Pastor Chris

All blogs written by Pastor Chris Clarke.

The Good Samaritan

Hello Everyone, Welcome to our first blog post of our time apart.  First I would like to say that I hope and pray you all are doing well. I know it is a different and sometimes difficult situation we find ourselves in and I would urge you during this time if you can to rekindle a passion that might have slowed down with the busyness of life. Maybe its painting, crafts, reading, writing, etc. Whatever it may be, maybe this…

lingering in the morning

It is Black Friday, a day some people woke up very early in order to buy more items for their households, or friends and family. Like any other day I woke up earlier than most people, turned the kettle on, made a French press pot of coffee, and sat down with my bible and journal. These quiet mornings set the cadence for my day, they remind me that there is time enough to accomplish all the goals of the day,…

We shall grow old

The prophet Micah penned some of the most famous verses in the bible. A church not far from here has them all over their building and stationary. A friend of mine has some of them inked onto his sizeable biceps, He has shown you, o man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humble with your God? (Micah 6:8). We have heard the call. We have…

A Year without Drinking!?%

Like many people in the western world I cannot recall the first time I lifted a glass of alcohol and poured it down my gullet. I supposed it burned. I have a muddle of memories, any one of them could be the first time I drank the bitter elixir of the gods…I know for sure in grade 8 when I drank with the volleyball team I played on it wasn’t my first time, though drinking still had the novelty of…

Focus during prayer

This past Sunday I mentioned that one of the effects of a regular meditation practice in my life has ben an increased ability to focus. This is generally true of most folks. I said one of the aspects I most appreciate about this is how it impacts my prayer life. You see, I often find my mind wanders off when I am praying. I sit or kneel with the best of intentions and 5 seconds or 5 minutes later I…

Holding tight

I recently preached on the Gospel according to John and I did not focus on 20:17 but I did spend time in my study pondering it. Call me sentimental but I was thinking about one of my the inner battles of parenting, the need to protect, prepare, and love our children all while not being overwhelmed by the thought that the day is coming when we will no longer be able to hold them, to protect them, even as we…

Listening and Sharing

Most people know that Jesus was a proponent of loving your neighbour and treating others as you would like to be treated, this is known as the golden rule and it is a belief held in common by Christian and non-christian alike. The art of it is figuring out how to put it into practice, the living of it.  There is a story about Jesus being in a crowded area, he is on his way to heal the a powerful…

Cultivating Gratitude

Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem Ezra 7:27 Ezra is writing a a great moment in Jewish history, a good time for God’s people, a time of restoration, a time when the king of another people shows God (and His people) some respect. They are permitted to rebuild the temple, they have what they need.…

Chasing Rabbits

The decommissioned rail line that I run on regularly has blessed me with the opportunity to encounter deer, elk, owls, eagles, snakes, migrating frogs, and a countless number of other critters. By far the most prevalent are rabbits. They’re everywhere. They’re sneaky little things, they let you get pretty close before bouncing off into the brush. My running buddy was laughing at himself one day because he realized the rabbits were doing it on purpose, letting him get close before…

Stars in the Summer

Every summer my wife and I (now with three little gaffers in tow) take time away from work, from home, and (mostly) from electricity. We are campers (the type who use tents). We are admirers of nature. We embrace simplicity. We love to wonder and marvel. We are blessed to live here and now. We do something biblical and come to appreciate God-the-creator all the more for our time away.  We read in Psalm 8 that David found he could…

Let’s all go logging

Every parent in an affluent society knows this truth, I wonder if parents in poorer places know it too—though it must be far worse for them—kids will waste food. Maybe you are past the time in life when you regularly eat with children and maybe you witness them being wasteful in other ways (do they need that new phone/car/countertop or should they pay off the mortgage?). I won’t say I work hard, I am blessed to live out a life…

Embrace today before it’s gone

The voice on the podcast says that back then, when they had little kids, they had no life. It was a throw away line for the speaker, she meant that back then they didn’t go out that much and their kids schedules were dictated by the parents and so everything was under more control and certain elements of life—daily, weekly, and monthly rhythms—were easier to maintain back then. I know what she’s referring to, it’s. My daily life at the…

knowledge and stupidity

The six year old is frustrated, his body tense. He wants to fill his water bottle before he leaves for school. He believes he knows the bottle doesn’t fit under a certain tap. His mother tells him it does. He whines, asks her to do it. Gently, oh so much more gently than I could muster, she tells him to try. “SEE,” he bellows as the tears well up in his eyes, “hahahah it does fit!” A lesson learned with…

Wildfires and Meditation

Just breathe It’s advice many have heard and not known what to do with. It’s advice many have given without really knowing why they were saying it or what they meant by it, it just sounds vaguely helpful. It is no joke—and no secret—that many of us are feeling depleted, tired, lonely, uncertain, hesitant, and many other feelings that suggest all is not right with us. I hear more and more often from people who feel they cannot speak what…

So much Fruit!

This year has been a bumper crop for those of us with fruit trees in the Cowichan Valley, it seems like every second person offers me plums, pears, or apples. We gave someone some of apples from our yard in a re-usable bag and the next day received our bag back full of pears, and another bag of grapes…bounty. Thanksgiving. This while I have been re-reading Michael Pollan’s great book The Omnivore’s Dilemma and in it he asks the question, when…

Stuck in the mud? Run!

The family and I decided Canada Day would be a good day to do what their mother loves best, go for a family walk in nature. On this particular day we visited Jack Point a fun walk near the ocean with many wonderful rocks and sandstone shelves and places for the boys to crawl into. Little caves and indents, great walls to practice bouldering on, the tide as out the sun was up, beauty was all around. The 5 year…

Frustrated? There is still time to grow

Do you ever get frustrated with your inability to accomplish a task, a goal, or to meet an expectation? More and more often I have found myself feeling this way; wishing I was better prepared for the challenges I face in marriage, in parenting, in faith, and at work. Perhaps I am just feeling tired, I speak to many folks who feel these things and often they too are tired. Perhaps I am just in a particularly challenging moment in…

There are destroyers in all of us.

My youngest son, Calvin (not quite 2 years old) has a tendency to be destructive. As he grows and learns to use his body he loves to take the role of Godzilla, much to the chagrin of his two slightly older brothers. No matter what the game is, Calvin is self-appointed “destroyer.” I would say no matter how elaborate and painstaking the set up his brothers are working on Calvin is ready and willing to play his self-ascribed role, but…

Who’s kids are those?

Genesis 2:24 is causing a lot of controversy in the Presbyterian church these days. It reads, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh(ESV). I have been thinking about this lately but since I am not a delegate at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Canada I am at liberty to focus on whatever feature I want. There is a woman in the congregation…

Who in our pews would we leave unprotected in an expansion draft?

Las Vegas Golden Knights: a tale of redemption and caution           Ever since it became clear that the NHL expansion franchise the Las Vegas Golden Knights were not going to be nearly as bad as many folks predicted (they are currently 3 wins away from a Stanley Cup championship for which they were 500-1 odds, i.e. just being this far is incredible) I have thought of their Cinderella story as a beautiful tale of redemption. Here are a bunch of cast-offs,…

What do Wendel Berry and Dale Woods have in common?

Wendell Berry’s poem New Come, We Took Fieldsdiscusses the damage caused by over-zealous farmers who were—it turns out—under zealous regarding sustainability and viability by cutting down woods in an effort to have more cultivatable land; and the long process of bringing the land back to health. One stanza caught my attention when I recently saw him reading it (on youtube) By leaving it alone, we are In a manner forgiven. And yet We must wait long, long— How much longer…