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DaveTrenholm.com Posts

Provision and Protection

This week – as a good chunk of North American sat under the infamous polar vortex – as cold weather records were broken all over the country – in the midst of all the -30 degree temperatures we experienced here in Penhold – this week, I put in my order for my garden seeds, perennials, and fruit trees.

I think ordering seeds in February is a great expression of faith. I have faith that winter will not last forever. I have faith that spring will come and things will grow in my garden once again. There’s a great verse in Romans that speaks to this issue.

But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance. Romans 8:25 NET

I think that describes every Canadian every winter. We hope for what we do not see, but we must eagerly wait for it with endurance.

Well, this morning, I’m not really intending to talk about the weather and not even so much about faith or hope at this point – but rather, I want to talk a bit about gardening.

Some of you know that I like to dabble in gardening and landscaping and all that good stuff. It’s one of my hobbies that keeps me busy in the summertime. 

And for the most part, I think I’m pretty good at it, but you won’t know that by looking at the plants we have in our house right now. 

For some reason, my outdoor gardening goes really well, but the indoor gardening… not so much. Outdoors, I’ve grown plums and cherries and pears and apples and grapes and watermelons, and all kinds of delightful things. Outside in the yard and garden, things seem to flourish –  In fact, I have a well visited blog where I’ve documented most of the things I’ve grown – you can check it out at AlbertaHomeGardening.com

But when it comes to my indoor gardening, most of our house plants struggle to stay alive. I bought a fig tree on a wim last spring – but of course, fig trees can’t survive in this kind of winter, so brought it in to the house last fall. Well, this week, I snapped a picture of it for you so you can see just how well it’s doing. 

This is my fig tree. As you can see – it is not exactly thriving. It is barely surviving! It’s got like six leaves on it. Now just to give you a comparison, here’s a picture I found of a healthy, flourishing fig tree.

That’s what my fig tree should look like. There’s a significant difference there. And there’s a lot of reasons for that – it’s winter, so there’s not much sun in general.  Our house doesn’t have any good south facing windows, so that really minimizes the sunlight. The pot it’s in is much too small for the size of tree it is. And I rarely make the effort to give it any fertilizer. 

So while I think it will stay alive until spring – I’m pretty confident that there will be next to zero growth and there will certainly be no fruit – no figs this year. It’s surviving, but it’s certainly not thriving.

Now I want you to keep this image of my fig tree in your mind – we’re going to come back to it in a little while, so just hold on to it for a bit. But first, I remind everyone what we’ve been talking about for the last several weeks.

We’ve been talking about the church in your house.

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Drenching Your Home in The Gospel

This week I happened to see the headline for an article in Psychology Today – and the title was “Why Would Anyone Want To Be A Leader?”

And that’s a good question! Being a leader is hard. I know many of you have been in some type of leadership role and you know that being a leader comes with a lot of challenges, it comes with stress and frustration, and you have to deal with a lot of difficult stuff. The article focused mostly on how hard it was in the workplace to lead and keep employees motivated and on task  and all that stuff – but I think leadership in any realm is hard.

In church. At school. In the community. On a team of some sort. In your family. Leadership of any kind is hard.

So why, as this article asked, would anyone want to be a leader? And I bring this up today because the answer to that question is really what we want to talk about today as we continue talking about the church in your house.

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The Husband’s Role – Christlike Servant Leadership

Last week we began looking at the church in your house! In case you weren’t here and you didn’t realize you even had a church in your house, let me briefly recap what we talked about.

We started off with the reminder that as followers of Jesus Christ – we are the church. The church isn’t a building – it’s not a weekly event that we attend. The church is people. It’s God’s people.

So you are the church. I am the church. Anyone who has put their trust in Jesus is the church. And we’re not just the church on Sunday mornings. We are the church 24/7 – 365 days a year.

We’re the church on Sundays and on Mondays. We’re the church here at the hall and we’re the church in your living room. Where ever you find followers of Jesus – that’s where you find the church.

That means, that if you are a Christian today – then there is a church in your house. Perhaps not at this exact moment because you’re here right now – but when you are at home (which is the majority of the time) there is a church in your house.

And so my question to you last week was, “Does the church in your house look like the church that meets in this hall?”

You hear about athletes putting on their game face – well, I think Christians often put on their church face. When we arrive here Sunday mornings, we all look good and righteous and God-honoring and all that… (We’re not yelling or cussing or fighting with each other) And that’s all fine and good, but when we go home, we take off the church-face and we resume our ‘normal life’ – which unfortunately, is often really no different than any one else in the world.

