Recovering from drug addiction in Buffalo

I met a man at Kingdom Bound and he told me his story– and I am sure it’s an all too familiar story to many of you. To sum it up, he felt hopeless and he was a junky, shooting up heroin, drinking ’til he didn’t know where he was, and all that kind of stuff it’s best to avoid in life. He could have died, and should have died from all the abuse he put his body and mind through.

But you know what? God rescued him. And with the help of “Teen Challenge,” not only has he been off drugs, clean and sober for years now– he’s also working in the Buffalo area helping others come to Christ and abandon the drug lifestyle. That’s what Teen Challenge does– it equips addicts with new thinking, new beginnings, new skills, new hope and new life. Lord knows there are a lot of people who could use Teen Challenge’s help around Buffalo-Niagara Falls.

With that in mind, if you’re someone who has money and you want to see that money go to good use, call 716-855-0602 by Sept. 10th to reserve your seat for the Teen Challenge of Western New York Annual Fall Banquet at Lucarelli’s Banquet Facility, 1830 Abbott Rd., in Lackawanna, near the Basilica and Botanical Gardens. Robert Stearns will be the guest speaker. The event takes place Sept. 17th at 6pm. Reserve your seat(s) today!

Moving in Supernatural Signs and Wonders June 8th in Buffalo

John and Barbara Burkholder invite you to Sword of the Spirit Ministries’ School of the Prophets for a Fast Track Christian seminar on Supernatural Signs and Wonders. The day-long seminar takes place from 9am – 3:30pm on Saturday, June 8th in Buffalo. It’s $50 per person, and you can register online, or by calling 716-832-6791. Sword of the Spirit Ministries is located at 300 Kensington Avenue in Buffalo, New York, and is a longtime supporter of

School of the Prophets Buffalo, NY
School of the Prophets Buffalo, NY

A Prayer for Boston

peterholmestorontoThursday, Apr 18, 2013

This morning Bostonians gathered for an inter-faith service following the horrific bombing at the Boston Marathon on Monday. I have a sister who raised her family just outside of Boston and a nephew who still calls Boston home.

There are a number of people in the church who have run in the Boston Marathon whose friends and family members have waited for them at that same finish line. So many of our people have connections to this great city it felt like an attack on us. It is hard to find words that make sense of what happened on Monday, because it was complete nonsense. Unfortunately, many of us were not be able to watch the service, but we can take a moment to pray with Bostonians and for them. Here is the prayer I will be praying throughout the day.


Gracious God, you are the Author of Life and of all that is good in this world and the universe beyond.  Help us then not to lose sight of wonder and beauty when the voices of fear and destruction seek to drown out all that is good.  We turn to you, O God, as the source of all love, to pray for a sister city which has been attacked by hate.  We pray that love and truth will win the day and your light will lead Boston through the shadows of grief and sorrow, anger and fear, to a renewed hope and determination to run the race and finish the course of justice, righteousness and mercy in this world and in this life.    

We pray for all victims of Monday’s attack and for the families who lost loved ones and for those clinging to hope beside victims now in critical care.  We pray for those who lost a limb to hatred’s deed.  May their determination and courage in recovery be a call to one and all to step out and silence the voices of fear and hatred. 

We pray in the name of the Great Physician for medical teams entrusted with the care of the wounded.  We pray in the name of the One who is Truth for investigators and legal authorities seeking to bring truth and justice to light.  We pray even for whoever is behind the terror that your Spirit would cast out the evil from their hearts and enable them to humbly take responsibility and let justice reign.  We pray for a city and for a world which can so easily turn to fear and vindictiveness in such times and ask that instead a different spirit might emerge even from our own hearts.  And so with St. Francis of old we pray;  

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

This Sunday, The Toronto Yonge St. 10K will be passing the church shortly after the starter gives the signal north of Eglinton Ave. at 9 a.m. The street will be reopened in plenty of time for people to get out to church, but I am going to arrive early enough to cheer the runners on. We will make sure there is a word of encouragement on the church sign for all of the runners and the church bells will be ringing so everyone gets the message loud and clear. Why not plan on arriving early enough to join me even if it means having to take a detour to get here?

If you wonder why I would do such a thing, read this piece in the Washington Post:

Grace and Peace,


p.s. Our prayers go out today as well to the victims of the horrible incident in Texas.

Are you prepared to die?

margaretOn Thursday evening while bowling with my husband, a gentleman on the next pair of alleys collapsed. CPR was administered, 911 called. In that moment my first instinct was to pray– something that has always comforted whether in time of need or not.

We have since learned the man died that night. How sad that he kissed his wife goodbye and she had no idea it would be for the last time. Makes you think doesn’t it? No one knows the time or the hour. We are all put on this earth for a limited time.

Death isn’t something any of us like to think about, really, but I do want to make sure I am spiritually prepared for what’s to come. I pray for a long, happy life and to do God’s will while I’m here. I’ve found myself in some pretty sticky situations along the way, but always had the strength and wisdom I needed to get through.

I just finished a bible study on living a lifestyle pleasing to God. Some of the topics we discussed were: handling anger, dealing with difficult people, finding happiness, living with integrity, changing the world around you, how to pray, how to stop worrying and start living. This study reminded me how I want to live and be seen by others.

During this holy Easter time, draw closer to God, and do your best to obey His commands. He has given us great rules to live by and yet our world is a mess. Reach out to loved ones, search your heart and soul, grow spiritually, and encourage others. For anyone who is a skeptic, that’s ok. Do some research, go deeper!

Easter Blessings to all :)

Audition for the new Joyful Noise TV show competition in Buffalo

joyfulnoiseThe Buffalo area is home to a NEW LIVE televised talent competition called Joyful Noise which will be airing on WNYB-TCT TV throughout 2013. This event is seeking talented youth and young adults ages 13-35 who desire to perform in a Christian environment instead of a secular one. Joyful Noise is a competition much like the extremely popular secular singing shows airing on prime-time TV nowadays, showcasing talented singers, dancers and musicians.

The show, filmed LIVE at WNYB-TCT Studios (5775 Big Tree Road in Orchard Park, New York), has its own inspiring set with moving lights, expert judges and a professional band to back up the performers. If you’re looking for a chance to shine your light in a dark world, Joyful Noise may be the opportunity you’re looking for.

Audition dates for 2013 include several Saturdays: June 15th, August 10th, and October 5th. Auditions will be held at the Holiday Inn, 4600 Genesee St., in Cheektowaga, NY from 9am to 3pm.

Accomplished Judges will choose four contestants per audition who will showcase their God-given talent in 4 thirty minute LIVE televised preliminaries (see the first one below)– 16 contestants overall throughout 2013. The LIVE televised finals will be on December 17th. The Top Finalist receives #1) a single DVD recording contract #2) professionally designed ministry brochures and #3) ministry support through 2014 to launch their new ministry.

If you or someone you know has a strong Christian background, is into performing arts, and wants to audition for Joyful Noise, please call 716-480-1669 today or email for an application. Note: there is a $10 application fee.