Edhird's Blog

Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit

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A Call for the Miraculous

Check it out.

I love the Psalms

The following post is a chapter-length excerpt from the manuscript for The Elisha Code & the Coming Revival by Ed Hird and David Kitz.

“And these signs will accompany those who believe:
In my name they will drive out demons;

they will speak in new tongues;
they will pick up snakes with their hands;
and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all;
they will place their hands on
 sick people, and they will get well.”
(Mark 16:17-18, NIV)

What will it take to turn this nation and the world to faith in Jesus Christ? That question should set us on a Holy Spirit driven quest to see a world-changing, Book-of-Acts revival take place in our time.

There are those within the church who argue the age of miracles ended with the death of the original apostles. But those who hold such a…

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‘Why is Gossip So Delicious’ video

Have you ever wondered what it is to do the “work” of God? Well, this week we return to the Gospel of John and begin to explore the challenges of following Jesus. Being a follower of Jesus, and living in community are both challenges that we can’t navigate on our own. We need each other. I encourage you to engage in this journey of “followship” and “fellowship” with us.
So come, join us as we worship the triune God together.
In case you missed it, you can find the service from last week by clicking HERE.

Ed Hird preached on ‘Why is Gossip So Delicious?’ (Proverbs 26:13-28)
Important Dates:
Remember that “Ladies’ Refresh” (on Tuesdays) and our Thursday Support Group and Bible Study are having a break during January.
All Saints Pizza Lunch after the service on Sunday the 29th January. We’ll provide the pizza and drinks. You bring your family and friends. Everyone is welcome.
If you have any further questions, or need help in any way, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Thank you Church.
Stay vigilant and prayerful.
Love each other deeply and keep Jesus at the very centre of everything you do.
Blessings on all you do.
The peace of our Lord,
Peter Klenner
Bishop and Pastor
All Saints Community Church
Crescent Beach

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Why is Gossip So Delicious?

Proverbs 26:13-28

January 8th 2023

By Rev Dr Ed Hird

All Saints Crescent Beach

How many of you have taken up my challenge reading one chapter per day of the book of Proverbs this past week? What has God been teaching you so far?

There were three pastors who went on a retreat to a desert island. Getting close, one confessed his addiction to gambling. The second pastor confessed that he cheated on his taxes. The third pastor was very quiet for a long time. Then he said: “My great sin is gossip, and I can hardly wait to get off this desert island.”

Why do so many people, even as Christians, gossip about other people’s dirty laundry? Why is it that gossip is one of our most socially acceptable sins as Christians? Some people think that it barely qualifies as a sin. You want to be in the know. Gossip is power. Gossip empowers us to feel strong and independent. It’s just the price of doing business. The trendiest word for gossip is to call it ‘spilling the tea.’ In the same way that some people can’t put a sentence together without swearing, other can’t do relationships without chatty gossip. Have you noticed how at virtually every food store checkout, there are numerous gossip magazines? North Americans spend 1.4 billion dollars a year on those food store checkout magazines. Proverbs 17:4 in the Message comments that “Evil people relish malicious conversation; the ears of liars itch for dirty gossip.”

The book of Proverbs says again and again that gossip is foolish. It is not wise to keep gossiping. Gossip is unholy and ungodly.

Moses prayed in his only Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to number our days that we may have a heart of wisdom.” What if we developed a heart of wisdom regarding the temptation of gossip?

King Solomon, author of the book of Proverbs, was greater in wisdom than any other King. You will remember how King Solomon asked God in 1 Kings 3:9 not for wealth but for a wise & discerning heart. How many of you would like a discerning heart of wisdom regarding gossip in 2023?

What might it look like to cleanse our hearts in 2023 of any gossip?What if we made a definite decision to live a gossip-free life? How many are willing to fast from gossip until Feb 1st? Perhaps more realistically one day at a time?

