Archive

Archive for July, 2010

June Baptism Pictures

Eve Waldner

Kayly Letkeman

Alison Loewen

Hilary Beauchamp

William Waldner

Kalene Gross

What an amazing Sunday that was! Encouraging stories of life change in the midst of difficult challenges. Choices made to follow Christ and live for His glory!

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My Heart’s Cry!

July 30, 2010 5 comments

By Darseen Pryor

“In the beginning God created . . .”   Just to stop and dwell on this is enough to send my head and heart into an endless question and answer session with God.  However, we know that it doesn’t stop here but it also says in God’s Word that He “created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”  (Gen 1:27)… and that everything God created was very good. (Gen 1:31).   I also love how we are living beings full of life because God took the time not only to create us but to breathe life into us with His very own breath! (Gen 2:7)  What an amazing God we worship, a God of creation.

God has been working on my story from the beginning as well and I am so thankful for the story He has given me.  I would like share some of it with you to allow you to look into my heart to understand why and what my heart cries out to God for at this time.

At the age of 16 I became involved with a young man with whom I fell in love, and made premature choices regarding sex.  I became sexually active and then got pregnant.  My next choice was extremely difficult. I wondered, “Do I abort,  parent,  or give up?” Thankfully God intervened here and, as a result, the only option left for me was to give my child up for adoption. In December of 1983 a son was born to me and I chose to give him up to a home that would have both a mother and a father. At the time of the birth, my boyfriend was not involved in my life and our relationship had been severed. Again the hand of God intervened!  For over 20 years I lived with shame and guilt regarding my lifestyle choice but my decision to give up my child was one I knew I was content with.  However, guilt and shame still followed me around for all these years. Well, the saying “ If you don’t let God use your past, Satan will” (spoken by Beth Moore in Proven us Genuine study) became a reality in my life for 20 years.

I am so thankful for God’s intervention, yet again, when on January 15th, 1990 I finally heard Him speak to my heart through Isaiah 1:18 and Psalm 51. (At this time in my life I had already received Christ as my Savior and was baptized.)  Looking back on this journal entry, I realized that this was a major breakthrough in thinking for me and that through God’s Word I was finally able to forgive myself for my past sins and truly to believe that I was forgiven by God.  Two questions that came out of my journaling that day were, “What cost does it have in my life?” as Jesus’ death cost him his life and “What can I do to better serve you, Oh Lord?”

Now here is the present situation as to where I’m at and how God has been speaking to me.  God has been pulling at my heart strings for the last three and a half months, and it all started with the fellowship ladies evening at PEC on March 29th on “Choose Life.” During this evening, God opened my eyes to the works of the Crisis Pregnancy Center in Winnipeg and the ongoing need to completely inform women of the choice to give life or end life.  The stats on abortion were another mind-boggling piece of information that got me digging more deeply into the abortion issue.  Here are some of the stats that I know of that have come from people who have done the research, including me:

In the world, every two seconds a child is aborted, in Canada 278/day or 12 lives per hour are lost, and closer to home, eight abortions per day are performed in Manitoba.  At the Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC), they see eight new clients per day.  If more of us were on board with loving and educating women on life choices, many more abortions could be stopped.  Since the  evening at PEC  I have been searching web sites and listening to the hearts of others.  I attended a dessert night in Winnipeg for the CPC, visited the CPC in Winnipeg twice and have lately listened to the “40 Days for Life”  audio simulcast,” … Now this is where you come in.

I am asking that you would take these requests in prayer before the Creator of the universe, for He knows all things.  I am asking you to pray specifically for the need of a ministry such as this in our own community.  Ask God what this looks like and where He would like this ministry to be situated, the people He would like involved, and what He is asking us to do as a community.  If it is just to pray for now, then so be it, but in my heart I hear God asking for more.  I need God’s wisdom and understanding on this subject and I need to know what resources to read and plug into.  As well, I need to hear from God about my life and where I still need healing, where I need to extend forgiveness, and what I need to do to make things right within my own family.  I thank you in advance for your faithfulness to pray.  I also would ask that you would take the time to view the audio simulcast at  http://endingabortion.com/event You will find these sessions to be more than worth your time to listen to and I will be praying that you will take the time to listen, as I have already been blessed and empowered by just listening to the first 2 sessions that were each an hour long.  Please feel free to pass this article along and encourage others to unite in the fight for the unborn life.

