Why do we come to church?

Do you ever wonder why we come to church? We may come for many reasons, like the social network, the fellowship, the music, even the food! However, hopefully, we are coming because of the teaching of the Word and, above all, to worship! It’s a call to worship! What’s your calling in life? What are we called to do for God? We are called to serve Him. In whatever way, capacity, or corner, we can represent Him. Oswald Chambers writes, “God did not direct His call to Isaiah — Isaiah overheard God saying, ‘… who will go for us?’ The call of God is not just for a select few but for everyone. Whether I hear God’s call or not depends on the condition of my ears, and exactly what I hear depends upon my spiritual attitude.” Our attitude towards God is in direct proportion to the condition of our heart. God calls us to be the best in what we find ourselves to do (Eccl. 9:10). Martin Luther King says it quite aptly, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job.’” So, what will you do? What’s your calling today? Where will you serve God?

Stuck in Traffic?

Think about when you were last stuck in traffic. Were you angry you were late, sad you were delayed, or upset your schedule was pushed back? Worse than being stuck in traffic is being stuck spiritually. Has your faith dwindled to embers of complacency? Do you feel the fire is extinguished? The passion dissipated? You’re not alone. Many people experience this feeling. At this point, we need spiritual CPR or spiritual booster cables to re-ignite that faith to burn again. Your faith is not for you alone; it’s to be shared with others. But if you don’t have a fire in your soul that burns with passion for God, you’ll lack the power to proclaim the Gospel as He calls you to do. Pray for God to help you see yourself as He sees you. When you have the humility to recognize that you must depend on God to do anything that matters, the confidence to recognize that God made you in His image (Genesis 1:26) for great purposes, and the understanding that He deeply loves you, then you’ll be free to live in ways fuelled by a burning passion to follow where God leads you. The Bible says, the “love of Christ constrains us…” (2 Corinthians 5:14). May God’s love for you re-ignite a burning passion and compel us to live for Him and serve Him, because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

Summer is Just Around the Corner

Summer is just around the corner and we certainly appreciate the good weather. This season makes us feel happy, warm, and perhaps energized to get up and get going. However, for some the season may indicate a desire to get things done but may feel inert, incapable, and incapacitated. Have you ever felt that way? Have you felt that you want to do something but can’t seem to find the power to accomplish it? Have you felt setback by circumstances, hindered by the past and hampered by life? Have you ever met someone who is a chronic complainer, a non-stop whiner, and perennial pessimist? I heard someone once remark, “If I had a penny for every time someone said to me ‘You don’t know my circumstances’ I would be able to pay for my dream trip to Bora Bora.” You’re not alone! Many people feel that life has dealt them a bad hand and may blame themselves or others for their present situation. However, God reminds us that “with men this is impossible, but with Him, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). God can take your worst and make it better or turn circumstances around so that obstacles become opportunities. I heard a quote that read, “God never gives you a dream that matches your budget; He’s not checking your bank account, He’s checking your faith!” So what do you have to give? What’s holding you back? Stop sitting around – rise up and walk by faith!

Have you ever offered or shared something?

Have you ever offered or shared something to someone in need? Maybe it was money, clothing, food, a drive, study notes, or your time. Was that person surprised? Shocked? Incapable of understanding why you were willing to sacrifice for them? So we may also feel as we try to fathom the concept of our Lord who came down and saved us: “…we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10) Everything we have is because of our Lord, and everything we will be is because of His sacrifice for us! Don’t be surprised or shocked! Accept His love with an open and willing heart and share that love He has for us with someone else today!

