Monday, September 28, 2009

Farewell and We Shall "Fare Well"

This past Sunday was the last day we were blessed with Pastor Jim and Elaine. It was a poignant, bittersweet time. Voices were cracking all over the place - lots of manly "Harrumph's" as throats were cleared in effort to keep emotions in check. I lost that battle from the outset and only wished I'd checked out the location of the tissue box before the service!

Thank you to Bart and his worship team from Park Drive Pentecostal Assembly (Oliver) who supplied the music - picking the perfect songs to touch each of us on this special occaision. You and your team joining us truly encouraged our church body. We really appreciate what you do!

I did shoot some video of the service and party - I will try to post some later on, however (and this is an offside) the nifty little purse-sized birthday present gadget my dear husband bought me did a very poor job and some of the music clips came out all 'warbled'. So, I need to prevail on him to help me move the video clips into a program and convert them, then into ANOTHER program which will allow me to cut, snip and cobble together all the bits to make anything of worth to share with you. Which is why the gadget is getting returned to the store :( Stay tuned for next week and I hope to have SOMETHING for you, at least. It won't look like it came off Global TV or anything though.

But this post is about Jim and Elaine and their farewell party. I am certain Jim's goodbye sermon was a good one, but I was down in the hatches (in the basement - the kitchen to be specific) with other diligent helpers setting up a veritalbe feast for the masses.

Everyone pulled together to provide a delicous meal and nobody needed any salt on the table for tears of joy and (happy) sadness falling upon the victuals. Despite my wondering it, everyone seemed to get enough food and had a wonderful time.

Besides a huge slab cake (which disappeared down to one tiny slice at the end when I finally got time to consider eating a piece) they were also presented with a lovely gift basket which everyone contributed to.

Especially nice to see the local jams and preserves - they can take a little bit of Okanagan sunshine with them, all jarred up!

I'm sure Jim was not in any way surprized any way to find a sheep tucked in - he's been collecting for years. He also recieved the set of bongos he's been using and fallen in love with over his time with OCC. I did try to capture some of his playing on video but not sure if it turned out.

We wish you all the best, Jim and Elaine. Jim has accepted a temporary postion with a church near Victoria. I will place a link here on my next post. We love you and will miss you, Elaine and Jim!



Drop-In Music and Fellowship Night! Saturday, October 3rd 7:30 p.m. at OCC. Bring your instrument and join the musicians of our worship team in a time of mentoring and general good musical fun! 'Official" worship practice for Sunday's session at 8:30. If you are not musicially inclined everyone's welcome to drop in to listen and enjoy, help in the kitchen to set up and prepare for Sunday's Luncheon (or watch us do that too). Ok, just come and hang around. The more the merrier.

Pre-Thanksgiving Luncheon and Fellowship evening - Sunday, October 4th following the morning service.



Please pray for an unnamed person - this person has sick and we will pray for healing. Their condtion has been worsening over this past while. We will pray for them to be open to the word of the Lord to be spoken into their lives. We also would desire that our members who have been invited to share medical and personal experiences with them that they have had as a result of this same type illness will open the doors for ministry.

Please pray for Florence's brother David as he too battles with cancer. His wife recently went Home to be with the Lord and now David's family is by his side nursing him trying to make him comfortable as he is very inflicted with pain and suffering. Florence's husband Dale gave testimonly of how Dave had a Word "It is ALL good!" no matter what has and is happening.

Pray for Jim and Elaine as they get established in their new journey. May they be as much a blessing to whom they meet as they have been to us!

Lastly - please pray for OUR church as we begin a new season.


I will leave you with this beautiful, inspirational song which spoke to me this week (CLICK ON THE ARROW IN THE MIDDLE TO PLAY):

~ Barb

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Listen, Learn and Share

Some of us meet regularly online on MSN Messenger on Wednesday nights to "chat" Its a wonderful way we can connect right from our own homes - or wherever we might be. Some of us live out of town, most of us are just plain busy during the week - and so other than phoning one another or just emailing its another way we can stay connected. We would love you to join us anytime! Its a time when we socialize, make plans and lift up prayer needs.

