Thursday, October 18, 2012


Meetings.  I spend too much time in meetings.  Some meetings are online with Skype or GoTo Meeting.  Sometimes I travel to another city or another country for a meeting.  Those are the ones which eat up a lot of time - time in aircraft, time in airports, time travelling.  Right now I am in Spain.  Why bother?  Why not just do things on your own?

In our organization, World Team, we do things together, in teams, cooperating synergistically.  We get more done and do a better job when we do things together, so that means we have to get together either electronically or in person.  So often today people seek to be alone.  They are with their computer, with their video game, seldom with others, seldom having social interaction.  Being constantly alone robs you of something; we are incomplete.  God created us to be in community, to be together, to work and live together in community.  Our example of perfect community is the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Our communities here on earth can’t be that perfect, but we do need each other.  We get things done better when we are doing things with others, planning with others, working together.

I’m in a meeting, with great people, fellow workers in the gospel and together we can plan and stimulate one other to do our very best.  We will do more together than we can do alone, just as in a church people do more together than they could alone.  God called us to community, to work and live together, to serve together in community.  It is vital to who we are as human beings. Together, in community, we will find our greatest joy because that is how God made us.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Take A Hike

I just watched a news item which stated that if you leave your busy city life and go for a hike you not only feel better, your brain is refreshed and you will see a remarkable increase in productivity and problem solving ability.  In fact, a study recently published in Proceedings, an online medical journal of the National Academy of Sciences, states that hiking or walking grows brains.   Hiking is good for you, and not just for your physical health.

I love the outdoors, I love hiking and skiing, so of course I am glad to read the results of this study.  It’s not going to change much in my life because I already spend lots of time in outdoor activities, but maybe it will prompt me to encourage others to get more exercise so they stay fitter and smarter.  There’s another thing I’ve read lately which has some dramatic advice for living better.  It’s called the Bible and it has some great words on how to enjoy life more, live better and be more joyful.  It also has some great thoughts on what happens after death and how to make sure that your after-death experience is a good one.  I am excited to share with people that hiking will help them, but am I just as excited to share that knowing Jesus will help them?  I’m even more excited about Jesus than I am about hiking, but I notice that friends are more apt to listen to my words on hiking than they are to my thoughts on how much I love Jesus and what He has done for me.  Perhaps it is that people don’t mind adding hiking to their life, but realize that asking Jesus into their life will change everything.  They’re willing to talk about modification but not about transformation. 

Go take a hike, it’s good for you.  Get to know Jesus, it’s even better for you, now and for eternity.  Yes, it means transformation, but don’t be frightened.  A caterpillar becomes a butterfly in it’s transformation.  God wants to do something just as dramatic in your life.

Monday, August 27, 2012

True Joy

I'm sitting in an airport looking at people, all races, many nationalities, all passing by me.  Some pause for a meal, others wait for flights.  Some looked bored, some tense, but I seldom see a smile anywhere.  Is anyone happy?

Before I looked up to watch people, I had been reading the Gospel of Mark, thinking about Jesus and what He did on the Sabbath.  He didn't follow all the Jewish customs for the Sabbath.  He healed people on the Sabbath, went for walks with His disciples and did other things that infuriated the Jewish leaders.  He told them that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.  People don't understand God, they don't understand that a Sabbath day of rest is for our good, to allow us to recuperate and give us extended time to spend with God.  And of course people in general don't understand that the only way we are going to be truly happy in life is if we have a great relationship with God,.  Living in relationship with God, with Jesus, is not enslavement, it is liberty.  Following God's desires for us will give us a wonderful life and a happier one.  Living for Jesus does not deprives us of joy and wonderful experiences it provides joy and wonderful experiences.  As I look at the frowning, sad faces around me in the airport I wonder how many of these people have a true, wonderful, vital relationship with Jesus. 

My observation of people is that they do many things searching for happiness but only find it in fleeting moments.  And watching Christians shows me that those who are truly joyful are the ones who have wonderful, intimate relationships with Jesus.  It's not church attendance which brings joy, not reading the Bible or reciting long prayers which brings joy.  Joy comes when we do these things because of our loving, intimate relationship with Jesus.  I choose to share my days with Jesus, to talk with Him about everything.  I know that is the path to true joy and fulfilment.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wholly Devoted to Jesus

I love to ski.  I have great skis, boots and other gear.  I read about skiing, watch skiing videos and talk to friends about skiing and how much I enjoy it.  I try to get better by practice and attention to technique.  I  enjoy skiing and look forward to every moment on the slopes.  How about my faith in Jesus, do I do the  same? 

I love Jesus.  I love to spend time with Him, to talk with Him, to read about Him in the Bible.  I want to tell others what He is doing in my life and I want to let Him show me how to live life to the fullest.  I want to be truly His.  Jesus told us that there is no middle ground to knowing Him.  I am either totally His or not His at all.  There isn't a spectrum of being a Christian extending from "nominal" to zealous.  You either are a Christian, Jesus is your master and Saviour, or you are not a Christian.  Those are not my rules, that's what Jesus said.  He said that if He wasn't the most important thing in my life then I am not His, not a Christian.  He has to have first place in my life.  If I am a Christian, then my devotion to Jesus is first and absolutely everything else comes after that.  If I say I am a Christian, and don't believe that, then I need to take a good look at what I profess to believe.

