Click on the title to view Harry’s message.

2017

Excellence

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Scripture tells us “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” But where will we discover such things nowadays? Everywhere, it turns out.  – Harry

Food for Thought

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Food is part of God’s good creation. The Bible is full of talk about food – growing it, eating it, sharing it and being thankful for it. The Promised Land is “a land flowing with milk and honey”. Jesus is “The Bread of Life”. Why would we ever think food is not spiritual?  – Harry

It’s Not Fair!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

We all have a strong sense of what is and is not fair. God built this into us. However, as Jesus shows in his story of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16), we often see fairness in terms of our own self-centred perspective.  – Harry

Bound to Forgive

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Jesus’ parable (Matthew 18:21-35) throws a brilliant light on the subject of forgiveness, especially for those of us who consider our own sins forgiven through his sacrifice. Not to forgive another is like throwing someone in prison who owes you $100 when you’ve just been forgiven the national debt.  – Harry

Bound Together

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Canadian statistics tell us that roughly two thirds of those who profess Christian faith do not often attend any church. There are many reasons for this, one of which is the thought that being a Christian is a private affair. Jesus, however, calls us into the ‘gathering’ (Greek: ekklesia) of his followers and sees us as a collective or community: “Where 2 or 3 gather in my name…” – Harry

Identity

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Many today are counselling us to ‘know yourself’ and be ‘self-aware’. Jesus, I think, would agree – and knew himself better than anyone. Funny thing is that he adds this: “Whoever loses their self for me will find it.”  – Harry

Church Building

Sunday, August 27, 2017

People have been building churches for centuries. The real church is built only by Jesus and belongs only to Jesus – “I will build my church”. Also, he will continue to build it in the face of all opposition. Even ‘the gates of Hades’ will not prevail against it.  – Harry

Our Redeemer

Sunday, August 20, 2017 – guest speaker Morgan Bell

Remember Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat? This is the story of that guy and how God used his terrible circumstances to redeem the terrible circumstances of his family – literally saving them from starvation.  – Harry

Walking on Water

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Jesus wasn’t the only one to walk on the water. Peter did it too. He needed a little help. So do we.  – Harry

Sunday, August 6, 2017 – Haliburton churches hosted the 10th annual Sizzlin’ Summer Service in the Park, a contemporary worship music event at Head Lake Park.

Hidden Kingdom

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Quite a few of the parables of Jesus have to do with what he calls ‘the kingdom of God’. This is the place where God reigns and his will is done. Since it is invisible at this time Jesus uses stories to help us understand what it’s like. Here is a look at 6 of those stories.  – Harry

Jacob’s Ladder

Sunday, July 23, 2017

When Jacob had a dream in which he observed angels ascending and descending a ladder between heaven and earth he was tapped into what we might call the spiritual ‘dimension’. Here are some further thoughts about other such dimensions and the scientific evidence for them! (Maybe)  – Harry

Father, Forgive

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Message by Gwen Atkinson

When we pray “Father, forgive” we may be praying for forgiveness for ourselves or for others. Usually both are needed.  – Harry

Laying Down Burdens

Sunday, July 9, 2017

It may not be obvious, but we’ve all got burdens. Jesus invites everyone to come to him and find rest. He also invites us to ‘take his yoke’ upon our shoulders and learn from him. Here are some thoughts about both these invitations.  – Harry

Under Orders

Sunday, July 2, 2017

After Abraham and Sarah finally have a son in their old age, namely Isaac, God tells Abraham to take his son and sacrifice him. That’s a head scratcher, but Abraham obediently undertakes the order. In the end God provides a substitute sheep, but in the meantime…? What can we make of this?  – Harry

Freed Slaves

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Paul’s letter to the Romans is in many ways Christianity 101 – the basics. In chapter 6 he teaches us how we are to view ‘sin’ – as a slave master – and how we may find victory over it – through our having shared in the death of Jesus.  – Harry

The Ungodly

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Morgan Bell preached at our 3 services June 18th and spoke on Romans 5:1-8.  – Harry

Unfathomable

Sunday, June 11, 2017

How can God be three persons? I can’t explain it but I do believe it and will defend it. More important though – it does matter!  – Harry

The Holy Spirit Experience

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Just to help us understand something of the person and work of the Holy Spirit I’ve worked up a comparison to electricity. Of course they are also quite different, as electricity is a force of nature, and the Holy Spirit is God who created nature.  – Harry

Jesus’ Prayer

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The longest recorded prayer of Jesus is found in John 17. In that prayer his heart’s desire and request to the Father is “that they may be one”. He prays for the unity of all his followers.  – Harry

Emmaus Road

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The story of Emmaus Road is from the day of the resurrection of Jesus. Two guys are walking along and Jesus shows up and walks with them. They don’t know it’s him until he breaks the bread. How often have we walked along and not recognized Jesus with us?  – Harry

Appearances

Sunday, April 23, 2017

If you’re from Missouri you may need to be shown. Thomas, the disciple, wished to be shown that Jesus was alive again and he got his wish! This is what the many appearances of Jesus were all about. He showed himself to the disciples and ‘”gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.” (Acts 1:3)  – Harry

Sorrows Ended

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Jesus entered into the sorrows of the human race to the fullest extent. He suffered betrayal, injustice, abandonment, pain and death. When he rose from the dead all those sorrows were ended. This event spells the beginning of the end of such things for us too.  – Harry

Saviour Meek

Sunday, April 9, 2017

St. Vincent de Paul said: “Humility is nothing but truth, and pride is nothing but lying”. Makes sense. Jesus was and is pure truth and utterly humble.  – Harry

Jesus Wept

Sunday, April 2, 2017

This title is actually the shortest verse in the English Bible. It’s from the story of the death and raising of Lazarus, Jesus’ friend, found in John 11:32-45. We get a pretty clear picture here of the compassionate heart of our God.  – Harry

Jesus and the Institution

Sunday, March 26, 2017

In the gospel of John, chapter 9, we read about Jesus healing a man born blind from birth: This causes no end of alarm for the ‘institution’, that is, the Pharisees, and got me to thinking about Jesus’ relationship – and ours – to the institutions of our day.  – Harry

New Born

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Jesus uses a lot of colourful language to explain the spiritual life. He tells us that everyone needs to be ‘born anew’ (hence: New Born), that is, “born of the Spirit with life from above, into God’s family divine.” – Harry

Manipulations

Sunday, March 5, 2017

When Jesus was tempted it was at the hand of the master manipulator, Satan. His temptations were extreme. Ours are less so but they are along the same line.  – Harry

The Reveal

Sunday, February 26, 2017

This is about the day when Jesus took three disciples up a mountain and was altered in appearance so that he shone like a bright light. They call this the ‘transfiguration’. God was cluing in the disciples as to who this really was. Great clues were given to them, but what are our clues?  – Harry

The Triune God

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Haliburton UC message by Gwen Atkinson

Christians believe in a God of three persons, namely, the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Yet there is still only one God. Yes, this is a mystery and one Gwen Atkinson takes a crack at explaining here.  – Harry

Liability

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The sixth of the 10 Commandments is “You shall not kill”. Jesus teaches that God has something more in mind for us than simply not killing each other. The ‘fulfillment’ of this is not even being angry with each other. The goal is to live in love in community.  – Harry

Jesus and the Institution

Sunday, January 29, 2017

In the gospel of John, chapter 9, we read about Jesus healing a man born blind from birth: This causes no end of alarm for the ‘institution’, that is, the Pharisees, and got me to thinking about Jesus’ relationship – and ours – to the institutions of our day.  – Harry

