Jesus' simple Message of God's love.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

The invite

We received one back, slipped under the door with a comment that read "God has a name, it is Jehovah." (easily deduced from a Jehovah's Witness)

This person was faithful to respond by declaring their faith and we pray Father God that you would draw them to your Son, Jesus Christ, "God with us", this Christmas and free them from the cult of JWs (Click here)

Merry Christmas!

The story is this:
Our Father in Heaven gave the gift of God Himself in the person of His son Jesus: The Christ or Messiah or Savior.

God told us He was coming:
Isaiah 9:6-7

God told us how He would come:
Isaiah 7:14

God told us where He would come:
Micah 5:2

God told us why He would come:
Matthew 1:21

Christmas is the celebration of God's great work of saving any person from eternal death, seperation from Him, due to a terminal illness called sin.

God did not begin this heroic work through the battle cry of a heavily clad worrior. Or a governmental coup.

God chose the cry of an infant, the life of a meager man, to effect global change on an elemental level of existence that would change the lives of every person it ever touches.

This Christmas we look back to an event that changed the entire orientation of the world. Look at the date, He is it's referent.

In John 1:14 the disciple of Jesus writes: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." (ESV)

God put on a people-suit
like an astronaut puts on a space suit.
God came down and took people by the hand
and walked us through life
and pointed us to Our Father in Heaven.

Know Him.
Learn about God.
He has shown us who He is and how He sees us,
in the message system He has provided to people called the Bible.

Thats what gets taught here in Alva: The Truth
collected in an anthology of 66 books
written by around 40 authors
called the Bible.

This History book points to the birth of Jesus.
The Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament) look forward to His Advent.
The New Testament tells of the change that resulted from His coming.

Isaiah 9:2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. (ESV)

Come worship the King of Glory
in the Grace of God
(We don't need to merely attend 'church' ;)
Step out of religious performance into freedom.
Jesus fixed that, so don't be tricked back into it!
Come be where people are healed from the lameness of life.
Come be where real people accept plain folk for who they are.
Come walk in your true identity in Christ!

Go to any church that teaches the Bible as true and real.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Comm-unity and discipleship are two concepts we are wrestling with when we gather as the church

'Churches' masquerade as communities when they don't afford opportunities to forge relationships.

The audience 'hearkening' to the preacher serves a purpose, but is community achieved?
Does THAT constitute discipleship?

Do we have real faith, if it is never tested?
Will we actually follow the axioms we herald and profess to rely on?

I am reminded of a t-shirt that sported a phrase from a nursery report-card:
"Plays well with others"

Real-time exchanges betray a more true picture of the state of my heart.
This can offend as often as encourage others about my sincerity.

If we just all blog and shop on amazon and order tesco groceries delivered as we earn money through the online service community, will that qualify as living?

If the church gathers, sits still for an hour and vacates to brunch appointments across the land, does the Christian grow more Christlike as a result?

If we follow Christ, shouldn't that mean that, like him, we are immersed in the community and in ongoing fellowship with one another?

Its all theory unless we see practical application.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

John 18

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Monday, 28 July 2008

Holiday Club!




We had such a rich time at this year's Holiday Club.
Rockstar was a 5-day series of Character studies in the Bible.
We discussed Mary, Zacheus, Martha, Peter and Thomas.
God calls on all different kinds of people in different ways.
Mary was willing to be used.
Zacheus was a little guy that nobody liked because of how he behaved before he met Jesus
Martha was woried and troubled about many things when only one thing is necessary.
Peter boldly professed his committment but denied Jesus in public.
Thomas was not willing to believe until he was convinced on his own terms.

Jesus, the Rock of our Salvation, used all these different people.
They were stars in his plan.

Six young people made firm committments to follow Jesus Christ. Several others are asking important questions.
Please pray about the follow-up!

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Word Frequency of John 14:15-24



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Saturday, 28 June 2008

The Trinity

Though you don't find the word 'Trinity' in the Bible,
the doctrine is clearly portrayed in the Bible
through what is said about the tri-unity of God:

God is One

The Father is God
The Father is not the Son
The Father is not the Holy Spirit

The Son is God
The Son is not the Father
The Son is not the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is God
The Holy Spirit is not the Father
The Holy Spirit is not the Son

See the list of scriptures clearly portraying the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as possessing the same essence with differing identities:
(Hint you can enlarge it with a pull-down arrow)



Friday, 6 June 2008

SPORTS DAY!

We had a great time at Stirling University at the Baptist Union of Scotland Sports Day. We rented a small van and took two teams up to compete in 5-a-side football in the 14 and under league.

