From the TLC Group
You are so many things Father, You are our creator, our shepherd, our saviour, our redeemer, our healer, our calm in the storm, our solid rock, our “go to man” and our best friend. It is You we turn to, You we trust, and we are so thankful that we know You are always watching over us and will never forsake us. Thank you that You will make a way for us and meet our every need in our personal wilderness and love us no matter what we do. Thank you for Your direction. Your thoughts are higher than ours and Your ways are greater so we surrender to Your will and give You our glory and praise. Amen.
Hi Valley. We miss all of you. You are welcome to come see us on Wednesdays at 2:00 on messenger.
Because I am sure that neither a virus or any other disease, neither boredom or loneliness, nor social distance or partial unemployment, nor threat of insolvency, no loss of school at home, nor lack of toilet paper nor fake news, nor great crisis, nor fear, nor doubt or even death can not separate me from the love of God. (Romans 8:38-39 by Andi Weiss)
From Edna Barisoff:
Thank you Lord and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for choosing me and adopting me as your child. I am so grateful to have in my life Lord. I praise you and thank you for being my strength, the one that I turn to throughout the day and night. Amen
From Janet Armstrong:
The church is not a collection of bodies gathered under one roof; the Church is a collection of hearts
unified under one Name - Jesus.
Similarly from biblehub.com:
The Church has many members in one body...it is a co-operative body, each aiding in his own way and with his own talent. The Church is not a collection of loose stones and timbers; its members are in vital union with Christ, and ought to be in living and loving and considerate fellowship with each other.
From Janet Armstrong:
Greetings Church Family,
So much time has passed since we have been able to gather in Worship of Christ Jesus our Lord. Thankfully Pastor Ken videos Sunday services and we continue to hear the Word of God spoken to us in the same devoted and timely way as when we are present at Valley.
I miss you all and I'm inspired by the care and love shared through phone calls, texts, cards, emails, the making of caps and face masks. And thank you for all the prayers for one another.
God loves you with a love that is increasing and overflowing. (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13)."
a trial into a triumph, a victim into a victor."
I give loving thanks to all of you who have been praying for me for Dennis' homecoming one year ago on April 28th. It has been a blessing to me to have you all in my life. We are given assurance in our hearts that we are one with the Lord. My prayer is to continue praying for my step children and grandchildren to come to know the Lord in the same way as we all do.
Today’s worship service was so meaningful and touching I just have to share my blessings with the rest of you. Missing all the hugs and handshakes and the comments about the excellent service but am so proud to be a part of Valley when I hear of all the things individuals are doing to help out in the community and at home. Thank you.
I want to thank you for your Good Friday and Easter Sunday messages. I so miss being at church and these were a real blessing!!!
Thank you for the wonderful sermon this morning. I am so grateful my kids convinced me to "get into the modern age" a few years back. Now I receive so much pleasure, relief and can connect with family and friends virtually during these difficult times.
Thank You for Easter celebration message this morning.
Thank you Pastor Ken for the heartwarming Easter message.
Thank you for the service, I feel truly blessed.
Happy Easter and thank you for the excellent message today.
Thank you for the service this morning it was very uplifting.
That was a great Good Friday message and loved the reversible narrative.
Thank you Ken, excellent! A great way of presenting the message!
Thank you for this mornings message, we have so very much to be thankful for.
The Psalm begins with words that could not be more appropriate for out day: Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. (Psalm 16:1) This verse alone is enough to carry us through these uncertain days.
This morning I received a message from a friend and ministry colleague. She writes: Our world is living with great anxiety and uncertainty. That, however, does not need to rob us of a solid path beneath our feet. Jesus made a way for each of us to confidently enter into a forever relationship with the One who promised “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
Our real security lies in trusting the One who loves us enough to die for us. The light of His presence guides and comforts us throughout every step of our uncharted journey.
David goes on in Psalm 16 to say: I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord. (Psalm 16:2) I am reminded again that I am in a covenant relationship with God, that He loves me and is watching over my life. Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. (Psalm 16:5) Though our current reality may feel anything but secure, we who walk by faith can feel safe...Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. (Psalm 91:1-2)
Looking back over my years of journeying with God, there have been hard times, even those dark nights of the soul, but like David, I must confess: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. (Psalm 16:6) Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:6)
The Covid - 19 pandemic threatens our health and safety, we do well to heed the wise advice of our government leaders and health officials to stay home, to pracitice physical distancing but our confidence in such troubling times comes not from the wisdom of man. David writes in verse, 9 of Psalm 16: I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
It is not only possible to remain calm and rest assured in these troubling days, the psalmist goes on to say:
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure. (Psalm 16:9) We who know our Risen Lord can be glad, we have reason to rejoice and in him we can indeed rest secure; how blessed are we to be children of God! It's no wonder David concludes this Psalm this way: You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psalm 16:11)
As I finish writing these words, it's about the time we would normally be heading home from Valley; it's all still very surreal. I want you to know you are all in my thought and prayers. Thank you for staying connected; we will get through this togehter and as we wait and pray, hold on to that vision of gathering again and pray that it might be soon! I can't wait to be with you all again!
