Merry Christmas Church Family

This year I’ve wrestled between the tension of missing our normal Christmas celebrations that WE ALL love and the reality that nothing has changed for we who love the Christ of Christmas.  Pandemic included.

  • We can celebrate His birth just as sincerely as we ever have (maybe even with a depth we’ve been missing for a while)
  • We can open our hearts to Him in new and deeper ways
  • We wait in hope just as we have from the moment of our new birth
  • We can even find JOY in all of the trials that may befall us

If anything, the suffering we are experiencing because of the absence of corporate Christmas gatherings, is driving faith deeper for many of us.  Though, I am always conscience of those whose faith is being weakened by the present trial that the world is undergoing.  

So, I’m learning to push through the moments of regret in order to cling to Him in faith.  I’m even being bold about asking Him to show up in ways that I never anticipated in Christmas past.

And He is granting my prayer. 

The cool thing about being a Christian is that we are described in the Bible as “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37).  The text actually says that “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”  By His love He heals us, comforts us and encourages us.  Being a Christian means there is always “MORE” to the story of our lives.  We are more than our circumstances.  We are more than our trials.  We are more than meets the eye. 

Whatever you are feeling this Christmas, believe what God says you are in reality.  More than an overcomer.  And then stand in the wonder of Christmas, as you always have. 

From April and me to our church family, near and far, blessed Christmas to each one.  We love you and thank God for you.  We are looking forward to what the new year holds for our church family. 

Stay safe, stay strong in the Lord and stay connected to your church family.


Pastor Deric & April


P.S. Just to be clear!  The fun picture above is from one year ago.  But I thought you might appreciate the smile.  




      • the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope
        “thank you for all your support and encouragement”

It’s one of my favourite words in the English language. In fact, it’s been a guiding principle of my life to speak to others in a way that conveys encouragement. My motto is to “build believers by the Book.” Building believers, in part, means encouraging them. As a pastor-teacher I’ve made it my goal to speak truth redemptively, that is, always with a mixture of encouragement. People can swallow the hard facts of the Bible if they are spoken with a dose of encouragement.

Leaders in every realm of life still fall prey to the trap of threatening and bullying their constituents into cooperation. From parents to politicians, from pastors to parishioners, we are more apt to follow the path of the least productive motivation of them all, guilt and fear. Words can be forged into a weapon to threaten people or they can be molded into an instrument to re-build their confidence.

I’m especially thankful for the example of the early apostles, in whose faith tradition we Christians follow. They were fearless defenders of the truth in Jesus but they never resorted to coercion and manipulation. They had spines of titanium but hearts as tender as Jesus Himself. In fact, we could summarize the New Testament as an encouragement manual. Words of hope and strength fall off every page of the New Testament. That’s why Paul told the church at Thessalonica to “encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1Thessalonians 5:11)

Their source and example of encouragement was Jesus Himself. (Philippians 2) So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”

The greatest source of encouragement that the human heart can access is Jesus. He will download all the strength and hope and confidence that you need to get through these trying days and any other struggle that you will ever face. Imagine being plugged into THE source of personal encouragement, every day and at all times!

Reading your Bible is another source of fresh encouragement. It offers as much as you will ever need! Romans 15 says: For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”

The Church is meant to be a repository of continual encouragement where every believer is built up in faith and strengthened in hope.

Church family! Be encouraged in the Lord and be encouraging for the Lord.


Pastor Deric