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  • A New Day

    If I were to ask “How do you define hope?” I am sure I would get a myriad of answers. For a starving person, hope could be defined as an anticipation of a great feast that never ends. In the case of a person wracked by a painful and incurable disease, hope could be defined as an expectation of a cure or even just a relief from the pain. For someone waiting for a loved one to come back from a military tour overseas, this could be seen as a hopefulness that they come home safe and sound and life can resume some sense of normalcy. Hope has, over the past, been seen as something temporary or even a pipe dream because so often our hope has been in the things of the world. Yes, this may sound harsh but, if we are to be truly honest with ourselves, to put our hope in a person is not a perfect scenario. Think about this for a moment. I love my wife beyond all understanding but there have been times when she has placed her hope in something I promised and I was unable to deliver. It is not that I did not want to fulfill her hopes but I am fallible. There is not a single one of us who can claim perfection and if anyone says they have never had their hopes dashed because of another, I say think a little harder. You see there is only One who is perfect and you can place your hope in Him because He has never failed any one of us. Consider this, His hope is that all shall come to know His love and joy and embrace His promise of life eternal in Glory but there are so many out there who have been hurt by placing their hope in people, and yes I will go so far to say in the church, only to be disappointed but I offer this; God has not let us down, not even once, it is the people who falter and this tests our faith, our hope. For many, they have walked away yet Jesus remains committed to everyone of us, for you see “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.” Rom 5:8-9. This is where we should look for our perfect hope. This is the perfect promise that is already paid for, is already waiting for all of us to claim and embrace. This Sunday, we are celebrating perfect hope, a hope in a Messiah who came for one and all. God sent His Son so that we would all have access to the perfect hope of Glory. Christ loves us so much that He came to take our sins upon Himself so that we may embrace the promise of Glory and therein lies our hope. We can put our hope in our brothers and sisters but our ultimate fulfillment will come from our Saviour. This Sunday, Pastor Todd will once again be digging into the Epistle of Paul to the Church in Philippi. We would love for you to join us either in person or online Sunday at 10:30 AM MST. Facebook Live - Main Ave Fellowship YouTube Live – You Tube We look forward to seeing you this Sunday. Blessings, Pastor Todd Our Mission “To live the love of Christ”

  • Peter's Picks

    The Perfect 7-day Diet – Peter’s Picks ‘The Goodness of God’ Day 1: Psalm 107:8, 9 – “Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” Day 2: Psalm 100:4, 5 – “Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.” Day 3: Psalm 33:5 – “He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.” Day 4: Psalm 69:16 – “Answer my prayers, O Lord, for your unfailing love is wonderful. Take care of me, for your mercy is so plentiful.” Day 5: Nahum 1:7 – “The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him.” Day 6: Psalm 145:5-7 – “I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles. Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue; I will proclaim your greatness. Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness.” Day 7: 1 Chronicles 16:34 – “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” ** Verses taken from the New Living Translation

  • Peter's Picks

    The Perfect 7-day Diet – Peter’s Picks ‘Listen - God Speaks’ Day 1: Psalm 25:14 – “The Lord is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant.” Day 2: Job 33:14-18 – “For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds. He whispers in their ears and terrifies them with warnings. He makes them turn from doing wrong; he keeps them from pride. He protects them from the grave, from crossing over the river of death.” Day 3: Psalm 139:23, 24 – “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Day 4: John 10:27, 28 – “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me…” Day 5: Hebrews 1:1, 2 – “Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe.” Day 6: John 15:11-14 – “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” Day 7: 1 Thessalonians 2:13 – “Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God - which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe.” ** Verses taken from the New Living Translation

