Monday, November 5, 2018

FAMILIES

Today’s Reading: Numbers 3

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

A Jewish man holds his Hebrew writings and prays at the Western “Wailing” Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

Key Verse: Numbers 3:12

Now behold, I Myself have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of every firstborn who opens the womb among the children of Israel. Therefore the Levites shall be Mine.

 

Moses was a descendant of Levi, one of the sons of Jacob. Here, God commands Moses to separate the Levites from all of the other Children of Israel so they can be consecrated to Him for the service of the Tabernacle, and to represent God to the people and the people to God. God chose Moses when he was a tiny baby and gave him favour with Pharaoh’s daughter so that Moses was raised in the culture and learning of Egypt. God sent Moses into the wilderness for 40 more years of education and experience before he was ready to lead all the tribes out of Egypt.

In our key verse, God hints at His great plan of redemption. In this case, it is one Levite for each firstborn of all Israel; eventually, it was to be God’s Firstborn and only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, for all mankind.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, just as You organized the Children of Israel, organize me and my descendants so that we may fulfill Your purpose. Please continue to do this for every family who seeks to follow Your will for their lives. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I believe God made a choice when my great-grandfather was converted in a Methodist revival. His Dad was a drunk who gambled away the farm and then disappeared from the scene, never to be found. The future of the Mainse side of my family was determined by an act of God in the salvation of Joseph Mainse. His sons, Allen, my grandfather, and Edward, my great-uncle, were known as great men of prayer. My Father, Roy, was called of God to preach and teach the Word of God. God separated me for His purpose. My children, Elaine and Bruce Stacey, Ellen and Nizar Shaheen, Reynold and Kathy Mainse, and Ron and Ann Mainse, all have the call of God on their lives.

Yours to emphasize that God is at work in your family too,

David

Sunday, November 4, 2018

GOD AT THE CENTRE

Today’s Reading: Numbers 2

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

At Timna Park, 20 miles north of Eilat, a life-sized replica of the Biblical Tabernacle has been constructed in the same area where the original Tabernacle may have stood. While no original materials (e.g., gold, silver, bronze) have been used in the replica, the model is accurate in every other way based upon the Biblical description.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Numbers 2:17

And the tabernacle of meeting shall move out with the camp of the Levites in the middle of the camps; as they camp, so they shall move out, everyone in his place, by their standards.

 

What could’ve been a two-week journey became a forty-year time of testing, learning, rebelling, and finally conforming to God’s plan. We find parallels in our lives. Moses kept detailed records of people and events and was careful to journal all that happened. They had prepared for this while still in Egypt. Originally, the Children of Israel and Pharaoh thought this was to be just a camping trip for several days. Even if that had been the case, the logistics of moving over one million people required organizational genius. Their tents would’ve covered several square miles. What a sight it must have been. The Ark, the Tabernacle and the spiritual leaders were always at the centre. The way in which they were to travel and camp was a constant reminder that God was to occupy the central place in their lives.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I ask for Your help in organizing my life so that You are always at the centre. I desire You to be the focal point of my attention. Please grant me the grace to be conscious of Your presence 24/7. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

As long as I can remember, God was honoured daily in our family life. My mother and sisters read to me from Hurlbut’s Stories of the Bible for Children (click here for an online version). I prayed every evening before bed, “Now I lay me down to sleep…” During the years of the Second World War, when my Dad was away, Mother led in daily Bible reading and prayer at the breakfast table. Dad arrived home in time for Christmas of 1944 and took over those duties. I never questioned that God was at the centre of our lives. Mother died when I was 12, and Dad and I were home alone a lot that year. He soldiered on with the same pattern of life. He also made lumpy porridge, and I tried not to complain. I would see his Bible open at the place where he was reading for his private devotions when I arrived downstairs each morning. The importance I place on this daily blog had its roots back there, I’m sure. I told one of my grandsons recently, “David Shaheen, if you were the only one reading my blog, I would get up early every morning and do it just for you.”

Yours, for God at the centre,

David

P.S. David Shaheen’s Dad, Rev. Nizar Shaheen, covers the world with the message of Jesus Christ in the Arabic language several times each day on satellite to home dishes, over the air, and on social media. His wife, our daughter Ellen, works alongside him in the Light for All Nations ministry. HERE is their website.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

NUMBERING ISRAEL

Today’s Reading: Numbers 1

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

This replica of the Tabernacle of Moses was set up behind the Crossroads Centre in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, during the summer of 2012.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

Key Verse: Numbers 1:50

…but you shall appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of the Testimony, over all its furnishings, and over all things that belong to it; they shall carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings; they shall attend to it and camp around the tabernacle.

