THROUGH THE MEADOWS
THROUGH THE MEADOWS
BEING TRANSFORMED into the image of the SON OF GOD,
in the FAMILY OF GOD, on the MISSION OF GOD.
Be encouraged by reading reflections on God's Word written by a variety of people from The Meadows Church family. Our hope is that this may strengthen you in your faith as we use the Bible to point each other to Jesus. May God's Word direct you to the Word of God.
"He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers."
- Psalm 1:3
Living as a Local Missionary
January 23rd, 2023
"Love your neighbour as yourself" is our God-given purpose; a duty enlisted in the Christian Job Description.
Loving entails shining light on the truth (in this case- the Gospel). Is it easy? No, it isn't.
One obstacle is our unwillingness and our passive Christian lifestyle. Then there is also the fact that not everyone knows how to start a conversation and build on it. It makes it hard and awkward to share the Gospel. I'm one of these. I want to get out of my passive Christian lifestyle and live an active one. I want to live as a missionary in my neighbourhood.
I recently discovered an easy way to start new dialogues and build on them. It eliminates the pressures of conversation and helps me form new relationships without hesitating.
Here's an easy-to-remember framework - F.O.R.M.
Message (you want to share)
It has a nice and easy flow that allows anyone to get to the Gospel quickly without making you or your neighbour feel uneasy. The key is to keep it conversational and genuine.
Refer to the questions below. Feel free to paraphrase these or think of new open-ended questions that help your neighbours open up.
Have you always lived in Mississauga (or the city they are in)?
Who else lives with you?
Where do you work?
What's your profession?
Do you work from home or the office? (This is a good conversation opener)
What do you like about it (working from the office or home)?
How do you spend your weekends?
Are you an outdoor person or an indoor person?
What do you like about it?
Oh, that (sport or book) is not something I am familiar with - what's exciting about it?
Here's the key: Listen without interrupting. Not to respond or share your agenda, but listen with genuine curiosity.
M is for the Message
As you listen to them, you will learn about them. You will find an area in their lives that the Gospel can address. This is where you can help them overcome the challenge they have been facing with Jesus.
I strongly recommend the book “Gospel Fluency” to learn how to share the Gospel effectively. However, I hope this little advice is a good beginning to your journey of living as a missionary today.
Remember, your neighbour is just as significant to God as you are. Know them well and then share how the Gospel blessed YOU and could bless them once they receive it.
Your Lens Changes Your View
October 30th, 2022
How has your worldview been lately?
The view from my balcony is nothing short of glorious, especially during Fall. The expanse of panorama goes far beyond the Credit River, right up to CN Tower in Toronto Downtown. Decorated with a delightful and brilliant mosaic of colours; Crimson, Orange, and Yellow trees. Dry leaves blow all over the intersection, busy with speeding cars. The echoing mixture of crimson and yellow leaves floats playfully in the gentle, chilly breeze, adding a calming liveliness to the bright sunshine.
On this past Saturday morning at 7.31 AM, the view seemed unappealing and dull. However, it was the window, opaque and foggy. Fingerprints covered the glass all over. I neglected to clean it and it was my neglect that toned down the beauty of the view I was used to.
I have encountered neglect before.
Neglecting reading God's word because I must first focus on household chores in the morning. As a result, without biblical lenses, my worldview gets clouded and judgments fogged. Even the tiniest of issues cause anxiety. I feel less grateful and definitely complain more. The effect often snowballs into troubled relationships and stress at work. Neglecting God bears the fruits like worry, anxiety, and disillusionment.
I now try to first read the Bible before starting my chores, even if it is just a verse. Meditating on the Bible first thing in the morning clears the view for me. It gives me the lenses of gratitude and peace to see through the daily turmoils of the world and the events of my life. It reminds me of the Gospel belief that I carry with me at all times, at home and at work.
Days like these often result in a clearer, more appealing view of the vibrant world and the events around me. It helps me live the fruit of the Spirit, peace, joy, happiness, and love even when circumstances around me suggest otherwise.
