Click on the title to watch Harry’s message.
Sunday, May 13, 2018
Between ‘Ascension Day’, when Jesus took away his visible presence, and Pentecost, there is a 10 day gap. In that 10 days Jesus’ disciples waited and prayed. They were being prepared for the ‘pouring out’ of the Holy Spirit. I believe we need a fresh pouring out today. – Harry
Sunday, May 6, 2018
We’ve had a bunch of hydro outages already this year. When the lights go out we’re cut off from the power source. I think this is a great symbol or metaphor for the genuine Christian experience. Our power source is the ascended Jesus. When we ‘connect’ to him by faith his power flows to us via the Holy Spirit. – Harry
Sunday, April 29, 2018
This Philip was one of the seven (see Acts 6:5), not one of the original twelve apostles. He had a lot of fun telling people about Jesus. God did miracles and healings through him and he received instruction from an angel. He was arguably the first to bring the good news to Samaria and, indirectly, to Africa. He even got whisked 20 kilometres or so instantaneously. Adventures every day in the Spirit! – Harry
Sunday, April 22, 2018
Everybody loves Psalm 23. I think this is because deep down we all want and need a Shepherd – someone to protect and guide and provide. There’s really only one who fills the bill and that One says, “I am the Good Shepherd….I know my sheep and my sheep know me”. – Harry
Sunday, April 15, 2018
The point of Jesus eating fish with his friends was to show them that he wasn’t a ghost. He was embodied. As the first one to rise from the dead his body is the pattern for what ours will be. ‘This perishable will put on the imperishable and this mortal will put on immortality’. Jesus has and we will have ‘spiritual bodies’. – Harry
Sunday, April 8, 2018
Over the centuries people have been taught to be aghast at the skepticism of ‘Doubting Thomas’. I don’t see it that way. He was the only one who hadn’t seen the risen Jesus yet, so of course he doubted. All of us would have doubted and do doubt, until we ‘see’ for ourselves. – Harry
Sunday, April 1, 2018
Some people think the resurrection of Jesus is a myth of hope invented to encourage all of us who are subject to death. I see it as an historical event which proves Christ’s victory over death – and the evidence is strong in support of this. Here are some of the implications. – Harry
Sunday, March 25, 2018
A God who is absolutely humble is invisible to a humanity so infected with pride. He is hidden although he is evident in all creation. The humble, crucified king reveals this God. – Harry
Sunday, March 18, 2018
Musings on Jesus’ final, brutally honest, prayer in Gethsemane the night before he died. In a way he gave up his life in that garden. – Harry
Sunday, March 4, 2018
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Jesus speaks quite plainly about what it will mean to follow him – “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow me…” He doesn’t sugar coat it and in our age of narcissism and comfort seeking that is perhaps not that appealing to many. But what good is it to gain the whole world and lose your soul? – Harry
Sunday, February 4, 2018
When Jesus started his public work, he simply ‘proclaimed’, “The time has come. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the good news.” This is a ‘proclamation’ or ‘announcement’ or ‘declaration’. Folks can do with it what they will. – Harry
Sunday, January 28, 2018
One of the key ways in which Jesus demonstrated his authority in the spiritual realm was through casting out evil spirits from those oppressed by them. Although our enlightened generation is skeptical about such beings, people remain fascinated with the possibility. The gospels (and all scripture for that matter) simply assume they’re for real. – Harry
Sunday, January 21, 2018
People often talk about being ‘called’ by Jesus. We point to the story of 4 fishermen – Simon, Andrew, James and John. The first 2 left their nets and followed Jesus. The second 2 left their dad in the boat and followed. What will we leave? How can we leave? Is it worth it? – Harry
Sunday, January 14, 2018
An important part of the Christian faith is ‘recognizing’ who God is, who Jesus is and that Jesus has called you personally. – Harry
Sunday, December 24, 2017
The pursuit of happiness, even joy, is the ongoing pastime of all humans. The angel declared to the shepherds, “Behold, I give you good news of great joy for all humanity”. That good news is the message of Jesus and what he has done. – Harry
Sunday, December 3, 2017
The theme of the first Sunday in Advent is Hope. You’ve got to have something to look forward to – anything from a cup of coffee to the birth of a child. This is hope, and it energizes us. The biggest ‘anticipectation’ for the Christian is the return of Jesus and the end of all evil. – Harry
Sunday, November 26, 2017
Scripture names Jesus “King of kings and Lord of lords”. You can’t get more kingly than that. He’s a different sort of king though. He doesn’t pursue power and wealth but cares passionately for the hungry, the thirsty, the lonely, the sick and the prisoner and expects his followers to do likewise. – Harry
Sunday, November 5, 2017
Jesus warns his followers about titles and prestige. None of us is better than another. If we think they are – or if we think we are – we are misrepresenting the gospel of grace. Our job is to serve. – Harry
Sunday, October 29, 2017
Jesus sums up all the commandments with just 2: Love God and Love your neighbour (as yourself). This may seem daunting to some, but it actually sums up what we’re all about – what we were made for – what the purpose of our existence is. – Harry
Sunday, October 22, 2017
When Jesus was challenged by his enemies about taxes he said, famously, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s”. What is Caesar’s – and what is God’s? – Harry
