I knew exactly what I was doing. How difficult could downhill skiing be? After ignoring the instructor’s lesson on how to ski, I made my way up the hill and started going down. Panic set in when I realized that I did not know how to slow down, stop, turn, etc. What do you do when you realize that you are in trouble on skis? You just fall down and tear the cartilage in your knee. Did I mention I was on the bunny hill and my ego was forever damaged?Read More
When I was a kid, my mom was having one of those parties in our home where people see samples or catalogues of items and then place their orders. In one of the catalogues, I saw a t-shirt that reflected exactly what I believed about myself. On this t-shirt were the words “General Know It All.”
I wanted this shirt as a badge of honour to tell the world that whatever my opinion was, it was the right opinion and plan.Read More humility, attitude, pride, plans
A number of years ago there was a television show called The “A” Team. In the show there was always a moment where the characters at the end of the show would smile and say, “I love it when a plan comes together.” This is what is happening in chapter 8 of Joshua. God has told them exactly how they are to attack Ai. It would be an ambush and the people of God would win.
Yet one powerful theme is played throughout this chapter.Read More humility, dependence
The other day I stood in our almost empty church, groggy and with a serious case of bed head. It was pre-coffee and almost pre-dawn – 7:00 am on a December Wednesday.
Our congregation, an Anglican Network in Canada church, had recently launched a traditional communion service, held really early in the morning mid-week. Those who craved this particular type of poetry of praise (as in, beautiful language and beautiful liturgy), and an intimate time with God and others, would roll out of bed a little bit earlier and come. I came.Read More humility, awe
Here’s where it gets hard to identify with Ruth. She abandons all fear, steps out in faith and places herself in a position of complete vulnerability. Let’s admit it: that sounds like a crazy idea.
Ruth has already left her country, her family and her people and has risked being raped by going alone into fields to pick up leftover grain (2:8-9, 22-23). The ancient world was not kind to women; just by being a foreigner and a widow, she was at risk.Read More trust, faith, humility, courage, vulnerability
This short passage starts with an argument. Jesus has just finished telling his followers that he’s about to be handed over to his enemies. The fact that the disciples don’t have a clue what Jesus is getting at shows how far they really are from being his right-hand men. Yet here they are, squabbling over which of them is the best.
Jesus’ response remains as challenging today as it must have sounded to the disciples: the key to greatness is humility.Read More humility, serving
Have you ever seen someone try to put spilled milk back into a glass? It’s a messy and largely unproductive task.
Something like that happens after a political disruption, especially when there’s a rebellion where blood is spilt. Even if the ruling party “wins,” things don’t just go back to the way they were. The new order will inevitably be different from what was status quo before.Read More betrayal, humility, leadership, broken relationships
Once again we see Jesus having dinner at the house of one of the Pharisees. Although not all the Pharisees were hostile to him (think of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus), on this occasion they were watching him carefully, ready to spring on him if they caught him breaking the law.
Jesus knew what they were thinking (compare John 2:25).Read More praise, humility, pride
What’s with Jesus? Can’t he accept a compliment? After all he was a “good” (in fact sinless) person. And his teaching was both engaging and substantial. So from every angle he merited being called “good”. Yet, he seems offended.
It turns out that this rich guy (let’s be creative and name him Rich) also sees himself as good. Jesus runs him through a list of what makes a person a model citizen and Rich is “good”.Read More humility, coveting
The first eight chapters of the book of 1 Kings provides a bleak landscape for the devotional reader. It is a book that seems to appeal mainly to historians. As is often the case with relatively arid scenes, one must look a little closer. The Hebrews were living in a very primitive era. At that time there was a belief that the fertility of the king had a direct impact on the fertility of the nation. King David had become impotent, and, his kingship was in jeopardy.Read More humility, culture