  • The Right Of Way

    I would like to give you a small glimpse into the life of Main Avenue in Sundre, AB. You see, we have round-about intersections through downtown. If you watch the services on Sunday, you may hear me refer to the intersections and see me cringe as I witness almost accidents right outside the front door of the church. There are daily outbursts of car horns as people let others know how wrong they are when using the intersections and, in a few cases, some gestures of disappointment were exchanged after the vehicular auditory expression of disapproval was communicated. For me, I was taught how to navigate traffic circles when I first learned to drive and remember the lesson my instructor told me; “the key to traffic circles is yield to the person in the circle and be courteous to others as this will ensure traffic flows easily. You see, the mentality of so many is that the right of way belongs to those traveling on Main Avenue because it is the main thoroughfare, it is the highway and it has always been that way. The reason the circles were put in was so that people trying to cross Main Avenue had the opportunity to cross the road more easily and safer. For those who do not want to adhere to the principle of yielding to others and being courteous, there will always be frustration because it hampers the way they want things done. Self before others is the call of the world but we can make a huge difference by reversing the trend; others before self. You see, if we all embrace this motto, others will always have our best interests in mind while we help others to succeed. If I yield to the needs of another in the traffic circle, they will feel good and I will not be stressed. This is the big win-win. This is not a new concept and there are times when we need that opportunity to call out for a helping hand and, in the end, there is a peace. He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Matt 26:39 NLT Jesus was having a tough night. He knew what was to come, the disciples were not fully onboard, Peter was going to deny Him, Judas was going to betray Him and none of them could stay awake even for a short time. Frustrated Jesus called out to the Father asking for relief, asking to have the burden of it all removed but then remembered the will of the Father was to serve the needs of others and Christ’s needs would be taken care of shortly thereafter. Life was a bit chaotic but only a short while later, it was done. Father, forgive them. It is going to take some time for things to change when it comes to understanding the benefits of the circle but when it becomes like second nature, there will be more joy and less stress when the whole embrace the new way. Others before self; so many benefits for all in the grand scheme of things. This Sunday, Pastor Todd will once again be talking about others before self, a study of Christ’s sacrifice. We would love for you to join us either in person or online Sunday at 10:30 AM MST. Facebook Live - Main Ave Fellowship YouTube Live – You Tube We look forward to seeing you this Sunday. Blessings, Pastor Todd Our Mission “To live the love of Christ”

  • Mistakes

    I’d like to believe that I have fairly good carpentry skills. Together with my wife, we built the house we live in almost forty years ago. Within the thousands of pieces there is no doubt a fair number of mistakes. Not the kind that would make our home unsafe or structurally inferior, but let’s just say not perfect. My father told me once that molding and trim cover up a lot of sins. It was just a figure of speech I suppose. It’s funny but fathers always seem to have a pocket full of those. Well, if that is true, then every house standing has hidden a lot of sins. I’m sure that even on a daily basis, there is not one among us who doesn’t make mistakes. It could be an error in grammar, math, speed limits, or even acceptable social etiquette. Regardless of our social standing, education, or up-bringing, we as humans will spend our life making mistakes, and apologizing for them. In most instances, we will be forgiven, and in some we will slip under the radar. No one is perfect, as we are all human. When we mess up in our life we can usually depend on our parents to assume the responsibility of helping us turn that around. We will be forgiven many more times than we forgive, which is something we should really consider. Scripture tells us that we are to forgive those who do something against us, seven times seventy times. I’m not sure about you but I for one admit that I could not meet that standard. In a perfect world, we could but these days that’s just unrealistic for the human race. The only person that I know of that could be capable of that would be Jesus. Consider what the Romans, Pharisees, accusers, and unbelievers did to Him. They tried Him, scoffed Him, scorned Him, and crucified Him. Yet in some of His dying breaths, He forgave, saying” Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”. How terrible was this mistake by mankind itself at the time to do this to the Son of God. Yet, Jesus died for them, and us for all the mistakes, and sins for eternity. Only God could do that. Heaven knows we need God now more than ever. How much more proof do we need these days when we see leaders of countries like Russia trying to erase their neighbors in Ukraine. We see our children, and grandchildren being preyed upon by those who promote deviant lifestyles at every turn. We are standing on the sidelines as corporations fight for control of every aspect of our lives, as millions of people walk around, fixated on their cell phones oblivious to the world around them. We are losing our way faster than the speed of the race to Mars. Recently, my wife underwent a major surgery. The day before, we were enjoying a meal and each other’s company. We were cherishing every moment in conversation, as we gazed into each other’s eyes. We spent valuable time walking around the Halifax Gardens, not knowing exactly what the following day would bring. As we sat for lunch we noticed a couple in the booth across the aisle. Each were emersed in their individual cell phones, and never uttered more than a half dozen words in the hour we were there. They had no idea what a mistake they made that day, by not closing in on what was important. It seems like our world is doing the same thing. I would encourage you to take a look at yourself and reset your life. It’s not too late to correct any mistakes that are hovering around you right now. Mend your fences, pay attention to your mate and your children. Keep the world from swallowing them up. Drop any grudges that are keeping you awake at night. Give your employer the best value for their money. Stop chasing temporary trophies, and bowing at the feet of idols. God forgave the world for crucifying His son, Jesus. He can clean your own slate if you just invite Him in. Look up and just ask, and watch how the mistakes that hold you down, be erased, and forgiven. We all make mistakes. The greatest thing is, we all have a way out from underneath them. Call on His name and see what it feels like to have the weight of the world come off your shoulders. Mike Shindruk Master’s Hand Ministry.

