Pass it on…

I came across this verse and found it rather apropos. At Graceview, throughout Lent, we ha e been looking at ways to do something during this season. Rather than giving something up – which can be a meaningful practice for some, but often is relegated to an old tradition that no one really understands – we’ve been looking for ways to put what we have learned from the Scriptures into action.

This verse reminds us that the comfort God gives us is never meant to end with us. If we have received comfort from God, we are then meant to comfort others in His name. This is how it is with any gift from God – it is meant to be something we can then share with others.

It is as though God gives us gifts not so that we can hold tight to the gift that we have been given, but so that we can pass it on. And God delights in us when we do, indeed, pass it on.

This Lent may you take the time to recognize the good things God has given you. (Maybe make a list!) And may you then find ways to pass these things on to others – you will bless people and honour God in doing so.



I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Yesterday, after pushing “publish” on my Wordless Monday post, a little notification popped up from the WordPress app, letting me know that I’ve published 500 times on my blog.

500 times I’ve shared my faith and my journey and my life with some who I know very well (my Mommy reads my blog!) and some who I have never met (blessings to other WordPress people who follow me!). 500 times I’ve found time, in the hectic pace of life to reflect on my experiences and my relationship with Jesus. 500 times I’ve (hopefully!) managed to touch the life and faith journey of others – encouraged their relationship with Jesus.

This little notification made me smile and made me think. What does it mean, this milestone of 500 posts? Well, it made me think about the good of putting one foot in front of the other, of doing something consistently, even if only for a season. The good of pressing on towards the goal. The good that this blog has brought to my life and to the lives of those who follow it.

Sometimes the best thing we can do is to be consistent. To show up. To put one foot in front of another. To do the thing that we said we’d do. To follow through.

Life is made up of the consistent actions of a person over time. And as a person of faith, the consistent prayers, times spent in worship with brothers and sisters in Christ, the occasions spent in service of others, the gifts given freely and honestly, the little differences made in the lives of others. These things measure up to a life lived in the presence of God.

And that is a very good thing, indeed.

This Lent, may you press on towards the goal. May you live consistently and persistently in the presence of God. And may you be blessed.


I admit, I find it amusing that this is the verse of the day on my Bible app today.

The 2018 Olympics are drawing to a close in Pyeongchang, South Korea. For the past two weeks the world has watched as the best of the best in the world of winter athletics have pushed harder, gone faster, jumped higher and stretched themselves beyond what anyone thought was possible. It’s been beautiful and uplifting and frustrating and heartbreaking.

As with every Olympiad, some rose to the expectations that were placed upon then before the games began. Some fell far short. And some came from obscurity to capture international attention and Olympic glory.

I’ve loved the Olympics for many years now. I love the stories that come with the games. And my favorite stories aren’t necessarily results-based. I love the kids who are there for the first time; I love the competitors who are honoring parents or loved ones; I love the moments of kindness when one athlete helps another out.

It’s only in the past few years, though, that I have learned to love physical exercise myself. For most of my life I was sedentary. And then I began to work on my weight and my health. I began to lift weights. I began to do cardio. And over time, with great effort, I discovered that I like working out. I like being stronger today than I was yesterday. I love pushing myself and expanding my limits.

These are good things and they’ve brought greater health – physically, mentally, and I would argue, spiritually – to my life.

But I know that pursuit of godliness, pursuit of a stronger relationship with my Creator, Saviour, and Sustainer, matters so much more. As Reggie Joiner says, the only thing that will matter about any of us 100 years from now will be our relationship with God.

It matters in this life, and it will carry us through to the next.

This Lent, may you pursue godliness. May you draw closer to the One who created you, the One who laid His life down to save you, and the One who upholds you. May you know that such pursuit brings you blessings, now and forever.

So long, Billy…

Today, Billy Graham transferred accounts from this world, to the next. I would say he died, but he would say he is more alive now than he has ever been.

His life now, is not the limited, Parkinson’s-riddled, trial that he experienced on earth. He is home, experiencing eternal life with God. Just as his favourite Bible verse (the classic John 3:16) promised him.

Was he perfect? Of course not – he was human and in need of a savior. That’s why he loved Jesus so dearly and dedicated so much of his life to helping others come to faith in Christ. It is only the one who knows his own darkness that clings so closely to the light.

I’m of mixed emotions today. I had the joy of getting to hear Billy Graham at the Sky Dome in Toronto in the mid 90’s. My faith had become my own – not just something my parents hoped for me – in the past few years at university. And I remember walking through the cement corridors of the Dome as I made my way down to the main floor, to profess my faith in Jesus. It was the moment I publicly declared my faith. And I’m so glad I got to make that walk, that first commitment, on the heals of Graham’s preaching.

I’ve been through wilderness seasons and trying times. But I’ve never regretted that decision. Jesus has guided and enlarged my life in ways I could never have imagined. And my story is just one small drop in the ocean of stories of lives committed to Jesus that come from the life Billy Graham committed to.

On the one hand, I’m sad to see this powerhouse of faith pass from this world.

On the other hand, I have found myself thinking throughout this day that there are few for whom the phrase “Well done, good and faithful servant” is so easily applied.

