Tuesday, January 22, 2019, 22:30 | No Comments »

Many of our great hymns of the faith have heart-warming histories. Born out of the daily struggle, toil, and victory of saints before us, they ring through the ages with truth.
 

Here is the story behind the timeless hymn hymn “My Jesus, I Love Thee.”
 

With its poignant lyrics and simple melody, this sweet hymn has become a favourite with many Christians. But did you know that it was actually penned by a Canadian teenager? 

 

A Young Convert

On July 24, 1846, William Ralph Featherston was born in Montréal, Canada, to Methodist parents. His family attended the Wesleyan Methodist Church. As a young man, William accepted Christ as his personal Saviour. Join us at the local church’s prison ministries to learn how you can do this, too.
 
Even at his young age, William’s love for the Lord was unusually deep and mature. As you read through the first stanza of his famous hymn (first written as a devotional poem), you can see his desire to please God. He realized that, in order to love Jesus, he would have to give up personal sin and deny himself.
 
My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign;
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
 
In the second stanza, he explored the wondrous truth of the gospel. He expressed his deep thankfulness for Jesus’ sacrifice.
 
I love Thee because Thou hast first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree;
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
 
With all the strength and fervour of his youth, he purposed to praise his Saviour with every breath he took. 
 
I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now. 
 
As he closed the hymn, William looked forward with eyes of faith to the day when he’d see Jesus face to face.
 
In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
 

An Instant Favourite

According to some historians, young Featherston mailed the poem to his aunt in Los Angeles. Recognizing its potential, she submitted it for publication. It first appeared in print (though anonymously) in The London Hymn Book in 1864. 
 
Sadly, William’s time on earth was short-lived. At the tender age of 27, he entered the presence of the One he loved so much, Jesus Christ. History tells us that he may have left behind a wife and young child. But he also gave us the legacy of a cherished hymn.
 
Several years after William’s death, Adoniram Judson Gordon (named after the famous missionary) added a melody and re-published it. Later, he composed a new melody for the lyrics and published it in its modern-day form in the 1876 hymnal The Service of Song for Baptist Churches.
 
Since then, it has become a favourite with believers across the world. Its clear and honest lyrics are the testimony of a heart that loves Jesus. At the local church’s prison ministries, we love singing this hymn.
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Are you searching? Jesus has the answers for addictions and stubborn habits. For more information, send the Crossmans a private message here on Facebook or come to a church service at Prince Albert Baptist Church. Take the first step in a walk of freedom!

For more information, call (306) 940-9554 or email anchorofhopeheb@gmail.com 


Friday, January 18, 2019, 18:57 | No Comments »

Ever since the slippery serpent tempted Eve, Satan’s favourite tactic has been deception. If you’ve already accepted Jesus as your Saviour, Satan knows he can’t steal your soul. But he can do his best to ruin your testimony, destroy your life, and make you miserable. 

Read on to learn 3 truths that Satan doesn’t want you to know.

 

1. Sin always steals from us.

Have you ever thought that you can sin and “get away with it”? Because many people believe this lie, they are unafraid to sin. When they experience no immediate consequences, they become even bolder in disobeying God’s Word. 
 
However, they have forgotten the principle of sowing and reaping. When you sow a tomato seed, you cannot expect a tomato immediately. First, you must wait for it to germinate, sprout, blossom, and finally produce a mature tomato. 
 
Although we may not see immediate effects from one sinful choice, we will always reap what we sow. Paul wrote in Galatians 6:8,
 
“For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” 
 
Here are just a few of the consequences of sin in our lives:
-It breaks our fellowship with God. (Psalm 66:18)
-It steals our joy. (Psalm 51:12)
-It can cause physical stress, anxiety, and actual illness. (Psalm 32:3-4)
-It hurts our relationships with others. (1 John 2:11)
-It enslaves us. (Romans 6:6)
 
When we consider these consequences of sin, we realize that sin is not as fun as it looks. At the local church’s prison ministry, we believe that it’s never worth it to disobey God.
 

