Wednesday, November 30, 2016

For God so loved. . .

He was hated and loved, feared and respected.  With the passing of Fidel Castro this week we have seen folks mourning his passing and celebrating his death.  It is interesting how polarized people seem to be in their opinions of the late dictator. 

The reality is that Castro was neither the demon nor the saint that people make him out to be.  While it is true that Castro was a dictator and despot, the regime that he toppled in 1959 was morally and economically corrupt and was governed by a dictator and despot.   

What people don’t seem to be talking about is the state of Fidel’s soul.  Remember God loved Fidel Castro so much that he gave his one and only Son . . .

Before Castro was a dictator he was a prisoner and while in prison a Wesleyan missionary couple by the name of Lyon would often visit that prison.  They would take their accordion, Bible and any other items that would help them share the gospel and grace of Christ with the prisoners. Fidel Castro was one of those prisoners.

Who knows what conversations the President of Cuba may have been having with the King of the universe during the last days of his life.  Because the same grace that saved you, could save Fidel.

Have a great week and remember: To see what is really possible, you will have to attempt the impossible.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Land of Leeks and Garlic

If I was asked to compile a list of countries that I would like to visit, Egypt probably wouldn’t be on that list.  But then again I’m pretty sure that ten years ago Ghana, Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso wouldn’t have been on the list either.

I have just confirmed that I will be visiting Egypt in the late spring to meet with national leaders and Pastors of the Wesleyan Church to explore possible partnerships with the Atlantic District.  And now that I’ve committed to the trip I’m starting to get excited about it.

When we think of Egypt we often think of the Pharaoh’s and Pyramids, if we try to relate it to our faith it is all wrapped up in the story of Joseph or Moses and the Exodus.

But the history of the Christian church in Egypt dates back to Mark, the same Mark who wrote the Gospel of Mark.  There is a church in Cairo where Christ has been worshipped since the 3rd century.  That’s on my list of things to see.

But I’m more excited about the church’s future in Egypt than I am about the Church’s past, and I’m always excited about speaking into the minds and hearts of pastors, regardless of where they serve.    

Have a great week and remember: To see what is really possible, you will have to attempt the impossible.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Little Good News

“Woman reportedly raped in Dubai jailed for extramarital sex.”  “Chief defends record after 11th killing.”  “Accused pedophile dragged from jail and lynched.”  As I read the various headlines this morning, I thought back to an Anne Murray song from the Eighties. Maybe you remember it as well, it was entitled: A Little Good News.  And my favourite line in the song says “Just once, how I'd like to see the headline say ‘Not much to print today can't find nothing bad to say.’”

And that’s how I felt today, I completely agreed with the last line of the song that says “We sure could use a little good news today.” Some days it seems like there isn’t any good news, at least not until page 4. But as a friend told me; good news doesn’t sell newspapers.

The truth is that I already know where to find good news.  The book of Mark begins with these words: “Here begins the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.”

And if you haven’t read it, here’s a synopsis; if Christ is your Lord you’re going to heaven and in heaven they don’t have to worry about selling papers. Sure hope that’s good news for you, if not it can be.
Have a great week and remember: To see what is really possible, you will have to attempt the impossible.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

And it's Over. . .

So, was your prediction about the US election close?

For the record I predicted Hillary to win, Trump to eventually end up in jail and at least one election related death.  Guess I was wrong.

So what happens now?  Well, here’s the news.  Christ is still on the throne, and He would have been if Hillary had won. 

There are those who said a Republican win was necessary for the United States to remain a “Christian Nation”.   Well here’s another news flash: there are no “Christian Nations”, never have been & never will be.  There might be nations with Christian leaders, or nations that embrace Christian values but Christ never called nations to follow Him, He called people to follow Him.  

The reality is that regardless of who won the election, those who are called to follow Jesus are also commanded to pray for their leader, regardless of who they voted for and regardless of what side of the border we live on.   And when those words were written the wickedness of Emperor Nero makes our modern leaders look like amateurs in that field.

But Paul didn’t just tell Christians to pray for their leaders. The most important part of that passages tells us that we are to live our lives in all godliness and holiness. 

#meanwhileincanada I’m having a Tims.   Have a great week and remember: To see what is really possible, you will have to attempt the impossible.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A Life Well Lived

Last week I drove to Quispamsis to attend the funeral of Evelyn Ingersoll, the elderly widow of one our pastors.  It’s something I do. To quote Yogi Berra, “If you don’t go to other people’s funerals they won’t come to yours”.  
 During the funeral, Evie’s daughter-in-law, used the phrase, “A life well lived.” And I thought to myself: At my funeral, I want the preacher to be able to say that and have everyone else nod in agreement.
Scott and Evie had retired from the pastorate and were dorm parents when I first went to Bible College and they helped ground me in my faith.  During those four years it was very apparent that Evelyn Ingersoll’s life was indeed “a life well lived.” She loved her God, her family and the ministry and that indeed is a life worth emulating.

The question has to be: How do we live in such a way, that people won’t have to lie at our funeral?  And I think Jesus answered that when he told us: You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind and love your neighbour as yourself.  And if you do that, then people will say nice things about you when you die.   
Have a great week and remember: To see what is really possible, you will have to attempt the impossible.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Sleeping with the Elephant

It was Pierre Trudeau who compared living next to the United States as being in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered the beast might be, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.  And at no time is that truer than during the US presidential elections.  And we’ve seen plenty of twitches and grunts since this campaign began.

Regardless of how you may feel about the two candidates or who you may think the Americans should or should not elect, I would remind that God is still on His throne and neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have the power to dethrone Him.

So I would suggest that in the days ahead, as we sleep with the elephant, that we need to hang onto our blankets and pray that God’s will be done.

And for all the doomsayers, on both sides of the campaign, at the end of the game we all need to understand and claim the reality of Psalm 20:7:” Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.”

Today there are those who trust in parties and policies but as God’s people we ultimately need to trust in the name of the Lord our God. Have a great week and remember: To see what is really possible, you will have to attempt the impossible.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Who is in your web?

Have you had enough spiders this fall? It is incredible the number of arachnids we have around the outside of our house right now. Mind you, having lived in Australia for four years—where you could saddle the spiders and ride them like ponies—these aren’t a particular threat.

It’s not the spiders that I mind; live and let live, right?  It is the webs. There is nothing more annoying and frightening than walking into a web, unless it’s the thought you had in Australia: that what spun the web could weigh as much as a small puppy. Yuck!

Spiders aren’t the only things that have webs. So do we! Webs of influence and webs of relationships that are all interconnected to the centre—you.  I was told recently that, on average, churched believers have a relationship of some kind with seven people who aren’t in church or in Christ. It might be a co-worker or someone you share a hobby with. It might be the parents of your kids’ friends or a relative. Who is in your web?

Maybe it’s time you actually took the time to see who you could introduce to your church and who you could introduce to your Lord. After all, it might make an eternity of difference.  Have a great week and remember: To see what is really possible, you will have to attempt the impossible.