Thursday, November 21, 2019

Drop the blanket

The most famous Charlie Brown special of all time, A Charlie Brown Christmas, is one that holds a surprising spiritual truth. We all know Linus is the one who sheds light on what Christmas is all about in his famous speech as seen in the video, but what I had never thought about before was the implication of one scene until I saw it on Facebook.

Linus drops the blanket.

Now think about it, how many times had he fought his sister and Snoopy and others about this blanket he carried with him? No one had been able to pry it from him. Even when they made his blanket into a sweater for Charlie Brown, he was unfettered in going after it, snuggling up to it while Charlie Brown was wearing it.

In this one scene where he starts talking about the real meaning of Christmas, he drops his blanket as he is emboldened to share the truth of the gospel of Jesus being born to save us. See that? He dropped what was his prize possession to get to the truth and share it.

In life, what are the blankets we hold onto? Position? Wealth? Popularity? Possessions? Something else? Whatever it is, when it comes to God, we need to drop our banket and step into His truth.

A simple reminder from a scene long ago by a famous artist, with truth for today.

Did Chuck Schultz plan it that way? I think so. He didn't hide his faith. So this symbolic gesture of Linus dropping the banket showed how important the announcement of Jesus' birth was to his audience.

I know in my own life I have had to learn to drop the blanket of... fill in the bank... on different occasions. God is teaching us when we come to these life-shattering moments where we have to decide do we drop the blanket or cling on for dear life?

Where are all of us today? What blankets do we need to drop so God can do more in our lives? What prize possession do we need to let go of today?

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Seeing old friends

Seeing old friends – Andrew Robertson, host of Ask The Pastor and Saturdays 12-4.

This past weekend we went to the Hamilton Comic-Con as a family. We didn’t want to miss church just to go to a con, so we looked up churches in Hamilton to go to before we went. My former pastor that has known me almost all my life was there at West Highland Baptist Church. His name is John Mahaffey. We went to his church, surprising him and his wife!

In my bio for the station he is listed as someone I look up to, a mentor. After hearing him again this week for the first time in years, he still is. He had just gotten back from a trip to the Philippines the week earlier. His sense of humour was still great, and his ease at breaking down the passage he spoke on was still inspiring. He has always dealt with a speech impediment, and it’s amazing to see how God uses people despite their flaws or impediments or pasts to further the kingdom. He used Moses who also had a speech impediment to lead the Israelites, He used Peter who had a hot head to help start the church, and He uses people every day in our weaknesses to serve God.

John was baptized the same day as my mom many years ago, a memory that made me smile since mom has been gone for a little over three years now. He was there when I rededicated my life to God after running from Him for over a year many years ago. It was good to catch up with him and his wife Andrea. They reunited with my wife – as he had married us 20 years ago – and got to meet my kids. He said seeing my oldest was like stepping back in time and seeing me at that age. Still a mentor and friend after all these years. This is why God brings friends, and of course pastors, into our lives – to inspire us and when the friendship is genuine, they will always be there to welcome us. Seeing as October is pastor appreciation month, Happy Pastor Appreciation Month to an old friend!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Mother's Day 2019

It's been 3 years since mom was taken home to be with the Lord.

You would think with time it gets easier, and for the most part life is going well. But days like Mother's Day come and mom's birthday last month? Okay, double whammo. With Mother's Day tomorrow, I feel it. Yes, dad is remarried to a wonderful, Godly woman and we are so happy for him. I do still feel the loss though. 

Normally I find country music quite - unsatisfying. But, this one song shared by my Aunt says so much...

So this Mother's Day, mom... I wish there was a phone... can't wait to see you again.

Friday, March 15, 2019

The Hallway

The hallway, what a concept when it comes to waiting on God. We all want an open door of some kind. We all wait for God to open a door. So what about those times when there is no open door and we are stuck in the hallway? That can be a hard place. Why? Because when you're in the hallway you can get desperate to "make things happen" so you just choose a door and force it open not waiting for God. That is a danger for all believers. Remember James 4:15, Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live or do this and that." How many times do we force open a door because we don't want to wait on God any longer? Sometimes our waiting can be days, weeks, months, or years. It is all waiting on God to direct our steps. If you're in the hallway right now, don't try to force open a door - wait on God. Remember Joseph? He waited as a slave for years, then a prisoner for years, and then finally many years later served as next to Pharaoh and many years later saw his family again. Talk about being in the hallway and waiting to see why God was allowing what was happening to him to happen. Be patient. Pray and ask God to show you what to do when waiting in the hall.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Dealing with the supernatural

There are times when we as believers will deal with the supernatural. In situations like Mark 9:14 - 29 it tells us about the boy who was possessed by a demon and it tried to kill the boy several ways. Jesus cast out the spirit and later the disciples asked why they couldn't, after all they had been given authority in Jesus' name? Jesus' answer in verse 29 is very potent, He replied, "This kind can only come out by prayer and fasting."

It makes me stop and think, how many times do we think that just a simple prayer will do the trick when dealing with things in life? Yes, prayer works, and the prayer of a righteous person avails much - but sometimes it needs more than a quick fix prayer. Sometimes issues need more - like fasting along with the prayer. Fasting is one of the spiritual disciplines that many believers do not do. Yet it is one Jesus mentioned was a given - WHEN you fast, not if. 

Fasting gives us clarity into things in a way that nothing else can. It takes our focus off dependence on food or whatever we're giving us to focus on God providing the need. In dealing with the supernatural, and we all do in our homes, we need to be ready to battle the enemy. He and his forces strive to destroy us so that we will be ineffective as Christians. So put on the armour of God yes, but also, fast when things get tough - when home looks like a real battlefield and you don't know why. 

Fast, use silence, and solitude with your prayers to see how powerful they can become!