Thursday, June 2, 2011

100th "Blogaversary" and New Content for June 2nd!

Greetings to you from Osoyoos Christian Centre for the beginning of June.  Here's whats new for our church this week:

  • 100th Blog post here - and a winner of our book draw, week 2 (this page)
  • Good Word from Pastor Joseph - Part 3 in his exploration of 1 Samuel (this page)
  • From The Heart - "Be Still"  (click on From The Heart tab, top of page)
  • Current and Future Events (this page - scroll down!)
  • New Free scripture wallpaper - Psalm 42:2 (click on The Gallery tab, top of page)  Here's a peek at what it looks like!


I'm so proud and excited to say that today's blog post is the 100th!   I really can't believe how the time has flown by.  The first post to this blog was on December 9, 2009 and so this means I've been faithfully writing here for one and a half years.  What a journey this blog has carried us through.  I must admit that there were times I was weary and some times that I wondered if our blog was making an impact but I will tell you that each time I prayed for this ministry that I also was blessed with some sign that yes - this blog has become an important part of the fabric of our church. 

We have welcomed new family members and said goodbye to others.  We've had weddings and funerals.  We've seen people come to know Jesus in this time.  All the Glory to the Lord.  We are thankful we are blessed with our beautiful church and all these tools to reach out to the lost and weary. 

Many people take the time to hit the "reply" button when they recieve notice that we've updated and I want you to know that each time you did you encouraged ME and your kind words became the fuel for me to continue to provide this service. 

Some of you told me you enjoy being able to listen to the sermons here if you happen to miss Sunday (blushing to say that I failed to provide adequate instruction to Pastor Joseph in how to use my MP3 recorder so last week's message did not get recorded)   Some of you thanked me for posting current events so that you were able to join in to activities.

A few people appreciated being able to be part of our family even though you might only live here in the summer months.

For so many reasons, this blog seems to bridge a gap, fill a niche that is of value.  I thank each and every one of you for letting us know that our blog has value.  And most important of all, this blog would be nothing without YOU to read it.  Thank you so much coming each week to visit with us here.  As long as there is a need for our blog I will continue to bring you new content each week as I am able.  I invite you to give us feedback if there might be a feature you would like to see here, or if you have a suggestion!


As you know we have been giving away books here as we neared the 100th post and this week's winner of the following book is...

Valinda who subscribes to our newsletter and hails from way down south in Georgia! We hope you enjoy and we thank you for subscribing.  Thank  you for your comments you've left for us here.

We still have one more book to give away over the next two blog posts.  This book piqued my interest - especially as I listened to the Midday Connection (Moody Radio) podcast series on this topic:

Product Description

When passivity and false niceness don't bring the abundant life Jesus promised, some Christian women try even harder to hide behind a fragile façade of pleasant perfection. Paul Coughlin and Jennifer Degler give women the empowering message that they have options far beyond simply acting nice or being mean--if they will emulate the real Jesus Christ and face their fears of conflict, rejection, and criticism. Brimming with enlightening information, thought-provoking questionnaires, real-life stories, and biblically based teaching from both the male author of the pioneering No More Christian Nice Guy and a female clinical psychologist, this book will motivate women to allow God to transform them into authentic, powerful women of loving faith.
To get your name in for a chance at this book simply make sure that you are a "subscriber" to our weekly newsletter or leave a comment (click COMMENT at the bottom of this blog post)  or send an email to us at and let us know you would like your name to be "put into the hat".   If your name is drawn we will contact you! 
This week Pastor Joseph has provided part 3 of his series exploring 1 Samuel.  In the future he will provide new content here on a bi-weekly basis.  We have begun a bible study within our church (see Current Events - scroll down) and so due to prep for that he will submit content here on the alternate weeks. 

