Monday, December 06, 2010

M2MS

God is Lord of our journey; His purposes and His presence often come disguised detours, disasters and delays (2 Corinthians 1:8-11).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

M2MS

"The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him." Proverbs 23:24

Saturday, November 20, 2010

M2MS

"My whole life I have been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted, until I discovered the interruptions were my work." Henry Nouwen

Monday, November 08, 2010

M2MS

Don't allow yourself to be consumed by the things that feed the ego but starve the soul! (Matthew 6:33)

Friday, November 05, 2010


M2MS

Don't be in a hurry getting to the next thing without fully engaging the thing in front of you. Haste makes waste!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

M2MS

Nothing really changes in your life until your mind does. Transformation is the result of a shift in outlook (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010


Trucking Is Going to the Dogs

This pic was taken in the Husky parking lot in Calgary, AB. He sadly watched his master walk away from the truck.

Friday, October 01, 2010


A World of Difference

Just read a great article that was recommended by my daughter, Amie, in her blog, A Small Part. It's a National Geographic piece from the September 2005 issue about the Mbuti Pygmiesof the Congo, in Central Africa. I found it significant since Amie and her husband are planning to go to Kenya, Africa, in 2011 to serve in a seminary for the training of African pastors. Anything I can absorb concerning the needs of this dark continent inspires me to pray for them.

Also we met a fellow driver a few weeks ago, who is from Sudan, East Africa. He has come to Canada as a war refugee. He too, is a follower of Jesus Christ. Listening to his story has motivated me to pray for this war-torn country. Here's a quote from the article that is indicative of the hopelessly violent situation:

"Africa is the most unpredictable continent in the world. Yet no African nation confronts a future so unscripted, so fraught with disaster and sheer possibility, as the misnamed Democratic Republic of the Congo. Will war resume and Congo shatter into smaller, squabbling states? Possibly. Can the frail but hopeful peace last, allowing Congo finally to put its fabulous riches to work? Conceivably. Everything is so unclear, so unfathomable. . . . But UN experts warn that more than 100,000 rebels, bandits, militiamen, soldiers, and assorted other killers have yet to disarm. And the ethnic and political rumbling along the rift won't likely stop with a mere presidential poll. So with astonishing patience and good humor, millions of people in the center of Africa hold their breath."

The only hope for the hopelessness of this situation is found in the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. God bless all those who reach out to those who are trapped in the midst of darkness.

This is how the Mbuti men harvest trees from the Ituri forest.

This is how the DeGraaf men harvest trees on the Fourth Chute Road forest.
M2MS

He could not believe because he would not obey (concerning the rich young ruler who refused to follow Jesus) (Dietrich Bonhoeffer in The Cost of Discipleship). Submission is essential to faith.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

M2MS

A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it. (G. K. Chesterton)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Godliness in Prosperity

There is a saying I heard many years ago that wisely observes, for every ten people who can handle adversity there is only one who can handle prosperity. I believe this is the great challenge of the North American church today, and particularly, my own life. Recently, I've been blessed and convicted by the writings of George Swinnock (1627-1673). He said, "He who is ever trading and thriving in godliness, need not fear that he shall prove a bankrupt." (Christian Man's Calling, 1:25). I fear that in spite of all the wealth and blessings of my life, I still remain poor in godliness. Oh, that God would fill my heart with a holy passion for Christ and an inescapable desire to do His will!

Swinnock has some good counsel for thriving in godliness in the midst of prosperity. He defines prosperity as, "a condition which consists in the fruition of outward good things, as health, strength, friends, riches, honours, and the like." Then he insightfully observes: "They are in themselves mercies for which we may pray with humble submission, and for which we must praise God with holy affection; but through the corruption of our hearts, they often prove prejudicial to holiness. Those fires which were made to warm us, do often black and burn us." He offers six directives on how we may grow in godliness in a life of many comforts.

First, be especially watchful against those sins which a prosperous state is most liable to. In particular, take heed of pride, confidence in personal abilities and accomplishments, and insensitivity to other's sufferings.

