Saturday, May 25, 2013

Moving forward by standing still

I'm amazed at how many times God calls His people to increase their faith by standing still.

Here are a few examples:

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.  The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Ex. 14:13-14)

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Eph. 6:13)

You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and seethe deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you. (2 Ch. 20:17)

So, why not try it.  Pause long enough to allow God to do something.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Reflecting on Dallas Willard's recent passing from life to Life

Last week I heard the news first from Erika: Dallas Willard died today.  I was shocked and saddened.

Although I never had the chance to meet him, I consider him to be one of my mentors and pastoral guides.  I've read a handful of his books and, while biking into work, I often listen to his podcasts/iTunes U lecturers.

Some of his ideas and definitions have become permanently embedded in my mind:

"A disciple is one who is with another, learning to be like him or her"

"Grace is not opposed to effort it's opposed to earning.  Effort is action, earning is attitude."

"I think that, when I die, it might be some time until I know it."

I could go on and on but I won't.  You'll just have to pick up one of his books or listen to one of his podcasts to hear for yourself.

In the meantime, here are two Christianity Today articles that offer some insight into Dallas' character and legacy.

Tribute by John Ortberg

Remembering Dallas by Richard Foster (former pastor)

I look forward to meeting him at the resurrection.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Deck frog

Growing up in Niagara, the only place I'd find frogs to catch was in nearby ponds and swamps.  Not in Grey county.  My kids need only go to the edge of our deck.  This funny fellow showed up in that spot around lunch time and spent the afternoon unmoved.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Old friends and new at Assembly 2013

This past week our pastoral team participated in the Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada national assembly--a biennial gathering of EMCC church leaders from across Canada.  It flip flops between eastern and western canadian cities.  This year it was in Toronto.

The speakers and conversations were engaging, the food was delicious, and the pool was large.  We learn new things and we were reminded of some things that shouldn't change.  As always, I ran into a handful of co-labourers that I've had the privilege of serving with over the years.  Here's one example of a former HMC staff member posing with a couple of current pastors and spouses.

And a certain shy musician playing without sticks or a drum kit...

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Team Teaching

Our pastoral team shared the teaching during the service this morning.  Amos, our children's pastor, wasn't able to participate in the teaching end of things but he gladly pitched in to do the announcements.  The rest of us--Connie, Lyndsay, and I--divided up Ephesians 1:15-23 and we each took a few minutes to talk about it.  The context was the apostle Paul's prayer for the Ephesian church.  Our context is prayer for Hanover Missionary Church.

It felt good to work collaboratively on such an important subject with a gifted pastoral team in a congregation that finding hope in surprising places.

I'm already looking forward to next week's guest speaker.

Friday, May 3, 2013


It's another sign of spring: rhubarb.  The reddish green stalks and oversized leaves are some of the season's first edible plants that appear around our house.

A few posts ago I raved about planting sugar maples--another leafy friend that produces in early spring.  I thought it would be fun to do a small comparison between rhubarb and sugar maples.  Here's what I've come up with:

1.  Time needed for plant/tree maturation.  Rhubarb: one year.  Sugar maple: half a century.  
2.  Ease of harvest for a child.  A three year old can snap off a rhubarb stalk and eat it in seconds.  Ask a toddler tap a sugar maple and turn the sap into syrup?  Maybe not.  
3.  Season length.  The maple sap flow is usually measured in days.  Alternatively, our rhubarb patch will still be producing in July.
4.  Ease of spelling for a child.  The silent 'h' can be a hangup even for adults.  Alternatively, 'sugar' and 'maple' are straightforward.

So, tonight we left the maple syrup in the fridge and put our rhubarb shoots to good use by making a rhubarb dessert.  The kids were invited to 'wash the dishes' or 'pick some rhubarb'.  They chose harvesting the tasty tart treats.  I got dish duty.  And we all ended up with a bowl of rhubarb crisp a la mode.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Two wheelin' again

Finally. A day when I didn't need the car and the sun was shining. Ideal conditions for a two wheeled commute into work.

According to google maps it's a 11km trek, one way. There are rolling hills, gravel roads, and today I met black dog that ran after me barking and smiling with his lips curled up to show me his nice big teeth.

I plan on riding as much as I can. Riding into the wind and up the hills will keep my body fit. Listening to my favorite professors on iTunes U will keep my mind active. And being chased by dogs will keep my faith strong.

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