 

Here we are in Numbers. It’s a difficult book to read, but we need to stick with it. Completing the entire Bible in two years is a worthy goal. The first chapter initiates a census, from which comes the name of the book. Almost as soon as Mount Sinai is out of sight, the people begin to complain (Numbers 11). Even Moses’ brother and sister speak against his leadership (Numbers 13). Finally, the ultimate in faithlessness, the people refuse to move into the Promised Land, wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. At the book’s end, Israel is again numbered in preparation for acting on God’s promise (Numbers 26). Only two names appear in both numberings, Joshua and Caleb. There is more to come about these two heroes of obedience and faith. Israel developed two armies, one to stand before God and one before men…the Levites and all the others. These armies ensure the integrity of Israel, both spiritual and temporal.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I realize that I live in two worlds as did the Israelites. Grant me grace to faithfully execute my spiritual responsibilities, and from the strength received from You, to carry out my responsibilities to help ensure the integrity of my nation. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I accepted an invitation from Col. White of the Canadian Armed Services to address a gathering of Christian military personnel some years ago. That Sunday morning, I brought a message from God’s Word to both the Roman Catholic and the Protestant services. I noticed a Ukrainian Army Colonel sitting in the front pew of both services. Following the second service, he approached me and said, “If I could arrange for you to address our officer corp in Ukraine on the subject of having Padres or Chaplains in our military, would you come to us?” “Yes,” I responded. About two years later, under the sponsorship of the Military Christian Fellowship, Norma-Jean and I arrived in Kiev. At the opening banquet, I told the story of the army officer Cornelius (Acts 10) and made a toast to him. I suggested that he be honoured by their army. They rose, lifted their vodka-filled glasses, and I heard loud cries of “Da, Da, Yes, Yes.” It was a way to share the message of Jesus with officers who had been raised under official communist atheism.The gathering continued the next day with several speakers, as well as myself. Within two years, the Army of the Ukraine had Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Baptist and Pentecostal Chaplains. Their concern militarily at that time was the presence of Islamic countries on their borders. They had been attacked by the Tartars over the centuries. They heard, received, and acted upon the message that they needed a spiritual army as well as earthly military might.

Yours for God and country,

David

Friday, November 2, 2018

PEACE

Today’s Reading: John 20-21

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

A Nazareth Village family enjoying time with one another.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

Key Verse: John 20:19

Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

 

Jesus speaks “peace” three times to His disciples here. They were obviously in a state of great turmoil and fear. Jesus might have said, “Settle down, we’ve got some very practical matters to accomplish in the next 50 days.” After all, Jesus’ followers were very ordinary people. Peter and John came from two fishing families. Notice that John could not escape the competition motivation. He had to put in the Gospel that he beat Peter to the tomb. Of course, Mary Magdalene was first. She didn’t recognize Jesus until she heard His voice. We need to listen for Jesus. He’ll speak our names too. He has something unique to say to each one of us. He had a special message for Peter who had denied knowing Him three times. Three times He asked, “Do you love Me, Peter?” He had a message in the number of fish caught, 153. In Hebrew, each letter has a numerical value. The number 153 translates into “Ana Elohim = I am God.” The disciples had been to Hebrew school. They would have known exactly what Jesus was communicating. In our Bibles, let’s read again John 20:31. This is the reason for John to write. He was there in person when it happened!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Dear Lord Jesus, Help me to do that which You told Peter to do in today’s reading, “Feed My sheep,” and “Feed My lambs.” You know that I love You too. And help me, like John, to know my purpose in writing, speaking, and simply living the Gospel before others. May many more believe in You and have life in Your Name. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’m simply a student. I’m hoping to learn more about God. In the Hebrew language, the word “disciple” is “talmudim,” and is what a kindergarten child in Israel is called today. Before moving from the weekly telecasts, Crossroads and Circle Square for children, to the daily telecast, 100 Huntley Street, I was begging God for guidance. I remember the spot on Highway 400, north of Toronto, where I heard the Lord say my name. He said to me so clearly I could never deny it, “David, I love you!” “Yes Lord,” I said, “What about specific guidance?” Again He said, “David, I love you!” I was so overcome that I had to pull over to the side of the road and sit there for a long time. I realized that the assurance of His love was all I needed. I was simply to go ahead, share my decisions with the Board of Directors for their approval, and His love would keep me on track to do His will.