Second, evaluate yourself, not by your possessions in this world, but by your inheritance in the other world. Rate yourself by your treasure in heaven, by the pardon of your sins, by your investment in Christ, by His unfailing riches and righteousness.

Third, let God alone have the glory of outward mercies; it is God's bounty that fills your barns and banks, and therefore His glory must fill your heart.

Fourth, love God even more for the mercies He has given to you. . . . as fire which has fuel enough to burn of itself, flames out the more by having oil poured upon it, so the mercies which flow from God must increase that fire of your love, which is founded in, and abundantly fed by, those blessings that are in God.

Fifth, do God the more abundant service. The more wages men give, the more work they expect. Those that are rich in goods and wealth, must be rich in good works (1 Timothy 6:17-18).

Sixth, in prosperity, prepare for adversity. Summer will not last all year, therefore men provide for winter. Now God gives you health and wealth and strength, do your best to use these blessings to build a good foundation against the time of need.

May my heart be so affected with His blessings that I may be more abundant in my duty. With great privilege comes great responsibility.
M2MS

To love involves great risk, but not to love is the greatest risk of all.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Building a Home in the Woods


This is what we have been busy working at on our time off at home. Thankful for all the friends and family who came to help raise our little "barn." You can view more photos on our Flickr Photostream. Free tours, by appointment only.
M2MS

One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:24-25)

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Pursuit of Pleasure

In 2 Samuel 11, we find the story of David pursuing pleasure in an illicit relationship with Bethsheba. David sins and then commits further sin to cover his original sin. The chapter ends with this summary: "But the thing David had done displeased the LORD." (vs. 27). No matter how much pleasure I may receive from sin, it always displeases the LORD.

The ultimate question is, "Whose pleasure is more important, mine or God's?" Ironically, God desires my pleasure, and He offers it through an eternal relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ. His pleasure is that I might find my eternal pleasure in Him. And I can only find it in Him alone. David later wrote, "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." (Psalm 16:11).
M2MS

The habit of calm and serious thinking makes the real difference between one man and another.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

M2MS

Gratitude is recognizing and affirming your dependence on God and others - an act of humility that battles pride in your possessions and performance. Practice regular thanksgiving! (Ephesians 5:4)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 7 Stranded in Madison, Wisconsin, but Trouble Soon Be Over

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

M2MS

What John says about Jack, tells me more about John than it does about Jack. (Proverbs 11:13; 16:28)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Picture of the Faithfulness of God


A full rainbow in Whitecourt, Alberta.

"I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the everlasting covenant between me and the earth. . . . Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13, 16.

M2MS

Every crisis in your life can make you stronger.

I believe this happens by increasing our capacity for trusting God. True strength must come from God. Recently we experienced a crisis in which we had very little control, but God was in total control of our lives! While driving south on Interstate 39 in Wisconson on Thursday, we encountered a terrible thunderstorm. Suddenly we were hit by lightning. We lost all power in the truck and Denise pulled safely to the shoulder. All the electrical was burned up except the emergency flashers! So we have been in Madison since waiting for repairs. The truck shop cannot check out our truck until Monday, so I guess we'll be here till at least Tuesday. God is in control!!! I don't understand his plan, but I do know that He is good and great, and so I trust Him do what is best for His glory in our lives. That's all that matters and that's where true lastly joy is. This morning I read in Romans 5:4, "And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God."

Friday, July 16, 2010

Gollumized or Eutacised?

Gollum was a Hobbit. But something happened to him. Hobbits are as a rule good-natured folk, hospitable and delighted in parties and in presents, which they gave away freely and eagerly accepted. They had red cheeks, bright eyes and thick curly brown hair on feet and head. When Bilbo met him he was anything but a Hobbit; rather a monster: thin, black-skinned, flatfooted, with sparse hair, long thin hands and bulging eyes. In Tolkien's words, "he was a loathsome little creature."

