Malmo News

Weekly News-October 19

“Therefore I…beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” ~Ephesians 4:1-2

I’ve been wrestling with this verse this week.  I’ve been getting stuck on the word ‘calling’.  Calling…what does it really mean?  If you would’ve asked me a few years ago, I probably would have said that this verse is only for pastors, ministers and missionaries – and for those who God has in a “specific Christian vocation”.  But I’m thinking that’s not the case.  This verse IS for ALL of us.  We have ALL been called by God – and that call will look different for each of us, based on our unique personalities and gifts that He has given us. (Being an accountant, mother, pastor, welder, farmer, etc…).  But as cool as it is to know that I have been called by God, I think the part that’s really important here is the ‘how’ – how do I live into that calling?  Because no matter what our calling is, we are all to live into our call in the same way.  By being…“humble and gentle…patient with each other, making allowance for each other…because of love.”   The only way that I know of doing that is by staying close to Jesus, because it’s impossible to do on my own strength.  Allowing Him to be the focus and most important thing in my life – and not anything else, including what He has called me to.

“People with the strongest and healthiest sense of calling are not obsessed with their calling.  They are preoccupied with the Caller.  With a clear vision of a good, competent and loving God before me, the significance of my own tiny part in His world is safely and manageably held.”
~John Ortberg

This weekend, Pastor Randall and some of our people from across the Covenant, will be at Covenant Bay Bible Camp for the spiritual retreat ‘Sacred Space’.  Please be praying for Pastor Randall as he leads the retreat and for all those attending – for openness and a new awareness of God’s presence and love.

This Sunday during our 11:00am worship service we’re having another ‘Giving Sunday’.  This month we are highlighting ‘Neighbors Outreach Wetaskiwin’ and will be hearing from Blayne about the good work that they are doing in our community.  (If you’d like to financially support them, please make your cheques payable to NOW, and we’ll pass those on for you.) Join us as we gather together to worship, pray, hear God’s word and fellowship.  It’s going to be a great day!

See you on Sunday!

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Weekly News-October 12

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I put my trust in You.  Show me the way to go for to you I lift up my soul.” ~Psalm 143:8

This is one of my favourite verses.  I was reciting it to myself as I was walking to my car in the cool and dampness of this morning.  This morning was hard not to feel discouraged – I was heading to the dentist to get a broken crown fixed, the smell of unharvested, mouldy crops and decay was in the air, and it’s October 12th and only 2 degrees outside.  In my mind, I had lots to complain about.  But this verse comes to my mind, and I recite it over and over again, until the truth of the verse settles me down and the promise of God speaks louder than my discouragement.

“Let the morning…” – God, you’ve woken me up to another day.  You must have plans for me because here I am.
“…bring me word of your unfailing love…” – God, you love me.  Period.  Nothing I can do OR not do will EVER change that.  
“…for I put my trust in You.” God, you know what I need.  You know what my neighbours need.  I trust you for that.  Forgive me when I forget that You’re in control.
“Show me the way to go…” – God, this day is yours.  Direct my steps so I don’t get stuck.  Show me what You would have me do today.
“…to you I lift up my soul.” – God, my soul is yours.  Thank you for accepting me with all my mess and failures. What a gracious and loving God you are.  <3

Do you have plans for tomorrow (Saturday) morning?  Let me encourage you to join us at 10:00am for an Anxiety and Depression seminar, led by Dixie Vandersluys.  Heres’ what Dixie writes about the seminar:

“Depression and anxiety are common words in our society today. But do we really know what they mean? What is like to experience anxiety and depression, especially as a Christian? Dixie Vandersluys will be sharing on depression and anxiety, having experience with both in her counselling career and in her own life. Come and learn in a comfortable environment about these somewhat uncomfortable topics: what they are, what they look like in daily life, and how you and your loved ones can manage and cope. “

This seminar is suitable for ages 13 and up.  Babysitting is available.