It seems many people today think that Jesus is a means to and end, a way to get to heaven or someone to make your life work well.  Jesus is not a means to an end.  If Jesus calls you to follow Him, then He must be the goal of your life.  In our materialistic society, where everything is out there for my convenience, this isn’t a really popular idea.  But if you want to be a Christian, you follow and obey Christ.  It’s all about Jesus, not all about me.  That’s what Jesus taught.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Too Busy

Life is so busy.  Most of us try to juggle so many things in life we seem to have more things to do than time to do them.  Work.  We have to do that.  But then there is play, household obligations, all the other things we do with our families, with our spouse, with our friends or by our self. At the end of the month we wonder where all the time went.

It is hard to order our life and manage to get in all we want to do.  Maybe the problem is that we just want to do too much.  People say they want a more simple life, but I don’t think that’s usually true.  It is easy to get a simpler life, you just cut back.  You cut out a bunch of things you are doing and life becomes much more manageable.  No, the problem is we want to do it all, as much as we can, and so life gets complicated and time rushes past like an out of control train.  The solution I have found is to put my appointment calendar, my wants and desires, in to someone else’s hands.  I have given it all to Jesus.  Yes, I know that sounds rather simplistic, but it really is what I have done.  I prayerfully ask the Lord to order my day and order my life.  And I mean that.  I don't mean I ask Him to bless all that I want to do, I ask Him what I should be doing.  I ask Him if I need to cut out some of the things I like doing and if I should be doing other things.  I really want Jesus to order my life and I have found He will if I honestly allow Him to do it.

Usually we go to God in prayer and ask Him to bless what we have already decided we are going to do.  Why not do the opposite?  Why not go to Jesus and ask if you should be doing the things you are doing?  Why not pray and ask if you should stop some of the activities you currently have?  Go through them, one by one, and ask the Lord to help you make the decisions.  Ask what He wants.  It comes down to trust.  Do I really believe that Jesus loves me so much I can trust every aspect of my life to Him?  Me?  I trust Him.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Slowing Down

If you are an active person it is tough to slow down.  My shoulder blade was broken in the middle of February and here it is nearing May and I still can’t do all the things I want to do.  As a matter of fact, the bone hasn’t even fully healed so I can’t even start physiotherapy.  My life has slowed down.

It is strange to be less active than normal.  It was strange to watch Sandra go skiing with our friends while I stayed home.  It is strange to have to ask for help to do rather simple tasks because I can’t lift anything heavy unless I can do it with one arm.  When things suddenly change, what do you do?  I guess you can get angry, or depressed or go into fits of rage.  In my case, I haven’t done any of those things.  I have simply slowed down and am taking it easy.  I have managed to adjust and I am happy.  Yes, I am looking forward to when things are back to normal.  I am looking forward to being able to start physiotherapy.  I have faced the fact there won’t be any overnight backpacking trips this summer, but that’s okay, I’ll go on day hikes this year. 

You know what, Jesus knows all about my broken shoulder and He is in control.  I am happy to be His child and trust Him with each day.  I really am content and joyous, not angry or frustrated.  That, certainly, is the Holy Spirit working in me, not my usual nature.  And I am truly thankful to not be in pain, another answer to prayer.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Unexpected

Life flows gently along, everything passes as it normally does, then, suddenly, the unexpected happens.  Everything changes.  It may be good, it may be bad, maybe it’s just different.  In those totally, unexpected moments, what do you do?  How do you feel?

I had an accident while skiing in February.  No, I didn’t fall, I didn’t do anything.  I was teaching a ski lesson when an out-of-control snowboarder slammed into me from behind.  I was instantly thrown into the air and before I knew it was on the ground, immobile.  I couldn’t breathe.  There was so much pain.  It took place so fast I wasn’t even sure what had happened.  A trip down the mountain on a backboard in a toboggan, an ambulance ride, hours in an emergency ward.  X-rays, a CT scan, doctors appointments.  A broken scapula (shoulder) and many cracked ribs.  Bruises everywhere.  I hurt.  But surprisingly I was happy, joyous.  I was still alive.  I didn’t have a broken back as everyone thought at first.  I was not paralysed.  I will heal, I will have months of physiotherapy, but I will be okay.  God is good.

How do we see life?  Are we victims of circumstance? Victims of all that happens around us?  Or do we let the Lord Jesus use everything for His glory.  Do we praise Him for each breath we take?  I don’t like pain, I don’t like the thought of months of therapy, but I am thankful I am still walking and thank the Lord for protecting me from worse injury.  He is always good.  He is our tender Shepherd.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Winter Storms

We're away from home, a long away.  Warm, rainy, no snow, no cold.  At home it is snowing, blowing and cold.  Our adult daughter is at home, going to and from work in the snow.  She's looking after the house and having to shovel snow morning and night to keep up with it.  To be honest, I would rather be home, enjoying the skiing, even shovelling the snow.  I love snow.

Okay, so I’m a bit strange, loving snow and cold.  But I do.  Everyone’s different and I am a winter lover.  I am one of those people who tolerate summer but live for winter.  There are a few of us around!  Others want a nice, sunny, warm winter vacation in the tropics.  I want a nice, snowy winter vacation at a ski resort.  If I have to go to the tropics, let it be in May or June. 

Right now work has taken me a long way south, but at home it is freezing cold.  I feel for our daughter who is shovelling snow, driving in deep snow and suffering in frigid temperatures.  I am a bit concerned for her and for our house.  We live in a place where it doesn’t usually get very cold so the house isn’t as well insulated as are homes in other parts of Canada.  I’m thousands of kilometres away so all I can do is leave everything in the hands of my wonderful Lord.  What a great place to leave all my cares and concerns.