What happened to bring about such a dramatic transformation? He set his affection on the Ring. And the One Ring, the Great Ring, the Ruling Ring of power overtook him and disfigured him. He called it his "precious." He worshiped it and it eventually consumed him and ultimately destroyed him.

Gollum's debauched life is a vivid picture of what happens when I set my heart on anything in this world. His disordered love did him in. Because of his obsession with the ring, Gollum was no longer what he was supposed to be. The same distortion happens in my life every time I set my heart on the things of this life rather than Jesus Christ. Augustine said disordered love leads to a disordered life. I am in peril of becoming "gollumized" (David Naugle's word in Reordered love, Reordered Lives).

Eustace Clarence Scrubb was Edmund and Lucy's disagreeable nine-year-old cousin (in C. S. Lewis's Voyage of the Dawn Treader). Eustace was a disgruntled, self-centered little lad. The cousins found themselves transported to the land of Narnia as participants in a rescue mission aboard the ship, Dawn Treader. At one stop on an island, Eustace wanders off alone and stumbles into the lair of a fire-breathing dragon. To his delight the dragon was not only dead but had also left his entire fortune of gold and precious jewels to him. He drifts off to sleep but when he awakens he realizes that something shocking had occurred during his nap: his true inner state had manifested itself in his outward appearance. He had been transformed into an ugly, scaly monster.

Eustace was devastated. He wanted desperately to become "undragoned" and become human again. He pleaded for help but no one was able to help - until the great Lion appeared to him. Aslan led him to a mountain pool and told him to wash in it. But first he must remove his leathery skin for the waters to work their magic. Eustace tries but eventually Aslan has to tear his thick scales off with his sharp claws and this is excruciatingly painful. Then the Lion places Eustace in the pool, bathes him and clothes him in a new suit.

I am prone to chase after the stuff of this world, but by God's grace I have been "eustacised" (my word). My cure from the distortion of disordered loves begins when "God as the Great Physician applies the medicine of the cross to the disease of my sin and nurses me through the love of the Holy Spirit into good health according to the prescriptions of His word." (Naugle, 147). His love, through the cross of Christ, transforms my love and reorders my life. I become a worshiper rather than an idolater.

Ideas for this refection comes from my reading of David K. Naugle's Reordered Love, Reordered Lives: Learning the Deep Meaning of Happiness.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Eucatastrophe

I have experienced a "eucatastrophe." J. R. R. Tolkien coined this word in his essay, "On Fairy-Stories." He used the word to describe a "good catastrophe" of a "sudden and miraculous grace." For me the word describes a "blessed disaster." It is an event in my life that, though painful, is intended to bring about a glorious transformation.

Jonah experienced a eucatastrophe when he found himself on a ship in a violent storm, thrown overboard and swallowed by a great fish (Jonah 1). God sent a blessed disaster to expose the prophet's pride and prejudice.

In my case, three years ago God removed from me the thing in which I had placed all my worth and identity: Ministry. In the process of the violent storm God exposed the ugly sins of pride and selfishness, lust and covetousness in my heart. But for His "sudden and miraculous grace" I would have given up everything important in my life to hold onto my idol of ministry. In His mercy, God removed the blinders of pride from my heart and revealed that my identity was based on what I did rather than what he has done for me.

I haven't arrived yet. The journey of glorious change is not finished. And it won't be done until I have reached Home with my Saviour. I still have strongholds of pride and lust in my life. And God continues to bring eucatastrophes into my life. He will faithfully strip away every false value from my heart until I find His Son, Jesus Christ, to be my one and only true treasure. And so I thank God for the "blessed disasters" in my life.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

M2MS

Give money and possessions away and you will remain master over them.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

M2MS

The journey of faith is not about finding your freedom, rather it is about finding your true Master. (Matthew 16:24-26)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hazards of the Journey of Faith

Our job requires that we are sometimes assigned freight that is considered 'hazmat' (hazardous materials). The law demands that we go through certain procedures to ensure that the freight is handled in the most secure way in order to protect the public and the environment. One requirement is 'placarding', or labeling the substance contained in our trailer.

