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The Source

The Source

Finding Peace

I wanted to share with you information critical to finding true and lasting peace.  This would not be possible without me pointing you toward Jesus Christ, the “Lord of Peace.”  2 Thessalonians 3:16.  There have been many things that have masqueraded as a source of peace in my life but none of them worked for long.  Just momentary reprieves followed by crippling addiction and emptiness.  It bears mentioning that even as I write this post, I have just passed five years of sobriety.  Welcome to The Source.

It’s true that I have no formal training in theology or counselling and at times I hear the enemy whisper, “What makes you think you can help anyone?  I don’t have all the answers, but I know the One who does.  I don’t know the intimate details of your situation, but He does.

Up until 2003 I had only read a handful of books in my entire life.  I just wasn’t a reader.  After my “Christian” family banished me I needed answers.  My faith had been shaken to the point where I almost walked away.  I began reading anything and everything I could find on broken relationships, especially from a Christian perspective.  Of the thirty plus books I devoured over a two year period it was the Bible that spoke the loudest and clearest.  I have never questioned the authenticity of the Bible as being the inspired Word of God nor it’s authority as the ultimate source of truth.

A while ago I heard a lady say, “Christians are the most guilt ridden people I know!”  Thank God for guilt.  Without it we would keep on rolling down the road that leads  to destruction, blissfully unaware that we are the ones driving.  The Holy Spirit, active and alive in the heart of a believer, uses guilt as a means of correction.  He lets us know when we are in error and acting out of character, the character of Christ Himself living in us.  Even though I hindered His efforts and pushed back, He never gave up on me.  I was always aware of His presence.    Jesus is the only true source of peace.

Many homes have a family Bible, but all to often they are viewed as a decorative heirloom and never opened.  An unopened Bible does about as much good as an unopened parachute to the one who’s falling.  Open one and you will find love, peace and hope.  It is the living Word of your creator giving you detailed instructions on how to find your way back to Him.

For scripture to have a life altering effect on the reader, they must first believe that it’s true.  Followers of Jesus throughout history not only preached His Word with confidence and boldness but knew with certainty that the Holy Spirit went before them, working in the hearts of those who listened.  This is why it is sometimes referred to as the “Living Word.”  The very One who knew you before you were born and knit you together in your mother’s womb is the One who is writing to you.  He is alive and ever present, watching, listening and answering.  He is the one and only true God before which there is none higher.

The Bible has some difficult passages for each of us as they expose our pride and character flaws, areas of our lives that need work.  We are naturally rebellious and have trouble submitting to anyone.  We like to be in control of our own destinies and can harden our hearts against God’s ultimate and unquestionable authority.  This leads to a darkened understanding.  1 Corinthians 2:14.  If this is where you are, take heart, you don’t have to stay there.  God’s Holy Spirit never gets tired and never takes a break.  He is pursuing you, using His empowered Word to point you to Christ and bring you home.

We are all created in the image of God and are without excuse.  If you are human then you witness His glory every day, all around you in all creation.  Romans 1:18-20.

I have shared my belief in the Bible and my faith in Jesus Christ many times over the years.  This has sometimes led to ridicule and other times to questions.  I always ask the Lord to put the right words into my mouth if I am to say anything at all.  Whether with friends, co-workers or customers the conversations are always exciting to me because I literally feel the presence of Christ in our midst.  Some are in agreement while others say, “If Jesus is real then let Him appear before me right now and I will believe!”  He did come, He did stand before men.  Some accepted Him, others rejected Him, it is no different today.  The New Testament is full of eyewitness accounts from those who knew Him, but again, this takes us back to the trustworthiness of the scriptures.

Many have tried to debunk the Bible over the years, especially intellectuals and those from a scientific background.  They have been trained to experiment and question everything until they see the proof with their own eyes.  God doesn’t mind people asking questions and He has nothing against science or the laws of physics, He created them.  No one has been able to disprove the Bible and many of those who have tried only succeeded in confirming its validity.  Many of them have come to faith in Christ.

Every prophecy foretold in the Bible that has already come true, has done so to the letter and those yet to be fulfilled will do likewise.  Fortune tellers and mediums have plenty of clientele all looking for what lies ahead, what’s going to happen in the future.  The Bible tells us that our lives are short and to use our time wisely, that this cursed world is passing away.  Those who know Jesus Christ as their saviour have nothing to fear.  Everything that He has promised to do, will be done.