This past Wednesday we decided that we will take advantage of a resource on the internet that is free and that we can all access easily - to inspire us to discussions and bible study. It was suggested I post just how YOU might join us in this weeks topic. We are using the Midday Connection (Moody) Audio Archives podcasts for reference. You need not download them or anything complicated - as I will explain following. If you have a pc and audio you are good to go.

We will be listening to an archived program for this weeks Learn and Share - here's how to do it.

Fullscreen capture 24092009 93351 AM

Click on the picture of the Midday Connection above and it will take you to the website in a new window.

Once you are there you will see that the past programs default to 2008. It will look like this:

Fullscreen capture 24092009 93351 AM-1

I have circled where it says 2008. We will want to change this to 2009 Past Programs because the particular one we want to listen to is in August 2009.

Fullscreen capture 24092009 93802 AM

So, on the left you will see this Past Programs tab. You need to click on the 2009. Once you click on 2009 your browser will list all the 2009 Past Programs - but it will list all the September Past Programs because it is September now (or if you are reading this in October or another month in the future it will reflect that month and the previous months) We need to change this. So you need to click on the dropdown menu for the months and select August. It will look like this:

Fullscreen capture 24092009 93912 AM

Then you will choose August - it will look like this:

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And click the GO button!

When you have done this you will see all the Past Programs listed for August 2009. The one we want is called Needs and it was aired on August 19, 2009. Scroll down the list until you find it. It will look like this:

Fullscreen capture 24092009 94041 AM

You are one click away from listening - and this step is very straightforward, just click the LISTEN, looks like this:

Fullscreen capture 24092009 94041 AM-1

If you look in the previous picture you will see it located at the top right corner atop the description of the program content. All you have to do at this point is click the Listen button, your computer will do the rest. It will open the audio program in whatever player your computer uses.

Ahem, if you are tech savvy - you can also download these programs through itunes as podcasts and listen to them on demand. If you're that savvy I need not explain it to you.

I hope you might enjoy to join us in our Learn and Share this week. We invite you to take part in our conversation. You can email us at or leave a comment or phone us or come to church and have a coffee with us or....

~ Barb

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Farewell Luncheon for Jim and Elaine!


It's Pastor Jim and Elaine's last Sunday with our church this Sunday. We are going to host a farewell luncheon for them, following the morning service. We would love it if you can join us. All the food is provided - just bring your goodbye greetings and yourself!

I've spent a lot of time reflecting what its going to be like without them - its mostly in retrospect we appreciate blessings... which has led me to find the following poem. I've altered it a bit to reflect the past tense but have still accredited it to the original author. I believe it truly reflects how we feel about Jim and Elaine.

You Understood Us
This pastor appreciation poem speaks of the reasons we need pastors but are often too uncomfortable to admit.

We could never tell you this, but we were afraid;
Afraid that our lives would end and few would notice.

We could never tell you this, but we were lonely;
Surrounded by a crowd we were all alone.

We'd could never tell you this, but we felt so empty;
There was so much more to life but we couldn't quite reach it.

We could never tell you, but we were disheartened;
No matter how hard we tried, a meaningful life escaped us.

We could never tell you this, but we were worried;
Worried about tomorrow, worried about the past.

We could never tell you, but we were unfulfilled;
Our lives were full, but our hearts were'nt satisfied.

We'd could tell you this, but we were searching;
Longing for something to make sense of it all.

We could never tell you, but we needed someone to care for us;
Someone who accepted us for who we really are.

We'd could never tell you this, pastor, but we needed you more than you knew.

Thank you for being there for us, Pastor! You met all these 'could nevers' in our lives.

A Pastor Appreciation Poem by Daniel Sherman


We look forward to celebrating with you this Sunday, Jim and Elaine! We are continuing to pray for your next step as you leave our church family!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Selling Salvation?


Sometimes I find myself trying to 'sell' salvation. Do you know what I mean? Rather than allowing the Spirit to work through me, I realize that I am 'pushing' Jesus onto the people in my life.

I was pondering this thought recently and it pulled me up short. Jesus does not need me to 'sell' Him to anyone. I realize that if I do nothing more than share the word but more importantly to LIVE in Him then He will be a sweet fragrance to those I come in contact with. If my life reflects HIS radiance, hope, compassion then I need never worry if I am helping anyone find life in HIM.

