Monday, December 21, 2009


We held our Christmas dinner yesterday and it was a very special time of celebration, connection and fellowship. Our service was held downstairs which was a great idea because generally whoever does the organizing of the food misses out on the message and music.

Nathan and Miles led us in song and chose a meaningful set which put our eyes on Jesus.

We were treated to beautiful decorations provided by Melanie Olsen who brought so many of her lovely items from her home collection. The tables were set complete at each place with full silver and even Christmas Crackers - something new to some of our congregation, like Julie and family who have only come to Canada from Jamaica last year!

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And we were treated to delicious little boxed chocolates by some delightful little girls!

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I was touched to have my Sister in Law arrive to join us for our dinner - all the way from Kamloops (a wonderful SURPRISE!) We had a full house, every single seat was filled. It was wonderful to see Helen's daughter and husband join in and I was treated to a surprise visit from our Sister in Law, niece and a friend who travelled all the way in from Kamloops. She drove all this way, shared dinner with us and turned around and headed back. How wonderful!

Almost all the entire Johnson family were here - thanks for all your help with the sound, food etc!

You can see all this and more by viewing this video I cobbled together.


We look with great anticipation to the arrival of Pastor Jussi and wife Leena in the coming New Year. In the meantime they have prepared a word for us:


We want to wish everyone a joyful Christmas and a blessed New Year!

We are so thankful to our Heavenly Father for sending His Son Jesus Christ to be

The light of the world, that the glorious gospel would shine into the darkened

hearts of humanity, and that He would be revealed as Savior and Lord to the world.

The scripture for coming New Year is Deuteronomy 11: 13-14

13. And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my Commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord Your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.

14. That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.

This is a wonderful conditional promise in the Word of God for us to lay a hold of. The promise is that there would be rain in the land, resulting in

Corn, which speaks to us of the blessing of the Word of God

Wine, which represents the joy of the Lord

Oil, which is the anointing of the Holy Spirit

The church in the book of Acts experienced these promises as told in Acts

6:7, that the Word of God increased and the number of disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly. Later, in the book of Acts chapter 8:8, we are told that when

Philip went to Samaria and preached Christ under the anointing of

The Holy Spirit, the result was that there was great joy in the city.

This would be our heart felt prayer for the coming year that we would experience these blessings at Osoyoos Christian Centre.




ThI asked Kaye to share with us as well - for those of you who might not know Kaye she has been at our church for 33 years, has seen and heard it all and remains faithful. I thought it appropriate to see what wisdom she would share with us. I apologise for my little "hello hello hello" at the end of this clip, I did not have time to "trim" the audio.

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at


An especial Merry Christmas going out to some of our Church Family who are away or in new homes. We miss you and love you!

Jim and Elaine - Congrats on your new grand-baby & glad all is well with you. We still feel your grace and goodness at home here.

Ralph and Krista - You ARE here with us, just not in body yet. We long to see your return. You are missed.

Dale and Florence - Thinking of you in the nice warm desert & lifting you up in your ministries there!

Ken and Marg - You are always in our thoughts and prayers.

Matt and Lillian - Across the miles - we love and miss you and wish you and your young family a special Christmas. (BIG hugs for you)


I will be posting after the first week in the New Year. Thank you for all who have supported this blog, this meeting place and for your encouragement and comments.

This is a time of endings,

But of new beginnings too,

God sends us another year

And maketh all things new,

Another hope, another chance,

Another road to take,

Another star to follow,

And another start to make.

New beginnings, new adventures,

New heights to attain,

Golden opportunities

To work and build again.

New and higher aspirations,

For the future days,

Seeking, dreaming, moving on

Down bright and better ways.

~ Patience Strong

God Bless you all with good health and happiness in the year to come.

Barb Derksen

behalf Osoyoos Christian Centre

Monday, December 14, 2009

An ALWAYS is Heard an "Encouraging Word!"

Just another shortie post this week as this week is going to zoom right by! A warm HELLO out to all you of our church family who live away from Osoyoos ~ we will be thinking of you over the holiday. I will post one more blog entry next Sunday night, allowing you to (virtually) join in our Church Dinner and celebration which I hope to capture on video and audio and pictures. A veritable feast for the eyes and the ears you could say!

We welcomed Stacy from Park Drive church in Oliver to share a Word with us this past Sunday and I caught it on audio for those of you who were unable to attend - and those of you who live away at the moment. Stacy's message was encouraging and uplifting and I know that it truly blessed me and met me where I needed. Thank you for your ministering to us, Stacy, and for bringing your lovely family with you as well.

Stacy's message was one with HEART - and I know that your kind words made me stand a little straighter and taller and reminded me that God is in control. Click on the Play button to hear Stacy's message!

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

Our annual Church Christmas dinner will be held this coming Sunday - directly after our service. We look forward to seeing YOU! If you have a dish you would like to contribute please give me a call - 250-495-3516!

Stay tuned for the next blog post - will have hopefully pictures, audio AND perhaps even a video or two! :) A nice little wrap up to the year!


