Appreciation

Margaret Chegwin advises appreciation for all our blessings is important.

Editor’s note: Due to a mix-up between the author and editor, a draft version of Margaret Chegwin’s final column was printed in the June 25 edition. Here is the complete version. Thank you again to Margaret for her work over the years for The Pipestone Flyer.

Paul wrote, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:18 NIV) This quote begs for two comments. First, no matter how bad the circumstances are, we can always praise and thank God for who He is, what He has done in the past, and how He will use even these circumstances for good. Second, we are to give thanks in spite of evil circumstances, but to give thanks for evil circumstances themselves would be an affront to God who is all good and is the source of all that is good.

Appreciation, gratitude, and thankfulness go hand-in-hand, and were the dominant theme of the last Sunday service with Salvation Army Majors Terry and Joanne Cook before their transfer to St. Albert. As a celebration of there nearly 12 years in Wetaskiwin, a single service was held at the Moose Hall followed by dinner for all. Recognition and appreciation of the way their work extended far beyond the church was expressed by Mayor Bill Elliot as he presented them with a certificate of appreciation on  behalf of the City of Wetaskiwin and spoke of first meeting them as principal and becoming friends.   Another touching part of the service was the songs sung by Ted Okkerse as he and Dian were briefly back for this and a family event. The Cooks have had a long and effective time of ministry in Wetaskiwin and will be missed, but new pastors Lts. Dae-Gun Kim and Aejin Jeong will be welcomed by the Salvation Army at the regular Sunday services June 28.

On a personal note, I want to express my great appreciation and gratitude to the people of Wetaskiwin and area for making these nearly 16 years here such an enjoyable, enriching, and healing time for me. During this time, God has certainly used you to bless me, to make me feel accepted and appreciated, and I thank you and Him for this. Highlights of my time here include friends old and new, the Camp Centre school reunion, receiving the Council of the Federation Alberta Literacy Award for 2010, a ride in a two-seater aircraft on a beautiful June evening, tutoring, leading Bible studies, writing for this paper, and the many of you who have come up to me to tell me that you read this column. God has blessed me through you, and may He greatly bless each and every one of you. For a couple years I’ve been doing research reading and outlining the structure of a book I know God wants me to write, and expect to do the actual writing during the next couple years in Victoria. The book will be “Made in God’s Image—Putting God in His Places and Putting People in Their Places.” If you think of me, please pray that God will continue to enable me in this project and bring it to completion. I’ve now got a couple very intense months of sorting, clearing out and packing for this move to Victoria where my eldest daughter and her family live. Again, thank you.

In this last column, I want to remind you that Christianity is always counter-cultural, especially in our present “secular” society based in atheistic religious humanism as identified in the three Humanist Manifestos. Being appealing witnesses for the outstandingly good  quality of life that we have in Jesus Christ is difficult for a number of reasons. In keeping with the statement in II Humanist Manifesto, “We appreciate the need to preserve the best ethical teachings in the religious traditions of humankind.” our culture has pretty much adopted the feel-good sentimentality of the caricature of Jesus as “meek and mild”. Other statements make it clear why our culture threw out those laws from God that require self-discipline, self-control or any denial of self-will. By denying the existence of God, this modern Humanism finds intellectual grounds for labeling much of Christian belief as “harmful”.

In this cultural climate, if we are to be winsome witnesses for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we must live out the full Gospel, showing that God’s ways really do bring the best quality of life. We must know God’s word in order to grow in personal relationship to Him and in order to know how to live in obedience to Him. We must give God, Father and Son and Holy Spirit, absolute first place in our lives and ruthlessly root out all idols of self, sex, feelings, materialism, intellect, etc. We must search the Bible for ourselves so that we may know God’s truth in three ways. First, we need to know about God, how He is infinite, great, good, powerful, all-knowing, loving, magnificent, and majestic beyond our comprehension. Second, we must know how He is imminent, present with (but separate from) His creation everywhere at all times, sustaining it moment by moment, and must know what His expectations are for His people that we may be obedient and holy. Thirdly, we must learn how to be  intimate with God as His people saved by His grace through Jesus Christ, living in loving, joyful, obedient companionship with Him. We must know the Bible so well that we understand how and when to be like Jesus when He cleared commerce out of the Court of the Gentiles in the temple, how and when to be like Him when He took a strip off the Pharisees in Matthew 23, how to forgive like Him, and how to love like Him that we may live in unity with Him and the Father as we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and with all believers as the one church, the one body of Christ on earth. Only by such a combination of extreme knowledge, relationship, and obedience can we, in His power, impact this culture for Him.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

"We are looking seriously at the spread and determining what our next steps should be," says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as the daily number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.
427 new COVID cases is highest in Alberta ever

Central zone has 126 active cases of COVID-19

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Temporary COVID-19 testing sites coming to Wetaskiwin and Ponoka

The Wetaskiwin location will open Oct. 23, 2020 and the Ponoka location will open Oct. 29.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
City and County of Wetaskiwin reporting active cases

Both the City of Wetaskiwin and County of Wetaskiwin have active cases.

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. nbsp;Alberta is reporting it's highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 364 new infections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta confirmed 323 COVID-19 cases Tuesday

Central zone active cases at 145

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

This photo provided by Air Force Reserve shows a sky view of Hurricane Epsilon taken by Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter team over the Atlantic Ocean taken Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.   Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly as it prepares to sideswipe Bermuda on a path over the Atlantic Ocean.  The National Hurricane Center says it should come close enough Thursday, Oct. 22, evening to merit a tropical storm warning for the island.  (Air Force Reserve via AP)
Hurricane Epsilon expected to remain offshore but will push waves at Atlantic Canada

Epsilon is not expected to have any real impact on land

A voter places her absentee ballot in the ballot box, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Robert F. Bukaty
American voters living in Canada increasingly being counted in presidential race

The largest number of Canadian-based American voters cast their ballots in New York and California

A composite image of three photographs shows BC NDP Leader John Horgan, left, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Sept. 25, 2020; BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau, centre, in Victoria on Sept. 24, 2020; and BC Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson Pitt Meadows, B.C., on Sept. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck, Chad Hipolito
British Columbia votes in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan called the snap election one year before the fixed voting date

Nunavut's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, on Tuesday June 30, 2020. The annual report from Nunavut's representative for children and youth says "complacency and a lack of accountability" in the territory's public service means basic information about young people needing services isn’t tracked. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Nunavut’s young people ‘should be expecting more’ from government services: advocate

‘The majority of information we requested is not tracked or was not provided by departments’

Ryen Williams, 11, with a lost miniature horse at JJ Collett Oct. 23. Photo by Don Williams
UPDATE: Owners found

Father and son found him while out for a walk at JJ Collett

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Conservative member of Parliament Michelle Rempel Garner, left to right, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen arrive to hold a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No-confidence showdown over sweeping Tory motion on government handling of pandemic

The Conservative motion is to be put to a vote Monday and has the support of both the Bloc Québécois and NDP

Most Read