Both teams played valiantly! Our youngest guys did so well running around in a forest of 14-year olds! Though it was very humbling and frustrating for them. One very cool team actually let us field 6 players because they had already qualified.


Our older boys threatened to take the cup! Everyone was impressed with these young men. Competing mostly against practiced teams with coordinated uniforms, our boys nearly prevailed for a love of the game and cooperation with each other and in modest street clothes . We also netted one or two cautions about street language :/


Best of all, these young men were able to take advice and honor the referees. They were also exposed to a culture of God-honoring life that stopped to pray before and after each game, and sought to lift up character over achievement; heart over works.

Unfortunately, the kids also experienced the hypocrisy of naming the name of Christ and playing in a deceitful and callous manner, without regard for Christian love, in the name of competition. But these are lessons in sincerely following Christ in a manner that make a difference in life.
Tara Watt, Dave Schloshbach and Jim Anderson helped Pastor Dave to make it a memorable day for thse lads. We all had a real good time!


Wednesday, 14 May 2008

What Makes a Baptist?

I get this question a lot.
And clearly it has something to do with baptism, as you might guess.

We just welcomed our third son into the world and will not be baptizing him, reserving baptism for later in life. Instead we will have a Baby Dedication, where we acknowledge that our parenthood is a stewardship entrusted by God; one that He helps us carry out.

But why does Baptism matter so much?

First let me say that Christianity is about following the example and teaching of Christ more than it is about the religious trappings of ritual and ceremony. In the Bible we see Christian Baptism is a first step any believer can take after their personal choice to follow Jesus.

The Baptist, like many other Christians, makes a choice to live a changed life; committing to love, with the confidence that their sins are forgiven; and the first public step is to be obedient to Christ’s command to be baptized.

The committed follower of Jesus goes down into the water, symbolizing the end of old ways and comes up out of the water, symbolizing new life.

Repentance and resurrection!
Birth into the family of God.
This already happened spiritually
when the believer came to trust Christ
for forgiveness and life;

Among the Baptist fellowship that meets in Alva, the main goal is people coming to know the heart of God for humanity and discovering how we may follow Jesus Christ as the supreme example.

Jesus made it clear that the most important point is love;
love of God and an overflow of that love expressed toward people.

In the story recorded by the Apostle Matthew, Jesus had something to say to people that performed religious acts without faith in Him: “I never knew you; depart from Me”.

We can commit as family and community to train up a child in the way they should go, but a parent can’t choose for their child.
We each must choose to follow Jesus.

For the Baptist, Baptism is a first, deliberate step in following what Jesus taught. Baptism is punctuation!

'Baptist' has come to mean a lot of things (for better or worse)
but the distinct mark of a changed life, before and after,
with baptism as the symbolic epicentre, is why they take the name.
Baptist is a style that emerges as folks attempt to follow Jesus.
JESUS is the point.
Jesus pointed to Love.

If you want to be born spiritually into God's family, you can be.
Just trust that there is forgiveness for sin (anything not perfect)
and tell God you are sorry for hurting Him (God loves you)
and ask for forgiveness in Jesus' name.

Did you do that?
Go and be baptized!
Pastor David can help, if you like.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Happy Birthday!




Its a boy!
Aaron Joseph Fraser
Was born at 00:11 am; Monday, 12 May
6lbs 9oz

Labor was straightforward without complication.
We left home at 10pm and had a baby by midnight.

Liz was a fantastic birthing mother.
Her inner strength, the timing and the (relative) ease of the birth was a clear answer to prayer.
She DELIVERED that baby.


Sunday, 11 May 2008

Pentecost Sunday & Due date!

Talk about poetic convergence!
We are committed to Jesus Christ, the author of life!
This chapter has had a few twists.

Baby Fraser was pressing in two nights ago and has decided to coast a bit. So far, the Fraser boys have all been 'late sleepers' and waited for induced labour. Our prayer for baby 3 has been for an orderly and timely birth. Today is the last day for that.

Then today we realized the convergence of different reasons this day is significant to different people, or in our case each reason is significant.

The memorial of the birth of the church in Acts Chapter 2 is also the due date for the birth of our child, when Liz would enter into a new chapter of motherhood; This also would be happening on America's Mothers' Day!

Pretty poetic, pretty cool.
Yet as of the writing of this note, no labour.
If you are reading today do pray!

We trust God's timing, but that doesn't change the feelings of a 40 week pregnant woman longing for the birth pangs to yield their fruit! "... desire fulfilled is a tree of life."

Even so come quickly Lord Jesus.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Youth Club

We had this amazing night with two sports stars who visited from America.

