Wednesday, 12 December 2012

According to Laird

What FBC Does Right!

I have been attending First Baptist Church [FBC] for five months and have been a member for three months.  In my opinion (usually my opinion plus $5 will get you a coffee at Starbucks) we do a lot of things right.  Some people think that "the way" things are done are not as important as "what gets done" (that is, any means to an end) - I don't agree.  I believe that the way any organization, especially a church body, conducts its tasks speaks volumes.

In no particular order here is what I think FBC does right:

I think FBC communicates well!  There seems to be good communication between congregants themselves, between elders and staff and between congregants and elders/staff.  Examples of this are the weekly announcements from the office, the elders' reports in the bulletin, the bulletin itself and three congregational meetings per year (much better than one annual meeting.)  People who communicate generally like and respect each other; it's when we stop talking that trouble starts.  From a staff perspective I have not seen an attempt (or a need) to "stick-handle" information - information is given quickly and accurately.

I think FBC volunteers well!  As examples, I cite three areas (I know there are many more):  Facilities (including grounds); Kitchen; and Congregational Care.  There may be 50 volunteers in those areas alone.  The work is done efficiently, the work is done well and the work itself is spread among many hands.  Calls for help are answered quickly and sufficiently. Volunteers themselves are valued and respected (subject of another blog maybe) by staff and elders.

I think FBC parties well!  Don't laugh!  Celebrating and partying is very important (at least to me!) We truly enjoy one another's company and are on constant lookout to "break out the tables."  The monthly potlucks attest to this.  The Jews knew how to celebrate. In Jesus' time - they had festivals throughout the year (their weddings alone were a week-long party.)  I think we Protestant Christians have lost, to some degree, the ability and willingness to party.  FBC appears to have a lot of fun.

And I didn't mention FBC's love of the Lord, its following of the gospel and its community-mindedness - all things I think FBC does well also.

Well done, First Baptist Church!

Merry Christmas!

Laird Siemens

Agree?  Disagree?  Fire off an e-mail to and we'll keep the dialogue alive.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012


Here is a great video to watch with your kids as they have been learning about COMPASSION this month!

Saturday, 8 December 2012



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Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Fishing with Laird

On Saturday, Sep 29th, a bunch of people young and old and in between went fishing. This was a day for the beginner and a few even caught their first fish with the help of some experienced anglers. Here are a few pics that were taken of that day compliments of Becky McArthur.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

This past Sunday in Jr. Church we looked at Psalm 139 and how God fearfully & wonderfully made us - we're incredible! We watched part of the Disney movie, "The Incredibles" and talked about how we are strong like Mr. Incredible because we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:13), how we are like Elasti-girl because God stretches us everyday, how through prayer God creates for us a force field like Violet's, like Dash we are winners in this race we are in and just like Frozone needs water, we need the Holy Spirit to help us. So no matter what anyone says to you, remember that God made you incredible and that in Christ you are truly incredible.
After the lesson I had them answer questions about their incredible selves in groups or individually. I wanted to share some of my favorite answers.

What favorite food keeps you incredible?
"Beets" - Gabe, age 7
"Meatballs" - Rachel, age 7
"Candy" - Stef, age 11
"Sushi" - Justin, age 9
"Potatoes" - Paige, age 7

What is an incredible quality about you? (What do people like about you?)
"I run fast" - Thomas, age 5
"I'm precious" - Yolanda, age 6
"I am good" - Rachel, age 7
"I'm cute" - Clark, age 5

What story in the bible do you think is incredible?
"Birth of Jesus" - Libby, age 7
"Story of Rahab" - Kaliana, age 10
"David and Goliath" - Isabella, age 8
"Jesus on the cross" - Autumn, age 5

What is one thing about Jesus that you think is incredible?
"He sacrificed his life for me" - Kaliana, age 10
"He can be everywhere at once" - Libbey, age 7
"He protects us" - Clark, age 5

Who do you think is someone incredible and why?
"God, because he can control the weather" - Paige, age 7
"Paige, because she helps me when I need it" - Kayla, age 6
"God, because it's really cool what he can do." - Libbey, age 7
"Boys that are my friends because their fast." - Yolanda, age 6
"My dad because he climbs mountains" - Malayah, age 5

What is something incredible you did this past summer?
"White water rafting" - Isabella, age 8
"Got to go to Oregon" - Nina, age 9
"Front flip" - Hope, age 7
"Swimming at the pool" - Payton, age 5

