The Olive Branch Community Church

  1. When people hit difficulty – things that press them against the wall and leave them discouraged or in pain, they are most likely to blame either God… or the Devil. Followers of Jesus find it difficult to blame God – and the convenient alternative is… the devil! I mean, why not? The truth is that sometimes difficulty is a season of life we’re in. Or what we’re trying to do is difficult – and we get stuck. Sometimes things are way more difficult than usual – because we’re out of gas; that is, we need a good rest, or we need a break – we’re burnt out! Sometimes it’s because we have, quite frankly, made a series of bad decisions. What is important to realize, in bad times, is that there are not demons hiding everywhere, but that Satan is an opportunist. He will try to use difficulty that would be there anyway – to shove our face in the mud. And in those same situations – God is at work to use difficulty for our good – and for His purposes!

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  2. It would be easy to conclude when you hear what the Bible says about love is that the writers were extremely naïve. This would apply especially to the words in our favourite love chapter, Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. But the wisdom in these words is quite profound. In every relationship, there is a gap between what we expect and what we see. Everyone knows this. However, love that lasts is generous with that gap. God’s love is eternal – and that’s what His love is like; and if we want our love to last – that’s what our love must be like.

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  3. When Jesus came, He surprised everyone by the name He used for God. Abba. It was the equivalent of a boy or girl calling their Father, Daddy. Papa. What’s fascinating is that Jesus – the Son of God – asked us to call Him Father – Abba – too. And we have all the benefits of that. He cares for us – like good Dad’s care for their children. He knows us – and loves us too – and Abba, Papa, Daddy – is at the core of this relationship. Best of all, He’s the loving Dad of those who stray away and finally figure out that it’s time to come home.

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  4. We all have baggage. All of us. See – we had imperfect parents. Imperfect siblings. Imperfect grandparents. Some of us have been hurt in ways we never deserved – and then we’ve hurt people in ways they never deserved. Actually? Because every person who’s ever been born in this world is bent – that is, has this inclination toward selfishness and worse – the baggage has been piling up for years. Honestly? Handling it, dealing with it, getting perspective on it and working through it is too much for us. But there is a great baggage handler! It’s the power of the Spirit of God who helps us see the baggage, deal with it and stop hurting people with it.

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  5. One of the most tense moments of being a parent – and being a newlywed – is the hand-off that happens when the parents of a bride and groom say, “WE WILL” when asked officially – and unofficially if the new couple has their blessing. Truth is – negotiating the in-law thing, right – is critical to the health of the new relationship. This is way, way bigger than most couples – and most parents of couples think it is. There is a story from the Jewish Scriptures about one couple that got it wrong and splattered pieces of their family all over the landscape of 2000 BC… but we don’t have to do the same thing they did.

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The Olive Branch Community Church

The Olive Branch PRO

Welcome to The TOB Channel!
We're located in Markham, Ontario - right on the north-east edge of Toronto. At The Olive Branch, we don't 'do' church... WE ARE THE CHURCH! Simply said... wherever we live, wherever we work, wherever we go to school, whatever…


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Welcome to The TOB Channel!
We're located in Markham, Ontario - right on the north-east edge of Toronto. At The Olive Branch, we don't 'do' church... WE ARE THE CHURCH! Simply said... wherever we live, wherever we work, wherever we go to school, whatever we do - it should be good news that we are there!

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