Dr. David C. Watson, an assistant professor of psychology at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, did a study on male/female differences and similarities regarding gossip, published online in the journal Sex Roles. Researchers asked 167 female and 69 male college students to complete both a “friendship” and “tendency to gossip” questionnaire. Students ranged in age from 17 to 29.

Overall, women tended to gossip more than men. And when it came to the topics the ladies preferred to talk about, the study showed they scored highest on gossiping about another person’s physical appearance, their questionable taste in haircuts or clothing.

Women also had higher scores than guys on “social information gossip,” meaning they knew what was going on. They could gab about who’s dating whom, who broke up or hooked up, or who hates their boss.

Men scored lower in these two gossip categories. But they did score slightly higher when it came to “achievement related gossip,” which refers to shooting the breeze about grades or salaries, and other status-oriented stuff. Gossip for men is about more knowledge and control of information; it’s a way to get more status.

How many of you see yourselves as foodies? How many love to go out sometimes for a nice dinner? Have you ever thought of gossip as a delicious five-course meal? Proverbs 26: 22 & Proverbs 18:8 both say that the words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.

The book of Proverbs doesn’t want us to miss the hedonistic pull of gossip. Gossip is juicy, and plays on our curiosity and fear of being left in the dark. It can feel like a fine feast to start with, but then leaves us with a spiritual bellyache. Eugene Peterson vividly puts it this way: “Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy; do you want junk like that in your belly?”

I will never forget getting food poisoning on my way home from Hawaii. Instead of getting on the plane, I threw up and ended going by ambulance to the hospital. Gossip leaves us sick emotionally, spiritually and even physically. Gossip is like a cancer that starts small, but quickly metastases if not repented of. Gossip is like a science fiction AI drone that quickly get out of control, taking on a life of its own, even attacking its original creator.

We all know from childhood the phrase ‘sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’ It’s a lie. Gossip is verbal violence. Outwardly mature adults often carry the effects of high school gossip for the rest of their lives, believing the lie that they are ugly, stupid, weak, and unlovable. What lies have mean girls or boys spoken into your hearts that you still believe?

Proverbs 18:21 says that our tongues have the power of life and death. Have you ever played the telephone game? That is why rumours and gossip are so deadly, killing so many marriages, families, churches, and even nations.

You may have heard of the seven deadly sins (pride, envy, anger, lust, sloth, gluttony, greed). Gossip has been called the eighth deadly sin. For some people, it can be as addictive as alcohol, drugs or gambling, and very hard to break. Like with the twelve steps of AA, we may be powerless over it in our own strength. In the 12 by 12 AA book, it says: “Gossip barbed with our anger, a polite form of murder by character assassination, has its satisfactions for us, too.”

It is remarkable that all major religions condemn gossip as a major problem. In the ‘Guru Granth Sahib’ Sikh holy book, for example, it says “Your mouth has not stopped slandering and gossiping about others. Your service is useless and fruitless.’

Many of us were raised in the 1960’s culture where if gossip or whatever deadly sin feels good, do it. As the pop song put it, how can it be wrong when it feels so right? Our North American celebrity culture encourages us to just trust your heart and your latest feelings. Our momentary emotions would never deceive us, right? It is a lie however from the pit that gossip will make us happy.

The term gossip comes from the late Old English godsibb, ‘godfather, godmother, baptismal sponsor’, literally ‘a person related to one in God’, from god ‘God’ + sibb ‘a relative’. In the days before newspapers, much news, both good and bad, was spread by godparents during the many infant baptisms. The late Canon Michael Green encouraged us to gossip the good news, not the bad news. The term gospel literally means good news. What if we at All Saints gossiped the good news about the Oikos Project and how lives are being changed?

Why is gossip so destructive? One reason is that it destroys friendships. Proverbs 16:28 tells us that “A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” Loose lips sink our relational ships & friend ships.

Did you know that Satan is a master gossip? His very name in both Hebrew (Satan) and in Greek (diablos) means ‘accuser’. That is why in Revelation 12:10 he is called the accuser of the brothers and sisters. Day and night he gossips about you, trying to slander your character and discourage you into giving up.

