Is #Canada Still a Dominion? #CanadaDay

Why We Should Bring Back Dominion Day

The following is an excerpt from an article from The Huffington Post, written by Tom Kott:

While today it is only a vestige cited in the history books, Canada is still officially a “Dominion.” As lore has it, Dominion was chosen for our nation after Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley, a Father of Confederation, read it in the Bible and found it fitting: “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth” (Psalm 72:8).

To read the whole article, click HERE.

Happy Dominion Day!

Canada flag

RELATED POST:

The Dominion of Canada – We Stand on Guard for Thee

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Do You Need a Little Fresh Air?

Fresh Air Book

“Most mornings I wake up happy and optimistic, looking forward to another day. I’ve never been a depressed kind of guy. But in 1999, I had the worst year of my life.” 

It’s with that opening that Chris Hodges begins his inspirational book Fresh Air: trading stale spiritual obligation for a life-altering, energizing, experience-it-everyday relationship with God. Normally, I wait until after I’ve completed reading an entire book before sharing quotes and a review on my blog, but this particular one so immediately pierced my heart, right from the opening chapter, that I had to share some of the quotes with you right away!

Quotes from Fresh Air:

In the deepest part of me I wondered, Is this all there is?

As the weeks dragged on, I became mired in a swamp of unpleasant emotions that I wasn’t used to feeling – at least not all at once and not with such increasing intensity. I was deeply sad, but I wasn’t sure why. I sensed anger and frustration, but that was probably because I felt so stuck in my sadness. And then there was the fear. I had never experienced anything like this and didn’t know what to make of it.

So I hid it as long as I could and tried to pretend there wasn’t a storm cloud constantly rolling around inside of me. It seemed to grow darker, with more thunder rumblings and lightning strikes of acute emotion, yet the storm never broke and continued to gather itself over and over again inside my mind and heart.

I knew I was depressed but hated to admit that even to myself. I had never been depressed before and had even been quietly critical of those who seemed to fight an ongoing battle with it. I had always thought, Just choose to be happy and get on with your life, buddy! But now those thoughts mocked me because I wasn’t sure how to change what I felt inside. I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what my feelings were, but I knew I couldn’t change them simply by telling myself, Don’t worry, be happy

God used that time of desperation and depression to get my attention in the most dramatic way possible. Apparently, it often takes something painful, sometimes even tragic, to get us to listen to God…

We feel like there’s no one to talk to, no one who understands all the responsibility we carry. We’re so unbearably lonely, even when there are dozens of people around. We bury our emotions just below the surface because we’re afraid that if we release them, they will overwhelm us and we’ll never function again. We’ve lost our sense of balance and now neglect the basics. In fact, we’ve lost not only a sense of balance in our lives but a sense of purpose. The joy of knowing who we are and what God created us to do seems like a distant memory at best.

We’re burned out, weary to the bone, scared and anxious – and there’s no end in sight. 

Reflections…

I know those few quotes from the first chapter of this book may not sound all that encouraging, but as someone who went through a period of intense depression earlier in my life, I can relate too well to what the author has written here! In the coming weeks, I will share more quotes from the rest of the book, but I am also going to share a post that chronicles my personal journey through a deep and overwhelming depression, some of the things I experienced during this dark season of my life, and some of the things that helped me on my journey through to joy and freedom.

Do YOU need a little fresh air in your spiritual journey today?

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A Giant’s Depression

Do you struggle with depression? If so, you’re not alone. Even Charles Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers, battled this giant. There is hope!

The Recovering Legalist

Not long ago I did a couple of posts dealing with depression. As best I can tell, the posts were well-received.

One of the main points I wanted to make in those posts was that depression isn’t always something we can help, but something that accosts us no matter our will to be positive.

The following article, “11 Reasons Spurgeon Was Depressed,” was published by the The Spurgeon Center for Biblical Preaching at Midwestern Seminary, and I want to thank a friend of mine, Kevin Woodruff (Bryan College Librarian) for posting it on Facebook.

If you have found yourself depressed, and wonder if it’s only a spiritual matter, the following look at the great Charles H. Spurgeon, a giant among godly men, should give you hope.

“11 Reasons Spurgeon Was Depressed”

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How’s Your Soul… Really?

How's Your SoulHow’s Your Soul?

When was the last time someone asked you that question, and wanted an honest answer for you… really? I think too often in the world today we go through life scrolling through our social media accounts with very little deep and meaningful interaction with those in the real world around us. That needs to change!

In his latest book, How’s Your Soul, Pastor Judah Smith contends that “everything that matters starts with the inside you.” As the back cover blurb states, “How’s Your Soul? is a relatable, refreshing call to anyone searching for lasting emotional stability, fulfillment, and satisfaction, inviting them to stop living from day to day and instead to start living intentionally with the end in mind.” On that note, I want to share with you a few of my favourite quotes from this book…

The “Are you okay?” question is scary, because it has to do with the real you – not with our achievements or activities, but with your emotions, your thoughts, your decisions, your values and your desires.”

