Sunday, May 27, 2012

32 Years And I Still Love Church

I've been "going" to Church for 32 years and I still look forward to Sunday morning. We aren't a perfect Church. We have some things out of balance; some things are overly religious and others are underly religious.  Perhaps its because I don't "go" to Church, I am a part of the Church.  Church is my family and I am an active part of her success and failures.  There are highs and lows, but because of my love for Christ and His love for the Church, I am committed.  The act of committing to Church is very much like committing to marriage or to raising a family.  No doubt there are struggles, but because of the commitment we persevere and a bond is built.  The bond creates an environment for real love and delight unlike any other.

One of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to find a Church close to your home that holds good doctrine (at the very least, on the essentials) and lay down roots.  Open your life and heart, serve and give, love and hope together.  There's not doubt that at some point you will get hurt (just as in marriage/family), but perhaps that's the only way you'll learn the power of Christ's forgiveness and the depth of His grace.  I don't say that to excuse people/behaviour that harm/abuse others.  I say that to give you a clear picture that it's not just in the receiving of grace that we grow in Christ, but that we usually grow more when we learn to extend it others.


I hope all is well in your world.  We've been enjoying the nice weather and not enjoying having to say goodbye to my sister and brother-in-law (they are moving to Vegreville, AB... home of the giant Pysanka Egg).  They had a garage sale the other day and Ruby set-up a lemonade and cookie stand.  She's started to raise funds so that she can send some Operation Christmas Child boxes to kids this Christmas. Her cookies and lemonade brought in $50.

Last night I made Angela watch "The Last Air Bender" with me.  It was pretty dumb, but I liked how the story was based on a Stoic philosophy (something I have been reading about the last two weeks).  Ang fell asleep half way through and I caught myself nodding off a time or two.

As mentioned in my sermon today we starting a new plan of memorizing Scripture at the Nelson house.  We are going to memorize one verse a month as a family.  Every dinner and at bedtime (and probably at a few other times through out the day) we will read and recite together.  We start tonight with Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”


I hope you have a great week filled with many opportunities to respond and engage the Good News of Jesus.  Thank you for being such an awesome Church family!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

More Good News

We just got a call from our family doctor where she debriefed us on the PET/CT scan report from last week.  Good news... there is nothing in the report to cause us any concern whatsoever!

We now need to meet with the oncologist and the stomach scope doctor to get an updated monitoring plan.

Thank you everyone who prayed and fasted for Angela.  The doctors are hesitant to call this a miracle due to the rarity and newness of the whole situation, yet five doctors (two cancer surgeons and three oncologists) said that there was no possibility of the cancer retreating to this point and that death was but around the corner.

I believe this was the power and grace of God, found in the Good News of Jesus, on display through the faithful prayers and fasting of His Church.

Thank you to everyone for your prayers, fasts, love, and support.  Thank you, Jesus, for your mercy and grace through healing!

Please continue to pray for us and our doctors.  Our doctors need wisdom on how to proceed.  We will continue to pray for a cancer-free body.  We will pray that this news will be an encouragement to your faith.

"Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits--
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things..."

Psalm 103:1-5a NIV

Much love to all of you!


Friday, May 18, 2012

Why Do I Love God?

I was reading Psalm 103 (you should read it... it is beautiful) today and it lists the benefits of loving God...
  • He forgives our sins.
  • He heals our diseases.
  • He redeems our life from the pit.
  • He crowns us with steadfast love and mercy.
  • He satisfies us with good.
  • He works righteousness and justice.
  • He is merciful and gracious.
  • He is slow to anger.
  • He is abounding in love.
  • He shows us compassion.
When we remember the benefits of loving God we are renewed in Him. We desire to follow Him. We take great delight in being His.

Having Him as our God is the best.  Knowing Him changes us and how we see and live life.  Fear, despair, and their fruit, has no place in a life with Him. Those realities are replaced with love and hope.  Life with God is so much better than any alternative.

