Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The 5 R's


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Kick it!

Before you talk, listen.
Before you act, think.
Before you criticize, wait.
Before you pray, forgive.
Before you quit, try.
(E. Hemingway)

Monday, 28 November 2011

Whatcha doin'?

Have respect for God and obey his commandments.
That's what everyone should do.
God will judge everything people do.
That includes everything they try to hide.
He'll judge everything, whether it's good or evil.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Getting tutored by troubles.

Psalm 119:71-72
My troubles turned out all for the best—
they forced me to learn from your textbook.
Truth from your mouth means more to me
than striking it rich in a gold mine.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

You might have a vindictive attitude if you say...

When life gives you lemons, squeeze them in people's eyes.


Friday, 25 November 2011

Psalm 121
I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains?
No, my strength comes from God,
who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.

He won't let you stumble,
your Guardian God won't fall asleep.
Not on your life! Israel's
Guardian will never doze or sleep.

God's your Guardian,
right at your side to protect you—
Shielding you from sunstroke,
sheltering you from moonstroke.

God guards you from every evil,
he guards your very life.
He guards you when you leave and when you return,
he guards you now, he guards you always.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Advent Conspiracy

I read part of Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove's intro from Jamie Arpin-Ricci's book, The Cost Of Community in our Sunday service to prepare us for the beginning of Advent next Sunday:

In Canada, the day after Christmas is Boxing Day. I’ve read that it’s the largest retail spending day of the year up there (akin to America’s Black Friday, which follows our Thanksgiving feast). Inheritors of the largest economy to ever exist on earth, we North Americans celebrate our holidays on both sides of the border with great demonstrations of abundance—and we come down from our consumption by . . . shopping. If there is any single temptation that North Americans share, it’s the persistent call of One More Thing.

But for Christians, the day after Christmas is a day to remember Stephen the Martyr. Our great celebration of Jesus coming to dwell among us is followed by a solemn reminder of what Jesus actually said about following him—that it leads to a cross in this world. Incarnation is good news not because it offers us a way out of the mess of this world, but because it shows us what God’s love looks like here and now. Jesus’ birth is followed by his death and resurrection, just as the birth of the church is followed by the witness of those who are willing to lay down their lives for the sake of the gospel. And so the good news spreads.

When we pay attention to the peculiar memory of the church, we hear the echoes of a quiet revolution—the gentle insistence that the way things are is not the way things have to be. Another world is possible; indeed, another world has already begun. We can be part of it now, but it costs nothing less than everything.

That Jesus took on human flesh and moved into the neighborhood means we have seen the way of love lived out. We know what it looks like. In first-century Palestine, it meant that Jesus went to Golgotha. It looked like Stephen praying for his enemies while they threw the stones that would kill him.

But what does it look like to live God’s love in our world today?

What if you’re not a wandering preacher from Galilee, living under Roman occupation?

What if your greatest temptation is the alluring call of One More Thing on the day after you’ve eaten ham and opened presents?


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Slow Your Breath Down

Lives lived frantically are more intensely forgotten than lives lived slowly.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Hang in the battle.

1 Peter 4:19
So if you find life difficult because you're doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he's doing, and he'll keep on doing it.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Champagne wishes and caviar dreams...

Acts 14:21-22
After proclaiming the Message in Derbe and establishing a strong core of disciples, they retraced their steps to Lystra, then Iconium, and then Antioch, putting muscle and sinew in the lives of the disciples, urging them to stick with what they had begun to believe and not quit, making it clear to them that it wouldn't be easy:

"Anyone signing up for the kingdom of God has to go through plenty of hard times."

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Sometimes Life Is Easy; Sometimes It’s REALLY HARD.

Acts 18
Totally exasperated, Paul had finally had it with them and gave it up as a bad job. "Have it your way, then," he said. "You've made your bed; now lie in it. From now on I'm spending my time with the other nations."

He walked out and went to the home of Titius Justus, a God-fearing man who lived right next to the Jews' meeting place. But Paul's efforts with the Jews weren't a total loss, for Crispus, the meeting-place president, put his trust in the Master. His entire family believed with him.

In the course of listening to Paul, a great many Corinthians believed and were baptized. One night the Master spoke to Paul in a dream:

"Keep it up, and don't let anyone intimidate or silence you. No matter what happens, I'm with you and no one is going to be able to hurt you. You have no idea how many people I have on my side in this city."

That was all he needed to stick it out. He stayed another year and a half, faithfully teaching the Word of God to the Corinthians.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Pillow fight?

Ephesians 6
God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials.

And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way.

This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

Be prepared.

You're up against far more than you can handle on your own.

Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare.

Pray hard and long.

Pray for your brothers and sisters.

Keep your eyes open.

Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Who's the boss

Colossians 1
We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God's original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.

He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he's there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.

You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God's side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don't walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. There is no other Message—just this one. Every creature under heaven gets this same Message.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Leadership 101 from Penn State

You can't be a part-time man of principle. (John Amaechi)

Psalm 68:5-6

Our God, from your sacred home

you take care of orphans

and protect widows.

You find families

for those who are lonely.

You set prisoners free

and let them prosper, but all who rebel will live

in a scorching desert.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Monday, 14 November 2011

Boney M.

God grabbed me. God's Spirit took me up and set me down in the middle of an open plain strewn with bones. He led me around and among them—a lot of bones! There were bones all over the plain—dry bones, bleached by the sun.

He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"

I said, "Master God, only you know that."

He said to me, "Prophesy over these bones: 'Dry bones, listen to the Message of God!'"

God, the Master, told the dry bones, "Watch this: I'm bringing the breath of life to you and you'll come to life. I'll attach sinews to you, put meat on your bones, cover you with skin, and breathe life into you. You'll come alive and you'll realize that I am God!"

Sunday, 13 November 2011


What Wouldn't Jesus Do?

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desire. (Susan Anthony)

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Friday, 11 November 2011

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

we can't always appear like we have everything together...

Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

Monday, 7 November 2011

He lived among us...

Would your neighbours say that about you?

The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Grace Anatomy

Live a life of love. (Ephesians 5:2)

Saturday, 5 November 2011

What is your hope and prayer?

My hope and prayer is that many people will discover just how exciting and relevant the New testament really is. (NT Wright in the Preface, The Kingdom New Testament)

Friday, 4 November 2011

What did nelson mandela think about in prison for 27 years?

I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don't want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I'd like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can't be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free.

What do you think about?

Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Living Well

"If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says." (Jesus of Nazareth)

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
May the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again may the Lord hold you in the palm of His hand.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

In search of eudaimonia.

I'll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn't listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.