Philippians 1:19-26, Ephesians 3:20, 1 Corinthians 2:9
Rhonda and I have friends that love to go on vacation. Whenever they get ready to go, they like to read about our destination, study the beaches and amenities, and they dream out loud of their anticipation of the destination.
For those of us who know Jesus Christ, we have an incredible destination ahead of us … heaven. In fact, the bible says that Jesus is there preparing a place just for us. But do you know what I find kinda strange, not many of us seem to be very excited about getting there. Why is that? Maybe it’s because in order to get there, we have to leave so much behind. But I think it’s more than that … people are scared to die. Now I don’t know about you, but what scares me is the possible process of dining … the possible pain it might inflict on me (I’m not a big fan of pain).
I’ve worked on and off in the technology and marketing world over the last 30 years but I’ve always had an interest in photography. In fact, in 1976 when I was in Grade 6, I saved my money from my paper route and bought my first Single Lens Reflex camera … it was a Dyramic R-1 by Zenit. I was fascinated at how people could capture an image in 1/400th of a second that would tell an amazing story. What was even more amazing, was when I learned how to manipulate the mood or saturation of a picture with specialized tricks in the darkroom.
Deuteronomy 31, Hebrews 13:5, Revelation 21:3
About two years ago, I was pulling in the driveway after a particularly frustrating day of work. My cell phone had wrung a couple of times in the previous five of minutes but I didn’t answer it because I needed to get home to take my son to basketball practice. He hates being late for anything. Just as I turned my car off, the phone rang again. Reaching into my pocket I realized, it was Wesley calling. I answered, “Hello?” “Dad, where are you? I have to be down at the gym in one hour. You promised to be home on time.” In a combination of frustration and exhaustion I snapped back, “I just pulled in the driveway. I told you I’d be here on time. Don’t you trust me?”
I was online yesterday looking up images of crosses. I came upon a section that contained famous artists and found one called Three Crosses by Rembrandt. It was an etching done in 1653. When I first looked at the picture, I couldn’t help but stare at the centre cross … the cross on which Jesus died. After a few moments, I looked at the crowd surrounding the foot of that cross. I was captured by the expressions on the faces of the people who could crucify Jesus, the Son of God. After a little while my eyes drifted to the edge of the painting. There is another person there almost hidden in the shadows of the etching … many art critics say that this person is actually a self portrait of Rembrandt himself. Yes Rembrandt, recognizing his own sinfulness and his own contribution in nailing Jesus to the cross.
Recently a few of the guys from the church have were looking into ways to fix the roof of the Manse. One of the problems that has to get fixed is the holes that have allowed some UNWANTED VISITORS to take up residence inner personal space. I know squirrels must play some kind of role in the environment, but the environment is OUT HERE not IN THERE. OUT HERE … squirrels can do whatever they want. They are not permitted inside the Manse.
1 Chronicles 17, Isaiah 55:8-9
It’s normal to be disappointed when our plans and hopes don’t line up with the reality that God allows in our lives. Over 100 years ago, my Great Grandfather had a plan and a dream for his life. He loved God and wanted more than anything to go to China to tell the people about Jesus.
The mission board that he was part of affirmed his call to ministry but for some reason, did not approve his plans for China. Instead, they called him to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. So, he packed up his family and moved to what he considered, the middle of nowhere.
Today is our daughter’s 22nd birthday … Happy birthday Chicklet! Fifteen years ago this today, my wife and I sat in a hospital bed holding our daughter Alanna, waiting anxiously to hear what the doctor was going to say. She was having a lot of difficulty breathing with double pneumonia, and had hardly eaten anything for two days. Yes I was a Pastor and had preached all the messages about peace before and yes, I should have known to cast all my cares on Jesus and be anxious for nothing … but I still had that raw churning in my stomach and … I was worried.
PSALM 71:5, 1 JOHN 5:13-14, MATTHEW 1:21
What is it about a name that makes it so special to us? I began thinking about this after person asked me to mention their name in one of my videos. I asked her if she had a story to tell or if it was her birthday, and she said, “No, it would just be cool if you mentioned my name.”
EXODUS 15:24, JOHN 10:11, PHILIPPIANS 2:8-9
Many people claim to hate change. And in these days of very confused situations and fear, all of us are being forced to adapt to a new way of life. Now, I don’t know about you but, the change I generally resist is the kind that makes our current situation worse than it is right now.
You and I are eager change jobs when it means higher pay and more benefits. We’re happy to move to a bigger house in a better neighbourhood and a better car in the driveway. Right ???
Mark 12:30-31, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
I don’t know about you, but some of the members of my family have spent a lot of time in front of the TV catching up on missed episodes of their favourite programs or watching movies that they had never gotten the chance to see. I’m not judging them, I just can’t do that right now.
Suppose a movie were made of your life or mine. Not only would mine reveal some really fun and exciting moments … but it would also have far too many mistakes and poor choices … a sinful person who all too often, doesn’t even act like a follower of Jesus? I would be ashamed of some scenes.