Follow me on Twitter at

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Our Saviour Is Born

Today is Christmas Eve. I look forward to our annual Christmas family dinner. We have celebrated with our children and grandchildren on Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, because of time, distance and work schedules, not all of our children and grandchildren will be in attendance. The good news is that two of my grandsons will join me this afternoon for ice fishing before dinner. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you every blessing as we prepare to celebrate the entry of our Lord and Saviour into this world. My blog will return on January 1, 2010.

Thank you for reading part or all of what I have written in the last six months. I have been blessed by the study and the writing. As the New Year approaches, I would like to encourage all to comment or make suggestions for topics etc. I must admit that it can get mighty lonely some nights as I write. I have no desire to evoke guilt in my readers, but if you have not commented because you felt I was buried in emails and did not have the time to respond, you are incorrect. The link to our email address is contained in my personal profile below.

Please continue to refer others to this blog site. I am more and more excited as it grows!

Have a great Christmas holiday as we celebrate the birth of Jesus!

14 "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" (Luke 2:14)

(Comments, corrections, suggestions or rebuttals are welcome. My email link is contained in “About me: view my complete profile” to the right of this page or use the comment section below which requires that you have a Google account.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

No Atheists There

A few days ago, I wrote about Richard Dawkins, an avowed atheist and proponent of evolutionary thought. He has actually made it a mission with the emotion evoked by a holy war to discredit any religion that acknowledges God. Islam is as much a target as Christianity. Atheism has always confused me. Even in the years that I rejected any kind of religious belief, I always knew there was a God. I have known that since I could form my first thought. We all know it that way…so I thought.

Three years ago Lozanne and I spent 5 weeks in a regional cancer centre in order for me to receive chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Every time I walked through that door, which was at least twice per day, I remembered the words spoken by my brother-in-law from the pulpit of our chapel. During one of his messages he said, “There are no atheists in the cancer ward”. How correct he is! Once you are in a situation that daily reminds you of your mortality, God becomes even more alive and real. You can feel His presence with renewed faith. In the cancer centre, you deal not only with your own battle, but those of others, some of whom are losing the battle before your very eyes. I can assure you that what you overhear in way of conversation in such a place is more talk about prayer and less talk about the existence of God. Bibles are not uncommon reading in the waiting rooms. God is mentioned openly and often, just as He is in the funeral home.

I often think lately about my own submission to the Lord during the 34 days I spent in the hospital recovering from two successive major surgeries. I was about as sick as you can get and still live to write about it. For weeks I was attached to every machine they could find. Tubes came and went from my body. I was fed through a direct line into my chest. I could move so little that the lower half of my body began to swell and grow very heavy. I reached a place that is difficult to explain. It was so peaceful that in a strange way I miss the feeling. When you have no options left in trying to use your own resources, you are forced to resort to leaning on the Lord. There is no other choice, but what a feeling it is! As I recovered, of course, I could feel myself moving away from that submission and relying more on my own powers. I remind myself often of the words of Matthew 11: 29-30.

29 "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

Indeed this blog site is named after the yoke offered by Jesus. A yoke suggests that there are two pulling the load together. I try to remember every day which of us has the greater strength and I try very hard to submit to that strength.

Are you in the yoke? If you are in doubt about how to get into the yoke, my email account is monitored daily.

(Comments, corrections, suggestions or rebuttals are welcome. My email link is contained in “About me: view my complete profile” to the right of this page or use the comment section below which requires that you have a Google account