The Handoff

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The law is built into the human psyche. Even if we don’t know the 10 commandments we strive to live up to impossible standards. The good news of Jesus (gospel) is a transfer (handoff) from the drudgery of standard keeping to the acceptance, joy, healing and presence of God.  – Harry

Reset

Sunday, January 1, 2017

The wonder of life in Christ is that we are continually ‘resetting’ – casting off the old and putting on the new. In fact, we get to forget what lies behind and reach out to what lies ahead. (Philippians 3:13).  – Harry

2016

Indicator Infant

Sunday, December 25 / Published on March 26, 2017

It’s not just THAT Jesus came, but HOW he came that is ‘a sign unto you’. It’s indicative of the way God works in human lives.  – Harry

Staying Awake

Sunday, November 27 / Published on March 20, 2017

History has a beginning, a middle and an end in the Christian worldview. Most of the books of the New Testament clearly teach that Jesus will return at the end and ‘put the world to rights’. We are in the middle right now, but this gives us great hope.  – Harry

Angel-Like

Sunday, November 13 / Published on March 20, 2017

Jesus was challenged by a religious group of his day who didn’t believe in the resurrection or angels or spirits. Jesus quotes back to them the scriptures that they did believe: “”I am the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.(guys who had died)” He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for to him all are alive.” See Luke 20:27-38.  – Harry

Saints Who are Us

Sunday, November 6 / Published on February 26, 2017

Some traditions consider only the ‘holiest’ of Christian believers to be saints, but Scripture actually defines all Christians as saints – although also sinners at the same time!  – Harry

Sunday, October 30 – We had a guest lay minister today.

Humble or Stumble

Sunday, October 23 / Published on February 20, 2017

According to Scripture, God brings down the proud but lifts up the humble. For most of us this is a lifelong challenge but it also partly explains what God is doing in our circumstances. He’s producing humility in human lives.  – Harry

Bothering God

Sunday, October 16 / Published on February 11, 2017

To bother or not to bother, that is the question. Can we truly bother God? Jesus’ parable about the ‘unjust judge’ suggests that genuine faith requires us to persistently seek God’s help.
– Harry

Bread of Life

Sunday, October 9 / Published on February 11, 2017

Jesus often would take bread, break it, give thanks for it and give it out. There’s a rhythm here which reflects our experience. We have been taken, broken, blessed and given out to the world.  – Harry

Truth

Sunday, October 2 / Published on February 4, 2017

According to this passage, 1 Timothy 2:1-7, God wants everyone to come to ‘knowledge of the truth’. This certainly indicates that knowing truth is not only possible, it’s essential to authentic human existence.  – Harry

Overjoyed

Sunday, September 25 / Published on January 7, 2017

What people don’t seem to realize is that the God of joy has literally saturated human life with his joy. It’s in the beauty and order of nature, the excessive amounts of food choices and the design of the human being – with our smiles, laughter and love of song and dance. God goes one step further and comes to dance with us.  – Harry

Sunday, September 18 – We welcomed the gospel group Freedom Bound, who ministered encouragement through music and personal testimonies at all three churches.

Triumph Over Terror

Sunday, September 11 / Published on December 29, 2016

Are we truly all cowed and intimidated by terrorism? The worst they can do is kill the body, yet Jesus says “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, though they die, yet shall they live!”  – Harry

Mutuality, Marriage and Money

Sunday, September 4 / Published on December 13, 2016

‘Mutuality’ is defined as “The condition or state of reciprocity, or sharing”. One of the big themes of the Bible, and particularly the New Testament, is the ‘one another’ theme – as in ‘forgive one another’, ‘pray for one another’ and, especially, ‘love one another’. Here it is again in Hebrews 13:1.  – Harry

For Your Own Good

Sunday, August 28 / Published on March 20, 2017

God disciplines us because he loves us, scripture tells us. Really? That can be a tough pill to swallow, but it’s true. This explains, at least in part, why he allows so much difficulty and suffering in our lives.  – Harry

Sunday, August 21 – We had a guest minister today.

By Faith

Sunday, August 14 / Published on November 29, 2016

According to the Bible ‘faith’ is ‘the CONFIDENCE of things hoped for, the PROOF of things unseen’. (Hebrews 11:1) Notice that this is not the same as our contemporary use of the word, where it usually stands for someone’s religion or their trust in some institution (e.g. ‘she had a lot of faith in the CBC’).  – Harry

The Heart of the Matter

Sunday, August 7 / Published on October 14, 2016

The heart of the matter is It’s The Heart That Matters. The gospel of Jesus is aimed at our hearts. Jesus is he who ‘binds up the broken-hearted’.  – Harry

***Harry was on sabbatical from May 1 until July 31.***

Tracy Thomson

Sunday, May 22 / Published on September 24, 2016

Tracy spoke courageously and eloquently and from a Christian perspective on the effect and the ripple effect of the residential school ‘solution’.  – Harry

All Things New

Sunday, April 24 / Published on December 19, 2016

It’s not entirely clear what the age to come will be like, but we can be assured that it will be wonderful, based as it is on the resurrection of Jesus and his victory over death. Even now there are many glimpses of it, and we are actually engaged in implementing aspects of it – through such things as the pursuit of justice and beauty and spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.
– Harry

Miracles

Sunday, April 10 / Published on September 24, 2016

I think ‘miracles’ is a fun topic. Do they happen? Have you witnessed any? Probably.  – Harry

Hoax or History

Sunday, April 3 / Published on September 10, 2016

If the resurrection of Jesus didn’t happen it’s the biggest hoax in history. The whole of Christian faith is based on the belief that it did.  – Harry

Two Trees, Two Gardens

Easter Sunday, March 27 / Published on September 3, 2016

Scripture tells us of two notable trees: 1) the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and 2) the cross of Christ. The second is the answer for the problem that arose with the first. There are also two gardens: 1) Eden and 2) the garden location of Jesus’ resurrection. This talk considers the significance of these trees and gardens.  – Harry

The Sentence

Palm Sunday, March 20 / Published on December 2, 2016

Much is said about justice and injustice. The greatest injustice of all time was suffered by Jesus, who, having done nothing at all wrong in his whole life was sentenced to the barbaric horror of crucifixion.  – Harry

Extravagance

Sunday, March 13 / Published on August 14, 2016

There are a couple of kinds of extravagance at least. One is represented by Mary, the sister of Lazarus, when she poured super expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet.  – Harry

New Creature

Sunday, March 6 / Published on June 3, 2016

Why does ‘metamorphosis’ have to happen in the animal kingdom? It really doesn’t. Lots of creatures don’t metamorph (metamorphosize?) and they seem to get along just fine. Might God have built signs like these into the creation to teach us something of his marvelous ways?  – Harry

For Example

Sunday, February 21 / Published on April 29, 2016

According to Paul, we’re to consider ancient Israel in their 40-year journey across the desert. We Christians are like them in many ways, but he cautions us NOT to follow their example – NOT to worship a golden calf, NOT to grumble etc. Good advice!  – Harry

Sunday, February 21 We had a guest minister today.

