Month: April 2018

Easter 2017

Easter Message:

Success or Significance.

Success is what happens to you,
Significance is what happens through you.

Jesus could have easily moved onto the religious scene of his time like no other religious figure, before or after him. He would have been the greatest evangelistic preacher known to man; just a personal invitation to follow Him and men dropped their nets and never looked back. His church would have been the fastest that growing church in the history of man. Who wouldn’t attend a church where the preacher taught messages like the Sermon on the Mount or the Beatitudes? Can you even begin to imaging how well attended his healing services would be. Bring the man a fish and not only would he feed the entire Church; he’d pull a gold coin out if it’s mouth for you. His books like, “The Purpose Driven Life” “Effective Prayer”, and “Inspiring Short Stories” would have been the most popular books of all time. His “Water into Wine” winery would have been the eighth wonder of the world. There is no doubt that Jesus could have turned the business end of the religion industry into the greatest success story ever! NO WAY could they ever have gotten away with crucifying the pastor of a popular World Wide church that was growing by thousands of member’s very week! The good news of Jesus Christ would have reached every corner of the known world.
But instead of the greatest success story known to man…. We have scriptures like this:
“ Matthew 16: Jesus[j] began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. “

On this special day when we come together to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, I pray; let us not lose track of God’s true calling upon the Saints before that blessed day when we stand beside Him in heaven.

Success is what happens to you,
Significance is what happens through you.

Jesus never accumulated riches on the earth. He died without any clothes, in hunger, thirst, shame and derision. Yet through these very cruelties, Jesus lived and died to make us rich. He purchased the citizenship of heaven for us through the forgiveness of our sins. He stepped aside that we might have His holy Spirit dewll within us. Without a doubt! Jesus is the epitome of significance. He was the most significant human being who ever lived on the planet. He is still the most significant person alive today!

I don’t for a moment want to imply that wealth and God’s good blessings are wrong, Scripture tells us that God gives us the power to make wealth, and that he delights in the prosperity of his servants (Psalm 35:27)—which includes material prosperity (Deuteronomy 28:11-13). So it is clear that wealth is not necessarily evil. What we must understand is that the blessings of God are just that, A GIFT FROM GOD! And to whom much is given, Much is expected. Out of our abundance, abundance must flow.

(Let us compare the models of Success as we understand them in the Western Civilizations, and the model of Significance as displayed by our Lord.)

Success: Requires constant dedication to the goal of achieving, (Often achieving “more”…
More from which to build upon: More than the others: More effort, more dedication, more resources, More, More, More.
Significance: Requires constant dedication to the focused goal of achieving. (Being Significant does not happen by accident. It’s an intentional effort to spend your own value, to add value to another person.)

Success: Requires Timing, (As in fast passed, high stress, in the moment reactions, and a disconnection to the impact on other people.)
Significance: Requires Time, (Time to build relationships, trust, understanding, compassion, Love and Mercy.) Jesus suffered every trial, and every struggle known to each of us and He relates to us in the midst of our needs.

Success: Requires “The Art of the Deal” mentality.
Significance: Requires the “Art of the Heart”; It requires that you lead with your humanity. Jesus was fully God, and fully man.

Success: Requires impacting large numbers of people either directly or indirectly.
Significance: Requires impacting one life at a time, individually and directly. Over and over we see Jesus dealing one on one with every kind of person.

Success: Requires the focus of your time, your resources, and your talent on the primary beneficiary: YOU!
Significance: Requires the focus of your time, your resources, and your talent on the primary beneficiary: Someone else!

Success: Is measured by your tangible value compared against other people’s success or failure.
Significance: Is measured directly by the positive impact upon other people’s lives.

Success: Is seldom ever fully satisfying, or satisfied with how much it has.
Significance: Fosters an unquenchable joy and satisfaction of the overflowing of the rivers of life and the flow of the Holy Spirit.

Success: Occupies your life.
Significance: Gives you Life.

Success: Is fleeting: Here today, gone tomorrow. Nothing we earn of the world, passes ever into the next.
Significance: Is an everlasting eternal reward that can never be burnt up in the judgment fires of our God..

Success: will cost you your resources, and if properly invested, will richly bless you here in life
As we see with Jesus:
Significance: will cost you your life and if properly invested, will richly bless you for all eternity.

So what does all of this have to do with Easter?

