Knowing God

In his introduction to Knowing God, JI Packer writes:  “Knowing about God is crucially important for the living of our lives. As it would be cruel to an Amazonian tribesman to fly him to London, put him down without any explanation in Trafalgar Square and leave him, as one who knew nothing of English or England, to fend for himself, so we are cruel to ourselves if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God whose world it is and who runs it.  The world becomes a strange, mad, painful place, and life in it a disappointing and unpleasant business, for those who do not know about God. Disregard the study of God and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfold, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you.  This way you can waste your life and lose your soul” (pg. 14).

Have you ever felt that the world is a strange, mad & painful place, and that life is a disappointing and unpleasant business?  If so, has it ever occurred to you that knowing God may be the solution?

I can attest to this.  In a particularly difficult time when I felt plagued by panic and fear, there were no to-do lists or plans of action that could keep my emotions at bay.  I finally determined that, each time I felt my stress rise, I would force myself to sit down with the Bible for 15 minutes and read – stories about God’s care for people and passages which highlighted His absolute power and sovereignty.   At the beginning, I was on that couch every hour or two :).  As time went by, I was able to cope longer.  Knowing God better brought me the peace and strength that I needed to weather the storm.

Because of this experience, I am committed to teaching others to know God through His word.  I am convinced that the better you know Him:  His priorities, His plan, His ways and His nature, the better you will be able to navigate your own life.

To that end, Northview Women is beginning an “Overview of the Bible” study in September.  Over 27 weeks we will work through a birds-eye view of the Biblical story from Genesis to Revelation. Studies will highlight the broad strokes of God’s plan, how it unfolded through history, and how people’s lives were transformed as they encountered Him.  We would love for you to join in.

The first session will be on Wednesday, September 11th at 9:15 am.  We aim to finish the first 14 weeks this Fall, and the final 13 weeks in the Fall of 2014.  If you are interested in taking this course, but cannot participate on Wednesday mornings, please email me ( and I will see what we can arrange, depending on the number of people interested.

 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spiritof wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.  I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:17-19)


Kristal Toews

Pastor of Women

Perfect People or a Perfect God?

I was a bit startled as I left a meeting this week.  When I walked into the office, the person I was consulting mentioned that he knew who I was; he had seen me leading services at Northview.  I’m getting used to that comment, so it didn’t really surprise me.  When I left, however, he said, “It was nice to meet you, and to realize that the people on stage are real people too.”  That statement made me pause.

On one hand, I can understand his perspective.  When we see people participating in public ministry, I think its natural to wonder if they are subject to the same frustrations and temptations and failures as we are.  At the same time, it is my sincere hope that people just assume this to be true, because I know how imperfect I am, and because the Bible and the whole Christian faith isn’t about “perfect people” but rather a perfect God.

What I so love about God’s word is that there are no celebrity leaders in its pages.   While people are used powerfully by God, they are consistently portrayed as real people with real problems on a real journey.   Stories record heartache, doubt, questions, and failures and God’s faithfulness in the midst of it all.  The Bible highlights the glory of God and, amazingly, God’s grace becomes all the more beautiful and astounding when contrasted with our human weakness. God “knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust” (Psalms 103:14) and yet He loves us, and seeks relationship with us anyway. Wow.

The LORD is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
Nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
Nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is his steadfast love towards those who fear him;
As far as the east is from the west,
So far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
So the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.
(Psalm 103:8-14)

May our lives bring all glory to Him,


Kristal Toews
Pastor of Women