Temptactics

Sunday, February 14 / Published on March 5, 2016

Temptation is our constant battle in life. We are weak in withstanding it, but Jesus is not. His encounter with the Tempter himself reveals this. The secret tactic for resisting temptation is not being stronger or smarter, but knowing our weakness and inviting/discovering Jesus’ presence and power within us.  – Harry

Lifting the Veil

Sunday, February 7 / Published on March 5, 2016

A lot of us are somewhat in a fog with respect to things like the meaning of life, what’s true, faith in God and so forth. It’s like there’s a veil over our eyes. The Apostle Paul tells us that when we ‘turn to the Lord’ the veil is removed.  – Harry

The Love Standard

Sunday, January 31 / Published on March 5, 2016

We tend to think we’re gracious and caring sorts, and we probably are, but there’s always room for growth. A great measuring stick is the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians – the love chapter…  – Harry

Sunday, January 24 – The message was not taped today.

Party Time!

Sunday, January 17 / Published on January 29, 2016

One thing many people seem to have heard about Jesus is that he turned water into wine. They may not know that this was at a wedding and it wasn’t a couple of bottles – more like 60 cases! A bit scandalous and not very ‘religious’, don’t you think? What’s it mean?  – Harry

Baptisms

Sunday, January 10 / Published on January 23, 2016

The passage about Jesus’ baptism (Baptism of our Lord Sunday) actually speaks about three kinds of baptism: water, Spirit and fire. This talk is an attempt to ‘immerse’ ourselves in a look at all three.  – Harry

Christmas Joy

Sunday, January 3 / Published on January 16, 2016

Joy is one of the trademarks of genuine faith in Jesus. It’s one of the reasons we can’t stop singing and making up new songs. The stories of Jesus increase our joy and this one, about Jesus at the age of 12, is no exception.  – Harry

2015

Sunday, December 27 – The service was cancelled due to freezing rain.

Sunday, December 20 The choir presented “Lessons and Carols” with anthems, carols and readings under the direction of Melissa Stephens.

The Journey of Joy

Sunday, December 13 / Published on January 16, 2016

This is an attempt to define joy, or at least to describe it. Beyond that, how do we experience it? According to St. Paul it is a “fruit of the Spirit”.  – Harry

The Path of Peace

Sunday, December 6 / Published on January 8, 2016

“But with the woes of sin and strife the world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel strain have rolled 2000 years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not the love song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife, and hear the angels sing.”  – E.H. Sears,
“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear”

Sunday, November 29 – We celebrated the first Sunday in Advent with a joint pastoral charge service at Ingoldsby UC.

Sunday, November 8, 15 & 22 – Guest minister or message not recorded.

Let Me See

Sunday, November 1 / Published on December 15, 2015

Long before somebody wrote “I Saw The Light” the Bible was using the blindness/sight metaphor to explain spiritual truths. So, for instance, ‘the blind leading the blind’, is actually a quote from Jesus.  – Harry

Sunday, October 25 – We had a guest minister today.

Sunday, October 18 – We had a guest minister today.

Provision

Sunday, October 11 / Published on December 7, 2015

Being grateful is ‘going with the grain’ of the universe. It works. But why is that, and does that not imply that there is someone to whom such gratitude ought to be directed?  – Harry

Family Matters

Sunday, October 4 / Published on November 27, 2015

The family is definitely under stress for a number of reasons: culture shifts, technology and media bombardment, for instance. Jesus speaks to this in the passage before us (Mark 10:2-16) by his words on the bond of marriage and his demonstrated love and respect for small children. – Harry

Consequences

Sunday, September 27 / Published on October 28, 2015

We’ve been allowed quite a bit of freedom to choose how we’ll live our lives. That’s the love of God. We haven’t much say about the consequences. One direction means disaster and the other direction means life. Choose well!  – Harry

The Great Ones

Sunday, September 20 / Published on October 9, 2015

What does it take to be great? Jesus tells us. He doesn’t appear to have anything against ambition – it’s ‘selfish ambition’ that causes so much grief. There are some suggestions given here for pursuing greatness.  – Harry

Suffering

Sunday, September 13 / Published on October 7, 2015

We try to avoid it, but all of us suffer in life. Some suffer much, some less; sometimes it’s physical, sometimes mental or emotional. If there is a good God in heaven, we are asked, why does he allow so much suffering? This is not the definitive answer to the question but I pray it will help.  – Harry

The Judge and the Widow

Sunday, September 6 / Published on September 23, 2015

I’m told that people of the Middle East like nothing better than a story about how the weak get one over on the strong. Probably most who are not rich or powerful like those. Jesus here tells such a story. A powerless, poor widow is up against a corrupt man with power. She overcomes by sheer persistence. This is about prayer. – Harry

The Great Banquet

Sunday, August 30 / Published on September 20, 2015

This parable might be called the parable of the silly excuses. People who say they will come to the party renege (pronounced ‘re-negg’, really, I looked it up) at the last minute. They give ridiculous reasons for not coming. Check it out. They have pointedly insulted the host who is understandably angry and in their place invites a variety of ‘social outcasts’. Funny how there are still a lot of silly excuses expressed today for not accepting Jesus’ invitation to the forgiveness and friendship of the Father.  – Harry

Sunday, August 23 – We had a guest minister today.

The Rich Fool

Sunday, August 16 / Published on September 20, 2015

In this little story Jesus ‘covers the ground’ on how to look at wealth. An already rich guy has a bumper crop and thinks that it’s all for his own use. Wrong.  – Harry

The Good Samaritan

Sunday, August 9 / Published on September 11, 2015

The parable of the good Samaritan is about a lot more than helping people in dire need – though it is about that. Jesus is teaching us how to be neighbours. Beyond this, he is pointing out how ‘religion’, while it seems to present us with a way to be good, can often have the opposite effect.  – Harry

Sunday, August 2 – The Haliburton Ministerial churches held our joint Sizzlin’ Summer Service 8 at Head Lake Park. Be sure to join us next year!

Two Lost Sons, Part 2

Sunday, July 26 / Published on September 1, 2015

The second lost son appears good superficially. He stays at home and works on the farm. It turns out that he is quite lost on the inside. His attitude is horrid: he is sullen and superior and as estranged from the father as is the prodigal. Will he, in response to his father’s love, have a change of heart?  – Harry

Sunday, July 19 – We had a guest minister today.

Two Lost Sons, Part 1

Sunday, July 12 / Published on August 19, 2015

The first lost son is the ‘prodigal’, who could wish his father dead in order to receive his inheritance. Despite being publicly shamed by his son’s actions, the father shames himself in running to meet and restore the son when he decides to return home.  – Harry

The Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin

Sunday, July 5 / Published on August 14, 2015

Just in the last few days I’ve lost and found a tube of sunscreen and a cell phone. I had greater joy over recovering the phone. Jesus tells stories like this to give us an idea of how much God loves and values us, and what lengths he will go to in order to find and rescue us.  – Harry

The Friend at Midnight

Sunday, June 28 / Published on July 24, 2015

This is a wonderful little tale about Middle-Eastern hospitality and how it applies to prayer. It’s found in Luke 11:5-8, which is in the middle of Jesus’ four-part response to the request: “Lord, teach us to pray”. Jesus entertains his listeners while simultaneously impressing on them our Father’s ready heart to answer prayer.  – Harry

The Unjust Steward

Sunday, June 21 / Published on July 15, 2015

People sometimes throw up their hands in despair at this parable. They can’t make sense of it. I confess to having been somewhat that way myself before I read Ken Bailey’s book, Poet and Peasant. I think he does a great job of sorting it out. This is the first in a summer series on Jesus’ parables.  – Harry

Supreme Court

Sunday, June 14 / Published on July 11, 2015

We’re told that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). Ah yes, there will be a day of reckoning. In this talk I’m attempting to balance the reality of unconditional grace and forgiveness in Christ with the reality of consequences for what we’ve done or not done.  – Harry

Sunday, June 7 – Video of today’s message is unavailable due to technical difficulties.