I wish temptation came with such clear warnings about the potential dangers of pursuing its appeals. I was reading the story of Samson and Delilah (Judges 16) this morning and was reminded of the deceptive and relentless nature of temptation. The ultimate goal of Delilah's appeals was the destruction of her 'lover'. And she wrapped her invitations with 'love' (v.15) and persistence (v.16). All the while, Samson follows her blindly down a path to his own destruction. Such is the nature of all temptation: the world and the enemy of our souls wraps temptation in glittering tinsel that appeals to our basic desires for security and happiness. Then they constantly bombards us with their 'BS'! "And with such nagging they prod us day after day until we are tired to death" (my paraphrase of v. 16).

Two things are necessary if I am to overcome: constant vigilance and dependence. I must be on my guard against the lies of the enemy and I must depend upon Christ for strength (Ephesians 6:10-12). Only in relying on Christ as my Saviour can I find power to win the battle and only in pursuing Him as my Treasure can I see clearly the 'BS' of temptations.

Thank you Jesus for your salvation, truth, protection to overcome sin and your forgiveness when I yield to its lies and destruction.
M2MS

We are at war and the enemy is not like us - he's better! We need God's help. (Ephesians 6:10-12)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Misunderstanding

Recently we did a two week pilot program of driving team for a dedicated customer. We were shipping grocery and fresh produce from Ajax, ON to Montreal, QC. Navigating through the Montreal area is a challenge to say the least. I found myself constantly being critical of other's driving skills. How easy it is to find fault rather than show compassion.

Karl Menninger wrote with keen insight: "When a trout rising to a fly gets hooked on a line and finds himself unable to swim about freely, he begins with a fight which results in struggles and splashes and sometimes an escape. Often, of course, the situation is too tough for him. In the same way the human being struggles with his environment and with the hooks that catch him. Sometimes he masters his difficulties; sometimes they are too much for him. His struggles are all the world sees and it naturally misunderstands them. It is hard for a free fish to understand what is happening to a hooked one."

God, give me your eyes so that I might see people with your compassion and understanding; ready to respond with forgiveness and grace.
M2MS

The journey of faith is not about being a good leader, rather a faithful servant: someone who expends himself for the good of others (Mark 10:43-45).

Friday, June 04, 2010


DTMBG

It happened again the other day. I had our day planned out perfectly: pick up freight in Ajax, ON. at 04:30; deliver two stops in Montreal by 12:00; back to Ajax by 18:00; be at my brother's home in Whitby, ON. for a family get-together by 18:30. Well, we didn't get back to Ajax until 00:45 the next day! Our freight wasn't ready for pickup in Ajax until 07:00; when we arrived at our first stop there was six trucks waiting to be unloaded; five hours later we were at our second stop in Montreal; and then we contended with Montreal evening rush hour traffic!

This kind of situation has a special reference for us: DTMBG. This is how it all began. About a year ago, we were assigned back-to-back loads from Cambridge, ON. to Lethbridge, AB. and return to Cambridge. This was a windfall: a potential 4,200 miles! We were rejoicing in our financial blessing. Until we received a message that both loads had been cancelled and we were assigned a relay load from our Aberfoyle, ON. operating center to a small town in Massachusetts: one way 440 miles and no return load. The freight was due for delivery to a construction site at 08:00 on Monday morning. This meant that we would drive eight hours and then wait for 20 hours until our delivery appointment. After delivering the cargo we waited another 12 hours for our next load assignment.

I struggled with the lose of a potential $1,200 pay. I was angry with my employer, the customer and other drivers on the road. Then I began to reflect upon what God might be doing in our situation. I remembered a sermon that I had heard on the Desiring God podcast. John Piper was preaching from the fourth chapter of John's Gospel about Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. He said that God had a "million billion reasons" for that appointment. As sovereign Lord of all times and events, he weaves together all of the situations of every single living creature into a beautiful tapestry that brings glory to Himself. My fault is found in focusing only on the single thread that involves my personal interests. God spoke His gentle rebuke to my heart for loving money more than Him. These disordered values are often only revealed when God graciously withholds them from me. He alone is to be my treasure and joy.

