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November 27, 2022 We are afflicted as a culture with a disease!An actual diagnosis called "Hurry Sickness" And is there any time of year when this is more acutely felt than the Christmas Season?This Advent season may we give the BEST gift to our families, to Jesus, and to our own souls: The gift of our unhurried, unplugged & undistracted PRESENCE!…
 
The first couple of weeks of our shame series focused on the causes of shame.Many of you have resonated with some of these sources... toxic churches, toxic upbringings, the lies of our spiritual accuser, among others.Perhaps the biggest impact for some of you might just be the recognition of the shame you carry. You have made the first and most cri…
 
Academic, popular speaker and expert on the subject Brené Brown, defines shame this way:"Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging." Maybe in our context, we might say:How could God ever love someone like me? How heartbreaking it is in fact that the two biggest …
 
Each year in November, believers around the world participate in special services that focus on the persecuted church.There are an estimated 260 million believers around the world who are experiencing high to extreme forms of persecution.We read the stories of Paul and Stephen and John the Baptist - all persecuted for their faith. Some of you may k…
 
"Shame on you""You oughtta be ashamed of yourself""Have you no shame?"Body-shamedPut to shameWalk of shame"Shame, shame, double shame"In one Pastor's observation, I'm not sure if there's a more prevalent root feeling that robs us of our joy and the "abundant life" that Jesus promised more so than shame.Shame is most often rooted in a lie; A lie tha…
 
There's just ONE more aspect of our refreshed Church vision we'd like to share before wrapping up this series.We've been using the early Acts church as a model of sorts, and it's clear the early church was a worshipping church.The Psalms were their worship "playlist" you could say.And while worship through singing is far from the ONLY expression of…
 
There are a couple more aspects of our vision we'd like to share before wrapping up this series.Our "marching orders" and model always come from Jesus Himself who "did not come to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45)It's why we're trying not to use the word "volunteer" as it applies to our Christian calling.No…
 
As we talk about the kind of church we want to be... the VISION and MISSION we believe God has given us, it is all sustained through every Church's and disciple's first ministry;PRAYERYou will find that you can do much after you pray but you can do nothing until you pray.Prayer is a declaration of dependence.Prayer is an invitation to intimacy.Pray…
 
Everything in the first parts of our re-vamped vision is ultimately leading us to this…To Go!We take our cues from Jesus Himself who when confronted by the uber-religious folks about why he was not only hanging out but PURSUING sinners and those with bad reputations, He told 3 stories in a row about “the lost”, and more importantly, what the Father…
 
September 25th, 2022I'm sure you've met all kinds of people - more and more lately - who would agree with the sentiment..."I'm good with Jesus, but I don't want anything to do with His Church. It's CHRISTIANS who I'm done with"I dare say we've all had enough hurts and frustrations with people to at least sympathize with that idea.The thing is, Jesu…
 
We kick off this new ministry year with a re-vamped, re-imagined vision that will guide us into the next season of our church.What does it mean to truly BE the Church?What does it mean to BE NAC?We think it can be boiled down to 3 things. Simple, but not easy by any means.Find out what it means to be able to say...#WEARENAC…
 
Most of our faith is spent in the middle.NOT in the wonderful "honeymoon" phase where everything feels new, exciting and passionate.NOT even near the finish line where the Apostle Paul had finished his race well.It's in the middle where we are tempted to drift. Where things feel "same old-same old".The same can be said for our marriages, vocations,…
 
LABOUR DAY WEEKEND!It got me thinking about the two extremes we see many people erring on.The one extreme is seeing your work... your job... as your primary identity. The place where you receive your greatest sense of worth and accomplishment. We see the value we place on this when the first question we ask someone is "So what do you do for a livin…
 
The message perpetuated in culture today - in fact often in CHRISTIAN culture - is a message that sounds something like this... You can be a world-changerYour life could influence millionsLive in such a way that you'll be remembered for generationsThere is something inspiring about those kinds of "vision talks" and assuming those are good-faith mot…
 
A bonus podcast!From our outdoor service and "party in the park" at Fairy Lake on August 21st, 2022.We hear the word "gospel" a lot in Christian circles. The 4 biographies of Jesus are called "Gospels"... there's the "gospel coalition", "gospel music", "gospel business man's association"...Maybe you know enough to know that the original word litera…
 
A lot of parenting is filled with feelings of guilt and regret.There. I said it.Sounds glamorous and enticing, right?Don't get me wrong; I don't know one parent who would trade for the joy and privilege of raising a child. Children truly are a gift from God (Psalm 127:3)Yet there are so many messages from the culture, advertising, family and friend…
 
Some of you old-school O.G's will remember Tupac popularizing the phrase (and ubiquitous tattoo):"Only God can judge me"I suppose that's true... but only to a point.Lots of people mishandle the admonition of Jesus to not judge, lest you be judged. (Matt. 7:1)One tells himself: "You know, God is awesome - He really DOES give me strength. We won!"The…
 