Sunday, May 31 – We had a guest minister today.

Spirit of Power

Sunday, May 24 – Pentecost Sunday / Published on June 28, 2015

We probably don’t talk enough about the Holy Spirit and his work. Scripture has a lot to say about this for a reason: It helps us understand how to live the ‘Christian’ life. Can’t actually do that without the Holy Spirit and the power he supplies – resurrection power, it turns out.             – Harry

Height Advantage

Sunday, May 17 / Published on June 20, 2015

This is about the ‘ascension’ of Jesus. In other words, he went back ‘up’ or returned to his Father, after he had descended and done the work of rescue here among us. The apostles actually saw him rising and disappearing into a cloud. From his height advantage he rules over the world and intercedes for us all.  – Harry

The Antidote

Sunday, May 10/ Published on May 17, 2015

Bill Haast died in 2011 at the age of 100, but not before he saved 21 lives by injecting himself with snake venom, developing anti-venom in his own blood and transfusing this into the snake-bitten individuals. Sin is a deadly poison that kills. The antidote is pure love – the love of the cross.

Sunday, May 3 – Video of today’s message is unavailable due to technical difficulties.

No Other Name

Sunday, April 26 / Published on June 9, 2015

Earlier generations had perhaps a better understanding of the importance of a name than we do. Yet still we get that names can represent reputation, character and influence. In this presentation we talk about names and particularly the significance of Jesus’ name. – Harry

Walking With

Sunday, April 19 / Published on April 25, 2015

God has walked with us, for the most part unrecognized, all of our lives. Walking is not such a hard thing for most of us and Jesus wonders if we’ll go for a walk with him.  – Harry

 Sunday, April 12 – We had a guest speaker from Sleeping Children Around the World today.

Because He Lives

Easter Sunday, April 5 / Published on April 17, 2015

The strongest indicator that God has a plan to put the universe ‘to rights’ is Jesus’ resurrection. The risen Christ is the beginning of the new heavens and the new earth. Other indicators are within us. Our longings for peace, community and the end of suffering and death are given by God, I think, in order to encourage us to hope and prepare for a better world. Because He Lives we can face tomorrow.  – Harry

The Blood of the Lamb

Sunday, March 29 / Published on April 10, 2015

The cross is not pretty. It involved suffering, abuse, torture and injustice. Many turn away from this aspect of faith – yet it is central. At the cross God enters into the depths of the sorrows of human existence. This is what ultimately draws us to Jesus.  – Harry

Submission

Sunday, March 22 / Published on April 4, 2015

The story of Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane is rather surprising. He who is divine shows us just how fully human he really is. He doesn’t want to die. He asks for a way out. Nevertheless…    – Harry

3:16

Sunday, March 15 / Published on March 20, 2015

‘3:16’ is kind of an insider code for the verse John 3:16 – the first verse some of us memorized in Sunday School. Here is the good news in a nutshell: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – Jesus of Nazareth, circa 30 A.D. (C.E.?) – Harry

Housecleaning

Sunday, March 8 / Published on March 18, 2015

We’re not talking about vacuuming and dusting here. When Jesus cleaned house he actually made more of a mess – tables turned over, coins rolling around, birds flying and sheep running. He was cleaning his Father’s house, the temple, of corrupt practices. – Harry

Rebuked

Sunday, March 1 / Published on March 12, 2015

Hard to imagine rebuking Jesus, but that’s exactly what Peter did – once, at any rate. He thought he was being helpful by offering hope that Jesus surely would not suffer the way he predicted that he would. Jesus rebukes him back: “Get behind me, Satan!”

– Harry

Gone Wild

Sunday, February 22 / Published on March 5, 2015

Did you know that Jesus lived out in the wilderness for 40 days all by himself – and that he hung out with wild beasts? It’s all there in Mark 1:13. He’d gone wild. This is about that. – Harry

 Transfiguratively Speaking

Sunday, February 15 / Published on February 28, 2015

Jesus’ ‘transfiguration’ is a turning point in his work on earth. Afterward he basically heads for Jerusalem and the cross. On the mountain some spectacular things happen – he shines, he talks with the dead and God speaks out loud to the disciples about him. Memorable! – Harry

Sunday, February 8 We had a guest lay minister today.

Authentic Authority

Sunday, February 1 / Published on February 20, 2015

Here we tackle the strange subject of ‘unclean spirits’. In Mark’s gospel there are six instances of Jesus casting such spirits out of possessed people. That indicates a major component of his work and purpose – “to destroy the work of the devil”(1 Jn. 3:8).             – Harry

Gone Fishin’

Sunday, January 25 / Published on January 27, 2015

Here’s a photo of Andrew and Simon casting their nets in the Sea of Galilee. Just kidding! It’s actually 2 Burmese guys on the Ayeyarwady River. Funny how much of the world stays the same. These are some thoughts about being ‘fishers of men’ and what that looked like for Jesus’ first 4 disciples. – Harry

Allegiance

Sunday, January 18 / Published on February 13, 2015

Again and again Jesus turns the world upside down. Our expectation of rulers (kings, prime ministers, presidents and the like) is that they are proud, rich, cared for, powerful and politically motivated. Here comes a king (actually the King of kings) who is a humble, poor, caring, powerless(politically), honest servant. – Harry

Courageous Sages

Sunday, January 11 / Published on February 6, 2015

The sages are the well-known wise guys that visited Jesus in Bethlehem. They run into a bit of a hornets’ nest when they go and ask ‘King’ Herod, “Where is he who is born King of the Jews”. Lots to learn from this encounter when first was seen, “A light for revelation to the Gentiles”. – Harry

Changin’ Times, Part 2

Sunday, January 4 / Published on January 28, 2015

On this first Sunday of the year it’s good to anticipate what God has in store. I look at 2015 as an adventure about to unfold. Our part is to be more ‘incarnational’ – which I attempt to explain. – Harry

Changin’ Times

Sunday, December 28 / Published on January 22, 2015

This is Part 1 of some reflections on our society of shifting values and beliefs and what that means for the ongoing mission of Christ’s church. As in the time of Jesus’ birth, God is up to something new. Some adaptation is required and is taking place. – Harry

Gloria in Excelsis Deo

Wednesday, December 24 – Christmas Eve Service / Published on January 19, 2015

God is very much misunderstood by the human race. We often think of him as distant or at least disinterested. Some see him as angry or manipulative. Jesus came to set the record straight – so ‘Gloria in excelcis Deo!’. (If you don’t know your Latin you’ll need to watch this video.) – Harry

Sunday, December 21 – Today at Haliburton UC the choir performed the cantata “There is a Saviour” under the direction of Melissa Stephens.

Oil of Gladness

Sunday, December 14 / Published on January 6, 2015

All of us are, with varying degrees of success, engaged in ‘the pursuit of happiness’. Some of the things that get in the way: poverty, broken relationships, sickness, grief, etc. That’s where Jesus’ ‘rescue’ work comes in. An old prophecy which Jesus claims as being fulfilled in him reads, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.., to bestow..the oil of gladness instead of mourning.” (Isaiah 61:1-3) – Harry

Rest in Peace

Sunday, December 7 / Published on January 6, 2015

The second Sunday in Advent: the theme word is ‘peace’. The scripture readings for the day are all about John the Baptist and his message of repentance. How to put these things together? Here’s what I came up with: When we truly repent (change our thinking and attitude – or at least allow them to be changed) we have peace within and peace with God. That is the source of all peace. – Harry

2014

We’re Expecting!