Some parts of the Bible are a little dry, especially the genealogies, but they are there for a reason.  I always suggest that new comers start in the New Testament, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Ask the Lord to open your eyes and heart, to guide your thoughts as you read.  If you know Him already, wonderful.  If you want to know Him, wonderful.  Seek Him with all your heart, and you will find Him.  Jeremiah 29:13.

It helps to have a thirst for God’s Word.  I had read bits and pieces of the Bible from time to time but it wasn’t until tragedy struck that I read it from cover to cover searching for answers.  I have not been disappointed.  I would recommend not waiting until calamity strikes before reading the entire story. You will be far better prepared to weather the coming storms if you have biblical knowledge and wisdom.  I know a few people with great knowledge of the scriptures, but lack the wisdom to use it correctly.  “…if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God…”  James 1:5.

In today’s world, things that were once highly offensive, shocking and completely unacceptable have become main stream.  We are becoming hardened and desensitized.  This can easily spill over into our relationships and cause us to throw in the towel long before we should.

The character of Jesus is the ultimate example of how we should treat each other.  He didn’t just tell us, He showed us.  He died for us and the only thing He asks in return is that we live for Him.  No matter where you go nothing affects your life more deeply than relationships.  God made us that way.  We are social beings, we need Him and we need each other.  God created the family and He holds it in very high regard, so should we.

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The Proving Ground

The Proving Ground

Proving ground earth

Technology has now made it possible for us to witness any event happening anywhere on the planet in real time.  It’s gut wrenching to see bad things happen to good people.  War, tragic accidents, illness, crime, corruption, and a myriad of other events that plague this world can cause us to question, “Why is God allowing this?”  Even as I write this post the world has just surpassed the one million mark in Covid 19 deaths.  It’s perfectly normal to have questions, just be on guard against the devil who will try and persuade you to believe his answers.  Welcome to The Proving Ground.

In the seven years I spent at Defence Research & Development Canada in Suffield, Alberta, I worked almost exclusively in an area called the Experimental Proving Ground.  This is where new products and ideas in troop protection are tested and improved upon before being put into service.  The tests were called “trials” and lives literally depend on these things doing what they were designed to do.  Planet earth is indeed one big proving ground where we all endure trials and tribulations in the hope of improving ourselves.  God doesn’t test us to find out what we’re capable of, where we will succeed or fail, He already knows.  These things happen so that we can see where improvement is needed in our own lives.  Hopefully we learn in times of trial and make the appropriate changes, hopefully we grow.

So if God loved us enough to die for us then why all the trials and tribulations of life?  If He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper and not to harm… (Jeremiah 29:11) then why do we experience pain and suffering?  Well, first of all, the way things are now isn’t the way God originally made them to be.  When Adam and Eve sinned against God by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God cursed the earth and sent them out of the Garden of Eden.  He didn’t stop loving and caring for them or the rest of us.  To this day we live in a fallen world, but we are not without hope, we are not alone.  Knowledge of the curse has not brought me comfort when everything is falling apart.  Knowing what God’s Word says and believing the promises Jesus has made is where I find great comfort, strength and hope.

Our biblical picture of God affects the way we live our lives and how we treat the people who share it.  It’s important to have an accurate view of Who God is and how He deals with sin.  We read that He is loving, forgiving, kind and merciful and also that He is holy, righteous and just.  This can sometimes lead to confusion between grace and judgment.  We are comforted by His Word and at the same time fearful of it.  Some Christians pride themselves on being tolerant and accepting of everyone, despite a lifestyle that reflects a total disregard for God’s law.  Other more rigid Christians place a heavy emphasis on God’s judgment.  Neither reveals the whole picture.  We must be careful not to get so caught up in the good stuff that we lose sight of the warnings.  Everyone should have a healthy, reverent fear of the Lord and yet, through Him, “…draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.”  Hebrews 4:16.