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Scripture tells us “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” But where will we discover such things nowadays? Everywhere, it turns out. – Harry
Sunday, October 8, 2017
Food is part of God’s good creation. The Bible is full of talk about food – growing it, eating it, sharing it and being thankful for it. The Promised Land is “a land flowing with milk and honey”. Jesus is “The Bread of Life”. Why would we ever think food is not spiritual? – Harry
Sunday, September 24, 2017
We all have a strong sense of what is and is not fair. God built this into us. However, as Jesus shows in his story of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16), we often see fairness in terms of our own self-centred perspective. – Harry
Sunday, September 17, 2017
Jesus’ parable (Matthew 18:21-35) throws a brilliant light on the subject of forgiveness, especially for those of us who consider our own sins forgiven through his sacrifice. Not to forgive another is like throwing someone in prison who owes you $100 when you’ve just been forgiven the national debt. – Harry
Sunday, September 10, 2017
Canadian statistics tell us that roughly two thirds of those who profess Christian faith do not often attend any church. There are many reasons for this, one of which is the thought that being a Christian is a private affair. Jesus, however, calls us into the ‘gathering’ (Greek: ekklesia) of his followers and sees us as a collective or community: “Where 2 or 3 gather in my name…” – Harry
Sunday, September 3, 2017
Many today are counselling us to ‘know yourself’ and be ‘self-aware’. Jesus, I think, would agree – and knew himself better than anyone. Funny thing is that he adds this: “Whoever loses their self for me will find it.” – Harry
Sunday, August 27, 2017
People have been building churches for centuries. The real church is built only by Jesus and belongs only to Jesus – “I will build my church”. Also, he will continue to build it in the face of all opposition. Even ‘the gates of Hades’ will not prevail against it. – Harry
Sunday, August 20, 2017 – guest speaker Morgan Bell
Remember Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat? This is the story of that guy and how God used his terrible circumstances to redeem the terrible circumstances of his family – literally saving them from starvation. – Harry
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Jesus wasn’t the only one to walk on the water. Peter did it too. He needed a little help. So do we. – Harry
Sunday, August 6, 2017 – Haliburton churches hosted the 10th annual Sizzlin’ Summer Service in the Park, a contemporary worship music event at Head Lake Park.
Sunday, July 30, 2017
Quite a few of the parables of Jesus have to do with what he calls ‘the kingdom of God’. This is the place where God reigns and his will is done. Since it is invisible at this time Jesus uses stories to help us understand what it’s like. Here is a look at 6 of those stories. – Harry
Sunday, July 23, 2017
When Jacob had a dream in which he observed angels ascending and descending a ladder between heaven and earth he was tapped into what we might call the spiritual ‘dimension’. Here are some further thoughts about other such dimensions and the scientific evidence for them! (Maybe) – Harry
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Message by Gwen Atkinson
When we pray “Father, forgive” we may be praying for forgiveness for ourselves or for others. Usually both are needed. – Harry
Sunday, July 9, 2017
It may not be obvious, but we’ve all got burdens. Jesus invites everyone to come to him and find rest. He also invites us to ‘take his yoke’ upon our shoulders and learn from him. Here are some thoughts about both these invitations. – Harry
Sunday, July 2, 2017
After Abraham and Sarah finally have a son in their old age, namely Isaac, God tells Abraham to take his son and sacrifice him. That’s a head scratcher, but Abraham obediently undertakes the order. In the end God provides a substitute sheep, but in the meantime…? What can we make of this? – Harry
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Paul’s letter to the Romans is in many ways Christianity 101 – the basics. In chapter 6 he teaches us how we are to view ‘sin’ – as a slave master – and how we may find victory over it – through our having shared in the death of Jesus. – Harry
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Morgan Bell preached at our 3 services June 18th and spoke on Romans 5:1-8. – Harry
Sunday, June 11, 2017
How can God be three persons? I can’t explain it but I do believe it and will defend it. More important though – it does matter! – Harry
Sunday, June 4, 2017
Just to help us understand something of the person and work of the Holy Spirit I’ve worked up a comparison to electricity. Of course they are also quite different, as electricity is a force of nature, and the Holy Spirit is God who created nature. – Harry
Sunday, May 7, 2017
The longest recorded prayer of Jesus is found in John 17. In that prayer his heart’s desire and request to the Father is “that they may be one”. He prays for the unity of all his followers. – Harry
Sunday, April 30, 2017
The story of Emmaus Road is from the day of the resurrection of Jesus. Two guys are walking along and Jesus shows up and walks with them. They don’t know it’s him until he breaks the bread. How often have we walked along and not recognized Jesus with us? – Harry
Sunday, April 23, 2017
If you’re from Missouri you may need to be shown. Thomas, the disciple, wished to be shown that Jesus was alive again and he got his wish! This is what the many appearances of Jesus were all about. He showed himself to the disciples and ‘”gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.” (Acts 1:3) – Harry
Sunday, April 16, 2017
