Wednesday, June 29, 2011

News from Osoyoos Christian Centre - June 29, 2011

Thanks for visiting Osoyoos Christian Centre - ONLINE!  

Last week was our very first "Prayer Walk" in our community.  Part of our congregation met at the church and then walked downtown, visiting businesses along the way - getting to know people and then entering into a time of prayer for these businesses.  We hope you can join us on the next one - date is to be announced.  If you know of a business who would like to request us to come and pray for them we would love to accommodate!

Here's what's been happening at OCC this past week, and what's coming up:

  • MP3 Audio Sermon - Dave Oosterveld - Pastor visiting from Cheers Church in Penticton (right beneath this commentary)
  • "A Prayer for Canada" - devotional  by Kaye Harkness (click the From the Heart tab located top of this web page) and an inspiring Canadian Song Video
  • Current and future events (scroll down!) - NEW! Prayer Walk for Osoyoos!  NEW!  Light lunch and fellowship - tarry with us after the service, light lunch provided. 
  • photos from "The Booth" - just a few snaps of everyone enjoying a beverage, light eats and fellowship after service (OCC Photo Album Tab - look up!) 
  • Free scripture wallpaper (click The Gallery tab at the top of this web page) - here's a preview for this week:


Thank you to Pastor Dave and his family for gracing our church this past Sunday.  Here is the MP3 Audio recording of his message - just click on the triangle to play.


Pastor Joseph returns with a fourth installment to his series in 1 Samuel.  We encourage your feedback! 

Last time I left you with the following challenge:

If the Philistines took the ark as a spoil of victory, which they were entitled to do as victors, then why didn’t they just return it as is?

Why were they advised to provide a trespass offering?

You’ll also remember that I mentioned that as you think about this question, think about how the unsaved view God.

We continue to look at this question now. Just to clarify -  the issue here isn’t that they returned the ark (there is little argument that this was the appropriate step), but rather that they felt this need to return it with a trespass offering. You’ll remember this was the recommendation of the religious leaders when called upon to contribute to this discussion and to provide some direction. These spiritual leaders advised the Philistine lords to send the ark away with a trespass offering.  

During this time period of the Ancient Near East, the relationship between a specific people group and their god(s) could be tenuous at best. Keep in mind too that this was a time when one’s way of life was primarily connected to the earth. The gods were viewed as governing the natural elements like the wind, rain, harvest, etc… As such, it was important that the god be kept happy at all times. These gods were often considered precarious deities and their actions without rhyme or reason. You need only to think of the Greek tragedies to get a sense of the typical view of the gods.

These deities could also be mean and vindictive to their devotees - the evidence of which was a drought or some kind of natural disaster as had been thought. In these instances the deity’s anger was brought on because of a failure of some kind on the part of the people, whether individually or collectively. In this case some kind of trespass offering was required to appease the god and make amends for the wrong that had been done. You will likely see what I’m getting at here (in my opinion) the reason why the Philistine spiritual leaders recommended a trespass offering is simply because they saw Yahweh’s actions as paralleling those of Dagon.

Dagon was the storm god or the god of thunder who brought rain upon the crops. As such, in the eyes of the Philistines’ drought or the lack of an abundance of rain meant that Dagon was withholding the rain because of his anger. I believe the Philistines were just going by the experience of their own interaction between them and Dagon.

Dagon withheld the rain from watering their crops - maybe they failed in their worship of him; consequently they presented a trespass offering to appease him. The point here is that they were simply going off of a well-established perspective. As such, the relationship between the Philistines and their god Dagon forms the context relating to the steps they took to return the ark. In this instance, because they believed Yahweh was angry with them for taking the ark. In response to this they did what they’ve always done – present him with a trespass offering because that is the only way to appease an angry god.  

