Small things…

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew‬ ‭10:29-31‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I’ve been thinking for a while about how God notices the small things. It started with a sermon about the widow’s mite – the story of a poor widow who gave the equivalent of a penny to the Temple treasury. Jesus pointed it out to his disciples and honored her for giving all she had – holding nothing back.

I was struck by the fact that Jesus was watching as the people gave their offerings, and by the fact that he noticed the smallest gift given that day.

Sometimes you preach something and you’re not ready to let it go once the sermon is done. And this thought that God notices the small things is like that – I’m not ready to let it go yet.

We might think the little things we do go unnoticed. It may feel that way. But God’s Word tells us differently. God notices everything. He even knows the number of hairs on our heads.

God loves more deeply, knows us more intimately and cares for us more steadfastly than anyone else.

The small things aren’t small to Him.

And maybe that says something about relationship in general. Maybe the small things aren’t really small for anyone who knows us well, who cares for us.

Maybe the little things you do for another matter more than you think.

This Lent, may you know God watches over you and sees even the small things in your life. May you know that the small kindnesses you do for another matter. May you be encouraged.


Preaching life…

Every once in a while I get asked how we do it. Preachers. How do we come up with a different message every week? How do we know what to say?

I don’t have an easy answer for that. We are writers, communicators, teachers. And we are passionate about what we have to share.

But how do I (or how do any of my colleagues) sit down in front of a blank screen and come up with message? Sometimes with fear and trembling. Sometimes with agitation and frustration. Sometimes with a whole lot of wasted time. Sometimes with ease.

But the real answer? We are able to do it because the word of God is alive and powerful.

What we have to talk about isn’t just an idea, or a story, or a hope. It is all those things, but it is also so much more. We’ve seen it change lives. Sometimes in subtle ways and sometimes in complete-180 ways. We’ve seen it bind up broken hearts and bring hope to the hopeless.

And the chance to share it in a way that make a difference in someone’s life, is the great privilege of the preacher. It drives us. It keeps us up at night. It has us (is it just me?!) talking to ourselves.

And when our prep is done, and we stand up in front of the people God has given us…we know we haven’t done it on our own. It is only the presence and power of the Holy Spirit that makes any message meaningful.

We do it because the word is alive. The word is powerful. And the word does not belong to us, we are only entrusted to pass it on.

This Lent, may you encounter the life and power of the word of God. May it change you. May it heal you. May it bless you.


“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭NLT‬‬

There’s a Caedmon’s Call song I love called, “Thankful.” At first, it bothered me. Because the lyrics for the chorus went, “I’m so thankful, that I’m incapable, of doing any good on my own.”

I didn’t like the idea that I was incapable of doing any good on my own. And I certainly wasn’t thankful, if that idea was true.

At first.

Then, somehow (slowly, with great patience and through the work of the Holy Spirit), God began to change my heart and my mind about this song. I slowly began to see that any good I do is evidence of Christ in me. And that is something to be very thankful for.

I began to get that this song was about how I was created to need Jesus – that there was a God-shaped hole in my soul, as Blaise Pascal put it. And that this was a good thing because that need, that hole, is what lead me to faith in Jesus.

Sometimes we think we can do things on our own. Sometimes we think we don’t really need God. But the longer I’m alive, the more aware I become of my deep and endless need for my Creator, my Saviour, my Sustainer.

And yes, I find myself thankful that I’m incapable of doing any good on my own.

Silver linings…

There’s an old saying that every cloud has a silver lining – it’s a way of saying that every difficult situation brings some good as well.

For me, time change Sunday is difficult. It messes with my routine, and I’m a creature of routine. I’m not alone in this – the evidence is that the time change effects many people and may even be a dangerous tradition. The Weather Network reports that there is an increase in traffic accidents immediately following the onset of Daylight Savings.

It’s a small thing, in some ways, and I’m fortunate that – at least so far in my life – it’s been nothing more than a nuisance for me.

Difficulties are like that – some are small nuisances and some are bigger or more serious. Some are absolutely life changing. But I’m taken with this idea that in every difficulty there is a blessing to be found. It gives me hope. It gives me the determination to face my difficulties knowing that something good can come out of them.

The silver lining to the small nuisance of Daylight Savings time, is that the evenings are suddenly longer. This evening, Koski and I were able to get out for a good hour-long walk. It was good for our bodies, and I know it was good for my soul.

This Lent, may you look for silver linings on the clouds in your life. May you not fear, but know God is with you. May you feel His strength and help, for He holds you in the palm of his hand.

Under construction…

Do you ever have one of those weeks where it feels like no matter what you do, it’s wrong? I’ve just had one of those.

I feel like I had mess-ups on top of my mess-ups. Like I just couldn’t get my act together. Like I’d like to be able to put out a sign that says, “I’m done adulting. I’ll be coloring in my blanket fort, if you need me.”

When times like that come along (and they do, for everyone), it’s good to remember what Scripture tells us:

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

God began this good work in you. God does not leave projects half-finished. God will keep working on you, until His work is complete. Until you are complete. Until Jesus comes back, and “It is finished” takes on a whole new meaning.

During these long Lenten days, may you know that God is not done with you yet. May you know that God is at work in you and through you. May you know that Jesus will come back, and you – and me, and everyone and everything – will be completed in Him.


There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.     John 14:2,3 NLT


My parents flew home from a week in the Dominican Republic today. It’s got me thinking about coming home. I love going away – I love to travel and to explore and to visit. But every time I do, there comes a point where I long for home. Even if I’m having the most wonderful time. I’ll wake up in the morning, or be having a shower, or something else rather random, and suddenly – I miss home.

Home calls to my heart when I am away.

In the last 10 years, I’ve lived in three different places. And each one became home to me in a short time. There’s something about your own space – even when that space is fairly new-to-you. There’s a comfort that comes with sleeping in your own bed, and being surrounded by the familiar things of your life. You get to know your home’s noises and quirks. I find I rest better at home than anywhere else. When life gets hectic, I long for the comfort of a nap on my couch.

In fact, just saying the word home makes me feel better when I am rushed or weary. When I fly back into Toronto from wherever I have travelled, the moment the plane touches down, I whisper to myself, “home.” And I feel peace.

It is no surprise that ‘home’ has become a metaphor for Heaven. There’s an old spiritual called “Oh, Freedom” that speaks of going “home to be with my Lord.” This idea comes from what Jesus says to the disciples in the Gospel According to John. He tells them that he is going to prepare a place for them, and that he will return to bring them there, so that they will be with him. Heaven becomes the place where all of our fears and worries are shed, all of our tears have dried up, and we are home with Jesus.

This Lent, may you know the peace of trusting that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for you. That, putting your trust in him, your ultimate destination will be a home that surpasses any place you ever longed for on Earth.



Years ago I read a story set on a world with two suns. The author described how there were constant sun showers, and therefore rainbows, on that world. There were so many rainbows that they became commonplace and people stopped noticing their beauty.

I thought that was incredibly sad. I cannot imagine not noticing the beauty of the natural world. One of my favourite things about my condo is that it is high up in my building and faces west. I get to see sunsets regularly. I have watched storms blow in and snows drift down. I get to see the lights of my city shining in the dark night.

I often find my breath taken away by the beauty of an ordinary day. And every time I do, I feel God’s presence and God’s blessing in it.

This Lent, may your breath be taken away by the beauty that surrounds you. May you know whose handiwork it is, and may you draw closer to God.

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.