What is something incredible you would like to do when you grow up?
"Become a doctor" - Isabella, age 8
"Climb Fisher Peak" - Nina, age 9
"Help people" - Yolanda, age 6
"Teach church" - Libby, age 7
"Teach people how to horseride and be a cowgirl" - Kayla, age 6
"Work at Fort Steele" - Paige, age 7
"Ride on a bucking bronco" - Ian, age 6
"Work with my dad" - Payton, age 5
"Be a scientist" - Gabe, age 7

What do you think is an incredible thing about heaven?
"Do what we want" - Autumn, age 5
"I get to live forever" - Stef, age 11
"You see Jesus" - Hope, age 7
"You never have to sleep" - Ian, age 6
"You get a new body" - Libby, age 7
"Mean things turn nice" - Yolanda, age 6

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Shhhhh...don't let the adults know! This summer we will be spending some of our Jr. Church time in our own treehouse! Come on out and have some fun while hearing about what God says it takes to be a "winner" in His kingdom.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Summer Time Change

 Just for the Sunday service at FBC. Starting July 1st church will start at 10am and go till 11am for the duration of the summer. It is still easy to make it to, even from the lake, and then you can invite someone to come join you for the afternoon. Join us as we hear from many different people sharing from the Psalms in our Summer of Psalms series.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Friday, 16 March 2012

Who Are You Anyway?

(This weeks post comes to us compliments of Jeff Sotropa. Thanks Jeff!)

Did you know that if you are a Christian believer, you are a minister? Yep. How about… a saint? That too. Priest? Check. Missionary? Affirmative. Called, ordained and chosen by God? Ding ding, that's correct!

Then why is it that over the generations, we've somehow elevated above our regular selves those people who are in church-related professions? Why are missionaries put on a pedestal? What's the fuss about election to sainthood and all that?

If we take a good, hard look through the Bible, we may be surprised about what we find it says about each one of us normal, everyday followers of Jesus. (And why our pastors at First Baptist, Cranbrook rightly put themselves in the very same boat with the rest of us.)

The fact is, there is no secret society, no chosen few, no elite club of "others" that has some special access to God or particular favour from God. Not even those of us who are elders of First Baptist Church! It's true that too few choose to follow Christ, but when God looks our way, there's no discrimination between rich and poor, young and old, male and female, educated or not. And that includes ministers, missionaries, authors, evangelists and for that matter, Mother Theresa.

It doesn't matter what you have or haven't done, where you grew up, who your parents are or whether you even know who they are, what your ethnic background is or which side of the tracks you live on. We're all the same. And we all have the same degree of purpose and place in God's kingdom. My role in the church is just as important as yours, and your role is just as important as Billy Graham's.

Check it out. It's very clear.

The apostle Peter's first letter to the early Christian church says this: "You (yes, that's you) are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." Throughout the letter to the Hebrews, the only high priest that is singled out is Jesus himself. We are all co-priests with him. This gives each of us a pretty special place in the church, doesn't it? It also clears up the idea that some are elevated closer to God than others.

This is both good news and a great challenge to each of us. For with this privileged status comes responsibility. God has work for us to do, each one of us. But we're encouraged to serve out of thanksgiving, not obligation! And God has also equipped and gifted each of us uniquely to play this role. Some are elbows, some are fingers, some are ears and some are feet in the body of Christ.

And what about this whole saints thing? That's unfortunately become clouded over the centuries. It's really simple: saints are "holy ones". I know because I asked my very smart friend who is a Greek and Classics scholar.

Here's a little schoolwork for the week… in the original Greek texts, the word is hagioi. It means "holy ones", and Paul uses it regularly to refer to all those in the churches! -- God's chosen people. The translation "saints" is unfortunate because of what the institutionalized church has done with that word. Yes, we are all considered saints, even if our behaviour doesn't measure up all the time. Nothing to do with playing harps or being canonized!

We are holy because we are God's, and we will be holy in completeness and fullness one day. This is hard to grasp, yet it is clearly laid out in the Bible.

So there you go. You are God's child, God's priest, God's minister, God's saint. And only the Holy Spirit can help our minds begin to grasp this or enable us to live it out in our church and community. Let's pray that we do.