Join us this Sunday for Sunday School at 9:45am and our Worship Service at 11:00am.

Have a great weekend.

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Is the Old Testament a complete mystery to you?

Sandra L. Richter, author of The Epic of Eden: A Christian Entry into the Old Testament, has a diagnosis for many of us when it comes to the Old Testament: “dysfunctional closet syndrome.” Most of us have a drawer or closet in our homes where we throw all the random things we don’t know where to put and after a couple of years we’re not even sure what’s in there anymore. Similarly, many of us have grown up with a jumble of various Old Testament stories, stories which have been stuffed into our mental closets, and those closets can be quite a mess. These are stories which we can fairly easily recall but aren’t quite sure how or where they fit into the Old Testament or what they have to do with us.

The Epic of Eden is meant to help us put our Old Testament “closets” in order and to give helpful tools to keep them in order. She does this not by walking us through every detail in the Old Testament, but by highlighting and explaining the major themes, ideas, and turning points in the Old Testament by which we can grasp the larger whole. In this way, Richter help us to see how the Old Testament story flows, how it is intimately connected with the New Testament, and what it has to do with us as Christians.

The Bible is one of the primary ways in which we come to salvation (2 Timothy 3:15) and encounter Jesus Christ (John 5:39). Note that in both of these passages the scripture it’s referring to is the Old Testament! So reading, understanding, and meditating on scripture, including the Old Testament, is a significant part of being a disciple of Jesus. But that’s difficult to do if two-thirds of the Bible is a confusing mess! This accessible book will help put the pieces together for you and give you deeper understanding of the story of God’s love and faithfulness.

It’s not a difficult read and it’s not long (about 220 pages) and will help you understand the Bible better. There’s a copy available in the church library, or you can order it through Wisemen’s Way, Chapters/Indigo Books, or Amazon.

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Weekly News-October 5

Happy Thanksgiving Folks!

At the beginning of September, my bible reading had me in the book of Judges. Judges 6:14 really spoke to me.  Here’s what it says:

“Then the LORD turned to him and said, ‘Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites.  I am sending you!'”
God told Gideon to, “…go with the strength you have…”.  God didn’t tell him that He’s going to increase his strength before he goes, or instantly make the enemy disappear without effort.  He’s telling Gideon, in essence, to just trust Him and have faith – to take the little bit that he has and get moving – and to watch what HE will do with it.  As we know in the story, God did do miracles before Gideon’s very eyes, in defeating the Midianites with just 300 men.

When I’m faced with challenges, my tendency is to question everything.  And really when I do that, I’m just grasping to try to ‘control’ things.  Yet God is telling me that I don’t need to know all the details.  I just need to fully trust Him and to take the little bit that I have and move forward.  Start with faith and action it with trust and obedience.  And I believe, like Gideon, that I too will see God do miracles around me, because through all the generations, He continues to be a faithful and loving God.

Do you have the turkey out?  How about the pumpkin pie?  Because yes indeed folks, this weekend really is Thanksgiving!  (Already!)  We in this community have SO MUCH to be thankful for!  My prayer is that we will continue to not only SEE God’s goodness all around us, but to be people who SPEAK our thanks verbally – to God, family, friends, community – and to all those we meet.

Gather your family on Sunday and come join us for our Thanksgiving Communion Worship Service at 11:00am.  Remember too, that we have Sunday School classes for all ages, beginning at 9:45am.

Have a blessed weekend!

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Weekly News-September 28

There’s a lot of things going on around us and amongst us that need prayer.  “Our Community Needs Prayer” list in the bulletin is overflowing with requests…and those are only the requests that are known.  There’s so many more things that are unknown by us, but still very real and heavy on people’s hearts.  Can I encourage you today to just keep praying?  Pray for the needs on our list, pray for the community, pray for our pastors and church leaders. Throughout the day, as God puts a name in your mind, send up a prayer for them.  As Pastor Randall often says, “This is good and faithful work…” and it’s work that we can ALL do.

