Pointes Of View

Stories shape the world. You’ll find stories here of how Christian faith catalyzes values, relationships and purpose.  Check out the popular posts page, for a curated list of top articles.

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Father, Forgive Them

Last week we started a sermon series at North Pointe called “Any Last Words?” It is focused on the last words of Jesus as he was hanging on the cross. Words Are Powerful One can learn a lot about a person by their last words. We hear what was most important to them, as well as their hopes and regrets. These words reveal what they want to be remembered for and pass on to others who will live on. Jesus last words are very counter-intuitive. There are so many things that he says that are surprising, even shocking. However, when we get to know Jesus we begin to understand that his last words were a culmination of everything he taught…
Michael Voll
March 28, 2019
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Any Last Words?

The last words of a person can reveal a lot about their character, values, hopes, dreams and mental state at the time. Last Words Matter For some, their last words reveal their dry humor, such as the convicted murderer James W. Rodgers, who, when asked if he had a last request before going in front of a firing squad replied, “Bring me a bullet-proof vest.” Leonardo da Vinci revealed his ache at not accomplishing enough in life on his deathbed. In his final breaths, he said, “I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.” I hope that when the time comes for me to utter my last words that they will…
Michael Voll
March 23, 2019
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Humbled, Excited and Nervous

Humbled. Excited. Nervous. These are just a few of the words I use to describe how I feel right now when asked by friends and family. The role of Lead Pastor carries a tangible weight of responsibility that God has been preparing me for over the course of my 21 years in full-time vocational ministry. And for the last 14 years, I have been blessed to be a part of the North Pointe family. At times I wasn’t sure if there would be a chance for me to fulfill the calling of leading a church that God laid on my heart as a fifteen-year-old. Other times I thought our family would need to relocate to a different church, city or…
Michael Voll
March 8, 2019
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29 YEARS OF ADVENTURES IN SAYING YES

Twenty-nine years ago Rev. Bruce Fisher invited me to serve on his pastoral team at Central Tabernacle in Edmonton. I said, “Yes.” I had a lot of hair and some experience. Twenty-nine years later I have almost no hair and a bit more experience. Isolation To Congregation Being a pastor was not my childhood dream. My aspiration was to become a hermit - to live a tranquil life in isolation undisturbed by people. So how did I get from isolation to congregation? I said, “Yes.” God nudged me to follow His calling and be trained to become a pastor. Ten years along my pastoral journey I accepted the role of Christian Education and Missions Pastor at Central – a storied…
Jones Bob
March 3, 2019
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JESUS: DESPISED AND REJECTED

Rejection makes you feel like you’re not good enough. That everyone is better than you. Rejection is defined as to throw away, the state of being refused or the denial of love and acceptance. No wonder it hurts so much. One person's opinion, or one single incident, should never define who you are. Don't let your self-worth depend upon other people's opinions of you. Just because someone else thinks something about you, doesn't mean it's true. When it comes to revealing one’s true character, there are few tests as effective as rejection. No man ever passed this test like Jesus. He was abandoned and rejected, not by just one but by all. Nevertheless, He remained loving, kind and generous. He…
Jones Bob
February 27, 2019
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THE REAL DEAL: VELVETEEN PASTOR

“The Boy’s Uncle made me Real,” the Skin Horse said. “That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”(Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit(1922) (Avon Books Edition, 1975), pages 12-13) Becoming Real Like the Velveteen Rabbit when new, Pastor Bob started in this pastoring business with a full head of shoulder-length hair, and a full beard. 39 years later, he has been loved well by his congregations and communities, has a lot less hair, and has like the Velveteen Rabbit, become "real". A guest post from Tim Fowler - published author, member of the Board at North Pointe Church and a fellow writer. You can enjoy his work here -…
Jones Bob
February 24, 2019
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THE HOLY SPIRIT AND LOVE

The intensity of what happened after I prayed convinced me that something supernatural was taking place. My future changed in an instant. I was filled with the Holy Spirit. Talking To Others About Jesus The year was 1976. Ancient history for some but for me it feels like just yesterday. A Saturday afternoon and I was kneeling by my bed praying. It was me and God. Saturday afternoon prayer meetings were not usual for me but this was an unusual time in my life. I was living in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario where I had a job with Air Canada. God was prompting me to talk about Jesus with people who were closest to me. The thought of talking to…
Jones Bob
February 13, 2019
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BACK FROM THE BRINK: AL DOWNEY

In April of 1989, I came precariously close to ending my life. I was in the throes of a completely debilitating depression. Totally incapable of rational thought, very ill, and unable to help myself, I lived believing the tormenting devilish lies continuously being fed into my mind. They were condemnatory, malicious lies, without foundation, yet to me they seemed completely logical. They dominated every moment of conscious thought. Rev. Al Downey is the Pastoral Care Co-ordinator for the Alberta and Northwest Territories District of the PAOC. In the last year he and his wife, Yvonne, have made over 3,000 contacts in caring for ministers. Guilt And Pain Yes, I was a believer. Yes, I was a pastor. That only magnified…
Jones Bob
February 9, 2019
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LOVE RESTORES SO GET PERKING

When is coffee more than java? When its Kingdom Coffee. Jesse and Steph Singleton are Calgarian entrepreneurs with a cause that goes beyond caffeine. Because of their generosity the robust aroma from a bag of their fresh ground Nicaraguan medium roast is teasing my senses. The Singletons gave out free coffee at a pastors conference I attended. The story behind Kingdom Coffee coffee is richer than their roast. Our Story Four pastors went undercover and spent time with the homeless on the streets of Calgary. There they met a man named Jim. He was addicted to heroin, crack cocaine and alcohol. Jim was at the end of his rope, fighting addiction and contemplating suicide. The four pastors listened to Jim…
Jones Bob
February 6, 2019
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SHEPHERDS BURNING OUT SHOULDERING BURDENS

Andrew Stoecklein and family Shepherds are an endangered species in North America. The women and men who accepted a call to shepherd congregations through their valleys of the shadow of death have broad shoulders. But even the best are falling prey to deadly burdens. Burdens they often bear alone. Jim Howard, lead pastor of the Valencia campus of the more than 6,000 member Real Life Church in California fatally shot himself in the head at home on January 23rd, 2019. His associates didn’t hear his pain. This post is for Pastors. And their families. And the people they pastor and those who lead with them. Shepherds' Struggles Pastor Ted Parker, 42, of Macon, Ga., died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound…
Jones Bob
February 3, 2019