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Fill the Okanagan with this Teaching

These are the slightly edited and updated  notes from the devotional given at Redeemer Baptist Church's Annual General Meeting on February 10th, 2024. There are many markers of success for a church. You can have healthy Christian families, generous giving, growing numbers, growth in sanctification, heartfelt and joyful worship, solid Bibl...

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Give Thanks!

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Rampant thanksgiving is one of the surest marks of spiritual health, and one of the distinguishing marks of a Christian. As our text says, this is the will of God for the Christian. The shape of the Christian life is that of thanksgiving. ...

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Spread the Light of Christ(mas)

In one week's time we will begin the season of Advent. Next Sunday, December 3rd marks the time when historically many churches would begin to focus their attention on the first coming, or advent, of Christ. This is a time for preparing our hearts for Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning. It is also a time to begin the celebration early, and to put ...

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By His Power, For His Glory

[these are the notes from the devotional given at Redeemer's quarterly member's meeting on November 10th, 2023] Recently I wrote on 1 Corinthians 15:58 about always abounding in the work of the Lord. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour i...

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Navy Seals for Jesus

In the past I've written many articles touching on the idea of consumerism in the church.Down with Consumerism was perhaps the main one; and that title should tell you exactly how I feel about the whole idea. The fact is, churches in Canada and the U.S. have become increasingly consumeristic. With the advent of the seeker-sensitive movement, mega-c...

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Always Abounding

[these are the notes from the message given at the Quarterly Member's Meeting on August 25th, 2023] Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58) What is your life all about? What is your driving focus and your central...

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Is Jesus Lord of Canada?

There has been a lot of hubbub and hullabaloo lately about Christian Nationalism and Christendom. As far as anyone can tell the term Christian Nationalism came about as a pejorative term for Trump-supporting evangelicals in the United States. The left-wing media noticed that there were many evangelicals engaging in politics and claiming that Americ...

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Deacons

[This article was written jointly by Redeemer's elder's Ross Odnokon and Vince Kuipers] Redeemer is a growing church. And that in more ways than one. We have more people attending our services then we did a year ago and even more if you compare two years ago when we first planted. We are also growing in the depth of our fellowship, our sa...

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Eager For Unity

[This article is based on the notes from the devotional given at Redeemer's Quarterly Member's Meeting.] I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spi...

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Ascension Day

I recently wrote on the broad idea of celebrating holidays as Christians. You can read that article, Lord of Our Years, here. In it I argued for keeping and celebrating the five main gospel feast days. If you grew up in a staunchly Roman Catholic community, or if you lived in early 16th Century Europe, you would be accustomed to all manner of ...

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Lord of our Years

If you have been around Redeemer for a little while you might have noticed that we make a big deal about holidays. We ramp up for Christmas. We emphasize Easter – with services on Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. We get invitation cards out, we have a big feast, and we preach special messages for these occasions. And as far as that goes, our pr...

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Redeemer Classical Academy

[This is the recording and notes from the Redeemer Classical Academy Info Night, held on Friday, March 31st, 2023.] Redeemer Classical Academy Info Night Introduction Launched in the fall of 2020, (A crazy time to start a Classical Christian school, I know!) we have grown each year and God has been faithful to bless our efforts. Our vision remains ...

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Sing To The Lord!

Introduction Right at the outset, let me state my purpose for this article. I do not aim to give an exhaustive and full treatment of the theology of music, the theology of worship, or anything as thorough as that. But what I hope to do is give a brief statement on the main points of what worship music is and engage with some points of dispute. Cons...

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The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

 Introduction Today I am going to tackle a question that might not be on the top of your mind, but it is an important one for us to consider. This question is timely in light of our Sunday series through The Gospel According to John. Recently, we have read verses such as these: "unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the k...

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Baptism and Children

Baptism is not something that many Christians think about all that often. For many it has faded into the rearview mirror of their Christian experience. But for us at Redeemer Baptist it is regularly in view. Why is that? Mainly because of our practice of weekly communion. Men, women and children hear the words each Sunday – "If you have repented an...

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Bees in Bonnets and Burrs in Saddles

Have you ever actually had a bee in your bonnet? How about one of those pokey burrs under your saddle? No? I didn't think so. Probably because you ladies don't where bonnets much these days, and you men don't ride horses. But you understand the picture. Both images point to a seemingly little thing that if left unaddressed causes a major problem. A...

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The Doctrine of Election

Predestination and election are two words that in many circles cause a stir. The mere mention of these words often generates an atmosphere of suspicion, criticality, and defensiveness. Predestination and election, these are fighting words for many – but curiously not for the apostle Paul, or Peter, or James, or Luke or even Jesus for that matter. T...

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Be The Church

[These are the notes from the pastoral devotional shared at Redeemer's 2023 Annual General Meeting] I recently wrote a series of blog posts on the One Another's of Christian fellowship. In the series I aimed to equip us and inspire us to really be the church. Calling us to live a life worthy of the gospel, worthy of the calling to which we were cal...

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The One Anothers - Love

 [This is the sixth of several articles in the One Another series] We have been spending our time lately on the one anothers of Scripture. We first looked at those 35 direct commands where that phrase is used – one another. I've since tried to organize them in a way that is easy to hold in our heads, with the three main headings love, unity, a...

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The One Anothers - Unity

[this is the fifth of several articles in the One Another series] Unity or Diversity, which of these do we want? In our world we often hear the praises of diversity sung. Ethnic diversity, sexual diversity, religious diversity – the call is for everything to be many and multi. We want multi-culturalism, we want many faiths to coexist, we want all t...

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The One Anothers - Humility

[This is the third in several articles in the One Another series] We have recently been looking at the thirty-five one anothers of the New Testament. And last time I categorized them into three main headings: love, unity, and humility. Now let's go backwards through that list, starting with a focus on humility. The verse to anchor this one another ...