Its hard to resist the urge to 'sell' or 'push' my faith in this day and age when I feel like a whole lot of the world is 'pushed' onto me. Why, I can't seem to protect my husband from visual bites of scantily clad models on our own tv or on billboards and magazine covers. Alcohol, shallowness and materialism are pushed on me all the time!

My human nature reacts by wanting to 'fix' everyone else by having them believe in Jesus - and somehow I have it in my head that if only I can be the one to 'convert' them then I'll not only save them from 'the world' but at the same time remove one more person who would support a society of casual living.

I also sometimes have felt that I should have a 'number' of people who I have personally led to Christ. Some people can count many - me, if I have PERSONALLY done this, I'm not aware of it. Besides, this is my point, Jesus can't be 'sold' or 'bought'. I need only worry about myself - for if I'm not right with God myself I'll not be leading anyone anywhere. If I'm not right with God then what sort of a witness am I anyways? What kind of a witness am I if I try to 'cram' my religion down anyone's throat?

Jesus will use any one of us, sometimes we will be aware, sometimes not. We need be a light unto ALL we meet - friend, family and stranger alike - for we might be entertaining anyone and not know it. We need not worry if we are furthering His word if we are already COMPLETELY following Him. If we are doing this we will know by His prompting whether we should be talking about our faith to our neighbour, friend, family member - or even a stranger halfway around the world as a missions. We need to stop selling and start looking inward and working on ourselves first.

Yes, Jesus is a sweet fragrance. His word is sweet. His burden is light. He is a lamp which keeps my life a light! He is a joy in our lives and wants to bless us!


2 Corinthians 2:14
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.


Psalm 119:103
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Matthew 11:30
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."


Psalm 18:28
You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.

Deuteronomy 16:15
For seven days celebrate the Feast to the LORD your God at the place the LORD will choose. For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.


God does not need us as sales employees - He wants us to be friends, daughters and sons. We don't need to turn people off or bore them to death with our ideals of why they NEED Him, if we live in his Joy, Caring, Compassion then we will attract people to want to find out more.


I hope you will all keep your church in your prayers as we make a transition in the near future! Please pray for Jim and Elaine as they prepare for their upcoming move.


I would like to point you to Lillian's blog - Lillian has practically grown up in the Osoyoos Christian Centre and she is proving to be a regular contributer to our blog despite living in England now. You can find Lillians blog by clicking the link in the sidebar. She always posts wonderful pictures of her family - nice for us to watch Michael and Amanda grow up! Thanks Lillian for your contributions - we all miss you. ♥


I will be orgnanizing a day of prayer and fasting with our women. Stay tuned here for more information.

~ Barb

Monday, September 7, 2009

An Important Announcement - and A Poem




It is with mixed emotions that I bring you today's post.  For those of you who were unable to attend this past Sunday I bring you this news. 

Pastor Jim and wife Elaine are resigning, effective at the end of September. 




This is not a BAD thing, or a SAD thing - rather it marks a time of growth for both Jim and Elaine, and for our church family. 

Jim and Elaine stepped in to be our Pastors at a time when our church was going through a traumatic and painful time - just over a year and a half ago.  Our church was haemorrhaging  and we were either going to have to close down or find someone who could come in and deal with the crisis and pull us through to a place where we were not only healed but ready to move on to the next step.

When they  walked into our lives, they walked into a group of emotionally wounded people who were shell-shocked.  We wondered how we might trust anyone to tend our flock - we were afraid and hurting and wanted to be sure not to make a mistake in this important choice.

This said, when Jim and Elaine came to us - their hearts of LOVE spoke directly into our pain.  They did an awful lot of simply listening as we talked about our experiences and hurts.  They were so real, so caring, so ... THERE for us. 

Because of their patience and willingness to stand with us and willingness to step into the mess we were in - with prayer the Lord allowed each of us to trust them.  They  have come to mean so much to us.

In the same way that they have come to build us up again, to teach us, direct and walk alongside of us, in this way they are now ready to respond to the next emergency that is brought to their attention.

