Hung Up on a Word


Some people get hung up on the word, “repent”. It seems to automatically ring a ‘religion’ bell in their head and they are turned off  probably because of Acts 2:38 where Peter tells the people, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…”

In this regard repent means to be sorry for living in ways that dishonor God.

However,  Professor Robert Wall, Professor of Scripture and Wesleyan Studies, adds that it is “the internal and intellectual act of exchanging old beliefs for new ones.”

To me, this explanation is much more digestible and may appeal to those outside of religion as well as to the religious.

The internal and intellectual act of exchanging old beliefs for new ones…it makes me happy that I got hung up on a word. 

This post was prompted by a blog from Matthew Ruttan’s devotional, UP, on April 29th.

Out of the Pages


For the last three Sundays, our church, St. Andrew’s Scarborough, has had the privilege of meeting Biblical folk practically face to face.

First it was Peter. He stepped out of the pages of the Bible and spoke to us through Pastor Duncan. He told of his life as a disciple of Jesus and what it was like to be in the company of this amazing man for the three years of his ministry on earth.

The following Sunday we met Mary Magdalene, speaking to us through Pastor Monica. She also told us about how much she had learned and profited from knowing Jesus.

Then, we met Lazarus. What a story he had to tell…what it was like to die and then be called back to life by his best friend, this very same Jesus.

Today we meet the High Priest, Caiaphas. Caiaphas presided over the Sanhedrin, the highest court of the Jewish people, and organized the plot to kill Jesus. I’m looking forward to hearing what he has to say for himself. Happy Sunday

 

Sharing the Blessings


Yesterday we shared the grief of the residents of Humboldt and surrounding areas. People around the world have poured out their support in many various ways and continue to do so.

Likewise, there are many ways of sharing our spiritual blessings and I believe my blog and my book, both titled My Precious Life, are the ways God has provided me with this kind of sharing. I don’t know about you, but I appreciate the ways people share their blessings with me and I’m thankful to all of you who do so.

Rev. Matthew Ruttan of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Barrie, Ontario is responsible for this new life lesson this morning. He can be found at https://matthewruttan.com/  

God Has a Sense of Humor


God has a sense of humor…or at least some of his clergy do. We had a guest speaker for our men’s day service yesterday. This pastor also happens to be a wonderful saxophone player who often plays in the contemporary music part of our services. He did not play his sax yesterday but did make reference to human saxuality and sax appeal. You would wonder how that fit into a sermon but it did, much to the congregation’s delight…or at least most of us.

The choir was a special men’s group consisting of twenty-six gents of various ages including three youth, the youngest being twelve, our regular pastor, the guest pastor, and a trumpet player. The music was superb and a solo performed by one of our regular tenors was flawless, moving a couple of our ladies to tears.

Whether or not we believe God has a sense of humor we need only look at Psalm 126:2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy to describe our congregation yesterday.

God obviously has endowed our (dare I say saxy?) guest preacher with the gift of laughter and the ability to share it.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Be My Guests


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 🙂

 

 

 

A Pastor’s Response


My Precious Life, my book, has received many positive and promising reviews, and this one, which landed in my Inbox yesterday, is among the most encouraging.

The writer of this message can be found in Chapter 23, page 89, of My Precious Life. He is mentioned in only one sentence, and yet that sentence seems to have moved him to this response.

Lawrence Crews is Senior Pastor at Calvary Community Church in Barrie, Ontario, and has given me permission to share his words.

This then, is a Pastor’s response: 

Today at 10:49 AM
Dear Mrs Boyes,
Thank you so much.
I just finished reading your beautiful book. I am deeply moved. I feel honoured.
I am blessed. I am encouraged. I am chosen.
Tears flow down my face as I write. I am truly amazed at the love and care of our God toward you, toward me, toward each of our loved ones and so many others as well.
God’s grace, peace and kindness have again leapt into my heart – this time from the pages of your book. Thank you.
Your old brown Toyota will always hold a special place of memory in my heart. December 18, 1977. My life changed forever that evening at Scarborough Gospel Temple. Jesus Christ sought me. Thank God I was found by him.
How could I have known the rich heritage of God moving in your life? Thank you for being willing and obedient to write.
I am in awe. I am comforted. If God is for us then who can be against us?
Thank you for sharing your precious life so beautifully with pen and paper. I know you now a thousand times more than ever before. My life is that much the richer.
You will be delighted to know…
I woke early this morning and was able to get a good start on the day. I treated myself to breakfast and your book at a quiet, local greasy spoon. It’s a great way for me to read without interruption.
Out of the blue the waitress asked, “What book are you reading?”
Instantly I knew God was at work-again. I shared with her about December 18 and how my life changed that night forever.
She curiously asked me some more questions about the book. I asked her if she would like to read it. 🙂
I’m leaving it with her now.
Thirty-seven years later, I’m humbled and thankful to know that God still speaks to us and through us even today.
With deepest respect, honour and thanks,

Lawrence 😎

It is with a thankful heart that I share this glowing tribute to My Precious Life, the book, which, through Jeremiah 30:2, God prompted me to write.