Yours for “Life in His Name!”

David

Thursday, November 1, 2018

FINISHED

Today’s Reading: John 19

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

The view from the Garden Tomb area toward what many believe to be Golgotha, the Place of the Skull, where Jesus was crucified. You can see in the rock formation what looks to be a skull.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

Key Verse: John 19:30

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

 

For readers who’ve been with me since we began the third time around on June 2nd, you know that we’ve completed the first three books of the Bible and that we are about to start Numbers. We’ve read of hundreds of animal sacrifices (they were used for food as well) and now these three words, “It is finished.” We could view again the video posted here some days ago which showed that, after Jesus’ death, God no longer accepted the animal sacrifices presented in the Temple (click here to view). Jesus proclaimed from the Cross that His Sacrifice for the sins of the whole world was complete. In Chapter 19 alone, there are 20 references listed in my Thomas Nelson Study Bible which indicate fulfilled prophecy by Jesus as He hung on the Cross. No wonder that soon after His death, thousands of Jews would believe in Jesus as the final Sacrifice for sin. Jesus’ task in His suffering and death for sin was “finished,” but His triumph was not. As He told His disciples, after three days He would rise again. The victory celebration of His resurrection continues to this day. Amen! Amen!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, thank You for Your “amazing grace,” as the hymn says, “that saved a wretch like me.” I sing that most beloved hymn now as I pray. Because of the fact that You finished Your Sacrifice, I know that I can add nothing to that Sacrifice by my own efforts. I simply accept that fact. Help me to share the finished work of the Cross with someone today. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

In the early days of exercising the call of God to be a Pastor, I rejoiced in the growth of the congregation. Rather than counting attendance at the services, I would count the precious people who partook of the remembrance elements of the Body and Blood of Jesus. The reason the Apostle quoted Jesus saying, “This do in remembrance of Me” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26), was because, “It is finished.” As I will shortly read Numbers, I keep this fact constantly in mind. Hallelujah!

Yours because “It is finished,”

David

 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

JESUS’ KINGDOM

Today’s Reading: John 17-18

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

A majestic view of the Church of All Nations that is built over the traditional place where Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night of His arrest.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, click HERE.

Key Verse: John 18:36a

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world…”

 

The kingdom of Saul, David and others was a small geographic entity known as Israel. At the time of our reading, Israel was known as Palestine, and was a province of the Empire ruled over by the Roman Caesar. But Jesus declares the fact that His Kingdom is the entire planet and beyond to the entire universe. Jesus’ responded to the representatives of an earthly political and religious entity with the words, “I AM HE,” when they said that they were seeking Jesus of Nazareth; He demonstrated His total authority when He spoke that Name given to Moses from the burning bush. The detachment of troops and officers from the chief priests fell backward on the ground at His Name!!!

Let’s back up to chapter 17. This is Jesus’ powerful prayer to His Father. This prayer was answered with a resounding “YES!” His followers did maintain unity most of the time, and as a result, over two billion people on earth today claim to be Christians. When the world sees that we are one, as Jesus prayed, they believe that the Father sent His Son. Please read again John 17:20-26.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that I, as one who seeks to follow Your Son and my Saviour, Jesus Christ, will be one with my brothers and sisters as You and Your Son, Jesus, are One. I’m totally confident that as the world around me sees that love in me and the unity that I have with my fellow believers, more and more will believe that You sent Jesus. In His Name, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

The Internet connects in a way which is important, but not really personally in a close friendship where I can put my arm around someone who is weeping or dance with someone who is rejoicing. This happens when believers come together in person. This “coming together” is “ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL.” As a leader of an international ministry with a good sized full-time team and many volunteers, I would bring together the core team to establish the budget. We would go over everything that we were doing and ask the team to categorize all our commitments under three headings: (1) Necessary (2) Essential (3) ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. Then if funds were not available we would eliminate the necessary and the essential, keeping in the budget only the ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL!!! The teaching of Jesus on UNITY in today’s reading is the ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL for the cause of bringing lost precious people to Him. Without the unity for which He prayed, we fail miserably in the call He has placed on our lives.