Jesus entered into the sorrows of the human race to the fullest extent. He suffered betrayal, injustice, abandonment, pain and death. When he rose from the dead all those sorrows were ended. This event spells the beginning of the end of such things for us too. – Harry
Sunday, April 9, 2017
St. Vincent de Paul said: “Humility is nothing but truth, and pride is nothing but lying”. Makes sense. Jesus was and is pure truth and utterly humble. – Harry
Sunday, April 2, 2017
This title is actually the shortest verse in the English Bible. It’s from the story of the death and raising of Lazarus, Jesus’ friend, found in John 11:32-45. We get a pretty clear picture here of the compassionate heart of our God. – Harry
Sunday, March 26, 2017
In the gospel of John, chapter 9, we read about Jesus healing a man born blind from birth: This causes no end of alarm for the ‘institution’, that is, the Pharisees, and got me to thinking about Jesus’ relationship – and ours – to the institutions of our day. – Harry
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Jesus uses a lot of colourful language to explain the spiritual life. He tells us that everyone needs to be ‘born anew’ (hence: New Born), that is, “born of the Spirit with life from above, into God’s family divine.” – Harry
Sunday, March 5, 2017
When Jesus was tempted it was at the hand of the master manipulator, Satan. His temptations were extreme. Ours are less so but they are along the same line. – Harry
Sunday, February 26, 2017
This is about the day when Jesus took three disciples up a mountain and was altered in appearance so that he shone like a bright light. They call this the ‘transfiguration’. God was cluing in the disciples as to who this really was. Great clues were given to them, but what are our clues? – Harry
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Haliburton UC message by Gwen Atkinson
Christians believe in a God of three persons, namely, the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Yet there is still only one God. Yes, this is a mystery and one Gwen Atkinson takes a crack at explaining here. – Harry
Sunday, February 12, 2017
The sixth of the 10 Commandments is “You shall not kill”. Jesus teaches that God has something more in mind for us than simply not killing each other. The ‘fulfillment’ of this is not even being angry with each other. The goal is to live in love in community. – Harry
Sunday, January 29, 2017
In the gospel of John, chapter 9, we read about Jesus healing a man born blind from birth: This causes no end of alarm for the ‘institution’, that is, the Pharisees, and got me to thinking about Jesus’ relationship – and ours – to the institutions of our day. – Harry
Sunday, January 15, 2017
The law is built into the human psyche. Even if we don’t know the 10 commandments we strive to live up to impossible standards. The good news of Jesus (gospel) is a transfer (handoff) from the drudgery of standard keeping to the acceptance, joy, healing and presence of God. – Harry
Sunday, January 1, 2017
The wonder of life in Christ is that we are continually ‘resetting’ – casting off the old and putting on the new. In fact, we get to forget what lies behind and reach out to what lies ahead. (Philippians 3:13). – Harry
Sunday, December 25 / Published on March 26, 2017
It’s not just THAT Jesus came, but HOW he came that is ‘a sign unto you’. It’s indicative of the way God works in human lives. – Harry
Sunday, November 27 / Published on March 20, 2017
History has a beginning, a middle and an end in the Christian worldview. Most of the books of the New Testament clearly teach that Jesus will return at the end and ‘put the world to rights’. We are in the middle right now, but this gives us great hope. – Harry
Sunday, November 13 / Published on March 20, 2017
Jesus was challenged by a religious group of his day who didn’t believe in the resurrection or angels or spirits. Jesus quotes back to them the scriptures that they did believe: “”I am the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.(guys who had died)” He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for to him all are alive.” See Luke 20:27-38. – Harry
Sunday, November 6 / Published on February 26, 2017
Some traditions consider only the ‘holiest’ of Christian believers to be saints, but Scripture actually defines all Christians as saints – although also sinners at the same time! – Harry
Sunday, October 30 – We had a guest lay minister today.
Sunday, October 23 / Published on February 20, 2017
According to Scripture, God brings down the proud but lifts up the humble. For most of us this is a lifelong challenge but it also partly explains what God is doing in our circumstances. He’s producing humility in human lives. – Harry
Sunday, October 16 / Published on February 11, 2017
To bother or not to bother, that is the question. Can we truly bother God? Jesus’ parable about the ‘unjust judge’ suggests that genuine faith requires us to persistently seek God’s help. – Harry
Sunday, October 9 / Published on February 11, 2017
Jesus often would take bread, break it, give thanks for it and give it out. There’s a rhythm here which reflects our experience. We have been taken, broken, blessed and given out to the world. – Harry
Sunday, October 2 / Published on February 4, 2017
According to this passage, 1 Timothy 2:1-7, God wants everyone to come to ‘knowledge of the truth’. This certainly indicates that knowing truth is not only possible, it’s essential to authentic human existence. – Harry
Sunday, September 25 / Published on January 7, 2017
What people don’t seem to realize is that the God of joy has literally saturated human life with his joy. It’s in the beauty and order of nature, the excessive amounts of food choices and the design of the human being – with our smiles, laughter and love of song and dance. God goes one step further and comes to dance with us. – Harry
Sunday, September 18 – We welcomed the gospel group Freedom Bound, who ministered encouragement through music and personal testimonies.
