"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"

Father God, thank you for the love of the truth you have given me. Please bless me with the wisdom, knowledge and discernment needed to always present the truth in an attitude of grace and love. Use this blog and Northwoods Ministries for your glory. Help us all to read and to study Your Word without preconceived notions, but rather, let scripture interpret scripture in the presence of the Holy Spirit. All praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Angry Christian - Where does anger fit into the Christian life?

How many times have you seen a self-professed Christian lose their temper and, along with it, their witness? It’s a disappointing thing to watch a Christian get angry at something as insignificant as a poor score in bowling, or golf, or something else that is important only to them. Such anger is ego-fed and a sure sign of serious pride.

Personally, I have problems with my own limitations. A serious breakdown at Y2K has severely limited my short-term memory and concentration. I went from being able to juggle a half dozen things at once to a near complete inability to multi-task. When distracted, I often totally forget what I was doing. This leads to no end of frustrating do-overs and embarrassing moments.

Sometimes this gets to me, and I have a moment of anger, often followed by a moment or two of self-pity. Self-pity, I know for sure, is sin, and I am immediately convicted and repent, then get on with my life.

Some self-professed Christians will lose it when something happens that is out of their control. These may be control oriented people who cannot surrender control of their lives to Jesus Christ. This calls into question their very relationship with Him since, if He were truly Lord of our lives, we would surrender completely to His providential permission.

Things are always going to happen that are out of our control. We have to trust that God is still in those circumstances, and they will ultimately turn out for good. Not trusting God in all circumstances is due to a lack of faith. Remember, it is by grace through faith that we are saved.

How can good come out of my weaknesses? I still have a great testimony of the many extraordinary things that God has done in my life. Also, I know that when I am speaking, or singing, to a group, the Holy Spirit is with me. He also, occasionally, gives me words of knowledge, sometimes with stunning results. If I, being dumb as a post, can be used by God for His glory and purposes, then I need to embrace my disabilities.

Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Making the Ferry

God likes to increase our faith. That stretching comes in the form of teaching us to trust Him in the face of unlikely or even impossible circumstances. When your faith is stretched, and you actually are aware of it, it can also be quite funny.

Yesterday, Pat and I left Cultus Lake, near Chilliwack, B.C., and drove to Vancouver Island. I don’t know how many times I have raced to catch a ferry to or from the island, but we were determined to not put that kind of stress on ourselves again. We allowed lots of time to visit people in Abbotsford, but overstayed by a few minutes. We had an hour and 15 minutes to drive to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal. I had a reservation for the ferry to Nanaimo’s Duke Point terminal. Normally it would take about an hour to make the drive, but it was Friday, in the summer, and the traffic was insane. To make matters worse, we hit almost every red light possible.

Throughout the trip I was confident that God was with us, and felt challenged to trust Him, while the odds of making the ferry were reducing with every mile and every minute. I was, as always, prepared to accept missing the ferry, if that was God’s will, so I wasn’t too anxious, and I drove without being overly aggressive. Confidence in God got more and more difficult as we got closer and time wound down, especially when we had to sit through two and sometimes three lights.

Finally, as we entered the last leg through Tsawwassen, time elapsed, and we knew we missed the cut-off time for reservations. Nevertheless, I handed the woman in the booth my reservation number which she entered and then announced that it was worthless now, and we would be very lucky to make the ferry. The next ferry wouldn’t run until , a 5 hour and 15 minute wait. I also showed her the Disabled Parking placard that we recently acquired as a result of my wife’s knees being not fit to walk on. The woman looked at the placard and said, “Let me phone the tower.”

A minute later she announced that she would be able to get us on the . We were grateful, but I was a little disappointed because I knew God could get us on the if He wanted to. The woman told us to stay with our vehicle until the ferry was fully loaded because we would move up in the line and then be in position for the . As I was pulling away from the booth I realized that she hadn’t told me what lane to go to. I yelled back and asked her, and she shouted, “Lane 30.” I moved to lane 30, pulled in behind a half ton and waited, resigned to wait for the 5:45 but wondering whether God would still do something to get us onto the 3:15.

About 20 minutes later the line started moving. We followed the half ton up to the front of the line where it slowed, almost to a stop. Then the traffic controller waived him forward, and I drove slowly forward. To my surprise, he waived us forward as well. We followed the half-ton up the ramp and onto the ferry in a state of gleeful disbelief. I’ve lost count of how many times this sort of thing has happened, but it happens so often as to be statistically impossible to be just coincidence.