“We welcome you warmly to the Bronte Church family for another enriching day of study, worship, and fellowship. Today we celebrate our women and their many roles in ministry, service, and care. I recall an English teacher demonstrating the use of punctuation when referring to a lady when he wrote: “Woman, without her man, is nothing” and then rewrote, “Woman: without her, man is nothing.” I believe our women who are mothers, wives, workers, homemakers, and in their countless roles, deserve to be honoured, valued, respected, and celebrated. We often don’t realize how much strength and stamina a woman has in the doing their tasks, taking on responsibilities and their loving duties. I always admire my mother, an incredible woman of character, strength, and purpose. She knows how to multi-task and juggle so much work and yet be successful and also make time to be there for my family and I. I believe when God created woman, he endowed her with an extra-special capacity to bear much (let alone bearing a child) so it seems to me that this is a gift from God. Is it any wonder Jesus had to remark, “woman, great is thy faith” (Matthew 15:28) and then also say “wherever this gospel shall be preached in all the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman has done, be told for a memorial of her” (Matthew 26:13). What a woman, Jesus says! If our Lord regards woman with such dignity and honour, I know we should only exclaim the same thing. Thank God for our woman of God!”
— Pastor Daniel D. Saugh
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This weekend we are focusing on healthy relationships and families. This is perhaps what many counsellors refer to as the basic unit and building block of society. The English poet, John Donne once remarked, “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…” We are all a part of a web of relationships. In this diverse cross-section, not every interaction or person is healthy. We live in a broken and dysfunctional world caused by sin and we also share in that brokenness and dysfunction. This can adversely affect a person, a relationship, a marriage, a family and a network of people. However, we need to have healthy relationships so we can grow. What can we do to make them better and improve them? I believe the first step is to acknowledge our own limitations and imperfections. Maybe you have had traumatic life experiences or unhealthy relationships but have been relying on your own strength to make it in life. Are you whole? Is your soul well? Are you living the full and deeply rich life that God wants you to experience? It takes courage to reflect and honestly assess your deep beliefs, emotions and habits that could be affecting your emotional, spiritual and physical health. What I am saying is that in order for a relationship, marriage or family to be healthy, we have to be healthy individually. Healthy people beget healthy people. If you’re in a situation that is “toxic” and need help, then make the decision to get help first for yourself and collectively. The Message translation of the Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 “May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body.” God desires to make you and I whole which does not happen overnight. I need this experience, and the first step, starts today. Let’s take the step and move toward being whole in Christ.
– Pastor D. Saugh.
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This weekend, our emphasis is on health; a subject that affects all of us. Does it seem like life is often so fast paced, rushed, and with just too much to do? How does that affect our health? How about our spiritual health? We live in a society and culture that is increasingly becoming commercial and materialistic, so it is difficult to keep the balance and maintain our spiritual health. It’s challenging to find ways to nurture, nourish, heal, restore, and renew our mind, body and soul. I believe that one of the first steps to revitalize our spiritual health is the attitude we bring to the day or other words our mind-set. Someone once remarked, we should be a river not a swamp. The Bible says “rivers of living water will flow from the heart of those who believe in me,” (John 7:38). It’s a mountain stream that carries fresh life-giving water because it flows out. In contrast, a swamp is usually stagnant and life-absorbing; it collects and retains water but does not flow out. Let’s try not to be a person who is self-absorbed and self-focused allowing only a little or nothing to flow through. God calls us to be his channels of blessings to others. Our outward appearance is reflected by our inner disposition. When we think negative and have a “swamp mentality” we are in danger of becoming spiritually stagnant, emotionally detached and intellectually cynical. Let us allow God to let His blessings flow through us. The freshness is in the flow and once we get our water from the Divine Source, we will have the Water of Life, giving us fresh health to our mind, body and soul. My prayer is that you “may prosper and be in good health, even as your soul prospers” (3 John 2). May God bless you!