But God did not call us to be the church for one hour each Sunday morning. We are to be the church every hour of every day all year round. In fact, I would argue that it’s maybe even more important that we live like the church at home more than anywhere else because that is where our lives will have the most impact. We will have more influence on our families than we will on anyone else.

Our role in the church in our house is way more significant than any role any of us will ever play in our local congregation.

So it’s really important that we understand what our role is and what our responsibilities are in the church in our house. Because if you don’t take up your role and your responsibilities in the church in your house – then who will? No one.

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The Roles of Men & Women in Marriage

Well, last week we almost started a new message series. It was the first Sunday of the new year, and so we started off by talking about how we spend our time.

I gave you some interesting stats on how the average person will spend their life. For example, an average person will spend a total of about 33 years of their life in bed. 26 of those years will be spent actually sleeping – 7 of those years will be spent trying to get to sleep. And then when you’re not in bed, statistics say that you’ll spend 4.5 years of your life eating, 3 years on vacation, 8 years watching tv – and so on…

And the main point in all of that was to spur us on to consider how we spend our time. We centred our conversation around a verse in Ephesians chapter 5 – which said, in the Old King James Version… 

“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:16

We certainly live in a time when the days are indeed evil, but we can redeem or buy back that time from evil and use it for good. So Paul is encouraging us in this verse to make the most of every opportunity we have for the kingdom of God.

And we ended last week on the point that we spend way more time at home than we ever will at church. To go along with those other statistics that we shared, the average life expectancy of a typical North American is about 28,835 days (just under 79 years) – and we will only spend about 173 of those days attending church. That’s 28,662 days not at church. So by far, the majority of our opportunities to ‘redeeming the time’ will not be happening at church – it will be happening within our own homes. But that doesn’t mean the church will not be involved.

One of the points that I try to bring out in the kids features every so often – is that the church is not a building or an event – the church is actually the people in the building or at the event. Specifically, it’s the people who have put their trust in Jesus and have been adopted into the family of God. But we don’t often communicate that to our kids very well.

For example: think about the ways most Christians use the word ‘church’ – We say things like…

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Redeeming the Time

I want to start by just throwing out a question to get your minds working this morning. How do you think you will spend 2019? What are you going to do with the next 365 days? (359 as of today…)

I ran across some interesting statistics this week about how we spend our time. You might have heard these before, but I found them to be very enlightening.

Currently, the average lifespan for people in western civilization is 28,835 days (that’s just under 80 years).

Of those nearly 80 years, statistics says you will spend 33 years in bed. (Not consecutively of course, but if you add together all the time you spend in bed over your lifetime – it would total 33 years of your life.) That’s a pile of time to spend in bed!

But get this: only 26 of those 33 years in bed will be spent actually sleeping. The other 7 years will be spent trying to get to sleep. Can you believe that? 7 years of your life trying to get to sleep!? That’s crazy!? That’s 9% of your life spent just trying to get to sleep! That was amazing to me.

Well, what about the rest of your life? How do you spend your time when you’re not in bed? According to these statistics, you’ll spend 13 years and 2 months (on average) at work. Tack on to that another 14 months if you want to include overtime.

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The Sacrifice

There is a song that we sometimes sing in at our kids clubs called “Father Abraham”. If you’ve been a camp kid or if you grew up in the church, chances are good that you’ve heard it before. But if not, it goes like this: “Father Abraham had many sons – many sons had Father Abraham. And I am one of them, and so are you, so let’s just praise the Lord.”

And then there are some ridiculous actions that go along with that have nothing to do with song – but the kids love it – and believe it or not, the theology of the song is actually pretty accurate.

According to Paul in Romans 4:16…

“For Abraham is the father of all who believe.” Romans 4:16

Of course, Abraham is not likely your biological ancestor unless you happen to be Jewish, but Paul says Abraham is our father in a spiritual sense. If we have put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ – then Abraham is our Father. We are one of his many sons and daughters – because he is the father of all who believe.

And if you’ve been tracking along with us for these past couple months, I think it’s probably becoming clear why Paul would say that Abraham is the father of all who believe. We’ve spent the last several weeks looking at the life of Abraham – learn from Him as He learned to walk with God.

Today, we are wrapping up that series, but it has been incredible to see the amount of faith Abraham had in God. It’s no wonder we call him the Father of our faith. We read a bit of a summary of Abraham’s life last week from Romans 4:18 – which really emphasized Abraham’s faith in God. It said:

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