Some fun projects next week!

Are you interested in joining in some fun Fall projects with other Northview women? Here are two opportunities for you to get involved and serve:

Dresses for Jaja Barb’s Home for Angels

Can you design, cut, fold, iron or did you have a passing grade in home economics? Join in on October 29, 2014 from 3:30-5:30 pm at MEI Secondary to help make simple dresses for girls in Jaja Barb’s Home for Angels in Uganda! RSVP to mclkdrb@gmail.com by October 27.Pillowcase Dress Girl
Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Packing Party

Join us for an OCC Shoebox Packing Party on October 30, 2014 in the Atrium. Drop in anytime between 3:00-5:00 pm. Open to all ages! Hot chocolate and cookies will be provided! Please bring your supplies for however many shoeboxes you intend to pack and the $7 needed for shipping for each of your shoeboxes. If you are unable to attend but are interested in donating items or money to go towards the OCC shoeboxes, please let us know. RSVP to sterling@northview.org

Shoebox Stack

Christmas: A Solution for Rebellion

We all have different tactics for dealing with rebellious, angry people.  Some of us try desperately to change people’s behaviours and thoughts, and others pray desperately for God to do this.  What should be our approach?  I’ll explore both below:

Option #1 – Our efforts:

After 12 years of leading the Israelites, Nehemiah was at his wit’s end.  Witnessing their disobedience, he admitted, “I rebuked them and called curses down on them.  I beat some of the men and pulled out their hair.  I made them take an oath in God’s name…” (Nehemiah 13:25)  Ouch! He was mad!

Nehemiah had invested years attempting to reform the Israelites.  He travelled to Jerusalem to help them rebuild the city walls, and fend off attackers.  He lead them in a ceremony of confession and restoration of their vows before God and, after all this was completed, returned to his job in Susa.  When he came back for a visit, he found that all the reforms he instituted had fallen apart;  the temple was neglected, the sabbath was being desecrated, people were intermarrying with foreigners and he was beside himself with frustration. Despite his best efforts, he simply could not “make them” behave because their hearts were not inclined towards obedience.

Option #2 – God’s efforts

Throughout the entire Old Testament, we read of God’s faithfulness and human fickleness.  Time after time, people pledge their allegiance to God and then fall.  Eventually, God unveils His solution to our disobedience.  Ezekiel 36 records this promise:  “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you;  I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27).

“You can’t and won’t obey”, He says, “So I will help you.”

Which option sounds better to you? If we expend our time and energy trying to change people’s thoughts, actions and behaviours we will end up frustrated like Nehemiah.  If, however, we recognize that God needs to give people a new heart and new spirit before they can obey, our effort will be spent in prayer instead.

Why am I telling you this now?  Because its Christmas time and Jesus came to make these changes possible. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus instituted a “new covenant” between God and man;  a new relationship through which God’s law could be in our minds and written on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:31-34), and through which we could receive the Holy Spirit.

This Christmas, thank Jesus for coming to give you a new heart and a new spirit. If friends and family members are still rebelling against Him, don’t pull out their hair (!! :-)) but pray for them;  they need a new heart too and only God can provide it.

Blessings on You

Kristal Toews

Pastor of Women

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Want some more input and ideas this Christmas?

The Christmas Praise Night at Northview is tonight at 7:00 pm.

Come out for the Christmas Home Tour this Sunday from 1-6 pm.

Check out Rhonda Fast’s blog – a woman from our congregation who is also thinking and reflecting on Christmas.

This week’s podcast on “Christmas Angst” was recorded yesterday and will be posted soon. Check back to this page to find it!

 

 

 

Updates & Opportunities

Hello everyone, here’s some updates on Women’s Ministries, and some opportunities to get involved,

New Podcast with Kristal, Thaleia and Brandie

Kristal, Thaleia and Brandie have started a bi-weekly podcast! You can listen to the first episode here.

Christmas Home Tour

The Women’s Christmas Home Tour is on Sunday, December 8, 2013. Participants pay $10 each to tour through beautifully decorated homes between 1:00 pm and 6:00 pm. All funds raised will be donated to Your Pregnancy Options. Your Pregnancy Options provides tangible support to people in the community facing an unplanned pregnancy. They provide free pregnancy tests, peer counselling, community referrals and supplies to support youth, women, and men.

The Christmas Home Tour team is currently searching for people who are willing to put their homes on the tour. If you would be open to allowing others  a glimpse of how you prepare for Christmas, or if you have a unique idea on how to present the gospel message in your home at Christmas,  contact Anita Geertsma at christmashometour@northview. org.