Again, in my opinion what they, the Philistines, couldn’t see is that God was actually trying to get their attention and used a language that they could understand. Isn’t that like God to communicate to us in a way that we understand! In other words, I believe God was demonstrating to the Philistines that he was in fact the one true God – he demonstrated this in Dagon’s temple and now he was doing the same through these (yes harsh) occurrences.  Again, this was a language that they understood. Rather than see this as an attempt to get their attention, they interpret it as “We must have done something wrong and must present a trespass offering to appease the Israelite God. “

Earlier I asked to think about how the unsaved view God and I believe that this is often they way that they see God because they don’t understand his ways. He is an angry God who must be appeased.

What we have is the cause and affect as follows:

  • 1.      something bad has happened to me,
  • 2.      I’m being punished (by God) because I did something wrong,
  • 3.      therefore so I must makes amends,
  • 4.      If I didn’t do anything wrong then everything would be fine. 

All too often this is how individuals—the unsaved—think or perceive of God and because of this perception they miss out on what he is really trying to do. Instead of seeing a God who loves them and is trying to get their attention through a mode of communication that they can understand, they see “Angry God.” I want to say this, that the mode of communication isn’t always negative. God also does incredibly wonderful things in the lives of the unsaved but this can be missed too because it’s chalked up to the fruits of human effort. I digress.

My point here is very simple. We live in a world today that really needs to see the love of God. They need to be told that God loves just the way they are. Yes we are all guilty before God but let’s not doubt or question that God truly loves people just the way they are.  “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners (Rom. 5:8).” Jesus has become that trespass offering.

God doesn’t hate anyone – we are all created in His image. Yes he wants to change and transform lives through the power of the Holy Spirit, but without a response to God’s love, as evidence through the act of accepting Christ into one’s heart, the Holy Spirit will not force a change. Love is where it’s at for the unsaved – they need to see a God who truly loves them.

As we strive to be salt and light in world filled with darkness and hate, let’s salt our words with God’s love, let’s shine forth with the love of the Heavenly Father. As we do so we lift up Christ who died for lost humanity and when we lift him up he will draw all people to himself.




Pre-service Prayer every Sunday before Service.
Osoyoos Christian Centre 9:30 a.m

What better way to come together and prepare our hearts to accept God's Word into our hearts.  Please, gather with us.

Light Lunch and fellowship  

Following Sunday Service each week.  We encourage you to contribute sandwiches (sign up sheet if you know ahead - or feel free just to bring something unannounced if you don't) 

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

Bible Study
Every 2nd Thursday, next one July 6th
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

We are exploring the book of Mark. Materials provided though we encourage you to bring you to bring writing materials and of course, your bible! ... and a friend!

Thursday Night Prayer and Song
Each Thursday - 7:00 on
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

Mariposa Gardens is a beautiful Senior's home located here in Osoyoos.  OCC has the honour of being invited to share the Good Word of hope in Jesus Christ.  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:

Prayer Walk for Osoyoos 
Starts at Osoyoos Christian Centre
42 Finch Crescent
Next Time "To Be Announced" 

What a wonderful opportunity for us to pray for our local businesses.  We encourage you to do your own personal "prayer walk" the next time you find yourself downtown - and then lets come together in a corporate group too!  


Shoe Boxes! 

Yes, we are encouraging you to get started to fill shoeboxes for Samaritan's Purse Operation Shoebox 
These boxes are filled with more than just the good things you fill them with - they are also filled with HOPE, LOVE & COMPASSION and even better, many children are shared the story of salvation and come to know the Lord - the most important and life-changing gift of all.  Bring your boxes into church with you when they are filled.  Let us know if you have any questions.

I'm adding a new link into the sidebar of our blog - you may want to check this out - its' a website called Daily Audio Bible.  A few of us from church have been listening to the daily audio broadcasts and find it valuable.  It is FREE daily readings from the bible with a bit of commentary.  There is also a daily Proverb and also Kids bible reading too!  You can also click HERE to get there too!

May God bless you richly this week!  

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