Blog (Page 10)

Blog (Page 10)

Oh, Take a Pill!

It is a common expression, usually uttered with more than a little exasperation. Someone has been an irritant in our lives with what we deem ongoing and unreasonable demands, and we wish they would just take a pill. Somebody is fretting and fussing over things they cannot change or wishing people around them would change according to their demands and we sigh and suggest…

Do No Harm

Though it is often associated as being part of the Hippocratic Oath taken by physicians, the origin of the phrase, “First, do no harm,” is somewhat uncertain. It’s like the famous phrase, “Play it again, Sam,” which is assumed to be a quotation from the great movie Casablanca or the equally repeated phrase, “Beam me up, Scottie,” from Star Trek. In fact neither of those…

You Can’t

“How do I deal with this sin in my life?” he asked. The young man truly was broken. The weight of shame that haunted him because of his actions had truly broken his heart. He was dejected, humiliated, and more than self-despairing. He wanted change but had no idea how to master his difficulty, and was in fact, just beginning to come to grips with the truth that his…

Why Truth Is Not Enough

I was reading a review of a new book with the intriguing title Beauty will save the world. The author, Brian Zahnd, makes the suggestion that in discussions about Christian faith and practice, too much attention has been given to the question, “Is it true?” but not sufficient focus has been given to the question, “Is it beautiful?” Zahnd suggests that ancient Greek…

Because I Said So!

When my children were quite small and prone to demanding rationale for my decisions to such weighty matters as why they could not take candy as their school lunch, or why the dog could not sleep underneath the covers with them or why they must get up for church, I often replied that I had three answers for them: 1) Because! 2) Just Because! and 3) Because I said so. They…

Round Tables

I’m busy making a round table prototype. I call it a prototype, because it is a round wooden top that will sit on top of a square card table. It is, in effect , a sort of add-on that makes a square into a circle. It’s not that the square card tables are not themselves quite functional. It is simply that they are also limiting. Basically four people can sit comfortably at…

After Valentine’s

We used to play a game with our children in which we would start with the palms of our hands together. We’d begin by asking, “Do you know how much I love you?” Spreading our hands just slightly, we’d say: “I love you this much.” Then we’d expand the distance a bit more and say, “Actually, I love you this much.” We would continue to increase the distance, each time…

You Aren’t Listening to Me!

The husband was more than angry. A tell-tale vein on his forehead was visibly throbbing with frustration. “You weren’t listening to me,” he blustered towards his wife. “I just told you of my needs, and how dare you say No to my requests. Why won’t you listen to me?” The exchange was difficult on a number of levels. It is always sad to observe a couple struggling in their…

I’m Glad Some Justice Exists

I was reading an article in the most recent Maclean’s magazine in which writer Michael Friscolanti details the Shafia honour killing trial that has just concluded in Kingston, Ontario. I was heartened by the author’s assertion that the justice system had been scrupulous in its effort to assure fairness towards the accused in what I suspect most Canadians would adjudge to…

Dreams Anyone?

Whichever English version you might consult, the translation of Joel 2:28 is essentially the same. When God pours out his Spirit on his people, the gift is to everyone. Young and old, sons and daughters—there is no difference. All receive an empowering from the Lord as part of God’s great redemptive grace, and the purpose is for seeing the future God intends for his…

Trespassers Will Be Baptized….

Sometimes in trying to send one message, we inadvertently convey another and different message, often one which we really did not intend. The church billboard read: “Church Parking Only! Trespassers will be baptized.” The sentiment was meant to spark a chuckle as well as get the message across to those who might otherwise have been tempted to park their car on the church…

If I Feel Bad Enough about My Sins…

It’s been said that one of the reasons Christianity seems so impossible a faith to embrace is that grace simply confounds us. That is, the stumbling block for so many is not the wild assertion that God came to earth in the flesh and blood humanity of Jesus of Nazareth. Nor is the major stumbling block the declaration that that same human being, Jesus, found little welcome…

Why Is Forgiveness So Hard?

Jesus told his disciples that they ought to love their enemies, do good to those who hated them, bless those who cursed them and pray for those who mistreated them (Luke 6:27–28). St. Paul echoed that command in his admonition to the church in Rome to bless those who persecuted them; bless and do not curse (Romans 12:14). While I know those words to be wise, true and…

When There Are No Easy Answers

I had a graveside service today for a young man whose death makes no sense. Oh, I could offer the medical explanation, and note the rarity of genetic conditions, but at the end of the day, such explanations do nothing to touch the heartache of the family members gathered by a tomb in the ground beneath a grey sky and shivering in the cold rain. The medical answers might…

Proclamation!

Along with two fellow pastors from the community, Joel Croswell and Dale Huston, I had the privilege of meeting this past week with Amie Wiebe, director for the Southern BC branch of the Canadian Bible Society. The purpose of our time together was to begin arrangements for a Proclamation! event for the Valley. There are moments when one has a profound sense of the Lord’s…

Days of Hope and Peace

There is no way of saying it kindly. Church splits are the pits! That is, when a church family faces times of dissension and division, the overwhelming result is rarely anything other than pain, sorrow and frustration. It is a sad reality but seldom can one find a fight that is more low-down and nasty than a family fight and when the family happens to be a congregational…

Do You Love Me?

We were blessed this past Sunday by having as our guest speaker Amie Wiebe, district secretary for the Canadian Bible society, southern BC region. Amie’s personal testimony of the power of the scriptures in her coming to faith in Christ Jesus is powerful and moving. You can hear her testimony if you check out the Sermons page on our website (if it is not posted yet, the…

Hating What God Hates

In his excellent little book, 9 Things a Leader MUST DO, author Henry Cloud (perhaps best known for co-authoring the book Boundaries with John Townsend) identifies suggests, as the title says, nine key commitments which great leaders seem naturally to undertake and which, when learned, can move any leader in the direction of personal growth and greater influence in their…

Something Must Resonate

The night Jefferson Bethke, 22, posted his “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus” video on YouTube, he made a bet about how many views the video would get by morning. The highest guess was 6,000. By the time Bethke woke up the next day, the video had more than 100,000 views. Eight days after the video was posted, it had been viewed by over 14 million people. His video,…

Blessed Are Those…

Bishop Walpole was cited as having offered this wise counsel to a friend who was struggling with a life-shaping decision: “If you are uncertain of which of two paths to take, choose the one on which the shadow of the cross falls.” I suspect that the advice may not have been welcomed by Walpole’s friend. Or, to put it more personally, had that advice been given to me,…

When the Rioter Got Wise

Saturday’s paper reported that Vancouver Police chief Jim Chu was anticipating that the courts would take seriously the task of prosecuting the suspected Stanley Cup rioters. Some 215 charges have already been brought against 80 suspected rioters. Last Friday, one of those rioters, Ryan Dickinson, became the first person to plead guilty of the charges laid against him. I…