Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Schools back from summer!

Yes more pencils
Yes more books
Yes more teacher's happy looks.

Maybe we all needed to be rescued from our delirious summer fun!

Learning has a fun all its own.

We get mentally, physically, emotionally & spiritually stronger through the progressive difficulty of education.

Life's tests aren't always easy, are they?

Monday, 30 August 2010


You don't have to attend all the arguments you're invited to.

Ecclesiastes 7:9
Don't be quick to fly off the handle. Anger boomerangs. You can spot a fool by the lumps on his head.

Philippians 2:14-15
Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.

Romans 12:17-18
Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you've got it in you, get along with everybody. Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Block party tonight...

Hebrews 10:24-25
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

who are your allies...

...those who are willing to support your mission?

...in the neighbourhood?

Who do I know who knows the people I need to know?

Your allies actually want to be in the foxhole with you. They don't bail with excuses...

Luke 10:5-7
“Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house.’

If those who live there are peaceful, the blessing will stand; if they are not, the blessing will return to you.

Don’t move around from home to home. Stay in one place, eating and drinking what they provide. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve their pay.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Not all who wander are lost...

No matter how much we know, we don't know enough to know what Jesus is going to do next. Eugene Peterson

Matthew 16:24-28

Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?

"Don't be in such a hurry to go into business for yourself. Before you know it the Son of Man will arrive with all the splendor of his Father, accompanied by an army of angels. You'll get everything you have coming to you, a personal gift. This isn't pie in the sky by and by. Some of you standing here are going to see it take place, see the Son of Man in kingdom glory."

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Go ahead, make my day...

Matthew 5:9
"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family."

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character....

Hello Einstein?!

Is 'deny yourself' in your vocabulary?!

Why not choose a lifestyle of conversation and community over a lifestyle of accumulation?

Proverbs 14:21
He who despises his neighbor sins,
but blessed is he who is kind to the needy.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Purpose in life?

To die a glorious death in service to my king. (Ulysses)

Life really can be quite an odyssey can't it?

There are twists & turns, ups and downs, events, circumstances & mistakes that can really get us wondering what we're truly all about.

Maybe it's been a while since you checked your internal compass.

So what is your lifestance?

As much as I like the one from Ulysses, mine is more along the lines of,

"Helping others discern God in the midst of life."

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
There's no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you're no good for anything else. The last and final word is this:

Fear God.
Do what he tells you.

And that's it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it's good or evil.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Sometimes life is just spinning out of control...

Slow down before you really get chewed up!

Why not take stock of all your activities. Are you doing a lot but missing out on life?

As a parent what we intend to teach is not always what our kids learn.

Are our children learning how to run around from activity to activity instead of learning to how to live the Jesus life?

Sometimes it feels like this world is spinning faster
Than it did in the old days
So naturally, we have more natural disasters
From the strain of a fast pace
Sunday was a day of rest
Now, it's one more day for progress
And we can't slow down ‘cause more is best
It's all an endless process

(Well) I miss Mayberry
Sitting on the porch drinking ice-cold cherry Coke
Where everything is black and white
Picking on a six string
Where people pass by and you call them by their first name
Watching the clouds roll by
Bye, bye

Sometimes I can hear this old earth shouting
Through the trees as the wind blows
That's when I climb up here on this mountain
To look through God's window
Now I can't fly
But I got two feet that get me high up here
Above the noise and city streets
My worries disappear
Rascal Flatts

Why not consider finding life in your neighbourhood?

Psalm 46:8-10
Attention, all! See the marvels of God!
He plants flowers and trees all over the earth,
Bans war from pole to pole,
breaks all the weapons across his knee.
"Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
loving look at me, your High God,
above politics, above everything."

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Happy Anniversary!!

I know what you're thinking, with pants like that she had no chance against my advances!

I am a very fortunate man to be with such a special woman.

Regardless of how things start out, difficulties often arise in the best marriages. We all need to stay focused and not get distracted from God's best.

Proverbs 30:18-19
"There are three things that are too amazing for me,
four that I do not understand:

the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a maiden."

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Who's driving your bus?

Emotional freedom for some people means they can ride in their own car rather than riding the bus. On public transportation, somebody else drives, but the rider cannot control the passengers or the general experience. When someone first drives, the feeling is exhilarating. Some hesitate when they realize they have to plan the route, service the car, and maintain their driving record. They must take total responsibility with no one else to blame. Freedom always carries responsibility. Many give up one to avoid the other. Fred Smith

1 Peter 1:18
Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God.

Friday, 20 August 2010

on assignment by Jesus

Scattered into neighbourhoods throughout Edmonton and beyond.