Lord, help us to understand how valued and enabled every one of us is in your sight. Amen.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Creation Art

A while ago Kevin and I had a conversation about different forms of worship and how that looks or feels within the Church body. This led to him asking me to read and reflect on a passage (Genesis 1-2:3) to gain inspiration and then somehow depict what I got out of that passage in my own worshipful way. I was asked to think about what worship means to me as I read this passage and how I would express that worship. The passage describes the glorious thing that God has done by creating this earth for us and by creating us to live on this earth as examples of His love. We have received this gift, regardless of how undeserving we feel we are of it. No matter how overwhelmed, humbled or undeserving we may feel, God has still given us this gift. Even if we try and shy away from it we are still recipients of God's love and stewards of this Earth. The fact that God granted us dominion over His Creation, enforces how we are responsible of caring for all of God's creation.

The act of making this piece was a good exercise for me as it reminded me of how we have a caring and loving Saviour who has entrusted us with so much, yet he is still intimately involved in our lives. As I made the painting I was mindful of worship and used it as a medium to connect with God. This medium works for me as it allows me to say what I am feeling without having to find the words. The end result often says more than I may realize at the time and I often find that I will not know why I put something into my art until months later.


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Creation & Christ

This past Sunday I spoke about creation and how Christ is central to our understanding of the Genesis 1 account.  We can see that into the New Testament the centrality of Christ in creation is a primary means through which believers worship God.  Christ was there in the beginning.  All things were made by him and through Him.  He holds all things together.  As we look to worship God in the creation account, we inevitably worship not simply God, but the trinity and Christ’s significance in the creation account.  Therefore I wanted to pass on some quotes that I shared as a means for deeper reflection.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
            In the act of believing in creation, we accept and enter into and submit to what God does – what God made and makes.  We are not spectators of creation but participants in it.  We participate first of all by being born, but then we realize that our births all take place in the defining context of Jesus’ birth (The Word – the creating agent – became flesh and dwelt among us).  The Christina life is the practice of living in what God has done and is doing.  We want to know the origins of things not to satisfy our curiosity about fossils and dinosaurs and the “big bang’ but so that we can live out our origins.   We don’t want lives to be tacked on to something peripheral.  We want to live origin-ally, not derivatively.
            So we begin with Jesus.  Jesus is the revelation of the God who created heaven and earth; He is also the revelation of the God who is with us, Immanuel.  Karl Barth goes on into immense detail (he wrote four fat volumes on it) to make the single point:  “We have established that from every angle Jesus Christ is the key to the secret of creation.”          -Eugene Peterson. 

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
            “It was by God’s word that all things came to be.  All that is, is by God’s word – for his word is not other than His deed.  He spoke and all things were created, and by his word they exist. If we ask the fundamental question of the philosopher “Why is there not nothing?”  The answer is that “in the beginning was the Word.”  The fact that there is “something” is not an afterthought or an accident.  God’s creative word, which is also his revealing word, was with Him before time was.  The creative word of God is God, for none but God can create.  The revealing word is none other than God, for none but God can reveal God.  But this revealing word is not an abstraction of the inquiring philosopher.  The word is “He,” Jesus,  . . . He, Jesus, is the one who is God’s word, who is God, and who was God from before time was.” - Lesslie Newbigin

Colossians 1:15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. . .  19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
            “It was for the Son that all things were created (v.17) The Son is not only the agent of creation, He is also the goal and end of creation.  That is to say, creation was created to be His, and to give Him glory.  Creation was created by the Son, and it was created that finally it might be his and that in its worship and its love He might find His honour and His joy.  The world was created in order that it might ultimately belong to Jesus Christ.” – William Barclay

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


“The Spirit of God that moved over the face of the waters “in the beginning” continues to move, continues to create. The Genesis creation text is not confined to telling us how the world came into being, it is also a witness to the creation work of the Spirit of God now. The verb “create” in our Bibles is used exclusively with God as its subject. Men and women and angels don’t create. Only God creates.”
Eugene Peterson

As we examine the creation narrative we see that it is set in such a way as to draw us into worship of the One who is creating. We hope you will join us for this series and be challenged to grow in your desire to worship Him who was before all things.  

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Worship Update

I've been working on an idea I'm quite excited about. It's called Farm Team! People of all ages wanting to get involved musically within the church will have an opportunity to receive instruction and get practice within a safe environment. This will be great for people wanting to build skill, experience and confidence in their musical abilities. It's also a good time for people with differing abilities to build relationships within the congregation.

If you are interested in getting involved with this idea, please contact me. We will be starting our first session soon!

Joel Kroeker, Worship Coordinator