Relationships

A Little Understanding – Love Outwards and Inwards

How different would the parable of the Good Samaritan be today? If Jesus was asked in your country, “Who is my neighbor?” by someone claiming to follow Christian values, would the story be the same? I will take a chance and make changes to this well-known parable. I do not claim to know for a fact how Jesus would answer if He were physically walking the streets of your city or town and was asked this question. All I can say is my observations would lead me to believe that the following parable would not be out of line in Western culture and much of the developing world.

(more…)

It Seemed Like Nothing

He walked along the trail on a bright summer’s day. He noticed the little pebble wedged between the bottom of his foot and his sandal. It’s no big deal, just an annoyance. He kept walking, changing his gait every-so-often as he shook his foot in an attempt to dislodge the pebble. He never thought of stopping to take off his sandal and get rid of the irritant; that would interrupt his walk, and besides it seemed like nothing. It was quite the sight if you watched from a distance. A full grown man who can easily remove, clean out and put back on his sandal is now taking a few steps then shaking his foot, stumbling a bit, then doing his best to return to a normal gait. Even his normal gait between his stumbling, foot shaking routine had begun to include a slight limp. Still he soldiered on repeating his ritual of limp, shake foot, stumble, limp, shake foot, stumble…

(more…)

Peace

As we continue the Advent series we find ourselves with the same dilemma as we did with Hope. The biblical definition of peace, like hope, does not match the world’s definition. We find in the prophesies of Isaiah a difficult passage about the coming Messiah. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. Isaiah 9:6-7a (NIV). I personally do not doubt that Jesus was the one Isaiah was referring to but I believe that you can put up a good argument that peace was not and still has not been realized through His arrival. As a matter of fact, things actually became less peaceful once He established a following during and after His life on earth. Even Jesus said…

(more…)

Maybe We Have It All Wrong

It has been bugging me for a while. I have to admit bringing it up has caused me some concern. What I am about to suggest goes against what has been considered conventional wisdom for quite some time. What I think we need to consider makes much of the current bestselling Christian “How To” books on church and Christian living no longer best sellers. As I look at the state of North American Christianity I have to wonder if we have gotten it all wrong.

(more…)

I Want to Use The “F” Word All The Time

I have not used it for fear of other people’s response. It has been dominating my thoughts lately but I have kept it to myself.  I know the “F” word is the right word for the times but even as a pastor I struggle using it. What will people think? What will people say? In times of volatility words and concepts no matter how acceptable at one time become taboo. Still, no matter how I might be treated, no matter how many people I offend, I must use the “F” word. In a world that says it needs to change, it needs to seek out justice and equality if we are going to make everything right, the “F” word is the only word that will truly make everything right. Some seek revenge, others compensation, but no amount of getting people back, of settling the score will address the injuries inflicted both physical and emotional like the “F” word will; we need to Forgive!

(more…)

The Story I Am Not Supposed To Tell

It was primary school and there were bullies. Bullies exist everywhere in life but they seem to do their worst damage when kids are developing a sense of who they are in the world outside of the relative safety of their home. Bullies will look for anything that will belittle the other person. It may be because they are small or skinny, fat or wear glasses. It may be because their parents are nerdy or have the nerve to publically hug them goodbye. It may be because the child is slow due to a disability or not athletic due to their physique. It may be because the child isn’t cool or doesn’t dress in all the latest fashions. It may be because the child isn’t the “right” skin colour or religion. Stuff is stolen, names are called and kids are beaten up because of things that are often out of their control.

(more…)