North of 60

Time always reveals the truth! I recently celebrated my 59th here on the planet. The reality of the quick passing and brevity have hit me like a ton of bricks. More than ever I am aware that the majority of my life is behind me. If I was to counsel my younger self what would I say to him? Good question, isn’t it?

By the grace of God, he has given me the awesome privilege to serve some very incredible people in some awesome places on planet earth. But…it could have been much better than it was. I often wish that what I know now I could have learned much earlier. It is not as if there were not people who tried to tell me but I was too stubborn to listen!

First, I would say, “Be patient with people and circumstances.” I often wanted people, and ministries, to change their point of view. Instead of working through situations I decided to move on. They may never have changed into what I wanted them to be but grace teaches me to give room for God to work in you and in them.

Second, I would not have listened to the opinions of others who were negative against administration and people in authority. My older self would now say that God knows what he is doing, there could be a greater purpose for why that policy was brought forward that you know nothing about. Furthermore, they could be right!! The horror of horrors! I could be wrong!

Third, allow God to mature you where he has placed you. I have often thought about people who are “lifers” in those places I left. There is such a maturity when they speak of their ministry. They speak with the wisdom that can only be grasped after years spent investing in a place and people.

Finally, I am thankful that I am still learning. God is still teaching me that there is much yet to be done. I don’t look backward with bitterness or depression but I optimistically use the lessons from the past to move forward. Philippians 1:6 continues to give me hope, ““And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

I am not 60 yet, I have 360 plus days to go! But I am excited to build on the foundation that God has established in my life. I’m still in process, still learning and still want to learn! How about you?

God Bless,

Pastor Bill Finch‭‭

Not So With You

notsowithyou.PNGWhat does it mean to be a ‘spiritual giant’?  I have been thinking about that term that we often use in regards to those who have tremendous significant input and influence in our lives.  They could have been a close friend, an influential author, a faithful pastor or someone whose life speaks to us today having served faithfully.

I think spiritual giants seldom, if ever, realize the total effect of their lives at the moment.  I don’t think, either, that this is ever the goal a person has. It is the by-product of faithfulness over time that has produced ripples of influence to you and I today.  I believe that there are common characteristics of people who leave positive marks on our lives. Let’s talk about those.  Continue reading

Put to the Test

body_testinprogressIt would cause shivers to go through every member of the class.! Yes, it was that day again called “Oral Defense”. That fateful day when the professor would ask you to stand and begin to fire questions at you about the material that had recently been covered in class. No notes were allowed, one just had to count on his/her ability to recall the information in a second! We would not know when that day was going to come, we needed to be ready.

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When Life Hurts

Life is full of lessons. How about that for an understatement!  “What are you talking about?” You may life-hurts1correctly ask.  When we least expect to learn something, we pass through an experience or a situation that leaves us wondering, “What in the world was that about?”  Been there? Recently, I was there, all the way!

We often say that God is in control, and we often say it to others as they are facing some adversity and difficulty.  But when the shoe is on our feet, we tend to ignore that same advice that we are so quick to hand out to others.  We read of the biblical character, Job, and sympathize with him in the midst of his trial. Job’s three “friends” attempted to solve his dilemma and figure out what exactly God was up to in his life.  Continue reading

The “In-Between” Time

The In BetweenOne of the hardest places to live is “in between.”  The term suggests uncertainty and I have yet to meet anyone who likes to live at that address!  We like to know when the next pay cheque is coming and who is writing it!  Most of us build our lives around routines that includes when we get up in the morning, it seems that we could drive to work with our eyes closed (not recommending that at all!) because we know the route so well and our jobs have pretty well-defined expectations and demands.

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The Secret that is Not

You often here that there is a secret formula for a restaurant item, or a secret to becoming rich and famous! Unfortunately, some who claim to be Christians have reduced success in the Christian life to the same foolishness.

It would seem that some believers may have a special inside track to spiritual success when we look at them from the outside. Here is a news item for you toIn Times Like These's photo.day, a secret formula for walking with God and being successful in your profession does not exist!

The Apostle Paul told the Christians at Corinth that to live a life that honoured God five attitudes they needed to develop. The longer I live for Christ, the more I observe that Paul’s pastoral counsel is right on!

Everyday you and I must be on guard because there are enemies that want to destroy our walk with God. We must stand firm in the truth of God’s Word! We must be courageous to live out our faith in the midst of people who love sin. We must maintain our strength in the Lord. Finally, we do all of this marked by and marking others with the same love God has for us!

If we repeat these attitudes everyday, we will be successful in God’s eyes. No secret here, only obedience and trust is required!