Malmo News

Praying with scripture (resource for individuals and families)

There is a whole lot of devotional material available. You may have your own preference for that stuff or maybe you’re overwhelmed by all the options and don’t know where to begin. I’d like to highlight one unique resource that I have found very helpful in my walk with God. It’s called Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible Through the Year.

This book has one entry for every day of the year, beginning with Advent. Each day includes a couple of short scripture readings for reflection and prayer, and/or conversation with your spouse or children, some suggestions for “free prayer”, and a closing prayer and benediction. It’s simple and reflective.

There are two things I especially like about this resource:

  1. It puts very little in between you, God, and his word to us. It’s just you, scripture, and a few prayer suggestions.
  2. It’s simple: everything you need for a given day’s prayer and reflection can be found and read on that day’s entry. There’s no flipping between pages or reaching for your Bible to find the passages for the day.

This is a resource that could work for individuals or families and would serve this purpose for many years. Malmo gives this book to its high school grads as a gift to encourage ongoing conversation with God. It might be too late for you to acquire this before Advent begins, but you can start any time. Consider getting it for yourself or your family for Christmas!**

Here are a couple of places you can find it: Wisemen’s Way // Chapters/Indigo // Amazon.ca.

(Compact edition [smaller size, otherwise identical]: Wisemen’s Way // Amazon.ca)

**Pastor Marc has a copy of his own. You’re welcome to have a look at it. Just ask!

 

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Weekly News-November 16

Here’s something different to read this morning – a very ‘down-to-earth’ paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer, by Shannan Martin from her book The Ministry of Ordinary Places. 

God your name is holy,
You’re in charge of the whole world and heaven.
You give us all we need for today.
You show us grace and ask us to do the same for others, even when it’s hard.
Help us not to be chewed up by the world.  Be our protection against evil.
Everything we see and know, all that we are belongs to you.
You alone have power.  You get the credit for everything, and it is good.
Amen.


It’s starting to feel like we are entering the Christmas season.  Lots to do and see and events to attend.  Take a look at your bulletin for both Malmo and Community events that are coming up.  There’s quite the variety to choose from!

This Sunday is our Covenant Bay Bible Camp Giving Sunday.  Jon Drebert will be with us – sharing about what’s happening at Camp, as well as giving the morning message.  (If you would like to financially support the Camp, please make your cheques payable to ‘Covenant Bay Bible Camp’).

See you Sunday – 9:45am for Sunday School and 11:00am for our Worship service.

Have a great weekend & stay safe on those roads!
Delora

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Weekly News-November 9

We heard a good word from our Conference Superintendent, Glenn Peterson last Sunday about ‘faithfulness’.  He encouraged us to open our eyes to SEE the expressions of faithfulness that are all around us – here in our community and in the field of Malmo where we worship.  And he’s right!  How often do we miss ‘seeing’ what God is doing because it becomes common to us –  or worse yet, we become complacent and forget to be thankful for His faithfulness to us?

One of the other things that Glenn said was… “You have been put with a purpose to be faithful to what God has called, gifted, empowered and enabled you to do.  Be true to who you are, to who God is, and to what He has invited you to do.”   This word is for ALL of us.  God has given each of us a purpose to be faithful IN and WHEREVER He has placed us.  This really is the bedrock of our “what’s next” program…discerning and accepting the gifts that God has given us, stepping into them and watching God continue to be faithful in and through us here at Malmo.

“Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.”
~Lamentations 3:21-23


Tomorrow (Saturday) from 5:00 to 8:00pm, there is a Youth Pool Party at the Manluk Centre in Wetaskiwin.  The cost is $12 and it includes pizza, pop and swimming.

A reminder to bring your filled Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes to church this Sunday.  During the service we’ll be sending them off with our love and prayers.  (A big thank you to Charlene for organizing this once again this year!)

Looking forward to Sunday.  See you at 9:45am for Sunday School and 11:00am for our morning Worship service.

Have a great weekend!
Delora

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Weekly News-November 2

It’s the weekend to catch up on your sleep…as we get that extra hour of sleep back that we lost in Spring!  So please remember to turn your clocks BACK ONE HOUR on Saturday evening.  (And if you forget, you’ll be here nice and early for Sunday School – so go ahead and please start the coffee.  😉

This Sunday we have our Canada Conference Superintendent, Glenn Peterson with us.  We’re looking forward to hearing from him – both about the work that’s going on in the Conference, as well as a message from God’s word.  We’ll also be lead to the Lord’s Table by Pastor Marc as we celebrate Holy Communion together.

Looking forward to Sunday.  Stay warm & safe out there as I hear the roads are a bit slick!

Take care,
Delora

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Weekly News-October 26

It’s been quite a season for the farming community.  I’ve heard that a number of you have now completed the harvest (or are very close to completing it) – and we, here in the office, are rejoicing with you and thanking God for His mercies, care and grace!

Being a farmer myself, I understand the complete joy with finishing the harvest and the complete exhaustion you feel when the adrenaline starts to slip away.  And I know this isn’t just common to farmers – many of you are going through your own seasons of struggle and stress.  Can I share a very familiar Psalm 23 with you?  I know that many of you know it by heart, but take a slow reading of it in the Common English Bible version.  It’s so beautifully worded and is a good reminder that it’s God who cares for us and gives us all things – including the rest and peace that is needed after such an intense season.

“The Lord is my shepherd.
I lack nothing.
He lets me rest in grassy meadows;
he leads me to restful waters;
he keeps me alive.
He guides me in proper paths
for the sake of his good name.

Even when I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger because you are with me.
Your rod and your staff—
they protect me.

You set a table for me
right in front of my enemies.
You bathe my head in oil;
my cup is so full it spills over!
Yes, goodness and faithful love
will pursue me all the days of my life,
and I will live in the Lord’s house
as long as I live.”


This past Tuesday, was our Fall Congregational meeting.  We had a great turnout and excellent conversation.  Thank you to all of you who were able to attend!  One of the items that we dealt with was updating our bylaws.  We have printed booklets of the updated Constitution/Bylaws available for you on the Malmo Info table in the foyer.  If you’d like a digital copy, please contact me in the office.

This Sunday we’ll have some special guests with us during the 11:00am Worship Service.  Community members, Todd & Bekki Johnson and their girls will be sharing during the service about their call to missions in Albania.  We’re looking forward to hearing their story.  We’re also excited about welcoming a new member to Malmo during the service!  So it’s going to be a full but lovely Worship service.  We hope that you can join us!

Have a great weekend.  See you Sunday!
Delora

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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!
Delora

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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.
Delora

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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!
Delora

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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)
Delora

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