Celebrating Christmas at Northview

I’m driving around Abbotsford being serenaded by songs from “The Grinch” these days. My two youngest children are in the upcoming Abbotsford Children’s Theater production – The Grinch Project – and are frantically trying to remember if they are trimming their trees with “Whoo-Floo-Fluff” or “Bizzle Binks” and “Goo-Whoo Gums”.   Gotta love Dr. Suess’s version of English :-)

Yes, Christmas is approaching, and we have some unique opportunities to celebrate the season of Christ’s birth here in Abbotsford.  Let me share a few with you…

Supporting the Cyrus Centre.

At Oasis last week, we collected donations for over 50 gift bags for at-risk teenagers – clients of the Cyrus Centre.   Each bag contained a pair of pajamas, socks, gift cards and toiletries. They were beautifully packaged in handmade drawstring Christmas bags!  So fun :-)

We will also be supporting the Cyrus Centre through our annual Christmas Home Tour!

Invite some friends and join us this Sunday December 2nd from 1:00 – 6:00 pm  for a self-guided tour through 8 homes, ready for Christmas.

Tickets are $10 each, and all proceeds from this event benefit the Cyrus Centre. Click on the link above to purchase tickets on-line, and for more information.

Tickets are also available at Northview Church during the week (8:00 am to 4:30 pm), and at Glenda’s Christmas Cottage.

Northview’s Christmas Drama: The Missing Piece.

This one-act play is family-friendly and promises to be fun, entertaining, and thought-provoking for all.  It is designed for you to bring your non-Christian friends and family so you can engage in some gospel conversations after viewing the play.  Set in the 1920’s, you will be the guests at a music club and watch a Christmas story, mixed with a little mystery, unfold before your eyes!  Come enjoy the drama, music, and story of what Christmas is all about!

Visit our website for scheduling and ticket information.

Northview’s Children’s Production – The Secret of Snowflake County  which will be presented during weekend services on December 15 and 16.

Christmas Meals will be served by a variety of different agencies in Abbotsford.  If you would like to volunteer at or participate in one of them, you can check out the info here.

Christmas Eve Serviceswill be held on December 24 at the following times and locations:

Worship Center:  2:00, 3:30, 5:00, 6:30

Center Court: 2:00, 3:30, 5:00 pm

I (Kristal), and all the other Nothview Pastors will be at all the services.

We are looking forward to greeting as many of you as possible.

Wishing you peace and joy as you enter the month of December

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”  (Isaiah 9:6)

Kristal Toews

Pastor of Women


Walking Humbly – Chosen That You May Proclaim -Moses

In my opinion, Moses is one of the most intriguing characters of the Old Testament.  He is chosen by God to be the spiritual, political, and military leader for approximately 2 million Israelites for over 40 years and yet he isn’t remembered for his ability to organize or plan strategy.  Instead, Moses is honored for two things: his humility, and his uniquely warm, personal relationship with God.

In the book of Numbers we are told that  “Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3).  Exodus recounts, “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.” (Exodus 33:11)

How many leaders with this sort of impact and responsibility are known for these two characteristics?  When Moses died, the biblical record concludes, “Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.” (Deuteronomy 34:10).  Wow.

What did Moses know about God that shaped his character? Allow me to propose two ideas based on statements that Moses proclaimed.

#1 – He had a deep understanding that he and his people were sustained, protected, and delivered by God alone.

When the Israelites are stuck between the Red Sea and an approaching Egyptian army, they cry out in panic. Moses points them towards their only source of deliverance and answers them, saying, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today.  The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only be still.” (Exodus 14:13-14)

This situation occurs near the beginning of his tenure as their leader, but Moses’ attitude remains the same for 40 years. Each time he faces opposition from within his camp or from outside, his first response is to bring the issue before God, asking Him for solution and deliverance.

#2 – He had experienced God’s presence, and valued it above everything else.

 After the Israelites worship the golden calf, God says to Moses, ““Leave this place… go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob… I will send an angel before you… But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.” (Exodus 33:1-3)

 Moses pleads with God, and asks him to reconsider, saying, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.”  (Exodus 33:15)

God offers them material and physical blessing but threatens to depart from their midst.  Moses immediately rejects this offer, and asks God to allow him and his people to stay in the wilderness in His presence, rather than to experience the pleasures of this world without Him.

And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” (Exodus 33:17)

He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

Blessing on you today,


Kristal Toews

Pastor of Women




Chosen That You May Proclaim – Joseph

We are in the midst of a devotional series entitled “Chosen that You May Proclaim” based on 1 Peter 2:9, which affirms that we are chosen by God so that we can proclaim His excellencies.