I am excited about what God is doing and can do through his people.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

God has been humbling me and leading me forth in prayer for His people.  There is nothing I desire more than to see God’s people and those who are lost come to Him, to know Him and to be healed.  My heart also goes out to the unborn and to the women whose lives have been in chaos since choosing to abort their children, and also to the men who have not taken a stand for the women who are aborting their children. May you be moved to your knees and be given a deep passion for the unborn child whose life DOES start at conception and ends by the mighty hand of God.  May the truth be known and revealed to all in this matter.  God’s empowering and love as you prayerfully place all of this and more before the throne of our amazing and capable King.  All things are possible with God!

Blessings to my brothers and sisters in Christ.

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The Church in the Community

July 30, 2010 2 comments

By Karen Gross

I read a question in a blog the other day (and have permission from the author to use it): “If your church decided to leave the community would there be a rallying from the community to keep it there?”

This got me thinking of the impact that Portage Alliance Church has had on Portage la Prairie. If PAC were to announce that its doors were shutting down, would there be a rallying cry from the people of Portage to keep the place open?

I have been attending PAC for about 22 years (Has it really been that long?) One of the first things that impressed me about this church was its level of involvement in the community. The other churches that I have been involved in focused most of their ministry inward: Sunday School, prayer meetings, youth events. The only regular ministry outside the walls of the church was going to the old folks’ homes to sing. And even with that, most of the old folks in the homes were members of the church. Serving each other within the church is good and important, but God has called us to be His witnesses in Jerusalem (our communities), and in all Judea and Samaria (our country), and to the ends of the earth.” The goal of PAC has always been to love our community to loving Jesus.

If churches are only open for Sunday morning services, maybe a weeknight Bible study/prayer group, and the occasional wedding and funeral, that would be a wasteful use of real estate, however, the doors of PAC are open almost every day from 8 in the morning until 10 or 11 at night.

Our facilities are in almost constant use. The building houses the offices of pastors and administrative staff; the classrooms and offices of a private Christian school; a large and long-running weekly study and fellowship program for the women of our church and the community; youth events; and counseling programs. Our facilities are also made available for a plethora of community needs. We host regular blood donor clinics and conferences, seminars, and events of all sorts. When two young women from our community went missing, we offered the use of our facilities as a command central for the police and volunteers during the search.

PAC members give generously of their time, money, and skills. We are constantly collecting food for the Salvation Army, providing meals for new moms and families in need, food hampers, and donations of household goods and clothing for free garage sales. Any time a need in our community and beyond is made known to our congregation; there is always a generous outpouring of what is needed.

Since PAC is a large church, members are all encouraged to join small groups of mini house churches to study, worship, and serve together. The groups are meant to become like family or a village. These are the people who will help you move or give you a ride to the airport. When I was in labour and my husband was out of town, I called a couple from our house church to take me to the hospital in the middle of the night and care for our toddler until my husband got home.

The people in house churches take care of each other, but they also look for opportunities to help people in the community outside the church. The Bible says to care for orphans and widows (James 1:27). These days it is also single moms who really need help. People in our church (including my very handy hubby) have done home and car repairs for single moms and widows in our community.

A group of women in our church has put on events to pamper single moms and give them a much needed break. Since many single moms don’t have cars, they arrange for volunteers to go to their homes to babysit and give them rides to the events.

If we were to take a survey of the residents of Portage la Prairie to ask them if they would miss PAC if it were to shut down or move to another community, I am quite sure that they would say yes.

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High Seas Expedition

July 29, 2010 2 comments

The Community Vacation Bible School is returning to Portage la Prairie! All are invited to join us on a High Seas Expedition. You will enjoy wild games, incredible music, and amazing crafts, as well as some lip smacking snacks, swashbuckling Bible Adventures, and making new friends, all while exploring the Mighty Love of God.

