Wednesday, May 4, 2011

There's Lots going on in May at Osoyoos Christian Centre!

Welcome everyone - OCC wishes you a wonderful week.  Perhaps its just me but I usually think of March or April as the months that are changeable - the weather never the same one hour to the next, but if the first few days of May are an indication then you might want to be packing your umbrella with you just in case!  Here's what you will find new on our blog this week:

  • GOOD WORD by Pastor Joseph:  "Two Gods"
  • Upcoming 100th blog post BOOK DRAW giveaways - happening over the following six weeks of posts
  • Current and upcoming events (scroll down on this page!) 
  • FROM THE HEART (tab top of the blog) - "Priorities" taking care of ourselves so we can take care of others
  • THE GALLERY (tab top of the blog) New FREE Scripture Computer wallpaper

Ongoing exploration of 1 Samuel

As we continue to work through at our series in I Samuel we will take a look at 5:1-12.

When I first approached this narrative I looked at this passage several times over. When we read the word of God we need to keep in mind that as readers we stand over the Bible in such a way that we can read its stories in a matter of mere minutes, yet the  events that have unfold in many of these narratives have occurred over a period of days, weeks, months, years or decades. With this is mind we need to be very intentional when we approach the word of God and sometimes we just need to slow down so we don’t miss anything. Let’s take a look at this now:
In I Samuel 5:1: “Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod.” Now before I go any further I would like to bring one thing to your attention. You would think that the author would have went into more detail about the significance of this event and spend a bit more time on it.  However, it seems as if he has just glossed over this event -  but, there is a reason for this.  Let’s take a look at this for a moment.  The reason for such sparse amount of detail around this event is realized by the fact that author is communicating in a high context. “High context refers to societies or groups where people have close connections over a long period of time. Many aspects of cultural behavior are not made explicit because most members know what to do and what to think from years of interaction with each other. Your family is probably an example of a high context environment.”
As significant as this event is, the author doesn’t need to say too much about it because if you were an Israelite reading this story the full weight of it would bear down on you. “The Philistines took the ark of God,” is all that was needed for the Jewish reader or audience to hear and they would have gotten the full impact of this statement because they lived in a high context culture. Everyone knew how important the ark was to their way of life, their identity as a nation, and to their security. Being of a high context culture, the author doesn’t need to say much about this event, however, for those of us who live in North America the same cannot be said. Because we do not have intimate knowledge of Jewish cultural realities during the time period in question, we come into the story from a low context position, and as such it’s easy for us to miss the point because we would expect a very serious event of this magnitude to be described at length.
When the Philistines took the ark of the covenant, it sent a message that their god Dagon was victorious over Yahweh. Remember the old saying: “It’s to the victor goes the spoils.”?   Well, in those old days of war, the winning army pretty much got to loot the countryside and take what they wanted--wealth, harvest, women, whatever. Those would be the spoils of victory. There is little doubt that this message would have been devastating for the Israelites when viewed from this perspective. If we read through that passage quickly then it’s easy to miss the significance of this simple statement and its impact. Yahweh was defeated by another god! When the Philistines took the ark it meant that they had won and they took the ark demonstrating this point. The fact is, if they hadn’t won – they would not have been able to take it, it’s just this simple.

At this time I would like you to think about this the point and how you would feel as an Israelite experiencing this event for the very first time. We will continue to look at this chapter for the next two weeks and I believe that what you will find will be fascinating and encouraging at the same time!
Our blog is coming up on 100 "posts" (each time we update here it is called a "post") in the near future. We are at 95 so we want to celebrate over the next six weeks until we reach 100. For the next three sets of two weeks we will be giving away some books - one each two week block. The first of three books is:
Book Description - Jesus came to give us abundant life. So why are so many Christian women living with worn-out faith, struggling just to get by? What if there was something more? What if we could be set free from worry, fear, and the constant cycle of searching for significance? The Faith Dare is a 30-day challenge for women who are tired of ho-hum living and want to break the pattern of self-reliance and people pleasing by putting their trust in God alone and learning to live to please him. This energizing book will change a woman's focus from her moods and attitudes to living in the power of God's Word. It will encourage her to take the next step and begin to live out real faith in her real life.
To win this book, please send us an email at or leave a comment here and we will enter you into the contest. We would love to add you to our newsletter mailing list so mention it if you are interested and we can do that. Signing up means we will send you a notice via email each time we update the content here on the blog (about once a week) so you will be the first to know what's going on at OCC (current and upcoming events), benefit from some positive messages and even download FREE scripture computer wallpaper each week here. We will draw a name for this book on Tuesday, May 17th. Please, send your friends here to put their names in!  Men - don't think this is not for you too - surely you have a mom, wife or friend who would love this for a gift! 

Prayer at Kaye's Every Tuesday - 10:00 a.m.
7806 Gravenstein
Thursday Night Open Worship Every Thursday - 7:00
Osoyoos Christian Centre
42 Finch, Osoyoos
For more info: 250-495-2550
An intimate time of prayer - personal, community, government and worldwide for the Lord to meet spiritual and physical needs.  Bring a friend!

Mariposa Christian Ministry
Mariposa Gardens
8816 97th Street, Osoyoos
Sundays at 2 pm
We welcome you to join us if you are able to assist with your musical talent or to help with fellowship! Email us for more info:

Communion Sunday & Fellowship LuncheonSunday, May 8th
This is a pot-luck style luncheon.  Barb will call you regarding your contribution to the luncheon, however you are welcome to bring whatever you like!  Please, spread the word, bring a friend - or TWO!  


As always we encourage you to leave a comment here on our blog or you can also email us at

1 comment:

Sheryl P said...

Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all your hard work, beautiful pictures and wallpapers you provide.
This website has been a blessing!