Be cautious of the prosperity preachers that say you can have everything your heart desires if you just come to Jesus.  The “name it and claim it” crowd that would have you believe that life is a bed of roses if Jesus is your saviour; not true.  In many cases life can get harder once you belong to Christ.  You are now going against the flow and the devil may take a more active interest in you.  Satan is diametrically opposed to God, so when you give your life to Christ, he loses you and that makes him angry.  This is nothing to be worried about.  I love what 1 John 4:4 says, “…greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”  Jesus has already won the battle and the devil is thrashing around in death throes wanting to take as many down with him as he can.  Jesus tells us in John 10:28 that we are perfectly safe in His hands.  He has our backs.

Many soldiers have died needlessly because they were thrust into battle before receiving the proper combat training.  For anyone to be effective at what they do, they must be trained.  If you’re involved in an accident you take comfort knowing that the paramedics rushing to your aid are highly trained, right?  The pilot who flies the plane you’re on, the police or firefighters you call, the surgeon who is about to hold your heart in their hands; all have proven that they know what they’re doing.  Spiritual warfare rages all around us and God takes an active roll in making sure we are prepared for battle.  Tangible weapons of war are useless in the spiritual battle against Satan and his demons.  In Ephesians 6:11-18 , Paul tells us about the full armour of God.  Three times, in verses 11, 13 and 14 we are told to “stand firm.”  If we faithfully follow these instructions we are guaranteed victory over any scheme of the devil.  I have put a link in the resource section of this post that describes the armour of God in detail.  I do think it’s interesting that the first piece of armour is truth.  Being truthful at all times is not only important to our relationship with God, but also for those to whom we witness.  Lying and deception is detestable to God and destroys relationships.

One thing I hear a lot lately is, “Everything happens for a reason.”  While it is true that God is sovereign and that every event has a reason behind it, there is no scripture that spells it out exactly that way.  Sometimes we say that “everything happens for a reason” to make ourselves feel better after making bad choices.  There are many examples of Romans 8:28 throughout the entire Bible and this seems to be where this popular saying comes from.  We may tell someone that “everything happens for a reason” to get them to examine their actions in the hope that they will learn from their mistakes.  We may even say it as a means of comfort, but there is a right time and a wrong time to say it.  For example, a funeral is not the place to suggest there is a reason.  Paul writes in Romans 12:15 “…weep with those who weep.”  I had an experience that drove this point home.  I was telling a friend about the idea I had for our home page header on this blog that would illustrate my family situation.  As she listened, tears formed in her eyes, she didn’t say anything at all.  I was deeply moved and comforted by her silence and her sincere sympathy for my personal tragedy.  It is perfectly normal to feel like we have to say something in order to bring comfort to hurting people, but sometimes silence speaks much louder than words.

It has been my experience that much of the suffering I have endured during my lifetime has been due to my own mistakes and poor choices.  I definitely don’t blame God for them.  In fact, I credit Him greatly for seeing me through those difficult times.  Even when suffering arrives at my door through no fault of my own, I clearly see God’s hand at work.  During the hardest of times I run to Him, cry out to Him, seek Him and find comfort, help and safety.  My faith and trust in Him has grown stronger with each passing storm, and they do pass.  Testing, trials and tribulations are for our benefit.  James 1:2-4.  The last thing I feel when I’m in the middle of a storm is joy.  And yet, when I force myself to refocus and look upward instead of outward at what lies ahead, that is when help arrives.  Yelling, swearing and throwing a fit has never helped solve anything in my life.  It has only served to aggravate the situation and raise the anxiety level of those around me.  Taking the time to ask for God’s help taps you into the awesome power of the creator and will yield results if we are patient.  Most of the time we don’t see what God is doing, when He’s doing it.  He loves to surprise His children.

When others see our patient perseverance in the midst of a storm, God is glorified.  When people in our lives witness us “bearing up” under fiery trials (1 Peter 4:12) they want that same confidence, they want to tap into that same power.  This is a large part of what draws people to Christ.  Weathering the storms of life not only develops our character and helps us to be more like Christ, but also greatly increases our faith.  Tribulations are to faith as water and nutrients are to a tree.  Without them there is no growth.

God may bring about trying times in an effort to draw our attention to sinful behaviour.  We tend to continue acting in whatever way works best for us or that brings about the desired results, even if it’s clearly not what God wants.  If yelling and physical abuse or lying and manipulation has proven effective in controlling the people who share life with you, then you may find yourself rationalizing and justifying the behaviour.  Unless there are consequences, you may continue to employ these sinful tactics.

