Tag Archives: grace

Arthur Edward at 81

Today would have been Dad’s 81st birthday – hard to believe!  Memory is a wonderful thing and I remember us racing down the back alley in St. John New Brunswick.  I would have been about 5 years old and I challenged by Dad, who would have been 31 or so, to a foot race.  
“Race you to the back yard Dad!” I challenged.
“Okay!”
“Go!” said I taking a step or two before giving out the cue to start…
Looking to my left my Dad was right there…running hard, arms swinging with all my might…Dad was keeping pace with me.  The race way was a dirt and gravel alley that led you to the garage.  As we crossed into the backyard I suddenly pulled ahead and won the race.
I remember wondering…”did Dad let me win?”  By the smile on my Mom’s face I figured I won fair and square and she was just proud of her little boy.  It was the first time I remember feeling like I was growing up, getting bigger — faster.
Of course Dad did let me win.  No question there.  And it’s one of the memories that has stuck with me over the years.  It wasn’t the only time Dad did something to let me feel good.  I remember him letting me drive the boat, or the car.  I remember what he said to me the day I was commissioned as a Salvation Army Officer.  I always felt I was loved – that He was proud of me.
Dad’s gone to heaven – but not from my memory.  And one day we’ll be together again.

What would Dad be like as an 81 year old?  I don’t know.  But I think he would remain gracious, loving, kind and most of all proud of his family – all of us!

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Have a sober opinion of self

Lori lives in Rhode Island.  Her blog, Deeper with Jesus in Rhode Island, is a good read.  She’s a good writer.  Her most recent post sure hits home – with me, maybe with you.  She’s hit on a topic that is humanity at its most real.  This sense of selfish pride, selfish ambition.  As she names it – sin!
Take a good read of Outing Myself, and then I would love to hear your comment.

It seems to me that most human beings land on either side of this.  For many, and confession being good for the soul this is my camp, I see myself or we see ourselves as pretty smart, pretty good at many things…and off we go down the road of conceit and pride.  And you know what the Bible says about pride?!  “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” – 1 John 2:16

Pride that places yourself above others doesn’t come from Our Heavenly Father.

For others, its the road of self degredation.  These folks see themselves as less than everyone else.  They have a video running in their heads that tells the story of how unlovely, untalented, unwanted they are.  Self esteem runs low.

Both stories are self destructive.

But then sin is self destructive.

Satan, and yes I believe in a personal devil, knows his final destination.  He knows that God, who keeps His Word, has already declared that one day He will step into history and will deal with sin and death and Satan.

So the Devil works to destroy as much as he can in the meantime.  He uses sinful pride and That’s why he continues to work to tell as many as will believe him, that there is no God or at least…and this is his most convincing lie, there is no hurry in making a decision around our eternal future.

What we need is a balanced view of self – one that Paul talked about..”having a sober opinion” of self.  And recognizing that when we don’t view ourselves, or others with a godly view, we will find ourselves with either warped view. 

Here’s the instruction from Scripture: “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” – Romans 12:3

Friday at 4 pm

At the end of a challenging, if not productive work week, it is easy to feel good as the office closes for the weekend.  Employees are filing out, wishing each other a good weekend and heading out to what they have planned.  Last weekend Wendy and I were out on the road so it will be nice to be home this weekend.

There is a definite tide working in an office setting that is different to being “out on the front lines”.  Those of us at DHQ dwell in two worlds – during the week we have administrative duties that support the people we visit on weekends.  There is a great joy in rubbing shoulders with those whose responsibilities are more directly linked to hands on ministry.

In the April 2011 edition of Christianity Today, they ask the question “What’s a congregation worth?”  The Answer comes from a study by University of Pennsylvania’s Ram Cnann:
  • Church budget: $520,000 with 80% providing stimulus to the local economy.
  • Suicide prevention $58,800 with $19,600 per person directly saved through clergy intervention
  • Divorces prevented $22,500
  • Crime prevention and re-entry $84,000
  • Reduced crime rate $64,416
  • Volunteer hours worked $94,770
  • People getting off drugs/alcohol $78,750
  • Helping people gain employement $725,000

Now multiply that by the number of churches in your neighbourhood…the number of Salvation Army Centres that do even more…supporting that kind of work is deeply satisfying.  I thank God every day for His calling on my life.

“And Jesus went about doing good.”