As we look to are third and final installment of I Samuel Chapter 5, we turn our attention now to verses 6-12.
I’m going to say right off the bat that my goal is to observe this from a critical analysis point of view because a cursory read of this passage fails to do it any justice.
1 Samuel 5:6 reads:
New International Version (NIV)
 6 The LORD’s hand was heavy on the people of Ashdod and its vicinity; he brought devastation on them and afflicted them with tumors.
A superficial read of this passage presents an angry God who punishes the Philistines with tumors and mice—which some scholars believe carried the bubonic plague.  A question that needs to be asked here: “Is it the author’s intention to paint this picture of God?”
Now I know there are some who would question the idea that we could somehow know the author’s intention – after all he’s dead, and several thousand years have elapsed since the writing of this historical narrative.  However, I disagree and also I think that we can know it and even go further to say that this is was not Samuel’s intention.
Let me quickly add that if we are truly going to understand God’s word then we can never (nor should we ever) isolate any verse or verses outside of its larger scriptural unit. The scriptural unit provides the verses with context and a better understanding of the author’s purpose - for writing the passage as he was so led by the Holy Spirit. In this instance, if Samuel had intended to paint this picture of God as an angry deity who lashes out against the Philistines – he would have not have included the dismemberment of Dagon.  If his intention was just to show that God wanted to attack the Philistines – and avenge the Israelites’ loss at Ebenezer, then the inclusion of Dagon’s fall was pointless.
However, this event is without question crucial within this scriptural unit because it points to the fact that Yahweh, in his defeat of Dagon, is the victorious God - and as far as the Philistines are concerned the one true God because he defeated their god. As the God who is victorious Yahweh gets the spoils of victory – in this case Dagon’s worshipers.

You can’t miss this point – before God moves against the Philistines he attacks and defeats their god first.

If this was all about anger and wrath then God would have attacked the people first.  Dagon (think about  this) was just a piece of rock.  Why would God break a piece of rock if his point is pour out his anger upon the Philistines?  It’s obvious that his point was to demonstrate that he is mightier than Dagon and also that  the Philistines failed to do what they should have done in this situation – to humble themselves before God.  When they refused to humble themselves before God – he then moved against them.  Have we seen this elsewhere in the Old Testament – maybe back in Egypt? Pharaoh hardened his heart and what did God do? He greatly demonstrated that he was the one true God as he moved against the Egyptians with a heavy hand through the plagues.
 As I look at this passage I can’t help but believe that God was saying to the Philistines: “I was victorious in battle against your god Dagon,  you are my spoils of victory – humble yourselves before me.”  This is just my take on it, but when the Philistines refused to humble themselves God moved against them. 
Let’s quickly go back to the Exodus event – where  we see that when the Israelites left Egypt that they were accompanied by a “mixed multitude.” Yes – I believe that it is safe to say that among this mixed multitude you would have found Egyptians who left Egypt to follow after and serve the God of the Hebrews.
Why have I raised this point?
I bring this up because I  believe that there were Philistines who eventually converted to Judaism because,  like this mixed multitude,  they saw their god defeated and witnessed the power of Yahweh and served him.  
Is there more evidence for this position?
Yes!  When you read I Samuel 5:6 you should ask yourself this question: “Where did Samuel get his information from to write this narrative with such specific detail?”  You guessed it - he got it from a Philistine -  and judging from some of the specific details,  he may have received it from someone who was a high ranking spiritual and/or military figure – this is my position at least.
May I leave you with this thought: 
  • Is it possible that instead of the angry God portrayed in I Samuel chapter 5 – we instead see God reaching out to these Philistines in a manner that would get their attention?  
  • Could it be that he was reaching out to them in a manner that would point to an all-powerful supreme God who deserved reverence and humility?
  • Could it be that he was reaching out to them in such a way that would lead them into a place of being in relationship with him?
I leave it up to you to consider and answer these questions. My belief however, is that how we answer them will determine our ability to compassionately impact our world with the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

These are my thoughts and I encourage your feedback!

Pastor, Osoyoos Christian Centre



Prayer at Kaye's Every Tuesday - 10:00 a.m.
7806 Gravenstein


Bible Study

Every 2nd Thursday,  next one June 9th

7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

We will begin with the book of Mark. Materials provided though we encourage you to bring you to bring writing materials and of course, your bible!

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:

Side note:  The Children's Church room is undergoing a transformation!  If you can help with painting, organising etc let us know so we can schedule a time that works for you. 

1 comment:

VJ's Scrap Room said...

Happy 100th blog post!!! I can hardly believe it's been that long now.Where has all the time gone so quickly?
WOW!! Thank you soo much for the book!!!:)I was soo surprised when I finally got to come and read your blog post again.:)So COOL!!
It sounds like your lovely church is really growing in the Lord!! What a blessing!!!
Thank you for sharing another Beautiful desktop wallpaper too!!I LOVE scripture desktops!!:)
It sounds like your blog is a real source of help.Both in the info about the events in your church...but also in the teachings that help in the Spiritual growth of your church.Praise the Lord!!