What did you accomplish this week? Did you manage to check off a few things on your to-do list? I know I did! My wife & I moved into new house this week – and we are completely exhausted – but that’s one huge check mark on this past week’s to do list for us. Of course because of our move, we’ve also also created hundreds of new items to add to future to-do lists. We have boxes to unpack, a basement to finish, a kitchen to renovate, a fence to build, sheds to repair, etc…
It’s seems there’s never an end to the to-do list, is there? No matter how much you accomplish one week – there is always more to do next week. And so with an endless list of things to do, we’ve really got to prioritize. You can’t do everything that needs to be done – so you’ve got to start by doing the most important things first.
For example, on Friday when we moved in, the most important thing on that day was to get the boxes inside the house. I didn’t spend my time trimming my new hedges or mowing the lawn. That was not what was important that day. The rain and snow were coming – the most important thing was to get everything inside.
I’d be pretty foolish to spend my time trimming the hedges while the trucks sat there full of boxes waiting to come inside.
But I think sometimes we do that with our to-do lists in life. We often neglect the most important things. We do lots of stuff – but not always the most important stuff.
So maybe the question shouldn’t be “What did you accomplish this week?” – but rather – “Did you accomplish the most important things this week?” Read the rest of this entry »
Over the years, banks have made it increasingly difficult to counterfeit money. And the reason for that is that, over the years, counterfeiters have become quite skilled at creating counterfeits and these counterfeits dupe banks, businesses, and ordinary people out of their hard earned cash.
Thankfully, probably because of these security features or ones like it, I’ve never experienced getting stuck with counterfeit cash and I hope I never do. But I have had experience with counterfeits.
Last summer I took up the hobby of collecting silver. I bought some collectors coins from the Canadian mint. I bought some “junk” silver from eBay – that is, old Canadian or American coins that 50 years ago had actually had some silver in them. And I also bought some silver coins and silver bars from various mints all over the world.
I was fairly naive at the time and didn’t do my research as well as I should have. To make a long story short, I spent some of my hard earned cash on some counterfeit silver. I have one here – I keep it to remind myself to be a little bit wiser in future eBay purchases.
To just look at it – it seems like the real thing. It’s the right size, right shape, the design matches the real thing. But underneath the thin silver coating, is a bar of copper. It is not a pure silver bar as advertised. It was a fake. It was a counterfeit – I had been duped.
If you have ever been duped by counterfeits, you know the feeling. You’re mad the other guy for taking your money! You’re mad at yourself for falling for their deception.
It stinks. No body likes getting duped.
But you know, people get duped all the time. We live in a world where many people have been duped about God – about who He is and what He’s like – About the meaning of life and realities after death. Our world is full of counterfeit religions and counterfeit beliefs.
And getting duped in this way is far more serious than getting ripped off on eBay. I mean, we’re talking about life-changing, eternal consequences here. So it is absolutely imperative that we can sort out what is true and real and what is counterfeit when it comes to our beliefs about God.
And what makes it increasingly difficult is that many of these counterfeits are very convincing. I mean, that’s the nature of a counterfeit – it looks like the real thing. If it wasn’t convincing, no one would fall for it.
So with so many convincing, yet different beliefs about God and who He is and what life is all about, how do we make sure that we believe what is really true and real? How do we keep from being duped? Read the rest of this entry »
I am very pleased to announce that a brand new church is being planted in Penhold! The Penhold Church of Hope is scheduled to hold its first public service in the fall of 2015 and we are super excited to be a part of it! You can read all about it at penholdchurchofhope.com
I realize I haven’t written anything for this website in over two years, but the time has come to write again. (At least, that’s my ‘good intentions’ for now!) I imagine I’ll be adding sermons again this fall and possibly some of the things I learn as we church plant. So stay tuned and we’ll see where things go from here!
Last week we began a new Easter sermon series entitled “No Pain – No Gain: Why Easter Matters”. And we started off illustrating the principle of no pain – no gain as we talked about how our muscles grow. We had Morgan up here straining his muscles as we talked about how it takes the pain of tearing the muscle fibers in our bodies order for our bodies to repair the damage and make the even muscles stronger than they were before.
In fact I was reading last week that when you are born, you already have all the muscles that you will ever have. The big bulging biceps you have now are a result of that little baby’s muscle being damaged and repaired, damaged and repaired, time and time again. Without the pain of damaging those muscles, you would have no gain in strength. You’d still be as weak as you were when you were a baby. No pain – no gain.
But our purpose wasn’t to talk about body-building. There is a spiritual truth that we wanted to discover. The gain that we are after is not muscles, but rather that inner satisfaction in life that seems so elusive for so many of us.
We talked about how Solomon tried to find satisfaction in all kinds of ways. He looked for satisfaction in wealth, power, hard work, women, pleasure – but it found it all to be meaningless. Nothing gave him true satisfaction.
And we discovered that the reason for this is that God has created each of us with a deep inner longing to be connected with our Creator. Every person on earth has this inner feeling that something is missing in their life. And all of us try to find that missing thing just like Solomon did. But, like the Rolling Stones lament, we can’t get no satisfaction. Because true satisfaction is only found when we are connected with our Creator – when we have a genuine relationship with Him. That’s when we find satisfaction.
Unfortunately, this one thing that is worth gaining is effectively keep from us by sin. We talked about how Adam & Eve – though they were once fully satisfied in their connection with each other and with God – they sinned. And the immediate consequences of their sin was separation. Separation from God and and from each other. Because that’s the nature of sin. It separates. It creates distance between. It severs our relationships.