Sunday, November 30 / Published on December 16, 2014

People get pretty excited about a baby on the way – and so they should. Normally people get prepared in advance. In a similar way, Jesus has taught us to expect his return and to be prepared. His anticipated return and God’s promise to restore creation give us great hope.  – Harry

Sunday, November 23 – We enjoyed a presentation on a congregant’s mission trip to Guatemala to provide clean drinking water sources.

Sunday, November 16 – We welcomed a guest lay minister to conduct our service today.

Tank-full People

Sunday, November 9 / Published on December 9, 2014

At first it may seem rather unfair or selfish that the wise bridesmaids would not share their oil with the foolish ones. As explained in the parable (Matthew 25:1-13), however, the wise realize that they may not have enough for themselves. In the spiritual realm we can’t forever ride on someone else’s ticket. We need to discover and experience for ourselves the love of God and the grace of Jesus. That’s a good thing. – Harry

Local Celebrities

Sunday, November 2 / Published on November 5, 2014

Celebrities abound these days. We’ve got hockey players, politicians, musicians, actors, princesses, popes and media personalities. They seem larger than life yet deep in our hearts we know they’re just like the rest of us. Jesus cautions us about putting people on pedestals – especially our spiritual leaders and teachers. We have one teacher, the Christ. – Harry

When All Else Fails

Sunday, October 26 / Published on November 26, 2014

According to the book and movie by the name “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy”, written by Douglas Adams, “The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything” is the number 42. (??) According to Jesus it’s “Love God and love your neighbour”. This is of course well-known, rather simple yet profound and by no means easy to follow through on. Let’s consider it a while. – Harry

Promised Hope

Sunday, October 19 / Published on October 30, 2014

We all need hope – something to look forward to that will help get us through the day. Commercials, politicians and medicine all appeal to our longing for hope. They all deliver to some small degree, but leave us less than satisfied. The good news of Jesus is good news of hope. Through him we are assured that creation will be restored, death destroyed and sorrow and crying and pain gone forever. In the meantime he will provide us with love, purpose and joy. That’s a lot of hope! – Harry

Thankful People

Sunday, October 12 / Published on October 30, 2014

There seems to be a reasonably large consensus that it’s healthy to be thankful. A smaller chunk of the population would agree that we need to thank God. Here are some musings about why we do. – Harry

Sunday, October 5 –– We welcomed a guest lay minister to conduct our service today.

It’s Not Fair!

Sunday, September 28 / Published on October 15, 2014

There are a lot of things in the world that aren’t fair or just. It’s of course important to point out and change and remedy those injustices where we can. There are things about the good news of Jesus which may well seem unfair. One, for instance, is the fact that God will accept and forgive anybody regardless of what they’ve done (or not done!). He offers the deathbed penitent the same grace he offers the lifelong church-goers – the ones who have borne “the burden and heat of the day.” How unfair – but Jesus has a whole parable about it – Matthew 20:1-16. – Harry

Sunday, September 21 — Our services were conducted by a guest lay minister today as Harry visited with family following the marriage of his daughter Sarah.

Bound to Forgive

Sunday, September 14 / Published on October 6, 2014

Most of us have been wronged in one way or another and usually we can shake it off, ignore or forgive fairly easily. Not always. Jesus talks a lot about this issue, even including it in his prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” His parable from Matthew 18:21-35 expands on this difficult discipline, which is so critical to building and restoring friendships and community. – Harry

Bound Together

Sunday, September 7 / Published on September 27, 2014

I’ve tried to tread lightly on a heavy subject – church discipline. My sense is that Jesus’ teachings on the matter have been misunderstood and mis-applied to a horrendous degree over the centuries. Jesus’ intention was to bring restoration and healing to the fellowship of his followers. Too often his words have been used to establish or entrench positions and authority. I hope this is helpful. – Harry

Bound and Loosed

Sunday, August 31 / Published on September 10, 2014

In this little talk there are possible answers to these questions: 1. How can you know who Jesus is? 2. What is the ‘rock’ foundation of the church? 3. Who has the keys to the kingdom? 4. What does it mean to ‘bind’ and ‘loose’? See what you think.

Sunday, August 24 – Our services were conducted by a guest lay minister today.

Mercy on Us All

Sunday, August 17 / Published on August 29, 2014

Fortunately for us, our Maker is a God “whose property is always to have mercy”, in the words of a prayer in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. Jesus again and again demonstrates this in the gospels. A case in point is the story of the Canaanite woman who asks Jesus to have mercy on her demon-possessed daughter.

Back to Work

Sunday, August 10 / Published on August 26, 2014

This is kind of a comparative study of Peter from the New Testament and Elijah from the old and how God used their circumstances to form their character.

Sunday, August 3 – We joined the Haliburton Ministerial churches and the community for our annual summer contemporary music service “Sizzlin’ Summer Service Seven in the Park”.

Sowing a Fine Seed

Sunday, July 27 / Published on August 7, 2014

I cheated a bit here and re-worked a PowerPoint from a while ago. In my defence I made a lot of changes and don’t actually say many of the same things. This is based on the parable of the sower and is about spreading the good news and what happens when you do. As an added bonus there is a description of a multi-church endeavour which we are undertaking in Haliburton County to help people ‘Find The Hope’!

Sunday, July 20 – We had a guest lay minister today.

Wait Time

Sunday, July 13 / Published on July 30, 2014

People sometimes try to stump Christians with a question something like this: “How can you believe in a good God when there’s so much suffering in the world?” Fair enough, except the two realities are not necessarily or logically exclusive. I see lots of evidence for a good God as well as the dead certainty of lots of suffering. Clearly this God allows suffering for some purpose which we can partially understand. In fact there’s a whole lot in Scripture about this…..

Unburdened

Sunday, July 6 / Published on July 18, 2014

“Lay your burdens down..Lay your burdens down,” writes Robin Mark in the song Revival. He basically got that from Jesus, who invites ‘all who labour and are heavily burdened’ to come to him. The psalmist says “Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain you” (Ps. 55) I think this pretty much targets everyone’s needs, although everybody may not realize it.

Sunday, June 29, 2014 — Harry’s sermon is unavailable due to technical difficulties.

Mystery

Sunday, June 22 / Published on July 4, 2014

I received a sharp, anonymous rebuke for preaching about the Trinity the week after Trinity Sunday. Apparently that’s scandalous! I hope you’re not too offended. Although the word “Trinity’ is not in the New Testament, the teaching is abundantly apparent from even a superficial study. Here are some thoughts about that and the relevance of the doctrine.

Sunday, June 15, 2014 — We had a guest lay minister today.

The Last Days

Sunday, June 8 / Published on June 18, 2014

I thought it interesting and significant that Peter, speaking nearly 2000 years ago, called his ‘age’ the Last Days. This suggests that we’ve been in the last days ever since – but remember, with the Lord a 1000 years is as a day. Using that math, we’re just finishing up Day 2!

The Interceder

Sunday, June 1 / Published on June 7, 2014

We are all called to be interceders, but truth to be told, we are not that good at it. We are fortunate that there is an Interceder who is.