There is a wonderful FREE bible study software available on the internet - comes with all sorts of study materials etc. Just click HERE to check it out!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Belated Post - Worth the Wait!

I'm sorry that this post is late - I'll embellish on this theme in my next post which will bump up pretty quickly to this one. The main point is that my computer simply did not want to load the following audio file despite my repeated attempts. Who am I to question - perhaps THIS is just the moment one of you reading this needs this message at this exact time.

Betty delivered last weeks WORD and her message had a great impact on all - several people expressed this to me. I thank Betty for allowing me to post it. We would love to have your feedback! I apologise for the low quality of the sound {its rather on the quiet side} but next time should be much better as my husband {the audio expert} has assured me he will run me through some ways to improve it.

With no further ado - here is Betty!


Betty is rather on the quieter side - so this was very nice of her to allow us to share. She's not a "grand-stander" at the best of times. Her message is around 30 minutes long. Just click the PLAY button to listen.

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at


I thank all of you who have been sending me emails and inspiration. Each and every one is greatly appreciated.

I am going to keep this post short but the following one will be longer. Just a few things to mention here -


Nathan and Leila on their new "digs" - they've just moved into a sweet little place at an amazing location at the end of the lake. Just needs a little {well a LOT} of tlc to get it up to the love-nest they'd like to call home. Sooooo - let's mark off a few days in the doldrums of January to help slather on the paint 'n stuff - ok?


Only thing on the agenda for the next days leading up Christmas {as of yet, anyhow} is our Church Christmas Dinner, being held on Sunday, December 20th following the morning service. I will be calling YOU to see what you might like to bring! If you have an idea of something you might like to share in the way of entertainment please let us know - we welcome all!


Chuck, Angie and Family as they travel this weekend to spend time with family. Also for the ongoing negotiations with the school district regarding their bus stop.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Visitors, Inspirational Poetry and a FREE Downloadable Craft


I'd intended this blog post to be full of photos. I went all snap-happy over the weekend to try to capture all the wonderful events happening - only get this. I 'took' a whole bunch of photos... with no 'chip' in the camera.

Yes, all the lovely photos I wanted to have - Kaye, home from hospital and home in our Church PRAISING the Lord - and huggin' the CUTEST baby.

Umm hmmm - how bout the dozen photos I'd snapped of Ken and his family as they blessed us with worship?

Imagine my surprise and utter dismay as I sat downloading from my camera. I graciously apologise to everyone - I was working between two cameras and got messed up. Luckily I did come away with a few photos - and with a song even!



I must mention something wonderful that transpired this Sunday. My husband, Miles came to open the church and to practice and when he arrived he was approached by a man in need of a helping hand. As we don't have a food bank at our Church he promised to put something together for him and promised him if he were to return in a few hours we would stock him up with some groceries. I was at home during this time so did not see what this person looked like.

Miles came home and we put together a pretty impressive bag in anticipation of his need.

During the middle of the worship (music) service a man came into the doorway of the sanctuary. I knew Miles could not very well get up from playing the piano so I got Betty and we headed out to present him with the grocery items.

His eyes lit up when I told him we had been anticipating him - in fact we had everything packed up and ready to go. He was delighted and thanked us profusely. We had a chance to talk to him and pray with him before we returned to the service. Imagine our surprise when Miles informed us this was NOT the same man he'd spoken to earlier! LOL!

The first man never did return - but I believe the right man turned up for this helping hand and prayer!



Our church would once again like to thank Ken and his beautiful family - wife Cheryl who sang with him, daughter Vicki who played drums (you sounded terrific and provided a perfect touch to the music!) and to your son William for running the power point (especially impressed how you slipped the scripture into it!) I am truly mad at myself for not getting your photos - NEXT time I promise! You have no idea how much it means to us to have you bless us with your worship and friendship! Park Drive Pentecostal Church from Oliver has been ministering alongside us for the past while and we truly appreciate it.




We are fortunate to have two women in our Church Family who have a nursing background and we were fortunate to have the benefit of their knowledge this Sunday as they presented us with some basic guidelines on protecting ourselves against H1N1 and just all pesky infections in general. Gina and Bev were thoughtful enough to compile and distribute a list for all of us. They had some great advice! If you would like a list of the information please email me and I will send you a copy. Send your email to THANK YOU, Gina and Bev, for looking after us.



What I mean is, we were treated to a visit from Rhonda, Nathan's sister along with her ADORABLE little baby boy. I was sad that Leila missed both the message preached today (which was wonderful, Betty) and also the song which Nathan and Rhonda sang for us. Leila thank you for your faithful ministry with our children.


And so, Leila, I made sure to catch Nathan and Rhonda's beautiful song on the recorder for you to enjoy. Just click on the player below to enjoy!

