Archive for September, 1998

Do You Smell Smoke?

September 30, 1998

Do you smell smoke? Go ahead; check yourself; I'll give you a second. Well… do you smell smoke? You say you're being tried and pushed, tempted and persecuted, talked about and scorned, cheated on and beaten; you say you're going … (read more)

Where Do You Find God?

September 29, 1998

Where do you find God, pastor? As a minister that is a question I am often asked. To me the answer is unlimited. As I sit and write this, we are receiving a warm gentle rain, a rain that has … (read more)

The Life I Live

September 28, 1998

Martin Luther once wrote about the letter to the Galatians: "It is my epistle; I have betrothed myself to it; it is my wife." (He must have written this before his marriage to Catherine!) We all have words to which … (read more)

Finding Passage

September 27, 1998

Recently I went through a week of "finding passage" in several different ways. Our youngest daughter had spent the previous 2 1/2 months backpacking across Europe with three of her friends and although it had been an incredible experience, funds … (read more)

Do Not Worry About Tomorrow

September 26, 1998

When I first arrived here in Alberta at a new pastoral charge, there was great anxiety and stress. Could I survive without my wife of 25 years and my family for such a long time? We have never been separated … (read more)

Going Fishing

September 25, 1998

The boat we took across the Sea of Galilee was made from wood and patterned after the old fishing boats which used to ply those waters. From about a hundred yards off shore, we could see a couple of Arab … (read more)

Tears To Flowers

September 24, 1998

It was an ordinary Sunday morning worship celebration. People had come from all around to praise the Lord. Many a Sunday, I had prayed that God would reveal himself to this congregation in a special way. But nothing seemed to … (read more)

The Importance Of Prayer

September 23, 1998

What problem are you facing today which seems too much for you? How are you ever going to face it? More importantly, how are you going to overcome it? May I suggest prayer? When you are given the inner strength … (read more)

The Devil's Beatitudes

September 22, 1998

If the Devil were to write his Beatitudes, they would probably go something like this: Blessed are those who are too tired, too busy, too distracted to spend an hour once a week with their fellow Christians in church — … (read more)

As It Happens: A Life Of Suffering (7)

September 21, 1998

Christianity is one of the strangest religions in the world because it is based on rock-solid reality and on life as it is. Christianity, at its best, refuses the convenient way out, of "pie-in- the-sky-when-we-die" and would have us down … (read more)

As It Happens: A Life Of Suffering (6)

September 20, 1998

Countless stories could be told of those who triumphed over sickness, suffering and sorrow, and went on to be there for others in need: the cancer survivor at the beside of one troubled by what tomorrow may bring; the alcoholic … (read more)

As It Happens: A Life Of Suffering (5)

September 19, 1998

Here is a prayer that is eternal in its truth and a prayer that will see us through many of the dark days: God grant me the serenity to accept what cannot change, the courage to change what should be … (read more)

As It Happens: A Life Of Suffering (4)

September 18, 1998

I really don't need to go into the list of life's disasters that befell Paul. We've already heard of the human and natural disasters that tried to overwhelm him and end his journey of faith. It's a long list, those … (read more)

As It Happens: A Life Of Suffering (3)

September 17, 1998

In one of Graham Greene's novels the hero is talking with his wife about her malicious father, Dr. Fisher. She asks her husband: "Have you a soul?" "I think I have one — shop worn but still there, but if … (read more)

As It Happens: A Life Of Suffering (2)

September 16, 1998

We all have two experiences of the events of life: the good that happens to us and the bad that seeks to break us. The question is: which leads to our growth and our spiritual maturity? I don't want to … (read more)

As It Happens: A Life Of Suffering (1)

September 15, 1998

OK, I know many of you have experienced the dark and difficult things of life including suffering and sorrow, loss and loneliness, despair and disease, and a host of other circumstances that make life seem too hard to take. The truism … (read more)

Musical Chairs

September 14, 1998

The flight home after my ten-day summer vacation left before midnight and it was pretty packed. Little kids were in various stages of wanting or needing to be asleep, as were some adults. I was just about to sit in … (read more)

The Fruit Of The Tree Of Knowledge

September 13, 1998

Isn't it interesting that, even after Eve and Adam ate the fruit in order to know everything, we find that we still don't know much: Why do "bad" things happen to good people? Why do people get old and die? … (read more)

Delivering The Word

September 12, 1998

For many years I worked for the Post Office. I was always intrigued by letters that would come to people especially letters which you could tell were from friends or relatives. At the end of my postal career, I reverted … (read more)

The Value Of Time

September 11, 1998

Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening it deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would … (read more)

Watch And Pray

September 10, 1998

I've often wondered what would happen in our churches if we took seriously the responsibility of praying for our churches and the leaders involved in ministry. In C. Peter Wagner's book, "Church Planting for a Greater Harvest," he says that … (read more)

Whose Needs Are Being Met?

September 9, 1998

One of the most important things we were taught in our training as Hospice volunteers was to ask ourselves in each instance: "Whose needs are being met?" In other words, is what we are doing for our benefit, or for … (read more)

Give It A Rest

September 8, 1998

Last spring, as I was paying for my plants at the local garden shop, I asked the gardener why my rose bush was so limp and lethargic. After a few questions, she assessed the problem. I had not let my … (read more)

Take Jesus With You

September 7, 1998

All Christians try to stay on the path that leads to the Lord. We attend church, go to Bible study, spend time with our family, do volunteer work and try to be good friends. But how many of us take … (read more)

Prayer And Spiritual Healing

September 6, 1998

Oswald Chambers has said, Prayer does not fit us for the greater works; prayer is the greater work. We think of prayer as a common sense exercise of our higher powers in order to prepare us for God's work. In … (read more)

A Wide Open Welcome

September 5, 1998

The weather was hot and humid during a summer visit to a city in Ontario. In that kind of heat, clothes stick to you almost as soon as they are put on. Workers rush past on the street and are … (read more)

Jesus Rains

September 4, 1998

There was much to be accomplished in several different cities during a recent ten day visit to Ontario. A site had to be scouted out for a future family reunion; a surprise retirement party had to be attended; friends and … (read more)

Vacations And Long Weekends

September 3, 1998

The words from our text in Ecclesiastes (which means Preacher) were written by Solomon about 1000 years before Christ was born, but I am glad I remember them today. The principle of slowing down "to enjoy the good of all … (read more)

Losing Focus?

September 2, 1998

My eyes have had trouble focusing a lot lately, part of it is astigmatism I've had off and on for years, now aggravated by close computer work. Part of it is of course, that impending big number in middle age. … (read more)

Back To School

September 1, 1998

About mid-August, school supplies start showing up in most stores' aisles, and we begin to see parents and kids, supply list in hand, searching for the things which are needed for their particular grade. By September, the aisles are full … (read more)

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