And so, whenever our plans are blocked, we use a special reference to remind us that "our times are in His hands" (Psalm 31:15): DTMBG, "Dispatched to Massachusetts by God." He claims ownership over every creature and circumstance, restoring all things to himself for His glory and our good. Or as Abraham Kuyper puts it, "There is not a square inch in the whole dominion of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry, 'Mine!'"

The photos above are of us parked at the construction site in Westfield, Massachusetts. As I was looking at the photos I realized that we were parked next to a historical building where they used to manufacture horse whips. The parallel to my situation was incredible: God was graciously disciplining me to keep me on track with His values and purposes. "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." (Hebrews 12:4-12).

Thursday, June 03, 2010

M2MS

People measure wealth by what is stored in banks and barns; God by what is stored in the heart (Luke 12:13-21).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

That Which I Pursue Will Ultimately Have Me

One of my favorite classic stories is Herman Melville's Moby Dick. Captain Ahab lost his leg to a whale and spends the rest of his life searching for the beast, consumed with vengeance. I've watched the 1956 movie version a few times and in it the final battle with the great white whale is the most gripping scene.

Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab makes a last-ditch effort to harpoon his obsession. The harpoon strikes the whale, but unbeknown to Ahab the rope is wrapped around his leg. As the whale lunges in response to the piercing of the harpoon, Ahab is dragged overboard into the deep. The violent thrashing of the whale increasingly entangle the pitiable sailor and the beast. The last image of Ahab is a helpless soul lashed by his own devices of his obsession, disappearing forever into the churning oblivion.

The imagery is hauntingly clear. A person will ultimately be consumed by that which he pursues. Proverbs 11:27 says, "He who seeks good finds goodwill, but evil comes to him who searches for it." To seek the Lord is to find eternal life; but to make anything else in this world my passion will only lead to my destruction.
M2MS

God considers good deeds more attractive than good clothes (1 Timothy 2:9-10). What are you known for - good looks or good works? Clothing or character?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thank You Jesus

I was introduced to an inspiring blog this past weekend. It is entitled, Thank You Jesus. Written by an friend who through many trials has found much strength and hope in expressing gratitude to Jesus. As I read his reflections about the simple blessings of life received from God's gracious hands (The Bottom Line), I was reminded of the words of another follower of Jesus.

Helen Keller, who became blind & deaf at a very early age, wrote in her autobiography: "For three things I thank God every day of my life: thanks that he brought me knowledge of His works; deep thanks that He has set in my darkness the lamp of faith; deep deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to - a life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song." She claimed that so much had been given to her that she had no time to think about what had been denied her. O God, nurture this heavenly perspective in my heart!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Divine Transcendence of Forgiveness

A Human Being Died that Night: A South African Story of Forgiveness, is a book about the hatred and violence that plagued the Apartheid years of South Africa. How would they deal with the past in a way that would break the cycles of violence and restore peace? the journey of healing a broken nation involved the intentional process of bringing victims and the perpetrators of violence together in a series of controlled hearings called The Truth and Reconciliation Commission. the hearings were intended to be opportunities for confrontation, confession and ultimately forgiveness and reconciliation. In most legal procedures the goal is justice, not reconciliation, and therefore the victims are excluded.

One of the perpetrators stands out as the man whom many in the country considered the most brutal of Apartheid's covert police operations. Eugene de Kock was the behind-the-scenes engineer of hundreds of murderous operations. His sinister reputation earned him the nickname "Prime Evil."

At the very first hearing he confessed to planning and executing the murder of three black policemen in a car bombing. The widows of two of the murdered policemen were present and testified how their lives had been affected by the lose of their husbands. As de Kock finished his testimony he apologized to the widows for the wrong he had done. With tears in his eyes and his body shaking, he said with a breaking voice, "I wish I could do more than say I'm sorry. I wish there was a way of bringing their bodies back alive. I wish I could say here are your husbands," stretching out his arms as if bearing an invisible body. His hands trembling; his mouth quivering.

