Speaking at Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship Meeting May 30th

I'll be sharing with the members of Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship in Scarborough on May 30th. I'll be talking about managing your career as well as nurturing your spiritual life at the same time. Hope to see you there!

Event: Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship - Dinner Meeting
When: Monday, May 30 th 2016 @ 6:30 p.m.
Location: Flipper’s Banquet Rooms
2300 Lawrence Avenue East, Scarborough, ON
Cost: $25:00 – first time attendees free
Reservations: Chris Burtch - 416 261-6702
David Kirby – 705 720-2465

Preparing For Pentecost

As I prepare this blog, we are approaching the time of Pentecost described by many as the birthday of the Church.  It’s amazing to me that before Pentecost, the apostles and the other followers of Jesus were in a state of deep confusion.  Despite the fact that Jesus had appeared to them during the forty days between His resurrection and His ascension into heaven, they still did not fully understand what had transpired and some still doubted.   Mat 28:16-17 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them.  When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.  (My emphasis)

Why were they in doubt?  Were some still wondering if Jesus was the Messiah?  After all this isprobably not how they had imagined things would work out.  Or were they more concerned about their own lives - how would they survive against the Jewish leadership and their Roman conquerors?   It must have been a confused and somewhat fearful group of people who gathered together on that first Pentecost morning.  

And yet after their Pentecost experience, it was just the opposite.  They staggered from that house utterly transformed, praising God, seemingly drunk, and fearless in the face of a large crowd of curious onlookers.  And after Peter preached his first post-Pentecost sermon, 3000 new believers were added to their number (Act 2:41-47).  They had begun the Great Commission - to go out and preach the message of salvation to all peoples-  and the Christian era was born!

So what happened to Peter and the apostles to cause their astonishing transformation?  Well, they encountered the Presence of God and received the infilling (baptism) of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:13, Acts 1:5).   If you haven’t read Day 15 in Rise Up yet, in which I describe my own special experience of Baptism of the Holy Spirit, you may wish to do so now.  In my next blog I will continue with more about the Holy Spirit and His presence in my life.

Blessings,

Michael

Starting Off

Have you noticed that life is a series of ‘firsts’?  First school, first job, first love, first house, first child, first grandchild – and the list goes on.   For me this list includes my first book, first website and first blog.  Hey, until recently I didn’t even know how to blog! 

So what should I include in this blog?  Well, I certainly plan to add new thoughts and messages about my own Christian journey.  But I would also like to include discussion on some of the questions that you, the reader, submit to me through this website and other social media. My intention is to post new blogs every week, but I may miss this target from time to time.  I don’t promise to respond to every comment or question posed, only to those which I judge to be a matter of interest to a good number of people; and, of course, I will respect the confidentiality of readers.  So please feel free to send in your feedback on matters related to Rise Up - the devotional, and let’s see where the Holy Spirit leads us.

One spiritual concept that has long fascinated me is the idea of experiencing the presence of God as a regular part of daily life.  This concept came to me as I read a little book called ‘Practicing the Presence of God’ by Brother Lawrence.  Brother Lawrence was a 15th century Carmelite lay brother known for his simple and humble lifestyle who, by the grace of God, learned to experience the presence of God on a 24/7 basis.  At the time I thought that this level of ‘holiness’ was well beyond me, but I have since learned that being in touch with the Holy Spirit frequently throughout the day is one of the ways to practice the presence of God.  Since the yearly anniversary of Pentecost is fast approaching, I will write more about the Holy Spirit and practicing His presence in the next few blogs.

Blessings,

Mike