Thinking on these things.

Philippians 4:8, KJV: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any praise, think on these things.”   I hit a bit of a pandemic wall this week.  I completely ‘get’ the ‘why’ of our stay-at-home orders but this extrovert is chafing at the restrictions. On Monday we discovered that the toilet in our main bathroom was leaking and I had to find a plumber to come and fix it.  The first plumber I called said that … Read more

Remember your baptism

When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: `And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’” (Matthew 2:3-6) I had a completely different blog planned for this week around remembering our baptism … Read more

Saying No to God

Luke 1: 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant[f] of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. All week I have been pondering the stories of Zechariah, Elizabeth and Mary in the Gospel of Luke.  I have been struck by several things: that our scriptures tell us that in their encounters with the Angel, that Zechariah lost his voice when he questioned the Angel, and Mary gained her voice when she questioned the Angel, that the whole of our stories … Read more

Mary and saying ‘Yes’ to God

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”  Luke 1: 38 There’s this popular contemporary Christian song that is played on the radio this time of year called “Mary, Did you know?”  It’s a really lovely tune and asks questions like “Mary, did you know that your baby born will someday walk on water?”. I have to tell you that I have come to really dislike this song.  I dislike it, for a number of reasons.  I dislike it because I’ve heard it sung really badly (I’m a … Read more

Stumbling around in the wilderness

2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, 3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare[c] the way of the Lord, make his paths straight (Mark 1: 2,3) The littlest of my two fluffy dogs, Tex, really struggles in life. When he came to us he was a bit of a mess physically; had to have his teeth all taken out, and was skinny as a rail. Underneath all of his fluff he still is skinny but loves his kibble and even loves cat … Read more

A great darkness

“In those days, after the suffering the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light…” (Mark 13:24) This week, I rather foolishly weighed in on two debates on Facebook. Normally I make it a policy to not use social media as a platform for discussion because there’s something about the fact that we don’t see each other’s faces that seems to breed more aggressive communication, and I don’t like that. The first issue I weighed in on was an initiative by the Business community in Brockville on buying “3 meals in 3 days” from local restaurants. … Read more

Personal Branding and Sheep

Matthew 25:31-46 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation … Read more

A Great Cloud of Witnesses

  Hebrews 12: 1,2 Reads as follows: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,[a] and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of[b] the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.”   Last week Bethel celebrated its 125th anniversary.  When I put … Read more

The Pillar of Salt

Dear Bethel Friends, Do you all remember the story of Sodom and Gomorrah? You know – that old Sunday School lesson about the destruction of a city because they had descended into a way of living that just was so counter to God’s culture that it couldn’t be saved?  I was reading the story a few days ago – its in Genesis 18 and 19 if you want to read the whole thing.  However, I was struck by a couple of passages (these are both in Genesis Chapter 19): 15 When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Get up, … Read more

Freedom and Fluffy White Dogs

Freedom and Fluffy White Dogs. John 8:31-36 31 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, “You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not have a permanent place in the … Read more