Thoughts for 2017

December 10 to 16 A Thought or Two:

There was a minister who was waxing eloquent on the pervasiveness of sin. He shared that he was at a stop light that week and noticed the driver in front of him opened his door and placed an empty beer bottle on the pavement and when the light turned green he calmly drove off. “That was wrong.” he said. “That was a selfish sin. He could have caused someone to have an accident. Someone could have been killed because of his sin.”

After the service the pastor was greeting people at the door. As a bible professor from the local Christian university shook the pastor’s hand he quietly said as he walked by, ” Sin put the bottle on the pavement, but grace picks it up.”

That blessed thought comes straight from the bible, where perhaps the best discussion of grace is found in Romans 5. “But God demonstrates His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

The hymn writer phrased it: ‘Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace, Freely bestowed on all who believe. You that are longing to see His face, Will you this moment His grace receive?’

Blessings and love to all.
Pastor Leon.

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November 12 to 18 A Thought or Two:

Many years ago there was a young minister visiting an elderly pastor. The two men were talking while the older man’s daughter was casually reading a book in the next room. When the young man left the daughter came in the room and said to her Dad, “That man is arrogant, opinionated, and full of himself. How will he ever help people with those attitudes?”

The father took his daughter out to the back yard and told her to pick a peach off the tree. As she did this her father asked, “Can you eat that now?”

“No!” she said. “It’s green.”

“Well my dear,” the minister replied,” “So is he. When he gets some rain on him, a little sun, and grows a little, he will ripen up and become the man God called him to be.”

The young minister did ripen up and had a blessed ministry for the Lord. What happened? The warmth of God’s love and the occasional showers of misunderstanding and disappointment were the means by which he became a gentle, humble man.

In time, the Lord will perfect, establish,  strengthen, and settle us. (1 Peter 5:10)  But we have to ‘wait on the Lord and be of good courage.’  (Psalm 27:14)

Blessings and love to all.

Pastor Leon.

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October 29 – November 4  A Thought or Two:

One night during a severe thunder storm, a mother was tucking her young son in bed. She was about to turn the light off when the little boy said with trembling voice: “Mom would you stay with me? I am scared.”

His mother went back to his bedside and wrapped her arms around him ad said: “Johnny, while you are sleeping, even if the storm continues, God will take care of you.”

Little Johnny replied with trembling voice: “I know Mom, but right now I need someone with skin on.”

Sometimes we all have similar fears as that little boy, do we not? We pray and God does not seem to hear us. We  are like St. Paul at times, praying specifically about our personal thorns. God says “No, my grace is sufficient for you as My power is made perfect in your weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9)

Dear friends, as we grow in our faith, we will learn that at times, the best answer to our prayers is a gracious “No”. One person penned it as follows: ” God does not always answer ‘Yes’ to every prayer I pray; sometimes He answers, ‘No my child, I have a better way.’

Blessings and love to all

Pastor Leon

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October 22 – 28 A Thought or Two:

Did you know for centuries, ordinary Christians were not permitted to read the Scriptures. Services were conducted in Latin and and said to her Dad: ” most people did not understand what was being said.

The first published Greek New Testament was compiled by the Dutch Scholar Erasmus in 1516. His work provided the basis for Luther’s German Bible, Tyndale’s English Bible and the King James Version.

in recent years there have been various translations from the original Greek, some of which are more in tune with the changes in our English of the day.

Erasmus could not have known the impact his work would have over the centuries, but he truly had the love of Jesus in his heart, and he loved the Scriptures that bring us the message of His Gospel.

He wrote the following words in his preface: ” I long for a plowboy to singe them to himself as he follows the plow, and the weaver to hum them in tune with the shuttle.”

Just remember the treasure of truth in God’s Word is a gift to each of us and needs to be treasured in our hearts.

Blessings to you and yours this week.