After the meeting both women said that they felt that de Kock had communicated to them something he felt deeply and had genuinely acknowledged their pain. Pearl Faku said, "I was profoundly touched by him. I couldn't control my tears. I could hear him, but I was overwhelmed by emotion, I was just nodding, as a way of saying 'yes, I forgive you.' I hope that when he sees our tears, he knows that they are not only tears for our husbands, but tears for him as well. . . . I would like to hold him by the hand, and show him that there is a future, and that he can still change."

Whenever there was a response like this at a public hearing of the commission, Archbishop Desmond Tutu would be compelled to call for silence "because we are standing on holy ground." there was something divinely transcendent about forgiveness. The example, motivation and ability to forgive comes from God.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Why Should I Give When Our Culture Puts Great Importance on Getting.

1. It is a means of greater personal blessing. Jesus said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 20:35).

2. It is a way of godliness; I imitate God. I am never more like God than when I give, for God gave his One and Only Son that I might have life (John 3:16).

3. I master my money and possessions by exercising control over them as I give them away; rather than being mastered by them (Matthew 6:24).

4. I give joy to others in this discontented culture.

5. God commands me to give and therefore he enables me to do it (2 Corinthians 9:7-8).

6. My giving stimulates gratitude in a greedy culture.

7. My giving will bring glory to God (2 Corinthians 9:12-15).
M2MS

When you forgive you set a prisoner free and then you discover that the prisoner was you.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Cure for Bitterness

"I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face, that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me, is transformed in intercession into the countenance of a brother for who Christ died, the face of a forgiven sinner. This is a happy discovery for the Christian who begins to pray for others. There is no dislike, no personal tension, no estrangement that cannot be overcome by intercession as far as our side of it is concerned. . . . How does this happen? Intercession means no more than to bring our brother into the presence of God, to see him under the cross of Jesus as a poor human being and sinner in need of grace. Then everything in him that repels us falls away; we see him in all his destitution and need. His need and his sin become so heavy and oppressive that we feel them as our own, and we can do nothing else but pray: Lord, do Thou, Thou alone, deal with him according to Thy severity and Thy goodness. To make intercession means to grant our brother the same right that we have received, namely, to stand before Christ and share in His mercy."

Sunday, May 09, 2010

The Sin-Eater

In his novel, Master and Commander, Patrick O'Brien introduces a very minor character aboard the ship, Sophie, who is rejected violently by his shipmates. In a transparent moment he reflects that he was a sin-eater back in his home town. Upon the revelation of this news the whole crew turns hostile on the unfortunate sailor. They ostracize him and physically harm him. He eventually ends up in the care of the ship surgeon, who is frustrated because the man has refused to eat or drink.

He discovers the significance of his previous role and the reason for the crews enmity for him. It was the common practice to call for an individual, usually a beggar, to come to the wake of a deceased person. A relative would place a piece of bread on the chest of the corpse which would be taken and eaten by the beggar, the act of which would remove the sin from the dead and place it upon himself. Hence the term, "sin-eater." The beggar received a small fee for his service and as he left the presence of the family and friends of the deceased, he would be spit upon as well as stones and abuse hurled at him. This ritual was believed to make atonement for the sins of the dead person and ensure safe passage into heaven.

This ritual is a picture of the perfect sin-eater Jesus Christ. Who, though Himself sinless, took on the sins of the whole world and the wrath of God. The prophet Isaiah paints a vivid portrait of the suffering sin-eater in chapter 53: "But he was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." Peter quotes this Old Testament prophecy and applies it to Jesus Christ's crucifixion: "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness, by his wounds you have been healed." (1 Peter 2:24). However, he makes the application that the Saviour's act is for our victory in this life over the sins that enslave us; liberating us to live a life of righteousness. Thanks be to God for giving us the ultimate Sin-eater!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Congrats to the Grad!

