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Issue 11

Table of Contents: (Or some such thing . . .)
1-notes, comments, feedback (or lack thereof) . . . whatever
3-comments on the world
4-todays "message" (and it's not mine!)

Notes, Comments, Feedback, Lack Thereof, Whatever
"The main reason Catholics are villified today, in my mind, is that they seem to have the worst case of Sunday Morning Christian." One of our illustrious members noted that to me. I'd tell you his name, but I didn't ask for permission to. Anyway, I pretty much totally agreed with this friend. I also pointed out that many people are anti-Catholic from ages-old prejudice and stuff. He pointed out that many people are anti-Catholic because they were looking out for heresy and cults, and end up putting some good churches on their lists of the bad (not just Catholics, but at least Anglicans as well. And people don't know that their has been renewal in the Seventh Day Adventist Church and that they can be considered Christian like the rest of us). We were using Baptists as our key group, because many Baptist churches teach that Catholicism is not Christian, and my mom knew Baptists who were vehemently against Anglicans. But I know that only Baptists and Penetcostals fall into this, but that some Anglicans do. And there are many churhces out there that are Baptist-ish, and sometimes it is easier to say BAPTIST than Baptist-type churches. In the end, my friend said, "Since neither of us are Baptists, I suppose it's all hypothetical," in reference as to why so many Baptists and Baptist-types, and right-wing Christians are anti-Catholic.

Another person said he felt like beating me up at one point. I'm guessing it's because of my Baptist comment and one thing I said that was countering something he strongly felt from when he was Catholic. And I'm sorry for offending anyone, but the Baptist comment was used for effect. What it means is that the Baptist church is not exactly the most united church when it comes to theology, doctrine, belief, and all that jazz. This comment does not refer to any given single Baptist at any given time. That guy also said he agreed with 75% of what I said. I'm still wondering what the other 25% was.

Only one other person made a comment, and she liked what I had to say. Only three people gave me feedback. (Sniff, sniff)

Okay, so I don't have that much news. I just felt like subdividing this newsletter. Well, tonight we had a youth praise service at my church. It was good. We had 13 people out. You Thunder Bayites (all 2 of you!!) who didn't come had better some next time. It was really good, though. Michelle (my youth leader) talked about how after Jesus ascended, there were only the Eleven and a few others, but they still met together, encouraged each other and prayed. And they ended up, at Pentecost, reaching 35,000 people! So we didn't have to be discouraged by our small numbers. And she talked about roadies and groupies for Jesus. A roady, with a band, is someone who goes along with the band and helps it set up and stuff. A groupie is someone who follows the band EVERYWHERE, and just comes to the concerts and screams and dances and cheers and stuff. So, a groupie for Jesus is someone who just goes to all the big events and Church and stuff and is all pumped up about Jesus there, but doesn't live the life of a Christian the rest of the time. Whereas a roady for Jesus is someone who goes out and tries to show Christ to others by actions and talking, not just praising and stuff at events, but praising Jesus at school and stuff. Another point about groupies is that they get in the way of the Band, whereas the roadies carry all the heavy, hard-to-lift stuff.

Do either of you Thunder Bayites remember that thing we did on Motivational Gifts with Meno last year? That was cool. It was based on Romans 12:6-8, if you'll recall. Well, last night we did a thing on gifts at Youth Group. This test drew from other places, like 1 Corinthians, so it had more categories. My tally for this one, out of 15 was as follows:
Helping: 8
Giving: 9
Pastoring: 15
Mercy: 11
Hospitality: 8
Leading: 10
Evangelism: 13
Faith: 14
My tally for the other one, out of 100, was as follows:
Perceiver: 72
Server: 52
Teacher: 80
Exhorter: 51
Giver: 53
Administrator: 48
Compassion: 63
I'm leaving you in suspense as to what all of those gifts are. I may tell you in the future, I may choose not to, and I may forget to. Michelle asked me what I was planning on doing, and I said I wanted to be a University Professor. She said she thinks I'm missing my calling. Meh. Maybe not, because I could still serve in a pastoring capacity, just not professionally. Ha, ha!