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Light Has Shined

This morning my mind is in the past. One of my fondest Christmas memories was the carol singing at my elementary school. I attended a four room school from grade one to grade eight. Every class was double or triple graded, a condition that most parents in this day and age would not want to tolerate. Our school, though small in size, was modern for the day. It had a very distinct feature that I have not seen in any other school and I have seen many over the course of my career. The centre wall between the two classrooms on either side of the hallway could be moved to the other side of the hallway on either side resulting in a two classroom space that was used for concerts and other special occasions. One of those special occasions was singing carols just before the Christmas holiday. Moving the wall involved a warning to all to stay out of the way while the door panels were opened and two grade eight boys actually pushed the black boarded wall on rollers into the other side of the school. The total school population of about 100 children and four teachers, one of whom was the principal, would participate in the singing of Christian Christmas carols. The piano was rolled to the middle of the group and I still can hear the sound of that piano and 100 young voices who were not shy about singing. Except for the odd song like “Jingle Bells”, the vast majority of the singing was a worship and praise session. One of the favourite carols, which I don’t hear much these days was “We Three Kings of Orient Are”.

As a child, I was always strangely moved by the image of those three kings following a star in order to worship the newly born Baby Jesus. I could clearly see them riding their camels through the night guided by a very bright light, created by God Himself on the horizon, to the birthplace of Jesus in the manger in Bethlehem. As a born again and soon to be senior citizen, I am in awe of the fact that the scene was described seven hundred and fifty years before the fact. In Isaiah 9: 1-2 we read:

1 ¶ Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed, As when at first He lightly esteemed The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, And afterward more heavily oppressed her, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, In Galilee of the Gentiles.
2 The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.

It is really important to note that the Prophet Isaiah has written verse two in the past tense. To him the event has already taken place. It is already a done deal! I interpret the term “light” in three ways. It describes the star that guided the three magi. It is also an image of Jesus Christ who indeed grew up in Galilee, a place not well respected even in the first century. The third interpretation is a very personal one. I walked in darkness for forty-eight years. I dwelt in the land of the shadow of death. Upon me a great light has shined and I regard with joy the moment I accepted and embraced that light.

(Comments, corrections, suggestions or rebuttals are welcome. My email link is contained in “About me: view my complete profile” to the right of this page or use the comment section below which requires that you have a Google account.)

Friday, December 18, 2009

In The Beginning

1 ¶ The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." (Psalm 14:1)

Yesterday I read an interview with Richard Dawkins in a magazine that I idly picked up while waiting for Lozanne at an appointment. Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist who has become the world’s most prominent atheist. His last two best selling books are titled “The Greatest Show on Earth—The Evidence for Evolution” and “The God Delusion”. Mr. Dawkins has made a very lucrative career of furthering the tenets of evolutionary theory and atheism. While doing so, he takes the time to bash the beliefs of “creationists” and “religionists”. In one of his recent articles he placed creationists on a level with Holocaust deniers. The comment did not earn him much popularity in the United States of America where forty-four percent of the population claims to believe that God created the world. Interestingly, his books are advertised to be best sellers in Britain, Canada, Ireland and Australia with the U.S.A. not being mentioned.

After reading the interview, I was left with one impression. Richard Dawkins is a religious man. His religion is atheism. He believes that there is no God. His beliefs are as fervent and real to him as my beliefs are to me. Indeed, he reaches many more souls and convinces many more than my evangelism will ever achieve. He writes best selling books and articles and is invited to many speaking engagements and debates. He is often interviewed by the media. His passion is to discredit not only creationists, but even those who profess to believe in any kind of a higher power. I have just come back from the official Richard Dawkins website. I was interested to read that one of the debates that he had attended had been entitled, “Atheism the New Fundamentalism”. The website could have been that of any televangelist. It advertised his books and related articles for sale. There is even a Richard Dawkins Foundation which is encouraging donations so that the “truth” can be spread. There are fundraising events and conference advertisements seeking registrants. There is a forum for his supporters to leave their comments which are, surprise, surprise, very much in support of his work. Richard Dawkins is a religious man. He is determined to convert as many souls as he can to believing in nothing. I can’t imagine a more empty and hopeless existence. I am much happier contemplating the words of Psalm 42: 1-2.

1 ¶ As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?