 “This is the confidence that we have in our relationship with God: If we ask for anything in agreement with his will, he listens to us.”
~1 John 5:14 (CEB)

How’s your “What’s Your Next Step” coming?  Have you considered learning something new through online audio? (podcasts).  In this Sunday’s bulletin, Pastor Marc has included a couple of different podcasts that might interest you.  We’ve also posted them in a new section on our website entitled, “Pastor Marc’s Discipleship Resources”.  Over the next few months, we’ll be adding more content and resources, that will be helpful for you in your Christian journey.

Join us this Sunday for Sunday School at 9:45am, and our Worship service at 11:00am.

Take care Folks!
“Rejoice always.  Pray continually.  Give thanks…” (1Thes. 5:16-18)

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Weekly News-September 21

Below is a prayer that I wanted to share with you.  Whatever season you’re in, whatever circumstance you’re facing, whatever frustration you’re holding, I pray that you’ll be able to release them, along with me, into our capable and loving God’s hands.

O God, gather me
to be with you
as you are with me.

Keep me in touch with myself,
with my needs,
my anxieties,
my angers,
my pains,
my corruptions.
that I may claim them as my own
rather than blame them on someone else.

O Lord, deepen my wounds
into wisdom;
shape my weaknesses
into compassion;
gentle my envy
into enjoyment,
my fear into trust,
my guilt into honesty.

O God, gather me
to be with you
as you are with me.
by Ted Loder, Guerrillas of Grace


This Sunday we have a special guest at Malmo.  Marc Lantz will be with us & will be sharing about his new ventures with “Covenant Youth of Alaska”.  He’ll also be sharing a message from God’s word with us.  So come join us on Sunday as we worship God together, in song, prayer, message and fellowship.

See you Sunday – 9:45am Sunday School and 11:00am Worship Service.

Stay warm,

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Tractor Spirituality: Listen to a Podcast

Tractor Spirituality: spiritual practices for the seeder, the combine, the road, the shop, and the home.

Practice: listen to a podcast.

One thing you can do as part of your journey of discipleship is something you might call a practice of “guided listening.” That’s a fancy word for listening to a podcast, something you can do in the combine, on the road, in the shop, over lunch, or in bed. Podcasts can encourage, grow, and inspire your faith.

There’s a whole range of Christian podcasts out there to choose from—teaching, preaching, theology, current events, and many other topics—and it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Below are two different kinds of podcasts that have been meaningful for myself and many other people. One engages the mind, the other engages the heart.

Unbelievable?: A weekly podcast featuring “apologetics, theology, debate, and dialogue” about various Christian topics. Be encouraged in your faith, hear different points of view, and be stretched in your thinking.
Website: (also available through most podcasting apps).

Pray as You Go: a daily 12-minute guided prayer podcast featuring music, scripture reading, thought prompts and time for reflection and prayer. A great way to start your day!
Website: (also available as a standalone app and through podcasting apps).

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Weekly News-September 14

I’m struggling this morning to know what to write to you.  I must confess my attitude isn’t always in a very good place these days.  I’m a farmer.  I look outside at the snow and I am frustrated about it, knowing full well that there is nothing I can do about it.  And in that place, discouragement has been threatening all week.

One of the things that I’ve chosen as my “What’s next…”, is to attend the adult Sunday School class.  (I confess that I haven’t been in Sunday School for quite some time!)  Anyhow, the class is going through the book of Joshua.  As only God can divinely direct , He knew that I needed to hear and be part of the conversation in that class on Joshua Chapter 1.  Did you know that in the first 9 verses of Joshua, God encouraged Joshua with 7 different admonishments?  (If Joshua’s anything like me, he needed to hear the same message, 7 different ways!) . Here’s what God told Joshua:

  • “For I will be with you…” (v.5)
  • “I will not fail you or abandon you.” (v.5)
  • “Be strong and courageous…” (v.6)
  • “Be strong and very courageous.” (v.7)
  • “This is my command – be strong & courageous!” (v.9)
  • “Do not be afraid or discouraged.” (v.9)
  •  “For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (v.9)