I was on TV last night!! All you Thunder Bayites had better've watched me! I was advertising the Halloween Food Drive which is coming up on Tuesday. IVCF is putting it on. We're going out into the neighbourhoods around the high schools and somewhere kinda near the university, dressing up, and collecting food for the Thunder Bay Food Bank. Well, except for LU students who are collecting for the LU Food Bank. Last year we got 3000 lbs, and we hope to beat that this year.

Well, the Halloween Food Drive kind of moves me right along into my comments on the world. But only kind of.

Comments on the World.
The world sucks. Live with it. (But not in it. Get it?)

Today's message is written by a very good friend of mine, a guy who's very close to my heart--my big brother Jonny! He e-mailed this out to his e-mail crowd (which actually doesn't subscribe to his sendings, but whatever), and I liked it SO MUCH, I figured I should send it along instead of trying to write my own. So, I present to you . . . Jonny.

Dear friends,
Well, another summer has come and gone. I hope you enjoy what I have for you to read. If you enjoy it, and know others who you think would also enjoy it, send it on to them. As always, please return something to me, give me some feedback.
Now, most of us have heard that we are to be beacons in the darkness. Beacons to show people where to go, to show danger. Beacons draw people's attention, and make them wonder what it's all about. We are to be like lighthouses, exposing danger in the darkness.

"If it wasn't for the lighthouse, where would my life be?
On a ship bound for nowhere on an unforgiving sea..."
-Audio Adrenaline

I've been reading St. Augustine recently, and he holds that people are capable of nothing but evil without God. Now, I'm not saying that I agree with everything that Augustine says, but who am I to argue with St. Augustine? A lighthouse generates light, right? If I was supposed to be the lighthouse, it didn't seem to leave room for God, thus a problem arose
between Augustine and the beacon analogy, so I thought (this was only because I had not given it enough thought). I realized a different analogy, in which we are called to be like the
moon, as it stands out in the darkness only because it reflects the light of the sun. In our case though, we are reflecting the Light of the Son. We can be lights to the world as the moon is, reflecting the light of Jesus. If we are like Jesus, then He is reflected through our lives. In my zeal, I was ready to abandon the beacon analogy for the moon analogy, until someone very dear to me told me that I couldn't.
So I took it to my priest, who is also very dear to me, and he told me that while the moon analogy is a valid analogy, the beacon analogy cannot be discarded. He reminded me that the lighthouse does not generate light (as I had thought), but is merely the vessel through which the light is perceived.

"I baptize you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
-John the Baptist (Mark 1:8)

As a Christian-type, I have the Holy Spirit in me, and with the Spirit in me, I am the instrument of Light, the beacon, but not the Light itself. The lighthouse houses the light. Unless it is on fire, the lighthouse does not actually generate the light. How could I have forgotten the Holy Sprit? The beacon analogy is perfect when that third part of the Trinity is taken into consideration. Not to my surprise, I then found that my analogy of the moon could only hold water with The Holy Spirit, also. When making the analogy, I had simply assumed the presence of the Spirit, and not even realized that if I had assumed Its
presence in the beacon analogy, I never would have had this problem in the first place.
You see, how can I, a sinful human being, hope to reflect Christ through my life without God's Spirit working in me already? As though there were some way that I could attain perfection. Had I realized that I was figuring in The Holy Spirit in the first place, none of this would have happened.
So I came to this conclusion, we can, through The Holy Spirit, be Lights to the world by reflecting Christ in our lives. The two analogies are the same thing, which means that we've returned to where we started. Why would I take up your time with something that says nothing? I wouldn't, and I think this says something besides my conclusion. My brothers and sisters, how often in your life do you assume the presence of the Holy Spirit without really figuring the Spirit into your situations? How often do you feel that there's nothing you can do, that you're helpless? I know that I've claimed the presence of the Holy Spirit, and then lived as though the Spirit were nothing but a dream. Jesus didn't back down, He wasn't afraid, He wasn't ashamed, and He was faithful to the end. Faithful to the end, I like the sound of that. I can only hope that I can be too. Fortunately, as long as I remember The Holy Spirit is at work in my life, I don't have to do it alone.

Peace in Christ,
Jonathan Hoskin

*Copyright 2001, Jonathan Hoskin
All Other Content Copyright 2001, Matthew Hoskin