Looking Out for Each Other


Should we still be looking out only for number one? Maybe the time has come to give a little thought to our fellow humans, whether they be family, friends, presidents, or the grocery store clerk.

What does it take to look out for others? A simple phone call to see if there is a need to be addressed; a well timed visit, following all health protocols of course; and a heartfelt prayer here and there when all else fails…or even when it doesn’t.

Scripture speaks to this growing concern in our world today. Perhaps we should take its advice to be sure that we are looking out for each other.

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4

Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.1 Corinthians 10:24

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Happy Sunday.

The Upside of Grief


People all over the world die every day. But when it hits close to home death becomes different; personal, sadder, even poignant.

It happened to me this week. Two of my very close friends died within three days. One was a friend of fifty years and the other’s friendship entwined my life for sixty years.

I will miss these ladies and their enduring friendship very much to say the least. But I take comfort in the fact that they are now truly home. Yes, I do believe in life after death.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25,26

I also take comfort in knowing that my loss is God’s gain. And that’s the upside of grief.

Happy Sunday.

It’s a New Day


Every day is a new day if we get to live it. Being thankful for each new day is one of the best ways to show God our appreciation for it. I like to start my day with this lovely little prayer: “God, grant me the grace to live this day in your strength.” This way, no matter what the day holds, I feel empowered to meet it without further thought. Here are some messages from scripture on the subject.

This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

A new day will dawn on us from above because our God is loving and merciful. Luke 1:78

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22,23

Happy Sunday.

It's a New Day - LetterPile

A Change of Mind


Have you ever wondered how you got mired in a certain way of thinking without giving it any thought?

It came to me one morning back in the eighties, when a scripture I had read or heard somewhere popped into my mind. “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind….” (Romans 12:2). I actually stopped what I was doing at the time and thought about what that might mean. And so I tried it. It meant monitoring the daily words that inhabited my mind, and choosing only the ones that could enhance my life rather than degrade it.

This is not a one-time exercise. It is an ongoing challenge, sorting thoughts, changing the words to speak, goofing up, and going back to the drawing board.

For instance, have you ever said to yourself, “I’m going to give so-and-so a piece of mind!” Well, you can bet your bottom dollar that that piece of your mind is not going to be a good piece.

In Isaiah 55:8 God said: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts…” Too bad, eh?

Happy Saturday.

A Question of God’s Gender


The question crops up periodically about the gender of God. We can see by Genesis 1:26 and 27 that God created man in his own image. He also created woman, presumably also in his image; (if not, why not?)

Genesis 1:26…And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them….(27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

We are told repeatedly in scripture that God is in us, Jesus is in us, Spirit is in us. In John 14:20 we read: In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

It is written that Jesus was born of Mary, a female and of the Spirit, supposedly male and therefore would encompass both.

We know we are born of a man and a woman, our mother and father, and therefore have both female and male in our makeup.

If we have both female and male in us and are born in God’s image, does that answer the question of God’s gender??

Happy Sunday.

A Matter of Humility


Some people don’t like this word ‘humility’ as it may conjure up a sign of weakness, not realizing that humility in itself is a strength.

Here’s one definition I gleaned from the Internet: Humility is the quality of being humble and means putting the needs of another person before your own, and thinking of others before yourself. It also means not drawing attention to yourself, and it can mean acknowledging that you are not always right.

Here is the Bible’s take on humility:

Philippians 2: 3-11 : Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

 Luke 14: 11 : For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

1 Peter 5:6 : Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you…

James 4:10: Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the humble, for they shall inherit the earth.

Happy Sunday.

Thomas Merton Quote: “Humility is the surest sign of strength.” (12  wallpapers) - Quotefancy

Different Reflections


The Mirriam-Webster dictionary has many definitions of the word reflection, one being the obvious of seeing one’s image in a mirror or water.

Another meaning for the word is consideration of some subject matter, idea, or purpose.

And then there is this: reflecting is about letting your heart and soul speak. It requires letting go of the rational mind, going into your interior life, and listening. (Internet)

In Paul’s 2nd letter to Timothy we read: Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. 2 Timothy 2:7 (NIV)

As I reflect on the image below, a feeling of both grandeur and peace floods my soul, both of which give me insight into the wonder of God, Himself. Happy Sunday.

rich16.jpg

Responsibility


We are responsible for our lives but there comes a time when we are overwhelmed by the responsibility that has been thrust upon us. We fear we are not doing enough in a given situation or we fear we are not doing the right thing. But God has an answer to our fears:

Daily Short Prayers: Isaiah 41:10

With faith, let us recognize God’s responsibility to handle what we can’t. Happy Sunday.

Let Us Pray


Once in awhile we are given the privilege to offer prayer to our congregation. This is one of mine from a few years ago. Happy Sunday.

Let Us Pray

Heavenly Father as we once again come to you in prayer this morning, we ask that you would quiet our minds and grant us the grace to open our hearts to you.

Help us to trust you with our lives and all that concerns us.

When we suffer an illness, help us to recognize healing as a blessing.

If healing is not ours to claim then help us to accept eternal life with you as the ultimate blessing.

We ask that you would make us receptive to the blessings you continually send our way and let us be willing to be a blessing to others.

Lord, help us to remember to pray for those whose needs we don’t always think of…our brothers, sisters, and neighbours all over the world who suffer the anxieties of war, famine, natural disasters and unnatural behaviors; those who call out for help and those who are silent in their misery.

Heavenly Father, help us also to remember that you created us to be in relationship with you, to show our love for you by obeying your greatest command, to Love One Another as you love us.

May we most of all recognize your love as our truest blessing.

We pray for the safety and well being of our pastor, Duncan, and his family. We pray for families and friends of our congregation as a whole, and we pray for those who govern our country and indeed those who govern our world.

Help us to feel the need to pray for the enemy of mankind, those who seek destruction rather than peace. We pray that you would lead them to realize that all life is a blessing. Hear us Father God as we continue to praise and thank you with the words your Son Jesus taught us: Our Father……..

Fear, Awe, and Christmas


Some people don’t like reading the Bible because it speaks of fearing God. But the kind of fear it speaks of is a reverential fear; more like holding God in awe, not being afraid of him as we would be afraid of an axe murderer.

Whenever I am reading the Bible and come across the word fear I replace it with the word awe. In that way I know what it means to respect going against his teachings. Why would I want to? It is with awe that I view the universe and a newborn baby, both of which he designed and created. It is with awe that I read the words spoken by Jesus after being nailed to the cross, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” Who does that?

So, yes, there are two types of fear; the fear felt when confronted with the terrors of the world, and the healthy fear (awe) felt when confronted with the teachings of God who himself said to Jacob in Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Another of those teachings is about the birth of Jesus where we read in Luke 2:10-12: And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Merry Christmas.

In the Manger 300 Large Piece Jigsaw Puzzle