An Evangelism Reading List

Image Credit:  Christianity Today

PEI is having a real focus on evangelism in 2017.  ALPHA will be rolled out all across the Island in the fall and Will Graham’s Celebration of Hope will be held in Charlottetown in early November.  As part of my personal preparations for these events, I’ve been reading up on evangelism.  Here are some interesting evangelism-related blog posts I found this week:

To borrow from the Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada’s vision, how are you preparing to “join God in changing [PEI] one neighbourhood at a time”?  Have you read any interesting evangelism blog posts or seen any evangelism-related videos you’d like to share?

Word Power

Image Credit:  The New Church

Words are known to have power.  The phrase “The pen is mightier than the sword” may have been coined by Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839, but the idea was repeatedly expressed centuries earlier.  Friedrich Nietzsche said, “All I need is a sheet of paper and something to write with, and then I can turn the world upside-down.”  We saw the unfortunate power of words in Nazi Germany when Adolf Hitler realized that “all epoch-making revolutionary events have been produced not by the written but by the spoken word.”  Winston Churchill, an equally brilliant orator, used the power of words to rally Britain and its allies to defeat the Nazis despite overwhelming odds.  Words plant ideas in the mind; ideas turn into thoughts and thoughts turn into actions.

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Image Credit:  Board of Wisdom Read More

“Go… I Am With You Always”

Image Credit:  The Pastor’s Pages

This post is based on a sermon I preached at Murray River Baptist Church on July 10, 2016.

In Deuteronomy 1:6-46, Moses recounts the Israelites’ first attempt at occupying the land God had promised them.  Israel’s rebellion prevented them from occupying the land the first time.  God punished the Israelites by making them wander in the wilderness for 40 years until the entire generation that had rebelled had died (with the exception of Joshua and Caleb).

We, both individually and as the Church, are like Israel in many ways.  We regularly rebel against God and forget what God has done for us.  We sometimes place our faith in people and things rather than in the Creator.  In the New Testament, Paul tells us to learn from Israel’s rebellion so we can avoid the same pitfalls and temptations (1 Corinthians 10:1-13).  The writer of Hebrews tells us the same thing in Hebrews 3:1-4:13.  Jude 1:5 says, “So I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later he destroyed those who did not remain faithful“, referencing the very history recounted by Moses in Deuteronomy 1.  With this in mind, we can learn a few things from Israel’s experience. Read More

Head First

Image Credit:  International Biblical Training

Self-help gurus have been touting the benefits of positive self-affirmations for years.  They claim that telling yourself positive messages will re-program your subconscious mind so you will naturally act in a way that makes those messages become reality.  Studies have shown that positive self-affirmations can, in fact, be helpful for some.

There are other situations, however, where self-affirmations can cause more harm than good.  In one study, people with low self-esteem who were asked to repeat phrases such as “I accept myself completely” and “I am a lovable person” felt worse afterward.  Why?  When someone repeats positive statements that come into conflict with their perception of themselves, it seems to reinforce their original belief about themselves rather than reverse it.  These people actually felt better after repeating the negative statements about themselves that they already believed, but that’s not helpful if you’re trying to change your mindset so you can have a healthy self-esteem. Read More

The World is Watching

Image Credit:  Know Your Meme

Wow!  We’ve seen some pretty bad public relations missteps in the past week or so:

  • First, it was the Pepsi ad that, amazingly, united the Internet in mockery and hatred of the ad to the point that Pepsi issued an apology and pulled it the day after it was released.
  • Next, it was United Airlines forcibly removing an already-seated passenger from an airplane to make room for airline employees who were due to work at the flight’s destination the next day.  The Internet responded again, calling for boycotts and smearing the airline’s image with snide memes and advertising slogans.  The day after the incident, United’s CEO issued a public statement apologizing “for having to re-accommodate these customers” and an internal memo that defended the actions taken by employees, which was promptly leaked to the media.  Backlash became even more heated and the resulting drop in United’s share price finally elicited a proper apology from the CEO a day later.  Ironically, this is the same CEO who was dubbed Communicator of the Year by PRWeek only weeks ago.
  • To top it all off, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer made a major gaffe on Tuesday by saying that, unlike Syria’s Assad, Hitler at least had enough decency not to use gas on his own people.  It seems Spicer’s knowledge of history isn’t very strong considering Hitler made regular use of gas chambers during his extermination of German Jews (and other “undesirables” plucked from Germany’s citizenry).  The only thing more stunning than the statement itself was its timing — the week leading up to Passover, a major Jewish holiday — and the number of follow-up statements it took for Spicer to issue a satisfactory apology for his inaccurate and insensitive comparison.