They showed up played with kids and told them about God.

Picture a small child trying to stop 6 feet and 275 pounds of Footballer from getting to the goal across the room and then he said:

'Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God"

They put a HUGE jersey on another child
and told a bit of the story of the prodigal son.
This child disappeared in the shirt of this giant man!
They heard about being clothed in righteousness of Christ.

The invitation was: Who wants to be on God's team?
The response across the room was unanimous.

The gospel was preached: The love of God, sin & forgiveness, Life to the full.

Kids get this stuff!

There is real life breaking out at this little church!

We had the most glorious Easter celebration at Alva!

We had a joint service with Ochil Hills Community Church of Dollar. We had a full band and a full church. The church was jumpin with worship and friendship and the Word of God.

The best part: There were so many people that we ran out of little communion cups! So we served people from the back to front and when we ran out, David invited the rest of us up to the table at the front and we stood around the Lord's table and drank from the same cup. It was a perfect picture of communion and unity! Praise God!!!

He commands a blessing where brothers dwell together in unity and we saw it at the alter of God. There were many tails wagging in both fellowships. You'd be inspired by it.

How good and how pleasant it is!

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

New Deacons Selected from Among Us

At the church meeting on 24th January, we selected people to serve among us as trusted servants. Though we planned to appoint five deacons, six were clearly recognized and we agreed to appoint them all.

The deacons of Alva Church for the foreseeable future are:
Jim Anderson
Carol Anderson
Rev. John Furmage
Mary McFarlane
Moira Peters
Hillary Watt

Rev. Jim Taylor has agreed to continue in the office of Secretary
(for not more than one year)

The Deacons will gather on Wednesday 20th February
to agree on areas of gifting and calling.

We thank the deacons who have served over this past season and, though they may be entering a season of rest, we hope you will join us in praying for their continued place in the congregation.

Scripture Union Forth Valley Weekend

Pastor David spoke to Youth from ages 12-17 over four sessions on the subjects of Worship, Mission, Feelings & Faith and Heroes. David also roomed with three young men and watched over that group during the weekend. Not to mention the golf, risk, dodge ball, serving food, dancing at the Ceilidh and life-sized game of 'Cluedo' where he played 'the butler in the study'. (Someone had the sense to make sure the youth speaker was NOT the murderer)

Please pray for our Pastor as he pursues participating in the SU group beginning at Alva Academy

If you have two hours a week, please consider sharing that with Secondary School children through a Scripture Union group. Many of these children need adults in their lives who believe in Christ!

the Truth of the Bible

David wrote this article in the Alloa Advertiser on 31 Jan 2008

Friday, 8 February 2008

Pastor David on The Mall of Religions

There is room in the world for multiple faiths vying for the minds of the people. The one that is true will prevail without one bullet fired, without one martyr, without one stone cast. For the sake of humanity on both sides of eternity we must all commit to this.

Jesus said: "I am the way the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through me" Every one outside of Christ is characterized by Jesus as "a thief and a robber".
(read the gospel account of John Chapters 14 and 10 for Jesus' words on the matter)

I am only a Christian.
I believe Islam, and the myriad of '-isms' are wrong;
and lead to eternal separation from God
because they refuse the testimony of Jesus Christ:
that He is God;
that the requirement for my life as a consequence of my sin,
is satisfied by His death.

Everyone else is attempting to justify themselves before God on the basis of their efforts, works, religious practices, etc. I stand forever because Jesus died once. And my heart overflows with the desire to bless the loving God by how I live, but not to earn something.

I do not hate my brothers and sisters who do not share my faith. I stand with the living God and open the door for any seeker to inquire about who? what? where? when? and why?; even how?.

Come and be persuaded about the proven truth.



(for more info on the '-isms' in the world check out this book:
The Mall of Religions by Karyn Henley

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Liz is OK

Liz is fine but feels ill.

If this is how you found out anything was up, don't worry.

The doctor is fairly sure that she is fighting a cold and the virus presented itself with a fainting spell.
Nothing seems to point to anything wrong with the baby.
They checked her blood pressure and took a blood sample just to be sure.

AND children prayed for her during the end of the service!

Jesus is on the throne,

David

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

This Month

This week, we have a deacons' Meeting scheduled for Thursday, 24th Jan at 2:30pm.

The following week on Wednesday, 30th Jan at 7:30pm we will have a regular Church Meeting.

At the Church Meeting we plan to select Deacons from among us to serve the needs of the body.

We are excited as you join us in praying for wisdom from God and the Holy Spirit's guidance to align us with the mind of Christ.