If you haven't surrendered your life to Jesus, please do.  Simply open your mouth and thank Him for his death and resurrection.  Invite Him to save you from the pit you are in and forgive your sin.  Ask Him to fill you with His Spirit.  Give everything you value in life (including your life) over to His care and leading.  It is by faith that we are saved, not good works.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Video

Due to technical difficulties (the remote to the projector is missing) we weren't able to show this video yesterday, so you can watch it online.  The printed version of our newsletter has the password.  If you'd like to request the password please email me (

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ship Happens & Other Things

One of the things I've discovered in life is Ship Happens. It's a parcel receiving place just a stone's throw south of the Sumas-Huntingdon border crossing.  It allows me to take advantage of US online shopping and avoid paying the crazy shipping and brokerage rates. Sometimes I even save the HST if I happen to catch a nice border guard. In the last two days I've saved $320 on $780 worth of purchases. Most of these purchases were for the College and Church so it saves us mucho dollars.

Our Church garage sale is tomorrow (Saturday) at 9:00am at the Safeway parking lot. Come down with your stuff to give away.  Come down with lots of cash to buy some cool stuff. Come down and help out (especially with the clean-up from 2:00 - 3:00pm). All proceeds go to summer camp bursaries.

I'm excited for our gathering this Sunday! It's Mother's Day and we'll be playing a cute little video with some of our kids where they share why they love their mom. We are continuing in Acts (I'm loving our journey through this part of Scripture). We are having a water baptism where six folks will make a public declaration of their faith in Jesus. We get to see one another and meet some new folks.  We get to worship Jesus... together!

It's been a crazy-fun week so far. The Moses' had a baby boy! Another boy in our Church accepted Christ as His Savior! Prayer requests are pouring in and we get to respond with faith!

I also took a load to the dump this week and came back with a vintage mailbox [see above photo]. Someone threw it out in the metal recycling bin and I am repurposing it. I'm guessing I could get $50 for it, but I will keep it and convert it to something cool in my home office.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Biopsy Results

Angela and I had a meeting with the oncologist today where we received the pathology report from last week's stomach scope. All the biopsies came back clear! There is no sign of cancer at 'ground zero' where there used be a giant ulcer/tumour thing.

Angela will have a PET scan done in Vancouver in a few weeks which will give the doctors another angle, but our oncologist was surprised at the change. After the PET scan, our oncologist will meet with the other specialists in BC to go over Angela's case and determine a new recommendation for monitoring or treatment.

This is another great step forward towards a miraculous healing! Thank you for your past, present, and future prayers! Thank you, Jesus, for this good report!!

Merry Monday

I hope you had a good weekend! At Parkside we had a work bee on Saturday morning and lots of loving folks came out to help out. Mark K. did some pressure washing for us and as you can see in the photo above, he did it well.

Our Sunday gathering was fun. Catherine D. and Peter E. delivered an awesome message of hope in the darkness. Following the service we had a delicious spaghetti lunch and raised a few hundred bucks for the Relay for Life team.

We spent Sunday afternoon at our neighbour's and enjoyed our second bonfire of the year. Sunday evening was low key.  Angela cut my hair and I am now debating going back to the professionals.  I was able to clean out the garage a little bit (one of my favourite activities) and am now ready to finish a few projects and start a few more.

Over the weekend, Foursquare Canada installed its new President, Steve Falkiner. I first met Steve when he and his family were missionaries in Sri Lanka. He is a gracious servant and I look forward to the coming season of ministry through the Foursquare Churches of Canada. I encourage you to add him and his wife (Andy) to your prayer lists and keep them in your prayers daily.

Dave P. gets back from the convention in Toronto (our Church was able to help send him) this week.  I hear that his application for becoming a licensed minister in the Foursquare Church has been accepted!  I'm excited for him as this is another confirmation of God's calling on his life.  Dave is a gift to us and we'll have a proper party sometime in the near future.

