Aches and Praise Three Hundred & Seventy Seven

November 30, 2018
Dear friends,

Have you noticed that there are a lot of advertisements geared to the upcoming holidays? For Americans, the Thanksgiving holiday is the forerunner to Christmas sales pitches and in Canada, colder temperatures signal the start of the frenzy to purchase presents for family and friends. As the familiar song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” In the midst of the hustle and bustle, though, we would do well to remember “the reason for the season.” Although the popular greeting of “Happy holidays” may be politically correct, it fails to identify why December 25 is a holiday.

Last Sunday, Karen and I were in Connecticut and attended the church where our daughter and son-in-law are active. Pastor Steve Thiel looked at a number of conflicts between the Pharisees and Jesus, including the time when Jesus entered a synagogue on the Sabbath. Mark writes that the Pharisees watched Jesus closely to see if He would heal a man with a shriveled hand. Jesus then asked a question: “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” (Mark 3:4). After no one answered, Jesus “looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’”. After Jesus healed the man, “the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus” (v. 6). You can listen to Pastor Thiel’s message at:
We live in a world full of conflict. There was a story in the news this week about corruption during the building of a hospital in Montreal. Ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God, sin has resulted in conflict, corruption and many evil things. As we approach the Christmas season, let’s look for reasons to celebrate God’s love and share the good news of salvation with all those around us. While writing this blog yesterday, I had to leave suddenly as a series of unusual events led to my daughter being outside in the cold for an hour. All turned out well and our family was reunited. This reminded me to thank you for praying for our family, as well as the ministry to which the Lord called us many years ago. Praise Him for His wonderful love!
Scripture for the weekend: “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45 (NIV)
Thought for the weekend: “Like a bucket draws water from a well, so the tongue dips down and pours out whatever is in the heart. If the source is clean, that is what the tongue communicates. If it is contaminated, again, the tongue will expose it.” – Charles Swindoll (from his book “Active Spirituality”)
By His grace,