Thoughts for 2022

A Thought or Two for the Week (July 31- August 6):

A business lady was flying to a neighbouring city to chair an important meeting. When she flew back home that night, she was surprised that she had the same seatmate going home. So, she casually asked what company her seat mate worked for. The lady looked at her and burst into tears: “Don’t I wish. I made this trip to admit my only daughter to a rehab.”

In the moments that followed, the first lady shared how she was forced to do the same years ago, with her own daughter. And she shared with the lady that Jesus had set her daughter free, and that she also thought, the fact that she never gave up on her daughter, was a big part of it all.

As the lady listened to the story, a smile began to break out over her face. “Do suppose Jesus could do that for my daughter?” She asked. After the plane landed the two ladies stood together and prayed for the Lord to release the addicted daughter from her drug induced prison.

There are people all around each of us, needing a word of encouragement, may we seize the opportunities God gives us to do so each day.

Blessings to you and yours this week.

Pastor Leon ===============================================

A Thought or Two for the Week (July 24- 30):

“Everybody on the left, give me three strong strokes!” The white-water raft guide shouted. His steady voice gave the six people in the raft a safe journey down rapids. Life has its share of white-water rapids, does it not? Life is full of the unexpected.

As someone said, “if you want to make God laugh, tell Him what you are going to do tomorrow.” But the last words our Lord said, before going back to heaven were words of assurances of His continued presence. “Low I am with you even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

The psalmist phrases it well: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My loving eye on you.”(Psalm 32:8)

Blessings to you and yours this week.

Pastor Leon ===============================================

A Thought or Two for the Week (July 17 – 23):

John was a man I met at Springhill Penitentiary years ago, at one of the “Kairos Marathons.” Roughly every 6 weeks during the fall, winter and spring seasons, a group met at the prison chapel for a week-end. We were joined with about the same number of inmates. John was in prison for a violent crime one among many.

This particular Marathon, he became the center of conversation around the circle, as he was quite aggressive with his comments when others were on “the hot seat.” It seemed that the center of his pain and anger was his relationship with his father, who had long passed away. Rev. Dr. Taylor invited John to the center of the circle for a role play. John would be the father, and “Charlie” as we all called him, would take John’s role as a teenager. It was not long until we could sense a change in John. He began to weep, as he saw things more clearly after all those years; and as he took responsibility for his actions, he became a changed man.

The Lord became the center of his life. We became friends, and some years later, when he got out of prison for the last time, he started a ministry in Halifax focused on helping those recently released from prison to adjust to living ‘on the outside.”

Perhaps to a lesser degree, we all have people in our lives like John’s father. Just remember, as Dr. Charlie would remind us: “Only love heals.”

Blessings to you and yours this week.

Pastor Leon

==========================================

A Thought or Two for the Week (July 10 – 16):

As a middle-schooler, Patrick Ireland first sensed that God had chosen him for something. But what? Later, as a survivor of the Columbine High School massacre, where thirteen were killed and twenty- four wounded, including Patrick, he began to understand the answer to that feeling. Through his long recovery Patrick learned that clinging to bitterness causes further wounding. God showed Patrick that the key to forgiveness is to stop focusing on what others have done to us and focus on what Jesus has done for us. The Words of Jesus on the cross to His tormentors says it all: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”(Luke 23:34). Twenty years after his tragedy, Patrick shared, “Maybe I was chosen to forgive.”

While most of us will not go through such a tragedy as Patrick, life is full of hurts and losses of various natures— all having the seeds of bitterness in them. If we allow that bitterness to take root, we pay the price, in so many ways of unhappiness. Basically, it is a choice. May we follow our Savior’s lead at all times, and know the blessed freedom of a lifestyle of forgiveness

Blessings to you and yours this week.

Pastor Leon

=======================================

A Thought or Two for the Week (July 3 – 9):

When I was a boy, I used to go to the woods with my dad to cut firewood. That was before the days of ‘power saws’. Being young and energetic, I thought I could help by taking one end of the ‘two- man’ crosscut saw. It must have been a sight for my dad. “Easy does it,” he would say, “Let the saw do the work.”