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Drawing Enemy Fire

In the life of a soldier at war there are times when life is "normal". You are sitting around with your mates drinking coffee, putting your boots on, talking about life back home. But then there are times when you are really in the thick of it, fighting hard and under attack. Or if you were a bomber pilot, perhaps for an hour or so you are seemingl...

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What Are You Seeking?

I've written a lot this year on what one could call a philosophy of ministry. It may not be the subject matter that every believer thinks about on a day to day basis, but as a church planter it is always on my mind. And I share these thoughts with you, the church, because no one plants alone. It is good for you all to think through these things wit...

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Cancelled

Cancel Culture and the Whitefield Option

Our world has become rife with cancel culture. This refers simply to that environment in which someone who deviates from the zeitgeist gets pounced upon, denounced and shut out of polite society. If you are of a high enough profile, you can get banned from social media within mere hours just for saying a biological fact like "men can't get pregnant...

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Build the Church

Lately we've been going through the major themes of Nehemiah as a church. And we've done it all under the banner of Build the Church. We have been taking the great story of Nehemiah, seeking to understand it in its original context, but then leaning heavily into application for us in the church today. We've talked about Building from the Ruins, Bui...

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A Christian Home

Whenever a man and a woman get married, they are proclaiming certain truths about God. Whether they believe in God or not, they are participating in His good creation, and showcasing His beautiful design. It is a wonderful thing to see a good man and a good woman get married, start a family, and love each other all the way into their old age. Seein...

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All For Christ

[Adapted from a chapel message given at Redeemer Classical Academy] What does it mean to be a Christian in this world – to be a Christian institution, or Christian family, or a Christian businessman? Does it mean that in everything we do we make sure to pray first? Or if you were a Christian artist, you would make sure to add a cross onto all ...

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Spurgeon-Preaching

Preaching With Power

4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction (1 Thessalonians 1:4-5). Why do some words stick with you and others don't? Why do some conversations remain lucid in our memories for our entire lives, while others fade ...

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Down With Consumerism

Our world today is a consumeristic world. Advertising is everywhere. Something is always being sold. We are constantly being influenced by the world toward discontentment and selfishness. We are told to think about what we need and want for ourselves and for our own happiness as our number one priority. Now this can be subtle or it can be direct. M...

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Foolishness!

Redeemer Baptist is a church plant. We were planted just over a year ago by a handful of crazy people. I was going to say all joking aside, but I'm not so sure! By many worldly metrics you would have to say that church planting is crazy or foolish or doomed to failure. Or at least you would have to say that about the type of church planting that we...

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Be baptized, every one of you

What is baptism? By all appearances it looks like we are simply dunking someone in water. Someone could walk by a baptism service and not understand anything of the spiritual meaning of this sacrament. And Christians too can use some help understanding this. We know that Christian's get baptized, but do we know why? Do we know what is it that we ar...

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Canada Day

Today marks the 155th year that Canada has been a country. Each time Canada Day comes around we have this opportunity to reflect, to celebrate and to give thanks for our nation. But if you are at all like me, you have some pause in your celebrations. Like the child of a wayward and ungodly father on Father's Day, we struggle with mixed feelings on ...

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Salty and Bright

In much of evangelicalism, especially in Canada, there has been a lack of robust cultural engagement. Or to put it another way, the churches have been on the retreat for the last half a century of so; retreating to build isolated Christian communities. Instead of speaking into the issues of the day, many have opted to simply focus on matters of ind...

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The Holy Spirit and the Mundane

This week we will be celebrating the Day of Pentecost at Redeemer. This is the moment in Redemptive History where God poured out His Spirit more fully and universally on His people. This was a moment that changed history forever. We read this in Peter's sermon as he quotes the prophet Joel: 17 "'And in the last days it shall be, God declares,that I...

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Evangelism - Part 2

Evangelism is not easy, as I said in a recent blog post. And it is still true. But it is also still true that we are called to attempt this difficult task (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 3:15; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20). The aim of this blog post is to give you a few categories to think about different types of evangelism and a few tools for yo...

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Evangelism

Evangelism is not easy. In fact, I would compare it to swimming a river up-stream, you know, like those Salmon do. Today, the streams of our culture flow hard against the bold proclamation of the Christian faith. Evangelism is looked at with disdain by those outside the faith; and from those within, it is either dreaded or ignored. Yet, aren't we c...

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Growing

You want your church to grow right? I mean, no one plants a church in order for it to not grow. That wouldn't make a lot of sense. But here is a question we should be asking – what do we mean by growth? And perhaps a follow up question – why do we want to grow?  You see, both of those questions are crucial actually. To grow is not necessarily ...

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The End of Abortion

This week marked a major development in the ongoing battle to bring about an end to abortion in this world. As I'm sure you are all aware, news broke via a leaked document, that the Supreme Court of the United States is planning to strike down Roe v. Wade. If this truly comes to pass this will be historic, an amazing answer to countless prayers (mi...

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Revival

Do you pray for revival? Do you hope for revival? And by that, I mean expect it with faith not a mere wishing for it. You see, many Christians are not praying and seeking and hoping for revival. They are like the squirrel with its nuts, preparing for winter. They hunker down and seek the simple goal of not being destroyed by the world and the gener...

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More Hope

note: this post is a slightly edited version of the devotional shared at Redeemer's quarterly member's meeting on April 26th.Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3).I praise the Lord f...

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Church Membership

Why should you become a member of your local church? For many, attending and even being involved feels like enough. And while I would not want to downplay what a good thing regular attendance is, I would encourage every believer to consider becoming a member of a local Church. It doesn't involve secret handshakes or anything wei...

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