Two athletes face off against each other.Maybe fighters, hockey players or quarterbacks.Each has their favourite verse tattooed or whispered as a pre-game warm up.I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength!At the end of the day, only one of them will be declared a winner.Each of them drive home and stare out the window and have two co…
 
There's misunderstood versesMisappropriated versesMishandled versesBut this has to be one of the all time misQUOTED versesit's usually quoted like this..."Well, as the Bible says, 'Money is the root of all evil"That's not actually what the Bible says. It's only missing a few words but those few words can make all the difference in our understanding…
 
As much as we understand that our faith is nuanced and even mysterious, it seems there's a part in all of us that are drawn to religious prescriptions... Formulas, really. "If I pray this prayer of Jabez, exactly as it's been laid out...""If I read my Bible, say my prayers and take my vitamins...""If I give 10$ God's gotta bless me..." Could it be …
 
Even with pure intentions, sometimes Christians can turn Scripture into little more than... platitudes.Motivational lingoBumper sticker theologymemesChristian-eseT-Shirt slogansOften it happens when we cherry-pick inspiring sounding verses out of context.The danger is that when these feel-good formulas don't deliver like we think they should, it le…
 
Even with pure intentions, sometimes Christians can turn Scripture into little more than... platitudes.Motivational lingoBumper sticker theologymemesChristian-eseT-Shirt slogansOften it happens when we cherry-pick inspiring sounding verses out of context.The danger is that when these feel-good formulas don't deliver like we think they should, it le…
 
We get into part 8 of our series "That Sinking Feeling"We have all experienced loss in some way.Death of loved onesLoss of jobsLoss of petsLoss of relationship and more Loss is unavoidable. So what do we do when grief comes to stay? Is it possible that pain and grief are not the enemy, but the remedy? Though painful and uncomfortable, maybe grief c…
 
We get into part 7 of our series "That Sinking Feeling"Behaviour on airplanes that looks like something out of a UFC cage fight?Nurses have to be outfitted with panic buttonsSocial media trolling that has no bottom.A new mass murder every week.Even a physical assault during the presentation of an Oscar.What is wrong with people these days?If you fi…
 
We get into part 6 of our series "That Sinking Feeling" A lot of folks are advised to "Fake it 'till you make it"The only problem is they feel like they're continually "fakin' it" (in some area of their life) without ever "makin' it". Whether it's vocationally, relationally, financially, or even spiritually there is a feeling of deep inadequacy amo…
 
We get into part 5 of our series "That Sinking Feeling"Some of us have been deeply and devastatingly betrayed. It's painful and has the potential to harden our hearts.Our instinct is to respond with bitterness. Respond with BLAME. Perhaps worst of all, to live out of a "Victim identity".God has a much better narrative for us to live out... one wher…
 
How are you doing these days?Really. How are you REALLY doing?Do you sense something going on with people? Do they seem angrier? More fearful, more anxious, more depressed? Are you a people pleaser? Do you fear others not liking you? What's going on?God has given us the GIFT of an array of powerful emotions. Jesus Himself experienced all of them (a…
 
Is this the first "sinking feeling" ever recorded?(See the story of Adam and Eve recorded in Genesis 3)One of the first things recorded about this first couple is that they were UNASHAMED, and just after they sinned, they immediately hid from God.Shame always makes us hide, one way or another.Often stemming from childhood messages, things done to u…
 
We get into part 2 of our series "That Sinking Feeling"Since COVID especially, the rise of people feeling overwhelming anxiety has statistically skyrocketed. Interestingly, working moms are feeling these effects most acutely.It's a complex issue that may have its roots in physiology, psychology, trauma, emotions, circumstances, AND our Spirit! We d…
 
New Series begins!How are you doing these days?Really. How are you REALLY doing?Do you sense something going on with people? Do they seem angrier? More fearful, more anxious, more depressed?What's going on?God has given us the GIFT of an array of powerful emotions. Jesus Himself experienced all of them (and managed not to sin).In what seems like th…
 
he Final Letter from our "Dear NAC: 7 Letters From Jesus" series.The seventh letter is to the church in Laodecia This is my (Jonathan's) favourite of the 7 letters (Is that weird to have favourites?)It's an iconic letter that includes phrases you've definitely heard before. It includes perhaps the most dramatic rebuke... your "lukewarmness" makes m…
 
"HE IS RISEN INDEED!”Our favourite Sunday of the year.Death is defeated. The tomb is empty. Jesus is alive!Even some Christians though may not know some of the significant points and impact of Easter.You might just be surprised at the difference Easter can make!על ידי Jonathan K. Gonyou
 
Along with Smyrna, the church in Philadelphia is the only other church that receives no rebuke or correction. They were praised that even in their weakness they have been faithful and persevered through times of trial.They had been excluded from their local synagogues because of their faith in Jesus. Even through the loss of community, and family t…
 
Does anyone else feel a little bit like you've been sleepwalking the last couple of years?COVID has had that effect. Motivation, discipline, and initiative have all taken a hit. But if we're honest this is more than a COVID problem. The daily grind of making a living, the distractions meant to entertain us and the relative comfort of Canadian life …
 