2. Obedience brings us joy.

In addition to telling us that sin is fun and harmless, Satan also tries to tell us that obeying God is extremely boring, too hard, and completely joyless. That’s a pretty good sales pitch, isn’t it? 
 
Looking back on your life, how would you describe the times when you obeyed God? Did you regret choosing to follow Him? Or did you find yourself strangely at peace, filled with a quiet happiness, and satisfied in the knowledge that you had done the right thing?
 
No matter how loud the devil may shout, obeying God will bring us joy. Unlike the pleasures of sin, it comes with no hidden regrets or guilts. Jesus described it this way:
 
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love…These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:10-11)
 
Have you been delighting in obeying God? Have you been experiencing true joy in Him? If not, choose to obey Him wholeheartedly from now on. And ask Him to fill your heart with His joy. 
  

3. God never stops loving us.

While each of his lies are dangerous, Satan’s most deadly lies are his lies about God. He tries to persuade us that God is not really good, or trustworthy, or faithful.
 
And, horror of horrors, he tries to convince us that God’s love depends on our behaviour or circumstances.
 
“God won’t love you anymore,” he whispers. “Look at what you’ve done!” 
 
Sometimes, in our darkest moments, we listen. And we pull away from God, hurt. 
 
Is this the right way to respond? Not at all!
 
When such thoughts enter our minds, we must learn to reject them immediately. We must replace them with the truth from God’s Word.
 
The apostle Paul, who’d been both Christ’s worst enemy and one of His greatest preachers, had discovered the truth. He wrote…
 
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
 
Are you, like Paul, fully persuaded of God’s love for you? If not, ask Him to show you how much He loves you. Ask Him to spell it out in words, sounds, colours, and circumstances unmistakably written by a Heavenly pen. And prepare to be amazed! 
 
At the local church’s prison ministry, we are so thankful for God’s love for us.

Let’s Chat:

Have you been tempted to believe any of these lies before? What truths from God’s Word have encouraged you to trust God instead? Let us know in the comments!
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Are you searching? Jesus has the answers for addictions and stubborn habits. For more information, send the Crossmans a private message here on Facebook or come to a church service at Prince Albert Baptist Church. Take the first step in a walk of freedom!

For more information, call (306) 940-9554 or email anchorofhopeheb@gmail.com
 
 


Saturday, January 12, 2019, 13:27 | No Comments »

Have you ever prayed for months and months without receiving an answer? If so, you know that prayer is tough. It’s not for the faint of heart. 
                   
When our prayers go unanswered, we often ask, “Why, God? What am I doing wrong? Are my prayers not good enough?” 
 
To be honest, our prayers are not enough. But our prayers don’t depend on us. They depend on Him.

Here are 3 reasons why our prayers are not enough (and why we should pray anyway.)
 

Not Enough Faith

We know it’s not easy to pray when all hope seems lost. We get it.
 
But sometimes Christians give up too easily. What if Hannah had given up praying for a son? What if the children of Israel had stopped asking God to deliver them from Egyptian slavery? What if Zacharias and Elisabeth decided that they should just stop praying for a baby? History would have marched on, but perhaps their names wouldn’t have been included in the Book. 
 
Hebrews 11:6 reminds us, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
 
The stories of Hannah, Zacharias, and Elisabeth remind us that God answers big prayers. Perhaps you feel that your faith is too small to keep praying. Don’t give up! Instead, choose to believe God and pray, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)
 

Not Enough Wisdom

Have you ever been very glad that God didn’t answer, “Yes,” to one of your prayers? As humans, we are naturally shortsighted. Often, we have enough experience to make us feel smart but not enough to make us wise. 
 
This naturally carries over into our prayer life. For example, we might ask Him to remove a certain person from our lives. From our point of view, that would “fix” everything. But that person might turn out to be a blessing in disguise. 
 
If you want to know how to pray wisely, ask God to give you wisdom. 
 
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5)
 
In addition, ask God to ignore any of your prayers that are shortsighted or unwise. Tell Him, “Your will be done, not mine.” 
 