We are very proud of our son-in-law, Jonathan. This past weekend he graduated with his Masters degree from Briercrest Seminary. He has worked so hard these past three years and is growing into a godly man and leader in the Church of Jesus Christ. Our daughter, Amie, has been a great encouragement and she deserves congratulations as well. May God bless and lead as they enter another stage of their life of faith together. They are preparing to serve in a teaching ministry at a college in Kenya, Africa. To learn more about what God is doing in their lives, you can read their blog at http://jachalmers.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 30, 2010

Reading about Worldliness

"Many of the distinctions separating Christian conduct from 'worldly conduct' have been challenged if not altogether undermined. Even the words worldly and worldliness have, within a generation, lost most of their traditional meaning." James Davison Hunter, Evangelicalism and the Coming Generation.

"I believe that one reason why the church of God at this present moment has so little influence over the world is because the world has so much influence over the church." Charles H. Spurgeon

Put your finger on any prosperous page in the church's history, and I will find a little marginal note reading thus: 'In this age men could readily see where the church began and where the world ended.' Never were there good times when the church and the world were joined in marriage with one another. The more the church is distinct from the world in her acts and in her maxims, the more true is her testimony for Christ, and the more potent is her witness against sin." Charles H. Spurgeon

"Worldliness is a love for this fallen world. It's loving the values and pursuits of the world that stand opposed to God. More specifically, it is to gratify and exalt oneself to the exclusion of God. It rejects God's rule and replaces it with our own. It exalts our opinions above God's truth. It elevates our sinful desires for the things of this fallen world above God's commands and promises." C. J. Mahaney, Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World.

"The goal of worldly people is to move forward rather than upward, to live horizontally rather than vertically. They seek after outward prosperity rather than holiness. They burst with selfish desires rather than heartfelt supplications. If they do not deny God, they ignore and forget Him, or else they use Him only for their selfish ends. Worldliness . . . is human nature without God. Joel Beeke, Overcoming the World: Grace to Win the Daily Battle.

"Worldliness is departing from God. It is a man-centered way of thinking; it proposes objectives which demand no radical breach with man's fallen nature; it judges the importance of things by the present and material results; it weighs success by numbers; it covets human esteem and wants no unpopularity; it knows no truth for which it is worth suffering; it declines to be 'a fool for Christ's sake.'" Iain Murray, Evangelicalism Divided: A Record of Crucial Change in the Years 1950 to 2000.

"[Worldliness] exists in our hearts. Worldliness does not consist in outward behavior, though our actions can certainly be an evidence of worldliness within. But the real location of worldliness is internal. . . . We see this by looking closely at [1 John 2:16]." C. J. Mahaney, Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World.

"The worldly characteristics . . . are in fact reactions going on inside of us, as we contemplate the environment outside." David Jackman, The Message of John's Letters.

"The antidote to worldliness is the cross of Jesus Christ. Only through the power of the cross of Christ can we successfully resist the seduction of the fallen world. The Savior's death on the cross is what makes possible forgiveness of sin and provides power to overcome sin. And the cross is the attraction that draws our hearts away from the empty and deadly pleasures of worldliness." C. J. Mahaney, Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World.

"When someone sets his affections upon the cross and the love of Christ, he crucifies the world as a dead and undesirable thing. The baits of sin lose their attraction and disappear. Fill your affections with the cross of Christ and you will find no room for sin." John Owen, Sin and Temptation.

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace."

Thursday, April 29, 2010

M2MS

Faith will never grow stronger apart from the stress of endurance. The problems of life exercise the muscle of faith (James 1:2-4)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Don't Lose Sight of the Cross!

"Every time we look at the cross Christ seems to be saying to us, 'I am here because of you. It is your sin I am bearing, your curse I am suffering, your debt I am paying, your death I am dying.' Nothing in history or in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross. All of us have inflated views of ourselves, especially in self-righteousness, until we have visited a place called Calvary. It is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size" [John Stott, The Message of Galatians (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1968), 179