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Passport 2017: Journey to Easter

Image Credit:  Anglican Journal

Guest post courtesy of First Baptist Church, Charlottetown, PEI

Welcome to Holy Week, that deeply spiritual period that spans from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.

I encourage you to enter into a time of personal preparation by using this devotional booklet as a passport to the passion of Jesus.  All through Holy Week, the sanctuary of First Baptist Church in Charlottetown, PEI, will be set up with various interactive stations designed to immerse you in the final days of Jesus’ life, from His Triumphal Entry to the Last Supper, the cross, and ultimately the Resurrection.  You are invited to use this booklet as a self-guided “Journey to Easter”.  Call the church office (902-628-2111) to book a time for your group or for yourself.

Eight contributors from First Baptist Church have penned these articles.  May God guide you by His Spirit as you seek to walk the path Jesus trod into the joy of the New Life!

Easter blessings,

Pastor Dave

Download your copy of Passport 2017 – Journey to Easter.

2017 Easter Events at PEI Baptist Churches

Image Credit:  Happy Easter 2017

Palm Sunday, April 9:

April 11-13:

  • Self-guided “Journey to Easter” interactive stations at First Baptist Church, 235 Prince Street, Charlottetown; please call the church office at 902-628-2111 to book a time for you or your group

Maundy Thursday, April 13:

Good Friday, April 14:

Easter Sunday, April 16:

Image Credit:  Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment

I’m a bit of a superhero movie nerd.  I watch them over and over.  I watched Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man so many times that the VHS tape wore out.  I own Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and the Iron Man trilogy and have watched both several times.  With the advent of Netflix, I can binge-watch movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe as many times as I want without even leaving my chair to switch from one movie to the next (assuming I can find the remote).

X-Men: Days of Future Past

One of the more prolific movie series based on Marvel comics is the X-Men series.  There are currently ten X-Men movies and related spin-offs and there are five other X-Men-related films in development.  One of my favourites from the X-Men series is X-Men: Days of Future Past.

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Image Credit:  Comic Vine

In the movie, Wolverine (pictured in the centre) goes back in time to try to prevent an assassination that will trigger the creation of highly sophisticated robotic weapons that target mutants and humans that carry the mutant gene, eventually leading to the annihilation of both mutants and humans.  I don’t think I’m spoiling the movie too much to say that the X-Men are successful in their quest.  I’ll let you watch the movie to find out how everything worked out in the end. Read More

About Those “20 Minutes of Action”

Image Credit:  Global News

I will not disgrace myself or this website by mentioning the name of the so-called man who was recently convicted of sexually assaulting a woman on Stanford University’s campus in January 2015.  I will not mention the name of the judge who handed down an extremely lenient sentence of six months in county jail and three years of probation when the recommended sentence for such a conviction is between eight and twenty years in state prison.  I will not mention the names of those who have callously denied the seriousness of the crime by insisting that the attacker should not receive the recommended punishment; they believe the attacker is really a good kid who doesn’t deserve to experience the full consequences of his actions because it would ruin his potential.  All of these people are already receiving more than enough attention.

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Image Credit:  Special Broadcasting Service

I will, however, name and honour the two Swedish men, Carl-Fredrik Arndt and Peter Jonsson (pictured above), who saved the woman from further harm at the hand of her attacker.  They are the male heroes of this story.  I will also honour the female hero of this story – the woman herself, who continues to bravely face the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual consequences brought about when someone broke the 10th commandment and coveted his neighbour’s body. Read More

Maybe We Shouldn’t Ask People to Read the Bible

Image Source:  The Gospel Coalition

At some point, someone in church has likely told you that you should be reading the Bible regularly.  When I was a child in Sunday School, we even sang a song about what happens when you read the Bible every day (and what happens when you don’t).  So why is it that so many people, whether they are regularly in the pews or not, don’t read the Bible each day?

Why We Don’t Read the Bible

First Things First

When I first volunteered for a children’s summer reading program that our church was offering to the community, a representative from the PEI Literacy Alliance came to explain to the volunteers why literacy is such an important issue on PEI.  I was surprised to learn that almost two-thirds of Islanders have limited reading skills.  It was then that I realized that when churches ask people to read the Bible, they may be asking them to do something they literally are not equipped to do. Read More