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Mon, Feb 18th - 4:31AM





Guided by the Holy Spirit,
the family of
St James' Anglican Church
Paris, Ontario

celebrates God's presence through Worship, Fellowship, Study, and Service to the Community.


Anglican Canada Webring

The St James', Paris, Ontario web page has been a member of the Anglican Canada Webring since 12 September 2009.

The ring features both official and unofficial websites of Anglican congregations and parishes from across Canada.

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Sat, Aug 4th - 5:08AM

God's Plan for You

by Toni Babcock

Do you live your life feeling bad about yourself and confused about what God expects from you? Are you frustrated and hurt by what appears to be insurmountable circumstances? Do you stuff your negative feelings down deep and wonder why you can’t stop feeling depressed? Do you feel like you are wrestling against some invisible foe that is working against you? If you do, understand that you are not alone. A lot of people feel messed up, confused, bottled up and hurting these days. The good news is, Jesus came into the world to lift up broken and hurting people just like you. He is calling you to believe on Him. He is not interested in beating you down. The Bible says he was sent to "bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound," (Isaiah 61:1b KJV).

Think of Jesus as the perfect Counselor, better than any other counselor on earth, because He is. He knows how frightening the world can be, and how difficult it is to live according to His will, but He doesn’t want this reality to discourage you or cause you to despair. He said "In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world," (John 16:33b KJV).

Jesus holds the power - the power that can enable you to be forgiven and live a life that pleases Him. No other counselor on earth has that kind of power! Living a new life that pleases God is part of His plan for you. All who believe on Jesus Christ were part of his plan even before they knew how to believe, so be encouraged.

There are two important parts to God’s plan for you. The first is to understand Jesus calls sinners like you and I. If you think you are too big of a sinner to hear the call of God consider this; you are not too big of a sinner, you are just the kind of sinner He is calling! Jesus said "I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance," (Matthew 9:13b KJV). The meaning of repentance is to turn away from sin and unbelief. This takes place when we turn our hearts to God in faith, believing Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again to save us. In light of this truth, it is impossible to put ourselves in a right standing before God until we believe the gospel.

Jesus calls sinners like you and I to turn to Him in faith, believing by grace, our sins are covered by His blood and we are forgiven in Jesus name. His promise is sure, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life," (John 3:16 KJV.)

That brings us to the second part of God’s plan. In the Bible we are told "...He died for all, that they who live should henceforth not live unto themselves, but unto Him who died for them and rose again," (II Corinthians 5:15 KJV). Jesus did more than reserve a place in heaven for those who would believe in Him. He died and rose again to empower people to live for Him; to overcome destructive patterns in their lives, and to honor His Father in heaven.

Envision what it would mean if you truly believed you were bought by the blood of Jesus. You would believe your sins were forgiven because of His great sacrifice for you on the cross! You would gladly give God what rightfully belongs to him—namely, your heart. You would cease any arguments with God you once had. When you believe in His great love for you, He will no longer seem like an enemy, but a Friend who has provided for your every need.

But what if you don’t believe Christ bought you for Himself? It will enable you to continue to live as you please, without regard for His great love for you! Do you want unbelief to shut Jesus out of your life? If you turn away from Jesus, it might mean you will never be inclined to hear His voice again!

Believe the good news of the gospel! Believe once and for all, 'Yes—I am blood-bought—Jesus died and rose again to live His life in me!' Then say to the Lord, "Jesus, forgive me for the unbelief that has shut you out of my life. I accept your forgiveness for all of my sins! Take my life this moment - it belongs to you. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. From this day forward, make me into the person you want me to be, in Jesus Name." Amen.

Toni Babcock is a freelance Christian writer from South St. Paul. She enjoys writing short stories for children and young people, as well as memoirs, poetry and spiritual essays.

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Tue, Jun 21st - 4:22AM

The Final Act

by Tracy Nunes

The quiet darkness of the mountain around him settled into his bones. Though still strong and hardy, he felt the vitality of him leak out like air through a tiny pinhole. He could see down into the valley and into the land. Little points of light dotted the landscape as the tribes moved forward. Like a runner whose heart was set on the finishing line, he yearned to charge down the mountainside and lead them on like he had done for so many years before.

Instead, he turned back to his own small campfire and eased his frame down in resignation. He stared at the flame for some time, thinking over the years as recollections passed through his weary mind.

To be so close..

His heart broke to be withheld from the final victory and to see another lead on in his place, but even more he was anguished at the cause of the judgment. He had forgotten why he was here. Years of grumbling and arguing from the Israelites about the difficulties and silence from them about the miracles, made him want to use his staff to beat them all. Couldn't they see how Yahweh had provided for them? But instead, he took out his anger on the rock that Yahweh had instructed him to speak to and bring forth water.

Because he had walked so long with his Lord, he instantly knew what he had done. The trouble wasn't so much with his disobedience or his anger, Moses knew that it was as the Lord said. In that moment, he had exchanged God's glory for his own self satisfaction. Murdering a man had not disqualified him from leading the Israelites out of bondage, but not honoring God as holy kept him out of the Promised Land.

