Each week the Calvary staff blog about Christian life, ministry and more. Some of our blog posts focus on ministries and events inside the church, while other posts look outside our building to how we live out the gospel in our everyday lives. Each of these posts is crafted to encourage and challenge you in your faith journey. We'd love to hear from you! Create an account and log in to leave us a comment and let us know how the blogs impact you.
This Sunday is “Name-tag Sunday” and I am so excited! And not just because I am terrible at remembering people's names (although I often am), but because most of my introductions go like this:
Me: Hi there! My name's Jolene.
Invariably a sweet older lady: Oh, Julie! What a pretty name!
Me: Oh, no, sorry, I'm JOLENE.
Older lady: Angeline! How nice!
Me: You know what? Just call me Jo. So nice to meet you!
Those interactions can be awkward and difficult, but there is value in being known, and being known rightly.
I could have let that little old lady call me Angeline, but that's not who I am.
It's interesting, though, that I would put so much time and effort into making sure people pronounce my name correctly, but when it comes to who I really am, I allow myself to get it wrong all the time.
All too often, I let Satan convince me that my identity is based on personal effort and accomplishments, and because of that, I am never satisfied with who I am.
I am constantly striving.
Constantly trying to make more of myself.
Constantly trying to prove my worth.
Constantly trying to hide my flaws.
There's a song I've really grown to appreciate called “Who You Say I Am”, and what I love about it is that it brings me back to the truth - that my identity is not based on what I do for Christ, but on what Christ has done for us.
Because when we strive to make more of ourselves, we are inherently making less of Jesus.
Of His power.
Of His might.
And I thank God that His power is made perfect in weakness, because often that seems to be all I have to give Him, but I am even more thankful that I am not defined by my weakness. That through His power and through His promise, who I am is wholly and completely because of who Christ is in me.
Jolene (Jo!) Sanders, Director of Worship,
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
- Galatians 2:20
A wise son listens when his father tells him the right way, but one who laughs at the truth does not listen when strong words are spoken to him. Proverbs 13:1
Growing up in Markham, we lived in a house that had a basement. It wasn’t a huge basement but the TV (a 13" black and white) was down there, and off in the corner, was my Dad’s desk.
It wasn’t a fancy desk but it was his. He had taken two filing cabinets and laid a large desktop across the top of those to work on. As kids, we weren’t supposed to use the desk but it was a temptation that was hard to resist. When he wasn’t looking, I would sit at his desk and pretend that I was some big-shot business guy who had important work to do. He had all the cool tools - like a stapler, a red LED calculator, along with graph paper and lots of pens and paper. Who could resist?
Many nights I can remember waking up from my sleep and wandering downstairs to see my Dad hard at work. We used to call it “work work” (as opposed to school work or church work) that he had brought home that needed to be done before the next day. I would see him sitting there, head down and extremely focused like all good Engineers would do. It was just the normal thing for us to know that Dad would do some “work-work” after we went to bed.
Later in life I asked my Dad about his “work work”. He said that in those days the pressure at work was unbelievable. The stress on him to complete all his responsibilities was enormous and there were always younger people just waiting in line to take his job. Making sure that our family was provided for was important to my Dad and so to ensure that the work got done, he brought it home. He could have stayed at work to get it done but that would have meant that he would have missed out on suppers, family time and church responsibilities and he wasn’t prepared for that to happen.
So, in our home, my dad would show up at home for supper at 6:00pm (literally on the dot, right after the 6 Million Dollar Man episode was finished). We would eat together and do family things. Once all the family stuff was done and everyone was heading to bed, my dad would regularly head downstairs to catch up on work.
I always know that Dad made our family time a priority. Sure, there times that it was harder to do that, but for the most part he modelled where his true commitments in life lay.
On this Father’s Day, I want to thank God for the lessons that He taught me through my Dad. I have sought to listen well to both my fathers - my heavenly and earthly one - so that I make sure that my family knows that I am there for them. Joleyne and I have worked hard to ensure that dinner time is a priority. We have sought to listen to the wisdom of our fathers and try to pass this on to the next generation for the glory of God.
Thanks for the lesson of your desk, Dad. You taught me more that you’ll ever know.
Aaron Groat, Senior Pastor
Have you noticed the theme in Sunday school this quarter? It’s honestly an exciting ministry to be a part of. Where else can you play Captain’s Deck, learn about dolphins, go on a Bible adventure in the desert, paint a sea creature and use glitter? That’s exactly what we did this past Sunday!
Our CB kids in grades JK–5 began a new summer series called "Finding Jesus Under the Sea" by CMD. The big idea is that we can learn to take our faith deeper. Each week our children will learn about a different sea creature and Bible story. By exploring the ocean life and all of the amazing creativity and wonder that God created, we learn more about who God is and how He cares for us.
The focus verse for summer is one of my favourites:
“Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39 NIV
It’s going to be an exciting summer under the sea!
Our CB kids have also started helping out with our Calvary Serves project. For the month of June we are working with the whole church family to bring in non-perishable food items for Food for Life. Our Sunday school kids will be collecting, counting and organizing the food for donation. Be sure to bring in your cans this Sunday and every Sunday in June – our goal is 600 items!