Archive for July, 2017

The Struggle Is Over

July 31, 2017

Back in 1989 and 1990, our church was without a pastor, and I used to do a lot of visiting of church members and adherents. There was one couple's home in particular where I went quite often. The man especially enjoyed my visits and told …( read more )

The Way

July 30, 2017

Life is ever changing, and I have had much change in the past year. Although it has, in many ways, been a wonderful year, it has been a long and lonely year, a difficult year. It has been a year when I have had to closely check my …( read more )

My Unwelcomed Blessings

July 29, 2017

A friend shared how she had once asked God to stop sending trials because she couldn't handle any more. She confessed, "God did grant me a trial-free year; but it was a spiritually dry year." She missed the warm presence of the Lord. She …( read more )

Listening To Jesus

July 28, 2017

As a child, I often got into trouble for doing the wrong things, despite having been warned by my parents. I can still hear them saying to me, "This would never have happened if you had listened in the first place." As a teenager, I …( read more )

A Covenant Of Peace

July 27, 2017

In my Bible study group, someone relayed an amazing true story that had been circulating over the Internet. A photographer, while visiting Botswana's Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Southern Africa, captured on film a family of lions as …( read more )

Role Models

July 26, 2017

The dictionary defines a role model as a person looked up to by others as an example to be imitated. There are role models everywhere. Some portray an example of good and some of evil. We look to movie stars, entertainers, famous people, …( read more )

Act Like A Child

July 25, 2017

They gathered around their teacher with wide-open eyes, eager to hear what she'd say. Our annual Vacation Bible School had arrived. Things would be different this year, since our classroom building was under renovation and we were short …( read more )

The Turnaround

July 24, 2017

This summer is the summer of painting. All three of the outbuildings on the property need redoing. I was planning on doing them in the same colour, but my brother had other ideas and wanted a total change of colour. So, I agreed, and we …( read more )

Talking To God Or To People?

July 23, 2017

I have come to the conclusion that some of us who lead in worship services or are asked to offer a public prayer at gatherings of some kind are at times caught up in the desire to be well spoken. We want to be assured that the people …( read more )

The Beloved Verse

July 22, 2017

I have a plaque hanging on the wall in my dining room. The beloved verse up there keeps catching my attention as I eat my meals. Here is the verse that we all love: I can't recall when I first heard or read John 3:16. I must have been …( read more )

Preaching The Word

July 21, 2017

I would love to have heard Jesus preaching in any of the synagogues that He visited during His lifetime. What we have in the gospels is only the tip of a whole mountain of messages that Christ must have preached to His people all over …( read more )

In Loving Hands

July 20, 2017

We used to celebrate my mom's birthday at our cottage, when she was able to travel. The first time she came for a visit, I wanted to show her the beauty of our secluded lot on a small, wilderness lake. I took her on a winding path …( read more )

O What Needless Guilt We Bear

July 19, 2017

I'm susceptible to guilt trips. The more I care about people and issues, the more vulnerable I am. I hear a multitude of voices urging me to do something. It's too much, and I feel badly for failing so many people. The pile-up of guilt …( read more )

Be Open To God

July 18, 2017

Recently, I had the opportunity to worship in one of the churches that my mother and I used to visit together. It was an early morning service, and the small church — no more than a chapel, really — was nearly empty when I arrived. I …( read more )

SDG

July 17, 2017

This spring, I attended a special performance of Handel's Messiah by an orchestra and choir in Dublin, Ireland. I wasn't aware that the music was written for Easter, not Christmas. First performed in Dublin on April 13th, 1742, I …( read more )

Follow The Son

July 16, 2017

The road was covered by shade … with the exception of one spot. The highway leading to the church that I pastor meanders through miles of country. Acres of forest line each side of the road, making for a shady drive. I found that one …( read more )

Kintsugi

July 15, 2017

What? Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing a broken piece of pottery using gold, platinum, or silver mixed with lacquer. I learned about it on the Internet. Rather than throw away a treasured and precious possession, something that …( read more )

The Examination

July 14, 2017

Now that the starter plants have been transferred to the outside garden beds, I stop amidst my morning chores to pop over and examine them. I check to see if each plant looks healthy and has enough moist soil around it. If not, then I do …( read more )

Pruning

July 13, 2017

Springtime is usually the time when I replant my indoor plants into fresh new potting soil. As I was transplanting the plants into bigger pots, I noticed that one plant had grown so much that it almost touched the ceiling. It was long and …( read more )

From Generation To Generation

July 12, 2017

"Faith of our fathers, living still." – Frederick W. Faber For a number of years now, my wife and I have been driving to different churches where I lead in worship, and we've seen the changes of the seasons as they happen here in southern …( read more )

The Need To Forgive

July 11, 2017

I find forgiveness one of the hardest things to do, especially after someone has hurt or disappointed me. In my heart, I want to forgive them, but in my head, I keep re-enacting the words or the events which have wounded me. I hold on to …( read more )

What Is Your God?

July 10, 2017

Over the last several years, I have become increasingly concerned about the explosion of teenage suicides. How do we explain this? According to Timothy Keller in his book, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, the Danish …( read more )

The Best Closet Prayer Ever!

July 9, 2017

This heading might not remind you of the Lord's Prayer, which is normally associated with corporate worship. But today, I present the Lord's Prayer as a personal prayer — and, I'd say, the best "closet" prayer ever. You'll see. Jesus …( read more )

Denial

July 8, 2017

Our five-year-old granddaughter was very small when she began to talk. She hasn't stopped since. The things that she says are often funny and endearing, but many of her questions are surprisingly sensible and thought-provoking. (I'm still …( read more )

Nudges From Above

July 7, 2017

A Presbyterian church is located midway between our community of Nanaimo, in central Vancouver Island, and the community of Qualicum Beach, a 45-minute drive north of us. Behind the church, a cross is carefully outlined in a sacred plot …( read more )

Enduring To The End

July 6, 2017

Sold at 1.7 million dollars, the 114-year-old artifact rested peacefully in a glass case. While on vacation in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA, my wife and I visited the Titanic Museum. No pictures or videos were allowed except in one room: …( read more )

Divine Direction

July 5, 2017

As the days became longer and warmer, my thoughts turned to cleaning up my flower beds, purchasing hanging baskets, and getting my hummingbird feeder out of storage. I was preparing and boiling the mixture of water and sugar, when my …( read more )

Peril And Protection

July 4, 2017

A couple of nights ago, we were awakened by a great commotion outside. Coyotes were in the area — probably in the field behind our house — yipping and howling and carrying on. There were also clear sounds of an animal in distress. That …( read more )

For Country And For God

July 3, 2017

O Canada! our home and native land, True patriot love in all thy sons command. With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The true north, strong and free, From far and wide O Canada, We stand on guard for thee. God keep our land glorious and …( read more )

Celebration And Reflection

July 2, 2017

The name "Canada" is rooted in an Iroquois word "kanata" meaning "settlement" or "land". The land now known as Canada and the peoples who dwell in it are much older than the 150 years marked on July 1st in a sesquicentennial celebration. …( read more )

O Canada!

July 1, 2017

For Canadians, July 1, 2017, is special: it is Canada's 150th anniversary! In December, I will have lived in this country for 50 years. I often return to my country of birth, England, but I love Canada. When I have visitors from England, …( read more )

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