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at



Leena and Jussi send greetings our way - they're looking forward to returning in the near future to join us. In the meantime Leena sent me this poem she thought would be a good reminder to us to keep our hearts open to those who might find Christmas a difficult or hurting time of the year. Leena's father passed away suddenly due to a massive heart attack right on Christmas eve about 10 years ago. A friend sent this poem to them and it brought Leena and her family such comfort at that time - and so she would like us to share it with someone who we might know who is hurting. Click the FULLSCREEN feature to view the poem larger (hit your ESC button to come back to this blog screen when you are done) You can also download or print using the features in the window below.

Christmas With Jesus

Thank you Leena, for this touching poem.



It was Saturday night Jam and Crafts this past weekend and what a wonderful time we had. Unfortunately I did not think to "go topside" to the sanctuary to capture some of the music lessons for you (will have to think of this next time) but we had a lot of fun creating in the basement.

This week we made some Pretty Citrus Pomanders - a very simple and easy craft. I'm providing the instructions here - you are welcome to print and share them!

Pretty Citrus Pomanders



We had some clever ideas revealed during our crafts session - Leila added some word art (Awwww, romantic words for her husband Nathan) while our youngest crafter Amber gave me an idea of how to make our pomanders into a "lollipop" decoration by inserting a stick into the end. In my instructions I include directions on how to do this! Have fun!



Betty delivered an inspiring word - I had several people make a comment to me, wishing I'd recorded it. I even had an email with glowing praise. Betty's word encouraged us to remember that we bring Jesus into our work places so we can know that we have the opportunity to be a ministry wherever we are! Well, of course she said it much more eloquently than how I've summed it up.



Kaye - home from the hospital. Still battling some health issues but not allowing it to keep her down and it was sure a blessing for us to have her in church this a.m.

Nathan and Leila - moving into a new home this week. Some of us formed a work party and helped them get their new home whipped into shape and move their possessions. We look forward to seeing you settled!

Rose and Ken - had a special time with family this week. Their relatives came from out of town to have an early gathering together.



Julie - was sick over the weekend. Please pray for her health this week.

Marie and Cecil - health issues

Dale and Florence - for their ministry "down south" in the USA for the next several months.

unnammed - health issues for a person we are in contact with. That we would be able to share in the HOPE of Faith in Jesus.

Jim and Elaine - as they minister at Colwood. For their daughter Melissa as she awaits the arrival of her baby.

Amalia and Alfredo Sommer - from the Baptist church as they do their missions in South America

Jen and Mark Illife - missions in Africa



Tuesday, December 1 - Women's Bible Study. Gathering at Rose's house this week. We are starting into Part 4 of Friendships of Women. Come one, come all - bring a friend!

Wednesday, December 2 - OCC Women's Online Meeting. Got MSN messenger? If you have (or you can download) you are welcomed to join us in a live, online meeting. This is a night when we catch up with each other, discuss whats going on in our lives, upcoming events etc and lift prayer needs. If you need more information on how you can join with us just email me (Barb) at

Saturday December 12 - Crafts and Jam night. We have a fun craft planned downstairs. Bring a friend along. You can email for more information or you can call Barb at 250-495-3516. Miles and Nathan will providing basic guitar instruction in the sanctuary.

Sunday December 20th - Church Family Christmas Dinner. We will be enjoying the 'talents' of the bakers in our church this night LOL! We hope to also have some sort of entertainment rounded up. If you have an idea of something you would like to share we welcome you to let us know.

Monday, November 23, 2009

This week at OCC - Youth Report, Praise Report & "Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!"

While we had no formal events going on this week at Osoyoos Christian Centre lots is happening "backstage". First thing you might notice attending next week is that some of us got together and 'spruced up' the sanctuary!


Yes, just giving you a teensy peek of what you might see - stay tuned for more - decorating this area has given us more ideas for other areas. If you have ideas or would like to join in when we strike next let us know!


We were blessed to have Dale and Florence home with us this past Sunday. As mentioned in our previous post, their brother David, from Calgary went home to be with the Lord just a few short weeks ago. After speaking with Dale and Florence I have SUCH an appreciation for David and Beverley (David's wife who passed on just this summer) Both were young (David was only in his 50's) but what a tremendous ministry they had in their short years!

Dale and Florence were astounded that even as they "said goodbye" to their precious family members - to have revealed the extent of the ministry that David and Beverley established during their missions in Taiwan. In fact, you can read about the ministry they established called RAY OF HOPE by clicking on the picture below.

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The mission of their ministry is: Ray of Hope is a Christian organization dedicated to promoting the sanctity of life, teaching sexual purity, and bringing restoration to women in the midst of a crisis due to an unwanted pregnancy or previous abortion.

This ministry provides many valuable resources to assist - all in the name of the LORD.

What a tremendous comfort and pride it must bring to Dale and Florence to know how many lives are STILL and WILL CONTINUE to be touched by this good work which was the life of David and Beverley.

Florence has promised an audio/visual interview when they return home from their winter ministries in the southern USA for the next several months.

We wish you well, Dale and Florence and we will be praying for you.


We have a report from our Youth who recently went to an EVENT held in Grand Forks BC. Thanks goes to Bart and the Park Drive Pentecostal Church for including our youth in this adventure - our youth are still talking about what a terrific time it was and they enjoyed meeting new friends along the way.