The Unknown God

Sunday, May 25 / Published on May 31, 2014

When Paul went to Athens back in the 40s (n.b. not the 1940s!), he was asked to give a talk and he did. He related his remarks to an inscription that he’d seen on his way which read, “To an unknown god”. The Greek word for ‘unknown’ is something like ‘agnostoi’, from which comes our word ‘agnostic’. Interesting! Much like the ancient Athenians, we live in an agnostic society – and these words of Paul speak timelessly to us today.

The Way, The Truth & The Life

Sunday, May 18 / Published on May 21, 2014

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me.” There are those who consider this to be a rather controversial statement and possibly offensive to some. That may be the case, but such controversy does not make Jesus’ words untrue. I contend that they are indeed true and that the way, truth and life found in Jesus surpass and encompass all others.

Together 

Sunday, May 11 / Published on May 16, 2014

Often the best times of our lives are when we were together with a bunch of family or friends – celebrating, travelling, working together. It’s clear from the account of the fledgling church in Acts 2 that the first Christians were a tight-knit group and that their care for each other generated an appeal which drew many to The Way.

Sunday, May 4, 2014 — We had a guest lay minister today.

Convinced

Sunday, April 27 / Published on April 30, 2014

People come to belief in Jesus through a huge variety of circumstances and agencies. Not surprising, considering we have a God who enjoys variety – observe the creation. Here I’ve examined in the Gospels and Acts five different ways people are convinced.

The accompanying scripture reading is John 20:19-31.

Raised in Power

Easter Sunday, April 20 / Published on Apr 25, 2014

Some think of Easter as simply a time to celebrate new beginnings, be positive – maybe even tack a little religion onto spring. The early church saw it as much more. The resurrection of Christ was essentially the fulcrum of history. He has begun to restore creation. Words like ‘victory’, ‘imperishable’, ‘immortality’ and ‘spiritual body’ get used. What will this new heavens and new earth look like? Maybe the sci-fi and fantasy people have given us a glimpse???

Lowly Pomp

Sunday, April 13 / Published April 17, 2014

At William and Kate’s wedding there was lots of pomp, but it was the high and mighty who were invited, not the lowly. The two don’t seem to go together, usually, except in Jesus.

Dem Bones

Sunday, April 6 / Published April 8, 2014

According to some who are not anatomically in the know, the toe bone’s connected to the foot bone, the foot bone’s connected to the heel bone, and the heel bone’s connected to the ankle bone etc. This great song is derived from Scripture – Ezekiel 37, to be exact. God tells the prophet Ezekiel to prophesy life into some very dry bones and then explains that they are ‘the house of Israel’. I’ve applied the bones image to the church.

Seen from Above

Sunday, March 30 / Published April 3, 2014

There’s a generally accepted idea that God is looking ‘down’ on us from above. It’s probably more accurate to say he’s looking ‘into’ us from below. I say, ‘below’, in the sense that he is infinitely more humble and lowly than we are. “Into’ refers to the fact that he examines our hearts – which is the key point in his selection of David as king.

Well Truth Told

Sunday, March 23 / Published March 26, 2014

Despite the speculations of Dan Brown (The Da Vinci Code) and others there is no good evidence that Jesus was ever married. However, there was a longstanding tradition of men first meeting their brides at wells – Isaac & Rebekah, Jacob & Rachel, Moses & Zipporah – and Jesus did encounter a woman at a well. I guess wells were the watering holes back in the day (nyuk, nyuk). He didn’t marry her as she was already working on husband number six, but he did have a fascinating conversation with her which is recorded for us in John, chapter 4.

Sunday, March 16, 2014 — Guest lay minister. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014 — Harry’s sermon is unavailable due to technical difficulties.

View from the Top

Sunday, March 2 / Published March 4, 2014

“I’m on the top of the world looking down on creation” sang Karen Carpenter. Two weeks ago Russia was on top of the world, having hosted the Olympics. Now they’re censured by the global community for invading Crimea. It’s hard to stay on top. Jesus allowed some of his friends to glimpse who he really was on a mountaintop. It was a high for them but they needed that view to bolster them through some tough valleys ahead.

Why Bother?

Sunday, February 23 / Published February 25, 2014

“Turn the other cheek!” “Go the extra mile!” Ever wonder where all that came from? Look no further. These came from the lips of Jesus. It seems like a lot to expect, especially if we’re to do it our whole lives. Why bother?

The High Bar

Sunday, February 16 / Published February 18, 2014

Just in case any of us think that God’s goal in the 10 Commandments was simply to stop us from killing each other, robbing each other, cheating on each other and so on, Jesus sets us straight. The bar is far higher. Being angry with each other and calling each other nasty names can also be quite damaging. God help us – and he does.

High Sodium

Sunday, February 9 / Published February 11, 2014

With this winter weather a large quantity of salt has been poured out on our highways. God, too, has liberally sprinkled the earth with ‘salt’ in the form of us. His plan, in a surprisingly parallel fashion, is to use us to melt the hard hearts of the human race. These are some other thoughts about what it means to be the ‘salt of the earth’.

– Harry at Youth Retreat Feb. 2 –

Fishing Men

Sunday, January 26 / Published January 28, 2014

One of the many wonderful mysteries of creation is the DNA molecule. Among other things, DNA instructs each cell on how to reproduce itself. It’s built in. In the same way, I contend, the church of Christ is mysteriously designed to reproduce itself. This happens with our co-operation (fishing men) and sometimes in spite of our lack of same. We have good news, and lots of opportunity to spread it.

Lamb of God

Sunday, January 19 / Published January 22, 2014

John the Baptist was the last of the great Old Testament prophets – guys like Moses, Elijah, Amos and Jeremiah. Speaking prophetically, John calls Jesus “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”. That’s a pretty huge undertaking – actually the hugest to be accomplished by any human being. It doesn’t happen through sweat and tears so much, although there’s lots of that. It’s through the blood.

Thus Saith the Lord

Sunday, January 12 / Published January 15, 2014

Some of us like to talk. We may get some criticism for that and sure, sometimes we overdo it. At the end of the day, though, we’re mimicking our Father in whose image we are made. He loves to talk. Will we listen? Here are some thoughts on the many ways, some quite ‘ordinary’, through which God talks to us.

Grace Upon Grace

Sunday, January 5 / Published January 7, 2014

The word translated ‘grace’ in the Bible is ‘charis’ in Greek, from which we get ‘charity’ and ‘charisma’ etc. It means something like ‘kind gift’. When gospel writer John says, “From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace”, he’s talking about Jesus and his immeasurable kindness toward us. Sorry about the voice.

2013

The Dark Side of Christmas

Sunday, December 29 / Published January 3, 2014

Admittedly, this isn’t a very attractive title, but it’s realistic. I’m not talking about the fact that we eat too much, get too much and sometimes catch horrible viruses (yes, I did) at Christmas time. This is a reference to the ominous goings-on when Jesus was born and the local puppet king, Herod, was not happy about it.

Candlelight

Tuesday, December 24 – Christmas Eve Service / Published January 2, 2014

Ahh yes, the Christmas Eve service and the shortest sermon of the year! Here is a review of the Advent themes: Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. We’re not used to filming at night so the lighting isn’t very good. Sorry about that.

(Sunday, December 22 – Sunday School Service)

(Sunday, December 15 – Choir Service)

Preparing a Path to Peace

Sunday, December 8 / Published December 10, 2013

This might better be called ‘Preparing a Path for the Prince of Peace’, but that’s getting a bit long. It’s mostly about John the Baptist and how he was sent to prepare the way for Jesus. He softens up the crowds by telling them to repent and be baptized, but he also predicts the coming of Messiah – “The thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie” – or in our context – ” I’m not worthy to stoop down and untie his shoes”. It’s Jesus who is the true bringer of peace to human hearts and who ultimately will bring peace to all the world.

