I’m always obsessed with the sky. It doesn’t matter if it’s noticing the texture and pattern of clouds, smiling at the clear blue, noticing all the colours of a sunset (you know that’s my fave!), or enjoying a sky full of stars. I just like to look up and see the glory of God in the heavens above.
So it should come as no surprise that today’s Farmhouse Friday is all about the skies. So many varieties of blue, grey and sunset glow to enjoy! Look up, the heavens declare His glory!
Until tomorrow dear friends, look up and remember the One who set the heavens in place by the words of His mouth!
John Ortberg is one of my heroes. His kind, compassionate, clear and clever way of writing (and preaching) has blessed me since the early days of my life in full-time ministry. Plus, he’s Presbyterian. 😀
Some questions for thoughtful consideration:
Why are we so afraid to confess things to God, even though we believe He already knows everything?
Were you surprised at Ortberg’s statement, “There is more intimacy in one deep confession than in a thousand résumés of achievement”? Why or why not?
What fears do you think are behind your sins?
Until tomorrow, dear friends, keep on thinking it through – this too, is worship!
MSC is the in-house worship band for the church where Erwin McManus is lead pastor – Mosaic, LA (which, incidentally, is where I’ve been worshiping online during the pandemic). This year they released a full length album entitled “Human.”
Here is what Erwin McManus says about MSC: “Everything we do is about connecting people to Jesus. We know that worship opens the hearts of those who have closed their hearts to God. We also know that worship causes our hearts to burn brighter and our love for God to grow deeper. We hope that the music of Mosaic MSC will be a gift to the Church and a light to the world.”
As we continue in our summer worship series, today we welcome my dear friend, The Janet (as she is affectionately known at Graceview!). The Rev. Janet Ryu-Chan is the minister at Morningside High Park Presbyterian Church. Since I came to the Presbytery of West Toronto in 2017, The Janet and I have planned Advent and Lent together, and found it a joy to support each other in ministry.
Let’s begin with Eric’s prelude, “Andante cantabile” by S. Surzynski:
Let’s pray, and lift up those who are in need:
Our passage for this day is Matthew 13:24-43:
Here are The Janet and I discussing this passage together:
Another favourite from the Amberlea Chorus Book is “Our God Reigns.” In the chorus book it’s only one verse, but there are actually about 6 verses to the whole song. We selected a few, and share this with you:
Until tomorrow, dear friends, know that our God reigns!
Another of the things we love about the farmhouse is what we call “wildlife moments.” Those moments when all of a sudden we come face to face with wildlife we don’t often get to see.
So far this year, we’ve spotted deer three times, seen a hawk having his breakfast at the side of the road and spent a quiet morning at Crowe River with a Great Grey Heron flitting up and down the river bed.
The problem is that often these moments happen so quickly, that it’s impossible to get photos. I managed one or two of the Heron, but my phone camera isn’t strong enough for those photos to be great. Here they are anyway:
You’ll just have to believe me about the hawk and the deer (one of the deer sightings was on a morning walk, Koski’s ears perked up, and thence fawn and it’s mama came out of the bush, took two leaps along the road and disappeared into the bush on the other side. I actually raised my phone up, but they were gone before I could swipe to camera!).
The other wildlife we love, of course, is our dogs. Who bark at random things, chase chipmunks, get the zoomies, give lots of cuddles and make us laugh (when they aren’t driving us crazy!). So for good measure, here they are enjoying themselves in this unique summer:
Until tomorrow, dear friends, know that God’s fingerprints are to be found all round us. God cares for both people and animals.
Time, once again, to think about what it means to follow Jesus!
Bruxy Cavey is a preacher and pastor at The Meeting House, a multi-campus church in the Brethren in Christ denomination. I read his book, The end of Religion, early in my life in full-time ministry, and I was absolutely enamoured of it. It shifted my paradigm as a follower of Jesus. He explains beautifully how religion was allied with law and keeping the rules, and Jesus was allied with love (and sometimes love means breaking the rules – see Jesus healing on the Sabbath because the loving act of restoring a person’s health was more important than the rule to do no work on the Sabbath).
Some questions for thoughtful consideration:
Why is it important that we go beyond the ‘morality of a stone,’ as Bruxy puts it?
Can you identify practical ways that you are able to “Rock On,” in your daily life?
In what ways has the pandemic made it harder to “Rock On?” Are there ways that the pandemic has made it more important to find ways to “Rock On?”
Until tomorrow, dear friends, keep on thinking it through! This, too, is part of worship.
Anthem Lights is a group that I discovered when I was looking for some worship music to share waaaaaaaaaay back when the lockdown began. They have beautiful voices, and their style focuses on good harmony and sparse accompaniment.
This is what they say about their music: “These songs [and] this record is our anthem to the world saying, ‘Listen, we know there’s a lot of darkness in this life, but in the end, light is gonna win.’ And we wanna be the light to people and just show them who the light of the world is.”
For your edification, here are two of their medleys, “Hymns Medley | Amazing Grace / Be Thou My Vision / Come Thou Fount” and “Hymns Medley: Cross Medley (Jesus Paid it All, The Old Rugged Cross).” You can subscribe to their YouTube channel here.
Until tomorrow, dear friends, keep singing His praises!