March 16, 2017
If I say “Leader”, what comes to mind? A CEO of some major corporation, Coach of a sports team, Sergeant of a platoon of soldiers, Father in a household, Pastor of a church, or a dishwasher in a restaurant pit, a janitor doing the night shift in a school, concession stand worker at the local theatre? Some professions lend themselves more naturally to the image of leader than others. Leadership carries with it the ideas of being in charge, managing people, and being an authority. Jesus had a different spin on it. He said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you.Read More »
March 9, 2017
Prayer is the forgotten discipline of the Church. Discipline here is defined as training in order to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior. We fellowship more than pray. We preach more than pray. We do church work more than pray. In fact prayer is often just a bookend to the really important stuff. The very life of all things is the least practiced. F.B. Meyer, the author of the great little book, the Secret of Guidance said, "The great tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer."
Some people can pray for hours, but I think this is not the norm. I struggle to engage in extended periods of prayer. I don’t think that I am that much different than most.Read More »
March 2, 2017
We have been talking about spiritual maturity. One of the problems with the Western Christian church is its immaturity. No one would question its intellectual prowess or even its religious appearance. But those things do not equate to spiritual maturity. The Church has gotten a bad reputation because society as a whole sees it as having never grown up or matured as a follower of Jesus. To put it another way, the church or the body of Christ, is to be a reflection of Jesus. The litmus test of maturity is when people interact with you (the church). Do they see Jesus and feel like they have been with him, or do they experience something else? In past blogs and sermons we have looked at what spiritual maturity looks like, what it is not, and today I would like to give the necessary steps one can implement on the path to spiritual maturity.Read More »
February 23, 2017
Are you mature? This question is not about your age. It is more about whether you are emotionally, physically, and spiritually mature according to the markers considered appropriate. A child crying because he couldn’t get another piece of candy is ok. A 30 year old having a melt down because he can’t have a ski-doo is another thing. There is an expectation also for those who profess to be followers of Jesus to become mature in their relationship with Christ. I always cringe a bit when I hear reports of Christians acting like immature, spoiled children. Like throwing temper tantrums when God doesn’t do what they want. Like gossiping about each other because someone else is being promoted. Like hoarding wealth when they should be generous.Read More »
February 16, 2017
Many Christians suffer from “know it all syndrome” (KIAS). KIAS is a terrible disease. It is contracted by attending disciple training sessions, bible studies, reading end time books, taking spiritual development courses, attending conferences, and faithfully attending Sunday morning sermons, but never taking opportunity to put into practice the good knowledge one is filling their head with. KIAS people become so spiritually fat that they can’t “run the race” (1 Corinthians 9:24).
But KIAS trained people are really good at telling others how to run the race. They can recite the four spiritual laws, explain the trinity, expound on the virtues of holy living, and have all the tithing scriptures memorized.Read More »
February 9, 2017
Everyone is talking about the snow. We are all wondering, just how high can the snow get? We have received a record snow fall in Nelson and more is on its way. As I was shovelling the stuff, I got thinking about the tiny, little, delicate fluff that falls from the sky. Snow can be so beautiful, but such a hardship as well. Just how many of these little flakes would have to fall to make a four foot blanket on my back yard? And to think every one of them is unique. Can it be? Considering the sheer number of snowflakes and if each one is unique, just how many patterns are there? It just seems impossible. So I thought I would check to see if it was true.Read More »
February 2, 2017
I was supposed to be in Haiti writing my weekly blog. Instead, I am in my home office typing, feeling the warmth of my fireplace, listening to Christian music, and smelling the sweet aroma of dinner being crafted upstairs by Doreen. I almost got there. To Haiti I mean. My team and I were in Fort Lauderdale ready to catch the next morning flight to Port au Prince when the call came that I was needed at home. My good friend was in trouble and the situation affected Doreen to the point of tears. I had to make a choice; go to Haiti with my friends where it is warm, where I will have honor, (almost like celebrity status), and a good time; or go back to cold, hard work and potential pain and suffering.Read More »
January 26, 2017
Helen Keller; "Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much."
Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. There is no better example of one, who against terrible odds was able to overcome every obstacle and rise to hero status. True, it was her grit, determination, and willingness to learn that made her into the legend she is. But if it wasn’t for a host of people who believed in her, who stood by her side, who paid for her education, she would never have achieved world famous status. What she was able to accomplish is nothing short of amazing, but it was her team that helped her to reach her complete and full potential.Read More »
January 19, 2017
Paul is writing to his disciple, Timothy, and he says these poignant words. “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:12-15 (NIV)
There is so much here to unpack in my 450 word blog.
Let see if I can break it down for us.Read More »
January 12, 2017
There are two sayings that seem to speak to the condition of humankind. The first is, “He is so heavenly minded he is no earthly good.” The other is, “She is so earthly minded she is no heavenly good.”
Sometimes God is presented in such a way that it feels impossible to connect with him. But then we have others that present the church in such an “earthly” fashion that there is no room for the supernatural, the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, or the direct involvement and personal relationship between God and man. This is what drove the religious people nuts in the days of Jesus.Read More »
January 5, 2017
The church just might be the best proof of the existence of God and the person of Jesus Christ. What? You may be thinking that is a crazy statement. The church has its history of abuses, splits, politics, and in fighting. How can you say this is proof of a loving God who is in complete unity with Jesus and the Holy Spirit? Actually the problems in the church prove my point. Despite the human tendencies of abuse, self-promotions, and greed, the church continues to exist. It has existed through good times and bad times, through determined political action to eradicate it and through times of great prosperity. (Prosperity can be as dangerous as persecution) It exists not as a homogeneous group, not as a sectarian enclave or a humanitarian service club, but as the body of Christ in a world filled with opposition to the very nature of God.Read More »
December 29, 2016
Galatians 5:1 (NIV) “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
As I watched 2016 slowly disappear, like a child’s mitten in a snow drift, I began to think of what 2017 will bring. For some, 2016 was a banner year. For others it will be forgettable. But for a few it may have been a year we want to bury and forget about. A new year always has that promise of a new beginning, a new start, a new chance to make a difference. As I was meditating on this, the above verse caught my attention.Read More »
December 22, 2016
The world has gone mad after Christmas. Snow is here, the malls are decorated, and Facebook is full of Christmas meme. If we have heard it once, we have heard it a hundred times, “true meaning of Christmas.” Everybody seems to know the “true meaning” of Christmas. It can range from being home for Christmas to drinking spiked eggnog on the top of a mountain sitting on your sled. There is no other time of year when we feel as much pressure to have the “feeling” of what the commercialization of a holiday has given us.
The Christmas feeling may be an elusive dream for some. In my close circle of friends I can count four separate family groups who are experiencing grief this Christmas due to the loss of a loved one.Read More »
December 16, 2016
As we prepare for Christmas, let us reflect on Matthew 1:23 (NIV) “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us."
Sometimes we sing, “God is all around us,” in our Sunday celebration. I wonder sometimes if that is a reality you experience. I know that I have felt God all around me as I stood on top of the mountain, while in my fishing boat in the middle of the lake, or with hands raised in a Christian worship set with likeminded people. Yes, we triumphantly exclaim, God is with us! But sometimes not so much.Read More »
December 8, 2016
Some of you will be following the Advent Calendar. And some reading this will have no idea of what “Advent” actually means. I have to confess that observing Advent has never been a strong part of my Christmas tradition. Tradition, according to psychology, is a healthy exercise.
Over the years many traditions have been developed around the Christmas theme. Some are close to the Bible narrative; others have no resemblance to the original story. For the next three weeks I will be sharing the story from the perspective of the three main characters; Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.Read More »