Redeeming the Time

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:  a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV)

A popular urban legend has been sneaking innocently into the minds of people everywhere.  It has to do with the fact that the month of July 2016 has the unusual occurrence of having 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays.  What’s not very factual is that the urban legend claims that this happens only every 823 years – even having the dubious connection to a Chinese label of “silver pockets full”, i.e., relating to good fortune.  In fact, this is more common than it seems.  January of this year 2016 also has this characteristic of having 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays, so that totally debunks this myth that has been spreading around.

Illustration imageWith this misinformation comes a fervent reminder that time is precious.  What a blessing to know that we have 5 weekends in July – the peak of summer when everyone is looking for “more” time to spend outdoors and enjoy a short reprieve from the more prevalent cold days of Canada.

But having “more” time is a misnomer.  We don’t really get “more” time.  Time has been set for us.  It is a consumable product.  We cannot add to it nor lessen it.  That’s what Solomon reminded us in Ecclesiastes 3. Time is appointed.  We either use it or it passes us by.  We can never recover time that has been lost to complacency.

As a precious commodity, let’s be wise stewards of time.  Invest it in building relationships and establishing connections with people.  Put it to good use by recognizing eternity is of great consequence with time.  As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:2: “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”  Use this time to ponder God’s plan to bring you under His grace that you may experience everlasting life – when time is no longer of any essence.

Salvation is Still Free!

“For by grace have you been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” – Ephesians 2:8

Our son, Jed, recently celebrated his 9th birthday.  It always amazes me how time flies and even more amazed at how fast our children grow up.  I couldn’t help but recall memories of the remarkable growth of their observation and insight. Continue reading

“Please Save Some for Jenelle”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

As a pastor, the events that I look forward to the least are funerals and burials. But perhaps I shouldn’t feel that way. It’s perhaps the most significant in the life of one who has surrendered their life to Christ. The transition to total rebirth has truly taken hold in their life as they are welcomed to their eternal dwelling place. I got to witness that yet again when we laid to rest our beloved sister in the Lord, Teresita Gonzales – dearly loved mother of Jenelle – just yesterday at Glen Oakes.

The blog this week will seem like a eulogy, partly an encouragement, but mostly exhortation from God’s word. Much of what will be here are reflections that I shared at her memorial service yesterday. Continue reading

Trading Places

Isaiah 53:4-6

“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Yesterday, November 18th, I took our son, Jed, for his regularly scheduled check-up at Sick Kids Hospital for his asthma. He has been battling severe asthma since he was 6 months old.  He’s had very horrific attacks since then – at one point we thought we would lose him to his illness.  He has been asthma-free and medication-free for over a year now, and the doctor feels that he is well on his way to total healing.  Thank God for that. Continue reading