So long, Billy. I hope to see you in Heaven one day.

Needing peace…

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NLT


Today has been one of those days in which I ran from one thing to the next – many meetings and appointments to keep. I am home now, and tired with a day that had so much packed into it.

When I’m weary, I long for peace and comfort. I long to slow my breath down, and know that everything is ok. Not because anything was wrong today, but because the frantic pace of this world, this city, gets under my skin and into my soul. The frantic pace makes me feel frantic and frazzled.

I love what Paul writes to the church in Phillipi – this reminder not to worry, but to pray. That through prayer, the peace that is longed for will be found.

I need reminders like that when life gets busy. I need to remember that God’s got my back. That he’s known me since before I was born, and has watched over me continually.

This Lent, may you not worry about anything, but pray about everything. May you experience the peace of God, which is beyond understanding. May you live in Christ Jesus.

A heart breaks…

Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭116:2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

So, since Wednesday, the news media has been all over the shooting at a school in Florida. And that’s as it should be: it’s a heart breaking story.

At the same time (and maybe this will get me in trouble), but I’m getting really sick of the sentiment that “thoughts and prayers” are equated with “doing nothing.” I understand the frustration. Goodness knows, I understand the desire for change and the growing unrest over the perceived lack of change.

However, as a person of faith, it upsets me that anyone would say that prayer – our direct line to the Living God of the Universe – is passive.

In my opinion, prayer is one of the great privileges of faith. As a member of a reformed Protestant branch of Christianity, I believe that God listens directly to the prayers of his children. I believe that prayer changes things. I believe that when I cannot find the words to express my prayers, the Holy Spirit intercedes on my behalf to express the desires of my heart to God. I believe that my prayer changes things – things in the world and things in my heart and soul.

I believe this is how it is for any person of faith.

So it’s heartbreaking to hear prayer equated to a platitude.

This Lent, I encourage you to pray fervently. Our world needs prayer. Our souls need prayer. And God’s ear is bent close.

The journey begins…

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭16:11‬ ‭NKJV


I love the metaphor of journey. The thought that a life, a season, a relationship, a faith – any experience at all – is a journey.

I remember Don Miller (in his book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years), writing about what it was like to canoe across a lake – the shore was so far off, and then after a whole lot of paddle strokes, suddenly you arrived. Journeys are like that. It seems to take so long – the destination is so many days or miles or steps or paddle strokes away – until suddenly you arrive. It didn’t seem sudden while you were still journeying, but then it was. Arrival. Journey’s-end. Completion.

The danger with any journey is that you will focus on the arrival. You will long for it, hope for it, continually work toward it, and in the suddenness of its arrival, you will know that you missed a lot by not being present for the journey. By not slowing down and noticing the paddle strokes as they piled one on top of the other.

Lent is a season of journey. Slowly, through days that can seem to bleed together and last far too long, we journey towards the joy of Easter. Of the empty tomb. Of the conquering of death. Of the triumph of sacrificial love, laying itself down for us once again, and rising back up again, to claim eternal victory and give it away to you and me.

Easter is the destination – and it is one glorious destination – but let’s not miss the journey for the sake of the destination. Our steps between now and then matter. Each day, each moment, each paddle stroke, has something to teach us, spiritual riches to impart.

This Lent, I hope you’ll journey with me. I’ll do my best to post regularly, to share some of my steps, and to encourage yours. And may we both find that our Master walks with us, every step of the way.

Ash Wednesday…

This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John‬ ‭15:12-13‬ ‭

So today is Valentine’s Day, but it is also Ash Wednesday – the official beginning of Lent. I saw a meme posted on Facebook by one of my colleagues that said, “What am I doing for Valentine’s Day? Working and reminding people of their inevitable deaths.”

That’s what Ash Wednesday seeks to do – to remind us that we are all mortal. Our time will end. As John Ortberg once said – no matter what else changes, the death rate of the human race remains steady at about 100%.

Why do we seek to begin this season by reminding ourselves that we are all going to die at some point? Because humans are good at deceiving ourselves. We tend to act as though we have all the time in the world. We tend to act as though death is something that happens to others, not to us.

Even though our news media continually confronts is with stories of untimely death – car accidents, boating accidents, people lost to hurricanes or earthquakes or avalanches, people lost to murder or gang violence, soldiers killed in the line of duty, individuals lost to disease or complications from surgery. Death is, actually, all around us. But we don’t like to think of our own inevitable death.

Because when we do stop to think of it, we are confronted with needing to do something about it. To prepare in some way. And that is precisely why Lent begins with this reminder that you, me, and everyone we know, will eventually die. Reminded of that, we are called to action – in the case of the Christian, we are called to put our faith in the One who can (and more importantly WILL) deliver us from death to eternal life.

So on this day when Love is so crassly commercialized in much of our society, may you think on death. And may you be reminded of the truth that the greatest love anyone can have is to lay their life down for their friends. Jesus did that. He did it for you, and for me, and for everyone else who isn’t going to get out of here alive.

Death doesn’t win, friends. Love does. Love wins.

Amen. And thank you, Jesus.