Royal Wedding

If anytime during the past month you flipped through TV channels, scanned the radio, or even took a step outside, no doubt you know what this big day is… the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. It is the talk of the town as we are being bombarded with all the latest news. Chances are then, that you’ve also heard or read that the father of the bride unfortunately couldn’t be there. Imagine what disappointment that would be; most little girls’ dreams are to have the perfect wedding, and certainly, that also includes being walked down the aisle by “daddy”, who, in this case, announced this past week he wouldn’t be in attendance. As Christians, aren’t we blessed to have hope that even though sometimes our earthly father (or others in our life!) may let us down, Our Heavenly Father never will?! For all the successes we have – be it that walk down the aisle, as we graduate from school, or when we tackle a new job – our Father was right there beside us, cheering us on; and for the times when we aren’t shining our brightest – maybe when we lose a loved one, when diagnosed with an illness, or when feeling lost or alone – He’s there never failing to hold us up. Though humans may fail us sometimes, our Creator never will! Deuteronomy 31:6 reminds us, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” What a promise this is, one that we should cling to and remember, in good times and bad!

Mother’s Day

Our mothers were chosen for us by our Heavenly Father, for He had a plan for us to be united with her before we were even born; the Psalmist David speaks of being created by God, “knit together in [His] mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13) Our relationship with her started early, when mom looked out for the best for us, cheered for us when we succeeded, mended our wounds when we were hurt, and was there when we were in need. The prophet Isaiah goes so much as elevating and contrasting a mother’s love to the Lord’s love when he writes, “As a mother [who] comforts her child, so will I comfort you…” (Isaiah 66:13). Our Scriptures speak of a diverse number of extraordinary mothers in the Bible… think about your mom and compare her to one or more of these powerful ladies – Sarah, the mom who waited; Hagar, the mom who endured; Rebekah, the mom who deceived; Leah and Rachel, the moms who had to share; Jochebed, the mom who had a plan; Hannah: the mom who kept her promise; Elizabeth: the mom who believed in miracles; and Mary: the mom who is blessed among women.* There’s no doubt, from a Biblical perspective, the importance of a mother. Sometimes however, our mother might be absent from our life, for whatever reason, and days like mother’s day we instead think of another special lady in our life… blessed are we that the Bible recognizes this to be the case, so God even gives us the example of Naomi, the mom who shared her faith*, who was just as important as a mom, even if she didn’t bear the progeny (Ruth) herself. The wisest man who ever lived, Solomon, notes that, “[A mother’s] children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” (Proverbs 31:28) This mother’s day, in addition to whoever we celebrate, call blessed, and praise – be it our own mom or other ladies in our life who are mother-like figures – let’s also say “thank you” to our Heavenly Father, for being in control of our lives at all times and placing us just where we should be, around exactly who we should be. A very happy mother’s day to all the ladies at Bronte!

* taken from www.crosswalk.com

Warm Welcome

We warmly welcome you to Bronte! With the recent unpredictable weather pattern, we wonder what season we find ourselves in. Although it is officially spring, we still see the signs of winter as we gaze outside our window. It can leave us feeling confused and frustrated as we struggle to adjust to our surroundings of which we have no control. The Bible describes our spiritual life as going through seasons. If you were to examine your current situation or season in life right now, what would you say? Think about that for a moment. Would you say that you’re in a grinding season, a dry season, a getting married season, a waiting for your godly mate season, a raising small kids or teens season, an empty nesting season, a spiritual warfare season, a tests and trials at nearly every turn season, a growing closer to God season, and the list could go on and on. The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “For everything there is a season.” It also tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:11, “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time.” Ultimately God is in control of all of the seasons, whether natural or within life. Trust in Him, for He knows all, from the beginning to end, and He promises to carry us through each and every season we experience.

Faith in God?

Did you know that Adventists believe in justification by faith, meaning that we are not saved by our deeds/actions, but instead by our faith in God? In other words, we are not justified by doing good things, but by believing in God, His grace, and His power to save us, forgive us, and help us. We pray that your time today will build your faith and you will leave here feeling blessed!

Another Happy Sabbath

We are looking forward to warmly greeting you and wishing you “Happy Sabbath” – a welcome greeting of hope, peace, and blessing; a prayer that the Lord be with you; a reminder to thank God for this holy day meant for praise and rest that was set aside each week. We pray that you will indeed be blessed this day, and will continue to let the love of God fill your hearts and minds this coming week.

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”.