1 Peter 1:2-9

To the exiles scattered to the four winds. Not one is missing, not one forgotten. God the Father has his eye on each of you, and has determined by the work of the Spirit to keep you obedient through the sacrifice of Jesus. May everything good from God be yours!

What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we've been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you'll have it all—life healed and whole.

I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it's your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.

You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don't see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you'll get what you're looking forward to: total salvation.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Are you 'passive and avoidant' or 'active and engaged'?

How's that working for ya?

1 Peter 3:8-13
Whoever wants to embrace life
and see the day fill up with good,
Here's what you do:
Say nothing evil or hurtful;
Snub evil and cultivate good;
run after peace for all you're worth.
God looks on all this with approval,
listening and responding well to what he's asked;
But he turns his back
on those who do evil things.
If with heart and soul you're doing good, do you think you can be stopped?

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

What kind of mate are you looking for? And where are you looking?

We keep hoping that one day we will find the man who really understands our experiences, the woman who will bring peace to our restless life, the job where we can fulfill our potential, the book which will explain everything, and the place where we can feel at home. Such false hope leads us to exhausting demands and prepares us for bitterness and dangerous hostility when we start discovering that nobody, and nothing, can live up to our absolutistic expectations. Henri Nouwen

Proverbs 17:9
Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

I dare you you to get involved.

Do life with your neighbours.

Be friendly.

It can get messy but it's worthwhile!

Building bridges takes time. Put in the effort!

Don't you want to be a part of a place where nobody falls through the cracks?

Monday, 16 August 2010

Passion in my soul

Life is short.

How much QTL (Quality Time Left) do you have?

What are you going to spend it on?

Better yet, what are you going to let God spend you on?!

Get together with your neighbours. Host a block party. Pick a cause to work together on. Have a Food Bank drive.

Someone has to be the convener. Someone has to start the ball rolling.

Is it you?

Matthew 22:37-40
Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them."

Sunday, 15 August 2010

On the rim of the visible world...

Ephesians 1:3-19
How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He's the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we're a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.

It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.

It's in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what's coming, a reminder that we'll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.

That's why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn't stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I'd think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

The Great Unknown

Blessed are you when your circumstances show your need & dependence on God for everything.

Cursed are you when you think you know where your life is going at all times & all places.

Accept the unknown & hang on for the wild ride!

God is the God of hope. When you put your hand in His hand, He will lead you through the valley of despair into the plane of hope. With God no one and no situation is hopeless. Focus your eyes on Him rather than your situation. Gary Chapman

Hebrews 11:8-10
By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God's call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. By an act of faith he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents. Isaac and Jacob did the same, living under the same promise. Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God.

Friday, 13 August 2010

What’s possible here in my neighbourhood and who else cares about it?

Each and every neighbourhood has people of peace with gifts to help create a hope-filled life for all.

Have you found some in your neck of the world to make beautiful music with?

2 John 1-4
To ... all who know the truth - because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever:

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, will be with us in truth and love.

It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. And now I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Cocooning doesn't work.

If anything, there appears to be an inverse relationship between our growing obsession with the home as a totem object and the disintegration of families that has become the chief social phenomenon of our time. We worship this idealized container for family life, and yet it turns out that the family cannot be sustained without the larger container of community life. James Howard Kunstler

Get out of your house & invest in your neighbourhood. Sit on the front step. Walk around. Make friends.

Hang out at the local coffee shop.

Matthew 5:14-16
"Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven."

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Jesus hung around the neighbourhood with...

Luke 4:16-21
He came to Nazareth where he had been reared. As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place. When he stood up to read, he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written,

God's Spirit is on me;
he's chosen me to preach the Message of good news to
the poor,
Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and
recovery of sight to the blind,
To set the burdened and battered free,
to announce, "This is God's year to act!"

He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the place was on him, intent. Then he started in, "You've just heard Scripture make history. It came true just now in this place."

The Good News has just come true in your neighbourhood too. You can say, "This is God's year to act through me!!"

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Are you one of the blessed?

Blessed are the poor... not the penniless, but those free from love of money.

Blessed are those who mourn... not those who whimper, but those who raise their voices.

