Thursday, September 30, 2010

Does Knowledge Really provide Power?

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7

The problem with firstborns is their tendency to be control freaks! They frequently pick up responsibility for younger siblings and need to be in control to avoid anarchy. Ann especially, in her dysfunctional home took control of her three younger brothers. That of course, was her childhood home, although she still likes to be the neck that turns the head!

I can’t complain, I am a firstborn also. Can you imagine a home with two control freaks? There are times we just have to go along to get along! If you’re like us, you probably like to be in control of life, your situation and even others too if necessary. The old saying that “knowledge is power” is popular because knowledge gives us control.

Trouble is, knowledge can make us arrogant as well. Much of our secular academic world believes the knowledge it has amassed enables it to control life on earth; that God is irrelevant or unnecessary for the task. But Paul says “Knowledge puffs up . . . The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.” 1 Corinthians 8:1–2.

Have you ever tried doing up a shirt or blouse, starting with the wrong button? If the first one is wrong, every other one is out of place also! Similarly, if our fundamental truth about the universe is faulty, then all truth derived from it will be faulty as well. Not to respect God’s interest and involvement in earth and its inhabitants is to start our search for knowledge with the “wrong button.”

Part of that fundamental truth is that our sinful nature distorts our thinking. Left to our own devices, we will try to control life in ways that are ultimately self-defeating. Let’s seek God’s perspective on life if we want to be wise. Perhaps my greatest fear is that even using biblical knowledge without God’s insight could undermine my ability to share God’s truth!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


It is now Tuesday September 28, 2010. Ann will be out of replacement hip surgery for three weeks by this Thursday, and it will be four weeks since my heart attack the same day. As you may imagine, September has been an eventful month, but today sees us very definitely on the mend.

For the first week after my heart attack, our daughter Alexandra, was with us to see me home from hospital to ensure I wasn’t attempting teenage feats and to shepherd us through Ann’s surgery. Following her stint, our daughter Heather from New Zealand was with us for two weeks to bring Ann home and help her through basic skills required of a toddler!

Their help was invaluable, especially as I wasn’t allowed to drive for a month after a heart attack—Alberta law! That also terminates this Thursday! Our daughter Karen, who lives locally, filled the vacant spots and is providing taxi service for this last week. It was a great opportunity for our three girls to be together for a few of days as they live so far apart.

This last weekend, we travelled with some friends to Edmonton for a writers’ conference we had registered for a few weeks earlier. Both our doctor and the surgeon saw no problem providing Ann could move around during the journey. However, she slept for two hours in each direction! In addition, the week end provided some welcome exercise, that might not have happened had we stayed home.

Today was eventful. Ann is getting more adventurous, and while in the garden checking her tomatoes, fell to her hands and knees. No damage or pain, but getting her upright was another matter, accomplished with a series of imaginative moves! But her mobility has increased remarkably, thanks to the weekend in Edmonton.

For myself, today I underwent a stress test. I stayed the course for most of the full time—ten minutes—with increasing effort and no ill effects. Apparently, few people my age get that far! Also an echo-cardiogram a few days previous showed a normally functioning heart. Seems I’m not a candidate for heaven just yet.

We realize it’s early days, but we are thankful to God for his healing process and for the family and friends he has provided during the recovery. Thank you all for your prayers. We already have articles of our experiences in the City Light News, October edition. So don’t count us out yet, we will still be invading your lives with our ideas and opinions, and, we trust, revealing the goodness and majesty of God in our writings.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Thinking of You

I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you. Romans 1:8

I guess today’s text (as usual taken from the Bible League Devotional Day Planner) is most appropriate. A refresher weekend at a writer’s Conference in Edmonton this past weekend has reminded me (I’ve heard this before but forget easier than I remember) that I am thinking insufficiently about you—my readers.

If there’s a basic responsibility for a writer, it’s to make his or her (in this case my) work interesting for the readers—the greatest crime is to bore them. That’s not easy; at that point most will move on! That crime increases if readers are bored by some writer’s comment on the Gospel.

You may ask how it’s possible to bore anyone with the greatest story on the planet, but if you’ve ever fallen asleep (or wished you could) during a sermon, I‘ve made my point. If proclaiming the Gospel, either by preaching or writing, ever loses its passion, the proponent is badly in need of a refreshing.

Surely, it shouldn’t be possible to relate some part of the greatest Love Story on earth without an emotional impact. But being cerebrally inclined and devoid of much emotion, it is an ever present risk to which I succumb too often. And if passion is missing, so probably is compassion for those who read my stuff!

Our faith is always something to be excited about. While it is essential that there is substance in any Bible comment, please don’t let me get away with failing to share the thrill of discovery from God’s amazing message to us. Our God is an Awesome God!