Come out of The Closet

“But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven” Matthew 10:33.

We are in a time when nearly every day, the headlines talk about someone coming out of the closet regarding their sexual identity or some skeleton they had hidden. Things that were hidden for years are open for all to see and hear and many see this as a good thing.  

Unfortunately, too many Christians keep their Christianity in a small closet. They follow the old admonishment not to discuss religion or politics. The two things that shape a person’s life are not to be discussed. Jesus did not call us to be closet disciples. Indeed, He gives some stern warnings about denying Him. Jesus wants to be in our home, but He also told us to go into all the world with Him. Our faith was made to be made public because we are called to evangelize the world, and we cannot do that silently.

Admittedly, there have been times from the 1st century until now when it was not very advantageous to be publicly known as Christians. Indeed, Joseph of Arimathea was a closet believer until he came forward to claim the body of Christ. Peter denied he knew Jesus when things got sticky. The Disciples did hide until Pentecost. During the Inquisitions, it was not suitable to be known as a Christian that was not a Roman Catholic. In Nazi Germany, it was good to be a quiet Christian and certainly one that did not hide Jews. Being a Christian in communist countries from Stalin on was very treacherous. Christians in areas dominated by non-Christian faith groups live in a day-to-day brink of death mode. In Canada, it is certainly not popular to be an actual or biblical Christian that lives the faith. Nicole, warning people about Hell and Jesus being the only way to salvation will not get you invited to many places. Christ did not call us to a comfortable Christianity. In all those not so convenient times, God has called His people to stand up for Him and be ambassadors and witnesses. He saved them to share until He returns or calls them home. 

Joseph of Arimathea did come out in public. When filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter did repent and stood before thousands of people boldly preaching the Gospel. We are also called to fight the good fight, and you cannot do that by staying at home or denying the faith when it looks like it will not go well.

Christians, “let’s come out of the closet and share the good news”.  

Padre (Capt) Andrew Whitman (Executive)

Andrew is an army chaplain since 2015. Together with his wife, Nicole and their three daughters, he has served in Gagetown, New Brunswick with the Sappers (both at CFSME and 4 ESR), in Cold Lake, Alberta with 4 wing and now in Ottawa training for a position in ethics.  Andrew joined the Canadian Army in 1988 as an artillery officer, where he served 17 years including one battle group tour in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

The Lord opened Andrew’s heart at age 7, and he committed his life to Jesus and was baptized. He always wanted to be an ‘army man’, and even at 16, he prayed to God to bless the local army cadet corps and make it a ministry for him.  Andrew became involved with the MCF at Royal Military College, where they developed a small group ministry with 5-6 groups at a time. During this time, he was convicted, while reading Ezekiel 33, that God has appointed us to be watchmen for the military community. So, he sought to be a gospel trumpet by serving the artillery well – serving his commanders, his troops, and his peers – so as to honour Christ, and to be transparent with what he believes.  It was only much later that God called him into the chaplaincy.  As chaplain, Andrew’s goal is to empower many to be watchmen for the military community of Canada (and abroad).

The Shield – download PDF

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Lost & Found PT 3

And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the Temple.” Luke 2:43-46

Scripture tells us that Joseph and Mary went a day’s journey” without Jesus. They were separated from Him, did not see Him, and yet pushed on a whole day’s journey. It is what many are doing today. They lose Christ and go on their way; this is a severe mistake. The thing to do when we miss the Saviour is to stop everything until we find Him. After Joseph and Mary spent time looking for Jesus amongst those in the caravan, they realized what they had to do, “they turned back again seeking Him.” They went back to where they left Him. There is nothing else to do if we want to find Christ. If we go away from Him, we must return to Him.

TIPS to keep us from losing Jesus.

First, keep your eyes fixed steadily upon Him. Suppose Joseph and Mary had done this, then the separation which cost them such worry and pain would never have occurred. The thing to do is to allow no object to come between you and Christ. Keep your eyes on Jesus, not occasionally, but attentively and continually. It can be done, thank God, in the busiest life. 
 
Second, keep talking to Jesus. How are we going to lose Him if we remain in unbroken communion with Him? When we sense a silence in our soul, an uneasiness, this is a reason for alarm, and we should at once re-establish our divine connection. 
 
Third, get Christ as an indweller. Many of God’s people know him as a visitor, as one who comes and goes, visiting the heart and then leaving it. In these conscious absences, so much spiritual hurt occurs, and Satan gets in his work. This experience is spoken about in John 14, where Jesus says if we love Him and keep His commandments, He will come unto us and take up His abode with us. In a word, He will cease to be a visitor and become an indweller. 
 