How has your worldview been lately?
Do you put on your biblical lenses first thing every day?
STRENGTH IN STILLNESS
April 12th, 2022
There has never been a better time to meditate on Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Knowing how life is, there is a chance that you or someone you love is going through a situation that has turned life upside down. These are the battles we just can’t win. The variables of the situation aren’t in our control.
The devastating power of some of these situations can wreck the soul. It’s easy in these times to just give up. So what do we do? Where do we find refuge and comfort?
Psalm 46:1-2 is a good reminder that God is our refuge.
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea."
Any time I had my back against the wall, Psalm 46 reminded me that I am protected. In those times, when I had limited to no options to act with, it assured me to count on His grace and protection.
Psalm 46:10 reminds me of another option that I should exercise; hand it over to God. It advises me to be “still.” This helps me accept reality with grace and restores peace.
At the same time, the word “still” reminds me of Jesus’ awesomeness that Peter, James, and John experienced during their trip up the mountain, another time when Moses met God on Mount Sinai. They all were stunned and as I would imagine, we're still in God’s presence, in awe of his awesomeness.
No matter what the expanse or depth of the situation is, it is no match for God’s power.
February 10th, 2022
Every time we come back from shopping for groceries, my son helps with carrying the bags.
His aim is to be generous. He will lift up as much as he can in his powerful 9-year-old hands, to help lighten our load as a family.
On one occasion, after walking a few steps away from the car’s trunk, he stopped. He felt that his burden was more than he could carry. At that point, I exchanged his heavy bags for a lighter one. Then continued inside.
You see, our lives are like that too.
We walk daily through the routines God has set for us. More often than not, we trust in our abilities, our strength, our decisions, and get stalled. In many such situations, self-confidence dwindles, and we question ourselves - “Why am I doing the things that I do?”
This is a struggle we all go through. However, this is nothing new. As Romans 7:15 points out, we will continually forget that God is there with us.
So how can we manage to push on? Talk to Christ. Talk about your burdens, your struggles. Hand it over.
He says His yoke is easy. You get to exchange your brokenness for rest and peace (Matthew 11: 25-30). He is the one who is really carrying in the heavy groceries.
Not a bad offer. It is one I need to accept every day.
If you want to see exactly how this works, I encourage you to read 1 Timothy 1:12-17.
REGRET VS REPENTANCE
January 26th, 2022
What advice would you give to your 18 year old self?
There is a possibility that you have at least one piece of advice for your younger self: maybe to NOT, or to do something. In either case, possibly the advice is coming out of regret.
The Bible talks about regrets - but focuses more on repentance.
Regret along with changed actions is important to God. God loves a repentant heart that believes in Christ (Mark 1:15). He also alerts us to produce fruit consistent with our repentance (Matthew 3:8).
In fact, the Bible points out that regret without actions can make us miserable. It has the tendency to linger on our minds (as sin) - bother us, make us weak and depressed (Psalm 32:3-4). However, confessing (Psalm 32:5) and complementing our actions with our regret gets us back in the right relationship with God (Luke 15:20-22).
So if you feel overwhelmed by a regret from the past - talk to Christ, ask for His forgiveness. Don’t let it overwhelm you. But, also remember to compliment regret with actions - God loves a repentant heart that believes in Christ.
FAITH OVER FEAR
August 16th, 2021
We all face challenges - some through the circumstances and others through the people around us. Recently, a challenge that I have been facing for quite some time caused me to be worried and anxious; costing me peace and joy.
As I went through the day asking God if He still cared for me, I thought through Mark 4:35-41. It was there that Jesus reminded me of what I needed at the time - faith (in Him) over fear.
In the story, as Jesus leads the disciples “to the other side” of the waters, they face a storm. Upon being woken up by the disciples, Jesus calms the storm with His word. Amidst all of this, He questions the terrified disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Worrying and anxiety are Satan’s deception, causing us to believe that GOD is not with us. But even through our most frightful circumstances, He is with us, leading us “to the other side.”
After all, He has promised to never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6-8).