Doubly Loved

What are the markings of a biological son? He looks like his dad. Without even realizing it, he mirrors the personality of his father. His natural defaults, his funny little quirks–they’re little pieces of proof that he has his dad’s DNA. He belongs to his father right down to the molecules that make up his body. His father is overjoyed to see himself reflected in his son. What beautiful love.

How about the markings of an adopted daughter? She oozes love for the man who scooped her out of loneliness and gave her his name. She follows him around the house, studying and copying his every move. When he comes to pick her up from school, she points him out to her friends. “That’s my dad!” What beautiful love.

father daughterIf you think that’s beautiful, consider this: you are twice-born. You are doubly loved.

In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves (Ephesians 1:5).

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory (Romans 8:14-17).

God, as the Creator of the universe, fathered humanity into existence. He is your physical Dad–He created you. He cannot help but love you because He bore you, and you are His.

God, as the Father of His people the Church, drew you back to Himself and adopted you into His family. He chose, knowing your faults and all the ways you are going to hurt Him and reject Him and embarrass the family through your selfishness, to welcome you. He chose to love you.

And now you are His biological and adopted child. You get to bear His name. You get to rely on Him for your identity, for your value.

You are in His family, and He’s asked you to show your love for Him by loving your brothers and sisters, those He bought back from slavery with His own blood, just like He did for you.

You were an orphan, but not any longer. Will you now go, and tell everyone around you that they don’t have to be orphans either? Will you share even a bit of the love, the inheritance that the Father has so abundantly–so hilariously over-abundantly–poured out on you?

Cailey Morgan
CBWC Church Planting

Pray with Us: A New Year Ahead

A Prayer for the New Year

Author Unknown.

What shall I ask for the coming year
What shall my watchword be
What should thou do for me, dear Lord
What can I do for thee?

Lord, I would ask for a holy year
Spent in thy perfect will
Help me to walk in thy very steps
Help me to please thee still.

Lord, I would ask for a trustful year
Give me thy faith divine
Taking my full inheritance
Making thy fulness mine!

Lord, I would ask for a year of love
O let me love thee best
Give me the love that faileth not
Beneath the hardest test.

Lord, I would ask for a year of prayer
Teach me to walk with thee
Breathe in my heart the Spirit’s prayer
Pray thou thy prayer in me!

Lord, I would ask for the dying world
Stretch forth thy mighty hand
Thy truth proclaim, thy power display
This year in every land.

Lord, I would ask for a year of joy
Thy peace, thy joy divine
Springing undimmed through all the days
Be thy days of shade or shine.

Lord, I ask for a year of hope
Looking for thee to come
And hastening on that year of years
That brings us home to you.

Pray with Us

In the coming weeks, let’s pray through these elements of the Church Plants themselves:

  • For anointed worshipprayer-2013-2
  • For powerful teaching of the Word
  • For a spirit of unity
  • For wisdom and discernment
  • For protection from the onslaught of the enemy
  • For people eager to identify and use their spiritual gifts
  • For abundant financial resources

Check out our prayer page or share a prayer request with us

This prayer list is from the Christian Reformed Church’s prayer guide.

Pray with Us: Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! What better prayer, today, than Psalm 100 to offer grateful praise to God.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.

Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Check out our prayer page or share a prayer request with us.

Orienteering and the Year Ahead

In the sporcompass-mapt of orienteering, participants race using a compass and a map to find points in the landscape. It can be enjoyed as a walk in the woods or as a competitive sport.

Compass use works best when looking ahead to focus on where you’re going, while also looking back regularly to remind yourself where you’ve come from and to help keep yourself on track.

Looking back over 2012, we’re excited and grateful to see God at work in our Church Plants. He’s strengthening and growing them deeper in their relationship with Him and in the communities they’re called to across Western Canada. We’re seeing people coming to faith and coming back to faith, people being baptized, and people being discipled and raised up as leaders.

Everywhere we look we see that God is moving, the West is changing and the world is coming.

Looking ahead we’re awed by the opportunities before us. There are prospective planting opportunities in Neepawa and Winnipeg, Manitoba; Kindersley, Regina and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Calgary, Edmonton, Hughendon, Red Deer, and Wainwright, Alberta; and Quesnel, Vancouver, Victoria, and Williams Lake, British Columbia. The task ahead is as thrilling as it is daunting.

Taniguchis-square-Banff

Mikyuki and Yoichi Taniguchi

As we orienteer our way around Western Canada we are very thankful for the courage and sacrifices being made daily by those leading in our new and developing churches.

We continue to pray for Reymus and Angie Cagampan in Winnipeg; Patrick and Vicki Hazelwood in Lethbridge; Roger and Dorcas Maurice, Yoichi and Miyuki Taniguchi, and Cliff and Jen Gonzales in Calgary; Janet and Gerry McBeth, Albert Kao and Christina Wu, and Peter and Jennifer Chong in Burnaby; Jodi Spargur and Hizon and Grace Cua in Vancouver; and Norm and Alice Sowden in Mill Bay.

Tom with Alice and Norm Sowden

Tom with Alice and Norm Sowden

Our successful Church Plant orienteering is made possible through the ongoing prayers and generous financial support of the entire Canadian Baptists of Western Canada church family. In particular we would like to thank Westview Baptist Church, Leduc Community Baptist Church, Bethel Baptist Church Sechelt and First Baptist Church Lethbridge for going above and beyond to help make extra contributions to the cause in 2012Thank you!

Special thanks also to Jan Paasuke and the CBWC Board, Jeremy Bell and the Executive Staff, and Joell Haugan and the Church Planting Advisory Team for your continued oversight and encouragement. To Cailey Morgan, my co-labourer in ministry: thank you for going the extra mile in our communications, networking and research—and for being a difference maker in the Kingdom.

Orienteering is a full of risks. The challenges are many and the task sometimes seems impossible. Church Planting involves courage, character and conviction. Looking forward to 2013 we’re emboldened by the words of the apostle Paul to the Philippians:

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (3:12-14).

Pastor Tom Lavigne, Director of Church Planting