Saturday, July 4, 2009

Saturday July 4, 2009

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1.

Well, here we are in Vancouver and ready to begin the journey home today. We have had a meaningful trip so far with generally good reception for our book with bookstores, people and churches we have been able to contact. Yesterday we visited the offices of BC Christian News who have shown interest in using some meditations for their Christian Living column. Today we plan an early trip to Richmond to retrieve Ann’s purse left there yesterday, then a lunchtime signing opportunity at the House of James in Abbotsford, then a drive to Kelowna for an overnight stay and tomorrow the rest of the trip to Lethbridge.

However, like us, our car is showing signs of age. The automatic transmission is dropping in with a jolt at low speeds giving us concern about its ability to see us home. We certainly appreciate your prayers for an uneventful journey. It also places my return trip in doubt to Trinity Western University in Langley for a denominational conference where I have a book signing planned. Pastors from across the country will be there possibly giving our book some broad coverage. But first, of course, we have to arrive home.

The text at the top of our blogs is taken from a daily diary devotional by the Bible League of Canada. Today’s text reminds us of God’s overall power in the universe, which certainly covers small things like car transmissions. Interestingly enough, we had lunch with Dr. Jim Packer on Thursday. He is one of the editors of the latest bible translation, the English Standard Version, and he kindly presented me with a copy. He signed it, referencing Psalm 19! I guess that is going to be our confidence for the next two days.

To close, let me quote from the caption to today’s text from the Bible League diary. ”As you go through your day, see God in the world around you. See his power. See his creativity. See his beauty. See his attention to detail. See his use of variety.” That is the God we serve and who guards and guides our lives.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuesday June 30, 2009

I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:27.

For me, this text conjures up pictures of Muslims marching and flailing their bare backs in a gesture of repentance. Certainly Paul preached repentance, but I doubt that he had this particular physical exercise in mind when writing these words. He was more concerned that the appetites of the body did not control his desires, but quite the opposite, his body was going to serve him and the ministry he was called to. Of course, there is a full range of bodily appetites, but my first reaction is to think of food! After all, the definition of “appetite” is ’appy while you’re eating and tight when you’ve finished.

Ann is determined to ensure I “eat right.” She falls short of blaming my poor food habits for causing my cancer, but never-the-less is rightly aware that food choices and health are linked. So we have a daily debate over the intake of “fruit and vegetables” in my diet—especially as salad is my fear factor. Any suicide thoughts I may have would be prompted by the hope there is no salad in heaven! Surely my diet has to be balanced by some food I really enjoy—it is less the Canada food guide balance and more a balance of obligation and joy. It seems to be a truism that food is either enjoyable or “good for you,” and never the twain shall meet.

All this, of course, is symptomatic of Paul’s desire that his daily life choices do not interfere with ability to fulfill his calling. It reminds me that our food intake is a spiritual matter. As far as it lies within our capacity, we need to make choices that will keep us healthy if we wish to complete God’s calling on our lives. This is especially true as we approach the end of life and the time left may be insufficient to finalise what we feel called to do. Old age certainly gives added meaning to the phrase “redeeming the time”!