Happy Easter -- HE IS RISEN INDEED!
during this pandemic:
Click here for more information
From Roberta: For dog lovers!
From Karen: At the Cross by Chris Tomlin
From Betty: Check out this link for a creative sharing of the Easter Story for kids / grandkids.
by Lia, Shirley and Trudy
A message from James Perreaux:
Thanks Valley for your prayers and support!
We are doing well. Both Andrea and I have been working from home these past three weeks, and have had our two boys at home as well (10 and 8 years old). The boys have been doing really well actually, making a schedule every morning, of activities and outdoor time, crafting, reading, and some video gaming time. I know they miss their friends though. And Solly’s birthday is this week, on April 9th, so that’s going to be tough. Asher had his on March 23, and we did an online video gaming time with some of his friends. So we’re going to do something similar with an Netflix movie watching party online for Solly.
For Andrea’s work life, not much has changed, as she has always worked online for the government, doing phone call mediation. But this week changes for both us as we begin the responsibility of helping our kids do home-schooling. Teachers are just figuring out this massive change, and so will we as parents, having to balance working and helping our kids.
With UCM, each week Reena and I have made a new plan. Being adaptable and learning is key right now as we move everything online. We’ve been doing a lot of video calls (on Zoom) and checking-in with students. Students are heading into final exams this month now. So we decided, for the month of April, to provide different types of daily online groups and check-ins, as a way to connect and be encouraged in their faith. In May we’ll resume our weekly Thursday night worship gathering online and see how that goes for the summer months.
Thanks for keeping us in prayer as we navigate these strange days, and figure out how to do campus ministry under the physical/gathering restrictions.
Hope you are all doing well and being safe!
The Power of Prayer -- The Power of Encouraging Words
Over the past 60 hours, my inbox has been flooded with messages and my phone has been blowing up as people have reached to us to let us know they are praying for our son, sharing in our concern and to offer words of blessing and encouragement -- truly this is one of the greatest gifts we can give to one another.
Besides the many messages from our church family at Valley, we have received messages from long-time friends and even strangers who have heard and prayed. Below are just a few examples; messages of grace and hope and courage:
Father, we lift Scott to you and ask that you would protect him, strengthen him and heal him. We pray for this young man, for this young father. Even though his parents can't be there, Lord, we know that you are and we ask that you would make yourself very evident to him. We commit him into your care. In Jesus name.
( Asher Motola)
Certainly will be praying for Scott to get the best medical care possible and for God’s healing and gracious hand to be upon him. May God give Tiffany the strength and comfort she needs right now to care for their new little one, also to have protected them from the virus. God is our great God and is in control of their lives and yours. I know you wish you could be with them - that is natural. They are secure in God’s hands and we look to and lean on Him through this. Ken and Janice, please know we love you, and the family, and will be praying for you all during this difficult time of trusting. (Lelia Stairs -- wife of our former pastor in Chatham)
We will continue to pray for Scott, Tiffany, and Riley. And also for you and Janice. We are not alone my brother. (Don Richmond)
I am focusing my prayers throughout today for those who are currently sick including your son. Praying for your son, his family, their caregivers for peace, comfort, hope, and healing. We are with you brother at this difficult time. (Guret)
Sandra and I are on it. Thank you Lord God. We trust YOU. (Matt Duffy)
I am so saddened to hear about Scott. I’ll be praying for him, Tiffany and the baby. You and Janice will be in our prayers as well. (David Schrader - CCCC National Pastor)
Up at 5:00 a.m. Atlantic Time and read your note. I am praying and will continue to pray. (Bruce Smith - HMI)
We are trusting that the Presence, protection and provision of our Great Shepherd would be very real for Scott, Tiffany and both of you. (Darlene McLean - Christian Embassy of Canada)
Praying for Scott and the medical team caring for him. Also for Tiffany, baby and you guys...such scary times. (Friends from our church family in Markham)
We are praying for you and your family. (Graham and Myrtle Gore)
And just a few from our church family at Valley:
We are going to keep praying and keep praying until we hear good news. God is our strength. Keep strong in Him.