Not Enough Patience

If God answered your prayers today, would you be prepared for it? God doesn’t always answer our prayers right away because He is still working on us. He’s developing our trust, our endurance, and, yes, our patience. He’s building character into our lives. At the local church’s prison ministries, we are thankful that God is still working to make us more like Christ.
 
But, too often, we are like the five-year-old boy who wants to drive his daddy’s truck. “Let me drive! I’m big enough,” he says insistently. Little does he know that first he’ll need to learn to ride a bicycle, wait eleven years, write a test, get his eyes examined, and take driver’s education BEFORE he can actually drive Daddy’s F150. 
 
If you’re struggling because God seems to be taking a long time to answer, remember that His timing is perfect. Keep waiting on Him and praying boldly! Someday, you will be able to share David’s testimony, “I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.” (Psalm 40:1)
 
Keep praying patiently, and you will be delighted when God answers your prayer! 
 

But He’s Praying for You

One of the most incredible truths of the Christian life is this.
 
Jesus Christ is praying for you and me.
 
He didn’t just appoint a section of angels to supervise the Earth-dwellers. He didn’t just pray a special blessing over newborn believers. The Bible says something far different….and far better.
 
“Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” (Romans 8:34)
 
Filled with all the wisdom of the Godhead, Jesus asks His Father to act on our behalf. And, with His boundless wisdom and resources, the Father says yes! 
 
-Yes to light for our path.
-Yes to hard things that draw us to Him.
-Yes to daily strength to obey.
-Yes to answering our heart’s desire.
-Yes to our prayers in bigger and better ways than we could ever dream.
 
Though our own prayers are not enough, Jesus’ prayers are abundantly enough! His grace is more than sufficient. 
 
Today’s takeaway is this…don’t give up! Come boldly to the throne of grace, and keep praying! Join us at the local church’s prison ministries to learn more about prayer.
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Are you searching? Jesus has the answers for addictions and stubborn habits. For more information, send the Crossmans a private message here on Facebook or come to a church service at Prince Albert Baptist Church. Take the first step in a walk of freedom!

For more information, call (306) 940-9554 or email anchorofhopeheb@gmail.com 


Monday, January 7, 2019, 14:00 | No Comments »

As we open a New Year brimming with opportunity, many of us make New Year’s resolutions and goals. Perhaps we want to exercise more, build better money habits, or spend more time with loved ones. As we seek to better our lives, let’s remember to keep God and front and centre. 
 

To help you do that, here are 3 important prayers for the New Year.
 

“Lord, teach me about Yourself.”

What we believe about God impacts every area of our life. It shapes our thoughts and colours our attitudes. And it also influences our decisions.
 
If we believe that God is not interested in our lives, we will not seek Him as we should.
 
If we believe that God doesn’t really answer prayer, we will not pray earnestly and consistently.
 
If we believe that God hasn’t forgiven us, we will keep our distance from Him. 
 
However, if we believe that God really is as strong and faithful and loving and forgiving as the Bible says He is, then that will radically change our lives. It will help us live brave and pray hard and love deeply. 
 
This year, ask God to teach you and show you Who He is. And prepare to be amazed!
 

“Lord, use me to touch the lives of others.”

In our New Year’s resolutions, goals, and plans, it’s easy to become very focused on ourselves…on our betterment, our success, etc. 
 
However, the Bible teaches us that we should not focus on pleasing ourselves. Instead, we should serve others. The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:5, “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.”
 
How could you serve others today?
 
Could you write a note of encouragement to a family member? Or call a grandparent to catch up on their news? Maybe you could help someone else with a problem they’re facing. 
 
If you’re really stumped, you can contact us at the local church’s prison ministry for more ideas.
 
Start small, and ask God to show you who and where to serve. 
 
As you practice serving others, you will learn that it is more blessed to give than to receive. And it is more rewarding to serve than to be served!
 

“Lord, Your will be done instead of mine.”

As you grow in your walk with Christ, you will learn why Solomon told his son not to lean on his own understanding. Our understanding and knowledge is extremely limited. 
 
In addition, we are constantly bombarded with un-Biblical thoughts and ideas. The enemy seeks to distract and discourage us from obeying God.
 
