It’s a new year. It looks like smooth sailing, doesn’t it? Um, probably not. It’s a year in which uncertainty seems like the only certainty. That’s why we need to remind ourselves that God is always certain and steadfast, even when the things around us aren’t. Psalm 102:27 heralds a reminder: “But you remain the … Continue reading Don’t get knocked off centre
Like other people and organizations, the church is collectively going through a tough time as the pandemic drags on. Barna recently reported that 38% of pastors are seriously considering leaving the ministry. That’s a huge percentage, and it’s a 9% increase from just 8 months ago. That number jumps to 51% for pastors in a … Continue reading A tough (refining?) time for the church
Change is everywhere. That was true prior to the pandemic. But that was nothing compared to now. In the past year and a half we’ve experienced (and are experiencing) massive change as we try to adapt to ever-evolving social realities and upheavals. Spinning is not a way to see clearly. We are becoming increasingly polarized … Continue reading Perpetual change and controversy?
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…” (1 Thessalonians 5:11) Earlier this year I invited therapist Sarah Covey to speak at a workshop. She talked about the possibility of a post-pandemic “crash.” Not for everyone, but for some. Generally speaking, we’re designed to handle crises for short periods of time. But the COVID-19 … Continue reading Avoiding the crash
Many of us are worshipping God at home these days while sitting on a couch or a chair. Some churches have resumed limited in-person gatherings, but not all. [For those of you in America, you’re a bit further along than we are north of the border.] Either way, our external posture shouldn’t dictate our internal … Continue reading With reverence and awe
We’ve been talking about the parable of the sower in Luke 8. A farmer sows some seed which Jesus has explained represents the word of God. The seed doesn’t always land on receptive soil. But it does in verse 15: “the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who … Continue reading Don’t give up
Everyone isn’t in the same “place” as you are. That statement is true physically, but also mentally. We are scattered all over the geographical map. But we are also experiencing different stresses, strains and emotions right now. I think that’s just good to remember. Why? Because it changes our behaviour toward others. At the start … Continue reading Some are okay; many are not
I was talking with someone who was feeling uncertain before a big operation. Fair enough. But then they met the doctor. He took extra time, explained what was going to happen in understandable terms, said he had performed this operation many times, showed that he cared, and even offered to pray!
Neil Anderson fought in the Second World War. His unit was facing what was known as the Siegfried line, a set of defence fortifications facing German’s border with France. Looking out over the landscape it seemed harmless. But a keen eye determined that what looked like a normal barn was actually a well-camouflaged bunker housing … Continue reading Aiming ammo at allies?
Many people are afraid right now. Maybe you’re one of them. It’s not something we like to admit. So there it hides, deep within; but there it remains. Afraid of lockdowns, loneliness, sickness or sadness.Afraid of political turmoil, tomorrow, job security or uncertainty. But did you know that fear flourishes where God is not known? … Continue reading Where fear flourishes