Sunday, September 11 / Published on December 29, 2016
Are we truly all cowed and intimidated by terrorism? The worst they can do is kill the body, yet Jesus says “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, though they die, yet shall they live!” – Harry
Sunday, September 4 / Published on December 13, 2016
‘Mutuality’ is defined as “The condition or state of reciprocity, or sharing”. One of the big themes of the Bible, and particularly the New Testament, is the ‘one another’ theme – as in ‘forgive one another’, ‘pray for one another’ and, especially, ‘love one another’. Here it is again in Hebrews 13:1. – Harry
Sunday, August 28 / Published on March 20, 2017
God disciplines us because he loves us, scripture tells us. Really? That can be a tough pill to swallow, but it’s true. This explains, at least in part, why he allows so much difficulty and suffering in our lives. – Harry
Sunday, August 21 – We had a guest minister today.
Sunday, August 14 / Published on November 29, 2016
According to the Bible ‘faith’ is ‘the CONFIDENCE of things hoped for, the PROOF of things unseen’. (Hebrews 11:1) Notice that this is not the same as our contemporary use of the word, where it usually stands for someone’s religion or their trust in some institution (e.g. ‘she had a lot of faith in the CBC’). – Harry
Sunday, August 7 / Published on October 14, 2016
The heart of the matter is It’s The Heart That Matters. The gospel of Jesus is aimed at our hearts. Jesus is he who ‘binds up the broken-hearted’. – Harry
***Harry was on sabbatical from May 1 to July 31.***
Sunday, May 22 / Published on September 24, 2016
Tracy spoke courageously and eloquently and from a Christian perspective on the effect and the ripple effect of the residential school ‘solution’. – Harry
Sunday, April 24 / Published on December 19, 2016
It’s not entirely clear what the age to come will be like, but we can be assured that it will be wonderful, based as it is on the resurrection of Jesus and his victory over death. Even now there are many glimpses of it, and we are actually engaged in implementing aspects of it – through such things as the pursuit of justice and beauty and spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. – Harry
Sunday, April 10 / Published on September 24, 2016
I think ‘miracles’ is a fun topic. Do they happen? Have you witnessed any? Probably. – Harry
Sunday, April 3 / Published on September 10, 2016
If the resurrection of Jesus didn’t happen it’s the biggest hoax in history. The whole of Christian faith is based on the belief that it did. – Harry
Easter Sunday, March 27 / Published on September 3, 2016
Scripture tells us of two notable trees: 1) the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and 2) the cross of Christ. The second is the answer for the problem that arose with the first. There are also two gardens: 1) Eden and 2) the garden location of Jesus’ resurrection. This talk considers the significance of these trees and gardens. – Harry
Palm Sunday, March 20 / Published on December 3, 2016
Much is said about justice and injustice. The greatest injustice of all time was suffered by Jesus, who, having done nothing at all wrong in his whole life was sentenced to the barbaric horror of crucifixion. – Harry
Sunday, March 13 / Published on August 14, 2016
There are a couple of kinds of extravagance at least. One is represented by Mary, the sister of Lazarus, when she poured super expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet. – Harry
Sunday, March 6 / Published on June 3, 2016
Why does ‘metamorphosis’ have to happen in the animal kingdom? It really doesn’t. Lots of creatures don’t metamorph (metamorphosize?) and they seem to get along just fine. Might God have built signs like these into the creation to teach us something of his marvelous ways? – Harry
Sunday, February 28 / Published on April 29, 2016
According to Paul, we’re to consider ancient Israel in their 40 year journey across the desert. We Christians are like them in many ways, but he cautions us NOT to follow their example – NOT to worship a golden calf, NOT to grumble etc. Good advice! – Harry
Sunday, February 21 – We had a guest minister today.
Sunday, February 14 / Published on March 5, 2016
Temptation is our constant battle in life. We are weak in withstanding it, but Jesus is not. His encounter with the Tempter himself reveals this. The secret tactic for resisting temptation is not being stronger or smarter, but knowing our weakness and inviting/discovering Jesus’ presence and power within us. – Harry
Sunday, February 7 / Published on March 5, 2016
A lot of us are somewhat in a fog with respect to things like the meaning of life, what’s true, faith in God and so forth. It’s like there’s a veil over our eyes. The Apostle Paul tells us that when we ‘turn to the Lord’ the veil is removed. – Harry
Sunday, January 31 / Published on March 5, 2016
We tend to think we’re gracious and caring sorts, and we probably are, but there’s always room for growth. A great measuring stick is the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians – the love chapter… – Harry
Sunday, January 31 – The message was not recorded today.
