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Showing posts from October, 2014

Richard Sibbes quote

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Jian or Jesus

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This past summer, my wife, MariAnne, and I were walking along a street in Oxford England. As we passed one of the many Oxford colleges, we had to make our way around a large group of international students who were lined up along a long stone wall which stretched to the end of the block. The most clearly noticeable feature of this group was that they were all (and when I say "all", I mean "all") absorbed with their smart phones. No one was talking, laughing, or listening to one another. They may have been chatting with each other by means of texting. Who knows? However, it seemed clear that they were using the break between classes to catch up on whatever was happening online.
            It is pretty clear today that it takes no effort to fill the gaps of time in our lives with information. That information may be as shallow and mundane as Facebook posts about the weather, what people ate for breakfast, or the rantings of those "friends" who are continual…

Sleeping Well in a World Gone Mad

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"In peace, I will both lie down and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8
            It is not often that there is a great deal of Canadian news dominating the headlines in the United States. Other than the antics of former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, Canada tends to be the sleepy, easy to ignore neighbour to the North. We ship many of our best hockey players, comedians, and theologians south of the border, but most people just assume that they have always been from America. Canada typically remains out of sight and out of mind. It is only on a rare occasion such as yesterday that Canada is thrust into the spotlight. On October 22, 2014,  all over the U.S., and the world for that matter, major news networks covered the unfolding events surrounding the deadly attack at the Parliament buildings of Ottawa by a Quebec man who had become radicalized into an extreme and violent Islamic ideology.             What made this event capture the attention of the wo…

Grieving with Hope

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Before long, grief comes. It is the inevitable and often heart wrenching experience of every one of us this side of heaven. For those who profess to be Christians, there is no escaping what is common to all people everywhere. None of us grieve precisely the same way. For some, grief will be part of our experience until it is our time to leave our earthly tent. For others, the pain will pass more quickly with only occasional times when it seems to appear out of nowhere and catches us off guard.
          The Scriptures encourage us by not dismissing or making light of grief. We do grieve. Jesus wept. Such deep trials will "distress" us, according to the apostle Peter[1]. The Bible also remind us that grief, though real and difficult, is fundamentally different for those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ. Paul encourages a grieving and distressed group of believers in his first letter to the church at Thessalonica by telling them "We do not want you to be …