“Each of us has a soul. And that soul should be healthy… But is it well with our souls? Is the inside of us really steady and stable and secure? Do we ever stop to think about that? … God wants our souls to be well… But we rarely, if ever, focus on our souls. We don’t go around asking each other, “So, how’s your soul?” But maybe we should.”

“I think the phrase “the inside you” does a good job communicating the biblical meaning of the soul… My soul is the center of who I am. It is the inner me, the real me, the invisible me that transcends the physical me, the part of me that in some sense will live eternally in heaven… Our souls came from, depend on, and long for God. He gave us life, so his presence is essential to our ongoing health.”

Our souls are home when they return to God… We were created by God and for God, and we will find ourselves most fully when we find ourselves in him and turn our attention toward him… Your soul is healthiest when it comes back frequently and wholeheartedly to God.” 

“The Creator has given us a handbook for a healthy soul: the Bible.”

Our souls need rest. They need relaxation, enjoyment, peace and pleasure.” 

“Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest… and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29). He couldn’t have been any clearer. Our souls need rest, and he is our ultimate source of rest.”

“We are, by nature, relational beings. We were meant for community. Even the most introverted, solitary personality types need at least some level of human interaction in order to maintain healthy, thriving, vibrant souls. It is unhealthy for our souls to be isolated or without relationship.”

“I wonder, even in a fast and furious world, can we cultivate quiet souls? Can we be calm and peaceful and at rest on the inside, even when all around us are chaos and noise?”

And finally, a challenge to church leaders:

“Just because you lead people and help people doesn’t mean you are always going to be healthy on the inside. If anything, the pressure of public influence increases the unhealthy tendencies of our souls. If we aren’t careful, it can make us defensive and isolated. Instead of looking for help when we need it, we pretend to have it all together.”

And so I want to close this post and ask you a genuine, personal question:

How’s YOUR soul… really?

 

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Costa Rica Explore Mission Trip 2018

I love being a teacher at Regent Christian Academy, and being able to participate in our school’s mission program. At RCA, “our students are taught to care for those who are less fortunate, and they are provided a variety of opportunities to share the love of Jesus in tangible and meaningful ways, including both local and international missions.” (www.regent.bc.ca).

From our school’s website, here’s a description of the second step in our school’s mission program, Explore: “Explore is the ‘next step’ in missions. You have been on a mission trip, and God has stirred your heart for people in a whole new way. Stepping out with this team means you more closely examine how God may be using missions to lead you towards life as a missionary, whether that takes you to the other side of the world or right in your own backyard. The responsibility falls more on you and your team to make this trip all you want it to be. Sharing your faith and testimony, interacting more one-on-one with the people you meet and minister to are all part of this team’s goals. Serving in a local church in a foreign country, people are among some of the opportunities given.”

Every spring break, Regent sends out 2-3 teams to different parts of the world, and this year was no exception. We sent teams to Mexico, Uganda, and Costa Rica, the latter trip being led by my wife Liza and me. This was our fifth trip to Costa Rica that the two of us have led, and we were excited to be taking seven students from our school, including our daughter, Hannah.

On this trip, we worked together with Pastor John Overholt, who had served as a missionary in Costa Rica with his wife Debbie, planting churches for many years. We went to several remote locations including Jabilla, San Jorge, Jicaral, Montana Grande, Lepanto and Belen. There we and came alongside of local churches there to share the Gospel door to door in the community, feed the poor, lead worship services, share testimonies, minister to and pray for people, and host several children’s ministry events.

Here’s a report from just one of our day’s of ministry from Pastor John:

Today our team worked together in Jicaral with Pastor Manfred and some of his church members as we reached out to one of the neediest neighborhoods in his area. Knowing who needed the most help, he selected 25 homes for us to visit. We were able to bless each family with three full bags of groceries as a practical token of God’s love but most importantly we were also able to leave them with food that is able to fill their spiritual emptiness. It was very encouraging to see twelve people respond to the good news message and then have the pastors of the church continuing the conversation with the people and being able to follow up. This is where short term missions can make a long term impact.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are just a few thousand words from our March 2018 mission trip to Costa Rica:

Door to Door 2

One of the highlights for me was being able to go door to door in poor communities and being able to bless needy families with food hampers.

Broken Down Car

Of course, what mission trip would be complete without a breakdown on the side of the road at least once?

Kids Fair Hannah

My daughter Hannah with some of the kids at a children’s fair we hosted.

Joanna and GIrl

One of our team members hugging one of the beautiful Costa Rican children.

Have you ever gone on a mission trip before? If not, I would strongly encourage you to do so. This cross-cultural ministry experience has the potential to change your life!