Sunday, January 17 / Published on January 29, 2016
One thing many people seem to have heard about Jesus is that he turned water into wine. They may not know that this was at a wedding and it wasn’t a couple of bottles – more like 60 cases! A bit scandalous and not very ‘religious’, don’t you think? What’s it mean? – Harry
Sunday, January 10 / Published on January 23, 2016
The passage about Jesus’ baptism (Baptism of our Lord Sunday) actually speaks about 3 kinds of baptism: water, Spirit and fire. This talk is an attempt to ‘immerse’ ourselves in a look at all three. – Harry
Sunday, January 3 / Published on January 16, 2016
Joy is one of the trademarks of genuine faith in Jesus. It’s one of the reasons we can’t stop singing and making up new songs. The stories of Jesus increase our joy and this one, about Jesus at the age of 12, is no exception. – Harry
Sunday, December 27 – The service was cancelled due to bad weather.
Sunday, December 20 – The choir presented “Lessons and Carols” with anthems, carols and readings directed by Melissa Stephens.
Sunday, December 13 / Published on January 16, 2016
This is an attempt to define joy, or at least to describe it. Beyond that, how do we experience it? According to St. Paul it is a “fruit of the Spirit”. – Harry
Sunday, December 6 / Published on January 8, 2016
“But with the woes of sin and strife the world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel strain have rolled 2000 years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not the love song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife, and hear the angels sing.” – E.H. Sears, “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear”
Sunday, November 29 – We celebrated the first Sunday in Advent with a joint pastoral charge service at Ingoldsby UC.
Sunday, November 8, 15 & 22 – Guest minister or message not recorded.
Sunday, November 1 / Published on December 15, 2015
Long before somebody wrote “I Saw The Light” the Bible was using the blindness/sight metaphor to explain spiritual truths. So, for instance, ‘the blind leading the blind’, is actually a quote from Jesus. – Harry
Sunday, October 25 – We had a guest minister today.
Sunday, October 18 – We had a guest minister today.
Sunday, October 11 / Published on December 7, 2015
Being grateful is ‘going with the grain’ of the universe. It works. But why is that, and does that not imply that there is someone to whom such gratitude ought to be directed? – Harry
Sunday, October 4 / Published on November 27, 2015
The family is definitely under stress for a number of reasons: culture shifts, technology and media bombardment, for instance. Jesus speaks to this in the passage before us (Mark 10:2-16) by his words on the bond of marriage and his demonstrated love and respect for small children. – Harry
Sunday, September 27 / Published on October 28, 2015
We’ve been allowed quite a bit of freedom to choose how we’ll live our lives. That’s the love of God. We haven’t much say about the consequences. One direction means disaster and the other direction means life. Choose well! – Harry
Sunday, September 20 / Published on October 9, 2015
What does it take to be great? Jesus tells us. He doesn’t appear to have anything against ambition – it’s ‘selfish ambition’ that causes so much grief. There are some suggestions given here for pursuing greatness. – Harry
Sunday, September 13 / Published on October 7, 2015
We try to avoid it, but all of us suffer in life. Some suffer much, some less; sometimes it’s physical, sometimes mental or emotional. If there is a good God in heaven, we are asked, why does he allow so much suffering? This is not the definitive answer to the question but I pray it will help. – Harry
Sunday, September 6 / Published on September 23, 2015
I’m told that people of the Middle East like nothing better than a story about how the weak get one over on the strong. Probably most who are not rich or powerful like those. Jesus here tells such a story. A powerless, poor widow is up against a corrupt man with power. She overcomes by sheer persistence. This is about prayer. – Harry
Sunday, August 30 / Published on September 20, 2015
This parable might be called the parable of the silly excuses. People who say they will come to the party renege (pronounced ‘re-negg’, really, I looked it up) at the last minute. They give ridiculous reasons for not coming. Check it out. They have pointedly insulted the host who is understandably angry and in their place invites a variety of ‘social outcasts’. Funny how there are still a lot of silly excuses expressed today for not accepting Jesus’ invitation to the forgiveness and friendship of the Father. – Harry
Sunday, August 23 – We had a guest minister today.
Sunday, August 16 / Published on September 20, 2015
In this little story Jesus ‘covers the ground’ on how to look at wealth. An already rich guy has a bumper crop and thinks that it’s all for his own use. Wrong. – Harry
Sunday, August 9 / Published on September 11, 2015
The parable of the good Samaritan is about a lot more than helping people in dire need – though it is about that. Jesus is teaching us how to be neighbours. Beyond this, he is pointing out how ‘religion’, while it seems to present us with a way to be good, can often have the opposite effect. – Harry
Sunday, August 2 – The Haliburton Ministerial churches held our joint Sizzlin’ Summer Service 8 at Head Lake Park. Be sure to join us next year!