(Comments, corrections, suggestions or rebuttals are welcome. My email link is contained in “About me: view my complete profile” to the right of this page or use the comment section below which requires that you have a Google account.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


It has become a rare event indeed for me to be in front of this keyboard in the middle of the afternoon. It is actually daylight. I am stuck with a wait and indeed the wait is stimulating me to write a blog. As I write, I am also keeping an eye on the driveway so as not to miss a much expected truck entering our yard. I am really waiting. Waiting is not one of my strong suits. This afternoon the experience is very frustrating. I am waiting for the furnace repair man who was to arrive this morning shortly after 10:00 A.M. When I finally called the office at 12:30 P.M., I was promised his presence by 1:30 P.M. It is 3:15 P.M. and I continue to wait. The house is not cold, but then again it is not as warm as it usually is which also adds frustration to the wait. Lozanne is wrapped in a large comforter. Since we a going out this evening, I am beginning to wonder if the service man will pull in as we are leaving. I marvel at the number of service companies who set a time that seems to satisfy the customer, but have little intention of meeting that commitment. On the other hand, I fully understand the demands on the service man’s time. He is moving as fast as he can amidst some rather unhappy homeowners, especially those without heat. If I could think of an alternative to waiting, I would be delighted to act upon it. One positive result of my wait is the scripture that the wait brings to mind.

14 Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!(Psalm 27: 14)

Here we have a wait that is different in so many ways when compared to my wait today. We are able to wait on the LORD in confident expectation. We wait in faith. We wait in prayer. We wait in His will. We can trust His promises.

The greatest assurance comes after the wait. When we are in difficulties, even as mundane as waiting for the furnace repairman, the lord exhorts us to be of good courage and that He will strengthen our heart. Waiting on the Lord is so effective that David the psalmist tells us again to wait on the Lord. If through faith, we keep up our spirits even in time of difficulty, He will always make us stronger.

I feel much better now and behold the service man just pulled in!

(Comments, corrections, suggestions or rebuttals are welcome. My email link is contained in “About me: view my complete profile” to the right of this page or use the comment section below which requires that you have a Google account.)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Prayer Warrior

“Children‘s children are the crown of old men…” (Proverbs 17:6)

Lozanne and I have eight grandchildren. The youngest is two and the eldest is eleven. To state that we are proud of each and every one of them is indeed an understatement. When you are freed from the responsibility of raising children’s children, there is a special bond that grows. In a way, grandparents and their grandchildren understand each other in a way that transcends the generation gap.

This morning I am thrilled to introduce a guest writer. Jacob is our oldest grandson who sent me a very special short essay the other day. The following is some of what he had to say and is published with his permission.

I have learned that most people use Philippians 4:13 (I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.) as an excuse to just pray about the problem and not do anything about it. They just say “God will handle it. I mean, I did what I could.” But the reality is that’s not real prayer. There are a few easy steps to become a prayer warrior.

1. Praise God for everything he has done for you. He has blessed you with an awful lot, and we take him for granted, assuming He will give us what we want but don’t have. The reality is He can’t help you if you only pray about it once or twice. He wants to hear about your life and your problems.

2. Thank God for the problem you’re facing. It might sound crazy, but thank Him for it anyways. Tell Him how it hurt, thank Him for it and thank Him for giving you that problem. That problem will make you a stronger person in reality. It might hurt a lot, but it will make you stronger and you will feel good about yourself.

3. Ask for God’s will about what to do next. Instead of just asking for support and help, ask Him what to do. He knows what’s best for you and me. He wants to help you, and it is all a part of God’s big plan.

4. Pray for the strength to do God’s will. The truth is we can’t do anything on our own. God’s will might be for you to go to China, or to tell your close friend to stop picking on the younger grades. It’s not easy, but He will help you along the way, if you pray about it.

5. Thank Him for winning the war on the cross. He has won the war already, and it’s because of that that you can talk to Him.

