The Ones Who Sow and the Ones Who Reap

Every Olympics provides us with a few special moments. While the great majority of the athletes and the great majority of their successes and failures quickly fade from our consciousness, a few special ones tend to stick around. One moment from the 2020 Olympics that will remain in our minds, even if only because of the mountain of memes it generated, is an Australian swimming coach celebrating his athlete’s success. Ariarne Titmus has just narrowly edged out her American rival …

God Has Found You Faithful

The Parable of the Talents is one of the best-known and best-loved of all the parables Jesus left us. It tells of a man who is going on a journey and, who, before he sets out, distributes his wealth among his servants for safekeeping. To one he gives five talents, to another two, and to another just one. (A talent, for sake of context, is about 20 years’ of wages for a laborer.) It tells how each of these servants …

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It Has To Be Dark Before We Can See

A skillful poet once imagined Adam’s first evening in the Garden of Eden. He described the scene as Adam began to notice that the sun was sinking toward the horizon, that the shadows were growing long, that the light was getting dim. The first day was becoming the first night and Adam didn’t know what to expect—he had only ever known daylight. The poet imagined that as evening turned to dusk and as dusk faded into twilight, Adam might have …

The Ministry of Being a Little Bit Further Along

No church can survive solely upon the labors of its pastors. No church can thrive when the expectation is that all ministry must be formal and must originate from the front of the room. No church can remain healthy when it falls to the elders to give and the members to consume. Rather, the work of ministry within a local church is the privilege and responsibility of each of the people who makes that church their own. One of the …

The Song I Sing in the Darkness

No work of art is more beautiful, more valuable, more irreplaceable, than the twenty-third psalm. It has stood through the ages as a work of art more exquisite than The Night Watch, more faultless than Mona Lisa, more thought-provoking than Starry Night. The lines of the greatest poets cannot match its imagery, the words of the greatest theologians its profundity. Credentialed academics may wrestle with it, yet young children can understand it. It is read over cradles and cribs, over …

What Can God Do With Broken Hearts?

God has a special place in his heart for the weak, the weary, the downtrodden, the broken. “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden,” he says, and “bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.” His special blessing is upon those who are poor in spirit, who are meek and mournful, who are reviled and persecuted. The faith that honors him is the faith of a child, and his power is made perfect in weakness …

Moments With My Father (and My Son)

I have many fond memories of my father—memories accumulated over the 43 years we shared this earth. I have fond memories based on my first twenty-one years when I lived in his home and saw him nearly every day. I remember him taking me to old Exhibition Stadium to watch the Blue Jays play. I remember going on a road trip together—just the two of us traveling across Georgian Bay and onto Manitoulin Island. I remember getting up early in …

The Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of Space

Back in the 1950s, humanity entered into a great age of space exploration as the United States and the Soviet Union battled to be first to the moon. It seems to me that we are now entering into a second great age of space exploration as billionaires battle it out to see who can be first to establish a permanent outpost in space. We don’t need to push our minds too hard to imagine a scenario in which one of …

In the Beginning There Were No Canyons

In the beginning there were no canyons,” he told me. “There were no canyons in the Great Plains, but instead only broad, open spaces where rich grasses waved in the winds.” Intrigued, I sat and listened as he told his tale. He told me of a day when the Master of the Earth walked all over the broad land and asked the Prairie, “Where are your flowers?” The Prairie replied simply, “I have no seeds.” So the Master gave his …

No Unfinished Sculptures

Many would agree that Michelangelo’s David is among the world’s greatest artistic achievements and a true masterpiece of sculpture. What few know is that Michelangelo was not the original artist. The commission had first gone to Agostino di Duccio, but he got only as far as roughing out the shape of the legs and body before his work ceased. Antonio Rossellino soon took it up, but only for a short time, before he, too, quit. The block then sat exposed …