That is what St. Paul is telling us in Philippians 2: 13: “It is God who works in you.” Easy does it. Let God do the work, just yield to the Lord each day.

C.S. Lewis said that growth is much more than reading what Christ said and carrying it out. He explained, “A real person,.. .is doing things to you.. .gradually turning you permanently into.. .a new Christ, a being which. .. shares in His power, joy, knowledge and eternity.”

The work is the Lord’s; the joy is ours. Easy does it. We will all get there in His time.

Blessings to you and yours this week.

Pastor Leon

=========================================

A Thought or Two for the Week (June 26 – July 2) :

We are living in troubling times. These ‘troubling times’ can get to all of us and if we are not aware, the creeping malaise of sadness can prevail if we are not on guard.

Jeremiah, known as the ‘weeping prophet’ overcame such sadness when he realized the immensity of God, as the sustainer of the earth and beyond. The Maker of all promised to reveal Himself intimately, as He offered His people, love, forgiveness, and hope(Jeremiah 31:33-34). Jeremiah points to God’s control as He who causes the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine at night”(vs.35). Our Creator and Lord Almighty will reign above all, as He works to redeem all of His people(vss. 36,37).

This same God, the Creator of the universe, promised to never leave us, nor forsake us, but to be with us day by day, until He takes us home to be with Him forevermore. (John 14:1-6).

Blessings to you and yours this week.

Pastor Leon

========================================

A Thought or Two for the Week (June19 – June 25) :

On this Father’s Day, some thoughts to ponder by Ernest Smith: The best advice I ever had, was given to me by my dad; these occasions being rare; I listened with the greatest care. My dad began by telling me about his life, that I might see the things he did, both bad and good, while wondering if I understood. Let heart and conscience be your guide; be not possessed with foolish pride. Do things that you must do. Ignore what others think of you. Do not be ashamed of your ideas but live them and expel your fears. Your life is yours and yours alone, a treasure God has made your own. If you are wrong but think you are right, instinct calls to stand and fight, but better to surrender pride, and try to see the other side, ‘These are the words my father told, and I have treasured them as gold; And somewhere, in a far-off land, my father knows I understood.

Blessings to you and yours this week.

Pastor Leon

=========================================

A Thought or Two for the Week (June 5 – June 11) :

When I was young, my dad used a crosscut saw to cut our fire wood, to hauling lengths from the woods. I would try to help. Being young and wanting to prove myself, I would put too much weight on the saw. “Easy does it,” my dad would say. “Let the saw do the work.”

C.S. Lewis said that growth in the Christian life is much more than reading what Jesus said, and carrying it out. He explained, “A real person, Christ,.. .is doing things to you… gradually turning you permanently into. . . a new little Christ, a being which . . .. shares in His power, joy, knowledge and eternity. The work is God’s; the joy is ours.

Easy does it. Don’t sweat the small stuff. We will get there in His timing.

Blessings to you and yours this week.

Pastor Leon

====================================

A Thought or Two for the Week (May 29 – June 4) :

Some years ago, Mary encountered a young lady who had left home without her bank card and her phone. Stranded with her baby, she was asking passersby for help. Although unemployed at the time, Mary put $15 in the young ladies car. Arriving home a few days later, friends of the young lady reciprocated Mary’s kindness by leaving a fruit basket, toys for her daughter, and a gift card for 15 dollars, in a basket on the porch.

This story illustrates the point Jesus made when He said: Give and it will be given to you, a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with what measure you use, it will be measured to you”(Luke 6:38).

We obviously do not give to get back, we give because the Lord delights in our generosity. Our love and support for others reflects in a small way the loving heart of God Almighty.

Blessings to you and yours this week.

Pastor Leon

==================================

A Thought or Two for the Week (May 22 – 28) :

I was told that the Department of Highways would soon be patching the rough spots in our road. This happens every spring after the winter frost found weaknesses in the pavement. Something similar is true in our spiritual life.

