Saturday, October 25, 2014

Preaching - The "Grand Work of the Minister" (Mc'Cheyne)

The grand work of the minister, in which he is to lay out his strength of body and mind, is preaching. Weak and foolish as it may appear, this is the grand instrument which God has put into our hands, by which sinners are to be saved, and saints fitted for glory. 
It pleased God, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe. It was to this our blessed Lord devoted the years of his own ministry. Oh! what an honour has he put upon this work, by preaching in the synagogues, in the temple, and by the blue waves of Galilee, under the canopy of heaven. Has he not consecrated this world as preaching ground? 
This was the grand work of Paul and all the apostles; for this was our Lord’s command, “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel.” 
O brethren, this is our great work. It is well to visit the sick, and well to educate children, and clothe the naked. It is well to attend Presbyteries. It is well to write books or read them; but here is the main thing—Preach the Word. The pulpit is, as George Herbert says, “our joy and throne.” This is our watch-tower. Here we must warn the people. The silver trumpet is put into our hand. Woe be unto us if we preach not the Gospel.

R. M. McCheyne

Thursday, October 23, 2014

My Country

It is often difficult to communicate to others what it means to be a Canadian. I was born here and have spent most of my adult life serving in this country, but I always thank God for my 8 years of life in America. There is nothing like being away from home that helps you to see home with new eyes.

Yesterday was a hard day for us. The flagrant disrespect of all the ideals we hold to so happily as a country. The offensive murder of a young man. And the near greater tragedy of a gunman loose in our seat of government. But God in His mercy spared us from so much. And in the process, so much of that Canadian-ness came solidly, and quietly to the surface.

That spirit was caught in images like these.
A woman trying to breathe life into a dying soldier.  Supposedly just a passer-by who remembered her CPR training and ran into a terrible situation.

The news that a scepter-carrying, traditionally-dressed, 58-year old retired police officer shot and killed the murderer with his 9mm. Who would have thought the Sargeant-at-Arms was actually armed?

Peter Mansbridge. He should be given a medal, then shipped down to the United States for one year to read their news for them. On every US network. Peter was like a wise father in a major crisis, speaking calm to the nation even when it was not clear we should be calm. And he refused to speculate or deal in anything that was not a verified fact. That took a different kind of courage.

The Prime Minister. Poor Stephen Harper is always getting criticized for his lack of emotion, but that emotion was clearly seen in his calm and deliberate speech to the nation on television and even more so in his parliamentary address today.

Kevin Vickers. That same retired RCMP officer who had never shot his gun at any human before was back at work today carrying his scepter and donning his funny hat. How remarkably Canadian to watch him humbly walk into the House of Commons to a thunderous, three-minute standing ovation.

My country is not God’s country or the perfect country or the best country or any nonsense like that. But it is my country. And I am proud to be her citizen today.