God isn’t so much interested in our comfort as He is our growth.


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Image – Pixabay – What Is The Full Armour Of God?

The Hope Of Heaven

The Hope Of Heaven

floating to heaven

Of all my posts so far, this is the one I am most excited about.  It will help take your mind off what is past and cause you to look forward with great expectation.  Colossians 3:2 tells us to “Set our minds on the things above, not on earthly things.”  This doesn’t mean to be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good, but to live each day to the glory of God and in a manner worthy of the name Christian.  Hope is a critical ingredient in our physical lives as well as our spiritual life.  When our relationships need work it is the “hope” that things will get better which spurs us on to action.  Hope helps us to hang in there.  Whenever I’m having a bad day or facing a difficult situation I remember 1 Peter 5:10 “…after you suffered a little while…”  In other words, it’s not forever.  When we are besieged with worry time seems to stand still and so we hope for better times.  Psalm 103:15-16 states that our days are like grass, we sprout, grow and are gone.  Welcome to The Hope Of Heaven.

I once did an object lesson that beautifully demonstrated the fact that, in the scope of eternity, we really aren’t here for long.  If you have five minutes to watch, it can be found here.

The Bible doesn’t have a lot to say about heaven but one thing is for sure, you won’t want to be anywhere else.  Heaven is the final destination for the believer, it is a very real place.  It is my sincerest hope that as you read on, you will be inspired to think more about heaven and get excited not just about the destination, but the journey toward it.

It is impossible to get excited about anything unless you really believe it is going to take place.  The hope of heaven is what drives Christians forward even through the most difficult of circumstances.  The promise of eternal life with Christ is filled with hope.  Paul wrote that our hope isn’t only for this life but our hope in God’s promise of heaven is, “an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…”  Hebrews 6:19.

God takes a personal interest in protecting those who belong to Him until they have accomplished what He has sent them into the world to do.  Psalm 91.  Who would want to live a day longer?  I can totally relate to Paul in Philippians 1:21-23.  The believer knows where they are going and even long for it.  Sadly, the wicked are never satisfied, even with long life.

Glimpses of Heaven


Glimpses of heaven are described in the Bible.  When we read these divine revelations and use our God given imaginations we truly begin to get excited about our arrival.  Jesus wouldn’t have told us about it if it didn’t exist and He clearly wants us to look forward to it.  I have never been to heaven, but Jesus has.  He came down from there to tell us about it and died on the cross to pay our way in.

In John 14:2-3 Jesus tells us that He is preparing a place for us and that He will come back and take us there to be with Him forever.  Some translations refer to these dwelling places as mansions.  I can’t even begin to imagine what it will look like but I know that my “place” is being built by Jesus Himself, the Master carpenter, and it will last for all eternity.

Unlike references to hell, there is no nighttime in heaven.  Revelation 22:5.  Our earthly bodies need rest and sleep to rejuvenate, in heaven you will never get tired nor have any desire for sleep or darkness.

Misleading images of human creation like someone sitting on a billowy cloud with wings on their back and a harp in their hands can lead us to think that heaven will be boring.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Those fleeting moments of happiness that we are blessed with here on earth will be provided in never ending abundance in heaven.  I love what the late Rev. Billy Graham once said, “God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he’ll be there.”  God created me and knows what makes me truly happy.  I have total confidence that my experience in heaven will directly reflect this reality.

I am also convinced that the things which cause us to dread certain activities here on earth won’t exist in heaven.  In an effort to get help with my family situation I met with a Christian counsellor many years ago now.  She told me that it’s possible that my relationship with my family won’t be healed until heaven.  This didn’t make me feel any better at the time, but now that I have grown in my faith I understand what she was talking about.  Sin is not allowed in heaven.  The sinful behaviour that was the root cause of the dysfunction here, won’t be allowed there.  All of our relationships in heaven will be exactly the way God intended them to be; perfect, harmonious and unending.