  • Remembrance Day 2022

    There are times when I refer to my military career and it rather blends into my clergy career. Some would have me refrain from mentioning it but it is just who I am. On the military side of things, I am an instructor, a leader and a former medic. On the clergy side of things, I am a teacher, a spiritual leader and a counsellor/healer. Is there a difference? Canadian Armed Forces personnel prioritize service to the country, the military and their teammates ahead of themselves as a personal commitment to mission success. As military professionals, we place service before self to maximize team effectiveness (this is straight out of the military handbook). As a clergy member, my commitment is to prioritize the needs of the community ahead of personal needs in order to be a part of a team that spreads the Good News of a mighty Saviour. So again I ask, is there a difference? We come together this week to remember and honour those who have served the needs of many, those who gave up their own lives to help others who were, and still are, living in fear and need assistance. The members of the Forces as well as those first responders in our own communities are committed to entering into situations where all others around are running away in fear. Police members making scenes safe, fire fighters rushing into burning buildings to save others, paramedics going into perilous situations to save a life. Not all make it out alive and on November 11th we take time to remember their sacrifice, we also remember the loss their families and friends endured through it all. When you see or hear the sirens blaring, take a moment of time to say a prayer for those who are heading into harms way to help others. As the news reports on our soldiers coming alongside those suffering, lift them up and say a prayer for them. As Christians, when you see someone who is in need physically, emotionally or spiritually, why not become a spiritual first responder and come alongside them. When Jesus went to the cross, He willingly went into harms way for each and everyone of us. His sacrifice on the cross saved millions. Seems so many in this world have forgotten the sacrifice of the many (those who fought for the needs of others) and the sacrifice of the One, our Lord and Saviour. My prayer to all is that this Remembrance Day, we take time to remember those who went before us, those who continue to serve. They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them. This Sunday, Pastor Todd will be talking about others before self, a study of Christ’s sacrifice. We would love for you to join us either in person or online Sunday at 10:30 AM MST. Facebook Live - Main Ave Fellowship YouTube Live – You Tube We look forward to seeing you this Sunday. Blessings, Pastor Todd Our Mission “To live the love of Christ”

