With it being the 20th of December, preaching a Christmas message seemed the right thing to do when I was deciding what to speak on this morning. That would make sense. After all, Christmas is but a few days from now, we had the Christmas concert last week, we sang carols this morning, and we just read a couple of very familiar passages from Matthew and Luke chapter 2. You would think that this is going to be a Christmas themed sermon, and while it starts out that way, I’m not so sure that it’s really a Christmas sermon. Think of the carol “We Three Kings” which starts off with a Christmas theme, but once you get to the fourth and fifth verses, it’s not talking about Christmas any further, it’s talking about Christ’s death and resurrection. This sermon is a bit like that. It’s all bundled in Christmas themed wrapping paper, but I could get away with preaching a very similar sermon in April or October. Continue reading Seeking, Finding, and Following
Read John 3 11-12 to start. 11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? Then open in prayer.
There is an idea today that faith and science are incompatible, that if you would follow Christ, then you cannot study science, not with any serious effort, at least. And likewise, if you are well educated and scientifically minded, then you cannot possibly believe in something so unscientific as Christianity. This is a commonly held idea today, and frequently one that is supported by those on either side of the science/faith divide. They look at us as being ignorant and backward, and say that if you have science, you don’t need faith. We look at them as cold and deluded, and say that if you have faith, then science doesn’t matter.
On which side of this divide do you fall? Faith or science, which will it be? Have you picked a side? If you have indeed chosen a side, I have bad news for you. You’re wrong. The side you have chosen is wrong.
Haven’t settled on a Halloween costume yet? Perhaps you find the conventional options like ghost, witch, or superhero a little mundane and simplistic? If so, it’s time to try the Dontmindme.com Halloween Costume Mixer. It combines two or more conventional costume ideas into one übercostume, each more scary, horrifying and nightmarish than the last. Just click the button below until you find a costume that is as scary as you desire.
If you actually happen to use one of the costumes from the mixer, please let us know. Feel free to send a picture, we’d love to post our readers’ creativity.
Love One Another, Volume 2
Read John 13:34-35 34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. Then open in prayer
If you heard my sermon last month, you might be thinking that those verses sound familiar. Yes, I spoke on John chapter 13 a month ago. I’m not speaking on the same chapter this time, but I am speaking on the same topic. Think of this as something along the line of picking up where I left off. Continue reading Love One Another, Volume 2
Love One Another
Read John 13. 1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. 2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; 3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; 4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Continue reading Love One Another
Read Ephesians 2: 1-7 1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together , and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Let’s start this morning with a little history. Some of it is ancient history, and some of it is more current. Most of it is rather unpleasant history, as it happens. Have you ever heard of Carthage? It was a city-state in North Africa, in what is now Tunisia. It was founded around 800 BC by Phoenicians, from the city of Tyre, which if you look at the maps in the back of your Bible, is located just north of Israel. Much as Rome was a city state, that we know best as leading a massive empire, so Carthage also had a considerable empire. The proximity of Carthage and Rome lead inevitably to war between the two empires, as happens when empires grow and interact. There were three wars between Rome and Carthage, Rome winning each one, until finally they destroyed the city of Carthage entirely. If you have ever heard of Hannibal, who brought elephants through the Alps into Italy, he was a leading Carthaginian general, and that was part of one of those wars. Continue reading Depth of Mercy
When I drive to work in the morning, I almost always take a travel mug of cold water with me. Not that I necessarily get so thirsty on the drive that a drink is going to be required, but it’s good to stay hydrated. Depending on how thirsty I am, maybe I don’t even take a sip on the way to work, or maybe the mug is half done by the time I get there.
Because I’m generally in a bit of a hurry to get out the door, most mornings my lovely wife fills the cup with cold water and puts in a couple of ice cubes to keep it cold. She’s been doing this for me for years, from when we lived in town but I drove out to Panmure Island every day, that’s a longer commute and I would often get thirsty. I appreciate her efforts, and because she has done this for me, I’m used having that cup of cold water on the drive in. I expect to have it.
By this time tomorrow, we’ll know the result of the 2015 PEI provincial election. It’s a few months ahead of schedule, but scheduled election date legislation is a fairly new thing to us here in PEI. We’re more used to the element of surprise.
We’re also used to the signs. Oh, the signs, signs, sings. A good friend of mine had been working at a sign shop until a few months ago, after the election was called I asked him how glad he was to no longer be working there. The answer was of course very.
I’m not sure if there are more signs this time around, or if there are always this many, but it seems that every street corner with anything resembling public property has been decorated with signage. Continue reading Over Your Shoulder
Ever since I was a child, I have enjoyed geography. I studied maps, learned from maps, and even drew my own maps of imaginary worlds. Globes were another thing altogether. While a map is useful for gathering information, and figuring out how to get from point A to point B, there’s nothing like a globe to get a true picture of the shape of the world.
It might be a coincidence that my wife majored in geography at school. It probably is, in fact, but knowing that, I bought her a geography-related gift the first Christmas we were together. It was a magnetic floating globe. It’s a globe that hangs in the air, suspended by magnetic force. A mere four inches in diameter, it’s the sort of thing that can only be a gift, because it serves no practical purpose, apart from looking nifty.
My wife was mildly amused by the globe, and as she was teaching at the time, she set it up in her classroom for the rest of the year. But before long it ended up packed away, as it doesn’t really serve much purpose, and it takes up desk space.
Right now, it spends most of its time on top of the bookshelf in my office. We take it down every so often to amuse the kids, as they are of course fascinated by something that works seemingly by magic.
We don’t take it down for geography purposes, though. While a globe is far superior than a map for looking at how the earth is actually shaped, and how the continents and oceans actually relate to each other in terms of size and position, this one is not. It’s only four inches across, and there are metal caps covering both of the poles. The scale is 1:120,000,000. It’s a novelty more than anything.
But it does feature the best disclaimer anyone has ever seen on any product. Here is a closeup of the text in question.That’s right, it says “Not for Disputing the Boundaries” right under the explanation that it’s only for toy and Ornament only. Can’t have someone showing up to the United Nations armed with a four-inch magnetic globe to argue about where Russia begins and Ukraine ends.
Of course, given some of what takes place at the UN, it would hardly be the most ridiculous speech ever delivered to the general assembly.
The other day we picked up a new bottle of chewable multivitamins for the kids. It was a different brand than we’ve bought in the past, and it happened to be on half-price clearance, which is almost always a win in my books. While I’m not entirely convinced that these, or really, any vitamin pills, make a significant difference in the kids’ health, a few more vitamins and minerals are probably better than less. In the middle of winter, with the quality and availability of fresh fruit and vegetables being somewhat less than optimal, a little bit of nutritional supplement is a help. Continue reading As Found in Nature