How can we stay faithful to God? We must constantly surrender our will to God. Each day, we need to commit ourselves to Him anew. 
 
“Lord, I am Yours. Guide my steps, and help me to walk with You today. Without Your help, I can do nothing. Strengthen me to serve You and serve others.”
 
When we submit our will to God’s will, He promises to guide our steps. 
 
In 2019, we want to grow in our walk with God. We want to know more of Jesus. We want to serve others selflessly. And we want follow God’s will for our lives. Join us at the local church’s prison ministry to learn more!
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Are you searching? Jesus has the answers for addictions and stubborn habits. For more information, send the Crossmans a private message here on Facebook or come to a church service at Prince Albert Baptist Church. Take the first step in a walk of freedom!

For more information, call (306) 940-9554 or email anchorofhopeheb@gmail.com


Wednesday, December 19, 2018, 21:36 | No Comments »

While most of us have sung the sweet carol “Silent Night,” how many of us know the rich history of this song? This year celebrates the 200th anniversary since Joseph Mohr and Franz Gruber composed it on Christmas Eve, 1818. 

Here is the incredible story of the carol that, for a brief moment, stopped World War I.
 

An Impossible Moment

On December 24, 1914, Europe was at war. Yet, for a few hours of peace, the bombs stopped. While mothers and sweethearts shed tears at home, soldiers on both sides decorated the trenches for their own meagre Christmas celebrations. 
 
Suddenly, a man stepped forward into No Man’s Land. First in German and then in English, his exquisite tenor rang through the battlefield as he sang “Silent Night.” His name was Walter Kirchhoff, and he was a tenor with the Berlin Opera.
 
Recognizing the carol, British troops started to join in. Their voices swelled and rose with the age-old story. And, after the last notes had died away, they met in the middle of No Man’s Land. Gifts were given, and addresses exchanged. Despite the protests of supervising officers, they even had a rousing game of soccer together. For a fragile sliver of time, these weary men were no longer soldiers at war. Instead, they were friends.
 
Stanley Weintraub, a soldier who witnessed the event, later wrote, “Soldiers…wrote home the day after to their families, to their wives, and to their parents, saying, 'You won't believe this. It was like a waking dream.' They recognized that on both ends of the rifle, they were the same."¹ Weintraub later authored a book about the experience, Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce
 

The Carol’s Origin

A few days before Christmas 1818, an assistant pastor named Joseph Mohr had a problem. His church’s ancient organ wasn’t working and couldn’t be repaired before the annual Christmas Eve service. What would the congregation sing if they had no accompaniment? 
 
One evening, after watching a nativity play, he took the scenic route home. Gazing down on the village, he remembered a Christmas poem he had written just a few years before. “Perhaps I could revive that poem and find a melody for it,” he thought. 
 
The next morning, Joseph visited his organist, Franz Gruber, and presented his dilemma. In a few short hours, Franz composed a simple melody with guitar accompaniment. That night, Silent Night debuted in the little church in Oberndorf. At the local church’s prison ministry, we enjoy singing this carol.
 

Famous Around the Globe

Soon, the carol found its way into the hands of two musical families, the Rainers and the Strassers. They immediately included it in their Christmas programs. And, in 1834, the Strasser sisters sang it for King Frederick William IV of Prussia. He was so impressed that he commanded his choir to sing it every Christmas Eve. 
 
In 1838, the carol was first sung in New York, NY, by the Rainer family. And it was translated into English in 1863. 
 
Today, “Silent Night” is sung in over 300 languages around the globe. Each Christmas, its strains echo the simple story of the Baby in the manger. At the local church’s prison ministry, we love this carol.
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Are you searching? Jesus has the answers for addictions and stubborn habits. For more information, send the Crossmans a private message here on Facebook or come to a church service at Prince Albert Baptist Church. Take the first step in a walk of freedom!

For more information, call (306) 940-9554 or email anchorofhopeheb@gmail.com
 
1. “How Silent Night became the Christmas song that stopped World War I.” CBC News. Published December 19, 2014. Accessed from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/how-silent-night-became-the-christmas-song-that-stopped-world-war-i-1.2878263
 


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