Pastor Leon

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October 15 – 21 A Thought or Two

The16th century Italian artist Caravaggio was harshly criticized for painting the people in the Bible as common folks. In that era a biblical figure

had to be depicted as a nobleman, or king, et. He had to redo his commissioned canvas of “St. Matthew and the Angel” as Matthew was viewed as too common. What the church did not understand was that Caravaggio had gotten it right, as Jesus had brought Matthew into the fold for his tax booth. He joined the other ‘ordinary’ people, — fisher man and even a political activist – Simon of Zealot.

Indeed even when Jesus began His ministry, He was announced by a ‘weather-worn’ man of the desert, John the Baptist. Yes Jesus lived, loved and died for wealthy people too. But as our Lord embraced those who struggled in life; the sick, the poor, the disenfranchised, He declared that no one needs to be left outside and alone. ‘What a friend we have in Jesus!’

Blessings to you and yours

Pastor Leon

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September 24 – 30 A Thought or Two:

Little J.D. was watching his dad struggle to repair a leaky faucet in the bathroom. No matter what he tried, nothing seemed to work. The little 4 year old was watching his dad and he wanted to help, but he did not know what he could do. “Daddy! Can I help?” he said innocently. The father said to J.D. as he looked up at him: “Yes son, you can pray.”

The little fellow only knew one prayer: :Dear God, bless daddy, bless mommy, bless Sarah, bless Julia and bless Mollie our doggie, amen.”

Sometime we are like little J.D. We do not know how or what to pray for. But the Lord knows. We read in Romans 8:26: “We do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intersession for us.”

George MacDonald wrote: “Father … look deep, yet deeper in my heart, and there, beyond what I know, read Thou the prayer.”

Although we sometimes do not get what we thought we wanted, our Prayer partner knows our deepest needs.

Blessings and love to all,

Pastor Leon

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June 18 – 24  A Thought or Two:

Some prayer thoughts for our families:

We pray that fathers and mothers love each other. We pray that our homes are happy places because each family member works to make it so. We pray that each child is honoured, loved, and encouraged to develop all of their God given talents. We pray that we have homes where all reading material is open for all to see, and nothing is hidden from innocent eyes. We pray that our homes are places of honour and truth, and that the questions of the young are openly addressed. We pray
that our homes are warm places of hospitality, and that our children’s friends are always welcome. We pray for homes where the Lord is honoured, and thanks is given for the daily bread. We pray for homes where God, grace, and courage, are taught and modelled by parents. We pray for homes where parents always have time to listen to their children, praise them in their victories, encouragement in their defeats. We pray for homes where the wayward child is always welcomed home.

Blessings to you and yours this week
Pastor Leon

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May 28 – June 3  A Thought or Two:

It is a well known fact that commercial aircraft carry two black boxes. One records the performance of the airplane, and the other records all the conversations between the pilot and co-pilot. These boxes are highly insulated to protect them against damage due to possible fire or catastrophic event. locator beacons are installed in these black boxes so they can be retrieved. In reviewing the contents of the black boxes, we learn from the past to prevent future accidents.

We Christians also have the tremendous opportunity to learn from our pasts—some of them mistakes. In 1 Cor. 10 St Paul reminds us that we can learn from the mistakes of the Israelites in the desert. They were kind of ‘slow learners’, perhaps like you and me at times.  In their case it cost them dearly, as only two of them made it to the promised land, the rest died in the desert. Paul says in verse 11,”these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition.”

Let us always give thanks for the Lord’s admonition: For Your holy word we thank You; May Your message be out guide; May we understand Your wisdom: And may Your truth be in our minds. Through Christ our Lord.

Blessings to you and yours this week
Pastor Leon

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April 16 – 22 A Thought or Two:

The high climax of Easter is the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, Lord of Lords, and King of Kings! He left HIs realm in glory, came to earth on a mission of rescue, to seek and to save that which was lost — and that means all of us, you and me, before we come to saving faith in this blessed One – Born in a manger, to his own a stranger.