Early in our faith we probably thought we would reach a time of maturity. Using that comparison, I must confess, I am still “under construction.” Sometimes, I feel a bit frustrated about my lack of progress. But Hebrews 10 gives us all an amazing promise. Verse 14 says, “For by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Jesus’ work on the Cross has already saved us. In God’s eyes we are finished. But paradoxically, we are being shaped into His likeness, still “being made holy.” Courage! Keep on driving the car down the road of faith in Jesus!

Blessings to you and yours this week.

Pastor Leon

====================================

A Thought or Two for the Week (May 15 – 21) :

Some might say we are living in troubling times, In such times, there may be an enticement to develop a worrying spirit, and all that goes with such a negative view of life. We may find ourselves alternating between despair and hope, doubt and faith. We need to remember however, that God does not expect us to have all the answers. Rather, He wants us to come to Him with our questions.

The journey of Job affirms that we are to go to God with our questions, and we learn that although we may not understand; it all comes from God’s hand, and we can trust the Lord to do what is best(13:15; 19:25-27). The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised”(l :21),

Blessings to you and yours this week.

Pastor Leon

=====================================

A Thought or Two for the Week (May 1 – 7):

Living in this “hurry-up world,” much of life is still taken up with waiting. At this time of year, many are waiting to see how much, if any, we will have to pay the tax man. In all cases, waiting is difficult. God’s solution: “Wait awhile and see what I will do.”

One author indicates that waiting is one of God’s best teachers of the art of peaceful living. We wait while God works in us and for us. And we soon discover that it is in the waiting that we develop endurance, the ability to trust God’s love and goodness, even when things are not going our way. We need to remember in our waiting, that God is always at work.

The psalmist phrases it: “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him”(Psalm 37:7).

Isaiah reminds us: “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up on the wings of eagles, They shall run and not grow weary, They shall walk and not fall down.”(lsaiah 40:30-31)

Blessings to you and your this week.

Pastor Leon

====================================

A Thought or Two for the Week (April 24 – 30):

In Psalm 149, the Lord encouraged His people to join together and sing a new song(vs.l). And He calls us to worship Him with dancing and music. Why? Because the Lord delights in His people; he crowns the humble with victory(vs.4).

I am reminded of the story of 14 year old C.J. who would hop off the bus each afternoon and dance down his driveway. His mom recorded and shared C.J’s afternoon boogie time. He danced because he enjoyed life and he enjoyed making people happy with every move. One day two garbage collectors took time out of their busy work schedule to stomp, spin, and sway with the young boy who inspired them with his joy. And they told C.J. “you have brightened our day. Keep up the good work.” Joy comes in many forms, let’s spread it around.

St. Paul encourages us in 1 Thessalonians; “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks for this the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Blessings to you and your this week.

Pastor Leon

==================================

A Thought or Two for the Week (April 17 – 23):

If we were asked to describe Easter using only exclamation marks, what would they be? Perhaps Easter is a comma. It makes us stop, pause, and think a bit. Perhaps the day comes up short. You thought you would be excited, but you are kind of down? For the disciples it was a question mark. Where is He? The guards are gone. The stone is rolled away. He is not there. And as they questioned, an angel speaks and says: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here He is risen. Remember how He spoke to you a while ago, saying the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and how He must be crucified, and the third day He must rise again.” Well, of course, they remembered! The periods are gone. The question marks are gone. There is one massive exclamation mark!

That is what Easter is all about…an exclamation of gratitude and praise for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and for the salvation His victory over death brought to us.

Blessings to you and yours on this Easter Sunday morning and in the coming days.

Pastor Leon

====================================

A Thought or Two: Good Friday

General Wellington commanded the victorious forces which defeated Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo. A series of stations had been established to reach across the channel, sending flag messages in code to England. The message to be sent was: “Wellington defeated Napoleon at Waterloo.” Fog set in and interrupted the message. It came across the channel as “Wellington Defeated.” Initially, the word spread quickly in England, and the people were downcast. Then the fog lifted, and the full message came across the channel: “Wellington Defeated Napoleon at Waterloo.”