Sunday, July 26 / Published on September 1, 2015
The second lost son appears good superficially. He stays at home and works on the farm. It turns out that he is quite lost on the inside. His attitude is horrid: he is sullen and superior and as estranged from the father as is the prodigal. Will he, in response to his father’s love, have a change of heart? – Harry
Sunday, July 19 – We had a guest minister today.
Sunday, July 12 / Published on August 19, 2015
The first lost son is the ‘prodigal’, who could wish his father dead in order to receive his inheritance. Despite being publicly shamed by his son’s actions, the father shames himself in running to meet and restore the son when he decides to return home. – Harry
Sunday, July 5 / Published on August 14, 2015
Just in the last few days I’ve lost and found a tube of sunscreen and a cell phone. I had greater joy over recovering the phone. Jesus tells stories like this to give us an idea of how much God loves and values us, and what lengths he will go to in order to find and rescue us. – Harry
Sunday, June 28 / Published on July 24, 2015
This is a wonderful little tale about Middle-Eastern hospitality and how it applies to prayer. It’s found in Luke 11:5-8, which is in the middle of Jesus’ four-part response to the request: “Lord, teach us to pray”. Jesus entertains his listeners while simultaneously impressing on them our Father’s ready heart to answer prayer. – Harry
Sunday, June 21 / Published on July 15, 2015
People sometimes throw up their hands in despair at this parable. They can’t make sense of it. I confess to having been somewhat that way myself before I read Ken Bailey’s book, Poet and Peasant. I think he does a great job of sorting it out. This is the first in a summer series on Jesus’ parables. – Harry
Sunday, June 14 / Published on July 11, 2015
We’re told that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). Ah yes, there will be a day of reckoning. In this talk I’m attempting to balance the reality of unconditional grace and forgiveness in Christ with the reality of consequences for what we’ve done or not done. – Harry
Sunday, June 7 – Video of today’s message is unavailable due to technical difficulties.
Sunday, May 31 – We had a guest minister today.
Sunday, May 24 – Pentecost Sunday / Published on June 28, 2015
We probably don’t talk enough about the Holy Spirit and his work. Scripture has a lot to say about this for a reason: It helps us understand how to live the ‘Christian’ life. Can’t actually do that without the Holy Spirit and the power he supplies – resurrection power, it turns out. – Harry
Sunday, May 17 / Published on June 20, 2015
This is about the ‘ascension’ of Jesus. In other words, he went back ‘up’ or returned to his Father, after he had descended and done the work of rescue here among us. The apostles actually saw him rising and disappearing into a cloud. From his height advantage he rules over the world and intercedes for us all. – Harry
Sunday, May 10 / Published on May 17, 2015
Bill Haast died in 2011 at the age of 100, but not before he saved 21 lives by injecting himself with snake venom, developing anti-venom in his own blood and transfusing this into the snake-bitten individuals. Sin is a deadly poison that kills. The antidote is pure love – the love of the cross. – Harry
Sunday, May 3 – Video of today’s message is unavailable due to technical difficulties.
Sunday, April 26 / Published on June 9, 2015
Earlier generations had perhaps a better understanding of the importance of a name than we do. Yet still we get that names can represent reputation, character and influence. In this presentation we talk about names and particularly the significance of Jesus’ name. – Harry
Sunday, April 19 / Published on April 25, 2015
God has walked with us, for the most part unrecognized, all of our lives. Walking is not such a hard thing for most of us and Jesus wonders if we’ll go for a walk with him. – Harry
Sunday, April 12 – We had a guest speaker from Sleeping Children Around the World today.
Easter Sunday, April 5 / Published on April 17, 2015
The strongest indicator that God has a plan to put the universe ‘to rights’ is Jesus’ resurrection. The risen Christ is the beginning of the new heavens and the new earth. Other indicators are within us. Our longings for peace, community and the end of suffering and death are given by God, I think, in order to encourage us to hope and prepare for a better world. Because He Lives we can face tomorrow. – Harry
Sunday, March 29 / Published on April 10, 2015
The cross is not pretty. It involved suffering, abuse, torture and injustice. Many turn away from this aspect of faith – yet it is central. At the cross God enters into the depths of the sorrows of human existence. This is what ultimately draws us to Jesus. – Harry
Sunday, March 22 / Published on April 4, 2015
The story of Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane is rather surprising. He who is divine shows us just how fully human he really is. He doesn’t want to die. He asks for a way out. Nevertheless… – Harry
Sunday, March 15 / Published on March 20, 2015
‘3:16’ is kind of an insider code for the verse John 3:16 – the first verse some of us memorized in Sunday School. Here is the good news in a nutshell: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – Jesus of Nazareth, circa 30 A.D. (C.E.?) – Harry
Sunday, March 8 / Published on March 18, 2015
We’re not talking about vacuuming and dusting here. When Jesus cleaned house he actually made more of a mess – tables turned over, coins rolling around, birds flying and sheep running. He was cleaning his Father’s house, the temple, of corrupt practices. – Harry
Sunday, March 1 / Published on March 12, 2015
Hard to imagine rebuking Jesus, but that’s exactly what Peter did – once, at any rate. He thought he was being helpful by offering hope that Jesus surely would not suffer the way he predicted that he would. Jesus rebukes him back: “Get behind me, Satan!” – Harry
Sunday, February 22 / Published on March 5, 2015
Did you know that Jesus lived out in the wilderness for 40 days all by himself – and that he hung out with wild beasts? It’s all there in Mark 1:13. He’d gone wild. This is about that. – Harry
Sunday, February 15 / Published on February 28, 2015
Jesus’ ‘transfiguration’ is a turning point in his work on earth. Afterward he basically heads for Jerusalem and the cross. On the mountain some spectacular things happen – he shines, he talks with the dead and God speaks out loud to the disciples about him. Memorable! – Harry
Sunday, February 8 – We had a guest lay minister today.
