Who You Are


The following is taken from Charles Stanley’s book, Relying on the Holy Spirit:

God knows who you are. He knows who He created you to be and which natural gifts, talents, abilities, and personality traits He put into your life. He knows which motivational gift is best suited to you. 

God knows how to place us within a body of people to accomplish His ministry. He will open doors of opportunity for you to minister in a way that is suited to your natural gifts. Be open to how and when the Holy Spirit chooses to use you.

This is sound advice for those asking the question, “Who am I and why am I here?” Happy Sunday.

What To Do With Jesus


In Christianity the week leading up to Easter Sunday is Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday which was last Sunday.

On that day, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to shouts of acclamation from adoring crowds. However, there was also a crowd who hated Jesus and whose leader had him arrested to stand before Pontius Pilate, a Roman governor under the emperor of Tiberius in the 1st century.

Pilate could find no wrong in the man sent to him to be crucified, and didn’t know what to do with him. But to save his own position, he caved in to the demands of the angry mob and ordered his crucifixion, a horrible death, the capital punishment of the day.

In his sermon on Palm Sunday, our Pastor made a profound statement…”you and I need to decide what we are going to do with Jesus.”

It’s a decision we all have to make sooner or later…no escaping it. I know what I have done with Him. How about you?

 

Food for Thought



How many of us today are wondering what in the world is wrong with our world? Here is something that was shared on Facebook yesterday and could possibly be a clue to the answer to that very question.

Conformity is doing what everybody else is doing, regardless of what is right.

Morality is doing what is right, regardless of what everybody else is doing. 

These are not mere words to read and dismiss but real words to give us food for thought.

What will make the difference in the world is the wisdom to differentiate.

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Do You Believe It?


In Soul Stories, a book by Gary Zuvak, he wrote, among other things, “Believe that when you ask a question you always get an answer.” I don’t know why, but the question I asked was, “Where am I from?”

I was led to a meditation site online from a note I had taken on a television program a few nights earlier. The meditation that day was titled “Home”. It suggested that I am from another dimension, one of peace, and light, and silence. This explains my love of silence…I bask in it when stillness seems to envelop me from time to time.

At different times in prior years I had written poems, one titled,” A New Dimension” where becoming aware of the things we usually ignore opens our eyes to what’s around us. “The Journey” depicts a life of love and serenity.

To my mind, heaven is another dimension and perfectly fits the description above…love and serenity.

If I had ignored the prompting to take a note from a television program, I would not have been aware of the online meditation that gave me a fairly apt description of “where I am from”.

I attribute the inspiration for “The Journey” to a surgeon who many years ago released me from hospital with these words, “Live, love, and be happy.” And this is precisely my life today.

Do you believe it?

A Question of Trust


A question I often get asked is, “How did you get such deep faith?” The answer has to be that I seem to, without knowing it, have trusted God all of my life…and with my life.

Yesterday, I came upon this scripture which seems to sum it up perfectly for me: “Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.” Psalm 22: 9-10 NIV

I’m not sure that any better explanation is available. In whom do you put your trust? Happy Sunday.

 

Sharing the Grief


Last Friday night on the outskirts of Humboldt, Saskatchewan, a horrific bus crash changed the lives of this community and surrounding areas forever.

Toronto’s Globe and Mail reported fifteen people, including 10 players between the ages of 16 and 21, were killed when a semi-trailer crashed into the Broncos’ bus late on Friday afternoon. As of Monday, 12 people remained in hospital: four in critical condition, four serious and four stable, according to Saskatchewan’s health authority.

There has been an outpouring of grief and support from around the world and I among many shed copious tears for the lives lost, those spared who will face ongoing traumatic healing, and those left behind to grieve the loss of their precious loved ones.

There are those who ask where God is at times like these.

The answer is He is with every single person whose life is touched by this tragic event.

The answer is He shares our grief.

The answer lies in John’s gospel, chapter eleven, verse thirty-five…Jesus wept.

 

Who’s In Control?


More of Matthew Kelly:

God does not want to control you, or stifle you, or manipulate you, or force you to do anything you don’t want to do. Quite the opposite. God will let you do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it, with whomever you want to do it, and as often as you want to do it. When was the last time God stopped you from doing anything?

Matthew Kelly
This quote begs to ask, “Then, what does God want?”

 

“Churching”


Someone recently asked me, “Are you still churching?” Once, when I was overseas, I was asked if I missed going to church. The answer to the first question was an emphatic “yes”. The answer to the second was that I don’t need a building to go to church; church is in my heart.

However, when I do go to church, this is the one I attend, and when I’m unable to attend, this is the one I carry in my heart; my church, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, Scarborough. This is where I am today. Happy Sunday.

Unanswered Questions


If you hadn’t just recently taken the stairway to heaven I would ask you (over tea at your house) how you became such an interesting conversationalist. You were never at a loss for topics and when you discussed people, nothing was ever gossip, just good informational facts.

I would ask you how you developed your knack for making people feel so comfortable upon first meeting them.

I would ask where you found the patience to knit and crochet all the thousands of things you created over the years; and how fundraising became such an integral part of your talents.

I would ask what was your secret for growing such beautiful orchids and roses, to the delight of neighbors and friends..

There are so many questions left unanswered now that you are no longer here; questions that only you know the answers to.

But since you did recently take the stairway to heaven, Norean, I really have to ask, “What is it like there?” That is really the most unanswered question.

 

What About Cain and Abel?


Sometimes I wish I had studied theology instead of bookkeeping. There are so many Bible stories that confuse me, like the one a friend reminded me of this morning… the biblical brothers, Cain and Abel in Genesis 4. These boys were the first fruits of Adam and Eve, their parents.

The scripture says the Lord looked with favor upon Abel but not on Cain, and this made Cain angry; angry enough to kill his brother. It was the first murder ever committed on earth.

My friend posed the question, “If God looked with favor upon Abel, why did God let Cain kill him?”

My question is, if God looks upon us with favor…and we’re told he does…why does he allow bad things to happen to good people?

We have a dear friend and church member whose cancer is spreading even though we took the advice of James 5:14 and had the elders pray over her and anoint her with oil. Instead of getting better, her condition deteriorated to the point where the cancer has reached her brain.

“The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” Psalms 119:130

I am a simple person, Lord, and need understanding of James 5:14; and while you are at it, what about Cain and Abel?