We came here this morning to celebrate the life and resurrection of our Lord Christ Jesus. He is Alive this morning, and he speaks us today just as he spoke to his disciples 2000 years ago:
“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. “

Easter 2016

An Easter message for the mountain mist.
Before we just jump right in, I want to encourage us to take a moment to wait upon the Holy Spirit. There is nothing I can say that would be more important for us to hear, than what the Holy Spirit has to say to us.
Holy Spirit, help us to turn our eyes upon Jesus.

If there is any day in the Christians life, Easter should be ALL ABOUT JESUS.

This week my wife and I spent most of our time for the whole week preparing for everything we had to do on Easter Sunday. We had the house to clean we had the meal to plan, we had Easter eggs to prepare, we had food to shop for and cook. So many things that really had nothing to do with Jesus. The sad thing is that we spent almost no time at all preparing our hearts for Jesus.

This morning I want us to become Eternity minded people.

I want you to look out on the horizon all the way over to the city of Boston. Now imagine $100 dollar bills, stacked on edge side by side all the way from where I’m standing into the heart of the city of Boston. Now I’m going to offer you two choices:
• In the first choice you can reach your hand down and grab as many of those $100 bills as you hand can hold in one hand. And every year for the next 30 – 40 years until you retire, you can keep coming back and grab another hand full and go off and do whatever you want with the money. During that time you probably could grab 10 – 15 feet of $100 dollar bills. But after you reach 65, you can’t come back. You’ve had a good life, you’ve had everything you wanted and needed. I’ve asked nothing of you, I’ve expected nothing from you.
• In the second choice you can do exactly the same thing every year, BUT! You work for me. You show up on time every day, you do what I ask, and you accomplish what we have to. You’ll have had a good life, you’ll have everything you wanted and needed. But at retirement age you get to have all the rest of the money. Who would pick the first choice? Sadly! Almost everybody. Even lots of Christians give up working for God. They lose the will to stick with Him. They never really have an eternity based vision of their life.

It’s time we begin to understand this life on earth is just a fleeting moment on the timeline of Eternity. God has offered us more than we can ever imagine, more than we can ever earn, more than we could ever deserve. But He wants us to work for Him. Not for the retirement plan, but for no other reason than the joy of our salvation.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind can comprehend, the plans I have for those who love me.”
The Scripture tells us that on the third day, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James went to the tomb expecting to anoint Jesus’ body for burial. We all know today that they didn’t find what they were looking for.

They ended up having a personal, face to face encounter with the risen, living, Jesus!

I want us to understand the difference in their thinking between Good Friday, and Easter Sunday.

Before Jesus died on the cross,
Their focus was all about the here and now.
Their hope was in a salvation from their trials and persecution here on earth.
Their king was to be a literal king that would rule over Jerusalem and set the free from Roman rule.
Their love was to the man called Jesus.
Their lives were given to the life of Jesus as a son, as a friend, as a teacher.
There whole world was wrapped up in their own image of an earthly Jesus.

Even with all that the disciples had seen and heard; All the time they spent with Jesus, they were still thinking with earthly minds. When Jesus died on the cross, not only did their son, their friend, their prophet, their priest and their King die, their entire world died on that cross too!

But in the tomb, on Easter morning, the moment Jesus spoke the name “Mary” They knew that Jesus was alive. They instantly understood the true meaning of the life and words of Jesus.

Now their Hope and Salvation was an Eternal Salvation.

Now their King was the King of Heaven and on Earth forever and for always!

Now their Love was for the ever-living Son of God.

Now their lives were given to the Risen Savior who would never leave them or forsake them.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ turned the disciples into Eternity minded followers.

The problem with 21’st century American Christianity,,, is that the focus is back on the Here and Now! The true message and power of the resurrection is all but non-existent. Easter is just another day to overindulge ourselves in embarrassing riches.

We are desperately in need of hearing the Risen Savior call our name!

I’ve looked through all the messages I given on this mountaintop over the years and almost every Easter I ask the exact same thing!
Why did we come here this morning?
Who were we expecting to meet on top of this mountain this morning?
It’s not that I can’t think of anything else I have to say on Easter morning. It’s just that NOTHING EVER CHANGES!
We’ve got to stop plodding through our lives day after day, doing the same old empty Christian actions. We’ve got to stop measuring our faith, based on how regular we attend church, weather we raise our hands when we sing, and how bold our name is monogrammed on our bibles.

We’ve got to start to Read God’s Word, and just start doing and living out what it says!
— Repent from Sin,
— Be Baptized in the Holy Spirit,
—- and Follow Jesus!

My fervent prayer for us this morning is that like Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James,,, that not one of us would leave this mountain top without having that same personal, life changing, face to face encounter with the risen, living, Jesus!