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Once again, welcome Bronte Church family as we approach the second Sabbath of September. It is a privilege to meet weekly, as if it were like yesterday! The academic school year is back in motion and it’s a busy season for many. Last night when I went to bed and woke up in the morning I thanked God that the floor my bed rests on, my feet touches and I walk on was in one piece; everything seemed normal. The truth is, it all seems routine and normal in our lives until something happens and it jolts our reality. Yesterday, people in Mexico in the southern coastal state of Chiapas went to bed and got up in the epicentre of an 8.1 magnitude earthquake; their homes were severely damaged, their floors and foundations cracked, broken up and some got sunken and swallowed into the ground. The tremors and after effects were felt in Mexico City about 650 miles away knocking out electricity for over 1 million people. According to the U.S. Geological survey the depth of the earthquake was 43 miles and the Mexican president called it the strongest they have seen in a century. When I hear reports like this, I think about how life can change without warning and upset or disrupt our normal life. It seems that our foundations get shaken to the core and we are often left displaced. Does life seem that way for us sometimes? Do we feel like we are displaced by circumstances, conditions, people, and life? If the truth be told, I am sure we can all say that, at one point or another, if not yet, it will come. That is why we need a steady, sure, and stable foundation which should be derived from our faith. I am reminded about the parable of the two builders who chose different foundations, one on the rock and the other in the sand. The inevitable result of building on sand is that it shifts whereas; building on rock remains firm. The storms will come and when they do, may we build on the solid rock which cannot move. May Jesus be the “epicentre” of our lives and faith and may no other foundation do, but our Lord Himself (2 Corinthians 3:11). With Jesus as our sure foundation, we can weather all the storms and situations in this life!
– Pastor D. Saugh
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Welcome to the month of September and the Bronte Church family today as we gather to study, worship and fellowship. The summer months have fleeted by so quickly it’s hard to imagine we are now entering into a new school year for many. Well, we still have a few weeks for summer left so let’s still enjoy what we have. As I reflect about the changes we all encounter in our lives: school, careers, work, homes, relationships, and even in Church I think about what remains constant in our lives that gives us some stability or security. As the saying goes, some things come and some things go! Sometimes that includes people and things we hold dear. However, what is a sure footing and foundation? What grounds us when there are changes in our lives? Many if not all would admit it’s their faith, family, and/or social support and even the church that gets them through it. It’s hard to change either by force, choice, challenge or circumstance, yet there should remain those resilient factors that anchors us so we are not disheveled or derailed. It reminds me of the recent storm of Hurricane Harvey that is wreaking havoc upon our neighbours to the South. The boisterous winds, the torrential downpour, the displacement from homes, the submersion of material comforts and even the loss of lives. How do we deal with such devastation? I believe we must be grounded by our faith which serves as an anchor of our soul and inspires Hope (Hebrews 6:19). Can you imagine how those people are feeling; a sense of helplessness and even somewhat hopelessness. As believers, thank God for hope and help (Psalm 46:1) that comes from Him and through others who demonstrate His love. May we be grounded in our faith, in truth, in the Word, in Christ and in His love so we can know who we are and share His grace in action to others. Let us “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord…” (1 Corinthians 15:58). Let us be faithful to Him who is forever faithful to us!
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Welcome to God’s house at Bronte as we gather to study, worship, and fellowship. The saying is that April showers bring May flowers, and given that we have had a steady season of rain, hopefully this rainfall will produce the budding and blossoming of flowers for the coming month. How about our lives? Would you like to see it flower? Would you like to see your life bud and blossom into something more than it is? Well, it can as we continue to explore how we can be kept by God through grace. God’s grace is like a fragrant flower, a power, an experience, a force and favour, merit, and mercy which we need in our lives. If it were not for grace, we would not be here or have what we do. If I am speeding and I get a ticket because I broke the law and it gets dropped by the judge, that’s grace. I don’t deserve it; I should get the ticket, but I received pardon. It does not give me the liberty or license to speed or break the law, but rather allows me to have a new slate again, learn from my mistakes, and I am indebted to grace. God’s grace works to forgive, heal, and restore. We often use the term as well to describe something beautiful, ergo, graceful – “a graceful flower or a graceful person”. We must receive God’s gift of grace (Jesus and Salvation) by faith and allow it to accomplish its purpose (Ephesians 2:8-10). We are created by God, for God, and grace helps to restore God’s image in us. All things we have and become are because of the power of God’s grace. May our prayer be, “God give me more grace today and everyday and work to make your beautiful creation out of my life”. I need more grace in my life, how about you?
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Welcome to Bronte! We hope and pray that you will experience a renewed sense of joy, meaning, and receive a blessing! We are moving into a season where we may feel anxious, sad, alone, and perhaps our New Year resolutions seem to slide as we relapse to old practices. It’s okay to feel this way. We all do at times; in our humanity we feel weak, weary, and stretched. The good news is we don’t have to stay there! God wants us to experience His presence and joy. David, who knew about almost every human condition, resonates with us and gives us pointers to appeal to God, “Cast me not away from your presence; and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of your salvation…” (Psalm 51:11-12). May we come to our God, who has arms open wide, ready to restore us to a place of health, healing, and hope.
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