Rocky Turtle 

It is with continuing and overflowing gratitude to God that I greet you in the name of our Lord. Once again, while waking up this morning to a world of heightened turmoil, we are nearing the season of Christmas as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ...the "King of Kings."

Rocky Turtle

"You will keep in perfect peace those
whose minds are steadfast, because they trust
in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord,
the Lord Himself, is the Rock eternal."

Isaiah 26:3-4 NIVUK

There have been some things in the life of my household that have been challenging lately, and the temptation to worry and be anxious has arisen once again. Such times are not new to us, and I imagine that the same is true for you! In the past, I have found great comfort in the words and truth of the verses above; and so, once again, I turned to them for reassurance and help in my thoughts and prayers. I turned to God, seeking the strength to remain steadfast in mind and the fulfilment of His promise of peace.

Giving Thanks

"As you therefore have received Christ Jesus
the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in
Him and established in the faith, as you have been
taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving."

Colossians 2:6-7 NKJV

For a moment, please allow me to draw your attention to a remarkable Biblical story of gratitude toward Jesus, as expressed in Luke 17:11-19. We call this story, "Jesus and the Ten Lepers."

come clean

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us
our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

1 John 1:9 NKJV

Those whom we serve on your behalf, who are persecuted for professing and practising their faith in Jesus Christ, increasingly remind us of the power of "prayer," and their utter dependency upon this vital means of accessing God’s limitless power. They pray fervently for their families and ministries, and they covet our prayers for them. But these dear souls, who endure the agony of horrific abuse, are not only the willing recipients of prayer, they are also some of the most effective "prayer warriors" among the global Christian body of our day. We should all, therefore, learn what we can from their experiences in and through their "faith walk," encompassing a deeply enriched prayer life combined with their meditation upon the Lord and His Word.

Note from our Chief Executive Officer: Once again, I am pleased to invite Jo Phillips, our VOMC Executive Assistant, to share some heartfelt thoughts of encouragement this month....

The faith of all followers of Jesus Christ allows us to say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!" (Psalm 91:2 ESV). This is not a cry without foundation, nor without reward. Seen from a heavenly perspective, the promises of the Word stand firmer than the temporal firmament, and we can rely on them despite life experiences during our time on this earthly plane. We gaze into the future when there will be no more weeping, nor pain; no more mourning and no more death (Isaiah 65). This is true for Christians here in Canada, and no less true for those suffering for their faith in regions of persecution around the world.

You may, on occasion, have experienced God's presence in much the same way I have. It's not something that can (or frankly should) be "labelled," though I admit it is challenging to fully explain. It is also not something that can be manipulated or synthesized. Rather, it is an authentic and overwhelming sense of "knowing" that He is God, and that He is near at hand -- closer than "close" -- desiring only intimacy with His children (those who have chosen to believe in and follow Jesus). Through salvation in Him, we are granted access to the everlasting throne of grace and all of the rights that He, as God's Son, has acquired for us.