Yours for the Father’s answer in all of our lives,

David

P.S. Tonight is Halloween, originally “Holy Evening.” The evening before All Saints Day, believers would come to church in centuries past to be prayed for to make sure that no unclean or evil spirits were controlling their thoughts and lives. The next day at church they joined all the saints, past present and future, in their celebration of God’s provision for holiness. Come to think of it, it might be a good idea to resurrect this original practice, as this celebration has certainly changed a lot since then!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

HANG IN THERE

Today’s Reading: John 15-16

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

Orange trees are planted in the rich soil beneath Mount Herman in northern Israel.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, click HERE.

Key Verse: John 15:4

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

 

Those delicious oranges pictured above must be connected to the branch and the branch must be connected to the trunk in order to be all that they were meant to be. This is the design of the Creator. The example Jesus uses is the same. He is the Vine and we are the branches. In order to fulfill the purpose for which we are created, we must keep connected with Jesus 24/7. This is not a struggle; it’s simply abiding. We just hang in there. We rest in Jesus and His life flows into us. The ingredients of His life are listed here in our reading – LOVE (15:9) – JOY (15:11 & 16:22) – THE HELPER, THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH – (15:26 & 16:7) – PEACE (16:33). Relax, abide, and let His life flow. We should take note that what He desires will also flow into us. Our desires will be His desires. This is the secret to receiving what we desire. We must find out what He desires and ask accordingly. It will “be done for you” (15:7 & 16:24).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, I’m abiding, hanging in there, relaxing in the sure knowledge that Your life is flowing into me and through me to produce delicious fruit. When someone picks my fruit, may they taste the Fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

At times in life I have, figuratively, taken myself by the scruff of the neck and tried to drag myself into doing what I knew I should do. Frankly, it doesn’t work. It’s frustrating, hard work, and produces rotten fruit. In the early 1970’s, we had a peach tree in our back yard which bore delicious fruit. Early one morning I went outside to pray, and I learned the lesson of the peach tree. I observed that it didn’t struggle. It didn’t push. It didn’t jump up and down in its effort to produce the fruit the Creator intended. It just simply knew enough to “abide.” I relaxed and decided to do the same. I prayed only for those things I knew Jesus desired. I knew His desires because I was faithful in daily reading what He had to say to me in His Word. This blog is an extension of that understanding. He is the Vine. I am a branch. Perhaps the Internet is the twig that enables the fruit to be there for the picking and eating.

Yours for productive lives,

David

A few days ago we read John 9, which referred to the pool of Siloam.  On the 100 Huntley Street telecast a Jewish archaeologist was a guest. He shared about the healing of the blind man who was instructed to wash in the pool of Siloam. It was new and exciting information for me. Check out this interview by clicking here!

Monday, October 29, 2018

LOVE

Today’s Reading: John 13-14

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

This is the place identified as the “Upper Room” by the Tourist Department of Israel. It probably is not the actual location of the Last Supper, but it is a great place for Christian visitors to Jerusalem to meet, pray, and sometimes celebrate the “Last Supper.”

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, click HERE.

Key Verse: John 13:5, 35

After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded…By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

 

The words, “love, loved or loves,” are found 14 times in our reading! The Lord Jesus is letting us know what is truly important to Him. When we say, “I love You, Jesus,” we must say it in a practical way by loving one another. Jesus said to His disciples, “I love you,” by washing their feet and by drying them with a towel. What an example to follow! In fact, Jesus tells us that the way all will know that we are His disciples is by loving one another. Sadly, the history of Christianity has, from time to time, been marked by fights and divisions. Often when we witness for Christ, we have these dark stains on the Church thrown at us. People will look past these historical messes if they see love in us as individuals, or if they experience love from and in the local church. If we are breaking the bonds of love through gossip, self interest, or outright rebellion, STOP!!! Ask God’s forgiveness, confess our sin, repent, and ask God to mend the broken bonds of love. We then are ready to read the love chapter again (1 Corinthians 13 – King James Version).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Dear loving Lord Jesus, give me the grace and determination to wash the feet of my brothers and sisters (figuratively or maybe now and then literally – it sure wouldn’t hurt to ask someone, “May I wash your feet as Jesus washed His disciples’ feet?” This should be someone I wish to serve or someone with whom I’ve had strife). I’m asking You, Lord Jesus, to grant me the humility I need to do this. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I thought one time of washing someone’s feet on the 100 Huntley Street TV program, and then I backed off because it might look like I was trying to be humble, and proud of it! The story is told of the man who was voted the most humble in the congregation and given a button stating this. However, the first day he wore the button to church, they had to take it away! He was no longer the most humble person. As a public school teacher, and later teaching college English, I required my students to memorize 1 Corinthians 13. I’m not the only one who considers the love chapter of the Bible as the finest example of the use of the English language. Of course, we memorized it in the Old King James language. In my opinion, it loses some of its beauty in modern translations. I’m a believer today because, as a teenager, I came across people who loved one another and who loved me enough to lead me to Christ.