Have a great week as you live the Gospel in your workplace, home, school, and neighbourhood.  I hope to see you this Saturday at the Summer Camp Garage Sale at Safeway and definitely this Sunday. It will be Mother's Day and we are having a water baptism!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How To Be A Good Parent

Take this with a grain of salt... as I've only been a Dad for five years. Every other year I mark an assignment at Pacific Life Bible College where students reflect on their 'adolescent experience'. In this assignment they write about their family's health and how that affected their development.

In many cases they share experiences and feelings which they have never shared with anyone else. (Don't worry, in their second year they go through Freedom Sessions where they are given an opportunity to process their life at the foot of the cross and with supportive, safe relationships.)

A common thing arises in the different life journeys I read. It is my observation that no matter how much parents try to place their kids in a protective bubble, whether by homeschool, Christian school, or close monitoring of public school, their kids experience sin and its pain.

They experience sin through their parents, their siblings, and whoever else they meet.  Sin comes in the form of over-protective, over-authoritative, parenting.  Sin comes in the form of a parent that works long hours.  Sin comes in the form of a depressed parent.  Sin comes in the form of a disconnected or conditional love.  Sin comes in the form of a nickname that stings and sticks to their identity.  Sin comes in the form of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.  Sin happens within their kid's lives even if everyone around them is perfect because it is their kid's nature. Everyone experiences sin and its outcome.

Upon reading these papers I find myself asking questions like, what could their parents have done differently to keep this from happening?  Parenting isn't easy.

I am learning to come to peace with the reality that sin exists.  I know that despite my best efforts, I will hurt my kids.  I know that they will hurt themselves.  I know that they will hurt others.  I know that others will hurt them.  By saying that I am at peace with this reality simply means that I'm not going to lock them in the attic or move to the middle of Alaska, because the problem resides within me and within them.

How should good parents respond? What should the focus of good parents be?

At first you are going to think this is the token Christian answer, but let me spell it out for you. The best thing you can do as a parent is to be head over heals in love with Jesus. Not in a churchy, religious, superficial way, but in a humble, loving, gracious, and growing way.

If you want your kids to experience less sin, start by becoming more like the One who was without sin. This is not a legalistic process, but a lifelong relational journey. Allow Jesus into every part of your life and give Him control. Allow Him to accept and forgive you. Allow the freeing and life giving act of His forgiveness to invade the darkest parts of your life. Live life in His freedom each and every day and you will become more like the person you want to be; more like the person He created you to be!  Life in Him and with Him is simply the best... for you, your spouse, and your kids. He will render in you a sustaining joy, delight, and hope.

His life and presence working in and through you will make you healthier which will make your marriage healthier.  This is the next priority in good parenting.  The natural outflow of a healthy person is healthier relationships and this is realized more obviously in our closest relationships.  Furthermore, since marriage is the best experiential platform for our relationship with God, your relationship with your spouse will be the next best thing for your kids. The degree of dysfunction or health in a husband and wife's relationship will determine the balance of the opportunities for hurt or healing in your kids.

The third priority in good parenting is the health of your relationship with your kids.  The health of this relationship again will depend on the health of your relationship with Jesus.

One thing is certain: your kids will experience sin and its pain.  The part that is up to you is whether or not you surrender your life to Jesus and allow Him to raise you, so that, you can know how to raise them.  It really is that simple.  It really is that hard.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Update on Angela

Angela had her stomach scope today and it went well.  She is home now and a bit tired and light-headed, but in good spirits.

The doctor had to leave right after the scope so we just saw his scribbled notes and heard the nurse's interpretation.  The biopsy report and follow-up meeting with the doctor will be in 3-6 weeks  This report and meeting will be a much more definitive analysis.

That being said, the visible ulcer-looking part of the tumour wasn't there, only a reddish area (of which they took a biopsy).  Everything else looked normal!

It definitely looks like progress and hopefully the completion of a miracle.

Thanks to everyone for their support and prayers.