Some Assembly Required

I sit here in Blind River, Ont., a Timmy’s stop on the drive from Sault Ste. Marie to Pembroke, I find myself reflecting over the past few weeks. As some of you know, I am roadtripping around Ontario these days. As I visit congregations and ministers, I share encouragement from those who care, pray and ... Read more

The Parable of a Lighthouse

In 2004 as a meditation at a ministerial meeting, our local Catholic priest read us this powerful story. I often think of it and it challenges me and should challenge us all. (Many unattributed versions of this story exist online; it was written in 1953 by Rev. Dr. Theodore O. Wedel, a canon of the ... Read more

Helping Clergy Families

A great privilege and joy of my work with the Renewal Fellowship is that I get to have a lot of one-on-one conversations with our denomination’s ministers. There are many areas of discussion. I have shared some of the heartbreaking issues that many of our clergy face. What I am going to talk about now ... Read more

What is "Up!"?

"Up! – Get up, look up, be up" is a daily e-mail devotional written by Rev. Matthew Ruttan, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Barrie, Ontario. It is published five days a week (Tuesday to Saturday), and is something you can read in about one minute. I started my subscription about a month ago, and I found the ... Read more

Recovering Joy

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:4-6) About five years ago, I was visiting my sister at ... Read more

Resurrection-Shaped Renewal

The Canadian vernacular has several expressions, such as paradigm shift, watershed or game changer to describe a significant alteration in life. Things will now be radically different. The Christian Church has long contended that the historical shift in human existence is Jesus’ resurrection. Jaroslav Pelikan, a renowned historian, expressed this truth thus: “If Christ is ... Read more

Hope for the New Year

As we are entering another new year, I am reminded of the apostle Paul's words, particularly in light of the Christmas story: the weakness of God is stronger than our strength and the foolishness of God is wiser than our wisdom. I can only imagine how weak and foolish God's response to this world appeared to so many: a baby lying in a manger. The troubles of that world were many and profound. Moreover, God's people were being oppressed by Rome … Read More

Prayer is a Challenge

The Renewal Fellowship Board two-day meeting in October was held in my home in Simcoe. As I was organizing the continental breakfast on the morning of the second day, the alarm on The Rev. Nan St. Louis' watch went off. I asked, "What's that all about?" Nan said, "It's 7:14 and that's my reminder to pray for The Presbyterian Church." I was amazed and somewhat embarrassed because … Read More

The Gold Standard

February is usually the coldest month for us in Central Ontario; though friends and lovers do have an opportunity to share a little warmth halfway through on Valentine’s Day. Love is a pretty central theme to Jesus’s teachings and example. Not only was love commanded but it was set out as the primary factor for ... Read more

The Fullness of Time

We don't want to miss Him. "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children." — Galatians 4:4-5 We don't want to miss Him. Advent should ... Read more