Saturday, 27 February 2016

Coming This September..


...but getting ready for it now. The Global Alpha Campaign with Bear Grylls. It'll be the biggest church invitation of this generation. Bear became a Christian in his teens, but he loves Alpha and has lent his brand and his image to Alpha internationally for a major campaign, beginning in September of 2016 and lasting until the end of 2017.

Unlike our Alberta 2013 campaign, which was centrally run and funded, this will be locally centered. churches and church committees in various locales will raise budgets and decide on ad placement, inviting people in their communities to find and attend an Alpha.

This spring will be filled with informational and envisioning meetings and Alpha Labs (Alpha training days) around the Province, preparing for the campaign to come.

Anyone wanting more information can go to invitecanada.ca.

I read something that John Piper said, "God believes in retirement - it's called heaven."

I love what I do.

Blessings,

John

Friday, 26 February 2016

Is Anything Going Change Your World?

This, in my opinion, is one of the most ironic song lyrics ever. John Lennon wrote it. The Beatles sang it.

Lennon had it all; money and fame. Everything a person could want, if everything a person wants is money and fame. But on the evening of 8 December 1980 he was shot dead outside the apartment building where he lived in New York City. His life on this earth came to an end. His world was changed, and money and fame suddenly meant nothing.

I will not pretend to judge John Lennon's eternal destiny. I will say that he seemed to be on a search for something. His entire public life seemed to be a quest for some kind of spiritual truth. Much of it, I would say, was misplaced and perhaps in completely the wrong places, but a search it was.

Jesus has promised that anyone who seeks will find. Did he mean it? I have to believe he did. So the person who keeps on seeking the truth, not giving up, is assured of finding it, and Jesus is, among other things, the truth. The only ones who will not find are those who do not seek, or give up seeking. They may accept a falsehood as the truth and stop seeking or they may think they have everything they need and couldn't be bothered seeking. Either one is deadly.

Have you found the One who will change your world forever? Are you looking? Want to change your world? Find an Alpha.

Blessings,

John
#TryAlpha.


Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Missions Fest 2016


Getting set up.
Missions Fest is over for another year. A thirteen hour day, a twelve hour day and a six hour day. The last should have been nine but I played hooky on Sunday morning and went to church. When I was in the business world I hated trade shows, but I find that now I like them. I suppose it's because I now love what I'm communicating, whereas before it was just a long boring chore.

I must admit that as of Saturday night I sort of questioned the value of our participating in this one. It seemed somehow less appropriate a venue for Alpha than Break Forth, a couple of weeks ago. I still have that niggling thought but we had a pretty good Sunday, with great conversations and profitable contacts. I believe my seminar talk on evangelization in a post-Christian culture was better received at Break Forth, so maybe that increases the bias a bit as well.

It is encouraging to be a part of events like these. Sometimes we may look at the culture and feel rather abandoned as Christians, but at an event like this one can see that we are not alone. There were over a hundred exhibitors, each with its own focus and with workers passionate about playing their part in God's plan for His world. #lovemyjob

Blessings,

John

Monday, 15 February 2016

Looking Forward to Missions Fest



Missions Fest Alberta is this coming weekend, Feb 19 - 21. Alpha Canada has another booth there, and I am presenting another seminar. My subject is still evangelism in a post-Christian culture, but this time is must be somewhat divorced from Alpha itself (Missions Fest regulations not to promote one's particular ministry during one's seminar). To be honest, it is basically the same presentation with the Alpha logo removed from the Power Point slides, and instead of Alpha, I am speaking on, "small group relationship" evangelization. However, because the audience will know that I am the Alberta Regional Director for Alpha, they will know the source of both my material and my inspiration. They will know, in other words, that there is a particular ministry I have in mind, (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)

Speaking of audience, this could be interesting. My audience at Break Forth (a couple of weks ago)was close to 150 people, with SRO along the sides and back of the room. I dropped in to WECA (West Edmonton Christian Assembly, where Missions Fest is being held this year) to scope out my room for this seminar. It's the nursery. It will hold, I'm estimating, about 25 - 30 people, so who knows how it will work out. Perhaps there will be opportunity for a repeat presentation somewhere; perhaps if, out of a sense of pride I'm assuming the room is too small, I will attract no larger audience than will fill the allotted space.

In any case, perhaps you would pray with me that God's hand will be on all who participate and all who attend this year's Missions Fest, and that through it, many will be added to the Kingdom, this weekend and in the days, months and years to come.

Blessings,

John

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Load Out - Break Forth Edmonton 2016

Show's over. It was a blessing. I pray it somehow added to the Kingdom.
 
I thought of this song as we closed up and loaded everything up to go.



Until next time - Missions Fest, Feb 19 - 21.

Blessings,

John

Break Forth Edmonton, 2016

Open for Business
What is Everybody's Big Question
Guess Who is First?

Amy Croy and Chet Kennedy on Equipping Students to Reach Their Friends
Me - on Rethinking Evangelism, to a Full Room

Blessings,

John


Monday, 1 February 2016

Another 'Impossible' Problem Solved

This is a close-up picture of our Alpha booth at Break Forth. It doesn't give you a view of the whole booth because it is not intended to. Rather, the focus is on my brand new, used, Epson 410 W Short Throw Projector, and there's a story to tell. (Why else would I be posting.)

We, (Alpha) have what we call a, "Mega Banner" we use as a backdrop to our booth in various shows and expositions we attend. It shows this guy standing on a rock on the left hand side of it, and our big red question mark logo on the right-hand side. In between there is a white space where we show a 2 or 3 minute Alpha promo loop, repeating all day.

We have 2 of these mega banners, one for east and one for west, but this past weekend was not only Break Forth weekend in Edmonton, but Missions Fest in Vancouver, so I had to have the eastern one shipped from Ontario. It came, but no projector. It turns out that it is our policy, and probably a wise one, not to be shipping the projectors all over the country. I thought, "No problem, I'll just borrow one from our church." But it turns out a regular projector will not work. It needs to be a special one - a "short throw" projector, to project the right sized image from such close range.

So, panic began to set in. Break Forth was a week away and I had no projector. I called a number of local vendors to rent one. No one had one. Finally I found one business that would rent me one for $150.00 a day. Doing some quick math, I calculated that three days for Break Forth and another Three days for Missions Fest in February, would cost me $900.00. Wow! To buy one is anywhere between $1200 and $2000 - not in my budget.

Have I posted that I was going down to Lethbridge on January 28th for meetings and to tape an episode of Lifeline Today with Dick and Joan? Well that had been planned for a month or two.

As a last desperate attempt to find the proper projector, my wife suggested I check out Kijiji. There was one for sale in the province of Alberta - in Lethbridge! It was a projector that cost about $1400 new; they were asking $650; I offered $400, and settled on $450.

As you can see, I got it, got it home and it works like a charm.

God is good.

Blessings,

John