People often react against those who blame the poor for their poverty. In one sense, this protective attitude is understandable. When we are down, we do not appreciate a pointing finger, especially when our misfortune is beyond our control. Yet even when we cause our downfall we appreciate a helping hand. Christians desire to extend God’s grace to the struggling, not condemnation.Read More
In verse 11, where the CEV has “to make you as completely happy as I am,” the NIV translates “so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
This joy that Jesus talks about is total immersion in God, total love, total belonging, total peace, being joined as one. And Jesus is the way to this happiness, this joy. We are made for this.Read More obedience, joy, love
In this passage, Jesus breaks the news to us. We will be persecuted.
It broke news recently that the City of Toronto banned Christian events featuring songs that praise Jesus in public venues. Why? Because it is proselytizing. I’m stunned. Hundreds of groups shout their philosophies from public venues every year in Toronto, in parades, concerts, marathons, and fundraisers.Read More Holy Spirit, helper, persecution
A few years ago, my husband and I rafted and camped with a small group down the stunning Nahanni River in the Northwest Territories, escorted by three experienced river guides. Canada’s version of the Grand Canyon, this incredible National Park boasts an ancient river that meanders for 150km beside painted canyon walls, towering rock cliffs, karst caves, plateaus, forest, and meadows.Read More Holy Spirit, guide
Riddles and riddles. He knows he is going to die, so Jesus tries to prepare his disciples.
But it’s cryptic – you won’t see me, then you will see me – you will cry, but the world will be happy – you’ll be sad, then you will be happy – you haven’t asked for anything, now you must ask for something.Read More prayer, resurrection, asking
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
Darkness is a test of character. To honour God throughout the day when everything is visible is an easier task than to be faithful in the nighttime hours when darkness creates doubts and hides our actions. Songs of praise come quickly to mind when the sun shines, but when shadows deepen it is a challenge to trust in the goodness of God.Read More Temple, God’s faithfulness, darkness