Power of Influence

Have you ever thought about the power of influence? In the case a child, they watch those around, learning every move, hanging to each word, and acknowledging every action. The kids eventually act like replicas of the adults around them, copying language and mimicking actions; we refer to this as “monkey see, monkey do,” and it demonstrates how susceptible adolescent minds. Similarly, though we like to think of ourselves as less mouldable, we adults can compare to those children. There is a great power of influence from the music we listen to, what we watch on TV, others we spend time with, habits we see, and pastimes we choose. Likewise, as we soak up habits, practices, and characteristics from the world around us, we equally emit such manipulating power to those we encounter on a daily basis. Philippians 4:8-9 reminds us, “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” As Christians, we should ensure we are surrounding ourselves with positive, healthy lifestyle choices… sooner or later, whether we like it or not, we will get accustomed that around us and we will also become a case of “monkey see, monkey do”.

We Hope to see you on Sabbath

We also look forward to warmly welcoming you to the Bronte Church. We truly hope that you will be blessed, inspired, and charged with hope and gladness when you leave this place today. Have you ever thought about where such positive feelings come from? Maybe a family member or a friend did something special for us; the mere belief that we were that special to them, for them to do that, would cause a heightened response. Perhaps it was a memory we contemplated on that brought a smile to our face; experiences that we once lived had the effect of a happy mood. It could have even been that someone we didn’t know performed a “random act of kindness”; a stranger did the unexpected, creating a feeling of cheerfulness, reminding us that there are truly good people in the world. But what happens when we don’t always feel so blessed, inspired, or charged? We can’t be expected to feel gladness 24/7; we are all entitled to “bad days”, and these can bring us down quite a bit! What we need to remember in such trying times is that God is in control. God has everything – including our lives – in His hands. Things may not go according to our desired timelines, but everything is in God’s perfect schedule… we just need to be patient and wait for Him. If you’re reading this, and these sound like the “same old sayings” you’ve been hearing all the time, we encourage you to stay strong and keep the faith. Just try your best, then step back and let God guide the course of your life. When you do everything that you can do and you just can’t do any more, God will take over and He’ll do everything you can’t do. Paul puts it best in 2 Corinthians, “…I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” It is during these times of hopelessness that we should let God lead our way, so we can truly see the hopefulness that life will offer. Then, once we do feel better, we should use that positivity to bless, inspire, and charge others, for by encouraging them, we only reiterate and reinforce our own self-optimism. In any case, whatever we’re feeling, if we just let go and let God, we should be pleased, knowing we’re on the best path possible.

Sabbath February 17

We would love to warmly welcome you and thank you for joining our Bronte family to worship, praise, and fellowship with us this Sabbath! This weekend, in Ontario, we will celebrate Family Day. This statutory holiday was originally instituted in 1989 in Alberta, to add a day of leisure between New Year’s Eve and Easter used to celebrate the importance of family life. Over time, it was adapted by other Canadian provinces; though it may be on different dates, Family Day is also recognized in British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Saskatchewan. It’s ironic that the provincial governments had to specifically set aside this date for people to observe their families, when, if people just looked toward God’s will and desire for our lives, they would see that the concept of “family” was already deemed extremely important! “Family” originated by just the second chapter in the Bible, when God built the foundation of the first family, saying, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Gen 2:18). You know what’s interesting? Family Day falls right after Valentine’s Day, a day when we celebrate love for one another, and the foundation of family and unity in the Bible is all based on love. There are numerous texts thereafter that remind us how to love one another, so we can be in one accord, with those in our family – husbands (Eph. 5:33), wives (Prov. 31:15), parents (Eph. 6:4), children (Exo. 20:12), and siblings (1 John 4:21) – with those who are close to us – friends (John 15:13) and neighbours (Rom 13:10) – and there’s even references on how to love the difficult people in our lives – our enemies (Matt. 5:44). This weekend, as you spend time with those you love, keep in mind that “we love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19) and by showing such love, we are setting an example to everyone who sees us, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). Blessings to all for this special weekend; may you continue to bless others and be blessed yourself!

Welcome to Bronte Pastor Zama and family

WELCOME TO BRONTE! A good morning and happy Sabbath to each person with us today. We thank you for joining us this morning and warmly welcome you to the house of the Lord! We extend a very special greeting to welcome our new Pastor Robert Zama, his wife, Alina, and their daughter, Sarah. You were called by our Father to join us, and we are excited to have you with us and look forward to joining together, all to the glory of our Heavenly Father. Through you, we can see our monthly theme being fulfilled, as we “Grow in Christ”. Romans 12:4-5 reminds us, “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” Each person in this church today was called here for a specific purpose, has a particular role to play, and is blessed with something unique to offer. Imagine what a church we have the potential to be, a beacon of light to each of our friends and family, and a centre of hope for our community, if we set aside trivial differences, lift up our individualities, and embrace our vision and mission in one accord, with the Almighty on our side. We would be able to overcome the impossible, accomplish the inconceivable, and become the unthinkable; we would grow in numbers, but more importantly, in spirit, “as each part does its work” (Ephesians 4:16). This week, as you go about your daily tasks, think and ask yourself, “What is your purpose here today? What role do you play? What is your unique offer?” Reflecting on such, you will discover how you, just as one person in a large church body, can help both yourself and those around you “grow in Christ”, and ultimately, fulfill our Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).

Though we are many, we are one through the power of God!

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