Our journey through the Old Testament stops at the story of Joesph today.  If you want to experience it for yourself, settle down with a coffee on your couch and spend some time in Genesis 37 – 50;  it is a great read!  Even if you aren’t very familiar with the Bible, you probably know all about Joseph – his coat of many colors, family jealousy, prophetic dreams, being sold as a slave,  experiencing God’s hand of blessing in Egypt only to be falsely accused and thrown into prison where he eventually comes to the notice of Pharoah, interprets a dream, becomes Prime Minister of Egypt and is later reunited with his family.  Joseph is frequently quoted for his comments on God’s sovereignty in the midst of life’s trials (Genesis 45:7, 50:18-20) but I want to focus on another quietly confident statement today.

In Genesis 41, he is “quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharoah.  Pharoah said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it.  But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” “ I cannot do it,”Joseph replied to Pharoah, “but God will give Pharoah the answer he desires.” (v 14-16)

This statement makes me wonder a few things…


  1. Would I confidently proclaim my trust in God’s character and power in front of an unbelieving audience?  Pharoah didn’t believe in the God of Israel AND likely considered himself to be a god.  If I was in Joseph’s place, wouldn’t I have been tempted to keep God’s name out of the discussion, and simply pray quietly for His wisdom? 
  2. Would I confidently proclaim my trust in God’s abilities BEFORE He acted?  Joseph is making this statement to Pharoah before he has heard Pharoah’s dreams, and before God has given Joseph the interpretation.  God is always true to His character.  Joseph knows God well enough to know what God will do, even before God does it.  Do I know God that well?
  3. Would I be as quick as Joseph to deflect praise from myself to God?  It’s always tempting to take the glory for ourselves, isn’t it?  Joseph (and many other biblical characters) never did.

 Joseph’s confident statement allows God’s glory to be revealed. Because of it, Pharoah comes to recognize the spiritual reality behind this experience and asks his advisors, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?” (Genesis 41:38)

People observing my life may consider me a “good person”.  I wonder, however, if they say, “in her is the Spirit of God?”

How will they know this if I don’t tell them that it is God who gives me strength and purpose?

Lord, help me to develop the courage of Joseph, so that You get all the glory.  Amen.

Kristal Toews

Pastor of Women

Chosen That You May Proclaim – Jacob

If you come across Jacob’s story in the Old Testament, you may wonder why he was chosen by God.  He was born grasping his twin brother’s heel (Genesis 25:26) and later grabbed more: “purchasing” Esau’s birthright, and then later stealing his blessing.   By the time you read of Jacob fleeing to escape Esau’s retribution (Genesis 27:41-46), you may be tempted to write him off; he is a  “rotten scoundrel“.  God transforms lives, however, and Jacob is no exception.

When he lived at home there is no indication that Jacob knew God personally. As he ventures into the unknown, however, God begins to work.  He appears to Jacob in a dream.  “Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” (Genesis 28:16).

“Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.”  (Genesis 28:20-22).

So begins Jacob’s journey with God.  Do you hear a note of entitlement in his tone?  Allow me to paraphrase: “Surely the Lord is here and IF he does what I want him to do, I will allow Him to be my God, I will worship him and I will tithe.  IF God plays by my rules I will follow Him.”

Jacob travels on to his uncle’s home where he experiences the negative fallout of manipulation.  He is tricked into marrying the sister of his betrothed and is later used as a pawn in the tug of war between wives vying for his attention, his love and his children (Gen 29-30).  By the time he returns home 20 years later, (Genesis 31:38), Jacob is older and wiser, and has learned to proclaim a few things about God.

#1 – God is sovereign over our family circumstances: “Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” (Genesis 30:2)

#2 – God is sovereign over the success of our work although others may seek our harm:  “I see that your father does not regard me with favor as he did before. But the God of my father has been with me. You know that I have served your father with all my strength, yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times. But God did not permit him to harm me. (Genesis 31:5-7)

#3 – God protects those whose lives are entrusted to him: If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God saw my affliction and the labor of my hands and rebuked you last night.” (Genesis 31:42)

#4 – God’s favor is an outrageously generous gift.  We are not entitled to it: “And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps.” (Genesis 32:9-10)

#5 – God is worthy of our worship:  “let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.” (Genesis 35:3)

As Jacob ends his life, blessing his sons and grandsons, he reflects on his journey in these words:  God … has been my shepherd all my life long to this day (Genesis 48:15)

May we proclaim the same.

Blessings on you today,

Kristal Toews

Pastor of Women