The High Seas Expedition will take place the week of August 9-13, 2010. Kids aged 4 & 5 will be hosted at Redeemer Lutheran Church (857-5797) from 6:30-8:30 pm each night. Portage Evangelical Church (857-4146) will host kids in grades 1-6 from 6:30-9:00 pm.

For more information contact Eileen Warthe at 239-1840.

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Upcoming Events

July 27, 2010 2 comments

PAC Canoe Trip – Ena Lake – August 12-15

Open to families, couples and individuals. Fishing, cliff jumping, paddling or just relaxing. For more information or to register, contact: Dave Foley 857-4952 or email to dkfoley@mts.net. Deadline is July 28th.

55 Plus – Thursday, August 5th – Annual Summer Outing.

This is for anyone in the 55 plus age group

Tour of the Doll Museum at Warren, stop at the White Horse Emporium for lunch, tour of the Field of Honour at Brookside Cemetery, and the Conservatory at Assiniboine Park. The travelling will be done on an air conditioned luxury mini bus.

If you’d like to go, please call Evelyn Braun at 857-5338 to register.

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Breaking Free

By Alison Lehman

Breaking Free is a book that I got for my birthday from my mom, written by Beth Moore. I was excited when I got it because I was feeling caught in the desert and desperately needed some guide to bring me back to a closer relationship with my Savior. I had been trying to read the Bible but found it very difficult to find meaning in it. It just seemed like the same old stories and words I’ve read many times before. Sound familiar?

In the first chapter of this book, Beth talks about the things that can lead us to such a place in our spiritual lives. Those things are pride, idolatry, unbelief, and legalism. I’m not much of a legalist but I do struggle with pride, idolatry and unbelief. Beth makes the statement, “To be free in Christ our high places have to fall. We must be willing to take a stand against idolatry.” Error number one. My time is spent in any number of ways, but my first priority is not God.

As far as pride goes, there are many ways this can surface. This morning, Teresa Stanley talked to us about forgiveness and not holding onto bitterness and anger. One thing she mentioned was that one of the hardest things she’s had to do is forgive herself. I can relate to her completely!!! That is the root of many of my current struggles and issues. I did not grow up in an easy environment and have been hurt by many people, as many others have, but I do not hold any grudges and have extended grace to those who have hurt me. But when it comes to forgiving myself for how I dealt with the healing process and who I was through a season of depression, I find it extremely difficult.

When Ray talked about the way we reflect who we are (the mirror thing), the wheels got turning in my head. I tried to fit the pieces together of the crazy cycle I’m always in. I have a hard time forgiving myself for who I was for a period of time.  Because I have a hard time letting go of who I was in my deepest valley, in my head,  others also have a hard time doing so, (and I then think) they will not see me as the person I am today.  So I am reflecting how “I” feel onto them, therefore, thinking they feel the same way. In reality, that’s probably not the case at all. Are you with me?

Pride is a big part of this mess. Why? Because I want to be well thought of. I don’t want to be remembered for the messy, emotional person I was. If you’ve read my book, then you’d be surprised that I still struggle this way because I revealed everything! Maybe I thought if I confessed all, I’d be free from it. But as Beth said, “To be free in Christ our high places have to fall.”

I think my struggles right now stem from not putting Christ first in everything. Back to the basics for me! I’ll keep you posted on my journey through this book.

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Special Prayer Gathering

Well Portage Alliance Church, if you were in church last Sunday you know that God did something very special.  His Holy Spirit was at work among us in a way I, and many others, have rarely seen. It reminded me of the stories of  different “anointings”  or “revivals” in history.  My heart is saying we need to ask God for more of this.  More conviction, more joy, more love, more tears, more laughter and ultimately – more of the Holy Spirit.

So this Thursday, July 22 at 7pm in the PAC chapel there will be a special prayer gathering where together we will ask God for MORE.

No need to R.S.V.P, just show up.  But spread the word.

I look forward to seeing you Thursday for this (to my knowledge) unprecedented and impromptu prayer gathering.

Nathan

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