The following is a video of the band Kiros who played at The Gathering which our youth attended! Click on the TRIANGLE play button to listen.

The Gathering 2009 was a very fun and lively event. We had a awesome speaker - Glenn Madden. His time of sharing was followed up with entertainment by the bands Kiros, We Are The City and Stone house 25 (and more!) There were several more events, and if this were not exciting enough the evening celebrations were topped off with great food.

The events were well organized and we were kept "on the move" and entertained the entire time. The organizers brought in drama groups that made us think of our place in the world as Godly people. We enjoyed the improv groups who caused us to to laugh - but with a great message. With Glenn Madden there we also experienced good, serious teaching of "the real God" - the one that isn’t all sugar coated, the one that people seem to forget; Our FIRM and MIGHTY GOD the one that punishes for breaking his law. We needed and appreciated this word.

~ submitted by Nicole



Thank you to Judy (my Sister in Law) from Kamloops, who made enough of these lovely Cross Bookmarks to give to each of the ladies of our church! They were received with gratitude and truly appreciated! We were honoured to have Judy sit in with us for a Women's Bible Study last month and so some of you got to know her and have remained in contact. I know I can say that a BIG HELLO comes with each cross.



Melissa - Jim and Elaine's Daughter who is expecting any day now. She did make it past her 35th week last we heard and I hope by next blog post perhaps we will have an announcement in the PRAISE section?

Jim and Elaine - As they minister in Colwood and also as Elaine helps out with Melissa.

Cecil - Marie's husband has been suffering illness for several years. Please pray for a hand of healing upon him, and for stamina for Marie as she looks after him.

Nathan and Leila - Nathan as he is in training to be a teacher, Leila as they will be moving soon. Nathan is also sick with some sort of 'bug' - that he will recover (and not pass it on! LOL!)

unnamed - A woman who is suffering a deep sickness, that if it's the Lord's will she will be healed. That she will find a comfort, peace and purpose in accepting Jesus - giving HIM reign in her life. That HE would give her hope and peace and guidance at this difficult season. Pray for those who will be ministering to her - supply the words! Please pray for her young family as well.

Keremeos Church - Newly established this Pentecostal church seems to be already making a huge impact in this area. May we lift them up as they continue to "walk in faith" where they have been planted. We look forward to meeting you soon!


Kaye - Home from the hospital AGAIN, Kaye is weak in body but STRONGER than ever in faith. Won't you drop by to see her and encourage her - and be encouraged by Kaye as she is the biggest encourager I know!

Rose and Ken - have family visiting and celebrating a "Christmas Before Christmas" this week. May your time together be a precious time of bonding.

Matt and Lillian - In England, have just moved into a new 'flat' and enjoying the time as a family unit! Wouldn't a Christmas Card sent from here look nice on their walls (hint hint!)



Eileen's Birthday - Eileen is celebrating her 90th birthday this week. Won't you make time to drop in and enjoy all her great wisdom she's gathered over the years? The following is what she told me was the ONE good piece of advice one should take heed to. Just click the PLAY to listen!

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Saturday Night Jam and Crafts - 7:00 p.m.

Miles and Nathan will be on board to help you learn the basics of guitar! Please bring a guitar (accepting donations of functioning guitars too - gratefully!) Though we won't be having a formal 'craft' this week, we do hope to perhaps decorate a bit more. Come join in, I'll provide the popcorn! Call if you need a ride!

OCC Women's Bible Study - At Isabelle's place, 1:30 Tuesday. We are continuing with our Friendships of Women Podcast study. A warm and welcoming place to share an afternoon of fellowship with the women of OCC. All welcome!

OCC Christmas Dinner - Sunday, December 20th. I'll be calling around to organize. What would YOU like to bring? Shirley has offered to do pies - you can email me at to tell me what you can provide!


Looking for some good (and FREE I might add) worship songs for your church? You can find the sheet music for the following songs:

Emmanuel (Hallowed Manger Ground) - Chris Tomlin

All Creation Sing (Joy to the World) - Fee

Sing - Josh Wilson

Born in Bethlehem - Third Day

Here is the King - Worship Together

Glory in the Highest - Chris Tomlin

Love has Dawned - Bethany Dillon and Matt Hammitt

Love Came Down - Ben Cantelon

Remain - Ben Cantelon

Father Will You Come - Unhindered

Jesus Saves - Tim Hughes

You Are My Creator - Unhindered

Born That We May Have Life - Chris Tomlin

Just click on the following picture to download! (You may have to register with Worship Together and you will also have to download the Scorch Viewer)

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Wonderful Worship, Church Family Luncheon, Prayers and Praise, FREE Worship CD!