The irony of atheists is that they can’t stop gossiping about and complaining about the God they don’t believe in. Many atheists nowadays talk more about God than Christians.

Has anyone ever badmouthed you or spread rumours about you? It can leave you feeling stabbed in the back by what Proverbs 25:23 calls the backbiting tongue. Gossip can start relational fires that are very hard to put out. Our credibility may shattered by other people using innuendo to assassinate our character. Think about how some people are threatening to remove Dr Jordan Peterson’s license as a psychologist. Any public figure in this internet age will be endlessly gossiped about. People will cowardly say things about you in the anonymity of the internet that they would never say in person.

That is why Charles Dickens said in 1841 that good people are reluctant to enter American politics because the media gossip is so vicious. Has anything changed? In the USA and increasingly in Canada, both religion and politics have become blood sports. We shoot our wounded with high-sounding gossip.

James 3:8 says that the the tongue cannot be tamed; it is a restless evil, a deadly poison. Gossip is literally a razor blade in our mouths that can rip others to pieces.

For many years, I used to repeat the common slogan that Christianity is not about religion but relationship. That is not actually completely true. There are two kinds of religion biblically. James 1:27 & 3:3 say that there is genuine religion where we bridle our tongue and counterfeit religion where we curse others . James 3:10 says that out of the same mouth can come both praise and cursing. It goes on to say in vs 11, ‘Brothers & sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?” As Romans 12:14 puts it, bless and do not curse. Dr Derek Prince taught that gossip is actually low-level witchcraft, using our words to curse and control others, using fear, guilt and shame.

Gossip is both injustice and unrighteousness. Often the self righteous and the hyper-spiritual are the worst gossips, as they proudly point the finger at others who are not up to their standards. Have you ever seen some one angrily use the Bible or charismatic gifts as weapons to put down other so-called lesser Christians, often behind their backs? Church splits are often based in such gossip.

I will never forget what happened to my good and honest friend Pastor Owen Scott, former Senior Pastor of Valley Church, North Vancouver, at his final service in Regina. Out of the blue, a man publicly prophesied that Owen was a hypocrite. You can imagine how painful that such untrue gossip was to Owen.

Galatians 6:7 and 2 Corinthians 9:6 teach that how we sow, with our time, talent, treasure, and tongues is how we will reap with our lives. As Hosea 8:7 puts it, if we sow the wind, we will reap the whirlwind. Gossip can cause us to be literally gone with the wind. Karma by the way is a corrupted version of this biblical principle of sowing and reaping.

When sharing deeply with spiritual friends, it is vital to know who is a blabbermouth, versus those who will protect your privacy. Do you know how to keep your mouth shut? As Proverbs 11:13 puts it, “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.” Secrets must be kept confidential unless it involves child abuse, or threat of violence, murder or suicide.

If people gossip to you about other people , they will gossip about you to other people. What goes around comes around. Gossipers often tempt you to listen to gossip by first flattering you. Christian gossips will even pray-gossip in other people’s presence: “O Lord, you know about that person that’s doing such and such. Ain’t it awful, Lord?’

A lot of gossip according to Proverbs 20:19 comes from the inability to control over verbosity. That is why it encourages us to avoid anyone who talks too much.”

1 Timothy 5:13 & 2 Thessalonians 3:11 warn against being disruptive busybodies gossiping from house to house.

Romans 1:29 and 2 Corinthians 12:20 include gossip with a cluster of destructive behaviours: Paul said to the Corinthians: “For I am afraid that when I come, I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.” Gossip seems to be fed and amplified by other unrepented sins.

The root cause of gossip is almost always, without fail, jealousy. Gossip revels in other people’s bad deeds. Gossip is a cheap way for insecure people to feel superior to others. Some gossip in order to feel part of the group. Everyone else is doing it.