  • The Last Prophecy

    Dr. Barclay with Something to Think About If one looks carefully at the Bible, there can be found about 400 different prophecies concerning the birth, life, and death of the Messiah. It is hard to be really accurate regarding this number because some writers combine two or more similar prophecies into one and others split one prophetic statement into two or three subdivisions. Regardless of this, there are many prophetic statements concerning the Messiah and it is felt that Jesus fulfilled all of them perfectly. Peter Stoner, a former Chairman of the Departments of Mathematics and Astronomy at Pasadena City College, along with a number of students, examined just eight specific prophecies and determined that the likelihood of any one man fulfilling these eight prophecies by chance alone was about one in ten to the seventeenth power. This would be about the equivalence of finding one silver dollar from among the mass of silver dollars if the entire State of Texas were covered in them to a depth of about two feet. So these prophecies, mentioned above, are from the Old Testament, but even in the New Testament there are those statements which prophesy about Christ and His mission. At the very last stage of His ministry, Jesus was brought before Pilate and, although innocent, was condemned. Pilate was aware of this and even said to the Jews “I find no fault in Him at all” (John 18:38). But Barabbas, a known robber, was freed and thereby it was shown that Christ, the innocent, would take the place of man, the guilty. This, however, was not the last prophecy. This was made unknowingly by the high priest Caiaphas when the priest and Pharisees gathered to plan what to do with Jesus. One apparently said: “If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” (John 11:48) Caiaphas, being somewhat arrogant, replied: “You know nothing at all” (John 11:49). Thinking of his own position and not of what should be considered moral and right, went on further to say: “it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish,” (John 11:50). And so he “…prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation…” as well as “…gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad”( John 11:51&52) “Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death.” (John 11:53) So in his arrogance and self-serving manner, Caiaphas unwittingly gave the last prophecy concerning the Saviour and pointed out that Jesus was indeed the One, although innocent, who would be chosen to die for the guilty and for the nation at the same time gathering together all the children of God. The prophecy that Christ fulfilled on the cross giving us always something to think about.

  • Peter's Picks

    The Perfect 7-day Diet – Peter’s Picks ‘Jesus in You’ Day 1: Galatians 2:20 – “My old self has been crucified with Christ.] It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Day 2: John 17:23 – “I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” Day 3: Colossians 1:27 – “For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.” Day 4: John 15:4-8 – “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. ‘Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.’” Day 5: 1 John 4:4 – “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” Day 6: Psalm 16:5-11 – “Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance! I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” Day 7: 1 John 5:11-13 – “And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.” ** Verses taken from the New Living Translation

  • Peter's Picks

    T The Perfect 7-day Diet – Peter’s Picks ‘Run to the Giver of Strength’ Day 1: 2 Thessalonians 3:3 – “But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.” Day 2: Philippians 4:13 – “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Day 3: 1 Chronicles 16:11 – “Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him.” Day 4: Habakkuk 3:19 – “The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.” Day 5: Psalm 29:11 – “The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.” Day 6: Psalm 46:1-3 – “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! Interlude” Day 7: 1 Peter 5:10 – “In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.” ** Verses taken from the New Living Translation

  • What Answer Do You Want?

    Now, I know there will be those out there who will note that I have covered this topic a few times over the past decade, but it does need to be said. If you don’t want to hear what I think, don’t ask me the question. How often have people asked you a question only to argue your opinion trying to get you to change your mind? Think about it, why ask the question if all you are trying to do is start an argument or they want to hear their opinion coming out of your mouth? A few months ago, I was asked a question to which there were numerous answers that could cover a variety of viewpoints. To answer wrong, that is, express a viewpoint that runs contrary to that of the inquisitor, would have led to a rather one-sided debate. You see, the person I was talking with does not appreciate the fine art of a good linguistic joust but would rather take the “excessive volume equals a win” method of discussion. As the discussion ramped up, I simply asked “what do you wish to accomplish with this discussion?” The response was not completely unexpected. My debating partner informed me that the aim of the discussion was for me to see their point of view and to come around in my thinking. If you don’t want my opinion, don’t ask for my viewpoint. The Laws of Moses were supplemented with the laws of mankind. When Jesus came and tried to let those around them better understand the truth of the Law, the crowds yelled and tried to scream down the message. Christ opened up a dialogue and the masses drove the Messiah to the edge of the precipice and He simply walked back through the crowd and walked away. I was once told by a very wise person that once the other person becomes verbally aggressive, that is they hurl insults or try to shout you down or, in the case of Christ, attempt to throw you off a cliff, the debate is over and the discussion dissolves into an argument. According to scripture, God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:17). The debate is not whether Jesus was real or if God is truly the Creator but rather whether one believes in the promise of the Saviour. “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). My position within the church, within the Christian community is to present a message, be prepared to respectfully defend the position and to be open to the viewpoint of others. Others can choose to follow the Lord or not, it is not up to me to bully others into belief but rather to be transparent and considerate of other’s position. Life is too short to get overly stressed through arguing. “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” Matt 26:52-54 This Sunday, we welcome Rev Darryl Wicks who will be presenting a Mission Message. Pastor Todd is away on holidays and will be returning November 8th. We would love for you to join us either in person or online Sunday at 10:30 AM MST. Facebook Live - Main Ave Fellowship YouTube Live – You Tube We look forward to seeing you this Sunday. Blessings, Pastor Todd Our Mission “To live the love of Christ”

