"You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky but you cannot interpret the signs of the times."Matthew 16:3b (NIV)
Living in Times Like These
Over the past few months, we have heard that these are "unprecedented" times, that what our lives have transformed into is a "new normal" that we will have to come to grips with and get used to. We have heard that "we're in this together" and to "stay home, save lives" but how are we to live in this world that is so drastically different than what we knew only mere months ago? And what does the Bible have to say about this?
In Matthew 16:3, Jesus tells the Pharisees and Sadducees "You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times." The Bible is filled with prophecies, many of which have been accurately fulfilled already through Jesus' first coming. However, there are also many prophecies, namely those surrounding His Second Coming, which have not been fulfilled yet. However, the signs are starting to occur, and it appears as though, much like the people of Jesus' time, we too are oblivious to them.
And perhaps even more important is, in light of everything happening, "How then shall we live?" For many, September, with its new schools, new programs, new jobs, is as much of a start to a new year as January 1st is. The past half a year has been chaotic and tumultuous, giving us little time to quiet our hearts, meditate, and reflect.
At Summer Conference this year, through messages prepared by Rev. Paul Chan, we have the opportunity to do these things and answer the important questions of how we as Christians should live in these challenging times.
As it says in James 4:8, "Come near to God, and He will come near to you." Let us focus on God and His Word, and listen to what the Lord has to say to us.
In light of current situation, we were unfortunately unable to have Summer Conference together at Cedar Springs like we normally would in previous years. However, this did not mean that we could not find other ways to meet and share community as we would have done there. This year, we met in small groups, either in person or virtually. Knowing that there are many other things going on at this time, we offered two options for attending.
Regardless of which option was chosen, we met together on Sunday morning during service for the final session of Summer Conference. Like a lot of other things, Summer Conference was different this year. But we did not let it prevent us from meeting, sharing, reflecting, and growing together.
Sessions (Flexible Track)Any time
Although summer conference is over, you can still go through the materials on your own or with your small group remotely.
Traditional TrackSaturday @ 3pm and 7:30pm | Sunday @ 9:40am
The traditional track was offered live online on Saturday, September 5th. Both tracks joined the special Summer Conference Sunday service on Sunday, September 6th.
"Come near to God and He will come near to you."James 4:8 (NIV)
Our SpeakerRev. Paul Chan
Pastor Paul had been an accountant for 21 years before he received his call into full-time gospel ministry which he began at VCBC as an intern student and later served as one of the pastors. He received his seminary/theological training at both Regent College and Eastern Baptist Seminary (now called Palmer Theological Seminary). Through serving in both Canadian and Chinese churches, he has developed a passion for discipling marketplace Christians, seeking to walk alongside them in learning to put their faith in practice and to draw closer to God in a meaningful way. Toward this end, he has founded the Total Growth Discipleship ministry and published discipleship workbooks in Chinese and written a 5-year Devotional/Small Group Bible Study Guide online in English and Chinese, with Spanish translation in the works (www.totalgrowth.org).
GENUINE in welcoming everyone in all stages of their Christian walk.
PASSIONATE about forming genuine followers of Jesus.
COMMITTED to living out God’s will in all areas of life.
Follow and witness Christ in all areas of life.
Raise up generations of Christ followers and disciple makers.