Our hearts are full and heavy in shared grief with our Brother and Sister - Dale and Florence at the loss of Florence's dear brother, David. After a lenghtly illness and following just a short time-span after the loss of David's wife Beverley this summer. Dale and Florence were able to be bedside until David's last breath - and we are told that it was precious time. Especially deep and significant the time that Dale was able to spend with his brother in law, tending to his physical needs and sharing in a ministry on a completely different level than most of us may ever have to be exposed to. What comes clear in their letters "home" to our church family, is through it all, God is Good - all the time. I know it might seem almost strange to think it, but the following song which was sung this past weekend in Church still holds true, even through the death of a fellow brother or sister.

"The Lord is Gracious and Compassionate"
Click PLAY (triangle)

Hokayyyyyy - the song does NOT seem to want to upload so I have substituted a YouTube version of this song. Sorry - may upload our own version later.

So hard to comprehend in the light of the loss of a loved one - especially a loved one who devoted his entire life to missions and loving the Lord. "The Lord is Gracious and Compassionate" means that David is now HOME with the Lord, and it means that the Lord has His loving arms of comfort around Dale and Florence and the family at this time. It means that we, their church family - are waiting to enter into praise of thanksgiving with them when they arrive home. Won't you please take a moment to listen to the following song and pray for a safe trip home for Dale and Florence please?


We had a great luncheon this Sunday - it was a soup and sandwhich theme and wow, what deliciuous soups there were! We had crocks of Beef with Barley (thanks Ken, the only GUY who cooked), a light and delicious Vegetable (Thanks Leila) a Healthy and Hearty Carrot and Ginger soup made (Nummy Felecia) and I concocted a Robust French Onion Soup (which I will be featuring the recipe on my personal blog). Dessert was DELICIOUS apple pies, baked by Shirley - ok, Shirley, this is almost impossible to believe, but your pastry rivals that of my Mother in Laws, and she's the Queen of Pastry in my books!

The next BIG food event will be our Church Family Christmas dinner - which we will be having mid-December so that it does not conflict with family plans. We will keep you posted - but start dreaming up your BEST gourmet recipes!

THANK YOU also to the folks from Park Drive Pentacostal who are our "partner" church - but I especially want to send a word of gratitude to the FAMILIES of the members who have been assisting us. Without the support of the wives and patience of your children this would not be possible. Your sacrifice means a tremendous amount to us.

Also, especial thanks to Jussi and Leena for once again providing The Word and wonderful Worship in Song.



Kaye - as she is back in the hospital - still having fluid on the lungs and in some discomfort. If you can, please visit!

Melissa - Jim and Elaine's daughter in law - that she may carry the full term with her baby.

Jim and Elaine - for their ministry in Colwood, for Elaine as she helps out with Melissa and also for her studies.

Florence and Dale - and the family as they make arrangements for David - and for a safe trip home.

Ralph and Krista - in their ministries on the Island.

unnamed - for two son's to walk once again with our Lord.

unnamed - a young man who's brother commited suicide - the young man has decided to accept the Lord as his saviour after seeing how hard his brother was trying to seek the Lord before he took his life.

YOUR prayer request could be here. Send us an email,



Some time ago a dear friend of mine was telling me of her struggles with her neighbors. Turns out the neighbors were extremely loud - you know, music at all hours, thumping away, and not the type of music that is in any way uplifting. Yes - she tried it all, talking to them, etc. Finally in desperation having to call the authorities and despite their warnings it seemed an unresolvable issue. And its not like it was JUST the noise - my friend actually suffers from a physical condition of suffering CAUSED by loud sounds!

So, I asked if we might pray together about it - I told her I was confident the Lord can do what we are not able to do, so she allowed me to pray with her on the spot.

Well, just yesterday she seeked me out to tell me our prayers were answered. Not only were the offending neighbors removed, but my friend tells me the new neighbors are a family with children (my friend has children) and the woman is a Christian and they get along famously. Wow!

YOUR praise report could be here - just email us at



OCC Women's Bible Study - Tuesday at Isabelle's place. Email if you need directions, or just phone me. We will be extending the time from aprox 1 p.m. to 3. We will continue with Part 3 of Friendships of Women. It has been an extraordinary time of connection for our women. Thank you for all who have been so faithful to attend each week. Thank you to Rose for picking our senior women up and to your family for the use of your vehicle.

Church Decorating Day - To Be Announced. Got ideas? Want to help? email us at to tell us how you can help!

OCC Family Church Christmas Dinner - To Be Announced. What would YOU like to contribute? Shirley has promised to bake more pies (I'm starving myself in anticipation already!)