James 3:6 says that “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” Gossips are spiritual arsonists. Proverbs 26:20-21 says that “Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down. As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.” The Bible teaches here that conflict is ultimately based on gossip. The Ukrainian/Russian conflict therefore is based on gossip. Gossip such as ‘they’re all just neonazis.’ You may remember the one unidentified nazi flag at the Freedom Convoy amid thousands of Canadian flags. Gossip resulted in a Jewish Canadian MP Melissa Lantsman being falsely accused of ‘standing with people who wave swastikas’ because of her sympathy to some of the Freedom convoy’s concerns. What if we refused to listen to unverified political gossip?

Gossip isn’t just hard to resist; it’s hard to define. We don’t always know when we’re being gossips. Our hearts according to Jeremiah 17:9 are deceitful and desperately wicked. It is too easy to fool ourselves into thinking that gossip is what other people do, not ourselves. Self awareness is a huge problem in battling gossip. It’s like bad breath and body odour. It is easy to see this in others, but not in ourselves. That is why people are far more likely to fess up to murder, adultery and theft than the sin of gossip. To paraphrase Bishop Peter, 95% of people are tempted to gossip, and 5% are liars.

Hebrews 4:15 tells us that even Jesus himself was tempted to gossip, as he was tempted in all ways like us, and resisted. Resisting the temptation to gossip builds Christlike character.

Romans 1:29-30 connect gossip and slander together as sister sins. Slander and gossip in the KJV is called backbiting and whispering. James 4:1 says “Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. Slander and gossip are cousins. Slander, legally speaking, is the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation. Gossip is often seen as lower-key, less visible slander.

People defend gossiping because it’s true. At the end of the day, however, gossip is a matter of intentions. If the story is true and our intentions are good, it is not gossip. Are we building the person up or tearing them down? As Ephesians 4:29 puts it, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Matt Mitchell said that gossip is sharing bad news behind someone’s back out of a bad heart.

Gossip usually involves triangulation between three or more people. It can feel easier to complain about a person to a third person, rather than go directly to the person who has offended us. Jesus teaches in Matthew 18:15 that “If your brother sins, go and reprove him in private…” Going one on one privately wipes out gossip. Only after this first step are we to involve others, if the person does not listen. Gossip is when we reverse the order of Matthew 18, by going first to the wider community. I will never forget when some people in a previous church repented at the elders level for violating Matthew 18, and thereby giving into gossip.

What might it take for us, especially in church, to prayerfully turn from the poison of gossip in our lives?

What if we guarded our ears and refused to listen to gossip, perhaps changing the topic or walking away? What if we ask gossipers to first go directly and privately to the person who has offended them? What if we made a definite decision to not pass gossip on? What if we converted negative gossip into prayerful blessing of the person being spoken of? Isn’t it wonderful as Romans 8:1 says that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus? The Holy Spirit convicts rather than condemns. Prayer as blessing and thanksgiving is a key in stamping out gossip in our lives.

As Psalms 141:3 puts it, “Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Choose life today through guarding your heart, your lips, your eyes, and your ears. How many of you would like to do that today? Let us pray.

13. “A sluggard says, “There’s a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming the streets!”

15. As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed.

17. A sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.

19. A sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven people who answer discreetly.

21. Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own.

23. Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death

25. is one who deceives their neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”

26. Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.

27. As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.

28. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.

30. Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware are fervent lips with an evil heart.

32. Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit.

34. Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, for seven abominations fill their hearts.

36. Their malice may be concealed by deception, but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.

38. Whoever digs a pit will fall into it; if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them.

39. A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.”

Proverbs 26:13-28 NIV


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Join us this Sunday January 8th

The new year has begun and we have entered a new liturgical cycle of worshiping our living God. This week we’re celebrating the baptism of Jesus. Although He didn’t need to be baptized—for He was without sin—He went through the waters of baptism as an example to us. The implication is that all followers of Jesus should be baptized! (If you’re not baptized, let me know and we can arrange for that to happen!) I’m also pleased to announce that the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird will be preaching from the book of Proverbs this Sunday. The title of his sermon is “The Delicious Taste Of Gossip!”

