Worship Resources!

First, let’s start with the reminder that you will be an hour early to worship tomorrow (assuming you are able to come), if you don’t turn back your clocks tonight!

I love this reminder from Audrey Assad to rely on the promises of God, for he is good to us!:

This lovely prayer for All Saint’s Day (Nov 1st!):

And this lovely video from Fountainview Academy (a Christian High School in British Columbia, that puts together these beautiful hymn videos):

And a couple of deep theological thoughts:

Until tomorrow, dear friends, keep piling your troubles on God’s shoulders!

Halloween, early…

So I know Halloween isn’t until Saturday, but I always post Worship Resources on the blog on Saturday. So I’m hitting you up a day early with some fun, gentle Halloween Humour.

(Before we begin, I’d just like to acknowledge that in some Christian circles Halloween is seen as dangerous or evil. Personally, I always thought it was awesome that one night a year strangers would open their doors to strangers and give out sweet treats. I recognize that I’ve simplified a lot in saying that, but I still enjoy this yearly event and view it with a kind of chosen-innocence.)

Is it wrong that I woulda found this (pre-pandemic) hilarious if any of the greeters at my church tried it?:

What are you ‘in’ for?:

Hee hee! Aim for the head!:

She’s on to you, students:

Is it wrong that I want to do this SOOO much (actually, I just want an ewok costume!):

Don’t get mad at me, I love a good pun!:

I hope you had a laugh and have a great Halloween!

Until tomorrow, dear friends, try to find the good, the silly, the fun, even in the difficult times.

Appreciate…

There has been so much to complain about this year, so much to worry about, so many disappointments and transitions and changes. It’s easy to dwell on those things. It’s easy to dwell on the cancellations, the grief, the uncertainty.

So I was glad to see this come across one of my social media feeds:

Because that really is the point, isn’t it? Appreciating what we have is a better way to live. It’s rooted in gratitude and a recognition that this world doesn’t really owe us anything. It’s rooted in the belief that all we have is a gift from God. It’s rooted in the idea that want and need are two very different things, and we can live without everything we want.

So today I encourage you to take some time to appreciate all you have. If you do, then one of the good things to come out of this year will be that you begin to appreciate all that God has given you.

Until tomorrow, dear friends, know that God give good gifts to his children!

Never gonna….

A colleague of mine posted this yesterday, and it cracked me up:

Anyone who knows me knows that I love 80’s music and gentle religious honour. So I hit save, planning to use it for a future Meme Monday on the blog.

I sent it to a friend of mine, who laughed about it but also pointed out that it theologically rather deep. The promise of God – especially in Christ – is that we never have to go the road alone. We may go through hard times. We may feel alone. We may wonder why we have to go through the things life throws at us. But God will never leave or foresaw us.

And in a year of so much affliction, that’s a promise that I think we need to which we must cling. God is with us. Always.

Until tomorrow, dear friends, know that he will never give you up, let you down, or run around and desert you!

Meme Monday!

Lyric humour! (Again, if you don’t get it, I don’t know if we can be friends! Just kidding. Kind of.)

A good title is a MUST:

Apparently there are times when being a lousy speller benefits others:

These two bits of doggy-humour:

I can’t be the only one:

Halloween is right around the corner, so I had to share this bit of zombie humour:

I mean, I’m pretty sure I always know where I want to eat…but I hear some women have trouble deciding…:

This bit of theologically sound wisdom:

And finally, this blessing for your day:

Until tomorrow, dear friends, keep on laughing and thinking and drawing closer to God!

New Beginnings start with grace…

Well, it wasn’t easy to get all the elements working for today’s blog, but eventually I managed it. Yay! Triumph over adversity! Thank you for your grace in waiting for the technology to start working again.

Let’s begin with Eric’s prelude, “Mazurka in f sharp minor,” by Chopin:

And our Scripture reading is 2 Corinthians 12:6-10:

The sermon is entitled, “New Beginnings start with grace,”:

Our hymn of response is “I Heard the Voice of Jesus say,” featuring gorgeous Irish landscapes:

And the postlude today is Amazing Grace:

Until tomorrow, dear friends, remember that His grace is sufficient for you!

Worship Resources!

The background picture on the desktop of my laptop is one I took on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in 2017. I open my laptop to do anything for the church, and it’s what I see. It reminds me that once, our God took on flesh and walked in this world. It reminds me what a gift it has been to get to go to the places He was, and take other believers along with me. So this is Hillsong United singing “Say the Word,” from the Mount of the Beatitudes on the shores of Galilee.

Tomorrow at Graceview, we’ll be taking a look at the concept of grace – how God meets our weakness with grace. (A reminder that grace means ‘unmerited favour.’ Other words that help me understand grace are words like steadfast love and mercy and kindness.)

And these quotes seemed to hit home to me as I saw them:

This prayer from the PCC website (www.presbyterian.ca) also seemed timely:

Until tomorrow, dear friends, may God’s grace surround you. May you have grace for others when they need it, but also have grace for yourself when you are struggling.

Beauty…

This Fall has been spectacular in Southern Ontario. I’ve had this conversation over and over during the last several weeks. The colours seem to be brighter than in recent years, the trees are holding on to their leaves longer than usual, the light shining upon all those shades of gold, copper and crimson is breathtaking.

I hope you have a chance to get outside and enjoy some time in all the natural splendour of this season. To breath fresh air tinged with a slight scent of woodsmoke. To remember that even in a difficult year, there is extraordinary beauty to be found. And that the simple pleasures of this season are a gift from God.

And if, for any reason, you are not able to get out and enjoy it all, let me share some photos with you with the hope that they will brighten your day.

Until tomorrow, dear friends, may you know that the gifts of God are all around you!