Finally, keep claiming “the blood.” If the slightest shadow and spiritual trouble arises, if there has been any word spoken or act done that brings a feeling of unrest, then claim the blood that cleanses.  There is such a thing as staying under the blood all the time. The person who claims the blood will hardly lose Christ. 
 
Many thousands have lived the Christian life; more live it today, and countless millions have yet do so. Pray that we who have Christ today will never lose Him. It would be better to lose friends, the whole world, and life itself than give up Jesus. May we hold on to Him at every cost, and by doing so will be victorious both in this world and the world to come. 

Workplace Prayer Groups Leaders Networking Meeting

Get Connected – Get Inspired – Learn and Grow

June 2nd  – 12:00 – 1:00 pm EST

PLEASE JOIN US – REGISTER TODAY

Are you leading a workplace Christian prayer group, bible study or support group?

Or would you like to start one?

One Way Ministries Workplace Network is organizing a lunchtime networking event Tuesday, June 2nd bringing together Christian leaders from across Ottawa, different workplaces, denominations, and the public and private sectors.

Workplace Prayer Groups are groups who pray together, do a bible study together and/or share what is happening in their work and seek guidance from a Christian perspective. Members have enough in common, so they understand each other, can help each other and pray for one another and their workplace.

There are already several workplace prayer groups in both the private and public sectors operating in Ottawa. One Way Ministries Workplace Network’s heart is to see a multiplication of these groups and be a coordination point for those interested to join or start such a group.

Click here to register for the June 2nd session.

Help us build a stronger community of Christians living out their faith in the workplace by inviting a colleague or friend. It’s as easy as forwarding this email to them with a personal invite from you!

This virtual session is complimentary.

Lent Devotionals Week 3

Monday

CONFESSION: Psalm 38:6-9

READING: Mark 12:1-12

REFLECTION: (Medicine for the soul) Dwight L. Moody

The very medicine that we don’t like is the medicine that we ought to have, and the very truths that men object to, and that make them angry, are the truths that bring them to the cross of Christ. What we want is to preach Christ in season and out of season-

“Tell the old, old story, of unseen things above, of Jesus and His glory, and of Jesus and His love.”

Why, the stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. The very stone that they would not have was the very stone that God chose, and upon this stone He is building His Church now—upon the Rock of Ages. It is Christ, yes, Christ that men want, and then they will get sure food for eternity.

RESPONSE/CHALLENGE

Is there a time in your life when you found it convenient to reject Jesus? Perhaps you thought you could repent later. What brought you back to the gospel?

KING OF MY LIFE

The story of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem is found in the Gospel of Matthew 21: 1-9. It tells us how he sent two of his disciples to a village to get a donkey with a colt beside it. He told them to bring them because he wanted to ride the donkey on his way to Jerusalem. 


But why a donkey? 

In the ancient biblical era, a leader rode on a horse if he was coming in war and a donkey to signify peace. When we read of horses in the Bible, they are almost always connected to kings and war, while donkeys are associated with ordinary people. The donkey was used in the people’s livelihood, agriculture as well as trade.  He used the donkey to connect with the people. Life was also not easy for a Jew living under Roman rule in the 1st century and even more challenging for the poor. But Jesus embraced the poor and sick people during his time here on earth. Jesus made his triumphant entry while riding a symbol of peace. His choice of a donkey instead of a horse was God’s way of saying that he came as a king who will serve and save the oppressed.

Jesus’ choice of ride is a fulfillment of the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9, 

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!  Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!

See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

When he rode a donkey into Jerusalem, it was victorious because he did it without bloodshed on the people’s side.

Roman generals entered their conquered cities in chariots drawn by white horses. The horse’s white colour represented purity or victory.  

Jesus is returning.

However, this time He will be riding a fiery white charger, bringing judgment, just as He had promised. Revelation 19:11 states, “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war”.

The rider, Jesus, will go forth to be the triumphant conqueror victorious over Christ’s enemies.

As we draw closer to Easter, we must remember there is salvation, and there will be a judgement. Although all those we know will stand alone before God, the King of Kings has invited us to join Him now and share the message of victory. Please don’t let this season pass without asking someone to hear God’s redemptive story. 

Praying with Scripture

During Lent we are using different scripture to reflect on Jesus, the cross and His resurrection. This would be an opportune time to use the practice known as Lectio Divina (divine reading) to gain more insight into what the scripture is saying to you. Below are steps of the practice.
Set aside time, and a place with no distractions.



