Friday, June 22, 2012

Not Quite Packing

This week I thought that I was going to get most of my packing done but plans never work out the way that you thought they would. Instead I have had a number of meetings, extended telephone "conversations" --you know the kind, press 1 if..., press 2 if...., please stay on the line etc. and oh yes did I mention getting immunization shots. My arms are still aching from them! So needless to say, not a whole lot has gone into boxes or suitcases. The highlight of my week has been hearing that the BOA has approved me for Commissioned Minister to Niger, I am just waiting to hear if that service will be part of our farewell service on July 22 at 4pm at Freedom Christian Community in Brantford. Whether it is or not I hope that I will get to see a number of you there to say good bye. Cole graduates from grade 8 on Monday and I am hoping that he can find the tickets so that we can be there. We are hoping to hold a pseudo-graduation from elementary school for Ben because he will be missing the elementary grad in Niger and it is at a different stage here in Canada (all part of the fun of living between two worlds). I'm open to any ideas on how to make it special for him. Time is running out if you were hoping to get in on the matching donation for the building project. Money needs to come in before we leave on July 26th in order to get the building started as soon as we get back. Praying that you have a strong sense of God's presence with you in whatever you face this week.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


In my readings for the Wesleyan Theology course I am taking I came across this quote:
Love cannot be appropriated as an abstract idea; it must be encountered, it must be allowed to work its transforming power in our hearts, at the centre of our identity, where its affirmation is received and responded to. (The New Creation: John Wesley's Theology Today)
Wow, isn't that what we all crave in the deepest part of our being to have that kind of encounter of love that changes us completely. The world understands this kind of desire and we catch glimpses of it in romantic relationships but miss the fact that it can only be completely satisfied in a relationship with the God of Love. It was this transforming love that enabled John Wesley to make such an impact on his world. We may not touch as many lives with God's love as Wesley did but I pray that we will each let God's love transform us and those we come in contact with today. Dave is in Calgary for the rest of this week visiting with his ailing aunt and family. Please pray for him and the family there that they would sense God's presence as they go through this time. Pray also for the boys and myself as we manage without dad for awhile.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

An Angry Christian?

Last week Jennifer and I sat in on a course together at the McMaster. I enjoyed the opportunity to be with her in the classroom, even though the professor made us work in different discussion groups. I’m actually looking forward to reading the main textbook, The Angry Christian, even though it’s about 400 pages long. The course developed the idea of taking a realistic look at anger and correcting some faulty ideas about it. So often the Christian community perpetuates the idea that getting angry is a sin. Unfortunately, what that means is that we don’t have any really good ideas about what to do when we are angry since we weren’t supposed to get this way in the first place

Though anger can be and is regularly misused with horrendous consequences, anger can also be a function of love.  In the scriptures, both God and his servants get angry at things like injustice, or like Jesus who got angry at people who were indifferent about others suffering and sickness. Anger can be a sign that something important is being threatened or violated—it’s an amber light that allows us to be aware of danger ahead. I haven’t solved all the world’s problems with anger (nor even my own) but there was lots of helpful stuff for reflection and change.

This weekend I’m travelling alone to Saskatchewan to meet with a couple of churches. Originally I was to fly home on Tuesday but my Aunt in Calgary is not well and may not last the week. Since my flight already had a stopover in Calgary I’ve arranged stay until Sunday. I spent my teenage years in Calgary and our families were very close. My parents are heading out today and I will be meeting up with them on Tuesday to say our good-byes. My aunt has been a faithful supporter of our ministry over the years and will be dearly missed.  Jennifer and the boys will be making do without me for the next week and unfortunately this  is  moving into a stressful time as we get ready to move out of our home and make preparations to return to Niger.  We would all appreciate your prayers at this time.