Seven crazy youth brave a weather bomb to try out the Hamilton ice rink on Saturday 13th October.
October newsletter is out. Grab it here.
“What a horrible thing it would be to have a prophet tell you to put your house in order because you were going to die! Well that’s exactly what the prophet Isaiah told King Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:1). Yet, on account of Hezekiah’s tears God told Isaiah to go back with a different message – God will heal him and grant him 15 more years to his life (20:5-6). On account of two conflicting messages Hezekiah needed a sign to prove that the last update on his predicament was trustworthy. So, Hezekiah, given a choice, asks that the shadow on the stairway be moved forward ten steps rather than back (20:10).
Does that mean that their clocks went backwards or forwards? The question is further confused by determining whether the sun is coming up over that which is casting the shadow or going down from it. Hands up who arrived to church at the wrong time last Sunday? The real issue here is not a good scientific grasp on the events but rather the faith to trust God in what He has said – Hezekiah will live!
I love daylight saving because it means there is a lengthening of the sunshine hours in the day. I feel much better out in the daylight than I do when in the dark. Also, that lengthening of the daylight hours reminds me of a greater miracle than the movement of Hezekiah’s shadow in regards to the ending of his life. That is the miracle of a future where a heavenly city, built by the hand of God, will no longer need the sun for the daytime or a lamp for the night time (Revelation 22:5).
I am reminded in such a vision that there will be no going backward or forward of a shadow over our lives. Our lives will no longer be held in the balance when God makes all things new. That city won’t need the sun or the moon to shine on it because God gives it light and the Lamb is its lamp (Rev 21:23). So remember, if the changing of the clocks has caused you any confusion this year the time is coming when the clock will be no more for Jesus Christ has purchased us by His blood in order to grant us that miracle of Everlasting Life – time for evermore where the gloom of the shadow will no longer be cast.”
September newsletter is out. Grab it here.
“All things are lawful for me,” Paul writes, “but not all things are profitable (1 Cor 6:12 NASB).” What an amazing affirmation of the freedom we have in Christ but also a warning that this is not a freedom to abuse in order to gratify personal desires – there are consequences to all our decisions in life.
We get the impression that the saying “I can do whatever I like” may have been a catch phrase at Corinth (sound familiar today?). The phrase shows up twice in succession in this verse and also twice in succession later in 10:23. The Corinthian believers had abused and misunderstood this Christian freedom in Paul’s absence. Many were indulging in gluttony and sexual immorality (6:13). Yet Paul didn’t deny such freedom, in principle, nor did he wash his hands of them. Would these believers turn their lives around, given this freedom, and live their lives for God’s glory with a bit of patience? Would they learn from their mistakes and become richer in faith for it?
Some may have heard of the famous John Ruskin (1819-1900); a leading art critic of his era and a very clever social thinker. He recalled, as a child, asking if he could touch a boiling kettle on their range. The maid immediately jumped to attention to prevent him from doing so insisting that he will do himself some harm. Ruskin’s mother interjected and told the maid to let him as she could see how determined he was. Consequently Ruskin says he didn’t ask for such liberties again for a long time! Somehow this experience contributed greatly to his independence of thought and his ability to critique his own culture with honesty and understanding. He became richer for his mistakes made within the liberties afforded him.
With such freedom offered, to such fallen creatures as we, there are risks involved. Such freedom can be abused. But also, such freedom, even when mistakes and misjudgements may be made along the way, can produce in us a genuine love for Christ that is not manufactured or compelled.
What Grace is this that gives us the freedom to love Him!”