1 Corinthians 15:42-44 describes the sharp contrast between our earthly human bodies and the heavenly spiritual body we can look forward to.  Paul tells us that our natural bodies are perishable, dishonourable and weak where as our spiritual bodies will be imperishable, honourable and powerful.  Think about that for a minute, “imperishable!”  No longer will we be subject to sickness and disease, accidents or injury, extreme heat or cold nor hunger and thirst.  No more decay; indestructible and enduring for ever.  We will no longer feel any shame having been cleansed from sin by Jesus shed blood on our behalf.  We will be free from the natural laws of gravity, time and space, no longer weakened by sin and temptation.  Our glorified bodies will belong to Christ and be empowered by His Holy Spirit for all eternity.

Everyone on earth longs for lasting peace.  We pursue happiness, safety and security for ourselves and our loved ones, a life free from pain and strife.  My friends, it lies just ahead.  All birth defects, mental or physical handicaps, injuries and the debilitating effects of illness will be healed in heaven.  Isaiah 35:5-6.

Having a new “spiritual body” doesn’t mean that we will be an unrecognizable mist floating around aimlessly.  We will be recognizable, we will have form, solidity of touch and great purpose.  We are told in  1 John 3:2 that our resurrected bodies will be like that of Jesus resurrected body.  This verse really gets my imagination working overtime.  For instance, on Easter morning when the women visited Jesus tomb they found an angel had rolled away the heavy stone from the entrance and was sitting on it.  Matthew 28 tells us that this was to allow the women to see for themselves that Jesus had risen and was not there.  Jesus had already left before the stone was rolled away, did He walk right through solid rock?  As funny as that may sound, will we be able to pass right through solid objects in heaven?

In John 20:19-29 the disciples are hidden away in a room with the doors secured for fear of the Jews when suddenly, “…Jesus came and stood in their midst…”  Jesus didn’t need to use the door.  Eight days later in the same room we hear about Thomas.  He would not believe unless he put his fingers into the nail holes in Jesus hands and the spear wound in His side.  Clearly Jesus could be where He wanted to be when He wanted to be there, without need of travel as we know it.  His resurrected body was solid, touchable and recognizable.  It is fitting that Jesus wounds remain on His resurrected body as they are a permanent reminder of what our salvation cost Him.

For those of us who love food there is more good news.  After showing them His hands and feet Jesus asked if there was any food in the room.  His disciples gave Him a piece of broiled fish which He then ate in front of them.  Luke 24:40-43.  Jesus didn’t need the nourishment, He did this to further drive home the point that He was still Himself in every way.  Eating is a pleasurable experience and even though we will not be driven to it out of necessity or gluttony we will still be able to enjoy food.  Again my imagination runs wild thinking about what amazing new tastes and treats that await us in our heavenly home.  My diabetes won’t be there anymore so I’ll be able to try everything without the worry of falling to the floor and flopping around like a fish.  I can see no evidence that the “…marriage supper of the Lamb” spoken of in Revelation 19:9 isn’t an actual prolonged celebration feast with real food and drink.

In Revelation 21:10-27 John likens the appearance of the City of God to a brilliant stone.  The angel with him took measurements to show the size of this massive area.  It’s length, width and height are equal…fifteen hundred miles.  To put that into perspective it would span from Vancouver, B.C. to Winnipeg, MB. and down to Houston, Texas.  Square that off and it would cover well over half the continental U.S.  To give you an idea of what fifteen hundred miles high is like, the International Space Station orbits at an altitude of 248 miles, so six times the height of the ISS.  I can’t even begin to imagine the stunning architecture that such an huge area would contain.  Our earthly cities are limited by gravity and thus are spread out over two dimensional areas.  To date, the best that man can do going skyward is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  At 2,722 feet it is the tallest self supporting structure in the world.  Our bodies need oxygen above three miles and above one mile it is much colder.  So, near as I can tell, gravity, atmosphere and temperature will not be an issue for our glorified bodies in heaven.

God clearly wants us to be excited about heaven but also wants us to heed the warnings of hell, He wouldn’t bother mentioning it otherwise.  The Bible is very clear on what it takes to gain entry into heaven.  In John 14:6 Jesus tells us that “…no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”  In Paul’s letter to the Romans he writes, “…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved…”  Romans 10:9.  This is why I greatly caution people against waiting until later to make a decision about Christ.  First of all, no one knows when they are going to breath their last.  And secondly, after a lifetime of hardheartedness, it may not be so easy to truly believe.

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Image – Pixabay

The Rev. Billy Graham