Author Archive

The Forgotten Faith

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

Last night Jen and I were talking about clearing out some of Evangeline’s old toys she doesn’t play with, and I mentioned that we need to do it at some point where Evangeline isn’t around to see us throw out or donate some of her toys because, as most parents know, throwing out children’s toys while in their presence is an uphill battle. Then it struck me how similar this sentiment is to our faith at times. When we first meet our Savior, He becomes the most important thing in our life. We take Him everywhere, we wear Him on our sleeve, we want everyone to witness our most recent discovery. Yet as time goes one we tend to forget Him at home, or leave him at church to meet with once a week. Suddenly He’s completely forgotten about until we have a chance encounter in the attic while walking down memory lane through the things we’ve packed away on our lives.

I know its not a perfect analogy, the difference between a forgotten toy and our Faith is that toys are vulnerable to age and can be broken when played with too hard. True faith should only get stronger with age and interaction and it is eternal, as nothing on earth can weaken or undermine it, yet we still treat it like we treat a new toy. Despite the vast differences in value and longevity of the two items in comparison, they both so often experience the same fate in the long run, and only on occasion see the light of day. So why does our faith so often become relegated to the emotion of sentiment rather than an aspect of our life that should influence our every thought, decision and action? How does something that was at one point so pivotal and important become worthless for the majority of our lives, and how do we avoid it?

At the moment, Evangeline has one toy in particular that she can’t live without. Its a little stuff sheep she has named “Lamby” (original, I know), but how did Lamby become so important to her? Its not a flashy toy, its not particularly huge, its simply a toy that she always keeps close by and has had in her bed every night since she was an infant. So it has remained relevant to her because it has remained present daily. What about our faith? Has it remained an aspect of our life that we interact with daily? Are we in God’s Word each day strengthening our faith, putting action behind our words and beliefs?

Are we fellowshipping weekly with other believers who share our faith? The Bible tells us not to forsake the assembly of believers (Heb. 10:25), but why is that? What is it about being around other believers that is important to our faith? I think about the annual events all across the globe that attract enthusiasts and hobbyists alike such as Comic-Con or WorldCon. If these people who are enthusiastic about a particular topic didn’t have friends or groups with similar interests they could meet up with, discuss with and learn from, their zeal for their particular area of interest would, I’m sure, be much diminished. Again not a perfect analogy, as these conventions often celebrate the temporal and sometimes ridiculous, however, the zeal and enthusiasm is often alike.

These days we often hear about how our religious freedoms are being trampled on and how we’re losing our right to practice our faith openly, but honestly the majority of people who are complaining about it sound like children complaining about parents throwing out toys they don’t use. Why should anyone care that you are not allowed to share your faith openly at your workplace, if you never do it anyway? Why is it a travesty that what is being said in the pulpit might come under government scrutiny, when you rarely even darken the doors of your church? And yes these things do matter, they are serious, but unless our faith is actually an important aspect in our lives they are simply the rantings of a hypocrite. Hypocrisy is something that Christians are often accused of, and it is absolutely poisonous to our testimony.

Keep your faith relevant by building on it daily, engage your local support weekly at church with other believers and you will be amazed at how impossible it will be to live without your faith. You will also notice how many people will see how much a part of you, your faith is and the doors to sharing your greatest gift will open.

Saying Goodbye

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Granny Jean Lyttle. She went home to be with the Lord on Monday and the family are all gathering in the next few days to say goodbye to the matriarch of the Lyttle clan. Jean has walked with Christ for 40 years and now rests in the arms of the One who has been holding her so long. Please be in prayer for her children who faithfully cared and visited her these past many years through failing health and her time in the nursing home, and her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren who adored her. Though Granny is in a much better place and is happy, she still leaves an empty place in all of our hearts.

As a faithful prayer warrior she was constantly interceding on the behalf of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and also this ministry. Constantly writing letters, often visiting us overseas, looking after the boys and many times sending care packages with the taste of home, she always made sure to stay in touch and to let us know we were being thought about and prayed for. It is at times like these when we have to realize the extent of the calling to missions, and the things we have left behind in order to be faithful. As with the home-going of the previous 3 grandparents we were unable to be there at the moment of passing, each one coming very suddenly, causing us to try to make our way home to be with the remaining family members during the hard times, but still after the fact. We thank God that He will grant us peace during this hard time and ask that He will also be with the extended family as they too mourn.

Prayer Requests:

  • The Rev. Eric Stewart as he preaches the funeral
  • Traveling mercies for family overseas trying to get home from Australia, the Middle East, the USA and the rest of the British Isles
  • Comfort for family members
  • Openings into the hearts of those who have fallen away from the Lord, and those who have never wanted to hear

Complete Forgiveness!

