Sunday, April 27, 2014

Time for a Break

I first blogged on this site on November 25, 2008, and have been posting blogs ever since, for the last six and a half years. If nothing else they are a continuing record of life with the Norfords through those years, but more importantly, a record of the beliefs that sustained us during that time. For the small cadre of followers and other occasional drop-ins, thank your for joining me. I trust you found some help and interest.

But now, with two major projects taking my time, energy, and inspiration, I feel it is time to take a break. Currently, I’m editing our first book, Happy Together, into a shorter page-a-day format. Details of the original and other books we have written are at

I have written a novel, which I’m totally dissatisfied with and needs major reworking. I edit layout for a writer’s magazine every quarter, and blog on the 17th each month for Inscribe, a writers’ society at

Then I have the germ of a book that has been bugging me for years that I must formulate, at least into essay form, soon. Then we have a growing family of grandchildren and great-grandchildren that we love to keep up with. Add to that occasional ministry assignments and I don’t have time to seek something else to do!

I’m sure I will resume blogging at some time in the future, as I enjoy sharing my thoughts and beliefs with whoever might listen or read. But in the meantime, I’m directing that energy to these other avenues.

May God continue to bless you and open your hearts and minds to His power, love and grace.

Bryan Norford

Sunday, April 20, 2014

My First Easter Egg hunt

Yesterday was my first Easter egg hunt. Mind you, nearing my eighties is a bit late to join the game, and I limited myself to one egg—it’s really a kids’ game. But what a find! A small plastic oval with three miniature chocolate eggs inside.

Nothing wrong with some fun with the kids. After all, three parts of the egg represent the Trinity, the sacrifice of One member for us, and the new life inside it. But for many, a dead chocolate version to feed a sweet desire is the best Easter can conjure up.

So for them, the glory of Easter is a fuzzy rabbit laying chocolate eggs, symptomatic of the world’s confused, distorted and limited view of life. It’s about as sensible as Santa coming down the chimney of houses that don’t have one.

As triumphant as landing a man on the moon was, President Nixon’s fatuous claim it was the greatest moment in human history fell into a similar category. The astonishing human reach for the moon is a drop in a bucket compared to our God’s creation of the stars within a million light years radius and beyond.

Even in human history, nothing equals a Man rising from the dead under his own power. “No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.” John 10:18.

The human tendency to play “King of the Castle” on a molehill is both laughable and tragic, when the glorious mountain of Christ’s resurrection gives Easter a significance that’s real and eternal. Why barter forgiveness and reconciliation with Him for a chocolate egg?

“What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matt 16:26. Surely it’s worth more than a million eggs, chocolate or real.

“Christ is Risen.” “He is Risen Indeed.”

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sunday April 14

Sorry folks:
This weekend got away on me--just too hectic!
Try again next Sunday

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Adultery: Pleasure or Misery?

What are the reasons for adultery? Frequently it is an escape from the challenges of home life; pleasure without the accompanying worries. It may be a targeted seduction, or simple adventurism.

Sexual fulfillment and release always produces a sense of pleasure. But moments of pleasure may lead to a lifetime of distress, for ourselves and others.

Friction which results from infidelity is obvious. Betrayal, anger and loss of trust by the wife of a philanderer is alone sufficient to cause tension. The variety of attitudes by the husband, from outright denial or excuses to utter remorse and self-reproach can only add to the conflict.

Further, the affair might still drag on after discovery and even if it doesn’t, the wife’s loss can trigger a long period of mourning countered by the impatience of the husband. Often there is no reconciliation and the marriage breaks up, or it continues in an uneasy co-existence with the wife using guilt to hold the husband hostage.

Infidelity creates a near death experience for marriage, so it is remarkable that many marriages survive and become meaningful for both partners again. Most of David’s life is a remarkable record of his source of survival; we find that he never lost his confidence in God, and his psalms are a legacy to us of his victories in times of difficulty.

We may have to face the consequences of our sin, but God’s grace toward us and the forgiveness we receive can bring both comfort and strength to continue.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Today's Fatherless and Widows

Jesus recognized a variety of sources of singleness. Some are born not to marry, some become single by the actions of others, and others choose not to marry. The disciples had suggested that maintaining a faithful marriage was so difficult that singleness was a preferable option.

The tragedy of our time is the number of persons who have become single because of that difficulty. A single mother—or father—mirrors the widow, and needs to be accorded similar care. Scripture states God’s concern for widows and orphans many times, providing for their sustenance, and accusing those who ignore their plight.

Our culture continues to devalue the family and trumpets easy divorce. Apart from the pain of divorce, the drive for women’s independence has led many women to a life of unnecessary hardship, leaving many unmarried mothers to fend for themselves and the children without the benefit of married companionship and support.

We must recognize the deluding false messages encouraging marriage break-up before accusing those that fail. Some marriages break up because of intolerable abuse, but those that end simply due to dissatisfaction could have endured to the benefit of both partners and children.

While the biblical mandate for faithful marriage may be demanding and resolving marriage conflict challenging, its rewards are incalculable.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Honouring Parents

Ann’s parents failed to provide an adequate home for their children due to mental illnesses. The home was well known in the neighbourhood for its critically dysfunctional nature, and the authorities frequently took the children away.
Ann’s aunt repeatedly provided required clothing, and neighbours would bring food for the children. Inside the home there was barely enough disreputable furniture for needs; even that the mother’s worst periods of bi-polar extremes often destroyed.
Ann’s three brothers—all from different fathers—spent most of their childhood in institutions. Ann finally went to live with her grandmother during her teen years.
These appalling conditions did not lessen Ann’s love for her parents. During her teen years, when her mother would return home after her frequent stays in the local mental hospital, Ann would attempt to restore normality in the home with donated furniture and equipment.
Even knowing the destructive behaviour would repeat itself, she determined to alleviate the home conditions—simply because they were her parents. Even during our early married years Ann used items from our growing home to rebuild her shattered childhood home.
Ann feared for our own children’s safety; for a period we lived close to the mental institution that often housed her mother, and she kept the doors locked. But she kept ongoing contact with her parents, ensuring, as she was able, their well-being despite their destructive behaviour.
She honoured her parents in this way until their deaths, seeking to follow God’s greater imperative more than her natural responses.