Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Fruitful Life

I thought it would be appropriate to close my April blog on the Psalm with a blessing.

How joyful are those who fear the Lord— all who follow his ways! You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be! Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home. Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table. That is the Lord’s blessing for those who fear him. May the Lord continually bless you from Zion. May you see Jerusalem prosper as long as you live. May you live to enjoy your grandchildren. May Israel have peace! Psalm 128:1-6

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Creation Sings

Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! Sing to the Lord; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods. The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the Lord made the heavens! Honor and majesty surround him; strength and beauty fill his sanctuary. Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise. Psalm 96:1-12
Everywhere you go during this glorious season, you can’t help but be drawn to the joyful expressions of creation. The cherry blossoms stretch out their limbs to embrace the heavens. The Fritillarias bow their heads in humble adoration as they are resurrected for yet another spring. The ferns break our their fiddles to join in this orchestra of colors. What a wonderful world we live in!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Years ago, I had a friend who had just immigrated to Canada and was mowing his lawn for the first time. As he rounded the corner of the yard, his wife shouted from the kitchen window not to destroy the bright and beautiful yellow flowers. Before long, his back yard was full of those yellow flowers…he would later discover to his dismay they were dandelions. Like weed, sin grows quietly and undetected in our lives until we expose the roots and excise them.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. Psalm 51:1-13

Some thoughts on weeds and sin:
Weeds are sometimes hard to identify Weeds can be attractive Weeds don’t need tending – they grow anywhere and everywhere Weeds choke out beneficial and fruit-bearing plants Weeds if not dug out by the roots – spread everywhere
“It is not enough for a gardener to love flowers; he must also hate weeds.”

Friday, April 24, 2009

Words & Poetry

Beautiful words stir my heart. I will recite a lovely poem about the king, for my tongue is like the pen of a skillful poet. Psalm 45:1

“I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils.” William Wordsworth “Wisdom married to immortal verse.” William Wordsworth “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” William Wordsworth “Painting is silent poetry, and poetry painting that speaks.” Simonides of Ceos
The Book of Psalm is all that and more!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Problem of Evil

Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong.For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:1-7
Perhaps you have read about the gang war that is raging in Vancouver. No one seems to have a solution for this problem that plagues the city.
Most residents of the city have a secret wish that the gangs would just fade away.
The Psalmist reminds us that one way or another, the law of attrition will get them sooner or later. On the other hand, God assures us that we are safe in the center of His will.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Taste Test

Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need.
Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing. Psalm 34:8-10
One of the great things about travelling is the food. It is said that for one to truly appreciate a new place; one has to try the unique food in that part of the world.

I've had the opportunity to sample food that looked unpalatable, but tasted heavenly.

My philosophy for food is simple:
1. If it is not moving - I'll try it.
2. I'll try anything - once!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

One Thing

The Lord is my light and my salvation — so why should I be afraid?The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me,they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid.Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.
The one thing I ask of the Lord — the thing I seek most — is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.
Psalm 27:1-4

Living in a day and age where nothing is certain, and anything that could go wrong has, can stress even the stout of heart. It is in times like this that one really needs a strong fortress and refuge. It would also be a good time to re-examine what one really is seeking for in life.
The Psalmist had a clear focus on life; and possessed a singular desire to live under the “umbrella” of God’s providence.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pathways to health

Psalm 25

To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.
Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.
Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.

He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant.

Thought for the day:
When God is silent, He is saying; "Keep on going in the same direction!"

Friday, April 17, 2009

The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it upon the waters. Who may ascend the hill of the LORD ? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his savior. Psalm 24:1-5Many people who live in Vancouver, B.C. constantly complain about the rain, but what they don't realize is that the streets and sidewalks are about the cleanest in the world because of the automated washing it gets on a regular basis. It's clean not because of machines or street cleaners...

Likewise, clean hands are found on those who turn to the Lord who graciously cleanses us; not because of what we have done.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Shouts of Joy

It's that time of the year again - Playoffs
Go Canucks Go!

A goal brings the crowd to their feet

Shouting and waving of white playoff towels - playoff atmosphere

The home team skates off triumphant

Reflections for the day:

1. We are created with a capacity for exuberant celebration - we need to tap into that for our worship and praise of God

2. We are crowd people - community is vital for our overall health and growth

Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth! Sing about the glory of his name! Tell the world how glorious he is. Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! Your enemies cringe before your mighty power. Everything on earth will worship you; they will sing your praises, shouting your name in glorious songs.” Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles he performs for people! He made a dry path through the Red Sea, and his people went across on foot. There we rejoiced in him. For by his great power he rules forever. He watches every movement of the nations; let no rebel rise in defiance. Let the whole world bless our God and loudly sing his praises. Our lives are in his hands, and he keeps our feet from stumbling. You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver. You captured us in your net and laid the burden of slavery on our backs. Then you put a leader over us. We went through fire and flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance. Psalm 66:1-12