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Easter is the time when I realize afresh just how much it cost God that I could be forgiven. He gave his only begotten Son, sent Him to die a terrible death, turned His back on Him, and allowed Him to suffer the deepest of agony and humiliation, that as undeserving sinners each one of us could be forgiven for all our sin. Not only the past but the future sins as well. Amazing!!!
Of course, we know now that Jesus did not stay dead, but that did not make His suffering any less or the shame of carrying my sin any easier for Jesus to bear. But again, it makes our lives so much better when we can know Jesus now and have a relationship with Him, even while still on this earth!! Again, amazing and awesome!!
Before Jesus could pay the price of our sins, He had to bear the shame and the weight of these sins even though He never committed them. Therefore, before we can know His complete forgiveness of our sins, we need to acknowledge that we have sinned. So often, this is not the case! When a person is asked if they want to accept Jesus, some people say they do without ever being convicted of the sins they have committed. I don”t believe it is possible to fully repent of sins that we haven”t even admitted to ourselves.
As a younger Christian, it used to puzzle me how it was that a drunkard or addict who was wonderfully saved, could turn so easily away from alcohol or drugs, yet someone who knew and understood their need to trust Jesus could still dabble in pornography or have trouble giving up smoking etc. But eventually, I understood that those who get saved from a deeply sinful life, know what they are, accept responsibility for all they”ve done, and realising the enormity of their sin, they lay it down gladly at His feet. They are indeed made into new creations when they accept His offer of salvation!
I also believe that is why, instead of living victorious Christian lives, so many of us live in fear, because of never having accepted responsibility for what we have done. We lose out on so much of what God has in store for us, so much of what He wants to bless us with and do through us, because we don”t acknowledge our guilt and wrongdoing, and asking Him to remove that sin from our lives forever. He has promised to do just that, to remove our sins far from us and has even chosen to remember them no more. Those of us who have been privileged to sit under the sound of the Gospel, in church and at home for most of our lives, need to realize that it was our sins that nailed Him to the tree, and even if there had only been our sins, Jesus would still have had to die the same death to save us!
I have met many believers who have fallen again into sin, but, who after a period of time come back and try to continue from where they left off. But the spark is missing! The joy of the Lord is clouded by fear of further wrong doing, as they seem to be still living in shame. Is it because the sin was dealt with too lightly, without them really accepting responsibility for their actions? Sin costs and sin leaves consequences behind. Jesus bears the scars of sin and the cross for eternity, not because He had to, but He chose to that we don”t have to. Accept responsibility, make things right with those who have been wronged, if possible, and then lay the sin down at His feet for ever. That way the joy will return and He will give beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for sadness.
One aspect of being completely forgiven is that we can also be forgiven by those we have wronged, but that is not possible if we don”t, up front, acknowledge our sin. As a believer, even if the other person doesn”t want to be forgiven or doesn”t realize the need for forgiveness, we are still required to forgive to keep us from bitterness, to enhance our maturity in Christ and deepen our relationship with God. Likewise, as the person who has done wrong, we are expected to go to the one wronged, and ask their forgiveness, before we can know complete freedom and once again experience the joy of the Lord and the fullness of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives.
What a cost it was for Christ to die, but what an undeserved Salvation we have because He was willing!!!! Because the debt was paid in full, we can have total freedom in this life, not waiting till we get to Heaven, but trusting in His paid penalty every day!!! Happy Easter!

Servant Leadership

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Today we decided to visit Blue Ridge Community Church, because its Fathers Day, and my Father-In-Law is involved in music at the church. While pulling into the parking lot we were guided into our space by a parking attendant in a bright yellow jacket and hat. Thinking to myself that this would be a miserable service to volunteer for in the 95 degree Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) weather, I got out of the car and looked up to notice that the man who had directed us to our spot was actually Woody, the senior pastor of the church. It took me by surprise at first, and then I thought he must be really dedicated to be working the parking lot and then planning on going to preach, what a committed guy! When we got inside and were seated for the service we found out that the senior pastor would not be speaking today, the message was going to be brought by someone else, and that struck me even deeper. This Sunday would have been Woody’s “day off” he didn’t have to preach, the responsibility for giving the message wasn’t on his shoulders so he could have just coasted through the day and enjoyed church, but instead he was sweating out in the parking lot with the rest. Then I realized that instead of taking his role of pastor and shepherd of the church as a “job” he viewed it as a service, and if he wasn’t going to be serving today in the pulpit, he was going to be serving elsewhere, wherever he was needed… even if it meant getting sweaty and dirty. How often have you seen your senior pastor directing traffic in order to help people get into church?

To me this spoke to me profoundly on this Fathers Day because it was a fantastic example of what a leader should be. Someone who takes his role as leadership role as an opportunity to serve, and as father’s we have that privilege daily. Its so easy to think that the weekend is our “days off” because we’ve spent all week working to provide for our family, but the weekend is a wonderful time to practice that servant leadership and to perform the duties that could be seen as menial or small (cleaning, cooking, etc…), but are necessary to keep the daily tasks manageable for the family as a whole. Thank you pastor Woody for the reminder and Happy Fathers Day!