Sunday, February 1 / Published on February 20, 2015
Here we tackle the strange subject of ‘unclean spirits’. In Mark’s gospel there are six instances of Jesus casting such spirits out of possessed people. That indicates a major component of his work and purpose – “to destroy the work of the devil” (1 Jn. 3:8). – Harry
Sunday, January 25 / Published on January 27, 2015
Here’s a photo of Andrew and Simon casting their nets in the Sea of Galilee. Just kidding! It’s actually 2 Burmese guys on the Ayeyarwady River. Funny how much of the world stays the same. These are some thoughts about being ‘fishers of men’ and what that looked like for Jesus’ first 4 disciples. – Harry
Sunday, January 18 / Published on February 14, 2015
Again and again Jesus turns the world upside down. Our expectation of rulers (kings, prime ministers, presidents and the like) is that they are proud, rich, cared for, powerful and politically motivated. Here comes a king (actually the King of kings) who is a humble, poor, caring, powerless(politically), honest servant. – Harry
Sunday, January 11 / Published on February 6, 2015
The sages are the well-known wise guys that visited Jesus in Bethlehem. They run into a bit of a hornets’ nest when they go and ask ‘King’ Herod, “Where is he who is born King of the Jews”. Lots to learn from this encounter when first was seen, “A light for revelation to the Gentiles”. – Harry
Sunday, January 4 / Published on January 28, 2015
On this first Sunday of the year it’s good to anticipate what God has in store. I look at 2015 as an adventure about to unfold. Our part is to be more ‘incarnational’ – which I attempt to explain. – Harry
Sunday, December 28 / Published on January 22, 2015
This is Part 1 of some reflections on our society of shifting values and beliefs and what that means for the ongoing mission of Christ’s church. As in the time of Jesus’ birth, God is up to something new. Some adaptation is required and is taking place. – Harry
Wednesday, December 24 – Christmas Eve Service / Published on January 19, 2015
God is very much misunderstood by the human race. We often think of him as distant or at least disinterested. Some see him as angry or manipulative. Jesus came to set the record straight – so ‘Gloria in excelcis Deo!’. (If you don’t know your Latin you’ll need to watch this video.) – Harry
Sunday, December 21 – Today the choir performed the cantata “There Is A Saviour” under the direction of Melissa Stephens.
Sunday, December 14 / Published on January 6, 2015
All of us are, with varying degrees of success, engaged in ‘the pursuit of happiness’. Some of the things that get in the way: poverty, broken relationships, sickness, grief, etc. That’s where Jesus’ ‘rescue’ work comes in. An old prophecy which Jesus claims as being fulfilled in him reads, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.., to bestow..the oil of gladness instead of mourning.” (Isaiah 61:1-3) – Harry
Sunday, December 7 / Published on January 6, 2015
The second Sunday in Advent: the theme word is ‘peace’. The scripture readings for the day are all about John the Baptist and his message of repentance. How to put these things together? Here’s what I came up with: When we truly repent (change our thinking and attitude – or at least allow them to be changed) we have peace within and peace with God. That is the source of all peace. – Harry
Sunday, November 30 / Published on December 16, 2014
People get pretty excited about a baby on the way – and so they should. Normally people get prepared in advance. In a similar way, Jesus has taught us to expect his return and to be prepared. His anticipated return and God’s promise to restore creation give us great hope. – Harry
Sunday, November 23 –– We enjoyed a presentation on a congregant’s mission trip to Guatemala to provide clean drinking water sources.
Sunday, November 16 –– We welcomed a guest lay minister to conduct our service today.
Sunday, November 9 / Published on December 9, 2014
At first it may seem rather unfair or selfish that the wise bridesmaids would not share their oil with the foolish ones. As explained in the parable (Matthew 25:1-13), however, the wise realize that they may not have enough for themselves. In the spiritual realm we can’t forever ride on someone else’s ticket. We need to discover and experience for ourselves the love of God and the grace of Jesus. That’s a good thing.
