One of my earliest childhood memories is playing a game called Let’s Play Pretends. You could be anything or anyone you wanted to be and were never questioned about it; from princesses to movie stars to singers and dancers and acrobats. Pretending was such fun.
On a mini vacation a few weeks ago with some friends, I found myself behind the pulpit in a very old Presbyterian church in New Glasgow, Ontario. I was pretending to be a preacher. (Call it my second childhood…after all I am eighty-one!) It was a beautiful church with lots of character and for fun I had this picture taken.
I didn’t have a sermon ready and just as well or my friends would have left me there talking to myself, I’m sure.
It goes to show that our imagination can stay with us as long as we are willing to entertain it in games like “Let’s Play Pretends”. Here’s the sermon I would have preached. Happy Sunday.
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20
Celebrating 200 Years of God’s Love. That is our slogan as we celebrate our two hundredth anniversary at St. Andrew’s Scarborough today.
We have been celebrating in many different ways over the past year in anticipation, and today’s the day!
The motto over our door is Jehova Jira – translated The Lord Will Provide. (Genesis 22:14)
For two hundred years this scripture has proven amazingly true for our congregation and we look forward to its continuation.
Just as our Lord welcomes all of us with open arms, we at St. Andrew’s also welcome all with open arms which is one of the reasons we are a growing congregation.
Going forward, we continue to celebrate Jesus who not only lived and died but who died and lives in our churches and in our lives.
Happy Anniversary, St. Andrew’s!
1818 – 2018 200 YEARS OF SHARING GOD’S LOVE
Wherever we are in the world, there is a church. Whether you attend or don’t, enjoy your Sunday because God, being omnipresent, is not only in a church he is wherever you are.
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:11 (NIV)
Beautiful sunset over gothic church St. Peter and Paul in The Litice suburb of Pilsen. Aerial view to romantic citiscape in Czech Republic, Central Europe. HDR (warm filtered) photography.
Today we are to “feature a guest” as #everydayinspiration nineteen. Ideally this guest should be one from the participants of these assignments, but I am choosing to invite all readers as my guests, and instead, feature two people from my favorite church in the world, St. Andrew’s Scarborough. (Everyone has their favorite.)
The first is our Pastor Duncan. Wow! This man uplifts me week after week, and has been the inspiration for many of my writing topics, today’s included. Lately he’s been talking about Jonah and how God got his attention by allowing him to spend three days and three nights in the belly of a big fish. Most people think of a whale as being the only fish big enough to swallow a whole man. Now, you’re thinking what’s so inspirational about that? The crux of the story is that Jonah, as a man of God, was supposed to warn the City of Ninevah to change their disobedient ways or their city would be destroyed in forty days. Jonah didn’t want to have anything to do with saving the sinful city and so refused God’s instructions. Hence the time out in the whale’s gut.
So, what’s that got to do with you and me? Only one thing. We are here to uphold God’s will for a perfect world, and if it means going to our own Ninevah to try to instill some sense into those whose intentional or unintentional behavior takes the lives of others, either physically or emotionally, then so be it. Those are our marching orders. I learned on Sunday that I either start to march or face the fate that Jonah did. God, help me!
The second person to uplift me that day was a soloist from our choir. “I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” The words were sung with strength, clarity, power and joy. Our singer has recently seen the inside of a whale’s gut…that place of dark unknown. Just two weeks ago she spent three days in hospital when some unknown malady robbed her of her speaking voice, let alone singing voice. She could have begged off Sunday’s commitment citing that episode, but despite her visible nervousness, she got up there and inspired the whole congregation. Wow!
So whether you are face to face with a huge fish or waiting for God to reel you in for His own purposes, I’m delighted that you took this time out to be my guests. I hope you had a whale of a time. oops 🙂
From the time you arise until night time arrives, may your Sunday be filled with beauty and peace.
I believe I was born a believer, but it took the better part of my life for me to realize this as a fact. It’s only in looking back, as I have in writing this book, that I can see God’s hand in my life from the day I first poked my head into this world.
Chapter Forty – I’m A Believer
The old, white, clapboard church sat on an angle of land in Pottageville, Ontario. I was four years old when its tolling bell beckoned me. Pottageville is a small hamlet between Schomberg to the west, and Kettleby to the east, along the Aurora Road, north-west of Toronto. My grandma’s small, tar paper house was set back from the road with lots of yard space for my sister, Mary, and me to play. Every Sunday I hung over the barnwood fence, gazing longingly as people streamed up the road towards the church, and disappeared through the wide open door. As I watched, I wondered what went on in there. I begged my grandmother to let me go to church, and one hot, summer morning she dressed me in a pretty white, cotton dress with tiny pink buttons down the front. Pink ankle socks and white shoes completed my outfit. Grandma pulled my long hair tautly into a thick braid that bounced on my back as I skipped happily along the country road. I was greeted at the church door by a pretty lady. “Are you by yourself?” she asked……. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” (Mark 9:23) Tomorrow: An excerpt from Hal Bennett’s book, Writing From the Heart; one of the many inspirations that led to the writing of My Precious Life.