At our last Women's Bible Study Isabelle had us laughing with this list of Hymns as matched with Professions:

Dentist: Crown Him With Many Crowns
Weatherman: There Shall be Showers of Blessings
Contractor - The Churches One Foundation
Tailor - Holy Holy Holy!
Golfer - There's a Green Hill Far Away
Politician - Standing on the Promises
Optometrist - Open My Eyes That I Might See
IRS - I Surrender All
Gossip - Pass It On
Electrician - Send the Light
Shopper - By and By
Realtor - I've Got a Mansion Just Over the Hilltop
Massage Therapist - He Touched Me
Doctor - The Great Physician

and then there's the ones for people who speed:

over 45 mph - God Will Take Care Of You
over 65 mph - Nearer My God To Thee
over 85 mph - This World is Not My Home
over 95 mph - Lord, I'm Coming Home


And lastly - I came across a website for Kristi Northrup, Christian Recording Artist. She's offering a FREE download of her CD - You See Beauty. She would like her music to be a ministry to all - you have the option of also donating to one of the good causes if you feel led to do so. You can visit her website by clicking HERE - just fill out your information and you will be offered a download link. I really enjoyed her music - she has a very bold and refreshing style. Share her link with all your friends and I know she would love to hear from you if you take the time to email her. Thank you Kristi, for your permission to link you here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Talented Guests and Getting to Know - OURSELVES!

It was an exciting week and weekend for Osoyoos Christian Centre!

We were very blessed to have guests visiting with us - Jussi and Leena, from Delta. Jussi delivered word from the pulpit. A powerful message and as one of the congregation mentioned to me, some entertaining and amusing observations (one part drawing a parallel between someone 'speeding' in this day and age which might mean going 110 mph in a car compared to 'way back then' the same may have been true of a young man racing on a camel!) But the underlying message being a subject of relevance delivered in a timely manner for our church body. Thank you, Jussi.

Jussi and Leena

And it seems Jussi's lovely wife
Leena is gifted as well, for she blessed us with her singing of "Standing on Holy Ground. For those of you who missed it, you may listen to her by clicking PLAY button on the audio player below!

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

Saturday night
our church was filled with music and activity. It was a Crafts and Jam night and we had instruction happening in the sanctuary. The rest of us could be found in the basement assembling shoeboxes for children as part of the Operation Shoebox ministry of Samaritan's Purse. We had several young ladies (Asia, Amy and Amber) who helped create an assembly line which allowed us to fill the boxes in record time.

Our women's group met for bible study on Tuesday, covering some of Part 2 of "Friendships of Women" of an 11 part series from Midday Connection. I was honoured to be able to host it at my (Barb) house for this particular one and it was a special time of getting to fellowship. Rose will be hosting this week - please call if you need information or a ride. More details in the EVENTS section of this post. Angie has allowed me to share the following poem here on the blog - it's called LISTEN and it reminds us that one important quality of being a good friend is to be a 'good listener'. I remember someone pointing out to me at one time that God gave us ONE mouth and TWO ears and that should remind us that we should LISTEN twice as much as we SPEAK.


When I ask you to listen to me and you give me advice,
You have not done what I asked.

When I ask you to listen to me and you tell me I shouldn't feel the way I do,
You are trampling on my feelings.

When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to solve my problem,
You have failed me, strange as that may seem.

When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself,
You contribute to my fear and weakness.

I can do for myself. I'm not helpless.
Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.

Listen! All I asked, was that you listen.
I did not ask you to talk or do, just hear me.

Advice is cheap:
A buck will get you both Dear Abby and Billy Graham
in the same newspaper.

But when you accept my irrational feelings as simple fact,
Then I can begin to understand what's behind them.

When that is clear, the solutions will come,
And I won't need advice.

Perhaps that's why prayer works.

God does not give advice or try to fix things.
He just open minds to new ideas
and lets people work it out for themselves.

So please, listen and simply hear me.
If you want to talk, please wait a minute for your turn -
then I will listen to you.

~ anonymus



Kaye - still recovering from illness

Jussi and Leena - as they travel, coming to us again from Delta this coming weekend

Jim and Elaine - as they minister in their new location at Colwood

Nathan - as he works towards becoming a teacher

Marie and Cecil - for Cecil's health, and for Marie as she looks after him

Amalia and Alfredo Sommer - as they begin their missions in Argentina

Unnamed - for a woman, suffering a terminal illness. She has given two members of our church permission to pray for her and WITH her in the coming weeks.


Our church was able to fill about a dozen boxes for underpriveledged children!


Women's Bible Study - at Rose Johnson's house. Please call me if you need directions. 250-495-3516. "homework" from last weeks meeting includes sharing a prayer need for YOURSELF, and also a poem, scripture or thought of your own on the subject of Friendship. We will pick up the final secion of part 2 of the audio series.

Potluck Luncheon - Sunday, November 15th. This will be a simple sandwhiches and soup buffet. If you can provide a soup or a plate of sandwhiches it would be appreciated. I will call all on our church registry for those who do not have email. Shirley will be providing her yummy pies for dessert.

Speaking of Lunch, Luncheon, Food ... (my mind goes ahead of me, imagine what my husband has to put up with! LOL) Leila has now provided the recipe for the delicious Butternut Squash Soup she made for the last get together. I've typed it all out, added a picture of it and you can click on the PDF format recipe below to view it or hit the PRINT at the top of the viewer!

THANK YOU Leila, your soup was impressive and I know I will be attempting it in the future!