6. Don’t let Satan make you feel guilty for doing God’s will. That’s his tool that works. If you’ve prayed about your problem and have done God’s will, Satan (the devil) will be really mad because you’ve done good. Just ignore it and know you’ve done something really huge. It might have felt really small, but it is actually huge.

These are lessons that took me a while to learn. Just know this, God loves you more than your mom or dad. He created you. And before he was creating the world he was thinking, “Wow. David Delonski is going to do something really big.” He was thinking how much he loves you, even though you haven’t even been created yet. He chose to think about you. God loves you a lot, and He wants to be with you in heaven for the rest of eternity. It’s a free gift. No charge whatsoever. Just ask Him to come into your life. It’s free, and He wants you in heaven. You can’t get into heaven without asking Him into your heart. When He died on the cross, He put all of man’s sins on that cross. He made it possible for us sinners to get to heaven. It doesn’t matter if you told your mom you didn’t take the last slice of pie, when you did or if you killed a man and terrorized a town. He doesn’t care. A sin is a sin. Even if that town doesn’t forgive you when you tortured it, if you ask God for forgiveness, He can forgive you. There isn’t a limit of chances. It’s not like baseball, 3 strikes you’re out. No, he wants you in heaven. He forgives you.

All in all, you can’t do anything without God. He loves you and wants to spend forever with you in heaven.

(Comments, corrections, suggestions or rebuttals are welcome. My email link is contained in “About me: view my complete profile” to the right of this page or use the comment section below which requires that you have a Google account.)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Unto Us A Child Is Born

The annual Chapel Christmas Concert is scheduled for tomorrow evening. I have been involved in Christmas concerts since I was five years old. Our church Sunday school held one yearly as did the elementary school that I attended. I have no idea how many times I played a shepherd or a wise man in the required and much welcomed nativity play. Mother was usually responsible for putting the costumes together. Belted bath robes and the creative use of kerchiefs were commonly used to take the audience back to the first century. Most years Santa Claus also showed up at the end of the evening to hand out bags of very specialized Christmas candy.

When I became a teacher, I learned how much work went into the yearly production. Hours and hours of preparation and rehearsal were rewarded by the sound of applause on the appointed evening. As a principal, my function became that of master of ceremonies. Each segment of the concert required introduction and positive comments after their performance. The younger performers always drew the most applause. Even when they broke ranks and forgot weeks of practice, their performance was considered flawless by all, including their exhausted teacher. From my position on the stage, I was able to observe parents and grandparents scrambling for an improved vantage point to better see their personal favourite performer. Photographers choked the front aisle to get the perfect picture. I have even witnessed a mother going through the motions required of the song for her child to mimic on stage. Of course the teacher’s back was turned and she never saw the mother’s help. Maintaining the attention of a concert audience is a very substantial public speaking challenge. Their attention is fully on the reason or reasons they came to the concert in the first place. As a school board administrator, I attended an untold number of Christmas concerts. As an objective observer on the floor and in the audience, I really came to understand that a concert audience is almost a distinctive living organism. There was continual movement in and out of the room and constant chatter about the children on the stage. They are focussed totally on the children in the performance and their excitement is palpable.

Throughout my career every school concert included Christian content. Of course there were secular songs and drama, but somewhere in the program there was a segment celebrating the arrival of the Baby Jesus. One of the more well known lines spoken in nativity plays is “For unto us a Child is born”. Countless narrators have mouthed those words probably not realizing that they were actually written seven hundred and fifty years before Jesus was born. We read two astounding prophetic verses in Isaiah 9: 6-7

6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given…” is the only part of these two verses that relates to the celebration of the birth of Christ. The remaining words refer to what is yet to come when Jesus returns to this world. I love the powerful words used to describe Him. I also find it so reassuring that that part one of the prophecy has already happened. We are now in a period of Grace awaiting part two which is our Saviour’s return.