To be completely honest; Over the last few weeks, as I was working on this message the Holy Spirit began to convict me of this one thought;
Would I dare to meet Him face to face at this very moment?

Over this last year; How much of my time has been His time?
How many of my words have been His words?
How much of my life has been His life?
What IF the time was now?

Jesus says: “I was the one who was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. I hold the keys to death, hell, and the grave.” He is the one who decides who He lets in, and who He keeps out.

If there is anything we should take away about the Easter story, it is the message of Hope!
There IS a way to Glory.
There IS a way which leads to life!
Jesus says, I am the way, the truth and the life.
We have a choice! Choose LIFE! Choose Jesus!

I’ve never been and never will be an end times profit. Shouting, to the world; The end is near! But this morning I want to encourage each of us to boldly proclaim; The end IS near!
The end of apathy & carelessness with the heart of Jesus,
The end of spiritual laziness & weakness,
The end of helplessness & hopelessness,
The end of all of the excuses we make for all the things that separate us from getting closer to Jesus.
What do you need to put an end to in your life today that is getting between you and Jesus.

While we still have time! Brothers and Sisters in Christ this morning let me proclaim to anyone that has ears to hear the word of the Lord.
Now is the time to repent from all our excuses, and return to your first love!
– Remember from where you have fallen and return to your first works.
– Don’t let the things of this world distract you from falling madly in love with Him again.
– Don’t let the trials of these days darken the joy of your salvation!

This is the day that the Lord has made! We shall rejoice and be glad in it!

I thought I would like to end this morning’s message the way we should start every morning,,,, with Jesus….
The Bible says the if we cease to see his glory, if we become insensitive to his presence, if we refuse to worship Him through our lives,,,,,,, Even these rocks will praise Him.

Now is the time to be baptized in the Holy Spirit!

So many young Christian’s today struggle to call on the name of Jesus. I don’t mean, “say the name of Jesus”, I don’t mean use the name of Jesus. I mean call out to Him, by name; exactly as He calls us by our name.
This is going to be the hard part of this morning.
I want to invite us all just begin to call upon the Name of Jesus….
Let the power in the name of Jesus minister to our hearts….
Remember the many ways that Jesus has touched us personally….

There is power in the name of Jesus to create the heavens and the earth. (Through Him, and for Him all things are created.)

There is power to heal in the name of Jesus (Heal our bodies, Heal our minds.)

There is power to love in the name of Jesus (Love our God, Love ourselves, and Love our fellow man)

There is power to forgive in the name of Jesus (Forgive ourselves, and forgive others.)

There is power to live in the name of Jesus (To live a life that is a reflection of Him.)

How has the Power in the name of Jesus touched you? Testify to Him now.

There is power to save in the name of Jesus (Maybe there is someone here this morning that just isn’t sure where he or she stands this morning. Maybe now is the time to get back on track with Jesus this morning.

Silver and Gold have I none, but what I have I give to you! Rise up, and follow the Lord your God!

If we get that right, salvation takes care of itself.

*** May God Bless ***
John & Simone Chicoine

Easter 2018

Easter Message:

I know that if you’re alive today, everybody has so many distractions and they can be so overwhelming that it’s hard to focus on any one thing for any length of time; especially your relationship with Jesus. It’s easy to loose track of the condition of our walk. It’s like:
– Kids ready for school? (Check!)
– Doctors appointment? (Pfth….)
– Kids Sports practice? (Check!)
– Laundry? (later.)
– Supper? (Mom! What are we having for supper? Can I have the frozen pizza?)
– Jesus? (I went to church last Sunday. Still saved.)
I’m good to go. Where’s my phone?

Nobody ever intentionally puts Jesus on the checklist, It just happens. (FYI, It’s doesn’t matter what age we are , we just have a different checklist.) So you better get used to asking yourself WHERE’S JESUS? Because it’s a life long process.
Please accept my paraphrase of the Gospels, to construct a story format summary of the Easter morning story.
Early on Sunday morning while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the Mother of James were bring the burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. When they came to the tomb they found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. They entered the tomb and saw that Jesus was not there. Mary ran and found Simon Peter and John, and told them, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

Peter and John started running for the tomb. When John got to the tomb he looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there. Then Simon Peter and John went inside the tomb and seeing the linen wrappings lying in the tomb; they then believed, for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead.

Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her.
“Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him.
“Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?”
She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”

“Mary!” Jesus said.

She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!”
(which is Hebrew for “great teacher”, also “my beloved master”).