Women’s Missions Trips 2014

Northview is sending a team to Odisha, India from February 7-23, 2014.

The team will have the opportunity to fellowship with believers in the Indian cultural context, connect with local ministries in prayer and encouragement, and serve alongside local ministry leaders in ministry events including a Women’s ministry conference.

Women from all skill sets and backgrounds are welcome and needed!

For more information, email women@northview.org

Northview Women is also sending a team to Mexico in the Spring of 2014. Doreen Schellenberg leads women on short term (10 day) trips to Mexico every Spring. The trip will include leading kids’ programs at an orphanage, ministry to single moms, crafts and painting, sewing and doing outreach projects in the community.

Contact: Doreen Schellenberg, women-missionstrip@northview.org

Jaaja Barb’s Home of Angels

Jaaja Barb’s Home of Angels is an orphanage in Uganda that Barb Giraud raised funds to build by selling banana bread. One loaf for one brick! Visit Barb’s blog for more information about the ministry.
Now Barb is looking for some donations to help furnish the home.
 Below is a list of the items that they could use.
 – large area rugs
- coffee tables (2)
- bedside tables
- living room set

If you would like to donate, email Barb at jaajabarbshomeofangels@gmail.com

Northview Women’s Weekend

The Northview Women’s Weekend is coming up from Jan 31-Feb 2 at Stillwood! Mark your calendars, registration will be available soon!
We’d love to hear from you, feel free to email us at women@northview.org :)

A Different Kind of Christmas Story – Chosen that you Proclaim – Rahab

I chose characters for these devotionals back in summer, but didn’t assign dates to each SO, when I looked at the list this week, I smiled and did a little cheer, thanking God for His providence and foresight. How great that we are examining the life of Rahab now, just a few days before Christmas!  What perfect timing.  Why, you ask? Let me explain:

#1 – Rahab’s story illustrates God’s love and revelation for Gentiles like us.

Rahab was a prostitute in Jericho, the first city that the Israelites had to conquer as they entered the Promised Land.  Joshua sent two men ahead of the army, and Rahab hid them from the authorities.  She provided them with more than shelter, however; she also gave them courage by proclaiming her faith in their God:

“Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you.  We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you …, and what you did to… the two kings of the Amorites… When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth below.” (Joshua 2:8-11)

She was not a member of God’s chosen people, and yet God revealed himself to her.  She somehow understood that the God of the Israelites was the true God AND that He just might protect her too.  Others in Jericho recognized God’s power but stood still in fear, Rahab asked for mercy and consequently, “they burned the whole city… But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute… and she lives among the Israelites to this day.” (Joshua 6:24-25)

#2 – Rahab’s story illustrates the depth of healing and wholeness God offers to people.

If her story ended in Joshua 6, we might have imagined that Rahab lived among God’s people but was never fully accepted by them: a foreign prostitute would live forever on the margins of Jewish society, wouldn’t she? Fortunately, her story continues. In Matthew 1:5 we learn that Rahab married Salmon and had a son named Boaz who was the great-grandfather of King David.  Every Christmas when we read the genealogy of Jesus Christ, who came from David’s line, we come across her name.

The authors of Hebrews (11:31) and James (2:25) recognize Rahab as an example of true faith and reference her story to encourage others.  She was not simply “tolerated” by God; she is healed, restored and accepted by Him. This same God continues to heal and restore today; call upon Him!

#3 – Rahab’s acceptance by God in the Old Testament foreshadows Christ’s acceptance of people in the New Testament.

As you read stories of Jesus over Christmas and throughout the year, take note of who loves Him and who hates Him.  He threatens the world of the religious, but the “sinners” cannot stay away. He is called a “friend of sinners” (Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:24, Luke 19:7) and he accepts all who God draws to him with quiet words: “Your faith has saved you, go in peace” (Luke 7:50), “Neither do I condemn you … Go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:11).

Rahab was an outsider chosen to proclaim truth to those already inside God’s family.  If you are outside the faith and “want in”, I hope her story encourages you to pursue a relationship with God and His people.  If you are a follower of Jesus, ask Him how you can best follow in His footsteps, extending grace and forgiveness to those whom God brings your way.

This narrative doesn’t have shepherds and angels and a stable, but it is a Christmas story nonetheless.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests.” (Luke 2:14)

Kristal Toews

Pastor of Women

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