(Comments, corrections, suggestions or rebuttals are welcome. My email link is contained in “About me: view my complete profile” to the right of this page or use the comment section below which requires that you have a Google account.)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Whiter Than Snow

This morning I am consumed by thoughts of snow. There is little mystery to my obsession. Snow has been falling since yesterday morning. It is quite simply beautiful. At the same time, I am well aware that it will cause some heavy labour later today, as it did yesterday as well. Despite its inherent beauty and usefulness for winter sports and activities, snow must be moved so that we can function. The snow blower will get a work out today as will the snow blower operator. Before that reality is faced, I am taken with the breathtaking whiteness of the landscape. It is indeed difficult to think of anything on this earth that is whiter than snow. There is a brightly lit Christmas tree just outside the window of the kitchen and the accumulated snow makes it all the more beautiful in the predawn darkness.

I have been contemplating how snow is mentioned in the Bible. It is of course considered a power of God in bringing much needed moisture to the earth. The Book of Job speaks of a “treasury of snow” which is controlled by God. (Job 38:22) It is used in multiple descriptions of those suffering from leprosy. Miriam’s instant transformation to a leper is a classic example of describing someone with leprosy as “white as snow”. (Numbers 12:10) Snow is often used to describe the whiteness of the garments or hair of God or of Jesus. When describing the transfiguration of Jesus, Mark tells us that “His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow…”. (Mark 9: 3) My favourite use of the imagery of snow is actually a promise of God. It is a promise that I marvel at every day. The first seven verses of Psalm 51 are always a great comfort for me and in verse seven I am assured that I will be “whiter than snow”.

1 ¶ To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me.
4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight––That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.
6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
7 ¶ Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

As David cries out to the LORD in this Psalm, we are reminded that God is always willing, when we acknowledge our sin, to wash us and cleanse us so that we become “whiter than snow”. To Him our sins are just gone. They are put far away from Him forever. They simply don’t exist. We are free of them. I marvel at how this could possibly happen and then remind myself that Jesus came to earth to take all of my sins upon Himself so that I could be redeemed as someone who God sees as “whiter than snow”. Snow is indeed a beautiful thing this morning.

(Comments, corrections, suggestions or rebuttals are welcome. My email link is contained in “About me: view my complete profile” to the right of this page or use the comment section below which requires that you have a Google account.)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


The last two days I have had difficult mornings with my health improving as the day wears on. I have to admit to substantial discouragement after six weeks of feeling very well. This morning while I was half-heartedly browsing through Chapter 21 of the Book of Luke, I literally stumbled on six words that made me stop and really think.

19 "By your patience possess your souls. (Luke 21:19, New King James Version)

In The Message the words are paraphrased as “Staying with it—that’s what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry; you’ll be saved.” The Revised Standard Version renders this very brief verse as “By your endurance you will gain your lives”.

The obvious dawned on me as I contemplated these words spoken by my saviour two thousand years ago. Whatever happens, I simply have to endure in order to graduate to heaven at the time appointed by my God. It won’t be a minute before; nor will it be a minute after the time as recorded from the beginning of time. How I feel each and every day is part of the pre-destined plan to enter into eternity. All I have to do is endure.

It did not escape me that all of us have to endure. My endurance is based on a very simple premise. I endure physical disability and a mild one at that, compared to most. Others have to endure as well. Often we have no idea what path of endurance our brothers and sisters are on. The death or loss, for varied reasons, of loved ones is cause for endurance. Depression and anxiety plague many. Job loss and financial difficulties may cause the need to endure. Family dysfunction and separation and divorce lead to endurance. Dealing with handicapped or problem children and teenagers is something to be endured. Looking after aging parents may lead to a path of endurance. The invisible endurance of others may involve temptation to sin or addiction.