So come, join us as we worship the triune God together. Here’s the announcement:
Church @ Church this Sunday—the 8th January at 10:00am—The Baptism of the Lord

In case you missed it, you can find the service from last week by clicking HERE.
The Christmas Day service can be found by clicking HERE.
Important Dates:
• Remember that “Ladies’ Refresh” (on Tuesdays) and our Thursday Support Group and Bible Study are having a break during January.
• All Saints Pizza Lunch after the service on Sunday the 29th January. We’ll provide the pizza and drinks. You bring your family and friends. Everyone is welcome.
If you have any further questions, or need help in any way, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Thank you Church.
Stay vigilant and prayerful.
Love each other deeply and keep Jesus at the very centre of everything you do.
Blessings on all you do.
The peace of our Lord,
Peter Klenner
Bishop and Pastor
All Saints Community Church
Crescent Beach

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Ukraine restricting religious freedom


Government restrictions and interference with freedom of religion and freedom of the press do not end well, no matter how noble the cause. It is too easy to turn into Darth Vader ala “I am your father”.

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Wise in Your Own Eyes in 2023

Jan 1st 2023 ‘wise in your own eyes’ message by Rev Dr Ed Hird at All Saints Crescent Beach
Proverbs 26: 1- 12
How many of you have ever lost your wallet? I lost this wallet at the Save-on Foods parking lot during a recent snowstorm. After checking everywhere and cancelling my credit cards, I had a phone call from a Good Samaritan who had almost drove over this wallet. God was teaching me afresh that day that he answers prayer, and also that I need to be more careful with my wallet in snowstorms.
Here is what I am wondering: What has God taught you in 2022? What has he tried to teach you in 2022?
On Jan 1st New Year’s Day, my first question for today is: “How teachable are you in 2023? Secondly and closely related, are you wise in your own eyes?
Bishop Peter often says that the essence of discipleship is being F.A.T. This morning I will focus on being teachable.
How eager are you to learn about God’s wisdom in 2023? How open are you to instruction?
Do any of you have any Methodist heritage in your family system? My dad was a Methodist for a year until he converted to the United Church in 1925. The Methodists in Canada used to be full of the fire of the Holy Spirit. On New Year’s Eve, John Wesley’s disciples, instead of getting drunk, had watch-night services where they dedicated the coming year to the Lord.
I have been sitting under Bishop Peter’s preaching for the last four and a half years, and have gained so much. Let me confidentially tell you the greatest weakness with Bishop Peter’s preaching. It is the issue of our teachability. It is so easy for us to say to Peter ‘fine sermon’ but leave the service unchanged. Have you ever been a hearer of the Word without being a doer of the Word? Have you ever built your house on the sand? Have you ever gone out from your house like the five young virgins did with no oil in your lamp? All this is what Jesus called foolishness.
On Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, bishop Peter spoke about the challenge of obedience, and our reluctance to do things God’s way. Only the teachable become obedient to God’s will. Only the teachable actually surrender their Will to God. Teachability is about flexibility and not always having to having things our way. Far too often, even as Christians, we can be stiffnecked and hard hearted, unwilling to bend, unwilling to let go. This is why Ephesians 5:17 says: Don’t be foolish, but rather understand what the Lord’s Will is. Doing the Lord’s Will is wisdom. Doing our own Will is foolishness.
Today’s passage Proverbs 26:-12 teaches us 11 times in just twelve verses about the dangers of foolishness. The word fool or fools is mentioned 99 times in the book of Proverbs and around 360 times throughout the Old and New Testament. In Greek, the term is mores, from which we get the word ‘moron’.
Foolishness in vs 1 & 8 is connected to the Asian concept of shame, dishonour, and loss of face particularly for one’s family.
We must be slow to point the finger judgementally at other people’s foolishness. Jesus strikingly said in Matthew 5:22 said that anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” It is so much easier to be aware of other people’s foolishness than to be self-aware of our own.
Dan Rockwell suggested 12 ways to spot a fool (which may include ourselves at times):
1. Fools believe they are (always) right.
2. Fools hate accountability; prefer to live in fantasy.
3. They Love the blame game; it!s always someone else’s fault.
4. They are always hedonisticly looking for easy street
5. They always want their own way & their own agenda..
6. Fools reject instruction. Proverbs 1:7 says that fools despise wisdom & instruction.
7. Fools can’t see their foolishness. No self-awareness.
8. Fools go quickly to anger and ranting: Ecclesiastes 7:9 says “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.”
9. Fools love to Gossip and tear down others.
10. They act over-confidently, thinking they’re better than everyone else. Paul in 1 Corinthians 4:10 said “We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ
11. Fools never stop talking. Proverbs 10:8 says that chattering fools lead to ruin. Ecclesiastes 10:2 says that fools multiply words.
12. Fools despise listening. Why listen when you already have all the answers to life?