Anticipation

Sunday, December 1 / Published December 3, 2013

Some people I know are excited about heading south to warmer weather in a few weeks. I’m excited about singing with Carl Dixon and friends tomorrow in the annual Christmas variety show at McKecks (ah, such shameless advertising). This is what we call ‘anticipation’. Suppose we move our sense of anticipation to a bigger scale – to our longing, dare we say hope, for a day when war, poverty, hunger, sickness, disaster and death itself will be gone and love, justice, wholeness and everlasting life will hold sway.

The King’s Table

Sunday, November 24 / Published November 27, 2013

It’s considered a pretty big deal to be invited to dine with a head of state, be it Queen Elizabeth, Barack Obama or Stephen Harper. A few years back over 5,000 people dropped in on the Head of the heads of state for a lass grandiose, impromptu, yet surprisingly adequate dinner. Nothing fancy – just loaves and fishes.

The Balance of Prayer

Sunday, Nov 17 / Published Nov 22, 2013

Most of us pray every day. That’s good. Most of our prayers (and I include myself), are for the immediate, and usually physical, needs of ourselves, our family and our friends. In the Lord’s Prayer this is quite simply covered by “Give us this day our daily bread”. Yet there are 5 more requests in what is arguably the world’s most famous prayer. Something to consider.

– Harry on vacation Nov. 3 and 10 –

Swelled Heads and Broken Hearts – Scripture

Sunday, Oct 27 / Published Nov 22, 2013

A bit of scripture reading to go along with the sermon.

Widow-Speak

Published on Oct 25, 2013

This is based on a story about a widow who is up against a corrupt judge. She pesters him and demands justice until he can’t take it any more and so he gives in to her before she wears him out. Jesus tells us this in order to emphasize persistent prayer. Does this mean God is like the uncaring judge? Think about it – and have a listen.

Cultivating a Gratitude Attitude

Published on Oct 16, 2013

Here are some pointers for developing more gratitude in your attitude. The scripture is Luke 12:22-31 and it is essentially about worry – which we all participate in but which Jesus asserts is due to lack of faith. If you find yourself free or at least free-er of worry, you will, in my view, be much more thankful to the Provider.

Faith Enough

Published on Oct 8, 2013

Have you got enough faith yet? If not, how might you increase what you have?

Tables Turned

Published on Oct 1, 2013

This is all about the story of a really rich guy and a poor guy named Lazarus – Luke 16:19-31. I’ve got a bit of a different take on this parable. It may read at first like the rich are going to hell and the poor are going to heaven. There’s more to it.

You Got Talent

Published on Sep 24, 2013

Yes you do have talent and lots of it. Many of our talents are unique. Often our talents are hidden – at least from others. It’s okay to acknowledge them. The problem lies in our tendency to take credit for them. Our world has forgotten that we are created and these capabilities are God’s gift to us. Beyond the obvious need to be thankful, what do you suppose we ought to do with all this overflowing talent?

Lost and Found

Published on Sep 18, 2013

Ever lose your wallet or keys or glasses, write them off as forever lost, then find them? It’s a good feeling and cause for celebration. Jesus tells a couple of stories about this kind of thing to demonstrate God’s joy at finding what is lost, namely ourselves. Luke 15:1-10.

Children

Published on Sep 12, 2013

Jesus once said that we can’t ‘receive the kingdom of God’ unless we become like a little child. Now I’ve seen children cry inconsolably and throw loud temper tantrums when they didn’t get their own way, but I don’t think that’s what Jesus was talking about. They have other, more endearing, characteristics that we tend to lose as the years roll by. For instance, they tend to be honest, spontaneous and very trusting. This talk is based on Luke 18:15-17.

Heaven’s Hospitality

Published on Sep 3, 2013

I read this online: “I always have my guard up against the universe. waiting for its next nasty little surprise, and when you are not expecting anything BANG it catches you slipping and makes you pay”. Oddly enough this is fairly true. The universe is a great teacher because it was designed by God according to the First Law of Heaven’s Hospitality, namely, that God abases the proud but exalts the humble. If you think of yourself as super-human and try to defy gravity (think of jumping off a roof) or momentum (think collision) or nature (think of tornadoes or grizzlies) you will probably pay a high price. You will be abased. If you submit and co-operate life will go better – you will be exalted. Stuff to think about.

Surrounded

Published on Aug 28, 2013

The Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup, the Olympics – here are athletes straining to win while surrounded by many spectators, or witnesses. The writer of the book of Hebrews would have us imagine the life in Christ as running a race surrounded by witnesses – people of faith who have finished the race but are cheering us on. Some we’ve heard of and some we knew. (Hebrews 11, 12)

Faith and Begorrah

Published on Aug 14, 2013

Did you know that God told Abraham when he was 99 and his wife was 80 that they would have a baby in a year, and Abraham believed him? Crazy! Then we hear that because he believed him God “counted it to him as righteousness”. That’s a bit of what it means to live by faith.

Worries and Distractions

Published on Jul 22, 2013

Distractions abound, especially with the age of technology (Facebook and Youtube come to mind). Also, there is a never ending supply of things to potentially worry about. Luke tells us that Jesus’ friend Martha was “distracted by all the preparations”. Jesus points out to her that she is “worried and upset about many things”. His answer to dealing witht these constant attacks on our peace of mind? – “One thing is necessary”.

Right Neighbourly

Published on Jul 16, 2013

“Love your neighbour as yourself” someone once said, well actually Leviticus, or at least Moses as inspired by the Spirit of God. This was a short law that people in Jesus’ day and Jesus himself considered to be pretty long on importance. One guy was trying to figure out just how far-flung that ‘neighbour’-hood was so Jesus told him a very gripping story. Take a peek, have a listen.

Pray-ers

Published on Jul 10, 2013

If you have the sneaky sense that you’re not all that great at praying you’re not alone. The best place to start is with the request, “Lord, teach us to pray”, meaning both please teach me how and incline me to do it.

On the Road Again

Published on Jul 2, 2013

If we are inclined to walk the road with Jesus there are a few attitudes which need some attention. Specifically, they are the judgemental, the naive, the procrastinating and the timid. These are addressed in Luke 9:51-62.       

Legion

Published on Jun 26, 2013

This is a very strange story about a day in the life of Jesus. The surprises just keep coming. Jesus was clearly the best in the world at ‘going with the flow’.

Debt Perspective

Published on Jun 20, 2013

Average consumer debt is increasing in Canada each year. Jesus tells a story of two guys who had all their debt forgiven or written off. He then goes on to explain the big connection between forgiveness and love.

Son of a Widow

Published on Jun 11, 2013

Raising the dead! Really?? Turns out that’s a fairly consistent theme in the gospel of Luke and afterward in Acts (the sequel to Luke). Why is this such a big deal? And didn’t we just have Easter? Watch on, my friends.

God

Published on May 29, 2013

Have you thought much about what God is like in ‘Godself’? Jesus gives us a glimpse at the inside story, which historically has been called ‘Trinity’. A bit mystifying because we can’t quite relate, but he told us for a reason.

Time Travel?