It also has not escaped me that as I sit here at my keyboard in my safe rural house, my exposure to persecution for my Christian views is limited to emails or comments that I can delete with a click of the mouse. Indeed the closest I come to being persecuted is the lack of email that I receive from old friends. Many young people in the workplace and even in our schools suffer a great deal for shining their light. They too must endure and by doing so gain my admiration and respect for their daily walk.

Obviously, gaining my respect pales in comparison to the assurance spoken by Jesus so long ago. “By your endurance you will gain your lives”. Enduring it all gets you to heaven!

(Comments, corrections, suggestions or rebuttals are welcome. My email link is contained in “About me: view my complete profile” to the right of this page or use the comment section below which requires that you have a Google account.)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bethlehem It Is

From the age of six, until I was about nine or ten years of age, I had the privilege of spending a week or two every year in the farm house of my great aunt and uncle. They lived on a beautiful acreage and worked a successful business that included maple syrup production, a lumber mill and general farming which encompassed the sale of eggs, meat and vegetables. One of my most vivid memories of a visit there in late winter is one of my independent explorations of the farm buildings. I entered the barn that housed the pigs, cows and horses. I cannot describe to you the foul smells and strange noises that emitted from that stable. Despite daily cleaning of the stalls, the stench quite simply took my breath away. The breathing of the animals created visible vapours in the air. The visual sensation and noise of constant movement added to the din and confusion caused by the natural noises made by the animals. The rustling of the mice and feral barn cats was decidedly distracting. The air was dank and cold. In short, it was an uncomfortable and some might say, scary place.

It was in just such a place that the Lord Jesus Christ was born. God actually chose such a place to have His Son make an entry into this world. Given my personal experience as a child, I marvel at that. It is hard to imagine a more humble entry into this world. I marvel even more how our Saviour, who is God come to Earth, came to be born in a foul, smelly and decidedly unsanitary stable in the small town of Bethlehem. The prophet Micah tells us hundreds of years before the birth of Christ that Jesus will be born in Bethlehem, the city of David. We read this prophecy in Micah 5:2

2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting."

I am greatly entertained by the fact recorded in Matthew 2: 1-4 that God chose to use the great and powerful, but clueless, Caesar Augustus to call a census of all the inhabitants of the Roman world. By doing so, he unwittingly caused Joseph and Mary to travel to the betrothed male’s ancestral home in order to be recorded in the count. Because so many had travelled there for the same reason, there was no room at the inn and a manger surrounded by domestic animals became the only crib for the baby whose parents had to seek protection from the elements in a dank and smelly stable.

Caesar Augustus, the most powerful man in the world at the right time and the right place, was simply a puppet set in motion by God for his divine purposes. The Bible actually tells us that the census was thought to be world-wide by the Romans. We can be assured that Jesus, in retrospect, the most famous and remembered person in history, was probably of the least importance in Rome’s attempt at calculating its power and wealth. Jesus and his parents can only find shelter in a stable in the small town of Bethlehem. This of course is a preview of how the world was and still does accept its Saviour. God came personally to offer us eternal salvation. He chose to come as a helpless infant in the most humble of situations. His acceptance by the world on that night continues to be replicated with the exception of those of us, who over the last two centuries have realized who he was, still is and will always be, and have professed Him to be the Son of God and have worshiped Him as such.

(Comments, corrections, suggestions or rebuttals are welcome. My email link is contained in “About me: view my complete profile” to the right of this page or use the comment section below which requires that you have a Google account.)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Worry Not

This morning I spent several good hours outside. The weather was seasonal and pleasant. I was able to start and use our snow blower in order to clear away the first real snow of the year. Last year, I could not clear the snow on my own and was forced to hire a neighbour with a tractor for most of the winter. I then serviced my antique 1994 Skidoo that I purchased three years ago for a mere $500.00. I was able to start the engine and get it into position for the coming winter season. Last year I did not have the strength to pull the starter cord. The machine sat unused for months. It was not once, in the entirety of the winter, found on the lake beside ice fishing holes. This year I can’t wait until the lake is frozen and the ice fishing can begin.

