Archive for March, 2015

A sermon that hits home

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

Check out the Palm Sunday sermon I preached on shame and honor (to honor Canada, that probably should be honour!).  I’ve been working on this theme for some time – you can listen to the sermon or download the text at

Here are the words for the song I wrote for the sermon (Sunday morning at 4:00 am!!):

Branches waved in fame

His body pierced in shame

Jesus took your past

Yes, he holds you fast

Leave you hurts in His hands

Set aside your small plans

Go out on a limb

Cause you’re honored by Him

The beginning of the day

Monday, March 30th, 2015

One of those days where sun shines and the forecast is bright – that’s a good day.

We were dropping off a vehicle to have an oil change today.  8:00 in the morning.  Not early, but not great for late risers.

As I approached the counter, I cheerfully greeting the service lady.  That, I’m finding, is not always a great thing to do for those whose sleep is still being disturbed even though their eyes are open.

She responded well, explaining she was not a morning person.  The car will have the work done and the repairs made.  Meanwhile a chat with some of those around revealed that another lady would be glad to trade her husband – he’s up way too early in the morning. 

As I walked out, I wished them a “good day.”

And that truly is my hope – for all of you today.

The spring thing

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

Well, the sun was out yesterday and we were up to 17 degrees (in Celcius – I realize in Fahrneheit that would still be deemed cold!).

The front lawn is drying out – I will soon be out with the rake and lawn mower.  In fact, maybe today??

Our usual yearly clean-out-the-sewer-system is happening today.  And we can begin to once again fill the pipes with who-knows-what until next year rolls around!

The inside of the house will be up for work.  The basement store room stash has grown over the last 10 years.  Time to thin that out.

And, of course, standing in the sunlight yesterday and chatting with our neighbour reminded me that life is good – and spring is here!

Spring is here.

Wallpaper, the style of the day

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Well, I’m off with my wife to put up some wallpaper today.  Not a lot – but then my experience is not great either.  I look forward to a steep learning curve, paste under my nails and blurry eyes trying to get the pattern right.

Now, that’s a day!!

Conscience’s new heading

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

The right of conscience is enshrined in our human rights codes.  Recently a push by medical associations has brought a conundrum to the forefront.

The bylaws of various associations are trying to find a balance.  Unfortunately they seem to be tipping more than balancing.

A doctor is to give access to all types of patients.  The are to give strong medical care to the best of their abilities.  The patient has individual voice in the care provided.  Which outweighs which?

Until now we generally accepted the expertise of a doctor as most valuable.  When they could show that a treatment was not for the welfare of the patient, their decision was strongly considered – in many cases expected to be followed.

Patient advocacy has done a great service in highlighting the needs of the patient.  Patients are more aware and aggressive in their treatments.

So now, the question is, “when does a patient’s rights trump the conscience of a doctor?”

Up until now, the doctor could withdraw from treating a patient and in case of objections from a conscience strongly held and practiced, could leave it at that. 

Now the medical community is considering requiring that doctor to provide referrals and even to seek out those who could provide treatment that they are not willing to perform.

Can you, as a doctor, refer a patient, in good conscience, to seek a procedure that you consider to be wrong?  Can you work in concert with, by knowing and associating in implicit practice with, those who are acting completely opposite and contrary to your view?

The question of conscience for a doctor who is dealing with abortions or doctor assisted suicide/death comes to mind immediately.  I’m sure other options will arise. 

Can this be the tolerant society we envision?

While reading

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Each day I read a devotional or two in the morning.  Great bathroom readers!

Today I came across a quote that I just had to share – from Allen Ratta in Making Spiritual Progress

There are times when we need to bloom where we are planted and start producing. Then there are times when we need compassion to prompt us into action.  finally, there are seasons when we need to be reenergized by fresh inspiration.

Faith produces, Love prompts. Hope inspires.

Enjoy your day.  May you experience faith, hope and love!


Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Some years its weddings.  Some years its deaths.  This year is shaping up to be anniversaries.

And not any general type of anniversary. 

This is the year of church anniversaries.  We have already accepted two invitations.  50th anniversary types!

One is my wife’s “growing up” church.  The other is a church where I ministered for 11 years.  Both will be festive events with new people to meet and “older” ones to reminisce with.

Both churches saw us in a music role.  We will sing and maybe dance??  OK, not sure every church is ready for that yet, but you never know. 

And so, off we go . . . oops, not for another few months . . . but we are excited to have the opportunity.

The love of music and people

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

There is a combination that inspires me, brings rest to the soul and exercise to the body.

I love to lead singing – small and large groups.  I’m not the most accomplished, nor the most exact or even the most educated in this area.

But I love to sing, and those around me seem to catch on to the enthusiasm.

I have had opportunity to lead music a few times these past weeks.  In a seniors complex and at church.  I’ve had some amazing musicians to work with.  And the freedom to “do my thing” – which I must always keep in check!

Somehow, and I’m not sure how – other than God wired me this way, I come away having sung my lungs and my heart out.  To find something that is re-freshing is a very good thing.  Almost like God, as he finished creating this earth – it was very good!

And the next day God rested.  No big schedule (other than to keep the earth revolving around the sun, and oxygen flowing to the creatures of the earth and the stars twinkling!).  Just a day of rest.

Prayer adventure

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Not sure how this happened . . .  glad it did.

Our son was off to youth group tonight.  In between two activities he needed a food/nutrition break (the sugar filled chocolate bars I offered him did not impress him).

Home he came.  We ate the most marvelous pizza (thanks to the kindness of one of our parishioners who filled our oven and house with the aroma of love!).  We then texted the youth leader to see where to meet them.

The adventure begins . . . the youth group was on a prayer mission.  They regularly visit people in our congregation and just pray for them – a short 10 minutes which seems to carry an impression of eternity.

The meeting place was planned for just across the street from us.  I accompanied our son and was invited to join them while they prayed.  As we were exiting the apartment building, I was asked by the youth leader if there was anyone else we could pray for.

I had seen another parishioner in the common area.  So we stopped and chatted with her and the others surrounding a games table.  After introductions, and a proper pause before leaving, the youth leader asked if the group would like us to pray for them.  There were immediate prayer requests and we all prayed..

Now, this was probably the first time I’ve been with a youth group and we have prayed for “strangers.”  May this increase! 

Not a bad example for the rest of us older types!!

Rest Day?

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Almost 10:00 in the morning and not a mouse is stirring.  Of course, snow fell over night and I doubt their tracks would be expected on a day like today.

But then, no other tracks are showing!  The driveways are still covered with a fresh skim of white.  My wife’s tire tracks (on her way to work) are the only driveway disruption I can see from my front window.

What makes this Saturday a day of rest?  I’m not sure. 

Perhaps the melting of spring (what we call “breakup”) has forced many oil companies to slow down.  Their heavy trucks can no longer drive rural roads.  Moving into a maintenance mode means an “easier” work week.

Perhaps a farming community is just awaiting spring planting season.  They are ready – now the ground, skies and snow must respond in like fashion.

Perhaps sports tournaments and finales are in the midst of a hiatus as we await the next season.

Perhaps Saturday actually is a weekly day of rest.

Whatever the reason, I’m enjoying a slow start and rejoicing in a new day!