We certainly understand and feel the concern for Scott especially with his respiratory history. We will certainly keep him in prayer and wait to hear how this goes. Thanks for sharing this with us.
May you know God’s peace at this time with the assurance that He’s Sovereign!
I am, and will continue, to pray for all of you. May you feel the love of your church as you are going through this difficult time; we all feel for you.
We will continue to pray. We are in this with you both.
The kids usually text with their mom (I have a three text rule...after the third text message my reply is...call me), so when Scott kept texting me through the night, I was deeply concerned for him. At the same time a stream of messages continued to come in...'we're praying'. At 3:30 when he said, 'I'm okay, dad', the Spirit seemed to whisper, he'll be okay. A couple of hours later, he messaged to say he was being admitted and is now in isolation waiting test results.
We spoke to him this morning and he is doing much better.
To you, Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy...You turned my wailing into dancing...and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever. (Psalm 30:8,11-12)
For the past three hours I have been responding to nearly 150 messages we have received through the night and into the morning. We are so blessed to have so many joining in prayer. I remember a similar time when Scott was in Sick Children's Hospital in Toronto waiting for lung surgery -- we asked friends to pray and God responded with grace and kindness. Friends, our God answers prayers -- maybe not always as we might wish, but He is always working out His good purposes in response to our prayers; He answers when we call!
Thank you for journeying with us these past 12-14 hours. We will update you when we have more news.
Like many of you I have been watching with more than a passing interest the daily news concerning the Covid - 19 pandemic. And no matter what our political persuasion might be we as Christians must respond with respectful adherence to the directives we are receiving from our leaders and health officials. There are good people in positions of influence that are trying to do their best under trying circumstances; they deserve our prayers and our support. Indeed to this we are called as Christians. Paul writes to Timothy: I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
I applaud our Prime Minister for daily speaking to the people of our nation; our provincial Health Minister and Dr. Bonnie Henry our provincial Health Officer for the good communication they have provided and for seeking to be a calming influence in a time when many are afraid. And while I do find a measure of encouragement from these leaders ultimately my peace of heart and mind, my assurance and strength, my hope is from the Lord. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. (Psalm 20:6)
I would encourage you to mediate on the familiar word of the Psalmist in Psalm 121, and be reminded there is never a time when we are not under the care of our God.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
In these days of great uncertainty; not just for our health and well-being physically but with many concerned about their ability to pay their bills and put food on the table, let's be grateful for the support we receive from our government and communities but may we never loose site of the ultimate Provider, the One who gives to us our daily bread; who is the only source of for authentic and lasting hope and joy and peace.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
Over the past few days I've been able to connect with most of our friends at Valley via email, text messages or a phone call. It's been such a blessing to hear from many of you and know you're doing well during this time of concern over the spread of the coronavirus, and in knowing that you are doing your part to stay at home and adhere to good physical / social distancing practices. Our people are looking out for one another and for family, friends and neighbors, which speaks to the heart of Valley.
We are all deeply concerned and if honest, many are afraid; particularly anxious are those serving the health care industry, those on the front lines in our hospitals and long term care facilities. Pray for our nurses and doctors and care aids and support staff and for those who are ensuring we have access to the supplies we need.
Today I received an email from the wife of 'my' pastor, Phil Stairs, who passed away a few months ago. Lelia shared this verse: But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress (place of security), my refuge (place of safety) in times of trouble. O my Strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God. (Psalm 59:16:17)
For me, my 'go to' verse when I am anxious or afraid is Psalm 56:3-4... When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid.
Many of you have a passage of Scripture that encourages you and builds you up in times of uncertainty.
I want to invite you share those verses with one another. Use the form below or email me and I will post them for others to see and be blessed!
What can you control?
Your focus, your praise, your response.
Peace is not the absence of stress but the Presence of our Saviour. - Dr. David Jeremiah
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.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:4-8)
Celebrate , rejoice
Ask God for help
Leave your burdens
Meditate on His Word - Max Lucado
The Psalmist says, I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8)
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
I am concerned; concerned for my family, for my church family and for those who have been impacted by this virus. But, I am not fearful. We have entrusted ourselves to God's care; God who jealously watches over and protects His people, who delivers and protects.
Janice and I have put in our front window, a cross -- a reminder to us that we are asking God to protect us, our home and family, our community and nation. It's also a message to our neighbors, for all who walk by or drive by that we have put ourselves under the cross. It's not an 'in your face' gesture but a simple expression of our faith in these trying times.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. (Psalm 62:2)