March 27, 2022FENCE-SITTERSGetting the balance of being "in" the world but not "OF" the world can be tricky.Some err on the side of isolating, but as a result, never make a meaningful gospel impact on the world around them. They may COME to church but they never go and BE the church.For others, the temptation is to compromise to the ways and values…
 
Letter #3So much talk of "battles" and "attack" and "war" in Revelation and most of it looks very different than what we are seeing in Ukraine (for instance). Jesus warns of a VISIBLE battle - (persecutors, bad rulers, and governments) which most churches were standing firm against, and he warns against the INVISIBLE battles (principalities and pow…
 
This is the only letter where Jesus has no word of correction or rebuke. This was a good church, but they were going through some stuff.They were going through (literally) "crushing pressure..."You know, to be a true disciple of Jesus in 2022 means that at some point you will face "crushing pressure".Pressure from the culture to compromise. Pressur…
 
Letter #1 in our "Dear NAC: 7 Letters From Jesus" series.This one may sting.What if Jesus were saying something to us like... "You guys are working so hard. Your reputation in the community is one of high Christian character. The hungry are being fed. Missions are being supported. You are orthodox. I just have this one thing against you... It seems…
 
As we begin this new series "DEAR NAC..." we need a little context on this sometimes perplexing book (actually a letter) called Revelation.Literally titled “The Apocalypse”. Now when I say the word “Apocalypse” most of you are thinking “Oh no, the zombies are here”. We talked about a couple of summers ago, that the word simply meant “unveiling”. It…
 
Byron Hurn has been an integral part of the history, ministry, and leadership of NAC. His influence and service simply can't be overstated. As the Hurns make a major life change, which includes settling in a different province, we wanted to hear if Byron had a "word" for NAC - a church he loves dearly.…
 
Today Jonathan would like to pose a question to you.Have you already decided what your limitations are?Have you got a fixed idea of what your capacity is?How do you know what your capacity is if you never challenge it?How do you know what you’re capable of if you never get beyond what you're comfortable with.There is a God who is able to do “Immeas…
 
Uh-oh.Is this one of those "The Church only wants my money" sort of things?Nope.In fact, we're starting this series in the midst of a surplus and healthy giving at NAC. Generosity is MORE than money BUT money IS a subject Jesus talked about ALOT. He knew back in the day that it was as true than as it is now, that money has the biggest potential to …
 
So often we have viewed Church as a “gated community”. Whose “IN”? Whose “OUT”? Who has the same Beliefs and Behaviours that we do so that they can belong? Who has said a specific prayer so that they get access?Maybe that wasn’t the model Jesus had in mind. Maybe Disciple-making isn’t even necessarily reserved for those who have “crossed the line o…
 
to share briefly about a word he senses just might be the keyword for our church this year.Share your own encouragements, resolutions, prayers and even prophetic impressions by contacting us.Don’t want to miss any NAC news? Sign up for our weekly e-newsletterwww.newmarketalliance.ca/updatesעל ידי Jonathan K. Gonyou
 
Boxing Day, 2021 Newmarket Alliance ChurchThe final story in our "Original Christmas Playlist" of people just breaking into spontaneous song, is that of old man Simeon who came to the temple every day hoping to catch a glimpse of the promised Messiah.One day his waiting paid off.So will yours.על ידי Jonathan K. Gonyou
 
Even after having been visited by an angel herself, it wasn’t until Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth (who herself was miraculously pregnant with John) that Mary burst into song, praising God in what has come to be known as Mary’s “magnificant”.Could the good news of Christmas this year even cause us to want to burst into song?…
 
Before Frosty or Rudolph; Before chestnuts roasting on an open fire or dashing through the snow on a one-horse open sleigh… Before even “Silent Night” or “Joy to the World” there were four songs recorded in the Bible surrounding the birth of Jesus.They are songs that aren't sung much at all these days, and perhaps need to be introduced to a new gen…
 
NEW SERIES: “THE ORIGINAL CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST”Before Frosty or Rudolph; Before chestnuts roasting on an open fire or dashing through the snow on a one-horse open sleigh… Before even “Silent Night” or “Joy to the World” there were four songs recorded in the Bible surrounding the birth of Jesus.They are songs that aren't sung much at all these days, a…
 
LOSING MY RELIGION Part 7: “A Story of Re-construction”As we wrap up this series on the epidemic of folks losing their religion... walking away from their faith because of... well... because of a litany of reasons. Christians are deconstructing the religion they were raised with. A lot of GOOD has come out of that. Sometimes deconstructing has led …
 
LOSING MY RELIGION part 6: “Is There Really Only One Way?” One of the big criticisms of the Christian message is what seems to be its EXCLUSIVITY (read: "intolerance") Did Jesus really make a line in the sand for "insiders" and "outsiders"? Is the idea of eternal separation from God (read: "Hell") a deal-breaker for you?Doesn't this buck against th…
 
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