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
 


Thursday, December 13, 2018, 12:25 | No Comments »

We’ve all met a Scrooge at one time or another. Whether they’re decrying the price of turkeys this year or complaining about the incompetence of government, Scrooges are no fun to be around. They have a remarkable talent for sucking every last drop of happiness and joy out of the Christmas season. Instead of rejoicing, they are bitter and miserable. How can we avoid becoming one of these Scrooges? How can we rejoice even if this Christmas is going to be tougher than usual?

Here’s what we need to remember so we can find true joy at Christmas.
 

1) Remember what you’ve been given.

No matter who you are, what your bank account holds, or what your plans for Christmas are, you have been blessed. God has given you the gift of living today. And, as its 86,400 seconds speed by, His grace continues to flow into your life. As Paul said, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being…” (Acts 17:28) 
 
How many cancer patients have longed and prayed for just one more day to inhale sweet lungfuls of air, hold their loved ones close, and watch the sun rise? Too often, we take life for granted. At the local church’s prison ministry, we want to live each day to the fullest and be thankful for it.
 
Beyond the gift of today, God has also given us a thousand other gifts. He has given us a beautiful planet to live in, His wonderful Word, and a precious Saviour. He has given us unshakeable promises that we can rest upon. To remember how good God has been to you, take 2 minutes to read “God Is Not a Tightwad.”
 

2) Remember what He gave up.

In order to come down at Christmas, Jesus had to give up many things. He had to lay aside His kingly robes and don a human body, with all its weakness and frailty. He had to leave the halls that rang with His praises and come to Earth, where He would be mocked and scorned. He had to walk down the steps of His throne and into a lowly stable and a poor family. 
 
Jesus gave up many of His rights to come to earth. What rights did He give up?
 
-The right to a soft pillow and a warm bed (Matthew 8:20)
-The right to do what He wanted to do (John 6:38)
-The right to unending worship & praise (Hebrews 1:6)
-The right to the full exercise of His powers (Philippians 2:7)
 
These are just a few of the sacrifices that Jesus made for our sakes, because He loved us. How thankful we ought to be for His willingness to do so!
 

3) Remember He loves you no matter what.

When we turn the pages of the Christmas story, we begin to see that it’s not merely the story of a Baby. It’s not about the nervous shepherds or wealthy magi. At the centre of the Christmas story is a Father-heart beating with eternal love.
 
This Father looked down and saw us in our sin. He knew that we could never scale the walls that sin had built between us. So He sent Jesus to break down the walls, to snap the chains that bound us, and to invite us into His presence. 
 
As Matthew wrote, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Matthew 1:23) 
 
Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, we can be forgiven if we will turn from our sin and believe on Him. Then we can know Jesus not only as a the Baby in the manger, but as Emmanuel—God with us. 
 
As believers, we need to remember that God always loves us. He loves us when we make Him proud…but also when we fail Him over and over again. He loves us even when we are doubting and fearful. He loves us through storms and sunshine, through thick and thin, and through every circumstance of life. At the local church’s prison ministry, we are so grateful for His love.
 
This month, let us remember what God has given us. Let’s thank Jesus for everything He gave up. And let’s rest in our Father’s amazing love for us. If we do these things, then we can have true joy this Christmas!
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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
 


Thursday, December 13, 2018, 12:02 | No Comments »

What is the measure of your success as a Christian? What is God looking for in His children? If you’ve been a Christian for a while, you may have heard the following:
 
“God wants you to glorify Him in everything you do.”
“You need to find God’s perfect will for your life and follow it.”
“God commands you to love your neighbour as yourself.”
 
While all of these statements are Biblically accurate, they can all be summarized in one brief verse from the prophet Micah.
 
“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8)

Let’s take a closer look at 3 things that God requires from us.
 

Do justly.

While the Cambridge Oxford Dictionary defines “justly” as “in a fair or morally correct way,” we need to be a little more specific. Who sets the standard for what is “fair” or “morally correct”? As Bible-believing Christians, we understand that God has given us a standard of right and wrong in His inspired Word.  The Bible not only describes what is unfair and morally wrong, but it also tells us what is right, fair, and just.
 
Therefore, doing justly means obeying God’s commands in the Bible. It means measuring our lives by the carpenter’s level of His Word. And it means constantly striving, by God’s grace, to obey more fully. 
 

Love mercy.

To be honest, some Christians skip over this command entirely. And they end up misrepresenting Christ. In their zeal for right and wrong, they forget to be merciful. They become arrogant and condescending toward people who are living sinful lives, and they forget how much God has forgiven them. 
 
Mercy doesn’t mean saying that sin is okay. It means showing grace toward sinners. It means being patient with them and lovingly sharing God’s Word with them. It means empathizing with their struggles and being humble enough to admit we’re not perfect, either. 
 
At the local church’s prison ministry, we know we aren’t perfect. But God’s still helping us grow!
 
People who love mercy remember how much grace and mercy God has shown toward them. They thank God for His mercy and plead that He will extend that same mercy to others. 
 
Because God loves mercy, so should we. 
 

Walk humbly with Him.

Remember Jesus’ parable in Luke 18 about the publican and the Pharisee? While one prayed a haughty, religious-sounding prayer, the other one beat his chest and said, “Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.” Which one did Jesus commend? 
 
The Bible tells us that Jesus praised the one who humbly asked for mercy. He said, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 18:14)
 
Walking humbly with God goes beyond simply obeying Him. It means being humble enough to realize that, without Him, we can do nothing. It means constantly leaning on His strength and talking to Him as we go about our day. 
 
If we walk humbly with God, we will develop a close, sweet friendship with our Maker. This is an incredible privilege and one we should not take lightly. 
 
Living the Christian life is not complicated. It’s just hard. In our own strength, we will fail miserably. But, when we learn to depend on God, we can do justly. We can love mercy. And we can walk humbly with God. 
 
At the local church’s prison ministry, we want to live God’s way. Join us to learn more!
________________________________________________________________
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
 


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