Published on Apr 23, 2013

Sheepish Shepherds

Published on Apr 16, 2013

Jesus told Peter to feed and take care of the sheep and Peter told the sheep to shepherd the flock. It seems the sheep are to be shepherds. Hmmm. This is found in the book of John, chapter 21 and Jesus’ post resurrection, post denial chat with Peter (remember, Peter denied him 3 times). Also part of this is from Peter’s ‘catholic’ (that is, ‘general’ letter), i.e. 1st Peter, chapter 5. Bible study!

Doubters Anonymous

Published on Apr 11, 2013

There are some who say you’re not supposed to doubt. I say it’s the path to real faith. Thomas doubted and Jesus helped him. He gave him ‘the benefit of the doubt’. Now I wish I’d called my sermon that. Ah well. Sound’s still not very good but I think it might be OK next time. Sorry about that.

Awakening

Published on Apr 9, 2013

Is it not fascinating that built into our daily lives is a foretaste of death and resurrection. After all, Christ is the first of ‘those who have fallen asleep’ to awaken. Paul tells us that “As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.” It’s all there in 1 Corinthians 15.. Sorry about the buzz. We’re working on it – new sound system.

Extravagance

Published on March 22, 2013

Bad Things  – Good People

Published on Mar 9, 2013

So why do bad things happen to good people? Age old question. it’s not in this sermon but you might want to check out the book of Job in the Bible. I do consider three options and give my preference.

A Fair Price

Published on Feb 19, 2013

Value is a big deal in our world. We are constantly updated on the stock market, the dollar, commodities. There are also fair prices to pay for messing up, whether speeding, robbing or lying. But DEATH? Really? Seems extreme, yet Paul tells us “The wages of sin is death”. What’s that all about?

Glimpse of Glory

Published on Feb 12, 2013

We all enjoy moments of glory, even though they don’t last too long. If I happen to get a goal in old geezer hockey I feel pretty elated – but the buzz wears off pretty soon. Jesus left infinite glory behind in order to be one of us. On one occasion, up on a mountain, he let some friends have a peek at who he really was. This talk is about that.

Eyes, Ears, Mouth and Nose

Published on Jan 31, 2013

This is the second half of the message, but it may be all you need. Our videographer is in training and forgot to press record for a while. This is the continuation of last week. Paul emphasizes by repetition that we all have a part to play – and it’s an important part – in Christ’s big project to salvage the world.

The Collective

Published on Jan 22, 2013

Basically, this is based on 1 Corinthians 12, which teaches that we all have a part in Jesus’ gathering and mission plan. It’s not a spectator sport. We’re all on the team. What’s your part?

Gentile Approach

Published on Jan 8, 2013

Another double-jointed title! The Magi (Wise Men; We 3 Kings etc.) were gentiles who approached Jesus because God had miraculously led them in that direction. He continues to do the same today. If we think of us ‘churchy’ types as being somewhat equivalent to first-century (or just before) Jews, and the outside world as ‘gentiles’, might God be at work in them in much the same way? Some thoughts for mission in 2013.

Temptation, Temptation, Temptation

Published on Jan 4, 2013

Jesus shows his real power when he does not fall under the pressure of various temptations. “He was tempted in every way that we are, yet without sin”, the Bible tells us. It’s his life and power we need in us to live holy lives.

He Did It First!

Published on Jan 3, 2013

Some thoughts about the origins of the different loves.

2012

The Polar Express

Published on Dec 11, 2012

This was our Sunday School Christmas Pageant on December 9th. Lots of kids except for the ones overtaken by the flu. Features Nicole Cox soloing 3 times.

The Church of the Rock

Published on Nov 30, 2012

Here’s the church of rock guys doing their version of a couple of contemporary songs last April. Hope you enjoy.

Broadcasting

Jesus explains in a wonderful story or parable what happens when the ‘word of the kingdom’, aka the good news, is spread abroad, or broadcast. There are 6 possible outcomes, 3 not so good and 3 quite good.

Day of Rest

They used to call Sunday ‘the Sabbath’ even though that was really Saturday. In any case, we need to re-learn the discipline of taking time to rest, reflect and relate for our souls’ sakes in this crazy busy culture.

Earthly Good

Christian faith may be sort of about ‘pie in the sky by and by’, but it’s more about new pie on a new plate when Jesus’ ‘redeeming work is done’. Meantime, it has to do very much with the physical realities of our created existence. We give thanks for God’s earthly provision for our well-being on this Thanksgiving Sunday.

The Instructions

When all else fails…. I’m as keen about IKEA as the next guy, but you better give me some instructions. Jesus set out some pretty clear directions on mission back in the day. We would do well to glean (harvest time talk) lessons from them.

Perfect Law

Ever try to figure out the Bible’s teaching on law and gospel? Sometimes there seem to be a lot of demanding laws to follow. Other times it seems all is forgiven so ‘don’t worry about it'(think Italian accent). Starting with Psalm 19 I take a stab at this conundrum.

Ever try to figure out the Bible’s teaching on law and gospel? Sometimes there seem to be a lot of demanding laws to follow. Other times it seems all is forgiven so ‘don’t worry about it’ (think Italian accent). Starting with Psalm 19 I take a stab at this conundrum.

What are the Latter Day Saints?

With Mitt Romney, a Mormon, running for President of the USA, I thought it would be helpful to understand a bit about what the Mormons (aka Latter Day Saints) believe and where it all started.

God’s Required Work

It being Labour Day Sunday and everybody thinking about labour, labour labour, I thought I’d see what Jesus had to say. Rather surprising, actually.

Mercy part 1 Mercy part 2

Jesus gave us all some homework, (well, the Pharisees, anyway) to go and learn what this means “I desire mercy, not sacrifice”.

Power to Forgive Part 1 Power to Forgive part 2

Jesus upset some of the Jewish lawyers of his day by forgiving a guy’s sins just because his buddies lowered him through the roof. What’s that about?

Creation Foundations part 1 Creation Foundations part 2

I’m talking about a couple of extremely cool citizens of the wild kingdom. That’s right, giraffes and honey bees. They both demonstrate pretty conclusively, in my view, that they were designed by a master engineer. And this has a significant bearing on a lot of other stuff…..

Constructing Community part 1 Constructing Community part 2

What’s the Canada in Canada Day all about? How do we contribute to the strengthening of our society and truly “stand on guard for thee”?

Who is This? Jesus part 1 Who is this? Jesus part 2

How can a man control wind and waves? Can I trust him with my life, my future, my problems?

The Pentecostal Church part 1 The Pentecostal Church part 2

Sermon based on Acts 2, the day of Pentecost and the dramatic and dynamic gift of the Holy Spirit. Sorry that the sound isn’t that great because I used the wrong microphone. Ah well.

“Ascencial” Truth part 1 “Ascencial Truthpart 2

Jesus ascended to the throne as King of kings. When he ascended on high he led captivity captive. What’s the significance for us of Jesus’ ascension?

Labour and Deliverance part 1 Labour and Deliverance part 2

Mother’s Day thoughts. This theme of labour and delivery/ance is big all through the Bible. Isaiah talked about Jesus’ sufferings in this light, and Jesus talked about his disciples’ grief and joy using these terms in John16:19-24.

Bodily Functions part 1 Bodily Functions part 2

Does the good news of Jesus call us to high or low self-esteem? Comments on Romans 12:3-8 and our parts in the ‘body’. A minute or 2 of the sound in this part is missing as we had a power outage and the generator shut down. Thanks to John and George for getting it up and running again. Sorry.

Buildings part 1 Buildings part 2

Reflections on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount closing teaching:
The Wise and the Foolish builders. This has a power-point which you can’t see but can imagine. I’ll try to stick it on this page somewhere.

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