The book is applicable to all of us as we learn how to use technology wisely, rather than letting technology enslave us. As one member pointed out, the book is a free audiobook download here.
Along with your bible reading, your family should be using The Big Picture Story Book Bible by David Helm. There are audio files available here.
If your children are able to read, you may want to use the M’Cheyne plan the way he intended it, which was to have the family reading 2 of the 4 chapters together each day, maybe one in the morning and one in the evening.
As Pastor Josh teaches through 2 Peter, you may wish to use some study helps to help you benefit from the sermons.
The same goes for our continued mens and womens bible studies, with resources on Ephesians.
Last, as we get ready for a new semester of Sunday school, our three classes will focus on the Christian’s witness at work, Biblical Theology, and Finding God’s Will. Take advantage of these extra opportunities to grow in your faith this new year.
There are many blessings from our triune God to give thanks for. Let’s rejoice together in the care of our heavenly Father, the sacrifice of the Son and the comfort of the Holy Spirit as we begin 2020.
Grace to you all in Christ,