Archive for August, 1997

There Is Forgiveness

August 31, 1997

Psalm 130 is commonly classified as one of the "penitential psalms." The author cries to God "out of the depths." In this particular case the author's agony apparently springs from a sense of moral failure. This is no doubt partly … (read more)

Is Anybody Listening?

August 30, 1997

For the writer of Psalm 130 life was the pits. Yet even on his deepest distress, whether by instinct or by habit, he does not just cry out – he cries out to God. I write this just after hearing … (read more)

Out Of The Depths

August 29, 1997

A well-known and helpful book on the Psalms by Bernhard Anderson is entitled Out of the Depths: The Psalms Speak for Us Today. The first part of the title, of course, quotes Psalm 130:1. The second part echoes a comment … (read more)

Back To Basics

August 28, 1997

Here we are back to the heart and back to the beginning of the search for our true selves, a search that brings us face to face with the living God. "Our hearts are restless until they find their rest … (read more)

Huge Hearts Filled With Love

August 27, 1997

Brother Roger of the Taize community once asked: Will we have hearts large enough, imaginations open enough, love burning enough to enter upon the Gospel way, to live as a people who are reconciled, without delaying a single day? … … (read more)

Return To The Heart

August 26, 1997

Brother Roger, founder of the Taize community, once reflected: Every human being yearns to be loved as well as to love. It is not for nothing that the Gospel alerts us about not becoming locked up in isolation. When we … (read more)

A Love For Life

August 25, 1997

"If we discovered that we had only five minutes left to say all that we wanted to say, every telephone booth would be occupied by people calling other people to stammer that they loved them." (Christopher Morley) Maybe we should … (read more)

Let Love Lead You

August 24, 1997

A woman came and knocked on my door. The story she had to tell was terrible – of a daughter in danger, of terrible abuse, of helplessness, of hopelessness, of fear for the whole family – and she asked, "What … (read more)

Let Your Heart Do The Seeing

August 23, 1997

I love this story told about Mendelsohn's grandfather: He was born with a humpback and his presumed grotesque appearance caused people to turn away from him. On a journey to Hamburg he spied a woman so wonderful and beautiful he … (read more)

Listen To Your Heart

August 22, 1997

Spread love everywhere you go – there is a motto for life you can take beyond the confines of the church. It is Mother Theresa's motto for life. She says: First of all in your own house. Give love to … (read more)

Dust, Grass, And Flowers

August 21, 1997

I was sitting out on the porch quite early of a Saturday morning, enjoying the first coffee. The only other person stirring was an elderly man, making his painfully slow way towards the downtown area. His cotton cap was pushed … (read more)

Life's A Ball

August 20, 1997

In my work with victims of child sexual abuse I have come to see life as a ball – a fragile, beautiful, glass ball. So many people have entrusted their lives to people who have not seen the fragility, the … (read more)

Real Live Christian?

August 19, 1997

I was sitting in my office doing whatever scientists do, when the door pushed open and a colleague from downstairs came in saying, "You're a real live Christian. Tell me what I should be doing…" I don't remember what his … (read more)

Just Do It

August 18, 1997

An older lady was reading to her small grandson, Craig, from his favourite Mother Goose book. It was an action book, with pop-up pictures. But she had read it to him so often, that this time she didn't feel like … (read more)

Poor But Happy

August 17, 1997

I witnessed poverty when I was invited to visit a mission field in the Dominican Republic about 10 years ago. This has affected me emotionally and spiritually ever since. Not being able to speak Spanish, my contacts were by smiling … (read more)

Silver Linings

August 16, 1997

The two little girls were staring glumly out the window. From the dismal, gray, overcast sky, rain was falling steadily, soaking the back yard. Watching the tiny drops run down the window pane was boring, compared to playing in the … (read more)

The Potter's House

August 15, 1997

Oftentimes, as believers, we do not understand how the stressful, sometimes painful episodes in our lives are working to better us and our Christian walk. We often react with bitterness and resentment towards God for the occasional trials that interrupt … (read more)

Spitting Out The Rocks

August 14, 1997

One day in early April about 15 years ago, when I was the minister on the North Shore of Cape Breton, my son was outside playing. It was a beautiful day and the warmth of the sun was melting the … (read more)

Golden Girls And Guys

August 13, 1997

"Old age, to the unlearned, is winter; to the learned, it is harvest time." I minister to an older congregation and they continually astound me with the joy of living to an old age. I am in my forties and … (read more)

The Crucible

August 12, 1997

The chemistry student was given the assignment of discovering the concentration of metal in an ore sample. This was to be done by heating the sample until there was no further loss of weight, which would indicate that the metal … (read more)

Death, A Spiritual High

August 11, 1997

What Jesus was saying was, "Believe me when I tell you that if anybody accepts my words and keeps them will never experience death at all; he shall never know what it is to die." "What is it like to … (read more)

Contentment

August 10, 1997

One day centuries ago, a British lord overheard one of his kitchen servants remark, "If only I had five pounds, I would be perfectly content." He began thinking about this remark, and decided that he would like to see someone … (read more)

Lost In The Fog

August 9, 1997

A beautiful day for sailing! It couldn't have been more perfect until the fog bank came down the harbour, shrouding us in white. There was not a sound, not a breath of wind, not a single object to be seen. … (read more)

Talk About It

August 8, 1997

Twenty-five years ago, before the environment was a public concern, my brother Martin was a Park Naturalist in one of the Rocky Mountain National Parks. When he first arrived, he was instructed in the various issues of ecology in the … (read more)

The Pharisee In The Mirror

August 7, 1997

While I was studying at the Vancouver School of Theology, I attended a Bible study at Richmond Presbyterian Church that fielded a fascinating question. We were talking about the opposition from the Pharisees that Jesus faced during his ministry. Then … (read more)

God Was My Alarm Clock

August 6, 1997

My last two weeks have been spent in back-to-back World Council of Churches meetings in Geneva, involving a great deal of last-minute document preparation. Each morning I had to get up early to finish what had to be done for … (read more)

Cleaning Out The Clutter

August 5, 1997

I got up this morning with a craving to clear out the girls' dressers and closets and send a bunch of clothing to the Salvation Army. Only Alyson was witness to this and shed a few tears to see some … (read more)

Play To The King

August 4, 1997

On one especially stormy night, the playhouse audience was so slim that there were only a few people in the very back seats of the theatre. Chief among the cast for the play was Edwin Booth, the great Shakespearean actor. … (read more)

I Feel Completely Secure

August 3, 1997

At this present moment I do feel completely secure. Psalm 16 was my first experience with Christian meditation based on Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "Meditating On the Word." I know every word of Psalm 16 by heart. I have listened to it … (read more)

My God And My All

August 2, 1997

For God alone I wait in silence as I meditate on his Word in Psalm 16. What is he going to say to me? What is he going to do in me? Then the Psalm writer explodes. "All the good … (read more)

You Are My Lord

August 1, 1997

Why do we meditate? Dietrich Bonhoeffer answers it this way: Because I am a Christian. Therefore, every day in which I do not penetrate more deeply into the knowledge of God's Word in Holy Scripture is a lost day for … (read more)

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