Aches and Praise Two Hundred & Ninety Seven

Dear friends,  


In last week’s blog, I mentioned a friend – Warren Gamble – who shares the same birthday as me. Well, we share the same day, but not the same year. Today, Karen and I spoke with her uncle Ted, who was born on the exact same day as his wife, who went to be with the Lord three years ago. In speaking with him, I realized that he is nine days older than my mother and four days younger than Lois Gamble, who is four months younger than her husband, Warren. I find it very interesting to talk with people who were born before the Second World War. They have a wealth of experience and can help “baby boomers” and others to have perspective and to learn patience.
In the broadcast of “The National” last night, veteran CBC correspondent, Keith Boag, gave a perceptive report about how America is polarized along the lines of which media they “consume.” He identified the various media sources with which Americans align. To watch this report, please visit:

Spiritually-speaking, our perspective in life also determines which sources of information we will turn to. Do we value the opinions of talk show hosts more than the wisdom of God? Believers in Christ ought to value time reading and meditating on the Word of God more than watching television and listening to radio commentators. Recently, the expression “fake news” has received a great deal of attention. It is reassuring to know that the Bible is full of truth and that the Lord Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

Yesterday the news announced that the stock market reacted to current events by registering its lowest numbers of this year. In Kahnawake (a native reserve next to Chateauguay) there is a sign that reads “Safe and Secure” near a building with storage units. When I saw the sign, I immediately thought of the words to the hymn “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.” In his book “Amazing Grace,” Kenneth W. Osbeck tells how this beloved hymn came to be written: “…devout Presbyterian layman Anthony J. Showalter received sorrowful letters from two different friends, telling him of their recent bereavements. In sending messages of comfort to them, Mr. Showalter included Deuteronomy 33:27 (please see Scripture below). As he concluded his letters the thought occurred to him that this verse would be a fine theme for a hymn. Almost spontaneously he jotted down the words and music for the refrain of this soon-to-be favorite.”

If you were to look up the background of “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” you would find that two men composed this hymn. That is because Mr. Showalter asked his friend Elisha Hoffman, a pastor and author of more than 2,000 gospel songs, to write the stanzas. The hymn was published in 1887 and has been sung by people around the world ever since.

Scripture for the weekend: “The Eternal God is a dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms….” Deuteronomy 33:27 (NASB) 

Thought for the weekend: “Our failure to understand exactly who God is and what His priorities include is often one of the biggest factors in our unmet expectations.” – Aaron Sharp (from his book “I Didn’t Sign Up For This”)


By His grace,