This morning I hope that the Holy Spirit will illuminate some truths of the heart, about the call, and the response, we find in the text of the gospels regarding the resurrection of Christ Jesus.
I am convinced that the critical difference between having having a Christian life and having a living, loving daily relationship with Jesus, is directly connected to degree we have had a real and personal encounter with the living Son of God.

I really don’t want to get into the “religion, versus relationship” argument regarding anyone’s state of salvation, or even question anyone’s sincerity towards their conviction to Christ Jesus. The difference I hope the Holy Spirit will illuminate to each of us this morning is very subtle, but it makes all the difference in the world!

As we can see from these versus, even though someone has spent substantial time with Jesus, sometimes we still don’t recognize Him in our lives. We are too focused on our own religious agenda (Reading the Bible, Praying, helping out at the church, and even our Sunday offering.) to see Him standing right in front of us. Unfortunately,,, lots of people go through their entire religious, even Christian lives without ever hearing Jesus call us personally by our name.

(If I really want to go to the heart of things,,, Sometimes people’s faith is based on Christ, Pre-Resurrection…)
– Jesus was born the Son of God, (Therefore he is a unique person worthy of being followed.)
– Jesus was a great teacher, (Therefore Jesus teachings are good guidance for a good life.)
– Jesus was a great man, (Therefore Jesus is a great roll model for my life.)
– Jesus is the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world. (Therefore I am saved.)

So many of us settle for: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” And this IS biblical,,, Unfortunately this results in the response; “I’m Saved.” This response has the Christian working for and waiting their entire lives for the moment they hear Jesus speak their name. They are waiting for the fullness of the Christ life to happen in an event that will occur in heaven after they die!

BUT! There IS SO MUCH MORE available to us. There is a deeper LIFE. There is a “Spirit Filled”, “Joy Unspeakable”, “Peace that passes all understanding” personal call, when you hear His voice call you by name! HERE AND NOW! And this real encounter with Him elicits a different personal response; “I’m Yours.” This response has the Christian walking in the fullness of the Christ life everyday of our lives. This IS biblical too! Jesus says: “For the Kingdom of God is within you.”

Let me make this simple analogy: If I were to be asked how I like being married, consider these two answers:
(1.) “I like sharing my life with someone, coming home and sharing my day, having someone that knows me and wants to be with me and grow old with me.” (This all sounds very good.)
(2.) “I like being married to Simone.” The second answer would make all the difference to Simone.
Just like I believe the second scenario of the call and our response to Christ, (“I’m yours”) makes all the difference to Jesus.

“I’m Saved” is a very one sided response to Jesus’s call; the focus is on our-self.
“I’m yours.” is a very one sided response too, but the focus is on Jesus.

This morning, I want to encourage each of us to take this resurrection day to examine the real condition of our heart; Can there be more to my walk? (Not more work, more ministry, more religious activity…) I’ve already established that we’ve all got too many things on our plate; to many distractions from Jesus.
Are the Christian works of our life an easy, “I’m Saved” response?
Or do we dare put ourselves on the line and say to Jesus,,, “I’m yours.”?

Have we ever heard the voice of Jesus call us personally by our name? If so, how long ago has it been? Are we still walking in this real and personal call? AND even more,,, Does our life truly match up to the response; “I’m yours”?

I pray this morning that the Holy Spirit will open our eyes that we can see Jesus as Mary saw Jesus when He spoke her name. Open our ears that we can hear His call, that we would turn to Him and answer the call with, “My Beloved Master, I’m yours”.

This Easter,,, Find some time to tell Jesus, “I’m Yours”.

Psalm 63

Psalm 63 FYI! This Psalm used to be sung in the early church every day and is still sung every day in many monasteries throughout the world.

(Background: This is a psalm written by King David as he and his army was running from Saul. Saul and his army had sworn to Kill David and wipe out all of his followers. Day after Day, David picked up camp and ran for their lives to the next hiding place. Saul’s army was camped out in the valley just on the other side of the hill. If Saul knew that David was so close he could have had his army overwhelm David’s camp in just a few short hours. Add to that God had commanded David to go to fight the Philistines that were laying siege of an Israeli city. David knew that Saul would be able ambush them and they would probably not live out the day. David was at the end of his rope. He needed God more than ever.)