The opposite of foolishness is wisdom. The term Wisdom (hokmah in Hebrew & Sophia in the Greek) is used 233 times in the Bible. Biblical wisdom literature is primarily found in the books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Job, James, & the Sermon on the Mount. The Bible teaches that the third person of the Trinity is the Spirit of Wisdom. We are also told in Colossians 2:3 that in Christ, the second person of the Godhead, are hidden all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom. The very essence of the Trinity is loving wisdom.
I’ve really been into this sermon, even working on it in my dreams, and remembering my night time sermon preparation about wisdom become flesh. Proverbs 1 and John 1 tell us that in the beginning was wisdom, also called the word, and wisdom was with God, and is God. Through Wisdom, all things were made; without Wisdom, nothing was made that has been made. Jesus is wisdom become flesh. How greatly in this messed up world that we need Jesus’ wisdom. How slow we are to turn to his wisdom, often as a last resort after we have tried everything else.
Have you ever, like 39% of North Americans this year, made a New Year’s resolution, perhaps to eat and drink less, cut out smoking, or start exercising? New Year’s resolutions are notoriously easy to make and hard to keep for more than just a month. The very term ‘resolve’ means to decide firmly.
How many of you would like on this Jan 1st to firmly decide to grow in wisdom for 2023? You might want to consider reading one chapter of Proverbs daily over the thirty days of January? How many of you think that you already got enough wisdom and maybe need to cut back in 2023? You might want to consider cutting back on prayer, fasting, self examination, repentance, and generosity. That would definitely help you reduce your personal wisdom.
Wisdom is ultimately about growing in Christlikeness. Sometimes wisdom comes through experience, if we are teachable: “The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭20‬:‭29‬ ‭NIV‬‬
As Epiphany reminds us, wise men still seek him. Wisdom is about embracing the apparent foolishness of the cross which 1 Corinthians 1:18 says makes no sense to those who are perishing. Wisdom happens as we surrender all of our hopes and agendas, placing them at the foot of the cross.
Would you like to know the open secret to raising the three million dollars for the Oikos Project by April? It is the wisdom of God. Our job as the All Saints community on each step of the Oikos Project journey is to keep prayerfully discovering God’s wisdom and will, and then obeying it. As James 1:8 puts it, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
It is amazing how slow we may be to prayerfully ask God for his wisdom.
Have you noticed how much swearing is religious, almost sounding like a prayer invoking God and Jesus Christ? I believe that swearing needs to be back into genuine “Oh My God” praying. It would also be wise to convert our worries, particularly our financial worries, into prayers, especially prayers of thanksgiving. Thank you God that in your wisdom you have the Oikos Project journey all figured out.
One of the most dangerous forms of foolishness, mentioned in Proverbs 26 vs. 5 & 12 is being wise in our own eyes, thinking that we have everything all figured out. Proverbs 3:7, Isaiah 5:21, & Romans 12:16 also warns us to not be wise in our own eyes.
Have you ever been wise in your own eyes? Have things ever gone in one ear and out the other? Romans 1:22 says that claiming to be wise, they became fools.
So-called Wise guys quickly become unteachable, because they conclude that no one else is qualified to speak into their lives. Fools even end up treating God as an unwelcome intruder. Who does God think he is, suggesting that we might need to modify our lives? The heart of modern atheism is often prideful unteachability.
As you may know, Janice and I have been do a series in our Light Magazine column on Dostoevsky.
All of his books deal with wisdom and foolishness.
In Dostoevsky’s novels, two kinds of fools appear again and again: first-year university students and the highly educated. Both are easily tempted to become know-it-alls. First year students are easily tempted to act like experts. Highly educated people can become jaded and cynical about truth, similar to Pontius Pilate’s comment ‘what is truth?’ As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 8:1, knowledge puffs up. Even Bible knowledge, if done primarily as information transfer, can make us arrogant and foolishly unteachable. What a delight when you meet a highly educated person who still has childlike humility and teachability, who is not wise in their own eyes. I know such people at All Saints.
Our latest article is on Dostoevsky’s book the Possessed which deals with foolishness 92 times. It memorably states: “Even fools are by genuine sorrow turned into wise men, also only for a short time of course.”
Bishop Peter and I spoke this week about how suffering can potentially make us more teachable and wise. Our addictions are often ways of hiding from our pain. Teachability is about facing our suffering and not wasting it. Where are you and your family suffering as we enter 2023? Where do you need to stop foolishly hiding? Where do you need to change, to more fully surrender to God’s will?
Paul prayed in Ephesians 1:17: “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” In the 12th of the 12 steps in AA, prayer, based on Colossians 1, is defined as seeking for the knowledge of his will and the power to carry it out. God’s will is the way of wisdom. God’s Spirit gives us the power to keep our definite decisions for 2023. Wisdom is ultimately all about surrender of our will. Here’s a prayer that I wrote in the 24 hour prayer vigil at the BC Christian Ashram: “Dear Jesus, I surrender all to you. I surrender my very self to you. I surrender my fears, my failings, my disappointments, my hope, my resentments to you, to your Kingdom purposes. Have your own way, Lord. Have your own way. You are the potter. I am the clay. Amen.”
Let us pray: I invite you if you know to say the serenity prayer with me.