Both Jim and Elaine are always furthering themselves with University courses in the ministry and Jim is working on his doctorate.   Their hearts for missions is for Trauma Counselling and Crisis - exactly the sort of thing they did when they responded to our needs.  It would be selfish of us to hold them back from doing what they do best - helping and healing.

Jim has had past experience working as a paramedic with the Ambulance service  as well as being Pastor for the RCMP.  Elaine has worked in Emergency Preparedness as well, so they know their call is in helping people  and churches during the stages of distress.  Once they assist with the 'rescue' then its time to move on. 

We are so grateful that we have been blessed by their call and we will pray for them as they go forward. 

If you should have any questions they will welcome your requests.  I'll keep you updated here and Elaine has promised a 'formal' post later on towards the end of the month.  Understandably they have a lot to look after between now and then. 

What will happen to our church?  WE ARE NOT ALONE!  We have another church willing to put all our  heads and hearts (and sharing resources)  together to keep our church going.  We are eagerly anticipating the ministry to evolve, build and thrive.  This is an exciting time for our church and we look forward to new journeys. 

And so my friends - women of Osoyoos Christian Center - we have an opportunity to really come together at this time.  Its times of change when we take a second look at those who we interact with - in a totally new light.  In a light of appreciation that we share a bond that will rally us to meet all challenges with a gladness of heart and hope. 

Stay tuned for what's happening in our church over the next weeks!  Please pray for our church and for Jim and Elaine as they prepare for where the Lord leads them next!



Thank you to Felicia who shares this poem which she found at a client's house recently!  Please send more! ;)



A Prayer For You

I said a prayer for you today
And know God must have heard-
I felt the answer in my heart
Although He spoke now word!
I didn't ask for wealth or fame
I knew you wouldn't mind-
I asked Him to send treasures
Of a far more lasting kind!
I asked that He'd me near you
At the start of each new day
To grant you health and blessings
And friends to share your way!
I asked for happiness for you
In all things great and small
Bit it was for His loving care
I prayed the most of all!

Author unknown


If you have a poem, photo, scripture, prayer request or story you would like to share here on our blog please send us an email at

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Poor Bloggy! I pray you can empathize with me as I have been swamped with company (summer + Okanagan Sun) - these are the sweet days of summer which seem oh so busy now but like tins of fruit from the pantry on a cold winter's day in the future be jewels in our minds.

What I'm trying to say - is that we must consider what things in our lives are important, which things are the FRUIT in our lives, that when they are coming ripe simply must be dealt with. Relationships are like fruit. If we don't tend to them, nurture them and then harvest (eg: spending time with freinds and family) then they simply wither and may eventually die. Or people in our life die, sometimes unexpectedly and often we find that afterward we desperately wish we had invested that extra bit of time into their lives, rather than followed things that did not matter so much.

This week the peaches are coming on. I had it in my mind and was quite confident that they would not be ready for a few weeks yet but suddenly the orchard is being HARVESTED and this means no matter what other plans I may have made I must put them to the side and plan to can.

As I am obedient to the 'call of the canning jars' my mind is called to the bible and what we are told of THE HARVEST". I am so grateful that even my most minute daily activities are addressed in the WORD and each time I perform the seemingly simplest of tasks that God is present in each one. Here are some of the scriptures I located and some areas I have studied in the Bible to ponder on while I do my 'physical' canning:


Mark 4:29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.


John 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

Genesis 8:22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

Jeremiah 5:24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.


1 Samuel 12:17 Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the LORD, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking you a king.


Matthew 9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;


Proverbs 10:5 He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.


Amos 4:7 And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.


James 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.


Psalms 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.


Isaiah 16:9 Therefore I will bewail with the weeping of Jazer the vine of Sibmah: I will water thee with my tears, O Heshbon, and Elealeh: for the shouting for thy summer fruits and for thy harvest is fallen.

Joel 1:11 Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.


Isaiah 17:10-11 Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips: In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.


Deuteronomy 24:19 When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands.

Leviticus 19:9 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.

Leviticus 23:22 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.


Isaiah 18:4 For so the LORD said unto me, I will take my rest, and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.


Proverbs 25:13 As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.