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On Bone Spurs and Reckless Love

On one day five weeks ago, I made the decision to start living healthier. I would eat better, cut out the junk, and incorporate more healthy foods into my diet including fruits and vegetables. And that’s been going great! I have been feeling better and have no desire to go back to the junk. Orange juice has replaced Coke, and apples and other fruits have replaced the chips and dip for snacking items.

However, on that day, I also decided that I would also start exercising, and began getting up early to jog in the mornings. It was going well for the first week or so, but somewhere along the way, I felt like I must have overdone it, because I started getting a sharp pain in my knee that has persisted for the past 3-4 weeks.

I finally went to my doctor abChris Knee X-Rayout it, and he sent me for X-rays. When I got the results, it turns out that I have bone spurs on my patella (my knee cap). A bone spur is an abnormal bone growth that develops on the surface of bones that causes pain when they rub against the nerves and press on surrounding tissue. So, the condition may not have even have been caused by the jogging! (And here I was hoping to tout this ‘sports injury’ as a badge of honour. No such luck!).

So, what method of treatment was prescribed? Well, the doctor said there’s not really much that can be done. Rest the knee and not do anything to aggravate the symptoms (i.e. no more jogging). Take pain meds. And if it gets worse – surgery is an option. Well that sucks! I try to get all healthy and then this happens?

Yes I would have to say I was a little discouraged by this! But not overwhelmed. I am praying (and asking for others to join with me in praying) for a total and complete healing of my knee. I believe that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, and that He is the Lord our Healer. But until that happens, no more jogging. Just being on my feet all day in the classroom causes enough pain. I will have to come up with other creative ways to be physically active, and am seriously thinking about giving swimming a try.

reckless love

So during this season, I came across a new worship song out of Bethel Church that has really blessed me. I first heard it when we took the members of our Costa Rica mission team to the Generation Unleashed youth conference in Portland, Oregon. It has become a new favourite of mine – it is called Reckless Love, written by Cory Asbury. The chorus says:

  • Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
  • Oh, it chases me down, fights ‘til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
  • I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, still You give Yourself away
  • Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God

I’m reading a book right now called How’s Your Soul? by Pastor Judah Smith. In it he quotes Hebrews chapter six, a Bible passage that talks about how we have a sure and steadfast anchor for our souls. He talks about how “the author used the familiar imagery of a boat and an anchor to remind these ancient Jesus followers that when they felt overwhelmed, they needed to hang on to Jesus. Jesus was enough for them… We want out. We want an escape. We want someone to remove us from the storm, but Jesus wants to be our strength and stability in the storm.” 

And where does that leave me today? I know that my knee pain is a relatively minor issue in light of the trials, troubles, struggles and challenges that other people are facing in the world today. But whether your storm is a physical one, or a relational, financial or emotional one, this I believe: Jesus is passionately in love with you, and will do whatever it takes to get to you to be the peace and anchor in the midst of your storm!

  • There’s no shadow You won’t light up, Mountain You won’t climb up
  • Coming after me
  • There’s no wall You won’t kick down, Lie You won’t tear down
  • Coming after me

 

 

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Well Done, Billy Graham! #billygraham

When I woke up this morning, I took my usual spot in my oversized comfy chair in the living room, where I start each day doing my devotions from God’s Word. After that, I as I often do, I went on my computer to scan the latest news headlines to see if anything would catch my eye. And this morning, something did. It was a simple, short headline:

“Billy Graham Dies at 99.”

The opening sentence of this article on MSN.com read: “Evangelist Billy Graham — a confidant to presidents, a guiding light to generations of American evangelicals and a globe-trotting preacher who converted millions to Christianity — died Wednesday at the age of 99, his spokesman confirmed to CNN.

When I read the news, my first thought was, “Well done, good and faithful servant… Enter into the joy of your lord!” (Matthew 25:21). Here is an amazing man of God who was humble and godly, who lived a life of integrity that was above reproach. He was shining example to people all over the world of what a sincere servant of Jesus should look like. I don’t know if I could express what I’m feeling any better than what my pastor posted on his Instagram account this morning:

Billy Graham - instagram post

Literally millions of people around the world have surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ and found salvation through Billy Graham and his preaching ministry. One of those people was my father-in-law, Norman, and because he turned his life over to Jesus, so did his wife and his children, including my wife, Liza!

And so today I wanted to pay a simple tribute to Billy Graham by sharing with you some of his quotes, and a tribute video. So if you don’t know Jesus today, my prayer is that you would call upon the name of the Lord, and be saved. Amen!

BILLY GRAHAM QUOTES:

  • “My home is in Heaven.I’m just traveling through this world.”
  • “The moment we take our last breath on earth, we take our first in heaven.”
  • God proved his love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’”
  • The will of God will not take us where the grace of God cannot sustain us.”
  • “Knowing we will be with Christ forever far outweighs our burdens today! Keep your eyes on eternity!”
  • “It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge and my job to love.”
  • “I’ve read the last page of the Bible, it’s all going to turn out all right.”

Billy Graham Quote

 

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