Showing posts from 2020

So, you know do you?

Do you know the easiest place from which to play a sport?On your easy chair drinking a soft drink and eating a bag of potato chips.You sound like you know what you are doing!You sound like a real professional.You sound like you’ve played the sport for years, have been inducted into the hockey hall of fame and have the first puck you scored with in your first game as a professional.But let’s face it, we fans really don’t know a whole lot.We’ve never been hit with a puck that is flying at you 160 kilometres an hour.We’ve never swung a bat at a ball traveling at that same speedWe’ve never been body checked by someone 225 pounds skating at you at 32 kilometres an hour!Let’s face it—we haven’t a clue. We don’t know the average hockey player works out 2 to 3 hours every day—that’s in the gym prior to getting on the ice!  So, as we sit in our easy chairs cat calling, tossing pop corn, yelling at the team to go back to the minors, perhaps we might stop and ask ourselves if we actually know wh…

Pentecostals and Liturgy

I grew up as a pentecostal, and to be honest with you looked questioningly at groups or churches who had written prayers, followed a prescribed written order in a bulletin, or basically did anything connected to their spirituality that wasn’t free wheeling and spontaneous.Now, however I’m not so sure!

Research is telling us that only 5 percent of our behaviours are consciously self-directed while 95 percent of our behaviour arises either automatically or reactionary.  “We are creatures of habit.” (Resilient Ministry:  Bob Burns, Tasha D. Chapman and Donald C. Guthrie, IVP Books p 40)
So, now I want to ask myself what kind of spiritual habits have I developed that are automatic and simply kick in without notice?   I now think it becomes imperative in our spiritual journeys that we train ourselves, force ourselves, or in some way routine ourselves in spiritual activities.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (WEB) 24 Don't you know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run…

Incremental Revelation

Jesus is 12 years old and in Jewish culture is about one year away from his Bar Mitzvah—his entrance into adult life. He and his family have gone on their annual pilgrimage to celebrate passover in Jerusalem.  I’m sure you know the story.

Mary and Joseph, when it came time to return home, left Jerusalem assuming 12 year old Jesus was with relatives or friend.  After a day of travel Mary and Joseph  thought they’d better find their son and so they started looking for him.  Well, no Jesus.  They travelled back to Jerusalem and three days later found Jesus in the temple discussing theology! The parents were giving Jesus some ‘space’ to mature and grow. When they find Jesus they are delighted but also upset.
Mary: “Why are you treating us like this?”Jesus:  “Why are you searching for me… Didn’t you know?”Answer nope!  Mary and Joseph had not yet received the entire revelation of who Jesus was nor did they understand his mission in life. They are receiving bits and pieces of revelation but d…

Who has the right to speak into my life?

Have you noticed there are a plethora of individuals who are willing to tell you what to do?Or to tell you how you don’t measure up?
I want us to ask ourselves this important question:Who has the right to speak into my life?  Or better:  Who am I giving the right to speak into my life?

1.  I need someone to speak into my life!  Proverbs 27:17 (ESV)  “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”  I need guides.  I need direction.  I’m not perfect.  I have blind spots.  2.  I want to be wise! Proverbs 8:33-36 (KJV ) “Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.  Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.  For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.  But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.”  This means I want people to speak into my life!  I want people to tell me where I am missing it.3.  Now those two things do not preclude the necessity of indiscr…

How temptation and sin work in the believer.

How temptation and sin work in the believer.

Here is the first thing to process:  you and I have ‘go-to’ sins—or signature sins.  These are the sins we will commit if we are going to sin.  For instance there is very little chance you might get drunk on Friday night, but highly likely you will express anger in an ungodly way to your kids.  This is because your signature sin is anger—not drunkenness.  Even more telling is that there is a strong possibility that your go-to sins are generational.  We’ve all heard this:  ‘that guy has a drinking problem just like his dad!’  Or, ‘she is a control freak just like her mother!’ We need to learn to defeat these go-to sins and crucify them.  Once we can list our go-to sins and learn what they are, we are ready to crucify them daily.  The longer we fight them, crucify them, and give them to Jesus—the weaker those sins become in us.  They gradually begin to lose their strangle hold on us. But in the process demons know our weaknesses and make sure…

Contemplation brings transform

There are two ways to read the Bible. First, we read the Bible to gather information.  MOST of our Bible reading, studying, preaching emphasizes this.  A ‘mature’ person is generally thought of as one who ‘knows the Bible.’Second, we read the Bible to be formed into the image of Christ.  This is formational reading.  This is very neglected in most of our lives.  However, this is a key need for spiritual growth.  
You could look at the differences in this manner:

Contemplation brings transformationIntellectual study brings wisdom
We need both!  However, as I said, the majority of our efforts are given to the intellect!

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NIV) 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:15-18 (DARBY) 15 But unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil lie…

Annoying People

Are there people that you find particularly annoying?  People that—well—really bug you?  People that you wish you didn’t have to meet and see?  What are we supposed to do with these people?

There are three things that we might consider:

 1.  Annoying people are plants by God.  God is wanting to do something in you—and uses annoying people to do it.  God is not beyond making your life miserable through other people.  Yes, that is actually true!  God sees character flaws in you and uses an annoying boss to change you.  God wants to develop patience in you so he asks you to work with the youth in your church.    
Prov 27:17. As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

2.   They are annoying because we let them be annoying.  I have often wondered why we let annoying people carry on the way they do.  You see everyone thinks they are annoying but no one tells them.  No one sits down with them and speaks the truth in love to them.  Sometimes annoying people need to be told.  Sometimes …

Zonky, Sam, and the love of God

Zonky escaped—but Mr Grumpman caught him and brought him back.  Zonky was our pet turtle whom we found in the middle of the road —down the ‘Jordan Hollow’ on the way to granddad’s house.  We were actually in granddad’s car when we stopped, rescued this turtle, and took him home.  We made a pen for him around a tree in the back yard and got out some red paint and painted ‘Zonky’ on his shell.
I’m telling you about Zonky because of the deep theological truths he represents.  Zonky represents why God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden when life as humans—as we know it began.  
Simply put—if God had not put that tree in the garden, Adam should have been called Zonky.  Are you ready?  Follow me:
God—rich in mercy, abundant in kindness, the true definition of love —creator and sustainer of all and everything—created man for one purpose—-LOVE.  More specifically, to be a recipient of love.   Now the very nature of love demands a response and a decision.  Love …

COVID - 19 and Affirmations of God's Kingdom

COVID - 19 and Affirmations of God's Kingdom
Lord I have heard:
Conspiracy theoriesCommunism takeover by the government 
The stories and the rhetoric abound and everyone has their opinions.  Social media provides a platform for many. Lord I affirm that you are King and LORD over everything.  The early Christians and the early church faced horrendous things compared to this.  And did they panic?  Did they rebel? On the contrary they blossomed!  They honoured their leaders.  They obeyed.
Romans 13:1-5 (NIV) Submission to Governing Authorities 1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one…

Write it down: The discipline of journaling

Write it down!

Exodus 17:14 (NKJV) 14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”
Nehemiah 9:38 (NKJV) 38 “And because of all this, We make a sure covenant and write it; Our leaders, our Levites, and our priests seal it.””
Jeremiah 36:1-2 (NKJV) Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: 2 “Take a scroll of a book and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel, against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah even to this day.
Habakkuk 2:2 (NKJV) 2 Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision. And make it plain on tablets,  That he may run who reads it.
Luke 1:3 (NKJV) 3 it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus,
Jude 1:3 (NKJV) 3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write…