Happy Thanksgiving & Happy Anniversary City Centre!

I am excited to join you as your guest blogger this week, and I am excited to have the privilege of preaching to you this Sunday. Thanksgiving is an exciting time for many as they get to be surrounded by family, have turkey, and discuss what they are thankful for. As I began my study this week, I was brought to this passage in Philippians, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:4-7.

Rejoice! The Lord is near! How amazing is it that our All-Mighty, All-Knowing, and All-Loving God is with us always? My question to you all is, when is the last time you thanked God for the blessings He has bestowed upon your life? I hope the answer is today for most of you, but I know that is often not the case for some people. It is so easy to forget about all of the blessings that are present in our lives with the hustle and bustle of the city. Getting caught up in work, school, family life, and Netflix is easy, and sometimes we forget to give thanks. Sometimes we even get anxious about deadlines, politics, or the state of the world in general, and we forget to give thanks to the Lord. We can watch the news or hop on social media and forget about all of the good in this world that comes from God.

My advice as a pastor is, when you feel yourself becoming discouraged, feeling anxious or facing a difficult decision, do two things. First, pray! Pray often! I pray every morning, throughout my day and every night. God cares about our fears, pain, and anxiousness just as any parent cares for their child. Just ask God, “Father what do you need me to do?” Second, focus on the Word of God. As a Christian, the Bible is our life instruction manual, and it has everything you need. The Bible is God’s Word, and it has more wisdom than any individual or group of people. We have access to the Word of God! Why wouldn’t you turn to it for every problem?

City Centre Baptist Church has been serving the city of Mississauga for forty-two years. This is significant as this church could not function without God’s sovereignty and the goodwill of God’s people. I would like to thank every elder, deacon, ministry partner, member and visitor that has visited us over the last forty-two years. We are a God-fearing, Bible teaching Church that continues to follow the mission that Jesus gave to His followers. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” Matthew 28:18-20.  

I pray that all of you can continue to keep the Words of Jesus on your heart as you pray about how you can serve this local church and its people for the next forty-two years and beyond.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Anniversary! I’ll see you Sunday!


Pastor Tom

(Guest Contributor)


YOUR BEST LIFE imaginable can’t begin to compare with the reality of your life in heaven.  THE best is always yet to come for the Christian. It’s infinitely better than you could ever conceive. BUT the Bible gives us enough of a description of heaven that we know for sure that it is (a review of the last four weeks) ……

  1. the dwelling place of the glorified Lord Jesus Christ who sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us just waiting to complete what He finished at the cross;
  2. home with a room for all believers in Jesus Christ;
  3. built by the hand of God and is “eternal in the heavens;”
  4. a safe-deposit for eternal treasures; AND
  5. the assembly of the redeemed of all nations.


After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

The church is God’s “united nations.” (It is a really solid idea. One that can work.) Imagine a time and a place where there will be no more division, conflict or hatred. Envision a place where there is no more separation by class, culture or creed. Zero disproportioned attention. Zero misses.  Complete and absolute representation. That’s heaven. John the Revelator describes the inhabitants of heaven in Revelation Chapter 7. “They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (This is my text for Sunday’s sermon.) 

One of the characteristics that I love about our church family is that we, like our city, are ethnically and culturally diverse. We have people from many nations, cultures and languages standing together on Sunday mornings giving God glory for His great salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. It is as they say, “a little taste of heaven.” I remember just a few years back hosting Damaris Carbaugh as our Easter guest soloist. She is one of my favourite Gospel musicians. She resides in New York City. Upon visiting our city, she observed that Mississauga seems even more diverse than NYC. Just take a walk through Square One and you can’t miss that we are an immensely culturally diverse city. More diverse than Times Square, wow!!

The only thing better than being there (heaven) is to have a sneak-peak at the upcoming glory that awaits us stored in the sacred writing of the Bible. There are so many details to absorb that one has to walk slowly and thoughtfully through this passage. But let me just whet your appetite for more of this passage by noting two realities about the people who are gathered in glory.

  1. Their robes are spotless white. Don’t get distracted by the description of heaven’s fashion line-up. Stay focused on their colour, “white.” John uses this metaphor to speak of both the cleansing of the defilement of our sin and the righteous deeds of the children of God. Christians are those who have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus, God’s Son, at the cross (1 John 1:7-9). But the white robes also reflect the life of “keeping oneself unstained by the world” (James 1:27). 
  2. They held palm branches in their hands. Palm branches in the Bible signify celebration and rejoicing. (See Lev. 23:40; John 12:13.) Doesn’t it make perfect sense that John joins the twin ideas of salvation and celebration? As Isaiah wrote, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” Those who have received the great gift of God’s salvation have enormous JOY, and well they should!


So I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting of God’s united nations, aka, the church that gathers at 1075 Eglinton Ave West in Mississauga on Sunday mornings at 9 or 11.

Shalom, shalom,
Pastor Deric