Do you have any thoughts or stories you may care to share about the topic "harvest"? It can be scriptural or not, a poem, photo, story - whatever you like. You are welcome to email us at


I also would like to share a testimony regarding this blog! In my last post I was sort of frumping about not feeling up to being obedient to post but I have been very encouraged from different sources since then. I have recieved some emails which proved to me this blog really DOES make a difference, even when I can't see it sometimes. Thank you for taking the time to let me know we ARE staying connected here, no matter if everyone is as busy as I seem to be. I am looking forward to more 'get togethers' at our church now that school is going back in - look for some fun plans in the future!

I especially was blessed to talk to Lillian Wood yesterday and she began to share with me how much she misses our church family and how our OCC blog is ministering to her. Lillian moved to England to be near her husband Matt's family just about a year ago. When she began to share with me I encouraged her to write a post for our blog, and here is her message she would like to share with you! (besides her request that I take photos of YOU ALL at church this Sunday for her!)

Thank you Lillian for your beautiful poem and message - we miss YOU and your family.

In my darkest moments,

When I felt such pain and confusion.

There was only one place I could ever go for help.


When I was hurt or lost.

When shame was my only face.

I knew one door would always be open.

There at the OCC.

Despite the trials dwelling within.

When strife flew through the heart of its very being.

I still knew I could find a place of rest.

In the people of the OCC.

When my heart was glad.

When I wanted to rejoice in a happy moment.

The first place I wanted to share it.

Was with you at the OCC

To replace that church is impossible.

To even describe those bonds I hold inside..indescribable.

For my heart is there.

With you at the OCC

Hello My Family :)

Being asked to write what the OCC means to me has been quite a trial. I first thought I'd tell you about arriving in Osoyoos when I was 12 , testing out a church or two before settling there. I thought I might tell you about my experiences with the people, with the Sunday school or how I felt when each Pastor left. But, as I wrote I realized that nothing that has happened in that Church has anything to do with my attachment to it.

I love that Church, despite its trials and the hardships it went through. I love it so much and its because I connected with the people inside. Sure, I loved the Sunday School and I loved the Youth and I loved the Pastors. I cried when each one left, I rejoiced when new hope came with another. But my heart lies with the people who helped me.

And that is why the OCC means so much to me. When I needed a word because I was heading down the wrong path, when I needed a hug because I was hurting was there and I never had to say a thing. I can remember entering the church with a burden inside, a burden that I was too scared to say or ashamed to admit and I never had to say a word. God knew and he knew just who to send. In the kind smile of a friend, in a hug that said 'Hey..I care' or even in a good kick up the bum from someone I trusted. It was all there and it never failed. Even if I didn't go every Sunday, even if I missed because of work or because I was having issues with my Faith..when I did go there was such a welcome. When I was asked how I was, it wasn't a false front just to be polite and to ask out of courtesy, it was real. I knew it.

In all the years there are so many great moments. Great moments that I hope others get to experience. Yea, okay..the church hasn't always had the most rocking music and perhaps it's not the most 'hip' place to worship but its got the one thing that counts. That church has people who truly care, who truly want to do God's work which makes such a difference. Just having a handful of people who pay attention is ten times better than having a church that's popular. That made my life better. I've made some dumb mistakes, I've disappointed a lot of people but I have never felt unwelcome. I have never felt that I was unable to stand up and look those people in the eyes. They never condemned me, they never looked down on me..they simply loved me.

How could ever repay that? Is it possible? I've fashioned so much of myself out of those people. So much of me is a part of the OCC. So much of my heart is there. I just wish I had done more to show it. Then again we all have regrets. I always wished I had made the time to help out, to volunteer at the Spaghetti dinners or whatever else was going on. But then again that's part of growing I guess. Learning to take the time to show what you really care about.

Ladies of the OCC, those of you who have known me for twelve're like my second mothers. You are so dear to my heart and being this far totally sucks. I will conquer this Ocean! I will! I am determined! Its too far and I loathe it. I hope I can find a church that connects with my children just like I did with that one. Keep it up! And for those of you who I haven't met, who are new in my old home, welcome. Put your feet up for this place will provide for you. Your needs will be met, your voice will be heard and in time your prayers will be answered. For God is there, his people work there and his voice resounds.

I love you all.