So those are the words that we talked about in Sunday School class – and then a few days later it rains and snows, and my own internal battle is threatening.  But the words from Sunday have been coming back to me all week…”Do not be afraid or discouraged.”, “For I will be with you…”.  I am grateful for those words of reminder, because I needed to hear them this week.  When I choose to take my eyes off of the snow and the unknown and put them back on Jesus, the circumstances around me begin to fade and a peace, that can only be from God, comes and settles me down.  Is every day perfect & easy?  No!  Definitely not.  Like Joshua, I still have to face the battle, but I have this promise of God’s presence. And that really DOES make all the difference.

This Sunday is our ‘World Relief/Tearfund Canada Giving Sunday’.  I’m pleased to be able to share with you a little bit about what they do – and how we fit into that picture!  If you’d like to support them financially, please make your cheques out to ECCC & memo it ‘Tearfund’, and Andy will be happy to forward those on to them for you.

Looking forward to Sunday – no matter what the weather will be!  😉
Sunday School at 9:45am
Worship Service at 11:00am

See you then!

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What’s Your Next Step?

Have you been thinking about “What’s Your Next Step?”  What are the things that you’re going to get involved with this Autumn, to help you grow spiritually?  Here’s just a few suggestions, to get you thinking about the possibilities…

  • Attend Sunday school
  • Serve your community
  • Cook for youth nights
  • Invite a family over for dinner
  • Play an instrument
  • Pray
  • Lead a Small Group
  • Read your bible
  • Help with church maintenance
  • Visit & encourage the sick
  • Volunteer with youth
  • Get baptized
  • Visit the elderly & shut-in’s
  • Send encouragement cards
  • Become a member
  • Join a Small Group
  • Teach Sunday school
  • Mentor/Disciple someone
  • Attend a retreat
  • Help with Care Home services
  • Memorize scripture
  • __________________________

Take a look at this video, by our own Steve R., about folks using their gifts and willingness to serve where Jesus has called them.

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Weekly News-September 7

September has arrived, with it’s cool mornings and beautiful coloured leaves.  It’s a delight to the eyes, isn’t it?  Last Sunday, Pastor Randall asked us, “Where have we seen God’s glory?”.  It was great to hear all the different answers – so unique to each person and to their own experience.  That question has followed me into my week.  I’ve paused in the middle of a field, with the wheat swaying and the sun setting, acutely aware of God’s glory and provision around me.  One late evening, I looked up at the night sky and was completely blown away by the stars and the intricacy of the constellations, remembering that God knows EACH of those millions of stars by name!  In that quiet moment, it spoke volumes of God’s glory to me.  All of this has made me more aware of God’s presence with me – in each moment of every single day.  No matter what I am doing, He is with me, He loves me and He is continually showing me His glory.  The magnitude of that truth causes me to worship and adore Him, with gratitude and praise.

“Heaven is declaring God’s glory;
the sky is proclaiming his handiwork.”
Psalm 19:1 (CEB)

This Sunday begins our Autumn season – and we are excited about it!  🙂 . Start the day off with us at 9:45am for Sunday School.  Meet in the Sanctuary and we’ll have some songs and announcements before we break into our classes.  And remember – we have classes for ALL ages!  At 11:00am we’ll have our Worship service – songs, prayers and a message from God’s word.  And then after the service we’ll EAT – and fellowship together over a Potluck Lunch.  Bring a main dish and a salad or a dessert to share and we’ll have a delightful time in community over some delicious food.  (If you’re able, we’d love some help in the kitchen with set-up and clean up.) .

So you’re not going to want to miss this Sunday.  Gather your family and we look forward to seeing you all on Sunday.

Have a super weekend!

P.S.  Are you still thinking about “What’s Your Next Step?”.  We have a special video to share with you on Sunday about this.  🙂

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