Aches and Praise Four Hundred & Forty Nine

April 16, 2020

Dear friends,              

This week has been a very special one for me, as I celebrated my 65th birthday on Tuesday. I am very grateful for family and friends who wrote and phoned to wish me a happy birthday. One brother in Christ in the Ottawa area wrote that he has prayed for me every day since Karen and I stayed with him and his wife during the Missions conference at their church a few years ago. What a blessing to be uplifted in prayer by saints like them!

A friend sent me an email yesterday, with an inspiring message by Paul Phillips, who shares that some illuminating thoughts came to him recently while he was in the bathroom of a restaurant. I don’t know why he was in a restaurant, with restrictions in force in the past month, but what he writes is informative and humourous. Paul writes about humming the tune of “Happy birthday” while washing his hands in the restaurant bathroom. He also shared this:

                                                “Why do hummingbirds hum?                                                                                                             

               They don’t know the words.”


Paul Phillips mentions several people whose lives changed dramatically: “Joseph, he of the multi-colored coat, started out carrying food and water to his brothers in the field, moving to being a trustee in a prison, before becoming a ruler in Egypt and savior-of-sorts to his people. My namesake, the Apostle, attempted to serve God by throwing His followers into jail. Paul eventually got it right, becoming one of the first missionaries in the early Church and the most prolific writer of the New Testament. Thomas Edison had thousands of failures before getting a light bulb that would function. Albert Einstein failed his college entrance exam. Walt Disney was fired from his newspaper job because he lacked imagination and had no good ideas. They all kept doing the best they could — and they got better.”

We have probably washed our hands more in the past few weeks than we did most of last year. Instead of humming “Happy birthday” while at the sink, why not think about God’s love and grace toward us? To read an article entitled “Headstrong” by Paul Phillips, please visit:

Now that I am officially a senior, I look forward to certain “perks” like getting discounts in restaurants (even if the portions are smaller than for younger people). I also want to make the most of every day. With the current global pandemic, many people are thinking about the brevity of life. Believers in Christ have the assurance in the Bible that all who have been born again will spend eternity in heaven with Him. May we share this good news by what we say and how we live.

Scripture for the weekend: Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8 (NASB)

Thought for the weekend: “Before Peter denied being His follower, he was assured of restoration.” – Paul Phillips

By His grace,