  • The Silence Is Deafening

    In today’s social media driven community, the courage to speak one’s mind has been greatly hampered by the fear of being bullied, aka cancel culture. When Simon and Garfunkel wrote the Sound of Silence in the very early 1960’s, do you think they would have even contemplated the extent of the silence today? And in the naked light, I saw Ten thousand people, maybe more People talking without speaking People hearing without listening People writing songs that voices never shared And no one dared Disturb the sound of silence Again, this was in the early sixties but think of how this relates to our communities today. Millions of people so locked into their own preferences and wants that they forget to listen to the needs all around and if one makes comment against a single belief or preference, the backlash is quick, the walls go up and the act of compromise and debate is silenced. Is there an opportunity to reverse the trend, for the voices to be heard and not silenced? Jesus stood before the masses in Luke 4 and gave all hope, showed them a way to help them move forward and spoke in a language that was contrary to what the pharisees were preaching in their position of power. When they could no longer argue against the Truth, they rallied the group and decided to bully the Lord by coming against Him physically. When they heard this, the people in the synagogue were furious. Jumping up, they mobbed Him and forced Him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They intended to push Him over the cliff, but He passed right through the crowd and went on His way. Luke 4:28-30 Over and over again, the crowd tried to silence the sound of hope, they did not want to hear but rather embraced the sound of silence by shouting down the song of joy. In the end, Christ silenced the naysayers when He rose from the grave, when He walked through the crowd fully alive and declared by His action “I AM GOD”. Tens of thousands of people around the world have been unable to hear the Truth because they have not heard, have chosen to remain deaf to the declaration or refuse to participate in active conversation or even debate and the sound of silence continues to be the norm. Remember, you can try to silence the message of God but in the end, He will walk through the chaos of this world and embrace those who have tried to speak into the silence for the wellness of all. This Sunday, we welcome Rev Bob Hillock as Pastor Todd and Natalie are away on holidays. We would love for you to join us either in person or online Sunday at 10:30 AM MST. Facebook Live - Main Ave Fellowship YouTube Live – You Tube We look forward to seeing you this Sunday. Blessings, Pastor Todd Our Mission “To live the love of Christ” A postscript from Natalie: One definition says that “Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving.” Why would that concept ever be put with the word cancel!? Why would we want to take the array of colours and shades in our world and try to make everything a shade of beige?

  • Peter's Picks

    The Perfect 7-day Diet – Peter’s Picks ‘Never Give Up’ Day 1: 1 Corinthians 9:24 – “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!” Day 2: 2 Chronicles 15:7 – “But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.” Day 3: Galatians 6:9 – “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Day 4: Luke 18:1 – “One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.” Day 5: Isaiah 40:29-31 – “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Day 6: Colossians 3:23, 24 – “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.” Day 7: Hebrews 12:1-3 – “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” ** Verses taken from the New Living Translation