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Tradition. If we grow up being told that things need to be done a certain way, we don’t usually know any differently until we begin to question things and look for answers from different sources. The authorities will probably label this as rebellion, and perhaps it is. We would more likely say that we are figuring things out for ourselves. It’s a fine line.

When Jesus travelled around the countryside teaching His disciples, He was certainly labelled a rebel. After all, the Scribes and the Pharisees were experts in the law. They were the most religious people around, but somehow Jesus didn’t quite see eye to eye with them. He didn’t fit the expectations for an upstanding citizen much less the Messiah. But there was something about Jesus that made the people follow Him by the thousands to listen to what He had to say. Twelve of those people, His disciples, considered Him their rabbi, their teacher, and wanted to learn from Him. What we now know as the Sermon on the Mount was really the disciples sitting down with Jesus to learn from Him. It starts in Matthew 5.

In Matthew 5:17, Jesus assures His disciples that He did not come to do away with the law that was handed down to them by Moses. God is still the same now as He was then; His principles haven’t changed. Yes, there were a few things that changed when Jesus came. We don’t have to make sacrifices to pay for our sins anymore. We don’t have the same food restrictions anymore. (Mark 7:15, February 3, 2012) But the way God feels about people hasn’t changed; He still is more interested in our hearts than anything else.

Jesus tells His disciples that He isn’t doing away with the law, but He needs more from them than external adherence to the letter of the law (Matthew 5:20) as the Pharisees exemplify. The Pharisees have added to the law that Moses gave the people, and they have made things harder than they need to be, but they still don’t address the most important issue, and that is the internal factor. In the following verses (Matthew 5:21-48) Jesus gives them examples of how controlling their thoughts and intentions is just as important as controlling their actions. He starts each example with words similar to “You have heard that it was said…”, and followed with “But I say to you…”. What He was talking to them about was the traditional way of living that had been enforced by the Pharisees, but which was a misrepresentation of God’s desires for us. We may not have actual Pharisees running things nowadays, but there are still people who perpetuate distortions to God’s Word because that is all they have ever known. There is a way to avoid this though. Check out God’s Word for yourself. Read it. Study it. Pray. Yes, sometimes it helps to have someone else’s point of view to help you understand what you’re reading, but don’t let them be your only source of information. Go directly to God for the answers.

Today marks seven months since Al Chretien walked away from his van, stranded in northeastern Nevada, to search for help. Summer has come and gone, and he has still not been found. Friends and family have not given up hope, and are requesting your help to do whatever is possible before winter sets in again. Please read the following letter from Hannah Hyland, and do what you can. If you are close to the area, please consider volunteering. If you live too far away to make that possible, please consider speaking to media outlets in your area. And pray. We can all pray.
Dear Friends,

Thank you to the thousands of people around the world who prayed for Al and Rita Chretien this past spring as they were lost in the Nevada wilderness on their drive from Canada to a conference in Las Vegas. We are thrilled and grateful for God’s mercy for Rita’s rescue after 49 days alone in the desert.

But NOW we are re-opening the search for Al, her husband, who has never been found. Al never returned to Rita and their stuck vehicle after going to find help. Rita and their children and grandchildren have not given up hope to find their beloved husband, father and Grampa. Neither have their other family members and many friends.

Read about the story here.

Watch the story here on Lorna Dueck’s TV Show “Context”.

So Thankful for Rita's return. Now urgent to Re-Launch Search for Al!

NOW IN OCTOBER/NOVEMBER -- BEFORE NASTY WEATHER SETS IN, we are asking that a concentrated effort be made to search again for Al Chretien.

What can you do?

1. Contact your local media and encourage them to spread the word about Rita’s rescue and the renewed search for Al.

2. Please Facebook and Twitter the story, and encourage your friends to pass it on.

3. Spread the word to a large network of family, church and community members throughout Canada and the U.S.

4. Contact the Governors of Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah and request their help to re-open a search for Al at this crucial window of opportunity.

5. Praise the Nevada Sheriff and Search Parties for their tireless hours looking for them in the spring… and encourage them to continue the search for Al at

*6. Pray that the Elko County Sheriff will request that available, trained Rescue Dog Teams be sent to search, especially this weekend, Oct.22 and 23.

7. Spread the word that ALL cabins/sheltered areas where Al could have taken refuge be searched.

8. Pray that the many Outfitters and Hunters currently in the area could be contacted and asked to watch for signs of Al's clothing/back pack and hard contents (e.g. GPS, cell phone, charger, Letterman knife, flashlight) that have never been found.

9. Pray for the making and effectiveness of waterproof signs to be posted in the area where Al and Rita were last together. Thanks to a friend who has offered to pick them up in a near-by town of Boise and deliver them to the area.

10. Help distribute SEARCH-ALERT notices.

11. If Al is still alive somewhere, please pray that God will be very close and comfort him until we can find him.

Rita and her family have not given up hope and they are so grateful that we care. Please join with us to hope, pray, spread the word, and help in other practical ways. Please pass this on.......

With prayers and gratitude,
Hannah Hyland,

Rita’s friend and neighbour in Penticton, B.C.

For ideas or more info, contact

On September 29, 2012, Albert Chretien's body was found by elk hunters, 11 kilometres from where the van had been stranded. He had been going in the right direction to find help, but the terrain was steep and wooded, and the snow was up to ten feet deep at the time. His body was found intact with identification still in his pocket.