Jottings On a Saturday


Here are a couple of jottings I picked up from a calendar while waiting for my sample book at the print shop. Interesting…

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed in the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do.  Mark Twain

The question isn’t “Who is going to let me?” it’s “Who is going to stop me?”  Ayn Rand

Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.  George Addair

And On Anxiety:

Quote on anxiety: “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”

Quote on anxiety: “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

Quote on anxiety: “It’s sad, actually, because my anxiety keeps me from enjoying things as much as I should at this age.”

Happy Saturday.

 

 

So You Want to Know What God is Like


Well, he is just like us…or rather we are like him…in the following ways:

He experienced sadness: Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death…” Matthew 26:38 NIV

He experienced anger:  Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them…Exodus 32:10

He experienced frustration:  Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things?” John 3:10 NLT

He experienced disappointment: Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. Matthew 26:40 NIV

He experienced jealousy: for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God…Deuteronomy 5:9 NIV

He experienced love:  “…As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34 NIV

Now, here is Genesis 1:26: Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…” which takes us back to the opening sentence.

But like I said in Friday’s blog, we humans began to mess up on earth and God was sorry he had made us…just look at this statement:

The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. Genesis 6:6 NIV

But the Good News is this:  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Happy Sunday.

A Family Day Prayer


Sometimes certain prayers will resonate with us more than others. Our associate pastor, Monica McClure, gave such a prayer yesterday and I’d like to share it with you, with her permission. It not only touches on Family Day but our world issues which certainly need much prayer.

 Prayers of the People

Abba Father,  As a people who dwell in the shelter of the Most high, we praise you for being our refuge. Lord, there is safety for us in the shelter of your wings. We thank you for our mountain top experiences of your grace which have strengthened our faith and given us hope for the future.

As we continue to walk with you on life’s journeys…through the valleys as well as on the mountain tops…draw near to us so that that we might dwell forever in your presence.

Generous God, you have blessed us with life. You have placed us in families giving us a place to call home.

On this family day weekend we think about our own families. We thank you for our parents who gave us life, our family members who have shared and enriched our lives and with whom we share many memories…

We thank you Heavenly Father for setting the solitary in families. But, we are also mindful that for some of us the word “Family” brings mixed emotions or heartache…some of us have experienced much pain within our family relationships…People who should have loved us and cared for us have failed us…Some of us feel the pain of abandonment, of abuse, of neglect…of heartbreaking loss, the pain of disappointed hopes and missed expectations, the pain of alienation from loved ones. Have mercy on us Lord, and minister to us your healing grace even in the messiness of our family relationships.

Father, today we pray for those who long to be married and have their own children…for childless couples who long to be parents…hear and answer the desires and prayers of their hearts. We pray for those that are in the midst of parenting infants, children, and young people.   Give them wisdom, courage and stamina in raising their children to be well-adjusted citizens of the world, with a real desire to love and serve you.

We thank you for our St. Andrew’s church family today…another family to which we belong…one branch of the body of Christ…with almost 200 years of family history!  Remind us of our commitment as a church to provide for and participate in the spiritual nurture of our children and young people. Continue to bless us, encourage us and keep us faithful to your call to share the good news of Jesus with everyone.

Prince of Peace, we continue to lift up the needs of our own broken world in the turmoil that surrounds us…We ask you to give wisdom, discernment and courage to elected representatives in government. We pray for people who are very anxious about what the future holds for them. For those who feel powerless to effect decisions that will have a direct impact on their lives. Remind us,  that although we do not know what the future holds we know that you hold the future…and give us your peace. In Jesus’ name we pray.  AMEN

 Pastor Monica McClure

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Scarborough

February 19th, 2017

 

 

 

Good Gifts


I was working at the Canadian Bible Society Book Store on Monday, April 30, 2001, when a new shipment of Bibles came in, which included a beautiful family Bible, NKJV, with illustrations by the painter of light, Thomas Kinkade. It took my breath away!

As I priced and shelved these Bibles, the thought came to mind that I would love to give one to each of my five children for Christmas. (Yes, I thought of Christmas in April!) These Bibles were very expensive and it occurred to me that by purchasing them now, on a lay-away plan, they would be bought and paid for by December. However, not sure of what my family’s reaction would be, I decided to think about this idea for a few days.

The very next day I opened the following e-mail from my daughter-in-law, Sonya. It was a forward, the most timely one I had ever received; and here it is in its entirety:

A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer’s showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.

As graduation day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study, and told him how proud he was to have such a fine son and how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautifully wrapped gift box.

Curious, but somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely leather-bound Bible with his name embossed in gold. Angrily, he raised his voice to his father and said, “With all your money, you give me a Bible?” and stormed out of the house leaving the Bible.

Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and a wonderful family, but realized his father was very old and thought perhaps he should go to him. He had not seen him since graduation day. But before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things.

When he arrived at his father’s house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father’s important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. His father had carefully underlined a verse, Matthew 7:11, “If you then, though you are evil (meaning not perfect) know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

As he read those words, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer’s name who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words…PAID IN FULL.

How many times do we miss God’s blessings because they are not packaged as we expected?

You guessed it! I bought those Bibles the very next day, and by December they were all paid for, and each was embossed in gold with its recipient’s family name. To my mind it was the best gift I’ve ever given, and no, there were no car keys or hundred dollar bills tucked inside, only my undying love and God’s undying Word.