Sunday, November 2 / Published on November 5, 2014
Celebrities abound these days. We’ve got hockey players, politicians, musicians, actors, princesses, popes and media personalities. They seem larger than life yet deep in our hearts we know they’re just like the rest of us. Jesus cautions us about putting people on pedestals – especially our spiritual leaders and teachers. We have one teacher, the Christ.
Sunday, October 26 / Published on November 26, 2014
According to the book and movie by the name “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy”, written by Douglas Adams, “The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything” is the number 42. (??) According to Jesus it’s “Love God and love your neighbour”. This is of course well-known, rather simple yet profound and by no means easy to follow through on. Let’s consider it a while.
Sunday, October 19 / Published on October 30, 2014
We all need hope – something to look forward to that will help get us through the day. Commercials, politicians and medicine all appeal to our longing for hope. They all deliver to some small degree, but leave us less than satisfied. The good news of Jesus is good news of hope. Through him we are assured that creation will be restored, death destroyed and sorrow and crying and pain gone forever. In the meantime he will provide us with love, purpose and joy. That’s a lot of hope!
Sunday, October 12 / Published on October 30, 2014
There seems to be a reasonably large consensus that it’s healthy to be thankful. A smaller chunk of the population would agree that we need to thank God. Here are some musings about why we do.
Sunday, October 5 –– We welcomed a guest lay minister to conduct our service today.
Sunday, September 28 / Published on October 15, 2014
There are a lot of things in the world that aren’t fair or just. It’s of course important to point out and change and remedy those injustices where we can. There are things about the good news of Jesus which may well seem unfair. One, for instance, is the fact that God will accept and forgive anybody regardless of what they’ve done (or not done!). He offers the deathbed penitent the same grace he offers the lifelong church-goers – the ones who have borne “the burden and heat of the day.” How unfair – but Jesus has a whole parable about it – Matthew 20:1-16.
Sunday, September 21 — Our services were conducted by a guest lay minister today as Harry took some time to visit with family following the marriage of his daughter Sarah.
Sunday, September 14 / Published on October 6, 2014
Most of us have been wronged in one way or another and usually we can shake it off, ignore or forgive fairly easily. Not always. Jesus talks a lot about this issue, even including it in his prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” His parable from Matthew 18:21-35 expands on this difficult discipline, which is so critical to building and restoring friendships and community.
Sunday, August 7 / Published on September 27, 2014
I’ve tried to tread lightly on a heavy subject – church discipline. My sense is that Jesus’ teachings on the matter have been misunderstood and mis-applied to a horrendous degree over the centuries. Jesus’ intention was to bring restoration and healing to the fellowship of his followers. Too often his words have been used to establish or entrench positions and authority. I hope this is helpful.
Sunday, August 31 / Published on September 10, 2014
In this little talk there are possible answers to these questions: 1. How can you know who Jesus is? 2. What is the ‘rock’ foundation of the church? 3. Who has the keys to the kingdom? 4. What does it mean to ‘bind’ and ‘loose’? See what you think.
Sunday, August 24 – We had a guest lay minister today.
Sunday, August 17 / Published on August 29, 2014
Fortunately for us, our Maker is a God “whose property is always to have mercy”, in the words of a prayer in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. Jesus again and again demonstrates this in the gospels. A case in point is the story of the Canaanite woman who asks Jesus to have mercy on her demon-possessed daughter.
Sunday, August 10 / Published on August 26, 2014
This is kind of a comparative study of Peter from the New Testament and Elijah from the old and how God used their circumstances to form their character.
Sunday, August 3 – We joined the Haliburton Ministerial churches and the community for our annual summer contemporary music service “Sizzlin’ Summer Service Seven in the Park”.
Sunday, July 27 / Published on August 7, 2014
I cheated a bit here and re-worked a PowerPoint from a while ago. In my defence I made a lot of changes and don’t actually say many of the same things. This is based on the parable of the sower and is about spreading the good news and what happens when you do. As an added bonus there is a description of a multi-church endeavour which we are undertaking in Haliburton County to help people ‘Find The Hope’!
Sunday, July 20 – We had a guest lay minister today.
Sunday, July 13 / Published on July 30, 2014
People sometimes try to stump Christians with a question something like this: “How can you believe in a good God when there’s so much suffering in the world?” Fair enough, except the two realities are not necessarily or logically exclusive. I see lots of evidence for a good God as well as the dead certainty of lots of suffering. Clearly this God allows suffering for some purpose which we can partially understand. In fact there’s a whole lot in Scripture about this…..
Sunday, July 6 / Published on July 18, 2014
“Lay your burdens down..Lay your burdens down,” writes Robin Mark in the song Revival. He basically got that from Jesus, who invites ‘all who labour and are heavily burdened’ to come to him. The psalmist says “Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain you” (Ps. 55) I think this pretty much targets everyone’s needs, although everybody may not realize it.