Monday, March 22, 2010

New Life - Spring is Here!

What a change comes over people when they think spring has arrived.  For the last while we have had blossoms on the fruit trees, mainly pink cherry blossoms and white plum blossoms around where we live.  We have had a spectacular display because many of our city streets are lined with cherry trees and we have a huge plum tree in our back yard.  Aa few days ago, on the official first day of spring, green leaves appeared on all the trees around us as the temperature rose to 18 degrees Celsius. Spring is indeed in the air and everyone seems more cheerful, happy that winter is over and forgetful that we still have a few more months of rain before summer arrives. 

It often doesn’t take much to give people a bit of joy in their life.  Around here cherry blossoms and green leaves will raise people’s spirits.  But real joy?  That’s a bit more elusive.  We can have it though.  We really can have joy in our life.  Jesus brings true joy to our lives when we know Him, when we follow Him, when we accept Him as our Saviour and allow Him to guide our life.  What a delight to live with Jesus every moment of every day.  True joy can be ours always.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Joy and Tragedy

It snowed, and snowed, and snowed.  Over the course of two days just about a metre of new snow fell on the slopes.  A metre of beautiful, light, fluffy, powder snow.  After weeks of mainly sunny skies and hard packed surface, the entire mountain was a powder skiers dream.  My first run was down under one of the chairlifts, the beautiful, light snow at times billowing over my head as I linked turn after turn down the slope.  Paradise; a huge smile across my face as I danced down the mountain, half submerged in the newly fallen snow.  Pure joy.

On mountain ranges all across the province snow fell.  At Manning Park, where we ski, a sign was posted at the bottom of the chairlifts warning of the extreme avalanche danger.  We were warned us to stay within the ski area boundaries where it was safe.  Avalanche warning bulletins were broadcast on television and radio so everyone would know to stay out of the back country until conditions stabilized.  Looking at higher peaks I could see the many new avalanches which had fallen.  Yet on this weekend, one of high danger, many people ignored the warnings and set out into the back country.  In their minds they knew that nothing would happen to them.  But it did.  In one avalanche alone, a group of 200 snowmobilers were hit by an avalanche.  Thirty were buried, two died.  They were warned, but they knew nothing would happen to them.  The fun was worth the risk.  The fun cost two of them their lives.

There is another warning which most people ignore.  The Bible warns us that every, single human being is in danger.  Every one of us will face God’s judgement of our sin.  The warning is clear.  It is repeated often in that wonderful book.  We are told there is only one way to escape the danger and that is to admit to God that we have done wrong, to ask Him to forgive us and to accept Jesus into our life, receiving the sacrifice of himself which Jesus made on our behalf.  The warning is clear, the way of escape is clear, yet most people choose to ignore it.  And not only do they ignore the warning, they miss the incredible joy of knowing Jesus.

Why do we ignore such clear warnings?  Why do we pretend all is okay and nothing will happen to us?  The death of snowmobilers who ignored a warning is tragic.  How much more tragic the eternal destiny of those who ignore God’s warning of judgement to come.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Last weekend I was in Vancouver, downtown, site of the 2010 Winter Olympics.  All was quiet.  No crowds of 150,000 people partying in the streets.  No flags flying.  No athletes.  No media.  Nothing.  One week after the close of the Olympics it was as if it had never taken place.  It is incredible how one day you can’t move in the streets because of the throngs of celebrating people, and the next day life is back to normal.  All that was left was a memory.  Life happens, time passes, people move on, there is more excitement somewhere else.  Things in life can be so fleeting, even huge events.  They hardly leave a mark.

Some people’s Christian experience is the same.  There is a flash of excitement about Christianity, lots of emotional energy, but all soon fades away and the person moves on to something else.  But others have a different experience.  They don’t get excited about Christianity, they get excited about Jesus, they actually get to know Him, they ask Jesus to come into their life and live there, forever.  They make peace with the creator of the universe.  That person’s life is changed forever.  Nothing ever goes back to the way it was before.  All becomes new.  The party with Jesus goes on forever.  Olympics come and go.  I am so thankful that the one constant in my life is the abiding presence of Jesus Christ.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Sometimes you just need to celebrate something.  February 2010 was one of those times for Canada.  All across Canada people celebrated the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and they celebrated Canada.  We drew together and celebrated in a very, overtly in-your-face, non-Canadian way.  Crowds in streets spontaneously breaking out in singing our national anthem.  Flags waving everywhere and flying from cars.  Streets a sea of red and white.  We had a party.  A two week long block party, but all across the country.  And at the end, in the closing ceremonies, we showed our pride in being Canadian and showed that we can laugh and make fun of ourselves.  During these past two weeks Canadians have truly changed and our nation will be forever different.

When we ask Jesus into our hearts we also change and become forever different.  Our Creator, the Creator of the universe, becomes our Saviour and our friend.  His Holy Spirit begins to change us from the inside out and in that transformation what we were becomes something altogether new.  Maybe we need to celebrate that a bit.  Some spontaneous singing and praising our Lord.  Hey, it’s way more exciting than the Olympics!