The same is true today. When many people look at what happened on Good Friday, the death of Jesus, they see only defeat. Yet, at the resurrection, God’s message was completed. The resurrection spells victory for evermore.

As St. Paul put in 1 Cor. 15: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death where is your sting? O grave where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Blessings to you and yours.

Pastor Leon

=====================================

A Thought or Two for the Week (April 10 – 16):

Helen is a very special lady. One word comes to mind when I think of her: ]Peace’. The quiet restful expression on her face seldom changed during the long ordeal of being with her husband as he fought a rare disease. When asked the secret of her peace, she said: “It is not a secret, it’s a person. It is Jesus in me. There is no other way I can explain the quietness I feel in the midst of this storm, than Jesus.”

Our blessed Lord wants us all to have this same peace in all circumstances. Jesus is clear in this: “Peace I leave with you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. In this world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. For He Himself is our peace.(John 14:27, John 16:33, Ephesians 2:14).

In this world of “unpeace” let us claim the peace of Jesus every moment of every day, regardless of circumstances. All we have to do is ask.

Blessings to you and yours.

Pastor Leon

====================================

A Thought or Two for the Week (April 3 – 9):

When missionary Lilias Trotter looked out her window shortly before she died, she saw a vision of a heavenly chariot. A friend asked her: “Do you see many beautiful things?” She answered: “Yes many beautiful things.” Her final words reflected God’s work in her life, as the Lord has revealed many beautiful things to her over the span of her days in missionary work. Although a very talented artist with great potential, Lilias chose to serve the Lord in the mission field.

John Ruskin, a famous painter who had tutored her, said upon learning of her death: “What waste, that she chose such work over a lucrative painting career.” Ruskin did not understand that when Lilias chose to serve the Lord as she was called, she chose the most beautiful experience on earth, as she knew the Lord was with her, and she was living according to His will for her life.

Similarly, when a woman poured an expensive flash of perfume over Jesus’s head, they all said: “What a waste.” However, the Lord commended her devotion and He said: “She has done something beautiful for Me.”

Blessings to you and yours

Pastor Leon

==============================================

A Thought or Two for the Week (March 27 – April 2):

A number of years ago in the movie ‘The King’s Speech’, cast before the outbreak of the 2nd World War, King George the 5th unexpectedly became monarch when he brother Edward abandoned the throne. It was important that the people of England have a strong word of encouragement from the throne at that time. The problem however, for the new king, was his tendency to stutter when he became nervous. His wife patiently came to the rescue during those tense times, with her calm support and constant words and acts of encouragement.

Rev. Dr. Harold Mitton emphasized on many occasions in our pastoral ministry classes the great need for all Christians to be great encouragers. Indeed, the bible highlights the stories of encouragers. Moses had Aaron and Hur’s support (Exodus 17:8-16). Elizabeth encouraged Mary (Luke 1:42-45). St. Paul needed the support of Barnabas, whose name literally means ‘son of encouragement’.

Let us be encouragers to others in these trying times. ‘Encourage one another and build each other up.’  (l Thessalonians 5:11).

Blessings to you and yours

Pastor Leon

===========================================

A Thought or Two for the Week (March 20 – 26):

We are surely living in troubling times. One lady was living in her personal troubling times, with a drug addiction. Her best friend in life was her twin sister. Unfortunately, her sister observed, and was influenced by her addiction, and she too became enslaved to drugs. When her older sister saw what had happened to her younger sibling, she was simply overcome with guilt for the part she had in her younger sister’s troubles. That realization was a life changing “Kairos moment” in her life that propelled her to a determination to get clean of drugs, and help her little sister do the same. After a period of trial, and struggle, the older sister was free at last, and she than wanted to help others. So, she started to write notes of encouragements to her friends. She would stick notes on car doors and windows, and light poles. One of her notes concluded with these words: “Much love. Hope sent. Always on tap! This young lady was a living example of the scripture: “And hope does not put us to shame, because of the love of God has been poured out in our heart through the Holy Spirit give to us”(Romans 5:5).

Blessings to all

Pastor Leon

====================================