And because all of us have sin in our life – we are all missing the one thing that we were created for – we’re missing that connection, that relationship, with our Creator. We’re missing the one thing that can bring us true satisfaction.
So what do we do? Is there any way to gain that connection, that relationship, that satisfaction that we so desperately long for? There is, and that’s what we’re going to look at today. Read the rest of this entry »
Most of you have heard the expression, “no pain – no gain”. Well, today we are going to see why that is true. I have a volunteer who is simply going to hold up these two pitchers of water at shoulder’s height.
As our volunteer is holding up these pitchers of water, his arm muscles are being strained. They don’t usually do this sort of exercise. And as time goes on, what’s happening – as those muscles are being pushed beyond their usual limits – the muscle fibers are actually being damaged. There are tiny tears that are forming. The muscles are literally breaking apart. But don’t worry – that’s perfectly fine. Because God has designed muscles to do exactly that.
I’m actually doing our volunteer a favour by having him hold those jugs of water up, because once his muscles have been damaged by the stress of holding up that water – once the tiny tears in your muscle fibers have formed – over the course of the next 3 to 4 days, his body will repair the damage – and in fact, his body will go overboard and make his muscles even better than they were before. They don’t want to get damaged again, so his body will build up the muscles stronger than they were before – strong enough to handle this kind of strain without being damaged. This is how muscles grow.
Now of course, the negative side to all this, is that damaging your muscles is uncomfortable. It’s not pleasant to tear your muscle fibers. There is going to be a measure of pain involved.
I remember when I started working at a greenhouse out by Penhold about 10 years ago. For the first two weeks of that job, when I came home from work at night, my body was sore. I was using muscles that I didn’t usually use – straining them beyond their usual capabilities. There was certainly pain involved – but after about two weeks, I wasn’t really sore anymore. My body repaired the damage done and built up my muscles so they could handle that strain without issue.
And this is exact where this concept of “no pain – no gain” comes from. Without the pain that comes from damaging your muscles, you will have no gain in strength. We call this exercise – or working-out. We purposely injure our muscles so that we can grow in strength. A certain amount of pain is required if you want to gain muscle.
And the reason that I bring this all up, is because the Bible teaches a similar concept. Over these next few weeks leading into Easter, our topic is going to be “no pain – no gain. Why Easter matters.” Because the principle of “no pain – no gain” is true not just in the physical realm – but it’s also true in the spiritual. Read the rest of this entry »
When I was a kid, there were lots of days when I felt I was being bossed around by everyone. I was told to clean up my room, do my homework, take out the garbage, be nice to your brothers, eat your vegetables, and so on… – and sometimes I wished I could warp through time and suddenly become an adult. Because if I was an adult, no one could tell me what to do. I could do whatever I wanted. All those demands and expectations that people put on me – I wouldn’t have to deal with them anymore.
Are there any teenagers here today that can relate? Anyone looking forward to that day of independence? Well, don’t get your hopes up!
I’ve found that as an adult, I have way more expectations put on me now then when I was a kid. Let me show you what I mean.
For example, when you’re a grown up, you’re expected to pay your bills. You’ll have expectations from the phone company, the power company, the water company, the cable company, the internet company, the gas company, the credit card company. They expect you to pay your bills.
Because of that, you’re expected to get a job. That means that you’re going to have a boss and your boss will expect you to come to work. And not only does he expect you to show up on a regular basis, he expects you to do a good job. He’ll expect you to accomplish a certain number of things each day.
Of course, if you’re married, or even dating, you’ll have a girl that is going to have expectations for you too. She’ll expect you to be thoughtful and helpful. She’ll expect you to spend time with her and take out on dates and such. (I’m speaking from a guys perspective, but you girls know you’ve got expectations on you too!)
When you add kids to them mix, the expectations increase. You’re expected to change their diapers, and calm their crying, buy them food and clothing. As they grow older, you’re expected to take them to school and hockey practice, ballet and youth group. You’ll be expected to love and discipline and nurture them as they grow and become adults themselves.
And even as a grown up, your family will have expectations for you. You’re mom will always expect you to call her on her birthday. You’ll be expected to go to Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners with the rest of your family. You’ll be expected to go to your cousins wedding and your nephew’s graduation.
The government has expectations for you too. First of all, they expect you to pay taxes. They also expect you to obey the laws of the land. They expect you not to drive 140km per hour on the highway.
And then there are all the other little things that our culture expects of us that we probably don’t even think of. People expect us to return their calls when they leave a message. We’re expected to leave a tip for the waiter when we eat out. We’re expected to check our email regularly and carry our cell phone where ever we go.
And if you’re a Christian, the expectations grow even more! We’re expected to go to church each Sunday and volunteer our time. We’re expected to read our Bibles and pray. We’re expected to be good and to avoid sin. We’re expected to win our neighbors to Christ and bring good food to the potluck!
And we could come up with thousands of other expectations that people put on us. And that’s not to say that they are all bad – the vast majority of those expectations are good things. But the truth of the matter is, we will spend most of our lives trying our best to meet the expectations of other people. But we just can’t do it! We can’t possibly meet everyone’s expectations of us. Eventually we will disappoint someone. We will let people down. It’s inevitable.
But I have some good news for you this morning. You see, at the end of the day – when all is said and done – it really doesn’t matter how many of those expectations you met or didn’t meet. Read the rest of this entry »
Hi. In case you were wondering, my name is Dave Trenholm. I'm just a [mostly] normal guy who wants please God with my life and help people see how awesome He is. One way that I can do that is to post some of my thoughts and tell some of my stories on this website. Most of my recent content is made up of the sermons that I've preached over that past several years.