Posts

Showing posts from May, 2015

The Secret of Being Blessed

Image
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. —Psalm 1

Jesus stood out. Isaiah 52, 53 tells us that there was nothing physical about him that would attract anyone. He was not one of the “beautiful” people who by virtue of the physical or material gathers fans. He wasn’t a mover and shaker, creating a culture that would swirl around him like bees buzz a particularly succulent flower. He would not meet anyone’s criteria for success. Even …

Jeremiah's Folly

Image
They call him “the weeping prophet.” Jeremiah’s message of doom and gloom about the impending destruction of Jerusalem and the enslavement of her people didn’t win him any friends. In fact, the authorities of his day did their best to get rid of him or at least dull the impact of his message by belittling him. It was a tactic similar to today’s popular message to church leaders to get rid of anyone who dares to raise a dissenting voice—no one is supposed to ask if the dissent is actually a message from God!

Jeremiah’s task was not an easy one—being negative was no more appreciated then than it is now. But the Lord had commissioned the prophet to speak: “Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:9, 10).

Hey, there is actually a positive in there!

Yes, indeed there is. Much to everyone’s surprise—perhaps even to Jeremiah’s—there was a positive. Just before…

I Really See You

Image
Waste.

That’s what has niggled at the back of my mind this week.

At the beginning of this month a message was left on my voice mail from the sister of a long-time friend. She didn’t say what it was about but I was pretty certain Rita would only call me if Jean had passed away. She didn’t leave her phone number and I couldn’t find it on Canada 411 so I hoped she would call back. This past Monday she did. We talked for a long time and I was left with the sad reminder of how wasted Jean’s life had been in so many ways. Yes, she lived into her sixties but many of those years were lonely and fraught with both emotional and physical pain. Jean was the kind of person that most people don’t “see.” I had my share of regrets. I wished I had been a better friend on those occasions when I had the chance to be. Sometimes I didn’t “see” Jean either.

Over the past few weeks, and twice this week, three young people have died in our little town. One young man killed himself after killing his parents. A…

Watch

Image
Watch!

It would be difficult to miss that word when reading the passages from Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 that describe the events surrounding both the destruction of Jerusalem shortly after the death of Christ, and His Second Coming.

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (Matthew 24:32)

Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.” (Mark 13:33)

Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn.” (Mark 13:35)

What I say to you, I say to everyone, ‘Watch!’” (Mark 13:37)

Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36).

One of the difficulties in these passages has been in sorting out which statements have to do with the destruction of Jerusalem and which with the second coming. But the statem…

Putting In Everything

Image
I meant to call on Sunday. It’s a good thing I didn’t. She wouldn’t have been at home.

My friend, Ethel, celebrated her 85th birthday on May 1st. Her church threw her a birthday party and I wanted to call and congratulate her and ask how the party went. Since I didn’t call on Sunday, I decided to call on Monday afternoon. I hesitated, thinking that perhaps my timing wouldn’t be good—she might be having a nap.

What was I thinking!

After my conversation with Ethel (she wasn’t napping) I thought about yesterday’s post. While some might have sidelined the senior saints, that is not true where Ethel fellowships. Well, I can hardly imagine Ethel ALLOWING anyone to sideline her!

If I had called on Sunday, Ethel would have been at church. She spends all day there, first to arrive before Sunday School where she teaches a class and plays the piano for the adult class. She is still engaged in the music ministry in the church, though others, whom she trained, now play for the services. She stays at…

It's About All Of Us

Image
Years ago I heard a well-known preacher tell a poignant story about his wife. When he wasn’t traveling he visited her every day in the nursing home where she lived. She didn’t know him—she didn’t know anyone. He remarked that people sometimes asked him why he thought the Lord hadn’t taken her home since she was bedridden and unable to relate to any of the staff or her loved ones. His answer to that question has never left my mind. He said that though she didn’t know him or anyone else, and was unable to leave her bed, there was one thing that she did know and that one thing was, to his mind, why the Lord left her behind in that nursing home. Apparently she constantly repeated, whether there was anyone in the room or not, “Jesus loves me.” Her witness was impeccable until the day the Lord finally took her home.

Yesterday the sister of an old friend left a message on my answering machine. I knew that the only reason Rita would call me was to tell me that Erla Jean had passed away. She h…