1. “Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, honor is not fitting for a fool.
2. Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest.
3. A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the backs of fools!
4. Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.
5. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.
6. Sending a message by the hands of a fool is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison.
7. Like the useless legs of one who is lame is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
8. Like tying a stone in a sling is the giving of honor to a fool.
9. Like a thornbush in a drunkard’s hand is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
10. Like an archer who wounds at random is one who hires a fool or any passer-by.
11. As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.
12. Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭26‬:‭1‬-‭12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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Join us for Sunday Jan 1st 10am

It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone. We are grateful for God’s grace and mercy as He has led us throughout the year; and how God continues to reveal Himself to us every year. This week we celebrate the Epiphany (“appearing”) of God to the Gentiles. Jesus was revealed to the Wise Men. And of course, by extension He was revealed to us! This week the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird will be preaching an “Epiphany” sermon entitled “Wisdom In Your Own Eyes.” This will be part of a two-week series on Proverbs 26 by Ed.

So come, join us as we worship the triune God together. Here’s the announcement:

Church @ Church this Sunday—the 1st January at 10:00am—The Epiphany of the Lord
In case you missed it, you can find the Christmas Eve service by clicking HERE.
(Remember that Ladies’ Refresh (on Tuesdays) and our Thursday Support Group and Bible Study are having a break during January.)
If you have any further questions, or need help in any way, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Thank you Church.
Stay vigilant and prayerful.
Love each other deeply and keep Jesus at the very centre of everything you do.
Blessings on all you do.
The peace of our Lord,
Peter Klenner
Bishop and Pastor
All Saints Community Church
Crescent Beach