August 30, 2012

Do You Have True Peace With God? J.C. Ryle

There is no peace with God except through Christ! Peace is His peculiar gift. Peace is that legacy which He alone had power to leave behind Him when He left the world. All other peace beside this, is a mockery and a delusion. When hunger can be relieved without food, and thirst quenched without drink, and weariness removed without rest—then, and not until then, will people find peace without Christ. Now, is this peace your own? Bought by Christ with His own blood, offered by Christ freely to all who are willing to receive it—is this peace your own? Oh, rest not—rest not until you can give a satisfactory answer to my question, have you true peace with God?   ~ J.C. Ryle

August 28, 2012

How are things going?

I have not been angry or disagreed with God's way in my life up to this point in my ALS journey. The road is long and difficult, and I have shed many tears, but God has been my helper and provider every day. Grace sufficient for the day, and I have hope in His grace for tomorrow.

Does that mean that I never have doubts or fears? No it does not. I have my daily struggles like everyone. I am sad about losing my physical abilities and the fact that I am becoming more house bound. The days are long, and the nights are longer yet. The greatest loss is the ability to communicate and the frustration of being misunderstood. In group settings I quickly feel isolated as others talk and I am unable to participate.

My other problems right now are the leg cramps that keep me awake for most of the night. I usually fall asleep at 5 am. The other problem is choking on phlegm deep in my throat and struggling to cough it up. I break out in a sweat every time it happens.

God has been taking care of us through the love of His people in the form of meals, cards, calls, pastoral visits, emails, grass cutting, volunteers doing physiotherapy and watching over me in the night. I see these all as gifts from God, moving in His people like a host of angels.

I am never alone because Jesus Christ, my elder brother, sees me, watches over me, and prays for me 24/7. He never slumbers and never sleeps. He hears my cries and groans, and understands all my needs perfectly. He is the God-man who has been through it Himself. I talk to Him all the time. He is the Great Shepherd, and I try to follow Him through green pastures, dark valleys and and up the steep narrow pathways, because the end of the journey is peace and safety with Him.


August 22, 2012

Rest on Nothing But Christ Crucified - J.C. Ryle

Look steadily at Jesus on the cross, if you want to feel inward peace. Look to anything of your own, and you will never feel comfortable. Your own life and doings, your own repentance, your own morality and regularity, your own church-going, your own Bible-reading and your prayers, what are they all but a huge mass of imperfection? Rest not upon them for a moment, in the matter of your justification. As evidences of your wishes, feelings, bias, tastes, habits, inclinations, they may be useful helps occasionally. As grounds of acceptance with God they are worthless rubbish. They cannot give you comfort; they cannot bear the weight of your sins; they cannot stand the searching eye of God. Rest on nothing but Christ crucified, and the atonement He made for you on Calvary. This, this alone is the way of peace.   ~ J.C. Ryle

August 20, 2012

36th Wedding Anniversary

Today Lena and I have been married for 36 years. It seems like yesterday that I got up early in the morning to get my hair cut and styled (big deal back then), picked up the tuxedos and wedding flowers. We washed and decorated the vehicles which would carry the wedding party, and packed our suitcases in the car for the honeymoon after the wedding. After one night in a fancy hotel, we headed up 'north' for a week in a cottage (a gift from the maid of honour's family). Ever since then we cottaged up north for a week or two every summer for 36 years. Yes, we went fishing on our honeymoon, and I hate to admit it, but Lena caught the biggest fish. 

The Lord has given us four wonderful children (Benjamin George died at 5 months), and 10 grandchildren, with the 11th on the way coming November. My son, sons-in-law, and grandsons have all been infected with the love for fishing bug. Sorry about that girls. 

I didn't expect to survive to our 36th year of marriage, but the Lord only knows the timetable. I love you Lane. Thanks for being my nurse and for denying yourself and for standing by me through the good and the bad times.


August 19, 2012

Summer is Flying By

The last few days the weather has been cooler, and I can't help thinking that 
summer is almost over, and that autumn will soon be here. So it goes with our 
life, whether we live 15, 50, or 90 years, it passes by so quickly. The Bible 
describes it like a passing shadow, a tale that is told, a flower that opens in the 
morning and fades by nightfall. But many of us don't really live like that is true, 
and we count on there being a tomorrow. 

The Word of God tells us to seek the Lord in our youth (Eccl.12), before the 
difficulties of old age sets in. Before seeing, hearing, walking and thinking are 
impaired. The same thing applies to our health. While we are healthy and while
our faculties are clear, that is the best time to seek the Lord and be saved. 
When you are sick, then a lot of your time is taken up with treatments, therapies, 
doctors appointments, etc. 

It is best if faith, scripture memorization, and spiritual songs are laid down in your 
heart before old age and sickness come your way. Then these things can be a 
blessing and a comfort to you when you need it most. 

It is almost too late to begin seeking the Lord when you are sick or suffering from 
dementia. J. C. Ryle said once somewhere that as long as there is life, there is 
hope for salvation. That is very true, but we must remember that there is only one 
example in the Bible of the thief on the cross who was saved in his last hour. We 
may never presume that we can postpone our salvation for such a long shot 
chance. Today is the day of salvation.

August 8, 2012

The One Road to Heaven: Jesus Christ J.C. Ryle

Before the mountains were brought forth, or the earth and world were formed, Jesus Christ was like the Father, very God. From the beginning He was foreordained to be the Savior of sinners. He was always the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, without whose blood there could be no remission. The same Jesus, to whom alone we may look for salvation, that same Jesus was the only hope of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and all the patriarchs; what we are privileged to see distinctly they doubtless saw indistinctly - but the Savior both we and they rest upon is one. It was Christ Jesus who was foretold in all the prophets, and foreshadowed and represented in all the law - the daily sacrifice of the lamb, the cities of refuge, the brazen serpent, all these were so many emblems to Israel of that Redeemer who was yet to come, and without whom no person could be saved. There never was but one road to heaven: Jesus Christ was the way, the truth and the life yesterday as well as today.     ~ J.C. Ryle

August 2, 2012

Former RCS Student Drowns

Last week Saturday, July 28th, 15 year old Kenton VanPelt drowned at his grandparents' cottage on Baxter Lake in Northern Ontario. Kenton was a vibrant young man, and an avid swimmer. Something went wrong after he dove off the boat house, an activity the family has been doing for many years.

Kenton had been a student at Rehoboth Christian School for four years ( grades 4 - 7), while I was principal there, and he and his parents are known by many in our community. He was a kind, gentle boy and was very polite to his teachers.

What a terrible tragedy Kenton's death is to the VanPelt and Neven families. What a shock this is to the entire school community, especially to Kenton's peers. God has His purpose with this event, and He makes no mistakes, ever.
It is a lesson for all of us, but especially for young people, that we always need to be prepared to meet our Creator and Judge. We all expect to become old, but here we see again that things don't always go our way.

Who would have expected that this 15 year old young man would have died before I did. I am not expected to live much longer but my dear students, you too could be called before God before I am. Will you be ready? Do not wait a moment longer, "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation". 2 Cor.6:2

Kenton expressed a saving interest in Christ, and had publicly professed his faith several months prior. The question comes to us about where we stand in relation to God. Are we covered by the blood of Christ? Are we saved by faith in Him? May God use this tragedy to bring others to the Saviour, especially young people.

Lena and I, along with our children and their families wish to express our sincere condolences to Mike and Deani and their daughters and to all the VanPelt and Neven families affected by this loss. May God comfort you through His Word and Spirit.