Yours, not because of my own love, but because the love of Christ is in my life,

David

Sunday, October 28, 2018

TRIUMPH

Today’s Reading: John 12

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

The view towards the Old City of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. Mt. Zion is central on the horizon. The City of David is on the left and in the foreground is the high point on the wall which is known as the pinnacle of the Temple.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, click HERE.

Key Verses: John 12:10-11, 31

But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus… Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.

 

Like Lazarus, we who believe in Jesus have been raised from the dead. Ephesians 2:1 describes us as “dead in trespasses and sins,” but now “made alive.” We are living proof that Jesus is real and that He brings new life where there was death.

Our second key verse declares the reality of what happened at the Cross. The world, with its pride and rejection of God, mistakenly thought it was judging Jesus. The opposite is true. God was judging the world by the way it treated His Son. The so-called “ruler of this world” thought he was the winner, but again the opposite is true. The pretender to the throne was cast out. Jesus is King. His eternal Kingdom was established forever and ever. Amen!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Jesus, You are Lord of all. Grant that I may demonstrate that I’ve come out of the grave and discarded the grave clothes. May my life be the proof that You judged the world and deposed its ruler. I celebrate my new life with great joy. Thank You, Jesus! Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I thank you who send me a reply. I read what you have written. The best way to get answers is by asking your Pastor or a Bible teacher at your local congregation. You can critique what I have written with your friends on facebook, or better still, in a home Bible Study with your brothers and sisters in Christ and potential new believers. If you start a home study group, get the blessing of your church. Beware of false teachers who may come to your door or who may be on radio or TV. There is protection in the fellowship of a church which is affiliated with an established denomination. Here in Canada, you can check the website of The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada for affiliated churches. Also, there are local congregations of the historic denominations which may not be a part of the EFC, but they are true to the historic Christian faith. Check out the church. Click here for the most ancient declaration and summary of our faith, “The Apostles Creed.” Still have questions? Make an appointment with a Pastor.

Yours for the glory of the One Who said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:32),

David

Saturday, October 27, 2018

LAZARUS

Today’s Reading: John 11

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

These are tombs of the sons of Hezir found in the Kidron Valley between the Mount of Olives and the Old City walls of Jerusalem. Hezir was one of the priests in the time of King David listed in 1 Chronicles 24:15.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: John 11:25

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live…”

It’s natural to fear death as it remains filled with the unknown. Nevertheless, we can say with Job, “I know that my Redeemer lives” (Job 19:25). People everywhere are filled with despair when they contemplate their death because they think of it as the final reality. Jesus exploded that myth and opened the doors for us to see the triumph, the joy, the celebration that is ours through believing in Him. This is the message that our dying world needs to hear. To move forward into the Church and to discover where we come into the resurrection picture, please read the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 15.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, thank You for weeping over the loss of Lazarus. You are there for me when I mourn. Please give me grace to live with the secure knowledge that I need not fear death. Please enable me to weep with those who weep, bringing to all the comfort with which I am comforted. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’ve spoken the words of our key verse at many graves. Without fail, I think on those occasions, “This could be the moment of Christ’s return,” as is written in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. After Norma-Jean and I sold her birthplace farm, we wanted to take all of our children and grandchildren to visit my family roots. To do this, we rented a bus (it had the seats around the sides rather than behind each other). What a great time of family fellowship we had as we visited significant sites from my childhood. One stop we made was at the cemetery in the little village of Elgin, Ontario, where we visited the graves of my ancestors on my father’s side, right back to my great-great-grandmother. Of course, I had stories about them all. Then I did something which shocked my children and grandchildren. You may think this was morbid, but I wanted to make the point that we need not fear death. I laid down on the spot where, if Jesus does not come first, my body will be buried. I could not help but notice some shocked looks on faces around me. Then, those looks gave way to laughter. We rejoiced in our faith that this will not be my final state. Norma-Jean’s plot is beside mine. She informed everyone that she believes Jesus will return before she needs it. She made it clear that she does not intend to use that plot! She often says, “I’m looking for the ‘upper-taker,’ not the undertaker!”

Yours for life in this world and in the world to come,

David