But, as his heart fluttered its last, there alone on the mountain, his God showed him the plan of redemption. Moses would be drawn to his Lord in an eternal embrace and only missed out on the terrestrial Land of Milk and Honey. But, his final act, his final opportunity to shine light on his God, was to be the ultimate example of why the law cannot save us.

Moses epitomized the Law. He was its poster child, its mascot even. The Jews would later taunt Jesus with their knowledge of Moses and his commands. But, the ones who recognized that even Moses could not keep the very law that he brought down from the mountain, also understood that he only pointed the way. They understood that God's Shekinah glory rested on Jesus, the only one able to make us right in God's sight. No amount of good would ever be good enough, especially when the heart of mankind trades God's glory for his own in a thousand little and big ways every day.

Moses, because he understood this more than anyone, surrendered himself to the hand of His God; a willing example, an arrow, a road marker showing others the way. He wanted more than anything to honor His God and his final act was more important to him than his own success, his own agenda or his own triumph.

It may appear that Moses' final act was a resounding failure, falling so short when he was so close. In truth, it was his biggest success, showing that Moses is not the way, nor is his law. Humanity at its best couldn't touch glory without a way being made.

Jesus, oh precious Jesus, Lead us into the way everlasting. Keep us in close relationship with you. We trust that Your glory alone is all that matters and by it we are healed.

Please read Numbers 20:1-13 and Deuteronomy 32:48-52 and explore for yourself how seriously we are to take God's Glory and how Moses ultimately pointed the way through his failure more than through success.

Tracy lives in Hawaii with Richard, her husband of 25 years. She has 2 daughters and 2 grandsons. Writing ministry came after homeschooling her girls and a career in real estate management.

Read her blog at: tracynunes.blogspot.com and find out why she is a self-described "Mess for Jesus."

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Mon, May 30th - 4:23AM

Getting Ready To Go

by Ramona Cook

Today I begin packing for yet another move. My current location was to be a temporary one and for an indefinite period of time. The time has come. Oh, oh, what a job it is to get things into boxes, and to call the movers, and to do the seemingly gazillion things that all demand attention at one time, being the same time! However, when it is over and all things are once again in place, it will have been worth the move, because I am going to a better location.

I see parallels in this experience to preparing for our final trip, that time when we relocate for the final time, so far as this earth no longer being our home.

We are "getting" ready every day for that trip however, sending a little "stuff" ahead of good deeds and bad. "Stuff," that will be building up our heavenly account or taking away some of it. In that way the moving analogy is different; but the work of preparing to move catches, and reflects, the work we experience as we make our way toward our heavenly home.

At this juncture, it is a good thing to mention that we do have a destination, do we not? We cannot move without a destination. Going through life with no destination is equivalent to the definition used by the Bible called "LOST." Wandering through life with a bunch of "stuff" and no place to put it down and no destination for the trip is a heavy and unsettling thought, but to live it, to experience it, makes life a burden too much of the time. So before we can move, we must determine the place, to where we are intending to go. It is also true for our final trip.

We don't have a wide variety of choices about our final relocation, you realize, (don't you?) there are only two. There is Heaven and there is Hell. We have to decide which Final Home we choose to move into. It is a serious choice.

Before I began today's activities of getting packed, I had the tedious job of finding a place to move. I had reasons for the place I chose. Location was one of them. It is convenient to my work location and not too far from my Church. I am fairly close to my grandchildren, the neighborhood seems safe, and yet the price is always more than I want to pay. The fact is I have to pay it if I choose to live there. If I had chosen another of the places I considered, there was still a price to pay, and although the dollar amount was less, I would have paid a daily price of discontent with my location and surroundings. Yes, there is a price to pay.

In thinking about our 'final move' it has never been clear to me why anyone would neglect the benefits of Heaven for the Horrors of Hell. It is simply a poor decision, and probably not one that is a firm choice, but rather one that folks just slide into by not doing the work of choosing. We cannot live nor can we exist, and not be constantly engaged in making decisions. Some people say that if they don't make a decision the thing will work out someway and so, they don't have to decide on some given subject. But to decide to not decide is to make a decision. Joshua of the Bible says, "Choose this day, whom you will serve. Choose life or choose death." Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man comes to the Father except by Me, and any man who comes to Me, I will not turn away." The Bible says that "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life." (In Heaven)

I can only guess that the biggest reason some people decide not to reach out and take God's offer of a home in Heaven, is that they don't want to pay the price of humbling themselves and confessing to God that they have sinned and cannot save themselves. That is called "Pride." Then too, maybe they didn't know that the doing of humility, of admitting "I cannot save myself,"is all that is required. Talk about a deal! Jesus has paid the entire price of our future home, all we must do is to accept it. To receive it all we do is to tell Him we want to live with Him forever and we are not able to pay the price, because we have nothing with which to pay, that we are helpless, destitute, and need a savior. He offers Himself as that Savior and we say yes, I want it, or no I'll keep looking. But recall the choices for you are limited. There are only two choices for your final residence, there is Heaven and there is Hell. It is a serious choice. To not decide is to decide for Hell. Hell, what is it and where? There are many thoughts on this, but the one thing that is the common and widely agreed upon answer is that Hell is where God is not. We do not want to live where God is not.