— You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you;

( This is King David getting real with God… He’s pulling out all the stops. This is David rolling out the scroll, David is reminding God of their covenant; “YOU God, are MY God”. ( The Davidic Covenant refers to God’s unconditional promises to David through Nathan the prophet; That Jesus would come from the line of David. ) David’s opening words foreshadow the words of Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane; “Father! Father.” …Always remember that we too have a covenant with God. Not like David’s covenant; Our covenant is a blood covenant signed by the blood of the lamb of God. God is legally bound to us through the sacrifice of His own son on the cross. Regardless of our circumstances, regardless of what or how we feel or even believe, God is legally bound to never leave us or forsake us. God’s covenant with us is unconditional and unbreakable! )

— I thirst for you,
— my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.

(David is confessing to God his true position; his life is completely in God’s hands. He’s got nothing left to offer God. Nothing has brought him any relief; Not his money, his history, his strength, his intellect, his title, his army, not even his own faith has brought him any refreshment… “I need You and only You.”) God cannot be superseded by the things of the word. David the king may be desperate for God’s intervention in his situation,,, but David the soul-of-the-man is desperate for God’s presence. We cannot limit our perception of the outcome in our situation be the measure of God’s love for us.)

— I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.

(This is David reminding God of their history together,,, This is not a sanctuary with four walls, this is the sanctuary of LIFE, walking side by side, God and David; as a young boy with God’s strength in him as he jumps on the back of a lion, to a young man crossing the stream together and stooping to pick up 5 shiny stones with the whole army of Israel cowering in fear. David knew that God would bring him victory over Israel’s enemy. David’s God was the God of the impossible. GOD IS NOT OFFENDED by the TRUTH! This is David confirming his faith in God to do the impossible in his life AGAIN.)

— Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.

— I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.

— I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

(David is testifying to God of his total and everlasting love and loyalty. God demands that we have no other Gods before Him. It can’t superficial faith; it can’t be routine; it can’t be ritual… That won’t due; You know it and God knows it and we had better get it right with God every day of our life because we can’t just turn this on the day we need it. David needed God, NOT JUST FOR THIS ISSUE, but for every day. David worshiped God with his obedience and with his praise. We can’t expect God to honor a lifetime of living a show of empty praise because we like the world to call us Christian.)

— On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.

(David has a history with God. It was real and it was relevant and God’s intervention in his life is his only hope. There is an old hymn that says: “Count your blessings, Name them one by one. Count your blessings, see what God has done.” David didn’t take God’s blessings for granted… He pondered them throughout the night; He was holding tight to their life-long relationship together. He had seen God continually working throughout his life. Now he was in the desert running for his life. David didn’t understand it then, but so many things in his life was a foreshadow of Jesus. None of us can say that we have the type of closeness to God that David did, but none of us ever expect to have a desert experience. )

— Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

— I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.

(Again, David is confessing his dependence on God to be his strength. (You God are the reason I am the man that I am, and it is only by your strength that I have done the things that I have done.) Everything I do is under your shadow. Like a child, I cling to you for my life and like a loving parent, you hold me up.)

— Those who want to kill me will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth.

— They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals.

— But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by God will glory in him,
while the mouths of liars will be silenced.

(David is finally telling God his need, his desire. Destroy my enemies and vindicate me before the nation of Israel. For those who conspire to kill me, scatter their bones across the desert in disgrace and humiliation. This is David’s confession of faith. Although David is still in the desert, he knows by faith that God will deliver him and restore him to his rightful place. WE are not David. The outcome of our trials are not up to us to define. The way God chooses to bring us through our trials, the way God chooses to restore us to Himself is totally in His hands. If God would not spare his own child from the cross to provide our salvation, what would God be willing to spare to hold us in his arms. Our ways are not His ways, Our thoughts are not His thoughts. So often a crisis of life becomes a crisis of Faith, because of our limitations to see God. The truth is, in this life, we can never completely see God.

“ It’s like this: when I was a child I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I became a man my thoughts grew far beyond those of my childhood, and now I have put away the childish things. In the same way, we can see and understand only a little about God now, as if we were peering at his reflection in a poor mirror; but someday we are going to see him in his completeness, face-to-face. Now all that I know is hazy and blurred, but then I will see everything clearly, just as clearly as God sees into my heart right now. There are three things that remain—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. ”

Note: Everything written in my breakdown of Psalm 63 is based on feelings, thoughts and conversations with God in specific moments of my real life experiences. I have intentionally written these things with a layer of abstraction to express a universal application of the principles that apply here to everyone. I spent several days pondering how I was going to express these precepts without exposing the private moments and struggles of my life. For those of you that know me personally, I suspect that many of you can easily imagine the times and situations in my life that I was living through Psalm 63 moments. It is my hope that my unique interpretation of this Psalm might help someone find strength in this Psalm in those times when they too are going through a desert experience.