“LECTIO DIVINA”

  1. Choose a scripture text for your meditation.
  1. Place yourself in a comfortable position.  Allow yourself to become still and silent inside.  Be aware of God’s presence within you and all around you.  With the eyes of your heart, take a moment and ‘look at God looking at you’.
  1. Now turn to the text you have chosen and read it slowly, gently.  Savour each portion of the reading, attentively listening for the “still, small voice” of God in a word or phrase that somehow seems to say, “Stop, listen…here I am…this is for your today.
  1. Allow yourself to be drawn more deeply into God’s presence and love through the word or phrase you have chosen; take the word or phrase into yourself by slowly repeating it to yourself.  Allow it to interact with your inner world of concerns, memories, and ideas.  Do not be afraid that the memories or thoughts that come are distractions.  They are simply parts of yourself which, when they rise during lectio divina, are asking to be given to God along with the rest of your inner self.
  1. Then, respond to God in your own way.  Allow this inner pondering with God to lead you into a deeper relationship with the One who knows you and is with you.  Whether you use words or ideas or images or all three is not important.  Just interact with God as you would with someone who knows and loves you deeply.  Give to God what you have discovered in yourself during your experience of meditating on this word or phrase.
  1. Then, let go and simply rest in God’s embrace…let the words and images go.  Rejoice in the knowledge that God is with you in both words and silence, in spiritual activity and inner receptivity.
  1. You may come to a point where you are ready to move on to another word or phrase.  You may proceed as in #2 above or else you may systemically ruminate on the text phrase by phrase.
  1. When you are ready to end your prayer, thank God for this time and conclude with an Our Father or some other favourite prayer.

Thank You – Giving Tuesday

I asked you to consider supporting the MCF this past Giving Tuesday. You responded generously. Thank you.

I am aware that to give of your finances is a sacrifice. It is a decision to choose between many, many options where best to contribute, to invest the monies that you depend on for your daily needs.  I am humbled by the trust that you place in the MCF and I am encouraged that God is with us.  So, I have one more request, please pray, please intercede on behalf of the military community, on behalf of the mission that has been given to the MCF.  Please.

Many of you are very aware of Jesus parable in Luke 11:5-10 in which He taught us to pray with unrelenting persistence. Such prayer honours God.  Such prayer pleases God. Such prayer moves God. So, please pray so that God may be honoured, so that He may be pleased, so that His Spirit moves amongst military community members, so that His Spirit empowers the workers as they share the good news.


One more thank you.

Last week I told you about Innercity Veteran Outreach & Support (IVOS) which is a ministry of Ottawa Innercity Ministries. Some of you responded with your offers of financial support. You have blessed those involved in the ministry.  They are both encouraged and increasingly determined to continue the good work that they have been called to do.  I visited with them again this past Wednesday and I could see that they were grateful for your expressions of support.  Thank you.

Brothers and sisters may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen (2 Cor 13:14).

Gerry Potter
Colonel (Retired)
President MCF of Canada

Through eyes of love

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!
I have overcome the world.”
 John 16:33



There is something special about the way many grandparents view the world, especially where grandchildren are involved.  They ignore faults and overlook shortfalls. They see something in them that many may miss. These grandparents see the world differently, not because they are naïve, but because they see these things in them with a grandparent’s love. We must view the world around us with loving eyes; otherwise, we can miss reaching out to those who need Jesus.

Have you asked God to assist you to see our world differently? The world where our family, friends, neighbours, and even strangers, we pass daily on the street live.  All of humanity is created in God’s image. But, since the first created humans started to explore God’s goodness, the evil one proudly sought to distort God’s purpose for us, and our image became corrupted. In God’s world, He wants us to leave judgement to Him and have us focus on telling our world what He has done for us. He created this world to sustain us and allows us to live in it, but He does not want to treat His creation as our realm, stepping over each other to get what we desire at the expense of another.

Satan’s forces have played havoc with this world since the garden. In 2020 we have centuries of experience passed on from generation to generation that causes us to see the world through selfish eyes. We need God’s help to see the world as He does. God does want us to look at each other with the greeting card Valentine’s Day, emotional, passionate type of love, but mostly with love based on honour and respect. If we desire to see the world as He does, we need to ask. When we ask God, He will change our prayers. We will find ourselves praying in partnership with the Holy Spirit. We will see that when we talk with God about our role in His world, He will make His purpose for our lives clearer. Nicole, next time you pray, ask God to let you see the world with “grandparent” eyes.

May God allow and help us to change.