The irony is, that although I had what I have already admitted was a good morning, I spent most of the time anxious and worried. You name it and I worry about it. I am such a worrier that I have made it a fine art. Unfortunately, at times, it is a sinful art and a very negative influence in my life of faith. I worried about my children for decades, indeed sometimes I still do. Now I worry mostly about my grandchildren and other things that are not germane to this message. My readers don’t need to know the silly details. If you are anxiety ridden and a worrier like me, and I know some of you are, please read with me the words of Jesus. We both need the reminder.

25 ¶ "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life... (Matthew 6:25)

In the next seven verses, Jesus assures us that, if we are faithful, our material needs will be more than met. There is simply no need to worry about it. Worrying will get us absolutely nowhere. The Lord will provide and indeed He has. Jesus then gives some more very sage instruction.

33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6: 33-34)

If we seek first the kingdom of God, we will receive all that we need in both the material and the spiritual realm. In other words, if we can rely upon our faith, we no longer have to spend time in worry about tomorrow. Sufficient is the day for its own trouble.

Admittedly, I have difficulty obeying this sage instruction. When I am weak and in worry there is but one answer. I must pray for renewed faith in order to overcome the anxiety and the worry. Through prayer He provides the faith and the relief from unreasonable worry. Please try it. It works!

(Comments, corrections, suggestions or rebuttals are welcome. My email link is contained in “About me: view my complete profile” to the right of this page or use the comment section below which requires that you have a Google account.)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wake Up!

On a recent week day morning, I was alone in the house and enjoying a cup of coffee and reading the local newspaper. Marley, our English Springer Spaniel, was blissfully sleeping beside me on the couch. We have long since given up any pretence of keeping her off the leather furniture. Her nose, as is her habit, was close to my leg, just in case I may decide to scratch her ears. Her breathing was deep and very regular.

I was startled by a distinct rapping sound coming from what seemed to be from above the ceiling. My first thought, like everyone who owns a home in the country, was that I had a new tenant in the attic that was due for a troublesome and perhaps protracted eviction. I was relieved when I saw tail feathers dip below the top of the window and realized that we had a very large, and admittedly not too bright woodpecker, working on the wood facia of the eaves.

I was very surprised at Marley’s reaction, or lack thereof, to the annoying noise. Normally the tap, tap, tap of a woodpecker in the wild or even on the television sound track will send her into a frenzy of running and barking. What I witnessed entertained me over the next few minutes. First one of her large brown eyes opened up, then the other, ever so slowly. Next to move on our very sleepy dog was her right ear. It lifted ever so carefully and slowly as did the left ear as the bothersome noise continued. Finally, and with great reluctance, she lifted her head up high enough to try to get a glimpse of this new threat. Her tail next moved from its normally relaxed state to a downward position tucked next to her body. Slowly she began to growl as her body tensed up to spring on the enemy. All of a sudden, she was fully awake and jumped to the floor in a frenzy of barking and attempting to lead me to the door so that she could do her job and rid the world of this pesky woodpecker. Marley did her job admirably well. We haven’t seen the woodpecker near the house since that day.

Her uncharacteristic long and protracted reluctance to fully wake up and do what God intended her to do reminded me of a verse I recently read in the Book of Romans.

11 ¶ And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. (Romans 13:11)

We are currently enjoying a period of grace; a time granted by the Lord so that many more will have the opportunity to hear the gospel, become believers and get saved. We have no idea when this grace period will be ended with the return of Jesus Christ. This verse tells us it is high time we woke up and understood the shortness of time. We must become spiritually alert, foster our own salvation and indeed speak the gospel truths as often as possible so that others may realize their own salvation.

Are you awake, alert and ready for the return of the Lord?

(Comments, corrections, suggestions or rebuttals are welcome. My email link is contained in “About me: view my complete profile” to the right of this page or use the comment section below which requires that you have a Google account.)