He walked the dusty roads of Palestine, dispensing grace and love, binding up the broken hearted, raising some and healing others, giving hope and love to all who would receive Him in their hearts. Yes blessed brothers and sisters, the resurrection of Jesus speaks a victorious word to all of us today who will receive him.

Easter promises that God is with us, never to leave us, always to be there, sometimes in the shadows, beckoning us through sunshine, nightfall and faintly horizons. Through all seasons  of life He speaks to all who will hear Him “Low I am with you even to the end of the age, if you will have Me.”

Blessings to you and yours this week
Pastor Leon

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April 9 – 15 A Thought or Two:

One of my mentors used to say to us: “Remember that your lives are telling a story for all to see and hear.” People around us watch and listen to the story we are crafting before them each day. This message is revealed in not only words, but also in our attitudes and actions, as we respond to life, which is full of surprises and challenges. Our families, spouses, co-workers can all watch with interest and they are often greatly influenced by the story we are telling. But the question is: ‘what kind of story?’

Our blessed Lord told His story quite plainly when he walked this earth in the flesh. It was one of forgiveness, compassions, generosity, patience, and sacrificial love. By His Spirit, the Lord offers to us the same life story, to a degree – given our many frailties. May we at this Easter Season remember at what cost this offer to us is extended. And let us praise Him for the oy of our stories and the privilege of being one of His storytellers.

Blessings to you and yours this week
Pastor Leon

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February 26 – March 4 A Thought or Two:

William Carey was an ordinary man with an ordinary faith like the rest of us. He was born to a working class family in the 18th century. He repaired shoes and while he worked he took an interest in far off lands. While working with leather he read journals of explorers. God used these stories and the Bible to enliven William’s desire to travel and share the gospel. he went to India, learned some of the dialects, and translated the Word of God. The work was hard and slow but he never waivered in his call to service. His passion was expressed by his words: “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.” His example of steadfast love and dedication over the long journey of life has inspired many to similar calls of service over the years since his death.

Because of God’s faithfulness to HIs own, we too can be confident as we expect great things from God, and attempt great things for God. One writer expressed it as follows:
If God can hang the stars on high,
Can paint the clouds that drift on by,
Can send the sun across the sky,
What can His power do through you?

Blessings to you and yours this week
Pastor Leon

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February 19-25 A Thought or Two:

The recent Super Bowl game was a real thriller. At half time the score was 21 to 3 in favour of the Atlantic Falcons. In the third quarter it appeared the game was about over as the score swelled to 28 to 3. But then the tide changed in a dramatic way as Tom Brady began hitting his receivers and the New England runners seemed to get better traction in their running game. In an amazing demonstration of discipline and determination the score was tied at the end of regulation time. Early in the overtime period it appeared that the pendulum had indeed shifted to the side of the New England Patriots as they drove down the field to a touch down to end the game, thus becoming five time Super Bowl winders, the first in history.

The uncertainties of that game in a way parallels life. There are shocks, surprises, frustrations and fears because we are uncertain at times of outcomes. As followers of the Lord Jesus however, we need not be overly concerned with life’s variables, for we know our eternal outcomes is secure.

One writer penned it as follows: ” Faith looks beyond this transient life, with hopes for all eternity. Not with some vague and wistful hope, but with firm trust and certainty.”

Blessings to you and yours this week
Pastor Leon
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February 12-18 A Thought or Two:

In a recent lottery in the United States, Americans spent an estimated 1.5 billion dollars on tickets, in the hope of winning a jackpot of $640 million. The odds of winning were a staggering 1 in 176 million. Amazing is it not, that people stood in lines for hours at gas stations and convenience stores, etc. to buy a ticket.

