Growing up in the church it was common for me to go with my family to prayer meetings. Some of these meetings lasted for an hour or two and occasionally they stretched throughout the night. For me as a very young child the hour seemed as long as a full night but as I got older the midnight prayer shift became a test of endurance. More than a few times I fell asleep only to be abruptly awakened by some dear old saint shouting glory.Read More
As a young boy I was often bullied at school. Interestingly enough it was never by one person alone but always by a group. It seems that children aren’t that brave when they’re alone but put them with a few other bullies and they get quite courageous.
Jesus wasn’t a hard person to find. He walked around town quite openly. He didn’t have bodyguards.Read More betrayal, love, bullies
As a child I once had a dream about the grade 9 boys who bullied me. In the dream I was walking home from school when a group of boys ran up to me and started harassing me. They grabbed my school bag and emptied the contents out on the street. They took my prized baseball cap and passed it around for each one to try on. They pushed me backwards to make me fall. But that was the first part of dream.Read More love, bullies, mocking
There’s an old Christian saying that we are the only Bible many people will ever read. I’ve often wondered what the book reports would sound like if people were writing about the book of my life. Would it be a bestseller? Would it be classified as fiction? Or could my life be used as a good sermon illustration?
The apostle Peter was a master of disguise.Read More denial
It’s funny how things change over time. Growing up as a young child I was taught that it was a sin to ride my bicycle on Sunday. But now that I’m older and a bit wiser it strikes me that back then we spent so much time arguing about what was right or wrong that we actually overlooked the true devastating impact of genuine sin—deliberate disobedience to God.
The Bible is clear about what sin is.Read More sin, repentance, mistakes
Have you ever been given the runaround? Have you ever been passed from one customer service agent to another with no one willing or able to satisfy your question? That happened to me just recently. I called one of our suppliers to get an answer to what I thought was a simple question only to be transferred from one agent to another with what appeared to me to be a strategy to wear me down.Read More impatience, God’s Spirit
An elderly friend of mine named George used to speak in riddles. One of his favorites for us youngsters was: “what’s black and white and red all over?” He would laugh out loud when we answered everything but the word “newspaper.” He took great joy in complicating simple truth. Some of his riddles were humorous and some very serious. Some simple to understand but most of them complex, deep and in some cases could have multiple interpretations.Read More Holy Spirit, parables
On that infamous night of Christ’s betrayal and arrest, somewhere between the Upper Room and the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus had an intimate conversation with his Father. Here, recorded in chapter 17, he makes a request that reaches down through the centuries to you and me today. Amazingly, his request wasn’t to be rescued from death but rather that his death would have maximum impact.Read More diety, God incarnate
This passionate prayer shows the tremendous love and care that Jesus had for his disciples. He prayed to his Father that these disciples might be kept, protected and held together in unity. He was concerned that they would be discouraged by his death and so he asks his Father to give them the gift of joy. Jesus knew that it would now be up to his disciples to spread the good news of the gospel throughout the world.Read More hope, commission
Chapter 17 starts with Jesus praying for himself, then for his disciples, and ends with his passionate prayer for all who believe in him. He gives priority to praying for their unity. Jesus knew that one of Satan’s frequent tools of battle is conflict. Jesus wanted his followers to stay together; to exhibit such brotherly love that the outside world would be attracted to their lifestyle.Read More family, Unity, love