On Sunday, the team responsible for our weekly children’s ministries gathered for a BBQ and celebration of God’s goodness over the past year. As part of our time together, we discussed some quotes from Samuel Williamson’s book, “Is Sunday School Destroying Our Kids? How Moralism Suffocates Grace.” For those of you with children at Grace, don’t worry: our Sunday School isn’t destroying them! But Williamson argues that when we get Sunday School wrong – and it’s easy to do – it has the potential to destroy our children’s faith. Let me explain why.
Last week, my vacation started and ended with camping trips but in between I had the privilege of being a part of a birthday party that encouraged my faith and perspective about life.
I'm on vacation this week, but while I'm off I wanted to pass along an article that I originally wrote back in the fall of 2015 on lessons God has taught me about parenting.
On Sunday we had a time of dedication. The parents dedicated themselves before God and the church family to train and love their baby and seek her salvation. And we dedicated ourselves before God to love and support their family in their commitments. For me it was an opportunity to think on some of the lessons God has taught me about parenting.
Do you ever struggle to make sense of your circumstances? Many times, I’ve looked at what’s happening in my life and asked, “What on earth are you doing God?” Some things begin to make sense in retrospect as I look back on what’s happened. Other circumstances still have question marks next to them. There are many things that I’m looking forward to God explaining in heaven, one day. In the meantime, others can help us navigate the murkier days. Last month, I listened to a preacher named Sandy Wilson at a conference in Huntsville. He shared the story of Elisabeth’s Elliott’s first year of missionary service.
In Psalm 71 the psalmist is dealing with people who attack and accuse him. Clearly people around him are hostile to him and his faith. And so he seeks refuge in God but he does more. Rather than argue with his accusers or criticize them or give up on them, he resolves to tell them how good God has been to him.
For the last twenty weeks, we’ve been going through the e100 Bible reading challenge from Scripture Union. Many people have shared that it’s helped them to get into God’s Word and grow in their faith. The book is great, but having finished the book, I don’t think people need another book. In my mind, there are three ingredients that make the e100 challenge so powerful and it’s those three ingredients that I would commend to people for a lifetime of Bible reading.
Last week I attended a workshop led by James Kelly. With a commerce degree in entrepreneurship along with a Masters of Divinity and a passion for technology, James brings a unique perspective to the possibilities for church in the 21st century. After serving with his wife as short-term missionaries in South Sudan for three months, James helped launch Radiant City Church in Waterloo and is the founder of Faith Tech, which exists to bridge the gap between faith and technology. Let me share some of the things I learned.
Our life groups at Grace are a place where people can get to know others and be known by them. They’re small enough for discussion, prayer and encouragement. But our vision for the groups is to look for opportunities for neighbourhood-sized mission projects. Who can we serve in Jesus’ name? How can we reach out to people around us? How can we make Jesus known? They’re not easy questions to answer but they’re important ones to deal with if we’re going to be faithful to Jesus’ commission. Back in January, I contacted one of our missionaries, Darryl Dash, and asked if there were any ways that our life group might serve with them. That call led to our involvement in the Toronto Art Crawl in Liberty Village last Saturday. Let me share what I observed.
Remi Adeleke has done it all: scam artist, drug dealer, Navy SEAL, and actor. But it’s not so much his resume that fascinates me as what God has done in his life and what his life teaches me about how I can grow as a person. I’d encourage you to listen to Remi tell his story at the following link:
Let me share some of the things I learned from his story.
Psalms is quoted in the New Testament more than any other Old Testament book. Obviously, it has much to offer. Have you ever thought about how it’s put together? With 150 psalms, you could be forgiven for not being aware of the structure of the book. Have you ever noticed, for example, that the Book of Psalms is actually made up of five books (Psalms 1-41; 42-72; 73-89; 90-106; 107-150) that most scholars believe are related to the five book of Moses? So just as we have five books of Moses to read, we have five books of Psalms to pray and sing. This is minor, though. Missing the forest for the trees in the Psalms is far more problematic in other ways because it teaches some crucial lessons about how to approach life and what to expect from it.