A writer in Proverbs has a vastly different perspective on riches he would like to have had before he dies. “Removed falsehood and lies from me.” (Prov. 30:8). Indeed, wen we have nothing to hide we have nothing to fear. Honesty is always the best choice, and is easy on the conscience. Deceit enslaves, honesty liberates.

he then asks, “Give me neither poverty nor riches — feed me with the food allotted to me.” (v.8). Integrity and contentment are riches of he soul available to all. Our blessed Lord will give such treasures to all who earnestly desire them.

One writer penned it as follows: Contentment does not come with wealth,
It’s not something you can buy;
Contentment comes to give you peace;
When you depend on God’s supply.

Blessings to you and yours this week
Pastor Leon
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February 5-11 A Thought or Two:

it seems that our neighbours to the south of us are somewhat of a strange mixture of protest and patriotism at the present.

Those of us who remember; these are days reminiscent of the 1960s. One song from that era phrased it as follows: “Well, if somehow you could pack up your sorrows, And give them all to me, You would lose them, I know how to use them. Give them all to me.”

We all hope for such peace. And as we know from history, and perhaps bitter experience, it is at best, illusive.

The good news is that Jesus is the Prince of Peace. And He has paid the cost. (Isaiah 53: 1-6)

The hymn writer phrased it as follows: “Never a burden that He does not carry; Never a sorrow that He does not share; Whether the days may be sunny or dreary, Jesus is always there.”

Blessings to you and yours this week
Pastor Leon

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January 29 – February 4 A Thought or Two:

Bill fought a courageous battle with cancer. That is a phrase we hear far too often these days, is it not?

His family ever left his side, but one day when they had stepped out for a minute, grandpa slipped into eternity. When they arrived back in his room, it was obvious he had gone home t be with the Lord. His little granddaughter said innocently: “Grnadpa snucked out.” Isn’t that sweet. “Grandpa snucked out.” One moment the Lord was with Bill here on earth; the next moment Bill was with the Lord in heaven.

One writer expressed it as follows: “In the Beloved” accepted as I, Risen, ascended, and seated on high; Saved from all sin through His infinite grace, I am accorded in heavn a place. God is our treasure now, and being with Him in heaven will bring pleasure forever.”

Blessings and love to all.
Pastor Leon

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January 22-28 A Thought or Two:

In 2 Corinthians 4:7 St Paul comments about the work our blessed Lord carries out through us, and he says, “we have this treasure in earthen vessels.” It is easy to forget that we are the packaging and His work is the treasure. We have to be careful that we do not try to dress up the package, for as sure as we do that, the leaks will become obvious for all to see. And most of all, it reveals what God knew all along. We are weak, needy people who can’t do much of anything right without His help.

indeed, when we do things for our Lord, it’s not about us, it is about His glory. The less obvious we are, the more glorious He becomes to us and those around us. Just remember friends, He put the treasure in us so His glory will shine forth even through the cracks.

One author penned the following lines:
Help us not to cloud God’s glory,
Nor for self His light to dim;
May each thought of Christ be captive,
Emptied to be filled with Him.

Good thoughts to ponder are they not?

Blessings and love to all,
Pastor Leon
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January 1-7 A Thought or Two:

December 20 was the shortest day of the year. The days are now getting a little longer with each passing day. It almost seems to me a promise of springtime. But before spring bursts forth with all its glory and new growth, there will no doubt be many storms, and some cold, cold, weather. Life is kind of like that.

As we look to the new year, there will no doubt be some challenges etc. We are reminded in Eccl.3: 1 that “to everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”

But we must admit that we would rather laugh than weep, dance than mourn, and lose(vv.4,6). Let us take courage that for all of life,——— the good and the not so good, God is always with us, and He is our constant abiding support and guide—“God is our refuge and strength”(Ps. 46:)

Whatever season we may be in, it’s always the season to trust in our blessed Lord. As one writer emphasized: “Whatever the season of life, attitude make all the difference.”

Blessings to you and yours this week
and in the coming year, 2017.
Pastor Leon