Butternut Squash Soup

Monday, November 2, 2009

Thanks To Park Drive, Kaye is Home and Upcoming Events at OCC

Thank you to Peter who is Pastor to the seniors at Park Drive Pentecostal in Oliver, for bringing us the message this past Sunday. His sermon title was "My Brother's Keeper" and it was an insightful and valuable word.


Thanks as well to Ken and Cheryl who blessed us with worship music. Your singing and playing anointed us with gladness and surely we were brought into the Grace of Jesus with the words sung of praise, hope and gladness. Words cannot express just how much it means to us to have you come and minister to our church family. Your faithfulness to us is inspiring. I completely appreciated your words which reflect that we are ALL family!



Kaye is home from hospital! YAY! I spoke with her this morning and though she is still somewhat weak she feels strongly she is on the mend. She recently enjoyed a celebration of her 85th birthday - her (large) and loving family put together a wonderful party for her. Kaye mentioned to me that Pastor Jim and Elaine called her in the past day to say hello, and how much that comforted her.

Ken and Marg - who are at their home at the coast. Ken and Marg are able to stay in touch with us via this blog and have submitted inspirational materials for this blog. We miss you both and are thankful for having us in our family.




Kaye - though she's on the mend we need to continue to pray for a complete healing.

Jim and Elaine - as they settle into their new ministry in Collwood, BC

Nathan - as he is learning to be a teacher (is this an oxymoron? And no, Nathan, I did not just say you were a moron :) Please pray for Leila (his lovely wife) as she keeps things running at home and encourages him. We know with certaintly Nathan, you will be a wonderful teacher!

Amalia and Alfredo - (Osoyoos Baptist Church) as they head to Argentina tomorrow for 4 months. May their missions in the community and surrounding area where they grew up in be successful. What a beautiful thing for them to 'give back' to the country they grew up in. This area has a lot of poverty and they keep returning to help alleviate suffering and better the circumstances. They do this all the while showing the love of Jesus.

Jen and Mark - who are in Ethiopia Addis Ababa. Jen used to attend OCC. She and Mark are newlyweds and she and husband Mark have a heart for missions. At the present the area they work in is seeing a people practice witchcraft etc being converted to Christian - which puts lives in danger. So, they must be very careful about what we can publish about them, in regard to details. We need to pray for the Lord's protection upon them.



OCC Women's Bible Study - meeting this Tuesday November 3rd at my (Barb's) home at 1:30 - 3. Please call if you need directions. 250-495-3516. We are following the "Friendships of Women" audio series from Midday Connection.

Jam and Craft Evening - Saturday, November 7th.

Come join in on an evening of music and fun. Basic instruction in playing Guitar provided in the sanctuary. There's also a keyboard available, or bring your own instrument. If you have an old instrument kicking around and might consider donating it to our Saturday night Jams, let us know.

There will be crafts happening downstairs. Bring your items for shoeboxes along and we will 'pool' our resources to make some boxes! We've had donations so we will be able to fill a few extra. I'll be contacting Florence to find out which is the last day to get the boxes together. If we find ourselves with extra time we will have a good 'visit' together.

Guests Jussi and Leena will be visiting November 8th. Won't you please attend to give them a big welcome!


Sorry this post is a bit shorter than most. It was my husband's birthday this past weekend and we took three days 'away'. Ha, away for us meant staying at home, not answering phones. It was wonderful to just turn off all technology and spend time together. Thats exactly what our FATHER in heaven would like us to do with Him, too.

I will leave off with this video - I hope it leaves you feeling uplifted!

Monday, October 26, 2009

On My Knees at the Church, News from Elaine Caruso and Upcoming Events

I've been on my knees at Church - ALL WEEK!

Ok, before you think I'm going through and especially super spiritual time right now, there's something I must confess. I've been on my knees outside the building. Somehow in this past two years I never allowed myself to fully see what was happening outside on the grounds. I don't know why but about a week ago I was startled to realize that all of the foliage on the grounds had been insidiously creeping and growing and taking over. Weeds have choked out shrubbery. Boughs have draped themselves over fences. Vines have pushed their way through slats and climbed and twisted themselves into the cedar hedges. Branches have pushed their sinewy arms out trying to block the sign out front. Debris has blown into every niche. Trash has secreted itself beneath and ontop and everywhere in an ever widening trail leading over to McDonalds. Why, when did this all transpire I asked myself?

Now, upon noticing I was compelled to take action. No, I am NOT a gardener nor a landscaper. I'm just a lady who has access to some sturdy farm and gardening tools and the Lord has been developing me for the past few years. You see, my husband and I moved out to a rural property three years ago. A truly beautiful spot which boasts orchard as well as pristine forest. When we moved part of our agreement was to help with some of the yard work.

The first few times I helped around our own place my friend did all of the pruning to the hedges and foliage. I was very content to provide muscles and willingness to carry and dispose of the trimmings. I was totally comfortable with this arrangement. Then, on one particular day, my friend placed the pruners in MY hands and insisted I could do the trimming. Was I beyond terrified? You believe it - I had visions of misshapen trees and gargoyle-like shrubbery. But I was fine. And whats more, after a while of working I began to make sense of what to leave and what to remove. Now, nobody is going to be hiring me any time soon to bon-sai their ornamental gardens but I must say I can do a pretty good transformation when I set my mind to it.