Blessed are the meek... not those who are wimpy, but those are patient and tolerant

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice... not those who whine, but those who struggle for change.

Blessed are the merciful... not those who forget, but those who still forgive.

Blessed are the pure in heart... not those who act like angels, but those who are transparent.

Blessed are the peacemakers... not those who shun conflict but those who face it creatively.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for justice... not because they suffer, but because they love courageously.

Monday, 9 August 2010

What is to give light must endure burning.

Stand in the fire.

Serve your neighbourhood.

2 Thessalonians 3:4-5
Because of the Master, we have great confidence in you. We know you're doing everything we told you and will continue doing it. May the Master take you by the hand and lead you along the path of God's love and Christ's endurance.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

My life is a living hell...

All my feelings have been taken away.

I feel no joy,
no pain.

I'm hungry but I cannot taste
I'm tired but I cannot sleep
I'm in love but I cannot fulfill my desires.

I have only one pleasure in my life -
human suffering.

I feed on misery. (Hades, Percy Jackson & The Olympians)

Those who are possessed of evil love to inflict pain on others.

Those given over to God act with compassion on the hurting.

Which will you choose?

Isaiah 61:1-3
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,

and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Who decides what is possible in your world?

Ephesians 3:16-21; 6:10
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Get the right people off the bus...

and into their neighbourhoods where they can make all the difference.

One of the supreme ironies of American life is that the society that has talked and written most about the fulfillment of the self shows the least evidence of it. People obsessed with the cultivation of the self, the good life, the abundant life, have little to show for it but a cult of selfishness. The highest standard of living in the world has produced a bumper crop of obesity, anxiety, boredom, and meanness. (Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove)

It's no different in the church either. Maybe something is broken?

Romans 8:5-8
Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God's action in them find that God's Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn't pleased at being ignored.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Disappointment with blog...

Life is difficult.

Life is hard.

Life is unfair.

Our only hope is God...

Lamentations 3:19-33
I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there's one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:

God's loyal love couldn't have run out,
his merciful love couldn't have dried up.
They're created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He's all I've got left.

God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It's a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It's a good thing when you're young
to stick it out through the hard times.

When life is heavy and hard to take,
go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear.
Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face.
The "worst" is never the worst.

Why? Because the Master won't ever
walk out and fail to return.
If he works severely, he also works tenderly.
His stockpiles of loyal love are immense.
He takes no pleasure in making life hard,
in throwing roadblocks in the way.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

God's children will be people of hospitality

Step One: Issue a genuine invitation to one or more of your neighbours.

"We'd love it if you could join us for a a BBQ next week. Are there any nights that work for you?"

Step Two: Make a big deal about their arrival.

"We all need to eat and drink to stay alive. But having a meal is more than eating and drinking. It is celebrating the gifts of life we share. A meal together is one of the most intimate and sacred human events. Around the table we become vulnerable, filling one another’s plates and cups and encouraging one another to eat and drink. Much more happens at a meal than satisfying hunger and quenching thirst. Around the table we become family, friends, community, yes, a body. That is why it is so important to “set” the table. Flowers, candles, colorful napkins all help us to say to one another, ‘This is a very special time for us, let’s enjoy it!’” Henri Nouwen

Step Three: Address their needs

Focus, focus, focus. On them. Not the game or anything else that distracts you!

Step Four: Send them out with a blessing.

1 Peter 4:9-11
Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God's words; if help, let it be God's hearty help. That way, God's bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he'll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Running on empty...

You can outdistance that which is running after you, but not what is running inside you. African Proverb

Settle down,
slow down,
stop living for God &
try living with God
in your community
& with your neighbours...

Matthew 11:28-30
Come to me … get away with me & you’ll recover your life.
I’ll show you how to take a real rest …
Walk with me…watch how I do it …
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace …
Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly…

Monday, 2 August 2010

You're driving me crazy!

The spiritual life is one of constant choices. One of the most important choices is the choice of the people with whom we develop close intimate relationships. We have only a limited amount of time in our lives. With whom do we spend it and how? That's probably one of the most decisive questions of our lives. It is not without reason that parents are very concerned about who their children bring home as playmates, friends or lovers. They know that much of their children's happiness will depend on those they choose to be close to. Henri Nouwen

Proverbs 12:26
The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Truly an August scene...

Truly an August God,

Isaiah 40:28-31
God doesn't come and go. God lasts.
He's Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don't get tired,
they walk and don't lag behind.