So, today, right now, decide that you want to live in Heaven with God. Jesus is the Door into Heaven, so just tell Him that you want Him to save you from wandering around, being lost, and from ever making Hell your final home. Jesus says that anyone who comes to Him asking to be saved will absolutely be saved and He will turn no one away.

I have settled everything about my final home and for that I am so thankful. I must now get to preparing for this next earthly home but in time, when we are all gone from this earth home, I hope I see you in Heaven.

Assurance of a home in Heaven because of accepting Jesus and what He has purchased for us, is a really good deal; don't pass it up by failing to prepare for it with the right decision!

Ramona 08/24/2010

Ramona, Master of Arts in Ministry, BA in Biblical Studies, I am an Ordained Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Also see - Thoughts on Discernment 

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Mon, Apr 25th - 4:18AM

All Under Control

by John Owens

How's the world treating you? It's all under control we say, but have you ever wondered whose? As an experiment try a break from the routine, just five minutes alone somewhere. Are you there yet? Guaranteed, those voices do drop inwell-meaning mentors ("If you really wanted help "), family ("When are you ever going to"), and others ("Guess what worked for Jim.."). Add to this all the visual garbage, complements of our beloved media. The hard truth is we're being worked from all sides - dishrags with no time to dry. Frayed thoughts and images from a myriad of sources grip and tug with guilt and emotions too strong to resist. And since most of our friends are in the same spiraling vortex, we don't give it much thought. The bills take too much attention.

Five, ten, twenty years pass till we wake up one morning suddenly bothered by the impression that our lives lack meaning or purpose. So what do we do? Continue on like "the organization man", careful to keep in step, following the time-worn rules of success. There could be a cash award waiting, a framed certificate, and an admirable nod from some silver haired gentlemen. We may go to our graves presuming that we did our best, given the circumstances. No satisfying answers. For now we'll ignore the possibility of that dark door with its disturbing question mark and try to keep our chin up.

Where's the real referee in this game of life? What really matters? Has a game-planner left us any clues? At this point do we even care, or have we shelved the subject in exchange for a pre-hospice injection - anything to occupy our minds - numbing, amusing, time warping aids, maybe even a mantra. As the world wobbles on, have we given up too soon what seems to be a futile search?

A curious revelation comes from a verse in the Bible - "and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one." (1 John 5:19) Oh, but that's the Bible, and such thinking should be programmed out of the progressive mind - or so they say. Ever wonder just who "they" are who manage so well to keep us from considering the application of the most unique book in the world, a collection of history, prophecy and letters that bare the divine fingerprint from God to man?

A "wicked one" who sways and plays the masses of humanity - Such a thing, if true, starts to explain a world gone evil with no apparent referee - A world where thoughts are maliciously engineered to drive mankind to dead-end pursuits, dismay and destruction. This flies in the face of "ying-yang" and "karma" revealing a personal adversary with a beef against his Creator, the fallen angel called Satan. Another place in the Bible (Ephesians 2: 2-3) refers to this one as "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience" (which includes all of us, either past or present). His power and hatred is supernatural and said to be unleashed upon those who have turned away from the God of love. But, hey, that's the Bible, and some aren't ready for that. Some other kind of evidence is needed.

Then consider a people, strangely in the minority, who affirm these revelations and claim to have found the one Way to break free from the devil's dark vortex. About them outwardly there's no show or desire for worldly success or the prideful marks of most achievers - just the opposite, a vulnerable and disarming humility. It's what one would expect from Jesus Christ and "true" Christians. But we are bothered with the "false", those who claim to be Christians but who continually break God's laws - mere professors who lack the fruit and have no real belonging among the changed. Such a mixture within church ranks adds to the challenge of a truth-searcher. Like the tares within the wheat fields, they are there, but so are the genuine and these are worth considering, though regarded by the world as a peculiar people. They are generally characterized as peaceful, compassionate, content in the midst of stressful circumstances, and having a sacrificial sense of purpose. When these true worshippers gather, often few in number, there is scant comparison to most orthodox services - their meek, yet joyful expressions convey a gift worth the greatest price. And their praise communicates the heavenly glory.

Their secret, as the Bible declares, can be opened by anyone who comes as a child with a searching heart. They implore outsiders on Christ's behalf to be reconciled to the one true God, now that the separation of sin (disobedience) has been removed by the cross - yes, God made Jesus to be our sin sacrifice, shedding His own sinless blood in our place that we might be forgiven. The sad news of a crucifixion became incredibly good news with the resurrection - an event historically witnessed by over five-hundred (1 Corinthians 15:6). And now, a Holy God is willing to clothe with the righteousness of His Son all those who are willing to confess their sins and receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior (Acts 4:12).

In quick conclusion, a battle for our souls is being fought in the invisible realm. The mystery of the ages has been revealed: "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27). The question now is, "Do we really want to stay in control (try to be Lord) of our own lives?"

John L. Owens and his family were full-time missionaries to the former USSR in the early 90's. He continues to teach and write from his home in Coastal Georgia.

His website, www.theninthgeneration.com, features his published novel on the pre-flood earth.

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