So, how could I know that the Lord was really pushing me along to learn a new talent? And how could I know that being obedient would lead to me being able to provide a good service to our Church? And how could I guess that one day I would completely enjoy gardening and find a certain satisfaction in seeing a dramatic metemorphisis take place at my own hands?

As I was 'on my knees' I was drawn to so many spirtitual conclusions. I had scripture tumbling over and over in my mind with each task I tackled. I found it all so PEACEFUL and RELAXING - even though I was working so hard and sweating.

I found a true significance when I pruned trees back to the bare essentials, weeding out the wiry offshoots and the branches which were crowding out the main stems. I feel this is where our church is at right now - we are pruned back, awaiting the first flushes of spring when they come - our foundations strong and ready to put out new and healthy shoots!

Another thing which stands out in my mind was that when I first began to tackle it all, I was kind of, soooort of grumping about all the trash strewn, from McDonalds. Truly I spent so much time picking up cups, bags, ketchups etc. There is a regular migration of people all day long heading to and from McD's and some of them make it two feet away from the conveniently placed trash can at the end of the lot, while others save their trash for right down by the building. But, by day's end I was actually THANKFUL for all the trash, and all the people. Why, our little church observes and is observed by people all the day long. One can't ask for a better security system than this!

I met some interesting people. I interacted with neighbors to our church. I am sure people are curious as to why our building is getting a foliage facelift right now? But mostly, I felt a deep satisfaction in having obeyed my instinct to set time aside to do this for our church. I felt wonderful to be able to be the one to make the outside as beautiful as the inside feels to me. I loved labouring there. I felt a connection with our Lord in a special way.

Ephesians 6:6

Work hard, but not just to please your masters when they are watching. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

Proverbs 16:3

Commit your work to the LORD, and then your plans will succeed.


Betty shared the WORD on October 25th. A powerful message which condensed could be PRAY and OBEY. She reminds us to pray without ceasing. Her sermon was based in several areas of Acts. Pray WHEREVER you are, WHATEVER you are doing and for WHOMEVER you are next too or reminded of at the moment.


I received an update from Elaine Caruso to share with you all - it is as follows:

Hello Everyone:
Just wanted to let you know how we are doing here. We arrived late on Friday night. Although we were in time for the ferry they had cancelled the 5 and, 7 sailings. We managed to get on the 9. If you ever come to the Island, a tip is to really plan ahead as there is often a one sailing wait, we are generally in the line at least an hour and a half early. There has been an increase in ferry traffic since we last lived here and it seems that even through the week it is like that. Anyways, I guess the population is growing or something.
After we arrived we stayed overnight with the pastors Al and Verna from Colwood Pentecostal Church in Victoria. The next day we unpacked with some help. We have about 15 steep stairs into the loft type apartment. Good exercise. So I have mainly been home studying to finish my last course. It is a tremendous course load for 2 credits.
Jim is in the office Tue.-Friday and is helping Pastor Al alot until Dec. 31. He is doing pastoral counseling. Our future is still up in the air after that but God has been so good and I have peace about our future. Thank you all again, for the lovely farewell and gifts.

Love Elaine

~ I have printed off Elaine and Jim's particulars. If you would like a copy please grab me and I will give you a copy. We sure miss you both! I have a question for you as well, you say "loft type apartment" - ummmm, remember how you used to have ALL of us over to your place for Pasta Sunday's??? Will your new place fit all your new church inside? Haha!


Kaye - she`s been in and out of hospital suffering pneumonia and now the docs feel she may have contracted the super bug while in hospital. According to her family she might be home in a day or two, she is looking better.

Dale & Florence - in Calgary nursing David who is sick with cancer. May the Lord annoint you as you nurse him.

Jim and Elaine - in Colwood as they begin their new ministry.



October 27 - Women`s Bible Study at Isabelle`s - continuing the `Friendships of Women`series. For more info call Barb at (250) 495-3516

October 28 - OCC Women Online Chat on msn. Everyone welcome.

November 1 - Bart Thomas and the Away Team will be ministering to us. THANK YOU Bart and Park Drive Pentacostal from Oliver for helping out!

November 7 - Saturday Night Jam and Crafts. You`re invited for a time of fun, fellowship, music and crafts. Basic guitar instruction provided in the sanctuary. Bring your own guitar or instrument if you own one. Guitar donations gratefully accepted :) We will be packing shoeboxes downstairs for Operation Shoebox. Bring your own items and we can pool our resources!

November 8 - Guests Jussi and Leena Sievanen from Delta BC will be ministering in Word and Song.

November 29 - Bart Thomas and the Away Team will be ministering to us.


SPECIAL THANKS - to Bart and Park Drive Pentacostal for taking our youth along to the Gathering event held in Grand Forks. I have been promised a recap of the event from one of our youth, to share with you here in the near future!